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The graceless action of a heavy hand,
If that it be the work of


hand. Sal. If that it be the work of


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 his 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. Pem. Big. Our souls religiously confirm thy


Enter HUBERT. Hub. Lords, I am hot with haste in seeking you : Arthur doth live; the king hath sent for you.

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

Hub. I am no villain.

Must I rob the law ?

[ Drawing his sword. Bast. Your sword is bright, sir ; put it up again.

Sal. Not till I sheath it in a murderer's skin. : Hub. Stand back, lord Salisbury, stand back, I

say ; By heaven, I think, my sword's as sharp as yours: I would not have you, lord, forget yourself, Nor tempt the danger of my true defence; Lest I, by marking of your rage, forget Your worth, your greatness, and nobility. Big. Out, dunghill ! dar’st thou brave a noble


6 Honest.

Hub. Not for

life : but

yet I dare defend My innocent life against an emperor.

Sal. Thou art a murderer.

Do not

prove me so?; Yet, I am none : Whose tongue soe'er speaks false, Not truly speaks ; who speaks not truly, lies.

Pem. Cut him to pieces.

Keep the peace, I say. Sal. Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulconbridge.

Bast. Thou wert better gall 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. Big. What wilt thou do, renowned Faulcon

bridge ?
Second a villain, and a murderer ?

Hub. Lord Bigot, I am none.

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 loss.

Sal. Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes,
For villainy is not without such rheum ® ;
And he, long traded in it, makes it seem
Like rivers of remorse and innocency.
Away, with


you whose souls abhor The uncleanly savours of a slaughter-house, For I am stifled with this smell of sin.

Big. Away, toward Bury, to the Dauphin there. Pem. There, tell the king, he may inquire us out.

Exeunt Lords. Bast. 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. 7 By compelling me to kill you. 8 Moisture. 9 Pity.


Do but hear me, sir.
Bast. Ha! I'll tell thee what;
There is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell
: As thou shalt be, if thoų 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 from her womb
Will serve to strangle thee: a rush will be
A beam to hang thee on; or would'st thou drown

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. "If I in act, consent, or sin of thought
Be guilty of the stealing that sweet breath
Which was embounded

in this beauteous clay,
Let hell want pains enough to torture me!
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 scamble, 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 imminent decay of wrested pomp.

i Unowned.

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.




A Room in the Palace.

Enter King John, PANDULPH with the Crown, and

Atten ants. K. John. Thus have I yielded up into your hand The circle of my glory. Pand.

Take again

[Giving John the Crown.
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 distemper'd humour
Rests by you only to be qualified.

2 Girdle.

of the pope :

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
But, since you are a gentle convertite 3,
My tongue shall hush again this 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.

[Exit. K. John. Is this Ascension-day? Did not the

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.

Enter the Bastard.

Bast. All Kent hath yielded; nothing there holds

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?
Bast. They found him dead, and cast into the

streets ; An empty casket, where the jewel of life By some curst hand was robb’d and ta'en away. K. John. That villain Hubert told me, he did live. Bast. So, on my soul, he did, for aught he knew.

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