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Henry VI, Part 3

Henry VI, Part 3 Translation Act 2, Scene 6

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A loud alarum. Enter CLIFFORD, wounded

CLIFFORD

Here burns my candle out; ay, here it dies, Which, whiles it lasted, gave King Henry light. O Lancaster, I fear thy overthrow More than my body's parting with my soul! My love and fear glued many friends to thee; And, now I fall, thy tough commixture melts. Impairing Henry, strengthening misproud York, The common people swarm like summer flies; And whither fly the gnats but to the sun? And who shines now but Henry's enemies? O Phoebus, hadst thou never given consent That Phaethon should cheque thy fiery steeds, Thy burning car never had scorch'd the earth! And, Henry, hadst thou sway'd as kings should do, Or as thy father and his father did, Giving no ground unto the house of York, They never then had sprung like summer flies; I and ten thousand in this luckless realm Had left no mourning widows for our death; And thou this day hadst kept thy chair in peace. For what doth cherish weeds but gentle air? And what makes robbers bold but too much lenity? Bootless are plaints, and cureless are my wounds; No way to fly, nor strength to hold out flight: The foe is merciless, and will not pity; For at their hands I have deserved no pity. The air hath got into my deadly wounds, And much effuse of blood doth make me faint. Come, York and Richard, Warwick and the rest; I stabb'd your fathers' bosoms, split my breast.

CLIFFORD

My life's candle burns out here. Yes, it dies here. While it lasted, it gave light to King Henry. Oh, Lancaster, I'm more afraid you'll be defeated than I am of death! Love for me, and fear of me, helped you make a lot of friends, and now, as I'm I fall, all of that is falling apart. The common people are swarming everywhere like flies in the summer—hurting Henry and strengthening the wrongfully proud York—and where do such gnats fly but to the sun? And aren't only Henry's enemies shining now? Oh, Phoebus, if only you hadn't given permission to Phaethon, allowing him to ride your horses, your chariot would never have burned the earth! And Henry, if only you ruled like kings should do, or as your father and his father did, and hadn't made this oath to the House of York, they would never have sprung up like swarms of flies in summer. In this unfortunate kingdom, then, ten thousand men, I among them, wouldn't have left mourning widows grieving our deaths. And today, you'd have kept your throne entirely in peace. Isn't it gentle air that makes weeds grow? Isn't it leniency in the law that makes robbers bold? Complaints are useless, and my wounds cannot be cured. There is nowhere I can flee to, and I wouldn't have the strength to run either. The enemy has no mercy and won't pity me because I don't deserve pity from them. The air has gotten into my deadly wounds, and the loss of blood makes me weak. Come, York, Richard, Warwick and all the rest of you. I stabbed your fathers' chests, you should split open mine. 

He faints

Alarum and retreat. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE, RICHARD, MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and Soldiers

EDWARD

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

EDWARD

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WARWICK

No, 'tis impossible he should escape,For, though before his face I speak the wordsYour brother Richard mark'd him for the grave:And wheresoe'er he is, he's surely dead.

WARWICK

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CLIFFORD groans, and dies

EDWARD

Whose soul is that which takes her heavy leave?

EDWARD

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RICHARD

A deadly groan, like life and death's departing.

RICHARD

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EDWARD

See who it is: and, now the battle's ended,If friend or foe, let him be gently used.

EDWARD

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RICHARD

Revoke that doom of mercy, for 'tis Clifford; Who not contented that he lopp'd the branch In hewing Rutland when his leaves put forth, But set his murdering knife unto the root From whence that tender spray did sweetly spring, I mean our princely father, Duke of York.

RICHARD

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WARWICK

From off the gates of York fetch down the head,Your father's head, which Clifford placed there;Instead whereof let this supply the room:Measure for measure must be answered.

WARWICK

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EDWARD

Bring forth that fatal screech-owl to our house,That nothing sung but death to us and ours:Now death shall stop his dismal threatening sound,And his ill-boding tongue no more shall speak.

EDWARD

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WARWICK

I think his understanding is bereft.Speak, Clifford, dost thou know who speaks to thee?Dark cloudy death o'ershades his beams of life,And he nor sees nor hears us what we say.

WARWICK

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RICHARD

O, would he did! And so perhaps he doth:'Tis but his policy to counterfeit,Because he would avoid such bitter tauntsWhich in the time of death he gave our father.

RICHARD

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GEORGE

If so thou think'st, vex him with eager words.

GEORGE

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RICHARD

Clifford, ask mercy and obtain no grace.

RICHARD

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EDWARD

Clifford, repent in bootless penitence.

EDWARD

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WARWICK

Clifford, devise excuses for thy faults.

WARWICK

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GEORGE

While we devise fell tortures for thy faults.

GEORGE

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RICHARD

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

RICHARD

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EDWARD

Thou pitied'st Rutland; I will pity thee.

EDWARD

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GEORGE

Where's Captain Margaret, to fence you now?

GEORGE

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WARWICK

They mock thee, Clifford: swear as thou wast wont.

WARWICK

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RICHARD

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

RICHARD

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WARWICK

Ay, but he's dead: off with the traitor's head, And rear it in the place your father's stands. And now to London with triumphant march, There to be crowned England's royal king: From whence shall Warwick cut the sea to France, And ask the Lady Bona for thy queen: So shalt thou sinew both these lands together; And, having France thy friend, thou shalt not dread The scatter'd foe that hopes to rise again; For though they cannot greatly sting to hurt, Yet look to have them buzz to offend thine ears. First will I see the coronation; And then to Brittany I'll cross the sea, To effect this marriage, so it please my lord.

WARWICK

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EDWARD

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

EDWARD

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RICHARD

Let me be Duke of Clarence, George of Gloucester;For Gloucester's dukedom is too ominous.

RICHARD

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WARWICK

Tut, that's a foolish observation:Richard, be Duke of Gloucester. Now to London,To see these honours in possession.

WARWICK

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Exeunt

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Nina romancikova
About the Translator: Nina Romancikova

Nina Romancikova is from Slovakia but her love of literature and theater has brought her to the UK and she has been living and studying there for the past six years. She graduated with a degree in English Literature and Language at University of Glasgow in 2016. Nina is now finishing her Masters in Shakespeare Studies at King's College London and is currently working as a Research Intern at Shakespeare's Globe.