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that never did, nor never shall, Enter ARTHUR.
So much as frown on you?
Hub. I have sworn to do it;
And with hot irons must I burn them out.
Arth. Ah, none, but in this iron age, would Arth. As little prince (having so great a title
do it! To be more prince,) as may be.—You are sad. The iron of itself, though heat red-hot, Hub. Indeed, I have been merrier.
Approaching near these eyes, would drink my Arth. Mercy on me!
tears, Methinks, nobody should be sad but I ; And quench his fiery indignation, Yet, I remember, when I was in France, Even in the matter of mine innocence : Young gentlemen would be as sad as night, Nay, after that, consume away in rust, Only for wantonness. By my christendom, But for containing fire to harm mine eye. So I were out of prison, and kept sheep, Are you more stubborn-hard than hammer'd I should be as merry as the day is long :
iron ? And so I would be here, but that I doubt An if an angel should have come to me, My uncle practises more harm to me;
And told me, Hubert should put out mine eyes, He is afraid of me, and I of him :
I would not have believ'd no tongue, but HuIs it my fault, that I was Geffrey's son?
bert's. No, indeed, is't not; And I would to heaven, Hub. Come forth.
[Stamps. I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert. Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate
Re-enter Attendants, with cords, irons, &c. He will awake my mercy, which lies dead : Do as I bid you do. Therefore I will be sudden, and despatch. Arth. O, save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes
[Aside. are out, Arth. Are you sick, Hubert? you look pale Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men. to-day:
Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him In sooth, I would you were a little sick;
here. That I might sit all night, and watch with you: Arth. Alas, what need you be so boist'rouse I warrant, I love you more than you do me.
rough? Hub. His words do take possession of my bo- I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still.
For heaven's sake, Hubert, let me not be bound ! Read here, young Arthur. [Showing a paper.] Nay, hear me, Hubert ! drive these men away,
How now, foolish rheum ! [Aside. And I will sit as quiet as a lamb; Turning dispiteous torture out of door! I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word, I must be brief; lest resolution drop
Nor look upon the iron angerly: Out at mine eyes, in tender womanish tears.- Thrust but these men away, and I'll forgive you, Can you not read it ? is it not fair writ? Whatever torment you do put me to.
Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect : Hub. Go, stand within ; let me alone with him. Must you with hot irons burn out both mine 1 Atlend. I am best pleas'd to be from such a
[Exeunt Attendants. Hub. Young boy, I must.
Arth. Alas ! I then have chid away my friend; Arth. And will you ?
He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart: Hub. And I wili.
Let him come back, that his compassion may Arth. Have you the heart? When your head Give life to yours. did but ake,
Hub. Come, boy, prepare yourself.
Arth. O heaven !-that there were but a mote And with my hand at midnight held your
in yours, And, like the watchful minutes to the hour, A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wand'ring hair, Still and anon cheer'd
up the heavy time; Any annoyance in that precious sense! Saying, What lack you? and, Where lies your Then, feeling what small things are boist'rous grief?
there, Or, What good love may I perform for you? Your vile intent must needs seem horrible. Many a poor man's son would have lain' still, Hub. Is this your promise ? go to, hold your And 'ne'er have spoke a loving word to you ;
tongue. But you at your sick service had a prince. Arth. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of Nay, you may think, my love was crafty love,
tongues And call it, cunning ; Do, an if you will : Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes : If heaven be pleas'd, that you must use me ill, Let me not hold my tongue; let me not, Hubert ! Why, then you must. Will you put out mine 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 ! To throw a perfume on the violet,
Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, Arth. No, in good sooth; the fire is dead with Is wasteful, and ridiculous excess. grief,
Pem. But that your royal pleasure must be * Being create for comfort, to be us'd
done, In undeserv'd extremes: See else yourself; This act is as an ancient tale new told; There is no malice in this burning coal; And, in the last repeating, troublesome, The breath of heaven hath blown his spirit out, Being urged at a time unseasonable. And strew'd repentant ashes on his head. Sal. In this, the antique and well-noted face
Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy. Of plain old form is much disfigured: Arth. And if you do, you will but make it And, like a shifted wind unto a sail, blush,
It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about; And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hu- Startles and frights consideration; bert:
Makes sound opinion sick, and truth suspected, Nay, it, perchance, will sparkle in your eyes ; For putting on so new fashion'd robe. And, like a dog, that is compell’d to fight, Pem. When workmen strive to do better than Snatch at his master, that doth tarre him on.
well, All things, that you should use to do me wrong, They do confound their skill in covetousness : Deny their office : only you do lack
And, oftentimes, excusing of a fault, That mercy, which fierce fire, and iron, extends, Doth make the fault the worse by the excuse; Creatures of note, for mercy-lacking uses. As patches, set upon a little breach, Hub. Well, see to live; I will not touch thine Discredit more, in hiding of the fault, eyes
Than did the fault before it was so patch'd. For all the treasure that thine uncle owes : Sal. To this effect, before you were newYet am I sworn, and I did purpose, boy,
crown'd, With this same very iron to burn them out. We breath'd our counsel : but it pleas'd your Arth. O, now you look like Hubert ! all this highness while
To overbear it; and we are all well pleas'd; You were disguised.
Since all and every part of what we would, Hub. Peace : no more. Adieu ;
Doth make a stand at what your highness will. Your uncle must not know but you are dead : K. John. Some reasons of this double coroI'll fill these dogged spies with false reports.
nation And, pretty child, sleep doubtless, and secure, I have possess'd you with, and think them strong; That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world, And more, more strong, (when lesser is my Will not offend thee.
fear,) Arth. O heaven !I thank
Hubert. I shall endue you with : Mean time, but ask Hub. Silence; no more: Go closely in with what you would have reform’d, that is not well; me;
And well shall you perceive, how willingly Much danger do I undergo for thee. [Exeunt. I will both hear and grant you your requests.
Pem. Then I (as one that am the tongue of SCENE II.-The same. A room of state in
these, the palace.
To sound the purposes of all their hearts,),
Both for myself and them, (but, chief of all, Enter King John, crowned; PEMBROKE, SA- Your safety, for the which myself and them
LISBURY, and other Lords. The King takes Bend their best studies,) heartily request his state.
The enfranchisement of Arthur; 'whose restraint
Doth move the murmuring lips of discontent K. John. Here once again we sit, once again to break into this dangerous argument,-, crown'd,
If, what in rest
you have, in right you hold, And look'd upon, I hope, with cheerful eyes. Why then your fears, (which, as they say, attend Pem. This once again, but that your highness The steps of wrong,) should move you to mew up pleas’d,
Your tender kinsman, and to choke his days
Than whereupon our weal, on you depending,
Counts it your weal, he have his liberty: To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
K. John. Let it be so ; I do commit his youth
That such an army could be drawn in France, Enter HUBERT.
And she not hear of it? 'your direction.-Hubert, what news with you? Mess. My liege, her ear Pem. This is the man should do the bloody Is stopp’d with dust; the first of April, died deed ;
Your noble mother : And, as I hear, my lord, le show'd his warrant to a friend of mine : The lady Constance in a frenzy died he image of a wicked heinous fault
Three days before: but this from rumour's tongue ives in his eye; that close aspect of his I idly heard ; if true, or false, I know not. Joes show the mood of a much troubled breast; K. John. Withhold thy speed, dreadful oca ind I do fearfully believe, 'tis done,
casion ! Vhat we so fear'd he had a charge to do. 0, make a league with me, till I have pleas'd
Sal. The colour of the king doth come and go, My discontented peers ! - What ! mother dead ? letween his purpose and his conscience, How wildly then walks my estate in France ! ike heralds 'twixt two dreadful battles set : Under whose conduct came those powers of lis passion is so ripe, it needs must break.
France, Pem. And, when it breaks, I fear, will issue That thou for truth giv'st out, are landed here? thence
Mess. Under the Dauphin.
Enter the Bastard, and Peter of Pomfret. hand :
K. John. Thou hast made me giddy Food lords, although my will to give is living, with these ill tidings. Now, what says the world l'he suit which you demand is gone and dead : To your proceedings ? do not seek to stuff lle tells us, Arthur is deceas'd to-night. My head with more ill news, for it is full. Sul. Indeed, we fear'd his sickness was past cure. Bast. But if you be afeard to hear the worst, Pem. Indeed, we heard how near his death he Then let the worst, unheard, fall on your head. was,
K. John. Bear with me, cousin ; for I was Before the child himself felt he was sick :
amaz'd This must be answer'd either here, or hence. Under the tide : but now I breathe again K.John. Why do you bend such solemnn brows Aloft the flood; and can give audience on me?
To any tongue, speak it of what it will.
Sal. It is apparent foul-play; and 'tis shame, But, as I travelled hither through the land,
Pem. Stay yet, lord Salisbury; I'll go with thee, Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear:
From forth the streets of Pomfret, whom I found That blood, which ow'd the breath of all this isle, With many hundreds treading on his heels; Three foot of it doth hold: Bad world the while! To whom he sung,in rude harsh-sounding rhymes, This must not be thus borne: this will break out That, ere the next Ascension-day at noon, To all our sorrows, and ere long, I doubt. Your highness should deliver up your crown.
(Exeunt Lords. K. John. Thou idle dreamer, wherefore didst K. John. They burn in indignation ; I repent; thou so ? There is no sure foundation set in blood; Peter. Foreknowing that the truth will fall No certain life achiev'd by others' death.
K. John. Hubert, away with him ; imprison Enter a Messenger. A fearful eye thou hast : Where is that blood, and on that day at noon, whereon, he says, That I have seen inhabit in those cheeks? I shall yield up my crown, let him be hang’d: So foul a sky clears not without a storm : Deliver him to safety, and return, Pour down' thy weather :-How goes all in For I must use thee. O my gentle cousin, France ?
[Exit Hubert, with Peter. Mess. From France to England. - Never such Hear’st thou the news abroad, who are arriv'd ? a power
Bast. The French, my lord; men's mouths For any foreign preparation,
are full of it: Was levied in the body of a land !
Besides, I met lord Bigot, and lord Salisbury, copy of your speed is learn'd by them; (With eyes as red as new-enkindled fire,) For, when you should be told they do prepare, and others more, going to seek the grave The tidings come, that they are all arriv’d. Of Arthur, who, they say, is kill'd to-night K. John. O, where hath our intelligence been on your suggestion. drunk?
K. John. Gentle kinsman, go,
made a pause,
I have a way to win their loves again ;
Hub. Here is your hand and seal for what I Bring them before me.
did. Bast. I will seek them out.
K. John. O, when the last account 'twixt hese K. John. Nay, but make haste; the better ven and earth foot before.
Is to be made, then shall this hand and seal 0, let me have no subject enemies,
Witness against us to damnation ! When adverse foreigners affright my towns How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds, With dreadful pomp of stout invasion !- Makes deeds ill done ! Hadest not thou been by, Be Mercury, set feathers to thy heels;
A fellow by the hand of nature mark’d, And fly, like thought, from them to me again. Quoted, and signed, to do a deed of shame, Bast. The spirit of the time shall teach me This murder had not come into my mind : speed.
[Exit. But, taking note of thy abhorr'd aspect, K. John. Spoke like a spriteful noble gentle- Finding thee fit for bloody villainy,
Apt, liable, to be employ'd in danger, Go after him ; for he, perhaps, shall need I faintly broke with thee of Arthur's death; Some messenger betwixt me and the peers; And thou, to be endeared to a king, And be thou he.
Made it no conscience to destroy a prince. Mess. With all my heart, my liege. [Exit. Hub. My lord, K. John. My mother dead !
K. John. Hadst thou but shook thy head, or Re-enter HUBERT.
When I spake darkly what I purposed ;
Or turn'd an eye of doubt upon my face Hub. My lord, they say, five moons were As bid me tell my tale in express words; seen to-night:
Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me break Four fixed; and the fifth did whirl about
off, The other four, in wond'rous motion.
And those thy fears might have wrought fears K. John. Five moons ?
in me: Hub. Old men, and beldams, in the streets But thou didst understand me by my signs, Do prophesy upon it dangerously:
And didst in signs again parley with sin; Young Arthur's death is common in their mouths: Yea, without stop, didst let thy heart consent, And when they talk of him, they shake their And, consequently, thy rude hand to act heads,
The deed, which both our tongues held vile to And whisper one another in the ear ; And he, that speaks, doth gripe the hearer's wrist; Out of my sight, and never see me more ! Whilst he, that hears, makes fearful action, My nobles leave me; and my state is bray'd, With wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling Even at my gates, with ranks of foreign powers: eyes.
Nay, in the body of this fleshly land, I saw a smith stand with his hammer, thus, This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath, The whilst his iron did on the anvil cool, Hostility and civil tumult reigns With open mouth swallowing a tailor's news ; Between my conscience, and my cousin's death. Who, with his shears and measure in his hand, Hub. Arm you against your other enemies, Standing on slippers, (which his nimble haste I'll make a peace between your soul and you. Had falsely thrust upon contráry feet,) Young Arthur is alive: This hand of mine Told of a many thousand warlike French, Is yet
a maiden and an innocent hand, That were embatteled and rank'd in Kent: Not painted with the crimson spots of blood. Another lean unwash'd artificer
Within this bosom never enter'd yet Cuts off his tale, and talks of Arthur's death. The dreadful motion of a murd'rous thought, K. John. Why seek'st thou to possess me with And you have slander'd nature in my form; these fears?
Which, howsoever rude exteriorly, Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's death? Is yet the cover of a fairer mind Thy hand hath murder'd him: I had mighty Than to be butcher of an innocent child.
K. John. Doth Arthur live? O, haste thee to To wish him dead, but thou hadst none to kill him.
Throw this report on their incensed rage, Hub. Had none, my lord! why, did you not And make them tame to their obedience ! provoke me?
Forgive the comment, that my passion made K. John. It is the curse of kings, to be attended Upon tlry feature ; for my rage was blind, By slaves, that take their humours for a warrant and foul imaginary eyes of blood To break within the bloody house of life: Presented thee more hideous than thou art. And, on the winking of authority,
0, answer not; but to my closet bring To understand a law; to know the meaning The angry lords, with all expedient haste : Of dangerous majesty, when, perchance, it frowns I conjure thee but slowly ; run more fast. More upon humour than advis'd respect.
Or do you almost think, although you see, SCENE III.—The same. Before the castle. That you do see ? could thought, without this
object, Enter ARTHUR, on the walls.
Form such another? This is the very top, Arth. The wall is high ; and yet will I leap The height, the crest, or crest unto the crest, down:
Of murder's arms: this is the bloodiest shame, Good ground, be pitiful, and hurt me not ! - The wildest savagʻry, the vilest stroke, There's few, or none, do know me; if they did, That ever wall-ey'd wrath, or staring rage, This ship-boy's semblance hath disguis'd me Presented to the tears of soft remorse. quite.
Pem. All murders past dostand excus'd in this: I am afraid ; and yet I'll venture it.
And this, so sole, and so unmatchable,
To the yet unbegotten sin of time;
[Leaps down. Exampled by this heinous spectacle. O me! my uncle's spirit is in these stones :- Bast. It is a damned and a bloody work ; Heaven take my soul, and England keep my The graceless action of a heavy hand, bones!
[ Dies. If that it be the work of any hand.
Sal. If that it be the work of any hand ?Enter PEMBROKE, SALISBURY, and Bigot.
We had a kind of light, what would ensue: Sal. Lords, I will meet him at saint Edmund's It is the shameful work of Hubert's hand; Bury ;
The practice, and the purpose, of the king : It is our safety, and we must embrace
From whose obedience I forbid my soul, This gentle offer of the perilous time.
Kneeling before this ruin of sweet life,
The incense of a vow, a holy vow;
By giving it the worship of revenge.
Enter Hubert. Bast. Once more to-day well met, distemper'd Hub. Lords, I am hot with haste in seeking you. lords !
Arthur doth live ; the king hath sent for you. The king, by me, requests your presence straight. Sal. O, he is bold, and blushes not at death :
Sal. The king hath dispossess'd himself of us; Avaunt, thou hateful villain, get thee gone! We will not line his thin bestained cloak
Hub. I am no villain. With our pure honours, nor attend the foot, Sal. Must I rob the law ? That leaves the print of blood where-e'er it walks:
[Drawing his sword. Return, and tell him so; we know the worst. Bast. Your sword is bright, sir; put it up again. Bast. Whate'er you think, good words, I Sal. Not till I sheath it in a murderer's skin, think, were best.
Hub. Stand back, lord Salisbury, stand back, Sal. Our griefs, and not our manners, reason
By heaven, I think, mysword's as sharp as yours : Bast. But there is little reason in your grief; I would not have you, lord, forget yourself, Therefore, 'twere reason, you had manners now. Nor tempt the danger of my true defence ;
Pem. Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege. Lest I, by marking of your rage, forget
[Seeing Arthur. bleman? Pem. O death, made proud with pure and Hub. Not for my life: but yet I dare defend princely beauty!
My innocent life against an emperor. The earth hath not a hole to hide this deed. Sal. Thou art a murderer.
Sal. Murder, as hating what himself hath done, Hub. Do not prove me so ; Doth lay it open, to urge on revenge.
Yet, I am none: Whose tongue soe'er speaks false, Big. Or, when he doom'd this beauty to a grave, Not truly speaks ; who speaks not truly, lies. Found it too precious-princely for a grave.
Pem. Cut him to pieces. Sal. Sir Richard, what think you ? Have you Bast. Keep the peace, I say. beheld,
Sal. Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulconbridge. Or have you read, or heard ? or could you think? Bast. Thou wert better gall the devil, Salisbury:
I say ;,