Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 3 (Octavo 1, 1595)


Enter Gloster to king Henry in the Tower.
Glo. Good day my Lord. What at your booke so hard?
Hen. I my good Lord. Lord I should saie rather,
Tis sinne to flatter, good was little better,
Good Gloster, and good Diuell, were all alike,
What scene of Death hath Rosius now to act?
3085Glo. Suspition alwaies haunts a guiltie mind.
Hen. The birde once limde doth feare the fatall bush,
And I the haplesse maile to one poore birde,
3090Haue now the fatall obiect in mine eie,
Where my poore young was limde, was caught & kild.
Glo. Why, what a foole was that of Creete?
That taught his sonne the office
Of a birde, and yet for all that the poore
Fowle was drownde.
3095Hen. I Dedalus, my poore sonne Icarus,
Thy father Minos that denide our course,
Thy brother Edward, the sunne that searde his wings,
And thou the enuious gulfe that swallowed him.
3100Oh better can my brest abide thy daggers point,
Then can mine eares that tragike historie.
Glo. Why dost thou thinke I am an executioner?
3105Hen. A persecutor I am sure thou art,
And if murdering innocents be executions,
Then I know thou art an executioner.
Glo. Thy sonne I kild for his presumption.
Hen. Hadst thou bin kild when first thou didst presume,
3110Thou hadst not liude to kill a sonne of mine,
And thus I prophesie of thee.
That manie a Widdow for her husbands death,
And many an infants water standing eie,
Widowes for their husbands, children for their fathers,
Shall curse the time that euer thou wert borne.
The owle shrikt at thy birth, an euill signe,
The night Crow cride, aboding lucklesse tune,
3120Dogs howld and hideous tempests shooke down trees,
The Rauen rookt her on the Chimnies top,
And chattering Pies in dismall discord sung,
Thy mother felt more then a mothers paine,
And yet brought forth lesse then a mothers hope,
3125To wit: an vndigest created lumpe,
Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree,
Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou wast borne,
To signifie thou camst to bite the world,
And if the rest be true that I haue heard
3130Thou camst into the world
He stabs him.
Glo. Die prophet in thy speech, Ile heare
No more, for this amongst the rest, was I ordainde.
Hen.I and for much more slaughter after this.
3135O God forgiue my sinnes, and pardon thee.
He dies.
Glo. What? will the aspiring bloud of Lancaster
Sinke into the ground, I had thought it would haue
mounted,
See how my sward weepes for the poore kings death.
Now maie such purple teares be alwaies shed,
3140For such as seeke the downefall of our house.
If anie sparke of life remaine in thee,
Stab him againe.
Downe, downe to hell, and saie I sent thee thither.
I that haue neither pittie, loue nor feare.
3145Indeed twas true that Henry told me of,
For I haue often heard my mother saie,
That I came into the world with my legs forward,
And had I not reason thinke you to make hast,
And seeke their ruines that vsurpt our rights?
3150The women wept and the midwife cride,
O Iesus blesse vs, he is borne with teeth.
And so I was indeed, which plainelie signifide,
That I should snarle and bite, and plaie the dogge.
Then since Heauen hath made my bodie so,
3155Let hell make crookt my mind to answere it.
I had no father, I am like no father,
I haue no brothers, I am like no brothers,
And this word Loue which graybeards tearme diuine,
Be resident in men like one another,
And not in me, I am my selfe alone,
3160Clarence beware, thou keptst me from the light
But I will sort a pitchte daie for thee.
For I will buz abroad such prophesies,
As Edward shall be fearefull of his life,
And then to purge his feare, Ile be thy death.
3165Henry and his sonne are gone, thou Clarence next,
And by one and one I will dispatch the rest,
Counting my selfe but bad, till I be best.
Ile drag thy bodie in another roome.
And triumph Henry in thy daie of doome.
Exit.