ACT IV
Scene IV.
 

London. The palace

Enter the KING with a supplication, and the QUEEN with SUFFOLK'S head; the DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM, and the LORD SAY

QUEEN
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'
supplication?

KING HENRY
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
Ah, barbarous villains! Hath this lovely face
Rul'd like a wandering planet over me,
And could it not enforce them to relent
That were unworthy to behold the same?

KING HENRY
Lord Say, Jack Cade hath sworn to have thy head.

SAY
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 mourn'd so much for me.

QUEEN
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,
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
O graceless men! they know not what they do.

BUCKINGHAM
My gracious lord, retire to Killingworth
Until a power be rais'd to put them down.

QUEEN
Ah, were the Duke of Suffolk now alive,
These Kentish rebels would be soon appeas'd!

KING HENRY
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

SECOND 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
Come Margaret; God, our hope, will succour us.

QUEEN
My hope is gone, now Suffolk is deceas'd.

KING HENRY
[To LORD SAY] 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.

Exeunt