Henry VI Part 2

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Alarums. Matthew Gough is slain, and all the rest.

Then enter Jack Cade with his company


So, sirs. Now go some and pull down the Savoy;

others to th' Inns of Court; down with them all.


I have a suit unto your lordship.
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count


Be it a lordship, thou shalt have it for that word.
lordship (n.) 2 lord's estate


Only that the laws of England may come out of your




Mass, 'twill be sore law then, for he was

thrust in the mouth with a spear, and 'tis not whole yet.
thrust (v.) strike, pierce, stab
whole (adj.) 1 healthy, well, in sound condition


(aside to Holland)

Nay, John, it will be stinking

law, for his breath stinks with eating toasted cheese.


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.



Then we are like to have biting statutes,
biting (adj.) severe, painful, brutal
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count

unless his teeth be pulled out.


And henceforward all things shall be in common.
common, in [of land] in common possession, for the whole community

Enter a Messenger


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
fifteen, fifteenth (n.) tax of a fifteenth part levied on personal property

pound, the last subsidy.
subsidy (n.) special tax assessment

Enter George Bevis with the Lord Say


Well, he shall be beheaded for it ten times. Ah,

thou say, thou serge, nay, thou buckram lord! Now art
buckram, buckrom (n./adj.) 2 stiff, starched, stuck-up
say (n.) 1 type of fine-textured cloth
serge (n.) type of woollen fabric

thou within point-blank of our jurisdiction regal. What
point-blank (adv.) 2 reach, easy range

canst thou answer to my majesty for giving up of

Normandy unto Mounsieur Basimecu, the Dolphin

of France? Be it known unto thee by these presence,
presence (n.) 7 malapropism for ‘presents’ [= documents]

even the presence of Lord Mortimer, that I am the

besom that must sweep the court clean of such filth
besom (n.) sweeping-brush, broom

as thou art. Thou hast most traitorously corrupted the

youth of the realm in erecting a grammar school; and

whereas, before, our forefathers had no other books

but the score and the tally, thou hast caused printing
score and tally method of notching a piece of wood as a means of debt-keeping; when split in two between lender and debtor, the scores on the two pieces of wood would tally

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
usually (adv.) habitually, routinely, regularly

talk of a noun and a verb, and such abominable words as

no Christian ear can endure to hear. Thou hast appointed

justices of the peace, to call poor men before them

about matters they were not able to answer. Moreover,
answer (v.) 2 explain, excuse, answer satisfactorily

thou hast put them in prison; and because they could not

read, thou hast hanged them; when, indeed, only

for that cause they have been most worthy to live.

Thou dost ride in a foot-cloth, dost thou not?
footcloth, foot-cloth (n.) stately ornamental cloth worn over the back of a horse


What of that?


Marry, thou oughtest not to let thy horse wear a

cloak, when honester men than thou go in their hose and



And work in their shirt too; as myself, for example,

that am a butcher.


You men of Kent –


What say you of Kent?


Nothing but this: 'tis bona terra, mala gens.


Away with him! Away with him! He speaks Latin.


Hear me but speak, and bear me where you will.

Kent, in the Commentaries Caesar writ,

Is termed the civilest place of this isle;
civil (adj.) 1 civilized, cultured, refined

Sweet is the country, because full of riches,

To people liberal, valiant, active, wealthy;
liberal (adj.) 5 noble, tasteful, refined

Which makes me hope you are not void of pity.
void (adj.) 1 empty, lacking, devoid

I sold not Maine, I lost not Normandy;

Yet to recover them would lose my life.

Justice with favour have I always done;
favour (n.) 9 leniency, kindness, clemency

Prayers and tears have moved me, gifts could never.

When have I aught exacted at your hands,
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count
exact (v.) enforce payment, take taxes

But to maintain the King, the realm, and you?

Large gifts have I bestowed on learned clerks,
clerk (n.) 1 scholar, sage, man of learning

Because my book preferred me to the King,
book (n.) 1 book-learning, scholarship, erudition
prefer (v.) 1 promote, advance, recommend

And seeing ignorance is the curse of God,

Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven,

Unless you be possessed with devilish spirits,

You cannot but forbear to murder me.
forbear (v.) 2 leave alone, avoid, stay away [from] See Topics: Frequency count

This tongue hath parleyed unto foreign kings
parle, parley (v.) 1 discuss terms, treat, negotiate with

For your behoof –
behoof (n.) benefit, advantage


Tut, when struckest thou one blow in the field?
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count


Great men have reaching hands: oft have I struck
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count
reaching (adj.) far-reaching

Those that I never saw, and struck them dead.


O monstrous coward! What, to come behind folks?


These cheeks are pale for watching for your good.
watch (v.) 1 stay awake, keep vigil


Give him a box o'th' ear, and that will make 'em red



Long sitting to determine poor men's causes
cause (n.) 5 court case, legal action, matter before the court
determine (v.) 1 make a decision [about], reach a conclusion [about]

Hath made me full of sickness and diseases.


Ye shall have a hempen caudle then, and the help of
caudle (n.) type of medicinal warm gruel, potion
hempen (adj.) 1 made of hemp

hatchet (n.) executioner's axe


Why dost thou quiver, man?


The palsy and not fear provokes me.
provoke (v.) 5 make tremble, cause to shake


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.


Tell me: wherein have I offended most?

Have I affected wealth or honour? Speak.
affect (v.) 5 cultivate, aim at, seek out

Are my chests filled up with extorted gold?

Is my apparel sumptuous to behold?
apparel (n.) clothes, clothing, dress See Topics: Frequency count

Whom have I injured, that ye seek my death?

These hands are free from guiltless bloodshedding,
guiltless (adj.) of innocent people

This breast from harbouring foul deceitful thoughts.

O, let me live!



I feel remorse in myself with his words; but
remorse (n.) 2 pity, compassion, tenderness

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
familiar (n.) 2 attendant spirit, personal demon

under his tongue; he speaks not a God's name. Go,

take him away, I say; and strike off his head presently,
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

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.


It shall be done.


Ah, countrymen, if, when you make your prayers,

God should be so obdurate as yourselves,

How would it fare with your departed souls?
fare (v.) 2 go, happen, turn out

And therefore yet relent and save my life.


Away with him! And do as I command ye.

Exeunt some rebels 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
hold (v.) 12 hold property, own land

in capite; and we charge and command that their
charge (v.) 1 order, command, enjoin
in capite as a head See Topics: Latin

wives be as free as heart can wish or tongue can tell.
free (adj.) 1 liberal, lavish, generous


My lord, when shall we go to Cheapside and take up
take up (v.) 8 take possession of, seize hold of

commodities upon our bills?
bill (n.) 7 promissory note
commodity (n.) 5 (plural) goods, wares, merchandise


Marry, presently.


O, brave!
brave (adj.) 1 fine, excellent, splendid, impressive See Topics: Frequency count

Enter one with the heads of Say and Cromer upon

two poles


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
spoil (n.) 1 plundering, pillaging, despoiling

of the city until night; for with these borne before us,

instead of maces, will we ride through the streets, and

at every corner have them kiss. Away!


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