List iconHenry VI, Part 2List icon

Henry VI, Part 2
Act 1, scene 4

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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 4
Enter the Witch Margery Jourdain, the two Priests
Hume and Southwell, and Bolingbroke, a conjurer.


HUME Come, my masters. The Duchess, I tell you,
 expects performance of your promises.
BOLINGBROKE Master Hume, we are therefore provided.
 Will her Ladyship behold and hear our
5 exorcisms?
HUME Ay, what else? Fear you not her courage.
BOLINGBROKE I have heard her reported to be a
 woman of an invincible spirit. But it shall be convenient,
 Master Hume, that you be by her aloft
10 while we be busy below; and so, I pray you, go, in
 God’s name, and leave us.Hume exits.
 Mother Jourdain, be you prostrate and grovel on
 the earth. She lies face downward. John Southwell,
 read you; and let us to our work.

51
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 4

Enter Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester,
with Hume, aloft.


DUCHESS 15Well said, my masters, and welcome all. To
 this gear, the sooner the better.
BOLINGBROKE 
 Patience, good lady. Wizards know their times.
 Deep night, dark night, the silent of the night,
 The time of night when Troy was set on fire,
20 The time when screech owls cry and bandogs howl,
 And spirits walk, and ghosts break up their graves—
 That time best fits the work we have in hand.
 Madam, sit you, and fear not. Whom we raise
 We will make fast within a hallowed verge.

Here they do the ceremonies belonging, and
make the circle. Bolingbroke or Southwell reads
“Conjuro te, etc.”
 It thunders and lightens terribly;
then the Spirit riseth.


SPIRIT 25Adsum.
JOURDAIN Asmath,
 By the eternal God, whose name and power
 Thou tremblest at, answer that I shall ask,
 For till thou speak, thou shalt not pass from hence.
SPIRIT 
30 Ask what thou wilt. That I had said and done!
BOLINGBROKE, reading from a paper, while Southwell
 writes
 
 First of the King: What shall of him become?
SPIRIT 
 The duke yet lives that Henry shall depose,
 But him outlive and die a violent death.
BOLINGBROKE, reads 
 What fates await the Duke of Suffolk?
SPIRIT 
35 By water shall he die and take his end.
BOLINGBROKE reads 
 What shall befall the Duke of Somerset?

53
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 4

SPIRIT Let him shun castles.
 Safer shall he be upon the sandy plains
 Than where castles mounted stand.
40 Have done, for more I hardly can endure.
BOLINGBROKE 
 Descend to darkness and the burning lake!
 False fiend, avoid!
Thunder and lightning. Spirit exits, descending.

Enter the Duke of York and the Duke of Buckingham
with their Guard and Sir Humphrey Stafford, and
break in.


YORK 
 Lay hands upon these traitors and their trash.
The Guard arrest Margery Jourdain and her
accomplices and seize their papers.

 To Jourdain. Beldam, I think we watched you at an
45 inch.
 To the Duchess, aloft. What, madam, are you
 there? The King and commonweal
 Are deeply indebted for this piece of pains.
 My Lord Protector will, I doubt it not,
50 See you well guerdoned for these good deserts.
DUCHESS 
 Not half so bad as thine to England’s king,
 Injurious duke, that threatest where’s no cause.
BUCKINGHAM 
 True, madam, none at all. What call you this?
He holds up the papers seized.
 Away with them! Let them be clapped up close
55 And kept asunder.—You, madam, shall with us.—
 Stafford, take her to thee.Stafford exits.
 We’ll see your trinkets here all forthcoming.
 All away!Jourdain, Southwell, and Bolingbroke
exit under guard, below; Duchess and Hume
exit, under guard, aloft.


55
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 4

YORK 
 Lord Buckingham, methinks you watched her well.
60 A pretty plot, well chosen to build upon!
 Now, pray, my lord, let’s see the devil’s writ.
Buckingham hands him the papers.
 What have we here?
 (Reads.) The duke yet lives that Henry shall depose,
 But him outlive and die a violent death.

65 Why, this is just Aio te, Aeacida,
 Romanos vincere posse
. Well, to the rest:
 (Reads.) Tell me what fate awaits the Duke of
 Suffolk?
 By water shall he die and take his end.
70 What shall betide the Duke of Somerset?
 Let him shun castles;
 Safer shall he be upon the sandy plains
 Than where castles mounted stand.

 Come, come, my lord, these oracles
75 Are hardly attained and hardly understood.
 The King is now in progress towards Saint Albans;
 With him the husband of this lovely lady.
 Thither goes these news as fast as horse can carry
 them—
80 A sorry breakfast for my Lord Protector.
BUCKINGHAM 
 Your Grace shall give me leave, my lord of York,
 To be the post, in hope of his reward.
YORK At your pleasure, my good lord.
Buckingham exits.
 Who’s within there, ho!

Enter a Servingman.

85 Invite my lords of Salisbury and Warwick
 To sup with me tomorrow night. Away!
They exit.