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Arth. As little prince (having so great a title
Methinks, no body should be sad but I:
Mercy on me!
Is it my fault that I was Geffrey's son?
Hub. His words do take possession of my bosom.Read here, young Arthur. [Showing a paper.] How now, foolish rheum!
Turning dispiteous torture' out of door!
Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect:
torture, cruelty of disposition.
And will you?
Arth. Have you the heart? When your head did I knit my handkerchief about your brows, [but ache, (The best I had, a princess wrought it me,)
And I did never ask it you again:
And with my hand at midnight held your head;
Saying, What lack you? and, Where lies your grief?
So much as frown on you?
I have sworn to do it;
And with hot irons must I burn them out.
Arth. Ah, none, but in this iron age, would do it! The iron of itself, though heat red-hot,
Approaching near these eyes, would drink
Are you more stubborn-hard than hammer'd iron?
And told me, Hubert should put out mine eyes,
I would not have believ'd him, no, no tongue but
Hub. Come forth.
Re-enter Attendants, with cord, irons, &c.
Do as I bid you do.
Arth. O, save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes are Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men. [out Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.
Arth. Alas, what need you be so boist'rous-rough?
I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still.
For heaven's sake, Hubert, let me not be bound!
I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word,
Thrust but these men away, and I'll forgive you,
Hub. Go, stand within; let me alone with him. 1 Attend. I am best pleas'd to be from such a deed. [Exeunt Attendants. Arth. Alas! I then have chid away my friend; He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart:— Let him come back, that his compassion may Give life to yours.
Come, boy, prepare yourself.
Arth. Is there no remedy?
Arth. O heaven!- that there were but a mote in
None, but to lose your eyes.
A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wand'ring hair,
Any annoyance in that precious sense!
Then, feeling what small things are boist'rous 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; O, 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.
I can heat it, boy.
Arth. No, in good sooth; the fire is dead with grief, Being create' for comfort, to be us❜d
The fire being created for comfort, is dead with grief at finding itself used in acts of unmerited cruelty.
In undeserv'd extremes: See else yourself;
Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy.
All things, that you should use to do me wrong,
That mercy, which fierce fire, and iron, extends,
I will not touch thine
For all the treasure that thine uncle owes : 4
With this same very iron to burn them out.
Arth. O, now you look like Hubert! all this while You were disguised.
Peace: no more.
SCENE II.-The same.
A room of state in the
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.
Pem. This once again, but that your highness pleas'd, 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 possess'd with double pomp,
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
Pem. But that your royal pleasure must be done, This act is as an ancient tale new told;
And, in the last repeating, troublesome,
Being urged at a time unseasonable.
Sal. In this, the antique and well-noted face
Of plain old form is much disfigur❜d:
And, ike a shifted wind unto a sail,
It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about;
Makes sound opinion sick, and truth suspected,
John's second coronation was at Canterbury, in the year 1201. He was crowned a third time, at the same place, after the murder of Arthur, in 1202.
• One time more than enough.
3 To guard, to fringe.