Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > 2 King Henry VI.
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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
 
The Second Part of King Henry the Sixth
 
Act IV. Scene VIII.
 
The Same.  Southwark.
 
Alarum.  Enter CADE and all his Rabblement.
  Cade.  Up Fish Street! down St. Magnus’ corner! kill and knock down! throw them into Thames!  [A parley sounded, then a retreat.]  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, with Forces.
  Buck.  Ay, here they be that dare and will disturb thee.        5
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,        10
And yield to mercy, whilst ’tis offer’d 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 honours not his father,        15
Henry the Fifth, that made all France to quake,
Shake he his weapon at us, and pass by.
  All.  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 hanged 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 recovered 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!
  All.  We’ll follow Cade, we’ll follow Cade!        20
  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;        25
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?        30
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.        35
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.
  All.  A Clifford! a Clifford! we’ll follow the king and Clifford.        40
  Cade.  [Aside.]  Was ever feather so lightly blown to and fro as this multitude? The name of Henry the Fifth hales them to a 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 honour be witness, that no want of resolution in me, but only my followers’ base and ignominious treasons, makes me betake me to my heels.  [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        45
To reconcile you all unto the king.  [Exeunt.
 
 
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