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First Gent. What is my ransom, master? let me know.
Mast. A thousand crowns, or else lay down your head.
Mate. And so much shall you give, or off goes yours.
think you much to pay two thousand crowns, And bear the name and port of gentlemen? Cut both the villains' throats! for die you shall: The lives of those which we have lost in fight 21 Be counterpois'd with such a petty sum!
First Gent. I'll give it, sir; and therefore spare my life.
Second Gent. And so will I, and write home for it straight.
Whit. I lost mine eye in laying the prize aboard,
TO SUFFOLK. And therefore to revenge it shalt thou die ;
And so should these if I might have my will. Cap. Be not so rash: take ransom ; let him live. Suf. Look on my George; I am a gentleman. Rate me at what thou wilt, thou shalt be paid. Whit. And so am I; my name is Walter Whit
How now! why start'st thou ? what! doth death affright?
Suf. Thy name affrights me, in whose sound is death.
A cunning man did calculate my birth,
Whit. Gaultier or Walter, which it is, I care not;
The Duke of Suffolk, William de la Pole.
Whit. The Duke of Suffolk muffled up in rags! Suf. Ay, but these rags are no part of the duke: Jove sometime went disguis'd, and why not I? Cap. But Jove was never slain, as thou shalt be. Suf. Obscure and lowly swain, King Henry's blood,
The honourable blood of Lancaster,
Bare-headed plodded by my foot-cloth mule,
Cap. First let my words stab him, as he hath
Suf. Base slave, thy words are blunt, and so art thou,
Cap. Convey him hence, and on our longboat's side
Strike off his head.
Thou dar'st not for thy cwn,
Cap. Yes, Pole.
Cap. Pool! Sir Pool! lord! Ay, kennel, puddle, sink; whose filth and dirt `71 Troubles the silver spring where England drinks. Now will I dam up this thy yawning mouth For swallowing the treasure of the realm: Thy lips, that kiss'd the queen, shall sweep the ground;
And thou that smil'st at good Duke Humphrey's death,
Against the senseless winds shalt grin in vain,
Upon these paltry, servile, abject drudges. Small things make base men proud: this villain here,
Stoop to the block than these knees bow to any
Suf. Come, soldiers, show what cruelty ye
That this my death may never be forgot.
It is our pleasure one of them depart :
First Gent. O barbarous and bloody spectacle! His body will I bear unto the king: If he revenge it not, yet will his friends; So will the queen, that living held him dear. Exit, with the body.
Enter GEORGE BEVIS and JOHN HOLLAND.
Geo. Come, and get thee a sword, though made of a lath: they have been up these two days.
John. They have the more need to sleep now then.
Geo. I tell thee, Jack Cade the clothier means to dress the commonwealth, and turn it, and set a new nap upon it.
John. So he had need, for 'tis threadbare. Well, I say it was never merry world in England since gentlemen came up.
Geo. O miserable age! Virtue is not regarded in handicraftsmen.
John. The nobility think scorn to go in leather
Geo. Nay, more; the king's council are no good workmen.
John. True; and yet it is said 'Labour in thy vocation' which is as much to say as, let the magistrates be labouring men; and therefore should we be magistrates.
Geo. Thou hast hit it; for there's no better sign of a brave mind than a hard hand. John. I see them! I see them! There's Best's son, the tanner of Wingham,
Geo. He shall have the skins of our enemies to make dog's-leather of.
John. And Dick the butcher,
Smith. Aside. He need not fear the sword, for his coat is of proof.
Dick. Aside. But methinks he should stand in fear of fire, being burht i' the hand for stealing of sheep.
Cade. Be brave then; for your captain is brave, and vows reformation. There shall be in England seven halfpenny loaves sold for a penny; the three-hooped pot shall have ten hoops; and I will make it felony to drink small beer. All the realm shall be in common, and in Cheapside shall my palfrey go to grass. And when I am king, as king I will be,
All. God save your majesty!
Cade. I thank you, good people: there shall be no money; all shall eat and drink on my score; and I will apparel them all in one livery, that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.
Dick. The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
Cade. Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should be made parchment? that parchment, being scribbled o'er, should undo a man Some say the bee stings; but I say, 'tis the bee's wax, for I did but seal once to a thing, and! was never mine own man since. who's there?
Enter some, bringing in the Clerk of Chatham.
Smith. The clerk of Chatham: he can write
and read and cast accompt.
Cade. O monstrous!
Smith. We took him setting of boys' copies.
Cude. Here's a villain!
Became a bricklayer when he came to age:
Smith. Has a book in his pocket with red His son am I; deny it if you can. letters in 't.
Cade. Let me alone. Dost thon nse to write thy name, or hast thou a mark to thyself, like an honest plain-dealing man?
Clerk. Sir, I thank God I have been so well brought up that I can write my name.
Al. He hath confessed: away with him! he's a villain and a traitor.
Cade. Away with him! I say: hang him with his pen and ink-horn about his neck.
Exeunt some with the Clerk.
Mich. Where's our general?
Cude. Here I am, thou particular fellow. Mich. Fly, fly, fly! Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother are hard by, with the king's forces.
Cade. Stand, villain, stand, or I'll fell thee down. He shall be encountered with a man as good as himself: he is but a knight, is a'? Mich. No.
Cade. To equal him, I will make myself a knight presently. Kneels. 131 Rises.
Rise up Sir John Mortimer.
Enter Sir HUMPHREY STAFFORD, and WILLIAM his Brother, with drum and Forces.
Stof. Rebellious hinds, the filth and scum of Kent,
Mark'd for the gallows, lay your weapons down; Home to your cottages, forsake this groom: The king is merciful, if you revolt.
W. Staf. But angry, wrathful, and inclin'd to blood,
If you go forward: therefore yield, or die.
Dick. Nay, 'tis too true; therefore he shall be
Smith. Sir, he made a chimney in my father's house, and the bricks are alive at this day to testify it; therefore deny it not.
Staf. And will you credit this base drudge's words,
That speaks he knows not what?
All. Ay, marry, will we; therefore get ye gone. W. Staf. Jack Cade, the Duke of York hath taught you this.
Cade. Aside. He lies, for I invented it myself. Go to, sirrah; tell the king from me, that for his father's sake, Henry the Fifth, in whose time boys went to span-counter for French crowns, I am content he shall reign; but I'll be protector over him.
Dick. And, furthermore, we 'll have the Lord Say's head for selling the dukedom of Maine.
Cade. And good reason; for thereby is England mained, and fain to go with a staff, but that my puissance holds it up. Fellow kings, I tell you that that Lord Say hath gelded the commonwealth, and made it an eunuch; and more than that, he can speak French; and therefore he is a traitor.
Now show yourselves men; 'tis for liberty.
Cade. But then are we in order when we are most out of order. Come: march forward!
SCENE III.-Another Part of Blackheath. Alarums. The two parties enter, and fight, and both the STAFFORDS are slain.
Cade. Where 's Dick, the butcher of Ashford? Dick. Here, sir.
Cade. They fell before thee like sheep and oxen, and thou behaved'st thyself as if thou hadst been in thine own slaughter-house: therefore thus will I reward thee, the Lent shall be as long again as it is; and thou shalt have a license to kill for a hundred lacking one..
Dick. I desire no more.
Cade. And, to speak truth, thou deservest no less. This monument of the victory will I bear; and the bodies shall be dragged at my horse heels till I do come to London, where we will have the mayor's sword borne before us. Dick. If we mean to thrive and do good, break open the gaols and let out the prisoners. Cade. Fear not that, I warrant thee. let's march towards London.
SCENE IV. London. A Room in the Palace.
Enter King HENRY, reading a supplication; the
Q. Mar. Oft have I heard that grief softens
And makes it fearful and degenerate;
Think therefore on revenge, and cease to weep.
K. Hen. I'll send some holy bishop to entreat;
K. Hen. Lord Say, the traitors hate thee,
Enter another Messenger.
Second Mess. Jack Cade hath gotten London-
The citizens fly and forsake their houses;
Buck. Then linger not, my lord; away! take horse.
K. Hen. Come, Margaret: God, our hope, will
Q. Mar. My hope is gone, now Suffolk is de-
K. Hen. Farewell, my lord: trust not the
Buck. Trust nobody, for fear you be betray'd.
SCENE V.-The Same. The Tower.
Enter Lord SCALES and Others, walking on the
Q. Mar. Ah! barbarous villains, hath this for they have won the bridge, killing all those lovely face
Rul'd like a wandering planet over me,
K. Hen. Lord Say, Jack Cade hath sworn to
Say. Ay, but I hope your highness shall have
K. Hen. How now! what news? why com'st
Mess. The rebels are in Southwark; fly, my lord!
Of hinds and peasants, rude and merciless :
K. Hen. O graceless men! they know not
Buck. My gracious lord, retire to Killingworth, Until a power be rais'd to put them down.
Q. Mar. Ah! were the Duke of Suffolk now alive,
These Kentish rebels would be soon appeas'd.
that withstand them. The lord mayor craves aid of your honour from the Tower, to defend the city from the rebels.
Scales. Such aid as I can spare you shall command;
The rebels have essay'd to win the Tower.
Enter JACK CADE and his Followers.
his staff on London-stone. here, sitting upon London-stone, I charge and Cade. Now is Mortimer lord of this city. And command that, of the city's cost, the pissingconduit run nothing but claret wine this first year of our reign. And now henceforward it shall be treason for any that calls me other than Lord Mortimer.
Enter a Soldier, running. Sold. Jack Cade! Jack Cade! Cade. Knock him down there. Smith. If this fellow be wise, he 'll never call They kill him. fair warning. you Jack Cade more: I think he hath a very
Enter GEORGE BEVIS, with the Lord SAY.
Cade. Well, he shall be beheaded for it ten times. Ah! thou say, thou serge, nay, thou buckram lord; now art thou within point-blank of our jurisdiction regal. What canst thou answer to my majesty for giving up of Normandy unto Mounsieur Basimecu,the Dauphin of France? Be it known unto thee by these presence, even the presence of Lord Mortimer, that I am the besom that must sweep the court clean of such filth as thou art. Thou hast most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm in erecting a grammar-school; and whereas, before, our forefathers had no other books but the score and the tally, thou hast caused printing to be used; and, contrary to the king, his crown, and dignity, thou hast built a paper-mill. It will be proved to thy face that thou hast men about thee that usually talk of a noun, and a verb, and such abominable words as no Christian ear can endure to hear. Thou hast appointed justices of peace, to call poor men before them about matters they were not able to answer. Moreover, thou hast put them in prison; and because they could not read, thou hast hanged them; when indeed only for that cause they have been most worthy to live. Thou dost ride in a foot-cloth, dost thou not? Say. What of that?
52 Cade. Marry, thou oughtest not to let thy horse wear a cloak, when honester men than thon go in their hose and doublets.
Dick. And work in their shirt too; as myself, for example, that am a butcher.
Say. You men of Kent,
Dick. What say you of Kent!
Say. Nothing but this: 'tis bona terra, mala
Hath made me full of sickness and diseases. Cade. Ye shall have a hempen caudle then, and the help of hatchet.
Dick. Why dost thou quiver, man?
Say. The palsy, and not fear, provokes mc. Cude. Nay, he nods at us; as who should say, I'll be even with you: I'll see if his head will stand steadier on a pole or no. Take him away and behead him.
Say. Tell me wherein have I offended most? Have I affected wealth or honour? speak. Are my chests fill'd up with extorted gold? Is my apparel sumptuous to behold? Whom have I injur'd, that ye seek my death? These hands are free from guiltless blood
This breat from harbouring foul deceitful thoughts.
O! let me live.
Cade. Aside. I feel remorse in myself with his words; but I'll bridle it: he shall die, an it be but for pleading so well for his life. Away with him he has a familiar under his tongue; he speaks not o' God's name. Go, take him away, I say, and strike off his head presently; and then break into his son-in-law's house, Sir James Cromer, and strike off his head, and bring them both upon two poles hither.
All. It shall be done.
Say. Ah! countrymen, if when you make your prayers,
God should be so obdurate as yourselves, How would it fare with your departed souls?