Part 2 out of 2
If my suspect be false, forgive me, God;
For judgment only doth belong to Thee.
Fain would I go to chafe his paly lips
With twenty thousand kisses and to drain
Upon his face an ocean of salt tears
To tell my love unto his dumb deaf trunk;
And with my fingers feel his hand un-feeling;
But all in vain are these mean obsequies;
And to survey his dead and earthy image,
What were it but to make my sorrow greater?
Bed put forth with the body. Enter WARWICK
WARWICK. Come hither, gracious sovereign, view this body.
KING HENRY. That is to see how deep my grave is made;
For with his soul fled all my worldly solace,
For, seeing him, I see my life in death.
WARWICK. As surely as my soul intends to live
With that dread King that took our state upon Him
To free us from his Father's wrathful curse,
I do believe that violent hands were laid
Upon the life of this thrice-famed Duke.
SUFFOLK. A dreadful oath, sworn with a solemn tongue!
What instance gives Lord Warwick for his vow?
WARWICK. See how the blood is settled in his face.
Oft have I seen a timely-parted ghost,
Of ashy semblance, meagre, pale, and bloodless,
Being all descended to the labouring heart,
Who, in the conflict that it holds with death,
Attracts the same for aidance 'gainst the enemy,
Which with the heart there cools, and ne'er returneth
To blush and beautify the cheek again.
But see, his face is black and full of blood;
His eye-balls further out than when he liv'd,
Staring full ghastly like a strangled man;
His hair uprear'd, his nostrils stretch'd with struggling;
His hands abroad display'd, as one that grasp'd
And tugg'd for life, and was by strength subdu'd.
Look, on the sheets his hair, you see, is sticking;
His well-proportion'd beard made rough and rugged,
Like to the summer's corn by tempest lodged.
It cannot be but he was murd'red here:
The least of all these signs were probable.
SUFFOLK. Why, Warwick, who should do the Duke to death?
Myself and Beaufort had him in protection;
And we, I hope, sir, are no murderers.
WARWICK. But both of you were vow'd Duke Humphrey's foes;
And you, forsooth, had the good Duke to keep.
'Tis like you would not feast him like a friend;
And 'tis well seen he found an enemy.
QUEEN. Then you, belike, suspect these noblemen
As guilty of Duke Humphrey's timeless death.
WARWICK. Who finds the heifer dead and bleeding fresh,
And sees fast by a butcher with an axe,
But will suspect 'twas he that made the slaughter?
Who finds the partridge in the puttock's nest
But may imagine how the bird was dead,
Although the kite soar with unbloodied beak?
Even so suspicious is this tragedy.
QUEEN. Are you the butcher, Suffolk? Where's your knife?
Is Beaufort term'd a kite? Where are his talons?
SUFFOLK. I wear no knife to slaughter sleeping men;
But here's a vengeful sword, rusted with ease,
That shall be scoured in his rancorous heart
That slanders me with murder's crimson badge.
Say if thou dar'st, proud Lord of Warwickshire,
That I am faulty in Duke Humphrey's death.
Exeunt CARDINAL, SOMERSET, and others
WARWICK. What dares not Warwick, if false Suffolk dare him?
QUEEN. He dares not calm his contumelious spirit,
Nor cease to be an arrogant controller,
Though Suffolk dare him twenty thousand times.
WARWICK. Madam, be still- with reverence may I say;
For every word you speak in his behalf
Is slander to your royal dignity.
SUFFOLK. Blunt-witted lord, ignoble in demeanour,
If ever lady wrong'd her lord so much,
Thy mother took into her blameful bed
Some stern untutor'd churl, and noble stock
Was graft with crab-tree slip, whose fruit thou art,
And never of the Nevils' noble race.
WARWICK. But that the guilt of murder bucklers thee,
And I should rob the deathsman of his fee,
Quitting thee thereby of ten thousand shames,
And that my sovereign's presence makes me mild,
I would, false murd'rous coward, on thy knee
Make thee beg pardon for thy passed speech
And say it was thy mother that thou meant'st,
That thou thyself was born in bastardy;
And, after all this fearful homage done,
Give thee thy hire and send thy soul to hell,
Pernicious blood-sucker of sleeping men.
SUFFOLK. Thou shalt be waking while I shed thy blood,
If from this presence thou dar'st go with me.
WARWICK. Away even now, or I will drag thee hence.
Unworthy though thou art, I'll cope with thee,
And do some service to Duke Humphrey's ghost.
Exeunt SUFFOLK and WARWICK
KING HENRY. What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted?
Thrice is he arm'd that hath his quarrel just;
And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel,
Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.
[A noise within]
QUEEN. What noise is this?
Re-enter SUFFOLK and WARWICK, with their weapons drawn
KING. Why, how now, lords, your wrathful weapons drawn
Here in our presence! Dare you be so bold?
Why, what tumultuous clamour have we here?
SUFFOLK. The trait'rous Warwick, with the men of Bury,
Set all upon me, mighty sovereign.
SALISBURY. [To the Commons within] Sirs, stand apart, the King
shall know your mind.
Dread lord, the commons send you word by me
Unless Lord Suffolk straight be done to death,
Or banished fair England's territories,
They will by violence tear him from your palace
And torture him with grievous ling'ring death.
They say by him the good Duke Humphrey died;
They say in him they fear your Highness' death;
And mere instinct of love and loyalty,
Free from a stubborn opposite intent,
As being thought to contradict your liking,
Makes them thus forward in his banishment.
They say, in care of your most royal person,
That if your Highness should intend to sleep
And charge that no man should disturb your rest,
In pain of your dislike or pain of death,
Yet, notwithstanding such a strait edict,
Were there a serpent seen with forked tongue
That slily glided towards your Majesty,
It were but necessary you were wak'd,
Lest, being suffer'd in that harmful slumber,
The mortal worm might make the sleep eternal.
And therefore do they cry, though you forbid,
That they will guard you, whe'er you will or no,
From such fell serpents as false Suffolk is;
With whose envenomed and fatal sting
Your loving uncle, twenty times his worth,
They say, is shamefully bereft of life.
COMMONS. [Within] An answer from the King, my Lord of
SUFFOLK. 'Tis like the commons, rude unpolish'd hinds,
Could send such message to their sovereign;
But you, my lord, were glad to be employ'd,
To show how quaint an orator you are.
But all the honour Salisbury hath won
Is that he was the lord ambassador
Sent from a sort of tinkers to the King.
COMMONS. [Within] An answer from the King, or we will all break
KING HENRY. Go, Salisbury, and tell them all from me
I thank them for their tender loving care;
And had I not been cited so by them,
Yet did I purpose as they do entreat;
For sure my thoughts do hourly prophesy
Mischance unto my state by Suffolk's means.
And therefore by His Majesty I swear,
Whose far unworthy deputy I am,
He shall not breathe infection in this air
But three days longer, on the pain of death.
QUEEN. O Henry, let me plead for gentle Suffolk!
KING HENRY. Ungentle Queen, to call him gentle Suffolk!
No more, I say; if thou dost plead for him,
Thou wilt but add increase unto my wrath.
Had I but said, I would have kept my word;
But when I swear, it is irrevocable.
If after three days' space thou here be'st found
On any ground that I am ruler of,
The world shall not be ransom for thy life.
Come, Warwick, come, good Warwick, go with me;
I have great matters to impart to thee.
Exeunt all but QUEEN and SUFFOLK
QUEEN. Mischance and sorrow go along with you!
Heart's discontent and sour affliction
Be playfellows to keep you company!
There's two of you; the devil make a third,
And threefold vengeance tend upon your steps!
SUFFOLK. Cease, gentle Queen, these execrations,
And let thy Suffolk take his heavy leave.
QUEEN. Fie, coward woman and soft-hearted wretch,
Has thou not spirit to curse thine enemy?
SUFFOLK. A plague upon them! Wherefore should I curse them?
Would curses kill as doth the mandrake's groan,
I would invent as bitter searching terms,
As curst, as harsh, and horrible to hear,
Deliver'd strongly through my fixed teeth,
With full as many signs of deadly hate,
As lean-fac'd Envy in her loathsome cave.
My tongue should stumble in mine earnest words,
Mine eyes should sparkle like the beaten flint,
Mine hair be fix'd an end, as one distract;
Ay, every joint should seem to curse and ban;
And even now my burden'd heart would break,
Should I not curse them. Poison be their drink!
Gall, worse than gall, the daintiest that they taste!
Their sweetest shade a grove of cypress trees!
Their chiefest prospect murd'ring basilisks!
Their softest touch as smart as lizards' stings!
Their music frightful as the serpent's hiss,
And boding screech-owls make the consort full!
all the foul terrors in dark-seated hell-
QUEEN. Enough, sweet Suffolk, thou torment'st thyself;
And these dread curses, like the sun 'gainst glass,
Or like an overcharged gun, recoil,
And turns the force of them upon thyself.
SUFFOLK. You bade me ban, and will you bid me leave?
Now, by the ground that I am banish'd from,
Well could I curse away a winter's night,
Though standing naked on a mountain top
Where biting cold would never let grass grow,
And think it but a minute spent in sport.
QUEEN. O, let me entreat thee cease! Give me thy hand,
That I may dew it with my mournful tears;
Nor let the rain of heaven wet this place
To wash away my woeful monuments.
O, could this kiss be printed in thy hand,
That thou might'st think upon these by the seal,
Through whom a thousand sighs are breath'd for thee!
So, get thee gone, that I may know my grief;
'Tis but surmis'd whiles thou art standing by,
As one that surfeits thinking on a want.
I will repeal thee or, be well assur'd,
Adventure to be banished myself;
And banished I am, if but from thee.
Go, speak not to me; even now be gone.
O, go not yet! Even thus two friends condemn'd
Embrace, and kiss, and take ten thousand leaves,
Loather a hundred times to part than die.
Yet now, farewell; and farewell life with thee!
SUFFOLK. Thus is poor Suffolk ten times banished,
Once by the King and three times thrice by thee,
'Tis not the land I care for, wert thou thence;
A wilderness is populous enough,
So Suffolk had thy heavenly company;
For where thou art, there is the world itself,
With every several pleasure in the world;
And where thou art not, desolation.
I can no more: Live thou to joy thy life;
Myself no joy in nought but that thou liv'st.
QUEEN. Whither goes Vaux so fast? What news, I prithee?
VAUX. To signify unto his Majesty
That Cardinal Beaufort is at point of death;
For suddenly a grievous sickness took him
That makes him gasp, and stare, and catch the air,
Blaspheming God, and cursing men on earth.
Sometime he talks as if Duke Humphrey's ghost
Were by his side; sometime he calls the King
And whispers to his pillow, as to him,
The secrets of his overcharged soul;
And I am sent to tell his Majesty
That even now he cries aloud for him.
QUEEN. Go tell this heavy message to the King. Exit VAUX
Ay me! What is this world! What news are these!
But wherefore grieve I at an hour's poor loss,
Omitting Suffolk's exile, my soul's treasure?
Why only, Suffolk, mourn I not for thee,
And with the southern clouds contend in tears-
Theirs for the earth's increase, mine for my sorrows?
Now get thee hence: the King, thou know'st, is coming;
If thou be found by me; thou art but dead.
SUFFOLK. If I depart from thee I cannot live;
And in thy sight to die, what were it else
But like a pleasant slumber in thy lap?
Here could I breathe my soul into the air,
As mild and gentle as the cradle-babe
Dying with mother's dug between its lips;
Where, from thy sight, I should be raging mad
And cry out for thee to close up mine eyes,
To have thee with thy lips to stop my mouth;
So shouldst thou either turn my flying soul,
Or I should breathe it so into thy body,
And then it liv'd in sweet Elysium.
To die by thee were but to die in jest:
From thee to die were torture more than death.
O, let me stay, befall what may befall!
QUEEN. Away! Though parting be a fretful corrosive,
It is applied to a deathful wound.
To France, sweet Suffolk. Let me hear from thee;
For whereso'er thou art in this world's globe
I'll have an Iris that shall find thee out.
SUFFOLK. I go.
QUEEN. And take my heart with thee. [She kisses him]
SUFFOLK. A jewel, lock'd into the woefull'st cask
That ever did contain a thing of worth.
Even as a splitted bark, so sunder we:
This way fall I to death.
QUEEN. This way for me. Exeunt severally
London. CARDINAL BEAUFORT'S bedchamber
Enter the KING, SALISBURY, and WARWICK, to the CARDINAL in bed
KING HENRY. How fares my lord? Speak, Beaufort, to thy
CARDINAL. If thou be'st Death I'll give thee England's
Enough to purchase such another island,
So thou wilt let me live and feel no pain.
KING HENRY. Ah, what a sign it is of evil life
Where death's approach is seen so terrible!
WARWICK. Beaufort, it is thy sovereign speaks to thee.
CARDINAL. Bring me unto my trial when you will.
Died he not in his bed? Where should he die?
Can I make men live, whe'er they will or no?
O, torture me no more! I will confess.
Alive again? Then show me where he is;
I'll give a thousand pound to look upon him.
He hath no eyes, the dust hath blinded them.
Comb down his hair; look, look! it stands upright,
Like lime-twigs set to catch my winged soul!
Give me some drink; and bid the apothecary
Bring the strong poison that I bought of him.
KING HENRY. O Thou eternal Mover of the heavens,
Look with a gentle eye upon this wretch!
O, beat away the busy meddling fiend
That lays strong siege unto this wretch's soul,
And from his bosom purge this black despair!
WARWICK. See how the pangs of death do make him grin
SALISBURY. Disturb him not, let him pass peaceably.
KING HENRY. Peace to his soul, if God's good pleasure be!
Lord Card'nal, if thou think'st on heaven's bliss,
Hold up thy hand, make signal of thy hope.
He dies, and makes no sign: O God, forgive him!
WARWICK. So bad a death argues a monstrous life.
KING HENRY. Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all.
Close up his eyes, and draw the curtain close;
And let us all to meditation. Exeunt
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ACT IV. SCENE I.
The coast of Kent
Alarum. Fight at sea. Ordnance goes off. Enter a LIEUTENANT,
a SHIPMASTER and his MATE, and WALTER WHITMORE, with sailors;
SUFFOLK and other GENTLEMEN, as prisoners
LIEUTENANT. The gaudy, blabbing, and remorseful day
Is crept into the bosom of the sea;
And now loud-howling wolves arouse the jades
That drag the tragic melancholy night;
Who with their drowsy, slow, and flagging wings
Clip dead men's graves, and from their misty jaws
Breathe foul contagious darkness in the air.
Therefore bring forth the soldiers of our prize;
For, whilst our pinnace anchors in the Downs,
Here shall they make their ransom on the sand,
Or with their blood stain this discoloured shore.
Master, this prisoner freely give I thee;
And thou that art his mate make boot of this;
The other, Walter Whitmore, is thy share.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. What is my ransom, master, let me know?
MASTER. A thousand crowns, or else lay down your head.
MATE. And so much shall you give, or off goes yours.
LIEUTENANT. 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;
The lives of those which we have lost in fight
Be counterpois'd with such a petty sum!
FIRST GENTLEMAN. I'll give it, sir: and therefore spare my
SECOND GENTLEMAN. And so will I, and write home for it
WHITMORE. 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.
LIEUTENANT. Be not so rash; take ransom, let him live.
SUFFOLK. Look on my George, I am a gentleman:
Rate me at what thou wilt, thou shalt be paid.
WHITMORE. And so am I: my name is Walter Whitmore.
How now! Why start'st thou? What, doth death affright?
SUFFOLK. Thy name affrights me, in whose sound is death.
A cunning man did calculate my birth
And told me that by water I should die;
Yet let not this make thee be bloody-minded;
Thy name is Gualtier, being rightly sounded.
WHITMORE. Gualtier 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;
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.
SUFFOLK. Stay, Whitmore, for thy prisoner is a prince,
The Duke of Suffolk, William de la Pole.
WHITMORE. The Duke of Suffolk muffled up in rags?
SUFFOLK. Ay, but these rags are no part of the Duke:
Jove sometime went disguis'd, and why not I?
LIEUTENANT. But Jove was never slain, as thou shalt be.
SUFFOLK. Obscure and lowly swain, King Henry's blood,
The honourable blood of Lancaster,
Must not be shed by such a jaded groom.
Hast thou not kiss'd thy hand and held my stirrup,
Bareheaded plodded by my foot-cloth mule,
And thought thee happy when I shook my head?
How often hast thou waited at my cup,
Fed from my trencher, kneel'd down at the board,
When I have feasted with Queen Margaret?
Remember it, and let it make thee crestfall'n,
Ay, and allay thus thy abortive pride,
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.
WHITMORE. Speak, Captain, shall I stab the forlorn swain?
LIEUTENANT. First let my words stab him, as he hath me.
SUFFOLK. Base slave, thy words are blunt, and so art thou.
LIEUTENANT. Convey him hence, and on our longboat's side
Strike off his head.
SUFFOLK. Thou dar'st not, for thy own.
LIEUTENANT. Ay, kennel, puddle, sink, whose filth and dirt
Troubles the silver spring where England drinks;
Now will I dam up this thy yawning mouth
For swallowing the treasure of the realm.
Thy lips, that kiss'd the Queen, shall sweep the ground;
And thou that smil'dst at good Duke Humphrey's death
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
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
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
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,
As hating thee, are rising up in arms;
And now the house of York- thrust from the crown
By shameful murder of a guiltless king
And lofty proud encroaching tyranny-
Burns with revenging fire, whose hopeful colours
Advance our half-fac'd sun, striving to shine,
Under the which is writ 'Invitis nubibus.'
The commons here in Kent are up in arms;
And to conclude, reproach and beggary
Is crept into the palace of our King,
And all by thee. Away! convey him hence.
SUFFOLK. O that I were a god, to shoot forth thunder
Upon these paltry, servile, abject drudges!
Small things make base men proud: this villain here,
Being captain of a pinnace, threatens more
Than Bargulus, the strong Illyrian pirate.
Drones suck not eagles' blood but rob beehives.
It is impossible that I should die
By such a lowly vassal as thyself.
Thy words move rage and not remorse in me.
I go of message from the Queen to France:
I charge thee waft me safely cross the Channel.
WHITMORE. Come, Suffolk, I must waft thee to thy death.
SUFFOLK. Gelidus timor occupat artus: it is thee I fear.
WHITMORE. Thou shalt have cause to fear before I leave thee.
What, are ye daunted now? Now will ye stoop?
FIRST GENTLEMAN. My gracious lord, entreat him, speak him fair.
SUFFOLK. Suffolk's imperial tongue is stem 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
Stoop to the block than these knees bow to any
Save to the God of heaven and to my king;
And sooner dance upon a bloody pole
Than stand uncover'd to the vulgar groom.
True nobility is exempt from fear:
More can I bear than you dare execute.
LIEUTENANT. Hale him away, and let him talk no more.
SUFFOLK. Come, soldiers, show what cruelty ye can,
That this my death may never be forgot-
Great men oft die by vile bezonians:
A Roman sworder and banditto slave
Murder'd sweet Tully; Brutus' bastard hand
Stabb'd Julius Caesar; savage islanders
Pompey the Great; and Suffolk dies by pirates.
Exit WALTER with SUFFOLK
LIEUTENANT. And as for these, whose ransom we have set,
It is our pleasure one of them depart;
Therefore come you with us, and let him go.
Exeunt all but the FIRST GENTLEMAN
Re-enter WHITMORE with SUFFOLK'S body
WHITMORE. There let his head and lifeless body lie,
Until the Queen his mistress bury it. Exit
FIRST GENTLEMAN. O barbarous and bloody spectacle!
His body will I bear unto the King.
If he revenge it not, yet will his friends;
So will the Queen, that living held him dear.
Exit with the body
Enter GEORGE BEVIS and JOHN HOLLAND
GEORGE. Come and get thee a sword, though made of a lath; they
been up these two days.
JOHN. They have the more need to sleep now, then.
GEORGE. I tell thee Jack Cade the clothier means to dress the
commonwealth, and turn it, and set a new nap upon it.
JOHN. So he had need, for 'tis threadbare. Well, I say it was
merry world in England since gentlemen came up.
GEORGE. O miserable age! Virtue is not regarded in
JOHN. The nobility think scorn to go in leather aprons.
GEORGE. Nay, more, the King's Council are no good workmen.
JOHN. True; and yet it is said 'Labour in thy vocation'; which
as much to say as 'Let the magistrates be labouring men'; and
therefore should we be magistrates.
GEORGE. Thou hast hit it; for there's no better sign of a brave
mind than a hard hand.
JOHN. I see them! I see them! There's Best's son, the tanner of
GEORGE. He shall have the skins of our enemies to make dog's
JOHN. And Dick the butcher-
GEORGE. Then is sin struck down, like an ox, and iniquity's
cut like a calf.
JOHN. And Smith the weaver-
GEORGE. Argo, their thread of life is spun.
JOHN. Come, come, let's fall in with them.
Drum. Enter CADE, DICK THE BUTCHER, SMITH
THE WEAVER, and a SAWYER, with infinite numbers
CADE. We John Cade, so term'd of our supposed father-
DICK. [Aside] Or rather, of stealing a cade of herrings.
CADE. For our enemies shall fall before us, inspired with the
spirit of putting down kings and princes- command silence.
CADE. My father was a Mortimer-
DICK. [Aside] He was an honest man and a good bricklayer.
CADE. My mother a Plantagenet-
DICK. [Aside] I knew her well; she was a midwife.
CADE. My wife descended of the Lacies-
DICK. [Aside] She was, indeed, a pedlar's daughter, and sold
SMITH. [Aside] But now of late, not able to travel with her
pack, she washes bucks here at home.
CADE. Therefore am I of an honourable house.
DICK. [Aside] Ay, by my faith, the field is honourable, and
was he born, under a hedge, for his father had never a house
CADE. Valiant I am.
SMITH. [Aside] 'A must needs; for beggary is valiant.
CADE. I am able to endure much.
DICK. [Aside] No question of that; for I have seen him whipt
market days together.
CADE. I fear neither sword nor fire.
SMITH. [Aside] He need not fear the sword, for his coat is of
DICK. [Aside] But methinks he should stand in fear of fire,
burnt i' th' hand for stealing of sheep.
CADE. Be brave, then, for your captain is brave, and vows
reformation. There shall be in England seven halfpenny loaves
sold for a penny; the three-hoop'd pot shall have ten hoops;
I will make it felony to drink small beer. All the realm
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!
CADE. I thank you, good people- there shall be no money; all
eat and drink on my score, and I will apparel them all in one
livery, that they may agree like brothers and worship me
DICK. The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
CADE. Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable thing,
of the skin of an innocent lamb should be made parchment?
parchment, being scribbl'd o'er, should undo a man? Some say
bee stings; but I say 'tis the bee's wax; for I did but seal
to a thing, and I was never mine own man since. How now!
Enter some, bringing in the CLERK OF CHATHAM
SMITH. The clerk of Chatham. He can write and read and cast
CADE. O monstrous!
SMITH. We took him setting of boys' copies.
CADE. Here's a villain!
SMITH. Has a book in his pocket with red letters in't.
CADE. Nay, then he is a conjurer.
DICK. Nay, he can make obligations and write court-hand.
CADE. I am sorry for't; the man is a proper man, of mine
unless I find him guilty, he shall not die. Come hither,
I must examine thee. What is thy name?
DICK. They use to write it on the top of letters; 'twill go
CADE. Let me alone. Dost thou use to write thy name, or hast
mark to thyself, like a honest plain-dealing man?
CLERK. Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought up that I
write my name.
ALL. He hath confess'd. Away with him! He's a villain and a
CADE. Away with him, I say! Hang him with his pen and inkhorn
his neck. Exit one with the CLERK
MICHAEL. Where's our General?
CADE. Here I am, thou particular fellow.
MICHAEL. Fly, fly, fly! Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother
hard by, with the King's forces.
CADE. Stand, villain, stand, or I'll fell thee down. He shall
encount'red with a man as good as himself. He is but a
CADE. To equal him, I will make myself a knight presently.
[Kneels] Rise up, Sir John Mortimer. [Rises] Now have at him!
Enter SIR HUMPHREY STAFFORD and WILLIAM
his brother, with drum and soldiers
STAFFORD. Rebellious hinds, the filth and scum of Kent,
Mark'd for the gallows, lay your weapons down;
Home to your cottages, forsake this groom;
The King is merciful if you revolt.
WILLIAM STAFFORD. 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;
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.
STAFFORD. Villain, thy father was a plasterer;
And thou thyself a shearman, art thou not?
CADE. And Adam was a gardener.
WILLIAM STAFFORD. And what of that?
CADE. Marry, this: Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March,
Married the Duke of Clarence' daughter, did he not?
STAFFORD. Ay, sir.
CADE. By her he had two children at one birth.
WILLIAM STAFFORD. That's false.
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,
Became a bricklayer when he came to age.
His son am I; deny it if you can.
DICK. Nay, 'tis too true; therefore he shall be king.
SMITH. Sir, he made a chimney in my father's house, and the
are alive at this day to testify it; therefore deny it not.
STAFFORD. And will you credit this base drudge's words
That speaks he knows not what?
ALL. Ay, marry, will we; therefore get ye gone.
WILLIAM STAFFORD. Jack Cade, the Duke of York hath taught you
CADE. [Aside] He lies, for I invented it myself- Go to, sirrah,
tell the King from me that for his father's sake, Henry the
Fifth, in whose time boys went to span-counter for French
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
the dukedom of Maine.
CADE. And good reason; for thereby is England main'd and fain
with a staff, but that my puissance holds it up. Fellow
tell you that that Lord Say hath gelded the commonwealth and
it an eunuch; and more than that, he can speak French, and
therefore he is a traitor.
STAFFORD. O gross and miserable ignorance!
CADE. Nay, answer if you can; the Frenchmen are our enemies. Go
then, I ask but this: can he that speaks with the tongue of
enemy be a good counsellor, or no?
ALL. No, no; and therefore we'll have his head.
WILLIAM STAFFORD. Well, seeing gentle words will not prevail,
Assail them with the army of the King.
STAFFORD. Herald, away; and throughout every town
Proclaim them traitors that are up with Cade;
That those which fly before the battle ends
May, even in their wives'and children's sight,
Be hang'd up for example at their doors.
And you that be the King's friends, follow me.
Exeunt the TWO STAFFORDS and soldiers
CADE. And you that love the commons follow me.
Now show yourselves men; 'tis for liberty.
We will not leave one lord, one gentleman;
Spare none but such as go in clouted shoon,
For they are thrifty honest men and such
As would- but that they dare not- take our parts.
DICK. They are all in order, and march toward us.
CADE. But then are we in order when we are most out of order.
march forward. Exeunt
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?
DICK. Here, sir.
CADE. They fell before thee like sheep and oxen, and thou
thyself as if thou hadst been in thine own slaughter-house;
therefore thus will I reward thee- the Lent shall be as long
again as it is, and thou shalt have a licence to kill for a
hundred lacking one.
DICK. I desire no more.
CADE. And, to speak truth, thou deserv'st no less. [Putting on
HUMPHREY'S brigandine] This monument of the victory will I
and the bodies shall be dragged at my horse heels till I do
to London, where we will have the mayor's sword borne before
DICK. If we mean to thrive and do good, break open the gaols
let out the prisoners.
CADE. Fear not that, I warrant thee. Come, let's march towards
London. The palace
Enter the KING with a supplication, and the QUEEN with SUFFOLK'S
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?
Here may his head lie on my throbbing breast;
But where's the body that I should embrace?
BUCKINGHAM. What answer makes your Grace to the rebels'
KING HENRY. 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,
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,
And could it not enforce them to relent
That were unworthy to behold the same?
KING HENRY. Lord Say, Jack Cade hath sworn to have thy head.
SAY. Ay, but I hope your Highness shall have his.
KING HENRY. How now, madam!
Still lamenting and mourning for Suffolk's death?
I fear me, love, if that I had been dead,
Thou wouldst not have mourn'd so much for me.
QUEEN. No, my love, I should not mourn, but die for thee.
Enter A MESSENGER
KING HENRY. How now! What news? Why com'st thou in such haste?
MESSENGER. The rebels are in Southwark; fly, my lord!
Jack Cade proclaims himself Lord Mortimer,
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
Of hinds and peasants, rude and merciless;
Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother's death
Hath given them heart and courage to proceed.
All scholars, lawyers, courtiers, gentlemen,
They call false caterpillars and intend their death.
KING HENRY. O graceless men! they know not what they do.
BUCKINGHAM. My gracious lord, retire to Killingworth
Until a power be rais'd to put them down.
QUEEN. Ah, were the Duke of Suffolk now alive,
These Kentish rebels would be soon appeas'd!
KING HENRY. Lord Say, the traitors hate thee;
Therefore away with us to Killingworth.
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.
Enter another MESSENGER
SECOND MESSENGER. 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
To spoil the city and your royal court.
BUCKINGHAM. Then linger not, my lord; away, take horse.
KING HENRY. Come Margaret; God, our hope, will succour us.
QUEEN. My hope is gone, now Suffolk is deceas'd.
KING HENRY. [To LORD SAY] Farewell, my lord, trust not the
BUCKINGHAM. 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
London. The Tower
Enter LORD SCALES Upon the Tower, walking. Then enter two or
SCALES. How now! Is Jack Cade slain?
FIRST CITIZEN. No, my lord, nor likely to be slain; for they
won the bridge, killing all those that withstand them.
The Lord Mayor craves 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;
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;
And so, farewell, for I must hence again. Exeunt
London. Cannon street
Enter JACK CADE and the rest, and strikes his staff on London
CADE. Now is Mortimer lord of this city. And here, sitting upon
London Stone, I charge and command that, of the city's cost,
pissing conduit run nothing but claret wine this first year
our reign. And now henceforward it shall be treason for any
calls me other than Lord Mortimer.
Enter a SOLDIER, running
SOLDIER. Jack Cade! Jack Cade!
CADE. Knock him down there. [They kill him]
SMITH. If this fellow be wise, he'll never call ye Jack Cade
I think he hath a very fair warning.
DICK. My lord, there's an army gathered together in Smithfield.
CADE. Come then, let's go fight with them. But first go and set
London Bridge on fire; and, if you can, burn down the Tower
Come, let's away. Exeunt
Alarums. MATTHEW GOFFE is slain, and all the rest. Then enter
with his company
CADE. So, sirs. Now go some and pull down the Savoy; others to
Inns of Court; down with them all.
DICK. I have a suit 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. [Aside] Mass, 'twill be sore law then; for he was thrust
the mouth with a spear, and 'tis not whole yet.
SMITH. [Aside] Nay, John, it will be stinking law; for his
stinks with eating toasted cheese.
CADE. I have thought upon it; it shall be so. Away, burn all
records of the realm. My mouth shall be the Parliament of
JOHN. [Aside] Then we are like to have biting statutes, unless
teeth be pull'd out.
CADE. And henceforward all things shall be in common.
Enter a MESSENGER
MESSENGER. My lord, a prize, a prize! Here's the Lord Say,
sold the towns in France; he that made us pay one and twenty
fifteens, and one shining 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
thou serge, nay, thou buckram lord! Now art thou within point
blank of our jurisdiction regal. What canst thou answer to my
Majesty for giving up of Normandy unto Mounsieur Basimecu the
Dauphin of France? Be it known unto thee by these presence,
the presence of Lord Mortimer, that I am the besom that must
sweep the court clean of such filth as thou art. Thou hast
traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm in erecting a
grammar school; and whereas, before, our forefathers had no
books but the score and the tally, thou hast caused printing
be us'd, and, contrary to the King, his crown, and dignity,
hast built a paper-mill. It will be proved to thy face that
hast men about thee that usually talk of a noun and a verb,
such abominable words as no Christian ear can endure to hear.
Thou hast appointed justices of peace, to call poor men
them about matters they were not able to answer. Moreover,
hast put them in prison, and because they could not read,
hast hang'd them, when, indeed, only for that cause they have
been most worthy to live. Thou dost ride in a foot-cloth,
SAY. What of that?
CADE. Marry, thou ought'st not to let thy horse wear a cloak,
honester men than thou go in their hose and doublets.
DICK. And work in their shirt too, as myself, for example, that
SAY. You men of Kent-
DICK. What say you of Kent?
SAY. Nothing but this: 'tis 'bona terra, mala gens.'
CADE. Away with him, away with him! He speaks Latin.
SAY. Hear me but speak, and bear me where you will.
Kent, in the Commentaries Caesar writ,
Is term'd the civil'st place of all this isle.
Sweet is the country, because full of riches;
The people liberal valiant, active, wealthy;
Which makes me hope you are not void of pity.
I sold not Maine, I lost not Normandy;
Yet, to recover them, would lose my life.
Justice with favour have I always done;
Pray'rs 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,
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
You cannot but forbear to murder me.
This tongue hath parley'd unto foreign kings
For your behoof.
CADE. Tut, when struck'st thou one blow in the field?
SAY. Great men have reaching hands. Oft have I struck
Those that I never saw, and struck them dead.
GEORGE. O monstrous coward! What, to come behind folks?
SAY. These cheeks are pale for watching for your good.
CADE. Give him a box o' th' ear, and that will make 'em red
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 help of
DICK. Why dost thou quiver, man?
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
Take him away, 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?
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
his life.- Away with him! He has a familiar under his tongue;
speaks not o' God's name. Go, take him away, I say, and
off his head presently, and then break into his son-in-law's
house, Sir James Cromer, and strike off his head, and bring
both upon two poles hither.
ALL. It shall be done.
SAY. Ah, countrymen! if when you make your pray'rs,
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
on his shoulders, unless he pay me tribute; there shall not a
maid be married, but she shall pay to me her maidenhead ere
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
DICK. My lord, when shall we go to Cheapside, and take up
commodities upon our bills?
CADE. Marry, presently.
ALL. O, brave!
Re-enter one with the heads
CADE. But is not this braver? Let them kiss one another, for
lov'd well when they were alive. Now part them again, lest
consult about the giving up of some more towns in France.
Soldiers, defer the spoil of the city until night; for with
borne before us instead of maces will we ride through the
streets, and at every corner have them kiss. Away! Exeunt
Alarum and retreat. Enter again CADE and all his rabblement
CADE. Up Fish Street! down Saint Magnus' Corner! Kill and knock
down! Throw them into Thames! [Sound a parley]
What noise is this I hear? Dare any be so bold to sound
or parley when I command them kill?
Enter BUCKINGHAM and old CLIFFORD, attended
BUCKINGHAM. Ay, here they be that dare and will disturb thee.
And therefore yet relent, and save my life.
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.
CLIFFORD. What say ye, countrymen? Will ye relent
And yield to mercy whilst 'tis offer'd you,
Or let a rebel lead you to your deaths?
Who loves the King, and will embrace his pardon,
Fling up his cap and say 'God save his Majesty!'
Who hateth him and honours not his father,
Henry the Fifth, that made all France to quake,
Shake 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 you needs be
hang'd with your about your necks? Hath my sword therefore
through London gates, that you should leave me at the White
in Southwark? I thought ye would never have given out these
till you had recovered your ancient freedom. But you are all
recreants and dastards, and delight to live in slavery to the
nobility. Let them break your backs with burdens, take your
houses over your heads, ravish your wives and daughters
your faces. For me, I will make shift for one; and so God's
light upon you all!
ALL. We'll follow Cade, we'll follow Cade!
CLIFFORD. 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.
Were't not a shame that whilst you live at jar
The fearful French, whom you late vanquished,
Should make a start o'er seas and vanquish you?
Methinks already in this civil broil
I see them lording it in London streets,
Crying 'Villiago!' unto all they meet.
Better ten thousand base-born Cades miscarry
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
CADE. Was ever feather so lightly blown to and fro as this
multitude? The name of Henry the Fifth hales them to an
mischiefs, and makes them leave me desolate. I see them lay
heads together to surprise me. My sword make way for me for
is no staying. In despite of the devils and hell, have
the very middest of you! and heavens and honour be witness
no want of resolution in me, but only my followers' base and
ignominious treasons, makes me betake me to my heels.
BUCKINGHAM. 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
To reconcile you all unto the King. Exeunt
Killing, worth Castle
Sound trumpets. Enter KING, QUEEN, and SOMERSET, on the terrace
KING HENRY. Was ever king that joy'd an earthly throne
And could command no more content than I?
No sooner was I crept out of my cradle
But I was made a king, at nine months old.
Was never subject long'd to be a King
As I do long and wish to be a subject.
Enter BUCKINGHAM and old CLIFFORD
BUCKINGHAM. Health and glad tidings to your Majesty!
KING HENRY. Why, Buckingham, is the traitor Cade surpris'd?
Or is he but retir'd to make him strong?
Enter, below, multitudes, with halters about their necks
CLIFFORD. He is fled, my lord, and all his powers do yield,
And humbly thus, with halters on their necks,
Expect your Highness' doom of life or death.
KING HENRY. 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!
Enter a MESSENGER
MESSENGER. Please it your Grace to be advertised
The Duke of York is newly come from Ireland
And with a puissant and a mighty power
Of gallowglasses and stout kerns
Is marching hitherward in proud array,
And still proclaimeth, as he comes along,
His arms are only to remove from thee
The Duke of Somerset, whom he terms a traitor.
KING HENRY. Thus stands my state, 'twixt Cade and York
Like to a ship that, having scap'd a tempest,
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
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.
SOMERSET. My lord,
I'll yield myself to prison willingly,
Or unto death, to do my country good.
KING HENRY. In any case be not too rough in terms,
For he is fierce and cannot brook hard language.
BUCKINGHAM. I will, my lord, and doubt not so to deal
As all things shall redound unto your good.
KING HENRY. Come, wife, let's in, and learn to govern better;
For yet may England curse my wretched reign.
Kent. Iden's garden
CADE. Fie on ambitions! Fie on myself, that have a sword and
ready to famish! These five days have I hid me in these woods
durst not peep out, for all the country is laid for me; but
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 climb'd into this garden, to see if I can eat
or pick a sallet another while, which is not amiss to cool a
man's stomach this hot weather. And I think this word
was born to do me good; for many a time, but for a sallet, my
brain-pain had been cleft with a brown bill; and many a time,
when I have been dry, and bravely marching, it hath serv'd me
instead of a quart-pot to drink in; and now the word 'sallet'
must serve me to feed on.
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 worth a monarchy.
I seek not to wax great by others' waning
Or gather wealth I care not with what envy;
Sufficeth that I have maintains my state,
And sends the poor well pleased from my gate.
CADE. Here's the lord of the soil come to seize me for a stray,
entering his fee-simple without leave. Ah, villain, thou wilt
betray me, and get a thousand crowns of the King by carrying
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,
beard thee too. Look on me well: I have eat no meat these
days, yet come thou and thy five men and if I do not leave
all as dead as a door-nail, I pray God I may never eat grass
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 words, whose greatness answers words,
Let this my sword report what speech forbears.
CADE. By my valour, the most complete champion that ever I
Steel, if thou turn the edge, or cut not out the burly bon'd
clown in chines of beef ere thou sleep in thy sheath, I
God on my knees thou mayst be turn'd to hobnails. [Here they
fight; CADE falls] O, I am slain! famine and no other hath
me. Let ten thousand devils come against me, and give me but
ten meals I have lost, and I'd defy them all. Wither, garden,
be henceforth a burying place to all that do dwell in this
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.
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 victory. Tell Kent
me she hath lost her best man, and exhort all the world to be
cowards; for I, that never feared any, am vanquished by
not by valour. [Dies]
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.
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,
Leaving thy trunk for crows to feed upon. Exit
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ACT V. SCENE I.
Fields between Dartford and Blackheath
Enter YORK, and his army of Irish, with drum and colours
YORK. From Ireland thus comes York to claim his right
And pluck the crown from feeble Henry's head:
Ring bells aloud, burn bonfires clear and bright,
To entertain great England's lawful king.
Ah, sancta majestas! who would not buy thee dear?
Let them obey that knows not how to rule;
This hand was made to handle nought but gold.
I cannot give due action to my words
Except a sword or sceptre balance it.
A sceptre shall it have, have I a soul
On which I'll toss the flower-de-luce of France.
[Aside] Whom have we here? Buckingham, to disturb me?
The King hath sent him, sure: I must dissemble.
BUCKINGHAM. York, if thou meanest well I greet thee well.
YORK. Humphrey of Buckingham, I accept thy greeting.
Art thou a messenger, or come of pleasure?
BUCKINGHAM. A messenger from Henry, our dread liege,
To know the reason of these arms in peace;
Or why thou, being a subject as I am,
Against thy oath and true allegiance sworn,
Should raise so great a power without his leave,
Or dare to bring thy force so near the court.
YORK. [Aside] Scarce can I speak, my choler is so great.
O, I could hew up rocks and fight with flint,
I am so angry at these abject terms;
And now, like Ajax Telamonius,
On sheep or oxen could I spend my fury.
I am far better born than is the King,
More like a king, more kingly in my thoughts;
But I must make fair weather yet awhile,
Till Henry be more weak and I more strong.-
Buckingham, I prithee, pardon me
That I have given no answer all this while;
My mind was troubled with deep melancholy.
The cause why I have brought this army hither
Is to remove proud Somerset from the King,
Seditious to his Grace and to the state.
BUCKINGHAM. That is too much presumption on thy part;
But if thy arms be to no other end,
The King hath yielded unto thy demand:
The Duke of Somerset is in the Tower.
YORK. Upon thine honour, is he prisoner?
BUCKINGHAM. Upon mine honour, he is prisoner.
YORK. Then, Buckingham, I do dismiss my pow'rs.
Soldiers, I thank you all; disperse yourselves;
Meet me to-morrow in Saint George's field,
You shall have pay and everything you wish.
And let my sovereign, virtuous Henry,
Command my eldest son, nay, all my sons,
As pledges of my fealty and love.
I'll send them all as willing as I live:
Lands, goods, horse, armour, anything I have,
Is his to use, so Somerset may die.
BUCKINGHAM. York, I commend this kind submission.
We twain will go into his Highness' tent.
Enter the KING, and attendants
KING HENRY. Buckingham, doth York intend no harm to us,
That thus he marcheth with thee arm in arm?
YORK. In all submission and humility
York doth present himself unto your Highness.
KING HENRY. Then what intends these forces thou dost bring?
YORK. To heave the traitor Somerset from hence,
And fight against that monstrous rebel Cade,
Who since I heard to be discomfited.
Enter IDEN, with CADE's head
IDEN. If one so rude and of so mean condition
May pass into the presence of a king,
Lo, I present your Grace a traitor's head,
The head of Cade, whom I in combat slew.
KING HENRY. The head of Cade! Great God, how just art Thou!
O, let me view his visage, being dead,
That living wrought me such exceeding trouble.
Tell me, my friend, art thou the man that slew him?
IDEN. I was, an't like your Majesty.
KING HENRY. How art thou call'd? And what is thy degree?
IDEN. Alexander Iden, that's my name;
A poor esquire of Kent that loves his king.
BUCKINGHAM. So please it you, my lord, 'twere not amiss
He were created knight for his good service.
KING HENRY. Iden, kneel down. [He kneels] Rise up a knight.
We give thee for reward a thousand marks,
And will that thou thenceforth attend on us.
IDEN. May Iden live to merit such a bounty,
And never live but true unto his liege!
Enter the QUEEN and SOMERSET
KING HENRY. See, Buckingham! Somerset comes with th' Queen:
Go, bid her hide him quickly from the Duke.
QUEEN. For thousand Yorks he shall not hide his head,
But boldly stand and front him to his face.
YORK. How now! Is Somerset at liberty?
Then, York, unloose thy long-imprisoned thoughts
And let thy tongue be equal with thy heart.
Shall I endure the sight of Somerset?
False king, why hast thou broken faith with me,
Knowing how hardly I can brook abuse?
King did I call thee? No, thou art not king;
Not fit to govern and rule multitudes,
Which dar'st not, no, nor canst not rule a traitor.
That head of thine doth not become a crown;
Thy hand is made to grasp a palmer's staff,
And not to grace an awful princely sceptre.
That gold must round engirt these brows of mine,
Whose smile and frown, like to Achilles' spear,
Is able with the change to kill and cure.
Here is a hand to hold a sceptre up,
And with the same to act controlling laws.
Give place. By heaven, thou shalt rule no more
O'er him whom heaven created for thy ruler.
SOMERSET. O monstrous traitor! I arrest thee, York,
Of capital treason 'gainst the King and crown.
Obey, audacious traitor; kneel for grace.
YORK. Wouldst have me kneel? First let me ask of these,
If they can brook I bow a knee to man.
Sirrah, call in my sons to be my bail: Exit attendant
I know, ere thy will have me go to ward,
They'll pawn their swords for my enfranchisement.
QUEEN. Call hither Clifford; bid him come amain,
To say if that the bastard boys of York
Shall be the surety for their traitor father.
YORK. O blood-bespotted Neapolitan,
Outcast of Naples, England's bloody scourge!
The sons of York, thy betters in their birth,
Shall be their father's bail; and bane to those
That for my surety will refuse the boys!
Enter EDWARD and RICHARD PLANTAGENET
See where they come: I'll warrant they'll make it good.
Enter CLIFFORD and his SON
QUEEN. And here comes Clifford to deny their bail.
CLIFFORD. Health and all happiness to my lord the King!
YORK. I thank thee, Clifford. Say, what news with thee?
Nay, do not fright us with an angry look.
We are thy sovereign, Clifford, kneel again;
For thy mistaking so, we pardon thee.
CLIFFORD. This is my King, York, I do not mistake;
But thou mistakes me much to think I do.
To Bedlam with him! Is the man grown mad?
KING HENRY. Ay, Clifford; a bedlam and ambitious humour
Makes him oppose himself against his king.
CLIFFORD. He is a traitor; let him to the Tower,
And chop away that factious pate of his.
QUEEN. He is arrested, but will not obey;
His sons, he says, shall give their words for him.
YORK. Will you not, sons?
EDWARD. Ay, noble father, if our words will serve.
RICHARD. And if words will not, then our weapons shall.
CLIFFORD. Why, what a brood of traitors have we here!
YORK. Look in a glass, and call thy image so:
I am thy king, and thou a false-heart traitor.
Call hither to the stake my two brave bears,
That with the very shaking of their chains
They may astonish these fell-lurking curs.
Bid Salisbury and Warwick come to me.
Enter the EARLS OF WARWICK and SALISBURY
CLIFFORD. Are these thy bears? We'll bait thy bears to death,
And manacle the berard in their chains,
If thou dar'st bring them to the baiting-place.
RICHARD. Oft have I seen a hot o'er weening cur
Run back and bite, because he was withheld;
Who, being suffer'd, with the bear's fell paw,
Hath clapp'd his tail between his legs and cried;
And such a piece of service will you do,
If you oppose yourselves to match Lord Warwick.
CLIFFORD. Hence, heap of wrath, foul indigested lump,
As crooked in thy manners as thy shape!
YORK. Nay, we shall heat you thoroughly anon.
CLIFFORD. Take heed, lest by your heat you burn yourselves.
KING HENRY. Why, Warwick, hath thy knee forgot to bow?
Old Salisbury, shame to thy silver hair,
Thou mad misleader of thy brainsick son!
What, wilt thou on thy death-bed play the ruffian
And seek for sorrow with thy spectacles?
O, where is faith? O, where is loyalty?
If it be banish'd from the frosty head,
Where shall it find a harbour in the earth?
Wilt thou go dig a grave to find out war
And shame thine honourable age with blood?
Why art thou old, and want'st experience?
Or wherefore dost abuse it, if thou hast it?
For shame! In duty bend thy knee to me,
That bows unto the grave with mickle age.
SALISBURY. My lord, I have considered with myself
The tide of this most renowned duke,
And in my conscience do repute his Grace
The rightful heir to England's royal seat.
KING HENRY. Hast thou not sworn allegiance unto me?
SALISBURY. I have.
KING HENRY. Canst thou dispense with heaven for such an oath?
SALISBURY. It is great sin to swear unto a sin;
But greater sin to keep a sinful oath.
Who can be bound by any solemn vow
To do a murd'rous deed, to rob a man,
To force a spotless virgin's chastity,
To reave the orphan of his patrimony,
To wring the widow from her custom'd right,
And have no other reason for this wrong
But that he was bound by a solemn oath?
QUEEN. A subtle traitor needs no sophister.
KING HENRY. Call Buckingham, and bid him arm himself.
YORK. Call Buckingham, and all the friends thou hast,
I am resolv'd for death or dignity.
CLIFFORD. The first I warrant thee, if dreams prove true.
WARWICK. You were best to go to bed and dream again
To keep thee from the tempest of the field.
CLIFFORD. I am resolv'd to bear a greater storm
Than any thou canst conjure up to-day;
And that I'll write upon thy burgonet,
Might I but know thee by thy household badge.
WARWICK. Now, by my father's badge, old Nevil's crest,
The rampant bear chain'd to the ragged staff,
This day I'll wear aloft my burgonet,
As on a mountain-top the cedar shows,
That keeps his leaves in spite of any storm,
Even to affright thee with the view thereof.
CLIFFORD. And from thy burgonet I'll rend thy bear
And tread it under foot with all contempt,
Despite the berard that protects the bear.
YOUNG CLIFFORD. And so to arms, victorious father,
To quell the rebels and their complices.
RICHARD. Fie! charity, for shame! Speak not in spite,
For you shall sup with Jesu Christ to-night.
YOUNG CLIFFORD. Foul stigmatic, that's more than thou canst
RICHARD. If not in heaven, you'll surely sup in hell.
Alarums to the battle. Enter WARWICK
WARWICK. Clifford of Cumberland, 'tis Warwick calls;
And if thou dost not hide thee from the bear,
Now, when the angry trumpet sounds alarum
And dead men's cries do fill the empty air,
Clifford, I say, come forth and fight with me.
Proud northern lord, Clifford of Cumberland,
WARWICK is hoarse with calling thee to arms.
How now, my noble lord! what, all a-foot?
YORK. The deadly-handed Clifford slew my steed;
But match to match I have encount'red him,
And made a prey for carrion kites and crows
Even of the bonny beast he lov'd so well.
Enter OLD CLIFFORD
WARWICK. Of one or both of us the time is come.
YORK. Hold, Warwick, seek thee out some other chase,
For I myself must hunt this deer to death.
WARWICK. Then, nobly, York; 'tis for a crown thou fight'st.
As I intend, Clifford, to thrive to-day,
It grieves my soul to leave thee unassail'd. Exit
CLIFFORD. What seest thou in me, York? Why dost thou pause?
YORK. With thy brave bearing should I be in love
But that thou art so fast mine enemy.
CLIFFORD. Nor should thy prowess want praise and esteem
But that 'tis shown ignobly and in treason.
YORK. So let it help me now against thy sword,
As I in justice and true right express it!
CLIFFORD. My soul and body on the action both!
YORK. A dreadful lay! Address thee instantly.
[They fight and CLIFFORD falls]
CLIFFORD. La fin couronne les oeuvres. [Dies]
YORK. Thus war hath given thee peace, for thou art still.
Peace with his soul, heaven, if it be thy will! Exit
Enter YOUNG CLIFFORD
YOUNG CLIFFORD. Shame and confusion! All is on the rout;
Fear frames disorder, and disorder wounds
Where it should guard. O war, thou son of hell,
Whom angry heavens do make their minister,
Throw in the frozen bosoms of our part
Hot coals of vengeance! Let no soldier fly.
He that is truly dedicate to war
Hath no self-love; nor he that loves himself
Hath not essentially, but by circumstance,
The name of valour. [Sees his father's body]
O, let the vile world end
And the premised flames of the last day
Knit earth and heaven together!
Now let the general trumpet blow his blast,
Particularities and petty sounds
To cease! Wast thou ordain'd, dear father,
To lose thy youth in peace and to achieve
The silver livery of advised age,
And in thy reverence and thy chair-days thus
To die in ruffian battle? Even at this sight
My heart is turn'd to stone; and while 'tis mine
It shall be stony. York not our old men spares;
No more will I their babes. Tears virginal
Shall be to me even as the dew to fire;
And beauty, that the tyrant oft reclaims,
Shall to my flaming wrath be oil and flax.
Henceforth I will not have to do with pity:
Meet I an infant of the house of York,
Into as many gobbets will I cut it
As wild Medea young Absyrtus did;
In cruelty will I seek out my fame.
Come, thou new ruin of old Clifford's house;
As did Aeneas old Anchises bear,
So bear I thee upon my manly shoulders;
But then Aeneas bare a living load,
Nothing so heavy as these woes of mine.
Exit with the body
Enter RICHARD and SOMERSET to fight. SOMERSET is killed
RICHARD. So, lie thou there;
For underneath an alehouse' paltry sign,
The Castle in Saint Albans, Somerset
Hath made the wizard famous in his death.
Sword, hold thy temper; heart, be wrathful still:
Priests pray for enemies, but princes kill. Exit
Fight. Excursions. Enter KING, QUEEN, and others
QUEEN. Away, my lord! You are slow; for shame, away!
KING HENRY. Can we outrun the heavens? Good Margaret, stay.
QUEEN. What are you made of? You'll nor fight nor fly.
Now is it manhood, wisdom, and defence,
To give the enemy way, and to secure us
By what we can, which can no more but fly.
[Alarum afar off]
If you be ta'en, we then should see the bottom
Of all our fortunes; but if we haply scape-
As well we may, if not through your neglect-
We shall to London get, where you are lov'd,
And where this breach now in our fortunes made
May readily be stopp'd.
Re-enter YOUNG CLIFFORD
YOUNG CLIFFORD. But that my heart's on future mischief set,
I would speak blasphemy ere bid you fly;
But fly you must; uncurable discomfit
Reigns in the hearts of all our present parts.
Away, for your relief! and we will live
To see their day and them our fortune give.
Away, my lord, away! Exeunt
Fields near Saint Albans
Alarum. Retreat. Enter YORK, RICHARD, WARWICK, and soldiers,
with drum and colours
YORK. Of Salisbury, who can report of him,
That winter lion, who in rage forgets
Aged contusions and all brush of time
And, like a gallant in the brow of youth,
Repairs him with occasion? This happy day
Is not itself, nor have we won one foot,
If Salisbury be lost.
RICHARD. My noble father,
Three times to-day I holp him to his horse,
Three times bestrid him, thrice I led him off,
Persuaded him from any further act;
But still where danger was, still there I met him;
And like rich hangings in a homely house,
So was his will in his old feeble body.
But, noble as he is, look where he comes.
SALISBURY. Now, by my sword, well hast thou fought to-day!
By th' mass, so did we all. I thank you, Richard:
God knows how long it is I have to live,
And it hath pleas'd Him that three times to-day
You have defended me from imminent death.
Well, lords, we have not got that which we have;
'Tis not enough our foes are this time fled,
Being opposites of such repairing nature.
YORK. I know our safety is to follow them;
For, as I hear, the King is fled to London
To call a present court of Parliament.
Let us pursue him ere the writs go forth.
What says Lord Warwick? Shall we after them?
WARWICK. After them? Nay, before them, if we can.
Now, by my faith, lords, 'twas a glorious day:
Saint Albans' battle, won by famous York,
Shall be eterniz'd in all age to come.
Sound drum and trumpets and to London all;
And more such days as these to us befall! Exeunt