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There is no sure foundation set on blood;
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. From France to England.—Never such a power
K. John. 0, where hath our intelligence been drunk ?
My liege, her ear
K. John. Withhold thy speed, dreadful occasion!
Hub. My lord, they say, five moons were seen to-night:
K. John. Five moons ?
Hub. 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 embattailled and rank'd in Kent: Another lean unwash'd artificer Cuts off his tale, and talks of Arthur's death.
K. John. Why seek'st thou to possess me with these fears ?
K. John. It is the curse of kings, to be attended
Hub. Here is your hand and seal for what I did.
K. John. O, when the last account 'twixt heaven and earth Is to be made, then shall this hand and seal Witness against us to damnation ! 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 employd 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.
Hub. My lord,
K. John. Hadst thou but shook thy head, or made a pause, When I spake darkly what I purposed; Or turned an eye of doubt upon my face, And 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: But thou didst understand me by my signs, And didst in signs again parley with sin; Yea, without stop, didst let thy heart consent, And consequently, thy rude hand to act The deed, which both our tongues held vile to name.Out of my sight, and rever see me more! My nobles leave me; and my state is brav'd, Even at my gates, with ranks of foreign powers : Nay, in the body of this fleshly land, This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath, Hostility and civic tumult reigns Between my conscience, and my cousin's death.
Hub. Arm you against your other enemies, I'll make a peace betwixt your soul and you. Young Arthur is alive: This hand of mine,
Is yet a maiden and an innocent hand,
K. John. Doth Arthur live? O, haste thee to the peers,
(Exeunt. SCENE III.— The same. Before the Castle.
Enter ARTHUR on the walls.
[Leaps down. O me! my uncle's spirit is in these stones :Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones!
Enter PEMBROKE, SALISBURY and BIGCT.
Pem. Who brought that letter from the cardinal ?
Sal. The count Melun, a noble lord of France;
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.
Enter FAULCONBRIDGE. '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;
Faul. Whate'er you think, good words, I think, were best.
Faul. But there is little reason in your grief;
Pem. Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege.
[Seeing ARTHUL 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.
Big. Or, when he doom'd this beauty to a grave,
Sal. Sir Richard, what think you? Have you beheld,
Pem. All murders past do stand excus'd in this :
Faul. It is a cursed and a bloody work;
Sal. If that it be the work of any hand ?
Till I have set a glory to this hand,
Sal. O, he is bold, and blushes not at death :-
Hub. I am no villain.
[Drawing his suord. Faul. Your sword is bright, sir; put it up again.
Hub. Stand back, lord Salisbury, stand back, I say;
Big. Out, dunghill! dar'st thou brave a nobleman ?
Hub. Not for my life; but yet I dare defend
Sal. Thou art a murderer.
Do not prove me so ;
Pem. Cut him to pieces.
Keep the peace, I say.
Faul. Thou wert better gall the devil, Salisbury :
Big. What wilt thou do, renowned Faulconbridge ?
Hub. Lord Bigot, I am none.
Who kill'd this prince ?
Sal. Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes,
Big. Away, toward Bury, to the dauphin there!