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SCENE, the Palace.
Enter Trumpets founding; then two Aldermen, Lord Mayor,
Garter, Cranmer, Duke of Norfolk with his Marshal's staff, Duke of Suffolk, two Noblemen bearing great standing bowls for the christening gifts ; then four Noblemen bearing a canopy, under which the Dutchess of Norfolk, godmother, bearing the child richly babited in a mantle, &c. Train born by a lady: then follows the Marchioness of Dorset, the other god-mother, and ladies. The troop pass once about the stage, and Garter speaks.
Gárt. Heav'n, from thy endless goodness send long life, And ever happy, to the high and mighty Princess of England, fair Elizabeth!
Flourish. Enter King and Guard.
King. Stand up, lord.
King. My noble gossips, y’have been too prodigal,
Cran. Let me speak, Sir ;
99 (But few now living can behold that goodness) A pattern to all Princes living with her, And all that shall succeed. Sbeba was never More covetous of wisdom and fair virtue, Than this blest soul shall be. All Princely graces, That mould
a mighty piece as this,
King. Thou speakest wonders.
(31) She shall be to the Happiness of England, An aged Princess ;] The Transition here from the Complimentary Ad
An aged Princess ; many days shall see her,
King. O lord Arch-bishop, Thou'st made me now a man ; never, before This happy child, did I get any thing. This oracle of comfort has so pleas’d me, That when I am in heav'n, I shall desire To see what this child does, and praise my maker. I thank ye all. - To you, my good Lord Mayor, dress to King James the First is fo abrupt, that it seems obvious to me, that Compliment was inferted after the Accession of that Prince. If this Play was wrote, as in my opinion it was, in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth; we may easily determine where Cranmer's Eulogium of that Princess concluded. I make no question but the Poet rested here ;
And claim by those their Greatness, not by Blood. All that the Bishop says after this, was an occasional Homage paid to her Successor ; and evidently inserted after her Demise. How naturally, without this Insertion, does the King's Joy, and satisfactory Reflection upon the Bishop's Prophecy come in! King. Thou speakest Wonders. O Lord Archbilbop,
Thou'st made me now a Man. Never, before
This happy Child, did I get any Thing, &c. Whether the King would so properly have made this Inference, upon hearing that a Child of fo great Hopes should dye without Iffue, is submitted to Judgment.
(32) Would I had known no more : but she must dye, She must, the Saints must have her ; yet a Virgin, A moft unspotted Lilly, &c.] Thus the Editors hitherto, in their Sagacity, have pointed this Passage, and destroy'd the true Sense of it. The first part of this Sentence is a Wish: The other should be a forrowful Continuation of the Bishop's Prophecy. But, sure, Cranmer was too wise and pious a Man, too well acquainted with the State of Mortality, to make it a part of his Lamentation that this good Princess muft one time or other go to Heaven. As I point it; the Poet makes a fine Compliment to his Royal Mistress's Memory, to lament that she must dye without leaving an Heir of her Body behind her. Palamon and Arcite, in the Two Noble Kinsmen of Beaumont and Fletcher, being made Prisoners to Theseus, and fearing they shall dye in that Captivity, lament their Fate, I remember, in much the same manner.
Here the Graces of our Youths must wither,'
And your good brethren, I am much beholden: (33)
fhall find me thankful. Lead the way, lords ; Ye must all fee the Queen, and she must thank
(33) And you good Brethren,] But, the Aldermen never were calld Brethren to the King. The Top of the Nobility are but Cousins and Counsellors. Dr. Thirlby, therefore, rightly advised ;
And your good Brethren i. e. the Lord Mayor's Brethren ; which is properly their Style. So in the Chorus before the 5th Act of Henry V.
The Mayor, and all his Brethren in beft Sort,
E P I L O G U E.
I S ten to one, this Play can never please
All that are here : fome come to take their ease, And sleep an a&t or two; but those, we fear, We've frighted with our trumpets: so, 'tis clear, They'll say, it's naught. Others, to hear the city Abus’d'extremely, and to cry, that's witty! Which we have not done neither ; that, I fear, All the expected Good ware like to bear For this Play at this time, is only in The merciful construction of good wom'n; (For such a one we few'd’em) If they smile, And say, 'twill do ; I know, within a while All the best men are ours; for 'lis ill hap, If they hold, when their ladies bid 'em clap.