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ACT IV. SCENE VII. 


London. Smithfield

Alarums. MATTHEW GOFFE is slain, and all the rest. Then enter JACK CADE, with his company

 CADE.

So, sirs. Now go some and pull down the Savoy; others to th'
Inns of Court; down with them all.

 DICK.

I have a suit unto your lordship.

 CADE.

Be it a lordship, thou shalt have it for that word.

 DICK.

Only that the laws of England may come out of your mouth.

 JOHN.

[Aside] Mass, 'twill be sore law then; for he was thrust in
the mouth with a spear, and 'tis not whole yet.

 SMITH.

[Aside] Nay, John, it will be stinking law; for his breath
stinks with eating toasted cheese.

 CADE.

I have thought upon it; it shall be so. Away, burn all the
records of the realm. My mouth shall be the Parliament of
England.

 JOHN.

[Aside] Then we are like to have biting statutes, unless his
teeth be pull'd out.

 CADE.

And henceforward all things shall be in common.

Enter a MESSENGER

 MESSENGER.

My lord, a prize, a prize! Here's the Lord Say, which
sold the towns in France; he that made us pay one and twenty
fifteens, and one shining to the pound, the last subsidy.

Enter GEORGE BEVIS, with the LORD SAY

 CADE.

Well, he shall be beheaded for it ten times. Ah, thou say,
thou serge, nay, thou buckram lord! Now art thou within point
blank of our jurisdiction regal. What canst thou answer to my
Majesty for giving up of Normandy unto Mounsieur Basimecu the
Dauphin of France? Be it known unto thee by these presence, even
the presence of Lord Mortimer, that I am the besom that must
sweep the court clean of such filth as thou art. Thou hast most
traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm in erecting a
grammar school; and whereas, before, our forefathers had no other
books but the score and the tally, thou hast caused printing to
be us'd, and, contrary to the King, his crown, and dignity, thou
hast built a paper-mill. It will be proved to thy face that thou
hast men about thee that usually talk of a noun and a verb, and
such abominable words as no Christian ear can endure to hear.
Thou hast appointed justices of peace, to call poor men before
them about matters they were not able to answer. Moreover, thou
hast put them in prison, and because they could not read, thou
hast hang'd them, when, indeed, only for that cause they have
been most worthy to live. Thou dost ride in a foot-cloth, dost
thou not?

 SAY.

What of that?

 CADE.

Marry, thou ought'st not to let thy horse wear a cloak, when
honester men than thou go in their hose and doublets.

 DICK.

And work in their shirt too, as myself, for example, that am
a butcher.

 SAY.

You men of Kent-

 DICK.

What say you of Kent?

 SAY.

Nothing but this: 'tis 'bona terra, mala gens.'

 CADE.

Away with him, away with him! He speaks Latin.

 SAY.

Hear me but speak, and bear me where you will.
Kent, in the Commentaries Caesar writ,
Is term'd the civil'st place of all this isle.
Sweet is the country, because full of riches;
The people liberal valiant, active, wealthy;
Which makes me hope you are not void of pity.
I sold not Maine, I lost not Normandy;
Yet, to recover them, would lose my life.
Justice with favour have I always done;
Pray'rs and tears have mov'd me, gifts could never.
When have I aught exacted at your hands,
But to maintain the King, the realm, and you?
Large gifts have I bestow'd on learned clerks,
Because my book preferr'd me to the King,
And seeing ignorance is the curse of God,
Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven,
Unless you be possess'd with devilish spirits
You cannot but forbear to murder me.
This tongue hath parley'd unto foreign kings
For your behoof.

 CADE.

Tut, when struck'st thou one blow in the field?

 SAY.

Great men have reaching hands. Oft have I struck
Those that I never saw, and struck them dead.

 GEORGE.

O monstrous coward! What, to come behind folks?

 SAY.

These cheeks are pale for watching for your good.

 CADE.

Give him a box o' th' ear, and that will make 'em red again.

 SAY.

Long sitting to determine poor men's causes
Hath made me full of sickness and diseases.

 CADE.

Ye shall have a hempen caudle then, and the help of hatchet.

 DICK.

Why dost thou quiver, man?

 SAY.

The palsy, and not fear, provokes me.

 CADE.

Nay, he nods at us, as who should say 'I'll be even with
you'; I'll see if his head will stand steadier on a pole, or no.
Take him away, and behead him.

 SAY.

Tell me: wherein have I offended most?
Have I affected wealth or honour? Speak.
Are my chests fill'd up with extorted gold?
Is my apparel sumptuous to behold?
Whom have I injur'd, that ye seek my death?
These hands are free from guiltless bloodshedding,
This breast from harbouring foul deceitful thoughts.
O, let me live!

 CADE.

[Aside] I feel remorse in myself with his words; but I'll
bridle it. He shall die, an it be but for pleading so well for
his life.- Away with him! He has a familiar under his tongue; he
speaks not o' God's name. Go, take him away, I say, and strike
off his head presently, and then break into his son-in-law's
house, Sir James Cromer, and strike off his head, and bring them
both upon two poles hither.

 ALL.

It shall be done.

 SAY.

Ah, countrymen! if when you make your pray'rs,
God should be so obdurate as yourselves,
How would it fare with your departed souls?
And therefore yet relent and save my life.

 CADE.

Away with him, and do as I command ye. [Exeunt some with
LORD SAY] The proudest peer in the realm shall not wear a head
on his shoulders, unless he pay me tribute; there shall not a
maid be married, but she shall pay to me her maidenhead ere they
have it. Men shall hold of me in capite; and we charge and
command that their wives be as free as heart can wish or tongue
can tell.

 DICK.

My lord, when shall we go to Cheapside, and take up
commodities upon our bills?

 CADE.

Marry, presently.

 ALL.

O, brave!

Re-enter one with the heads

 CADE.

But is not this braver? Let them kiss one another, for they
lov'd well when they were alive. Now part them again, lest they
consult about the giving up of some more towns in France.
Soldiers, defer the spoil of the city until night; for with these
borne before us instead of maces will we ride through the
streets, and at every corner have them kiss. Away! Exeunt

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