Henry VI Part 3

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
A loud alarum. Enter Clifford, wounded


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;
fear (n.) 4 formidableness, ability to inspire fear
glue (v.) attach, join, bring together

And, now I fall, thy tough commixture melts,
commixture (n.) 1 composition, compound, union

Impairing Henry, strengthening misproud York.
misproud (adj.) wrongly proud, arrogant, high and mighty

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 check thy fiery steeds,
check (v.) 3 take the reins of, control, manage

Thy burning car never had scorched the earth!
car (n.) carriage, cart, chariot [often of the sun god]

And, Henry, hadst thou swayed as kings should do,
sway (v.) 1 control, rule, direct, govern

Or as thy father and his father did,

Giving no ground unto the house of York,

They never then had sprung like summer flies;
spring (v.) spring up, rise up, multiply

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.
chair (n.) 1 throne

For what doth cherish weeds but gentle air?
cherish (v.) 2 nourish, cause to grow
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind

And what makes robbers bold but too much lenity?
lenity (n.) mildness, gentleness, mercifulness

Bootless are plaints, and cureless are my wounds;
bootless (adj.) useless, worthless, fruitless, unavailing
cureless (adj.) incurable, fatal, without remedy
plaint (n.) lamentation, expression of sorrow

No way to fly, nor strength to hold out flight;
hold out (v.) sustain, maintain, keep up

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.
effuse (n.) effusion, outflow, pouring out
faint (adj.) 3 weak, fatigued, lacking in strength

Come, York and Richard, Warwick and the rest;

I stabbed your fathers' bosoms; split my breast.

He faints

Alarum and retreat. Enter Edward, Richard, George,

Warwick, Montague, and soldiers


Now breathe we, lords; good fortune bids us pause,
breathe (v.) 2 catch breath, pause, rest

And smooth the frowns of war with peaceful looks.

Some troops pursue the bloody-minded Queen,
bloody-minded (adj.) bloodthirsty, ready to shed someone's blood

That led calm Henry, though he were a king,
lead (v.) 2 govern, dominate, direct

As doth a sail, filled with a fretting gust,
fretting (adj.) intermittently blowing, squalling

Command an argosy to stem the waves.
argosy (n.) large merchant ship
command (v.) 1 force, control, drive
stem (v.) cut through, make headway against

But think you, lords, that Clifford fled with them?


No, 'tis impossible he should escape;

For, though before his face I speak the words,

Your brother Richard marked him for the grave;
mark (v.) 2 destine, brand, designate

And wheresoe'er he is, he's surely dead.

Clifford groans and then dies


Whose soul is that which takes her heavy leave?
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count

A deadly groan, like life and death's departing.
departing (n.) separation, parting, division


See who it is; and, now the battle's ended,

If friend or foe, let him be gently used.
gently (adv.) 1 like a gentleman, honourably, with dignity
use (v.) 2 treat, deal with, manage


Revoke that doom of mercy, for 'tis Clifford;
doom (n.) 1 judgement, sentence, decision

Who not contented that he lopped 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:
spray (n.) branch, limb, offshoot

I mean our princely father, Duke of York.


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:
room (n.) 1 place, space

Measure for measure must be answered.
answer (v.) 8 give in return, repay, requite


Bring forth that fatal screech-owl to our house,
fatal (adj.) 1 ominous, full of foreboding, doom-laden
screech-owl (n.) barn-owl [thought to be a bird of ill omen]

That nothing sung but death to us and ours;

Now death shall stop his dismal threatening sound
dismal (adj.) 2 sinister, ominous, malign

And his ill-boding tongue no more shall speak.
ill-boding (adj.) inauspicious, predicting evil, prophesying doom


I think his understanding is bereft.
bereave (v.) 1 take away [from], deprive, deny, rob

Speak, Clifford, dost thou know who speaks to thee?

Dark cloudy death o'ershades his beams of life,
overshade (v.) overshadow, cast a gloom over

And he nor sees nor hears us what we say.


O, would he did! And so perhaps he doth;

'Tis but his policy to counterfeit,
counterfeit (v.) 2 pretend, feign, make believe See Topics: Frequency count
policy (n.) 2 stratagem, cunning, intrigue, craft

Because he would avoid such bitter taunts

Which in the time of death he gave our father.


If so thou thinkest, vex him with eager words.
eager (adj.) 2 sharp, cutting
vex (v.) afflict, trouble, torment


Clifford, ask mercy and obtain no grace.


Clifford, repent in bootless penitence.
bootless (adj.) useless, worthless, fruitless, unavailing


Clifford, devise excuses for thy faults.
fault (n.) 1 sin, offence, crime


While we devise fell tortures for thy faults.
fault (n.) 1 sin, offence, crime
fell (adj.) 1 cruel, fierce, savage


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


Thou pitied'st Rutland; I will pity thee.


Where's Captain Margaret to fence you now?
fence (n.) 3 protect, shield, defend


They mock thee, Clifford; swear as thou wast wont.
wont (v.) be accustomed, used [to], be in the habit of See Topics: Frequency count


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,
despite (n.) 1 contempt, scorn, disdain
rail (v.) rant, rave, be abusive [about] See Topics: Frequency count

This hand should chop it off, and with the issuing blood

Stifle the villain whose unstanched thirst
unstanched (adj.) 1 unquenchable, insatiable, unable to be satisfied

York and young Rutland could not satisfy.


Ay, but he's dead. Off with the traitor's head,

And rear it in the place your father's stands.
rear (v.) 1 raise, lift up

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;
sinew (v.) join strongly, knit, bind

And, having France thy friend, thou shalt not dread
dread (v.) fear, anticipate in fear, be anxious about

The scattered foe that hopes to rise again;
scattered (adj.) 1 dispersed, defeated, disunited

For though they cannot greatly sting to hurt,

Yet look to have them buzz to offend thine ears.
buzz (v.) 2 spread false rumours
look (v.) 5 be prepared, expect, count on

First will I see the coronation,

And then to Brittany I'll cross the sea

To effect this marriage, so it please my lord.


Even as thou wilt, sweet Warwick, let it be;

For in thy shoulder do I build my seat,
seat (n.) 1 throne

And never will I undertake the thing

Wherein thy counsel and consent is wanting.
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

Richard, I will create thee Duke of Gloucester,

And George, of Clarence; Warwick, as ourself,

Shall do and undo as him pleaseth best.


Let me be Duke of Clarence, George of Gloucester;

For Gloucester's dukedom is too ominous.


Tut, that's a foolish observation;

Richard, be Duke of Gloucester. Now to London,

To see these honours in possession.
possession (n.) 1 actual holding, real ownership, immediate possession


  Previous scene     Next scene