Open Source Shakespeare

History of Henry VI, Part III

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Act I, Scene 3

Field of battle betwixt Sandal Castle and Wakefield.


[Alarums. Enter RUTLAND and his Tutor]

  • Edmond, Earl of Rutland. Ah, whither shall I fly to 'scape their hands?
    Ah, tutor, look where bloody Clifford comes!

[Enter CLIFFORD and Soldiers]

  • Lord Clifford. Chaplain, away! thy priesthood saves thy life.
    As for the brat of this accursed duke, 380
    Whose father slew my father, he shall die.
  • Tutor of Rutland. And I, my lord, will bear him company.
  • Lord Clifford. Soldiers, away with him!
  • Tutor of Rutland. Ah, Clifford, murder not this innocent child,
    Lest thou be hated both of God and man! 385

[Exit, dragged off by Soldiers]

  • Lord Clifford. How now! is he dead already? or is it fear
    That makes him close his eyes? I'll open them.
  • Edmond, Earl of Rutland. So looks the pent-up lion o'er the wretch
    That trembles under his devouring paws; 390
    And so he walks, insulting o'er his prey,
    And so he comes, to rend his limbs asunder.
    Ah, gentle Clifford, kill me with thy sword,
    And not with such a cruel threatening look.
    Sweet Clifford, hear me speak before I die. 395
    I am too mean a subject for thy wrath:
    Be thou revenged on men, and let me live.
  • Lord Clifford. In vain thou speak'st, poor boy; my father's blood
    Hath stopp'd the passage where thy words should enter.
  • Edmond, Earl of Rutland. Then let my father's blood open it again: 400
    He is a man, and, Clifford, cope with him.
  • Lord Clifford. Had thy brethren here, their lives and thine
    Were not revenge sufficient for me;
    No, if I digg'd up thy forefathers' graves
    And hung their rotten coffins up in chains, 405
    It could not slake mine ire, nor ease my heart.
    The sight of any of the house of York
    Is as a fury to torment my soul;
    And till I root out their accursed line
    And leave not one alive, I live in hell. 410

[Lifting his hand]

  • Edmond, Earl of Rutland. O, let me pray before I take my death!
    To thee I pray; sweet Clifford, pity me!
  • Lord Clifford. Such pity as my rapier's point affords. 415
  • Edmond, Earl of Rutland. I never did thee harm: why wilt thou slay me?
  • Lord Clifford. Thy father hath.
  • Edmond, Earl of Rutland. But 'twas ere I was born.
    Thou hast one son; for his sake pity me,
    Lest in revenge thereof, sith God is just, 420
    He be as miserably slain as I.
    Ah, let me live in prison all my days;
    And when I give occasion of offence,
    Then let me die, for now thou hast no cause.
  • Lord Clifford. No cause! 425
    Thy father slew my father; therefore, die.

[Stabs him]

  • Edmond, Earl of Rutland. Di faciant laudis summa sit ista tuae!


  • Lord Clifford. Plantagenet! I come, Plantagenet! 430
    And this thy son's blood cleaving to my blade
    Shall rust upon my weapon, till thy blood,
    Congeal'd with this, do make me wipe off both.