Field of battle between Sandal Castle and Wakefield.
(Rutland; Tutor; Clifford; Soldiers)
York’s young son Rutland, fleeing from the battle, is caught by Clifford, who in revenge for his father’s death pitilessly kills the boy. He goes back into the battle, searching for York. (53 lines)
Alarums. Enter Rutland and his Tutor.
Ah, whither shall I fly to scape their hands?
Ah, tutor, look where bloody Clifford comes!
Enter Clifford and Soldiers.
Chaplain, away, thy priesthood saves thy life.
As for the brat of this accursed duke,
Whose father slew my father, he shall die.
And I, my lord, will bear him company.
Soldiers, away with him!
Ah, Clifford, murder not this innocent child,
Lest thou be hated both of God and man.
Exit dragged off by Soldiers.
How now? Is he dead already? Or is it fear
That makes him close his eyes? I’ll open them.
So looks the pent-up lion o’er the wretch
That trembles under his devouring paws;
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 threat’ning look.
Sweet Clifford, hear me speak before I die:
I am too mean a subject for thy wrath,
Be thou reveng’d on men, and let me live.
In vain thou speak’st, poor boy; my father’s blood
Hath stopp’d the passage where thy words should enter.
Then let my father’s blood open it again,
He is a man, and, Clifford, cope with him.
Had I 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,
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.
O, let me pray before I take my death!
To thee I pray; sweet Clifford, pity me!
Such pity as my rapier’s point affords.
I never did thee harm; why wilt thou slay me?
Thy father hath.
But ’twas ere I was born.
Thou hast one son, for his sake pity me,
Lest in revenge thereof, sith God is just,
He be as miserably slain as I.
Ah, let me live in prison all my days,
And when I give occasion of offense,
Then let me die, for now thou hast no cause.
Thy father slew my father; therefore die.
Dii faciant laudis summa sit ista tuae!
Plantagenet, I come, Plantagenet!
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.