SCENE VIILondon. Smithfield. Alarums. MATTHEW GOFFE is slain, and all the rest.
Then enter JACK CADE, with his company.
So, sirs: now go some and pull
down the Savoy; others to the inns of court;
down with them all.
I have a suit unto your lordship.
Be it a lordship, thou shalt have it
for that word.
Only that the laws of England may
come out of your mouth.
Mass, 'twill be sore law,
then; for he was thrust in the mouth with a (11)
spear, and 'tis not whole yet.
Nay, John, it will be stinking
law; for his breath stinks with eating
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.
Then we are like to have
biting statutes, unless his teeth be pulled out.
And henceforward all things shall (21)
be in common. Enter a 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 shilling to the pound, the last subsidy. Enter GEORGE BEVIS, with the LORD SAY.
Well, he shall be beheaded for it ten
times. Ah, thou say, thou serge, nay, thou
buckram lord! now art thou within pointblank
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 used, 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 hanged them; when, indeed, only for
that cause they have been most worthy to live.
Thou dost ride in a footcloth, dost thou not?
What of that?
Marry, thou oughtest not to let thy
horse wear a cloak, when honester men than
thou go in their hose and doublets.
And work in their shirt too; as myself
for example, that am a butcher.
You men of Kent,-- (60)
What say you of Kent?
Nothing but this; 'tis 'bona terra, mala gens.'
Away with him, away with him; he
Hear me but speak, and bear me where you will.
Kent, in the Commentaries Cæsar 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. (70)
I sold not Maine, I lost not Normandy,
Yet, to recover them, would lose my life.
Justice with favour have I always done;
Prayers and tears have moved 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, (81)
You cannot but forbear to murder me:
This tongue hath parley'd unto foreign kings
For your behoof,--
Tut, when struck'st thou one blow
in the field?
Great men have reaching hands: oft have I struck
Those that I never saw and struck them dead.
O monstrous coward! what, to come
behind folks? (90)
These cheeks are pale for watching for your good.
Give him a box o' the ear and that
will make 'em red again.
Long sitting to determine poor men's causes
Hath made me full of sickness and diseases.
Ye shall have a hempen caudle then
and the help of hatchet.
Why dost thou quiver, man?
The palsy, and not fear, provokes me.
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.
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 injured, that ye seek my death?
These hands are free from guiltless bloodshedding,
This breast from harbouring foul deceitful thoughts. (110)
O, let me live!
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
It shall be done.
Ah, countrymen! if when you make your prayers,
God should be so obdurate as yourselves,
How would it fare with your departed souls?
And therefore yet relent, and save my life.
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.
My lord, when shall we go to Cheapside
and take up commodities upon our bills?
O, brave! Re-enter one with the heads.
But is not this braver? Let them
kiss one another, for they loved 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.