List iconHenry VI, Part 2List icon

Henry VI, Part 2
Act 4, scene 8

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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 8
Alarum, and retreat. Enter again Cade and
all his rabblement.


CADE Up Fish Street! Down Saint Magnus’ Corner!
 Kill and knock down! Throw them into Thames!
Sound a parley.
 What noise is this I hear? Dare any be so bold to
 sound retreat or parley when I command them
5 kill?

Enter Buckingham and old Clifford with Attendants.

BUCKINGHAM 
 Ay, here they be that dare and will disturb thee.
 Know, Cade, we come ambassadors from the King
 Unto the Commons, whom thou hast misled,
 And here pronounce free pardon to them all
10 That will forsake thee and go home in peace.
CLIFFORD 
 What say you, countrymen? Will you relent
 And yield to mercy whil’st ’tis offered you,
 Or let a rabble lead you to your deaths?

207
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 8

 Who loves the King and will embrace his pardon,
15 Fling up his cap and say “God save his Majesty!”
 Who hateth him and honors not his father,
 Henry the Fifth, that made all France to quake,
 Shake he his weapon at us and pass by.
ALL God save the King! God save the King!
They fling their caps in the air.
CADE 20What, Buckingham and Clifford, are you so
 brave?—And, you base peasants, do you believe
 him? Will you needs be hanged with your pardons
 about your necks? Hath my sword therefore broke
 through London gates, that you should leave me at
25 the White Hart in Southwark? I thought you
 would never have given out these arms till you had
 recovered your ancient freedom. But you are all
 recreants and dastards, and delight to live in slavery
 to the nobility. Let them break your backs with
30 burdens, take your houses over your heads, ravish
 your wives and daughters before your faces. For
 me, I will make shift for one, and so God’s curse
 light upon you all!
ALL We’ll follow Cade! We’ll follow Cade!
CLIFFORD 35Is Cade the son of Henry the Fifth,
 That thus you do exclaim you’ll go with him?
 Will he conduct you through the heart of France
 And make the meanest of you earls and dukes?
 Alas, he hath no home, no place to fly to,
40 Nor knows he how to live but by the spoil,
 Unless by robbing of your friends and us.
 Were ’t not a shame that, whilst you live at jar,
 The fearful French, whom you late vanquishèd,
 Should make a start o’er seas and vanquish you?
45 Methinks already in this civil broil
 I see them lording it in London streets,
 Crying “Villiago!” unto all they meet.
 Better ten thousand baseborn Cades miscarry

209
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 9

 Than you should stoop unto a Frenchman’s mercy.
50 To France, to France, and get what you have lost!
 Spare England, for it is your native coast.
 Henry hath money; you are strong and manly.
 God on our side, doubt not of victory.
ALL 
 À Clifford! À Clifford! We’ll follow the King and
55 Clifford!
CADE, aside Was ever feather so lightly blown to and
 fro as this multitude? The name of Henry the Fifth
 hales them to an hundred mischiefs and makes
 them leave me desolate. I see them lay their heads
60 together to surprise me. My sword make way for
 me, for here is no staying!—In despite of the devils
 and hell, have through the very middest of you!
 And heavens and honor be witness that no want of
 resolution in me, but only my followers’ base and
65 ignominious treasons, makes me betake me to my
 heels.He exits, running.
BUCKINGHAM 
 What, is he fled? Go, some, and follow him;
 And he that brings his head unto the King
 Shall have a thousand crowns for his reward.
Some of them exit.
70 Follow me, soldiers. We’ll devise a means
 To reconcile you all unto the King.
All exit.