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There is no sure foundation set on blood;
No certain life atchiev'd by others' death- [Aside.
A fearful eye thou haft; where is that blood,

[To the Mesenger.
That I have seen inhabit in those cheeks ?
So fout a fky clears not without a storm;
Pour down thy weather. How goes all in France ?

Mel. From France to England never such a power, For any foreign preparation, Was levy'd in the body of a land. The copy

of

your speed is learn’d by them : For when

you

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 ?
How wildly then walks my estate in France ?
Under whose conduct came those powers of France,
That thou for truth giv'it out are landed here?
Mel. Under the Dauphin.

Enter Faulconbridge, and Peter of Pomfret.
K. John. Thou hast made me giddy
With these ill tidings. Now, what fays the world
To your proceedings ? Do not seek to stuff
My head with more ill news, for it is full.

Faulc. But if you be afraid to hear the worst,
Then let the worit unheard fall on your head. -

K. John. Bear with me, coufin; for I was amaz'd
Under the tide ; but now I breathe again
Aloft the flood, and can give audience
To any tongue, speak it of what it will.

Fanic.

Faulo. How I have sped among the clergymen,
The sums I have collected shall express.
But as I travell’d hither through the land,
I find the people strangely fantasied ;
Potless'd with rumours, full of idle dreams;
Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear.
And here's a prophet that I brought with me
From forth the streets of Pomfret, whom I found
With many hundreds treading on his heels :
To whom he sung in rude harth-sounding rhimes,
That ere the next Ascension-day at noon,
Your Highness should deliver up your crown.

K. John. Thou idle dreamer, wherefore did'st thouso?
Peter. Foreknowing that the truth will fall out fo.

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
Besides, I met Lord Bigot and Lord Salisbury, [of it.
With eyes as red as new-enkindled fire,
And others more, going to seek the grave
Of Arthur, who, they say, is kill'd to-night
On your suggeition.

K. John. Gentle kinsman, go
And thrust thyself into their company.
I have a way to win their loves again :
Bring them before me.

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

Somo

Some messenger betwixt me and the peers ;
And be thou he.

Mell. With all my heart, my Liege. [Exit.
K. John. My mother dead!

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.

5. Of

“ 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.
K. John. Oh, when the last account 'twixt heav'n

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,
• This murther had not come into my mind.”
But taking note of thy abhorr'd aspect,
Finding thee fit for bloody villany,
Apt, liable to be employ'd in danger,
I faintly broke with thee of Arthur's death.
And thou, to be endeared to a King,
Mad'It it no conscience to destroy a Prince.

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

off,
“ And those thy fears might have wrought fears in me.”
But thou didst underitand me by my signs,
An didit in figns 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 fight, and never see me more!
My Nobles leave me, and my state is brav’d,
Ev’n at my gates, with ranks of foreign pow'rs;
Nay, in the body of this fleshly land,
This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath,
Hoftility and civil tumult reigns,
Between my conscience, and my cousin's death.

Hub. Arin you againit your other enemies,
I'll make a peace between your soul and you.
Young Arthur is alive: this hand of mine
Is yet a maiden, and an innocent hand,

form;

Not painted with the crimson spots of blood.
Within this bosom never enter'd yet
The dreadful motion of a murderer's thought,
And you have slander'd nature in

my
Which, howsoever rude exteriorly,
Is yet the cover of a fairer mind,
Than to be butcher of an innocent child.

K. John. Doth Arthur live? O haste thee to the Peers,
Throw this report on their incensed rage,
And make them tame to their obedience.
Forgive the comment that my passion made
Upon thy feature, for my rage was blind;
And foul imaginary eyes of blood
Presented thee more hideous than thou art.
Oh, answer not, but to my closet bring
The angry Lords with all expedient haste.
I conjure thee but flowly: run more fast. [Exeunt.
SCENE V. Aftreet before à prison.

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.

Bigot.

xx

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