Open Source Shakespeare

Speeches (Lines) for Jack Cade
in "Henry VI, Part II"

Total: 61

# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text



John Holland. Come, come, let's fall in with them.
[Drum. Enter CADE, DICK the Butcher, SMITH the]
Weaver, and a Sawyer, with infinite numbers]

Jack Cade. We John Cade, so termed of our supposed father,—



Dick the Butcher. [Aside] Or rather, of stealing a cade of herrings.

Jack Cade. For our enemies shall fall before us, inspired with
the spirit of putting down kings and princes,
—Command silence.



Dick the Butcher. Silence!

Jack Cade. My father was a Mortimer,—



Dick the Butcher. [Aside] He was an honest man, and a good

Jack Cade. My mother a Plantagenet,—



Dick the Butcher. [Aside] I knew her well; she was a midwife.

Jack Cade. My wife descended of the Lacies,—



Smith the Weaver. [Aside] But now of late, notable to travel with her
furred pack, she washes bucks here at home.

Jack Cade. Therefore am I of an honourable house.



Dick the Butcher. [Aside] Ay, by my faith, the field is honourable;
and there was he borne, under a hedge, for his
father had never a house but the cage.

Jack Cade. Valiant I am.



Smith the Weaver. [Aside] A' must needs; for beggary is valiant.

Jack Cade. I am able to endure much.



Dick the Butcher. [Aside] No question of that; for I have seen him
whipped three market-days together.

Jack Cade. I fear neither sword nor fire.



Dick the Butcher. [Aside] But methinks he should stand in fear of
fire, being burnt i' the hand for stealing of sheep.

Jack Cade. 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,—



All. God save your majesty!

Jack Cade. 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.



Dick the Butcher. The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.

Jack Cade. 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?



Smith the Weaver. The clerk of Chatham: he can write and read and
cast accompt.

Jack Cade. O monstrous!



Smith the Weaver. We took him setting of boys' copies.

Jack Cade. Here's a villain!



Smith the Weaver. Has a book in his pocket with red letters in't.

Jack Cade. Nay, then, he is a conjurer.



Dick the Butcher. Nay, he can make obligations, and write court-hand.

Jack Cade. 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?



Dick the Butcher. They use to write it on the top of letters: 'twill
go hard with you.

Jack Cade. Let me alone. Dost thou use to write thy name? or
hast thou a mark to thyself, like an honest
plain-dealing man?



All. He hath confessed: away with him! he's a villain
and a traitor.

Jack Cade. Away with him, I say! hang him with his pen and
ink-horn about his neck.



Michael. Where's our general?

Jack Cade. Here I am, thou particular fellow.



Michael. Fly, fly, fly! Sir Humphrey Stafford and his
brother are hard by, with the king's forces.

Jack Cade. 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'?



Michael. No.

Jack Cade. To equal him, I will make myself a knight presently.
Rise up Sir John Mortimer.
Now have at him!
drum and soldiers]



William Stafford. But angry, wrathful, and inclined to blood,
If you go forward; therefore yield, or die.

Jack Cade. As for these silken-coated slaves, I pass not:
It is to you, good people, that I speak,
Over whom, in time to come, I hope to reign;
For I am rightful heir unto the crown.



Sir Humphrey Stafford. Villain, thy father was a plasterer;
And thou thyself a shearman, art thou not?

Jack Cade. And Adam was a gardener.



William Stafford. And what of that?

Jack Cade. Marry, this: Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March.
Married the Duke of Clarence' daughter, did he not?



Sir Humphrey Stafford. Ay, sir.

Jack Cade. By her he had two children at one birth.



William Stafford. That's false.

Jack Cade. Ay, there's the question; but I say, 'tis true:
The elder of them, being put to nurse,
Was by a beggar-woman stolen 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.



William Stafford. Jack Cade, the Duke of York hath taught you this.

Jack Cade. [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.



Dick the Butcher. And furthermore, well have the Lord Say's head for
selling the dukedom of Maine.

Jack Cade. 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 an eunuch:
and more than that, he can speak French; and
therefore he is a traitor.



Sir Humphrey Stafford. O gross and miserable ignorance!

Jack Cade. 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?



(stage directions). [Exeunt WILLIAM STAFFORD and SIR HUMPHREY, and soldiers]

Jack Cade. 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.



Dick the Butcher. They are all in order and march toward us.

Jack Cade. But then are we in order when we are most
out of order. Come, march forward.



(stage directions). [Alarums to the fight, wherein SIR HUMPHREY and]
WILLIAM STAFFORD are slain. Enter CADE and the rest]

Jack Cade. Where's Dick, the butcher of Ashford?



Dick the Butcher. Here, sir.

Jack Cade. 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



Dick the Butcher. I desire no more.

Jack Cade. And, to speak truth, thou deservest no less. This
monument of the victory will I bear;
[Putting on SIR HUMPHREY'S brigandine]
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.



Dick the Butcher. If we mean to thrive and do good, break open the
gaols and let out the prisoners.

Jack Cade. Fear not that, I warrant thee. Come, let's march
towards London.



(stage directions). [Enter CADE and the rest, and strikes his staff on]

Jack Cade. 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.



Soldier. Jack Cade! Jack Cade!

Jack Cade. Knock him down there.



Dick the Butcher. My lord, there's an army gathered together in

Jack Cade. 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.



(stage directions). [Alarums. MATTHEW GOFFE is slain, and all the rest.]
Then enter CADE, with his company.

Jack Cade. So, sirs: now go some and pull down the Savoy;
others to the inns of court; down with them all.



Dick the Butcher. I have a suit unto your lordship.

Jack Cade. Be it a lordship, thou shalt have it for that word.



Smith the Weaver. [Aside] Nay, John, it will be stinking law for his
breath stinks with eating toasted cheese.

Jack Cade. 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.



John Holland. [Aside] Then we are like to have biting statutes,
unless his teeth be pulled out.

Jack Cade. And henceforward all things shall be in common.



(stage directions). [Enter BEVIS, with Lord SAY]

Jack Cade. Well, he shall be beheaded for it ten times. Ah,
thou say, thou serge, nay, thou buckram lord! now
art thou within point-blank of our jurisdiction
regal. What canst thou answer to my majesty for
giving up of Normandy unto Mounsieur 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 forefathers
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
ear 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 in a foot-cloth, dost thou not?



Lord Say. What of that?

Jack Cade. Marry, thou oughtest not to let thy horse wear a
cloak, when honester men than thou go in their hose
and doublets.



Lord Say. Nothing but this; 'tis 'bona terra, mala gens.'

Jack Cade. Away with him, away with him! he speaks Latin.



Lord Say. Hear me but speak, and bear me where you will.
Kent, in the Commentaries Caesar writ,
Is term'd the civil'st place of 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 moved 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,—

Jack Cade. Tut, when struck'st thou one blow in the field?



Lord Say. These cheeks are pale for watching for your good.

Jack Cade. Give him a box o' the ear and that will make 'em red again.



Lord Say. Long sitting to determine poor men's causes
Hath made me full of sickness and diseases.

Jack Cade. Ye shall have a hempen caudle, then, and the help of hatchet.



Lord Say. The palsy, and not fear, provokes me.

Jack Cade. 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.



Lord Say. 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 injured, that ye seek my death?
These hands are free from guiltless bloodshedding,
This breast from harbouring foul deceitful thoughts.
O, let me live!

Jack Cade. [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.



Lord Say. 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.

Jack Cade. Away with him! and do as I command ye.
[Exeunt some with Lord 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.



Dick the Butcher. My lord, when shall we go to Cheapside and take up
commodities upon our bills?

Jack Cade. Marry, presently.



(stage directions). [Re-enter one with the heads]

Jack Cade. 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!



(stage directions). [Alarum and retreat. Enter CADE and all his]

Jack Cade. Up Fish Street! down Saint Magnus' Corner! Kill
and knock down! throw them into Thames!
[Sound a parley]
What noise is this I hear? Dare any be so bold to
sound retreat or parley, when I command them kill?



All. God save the king! God save the king!

Jack Cade. 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 burthens, 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. A Clifford! a Clifford! we'll follow the king and Clifford.

Jack Cade. Was ever feather so lightly blown to and fro as this
multitude? The name of Henry the Fifth hales them
to an 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.



(stage directions). [Enter CADE]

Jack Cade. 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 am I 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 brainpan 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.



Alexander Iden. 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.

Jack Cade. 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 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.



Alexander Iden. 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?

Jack Cade. 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 doornail, I pray God I may never eat grass more.



Alexander Iden. 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 outface 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 words, whose greatness answers words,
Let this my sword report what speech forbears.

Jack Cade. 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 God on my knees thou
mayst be turned to hobnails.
[Here they fight. CADE falls]
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.



Alexander Iden. Is't Cade that I have slain, that monstrous traitor?
Sword, I will hollow 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.

Jack Cade. 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.