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He tells us, Arthur is deceas'd to-night.

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

Pemb. Indeed, we heard how near his death he was, Before the child himself felt he was sick. This must be answer'd, either here, or hence.

K. John. Why do you bend such solemn brows on

me ?

Think you, I bear the shears of destiny ?
Have I commandment on the pulse of life?

Sal. It is apparent foul-play, and 'tis shame
That greatness should so grolly offer it:
So thrive it in your game, and so farewel !

Pemb. Stay yet, Lord Salisbury, I'll go with thee.
And find th’inheritance of this poor child,
His little kingdom of a forced grave.
That blood, which own'd the breadth of all this ise,
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, 1 doubt. (Exeunt.

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

Enter a Messenger.
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 ?

Mes. From France to England. 9 Never such a power, For any foreign preparation, Was levy'd in the body of a land.

9 From France to England.-) word goes, and answers, that The kings aks how all goes in whatever is in France goes now France, the messenger catches the into England.


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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 Nept? where is my mother's care? That such an army should be drawn in France, And she not hear of it?

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

K. John. With-hold thy speed, dreadful 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'ft out, are landed here?

Mes. Under the Dauphin.

K. John. Thou hast made me giddy
With these ill tidings.

Enter Faulconbridge, and Peter of Pomfret.
Now, what says the world
To your proceedings ? Do not seek to stuff
My head with more ill news, for it is full.

Faulc. But if you be afraid to hear the worst,
Then let the worit 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.

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


Poffest with rumours, full of idle dreams ;
Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear,
And here's a Prophet that I brought with me
From forth the streets of Pomfret, whom I found
With many hundreds treading on his heels :
To whom he sung in rude harsh-sounding rhimes,
That, ere the next Afcenfion-day at noon,
Your Highness should deliver up your crown.

K.John. Thou idle dreamer, wherefore did'st thou so?
Peter. Fore-knowing, that the truth will fall out fo.

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.

[Exit Hubert, with Peter.
O my gentle cousin,
Hear'ft thou the news abroad, who are arriv'd ?
Faulc. The French, my Lord; men's mouths are

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

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

Faulc. I will seek them out.

K. John. Nay, but make hafte: the better foot before. 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,

· Deliver him 10 feife'y, — ] That is, Give him into safe cuActo


And Ay, like thought, from them to me again.
Faulc. The spirit of the time shall teach me speed.

K. John. Spoke like a sprightful noble gentleman.
Go after him ; for he, perhaps, shall need
Some messenger betwixt me and the Peers ;
And be thou he.
Mes. With all my heart, my Liege.

Exit, K. John. My mother dead !

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Hub. My Lord, they say, five moons were seen to

night : Four fixed, and the fifth did whirl about The other four, in wond'rous motion.

K. John. Five moons ?

Hub. 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 taylor's news; Who with his shears and measure in his hand, Standing on slippers, which his nimble halte :



Mirpers, which bis nim- portant passage, which, in Dr. ble halle

Warburton's edition, is marked Hai felely thruj upon contrary as eminently beautiful, and, in

feci,] i know not how the the whole, not without justice. cominentators underland this im. But Shake/peare seems to have con


Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet,
Told of a many thousand warlike French,
That were embatteled and rank'd in Kent.
Another lean, unwash'd artificer
Curs off his tale, and talks of Arthur's death.
K. John. Why seek'st thou to possess me with these

Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's death?
Thy hand hath murder'd him: I had a cause
To wish him dead, but thou had'st none to kill him.
Hub. Had none, my Lord ? why, did you not pro-

voke me?
K. John. It is the curse of Kings, ’ to be attended
By Naves that take their humours for a warrant,
To break into the bloody house of life :
And, on the winking of authority,
To understand a law, to know the meaning
Of dang’rous majesty; Wien, perchance, it frowns
More upon humour, than advis'd respect.

Hub. Here is your hand and seal, for what I did.
K. John. Oh, when the last account 'twixt heav'n

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? for hadft 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 villainy,

founded a man's shoes with his describes.
gloves. 'He that is frighted or 3 It is the curse of Kings, &c.]
hurried may put his hand into This plainly hints at Davilor's
the wrong glove, but either shoe case, in the affair of Mary Queen
will equally admit cither foot. of Scots, and so muft have been
The authour seems to be dif- inserted long after the first repie-
turbed by the disorder which he sentation. WARBURTON.


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