SCENE IThe coast of Kent. Alarum. Fight at sea. Ordnance goes off.
Enter a Captain, a Master, a Master's-Mate, WALTER WHITMORE, and others; with them SUFFOLK, and others, prisoners.
The gaudy, blabbing and remorseful day
Is crept into the bosom of the sea;
And now loud-howling wolves arouse the jades
That drag the tragic melancholy night;
Who, with their drowsy, slow and flagging wings,
Clip dead men's graves and from their misty jaws
Breathe foul contagious darkness in the air.
Therefore bring forth the soldiers of our prize;
For, whilst our pinnace anchors in the Downs, (10)
Here shall they make their ransom on the sand,
Or with their blood stain this discolour'd shore.
Master, this prisoner freely give I thee;
And thou that art his mate, make boot of this;
The other, Walter Whitmore, is thy share.
What is my ransom, master? let me know.
A thousand crowns, or else lay down your head.
And so much shall you give, or off goes yours.
What, think you much to pay two thousand crowns,
And bear the name and port of gentlemen? (20)
Cut both the villains' throats; for die you shall:
The lives of those which we have lost in fight
Be counterpoised with such a petty sum!
I'll give it, sir; and therefore spare my life.
And so will I and write home for it straight.
I lost mine eye in laying the prize aboard,
And therefore to revenge it, shalt thou die; [To Suf.
And so should these, if I might have any will.
Be not so rash; take ransom, let him live.
Look on my George; I am a gentleman: (30)
Rate me at what thou wilt, thou shalt be paid.
And so am I; my name is Walter Whitmore.
How now! why start'st thou? what, doth death affright?
Thy name affrights me, in whose sound is death.
A cunning man did calculate my birth
And told me that by water I should die:
Yet let not this make thee be bloody-minded;
Thy name is Gualtier, being rightly sounded.
Gaultier or Walter, which it is, I care not:
Never yet did base dishonour blur our name,
But with our sword we wiped away the blot;
Therefore, when merchant-like I sell revenge,
Broke be my sword, my arms torn and defaced,
And I proclaim'd a coward through the world!
Stay, Whitmore; for thy prisoner is a prince,
The Duke of Suffolk, William de la Pole.
The Duke of Suffolk muffled up in rags!
Ay, but these rags are no part of the duke:
Jove sometime went disguised, and why not I?
But Jove was never slain, as thou shalt be. (50)
Obscure and lowly swain, King Henry's blood,
The honourable blood of Lancaster,
Must not be shed by such a jaded groom.
Hast thou not kiss'd thy hand and held my stirrup?
Bare-headed plodded by my foot-cloth mule
And thought thee happy when I shook my head?
How often hast thou waited at my cup,
Fed from my trencher, kneel'd down at the board,
When I have feasted with Queen Margaret?
Remember it and let it make thee crest-fall'n, (60)
Ay, and allay this thy abortive pride;
How in our voiding lobby hast thou stood
And duly waited for my coming forth?
The hand of mine hath writ in thy behalf
And therefore shall it charm thy riotous tongue.
Speak, captain, shall I stab the forlorn swain?
First let my words stab him, as he hath me.
Base slave, thy words are blunt and so art thou.
Convey him hence and on our longboat's side
Strike off his head.
Thou darest not, for thy own.
Pool! Sir Pool! lord!
Ay, kennel, puddle, sink; whose filth and dirt
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 smiledst at good Duke Humphrey's death
Against the senseless winds shall grin in vain,
Who in contempt shall hiss at thee again:
And wedded be thou to the hags of hell, (80)
For daring to affy a mighty lord
Unto the daughter of a worthless king,
Having neither subject, wealth, nor diadem.
By devilish policy art thou grown great
And, like ambitious Sylla, overgorged
With gobbets of thy mother's bleeding heart.
By thee Anjou and Maine were sold to France,
The false revolting Normans through thee
Disdain to call us lord, and Picardy
Hath slain their governors, surprised our forts
And sent the ragged soldiers wounded home. (91)
The princely Warwick, and the Nevils all,
Whose dreadful swords were never drawn in vain,
As hating thee, are rising up in arms:
And now the house of York, thrust from the crown
By shameful murder of a guiltless king
And lofty proud encroaching tyranny,
Burns with revenging fire; whose hopeful colours
Advance our half-faced sun, striving to shine,
Under the which is writ 'Invitus nubibus.' (100)
The commons here in Kent are up in arms:
And, to conclude, reproach and beggary
Is crept into the palace of our king,
And all by thee. Away! convey him hence.
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 beehives: (110)
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.
Come, Suffolk, I must waft thee to thy death.
Gelidus timor occupat artus, it is thee I fear.
Thou shalt have cause to fear before I leave thee.
What, are ye daunted now? now will ye stoop? (120)
My gracious lord, entreat him, speak him fair.
Suffolk's imperial tongue is stern and rough,
Used 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: (130)
More can I bear than you dare execute.
Hale him away, and let him talk no more.
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
Murder'd sweet Tully; Brutus' bastard hand
Stabb'd Julius Cæsar; savage islanders
Pompey the Great; and Suffolk dies by pirates. Exeunt Whitmore and others with Suffolk.
And as for these whose ransom we have set, (140)
It is our pleasure one of them depart:
Therefore come you with us and let him go. [Exeunt all but the First Gentleman. Re-enter WHITMORE with SUFFOLK'S body.
There let his head and lifeless body lie.
Until the queen his mistress bury it. [Exit.
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.
Come, and get thee a sword, though
made of lath: they have been up these two days.
They have the more need to sleep
I tell thee, Jack Cade the clothier
means to dress the commonwealth, and turn
it, and set a new nap upon it.
So he had need, for 'tis threadbare.
Well, I say it was never merry world in England (10)
since gentlemen came up.
O miserable age! virtue is not regarded
The nobility think scorn to go in
Nay, more, the king's council are no
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 (20)
should we become magistrates.
Thou hast hit it; for there's no better
sign of a brave mind than a hard hand.
I see them! I see them! There's Best's
son, the tanner of Wingham,--
He shall have the skins of our enemies,
to make dog's-leather of.
And Dick the Butcher,--
Then is sin struck down like an ox,
and iniquity's throat cut like a calf. (30)
And Smith the weaver,--
Argo, their thread of life is spun.
Come, come, let's fall in with them. Drum. Enter CADE, DICK the Butcher, SMITH the Weaver, and a Sawyer, with infinite numbers.
We, John Cade, so termed of our
Or rather, of stealing a cade
For our enemies shall fall before us,
inspired with the spirit of putting down kings
and princes,--Command silence. (40)
My father was a Mortimer,--
He was an honest man, and
a good bricklayer.
My mother a Plantagenet,--
I knew her well; she was a midwife.
My wife descended of the Lacies,--
She was, indeed, a pedler's (49)
daughter, and sold many laces.
But now of late, not able to
travel with her furred pack, she washes bucks
here at home.
Therefore am I of an honourable house.
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
Valiant I am.
A' must needs; for beggary
is valiant. (60)
I am able to endure much.
No question of that; for I
have seen him whipped three market-days together.
I fear neither sword nor fire.
He need not fear the
sword; for his coat is of proof.
But methinks he should
stand in fear of fire, being burnt i' the hand
for stealing of sheep.
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 a 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,--
God save your majesty!
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.
The first thing we do, let's kill all the
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 I was never mine own man since. (91)
How now! who's there? Enter some, bringing forward the Clerk of Chatham.
The clerk of Chatham: he can
write and read and cast accompt.
We took him setting of boys' copies.
Here's a villain!
Has a book in his pocket with red
letters in't. (100)
Nay, then, he is a conjurer.
Nay, he can make obligations, and
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?
They use to write it on the top of letters:
'twill go hard with you.
Let me alone. Dost thou use to write
thy name? or hast thou a mark to thyself, like (111)
an honest plain-dealing man?
Sir, I thank God, I have been so
well brought up that I can write my name.
He hath confessed: away with him!
he's a villain and a traitor.
Away with him, I say! hang him
with his pen and ink-horn about his neck. Exit one with the Clerk. Enter MICHAEL.
Where's our general? (119)
Here I am, thou particular fellow.
Fly, fly, fly! Sir Humphrey Stafford
and his brother are hard by, with the king's
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'?
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. (130)
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.
But angry, wrathful, and inclined to blood,
If you go forward; therefore yield, or die.
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; (139)
For I am rightful heir unto the crown.
Villain, thy father was a plasterer;
And thou thyself a shearman, art thou not?
And Adam was a gardener.
And what of that?
Marry, this: Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March,
Married the Duke of Clarence's daughter, did he not?
By her he had two children at one birth.
Ay, there's the question; but I say, 'tis true: (150)
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.
Nay, 'tis too true; therefore he shall be king.
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.
And will you credit this base drudge's words, (160)
That speaks he knows not what?
Ay, marry, will we; therefore get ye gone.
Jack Cade, the Duke of York hath taught you this.
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.
And furthermore, we'll have the
Lord Say's head for selling the dukedom of
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.
O gross and miserable ignorance!
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?
No, no; and therefore we'll have his head.
Well, seeing gentle words will not prevail.
Assail them with the army of the king.
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, (190)
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.
And you that love the commons, follow me.
Now show yourselves men; 'tis 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.
They are all in order and march toward us.
But then are we in order when we (200)
are most out of order. Come, march forward. [Exeunt.
SCENE IIIAnother part of Blackheath. Alarums to the fight, wherein both the STAFFORDS are slain.
Enter CADE and the rest.
Where's Dick, the butcher of Ashford?
Here, sir. d
They fell before thee like sheep and
oxen, and thou behavest 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
I desire no more.
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.
If we mean to thrive and do good,
break open the gaols and let out the prisoners.
Fear not that, I warrant thee. Come, (20)
let's march towards London. [Exeunt.
SCENE IVLondon. The palace.
Enter the KING with a supplication, and the QUEEN with Suffolk's head, the DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM and the LORD SAY.
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?
What answer makes your grace to
the rebels' supplication?
I'll send some holy bishop to entreat; (10)
For God forbid so many simple souls
Should perish by the sword! And I myself,
Rather than a bloody war shall cut them short,
Will parley with Jack Cade their general:
But stay, I'll read it over once again.
Ah, barbarous villains hath this lovely face
Ruled, like a wandering planet, over me,
And could it not enforce them to relent,
That were unworthy to behold the same?
Lord Say, Jack Cade hath sworn to have thy head. (20)
Ay, but I hope your highness shall have his.
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.
No, my love, I should not mourn, but die for thee. Enter a Messenger.
How now! what news? why comest thou in such haste?
The rebels are in Southwark; fly, my lord!
Jack Cade proclaims himself Lord Mortimer,
Descended from the Duke of Clarence' house, (30)
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.
O graceless men! they know not what they do.
My gracious lord, retire to Killingworth, (40)
Until a power be raised to put them down.
Ah, were the Duke of Suffolk now alive,
These Kentish rebels would be soon appeased!
Lord Say, the traitors hate thee;
Therefore away with us to Killingworth.
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.
Jack Cade hath gotten London bridge: (50)
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.
Then linger not, my lord; away, take horse.
Come, Margaret; God, our hope, will succour us.
My hope is gone, now Suffolk is deceased.
Farewell, my lord: trust not the Kentish rebels.
Trust nobody, for fear you be betray'd.
The trust I have is in mine innocence, (60)
And therefore am I bold and resolute. Exeunt.
SCENE VLondon. The Tower.
Enter LORD SCALES upon the Tower, walking. Then enter two or three Citizens below.
How now! is Jack Cade slain?
No, my lord, nor likely to be
slain; for they have won the bridge, killing all
those that withheld them: the lord mayor
craves aid of your honour from the Tower to
defend the city from the rebels.
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. (10)
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. [Exeunt.
SCENE VILondon. Cannon Street.
Enter JACK CADE and the rest, and strikes his staff on London-stone.
Now is Mortimer lord of this city.
And here, sitting upon London-stone, I charge
and command that, of the city's cost, the
pissing-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.
Jack Cade! Jack Cade!
Knock him down there. [They kill him.
If this fellow be wise, he'll never
call ye Jack Cade more: I think he hath a
very fair warning.
My lord, there's an army gathered
together in Smithfield.
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. [Exeunt.
SCENE VIILondon. Smithfield. Alarums. MATTHEW GOFFE is slain, and all the rest.
Then enter JACK CADE, with his company.
So, sirs: now go some and pull
down the Savoy; others to the inns of court;
down with them all.
I have a suit unto your lordship.
Be it a lordship, thou shalt have it
for that word.
Only that the laws of England may
come out of your mouth.
Mass, 'twill be sore law,
then; for he was thrust in the mouth with a (11)
spear, and 'tis not whole yet.
Nay, John, it will be stinking
law; for his breath stinks with eating
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.
Then we are like to have
biting statutes, unless his teeth be pulled out.
And henceforward all things shall (21)
be in common. Enter a 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 GEORGE BEVIS, with the LORD SAY.
Well, he shall be beheaded for it ten
times. Ah, thou say, thou serge, nay, thou
buckram lord! now art thou within pointblank
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 footcloth, dost thou not?
What of that?
Marry, thou oughtest not to let thy
horse wear a cloak, when honester men than
thou go in their hose and doublets.
And work in their shirt too; as myself
for example, that am a butcher.
You men of Kent,-- (60)
What say you of Kent?
Nothing but this; 'tis 'bona terra, mala gens.'
Away with him, away with him; he
Hear me but speak, and bear me where you will.
Kent, in the Commentaries Cæsar 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. (70)
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 moved 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, (81)
You cannot but forbear to murder me:
This tongue hath parley'd unto foreign kings
For your behoof,--
Tut, when struck'st thou one blow
in the field?
Great men have reaching hands: oft have I struck
Those that I never saw and struck them dead.
O monstrous coward! what, to come
behind folks? (90)
These cheeks are pale for watching for your good.
Give him a box o' the ear and that
will make 'em red again.
Long sitting to determine poor men's causes
Hath made me full of sickness and diseases.
Ye shall have a hempen caudle then
and the help of hatchet.
Why dost thou quiver, man?
The palsy, and not fear, provokes me.
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.
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 injured, that ye seek my death?
These hands are free from guiltless bloodshedding,
This breast from harbouring foul deceitful thoughts. (110)
O, let me live!
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
It shall be done.
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.
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.
My lord, when shall we go to Cheapside
and take up commodities upon our bills?
O, brave! Re-enter one with the heads.
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.
SCENE VIIISouthwark. Alarum and retreat.
Enter CADE and all his rabblement.
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.
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. (11)
What say ye, countrymen? will ye relent,
And yield to mercy whilst 'tis 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 his weapon at us and pass by.
God save the king! God save the king!
What, Buckingham and Clifford, are
ye so brave? And you, base peasants, do ye
believe him? will you needs be hanged with
your pardons 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!
We'll follow Cade, we'll follow Cade!
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? (40)
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 'Villiago!' unto all they meet.
Better ten thousand base-born Cades miscarry (50)
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.
A Clifford! a Clifford! we'll follow
the king and Clifford.
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. [Exit.
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. (71)
Follow me, soldiers: we'll devise a mean
To reconcile you all unto the king. [Exeunt.
SCENE IXKenilworth Castle. Sound trumpets.
Enter KING, QUEEN, and SOMERSET, on the terrace.
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.
Health and glad tidings to your majesty!
Why, Buckingham, is the traitor Cade surprised?
Or is he but retired to make him strong? Enter, below, multitudes, with halters about their necks. (10)
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.
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: (20)
And so, with thanks and pardon to you all,
I do dismiss you to your several countries.
God save the king! God save the king! Enter a 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 (30)
The Duke of Somerset, whom he terms a traitor.
Thus stands my state, 'twixt Cade and York distress'd;
Like to a ship that, having 'scaped a tempest,
Is straightway calm'd and boarded with a pirate:
But now is Cade driven back, his men dispersed;
And now is York in arms to second him.
I pray thee, Buckingham, go and meet him,
And ask him what's the reason of these arms.
Tell him I'll send Duke Edmund to the Tower;
And, Somerset, we will commit thee thither, (40)
Until his army be dismiss'd from him.
I'll yield myself to prison willingly,
Or unto death, to do my country good.
In any case, be not too rough in terms;
For he is fierce and cannot brook hard language.
I will, my lord; and doubt not so to deal
As all things shall redound unto your good.
Come, wife, let's in, and learn to govern better;
For yet may England curse my wretched reign. Flourish. Exeunt.
SCENE XKent. Iden's Garden.
Fie on ambition! 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 climbed 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 brainpan
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. Enter IDEN.
Lord, who would live turmoiled in the court,
And may enjoy such quiet walks as these? (20)
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.
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.
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?
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 doornail,
I pray God I may never eat grass more.
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: (50)
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.
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 turned 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'ld defy them all. Wither, garden;
and be henceforth a burying-place to all
that do dwell in this house, because the unconquered (70)
soul of Cade is fled.
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.
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 (81)
by famine, not by valour. [Dies.
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, (90)
Leaving thy trunk for crows to feed upon. [Exit.