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Wat Tyler - Act III

ACT III.


SCENE—SMITHFIELD.


PIERS (meeting JOHN BALL.)

You look disturb'd, my father?


JOHN BALL.

Piers, I am so.
Jack Straw has forced the Tower: seized the Archbishop,
And beheaded him.


PIERS.

The curse of insurrection!


JOHN BALL.

Aye, Piers! our nobles level down their vassals—
Keep them at endless labour like their brutes,
Degrading every faculty by servitude:
Repressing all the energy of the mind.
We must not wonder then, that like wild beasts,
When they have burst their chains, with brutal rage
They revenge them on their tyrants.


PIERS.

This Archbishop!
He was oppressive to his humble vassals:
Proud, haughty, avaricious.—


JOHN BALL.

A true high-priest!
Preaching humility with his mitre on!
Praising up alms and Christian charity
Even whilst his unforgiving hand distress'd
His honest tenants.

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