List iconHenry VI, Part 2List icon

Henry VI, Part 2
Act 4, 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 King Henry, with a supplication, and
Queen Margaret with Suffolk’s head, the Duke
of Buckingham, and the Lord Saye.


QUEEN MARGARET, aside 
 Oft have I heard that grief softens the mind
 And makes it fearful and degenerate.
 Think therefore on revenge, and cease to weep.
 But who can cease to weep and look on this?
5 Here may his head lie on my throbbing breast,
 But where’s the body that I should embrace?
BUCKINGHAM, to King Henry 
 What answer makes your Grace to the rebels’
 supplication?
KING HENRY 
 I’ll send some holy bishop to entreat,
10 For God forbid so many simple souls
 Should perish by the sword! And I myself,
 Rather than bloody war shall cut them short,
 Will parley with Jack Cade, their general.
 But stay, I’ll read it over once again.He reads.
QUEEN MARGARET, aside 
15 Ah, barbarous villains! Hath this lovely face
 Ruled, like a wandering planet, over me,
 And could it not enforce them to relent
 That were unworthy to behold the same?
KING HENRY 
 Lord Saye, Jack Cade hath sworn to have thy head.
SAYE 
20 Ay, but I hope your Highness shall have his.
KING HENRY How now, madam?
 Still lamenting and mourning for Suffolk’s death?
 I fear me, love, if that I had been dead,
 Thou wouldst not have mourned so much for me.

191
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 4

QUEEN MARGARET 
25 No, my love, I should not mourn, but die for thee.

Enter a Messenger.

KING HENRY 
 How now, what news? Why com’st thou in such
 haste?
MESSENGER 
 The rebels are in Southwark. Fly, my lord!
 Jack Cade proclaims himself Lord Mortimer,
30 Descended from the Duke of Clarence’ house,
 And calls your Grace usurper, openly,
 And vows to crown himself in Westminster.
 His army is a ragged multitude
 Of hinds and peasants, rude and merciless.
35 Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother’s death
 Hath given them heart and courage to proceed.
 All scholars, lawyers, courtiers, gentlemen
 They call false caterpillars and intend their death.
KING HENRY 
 O, graceless men, they know not what they do!
BUCKINGHAM 
40 My gracious lord, retire to Killingworth
 Until a power be raised to put them down.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Ah, were the Duke of Suffolk now alive,
 These Kentish rebels would be soon appeased!
KING HENRY Lord Saye, the traitors hateth thee;
45 Therefore away with us to Killingworth.
SAYE 
 So might your Grace’s person be in danger.
 The sight of me is odious in their eyes;
 And therefore in this city will I stay
 And live alone as secret as I may.

Enter another Messenger.


193
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 5

SECOND MESSENGER 
50 Jack Cade hath gotten London Bridge.
 The citizens fly and forsake their houses.
 The rascal people, thirsting after prey,
 Join with the traitor, and they jointly swear
 To spoil the city and your royal court.
BUCKINGHAM 
55 Then linger not, my lord. Away! Take horse!
KING HENRY 
 Come, Margaret. God, our hope, will succor us.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 My hope is gone, now Suffolk is deceased.
KING HENRY, to Saye 
 Farewell, my lord. Trust not the Kentish rebels.
BUCKINGHAM 
 Trust nobody, for fear you be betrayed.
SAYE 
60 The trust I have is in mine innocence,
 And therefore am I bold and resolute.
They exit.