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Cade. And good reason; for thereby is England maim'd, and fain to go with a staff, but that my puissance holds it up. Fellow kings, I tell you, that that lord Say hath gelded the commonwealth, and made it a eunuch; and more than that, he can speak French, and therefore he is a traitor.
Staf. O gross and miserable ignorance!
Cade. Nay, answer, if you can: the Frenchmen are our enemies: go to then, I ask but this; can he that speaks with the tongue of an enemy, be a good counsellor, or no?
All. No, no: and therefore, we'll have his head.
W. Staf. Well, seeing gentle words will not prevail, Assail them with the army of the king.
Staf. Herald, away: and, throughout every town,
Dick. They are all in order, and march towards us.
Cade. But then are we in order, when we are most out of order. Come, march forward.
SCENE III.-Another part of Blackheath.
Alarums. The two parties enter, and fight, and both the
Cade. Where's Dick, the butcher of Ashford?
Cade. They fell before thee, like sheep and oxen, and thou behavedst thyself as if thou hadst been in thine own slaughterhouse: 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 deservest no less. This monument of the victory will I bear; and the bodies shall be dragg'd at my horse' heels, till I do come to London, where we will have the mayor's sword borne before us.
Dick. If we mean to thrive and do good, break open the gaols, and let out the prisoners.
Cade. Fear not that, I warrant thee. Come, let's march towards London.
A Room in the Palace.
Enter KING HENRY, reading a supplication; the Duke of BUCKINGHAM, and LORD SAY with him: at a distance, QUEEN MARGARET, mourning over SUFFOLK's head.
Q. Mar. Oft have I heard-that grief softens the mind, And makes it fearful and degenerate;
Think therefore on revenge, and cease to weep.
Buck. What answer makes your grace to the rebel's supplication?
K. Hen. I'll send some holy bishop to entreat:
Q. Mar. Ah, barbarous villains! Hath this lovely face Ruled like a wandering planet over me:*
And could it not enforce them to relent,
That were unworthy to behold the same?
K. Hen. Lord Say, Jack Cade hath sworn to have thy head. Say. Ay, but I hope, your highness shall have his. K. Hen. How now, madam? Still Lamenting and mourning for Suffolk's death? I fear, my love, if that I had been dead,
Thou wouldst not have mourn'd so much for me.
Q. Mar. No, my love, I should not mourn, but die for thee.
Enter a MESSENGER.
K. Hen. How now! What news? Why comest thou in such haste ?
Mes. The rebels are in Southwark; Fly, my lord!
Of hinds and peasants, rude and merciless:
K. Hen. O graceless men!-They know not what they do.
Predominated irresistibly over my passions; as the planets over those born under their influence.
Q. Mar. Ah! were the duke of Suffolk now alive,
Say. So might your grace's person be in danger:
Enter another MESSENGER.
2 Mes. Jack Cade hath gotten London-bridge; the citizens Fly and forsake their houses:
The rascal people, thirsting after prey,
To spoil the city, and your royal court.
Buck. Then linger not, my lord; away, take horse!
K. Hen. Come, Margaret; God, our hope, will succour us.
Buck. Trust nobody, for fear you be betray'd. Say. The trust I have is in mine innocence, And therefore am I bold and resolute.
SCENE V-The same. The Tower.
Enter LORD SCALES, and others, on the walls. Then enter certain CITIZENS, below.
Scales. Such aid as I can spare, you shall command;
Scales. How now? Is Jack Cade slain ?
1 Cit. No, my lord, nor likely to be slain; for they have 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.
SCENE VI.-The same. Cannon Street.
Enter JACK CADE, and his followers. He strikes his staff on London-stone.
Cade. Now is Mortimer lord of this city. And here, sitting upon London-stone, I charge and command, that of the city's cost, the pissing-conduit run nothing but claret wine this first year of our reign. And now, henceforward, it shall be treason for any that calls me other than-lord Mortimer.
Enter a SOLDIER, running.
Sold. Jack Cade! Jack Cade!
Cade. Knock him down there.
[They kill him.
Smith. If this fellow be wise, he'll never call you Jack Cade more; I think, he hath a very fair warning,
Dick. My lord, there's an army gather'd together in Smithfield.
Cade. Come them, let's go fight with them: but first, go and set London-bridge on fire; and, if you can, burn down the Tower too. Come, let's away. [Exeunt.
SCENE VII.-The same.
Alarum. Enter, on one side, CADE and his company; on the other, Citizens, and the King's forces, headed by MATTHEW GOUGH. They fight; the Citizens are routed, and MATTHEW GOUGH is slain.
Cade. So, Sirs:-Now go some and pull down the Savoy; others to the 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.
John. Mass, 'twill be sore law then; for he was thrust in the mouth with a spear, and 'tis not whole yet. [Aside.
Smith. Nay, John, it will be stinking law; for his breath stinks with eating toasted cheese. [Aside. Cade. I have thought upon it, it shall be so. Away, burn all the records of the realm; my mouth shall be the parliament of England.
John. Then we are like to have biting statutes, unless his teeth be pulled out. [Aside.
Cade. And henceforward all things shall be in common.
Enter a MESSENGER.
Mes. My lord, a prize, a prize! Here's the lord Say, which sold the towns in France; he that made us pay one and twenty fifteens,* and one shilling to the pound, the last subsidy.
Enter GEORGE BEVIS, with the LORD SAY.
Cade. Well, he shall be beheaded for it ten times.-Ay, thou say, 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 monsieur Basimecu, the dauphin of France? Be it known unto thee by these presence, even the presence of lord Mortimer, that I am
* A fifteen was the fifteenth part of all the moveables, or personal property, of each subject.
† Say was a kind of serge.
the besom that must sweep the court clean of such filth as thou art. Thou hast most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm, in erecting a grammar-school: and whereas, before, our forefathers had no other books but the score and the tally, thou hast caused printing to be used; and, contrary to the king, his crown and dignity, thou hast built a paper-mill. It will be proved to thy face, that thou hast men about thee, that usually talk of a noun, and a verb; and such abominable words, as no Christian ear can endure to hear. Thou hast appointed justices of peace, to call poor men before them about matters they were not able to answer. Moreover, thou hast put them in prison; and, because they could not read, thou hast hanged them; when, indeed, only for that cause they have been most worthy to live. Thou dost ride on a foot-cloth,† dost thou not?
Say. What of that?
Cade. Marry, thou oughtest not to let thy horse wear a cloak, when honester men than thou go in their hose and doublets. Dick. And work in their shirt too; as myself, for example, that am a butcher.
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.
Cade. Tut! When struck'st thou one blow in the field?
Geo. O monstrous coward! what, to come behind folks?
I. e. they were hanged because they could not claim the benefit of the clergy.
†The housing of a horse.