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K. HEN. I, Dædalus; my poor boy, Icarus; Thy father, Minos, that denied our course; The fun, that fear'd the wings of my fweet boy, Thy brother Edward; and thyself, the fea, Whose envious gulf did fwallow up his life.

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* Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words! My breaft can better brook thy dagger's point, Than can my ears that tragick hiftory.


*But wherefore doft thou come? is't for my life?

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GLO. Think'ft thou, I am an executioner? K. HEN. A perfecutor, I am fure, thou art; If murdering innocents be executing,

Why, then thou art an executioner.

GLO. Thy fon I kill'd for his presumption.

K. HEN. Hadft thou been kill'd, when first thou didst prefume,

Thou hadft not liv'd to kill a fon of mine.

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And thus I prophecy,-that many a thousand,
Which now mistruft no parcel of my fear;9

'And many an old man's figh, and many a widow's,
• And many an orphan's water-standing eye,-
"Men for their fons, wives for their husbands' fate,'
And orphans for their parents' timeless death,—
'Shall rue the hour that ever thou waft born.
The owl fhriek'd at thy birth, an evil sign;
The night-crow cried, aboding lucklefs time;

• Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear;] Who fufpect no part of what my fears prefage. JOHNSON.

Men for their fons, wives for their husbands' fate,] The word-fate was fupplied by the editor of the fecond folio.


2 And orphans &c.] The word-and, which is neceffary to the metre, and is wanting in the firft folio, was supplied by the fecond. STEEVENS.

Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempefts fhook down


The raven rook'd her 3 on the chimney's top,
And chattering pies in difmal difcords fung.
Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain,
And yet brought forth lefs than a mother's hope;
To wit, an indigeft4 deformed lump,

Not like the fruit of fuch a goodly tree.

Teeth hadft thou in thy head, when thou waft born,

3 The raven rook'd her -] To rook, or rather to ruck, is a north-country word, fignifying to Squat down, or lodge on any thing.

So, in Chaucer's Knight's Tale, Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit. v. 1310: "What is mankind more unto you yhold,

"Than is the fhepe, that rouketh in the fold ?"

Again, in the Nonnes Preefles Tale, ibid. v. 15,232: "O falfe morderour, rucking in thy den.

Again, in the Preface to Stanyhurft's tranflation of Virgil,


"I cannot devine upon fuch bookes that happlye rouke in ftudentes mewes," &c.

Again, in the translation of the IVth Book:

"Alfo on the turrets the fkrich howle, &c.
doth ruck," &c.

Again, in Warner's Albion's England, 1602, B. VII. ch. xxxvii :
"Have lazy wings, be ever lean, in fullen corners ruck."
Again, in Golding's tranflation of the 6th Book of Ovid's

"The furies made the bridegrome's bed, and on the house did rucke

"A curfed owle the meffenger of ill fucceffe and lucke." Again, in the 15th Book:

"He rucketh downe upon the fame, and in the spices dies." STEEVENS.

- an indigeft-] The folio has-indigefted. But the metre and the old play fhow that it was a mifprint. Shakspeare ufes the word indigeft in King John. MALONE.


rudis indigeftaque moles." Ovid. Met. I. 7.


To fignify, thou cam'ft to bite the world: And, if the rest be true which I have heard, "Thou cam'st 5

GLO. I'll hear no more;-Die, prophet, in thy


[Stabs him. K. HEN. Ay, and for much more flaughter after

For this, amongst the reft, was I ordain'd.


O God! forgive my fins, and pardon thee! [Dies.

GLO. What, will the aspiring blood of Lancaster Sink in the ground? I thought it would have mounted.

See, how my fword weeps for the poor king's death! O, may fuch purple tears be always fhed

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From thofe that with the downfal of our house!

If any fpark of life be yet remaining,"

And, if the rest be true which I have heard,

Thou cam'ft] Had our editors had but a grain of fagacity, or true diligence, there could have been no room for this abfurd break, fince they might have ventured to fill it up with certainty too. The old quarto would have led them part of the way:

Thou cam'ft into the world

And that the verfe is to be completed in the manner I have given it, is inconteftible; for unless we fuppofe King Henry actually reproaches him with this his prepofterous birth, how can Richard in his very next foliloquy fay :

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Indeed, 'tis true, that Henry told me of;

"For I have often heard my mother fay,

"I came into the world with my legs forward."

I can easily fee, that this blank was caused by the nicety of the players, to fupprefs an indecent idea. But, with submission, this was making but half a cure, unless they had expunged the repetition of it out of Richard's fpeech too. THEOBALD.

Thou cam'f-] Thus the folio. The old play as follows: "Thou cam'ft into the world

"Glo. Die prophet in thy speech ;-I'll hear no more." MALONE.

If any park of life be yet remaining,] So, in the 6th Book

Down, down to hell; and fay-I fent 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 fay,

I came into the world with my legs forward :
Had I not reason, think ye, to make haste,

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And feek their ruin that ufurp'd our right? The midwife wonder'd; and the women cried, O, Jefus bless us, he is born with teeth! And fo I was; which plainly fignifiedThat I should fnarl, and bite, and play the dog. Then, fince the heavens have fhap'd my body fo, Let hell make crook'd my mind to answer it.

of Ovid's Metamorphofis, tranflated by Arthur Golding, 1587:

"If any sparke of nature do within thy hart remaine.“ STEEVENS.

7 - that Henry told me of;] Namely, that my birth was attended with fingular circumftances.-Theobald, grounding himself on this and the two following lines, reads in a former paffage

"Thou cam'ft into the world with thy legs forward." for "how," (fays he,) can Richard fay, "Indeed 'tis true/that Henry told me of," &c. "unless we fuppofe King Henry reproached him with his prepofterous birth?" But furely Henry has done fo in the last ten lines of his speech, though he is at length prevented by the fatal ftab from mentioning a further proof of Richard's being born for the deftruction of mankind. Theobald's addition therefore to that line, has, I think, been adopted too haftily by the fubfequent editors, and the interruption in the midft of Henry's fpeech appears to me not only preferable, as warranted by the old copies, and by Glofter's fubfequent words, [Die, prophet, in thy Speech;] but more agreeable to nature. MALONE.

s Let hell &c.] This line Dryden feems to have thought on in his Oedipus :

"It was thy crooked mind hunch'd out thy back,
"And wander'd in thy limbs." STEEVENS.

I have no brother, I am like no brother:

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And this word-love, which greybeards call divine,

Be refident in men like one another,
And not in me; I am myself alone.—
Clarence, beware; thou keep'ft me from the light;
But I will fort a pitchy day for thee :9
For I will buz abroad fuch prophecies,
'That Edward fhall be fearful of his life;'
And then, to purge his fear, I'll be thy death.
King Henry, and the prince his fon, are gone:
'Clarence, thy turn is next, and then the reft;
Counting myfelf but bad, till I be best.-
I'll throw thy body in another room,

And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom. [Exit.

After this line, we find in the old play the following: "I had no father, I am like no father."

It might have been omitted in the folio merely by accident, (as fome lines in The Second Part of King Henry VI. certainly were,) but its restoration is not neceffary, for the fenfe is complete without it. MALONE.

9 But I will fort a pitchy day for thee:] an hour whofe gloom fhall be as fatal to you. So, in The Spanish Tragedy, 1605 :

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for they had forted leifure."

Again, in The Lover's Melancholy, 1629:


But I will choose out

To fort is to felect.

"We fhall fort time to take more notice of him."

For I will buz abroad fuch prophecies,


That Edward fhall be fearful of his life ;] The quartos add

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This line is not in the quarto printed by W. W. 1600; but it is in the undated quarto, which in fact was printed in 1619, from that printed in 1600 by V. S. MALONE.

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