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By heaven, Hubert, I am almost asham'd
To say what good respect I have of thee.
Hub. I am much bounden to your majesty.
K. John. Good friend, thou hast no cause to say
so yet:

But thou shalt have: and creep time ne'er so slow
Yet it shall come, for me to do thee good.
I had a thing to say, But let it go:

The sun is in the heaven, and the proud day,
Attended with the pleasures of the world,
all too wanton, and too full of gawds,
To give me audience : - If the midnight bell
Did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth,
Sound one unto the drowsy race of night;
If this same were a church-yard where we stand,
And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs;
Or if that surly spirit, melancholy,

Had bak'd thy blood, and made it heavy, thick;
(Which, else, runs tickling up and down the veins
Making that idiot, laughter, keep men's eyes,
And strain their cheeks to idle merriment,
A passion hateful to my purposes

Or if that thou could'st see me without eyes,
Hear me without thine ears, and make reply
Without a tongue, using conceit alone,
Without eyes, ears, and harmful sound of words;
Then, in despite of brooded watchful day,
I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts:
But ah, I will not: - Yet I love thee well;
And, by my troth, I think, thou lov'st me well.

Hub. So well, that what you bid me undertake,
Though that my death were adjunct to my act,
By heaven, I'd do't.

K. John.
Do not I know, thou would'st?
Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert, throw thine eye
On yon young boy: I'll tell thee what, my friend,
He is a very serpent in my way;

And, wheresoe'er this foot of mine doth tread,
He lies before me: Dost thou understand me?
Thou art his keeper.

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Hub.
And I will keep him so,
That he shall not offend your majesty.
K. John. Death.
Hub.
My lord?
A grave.

K. John.
Hub.

He shall not live.
Enough.

K. John.

I could be merry now: Hubert, I love thee?
Well, I'll not say what I intend for thee:
Remember Madam, fare you well:
I'll send those powers o'er to your majesty.
Eli. My blessing go with thee!
K. John.
For England, cousin :
Hubert shall be your man, attend on you
With all true duty. · On toward Calais, ho!
[Exeunt.
SCENE IV. - The same. The French King's

Tent.

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Const. No, I defy all counsel, all redress, But that which ends all counsel, true redress, Death, death: :O amiable lovely death! Thou odoriferous stench! sound rottenness! Arise forth from the couch of lasting night, Thou hate and terror to prosperity, And I will kiss thy détestable bones; And put my eye-balls in thy vaulty brows; And ring these fingers with thy household worms; And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust, And be a carrion monster like thyself: Come, grin on me; and I will think thou smil'st, And buss thee as thy wife! Misery's love, O, come to me!

K. Phi.

O fair affliction, peace.

Const. No, no, I will not, having breath to cry :O, that my tongue were in the thunder's mouth! Then with a passion would I shake the world ; And rouse from sleep that fell anatomy, Which cannot hear a lady's feeble voice, Which scorns a modern invocation.

Pand. Lady, you utter madness, and not sorrow. Const. Thou art not holy to belie me so; I am not mad: this hair I tear, is mine; My name is Constance; I was Geffrey's wife; Young Arthur is my son, and he is lost : I am not mad ;- - I would to heaven, I were! For then, 'tis like I should forget myself: O, if I could, what grief should I forget! Preach some philosophy to make me mad,, And thou shalt be canoniz'd, cardinal; For, being not mad, but sensible of grief, My reasonable part produces reason How I may be deliver'd of these woes, And teaches me to kill or hang myself: If I were mad, I should forget my son; Or madly think, a babe of clouts were he I am not mad; too well, too well I feel The different plague of each calamity.

K. Phi. Bind up those tresses: O, what love I

note

In the fair multitude of those her hairs!
Where but by chance a silver drop hath fallen,
Even to that drop ten thousand wiry friends
Do glew themselves in sociable grief;
Like true, inseparable, faithful loves,
Sticking together in calamity.

Const To England, if you will.

K. Phi.
Bind up your hairs.
Const. Yes, that I will; And wherefore will I do it?

I tore them from their bonds; and cried aloud, O that these hands could so redeem my son,

As they have given these hairs their liberty!
But now I envy at their liberty,

And will again commit them to their bonds,
Because my poor child is a prisoner.

And, father cardinal, I have heard you say,
That we shall see and know our friends in heaven.
If that be true, I shall see my boy again;

For, since the birth of Cain, the first male child, To him that did but yesterday suspire,

There was not such a gracious creature born.
But now will canker sorrow eat my bud,
And chase the native beauty from his cheek,
And he will look as hollow as a ghost;
As dim and meagre as an ague's fit;
And so he'll die; and, rising so again,
When I shall meet him in the court of heaven
I shall not know him: therefore never, never
Must I behold my pretty Arthur more.

Pand. You hold too heinous a respect of grief.
Const. He talks to me, that never had a son.
K. Phi. You are as fond of grief, as of your child.
Const. Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me;
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Stuff's out his vacant garments with his form;
Then, have I reason to be fond of grief.
Fare you well: had you such a loss as I,
I could give better comfort then you
do.
I will not keep this form upon my head,
[Tearing off her head-dress.
When there is such disorder in my wit.
O lord! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son !
My life, my joy, my food, my all the world!
My widow-comfort, and my sorrows' cure! [Exit.
K. Phi. I fear some outrage, and I'll follow her.
[Exil
Lew. There's nothing in this world, can make me
joy :

Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale,
Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man;

And bitter shame hath spoil'd the sweet world's taste,
That it yields naught, but shame, and bitterness.
Pand. Before the curing of a strong disease,
Even in the instant of repair and health,
The fit is strongest; evils, that take leave,
On their departure most of all show evil :
What have you lost by losing of this day?

Lew. All days of glory, joy, and happiness.
Pand. If you had won it, certainly, you had.
No, no: when fortune means to men most good,
She looks upon them with a threatening eye.
'Tis strange to think how much king John hath lost
In this which he accounts so clearly won:
Are not you griev'd, that Arthur is his prisoner?
Lew. As heartily, as he is glad he hath him.
Pand. Your mind is all as youthful as your blood.
Now hear me speak, with a prophetick spirit;
For even the breath of what I mean to speak
Shall blow each dust, each straw, each little rub,
Out of the path which shall directly lead

Thy foot to England's throne; and, therefore, mark.
John hath seiz'd Arthur; and it cannot be,
That, whiles warm life plays in that infant's veins,
The misplac'd John should entertain an hour,
One minute, nay, one quiet breath of rest :
A scepter, snatch'd with an unruly hand,
Must be as boisterously maintain'd as gain'd:

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And he, that stands upon a slippery place,
Makes nice of no vile hold to stay him up:
That John may stand, then Arthur needs must fall;
So be it, for it cannot be but so.

Lew. But what shall I gain by young Arthur's fall?

Pand. You, in the right of lady Blanch your wife,

May then make all the claim that Arthur did.
Lew. And loose it, life and all, as Arthur did.
Pand. How green are you, and fresh in this old
world!

John lays you plots; the times conspire with you:
For he, that steeps his safety in true blood,
Shall find but bloody safety, and untrue.
This act, so evilly born, shall cool the hearts
Of all his people, and freeze up their zeal ;
That none so small advantage shall step forth,
To check his reign, but they will cherish it;
No natural exhalation in the sky,

No scape of nature, no distemper'd day,
No common wind, no customed event,
But they will pluck away his natural cause,
And call them meteors, prodigies, and signs,
Abortives, présages, and tongues of heaven,
Plainly denouncing vengeance upon John.

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Lew. May be, he will not touch young Arthur's life,

ACT IV.

Arth. Good morrow, Hubert.
Hub.

Good morrow, little prince.
Arth. As little prince (having so great a title
To be more prince,) as may be. You are sad.
Hub. Indeed, I have been merrier.
Arth.
Mercy on me!
Methinks, no body should be sad but I:
Yet, I remember, when I was in France,
Young gentlemen would be as sad as night,
Only for wantonness. By my christendom,
So I were out of prison, and kept sheep,
I should be as merry as the day is long;
And so I would be here, but that I doubt
My uncle practises more harm to me :
He is afraid of me, and I of him :

Is it my fault that I was Geffrey's son?
No, indeed, is't not; And I would to heaven,
I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert.
Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate
He will awake my mercy, which lies dead:
Therefore I will be sudden, and despatch. [Aside.

But hold himself safe in his prisonment.

Pand. O, sir, when he shall hear of your approach, If that young Arthur be not gone already, Even at that news he dies: and then the hears Of all his people shall revolt from him, And kiss the lips of unacquainted change; And pick strong matter of revolt, and wrath, Out of the bloody fingers' ends of John. Methinks, I see this hurly all on foot; And, O, what better matter breeds for you, Than I have nam'd! - The bastard Faulconbridge Is now in England, ransacking the church, Offending charity: If but a dozen French Were there in arms, they would be as a call To train ten thousand English to their side; Or, as a little snow, tumbled about, Anon becomes a mountain. O noble Dauphin, Go with me to the king. 'Tis wonderful, What may be wrought out of their discontent: Now that their souls are topfull of offence, For England go; I will whet on the king.

Lew. Strong reasons make strong actions: Let

us go;

If you say, ay, the king will not say, no. [Exeunt.

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I knit my handkerchief about your brows, (The best I had, a princess wrought it me,) And I did never ask it you again :

And with my hand at midnight held your head;
And, like the watchful minutes to the hour,
Still and anon cheer'd up the heavy time;
Saying, What lack you? and, Where lies your grief?
Or, what good love may I perform for you?
Many a poor man's son would have lain still,
And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you;
But you at your sick service had a prince.
Nay, you may think, my love was crafty love.
And call it, cunning; Do, an if you will.
If heaven be pleas'd that you must use me ili,
Why, then you must. Will you put out mine

-

eyes? These eyes, that never did, nor never shall, | 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 do it! The iron of itself, though heat red-hot, Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears, And quench his fiery indignation,

Even in the matter of mine innocence:
Nay, after that, consume away in rust,
But for containing fire to harm mine eye.
Are you more stubborn-hard than hammer'd iron?
An if an angel should have come to me,

And told me, Hubert should put out mine eyes,
I would not have believ'd no tongue, but Hubert's.
Hub. Come forth.

[Stamps.

Re-enter Attendants, with cords, irons, &c.

Do as I bid you do.

Arth. O, save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes

are out,

Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men.

Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here. Arth. Alas, what need you be so boist'rousrough?

I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still.
For heaven's sake, Hubert, let me not be bound!
Nay, hear me, Hubert! drive these men away,
And I will sit as quiet as a lamb ;

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. 1 Attend. I am best pleas'd to be from such a deed. [Exeunt Attendants. 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

yours,

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
tongue.

Arth. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues
Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes:
Let me not hold my tongue; let me not, Hubert!
Or, 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 grief,
Being create for comfort, to be us'd
In undeserv'd extremes: See else yourself:
There is no malice in this burning coal;

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:
Nay, it, perchance, will sparkle in your eyes;
And, like a dog that is compell'd to fight,
Snatch at his master that doth tarre him on.

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K. John. Here once again we sit, once again crown'd,

And look'd upon, I hope, with cheerful eyes. Pem. This once again, but that your highness pleas'd,

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 pomp,
To guard a title that was rich before,
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet,
To smooth the ice, or add another hue
Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light

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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 indue you with: Mean time, 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.

Pem. Then I, (as one that am the tongue of So foul a sky clears not without a storm :

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 argument,

If, what in rest you have, in right you hold,
Why then your fears, (which, as they say, attend
The steps of wrong,) should move you to mew up
Your tender kinsman, and to choke 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; I do commit his youth
Enter HUBERT.

To your direction. - Hubert, what news with you?
Pem. This is the man should do the bloody deed;
He show'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 show 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.

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.

Pem. And, when it breaks, I fear, will issue
thence

The foul corruption of a sweet child's death.

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 deceas'd to-night.

Sal. 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.
K. John. Why do you bend such solemn brows
on me?
Think you, I bear the shears of destiny?
Have I commandment on the pulse of life?

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,
That I have seen inhabit in those cheeks?

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.

Pem. 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 Lords.

Pour down thy weather:-How goes all in France? Mess. From France to England. — Never such a power

For any foreign preparation,

Was levied 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?

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Enter the Bastard and PETER of Pomfret.
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.

Bast. 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 of what it will.

Bast. How I have sped among the clergymen,
The sums I have collected shall express.
But, as I travelled 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:
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 rhymes,
That, ere the next Ascension-day at noon,
Your highness should deliver up your crown.

K. John. Thou idle dreamer, wherefore didst
thou so?

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