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This act, so evilly born, shall cool the hearts Is it my fault that I was Geffrey's son?
bert. No natural exhalation in the sky,
Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate No scape of nature, no distemper'd day, He will awake my mercy, which lies dead: No common wind, no customed event, Therefore I will be sudden, and despatch. But they will pluck away his natural cause,
[Aside. And call them meteors, prodigies, and signs, Arth. Are you sick, Hubert ? you look pale Abortives, présages, and tongues of heaven,
to-day : Plainly denouncing vengeance upon John. In sooth, I would you were a little sick; Lew. May be, he will not touch young Ar- That I might sit all night, and watch with you : thur's life,
I warrant, I love you more than you do me, But hold himself safe in his prisonment.
Hub. His words do take possession of my Pand. 0, Sir, when he shall hear of your
Read here, young Arthur. [Showing a paper.) If that young Arthur be not gone already,
How now, foolish rheum! (Aside. Even at that news he dies: and then the hearts Turning dispiteous torture out of door! Of all his people shall revolt from him, I must be brief; lest resolution drop, And kiss the lips of unacquainted change; Out at mine eyes, in tender womanish tears.And pick strong matter of' revolt, and wrath, Can you not read' it? is it not fair writ? Out of the bloody fingers' ends of John. Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect: Methinks, I see ihis hurly all on foot; Must you with hot irons burn out both mine And, 0, what better matter breeds for you,
eyes? Than I have nam'd - The bastard Faulcon- Hub. Young boy, I must. bridge
Arth. And will you ? Is now in England, ransacking the church, Hub. And I will. Offending charity : If but a dozen French Arth. Have you the heart? When your head Were there in arms, they would be as a call
did but ake, To train ten thousand English to their side; I knit my handkerchief about your brows, Or, as a little snow, tumbled about,
(The best I had, a princess wrought it me,) Anon becomes a mountain. O noble Dauphin, And I did never ask it you again : Go with me to the king: 'Tis wonderful, And with my hand at midnight held your head; Wbat may be wrought out of their discontent: And, like the watchful minutes to the hour, Now that their souls are topfull of offence, Still and anon cheer'd up the heavy time; For England go; I will whet on the king. Saying, What lack you ? and, Where lies your Lew. Strong reasons make strong actions :
Or, What good love may I perform for you? If you say, ay, the king will not say, no. Many a poor man's son would have lajn still,
[Exeunt. And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you; ACT IV.
But you at your sick service had a prince.
Nay, you may think, my love was crafty love, SCENE 1.- Northampton.—A Room in the And call it, cunning; Þo, an if you will: Castle.
If heaven be pleas'd that you must use me ill, Enter HUBERT and two ATTENDANTS.
Why, then you must.-Will you put out miné
eyes ? Hub. Heat me these irons hot: and, look These eyes, that never did, nor never shall, thou stand
So much as frown on you ? Within the arras :* when I strike my foot Hub. I have sworn to do it; Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth : And with hot irons must I burn them out. And bind the boy, which you shall find with
Arth. Ab, none, but in this iron age, would me,
do it! Fast to the chair: be heedful: hepce, and watch. The iron of itself, though heat red-hot, 1 Attend. I hope, your warrant will bear out Approaching near these eyes, would drink my the deed.
And quench his fiery indignation, (tears, Hub. Uncleanly scruples! Fear not you : Even in the matter of nine innocence :
look to't. [E.reunt ATTENDANTS. Nay, after that, consune away in rust, Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you. But for containing fire to harm mine eye.
Are you more stubborn-hard than bammer'd Enter ARTHUR.
iron? Arth. Good morrow, Hubert.
An if an angel should have come to me, Hub. Good morrow, little prince.
And told me, Hubert should put out mine eyes, Arth. As little prince (having so great a title I would not have believ'd no tongue, but HuTo be more prince,) as may be. You are sad.
bert's. Hub. Indeed, I have been merrier.
Hub. Come forth.
[Stamps. Arth. Mercy on me! Methinks, no body should be sad but I: Re-enter ATTENDANTS, with Cord, Irons, &c. Yet, I remember, 'when I was in France, Young gentlemen would be as sad as night,
Do as I bid you do. Only for wantónness. By my christendom,
Arth. O, save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes So I were out of prison, and kept sheep,
are out, I should be as' merry as the day is long;
Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men. And so I would be here, but that I doubt Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him My uncle practises more harm to me:
here. He is afraid of me, and I of him:
Arth. Alas, what need you be so boist'rous
rough? * Tapestry.
I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still.
Let us go;
For heaven's sake, Hubert, let me not be SCENE II.—The sume.--A Room of State in bound!
the Paluce. Nay, hear me, Hubert! drive these men away, Enter King John, crowned ; PEMBROKE, SALISAnd I will sit as quiet as a lamb; I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word,
BURY, and other Lords. The King takes his
K. John. Here once again we sit, once again Whatever torment you do put me to. [you,
crown'd, Hub. Go, stand within ; let me alone with And look'd upoa, I hope, with cheerful eyes. him.
Pem. This once again, but that your bigh1 Attend. I am best pleas'd to be from such a ness pleas’d,
(fure, deed, [E.reunt ATTENDANTS. Was once superfluous : you were crown å beArth. Alas! I then have chid away my friend; And that high royalty was ne’er pluck'd off; He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart:
The faiths of men ne'er stained with revolt; Let him come back, that his compassion may
Fresh expectation troubled not the land, Give life to yours.
With any long’d-for change, or better state. Hub. Come, boy, prepare yourself.
Sal. Therefore, to be possess'd with double Arth. Is there no remedy?
To guard* a title that was rich before, (pomp, Hub. None, but to lose your eyes.
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, Arth. O heaven !—that there were but a mote To throw a perfume on the violet, in yours,
To smooth the ice, or add another hue A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wand'ring hair,
Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light Any annoyance in that precious sense!
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garThen, feeling what small things are boist'rous Is wasteful, and ridiculous excess. (nish, there,
Pem. But that your royal pleasure must be Your vile intent must needs seem horrible.
done, Hub. Is this your promise? go to, bold your This act is as an ancient tale new told; tongue.
And, in the last repeating, troublesome, Arth. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of Being urged at a time unseasonable. tongues
Sal. In this, the antique and well-noted face Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes:
Of plain old form is much disfigured : Let me not hold my tongue; let me pot, Hu- And, like a shifted wind unto à sail, bert!
It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about: Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue,
Startles and frights consideration ; So I may keep mine eyes; 0, spare mine eyes; Makes sound opinion sick, and truth suspected, Though to no use, but still to look on you! For putting on so new a fashion'd robe. Lo, by my troth, the instrument is cold, Pem. When workmen strive to do better than And would not harm me.
well, Hub. I can heat it, boy.
They do confound their skill in covetousness : Arth. No, in good sooth; the fire is deady And, oftentimes, excusing of a fault,
Doth make the fault the worse by the excuse; Being create for comfort, to be us'd
As patches, set upon a little breach, In undeserv'd extremes :* See else yourself;
Discredit more in hiding of the fault, There is no malice in this burning coul;
Than did the fault before it was so patch'd. + The breath of heaven hath blown his spirit out, Sul. To this effect, before you were new. And strew'd repentant ashes on his head.
[highness Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy. We breath'd our counsel : but it pleas' your Arth. And if you do, you will but make it To overbear it; and we are all well pleas'd; blush,
(Hubert: Since all and every part of what we would, And glow with shame of your proceedings, Doth make a stand at what your highness will. Nay, it, perchance, will sparkle in your eyes;
K. John. Some reasons of this double coroAnd, like a dog that is compell’d to fight,
(strong; Snatch at his master that doth tarret him on. I have possess'd you with, and think them All things, that you should use to do me wrong, And more, more strong, (when lesser is my Deny their office: only you do lack
fear,) That mercy, which fierce fire, and iron, extends, I shall indue you with: Mean time, but ask Creatures of note, for mercy-lacking uses.
What you would have reform'd, that is not Hub. Well, see to live; I will not touch thine
And well shall you perceive, how willingly For all the treasure that thine uncle owes ::
I will both hear and grant you your requests. Yet am I sworn, and I did purpose, boy,
Pem. Then I, (as one that am the tongue of With this same very iron to burn them out.
these, Arth. O, now you look like Hubert! all this To soundġ the purposes of all their hearts,) You were disguised.
(while Both for myself and them, (but, chief of all, Hub. Peace: no more. Adieu ;
Your safety, for the which myself and them Your uncle must not know but you are dead : Bend their best studies,) heartily request I'll fill these dogged spies with false reports. The enfranchisement of Arthur; whose reAnd, pretty child, sleep doubtless, and secure,
straint That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world, Doth move the murmuring lips of discontent Will not offend thee.
To break into this dangerous argument, Arth. O heaven !—I thank you, Hubert. If, what in rest you have, in right you hold, Hub. Silence ; no more : Go closelys in with Why then your fears, (which, as they say, atme;
[up Much danger do I undergo for thee. [Exeunt. The steps of wrong,) should move you to mew * In cruclty I have not deserved.
# Decorate. Desire of excelling. Secretly. Publish.
+ Set him on.
Your tender kinsman, and to choke his days K. John. 0, where hath our intelligence With barbarous ignorance, and deny his youth
been drunk ?
(care? The rich advantage of good exercise ? Where hath it slept ? Where is my mother's That the time's enemies may not have this That such an army could be drawn in France, To grace occasions, let it be our suit,
And she not hear of it? That you have bid us ask his liberty;
Mess. My liege, her ear Which for our goods we do no further ask, Is stopp'd with dust; the first of April, died Than whereupon our weal, on you depending, Your noble mother: And, as I hear, my lord, Counts it your weal, he have his liberty. The lady Constance in a frenzy died (tongue K. John, Let it be so; I do commit his youth Three days before: but this from rumour's
I idly heard ; if true or false, I know not. Enter HUBERT.
K. John. Withhold thy speed, dreadful ocTo your direction.-Hubert, what news with
casion ! you?
0, make a league with me, till I have pleas'd Pem. This is the man should do the bloody My discontented peers!—What! mother dead? deed;
How wildly then walks my estate in France !He show'd his warrant to a friend of mine: Under whose conduct came those powers of The image of a wicked heinous fault
France, Lives in his eye; that close aspect of his That thou for truth giv'st out, are landed here? Does show the mood of a much-troubled breast; Mess. Under the Dauphin. And I do fearfully believe, 'tis done, What we so feard he had a charge to do.
Enter the BASTARD and Peter of Pomfret. Sal. The colour of the king doth come and K. John. Thou hast made me giddy (world Between his purpose and his conscience, [go, With these ill tidings.--Now, what says the Like heralds 'twixt two dreadful battles set : To your proceedings? do not seek to stuff His passion is so ripe, it needs must break. My head with more ill news, for it is full. Pem. And, when it breaks, I fear, will issue Bast. But, if you be afeard to hear the worst, thence
Then let the worst, unheard, fall on your head. The foul corruption of a sweet child's death. K. John. Bear with me, cousin; For I was K. John. We cannot hold mortality's strong
amaz'd* hand :
Under the tide: but now I breathe again Good lords, although my will to give is living, Aloft the flood; and can give audience The suit which you demand is gone and dead: To any tongue, speak it of what it will
. He tells us, Arthur is deceas'd to night. Bast. How I have sped among the clergySal. Indeed, we fear'd, his sickness was past
The sums I have collected shall express. Pem. lodeed we heard how near his death But as I travelled hither through the land, he was,
I find the people strangely fantasied; Before the child himself felt he was sick : Possess’d with rumours, full of idle dreams; This must be answer’d, either here, or hence. Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear: K. John. Why do you bend such solemn And here's a prophet, that I brought with me brows on me?
From forth the streets of Pomfret, whom I Think you, I bear the shears of destiny?
found Have I commandment on the pulse of life? With many hundreds treading on his heels;
Sal. It is apparent foul-play; and 'tis shame, To whom he sung, in rude harsh-sounding That greatness should so grossly offer it:
rhymes, So thrive it in your game! and so farewell. That, ere the next Ascension-day at noon, Pem. Stay yet, lord Salisbury; I'll go with Your highness should deliver up your crown. thee,
K. John. Thou idle dreamer, wherefore didst And find the inheritance of this poor child,
thou so? His little kingdom of a forced grave. [isle, Peter. Forekoowing that the truth will fall That blood, which ow'd* the breath of all this
out so. Three foot of it doth hold; Bad world the K. John. Hubert away with him; imprison while !
him ; This must not be thus borne: this will break And on that day at noon, whereon, he says, To all our sorrows, and ere long, I doubt. I shall yield up my crown, let him be hang'd :
Exeunt LORDS. Deliver him to safety,t and return, K. John. They burn in indignation; I re- For I must use thee.-O my gentle cousin, pent;
[Exit HUBERT, with Peter. There is no sure foundation set on blood; Hear'st thou the news abroad, who are arriv'd? No certain life achiev'd by others' death.- Bast. The French, my lord; men's mouths
are full of it: Enter a MESSENGER.
Besides, I met lord Bigot, and lord Salisbury,
K. John. Gentle kinsman, go,
I have a way to win their loves again;
Bring them before me. Was levied in the body of a land !
Bast. I will seek them out. The copy of your speed is learn’d by them; K. John. Nay, but make baste; the better For, when you shonld be told they do prepare,
foot before, The tidings come, that they are all arrivd.. 0, let me have no subject enemies, Owned.
* Stunned, confounded. + Custody.
to the peers,
When adverse foreigners affright my towns K. John. Hadst thou but shook thy head, or With dreadful pomp of stout invasion !
made a pause, Be Mercury, set feathers to thy heels;
When I spake darkly what I purposed; And fly, like thought, from them to me again. Or turn'dan eye of doubt upon my face, Bast. The spirit of the time shall teach me As bid me tell my tale in express words; speed.
[Exit. Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me K. John. Spoke like a spriteful noble gentle
And those thy fears might have wrought fears Go after him; for he, perhaps, shall need But thou didst understand me by my signs, Some messenger betwixt me and the peers ; And didst in signs again parley with sin; And be thou he.
Yea, without stop, didst let thy heart consent, Mess. With all my heart, my liege. (Exit. And, consequently, thy rude hand to act K. John. My mother dead!
The deed, which both our tongues held vile to
Out of my sight, and never see me more ! Hub. My lord, they say, five moons were My nobles leave me; and my state is brav'd, seen to-night:
Even at my gates, with ranks of foreign powers: Four fixed; and the fifth did whirl about Nay, in the body of this fleshly land, The other four, in wondrous motion.
This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath, K. John. Five moons?
Hostility and civil tumult reigns [death. Hub. Old men, and beldams, in the streets Between my conscience, and my cousin's Do prophesy upon it dangerously: mouths: Hub. Arm you against your other enemies, Young Arthur's death is common in their I'll make a peace between your soul and you. And when they talk of him, they shake their Young Arthur is alive: This band of mine And whisper one another in the ear; [heads, Is yet a maiden and an innocent hand, And he, that speaks, doth gripe the hearer's Not painted with the crimson spots of blood. wrist;
Within this bosom never enter'd yet Whilst he, that hears, makes fearful action, The dreadful motion of a murd'rous thought, With wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling And you have slander'd nature in my form; eyes.
Which, howsoever rude exteriorly, I saw a smith stand with his hammer, thus, Is yet the cover of a fairer mind The whilst his iron did on the anvil cool, Than to be butcher of an innocent child. With open mouth swallowing a tailor's news; K. John. Doth Arthur live? O, haste thee Who, with his shears and measure in his hand, Standing on slippers, (which his nimble haste Throw this report on their incensed rage, Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet,)
And make them tame to their obedience! Told of a many thousand warlike French, Forgive the comment that my passion made That were embatteled and rank'd in Kent: Upon thy feature; for my rage was blind, Another lean unwash'd artificer
And foul imaginary eyes of blood Cuts off his tale, and talks of Arthur's death. Presented thee more hideous than thon art. K. John. Why seek'st thou to possess me 0, answer not; but to my closet bring with these fears?
The angry lords, with all expedientt haste: Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's death? I cónjure thee but slowly; rus more fast. Thy hand hath murder'd him: 1 had mighty
[Ereunt. [him. To wish him dead, but thou hadst none to kill
SCENE III.—The same. Before the Castle. Hub. Had none, my lord! why, did you not
Enter ARTHUR, on the Walls. provoke me? K. John. It is the curse of kings, to be at
Arth. The wall is high; and yet will I leap
[rant By slaves, that take their humours for a war
Good ground, be pitiful, and hurt me not! To break within the bloody house of life:
There's few, or none, do know me; js they did, And, on the winking of authority,
This ship-boy's semblance hath disguis'd me To understand a law; to know the meaning
I am afraid; and yet I'll venture it. [quite. of dangerous majesty, when, perchance, it i'll find a thousand shifts to get away:
If I get down, and do not break my limbs, frowns More upon humour than advis'd respect.*
As good to die, and go, as die, and stay.
(Leaps down. Hub. Here is your hand and seal for what I o me! my uncle's spirit is in these stones-
did. K. John. 0, when the last account 'twixt Heaven take my soul, and England keep my
[Bies. heaven and earth Is to be made, then shall this hand and seal
Enter PEMBROKE, SALISBURY, und Bigot. Witness against us to damnation! How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds, Sal. Lords, I will meet him at Saint EdMakes deeds ilí done! Hadest not thou been
mund's-Bury; A fellow by the hand of nature mark'd, [by, It is our safety, and we must embrace Quoted, and sign’d, to do a deed of shame, This gentle offer of the perilous time. This murder had not come into my mind: Pem. Who brought that letter from the carBut, taking note of thy abhorr'd aspect,
dinal ? Finding thee fit for bloody villany,
Sal. The count Melun, a noble lord of Apt, liable, to be employ'd in danger,
France; I faintly broke with ihee of Arthur's death; Whose private with me,t of the Dauphin's love, And thou to be endeared to a king,
Is much more general than these lines import. Made it no conscience to destroy a prince. Big. To-morrow morning let us meet him Hub. My lord,
then. • Deliberate consideration. + Observed.
* His own body.. + Expeditious, Private account
Sal. Or, rather then set forward: for 'twill be Sa. 0, he is bold, and blushes not at Two long days' journey, lords, or e'er we meet.
death: Enter the BASTARD.
Avaunt, thou hateful villain, get thee gone !
Hub. I am no villain, Bast. Once more to-day well met, distem- Sal. Must I rob the law ? per'd' lords ! (straight.
[Drawing his sword. The king, by me, requests your presence Bast. Your sword is bright, Sir; put it up Sal. The king hath dispossess'd himself of
again. We will not line his thin bestained cloak (us; Sul. Not till I sheath it in a murderer's skin. With our pure honours, por attend the foot Hub. Stand back, lord Salisbury, stand back, That leaves the print of blood where-e'er it
By heaven, I think, my sword's as sharp as Return, and tell him so; we know the worst. I would not have you, lord, forget yourself, Bast. Whate'er you think, good words, I Nor tempt the danger of my true defence; think, were best.
Lest I, by marking of your rage, forget Sal. Our griefs, and not our manners, reason Your worth, your greatness, and nobility.
Big. Out, dunghill! dar’st thou brave a Bast. But there is little reason in your grief;
nobleman? Therefore, 'twere reason, you had manners Hub. Not for my life: but yet I dare defend
My innocent life against an emperor.
Yet, I am none: Whose tongue soe'er speaks Sal. This is the prison : What is he lies here? Not truly speaky; who speaks not truly, lies.
[Seeing ARTHUR. Pem. Cut him to pieces. Pem. O death, made proud with pure and Bast. Keep the peace, I say: princely beauty!
Sal. Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulcon'I he earth had not a hole to hide this deed.
bridge. Sal. Murder, as hating what himself hath Bast. Thou wert better gall the devil, SalisDoth lay it open, to urge on revenge. [done, bury: Big. Or, when he doon'd this beauty to a If thou but frown on me, or stir thy foot, grave,
Or teach thy hasty spleen to do me shame, Found it too precious-princely for a grave. I'll strike thee dead. Put up thy sword beSal. Sir Richard, what think you ? Have you beheld,
Or I'll so maul you and your toasting-iron, Or have you read, or heard? or could you think? That you shall think the devil is come from hell. Or do you almost think, although you see, Big. What wilt thou do, renowned Faulcona That you do see ? could thought, without this Second a villain, and a murderer? [bridge? object,
Hub. Lord Bigot, I am none, Form such another? This is the very top,
Big. Who kill'd this prince?
Like rivers of remorses and innocency:
Away, with me, all you whose souls abhor And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest, The uncleanly savours of a slaughter-house, Exampled by this heinous spectacle.
For I am stifled with this smell of sin. Bast. It is a damned and a bloody work; Big. Away, toward Bury, to the Dauphin The graceless action of a heavy hand,
there! If that it be the work of any hand.
Pem. There, tell the king, he may inquire us Sal. If that it be the work of any hand?—
[E.reunt LORDS. We had a kind of light, what would ensue: Bast. Here's a good world --Knew' you of It is the shameful work of Hubert's hand;
this fair work? The practice, and the purpose, of the king :- Beyond the infinite and boundless reach From whose obedience I forbid my soul, Of mercy, if thou didst this deed of death, Kneeling before this ruin of sweet life, Art thou damn'd, Hubert. And breathing to his breathless excellence Hub, Do but hear me, Sir. The incense of a vow, a holy vow;
Bast. Ha! I'll tell thee what; Never to taste the pleasures of the world, Thou art damn'd as black-nay, nothing is so Never to be infected with delight,
(cifer: Nor conversant with ease and idleness, Thou' art more deep damn'd than prince LuTill I have set a glory to this hand,
There is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell By giving it the worship of revenge.
As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child. Pem, Big. Our souls religiously confirm thy Hub. Upon my soul; words.
Bast. If thou didst but consent
To this most cruel act, do but despair,
And, if thou want’st a cord, the smallest thread Hub. Lords, I'am hot with haste in seeking That ever spider twisted from her womb
Will serve to strangle thee; a rush will be Arthur doth live; the king hath sent for you. A beam to hang thee on, or would'st thou
drown thyself, Out of humour.
† Pity. Hand should be head; a glory is the circle of rays
+ By compelling me to kill you. which surrounds the heads of saints in pictures.