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Henry VI, Part 2 - Act 4, scene 10
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Navigate this workHenry VI, Part 2 - Act 4, scene 10
Act 4, scene 10
A starving Cade is killed in a fight with the Kentish gentleman Alexander Iden, in whose garden Cade looked for food.Enter Cade.
CADE 2778 Fie on ambitions! Fie on myself, that have a
2779 sword and yet am ready to famish! These five days
2780 have I hid me in these woods and durst not peep
2781 out, for all the country is laid for me. But now am
2782 5 I so hungry that, if I might have a lease of my life
2783 for a thousand years, I could stay no longer.
2784 Wherefore, ⌜o’er⌝ a brick wall have I climbed into
2785 this garden, to see if I can eat grass, or pick a sallet
2786 another while, which is not amiss to cool a man’s
2787 10 stomach this hot weather. And I think this word
2788 sallet was born to do me good; for many a time,
2789 but for a sallet, my brainpan had been cleft with a
2790 brown bill; and many a time, when I have been dry
2791 and bravely marching, it hath served me instead of
2792 15 a quart pot to drink in; and now the word sallet
2793 must serve me to feed on.
Enter Iden ⌜and his Men.⌝
2794 Lord, who would live turmoilèd in the court
2795 And may enjoy such quiet walks as these?
2796 This small inheritance my father left me
2797 20 Contenteth me, and worth a monarchy.
2798 I seek not to wax great by others’ ⌜waning,⌝
2799 Or gather wealth, I care not with what envy.
2800 Sufficeth that I have maintains my state
2801 And sends the poor well pleasèd from my gate.
CADE, ⌜aside⌝ 2802 25Here’s the lord of the soil come to seize
2803 me for a stray, for entering his fee-simple without
2804 leave.—Ah, villain, thou wilt betray me and get a
2805 thousand crowns of the King by carrying my head
2806 to him; but I’ll make thee eat iron like an ostrich
p. 2172807 30 and swallow my sword like a great pin, ere thou
2808 and I part.⌜He draws his sword.⌝
2809 Why, rude companion, whatsoe’er thou be,
2810 I know thee not. Why, then, should I betray thee?
2811 Is ’t not enough to break into my garden
2812 35 And, like a thief, to come to rob my grounds,
2813 Climbing my walls in spite of me the owner,
2814 But thou wilt brave me with these saucy terms?
CADE 2815 Brave thee? Ay, by the best blood that ever was
2816 broached, and beard thee too. Look on me well: I
2817 40 have eat no meat these five days, yet come thou
2818 and thy five men, and if I do not leave you all as
2819 dead as a doornail, I pray God I may never eat
2820 grass more.
2821 Nay, it shall ne’er be said, while England stands,
2822 45 That Alexander Iden, an esquire of Kent,
2823 Took odds to combat a poor famished man.
2824 Oppose thy steadfast gazing eyes to mine;
2825 See if thou canst outface me with thy looks.
2826 Set limb to limb, and thou art far the lesser;
2827 50 Thy hand is but a finger to my fist,
2828 Thy leg a stick comparèd with this truncheon.
2829 My foot shall fight with all the strength thou hast;
2830 And if mine arm be heavèd in the air,
2831 Thy grave is digged already in the earth.
2832 55 As for words, whose greatness answers words,
2833 Let this my sword report what speech forbears.
⌜He draws his sword.⌝
CADE 2834 By my valor, the most complete champion that
2835 ever I heard! Steel, if thou turn the edge or cut not
2836 out the burly-boned clown in chines of beef ere
2837 60 thou sleep in thy sheath, I beseech ⌜God⌝ on my
2838 knees thou mayst be turned to hobnails.
(Here they fight, ⌜and Cade falls.⌝)
p. 2192839 O, I am slain! Famine, and no other, hath slain me.
2840 Let ten thousand devils come against me, and give
2841 me but the ten meals I have lost, and I’d defy them
2842 65 all. Wither, garden, and be henceforth a burying
2843 place to all that do dwell in this house, because the
2844 unconquered soul of Cade is fled.
2845 Is ’t Cade that I have slain, that monstrous traitor?
2846 Sword, I will hallow thee for this thy deed,
2847 70 And hang thee o’er my tomb when I am dead.
2848 Ne’er shall this blood be wipèd from thy point,
2849 But thou shalt wear it as a herald’s coat
2850 To emblaze the honor that thy master got.
CADE 2851 Iden, farewell, and be proud of thy victory. Tell
2852 75 Kent from me she hath lost her best man, and
2853 exhort all the world to be cowards; for I, that never
2854 feared any, am vanquished by famine, not by valor.
2855 How much thou wrong’st me, heaven be my judge!
2856 Die, damnèd wretch, the curse of her that bare thee!
2857 80 And as I thrust thy body in with my sword,
2858 So wish I, I might thrust thy soul to hell.
2859 Hence will I drag thee headlong by the heels
2860 Unto a dunghill, which shall be thy grave,
2861 And there cut off thy most ungracious head,
2862 85 Which I will bear in triumph to the King,
2863 Leaving thy trunk for crows to feed upon.
He exits ⌜with his Men, dragging Cade’s body.⌝