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K. Hen. Ay, my good lord: My lord, I should say
rather: 'Tis sin to flatter, good was little better: Good Gloster, and good devil, were alike, * And both preposterous; therefore, not good lord. * Glo. Sirrah, leave us to ourselves : we must confer.
[Erit Lieutenant. * K. Hen. So flies the reckless shepherd from the
wolf: * So first the harmless sheep doth yield his fleece, * And next his throat unto the butcher's knife. What scene of death hath Roscius now to act?
Glo. Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; The thief doth fear each bush an officer.
K. Hen. The bird, that hath been limed in a bush, With trembling wings misdoubteth every bush : And I, the hapless male8 to one sweet bird, Have now the fatal object in my eye, Where my poor young was lim’d, was caught, and
kill'd. .Glo. 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.
'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 tragick 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 ;
|_ hapless male-] The word male is here used in a very uncommon sense, not for the male of the female, but for the male parent: the sweet bird is evidently his son Prince Edward.
If murdering innocents be executing,
And thus I prophecy,--that many a thousand, " Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear;9
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 trees; 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, « Thou cam’st Glo. I'll hear no more ;-Die, prophet, in thy
[Stabs him. 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.
9 Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear;] Who suspect no part of what my fears presage.
! The raven rook'd her -] To rook, or rather to ruck, is a north-country word, signifying to squat down, or lodge on any thing.
Glo. 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! ·0, may such purple tears be always shed
From those that wish the downfal 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; 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 haste, * And seek their ruin that usurp'd our right? The midwife wonder'd: and the women cried, 0, 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 :
And this word-love, which greybeards 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:2 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. [Erit.
? But I will sort a pitchy day for thee :] But I will choose out an hour whose gloom shall be as fatal to you. To sort is to select.