Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 2 (Folio 1, 1623)



142
The second Part of Henry the Sixt.


Enter Buckingham, and old Clifford.
Buc. I heere they be, that dare and will disturb thee:
Know Cade, we come Ambassadors from the King
Vnto the Commons, whom thou hast misled,
2785And heere pronounce free pardon to them all,
That will forsake thee, and go home in peace.
Clif. What say ye Countrimen, will ye relent
And yeeld to mercy, whil'st 'tis offered you,
Or let a rabble leade you to your deaths.
2790Who loues the King, and will imbrace his pardon,
Fling vp his cap, and say, God saue his Maiesty.
Who hateth him, and honors not his Father,
Henry the fift, that made all France to quake,
Shake he his weapon at vs, and passe by.
2795All. God saue the King, God saue the King.
Cade. What Buckingham and Clifford are ye so braue?
And you base Pezants, do ye beleeue him, will you needs
be hang'd with your Pardons about your neckes? Hath
my sword therefore broke through London gates, that
2800you should leaue me at the White-heart in Southwarke.
I thought ye would neuer haue giuen out these Armes til
you had recouered your ancient Freedome. But you are
all Recreants and Dastards, and delight to liue in slauerie
to the Nobility. Let them breake your backes with bur-
2805thens, take your houses ouer your heads, rauish your
Wiues and Daughters before your faces. For me, I will
make shift for one, and so Gods Cursse light vppon you
all.
All. Wee'l follow Cade,
2810Wee'l follow Cade.
Clif. Is Cade the sonne of Henry the fift,
That thus you do exclaime you'l go with him.
Will he conduct you through the heart of France,
And make the meanest of you Earles and Dukes?
2815Alas, he hath no home, no place to flye too:
Nor knowes he how to liue, but by the spoile,
Vnlesse by robbing of your Friends, and vs.
Wer't not a shame, that whilst you liue at iarre,
The fearfull French, whom you late vanquished
2820Should make a start ore-seas, and vanquish you?
Me thinkes alreadie in this ciuill broyle,
I see them Lording it in London streets,
Crying Villiago vnto all they meete.
Better ten thousand base-borne Cades miscarry,
2825Then you should stoope vnto a Frenchmans mercy.
To France, to France, and get what you haue lost:
Spare England, for it is your Natiue Coast:
Henry hath mony, you are strong and manly:
God on our side, doubt not of Victorie.
2830All. A Clifford, a Clifford,
Wee'l follow the King, and Clifford.
Cade. Was euer Feather so lightly blowne too & fro,
as this multitude? The name of Henry the fift, hales them
to an hundred mischiefes, and makes them leaue mee de-
2835solate. I see them lay their heades together to surprize
me. My sword make way for me, for heere is no staying:
in despight of the diuels and hell, haue through the verie
middest of you, and heauens and honor be witnesse, that
no want of resolution in mee, but onely my Followers
2840base and ignominious treasons, makes me betake mee to
my heeles.
Exit
Buck. What, is he fled? Go some and follow him,
And he that brings his head vnto the King,
Shall haue a thousand Crownes for his reward.
2845
Exeunt some of them.
Follow me souldiers, wee'l deuise a meane,
To reconcile you all vnto the King.
Exeunt omnes.

Sound Trumpets. Enter King, Queene, and
Somerset on the Tarras.

2850King. Was euer King that ioy'd an earthly Throne,
And could command no more content then I?
No sooner was I crept out of my Cradle,
But I was made a King, at nine months olde.
Was neuer Subiect long'd to be a King,
2855As I do long and wish to be a Subiect.

Enter Buckingham and Clifford.

Buc. Health and glad tydings to your Maiesty.
Kin. Why Buckingham, is the Traitor Cade surpris'd?
Or is he but retir'd to make him strong?

2860
Enter Multitudes with Halters about their
Neckes.

Clif. He is fled my Lord, and all his powers do yeeld,
And humbly thus with halters on their neckes,
Expect your Highnesse doome of life, or death.
2865King. Then heauen set ope thy euerlasting gates,
To entertaine my vowes of thankes and praise.
Souldiers, this day haue you redeem'd your liues,
And shew'd how well you loue your Prince & Countrey:
Continue still in this so good a minde,
2870And Henry though he be infortunate,
Assure your selues will neuer be vnkinde:
And so with thankes, and pardon to you all,
I do dismisse you to your seuerall Countries.
All. God saue the King, God saue the King.

2875
Enter a Messenger.
Mes. Please it your Grace to be aduertised,
The Duke of Yorke is newly come from Ireland,
And with a puissant and a mighty power
Of Gallow-glasses and stout Kernes,
2880Is marching hitherward in proud array,
And still proclaimeth as he comes along,
His Armes are onely to remoue from thee
The Duke of Somerset, whom he tearmes a Traitor.
King. Thus stands my state, 'twixt Cade and Yorke
2885 distrest,
Like to a Ship, that hauing scap'd a Tempest,
Is straight way calme, and boorded with a Pyrate.
But now is Cade driuen backe, his men dispierc'd,
And now is Yorke in Armes, to second him.
2890I pray thee Buckingham go and meete him,
And aske him what's the reason of these Armes:
Tell him, Ile send Duke Edmund to the Tower,
And Somerset we will commit thee thither,
Vntill his Army be dismist from him.
2895Somerset. My Lord,
Ile yeelde my selfe to prison willingly,
Or vnto death, to do my Countrey good.
King. In any case, be not to rough in termes,
For he is fierce, and cannot brooke hard Language.
2900Buc. I will my Lord, and doubt not so to deale,
As all things shall redound vnto your good.
King. Come wife, let's in, and learne to gouern better,
For yet may England curse my wretched raigne.
Flourish.
Exeunt.
Enter