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* Smith. If this fellow be wise, he'll never call you
Jack Cade more; I think he hath fair * warning
Dick. My lord, there's an army gathered together in Smithfield.
Cade. Come then, let go's fight with them: But, first, go and set London Bridge on fires; and, if you can, burn down the Tower too. Come, let's away:
Alarum. Enter on one side, Cade and his Com
pany; on the other, Citizens, and the King's Forces, headed by MATTHEW Gough! They fight; the Citizens are routed, and MATTHEW GOUGH is slain.
Cade. So, sirs :-Now go some and pull down the Savoy’; others to the 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 3.
3 At that time London Bridge was of wood : the houses upon it were actually burnt in this rebellion. Hall says he entered London, and cut the ropes of the drawbridge.'
| Holinshed calls Mathew Gough 'a man of great wit and much experience in feats of chivalrie, the which in continuall warres had spent his time in serving of the king his father.' See also W. of Wyrcestre, p. 357; and the Paston Letters, vol. i.
2 This trouble had been saved Cade's reformers by his predecessor Wat Tyler. It was never re-edified till Henry VI. founded the hospital.
• It was reported, indeed, that he should saie with great pride that within four daies all the laws of England should come foorth of his mouth.'--Holinshed, p. 432.
• John. Mass, 'twill be sore law then; for he was • thrust in the mouth with a spear, and 'tis not whole yet.
[Aside. • Smith. Nay, John, it will be stinking law; for · his breath stinks with eating toasted cheese.
[Aside. • 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. Then we are like to have biting statutes, * unless his teeth be pulled out.
[Aside. * Cade. And henceforward all things shall be in
Enter a Messenger. • Mess. My lord, a prize, a prize! here's the • Lord Say, which sold the towns in France ; * that made us pay one and twenty fifteens, and one shilling to the pound, the last subsidy. Enter GEORGE Bevis, with the LORD SAY. • Cade. Well, he shall be beheaded for it ten times.-Ay, 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 • Monsieur 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
4 A fifteen was the fifteenth part of all the moveables, or personal property of each subject.
Say is a kind of thin woollen stuff or serge.
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 on a foot-cloth, dost thou not? Say. What of that?
Cade. Marry, thou oughtest 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? 6 Shakspeare is a little too early with this accusation. Yet Meerman, in his Origines Typographicæ, has availed himself of this passage to support his hypothesis that printing was introduced into England by Frederic Corsellis, one of Coster's workmen, from Haerlem in the time of Henry VI. Shakspeare's anachronisms are not more extraordinary than those of his contemporaries. Spenser mentions cloth made at Lincoln in the ideal reign of King Arthur, and has adorned a castle at the same period with cloth of Arras and of Tours.
? i.e. they were hanged because they could not claim the benefit of clergy.
8 A foot-cloth was a kind of housing, which covered the body of the horse : it was sometimes made of velvet and bordered with gold lace. This is a reproach truly characteristical: nothing gives so much offence to the lower orders as the sight of superfluities merely ostentatious.
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
• Kent, in the commentaries Cæsar writ, • Is term’d the civil'st place of all this isle 10 : • 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
life. * Justice with favour have I always done; Prayers and tears have mov'd me, gifts could
never. * When have I aught exacted at your
hands, Kent, to maintain the king, the realm, and you 11 ?
Large gifts have I bestow'd on learned clerks,
Cade. Bonun terrum, What's that?
Nick. No,'tis Outalian: I know it well enough. 10 • Ex his omnibus sunt humanissimi, qui Cantium incolunt.' Cæsar. Thus translated by Ar. Golding, 1590 :- Of all the inhabitants of the isle, the civilest are the Kentish-folke.' It is said also in the same words in Lyly's Euphues and bis England, 1580.
11 This passage has been supposed corrupt merely because it was erroneously pointed. I have now placed a comma at Kent, to show that it is parenthetically spoken ; and then I see not the slightest difficulty in the meaning of the passage. It was thus absurdly pointed in the folio:
When have I aught exacted at your hands ?
* 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
* 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. * Geo. O monstrous coward! what, to come be
hind folks? * Say. These cheeks are pale for watching for
* Cade. Give him a box o’the 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
of a hatchet 13. · Dick. Why dost thou quiver, man?
Say. The palsy, and not fear, provoketh 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, 6 and behead him.
Say. Tell me, wherein I have offended most? * Have I affected wealth, or honour; speak?
12 i. e. in consequence of.
13 The old copy reads ‘the help of a hatchet.' There can be little doubt but that Dr. Farmer's emendation, 'pap of a hatchet,' is the true reading: it is a proper accompaniment to the ‘ hempen caudle. Lyly wrote a pamphlet with the title of ` Pap with a Hatchet;' and the phrase occurs in his play of Mother Bombie : • They give us pap with a spoone, and when we speake for what we love, pap with a hatchet.'