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Home > King Henry VIII > ACT V - SCENE IV. The palace yard.

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ACT V - SCENE IV. The palace yard.
Noise and tumult within. Enter Porter and his Man

Porter
1    You'll leave your noise anon, ye rascals: do you
2    take the court for Paris-garden? ye rude slaves,
3    leave your gaping.
Within
4    Good master porter, I belong to the larder.
Porter
5    Belong to the gallows, and be hanged, ye rogue! is
6    this a place to roar in? Fetch me a dozen crab-tree
7    staves, and strong ones: these are but switches to
8    'em. I'll scratch your heads: you must be seeing
9    christenings? do you look for ale and cakes here,
10   you rude rascals?
Man
11   Pray, sir, be patient: 'tis as much impossible--
12   Unless we sweep 'em from the door with cannons--
13   To scatter 'em, as 'tis to make 'em sleep
14   On May-day morning; which will never be:
15   We may as well push against Powle's, as stir em.
Porter
16   How got they in, and be hang'd?
Man
17   Alas, I know not; how gets the tide in?
18   As much as one sound cudgel of four foot--
19   You see the poor remainder--could distribute,
20   I made no spare, sir.
Porter
21   You did nothing, sir.
Man
22   I am not Samson, nor Sir Guy, nor Colbrand,
23   To mow 'em down before me: but if I spared any
24   That had a head to hit, either young or old,
25   He or she, cuckold or cuckold-maker,
26   Let me ne'er hope to see a chine again
27   And that I would not for a cow, God save her!
Within
28   Do you hear, master porter?
Porter
29   I shall be with you presently, good master puppy.
30   Keep the door close, sirrah.
Man
31   What would you have me do?
Porter
32   What should you do, but knock 'em down by the
33   dozens? Is this Moorfields to muster in? or have
34   we some strange Indian with the great tool come to
35   court, the women so besiege us? Bless me, what a
36   fry of fornication is at door! On my Christian
37   conscience, this one christening will beget a
38   thousand; here will be father, godfather, and all together.
Man
39   The spoons will be the bigger, sir. There is a
40   fellow somewhat near the door, he should be a
41   brazier by his face, for, o' my conscience, twenty
42   of the dog-days now reign in's nose; all that stand
43   about him are under the line, they need no other
44   penance: that fire-drake did I hit three times on
45   the head, and three times was his nose discharged
46   against me; he stands there, like a mortar-piece, to
47   blow us. There was a haberdasher's wife of small
48   wit near him, that railed upon me till her pinked
49   porringer fell off her head, for kindling such a
50   combustion in the state. I missed the meteor once,
51   and hit that woman; who cried out 'Clubs!' when I
52   might see from far some forty truncheoners draw to
53   her succor, which were the hope o' the Strand, where
54   she was quartered. They fell on; I made good my
55   place: at length they came to the broom-staff to
56   me; I defied 'em still: when suddenly a file of
57   boys behind 'em, loose shot, delivered such a shower
58   of pebbles, that I was fain to draw mine honour in,
59   and let 'em win the work: the devil was amongst
60   'em, I think, surely.
Porter
61   These are the youths that thunder at a playhouse,
62   and fight for bitten apples; that no audience, but
63   the tribulation of Tower-hill, or the limbs of
64   Limehouse, their dear brothers, are able to endure.
65   I have some of 'em in Limbo Patrum, and there they
66   are like to dance these three days; besides the
67   running banquet of two beadles that is to come.
Enter Chamberlain

Chamberlain
68   Mercy o' me, what a multitude are here!
69   They grow still too; from all parts they are coming,
70   As if we kept a fair here! Where are these porters,
71   These lazy knaves? Ye have made a fine hand, fellows:
72   There's a trim rabble let in: are all these
73   Your faithful friends o' the suburbs? We shall have
74   Great store of room, no doubt, left for the ladies,
75   When they pass back from the christening.
Porter
76   An't please
77   your honour,
78   We are but men; and what so many may do,
79   Not being torn a-pieces, we have done:
80   An army cannot rule 'em.
Chamberlain
81   As I live,
82   If the king blame me for't, I'll lay ye all
83   By the heels, and suddenly; and on your heads
84   Clap round fines for neglect: ye are lazy knaves;
85   And here ye lie baiting of bombards, when
86   Ye should do service. Hark! the trumpets sound;
87   They're come already from the christening:
88   Go, break among the press, and find a way out
89   To let the troop pass fairly; or I'll find
90   A Marshalsea shall hold ye play these two months.
Porter
91   Make way there for the princess.
Man
92   You great fellow,
93   Stand close up, or I'll make your head ache.
Porter
94   You i' the camlet, get up o' the rail;
95   I'll peck you o'er the pales else.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT V, SCENE IIIACT V, SCENE V (Next) >
Scene Index
  • PROLOGUE


  • ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • EPILOGUE

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