SCENE V. [An open yard before the hall. ]

A long flourish, or two. Enter the KING, Nobles, EYRE, MAR-


King. Well, Lacy, though the fact was very foul

Of your revolting from our kingly love

And your own duty, yet we pardon you.

Rise both, and, Mistress Lacy, thank my lord mayor

For your young bridegroom here.

Eyre. So, my dear liege, Sim Eyre and my brethren, the gentlemen shoemakers, shall set your sweet majesty's image cheek by jowl by Saint Hugh for this honour you have done poor Simon Eyre. I beseech your grace, pardon my rude behaviour; I am a handicraftsman, yet my heart is without craft; I would be sorry at my soul, that my boldness should offend my king.

King. Nay, I pray thee, good lord mayor, be even as merry

As if thou wert among thy shoemakers;

It does me good to see thee in this humour.

Eyre. Say'st thou me so, my sweet Dioclesian? Then, humph! Prince am I none, yet am I princely born. By the Lord of Ludgate, my liege, I'll be as merry as a pie.〖Magpie.〗

King. Tell me, in faith, mad Eyre, how old thou art.

Eyre. My liege, a very boy, a stripling, a younker; you see not a white hair on my head, not a gray in this beard. Every hair, I assure thy majesty, that sticks in this beard, Sim Eyre values at the King of Babylon's ransom, Tamar Cham's beard was a rubbing brush to't: yet I'll shave it off, and stuff tennis-balls with it, to please my bully king.

King. But all this while I do not know your age.

Eyre. My liege, I am six and fifty year old, yet I can cry humph! with a sound heart for the honour of Saint Hugh. Mark this old wench, my king: I danc'd the shaking of the sheets with her six and thirty years ago, and yet I hope to get two or three young lord mayors, ere I die. I am lusty still, Sim Eyre still. Care and cold lodging brings white hairs. My sweet Majesty, let care vanish, cast it upon thy nobles, it will make thee look always young like Apollo, and cry humph! Prince am I none, yet am I princely born.

King. Ha, ha!

Say, Cornwall, didst thou ever see his like?

Cornwall. Not I, my lord.


King. Lincoln, what news with you?

Lincoln. My gracious lord, have care unto yourself,

For there are traitors here.

All. Traitors? Where? Who?

Eyre. Traitors in my house? God forbid! Where be my officers?I'll spend my soul, ere my king feel harm.

King. Where is the traitor, Lincoln?

Lincoln. Here he stands.

King. Cornwall, lay hold on Lacy!—Lincoln, speak,

What canst thou lay unto thy nephew's charge?

Lincoln. This, my dear liege: your Grace, to do me honour,

Heap'd on the head of this degenerate boy

Desertless favours; you made choice of him,

To be commander over powers in France.

But he——

King. Good Lincoln, prithee, pause a while!

Even in thine eyes I read what thou wouldst speak.

I know how Lacy did neglect our love,

Ran himself deeply, in the highest degree,

Into vile treason——

Lincoln. Is he not a traitor?

King. Lincoln, he was; now have we pard'ned him.

'Twas not a base want of true valour's fire,

That held him out of France, but love's desire.

Lincoln. I will not bear his shame upon my back.

King. Nor shalt thou, Lincoln; I forgive you both.

Lincoln. Then, good my liege, forbid the boy to wed

One whose mean birth will much disgrace his bed.

King. Are they not married?

Lincoln. No, my liege.

Both. We are.

King. Shall I divorce them then? O be it far,

That any hand on earth should dare untie

The sacred knot, knit by God's majesty;

I would not for my crown disjoin their hands

That are conjoin'd in holy nuptial bands.

How say'st thou, Lacy, wouldst thou lose thy Rose?

Lacy. Not for all India's wealth, my sovereign.

King. But Rose, I am sure, her Lacy would forego?

Rose. If Rose were asked that question, she'd say no.

King. You hear them, Lincoln?

Lincoln. Yea, my liege, I do.

King. Yet canst thou find i'th' heart to part these two?

Who seeks, besides you, to divorce these lovers?

L. Mayor. I do, my gracious lord, I am her father.

King. Sir Roger Oateley, our last mayor, I think?

Nobleman. The same, my liege.

King. Would you offend Love's laws?

Well, you shall have your wills, you sue to me,

To prohibit the match. Soft, let me see—

You both are married, Lacy, art thou not?

Lacy. I am, dread sovereign.

King. Then, upon thy life,

I charge thee, not to call this woman wife.

L. Mayor. I thank your grace.

Rose. O my most gracious lord!


King. Nay, Rose, never woo me; I tell you true,

Although as yet I am a bachelor,

Yet I believe, I shall not marry you.

Rose. Can you divide the body from the soul,

Yet make the body live?

King. Yea, so profound?

I cannot, Rose, but you I must divide.

This fair maid, bridegroom, cannot be your bride.

Are you pleas'd, Lincoln? Oateley, are you pleas'd?

Both. Yes, my lord.

King. Then must my heart be eas'd;

For, credit me, my conscience lives in pain,

Till these whom I divorc'd, be join'd again.

Lacy, give me thy hand; Rose, lend me thine!

Be what you would be! Kiss now! So, that's fine.

At night, lovers, to bed!—Now, let me see,

Which of you all mislikes this harmony.

L. Mayor. Will you then take from me my child perforce?

King. Why, tell me, Oateley: shines not Lacy's name

As bright in the world's eye as the gay beams

Of any citizen?

Lincoln. Yea, but, my gracious lord,

I do mislike the match far more than he;

Her blood is too base.

King. Lincoln, no more.

Dost thou not know that love respects no blood,

Cares not for difference of birth or state?

The maid is young, well born, fair, virtuous,

A worthy bride for any gentleman.

Besides, your nephew for her sake did stoop

To bare necessity, and, as I hear,

Forgetting honours and all courtly pleasures,

To gain her love, became a shoemaker.

As for the honour which he lost in France,

Thus I redeem it: Lacy, kneel thee down!—

Arise, Sir Rowland Lacy! Tell me now,

Tell me in earnest, Oateley, canst thou chide,

Seeing thy Rose a lady and a bride?

L. Mayor. I am content with what your grace hath done.

Lincoln. And I, my liege, since there's no remedy.

King. Come on, then, all shake hands: I'll have you friends;

Where there is much love, all discord ends.

What says my mad lord mayor to all this love?

Eyre. O my liege, this honour you have done to my fine journey-man here, Rowland Lacy, and all these favours which you have shown to me this day in my poor house, will make Simon Eyre live longer by one dozen of warm summers more than he should.

King. Nay, my mad lord mayor, that shall be thy name;

If any grace of mine can length thy life,

One honour more I'll do thee: that new building,〖“A. D. 1419. This year Sir Symon Eyre built Leadenhall, at his proper expense, as it now appears, and gave the same to the City to be employed as a public granary for laying up corn against a time of scarcity.”—Maitland, History and Survey of London, ii., p. 187, quoted by Rhys.〗

Which at thy cost in Cornhill is erected,

Shall take a name from us; we'll have it call'd

The Leadenhall, because in digging it

You found the lead that covereth the same.

Eyre. I thank your majesty.

Marg. Gold bless your grace!

King. Lincoln, a word with you!

Enter HODGE, FIRK, RALPH, and more Shoemakers

Eyre. How now, my mad knaves? Peace, speak, softly, yonder is the king.

King. With the old troop which there we keep in pay,

We will incorporate a new supply.

Before one summer more pass o'er my head,

France shall repent, England was injured.

What are all those?

Lacy. All shoemakers, my liege,

Sometime my fellows; in their companies

I liv'd as merry as an emperor.

King. My mad lord mayor, are all these shoemakers?

Eyre. All shoemakers, my liege; all gentleman of the gentle craft, true Trojans, courageous cordwainers; they all kneel to the shrine of holy Saint Hugh.

All The Shoemakers. God save your majesty!

King. Mad Simon, would they anything with us?

Eyre. Mum, mad knaves! Not a word! I'll do't; I warrant you. They are all beggars, my liege; all for themselves, and I for them all on both my knees do entreat, that for the honour of poor Simon Eyre and the good of his brethren, these mad knaves, your grace would vouchsafe some privilege to my new Leadenhall, that it may be lawful for us to buy and sell leather there two days a week.

King. Mad Sim, I grant your suit, you shall have patent

To hold two market-days in Leadenhall,

Mondays and Fridays, those shall be the times.

Will this content you?

All. Jesus bless your grace!

Eyre. In the name of these my poor brethren shoemakers, I most humbly thank your grace. But before I rise, seeing you are in the giving vein and we in the begging, grant Sim Eyre one boon more.

King. What is it, my lord mayor?

Eyre. Vouchsafe to taste of a poor banquet that stands sweetly waiting for your sweet presence.

King. I shall undo thee, Eyre, only with feasts;

Already have I been too troublesome;

Say, have I not?

Eyre. O my dear king, Sim Eyre was taken unawares upon a day of shroving,〖Merry-making.〗 which I promised long ago to the prentices of London.

For, an't please your highness, in time past,

I bare the water-tankard,〖As an apprentice.〗 and my coat

Sits not a whit the worse upon my back;

And then, upon a morning, some mad boys,

It was Shrove Tuesday, even as 'tis now,

gave me my breakfast, and I swore then by the stopple of my tankard, if ever I came to be lord mayor of London, I would feast all the prentices. This day, my liege, I did it, and the slaves had an hundred tables five times covered; they are gone home and vanished;

Yet add more honour to the gentle trade,

Taste of Eyre's banquet, Simon's happy made.

King. Eyre, I will taste of thy banquet, and will say,

I have not met more pleasure on a day.

Friends of the gentle craft, thanks to you all,

Thanks, my kind lady mayoress, for our cheer.—

Come, lords, a while let's revel it at home!

When all our sports and banquetings are done,

Wars must right wrongs which Frenchmen have begun.


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