Page images
PDF
EPUB

Bigot. 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.
Fault. Once moreto-day wellmet, distemper'd Lords ;
The King by me requests your presence strait.

Sal. The King hath difpoffefs'd himself of us;
We will not line his thin, bestained cloak
With our pure honours: nor attend the foot
That leaves the print of blood where-e'er it walks.
Return, and tell bim so : we know the worst.

Faulc. Whate'er you think, good words, I think,

were belt.

Sal. Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now.

Faulo. But there is little reason in your grief;
Therefore 'twere reason you had manners now.

Pemb. Sir, Sir, impatience hath its privilege.
Faulc. 'Tis true, to hurt its master, no man else.
Sal. This is the prison : what is he lies here?

[Seeing Arthur. Pemb. O Death, made proud with pure and princely The earth had not a hole to hide this deed. [beauty!

Sal. Murder, as hating what himself hath done, Doth lay it open to urge on revenge.

Bigot. Or when he doom'd this beauty to the glaive, Found it too precious princely for a grave.

Sal. Sir Richard, what think you? Have you beheld, Or have you read, or heard, or could you think, Or do you almost think, although you fee, What

you do see ? could thought, without this object, Form such another ? 'Tis the very top, The height, the crest, or crest unto the crest Of Murder's arms; this is the bloodiest shame, The wildest savag'ry; the vilest Itroke, That ever wall-ey'd wrath, or staring rage, Presented to the tears of soft remorse.

Pemb. All murders past do stand excus'd in this; And this so sole, and so unmatchable, Shall give a holinefs, a purity, To the yet-unbegotten fins of time; And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jelt,

Exampled

}

Exampled by this heinous fpectacle,

Faulc. It is a damned and a bloody work,
The graceless action of a heavy hand;
If that it be the work of any hand.

Sal. If that it be the work of any hand ?
We had a kind of light, what would ensue.
It is the shameful work of Hubert's hand ?
The practice and the purpose of the King:
From whose obedience I forbid

my

soul,
Kneeling before this ruin of sweet life,
And breathing to this breathless excellence
The incense of a vow, a holy vow!
Never to taste the pleasures of the world,
Never to be infected with delight,
Nor conversant with ease and idleness,
Till I have set a glory to this hand,
By giving it the worship of revenge.
Pemb.

Our souls religiously confirm thy words, Bigot.

SCÉN E VI. Enter Hubert. Hub. Lords, I am hot with hafte in seeking you ; Arthur doth live, the King hath sent for you.

Sal. Oh, he is bold, and blushes not at death;
Avaunt, thou hateful villain, get thee gone !

Hub. I am no villain.
Sal. Must I rob the law ? [Drawing his sword.
Faulc. Your sword is bright, Sir, put it up again.
Sal. Not till I sheath it in a murd'rer's skin,

Hub. Stand back, Lord Salisbury, stand back, I say;
By Heav'n, I think my sword's as sharp as your's
I would not have you, Lord, forget yourself,
Nor tempt the danger of my true defence ;
Left I, by marking of your rage, forget
Your worth, your greatness, and nobility.

Bigot. Out, dunghill! dar 'st thou brave a Nobleman?

Hub. Not for my life; but yet I dare defend My innocent life against an Emperor. i

Sal. Thou art a murd'rer.

Hub. Do not prove me so; Yet I am none. Whose tongue foe'er speaks false, Ņot truly speaks ; who speaks not truly, lyes. X X 2

Pemb.

That you

Pemb. Cut him to pieces.
Faulc. Keep the peace, I say.
Sal. Stand by, or I shall gaul you, Faulconbridge.

Faulc. Thou wert better gaul the devil, Salisbury,
If thou but frown on me, or stir thy foot,
Or teach thy hasty spleen to do me shame,
I'll strike thee dead. Put up thy sword betime,
Or I'll to maul you, and your tosting-iron,

shall think the devil is come from hell. Bigot. What will you do, renowned Faulconbridge? Second à villain, and a murderer?

Hub. Lord Bigot, I am none.
Bigot. Who kill'd this Prince ?

Hub. 'Tis not an hour since I left him well:
I honour'd him, I lov'd him, and will weep
My date of life out, for his sweet life's lofs.

Sal. Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes,
For villany is not without fuch a rheum;
And he, long traded in it, makes it feem
Like rivers of remorse and innocence.
Away with me, all you whose souls abhor
Th' uncleanly favour of a flaughter-house,
For I am stifled with the smell of sin.

Bigot. Away towrid Bury, to the Dauphin there.
Pemb. There, tell the King, he may inquire us out.

[Exeunt Lords: S CE N E VII. Faulc. Here's a good world; knew you of this fair Beyond the infinite and boundless reach [work? Of mercy, if thou didst this deed of death, Art thou damn’d, Hubert.

Hub. Do but hear me, Sir..

Faulc. Ha ! I'll tell thee what, Thou’rt damn'd fo black - nay, nothing is so black; Thou art more deep damn'd than Prince Lucifer. There is not yet fo ugly a fiend' of hell As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child.

Hub. Upon my soul

Faulc. If thou didst but confent
To this most cruel act, do but despair,
And if thou want'st a cord, the smallest thread

That

That ever spider twisted from her womb,

1
Will 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 uch a villain up.
I do suspect thee very grievously.

Hub. If I in act, consent, or fin of thought,
Be guilty of the itealing that sweet breath,
Which was embounded in this beauteous clay,
Let hell want pains enough to torture me !
I left him well.

Faulc. Go bear him in thine arms.
I am amaz’d, methinks, and lose my way
Among the thorns and dangers of this world.
How eafy dost thou take all England up!
From forth this morsel of dead royalty,
The life, the right, and truth of all this realm
Is Aed to heav'n; and England now is left
To

tug and scramble, and to part by th' teeth
The un-owed 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 pow'rs from home and discontents at home
Meet in one line: and vast confusion waits
(As doth a raven on a sick, fall'n beast)
The imminent decay of wrested pomp.
Now happy he whose cloak and cineture can
Hold out his tempest. Bear away the child,
And follow me with speed; I'll to the King;
A thousand businesses are brief at hand,
And heav'n itself doth frown upon the land.

(Exeunt.

[ocr errors][merged small]

A CT V.

S CE N E

1.

[ocr errors]

The court of England. Enter King John, Pandulph, and attendants. K. John. THus I have yielded up into your hand The circle of my glory.

[Giving the crown.
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 the 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 humour
Reits by you only to be qualify'd.
Then pause not; for the present time's fo sick,
That present medicine must be ministred,
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 this storm of war ;
And make fair weather in your blust'ring 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. [Exit.

K. John. Is this Afcenfion-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, heav'n be thank'd, it is but voluntary,

Enter Faulconbridge. Faule. All Kent hath yielded, nothing there holds out But Dover castle: London hath receiv’d,

« PreviousContinue »