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K.Edw. Peace, wilful boy, or I will charm your tongue:
Clar. Untutord lad, thou art too malapert.

Prince. I know my duty, you're undutiful :
Lascivious Edward, and thou perjur'd George,
And thou mif-thapen Dick, I tell ye all,
I am your better, traitors as ye are :
And thou usurp'ít my father's right and mine.
Glo. Take that, thou likeness of this railer here.

[Stabs him. K. Edw. And take thou that, to end thy agony.

[Edw. Babs him. Cla. And there's for twitting me with perjury.

[Clar. fabs him. Queer. Oh, kill me too ! Glo. Marry, and fall.

[Ofers to kill ber. K. Edw. Hold, Richard, hold; for we have done too much. Gla. Why should the live, to fill the world with words? K.E.Whats doth the swoon? use means for her recov'ry,

Glo. Clarence, excuse me to the King my brother :
I'll hence to London on a serious matter.
Ere ye come there, be fure to hear some news.

Cla, What? what?
Glo. The Tower, man, the Tower !—I'll root 'em out.

Queen. Oh Ned, sweet Ned! speak to thy mother, boy.
Canit thou not speak? O traitors, murderers !
They, that stabb’d Cæfar, fhed no blood at all ;
Did not offend, and 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, and if I speak -
And I will speak, that so my heart may burft.
Butchers and villains, bloody cannibals,
How sweet a plant have you untimely cropt!
You have no children, butchers ; if

you had, The thought of them would have stirr'd up remorfe ; 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. Edwi

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K. Edzu. Away with her, go bear her hence by force.

Queen. Nay, never bear me hence, dispatch me here :
Here sheath thy sword, I'll pardon thee my death :
What? wilt thou not? then, Clarence, do it thou.

Clar. By heav'n, I will not do thee so much ease.
Queen. Good Clarence, do; sweet Clarence, do thou do it.
Clar. Didst thou not hear me fwear, I would not do it?
Queen. Ay, but thou useit to forswear thyself :
'Twas sin before, but now 'tis charity.
What, wilt thou not ? where is that devil-butcher, (24)
Richard ? hard-favour'd Richard, where art thou?
Thou art not here : murder is thy alms-deed.
Petitioner for blood thou ne'er put't back.

K. Edw. Away, I say; I charge ye, bear her hence.
Queen. So come to you and yours, as to this Prince !

[Exit Queenho K. Edw. Where's Richard gone?

Clar. To London all in poft; 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 lee's away to London ;
And see our gentle Queen how well the fares ;
By this, I hope, the hath a fon for me. [Exeunt.

SCENE changes to the Tower of London.
Enter King Henry, and Glocefter, with the Lieutenant on

the Tower Walls.

OOD day, my Lord; what! at your book fo hard?
K. Henry. Ay, my good Lord; my Lord, I

thould say rather ;
'Tis fin to flatter, good was little better :
Good Glofter, and good devil, were alike,

(24) Where is that devil's butcher,
Richard ?) Thus all the editions. But devil's butcher, in other
terms, I think, is kill-devil : rare news for the freethinkers, if there
were any grounds for depending on it. But the poet certainly wrote
devil-butcher ; and the first part of the compound is to be taken ad-
jectively, meaning, execrable, infernal, devilish.


Glo. GoR

And both prepostrous ; therefore, not good Lord.
Glo. Sir, leave us to ourselves, we must confer.

[Exit Lieutenant.
K Henry. So flies the wreakless shepherd from the wolf.
So firft the harmless flock doth yield bis fleece,
And next his throat, unto the butcher's knife.
What scene of death hath Roscius now to act ? (25)

Glo. Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; The thief doth fear each bush an officer.

K. Henry. The bird, that hath been limed in a bush, With trembling wings mif-doubteth ev'ry bull; And I, the hapless male to one sweet bird, Have now the fatal object in my eye, Where

my poor young was lim’d, was caught and kill'd.
Gle. Why, what a peevith fool was that of Crete,
That taught his fon the office of a fowl ?
And yet, for all his wings, the fool was drown'd,

K. Henry. I, Dedalus ; my poor boy, Icarus ;
Thy father, Minos that deny'd our course;
The Sun, that sear’d the wings of my sweet boy,

(25) What scene of death barb Rofcius ncr to GET ?] Tho' I have not disturt'd the text here, I cannot but subjoin my friend's suspicion of it, in his own words. I believe, there never was a fillier core ruption than this reading; certainly introduced by some shallow. pated conceited fellow of the scene. For, in the first place, what fimilitude between Richard's murders, and Rofcius's scenes of death ? But what is still worse, Roscius was a Comedian, and not a Tragedian, Were a player here to be brought in by head and shoulders, it should have been Æsopus.-Roscius citatior, Ælopus gravior fuit ; quod Ille Comædias, hic Tragædias egit; says Quintilian. And to thew what kind of walk in playing Roscius 'was famous for, we seed only cite Tully, in his oration in behalf of that comedian ---Cujus perfonam præclare Rofcius in Scena tractare confuevit : neque tamen pro beneficio ei par gratia refertur. Nam Ballionem illum improbifsimum, & perjurisi. mum lenonem cum agit, agit Chæream.-(By the bye, had L'Abbe d'Aubignac remember'd this passage, he need not have made it a question in his La Practique du Theatre, whether Plautus's plays were acted after his death.) Now this being premised, I cannot but think that we ought to read;

What scene of death bath Richard now to act ? And this not only makes good sense of the line, but is infinitely more agreeable to the character of the speaker, and the circumstances he was then in.

Mr. Warburton.


Thy brother Edward ; and thyself, the sea,
Whose envious gulph did swallow up his life.
Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words ;
My breast can better brook thy dagger's point,
Than can my ears that tragick history.
But wherefore doft thou come ? Is’t for my life?

Glo. Think'st thou, I am an executioner?

K. Henry. A persecutor, I am sure, thou art:
If murd’ring innocents be executing,
Why, then thou art an executioner.

Glo. Thy fon I kill'd for his presumption.

K. Henry. Hadst thou been kill’d, when first thou didit Thou had it not liv’d to kill a son of mine. (presume, And thus I prophesy, that many a thousand, Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear, And many an old man's figh, and many a widow's, And many an orphan's water-standing eye, (Men for their fons, wives for their husbands fate, And orphans for their parents timeless death) Shall rue the hour that ever thou waft born. The owl shriek'd at thy birth, an evil sign; The night-crow cry'd, a boding luckless tune ; Dogs bowl'd, and hideous tempest shook down trees ; The raven rook'd her on the chimney's top, And chattering pyes 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 indigested deform'd lump, Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree. Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou wast born, To fignify thou cam'st to bite the world : And, if the rest be true which I have heard, Thou cam't into the world with thy legs forward. (26)


(26) And, if the reft be true which I bave beard, Thou cam A

| Had our editors had but a grain of sagacity, or due diligence, there could have been no room for this absurd break: since they might have ventur’d to fill it up with certainty too. The old quarto would have led them part of the way.

Thou cam'f into the world And that the verse is to be compleated in the manner I have given


Glo. I'll hear no more : die prophet in thy speech ;

[Stabs him. For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain’d.

K. Henry. Ay, and for much more slaughter after this O God ! forgive my fins, and pardon thee. [Dies.

Gl.. What! will th' 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 thed,
From those who with the downfall of our house.
If any spark of life be yet remaining,
Down, down to hell, and say, I sent chee 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 haite,
And seek their ruin that usurp'd our right?
The midwife wonder'd, and the women cry'd,
O, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth !
And so I was ; which plainly fignify'd
That I should snarle, and bite, and play the dog:
Then, since the heav'ns have shap'd my body so,
Let hell make crook'd my mind, to answer it.
I had no father, I am like no father.
I have no brother, I 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'ft me from the light ;
it, is incontestible; for unless we suppose King Henry actually ree
proaches him with this his preposterous birth, how can Ricbard in
bis very next soliloquy say?

Indeed, 'tis true tbat Henry told me of,
For I have often heard my marber say,

I came into the world with my legs forward. I can easily see, that this blank was caus'd by the nicety of the players, to supprefs an indecent idea. But, with fubmiflion, this was making but half a cure, unless they had expụng’d the repetition of it out of Richard's speech too.


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