ACT IV
Scene X.
 

Kent. Iden's garden

Enter CADE

CADE
Fie on ambitions! 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 climb'd 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-pain had been cleft with a brown bill; and many a time,
when I have been dry, and bravely marching, it hath serv'd me
instead of a quart-pot to drink in; and now the word 'sallet'
must serve me to feed on.

Enter IDEN

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, for
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 broach'd, 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,
Took odds to combat a poor famish'd man.
Oppose thy steadfast-gazing eyes to mine;
See if thou canst outface me with thy looks;
Set limb to limb, and thou art far the lesser;
Thy hand is but a finger to my fist,
Thy leg a stick compared with this truncheon;
My foot shall fight with all the strength thou hast,
And if mine arm be heaved in the air,
Thy grave is digg'd already in the earth.
As for words, whose greatness answers words,
Let this my sword report what speech forbears.

CADE
By my valour, the most complete champion that ever I heard!
Steel, if thou turn the edge, or cut not out the burly bon'd
clown in chines of beef ere thou sleep in thy sheath, I beseech
God on my knees thou mayst be turn'd to hobnails. [Here they
fight; CADE falls]
O, I am slain! famine and no other hath slain
me. Let ten thousand devils come against me, and give me but the
ten meals I have lost, and I'd defy them all. Wither, garden, and
be henceforth a burying place to all that do dwell in this house,
because the unconquered soul of Cade is fled.

IDEN
Is't Cade that I have slain, that monstrous traitor?
Sword, I will hallow thee for this thy deed
And hang thee o'er my tomb when I am dead.
Ne'er shall this blood be wiped from thy point,
But thou shalt wear it as a herald's coat
To emblaze the honour that thy master got.

CADE
Iden, farewell; and be proud of thy victory. Tell Kent from
me she hath lost her best man, and exhort all the world to be
cowards; for I, that never feared any, am vanquished by famine,
not by valour.

[Dies]

IDEN
How much thou wrong'st me, heaven be my judge.
Die, damned wretch, the curse of her that bare thee!
And as I thrust thy body in with my sword,
So wish I, I might thrust thy soul to hell.
Hence will I drag thee headlong by the heels
Unto a dunghill, which shall be thy grave,
And there cut off thy most ungracious head,
Which I will bear in triumph to the King,
Leaving thy trunk for crows to feed upon.

Exit