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Is to be made, then shall this hand and seal
K. John. Hadst thou but shook thy head, or made a pause,
Hub. My lord, they say, five moons were seen to-night:
Four fixed; and the fifth did whirl about
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 tailor's news; Who, with his shears and measure in his hand, Standing on slippers, (which his nimble haste Had falsely thrust upon contráry feet,) Told of a many thousand warlike French, That were embatteled 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 these fears?
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 provoke me?
K. John. It is the curse of kings, to be attended
To understand a law; to know the meaning
Hub. Here is your hand and seal for what I did. K. John. O, when the last account 'twixt heaven and earth
When I spake darkly what I purposed;
And didst in signs again parley with sin;
Yea, without stop, didst let thy heart consent,
The deed, which both our tongues held vile to
Out of my sight, and never see me more!
This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath,
Than to be butcher of an innocent child.
K. John. Doth Arthur live? O, haste thee to the
Enter ARTHUR, on the walls.
The wall is high; and yet will I ieap
Good ground, be pitiful, and hurt me not!
If I get down, and do not break my limbs,
O me! my uncle's spirit is in these stones: Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones! Dies.
Enter PEMBROKE, SALISBURY, and BIGOT.
Sal. Lords, I will meet him at Saint Edmund's-
It is our safety, and we must embrace
Pem. Who brought that letter from the cardinal?
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.
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.
Sal. Sir Richard, what think you? Have you beheld,
Or have you read, or heard? or could you think?
Pem. All murders past do stand excus'd in this :
Bast. It is a damned and a bloody work;
Sal. If that it be the work of any hand?
Never to taste the pleasures of the world.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Keep the peace, I say.
Second a villain and a murderer?
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 villainy 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.
There is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell
If thou didst but consent
Put but a little water in a spoon,
Hub. If I in act, consent, or sin of thought
Go, bear him in thine arms.
A Room in the Palace.
K. John. Thus have I yielded up into your hand The circle of my glory.
Take again [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 French; And from his holiness use all your power 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.
Pand. It was my breath that blew this tempest up, 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.
I am amaz'd, methinks; and lose my way
K. John. Is this Ascension-day? Did not the prophet
Say, that, before Ascension-day at noon,
Enter the Bastard.
Bast. All Kent bath yielded; nothing there holds out,
Now happy he, whose cloak and cincture can
But Dover castle: London hath receiv'd,
Your nobles will not hear you,
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. K. John. That villain Hubert told me he did live.
Bast. So, on my soul, he did, for aught he knew. But wherefore do you 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?
Insinuation, parley, and base truce,
find no check? Let us, my liege, to arms:
K. John. Have thou the ordering of this present time.
Bast. Away then, with good courage; yet, I know, Our party may well meet a prouder foc. [Exeunt. 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,
Sal. Upon our sides it never shall be broken. And, noble dauphin, albeit we swear A voluntary zeal, and unurg'd faith, To your proceedings; yet, believe me, prince, 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; O, 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 physick of our right, We cannot deal but with the very hand Of stern injustice and confused wrong. 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 fill up Her enemies' ranks, (I must withdraw and weep Upon the spot of this enforced cause,) To grace the gentry of a land remote, And follow unacquainted colours here? What, here?. O nation, that thou could'st 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,
Figur'd quite o'er with burning meteors.
Enter PANDULPH, attended.
And even there, methinks, an angel spake :
Pand. 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.
Lew. Your grace shall pardon me, I will not back;
I am too high-born to be propertied,
That undergo this charge? who else but I,
Pand. You look but on the outside of this work.
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.
Pan. The dauphin is too wilful opposite, And will not temporize with my entreaties; He flatly says, he'll not lay down his arms.
Bust. By all the blood that ever fury breath'd,
For thus his royalty doth speak in me.
To cudgel you, and make you take the hatch;
To hug with swine; to seek sweet safety out
The youth says well:- Now hear our English Lies heavy on me; O, my heart is sick!
To souse annoyance that comes near his nest.
Lew. There end thy brave, and turn thy face in
Give me leave to speak.
Bast. No, I will speak. Lew. We will attend to neither:Strike up the drums; and let the tongue of war Plead for our interest, and our being here. Bast. Indeed, your drums, being beaten, will cry
Lew. Strike up our drums, to find this danger out. Bast. And thou shalt find it, Dauphin, do not doubt. [Exeunt.
And so shall you, being beaten : Do but start
The same. A Field of Battle. Alarums. Enter KING JOHN and HUBert.
K. John. How goes the day with us? O, tell me, Hubert.
Hub. Badly, I fear: How fares your majesty? K. John. This fever, that hath troubled me so long,
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.
Wounded to death. Mel. Fly, noble English, you are bought and sold;
Unthread the rude eye of rebellion,
And welcome home again discarded faith.
Sal. May this be possible? may this be true?