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Which till this time my tongue did ne'er pro- | Of hoarding abbots; imprisoned angels
Be stronger with thee than the name of wife? Const. That which upholdeth him that thee upholds,
His honour: 0, thine honour, Lewis, thine honour!
Lew. I muse your majesty doth seem so cold,
When such profound respects do pull you on.
Pand. I will denounce a curse upon his head.
K. Phi. Thou shalt not need:-England, I'll
fall from thee.
Const. O fair return of banish'd majesty!
Eli. O foul revolt of French inconstancy!
K. John. France, thou shalt rue this hour within
Blanch. The sun's o'ercast with blood: Fair
day, adieu !
Which is the side that I must go withal?
I am with both; each army hath a hand;
And, in their rage, I having hold of both,
They whirl asunder, and dismember me.
Husband, I cannot pray that thou mayst win;
Uncle, I needs must pray that thou mayst lose ;
Father, I may not wish the fortune thine;
Grandame, I will not wish thy wishes thrive:
Whoever wins, on that side shall I lose ;
Assur'd loss, before the match be play'd.
Lew. Lady, with me; with me thy fortune lies.
Blanch. There, where my fortune lives, there
my life dies.
K. John. Cousin, go draw our puissance to-
France, I am burn'd up with inflaming wrath;
A rage whose heat hath this condition,
That nothing can allay, nothing but blood,
The blood, and dearest-valued blood, of France.
K. Phi. Thy rage shall burn thee up, and thou
Set thou at liberty: the fat ribs of peace
Must by the hungry now be fed upon :
Use our commission in his utmost force.
Bast. Bell, book, and candle shall not drive me back,
When gold and silver becks me to come on.
I leave your highness.
[Exit Bastard. Eli. Come, hither, little kinsman; hark, a word. [She takes ARTH. aside. K. John. Come, hither, Hubert. O, my gentle Hubert,
We owe thee much; within this wall of flesh
There is a soul counts thee her creditor,
And with advantage means to pay thy love:
And, my good friend, thy voluntary oath
Lives in this bosom, dearly cherished.
Give me thy hand. I had a thing to say,-
But I will fit it with some better time.
By Heaven, Hubert, I am almost asham'd
To say what good respect I have of thee.
Hub. I am much bounden to your majesty.
K. John. Good friend, thou hast no cause to
say so yet:
But thou shalt have: and creep time ne'er so slow,
Yet it shall come for me to do thee good.
I had a thing to say,-But let it go :
The sun is in the heaven, and the proud day,
Attended with the pleasures of the world,
Is all too wanton, and too full of gawds,
To give me audience :-If the midnight bell
Did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth,
Sound on into the drowsy race of night;
If this same were a churchyard where we stand,
And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs;
Or if that surly spirit, melancholy,
Had bak'd thy blood, and made it heavy, thick;
(Which, else, runs tickling up and down the veins,
Making that idiot, laughter, keep men's eyes,
And strain their cheeks to idle merriment,
A passion hateful to my purposes;)
Or if that thou couldst see me without eyes,
Hear me without thine ears, and make reply
Without a tongue, using conceit alone,
Without eyes, ears, and harmful sound of words,
Then, in despite of brooded watchful day,
I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts.
But ah, I will not:-
-Yet I love thee well;
And, by my troth, I think thou lov'st me well.
Hub. So well, that what you bid me undertake,
Though that my death were adjunct to my act,
By heaven, I would do it.
Do not I know thou wouldst?
Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert, throw thine eye
On yon young boy: I'll tell thee what, my friend,
He is a very serpent in my way;
And wheresoe'er this foot of mine doth tread,
He lies before me: Dost thou understand me?
Thou art his keeper.
And I'll keep him so
That he shall not offend your majesty.
K. John. Death.
He shall not live. Enough.
I could be merry now; Hubert, I love thee.
[Exeunt. SCENE. The same. The French King's tent. Enter King PHILIP, LEWIS, PANDULPH, and Attendants.
Pand. Courage and comfort! all shall yet go well. K. Phi. What can go well, when we have run so ill?
Are we not beaten? Is not Angiers lost?
Arthur ta'en prisoner? divers dear friends slain?
And bloody England into England gone,
O'er bearing interruption, spite of France?
Lew. What he hath won that hath he fortified;
So hot a speed with such advice dispos'd,
Such temperate order in so fierce a cause,
Doth want example: Who hath read, or heard,
Of any kindred action like to this?
K. Phi. Well could I bear that England had this praise,
So we could find some pattern of our shame.
Look, who comes here! a grave unto a soul;
Holding the eternal spirit, against her will,
In the vile prison of afflicted breath :-
I prithee, lady, go away with me.
Const. Lo, now! now see the issue of your peace.
K. Phi. Patience, good lady! comfort, gentle
Const. No, I defy all counsel, all redress,
But that which ends all counsel, true redress.
Death, death, O amiable, lovely death!
Arise forth from the couch of lasting night,
Thou hate and terror to prosperity,
And I will kiss thy detestable bones;
And put my eyeballs in thy vaulty brows;
And ring these fingers with thy household worms;
And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust,
And be a carrion monster like thyself;
Come, grin on me; and I will think thou smil'st,
And buss thee as thy wife! Misery's love,
O, come to me!
Pand. Lady, you utter madness, and not sorrow.
Const. Thou art not holy to believe me so;
I am not mad: this hair I tear is mine:
My name is Constance; I was Geffrey's wife;
Young Arthur is my son, and he is lost;
I am not mad:-I would to Heaven I were!
For then, 'tis like I should forget myself;
O, if I could, what grief should I forget!
Preach some philosophy to make me mad,
And thou shalt be canoniz'd, cardinal;
For, being not mad, but sensible of grief,
My reasonable part produces reason
How I may be deliver'd of these woes,
And teaches me to kill or hang myself;
If I were mad, I should forget my son;
Or madly think a babe of clouts were he.
I am not mad; too well, too well I feel
The different plague of each calamity.
I tore them from their bonds; and cried aloud,
O that these hands could so redeem my son,
As they have given these hairs their liberty!
But now I envy at their liberty,
And will again commit them to their bonds,
Because my poor child is a prisoner.
And, father cardinal, I have heard you say,
If that be true, I shall see my boy again;
That we shall see and know our friends in heaven;
For, since the birth of Cain, the first male child,
To him that did but yesterday suspire,*
There was not such a gracious creature born.
And chase the native beauty from his cheek,
But now will canker sorrow eat my bud,
And he will look as hollow as a ghost;
As dim and meagre as an ague's fit;
And so he'll die: and, rising so again,
When I shall meet him in the court of heaven,
I shall not know him: therefore never, never
Must I behold my pretty Arthur more.
Pand. You hold too heinous a respect of grief.
Const. He talks to me that never had a son.
K. Phi. You are as fond of grief as of your child.
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,
Const. Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form;
Then, have I reason to be fond of grief.
Fare you well; had you such a loss as I,
I could give better comfort than you do.-
i will not keep this form upon my head,
When there is such disorder in my wit.
[Tearing off her head-dress.
O Lord! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son !
My widow-comfort, and my sorrow's cure! [Exit.
My life, my joy, my food, my all the world!
K. Phi. I fear some outrage, and I'll follow her.
That it yields nought but shame and bitterness.
Pand. Before the curing of a strong disease,
Even in the instant of repair and health,
The fit is strongest; evils, that take leave,
On their departure most of all show evil;
What have you lost by losing of this day?
Lew. All days of glory, joy, and happiness.
Pand. If you had won it, certainly, you had.
No, no; when fortune means to men most good,
She looks upon them with a threatening eye.
'Tis strange to think how much king John hath lost
In this which he accounts so clearly won:
Are not you griev'd that Arthur is his prisoner?
Lew. As heartily as he is glad he hath him.
Pand. Your mind is all as youthful as your blood.
Now hear me speak, with a prophetic spirit;
John hath seiz'd Arthur; and it cannot be,
That, whiles warm life plays in that infant's veins,
The misplac'd John should entertain an hour,
One minute, nay, one quiet breath of rest;
A sceptre, snatch'd with an unruly hand,
Must be as boisterously maintain'd as gain'd;
And he that stands upon a slippery place,
Makes nice of no vile hold to stay him up:
That John may stand then Arthur needs must fall;
So be it, for it cannot be but so.
Lew. But what shall I gain by young Arthur's
Pand. You, in the right of Lady Blanch your wife,
May then make all the claim that Arthur did.
Lew. May be, he will not touch young Arthur's
But hold himself safe in his prisonment.
Pand. O, sir, when he shall hear of your approach,
If that young Arthur be not gone already,
Even at that news he dies: and then the hearts
Of all his people shall revolt from himo,
And kiss the lips of unacquainted change:
And pick strong matter of revolt and wrath,
Out of the bloody fingers' ends of John.
And, O, what better matter breeds for you,
Than I have nam'd!-The bastard Faulconbridge
Is now in England, ransacking the church,
Offending charity: If but a dozen French
Were there in arms, they would be as a call
To train ten thousand English to their side;
Or, as a little snow, tumbled about,
Anon becomes a mountain. O noble dauphin,
Go with me to the king: 'Tis wonderful
What may be wrought out of their discontent,
Now that their souls are topful of offence.
For England go; I will whet on the king.
Lew. Strong reasons make strange actions: Let
If you say ay, the king will not say no. [Exeunt.
SCENE.-Northampton. A Room in the Castle.
Enter HUBERT and two Attendants.
Hub. Heat me these irons hot; and look thou
Within the arras: when I strike my foot
Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth,
And bind the boy, which you will find with me,
Fast to the chair; be heedful: hence, and watch.
1 Attend. I hope your warrant will bear out
Hub. Uncleanly scruples! Fear not you: look
Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you.
Arth. Good morrow, Hubert.
Good morrow, little prince.
Arth. As little prince (having so great a title
To be more prince) as may be. You are sad.
Hub. Indeed, I have been merrier.
Methinks, nobody should be sad but I:
Yet, I remember, when I was in France,
Young gentlemen would be as sad as night,
Only for wantonness. By my christendom,
So I were out of prison, and kept sheep,
I should be as merry as the day is long;
And so I would be here, but that I doubt
My uncle practises more harm to me:
He is afraid of me, and I of him:
Is it my fault that I was Geffrey's son ?
No, indeed, is't not: And I would to heaven
I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert.
Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate
He will awake my mercy, which lies dead:
Therefore I will be sudden, and despatch: [Aside.
Arth. Are you sick, Hubert? you look pale to-
I knit my hand-kercher about your brows,
(The best I had, a princess wrought it me),
And I did never ask it you again:
And with my hand at midnight held your head;
And, like the watchful minutes to the hour,
Still and anon cheer'd up the heavy time;
Saying, What lack you? and, Where lies your
Or, What good love may I perform for you?
Many a poor man's son would have lain still,
And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you;
But you at your sick service had a prince.
Nay, you may think my love was crafty love,
And call it cunning; do, an if you will:
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?
And with hot irons must I burn them out.
I have sworn to do it;
Arth. 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, | Deny their office; only you do lack
And quench his 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 him. No tongue but
Re-enter Attendants, with cords, irons, &c. Do as I bid you do.
Arth. O, save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes are out,
Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men.
Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.
Arth. Alas, what need you be so boist'rous-
I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still.
For Heaven sake, Hubert, let me not be bound!
Nay, hear me, Hubert! drive these men away,
And I will sit as quiet at a lamb;
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.
1 Attend. I am best pleas'd to be from such a
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.
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
A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wandering 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
Arth. 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.
That mercy which fierce fire and iron extends, Creatures of note for mercy lacking uses.
Hub. Well, see to live; I will not touch thine eyes
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.
Arth. O, now you look like Hubert! all this
You were disguised.
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,
That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world,
Will not offend thee.
Arth. O heaven!-I thank thee, Hubert. Hub. Silence; no more: Go closely in with me. Much danger do I undergo for thee. [Exeunt.
SCENE.-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's-
It is our safety, and we must embrace
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. Sal. Or rather then set forward: for 'twill be Two long days' journey, lords, or e'er we meet.
Bast. Once more to-day well met, distemper'd
Arth. No, in good sooth; the fire is dead with The king, by me, requests your presence straight.
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.
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:
Nay, it, perchance, will sparkle in your eyes;
And, like a dog that is compell'd to fight,
Snatch at his master that doth tarre him on.
All things that you should use to do me wrong,
Sal. The king hath dispossess'd himself of us. We will not liue his thin bestained cloak With our pure honours, nor attend the foot That leaves the print of blood where'er it walks: Return and tell him so; we know the worst.
Bast. Whate'er you think, good words, I think, were best.
Sal. Our griefs, and not our manners, reason
Sal. This is the prison: What is he lies here?
Pem. O death, made proud with pure and princely
The earth had not a hole to hide this deed.
Sal. Murther, 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? You have
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
Form such another? This is the very top,
The height, the crest, or crest unto the crest,
Of murther's arms: this is the bloodiest shame,
The wildest savagery, the vilest stroke,
That ever wall-ey'd wrath, or staring rage,
Presented to the tears of soft remorse.
Pem. All murthers 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.
Bast. 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 practise 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.
Second a villain and murtherer ?
Hub. Lord bigot, I am none.
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 lite's loss.
Sal. Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes,
For villa ny 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
Th' uncleanly savours of a slaughter-house;
For I am stifled with the smell of sin.
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
Put but a little water in a spoon,
And it shall be, as all the ocean,
Enough to stifle such a villain up.-
I do suspect thee very grievously.
Hub. Let hell want pains enough to torture me!
I left him well,
Go, bear him in thine arms.—
I am amaz'd, methinks; and lose my way
Among the thorns and dangers of this world.—
How easy dost thou take all England up!
From forth this morsel of dead royalty,
The life, the right, and truth of all this realm
Is fled to heaven; and England now is left
Pem., Big. Our souls religiously confirm thy To tug and scramble, and to part by the teeth
The unow'd interest of proud-swelling state.
Now, for the bare-pick'd bone of majesty
Sal. Avaunt, thou hateful villain, get thee gone! Doth dogged war bristle his angry crest,
Hub. I am no villain.
And snarleth in the gentle eyes of peace:
Now powers from home, and discontents at home,
Meet in one line; and vast confusion waits,
As doth a raven on a sick-fallen beast,
The imminent decay of wrested pomp.
Now happy he whose cloak and cincture can
Hold out this tempest. Bear away that child,
And follow me with speed; I'll to the king.
A thousand businesses are brief in hand,
And heaven itself doth frown upon the land.
SCENE. A Plain, near St. Edmund's-]
Enter in arms, LEWIS, SALISBUry, Melun,
PEMBROKE, BIGOT, and Soldiers.
Lew. My Lord Melun, let this be copied out,
And keep it safe for cur remembrance:
Return the precedent to these lords again;
That, having our fair order written down,
Both they, and we, perusing o'er these notes,
May know wherefore we took the sacrament,
And keep our faiths firm and inviolable.
Sal. Upon our sides it never shall be broken.