Henry VIII


Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V

Noise and tumult within. Enter Porter and his Man
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently See Topics: Frequency count


You'll leave your noise anon, ye rascals. Do you

take the court for Parish Garden? Ye rude slaves, leave
leave (v.) 1 cease, stop, give up
rude (adj.) 4 uncivilized, uncultivated, unrefined

your gaping.
gaping (n.) bawling, shouting, yelling



Good master porter, I belong to

th' larder.
larder (n.) pantry, provision room


Belong to th' gallows, and be hanged, ye rogue!

Is this a place to roar in? Fetch me a dozen crab-tree
crab-tree (n./adj.) crab-apple tree

staves, and strong ones: these are but switches to 'em.
switch (n.) twig, thin shoot

I'll scratch your heads. You must be seeing christenings?

Do you look for ale and cakes here, you rude



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 Paul's as stir 'em.


How got they in, and be hanged?


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,
cuckold (n.) [mocking name] man with an unfaithful wife See Topics: Frequency count
cuckold-maker (n.) seducer of a married woman

Let me ne'er hope to see a chine again –
chine (n.) 1 [of meat] joint, portion, piece

And that I would not for a cow, God save her!



Do you hear, master porter?


I shall be with you presently, good master
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

puppy. Keep the door close, sirrah.
close (adj.) 6 closed, shut


What would you have me do?


What should you do, but knock 'em down by

th' dozens? Is this Moorfields to muster in? Or have we

some strange Indian with the great tool come to court,
strange (adj.) 4 foreign, alien, from abroad
tool (n.) 2 penis

the women so besiege us? Bless me, what a fry of
fry (n.) 2 brood, offspring, progeny

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
spoon (n.) christening spoon [given as a gift]

somewhat near the door, he should be a brazier by his
brazier (n.) brass-worker

face, for, o'my conscience, twenty of the dog-days now
dog-days (n.) hottest days of the year [associated with the astrological position of Sirius, the Dog-star] See Topics: Cosmos

reign in's nose; all that stand about him are under the

line, they need no other penance. That fire-drake did I
fire-drake (n.) fiery being, dragon, man with a fiery nose
line (n.) 8 equator

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
blow (v.) 6 blow up, explode on
haberdasher (n.) dealer in small articles relating to clothing
mortar-piece (n.) type of small high-firing cannon See Topics: Weapons

wife of small wit near him, that railed upon me till her
rail (v.) rant, rave, be abusive [about] See Topics: Frequency count
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

pinked porringer fell off her head, for kindling such a
pinked (adj.) ornamented with perforations, pierced, scalloped
porringer (n.) 2 hat shaped like a pudding basin or soup-bowl See Topics: Clothing

combustion in the state. I missed the meteor once, and

hit that woman, who cried out ‘ Clubs!’, when I might
clubs (int.) cry calling apprentices to rally round in a fight

see from far some forty truncheoners draw to her
truncheoner (n.) club-wielder, cudgel-carrier

succour, which were the hope o'th' Strand, where she
succour (n.) 1 help, assistance, aid

was quartered. They fell on; I made good my place. At
fall on (v.) join a fray, attack in force

length they came to th' broomstaff to me; I defied 'em
broomstaff (n.) broomstick

still; when suddenly a file of boys behind 'em, loose
loose shot marksman not attached to a company

shot, delivered such a shower of pebbles that I was fain
fain (adj.) 1 obliged, forced, compelled

to draw mine honour in, and let 'em win the work. The
work (n.) 2 fort, barricade

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,
tribulation (n.) trouble-maker, pest, mischief-maker

their dear brothers, are able to endure. I have some of

'em in Limbo Patrum, and there they are like to dance
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count
limbo patrum [Latin: temporary home of departed spirits between heaven and hell] gaol, imprisonment See Topics: Latin

these three days, besides the running banquet of two
banquet, banket (n.) 1 refreshments, light meal, dessert
banquet, running light meal taken hurriedly, quickly served repast

beadles that is to come.
beadle (n.) 1 parish constable

Enter the Lord Chamberlain


Mercy o' me, what a multitude are here!

They grow still, too; from all parts they are coming,
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

As if we kept a fair here! Where are these porters,

These lazy knaves? You've made a fine hand, fellows!
hand (n.) 4 handiwork, job, work
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count

There's a trim rabble let in: are all these
trim (adj.) 1 fine, excellent, smart

Your faithful friends o'th' suburbs? We shall have
suburbs (n.) (plural) parts of a city lying outside the walls [reputed for brothels and lawlessness]

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
lay (v.) 1 apply, place, put

By th' heels, and suddenly; and on your heads

Clap round fines for neglect.You're lazy knaves,
clap (v.) 4 put smartly, place promptly, set effectively
round (adj.) 2 heavy, substantial

And here ye lie baiting of bombards, when
bait (v.) 3 drink, take refreshment
bombard, bumbard (n.) large leather wine-jug

Ye should do service.

service (n.) 2 employment, situation as a servant

                         Hark! The trumpets sound;

They're come already from the christening.

Go break among the press, and find a way out
press (n.) 1 crowd, throng

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'th' camlet, get up o'th' rail;
camlet, chamblet (n.) garment made of fine cloth

I'll peck you o'er the pales else.
pale (n.) 1 fence, paling, enclosure
peck (v.) pitch, throw, fling


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