Rich. Good day, my Lord, what at your Booke so hard? Hen. I my good Lord: my Lord I should say rather, Tis sinne to flatter, Good was little better: 'Good Gloster, and good Deuill, were alike, And both preposterous: therefore, not Good Lord

Rich. Sirra, leaue vs to our selues, we must conferre

Hen. So flies the wreaklesse shepherd from y Wolfe: So first the harmlesse Sheepe doth yeeld his Fleece, And next his Throate, vnto the Butchers Knife. What Scene of death hath Rossius now to Acte? Rich. Suspition alwayes haunts the guilty minde, The Theefe doth feare each bush an Officer, Hen. The Bird that hath bin limed in a bush, With trembling wings misdoubteth euery bush; And I the haplesse Male to one sweet Bird, Haue now the fatall Obiect in my eye, Where my poore yong was lim'd, was caught, and kill'd

Rich. Why what a peeuish Foole was that of Creet, That taught his Sonne the office of a Fowle, And yet for all his wings, the Foole was drown'd

Hen. I Dedalus, my poore Boy Icarus, Thy Father Minos, that deni'de our course, The Sunne that sear'd the wings of my sweet Boy. Thy Brother Edward, and thy Selfe, the Sea Whose enuious Gulfe did swallow vp his life: Ah, kill me with thy Weapon, not with words, My brest can better brooke thy Daggers point, Then can my eares that Tragicke History. But wherefore dost thou come? Is't for my Life? Rich. Think'st thou I am an Executioner? Hen. A Persecutor I am sure thou art, If murthering Innocents be Executing, Why then thou art an Executioner

Rich. Thy Son I kill'd for his presumption

Hen. Hadst thou bin kill'd, when first y didst presume, Thou had'st not liu'd to kill a Sonne of mine: And thus I prophesie, that many a thousand, Which now mistrust no parcell of my feare, And many an old mans sighe, and many a Widdowes, And many an Orphans water-standing-eye, Men for their Sonnes, Wiues for their Husbands, Orphans, for their Parents timeles death, Shall rue the houre that euer thou was't borne. The Owle shriek'd at thy birth, an euill signe, The Night-Crow cry'de, aboding lucklesse time, Dogs howl'd, and hiddeous Tempest shook down Trees: The Rauen rook'd her on the Chimnies top, And chatt'ring Pies in dismall Discords sung: Thy Mother felt more then a Mothers paine, And yet brought forth lesse then a Mothers hope, To wit, an indigested and deformed lumpe, Not like the fruit of such a goodly Tree. Teeth had'st thou in thy head, when thou was't borne, To signifie, thou cam'st to bite the world: And if the rest be true, which I haue heard, Thou cam'st- Rich. Ile heare no more: Dye Prophet in thy speech,

Stabbes him.

For this (among'st the rest) was I ordain'd

Hen. I, and for much more slaughter after this, O God forgiue my sinnes, and pardon thee.


Rich. What? will the aspiring blood of Lancaster Sinke in the ground? I thought it would haue mounted. See how my sword weepes for the poore Kings death. O may such purple teares be alway shed From those that wish the downfall of our house. If any sparke of Life be yet remaining, Downe, downe to hell, and say I sent thee thither.

Stabs him againe.

I that haue neyther pitty, loue, nor feare, Indeed 'tis true that Henrie told me of: For I haue often heard my Mother say, I came into the world with my Legges forward. Had I not reason (thinke ye) to make hast, And seeke their Ruine, that vsurp'd our Right? The Midwife wonder'd, and the Women cri'de O Iesus blesse vs, he is borne with teeth, And so I was, which plainly signified, That I should snarle, and bite, and play the dogge: Then since the Heauens haue shap'd my Body so, Let Hell make crook'd my Minde to answer it. I haue no Brother, I am like no Brother: And this word (Loue) which Gray-beards call Diuine, Be resident in men like one another, And not in me: I am my selfe alone. Clarence beware, thou keept'st me from the Light, But I will sort a pitchy day for thee: For I will buzze abroad such Prophesies, That Edward shall be fearefull of his life, And then to purge his feare, Ile be thy death. King Henry, and the Prince his Son are gone, Clarence thy turne is next, and then the rest, Counting my selfe but bad, till I be best. Ile throw thy body in another roome, And Triumph Henry, in thy day of Doome. Enter.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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