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Henry VI, Part 2 - Act 4, scene 7
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Navigate this workHenry VI, Part 2 - Act 4, scene 7
Act 4, scene 7
Cade defeats and kills Gough. Lord Saye is captured and killed.Alarums. Matthew Gough is slain, and all the rest.
Then enter Jack Cade with his company.
CADE 2519 So, sirs. Now go some and pull down the Savoy;
2520 others to th’ Inns of Court. Down with them all!
DICK 2521 I have a suit unto your Lordship.
CADE 2522 Be it a lordship, thou shalt have it for that word.
DICK 2523 5Only that the laws of England may come out of
2524 your mouth.
HOLLAND, ⌜aside⌝ 2525 Mass, ’twill be sore law, then, for he
2526 was thrust in the mouth with a spear, and ’tis not
2527 whole yet.
SMITH, ⌜aside⌝ 2528 10Nay, John, it will be stinking law, for
2529 his breath stinks with eating toasted cheese.
CADE 2530 I have thought upon it; it shall be so. Away!
2531 Burn all the records of the realm. My mouth shall
2532 be the Parliament of England.
HOLLAND, ⌜aside⌝ 2533 15Then we are like to have biting
2534 statutes—unless his teeth be pulled out.
CADE 2535 And henceforward all things shall be in
Enter a Messenger.
MESSENGER 2537 My lord, a prize, a prize! Here’s the Lord
2538 20 Saye, which sold the towns in France, he that
2539 made us pay one-and-twenty fifteens, and one
2540 shilling to the pound, the last subsidy.
Enter George with the Lord Saye.
CADE 2541 Well, he shall be beheaded for it ten times.—Ah,
2542 thou say, thou serge, nay, thou buckram lord, now
2543 25 art thou within point-blank of our jurisdiction
2544 regal. What canst thou answer to my Majesty for
2545 giving up of Normandy unto Monsieur Basimecu,
2546 the Dauphin of France? Be it known unto thee by
p. 1992547 these presence, even the presence of Lord Mortimer,
2548 30 that I am the besom that must sweep the
2549 court clean of such filth as thou art. Thou hast
2550 most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm
2551 in erecting a grammar school; and whereas,
2552 before, our forefathers had no other books but the
2553 35 score and the tally, thou hast caused printing to be
2554 used, and, contrary to the King his crown and dignity,
2555 thou hast built a paper mill. It will be proved
2556 to thy face that thou hast men about thee that usually
2557 talk of a noun and a verb and such abominable
2558 40 words as no Christian ear can endure to hear.
2559 Thou hast appointed justices of peace to call poor
2560 men before them about matters they were not able
2561 to answer. Moreover, thou hast put them in prison;
2562 and, because they could not read, thou hast
2563 45 hanged them, when indeed only for that cause
2564 they have been most worthy to live. Thou dost ride
2565 ⌜on⌝ a footcloth, dost thou not?
SAYE 2566 What of that?
CADE 2567 Marry, thou oughtst not to let thy horse wear a
2568 50 cloak when honester men than thou go in their
2569 hose and doublets.
DICK 2570 And work in their shirt too—as myself, for example,
2571 that am a butcher.
SAYE 2572 You men of Kent—
DICK 2573 55What say you of Kent?
SAYE 2574 Nothing but this: ’tis bona terra, mala gens.
CADE 2575 Away with him, away with him! He speaks
2577 Hear me but speak, and bear me where you will.
2578 60 Kent, in the commentaries Caesar writ,
2579 Is termed the civil’st place of all this isle.
2580 Sweet is the country, because full of riches;
2581 The people liberal, valiant, active, wealthy;
p. 2012582 Which makes me hope you are not void of pity.
2583 65 I sold not Maine; I lost not Normandy;
2584 Yet to recover them would lose my life.
2585 Justice with favor have I always done;
2586 Prayers and tears have moved me; gifts could never.
2587 When have I aught exacted at your hands
2588 70 Kent to maintain, the King, the realm, and you?
2589 Large gifts have I bestowed on learnèd clerks,
2590 Because my book preferred me to the King.
2591 And seeing ignorance is the curse of God,
2592 Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven,
2593 75 Unless you be possessed with devilish spirits,
2594 You cannot but forbear to murder me.
2595 This tongue hath parleyed unto foreign kings
2596 For your behoof—
CADE 2597 Tut, when struck’st thou one blow in the field?
2598 80 Great men have reaching hands. Oft have I struck
2599 Those that I never saw, and struck them dead.
GEORGE 2600 O monstrous coward! What, to come behind
2602 These cheeks are pale for watching for your good.
CADE 2603 85Give him a box o’ th’ ear, and that will make ’em
2604 red again.
2605 Long sitting to determine poor men’s causes
2606 Hath made me full of sickness and diseases.
CADE 2607 You shall have a hempen ⌜caudle,⌝ then, and
2608 90 the help of hatchet.
DICK 2609 Why dost thou quiver, man?
SAYE 2610 The palsy, and not fear, provokes me.
CADE 2611 Nay, he nods at us, as who should say “I’ll be
2612 even with you.” I’ll see if his head will stand steadier
2613 95 on a pole, or no. Take him away, and behead
2615 Tell me, wherein have I offended most?
2616 Have I affected wealth or honor? Speak.
2617 Are my chests filled up with extorted gold?
2618 100 Is my apparel sumptuous to behold?
2619 Whom have I injured, that you seek my death?
2620 These hands are free from guiltless blood-shedding,
2621 This breast from harboring foul deceitful thoughts.
2622 O, let me live!
CADE 2623 105I feel remorse in myself with his words, but I’ll
2624 bridle it. He shall die, an it be but for pleading so
2625 well for his life. Away with him! He has a familiar
2626 under his tongue; he speaks not i’ God’s name. Go,
2627 take him away, I say, and strike off his head
2628 110 presently; and then break into his son-in-law’s
2629 house, Sir James Cromer, and strike off his head;
2630 and bring them both upon two poles hither.
ALL 2631 It shall be done.
2632 Ah, countrymen, if when you make your prayers,
2633 115 God should be so obdurate as yourselves,
2634 How would it fare with your departed souls?
2635 And therefore yet relent, and save my life.
CADE 2636 Away with him, and do as I command you.
⌜Some exit with Lord Saye.⌝
2637 The proudest peer in the realm shall not wear a
2638 120 head on his shoulders unless he pay me tribute.
2639 There shall not a maid be married but she shall
2640 pay to me her maidenhead ere they have it. Men
2641 shall hold of me in capite; and we charge and command
2642 that their wives be as free as heart can wish
2643 125 or tongue can tell.
DICK 2644 My lord, when shall we go to Cheapside and take
2645 up commodities upon our bills?
CADE 2646 Marry, presently.
ALL 2647 O, brave!
p. 205Enter one with the heads ⌜of Lord Saye and Sir James
Cromer on poles.⌝
CADE 2648 130But is not this braver? Let them kiss one another,
2649 for they loved well when they were alive. ⌜The
heads are brought together.⌝ 2650 Now part them again,
2651 lest they consult about the giving up of some more
2652 towns in France. Soldiers, defer the spoil of the
2653 135 city until night, for, with these borne before us
2654 instead of maces, will we ride through the streets
2655 and at every corner have them kiss. Away!
He exits ⌜with his company.⌝