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So thou wilt let me live and feel no pain.
-He hath no eyes; the dust hath blinded them :
Bring the strong poison that I bought of him.
Look with a gentle eye upon this wretch.
And from his bosom purge this black despair. [Warwick.] See how the pangs of death do make him grin. [K. Henry.] Peace to his soul, if God's good pleasure be!
-Lord cardi'nal, if thou think'st of heaven's bliss,
[a pause.] --He dies, and makes no sign :-0, God, forgive him! [Warwick.] So bad a death argues a monstrous life. [K. Henry.] Forbear to judge; for we are sinners all.
Close up his eyes, and draw the curtains close,
OF THE TIMES OF
Jack Cade's REBELLION; AND
CIVIL WAR BETWEEN THE TWO HOUSES ; INDICATED BY SCENES
HISTORICAL MEMORANDA. The banishment and death of Suffolk did not immediately follow the death of the duke of Glo'ster, as represented in scenes that have been omitted, but occurred in the same year as Cade's rebellion, namely in 1450. It was not till ten years afterward that the duke of York openly laid claim to the Crown, although both he and his partisans privately circulated that claim, and though two battles, that of St. Albans, 1455, which ended in favour of the Yorkists, and that of Blackheath, in 1459, which was to their disadvantage, had been previously fought. A son, prince Edward, had been born to Henry VI., in October 1454. Among historical facts casually alluded to in the following scenes, is the invention of printing. Shakspeare is accused of anticipating the time of its introduction into England, by at least twenty years. Some proofs, however, have arisen, that a workman, who used the wooden types of the earliest inventors, had been secretly brought from Holland, many years before Caxton began to print with metal types in Westminster Abbey ; and it is not impossible that Lord Say might have been instrumental in the earliest introduction of the art.
We are to imagine ourselves on Blackheath, as far back as the year 1450. Two Kentishmen of low condition are before us, George Bevis and John Holland : others, headed by Cade, afterward enter: George speaks first: [George.] Come, get thee a sword though made of a lath :
they have been up these two days. Jack Cade, the clothier, means to dress the commonwealth, and turn it,
and put 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. The nobility think scorn to go in leather
aprons. [George.] Nay, more, the kings' council are no good work
(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.—But look, I see them! I see them!
See, there's Best's son, the tanner of Wingham ;—and look, there's Dick the butcher ;-and there, there, I know them all : look, there's Smith the weaver :-come, come, let's fall in with them. And there's Jack Cade himself: silence! silence! let us hear our leader; silence!
[Cade.] We, John Cade- -silence, I say! [Cries of the multitude in different voices.] Silence! silence!
silence ! [Cade.] We, John Cade, so named of our supposed father
-silence ! [Cries of the multitude.] Silence ! silence ! [Cade.] -Inspired with the spirit of putting down kings
and princes[Cries of the multitude.] Silence! silence ! [Cade.] We do declare that our father was a Mortimer. [One of the multitude in an under-tone, as aside.) A Mor
timer?—an honest bricklayer. [Cade.] My mother was a Plantagenet[One of the multitude, aside.] His mother was an old
[Cade.] Therefore am I of an honourable house, and well
born. [One of the multitude, aside.] He was born under a hedge:
his father never had a house but the cage. [Cade.] Valiant I am, and able to endure much. [One of the multitude, aside.] No question o' that: for I
have seen him whipped three market-days together. [Cade.] Be brave then; for your captain is brave, and
vows reformation. There shall be in England seven ha’penny 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 [Cries of the multitude.] God save your majesty! God
save your majesty! God save your majesty!
[Cade.] I thank you, good people, I thank you :-When I
am king, I say, there shall be no money; all shall eat and drink on my score; and I will apparel you all in one livery, that you may agree like brothers, and wor
ship me your lord and king. (Cries of the multitude.] God save our lord the king' (Cade.) Now the first thing we'll do, we'll kill all the
lawyers. We'll have no law but what comes out of my mouth. Is not this a lamentable thing, that 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 bees' wax; for I did but once seal to a thing, and I never was mine own man since.—How now? Who's there?
What fellow is this they are bringing us? [One of the multitude.] The clerk of Chatham : he can
read, write, and cast account: we took him setting of
boys’ copies : we caught him at it. [Cade.] Oh, monstrous! here's a villain! Come hither,
sirrah, I must examine thee; and unless I find thee
guilty, thou shalt not die. What's thy name ? (Clerk of Chatham.] Emanuel. [Cade.] That's a hard name :- - twill
hard with thee. But, come, tell me,—dost thou use to write thy name, or hast thou a mark to thyself, like an honest, plain
dealing man? [Clerk of Chatham.] Sir, I thank God, I have been so well
brought up, that I can write my name. [Cade.] Away with him! he hath confessed: he's a vil
lain and a traitor : away with him! and hang him with his
pen and inkhorn about his neck.-Well, thou particular fellow, what news bringest thou in such haste ?
say, Michael, when thou hast breath to say. [Michael.] Fly, fly! Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother
are hard by with the king's forces.
[Cade.] I'll stand, ye villain, and I'll encounter him with
as good a man as himself. He is but a knight, is
he ? [Michael.] No.
[Cade.] To equal him, I'll make myself a knight presently.
First, kneel I down :-Rise up, Sir John Mortimer.
A small force approaches with drum and colours: the rebels keep their ground : Sir Henry Stafford steps forward, and addresses them: [Stafford.] Rebellious binds, the filth and scum of Kent,
Lay down your weapons ; get you to your cottages ;
If you go on : and therefore yield, or die. Cade, without answering Stafford, crosses toward the soldiers, and addresses them : [Cade.] As for that silken-coated slave, I pass him ;
It is to you, good people, that I speak,
For I am rightful heir unto the crown.
And thou thyself a shearman; art thou not? [Cade.] And Adam was a gardener. [Stafford.] Well, and what of that? [Cade.] Marry, this:- Edmund Morti'mer, earl of Marche,
Married the duke of Clarence' daughter : did n't he? [Stafford.] Ay. [Cade.] By her he had two children at one birth. [Stafford.] That's false.