Henry VI Part 2


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter George Bevis and John Holland
lath (n.) 1 thin wood


BEVIS

Come, and get thee a sword, though made of a lath;

they have been up these two days.
up (adv.) 1 up in arms, in rebellion, in revolt


HOLLAND

They have the more need to sleep now then.


BEVIS

I tell thee, Jack Cade the clothier means to dress

the commonwealth, and turn it, and set a new nap
nap (n.) surface texture of a fabric, pile
turn (v.) 1 change, transform, alter

upon it.


HOLLAND

So he had need, for 'tis threadbare. Well, I

say it was never merry world in England since gentlemen
world (n.) 2 times, life, state of affairs

came up.
come up (v.) 2 come into fashion, become trendy


BEVIS

O miserable age! Virtue is not regarded in
regard (v.) 1 take note of, pay heed to, value

handicraftsmen.


HOLLAND

The nobility think scorn to go in leather aprons.
scorn, think disdain, despise, consider it beneath one's dignity


BEVIS

Nay, more; the King's Council are no good

workmen.


HOLLAND

True; and yet it is said ‘ Labour in thy

vocation;’ which is as much to say as ‘ Let the magistrates

be labouring men;’ and therefore should we

be magistrates.
magistrate (n.) member of the government, leader of the community


BEVIS

Thou hast hit it; for there's no better sign of a
hit (v.) 1 hit the mark with, get at, reach

brave mind than a hard hand.
brave (adj.) 1 fine, excellent, splendid, impressive See Topics: Frequency count
hard (adj.) 2 hardened, toughened


HOLLAND

I see them, I see them! There's Best's son,

the tanner of Wingham.


BEVIS

He shall have the skin of our enemies to make

dog's leather of.


HOLLAND

And Dick the butcher.


BEVIS

Then is sin struck down like an ox, and iniquity's

throat cut like a calf.


HOLLAND

And Smith the weaver.


BEVIS

Argo, their thread of life is spun.
argal, argo (adv.) [variants of Latin ‘ergo’] therefore See Topics: Latin


HOLLAND

Come, come, let's fall in with them.

Drums. Enter Jack Cade, Dick the butcher, Smith

the weaver, and a sawyer, with infinite numbers


CADE

We John Cade, so termed of our supposed father –
termed (adj.) named, called


DICK

(aside)
cade (n.) cask, barrel [containing 500 herrings]

Or rather of stealing a cade of herrings.


CADE

For our enemies shall fall before us, inspired with

the spirit of putting down kings and princes. Command

silence.


DICK

Silence!


CADE

My father was a Mortimer –


DICK

(aside)

He was an honest man and a good bricklayer.


CADE

My mother a Plantagenet –


DICK

(aside)

I knew her well; she was a midwife.


CADE

My wife descended of the Lacys –


DICK

(aside)

She was indeed a pedler's daughter, and

sold many laces.


SMITH

(aside)

But now of late, not able to travel with her

furred pack, she washes bucks here at home.
buck (n.) laundry, quantity of soiled clothes
furred (adj.) made of fur, fur-lined
pack (n.) 2 knapsack, back-pack, bundle


CADE

Therefore am I of an honourable house.
honourable (adj.) 2 noble, distinguished, illustrious


DICK

(aside)

Ay, by my faith, the field is honourable,

and there was he born, under a hedge; for his father had

never a house but the cage.
cage (n.) 2 pen, lock-up, small prison compound


CADE

Valiant I am.


SMITH

(aside)

'A must needs, for beggary is valiant.


CADE

I am able to endure much.


DICK

(aside)

No question of that; for I have seen him

whipped three market days together.


CADE

I fear neither sword nor fire.


SMITH

(aside)

He need not fear the sword, for his coat is of

proof.
proof (n.) 1 tested strength, proven power of resistance, impenetrability


DICK

(aside)
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

But methinks he should stand in fear of fire,

being burnt i'th' hand for stealing of sheep.


CADE

Be brave then; for your captain is brave, and vows
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent

reformation. There shall be in England seven halfpenny
reformation (n.) radical political change, new government

loaves sold for a penny; the three-hooped pot shall have

ten hoops; and I will make it felony to drink small beer.
beer / ale, small 1 weak beer, beer of poor quality

All the realm shall be in common, and in Cheapside shall
common, in [of land] in common possession, for the whole community

my palfrey go to grass. And when I am king, as king I
grass (v.) graze, feed, eat pasture
palfrey (n.) horse for everyday riding

will be –


ALL

God save your majesty!


CADE

I thank you, good people. There shall be no money;

all shall eat and drink on my score; and I will apparel
apparel (v.) 1 clothe, dress up, trick out
score (n.) 2 tavern-bill, alehouse tally

them all in one livery, that they may agree like brothers,
livery (n.) 1 uniform, costume, special clothing See Topics: Frequency count

and worship me their lord.


DICK

The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.


CADE

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
undo (v.) 1 ruin, destroy, wipe out

say 'tis the bee's wax, for I did but seal once to a thing,
seal (v.) 4 mark by seal, put one's name to, agree

and I was never mine own man since. How now? Who's

there?

Enter some rebels with the Clerk of Chartham


SMITH

The clerk of Chartham; he can write and read and

cast accompt.
account / accompt, cast make calculations, do arithmetic
cast (v.) 1 calculate, reckon, estimate


CADE

O, monstrous!


SMITH

We took him setting of boys' copies.
set (v.) 5 set an activity to be followed


CADE

Here's a villain!


SMITH

H'as a book in his pocket with red letters in't.


CADE

Nay, then he is a conjurer.
conjuror, conjurer (n.) exorcist, sorcerer, raiser of spirits


DICK

Nay, he can make obligations, and write court-hand.
court-hand (n.) legal style of handwriting
obligation (n.) bond, agreement, legal document


CADE

I am sorry for't. The man is a proper man, of mine
proper (adj.) 1 good-looking, handsome, comely

honour; unless I find him guilty, he shall not die. Come

hither, sirrah, I must examine thee. What is thy name?


CLERK

Emmanuel.


DICK

They use to write it on the top of letters. 'Twill go

hard with you.


CADE

Let me alone. Dost thou use to write thy name?

Or hast thou a mark to thyself, like a honest plain-dealing
mark (n.) 7 mark used as a signature by an illiterate person

man?


CLERK

Sir, I thank God I have been so well brought up

that I can write my name.


ALL

He hath confessed: away with him! He's a villain

and a traitor.


CADE

Away with him, I say; hang him with his pen and

inkhorn about his neck.

Exit one with the Clerk

Enter Michael


MICHAEL

Where's our general?


CADE

Here I am, thou particular fellow.
particular (adj.) 1 personal, special, private


MICHAEL

Fly, fly, fly! Sir Humphrey Stafford and his

brother are hard by, with the King's forces.


CADE

Stand, villain, stand, or I'll fell thee down. He shall

be encountered with a man as good as himself. He is

but a knight, is 'a?


MICHAEL

No.


CADE

To equal him, I will make myself a knight presently.
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

(He kneels) Rise up, Sir John Mortimer. (He rises) Now

have at him!
have at [someone] [said at the start of a fencing attack or other confrontation] I come at, let me at [a person] See Topics: Discourse markers

Enter Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother, with

drum and soldiers


STAFFORD

Rebellious hinds, the filth and scum of Kent,
hind (n.) 1 boor, fellow, rustic, peasant

Marked for the gallows, lay your weapons down;
mark (v.) 2 destine, brand, designate

Home to your cottages, forsake this groom.
groom (n.) 2 fellow, character, creature

The King is merciful, if you revolt.
revolt (v.) change sides, alter allegiance, desert


BROTHER

But angry, wrathful, and inclined to blood,

If you go forward; therefore yield, or die.


CADE

As for these silken-coated slaves, I pass not;
pass (v.) 13 care, heed, trouble oneself about

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.


STAFFORD

Villain, thy father was a plasterer;

And thou thyself a shearman, art thou not?
shearman (n.) one who shears excess material from woollen cloth


CADE

And Adam was a gardener.


BROTHER

                         And what of that?


CADE

Marry, this: Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March,

Married the Duke of Clarence' daughter, did he not?


STAFFORD

Ay, sir.


CADE

By her he had two children at one birth.


BROTHER

That's false.
false (adj.) 4 wrong, mistaken


CADE

Ay, there's the question; but I say 'tis true:
question (n.) 2 point at issue, problem, business

The elder of them, being put to nurse,

Was by a beggar-woman stolen 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

Nay, 'tis too true; therefore he shall be king.


SMITH

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.


STAFFORD

And will you credit this base drudge's words,
base (adj.) 2 low-born, lowly, plebeian, of lower rank See Topics: Frequency count
credit (v.) 1 believe, trust, have faith in
drudge (n.) slave, serf, lackey

That speaks he knows not what?


ALL

Ay, marry, will we; therefore get ye gone.


BROTHER

Jack Cade, the Duke of York hath taught you this.


CADE

(aside)

He lies, for I invented it myself. (To Stafford)

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
span-counter (n.) game in which counters were thrown to fall within a hand-span of the opponent's

for French crowns, I am content he shall

reign; but I'll be Protector over him.
content (adj.) 1 agreeable, willing, ready See Topics: Frequency count


DICK

And furthermore, we'll have the Lord Say's head

for selling the dukedom of Maine.


CADE

And good reason; for thereby is England mained and
main (v.) maim, cripple

fain to go with a staff, but that my puissance holds it up.
fain (adj.) 1 obliged, forced, compelled
puissance (n.) power, might, force

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.


STAFFORD

O gross and miserable ignorance!


CADE

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?


ALL

No, no; and therefore we'll have his head.


BROTHER

Well, seeing gentle words will not prevail,

Assail them with the army of the King.
assail (v.) 1 attack, assault, address
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind


STAFFORD

Herald, away! And throughout every town

Proclaim them traitors that are up with Cade;
up (adv.) 1 up in arms, in rebellion, in revolt

That those which fly before the battle ends

May, even in their wives' and children's sight,

Be hanged up for example at their doors.

And you that be the King's friends, follow me.

Exit with his brother and soldiers


CADE

And you that love the commons, follow me.
common (n.) 1 (people) common people, ordinary citizens

Now show yourselves men; 'tis for liberty.

We will not leave one lord, one gentleman;

Spare none but such as go in clouted shoon,
clouted (adj.) metal-studded, hobnailed
shoon (n.) [archaism] shoes See Topics: Archaisms

For they are thrifty honest men, and such

As would, but that they dare not, take our parts.


DICK

They are all in order, and march toward us.
order (n.) 6 formation, formal array


CADE

But then are we in order when we are most out
order, out of rebellious, insubordinate, disobedient

of order. Come, march forward.

Exeunt

 
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