Henry VI, Pt. 2
Act IV, Scene 2
- Enter George Bevis and John Holland with long staves.
George Bevis1 - 2
- Come and get thee a sword, though made of a lath; they have
- been up these two days.
- They have the more need to sleep now, then.
George Bevis4 - 5
- I tell thee, Jack Cade the clothier means to dress the
- commonwealth, and turn it, and set a new nap upon it.
John Holland6 - 7
- So he had need, for ’tis threadbare. Well, I say, it was
- never merry world in England since gentlemen came up.
- O miserable age! Virtue is not regarded in handicrafts-men.
- The nobility think scorn to go in leather aprons.
- Nay more, the King’s Council are no good workmen.
John Holland11 - 13
- True; and yet it is said, labor in thy vocation; which is as
- much to say as, let the magistrates be laboring men; and
- therefore should we be magistrates.
George Bevis14 - 15
- Thou hast hit it; for there’s no better sign of a brave mind
- than a hard hand.
John Holland16 - 17
- I see them, I see them! There’s Best’s son, the tanner of
George Bevis18 - 19
- He shall have the skins of our enemies, to make
- dog’s-leather of.
- And Dick the butcher—
George Bevis21 - 22
- Then is sin struck down like an ox, and iniquity’s throat
- cut like a calf.
- And Smith the weaver—
- Argo, their thread of life is spun.
- Come, come, let’s fall in with them.
- Drum. Enter Cade, Dick butcher, Smith the weaver, and a
- Sawyer, with infinite numbers, with long staves.
- We John Cade, so term’d of our suppos’d father—
Dick the Butcher27
- Or rather of stealing a cade of herrings.
Jack Cade28 - 29
- For our enemies shall fall before us, inspir’d with the
- spirit of putting down kings and princes—command silence.
Dick the Butcher30
- My father was a Mortimer—
Dick the Butcher32
- He was an honest man, and a good bricklayer.
- My mother a Plantagenet—
Dick the Butcher34
- I knew her well, she was a midwife.
- My wife descended of the Lacies—
Dick the Butcher36
- She was indeed a pedlar’s daughter, and sold many laces.
Smith the Weaver37 - 38
- But now of late, not able to travel with her furr’d pack,
- she washes bucks here at home.
- Therefore am I of an honorable house.
Dick the Butcher40 - 42
- Ay, by my faith, the field is honorable, and there was he
- born, under a hedge; for his father had never a house but
- the cage.
- Valiant I am.
Smith the Weaver44
- ’A must needs, for beggary is valiant.
- I am able to endure much.
Dick the Butcher46 - 47
- No question of that; for I have seen him whipt three
- market-days together.
- I fear neither sword nor fire.
Smith the Weaver49
- He need not fear the sword, for his coat is of proof.
Dick the Butcher50 - 51
- But methinks he should stand in fear of fire, being burnt i’
- th’ hand for stealing of sheep.
Jack Cade52 - 57
- 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-hoop’d 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—
- God save your Majesty!
Jack Cade59 - 62
- 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 Butcher63
- The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.
Jack Cade64 - 69
- 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?
- Enter one with a Clerk.
Smith the Weaver70 - 71
- The clerk of Chatham. He can write and read and cast
- O monstrous!
Smith the Weaver73
- We took him setting of boys’ copies.
- Here’s a villain!
Smith the Weaver75
- H’as a book in his pocket with red letters in’t.
- Nay, then he is a conjurer.
Dick the Butcher77
- Nay, he can make obligations, and write court-hand.
Jack Cade78 - 80
- I am sorry for’t. The man is a proper man, of mine honor;
- unless I find him guilty, he shall not die. Come hither,
- sirrah, I must examine thee. What is thy name?
Clerk of Chatham81
Dick the Butcher82 - 83
- They use to write it on the top of letters; ’twill go hard
- with you.
Jack Cade84 - 85
- Let me alone. Dost thou use to write thy name? Or hast thou
- a mark to thyself, like a honest plain-dealing man?
Clerk of Chatham86 - 87
- Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought up that I can
- write my name.
All88 - 89
- He hath confess’d! Away with him! He’s a villain and a
Jack Cade90 - 91
- Away with him, I say! Hang him with his pen and inkhorn
- about his neck.
- Exit one with the Clerk of Chatham.
- Enter Michael.
- Where’s our general?
- Here I am, thou particular fellow.
Michael94 - 95
- Fly, fly, fly! Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother are
- hard by, with the King’s forces.
Jack Cade96 - 98
- Stand, villain, stand, or I’ll fell thee down. He shall be
- encount’red with a man as good as himself. He is but a
- knight, is ’a?
Jack Cade100 - 102
- To equal him, I will make myself a knight presently.
- Rise up Sir John Mortimer.
- Now have at him!
- Enter Sir Humphrey Stafford and his Brother with Drum and
Sir Humphrey Stafford103 - 106
- Rebellious hinds, the filth and scum of Kent,
- Mark’d for the gallows, lay your weapons down,
- Home to your cottages, forsake this groom:
- The King is merciful, if you revolt.
William Stafford107 - 108
- But angry, wrathful, and inclin’d to blood,
- If you go forward; therefore yield, or die.
Jack Cade109 - 112
- 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 Stafford113 - 114
- Villain, thy father was a plasterer,
- And thou thyself a shearman, art thou not?
- And Adam was a gardener.
- And what of that?
Jack Cade117 - 118
- Marry, this: Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March,
- Married the Duke of Clarence’ daughter, did he not?
Sir Humphrey Stafford119
- Ay, sir.
- By her he had two children at one birth.
- That’s false.
Jack Cade122 - 127
- Ay, there’s the question; but I say, ’tis true.
- The elder of them, being put to nurse,
- Was by a beggar-woman stol’n 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.
Dick the Butcher128
- Nay, ’tis too true; therefore he shall be king.
Smith the Weaver129 - 130
- Sir, he made a chimney in my father’s house, and the bricks
- are alive at this day to testify it; therefore deny it not.
Sir Humphrey Stafford131 - 132
- And will you credit this base drudge’s words,
- That speaks he knows not what?
- Ay, marry, will we; therefore get ye gone.
- Jack Cade, the Duke of York hath taught you this.
Jack Cade135 - 138
- 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 Butcher139 - 140
- And furthermore, we’ll have the Lord Say’s head for selling
- the dukedom of Maine.
Jack Cade141 - 145
- And good reason; for thereby is England main’d, 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 Stafford146
- O gross and miserable ignorance!
Jack Cade147 - 149
- 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?
- No, no, and therefore we’ll have his head.
William Stafford151 - 152
- Well, seeing gentle words will not prevail,
- Assail them with the army of the King.
Sir Humphrey Stafford153 - 158
- Herald, away, and throughout every town
- Proclaim them traitors that are up with Cade,
- That those which fly before the battle ends
- May, even in their wives’ and children’s sight,
- Be hang’d up for example at their doors.
- And you that be the King’s friends, follow me.
- Exit with his Brother and Men.
Jack Cade159 - 164
- 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 Butcher165
- They are all in order, and march toward us.
Jack Cade166 - 167
- But then are we in order when we are most out of order.
- Come, march forward.