List iconHenry VI, Part 2List icon

Henry VI, Part 2
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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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ACT 1
Scene 1
Flourish of trumpets, then hautboys.
Enter King Henry, Duke Humphrey of Gloucester,
Salisbury, Warwick, and Cardinal Beaufort, on the one
side; Queen Margaret, Suffolk, York, Somerset, and
Buckingham, on the other.


SUFFOLK 
 As by your high imperial Majesty
 I had in charge at my depart for France,
 As procurator to your Excellence,
 To marry Princess Margaret for your Grace,
5 So, in the famous ancient city Tours,
 In presence of the Kings of France and Sicil,
 The Dukes of Orleance, Calaber, Britaigne, and
 Alanson,
 Seven earls, twelve barons, and twenty reverend
10 bishops,
 I have performed my task and was espoused;
He kneels.
 And humbly now upon my bended knee,
 In sight of England and her lordly peers,
 Deliver up my title in the Queen
15 To your most gracious hands, that are the substance
 Of that great shadow I did represent:
 The happiest gift that ever marquess gave,
 The fairest queen that ever king received.
7

9
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 1

KING HENRY 
 Suffolk, arise.—Welcome, Queen Margaret.
Suffolk rises.
20 I can express no kinder sign of love
 Than this kind kiss.He kisses her.
 O Lord, that lends me life,
 Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!
 For Thou hast given me in this beauteous face
25 A world of earthly blessings to my soul,
 If sympathy of love unite our thoughts.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Great king of England and my gracious lord,
 The mutual conference that my mind hath had
 By day, by night, waking and in my dreams,
30 In courtly company or at my beads,
 With you, mine alderliefest sovereign,
 Makes me the bolder to salute my king
 With ruder terms, such as my wit affords
 And overjoy of heart doth minister.
KING HENRY 
35 Her sight did ravish, but her grace in speech,
 Her words yclad with wisdom’s majesty,
 Makes me from wond’ring fall to weeping joys,
 Such is the fullness of my heart’s content.
 Lords, with one cheerful voice welcome my love.
ALL kneel. 
40 Long live Queen Margaret, England’s happiness!
QUEEN MARGARET We thank you all.
Flourish. All rise.
SUFFOLK, to Gloucester 
 My Lord Protector, so it please your Grace,
 Here are the articles of contracted peace
 Between our sovereign and the French king Charles,
45 For eighteen months concluded by consent.
He hands Gloucester a paper.

11
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 1

GLOUCESTER (reads) Imprimis, it is agreed between the
 French king Charles and William de la Pole, Marquess
 of Suffolk, ambassador for Henry, King of England,
 that the said Henry shall espouse the Lady
50 Margaret, daughter unto Reignier, King of Naples,
 Sicilia, and Jerusalem, and crown her Queen of England
 ere the thirtieth of May next ensuing. Item,
 that the duchy of Anjou and the county of Maine
 shall be released and delivered to the King her
55 father—
He drops the paper.
KING HENRY 
 Uncle, how now?
GLOUCESTER  Pardon me, gracious lord.
 Some sudden qualm hath struck me at the heart
 And dimmed mine eyes, that I can read no further.
KING HENRY 
60 Uncle of Winchester, I pray read on.
CARDINAL picks up the paper and reads Item, it is further
 agreed between them that the duchies of
 Anjou and Maine shall be released and delivered to
 the King her father, and she sent over of the King of
65 England’s own proper cost and charges, without
 having any dowry.

KING HENRY 
 They please us well.—Lord Marquess, kneel down.
Suffolk kneels.
 We here create thee the first Duke of Suffolk
 And girt thee with the sword. Suffolk rises. Cousin
70 of York,
 We here discharge your Grace from being regent
 I’ th’ parts of France till term of eighteen months
 Be full expired.—Thanks, Uncle Winchester,
 Gloucester, York, Buckingham, Somerset,
75 Salisbury, and Warwick;
 We thank you all for this great favor done
 In entertainment to my princely queen.

13
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 1

 Come, let us in, and with all speed provide
 To see her coronation be performed.
King, Queen, and Suffolk exit.
The rest remain.

GLOUCESTER 
80 Brave peers of England, pillars of the state,
 To you Duke Humphrey must unload his grief,
 Your grief, the common grief of all the land.
 What, did my brother Henry spend his youth,
 His valor, coin, and people in the wars?
85 Did he so often lodge in open field,
 In winter’s cold and summer’s parching heat,
 To conquer France, his true inheritance?
 And did my brother Bedford toil his wits
 To keep by policy what Henry got?
90 Have you yourselves, Somerset, Buckingham,
 Brave York, Salisbury, and victorious Warwick,
 Received deep scars in France and Normandy?
 Or hath mine uncle Beaufort and myself,
 With all the learnèd council of the realm,
95 Studied so long, sat in the Council House,
 Early and late, debating to and fro
 How France and Frenchmen might be kept in awe,
 And had his Highness in his infancy
 Crowned in Paris in despite of foes?
100 And shall these labors and these honors die?
 Shall Henry’s conquest, Bedford’s vigilance,
 Your deeds of war, and all our counsel die?
 O peers of England, shameful is this league,
 Fatal this marriage, cancelling your fame,
105 Blotting your names from books of memory,
 Razing the characters of your renown,
 Defacing monuments of conquered France,
 Undoing all, as all had never been!
CARDINAL 
 Nephew, what means this passionate discourse,

15
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 1

110 This peroration with such circumstance?
 For France, ’tis ours, and we will keep it still.
GLOUCESTER 
 Ay, uncle, we will keep it if we can,
 But now it is impossible we should.
 Suffolk, the new-made duke that rules the roast,
115 Hath given the duchy of Anjou and Maine
 Unto the poor King Reignier, whose large style
 Agrees not with the leanness of his purse.
SALISBURY 
 Now, by the death of Him that died for all,
 These counties were the keys of Normandy.
120 But wherefore weeps Warwick, my valiant son?
WARWICK 
 For grief that they are past recovery;
 For, were there hope to conquer them again,
 My sword should shed hot blood, mine eyes no
 tears.
125 Anjou and Maine? Myself did win them both!
 Those provinces these arms of mine did conquer.
 And are the cities that I got with wounds
 Delivered up again with peaceful words?
 Mort Dieu!
YORK 
130 For Suffolk’s duke, may he be suffocate
 That dims the honor of this warlike isle!
 France should have torn and rent my very heart
 Before I would have yielded to this league.
 I never read but England’s kings have had
135 Large sums of gold and dowries with their wives;
 And our King Henry gives away his own
 To match with her that brings no vantages.
GLOUCESTER 
 A proper jest, and never heard before,
 That Suffolk should demand a whole fifteenth
140 For costs and charges in transporting her!

17
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 1

 She should have stayed in France and starved in
 France
 Before—
CARDINAL 
 My lord of Gloucester, now you grow too hot.
145 It was the pleasure of my lord the King.
GLOUCESTER 
 My lord of Winchester, I know your mind.
 ’Tis not my speeches that you do mislike,
 But ’tis my presence that doth trouble you.
 Rancor will out. Proud prelate, in thy face
150 I see thy fury. If I longer stay,
 We shall begin our ancient bickerings.—
 Lordings, farewell; and say, when I am gone,
 I prophesied France will be lost ere long.
Gloucester exits.
CARDINAL 
 So, there goes our Protector in a rage.
155 ’Tis known to you he is mine enemy,
 Nay, more, an enemy unto you all,
 And no great friend, I fear me, to the King.
 Consider, lords, he is the next of blood
 And heir apparent to the English crown.
160 Had Henry got an empire by his marriage,
 And all the wealthy kingdoms of the West,
 There’s reason he should be displeased at it.
 Look to it, lords. Let not his smoothing words
 Bewitch your hearts; be wise and circumspect.
165 What though the common people favor him,
 Calling him “Humphrey, the good Duke of
 Gloucester,”
 Clapping their hands and crying with loud voice
 “Jesu maintain your royal Excellence!”
170 With “God preserve the good Duke Humphrey!”
 I fear me, lords, for all this flattering gloss,
 He will be found a dangerous Protector.

19
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 1

BUCKINGHAM 
 Why should he, then, protect our sovereign,
 He being of age to govern of himself?—
175 Cousin of Somerset, join you with me,
 And all together, with the Duke of Suffolk,
 We’ll quickly hoise Duke Humphrey from his seat.
CARDINAL 
 This weighty business will not brook delay.
 I’ll to the Duke of Suffolk presently.Cardinal exits.
SOMERSET 
180 Cousin of Buckingham, though Humphrey’s pride
 And greatness of his place be grief to us,
 Yet let us watch the haughty cardinal.
 His insolence is more intolerable
 Than all the princes’ in the land besides.
185 If Gloucester be displaced, he’ll be Protector.
BUCKINGHAM 
 Or thou or I, Somerset, will be Protector,
 Despite Duke Humphrey or the Cardinal.
Buckingham and Somerset exit.
SALISBURY 
 Pride went before; Ambition follows him.
 While these do labor for their own preferment,
190 Behooves it us to labor for the realm.
 I never saw but Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester,
 Did bear him like a noble gentleman.
 Oft have I seen the haughty cardinal,
 More like a soldier than a man o’ th’ Church,
195 As stout and proud as he were lord of all,
 Swear like a ruffian and demean himself
 Unlike the ruler of a commonweal.—
 Warwick, my son, the comfort of my age,
 Thy deeds, thy plainness, and thy housekeeping
200 Hath won the greatest favor of the Commons,
 Excepting none but good Duke Humphrey.—
 And, brother York, thy acts in Ireland,

21
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 1

 In bringing them to civil discipline,
 Thy late exploits done in the heart of France,
205 When thou wert regent for our sovereign,
 Have made thee feared and honored of the people.
 Join we together for the public good
 In what we can to bridle and suppress
 The pride of Suffolk and the Cardinal,
210 With Somerset’s and Buckingham’s ambition;
 And, as we may, cherish Duke Humphrey’s deeds
 While they do tend the profit of the land.
WARWICK 
 So God help Warwick, as he loves the land
 And common profit of his country!
YORK 
215 And so says York—aside for he hath greatest
 cause.
SALISBURY 
 Then let’s make haste away and look unto the main.
WARWICK 
 Unto the main? O father, Maine is lost!
 That Maine which by main force Warwick did win
220 And would have kept so long as breath did last!
 Main chance, father, you meant; but I meant Maine,
 Which I will win from France or else be slain.
Warwick and Salisbury exit.
York remains.

YORK 
 Anjou and Maine are given to the French;
 Paris is lost; the state of Normandy
225 Stands on a tickle point now they are gone.
 Suffolk concluded on the articles,
 The peers agreed, and Henry was well pleased
 To change two dukedoms for a duke’s fair daughter.
 I cannot blame them all. What is ’t to them?
230 ’Tis thine they give away, and not their own.
 Pirates may make cheap pennyworths of their
 pillage,

23
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 1

 And purchase friends, and give to courtesans,
 Still reveling like lords till all be gone;
235 Whileas the silly owner of the goods
 Weeps over them, and wrings his hapless hands,
 And shakes his head, and trembling stands aloof,
 While all is shared and all is borne away,
 Ready to starve, and dare not touch his own.
240 So York must sit and fret and bite his tongue
 While his own lands are bargained for and sold.
 Methinks the realms of England, France, and
 Ireland
 Bear that proportion to my flesh and blood
245 As did the fatal brand Althaea burnt
 Unto the Prince’s heart of Calydon.
 Anjou and Maine both given unto the French!
 Cold news for me, for I had hope of France,
 Even as I have of fertile England’s soil.
250 A day will come when York shall claim his own;
 And therefore I will take the Nevilles’ parts
 And make a show of love to proud Duke Humphrey,
 And, when I spy advantage, claim the crown,
 For that’s the golden mark I seek to hit.
255 Nor shall proud Lancaster usurp my right,
 Nor hold the scepter in his childish fist,
 Nor wear the diadem upon his head,
 Whose churchlike humors fits not for a crown.
 Then, York, be still awhile till time do serve.
260 Watch thou and wake, when others be asleep,
 To pry into the secrets of the state
 Till Henry, surfeiting in joys of love
 With his new bride and England’s dear-bought
 queen,
265 And Humphrey with the peers be fall’n at jars.
 Then will I raise aloft the milk-white rose,
 With whose sweet smell the air shall be perfumed,
 And in my standard bear the arms of York,
 To grapple with the house of Lancaster;

25
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 2

270 And force perforce I’ll make him yield the crown,
 Whose bookish rule hath pulled fair England down.
York exits.


Scene 2
Enter Duke Humphrey of Gloucester and his wife
the Duchess Eleanor.


DUCHESS 
 Why droops my lord like over-ripened corn
 Hanging the head at Ceres’ plenteous load?
 Why doth the great Duke Humphrey knit his brows,
 As frowning at the favors of the world?
5 Why are thine eyes fixed to the sullen earth,
 Gazing on that which seems to dim thy sight?
 What seest thou there? King Henry’s diadem,
 Enchased with all the honors of the world?
 If so, gaze on and grovel on thy face
10 Until thy head be circled with the same.
 Put forth thy hand; reach at the glorious gold.
 What, is ’t too short? I’ll lengthen it with mine;
 And, having both together heaved it up,
 We’ll both together lift our heads to heaven
15 And never more abase our sight so low
 As to vouchsafe one glance unto the ground.
GLOUCESTER 
 O Nell, sweet Nell, if thou dost love thy lord,
 Banish the canker of ambitious thoughts!
 And may that hour when I imagine ill
20 Against my king and nephew, virtuous Henry,
 Be my last breathing in this mortal world!
 My troublous dreams this night doth make me sad.
DUCHESS 
 What dreamed my lord? Tell me, and I’ll requite it
 With sweet rehearsal of my morning’s dream.

27
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 2

GLOUCESTER 
25 Methought this staff, mine office badge in court,
 Was broke in twain—by whom I have forgot,
 But, as I think, it was by th’ Cardinal—
 And on the pieces of the broken wand
 Were placed the heads of Edmund, Duke of
30 Somerset,
 And William de la Pole, first Duke of Suffolk.
 This was my dream. What it doth bode God knows.
DUCHESS 
 Tut, this was nothing but an argument
 That he that breaks a stick of Gloucester’s grove
35 Shall lose his head for his presumption.
 But list to me, my Humphrey, my sweet duke:
 Methought I sat in seat of majesty,
 In the cathedral church of Westminster
 And in that chair where kings and queens were
40 crowned,
 Where Henry and Dame Margaret kneeled to me
 And on my head did set the diadem.
GLOUCESTER 
 Nay, Eleanor, then must I chide outright.
 Presumptuous dame, ill-nurtured Eleanor,
45 Art thou not second woman in the realm
 And the Protector’s wife, beloved of him?
 Hast thou not worldly pleasure at command,
 Above the reach or compass of thy thought?
 And wilt thou still be hammering treachery
50 To tumble down thy husband and thyself
 From top of honor to disgrace’s feet?
 Away from me, and let me hear no more!
DUCHESS 
 What, what, my lord? Are you so choleric
 With Eleanor for telling but her dream?
55 Next time I’ll keep my dreams unto myself
 And not be checked.

29
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 2

GLOUCESTER 
 Nay, be not angry. I am pleased again.

Enter Messenger.

MESSENGER 
 My Lord Protector, ’tis his Highness’ pleasure
 You do prepare to ride unto Saint Albans,
60 Whereas the King and Queen do mean to hawk.
GLOUCESTER 
 I go.—Come, Nell, thou wilt ride with us?
DUCHESS 
 Yes, my good lord. I’ll follow presently.
Gloucester exits, with Messenger.
 Follow I must; I cannot go before
 While Gloucester bears this base and humble mind.
65 Were I a man, a duke, and next of blood,
 I would remove these tedious stumbling blocks
 And smooth my way upon their headless necks;
 And, being a woman, I will not be slack
 To play my part in Fortune’s pageant.—
70 Where are you there? Sir John! Nay, fear not, man.
 We are alone; here’s none but thee and I.

Enter Sir John Hume.

HUME 
 Jesus preserve your royal Majesty!
DUCHESS 
 What sayst thou? “Majesty”? I am but “Grace.”
HUME 
 But by the grace of God and Hume’s advice,
75 Your Grace’s title shall be multiplied.
DUCHESS 
 What sayst thou, man? Hast thou as yet conferred
 With Margery Jourdain, the cunning witch,
 With Roger Bolingbroke, the conjurer?
 And will they undertake to do me good?

31
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 2

HUME 
80 This they have promisèd: to show your Highness
 A spirit raised from depth of underground
 That shall make answer to such questions
 As by your Grace shall be propounded him.
DUCHESS 
 It is enough. I’ll think upon the questions.
85 When from Saint Albans we do make return,
 We’ll see these things effected to the full.
 Here, Hume, take this reward.
She gives him money.
 Make merry, man,
 With thy confederates in this weighty cause.
Duchess exits.
HUME 
90 Hume must make merry with the Duchess’ gold.
 Marry, and shall! But, how now, Sir John Hume?
 Seal up your lips, and give no words but “mum”;
 The business asketh silent secrecy.
 Dame Eleanor gives gold to bring the witch;
95 Gold cannot come amiss, were she a devil.
 Yet have I gold flies from another coast—
 I dare not say, from the rich cardinal
 And from the great and new-made Duke of Suffolk,
 Yet I do find it so. For, to be plain,
100 They, knowing Dame Eleanor’s aspiring humor,
 Have hirèd me to undermine the Duchess
 And buzz these conjurations in her brain.
 They say a crafty knave does need no broker,
 Yet am I Suffolk and the Cardinal’s broker.
105 Hume, if you take not heed, you shall go near
 To call them both a pair of crafty knaves.
 Well, so it stands; and thus I fear at last
 Hume’s knavery will be the Duchess’ wrack,
 And her attainture will be Humphrey’s fall.
110 Sort how it will, I shall have gold for all.
He exits.




33
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 3

Scene 3
Enter three or four Petitioners, Peter, the
Armorer’s man, being one.


FIRST PETITIONER My masters, let’s stand close. My
 Lord Protector will come this way by and by, and
 then we may deliver our supplications in the quill.
SECOND PETITIONER Marry, the Lord protect him, for
5 he’s a good man! Jesu bless him!

Enter Suffolk, wearing the red rose,
and Queen Margaret.


FIRST PETITIONER Here he comes, methinks, and the
 Queen with him. I’ll be the first, sure.
He steps forward.
SECOND PETITIONER Come back, fool! This is the Duke
 of Suffolk, and not my Lord Protector.
SUFFOLK 10How now, fellow? Wouldst anything with
 me?
FIRST PETITIONER I pray, my lord, pardon me. I took
 you for my Lord Protector.
QUEEN MARGARET takes a petition and reads. To my
15 Lord Protector.
 Are your supplications to his Lordship?
 Let me see them.—What is thine?
FIRST PETITIONER Mine is, an ’t please your Grace,
 against John Goodman, my Lord Cardinal’s man,
 for keeping my house, and lands, and wife and all,
20 from me.
SUFFOLK Thy wife too? That’s some wrong indeed.—
 What’s yours? Taking a petition. What’s here?
 (Reads.) Against the Duke of Suffolk for enclosing
 the commons of Melford.
 How now, sir knave?
SECOND PETITIONER 25Alas, sir, I am but a poor petitioner
 of our whole township.
PETER, showing his petition Against my master,

35
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 3

 Thomas Horner, for saying that the Duke of York
 was rightful heir to the crown.
QUEEN MARGARET 30What sayst thou? Did the Duke of
 York say he was rightful heir to the crown?
PETER That my master was? No, forsooth. My master
 said that he was and that the King was an
 usurper.
SUFFOLK, calling 35Who is there?

Enter Servant.

 Take this fellow in, and send for his master with a
 pursuivant presently.—We’ll hear more of your
 matter before the King.
Peter exits with Servant.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 And as for you that love to be protected
40 Under the wings of our Protector’s grace,
 Begin your suits anew, and sue to him.
Tear the supplication.
 Away, base cullions.—Suffolk, let them go.
ALL Come, let’s be gone.They exit.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 My lord of Suffolk, say, is this the guise,
45 Is this the fashions in the court of England?
 Is this the government of Britain’s isle
 And this the royalty of Albion’s king?
 What, shall King Henry be a pupil still
 Under the surly Gloucester’s governance?
50 Am I a queen in title and in style,
 And must be made a subject to a duke?
 I tell thee, Pole, when in the city Tours
 Thou rann’st atilt in honor of my love
 And stol’st away the ladies’ hearts of France,
55 I thought King Henry had resembled thee
 In courage, courtship, and proportion.
 But all his mind is bent to holiness,

37
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 3

 To number Ave Marys on his beads;
 His champions are the prophets and apostles,
60 His weapons holy saws of sacred writ,
 His study is his tiltyard, and his loves
 Are brazen images of canonized saints.
 I would the College of the Cardinals
 Would choose him pope and carry him to Rome
65 And set the triple crown upon his head!
 That were a state fit for his holiness.
SUFFOLK 
 Madam, be patient. As I was cause
 Your Highness came to England, so will I
 In England work your Grace’s full content.
QUEEN MARGARET 
70 Besides the haughty Protector, have we Beaufort
 The imperious churchman, Somerset, Buckingham,
 And grumbling York; and not the least of these
 But can do more in England than the King.
SUFFOLK 
 And he of these that can do most of all
75 Cannot do more in England than the Nevilles;
 Salisbury and Warwick are no simple peers.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Not all these lords do vex me half so much
 As that proud dame, the Lord Protector’s wife.
 She sweeps it through the court with troops of
80 ladies,
 More like an empress than Duke Humphrey’s wife.
 Strangers in court do take her for the Queen.
 She bears a duke’s revenues on her back,
 And in her heart she scorns our poverty.
85 Shall I not live to be avenged on her?
 Contemptuous baseborn callet as she is,
 She vaunted ’mongst her minions t’ other day
 The very train of her worst wearing gown

39
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 3

 Was better worth than all my father’s lands
90 Till Suffolk gave two dukedoms for his daughter.
SUFFOLK 
 Madam, myself have limed a bush for her
 And placed a choir of such enticing birds
 That she will light to listen to the lays
 And never mount to trouble you again.
95 So let her rest. And, madam, list to me,
 For I am bold to counsel you in this:
 Although we fancy not the Cardinal,
 Yet must we join with him and with the lords
 Till we have brought Duke Humphrey in disgrace.
100 As for the Duke of York, this late complaint
 Will make but little for his benefit.
 So, one by one, we’ll weed them all at last,
 And you yourself shall steer the happy helm.

Sound a sennet. Enter King Henry, Duke Humphrey
of Gloucester, Cardinal, Somerset, wearing the red
rose, Buckingham, Salisbury; York and Warwick, both
wearing the white rose; and the Duchess of
Gloucester.


KING HENRY 
 For my part, noble lords, I care not which;
105 Or Somerset or York, all’s one to me.
YORK 
 If York have ill demeaned himself in France,
 Then let him be denied the regentship.
SOMERSET 
 If Somerset be unworthy of the place,
 Let York be regent; I will yield to him.
WARWICK 
110 Whether your Grace be worthy, yea or no,
 Dispute not that. York is the worthier.
CARDINAL 
 Ambitious Warwick, let thy betters speak.

41
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 3

WARWICK 
 The Cardinal’s not my better in the field.
BUCKINGHAM 
 All in this presence are thy betters, Warwick.
WARWICK 
115 Warwick may live to be the best of all.
SALISBURY 
 Peace, son.—And show some reason, Buckingham,
 Why Somerset should be preferred in this.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Because the King, forsooth, will have it so.
GLOUCESTER 
 Madam, the King is old enough himself
120 To give his censure. These are no women’s matters.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 If he be old enough, what needs your Grace
 To be Protector of his Excellence?
GLOUCESTER 
 Madam, I am Protector of the realm,
 And at his pleasure will resign my place.
SUFFOLK 
125 Resign it, then, and leave thine insolence.
 Since thou wert king—as who is king but thou?—
 The commonwealth hath daily run to wrack,
 The Dauphin hath prevailed beyond the seas,
 And all the peers and nobles of the realm
130 Have been as bondmen to thy sovereignty.
CARDINAL, to Gloucester 
 The Commons hast thou racked; the clergy’s bags
 Are lank and lean with thy extortions.
SOMERSET, to Gloucester 
 Thy sumptuous buildings and thy wife’s attire
 Have cost a mass of public treasury.
BUCKINGHAM, to Gloucester 
135 Thy cruelty in execution
 Upon offenders hath exceeded law
 And left thee to the mercy of the law.

43
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 3

QUEEN MARGARET, to Gloucester 
 Thy sale of offices and towns in France,
 If they were known, as the suspect is great,
140 Would make thee quickly hop without thy head.
Gloucester exits.
Queen Margaret drops her fan.
 To Duchess. Give me my fan. What, minion, can
 you not?She gives the Duchess a box on the ear.
 I cry you mercy, madam. Was it you?
DUCHESS 
 Was ’t I? Yea, I it was, proud Frenchwoman.
145 Could I come near your beauty with my nails,
 I’d set my ten commandments in your face.
KING HENRY 
 Sweet aunt, be quiet. ’Twas against her will.
DUCHESS 
 Against her will, good king? Look to ’t in time.
 She’ll hamper thee and dandle thee like a baby.
150 Though in this place most master wear no breeches,
 She shall not strike Dame Eleanor unrevenged.
Eleanor, the Duchess, exits.
BUCKINGHAM, aside to Cardinal 
 Lord Cardinal, I will follow Eleanor
 And listen after Humphrey how he proceeds.
 She’s tickled now; her fume needs no spurs;
155 She’ll gallop far enough to her destruction.
Buckingham exits.

Enter Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester.

GLOUCESTER 
 Now, lords, my choler being overblown
 With walking once about the quadrangle,
 I come to talk of commonwealth affairs.
 As for your spiteful false objections,
160 Prove them, and I lie open to the law;
 But God in mercy so deal with my soul

45
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 3

 As I in duty love my king and country!
 But, to the matter that we have in hand:
 I say, my sovereign, York is meetest man
165 To be your regent in the realm of France.
SUFFOLK 
 Before we make election, give me leave
 To show some reason, of no little force,
 That York is most unmeet of any man.
YORK 
 I’ll tell thee, Suffolk, why I am unmeet:
170 First, for I cannot flatter thee in pride;
 Next, if I be appointed for the place,
 My lord of Somerset will keep me here
 Without discharge, money, or furniture
 Till France be won into the Dauphin’s hands.
175 Last time I danced attendance on his will
 Till Paris was besieged, famished, and lost.
WARWICK 
 That can I witness, and a fouler fact
 Did never traitor in the land commit.
SUFFOLK Peace, headstrong Warwick!
WARWICK 
180 Image of pride, why should I hold my peace?

Enter Horner, the Armorer, and his Man
Peter, under guard.


SUFFOLK 
 Because here is a man accused of treason.
 Pray God the Duke of York excuse himself!
YORK 
 Doth anyone accuse York for a traitor?
KING HENRY 
 What mean’st thou, Suffolk? Tell me, what are
185 these?

47
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 3

SUFFOLK 
 Please it your Majesty, this is the man
 That doth accuse his master of high treason.
 His words were these: that Richard, Duke of York,
 Was rightful heir unto the English crown,
190 And that your Majesty was an usurper.
KING HENRY Say, man, were these thy words?
HORNER An ’t shall please your Majesty, I never said
 nor thought any such matter. God is my witness, I
 am falsely accused by the villain.
PETER 195By these ten bones, my lords, he did speak
 them to me in the garret one night as we were
 scouring my lord of York’s armor.
YORK, to Horner 
 Base dunghill villain and mechanical,
 I’ll have thy head for this thy traitor’s speech!—
200 I do beseech your royal Majesty,
 Let him have all the rigor of the law.
HORNER Alas, my lord, hang me if ever I spake the
 words. My accuser is my prentice; and when I did
 correct him for his fault the other day, he did vow
205 upon his knees he would be even with me. I have
 good witness of this. Therefore I beseech your
 Majesty, do not cast away an honest man for a
 villain’s accusation!
KING HENRY 
 Uncle, what shall we say to this in law?
GLOUCESTER 
210 This doom, my lord, if I may judge:
 Let Somerset be regent o’er the French,
 Because in York this breeds suspicion;
 And let these have a day appointed them
 For single combat in convenient place,
215 For he hath witness of his servant’s malice.
 This is the law, and this Duke Humphrey’s doom.

49
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 1. SC. 4

SOMERSET 
 I humbly thank your royal Majesty.
HORNER 
 And I accept the combat willingly.
PETER Alas, my lord, I cannot fight; for God’s sake pity
220 my case! The spite of man prevaileth against me. O
 Lord, have mercy upon me! I shall never be able to
 fight a blow. O Lord, my heart!
GLOUCESTER 
 Sirrah, or you must fight or else be hanged.
KING HENRY Away with them to prison; and the day of
225 combat shall be the last of the next month.—
 Come, Somerset, we’ll see thee sent away.
Flourish. They exit.


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.


ACT 2
Scene 1
Enter King Henry, Queen Margaret, Gloucester the
Lord Protector, Cardinal, and Suffolk, and
Attendants, with Falconers hallowing.


QUEEN MARGARET 
 Believe me, lords, for flying at the brook
 I saw not better sport these seven years’ day.
 Yet, by your leave, the wind was very high,
 And, ten to one, old Joan had not gone out.
KING HENRY, to Gloucester 
5 But what a point, my lord, your falcon made,
 And what a pitch she flew above the rest!
 To see how God in all his creatures works!
 Yea, man and birds are fain of climbing high.
SUFFOLK 
 No marvel, an it like your Majesty,
10 My Lord Protector’s hawks do tower so well;
 They know their master loves to be aloft
 And bears his thoughts above his falcon’s pitch.
GLOUCESTER 
 My lord, ’tis but a base ignoble mind
 That mounts no higher than a bird can soar.
CARDINAL 
15 I thought as much. He would be above the clouds.
GLOUCESTER 
 Ay, my Lord Cardinal, how think you by that?
 Were it not good your Grace could fly to heaven?
59

61
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 1

KING HENRY 
 The treasury of everlasting joy.
CARDINAL, to Gloucester 
 Thy heaven is on Earth; thine eyes and thoughts
20 Beat on a crown, the treasure of thy heart.
 Pernicious Protector, dangerous peer,
 That smooth’st it so with king and commonweal!
GLOUCESTER 
 What, cardinal, is your priesthood grown
 peremptory?
25 Tantaene animis caelestibus irae?
 Churchmen so hot? Good uncle, hide such malice.
 With such holiness, can you do it?
SUFFOLK 
 No malice, sir, no more than well becomes
 So good a quarrel and so bad a peer.
GLOUCESTER 
30 As who, my lord?
SUFFOLK  Why, as you, my lord,
 An ’t like your lordly Lord Protectorship.
GLOUCESTER 
 Why, Suffolk, England knows thine insolence.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 And thy ambition, Gloucester.
KING HENRY 35 I prithee peace,
 Good queen, and whet not on these furious peers,
 For blessèd are the peacemakers on Earth.
CARDINAL 
 Let me be blessèd for the peace I make
 Against this proud Protector with my sword!
GLOUCESTER, aside to Cardinal 
40 Faith, holy uncle, would ’t were come to that!
CARDINAL, aside to Gloucester Marry, when thou
 dar’st!
GLOUCESTER, aside to Cardinal 
 Make up no factious numbers for the matter.
 In thine own person answer thy abuse.

63
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 1

CARDINAL, aside to Gloucester 
45 Ay, where thou dar’st not peep. An if thou dar’st,
 This evening, on the east side of the grove.
KING HENRY 
 How now, my lords?
CARDINAL  Believe me, cousin Gloucester,
 Had not your man put up the fowl so suddenly,
50 We had had more sport. (Aside to Gloucester.)
 Come with thy two-hand sword.
GLOUCESTER 
 True, uncle. (Aside to Cardinal.) Are you advised?
 The east side of the grove.
CARDINAL, aside to Gloucester 
 I am with you.
KING HENRY 55 Why, how now, uncle Gloucester?
GLOUCESTER 
 Talking of hawking; nothing else, my lord.
 (Aside to Cardinal.) Now, by God’s mother, priest,
 I’ll shave your crown for this,
 Or all my fence shall fail.
CARDINAL, aside to Gloucester 60 Medice, teipsum;
 Protector, see to ’t well; protect yourself.
KING HENRY 
 The winds grow high; so do your stomachs, lords.
 How irksome is this music to my heart!
 When such strings jar, what hope of harmony?
65 I pray, my lords, let me compound this strife.

Enter a man from St. Albans crying “A miracle!”

GLOUCESTER What means this noise?—
 Fellow, what miracle dost thou proclaim?
MAN A miracle, a miracle!
SUFFOLK 
 Come to the King, and tell him what miracle.
MAN 
70 Forsooth, a blind man at Saint Alban’s shrine

65
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 1

 Within this half hour hath received his sight,
 A man that ne’er saw in his life before.
KING HENRY 
 Now, God be praised, that to believing souls
 Gives light in darkness, comfort in despair.

Enter the Mayor of Saint Albans, and his brethren,
bearing the man Simpcox between two in a chair,
followed by Simpcox’s Wife and Others.


CARDINAL 
75 Here comes the townsmen on procession
 To present your Highness with the man.
KING HENRY 
 Great is his comfort in this earthly vale,
 Although by his sight his sin be multiplied.
GLOUCESTER 
 Stand by, my masters.—Bring him near the King.
80 His Highness’ pleasure is to talk with him.
The two bearers bring the chair forward.
KING HENRY 
 Good fellow, tell us here the circumstance,
 That we for thee may glorify the Lord.
 What, hast thou been long blind and now restored?
SIMPCOX Born blind, an ’t please your Grace.
WIFE 85Ay, indeed, was he.
SUFFOLK What woman is this?
WIFE His wife, an ’t like your Worship.
GLOUCESTER Hadst thou been his mother, thou couldst
 have better told.
KING HENRY 90Where wert thou born?
SIMPCOX 
 At Berwick in the North, an ’t like your Grace.
KING HENRY 
 Poor soul, God’s goodness hath been great to thee.
 Let never day nor night unhallowed pass,
 But still remember what the Lord hath done.

67
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 1

QUEEN MARGARET 
95 Tell me, good fellow, cam’st thou here by chance,
 Or of devotion to this holy shrine?
SIMPCOX 
 God knows, of pure devotion, being called
 A hundred times and oftener in my sleep
 By good Saint Alban, who said “Simon, come,
100 Come, offer at my shrine, and I will help thee.”
WIFE 
 Most true, forsooth, and many time and oft
 Myself have heard a voice to call him so.
CARDINAL What, art thou lame?
SIMPCOX Ay, God Almighty help me!
SUFFOLK 105How cam’st thou so?
SIMPCOX A fall off of a tree.
WIFE A plum tree, master.
GLOUCESTER How long hast thou been blind?
SIMPCOX O, born so, master.
GLOUCESTER 110What, and wouldst climb a tree?
SIMPCOX But that in all my life, when I was a youth.
WIFE Too true, and bought his climbing very dear.
GLOUCESTER Mass, thou lov’dst plums well, that
 wouldst venture so.
SIMPCOX 115Alas, good master, my wife desired some
 damsons, and made me climb, with danger of my
 life.
GLOUCESTER 
 A subtle knave, but yet it shall not serve.—
 Let me see thine eyes. Wink now. Now open them.
120 In my opinion, yet thou seest not well.
SIMPCOX Yes, master, clear as day, I thank God and
 Saint Alban.
GLOUCESTER 
 Sayst thou me so? What color is this cloak of?
SIMPCOX Red, master, red as blood.

69
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 1

GLOUCESTER 
125 Why, that’s well said. What color is my gown of?
SIMPCOX Black, forsooth, coal-black as jet.
KING HENRY 
 Why, then, thou know’st what color jet is of.
SUFFOLK 
 And yet, I think, jet did he never see.
GLOUCESTER 
 But cloaks and gowns, before this day, a many.
WIFE 
130 Never, before this day, in all his life.
GLOUCESTER Tell me, sirrah, what’s my name?
SIMPCOX Alas, master, I know not.
GLOUCESTER, pointing What’s his name?
SIMPCOX I know not.
GLOUCESTER, pointing to someone else 135Nor his?
SIMPCOX No, indeed, master.
GLOUCESTER What’s thine own name?
SIMPCOX Sander Simpcox, an if it please you, master.
GLOUCESTER Then, Sander, sit there, the lying’st knave
140 in Christendom. If thou hadst been born blind,
 thou mightst as well have known all our names as
 thus to name the several colors we do wear. Sight
 may distinguish of colors; but suddenly to nominate
 them all, it is impossible.—My lords, Saint
145 Alban here hath done a miracle; and would you
 not think his cunning to be great that could
 restore this cripple to his legs again?
SIMPCOX O master, that you could!
GLOUCESTER My masters of Saint Albans, have you not
150 beadles in your town and things called whips?
MAYOR Yes, my lord, if it please your Grace.
GLOUCESTER Then send for one presently.
MAYOR Sirrah, go fetch the beadle hither straight.
A man exits.

71
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 1

GLOUCESTER Now fetch me a stool hither by and by.
155 One brings a stool. Now, sirrah, if you mean to
 save yourself from whipping, leap me over this
 stool, and run away.
SIMPCOX Alas, master, I am not able to stand alone.
 You go about to torture me in vain.

Enter a Beadle with whips.

GLOUCESTER 160Well, sir, we must have you find your
 legs.—Sirrah beadle, whip him till he leap over
 that same stool.
BEADLE I will, my lord.—Come on, sirrah, off with
 your doublet quickly.
SIMPCOX 165Alas, master, what shall I do? I am not able to
 stand.
After the Beadle hath hit him once, he leaps
over the stool and runs away;
 and they follow
and cry “A miracle!”

KING HENRY 
 O God, seest Thou this, and bearest so long?
QUEEN MARGARET 
 It made me laugh to see the villain run.
GLOUCESTER, to the Beadle 
 Follow the knave, and take this drab away.
WIFE 170Alas, sir, we did it for pure need.
GLOUCESTER 
 Let them be whipped through every market town
 Till they come to Berwick, from whence they came.
The Beadle, Mayor, Wife, and the others from
Saint Albans exit.

CARDINAL 
 Duke Humphrey has done a miracle today.
SUFFOLK 
 True, made the lame to leap and fly away.
GLOUCESTER 
175 But you have done more miracles than I.
 You made in a day, my lord, whole towns to fly.

73
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 1

Enter Buckingham.

KING HENRY 
 What tidings with our cousin Buckingham?
BUCKINGHAM 
 Such as my heart doth tremble to unfold:
 A sort of naughty persons, lewdly bent,
180 Under the countenance and confederacy
 Of Lady Eleanor, the Protector’s wife,
 The ringleader and head of all this rout,
 Have practiced dangerously against your state,
 Dealing with witches and with conjurers,
185 Whom we have apprehended in the fact,
 Raising up wicked spirits from under ground,
 Demanding of King Henry’s life and death
 And other of your Highness’ Privy Council,
 As more at large your Grace shall understand.
CARDINAL 
190 And so, my Lord Protector, by this means
 Your lady is forthcoming yet at London.
 Aside to Gloucester. This news, I think, hath turned
 your weapon’s edge;
 ’Tis like, my lord, you will not keep your hour.
GLOUCESTER 
195 Ambitious churchman, leave to afflict my heart.
 Sorrow and grief have vanquished all my powers,
 And, vanquished as I am, I yield to thee,
 Or to the meanest groom.
KING HENRY 
 O God, what mischiefs work the wicked ones,
200 Heaping confusion on their own heads thereby!
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Gloucester, see here the tainture of thy nest,
 And look thyself be faultless, thou wert best.
GLOUCESTER 
 Madam, for myself, to heaven I do appeal

75
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 2. SC. 2

 How I have loved my king and commonweal;
205 And, for my wife, I know not how it stands.
 Sorry I am to hear what I have heard.
 Noble she is; but if she have forgot
 Honor and virtue, and conversed with such
 As, like to pitch, defile nobility,
210 I banish her my bed and company
 And give her as a prey to law and shame
 That hath dishonored Gloucester’s honest name.
KING HENRY 
 Well, for this night we will repose us here.
 Tomorrow toward London back again,
215 To look into this business thoroughly,
 And call these foul offenders to their answers,
 And poise the cause in Justice’ equal scales,
 Whose beam stands sure, whose rightful cause
 prevails.
Flourish. They exit.


Scene 2
Enter York, Salisbury, and Warwick.

YORK 
 Now, my good lords of Salisbury and Warwick,
 Our simple supper ended, give me leave,
 In this close walk, to satisfy myself
 In craving your opinion of my title,
5 Which is infallible, to England’s crown.
SALISBURY 
 My lord, I long to hear it at full.
WARWICK 
 Sweet York, begin; and if thy claim be good,
 The Nevilles are thy subjects to command.
YORK Then thus:
10 Edward the Third, my lords, had seven sons:

77
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ACT 2. SC. 2

 The first, Edward the Black Prince, Prince of Wales;
 The second, William of Hatfield; and the third,
 Lionel, Duke of Clarence; next to whom
 Was John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster;
15 The fifth was Edmund Langley, Duke of York;
 The sixth was Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of
 Gloucester;
 William of Windsor was the seventh and last.
 Edward the Black Prince died before his father
20 And left behind him Richard, his only son,
 Who, after Edward the Third’s death, reigned as
 king
 Till Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster,
 The eldest son and heir of John of Gaunt,
25 Crowned by the name of Henry the Fourth,
 Seized on the realm, deposed the rightful king,
 Sent his poor queen to France, from whence she
 came,
 And him to Pomfret; where, as all you know,
30 Harmless Richard was murdered traitorously.
WARWICK Father, the Duke hath told the truth.
 Thus got the house of Lancaster the crown.
YORK 
 Which now they hold by force and not by right;
 For Richard, the first son’s heir, being dead,
35 The issue of the next son should have reigned.
SALISBURY 
 But William of Hatfield died without an heir.
YORK 
 The third son, Duke of Clarence, from whose line
 I claim the crown, had issue, Philippa, a daughter,
 Who married Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March.
40 Edmund had issue, Roger, Earl of March;
 Roger had issue: Edmund, Anne, and Eleanor.
SALISBURY 
 This Edmund, in the reign of Bolingbroke,

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 As I have read, laid claim unto the crown
 And, but for Owen Glendower, had been king,
45 Who kept him in captivity till he died.
 But to the rest.
YORK  His eldest sister, Anne,
 My mother, being heir unto the crown,
 Married Richard, Earl of Cambridge, who was son
50 To Edmund Langley, Edward the Third’s fifth son.
 By her I claim the kingdom. She was heir
 To Roger, Earl of March, who was the son
 Of Edmund Mortimer, who married Philippa,
 Sole daughter unto Lionel, Duke of Clarence.
55 So, if the issue of the elder son
 Succeed before the younger, I am king.
WARWICK 
 What plain proceedings is more plain than this?
 Henry doth claim the crown from John of Gaunt,
 The fourth son; York claims it from the third.
60 Till Lionel’s issue fails, his should not reign.
 It fails not yet, but flourishes in thee
 And in thy sons, fair slips of such a stock.
 Then, father Salisbury, kneel we together,
 And in this private plot be we the first
65 That shall salute our rightful sovereign
 With honor of his birthright to the crown.
SALISBURY, WARWICK, kneeling 
 Long live our sovereign Richard, England’s king!
YORK 
 We thank you, lords. They rise. But I am not your
 king
70 Till I be crowned, and that my sword be stained
 With heart-blood of the house of Lancaster;
 And that’s not suddenly to be performed,
 But with advice and silent secrecy.
 Do you as I do in these dangerous days:
75 Wink at the Duke of Suffolk’s insolence,

81
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 At Beaufort’s pride, at Somerset’s ambition,
 At Buckingham, and all the crew of them,
 Till they have snared the shepherd of the flock,
 That virtuous prince, the good Duke Humphrey.
80 ’Tis that they seek; and they, in seeking that,
 Shall find their deaths, if York can prophesy.
SALISBURY 
 My lord, break we off. We know your mind at full.
WARWICK 
 My heart assures me that the Earl of Warwick
 Shall one day make the Duke of York a king.
YORK 
85 And, Neville, this I do assure myself:
 Richard shall live to make the Earl of Warwick
 The greatest man in England but the King.
They exit.


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.

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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.

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 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
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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
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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.


Scene 4
Enter Duke Humphrey of Gloucester and his Men,
in mourning cloaks.


GLOUCESTER 
 Thus sometimes hath the brightest day a cloud,
 And after summer evermore succeeds
 Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold;
 So cares and joys abound, as seasons fleet.
5 Sirs, what’s o’clock?
SERVANT Ten, my lord.
GLOUCESTER 
 Ten is the hour that was appointed me
 To watch the coming of my punished duchess.
 Uneath may she endure the flinty streets,
10 To tread them with her tender-feeling feet.
 Sweet Nell, ill can thy noble mind abrook

91
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 The abject people gazing on thy face
 With envious looks laughing at thy shame,
 That erst did follow thy proud chariot wheels
15 When thou didst ride in triumph through the streets.
 But, soft! I think she comes, and I’ll prepare
 My tearstained eyes to see her miseries.

Enter the Duchess of Gloucester, barefoot, and in a
white sheet, with papers pinned to her back and a
taper burning in her hand, with Sir John Stanley,
the Sheriff, and Officers.


SERVANT 
 So please your Grace, we’ll take her from the Sheriff.
GLOUCESTER 
 No, stir not for your lives. Let her pass by.
DUCHESS 
20 Come you, my lord, to see my open shame?
 Now thou dost penance too. Look how they gaze!
 See how the giddy multitude do point,
 And nod their heads, and throw their eyes on thee.
 Ah, Gloucester, hide thee from their hateful looks,
25 And, in thy closet pent up, rue my shame,
 And ban thine enemies, both mine and thine.
GLOUCESTER 
 Be patient, gentle Nell. Forget this grief.
DUCHESS 
 Ah, Gloucester, teach me to forget myself!
 For whilst I think I am thy married wife
30 And thou a prince, Protector of this land,
 Methinks I should not thus be led along,
 Mailed up in shame, with papers on my back,
 And followed with a rabble that rejoice
 To see my tears and hear my deep-fet groans.
35 The ruthless flint doth cut my tender feet,
 And when I start, the envious people laugh

93
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ACT 2. SC. 4

 And bid me be advisèd how I tread.
 Ah, Humphrey, can I bear this shameful yoke?
 Trowest thou that e’er I’ll look upon the world
40 Or count them happy that enjoys the sun?
 No, dark shall be my light, and night my day.
 To think upon my pomp shall be my hell.
 Sometimes I’ll say I am Duke Humphrey’s wife
 And he a prince and ruler of the land;
45 Yet so he ruled and such a prince he was
 As he stood by whilst I, his forlorn duchess,
 Was made a wonder and a pointing-stock
 To every idle rascal follower.
 But be thou mild, and blush not at my shame,
50 Nor stir at nothing till the ax of death
 Hang over thee, as, sure, it shortly will.
 For Suffolk, he that can do all in all
 With her that hateth thee and hates us all,
 And York and impious Beaufort, that false priest,
55 Have all limed bushes to betray thy wings;
 And fly thou how thou canst, they’ll tangle thee.
 But fear not thou until thy foot be snared,
 Nor never seek prevention of thy foes.
GLOUCESTER 
 Ah, Nell, forbear. Thou aimest all awry.
60 I must offend before I be attainted;
 And had I twenty times so many foes,
 And each of them had twenty times their power,
 All these could not procure me any scathe
 So long as I am loyal, true, and crimeless.
65 Wouldst have me rescue thee from this reproach?
 Why, yet thy scandal were not wiped away,
 But I in danger for the breach of law.
 Thy greatest help is quiet, gentle Nell.
 I pray thee, sort thy heart to patience;
70 These few days’ wonder will be quickly worn.

95
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ACT 2. SC. 4

Enter a Herald.

HERALD 
 I summon your Grace to his Majesty’s Parliament
 Holden at Bury the first of this next month.
GLOUCESTER 
 And my consent ne’er asked herein before?
 This is close dealing. Well, I will be there.
Herald exits.
75 My Nell, I take my leave.—And, master sheriff,
 Let not her penance exceed the King’s commission.
SHERIFF 
 An ’t please your Grace, here my commission stays,
 And Sir John Stanley is appointed now
 To take her with him to the Isle of Man.
GLOUCESTER 
80 Must you, Sir John, protect my lady here?
STANLEY 
 So am I given in charge, may ’t please your Grace.
GLOUCESTER 
 Entreat her not the worse in that I pray
 You use her well. The world may laugh again,
 And I may live to do you kindness, if
85 You do it her. And so, Sir John, farewell.
DUCHESS 
 What, gone, my lord, and bid me not farewell?
GLOUCESTER 
 Witness my tears. I cannot stay to speak.
Gloucester exits with his Men.
DUCHESS 
 Art thou gone too? All comfort go with thee,
 For none abides with me. My joy is death—
90 Death, at whose name I oft have been afeard,
 Because I wished this world’s eternity.—
 Stanley, I prithee, go, and take me hence.
 I care not whither, for I beg no favor;
 Only convey me where thou art commanded.

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ACT 2. SC. 4

STANLEY 
95 Why, madam, that is to the Isle of Man,
 There to be used according to your state.
DUCHESS 
 That’s bad enough, for I am but reproach.
 And shall I, then, be used reproachfully?
STANLEY 
 Like to a duchess and Duke Humphrey’s lady;
100 According to that state you shall be used.
DUCHESS 
 Sheriff, farewell, and better than I fare,
 Although thou hast been conduct of my shame.
SHERIFF 
 It is my office; and, madam, pardon me.
DUCHESS 
 Ay, ay, farewell. Thy office is discharged.
The Sheriff and Officers exit.
105 Come, Stanley, shall we go?
STANLEY 
 Madam, your penance done, throw off this sheet,
 And go we to attire you for our journey.
DUCHESS 
 My shame will not be shifted with my sheet.
 No, it will hang upon my richest robes
110 And show itself, attire me how I can.
 Go, lead the way. I long to see my prison.
They exit.


ACT 3
Scene 1
Sound a sennet. Enter King Henry, Queen Margaret,
Cardinal, Suffolk, York, Buckingham, Salisbury, and
Warwick, and Others to the Parliament.


KING HENRY 
 I muse my lord of Gloucester is not come.
 ’Tis not his wont to be the hindmost man,
 Whate’er occasion keeps him from us now.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Can you not see, or will you not observe,
5 The strangeness of his altered countenance?
 With what a majesty he bears himself,
 How insolent of late he is become,
 How proud, how peremptory, and unlike himself?
 We know the time since he was mild and affable;
10 And if we did but glance a far-off look,
 Immediately he was upon his knee,
 That all the court admired him for submission.
 But meet him now, and, be it in the morn
 When everyone will give the time of day,
15 He knits his brow and shows an angry eye
 And passeth by with stiff unbowèd knee,
 Disdaining duty that to us belongs.
 Small curs are not regarded when they grin,
 But great men tremble when the lion roars—
20 And Humphrey is no little man in England.
101

103
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ACT 3. SC. 1

 First, note that he is near you in descent,
 And, should you fall, he is the next will mount.
 Meseemeth then it is no policy,
 Respecting what a rancorous mind he bears
25 And his advantage following your decease,
 That he should come about your royal person
 Or be admitted to your Highness’ Council.
 By flattery hath he won the Commons’ hearts;
 And when he please to make commotion,
30 ’Tis to be feared they all will follow him.
 Now ’tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted;
 Suffer them now, and they’ll o’ergrow the garden
 And choke the herbs for want of husbandry.
 The reverent care I bear unto my lord
35 Made me collect these dangers in the Duke.
 If it be fond, call it a woman’s fear,
 Which fear, if better reasons can supplant,
 I will subscribe and say I wronged the Duke.
 My lords of Suffolk, Buckingham, and York,
40 Reprove my allegation if you can,
 Or else conclude my words effectual.
SUFFOLK 
 Well hath your Highness seen into this duke,
 And, had I first been put to speak my mind,
 I think I should have told your Grace’s tale.
45 The Duchess by his subornation,
 Upon my life, began her devilish practices;
 Or if he were not privy to those faults,
 Yet, by reputing of his high descent—
 As next the King he was successive heir,
50 And such high vaunts of his nobility—
 Did instigate the bedlam brainsick duchess
 By wicked means to frame our sovereign’s fall.
 Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep,
 And in his simple show he harbors treason.
55 The fox barks not when he would steal the lamb.

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ACT 3. SC. 1

 No, no, my sovereign, Gloucester is a man
 Unsounded yet and full of deep deceit.
CARDINAL 
 Did he not, contrary to form of law,
 Devise strange deaths for small offenses done?
YORK 
60 And did he not, in his protectorship,
 Levy great sums of money through the realm
 For soldiers’ pay in France, and never sent it,
 By means whereof the towns each day revolted?
BUCKINGHAM 
 Tut, these are petty faults to faults unknown,
65 Which time will bring to light in smooth Duke
 Humphrey.
KING HENRY 
 My lords, at once: the care you have of us
 To mow down thorns that would annoy our foot
 Is worthy praise; but, shall I speak my conscience,
70 Our kinsman Gloucester is as innocent
 From meaning treason to our royal person
 As is the sucking lamb or harmless dove.
 The Duke is virtuous, mild, and too well given
 To dream on evil or to work my downfall.
QUEEN MARGARET 
75 Ah, what’s more dangerous than this fond affiance?
 Seems he a dove? His feathers are but borrowed,
 For he’s disposèd as the hateful raven.
 Is he a lamb? His skin is surely lent him,
 For he’s inclined as is the ravenous wolves.
80 Who cannot steal a shape that means deceit?
 Take heed, my lord; the welfare of us all
 Hangs on the cutting short that fraudful man.

Enter Somerset.

SOMERSET 
 All health unto my gracious sovereign!

107
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ACT 3. SC. 1

KING HENRY 
 Welcome, Lord Somerset. What news from France?
SOMERSET 
85 That all your interest in those territories
 Is utterly bereft you. All is lost.
KING HENRY 
 Cold news, Lord Somerset; but God’s will be done.
YORK, aside 
 Cold news for me, for I had hope of France
 As firmly as I hope for fertile England.
90 Thus are my blossoms blasted in the bud,
 And caterpillars eat my leaves away.
 But I will remedy this gear ere long,
 Or sell my title for a glorious grave.

Enter Gloucester.

GLOUCESTER 
 All happiness unto my lord the King!
95 Pardon, my liege, that I have stayed so long.
SUFFOLK 
 Nay, Gloucester, know that thou art come too soon,
 Unless thou wert more loyal than thou art.
 I do arrest thee of high treason here.
GLOUCESTER 
 Well, Suffolk, thou shalt not see me blush
100 Nor change my countenance for this arrest.
 A heart unspotted is not easily daunted.
 The purest spring is not so free from mud
 As I am clear from treason to my sovereign.
 Who can accuse me? Wherein am I guilty?
YORK 
105 ’Tis thought, my lord, that you took bribes of France
 And, being Protector, stayed the soldiers’ pay,
 By means whereof his Highness hath lost France.
GLOUCESTER 
 Is it but thought so? What are they that think it?

109
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ACT 3. SC. 1

 I never robbed the soldiers of their pay
110 Nor ever had one penny bribe from France.
 So help me God as I have watched the night—
 Ay, night by night—in studying good for England!
 That doit that e’er I wrested from the King,
 Or any groat I hoarded to my use,
115 Be brought against me at my trial day!
 No, many a pound of mine own proper store,
 Because I would not tax the needy Commons,
 Have I dispursèd to the garrisons
 And never asked for restitution.
CARDINAL 
120 It serves you well, my lord, to say so much.
GLOUCESTER 
 I say no more than truth, so help me God.
YORK 
 In your protectorship, you did devise
 Strange tortures for offenders, never heard of,
 That England was defamed by tyranny.
GLOUCESTER 
125 Why, ’tis well known that whiles I was Protector,
 Pity was all the fault that was in me;
 For I should melt at an offender’s tears,
 And lowly words were ransom for their fault.
 Unless it were a bloody murderer
130 Or foul felonious thief that fleeced poor passengers,
 I never gave them condign punishment.
 Murder indeed, that bloody sin, I tortured
 Above the felon or what trespass else.
SUFFOLK 
 My lord, these faults are easy, quickly answered;
135 But mightier crimes are laid unto your charge
 Whereof you cannot easily purge yourself.
 I do arrest you in his Highness’ name,
 And here commit you to my Lord Cardinal
 To keep until your further time of trial.

111
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ACT 3. SC. 1

KING HENRY 
140 My lord of Gloucester, ’tis my special hope
 That you will clear yourself from all suspense.
 My conscience tells me you are innocent.
GLOUCESTER 
 Ah, gracious lord, these days are dangerous.
 Virtue is choked with foul ambition,
145 And charity chased hence by rancor’s hand;
 Foul subornation is predominant,
 And equity exiled your Highness’ land.
 I know their complot is to have my life;
 And if my death might make this island happy
150 And prove the period of their tyranny,
 I would expend it with all willingness.
 But mine is made the prologue to their play;
 For thousands more, that yet suspect no peril,
 Will not conclude their plotted tragedy.
155 Beaufort’s red sparkling eyes blab his heart’s malice,
 And Suffolk’s cloudy brow his stormy hate;
 Sharp Buckingham unburdens with his tongue
 The envious load that lies upon his heart;
 And dogged York, that reaches at the moon,
160 Whose overweening arm I have plucked back,
 By false accuse doth level at my life.—
 And you, my sovereign lady, with the rest,
 Causeless have laid disgraces on my head
 And with your best endeavor have stirred up
165 My liefest liege to be mine enemy.
 Ay, all of you have laid your heads together—
 Myself had notice of your conventicles—
 And all to make away my guiltless life.
 I shall not want false witness to condemn me
170 Nor store of treasons to augment my guilt.
 The ancient proverb will be well effected:
 “A staff is quickly found to beat a dog.”

113
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ACT 3. SC. 1

CARDINAL 
 My liege, his railing is intolerable.
 If those that care to keep your royal person
175 From treason’s secret knife and traitor’s rage
 Be thus upbraided, chid, and rated at,
 And the offender granted scope of speech,
 ’Twill make them cool in zeal unto your Grace.
SUFFOLK 
 Hath he not twit our sovereign lady here
180 With ignominious words, though clerkly couched,
 As if she had subornèd some to swear
 False allegations to o’erthrow his state?
QUEEN MARGARET 
 But I can give the loser leave to chide.
GLOUCESTER 
 Far truer spoke than meant. I lose, indeed;
185 Beshrew the winners, for they played me false!
 And well such losers may have leave to speak.
BUCKINGHAM 
 He’ll wrest the sense and hold us here all day.
 Lord Cardinal, he is your prisoner.
CARDINAL, to his Men 
 Sirs, take away the Duke, and guard him sure.
GLOUCESTER 
190 Ah, thus King Henry throws away his crutch
 Before his legs be firm to bear his body.—
 Thus is the shepherd beaten from thy side,
 And wolves are gnarling who shall gnaw thee first.
 Ah, that my fear were false; ah, that it were!
195 For, good King Henry, thy decay I fear.
Gloucester exits, guarded by Cardinal’s Men.
KING HENRY 
 My lords, what to your wisdoms seemeth best
 Do, or undo, as if ourself were here.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 What, will your Highness leave the Parliament?

115
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 1

KING HENRY 
 Ay, Margaret. My heart is drowned with grief,
200 Whose flood begins to flow within mine eyes,
 My body round engirt with misery;
 For what’s more miserable than discontent?
 Ah, uncle Humphrey, in thy face I see
 The map of honor, truth, and loyalty;
205 And yet, good Humphrey, is the hour to come
 That e’er I proved thee false or feared thy faith.
 What louring star now envies thy estate
 That these great lords and Margaret our queen
 Do seek subversion of thy harmless life?
210 Thou never didst them wrong nor no man wrong.
 And as the butcher takes away the calf
 And binds the wretch and beats it when it strains,
 Bearing it to the bloody slaughterhouse,
 Even so remorseless have they borne him hence;
215 And as the dam runs lowing up and down,
 Looking the way her harmless young one went,
 And can do naught but wail her darling’s loss,
 Even so myself bewails good Gloucester’s case
 With sad unhelpful tears, and with dimmed eyes
220 Look after him and cannot do him good,
 So mighty are his vowèd enemies.
 His fortunes I will weep and, ’twixt each groan,
 Say “Who’s a traitor, Gloucester he is none.”
He exits, with Buckingham, Salisbury, Warwick,
and Others.
 Somerset steps aside.

QUEEN MARGARET, to Cardinal, Suffolk, and York 
 Free lords, cold snow melts with the sun’s hot
225 beams.
 Henry my lord is cold in great affairs,
 Too full of foolish pity; and Gloucester’s show
 Beguiles him, as the mournful crocodile
 With sorrow snares relenting passengers,
230 Or as the snake, rolled in a flow’ring bank,

117
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ACT 3. SC. 1

 With shining checkered slough, doth sting a child
 That for the beauty thinks it excellent.
 Believe me, lords, were none more wise than I—
 And yet herein I judge mine own wit good—
235 This Gloucester should be quickly rid the world,
 To rid us from the fear we have of him.
CARDINAL 
 That he should die is worthy policy,
 But yet we want a color for his death.
 ’Tis meet he be condemned by course of law.
SUFFOLK 
240 But, in my mind, that were no policy.
 The King will labor still to save his life,
 The Commons haply rise to save his life,
 And yet we have but trivial argument,
 More than mistrust, that shows him worthy death.
YORK 
245 So that, by this, you would not have him die.
SUFFOLK 
 Ah, York, no man alive so fain as I!
YORK 
 ’Tis York that hath more reason for his death.
 But, my Lord Cardinal, and you, my lord of Suffolk,
 Say as you think, and speak it from your souls:
250 Were ’t not all one an empty eagle were set
 To guard the chicken from a hungry kite
 As place Duke Humphrey for the King’s Protector?
QUEEN MARGARET 
 So the poor chicken should be sure of death.
SUFFOLK 
 Madam, ’tis true; and were ’t not madness then
255 To make the fox surveyor of the fold—
 Who, being accused a crafty murderer,
 His guilt should be but idly posted over
 Because his purpose is not executed?
 No, let him die in that he is a fox,

119
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ACT 3. SC. 1

260 By nature proved an enemy to the flock,
 Before his chaps be stained with crimson blood,
 As Humphrey, proved by reasons, to my liege.
 And do not stand on quillets how to slay him—
 Be it by gins, by snares, by subtlety,
265 Sleeping or waking. ’Tis no matter how,
 So he be dead; for that is good deceit
 Which mates him first that first intends deceit.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Thrice noble Suffolk, ’tis resolutely spoke.
SUFFOLK 
 Not resolute, except so much were done,
270 For things are often spoke and seldom meant;
 But that my heart accordeth with my tongue,
 Seeing the deed is meritorious,
 And to preserve my sovereign from his foe,
 Say but the word and I will be his priest.
CARDINAL 
275 But I would have him dead, my lord of Suffolk,
 Ere you can take due orders for a priest.
 Say you consent and censure well the deed,
 And I’ll provide his executioner.
 I tender so the safety of my liege.
SUFFOLK 
280 Here is my hand. The deed is worthy doing.
QUEEN MARGARET And so say I.
YORK 
 And I. And now we three have spoke it,
 It skills not greatly who impugns our doom.

Enter a Post.

POST 
 Great lords, from Ireland am I come amain
285 To signify that rebels there are up
 And put the Englishmen unto the sword.
 Send succors, lords, and stop the rage betime,

121
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ACT 3. SC. 1

 Before the wound do grow uncurable;
 For, being green, there is great hope of help.
He exits.
CARDINAL 
290 A breach that craves a quick expedient stop!
 What counsel give you in this weighty cause?
YORK 
 That Somerset be sent as regent thither.
 ’Tis meet that lucky ruler be employed—
 Witness the fortune he hath had in France.
SOMERSET, advancing 
295 If York, with all his far-fet policy,
 Had been the regent there instead of me,
 He never would have stayed in France so long.
YORK 
 No, not to lose it all, as thou hast done.
 I rather would have lost my life betimes
300 Than bring a burden of dishonor home
 By staying there so long till all were lost.
 Show me one scar charactered on thy skin.
 Men’s flesh preserved so whole do seldom win.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Nay, then, this spark will prove a raging fire
305 If wind and fuel be brought to feed it with.—
 No more, good York.—Sweet Somerset, be still.—
 Thy fortune, York, hadst thou been regent there,
 Might happily have proved far worse than his.
YORK 
 What, worse than naught? Nay, then, a shame take
310 all!
SOMERSET 
 And, in the number, thee that wishest shame!
CARDINAL 
 My lord of York, try what your fortune is.
 Th’ uncivil kerns of Ireland are in arms
 And temper clay with blood of Englishmen.

123
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 1

315 To Ireland will you lead a band of men,
 Collected choicely, from each county some,
 And try your hap against the Irishmen?
YORK 
 I will, my lord, so please his Majesty.
SUFFOLK 
 Why, our authority is his consent,
320 And what we do establish he confirms.
 Then, noble York, take thou this task in hand.
YORK 
 I am content. Provide me soldiers, lords,
 Whiles I take order for mine own affairs.
SUFFOLK 
 A charge, Lord York, that I will see performed.
325 But now return we to the false Duke Humphrey.
CARDINAL 
 No more of him, for I will deal with him,
 That henceforth he shall trouble us no more.
 And so break off; the day is almost spent.
 Lord Suffolk, you and I must talk of that event.
YORK 
330 My lord of Suffolk, within fourteen days
 At Bristow I expect my soldiers,
 For there I’ll ship them all for Ireland.
SUFFOLK 
 I’ll see it truly done, my lord of York.
All but York exit.
YORK 
 Now, York, or never, steel thy fearful thoughts
335 And change misdoubt to resolution.
 Be that thou hop’st to be, or what thou art
 Resign to death; it is not worth th’ enjoying.
 Let pale-faced fear keep with the mean-born man
 And find no harbor in a royal heart.
340 Faster than springtime showers comes thought on
 thought,

125
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 1

 And not a thought but thinks on dignity.
 My brain, more busy than the laboring spider,
 Weaves tedious snares to trap mine enemies.
345 Well, nobles, well, ’tis politicly done
 To send me packing with an host of men.
 I fear me you but warm the starvèd snake,
 Who, cherished in your breasts, will sting your
 hearts.
350 ’Twas men I lacked, and you will give them me;
 I take it kindly. Yet be well assured
 You put sharp weapons in a madman’s hands.
 Whiles I in Ireland nourish a mighty band,
 I will stir up in England some black storm
355 Shall blow ten thousand souls to heaven or hell;
 And this fell tempest shall not cease to rage
 Until the golden circuit on my head,
 Like to the glorious sun’s transparent beams,
 Do calm the fury of this mad-bred flaw.
360 And for a minister of my intent,
 I have seduced a headstrong Kentishman,
 John Cade of Ashford,
 To make commotion, as full well he can,
 Under the title of John Mortimer.
365 In Ireland have I seen this stubborn Cade
 Oppose himself against a troop of kerns,
 And fought so long till that his thighs with darts
 Were almost like a sharp-quilled porpentine;
 And in the end being rescued, I have seen
370 Him caper upright like a wild Morisco,
 Shaking the bloody darts as he his bells.
 Full often, like a shag-haired crafty kern,
 Hath he conversèd with the enemy,
 And undiscovered come to me again
375 And given me notice of their villainies.
 This devil here shall be my substitute;
 For that John Mortimer, which now is dead,

127
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 2

 In face, in gait, in speech he doth resemble.
 By this, I shall perceive the Commons’ mind,
380 How they affect the house and claim of York.
 Say he be taken, racked, and torturèd,
 I know no pain they can inflict upon him
 Will make him say I moved him to those arms.
 Say that he thrive, as ’tis great like he will,
385 Why then from Ireland come I with my strength
 And reap the harvest which that rascal sowed.
 For, Humphrey being dead, as he shall be,
 And Henry put apart, the next for me.
He exits.


Scene 2
Enter two or three running over the stage, from the
murder of Duke Humphrey.


FIRST MURDERER 
 Run to my lord of Suffolk. Let him know
 We have dispatched the Duke as he commanded.
SECOND MURDERER 
 O, that it were to do! What have we done?
 Didst ever hear a man so penitent?

Enter Suffolk.

FIRST MURDERER 5Here comes my lord.
SUFFOLK Now, sirs, have you dispatched this thing?
FIRST MURDERER Ay, my good lord, he’s dead.
SUFFOLK 
 Why, that’s well said. Go, get you to my house;
 I will reward you for this venturous deed.
10 The King and all the peers are here at hand.
 Have you laid fair the bed? Is all things well,
 According as I gave directions?
FIRST MURDERER ’Tis, my good lord.
SUFFOLK Away, be gone.The Murderers exit.

129
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 2

Sound trumpets. Enter King Henry, Queen
Margaret, Cardinal, Somerset, with Attendants.


KING HENRY 
15 Go, call our uncle to our presence straight.
 Say we intend to try his Grace today
 If he be guilty, as ’tis publishèd.
SUFFOLK 
 I’ll call him presently, my noble lord.He exits.
KING HENRY 
 Lords, take your places; and, I pray you all,
20 Proceed no straiter ’gainst our uncle Gloucester
 Than from true evidence of good esteem
 He be approved in practice culpable.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 God forbid any malice should prevail
 That faultless may condemn a nobleman!
25 Pray God he may acquit him of suspicion!
KING HENRY 
 I thank thee, Meg. These words content me much.

Enter Suffolk.

 How now? Why look’st thou pale? Why tremblest
 thou?
 Where is our uncle? What’s the matter, Suffolk?
SUFFOLK 
30 Dead in his bed, my lord. Gloucester is dead.
QUEEN MARGARET Marry, God forfend!
CARDINAL 
 God’s secret judgment. I did dream tonight
 The Duke was dumb and could not speak a word.
King Henry swoons.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 How fares my lord? Help, lords, the King is dead!
SOMERSET 
35 Rear up his body. Wring him by the nose.

131
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 2

QUEEN MARGARET 
 Run, go, help, help! O Henry, ope thine eyes!
King Henry stirs.
SUFFOLK 
 He doth revive again. Madam, be patient.
KING HENRY 
 O heavenly God!
QUEEN MARGARET  How fares my gracious lord?
SUFFOLK 
40 Comfort, my sovereign! Gracious Henry, comfort!
KING HENRY 
 What, doth my lord of Suffolk comfort me?
 Came he right now to sing a raven’s note,
 Whose dismal tune bereft my vital powers,
 And thinks he that the chirping of a wren,
45 By crying comfort from a hollow breast,
 Can chase away the first-conceivèd sound?
 Hide not thy poison with such sugared words.
 Lay not thy hands on me. Forbear, I say!
 Their touch affrights me as a serpent’s sting.
50 Thou baleful messenger, out of my sight!
 Upon thy eyeballs, murderous Tyranny
 Sits in grim majesty to fright the world.
 Look not upon me, for thine eyes are wounding.
 Yet do not go away. Come, basilisk,
55 And kill the innocent gazer with thy sight;
 For in the shade of death I shall find joy,
 In life but double death, now Gloucester’s dead.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Why do you rate my lord of Suffolk thus?
 Although the Duke was enemy to him,
60 Yet he most Christian-like laments his death.
 And for myself, foe as he was to me,
 Might liquid tears or heart-offending groans
 Or blood-consuming sighs recall his life,
 I would be blind with weeping, sick with groans,

133
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 2

65 Look pale as primrose with blood-drinking sighs,
 And all to have the noble duke alive.
 What know I how the world may deem of me?
 For it is known we were but hollow friends.
 It may be judged I made the Duke away;
70 So shall my name with slander’s tongue be wounded
 And princes’ courts be filled with my reproach.
 This get I by his death. Ay me, unhappy,
 To be a queen and crowned with infamy!
KING HENRY 
 Ah, woe is me for Gloucester, wretched man!
QUEEN MARGARET 
75 Be woe for me, more wretched than he is.
 What, dost thou turn away and hide thy face?
 I am no loathsome leper. Look on me.
 What, art thou, like the adder, waxen deaf?
 Be poisonous too, and kill thy forlorn queen.
80 Is all thy comfort shut in Gloucester’s tomb?
 Why, then, Dame Margaret was ne’er thy joy.
 Erect his statue and worship it,
 And make my image but an alehouse sign.
 Was I for this nigh-wracked upon the sea
85 And twice by awkward wind from England’s bank
 Drove back again unto my native clime?
 What boded this, but well forewarning wind
 Did seem to say “Seek not a scorpion’s nest,
 Nor set no footing on this unkind shore”?
90 What did I then but cursed the gentle gusts
 And he that loosed them forth their brazen caves
 And bid them blow towards England’s blessèd shore
 Or turn our stern upon a dreadful rock?
 Yet Aeolus would not be a murderer,
95 But left that hateful office unto thee.
 The pretty-vaulting sea refused to drown me,
 Knowing that thou wouldst have me drowned on
 shore

135
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 2

 With tears as salt as sea, through thy unkindness.
100 The splitting rocks cow’red in the sinking sands
 And would not dash me with their ragged sides
 Because thy flinty heart, more hard than they,
 Might in thy palace perish Margaret.
 As far as I could ken thy chalky cliffs,
105 When from thy shore the tempest beat us back,
 I stood upon the hatches in the storm,
 And when the dusky sky began to rob
 My earnest-gaping sight of thy land’s view,
 I took a costly jewel from my neck—
110 A heart it was, bound in with diamonds—
 And threw it towards thy land. The sea received it,
 And so I wished thy body might my heart.
 And even with this I lost fair England’s view,
 And bid mine eyes be packing with my heart,
115 And called them blind and dusky spectacles
 For losing ken of Albion’s wishèd coast.
 How often have I tempted Suffolk’s tongue,
 The agent of thy foul inconstancy,
 To sit and watch me, as Ascanius did
120 When he to madding Dido would unfold
 His father’s acts commenced in burning Troy!
 Am I not witched like her, or thou not false like
 him?
 Ay me, I can no more. Die, Margaret,
125 For Henry weeps that thou dost live so long.

Noise within. Enter Warwick and Salisbury,
and many Commons.


WARWICK 
 It is reported, mighty sovereign,
 That good Duke Humphrey traitorously is murdered
 By Suffolk and the Cardinal Beaufort’s means.
 The Commons, like an angry hive of bees
130 That want their leader, scatter up and down

137
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 2

 And care not who they sting in his revenge.
 Myself have calmed their spleenful mutiny,
 Until they hear the order of his death.
KING HENRY 
 That he is dead, good Warwick, ’tis too true;
135 But how he died God knows, not Henry.
 Enter his chamber, view his breathless corpse,
 And comment then upon his sudden death.
WARWICK 
 That shall I do, my liege.—Stay, Salisbury,
 With the rude multitude till I return.
Warwick exits through one door; Salisbury and
Commons exit through another.

KING HENRY 
140 O Thou that judgest all things, stay my thoughts,
 My thoughts that labor to persuade my soul
 Some violent hands were laid on Humphrey’s life.
 If my suspect be false, forgive me, God,
 For judgment only doth belong to Thee.
145 Fain would I go to chafe his paly lips
 With twenty thousand kisses, and to drain
 Upon his face an ocean of salt tears,
 To tell my love unto his dumb deaf trunk
 And with my fingers feel his hand unfeeling;
150 But all in vain are these mean obsequies.
 And to survey his dead and earthy image,
 What were it but to make my sorrow greater?

Bed put forth, bearing Gloucester’s body.
Enter Warwick.


WARWICK 
 Come hither, gracious sovereign. View this body.
KING HENRY 
 That is to see how deep my grave is made,
155 For with his soul fled all my worldly solace;
 For seeing him, I see my life in death.

139
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 2

WARWICK 
 As surely as my soul intends to live
 With that dread King that took our state upon Him
 To free us from His Father’s wrathful curse,
160 I do believe that violent hands were laid
 Upon the life of this thrice-famèd duke.
SUFFOLK 
 A dreadful oath, sworn with a solemn tongue!
 What instance gives Lord Warwick for his vow?
WARWICK 
 See how the blood is settled in his face.
165 Oft have I seen a timely-parted ghost,
 Of ashy semblance, meager, pale, and bloodless,
 Being all descended to the laboring heart,
 Who, in the conflict that it holds with death,
 Attracts the same for aidance ’gainst the enemy,
170 Which with the heart there cools and ne’er
 returneth
 To blush and beautify the cheek again.
 But see, his face is black and full of blood;
 His eyeballs further out than when he lived,
175 Staring full ghastly, like a strangled man;
 His hair upreared, his nostrils stretched with
 struggling;
 His hands abroad displayed, as one that grasped
 And tugged for life and was by strength subdued.
180 Look, on the sheets his hair, you see, is sticking;
 His well-proportioned beard made rough and
 rugged,
 Like to the summer’s corn by tempest lodged.
 It cannot be but he was murdered here.
185 The least of all these signs were probable.
The bed is removed.
SUFFOLK 
 Why, Warwick, who should do the Duke to death?

141
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 2

 Myself and Beaufort had him in protection,
 And we, I hope, sir, are no murderers.
WARWICK 
 But both of you were vowed Duke Humphrey’s foes,
190 To Cardinal. And you, forsooth, had the good duke
 to keep.
 ’Tis like you would not feast him like a friend,
 And ’tis well seen he found an enemy.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Then you, belike, suspect these noblemen
195 As guilty of Duke Humphrey’s timeless death.
WARWICK 
 Who finds the heifer dead and bleeding fresh,
 And sees fast by a butcher with an ax,
 But will suspect ’twas he that made the slaughter?
 Who finds the partridge in the puttock’s nest
200 But may imagine how the bird was dead,
 Although the kite soar with unbloodied beak?
 Even so suspicious is this tragedy.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Are you the butcher, Suffolk? Where’s your knife?
 Is Beaufort termed a kite? Where are his talons?
SUFFOLK 
205 I wear no knife to slaughter sleeping men,
 But here’s a vengeful sword, rusted with ease,
 That shall be scoured in his rancorous heart
 That slanders me with murder’s crimson badge.—
 Say, if thou dar’st, proud lord of Warwickshire,
210 That I am faulty in Duke Humphrey’s death.
WARWICK 
 What dares not Warwick, if false Suffolk dare him?
QUEEN MARGARET 
 He dares not calm his contumelious spirit
 Nor cease to be an arrogant controller,
 Though Suffolk dare him twenty thousand times.

143
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 2

WARWICK 
215 Madam, be still—with reverence may I say—
 For every word you speak in his behalf
 Is slander to your royal dignity.
SUFFOLK 
 Blunt-witted lord, ignoble in demeanor!
 If ever lady wronged her lord so much,
220 Thy mother took into her blameful bed
 Some stern untutored churl, and noble stock
 Was graft with crab-tree slip, whose fruit thou art
 And never of the Nevilles’ noble race.
WARWICK 
 But that the guilt of murder bucklers thee
225 And I should rob the deathsman of his fee,
 Quitting thee thereby of ten thousand shames,
 And that my sovereign’s presence makes me mild,
 I would, false murd’rous coward, on thy knee
 Make thee beg pardon for thy passèd speech
230 And say it was thy mother that thou meant’st,
 That thou thyself wast born in bastardy;
 And after all this fearful homage done,
 Give thee thy hire and send thy soul to hell,
 Pernicious bloodsucker of sleeping men!
SUFFOLK 
235 Thou shalt be waking while I shed thy blood,
 If from this presence thou dar’st go with me.
WARWICK 
 Away even now, or I will drag thee hence!
 Unworthy though thou art, I’ll cope with thee
 And do some service to Duke Humphrey’s ghost.
Warwick and Suffolk exit.
KING HENRY 
240 What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted?
 Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just,
 And he but naked, though locked up in steel,
 Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.

145
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 2

A noise within.
QUEEN MARGARET What noise is this?

Enter Suffolk and Warwick, with their weapons drawn.

KING HENRY 
245 Why, how now, lords? Your wrathful weapons
 drawn
 Here in our presence? Dare you be so bold?
 Why, what tumultuous clamor have we here?
SUFFOLK 
 The trait’rous Warwick, with the men of Bury,
250 Set all upon me, mighty sovereign.

Enter Salisbury.

SALISBURY, to the offstage Commons 
 Sirs, stand apart. The King shall know your mind.—
 Dread lord, the Commons send you word by me,
 Unless Lord Suffolk straight be done to death
 Or banishèd fair England’s territories,
255 They will by violence tear him from your palace
 And torture him with grievous ling’ring death.
 They say, by him the good duke Humphrey died;
 They say, in him they fear your Highness’ death;
 And mere instinct of love and loyalty,
260 Free from a stubborn opposite intent,
 As being thought to contradict your liking,
 Makes them thus forward in his banishment.
 They say, in care of your most royal person,
 That if your Highness should intend to sleep,
265 And charge that no man should disturb your rest,
 In pain of your dislike or pain of death,
 Yet, notwithstanding such a strait edict,
 Were there a serpent seen with forkèd tongue
 That slyly glided towards your Majesty,
270 It were but necessary you were waked,
 Lest, being suffered in that harmful slumber,

147
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 2

 The mortal worm might make the sleep eternal.
 And therefore do they cry, though you forbid,
 That they will guard you, whe’er you will or no,
275 From such fell serpents as false Suffolk is,
 With whose envenomèd and fatal sting
 Your loving uncle, twenty times his worth,
 They say, is shamefully bereft of life.
COMMONS, within 
 An answer from the King, my lord of Salisbury!
SUFFOLK 
280 ’Tis like the Commons, rude unpolished hinds,
 Could send such message to their sovereign!
 To Salisbury. But you, my lord, were glad to be
 employed,
 To show how quaint an orator you are.
285 But all the honor Salisbury hath won
 Is that he was the lord ambassador
 Sent from a sort of tinkers to the King.
COMMONS, within 
 An answer from the King, or we will all break in.
KING HENRY 
 Go, Salisbury, and tell them all from me,
290 I thank them for their tender loving care;
 And, had I not been cited so by them,
 Yet did I purpose as they do entreat.
 For, sure, my thoughts do hourly prophesy
 Mischance unto my state by Suffolk’s means.
295 And therefore, by His Majesty I swear,
 Whose far unworthy deputy I am,
 He shall not breathe infection in this air
 But three days longer, on the pain of death.
Salisbury exits.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 O Henry, let me plead for gentle Suffolk!
KING HENRY 
300 Ungentle queen to call him gentle Suffolk!

149
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 2

 No more, I say. If thou dost plead for him,
 Thou wilt but add increase unto my wrath.
 Had I but said, I would have kept my word;
 But when I swear, it is irrevocable.
305 To Suffolk. If, after three days’ space, thou here
 be’st found
 On any ground that I am ruler of,
 The world shall not be ransom for thy life.—
 Come, Warwick, come, good Warwick, go with me.
310 I have great matters to impart to thee.
All but the Queen and Suffolk exit.
QUEEN MARGARET, calling after King Henry and
 Warwick
 
 Mischance and sorrow go along with you!
 Heart’s discontent and sour affliction
 Be playfellows to keep you company!
 There’s two of you; the devil make a third,
315 And threefold vengeance tend upon your steps!
SUFFOLK 
 Cease, gentle queen, these execrations,
 And let thy Suffolk take his heavy leave.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Fie, coward woman and soft-hearted wretch!
 Hast thou not spirit to curse thine enemies?
SUFFOLK 
320 A plague upon them! Wherefore should I curse
 them?
 Could curses kill, as doth the mandrake’s groan,
 I would invent as bitter searching terms,
 As curst, as harsh, and horrible to hear,
325 Delivered strongly through my fixèd teeth,
 With full as many signs of deadly hate,
 As lean-faced Envy in her loathsome cave.
 My tongue should stumble in mine earnest words;
 Mine eyes should sparkle like the beaten flint;
330 Mine hair be fixed on end, as one distract;

151
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 2

 Ay, every joint should seem to curse and ban;
 And even now my burdened heart would break
 Should I not curse them. Poison be their drink!
 Gall, worse than gall, the daintiest that they taste;
335 Their sweetest shade, a grove of cypress trees;
 Their chiefest prospect, murd’ring basilisks;
 Their softest touch, as smart as lizards’ stings!
 Their music, frightful as the serpent’s hiss,
 And boding screech owls make the consort full!
340 All the foul terrors in dark-seated hell—
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Enough, sweet Suffolk, thou torment’st thyself,
 And these dread curses, like the sun ’gainst glass,
 Or like an over-chargèd gun, recoil
 And turn the force of them upon thyself.
SUFFOLK 
345 You bade me ban, and will you bid me leave?
 Now, by the ground that I am banished from,
 Well could I curse away a winter’s night,
 Though standing naked on a mountain top
 Where biting cold would never let grass grow,
350 And think it but a minute spent in sport.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 O, let me entreat thee cease! Give me thy hand,
 That I may dew it with my mournful tears;
 Nor let the rain of heaven wet this place
 To wash away my woeful monuments.
She kisses his hand.
355 O, could this kiss be printed in thy hand,
 That thou mightst think upon these by the seal,
 Through whom a thousand sighs are breathed for
 thee!
 So, get thee gone, that I may know my grief;
360 ’Tis but surmised whiles thou art standing by,
 As one that surfeits thinking on a want.
 I will repeal thee, or, be well assured,

153
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 2

 Adventure to be banishèd myself;
 And banishèd I am, if but from thee.
365 Go, speak not to me. Even now be gone!
 O, go not yet! Even thus two friends condemned
 Embrace and kiss and take ten thousand leaves,
 Loather a hundred times to part than die.
They embrace.
 Yet now farewell, and farewell life with thee.
SUFFOLK 
370 Thus is poor Suffolk ten times banishèd,
 Once by the King, and three times thrice by thee.
 ’Tis not the land I care for, wert thou thence.
 A wilderness is populous enough,
 So Suffolk had thy heavenly company;
375 For where thou art, there is the world itself,
 With every several pleasure in the world;
 And where thou art not, desolation.
 I can no more. Live thou to joy thy life;
 Myself no joy in naught but that thou liv’st.

Enter Vaux.

QUEEN MARGARET 
380 Whither goes Vaux so fast? What news, I prithee?
VAUX To signify unto his Majesty,
 That Cardinal Beaufort is at point of death;
 For suddenly a grievous sickness took him
 That makes him gasp and stare and catch the air,
385 Blaspheming God and cursing men on Earth.
 Sometimes he talks as if Duke Humphrey’s ghost
 Were by his side; sometimes he calls the King
 And whispers to his pillow, as to him,
 The secrets of his overchargèd soul.
390 And I am sent to tell his Majesty
 That even now he cries aloud for him.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Go, tell this heavy message to the King.Vaux exits.

155
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 2

 Ay me! What is this world? What news are these!
 But wherefore grieve I at an hour’s poor loss,
395 Omitting Suffolk’s exile, my soul’s treasure?
 Why only, Suffolk, mourn I not for thee,
 And with the southern clouds contend in tears—
 Theirs for the earth’s increase, mine for my
 sorrows’?
400 Now get thee hence. The King, thou know’st, is
 coming;
 If thou be found by me, thou art but dead.
SUFFOLK 
 If I depart from thee, I cannot live;
 And in thy sight to die, what were it else
405 But like a pleasant slumber in thy lap?
 Here could I breathe my soul into the air,
 As mild and gentle as the cradle babe
 Dying with mother’s dug between its lips;
 Where, from thy sight, I should be raging mad
410 And cry out for thee to close up mine eyes,
 To have thee with thy lips to stop my mouth.
 So shouldst thou either turn my flying soul,
 Or I should breathe it so into thy body,
 And then it lived in sweet Elysium.
415 To die by thee were but to die in jest;
 From thee to die were torture more than death.
 O, let me stay, befall what may befall!
QUEEN MARGARET 
 Away! Though parting be a fretful corrosive,
 It is applièd to a deathful wound.
420 To France, sweet Suffolk. Let me hear from thee,
 For wheresoe’er thou art in this world’s globe,
 I’ll have an Iris that shall find thee out.
SUFFOLK I go.
QUEEN MARGARET And take my heart with thee.
SUFFOLK 
425 A jewel locked into the woefull’st cask

157
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 3

 That ever did contain a thing of worth!
 Even as a splitted bark, so sunder we.
 This way fall I to death.
QUEEN MARGARET  This way for me.
They exit through different doors.


Scene 3
Enter King Henry, Salisbury and Warwick, to the
Cardinal in bed, raving and staring.


KING HENRY 
 How fares my lord? Speak, Beaufort, to thy sovereign.
CARDINAL 
 If thou be’st Death, I’ll give thee England’s treasure,
 Enough to purchase such another island,
 So thou wilt let me live and feel no pain.
KING HENRY 
5 Ah, what a sign it is of evil life,
 Where Death’s approach is seen so terrible!
WARWICK 
 Beaufort, it is thy sovereign speaks to thee.
CARDINAL 
 Bring me unto my trial when you will.
 Died he not in his bed? Where should he die?
10 Can I make men live, whe’er they will or no?
 O, torture me no more! I will confess.
 Alive again? Then show me where he is.
 I’ll give a thousand pound to look upon him.
 He hath no eyes! The dust hath blinded them.
15 Comb down his hair. Look, look. It stands upright,
 Like lime-twigs set to catch my wingèd soul.
 Give me some drink, and bid the apothecary
 Bring the strong poison that I bought of him.
KING HENRY 
 O, Thou eternal mover of the heavens,

159
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 3. SC. 3

20 Look with a gentle eye upon this wretch!
 O, beat away the busy meddling fiend
 That lays strong siege unto this wretch’s soul,
 And from his bosom purge this black despair!
WARWICK 
 See how the pangs of death do make him grin!
SALISBURY 
25 Disturb him not. Let him pass peaceably.
KING HENRY 
 Peace to his soul, if God’s good pleasure be!—
 Lord Card’nal, if thou think’st on heaven’s bliss,
 Hold up thy hand; make signal of thy hope.
The Cardinal dies.
 He dies and makes no sign. O, God forgive him!
WARWICK 
30 So bad a death argues a monstrous life.
KING HENRY 
 Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all.
 Close up his eyes, and draw the curtain close,
 And let us all to meditation.
After the curtains are closed around
the bed, they exit. The bed is removed.



ACT 4
Scene 1
Alarum. Offstage fight at sea. Ordnance goes off.
Enter Lieutenant, Suffolk, captive and in disguise,
and Others, including a Master, a Master’s Mate,
Walter Whitmore, and Prisoners.


LIEUTENANT 
 The gaudy, blabbing, and remorseful day
 Is crept into the bosom of the sea,
 And now loud-howling wolves arouse the jades
 That drag the tragic melancholy night,
5 Who, with their drowsy, slow, and flagging wings
 Clip dead men’s graves, and from their misty jaws
 Breathe foul contagious darkness in the air.
 Therefore bring forth the soldiers of our prize;
 For, whilst our pinnace anchors in the Downs,
10 Here shall they make their ransom on the sand,
 Or with their blood stain this discolored shore.—
 Master, this prisoner freely give I thee.—
 And, thou that art his mate, make boot of this.—
 The other, Walter Whitmore, is thy share.
Three gentlemen prisoners, including Suffolk,
are handed over.

FIRST GENTLEMAN 
15 What is my ransom, master? Let me know.
163

165
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 1

MASTER 
 A thousand crowns, or else lay down your head.
MATE, to the Second Gentleman 
 And so much shall you give, or off goes yours.
LIEUTENANT 
 What, think you much to pay two thousand crowns,
 And bear the name and port of gentlemen?—
20 Cut both the villains’ throats—for die you shall;
 The lives of those which we have lost in fight
 Be counterpoised with such a petty sum!
FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 I’ll give it, sir, and therefore spare my life.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 
 And so will I, and write home for it straight.
WHITMORE, to Suffolk 
25 I lost mine eye in laying the prize aboard,
 And therefore to revenge it shalt thou die;
 And so should these, if I might have my will.
LIEUTENANT 
 Be not so rash. Take ransom; let him live.
SUFFOLK 
 Look on my George; I am a gentleman.
30 Rate me at what thou wilt, thou shalt be paid.
WHITMORE 
 And so am I. My name is Walter Whitmore.
Suffolk starts.
 How now, why starts thou? What, doth death
 affright?
SUFFOLK 
 Thy name affrights me, in whose sound is death.
35 A cunning man did calculate my birth
 And told me that by water I should die.
 Yet let not this make thee be bloody-minded;
 Thy name is Gualtier, being rightly sounded.
WHITMORE 
 Gualtier or Walter, which it is, I care not.

167
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 1

40 Never yet did base dishonor blur our name
 But with our sword we wiped away the blot.
 Therefore, when merchantlike I sell revenge,
 Broke be my sword, my arms torn and defaced,
 And I proclaimed a coward through the world!
SUFFOLK 
45 Stay, Whitmore, for thy prisoner is a prince,
 The Duke of Suffolk, William de la Pole.
WHITMORE 
 The Duke of Suffolk muffled up in rags?
SUFFOLK 
 Ay, but these rags are no part of the Duke.
 Jove sometimes went disguised, and why not I?
LIEUTENANT 
50 But Jove was never slain, as thou shalt be.
SUFFOLK 
 Obscure and lousy swain, King Henry’s blood,
 The honorable blood of Lancaster,
 Must not be shed by such a jaded groom.
 Hast thou not kissed thy hand and held my stirrup?
55 Bareheaded plodded by my footcloth mule,
 And thought thee happy when I shook my head?
 How often hast thou waited at my cup,
 Fed from my trencher, kneeled down at the board,
 When I have feasted with Queen Margaret?
60 Remember it, and let it make thee crestfall’n,
 Ay, and allay this thy abortive pride.
 How in our voiding lobby hast thou stood
 And duly waited for my coming forth?
 This hand of mine hath writ in thy behalf,
65 And therefore shall it charm thy riotous tongue.
WHITMORE 
 Speak, captain, shall I stab the forlorn swain?
LIEUTENANT 
 First let my words stab him as he hath me.

169
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 1

SUFFOLK 
 Base slave, thy words are blunt, and so art thou.
LIEUTENANT 
 Convey him hence, and on our longboat’s side,
70 Strike off his head.
SUFFOLK  Thou dar’st not for thy own.
LIEUTENANT 
 Yes, Pole.
SUFFOLK  Pole!
LIEUTENANT  Pole! Sir Pole! Lord!
75 Ay, kennel, puddle, sink, whose filth and dirt
 Troubles the silver spring where England drinks!
 Now will I dam up this thy yawning mouth
 For swallowing the treasure of the realm.
 Thy lips that kissed the Queen shall sweep the
80 ground,
 And thou that smiledst at good Duke Humphrey’s
 death
 Against the senseless winds shall grin in vain,
 Who in contempt shall hiss at thee again.
85 And wedded be thou to the hags of hell
 For daring to affy a mighty lord
 Unto the daughter of a worthless king,
 Having neither subject, wealth, nor diadem.
 By devilish policy art thou grown great,
90 And, like ambitious Sylla, overgorged
 With gobbets of thy mother’s bleeding heart.
 By thee Anjou and Maine were sold to France.
 The false revolting Normans thorough thee
 Disdain to call us lord, and Picardy
95 Hath slain their governors, surprised our forts,
 And sent the ragged soldiers wounded home.
 The princely Warwick, and the Nevilles all,
 Whose dreadful swords were never drawn in vain,
 As hating thee, are rising up in arms.
100 And now the house of York, thrust from the crown

171
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 1

 By shameful murder of a guiltless king
 And lofty, proud, encroaching tyranny,
 Burns with revenging fire, whose hopeful colors
 Advance our half-faced sun, striving to shine,
105 Under the which is writ “Invitis nubibus.”
 The commons here in Kent are up in arms,
 And, to conclude, reproach and beggary
 Is crept into the palace of our king,
 And all by thee.—Away! Convey him hence.
SUFFOLK 
110 O, that I were a god, to shoot forth thunder
 Upon these paltry, servile, abject drudges!
 Small things make base men proud. This villain
 here,
 Being captain of a pinnace, threatens more
115 Than Bargulus, the strong Illyrian pirate.
 Drones suck not eagles’ blood, but rob beehives.
 It is impossible that I should die
 By such a lowly vassal as thyself.
 Thy words move rage and not remorse in me.
120 I go of message from the Queen to France.
 I charge thee waft me safely cross the Channel.
LIEUTENANT Walter.
WHITMORE 
 Come, Suffolk, I must waft thee to thy death.
SUFFOLK 
 Paene gelidus timor occupat artus.
125 It is thee I fear.
WHITMORE 
 Thou shalt have cause to fear before I leave thee.
 What, are you daunted now? Now will you stoop?
FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 My gracious lord, entreat him; speak him fair.
SUFFOLK 
 Suffolk’s imperial tongue is stern and rough,
130 Used to command, untaught to plead for favor.

173
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 1

 Far be it we should honor such as these
 With humble suit. No, rather let my head
 Stoop to the block than these knees bow to any
 Save to the God of heaven and to my king;
135 And sooner dance upon a bloody pole
 Than stand uncovered to the vulgar groom.
 True nobility is exempt from fear.—
 More can I bear than you dare execute.
LIEUTENANT 
 Hale him away, and let him talk no more.
SUFFOLK 
140 Come, soldiers, show what cruelty you can,
 That this my death may never be forgot!
 Great men oft die by vile bezonians:
 A Roman sworder and banditto slave
 Murdered sweet Tully; Brutus’ bastard hand
145 Stabbed Julius Caesar; savage islanders
 Pompey the Great, and Suffolk dies by pirates.
Walter Whitmore exits with
Suffolk and Others.

LIEUTENANT 
 And as for these whose ransom we have set,
 It is our pleasure one of them depart.
 To Second Gentleman. Therefore come you with us,
150 and let him go.Lieutenant and the rest exit.
The First Gentleman remains.


Enter Walter Whitmore with the body
and severed head of Suffolk.


WHITMORE 
 There let his head and lifeless body lie,
 Until the Queen his mistress bury it.
Walter Whitmore exits.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 
 O, barbarous and bloody spectacle!
 His body will I bear unto the King.

175
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 2

155 If he revenge it not, yet will his friends.
 So will the Queen, that living held him dear.
He exits with the head and body.


Scene 2
Enter Bevis and John Holland with staves.

BEVIS Come, and get thee a sword, though made of a
 lath. They have been up these two days.
HOLLAND They have the more need to sleep now, then.
BEVIS I tell thee, Jack Cade the clothier means to dress
5 the commonwealth, and turn it, and set a new nap
 upon it.
HOLLAND So he had need, for ’tis threadbare. Well, I
 say, it was never merry world in England since
 gentlemen came up.
BEVIS 10O miserable age! Virtue is not regarded in
 handicraftsmen.
HOLLAND The nobility think scorn to go in leather
 aprons.
BEVIS Nay, more, the King’s Council are no good
15 workmen.
HOLLAND True, and yet it is said “Labor in thy vocation,”
 which is as much to say as “Let the magistrates
 be laboring men.” And therefore should we
 be magistrates.
BEVIS 20Thou hast hit it, for there’s no better sign of a
 brave mind than a hard hand.
HOLLAND I see them, I see them! There’s Best’s son, the
 tanner of Wingham—
BEVIS He shall have the skins of our enemies to make
25 dog’s leather of.
HOLLAND And Dick the butcher—
BEVIS Then is sin struck down like an ox, and iniquity’s
 throat cut like a calf.

177
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 2

HOLLAND And Smith the weaver.
BEVIS 30Argo, their thread of life is spun.
HOLLAND Come, come, let’s fall in with them.

Drum. Enter Cade, Dick the butcher, Smith the
weaver, and a Sawyer, with infinite numbers,
all with staves.


CADE We, John Cade, so termed of our supposed
 father—
DICK, aside Or rather of stealing a cade of herrings.
CADE 35For our enemies shall fall before us, inspired
 with the spirit of putting down kings and princes—
 command silence.
DICK Silence!
CADE My father was a Mortimer—
DICK, aside 40He was an honest man and a good
 bricklayer.
CADE My mother a Plantagenet—
DICK, aside I knew her well; she was a midwife.
CADE My wife descended of the Lacys.
DICK, aside 45She was indeed a peddler’s daughter, and
 sold many laces.
SMITH, aside But now of late, not able to travel with
 her furred pack, she washes bucks here at home.
CADE Therefore am I of an honorable house.
DICK, aside 50Ay, by my faith, the field is honorable;
 and there was he born, under a hedge, for his
 father had never a house but the cage.
CADE Valiant I am—
SMITH, aside He must needs, for beggary is valiant.
CADE 55I am able to endure much—
DICK, aside No question of that; for I have seen him
 whipped three market-days together.
CADE I fear neither sword nor fire.
SMITH, aside He need not fear the sword, for his coat
60 is of proof.

179
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 2

DICK, aside But methinks he should stand in fear of
 fire, being burnt i’ th’ hand for stealing of sheep.
CADE Be brave, then, for your captain is brave and
 vows reformation. There shall be in England seven
65 halfpenny loaves sold for a penny. The three-hooped
 pot shall have ten hoops, and I will make it
 felony to drink small beer. All the realm shall be in
 common, and in Cheapside shall my palfrey go to
 grass. And when I am king, as king I will be—
ALL 70God save your Majesty!
CADE I thank you, good people.—There shall be no
 money; all shall eat and drink on my score; and I
 will apparel them all in one livery, that they may
 agree like brothers and worship me their lord.
DICK 75The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.
CADE Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable
 thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should
 be made parchment? That parchment, being scribbled
 o’er, should undo a man? Some say the bee
80 stings, but I say, ’tis the beeswax; for I did but seal
 once to a thing, and I was never mine own man
 since. How now? Who’s there?

Enter a Clerk of Chartham, under guard.

SMITH The clerk of Chartham. He can write and read
 and cast account.
CADE 85O, monstrous!
SMITH We took him setting of boys’ copies.
CADE Here’s a villain!
SMITH H’as a book in his pocket with red letters in ’t.
CADE Nay, then, he is a conjurer.
DICK 90Nay, he can make obligations and write court
 hand.
CADE I am sorry for ’t. The man is a proper man, of
 mine honor. Unless I find him guilty, he shall not

181
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 2

 die.—Come hither, sirrah; I must examine thee.
95 What is thy name?
CLERK Emmanuel.
DICK They use to write it on the top of letters.—’Twill
 go hard with you.
CADE Let me alone.—Dost thou use to write thy
100 name? Or hast thou a mark to thyself, like an
 honest, plain-dealing man?
CLERK Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought
 up that I can write my name.
ALL He hath confessed. Away with him! He’s a villain
105 and a traitor.
CADE Away with him, I say! Hang him with his pen
 and inkhorn about his neck.
One exits with the Clerk.

Enter Michael.

MICHAEL Where’s our general?
CADE Here I am, thou particular fellow.
MICHAEL 110Fly, fly, fly! Sir Humphrey Stafford and his
 brother are hard by, with the King’s forces.
CADE Stand, villain, stand, or I’ll fell thee down. He
 shall be encountered with a man as good as himself.
 He is but a knight, is he?
MICHAEL 115No.
CADE To equal him I will make myself a knight
 presently. He kneels. Rise up Sir John Mortimer.
 He rises. Now have at him!

Enter Sir Humphrey Stafford and his Brother, with
a Herald, Drum, and Soldiers.


STAFFORD 
 Rebellious hinds, the filth and scum of Kent,
120 Marked for the gallows, lay your weapons down!
 Home to your cottages; forsake this groom.
 The King is merciful, if you revolt.

183
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 2

BROTHER 
 But angry, wrathful, and inclined to blood,
 If you go forward. Therefore yield, or die.
CADE 
125 As for these silken-coated slaves, I pass not.
 It is to you, good people, that I speak,
 Over whom, in time to come, I hope to reign,
 For I am rightful heir unto the crown.
STAFFORD 
 Villain, thy father was a plasterer,
130 And thou thyself a shearman, art thou not?
CADE 
 And Adam was a gardener.
BROTHER  And what of that?
CADE 
 Marry, this: Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March,
 Married the Duke of Clarence’ daughter, did he not?
STAFFORD 135Ay, sir.
CADE 
 By her he had two children at one birth.
BROTHER That’s false.
CADE 
 Ay, there’s the question. But I say ’tis true.
 The elder of them, being put to nurse,
140 Was by a beggar-woman stol’n away,
 And, ignorant of his birth and parentage,
 Became a bricklayer when he came to age.
 His son am I. Deny it if you can.
DICK 
 Nay, ’tis too true. Therefore he shall be king.
SMITH 145Sir, he made a chimney in my father’s house,
 and the bricks are alive at this day to testify it.
 Therefore deny it not.
STAFFORD 
 And will you credit this base drudge’s words,
 That speaks he knows not what?

185
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 2

ALL 
150 Ay, marry, will we. Therefore get you gone.
BROTHER 
 Jack Cade, the Duke of York hath taught you this.
CADE He lies, aside for I invented it myself.—Go to,
 sirrah. Tell the King from me that, for his father’s
 sake, Henry the Fifth, in whose time boys went to
155 span-counter for French crowns, I am content he
 shall reign, but I’ll be Protector over him.
DICK And, furthermore, we’ll have the Lord Saye’s
 head for selling the dukedom of Maine.
CADE And good reason: for thereby is England mained
160 and fain to go with a staff, but that my puissance
 holds it up. Fellow kings, I tell you that that Lord
 Saye hath gelded the commonwealth and made it
 an eunuch; and, more than that, he can speak
 French, and therefore he is a traitor.
STAFFORD 
165 O, gross and miserable ignorance!
CADE Nay, answer if you can. The Frenchmen are our
 enemies. Go to, then, I ask but this: can he that
 speaks with the tongue of an enemy be a good
 counselor, or no?
ALL 170No, no, and therefore we’ll have his head!
BROTHER, to Stafford 
 Well, seeing gentle words will not prevail,
 Assail them with the army of the King.
STAFFORD 
 Herald, away, and throughout every town
 Proclaim them traitors that are up with Cade,
175 That those which fly before the battle ends
 May, even in their wives’ and children’s sight
 Be hanged up for example at their doors.—
 And you that be the King’s friends, follow me.
The Staffords, Soldiers, and Herald exit.

187
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 3

CADE 
 And you that love the Commons, follow me.
180 Now show yourselves men. ’Tis for liberty!
 We will not leave one lord, one gentleman;
 Spare none but such as go in clouted shoon,
 For they are thrifty, honest men and such
 As would, but that they dare not, take our parts.
DICK 185They are all in order and march toward us.
CADE But then are we in order when we are most out
 of order. Come, march forward.
They exit.


Scene 3
Alarums to the fight, wherein both the Staffords are
slain. Enter Cade and the rest.


CADE Where’s Dick, the butcher of Ashford?
DICK Here, sir.
CADE They fell before thee like sheep and oxen, and
 thou behaved’st thyself as if thou hadst been in
5 thine own slaughterhouse. Therefore, thus will I
 reward thee: the Lent shall be as long again as it is,
 and thou shalt have a license to kill for a hundred
 lacking one.
DICK I desire no more.
CADE 10And to speak truth, thou deserv’st no less. This
 monument of the victory will I bear. He puts on
 Sir Humphrey Stafford’s armor and helmet, or sallet.

 And the bodies shall be dragged at my horse
 heels till I do come to London, where we will have
 the Mayor’s sword borne before us.
DICK 15If we mean to thrive and do good, break open
 the jails and let out the prisoners.
CADE Fear not that, I warrant thee. Come, let’s march
 towards London.
They exit with the bodies of the Staffords.




189
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 4

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.


Scene 5
Enter Lord Scales upon the Tower, walking. Then enters
two or three Citizens below.


SCALES How now? Is Jack Cade slain?
FIRST CITIZEN No, my lord, nor likely to be slain; for
 they have won the Bridge, killing all those that
 withstand them. The Lord Mayor craves aid of
5 your Honor from the Tower to defend the city
 from the rebels.
SCALES 
 Such aid as I can spare you shall command;
 But I am troubled here with them myself:
 The rebels have essayed to win the Tower.

195
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 6

10 But get you to Smithfield and gather head,
 And thither I will send you Matthew Gough.
 Fight for your king, your country, and your lives.
 And so farewell, for I must hence again.
They exit.


Scene 6
Enter Jack Cade and the rest, and strikes his staff on
London Stone.


CADE Now is Mortimer lord of this city. And here, sitting
 upon London Stone, I charge and command
 that, of the city’s cost, the Pissing Conduit run
 nothing but claret wine this first year of our reign.
5 And now henceforward it shall be treason for any
 that calls me other than Lord Mortimer.

Enter a Soldier running.

SOLDIER Jack Cade, Jack Cade!
CADE Knock him down there.They kill him.
DICK If this fellow be wise, he’ll never call you Jack
10 Cade more. I think he hath a very fair warning.
Takes a paper from the dead Soldier and
reads the message.

 My lord, there’s an army gathered together in
 Smithfield.
CADE Come, then, let’s go fight with them. But first, go
 and set London Bridge on fire, and, if you can,
15 burn down the Tower too. Come, let’s away.
All exit.




197
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 7

Scene 7
Alarums. Matthew Gough is slain, and all the rest.
Then enter Jack Cade with his company.


CADE So, sirs. Now go some and pull down the Savoy;
 others to th’ Inns of Court. Down with them all!
DICK I have a suit unto your Lordship.
CADE Be it a lordship, thou shalt have it for that word.
DICK 5Only that the laws of England may come out of
 your mouth.
HOLLAND, aside Mass, ’twill be sore law, then, for he
 was thrust in the mouth with a spear, and ’tis not
 whole yet.
SMITH, aside 10Nay, John, it will be stinking law, for
 his breath stinks with eating toasted cheese.
CADE I have thought upon it; it shall be so. Away!
 Burn all the records of the realm. My mouth shall
 be the Parliament of England.
HOLLAND, aside 15Then we are like to have biting
 statutes—unless his teeth be pulled out.
CADE And henceforward all things shall be in
 common.

Enter a Messenger.

MESSENGER My lord, a prize, a prize! Here’s the Lord
20 Saye, which sold the towns in France, he that
 made us pay one-and-twenty fifteens, and one
 shilling to the pound, the last subsidy.

Enter George with the Lord Saye.

CADE Well, he shall be beheaded for it ten times.—Ah,
 thou say, thou serge, nay, thou buckram lord, now
25 art thou within point-blank of our jurisdiction
 regal. What canst thou answer to my Majesty for
 giving up of Normandy unto Monsieur Basimecu,
 the Dauphin of France? Be it known unto thee by

199
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 7

 these presence, even the presence of Lord Mortimer,
30 that I am the besom that must sweep the
 court clean of such filth as thou art. Thou hast
 most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm
 in erecting a grammar school; and whereas,
 before, our forefathers had no other books but the
35 score and the tally, thou hast caused printing to be
 used, and, contrary to the King his crown and dignity,
 thou hast built a paper mill. It will be proved
 to thy face that thou hast men about thee that usually
 talk of a noun and a verb and such abominable
40 words as no Christian ear can endure to hear.
 Thou hast appointed justices of peace to call poor
 men before them about matters they were not able
 to answer. Moreover, thou hast put them in prison;
 and, because they could not read, thou hast
45 hanged them, when indeed only for that cause
 they have been most worthy to live. Thou dost ride
 on a footcloth, dost thou not?
SAYE What of that?
CADE Marry, thou oughtst not to let thy horse wear a
50 cloak when honester men than thou go in their
 hose and doublets.
DICK And work in their shirt too—as myself, for example,
 that am a butcher.
SAYE You men of Kent—
DICK 55What say you of Kent?
SAYE Nothing but this: ’tis bona terra, mala gens.
CADE Away with him, away with him! He speaks
 Latin.
SAYE 
 Hear me but speak, and bear me where you will.
60 Kent, in the commentaries Caesar writ,
 Is termed the civil’st place of all this isle.
 Sweet is the country, because full of riches;
 The people liberal, valiant, active, wealthy;

201
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 7

 Which makes me hope you are not void of pity.
65 I sold not Maine; I lost not Normandy;
 Yet to recover them would lose my life.
 Justice with favor have I always done;
 Prayers and tears have moved me; gifts could never.
 When have I aught exacted at your hands
70 Kent to maintain, the King, the realm, and you?
 Large gifts have I bestowed on learnèd clerks,
 Because my book preferred me to the King.
 And seeing ignorance is the curse of God,
 Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven,
75 Unless you be possessed with devilish spirits,
 You cannot but forbear to murder me.
 This tongue hath parleyed unto foreign kings
 For your behoof—
CADE Tut, when struck’st thou one blow in the field?
SAYE 
80 Great men have reaching hands. Oft have I struck
 Those that I never saw, and struck them dead.
GEORGE O monstrous coward! What, to come behind
 folks?
SAYE 
 These cheeks are pale for watching for your good.
CADE 85Give him a box o’ th’ ear, and that will make ’em
 red again.
SAYE 
 Long sitting to determine poor men’s causes
 Hath made me full of sickness and diseases.
CADE You shall have a hempen caudle, then, and
90 the help of hatchet.
DICK Why dost thou quiver, man?
SAYE The palsy, and not fear, provokes me.
CADE Nay, he nods at us, as who should say “I’ll be
 even with you.” I’ll see if his head will stand steadier
95 on a pole, or no. Take him away, and behead
 him.

203
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 7

SAYE 
 Tell me, wherein have I offended most?
 Have I affected wealth or honor? Speak.
 Are my chests filled up with extorted gold?
100 Is my apparel sumptuous to behold?
 Whom have I injured, that you seek my death?
 These hands are free from guiltless blood-shedding,
 This breast from harboring foul deceitful thoughts.
 O, let me live!
CADE 105I feel remorse in myself with his words, but I’ll
 bridle it. He shall die, an it be but for pleading so
 well for his life. Away with him! He has a familiar
 under his tongue; he speaks not i’ God’s name. Go,
 take him away, I say, and strike off his head
110 presently; and then break into his son-in-law’s
 house, Sir James Cromer, and strike off his head;
 and bring them both upon two poles hither.
ALL It shall be done.
SAYE 
 Ah, countrymen, if when you make your prayers,
115 God should be so obdurate as yourselves,
 How would it fare with your departed souls?
 And therefore yet relent, and save my life.
CADE Away with him, and do as I command you.
Some exit with Lord Saye.
 The proudest peer in the realm shall not wear a
120 head on his shoulders unless he pay me tribute.
 There shall not a maid be married but she shall
 pay to me her maidenhead ere they have it. Men
 shall hold of me in capite; and we charge and command
 that their wives be as free as heart can wish
125 or tongue can tell.
DICK My lord, when shall we go to Cheapside and take
 up commodities upon our bills?
CADE Marry, presently.
ALL O, brave!

205
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 8

Enter one with the heads of Lord Saye and Sir James
Cromer on poles.


CADE 130But is not this braver? Let them kiss one another,
 for they loved well when they were alive. The
 heads are brought together. 
Now part them again,
 lest they consult about the giving up of some more
 towns in France. Soldiers, defer the spoil of the
135 city until night, for, with these borne before us
 instead of maces, will we ride through the streets
 and at every corner have them kiss. Away!
He exits with his company.


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.


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?
211
Henry VI, Part 2
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

213
Henry VI, Part 2
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.




215
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 10

Scene 10
Enter Cade.

CADE Fie on ambitions! Fie on myself, that have a
 sword and yet am ready to famish! These five days
 have I hid me in these woods and durst not peep
 out, for all the country is laid for me. But now am
5 I so hungry that, if I might have a lease of my life
 for a thousand years, I could stay no longer.
 Wherefore, o’er a brick wall have I climbed into
 this garden, to see if I can eat grass, or pick a sallet
 another while, which is not amiss to cool a man’s
10 stomach this hot weather. And I think this word
 sallet was born to do me good; for many a time,
 but for a sallet, my brainpan had been cleft with a
 brown bill; and many a time, when I have been dry
 and bravely marching, it hath served me instead of
15 a quart pot to drink in; and now the word sallet
 must serve me to feed on.

Enter Iden and his Men.

IDEN 
 Lord, who would live turmoilèd in the court
 And may enjoy such quiet walks as these?
 This small inheritance my father left me
20 Contenteth me, and worth a monarchy.
 I seek not to wax great by others’ waning,
 Or gather wealth, I care not with what envy.
 Sufficeth that I have maintains my state
 And sends the poor well pleasèd from my gate.
CADE, aside 25Here’s the lord of the soil come to seize
 me for a stray, for entering his fee-simple without
 leave.—Ah, villain, thou wilt betray me and get a
 thousand crowns of the King by carrying my head
 to him; but I’ll make thee eat iron like an ostrich

217
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 10

30 and swallow my sword like a great pin, ere thou
 and I part.He draws his sword.
IDEN 
 Why, rude companion, whatsoe’er thou be,
 I know thee not. Why, then, should I betray thee?
 Is ’t not enough to break into my garden
35 And, like a thief, to come to rob my grounds,
 Climbing my walls in spite of me the owner,
 But thou wilt brave me with these saucy terms?
CADE Brave thee? Ay, by the best blood that ever was
 broached, and beard thee too. Look on me well: I
40 have eat no meat these five days, yet come thou
 and thy five men, and if I do not leave you all as
 dead as a doornail, I pray God I may never eat
 grass more.
IDEN 
 Nay, it shall ne’er be said, while England stands,
45 That Alexander Iden, an esquire of Kent,
 Took odds to combat a poor famished man.
 Oppose thy steadfast gazing eyes to mine;
 See if thou canst outface me with thy looks.
 Set limb to limb, and thou art far the lesser;
50 Thy hand is but a finger to my fist,
 Thy leg a stick comparèd with this truncheon.
 My foot shall fight with all the strength thou hast;
 And if mine arm be heavèd in the air,
 Thy grave is digged already in the earth.
55 As for words, whose greatness answers words,
 Let this my sword report what speech forbears.
He draws his sword.
CADE By my valor, the most complete champion that
 ever I heard! Steel, if thou turn the edge or cut not
 out the burly-boned clown in chines of beef ere
60 thou sleep in thy sheath, I beseech God on my
 knees thou mayst be turned to hobnails.
(Here they fight, and Cade falls.)

219
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 4. SC. 10

 O, I am slain! Famine, and no other, hath slain me.
 Let ten thousand devils come against me, and give
 me but the ten meals I have lost, and I’d defy them
65 all. Wither, garden, and be henceforth a burying
 place to all that do dwell in this house, because the
 unconquered soul of Cade is fled.
IDEN 
 Is ’t Cade that I have slain, that monstrous traitor?
 Sword, I will hallow thee for this thy deed,
70 And hang thee o’er my tomb when I am dead.
 Ne’er shall this blood be wipèd from thy point,
 But thou shalt wear it as a herald’s coat
 To emblaze the honor that thy master got.
CADE Iden, farewell, and be proud of thy victory. Tell
75 Kent from me she hath lost her best man, and
 exhort all the world to be cowards; for I, that never
 feared any, am vanquished by famine, not by valor.
Dies.
IDEN 
 How much thou wrong’st me, heaven be my judge!
 Die, damnèd wretch, the curse of her that bare thee!
80 And as I thrust thy body in with my sword,
 So wish I, I might thrust thy soul to hell.
 Hence will I drag thee headlong by the heels
 Unto a dunghill, which shall be thy grave,
 And there cut off thy most ungracious head,
85 Which I will bear in triumph to the King,
 Leaving thy trunk for crows to feed upon.
He exits with his Men, dragging Cade’s body.


ACT 5
Scene 1
Enter York, wearing the white rose, and his army of
Irish, with Attendants, Drum and Colors.


YORK 
 From Ireland thus comes York to claim his right
 And pluck the crown from feeble Henry’s head.
 Ring, bells, aloud! Burn, bonfires, clear and bright
 To entertain great England’s lawful king!
5 Ah, sancta maiestas, who would not buy thee dear?
 Let them obey that knows not how to rule.
 This hand was made to handle naught but gold.
 I cannot give due action to my words
 Except a sword or scepter balance it.
10 A scepter shall it have, have I a soul,
 On which I’ll toss the fleur-de-luce of France.

Enter Buckingham, wearing the red rose.

 Aside. Whom have we here? Buckingham, to
 disturb me?
 The King hath sent him, sure. I must dissemble.
BUCKINGHAM 
15 York, if thou meanest well, I greet thee well.
YORK 
 Humphrey of Buckingham, I accept thy greeting.
 Art thou a messenger, or come of pleasure?
223

225
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 5. SC. 1

BUCKINGHAM 
 A messenger from Henry, our dread liege,
 To know the reason of these arms in peace;
20 Or why thou, being a subject as I am,
 Against thy oath and true allegiance sworn,
 Should raise so great a power without his leave,
 Or dare to bring thy force so near the court.
YORK, aside 
 Scarce can I speak, my choler is so great.
25 O, I could hew up rocks and fight with flint,
 I am so angry at these abject terms!
 And now, like Ajax Telamonius,
 On sheep or oxen could I spend my fury.
 I am far better born than is the King,
30 More like a king, more kingly in my thoughts.
 But I must make fair weather yet awhile,
 Till Henry be more weak and I more strong.—
 Buckingham, I prithee, pardon me,
 That I have given no answer all this while.
35 My mind was troubled with deep melancholy.
 The cause why I have brought this army hither
 Is to remove proud Somerset from the King,
 Seditious to his Grace and to the state.
BUCKINGHAM 
 That is too much presumption on thy part.
40 But if thy arms be to no other end,
 The King hath yielded unto thy demand:
 The Duke of Somerset is in the Tower.
YORK 
 Upon thine honor, is he prisoner?
BUCKINGHAM 
 Upon mine honor, he is prisoner.
YORK 
45 Then, Buckingham, I do dismiss my powers.—
 Soldiers, I thank you all. Disperse yourselves.

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ACT 5. SC. 1

 Meet me tomorrow in Saint George’s field;
 You shall have pay and everything you wish.
Soldiers exit.
 And let my sovereign, virtuous Henry,
50 Command my eldest son, nay, all my sons,
 As pledges of my fealty and love;
 I’ll send them all as willing as I live.
 Lands, goods, horse, armor, anything I have
 Is his to use, so Somerset may die.
BUCKINGHAM 
55 York, I commend this kind submission.
 We twain will go into his Highness’ tent.
They walk arm in arm.

Enter King Henry and Attendants.

KING HENRY 
 Buckingham, doth York intend no harm to us
 That thus he marcheth with thee arm in arm?
YORK 
 In all submission and humility
60 York doth present himself unto your Highness.
KING HENRY 
 Then what intends these forces thou dost bring?
YORK 
 To heave the traitor Somerset from hence
 And fight against that monstrous rebel Cade,
 Who since I heard to be discomfited.

Enter Iden, with Cade’s head.

IDEN 
65 If one so rude and of so mean condition
 May pass into the presence of a king,
 Lo, I present your Grace a traitor’s head,
 The head of Cade, whom I in combat slew.
KING HENRY 
 The head of Cade? Great God, how just art Thou!

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ACT 5. SC. 1

70 O, let me view his visage, being dead,
 That living wrought me such exceeding trouble.
 Tell me, my friend, art thou the man that slew him?
IDEN I was, an ’t like your Majesty.
KING HENRY 
 How art thou called? And what is thy degree?
IDEN 
75 Alexander Iden, that’s my name,
 A poor esquire of Kent that loves his king.
BUCKINGHAM 
 So please it you, my lord, ’twere not amiss
 He were created knight for his good service.
KING HENRY 
 Iden, kneel down. He kneels. Rise up a knight. He
 rises.

80 We give thee for reward a thousand marks,
 And will that thou henceforth attend on us.
IDEN 
 May Iden live to merit such a bounty,
 And never live but true unto his liege!

Enter Queen Margaret and Somerset,
wearing the red rose.


KING HENRY, aside to Buckingham 
 See, Buckingham, Somerset comes with th’ Queen.
85 Go bid her hide him quickly from the Duke.
Buckingham whispers to the Queen.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 For thousand Yorks he shall not hide his head,
 But boldly stand and front him to his face.
YORK, aside 
 How now? Is Somerset at liberty?
 Then, York, unloose thy long-imprisoned thoughts,
90 And let thy tongue be equal with thy heart.
 Shall I endure the sight of Somerset?—
 False king, why hast thou broken faith with me,

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ACT 5. SC. 1

 Knowing how hardly I can brook abuse?
 “King” did I call thee? No, thou art not king,
95 Not fit to govern and rule multitudes,
 Which dar’st not—no, nor canst not—rule a traitor.
 That head of thine doth not become a crown;
 Thy hand is made to grasp a palmer’s staff,
 And not to grace an awful princely scepter.
100 That gold must round engirt these brows of mine,
 Whose smile and frown, like to Achilles’ spear,
 Is able with the change to kill and cure.
 Here is a hand to hold a scepter up
 And with the same to act controlling laws.
105 Give place. By heaven, thou shalt rule no more
 O’er him whom heaven created for thy ruler.
SOMERSET 
 O monstrous traitor! I arrest thee, York,
 Of capital treason ’gainst the King and crown.
 Obey, audacious traitor. Kneel for grace.
YORK 
110 Wouldst have me kneel? First let me ask of these
 If they can brook I bow a knee to man.
 To an Attendant. Sirrah, call in my sons to be my
 bail.Attendant exits.
 I know, ere they will have me go to ward,
115 They’ll pawn their swords for my enfranchisement.
QUEEN MARGARET, to Buckingham 
 Call hither Clifford; bid him come amain,
 To say if that the bastard boys of York
 Shall be the surety for their traitor father.
Buckingham exits.
YORK, to Queen Margaret 
 O, blood-bespotted Neapolitan,
120 Outcast of Naples, England’s bloody scourge!
 The sons of York, thy betters in their birth,
 Shall be their father’s bail, and bane to those
 That for my surety will refuse the boys.

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ACT 5. SC. 1

Enter York’s sons Edward and Richard,
wearing the white rose.


 See where they come; I’ll warrant they’ll make it
125 good.

Enter old Clifford and his Son, wearing the red rose.

QUEEN MARGARET 
 And here comes Clifford to deny their bail.
CLIFFORD, kneeling before King Henry 
 Health and all happiness to my lord the King.
He rises.
YORK 
 I thank thee, Clifford. Say, what news with thee?
 Nay, do not fright us with an angry look.
130 We are thy sovereign, Clifford; kneel again.
 For thy mistaking so, we pardon thee.
CLIFFORD 
 This is my king, York; I do not mistake,
 But thou mistakes me much to think I do.—
 To Bedlam with him! Is the man grown mad?
KING HENRY 
135 Ay, Clifford, a bedlam and ambitious humor
 Makes him oppose himself against his king.
CLIFFORD 
 He is a traitor. Let him to the Tower,
 And chop away that factious pate of his.
QUEEN MARGARET 
 He is arrested, but will not obey.
140 His sons, he says, shall give their words for him.
YORK Will you not, sons?
EDWARD 
 Ay, noble father, if our words will serve.
RICHARD 
 And if words will not, then our weapons shall.
CLIFFORD 
 Why, what a brood of traitors have we here!

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ACT 5. SC. 1

YORK 
145 Look in a glass, and call thy image so.
 I am thy king and thou a false-heart traitor.
 Call hither to the stake my two brave bears,
 That, with the very shaking of their chains,
 They may astonish these fell-lurking curs.
150 To an Attendant. Bid Salisbury and Warwick come
 to me.Attendant exits.

Enter the Earls of Warwick and Salisbury, wearing the
white rose.


CLIFFORD 
 Are these thy bears? We’ll bait thy bears to death
 And manacle the bearherd in their chains,
 If thou dar’st bring them to the baiting place.
RICHARD 
155 Oft have I seen a hot o’erweening cur
 Run back and bite because he was withheld,
 Who, being suffered with the bear’s fell paw,
 Hath clapped his tail between his legs and cried;
 And such a piece of service will you do
160 If you oppose yourselves to match Lord Warwick.
CLIFFORD 
 Hence, heap of wrath, foul indigested lump,
 As crooked in thy manners as thy shape!
YORK 
 Nay, we shall heat you thoroughly anon.
CLIFFORD 
 Take heed, lest by your heat you burn yourselves.
KING HENRY 
165 Why, Warwick, hath thy knee forgot to bow?—
 Old Salisbury, shame to thy silver hair,
 Thou mad misleader of thy brainsick son!
 What, wilt thou on thy deathbed play the ruffian
 And seek for sorrow with thy spectacles?
170 O, where is faith? O, where is loyalty?
237
Henry VI, Part 2


 If it be banished from the frosty head,
 Where shall it find a harbor in the earth?
 Wilt thou go dig a grave to find out war,
 And shame thine honorable age with blood?
175 Why art thou old and want’st experience?
 Or wherefore dost abuse it, if thou hast it?
 For shame! In duty bend thy knee to me
 That bows unto the grave with mickle age.
SALISBURY 
 My lord, I have considered with myself
180 The title of this most renownèd duke,
 And in my conscience do repute his Grace
 The rightful heir to England’s royal seat.
KING HENRY 
 Hast thou not sworn allegiance unto me?
SALISBURY I have.
KING HENRY 
185 Canst thou dispense with heaven for such an oath?
SALISBURY 
 It is great sin to swear unto a sin,
 But greater sin to keep a sinful oath.
 Who can be bound by any solemn vow
 To do a murd’rous deed, to rob a man,
190 To force a spotless virgin’s chastity,
 To reave the orphan of his patrimony,
 To wring the widow from her customed right,
 And have no other reason for this wrong
 But that he was bound by a solemn oath?
QUEEN MARGARET 
195 A subtle traitor needs no sophister.
KING HENRY, to an Attendant 
 Call Buckingham, and bid him arm himself.
Attendant exits.
YORK, to King Henry 
 Call Buckingham and all the friends thou hast,
 I am resolved for death or dignity.

239
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 5. SC. 1

CLIFFORD 
 The first, I warrant thee, if dreams prove true.
WARWICK 
200 You were best to go to bed and dream again,
 To keep thee from the tempest of the field.
CLIFFORD 
 I am resolved to bear a greater storm
 Than any thou canst conjure up today;
 And that I’ll write upon thy burgonet,
205 Might I but know thee by thy house’s badge.
WARWICK 
 Now, by my father’s badge, old Neville’s crest,
 The rampant bear chained to the ragged staff,
 This day I’ll wear aloft my burgonet—
 As on a mountaintop the cedar shows
210 That keeps his leaves in spite of any storm—
 Even to affright thee with the view thereof.
CLIFFORD 
 And from thy burgonet I’ll rend thy bear
 And tread it under foot with all contempt,
 Despite the bearherd that protects the bear.
YOUNG CLIFFORD 
215 And so to arms, victorious father,
 To quell the rebels and their complices.
RICHARD 
 Fie! Charity, for shame! Speak not in spite,
 For you shall sup with Jesu Christ tonight.
YOUNG CLIFFORD 
 Foul stigmatic, that’s more than thou canst tell!
RICHARD 
220 If not in heaven, you’ll surely sup in hell.
They exit separately.




241
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 5. SC. 2

Scene 2
The sign of the Castle Inn is displayed. Alarms.
Enter Warwick, wearing the white rose.


WARWICK 
 Clifford of Cumberland, ’tis Warwick calls!
 An if thou dost not hide thee from the bear,
 Now, when the angry trumpet sounds alarum
 And dead men’s cries do fill the empty air,
5 Clifford, I say, come forth and fight with me;
 Proud northern lord, Clifford of Cumberland,
 Warwick is hoarse with calling thee to arms.

Enter York, wearing the white rose.

 How now, my noble lord? What, all afoot?
YORK 
 The deadly-handed Clifford slew my steed,
10 But match to match I have encountered him
 And made a prey for carrion kites and crows
 Even of the bonny beast he loved so well.

Enter old Clifford, wearing the red rose.

WARWICK 
 Of one or both of us the time is come.
YORK 
 Hold, Warwick! Seek thee out some other chase,
15 For I myself must hunt this deer to death.
WARWICK 
 Then, nobly, York! ’Tis for a crown thou fight’st.—
 As I intend, Clifford, to thrive today,
 It grieves my soul to leave thee unassailed.
Warwick exits.
CLIFFORD 
 What seest thou in me, York? Why dost thou pause?
YORK 
20 With thy brave bearing should I be in love,
 But that thou art so fast mine enemy.

243
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 5. SC. 2

CLIFFORD 
 Nor should thy prowess want praise and esteem,
 But that ’tis shown ignobly and in treason.
YORK 
 So let it help me now against thy sword
25 As I in justice and true right express it!
CLIFFORD 
 My soul and body on the action both!
YORK 
 A dreadful lay! Address thee instantly.
They fight and Clifford falls.
CLIFFORD 
 La fin courrone les oeuvres.He dies.
YORK 
 Thus war hath given thee peace, for thou art still.
30 Peace with his soul, heaven, if it be thy will!
He exits.

Enter young Clifford, wearing the red rose.

YOUNG CLIFFORD 
 Shame and confusion! All is on the rout.
 Fear frames disorder, and disorder wounds
 Where it should guard. O war, thou son of hell,
 Whom angry heavens do make their minister,
35 Throw in the frozen bosoms of our part
 Hot coals of vengeance! Let no soldier fly.
 He that is truly dedicate to war
 Hath no self-love; nor he that loves himself
 Hath not essentially, but by circumstance,
40 The name of valor. He sees his father, lying dead. O,
 let the vile world end
 And the premised flames of the last day
 Knit Earth and heaven together!
 Now let the general trumpet blow his blast,
45 Particularities and petty sounds
 To cease! Wast thou ordained, dear father,

245
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 5. SC. 2

 To lose thy youth in peace, and to achieve
 The silver livery of advisèd age,
 And, in thy reverence and thy chair-days, thus
50 To die in ruffian battle? Even at this sight
 My heart is turned to stone, and while ’tis mine,
 It shall be stony. York not our old men spares;
 No more will I their babes. Tears virginal
 Shall be to me even as the dew to fire;
55 And beauty, that the tyrant oft reclaims,
 Shall to my flaming wrath be oil and flax.
 Henceforth I will not have to do with pity.
 Meet I an infant of the house of York,
 Into as many gobbets will I cut it
60 As wild Medea young Absyrtis did.
 In cruelty will I seek out my fame.
He takes his father’s body onto his back.
 Come, thou new ruin of old Clifford’s house;
 As did Aeneas old Anchises bear,
 So bear I thee upon my manly shoulders.
65 But then Aeneas bare a living load,
 Nothing so heavy as these woes of mine.He exits.

Enter Richard, wearing the white rose, and Somerset,
wearing the red rose, to fight.


Richard kills Somerset under the sign of Castle Inn.
RICHARD So lie thou there.
 For underneath an alehouse’ paltry sign,
 The Castle in Saint Albans, Somerset
70 Hath made the wizard famous in his death.
 Sword, hold thy temper! Heart, be wrathful still!
 Priests pray for enemies, but princes kill.He exits.

Fight. Excursions. Enter King Henry, Queen
Margaret, both wearing the red rose, and Others.


QUEEN MARGARET 
 Away, my lord! You are slow. For shame, away!

247
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 5. SC. 3

KING HENRY 
 Can we outrun the heavens? Good Margaret, stay!
QUEEN MARGARET 
75 What are you made of? You’ll nor fight nor fly.
 Now is it manhood, wisdom, and defense
 To give the enemy way, and to secure us
 By what we can, which can no more but fly.
Alarum afar off.
 If you be ta’en, we then should see the bottom
80 Of all our fortunes; but if we haply scape,
 As well we may—if not through your neglect—
 We shall to London get, where you are loved
 And where this breach now in our fortunes made
 May readily be stopped.

Enter Young Clifford, wearing the red rose.

YOUNG CLIFFORD 
85 But that my heart’s on future mischief set,
 I would speak blasphemy ere bid you fly;
 But fly you must. Uncurable discomfit
 Reigns in the hearts of all our present parts.
 Away, for your relief! And we will live
90 To see their day and them our fortune give.
 Away, my lord, away!
They exit.


Scene 3
Alarum. Retreat. Enter York, Edward, Richard,
Warwick, and Soldiers, all wearing the white rose,
with Drum and Colors.


YORK 
 Of Salisbury, who can report of him,
 That winter lion, who in rage forgets
 Agèd contusions and all brush of time,
 And, like a gallant in the brow of youth,

249
Henry VI, Part 2
ACT 5. SC. 3

5 Repairs him with occasion? This happy day
 Is not itself, nor have we won one foot,
 If Salisbury be lost.
RICHARD  My noble father,
 Three times today I holp him to his horse,
10 Three times bestrid him. Thrice I led him off,
 Persuaded him from any further act;
 But still, where danger was, still there I met him,
 And, like rich hangings in a homely house,
 So was his will in his old feeble body.
15 But, noble as he is, look where he comes.

Enter Salisbury, wearing the white rose.

 Now, by my sword, well hast thou fought today!
SALISBURY 
 By th’ Mass, so did we all. I thank you, Richard.
 God knows how long it is I have to live,
 And it hath pleased Him that three times today
20 You have defended me from imminent death.
 Well, lords, we have not got that which we have;
 ’Tis not enough our foes are this time fled,
 Being opposites of such repairing nature.
YORK 
 I know our safety is to follow them;
25 For, as I hear, the King is fled to London
 To call a present court of Parliament.
 Let us pursue him ere the writs go forth.—
 What says Lord Warwick? Shall we after them?
WARWICK 
 After them? Nay, before them, if we can.
30 Now, by my hand, lords, ’twas a glorious day.
 Saint Albans battle won by famous York
 Shall be eternized in all age to come.—
 Sound drum and trumpets, and to London all;
 And more such days as these to us befall!
Flourish. They exit.