List iconHenry VI, Part 2List icon

Henry VI, Part 2
Act 4, scene 9

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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 9
Sound trumpets. Enter King Henry, Queen Margaret,
and Somerset on the terrace, aloft.


KING HENRY 
 Was ever king that joyed an earthly throne
 And could command no more content than I?
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ACT 4. SC. 9


 No sooner was I crept out of my cradle
 But I was made a king at nine months old.
5 Was never subject longed to be a king
 As I do long and wish to be a subject!

Enter Buckingham and old Clifford.

BUCKINGHAM 
 Health and glad tidings to your Majesty!
KING HENRY 
 Why, Buckingham, is the traitor Cade surprised,
 Or is he but retired to make him strong?

Enter below multitudes with halters about their necks.

CLIFFORD 
10 He is fled, my lord, and all his powers do yield
 And, humbly thus, with halters on their necks,
 Expect your Highness’ doom of life or death.
KING HENRY 
 Then, heaven, set ope thy everlasting gates
 To entertain my vows of thanks and praise!
15 Soldiers, this day have you redeemed your lives
 And showed how well you love your prince and
 country.
 Continue still in this so good a mind,
 And Henry, though he be infortunate,
20 Assure yourselves, will never be unkind.
 And so with thanks and pardon to you all,
 I do dismiss you to your several countries.
ALL God save the King! God save the King!
The multitudes exit.

Enter a Messenger.

MESSENGER 
 Please it your Grace to be advertisèd
25 The Duke of York is newly come from Ireland
 And, with a puissant and a mighty power

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ACT 4. SC. 9

 Of gallowglasses and stout kerns,
 Is marching hitherward in proud array,
 And still proclaimeth, as he comes along,
30 His arms are only to remove from thee
 The Duke of Somerset, whom he terms a traitor.
KING HENRY 
 Thus stands my state, ’twixt Cade and York
 distressed,
 Like to a ship that, having scaped a tempest,
35 Is straightway calmed and boarded with a pirate.
 But now is Cade driven back, his men dispersed,
 And now is York in arms to second him.
 I pray thee, Buckingham, go and meet him,
 And ask him what’s the reason of these arms.
40 Tell him I’ll send Duke Edmund to the Tower.—
 And, Somerset, we will commit thee thither
 Until his army be dismissed from him.
SOMERSET My lord,
 I’ll yield myself to prison willingly,
45 Or unto death, to do my country good.
KING HENRY, to Buckingham 
 In any case, be not too rough in terms,
 For he is fierce and cannot brook hard language.
BUCKINGHAM 
 I will, my lord, and doubt not so to deal
 As all things shall redound unto your good.
KING HENRY 
50 Come, wife, let’s in, and learn to govern better,
 For yet may England curse my wretched reign.
Flourish. They exit.