Sir Thomas More – Act 2, Scene 1

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And others armed, DOLL in a shirt of mail, a headpiece, sword and
Buckler, a crew attending.

Come, come, we’ll tickle their turnips, we’ll butter their boxes.  Shall strangers rule the roost?  Yes, but we’ll baste the roast. Come, come, a-flaunt, a-flaunt!

Brother, give place and hear John Lincoln speak.

Ay, Lincoln, my leader
And Doll my true breeder
With the rest of our crew
Shall ran tan tarra ran,
Do all what they can.
Shall we be bobbed? No.  Shall we be held under? No.  We are free born and do take scorn to be used so.

Peace there, I say, hear Captain Lincoln speak,
Keep silence till we know his mind at large.

Then largely deliver:  speak bully, and he that presumes to interrupt thee in thy oration, this for him!

Then, gallant bloods, you whose free souls do scorn
To bear the enforced wrongs of aliens
Add rage to resolution, fire the houses
Of these audacious strangers.  This is St. Martin’s,
And yonder dwells Meautis, a wealthy Picard,
At the Green Gate,
De Bard, Peter van Hollock, Adrian Martin,
With many more outlandish fugitives.
Shall these enjoy more privilege than we
In our own country?  Let’s then become their slaves.
Since justice keeps not them in greater awe
We’ll be ourselves rough ministers of law.

Use no more swords
Nor no more words
But fire the houses!
Brave captains courageous, fire me their houses!

Ay, for we may as well make bonfires on May Day as at Midsummer; we’ll alter the day in the calendar, and set it down in flaming letters.

Stay no, that would much endanger the whole city
Whereto I would not the least prejudice.

No, nor I neither, so may mine own house be burned for company.  I’ll tell ye what:  we’ll drag the strangers out into Moorfields, and there bombast them till they stink again.

And that’s soon done, for they smell for fear already.

Let some of us enter the strangers’ houses
And if we find them there, then bring them forth.

But if ye bring them forth ere ye find them, I’ll ne’er allow of that.

Now, Mars, for thy honour,
Dutch or French,
So it be a wench,
I’ll upon her.                                                [Exeunt some and SHERWIN.

Now, lads, how shall we labour in our safety?
I hear the mayor hat gathered men in arms
And that shrieve More an hour ago received
Some of the Privy Council in at Ludgate.
Force now must make our peace or else we fall;
‘Twill soon be known we are the principal.

And what of that?  If thou beest afraid, go home again and hide thy head, for by the lord, I’ll have a little sport now we are at it!

Let’s stand upon our swords, and if they come
Reassure them as they were our enemies.

Enter SHERWIN and the rest.

A purchase!  A purchase!  We have found, we ha’ found—


Nothing.  Not a French Fleming, nor a Fleming French to be found, but all fled in plain English.

How now, have you found any?

No, not one, they’re all fled.

Then fire the houses , that the mayor being busy
About the quenching of them, we may ‘scape.
Burn down their kennels, let us straight away,
Lest this day prove to us an ill May Day.

Fire, fire!  I’ll be the first;
If hanging come, ‘tis welcome, that’s the worst.    [Exeunt. Manet CLOWN.

Proceed to the next scene


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