SUFFOLK. O that I were a god, to shoot forth thunder Upon these paltry, servile, abject drudges! Small things make base men proud; this villain here, Being captain of a pinnace, threatens more Than Bargulus the strong Illyrian pirate.— Drones suck not eagles' blood but rob bee-hives. It is impossible that I should die By such a lowly vassal as thyself. Thy words move rage and not remorse in me. I go of message from the queen to France; I charge thee waft me safely cross the Channel.
WHITMORE. Come, Suffolk, I must waft thee to thy death.
SUFFOLK. Gelidus timor occupat artus; it is thee I fear.
WHITMORE. Thou shalt have cause to fear before I leave thee. What, are ye daunted now? now will ye stoop?
1 GENTLEMAN. My gracious lord, entreat him, speak him fair.
SUFFOLK. Suffolk's imperial tongue is stern and rough, Us'd to command, untaught to plead for favour. Far be it we should honour such as these With humble suit; no, rather let my head Stoop to the block than these knees bow to any Save to the God of heaven and to my king, And sooner dance upon a bloody pole Than stand uncover'd to the vulgar groom. True nobility is exempt from fear; More can I bear than you dare execute.
CAPTAIN. Hale him away, and let him talk no more.
SUFFOLK. Come, soldiers, show what cruelty ye can, That this my death may never be forgot! Great men oft die by vile bezonians: A Roman sworder and banditto slave Murther'd sweet Tully; Brutus' bastard hand Stabb'd Julius Caesar; savage islanders Pompey the Great; and Suffolk dies by pirates.
[Exeunt Whitmore and others with Suffolk.]
CAPTAIN. And as for these whose ransom we have set, It is our pleasure one of them depart, Therefore come you with us, and let him go.
[Exeunt all but the 1 Gentleman.]
[Re-enter WHITMORE with SUFFOLK'S body.]
WHITMORE. There let his head and lifeless body lie Until the queen his mistress bury it.
1 GENTLEMAN. 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.]
SCENE II. Blackheath.
[Enter GEORGE BEVIS and JOHN HOLLAND.]
GEORGE. Come, and get thee a sword, though made of a lath; they have been up these two days.
HOLLAND. They have the more need to sleep now, then.
BEVIS. I tell thee, Jack Cade the clothier means to dress the commonwealth, and turn it, and set a new nap upon it.
HOLLAND. So he had need, for 't is threadbare. Well, I say it was never merry world in England since gentlemen came up.
BEVIS. O miserable age! virtue is not regarded in handicraftsmen.
HOLLAND. The nobility think scorn to go in leather aprons.
BEVIS. Nay, more, the king's council are no good workmen.
HOLLAND. 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.
BEVIS. Thou hast hit it; for there's no better sign of a brave mind than a hard hand.
HOLLAND. I see them! I see them! There's Best's son, the tanner of Wingham,—
BEVIS. He shall have the skin of our enemies, to make dog's- leather of.
HOLLAND. And Dick the butcher,—
BEVIS. Then is sin struck down like an ox, and iniquity's throat cut like a calf.
HOLLAND. And Smith the weaver,—
BEVIS. Argo, their thread of life is spun.
HOLLAND. Come, come, let's fall in with them.
[Drum. Enter CADE, DICK the Butcher, SMITH the Weaver, and a Sawyer, with infinite numbers.]
CADE. We John Cade, so term'd of our supposed father,—
DICK. [Aside.] Or rather, of stealing a cade of herrings.
CADE. For our enemies shall fall before us, inspired with the spirit of putting down kings and princes,—Command silence.
CADE. My father was a Mortimer,—
DICK. [Aside.] He was an honest man and a good bricklayer.
CADE. My mother a Plantagenet,—
DICK. [Aside.] I knew her well; she was a midwife.
CADE. My wife descended of the Lacies,—
DICK. [Aside.] She was, indeed, a pedler's daughter, and sold many laces.
SMITH. [Aside.] But now of late, not able to travel with her furred pack, she washes bucks here at home.
CADE. Therefore am I of an honourable house.
DICK. [Aside.] Ay, by my faith, the field is honourable; and there was he born, under a hedge, for his father had never a house but the cage.
CADE. Valiant I am.
SMITH. [Aside.] A' must needs; for beggary is valiant.
CADE. I am able to endure much.
DICK. [Aside.] No question of that; for I have seen him whipped three market-days together.
CADE. I fear neither sword nor fire.
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 burnt 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 palfry 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 scribbl'd o'er, should undo a man? Some say the bee stings; but I say 't is the bee's wax, for I did but seal once to a thing, and I was never mine own man since.—How now! 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.
CADE. Here's a villain!
SMITH. Has a book in his pocket with red letters in 't.
CADE. Nay, then, he is a conjurer.
DICK. Nay, he can make obligations and write court-hand.
CADE. I am sorry for 't. The man is a proper man, of mine honour; unless I find him guilty, he shall not die.—Come hither, sirrah, I must examine thee; what is thy name?
DICK. They use to write it on the top of letters.—'T will go hard with you.
CADE. Let me alone.—Dost thou use to write thy name? or hast thou a mark to thyself, like a honest, plain-dealing man?
CLERK. Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought up that I can write my name.
ALL. He hath confess'd; away with him! he's a villain and a traitor.
CADE. Away with him, I say! hang him with his pen and inkhorn about his neck.
[Exit one with the Clerk.]
MICHAEL. Where's our general?
CADE. Here I am, thou particular fellow.
MICHAEL. 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'?
CADE. To equal him, I will make myself a knight presently.— [Kneels.] Rise up Sir John Mortimer.—[Rises.] Now have at him!
[Enter SIR HUMPHREY STAFFORD and his Brother, with drum and soldiers.]
STAFFORD. 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.
BROTHER. But angry, wrathful, and inclin'd to blood, If you go forward; therefore yield, or die.
CADE. As for these silken-coated slaves, I pass not; It is to you, good people, that I speak, OVer whom, in time to come, I hope to reign, For I am rightful heir unto the crown.
STAFFORD. Villain, thy father was a plasterer; And thou thyself a shearman, art thou not?
CADE. And Adam was a gardener.
BROTHER. And what of that?
CADE. Marry, this: Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, Married the Duke of Clarence' daughter, did he not?
STAFFORD. Ay, sir.
CADE. By her he had two children at one birth.
BROTHER. That's false.
CADE. Ay, there's the question; but I say 't is true. The elder of them, being put to nurse, Was by a beggar-woman stolen away, And, ignorant of his birth and parentage, Became a bricklayer when he came to age. His son am I; deny it, if you can.
DICK. Nay, 't is too true; therefore he shall be king.
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.
STAFFORD. And will you credit this base drudge's words, That speaks he knows not what?
ALL. Ay, marry, will we; therefore get ye gone.
BROTHER. 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.
STAFFORD. O gross and miserable ignorance!
CADE. Nay, answer if you can: the Frenchmen are our enemies; go to, then, I ask but this: can he that speaks with the tongue of an enemy be a good counsellor, or no?
ALL. No, no; and therefore we'll have his head.
BROTHER. Well, seeing gentle words will not prevail, Assail them with the army of the king.
STAFFORD. Herald, away; and throughout every town Proclaim them traitors that are up with Cade; That those which fly before the battle ends May, even in their wives' and children's sight, Be hang'd up for example at their doors.— And you that be the king's friends, follow me.
[Exeunt the two Staffords, and soldiers.]
CADE. And you that love the commons follow me. Now show yourselves men; 't is for liberty. We will not leave one lord, one gentleman; Spare none but such as go in clouted shoon, For they are thrifty honest men and such As would, but that they dare not, take our parts.
DICK. They are all in order and march toward us.
CADE. But then are we in order when we are most out of order.—Come, march forward.
SCENE III. Another part of Blackheath.
[Alarums to the fight, wherein both the STAFFORDS are slain. Enter CADE and the rest.]
CADE. Where's Dick, the butcher of Ashford?
DICK. Here, sir.
CADE. They fell before thee like sheep and oxen, and thou behavedst 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 licence 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 [putting on Sir Humphrey's brigandine]; 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. Come, let's march towards London.
SCENE IV. London. The Palace.
[Enter the KING with a supplication, and the QUEEN with Suffolk's head, the DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM and the LORD SAY.]
QUEEN. Oft have I heard that grief softens the mind And makes it fearful and degenerate; Think therefore on revenge and cease to weep. But who can cease to weep and look on this? Here may his head lie on my throbbing breast; But where's the body that I should embrace?
BUCKINGHAM. What answer makes your grace to the rebels' supplication?
KING. I'll send some holy bishop to entreat; For God forbid so many simple souls Should perish by the sword! And I myself, Rather than bloody war shall cut them short, Will parley with Jack Cade their general.— But stay, I'll read it over once again.
QUEEN. Ah, barbarous villains! hath this lovely face Rul'd, like a wandering planet, over me, And could it not enforce them to relent That were unworthy to behold the same?
KING. Lord Say, Jack Cade hath sworn to have thy head.
SAY. Ay, but I hope your highness shall have his.
KING. How now, madam! Still lamenting and mourning for Suffolk's death? I fear me, love, if that I had been dead, Thou wouldst not have mourn'd so much for me.
QUEEN. No, my love, I should not mourn, but die for thee.
[Enter a Messenger.]
KING. How now! what news? why com'st thou in such haste?
MESSENGER. The rebels are in Southwark; fly, my lord! Jack Cade proclaims himself Lord Mortimer, Descended from the Duke of Clarence' house, And calls your grace usurper openly, And vows to crown himself in Westminster. His army is a ragged multitude Of hinds and peasants, rude and merciless; Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother's death Hath given them heart and courage to proceed. All scholars, lawyers, courtiers, gentlemen, They call false caterpillars, and intend their death.
KING. O graceless men! they know not what they do.
BUCKINGHAM. My gracious lord, retire to Killingworth Until a power be rais'd to put them down.
QUEEN. Ah, were the Duke of Suffolk now alive, These Kentish rebels would be soon appeas'd!
KING. Lord Say, the traitors hate thee; Therefore away with us to Killingworth.
SAY. So might your grace's person be in danger. The sight of me is odious in their eyes; And therefore in this city will I stay And live alone as secret as I may.
[Enter another Messenger.]
MESSENGER. Jack Cade hath gotten London bridge; The citizens fly and forsake their houses. The rascal people, thirsting after prey, Join with the traitor, and they jointly swear To spoil the city and your royal court.
BUCKINGHAM. Then linger not, my lord; away, take horse.
KING. Come Margaret; God, our hope, will succour us.
QUEEN. My hope is gone, now Suffolk is deceas'd.
KING. Farewell, my lord; trust not the Kentish rebels.
BUCKINGHAM. Trust nobody, for fear you be betray'd.
SAY. The trust I have is in mine innocence, And therefore am I bold and resolute.
SCENE V. London. The Tower.
[Enter LORD SCALES upon the Tower, walking. Then enter two or three Citizens, below.]
SCALES. How now! Is Jack Cade slain?
1 CITIZEN. No, my lord, nor likely to be slain; for they have won the bridge, killing all those 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, But I am troubled here with them myself; The rebels have assay'd to win the Tower. But get you to Smithfield and gather head, And thither I will send you Matthew Goffe. Fight for your king, your country, and your lives; And so, farewell, for I must hence again.
SCENE VI. London. Cannon Street.
[Enter JACK CADE and the rest, and strikes his staff on London-stone.]
CADE. Now is Mortimer lord of this city. And here, sitting upon London-stone, I charge and command that, of the city's cost, the conduit 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.]
SOLDIER. Jack Cade! Jack Cade!
CADE. Knock him down there.
[They kill him.]
SMITH. If this fellow be wise, he'll never call ye Jack Cade more; I think he hath a very fair warning.
DICK. My lord, there's an army gathered together in Smithfield.
CADE. Come then, let's go fight with them. But first, go and set London bridge on fire; and, if you can, burn down the Tower too. Come, let's away.
SCENE VII. London. Smithfield.
[Alarums. MATTHEW GOFFE is slain, and all the rest. Then enter JACK CADE, with his company.]
CADE. So, sirs.—Now go some and pull down the Savoy; others to the inns of court; down with them all.
DICK. I have a suit unto your lordship.
CADE. Be it a lordship, thou shalt have it for that word.
DICK. Only that the laws of England may come out of your mouth.
HOLLAND. [Aside.] Mass, 't will be sore law, then; for he was thrust in the mouth with a spear, and 't is not whole yet.
SMITH. [Aside.] Nay, John, it will be stinking law, for his breath stinks with eating toasted cheese.
CADE. I have thought upon it, it shall be so. Away, burn all the records of the realm. My mouth shall be the parliament of England.
HOLLAND. [Aside.] Then we are like to have biting statutes, unless his teeth be pulled out.
CADE. And henceforward all things shall be in common.
[Enter a Messenger.]
MESSENGER. My lord, a prize, a prize! here's the Lord Say, which sold the towns in France; he that made us pay one and twenty fifteens, and one shilling to the pound, the last subsidy.
[Enter GEOGE 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?
CADE. Marry, thou oughtest not to let thy horse wear a cloak when honester men than thou 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; 't is 'bona terra, mala gens.'
CADE. Away with him, away with him! he speaks Latin.
SAY. Hear me but speak, and bear me where you will. Kent, in the Commentaries Caesar writ, Is term'd the civil'st place of all this isle. Sweet is the country, because full of riches; The people liberal, valiant, active, wealthy; Which makes me hope you are not void of pity. I sold not Maine, I lost not Normandy, Yet, to recover them, would lose my life. Justice with favour have I always done; Prayers and tears have mov'd me, gifts could never. When have I aught exacted at your hands But to maintain the king, the realm, and you? Large gifts have I bestow'd on learned clerks, Because my book preferr'd me to the king; And seeing ignorance is the curse of God, Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven, Unless you be possess'd with devilish spirits, You cannot but forbear to murther me. This tongue hath parley'd unto foreign kings For your behoof,—
CADE. Tut, when struck'st thou one blow in the field?
SAY. Great men have reaching hands; oft have I struck Those that I never saw, and struck them dead.
GEORGE. O monstrous coward! what, to come behind folks?
SAY. These cheeks are pale for watching for your good.
CADE. Give him a box o' the ear, and that will make 'em red again.
SAY. Long sitting to determine poor men's causes 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 me.
CADE. 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 bloodshedding, This breast 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? And therefore yet relent, and save my life.
CADE. Away with him! and do as I command ye.—[Exeunt some with Lord Say.] The proudest peer in the realm shall not wear a head on his shoulders unless he pay me tribute; there shall not a maid be married but she shall pay to me her maidenhead ere they have it. Men shall hold of me in capite; and we charge and command that their wives be as free as heart can wish or tongue can tell.
DICK. My lord, when shall we go to Cheapside, and take up commodities upon our bills?
CADE. Marry, presently.
ALL. O, brave!
[Re-enter one with the heads.]
CADE. But is not this braver? Let them kiss one another, for they loved well when they were alive. Now part them again, lest they consult about the giving up of some more towns in France.—Soldiers, defer the spoil of the city until night; for with these borne before us, instead of maces will we ride through the streets, and at every corner have them kiss.—Away!
SCENE VIII. Southwark.
[Alarum and retreat. Enter CADE and all his rabblement.]
CADE. Up Fish Street! down Saint Magnus' Corner! kill and knock down! Throw them into Thames! [Sound a parley.] What noise is this I hear? Dare any be so bold to sound retreat or parley when I command them kill?
[Enter BUCKINGHAM and old CLIFFORD, attended.]
BUCKINGHAM. Ay, here they be that dare and will disturb thee. Know, Cade, we come ambassadors from the king Unto the commons whom thou hast misled, And here pronounce free pardon to them all That will forsake thee and go home in peace.
CLIFFORD. What say ye, countrymen? will ye relent And yield to mercy whilst 't is offer'd you, Or let a rebel lead you to your deaths? Who loves the king and will embrace his pardon, Fling up his cap, and say 'God save his Majesty!' Who hateth him and honours not his father, Henry the Fifth, that made all France to quake, Shake he his weapon at us and pass by.
ALL. God save the king! God save the king!
CADE. What, Buckingham and Clifford, are ye so brave?— And you, base peasants, do ye believe him? will you needs be hang'd with your about your necks? Hath my sword therefore broke through London gates, that you should leave me at the White Hart in Southwark? I thought ye would never have given out these arms till you had recovered your ancient freedom; but you are all recreants and dastards, and delight to live in slavery to the nobility. Let them break your backs with burthens, take your houses over your heads, ravish your wives and daughters before your faces. For me, I will make shift for one; and so, God's curse light upon you all!
ALL. We'll follow Cade, we'll follow Cade!
CLIFFORD. Is Cade the son of Henry the Fifth, That thus you do exclaim you'll go with him? Will he conduct you through the heart of France, And make the meanest of you earls and dukes? Alas, he hath no home, no place to fly to; Nor knows he how to live but by the spoil, Unless by robbing of your friends and us. Were 't not a shame that whilst you live at jar The fearful French, whom you late vanquished, Should make a start o'er seas and vanquish you? Methinks already in this civil broil I see them lording it in London streets, Crying 'Villiaco!' unto all they meet. Better ten thousand base-born Cades miscarry Than you should stoop unto a Frenchman's mercy. To France, to France, and get what you have lost; Spare England, for it is your native coast. Henry hath money, you are strong and manly; God on our side, doubt not of victory.
ALL. A Clifford! a Clifford! we'll follow the king and Clifford.
CADE. Was ever feather so lightly blown to and fro as this multitude? The name of Henry the Fifth hales them to an hundred mischiefs and makes them leave me desolate. I see them lay their heads together to surprise me. My sword make way for me, for here is no staying.—In despite of the devils and hell, have through the very middest of you! and heavens and honour be witness that no want of resolution in me, but only my followers' base and ignominious treasons, makes me betake me to my heels.
BUCKINGHAM. What, is he fled?—Go some, and follow him; And he that brings his head unto the king Shall have a thousand crowns for his reward.—
[Exeunt some of them.]
Follow me, soldiers; we'll devise a mean To reconcile you all unto the king.
SCENE IX. Kenilworth Castle.
[Sound trumpets. Enter KING, QUEEN, and SOMERSET, on the terrace.]
KING. Was ever king that joy'd an earthly throne, And could command no more content than I? No sooner was I crept out of my cradle But I was made a king at nine months old. Was never subject long'd to be a king As I do long and wish to be a subject.
[Enter BUCKINGHAM and old CLIFFORD.]
BUCKINGHAM. Health and glad tidings to your majesty!
KING. Why, Buckingham, is the traitor Cade surpris'd? Or is he but retir'd to make him strong?
[Enter, below, multitudes with halters about their necks.]
CLIFFORD. He is fled, my lord, and all his powers do yield, And humbly thus, with halters on their necks, Expect your highness' doom, of life or death.
KING. Then, heaven, set ope thy everlasting gates, To entertain my vows of thanks and praise!— Soldiers, this day have you redeem'd your lives And show'd how well you love your prince and country. Continue still in this so good a mind, And Henry, though he be infortunate, Assure yourselves, will never be unkind. And so, with thanks and pardon to you all, I do dismiss you to your several countries.
ALL. God save the king! God save the king!
[Enter a Messenger.]
MESSENGER. Please it your grace to be advertised The Duke of York is newly come from Ireland, And with a puissant and a mighty power Of gallowglasses and stout kerns Is marching hitherward in proud array, And still proclaimeth, as he comes along, His arms are only to remove from thee The Duke of Somerset, whom he terms a traitor.
KING. Thus stands my state, 'twixt Cade and York distress'd, Like to a ship that, having scap'd a tempest, Is straightway calm'd and boarded with a pirate; But now is Cade driven back, his men dispers'd, And now is York in arms to second him.— I pray thee, Buckingham, go and meet him, And ask him wha t's the reason of these arms. Tell him I'll send Duke Edmund to the Tower;— And, Somerset, we will commit thee thither, Until his army be dismiss'd from him.
SOMERSET. My lord, I'll yield myself to prison willingly, Or unto death, to do my country good.
KING. In any case, be not too rough in terms, For he is fierce and cannot brook hard language.
BUCKINGHAM. I will, my lord, and doubt not so to deal As all things shall redound unto your good.
KING. Come, wife, let's in, and learn to govern better; For yet may England curse my wretched reign.
SCENE X. Kent. Iden's Garden.
CADE. Fie on ambitions! fie on myself, that have a sword and yet am ready to famish! These five days have I hid me in these woods and durst not peep out, for all the country is laid for me; but now am I so hungry that if I might have a lease of my life for a thousand years I could stay no longer. Wherefore, on a brick wall have I climb'd into this garden, to see if I can eat grass, or pick a sallet another while, which is not amiss to cool a man's stomach this hot weather. And I think this word 'sallet' was born to do me good; for many a time, but for a sallet, my brain-pain had been cleft with a brown bill; and many a time, when I have been dry and bravely marching, it hath served me instead of a quart pot to drink in; and now the word 'sallet' must serve me to feed on.
IDEN. Lord, who would live turmoiled in the court, And may enjoy such quiet walks as these? This small inheritance my father left me Contenteth me, and worth a monarchy. I seek not to wax great by others' waning, Or gather wealth, I care not with what envy; Sufficeth that I have maintains my state And sends the poor well pleased from my gate.
CADE. Here's the lord of the soil come to seize me for a stray, for entering his fee-simple without leave.—Ah, villain, thou wilt betray me, and get a thousand crowns of the king by carrying my head to him; but I'll make thee eat iron like an ostrich, and swallow my sword like a great pin, ere thou and I part.
IDEN. Why, rude companion, whatsoe'er thou be, I know thee not! why, then, should I betray thee? Is 't not enough to break into my garden, And, like a thief, to come to rob my grounds, Climbing my walls in spite of me the owner, But thou wilt brave me with these saucy terms?
CADE. Brave thee? ay, by the best blood that ever was broached, and beard thee too. Look on me well: I have eat no meat these five days; yet, come thou and thy five men, and if I do not leave you all as dead as a door-nail, I pray God I may never eat grass more.
IDEN. Nay, it shall ne'er be said, while England stands, That Alexander Iden, an esquire of Kent, Took odds to combat a poor famish'd man. Oppose thy steadfast-gazing eyes to mine, See if thou canst outface me with thy looks. Set limb to limb and thou art far the lesser; Thy hand is but a finger to my fist, Thy leg a stick compared with this truncheon; My foot shall fight with all the strength thou hast; And if mine arm be heaved in the air, Thy grave is digg'd already in the earth. As for words, whose greatness answers words, Let this my sword report what speech forbears.
CADE. By my valour, the most complete champion that ever I heard!—Steel, if thou turn the edge, or cut not out the burly-boned clown in chines of beef ere thou sleep in thy sheath, I beseech God on my knees thou mayst be turn'd to hobnails.—[Here they fight. Cade falls.] O, I am slain! famine and no other hath slain me; let ten thousand devils come against me, and give me but the ten meals I have lost, and I'd defy them all.—Wither, garden; and be henceforth a burying place to all that do dwell in this house, because the unconquered soul of Cade is fled.
IDEN. Is't Cade that I have slain, that monstrous traitor?— Sword, I will hallow thee for this thy deed, And hang thee o'er my tomb when I am dead; Ne'er shall this blood be wiped from thy point, But thou shalt wear it as a herald's coat, To emblaze the honour that thy master got.
CADE. Iden, farewell; and be proud of thy victory. Tell Kent from me, she hath lost her best man, and exhort all the world to be cowards; for I, that never feared any, am vanquished by famine, not by valour.
IDEN. How much thou wrong'st me, heaven be my judge. Die, damned wretch, the curse of her that bare thee; And as I thrust thy body in with my sword, So wish I I might thrust thy soul to hell. Hence will I drag thee headlong by the heels Unto a dunghill which shall be thy grave, And there cut off thy most ungracious head, Which I will bear in triumph to the king, Leaving thy trunk for crows to feed upon.
SCENE I. Fields between Dartford and Blackheath.
[Enter YORK, and his army of Irish, with drum and colours.]
YORK. From Ireland thus comes York to claim his right, And pluck the crown from feeble Henry's head. Ring, bells, aloud; burn, bonfires, clear and bright, To entertain great England's lawful king. Ah! sancta majestas! who would not buy thee dear? Let them obey that knows not how to rule; This hand was made to handle nought but gold. I cannot give due action to my words Except a sword or sceptre balance it. A sceptre shall it have, have I a soul, On which I'll toss the flower-de-luce of France.—
Whom have we here? Buckingham, to disturb me? The king hath sent him, sure: I must dissemble.
BUCKINGHAM. York, if thou meanest well, I greet thee well.
YORK. Humphrey of Buckingham, I accept thy greeting. Art thou a messenger, or come of pleasure?
BUCKINGHAM. A messenger from Henry, our dread liege, To know the reason of these arms in peace; Or why thou, being a subject as I am, Against thy oath and true allegiance sworn, Should raise so great a power without his leave, Or dare to bring thy force so near the court.
YORK. [Aside.] Scarce can I speak, my choler is so great: O, I could hew up rocks and fight with flint, I am so angry at these abject terms; And now, like Ajax Telamonius, On sheep or oxen could I spend my fury. I am far better born than is the king, More like a king, more kingly in my thoughts; But I must make fair weather yet a while, Till Henry be more weak and I more strong.— Buckingham, I prithee, pardon me, That I have given no answer all this while; My mind was troubled with deep melancholy. The cause why I have brought this army hither Is to remove proud Somerset from the king, Seditious to his grace and to the state.
BUCKINGHAM. That is too much presumption on thy part; But if thy arms be to no other end, The king hath yielded unto thy demand. The Duke of Somerset is in the Tower.
YORK. Upon thine honour, is he prisoner?
BUCKINGHAM. Upon mine honour, he is prisoner.
YORK. Then, Buckingham, I do dismiss my powers.— Soldiers, I thank you all; disperse yourselves; Meet me to-morrow in Saint George's field, You shall have pay and everything you wish.— And let my sovereign, virtuous Henry, Command my eldest son, nay, all my sons, As pledges of my fealty and love, I'll send them all as willing as I live; Lands, goods, horse, armour, anything I have, Is his to use, so Somerset may die.
BUCKINGHAM. York, I commend this kind submission; We twain will go into his highness' tent.
[Enter KING and Attendants.]
KING. Buckingham, doth York intend no harm to us, That thus he marcheth with thee arm in arm?
YORK. In all submission and humility York doth present himself unto your highness.
KING. Then what intends these forces thou dost bring?
YORK. To heave the traitor Somerset from hence, And fight against that monstrous rebel Cade, Who since I heard to be discomfited.
[Enter IDEN, with CADE's head.]
IDEN. If one so rude and of so mean condition May pass into the presence of a king, Lo, I present your grace a traitor's head, The head of Cade, whom I in combat slew.
KING. The head of Cade!—Great God, how just art Thou!— O, let me view his visage, being dead, That living wrought me such exceeding trouble. Tell me, my friend, art thou the man that slew him?
IDEN. I was, an 't like your majesty.
KING. How art thou call'd? and what is thy degree?
IDEN. Alexander Iden, that's my name; A poor esquire of Kent, that loves his king.
BUCKINGHAM. So please it you, my lord, 't were not amiss He were created knight for his good service.
KING. Iden, kneel down. [He kneels.] Rise up a knight. We give thee for reward a thousand marks, And will that thou thenceforth attend on us.
IDEN. May Iden live to merit such a bounty, And never live but true unto his liege!
[Enter QUEEN and SOMERSET.]
KING. See, Buckingham, Somerset comes with the queen. Go, bid her hide him quickly from the duke.
QUEEN. For thousand Yorks he shall not hide his head, But boldly stand and front him to his face.
YORK. How now! is Somerset at liberty? Then, York, unloose thy long-imprisoned thoughts, And let thy tongue be equal with thy heart. Shall I endure the sight of Somerset? False king! why hast thou broken faith with me, Knowing how hardly I can brook abuse? King did I call thee? no, thou art not king, Not fit to govern and rule multitudes, Which dar'st not, no, nor canst not rule a traitor. That head of thine doth not become a crown; Thy hand is made to grasp a palmer's staff, And not to grace an awful princely sceptre. That gold must round engirt these brows of mine, Whose smile and frown, like to Achilles' spear, Is able with the change to kill and cure. Here is a hand to hold a sceptre up And with the same to act controlling laws. Give place; by heaven, thou shalt rule no more O'er him whom heaven created for thy ruler.
SOMERSET. O monstrous traitor!—I arrest thee, York, Of capital treason 'gainst the king and crown. Obey, audacious traitor; kneel for grace.
YORK. Wouldst have me kneel? first let me ask of these If they can brook I bow a knee to man.— Sirrah, call in my sons to be my bail.—
I know, ere thy will have me go to ward, They'll pawn their swords for my enfranchisement.
QUEEN. Call hither Clifford; bid him come amain, To say if that the bastard boys of York Shall be the surety for their traitor father.
YORK. O blood-bespotted Neapolitan, Outcast of Naples, England's bloody scourge! The sons of York, thy betters in their birth, Shall be their father's bail; and bane to those That for my surety will refuse the boys!
[Enter EDWARD and RICHARD.]
See where they come; I'll warrant they'll make it good.
[Enter old CLIFFORD and his SON.]
QUEEN. And here comes Clifford to deny their bail.
CLIFFORD. Health and all happiness to my lord the king!
YORK. I thank thee, Clifford; say, what news with thee? Nay, do not fright us with an angry look. We are thy sovereign, Clifford, kneel again; For thy mistaking so, we pardon thee.
CLIFFORD. This is my king, York, I do not mistake; But thou mistakes me much to think I do.— To Bedlam with him! is the man grown mad?
KING. Ay, Clifford; a bedlam and ambitious humour Makes him oppose himself against his king.
CLIFFORD. He is a traitor; let him to the Tower, And chop away that factious pate of his.
QUEEN. He is arrested, but will not obey; His sons, he says, shall give their words for him.
YORK. Will you not, sons?
EDWARD. Ay, noble father, if our words will serve.
RICHARD. And if words will not, then our weapons shall.
CLIFFORD. Why, what a brood of traitors have we here!
YORK. Look in a glass, and call thy image so; I am thy king, and thou a false-heart traitor.— Call hither to the stake my two brave bears, That with the very shaking of their chains They may astonish these fell-lurking curs. Bid Salisbury and Warwick come to me.
[Enter the EARLS OF WARWICK and SALISBURY.]
CLIFFORD. Are these thy bears? we'll bait thy bears to death, And manacle the bear-herd in their chains, If thou dar'st bring them to the baiting-place.
RICHARD. Oft have I seen a hot o'erweening cur Run back and bite because he was withheld, Who, being suffer'd with the bear's fell paw, Hath clapp'd his tail between his legs and cried; And such a piece of service will you do If you oppose yourselves to match Lord Warwick.
CLIFFORD. Hence, heap of wrath, foul indigested lump, As crooked in thy manners as thy shape!
YORK. Nay, we shall heat you thoroughly anon.
CLIFFORD. Take heed, lest by your heat you burn yourselves.
KING. Why, Warwick, hath thy knee forgot to bow?— Old Salisbury, shame to thy silver hair, Thou mad misleader of thy brainsick son! What, wilt thou on thy death-bed play the ruffian, And seek for sorrow with thy spectacles? O, where is faith? O, where is loyalty? If it be banish'd from the frosty head, Where shall it find a harbour in the earth? Wilt thou go dig a grave to find out war, And shame thine honourable age with blood? Why art thou old, and want'st experience? Or wherefore dost abuse it, if thou hast it? For shame! in duty bend thy knee to me That bows unto the grave with mickle age.
SALISBURY. My lord, I have consider'd with myself The tide of this most renowned duke, And in my conscience do repute his grace The rightful heir to England's royal seat.
KING. Hast thou not sworn allegiance unto me?
SALISBURY. I have.
KING. Canst thou dispense with heaven for such an oath?
SALISBURY. It is great sin to swear unto a sin, But greater sin to keep a sinful oath. Who can be bound by any solemn vow To do a murtherous deed, to rob a man, To force a spotless virgin's chastity, To reave the orphan of his patrimony, To wring the widow from her custom'd right, And have no other reason for this wrong But that he was bound by a solemn oath?
QUEEN. A subtle traitor needs no sophister.
KING. Call Buckingham, and bid him arm himself.
YORK. Call Buckingham, and all the friends thou hast, I am resolv'd for death or dignity.
CLIFFORD. The first I warrant thee if dreams prove true.
WARWICK. You were best to go to bed and dream again, To keep thee from the tempest of the field.
CLIFFORD. I am resolv'd to bear a greater storm Than any thou canst conjure up to-day; And that I'll write upon thy burgonet, Might I but know thee by thy household badge.
WARWICK. Now, by my father's badge, old Nevil's crest, The rampant bear chain'd to the ragged staff, This day I'll wear aloft my burgonet, As on a mountain top the cedar shows That keeps his leaves in spite of any storm, Even to affright thee with the view thereof.
CLIFFORD. And from thy burgonet I'll rend thy bear And tread it under foot with all contempt, Despite the bear-herd that protects the bear.
YOUNG CLIFFORD. And so to arms, victorious father, To quell the rebels and their complices.
RICHARD. Fie! charity, for shame! speak not in spite, For you shall sup with Jesu Christ to-night.
YOUNG CLIFFORD. Foul stigmatic, that's more than thou canst tell.
RICHARD. If not in heaven, you'll surely sup in hell.
SCENE II. Saint Alban's.
[Alarums to the battle. Enter WARWICK.]
WARWICK. Clifford of Cumberland, 't is Warwick calls; And if thou dost not hide thee from the bear, Now, when the angry trumpet sounds alarum And dead men's cries do fill the empty air, Clifford, I say, come forth and fight with me! Proud northern lord, Clifford of Cumberland, Warwick is hoarse with calling thee to arms.—
How now, my noble lord! what, all afoot?
YORK. The deadly-handed Clifford slew my steed, But match to match I have encount'red him, And made a prey for carrion kites and crows Even of the bonny beast he lov'd so well.
[Enter old CLIFFORD.]
WARWICK. Of one or both of us the time is come.
YORK. Hold, Warwick, seek thee out some other chase, For I myself must hunt this deer to death.
WARWICK. Then, nobly, York; 't is for a crown thou fight'st.— As I intend, Clifford, to thrive to-day, It grieves my soul to leave thee unassail'd.
CLIFFORD. What seest thou in me, York? why dost thou pause?
YORK. With thy brave bearing should I be in love But that thou art so fast mine enemy.
CLIFFORD. Nor should thy prowess want praise and esteem But that 't is shown ignobly and in treason.
YORK. So let it help me now against thy sword As I in justice and true right express it!
CLIFFORD. My soul and body on the action both!
YORK. A dreadful lay!—Address thee instantly.
[They fight, and Clifford falls.]
CLIFFORD. La fin couronne les oeuvres.
YORK. Thus war hath given thee peace, for thou art still. Peace with his soul, heaven, if it be thy will!
[Enter young CLIFFORD.]
YOUNG CLIFFORD. Shame and confusion! all is on the rout; Fear frames disorder, and disorder wounds Where it should guard.—O war, thou son of hell, Whom angry heavens do make their minister, Throw in the frozen bosoms of our part Hot coals of vengeance!—Let no soldier fly. He that is truly dedicate to war Hath no self-love; nor he that loves himself Hath not essentially but by circumstance The name of valour.—[Seeing his dead father.] O, let the vile world end, And the premised flames of the last day Knit earth and heaven together! Now let the general trumpet blow his blast, Particularities and petty sounds To cease!—Wast thou ordain'd, dear father, To lose thy youth in peace, and to achieve The silver livery of advised age, And in thy reverence and thy chair-days, thus To die in ruffian battle?—Even at this sight My heart is turn'd to stone; and while 't is mine It shall be stony. York not our old men spares; No more will I their babes; tears virginal Shall be to me even as the dew to fire, And beauty that the tyrant oft reclaims Shall to my flaming wrath be oil and flax. Henceforth I will not have to do with pity; Meet I an infant of the house of York, Into as many gobbets will I cut it As wild Medea young Absyrtus did. In cruelty will I seek out my fame.— Come, thou new ruin of old Clifford's house: As did Aeneas old Anchises bear, So bear I thee upon my manly shoulders; But then Aeneas bare a living load, Nothing so heavy as these woes of mine.
[Exit, bearing off his father. Enter RICHARD and SOMERSET to fight. SOMERSET is killed.]
RICHARD. So, lie thou there; For underneath an alehouse' paltry sign, The Castle in Saint Alban's, Somerset Hath made the wizard famous in his death. Sword, hold thy temper; heart, be wrathful still; Priests pray for enemies, but princes kill.
[Fight: excursions. Enter KING, QUEEN, and others.]
QUEEN. Away, my lord! you are slow; for shame, away!
KING HENRY. Can we outrun the heavens? good Margaret, stay.
QUEEN. What are you made of? you'll nor fight nor fly; Now is it manhood, wisdom, and defence, To give the enemy way, and to secure us By what we can, which can no more but fly.
[Alarum afar off.]
If you be ta'en, we then should see the bottom Of all our fortunes; but if we haply scape, As well we may, if not through your neglect, We shall to London get, where you are lov'd, And where this breach now in our fortunes made May readily be stopp'd.
[Enter young CLIFFORD.]
YOUNG CLIFFORD. But that my heart's on future mischief set, I would speak blasphemy ere bid you fly. But fly you must; uncurable discomfit Reigns in the hearts of all our present parts. Away, for your relief! and we will live To see their day and them our fortune give. Away, my lord, away!
SCENE III. Fields near Saint Alban's.
[Alarum. Retreat. Enter YORK, RICHARD, WARWICK, and Soldiers, with drum and colours.]
YORK. Of Salisbury, who can report of him, That winter lion, who in rage forgets Aged contusions and all brush of time And, like a gallant in the brow of youth, Repairs him with occasion? This happy day Is not itself, nor have we won one foot, If Salisbury be lost.
RICHARD. My noble father, Three times to-day I holp him to his horse, Three times bestrid him; thrice I led him off, Persuaded him from any further act; But still, where danger was, still there I met him; And like rich hangings in a homely house, So was his will in his old feeble body. But, noble as he is, look where he comes.
SALISBURY. Now, by my sword, well hast thou fought to-day; By the mass, so did we all.—I thank you, Richard; God knows how long it is I have to live, And it hath pleas'd him that three times to-day You have defended me from imminent death.— Well, lords, we have not got that which we have; 'T is not enough our foes are this time fled, Being opposites of such repairing nature.
YORK. I know our safety is to follow them; For, as I hear, the king is fled to London, To call a present court of parliament. Let us pursue him ere the writs go forth.— What says Lord Warwick? shall we after them?
WARWICK. After them! nay, before them, if we can. Now, by my hand, lords, 'twas a glorious day; Saint Alban's battle won by famous York Shall be eterniz'd in all age to come.— Sound drums and trumpets!—and to London all; And more such days as these to us befall!