1. SCENE I. Fields between Dartford and Blackheath.
Canst thou dispense with heaven for such an oath?
It is great sin to swear unto a sin,
But greater sin to keep a sinful oath.
Who can be bound by any solemn vow
To do a murtherous deed, to rob a man,
To force a spotless virgin's chastity,
To reave the orphan of his patrimony,
To wring the widow from her custom'd right,
And have no other reason for this wrong
But that he was bound by a solemn oath?
A subtle traitor needs no sophister.
Call Buckingham, and bid him arm himself.
Call Buckingham, and all the friends thou hast,
I am resolv'd for death or dignity.
The first I warrant thee if dreams prove true.
You were best to go to bed and dream again,
To keep thee from the tempest of the field.
I am resolv'd to bear a greater storm
Than any thou canst conjure up to-day;
And that I'll write upon thy burgonet,
Might I but know thee by thy household badge.
Now, by my father's badge, old Nevil's crest,
The rampant bear chain'd to the ragged staff,
This day I'll wear aloft my burgonet,
As on a mountain top the cedar shows
That keeps his leaves in spite of any storm,
Even to affright thee with the view thereof.
And from thy burgonet I'll rend thy bear
And tread it under foot with all contempt,
Despite the bear-herd that protects the bear.
And so to arms, victorious father,
To quell the rebels and their complices.
Fie! charity, for shame! speak not in spite,
For you shall sup with Jesu Christ to-night.