Front Page Titles (by Subject) ACT IV. - The Second Part of King Henry the Sixth
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ACT IV. - William Shakespeare, The Second Part of King Henry the Sixth 
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (The Oxford Shakespeare), ed. with a glossary by W.J. Craig M.A. (Oxford University Press, 1916).
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Kent. The Seashore near Dover.
Firing heard at Sea. Then enter from a boat, a Captain, a Master, a Master’s-Mate, Walter Whitmore,and Others; with themSuffolkdisguised, and other Gentlemen, prisoners.
The gaudy, blabbing, and remorseful day
Is crept into the bosom of the sea,
And now loud-howling wolves arouse the jades
That drag the tragic melancholy night;
Who with their drowsy, slow, and flagging wings
Clip dead men’s graves, and from their misty jaws
Breathe foul contagious darkness in the air.
Therefore bring forth the soldiers of our prize,
For, whilst our pinnace anchors in the Downs
Here shall they make their ransom on the sand,
Or with their blood stain this discolour’d shore.
Master, this prisoner freely give I thee:
And thou that art his mate make boot of this;
The other [Pointing toSuffolk], Walter Whitmore, is thy share.
What is my ransom, master? let me know.
A thousand crowns, or else lay down your head.
And so much shall you give, or off goes yours.
What! think you much to pay two thousand crowns,
And bear the name and port of gentlemen?
Cut both the villains’ throats! for die you shall:
The lives of those which we have lost in fight
Cannot be counterpois’d with such a petty sum!
I’ll give it, sir; and therefore spare my life.
And so will I, and write home for it straight.
I lost mine eye in laying the prize aboard,
[ToSuffolk.] And therefore to revenge it shalt thou die;
And so should these if I might have my will.
Be not so rash: take ransom; let him live.
Look on my George; I am a gentleman:
Rate me at what thou wilt, thou shalt be paid.
And so am I; my name is Walter Whitmore.
How now! why start’st thou? what! doth death affright?
Thy name affrights me, in whose sound is death.
A cunning man did calculate my birth,
And told me that by Water I should die:
Yet let not this make thee be bloody-minded;
Thy name is—Gaultier, being rightly sounded.
Gaultier, or Walter, which it is I care not;
Never yet did base dishonour blur our name
But with our sword we wip’d away the blot:
Therefore, when merchant-like I sell revenge,
Broke be my sword, my arms torn and defac’d,
And I proclaim’d a coward through the world!
[Lays hold onSuffolk.
Stay, Whitmore; for thy prisoner is a prince,
The Duke of Suffolk, William de la Pole.
The Duke of Suffolk muffled up in rags!
Ay, but these rags are no part of the duke:
Jove sometimes went disguis’d, and why not I?
But Jove was never slain, as thou shalt be.
Obscure and lowly swain, King Henry’s blood,
The honourable blood of Lancaster,
Must not be shed by such a jaded groom.
Hast thou not kiss’d thy hand and held my stirrup?
Bare-headed plodded by my foot-cloth mule,
And thought thee happy when I shook my head?
How often hast thou waited at my cup,
Fed from my trencher, kneel’d down at the board,
When I have feasted with Queen Margaret?
Remember it and let it make thee crest-fall’n;
Ay, and allay this thy abortive pride.
How in our voiding lobby hast thou stood
And duly waited for my coming forth?
This hand of mine hath writ in thy behalf,
And therefore shall it charm thy riotous tongue.
Speak, captain, shall I stab the forlorn swain?
First let my words stab him, as he hath me.
Base slave, thy words are blunt, and so art thou.
Convey him hence, and on our longboat’s side
Strike off his head.
Thou dar’st not for thy own.
Pool! Sir Pool! lord!
Ay, kennel, puddle, sink; whose filth and dirt
Troubles the silver spring where England drinks.
Now will I dam up this thy yawning mouth
For swallowing the treasure of the realm:
Thy lips, that kiss’d the queen, shall sweep the ground;
And thou, that smil’dst at good Duke Humphrey’s death,
Against the senseless winds shall grin in vain,
Who in contempt shall hiss at thee again:
And wedded be thou to the hags of hell,
For daring to affy a mighty lord
Unto the daughter of a worthless king,
Having neither subject, wealth, nor diadem.
By devilish policy art thou grown great,
And, like ambitious Sylla, overgorg’d
With gobbets of thy mother’s bleeding heart.
By thee Anjou and Maine were sold to France,
The false revolting Normans thorough thee
Disdain to call us lord, and Picardy
Hath slain their governors, surpris’d our forts,
And sent the ragged soldiers wounded home.
The princely Warwick, and the Nevils all,
Whose dreadful swords were never drawn in vain,
As hating thee, are rising up in arms:
And now the house of York, thrust from the crown
By shameful murder of a guiltless king,
And lofty proud encroaching tyranny,
Burns with revenging fire; whose hopeful colours
Advance our half-fac’d sun, striving to shine,
Under the which is writ Invitis nubibus.
The commons here in Kent are up in arms;
And to conclude, reproach and beggary
Is crept into the palace of our king,
And all by thee. Away! convey him hence.
O! that I were a god, to shoot forth thunder
Upon these paltry, servile, abject drudges.
Small things make base men proud: this villain here,
Being captain of a pinnace, threatens more
Than Bargulus the strong Illyrian pirate.
Drones suck not eagles’ blood, but rob beehives.
It is impossible that I should die
By such a lowly vassal as thyself.
Thy words move rage, and not remorse in me:
I go of message from the queen to France;
I charge thee, waft me safely cross the Channel.
Come, Suffolk, I must waft thee to thy death.
Gelidus timor occupat artus: ’tis thee I fear.
Thou shalt have cause to fear before I leave thee.
What! are ye daunted now? now will ye stoop?
My gracious lord, entreat him, speak him fair.
Suffolk’s imperial tongue is stern and rough,
Us’d to command, untaught to plead for favour.
Far be it we should honour such as these
With humble suit: no, rather let my head
Stoop to the block than these knees bow to any
Save to the God of heaven, and to my king;
And sooner dance upon a bloody pole
Than stand uncover’d to the vulgar groom.
True nobility is exempt from fear:
More can I bear than you dare execute.
Hale him away, and let him talk no more.
Come, soldiers, show what cruelty ye can,
That this my death may never be forgot.
Great men oft die by vile bezonians.
A Roman sworder and banditto slave
Murder’d sweet Tully; Brutus’ bastard hand
Stabb’d Julius Cæsar; savage islanders
Pompey the Great; and Suffolk dies by pirates.
[Exit withSuffolk, Whitmoreand Others.
And as for these whose ransom we have set,
It is our pleasure one of them depart:
Therefore come you with us and let him go.
[Exeunt all but first Gentleman.
There let his head and lifeless body lie,
Until the queen his mistress bury it.
O barbarous and bloody spectacle!
His body will I bear unto the king:
If he revenge it not, yet will his friends;
So will the queen, that living held him dear.
[Exit with the body.
EnterGeorge BevisandJohn Holland.
Come, and get thee a sword, though made of a lath: they have been up these two days.
They have the more need to sleep now then.
I tell thee, Jack Cade the clothier means to dress the commonwealth, and turn it, and set a new nap upon it.
So he had need, for ’tis threadbare. Well, I say it was never merry world in England since gentlemen came up.
O miserable age! Virtue is not regarded in handicrafts-men.
The nobility think scorn to go in leather aprons.
Nay, more; the king’s council are no good workmen.
True; and yet it is said, ‘Labour in thy vocation:’ which is as much to say as, let the magistrates be labouring men; and therefore should we be magistrates.
Thou hast hit it; for there’s no better sign of a brave mind than a hard hand.
I see them! I see them! There’s Best’s son, the tanner of Wingham,—
He shall have the skins of our enemies to make dog’s-leather of.
And Dick the butcher,—
Then is sin struck down like an ox, and iniquity’s throat cut like a calf.
And Smith the weaver,—
Argo, their thread of life is spun.
Come, come, let’s fall in with them.
Drum. EnterCade, Dickthe Butcher,Smiththe Weaver, and a Sawyer, with infinite numbers.
We John Cade, so termed of our supposed father,—
[Aside.] Or rather, of stealing a cade of herrings.
For our enemies shall fall before us, inspired with the spirit of putting down kings and princes,—Command silence.
My father was a Mortimer.—
[Aside.] He was an honest man, and a good bricklayer.
My mother a Plantagenet,—
[Aside.] I knew her well; she was a midwife.
My wife descended of the Lacies,—
[Aside.] She was, indeed, a pedlar’s daughter, and sold many laces.
[Aside.] But now of late, not able to travel with her furred pack, she washes bucks here at home.
Therefore am I of an honourable house.
[Aside.] Ay, by my faith, the field is honourable; and there was he born, under a hedge; for his father had never a house but the cage.
Valiant I am.
[Aside.] A’ must needs, for beggary is valiant.
I am able to endure much.
[Aside.] No question of that, for I have seen him whipped three market-days together.
I fear neither sword nor fire.
[Aside.] He need not fear the sword, for his coat is of proof.
[Aside.] But methinks he should stand in fear of fire, being burnt i’ the hand for stealing of sheep.
Be brave, then; for your captain is brave, and vows reformation. There shall be in England seven halfpenny loaves sold for a penny; the three-hooped pot shall have ten hoops; and I will make it felony to drink small beer. All the realm shall be in common, and in Cheapside shall my palfrey go to grass. And when I am king,—as king I will be,—
God save your majesty!
I thank you, good people: there shall be no money; all shall eat and drink on my score, and I will apparel them all in one livery, that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.
The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.
Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should be made parchment? that parchment, being scribbled o’er, should undo a man? Some say the bee stings; but I say, ’tis the bee’s wax, for I did but seal once to a thing, and I was never mine own man since. How now! who’s there?
Enter some, bringing in the Clerk of Chatham.
The clerk of Chatham: he can write and read and cast accompt.
We took him setting of boys’ copies.
Here’s a villain!
Has a book in his pocket with red letters in’t.
Nay, then he is a conjurer.
Nay, he can make obligations, and write court-hand.
I am sorry for’t: the man is a proper man, of mine honour; unless I find him guilty, he shall not die. Come hither, sirrah, I must examine thee. What is thy name?
They use to write it on the top of letters. ’Twill go hard with you.
Let me alone. Dost thou use to write thy name, or hast thou a mark to thyself, like an honest plain-dealing man?
Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought up, that I can write my name.
He hath confessed: away with him! he’s a villain and a traitor.
Away with him! I say: hang him with his pen and ink-horn about his neck.
[Exeunt some with the Clerk.
Where’s our general?
Here I am, thou particular fellow.
Fly, fly, fly! Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother are hard by, with the king’s forces.
Stand, villain, stand, or I’ll fell thee down. He shall be encountered with a man as good as himself: he is but a knight, is a’?
To equal him, I will make myself a knight presently. [Kneels.] Rise up Sir John Mortimer. [Rises.] Now have at him.
EnterSir Humphrey StaffordandWilliamhis Brother, with drum and Forces.
Rebellious hinds, the filth and scum of Kent,
Mark’d for the gallows, lay your weapons down;
Home to your cottages, forsake this groom:
The king is merciful, if you revolt.
But angry, wrathful, and inclin’d to blood,
If you go forward: therefore yield, or die.
As for these silken-coated slaves, I pass not:
It is to you, good people, that I speak,
O’er whom, in time to come I hope to reign;
For I am rightful heir unto the crown.
Villain! thy father was a plasterer;
And thou thyself a shearman, art thou not?
And Adam was a gardener.
And what of that?
Marry, this: Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March,
Married the Duke of Clarence’ daughter, did he not?
By her he had two children at one birth.
Ay, there’s the question; but I say, ’tis true:
The elder of them, being put to nurse,
Was by a beggar-woman stol’n away;
And, ignorant of his birth and parentage,
Became a bricklayer when he came to age:
His son am I; deny it if you can.
Nay, ’tis too true; therefore he shall be king.
Sir, he made a chimney in my father’s house, and the bricks are alive at this day to testify it; therefore deny it not.
And will you credit this base drudge’s words,
That speaks he knows not what?
Ay, marry, will we; therefore get ye gone.
Jack Cade, the Duke of York hath taught you this.
[Aside.] He lies, for I invented it myself. Go to, sirrah; tell the king from me, that, for his father’s sake, Henry the Fifth, in whose time boys went to span-counter for French crowns, I am content he shall reign; but I’ll be protector over him.
And furthermore, we’ll have the Lord Say’s head for selling the dukedom of Maine.
And good reason; for thereby is England mained, and fain to go with a staff, but that my puissance holds it up. Fellow kings, I tell you that that Lord Say hath gelded the commonwealth, and made it a eunuch; and more than that, he can speak French; and therefore he is a traitor.
O gross and miserable ignorance!
Nay, answer, if you can: the Frenchmen are our enemies; go to then, I ask but this, can he that speaks with the tongue of an enemy be a good counsellor, or no?
No, no; and therefore we’ll have his head.
Well, seeing gentle words will not prevail,
Assail them with the army of the king.
Herald, away; and throughout every town
Proclaim them traitors that are up with Cade;
That those which fly before the battle ends
May, even in their wives’ and children’s sight,
Be hang’d up for example at their doors:
And you, that be the king’s friends, follow me.
[Exeunt the twoStaffordsand Forces.
And you, that love the commons, follow me.
Now show yourselves men; ’tis for liberty.
We will not leave one lord, one gentleman:
Spare none but such as go in clouted shoon,
For they are thrifty honest men, and such
As would, but that they dare not take our parts.
They are all in order, and march toward us.
But then are we in order when we are most out of order. Come, march! forward!
Another Part of Blackheath.
Alarums. The two parties enter and fight, and both theStaffordsare slain.
Where’s Dick, the butcher of Ashford?
They fell before thee like sheep and oxen, and thou behavedst thyself as if thou hadst been in thine own slaughter-house: therefore thus will I reward thee, the Lent shall be as long again as it is; and thou shalt have a licence to kill for a hundred lacking one.
I desire no more.
And, to speak truth, thou deservest no less. This monument of the victory will I bear; [Puts onSir Humphrey Stafford’sarmour.] and the bodies shall be dragged at my horse’ heels, till I do come to London, where we will have the Mayor’s sword borne before us.
If we mean to thrive and do good, break open the gaols and let out the prisoners.
Fear not that, I warrant thee. Come; let’s march towards London.
London. A Room in the Palace.
EnterKing Henry,reading a Supplication; theDuke of BuckinghamandLord Saywith him: at a distance,Queen Margaret,mourning overSuffolk’shead.
Oft have I heard that grief softens the mind,
And makes it fearful and degenerate;
Think therefore on revenge, and cease to weep.
But who can cease to weep and look on this?
Here may his head lie on my throbbing breast;
But where’s the body that I should embrace?
What answer makes your Grace to the rebels’ supplication?
I’ll send some holy bishop to entreat;
For God forbid so many simple souls
Should perish by the sword! And I myself,
Rather than bloody war shall cut them short,
Will parley with Jack Cade their general.
But stay, I’ll read it over once again.
Ah, barbarous villains! hath this lovely face
Rul’d like a wandering planet over me,
And could it not enforce them to relent,
That were unworthy to behold the same?
Lord Say, Jack Cade hath sworn to have thy head.
Ay, but I hope your highness shall have his.
How now, madam!
Still lamenting and mourning for Suffolk’s death?
I fear me, love, if that I had been dead,
Thou wouldest not have mourn’d so much for me.
No, my love; I should not mourn, but die for thee.
Enter a Messenger.
How now! what news? why com’st thou in such haste?
The rebels are in Southwark; fly, my lord!
Jack Cade proclaims himself Lord Mortimer,
Descended from the Duke of Clarence’ house,
And calls your Grace usurper openly,
And vows to crown himself in Westminster.
His army is a ragged multitude
Of hinds and peasants, rude and merciless:
Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother’s death
Hath given them heart and courage to proceed.
All scholars, lawyers, courtiers, gentlemen,
They call false caterpillars, and intend their death.
O graceless men! they know not what they do.
My gracious lord, retire to Killingworth,
Until a power be rais’d to put them down.
Ah! were the Duke of Suffolk now alive,
These Kentish rebels would be soon appeas’d.
Lord Say, the traitors hate thee,
Therefore away with us to Killingworth.
So might your Grace’s person be in danger.
The sight of me is odious in their eyes;
And therefore in this city will I stay,
And live alone as secret as I may.
Enter a second Messenger.
Jack Cade hath gotten London bridge;
The citizens fly and forsake their houses;
The rascal people, thirsting after prey,
Join with the traitor; and they jointly swear
To spoil the city and your royal court.
Then linger not, my lord; away! take horse.
Come, Margaret; God, our hope, will succour us.
My hope is gone, now Suffolk is deceas’d.
[ToLord Say.] Farewell, my lord: trust not the Kentish rebels.
Trust nobody, for fear you be betray’d.
The trust I have is in mine innocence,
And therefore am I bold and resolute.
The Same. The Tower.
EnterLord Scalesand Others, on the Walls. Then enter certain Citizens, below.
How now! is Jack Cade slain?
No, my lord, nor likely to be slain; for they have won the bridge, killing all those that withstand them. The Lord Mayor craves aid of your honour from the Tower, to defend the city from the rebels.
Such aid as I can spare you shall command;
But I am troubled here with them myself;
The rebels have assay’d to win the Tower.
But get you to Smithfield and gather head,
And thither I will send you Matthew Goffe:
Fight for your king, your country, and your lives;
And so, farewell, for I must hence again.
London. Cannon Street.
EnterJack Cade,and his Followers. He strikes his staff on London-stone.
Now is Mortimer lord of this city. And here, sitting upon London-stone, I charge and command that, of the city’s cost, the pissing-conduit run nothing but claret wine this first year of our reign. And now, henceforward, it shall be treason for any that calls me other than Lord Mortimer.
Enter a Soldier, running.
Jack Cade! Jack Cade!
Knock him down there.
[They kill him.
If this fellow be wise, he’ll never call you Jack Cade more: I think he hath a very fair warning.
My lord, there’s an army gathered together in Smithfield.
Come then, let’s go fight with them. But first, go and set London-bridge on fire, and, if you can, burn down the Tower too. Come, let’s away.
The Same. Smithfield.
Alarums. Enter, on one side,Cadeand his company; on the other, Citizens, and theKing’sForces, headed byMatthew Goffe.They fight; the Citizens are routed, andMatthew Goffeis slain.
So, sirs:—Now go some and pull down the Savoy; others to the inns of court: down with them all.
I have a suit unto your lordship.
Be it a lordship, thou shalt have it for that word.
Only that the laws of England may come out of your mouth.
[Aside.] Mass, ’twill be sore law then; for he was thrust in the mouth with a spear, and ’tis not whole yet.
[Aside.] Nay, John, it will be stinking law; for his breath stinks with eating toasted cheese.
I have thought upon it; it shall be so. Away! burn all the records of the realm: my mouth shall be the parliament of England.
[Aside.] Then we are like to have biting statutes, unless his teeth be pulled out.
And henceforward all things shall be in common.
Enter a Messenger.
My lord, a prize, a prize! here’s the Lord Say, which sold the towns in France; he that made us pay one-and-twenty fifteens, and one shilling to the pound, the last subsidy.
EnterGeorge Bevis,with theLord Say.
Well, he shall be beheaded for it ten times. Ah! thou say, thou serge, nay, thou buckram lord; now art thou within pointblank of our jurisdiction regal. What canst thou answer to my majesty for giving up of Normandy unto Monsieur Basimecu, the Dauphin of France? Be it known unto thee by these presence, even the presence of Lord Mortimer, that I am the besom that must sweep the court clean of such filth as thou art. Thou hast most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm in erecting a grammar-school; and whereas, before, our fore-fathers had no other books but the score and the tally, thou hast caused printing to be used; and, contrary to the king, his crown, and dignity, thou hast built a paper-mill. It will be proved to thy face that thou hast men about thee that usually talk of a noun and a verb, and such abominable words as no Christian car can endure to hear. Thou hast appointed justices of peace, to call poor men before them about matters they were not able to answer. Moreover, thou hast put them in prison; and because they could not read, thou hast hanged them; when indeed only for that cause they have been most worthy to live. Thou dost ride on a foot-cloth, dost thou not?
What of that?
Marry, thou oughtest not to let thy horse wear a cloak, when honester men than thou go in their hose and doublets.
And work in their shirt too; as myself, for example, that am a butcher.
You men of Kent,—
What say you of Kent?
Nothing but this: ’tis bona terra, mala gens.
Away with him! away with him! he speaks Latin.
Hear me but speak, and bear me where you will.
Kent, in the Commentaries Cæsar writ,
Is term’d the civil’st place of all this isle:
Sweet is the country, because full of riches;
The people liberal, valiant, active, wealthy;
Which makes me hope you are not void of pity.
I sold not Maine, I lost not Normandy;
Yet, to recover them, would lose my life.
Justice with favour have I always done;
Prayers and tears have mov’d me, gifts could never.
When have I aught exacted at your hands,
But to maintain the king, the realm, and you?
Large gifts have I bestow’d on learned clerks,
Because my book preferr’d me to the king,
And seeing ignorance is the curse of God,
Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven,
Unless you be possess’d with devilish spirits,
You cannot but forbear to murder me:
This tongue hath parley’d unto foreign kings
For your behoof,—
Tut! when struck’st thou one blow in the field?
Great men have reaching hands: oft have I struck
Those that I never saw, and struck them dead.
O monstrous coward! what, to come behind folks!
These cheeks are pale for watching for your good.
Give him a box o’ the ear, and that will make ’em red again.
Long sitting, to determine poor men’s causes,
Hath made me full of sickness and diseases.
Ye shall have a hempen caudle then, and the help of hatchet.
Why dost thou quiver, man?.
The palsy, and not fear, provokes me.
Nay, he nods at us; as who should say, I’ll be even with you: I’ll see if his head will stand steadier on a pole, or no. Take him away and behead him.
Tell me wherein have I offended most?
Have I affected wealth, or honour? speak.
Are my chests fill’d up with extorted gold?
Is my apparel sumptuous to behold?
Whom have I injur’d, that ye seek my death?
These hands are free from guiltless bloodshedding,
This breast from harbouring foul deceitful thoughts.
O! let me live.
[Aside.] I feel remorse in myself with his words; but I’ll bridle it: he shall die, an it be but for pleading so well for his life. Away with him! he has a familiar under his tongue; he speaks not o’ God’s name. Go, take him away, I say, and strike off his head presently; and then break into his son-in-law’s house, Sir James Cromer, and strike off his head, and bring them both upon two poles hither.
It shall be done.
Ah, countrymen! if when you make your prayers,
God should be so obdurate as yourselves,
How would it fare with your departed souls?
And therefore yet relent, and save my life.
Away with him! and do as I command ye. [Exeunt some, withLord Say.] The proudest peer in the realm shall not wear a head on his shoulders, unless he pay me tribute; there shall not a maid be married, but she shall pay to me her maidenhead, ere they have it; men shall hold of me in capite; and we charge and command that their wives be as free as heart can wish or tongue can tell.
My lord, when shall we go to Cheapside and take up commodities upon our bills?
Re-enter Rebels, with the heads ofLord Sayand his Son-in-law.
But is not this braver? Let them kiss one another, for they loved well when they were alive. Now part them again, lest they consult about the giving up of some more towns in France. Soldiers, defer the spoil of the city until night: for with these borne before us, instead of maces, will we ride through the streets; and at every corner have them kiss. Away!
The Same. Southwark.
Alarum. EnterCadeand all his Rabblement.
Up Fish Street! down St. Magnus’ corner! kill and knock down! throw them into Thames! [A parley sounded, then a retreat.] What noise is this I hear? Dare any be so bold to sound retreat or parley, when I command them kill?
EnterBuckingham,and OldClifford,with Forces.
Ay, here they be that dare and will disturb thee.
Know, Cade, we come ambassadors from the king
Unto the commons whom thou hast misled;
And here pronounce free pardon to them all
That will forsake thee and go home in peace.
What say ye, countrymen? will ye relent,
And yield to mercy, whilst ’tis offer’d you,
Or let a rebel lead you to your deaths?
Who loves the king, and will embrace his pardon,
Fling up his cap, and say ‘God save his majesty!’
Who hateth him, and honours not his father,
Henry the Fifth, that made all France to quake,
Shake he his weapon at us, and pass by.
God save the king! God save the king!
What! Buckingham and Clifford, are ye so brave? And you, base peasants, do ye believe him? will you needs be hanged with your pardons about your necks? Hath my sword therefore broke through London Gates, that you should leave me at the White Hart in Southwark? I thought ye would never have given out these arms till you had recovered your ancient freedom; but you are all recreants and dastards, and delight to live in slavery to the nobility. Let them break your backs with burdens, take your houses over your heads, ravish your wives and daughters before your faces: for me, I will make shift for one, and so, God’s curse light upon you all!
We’ll follow Cade, we’ll follow Cade!
Is Cade the son of Henry the Fifth,
That thus you do exclaim you’ll go with him?
Will he conduct you through the heart of France,
And make the meanest of you earls and dukes?
Alas! he hath no home, no place to fly to;
Nor knows he how to live but by the spoil,
Unless by robbing of your friends and us.
Were’t not a shame, that whilst you live at jar,
The fearful French, whom you late vanquished,
Should make a start o’er seas and vanquish you?
Methinks already in this civil broil
I see them lording it in London streets,
Crying Villiago! unto all they meet.
Better ten thousand base-born Cades miscarry,
Than you should stoop unto a Frenchman’s mercy.
To France, to France! and get what you have lost;
Spare England, for it is your native coast.
Henry hath money, you are strong and manly;
God on our side, doubt not of victory.
A Clifford! a Clifford! we’ll follow the king and Clifford.
[Aside.] Was ever feather so lightly blown to and fro as this multitude? The name of Henry the Fifth hales them to a hundred mischiefs, and makes them leave me desolate. I see them lay their heads together to surprise me. My sword make way for me, for here is no staying. In despite of the devils and hell, have through the very middest of you! and heavens and honour be witness, that no want of resolution in me, but only my followers’ base and ignominious treasons, makes me betake me to my heels.
What, is he fled? go some, and follow him;
And he that brings his head unto the king
Shall have a thousand crowns for his reward.
[Exeunt some of them.
Follow me, soldiers: we’ll devise a mean
To reconcile you all unto the king.
Trumpets sounded. EnterKing Henry, Queen Margaret,andSomerset,on the terrace.
Was ever king that joy’d an earthly throne,
And could command no more content than I?
No sooner was I crept out of my cradle
But I was made a king at nine months old:
Was never subject long’d to be a king
As I do long and wish to be a subject.
Health, and glad tidings, to your majesty!
Why, Buckingham, is the traitor Cade surpris’d?
Or is he but retir’d to make him strong?
Enter, below, a number ofCade’sfollowers, with halters about their necks.
He’s fled, my lord, and all his powers do yield;
And humbly thus, with halters on their necks,
Expect your highness’ doom, of life, or death.
Then, heaven, set ope thy everlasting gates,
To entertain my vows of thanks and praise!
Soldiers, this day have you redeem’d your lives,
And show’d how well you love your prince and country:
Continue still in this so good a mind,
And Henry, though he be infortunate,
Assure yourselves, will never be unkind:
And so, with thanks and pardon to you all,
I do dismiss you to your several countries.
God save the king! God save the king!
Enter a Messenger.
Please it your Grace to be advertised,
The Duke of York is newly come from Ireland;
And with a puissant and a mighty power
Of Gallowglasses, and stout kerns,
Is marching hitherward in proud array;
And still proclaimeth, as he comes along,
His arms are only to remove from thee
The Duke of Somerset, whom he terms a traitor.
Thus stands my state, ’twixt Cade and York distress’d;
Like to a ship, that, having scap’d a tempest,
Is straight way calm’d, and boarded with a pirate.
But now is Cade driven back, his men dispers’d;
And now is York in arms to second him.
I pray thee, Buckingham, go and meet him,
And ask him what’s the reason of these arms.
Tell him I’ll send Duke Edmund to the Tower;
And, Somerset, we will commit thee thither,
Until his army be dismiss’d from him.
I’ll yield myself to prison willingly,
Or unto death, to do my country good.
In any case, be not too rough in terms;
For he is fierce and cannot brook hard language.
I will, my lord; and doubt not so to deal
As all things shall redound unto your good.
Come, wife, let’s in, and learn to govern better;
For yet may England curse my wretched reign.
Kent. Iden’s Garden.
Fie on ambition! fie on myself, that have a sword, and yet am ready to famish! These five days have I hid me in these woods and durst not peep out, for all the country is laid for me; but now I am so hungry, that if I might have a lease of my life for a thousand years I could stay no longer. Wherefore, on a brick wall have I climbed into this garden, to see if I can eat grass, or pick a sallet another while, which is not amiss to cool a man’s stomach this hot weather. And I think this word ‘sallet’ was born to do me good: for many a time, but for a sallet, my brain-pan had been cleft with a brown bill; and many a time, when I have been dry, and bravely marching, it hath served me instead of a quart-pot to drink in; and now the word ‘sallet’ must serve me to feed on.
EnterIdenwith Servants behind.
Lord! who would live turmoiled in the court,
And may enjoy such quiet walks as these?
This small inheritance my father left me
Contenteth me, and worth a monarchy.
I seek not to wax great by others’ waning,
Or gather wealth I care not with what envy:
Sufficeth that I have maintains my state,
And sends the poor well pleased from my gate.
[Aside.] Here’s the lord of the soil come to seize me for a stray, for entering his fee-simple without leave. Ah, villain! thou wilt betray me, and get a thousand crowns of the king by carrying my head to him; but I’ll make thee eat iron like an ostrich, and swallow my sword like a great pin, ere thou and I part.
Why, rude companion, whatsoe’er thou be,
I know thee not; why then should I betray thee?
Is’t not enough to break into my garden,
And like a thief to come to rob my grounds,
Climbing my walls in spite of me the owner,
But thou wilt brave me with these saucy terms?
Brave thee! ay, by the best blood that ever was broached, and beard thee too. Look on me well: I have eat no meat these five days; yet, come thou and thy five men, and if I do not leave you all as dead as a door-nail, I pray God I may never eat grass more.
Nay, it shall ne’er be said, while England stands,
That Alexander Iden, an esquire of Kent,
Took odds to combat a poor famish’d man.
Oppose thy steadfast-gazing eyes to mine,
See if thou canst out-face me with thy looks:
Set limb to limb, and thou art far the lesser;
Thy hand is but a finger to my fist;
Thy leg a stick compared with this truncheon;
My foot shall fight with all the strength thou hast;
And if mine arm be heaved in the air
Thy grave is digg’d already in the earth.
As for more words, whose greatness answers words,
Let this my sword report what speech forbears.
By my valour, the most complete champion that ever I heard! Steel, if thou turn the edge, or cut not out the burly-boned clown in chines of beef ere thou sleep in thy sheath, I beseech Jove on my knees, thou mayst be turned to hobnails. [They fight;Cadefalls.] O, I am slain! Famine and no other hath slain me: let ten thousand devils come against me, and give me but the ten meals I have lost, and I’ll defy them all. Wither, garden; and be henceforth a burying-place to all that do dwell in this house, because the unconquered soul of Cade is fled.
Is’t Cade that I have slain, that monstrous traitor?
Sword, I will hallow thee for this thy deed,
And hang thee o’er my tomb when I am dead:
Ne’er shall this blood be wiped from thy point,
But thou shalt wear it as a herald’s coat,
To emblaze the honour that thy master got.
Iden, farewell; and be proud of thy victory. Tell Kent from me, she hath lost her best man, and exhort all the world to be cowards; for I, that never feared any, am vanquished by famine, not by valour.
How much thou wrong’st me, heaven be my judge.
Die, damned wretch, the curse of her that bare thee!
And as I thrust thy body in with my sword,
So wish I I might thrust thy soul to hell.
Hence will I drag thee headlong by the heels
Unto a dunghill which shall be thy grave,
And there cut off thy most ungracious head;
Which I will bear in triumph to the king,
Leaving thy trunk for crows to feed upon.
[Exit, with Servants, dragging out the body.