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There is no sure foundation set on blood;
[To the Mesenger.
Mel. From France to England never such a power, For any foreign preparation, Was levy'd in the body of a land. The copy
your speed is learn’d by them : For when
fhould be told they do prepare, The tidings come that they are all arriv’d.
K. John. O, where hath our intelligence been drunk? Where hath it flept? where is my mother's care? That such an army should be drawn in France, And she not hear of it ?
Mel. My Liege, her ear Is stopt with duit: the first of April dy'd Your noble mother; and, as I hear, my Lord, The Lady Constance in a frenzy dy'd Three days before: but this from rumour's tongue I idly heard; if true or false, I know not.
K. John. With-hold thy speed, dreadful occafion! O make a league with me, till I have pleas’d My discontented peers.
What! mother dead ?
Enter Faulconbridge, and Peter of Pomfret.
Faulc. But if you be afraid to hear the worst,
K. John. Bear with me, coufin; for I was amaz'd
Faulo. How I have sped among the clergymen,
K. John. Thou idle dreamer, wherefore did'st thouso?
K. John Hubert, away with him, imprison him, And on that day at noon whereon he says I shall yield up my crown, let him be hang'd. Deliver him to safety, and return, : For I must use thee. -0, my gentle cousin,
[Exit Hubert with Peter. Hear'st thou the news abroad, who are arriv'd ?
Faulc. The French, my Lord; mens' mouths are full
K. John. Gentle kinsman, go
Faulc. I will seek them out.
K. John. Nay but make haste: the better foot before. 0, let me have no subject enemies, When adverse foreigners affright my towns With dreadful pomp of stout invasion. Be Mercury, set feathers to thy heels; And fly, like thought, from them to me again. Faulc. The spirit of the time thall teach me fpeed.
[Exit. K. 7ohn. Spoke like a sprightful noble gentleman. Go after him; for he perbaps shall need
Some messenger betwixt me and the peers ;
Mell. With all my heart, my Liege. [Exit.
SCENE IV. Enter Hubert. Hub. My Lord, they say five moons were seen toFour fixed, and the fifth did whirl about [night: The other four in wond'rous motion.
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, 6 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 flippers, which his nimble haste • Had fallely thrust upon contrary feet, · Told of a many thousand warlike French, • That were imbattled 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 thefe Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's death? [fears? Thy hand hath murther’d him: I had a cause To wish him dead, but thou had'st none to kill him. Hub. Had none, my Lord? why, did you not pro
voke me? K. John. * “ It is the curse of Kings, to be attended “ By slaves that take their humours for a warrant, “ To break into the bloody house of life:
And, on the winking of authority, “ To understand a law; to know the meaning
* This plainly hinis at Davison's case, in the afair of Mary Queen of Scots; and so must have been inserted long after the firit representation.
“ Of dang’rous majesty; when, perchance, it frowns “ More upon humour, than advis'd respect.”
Hub. Here is your hand and seal for what I did.
and earth Is to be made, then shall this hand and feal Witness against us to damnation. “ How oft the fight of means to do ill deeds, “ Makes deeds ill done? for had it not thou been by, “ A fellow by the hand of Nature mark’d,
Quoted, and fign’d to do a deed of shame,
Hub. My Lord
K. John.“ Hadst thou but shook thy head, or made a “ When I fpake darkly what I purposed; [pause, “ Or turn'd an eye of doubt upon my face, " Or bid me tell my tale in express words; Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me break
Hub. Arin you againit your other enemies,
Not painted with the crimson spots of blood.
K. John. Doth Arthur live? O haste thee to the Peers,
Enter Arthur on the walls disguis'd. 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. Oh me! my uncle's fpirit is in these stones : Heav'n take my soul, and England keep my bones !
[Dies. Enter Pembroke, Salisbury, and Bigot. Sal. Lords, I will meet him at St. Edmondsbury; It is our safety; and we must embrace This gentle offer of the perilous time.
Pemb. 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 gen’ral than these lines import *.
i. e. whose private, account, of he Dauphin' affection to our cause, is much more ample than the letters, Mr. Goje 'VOL. III.