List iconHenry VI, Part 2List icon

Henry VI, Part 2
Act 1, scene 1

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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 1
Flourish of trumpets, then hautboys.
Enter King Henry, Duke Humphrey of Gloucester,
Salisbury, Warwick, and Cardinal Beaufort, on the one
side; Queen Margaret, Suffolk, York, Somerset, and
Buckingham, on the other.


SUFFOLK 
 As by your high imperial Majesty
 I had in charge at my depart for France,
 As procurator to your Excellence,
 To marry Princess Margaret for your Grace,
5 So, in the famous ancient city Tours,
 In presence of the Kings of France and Sicil,
 The Dukes of Orleance, Calaber, Britaigne, and
 Alanson,
 Seven earls, twelve barons, and twenty reverend
10 bishops,
 I have performed my task and was espoused;
He kneels.
 And humbly now upon my bended knee,
 In sight of England and her lordly peers,
 Deliver up my title in the Queen
15 To your most gracious hands, that are the substance
 Of that great shadow I did represent:
 The happiest gift that ever marquess gave,
 The fairest queen that ever king received.
7

9
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 1

KING HENRY 
 Suffolk, arise.—Welcome, Queen Margaret.
Suffolk rises.
20 I can express no kinder sign of love
 Than this kind kiss.He kisses her.
 O Lord, that lends me life,
 Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!
 For Thou hast given me in this beauteous face
25 A world of earthly blessings to my soul,
 If sympathy of love unite our thoughts.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Great king of England and my gracious lord,
 The mutual conference that my mind hath had
 By day, by night, waking and in my dreams,
30 In courtly company or at my beads,
 With you, mine alderliefest sovereign,
 Makes me the bolder to salute my king
 With ruder terms, such as my wit affords
 And overjoy of heart doth minister.
KING HENRY 
35 Her sight did ravish, but her grace in speech,
 Her words yclad with wisdom’s majesty,
 Makes me from wond’ring fall to weeping joys,
 Such is the fullness of my heart’s content.
 Lords, with one cheerful voice welcome my love.
ALL kneel. 
40 Long live Queen Margaret, England’s happiness!
QUEEN MARGARET We thank you all.
Flourish. All rise.
SUFFOLK, to Gloucester 
 My Lord Protector, so it please your Grace,
 Here are the articles of contracted peace
 Between our sovereign and the French king Charles,
45 For eighteen months concluded by consent.
He hands Gloucester a paper.

11
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 1

GLOUCESTER (reads) Imprimis, it is agreed between the
 French king Charles and William de la Pole, Marquess
 of Suffolk, ambassador for Henry, King of England,
 that the said Henry shall espouse the Lady
50 Margaret, daughter unto Reignier, King of Naples,
 Sicilia, and Jerusalem, and crown her Queen of England
 ere the thirtieth of May next ensuing. Item,
 that the duchy of Anjou and the county of Maine
 shall be released and delivered to the King her
55 father—
He drops the paper.
KING HENRY 
 Uncle, how now?
GLOUCESTER  Pardon me, gracious lord.
 Some sudden qualm hath struck me at the heart
 And dimmed mine eyes, that I can read no further.
KING HENRY 
60 Uncle of Winchester, I pray read on.
CARDINAL picks up the paper and reads Item, it is further
 agreed between them that the duchies of
 Anjou and Maine shall be released and delivered to
 the King her father, and she sent over of the King of
65 England’s own proper cost and charges, without
 having any dowry.

KING HENRY 
 They please us well.—Lord Marquess, kneel down.
Suffolk kneels.
 We here create thee the first Duke of Suffolk
 And girt thee with the sword. Suffolk rises. Cousin
70 of York,
 We here discharge your Grace from being regent
 I’ th’ parts of France till term of eighteen months
 Be full expired.—Thanks, Uncle Winchester,
 Gloucester, York, Buckingham, Somerset,
75 Salisbury, and Warwick;
 We thank you all for this great favor done
 In entertainment to my princely queen.

13
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 1

 Come, let us in, and with all speed provide
 To see her coronation be performed.
King, Queen, and Suffolk exit.
The rest remain.

GLOUCESTER 
80 Brave peers of England, pillars of the state,
 To you Duke Humphrey must unload his grief,
 Your grief, the common grief of all the land.
 What, did my brother Henry spend his youth,
 His valor, coin, and people in the wars?
85 Did he so often lodge in open field,
 In winter’s cold and summer’s parching heat,
 To conquer France, his true inheritance?
 And did my brother Bedford toil his wits
 To keep by policy what Henry got?
90 Have you yourselves, Somerset, Buckingham,
 Brave York, Salisbury, and victorious Warwick,
 Received deep scars in France and Normandy?
 Or hath mine uncle Beaufort and myself,
 With all the learnèd council of the realm,
95 Studied so long, sat in the Council House,
 Early and late, debating to and fro
 How France and Frenchmen might be kept in awe,
 And had his Highness in his infancy
 Crowned in Paris in despite of foes?
100 And shall these labors and these honors die?
 Shall Henry’s conquest, Bedford’s vigilance,
 Your deeds of war, and all our counsel die?
 O peers of England, shameful is this league,
 Fatal this marriage, cancelling your fame,
105 Blotting your names from books of memory,
 Razing the characters of your renown,
 Defacing monuments of conquered France,
 Undoing all, as all had never been!
CARDINAL 
 Nephew, what means this passionate discourse,

15
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 1

110 This peroration with such circumstance?
 For France, ’tis ours, and we will keep it still.
GLOUCESTER 
 Ay, uncle, we will keep it if we can,
 But now it is impossible we should.
 Suffolk, the new-made duke that rules the roast,
115 Hath given the duchy of Anjou and Maine
 Unto the poor King Reignier, whose large style
 Agrees not with the leanness of his purse.
SALISBURY 
 Now, by the death of Him that died for all,
 These counties were the keys of Normandy.
120 But wherefore weeps Warwick, my valiant son?
WARWICK 
 For grief that they are past recovery;
 For, were there hope to conquer them again,
 My sword should shed hot blood, mine eyes no
 tears.
125 Anjou and Maine? Myself did win them both!
 Those provinces these arms of mine did conquer.
 And are the cities that I got with wounds
 Delivered up again with peaceful words?
 Mort Dieu!
YORK 
130 For Suffolk’s duke, may he be suffocate
 That dims the honor of this warlike isle!
 France should have torn and rent my very heart
 Before I would have yielded to this league.
 I never read but England’s kings have had
135 Large sums of gold and dowries with their wives;
 And our King Henry gives away his own
 To match with her that brings no vantages.
GLOUCESTER 
 A proper jest, and never heard before,
 That Suffolk should demand a whole fifteenth
140 For costs and charges in transporting her!

17
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 1

 She should have stayed in France and starved in
 France
 Before—
CARDINAL 
 My lord of Gloucester, now you grow too hot.
145 It was the pleasure of my lord the King.
GLOUCESTER 
 My lord of Winchester, I know your mind.
 ’Tis not my speeches that you do mislike,
 But ’tis my presence that doth trouble you.
 Rancor will out. Proud prelate, in thy face
150 I see thy fury. If I longer stay,
 We shall begin our ancient bickerings.—
 Lordings, farewell; and say, when I am gone,
 I prophesied France will be lost ere long.
Gloucester exits.
CARDINAL 
 So, there goes our Protector in a rage.
155 ’Tis known to you he is mine enemy,
 Nay, more, an enemy unto you all,
 And no great friend, I fear me, to the King.
 Consider, lords, he is the next of blood
 And heir apparent to the English crown.
160 Had Henry got an empire by his marriage,
 And all the wealthy kingdoms of the West,
 There’s reason he should be displeased at it.
 Look to it, lords. Let not his smoothing words
 Bewitch your hearts; be wise and circumspect.
165 What though the common people favor him,
 Calling him “Humphrey, the good Duke of
 Gloucester,”
 Clapping their hands and crying with loud voice
 “Jesu maintain your royal Excellence!”
170 With “God preserve the good Duke Humphrey!”
 I fear me, lords, for all this flattering gloss,
 He will be found a dangerous Protector.

19
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 1

BUCKINGHAM 
 Why should he, then, protect our sovereign,
 He being of age to govern of himself?—
175 Cousin of Somerset, join you with me,
 And all together, with the Duke of Suffolk,
 We’ll quickly hoise Duke Humphrey from his seat.
CARDINAL 
 This weighty business will not brook delay.
 I’ll to the Duke of Suffolk presently.Cardinal exits.
SOMERSET 
180 Cousin of Buckingham, though Humphrey’s pride
 And greatness of his place be grief to us,
 Yet let us watch the haughty cardinal.
 His insolence is more intolerable
 Than all the princes’ in the land besides.
185 If Gloucester be displaced, he’ll be Protector.
BUCKINGHAM 
 Or thou or I, Somerset, will be Protector,
 Despite Duke Humphrey or the Cardinal.
Buckingham and Somerset exit.
SALISBURY 
 Pride went before; Ambition follows him.
 While these do labor for their own preferment,
190 Behooves it us to labor for the realm.
 I never saw but Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester,
 Did bear him like a noble gentleman.
 Oft have I seen the haughty cardinal,
 More like a soldier than a man o’ th’ Church,
195 As stout and proud as he were lord of all,
 Swear like a ruffian and demean himself
 Unlike the ruler of a commonweal.—
 Warwick, my son, the comfort of my age,
 Thy deeds, thy plainness, and thy housekeeping
200 Hath won the greatest favor of the Commons,
 Excepting none but good Duke Humphrey.—
 And, brother York, thy acts in Ireland,

21
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 1

 In bringing them to civil discipline,
 Thy late exploits done in the heart of France,
205 When thou wert regent for our sovereign,
 Have made thee feared and honored of the people.
 Join we together for the public good
 In what we can to bridle and suppress
 The pride of Suffolk and the Cardinal,
210 With Somerset’s and Buckingham’s ambition;
 And, as we may, cherish Duke Humphrey’s deeds
 While they do tend the profit of the land.
WARWICK 
 So God help Warwick, as he loves the land
 And common profit of his country!
YORK 
215 And so says York—aside for he hath greatest
 cause.
SALISBURY 
 Then let’s make haste away and look unto the main.
WARWICK 
 Unto the main? O father, Maine is lost!
 That Maine which by main force Warwick did win
220 And would have kept so long as breath did last!
 Main chance, father, you meant; but I meant Maine,
 Which I will win from France or else be slain.
Warwick and Salisbury exit.
York remains.

YORK 
 Anjou and Maine are given to the French;
 Paris is lost; the state of Normandy
225 Stands on a tickle point now they are gone.
 Suffolk concluded on the articles,
 The peers agreed, and Henry was well pleased
 To change two dukedoms for a duke’s fair daughter.
 I cannot blame them all. What is ’t to them?
230 ’Tis thine they give away, and not their own.
 Pirates may make cheap pennyworths of their
 pillage,

23
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 1

 And purchase friends, and give to courtesans,
 Still reveling like lords till all be gone;
235 Whileas the silly owner of the goods
 Weeps over them, and wrings his hapless hands,
 And shakes his head, and trembling stands aloof,
 While all is shared and all is borne away,
 Ready to starve, and dare not touch his own.
240 So York must sit and fret and bite his tongue
 While his own lands are bargained for and sold.
 Methinks the realms of England, France, and
 Ireland
 Bear that proportion to my flesh and blood
245 As did the fatal brand Althaea burnt
 Unto the Prince’s heart of Calydon.
 Anjou and Maine both given unto the French!
 Cold news for me, for I had hope of France,
 Even as I have of fertile England’s soil.
250 A day will come when York shall claim his own;
 And therefore I will take the Nevilles’ parts
 And make a show of love to proud Duke Humphrey,
 And, when I spy advantage, claim the crown,
 For that’s the golden mark I seek to hit.
255 Nor shall proud Lancaster usurp my right,
 Nor hold the scepter in his childish fist,
 Nor wear the diadem upon his head,
 Whose churchlike humors fits not for a crown.
 Then, York, be still awhile till time do serve.
260 Watch thou and wake, when others be asleep,
 To pry into the secrets of the state
 Till Henry, surfeiting in joys of love
 With his new bride and England’s dear-bought
 queen,
265 And Humphrey with the peers be fall’n at jars.
 Then will I raise aloft the milk-white rose,
 With whose sweet smell the air shall be perfumed,
 And in my standard bear the arms of York,
 To grapple with the house of Lancaster;

25
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 2

270 And force perforce I’ll make him yield the crown,
 Whose bookish rule hath pulled fair England down.
York exits.