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That greatness should so grossly offer it :

X. John. Thou idle dreamer, wherefore didst thou So thrive it in your game! and so farewell.

Pem. Stay yet, lord Salisbury; I'll go with thee, Peter. Foreknowing that the truth will fall out so. And find the inheritance of this poor child,

K. John. Hubert, away with him; imprison him; This little kingdom of a forced grave.

And on that day at noon, whereon, he says, That blood, which ow'd 9 the breadth of all this isle, I shall yield up my crown, let him be hang'd : Three foot of it doth hold: Bad world the while ! Deliver him to safety !, and return, This must not be thus borne : this will break out For I must use thee O my gentle cousin, To all our sorrows, and ere long, I doubt.

[Erit HUBERT, with Peter. [Exeunt Lords. Hear'st thou the news abroad, who are arriv'd ? K. John. They burn in indignation ; I repent; Bast. The French, my lord; men's mouths are There is no sure foundation set on blood;

full of it: No certain life achiev'd by others' death.

Besides, I met lord Bigot, and lord Salisbury,

(With eyes as red as new-enkindled fire,) Enter a Messenger.

And others more, going to seek the grave A fearful eye thou hast : Where is that blood, Of Arthur, who, they say, is kill'd to-night That I have seen inhabit in those cheeks?

On your suggestion. So foul a sky clears not without a storm :

K. John.

Gentle kinsman, go, Pour down thy weather:- How goes all in France? And thrust thyself into their companies : Mess. From France to England. - Never such a I have a way to win their loves again; power

Bring them before me. For any foreign preparation,


I will seek them out. Was levied in the body of a land !

K. John. Nay, but make haste; the better foot The copy of your speed is learn'd by them ;

before. For, when you should be told they do prepare, O, let me have no subject enemies, The tidings come, that they are all arriv'd. When adverse foreigners affright my townsK. John. O, where hath our intelligence been with dreadful pomp of stout invasion ! drunk?

Be Mercury, set feathers to thy heels; Where hath it slept? Where is my mother's care ? And fly, like thought, from them to me again. That such an army could be drawn in France, Bast. The spirit of the time shall teach me speed. And she not hear of it?

[Exit. Mess. My liege, her ear

K. John. Spoke like a spiteful noble gentleman.Is stopp'd with dust; the first of April, died Go after him ; for he, perhaps, shall need Your noble mother : And, as I hear, my lord, Some messenger betwixt me and the peers; The lady Constance in a frenzy died

And be thou he. Three days before: but this from rumour's tongue Mess.

With all my heart, my liege. I idly heard; if true, or false, I know not.

(Exit. K. John. Withhold thy speed, dreadful occasion; K. John. My mother dead . 0, make a league with me, till I have pleas'd My discontented peers ! - What! mother dead ?

Re-enter HUBERT. How wildly then walks my estate in France !

Hub. My lord, they say, five moons were seen Under whose conduct came those powers of France,

to-night: That thou for truth giv'st out, are landed here? Four fixed; and the fifth did whirl about Mess. Under the Dauphin.

The other four, in wondrous motion.

K. John. Five moons ? Enter the Bastard and Peter of Pomfret. Hub. Old men, and beldams, in the streets K. John.

Thou hast made me giddy Do prophecy upon it dangerously : With these ill tidings. — Now, what says the world Young Arthur's death is common in their mouths : To your proceedings ? do not seek to stuff And when they talk of him, they shake their heads, My head with more ill news, for it is full.

And whisper one another in the ear; Bast. But, if you be afeard to hear the worst, And he, that speaks, doth gripe the hearer's wrist; Then let the worst, unheard, fall on your head.

Whilst he, that hears, makes fearful action, K. John. Bear with me, cousin ; fór I was amaz'd With wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling eyes. Under the tide ; but now I breathe again

I saw a smith stand with his hammer, thus, Aloft the flood; and can give audience

The whilst his iron did on the anvil cool, To any tongue, speak it of what it will.

With open mouth swallowing a tailor's news; Bast. How I have sped among the clergymen,

Who, with his shears and measure in his hand, The sums I have collected shall express.

Standing on slippers, (which his nimble haste
But, as I travelled hither through the land, Had falsely thrust upon contráry feet)
I find the people strangely fantasied;

Told of a many thousand warlike French,
Possess'd with rumours, full of idle dreams; That were embattled and rank'd in Kent :
Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear : Another lean unwash'd artificer
And here's a prophet, that I brought with me Cuts off his tale, and talks of Arthur's death.
From forth the streets of Pomfret, whom I found K. John. Why seek'st thou to possess me with
With many hundreds treading on his heels;

these fears? To whom he sung, in rude harsh-sounding rhymes, Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's death ? That, ere the next Ascension-day at noon,

Thy hand hath murder'd him : I had mighty cause Your highness should deliver up your crown. To wish him dead, but thou hadst none to kill him. 9 Owned.

Safe custody.


Hub. Had none, my lord! why, did you not pro- SCENE III. - Before the Castle.

voke me? K. John. It is the curse of kings, to be attended

Enter ARTHUR, on the Walls. By slaves, that take their humours for a warrant Arth. The wall is high; and yet will I leap down : To break within the bloody house of life:

Good ground, be pitiful, and hurt me not! And, on the winking of authority,

There's few, or none, do know me; if they did,
To understand a law; to know the meaning This ship-boy's semblance hath disguis'd me quite.
Of dangerous majesty, when, perchance, it frowns I am afraid ; and yet I'll venture it.
More upon humour than advis'd respect. ?

If I get down, and do not break my limbs,
Hub. Here is your hand and seal for what I did. I'll find a thousand shifts to get away:
K. John. O, when the last account 'twixt heaven As good to die, and go, as die, and stay.
and earth

(Leaps down. Is to be made, then shall this hand and seal O me! my uncle's spirit is in these stones: Witness against us to damnation !

Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones! How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds,

[Dies. Makes deeds ill done! Hadest not thou been by, Enter PEMBROKE, SALISBURY, and Bigot. A fellow by the hand of nature mark’d,

Sal. Lords, I will meet him at Saint Edmund's Quoted S, and sign'd, to do a deed of shame,

Bury; This murder had not come into my mind :

It is our safety, and we must embrace But, taking note of thy abhorr'd aspect,

This gentle offer of the perilous time. Finding thee fit for bloody villainy,

Pem. Who brought that letter from the cardinal ? Apt, liable, to be employ'd in danger,

Sal. The count Melun, a noble lord of France; I faintly broke with thee of Arthur's death;

Whose private with me 4, of the Dauphin's love, And thou, to be endeared to a king, Made it no conscience to destroy a prince.

Is much more general than these lines import.

Big. To-morrow morning let us meet him then. Hub. My lord, K. John. Hadst thou but shook thy head, or made Two long days' journey, lords, or e'er we meet.

Sal. Or, rather then set forward : for 'twill be a pause, When I spake darkly what I purposed ;

Enter the Bastard.
Or turn'd an eye of doubt upon my face,
As bid me tell my tale in express words;

Bast. Once more to-day well met, distemper'd 5 Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me break The king, by me, requests your presence straight.

lords ! And those thy fears might have wrought fears in me:

Sal. The king hath dispossess'd himself of us ; But thou didst understand me by my signs,

We will not line his thin bestained cloak

With our pure honours, nor attend the foot And didst in signs again parley with sin :

That leaves the print of blood where-e'er it walks : Yea, without stop, didst iet thy heart consent,

Return, and tell him so; we know the worst. And, consequently, thy rude hand to act

Bast. Whate'er you think, good words, I think, The deed, which both our tongues held vile to

were best. name,

Sal. Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now. Out of my sight, and never see me more !

Bast. But there is little reason in your grief; My nobles leave me; and my state is brav'd,

Therefore, 'twere reason you had manners now. Even at my gates, with ranks of foreign powers :

Pem. Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege. Nay in the body of this fleshly land,

Bast. 'Tis true; to hurt his master, no man else. This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath, Hostility and civil tumult reigns

Sal. This is the prison : What is he lies here?

[Seeing Arthur. Between my conscience, and my cousin's death.

Pem. O death, made proud with pure and princely Hub. Arm you against your other enemies,

beauty! I'll make a peace between your soul and you.

The earth had not a hole to hide this deed. Young Arthur is alive: This hand of mine

Sal. Murder, as hating what himself hath done, Is yet a maiden and an innocent hand,

Doth lay it open, to urge on revenge.
Not painted with the crimson spots of blood.
Within this bosom never enter'd yet

Big. Or when he doom'd this beauty to a grave,

Found it too precious-princely for a grave. The dreadful motion of a murd'rous thought,

Sal. Sir Richard, what think you ? Have you And you have slander'd nature in my form;

beheld, Which, howsoever rude exteriorly,

Or have you read, or heard ? or could

you think? Is yet the cover of a fairer mind

Or do you almost think, although you see, Than to be butcher of an innocent child. K. John. Doth Arthur live? O, haste thee to the That you do see ? could thought, without this object,

Form such another? This is the very top, peers, Throw this report on their incensed rage,

The height, the crest, or crest unto the crest,

Of murder's arms: this is the bloodiest shame, And make them tame to their obedience !

The wildest savag'ry, the vilest stroke, Forgive the cominent that my passion made

That ever wall-ey'd wrath, or staring rage,
Upon thy feature; for my rage was blind,

Presented to the tears of soft remorse. 6
And foul imaginary eyes of blood
Presented thee more hideous than thou art.

Pem. All murders past do stand excus'd in this:

And this, so sole, and so unmatchable, 0, answer not; but to my closet bring

Shall give a holiness, a purity,
The angry lords, with all expedient haste :
I conjure thee but slowly; run more fast. [1


To the yet-unbegotten sin of time; 7 Deliberate consideration. 3 Noted, observed. 4 Private account

Out of humour.

6 Pity.

And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest,

For villainy is not without such rheum 9; Exampled by this heinous spectacle.

And he, long traded in it, makes it seem Bast. It is a damned and a bloody work; Like rivers of remorse ! and innocency. The graceless action of a heavy hand,

Away, with me, all you whose souls abhor If that it be the work of any hand.

The uncleanly savours of a slaughter-house, Sal. If that it be the work of any hand ?

For I am stifled with this smell of sin. We had a kind of light, what would ensue :

Big. Away, toward Bury, to the Dauphin there. It is the shameful work of Hubert's hand;

Pem. There, tell the king, he may inquire us out. The practice, and the purpose, of the king:

(Exeunt Lords. From whose obedience I forbid my soul,

Bast. Here's a good world! - Knew you of this Kneeling before this ruin of sweet life,

fair work? And breathing to his breathless excellence

Beyond the infinite and boundless reach The incense of a vow, a holy vow;

Of mercy, if thou didst this deed of death, Never to taste the pleasures of the world,

Art thou damn'd, Hubert. Never to be infected with delight,


Do but hear me, sir. Nor conversant with ease and idleness,

Bast. Ha! I'll tell thee what ; Till I have set a glory to this hand,

There is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell By giving it the worship of revenge.

As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child.
Pem. Big. Our soulsreligiously confirm thy words.

Hub. Upon my soul,

If thou didst but consent

To this most cruel act, do but despair, Hub. Lords, I am hot with haste in seeking you : And, if thou wantest a cord, the smallest thread Arthur doth live; the king hath sent for you. That ever spider twisted from her womb Sal. O, he is bold, and blushes not at death:

Will serve to strangle thee : a rush will be Avaunt, thou hateful villain, get thee gone! A beam to hang thee on; or wouldst thou drown Hub. I am no villain.

thyself, Sal.

Must I rob the law ? Put but a little water in a spoon,

[Drawing his sword. And it shall be as all the ocean, Bast. Your sword is bright, sir : put it up again. Enough to stifle such a villain up. Sal. Not till I sheath it in a murderer's skin.

I do suspect the very grievously. Hub. Stand back, lord Salisbury, stand back, I say; Hub. If I in act, consent, or sin of thought, By heaven, I think, my sword's as sharp as yours : Be guilty of the stealing that sweet breath I would not have you, lord, forget yourself, Which was embounded in this beauteous clay, Nor tempt the danger of my true 7 defence; Let hell want pains enough to torture me ! Lest I, by marking of your rage, forget

I left him well. Your worth, your greatness, and nobility.


Go bear him in thine arms. Big. Out, dunghill! dar’st thou brave a nobleman? | I am amaz’d, methinks; and lose my way Hub. Not for my life: but yet I dare defend

Among the thorns and dangers of this world. My innocent life against an emperor.

How easy dost thou take all England up! Sal. Thou art a murderer.

From forth this morsel of dead royalty, Hub.

Do not prove me so 8 ; The life, the right, and truth of all this realm Yet, I am none: Whose tongue soe'er speaks false, Is fled to heaven; and England now is left Not truly speaks; who speaks not truly, lies. To tug and scamble, and to part by the teeth Pem. Cut him to pieces.

The unowed 2 interest of proud swelling state. Bast.

Keep the peace, I say. Now, for the bare-picked bone of majesty, Sal. Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulconbridge. Doth dogged war bristle his angry crest,

Bast. Thou wert better gall the devil, Salisbury: And snarleth in the gentle eyes of peace : If thou but frown on me, or stir thy foot,

Now powers from home, and dicontents at home, Or teach thy hasty spleen to do me shame,

Meet in one line; and vast confusion waits I'll strike thee dead. Put up thy sword betime. (As doth a raven on a sick-fallen beast,)

Big. What wilt thou do, renowned Faulconbridge? | The imminent decay of wrested pomp. Second a villain, and a murderer?

Now happy he, whose cloak and cinctures can Hub. Lord Bigot, I am none.

Hold out this tempest. Bear away that child, Big

Who kill'd this prince? And follow me with speed ; I'll to the king :
Hub. 'Tis not an hour since I left him well :

A thousand businesses are brief in hand,
I honour'd him, I lov'd him; and will weep And heaven itself doth frown upon the land.
My date of life out, for his sweet life's loss.

[Exunt Sal. Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes,

9 Moisture,

1 Pity. 7 Honest. 8 By compelling me to kill you.


8 Girdle,


SCENE I. - A Room in the Palace. When he intendeth to become the field :

Show boldness, and aspiring confidence. Enter King John, PanduLPH with the Crown, and What, shall they seek the lion in his den, Attendants.

And fright him there? and make him tremble there?
K. John. Thus have I yielded up into your hand 0, let it not be said ! — Forage, and run
The circle of my glory.

To meet displeasure further from the doors;
Take again

And grapple with him, ere he come so nigh.
[Giving John the Crown. K. John. The legate of the pope hath been with me,
From this my hand, as holding of the pope, And I have made a happy peace with him;
Your sovereign greatness and authority.

And he hath promis'd to dismiss the powers
K. John. Now keep your holy word: go meet the Led by the Dauphin.


O inglorious league!
And from his holiness use all your power

Shall we, upon the footing of our land,
To stop their marches, 'fore we are inflam'd. Send fair-play orders, and make compromise,
Our discontented counties do revolt ;

Insinuation, parley, and base truce,
Our people quarrel with obedience;

To arms invasive? Shall a beardless boy, Swearing allegiance, and the love of soul,

A cocker'd 5 silken wanton brave our fields, To stranger blood, to foreign royalty.

And flesh his spirit in a warlike soil, This inundation of distemper'd humour

Mocking the air with colours idly spread, Rests by you only to be qualified.

And find no check ? Let us, my liege, to arms : Then pause not; for the present time's so sick, Perchance, the cardinal cannot make your peace; That present medicine must be minister'd,

Or if he do, let it at least be said, Or overthrow incurable ensues,

They saw we had a purpose of defence. Pand. It was my breath that blew this tempest up, K. John. Havethou the ordering of this present time. Upon your stubborn usage of the pope :

Bast. Away then, with good courage; yet, I know, But, since you are a gentle convertite 4,

Our party may well meet a prouder foe. (Ereunt. My tongue shall hush again this storm of war, And make fair weather in your blustering land. SCENE II. - A Plain near St. Edmund's Bury. On this Ascension-day, remember well, Upon your oath of service to the pope,

Enter, in arms, Lewis, SALISBURY, Melun, PŁMGo I to make the French lay down their arms. (Exit.

BROKE, Bigot, and Soldiers. K.John. Is this Ascension-day? Did not the prophet Lew. My lord Melun, let this be copied out, Say, that, before Ascension-day at noon,

And keep it safe for our remembrance : My crown I should give off? Even so I have : Return the precedent to these lords again ; I did suppose, it should be on constraint;

That, having our fair order written down, But heaven be thank'd, it is but voluntary.

Both they, and we, perusing o'er these notes,

May know wherefore we took the sacrament,
Enter the Bastard.

And keep our faiths firm and inviolable. Bast. All Kent hath yielded ; nothing there holds Sal. Upon our sides it never shall be broken. out,

And, noble Dauphin, albeit we swear
But Dover castle: London hath receiv'd,

A voluntary zeal, and unurg'd faith,
Like a kind host, the Dauphin and his powers : To your proceedings; yet, believe me, prince,
Your nobles will not hear you, but are gone I am not glad that such a sore of time
To offer service to your enemy;

Should seek a plaster by contemn'd revolt,
And wild amazement hurries up and down And heal the inveterate canker of one wound,
The little number of your doubtful friends.

By making many: 0, it grieves my soul, K. John. Would not my lords return to me again, That I must draw this metal from my side After they heard young Arthur was alive?

To be a widow-maker; 0, and there,
Bast. They found him dead, and cast into the streets; Where honourable rescue, and defence,
An empty casket, where the jewel of life

Cries out upon the name of Salisbury:
By some curst hand was robb'd and ta'en away. But such is the infection of the time,
K. John. That villain Hubert told me he did live. That, for the health and physick of our right,

Bast. So, on my soul, he did, for aught he knew. We cannot deal but with the very hand
But wherefore do you droop? why look you sad ? Of stern injustice and confused wrong.
Be great in act, as you have been in thought;

And is't not pity, O my grieved friends! Let not the world see fear, and sad distrust, That we, the sons and children of this isle, Govern the motion of a kingly eye:

Were born to see so sad an hour as this; Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;

Wherein we step after a stranger march Threaten the threat'ner, and outface the brow

Upon her gentle bosom, and fill up Of bragging horror: so shall inferior eyes, Her enemies' ranks, (I must withdraw and weep That borrow their behaviours from the great, Upon the spot of this enforced cause,) Grow great by your example, and put on

To grace the gentry of a land remote, The dauntless spirit of resolution.

And follow unacquainted colours here? Away; and glister like the god of war,

What here? - O nation, that thou couldst remove 4 Convert.

• Fondled.

That Neptune's arms, who clippeth 6 thee about, To underprop this action ? is't not 1,
Would bear thee from the knowledge of thyself, That undergo this charge? who else but I,
And grapple thee unto a pagan shore;

And such as to my claim are liable,
Where these two Christian armies might combine Sweat in this business, and maintain this war ?
The blood of malice in a vein of league,

Have I not heard these islanders shout out, And not to spend it so unneighbourly!

Vive le roy! as I have bank'd their towns ? Lew. A noble temper dost thou show in tnis; Have I not here the best cards for the game, And great affections, wrestling in thy bosom, To win this easy match play'd for a crown? Do make an earthquake of nobility.

And shall I now give o'er the yielded set? 0, what a noble combat hast thou fought,

No, on my soul, it never shall be said. Between compulsion and a brave respect ! 7

Pand. You look but on the outside of this work. Let me wipe off this honourable dew,

Lew. Outside or inside, I will not return
That silverly doth progress on thy cheeks : Till my attempt so much be glorified
My heart hath melted at a lady's tears,

As to my ample hope was promised
Being an ordinary inundation ;

Before I drew this gallant head of war, But this effusion of such manly drops,

And cull'd these fiery spirits from the world, This shower, blown up by tempest of the soul, To outlook 9 conquest, and to win renown Startles mine eyes, and makes me more amaz'd Even in the jaws of danger and of death. Than had I seen the vaulty top of heaven

[Trumpet sounds Figur'd quite o'er with burning meteors.

What lusty trumpet thus doth summon us?
Lift up thy brow, renowned Salisbury,

Enter the Bastard, attended.
And with a great heart heave away this storm :
Commend these waters to those baby eyes,

Bast. According to the fair play of the world, That never saw the giant world enrag'd;

Let me have audience; I am sent to speak : Nor met with fortune other than at feasts,

My holy lord of Milan, from the king Full warm of blood, of mirth, of gossiping.

I come, to learn how you have dealt for him ; Come, come; for thou shalt thrust thy hand as deep And, as you answer, I do know the scope Into the purse of rich prosperity,

And warrant limited unto my tongue. As Lewis himself: - so, nobles, shall you all,

Pand. The Dauphin is too wilful-opposite, That knit your sinews to the strength of mine.

And will not temporize with my entreaties;

He flatly says, he'll not lay down his arms.
Enter PANDULPH, attended.

Bast. By all the blood that ever fury breath'd, And even there, methinks an angel spake :

The youth says well :- Now liear our English king; Look, where the holy legate comes apace,

For thus his royalty doth speak in me.
To give us warrant from the hand of heaven; He is prepard, and reason too, he should :
And on our actions set the name of right,

This apish and unmannerly approach,
With holy breath.

This harness'd masque, and unadvised revel,
Hail, noble prince of France !

This unhair'd sauciness, and boyish troops, The next is this, — king John hath reconcil'd The king doth smile at; and is well prepar'd Himself to Rome; his spirit is come in,

To whip this dwarfish war, these pigmy arms, That so stood out against the holy church,

From out the circle of his territories. The great metropolis and see of Rome :

That hand, which had the strength, even at your door, Therefore thy threat'ning colours now wind up, To cudgel you, and make you take the hatch'; And tame the savage spirit of wild war;

To dive like buckets, in concealed wells; That, like a lion foster'd up at hand,

To crouch in litter of your stable planks ; It may lie gently at the foot of peace,

To lie, like pawns, lock'd up in chests and trunks; And be no further harmful than in show.

'To hug with swine; to seek sweet safety out Lew. Your grace shall pardon me, I will not back; In vaults and prisons; and to thrill and shake, I am too high-born to be propertied 8,

Even at the crying of your nation's crow, To be a secondary at control,

Thinking his voice an armed Englishman ; Or useful serving-man, and instrument,

Shall that victorious hand be feebled here, To any sovereign state throughout the world. That in your chambers gave you chastisement ? Your breath first kindled the dead coal of wars,

No: Know the gallant monarch is in arms;
Between this chástis'd kingdom and myself,

And like an eagle o'er his aiery 3 towers,
And brought in matter that should feed this fire; To souse annoyance that comes near his nest.
And now 'tis far too huge to be blown out

And you degenerate, you ingrate revolts,
With that same weak wind which enkindled it. You bloody Neroes, ripping up the womb
You taught me how to know the face of right, Of your dear mother England, blush for shame:
Acquainted me with interest to this land,

For your own ladies, and pale-visag'd maids, Yea, thrust this enterprize into my heart;

Like Amazons, come tripping after drums; And come you now to tell me, John hath made Their thimbles into armed gauntlets change, His peace with Rome? What is that peace to me? Their neelds 4 to lances, and their gentle hearts 1, by the honour of my marriage-bed,

To fierce and bloody inclination. After young Arthur, claim this land for mine; Lew. There end thy brave 5, and turn thy face in And, now it is half-conquer'd must I back,

peace; Because that John hath made his peace with Rome? We grant, thou canst outscold us : fare thee well; Am I Rome's slave? What penny hath Rome borne, We hold our time too precious to be spent Włiat men provided, what munition sent,

With such a brabbler.
9 Face down.

Leap cver the hatch. 6 Embraceth. 7 Love of country. ? The crowing of a cock.

3 Nest. Appropriated

4 Needles.

5 Boast.

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