Act 5, Scene II
Scene: A Street (and afterwards Mile End).
Enter RALPH and Company of
Soldiers (among whom are
WILLIAM HAMMERTON and GEORGE GREENGOOSE),
with drums and colours.
- March fair, my hearts! Lieutenant, beat the rear
up.Ancient, let your colours fly; but have a great care
of the butcher's hooks at Whitechapel; they have been
the death of many a fair ancient.Open your files, that
I may take a view both of your persons and munition.Sergeant
call a muster.
- A stand!William Hammerton, pewterer!
- Here, captain!
- A corselet and a Spanish pike; 'tis well: can you
shake it with a terror?
- I hope so, captain.
- Charge upon me. [He charges on Ralph.]'Tis with
the weakest: but more strength, William Hammerton,
more strength. As you were again!Proceed, Sergeant.
- George Greengoose, poulterer!
- Let me see your piece, neighbour Greengoose: when
was she shot in?
- An't like you, master captain, I made a shot even
now, partly to scour her, and partly for audacity.
- It should seem so certainly, for her breath is yet
inflamed; besides, there is a main fault in the touch-hole,
it runs and stinketh; and I tell you moreover, and
believe it, ten such touch-holes would breed the pox in
the army. Get you a feather, neighbour, get you a
feather, sweet oil, and paper, and your piece may do well
enough yet. Where's your powder?
- What, in a paper! as I am a soldier and a gentleman,
it craves a martial court! you ought to die for't. Where's
your horn? answer me to that.
- An't like you, sir, I was oblivious.
- It likes me not you should be so; 'tis a shame for
you, and a scandal to all our neighbours, being a man of
worth and estimation, to leave your horn behind you:
I am afraid 'twill breed example. But let me tell you
no more on't.Stand, till I view you all.What's
become o' the nose of your flask?
- 1st Soldier.
- Indeed, la, captain, 'twas blown away with powder.
- Put on a new one at the city's charge.Where's the
stone of this piece?
- 2nd Soldier.
- The drummer took it out to light tobacco.
- 'Tis a fault, my friend; put it in again.You want a
nose;and you a stone.Sergeant, take a note on't, for
I mean to stop it in the pay.Remove, and march!
[They march.] Soft and fair, gentlemen, soft and fair!
double your files! as you were! faces about! Now,
you with the sodden face, keep in there! Look to your
match, sirrah, it will be in your fellow's flask anon. So;
make a crescent now; advance your pikes; stand and
give ear!Gentlemen, countrymen, friends, and my
fellow-soldiers, I have brought you this day, from the
shops of security and the counters of content, to measure
out in these furious fields honour by the ell, and prowess
by the pound. Let it not, oh, let it not, I say, be told
hereafter, the noble issue of this city fainted; but bear
yourselves in this fair action like men, valiant men, and
free men! Fear not the face of the enemy, nor the noise
of the guns, for, believe me, brethren, the rude rumbling
of a brewer's cart is far more terrible, of which you have
a daily experience; neither let the stink of powder offend
you, since a more valiant stink is nightly with you.
To a resolvèd mind his home is everywhere:
I speak not this to take away
The hope of your return; for you shall see
(I do not doubt it) and that very shortly
Your loving wives again and your sweet children,
Whose care doth bear you company in baskets.
Remember, then, whose cause you, have in hand,
And, like a sort of true-born scavengers,
Scour me this famous realm of enemies.
I have no more to say but this: stand to your tacklings,
lads, and show to the world you can as well brandish a
sword as shake an apron. Saint George, and on, my
- Saint George, Saint George!
- 'Twas well done, Ralph! I'll send thee a cold capon
a-field and a bottle of March beer; and, it may be, come
myself to see thee.
- Nell, the boy hath deceived me much; I did not think
it had been in him. He has performed such a matter,
wench, that, if I live, next year I'll have him captain of
the galley-foist, or I'll want my will.]