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Henry VI, Part 2 Scenes

Scene 2

Battlefield at Saint Albans.

(Earl of Warwick; Duke of York; Lord Clifford; Young Clifford; Richard Plantagenet; Duke Somerset; King Henry the Sixth; Queen Margaret)

Warwick and York both seek Clifford, but it is York who finds and kills him. Young Clifford runs in, aghast at the royalist rout. Finding his father’s body, he swears to murder York’s children in return. Somerset is killed under the sign of the Castle Inn, fulfilling the spirit’s prophecy of his death. Margaret urges the King to fly to London, where he will find support. Young Clifford urges the same. (91 lines)

Alarums to the battle. Enter Warwick.


Clifford of Cumberland, ’tis Warwick calls!

And if thou dost not hide thee from the bear,

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.

Enter York.

How now, my noble lord? What, all afoot?


The deadly-handed Clifford slew my steed;

But match to match I have encount’red him,

And made a prey for carrion kites and crows

Even of the bonny beast he lov’d so well.

Enter old Clifford.


Of one or both of us the time is come.


Hold, Warwick; seek thee out some other chase,

For I myself must hunt this deer to death.


Then nobly, York, ’tis for a crown thou fight’st.

As I intend, Clifford, to thrive today,

It grieves my soul to leave thee unassail’d.

Exit Warwick.


What seest thou in me, York? Why dost thou pause?


With thy brave bearing should I be in love,

But that thou art so fast mine enemy.


Nor should thy prowess want praise and esteem,

But that ’tis shown ignobly and in treason.


So let it help me now against thy sword,

As I in justice and true right express it.


My soul and body on the action both!


A dreadful lay! Address thee instantly.

They fight, and Clifford falls.


La fin couronne les oeuvres.



Thus war hath given thee peace, for thou art still.

Peace with his soul, heaven, if it be thy will!


Enter 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

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 valor.

Sees 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,

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

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,

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

As wild Medea young Absyrtus did;

In cruelty will I seek out my fame.

He takes him up on his back.

Come, thou new ruin of old Clifford’s house:

As did Aeneas old Anchises bear,

So bear I thee upon my manly shoulders;

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 under the sign of the Castle Inn.


So lie thou there;

For underneath an alehouse’ paltry sign,

The Castle in Saint Albans, Somerset

Hath made the wizard famous in his death.

Sword, hold thy temper; heart, be wrathful still:

Priests pray for enemies, but princes kill.



Excursions. Enter King, Queen, and others.


Away, my lord! You are slow, for shame, away!


Can we outrun the heavens? Good Margaret, stay.


What are you made of? You’ll nor fight nor fly.

Now is it manhood, wisdom, and defense

To give the enemy way, and to secure us

By what we can, which can no more but fly.

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 lov’d,

And where this breach now in our fortunes made

May readily be stopp’d.

Enter Young Clifford.


But that my heart’s on future mischief set,

I would speak blasphemy ere bid you fly.

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!



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