List iconHenry VI, Part 2List icon

Henry VI, Part 2
Act 4, scene 10

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Entire Play

With a weak, unworldly king on the throne, the English nobility heightens its struggle for power in Henry VI, Part 2,…

Act 1, scene 1

King Henry meets his consort Queen Margaret, brought by Suffolk from France. The nobles fall into dissension, with the Cardinal,…

Act 1, scene 2

The Duchess of Gloucester’s dream of becoming queen is rebuked by her husband but encouraged by the treacherous priest John…

Act 1, scene 3

Queen Margaret and Suffolk dismiss petitioners seeking Gloucester’s aid and then conspire against Gloucester. Somerset and York then clash, as…

Act 1, scene 4

The Duchess of Gloucester watches while a spirit is conjured up to prophesy the fates of her rivals, but she…

Act 2, scene 1

King Henry and his court are hunting when they are interrupted by an announcement of a miracle in nearby Saint…

Act 2, scene 2

York persuades Salisbury and Warwick of the validity of his claim to the throne.

Act 2, scene 3

King Henry sentences the Duchess to public penance and exile, and removes Gloucester from his office as Lord Protector. Then…

Act 2, scene 4

Gloucester watches his Duchess’s public humiliation as she goes into exile. He is summoned to Parliament.

Act 3, scene 1

In Parliament Queen Margaret and the nobles level charges against Gloucester, but King Henry remains convinced of his uncle’s innocence….

Act 3, scene 2

The news of Gloucester’s murder makes King Henry faint and the Commons rise to demand Suffolk’s exile. The King obliges…

Act 3, scene 3

The Cardinal dies.

Act 4, scene 1

Attempting to sail to France, Suffolk is captured by shipmen and brutally assassinated.

Act 4, scene 2

In a plot instigated by York, Jack Cade leads a rebellion against King Henry. The Staffords seek to put it…

Act 4, scene 3

Cade defeats and kills the Staffords and marches on London.

Act 4, scene 4

King Henry flees London and Queen Margaret mourns Suffolk’s death. Lord Saye, whom the rebels hate, decides to hide in…

Act 4, scene 5

Citizens of London plead for military aid from Lord Scales, who commands forces at the Tower. He sends Matthew Gough,…

Act 4, scene 6

Cade enters London.

Act 4, scene 7

Cade defeats and kills Gough. Lord Saye is captured and killed.

Act 4, scene 8

Lord Clifford and Buckingham persuade Cade’s followers to return to King Henry. Cade flees.

Act 4, scene 9

As King Henry rejoices at Cade’s defeat, a messenger announces York’s approach with an Irish army ostensibly seeking Somerset’s arrest…

Act 4, scene 10

A starving Cade is killed in a fight with the Kentish gentleman Alexander Iden, in whose garden Cade looked for…

Act 5, scene 1

Buckingham seemingly placates York, and King Henry rewards Iden. York, seeing Somerset at liberty, announces his claim to the throne,…

Act 5, scene 2

York kills Lord Clifford, and York’s son Richard kills the Duke of Somerset. Defeated in battle, King Henry flees to…

Act 5, scene 3

Victorious, York and his followers set out for London.

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Scene 10
Enter Cade.

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
5 I so hungry that, if I might have a lease of my life
 for a thousand years, I could stay no longer.
 Wherefore, o’er a brick wall have 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
10 stomach this hot weather. And I think this word
 sallet was born to do me good; for many a time,
 but for a sallet, my brainpan had been cleft with a
 brown bill; and many a time, when I have been dry
 and bravely marching, it hath served me instead of
15 a quart pot to drink in; and now the word sallet
 must serve me to feed on.

Enter Iden and his Men.

IDEN 
 Lord, who would live turmoilèd in the court
 And may enjoy such quiet walks as these?
 This small inheritance my father left me
20 Contenteth me, and worth a monarchy.
 I seek not to wax great by others’ waning,
 Or gather wealth, I care not with what envy.
 Sufficeth that I have maintains my state
 And sends the poor well pleasèd from my gate.
CADE, aside 25Here’s the lord of the soil come to seize
 me for a stray, for entering his fee-simple without
 leave.—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

217
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 10

30 and swallow my sword like a great pin, ere thou
 and I part.He draws his sword.
IDEN 
 Why, rude companion, whatsoe’er thou be,
 I know thee not. Why, then, should I betray thee?
 Is ’t not enough to break into my garden
35 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?
CADE Brave thee? Ay, by the best blood that ever was
 broached, and beard thee too. Look on me well: I
40 have eat no meat these five days, yet come thou
 and thy five men, and if I do not leave you all as
 dead as a doornail, I pray God I may never eat
 grass more.
IDEN 
 Nay, it shall ne’er be said, while England stands,
45 That Alexander Iden, an esquire of Kent,
 Took odds to combat a poor famished man.
 Oppose thy steadfast gazing eyes to mine;
 See if thou canst outface me with thy looks.
 Set limb to limb, and thou art far the lesser;
50 Thy hand is but a finger to my fist,
 Thy leg a stick comparèd with this truncheon.
 My foot shall fight with all the strength thou hast;
 And if mine arm be heavèd in the air,
 Thy grave is digged already in the earth.
55 As for words, whose greatness answers words,
 Let this my sword report what speech forbears.
He draws his sword.
CADE By my valor, the most complete champion that
 ever I heard! Steel, if thou turn the edge or cut not
 out the burly-boned clown in chines of beef ere
60 thou sleep in thy sheath, I beseech God on my
 knees thou mayst be turned to hobnails.
(Here they fight, and Cade falls.)

219
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 10

 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’d defy them
65 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.
IDEN 
 Is ’t Cade that I have slain, that monstrous traitor?
 Sword, I will hallow thee for this thy deed,
70 And hang thee o’er my tomb when I am dead.
 Ne’er shall this blood be wipèd from thy point,
 But thou shalt wear it as a herald’s coat
 To emblaze the honor that thy master got.
CADE Iden, farewell, and be proud of thy victory. Tell
75 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 valor.
Dies.
IDEN 
 How much thou wrong’st me, heaven be my judge!
 Die, damnèd wretch, the curse of her that bare thee!
80 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
 Unto a dunghill, which shall be thy grave,
 And there cut off thy most ungracious head,
85 Which I will bear in triumph to the King,
 Leaving thy trunk for crows to feed upon.
He exits with his Men, dragging Cade’s body.