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As their souls list. Our best are hastening there,
And if it be that freedom's light hath fled
Out of our land for ever, if our home
Shall never more rejoice with English gladness,
Valiant and freeborn as our fathers left it,
I too will follow them, and help to rear
A state whose roots shall be in right and truth,
And fenced around with virtue and with strength,
Upheld by English toil, wit, sense, and arms;
Such as this might be if her sons were true.
My wife, why weepest thou ?
Is there no other way? Must we leave England, John, and all it holds ? Wait but a few years more, these troublous times Will then be overpast, and all things changed. What, leave our fair and happy English home, Made dear by ties of love and memory Innumerable; your parents sleep hard by, I bore your children here, and here you brought me Out of my father's house, and said that day, “This is thy home as long as thou shalt live, Make it as glad and lovely as thy mind, As full of sweet and holy comfort, Bess, And I will never leave it.” Dear old Pyrton too, My father and my mother ; nay, I cannot go, Leaving all these behind ; 'twere worse than death. That is a barren freedom o'er the sea, It has no treasures yet of home or heart, And those brave spirits who are exiled there
Long for the old land.
Freedom is life,
And all the sweets of time without her, dross;
Justice and truth and mercy she doth keep,
And she alone doth make this earth a place
To live for heaven in. Where she is not
Good men must die to find her, or else seek
Her refuge in the wilds, or in those lands
Where law and right defend her, or else win
Her back by valour and by sacrifice
Of ease and safety. This I have resolved
To set my heart and hand to; if I fail
To gain the good I long for, there remains
The wilderness to fly to; if I die,
I die at least in honour and in truth
When life is baseness.
Here come the boys;
Let us go down, Bess, and forget the care
Which these hard thoughts beget, and breathe awhile
The sweet glad life of home.
SCENE II.-A Room in Whitehall. Enter KING CHARLES, LAUD, WENTWORTH, FALKLAND and
These parliaments have ever been a thorn
To wound our royal side, and make our seat
Lose half its princely dignity and ease.
We'll have no more of them; the vulgar herd
Grows bold upon the privilege it has
Of checking with its votes our royal will ;
Granting its mean and niggardly supplies
Only as we concede our princely rights.
Whoever heard till now a king should sit
And hear his deeds mouthed over by a churl
Whose grandfathers fed cattle, and his wishes
Dragged to the greasy scale of common law
And weighed in it by statute ? I am law,
Government, religion, monarch, all in one,
And that these rogues shall find ; I'll make them skip,
And crop their leathern ears, and send them home
To pay the subsidies they have withheld.
Brave words ; brave world ; if words were gold
Then none would want a dinner;
But he that waits till such he eats,
Will day by day get thinner.
Go, king ; and make thy crown into caroluses and pay thy
Most gracious sovereign, if I had my will
This fellow should be had off to the pillory,
And well whipped; an idle, captious knave,
His words are something strange and ominous,
I had a dream last night in which, methought,
The crown did hang upon a bramble bush.
Put him into the pillory, and me into his place, and I'll make you an honest man, king! King Charles.
Hold thy peace, fool! Archy.
Nay, I'm one of the people too, and I'll have my say.
This long neglected boldness, gracious king,
Which threatens now to overtop the Crown,
Has root in those seditious sermonings
Heard in conventicles, where cunning knaves
Lead the poor silly people how they will,
Far from the Church's holy fostering wing
And stable doctrine, battening them with lies,
And foolish fond conceits. From our high seat
We teach the people to revere the king,
Who is the temporal pillar of the state,
As we the spiritual ; in his awful hand
He bears a sword to punish guilty men
Who lead astray his folk by heresy,
Or raise them in sedition. Let not then
Our words seem vain, but smite these baseborn hinds
Who sow the seeds of sad disquietude
Over this goodly land.
We've been too lenient,
Too gentle, kind, persuasive, and have let
Much of our right remain unasked, unclaimed,
To gain our people's love; but factious men
Have taken license from our lenity,
Have questioned our prerogative, opposed our will,
Defeated all the good of our intent
Unto this realm, and when they should have passed
The bills to grant our needful subsidies,
Have chaffered worse than shopkeepers of Cheap,
Mouthing their rights, their priv'leges, and laws,
Demanding sureties 'neath our hand and seal
That they should have redress of this, of that,
This grievance or the other, aiming still
To shuffle off their due allegiance, and
Escape the weight of duty, service, and obedience
Which subjects owe to kings.
Is the debt all one side, king? For if it is, and thou owest the people nothing, and they have to pay thy debts, I'll leave them and be a bishop ; I won't have to sit under table then and catch crumbs, but shall thrust fist into pie, and fill my purse out of poor men's pockets. Marry, honesty's a
gentleman of good family, but very apt to be out at heels. Laud.
Sirrah, an you're not quiet, we'll have you whipped.
I pray your Majesty to pardon me,
If, out of my devotion, I shall offer
Such counsels as displease your royal ear;
Out of an honest heart I shall advise.
Your acts for several years have been opposed
To all the sacred charters of this land,
Which even our most arbitrary monarchs
Have hitherto respected, or at least
Have found it wisest to accede thereto.
This nation's not a whit more patient now
Than't has been in the past, it has acquired
Much knowledge in the onward march of time,
The aspect of this realm has wholly changed
Within these fifty years, and men have learned
The world was made for them as for their masters.
He that would stem the spirit of his age
Must yield at last, however great he be,
Discomfited and crushed by what he scorned,
As he who dams a torrent's raging course
But makes it gather strength to burst its bonds,
And sweep him to destruction. Your Majesty,
This is a very noble, generous nation
When it has generous rulers ; if
then Give but the Commons House the confidence That you will
govern by the ancient laws Which are this realm's prerogative, as just, As good, as clear, as any right of yours, Then you will gain the love of loyal souls, The subsidies, the hopes, the prayers of men,
Who now find cause to hate you in their hearts.
Let's hear no more! but for the love we bear you,
Your ears should answer this, such prate befits
Some tool of Pym and Hampden, not a lord
Of English birth and blood. We shall be pleased