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• You have no children, butchers ! if you had, • The thought of them would have stirred up remorse ; • But if you ever chance to have a child, Look in his youth to have him so cut off, As, deathsmen! you have rid' this sweet young
prince! K. Edw. Away with her ; go, bear her hence per
force. Q. Mar. Nay, never bear me hence ; despatch me
here; Here sheath thy sword; I'll pardon thee my death. What! wilt thou not ?—Then, Clarence, do it thou.
Clar. By Heaven, I will not do thee so much ease. Q. Mar. Good Clarence, do ; sweet Clarence, do
thou do it. Clar. Didst thou not hear me swear I would not
do it? Q. Mar. Ay, but thou usest to forswear thyself; 'Twas sin before, but now 'tis charity. • What! wilt thou not? Where is that devil's butcher, Hard-favored Richard ? Richard, where art thou ? Thou art not here. Murder is thy alms-deed; Petitioners for blood thou ne'er put'st back. K. Edw. Away, I say; I charge ye, bear her
hence. Q. Mar. So come to you, and yours, as to this prince !
, led out forcibly. K. Edw. Where's Richard gone? · Clar. To London, all in post; and, as I
guess, To make a bloody supper in the Tower. K. Edw. He's sudden, if a thing comes in his
head. • Now march we hence; discharge the common sort • With pay and thanks, and let's away to London, • And see our gentle queen how well she fares; By this, I hope, she hath a son for me. [Exeunt.
I To rid is to cut off, to destroy.
SCENE VI. London.
London. A Room in the Tower.
King Henry is discovered sitting with a book in his
hand, the Lieutenant attending. Enter Gloster. Glo. Good day, my lord. What, at your book so
hard ? K. Hen. Ay, my good lord. My lord, I should say
rather; 'Tis sin to flatter; good was little better : Good Gloster, and good devil, were alike, * And both preposterous; therefore, not good lord. Glo. Sirrah, leave us to ourselves; we must confer.
[Exit Lieutenant. *K. Hen. So flies the reckless shepherd from the
wolf: * So first the harmless sheep doth yield his fleece, * And next his throat unto the butcher's knife.What scene of death hath Roscius now to act ?
Glo. Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; The thief doth fear each bush an officer.
• K. Hen. The bird, that hath been limed in a bush, · With trembling wings misdoubteth' every bush; And I, the hapless male to one sweet bird, Have now the fatal object in my eye, Where my poor young was limed, was caught, and
killed. · Glo. Why, what a peevish fool was that of Crete, · That taught his son the office of a fowl ? • And yet, for all his wings, the fool was drowned.
• K. Hen. I, Dædalus; my poor boy, Icarus ; Thy father, Minos, that denied our course; • The sun, that seared the wings of my sweet boy,
Thy brother Edward ; and thyself, the sea, · Whose envious gulf did swallow up his life. * Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words ! My breast can better brook thy dagger's point,
1 To misdoubt is to suspect danger, to fear.
Than can my ears that tragic history.-
• Glo. Think'st thou I am an executioner? K. Hen. A persecutor, I am sure, thou art; • If murdering innocents be executing, Why, then thou art an executioner. Glo. Thy son I killed for his presumption. K. Hen. Hadst thou been killed, when first thou
Thou hadst not lived to kill a son of mine. • And thus I prophesy,—that many a thousand, • Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear; • And many an old man's sigh, and many a widow's, • And many an orphan's water-standing eye,· Men for their sons, wives for their husbands' fate, • And orphans for their parents' timeless death,• Shall rue the hour that ever thou wast born. The owl shrieked at thy birth, an evil sign ; • The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time; Dogs howled, and hideous tempests shook down trees; The raven rooked? her on the chimney's top, And chattering pies in dismal discords sung. Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain, And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope ; • To wit,-an indigest, deformed lump, Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree. Teeth hadst thou in thy head, when thou wast born, To signify,—thou cam'st to bite the world; And, if the rest be true which I have heard, Thou cam'stGlo. I'll hear no more :-Die, prophet, in thy speech.
[Stabs him. For this, amongst the rest, was I ordained. K. Hen. Ay, and for much more slaughter after
this. O God! forgive my sins, and pardon thee! [Dies.
1 Who suspect no part of what my fears presage.
2 To rook, or ruck, is to cower down like a bird at roost or on its nest. The word is of very ancient use in our language.
Glo. What, will the aspiring blood of Lancaster Sink in the ground ? I thought it would have mounted. See, how my sword weeps for the poor king's death! • O, may such purple tears be always shed · From those that wish the downfall of our house! • If any spark of life be yet remaining, Down, down to hell: and say—I sent thee thither.
[Stabs him again. I, that have neither pity, love, nor fear.– Indeed, 'tis true, that Henry told me of; For I have often heard my mother say, I came into the world with my legs forward : Had I not reason, think ye, to make haste, • And seek their ruin that usurped our right? The midwife wondered ; and the women cried, O, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth ; · And so I was ; which plainly signified That I should snarl, and bite, and play the dog. • Then, since the Heavens have shaped my body so, Let hell make crook'd my mind to answer it. I have no brother, I am like no brother: • And this word, love, which greybeards call divine, Be resident in men like one another, And not in me; I am myself alone.Clarence, beware; thou keep'st me from the light; But I will sort' a pitchy day for thee: For I will buzz abroad such prophecies, · That Edward shall be fearful of his life ; And then, to purge his fear, I'll be thy death. • King Henry, and the prince his son, are gone : • Clarence, thy turn is next, and then the rest ; Counting myself but bad, till I be best.• I'll throw thy body in another room, And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom. [Exit.
i Select, choose out.
SCENE VII. The same.
A Room in the Palace.
King EDWARD is discovered sitting on his throne ,
QUEEN ELIZABETH with the infant Prince, CLARENCE,
Glo. I'll blast his harvest, if your head were laid ;
[Aside. K. Edw. Clarence, and Gloster, love my lovely
queen; And kiss your princely nephew, brothers both.
1 Gloucester may be supposed to touch his head and look significantly at his hand.