Sir Thomas More – Act 2, Scene 2

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The captains of this insurrection
Have ta’en themselves to arms, and came but now
To both the Counters, where they have released
Sundry indebted prisoners, and from thence
I hear that they are gone into St. Martin’s,
Where they intend to offer violence
To the amazed Lombards.  Therefore, my lord,
If we expect the safety of the city,
‘Tis time that force or parley do encounter
With these displeased men.

Enter a Messenger.

How now, what news?

My lord, the rebels have broken open Newgate,
From whence they have delivered many prisoners,
Both felons and notorious murderers,
That desperately cleave to their lawless train.

Up with the drawbridge, gather some forces
To Cornhill and Cheapside.  And, gentlemen,
If diligence be used on every side
A quiet ebb will follow this rough tide.


Lord Mayor, his majesty, receiving notice
Of this most dangerous insurrection,
Hath sent my lord of Surrey and myself,
Sir Thomas Palmer, and out followers
To add unto your forces our best means
For pacifying of this mutiny.
In God’s name, then, set on with happy speed;
The king laments if one true subject bleed.

I hear they mean to fire the Lombards’ houses.
O power, what art thou in a madman’s eyes;
Thou mak’st the plodding idiot bloody wise.

My lords, I doubt not but we shall appease
With a calm breath this flux of discontent.

To call them to a parley questionless
May fall out good.  ‘Tis well said, Master More.

Let’s to these simple men, for many sweat
Under this act that known not the law’s debt
Which hangs upon their lives.  For silly men
Plod on they know not how, cut begins here> like a fool’s pen
That ending shows not any sentence writ.
Linked but to common reason or slightest win,
<cut ends here
These follow for no harm, but yet incur
Self penalty with those that raised this stir.
A God’s name on, to calm our private foes
With breath of gravity, not dangerous blows.                              [Exeunt.


Proceed to the next scene


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