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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?
Hubert. I have sworn to do it;
And with hot irons must I burn them out.
ARTHUR. 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 bis 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 ?
And 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.
HUBERT. Come, boy, prepare yourself.
Arthur. Is there no remedy?
HUBERT. None, but to lose your eyes.
Arthur. O heaven !—that there were but a mote
A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wand'ring hair,
Any annoyance in that precious sense !
Then, feeling what small things are boist'rous there,
Your vile intent must needs seem horrible.
Hubert. Is this your promise ? go to, hold your
tongue. Arthur. 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.
HUBERT. I can heat it, boy.
ARTHUR. No, in good sooth ; the fire is dead with
(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.
HUBERT. But with my breath I can revive it, boy.
ARTHUR. 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 compelld to fight, Snatch at his master that doth tarre* him on. All things, that you should use to do me wrong, Deny their office : only you do lack That mercy, which fierce fire, and iron, extends, Creatures of note, for mercy-lacking uses. HUBERT. Well, see to live ; I will not touch thine eves
. 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. Arthur. O now you look like Hubert ! all this
You were disguised.
Hubert. 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,
* Urge him on
That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world, Will not offend thee.
Perfection needs no Addition. To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, To throw a perfume on the violet, To smooth the ice, or add another hue Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.
* * * * * * 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.
The Countenance of an Assassin. This is the man should do the bloody deed; He showed 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.
A struggling Conscience.
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.
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.
The wicked commands of Kings too promptly executed.
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 advised respect.
A Murderer's look and readiness to execute a bad deed.
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.
Hadst thou but shook thy head, or made a pause,
When I spake darkly what I purposed ;
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.
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.
If thou didst but consent,
To this most cruel act, do but despair,
And if thou want'st a cord, the smallest thread
That ever spider twisted from her womb
Will serve to strangle thee; a rush will be
A beam to hang thee on ; or wouldst thou drown thyself,
Put but a little water in a spoon,
And it shall be as all the ocean,
Enough to stifle such a villain up.
Act V. Faulconbridge's Appeal to King John on the Invasion of
the French. But wherefore do you droop? Why look you sad ? Be great in act, as you have been in thought ;