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Thou hast a sigh, to blow away this praise,
Ending with-queen and son, and all are dead.
Tressel. Your queen yet lives, and many of your
lord, your son
K. Hen. Why, he is dead!-yet speak, I charge thee!
Tell thou thy master his suspicion lies,
And I will take it as a kind disgrace,
And thank thee well, for doing me such wrong. Tressel. 'Would it were wrong to say; but, sir, your fears are true.
K. Hen. Yet for all this, say not my son is dead. Tressel. Sir, I am sorry I must force you to Believe, what 'would to Heav'n I had not seen! But in this last battle, near Tewksbury, Your son, whose active spirit lent a fire, Ev'n to the dullest peasant in our camp, Still made his way, where danger stood to oppose him.
A braver youth, of more courageous heat,
Ne'er spurr'd his courser at the trumpet's sound.
But who can rule the uncertain chance of war?
In fine, King Edward won the bloody field,
Where both your queen and son were made his
K. Hen. Yet hold! for, oh! this prologue lets me in
To a most fatal tragedy to come.
Dy'd he a prisoner, say'st thou ? how? by grief?
Or by the bloody hands of those that caught him?
Tressel. After the fight, Edward, in triumph, ask'd
To see the captive prince-the prince was brought,
Whom Edward roughly chid for bearing arms;
Asking what reparation he could make
For having stirred his subjects to rebellion?
Your son, impatient of such taunts, reply'd,
Bow like a subject, proud, ambitious York!
While I, now speaking with my father's mouth,
Propose the self-same rebel words to thee,
Which, traitor, thou wouldst have me answer to:
From these, more words arose; till, in the end,
King Edward, swell'd with what th' unhappy prince,
At such a time, too freely spoke, his gauntlet
In his young face with indignation struck;
At which crook'd Richard, Clarence, and the rest,
Bury'd their fatal daggers in his heart.
In bloody state I saw him on the earth,
From whence, with life, he never more sprung up.
K. Hen. Oh! hadst thou stabb'd, at every word's
Sharp poignards in my flesh, while this was told,
Thy wounds had given less anguish than thy words.
Oh, Heav'ns! methinks I see my tender lamb
Gasping beneath the ravenous wolves' fell gripe!
did all-did they all strike him, say'st thou?
Tressel. All, sir: but the first wound Duke Richard
K. Hen. There let him stop! be that his last of ills!
Oh, barbarous act! unhospitable men!
Against the rigid laws of arms, to kill him!
Was't not enough, his hope of birthright gone,
But must your hate be levell'd at his life?
Nor could his father's wrongs content you?
Nor could a father's grief dissuade the deed ?
You have no children-butchers, if
The thought of them would sure have stirr'd remorse.
Tressel. Take comfort, sir, and hope a better day.
K. Hen. Oh! who can hold a fire in his hand,
By thinking on the frosty Caucasus ?
Or wallow, naked, in December's snow,
By bare remembrance of the summer's heat?
Away! by Heaven, I shall abhor his sight,
Whoever bids me be of comfort more!
If thou wilt sooth my sorrow, then I'll thank thee;
Ay! now thou'rt kind indeed! these tears oblige me.
Tressel. Alas, my lord, I fear more evils towards
K. Hen. Why, let it come; I scarce shall feel it
My present woes have beat me to the ground;
And my hard fate can make me fall no lower.
What can it be?-give it its ugliest shape-
Oh, my poor boy!
Tressel. A word does that; it comes in Gloster's form.
K. Hen. Frightful indeed! give me the worst that threatens.
Tressel. After the murder of your son, stern Richard, As if unsated with the wounds he had given,
With unwash'd hands went from his friends in haste;
And, being asked by Clarence of the cause,
He, low'ring, cried, Brother, I must to the Tower;
I've business there; excuse me to the king:
Before you reach the town, expect some news:
This said, he vanish'd-and, I hear, is arriv'd.
K. Hen. Why, then the period of my woes is set; For ills, but thought by him, are half perform'd.
Enter LIEUTENANT, with an Order.
Lieut. Forgive me, sir, what I'm compell'd't' obey: An order for your close confinement.
K. Hen. Whence comes it, good Lieutenant ?
Lieut. Sir, from the Duke of Gloster.
K. Hen. Good night to all then! I obey it.
And now, good friend, suppose me on my death-bed,
And take of me thy last, short-living, leave.
Nay, keep thy tears, till thou hast seen me dead:
And when, in tedious winter nights, with good
Old folks, thou sitt'st up late,
To hear them tell the dismal tales
Of times long past, ev'n now with woe remember'd,
Before thou bidd'st good night, to quit their grief,
Tell thou the lamentable fall of me,
And send thy hearers weeping to their beds. [Exeunt.
Glost. Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by the sun of York;
And all the clouds, that low'r'd upon our house,
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 alarms are chang'd to merry meetings;
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures:
Grim-visag'd war has 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 made for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an am'rous 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 man's fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deform'd, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made
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 my hours,
Unless to see my shadow in the sun,
And descant on my own deformity:
Then, since this earth affords no joy to me,
But to command, to check, and o'erbear such
As are of happier person than myself;
Why, then, to me this restless world's but hell,
Till this mis-shapen trunk's aspiring head
Be circled in a glorious diadem-
But then 'tis fix'd on such a height; oh, I
Must stretch the utmost reaching of my soul!
I'll climb betimes, without remorse or dread,
And my first step shall be on Henry's head. [Exit.
Lieut. Asleep so soon! but sorrow minds no sea
The morning, noon, and night, with her's the same;
She's fond of any hour, that yields repose.
K. Hen. Who's there! Lieutenant! is it you?
Lieut. You shake, my lord, and look affrighted! K. Hen. Oh! I have had the fearfull'st dream! such sights,