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If Heav'n be pleas'd 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've sworn to do it ;
And with hot irons must I burn them out. *
Arth. Oh! if an angel should have come to me,
And told me, Hubert should put out mine eyes,
I would not have believ'd a tongue 'bate + Hubert.
Hub. Come forth; do as I bid you.
[Stamps, and the men enter, Arth. O save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes are out, Ev’n 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 boilt'rous-rough?
I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still.
For Heav'n's fake, Hubert, let me not be bound.
Nay, hear me, Hubert; drive these men away,
And I will fit as quiet as a lamb.
I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a w
Nor look upon the iron angrily :
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.
Exe. I am best pleas’d to be from such a deed.
Arth. Alas, I then have chid away my friend;
He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart;
Let him come back, that his compassion may
Give life to your's.
Hub. Come, boy, prepare yourself.
Arth. Is there no remedy?
Hub. None, but to lose your eyes,
-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 its fiery indignation.
Even in the matter of mine innocence ;
Nay, after that, consume away in rust.
But for containing tire to harm mine eye.
Are you more fubbarn-hard than hammer'd iron?
Oh! if an angel, &c.
of i. c. abate or disparage.
Arth. O Heav'n! that there were but a motli in your's, A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wand'ring hair, Any annoyance in that precious sense Then, feeling what small things are boisťrous there, Your vile intent must needs seem horrible. Hub. Is this your promise ? go to, hold your
tongue. Arth. Let me not hold my tongue; let me not, Hu: Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue, [bert: So I may keep mine eyes. O fpare 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 footh, the fire is dead with grief, Being create for comfort, to be us'd In undeserv'd extremes : see else yourself, There is no malice in this burning coal ; The breath of Heav'n hath blown its spirit out, And strew'd repentant aihes on its head.
Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy. +
Arth. All things that you should use to do me wrong Deny their office; only you do lack That mercy which fierce fire and iron extend, Creatures of note for mercy-lacking uses.
Hub. Well, see to live; I will not touch thine eye, For all the treasure that thine uncle owns: Yet am I sworn ; and I did purpose, boy, With this same very iron to burn them out.
Arth. O, now you look like Hubert. All this while You were disguised. Hub. Peace: no more.
-hold vour tongue.--
Aib. Hubert, the utierance of a brace of tongues
Muit nee s winis pleading fr a pair of eyes :
Let me mot hold, &c.
I can revive it, boy.
Aith. And if you do, you will but make it blush,
And giow nim shame of your proceedings, Hubert:
Nay, ii, perci arce, will Sparkle in your eyes :
And, like a dog that is compell'd 'o fight,
Snatch at his master that doch tarre bim on,
All things, &c.
Your uncle must not know but you are dead.
I'll fill these dogged spies with false reports :
And, pretty child, sleep doubtless, and fecure,
That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world,
Will not offend thee.
Arth. O Heav'n! I thank you, Hubert.
Hub. Silence, no more; go closely in with me. Much danger do I undergo for thee. [Exeunt.
Changes to the court of England.
Enter King John, Pembroke, Salisbury, and other Lords.
K. John. Here once again we fit, once again crown'd,
And look'd upon, I hope, with chearful eyes.
Pemb. This once again, but that your Highness
Was once superfluous. You were crown'd before,
And that high royalty was ne’er pluck'd off :
The faiths of men ne'er stained with revolt :
Fresh expectation troubled not the land
With any long'd-for change, or better state.
Sal. Therefore to be possess’d with double pomp,
To guard a title that was rich before ;
“ To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
“ To throw a perfume on the violet,
“ To smooth the ice, or add another hue
“ Unto the rain-bow, or with taper-light
“ To seek the beauteous eye of heav'n to garnish,”
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.
Pemb. But that your Royal pleasure must be done,
This act is as an ancient tale new told,
And in the last repeating troublesome ;
Being urged at a time unfeasonable.
Sal.“ In this the antique and well-noted face “Of plain old form is much disfigured ;
And, like a shifted wind unto a sail, “ It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about; “ Startles and frights confideration; “ Makes sound opinion fick, and truth fufpected, “ For putting on to new a fathion'd robe.”
Pemb. When workmen strive to do better than well,
They do confound their skill in covetousness *;
And oftentimes excusing of a fault
Doth make the fault the worse by the excuse:
As patches set upon a little breach,
Discredit more in hiding of the flaw,
Than did the faw before it was so patch’d.
Sal. To this effect, before you were new-cro
We breath'd our counsel; but it pleas’d your Highness
To overbear it; and we're all well pleas'd;
Since all and every part of what we would,
Muit make a stand at what your Highness will.
K. John. Some reasons of this double coronation
I have poffefs'd you with, and think them strong;
And more, more strong (the lesser is my fear)
I shall endue you with : mean time, but alk
What you would have reformd, that is not well,
And well shall you perceive how willingly
I will both hear and grant you your requests.
Pemb. Then I, as one that am the tongue of these,
To found + the purposes of all their hearts,
(Both for myself and then; but chief of all,
Your safety; for the which, myself and they
Bend their best studies), heartily request
'Th'infranchisement of Arthur; whose restraint
Doth move the murm’ring lips of discontent
To break into this dang’rous argument.
If what in rest you have, in right you hold,
Why shou'd your fears (which, as they say, attend
The steps of wrong) then move you to mew up
Your tender kinsman, and to choke his days
With þarb'rous ignorance, and deny his youth
The rich advantage of good exercise ?
That the time's enemies may not have this
grace occasions, let it be our suit,
have bid us ask his liberty;
Which for our good we do no further ask,
That whereupon our weal, on you depending,
Counts it your weal, that he have liberty,
* i. e, covering to reach a higher excellence,
ti, e, sound forth, or declare.
U u 2
Enter Hubert. K. John. Let it be fo; I do commit his youth To your direction. Hubert, what news with you?
[The King goes aside with Hubert.
Pemb. This is the man should do the bloody deed:
He shew'd his warrant to a friend of mine.
The image of a wicked heinous fault
Lives in his eye ; that close aspect of his
Does shew the mood of a much-troubled breaft.
And I do fearfully believe 'tis done,
What we fo fear’d he had a charge to do.
Sal. The colour of the King doth come and
Between his purpose and his conscience,
Like heralds 'twixt two dreadful battles fent:
His pallion is so ripe it needs must break.
Pemb. And when it breaks, I fear, will iffue thence The foul corruption of a fweet child's death.
K. John. We cannot hold Mortality's firong hand. Good Lords, although my will to give is living, The suit which you demand is gone, and dead. He tells us, Arthur is deceas'd to-night.
Sal. Indeed we fear'd his fickness was past cure,
Pemb. Indeed we heard how near his death he was, Before the child himself felt he was fick. This must be answer'd either here or hence.
K. John. Why do you bend fuch folemn brows on me?
Think you I bear the shears of destiny?
Have I commandment on the pulse of life?
Sal. It is apparent foul play, and 'tis flame
That greatness should fo grossly offer it:
So thrive it in your game, and fo farewel!
Pemb. Stay yet, Lord Salisbury, I'll go with thee,
And find th' inheritance of this poor child,
His little kingdom of a forced grave.
That blood which own'd the breadth of all this iflc,
Three foot of it doth hold; bad world the while !
This must not be thus borne; this will break out
To all our sorrows, and ere long, I doubt. [Exeunt
S CE N E III. Enter a Mellenger. K. Joha. They burn in indignation; I repent.