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Oxf. For my part, I'll not trouble thee with words. Som. Nor I, but stoop with patience to my fortune. [Exeunt OxF. and Soм., guarded. Q. Mar. So part we sadly in this troublous world, * To meet with joy in sweet Jerusalem.
*K. Edw. Is proclamation made,-that who finds Edward,
* Shall have a high reward, and he his life?
* Glo. It is; and lo, where youthful Edward comes.
Enter Soldiers, with PRINCE EDWARD.
*K. Edw. Bring forth the gallant; let us hear him speak.
* What! can so young a thorn begin to prick? Edward, what satisfaction canst thou make, For bearing arms, for stirring up my subjects, *And all the trouble thou hast turned me to?
Prince. Speak like a subject, proud, ambitious York! Suppose that I am now my father's mouth; Resign thy chair, and, where I stand, kneel thou, Whilst I propose the self-same words to thee, Which, traitor, thou wouldst have me answer to.
Q. Mar. Ah, that thy father had been so resolved! Glo. That you might still have worn the petticoat, And ne'er have stolen the breech from Lancaster. Prince. Let Esop1 fable in the winter's night; His currish riddles sort not with this place.
Glo. By Heaven, brat, I'll plague you for that word. Q. Mar. Ay, thou wast born to be a plague to men. Glo. For God's sake, take away this captive scold. Prince. Nay, take away this scolding crook-back rather.
K. Edw. Peace, wilful boy, or I will charm your
Clar. Untutored lad, thou art too malapert.
Prince. I know my duty; you are all undutiful.
1 The prince calls Richard Esop for his crookedness; and the Poet, following nature, makes Richard highly incensed at the reproach.
Lascivious Edward,-and thou perjured George,
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
* Glo. Sprawl'st thou? take that, to end thy agony.
[GLO. stabs him.
* Cla. And there's for twitting me with perjury.
Q. Mar. O, kill me too!
[CLA. stabs him.
[Offers to kill her.
· K. Edw. Hold, Richard, hold, for we have done
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,
'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
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 prince!
K. Edw. Away with her; go, bear her hence perforce.
Q. Mar. Nay, never bear me hence; despatch me
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
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.
2 She alludes to the desertion of Clarence.
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
* 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.-
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,
And many an old man's sigh, and many a widow's,
And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope;
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 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.