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Since all and every part of what we would,
Doth make a stand at what your highness will.

K. John. Some reasons of this double coronation
I have possess'd you with, and think them strong;
And more, more strong (when lesser is my fear)
I shall endue you with : Mean time, but ask

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. 190

Pemb. Then I (as one that am the tongue of these, To sound the purposes of all their hearts), Both for myself and them (but, chief of all, Your safety, for the which myself and them Bend their best studies) heartily request The enfranchisement of Arthur; whose restraint Doth move the murmuring lips of discontent To break into this dangerous argumentIf, what in rest you have, in right you hold, Why then your fears (which, as they say, attend 200 The steps of wrong) should move you to mew up Your tender kinsman, and to choak his days With barbarous ignorance, and deny his youth The rich advantage of good exercise : 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 ; Which for our goods we do no further ask, Than whereupon our weal, on you depending, Counts it your weal, he have his liberty. : K. John. Let it be so; 1 do commit his youth



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To your direction.-Hubert, what news.

with you?
Pemb. This is the man should do the bloody deed;
He shew'd his warrant to a friend of mine :
The image of a wicked heinous fault
Lives in his eye; that close aspect of his
Does shew the mood of a much-troubled breast;
And I do fearfully believe, 'tis done,
What we so fear'd he had a charge to do. 219

Sal. The colour of the king doth come and go,
Between his purpose and his conscience,
Like heralds 'twixt two dreadful battles set ;
His passion is so ripe, it needs must break.
Pemb. And, when it breaks, I fear, will issue

The foul corruption of a sweet child's death.
K. John. We

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 deceas'd to-night. 229

Sal. Indeed, we fear’d, his sickness was past cure.

Pemb. 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.
: K. John. Why do you bend such solemn brow's on

me ?
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 farewel.

Pemb. Stay yet, lord Salisbury; I'll go with thee, And find the inheritance of this

poor child,
His little kingdom of a forced grave.
That blood, which ow'd the breadth of all this isle,
Three foot of it doth hold; Bad world the while !
This must not be thus borne: this will break out
To all our sorrows, and ere long, I doubt. [Exeunt.

K. John. They burn in indignation ; I repent :
There is no sure foundation set on blood;
No certain life achiev'd by others' death.

Enter a Messenger.
A fearful eye thou hast; Where is that blood, 250
That I have seen inhabit in those cheeks?
So foul a sky clears not without a storm :
Pour down thy weather :-How goes all in France ?
Mes. From France to England. - Never such a

For any foreign preparation,
Was levy'd in the body of a land !
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 arriv'd.
K. John.

O, where hath our intelligence been drunk?

260 Where hath it slept? Where is my mother's care? That such an army could be drawn in France,


And she not hear of it?

Mes. My liege, her ear
Is stopt with dust: the first of April, dy'd
Your noble mother : And, as I hear, my lord,
The lady Constance in a frenzy dy'd
Three days before : but this from rumour's tongue:
I idly heard; if true, or false, I know not.

K. John. Withhold thy speed, dreadful occasion
0, make a league with me, 'till I have pleas'd 271
My discontented peers!—What I 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?

Mes. Under the Dauphin.

Enter FAULCONBRIDGE and Peter of Pomfret,

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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. 280

Faul. But, if you be afeard to hear the worst,
Then let the worst, unheard, fall on your head.

K. John. Bear with me, cousin ; for I was amaz'd
Under the tide : but now I breathe again
Aloft the flood; and can give audience
To any tongue, speak it what it will.

Faulc. How I have sped among the clergymen,
The sums I have collected shall express.
But, as I travellid hither through the land,
I find the people strangely fantasy'd;

290 Possess'd

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say so?

Possess'd with rumours, full of idle dreams;
Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear :
And here's a prophet, that I brought with me
From forth the streets of Pomfret, whom I found
With many hundreds treading on his heels;
To whom he sung, in rude harsh-sounding rhimes,
That, ere the next Ascension-day at noon,
Your highness should deliver up your crown.
K. John. Thou idle dreamer, wherefore did'st thou

299 Peter. Fore-knowing that the truth will fall out so.

K. John. Hubert, away with him ; imprison him; And on that day at noon, whereon, he says, I shall yield up my crown, let him be hang'd : Deliver him to safety, and return, For I must use thee._ my gentle cousin,

[Exit HUBERT, with Peter. Hear'st thou the news abroad, who are arriv'd? Faulc. The French, my lord; '

men's mouths are full of it : Besides, I met lord Bigot, and lord Salisbury (With eyes as red as new-enkindled fire); And others more, going to seek the grave 310 Of Arthur, who, they say, is kill'd to-night On your suggestion.

K. John. Gentle kinsman, go,
And thrust thyself into their companies :
I have a way to win their loves again;
Bring them before me.

Faulc. I will seek them out.

K. John.

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