The crowd cheered as the notorious highwayman, Jack Cade, climbed onto the waiting farm cart in 1779. After two weeks alone in a cold, damp prison cell, living on bread and water, he was going to pay for all the coaches he had robbed. With a smile, he slowly peeled off his silk jacket and threw it to them. He placed the rope carefully round his own neck.
“It’s not the kind of necktie I really like,” he said, “but still, my friends, I’ve no real regrets, for I’ve always enjoyed living life sweetly to the full. I do not have anything to fear, because although my business was robbing coaches, I have never hurt anyone. I have enjoyed more than my share of wine, women and song, so let’s part smiling.”
A man fired a shot and the horse ran away with the cart, watched by a tearful girl who was 3 months pregnant by him. After struggling for twenty minutes, Jack Cade died, hanged from the Hanging Tree, which grows next to the smallest prison in the world. It was built in 1521 by Henry VIII and is only 2 metres wide. The villagers named it “The Cage”.
The story of Cade did not end there. Villagers reported sightings of his ghost, and the Archbishop sent a priest to exorcise it, but in November 1912 over a dozen people reported seeing the ghost. A well-known medium, Mrs Ada Garvey, held a séance inside The Cage the following year to make contact with his spirit. The ghost made contact and said he was waiting for his lady love to return to him. He’s still waiting.
1. Write a title in English which best summarises the text, and justify your answer in order to show that you have understood the global meaning of the text (25 – 40 words).
2. Explain in English the meaning of the following expressions as used in the text.
a) Living life sweetly to the full: living the best life he could / enjoying life as much as he could.
3. Complete the second sentence of each pair so that it has the same meaning as the first one.
a) The prison was built in 1521 by Henry VIII and is only 2 metres wide.
- The prison, which is only two metres wide, was built in 1521 by Henry VIII.
- The prison, which was built in 1521 by Henry VIII, is only two metres wide.
b) He said he was waiting for his lady love to return to him.
- He said: “I am waiting for my lady love to return to me.”
4. Answer the following questions in your own words. The information must be taken from the text.
a) Why do you think Jack Cade was popular with the crowd, although he was a notorious criminal?
Jack Cade was popular, first, because he smiled when he was going to die, also because he had never hurt anyone (he had only robbed them) and because he had enjoyed life (wine, women and song).
b) In what way was justice harder in eighteenth century England than in Spain nowadays?
5. Write about three criminal offences and the punishments you think they should receive. (minimum 100 words, maximum 120 words)
The three offences I have chosen are robbing, murder and writing graffiti. For robbing, I would make them give back the money or objects they have stolen. If they cannot, the criminals should work until they earn enough to pay. For murder, I believe the murderer should stay in prison for the rest of his life or be hanged like Jack Cade. When young people write graffiti, they should clean the wall, unless they have made it more beautiful with a picture of a beach or a tree, for example. In this case, they should receive a prize instead of being punished.