The First Part of the True and Honorable Historie of the Life of Sir John Oldcastle/Act 2

Enter the Sumner.

Sum.I haue the law to warrant what I do, and though the Lord Cobham be a noble man, that dispenses not with law, I dare serue processe were a fiue noble men, though we Sumners make sometimes a mad slip in a corner with a prettie wench, a Sumner must not goe alwayes by seeing, a manne may be content to hide his eies, where he may feele his profit: well, this is my Lord Cobhams house, if I can deuise to speake with him, if not, Ile clap my citation vpon's doore, so my lord of Rochester bid me, but me thinkes here comes one of his men. Enter Harpoole.

Harp.Welcome good fellow, welcome, who wouldst thou

speake with?

Sum.With my lord Cobham, I would speake, if thou be one of his men.

Harp.Yes I am one of his men, but thou canst not speake with my lord.

Sum.May I send to him them?

Harp.Ile tel thee that, when I know thy errand.

Sum.I will not tel my errand to thee.

Harp.Then keepe it to thy selfe, and walke like a knaue as thou camest.

Sum.I tell thee my lord keepes no knaues, sirra.

Harp.Then thou seruest him not, I beleeue, what lord is thy master?

Sum.My lord of Rochester.

Harp.In good time, and what wouldst thou haue with my lord Cobham?

Sum.I come by vertue of a processe, to ascite him to ap∣peare before my lord, in the court at Rochester.

Harp aside.Wel, God grant me patience, I could eate this conger. My lord is not at home, therefore it were good Sum∣ner you caried your processe backe.

Sum.Why, if he will not be spoken withall, then will I leaue it here, and see you that he take knowledge of it.

Harp.Swounds you slaue, do you set vp your bills here, go to, take it downe againe, doest thou know what thou dost, dost thee know on whom thou seruest processe?

Sum.Yes marry doe I, Sir Iohn Old-castle Lord Cobham.

Harp.I am glad thou knowest him yet, and sirra dost not thou know, that the lord Cobham is a braue lord, that keepes good beefe and beere in his house, and euery day feedes a hundred poore people at's gate, and keepes a hundred tall fel∣lowes?

Sum.Whats that to my processe?

Harp.Mary this sir, is this processe parchment?

Sum.Yes mary.

Harp.And this seale waxe?

Sum.It is so.

Harp.If this be parchment, & this wax, eate you this parch∣ment, and this waxe, or I will make parchment of your skinne, and beate your braines into waxe: Sirra Sumner dispatch, deuoure, sirra deuoure.

Sum.I am my lord of Rochesters Sumner, I came to do my office, and thou shalt answere it.

Harp.Sirra, no railing, but betake you to your teeth, thou shalt eate no worse then thou bringst with thee, thou bringst it for my lord, and wilt thou bring my lord worse then thou wilt eate thy selfe?

Sum.Sir, I brought it not my lord to eate.

Harp.O do you sir me now, all's one for that, but ile make you eate it, for bringing it.

Sum.I cannot eate it.

Harp.Can you not? sbould ile beate you vntil you haue a stomacke. he beates him.

Sum.O hold, hold, good master seruing-man, I will eate it.

Harp.Be champping, be chawing sir, or Ile chaw you, you rogue, the purest of the hony.

Sum.Tough waxe, is the purest of the hony.

Harp.O Lord sir, oh oh, he eates.
Feed, feed, wholsome rogue, wholsome.
Cannot you like an honest Sumner walke with the diuell your brother, to fetch in your Bailiffes rents, but you must come to a noble mans house with processe? Sbloud if thy seale were as broad as the lead that couers Rochester church, thou shouldst eate it.

Sum.O I am almost choaked, I am almost choaked.

Harp.Who's within there? wil you shame my Lord, is there no beere in the house? Butler I say.

But.Heere, here. Enter Butler.

Harp.Giue him Beere.he drinkes.
There, tough old sheepskins, bare drie meate.

Sum.O sir, let me go no further, Ile eate my word.

Harp.Yea mary sir, so I meane you shall eate more then your own word, for ile make you eate all the words in the pro∣cesse. Why you drab monger, cannot the secrets of al the wen∣ches in a sheire serue your turne, but you must come hither with a citation with a poxe? Ile cite you. he has then done.
A cup of sacke for the Sumner.

But.Here sir here.

Harp.Here slaue I drinke to thee.

Sum.I thanke you sir.

Harp.Now if thou findst thy stomacke well, because thou shalt see my Lord keep's meate in's house, if thou wilt go in thou shalt haue a peece of beefe to thy break fast.

Sum.No I am very well good M.seruing-man, I thanke you, very well sir.

Harp.I am glad on't, then be walking towards Rochester to keepe your stomack warme: and Sumner, if I may know you disturb a good wench within this Diocesse, if I do not make thee eate her peticote, if there were four yards of Kentish cloth in't, I am a villaine.

Sum.God be with you M.seruingmaan.

Harp.Farewell Sumner. Enter Constable.

Con.God saue you M.Harpoole.

Harp.Welcome Constable, welcom Constable, what news with thee?

Con.And't please you M.Harpoole, I am to make hue to crie, for a fellow with one eie that has rob'd two Clothiers, and am to craue your hindrance, for to search all suspected places, and they say there was a woman in the company.

Harp.Hast thou bin at the Alchouse, hast thou sought there?

Con.I durst not search sir, in my Lord Cobhams libertie, except I had some of his seruants, which are for my warrant.

Harp.An honest Constable, an honest Constable, cal forth him that keepes the Alehouse there.

Con.Ho, who's within there?

Ale manWho calls there, come neere a Gods name, oh is't

you M.Constable and M.Harpoole, you are welcome with all my heart, what make you here so earely this morning?

Harp.Sirra, what strangers do you lodge, there is a robbery done this morning, and we are to search for all suspected persons.

Aleman.Gods bores, I am sory for't, yfaith sir I lodge no bo∣dy but a good honest mery priest, they call him sir Iohn a Wrootham, and a handsome woman that is his neece, that he saies he has some sute in law for, and as they go vp & down to London, sometimes they lie at my house.

Harp.What, is he here in thy house now?

Con.She is sir, I promise you sir he is a quiet man, and be∣cause he will not trouble too many roomes, he makes the wo∣man lie euery night at his beds feete.

Harp.Bring her forth Constable, bring her forth, let's see her, let's see her.

Con.Dorothy, you must come downe to M.Constable.

Dol.Anon forsooth. she enters.

Harp.Welcome sweete lasse, welcome.

Dol.I thank you good M.seruing-man, and master Constable also.

Harp.A plump girle by the mas, a plump girle, ha Dol ha, wilt thou forsake the priest, and go with me.

Con.A well said M.Harpoole, you are a merrie old man yfaith, yfaith you wil neuer be old: now by the macke, a prettie wench indeed.

Harp.Ye old mad mery Constable, art thou aduis'de of that ha, well said Dol, fill some ale here.

Dol asideOh if I wist this old priest would not sticke to me, by Ioue I would ingle this old seruing-man.

Harp.Oh you old mad colt, yfaith Ile feak you: fil all the pots in the house there.

Con.Oh wel said M.Harpoole, you are heart of oake when all's done.

Harp.Ha Dol, thou hast a sweete paire of lippes by the masse.

DollTruely you are a most sweet olde man, as euer I sawe, by my troth, you haue a face, able to make any woman in loue with you.

Harp.Fill sweete Doll, Ile drinke to thee.

DollI pledge you sir, and thanke you therefore, and I pray you let it come.

Harp. imbracing herDoll, canst thou loue me? a mad merry lasse, would to God I had neuer seene thee.

DollI warrant you you will not out of my thoughts this tweluemonth, truely you are as full of fauour, as a man may be. Ah these sweete grey lockes, by my troth, they are most louely.

ConstableGods boores maister Harpoole, I will haue one busse too.

Harp.No licking for you Constable, hand off, hand off.

ConstableBur lady I loue kissing as wel as you.

DollOh you are an od boie, you haue a wanton eie of your owne: ah you sweet sugar lipt wanton, you will winne as ma∣ny womens hearts as come in your company. Enter Priest.

Wroth.Doll, come hither.

Harp.Priest, she shal not.

DollIle come anone, sweete loue.

Wroth.Hand off, old fornicator.

Harp.Vicar, Ile sit here in spight of thee, is this fitte stuffe for a priest to carry vp and downe with him?

WrothamAh sirra, dost thou not know, that a good fellow parson may haue a chappel of ease, where his parish Church is farre off?

Harp.You whooreson ston'd Vicar.

Wroth.You olde stale ruffin, you lion of Cotswold.

Harp.Swounds Vicar, Ile geld you. flies vpon him.

ConstableKeepe the Kings peace.

DollMurder, murder, murder.

Ale manHolde, as you are men, holde, for Gods sake be quiet: put vp your weapons, you drawe not in my house.

Harp.You whooreson bawdy priest.

Wroth.You old mutton monger.

ConstableHold sir Iohn, hold.

Doll to the PriestI pray thee sweet heart be quiet, I was but sitting to drinke a pot of ale with him, euen as kinde a man as euer I met with.

Harp.Thou art a theefe I warrant thee.

Wroth.Then I am but as thou hast beene in thy dayes, lets not be ashamed of our trade, the King has beene a theefe him∣selfe.

DollCome, be quiet, hast thou sped?

Wroth.I haue wench, here be crownes ifaith.

DollCome, lets be all friends then.

ConstableWell said mistris Dorothy ifaith.

Harp.Thou art the madst priest that euer I met with.

Wroth.Giue me thy hand, thou art as good a fellow, I am a singer, a drinker, a bencher, a wencher, I can say a masse, and kisse a lasse: faith I haue a parsonage, and bicause I would not be at too much charges, this wench serues me for a sexton.

Harp.Well said mad priest, weele in and be friends. Exeunt.

Enter sir Roger Acton, master Bourne, master Beuerley, and William Murley the brewer of Dunstable.

ActonNow maister Murley, I am well assurde
You know our arrant, and do like the cause,
Being a man affected as we are?

Mu.Mary God dild ye daintie my deere, no master, good Sr Roger Acton Knight, maister Bourne, and maister Beuerley esquires, gentlemen, and iustices of the peace, no maister I, but plaine William Murly the brewer of Dunstable your honest neighbour, and your friend, if ye be men of my profession.

BeuerleyProfessed friends to Wickliffe, foes to Rome.

Murl.Hold by me lad, leane vpon that staffe good maister Beuerley, all of a house, say your mind, say your mind.

ActonYou know our faction now is growne so great,
Throughout the realme; that it beginnes to smoake
Into the Cleargies eies, and the Kings eares,

High time it is that we were drawne to head,
Our generall and officers appoynted.
And warres ye wot will aske great store of coine.
Able to strength our action with your purse,
You are elected for a colonell
Ouer a regiment of fifteene bands.

MurleyFue paltrie paltrie, in and out, to and fro, be it more or lesse, vppon occasion, Lorde haue mercie vppon vs, what a world is this? Sir Roger Acton, I am but a Dunstable man, a plaine brewer, ye know: will lusty Caualiering captaines gentlemen come at my calling, goe at my bidding? Daintie my deere, theile doe a dogge of waxe, a horse of cheese, a pricke and a pudding, no, no, ye must appoint some lord or knight at least to that place.

BourneWhy master Murley, you shall be a Knight:
Were you not in election to be shrieue?
Haue ye not past all offices but that?
Haue ye not wealth to make your wife a lady?
I warrant you, my lord, our Generall
Bestowes that honor on you at first sight.

MurleyMary God dild ye daintie my deare:
But tell me, who shalbe our Generall?
Wheres the lord Cobham, sir Iohn Old-castle,
That noble almes-giuer, housekeeper, vertuous,
Religious gentleman? Come to me there boies,
Come to me there.

ActonWhy who but he shall be our Generall?

MurleyAnd shall he knight me, and make me colonell?

ActonMy word for that, sir William Murley knight.

MurleyFellow sir Roger Acton knight, all fellowes, I meane in armes, how strong are we? how many partners? our enemies beside the King are mightie, be it more or lesse vpon occasion, reckon our force.

ActonThere are of vs, our friends, and followers,
Three thousand and three hundred at the least,
Of northerne lads foure thousand, beside horse,

From Kent there comes with sir Iohn Old-castle
Seauen thousand, then from London issue out,
Of maisters, seruants, strangers, prentices
Fortie odde thousands into Ficket field,
Where we appoynt our speciall randeuous.

MurleyFue paltry paltry, in and out to and fro, Lord haue mercie vpon vs, what a world is this, wheres that Ficket fielde, sir Roger?

ActonBehinde saint Giles in the field neere Holborne.

MurleyNewgate, vp Holborne, S. Giles in the field, and to Tiborne, an old saw: for the day, for the day?

ActonOn friday next the foureteenth day of Ianuary.

MurleyTyllie vallie, trust me neuer if I haue any liking of that day: fue paltry paltry, friday quoth a, dismall day, Childermasse day this yeare was friday.

BeuerleyNay maister Murley, if you obserue such daies,
We make some question of your constancie,
All daies are like to men resolu'de in right.

MurleySay Amen, and say no more, but say, and hold ma∣ster Beuerley, friday next, and Ficket field, and William Murley, and his merry men shalbe al one, I haue halfe a score iades that draw my beere cartes, and euery iade shall beare a knaue, and euery knaue shall weare a iacke, and euery iacke shal haue a scull, and euery scull shal shew a speare, and euery speare shal kill a foe at Ficket field, at Ficket field, Iohn and Tom, and Dicke and Hodge, and Rafe and Robin, William & George, and all my knaues shall fight like men, at Ficket field on friday next.

BourneWhat summe of money meane you to disburse?

MurleyIt may be modestly, decently, soberly, and handsomely I may bring fiue hundreth pound.

ActonFiue hundreth man? fiue thousand's not enough,
A hundreth thousand will not pay our men
Two months together, either come preparde
Like a braue Knight, and martiall Colonell,
In glittering golde, and gallant furniture,

Bringing in coyne, a cart loade at the least,
And all your followers mounted on good horse,
Or neuer come disgracefull to vs all.

BeuerleyPerchance you may be chosen Treasurer,
Tenne thousand pounds the least that you can bring.

Paltry paltry, in and out, to and fro, vpon occasion I haue ten thousand pound to spend, and ten too. And, rather than the Bishop shall haue his will of mee for my conscience, it shall out all. Flame and flaxe, flame and flaxe, it was gotte with water and mault, and it shal flie with fire and gunne powder. Sir Roger, a cart loade of mony til the axetree cracke, my selfe and my men in Ficket field on friday next: remem∣ber my Knighthoode, and my place: there's my hand Ile bee there. Exit.

ActonSee what Ambition may perswade men to,
In hope of honor he will spend himselfe.

BourneI neuer thought a Brewer halfe so rich.

BeuerleyWas neuer bankerout Brewer yet but one,
With vsing too much mault, too little water.

ActonThats no fault in Brewers now-adayes:
Come, away about our businesse.exeunt.

Enter K. Harry, Suffolke, Butler, and Old-castle kneeling to the King.

HarryTis not enough Lord Cobham to submit.
You must forsake your grosse opinion,
The Bishops find themselues much iniured,
And though for some good seruice you haue done,
We for our part are pleasde to pardon you,
Yet they will not so soone be satisfied,

CobhamMy gracious Lord vnto your Maiestie,
Next vnto my God, I owe my life,
And what is mine, either by natures gift,
Or fortunes bountie, al is at your seruice,
But for obedience to the Pope of Rome,
I owe him none, nor shall his shaueling priests
That are in England, alter my beliefe.

If out of holy Scripture they can proue,
That I am in an errour, I will yeeld,
And gladly take instruction at their hands,
But otherwise, I do beseech your grace,
My conscience may not be incroacht vpon.

Har.We would be loath to presse our subiects bodies,
Much lesse their soules, the deere redeemed part,
Of him that is the ruler of vs all,
Yet let me counsell ye, that might command,
Do not presume to tempt them with ill words,
Nor suffer any meetings to be had
Within your house, but to the vttermost,
Disperse the flockes of this new gathering sect.

CobhamMy liege, if any breathe, that dares come forth,
And say, my life in any of these points
Deserues th'attaindor of ignoble thoughts
Here stand I, crauing no remorce at all,
But euen the vtmost rigor may be showne.

Har.Let it suffice we know your loyaltie,
What haue you there?

Cob.A deed of clemencie,
Your Highnesse pardon for Lord Powesse life,
Which I did beg, and you my noble Lord,
Of gracious fauour did vouchsafe to grant.

Har.But yet it is not signed with our hand.

Cob.Not yet my Liege. one ready with pen and incke.

Har.The fact, you say, was done,
Not of prepensed malice, but by chance.

Cob.Vpon mine honor so, no otherwise.

Har.There is his pardon, bid him make amends, writes.
And cleanse his soule to God for his offence,
What we remit, is but the bodies scourge, Enter Bishop.
How now Lord Bishop?

Bishop.Iustice dread Soueraigne.
As thou art King, so graunt I may haue iustice.

Har.What meanes this exclamation, let vs know?

Bish.Ah my good Lord, the state's abusde,
And our decrees most shamefully prophande.

Har.How, or by whom?

Bish.Euen by this heretike,
This Iew, this Traitor to your maiestie.

Cob.Prelate, thou liest, euen in thy greasie maw,
Or whosoeuer twits me with the name,
Of either traitor, or of heretike.

Har.Forbeare I say, and Bishop, shew the cause
From whence this late abuse hath bin deriu'de,

Bish.Thus mightie King, by generall consent,
A messenger was sent to cite this Lord,
To make appearance in the consistorie,
And comming to his house, a ruffian slaue,
One of his daily followers, met the man,
Who knowing him to be a parator,
Assaults him first, and after in contempt
Of vs, and our proceedings, makes him eate
The written processe, parchment, seale and all:
Whereby his maister neither was brought forth,
Nor we but scornd, for our authoritie.

Har.When was this done?

Bish.At sixe a clocke this morning.

Har.And when came you to court?

Cob.Last night my Lord.

Har.By this it seemes, he is not guilty of it,
And you haue done him wrong t'accuse him so.

Bish.But it was done my lord by his appointment,
Or else his man durst ne're haue bin so bold.

Har.Or else you durst be bold, to interrupt,
And fill our eares with friuolous complaints,
Is this the duetie you do beare to vs?
Was't not sufficient we did passe our word
To send for him, but you misdoubting it,
Or which is worse, intending to forestall
Our regall power, must likewise summon him?

This sauours of Ambition, not of zeale,
And rather proues, you malice his estate,
Than any way that he offends the law.
Go to, we like it not, and he your officer,
That was imployde so much amisse herein,
Had his desert for being insolent: Enter Huntington
So Cobham when you please you may depart.

Cob.I humbly bid farewell vnto my liege. Exit.

Har.Farewell, what's the newes by Huntington?

Hunt.Sir Roger Acton, and a crue, my Lord,
Of bold seditious rebels, are in Armes,
Intending reformation of Religion.
And with their Army they intend to pitch,
In Ficket field, vnlesse they be repulst.

Har.So nere our presence? dare they be so bold?
And will prowd warre, and eager thirst of bloud,
Whom we had thought to entertaine farre off,
Presse forth vpon vs in our natiue boundes?
Must wee be forc't to hansell our sharp blades
In England here, which we prepar'd for France?
Well, a Gods name be it, what's their number? say,
Or who's the chiefe commander of this rowt?

Hunt.Their number is not knowne, as yet (my Lord)
But tis reported Sir Iohn Old-castle
Is the chiefe man, on whom they do depend.

Har.How, the Lord Cobham?

Hunt.Yes my gracious Lord.

Bish.I could haue told your maiestie as much
Before he went, but that I saw your Grace
Was too much blinded by his flaterie.

Suf.Send poast my Lord to fetch him backe againe.

But.Traitor vnto his country, how he smooth'de,
And seemde as innocent as Truth it selfe?

Har.I cannot thinke it yet, he would be false,
But if he be, no matter let him go,
Weele meet both him and them vnto their wo.

Bish.This falls out well, and at the last I hope Exeunt
To see this heretike die in a rope.