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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 kill'd.
Glo. Why, what a peevish4 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.
K. Hen. I, Dædalus; my poor boy, Icarus;
Thy father, Minos, that denied our course;
The sun, that sear'd 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,
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 kill'd, for his presumption.
K. Hen. Had'st thou been kill'd, when first thou
Thou hadst not liv'd to kill a son of mine.
And thus I prophesy,-that many a thousand,
Which now mistrust 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,-
Shall rue the hour that ever thou wast born.
The owl shriek'd at thy birth, an evil sign;
The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time;
Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempests shook down
The raven rook'd 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 mother'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,
Glo. I'll hear no more;-Die, prophet, in thy
For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain'd.
K.Hen.Ay, and for much more slaughter after this.
O God! forgive my sins, and pardon thee! [Dies.
Glo. What, will the aspiring blood of Lancaster
Sink in the ground? I thought it would have
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;
As 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 usurp'd our right?
The midwife wonder'd; and the women cried,
O, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth!
And so I was; which plainly signified-
That I should snarl, and bite, and play the dog.
Then since the heavens have shap'd my body so,
Let hell make crook'd my mind to answer it.
I have no brother, I am like no brother:
• Childish. To rook signified to lodge on any thing.
And this word-love, which gray 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 I will sort a pitchy day for thee:
For I will buz 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.
SCENE VII-A Room in the Palace.
KING EDWARD is discovered sitting on his Throne;
QUEEN ELIZABETH with the infant Prince, CLA-
RENCE, GLOSTER, HASTINGS, and others, near him.
K. Edw. Once more we sit in England's royal
Re-purchas'd with the blood of enemies.
What valiant foe-men, like to autumn's corn,
Have we mow'd down, in tops of all their pride?
Three dukes of Somerset, threefold renown'd
For hardy and undoubted champions:
Two Cliffords, as the father and the son,
And two Northumberlands; two braver men
Ne'er spurr'd their coursers at the trumpet's sound:
With them, the two brave bears, Warwick and
That in their chains fetter'd the kingly lion,
And made the forest tremble when they roar'd.
Thus have we swept suspicion from our seat,
And made our footstool of security.-
Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy:
Young Ned, for thee, thine uncles, and myself,
Have in our armors watch'd the winter's night;
Went all a-foot in summer's scalding heat,
That thou might'st repossess the crown in peace:
And of our labors thou shalt reap the gain."
Glo. I'll blast his harvest, if your head were laid;
For yet I am not look'd on in the world.
This shoulder was ordain'd so thick, to heave;
And heave it shall some weight, or break my back:-
Work thou the way,-and thou shalt execute.
K. Edw. Clarence and Gloster, love my lovely
SCENE I.-London. A Street.
Glo. Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this 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 alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled
And now, instead of mounting barbed2 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 shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's ma-
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deform'd, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
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 the time;
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun,
And descant on mine own deformity;
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,-
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days,-
Plots have I laid, inductions3 dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence, and the king,
In deadly hate the one against the other;
And, if king Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up;
About a prophecy, which says-that G
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul! here Clarence
Glo. Upon what cause?
Because my name is-George.
Glo. Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours;
He should, for that, commit your godfathers:-
O, belike his majesty hath some intent,
That you shall be new christen'd in the Tower.
But what's the matter, Clarence? may I know?
Clar. Yea, Richard, when I know; for I protest,
As yet I do not: But, as I can learn,
He hearkens after prophecies and dreams;
And from the cross-row plucks the letter G,
And says-a wizard told him, that by G
His issue disinherited should be;
And, for my name of George begins with G,
It follows in his thought that I am he:
These, as I learn, and such like toys as these,
Have mov'd his highness to commit me now.
Glo. Why, this it is, when men are rul'd by
'Tis not the king that sends you to the Tower; My lady Grey, his wife, Clarence, 'tis she,
That tempers him to this extremity.
Was it not she, and that good man of worship,
Antony Woodeville, her brother there,
That made him send lord Hastings to the Tower;
From whence this present day he is deliver'd?
We are not safe, Clarence, we are not safe.
Clar. By heaven, I think, there is no man secure,
But the queen's kindred, and night-walking heralds
That trudge betwixt the king and mistress Shore.
Heard you not what an humble suppliant
Lord Hastings was to her for his delivery?
Glo. Humbly complaining to her deity,
Got my lord chamberlain his liberty.
I'll tell you what,-I think it is our way,
If we will keep in favor with the king,
To be her men, and wear her livery:
The jealous o'er-worn widow, and herself,4
Since that our brother dubb'd them gentlewomen,
Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.
Brak. I beseech your graces both to pardon me;
His majesty hath straitly given in charge,
That no man shall have private conterence,
Of what degree soever, with his brother.
Glo. Even so an please your worship, Brakenbury,
You may partake of any thing we say:
We speak no treason, man;-We say, the king
Is wise, and virtuous; and his noble queen
Well struck in years; fair, and not jealous:
We say, that Shore's wife hath a pretty loot,
A cherry lip,
A bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue;
And the queen's kindred are made gentlefolks:
How say you, sir? can you deny all this?
Brak. With this, my lord, myself have naught
Glo. Naught to do with mistress Shore? I tell thee, fellow,
He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
Were best to do it secretly, alone.
Brak. What one, my lord?
Glo. Her husband, knave:-Wouldst thou betray me? Brak. I beseech your grace to pardon me; and, withal,
Forbear your conference with the noble duke. Clar. We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will obey.
Glo. We are the queen's abjects, and must obey.
Brother, farewell: I will unto the king;
And whatsoever you will employ me in,-
Were it to call king Edward's widow-sister,-
I will perform it to enfranchise you.
Mean time, this deep disgrace in brotherhood,
Touches me deeper than you can imagine.
Clar I know it pleaseth neither of us well.
Hast. Good time of day unto my gracious lord! Glo. As much unto my good lord chamberlain! Well are you welcome to this open air. How hath your lordship brook'd imprisonment? Hast. With patience, noble lord, as prisoners
But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks,
That were the cause of my imprisonment.
Glo. No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence too;
For they, that were your enemies, are his,
And have prevail'd as much on him as you.
Hast. More pity that the eagle should be mew'd, While kites and buzzards prey at liberty.
Glo. What news abroad?
The king is sickly, weak, and melancholy
Hast. No news so bad abroad, as this at home;-
And his physicians fear him mightily.
Glo. Now, by saint Paul, this news is bad indeed.
O, he hath kept an evil diet long,
And over-much consumed his royal person;
'Tis very grievous to be thought upon.
What, is he in his bed?
Glo. Go you before, and I will follow you.
He cannot live, I hope; and must not die,
Till George be pack'd with post-horse up to heaven.
I'll in, to urge his hatred more to Clarence,
With lies well steel'd with weighty arguments;
And, if I fail not in my deep intent,
Clarence hath not another day to live:
Which done, God take king Edward to his mercy,
And leave the world for me to bustle in!
For then I'll marry Warwick's youngest daughter:
What though I kill'd her husband, and her father?
Is-to become her husband, and her father:
The readiest way to make the wench amends,
The which will I; not all so much for love,
As for another secret close intent,
By marrying her, which I must reach unto.
But yet I run before my horse to market:
Clarence still breathes; Edward still lives, and
When they are gone, then must I count my gains. [Exit.
SCENE II.-Another Street. Enter the Corpse of KING HENRY the Sixth, borne in an open Coffin; Gentlemen bearing Halberds, to guard it; and LADY ANNE as Mourner. Anne. Set down, set down your honorable load,If honor may be shrouded in a hearse,Whilst I a while obsequiously lament The untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.— Poor key-cold figure of a holy king! Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster! Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood! Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost, To hear the lamentations of poor Anne, Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughter'd son, Stabb'd by the self-same hand that made these
Lo, in these windows, that let forth thy life,
I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes:-
O, cursed be the hand that made these holes!
Cursed the heart, that had the heart to do it!
Cursed the blood, that let this blood from hence!
More direful hap betide that hated wretch,
That makes us wretched by the death of thee,
Than I can wish to adders, spiders, toads,
Or any creeping venom'd thing that lives!
If ever he have child, abortive be it,
Prodigious, and untimely brought to light,
Whose ugly and unnatural aspect
Glo. Well, your imprisonment shall not be May fright the hopeful mother at the view;
I will deliver you, or else lie for you:
Mean time, have patience.
I must perforce; farewell. [Exeunt CLARENCE, BRAKENBURY, and Guard. Glo. Go, tread the path that thou shalt ne'er
Simple, plain Clarence!-I do love thee so,
That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven,
f heaven will take the present at our hands.
But who comes here? the new-deliver'd Hastings?
The queen and Shore.
And that be heir to his unhappiness!
If ever he have wife, let her be made
More miserable by the death of him,
Than I am made by my young lord, and thee!-
Come, now, toward Chertsey with your holy load,
Taken from Paul's to be interred there;
And still, as you are weary of the weight,
Rest you, whiles I lament king Henry's corse.
[The Bearers take up the Corpse, and advance. Enter GLOSTER. Glo. Stay you that bear the corse, and set it down • With becoming reverence for the dead.
Anne.What black magician conjures up this fiend, To stop devoted charitable deeds?
Glo.Villains, set down the corse; or, by saint Paul, I'll make a corse of him that disobeys.
1 Gent. My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass. Glo. Unmanner'd dog: stand thou when I command:
Advance thy halberd higher than my breast,
Or, by saint Paul, I'll strike thee to my foot,
And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.
[The Bearers set down the Coffin.
Anne. What, do you tremble? are you all afraid?
Alas, I blame you not; for you are mortal,
And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.-
Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell!
Thou hadst but power over his mortal body,
His soul thou canst not have; therefore, begone.
Glo. Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.
Anne. Foul devil, for God's sake, hence, and
trouble us not;
For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell,
Fill'd it with cursing cries, and deep exclaims.
If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
Behold this pattern of thy butcheries:-
O, gentlemen, see, see! dead Henry's wounds
Open their congeal'd mouths, and bleed afresh!-
Blush, blush, thou lump of foul deformity;
For 'tis thy presence that exhales this blood
From cold and empty veins, where no blood dwells;
Thy deed, inhuman and unnatural,
Provokes this deluge most unnatural.-
O God, which this blood mad'st, revenge his death!
O earth, which this blood drink'st, revenge his death!
Either, Heaven, with lightning strike the murderer
Or, earth, gape open wide, and eat him quick; As thou dost swallow up this good king's blood, Which his hell-govern'd arm hath butchered!
Glo. Lady, you know no rules of charity,
Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.
Anne. Villain, thou know'st no law of God nor
No beast so fierce, but knows some touch of pity.
Glo. But I know none, and therefore am no beast.
Anne. O wonderful, when devils tell the truth!
Glo. More wonderful, when angels are so angry.—
Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
Of these supposed evils, to give me leave,
By circumstance, but to acquit myself.
Anne. Vouchsafe, diffus'd infection of a man,
For these known evils, but to give me leave,
By circumstance, to curse thy cursed self.
Glo. Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have
Some patient leisure to excuse myself.
Anne. Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst make
No excuse current but to hang thyself.
Glo. By such despair, I should accuse myself. Anne. And, by despairing, shalt thou stand excus'd;
For doing worthy vengeance on thyself,
That didst unworthy slaughter upon others.
Glo. Say, that I slew them not?
Why, then, they are not dead:
But dead they are, and, devilish slave, by thee.
Glo. I did not kill your husband.
Why, then, he is alive.
Glo. Nay, he is dead; and slain by Edward's hand.
Anne. In thy soul's throat thou liest: queen
Thy murd'rous falchion smoking in his blood; The which thou once didst bend against her breast, But that thy brothers beat aside the point.
Glo. I was provoked by her sland'rous tongue, That laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders. Anne. Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind, That never dreamt on aught but butcheries: Didst thou not kill this king?
Anne. Dost grant me, hedge-hog? then God grant me too,
Thou may'st be damned for that wicked deed!
O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous.
Glo.The litter for the King of heaven that hath him.
Anne. He is in heaven, where thou shalt never
Glo. Let him thank me, that holp to send him thither;
For he was fitter for that place, than earth.
Anne. And thou unfit for any place but hell.
Glo. Yes, one place else, if you will hear me
Your bed-chamber. Anne. Ill rest betide the chamber where thou liest! Glo. So will it, madam, till I lie with you. Anne. I hope so.
Glo. i know so.-But, gentle lady Anne,To leave this keen encounter of our wits, And fall somewhat into a slower method,Is not the causer of the timeless deaths Of these Plantagenets. Henry and Edward, As blameful as the executioner?
Anne. Thou wast the cause and most accurr'd effect.
Glo. Your beauty was the cause of that effect; Your beauty which did haunt me in my sleep, To undertake the death of all the world, So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom. Anne. If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide, These nails should rend that beauty from my
Glo. These eyes could not endure that beauty's wreck;
You should not blemish it if I stood by:
As all the world is cheered by the sun,
So I by that; it is my day, my life.
Anne. Black night o'ershade thy day, and death thy life!
Glo. Curse not thyself, fair creature; thou art both. Anne. I would I were, to be revenged on thee. Glo. It is a quarrel most unnatural,
To be revenged on him that loveth thee.
Anne. It is a quarrel just and reasonable, To be revenged on him that kill'd my husband. Glo. He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband, Did it to help thee to a better husband.
Anne. His better doth not breathe upon the
Glo. I would they were, that I might die at once;
For now they kill ine with a living death.
Those eyes of thine from mine hath drawn salt
Shamed their aspects with store of childish drops:
These eyes, which never shed remorseful tear,-
Nor when my father York and Edward wept,
To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made,
When black-faced Clifford shook his sword at him;
Nor when thy warlike father, like a child,
Told the sad story of my father's death;
And twenty times made pause, to sob and weep,
That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks,
Like trees bedash'd with rain: in that sad time,
My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear:
And what these sorrows could not hence exhale,
Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weep-
I never sued to friend, nor enemy;
My tongue could never learn sweet soothing word,
But now thy beauty is propos'd my fee,
My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to
She looks scornfully at him.
Teach not thy lip such scorn; for it was made
For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,
Lo! here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword;
Which if thou please to hide in this true breast,
And let the soul forth that adoreth thee,
I lay it naked to the deadly stroke,
And humbly beg the death upon my knee.
[He lays his Breast open; she offers at it
with his Sword.
Nay, do not pause; for I did kill king Henry;—
But 'twas thy beauty that provok'd me.
Nay, now despatch; 'twas I that stabb'd young Ed-
ward;- She again offers at his Breast.
But 'twas thy heavenly face that set me on.
[She lets fall the Sword.
Take up the sword again, or take up me.
Anne. Arise, dissembler; though I wish thy death.
I will not be thy executioner.
Glo. Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it.
Anne. I have already.
That was in thy rage:
Speak it again, and, even with the word,
This hand, which for thy love, did kill thy love,
Shall, for thy love, kill a far truer love;
To both their deaths shalt thou be accessary.
Anne. I would, I knew thy heart.
Glo. 'Tis figur'd in my tongue.
Anne. I fear me, both are false.
Glo. Then man was never true.
Anne. Well, well, put up your sword.
Glo. Say then, my peace is made.
Anne. That shall you know hereafter.
Glo. But shall I live in hope?
Anne. All men, I hope, live so.
Glo. Vouchsafe to wear this ring.
Anne. To take, is not to give.
[She puts on the Ring. Glo. Look, how this ring encompasseth thy finger,
Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart;
Wear both of them, for both of them are thine.
And if thy poor devoted servant may
But beg one favor at thy gracious hand,
Thou dost confirm his happiness for ever.
Anne. What is it?
Glo. That it may please you leave these sad de
Anne. With all my heart; and much it joys me too,
To see you are become so penitent.-
Tressel, and Berkley, go along with me
Glo. Bid me farewell.
'Tis more than you deserve;
But, since you teach me how to flatter you,
Imagine I have said farewell already.
[Exeunt Lady ANNE, TRESSEL, and BERKLEY.
Glo. Take up the corse, sirs.
Towards Chertsey, noble lord?
Glo. No, to White Friars; there attend my com-
ing. [Exeunt the rest, with the Corpse.
Was ever woman in this humor woo'd?
Was ever woman in this humor won?
I'll have her, but I will not keep her long.
What! I, that kill'd her husband, and his father,
To take her in her heart's extremest hate;
With curses in her mouth, tears in her eyes,
The bleeding witness of her hatred by;
With God, her conscience, and these bars against
And I no friends to back my suit withal,
But the plain devil and dissembling looks,
And yet to win her,-all the world to nothing!
Hath she forgot already that brave prince,
Edward, her lord, whom I some three months since
Stabb'd in my angry mood at Tewksbury?
A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman,--
Framed in the prodigality of nature,
Young, valiant, wise, and, no doubt, right royal,-
The spacious world cannot again afford:
And will she yet abase her eyes on me,
That cropp'd the golden prime of this sweet
And made her widow to a woful bed?
On me, whose all not equals Edward's moiety? On me, that halt, and am misshapen thus?
My dukedom to a beggarly dernier,8
I do mistake my person all this while:
Upon my life, she finds, although I cannot,
Myself to be a marvellous proper man.
I'll be at charges for a looking-glass;
And entertain a score or two of tailors,
To study fashions to adorn my body;
Since I am crept in favor with myself,
I will maintain it with some little cost.
But, first, I'll turn yon fellow in his grave;
And then return lamenting to my love.-
Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass,
That I may see my shadow as I pass [Exit
SCENE III-A Room in the Pulace.
Enter QUEEN ELIZABETH, LORD RIVERS, and LORD
Riv. Have patience, madam; there's no doubt his majesty
Will soon recover his accustom'd health.
Grey. In that you brook it ill, it makes him
To be your comforter, when he is gone.
Q. Eliz. Ah, he is young; and his minority
Is put unto the trust of Richard Gloster,
A man that loves not me, nor none of you.
Riv. Is it concluded, he shall be protector?
Q. Eliz. It is determin'd, not concluded yet:
But so it must be, if the king miscarry.
Enter BUCKINGHAM and STANLEY.
Grey. Here come the lords of Buckingham and Stanley.
Buck. Good time of day unto your royal grace! Stan. God make your majesty joyful as you
Q. Eliz. The countess Richmond, good my lord
To your good prayer will scarcely say-amen.
Yet, Stanley, notwithstanding she's your wife,
And loves not me, be you, good lord, assur'd,
I hate not you for her proud arrogance.
Stan. I do beseech you, either not believe
The envious slanders of her false accusers;
Or, if she be accus'd on true report,
Bear with her weakness, which, I think, proceeds
From wayward sickness, and no grounded malice.
Q. Eliz. Saw you the king to-day, my lord of
Stan. But now the duke of Buckingham, and I, Are come from visiting his majesty.
Q. Eliz. What likelihood of his amendment, lords?
Buck. Madam, good hope; his grace speaks cheerfully.
Q. Eliz. God grant him health! Did you confer with him?
Buck. Ay, madam, he desires to make atonement Between the duke of Gloster and your brothers, And between them and my lord chamberlain; And sent to warn them to his royal presence. Q. Eliz. Would all were well!-But that will never be ;-
I fear, our happiness is at the height.
Enter GLOSTER, HASTINGS, and DORSET. Glo. They do me wrong, and I will not endure it.
Who are they, that complain unto the king,
That I, forsooth, am stern, and love them not?
By holy Paul, they love his grace but lightly,
That fill his ears with such dissentious rumors.
Because I cannot flatter, and speak fair,
Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive, and cog,
Duck with French nods, and apish courtesy,
I must be held a rancorous enemy.
Cannot a plain man live, and think no harm,
But thus his simple truth must be abus'd
By silken, sly, insinuating Jacks 19
Grey. To whom, in all this presence speaks your grace?
Glo. To thee, that hast nor honesty, nor grace. When have I injur'd thee? when done thee wrong?