6. SCENE VI. London. The Tower.
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' 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 tempest shook down trees;
The raven rook'd her on the chimney's top,
And chatt'ring pies in dismal discord sung.
Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain,
And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope,
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,
I'll hear no more. Die, prophet, in thy speech.
For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain'd.
Ay, and for much more slaughter after this.
O, God forgive my sins, and pardon thee!
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 always 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, 't is 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.]