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That, as I live,

I would not pass another hour so dreadful,
Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days.
Reach me a book-I'll try if reading can
Divert these melancholy thoughts.


Glost. Good day, my lord; what, at your book so hard?

I disturb you.

K. Hen. You do indeed.

Glost. Friend, leave us to ourselves; we must confer.

K. Hen. What bloody scene has Roscius now to act? [Exit LIEUTENANT. Glost. Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind: The thief does fear each bush an officer.

K. Hen. Where thieves, without controlment, rob and kill,

The traveller does fear each bush a thief:

The poor bird, that has been already lim'd,
With trembling wings misdoubts of every bush ;
And I, the hapless male of one sweet bird,

Have now the fatal object in my eye,

By whom my young one bled, was caught, and kill'd.

Glost. 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: Thou shouldst have taught thy boy his prayers alone,

And then he had not broke his neck with climbing. K. Hen. Ah! kill me with thy weapon, not thy words;

My breast can better brook thy dagger's point,


Than can my ears that piercing story;


But wherefore dost thou come? is't for
Glost. Think'st thou I am an executioner ?
K. Hen. If murdering innocents be executing,
Then thou'rt the worst of executioners.

Glost. Thy son I kill'd for his presumption.
K. Hen. Hadst thou been kill'd, when first thou
didst presume,

Thou hadst not liv'd to kill a son of mine:

But thou wert born to massacre mankind.
How many old men's sighs, and widow's moans;
How many orphans' water-standing eyes;
Men for their sons, wives for their husbands' fate,
And children for their parents' timeless death,
Will rue the hour that ever thou wert born!
The owl shriek'd at thy birth-an evil sign!
The night-crow cry'd, foreboding luckless time;
Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempests shook down trees;
The raven rook'd her on the chimney top,
And chattering pies in dismal discord sung;
Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain,
And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope.
Teeth hadst thou in thy head, when thou, wert born,
Which plainly said, thou cam'st to bite mankind;
And, if the rest be true, which I have heard,
Thou cam'st-

Glost. I'll hear no more-Die, prophet, in thy speech;

For this, amongst the rest, I was ordain'd. [Stabs him. K. Hen. Oh! and for much more slaughter after


Just Heav'n forgive my sins, and pardon thee! [Dies. Glost. 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! Oh may such purple tears be always shed,

From those, who wish the downfall 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, what Henry told me of;
For I have often heard my mother say,
I came into the world with my legs forward;
The midwife wonder'd, and the women cry'd,
Good Heaven bless us! he is born with teeth!
And so I was, which plainly signify'd,

That I should snarl, and bite, and play the dog.
Then since the Heav'ns have shaped my body so,
Let hell make crook'd my mind, to answer it;
I have no brother, am like no brother,
And this word love, which grey-beards 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 if I fail not in my deep intent,

Thou'st not another day to live; which done,
Heav'n take the weak King Edward to his mercy,
And leave the world for me to bustle in,

But soft-I'm sharing spoil, before the field is won. Clarence still breathes, Edward still lives and reigns,

When they are gone, then must I count my gains.




St. Paul's.


Tressel. My lord, your servant; pray what brought you to St. Paul's?

Stanley. I came among the crowd, to see the corpse Of poor King Henry; 'tis a dismal sight; But yesterday I saw him the Tower; His talk is still so fresh within my memory, That I could weep, to think how fate has us'd him. I wonder where's Duke Richard's policy,

In suffering him to lie expos'd to view;
Can he believe that men will love him for't?

Tressel. O yes, sir, love him, as he loves his brothers.

When was you with King Edward, pray, my lord?
I hear he leaves his food, is melancholy;
And his physicians fear him mightily.

Stanley. 'Tis thought he'll scarce recover.
Shall we to court, and hear more news of him ?
Tressel. I am oblig'd to pay attendance here:
The lady Anne has license to remove
King Henry's corpse to be interred at Chertsey,
And I'm engaged to follow her.

Stanley. Mean you King Henry's daughter in law?
Tressel. The same, sir, widow to the late Prince

Whom Gloster kill'd at Tewksbury.

Stanley. Alas! poor lady! She's severely used!

And yet, I hear, Richard attempts her love :

Methinks the wrongs he's done her might discourage him.

Tressel. Neither those wrongs, nor his own shape, can fright him:

He sent for leave to visit her, this morning,

And she was forc'd to keep her bed, to avoid him: Will you along

To see this doleful ceremony?

Stanley. I'll wait upon you.



Glost. 'Twas her excuse, to avoid me.-Alas!

She keeps no bed

She has health enough to progress far as Chertsey,
Tho' not to bear the sight of me.

I cannot blame her-

Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb,
And, for I should not deal in his soft laws,
He did corrupt frail nature with a bribe,
To shrink my arm up, like a wither'd shrub,
To make an envious mountain on my back,
Where sits deformity, to mock my body;
To shape my legs of an unequal size,
To disproportion me in every part.
And am I then a man to be belov'd?
Oh monstrous thought! more vain than

Enter LIEUTENANT, hastily.

Lieut. My lord, I beg your grace

my ambi

Glost. Begone, fellow! I'm not at leisure.

Lieut. My lord, the King, your brother,'s taken ill. Glost. I'll wait on him: leave me friend.

Ha! Edward taken ill!

'Would he were wasted, marrow, bones, and all,

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