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Arth. O, save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes are out, Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men.
Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.
Arth. Alas, what need you be so boise 'rous-rough? I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still. For heaven's sake, Hubert, let me not be bound ! Nay, hear me, Hubert! drive these men away, And I will sit as quiet as a lamb; I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word, Nor look upon the iron angerly; Thrust but these men away, and I'll forgive you, Whatever torment you do put me to.
Hub. Go, stand within ; let me alone with him. 1 Atten. I am best pleas`d to be from such a deed.
Come, boy, prepare yourself.
None, but to lose your eyes. Arth. O heaven !--that there were but a mote in
yours, A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wand'ring hair, Any annoyance in that precious sense! Then, feeling what small things are boisterous there, Your vile intent must needs seem horrible.
Hub. Is this your promise? go to, hold your tongue.
Arth. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes : Let me not hold my tongue; let me not, Hubert ! Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue, So I may keep mine eyes ; 0, spare mine eyes; Though to no use, but still to look on you ! Lo, by my troth, the instrument is cold, And would not harm me. Hub.
I can heat it, boy. Arth. No, in good sooth; the fire is dead with grief, Being create for comfort, to be us’d In undeserv'd extremes: See else yourself ; There is no malice in this burning coal ; The breath of heaven hath blown his spirit out, And strew'd repentant ashes on his head.
Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy.
Arth. And if you do, you will but make it blush, And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert ; Nay, it, perchance, will sparkle in your eyes And, like a dog, that is compelld to fight, Snatch at his master that doth tarre him on. All things, that you should use to do me wrong, Deny their office: only you do lack That mercy, which fierce fire, and iron, extends, Creatures of note, for mercy-lacking uses.
Hub. Well, see to live ; I will not touch thine eyes For all the treasure that thine uncle owes : Yet am I sworn, and I did purpose, boy, With this same very iron to burn them out.
Arth. O, now you look like Hubert ! all this while
Peace: no more. Adieu ;
O heaven !-I thank you, Hubert. Hub. Silence ; no more: Go closely in with me : Mugh danger do I undergo for tbee. [Exeunt.
SCENE II.-The same. A Room of State in the Pal
ace. Enter King John, crowned ; Pembroke, Salisbury, and other Lords. The King takes his State.
K. John. Here once again we sit, once again crown'd, And look'd upon, I hope, with cheerful eyes. Pemb. This once again, but that your highness
pleasid, Was once superfluous : You were crown'd before, And that high royalty was ne'er pluck’d off; The faiths of men ne'er stained with revolt ; Fresh expectation troubled not the land, With any long'd-for change, or better state.
Sal. Therefore, to be possessd with double poma To guard a title that was rich before, To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, To throw a perfume on the violet, To smooth the ice, or add another hue Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, Is wasteful, and ridiculous excess.
Pemb. But that your royal pleasure must be done,
Sal. In this, the antique and well-noted face
Pemb. When workmen strive to do better than well
Sal. To this effect, before you were new-erown' We breath'd our counsel : but it pleas'd your highest To over-bear it; and we are all well pleas d; Since all and every part of what we would, Doth make a stand at what your highness will.
K. John. Some reasons of this double coronation I have possess’d you with, and think them strong; And more, more strong (when lesser is my fear.) I shall indue you with: Mean time, but ask What you would have reform'd, that is not well; And well shall you perceive, how willingly I will both hear and grant you your requests.
Pemb. Then I (as one that am the tongue of these To sound the purposes of all their hearts) Both for myself and them, (but, chief of all, Your safety, for the which myself and them Bend their best studies,) heartily request The enfranchisement of Arthur; whose restraine Doth move the murmuring lips of discontent To break into this dangerous argument, If, what in rest you have, in right you holl, Why then your fears, (which, as they say, attend The steps of wrong.) should move you to mew Your tender kinsman, and to choak his days With barbarous ignorance, and deny his youth The rich advantage of good exercise ? That the time's enemies may not have this To grace occasions, let it be our suit, That you have bid us ask his liberty; Which for our goods we do no further ask, Than whereupon our weal, on you depending
Counts it your weal, he lave his liberty.
Under whose conduet came those powers of France, K. John. Let it be so; I do commit his youth That thou for truth giv'st out, are landed here? Enter Hubert.
Mess. Under the dauphin. To your direction.-Hubert, what news with you ?
Enter the Bastard, and Peter of Pomfret. Pemb. This is the man should do the bloody deed : K. John.
Thou hast made me giddy He show'd his warrant to a friend of mine :
With these ill tidings.-Now, what says the world The image of a wicked heinous fault
To your proceedings? Do not seek to stuff Lives in his eye; that close aspect of his
My head with more ill news, for it is full. Does show the mood of a much-troubled breast;
Bast. But, if you be afeard to hear the worst, And I do fearfully believe, 'tis done,
Then let the worst, unheard. fall on your head ! | What we so fear'd he had a charge to do.
K. John. Bear with me, cousin ; for I was amaz'd Scl. The colour of the king doth come and go, Under the tide: but now I breathe again Between his purpose and his conscience,
Aloft the flood; and can give audience Like heralds 'twixt two dreadful battles set :
To any tongue, speak it of what it will. His passion is so ripe, it needs must break.
Bast. How I have sped among the clergymen,
K.John. We cannot hold mortality's strong hand :- I find the people strangely fantasied:
Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear:
And here's a prophet that I brought with me Sal. Indeed, we feard, his sickness was past cure.
From forth the streets of Pomfret, whom I found Pemb. Indeed, we heard how near his death he was,
With many hundreds treading on his heels; Before the child himself felt he was sick :
To whom he sung, in rude harsh-sounding rhymes, This must be answer'd, either here, or hence.
That, ere the next Aseension-day at noon, K. Jahr. Why do you bend such solemn brows on
Your bighness should deliver up your crown. mne?
K. John. Thou idle dreamer, wherefore didst thou Think you, I bear the shears of destiny?
so? Have I commandment on the pulse of life?
Peter. Fore-knowing that the truth will fall out so. Sal It is apparent foul-play; and 'tis shame,
K. John. Hubert, away with him : imprison him; Tiat greativess should so grossly offer it:
And on that day at noon, whereon, he says, So thrive it in your game! and so farewell!
I shall yield up my crown, let him be hangd: Penil. Stay yet, lord Salisbury; I'll go with thee,
Deliver him to safety, and return, And find the inheritance of this poor child,
For I must use thee.-O my gentle cousin, | His little kingdom of a forced grave.
[Erit Hubert with Peter. That blood, which ow'd the breath of all this isle,
thou the news abroad, who are arriv'd ? Three foot of it doth hold; Bad world the while !
Bast. The French, my lord; men's mouths are full This must not be thus borne: this will break out
of it: To all our sorrows, and ere long, I doubt.
Besides, I met lord Bigot, and lord Salisbury,
[Exeunt Lords. || (With eyes as red as new enkindled fire.) K. John. They burn in indignation; I repent; And others more, going to seek the grave There is no sure foundation set on blood;
of Arthur, who, they say, is kill'd to-night "No certain life achiev'd by others' death.
On your suggestion.
Gentle kinsman, go, A fearful eye thou hast ; Where is that blood, And thrust thyself into their companies : That I have seen inhabit in those cheeks?
I have a way to win their loves again; So fonl a sky clears not without a storm :
Bring them before me. Prir down thy weather :--How goes all in France ?
I will seek them out. Meas, From France to England.-Neyer such a
K. John. Nay, but make haste; the better foot bepower
fore. For any foreign preparation,
O, let me have no subject enemies, Was levied in the body of a land !
When adverse foreigners affright my towns The copy of your speed is learn'd by them;
With dreadful pomp of stout invasion !Fec, when you should be told they do prepare,
Be Mercury, set feathers to thy heels; Tle tidings come, that they are all arriv'd.
And fly, like thought, from them to me again. K. John. O, where hath our intelligence been drunk?
Bast. The spirit of the time shall teach me speed. Where hath it slept? Where is my mother's care?
[Erit. That such an anny could be drawn in France,
K. John. Spoke like a spriteful noble gentleman.And she not hear of it?
Go after him ; for he, perhaps, shall need
Some messenger betwixt me and the peers ;
And be thou he. Your noble mother : And, as I hear, my lord,
Mess. With all my heart, my liege. (Exit.' The lady Constance in a frenzy died
K. John. My mother dead ! Three days before: but this from rumour's tongue
Re-enter Hubert. Tilly heard ; if true, or false, I know not.
Hub. My lord, they say, five moons were seen toK. Jahn. Withhold thy speed, dreadful occasion!
night: make a kague with me, till I have pleas'd Four fixed; and the fifth did whirl about Ny discontented preers !-What! mother dead? The other four, in wondrous motion. Wow wildly then walks my estate in France !
K. John. Five moons ?
Young Arthur is alive: This band of mine
Hub. Old men, and heldams, in the streets Do prophecy upon it dangerously: Young Arthur's death is common in their mouths: And when they talk of him, they shake their heads, And whisper one another in the ear ; And he, that speaks, doth gripe the litarer's wrist ; Whilst he, that hears, makes fearful action, With wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling eyes. I saw a smith stand with his hammer, thus, The whilst his iron did on the anvil cool, With open mouth swallowing a tailor's news ; Who, with his shears and meaşure in his hand, Standing on slippers, (which his nimble baste Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet,) Told of a many thousand warlike French, That were embatteled and rank'd in Kent : Another lean unwash'd artificer Cuts off his tale, and talks of Arthur's death. K. John. Why seek'st thou to possess me with these
Hub. Here is your hand and seal for what I did.
Hub. My lord
Hub. Arm you against yonr other enemies, I'!I make a pesce between your soul and 3017,
SCENE III.-The same. Before the Castle. Enter
Arthur on the Walls. Arth. The wall is high ; and yet will I leap down Good ground, be pitiful, and hurt me not ! There's few, or none, do know me; if they did, This ship-boy's semblance bath disguis'd me quite. I am afraid ; and yet I'll venture it. If I get down, and do not break my limbs, I'll find a thousand shifts to get away: As good to die, and go, as die, and stay. (Leaps dern. Oh me! my uncle's spirit is in these stones :Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones!
[Dics. Enter Pembroke, Salisbury, and Bigot. Sal. Lords, I will meet him at St. Edmund's-Bury; It is our safety, and we must embrace This gentle offer of the perilous time.
Pem. Who brought that letter from the cardinal?
Sal. The count Melun, a noble lord of Franee ; Whose private with me, of the dauphin's love, Is much more general than these lines import.
Big. Tomorrow morning let us meet him then.
Sal. Or, rather then set forward : for 'twill be Two long days' journey, lords, or e'er we meet.
Enter the Bastardo Bast. Once more to-day well met, distemper'd lords ! The king, by me, requests your presence straight.
Sal. 'The king hath dispossess himself of us; We will not line his thin bestaina cloak With our pure honours, nor attend the foot That leaves the print of blood where'er it walks: Return, and tell him so; we know the worst. Bast. Whale'er you think, good words, I think
were best. Sal. Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now.
Bast. But there is little reason in your grief;
Pen. Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege.
Sal. Murder, as dating what hinuself hath done, Doth lay it open, to urge on revenge.
Big. Or, when he doom'd this beauty to the grava Found ii too precious-princely for a genve.
Sal. Sir Richard, what think you ? Have you beheld, I honour'd him, I lov'd him ; and will weep Or have you read, or heard? or could yon think? My date of life out, for his sweet life's loss. Or do you almost think, although you see,
Sal. Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes
And he, long traded in it, makes it seem
The uncleanly savours of a slaughter-house ;
For I am stifled with this smell of sin. Presented to the tears of soft remorse.
Big. Away, toward Bury, to the dauphin there! Pem. All murders past do stand excusid in this: Pem. There, tell the king, he may inquire us out. And this, so sole, and so unmatchable,
[Exeunt Lords. Shall give a holiness, a purity,
Bast. Here's a good world !-Knew you of this fair To the yet-unbegotten sin of time:
work? And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest,
Beyond the infinite and boundless reach Exampled by this heinous spectacle.
Of merey, if thou didst this deed of death, Bast. It is a damned and a bloody work;
Art thou damnd, Hubert. The graceless action of a heavy hand,
Hub. Do but hear me, sir. If that it be the work of any hand.
Ha! I'll tell thee what; Sal. If that it be the work of any hand ?
Thou art damn'd as black-nay, nothing is so black; We had a kind of light, what would ensue
Thou art more deep damn'd than prince Lucifer: It is the shameful work of Hubert's hand;
There is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell The practice, and the purpose of the king :
As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child. From whose obedience I forbid my soul,
Hub. Upon my soul,Kneeling before this ruin of sweet life,
If thon didst but consent And breathing to his breathless excellence
To this most cruel act, do but despair, The incense of a vow, a holy vow;
And, if thou want'st a cord, the smallest thread Never to taste the pleasures of the world,
That ever spider twisted from her womb Never to be infected with delight,
Will serve to strangle thee; a rush will be Nor conversant with ease and idleness,
A beam to hang thee on; or would'se thou drown thya Till I have set a glory to this hand,
self, By giving it the worship of revenge.
Put but a little water in a spoon, Pem. Big. Our souls religiously confirm thy words. And it shall be as all the occan, Enter Hubert.
Enough to stifle such a villain up, Hub. Lords, I am hot with haste in seeking you: I do suspect thee very grievously. Arthur doth live; the king hath sent for you.
Hub. If I in act, consent, or sin of thought Sal. O, he is bold, and blushes not at death :- Be guilty of the stealing that sweet breath Avaunt, thou hateful villain, get thee gone !
Which was embounded in this beauteous clay,
Let hell want pains enough to torture me !
I left him well.
[Drawing his sword. Bast. Go, bear him in thine arins.
Hul. Stand back, lord Salisbury, stand back, I say; How easy dost thou take all England up!
From forth this morsel of dead royalty,
The life, the right, and truth of all this realm Nor tempt the danger of my true defence;
Is fled to heaven ; and England now is left Lest I, by marking of your rage, forget
To tug and scamble, and to part by the teeth Your worth, your greatness, and nobility.
The unowed interest of proud-swelling state. Big. Out, dunghill! dar'st thou brave a nobleman? | Now, for the bare pick'd bone of majesty, Hub. Not for my life: but yet I dare defend
Doth dogged war bristle his angry crest, My innocent life against an emperor.
And snarleth in the gentle eyes of peace : Sal. Thou art a murderer.
Now powers from home, and discontents at home,
Meet in one line; and vast confusion waits
Now happy he, whose cloak and cincture can
Hold out this tempest. Bear away that child,
And follow me with speed ; I'll to the king:
And heaven itself doth frown upon the land. [Exe.
ACT V. Iliat you shall think the devil is come from hell.
Big. What wilt thou do, repowned Faulconbridge ? SCENE 1.-The same. A Room in the Palace. En Second a villain, and a murderer?
ter King John, Pandulph with the Crown, and AtHuh, Lord Bigot, I am none.
tendants. Big, Who kill'd this prince?
King John. Hu). "Tis not an hour since I left hun well:
THUS have I yiclded up into your hand,
The circle of my glory.
O inglorious league !
Shall we, upon the footing of our land,
Insinuation, parley, and base truce, Your sovereign greatness and authority,
To arms invasive ? shall a beardless boy, K. John. Now keep your holy word: go meet the A cocker'd silken wanton brave our fields, French;
And flesh his spirit in a warlike soil, And from his holiness use all your power
Mocking the air with colours idly spread, To stop their marches, 'fore we are inflam'd.
And find no check? Let us, my liege, to arms: Our discontented counties do revolt;
Perchance, the cardinal cannot make your peace; Our people quarrel with obedience;
Or if he do, let it at least be said, Swearing allegiance, and the love of soul,
They saw we had a purpose of defence. To stranger blood, to foreign royalty.
K. John. Have thou the ordering of this present time. This inondation of mistemper'd humour
Bast. Away then, with good courage; yet, I know, Rests by you only to be qualified.
Our párty may well meet a prouder foe. [Exeunt. Then pause not; for the present time's so sick,
SCENE II.- A Plain near St. Edmund's-Bury. EnThat present medicine must be ministerd,
ter in arms, Lewis, Salisbury, Melun, Pembroke, BiOr overthrow incurable ensues.
got, and Soldiers. Pand. It was my breath that blew this tempest up,
Lew. My lord Melun, let this be copied out, Upon your stubborn usage of the pope:
And keep it safe for our remembrance : But, since you are a gentle convertite,
Return the precedent to these lords again; My tongue shall hush again this storm of war,
That, having our fair order written down, And make fair weather in your blustering land.
Both they, and we, perusing o'er these notes,
May know wherefore we took the sacrament,
Sal. Upon our sides it never shall be broken.
A voluntary zeal, and unurg‘d faith, My crown I should give off? Even so I have:
To your proceedings; yet believe me, prince, I did suppose, it should be on constraint;
I am not glad that such a sore oi'time
Should srek a plaster by contemnd revolt,
And heal the inveterate canker of one wound,
That I must draw this metal from my side But Dover castle: London hath receivid,
To be a widow-naker; 0, and there, Like a kind host, the dauphin and his powers
Where honourable rescue, and defence, Your nobles will not hear you, but are gone
Cries out upon the name of Salisbury ; To offer service to your enemy;
But such is the infection of the time, And wild amazement hurries up and down
That, for the health and physic of our right, The little number of your doubtful friends.
We cannot deal lut with the very hand K. John. Would not my lords return to me again, Of stern injustice and confused wrong.After they heard young Arthur was alive?
And is't not pity, O my grieved friends! Bast. They found him dead, and cast into the streets; That we, the sons and children of this isle, An empty casket, where the jewel of life
Were born to see so sad an hour as this; By some damnd hand was robb’d and ta'en away. Wherein we step after a stranger march
K. John. That villain Hubert told me, he did live. Upon her gentle bosom, and fill up
Bast. So, on my soul, he did, for aught he knew Her enemics' ranks, (I must withdraw and weep But wherefore do you droop? why look you sad? Upop the spot of this enforced cause, Be great in act, as you have been in thought; To grace the gentry of a land remote, Let not the world see fear, and sad distrust,
And follow unacquainted colours here? Govern the motion of a kingly eye:
What, here?- nation, that thou could'st remove! Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;
That Neptune's arms, who clippeth thee about, Threaten the threat'ner, and outface the brow Would bear thee from the knowledge of thyself, of bragging horror: so shall inferior eyes,
And grapple thee unto a pagun shore; That borrow their behaviours from the great, Where these two Christian armies might combine Grow great by your example, and put on
The blood of malice in a vein of league, The dauntless spirit of resolution.
And not to spend it so umeighbourly! Away; and glister like the god of war,
Lew. A noble temper dost thou show in this; When be intendeth to become the field:
Airl great affections, wrestling in thy bosom, Show boldness, and aspiring confidence.
Do make an earthquake of nobility. What, shall they seek the lion in his den,
o, what a noble combat hast thou fought, And fright him there? and make him tremble there? Between compulsion and a brave respect! o, let it not be said !---Forage, and run
Let me wipe off this honourable dew, To meet displeasure further from the doors;
That silverly doth progress on thy cheeks :
My heart hath melted at a lady's tears,
But this effusion of such manly drops,
This shower, blown up by tempest of the soul, Led by the dauphin.
Startles mine eyes, and makes me nuore amazid