Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 2 (Folio 1, 1623)


Alarums. Mathew Goffe is slain, and all the rest.
Then enter Iacke Cade, with his Company.
2635Cade. So sirs: now go some and pull down the Sauoy:
Others to'th Innes of Court, downe with them all.
But. I haue a suite vnto your Lordship.
Cade. Bee it a Lordshippe, thou shalt haue it for that
word.
2640But. Onely that the Lawes of England may come out
of your mouth.
Iohn. Masse 'twill be sore Law then, for he was thrust
in the mouth with a Speare, and 'tis not whole yet.
Smith. Nay Iohn, it wil be stinking Law, for his breath
2645stinkes with eating toasted cheese.
Cade. I haue thought vpon it, it shall bee so. Away,
burne all the Records of the Realme, my mouth shall be
the Parliament of England.
Iohn. Then we are like to haue biting Statutes
2650Vnlesse his teeth be pull'd out.
Cade. And hence-forward all things shall be in Com-
mon.
Enter a Messenger.
Mes. My Lord, a prize, a prize, heeres the Lord Say,
which sold the Townes in France. He that made vs pay
2655one and twenty Fifteenes, and one shilling to the pound,
the last Subsidie.
Enter George, with the Lord Say.
Cade. Well, hee shall be beheaded for it ten times:
Ah thou Say, thou Surge, nay thou Buckram Lord, now
2660art thou within point-blanke of our Iurisdiction Regall.
What canst thou answer to my Maiesty, for giuing vp of
Normandie vnto Mounsieur Basimecu, the Dolphine of
France? Be it knowne vnto thee by these presence, euen
the presence of Lord Mortimer, that I am the Beesome
2665that must sweepe the Court cleane of such filth as thou
art: Thou hast most traiterously corrupted the youth of
the Realme, in erecting a Grammar Schoole: and where-
as before, our Fore-fathers had no other Bookes but the
Score and the Tally, thou hast caused printing to be vs'd,
2670and contrary to the King, his Crowne, and Dignity, thou
hast built a Paper-Mill. It will be prooued to thy Face,
that thou hast men about thee, that vsually talke of a
Nowne and a Verbe, and such abhominable wordes, as
no Christian eare can endure to heare. Thou hast appoin-
2675ted Iustices of Peace, to call poore men before them, a-
bout matters they were not able to answer. Moreouer,
thou hast put them in prison, and because they could not
reade, thou hast hang'd them, when (indeede) onely for
that cause they haue beene most worthy to liue. Thou
2680dost ride in a foot-cloth, dost thou not?
Say. What of that?
Cade. Marry, thou ought'st not to let thy horse weare
a Cloake, when honester men then thou go in their Hose
and Doublets.
2685Dicke. And worke in their shirt to, as my selfe for ex-
ample, that am a butcher.
Say. You men of Kent.
Dic. What say you of Kent.
Say. Nothing but this: 'Tis bona terra, mala gens.
2690Cade. Away with him, away with him, he speaks La-
tine.
Say. Heare me but speake, and beare mee wher'e you
will:
Kent, in the Commentaries sar writ,
2695Is term'd the ciuel'st place of all this Isle:
Sweet is the Covntry, because full of Riches,
The People Liberall, Valiant, Actiue, Wealthy,
Which makes me hope you are not void of pitty.
I sold not Maine, I lost not Normandie,
2700Yet to recouer them would loose my life:
Iustice with fauour haue I alwayes done,
Prayres and Teares haue mou'd me, Gifts could neuer.
When haue I ought exacted at your hands?
Kent to maintaine, the King, the Realme and you,
2705Large gifts haue I bestow'd on learned Clearkes,
Because my Booke preferr'd me to the King.
And seeing Ignorance is the curse of God,
Knowledge the Wing wherewith we flye to heauen.
Vnlesse you be possest with diuellish spirits,
2710You cannot but forbeare to murther me:
This Tongue hath parlied vnto Forraigne Kings
For your behoofe.
Cade. Tut, when struck'st thou one blow in the field?
Say. Great men haue reaching hands: oft haue I struck
2715Those that I neuer saw, and strucke them dead.
Geo. O monstrous Coward! What, to come behinde
Folkes?
Say. These cheekes are pale for watching for your good
Cade. Giue him a box o'th' eare, and that wil make 'em
2720red againe.
Say. Long sitting to determine poore mens causes,
Hath made me full of sicknesse and diseases.
Cade. Ye shall haue a hempen Candle then, & the help
of hatchet.
2725Dicke. Why dost thou quiuer man?
Say. The Palsie, and not feare prouokes me.
Cade. Nay, he noddes at vs, as who should say, Ile be
euen with you. Ile see if his head will stand steddier on
a pole, or no: Take him away, and behead him.
2730Say. Tell me: wherein haue I offended most?
Haue I affected wealth, or honor? Speake.
Are my Chests fill'd vp with extorted Gold?
Is my Apparrell sumptuous to behold?
Whom haue I iniur'd, that ye seeke my death?
2735These hands are free from guiltlesse bloodshedding,
This breast from harbouring foule deceitfull thoughts.
O let me liue.
Cade. I feele remorse in my selfe with his words: but
Ile bridle it: he shall dye, and it bee but for pleading so
2740well for his life. Away with him, he ha's a Familiar vn-
der his Tongue, he speakes not a Gods name. Goe, take
him away I say, and strike off his head presently, and then
breake into his Sonne in Lawes house, Sir Iames Cromer,
and strike off his head, and bring them both vppon two
2745poles hither.
All. It shall be done.
Say. Ah Countrimen: If when you make your prair's,
God should be so obdurate as your selues:
How would it fare with your departed soules,
2750And therefore yet relent, and saue my life.
Cade. Away with him, and do as I command ye: the
proudest Peere in the Realme, shall not weare a head on
his shoulders, vnlesse he pay me tribute: there shall not
a maid be married, but she shall pay to me her Mayden-
2755head ere they haue it: Men shall hold of mee in Capite.
And we charge and command, that their wiues be as free
as heart can wish, or tongue can tell.
Dicke. My Lord,
When shall we go to Cheapside, and take vp commodi-
2760ties vpon our billes?
Cade. Marry presently.
All. O braue.
Enter one with the heads.
Cade. But is not this brauer:
2765Let them kisse one another: For they lou'd well
When they were aliue. Now part them againe,
Least they consult about the giuing vp
Of some more Townes in France. Soldiers,
Deferre the spoile of the Citie vntill night:
2770For with these borne before vs, in steed of Maces,
Will we ride through the streets, & at euery Corner
Haue them kisse. Away.
Exit