Henry VI, Pt. 3
Act 5, Scene 6
London. The Tower.
- Enter Henry the Sixth and Richard of Gloucester with the
- Lieutenant, on the walls.
Duke of Gloucester3
- Good day, my lord. What, at your book so hard?
King Henry the Sixth4 - 7
- Ay, my good lord—my lord, I should say rather.
- ’Tis sin to flatter, “good” was little better:
- ‘Good Gloucester’ and “good devil” were alike,
- And both preposterous; therefore, not “good lord.”
Duke of Gloucester8
- Sirrah, leave us to ourselves, we must confer.
- Exit Lieutenant.
King Henry the Sixth10 - 13
- 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?
Duke of Gloucester14 - 15
- Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind;
- The thief doth fear each bush an officer.
King Henry the Sixth16 - 20
- 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 lim’d, was caught, and kill’d.
Duke of Gloucester21 - 23
- 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.
King Henry the Sixth24 - 32
- I, Daedalus; 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?
Duke of Gloucester33
- Think’st thou I am an executioner?
King Henry the Sixth34 - 36
- A persecutor I am sure thou art.
- If murdering innocents be executing,
- Why then thou art an executioner.
Duke of Gloucester37
- Thy son I kill’d for his presumption.
King Henry the Sixth38 - 59
- Hadst thou been kill’d when first thou didst presume,
- 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,
- 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 tempest shook down trees;
- The raven rook’d her on the chimney’s top,
- And chatt’ring 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 indigested and 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—
Duke of Gloucester60 - 62
- I’ll hear no more; die, prophet, in thy speech:
- Stabs him.
- For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain’d.
King Henry the Sixth63 - 64
- Ay, and for much more slaughter after this.
- O God forgive my sins, and pardon thee!
Duke of Gloucester66 - 99
- 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!
- O may such purple tears be alway 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;
- 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,
- “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;
- 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;
- For I will buzz 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 with the body.