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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.

[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! Glo. Marry, and shall.

[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.

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Glo. Clarence, excuse me to the king my brother. 6 I'll hence to London on a serious matter; 6 Ere

ye come there, be sure to hear some news. Clar. What? what? Glo. The Tower, the Tower!

[Exit. Q. Mar. 0, Ned, sweet Ned! speak to thy mother,

boy! • Canst thou not speak ?-0 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 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!

[Exit, led out forcibly. K. Edw. Where's Richard gone? Clar. To London, all in post; and, as

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. 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.-
* 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 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 inistrust 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,— 6 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 inother'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, 0, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth ; • And so I was ; which plainly signifiedThat 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.

1 Select, choose out.

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