John Lincoln (a broker), Doll, Betts, (Sherwin
(a goldsmith),) and prentices armed; (Thomas More
(sheriff of the City of London), the other sheriff,
Sir Thomas Palmer, Sir Roger Cholmeley, and a serjeant-at-arms
stand aloof )
(to the prentices)
Peace, hear me! He that will
not see a red herring at a Harry groat, butter at eleven
pence a pound, meal at nine shillings a bushel, and
beef at four nobles a stone, list to me.
It will come to that pass if strangers be suffered.
Our country is a great eating country; argo,
they eat more in our country than they do in their
By a halfpenny loaf a day, troy weight.
They bring in strange roots, which is merely to
the undoing of poor prentices, for what's a sorry parsnip
to a good heart?
Trash, trash. They breed sore eyes, and 'tis enough
to infect the city with the palsy.
Nay, it has infected it with the palsy, for these
bastards of dung - as you know, they grow in dung -
have infected us, and it is our infection will make the
city shake, which partly comes through the eating of
True, and pumpions together.
What say you to the mercy of the King?
Do you refuse it?
You would have us upon th' hip, would you?
No, marry, do we not. We accept of the King's mercy;
but we will show no mercy upon the strangers.
You are the simplest things
That ever stood in such a question.
How say you now? Prentices 'simple'?
(To the prentices) Down with him!
Prentices simple! Prentices simple!
Enter the Lord Mayor, the Earl of Surrey, and the
Earl of Shrewsbury
(to the prentices)
Hold in the King's name! Hold!
(to the prentices)
Friends, masters, countrymen -
(to the prentices)
Peace ho, peace! I charge you, keep the peace!
(to the prentices)
My masters, countrymen -
The noble Earl of Shrewsbury, let's hear him.
We'll hear the Earl of Surrey.
The Earl of Shrewsbury.
We'll hear both.
Both, both, both, both!
Peace, I say peace! Are you men of wisdom, or
what are you?
What you will have them, but not men of wisdom.
We'll not hear my Lord of Surrey.
No, no, no, no, no! Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury!
(to the nobles and officers)
Whiles they are o'er the bank of their obedience,
Thus will they bear down all things.
(to the prentices)
Sheriff More speaks. Shall we hear Sheriff More speak?
Let's hear him. A keeps a plentiful shrievaltry, and
a made my brother Arthur Watchins Sergeant Safe's
yeoman. Let's hear Sheriff More.
Sheriff More, More, More, Sheriff More!
Even by the rule you have among yourselves,
Command still audience.
LINCOLN AND BETTS
Peace, peace, silence, peace!
You that have voice and credit with the number,
Command them to a stillness.
A plague on them! They will not hold their
peace. The devil cannot rule them.
Then what a rough and riotous charge have you,
To lead those that the devil cannot rule.
(To the prentices) Good masters, hear me speak.
Ay, by th' mass, will we. More, thou'rt a good
housekeeper, and I thank thy good worship for my
brother Arthur Watchins.
Look, what you do offend you cry upon,
That is the peace. Not one of you here present,
Had there such fellows lived when you were babes
That could have topped the peace as now you would,
The peace wherein you have till now grown up
Had been ta'en from you, and the bloody times
Could not have brought you to the state of men.
Alas, poor things, what is it you have got,
Although we grant you get the thing you seek?
Marry, the removing of the strangers, which cannot
choose but much advantage the poor handicrafts of the
Grant them removed, and grant that this your noise
Hath chid down all the majesty of England.
Imagine that you see the wretched strangers,
Their babies at their backs, with their poor luggage
Plodding to th' ports and coasts for transportation,
And that you sit as kings in your desires,
Authority quite silenced by your brawl
And you in ruff of your opinions clothed:
What had you got? I'll tell you. You had taught
How insolence and strong hand should prevail,
How order should be quelled - and by this pattern
Not one of you should live an agЉd man,
For other ruffians as their fancies wrought
With selfsame hand, self reasons, and self right
Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes
Would feed on one another.
Before God, that's as true as the gospel.
Nay, this' a sound fellow, I tell you. Let's mark
Let me set up before your thoughts, good friends,
One supposition, which if you will mark
You shall perceive how horrible a shape
Your innovation bears. First, 'tis a sin
Which oft th' apostle did forewarn us of,
Urging obedience to authority;
And 'twere no error if I told you all
You were in arms 'gainst God.
Marry, God forbid that!
Nay, certainly you are.
For to the King God hath his office lent
Of dread, of justice, power and command,
Hath bid him rule and willed you to obey;
And to add ampler majesty to this,
He hath not only lent the King his figure,
His throne and sword, but given him his own name,
Calls him a god on earth. What do you then,
Rising 'gainst him that God himself installs,
But rise 'gainst God? What do you to your souls
In doing this? O desperate as you are,
Wash your foul minds with tears, and those same hands
That you like rebels lift against the peace
Lift up for peace; and your unreverent knees,
Make them your feet. To kneel to be forgiven
Is safer wars than ever you can make,
Whose discipline is riot.
In, in, to your obedience! Why, even your hurly
Cannot proceed but by obedience.
What rebel captain,
As mut'nies are incident, by his name
Can still the rout? Who will obey a traitor?
Or how can well that proclamation sound,
When there is no addition but 'a rebel'
To qualify a rebel? You'll put down strangers,
Kill them, cut their throats, possess their houses,
And lead the majesty of law in lyam
To slip him like a hound - alas, alas!
Say now the King,
As he is clement if th' offender mourn,
Should so much come too short of your great trespass
As but to banish you: whither would you go?
What country, by the nature of your error,
Should give you harbour? Go you to France or Flanders,
To any German province, Spain or Portugal,
Nay, anywhere that not adheres to England -
Why, you must needs be strangers. Would you be pleased
To find a nation of such barbarous temper
That breaking out in hideous violence
Would not afford you an abode on earth,
Whet their detested knives against your throats,
Spurn you like dogs, and like as if that God
Owed not nor made not you, nor that the elements
Were not all appropriate to your comforts
But chartered unto them, what would you think
To be thus used? This is the strangers' case,
And this your mountainish inhumanity.
(to the others)
Faith, a says true. Let's do as we may
be done by.
We'll be ruled by you, Master More,
if you'll stand our friend to procure our pardon.
Submit you to these noble gentlemen,
Entreat their mediation to the King,
Give up yourself to form, obey the magistrate,
And there's no doubt but mercy may be found,
If you so seek it.
It is in heaven that I am thus and thus,
And that which we profanely term our fortunes
Is the provision of the power above,
Fitted and shaped just to that strength of nature
Which we are born withal. Good God, good God,
That I from such an humble bench of birth
Should step as 'twere up to my country's head
And give the law out there; ay, in my father's life
To take prerogative and tithe of knees
From elder kinsmen, and him bind by my place
To give the smooth and dexter way to me
That owe it him by nature! Sure these things,
Not physicked by respect, might turn our blood
To much corruption. But More, the more thou hast
Either of honour, office, wealth and calling,
Which might accite thee to embrace and hug them,
The more do thou e'en serpents' natures think them:
Fear their gay skins, with thought of their sharp stings,
And let this be thy maxim: to be great
Is, when the thread of hazard is once spun,
A bottom great wound up, greatly undone.
3.0 Dramatis Personae
a. (as pronoun) familiar, unstressed form of 'he'
abode. delay, stay; to foretell
addition. mark of distinction, title
advantage. opportunity, interest on money; to profit
against. in expectation of, in preparation for the time when, in time for
an. if, though, whether, as if
і B і
bench. raise to authority, sit as judge
bottom. ship, valley, bobbin; to wind on a bobbin
brawl. French dance; quarrel
broker. agent, go-between
і C і
can. to know, be skilled in
credit. credibility, reputation, report
cry. pack of hounds; yelp in following scent
cut. docked or gelded horse; vulva
і D і
do. copulate (with)
doubt. suspicion, fear; to suspect, fear
good. financially sound, rich
groat. fourpenny piece
grow. be or become due
і H і
hazard. game at dice, chance, venture
head. headland, topic, army
him. male (dog)
housekeeper. householder, watch-dog, stay-at-home
і I і
infect. affect with some feeling
і J і
just. true, honourable, exact
і L і
let. hindrance; to hinder, forbear, cause
like. please, be in good condition
list. limit, bound, barriers enclosing tilting ground, desire; to please,
luggage. baggage of an army
і M і
make. mate, husband or wife
marry. (as an exclamation) by (the Virgin) Mary
meal. spot, stain
merely. simply, entirely
і N і
noise. rumour, music, band of musicians; clamour, spread by rumour
і O і
offend. harm, hurt
office. function, service
owe. own, possess
і P і
pattern. precedent, model; to give an example, be a pattern or precedent
possess. inform, acquaint
prerogative. precedence, preeminence
present. immediate, instant; ready money, to show, represent, bring a
press. crowd, crowding, printing-press, cupboard, authority to enlist men
compulsorily; to crowd, oppress, force into military service
removed. remote, secluded, separated by time or space
respect. relationship, discrimination, consideration, esteem; to regard,
care for, esteem
riot. loose living, debauchery
і S і
safe. make safe
say. finely woven cloth, taste, saying
self. one's own, same
shark. gather hastily together
simple. medicinal herb, single ingredient in a compound
smooth. flatter, gloss over
sore. buck, deer, in its fourth year
sound. utter, proclaim, keep sound
spurn. kick, insult, blow; to kick, oppose scornfully
stand. place where one stands in ambush or in hiding; confront, oppose,
stand firm; stand at a guard with, be fully protected against; stand on,
upon, insist on, persist in, depend on, rely on, concern, be the duty or
interest of; stand to, have an erection, support, maintain, be firm in,
persist in; stand to it, maintain a cause, take a stand
state. condition, condition of health or prosperity, rank, dignity, chair
of state throne, nobles, ruling body, government
still. always, continually
stone. mirror, thunderbolt, testicle; turn to stone
strange. foreign, new, not knowing, unfriendly, cold, shy
strength. authority, legal power, body troops
sure. safe, beyond power of doing harm, reliable, united
і T і
take. strike, strike with disease or enchantment, catch, take effect,
reckon, measure, write down, accept as true, catch fire, perceive,
understand, esteem, take away, conclude; take head, deviate, run off its
course; take in, capture; take me with you, speak so that I can understand
you; take it on, assume authority; take on, rage, show great distress,
pretend; take out, make a copy of; take up lift, enlist, arrest, buy on
credit, rebuke, reprimand, oppose, encounter, make up (a quarrel)
temper. disposition, temperament, mental balance, hardness and elasticity
imparted to steel; to compound, mix, persuade
thing. sexual organ
thought. anxiety, sorrow
tis. this (dialectal)
tithe. tenth; to take the tenth part
to. in addition to, against, appropriate to, in comparison with, in
respect of, as to
trade. coming and going, path, habit, business
trash. check, hold in leash
і U і
up. in arms, in rebellion, in prison; up and down, completely, exactly
upon. because of, in consequence of
і V і
voice. speech, words, common talk, rumour, report, expressed opinion,
judgement, vote, approval, authority to be heard; to acclaim, vote
і W і
will. sexual desire, sexual organ (male or female)
withal. with this, with it, as well, at the same time, with
worship. dignity, honour, authority; to honour