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Faul. Here's a good world!-Knew you of this fair work?
Beyond the infinite and boundless reach
Of mercy, if thou didst this deed of death,
Art thou damn'd, Hubert.
Do but hear me, sir.
Faul. Ha! I'll tell thee what;
Thou art stained as black-nay, nothing is so black
As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child.
Hub. Upon my soul,-
If thou didst but consent
To this most cruel act, do but despair,
And, if thou want'st a cord, the smallest thread
That ever spider twisted,
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,
And it shall be as all the ocean,
Enough to stifle such a villain up.-
I do suspect thee very grievously.
Hub. 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
To tug and scramble, and to part by the teeth
The unowed interest of proud-swelling state.
Now, for the bare-pick'd bone of majesty,
Doth dogged war bristle his angry crest,
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 eminent 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 I.-The same. A Room in the Palace.
Enter KING JOHN, PANDULPH with the crown, and Attendants. hand
K. John. Thus have I yielded up The circle of my glory.
Pand. Take again
From this my hand, as holding of the pope,
Your sovereign greatness and authority.
K. John. Now keep your holy word: go meet the French;
And from his holiness use all your power
To stop their marches, 'fore we are inflam'd.
Our discontented counties do revolt;
Our people quarrel with obedience;
Swearing allegiance, and the love of soul,
To stranger blood, to foreign royalty.
This inundation of mistemper'd humor
Rests by you only to be qualified.
Then pause not; for the present time's so sick,
That present medicine must be minister'd,
Or overthrow incurable ensues.
Pand. It was my breath that blew this tempest up,
Upon your stubborn usage of the pope;
But, since you are a gentle convertite,
My tongue shall hush again storm of war,
And make fair weather in your blustering land.
On this Ascension-day, remember well,
Upon your oath of service to the pope,
Go I to make the French lay down their arms.
K. John. Is this Ascension-day? Did not the prophet
Say, that, before Ascension-day at noon,
My crown I should give off? Even so I have:
I did suppose, it should be on constraint;
But, heaven be thank'd, it is but voluntary.
Faul. All Kent hath yielded; nothing there holds out,
But Dover castle: London hath receiv'd,
Like a kind host, the dauphin and his powers:
Your nobles will not hear you, but are gone
To offer service to your enemy;
And wild amazement hurries up and down
The little number of your doubtful friends.
K. John. Would not my lords return to me again,
After they heard young Arthur was alive?
Faul. They found him dead, and cast into the streets; An empty casket, where the jewel of life
By some vile hand was robb'd and ta’en away.
K. John. That villain Hubert told me he did live.
Faul. So, on my soul, he did, for aught he knew.
But wherefore do you droop? why look you sad?
Be great in act, as you have been in thought;
Let not the world see fear, and sad distrust,
Govern the motion of a kingly eye:
Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;
Threaten the threat'ner, and outface the brow
Of bragging horror: so shall inferior eyes,
That borrow their behaviors from the great,
Grow great by your example, and put on
The dauntless spirit of resolution.
Away; and glister like the god of war,
When he intendeth to become the field:
Show boldness and aspiring confidence.
What, shall they seek the lion in his den,
And fright him there? and make him tremble there?
O, let it not be said!-Forage, and run
To meet displeasure further from the doors;
And grapple with him, ere he comes so nigh.
K. John. The legate of the pope hath been with me,
And I have made a happy peace with him;
And he hath promis'd to dismiss the powers
Led by the dauphin.
O inglorious league!
Shall we, upon the footing of our land,
Send fair-play orders, and make compromise,
Insinuation, parley, and base truce,
To arms invasive? shall a beardless boy,
A silken wanton brave our fields,
And flesh his spirit in a warlike soil,
Mocking the air with colors idly spread,
And find no check? Let us, my liege, to arms:
Perchance, the cardinal cannot make your peace;
Or if he do, let it at least be said,
They saw we had a purpose of defence.
K. John. Have thou the ordering of this present time. Faul. Away then, with good courage; yet, I know, Our party may well meet a prouder foe.
The Dauphin, aided by the disaffected Nobles of England, gives battle to John a St. Edmund's Bury; the King's troops are repulsed, and John is conveyed to Swinstead Abbey, sick of a fever.
SCENE.-An open Place in the neighborhood of Swinstead-Abbey,
Enter FAULCONBRIDGE and HUBERT, meeting,
Hub. Who's there? speak, ho! speak quickly, or I shoot.
Faul. A friend.-What art thou?
Of the part of England
Faul. Whither dost thou go?
Hub. What's that to thee? Why may I not demand
Of thine affairs, as well as thou of mine?
Faul. Hubert, I think.
Thou hast a perfect thought:
will, upon all hazards, well believe
Thou art my friend, that know'st my tongue so well:
Who art thou?
Who thou wilt: an if thou please,
Thou may'st befriend me so much, as to think
I come one way of the Plantagenets.
Hub. Unkind remembrance! thou, and eyeless night,
Have done me shame :-Brave soldier, pardon me,
That any accent, breaking from thy tongue,
Should 'scape the true acquaintance of mine ear.
Faul. Come, come; sans compliment, what news abroad?
Hub. Why, here walk I, in the black brow of night,
To find you out.
Brief, then; and what's the news?
Hub. O, my sweet sir, news fitting to the night,
Black, fearful, comfortless, and horrible.
Faul. Show me the very wound of this ill news;
I am no woman, I'll not swoon at it.
Hub. The king, I fear, is poison'd by a monk:
I left him almost speechless, and broke out
To acquaint you with this evil; that you might
The better arm you to the sudden time,
Than if you had at leisure known of this.
Faul. How did he take it? who did taste to him?
Hub. A monk, I tell you; a resolved villain.
The king yet speaks, and peradventure may recover.
Faul. Who didst thou leave to tend his majesty ?
Hub. Why, know you not? the lords are all come back,
And brought prince Henry in their company;
At whose request the king hath pardon'd them,
And they are all about his majesty.
Faul. Withhold thine indignation, mighty heaven,
And tempt us not to bear above our power!-
I'll tell thee, Hubert, half my power this night
Passing these flats, are taken by the tide,
These Lincoln washes have devoured them;
Myself, well-mounted, hardly have escap’d.
Away, before! conduct me to the king;
I doubt, he will be dead, or ere I come.
SCENE.-The Orchard of Swinstead-Abbey.
Enter PRINCE HENRY, SALISBURY, and BIGOT.
P. Hen. It is too late; the life of all his blood
Is touch'd corruptibly; and his pure brain
(Which some suppose the soul's frail dwelling-house,)
Doth, by the idle comments that it makes,
Foretell the ending of mortality.
Pem. His highness yet doth speak; and holds belief,
That, being brought into the open air,
It would allay the burning quality
Of that fell poison which assaileth him.
P. Hen. Let him be brought into the orchard here.Doth he still rage ?
He is more patient
Than when you left him; even now he sung.
P. Hen. O vanity of sickness! fierce extremes,
In their continuance, will not feel themselves.
Death, having prey'd upon the outward parts,
Leaves them insensible; and his siege is now
Against the mind, the which he goads and wounds
With many legions of strange fantasies;
Which, in their throng and press to that last hold,
Confound themselves. 'Tis strange, that death should sing.
I am the cygnet to this pale faint swan,
Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death;
And, from the organ-pipe of frailty, sings
His soul and body to their lasting rest.
Sal. Be of good comfort, prince; for you are born
To set a form upon that indigest,
Which he hath left so shapeless and so rude.
K. John. Ay, marry, now my soul hath elbow-room;
It would not out at windows, nor at doors.
There is so hot a summer in my bosom,
That all my bowels crumble up to dust:
I am a scribbled form, drawn with a pen
Upon a parchment; and against this fire
Do I shrink up.
Re-enter BIGOT and Attendants, who bring in KING JOHN, in a chair.
How fares your majesty ?
K. John. Poison'd,-ill fare;-dead, forsook, cast off;
And none of you will bid the winter come,
To thrust his icy fingers in my maw;
Nor let my kingdom's rivers take their course
Through my burn'd bosom; nor entreat the north
To make his bleak winds kiss my parched lips,
And comfort me with cold:-I do not ask
I beg cold comfort; and you are so strait,
And so ingrateful, you deny me that.
P. Hen. O, that there were some virtue in my tears,
That might relieve you!
The salt in them is hot.-
Within me is a hell; and there the poison