List iconHenry VI, Part 2List icon

Henry VI, Part 2
Act 2, scene 3

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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 3
Sound trumpets. Enter King Henry and State
(Queen Margaret, Gloucester, York, Salisbury, Suffolk,
and Others) with Guard, to banish the Duchess of
Gloucester, who is accompanied by Margery Jourdain,
Southwell, Hume, and Bolingbroke, all guarded.


KING HENRY 
 Stand forth, Dame Eleanor Cobham, Gloucester’s
 wife.
 In sight of God and us, your guilt is great.
 Receive the sentence of the law for sins
5 Such as by God’s book are adjudged to death.
To Jourdain, Southwell, Hume, and Bolingbroke.
 You four, from hence to prison back again;
 From thence unto the place of execution:
 The witch in Smithfield shall be burnt to ashes,
 And you three shall be strangled on the gallows.

83
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 3

10 To Duchess You, madam, for you are more nobly
 born,
 Despoilèd of your honor in your life,
 Shall, after three days’ open penance done,
 Live in your country here in banishment
15 With Sir John Stanley in the Isle of Man.
DUCHESS 
 Welcome is banishment. Welcome were my death.
GLOUCESTER 
 Eleanor, the law, thou seest, hath judged thee.
 I cannot justify whom the law condemns.
Duchess and the other prisoners exit under guard.
 Mine eyes are full of tears, my heart of grief.
20 Ah, Humphrey, this dishonor in thine age
 Will bring thy head with sorrow to the ground.—
 I beseech your Majesty give me leave to go;
 Sorrow would solace, and mine age would ease.
KING HENRY 
 Stay, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester. Ere thou go,
25 Give up thy staff. Henry will to himself
 Protector be; and God shall be my hope,
 My stay, my guide, and lantern to my feet.
 And go in peace, Humphrey, no less beloved
 Than when thou wert Protector to thy king.
QUEEN MARGARET 
30 I see no reason why a king of years
 Should be to be protected like a child.
 God and King Henry govern England’s realm!—
 Give up your staff, sir, and the King his realm.
GLOUCESTER 
 My staff?—Here, noble Henry, is my staff.
He puts down his staff before Henry.
35 As willingly do I the same resign
 As e’er thy father Henry made it mine;
 And even as willingly at thy feet I leave it
 As others would ambitiously receive it.

85
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 3

 Farewell, good king. When I am dead and gone,
40 May honorable peace attend thy throne.
Gloucester exits.
Henry picks up the staff.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Why, now is Henry king and Margaret queen,
 And Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, scarce himself,
 That bears so shrewd a maim. Two pulls at once:
 His lady banished and a limb lopped off.
45 This staff of honor raught, there let it stand
 Where it best fits to be, in Henry’s hand.
SUFFOLK 
 Thus droops this lofty pine and hangs his sprays;
 Thus Eleanor’s pride dies in her youngest days.
YORK 
 Lords, let him go.—Please it your Majesty,
50 This is the day appointed for the combat,
 And ready are the appellant and defendant—
 The armorer and his man—to enter the lists,
 So please your Highness to behold the fight.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Ay, good my lord, for purposely therefor
55 Left I the court to see this quarrel tried.
KING HENRY 
 I’ God’s name, see the lists and all things fit.
 Here let them end it, and God defend the right!
YORK 
 I never saw a fellow worse bestead
 Or more afraid to fight than is the appellant,
60 The servant of this armorer, my lords.

Enter at one door the Armorer Horner and his
Neighbors, drinking to him so much that he is drunk;
and he enters with a Drum before him and his staff with
a sandbag fastened to it; and at the other door his man
Peter, with a Drum and sandbag, and Prentices
drinking to him.



87
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 3

FIRST NEIGHBOR Here, neighbor Horner, I drink to you
 in a cup of sack; and fear not, neighbor, you shall
 do well enough.
SECOND NEIGHBOR And here, neighbor, here’s a cup of
65 charneco.
THIRD NEIGHBOR And here’s a pot of good double beer,
 neighbor. Drink, and fear not your man.
HORNER Let it come, i’ faith, and I’ll pledge you all.
 And a fig for Peter!They drink.
FIRST PRENTICE 70Here, Peter, I drink to thee, and be not
 afraid.
SECOND PRENTICE Be merry, Peter, and fear not thy
 master. Fight for credit of the prentices.
PETER I thank you all. Drink, and pray for me, I pray
75 you, for I think I have taken my last draft in this
 world. Here, Robin, an if I die, I give thee my
 apron.—And, Will, thou shalt have my hammer.—
 And here, Tom, take all the money that I have. He
 distributes his possessions. 
O Lord, bless me, I
80 pray God, for I am never able to deal with my
 master. He hath learnt so much fence already.
SALISBURY Come, leave your drinking, and fall to
 blows. Sirrah, what’s thy name?
PETER Peter, forsooth.
SALISBURY 85Peter? What more?
PETER Thump.
SALISBURY Thump? Then see thou thump thy master
 well.
HORNER Masters, I am come hither, as it were, upon
90 my man’s instigation, to prove him a knave and
 myself an honest man; and touching the Duke of
 York, I will take my death I never meant him any
 ill, nor the King, nor the Queen.—And therefore,
 Peter, have at thee with a downright blow!
YORK 95Dispatch. This knave’s tongue begins to double.
 Sound, trumpets. Alarum to the combatants!

89
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 4

Trumpet sounds.
They fight, and Peter strikes him down.
HORNER Hold, Peter, hold! I confess, I confess treason.
He dies.
YORK Take away his weapon.—Fellow, thank God and
 the good wine in thy master’s way.
PETER 100O God, have I overcome mine enemies in this
 presence? O Peter, thou hast prevailed in right!
KING HENRY 
 Go, take hence that traitor from our sight;
 For by his death we do perceive his guilt.
 And God in justice hath revealed to us
105 The truth and innocence of this poor fellow,
 Which he had thought to have murdered
 wrongfully.—
 Come, fellow, follow us for thy reward.
Sound a flourish. They exit, bearing Horner’s body.