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Within the arras. When I strike
foot Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth, And bind the boy, which you shall find with me, Fast to the chair. Be heedful: hence, and watch. 1 Atten. I hope your warrant will bear out the
deed. Hub. Uncleanly scruples! Fear not you ; look to't.
[Exeunt Attendants. Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you.
Enter ARTHUR. Arth. Good morrow, Hubert. Hub.
Good morrow, little prince.
Hub. Indeed, I have been merrier.
Mercy on me!
Shakspeare, to point out the particular castle in which Arthur is supposed to be confined. The castle of Northampton has been mentioned, merely because, in the first act, king John seems to have been in that town. It has already been stated that Arthur was in fact confined at Falaise, and afterwards at Rouen, where he was put to death.
2 i. e. by my baptism. The use of this word for christening or baptism is not peculiar to Shakspeare; it was common in his time. Hearne has published a Prone from a MS. of Henry the Seventh's time, in the glossary to Robert of Gloucester, in a note on the word midewinter, by which it appears that it was the ancient orthography. “ The childer ryzt schape & chrystyndome.” It is also used by Lyly, Fanshaw, Harington, and Fairfaxe.
And will you ?
Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate He will awake my mercy, which lies dead. Therefore I will be sudden, and despatch. [Aside.
Arth. Are you sick, Hubert ? You look pale to-day: In sooth, I would you were a little sick; That I might sit all night, and watch with you. I warrant I love you more than you do me.
Hub. His words do take possession of my bosom.Read here, young Arthur. [Showing a paper.] How now, foolish rheum !
[ Aside. Turning dispiteous torture out of door ! I must be brief, lest resolution drop Out at mine eyes, in tender, womanish tears Can you not read it? Is it not fair writ?
Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect.
with hot irons burn out both mine eyes ?
And I will. Arth. Have you the heart? When your head did
but ache, I knit my handkerchief about your brows, (The best I had; a princess wrought it me,) And I did never ask it you again ; And with my hand at midnight held your head; And, like the watchful minutes to the hour, Still and anon cheered up the heavy time ; Saying, What lack you ? 'and, Where lies your grief? Or, What good love may I perform for you? Many a poor man's son would have lain still, And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you ; But you at your sick service had a prince. Nay, you may think my love was crafty love, And call it cunning ; do, an if If Heaven be pleased that you must use me ill, Why, then you must.-Will you put out mine eyes ? These eyes, that never did, nor never shall, So much as frown on you? Hub.
I have sworn to do it; And with hot irons must I burn them out.
Arth. Ah, none, but in this iron age, would do it! The iron of itself, though heat ' red-hot, Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears, And quench his fiery indignation Even in the matter of mine innocence; Nay, after that, consume away in rust, But for containing fire to harm mine eye. Are you more stubborn-hard than hammered iron ? An if an angel should have come to me, And told me, Hubert should put out mine eyes, I would not have believed him; no tongue, but Hu
bert's. Hub. Come forth.
Re-enter Attendants, with cords, irons, &c. Do as I bid you do. Arth. O, save me, Hubert, save me; my eyes are
out, Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men.
Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.
Arth. Alas! what need you be so boisterous-rough? I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still. For Heaven's sake, Hubert, let me not be bound ! Nay, hear me, Hubert! drive these men away, And I will sit as quiet as a lamb. I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word; Nor look upon the iron angerly : Thrust but these men away, and I'll forgive you, Whatever torment you do put me to.
Hub. Go, stand within ; let me alone with him. 1 Atten. I am best pleased to be from such a deed.
[Exeunt Attendants. Arth. Alas! I then have chid away my friend ; He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart.
1 The participle heat, though now obsolete, was in use in Shakspeare's time. “He commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heat.”—Daniel iii. 19.
Let him come back, that his compassion may
Come, boy, prepare yourself.
None, but to lose your eyes.
yours, A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wandering hair, Any annoyance in that precious sense! Then, feeling what small things are boisterous there, Your vile intent must needs seem horrible. Hub. Is this your promise ? Go to, hold your
tongue. Arth. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes. Let me not hold my tongue; let me not, Hubert ! Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue, So I may keep mine eyes. O, spare mine eyes, Though to no use, but still to look on you! Lo, by my troth, the instrument is cold, And would not harm me. Hub.
I can heat it, boy. Arth. No, in good sooth; the fire is dead with grief, Being create for comfort, to be used In undeserved extremes. See else yourself ; There is no malice in this burning coal ; The breath of heaven hath blown his spirit out, And strewed repentant ashes on his head.
Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy.
Arth. And if you do, you will but make it blush,
1 « The fire being created, not to hurt, but to comfort, is dead with grief for finding itself used in acts of cruelty, which, being innocent, I have not deserved." 2 i. e. stimulate, set him on.
VOL. III. 41
That mercy, which fierce fire, and iron, extends,
Hub. Well, see to live; I will not touch thine eyes
Arth. O, now you look like Hubert! all this while
Peace; no more. Adieu ;
Hubert. Hub. Silence ; no more. Go closely in with me; Much danger do I undergo for thee.
SCENE II. The same. A Room of State in the
Enter King John, crowned ; PEMBROKE, SALISBURY,
and other Lords. The king takes his state. K. John. Here once again we sit, once again
crowned, And looked upon, I hope, with cheerful eyes. Pem. This once again, but that your highness
pleased, Was once superfluous. You were crowned before, And that high royalty was ne'er plucked off; The faiths of men ne'er stained with revolt; Fresh expectation troubled not the land, With any longed-for change, or better state.
Sal. Therefore, to be possessed with double pomp,
2 i. e. secretly. 3 i. e. this one time more, was one time more than enough. It should be remembered that king John was now crowned for the fourth time.