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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,
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.

Hub. My lord,

K. John. Hadst thou but shook thy head, or made
When I spake darkly what I purposed; [a pausc,
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
The deed, which both our tongues held vile to name.-
Out of my sight, and never see me more !
My nobles leave me; and my state is bravd,
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, (peers, 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 ?

[Dies. Enter PEMBROKE, SALISBURY, and BIGOT. Sal. Lords, I will meet him at saint Edmund'sIt is our safety, and we must embrace [Bury: 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.

· His private account, or letter to me.

Sal. Or, rather then set forward : for 'twill be Two long days' journey, lords, or' e'er we meet.

Enter PHILIP. Phil. Once more to-day well met, distemper'd lords! The king, by me, requests your presence straight.

Sal. The king hath 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-e'er it walks : Return, and tell him so; we know the worst. Phil. Whate'er you think, good words, I think,

were best. Sal. Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now.

Phil. But there is little reason in your grief;
Therefore, 'twere reason, you had manners now.

Pem. Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege.
Phil. 'Tis true; to hurt his master, nó 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. (beheld,

Sal. Sir Richard, what think you? Have you 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 savagʻry, the vilest stroke, That ever wall-ey'd wrath, or staring rage, Presented to the tears of soft remorse.

The addition of ever,

'or, is here the same as ere, i.e. before. or e'er, is merely augmentative.

Pem. All murders past do stand excus'd in this :
And this, so sole, and so unmatchable,
Shall give a holiness, a purity,
To the yet-unbegotten sin of time,
And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest,
Exampled by this heinous spectacle.

Phil. 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.

Enter HUBERT. 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. Phil. Your sword is bright, sir; put it up again.; Sal. Not till I sheath it in a murderer's skin.

A copy of the vows made in the ages of superstition and chivalry.

e honour, dignity.
3 i. e. is, lest it lose its brightness.

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 I, 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.

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.
Sal. Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulconbridge.

Phil. 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. Big.

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 remorses and innocency.
Away, with me, all you whose souls abhor
Th’uncleanly savours of a slaughter-house;
For I am stilled with this smell of sin.

ii. e. By compelling me to kill you. ii. e. as yet I am no murderer.

3 pity.

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