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And thrust thyself into their companies :
I have a way to win their loves again.
Bring them before me.
Faul. I will seek them out.
K. John. Nay, but make haste; the better foot be.
O, let me have no subjects enemies,
When adverse foreigners affright my towns
With dreadful pomp of stout invasion!
Be Mercury, set feathers to thy heels, ..
And fly, like thought, from them to me again.
Faul. The spirit of the time shall teach me speed.
K. John. Go after him; for he, perhaps, shall need
Some messenger betwixt me and the peers;
And be thou he. [Exit the ENGLISH HERALD.
K. John. My mother dead !
Hub. My lord, they say, five moons were seen to
night; . :
Four fix'd; and the fifth did whirl about
The other four, in wondrous motion.
K. John. Five moons ?
Hub. Old men, and beldams, in the streets Do prophesy 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 hearer's wrist ; Whilst he that liears makes fearful action, With wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling eyes. I saw a smith stand with his hammer, thus, The whilst bis iron did on the anvil cool, With open mouth swallowing a tailor's news; Who, with his shears and measure in his hand, Told of a many thousand warlike French, . That were embattled and rank'd in Kepti i
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 fears ?
Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's death? .
Thy hand hath murder'd him: I had a mighty cause
To wish him dead, but thou hadst none to kill him.
Hub. Had none, my lord! why, did you not pro-
K. John. It is the curse of kings, to be attended
By slaves, that take their humours for a warrant .
To break within the bloody house of life; . -
And, on the winking of`authority,
To understand a law; to know the meaning
Of dangerous majesty, when, perchance, it frowns ·
More upon humour, than advised respect.
Hub. Here is your hand and seal for what I did.
K. John. 0, when the last account 'twixt Heaven
Is to be made, then shall this hand and seal .
Witness against us to damnation !
How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds
Makes deeds ill done! Hadst not thou been by, .
A fellow by the hand of nature mark'd,
Quoted, and sign'd, to do a deed of shame,
This murder had not come into my mind;
But, taking note of thy abhorr'd aspect, .
Finding thee fit for bloody villainy,
I faintly broke with thee of Arthur's death;
And thou, to be endeared to a king,
Mad'st it no conscience to destroy a prince.
Hub. My lord,
K. John. Hadst thou but shook thy head, or made
When I spake darkly what I purposed;
Or turn's an eye of doubt upon my face,
And bid me tell my tale in express words;
Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me break off,
And those thy fears might have wrought fears in me
But thou didst understand me by my signs,
And didst in signs again parley with sin;
Yea, without stop, didst let thy heart consent,
And, consequently, thy rude hand to act
The deed, which both our tongues held vile to name—
Out of my sight, and never see me more
My nobles leave me; and my state is braved,
Even at my gates, with ranks of foreign powers;
Nay, in the body of this fleshly land,
This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath,
Hostility and civil tumult reign
Between my conscience and my cousin's death.
Hub. Arm you against your other enemies,
Pll make a peace between your soul and you.
This hand of mine
Is yet a maiden and an innocent hand,
Not painted with the crimson spots of blood.
Within this bosom never enter'd yet . .
The dreadful motion of a murd’rous thought,
And you have slander'd nature in my form;
Which, howsoever rude exteriorly,
Is yet the cover of a fairer mind
Than to be butcher of an innocent child.
Young Arthur is alive. -
K. John. Doth Arthur live 2. O, haste thee to the
Throw this report on their incensed rage,
And make them tame to their obedience 1
Forgive the comment that my passion made
Upon thy feature; for my rage was blind,
And foul imaginary eyes of blood
Presented thee more hideous than thou art.—
O, answer not, but to my closet bring
The angry lords with all expedient haste.
. . [Exeunt KING JoHN and HUBERT,
The Gates of a Castle.
Enter ARTHUR on the Walls of the Castle.
Arth. The wall is high; and yet will I leap down:
Good ground, be pitiful, and hurt me not;
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.
O me! my uncle's spirit is in these stones:-
Heaven take my soul, and England keep my o:
Enter SALISBURY, with Letters, PEMBRoke, and
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. Count Chatillon, a noble lord of France;
Whose private with me, of the dauphin's love,
Is much more general than these lines import.
Ess. To-morrow morning let us meet him them.
Enter FAUlcon BRIDGE. -
Faul. Once more to-day well met, distemper'd
lords ! - - - -
The king by me requests your presence straight.
Sal. The king hath dispossess'd himself of us;
We’ll not attend the foot,
That leaves the print of blood where’er it walks:
Return, and tell him so; we know the worst.
Faul. Whate'er you think, good words, I think,
Ess. Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now.
Faul. But there is little reason in your grief;
Therefore, ’twere reason you had manners now.
: Pem. Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege.
Faul, 'Tis true; to hurt his master, no man else.
Sal. This is the prison:—What is he lies here 2
. Pem, O death, made proud with pure and princely
- beautv |
The earth . not a hole to hide this deed.
Sal. Murder, as hating what himself hath done,
Doth lay it open, to urge on revenge.
Ess. Or, when he doom'd this beauty to a grave,
Found it too precious-princely for a grave.
Sal. i. Richard, what think you? Have you beeld,
Or have you read or heard, or could you think,+
Qr do you almost think, although you see,
That you do see?—This is the bloodiest shame,
The wildest savagery, the vilest stroke,
That ever wall-eyed wrath, or staring rage,
Presented to the tears of soft remorse.
Faul. It is a damned and a bloody work;
The graceless action of a heavy hand,
If that it be the work of any hand.
Sal. If that it be the work of any hand 2–
We had a kind of light, what would ensue:
It is the shameful work of Hubert’s hand;
The practice, and the purpose, of the king:—
From whose obedience I forbid my soul,
Kneeling before this ruin of sweet life,
And breathing to this breathless excellence
The incense of a vow, a holy vow,
Never to taste the pleasures of the world,