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History of Henry VI, Part II

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Act V, Scene 2

Saint Alban’s.


[Alarums to the battle. Enter WARWICK]

  • Earl of Warwick. Clifford of Cumberland, 'tis Warwick calls:
    And if thou dost not hide thee from the bear, 3210
    Now, when the angry trumpet sounds alarum
    And dead men's cries do fill the empty air,
    Clifford, I say, come forth and fight with me:
    Proud northern lord, Clifford of Cumberland,
    Warwick is hoarse with calling thee to arms. 3215
    [Enter YORK]
    How now, my noble lord? what, all afoot?
  • Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). The deadly-handed Clifford slew my steed,
    But match to match I have encounter'd him
    And made a prey for carrion kites and crows 3220
    Even of the bonny beast he loved so well.


  • Earl of Warwick. Then, nobly, York; 'tis for a crown thou fight'st.
    As I intend, Clifford, to thrive to-day,
    It grieves my soul to leave thee unassail'd.


  • Lord Clifford. What seest thou in me, York? why dost thou pause? 3230
  • Lord Clifford. Nor should thy prowess want praise and esteem,
    But that 'tis shown ignobly and in treason.

[They fight, and CLIFFORD falls]




  • 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
    Throw in the frozen bosoms of our part 3250
    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
    The name of valour. 3255
    [Seeing his dead father]
    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, 3260
    Particularities and petty sounds
    To cease! Wast thou ordain'd, dear father,
    To lose thy youth in peace, and to achieve
    The silver livery of advised age,
    And, in thy reverence and thy chair-days, thus 3265
    To die in ruffian battle? Even at this sight
    My heart is turn'd 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, 3270
    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 3275
    As wild Medea young Absyrtus did:
    In cruelty will I seek out my fame.
    Come, thou new ruin of old Clifford's house:
    As did AEneas old Anchises bear,
    So bear I thee upon my manly shoulders; 3280
    But then AEneas bare a living load,
    Nothing so heavy as these woes of mine.
    [Exit, bearing off his father]
    [Enter RICHARD and SOMERSET to fight. SOMERSET]
    is killed] 3285
  • Richard Plantagenet the Younger. So, lie thou there;
    For underneath an alehouse' paltry sign,
    The Castle in Saint Alban's, Somerset
    Hath made the wizard famous in his death.
    Sword, hold thy temper; heart, be wrathful still: 3290
    Priests pray for enemies, but princes kill.
    [Fight: excursions. Enter KING HENRY VI, QUEEN]
    MARGARET, and others]
  • Henry VI. Can we outrun the heavens? good Margaret, stay.
  • Queen Margaret. What are you made of? you'll nor fight nor fly:
    Now is it manhood, wisdom and defence,
    To give the enemy way, and to secure us
    By what we can, which can no more but fly. 3300
    [Alarum afar off]
    If you be ta'en, we then should see the bottom
    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 3305
    And where this breach now in our fortunes made
    May readily be stopp'd.


  • Young Clifford. But that my heart's on future mischief set,
    I would speak blasphemy ere bid you fly: 3310
    But fly you must; uncurable discomfit
    Reigns in the hearts of all our present parts.
    Away, for your relief! and we will live
    To see their day and them our fortune give:
    Away, my lord, away! 3315