William Shakespeare's Second Part of King Henry the Sixth in the complete original text.
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Second Part of King Henry the Sixth

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Act IV. Scene VII.

Scene VII.—The Same. Smithfield.

Alarums. Enter, on one side, CADE and his
company; on the other, Citizens, and the
KING'S Forces, headed by MATTHEW GOFFE.
They fight; the Citizens are routed, and

Cade. So, sirs:—Now go some and pull down
the Savoy; others to the inns of court: down
with them all.
Dick. I have a suit unto your lordship.
Cade. Be it a lordship, thou shalt have it for
that word.
Dick. Only that the laws of England may
come out of your mouth.
John. [Aside.] Mass, 'twill be sore law then;
for he was thrust in the mouth with a spear,
and 'tis not whole yet.
Smith. [Aside.] Nay, John, it will be stinking
law; for his breath stinks with eating toasted
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. [Aside.] Then we are like to have biting
statutes, unless his teeth be pulled out.
Cade. And henceforward all things shall be
in common.

Enter a Messenger.
Mess. 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.

Enter GEORGE BEVIS, with the LORD SAY.
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 Monsieur Basimecu, the Dau-
phin of France? Be it known unto thee by
these presence, even the presence of Lord Mor-
timer, 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 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 isdeed only for
that cause they have been most worthy to live.
Thou dost ride on a foot-cloth, dost thou not?
Say. What of that?
Cade. Marry, thou oughtest not to let thy
horse wear a cloak, when honester men than
thou go in their hose and doublets.
Dick. And work in their shirt too; as myself,
for example, that am a butcher.
Say. You men of Kent,—
Dick. What say you of Kent?
Say. Nothing but this: 'tis bona terra, mala
Cade. Away with him! away with him! he
speaks Latin.
Say. 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
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,—
Cade. Tut! when struck'st thou one blow in
the field?
Say. Great men have reaching hands: oft
have I struck
Those that I never saw, and struck them dead.
Geo. O monstrous coward! what, to come
behind folks!
Say. These cheeks are pale for watching for
your good.
Cade. Give him a box o' the ear, and that
will make 'em red again.
Say. Long sitting, to determine poor men's
Hath made me full of sickness and diseases.
Cade. Ye shall have a hempen caudle then,
and the help of hatchet.
Dick. Why dost thou quiver, man?
Say. The palsy, and not fear, provokes me.
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.
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 injur'd, that ye seek my death?
These hands are free from guiltless blood-
This breast from harbouring foul deceitful
O! let me live.
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.
All. It shall be done.
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.
Cade. Away with him! and do as I com-
mand 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. My lord, when shall we go to Cheapside
and take up commodities upon our bills?
Cade. Marry, presently.
All. O! brave!

Re-enter Rebels, with the heads of LORD SAY
and his Son-in-law.
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, in-
stead of maces, will we ride through the streets;
and at every corner have them kiss. Away!
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