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ACT FOURTH

Scene One

[Kent. The Seashore near Dover]

Alarum. Fight at Sea. Ordnance goes off. Enter Lieutenant, Suffolk, and others [including Master, Master's Mate, Walter Whitmore, and various prisoners].

 

Lieu. 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; 4
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, 8
For, whilst our pinnace anchors in the Downs,
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: 12
And thou that art his mate make boot of this;
The other [Pointing to Suffolk], Walter Whitmore, is thy share.

1. Gent. What is my ransom, master? let me know.

Mast. A thousand crowns, or else lay down your head. 16

Mate. And so much shall you give, or off goes yours.

Lieu. What! 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: 20
The lives of those which we have lost in fight
Be counterpois'd with such a petty sum!

1. Gent. I'll give it, sir; and therefore spare my life.

2. Gent. And so will I, and write home for it straight. 24

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.

Lieu. Be not so rash: take ransom; let him live. 28

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 Whitmore.
How now! why start'st thou? what! doth death affright? 32

Suf. 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; 36
Thy name is Gaultier, being rightly sounded.

Whit. Gaultier, or Walter, which it is I care not.
Never yet did base dishonour blur our name
But with our sword we wip'd away the blot: 40
Therefore, when merchant-like I sell revenge,
Broke be my sword, my arms torn and defac'd,
And I proclaim'd a coward through the world!

Suf. Stay, Whitmore; for thy prisoner is a prince, 44
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? 48

Lieu. But Jove was never slain, as thou shalt be.

Suf. Obscure and lowly swain, King Henry's blood,
The honourable blood of Lancaster,
Must not be shed by such a jaded groom. 52
Hast thou not kiss'd thy hand and held my stirrupt?
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, 56
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;
Ay, and allay this thy abortive pride. 60
How in our voiding lobby hast thou stood
And duly waited for my coming forth?
This hand of mine hath writ in thy behalf,
And therefore shall it charm thy riotous tongue. 64

Whit. Speak, captain, shall I stab the forlorn swain?

Lieu. First let my words stab him, as he hath me.

Suf. Base slave, thy words are blunt, and so art thou.

Lieu. Convey him hence, and on our longboat's side 68
Strike off his head.

Suf.Thou dar'st not for thy own.

Lieu. Yes, Pole.

Suf.Pole!

Lieu.Pool! Sir Pool! lord!
Ay, kennel, puddle, sink; whose filth and dirt
Troubles the silver spring where England drinks. 72
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'dst at good Duke Humphrey's death, 76
Against the senseless winds shalt grin in vain,
Who in contempt shall hiss at thee again:
And wedded be thou to the hags of hell,
For daring to affy a mighty lord 80
Unto the daughter of a worthless king,
Having neither subject, wealth, nor diadem.
By devilish policy art thou grown great,
And, like ambitious Sylla, overgorg'd 84
With gobbets of thy mother's bleeding heart.
By thee Anjou and Maine were sold to France,
The false revolting Normans thorough thee
Disdain to call us lord, and Picardy 88
Hath slain their governors, surpris'd our forts,
And sent the ragged soldiers wounded home.
The princely Warwick, and the Nevils all,
Whose dreadful swords were never drawn in vain, 92
As hating thee, are rising up in arms:
And now the house of York, thrust from the crown
By shameful murther of a guiltless king,
And lofty proud encroaching tyranny, 96
Burns with revenging fire; whose hopeful colours
Advance our half-fac'd sun, striving to shine,
Under the which is writ Invitis nubibus.
The commons here in Kent are up in arms; 100
And to conclude, reproach and beggary
Is crept into the palace of our king,
And all by thee. Away! convey him hence.

Suf. O! that I were a god, to shoot forth thunder 104
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. 108
Drones suck not eagles' blood, but rob beehives.
It is impossible that I should die
By such a lowly vassal as thyself.
Thy words move rage, and not remorse in me: 112
I go of message from the queen to France;
I charge thee, waft me safely cross the Channel.

Lieu. Walter!

Whit. Come, Suffolk, I must waft thee to thy death.

Suf. Pene gelidus timor occupat artus: it is thee I fear. 117

Whit. Thou shalt have cause to fear before I leave thee.
What! are ye daunted now? now will ye stoop?

1. Gent. My gracious lord, entreat him, speak him fair. 120

Suf. 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 124
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. 128
True nobility is exempt from fear:
More can I bear than you dare execute.

Lieu. Hale him away, and let him talk no more.

Suf. Come, soldiers, show what cruelty ye can, 132
That this my death may never be forgot.
Great men oft die by vile besonians.
A Roman sworder and banditto slave
Murder'd sweet Tully; Brutus' bastard hand 136
Stabb'd Julius Cæsar; savage islanders
Pompey the Great; and Suffolk dies by pirates.

Exit Walter with Suffolk.

Lieu. And as for these whose ransom we have set,
It is our pleasure one of them depart: 140
Therefore come you with us and let him go.

Exit Lieutenant, and the rest. Manet the first Gent.

Enter Walter with the body [of Suffolk].

Whit. There let his head and lifeless body lie,
Until the queen his mistress bury it. Exit Walter.

1. Gent. O barbarous and bloody spectacle! 144
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 Two

[Blackheath]

Enter Bevis and John Holland.

 

Bevis. Come, and get thee a sword, though
made of a lath: they have been up these two
days.

Holl. They have the more need to sleep now 4
then.

Bevis. I tell thee, Jack Cade the clothier means
to dress the commonwealth, and turn it, and set
a new nap upon it. 8

Holl. So he had need, for 'tis threadbare.
Well, I say it was never merry world in England
since gentlemen came up.

Bevis. O miserable age! Virtue is not regarded 12
in handicraftsmen.

Holl. The nobility think scorn to go in
leather aprons.

Bevis. Nay, more; the king's council are no 16
good workmen.

Holl. 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 be magistrates.

Bevis. Thou hast hit it; for there's no better
sign of a brave mind than a hard hand.

Holl. I see them! I see them! There's 24
Best's son, the tanner of Wingham,—

Bevis. He shall have the skins of our enemies
to make dog's-leather of.

Holl. And Dick the butcher,— 28

Bevis. Then is sin struck down like an ox, and
iniquity's throat cut like a calf.

Holl. And Smith the weaver,—

Bevis. Argo, their thread of life is spun. 32

Holl. Come, come, let's fall in with them.

Drum. Enter Cade, Dick Butcher, Smith the Weaver, and a Sawyer, with infinite numbers.

Cade. We John Cade, so termed of our sup-
posed father,

Butch. [Aside.] Or rather, of stealing a cade 36
of herrings.

Cade. For our enemies shall fall before us,
inspired with the spirit of putting down kings
and princes,—Command silence. 40

Butch. Silence!

Cade. My father was a Mortimer,—

Butch. [Aside.] He was an honest man, and a
good bricklayer. 44

Cade. My mother a Plantagenet,—

Butch. [Aside.] I knew her well; she was a
midwife.

Cade. My wife descended of the Lacies,— 48

Butch. [Aside.] She was, indeed, a pedlar's
daughter, and sold many laces.

Weav. [Aside.] But now of late, not able to
travel with her furred pack, she washes bucks 52
here at home.

Cade. Therefore am I of an honourable
house.

Butch. [Aside.] Ay, by my faith, the field is 56
honourable; and there was he born, under a
hedge; for his father had never a house but the
cage.

Cade. Valiant I am. 60

Weav. [Aside.] A' must needs, for beggary
is valiant.

Cade. I am able to endure much.

Butch. [Aside.] No question of that, for I have 64
seen him whipped three market-days together.

Cade. I fear neither sword nor fire.

Weav. [Aside.] He need not fear the sword,
for his coat is of proof. 68

Butch. [Aside.] But methinks he should stand
in fear of fire, being burnt i' the hand for steal-
ing of sheep.

Cade. Be brave, then; for your captain is 72
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 76
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! 80

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 84
me their lord.

Butch. The first thing we do, let's kill all the
lawyers.

Cade. Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this 88
a lamentable thing, that of the skin of an inno-
cent lamb should be made parchment? that
parchment, being scribbled o'er, should undo a
man? Some say the bee stings; but I say, 'tis 92
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 a Clerk.

Weav. The clerk of Chatham: he can write 96
and read and cast accompt.

Cade. O monstrous!

Weav. We took him setting of boys' copies.

Cade. Here's a villain! 100

Weav. Has a book in his pocket with red
letters in 't.

Cade. Nay, then he is a conjurer.

Butch. Nay, he can make obligations, and 104
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 108
examine thee. What is thy name?

Clerk. Emmanuel.

Butch. They use to write it on the top of
letters. 'Twill go hard with you. 112

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 116
brought up, that I can write my name.

All. He hath confessed: away with him! he's
a villain and a traitor.

Cade. Away with him, I say: hang him with 120
his pen and ink-horn about his neck.

Exit one with the Clerk.

Enter Michael.

Mich. Where's our general?

Cade. Here I am, thou particular fellow.

Mich. Fly, fly, fly! Sir Humphrey Stafford 124
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 128
good as himself: he is but a knight, is a'?

Mich. No.

Cade. To equal him, I will make myself a
knight presently. [Kneels.] Rise up Sir John 132
Mortimer. [Rises.] Now have at him.

Enter Sir Humphrey Stafford and his Brother, with drum and Soldiers.

Staf. Rebellious hinds, the filth and scum of Kent,
Mark'd for the gallows, lay your weapons down;
Home to your cottages, forsake this groom: 136
The king is merciful, if you revolt.

Bro. 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: 140
It is to you, good people, that I speak,
O'er whom, in time to come I hope to reign;
For I am rightful heir unto the crown.

Staf. Villain! thy father was a plasterer; 144
And thou thyself a shearman, art thou not?

Cade. And Adam was a gardener.

Bro. And what of that?

Cade. Marry, this: Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, 148
Married the Duke of Clarence' daughter, did he not?

Staf. Ay, sir.

Cade. By her he had two children at one birth.

Bro. That's false. 152

Cade. Ay, there's the question; but I say, 'tis true:
The elder of them, being put to nurse,
Was by a beggar-woman stol'n away;
And, ignorant of his birth and parentage, 156
Became a bricklayer when he came to age:
His son am I; deny it if you can.

Butch. Nay, 'tis too true; therefore he shall be king.

Weav. Sir, he made a chimney in my father's 160
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? 164

All. Ay, marry, will we; therefore get ye gone.

Bro. Jack Cade, the Duke of York hath taught you this.

Cade. [Aside.] He lies, for I invented it my-
self. Go to, sirrah; tell the king from me, that, 168
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. 172

Butch. And furthermore, we'll have the Lord
Say's head for selling the dukedom of Maine.

Cade. And good reason; for thereby is Eng-
land mained, and fain to go with a staff, but 176
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 180
therefore he is a traitor.

Staf. O gross and miserable ignorance!

Cade. Nay, answer, if you can: the French-
men are our enemies; go to then, I ask but 184
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.

Bro. Well, seeing gentle words will not prevail, 188
Assail them with the army of the king.

Staf. Herald, away; and throughout every town
Proclaim them traitors that are up with Cade;
That those which fly before the battle ends 192
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.

Exit [with Brother and Soldiers].

Cade. And you, that love the commons, follow me. 196
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 200
As would, but that they dare not, take our parts.

Butch. 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! 204

[Exeunt.]


 

Scene Three

[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?

Butch. Here, sir.

Cade. They fell before thee like sheep and
oxen, and thou behavedst thyself as if thou 4
hadst been in thine own slaughter-house: there-
fore 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. 8

Butch. I desire no more.

Cade. And, to speak truth, thou deserv'st no
less. This monument of the victory will I bear;
[Puts on Sir Humphrey Stafford's armour.]
and the bodies shall be dragged at my horse' 12
heels, till I do come to London, where we will
have the Mayor's sword borne before us.

Butch. If we mean to thrive and do good,
break open the gaols and let out the prisoners. 16

Cade. Fear not that, I warrant thee. Come;
let's march towards London. Exeunt.


 

Scene Four

[London. A Room in 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? 4
Here may his head lie on my throbbing breast;
But where's the body that I should embrace?

Buck. What answer makes your Grace to the
rebels' supplication? 8

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, 12
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, 16
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. 20

King. How now, madam?
Still lamenting and mourning for Suffolk's death?
I fear me, love, if that I had been dead,
Thou wouldest not have mourn'd so much for me. 24

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?

Mess. The rebels are in Southwark; fly, my lord!
Jack Cade proclaims himself Lord Mortimer, 28
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 32
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, 36
They call false caterpillars, and intend their death.

King. O graceless men! they know not what they do.

Buck. My gracious lord, retire to Killingworth,
Until a power be rais'd to put them down. 40

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. 44

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. 48

Enter another Messenger.

Mess. 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 52
To spoil the city and your royal court.

Buck. 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. 56

King. [To Lord Say.] Farewell, my lord: trust not the Kentish rebels.

Buck. Trust nobody, for fear you be betray'd.

Say. The trust I have is in mine innocence,
And therefore am I bold and resolute. Exeunt.

 

Scene Five

[The Same. The Tower]

Enter Lord Scales upon the Tower walking. Then enter two or three Citizens below.

 

Scales. How now! is Jack Cade slain?

1. Cit. No, my lord, nor likely to be slain;
for they have won the bridge, killing all those
that withstand them. The Lord Mayor craves 4
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; 8
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; 12
And so, farewell, for I must hence again. Exeunt.


 

Scene Six

[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 pissing-
conduit
run nothing but claret wine this first 4
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! 8

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. 12

Dick. My lord, there's an army gathered to-
gether in Smithfield.

Cade. Come then, let's go fight with them.
But first, go and set London-bridge on fire, and, 16
if you can, burn down the Tower too. Come,
let's away. Exeunt omnes.


 

Scene Seven

[The Same. Smithfield]

Alarums. Matthew Goffe is slain, and all the rest [of the King's forces]. 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. 4

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. 8

Holl. [Aside.] Mass, 'twill be sore law then;
for he was thrust in the mouth with a spear,
and 'tis not whole yet.

Smith. [Aside.] Nay, John, it will be stink- 12
ing 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 16
mouth shall be the parliament of England.

Holl. [Aside.] Then we are like to have
biting statutes, unless his teeth be pulled out.

Cade. And henceforward all things shall be 20
in common.

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. 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 24
one shilling to the pound, the last subsidy.

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- 28
blank of our jurisdiction regal. What canst
thou answer to my majesty for giving up of
Normandy unto Monsieur Basimecu, the Dau-
phin of France? Be it known unto thee by 32
these presence, even the presence of Lord Mor-
timer, 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 36
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 40
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 44
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 48
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? 52

Say. What of that?

Cade. Marry, thou ought'st not to let thy
horse wear a cloak, when honester men than
thou go in their hose and doublets. 56

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? 60

Say. Nothing but this: 'tis bonaterra, mala gens.

Cade. Away with him! away with him! he
speaks Latin.

Say. Hear me but speak, and bear me where you will. 64
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; 68
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; 72
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, 76
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, 80
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? 84

Say. Great men have reaching hands: oft have I struck
Those that I never saw, and struck them dead.

Geo. O monstrous coward! what, to come
behind folks! 88

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, 92
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? 96

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 100
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? 104
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 112
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 116
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, 120
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 com- 124
mand 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 128
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. 132

Dick. My lord, when shall we go to Cheap-
side and take up commodities upon our bills?

Cade. Marry, presently.

All. O! brave! 136

Enter one with the heads [of Lord Say and Sir James Cromer].

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 140
France. Soldiers, defer the spoil of the city
until night: for with these borne before us, in-
stead of maces, will we ride through the streets;
and at every corner have them kiss. Away! 144

Exit [with his followers].


 

Scene Eight

[The Same. Southwark]

Alarum and Retreat. Enter again Cade, and all his rabblement.

 

Cade. Up Fish Street! down St. Magnus'
corner! kill and knock down! throw them into
Thames! Sound a parley.
What noise is this I hear? Dare any be so bold 4
to sound retreat or parley, when I command
them kill?

Enter Buckingham, and Old Clifford [with Forces].

Buck. Ay, here they be that dare and will disturb thee.
Know, Cade, we come ambassadors from the king 8
Unto the commons whom thou hast misled;
And here pronounce free pardon to them all
That will forsake thee and go home in peace.

Clif. What say ye, countrymen? will ye relent, 12
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!' 16
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! 20

Cade. 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 24
therefore broke through London Gates, that you
should leave me at the White Hart in South-
wark? I thought ye would never have given out
these arms till you had recovered your ancient 28
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 32
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! 36

Clif. 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, 48
Crying Villiago! 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; 52
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 56
king and Clifford.

Cade. [Aside.] Was ever feather so lightly
blown to and fro as this multitude? The name of
Henry the Fifth hales them to an hundred mis- 60
chiefs, 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 stay-
ing. In despite of the devils and hell, have 64
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 ignomi-
nious treasons, makes me betake me to my heels. 68

Exit.

Buck. 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 72
To reconcile you all unto the king. Exeunt omnes.


 

Scene Nine

[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: 4
Was never subject long'd to be a king
As I do long and wish to be a subject.

Enter Buckingham and Clifford.

Buck. Health, and glad tidings, to your majesty!

King. Why, Buckingham, is the traitor Cade surpris'd? 8
Or is he but retir'd to make him strong?

Enter multitudes with halters about their necks.

Clif. He's 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. 12

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: 16
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, 20
I do dismiss you to your several countries.

All. God save the king! God save the king!

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. Please it your Grace to be advertised,
The Duke of York is newly come from Ireland; 24
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, 28
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, 32
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, 36
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,
Until his army be dismiss'd from him. 40

Som. 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; 44
For he is fierce and cannot brook hard language.

Buck. 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; 48
For yet may England curse my wretched reign.

Flourish. Exeunt.


 

Scene Ten

[Kent. Iden's Garden]

Enter Cade

 

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 4
for me; but now I am 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 8
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 12
for a sallet, my brain-pan 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 16
word 'sallet' must serve me to feed on.

Enter Iden.

Iden. Lord! who would live turmoiled in the court,
And may enjoy such quiet walks as these?
This small inheritance my father left me 20
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, 24
And sends the poor well pleased from my gate.

Cade. [Aside.] 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 28
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. 32

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, 36
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 40
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. 44

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, 48
See if thou canst out-face 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; 52
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, 56
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 60
in chines of beef ere thou sleep in thy sheath, I
beseech Jove on my knees, thou mayst be turned
to hobnails.

Here they fight. [Cade falls.]

O, I am slain! Famine and no other hath slain 64
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, 68
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: 72
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 76
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 van-
quished by famine, not by valour. Dies. 80

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. 84
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, 88
Leaving thy trunk for crows to feed upon.

Exit [dragging out the body].


 

Footnotes to Act IV


Scene One

1-7 Cf. n.
6 Clip: embrace
9 pinnace: one-masted vessel
Downs; cf. n.
11 discolour'd; cf. n.
13 make . . . this: take your profit from the ransom of this one
19 port: demeanor
22 counterpois'd: balanced, reckoned equal
25 laying aboard: grappling with
29 George; cf. n.
30 Rate me: set my ransom
35 Water; cf. n.
48-50 Cf. n.
50 King Henry's blood; cf. n.
52 jaded: contemptible
54 foot-cloth mule; cf. n.
61 voiding lobby: antechamber
71 kennel: gutter
sink: cesspool
74 For: for fear of, to prevent
80 affy: betroth
84 ambitious Sylla; cf. n.
85 gobbets: lumps of flesh
87 thorough: through
95 guiltless king: i.e. Richard II
98 Advance: display
half-fac'd: with disk half obscured; cf. n.
99 Invitis nubibus: in spite of clouds
108 Bargulus; cf. n.
113 of message: as messenger
114 waft: convey by water
117 Pene . . . artus; cf. n.
127 dance . . . pole; cf. n.
134 besonians: beggars
135 sworder: gladiator
137 savage islanders; cf. n.


Scene Two

2 up: in arms
6 clothier: cloth-worker
11 came up: came into fashion
32 Argo: ergo, therefore
36 cade: barrel (containing 600 herrings)
38 For: because
fall: pun on Latin 'cado' meaning fall
48 Lacies: family name of the Earls of Lincoln
52 furred pack: waterproof pack, made of skin with the hair outward
washes bucks: takes in washing
59 cage: lock-up
61 A’ must needs: he must be
68 of proof: tried by long service
73 reformation: alteration of government
75 three-hooped pot: wooden quart-pot
82, 83 on my score: at my expense
86, 87 kill . . . lawyers; cf. n.
97 cast accompt: calculate
99 copies: models of handwriting
104 obligations: contracts
105 court-hand: type of handwriting used in legal documents
106 proper: good-looking
111, 112 They . . . letters; cf. n.
123 particular: as opposed to 'general'
130 No: i.e. he is no more
137 revolt: i.e. forsake Cade
145 shearman: one who shears cloth
170 span-counter: children's game played with coins or counters
176 mained: maimed


Scene Three

199 clouted shoon: patched (?), hobnailed (?) shoes
8 licence to kill; cf. n.
17 Fear: doubt


Scene Four

16 like . . . planet: alluding to planetary influence
33 hinds: farm laborers
39 Killingworth: Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire
42 appeas'd: pacified, reduced to quiet
51 rascal people: rabble


Scene Five

10 gather head: collect your forces


Scene Six

2 London-stone: a Roman milestone in Cannon Street
3, 4 pissing-conduit: a small water fountain


Scene Seven

2 Savoy: the London residence of the Duke of Lancaster
inns of court: the abode of lawyers
23 which . . . France; cf. n.
24 one-and-twenty fifteens; cf. n.
27, 28 say . . . serge . . . buckram: various kinds of cloth
31 Basimecu: obscene term of derision
33 these presence: humorous error for 'these presents'
34 besom: broom
39 the score and the tally; cf. n.
40 printing; cf. n.
41 king his: king's
43 usually: habitually
49 because . . . read: lacking 'benefit of clergy'
56 hose and doublets; cf. n.
65, 66 Cf. n.
77 book: i.e. learning
85 reaching: far-reaching
94 hempen caudle: hangman's noose
95 help of hatchet: i.e. cure by decapitation
103 affected: set my heart on
107 guiltless bloodshedding: shedding of guiltless blood
113 familiar: attendant demon
114 o': in
130 in capite: by direct grant (twith a pun)
134 bills: halberds (with pun on bills of credit)


Scene Eight

1 Fish Street; cf. n.
26 the White Hart; cf. n.
27 given out: yielded up
44 at jar: in discord
44-46 Cf. n.
49 Villiago: villain


Scene Nine

8 surpris'd: taken prisoner
14 entertain: receive
21 countries: districts
23 advertised: informed
26 gallowglasses: heavy-armed Irish soldiers
33 with: by


Scene Ten

4 laid: beset
9 sallet: salad of green herbs
13 sallet: light headpiece or helmet
21 and: and so is
24 sufficeth that: it is enough that what
31 eat . . . ostrich; cf. n.
52 truncheon: a thick staff (Iden's leg)
56 Cf. n.
83 thrust in: pierce