"The Strangers' Case" Speech from Sir Thomas More

On May 1, 1517 — now referred to as Evil May Day — riots broke out in London as a response to an influx of immigrant workers. Eighty years later, a play was written that includes some of these events. The play, called Sir Thomas More, wasn't published or performed at the time, quite possibly because it was censored. This speech from the play is delivered to the rampaging crowd by Thomas More, who was sheriff of London at the time. Thomas More asks the rioters to imagine themselves in the shoes of the immigrants they're attacking. The manuscript shown in the video is an original version of the speech and was very likely written by William Shakespeare.

myShakespeare | "The Strangers' Case" Speech from Sir Thomas More

Grant them removed, and grant that this your noise
Hath chid down all the majesty of England;
Imagine that you see the wretched strangers,
Their babies at their backs and their poor luggage,
Plodding to the ports and coasts for transportation,
And that you sit as kings in your desires,
Authority quite silent by your brawl,
And you in ruff of your opinions clothed;
What had you got? I’ll tell you: you had taught
How insolence and strong hand should prevail,
How order should be quelled; and by this pattern
Not one of you should live an agèd man,
For other ruffians, as their fancies wrought,
With self same hand, self reasons, and self right,
Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes
Would feed on one another.
Say now the king,
As he is clement if th’offender mourn,
Should so much come too short of your great trespass
As but to banish you, whither would you go?
What country, by the nature of your error,
Should give you harbor? Go you to France or Flanders,
To any German province, to Spain or Portugal,
Nay, anywhere that not adheres to England,
Why, you must needs be strangers: would you be pleased
To find a nation of such barbarous temper,
That, breaking out in hideous violence,
Would not afford you an abode on earth,
Whet their detested knives against your throats,
Spurn you like dogs, and like as if that God
Owed not nor made not you, nor that the elements
Were not all appropriate to your comforts,
But chartered unto them, what would you think
To be thus used? This is the strangers’ case;
And this your mountainish inhumanity.