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Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect: Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes? Hub. Young boy, I must.
And I will. Arth. Have you the heart? When your head did but ache,
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 ill,
Why, then you must.-Will you put out mine eyes?--
These eyes, that never did, nor never shall,
So much as frown on you!
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.
Re-enter Attendants, with Cord, Irons, &c.
Do as I bid you do.
Arth. O, save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes are
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 bois 'rous rough?
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.
Come, boy, prepare yourself.
Deny their office only you do lack
That mercy, which fierce tire, and iron, extends,
Creatures of note, for mercy-lacking uses.
Hub. Well, see to live: I will not touch thine eyes
For all the treasure that thine uncle owes:
Yet am I sworn, and I did purpose, boy,
With this same very iron to burn them out,
Arth. O now you look like Hubert! all this while
You were disguised.
Peace: no more. Adieu;
Your uncle must not know but you are dead:
I'll fill these dogged spies with false reports.
And, pretty child, sleep doubtless and secure,
That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world,
Will not offend thee.
O heaven!-I thank you, Hubert. Hub. Silence; no more: Go closely in with me; Much danger do I undergo for thee. [Exeunt. SCENE 11. The same. A Room of State in the Palace.
Enter King John, crowned; Pembroke, Salisbury, and other Lords. The King takes his State. 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 hae Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, Is wasteful, and ridiculous excess.
Pem. But that your royal pleasure must be done,
This act is as an ancient tale new told;
And, in the last repeating, troublesome,
Being urged at a time unseasonable.
Sal. In this, the antique and well-noted face
Of plain old form is much disfigured:
And, like a shifted wind unto a sail,
It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about;
Startles and frights consideration;
Makes sound opinion sick, and truth suspected,
For putting on so new a fashion'd robe."
Arth. Is there no remedy! Hub. None, but to lose your eyes. Arth. O heaven!-that there were but a mote in A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wand'ring hair, [yours,I 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.
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 beath 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.
All things, that you should use to do me wrong,
Pem. When work men strive to do better than well, They do confound their skill in covetousness: And, oftentimes, excusing of a fault, Doth make the fault the worse by the excuse; As patches, set upon a little breach, Discredit more in hiding of the fault, Than did the fault before it was so patch'd.
Sal. To this effect, before you were new-crown'd, We breath'd our counsel: but it pleas'd your highness To overbear it; and we are all well pleas'd; 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 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 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 entranchisement 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, aud 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
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.
K. John. Thou idle dreamer, wherefore didst thou Peter. Foreknowing 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.-O my gentle cousin,
[Exit Hubert, with Peter. Hear'st thou the news abroad, who are arriv'd? Bast. The French, my lord; men's mouths are Besides, I met lord Bigot, and lord Salisbury
(With eyes as red as new-enkindled fire), And others more, going to seek the grave Of Arthur, who, they say, is kill'd to-night On your suggestion. K. John. Gentle kinsman, go, Pem. Indeed we heard how near his death he was, I have a way to win their loves again; And thrust thyself into their companies:
Sal. Indeed, we fear'd, his sickness was past cure.
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 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 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 breath 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. K. John. They burn in indignation; I repent; There is no sure foundation set on blood; No certain life achiev'd by others' death.
A fearful eye thou hast; Where is that blood,
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?
Mess. From France to England.-Never such
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?
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?
My liege, her ear
Is stopp'd with dust; the first of April, died
Your noble mother: And, as I hear, my lord,
The lady Constance in a frenzy died
Three days before: but this from rumour's tongue
I idly heard; if true, or false, I know not.
K. John. Withhold thy speed, dreadfu! occasion! O, make a league with me, till I have pleas'd My discontented peers!-What! 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? Mess. Under the dauphin.
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 bat 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
Forth from the streets of Pomfret, whom I found
With many hundred treading on his heels;
Bring them before me. Bast.
K. John. Nay, but make haste; the better foot hefore.
O, let me have no subject 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.
Bast. The spirit of the time shall teach me speed.
K. John. Spoke like a spriteful noble gentleman.-
Go after him; for he, perhaps, shall need
Some messenger betwixt me and the peers;
And be thou he.
With all my heart, my liege. (Exit. K. John. My mother dead!
Hub. My lord, they say, five moons were seen toFour fixed; and the fifth did whirl about The other four, in wond'rous motion.
K. John. Five moons?
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 hears, makes fearful action,
With wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling eyes.
I saw a smith stand with his hammer, thus,
The whilst his iron did on the anvil cool,
With open mouth swallowing a tailor's news;
Who, with his shears and measure in his hand,
Standing on slippers (which his nimble haste
Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet),
Told of a many thousand warlike French,
That were embattled, and rank'd in Kent:
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
Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's death?
Thy hand hath murder'd him: I had 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 advis'd respect.
Hub. Here is your hand and seal for what I did. K. John. O, when the last account 'twixt heaven and earth
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 villany,
Apt, liable, to be employ'd in danger,
I faintly broke with thee of Arthur's death;
And thou, to be endeared to a king,
Made it no conscience to destroy a prince.
K. John. Hadst thou but shook thy head, or made When I spake darkly what I purposed; La pause, Or turn'd an eye of doubt upon my face, As 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
Sal. Sir Richard, what think you? Have you beheld,
Or have you read, or heard? or could you think?
Or do you almost think, although you see,
That you do see? could thought, without this object,
Form such another? This is the very top,
The height, the crest, or crest unto the crest,
Of murder's arms: this is the bloodiest shame,
The wildest savagʼry, the vilest stroke,
That ever wall-ey'd wrath, or staring rage,
Presented to the tears of soft remorse.
Pem. All murders past do stand excus'd in this:
And this, so sole, and so unmatchable,
Shall give a holiness, a purity,
The deed, which both our tongues held vile to name.-To the yet-unbegotten sin of time;
Out of my sight, and never see me more!
My nobles leave me; and my state is brav'd, 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 reigns
Between my conscience, and my cousin's death.
Hub. Arm you against your other enemies,
I'll make a peace between your soul and you.
Young Arthur is alive: 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.
K. John. Doth Arthur live? O, haste thee to the Throw this report on their incensed rage, And make them tame to their obedience ! 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:
I conjure thee but slowly; run more fast. [Exeunt. SCENE III. The same. Before the Castle. Enter Arthur, on the Walls.
Arth. The wall is high; and yet will I leap down:Good ground, be pitiful, and hurt me not!There's few, or none, do know me; if they did, This ship-boy's semblance hath disguis'd me quite. 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. [Leaps down.
O me! my uncle's spirit is in these stones:-
Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones!
Enter Pembroke, Salisbury, and Bigot.
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. The count Melun, a noble lord of France; Whose private with me, of the dauphin's love, Is much more general than these lines import.
Big. To-morrow morning let us meet him then. Sal. Or, rather then set forward: for 'twill be Two long days' journey, lords, or e'er we meet. Enter the Bastard.
Bast. Once more to-day well met, distemper'd lords! The king, by me, requests your presence straight.
Sal. The king bath dispossess'd himself of us; We will not line his thin bestained cloak With our pure honours, nor attend the foot That leaves the print of blood where'er it walks: Return, and tell him so; we know the worst. Bast. Whate'er you think, good words, I think, were best.
Sal. Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now. Bast. But there is little reason in your grief; Therefore, 'twere reason, you had manners now. Pem. Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege. Bast. "Tis true; to hurt his master, no man else. Sal. This is the prison: What is he lies here? [Seeing Arthur. Pem. O death, made proud with pure and princely The earth had not a hole to hide this deed. [beauty! Sal. Murder, as hating what himself hath done, Doth lay it open, to urge on revenge.
Big. Or, when he doom'd this beauty to a grave, Found it too precious-princely for a grave.
And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest,
Exampled by this heinous spectacle.
Bast. 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?-
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 his breathless excellence,
The incense of a vow, a holy vow;
Never to taste the pleasures of the world,
Never to be infected with delight,
Nor conversant with ease and idleness,
Till I have set a glory to this hand,
By giving it the worship of revenge.
Pem. Big. Our souls religiously confirm thy words.
Hub. Lords, I am hot with haste in seeking you: Arthur doth live; the king hath sent for you. Sal. O, he is bold, and blushes not at death:Avaunt, thou hateful villain, get thee gone! Hub. I am no villain. Sal.
Must I rob the law? [Drawing his Sword. Bast. Your sword is bright, sir: put it up again. Sal. Not till I sheath it in a murderer's skin. Hub. Stand back, lord Salisbury, stand back, I say; By heaven, I think, my sword's as sharp as yours: I would not have you, lord, forget yourself, Nor tempt the danger of my true defence; Lest 1, by marking of your rage, forget Your worth, your greatness, and nobility.
Big. Out, dunghill! dar'st thou brave a nobleman? Hub. Not for my life: but yet I dare defend My innocent life against an emperor. Sal. Thou art a murderer. Hub. Do not prove me so; Yet, I am none: Whose tongue soe'er speaks false, Not truly speaks; who speaks not truly, lies. Pem. Cut him to pieces. Bast.
Keep the peace, I say. Sal. Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulconbridge. Bast. Thou wert better gall the devil, Salisbury:
If thou but frown on me, or stir thy foot,
Or teach thy hasty spleen to do me shame,
I'll strike thee dead. Put up thy sword betime;
Or I'll so maul you and your toasting-iron,
That you shall think the devil is come from hell.
Big. What wilt thou do, renowned Faulconbridge?
Second a villain, and a murderer!
Hub. Lord Bigot, I am none.
Who kill'd this prince?
Hub. "Tis not an hour since I left him well:
I honour'd him, I lov'd him; and will weep
My date of life out, for his sweet life's loss.
Sal. Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes,
For villany is not without such rheum;
And he, long traded in it, makes it seem
Like rivers of remorse and innocency.
Away, with me, all you whose souls abhor
The uncleanly savours of a slaughter-house;
For I am stifled with this smell of sin.
Big. Away, toward Bury, to the dauphin there! Pemb. There tell the king, he may inquire us out. [Exeunt Lords. Bast. Here's a good world !-Knew you of this fair Beyond the infinite and boundless reach [work? Of mercy, if thou didst this deed of death, Art thou damn'd, Hubert. Hub.
Bast. Ha! I'll tell thee what; Thou art damn'd as black-nay, nothing is so black; Thou art more deep damn'd than prince Lucifer:
A beam to hang thee on; or wouldst thou drown
Put but a little water in a spoon,
And it shall be as all the ocean,
Enough to stile such a villain up.
I do suspect thee very grievously.
Hub. If I in act, consent, or sin of thought,
Be guilty of the stealing that sweet breath
Which was embounded in this beauteous clay,
Let hell want pains enough to torture me!
I left him well.
Go, bear him in thine arms.-
I am amaz'd, methinks; and lose my way
Among the thorns and dangers of this world.
How easy dost thou take all England up!
From forth this morsel of dead royalty,
The life, the right, and truth of all this realm
Is fled to heaven; and England now is left
To tug and scamble, and to part by the teeth
The unowed interest of proud-swelling state.
Now, for the bare-picked bone of majesty,
Doth dogged war bristle his angry crest,
And snarleth in the gentle eyes of peace:
Now powers from home, and discontents at home,
Meet in one line; and vast confusion waits
(As doth a raven on a sick-fallen beast),
The imminent decay of wrested pomp.
Now happy he, whose cloak and cincture can
Hold out this tempest. Bear away that child,
And follow me with speed; I'll to the king:
A thousand businesses are brief in hand,
And heaven itself doth frown upon the land. [Exeunt.
SCENE I. The same. A Room in the Palace.
Enter King John, Pandulph with the Crown, and
K. John. Thus have I yielded up into your hand
The circle of my glory.
[Giving John the Crown.
From this my hand, as holding of the pope,
Your sovereign greatness and authority.
K. John. Now keep your holy word: go meet the
And from his holiness use all your power [French:
To stop their marches, 'fore we are inflam'd.
Our discontented counties do revolt;
Our people quarrel with obedience;
Swearing allegiance, and the love of soul,
To stranger blood, to foreign royalty.
This inundation of mistemper'd humour
Rests by you only to be qualified.
Then pause not; for the present time's so sick,
That present medicine must be minister'd,
Or overthrow incurable ensues.
K. John. That villain, Hubert, told me, he did live.
Bast. So, on my soul, he did, for aught he knew.
But wherefore do yon droop? why look you sad?
Be great in act, as you have been in thought;
Let not the world see fear, and sad distrust,
Govern the motion of a kingly eye:
Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;
Threaten the threat'ner, and outface the brow
Of bragging horror: so shall inferior eyes,
That borrow their behaviours from the great,
Grow great by your example, and put on
The dauntless spirit of resolution.
Away; and glister like the god of war,
When he intendeth to become the field:
Show boldness and aspiring confidence.
What, shall they seek the lion in his den,
And fright him there? and make him tremble there?
O, let it not be said !-Forage, and run
To meet displeasure further from the doors;
And grapple with him, ere he come so nigh.
K. John. The legate of the pope hath been with me,
And I have made a happy peace with him;
And he hath promis'd to dismiss the powers
Led by the dauphin.
O inglorious league!
Shall we, upon the footing of our land,
Send fair-play orders, and make compromise,
Insinuation, parley, and base truce,
To arms invasive shall a beardless boy,
A cocker'd silken wanton, brave our fields,
And flesh his spirit in a warlike soil,
Mocking the air with colours idly spread,
And find no check? Let us, my liege, to arms:
Perchance, the cardinal cannot make your peace;
Or if he do, let it at least be said,
They saw we had a purpose of defence.
K. John. Have thou the ordering of this present
Bast. Away then, with good courage; yet, I know,
Our party may well meet a prouder foe. [Exeunt.
SCENE II. A Plain near St. Edmund's-Bury.
Enter, in Arms, Lewis, Salisbury, Melun, Pembroke,
Bigot, and Soldiers.
Lew. My lord Melun, let this be copied out,
And keep it safe for our remembrance:
Return the precedent to these lords again;
That, having our fair order written down,
Both they, and we, perusing o'er these notes,
May know wherefore we took the sacrament,
And keep our faiths firm and inviolable.
Sal. Upon our sides it never shall be broken.
And, noble dauphin, albeit we swear
To your proceedings; yet, believe me, prince,
A voluntary zeal, and unurg'd faith,
I am not glad that such a sore of time
Should seek a plaster by contemn'd revolt,
And heal the inveterate canker of one wound
By making many: O, it grieves my soul,
That I must draw this metal from my side
To be a widow-maker; 0, and there,
Where honourable rescue, and defence,
Cries out upon the name of Salisbury:
But such is the infection of the time,
That, for the health and physic of our right,
We cannot deal but with the very hand
Pand. It was my breath that blew this tempest up, Of stern injustice and confused wrong.
Upon your stubborn usage of the pope :
But, since you are a gentle convertite,
My tongue shall hush again this storm of war,
And make fair weather in your blustering land.
On this Ascension-day, remember well,
Upon your oath of service to the pope,
Go I to make the French lay down their arms. [Exit.
K.John. Is this Ascension-day? Did not the prophet
Say, that, before Ascension-day at noon,
My crown I should give off! Even so I have:
I did suppose, it should be on constraint;
But, heaven be thank'd, it is but voluntary.
Bast. All Kent hath yielded; nothing there holds
But Dover castle: London hath receiv'd,
Like a kind host, the dauphin and his powers:
Your nobles will not hear you, but are gone
To offer service to your enemy;
And wild amazement hurries up and down
The little number of your doubtful friends.
K. John. Would not my lords return to me again,
After they heard young Arthur was alive!
Bast. They found him dead, and cast into the streets;
An empty casket, where the jewel of life
By some damn'd hand was robb'd and ta'en away.
And is't not pity, O my grieved friends!
That we, the sons and children of this isle,
Were born to see so sad an hour as this;
Wherein we step after a stranger march
Upon her gentle bosom, and till up
Upon the spot of this enforced cause),
Her enemies' ranks (I must withdraw and weep
To grace the gentry of a land remote,
And follow unacquainted colours here?
What, here?-O`nation, that thou couldst remove!
That Neptune's arms, who clippeth thee about,
Would bear thee from the knowledge of thyself,
And grapple thee unto a Pagan shore;
Where these two Christian armies might combine
The blood of malice in a vein of league,
And not to spend it so unneighbourly!
Lew. A noble temper dost thou show in this;
And great affections, wrestling in thy bosom,
Do make an earthquake of nobility.
O, what a noble combat hast thou fought,
Between compulsion and a brave respect!
Let me wipe off this honourable dew,
That silverly doth progress on thy cheeks:
My heart bath melted at a lady's tears,
Being an ordinary inundation;
But this effusion of such manly drops,
This shower, blown up by teapest of the soul,
Startles mine eyes, and makes me more amaz'd
Than had I seen the vaulty top of heaven
Figur'd quite o'er with burning meteors.
Lift up thy brow, renowned Salisbury,
And with a great heart heave away this storm:
Commend these waters to those baby eyes,
That never saw the giant-world enrag'd;
Nor met with fortune other than at feasts,
Full warm of blood, of mirth, of gossiping.
To whip this dwarfish war, these pigmy arms,
From out the circle of his territories.
That hand, which had the strength, even at your door,
To cudgel you, and make you take the hatch;
To dive, like buckets, in concealed wells;
To crouch in litter of your stable planks;
To lie, like pawns, lock'd up in chests and trunks;
To hug with swine; to seek sweet safety out
In vaults and prisons; and to thrill, and shake,
Even at the crying of your nation's crow,
Thinking his voice an armed Englishman;
Come, come; for thou shalt thrust thy hand as deep Shall that victorious hand be feebled here,
Into the purse of rich prosperity,
As Lewis himself:-so, nobles, shall you all,
That knit your sinews to the strength of mine.
Enter Pandulph, attended.
And even there, methinks, an angel spake :
Look, where the holy legate co.nes apace,
To give us warrant from the hand of heaven;
And on our actions set the name of right,
With holy breath.
Hail, noble prince of France !
The next is this,-king John hath reconcil'd
Himself to Rome; his spirit is come in,
That so stood out against the holy church,
The great metropolis and see of Rome:
Therefore thy threat'ning colours now wind up,
And tame the savage spirit of wild war;
That, like a lion foster'd up at hand,
It may lie gently at the foot of peace,
And be no further harmful than in show.
That in your chambers gave you chastisement?
No: Know, the gallant monarch is in arms;
And like an eagle o'er his aiery towers,
To souse annoyance that comes near his nest.--
And you degenerate, you ingrate revolts,
You bloody Neroes, ripping up the womb
Of your dear mother England, blush for shame :
For your own ladies, and pale-visag'd maids,
Like Amazons, come tripping after drums;
Their thimbles into armed gauntlets change,
Their neelds to lances, and their gentle hearts
To fierce and bloody inclination.
Lew. There end thy brave, and turn thy face in
We grant, thou canst outscold us: fare thee well;
We hold our time too precious to be spent
With such a brabbler.
Bast. No, I will speak.
We will attend to neither:Strike up the drums; and let the tongue of war
Lew. Your grace shall pardon me, I will not back; Plead for our interest, and our being here.
I am too high-born to be propertied,
To be a secondary at control,
Or useful serving-man, and instrument,
To any sovereign state throughout the world.
Your breath first kindled the dead coal of wars,
Between this chastis'd kingdom and myself,
And brought in matter that should feed this fire;
And now 'tis far too huge to be blown out
With that same weak wind which enkindled it.
You taught me how to know the face of right,
Acquainted me with interest to this land,
Yea, thrust this enterprise into my heart;
And come you now to tell me, John hath made
His peace with Rome? What is that peace to me?
I, by the honour of my marriage-bed,
After young Arthur, claim this land for mine:
And, now, it is half-conquer'd, must I back,
Because that John hath made his peace with Rome?
Am I Rome's slave? What penny hath Rome borne,
What men provided, what munition sent,
To underprop this action? is't not I,
That undergo this charge? who else but I,
And such as to my claim are liable,
Sweat in this business, and maintain this war?
Have I not heard these islanders shout out,
Vive le roy! as I have bank'd their towns?
Have I not here the best cards for the game,
To win this easy match play'd for a crown?
And shall I now give o'er the yielded set!
No, on my soul, it never shall be said.
Pand. You look but on the outside of this work.
Lew. Outside or inside, I will not return
Till my attempt so much be glorified
As to my ample hope was promised
Before I drew this gallant head of war,
And cull'd these fiery spirits from the world,
To outlook conquest, and to win renown
Even in the jaws of danger and of death.-
What lusty trumpet thus doth summon us?
Enter the Bastard, attended.
Bast. According to the fair play of the world,
Let me have audience; I am sent to speak :-
My holy lord of Milan, from the king
I come, to learn how you have dealt for him;
And, as you answer, I do know the scope
And warrant limited unto my tongue.
Pand. The dauphin is too wiiful-opposite,
And will not temporize with my entreaties;
He flatly says, he'll not lay down his arms.
Bast. By all the blood that ever fury breath'd,
The youth says well:-Now hear our English king;
For thus his royalty doth speak in me.
He is prepar'd; and reason too, he should:
This apish and unmannerly approach,
This harness'd masque, and unadvised revel,
This anhair'd sauciness, and boyish troops,
The king doth smile at; and is well prepar'd
Bast. Indeed, your drums, being beaten, will cry
And so shall you, being beaten: Do but start [out;
An echo with the clamour of thy drum,
And even at haud a drum is ready brac'd,
That shall reverberate all as loud as thine;
Sound but another, and another shall,
As loud as thine, rattle the welkin's ear,
And mock the deep-mouth'd thunder: for at hand
(Not trusting to this halting legate here,
Whom he hath us'd rather for sport than need),
Is warlike John; and in his forehead sits
A bare-ribb'd death, whose office is this day
To feast upon whole thousands of the French.
Lew. Strike up our drums, to find this danger ont.
Bast. And thou shalt find it, dauphin, do not doubt.
SCENE III. The same. A Field of Battle.
Alarums. Enter King John and Hubert.
K. John. How goes the day with us? O, tell me,
Hub. Badly, I fear: How fares your majesty ?
K. John. This fever, that hath troubled me so long,
Lies heavy on me; O, my heart is sick!
Mess. My lord, your valiant kinsman, FaulconDesires your majesty to leave the field; [bridge, And send him word by me, which way you go.
K. John. Tell him, toward Swinstead, to the abbey
Mess. Be of good comfort: for the great supply,
That was expected by the dauphin here,
Are wreck'd three nights ago on Goodwin sands.
This news was brought to Richard but even now:
The French fight coldly, and retire themselves.
K. John. Ah me! this tyrant fever burns une up,
And will not let me welcome this good news.
Set on toward Swinstead: to my litter straight;
Weakness possesseth me, and I am faint. [Exeunt.
SCENE IV. The same. Another Part of the same.
Enter Salisbury, Pembroke, Bigot, and others.
Sal. I did not think the king so stor'd with friends.
Pem. Up once again; put spirit in the French;
If they miscarry, we miscarry too.
Sal. That misbegotten devil, Faulconbridge,
In spite of spite, alone upholds the day.
Pem. They say, king John, sore sick, hath left the
Enter Melun wounded, and led by Soldiers.
Mel. Lead me to the revolts of England here.
Sal. When we were happy, we had other names.
Pem. It is the count Melun.