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Dick. Silence !
Dick. [aside] He was an honest man, and a good bricklayer.
Cade. My mother a Plantagenet, -
Dick. [aside] She was, indeed, a pedler's daughter, and sold many laces.
Smith. [aside) But now of late, not able to travel with her furred pack, she washes bucks here at home.
Cade. Therefore am I of an honourable house.
Dick. [aside] Ay, by my faith, the field is honourable ; and there was he born, under a hedge,—for his father had never a house but the cage.
Cade. Valiant I am.
Dick. [aside] No question of that; for I have seen him whipped three market-days together.
Cade. I fear neither sword nor fire.
Smith. [aside] He need not fear the sword; for his coat is of proof.
Dick. [aside] But methinks he should stand in fear of fire, being burnt i' the hand for stealing of sheep.
Cade. Be brave, then; for your captain is brave, and vows reformation. There shall be in England seven halfpenny loaves sold for a penny: the three-hooped pot shall have ten hoops; and I will make it felony to drink small beer: all the realm shall be in common; and in Cheapside shall my palfrey go to grass : and when I am king, -as king I will be,
All. God save your majesty!
Cade. I thank you, good people:—there shall be no money; all shall eat and drink on my score; and I will apparel them all in one livery, that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.
Dick. The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers. Cade. Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable
thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should be made parchment ? that parchment, being scribbled o'er, should undo a man? Some say the bee stings: but I say, 'tis the bee's wax; for I di but seal once to a thing, and I was never mine own man since.—How now! who's there?
Enter some, bringing in the Clerk of Chatham.
Smith. The clerk of Chatham : he can write and read and cast accompt.
Cade. O monstrous !
Cade. I am sorry for't: the man is a proper man, of mine honour; unless I find him guilty, he shall not die.— Come hither, sirrah, I must examine thee: what is thy name?
Dick. They use to write it on the top of letters 'twill go hard with you,
Cade. Let me alone.—Dost thou use to write thy name? or hast thou a mark to thyself, like an honest plain-dealing man ?
Clerk. Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought up that I can write my name.
All. He hath confessed : away with him ! he's a villain and a traitor.
Cade. Away with him, I say ! hang him with his pen and inkhorn about his neck. [Exeunt some with the Clerk.
Mich. Where's our general ?
Mich. Fly, fly, fly! Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother are hard by, with the king's forces.
Cade. Stand, villain, stand, or I'll fell thee down. He shall be encountered with a man as good as himself: he is but a knight, is 'a ?
Cade. To equal him, I will make myself a knight presently. [Kneels.] Rise up Sir John Mortimer. [Rises.] Now have at him !
Enter Sir HUMPHREY STAFFORD and WILLIAM his brother, with
drum and Forces.
Staf. Rebellious hinds, the filth and scum of Kent,
W. Staf. But angry, wrathful, and inclin'd to blood,
Cade. As for these silken-coated slaves, I pass not:
Staf. Villain, thy father was a plasterer;
Cade. And Adam was a gardener.
Cade. Marry, this :-Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, Married the Duke of Clarence' daughter,—did he not ?
Staf. Ay, sir.
Cade. Ay, there's the question ; but I say 'tis true :
Dick. Nay, 'tis too true; therefore he shall be king.
(47) And] Perhaps repeated by mistake from the preceding speech.
and the bricks are alive at this day to testify it; therefore deny it not.
Staf. And will you credit this base drudge's words,
All. Ay, marry, will we; therefore get ye gone.
this. Cade. [aside] He lies, for I invented it myself. Go to, sirrah, tell the king from me, that, for his father's sake, Henry the Fifth, in whose time boys went to spancounter for French crowns, I am content he shall reign; but I'll be protector over him.
Dick. And furthermore, we'll have the Lord Say's head for selling the dukedom of Maine.
Cade. And good reason; for thereby is England mained, (148) and fain to go with a staff, but that my puissance holds it up. Fellow kings, I tell you that that Lord Say (149) hath gelded the commonwealth, and made it an eunuch: and more than that, he can speak French; and therefore he is a traitor.
Staf. O gross and miserable ignorance !
-the Frenchmen are our enemies; go to, then, I ask but this,—can he that speaks with the tongue of an enemy be a good counsellor, or no?
All. No, no; and therefore we'll have his head.
W. Staf. Well, seeing gentle words will not prevail,
Staf. Herald, away; and throughout every town
[Exeunt the two Staffords and Forces.
(148) for thereby is England mained,] Here most of the modern editors alter “mained” to “maimed,”—which is the faulty reading in the corresponding passage of The First Part of the Contention, &c._" TO MAINE, to lame.” Hunter's Hallamshire Glossary.
(149) that that Lord Say] Qy. “ that the Lord Say," as in the preceding speech ? or “that Lord Say,” with the third folio?
Cade. And you that love the commons, follow me.
Dick. They are all in order, and march toward us.
Cade. But then are we in order when we are most out of order. Come, march forward !
SCENE III. Another part of Blackheath. Alarums. The two parties enter and fight, and both the STAFFORDS
Cade. Where's Dick, the butcher of Ashford ?
Cade. They fell before thee like sheep and oxen, and thou behavedst thyself as if thou hadst been in thine own slaughter-house: therefore thus will I reward thee,—the Lent shall be as long again as it is; and thou shalt have a license to kill for a hundred lacking one a week.(150)
Dick. I desire no more.
(150) thou shalt have a license to kill for a hundred lacking one a week.] Here Malone was the first who introduced the words “a week” from the corresponding passage in The First Part of the Contention, &c., which is, “Thou shalt haue licence to kil for foure score & one a week.”
“Shakespeare,” observes Malone, "changed the number to ninetynine, perhaps from that number being familiar to him, being a common term or period of duration in leases. But the words 'a week, which are found in the original play, must have been accidentally omitted in the transcript or at the press ; for the passage is unintelligible without them. In the reign of Elizabeth butchers were strictly enjoined not to sell flesh meat in Lent, not with a religious view, but for the double purpose of diminishing the consumption of flesh meat during that period, and so making it more plentiful during the rest of the year, and of encouraging the fisheries and augmenting the number of seamen. Butchers who had interest at court frequently obtained a dispensation from this injunction, and procured a license to kill a certain limited number of beasts a week, during Lent; of which indulgence the wants of invalids, who could not subsist without animal food, was generally made the pretence. See the Proclamations in the Library of the Society of Antiquaries."