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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.
Exec. I am best pleas'd to be from such a deed.
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.

Hub. Come, boy, prepare yourself.
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,

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. 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.

Hub. I can heat it, boy.

Arth. No, in good sooth; the fire is dead with grief;

The breath of Heaven hath blown his spirit out,
And strew'd repentant ashes on his head.

Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy. Arth. And if you do, you will but make it blush, And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert, Hub. I will not touch thine eyes,

For all the treasure that thine uncle owes.

Arth. O, now you look like Hubert! all this while You were disguised,

Hub. Peace: no more;

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,

Arth. O Heaven!-I thank you, Hubert. Hub. Silence; no more: Go closely in with me; Much danger do I undergo for thee.




The Palace.

Flourish of Drums and Trumpets.


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,

Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.

K. John. Some reasons of this double coronation I have possess'd you with, and think them strong: Meantime, 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.
Sal. Then I, as one that am the tongue of these,

The enfranchisement of Arthur; whose restraint
Doth move the murmuring lips of discontent.
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.

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. 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.

Sal. The colour of the King doth come and go, Between his purpose and his conscience.

K. John. We cannot hold mortality's strong hand. [Exit HUBERT. Good lords, although my will to give is living, The suit which demand is you and dead: He tells us, Arthur is deceas'd to-night.


Ess. Indeed, we fear'd, his sickness was past cure. Pem. 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 grossly offer it :-
So thrive it in your game! and so, farewell.

[Exeunt ESSEX, PEMBROKE, and SALISBURY. K. John. They burn in indignation:--I repent; There is no sure foundation set on blood:-No certain life achiev'd by others' death.[Exeunt KING JOHN and ENGLISH GENTLEMEN.


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A Room in the Palace.

Enter KING JOHN, meeting the ENGLISH HERALD.

K. John. A fearful eye thou hast! Where is that blood,

That I have seen inhabit in those cheeks?

How goes all in France?

E. Her. From France to England.-Never such a power,

For any foreign preparation,

Was levy'd 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?

E. Her. 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.

K, John. What, mother! dead?
How wildly then walks my estate in France !
Under whose conduct came thuse powers of France,
That thou for truth giv’st out are landed here?

E. Her. Under the Dauphin.

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.

Faul. 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; but now I breathe again
Aloft the flood, and can give audience
To any tongue, speak it of what it will.

Faul. How I have sped among the clergymen,
The sums I have collected shall express,
But, as I travell’d hither through the land,
I find the people strangely fantasy'd,
Possess'd with rumours, full of idle dreams,
Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear.

K. John. O, my gentle cousin,
Hear’st thou the news abroad, who are arriv'd ?
Faul. The French, my lord; men's mouths are full

of it:
Besides, I met Lord Essex 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,

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