The Case Is Altred

The Case is altred:
Case, and every mans Case.
With a direction for a speedy present way
to make every thing Dog-cheap.
Printed in the Yeare 1649.

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1. The case is altered.

THere are as many Cases as there are living creatures, the cases of our bodies are our skinnes, and the case of our souls is our bodies: And as a leaden sword may have a golden scabbard, or a woodden dagger a velvet sheath: so many a faire rich case covers a foule poore carcasse, and many a beautifull outside is the case of a treacherous inside; for Lucifer was a bright Angell, Saul a goodly Personage, Absolon faire, and Jezabell of rare and painted exquisite beauty. These were once in very good, (or great) places, and cases, (as many thousands more have been.) But the Pride of one made him a Devil, the disobedience of the other made him a cast away, and desperately kill himself, the Rebellion of the third purchast him a self casuall hanging by the haire of his head, and loud crying murther was repayed to the fourth a (murdresse,) for she was eaten up by dogs. So that with them the cases or case was strangely altered.

To take the words of my Title in order as they lie: First THE the words, THE CASE, doth impart the onely one main Case, as much as to say, THE CASE of most concernment and consequence IS ALTERED: for as a Bible is a book, so THE Bible is the book of books, to which (in comparison) all other books are but Pamphlets, or as he that calls to his servant to fetch him a Cloak, or his Cloak may perhaps have more Cloaks then one; but he that calls for THE CLOAKE, it is to be supposed hath no more but one. The Athenians were great Idolaters, and they erected Altars to a great many ungodly gods; but onely one Altar had the Inscription upon it, To THE UNKNOWN GOD: That God was, is, and will be everlastingly THE GOD, He changeth not, nor is ever to have so much as a shadow of change or alteration, but with all things mortall, The case is altered.

Is, the word sayes not was (or will be altered) But is in the present Tense, which denotes unto us the continuall attendance of our changing Mutability, The case was altered with the foure Monarchies of the world, from the Assyrians to the Persians, from the Persians [Page 2] to the Grecians, from the Greeks, to the Romanes, and from the Romanes (almost) no whither. This Kingdome of England, hath had its case six times altered: First it was conquered by the Bryttains: Secondly, by the Romanes: Thirdly, by the Saxons: Fourthly by the Danes: Fiftly by the Normanes, and lastly (for want of a forreigne enemy, we have made a shift to warre without a foe) whereby we have most courteously conquered one another, insomuch that there is scarce any one house, name, family or person, either of the Royall Party, or the present Army, (or a Party) but may truly say, the Case is altered.

It is to be noted that all those great men who had any hand in the killing of Julius Cesar (in hope to destroy Monarchie) did afterwards murther themselves, or die violent, and untimely deaths, the fruits of their attempts were frustrated, Monarchie was remounted, and their Cases altered.

When Great and Good Families are Metamorphosed into beggars and knaves, and beggars raised to high preferments and rich fortunes, a man may think (though he dare not say) that with both these sorts of people, the case is strangely altered.

It may be imagined that all England is transformed into one entire Bedlam, or habitation of mad folks, all are not either as they would or should be, no one is fully contented, and most of them will never be satisfied; they com plain of want, they grumble at scareity, and (cut of their Lunacie or Frensie) in this time of plenty would make us believe every thing is deare, when it is onely a meere fantasie of the brain, a Whirligigge in the mind, e a squinting, or misty vapour before the eyes, a meere deceptio visûs, or delusion of the sight, which so far stupifies and plunders our wits and senses that we neither feel our comforts, or see our happinesse.

Is it not strange that Wheat should be three shillings the Bushell, and we are so madly blind that we cannot see it, and foolishly dream that we pay ten or eleven shillings for it? Coals (very good sea coals) at three pence the Bushell (at Castela Nova) and we talk idly, that we have lately paid two shillings foure pence the Bushell (with other high prices) but we have eaten Charvill, which hath the vertue and operation to make folks think, that every one thing they see, is either double, treble, or foure times more then it was wont to be.

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It is not perceived that so many fast dayes, and dayes of Humiliation have brought down the Price of flesh, more then Hecatombes of Popish Lents or Ember weeks could have done, all the Vigills (or superstitious Eves) of Saints, the nice observation of them did formerly raise meat to very high rates, whereas the suppressing of them hath brought such a cheapnesse amongst us, that any one that will buy the best Beef, may have a stone for ten pence, and all other things (except Butter and green Geese are as a man may say) dog cheap.

There is a Cook that dwells in long Acre (two or three houses from the Globe Taverne,) that dreamed he sold a shoulder of Mutton and a Calves head (with no Bacon) for eighteen Shillings, on Monday the 22 of April last; the Cook believes and dare swear it true, and I thought it very necessary (for the honour of our Lords of misrule, and Masters of mischief) to declare to the world what cheapnesse and plenty we are brought to by Divisions and Distractions, by which extraordinary happines, we may believe (as a great many simpletons do) that the Case of three great Kingdomes is in a manner altered.

But it is beyond the thoughts and Apprehensions of all wise men here, (and beyond Sea) That true borne English men, Loyall Subjects, and professed Protestants would ever so farre degenerate from their profession of fearing of God, or their Allegeance towards their Lawfull Soveraigne (being a Protestant) as to hunt him up and down, to and fro, to every County of England, to deprive him of all Earthly comforts, to scandall him with venemous Tongues and pens in Pulpits, and written, and Printed Libells, and weekly occurrences, and Roguish Pamphlets: To mock him with a Treaty, and (when Peace was agreed on) to cut His throat at his own doore, to share all His houses, goods, Lands, Jewells, and whole estate, to dishinherit Root and Branch, all the Royall posterity, to starve all the Kings Servants, such as did never bear Armes, but attend onely on his person, according to their Oathes and duties. Me thinks it is impossible for any men to be so Divelish mad to do all these things, (with many more vertuous actions) but I cannot be so sottishly frantick to believe other wise, but that we all are in a dream, for it is beyond all beliefe, or example, that Christians, English men, Protestants and true Subjects would or could be so farre deprived of Grace, Wisdome, Understanding, Wit, Sense, or common Capacity, as wilfully headlong to [Page 4] precipitate themselves into such, and so many Temporall, and Eternall dangers as such horrid designes must necessarily produce. But these are onely mad dreams, as may be fancied, with no more shew of truth amongst honest men (except such as either saw, or feele the miseries and mischiefs) then it is for a great Earl to degenerate so farre as to be a Knight of a Shire, or a Lord Major to descend lower, then to the office of an Headborough or Tithingman.

Charity is a most heavenly vertue, her chiefest delight being still to be doing of good, and in rel eving the necessities and wants of the needy: true Charity is never idle, and because she shall not want work, there are fresh and new beggers made every day, but the Proverb sayes, Charity should begin at home; but where her home is, is a very hard and cold enquiry: It is to be imagined that she is well esteemed, and much made of in the House of Commons at Westminster, for their weekly Historians and Chronologers of their most Honourable Acts and Monuments, do weekly, moderately, and perfect currantly, set forth their abundant love of Charity, for a great part of their Pamphlets do frequently, devoutly, and palpably declare the care and pains there taken for the speedy relief of the poore, and the further encrease of Beggers for the Kingdomes honour, the humiliation of the Malignant Party, and the exercise of Charity.

But suppose there were a dearth, dearnesse and scarcity of food, fewell, and other things which are the Preservers and maintainers of our Lives, yet there is a speciall, provident, speedy way to avoid a sudden famine, to procure a present plentie.

And it is a wonder, that our State-Pollitians have not long agoe put it in practise, for it would make them to be more honoured for so charitable a worke, then for all the good that ever they have done since their first sitting, and thus it is.

First if they would consider the great number of Malignants, and the many thousands that are sequestrated: amongst all which innumerable numbers with their Families, their oppressours have not one friend amongst them all. They with their Children, Wives, Kinsfolks, Friends and Allies, cannot be fewer then a million of mouths, and those mouths do eat and feed every day upon such meat as the Godly Parliament and sanctified Army should have: and seeing they are deprived of their livelyhood, and means of subsistence to live, [Page 5] It is as just to cut their throats, and take away their lives, and by so doing stop so many mouths at once from eating: and this is one way to stay abundance of S o nacks, and to bring down the price of victualls suddenly, besides it will raise more money for the State and Army, by making quick Sale of such small possessions of Lands and Goods, which as yet all those (whom they are pleased to call Malignants and Delinquents) do live poorely upon.

Secondly, if they would be pleased to hang all the Whores, and Whore-masters in the Kingdome; and that a Committee be appointed for that purpose: And further that the ingenious Harry Martin may be Chaireman to the said Committee.

And also (if they please) they may take all the drunkards, loyterers and idle vagabonds, and thieves, Sectaries, knaves and Levellers into the bargain.

Thirdly, they may do as the Canniball Brasilians do in America, kill all the old folks men and women of all degrees, who by reason of their decrepit impotency, weaknes, and encombrances of old age, are but a chargeable pestring and trouble to the State, and little or no pleasure to themselves; and when they have killed them, they may eat them as the Canniballs do.

Fourthly, they may hang up all the Beggars, male and female, old and young, (blind, lame, deaf and dumb) this is a piece of Charity (for it is better to hang then starve) besides it will be no losse to the State for they can at their pleasure make Beggers at any time, or at all times more then a good many.

Fifthly, they may play the part of Herod, (not to destroy males of two yeares old and under) But to dispatch all the females which are not seven years of age, for the feminine exceeds the masculine seven to one, and the Girles outvie the boyes more then treble in number, and all those toyes do eat and drink daily, and help to make every thing deare. It may be considered that men have more wayes to dy then naturall deaths; but (for the most part) women do seldome dy by any casualty of warre either by Sea or Land, as men do, for if the women do fight at any time, it is but a kind of Billingsgate Battell with tongue and nailes, scolding and scratching, and those conflicts are seldome mortall.

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Lastly, if they would hang up all the Rebells and Traitours, or all the Enemies of the late King, it would be much available for the saving of dinners and suppers; but if they will do none of these things (for the good of the Commonwealth) then they are humbly desired to hang themselves for the case of the Kingdome.

This is the full version of the original text


abundance, beggar, charity, cloak, dearth, eating, famine, murder, shilling, want, wheat

Source text

Title: The Case Is Altred

Author: Anon

Publication date: 1649

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: Bibliographic name / number: Wing (2nd ed., 1994) / C869 Bibliographic name / number: Thomason / E.556[9] Physical description: [2], 6 p. Copy from: British Library Reel position: Thomason / 86:E.556[9]

Digital edition

Original author(s): Anon

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) whole


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > pamphlets

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.