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Henry VIII - Act 5, scene 3
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Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Act 5, scene 3
A porter and his assistant fight to control the crowd determined to view the royal daughter’s christening.Noise and tumult within. Enter Porter and his Man,
PORTER 3093 You’ll leave your noise anon, you rascals! Do
3094 you take the court for Parish Garden? You rude
3095 slaves, leave your gaping!
⌜ONE,⌝ (within) 3096 Good Master Porter, I belong to th’
3097 5 larder.
PORTER 3098 Belong to th’ gallows and be hanged, you rogue!
3099 Is this a place to roar in?—Fetch me a dozen crab-tree
3100 staves, and strong ones. These are but switches
3101 to ’em.—I’ll scratch your heads! You must be seeing
3102 10 christenings? Do you look for ale and cakes here,
3103 you rude rascals?
3104 Pray, sir, be patient. ’Tis as much impossible—
3105 Unless we sweep ’em from the door with cannons—
3106 To scatter ’em as ’tis to make ’em sleep
3107 15 On May Day morning, which will never be.
3108 We may as well push against Paul’s as stir ’em.
PORTER 3109 How got they in, and be hanged?
p. 225PORTER’S MAN
3110 Alas, I know not. How gets the tide in?
3111 As much as one sound cudgel of four foot—
3112 20 You see the poor remainder—could distribute,
3113 I made no spare, sir.
PORTER 3114 You did nothing, sir.
3115 I am not Samson, nor Sir Guy, nor Colbrand,
3116 To mow ’em down before me; but if I spared any
3117 25 That had a head to hit, either young or old,
3118 He or she, cuckold or cuckold-maker,
3119 Let me ne’er hope to see a chine again—
3120 And that I would not for a cow, God save her!
⌜ONE,⌝ (within) 3121 Do you hear, Master Porter?
PORTER 3122 30I shall be with you presently, good master
3123 puppy.— Keep the door close, sirrah.
PORTER’S MAN 3124 What would you have me do?
PORTER 3125 What should you do but knock ’em down by
3126 th’ dozens? Is this Moorfields to muster in? Or have
3127 35 we some strange Indian with the great tool come to
3128 court, the women so besiege us? Bless me, what a
3129 fry of fornication is at door! On my Christian conscience,
3130 this one christening will beget a thousand;
3131 here will be father, godfather, and all together.
PORTER’S MAN 3132 40The spoons will be the bigger, sir. There is
3133 a fellow somewhat near the door—he should be a
3134 brazier by his face, for, o’ my conscience, twenty of
3135 the dog days now reign in ’s nose. All that stand
3136 about him are under the line; they need no other
3137 45 penance. That fire-drake did I hit three times on the
3138 head, and three times was his nose discharged
3139 against me. He stands there like a mortar-piece, to
3140 blow us. There was a haberdasher’s wife of small
3141 wit near him that railed upon me till her pinked
3142 50 porringer fell off her head for kindling such a
3143 combustion in the state. I missed the meteor once
p. 2273144 and hit that woman, who cried out “Clubs!” when I
3145 might see from far some forty truncheoners draw to
3146 her succor, which were the hope o’ th’ Strand, where
3147 55 she was quartered. They fell on; I made good my
3148 place. At length they came to th’ broomstaff to me;
3149 I defied ’em still, when suddenly a file of boys behind
3150 ’em, loose shot, delivered such a shower of
3151 pibbles that I was fain to draw mine honor in and
3152 60 let ’em win the work. The devil was amongst ’em, I
3153 think, surely.
PORTER 3154 These are the youths that thunder at a playhouse
3155 and fight for bitten apples, that no audience
3156 but the tribulation of Tower Hill or the limbs of
3157 65 Limehouse, their dear brothers, are able to
3158 endure. I have some of ’em in Limbo Patrum, and
3159 there they are like to dance these three days, besides
3160 the running banquet of two beadles that is to come.
Enter Lord Chamberlain.
3161 Mercy o’ me, what a multitude are here!
3162 70 They grow still too. From all parts they are coming,
3163 As if we kept a fair here! Where are these porters,
3164 These lazy knaves?—You’ve made a fine hand, fellows!
3165 There’s a trim rabble let in. Are all these
3166 Your faithful friends o’ th’ suburbs? We shall have
3167 75 Great store of room, no doubt, left for the ladies,
3168 When they pass back from the christening!
PORTER 3169 An ’t please
3170 your Honor,
3171 We are but men, and what so many may do,
3172 80 Not being torn a-pieces, we have done.
3173 An army cannot rule ’em.
CHAMBERLAIN 3174 As I live,
3175 If the King blame me for ’t, I’ll lay you all
3176 By th’ heels, and suddenly, and on your heads
p. 2293177 85 Clap round fines for neglect. You’re lazy knaves,
3178 And here you lie baiting of bombards, when
3179 You should do service.⌜Trumpets.⌝
3180 Hark, the trumpets sound!
3181 They’re come already from the christening.
3182 90 Go break among the press, and find a way out
3183 To let the troop pass fairly, or I’ll find
3184 A Marshalsea shall hold you play these two months.
3185 Make way there for the Princess!
PORTER’S MAN 3186 You great fellow,
3187 95 Stand close up, or I’ll make your head ache.
3188 You i’ th’ camlet, get up o’ th’ rail!
3189 I’ll peck you o’er the pales else.