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Henry VI, Pt. 2 :: Scenes :: Henry VI, Part 2: Act IV, Scene 8

Scene 8

Southwark.

(Jack Cade; Duke of Buckingham; Lord Clifford)

Clifford and Buckingham offer pardon and mercy to the rebels, and they cheer for the King. Cade speaks, vanting his fight for liberty, and the mob cheers for him. When Clifford brings up Henry V, the mob shifts to the King’s side again, and Cade realizes that the jig is up and flees. A price is laid on his head. ( line)

Alarum and retreat. Enter again Cade and all his rabblement.

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?

Enter Buckingham and old Clifford attended.

BUCK.

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,

And here pronounce free pardon to them all

That will forsake thee and go home in peace.

CLIF.

What say ye, countrymen? Will ye relent

And yield to mercy whilst ’tis offered you,

Or let a rebel lead you to your deaths?

Who loves the King, and will embrace his pardon,

Fling up his cap, and say, “God save his Majesty!”

Who hateth him and honors not his father,

Henry the Fifth, that made all France to quake,

Shake he his weapon at us and pass by.

CADE. FOLL.

God save the King! God save the King!

CADE.

What, Buckingham and Clifford, are ye so brave? And you, base peasants, do ye believe him? Will you needs be hang’d 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 recover’d 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 burdens, 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!

CADE. FOLL.

We’ll follow Cade, we’ll follow Cade!

CLIF.

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?

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,

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

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.

CADE. FOLL.

A Clifford! A Clifford! We’ll follow the King and Clifford.

CADE.

Aside.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 honor be witness that no want of resolution in me, but only my followers’ base and ignominious treasons, makes me betake me to my heels.

He runs through them with his sword and flies away.

Exit.

BUCK.

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.

Exeunt some of them.

Follow me, soldiers, we’ll devise a mean

To reconcile you all unto the King.

Exeunt omnes.

 
 
 
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