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And those thy fears might have wrought fears in me:
This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath,
Between my conscience, and my cousin's death.
This hand of mine
Is yet a maiden and an innocent hand,
Not painted with the crimson spots of blood.
The dreadful motion of a murd'rous thought,
Is yet the cover of a fairer mind
Than to be butcher of an innocent child.
Young Arthur is alive.
K. John. Doth Arthur live? O, haste thee to the
Throw this report on their incensed rage,
And make them tame to their obedience!
[Exeunt KING JOHN and HUBERT.
The Gates of a Castle.
Enter ARTHUR on the Walls of the Castle. Arth. The wall is high: and yet will I leap down: Good ground, be pitiful, and hurt me not; 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 SALISBURY, with Letters, PEMBROKE, and
Sal. Lords, I will meet him at St. Edmund's Bury; It is our safety, and we must embrace
This gentle offer of the perilous time.
Pem. Who brought that letter from the Cardinal? Sal. Count Chatillon a noble lord of France; Whose private with me, of the Dauphin's love, Is much more general than these lines import. Ess. To-morrow morning let us meet him then.
Faul. 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'll not attend the foot,
That leaves the print of blood where'er it walks:
Faul. Whate'er you think, good words, I think, were best,
Ess. Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now. Faul. But there is little reason in your grief; Therefore, 'twere reason, you had manners now. Pem. Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege, Faul. "Tis true; to hurt his master, no man else. Sal. This is the prison:-What is he lies here? [Seeing ARTHUR. Pem. O death, made proud with pure and princely beauty!
The earth had not a hole to hide this deed.
Sal. Murder, as hating what himself hath done, Doth lay it open, to urge on revenge.
Ess. 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 be-
Or have you read, or heard,-or could you think,-
Sal. If that it be the work of any
Never to be infected with delight,
Nor conversant with ease and idleness,
Pem. Our souls religiously confirm thy words.
Hub. Lords, I am hot with haste in seeking you: Arthur doth live; the King hath sent for you.
Sal. Avaunt, thou hateful villain, get thee gone! Hub. I am no villain.
Sal. Must I rob the law?
[Draws his Sword. Faul. Your sword is bright, sir; put it up again. Sal. Not till I sheathe it in a murderer's skin. Hub. [Draws.] Stand back, Lord Salisbury, stand back, I say;
By Heaven, I think my sword as sharp as yours:
Sal. Out, dunghill! dar'st thou brave a nobleman?
Sal. Thou art a murderer.
Hub. 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.
[PEMBROKE and ESSEX draw.
Faul. Keep the peace, I say.
Sal. Stand by; or I shall gall you, Faulconbridge. Faul. 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,
Sal. What wilt thou do, renowned Faulconbridge? Second a villain, and a murderer ?
Hub. Lord Salisbury, I am none.
Hub. "Tis not an hour since I left him well:
Ess. Away, toward Bury, to the Dauphin there!
[Exit ESSEX. Pem. There, tell the King, he may inquire us out.
[Exit PEMBROKE. Faul. Here's a good world!-Knew you of this
Beyond the infinite and boundless reach
Of mercy, if thou didst this deed of death,
Art thou damn'd, Hubert.
Hub. Do but hear me, sir:
Upon my soul,
Faul. If thou didst but consent
To this most cruel act, do but despair,
And, if thou want'st a cord, the smallest thread
Will serve to strangle thee; a rush will be
A beam to hang thee on; or, would'st thou drown thyself,
Put but a little water in a spoon,
I do suspect thee very grievously.
Hub. If I in act, consent, or sin of thought, Be guilty of the stealing that sweet breath, Which was embounded in this beauteous clay,