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We breath'd our counsel; but it pleas’d your highness K. John. They burn in indignation. I repent : To overbear it, and we are all well-pleas'd;
There is no sure foundation set on blood, Since all and every part of what we would,
No certain life achiev'd by others' death. Doth make a stand at what your highness will.
Enter a Messenger.
That I have seen inhabit in those cheeks ?
Pour down thy weather.-How goes all in France ? What you would have reform'd that is not well, Mess. From France to England.-Never such a power And well shall you perceive, how willingly
For any foreign preparation,
Was levied in the body of a land.
For, when you should be told they do prepare,
The tidings come that they are all arriv'd. Your safety, for the which myself and they
K. John. O! where hath our intelligence been drunk? Bend their best studies, heartily request
Where hath it slept ? Where is my mother's care, Thenfranchisement of Arthur; whose restraint That such an army could be drawn in France, Doth move the murmuring lips of discontent
And she not hear of it ? To break into this dangerous argument:
My liege, her ear
Is stopp'd with dust: the first of April, died
Three days before : but this from rumour's tongue
K. John. Withhold thy speed, dreadful Occasion ! That the time's enemies may not have this
0! make a league with me, till I have pleas'd To grace occasions, let it be our suit,
My discontented peers.--What! mother dead ? That you have bid us ask his liberty;
How wildly, then, walks my estate in France Which for our goods we do no farther ask,
Under whose conduct come those powers of France, Than whereupon our weal, on yours depending, That thou for truth giv'st out are landed here? Counts it your weal he have his liberty.
Mess. Under the Dauphin.
Enter the Bastard, and PETER of POMFRET.
Thou hast made me giddy To your direction.--Hubert, what news with you ? With these ill-tidings. Now, what says the world
[Hubert talks apart with the King. To your proceedings ? do not seek to stuff Pem. This is the man should do the bloody deed : My head with more ill news, for it is full. He show'd his warrant to a friend of mine.
Bast. But if you be afeard to hear the worst, The image of a wicked heinous fault
Then let the worst, unheard, fall on your head. Lives in his eye: that close aspect of his
K. John. Bear with me, cousin, for I was amaz'd Doth show the mood of a much-troubled breast; Under the tide; but now I breathe again And I do fearfully believe 't is done,
Aloft the flood, and can give audience What we so fear'd he had a charge to do.
To any tongue, speak it of what it will. Sal. The colour of the king doth come and go,
Bast. How I have sped among the clergymen, Between his purpose and his conscience,
The sums I have collected shall express : Like heralds 'twixt two dreadful battles set:
But as I travell'd hither through the land,
I find the people strangely fantasied;
Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear ;
To whom he sung, in rude harsh-sounding rhymes, Sal. Indeed, we fear'd his sickness was past cure. That ere the next Ascension-day at noon,
Pem. Indeed, we heard how near his death he was, Your highness should deliver up your crown. Before the child himself felt he was sick.
K. John. Thou idle dreamer, wherefore didst thou so? This must be answer'd either here, or hence.
Peter. Foreknowing that the truth will fall out so. K. John. Why do you bend such solemn brows on me? K. John. Hubert, away with him : imprison him; Think you, I bear the shears of destiny?
And on that day at noon, whereon, he says,
I shall yield up my crown, let him be hang’d.
For I must use thee.- my gentle cousin !
[Exit HUBERT, with PETER. Pem. Stay yet, lord Salisbury, I 'll go with thee, Hear'st thou the news abroad, who are arriv'd ? And find th' inheritance of this poor child,
Bast. The French, my lord ; men's mouths are full His little kingdom of a forced grave.
Besides, I met lord Bigot, and lord Salisbury,
[of it: That blood which ow'd the breadth of all this isle, With eyes as red as new-enkindled fire, Three foot of it doth hold: bad world the while. And others more, going to seek the grave This must not be thus borne : this will break out Of Arthur, who, they say, is kill'd to-night To all our sorrows, and ere long, I doubt. [Exeunt Lords. On your suggestion.
I than lesser is: in f. e.
2 then: in f. e.
3 should : in f. e.
Apt, liable to be employ'd in danger,
I faintly broke with thee of Arthur's death; I have a way to win their loves again :
And thou, to be endeared to a king,
Made it no conscience to destroy a prince.
Hub. My lord, K. John. Nay, but make haste; the better foot K. John. Hadst thou but shook thy head, or made a before.
When I spake darkly what I purposed; (pause, 0! let me have no subject enemies,
Or turned an eye of doubt upon my face, When adverse foreigners affright my towns
Or? bid me tell my tale in express words, With dreadful pomp of stout invasion.
Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me break off, Be Mercury; set feathers to thy heels,
And those thy fears might have wrought fears in me: And fly like thought from them to me again.
But thou didst understand me by my signs, Bast. The spirit of the time shall teach me speed. And didst in signs again parley with sign:
[Exit. Yea, without stop, didst let thy heart consent, K. John. Spoke like a spriteful, noble gentleman.-And consequently thy rude hand to act Go after him; for he, perhaps, shall need
The deed which both our tongues held vile to name. Some messenger betwixt me and the peers,
Out of my sight, and never see me more ! And be thou he.
My nobles leave me; and my state is brav’d, Mess.
With all my heart, my liege. [Exit. Even at my gates, with ranks of foreign powers : K. John. My mother dead !
Nay, in the body of this fleshly land,
This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath,
Between my conscience, and my cousin's death.
Hub. Arm you against your other enemies, K. John. Five moons ?
I'll make a peace between your soul and you. Hub.
Old men, and beldamnes, in the streets Young Arthur is alive : this hand of mine
Is yet a maiden and an innocent hand,
The dreadful motion of a murderous thought,
Which, howsoever rude exteriorly,
Than to be butcher of an innocent child.
K. John. Doth Arthur live? O! haste thee to the With open mouth swallowing a tailor's news;
peers : Who, with his shears and measure in his hand, Throw this report on their incensed rage, Standing on slippers, (which his nimble haste
And make them tame to their obedience. Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet)
Forgive the comment that my passion made Told of a many thousand warlike French,
Upon thy feature; for my rage was blind, That were embattailed and rank'd in Kent.
And foul imaginary eyes of blood Another lean, unwash'd artificer
Presented thee more hideous than thou art. Cuts off his tale, and talks of Arthur's death.
0! answer not; but to my closet bring K. John. Why seek'st thou to possess me with these The angry lords, with all expedient haste: fears ?
I conjure thee but slowly; run more fast. Exceunt. Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's death? Thy hand hath murder'd him: I had a mighty cause
SCENE III.-—The Same. Before the Castle. To wish him dead, but thou hadst none to kill him.
Enter ARTHUR, on the Walls. Hub. Had none, my lord! why, did you not provoke Arth. The wall is high; and yet will I leap down.
Good ground, be pitiful, and hurt me not ! K. John. It is the curse of kings, to be attended There's few, or none, do know me; if they did, By slaves, that take their humours for a warrant This ship-boy's semblance hath disguis'd me quite. To break into the bloody house of life ;
I am afraid ; and yet I'll venture it. And, on the winking of authority,
If I get down, and do not break my limbs, To understand a law; to know the meaning
I'll find a thousand shifts to get away: Of dangerous majesty, when, perchance, it frowns As good to die and go, as die and stay. [Leaps down. More upon humour than advis'd respect.
O me! my uncle's spirit is in these stones.Hub. Here is your hand and seal for what I did. Heaven take my soul,
and England keep my bones. [Dies. K. John. O! when the last account 'twixt heaven Enter PEMBROKE, SALISBURY, and Bigot. and earth
Sal. Lords, I will meet him at Saint Edmund's Bury: Is to be made, then shall this hand and seal
It is our safety, and we must embrace Witness against us to damnation.
This gentle offer of the perilous time. How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds,
Pem. Who brought that letter from the cardinal ? Makes ill deeds done!! Hadst not thou been by, Sal. The count Melun, a noble lord of France; A fellow by the hand of nature mark’d,
Whose private missivet of the Dauphin's love, Quoted, and sign'd, to do a deed of shame,
Is much more general than these lines import. This murder had not come into my mind;
Big. To-morrow morning let us meet him then. But, taking note of thy abhorr'd aspect,
Sal. Or, rather then set forward : for 't will be Finding thee fit for bloody villainy,
Two long days' journey, lords, or e'er we meet. 4 with me: in f. e.
i deeds ill done: in f. e.
2 As: in f. e.
3 sin: in f. e.
Enter the Bastard.
Nor tempt the danger of my true defence; Bast. Once more to-day well met, distemper'd lords. Lest I, by marking but your rage, forget The king by me requests your presence straight. Your worth, your greatness, and nobility.
Sal. The king hath dispossess'd himself of us : Big. Out, dunghill! dar'st thou brave a nobleman? We will not line his sin-bestained' cloak
Hub. Not for my life; but yet I dare defend
My innocent life against an emperor.
Do not prove me so; Bast. Whate'er you think, good words, I think, were Yet, I am none. Whose tongue soe'er speaks false, best.
Not truly speaks; who speaks not truly, lies. Sal. Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now.
Pemb. Cut him to pieces. Bast. But there is little reason in your grief;
Keep the peace, I say. Therefore, it were reason you had manners now. Sal. Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulconbridge. Pem. Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege.
Bast. Thou wert better gall the devil, Salisbury: Bast. 'T is true; to hurt his master, no man else. If thou but frown on me, or stir thy foot, Sal. This is the prison. What is he lies here? Or teach thy hasty spleen to do me shame,
[Seeing ARTHUR. I'll strike thee dead. Put up thy sword betime, Pem. O death! made proud with pure and princely Or I'll so maul you and your toasting-iron, beauty,
That you shall think the devil is come from hell. The earth had not a hole to hide this deed.
Big. What wilt thou do, renowned Faulconbridge ? Sal. Murder, as hating what himself hath done, Second a villain, and a murderer. Doth lay it open to urge on revenge.
Hub. Lord Bigot, I am none. Big. Or when he doom'd this beauty to a grave, Big. Who kill'd this prince? [Pointing to Arthur.S Found it too precious-princely for a grave.
Hub. T is not an hour since I left him well: Sal. Sir Richard, what think you ? Have you beheld, I honour'd him, I lov'd him; and will weep Or have you read, or heard ? or could you think? My date of life out for his sweet life's loss. Or do you almost think, although you see,
Sal. Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes, That you do see ? could thought, without this object, For villainy is not without such rheum; Form such another? This is the very top,
And he, long traded in it, makes it seem
Like rivers of remorse and innocency.
Th' uncleanly savours of a slaughter-house.
For I am stifled with this smell of sin. Presented to the tears of soft remorse.
Big. Away, toward Bury: to the Dauphin there ! Pem. All murders past do stand excus'd in this ; Pem. There, tell the king, he may inquire us out. And this, so sole and so unmatchable,
[Exeunt Lords. Shall give a holiness, a purity,
Bast. Here's a good world !-Knew you of this fair To the yet unbegotten sin of times ;
work? And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest,
Beyond the infinite and boundless reach Exampled by this heinous spectacle.
Of mercy, if thou didst this deed of death, Bast. It is a damned and a bloody work;
Art thou damn'd, Hubert. The graceless action of a heavy hand,
Do but hear me, sir. If that it be the work of any hand.
Bast. Ha ! I'll tell thee what; Sal. If that it be the work of any hand ?-
Thou art damn'd as black-nay, nothing is so black; We had a kind of light, what would ensue:
Thou art more deep damn'd than prince Lucifer : It is the shameful work of Hubert's hand;
There is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell The practice, and the purpose, of the king :
As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child. From whose 'obedience I forbid my soul,
Hub. Upon my soul,Kneeling before this ruin of sweet life,
If thou didst but consent And breathing to his breathless excellence
To this most cruel act, do but despair; The incense of a vow, a holy vow,
And if thou want’st a cord, the smallest thread Never to taste the pleasures of the world,
That ever spider twisted from her womb Never to be infected with delight,
Will serve to strangle thee; a rush will be a beam Nor conversant with ease and idleness,
To hang thee on: or wouldst thou drown thyself, Till I have set a glory to this heada,
Put but a little water in a spoon, By giving it the worship of revenge.
And it shall be as all the ocean,
I do suspect thee very grievously.
Be guilty of the stealing that sweet breath,
Let hell want pains enough to torture me.
I left him well.
Go, bear him in thine arms.-
Among the thorns and dangers of this world.-
(HUBERT takes up ARTHUR." By heaven, I think, my sword 's as sharp as yours. How easy dost thou take all England up! I would not have you, lord, forget yourself,
From forth this morsel of dead royalty, I thin bestained: in f. e. 2 hand : in f. e. 3 4 Not in f. e.
The life, the right, and truth of all this realm
As doth a raven on a sick-fallen beast,
(Exeunt : HUBERT bearing out ARTHUR's body.
Be stirring as the time; meet3 fire with fire; SCENE 1.-The Same. A Room in the Palace.
Threaten the threatener, and outface the brow
That borrow their behaviours from the great,
The dauntless spirit of resolution.
When he intendeth to become the field :
Show boldness, and aspiring confidence.
And fright him there ? and make him tremble there? And from his holiness use all your power
0! let it not be said.--Courage, and run To stop their marches, 'fore we are inflam’d.
To meet displeasure further from the doors, Our discontented counties do revolt,
And grapple with him ere he come so nigh. Our people quarrel with obedience,
K. John. The legate of the pope hath been with me, Swearing allegiance, and the love of soul,
And I have made a happy peace with him ; To stranger blood, to foreign royalty.
And he hath promis'd to dismiss the powers This inundation of mistemper'd humour
Led by the Dauphin. Rests by you only to be qualified:
O, inglorious league ! Then pause not; for the present time's so sick, Shall we, upon the footing of our land, That present medicine must be minister'd,
Send fair-play offersó, and make compromise,
Insinuation, parley, and base truce,
, Upon your stubborn usage of the pope ;
A cocker'd silken wanton, brave our fields, But since you are a gentle convertite,
And flesh his spirit in a warlike soil, My tongue shall hush again this storm of war, Mocking the air with colours idly spread, And make fair weather in your blustering land. And find no check? Let us, my liege, to arms: On this Ascension-day, remember well,
Perchance, the cardinal cannot make your peace ; Upon your oath of service to the pope,
Or if he do, let it at least be said,
K. John. Is this Ascension-day ? Did not the prophet K. John. Have thou the ordering of this present Say that before Ascension-day at noon,
time. My crown I should give off ? Even so I have.
Bast. Away then, with good courage ; yet I know, I did suppose it should be on constraint ;
Our party may well meet a prouder foe. [Exeunt. But, heaven be thank'd, it is but voluntary. Enter the Bastard.
SCENE II.-A Plain, near St. Edmund's Bury. Bast. All Kent hath yielded ; nothing there holds Enter, in arms, LEWIS, SALISBURY, MELUN, PEMBROKE, But Dover castle : London hath receiv'd,
Bigot, and Soldiers. Like a kind host, the Dauphin and his powers.
Lew. My lord Melun, let this be copied out, Your nobles will not hear you, but are gone
And keep it safe for our remembrance. To offer service to your enemy :
Return the precedent to these lords again; And wild amazement hurries up and down
That, having our fair order written down, The little number of your doubtful friends.
Both they, and we, perusing o'er these notes,
And keep our faiths firm and inviolable.
And, noble Dauphin, albeit we swear
K. John. That villain Hubert told me he did live. To your proceedings; yet, believe me, prince,
Bast. So, on my soul, he did, for aught he knew. I am not glad that such a sore of time
And heal the inveterate canker of one wound,
That I must draw this metal from my side 1 Exeunt: in f. e.
3 be; in f. e. 4 Forage : in f. e.
2 sad : in f. e.
5 orders: in f. e.
To be a widow-maker ; 0! and there,
Your breath first kindled the dead coal of wars Where honourable rescue, and defence,
Between this chastis'd kingdom and myself, Cries out upon the name of Salisbury.
And brought in matter that should feed this fire ; But such is the infection of the time,
And now it is far too huge to be blown out That, for the health and physic of our right,
With that same weak wind which enkindled it. We cannot deal but with the very hand
You taught me how to know the face of right, Of stern injustice and confused wrong.
Acquainted me with interest to this land, And is 't not pity, O, my grieved friends!
Yea, thrust this enterprise into my heart, That we, the sons and children of this isle,
And come ye now to tell me, John hath made Were born to see so sad an hour as this
His peace with Rome? What is that peace to me? Wherein we step after a stranger, march
I, by the honour of my marriage-bed, Upon her gentle bosom, and fill up
After young Arthur, claim this land for mine; Her enemies' ranks, (I must withdraw, and weep And now it is half-conquer'd, must I back, Upon the thought of this enforced cause)
Because that John hath made his peace with Rome? To grace the gentry of a land rernote,
Am I Rome's slave? What penny hath Rome borne, And follow unacquainted
What men provided, what munition sent,
And such as to my claim are liable,
Sweat in this business, and maintain this war ?
Vive le roy! as I have bank'd their towns ?
Have I not here the best cards for the game, Lew. A noble temper dost thou show in this; To win this easy match, play'd for a crown, And great affections wrestling in thy bosom
And shall I now give o'er the yielded set ? Do make an earthquake of nobility.
No, on my soul, it never shall be said. 0! what a noble combat hast thou fought,
Pand. You look but on the outside of this work. Between compulsion, and a brave respect
Lew. Outside or inside, I will not return Let me wipe off this honourable dew,
Till my attempt so much be glorified, That silverly doth progress on thy cheeks.
As to my ample hope was promised My heart hath melted at a lady's tears,
Before I drew this gallant head of war, Being an ordinary inundation ;
And cull’d these fiery spirits from the world, But this effusion of such manly drops,
To outlook conquest, and to win renown This shower, blown up by tempest of the soul, Even in the jaws of danger and of death. Startles mine eyes, and makes me more amaz'd
[Trumpet sounds. Than had I seen the vaulty top of heaven
What lusty trumpet thus doth summon us ? Figur'd quite o'er with urning meteors.
Enter the Bastard, attended. Lift up thy brow, renowned Salisbury,
Bast. According to the fair play of the world, And with a great heart heave away this storm : Let me have audience: I am sent to speak.Commend these waters to those baby eyes,
My holy lord of Milan, from the king That never saw the giant-world enrag'd;
I come, to learn how you have dealt for him ; Nor met with fortune other than at feasts,
And, as you answer, I do know the scope
And warrant limited unto my tongue.
And will not temporize with my entreaties :
He flatly says, he'll not lay down his arms. That knit your sinews to the strength of mine.
Bast. By all the blood that ever fury breath’d, Enter PANDULPH, attended.
The youth says well.–Now, hear our English king, And even there, methinks, an angel spake :
For thus his royalty doth speak in me. Look, where the holy legate comes apace,
He is prepard; and reason, too, he should : To give us warrant from the hand of heaven,
This apish and unmannerly approach, And on our actions set the name of right
This harness'd masque, and unadvised revel, With holy breath.
This unheard sauciness of 4 boyish troops, Pand.
Hail, noble prince of France. The king doth smile at; and is well prepard The next is this :---king John hath reconcil'd
To whip this dwarfish war, these pigniy arms, Himself to Rome; his spirit is come in,
From out the circle of his territories. That so stood out against the holy church,
That hand, which had the strength, even at your door, The great metropolis and see of Rome :
To cudgel you, and make you take the hatch;
To crouch in litter of your stable planks ;
To lie like pawns lock'd up in chests and trunks ; It may lie gently at the foot of peace,
To hug with swine; to seek sweet safety out
In vaults and prisons, and to thrill, and shake,
Thinking his voice an armed Englishman:
Shall that victorious hand be feebled here, Or useful serving-man, and instrument,
That in your chambers gave you chastisement ? To any sovereign state throughout the world.
No! Know, the gallant monarch is in arms; spot: in f. e. 3 So the folios; Theobald, and most eds. read : unhair’d (i. e. unbearded).
4 and : in f. e. in f. e.
2 Embraceth. 6 crow: in f. e.