Page images

Cade. Give him a box o' the ear, and that will make 'em red again.

Say. Long sitting to determine poor men's causes Hath made me full of sickness and diseases.

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

Dick. Why dost thou quiver, man ?

Say. The palsy, and not fear, provoketh me.

Cade. Nay, he nods at us; as who should say, I'll be even with you. I'll see if his head will stand steadier on a pole, or no: Take him away, and behead him.

Say. Tell me, wherein I have 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 blood-shedding.*
This breast 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 so well for his life. Away with him! he has a familiar† under his tongue; he speaks not o' God's name. Go, take him away, I say, and strike off his head presently: and then break into his son-in-law's house, Sir James Cromer, and strike off his head, and bring them both upon two poles hither.

All. It shall be done.

Say. Ah, countrymen! if when you make your prayers,
God should be so obdurate as yourselves,

How would it fare with your departed souls?
And therefore yet relent, and save my life.

Cade. Away with him, and do as I command ye. [Exeunt some with LORD SAY.] The proudest peer in the realm shall not wear a head on his shoulders, unless he pay me tribute; there shall not a maid be married, but she shall pay to me her maidenhead ere they have it: men shall hold of me in capite; and we charge and command, that their wives be as free as heart can wish, or tongue can tell.

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

Cade. Marry, presently.
All. O brave!

Re-enter Rebels, with the heads of LORD SAY and his

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

* From shedding guiltless blood.

† A demon who was supposed to attend at call.

+ I. e. on our brown-bills (halberds).

France. Soldiers, defer the spoil of the city until night: for with these borne before us, instead of maces, will we ride through the streets; and, at every corner have them kiss.-Away! [Exeunt. SCENE VIII.-Southwark.

Alarum.-Enter CADE, and all his rabblement.

Cade. Up Fish-street! Down Saint Magnus'-corner! Kill and knock down! Throw them into Thames. [A parley sounded, then a retreat.] 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, with forces.

Buck. 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.

Clif. What say ye, countrymen ? will ye relent,
And yield to mercy whilst 'tis offer'd you?
Or let a rabble lead you to your deaths?
Who loves the king, and will embrace his pardon,
Fling up his cap, and say-God save his majesty!
Who hateth him, and honours not his father,
Henry the Fifth, that made all France to quake,
Shake he his weapon at us, and pass by.

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

Cade. What, Buckingham, and Clifford, are ye so brave?— And you, base peasants, do ye believe him? Will ca needs be hang'd 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 recover'd 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 burdens, take your houses over your heads, ravish your wives and daughters before your faces: For me,-I will make shift for one, and so-God's curse light upon you all!

All. We'll follow Cade, we'll follow Cade.
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?
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 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-Villageois! unto all they meet.

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

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

Cade. Was ever feather so lightly blown to and fro, as this multitude? The name of Henry the Fifth hales them to a 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 despight of the devils and hell, have through the very midst 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.


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.-

Follow me, soldiers; we'll devise a mean
To reconcile you all unto the king.

[Exeunt some of them.


SCENE IX-Kenelworth Castle.

Enter KING HENRY, QUEEN MARGARET, and SOMERSET, on the terrace of the castle.

K. Hen. 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.


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

K. Hen. Why, Buckingham, is the traitor Cade surprised? Or is he but retired to make him strong?

Enter, below, a great number of CADE's followers, 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.

K. Hen. Then, heaven, set ope thy everlasting gates,
To entertain my vows of thanks and praise !-
Soldiers, this day have you redeem'd your lives,
And show'd how well you love your prince and country:
Continue still in this so good a mind,

And Henry, though he be infortunate,

Assure yourselves, will never be unkind:
And so, with thanks, and pardon to you all,
I do dismiss you to your several countries.

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


Mes. Please it your grace to be advértised,
The duke of York is newly come from Ireland:
And with a puissant and a mighty power,
Of Gallowglasses, and stout Kernes,*
Is marching hitherward in proud array;
And still proclaimeth, as he comes along,
His aims are only to remove from thee
The duke of Somerset, whom he terms a traitor.

K. Hen. Thus stands my state, 'twixt Cade and York distress'd;
Like to a ship, that, having escaped 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,
Until his army be dismiss'd from him.

Som. My lord,

I'll yield myself to prison willingly,
Or unto death, to do my country good.

K. Hen. In any case, be not too rough in terms;
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.

K. Hen. Come, wife, let's in, and learn to govern better; For yet may England curse my wretched reign.

*Heavy and light-armed soldiers.

SCENE X-Kent. IDEN's Garden.

Enter CADE.

Cade. 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 layed 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 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

+ Only just now.

A kind of helmet.


instead of a quart-pot to drink in; and now the word sallet must serve me to feed on.

Enter IDEN, with Servants.

Iden. Lord, who would live turmoiled in the court,
And may enjoy such quiet walks as these,
This small inheritance, my father left me,
Contenteth me, and is worth a monarchy.
I seek not to wax great by other's waning;
Or gather wealth, I care not with what envy;
Sufficeth, that I have maintains my state,
And sends the poor well pleased from my gate.

Cade. Here's the lord of the soil come to seize me for a stray, for entering his fee-simple without leave. Ah, villain, thou wilt betray me, and get a thousand crowns of the king for carrying my head to him; but I'll make thee eat iron like an ostrich, and swallow my sword like a great pin, ere thou and I part.

Iden. Why, rude companion, whatsoe'er thou be,
I know thee not; why then should I betray thee?
Is't not enough to break into my garden,
And, like a thief, to come to rob my grounds,
Climbing my walls, in spite of me the owner,
But thou wilt brave me with these saucy terms?

Cade. Brave thee? Ay, by the best blood that ever was broach'd, and beard thee too. Look on me well: I have eat no meat these five days; yet, come thou and thy five men, and if I do not leave you all as dead as a door-nail, I pray God, I may never eat grass more.

Iden. Nay, it shall ne'er be said, while England stands,
That Alexander Iden, an esquire of Kent,
Took odds to combat a poor famish'd man.
Oppose thy steadfast-gazing eyes to mine,
See if thou canst outface me with thy looks.
Set limb to limb, and thou art far the lesser ;
Thy hand is but a finger to my fist;

Thy leg a stick compared with this truncheon;
My foot shall fight with all the strength thou hast ;
And if mine arm be heaved in the air,

Thy grave is digg'd already in the earth.

As for more words, whose greatness answers words,
Let this my sword report what speech forbears.

Cade. By my valour, the most complete champion that ever I heard. Steel, if thou turn the edge, or cut not out the burlyboned clown in chines of beef ere thou sleep in thy sheath, I beseech God on my knees, thou mayst be turn'd to hobnails. [They fight, CADE falls.] Ó, I am slain! Famine, and no other, hath slain me: let ten thousand devils come against me, and give me but the ten meals I have lost, and I'd defy them all. Wither, garden; and be henceforth a burying-place to all that do dwell in this house, because the unconquered soul of Cade is fled.

Iden. Is't Cade that I have slain, that monstrous traitor? Sword, I will hallow thee for this thy deed.

« PreviousContinue »