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I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still.
For heaven's sake, Hubert, let me not be bound!
Nay, hear me, Hubert! drive these men away,
And I will sit as quiet as 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

[Exeunt Attendants.
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 in

yours, 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. 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: 0, 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, Being create for comfort, to be us’d

6 "This is according to nature,' says Johnson. "We imagine do evil so great as that which is near us.'

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 tarres 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.

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 while You were disguised. Hub.

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 you, Hubert. Hub. Silence; no more: Go closely10 in with me; Much danger do I undergo for thee. [Exeunt.

7 "The fire being created, not to hurt, but to comfort, is dead with grief for finding itself used in acts of cruelty, which, being innocent, I have not deserved.'

8 i. e. stimulate, set him on. The word occurs again in Hamlet :- And the nation holds it no sin to tarre them on to controversy. And in Troilus and Cressida :

'Pride alone must tarre the mastiffs on.' It has been derived from rapárta, excito; but H. Tooke says that it is from Tyfar, A. S. exacerbare, irritare.

9 Owns.

10 i. e. secretly, privately. So in Albumazar, 1610, Act iij. Sc. 1:

I'll entertain him here ; meanwhile steal you
Closely into the room.'


The same. A Room of State in the Palace. Enter King John, crowned; PEMBROKE, SALISBURY,

and other Lords. The King takes his State. 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 superfluousl: 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 guarda a title that was rich before, 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.

Pemb. But that your royal pleasure must be done, This act is as an ancient tale new told3 : And, in the last repeating, troublesome, Being urged at a time unseasonable.

Sal. In this, the antique and well noted face Of plain old form is much disfigured:

1 i. e. this one time more was one time more than enough. It should be remembered that King John was now crowned for the fourth time.

2 To guard is to ornament. So in the Merchant of Venice, Act ii. Sc. 2:

give him a livery

More guarded than his fellows." 3 Shakspeare has here repeated an idea which he had first put into the mouth of the Dauphin :

'Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale,

Vexing the dull car of a drowsy man.' Vol. IV.


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.

Pem. When workmen strive to do better than well,
They do confound their skill in covetousnesst:
And, oftentimes, excusing of a fault,
Doth make the fault the worse by the excuse;
As patches, set upon a little breach,
Discredit more in hiding of the fault",
Than did the fault before it was so patch'd.

Sal. To this effect, before you were new-crown'd, We breath'd our counsel: but it pleas'd your highness To overbear it; and we are all well pleas'd; Since all and every part of what we would, Doth make a stand at what your highness will.

K. John. Some reasons of this double coronation I have possess'd you with, and think them strong; And more, more strong (when lesser is my fear, I shall indue you with: Mean time, 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.

Pem. Then I (as one that am the tongue of these, To sound7 the purposes of all their hearts ), Both for myself and them (but, chief of all, Your safety, for the which inyself and them Bend their best studies), heartily request The enfranchisements of Arthur; whose restraint Doth move the murmuring lips of discontent To break into this dangerous argument,

4 i. e. not by their avarice, but in an eager desire of excelling. As in King Henry V.:

"But if it be a sin to covet honour,

I am the most offending soul alive.' 5 Fault means blemish. 8 Since the whole and each particular part of our wishes, &c. 7 To declare, to publish the purposes of all, &c. 8 Releasement.

If, what in rest you have, in right you hold,
Why then your fears (which, as they say, attend
The steps of wrong), should move you to mew up9
Your tender kinsman, and to choke his days
With barbarous ignorance, and deny his youth
The rich advantage of good exercise10?
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;
Which for our goods we do no further ask,
Than whereupon our weal, on you depending,
Counts it your weal, he have 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; He show'd 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; And I do fearfully believe, 'tis done, What we so fear'd he had a charge to do.

Sal. The colour of the king doth come and go, Between his purpose and his consciencell, Like heralds 'twixt two dreadful battles set: His passion is so ripe, it needs must break.

Pem. And when it breaks, I fear, will issue thence The foul corruption of a sweet child's death.

9 The construction of this passage is 'If you have a good title to what you now have in rest (i. e. quiet), why then is it that your fears should move you,' &c.

10 In the middle ages, the whole education of princes and noble youths consisted in martial exercises, &c. Mental improvement might have becn had in a prison as well as any where else.

11 The purpo:; of the king, to which Salisbury alludes, is that of putting Arthur to death, which he considers as not yet accomplished, and therefore supposes that there might be still a conflict in the king's mind

•Between his purpose and his conscience.'

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