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With all my heart, my liege.

[Exit. K. John. My mother dead!

Re-enter HUBERT,

Hub. My lord, they say, five moons were seen

to-night: Four fixed; and the fifth did whirl about 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 ; 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 embatteled 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? Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's death? Thy hand hath murder'd him : I had mighty cause To wish him dead, but thou hadst none to kill him. Hub. Had none, my

lord ! why, did you

not provoke me? K. John. It is the curse of kings, to be attended By slaves, that take their humours for a warrant

To break within the bloody house of life:
And, on the winking of authority,
To understand a law; to know the meaning
Of dangerous majesty, when, perchance, it frowns

humour than advis'd respect.' Hub. Here is your hand and seal for what I did. K. John, 0, 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! Hadest 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 villainy,
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,
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 turn’d an eye of doubt upon my face,
As bid me tell

tale in

words; Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me break

off, And those thy fears might have wrought fears in 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



i Deliberate consideration.

2 Noted, observed.

Out of my sight, and never 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 civil tumult reigns

my conscience, and my cousin's death.
Hub. Arm you against your other enemies,
I'll make a peace


soul and

Young Arthur is alive: This hand of mine
Is yet a maiden and an innocent hand,
Not painted with the crimson spots of blood.
Within this bosom never enter'd

The dreadful motion of a murd'rous thought,

have slander'd nature in my form; 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. O, answer not; but to my closet bring The angry lords, with all expedient haste: I conjure thee but slowly; run more fast. [Exeunt.


Before the Castle.

Enter ARTHUR, on the Walls.
Arth. The wall is high; and yet will I leap
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. O me! my uncle's spirit is in these stones Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones !


Enter PEMBROKE, SALISBURY, and Bigot. Sal. Lords, I will meet him at Saint Edmund's

Bury; It is our safety, and we must embrace This gentle offer of the perilous time. Pem. Who brought that letter from the car

dinal ? Sal. The count Melun, a noble lord of France; Whose private with me?, of the Dauphin's love, Is much more general than these lines import.

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 the Bastard. Bast. 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; 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 him so; we know the worst.

3 Private account.

4 Out of humour.


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

were best. Sal. Our griefs, and not our manners, reason

Bast. But there is little reason in your grief :
Therefore, 'twere reason you had manners now,

Pem. Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege.
Bast. 'Tis true; to hurt his master, no man else.
Sal. This is the prison: What is he lies here?

[Seeing ARTHUR. 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 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


think? Or do you almost think, although you see, That you

do see? could thought, without this ob

Form such another? This is 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 stroke,
That ever wall-ey'd wrath, or staring rage,
Presented to the tears of soft remorse.

Pem. All murders past do stand excus'd in this :
And this, so sole, and so unmatchable,
Shall give a holiness, a purity,
To the yet-unbegotten sin of time;
And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest,
Exampled by this heinous spectacle.

Bast. It is a damned and a bloody work;

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