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Lascivious Edward, and thou perjured George, And thou misshapen Dick,-I tell ye all, I am your better, traitors as ye are ;* And thou usurp'st my father's right and mine. K. Edw. Take that, the likeness of this railer here.1 [Stabs him. * Glo. Sprawl'st thou? take that, to end thy agony. [GLO. stabs him.
* Cla. And there's for twitting me with perjury. [CLA. stabs him.
Q. Mar. O, kill me too!
[Offers to kill her.
'K. Edw. Hold, Richard, hold, for we have done too much.
Glo. Why should she live, to fill the world with words?
K. Edw. What! doth she swoon? use means for her recovery.
Glo. Clarence, excuse me to the king my brother. • I'll hence to London on a serious matter;
'Ere ye come there, be sure to hear some news. Clar. What? what?
• Glo. The Tower, the Tower!
Q. Mar. O, Ned, sweet Ned! speak to thy mother, boy!
'Canst thou not speak ?-O traitors! murderers !— They that stabbed Cæsar, shed no blood at all, Did not offend, nor were not worthy blame, * If this foul deed were by, to equal it.
He was a man; this, in respect, a child;
And men ne'er spend their fury on a child.
• What's worse than murderer, that I may name it? *No, no; my heart will burst, an if I speak ;* And I will speak, that so my heart may burst.* Butchers and villains, bloody cannibals! *How sweet a plant have you untimely cropped!
1 That is, "thou who art the likeness," &c. The old copies describe Edward as striking the first blow, and Gloster the next; and this is according to history, which informs us that Edward smote the prince with his gauntlet, on which the rest despatched him.
• 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 rid1 this sweet young
K. Edw. Away with her; go, bear her hence perforce.
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! [Exit, 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.
1 To rid is to cut off, to destroy.
SCENE VI. London. A Room in the Tower.
KING HENRY is discovered sitting with a book in his hand, the Lieutenant attending. Enter GLOSTER. What, at your book so
Glo. Good day, my lord. hard?
K. Hen. Ay, my good lord. My lord, I should say rather;
*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?
'Tis sin to flatter; good was little better:
Glo. Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; The thief doth fear each bush an officer.
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.
K. Hen. The bird, that hath been limed in a bush,
Where my poor young was limed, was caught, and
Glo. Why, what a peevish fool was that of Crete, • That taught his son the office of a fowl?
* 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.
*But wherefore dost thou come? is't for my life? • Glo. Think'st thou I am an executioner?
THIRD PART OF
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 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 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'st
Glo. 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
O God! forgive my sins, and pardon thee!
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.
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.-
That Edward shall be fearful of his life;
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.