Part 2 out of 3
Within the limits are appointed him.
Of late he's broke into a several,
Which doth belong to me, and there he spoils
Both corn and pasture. Two of his wild race,
Alike for stealth and covetous encroaching,
Already are removed; if he were dead,
I should not only be secure from hurt,
But with his body make a royal feast.
How say you, then; will you first hunt with us?
Faith, Lords, I like the pastime; where's the place>
Peruse this writing; it will shew you all,
And what occasion we have for the sport.
Call ye this hunting, my lords? Is this the stag
You fain would chase--Harry our dread king?
So we may make a banquet for the devil,
And in the stead of wholesome meat, prepare
A dish of poison to confound our selves.
Why so, lord Cobham? See you not our claim?
And how imperiously he holds the crown?
Besides, you know your self is in disgrace,
Held as a recreant, and pursued to death.
This will defend you from your enemies,
And stablish your religion through the land.
Notorious treason! yet I will conceal [Aside.]
My secret thoughts, to sound the depth of it.
My lord of Cambridge, I do see your claim,
And what good may redound unto the land
By prosecuting of this enterprise.
But where are the men? where's power and furniture
To order such an action? We are weak;
Harry, you know's a mighty potentate.
Tut, we are strong enough: you are beloved,
And many will be glad to follow you;
We are the like, and some will follow us.
Besides, there is hope from France: here's an ambassador
That promiseth both men and money too.
The commons likewise (as we hear) pretend
A sudden tumult; we will join with them.
Some likelihood, I must confess, to speed;
But how shall I believe this is plain truth?
You are, my lords, such men as live in Court,
And highly have been favoured of the king,
Especially lord Scroop, whom oftentimes
He maketh choice of for his bedfellow;
And you, lord Gray, are of his privy counsel:
Is not this a train to entrap my life?
Then perish may my soul! What, think you so?
We'll swear to you.
Or take the sacrament.
Nay, you are noble men, and I imagine,
As you are honorable by birth and blood,
So you will be in heart, in thought, in word.
I crave no other testimony but this:
That you would all subscribe, and set your hands
Unto this writing which you gave to me.
With all our hearts. Who hath any pen and ink?
My pocket should have one: yea, here it is.
Give it me, lord Scroop.--There is my name.
And there is my name.
Sir, let me crave,
That you would likewise write your name with theirs,
For confirmation of your master's word,
The king of France.
That will I, noble Lord.
So now this action is well knit together,
And I am for you. Where's our meeting, lords?
Here, if you please, the tenth of July next.
In Kent? agreed: now let us in to supper.
I hope your honors will not away to night.
Yes, presently; for I have far to ride,
About soliciting of other friends.
And we would not be absent from the court,
Lest thereby grow suspicion in the king.
Yet taste a cup of wine before ye go.
Not now, my lord, we thank you: so farewell.
[Exeunt all but Cobham.]
Farewell, my noble lords.--My noble lords?
My noble villains, base conspirators.
How can they look his Highness in the face,
Whom they so closely study to betray?
But I'll not sleep until I make it known.
This head shall not be burdened with such thoughts,
Nor in this heart will I conceal a deed
Of such impiety against my king.
Madam, how now?
[Enter Harpoole and the rest.]
You are welcome home, my Lord.
Why seem ye so disquiet in your looks?
What hath befallen you that disquiets your mind?
Bad news, I am afraid, touching my husband.
Madam, not so: there is your husband's pardon.
Long may ye live, each joy unto the other.
So great a kindness as i know not how
To make reply; my sense is quite confounded.
Let that alone: and madam, stay me not,
For I must back unto the court again
With all the speed I can. Harpoole, my horse.
So soon, my Lord? what, will you ride all night?
All night or day; it must be so, sweet wife.
Urge me not why or what my business is,
But get you in. Lord Powis, bear with me,
And madam, think your welcome ne'er the worse:
My house is at your use. Harpoole, away.
Shall I attend your lordship to the court?
Yes, sir; your gelding! mount you presently.
I prithee, Harpoole, look unto thy Lord.
I do not like this sudden posting back.
Some earnest business is a foot belike;
What e'er it be, pray God be his good guide.
Amen! that hath so highly us bested.
Come, madam, and my lord, we'll hope the best;
You shall not into Wales till he return.
Though great occasion be we should depart,
Yet madam will we stay to be resolved
Of this unlooked for, doubtful accident.
ACT III. SCENE II. A road near Highgate.
[Enter Murley and his men, prepared in some filthy
order for war.]
Come, my hearts of flint, modestly, decently, soberly,
and handsomely, no man afore his Leader; follow your
master, your Captain, your Knight that shall be, for the
honor of Meal-men, Millers, and Malt-men. Dunne is the
mouse. Dick and tom, for the credit of Dunstable, ding
down the enemy to morrow; ye shall not come into the
field like beggars. Where be Leonard and Laurence, my
two loaders? Lord have mercy upon us, what a world is
this? I would give a couple of shillings for a dozen of
good feathers for ye, and forty pence for as many scarfs
to set ye out withal. Frost and snow! a man has no heart
to fight till he be brave.
Master, I hope we be no babes. For our manhood, our
bucklers and our town foot-balls can bear witness: and
this light parrel we have shall off, and we'll fight naked
afore we run away.
Nay, I am of Laurence mind for that, for he means to
leave his life behind him; he and Leonard, your two
loaders, are making their wills because they have wives.
Now we Bachelors bid our friends scramble for our
goods if we die: but, master, pray ye, let me ride upon
Meal and salt, wheat and malt, fire and tow, frost and
snow! why, Tom, thou shalt. Let me see: here are you,
William and George are with my cart, and Robin and
Hodge holding my own two horses: proper men, handsome
men, tall men, true men.
But, master, master, me thinks you are a mad man to hazard
your own person and a cart load of money too.
Yea, and, master, there's a worse matter in't. If it be as I
heard say, we go to fight against all the learned Bishops,
that should give us their blessing; and if they curse us, we
shall speed ne'er the better.
Nay, bir lady, some say the King takes their part; and, master,
dare you fight against the King?
Fie, paltry, paltry! in and out, to and fro, upon occasion; if
the King be so unwise to come there, we'll fight with him too.
What, if ye should kill the King?
Then we'll make another.
Is that all? do ye not speak treason?
If we do, who dare trip us? we come to fight for our conscience,
and for honor. Little know you what is in my bosom; look here,
mad knaves, a pair of gilt spurs.
A pair of golden spurs? Why do you not put them on your
heels? Your bosom's no place for spurs.
Be't more or less upon occasion, Lord have mercy upon us,
Tom, th'art a fool, and thou speakest treason to knighthood.
Dare any wear golden or silver spurs till he be a knight? No,
I shall be knighted to morrow, and then they shall on. Sirs,
was it ever read in the church book of Dunstable, that ever
malt man was made knight?
No, but you are more: you are meal-man, maltman, miller,
corn-master and all.
Yea, and half a brewer too, and the devil and all for wealth.
You bring more money with you, than all the rest.
The more's my honor. I shall be a knight to morrow! Let
me spose my men: Tom upon cut, Dick upon hob, Hodge
upon Ball, Raph upon Sorell, and Robin upon the forehorse.
[Enter Acton, Bourne, and Beverly.]
Stand, who comes there?
All friends, good fellow.
Friends and fellows, indeed, sir Roger.
Why, thus you shew your self a Gentleman,
To keep your day, and come so well prepared.
Your cart stands yonder, guarded by your men,
Who tell me it is loaden with coin.
What sum is there?
Ten thousand pound, sir Roger: and modestly,
decently, soberly, and handsomely, see what I
have here against I be knighted.
Gilt spurs? tis well.
But where's your army, sir?
Dispersed in sundry villages about:
Some here with us in Highgate, some at Finchley,
Totnam, Enfield, Edmunton, Newington,
Islington, Hogsdon, Pancredge, Kensington;
Some nearer Thames, Ratcliffe, Blackwall and Bow;
But our chief strength must be the Londoners,
Which, ere the Sun to morrow shine,
Will be near fifty thousand in the field.
Mary, God dild ye, dainty my dear! but upon occasion,
sir Roger Acton, doth not the King know of it, and
gather his power against us?
No, he's secure at Eltham.
What do the Clergy?
Fear extremely, yet prepare no force.
In and out, to and fro, Bully my boikin, we shall carry
the world afore us! I vow by my worship, when I am
knighted, we'll take the King napping, if he stand on
This night we few in Highgate will repose.
With the first cock we'll rise and arm our selves,
To be in Ficket field by break of day,
And there expect our General.
Sir John Old-castle? what if he come not?
Yet our action stands.
Sir Roger Acton may supply his place.
True, Master Bourne, but who shall make me knight?
He that hath power to be our General.
Talk not of trifles; come, let's away.
Our friends of London long till it be day.
ACT III. SCENE III. A high road in Kent.
[Enter sir John of Wrotham and Doll.]
By my troth, thou art as jealous a man as lives.
Canst thou blame me, Doll? thou art my lands, my goods,
my jewels, my wealth, my purse. None walks within xl.
miles of London, but a plies thee as truly as the parish does
the poor man's box.
I am as true to thee as the stone is in the wall; and thou
knowest well enough, sir John, I was in as good doing,
when I came to thee, as any wench need to be; and therefore
thou hast tried me, that thou hast: by God's body, I will
not be kept as I have been, that I will not.
Doll, if this blade hold, there's not a peddlar walks with a
pack, but thou shalt as boldly choose of his wares, as with
thy ready money in a Merchant's shop. We'll have as good
silver as the King coins any.
What, is all the gold spent you took the last day from the
Tis gone, Doll, tis flown; merely come, merely gone: he
comes a horse back that much pay for all. We'll have as
good meat as money can get, and as good gowns as can be
bought for gold. Be merry, wench, the malt-man comes on
You might have left me at Cobham, until you had been
better provided for.
No, sweet Doll, no: I do not like that. Yond old ruffian is
not for the priest: I do not like a new clerk should come in
the old belfry.
Ah, thou art a mad priest, yfaith.
Come, Doll; I'll see thee safe at some alehouse here at Cray,
and the next sheep that comes shall leave his fleece.
ACT III. SCENE IV. Blackheath.
[Enter the King, Suffolk and Butler.]
[In great haste.] My lord of Suffolk, post away for life,
And let our forces of such horse and foot,
As can be gathered up by any means,
Make speedy rendezvous in Tuttle fields.
It must be done this evening, my Lord;
This night the rebels mean to draw to head
Near Islington, which if your speed prevent not,
If once they should unite their several forces,
Their power is almost thought invincible.
Away, my Lord; I will be with you soon.
I go, my Sovereign, with all happy speed.
Make haste, my lord of Suffolk, as you love us.
Butler, post you to London with all speed;
Command the Mayor and shrieves, on their allegiance,
The city gates be presently shut up
And guarded with a strong sufficient watch,
And not a man be suffered to pass
Without a special warrant from our self.
Command the Postern by the Tower be kept,
And proclamation, on the pain of death,
That not a citizen stir from his doors,
Except such as the Mayor and Shrieves shall choose
For their own guard and safety of their persons.
Butler, away; have care unto my charge.
I go, my Sovereign.
Go down by Greenwich, and command a boat
At the Friar's bridge attend my coming down.
I will, my Lord.
It's time, I think, to look unto rebellion,
When Acton doth expect unto his aid
No less than fifty thousand Londoners.
Well, I'll to Westminster in this disguise,
To hear what news is stirring in these brawls.
[Enter sir John and Doll.]
Stand, true-man! says a thief.
Stand, thief! says a true man. How if a thief?
Stand, thief, too.
Then, thief or true-man, I see I must stand. I see,
how soever the world wags, the trade of thieving yet
will never down. What art thou?
A good fellow.
So am I too. I see thou dost know me.
If thou be a good fellow, play the good fellow's part:
deliver thy purse without more ado.
I have no money.
I must make you find some before we part. If you have
no money, you shall have war: as many sound dry blows
as your skin can carry.
Is that the plain truth?
Sirra, no more ado; come, come, give me the money you
have. Dispatch, I cannot stand all day.
Well, if thou wilt needs have it, there tis: just the proverb,
one thief robs another. Where the devil are all my old
thieves, that were wont to keep this walk? Falstaff, the
villain, is so fat, he cannot get on's horse, but me thinks
Poines and Peto should be stirring here about.
How much is there on't, of thy word?
A hundred pound in Angels, on my word.
The time has been I would have done as much
For thee, if thou hadst past this way, as I have now.
Sirra, what art thou? thou seem'st a gentleman.
I am no less; yet a poor one now, for thou hast all my money.
>From whence cam'st thou?
>From the court at Eltham.
Art thou one of the King's servants?
Yes, that I am, and one of his chamber.
I am glad thou art no worse; thou mayest the better spare thy
money: & thinkst thou thou mightst get a poor thief his
pardon, if he should have need.
Yes, that I can.
Wilt thou do so much for me, when I shall have occasion?
Yes, faith will I, so it be for no murther.
Nay, I am a pitiful thief; all the hurt I do a man, I take but
his purse; I'll kill no man.
Then, of my word, I'll do it.
Give me thy hand of the same.
Me thinks the King should be good to thieves, because he has
been a thief himself, though I think now he be turned true-man.
Faith, I have heard indeed he has had an ill name that way in
his youth; but how canst thou tell he has been a thief?
How? Because he once robbed me before I fell to the trade
my self; when that foul villainous guts, that led him to all
that rogery, was in's company there, that Falstaff.
[Aside.] Well, if he did rob thee then, thou art but even with
him now, I'll be sworn.--Thou knowest not the king now, I
think, if thou sawest him?
Not I, yfaith.
[Aside.] So it should seem.
Well, if old King Henry had lived, this King that is now had
made thieving the best trade in England.
Because he was the chief warden of our company. It's pity
that e'er he should have been a King; he was so brave a
thief. But, sirra, wilt remember my pardon if need be?
Yes, faith, will I.
Wilt thou? well then, because thou shalt go safe--for thou
mayest hap (being so early) be met with again before thou
come to Southwark--if any man, when he should bid thee
good morrow, bid thee stand, say thou but Sir John, and he
will let thee pass.
Is that the word? well, then, let me alone.
Nay, sirra, because I think indeed I shall have some occasion
to use thee, & as thou comest oft this way, I may light on thee
another time not knowing thee, here! I'll break this Angel.
Take thou half of it; this is a token betwixt thee and me.
God have mercy; farewell.
O my fine golden slaves! here's for thee, wench, yfaith. Now,
Doll, we will revel in our bower! this is a tithe pig of my
vicarage. God have mercy, neighbour Shooters hill; you paid
your tithe honestly. Well, I hear there is a company of rebels
up against the King, got together in Ficket field near Holborne,
and as it is thought here in Kent, the King will be there to
night in's own person; well, I'll to the King's camp, and it
shall go hard, but, if there be any doings, I'll make some good
boot amongst them.
ACT IV. SCENE I. A field near London. King Henry's camp.
[Enter King Henry, Suffolk, Huntington, and two with lights.]
My lords of Suffolk and of Huntington,
Who scouts it now? or who stands Sentinels?
What men of worth? what Lords do walk the round?
May it please your Highness--
Peace, no more of that.
The King's asleep; wake not his majesty
With terms nor titles; he's at rest in bed.
Kings do not use to watch themselves; they sleep,
And let rebellion and conspiracy
Revel and havoc in the common wealth.--
Is London looked unto?
It is, my Lord:
Your noble Uncle Exeter is there,
Your brother Gloucester and my Lord of Warwick,
Who, with the mayor and the Aldermen,
Do guard the gates, and keep good rule within;
The Earl of Cambridge and sir Thomas Gray
Do walk the Round; Lord Scroop and Butler scout.
So, though it please your majesty to jest,
Were you in bed, well might you take your rest.
I thank ye, Lords, but you do know of old,
That I have been a perfect night-walker.
London, you say, is safely looked unto--
Alas, poor rebels, there your aid must fail--
And the Lord Cobham, sir John Old-castle,
He's quiet in Kent. Acton, ye are deceived;
Reckon again, you count without your host;
To morrow you shall give account to us.
Til when, my friends, this long cold winter's night
How can we spend? King Harry is a sleep
And all his Lords, these garments tell us so;
All friends at football, fellows all in field,
Harry, and Dick, and George. Bring us a drum;
Give us square dice, we'll keep this court of guard
For all good fellows companies that come.
Where's that mad priest ye told me was in Arms,
To fight, as well as pray, if need required?
He's in the Camp, and if he know of this,
I undertake he would not be long hence.
Trip, Dick; trip, George.
I must have the dice.
What do we play at?
[They play at dice.]
Passage, if ye please.
Set round then; so, at all.
George, you are out.
Give me the dice. I pass for twenty pound.
Here's to our lucky passage into France.
Harry, you pass indeed, for you sweep all.
A sign king Harry shall sweep all in France.
[Enter Sir John.]
Edge ye, good fellows; take a fresh gamester in.
Master Parson? We play nothing but gold.
And, fellow, I tell thee that the priest hath gold. Gold?
sblood, ye are but beggarly soldiers to me. I think I have
more gold than all you three.
It may be so, but we believe it not.
Set, priest, set. I pass for all that gold.
Ye pass, indeed.
Priest, hast thou any more?
Zounds, what a question's that?
I tell thee I have more than all you three.
At these ten Angels!
I wonder how thou comest by all this gold;
How many benefices hast thou, priest?
Yfaith, but one. Dost wonder how I come by gold? I
wonder rather how poor soldiers should have gold; for
I'll tell thee, good fellow: we have every day tithes,
offerings, christenings, weddings, burials; and you poor
snakes come seldom to a booty. I'll speak a proud word:
I have but one parsonage, Wrotham; tis better than the
Bishopric of Rochester. There's ne'er a hill, heath, nor
down in all Kent, but tis in my parish: Barham down,
Chobham down, Gad's Hill, Wrotham hill, Black heath,
Cock's heath, Birchen wood, all pay me tithe. Gold,
quoth a? ye pass not for that.
Harry, ye are out; now, parson, shake the dice.
Set, set; I'll cover ye at all. A plague on't, I am out: the
devil, and dice, and a wench, who will trust them?
Sayest thou so, priest? Set fair; at all for once.
Out, sir; pay all.
Sblood, pay me angel gold.
I'll none of your cracked French crowns nor pistolets.
Pay me fair angel gold, as I pay you.
No cracked French crowns? I hope to see more cracked
French crowns ere long.
Thou meanest of French men's crowns, when the King is
Set round, at all.
Pay all: this is some luck.
Give me the dice, tis I must shred the priest:
At all, sir John.
The devil and all is yours. At that! Sdeath, what casting
Well thrown, Harry, yfaith.
I'll cast better yet.
Then I'll be hanged. Sirra, hast thou not given thy soul to
the devil for casting?
I pass for all.
Thou passest all that e'er I played withal.
Sirra, dost thou not cog, nor foist, nor slur?
Set, parson, set; the dice die in my hand:
When parson, when? what, can ye find no more?
Already dry? wast you bragged of your store?
All's gone but that.
What? half a broken angel?
Why sir, tis gold.
Yea, and I'll cover it.
The devil do ye good on't, I am blind, ye have blown me up.
Nay, tarry, priest; ye shall not leave us yet.
Do not these pieces fit each other well?
What if they do?
Thereby begins a tale:
There was a thief, in face much like Sir John--
But twas not he, that thief was all in green--
Met me last day at Black Heath, near the park,
With him a woman. I was all alone
And weaponless, my boy had all my tools,
And was before providing me a boat.
Short tale to make, sir John--the thief, I mean--
Took a just hundreth pound in gold from me.
I stormed at it, and swore to be revenged
If e'er we met. He, like a lusty thief,
Brake with his teeth this Angel just in two
To be a token at our meeting next,
Provided I should charge no Officer
To apprehend him, but at weapon's point
Recover that and what he had beside.
Well met, sir John; betake ye to your tools
By torch light, for, master parson, you are he
That had my gold.
Zounds, I won 't in play, in fair square play, of the
keeper of Eltham park; and that I will maintain with
this poor whinyard, be you two honest men to stand
and look upon's, and let's alone, and take neither part.
Agreed! I charge ye do not budget a foot.
Sir John, have at ye.
Soldier, ware your sconce.
[Here, as they are ready to strike, enter Butler and draws
his weapon and steps betwixt them.]
Hold, villains, hold! my Lords, what do you mean,
To see a traitor draw against the King?
The King! God's will, I am in a proper pickle.
Butler, what news? why dost thou trouble us?
Please it your Highness, it is break of day,
And as I scouted near to Islington,
The gray eyed morning gave me glimmering
Of armed men coming down Highgate hill,
Who by their course are coasting hitherward.
Let us withdraw, my Lords. Prepare our troops
To charge the rebels, if there be such cause.
For this lewd priest, this devilish hypocrite,
That is a thief, a gamester, and what not,
Let him be hanged up for example sake.
Not so my gracious sovereign. I confess that I am
a frail man, flesh and blood as other are: but, set my
imperfections aside, by this light, ye have not a taller
man, nor a truer subject to the Crown and State, than
Sir John of Wrotham.
Will a true subject rob his King?
Alas, twas ignorance and want, my gracious liege.
Twas want of grace. Why, you should be as salt
To season others with good document,
Your lives as lamps to give the people light,
As shepherds, not as wolves to spoil the flock.
Go hang him, Butler.
Didst thou not rob me?
I must confess I saw some of your gold. But, my dread
Lord, I am in no humor for death; therefore, save my life.
God will that sinners live; do not you cause me die. Once
in their lives the best may go astray, and if the world say
true, your self (my liege) have been a thief.
I confess I have,
But I repent and have reclaimed my self.
So will I do, if you will give me time.
Wilt thou? My lords, will you be his sureties?
That when he robs again, he shall be hanged.
I ask no more.
And we will grant thee that.
Live and repent, and prove an honest man,
Which when I hear, and safe return from France,
I'll give thee living: till then take thy gold;
But spend it better than at cards or wine,
For better virtues fit that coat of thine.
Vivat Rex & curat lex! My liege, if ye have cause
of battle, ye shall see Sir John of Wrotham bestir
himself in your quarrel.
ACT IV. SCENE II. A field of Battle near London.
[After an alarum enter Harry, Suffolk, Huntington,
Sir John, bringing forth Acton, Beverley, and Murley
Bring in those traitors, whose aspiring minds
Thought to have triumpht in our overthrow.
But now ye see, base villains, what success
Attends ill actions wrongfully attempted.
Sir Roger Acton, thou retainst the name
Of knight, and shouldst be more discreetly tempered,
Than join with peasants: gentry is divine,
But thou hast made it more than popular.
Pardon, my Lord; my conscience urged me to it.
Thy conscience? then thy conscience is corrupt,
For in thy conscience thou art bound to us,
And in thy conscience thou shouldst love thy country;
Else what's the difference twixt a Christian
And the uncivil manners of the Turk?
We meant no hurt unto your majesty,
But reformation of Religion.
Reform Religion? was it that ye sought?
I pray who gave you that authority?
Belike, then, we do hold the scepter up
And sit within the throne but for a cipher.
Time was, good subjects would make known their grief
And pray amendment, not enforce the same,
Unless their King were tyrant, which I hope
You cannot justly say that Harry is.
What is that other?
A malt-man, my Lord,
And dwelling in Dunstable as he says.
Sirra, what made you leave your barley broth,
To come in armour thus against your King?
Fie, paltry, paltry; to and fro, in and out upon occasion;
what a world's this! Knight-hood (my liege) twas
knight-hood brought me hither. They told me I had
wealth enough to make my wife a lady.
And so you brought those horses which we saw,
Trapped all in costly furniture, and meant
To wear these spurs when you were knighted once?
In and out upon occasion, I did.
In and out upon occasion, therefore,
You shall be handed, and in the stead of wearing
These spurs upon your heels, about your neck
They shall bewray your folly to the world.
In and out upon occasion, that goes hard.
Fie, paltry, paltry, to and fro; good my liege, a
pardon. I am sorry for my fault.
That comes too late: but tell me, went there none
Beside sir Roger Acton, upon whom
You did depend to be your governour?
None, none, my Lord, but sir John Old-castle.
Bears he part in this conspiracy?
We looked, my Lord, that he would meet us here.
But did he promise you that he would come?
Such letters we received forth of Kent.
Where is my Lord the King?--Health to your grace.
Examining, my Lord, some of these caitive rebels,
It is a general voice amongst them all,
That they had never come unto this place,
But to have met their valiant general,
The good Lord Cobham, as they title him:
Whereby, my Lord, your grace may now perceive,
His treason is apparent, which before
He sought to colour by his flattery.
Now, by my royalty, I would have sworn
But for his conscience, which I bear withal,
There had not lived a more true hearted subject.
It is but counterfeit, my gracious lord,
And therefore, may it please your majesty
To set your hand unto this precept here,
By which we'll cause him forthwith to appear,
And answer this by order of the law.
Bishop, not only that, but take commission
To search, attach, imprison, and condemn
This most notorious traitor as you please.
It shall be done, my Lord, without delay.--
So now I hold, Lord Cobham, in my hand,
That which shall finish thy disdained life.
I think the iron age begins but now,
(Which learned poets have so often taught)
Wherein there is no credit to be given,
To either words, or looks, or solemn oaths.
For if there were, how often hath he sworn,
How gently tuned the music of his tongue,
And with what amiable face beheld he me,
When all, God knows, was but hypocricy.
Long life and prosperous reign unto my lord.
Ah, villain, canst thou wish prosperity,
Whose heart includeth naught but treachery?
I do arrest thee here my self, false knight,
Of treason capital against the state.
Of treason, mighty prince? your grace mistakes.
I hope it is but in the way of mirth.
Thy neck shall feel it is in earnest shortly.
Darst thou intrude into our presence, knowing
How heinously thou hast offended us?
But this is thy accustomed deceit;
Now thou perceivest thy purpose is in vain,
With some excuse or other thou wilt come,
To clear thy self of this rebellion.
Rebellion, good my Lord? I know of none.
If you deny it, here is evidence.
See you these men? you never counseled,
Nor offered them assistance in their wars?
Speak, sirs. Not one but all; I crave no favour.
Have ever I been conversant with you,
Or written letters to encourage you,
Or kindled but the least or smallest part
Of this your late unnatural rebellion?
Speak, for I dare the uttermost you can.
In and out upon occasion, I know you not.
No? didst not say that sir John Old-castle
Was one with whom you purposed to have met?
True, I did say so, but in what respect?
Because I heard it was reported so.
Was there no other argument but that?
To clear my conscience ere I die, my lord,
I must confess, we have no other ground
But only Rumor, to accuse this lord,
Which now I see was merely fabulous.
The more pernitious you to taint him then,
Whom you knew not was faulty, yea or no.
Let this, my Lord, which I present your grace,
Speak for my loyalty: read these articles,
And then give sentence of my life or death.
Earl Cambridge, Scroop, and Gray corrupted
With bribes from Charles of France, either to win
My Crown from me, or secretly contrive
My death by treason? Is this possible?
There is the platform, and their hands, my lord,
Each severally subscribed to the same.
Oh never heard of, base ingratitude!
Even those I hug within my bosom most
Are readiest evermore to sting my heart.
Pardon me, Cobham, I have done thee wrong;
Hereafter I will live to make amends.
Is, then, their time of meeting no near hand?
We'll meet with them, but little for their ease,
If God permit. Go, take these rebels hence;
Let them have martial law: but as for thee,
Friend to thy king and country, still be free.
Be it more or less, what a world is this?
Would I had continued still of the order of knaves,
And never sought knighthood, since it costs so dear.
Sir Roger, I may thank you for all.
Now tis too late to have it remedied,
I prithee, Murley, do not urge me with it.
Will you away, and make no more to do?
Fie, paltry, paltry! to and fro, as occasion serves;
If you be so hasty, take my place.
No, good sir knight, you shall begin in your hand.
I could be glad to give my betters place.
ACT IV. SCENE III. Kent. Court before lord
[Enter Bishop, lord Warden, Cromer the Shrieve,
Lady Cob, and attendants.]
I tell ye, Lady, it's not possible
But you should know where he conveys himself,
And you have hid him in some secret place.
My Lord, believe me, as I have a soul,
I know not where my lord my husband is.
Go to, go to, ye are an heretic,
And will be forced by torture to confess,
If fair means will not serve to make ye tell.
My husband is a noble gentleman,
And need not hide himself for any fact
That ere I heard of; therefore wrong him not.
Your husband is a dangerous schismatic,
Traitor to God, the King, and common wealth:
And therefore, master Croamer, shrieve of Kent,
I charge you take her to your custody,
And seize the goods of Sir John Old-castle
To the King's use. Let her go in no more,
To fetch so much as her apparel out.
There is your warrant from his majesty.
Good my Lord Bishop, pacify your wrath
Against the Lady.
Then let her confess
Where Old-castle her husband is concealed.
I dare engage mine honor and my life,
Poor gentlewoman, she is ignorant
And innocent of all his practises,
If any evil by him be practised.
If, my Lord Warden? nay, then I charge you,
That all the cinque Ports, whereof you are chief,
Be laid forthwith, that he escape us not.
Shew him his highness' warrant, Master Shrieve.
I am sorry for the noble gentleman--
[Enter Old-castle and Harpoole.]
Peace, he comes here; now do your office.
Harpoole, what business have we here in hand?
What makes the Bishop and the Sheriff here?
I fear my coming home is dangerous,
I would I had not made such haste to Cobham.
Be of good cheer, my Lord: if they be foes, we'll
scramble shrewdly with them: if they be friends,
they are welcome. One of them (my Lord Warden)
is your friend; but me thinks my lady weeps; I like
Sir John Old-castle, Lord Cobham, in the King's
majesty's name, I arrest ye of high treason.
Treason, Master Croamer?
Treason, Master Shrieve? sblood, what treason?
Harpoole, I charge thee, stir not, but be quiet still.
Do ye arrest me, Master Shrieve, for treason?
Yea, of high treason, traitor, heretic.
Defiance in his face that calls me so.
I am as true a loyal gentleman
Unto his highness as my proudest enemy.
The King shall witness my late faithful service,
For safety of his sacred majesty.
What thou art the king's hand shall testify:
Shewt him, Lord Warden.
Jesu defend me!
Is't possible your cunning could so temper
The princely disposition of his mind,
To sign the damage of a loyal subject?
Well, the best is, it bears an antedate,
Procured by my absence, and your malice,
But I, since that, have shewd my self as true
As any churchman that dare challenge me.
Let me be brought before his majesty;
If he acquit me not, then do your worst.
We are not bound to do king offices
For any traitor, schismatic, nor heretic.
The king's hand is our warrant for our work,
Who is departed on his way for France,
And at Southhampton doth repose this night.
O that it were the blessed will of God, that thou
and I were within twenty mile of it, on Salisbury
plan! I would lose my head if ever thou broughtst
thy head hither again.
My Lord Warden o' the cinque Ports, & my Lord of
Rochester, ye are joint Commissioners: favor me so much,
On my expence to bring me to the king.
What, to Southhampton?
Thither, my good Lord,
And if he do not clear me of all guilt,
And all suspicion of conspiracy,
Pawning his princely warrant for my truth:
I ask no favour, but extremest torture.
Bring me, or send me to him, good my Lord:
Good my Lord Warden, Master Shrieve, entreat.
[Here the Lord Warden, and Croamer uncover
the Bishop, and secretly whispers with him.]
Come hither, lady--nay, sweet wife, forbear
To heap one sorrow on another's neck:
Tis grief enough falsely to be accused,
And not permitted to acquit my self;
Do not thou with thy kind respective tears,
Torment thy husband's heart that bleeds for thee,
But be of comfort. God hath help in store
For those that put assured trust in him.
Dear wife, if they commit me to the Tower,
Come up to London to your sister's house:
That being near me, you may comfort me.
One solace find I settled in my soul,
That I am free from treason's very thought:
Only my conscience for the Gospel's sake
Is cause of all the troubles I sustain.
O my dear Lord, what shall betide of us?
You to the Tower, and I turned out of doors,
Our substance seized unto his highness' use,
Even to the garments longing to our backs.
Patience, good madame, things at worst will mend,
And if they do not, yet our lives may end.
Urge it no more, for if an Angel spake,
I swear by sweet saint Peter's blessed keys,
First goes he to the Tower, then to the stake.
But by your leave, this warrant doth not stretch
To imprison her.
No, turn her out of doors,
[Lord Warden and Old-castle whisper.]
Even as she is, and lead him to the Tower,
With guard enough for fear of rescuing.
O, God requite thee, thou blood-thirsty man.
May it not be, my Lord of Rochester?
Wherein have I incurred your hate so far,
That my appeal unto the King's denied?
No hate of mine, but power of holy church,
Forbids all favor to false heretics.
Your private malice, more than public power,
Strikes most at me, but with my life it ends.
O that I had the Bishop in that fear,
That once I had his Sumner by our selves!
My Lord, yet grant one suit unto us all,
That this same ancient serving man may wait
Upon my lord his master in the Tower.
This old iniquity, this heretic?
That, in contempt of our church discipline,
Compelled my Sumner to devour his process!
Old Ruffian past-grace, upstart schismatic,
Had not the King prayed us to pardon ye,
Ye had fried for it, ye grizzled heretic.
Sblood, my lord Bishop, ye do me wrong. I am
neither heretic nor puritan, but of the old church:
I'll swear, drink ale, kiss a wench, go to mass, eat
fish all Lent, and fast Fridays with cakes and wine,
fruit and spicery, shrive me of my old sins afore
Easter, and begin new afore whitsontide.
A merry, mad, conceited knave, my lord.
That knave was simply put upon the Bishop.
Well, God forgive him and I pardon him.
Let him attend his master in the Tower,
For I in charity wish his soul no hurt.
God bless my soul from such cold charity!
Too th' Tower with him, and when my leisure serves,
I will examine him of Articles.
Look, my lord Warden, as you have in charge,
The Shrive perform his office.
Yes, my lord.
[Enter the Sumner with books.]
What bringst thou there? what, books of heresy?
Yea, my lord, here's not a latin book, no, not so much
as our lady's Psalter. Here's the Bible, the testament,
the Psalms in meter, the sickman's salve, the treasure of
gladness, and all in English, not so much but the Almanac's
Away with them, to the fire with them, Clun!
Now fie upon these upstart heretics.
All English! burn them, burn them quickly, Clun!
But do not, Sumner, as you'll answer it, for I have there
English books, my lord, that I'll not part with for your
Bishopric: Bevis of Hampton, Owlglass, the Friar and
the Boy, Eleanor Rumming, Robin hood, and other such
godly stories, which if ye burn, by this flesh, I'll make ye
drink their ashes in Saint Marget's ale.
ACT IV. SCENE IV. The entrance of the Tower.
[Enter Bishop of Rochester with his men in livery coats.]
Is it your honor's pleasure we shall stay,
Or come back in the afternoon to fetch you?
Now you have brought me here into the Tower,
You may go back unto the Porters Lodge,
And send for drink or such things as you want,
Where if I have occasion to employ you,
I'll send some officer to call you to me.
Into the city go not, I command you:
Perhaps I may have present need to use you.
We will attend your worship here without.
Do so, I pray you.
Come, we may have a quart of wine at the Rose at
Barking, I warrant you, and come back an hour before
he be ready to go.
We must hie us then.
Ho, Master Lieutenant.
Who calls there?
A friend of yours.
My lord of Rochester! your honor's welcome.
Sir, here's my warrant from the Counsel,
For conference with sir John Old-castle,
Upon some matter of great consequence.
Ho, sir John!
Who calls there?
Harpoole, tell Sir John, that my lord of Rochester
Comes from the counsel to confer with him.
I will, sir.
I think you may as safe without suspicion,
As any man in England, as I hear,
For it was you most labored his commitment.
I did, sir, and nothing repent it, I assure you.
[Enter sir John Old-castle and Harpoole.]
Master Leiftenant, I pray you give us leave,
I must confer here with sir John a little.
With all my heart, my lord.
[Aside.] My lord, be ruled by me: take this occasion
while tis offered, and on my life your lordship shall
No more, I say; peace, lest he should suspect it.
Sir John, I am come unto you from the lords of his
highness' most honorable counsel, to know if yet you
do recant your errors, conforming you unto the holy
My lord of Rochester, on good advise,
I see my error, but yet, understand me,
I mean not error in the faith I hold,
But error in submitting to your pleasure;
Therefore, your lordship, without more to do,
Must be a means to help me to escape.
What means, thou heretic?
Darst thou but lift thy hand against my calling?
No, not to hurt you for a thousand pound.
Nothing but to borrow your upper garments a little;
not a word more, for if you do, you die: peace, for
waking the children. There; put them on; dispatch, my
lord. The window that goes out into the leads is sure
enough, I told you that before: there, make you ready;
I'll convey him after, and bind him surely in the inner
[Carries the bishop into the Tower, and returns.]
This is well begun; God send us happy speed,
Hard shift you see men make in time of need, Harpoole.
[Puts on the bishop's cloak.]
Here my Lord; come, come away.
[Enter serving men again.]
I marvel that my lord should stay so long.
He hath sent to seek us, I dare lay my life.
We come in good time; see, where he is coming.
I beseech you, good my lord of Rochester, be favourable
to my lord and master.
The inner rooms be very hot and close,
I do not like this air here in the Tower.
His case is hard my lord.--You shall safely get out of the
Tower; but I will down upon them, in which time get
Fellow, thou troublest me.
Hear me, my Lord!--Hard under Islington wait you my
coming; I will bring my Lady, ready with horses to convey
Fellow, go back again unto thy Lord and counsel him.
Nay, my good lord of Rochester, I'll bring you to Saint
Albans through the woods, I warrant you.
Nay, since I am past the Tower's liberty, thou part'st not so.
Clubs, clubs, clubs!
Murther, murther, murther!
Down with him!
A villain traitor!
You cowardly rogues!
[Sir John escapes.]
[Enter Lieutenant and his men.]
Who is so bold as dare to draw a sword,
So near unto the entrance of the Tower?
This ruffian, servant to sir John Old-castle,
Was like to have slain my Lord.
Lay hold on him.
Stand off, if you love your puddings.
[Rochester calls within.]
Help, help, help! Master Lieutenant, help!
Who's that within? some treason in the Tower
Upon my life. Look in; who's that which calls?
[Enter Rochester bound.]
Without your cloak, my lord of Rochester?
There, now it works, then let me speed, for now
Is the fittest time for me to scape away.
Why do you look so ghastly and affrighted?
Old-castle, that traitor, and his man,
When you had left me to confer with him,
Took, bound, and stript me, as you see,
And left me lying in his inner chamber,
And so departed, and I--
And you? ne'er say that the Lord Cobham's man
Did here set upon you like to murther you.
And so he did.
It was upon his master then he did,
That in the brawl the traitor might escape.
Where is this Harpoole?
Here he was even now.
Where? can you tell?
They are both escaped.
Since it so happens that he is escaped,
I am glad you are a witness of the same,
It might have else been laid unto my charge,
That I had been consenting to the fact.
Come, search shall be made for him with expedition,
The havens laid that he shall not escape,
And hue and cry continue through England,
To find this damned, dangerous heretic.
ACT V. SCENE I. A room in lord Cobham's house
[Enter Cambridge, Scroop, and Gray, as in a chamber, and
set down at a table, consulting about their treason: King
Harry and Suffolk listening at the door.]
In mine opinion, Scroop hath well advised,
Poison will be the only aptest mean,
And fittest for our purpose to dispatch him.
But yet there may be doubt in their delivery.
Harry is wise; therefore, Earl of Cambridge,
I judge that way not so convenient.
What think ye then of this? I am his bedfellow,
And unsuspected nightly sleep with him.
What if I venture in those silent hours,
When sleep hath sealed up all mortal eyes,
To murder him in bed? how like ye that?
Herein consists no safety for your self,
And, you disclosed, what shall become of us?
But this day (as ye know) he will aboard--
The winds so fair--and set away for France.
If, as he goes, or entering in the ship,
It might be done, then it were excellent.
Why any of these, or, if you will, I'll cause
A present sitting of the Counsel, wherein
I will pretend some matter of such weight
As needs must have his royal company,
And so dispatch him in the Counsel chamber.
Tush, yet I hear not any thing to purpose.
I wonder that lord Cobham stays so long;
His counsel in this case would much avail us.
[They rise from the table, and the King steps in
to them, with his Lords.]
What, shall we rise thus, and determine nothing?
That were a shame indeed; no, sit again,
And you shall have my counsel in this case.
If you can find no way to kill this King,
Then you shall see how I can further ye:
Scroop's way of poison was indifferent,
But yet, being bed-fellow unto the King,
And unsuspected sleeping in his bosom,
In mine opinion, that's the likelier way,
For such false friends are able to do much,
And silent night is Treason's fittest friend.
Now, Cambridge, in his setting hence for France,
Or by the way, or as he goes abroad,
To do the deed, what was indifferent too,
Yet somewhat doubtful, might I speak my mind.
For many reasons needless now to urge.
Mary, Lord Gray came something near the point:
To have the King at counsel, and there murder him,
As Caesar was, amongst his dearest friends:
None like to that, if all were of his mind.
Tell me, oh tell me, you, bright honor's stains,
For which of all my kindnesses to you,
Are ye become thus traitors to your king,
And France must have the spoil of harry's life?
Oh pardon us, dread lord.
How, pardon ye? that were a sin indeed.
Drag them to death, which justly they deserve,
[They lead them away.]
And France shall dearly buy this villainy,
So soon as we set footing on her breast.
God have the praise for our deliverance;
And next, our thanks, Lord Cobham, is to thee,
True perfect mirror of nobility.
ACT V. SCENE II. A high road near St. Albans.
[Enter Priest and Doll.]
Come, Doll, come; be merry, wench.
Farewell, Kent, we are not fond for thee.
Be lusty, my lass, come, for Lancashire,
We must nip the Boung for these crowns.
Why, is all the gold spent already that you had the
Gone, Doll, gone; flown, spent, vanished: the devil,
drink and the dice has devoured all.
You might have left me in Kent, that you might, until
you had been better provided, I could have stayed at
No, Doll, no, I'll none of that; Kent's too hot, Doll,
Kent's too hot. The weathercock of Wrotham will
crow no longer: we have pluckt him, he has lost
his feathers; I have pruned him bare, left him thrice;
is moulted, is moulted, wench.
Faith, sir John, I might have gone to service again;
old master Harpoole told me he would provide me a
Peace, Doll, peace. Come, mad wench, I'll make thee
an honest woman; we'll into Lancashire to our friends:
the troth is, I'll marry thee. We want but a little money
to buy us a horse, and to spend by the way; the next