Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

An illustrated appreciation, of the most interesting districts in Sussex.

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

xxxill                                         JACK CADE                                              309
Scene X.—Kent. Iden's Garden.
Enter Cade.
Cade. Fie on ambition ! fie on myself; that have a sword, and yet am ready to famish ! These five days have I hid me in these woods, and durst not peep out, for all the country is laid for me ; but now am I so hungry, that if I might have a lease of my life for a thousand years, I could stay no longer. Wherefore, on a brick-wall have I climbed into this garden, to see if I can eat grass, or pick a sallet another while, which is not amiss to cool a man's stomach this hot weather. And, I think, this word sallet was born to do me good : for, many a time, but for a sallet, my brain-pan had been cleft with a brown bill; and, many a time, when I have been dry, and bravely marching, it hath served me instead of a quart-pot to drink in; and now the word sallet must serve me to feed on.
Enter Iden, with Servants, behind.
Iden. Lord ! who would live turmoiled in the court,
And may enjoy such quiet walks as these !
This small inheritance, my father left me,
Contenteth me, and worth a monarchy.
I seek not to wax great by others' waning ;
Or gather wealth I care not with what envy :
Sufficeth that I have maintains my state,
And sends the poor well pleased from my gate. Cade. Here's the lord of the soil come to seize me for a stray, ior entering his fee-simple without leave. Ah, villain, thou wilt betray me, and get a thousand crowns of the king by carrying my head to him ; but I'll make thee eat iron like an ostrich, and swallow my sword like a great pin, ere thou and I part.
Iden. Why, rude companion, whatsoe'er thou be,
I know thee not; why then should I betray thee ?
Is't not enough, to break into my garden,
And like a thief to come to rob my grounds,
Climbing my walls in spite of me, the owner,
But thou wilt brave me with these saucy terms ? Cade. Brave thee ? ay, by the best blood that ever was broached, and beard thee too. Look on me well: I have eat no meat these five days ; yet, come thou and thy five men ; and if I do not leave you all as dead as a door-nail, I pray God I may never eat grass more.
Iden. Nay, it shall ne'er be said, while England stands,
That Alexander Iden, an esquire of Kent,
Previous Contents Next