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Henry VI, Pt. 3: Act 2, Scene 6

Henry VI, Pt. 3
Act 2, Scene 6

Yorkshire. Another part of the battlefield between Towton and Saxton.

  1. A loud alarum. Enter Clifford wounded with an arrow in his
  2. neck.

Lord Clifford

3 - 32
  1. Here burns my candle out; ay, here it dies,
  2. Which whiles it lasted, gave King Henry light.
  3. O Lancaster! I fear thy overthrow
  4. More than my body’s parting with my soul.
  5. My love and fear glu’d many friends to thee,
  6. And now I fall, thy tough commixtures melts,
  7. Impairing Henry, strength’ning misproud York.
  8. The common people swarm like summer flies,
  9. And whither fly the gnats but to the sun?
  10. And who shines now but Henry’s enemies?
  11. O Phoebus! Hadst thou never given consent
  12. That Phaëton should check thy fiery steeds,
  13. Thy burning car never had scorch’d the earth.
  14. And, Henry, hadst thou sway’d as kings should do,
  15. Or as thy father and his father did,
  16. Giving no ground unto the house of York,
  17. They never then had sprung like summer flies;
  18. I and ten thousand in this luckless realm
  19. Had left no mourning widows for our death,
  20. And thou this day hadst kept thy chair in peace.
  21. For what doth cherish weeds but gentle air?
  22. And what makes robbers bold but too much lenity?
  23. Bootless are plaints, and cureless are my wounds;
  24. No way to fly, nor strength to hold out flight.
  25. The foe is merciless, and will not pity;
  26. For at their hands I have deserv’d no pity.
  27. The air hath got into my deadly wounds,
  28. And much effuse of blood doth make me faint.
  29. Come, York and Richard, Warwick and the rest,
  30. I stabb’d your fathers’ bosoms, split my breast.
  1. He faints.
  1. Alarum and retreat. Enter Edward, Warwick, Richard, and
  2. Soldiers, Montague, and George of Clarence.

Edward

36 - 42
  1. Now breathe we, lords, good fortune bids us pause
  2. And smooth the frowns of war with peaceful looks.
  3. Some troops pursue the bloody-minded queen,
  4. That led calm Henry, though he were a king,
  5. As doth a sail, fill’d with a fretting gust,
  6. Command an argosy to stem the waves.
  7. But think you, lords, that Clifford fled with them?

Earl of Warwick

43 - 46
  1. No, ’tis impossible he should escape;
  2. For (though before his face I speak the words)
  3. Your brother Richard mark’d him for the grave,
  4. And wheresoe’er he is, he’s surely dead.
  1. Clifford groans and then dies.

Richard

48 - 50
  1. Whose soul is that which takes her heavy leave?
  2. A deadly groan, like life and death’s departing.
  3. See who it is.

Edward

51 - 52
  1. And, now the battle’s ended,
  2. If friend or foe, let him be gently used.

Richard

53 - 58
  1. Revoke that doom of mercy, for ’tis Clifford,
  2. Who, not contented that he lopp’d the branch
  3. In hewing Rutland when his leaves put forth,
  4. But set his murd’ring knife unto the root
  5. From whence that tender spray did sweetly spring,
  6. I mean our princely father, Duke of York.

Earl of Warwick

59 - 62
  1. From off the gates of York fetch down the head,
  2. Your father’s head, which Clifford placed there;
  3. In stead whereof let this supply the room:
  4. Measure for measure must be answered.

Edward

63 - 66
  1. Bring forth that fatal screech owl to our house
  2. That nothing sung but death to us and ours.
  3. Now death shall stop his dismal threat’ning sound,
  4. And his ill-boding tongue no more shall speak.

Earl of Warwick

67 - 70
  1. I think his understanding is bereft.
  2. Speak, Clifford, dost thou know who speaks to thee?
  3. Dark cloudy death o’ershades his beams of life,
  4. And he nor sees nor hears us what we say.

Richard

71 - 74
  1. O would he did! And so, perhaps, he doth;
  2. ’Tis but his policy to counterfeit,
  3. Because he would avoid such bitter taunts
  4. Which in the time of death he gave our father.

George

75
  1. If so thou think’st, vex him with eager words.

Richard

76
  1. Clifford, ask mercy and obtain no grace.

Edward

77
  1. Clifford, repent in bootless penitence.

Earl of Warwick

78
  1. Clifford, devise excuses for thy faults.

George

79
  1. While we devise fell tortures for thy faults.

Richard

80
  1. Thou didst love York, and I am son to York.

Edward

81
  1. Thou pitiedst Rutland, I will pity thee.

George

82
  1. Where’s Captain Margaret, to fence you now?

Earl of Warwick

83
  1. They mock thee, Clifford, swear as thou wast wont.

Richard

84 - 91
  1. What, not an oath? Nay, then the world goes hard
  2. When Clifford cannot spare his friends an oath.
  3. I know by that he’s dead, and by my soul,
  4. If this right hand would buy two hours’ life
  5. That I, in all despite, might rail at him,
  6. This hand should chop it off; and with the issuing blood
  7. Stifle the villain whose unstanched thirst
  8. York and young Rutland could not satisfy.

Earl of Warwick

92 - 105
  1. Ay, but he’s dead. Off with the traitor’s head,
  2. And rear it in the place your father’s stands.
  3. And now to London with triumphant march,
  4. There to be crowned England’s royal king;
  5. From whence shall Warwick cut the sea to France,
  6. And ask the Lady Bona for thy queen.
  7. So shalt thou sinow both these lands together,
  8. And having France thy friend, thou shalt not dread
  9. The scatt’red foe that hopes to rise again;
  10. For though they cannot greatly sting to hurt,
  11. Yet look to have them buzz to offend thine ears.
  12. First will I see the coronation,
  13. And then to Brittany I’ll cross the sea
  14. To effect this marriage, so it please my lord.

Edward

106 - 112
  1. Even as thou wilt, sweet Warwick, let it be;
  2. For in thy shoulder do I build my seat,
  3. And never will I undertake the thing
  4. Wherein thy counsel and consent is wanting.
  5. Richard, I will create thee Duke of Gloucester,
  6. And George, of Clarence. Warwick, as ourself,
  7. Shall do and undo as him pleaseth best.

Richard

113 - 114
  1. Let me be Duke of Clarence, George of Gloucester,
  2. For Gloucester’s dukedom is too ominous.

Earl of Warwick

115 - 117
  1. Tut, that’s a foolish observation.
  2. Richard, be Duke of Gloucester. Now to London
  3. To see these honors in possession.
  1. Exeunt.
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