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History of Henry VI, Part II

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Act IV, Scene 8



[Alarum and retreat. Enter CADE and all his] [p]rabblement]

  • 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 2760
    sound retreat or parley, when I command them kill?

[Enter BUCKINGHAM and CLIFFORD, attended]

  • Duke of Buckingham. 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; 2765
    And here pronounce free pardon to them all
    That will forsake thee and go home in peace.
  • Lord Clifford. 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? 2770
    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. 2775
  • 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, 2780
    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 2785
    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! 2790
  • All. We'll follow Cade, we'll follow Cade!
  • Lord Clifford. 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? 2795
    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, 2800
    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 2805
    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. 2810
  • 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 2815
    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 2820
    treasons, makes me betake me to my heels.


  • Duke of Buckingham. 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. 2825
    [Exeunt some of them]
    Follow me, soldiers: we'll devise a mean
    To reconcile you all unto the king.