Page images

Bevis. O miferable age! Virtue is not regarded even half-penny loaves fold for a penny: the threein handycrafts-men.

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

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


Hd. True; And yet it is faid,-Labour in thy vocation: which is as much to fay as,-let the magiftrates be labouring men ; and therefore should we be magiftrates.

Bevis. Thou haft hit it: for there's no better fign of a brave mind, than a hard hand.


hoop'd pot fhall have ten hoops; and I will make it felony to drink small beer: all the realm shall be in common, and in Cheapfide fhall my palfry go to grafs. And, when I am king (as king I will be)

All. God fave your majesty!

Cade. I thank you, good people:-There shall be no money; all shall eat and drink on my score; roland I will apparel them all in one livery, that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord. Dick. The first thing we do, let's kill all the

Hal. I fee them! I fee them! There's Beft's lawyers.

fon, the tanner of Wingham.

Cade. Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a

Bevis. He shall have the skins of our enemies, 15 lamentable thing, that of the skin of an innocent

[blocks in formation]

Dick. He was an honest man, and a good bricklayer.

Cade. My mother a Plantagenet,

Dick. I knew her well, she was a midwife. [Afide. Cade. My wife descended of the Lacies,→→ Dick. She was, indeed, a pedlar's daughter, and fold many laces.

[Afide. 40

Smith. But, now of late, not able to travel with her furr'd pack 3, the washes bucks here at home. [Afide

Cade. Therefore am I of an honourable house. Dick. Ay, by my faith: the field is honourable; 45 and there was he born, under a hedge; for his father had never a houfe, but the cage. [Afide

Cade. Valiant I am.

[blocks in formation]

Clerk. Emanuel.

Dick. They use to write it on the top of letters+;-Twill go hard with you.

Cade. Let me alone :-Deft thou use to write thy name? or hast thou a mark to thyself, like an honeft plain-dealing man?

Clerk. Sir, I thank God, I have been fo well brought up, that I can write my name.

All. He hath confefs'd: away with him; he's a villain, and a traitor.

Cade. Away with him, I say: hang him with This pen and inkhorn 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 and his brother are hard by, with the king's forces.

Cade. Stand, villain, ftand, or I'll fell thee down: He fhall be encounter'd with a man as good as himfelf: He is but a knight, is a'?

Mich. No.

Cade. To equal him, I will make myself a knight prefently; Rife up Sir John Mortimer.

2 He

'That is, a barrel of herrings. Perhaps the word keg, which is now ufed, is cade corrupted. alludes to his name Cade, from cado, Lat. to fall. 3 A wallet or knapsack of skin with the hair out

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Now have at him. Is there any more of them that be knights?

Mich. Ay, his brother.

Cade. Then kneel down, Dick Butcher;
Rife up Sir Dick Butcher. Now found up the drum.
Enter Sir Humphrey Stafford, and bis Brother, with
drum and foldiers.

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

Y.Staf. But angry, wrathful, and inclin'd to blood,
If you go forward: therefore yield, or die.. [not';
Cade. As for these filken-coated flaves, I pafs
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 plaisterer;
And thou thyself, a fhearman, Art thou not?
Cade. And Adam was a gardener.
Y. Staf. And what of that?

Cade. Marry, this :-Edmund Mortimer, earl
of March,

[not? Married the duke of Clarence' daughter; Did he Staf. Ay, fir.

Cade. By her he had two children at one birth.
Y. Staff. That's falfe.


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


[ocr errors]

r. Staf. Well, feeing gentle words will not pre-
Affail them with the army of the king. [vail,
Staf. Herald away: and, throughout every town,
Proclaim them traitors that are up with Cade;
That thofe, which fly before the battle ends,
May, even in their wives' and children's fight,
Be hang'd up for example at their doors :-
And you, that be the king's friends, follow me.
[Exeunt the two Staffords, with their train.
Cade. And you, that love the commons, fol-
low me.-

Now fhew yourselves men, 'tis for liberty.
We will not leave one lord, one gentleman:
Spare none, but such as go in clouted shoon;
15 For they are thrifty honest men, and such
As would (but that they dare not) take our parts.
Dick. They are all in order, and march toward us.
Cade. But then are we in order, when we are most
out of order. Come, march forward. [Exeunt.




Another part of the Field. The parties fight, and both the Staffords are flain.

Re-enter Cade and the reft.

Cade. Where's Dick, the butcher of Ashford ?
Dick. Here, fir.

Cade. They fell before thee like sheep and oxen, and thou behav'dft thyfelf as if thou hadft been in thine own flaughter-houfe: therefore thus I will 3 reward thee,-The Lent shall be as long again as it is; and thou shalt have a licence to kill for a hundred lacking one.

Dick. Nay, 'tis too true; therefore he shall be king. Smith. Sir, he made a chimney in my father's 35 houfe, and the bricks are alive at this day to teftify it; therefore, deny it not.

Staf. And will you credit this bafe drudge's words, That fpeaks he knows not what?

All. Ay, marry, will we; therefore get you gone. 40 Y. Staf. Jack Cade, the duke of York hath taught you this.

Cade. He lies, for I invented it myself. [Afide. Go to, firrah, Tell the king from me, that-for his father's fake, Henry the fifth, in whofe time boys 45 went to fpan-counter for French crowns,-I am content he shall reign; but I'll be protector over him.

Dick. And, furthermore, we'll have the lord Say's head, for felling the dukedom of Maine. 50

Cade. And good reafon; for thereby is England maim'd, and fain to go with a staff, but that my puiffance holds it up. Fellow kings, I tell you, that that lord Say hath gelded the common-wealth, and made it an eunuch: and more than that, he can 55 fpeak French, and therefore he is a traitor.

Staf. O grofs and miferable ignorance!

Cade. Nay, anfwer, if you can': The Frenchmen are our enemies: go to then, I afk but this: Can he, that speaks with the tongue of an enemy, be a 60 good counsellor, or no?

All. No, no; and therefore we'll have his head.]

Dick. I defire no more.

Cade. And, to fpeak truth, thou deserv'st no less. This monument of the victory 2 will I bear; and the bodies fhall be dragged at my horfe' heels, 'till I do come to London, where we will have the mayor's fword borne before us.

Dick. If we mean to thrive and do good, break open the goals, and let out the prisoners. Cade. Fear not that, I warrant thee. Come, let's march towards London. [Exeunt.


Enter King Henry with a fupplication, and Queen Margaret with Suffolk's head; the Duke of Buckingham and the Lord Say.

2. Mar. Oft have I heard that grief foftens
the mind,

And makes it fearful and degenerate;
Think therefore on revenge, and cease to weep.
But who can ceafe to weep, and look on this?
Here may his head lie on my throbbing breaft:
But where's the body that I should embrace?

Buck. What anfwer makes your grace to the rebels' fupplication?

K. Henry. I'll fend fome holy bishop to entreat a
For God forbid, so many fimple fouls
Should perifh by the fword! And I myself,
Rather than bloody war fhould cut them short,
Will parly with Jack Cade their general.-

■ i. c. I pay them no regard. 2 Here Cade must be supposed to take off Stafford's armour.


But stay, I'll read it over once again.


2. Mar. Ah, barbarous villains! hath this lovely Rul'd, like a wandering planet, over me; And could it not enforce them to relent, That were unworthy to behold the fame?

K. Henry. Lord Say, Jack Cade hath fworn to have thy head.

Say. Ay, but I hope, your highness shall have his. K. Henry. How now, madam? Lamenting ftill, and mourning Suffolk's death? I fear, my love, if that I had been dead, Thou wouldeft not have mourn'd fo much for me. 2. Mar. No, my love, I should not mourn, but die for thee.

Enter a Meffenger.

K. Henry. How now! what news? why com'ft thou in fuch hafte?

Mef. The rebels are in Southwark: Fly, my lord
Jack Cade proclaims himself lord Mortimer,
Defcended from the duke of Clarence' house ;
And calls your grace ufurper, 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-falfe caterpillars, and intend their death.
K. Henry. O graceless men! they know not
what they do.

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

2. Mar. Ah! were the duke of Suffolk now alive, Thefe Kentish rebels should be foon appeas'd.

K. Henry. Lord Say, the traitor hateth thee, Therefore away with us to Kenelworth.

Say. So might your grace's perfon be in danger The fight of me is odious in their eyes: And therefore in this city will I stay, And live alone as fecret as I may.

Enter another Messenger.

2 Mef. Jack Cade hath gotten London-bridge; The citizens fly him, and forfake their houses: The rafcal people, thirsting after prey, Join with the traitor; and they jointly swear, To fpoil the city, and your royal court.

Buck. Then linger not, my lord; away, take horse. K. Henry. Come, Margaret; God, our hope,

will fuccour us.


1 Cit. No, my lord, nor likely to be flain; for they have won the bridge, killing all thofe that withstand them: The lord mayor craves aid of your honour from the Tower, to defend the city 5 from the rebels. [mand; Scales. Such aid as I can fpare, you fhall comBut I am troubled here with them myself, The rebels have affay'd to win the Tower. But get you into Smithfield, gather head, 10 And thither will I fend you Matthew Gough': Fight for your king, your country, and your lives; And fo farewel, for I must hence again. [Excunt.




[blocks in formation]

Enter Jack Cade and the reft. He ftrikes his staff on London-fione.

Cade. Now is Mortimer lord of this city. And here, fitting upon London-ftone, I charge and command, that, of the city's coft, the piffing-conduit run nothing but claret wine the first year of our reign. And now, henceforward, it shall be treafon for any that calls me other than-Lord Mortimer.

Enter a Soldier running.

Sol. Jack Cade! Jack Cade! Cade. Knock him down there. Smith. If this fellow be wife, you Jack Cade more; I think, he 30warning.



[They kill him. he'll never call hath a very fair

Dick. My lord, there's an army gather'd together in Smithfield.

Cade. Come then, let's go fight with them: But, firft, go and fet London-bridge on fire; and, if you can, burn down the Tower too. Come, let's away. [Exeunt.

[blocks in formation]

Alarum. Enter Jack Cade with his company. They fight with the King's forces, and Matthew Gough is flain.

Cade. So, firs:-Now go fome and pull down 45 the Savoy; others to the inns of court; down with them all.

[blocks in formation]

Dick. I have a fuit unto your lordship.

Cade. Be it a lordship, thou shalt have it for that word.

Dick. Only, that the laws of England may come out of your mouth.

John. Mafs, 'twill be fore law then; for he was thruft in the mouth with à fpear, and 'tis not whole yet. [Afide. Smith. Nay, John, it will be stinking law; for his breath ftinks with eating toafted cheese. [Afide. Cade. have thought upon it, it shall be fo. Away, burn all the records of the realm; my mouth fhall be the parliament of England.


[blocks in formation]

! According to Holinshed, Matthew Gough was " a man of great wit and much experience in feats of chivalrie, the which in continuall warres had spent his time in service of the king and his

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Cade. And henceforward all things fhall be inf


Enter a Messenger.

Me. My lord, a prize, a prize! here's the lord Say, which fold the town in France; he that made us pay one-and-twenty fifteens, and one fhilling to the pound, the last fubfidy.


Enter George Bevis, with the lord Say. Cade. Well, he fhall be beheaded for it ten times. -Ah, thou fay', thou ferge, nay, thou buckram 10 lord! now art thou within point-blank of our jurisdiction regal. What canft thou answer to my majesty, for giving up of Normandy unto monfieur Bafimecu, the Dauphin of France? Be it known unto thee by these presence, even the prefence of 15 lord Mortimer, that I am the befom that muft fweep the court clean of fuch filth as thou art. Thou haft most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm, in erecting a grammar-school: and whereas, before, our fore-fathers had no other 20 books but the score and the tally, thou hast caused printing to be us'd; and, contrary to the king, his crown, and dignity, thou hast built a paper-mill. It will be proved to thy face, that thou haft men about thee, that ufually talk of a noun, and a verb; 25 and fuch abominable words, as no christian ear can endure to hear. Thou haft appointed justices of peace, to call poor men before them about matters they were not able to answer. Moreover, thou

Kent 5 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-feeing ignorance is the curfe of God,
Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven,--
Unless you be poffefs'd with devilish spirits,
You cannot but forbear to murder me.
This tongue hath parly'd unto foreign kings
For your behoof,-

Cade. Tut! when struck'st thou one blow in the
Say. Great men have reaching hands: oft have
I ftruck

behind folks!

Thofe that I never faw, and ftruck them dead. George. O monftrous coward! what, to come [your good. Say. Thefe cheeks are pale with watching for Cade. Give him a box o' the ear, and that will make 'em red again.

Say. Long fitting to determine poor men's caufes Hath made me full of fickness and diseases.

Cade. Ye shall have a hempen caudle then, and the help of a hatchet.

Dick. Why doft thou quiver, man? Say. The palfy, and not fear, provokes me. Cade. Nay, he nods at us; as who should say, I'll be even with you. I'll fee if his head will ftand fteadier on a pole, or no: Take him away, and behead him.

Say. Tell me, wherein have I offended most?

haft put them in prifon; and, because they could 30 Have I affected wealth, or honour? speak.

not read3, thou haft hang'd them; when, indeed,

only for that cause they have been moft worthy to live. Theu doft ride on a foot-cloth, doft thou not?

[blocks in formation]

Are my chefts fill'd up with extorted gold?
Is my apparel fumptuous to behold?

Whom have I injur'd, that ye feek my death?
Thefe hands are free from guiltlefs blood-fhedding,
35 This breaft from harbouring foul deceitful thoughts.
O, let me live!

Cade. I feel remorse in myself with his words: but I'll bridle it; he shall die, an it be but for pleading fo well for his life. Away with him! he has 40a familiar under his tongue; he speaks not o' God's name. Go, take him away, I fay, and ftrike off his head presently; and then break into his fon in law's house, Sir James Cromer, and ftrike off his head, and bring them both upon two poles hither.

Say. Nothing but this: 'Tis bona terra, mala gens.
Cade. Away with him, away with him! he speaks
[will. 45

Say. Hear me but speak, and bear me where you
Kent, in the Commentaries Cæfar writ,
Is term'd the civil'ft place of all this isle:
Sweet is the country, because full of riches;
The people liberal, valiant, active, wealthy;
Which makes me hope you are not void of pity.
I fold not Maine, I loft not Normandy;
Yet, to recover them, would lofe my life.
Juftice with favour have I always done;


All. It fhall be done. Say. Ah, countrymen! if when you make your God fhould be fo obdurate as yourselves, How would it fare with your departed fouls? 50 And therefore yet relent, and fave my


Cade. Away with him, and do as I command ye. [Excunt fame, with lord Say. The proudest peer of the realm shall not wear a head on his fhoulders, unless he pay me tribute;

Prayers and tears have mov'd me, gifts could never. 55 there fhall not a maid be married, but she shall pay When have I aught exacted at your hands?

to me her maidenhead 7 ere they have it: Men

I Say was the old word for filk; on this depends the series of degradation, from fay to forge, from ferge to buckram. 2 Shakspeare is a little too early with this accufation. 3 That is, they were

hanged because they could not claim the benefit of clergy. 4 A foctcloth was a horse with houfings which reached as low as his feet. 5 Dr. Johnfon is inclined to think that Kent flipped into this paffage by chance, and would read: "When have I aught exacted at your hand, But to maintain the king, the realm, and you?" Mr. Steevens proposes to read, "Bent to maintain," &c. i. c. firenuously refolved to the utmost, to, &c. A familiar is a dæmon who was fuppofed to attend at call.

to an ancient ufage during the existence of the feudal tenures.

7 Alhali

thall hold of me in capite; and we charge and command, that their wives be as free as heart can with, or tongue can tell.

Dick. My lord, when shall we go to Cheapfide, and take up commodities upon our bills? Cade. Marry, presently.

All. O brave!

Re-enter one with the beads.

Cade. But is not this braver ?-Let them kifs


Will he conduct you through the heart of France,
And make the meanest of you earls and dukes?
Alas, he hath no home, no place to fly to;
Nor knows he how to live, but by the spoil,
Unless by robbing of your friends, and us.
Wer't not a fhame, that, whilft you live at jar,
The fearful French, whom you late vanquished,
Should make a start o'er feas, and vanquish you?
Methinks, already, in this civil broil,

one another; for they lov'd well, when they 10I fee them lording it in London streets,

were alive. Now part them again, left they con-
fult about the giving up of fome more towns in
France. Soldiers, defer the spoil of the city until
night for with thefe borne before us, instead of
maces, we will ride through the streets; and, at 15
every corner, have them kifs 2.-Away. [Exeunt.]


[blocks in formation]

Cade. Up Fish-street! down Saint Magnus' corner! kill and knock down! throw them into Thames![A parley founded. 25 What noife is this I hear? Dare any be fo bold to found retreat and parley, when I command them kill?

Enter Buckingham, and old Clifford, attended.
Buck. Ay, here they be that dare, and will 30
disturb thee:

Know, Cade, we come ambassadors from the king
Unto the commons, whom thou haft mis-led;
And here pronounce free pardon to them all,
That will forfake thee, and go home in peace.
Clif. What fay ye, countrymen? will ye relent,
And yield to mercy, whilft 'tis offer'd you;
Or let a rabble lead you to your deaths?
Who loves the king, and will embrace his pardon,

Crying-Villageois! unto all they meet.

Better, ten thousand bafe-born Cades mifcarry,
Than you should stoop unto a Frenchman's mercy.
To France, to France, and get what you have loft;
Spare England, for it is your native coast:
Henry hath money, you are ftrong and manly;
God on our fide, doubt not of victory.

All. A Clifford ! a Clifford ! we'll follow the king, and Clifford,

Cade. Was ever feather fo lightly blown to
and fro, as this multitude? The name of Henry the
fifth hales them to an hundred mifchiefs, and
makes them leave me defolate. "I fee them lay their
heads together, to furprize me: my sword make
way for me, for here is no staying.-In despight
of the devils and hell, have through the very midst
you ! and heavens and honour be witness, that
no want of refolution in me, but only my fol.
lowers' bafe and ignominious treafons, makes me
betake me to my heels.

Buck. What, is he fled? go fome, and follow him;
And he, that brings his head unto the king,
Shall have a thousand crowns for his reward.-

[Exeunt fome of them.

35 Follow me, foldiers; we'll devise a mean
To reconcile you all unto the king. [Exeunt.
Kenelauerth Cafile.

Fling up his cap, and say-God save his majefty! 40 Sound trumpets. Enter King Henry, Queen Margaret,

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 fave the king! God fave the king!
Cade. What, Buckingham, and Clifford, are ye 45
fo brave?-And you, base peasants, do ye believe
him? will you needs be hang'd with your pardons
about your necks? Hath my fword therefore broke
through London gates, that you should leave me
at the White-hart in Southwark? I thought, yel50
would never have given out these arms, 'till you
had recover'd your ancient freedom: but you are
all recreants, and daftards; and delight to live in
flavery to the nobility. Let them break your
backs with burdens, take your houfes over your 55
heads, ravish your wives and daughters before your
faces: For me, I will make thift for one; and
fo-God's curfe light upon you all!

All. We'll follow Cade, we'll follow Cade.
Clif. Is Cade the fon of Henry the fifth,

That thus you do exclaim-you'll go with him?


and Somerset, on the Terras.

K. Henry. Was ever king, that joy'd an earthly


And could command no more content than I?
No fooner was I crept out of my cradle,
But I was made a king, at nine months old;
Was never fubject 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!
K. Henry. Why, Buckingham, is the traitor Cade
furpriz'd ?

Or is he but retir'd to make him strong?
Enter below, multitudes, with balters about their necks.
Clif. He's fled, my lord, and all his powers do

[blocks in formation]

1 A pun, perhaps alluding to the brown bills, or halberds, with which the commons were anciently This fact is recorded by Holinfhed, p. 634: " and as it were in a fpite caufed them in


every street to kisse together."

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »