Henry VI Part 2

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Cade


Fie on ambitions! 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,
lay (v.) 11 circulate with warrants for arrest

if I might have a lease of my life for a thousand years,

I could stay no longer. Wherefore, on a brick wall have
stay (v.) 12 stay in hiding, remain hidden

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,
sallet (n.) 3 light round helmet See Topics: Weapons

my brain-pan had been cleft with a brown bill; and
bill (n.) 1 [applied to various kinds of long-handled spear-like weapon] halberd; bill-hook See Topics: Weapons
brown (adj.) 1 bronze-coloured, burnished

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.

Enter Alexander Iden
turmoiled (adj.) harassed, worried, troubled


Lord, who would live turmoiled in the court,

And may enjoy such quiet walks as these?
walk (n.) 1 garden path, walkway

This small inheritance my father left me

Contenteth me, and worth a monarchy.
content (v.) 1 please, gratify, delight, satisfy

I seek not to wax great by others' waning,
wax (v.) 1 grow, become, turn

Or gather wealth I care not with what envy;
envy (n.) 1 malice, ill-will, enmity

Sufficeth that I have maintains my state,
state (n.) 12 welfare, well-being, prosperity

And sends the poor well pleased from my gate.



Here's the lord of the soil come to seize me

for a stray, for entering his fee-simple without leave.
fee-simple, fee simple (n.) private estate [belonging to the owner and his heirs for ever]; permanent lease, full possession
stray (n.) 1 stray animal

(to Iden) Ah, villain, thou wilt betray me, and get a

thousand crowns of the King by 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.


Why, rude companion, whatsoe'er thou be,
companion (n.) 1 rogue, rascal, fellow
rude (adj.) 5 impolite, offensive

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?
brave (v.) 1 challenge, defy, confront, provoke
saucy (adj.) 1 insolent, impudent, presumptuous, defiant


Brave thee? Ay, by the best blood that ever was

broached, and beard thee too. Look on me well; I have
beard (v.) defy, affront, oppose openly
best (adj.) 2 noblest, most eminent
broach (v.) 3 draw out, set flowing, cause to spurt out [by piercing]

eat no meat these five days, yet come thou and thy five
meat (n.) 1 food, nourishment

men, and if I do not leave you all as dead as a door-nail, I

pray God I may never eat grass more.


Nay, it shall ne'er be said, while England stands,

That Alexander Iden, an esquire of Kent,
esquire (n.) 2 gentleman, country squire

Took odds to combat a poor famished man.
odds (n. plural) 1 superiority, advantage, edge

Oppose thy steadfast gazing eyes to mine,
oppose (v.) 1 display, exhibit, present

See if thou canst outface me with thy looks;
outface (v.) 1 defy, intimidate, overcome by confronting

Set limb to limb, and thou art far the lesser;
set (v.) 6 compare, match, weigh up

Thy hand is but a finger to my fist;

Thy leg a stick compared with this truncheon;
truncheon (n.) 2 thick club, stout cudgel

My foot shall fight with all the strength thou hast;

And if mine arm be heaved in the air,
heave (v.) 1 raise, lift up

Thy grave is digged already in the earth.

As for words, whose greatness answers words,
answer (v.) 10 live up to, correspond to, be equal to

Let this my sword report what speech forbears.
forbear (v.) 2 leave alone, avoid, stay away [from] See Topics: Frequency count


By my valour, the most complete champion that
complete, compleat (adj.) 1 accomplished, consummate, thorough

ever I heard! Steel, if thou turn the edge, or cut not

out the burly-boned clown in chines of beef ere thou
burly-boned (adj.) hulking, big-bodied
chine (n.) 1 [of meat] joint, portion, piece

sleep in thy sheath, I beseech God on my knees thou

mayst be turned to hobnails.

Here they fight and Cade falls down

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.


Is't Cade that I have slain, that monstrous traitor?
monstrous (adj.) unnatural, outlandish, aberrant

Sword, I will hallow thee for this thy deed,
hallow (v.) bless, glorify, honour as holy

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.
emblaze (v.) proclaim publicly, set forth [as on a coat of arms]


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.

He dies


How much thou wrongest me, heaven be my judge.

Die, damned wretch, the curse of her that bare thee;

And as I thrust thy body in with my sword,

So wish I I might thrust thy soul to hell.

Hence will I drag thee headlong by the heels
headlong (adv.) head downwards, without ceremony

Unto a dunghill, which shall be thy grave,

And there cut off thy most ungracious head;

Which I will bear in triumph to the King,

Leaving thy trunk for crows to feed upon.


  Previous scene     Next scene