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King Henry VIII: Act 5 Scene 4
Scene IV The palace yard.
- [Noise and tumult within. Enter Porter and his Man]
- You'll leave your noise anon, ye rascals: do you
- take the court for Paris-garden? ye rude slaves,
- leave your gaping.
- Good master porter, I belong to the larder.
- Belong to the gallows, and be hanged, ye rogue! is
- this a place to roar in? Fetch me a dozen crab-tree
- staves, and strong ones: these are but switches to
- 'em. I'll scratch your heads: you must be seeing
- christenings? do you look for ale and cakes here,
- you rude rascals?
- Pray, sir, be patient: 'tis as much impossible--
- Unless we sweep 'em from the door with cannons--
- To scatter 'em, as 'tis to make 'em sleep
- On May-day morning; which will never be:
- We may as well push against Powle's, as stir em.
- How got they in, and be hang'd?
- Alas, I know not; how gets the tide in?
- As much as one sound cudgel of four foot--
- You see the poor remainder--could distribute,
- I made no spare, sir.
- You did nothing, sir.
- I am not Samson, nor Sir Guy, nor Colbrand,
- To mow 'em down before me: but if I spared any
- That had a head to hit, either young or old,
- He or she, cuckold or cuckold-maker,
- Let me ne'er hope to see a chine again
- And that I would not for a cow, God save her!
- Do you hear, master porter?
- I shall be with you presently, good master puppy.
- Keep the door close, sirrah.
- What would you have me do?
- What should you do, but knock 'em down by the
- dozens? Is this Moorfields to muster in? or have
- we some strange Indian with the great tool come to
- court, the women so besiege us? Bless me, what a
- fry of fornication is at door! On my Christian
- conscience, this one christening will beget a
- thousand; here will be father, godfather, and all together.
- The spoons will be the bigger, sir. There is a
- fellow somewhat near the door, he should be a
- brazier by his face, for, o' my conscience, twenty
- of the dog-days now reign in's nose; all that stand
- about him are under the line, they need no other
- penance: that fire-drake did I hit three times on
- the head, and three times was his nose discharged
- against me; he stands there, like a mortar-piece, to
- blow us. There was a haberdasher's wife of small
- wit near him, that railed upon me till her pinked
- porringer fell off her head, for kindling such a
- combustion in the state. I missed the meteor once,
- and hit that woman; who cried out 'Clubs!' when I
- might see from far some forty truncheoners draw to
- her succor, which were the hope o' the Strand, where
- she was quartered. They fell on; I made good my
- place: at length they came to the broom-staff to
- me; I defied 'em still: when suddenly a file of
- boys behind 'em, loose shot, delivered such a shower
- of pebbles, that I was fain to draw mine honour in,
- and let 'em win the work: the devil was amongst
- 'em, I think, surely.
- These are the youths that thunder at a playhouse,
- and fight for bitten apples; that no audience, but
- the tribulation of Tower-hill, or the limbs of
- Limehouse, their dear brothers, are able to endure.
- I have some of 'em in Limbo Patrum, and there they
- are like to dance these three days; besides the
- running banquet of two beadles that is to come.
- [Enter Chamberlain]
- Mercy o' me, what a multitude are here!
- They grow still too; from all parts they are coming,
- As if we kept a fair here! Where are these porters,
- These lazy knaves? Ye have made a fine hand, fellows:
- There's a trim rabble let in: are all these
- Your faithful friends o' the suburbs? We shall have
- Great store of room, no doubt, left for the ladies,
- When they pass back from the christening.
- An't please
- your honour,
- We are but men; and what so many may do,
- Not being torn a-pieces, we have done:
- An army cannot rule 'em.
- As I live,
- If the king blame me for't, I'll lay ye all
- By the heels, and suddenly; and on your heads
- Clap round fines for neglect: ye are lazy knaves;
- And here ye lie baiting of bombards, when
- Ye should do service. Hark! the trumpets sound;
- They're come already from the christening:
- Go, break among the press, and find a way out
- To let the troop pass fairly; or I'll find
- A Marshalsea shall hold ye play these two months.
- Make way there for the princess.
- You great fellow,
- Stand close up, or I'll make your head ache.
- You i' the camlet, get up o' the rail;
- I'll peck you o'er the pales else.