Document: All > Shakespeare > Histories > King Henry VI, part II > Act IV, scene IV
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[Enter KING HENRY VI with a supplication, and the
QUEEN with SUFFOLK'S head, BUCKINGHAM and Lord SAY]
QUEEN MARGARET: 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?
Here may his head lie on my throbbing breast:
But where's the body that I should embrace?
BUCKINGHAM: What answer makes your grace to the rebels'
KING HENRY VI: I'll send some holy bishop to entreat;
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.
QUEEN MARGARET: 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 VI: Lord Say, Jack Cade hath sworn to have thy head.
SAY: Ay, but I hope your highness shall have his.
KING HENRY VI: 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 mourn'd so much for me.
QUEEN MARGARET: No, my love, I should not mourn, but die for thee.
[Enter a Messenger]
KING HENRY VI: How now! what news? why comest thou in such haste?
Messenger: The rebels are in Southwark; fly, my lord!
Jack Cade proclaims himself Lord Mortimer,
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:
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 VI: O graceless men! they know not what they do.
BUCKINGHAM: My gracious lord, return 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 VI: Lord Say, the traitors hate thee;
Therefore away with us to Killingworth.
SAY: 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]
Messenger: 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: Then linger not, my lord, away, take horse.
KING HENRY VI: Come, Margaret; God, our hope, will succor us.
QUEEN MARGARET: My hope is gone, now Suffolk is deceased.
KING HENRY VI: Farewell, my lord: trust not the Kentish rebels.
BUCKINGHAM: Trust nobody, for fear you be betray'd.
SAY: The trust I have is in mine innocence,
And therefore am I bold and resolute.
2 KING HENRY VI