William Shakespeare: King Henry VI, Third Part

6. SCENE VI. London. The Tower.

[KING HENRY is discovered sitting with a book in his hand, the
Lieutenant attending. Enter GLOSTER.]

Good day, my lord. What! at your book so hard?

Ay, my good lord;--my lord, I should say rather.
'T is sin to flatter; 'good' was little better.
Good Gloster and good devil were alike,
And both preposterous; therefore, not good lord.

Sirrah, leave us to ourselves; we must confer.

[Exit Lieutenant.]

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?

Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind;
The thief doth fear each bush an officer.

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.

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.

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?

Think'st thou I am an executioner?

A persecutor, I am sure, thou art;
If murdering innocents be executing,
Why, then thou are an executioner.

Thy son I kill'd for his presumption.

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