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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.
Exec. I am best pleased to be from such a deed.
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."
Hub. Come, boy, prepare yourself.
Arth. Is there no remedy ? •
Hub. None, but to lose your eyes.
Arth. O Heaven !--that there were but a mote in
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
Arth. Let me not hold my tongue : let me not,
Ör, 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.
Hub. I can heat it, boy.
Arth. No, in good sooth; the fire is dead with
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.
Hub. I will not touch thine eyes,
For all the treasure that thine uncle owes.
Arth. O, now you look like Hubert ! all this while You were disguised.
Hub. Peace; no more ;
Your uncle must not know but you are dead.
I'll fill these dogged spies with false reports:
And, pretty child, sleep doubtless, and secure
That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world,
Will not offend thee.
Arth. O Heaven !_I thank you, Hubert.
Hub. Silence: no more. Go closely in with me; Much danger do I undergo for thee. (Exeunt.
Flourish of Drums and Trumpels.
KING John upon his Throne, Essex, PEMBROKE,
SALISBURY, and ENGLISH GENTLEMEN, discovered. K. John. Here once again we sit, once again
crown'd, Ani! louk'd upon, I hope, with cheerful eyes. Pem. This once again, but that your highness
pleased, 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 poinp.
To guard a title that was rich before,
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet,
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.
K. John. Some reasons of this double coronation
I have possess'd you with, and think them strong;-
Meantime, 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.
... Sal. Then I, as one that am the tongue of these,
The enfranchisement of Arthur; whose restraint
Doth move the murmuring lips of discontent. 3-
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.
K. John. Let it be so; I do commit his youth
To your direction.—
Hubert, what news with you ?
Pem. This is the man should do the bloody deed.
The image of a wicked heinous fault
Lives in his eye; that close aspéct of his
Does show the moed of a much-troubled breast.
Sal. The colour of the king doth come and go,
Between his purpose and his conscience.
K. John. We cannot hold mortality’s strong hand,
Good lords, although my will to give is living,
The suit which you demand is gone and dead:
He tells us Arthur is deceased to-night.
Ess. Indeed, we fear'd his sickness was past cure.
Pem. Indeed, we heard how near his death he was,
Before the child himself felt he was sick:
This must be answer’d, either here, or hence. .
R. John. Why do you bend such solemn brows on
Think you, I bear the shears of destiny? .
Have I commandment on the pulse of life!
Sal. It is apparent foul play; and ’tis shame,
That greatness should so grossly offer it:
. So thrive it in your game ! and so, farewell.
[Ereunt Essex, PEMBROKE, and SALISBURY.
K. John. They burn in indignation :-I repent:
There is no sure foundation set on blood,
No certain life achieved by others’ death.-
[Ereunt KING John and ENGLISH GKNTLEMEN.
Enter KING JoHN, meeting the ENGLISH HERALD.
K. John. A fearful eye thou hast! Where is that blood, That I have seen inhabit in those cheeks 2– How goes all in France 2 E. Her. From France to England.—Never such a power, For any foreign preparation, Was levied in the body of a land 1 The copy of your speed is learn’d by them, For, when you should be told they do prepare, The tidings come, that they are all arrived. K. John. O, where hath our intelligence been drunk? Where hath it slept 2 Where is my mother's care, That such an army could be drawn in France, And she not hear of it? * , E. Her. My liege, her ear *...
Is stopp'd with dust; the first of April, died
Your noble mother; And, as I hear, my lord,
The lady Constance in a frenzy died -
Three days before.
K. John. What, mother' dead?
How wildly then walks my estate in France
Under whose conduct came those powers of France,
That thou for truth giv'st out are landed here?
E. Her. Under the dauphin.
K. John. Thou hast made me giddy
With these ill-tidings.-
Now, what says the world
To your proceedings: Do not seek to stuff
My head with more ill news: for it is full.
Faul. But, if you be afeard to hear the worst,
Then let the worst, unheard, fall on your head,
- - [Going.
K. John. Bear with me, cousin; for I was amazed
Under the tide; but now I breathe again
Aloft the flood, and can give audience . .
To any tongue, speak it of what it will.
Faul. How I have sped among the clergymen,
The sums I have collected shall express.
But, as I travell’d hither through the land,
I find the people strangely fantasied,
Possess'd with rumours, full of idle dreams,
Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear.
K. John. O, my gentle cousin,
Hear’st thou the news abroad, who are arrived 2
Faul. The French, my lord; men's mouths are
o full of it; -
Besides, I met Lord Essex and Lord Salisbury,
... With eyes as red as new-enkindled fire,
And others more, going to seek the grave
Of Arthur, who, they say, is kill'd to-night
On your suggestion. - a
K. John. Gentle kinsman, go,