Alarums. Matthew Gough 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 th' 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
Mass, 'twill be sore law then, for he was
thrust in the mouth with a spear, and 'tis not whole yet.
(aside to Holland)
Nay, John, it will be stinking
law, for his breath stinks with eating toasted cheese.
I have thought upon it; it shall be so. Away! Burn
all the records of the realm; my mouth shall be the parliament
Then we are like to have biting statutes,
unless his teeth be pulled out.
And henceforward all things shall be in common.
[of land] in common possession, for the whole community
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 point-blank of our jurisdiction regal. What
canst thou answer to my majesty for giving up of
Normandy unto Mounsieur Basimecu, the Dolphin
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
score and tally
method of notching a piece of wood as a means of debt-keeping; when split in two between lender and debtor, the scores on the two pieces of wood would tally
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 the 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 foot-cloth, 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
And work in their shirt too; as myself, for example,
that am a butcher.
You men of Kent –
What say you of Kent?
Nothing but this: 'tis bona terra, mala gens.
Away with him! Away with him! He speaks Latin.
Hear me but speak, and bear me where you will.
Kent, in the Commentaries Caesar writ,
Is termed the civilest place of this isle;
Sweet is the country, because full of riches,
To 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;
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 bestowed on learned clerks,
Because my book preferred me to the King,
And seeing ignorance is the curse of God,
Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven,
Unless you be possessed with devilish spirits,
You cannot but forbear to murder me.
This tongue hath parleyed unto foreign kings
For your behoof –
Tut, when struckest 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?
These cheeks are pale for watching for your good.
Give him a box o'th' ear, and that will make 'em red
Long sitting to determine poor men's causes
cause (n.) 5
court case, legal action, matter before the court
Hath made me full of sickness and diseases.
Ye shall have a hempen caudle then, and the help of
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 filled 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.
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 a 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.
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 rebels 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?
Enter one with the heads of Say and Cromer upon
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. Away!