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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 kill'd.
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 drown'd.
K. Hen. I, Daedalus; my poor boy, Icarus;
Thy father, Minos, that denied our course;
The sun, that sear'd 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,
Than can my ears that tragic history.-
But wherefore dost thou come, is't for my life?
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 kill'd for his presumption.
K. Hen. Hadst thou been kill'd, when first thou didst presume, 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 shriek'd at thy birth, an evil sign; The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time; Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempests shook down trees; The raven rook'd ‡ 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,
Glo. I'll hear no more; Die, prophet, in thy speech;
For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain'd.
K. Hen. Ay, and for much more slaughter after this.
O God! forgive my sins, and pardon thee!
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!
*I.e. male parent.
O, may such purple tears be always shed
From those that wish the downfal of our house!-
If any spark of life be yet remaining,
Down, down to hell; and say-I sent thee thither.
1, 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 usurp'd our right?
The midwife wonder'd; 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 buz 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.
SCENE VII.-The same. A Room in the Palace.
KING EDWARD is discovered sitting on his Throne; QUEEN ELIZABETH with the infant Prince, CLARENCE, GLOSTER, HASTINGS, and others, near him.
K. Edw. Once more we sit in England's royal throne.
Re-purchased with the blood of enemies.
What valiant foe-men, like to autumn's corn,
Have we mow'd down, in tops of all their pride?
Three dukes of Somerset, threefold renown'd
For hardy and undoubted champions:
Two Cliffords, as the father and the son,
And two Northumberlands; two braver men
Ne'er spurr'd their coursers at the trumpet's sound:
With them, the two brave bears, Warwick and Montague,
That in their chains fetter'd the kingly lion,
And made the forest tremble when they roar'd.
Thus have we swept suspicion from our seat,
And made our footstool of security.-
Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy:-
Young Ned, for thee, thine uncles, and myself,
Have in our armours watch'd the winter's night,
Went all a foot in summer's scalding heat,
That thou mightst repossess the crown in peace;
And of our labours thou shalt reap the gain.
Glo. I'll blast his harvest, if your head were laid;
For yet I am not look'd on in the world.
This shoulder was ordain'd so thick, to heave;
And heave it shall some weight, or break my back:-
Work thou* the way,-and thou shalt execute.
K. Edw. Clarence, and Gloster, love my lovely queen;
And kiss your princely nephew, brothers both.
Clar. The duty that I owe unto your majesty, I seal upon the lips of this sweet babe.
K. Edw. Thanks, noble Clarence; worthy brother, thanks. Glo. And, that I love the tree from whence thou sprang'st, Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit :
To the so his master;
And cried-all hail! when as he meant all harm.} Aside.
K. Edw. Now am I seated as my soul delights,
Having my country's peace, and brothers' loves.
Clar. What will your grace have done with Margaret?
Reignier, her father, to the king of France
Hath pawn'd the Sicils and Jerusalem,
And hither have they sent it for her ransom.
K. Edw. Away with her, and waft her hence to France.
And now what rests but that we spend the time
With stately triumphs, § mirthful comic shows,
Such as befit the pleasures of the court ?—
Sound, drums and trumpets!-farewell sour annoy!
For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy.
*I. e. his head.
+ I. e. his hand.
KING EDWARD THE FOURTH. SIR RICHARD RATCLIFF.
EDWARD, Prince of
King Edward V.
RICHARD, Duke of
SIR WILLIAM CATESBY.
SIR JAMES TYREL.
SIR JAMES BLOUNT.
GEORGE, Duke of
SIR WALTER HERBERT.
SIR ROBERT BRAKENBURY,
Lieutenant of the Tower.
CHRISTOPHER URSWICK,a Priest.
LORD MAYOR OF LONDON.
SHERIFF OF WILTSHIRE.
RICHARD, Duke of
King Richard III.
A young Son of Clarence.
HENRY, Earl of Richmond, after-
wards King Henry VII.
CARDINAL BOUCHIER, Archbi-
shop of Canterbury.
THOMAS ROTHERAM, Archbishop
JOHN MORTON, Bishop of Ely.
DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
DUKE OF NORFOLK: EARL OF
SURREY, his Son.
EARL RIVERS, Brother to King
MARQUIS OF DORSET, and LORD
GREY, her Sons.
EARL OF OXFORD.
SIR THOMAS VAUGHAN.
ELIZABETH, Queen of King Ed-
MARGARET, Queen of King Henry
DUCHESS OF YORK, Mother to
King Edward IV., Clarence, and
LADY ANNE, Widow of Edward
Prince of Wales, Son to King Henry
VI.; afterwards married to the
Duke of Gloster.
A young DAUGHTER of Clarence.
LORDS, and other ATTENDANTS ;
two GENTLEMEN, a PURSUIVANT,
SCRIVENER, CITIZENS, MURDER-
ERS, MESSENGERS, GHOSTS, SOL-
SCENE I-London. A Street.
Glo. Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun* of York; And all the clouds, that lowr'd upon our house,
*The cognizance of Edward IV.
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.*
Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now,-instead of mounting barbed steeds,
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,—
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber,
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I,-that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty,
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature+ by dissembling nature,
Deform'd, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable,
That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them ;-
Why I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time;
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun,
And descant on mine own deformity;
And therefore,-since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,-
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,§
By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence, and the king,
In deadly hate the one against the other:
And, if king Edward be as true and just,
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up;
About a prophecy, which says, that G,
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul! here Clarence comes.
Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY. Brother, good day: What means this armed guard, That waits upon your grace?
Clar. His majesty,
Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed
This conduct to convey me to the Tower.
Glo. Upon what cause?
Clar. Because my name is-George.
Glo. Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours;
He should, for that, commit your godfathers:-
O, belike, his majesty hath some intent,
* Dances. Producing things dissimilar.
Preparations for mischief.