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The History of Sir John Oldcastle (Folio 3, 1664)


1
The History of Sir John Oldcastle,
the good Lord Cobham.
THE PROLOGUE
THe doubfull Title (Gentlemen) prefixt
5Upon the Argument we have in hand,
May breed suspence, and wrongfully disturb
The peacefull quiet of your setled thoughts:
To stop which scruple, let this brief suffice.
It is no pamper'd Glutton we present,
10Nor aged Counsellor to youthfull sin;
But one, whose vertue shone above the rest,
A valiant Martyr, and a vertuous Peer,
In whose true faith and loyalty exprest
Unto his Soveraigne, and his Countries weal:
15We strive to pay that tribute of our love
Your favours merit: Let fair truth be grac'd,
Since forg'd invention former time defac'd.
Sheriff.
My Lords I charge ye in his Highness name,
20To keep the peace, you and your followers.
Her. Good M. Sheriff, look unto your self.
Pow. Do so, for we have other businesse.
Proffer to fight again.
Sher. Will ye disturb the Judges, and the Assize?
25Hear the King's Proclamation, ye were best.
Pow. Hold then, let's hear it.
Her. But be brief, ye were best.
Bail. O yes.
Davy. Cossone, make shorter O, or shall mar your Yes.
30Bail. O yes.
Owyn. What, has her nothing to say, but O yes?
Bay. O yes.
Da. O nay, py coss plut, down with her, down with her.
A Powesse, a Powesse.
35Gough. A Herbert, a Herbert, and down with Powesse.
Helter skelter again.
Sher. Hold in the King's name, hold.
Owyn. Down with a kanaves name, down.
In this fight the Bailiff is knock'd down, and the Sheriff
40and the other run away.
Her. Powesse, I think thy welsh and thou do smart.
Pow. Herbert, I think my sword came near thy heart.
Her. Thy hearts best bloud shall pay the loss of mine.
Gough. A Herbert, a Herbert.
45Davy. A Powesse, a Powesse.
As they are fighting, enter the Mayor of Hereford, his
Officers and Towns-men with Clubs.
Mai. My Lords, as you are Liege-men to the Crown,
True Noblemen, and subjects to the King,
50Attend his highnesse Proclamation,
Commanded by the Judges of Assize,
For keeping peace at this assembly.
Her. Good M. Maior of Hereford, be brief.
Mai. Serjeant, without the ceremonies of O yes,
55Pronounce aloud the Proclamation.
Ser. The Kings Justices, perceiving what publick mis-
chief may ensue this private quarrel: in his Majesties
name, do straightly charge and command all persons, of
what degree soever, to depart this City of Hereford, ex-
60cept such as are bound to give attendance at this Assize,
and that no man presume to wear any weapon, especially
Welsh-hooks, Forrest Bills.
Owyn. Haw? No pill nor Wells hoog? ha?
Mai. Peace, and hear the Proclamation.
65Ser. And that the Lord Powess do presently disperse
and discharge his retinue, and depart the City in the Kings
peace, he and his followers, on pain of imprisonment.
Dav. Haw? pud her Lord Pawess in prison? A Pawess
A Pawess. Cossoon, her will live and tye with her Lord.
70Gough. A Herbert, a Herbert.
In this fight the Lord Herbert is wounded, and falls to
the ground, the Maior & his company cry for clubs:
Powess runs away, Gough and Herberts faction
are busie about him. Enter the two Jud-
75ges, the Sheriff, and his Bayliffs
afore them, &c
.
1. Jud. Where's the Lord Herbert? Is he hurt or slain?
Sher. He's here, my Lord.
2. Jud. How fares his Lordship, friends?
80Gough.Mortally wounded, speechless, he cannot live.
1. Jud. Convey him hence, let not his wounds take air,
And get him drest with expedition.
Exit L. Herbert and Gough.
M. Mayor of Hereford M. Sheriff o'th'Shire,
85Commit Lord Powess to safe custody,
To answer the disturbance of the peace,
Lord Herberts peril, and his high contempt
Of us, and you the Kings Commissioners,
See it be done with care and diligence.
90Sher. Please it your Lordship, my Lord Powess is gone
Past all recovery.
2. Jud. Yet let search be made,
To apprehend his followers that are left.
Sher. These are some of them: sirs, lay hold of them.
95Owen. Of us? and why? what has her done I pray you?
Sher. Disarme them, Bailiffs.
May. Officers assist.
Davy. Hear you, Lord Shudge, what resson for this?
Owen. Cossoon, pe puse for fighting for our Lord?
1001. Jud. Away with them.
Davy. Harg you my Lord.
Owen. Gough my Lord Herberts man's a shitten kanave.
Davy. Ice live and tye in good quarrel.
Owen. Pray you do shustice, let awl be prison.
105Davy. Prison, no,
Lord Shudge, I wool give you pale, good surety.
2. Jud. What bail? what sureties?
Davy. Her Cozen ap Rice, ap Evan, ap Morice, ap
Morgan, ap Lluellyn, ap Madoc, ap Meredith, ap Griffin,
110ap Davy, ap Owen, ap Shinken Shones.
2. Jud. Two of the most sufficient are enow.
Sher. And't please your Lordship these are all but one.
1. Jud. To Jayl with them, & the Lord Herberts men,
We'll talk with them, when the Assize is done.
Exeunt.
115Riotous, audacious, and unruly Grooms,
Must we be forced to come from the Bench,
To quiet brawls, which every Constable
In other civil places can suppresse?
2. Jud. What was the quarrel that caus'd all this stir?
120Sher. About Religion as I heard, my Lord.
Lord Powess detracted from the power of Rome,
Affirming Wickliffs Doctrine to be true,
And Romes erroneus: hot reply was made
By the Lord Herbert, they were Traitors all
125That would maintain it. Powess answered,
They were as true, as noble, and as wise
As he, that would defend it with their lives,
He nam'd for instance Sir John Oldcastle
The Lord Cobham: Herbert replyed again,
130He, thou, and all are Traitors that so hold.
The lye was given, the several Factions drawn,
And so enrag'd, that we could not appease it.
1. Jud.This case concerns the Kings Prerogative,
And 'tis dangerous to the State and Common-wealth.
135Gentlemen, Justices, M. Mayor, and M. Sheriff,
It doth behoove us all, and each of us
In general and particular, to have care
For the suppressing of all mutinies,
And all assemblies, except souldiers musters,
140For the Kings preparation into France.
We hear of secret Conventicles made,
And there is doubt of some Conspiracies,
Which may break out into rebellious armes
When the King's gone, perchance before he go:
145Note as an instance, this one perillous fray,
What factions might have grown on either part,
To the destruction of the King and Realme:
Yet, in my conscience, Sir John Oldcastle's
Innocent of it, onely his name was us'd.
150We therefore from his Highnesse give this charge:
You Master Mayor, look to your Citizens,
You Master Sheriff, unto your Shire, and you
As Justices in every ones precinct
There be no meetings. When the vulgar sort
155Sit on their Ale-bench, with their cups and cans,
Matters of State be not their common talk,
Nor pure Religion by their lips prophan'd.
Let us return unto the Bench again,
And there examine further of this fray.
160
Enter a Bailiff and a Serjeant.
Sher. Sirs, have ye taken the Lord Powess yet?
Bail. No, nor heard of him.
Ser. No, he's gone far enough.
2. Jud. They that are left behind, shall answer all.
165
Exeunt.
Enter Suffolk, Bishop of Rochester, M. But-
ler, Sir John the Parson of Wrotham.
Suf. Now, my Lord Bishop, take free liberty
To speak your mind; What is your suit to us?
170Bish. My noble Lord, no more then what you know,
And have been oftentimes invested with:
Grievous complaints have past between the lips
Of envious persons to upbraid the Clergy,
Some carping at the livings which we have;
175And others spurning at the Ceremonies
That are of ancient custome in the Church.
Amongst the which, Lord Cobham is a chief:
What inconvenience may proceed hereof,
Both to the King, and to the Common-wealth,
180May easily be discern'd, when like a frensie
This innovation shall possesse their minds.
These upstarts will have followers to uphold
Their damn'd opinion, more than Harry shall,
To undergo his quarrel 'gainst the French.
185Suf.What proof is there against them to be had,
That what you say the Law may justifie?
Bish. They give themselves the names of Protestants,
And meet in fields and solitary groves.
S. Joh. Was ever heard (my Lord) the like till now?
190That thieves and rebels, sbloud hereticks,
Plain hereticks, I'le stand to't to their teeth,
Should have to colour their vile practises,
A Title of such worth, as Protestant?
Enter one with a Letter.
195Suf. O but you must not swear, it ill becomes
One of your coat, to rap out bloudy oaths.
Bish. Pardon him, good my Lord, it is his zeal,
An honest country Prelate, who laments
To see such foul disorder in the Church.
200S. Joh. There's one they call him Sir John Oldcastle,
He has not his name for nought: for like a Castle
Doth he encompasse them wilhin his walls,
But till that castle be subverted quite,
We ne're shall be at quiet in the Realme.
205Bish. This is our suit (my Lord) that he be tane
And brought in question for his heresie:
Beside, two Letters brought me out of Wales,
Wherein my Lord Hertford writes to me,
What tumult and sedition was begun,
210About the Lord Cobham, at the Sizes there,
For they had much adoe to calme the rage,
And that the valiant Herbert is there slain.
Suf. A fire that must be quencht. Well, say no more,
The King anon goes to the Council Chamber,
215There to debate of matters touching France,
As he doth passe by, I'le informe his Grace
Concerning your Petition. Master Butler,
If I forget, do you remember me.
But. I will my Lord.
Offer him a purse.
220Bish. Not as a Recompence,
But as a Token of our love to you.
By me (my Lords) the Clergy doth present
This purse, and in it full a thousand Angels,
Praying your Lordship to accept their gift.
225Suf. I thank them, my Lord Bishop, for their love,
But will not take their money, if you please
To give it to this Gentleman, you may.
Bish. Sir, then we crave your futherance herein.
But. The best I can, my Lord of Rochester.
230Bish. Nay, pray take it, trust me you shall.
S. John. Were ye all three upon New-Market heath,
You should not need strain curt'sie who should ha't,
Sir John would quickly rid ye of that care.
Suf. The King is coming: Fear yea not, my Lord,
235The very first thing I will break with him
Shall be about your matter.
Enter King Harry and Huntington in talk.
Har. My Lord of Suffolk,
Was it not said the Clergy did refuse
240To lend us Money toward our warrs in France?
Suf. It was my Lord, but very wrognfully.
Har. I know it was: for Hungtington here tells me
They have been very bountifull of late.
Suf. And still they vow, my gracious Lord, to be so,
245Hoping your Majesty will think on them
As of your loving Subjects, and suppresse
All such malicious errors as begin
To spot their calling, and disturb the Church.
Har. God else forbid: why,
Suffolk,
250Is there any new rupture to disquiet them?
Suf. No new my Lord, the old is great enough,
And so increasing, as if not cut down,
Will breed a scandal to your Royal State,
And set your Kingdome quickly in an uproar.
255The Kentish Knight, Lord Cobham in despight
Of any Law, or spiritual discipline,
Maintains this upstart new Religion still,
And divers great assemblies by his means
And private quarrels, are commenc'd abroad,
260As by this letter more at large my Liege, is made apparent.
Har. We do find it here,
There was in Wales a certain fray of late
Between two Noblemen. But what of this?
Follows it straight Lord Cobham must be he
265Did cause the same? I dare be sworn (good Knight)
He never dreamt of any such contention.
Bish. But in h s name the quarrel did begin,
About the opinion which he held my Liege.
Har. What if it did? was either he in place
270To take part with them? or abet them in it?
If brabling fellows, whose enkindled bloud
Seeths in their fiery veins, will needs go fight,
Making their quarrels of some words that past
Either if you, or you, amongst their cups,
275Is the fault yours? or are they guilty of it?
Suf. With pardon of your Highnesse, my dread Lord,
Such little sparks neglected, may in time
Grow to a mighty flame. But that's not all,
He doth beside maintain a strange Religion,
280And will not be compell'd to come to Mass.
Bish. We do beseech you therefore, gracious Prince,
Without offence unto your Majesty,
We may be bold to use authority.
Har. As how?
285Bish. To summon him unto the Arches,
Where such offences have their punishment.
Har.To answer personally, is that your meaning?
Bish. It is, my Lord.
Har. How if he appeal?
290Bish. My Lord, he cannot in such a case as this.
Suf. Not where Religion is the plea, my Lord.
Har. I took it alwayes, that our self stood on't
As a sufficient refuge: unto whom
Not any but might lawfully appeal.
295But we'll not argue now upon that point.
For Sir John Oldcastle whom you accuse,
Let me intreat you to dispence a while
With your high Title of preheminence.
In scorn.
Report did never yet condemne him so,
300But he hath alwayes been reputed loyal:
And in my knowledge I can say thus much,
That he is vertuous, wise, and honorable.
If any way his conscience be seduc'd
To waver in his faith, I'le send for him
305And schoole him privately: If that serve not,
Then afterward you may proceed against him.
Butler, be you the Messenger for us,
And will him presently repair to Court.
Exeunt.
S. John. How now my Lord? why stand you discontent?
310Insooth (methinks) the King hath well decreed.
Bish. I, I, Sir John, if he would keep his word:
But I perceive he favours him so much
As this will be to small effect, I fear.
S. John. Why then I'le tell you what y'are best to do:
315If you suspect the King will be but cold
In reprehending him, send you a Process too
To serve upon him: so ye may be sure
To make him answer't, howsoere it fall.
Bish. And well remembred, I will have it so,
320A Sumner shall be sent about it straight.
Exit.
S. John. Yea do so. In the mean space this remains
For kind Sir John of Wrotham, honest Jack.
Me thinks the purse of Gold the Bishop gave
Made a good shew, it had a tempting look:
325Beshrew me, but my fingers ends do itch
To be upon those golden ruddocks. Well, 'tis thus;
I am not as the world doth take me for:
If ever wolfe were cloathed in sheeps coat,
Then I am he; old huddle and twang'ifaith:
330A Priest in shew, but (in plain termes) a Thief:
Yet let me tell you too, an honest Thief;
One that will take it where it may be spar'd,
And spend it freely in good fellowship.
I have as many shapes as Proteus had,
335That still when any villany is done,
There may none suspect it was Sir John.
Besides, to comfort me (for what's this life,
Except the crabbed bitternesse thereof
Be sweetned now and then with Letchery?)
340I have my Doll, my Concubine as 'twere,
To frolick with, a lusty bouncing girle.
But whil'st I loyter here, the Gold may scape,
And that must not be so: It is mine own.
Therefore I'le meet him on his way to Court,
345And shrive him of it, there will be the sport.
Exit.
Enter four poor people, some soldiers, some old men.
1. God help, God help, there's law for punishing,
But there's no law for our necessity:
There be more stocks to set poor soldiers in,
350Than there be houses to relieve them at.
Old Man. I, house-keeping decayes in every place,
Even as S. Peter writ, still worse and worse.
2. Master Mayor of Rochester has given command,
That none shall go abroad out of the parish, and has set
355down an Order forsooth, what every poor housholder
must give for our relief: where there be some ceased (I
may say to you) had almost as much need to beg as we.
1. It is a hard world the while.
Old. If a poor man ask at door for God's sake, they
360ask him for a licence or a certificate from a Justice.
2. Faith we have none, but what we bear upon our
bodies, our maim'd limbs, God help us.
4. And yet as lame as I am, I'le with the King into
France, if I can but crawl a ship-board, I had rather be
365slain in France, than starve in England.
Old. Ha, were I but as lusty as I was at Shrewsbury
battle, I would not do as I do: but we are now come to
the good Lord Cobham's house, the best man to the poor
in all Kent.
3704. God bless him, there be but few such.
Enter Lord Cobham with Harpool.
Cob. Thou peevish froward man, what would'st thou
Har. This pride, this pride, brings all to beggery,
I serv'd your Father, and your Grandfather,
375Shew me such two men now: No, no,
Your backs, your backs; the devil and pride
Has cut the throat of all good house-keeping,
They were the best Yeomens Masters that
Ever were in England.
380Cob. Yea, except thou have a crew of filthy knaves
And sturdy Rogues still feeding at my Gate,
There is no hospitality with thee.
HarpThey may sit at the gate well enough, but the
devil of anything you give them, except they'll eat stones.
385Cob. 'Tis long then of such hungry knaves as you:
Yea sir, here's your retinue, your guests be come,
They know their hours, I warrant you.
Old. God bless your honour, God save the good Lord
Cobham, and all his house.
390Soul. Good your honour, bestow your blessed almes
Upon poor men.
Cob. Now sir, here be your almes Knights:
Now are you as safe as the Emperour.
Harp. My almes Knights? Nay th'are yours:
395It is a shame for you, and I'le stand to't,
Your foolish almes maintains more vagabonds
Then all the Noblemen in Kent beside.
Out you rogues, you knaves, work for your livings.
Alas poor men, they may beg their hearts out,
400There's no more charity among men
Then amongst so many Mastive dogs,
What make you here, you needy knaves?
Away, away, you villains.
2. Soul. I beseech you sir, be good.
405Cob. Nay, nay, they know thee well enough, I
think that all the beggers in this land are thy acquain-
tance: go bestow your almes, none will controll you, sir.
Harp. What should I give them? you are grown so
beggarly, that you can scarce give a bit of bread at your
410door: you talk of your Religion so long, that you have
banished charity from you: a man may make a Flax-shop
in your Kitching chimnies, for any fire there is stirring.
Cob. If thou wilt give them nothing, send them hence:
Let them not stand here starving in the cold.
415Har. Who, I drive them hence? If I drive poor men
from the door, I'le be hang'd: I know not what I may
come to my self: God help ye poor knaves, ye see the
world. Well, you had a mother: O God be with thee
good Lady, thy soul's at rest; she gave more in shirts and
420smocks to poor children, then you spend in your house,
and yet you live a beggar too.
Cob. Even the worst deed that ever my mother did,
was in relieving such a fool as thou.
Har. I, I am a fool still: with all your wit you'll die
425a beggar, go too.
Cob. Go, you old fool, give thee poor people some-
thing: Go in poor men into the inner Court, and take
such almes as there is to be had,
Soul. God blesse your Honour.
430Har. Hang you rogues, hang you, there's nothing but
misery amongst you, you fear no Law, you.
Exit.
Oldm. God blesse you good Master Rafe, God save
your life, you are good to thee poor still.
Enter the Lord Powis disguised.
435Cob. What fellow's yonder comes along the Grove?
Few passengers there be that know this way:
Me thinks he stops as though he staid for me,
And meant to shrow'd himself amongst the bushes.
I know the Clergy hates me to the death,
440And my Religion gets me many foes:
And this may be some desperate rogue
Suborn'd to work me mischief: as it pleaseth God.
If he come toward me, sure I'le stay his coming,
Be he but one man, what soere he be.
L. Powis comes on.
445I have been well acquainted with that face.
Pow. Well met, my honorable Lord and friend.
Cob. You are welcome, sir, what ere you be;
But of this sudden, sir, I do not know you.
Pow. I am one that wisheth well unto your Honour,
450My name is Powis, an old friend of yours.
Cob. My honorable Lord, and worthy friend,
What makes your Lordship thus alone in Kent,
And thus disguised in this strange attire?
Pow. My Lord, an unexpected accident
455Hath at this time enforc'd me to these parts,
And thus it hapt. Not yet full five dayes since,
Now at the last assize at Hereford,
It chanc'd that the Lord Herbert and my self,
'Mongst other things discoursing at the Table,
460To fall in speech about some certain points
Of Wickliff's doctrine 'gainst the Papacie,
And the Religion Catholick maintain'd
Through the most part of Europe at this day.
This wilfull testy Lord stuck not to say,
465That Wickliff was a knave, a schismatick,
His Doctrine develish and Heretical:
And whatsoere he was maintain'd the same,
Was Traitor both to God, and to his Countrey.
Being moved at his peremptory speech,
470I told him, some maintain'd those opinions,
Men, and truer subjects then Lord Herbert was:
And he replying in comparisons,
Your name was urg'd, my Lord, against this challenge,
To be a perfect favorour of the truth.
475And to be short, from words we fell to blows,
Our servants, and our Tenants taking parts.
Many on both sides hurt: and for an hour
The broil by no means could be pacified,
Untill the Judges rising from the bench,
480Were in their persons forc'd to part the fray.
Cob. I hope no man was violently slain.
Pow. Faith none I trust, but the Lord Herberts self,
Who is in truth so dangerously hurt,
As it is doubted he can hardly scape.
485Cob. I am sorry, my good Lord, of these ill news.
Pow. This is the cause that drives me into Kent,
To shrowd my self with you so good a friend,
Untill I hear how things do speed at home.
Cob. Your Lordship is most welcome unto Cobham:
490But I am very sorry, my good Lord,
My name was brought in question in this matter,
Considering I have many enemies,
That threaten malice, and do lye in wait
To take the vantage of the smallest thing.
495But you are welcome, and repose your Lordship,
And keep your self here secret in my house,
Untill we hear how the Lord Herbert speeds:
Enter Harpool.
Here comes my man: sirrah, what news?
500Har. Yonder's one M. Butler of the privie Chamber,
is sent unto you from the King.
Pow. Pray God the Lord Herbert be not dead, and
the King hearing whether I am gone, hath sent for me.
Cob. Comfort your self, my Lord, I warrant you,
505Har. Fellow, what ayls thee? do'st thou quake? do'st
thou shake? do'st thou tremble? ha?
Cob. Peace, you old fool: sirrah, convey this Gentleman
in the back way, and bring the other into the walk.
Har. Come, sir, y'are welcome, if you love my Lord.
510Pow. Gramercy, gentle friend.
Exeunt.
Cob. I thought as much, that it would not be long before
I heard of something from the King, about this matter.
Enter Harpool with M. Butler.
Har. Sir, yonder my Lord walks, you see him;
515I'le have your men into the seller the while.
Cob. Welcome, good M. Butler.
But.Thanks, my good Lord: his Majesty doth com-
mend his love unto your Lordship, and wills you to repair
unto the Court.
520Cob. God bless his Highness, and counfound his ene-
mies, I hope his Majestie is well?
But. In good health, my Lord.
Cob. God long continue it: me thinks you look as
though you were not well, what ayle ye, sir?
525But. Faith I have had a foolish odde mischance, that
angers me: coming over Shooters hill, there came one
to me like a Sailor, and askt me money; and whilst I
staid my horse to draw my purse, he takes th'advantage
of a little bank, and leaps behind me, whips my purse a-
530way, and with a sudden jerk, I know not how, threw me
at least three yards out of my saddle; I never was so rob'd
in all my life.
Cob. I am very sorry, sir, for your mischance; we will
send our warrant forth, to stay such suspitious persons
535as shall be found, they M. Butler we'll attend you.
But. I humbly thank your Lordship, I will att
end you.
Enter the Sumner.
Sum. I have the Law to warrant what I do, and though
the Lord Cobham be a Nobleman, that dispenses not with
540Law, I dare serve a Process were he five Noble men,
though we Sumners make sometimes a mad slip in a cor-
ner with a pretty wench, a Sumner must not go alwaies
by seeing: a man may be content to hide his eyes where
he may feel his profit. Well, this is Lord Cobham's house,
545if I cannot speak with him, I'le clap my citation upon's
door, so my Lord of Rochester bad me; but me thinks
here comes one of his men.
Har. Welcome good fellow, welcome, who would'st
thou speak with?
550Sum. With my Lord Cobham I would speak; if thou
be one of his men.
Har Yes, I am one of his men, but thou can'st not
speak with my Lord.
Sum. May I send to him then?
555Har. I'le tell thee that, when I know thy errand,
Sum. I will not tell my errand to thee.
Har. Then keep it to thy self, and walk like a knave
as thou camest.
Sum. I'tell thee, my Lord keeps no knaves, sirrah.
560Har. Then thou servest him not, I believe. What
Lord is thy Master?
Sum. My Lord of Rochester.
Har. In good time: and what would'st thou have
with my Lord Cobham?
565Sum. I come by vertue of a Process, to scite him to
appear before my Lord in the Court at Rochester.
Har. aside. Well, God grant me patience, I could eat
this Counger. My Lord is not at home, therefore it
were good Sumner, you carried your Process back.
570Sum. Why, if he will not be spoken withall, then will
I leave it here, and see that he take knowledge of it.
Hnr. Zounds you slave, do you set up your bills here;
go too, take it down again. Do'st thou know what thou
do'st? Do'st thou know on whom thou servest a Process?
575Sum. Yes marry do I, on Sir John Oldcastle, Lord
Cobham.
Har.I am glad thou knowest him yet; and sirrah,
do'st not know that the Lord Cobham is a brave Lord,
that keeps good Beef and Beer in his house, and every
580day feeds a hundred poor people at's Gate, and keeps a
hundred tall fellows?
Sum. What's that to my Process?
Har. Marry this, sir, is this process parchment?
Sum. Yes marry is it.
585Har. And this Seal wax?
Sum. It is so.
Har. If this be parchment, and this wax, eat you this
parchment and this wax, or I will make parchment of
your skin, and beat your brains into wax. Sirrah, Sumner,
590dispatch, devour sirrah, devour.
Sum. I am my Lord of Rochester's Sumner, I came to
to do my office, and thou shalt answer it.
Har.Sirrah, no railing; but betake your self to your
teeth, thou shalt eat no worse then thou bring'st with thee,
595thou bring'st it for my Lord, and wilt thou bring my
Lord worse then thou wilt eat thy self?
Sum. Sir, I brought it not my Lord to eat.
Har. O do you sir me now; all's one for that, I'le
make you eat it, for bringing it.
600Sum. I cannot eat it.
Har. Can you not? sbloud I'le beat you till you have
a stomack.
Beats him.
Sum. O hold, hold, good M. Servingman, I will eat it.
Har. Be champing, be chawing, sir, or I'le chaw you,
605you rogue, the purest of the honey.
Sum. Tough wax is the purest hony.
Har. O Lord, sir, oh, oh,
Feed, feed, 'tis wholsome, Rogue, wholsome.
Cannot you like an honest Sumner, walk with the Devil
610your brother, to fetch in your Bailiff's rents; but you
must come to a Noble mans house with processe? If thy
Seal were as broad as the Lead that covers Rochester
Church, thou should'st eat it.
Sum. O, I am almost choaked, I am almost choaked.
615Har. Who's within there? will you shame my Lord,
is there no beer in the house? Butler I say.
But. Here, here.
Ent. Butler.
Har.Give him beer.
He drinks.
There: tough old sheepskins, bare dry meat.
620Sum. O sir, let me go no further, I'le eat my word.
Har. Yea marry sir, I mean ye shall eat more then
your own word, for I'le make you eat all the words in the
Process. Why you drab-monger, cannot the secrets of all
the wenches in a Shire serve your turn, but you must come
625hither with a citation with a pox? I'le cite you.
A cup of Sack for the Sumner.
But. Here, sir, here.
Har. Here, slave, I drink to thee.
Sum. I thank you, sir.
630Har. Now if thou find'st thy stomack well, because
thou shalt see my Lord keeps meat in's house, if thou wilt
go in, thou shalt have a piece of beef to thy break-fast.
Sum. No I am very well, good M. Servingman, I
thank you, very well, sir.
635Har. I am glad on't, then be walking towards Roche-
ster to keep your stomack warme. And Sumner, If I do
know you disturb a good wench within this Diocesse, if
I do not make thee eat her petticoat, if there were four
yards of Kentish cloth in't, I am a villain.
640Sum. God be w'ye, M. Servingman.
Exit.
Har. Farewell, Sumner
Enter Constable.
Con. Save you, M. Harpool.
Har.Welcome Constable, welcome Constable, what
news with thee?
645Con. And't please you, M. Harpool, I am to make hue
and cry for a fellow with one eye, that has rob'd two
Clothiers, and am to crave your hindrance to search all
suspected places; and they say there was a woman in the
company.
650Har. Hast thou been at the Ale-house? hast thou
sought there?
Con. I durst not search in my Lord Cobham's liberty,
except I had some of his servants for my warrant.
Har An honest Constable, call forth him that keeps
655the Ale-house there.
Con. Ho, who's within there?
Ale-m. Who calls there? Oh is't you, M. Constable,
and M. Harpool? y'are welcome with all my heart, what
make you here so early this morning?
660Har. Sirra, what strangers do you lodge? there is a
robbery done this morning, and we are to search for all
suspected persons.
Ale man. Gods bores, I am sorry for't. Ifaith, sir, I
lodge no body but a good honest Priest, call'd Sir John
665a Wrotham, and a handsome woman that is his Neece,
that he saies has some suit in law for, and as they go up
and down to London, sometimes they lye at my house.
Har.What, is she here in thy house now?
Ale-m. She is, sir: I promise you, sir, he is a quiet
670man, and because he will not trouble too many rooms, he
makes the woman lye every night at his beds feet.
Har. Bring her forth, Constable, bring her forth, let's
see her, let's see her.
Ale-m. Dorothy, you must come down to M. Con-
675Dol. Anon forsooth.
She enters.
Har. Welcome, sweet Lasse, welcome.
Dol. I thank you, good sir, and M. Constable also.
Har. A plump girle by the Masse, a plump girle: ha,
Dol, ha. Wilt thou forsake the Priest, and go with me
680Doll?
Con.A well said M. Harpool, you are a merry old
man ifaith; you will never be old now by the mack, a
pretty wench indeed.
Har. Ye old mad merry Constable, art thou advis'd
685of that? Ha, well said Doll, fill some Ale here.
Doll aside. Oh if I wist this old Priest would not stick
to me, by Jove I would ingle this old serving-man.
Har. Oh you old mad colt, ifaith I'le ferk you: fill
all the pots in the house there.
690Con. Oh well said M. Harpool, you are heart of oak
when all's done.
Harp. Ha Dol, thou hast a sweet pair of lips by the
Masse.
Dol. Truly you are a most sweet old man, as ever I
695saw; by my troth, you have a face able to make any wo-
man in love with you.
Har. Fill, sweet Doll, I'le drink to thee.
Doll. I pledge you, sir, and thank you therefore, and
I pray you let it come.
700Harp. Imbracing her. Doll, canst thou love me? a
mad merry Lasse, would to God I had never seen thee.
Dol. I warrant you, you will not out of my thoughts
this twelvemonth, truly you are as full of favour, as any
man may be. Ah these sweet gray locks, by my troth,
705they are most lovely.
Con. Cuds bores, M. Harpool, I'le have one buss too.
Har. No licking for you, Constable, hand off, hand off.
Con. Berlady I love kissing as well as you.
Dol. Oh you are an odde boy, you have a wanton eye
710of your own: ah you sweet sugar-lipt wanton, you will
win as many womens hearts as come in your company.
Enter Priest.
Priest. Doll, come hither.
Har. Priest, she shall not.
715Dol. I'le come anon, sweet love.
Priest. Hand off, old fornicator.
Har. Vicar, I'le sit here in spight of thee, is this stuff
for a Priest to carry up and down with him?
Priest. Sirra, do'st thou not know that a good fellow
720parson may have a chappel of ease, where his parish
Church is far off?
Har. You whorson ston'd Vicar.
Priest. You old stale Ruffin, you Lion of Cotsoll.
Har. Zounds, Vicar, I'le geld you.
Flies upon him.
725Con. Keep the Kings peace.
Dol. Murder, murder, murder.
Ale-m. Hold, as you are men, hold; for Gods sake be
quiet: put up your weapons, you draw not in my house.
Har. You whorson bawdy Priest.
730Priest. You old mutton-monger.
Con. Hold, Sir John, hold.
Dol. I pray thee, sweet heart, be quiet, I was but sit-
ting to drink a pot of Ale with him, even as kind a man
as ever I met with.
735Har. Thou art a Thief, I warrant thee.
Priest. Then I am but as thou hast been in thy dayes,
let's not be ashamed of our Trade, the King has been a
Thief himself.
Dol. Come, be quiet, hast thou sped?
740Pri. I have wench, here be crowns ifaith.
Dol. Come, let's be all friends then.
Con. Well said Mistris Dorothy.
Har. Thou art the maddest Priest that ever I met with.
Pri.Give me thy hand, thou art as good a fellow:
745I am a singer, a drinker, a bencher, a wencher; I can say
a Masse, and kisse a Lasse: Faith, I have a Parsonage,
and because I would not be at too much charges, this
wench serveth me for a Sexton.
Harp. Well said mad Priest, we'll in and be friends.
750
Exeunt.
Enter Sir Roger Acton, M. Bourn, M. Beverley, and
William Murley the Brewer of Dunstable.
Acton. Now M. Murley, I am well assur'd
You know our errant, and do like the cause?
755Being a man affected as we are?
Mur. Marry God dild ye dainty my dear: No Ma-
ster, good Sir Roger Acton, M. Bourn, and M. Beverley,
Gentlemen and Justices of the Peace, no Master, I, but
plain William Murley the Brewer of Dunstable, your
760honest neighbour and your friend, if ye be men of my
profession.
Bev. Professed friends to Wickliff; foes to Rome.
Mur. Hold by me, Lad, lean upon that staff, good
Master Beverley, all of a house, say your mind, say your
765mind.
Acton. You know our faction now is grown so great
Throughout the Realm, that it begins to smoak
Into the Clergies eyes, and the King's ears,
High time it is that we were drawn to head,
770Our General and Officers appointed.
And warrs ye wot, will ask great store of coyn,
Able to strength our action with your purse,
You are elected for a Colonel
Over a Regiment of fifteen Bands.
775Mur. Fue, paltry, paltry, in and out, to and fro, be
it more or lesse upon occasion, Lord have mercy upon us,
what a world is this? Sir Roger Acton, I am but a Dun-
stable man, a plain Brewer, ye know: will lusty cave-
liering Captains (Gentlemen) come at my calling, go
780at my bidding? Dainty my deer, they'll do a dog of wax,
a horse of cheese, a prick and a pudding; no, no, ye must
appoint some Lord or Knight at least, to that place.
Bour. Why, Master Murley, you shall be a Knight:
Were you not in election to be Sheriff?
785Have ye not past all Offices but that?
Have ye not wealth to make your wife a Lady?
I warrant you, my Lord, our General
Bestows that honour on you, at first sight.
Mur. Marry God dild ye dainty my dear:
790But tell me, who shall be our General?
Where's the Lord Cobham, Sir John Old-castle
That noble almse-giver, house-keeper, vertuous,
Religious Gentleman? Come to me there boyes,
Come to me there.
795Acton. Why who but he shall be our General?
Mur. And shall he Knight me, and make me Colonel?
Act.My word for that, Sir William Murley Knight.
Mur. Fellow Sir Roger Acton Knight, all fellows I
mean in armes, how strong are we? how many partners?
800Our enemies beside the King are mighty, be it more or
lesse upon occa{
si}on, reckon our force.
Act. There are of us our friends and followers,
Three thousand and three hundred at the least:
Of Northern lads four thousand, beside horse,
805From Kent there comes with Sir John Old-castle
Seven thousand: then from London issue out,
Of Masters, servants, strangers, prentises,
Forty odde thousands into Ficket field,
Where we appoint our special Randevouze.
810Mur. Fue, paltry, paltry, in and out, to and fro,
Lord have mercy upon us, what a world is this? Where's
that Ficket field, Sir Roger.
Act. Behind S. Giles in the field, near Holborn.
Mur. Newgate, up Holborn, S. Giles in the field,
815and to Tyburn, an old saw. For the day, for the day?
Act. On Friday next, the fourteenth day of January.
Mur. Tilly vally, trust me never If I have any liking
of that day. Fue, paltry, paltry, Friday quoth a, dismal
day, Childermas day this year was Friday.
820Bev. Nay M. Murley, if you observe such dayes,
We make some question of your constancie,
All dayes are alike to men resolv'd in right.
Mur. Say Amen, and say no more, but say and hold
Master Beverley: Friday next, and Ficket field, and
825William Murley and his merry men shall be all one: I
have halfe a score jades that draw my Beer Carts, and e-
very jade shall bear a knave, and every knave shall wear
a jack, and every jack shall have a scull, and every scull
shall shew a spear, and every spear shall kill a foe at Fic
830ket field, at Ficket field: John and Tom, Dick and
Hodge, Rafe and Robbin, William and George, and all my
knaves shall fight like men, at Ficket field, on Friday next.
Bour. What sum of money mean you to disburse?
Mur. It may be modestly, decently, and soberly, and
835handsomely I may bring five hundred pound.
Act. Five hundred, man? five thousand's not enough,
A hundred thousand will not pay our men
Two month's together, either come prepar'd
Like a brave knight, and martial Colonel,
840In glittering gold, and gallant Furniture,
Bringing in Coin, a Cart-load at least,
And all your followers mounted on good horse,
Or never come disgracefull to us all.
Bev. Perchance you may be chosen Treasurer,
845Ten thousand pound's the least that you can bring.
Mur. Paltry, paltry, in and out, to and fro: upon
occasion I have ten thousand pound to spend, and ten too.
And rather then the Bishop shall have his will of me for
my Conscience, it shall all. Flame and flax, flax and
850flame. It was got with water and Malt, and it shall flye
with fire and Gun-powder. Sir Roger, a Cart-load of
money till the Axletree crack; my self and my men in
Ficket field on Friday next: remember my Knight-hood
and my place: there's my hand I'le be there.
Exit.
855Act. See what ambition may perswade men to,
In hope of honour he will spend himself.
Bour. I never thought a Brewer halfe so rich.
Bev. Was never bankerout Brewer yet but one,
With using too much Malt, too little water.
860Act. That's no fault in Brewers now adayes:
Come, away about our business.
Exeunt.
Enter King Harry, Suffolk, M. Butler, Old-
castle kneeling to the King.
King. 'Tis not enough, Lord Cobham, to submit,
865You must forsake your grosse opinion;
The Bishops find themselves much injured,
And though for some good service you have done,
We for our part are pleas'd to pardon you,
Yet they will not so soon be satisfied.
870Cob. My gracious L rd, unto your Majesty,
Next unto my God, I owe my life;
And what is mine, either by Natures gift,
Or fortunes bounty, all is at your service.
But for obedience to the Pope of Rome,
875I ow him none; nor shall his shaveling Priests
That are in England, alter my belief.
If out of holy Scripture they can prove
That I am in an error, I will yield,
And gladly take instruction at their hands:
880But otherwise, I do beseech your Grace,
My conscience may not be incroach'd upon.
King. We would be loath to press our subjects bodies.
Much lesse their souls, the deer redeemed part
Of him that is the Ruler of us all:
885Yet let me counsel you, that might command;
Do not presume to tempt them with ill words,
Nor suffer any meetings to be had
Within your house, but to the uttermost
Disperse the flocks of this new gathering sect.
890Cob. My Liege, if any breath that dares come forth,
And say, my life in any of these points
Deserves th'attainder of ignoble thoughts:
Here stand I, craving no remorse at all,
But even the utmost rigour may be shown.
895King. Let it suffice we know your loyalty,
What have you there?
Cob. A Deed of clemency,
Your highnesse pardon for Lord Powess life,
Which I did beg, and you my Noble Lord,
900Of gracious favour did vouchsafe to grant.
King. But yet it is not signed with our hand.
Cob. Not yet, my Liege.
King. The fact you say was done
Not of pretensed malice, but by chance.
905Cob. Upon mine Honour so, no otherwise.
Writes.
King. There is his pardon, bid him make amends,
And cleanse his soul to God for his offence,
What we remit, is but the bodies scourge.
How now, Lord Bishop?
Enter Bishop.
910Bish. Justice dread Soveraigne,
As thou art King, so grant I may have Justice.
King. What means this exclamation? Let us know.
Bish. Ah, my good Lord, the State's abus'd,
And our Decrees most shamefully prophan'd.
915King. How? Or by whom?
Bish. Even by this Heretick,
This Jew, this Traitor to your Majesty.
Cob. Prelate, thou lyest, even in thy greasie maw,
Or whosoever twit's me with the name
920Of either Traitor, or of Heretick.
King. Forbear I say: and Bishop, shew the cause
From whence this late abuse hath been deriv'd.
Bish. Thus mighty King: by general consent
A messenger was sent to scite this Lord
925To make appearance in the Consistory:
And coming to his house, a Ruffian slave,
One of his daily followers, met the man,
Who knowing him to be a Parator
Assaults him first, and after in contempt
930Of us, and our proceedings, makes him eat
The written Process, parchment, Seal and all:
Whereby this matter neither was brought forth,
Nor we but scorn'd for our authority.
King. When was this done?
935Bish. At six a clock this morning.
King. And when came you to Court?
Cob. Last night, my Liege.
King. By this it seems he is not guilty of it,
And you have done him wrong t'accuse him so.
940Bish. But it was done, my Lord, by his appointment,
Or else his man durst not have been so bold.
King. Or else you durst be bold ot interrupt
And fill our ears with frivolous complaints.
Is this the duty you do bear to us?
945Was't not sufficient we did Passe our word
To send for him, but you misdoubting it,
Or which is worse, intending to forestall
Our Regal power, must likewise summon him?
This savours of Ambition, not of zeal,
950And rather proves you malice his estate,
Then any way that he offends the Law.
Go too, we like it not: and he your Officer
Had his desert for being insolent,
Enter Huntington.
955That was imployed so much amisse herein.
So Cobham when you please, you may depart.
Cob. I humbly bid farewell unto my Liege.
Exit.
King. Farewell: what's the news by Huntington?
Hun. Sir Roger Acton, and a crew (my Lord)
960Of bold sedetious Rebells, are in Armes,
Intending reformation of Religion.
And with their Army they intend to pitch
In Ficket field, unlesse they be repuls't.
King. So near our presence? Dare they be so bold?
965And will proud War and eager thirst of bloud,
Whom we had thought to entertain far off,
Press forth upon us in our Native bounds?
Must we be forc'd to hansel our sharp blades
In England here, which we prepar'd for France?
970Well, a Gods name be it. What's their Number? say,
Or who's the chief Commander of this Rowt?
Hun. Their number is not known, as yet my Lord,
But 'tis reported, Sir John Oldcastle
Is the chief man, on whom they do depend.
975 King.How? the Lord Cobham?
Hun. Yes, my gracious Lord.
Bish. I could have told your Majesty as much
Before he went, but that I saw your Grace
Was too much blinded by his flattery.
980Suf. Send post, my Lord, to fetch him back again.
But. Traitor unto his Country, how he smooth'd
And seem'd as innocent as Truth it self?
King. I cannot think it yet he would be false:
But if he be, no matter, let him go,
985We'll meet both him and them unto their woe.
Bish. This falls out well, and at the last I hope
To see this heretick die in a rope.
Exeunt.
Enter Earle of Cambridge, Lord Scroop, Gray,
and Chartres the French Factor.
990Scr. Once more, my Lord of Cambridge, make rehersal
How you do stand intitled to the Crown,
The deeper shall we print it in our minds,
And every man the better be resolv'd,
When he perceiv's his quarrel to be just.
995Cam. Then thus, Lord Scroop, Sir Thomas Grey & you
Mounsieur de Chartes, Agent for the French.
This Lionel Duke of Clarence (as I said)
Third son of Edward (England's King) the third,
Had issue Philip his sole daughter and heir;
1000Which Philip, afterward was given in marriage
To Edmund Mortimer the Earle of March,
And by him had a son call'd Roger Mortimer;
Which Roger likewise had of his descent,
Edmund, Roger, Anne, and Elianor,
1005Two Daughters and two Sons, but of those, three
Di'd without issue: Anne, that did survive,
And now was left her Fathers onely Heir,
By fortune was to marry, Being too
By my Grandfather of King Edward's Line:
1010So of his Sir-name, I am cal'd you know.
Richard Plantaginet, my Father was,
Edward the Duke of York, and son and heir
To Edmund Langley, Edward the third's first son.
Scro. So that it seems your claim comes by your wife,
1015As lawfull heir to Roger Mortimer
The son of Edmund, which did marry Phillip
Daughter and heir to Lyonel Duke of Clarence.
Cam. True, for this Harry, and his father both
Harry the first, as plainly doth appear,
1020Are false intruders, and usurp the Crown.
For when young Richard was at Pomfret slain,
In him the Title of Prince Edward di'd,
That was the eldest of King Edward's sons:
William of Hatfield, and their second brother,
1025Death in his nonage had before bereft:
So that my wife deriv'd from Lionel
Third son unto King Edward, ought proceed
And take possession of the Diadem
Before this Harry, or his Father King,
1030Who fetch their Title but from Lancaster,
Forth of that royal line. And being thus,
What reason is't, but she should have her right?
Scro. I am resolv'd, our enterprize is just.
Gray. Harry shall die or else resigne his Crown.
1035Chart. Performe but that, and Charles the King of
Shall aid you Lords, not only with his men,
But send yor money to maintain your warrs:
Five hundred thousand Crowns he bad me proffer,
If you can stop but Harrie's voyage for France.
1040Scr. We never had a fitter time then now,
The Realme in such division as it is.
Cam. Besides you must perswade you, there is due
Vengeance for Richards murther, which although
It be deferr'd, yet will it fall at last,
1045And now as likely as another time.
Sin hath had many years to ripen in,
And now the harvest cannot be far off,
Wherein the weeds of usurpation
Are to be cropt, and cast into the fire.
1050Scr. No more, Earle Cambridge, here I plight my faith,
To set up thee, and thy renowned wife.
Gray. Gray will performe the same, as he is Knight.
Chart. And to assist ye, as I said before,
Chartres doth 'gage the honour of his King.
1055Scr.We lack but now Lord Cobham's fellowship,
And then our plot were absolute indeed.
Cam. Doubt not of him, my Lord, his life's pursu'd
By th'incensed Clergy, and of late
Brought in displeasure with the King, assures
1060He may be quickly won unto our faction.
Who hath the Articles were drawn at large
Of our whole purpose?
Gray. That have I, my Lord.
Cam. We should not now be far off from his house,
1065Our serious Conference hath beguild the way:
See where his Castle stands, give me the writing.
When we are come unto the speech of him,
Because we will not stand to make recount
Of that which hath been said, here he shall read
1070Our minds at large, and what we crave of him.
Enter Cobham.
Scr. A ready way: here comes the man himself
Booted and spurr'd, it seems he hath been riding.
Cam. Well met, Lord Cobham.
1075Cob. My Lord of Cambridge?
Your Honour is most welcome into Kent,
And all the rest of this fair company.
I am new come from London, gentle Lords:
But will ye not take Cowling for your Host,
1080And see what entertainment it affords?
Cam. We were intended to have been your guests:
But now this lucky meeting shall suffice
To end our businesse, and deferre that kindesse.
Cob. Business my Lord? what business should
1085Let you to be merry? we have no delicates;
Yet this I'le promise you, a piece
of Venison,
A cup of wine, and so forth, hunters fare:
And if you please, we'll strike the stag our selves
Shall fill our dishes with his well-fed flesh.
1090Scro. That is indeed the thing we all desire.
Cob. My Lords, and you shall have your choice with me.
Cam. Nay but the Stag which we desire to strike,
Lives not in Cowling: if you will consent,
And go with us, we'll bring you to a Forrest,
1095Where runs a lusty heard: among the which
There is a Stag superiour to the rest;
A stately beast, that when his fellows run
He leads the race, and beats the sullen earth,
As though he scorn'd it with his trampling hoofs,
1100Aloft he bears his head, and with his brest
Like a huge bulwark counter-checks the wind:
And when he standeth still, he stretcheth forth
His proud ambitious neck, as if he meant
To wound the firmament with forked horns.
1105Cob. 'Tis pitty such a goodly beast should die.
Cam.Not so, Sir John, for he is tyranous,
And gores the other Deer, and will not keep
Within the limits are appointed him.
Of late he's broke into a several,
1110Which doth belong to me, and there he spoiles
Both corn and pasture, two of his wild race
Alike for stealth, and covetous incroaching,
Already are remov'd; if he were dead,
I should not only be secure from hurt,
1115But with his body make a royal feast.
Scro. How say you then, will you first hunt with us?
Cob. Faith Lords, I like the pastime, where's the place?
Cam. Peruse this writing, it will shew you all,
And what occasion we have for the sport.
He reads.
1120Cob. 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 wholsome meat, prepare
A dish of poison to confound our selves.
1125Cam. Why so, Lord Cobham? See you not our claim?
And how imperiously he holds the Crown?
Scro. Besides, you know your self is in disgrace,
Held as a recreant, and pursu'd to death.
This will defend you from your enemies,
1130And stablish your Religion through the Land.
Cob. 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,
1135By prosecuting of this enterprize.
But where are men? where's power and furniture
To order such an action? we are weak,
Harry, you know's a mighty Potentate.
Cam. Tut, we are strong enough; you are belov'd,
1140And many will be glad to follow you,
We are the like, and some will follow us:
Nay, there is hope from France : here's an Ambassador
That promiseth both men and money too.
The Commons likewise (as we hear) pretend
1145A sudden tumult, we will joyn with them.
Cob. Some likelyhood, I must confesse, to speed:
But how shall I believe this in plain truth?
You are (my Lords) such men as live in Court,
And have been highly favoured of the King,
1150Especially Lord Scroop, whom oftentimes
He maketh choice for his bed-fellow.
And you, Lord Gray, are of his privy Counsel:
Is not this a train laid to intrap my life?
Cam. Then perish may my soul: what, think you so?
1155Scr. We'll swear to you.
Gray. Or take the Sacrament.
Cob. Nay you are Noble men, and I imagine,
As you are honourable by birth, and bloud,
So you will be in heart, in thought, in word.
1160I crave no other testimony but this.
That you would all subscribe, and set your hands
Unto this writing which you gave to me.
Cam. With all our hearts: who hath any pen and ink?
Scr. My pocket should have one; O, here it is.
1165Cam. Give it me, Lord Scroop. There is my name.
Scr. And there is my name.
Gray. And mine.
Cob. Sir, let me crave that would likewise write your
name with theirs, for confirmation of your Masters words
1170the King of France.
Char. That will I, Noble Lord.
Cob. So, now this action is well knit together,
And I am for you; where's our meeting, Lords?
Cam. Here if you please, the tenth of July next.
1175Cob. In Kent? agreed. Now let us in to supper,
I hope your honours will not away to night.
Cam. Yes presently, for I have far to ride,
About soliciting of other friends.
Scr. And we would not be absent from the Court,
1180Lest thereby grow suspition in the King.
Cob. Yet taste a cup of wine before ye go.
Cam. Not now, my Lord, we thank you: so farewel.
Exit.
Cob. Farewell, my Noble Lords. My Noble Lords?
My noble villains, base Conspirators,
1185How can they look his Highnesse in the face,
Whom they so closely study to betray?
But I'le not sleep until I make it known,
This head shall not be burthen'd with such thoughts,
Nor in this heart will I conceal a deed
1190Of such impiety against my King.
Madam, how now?
Enter Harpool, and the rest.
La. Cob. Y'are welcome home, my Lord:
Why seem ye so unquiet in your looks?
1195What hath befaln you that disturbs your mind?
La. Powis. Bad news I am afraid touching my husband.
Cob. Madam, not so: there is your husband's pardon;
Long may ye live, each joy unto the other.
La. Po. So great a kindnesse, as I know not how to
1200reply, my sense is quite confounded.
Cob. Let that alone: and Madam stay me not,
For I must back unto the Court again,
With all the speed I can: Harpool, my horse.
L. Cob. So soon my Lord? what will you ride all night?
1205Cob. All night or day, it must be so sweet wife;
Urge me not why, or what my businesse is,
But get you in: Lord Powess, bear with me.
And Madam, think your welcome ne're the worse,
My house is at your use. Harpool, away.
1210Har. Shall I attend your Lordship to the Court?
Cob. Yea sir, your Gelding, mount you presently.
Exit.
La. Cob. I prythee Harpool look unto thy Lord,
I do not like this sudden posting back.
Po. Some earnest business is a-foot belike,
1215What ere it be, pray God be his good guide.
La. Po. Amen, that hath so highly us bested.
La. Cob. Come Madam & my Lord, we'll hope the best,
You shall not into Wales till he return.
Pow. Though great occasion be we should depart, yet,
1220Madam, will we stay to be resolv'd of this unlookt for
doubtfull accident.
Exeunt.
Enter Murley and his men, prepared in some filthy
order for war.
Mur. Come my hearts of flint, modestly, decently,
1225soberly, and handsomly; no man afore his Leader: fol-
low your Master, your Captain, your Knight that shall-
be, for the honour of Meal-men, Millers, and Malt-men,
dun is the mouse: Dick and Tom for the credit of Dun-
stable, ding down the Enemy to morrow. Ye shall not
1230come into the field like beggars. Where be Leonard and
Lawrence 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 fourty pence for
as many Scarffes to set ye out withall. Frost and snow,
1235a man has no heart to fight till he be brave.
Dick. Master, we are no babes, our town foot-balls
can bear witnesse: this little parrel we have shall off, and
we'll fight naked before we run away.
Tom. Nay, I'me of Lawrence mind for that, for he
1240means to leave his life behind him, he and Leonard, your
two Loaders are making their Wills because they have
wives, now we Batchellors bid our friends scramble for
our goods if we dye: but Master, pray let me ride upon Cut.
Mur. Meal and salt, wheat and Malt, fire and tow,
1245frost and snow, why Tom thou shalt. Let me see, here
are you, William and George are with my Cart, and Ro-
bin and Hodge holding my own two Horses; proper
men, handsome men, tall men, true men.
Dick. But Master, Master, me thinks you are mad
1250to hazard your own person, and a cart-load of money too.
Tom. Yea, and Master there's a worse matter in't; if
it be as I heard say, we go fight against all the learned
Bishops, that shauld give us their blessing, and if they
curse us, we shall speed nere the better.
1255Dick. Nay birlady, some say the King takes their part,
and Master dare you fight against the King.
Mur. 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.
1260Tom. What if ye should kill the King?
Mur. Then we'll make another.
Dick. Is that all? do ye not speak Treason?
Mur. If we do, who dare trip us? We come to fight for
our conscience, and for honour: little know you what is in
1265my bosome, look here mad knaves, a pair of gilt Spurres.
Tom. A pair of golden spurs? why do you not put
them on your heels? your bosome's no place for spurs.
Mur. Be't more or lesse upon occasion, Lord have
mercy upon us, Tom th'art a fool, and thou speak'st trea-
1270son to Knight-hood: dare any wear gold or silver spurrs
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?
1275Tom. No but you are more: you are Meal-man, Malt-
man, Miller, Corn-Master and all.
Dick. Yea, and half a Brewer too, and the devil and
all for wealth: you bring more money with you, then all
the rest.
1280Mur. The more's my honour, I shall be a Knight to
morrow. Let me spose my men, Tom upon Cut, Dick
upon Hob, Hodge upon Ball, Raph upon Sorel, and Ro-
bin upon the fore-horse.
Enter Acton, Bourn, and Beverley.
1285Tom. Stand, who comes there?
Act. All friends, good fellow.
Mur. Friends and fellows indeed, Sir Roger.
Act. Why thus you shew your self a Gentleman,
To keep your day, and come so well prepar'd.
1290Your Cart stands yonder, guarded by your men,
Who tell me it is loaden well with Coin,
What summe is there?
Mur. Ten thousand pound, Sir Roger, and modestly,
decently, soberly, and handsomely, see what I have here
1295against I be Knighted.
Act. Gilt spurrs? 'Tis well.
Mur. Where's our Army, sir?
Act. Disperst in sundry villages about;
Some here with us in Hygate, some at Finchley,
1300Totnam, Enfield, Edmunton, Newington,
Islington, Hogsdone, Pancredge, Kenzington,
Some nearer Thames, Ratcliff, Blackwall, and Bow :
But our chief strength must be the Londoners,
Which ere the Sun to morrow shine,
1305Will be near fifty thousand in the field.
Mur. Marry 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?
Act. No, he's secure at Eltham.
1310Mur. What do the Clergy?
Act. Fear extreamly, yet prepare no force.
Mur. In and out, to and fro, bully my boykin, we
shall carry the world afore us, I vow by my worship,
when I am Knighted, we'll take the King napping, if he
1315stand on their part.
Act. This night we few in Hygate will repose,
With the first Cock we'll rise and arme our selves,
To be in Ficket field by break of day,
And there expect our General.
1320Mur. Sir John Oldcastle, what if he come not?
Bour. Yet our action stands,
Sir Roger Acton may supply his place.
Mur. True M. Bourn, but who shall make me Knight?
Bev. He that hath power to be our General.
1325Act. Talk not of trifles, come let's away,
Our friends of London long till it be day.
Exeunt.
Enter Priest and Doll.
Doll. By my troth, thou art as jealous a man as lives.
Priest. Canst thou blame me, Doll. thou art my Lands,
1330my Goods, my Jewels, my Wealth, my purse, none walks
within forty miles of London, but a plies thee as truly, as
the Parish does the poor mans box.
Doll.I am as true to thee, as the stone is in the wall,
and thou know'st well enough, I was in as good doing,
1335when I came to thee, as any wench need to be: and
therefore thou hast tryed me that thou hast: and I will
not be kept as I ha bin, that I will not.
Priest. Doll, if this blade hold, there's not a Pedler
walks with a pack, but thou shalt as boldly choose of his
1340wares, as with thy ready mony in a merchants shop,
we'll have as good silver as the King coins any.
Doll. What is all the Gold spent you took the last day
from the Courtier?
Priest. 'Tis gone Doll, 'tis flown; merrily come, mer-
1345rily gone; he comes a horse back that must pay for all;
we'll have as good meat as mony can get, and as good
gowns as can be bought for gold, be merry wench, the
Malt-man comes on Monday.
Doll. You might have left me at Cobham, untill you
1350had been better provided for.
Priest. No sweet Doll, no, I like not that, yon old
Ruffian is not for the Priest: I do not like a new Cleark
should come in the old Bel-fry.
Doll. Thou art a mad Priest ifaith.
1355Priest. Come Doll, I'le see thee safe at some Ale-house
here at Cray,
and the next sheep that comes shall leave
behind his fleece.
Exeunt.
Enter the King, Suffolk, and Butler.
K.in great hast.My Lord of Suffolk, post away for
1360And let our forces of such horse and foot,
As can be gathered up by any means.
Make speedy randevouze in Tuttle fields,
It must be done this evening my Lord,
This night the Rebels mean to draw to head
1365Near 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.
Suff. I go, my Soveraigne, with all happy speed.
Exit.
1370Kin. Make hast, my Lord of Suffolk, as you love us.
Butler, post you to London with all speed:
Command the Maior and Sheriffs on their allegeance,
The City gates be presently shut up,
And guarded with a strong sufficient watch,
1375And not a man be suffered to passe,
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,
1380Except such as the Mayor and Sheriffs shall choose
For their own guard, and safety of their persons:
Butler away, have care unto my charge.
But. I go, my Soveraigne.
King. Butler.
1385But. My Lord.
Kin. Go down by Greenwitch, and command a boat,
At the Friars Bridge attend my coming down.
But. I will, my Lord.
Exit Butler.
King. It's time I think to look unto Rebellion,
1390When Acton doth expect unto his aid,
No lesse then fifty thousand Londoners.
Well, I'le to Westminster in this disguise,
To hear what news is stirring in these brawls.
Enter Priest.
1395Priest. Stand true-man, sayes a Thief.
King. Stand Thief sayes a true-man: how if a Thief?
Pri. Stand Thief too.
Kin. Then thief or true-man, I must stand I see,
howsoever the world wags, the trade of thieving yet will
1400never down. What art thou?
Pri. A good fellow.
Kin. So I am too, I see thou dost know me.
Pri. If thou be a good fellow, play the good fellowes
part, deliver thy purse without more adoe.
1405King. I have no money.
Pri. I must make you finde some before we part, if
you have no money you shall have ware, as many sound
blowes as your skin can carry.
Kin. Is that the plain truth?
1410Pri.Sirrha, no more adoe; come, come, give me the
money you have. Dispatch, I cannot stand all day.
Kin. Well, if thou wilt needs have it, there it is: just
the Proverbe, one thief robs another. Where the Devil
are all my old thieves? Falstaffe that villain is so fat, he
1415cannot get on's Horse, but me thinks Poynes and Peto
should be stirring hereabouts.
Pri. How much is there on't of thy word?
Kin. A hundred pound in Angels, on my word.
The time has been I would have done as much
1420For thee, if thou hadst past this way, as I have now.
Pri. Sirrha, what art thou? thou seem'st a Gentleman?
Kin. I am no lesse, yet a poor one now, for thou hast
all my money.
Pri. From whence cam'st thou?
1425Kin. From the Court at Eltham.
Pri. Art thou one of the King's Servants?
Kin. Yes that I am, and one of his Chamber.
Pri. I am glad th'art no worse: thou may'st the better
spare thy money, and think thou might'st get a poor
1430Thief his pardon if he should have need.
Kin. Yes that I can.
Pri. Wilt thou doe so much for me, when I shall have
occasion?
Kin. Yes faith will I, so it be for no murther.
1435Pri.Nay, I am a pittifull thief, all the hurt I do a man,
I take but his purse, I'le kill no man.
Kin. Then of my word I'le do't.
Pri. Give me thy hand of the same.
Kin. There 'tis.
1440Pri. Me thinks the King should be good to Thieves,
because he has bin a thief himself, although I think now
he be turned a true-man.
Kin. Faith I have heard indeed h'as had an ill name
that way in's youth: but how canst thou tell that he has
1445been a thief?
Pri. How? because he once robb'd me before I fell to
the trade my self, when that foul villanous guts, that led
him to all that Roguery, was in's company there, that
Falstaffe.
1450King aside.Well, if he did rob thee then, thou art but
even with him now I'le be sworn: Thou knowest not the
King now I think, if thou sawest him?
Pri. Not I, ifaith.
King aside. So it should seem.
1455Pri. Well, if old King Harry had liv'd, this King
that is now, had made thieving the best trade in England.
King. Why so?
Pri. Because he was the chief Warden of our Com-
pany, it's pitty that e're he should have been a King, he
1460was so brave a thief. But sirrha, wilt remember my par-
don if need be?
King. Yes faith will I.
Pri. Wilt thou? well then, because thou shalt go safe,
for thou may'st hap (being so early) be met with again,
1465before thou come to Southwarke, if any man when he
should bid thee good morrow, bid the stand, say thou but
sir John, and they will let thee passe.
King. Is that the word? then let me alone.
Pri. Nay sirrha, because I think indeed I shall have
1470some occasion to use thee, and as thou comm'st oft this
way, I may light on thee another time not knowing thee,
here I'le break this Angel, take thou half of it, this is a to-
ken betwixt thee and me.
King. God a mercy: farewell.
Exit.
1475Pri. O my fine golden slaves, here's for thee, wench,
ifaith. Now, Doll, we will revell in our Bever, this is a
Tythe Pig of my Vicarage. God a mercy, neighbour
Shooters-hill, you ha paid your Tythe honestly. Well, I
hear there is a company of Rebels up against the King,
1480got together in Ficket-field near Holborn, and as it is
thought, here in Kent, the King will be there to night
in's own person: well, I'le to the Kings Camp, and it
shall go hard, if there be any doings but I'le make some
good boot among them.
Exit.
1485
Enter King Henry, Suffolk, Huntington, and
two with Lights.
King.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?
1490Suf. May't please your Highnesse.
King. Peace, no more of that,
The King's asleep, wake not his Majesty,
With termes nor Titles; he's at rest in bed,
Kings do not use to watch themselves, they sleep,
1495And let rebellion and conspiracy
Revel and havock in the Commonwealth.
Is London look'd unto?
Hun. It is, my Lord:
Your noble Unckle Exeter is there.
1500Your Brother Glocester, 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,
1505So though it please your Majesty to jest,
Were you in bed, well might you take your rest.
King. I thank ye Lords: but you do know of old,
That I have been a perfect night-walker:
London, you say, is safely lookt unto,
1510Alass, poor Rebels, there your aid must fail,
And the Lord Cobham Sir John Oldcastle,
Quiet in Kent, Acton, ye are deceiv'd:
Reckon again, you count without your Hoste.
To morrow you shall give account to us,
1515Till when, my friends, this long cold winters night
How can we spend? King Harry is asleep,
And all his Lords, these garments tell us so:
All friends at Foot-ball, fellowes all in field,
Harry, and Dick, and George, bring us a Drumme,
1520Give us square Dice, we'll keep this Court of Guard,
For all good fellowes companies that come.
Where's that mad Priest ye told me was in Armes
To fight, as well as pray, if need required.
Suf. He's in the Camp, and if he knew of this,
1525I undertake he would not be long hence.
King. Trip Dick, trip George.
Hun. I must have the Dice: what doe we play at?
Suf. Passage if ye please.
Hunt. Set round then: so, at all.
1530Har. George, you are out.
Give me the Dice, I passe for twenty pound,
Here's to our lucky passage into France.
Hun. Harry, you passe indeed, for you sweep all.
Suf. A sign King Harry shall sweep all in France.
1535
Enter Priest.
Pri. Edge ye good fellowes, take a fresh gamester in.
Har. Master Parson, we play nothing but gold?
Pri. And, fellow, I tell thee that the Priest hath gold,
gold: what? ye are but beggarly soldiers to me, I think I
1540have more gold then all you three.
Hun. It may be so, but we believe it not.
Har. Set, Priest, set, I passe for all that gold.
Pri. Ye passe indeed.
Har. Priest, hast any more?
1545Pri. More? what a question's that?
I tell thee I have more then all you three,
At these ten Angels.
Har. I wonder how thou com'st by all this gold.
How many Benefices hast thou, Priest?
1550Pri. Faith, but one, dost wonder how I come by gold?
I wonder rather how poor soldiers should have gold: for
I'le tell thee, good fellow, we have every day tythes,
off'rings, christnings, weddings, burials: and you poor
snakes come seldome to a booty. I'le speak a proud word,
1555I have but one Parsonage, Wrotham, 'tis better then the
Bishoprick of Rochester: there's ne're a hill, heath, nor
down in all Kent, but 'tis in my Parish, Barrham-down,
Chobham-down, Gads-hill, Wrotham-hill, Black-heath,
Cocks-heath, Birchen-wood, all pay me tythe, gold quoth
1560a? ye pas not for that.
Suf. Harry, ye are out; now, Parson, shake the Dice.
Pri. Set, set, I'le cover ye, at all: A plague on't I am
out the Devil, and Dice, and a Wench, who will trust
them?
1565Suf. Say'st thou so, Priest? set fair, at all for once.
Har. Out, sir, pay all.
Pri. Sir, pay me Angel gold,
I'le none of your crackt French Crownes nor Pistolets,
Pay me fair Angel gold, as I pay you.
1570King. No crackt French Crownes? I hope to see more
crackt French Crownes ere long.
Pri. Thou mean'st of French-mens Crownes, when
the King's in France.
Hun. Set round, at all.
1575Pri. Pay all: this is some luck.
King. Give me the Dice, 'tis I must shred the Priest:
At all, Sir John.
Pri. The Devil and all is yours: at that. 'Sdeath, what
casting's this?
1580Suf. Well thrown, Harry, ifaith.
King. I'le cast better yet.
Pri. Then I'le be hang'd. Sirrha, hast thou not given
thy soul to the Devil for casting?
Har. I passe for all.
1585Pri. Thou passest all that e're I plaid withall:
Sirrha, dost thou not cog, nor foist, nor slurre?
Kin. Set, Parson, set, the Dice die in my hand.
When, Parson, when? what, can ye find no more?
Already dry? was't you brag'd of your store?
1590Pri. All's gone but that.
Hun. What? half a broken Angel.
Pri. Why, sir? 'tis gold.
Kin. Yea, and I'le cover it.
Pri. The Devil give ye good on't, I am blind, you
1595have blown me up.
Kin. Nay, tarry, Priest, you shall not leave us yet,
Do not these pieces fit each other well?
Pri. What if they doe?
King. Thereby begins a tale:
1600There was a Thief, in face much like Sir John,
But 'twas not he. That thief was all in green,
Met me last day on Black-heath, near the Parke,
With him a Woman. I was all alone
And weaponlesse, my boy had all my tooles,
1605And 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 storm'd at it, and swore to be reveng'd
If e're we met; he like a lusty Thief,
1610Brake 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 weapons point
Recover that, and what he had beside.
1615Well met, Sir John, betake ye to your tooles
By Torch-light, for, Master Parson, you are he
That had my Gold.
Pri. Zounds, I won't in play, in fair square play, of
the Keeper of Eltham-Parke, and that I will maintain
1620with this poor Whinyard: be you two honest men to stand
and look upon's, and let's alone, and neither part.
Kin. Agreed, I charge ye doe not budge a foot,
Sir John, have at ye.
Pri. Souldier, ware your sconce.
1625
As they proffer, enter Butler, and drawes his
Sword to part them.
But. Hold, villain, hold: my Lords, what d'ye mean,
To see a Traitor draw against the King?
Pri. The King? Gods will, I am in a proper pickle.
1630King. Butler, what newes? why dost thou trouble us?
But. Please your Majesty, it's break of day,
And as I scouted near to I{sl
}ington,
The gray-ey'd morning gave me glimmering,
Of armed men comming down Hygate hill,
1635Who by their course are coasting hitherward.
King. Let us withdraw, my Lords, prepare our troops,
To charge the Rebels if there be such cause:
For this lewd Priest, this devillish Hypocrite,
That is a Thief, a gamester, and what not,
1640Let him be hang'd up for example sake.
Priest. Not so, my gracious Soveraign, I confesse I am
a fraile man, flesh and blood as other are; but set my im-
perfections aside, ye have not a taller man, nor a truer
Subject to the Crown and State, than Sir John of Wro-
1645thamis.
Kin. Will a true Subject rob his King?
Pri. Alass 'twas ignorance and want, my gracious
Liege.
King. 'Twas want of grace. Why, you should be as
1650To season others with good document,
Your lives as lamps to give the people light,
As shepheards, not as Wolves to spoile the flock;
Go hang him, Butler.
But. Didst thou not rob me?
1655Prie. I must confesse I saw some of your gold, but, my
dread Lord, I am in no humour for death: God will that
sinners live, doe not you cause me to die, once in their
lives the best may go astray, and if the world say true,
your self (my Liege) have bin a Thief.
1660Kin. I confesse I have,
But I repent and have reclaim'd my self.
Pri. So will I doe if you will give me time.
Kin. Wilt thou? My Lords, will you be his sureties?
Hun. That when he robs again he shall be hang'd.
1665Pri. I aske no more.
Kin.And we will grant thee that,
Live and repent, and prove an honest man,
Which when I hear, and safe return from France,
I'le give thee living. Till when, take thy Gold,
1670But spend it better then at Cards or Wine,
For better virtues fit that Coat of thine.
Pri. Vivat Rex, & currat Lex. My Liege, if ye have
cause of Battel, ye shall see Sir John bestir himself in your
quarrell.
1675
An alarum. Enter King, Suffolk, Huntington, Sir
John bringing forth Acton, Beverly, and
Murly prisoners.
King. Bring in those Traitors, whose aspiring minds
Thought to have triumpht in our overthrow:
1680But now ye see, base villains, what successe
Attends ill actions wrongfully attempted.
Sir Roger Acton, thou retain'st the name
Of Knight, and should'st be more discreetly temper'd
Than joyn with pezants, Gentry is divine,
1685But thou hast made it more then popular.
Act. Pardon, my Lord, my conscience urg'd me to it
Kin. Thy conscience? then conscience is corrupt,
For in thy conscience thou art bound to us,
And in thy conscience thou should'st love thy Countrey,
1690Else what's the difference 'twixt a Christian,
And the uncivil manners of the Turk?
Bev. We meant no hurt unto your Majesty,
But reformation of Religion.
King.Reform Religion? was it that you sought?
1695I pray who gave you that authority?
Belike then we 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,
1700Unlesse their King were tyrant, which I hope
You cannot justly say that Harry is,
What is that other?
Suf. A Malt-man, my Lord,
And dwelling in Dunstable as he sayes.
1705King. Sirrha, what made you leave your Barley broth,
To come in armour thus against your King?
Mur. Fie, paltry, paltry, to and fro, in and out upon oc-
casion, what a world is this? Knighthood (my Liege)
'twas Knighthood brought me hither, they told me I had
1710wealth enough to make my Wife a Lady.
Kin. And so you brought those horses which we saw,
Trapt all in costly furniture, and meant
To wear these Spurres when you were Knighted once.
Mur. In and out upon occasion I did.
1715Kin. In and out upon occasion, therefore you shall be
hang'd, and in the stead of wearing these Spurres upon
your heeles, about your neck they shall bewray your fol-
ly to the world.
Pri. In and out upon occasion, that goes hard.
1720Mur. Fie, paltry, paltry, too and fro: good my Liege,
a pardon, I am sorry for my fault.
King. That comes too late: but tell me, went there
none beside Sir Roger Acton, upon whom
You did depend to be you Governour.
1725Mur. None, my Lord, but Sir John Oldcastle.
Enter Bishop.
Kin. Beares he a part in this conspiracy.
Act. We lookt, my Lord, that he would meet us here.
King. But did he promise you that he would come.
1730Act. Such Letters we received forth of Kent,
Bish. Where is my Lord the King? health to your grace.
Examining, my Lord, some of these Rebels,
It is a generall voyce among them all,
That they had never come into this place,
1735But to have met their valiant Generall
The good Lord Cobham as they title him:
Whereby, my Lord, your Grace may now perceive,
His Treason is apparant, which before
He sought to colour by his flattery.
1740King. Now by my Royalty I would have sworn,
But for his conscience which I bear withall,
There had not liv'd a more true hearted Subject.
Bish. It is but counterfeit, my gracious Lord,
And therefore may it please your Majesty,
1745To set your hand unto this precept here,
By which we'll cause him forthwith to appear,
And answer this by order of the Law.
Kin. Not onely that, but take Commission
To search, attach, imprison, and condemn,
1750This most notorious traitor as you please.
Bish. It shall be done, my Lord, without delay:
So now I hold Lord Cobham in my hand,
That which shall finish thy disdained life.
King. I think the Iron age begins but now,
1755Which learned Poets have so often taught,
Wherein there is no credit to be given
To either words or looks, or solemn oaths:
For if he were, how often hath he sworn,
How gently tun'd the musick of his tongue,
1760And with what amiable face beheld he me,
When all, God knowes, was but hypocrisie.
Enter Cobham.
Cob. Long life and prosperous reign unto my Lord.
Kin. Ah, villain, canst thou wish prosperity,
1765Whose heart includeth nought but treachery?
I do arrest thee here my self, false Knight,
Of treason capitall against the state.
Cob. Of treason, mighty Prince? your Grace mistakes,
I hope it is but in the way of mirth.
1770Kin. Thy neck shall feel it is in earnest shortly.
Dar'st thou intrude into our presence, knowing
How hainously thou hast offended us?
But this is thy accustomed deceit.
Now thou perceiv'st thy purpose is in vain,
1775With some excuse or other thou wilt come
To clear thy self of this Rebellion.
Cob. Rebellion, good my Lord, I know of none.
Kin. If you deny it, here is evidence,
See you these men; you never counselled,
1780Nor offered them assistance in their Warres.
Cob. 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
1785Of this your late unnaturall Rebellion?
Speak, for I dare the uttermost you can.
Mur. In and out upon occasion, I know you not.
King. No, didst thou not say, that Sir John Oldcastle
Was one with whom you purposed to have met?
1790Mur. True, I did say so, but in what respect,
Because I heard it was reported so.
King. Was there no other argument but that?
Act. I must confesse we have no other ground
But onely runour to accuse this Lord,
1795Which now I see was meerly fabulous.
Kin. The more pernitious you to taint him then,
Whom you know was not faulty, yea or no.
Cob. Let this, my Lord, which I present your Grace
Speak for my loyalty, read these Articles,
1800And then give sentence of my life or death.
Kin. 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't possible.
1805Cob. There is the platforme, and their hands, my Lord,
Each severally subscribed to the same.
Kin. Oh never heard of base ingratitude!
Even those I hug within my bosome most,
Are readiest evermore to sting my heart.
1810Pardon me, Cobham, I have done thee wrong,
Hereafter I will live to make amends.
Is then their time of meeting so near hand?
We'll meet with them, but little for their ease,
If God permit. Go take these Rebels hence,
1815Let them have martiall law: but as for thee,
Friend to thy King and Countrey, still be free.
Exeunt.
Mur. Be it more or lesse, what a world is this?
Would I had continued still of the order of knaves,
And ne're sought Knight-hood, since it costs
1820So dear: Sir Roger, I may thank you for all.
Acton. Now 'tis too late to have it remedied,
I prethee, Murley, doe not urge me with it.
Hun. Will you away, and make no more to doe?
Mur. Fie paltry, paltry, too and fro, as occasion serves,
1825If you be so hasty, take my place.
Hun. No, good sir Knight, e'ne tak't your self.
Mur. I could be glad to give my betters place.
Exeunt.
Enter Bishop, Lord Warden, Cromer the Shreeve,
Lady Cobham and attendants.
1830Bish. I tell ye, Lady, it's impossible
But you should know where he conveyes himself,
And you have hid him in some secret place.
La. My Lord, believe me, as I have a soule,
I know not where my Lord my Husband is.
1835Bish. Go to, go, ye are an Heretick,
And will be forc't by torture to confesse,
If fair meanes will not serve to make you tell.
La. My Husband is a noble Gentleman,
And need not hide himself for any fact
1840That e're I heard of, therefore wrong him not,
Bish. Your husband is a dangerous Schismatick,
Traitor to God, the King, and Commonwealth,
And therefore, M. Cromer, Shreeve of Kent,
I charge you take her to your custody,
1845And seize the goods of Sir John Oldcastle
To the Kings use; let her go in no more,
To fetch so much as her apparell out,
There is your warrant from his Majesty.
L. War. Good my Lord Bishop, pacifie your wrath
1850Against the Lady.
Bish. Then let her confesse
Where Oldcastle her husband is conceal'd.
L. War. I dare engage mine honour and my life,
Poor Gentlewoman, she is ignorant
1855And innocent of all his practices
If any evil by him be practised.
Bish. If, my Lord Warden? Nay then I charge you,
That all Cinque-ports whereof you are chief,
Be laid forthwith, that he escapes us not.
1860Shew him his Highnesse warrant, M. Sheriffe.
L. War. I am sorry for the Noble Gentleman.
Bish. Peace, he comes here, now do your office,
Enter Harpoole and Oldcastle.
Cob. Harpoole, what businesse have we here in hand?
1865What makes the Bishop and the Sheriffe here?
I fear my comming home is dangerous,
I would I had not made such haste to Cobham.
Har. Be of good cheer, my Lord, if they be foes,
we'll scramble shrewdly with them: if they be friends
1870they are welcome.
Cro. Sir John Oldcastle Lord Cobham, in the Kings
name, I arrest ye of high treason.
Cob. Treason, M. Cromer?
Har.Treason, M. Sheriffe, what Treason?
1875Cob. Harpoole, I charge thee stirre not, but be quiet.
Do ye arrest me of Treason, M. Sheriffe?
Bish. Yea, of high Treason, Traitor, Heretick.
Cob. Defiance in his face that calls me so,
I am as true a loyall Gentleman
1880Unto his Highnesse, as my proudest enemy,
The King shall witnesse my late faithfull service,
For safety of his sacred Majesty.
Bish. What thou art, the Kings hand shall testifie,
Shew him, Lord Warden.
1885Cob. Jesu defend me,
Is't possible your cunning could so temper
The Princely disposition of his minde,
To sign the damage of a royall Subject?
Well, the best is, it beares an antedate,
1890Procured by my absence and your malice.
But I, since that, have shew'd my self as true,
As any Churchman that dare challenge me.
Let me be brought before his Majesty,
If he acquit me not, then doe your worst.
1895Bish. We are not bound to doe kinde offices,
For any traitor, schismatick, nor heretick:
The Kings hand is our warrant for our work,
Who is departed on his way for France,
And at Southampton doth repose this night.
1900Har. O that thou and I were within twenty miles of
it, on Salisbury plain! I would lose my head if thou
brought'st thy head hither again.
Aside.
Cob. My Lord Warden o'th Cinque-ports, and Lord
of Rochester, ye are joynt Commissioners, favour me so
1905much on my expence, to bring me to the King.
Bish. VVhat, to Southampton?
Cob. Thither, my good Lord,
And if he doe not clear me of all guilt,
And all suspicion of conspiracy,
1910Pawning his Princely warrant for my truth:
I aske no favour, but extreamest torture.
Bring me, or send me to him, good my Lord,
Good my Lord VVarden, M. Shrieve entreat.
They both entreat for me.
1915Come hither, Lady, nay sweet wife, forbear
To heap one sorrow on anothers neck:
'Tis grief enough falsely to be accus'd,
And not permitted to acquit my self,
Doe not thou with thy kinde respective teares,
1920Torment thy husbands heart that bleeds for thee:
But be of comfort, God hath help in store
For those that put assured trust in him.
Dear VVife, if they commit me to the Tower,
Come up to London to your sisters house:
1925That being near me, you may comfort me.
One solace find I setled in my soul,
That I am free from Treasons very thought,
Onely my conscience for the Gospels sake,
Is cause of all the troubles I sustain.
1930La. O, my dear Lord, what shall betide of us?
You to the Tower, and I turn'd out of doors,
Our substance seiz'd unto his Highnesse use,
Even to the garments longing to our backs.
Har. Patience, good Madam, things at worst will mend,
1935And if they do not, yet our lives may end.
Bish. Urge it no more, for if an Angel spake,
I swear by sweet S. Peter's blessed keyes,
First goes he to the Tower, then to the stake.
Crom. But by your leave, this warrant doth not stretch
1940To imprison her.
Bish. No, turn her out of doors,
Even as she is, and lead him to the Tower,
With guard enough, for fear of rescuing.
La. O God requite thee thou bloud-thirsty man.
1945Cob. May it not be, my Lord of Rochester?
Wherein have I incurr'd your hate so far,
That my appeal unto the King's deny'd.
Bish. No hate of mine, but power of holy Church,
Forbids all favour to false Hereticks.
1950Cob.Your private malice more then publick power,
Strikes most at me, but with my life it ends.
Har. aside. O that I had the Bishop in that fear
That once I had his Sumner by our selves.
Cro. My Lord, yet grant one suit unto us all,
1955That this same ancient servingman may wait
Upon my Lord his master in the Tower.
Bish. This old iniquity, this heretick?
That in contempt of our Church discipline,
Compel'd my Sumner to devour his Processe?
1960Old ruffian past-grace, upstart schismatick,
Had not the King pray'd us to pardon ye,
Ye had fryed for't, ye grizeled heretick.
Har. Sblood, my Lord Bishop, ye wrong me, I am
neither Heretick nor Puritan, but of the old Church, I'le
1965swear, drink ale, kiss a wench, go to mass, eat fish all
Lent, and fast Frydayes with cakes and wine, fruit and
spicery, shrive me of my old sinnes afore Easter, and be-
gin new before Whitsontide.
Cro. A merry mad conceited knave, my Lord.
1970Har. That knave was simply put upon the Bishop.
Bish. 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.
Cob. God bless my soul from such cold charity.
1975Bish. To th'Tower with him, & when my leisure serves
I will examine him of Articles;
Look, my Lord Warden, as you have in charge
The Shrieve perform his office.
War. I, my Lord.
Enter Sumner with Books.
1980Bish. What bring'st thou there? what, books of heresie?
Sum. Yea, my Lord, here's not a Latine Book,
No not so much as our Ladies Psalter:
Here's the Bible, the Testament, the Psalmes in meeter,
The sick-man's salve, the Treasure of Gladness,
1985All English, no not so much but the Almanack's English.
Bish. Away with them, to th'fire with them, Clun,
Now fie upon these upstart Hereticks.
All English, burn them, burn them quickly, Clun.
Harp. But do not, Sumner, as you'll answer it, for I
1990have there English books, my Lord, that I'le not part
withall for your Bishoprick, Bevis of Hampton, Owle-
glasse, The Fryer and the Boy, Ellen of Rumming, Ro-
bin-hood, and other such godly stories, which if you burn,
by this flesh I'le make ye drink their ashes in S. Marget's
1995Ale.
Exit.
Enter the Bishop of Rochester, with his men in Livery Coats.
1. Ser. Is it your honours we shall stay,
Or come back in the afternoon to fetch you.
Bish. Now have ye brought me here unto the Tower,
2000You may go back unto the Porter's lodge,
Where if I have occasion to employ you,
I'le 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.
20052. We will attend your honour here without.
3. Come, we may have a quart of wine at the Rose at
Barking, and come back an hour before he'll go.
1.We must hie us then.
3. Let's away.
Exeunt.
2010Bish. Ho, Mr. Lievtenant.
Liev. Who calls there?
Bish. A friend of yours.
Liev. My Lord of Rochester? your honour's welcome.
Bish. Sir, here's my warrant from the counsel,
2015For conference with Sir John Oldcastle,
Upon some matter of great consequence.
Liev. Ho, Sir John.
Har. Who calls there?
Liev. Harpool, tell sir John, that my Lord of Rochester
2020Comes from the counsel to confer with him,
I think you may as safe without suspition.
As any man in England as I hear,
For it was you most labour'd his commitment.
Bish. I did, sir, and nothing repent it I assure you.
2025
Enter Sir John Oldcastle.
Mr. Lievtenant, I pray you give us leave,
I must confer here with sir John a little.
Liev. With all my heart, my Lord.
Har. aside. My Lord, be rul'd by me, take this occasion
2030while it is offered, & on my life your Lordship will escape.
Cob. No more I say, peace lest he should suspect it.
Bish. Sir John, I am come to you from the Lords of
the Counsel, to know if you do recant your errours.
Cob. My Lord of Rochester, on good advice.
2035I see my errour; but yet understand me,
I mean not errour in the Faith I hold,
But errour in submitting to your pleasure,
Therefore your Lordship without more to do,
Must be a means to help me to escape.
2040Bish. What means, thou heretick?
Dar'st thou but lift thy hand against my calling?
Cob. No, not to hurt you for a thousand pound.
Har. Nothing but to borrow your upper garment a
little, not a word more, peace for waking the children;
2045there, put on, dispatch, my Lord, the window that goes
out into the Leads is sure enough: as for you, I'le bind
you surely in the inner room.
Cob. This is well begun, God send us happy speed,
Hard shift you see men make in time of need.
2050
Enter servingmen again.
1. I marvel that my Lord should stay so long.
2. He hath sent to seek us I dare lay my life.
3. We come in good time, see where he is coming.
Har. I beseech you, good my Lord of Rochester, be
2055favourable to my Lord and master.
Cob. The inner roomes be very hot and close,
I do not like this air here in the Tower.
Harp. His case is hard, my Lord: you shall safely get
out of the Tower, but I will down upon them; in which
2060time get you away: Hard under Islington wait you my
coming, I will bring my Lady ready with horses to get
hence.
Cob. Fellow, go back again unto my Lord, and coun-
sel him.
2065Har. Nay, my good Lord of Rochester, I'le bring you
to S. Albons through the woods I warrant you.
Cob. Villain away.
Har. Nay since I am past the Towers liberty,
You part not so.
He drawes.
2070Bish. Clubs, clubs, clubs.
1. Murther, murther, murther.
2. Down with him.
Har. Out you cowardly rogues.
Cobh. escapes.
Enter Lieutenant, and his men.
2075Liev. Who is so bold as to dare to draw a sword
So near unto the entrance of the Tower.
1. This Ruffian, servant to sir John Oldcastle, was
like to have slain my Lord.
Liev. Lay hold on him.
2080Har. Stand off if you love your puddings.
Rochester calls within.
Help, help, help, Mr. Lievtenant, help.
Liev. Who's that within? some Treason in the
Tower on my life, look in, who's that which calls?
2085
Enter Rochester bound.
Liev. Without your cloak, my Lord of Rochester?
Har. There, now it works; then let me speed,
For now's the fittest time to scape away.
Exit.
Liev. Why do you look so gastly and affrighted?
2090Bish. Oldcastle that Traitor and his man,
When you had left me to conferre with him,
Took, bound, and stript me as you see,
And left me lying in this inner chamber,
And so departed, and I----
2095Liev. And you! Nere say that the Lord Cobham's man
Did here set on you like to murther you.
1. And so he did.
Bish. It was upon his Master then he did,
That in the brawl the Traitor might escape.
2100Liev. Where is this Harpool?
2. Here he was even now.
Liev. Where, can you tell? They are both escap'd.
Since it so happens that he is escap'd,
I am glad you are a witnesse of the same:
2105It might have else been laid unto my charge,
That I had been consenting to the fact.
Bish. Come, search shall be made for him with expedi-
tion, the Haven's laid that he shall not escape, and hue
and cry continue through England, to find this damned,
2110dangerous heretick.
Exeunt.
Enter Cambridge, Scroop, and Gray, as in a chamber, and
set down at a Table, consulting about their Treason,
King Harry and Suffolk listning at the door.
Cam. In mine opinion, Scroop hath well advis'd,
2115Poison will be the onely aptest mean,
And fittest for our purpose to dispatch him.
Gray. But yet there may be doubt in their delivery,
Harry is wise, therefore Earl of Cambridge,
I judge that way not so convenient.
2120Scr. What think ye then of this? I am his bedfellow,
And unsuspected nightly sleep with him.
What if I venture in those silent houres,
When sleep hath sealed up all mortal eyes
To murther him in bed? how like ye that?
2125Cam. Herein consists no safety for your self,
And you disclos'd, what shall become of us?
But this day (as ye know) he will aboard,
The wind's so fair, and set away for France,
If as he goes, or entring in the ship
2130It might be done, then were it excellent.
Gray. Why any of these, or if you will,
I'le cause a present sitting of the Councel,
Wherein I will pretend some matter of such weight,
As needs must have his royal company,
2135And so dispatch him in his Councel chamber.
Cam. Tush, yet I hear not any thing to purpose;
I wonder that Lord Cobham stayes so long,
His counsel in this case would much avail us.
The King steps in upon them with his Lords.
2140Scr. What shall we rise thus, and determine nothing?
King. 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 the King,
Then you shall see how I can furnish ye;
2145Scroop's way by poison was indifferent,
But yet being bed-fellow to the King,
And unsuspected, sleeping in his bosome,
In mine opinion that's the likelier way.
For such false friends are able to do much,
2150And silent night is Treason's fittest friend.
Now, Cambridge in his setting hence for France,
Or by the way, or as he goes aboard
To do the deed, that was indifferent too,
But somewhat doubtfull.
2155Marry Lord Gray came very near the point,
To have the King at Counsel, and there murder him,
As sar was amongst his dearest friends.
Tell me, oh tell me, you bright honour's staines,
For which of all my kindnesses to you,
2160Are ye become thus Traitors to your King?
And France must have the spoil of Harrie's life.
All. Oh pardon us, dread Lord.
King. How, pardon ye? that were a sin indeed,
Drag them to death, which justly they deserve:
2165And France shall dearly buy this villany,
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 mirrour of Nobilitie.
Exit.
2170
Enter the Host, L. Cobham, and Harpool.
Host. Sir, y'are welcome to this house, to such as is
here with all my heart: but I fear your lodging will be
the worst. I have but two beds, and they are both in a
chamber, and the Carrier and his daughter lies in the
2175one, and you and your wife must lye in the other.
Cob. Faith sir, for my self I do not greatly pass,
My wife is weary, and would be at rest,
For we have travel'd very far to day,
We must be content with such as you have.
2180Host. But I cannot tell how to do with your man.
Har. What? hast thou never an empty room in thy
house for me?
Host. Not a bed in troth. There came a poor Irish-
man, and I lodg'd him in the barn, where he has fair
2185straw, although he have nothing else.
Har. Well mine Host, I prythee help me to a pair of
clean sheets, and I'le go lodge with him.
Host. By the Mass that thou shalt, a good pair
of
hempen sheets were nere layn in: come.
Exeunt.
2190
Enter Constable, Mayor, and Watch.
May. What? have you searcht the Town?
Con. All the town, sir, we have not left a house un-
searcht that uses to lodge.
May. Surely, my Lord of Rochester was then deceiv'd,
2195Or ill inform'd of sir John Oldcastle,
Or if he came this way, he's past the Town,
He could not else have scap'd you in the search.
Con. The privy watch hath been abroad all night,
And not a stranger lodgeth in the Town
2200But he is known; onely a lusty Priest
We found in bed with a pretty wench,
That sayes she is his wife, yonder at the Shears:
But we have charg'd the host with his forth coming
To morrow morning.
2205May. What think you best to do?
Con. Faith, Mr. Maior, here's a few stragling houses
beyond the hrigde, and a little Inne where Carriers use
to lodge, although I think surely he would nere lodge
there: but we'll go search, and the rather, because
2210there came notice to the town the last night of an Irish
man, that had done a murther, whom we are to make
search for.
Mayor. Come I pray you, and be circumspect.
Exeunt.
Con. First beset the house, before you begin to search.
2215Offi. Content, every man take a several place.
A noise within.
Keep, keep, strike him down there, down with him.
Enter Constable with the Irishman in Harpool's apparel.
Con. Come you villanous heretick, tell us where your
2220Master is.
Irish. Vat mester?
May. Vat mester, you counterfeit Rebel? This shall
not serve your turn.
Irish. Be sent Patrick I ha no mester.
2225Con. Where's the Lord Cobham, sir John Oldcastle,
that lately escaped out of the Tower?
Irish. Vat Lort Cobham?
May. You counterfeit this shall not serve you, we'll
torture you, we'll make you confesse where that arch-he-
2230retick is. Come bind him fast.
Irish. Ahone, ahone, ahone, a Cree.
Con. Ahone you crafty rascal?
Exeunt.
Lord Cobham comes out stealing in his gown.
Cob. Harpool, Harpool, I hear a marvellous noise about
2235the house, God warrant us, I fear we are pursued:
what Harpool?
Har. within. Who calls there?
Cob. 'Tis I, dost thou not hear a noise about the house?
Har. Yes marry do I, zounds I cannot find my hose,
2240this Irish rascal that lodg'd with me all night, hath stollen
my apparel, and has left me nothing but a lowsie mantle,
and a pair of broags. Get up, get up, and if the Carrier
and his wench be asleep, change you with him as he hath
done with me, and see if we can scape.
2245
Noise heard about the house a pretty while, then enter
the Constable meeting Harpool in the Irish-
man's aparell.
Con. Stand close, here comes the Irishman that did the
murther, by all tokens this is he.
2250May. And perceiving the house beset, would get away:
stand sirra.
Har. What art thou that bid'st me stand?
Con. I am the Officer, and am come to search for an
Irish man, such a villain as thy self, thou hast murther'd
2255a man this last night by the high way.
Harp. Sbloud Constable art thou mad? am I an
Irish-man?
May. Sirra, we'll find you an Irish-man befor we part:
Lay hold upon him.
2260Con. Make him fast, O thou bloudy rogue!
Enter Lord Cobham and his Lady, in the Carrier
and wenches apparel.
Cob. What will these Ostlers sleep all day?
Good morrow, good morrow, come wench, come;
2265Saddle, saddle, now afore God two fair dayes, ha?
Con. Who goes there?
May. O 'tis Lancashire Carrier, let them pass.
Cob. What, will no body ope the gates here?
Come, let's int'stable to look to our Capons.
2270
The Carrier calling.
Host, why Ostler?
Zwooks here's such a bomination company of Boyes:
A pox of this pigstie at the house end,
It fills all the house full of fleas, Ostler, Ostler.
2275Ost. Who calls there? what would you have?
Club. Zwooks, do you rob your guests?
Do you lodge rogues, and slaves, and scoundrels, ha?
They ha stoln our clothes here: why Ostler?
Ost. A murren choak you, what a bawling you keep.
2280Host. How now? what would the Carrier have?
Look up there.
Ostler. They say the man and the woman that lay by
them, have stoln their clothes.
Host. What, are the strange folks up yet that came in
2285yester night?
Con. What mine Host, up so early?
Host. What Mr. Maior, and Mr. Constable?
May. We are come to seek for some suspected per-
sons, and such as here we found have apprehended.
2290
Enter Carrier and Kate in Cobham and Ladies apparel.
Con. Who comes here?
Club. Who comes here? A plague found ome, you
bawl quoth a, ods hat I'le forewear your house: you lodg'd
a fellow and his wife by us, that ha run away with our
2295parrel, and left us such gew-gaws here, come Kate, come
to me, thowse dizeard yfaith.
Mayor.Mine host, know you this man?
Host. Yes master Maior, I'le give my word for him,
why neighbour Club, how comes this gear about?
2300Kate. Now a foule on't, I cannot make this gew-gaw
stand on my head.
Con. How came this man and woman thus attired?
Host. Here came a man and woman hither this last
night, which I did take for substantial people, and lodg'd
2305all in one chamber by these folks: me thinks have been
so bold to change apparel, and gone away this morning
ere they rose.
May. That was that Traitor Oldcastle that thus escapt
us: make hue and cry after him, keep fast that traiterous
2310Rebel his servant there: farewell, mine Host.
Car. Come Kate Owdham, thou and Ise trimly dizard.
Kate. Ifaith neam Club, Ise wot nere what to do, Ise
be so slouted and so shouted at: but by th'Mess Ise cry.
Exit.
2315
Enter Priest and Doll.
Priest. Come Doll, come, be merry wench.
Farewell Kent, we are not for thee.
Be lusty my Lasse, come for Lancashire,
We must nip the Boung for these Crowns.
2320Doll. Why is all the gold spent alerady, that you had
the other day.
Priest. Gone Doll, gone; flown, spent, vanished,
the Devil, drink, and dice, has devoured all.
Doll. You might have left me in Kent till you had
2325been better provided.
Priest. No, Doll, no, Kent's too hot, Doll, Kent's
too hot: the weathercock of Wrotham will crow no lon-
ger, we have pluckt him, he has lost his feathers, I have
prun'd him bare, left him thrice, is moulted, is moulted
2330wench.
Doll. I might have gone to service again, old M. Har-
pool told me he would provide me a Mistris.
Priest. Peace, Doll, peace; come mad wench, I'le
make thee an honest woman, we'll into Lancashire to
2335our friends, the troth is, I'le marry thee, we want but a
little money, and money we will have I warrant thee:
stay, who comes here? some Irish villain me thinks that
has slain a man, and now he is rifling on him, stand close,
Doll, we'll see the end.
2340
Enter the Irishman with his dead Master,
and rifles him.
Irish. Alas poe Master, Sir Rishard Lee, be S. Patrick
is rob and cut thy trote, for de shain, and dy mony, and
dy gold ring, be me truly is love de well, but now dow
2345be kill de, be shitten kanave.
Priest. Stand, sirra, what art thou?
Irish. Be S. Patrick Mester, is poor Irisman, is a
leufter.
Priest. Sirra, sirra, y'are a damn'd rogue, you have
2350kill'd a man here, and rifled him of all that he has:
sbloud you rogue deliver, or I'le not leave you so much as
a hair above your shoulders, you whorson Iris dog.
Robs him.
Irish. We's me S. Patrick, Ise kill my Mester for
2355shain and his ring, and now's be rob of all, me's undo.
Priest. Avant you Rascal, go sirra, be walking: come
Doll, the devil laughs when one thief robs another: come
wench, we'll to S. Albans, and revel in our bower, my
brave girle.
2360Doll. O thou art old Sir John when all's done ifaith.
Enter the host of the house with the Irishman.
Irish. Be me tro Mester is poor Irisman, is want lud-
ging, is have no mony, is starve and cold, good Mester
give her some meat, is famise and tye.
2365Host. Faith fellow I have no lodging, but what I keep
for my Guesse: as for meat, thou shalt have as much as
there is, and if thou wilt lie in the barn, there's fair straw,
and room enough.
Irish. Is tank my Mester hertily.
2370Host. Ho, Robin.
Rob. Who calls?
Host. Shew this poor Irishman to the barn, go sirra.
Enter Carrier and Kate.
Club. Who's within here? who looks to the horses?
2375Uds hat, here's fine work, the Hens in the manger, and
the Hogs in the litter, a bots found you all, here's a house
well lookt too ifaith.
Kate. Mas Goff Club, Ise very cawd.
Club. Get in Kate, get into fire and warme thee.
2380John Ostler?
Host. What, Gaffer Club, welcome to S. Albans,
How do's all our friends in Lancashire?
Club. Well, God a mercy John, how do's Tom?
where is he?
2385Ost. Tom's gone from hence, he's at the three Horse-
loves at stony-Stratford: how do's old Dick Dun.
Club. Uds hat, old Dun is moyr'd in a slough in
Brick hill-lane: a plague found it, yonders such abomi-
nation weather as was never seen.
2390Ost. Uds hat Thief, have one halfe peck of pease and
oats more for that, as I am John Ostler, he has bin ever
as good a jade as ever travelled.
Club. Faith well said old Jack, thou art the old lad still.
Ost. Come Gaffer Club, unload, unload, and get to
2395supper.
Enter Cobham and his Lady disguised.
Cob. Come Madam, happily escapt, here let us sit,
This place is far remote from any path,
And here a while our weary limbs may rest,
2400To take refreshing, free from the pursuit
Of envious Rochester.
La. But where, my Lord, shall we find rest for our
disquiet minds?
There dwell untamed thoughts that hardly stoop
2405to such abasement of disdained rags:
We were not wont to travel thus by night,
Especially on foot.
Cob. No matter, love, extremities admit no better choice:
And were it not for thee, say froward time
2410Impos'd a greater task, I would esteem it
As lightly as the wind that blows upon us,
But in thy sufferance I am doubly taskt,
Thou wast not wont to have the earth thy stool,
Nor the moist dewy grasse thy pillow, nor
2415Thy chamber to be the wide Horizon.
La. How can it seem a trouble, having you
A partner with me, in the worst I feel?
No gentle Lord, your presence would give ease
To death it self, should he now seize upon me:
2420
Here's bread and cheese and a bottle.
Behold what my fore-sight hath undertane
For fear we faint, they are but homely Cates,
Yet sawc'd with hunger, they may seem as sweet
As greater dainties we were wont to taste.
2425Cob. Praise be to him, whose plenty sends both this
And all things else our mortal bodies need:
Nor scorn we this poor feeding, nor the state
We now are in, for what is it on earth,
Nay under heaven, continues at a stay?
2430Ebbs not the Sea, when it hath overflown?
Follows not darknesse when the day is gone?
And see we not sometime the eye of heaven
Dim'd with ore-flying clouds? There's not that work
Of carefull Nature, or of cunning Art,
2435(How strong, how beauteous, or how rich it be)
But falls in time to ruine: here, gentle Madam,
In this one drauht I wash my sorrow down.
Drinks.
La. And I encourag'd with your chearfull speech,
Will do the like.
2440Cob. Pray God poor Harpool come,
If he should fall into the Bishops hands,
Or not remember where we bad him meet us,
It were the thing of all things else, that now
Could breed revolt in this new peace of mind.
2445La. Fear not, my Lord, he's witty to devise,
And strong to execute a present shift.
Cob. That power be still his guide hath guided us.
My drowsie eyes wax heavy; early rising,
Together with the travel we have had,
2450Makes me that I could take a nap,
Were I perswaded we might be secure.
La. Let that depend on me, whilst you do sleep,
I'le watch that no misfortune happen us.
Cob. I shall, dear wife, be too much trouble to thee.
2455La.
Urge not that,
My duty binds me, and your love commands,
I would I had the skill with tuned voice
To draw on sleep with some sweet melody,
But imperfection and unaptnesse too
2460Are both repugnant: fear inserts the one,
The other nature hath denied me use.
But what talk I of means, to purchase that
Is freely happen'd? Sleep with gentle hand,
Hath shut his eye-lids: Oh victorious labour,
2465How soon thy power can charme the bodies sense?
And now thou likewise climb'st unto my brain,
Making my heavy temples stoop to thee,
Great God of heaven from danger keep us free.
Fall a
Enter Sir Richard Lee and his men.
2470Lee. A Murther closely done, and in my ground?
Search carefully, if any where it were,
This obscure thicket is the likeliest place.
Ser. Sir, I have found the body stiff with cold
And mangled cruelly with many wounds.
2475Lee. Look if thou know'st him, turn his body up:
Alack, it is my son, my son and heir,
Whom two years since, I sent to Ireland,
To practise there the discipline of war,
And coming home, for so he wrote to me,
2480Some savage heart, some bloudy devilish hand,
Either in hate, or thirsting for his coin,
Hath here sluc'd out his bloud. Unhappy hour,
A cursed place, but most inconstant fate,
That had'st reserv'd him from the bullets fire,
2485And suffered him to scape the wood-kerns fury.
Did'st here ordain the treasure of his life,
Even here within the armes of tender peace,
To be consum'd by treasons wastfull hand?
And which is most afflicting to my soul,
2490That this his death and murther should be wrought
Without the knowledge by whose means 'twas done.
2. Ser. Not so, sir, I have found the authors of it,
See where they sit, and in their bloudy fists
The fatal instruments of death and sin.
2495Lee. Just judgement of that power, whose gracious eye,
Loathing the sight of such a heinous fact,
Dazling their senses with benumming sleep,
Till their unhallowed treachery was known.
Awake ye monsters, murtherers awake,
2500Tremble for horror, blush you cannot choose,
Beholding this unhumane deed of yours.
Cob. What mean you, sir, to trouble weary souls,
And interrupt us of our quiet sleep?
Lee. Oh develish! can you boast unto your selves
2505Of quiet sleep, having within your hearts
The guilt of murder waking, that with cries
Deafs the loud thunder, and solicits heaven
With more then mandrakes shreeks for your offence?
La. What murther? you upbraid us wrongfully.
2510Lee. Can you deny the fact? See you not here,
The body of my son by you misdone?
Look on his wounds, look on his purple hue:
Do we not find you where the deed was done?
Were not your knives fast closed in your hands?
2515Is not this cloth an argument beside,
Thus stain'd and spotted with his innocent bloud?
These speaking characters were there nothing else
To plead against ye, would convict you both.
To Hartford with them, where the Sizes now are kept,
2520Their lives shall answer for my sons lost life.
Cob. As we are innocent, so may we speed.
Lee. As I am wrong'd, so may the Law proceed.
Enter Rochester, Constable of S. Albans, with Priest,
Doll, and the Irishman in Harpool's apparel.
2525Bish. What intricate confusion have we here?
Not two hours since, we apprehended one
In habit Irish, but in speech not so;
And now you bring another, that in speech is Irish,
But in habit English : yea, and more then so,
2530The servant of that heretick Lord Cobham.
Irish. Fait me be no servant of de Lort Cobham,
Me be Mack Chane of Ulster.
Bish. Otherwise call'd Harpool of Kent, go too, sir,
You cannot blind us with your broken Irish.
2535Pri. Trust me, Lord Bishop, whether Irish or English.
Harpool or not Harpool, that I leave to the trial:
But sure I am, this man by face and speech,
Is he that murdred young Sir Richard Lee:
I met him presently upon the fact,
2540And that he slew his Master for that gold,
Those Jewels, and that chain I took from him.
Bish. Well, our affairs do call us back to London,
So that we cannot prosecute the cause
As we desire to do, therefore we leave
2545The charge with you, to see they be convey'd
To Hartford Size: both this counterfeit,
And you Sir John of Wrotham, and your wench,
For you are culpable as well as they,
Though not for murther, yet for fellony.
2550But since you are the means to bring to light
This graceless murther, ye shall bear with you
Our Letters to the Judges of the Bench,
To be your friends in what they lawfull may.
Priest. I thank you Lordship.
2555
Enter Goaler, bringing forth Oldcastle.
Goa. Bring forth the prisoners, see the Court prepar'd,
The Justices are coming to the Bench:
So, let him stand, away and fetch the rest.
Exeunt.
Cob. Oh give me patience to endure this scourge.
2560Thou that art fountain of that vertuous stream,
And though contempt of witness, and reproach
Hang on these iron gives, to presse my life
As low as earth, yet strengthen me with faith,
That I may mount in spirit above the clouds.
2565
Enter Goaler, bringing in La. Cobham and Harpool.
Here comes my Lady, sorrow 'tis for her.
Thy wound is grievous, else I scoffe at thee,
What and poor Harpool! art thou i'th'bryars too?
Har. Ifaith my Lord, I am in, get out how I can.
2570La. Say (gentle Lord) for now we are alone,
And may conferre, shall we confesse in brief,
Of whence, and what we are, and so prevent
The accusation is commenc'd against us?
Cob. What will that help us? Being known, sweet love,
2575We shall for heresie be put to death,
For so they term the Religion we professe.
No, if we dye, let this our comfort be,
That of the guilt impos'd our soules are free.
Har. I, I my Lord, Harpool is so resolv'd,
2580I wreak of death the lesse in that I dye,
Not by the sentence of that envious Priest.
La. Well, be it then according as heavens please.
Enter L. Judge, Justices, Mayor of S. Albans, Lord
Powis and his Lady, old Sir Richard Lee: the
2585Judge and Justices take their places.
Judg. Now Mr. Maior, what Gentleman is that
You bring with you before us to the bench?
May. The Lord Powis, if it like your honour,
And this his Lady travelling toward Wales;
2590Who, for they lodg'd last night within my house,
And my Lord Bishop did lay wait for such,
Were very willing to come on with me,
Lest for their sakes, suspition we might wrong.
Jud. We cry your honour mercy, good my Lord,
2595Wilt please you take your place. Madam, your Ladyship
May here, or where you will repose your self
Until this businesse now in hand be past.
La. Po. I will withdraw into some other room,
So that your Lordship and the rest be pleas'd.
2600Jud. With all our hearts: attend the Lady there.
Pow. Wife, I have ey'd yon pris'ners all this while,
And my conceit doth tell me, 'tis our friend
The Noble Cobham, and his virtuous Lady.
La. Po. I think no less, are they suspected for this mur-
2605Po. What it means
I cannot tell, but we shall know anon:
Mean time as you pass by them, ask the question,
But do it secretly you be not seen,
And make some sign, that I may know your mind.
2610
As she passeth over the stage by them.
La. Po. My Lord Cobham? Madam?
Cob. No Cobham now, nor Madam, as you love us,
But Iohn of Lancashire, and Joan his wife.
La. Po. Oh tell, what is it that our love can do,
2615To pleasure you, for we are bound to you.
Cob. Nothing but this, that you conceal our names;
So, gentle Lady, passe for being spyed.
La. Po. My heart I leave, to bear part of your grief.
Exit
Jud. Call the Prisoners to the Bar: sir Richard Lee,
2620What evidence can you bring against these people,
To prove them guilty of the murther done?
Lee. This bloudy Towel, and these naked Knives,
Beside, we found them sitting by the place,
Where the dead body lay within a bush.
2625Iud. What answer you why Law should not proceed,
According to this evidence given in,
To tax ye with the penalty of death?
Cob. That we are free from murders very thought,
And know not how the Gentleman was slain.
26301. Iust. How came this linnen cloath so bloudy then?
L. Cob. My husband hot with travelling, my Lord,
His nose gusht out a bleeding, that was it.
2. Iust. But how came your sharp edg'd knives un-
sheath'd?
2635L. Cob. To cut such simple victual as we had.
Jud. Say we admit this answer to those Articles,
What made you in so private a dark nook,
So far remote from any common path,
As was the thick where the dead corps was thrown?
2640Cob. Journying, my Lord, from London, from the Term,
Down into Lancashire, where we do dwell;
And what with age, and travel being faint,
We gladly sought a place where we might rest,
Free from resort of other passengers,
2645And so we stray'd into that secret corner.
Iud. These are but ambages to drive off time,
And linger justice from her purpos'd end.
But who are these?
Enter Constable with the Irish-man, Priest, and Doll.
2650Con. Stay judgement, and release those innocents,
For here is he whose hand hath done the deed,
For which they stand endited at the Bar:
This savage villain, this rude Irish slave,
His tongue already hath confest the fact,
2655And here is witnesse to confirm as much.
Pri. Yes, my good Lord, no sooner had he slain
His loving Master for the wealth he had,
But I upon the instant met with him:
And what he purchas'd with the losse of bloud,
2660With strokes I presently bereav'd him of,
Some of the which is spent, the rest remaining,
I willingly surrender to the hands
Of old Sir Richard Lee, as being his;
Beside, my Lord Judge, I greet your honour
2665With Letters from my Lord of Rochester.
Delivers them.
Lee. Is this the Wolf, whose thirsty throat did drink
My dear Son's bloud? art thou the Snake
He cherisht, yet with envious piercing sting
2670Assaild'st him mortally? Were't not that the Law
Stands ready to revenge thy cruelty,
Traytor to God, thy Master, and to me,
These hands should be thy executioner.
Iud. Patience, sir Richard Lee, you shall have justice.
2675The fact is odious, therefore take him hence,
And being hang'd until the wretch be dead,
His body after shall be hang'd in chains,
Near to the place where he did act the murther.
Irish. Prythee, Lord Shudge, let me have mine own
2680cloathes, my strouces there, and let me be hang'd in a
wyth after my country the Irish fashion.
Exit.
Iud. Go to, away with him. And now, sir Iohn,
Although by you this murther came to light:
Yet upright Law will not hold you excus'd,
2685For you did rob the Irish-man, by which
You stand attainted here of Fellony:
Beside, you have been lewd, and many yeares
Led a lascivious, unbeseeming life.
Pri. O but, my Lord, sir Iohn repents, and he will mend.
2690Iud. In hope thereof, together with the favour
My Lord of Rochester intreats for you,
We are content you shall be proved.
Pri.I thank your good Lordship.
Iud. These falsly here accus'd, and brought
2695In peril wrongfully, we in like sort do set at liberty.
Lee. And for amends,
Touching the wrong unwittingly I have done,
I give these few Crowns.
Iud. Your kindnesse merits praise, sir Richard Lee,
2700So let us hence.
Exeunt all but L. Powess and Cobham.
Pow. But Powess still must stay,
There yet remains a part of that true love
He owes his noble Friend, unsatisfied
And unperform'd, which first of all doth bind me
2705To gratulate your Lordship's safe delivery:
And then intreat, that since unlookt for thus
We here are met, your honour would vouchsafe
To ride with me to Wales, where though my power,
(Though not to quittance those great benefits
2710I have receiv'd of you) yet both my house,
My purse, my servants, and what else I have
Are all at your command. Deny me not,
I know the Bishop's hate pursues ye so,
As there's no safety in abiding here.
2715Cob. 'Tis true my Lord, and God forgive him for it.
Pow. Then let us hence, you shall be straight provided
Of lusty geldings: and once entred Wales,
Well may the Bishop hunt, but spight his face,
He never more shall have the game in chace.
Exeunt.
FINIS.