King John

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Original text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter Hubert and Executioners.

Hub.
Heate me these Irons hot, and looke thou stand
Within the Arras: when I strike my foot
Vpon the bosome of the ground, rush forth
And binde the boy, which you shall finde with me
Fast to the chaire: be heedfull: hence, and watch.

Exec.
I hope your warrant will beare out the deed.

Hub.
Vncleanly scruples feare not you: looke too't.
Yong Lad come forth; I haue to say with you.
Enter Arthur.

Ar.
Good morrow Hubert.

Hub.
Good morrow, little Prince.

Ar.
As little Prince, hauing so great a Title
To be more Prince, as may be: you are sad.

Hub.
Indeed I haue beene merrier.

Art.
'Mercie on me:
Me thinkes no body should be sad but I:
Yet I remember, when I was in France,
Yong Gentlemen would be as sad as night
Onely for wantonnesse: by my Christendome,
So I were out of prison, and kept Sheepe
I should be as merry as the day is long:
And so I would be heere, but that I doubt
My Vnckle practises more harme to me:
He is affraid of me, and I of him:
Is it my fault, that I was Geffreyes sonne?
No in deede is't not: and I would to heauen
I were your sonne, so you would loue me, Hubert:

Hub.

If I talke to him, with his innocent prate
He will awake my mercie, which lies dead:
Therefore I will be sodaine, and dispatch.

Ar.
Are you sicke Hubert? you looke pale today,
Insooth I would you were a little sicke,
That I might sit all night, and watch with you.
I warrant I loue you more then you do me.

Hub.

His words do take possession of my bosome.

Reade heere yong Arthnr. How now foolish rheume?
Turning dispitious torture out of doore?
I must be breefe, least resolution drop
Out at mine eyes, in tender womanish teares.
Can you not reade it? Is it not faire writ?

Ar.
Too fairely Hubert, for so foule effect,
Must you with hot Irons, burne out both mine eyes?

Hub.
Yong Boy, I must.

Art.
And will you?

Hub.
And I will.

Art.
Haue you the heart? When your head did but ake,
I knit my hand-kercher about your browes
(The best I had, a Princesse wrought it me)
And I did neuer aske it you againe:
And with my hand, at midnight held your head;
And like the watchfull minutes, to the houre,
Still and anon cheer'd vp the heauy time;
Saying, what lacke you? and where lies your greefe?
Or what good loue may I performe for you?
Many a poore mans sonne would haue lyen still,
And nere haue spoke a louing word to you:
But you, at your sicke seruice had a Prince:
Nay, you may thinke my loue was craftie loue,
And call it cunning. Do, and if you will,
If heauen be pleas'd that you must vse me ill,
Why then you must. Will you put out mine eyes?
These eyes, that neuer did, nor neuer shall
So much as frowne on you.

Hub.
I haue sworne to do it:
And with hot Irons must I burne them out.

Ar.
Ah, none but in this Iron Age, would do it:
The Iron of it selfe, though heate red hot,
Approaching neere these eyes, would drinke my teares,
And quench this fierie indignation,
Euen in the matter of mine innocence:
Nay, after that, consume away in rust,
But for containing fire to harme mine eye:
Are you more stubborne hard, then hammer'd Iron?
And if an Angell should haue come to me,
And told me Hubert should put out mine eyes,
I would not haue beleeu'd him: no tongue but Huberts.

Hub.
Come forth:
Do as I bid you do.

Art.
O saue me Hubert, saue me: my eyes are out
Euen with the fierce lookes of these bloody men.

Hub.
Giue me the Iron I say, and binde him heere.

Art.
Alas, what neede you be so boistrous rough?
I will not struggle, I will stand stone still:
For heauen sake Hubert let me not be bound:
Nay heare me Hubert, driue these men away,
And I will sit as quiet as a Lambe.
I will not stirre, nor winch, nor speake a word,
Nor looke vpon the Iron angerly:
Thrust but these men away, and Ile forgiue you,
What euer torment you do put me too.

Hub.
Go stand within: let me alone with him.

Exec.
I am best pleas'd to be from such a deede.

Art.
Alas, I then haue chid away my friend,
He hath a sterne looke, but a gentle heart:
Let him come backe, that his compassion may
Giue life to yours.

Hub.
Come (Boy) prepare your selfe.

Art.
Is there no remedie?

Hub.
None, but to lose your eyes.

Art.
O heauen: that there were but a moth in yours,
A graine, a dust, a gnat, a wandering haire,
Any annoyance in that precious sense:
Then feeling what small things are boysterous there,
Your vilde intent must needs seeme horrible.

Hub.
Is this your promise? Go too, hold your toong.

Art.
Hubert, the vtterance of a brace of tongues,
Must needes want pleading for a paire of eyes:
Let me not hold my tongue: let me not Hubert,
Or Hubert, if you will cut out my tongue,
So I may keepe mine eyes. O spare mine eyes,
Though to no vse, but still to looke on you.
Loe, by my troth, the Instrument is cold,
And would not harme me.

Hub.
I can heate it, Boy.

Art.
No, in good sooth: the fire is dead with griefe,
Being create for comfort, to be vs'd
In vndeserued extreames: See else your selfe,
There is no malice in this burning cole,
The breath of heauen, hath blowne his spirit out,
And strew'd repentant ashes on his head.

Hub.
But with my breath I can reuiue it Boy.

Art.
And if you do, you will but make it blush,
And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert:
Nay, it perchance will sparkle in your eyes:
And, like a dogge that is compell'd to fight,
Snatch at his Master that doth tarre him on.
All things that you should vse to do me wrong
Deny their office: onely you do lacke
That mercie, which fierce fire, and Iron extends,
Creatures of note for mercy, lacking vses.

Hub.
Well, see to liue: I will not touch thine eye,
For all the Treasure that thine Vnckle owes,
Yet am I sworne, and I did purpose, Boy,
With this same very Iron, to burne them out.

Art.
O now you looke like Hubert. All this while
You were disguis'd.

Hub.
Peace: no more. Adieu,
Your Vnckle must not know but you are dead.
Ile fill these dogged Spies with false reports:
And, pretty childe, sleepe doubtlesse, and secure,
That Hubert for the wealth of all the world,
Will not offend thee.

Art.
O heauen! I thanke you Hubert.

Hub.
Silence, no more; go closely in with mee,
Much danger do I vndergo for thee.
Exeunt
Original text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter Iohn, Pembroke, Salisbury, and other
Lordes.

Iohn.
Heere once againe we sit: once against crown'd
And look'd vpon, I hope, with chearefull eyes.

Pem.
This once again (but that your Highnes pleas'd)
Was once superfluous: you were Crown'd before,
And that high Royalty was nere pluck'd off:
The faiths of men, nere stained with reuolt:
Fresh expectation troubled not the Land
With any long'd-for-change, or better State.

Sal.
Therefore, to be possess'd with double pompe,
To guard a Title, that was rich before;
To gilde refined Gold, to paint the Lilly;
To throw a perfume on the Violet,
To smooth the yce, or adde another hew
Vnto the Raine-bow; or with Taper-light
To seeke the beauteous eye of heauen to garnish,
Is wastefull, and ridiculous excesse.

Pem.
But that your Royall pleasure must be done,
This acte, is as an ancient tale new told,
And, in the last repeating, troublesome,
Being vrged at a time vnseasonable.

Sal.
In this the Anticke, and well noted face
Of plaine old forme, is much disfigured,
And like a shifted winde vnto a saile,
It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about,
Startles, and frights consideration:
Makes sound opinion sicke, and truth suspected,
For putting on so new a fashion'd robe.

Pem.
When Workemen striue to do better then wel,
They do confound their skill in couetousnesse,
And oftentimes excusing of a fault,
Doth make the fault the worse by th'excuse:
As patches set vpon a little breach,
Discredite more in hiding of the fault,
Then did the fault before it was so patch'd.

Sal.
To this effect, before you were new crown'd
We breath'd our Councell: but it pleas'd your Highnes
To ouer-beare it, and we are all well pleas'd,
Since all, and euery part of what we would
Doth make a stand, at what your Highnesse will.

Ioh.
Some reasons of this double Corronation
I haue possest you with, and thinke them strong.
And more, more strong, then lesser is my feare
I shall indue you with: Meane time, but aske
What you would haue reform'd. that is not well,
And well shall you perceiue, how willingly
I will both heare, and grant you your requests.

Pem.
Then I, as one that am the tongue of these
To sound the purposes of all their hearts,
Both for my selfe, and them: but chiefe of all
Your safety: for the which, my selfe and them
Bend their best studies, heartily request
Th'infranchisement of Arthur, whose restraint
Doth moue the murmuring lips of discontent
To breake into this dangerous argument.
If what in rest you haue, in right you hold,
Why then your feares, which (as they say) attend
The steppes of wrong, should moue you to mew vp
Your tender kinsman, and to choake his dayes
With barbarous ignorance, and deny his youth
The rich aduantage of good exercise,
That the times enemies may not haue this
To grace occasions: let it be our suite,
That you haue bid vs aske his libertie,
Which for our goods, we do no further aske,
Then, whereupon our weale on you depending,
Counts it your weale: he haue his liberty.
Enter Hubert.

Iohn,
Let it be so: I do commit his youth
To your direction: Hubert, what newes with you?

Pem.
This is the man should do the bloody deed:
He shew'd his warrant to a friend of mine,
The image of a wicked heynous fault
Liues in his eye: that close aspect of his,
Do shew the mood of a much troubled brest,
And I do fearefully beleeue 'tis done,
What we so fear'd he had a charge to do.

Sal.
The colour of the King doth come, and go
Betweene his purpose and his conscience,
Like Heralds 'twixt two dreadfull battailes set:
His passion is so ripe, it needs must breake.

Pem.
And when it breakes, I feare will issue thence
The foule corruption of a sweet childes death.

Iohn.
We cannot hold mortalities strong hand.
Good Lords, although my will to giue, is liuing,
The suite which you demand is gone, and dead.
He tels vs Arthur is deceas'd to night.

Sal.
Indeed we fear'd his sicknesse was past cure.

Pem.
Indeed we heard how neere his death he was,
Before the childe himselfe felt he was sicke:
This must be answer'd either heere, or hence.

Ioh.
Why do you bend such solemne browes on me?
Thinke you I beare the Sheeres of destiny?
Haue I commandement on the pulse of life?

Sal.
It is apparant foule-play, and 'tis shame
That Greatnesse should so grossely offer it;
So thriue it in your game, and so farewell.

Pem.
Stay yet (Lord Salisbury) Ile go with thee,
And finde th'inheritance of this poore childe,
His little kingdome of a forced graue.
That blood which ow'd the bredth of all this Ile,
Three foot of it doth hold; bad world the while:
This must not be thus borne, this will breake out
To all our sorrowes,and ere long I doubt.
Exeunt

Io.
They burn in indignation: I repent:
There is no sure foundation set on blood:
No certaine life atchieu'd by others death:
Enter Mes.
A fearefull eye thou hast. Where is that blood,
That I haue seene inhabite in those cheekes?
So foule a skie, cleeres not without a storme,
Poure downe thy weather: how goes all in France?

Mes.
From France to England, neuer such a powre
For any forraigne preparation,
Was leuied in the body of a land.
The Copie of your speede is learn'd by them:
For when you should be told they do prepare,
The tydings comes, that they are all arriu'd.

Ioh.
Oh where hath our Intelligence bin drunke?
Where hath it slept? Where is my Mothers care?
That such an Army could be drawne in France,
And she not heare of it?

Mes.
My Liege, her eare
Is stopt with dust: the first of Aprill di'de
Your noble mother; and as I heare, my Lord,
The Lady Constance in a frenzie di'de
Three dayes before: but this from Rumors tongue
I idely heard: if true, or false I know not.

Iohn.
With-hold thy speed, dreadfull Occasion:
O make a league with me, 'till I haue pleas'd
My discontented Peeres. What? Mother dead?
How wildely then walkes my Estate in France?
Vnder whose conduct came those powres of France,
That thou for truth giu'st out are landed heere?

Mes.
Vnder the Dolphin.
Enter Bastard and Peter of Pomfret.

Ioh.
Thou hast made me giddy
With these ill tydings: Now? What sayes the world
To your proceedings? Do not seeke to stuffe
My head with more ill newes: for it is full.

Bast.
But if you be a-feard to heare the worst,
Then let the worst vn-heard, fall on your head.

Iohn.
Beare with me Cosen, for I was amaz'd
Vnder the tide; but now I breath againe
Aloft the flood, and can giue audience
To any tongue, speake it of what it will.

Bast.
How I haue sped among the Clergy men,
The summes I haue collected shall expresse:
But as I trauail'd hither through the land,
I finde the people strangely fantasied,
Possest with rumors, full of idle dreames,
Not knowing what they feare, but full of feare.
And here's a Prophet that I brought with me
From forth the streets of Pomfret, whom I found
With many hundreds treading on his heeles:
To whom he sung in rude harsh sounding rimes,
That ere the next Ascension day at noone,
Your Highnes should deliuer vp your Crowne.

Iohn.
Thou idle Dreamer, wherefore didst thou so?

Pet.
Fore-knowing that the truth will fall out so.

Iohn.
Hubert, away with him: imprison him,
And on that day at noone, whereon he sayes
I shall yeeld vp my Crowne, let him be hang'd.
Deliuer him to safety, and returne,
For I must vse thee.
O my gentle Cosen,
Hear'st thou the newes abroad, who are arriu'd?

Bast.
The French (my Lord) mens mouths are ful of it:
Besides I met Lord Bigot, and Lord Salisburie
With eyes as red as new enkindled fire,
And others more, going to seeke the graue
Of Arthur, whom they say is kill'd to night,
on your suggestion.

Iohn.
Gentle kinsman, go
And thrust thy selfe into their Companies,
I haue a way to winne their loues againe:
Bring them before me.

Bast.
I will seeke them out.

Iohn.
Nay, but make haste: the better foote before.
O, let me haue no subiect enemies,
When aduerse Forreyners affright my Townes
With dreadfull pompe of stout inuasion.
Be Mercurie, set feathers to thy heeles,
And flye (like thought) from them, to me againe.

Bast.
The spirit of the time shall teach me speed.
Exit

Iohn.
Spoke like a sprightfull Noble Gentleman.
Go after him: for he perhaps shall neede
Some Messenger betwixt me, and the Peeres,
And be thou hee.

Mes.
With all my heart, my Liege.

Iohn.
My mother dead?
Enter Hubert.

Hub.
My Lord, they say fiue Moones were seene to night:
Foure fixed, and the fift did whirle about
The other foure, in wondrous motion.

Ioh.
Fiue Moones?

Hub.
Old men, and Beldames, in the streets
Do prophesie vpon it dangerously:
Yong Arthurs death is common in their mouths,
And when they talke of him, they shake their heads,
And whisper one another in the eare.
And he that speakes, doth gripe the hearers wrist,
Whilst he that heares, makes fearefull action
With wrinkled browes, with nods, with rolling eyes.
I saw a Smith stand with his hammer (thus)
The whilst his Iron did on the Anuile coole,
With open mouth swallowing a Taylors newes,
Who with his Sheeres, and Measure in his hand,
Standing on slippers, which his nimble haste
Had falsely thrust vpon contrary feete,
Told of a many thousand warlike French,
That were embattailed, and rank'd in Kent.
Another leane, vnwash'd Artificer,
Cuts off his tale, and talkes of Arthurs death.

Io.
Why seek'st thou to possesse me with these feares?
Why vrgest thou so oft yong Arthurs death?
Thy hand hath murdred him: I had a mighty cause
To wish him dead, but thou hadst none to kill him.

H.
No had (my Lord?) why, did you not prouoke me?

Iohn.
It is the curse of Kings, to be attended
By slaues, that take their humors for a warrant,
To breake within the bloody house of life,
And on the winking of Authoritie
To vnderstand a Law; to know the meaning
Of dangerous Maiesty, when perchance it frownes
More vpon humor, then aduis'd respect.

Hub.
Heere is your hand and Seale for what I did.

Ioh.
Oh, when the last accompt twixt heauen & earth
Is to be made, then shall this hand and Seale
Witnesse against vs to damnation.
How oft the sight of meanes to do ill deeds,
Make deeds ill done? Had'st not thou beene by,
A fellow by the hand of Nature mark'd,
Quoted, and sign'd to do a deede of shame,
This murther had not come into my minde.
But taking note of thy abhorr'd Aspect,
Finding thee fit for bloody villanie:
Apt, liable to be employ'd in danger,
I faintly broke with thee of Arthurs death:
And thou, to be endeered to a King,
Made it no conscience to destroy a Prince.

Hub.
My Lord.

Ioh.
Had'st thou but shooke thy head, or made a pause
When I spake darkely, what I purposed:
Or turn'd an eye of doubt vpon my face;
As bid me tell my tale in expresse words:
Deepe shame had struck me dumbe, made me break off,
And those thy feares, might haue wrought feares in me.
But, thou didst vnderstand me by my signes,
And didst in signes againe parley with sinne,
Yea, without stop, didst let thy heart consent,
And consequently, thy rude hand to acte
The deed, which both our tongues held vilde to name.
Out of my sight, and neuer see me more:
My Nobles leaue me, and my State is braued,
Euen at my gates, with rankes of forraigne powres;
Nay, in the body of this fleshly Land,
This kingdome, this Confine of blood, and breathe
Hostilitie, and ciuill tumult reignes
Betweene my conscience, and my Cosins death.

Hub.
Arme you against your other enemies:
Ile make a peace betweene your soule, and you.
Yong Arthur is aliue: This hand of mine
Is yet a maiden, and an innocent hand.
Not painted with the Crimson spots of blood,
Within this bosome, neuer entred yet
The dreadfull motion of a murderous thought,
And you haue slander'd Nature in my forme,
Which howsoeuer rude exteriorly,
Is yet the couer of a fayrer minde,
Then to be butcher of an innocent childe.

Iohn.
Doth Arthur liue? O hast thee to the Peeres,
Throw this report on their incensed rage,
And make them tame to their obedience.
Forgiue the Comment that my passion made
Vpon thy feature, for my rage was blinde,
And foule immaginarie eyes of blood
Presented thee more hideous then thou art.
Oh, answer not; but to my Closset bring
The angry Lords, with all expedient hast,
I coniure thee but slowly: run more fast.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter Arthur on the walles.

Ar.
The Wall is high, and yet will I leape downe.
Good ground be pittifull, and hurt me not:
There's few or none do know me, if they did,
This Ship-boyes semblance hath disguis'd me quite.
I am afraide, and yet Ile venture it.
If I get downe, and do not breake my limbes,
Ile finde a thousand shifts to get away;
As good to dye, and go; as dye, and stay.
Oh me, my Vnckles spirit is in these stones,
Heauen take my soule, and England keep my bones.
Dies
Enter Pembroke, Salisbury, & Bigot.

Sal.
Lords, I will meet him at S. Edmondsbury,
It is our safetie, and we must embrace
This gentle offer of the perillous time.

Pem.
Who brought that Letter from the Cardinall?

Sal.
The Count Meloone, a Noble Lord of France,
Whose priuate with me of the Dolphines loue,
Is much more generall, then these lines import.

Big.
To morrow morning let vs meete him then.

Sal.
Or rather then set forward, for 'twill be
Two long dayes iourney (Lords) or ere we meete.
Enter Bastard.

Bast.
Once more to day well met, distemper'd Lords,
The King by me requests your presence straight.

Sal.
The king hath dispossest himselfe of vs,
We will not lyne his thin-bestained cloake
With our pure Honors: nor attend the foote
That leaues the print of blood where ere it walkes.
Returne,and tell him so: we know the worst.

Bast.
What ere you thinke, good words I thinke were best.

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

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

Pem.
Sir, sir, impatience hath his priuiledge.

Bast.
'Tis true, to hurt his master, no mans else.

Sal.
This is the prison:
What is he lyes heere?

P.
Oh death, made proud with pure & princely beuty,
The earth had not a hole to hide this deede.

Sal.
Murther, as hating what himselfe hath done,
Doth lay it open to vrge on reuenge.

Big.
Or when he doom'd this Beautie to a graue,
Found it too precious Princely, for a graue.

Sal.
Sir Richard, what thinke you? you haue beheld,
Or haue you read, or heard, or could you thinke?
Or do you almost thinke, although you see,
That you do see? Could thought, without this obiect
Forme such another? This is the very top,
The heighth, the Crest: or Crest vnto the Crest
Of murthers Armes: This is the bloodiest shame,
The wildest Sauagery, the vildest stroke
That euer wall-ey'd wrath, or staring rage
Presented to the teares of soft remorse.

Pem.
All murthers past, do stand excus'd in this:
And this so sole, and so vnmatcheable,
Shall giue a holinesse, a puritie,
To the yet vnbegotten sinne of times;
And proue a deadly blood-shed, but a iest,
Exampled by this heynous spectacle.

Bast.
It is a damned, and a bloody worke,
The gracelesse action of a heauy hand,
If that it be the worke of any hand.

Sal.
If that it be the worke of any hand?
We had a kinde of light, what would ensue:
It is the shamefull worke of Huberts hand,
The practice, and the purpose of the king:
From whose obedience I forbid my soule,
Kneeling before this ruine of sweete life,
And breathing to his breathlesse Excellence
The Incense of a Vow, a holy Vow:
Neuer to taste the pleasures of the world,
Neuer to be infected with delight,
Nor conuersant with Ease, and Idlenesse,
Till I haue set a glory to this hand,
By giuing it the worship of Reuenge.

Pem. Big.
Our soules religiously confirme thy words.
Enter Hubert.

Hub.
Lords, I am hot with haste, in seeking you,
Arthur doth liue, the king hath sent for you.

Sal.
Oh he is bold, and blushes not at death,
Auant thou hatefull villain, get thee gone.

Hu.
I am no villaine.

Sal.
Must I rob the law?

Bast.
Your sword is bright sir, put it vp againe.

Sal.
Not till I sheath it in a murtherers skin.

Hub.
Stand backe Lord Salsbury, stand backe I say:
By heauen, I thinke my sword's as sharpe as yours.
I would not haue you (Lord) forget your selfe,
Nor tempt the danger of my true defence;
Least I, by marking of your rage, forget
your Worth, your Greatnesse, and Nobility.

Big.
Out dunghill: dar'st thou braue a Nobleman?

Hub.
Not for my life: But yet I dare defend
My innocent life against an Emperor.

Sal.
Thou art a Murtherer.

Hub.
Do not proue me so:
Yet I am none. Whose tongue so ere speakes false,
Not truely speakes: who speakes not truly, Lies.

Pem.
Cut him to peeces.

Bast.
Keepe the peace, I say.

Sal.
Stand by, or I shall gaul you Faulconbridge.

Bast.
Thou wer't better gaul the diuell Salsbury.
If thou but frowne on me, or stirre thy foote,
Or teach thy hastie spleene to do me shame,
Ile strike thee dead. Put vp thy sword betime,
Or Ile so maule you, and your tosting-Iron,
That you shall thinke the diuell is come from hell.

Big.
What wilt thou do, renowned Faulconbridge?
Second a Villaine, and a Murtherer?

Hub.
Lord Bigot, I am none.

Big.
Who kill'd this Prince?

Hub.
'Tis not an houre since I left him well:
I honour'd him, I lou'd him, and will weepe
My date of life out, for his sweete liues losse.

Sal.
Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes,
For villanie is not without such rheume,
And he, long traded in it, makes it seeme
Like Riuers of remorse and innocencie.
Away with me, all you whose soules abhorre
Th'vncleanly sauours of a Slaughter-house,
For I am stifled with this smell of sinne.

Big.
Away, toward Burie, to the Dolphin there.

P.
There tel the king, he may inquire vs out.
Ex.Lords.

Ba.
Here's a good world: knew you of this faire work?
Beyond the infinite and boundlesse reach of mercie,
(If thou didst this deed of death) art yu damn'd Hubert.

Hub
Do but heare me sir.

Bast.
Ha? Ile tell thee what.
Thou'rt damn'd as blacke, nay nothing is so blacke,
Thou art more deepe damn'd then Prince Lucifer:
There is not yet so vgly a fiend of hell
As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this childe.

Hub.
Vpon my soule.

Bast.
If thou didst but consent
To this most cruell Act: do but dispaire,
And if thou want'st a Cord, the smallest thred
That euer Spider twisted from her wombe
Will serue to strangle thee: A rush will be a beame
To hang thee on. Or wouldst thou drowne thy selfe,
Put but a little water in a spoone,
And it shall be as all the Ocean,
Enough to stifle such a villaine vp.
I do suspect thee very greeuously.

Hub.
If I in act, consent, or sinne of thought,
Be guiltie of the stealing that sweete breath
Which was embounded in this beauteous clay,
Let hell want paines enough to torture me:
I left him well.

Bast.
Go, beare him in thine armes:
I am amaz'd me thinkes, and loose my way
Among the thornes, and dangers of this world.
How easie dost thou take all England vp,
From forth this morcell of dead Royaltie?
The life, the right, and truth of all this Realme
Is fled to heauen: and England now is left
To tug and scamble, and to part by th'teeth
The vn-owed interest of proud swelling State:
Now for the bare-pickt bone of Maiesty,
Doth dogged warre 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 waites
As doth a Rauen on a sicke-falne beast,
The iminent decay of wrested pompe.
Now happy he, whose cloake and center can
Hold out this tempest. Beare away that childe,
And follow me with speed: Ile to the King:
A thousand businesses are briefe in hand,
And heauen it selfe doth frowne vpon the Land.
Exit.
Modern text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter Hubert and executioners

HUBERT
Heat me these irons hot, and look thou stand
Within the arras. When I strike my 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!

EXECUTIONER
I hope your warrant will bear out the deed.

HUBERT
Uncleanly scruples! Fear not you. Look to't!
The executioners withdraw
Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you.
Enter Arthur

ARTHUR
Good morrow, Hubert.

HUBERT
Good morrow, little prince.

ARTHUR
As little prince, having so great a title
To be more prince, as may be. You are sad.

HUBERT
Indeed, I have been merrier.

ARTHUR
Mercy on me!
Methinks nobody should be sad but I.
Yet I remember, when I was in France,
Young gentlemen would be as sad as night
Only for wantonness. By my christendom,
So I were out of prison and kept sheep,
I should be as merry as the day is long;
And so I would be here, but that I doubt
My uncle practises more harm to me.
He is afraid of me and I of him.
Is it my fault that I was Geoffrey's son?
No, indeed, is't not; and I would to heaven
I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert.

HUBERT
(aside)
If I talk to him, with his innocent prate
He will awake my mercy, which lies dead.
Therefore I will be sudden, and dispatch.

ARTHUR
Are you sick, Hubert? You look pale today.
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.

HUBERT
(aside)
His words do take possession of my bosom.
He shows Arthur the warrant
Read here, young Arthur. (aside) How now, foolish rheum!
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?

ARTHUR
Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect.
Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes?

HUBERT
Young boy, I must.

ARTHUR
And will you?

HUBERT
And I will.

ARTHUR
Have you the heart? When your head did but ache,
I knit my handkercher 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 lien 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 you will.
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?

HUBERT
I have sworn to do it,
And with hot irons must I burn them out.

ARTHUR
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 Hubert's!
Hubert stamps his foot

HUBERT
Come forth!
The executioners come forward with ropes and irons
Do as I bid you do.

ARTHUR
O, save me, Hubert, save me! My eyes are out
Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men.

HUBERT
Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.

ARTHUR
Alas, what need you be so boisterous-rough?
I will not struggle; I will stand stone-still.
For heaven 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 winch, 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.

HUBERT
Go stand within. Let me alone with him.

EXECUTIONER
I am best pleased to be from such a deed.
Exeunt executioners

ARTHUR
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 yours.

HUBERT
Come, boy, prepare yourself.

ARTHUR
Is there no remedy?

HUBERT
None, but to lose your eyes.

ARTHUR
O heaven, that there were but a mote in 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.

HUBERT
Is this your promise? Go to, hold your tongue.

ARTHUR
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.

HUBERT
I can heat it, boy.

ARTHUR
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.

HUBERT
But with my breath I can revive it, boy.

ARTHUR
An if you do, you will but make it blush
And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert.
Nay, it perchance will sparkle in your eyes,
And, like a dog that is compelled to fight,
Snatch at his master that doth tarre him on.
All things that you should use to do me wrong
Deny their office. Only you do lack
That mercy which fierce fire and iron extends –
Creatures of note for mercy-lacking uses.

HUBERT
Well, see to live. I will not touch thine eye
For all the treasure that thine uncle owes;
Yet am I sworn, and I did purpose, boy,
With this same very iron to burn them out.

ARTHUR
O, now you look like Hubert. All this while
You were disguised.

HUBERT
Peace! No more. Adieu.
Your uncle must not know but you are dead.
I'll fill these dogged spies with false reports;
And, pretty child, sleep doubtless and secure
That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world,
Will not offend thee.

ARTHUR
O heaven! I thank you, Hubert.

HUBERT
Silence! No more. Go closely in with me.
Much danger do I undergo for thee.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter King John, Pembroke, Salisbury, and other
lords

KING JOHN
Here once again we sit, once again crowned,
And looked upon, I hope, with cheerful eyes.

PEMBROKE
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.

SALISBURY
Therefore, to be possessed 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 rainbow, or with taper-light
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.

PEMBROKE
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 unseasonable.

SALISBURY
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 consideration,
Makes sound opinion sick and truth suspected,
For putting on so new a fashioned robe.

PEMBROKE
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 th' excuse,
As patches set upon a little breach
Discredit more in hiding of the fault
Than did the fault before it was so patched.

SALISBURY
To this effect, before you were new crowned,
We breathed our counsel. But it pleased your highness
To overbear it, and we are all well pleased,
Since all and every part of what we would
Doth make a stand at what your highness will.

KING JOHN
Some reasons of this double coronation
I have possessed you with, and think them strong;
And more, more strong, when lesser is my fear,
I shall indue you with. Meantime but ask
What you would have reformed that is not well,
And well shall you perceive how willingly
I will both hear and grant you your requests.

PEMBROKE
Then I, as one that am the tongue of these
To sound the purposes of all their hearts,
Both for myself and them – but, chief of all,
Your safety, for the which myself and them
Bend their best studies – heartily request
Th' enfranchisement of Arthur, whose restraint
Doth move the murmuring lips of discontent
To break into this dangerous argument:
If what in rest you have in right you hold,
Why then your fears, which, as they say, attend
The steps of wrong, should move you to mew up
Your tender kinsman, and to choke his days
With barbarous ignorance, and deny his youth
The rich advantage of good exercise.
That the time's enemies may not have this
To grace occasions, let it be our suit,
That you have bid us ask, his liberty;
Which for our goods we do no further ask
Than whereupon our weal, on you depending,
Counts it your weal he have his liberty.
Enter Hubert

KING JOHN
Let it be so. I do commit his youth
To your direction. Hubert, what news with you?
He takes Hubert aside

PEMBROKE
This is the man should do the bloody deed;
He showed his warrant to a friend of mine.
The image of a wicked heinous fault
Lives in his eye; that close aspect of his
Does show the mood of a much troubled breast,
And I do fearfully believe 'tis done,
What we so feared he had a charge to do.

SALISBURY
The colour of the King doth come and go
Between his purpose and his conscience,
Like heralds 'twixt two dreadful battles set.
His passion is so ripe it needs must break.

PEMBROKE
And when it breaks, I fear will issue thence
The foul corruption of a sweet child's death.

KING JOHN
(coming forward)
We cannot hold mortality's strong hand.
Good lords, although my will to give is living,
The suit which you demand is gone and dead.
He tells us Arthur is deceased tonight.

SALISBURY
Indeed we feared his sickness was past cure.

PEMBROKE
Indeed we heard how near his death he was,
Before the child himself felt he was sick.
This must be answered – either here or hence.

KING JOHN
Why do you bend such solemn brows on me?
Think you I bear the shears of destiny?
Have I commandment on the pulse of life?

SALISBURY
It is apparent foul play; and 'tis shame
That greatness should so grossly offer it.
So thrive it in your game! And so, farewell.

PEMBROKE
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 owed the breadth of all this isle,
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 Pembroke, Salisbury, and the other lords

KING JOHN
They burn in indignation. I repent.
There is no sure foundation set on blood,
No certain life achieved by others' death.
Enter a Messenger
A fearful eye thou hast. Where is that blood
That I have seen inhabit in those cheeks?
So foul a sky clears not without a storm;
Pour down thy weather – how goes all in France?

MESSENGER
From France to England; never such a power
For any foreign preparation
Was levied in the body of a land.
The copy of your speed is learned by them;
For when you should be told they do prepare,
The tidings comes that they are all arrived.

KING JOHN
O, where hath our intelligence been drunk?
Where hath it slept? Where is my mother's care,
That such an army could be drawn in France
And she not hear of it?

MESSENGER
My liege, her ear
Is stopped with dust. The first of April died
Your noble mother; and, as I hear, my lord,
The Lady Constance in a frenzy died
Three days before. But this from rumour's tongue
I idly heard; if true or false I know not.

KING JOHN
Withhold thy speed, dreadful occasion!
O, make a league with me till I have pleased
My discontented peers. What! Mother dead?
How wildly then walks my estate in France!
Under whose conduct came those powers of France
That thou for truth givest out are landed here?

MESSENGER
Under the Dauphin.
Enter the Bastard and Peter of Pomfret

KING JOHN
Thou hast made me giddy
With these ill tidings. (to the Bastard) Now, what says the world
To your proceedings? Do not seek to stuff
My head with more ill news, for it is full.

BASTARD
But if you be afeard to hear the worst,
Then let the worst unheard fall on your bead.

KING JOHN
Bear with me, cousin, for I was amazed
Under the tide; but now I breathe again
Aloft the flood, and can give audience
To any tongue, speak it of what it will.

BASTARD
How I have sped among the clergymen,
The sums I have collected shall express.
But as I travelled hither through the land,
I find the people strangely fantasied,
Possessed with rumours, full of idle dreams,
Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear.
And here's a prophet that I brought with me
From forth the streets of Pomfret, whom I found
With many hundreds treading on his heels;
To whom he sung, in rude harsh-sounding rhymes,
That, ere the next Ascension Day at noon,
Your highness should deliver up your crown.

KING JOHN
Thou idle dreamer, wherefore didst thou so?

PETER
Foreknowing that the truth will fall out so.

KING JOHN
Hubert, away with him! Imprison him;
And on that day at noon whereon he says
I shall yield up my crown, let him be hanged.
Deliver him to safety and return,
For I must use thee.
Exeunt Hubert with Peter of Pomfret
O my gentle cousin,
Hearest thou the news abroad, who are arrived?

BASTARD
The French, my lord – men's mouths are full of it.
Besides, I met Lord Bigot and Lord Salisbury,
With eyes as red as new-enkindled fire,
And others more, going to seek the grave
Of Arthur, whom they say is killed tonight
On your suggestion.

KING JOHN
Gentle kinsman, go,
And thrust thyself into their companies.
I have a way to win their loves again;
Bring them before me.

BASTARD
I will seek them out.

KING JOHN
Nay, but make haste! The better foot before!
O, let me have no subject enemies,
When adverse foreigners affright my towns
With dreadful pomp of stout invasion.
Be Mercury, set feathers to thy heels,
And fly like thought from them to me again.

BASTARD
The spirit of the time shall teach me speed.
Exit

KING JOHN
Spoke like a sprightful noble gentleman!
(to the Messenger)
Go after him; for he perhaps shall need
Some messenger betwixt me and the peers;
And be thou he.

MESSENGER
With all my heart, my liege.
Exit

KING JOHN
My mother dead!
Enter Hubert

HUBERT
My lord, they say five moons were seen tonight –
Four fixed, and the fifth did whirl about
The other four in wondrous motion.

KING JOHN
Five moons?

HUBERT
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 embattailed and ranked in Kent.
Another lean unwashed artificer
Cuts off his tale and talks of Arthur's death.

KING JOHN
Why seekest thou to possess me with these fears?
Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's death?
Thy hand hath murdered him: I had a mighty cause
To wish him dead, but thou hadst none to kill him.

HUBERT
No had, my lord! Why, did you not provoke me?

KING 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
More upon humour than advised respect.

HUBERT
Here is your hand and seal for what I did.

KING JOHN
O, 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
Make deeds ill done! Hadst not thou been by,
A fellow by the hand of nature marked,
Quoted, and signed to do a deed of shame,
This murder had not come into my mind.
But taking note of thy abhorred aspect,
Finding thee fit for bloody villainy,
Apt, liable to be employed 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.

HUBERT
My lord –

KING JOHN
Hadst thou but shook thy head or made a pause
When I spake darkly what I purposed,
Or turned an eye of doubt upon my face,
As bid me tell my tale in express words,
Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me break off,
And those thy fears might have wrought fears in me.
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 name.
Out of my sight, and never see me more!
My nobles leave me; and my state is braved,
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
Between my conscience and my cousin's death.

HUBERT
Arm you against your other enemies;
I'll make a peace between your soul and you.
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 entered yet
The dreadful motion of a murderous thought;
And you have slandered nature in my form,
Which, howsoever rude exteriorly,
Is yet the cover of a fairer mind
Than to be butcher of an innocent child.

KING 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
Modern text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter Arthur on the walls

ARTHUR
The wall is high, and yet will I leap down.
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 disguised 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.
He leaps down
O me! My uncle's spirit is in these stones!
Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones!
He dies
Enter Pembroke, Salisbury, and Bigot

SALISBURY
Lords, I will meet him at Saint Edmundsbury.
It is our safety, and we must embrace
This gentle offer of the perilous time.

PEMBROKE
Who brought that letter from the Cardinal?

SALISBURY
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.

BIGOT
Tomorrow morning let us meet him then.

SALISBURY
Or rather then set forward; for 'twill be
Two long days' journey, lords, or ere we meet.
Enter the Bastard

BASTARD
Once more today well met, distempered lords!
The King by me requests your presence straight.

SALISBURY
The King hath dispossessed 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'er it walks.
Return and tell him so. We know the worst.

BASTARD
Whate'er you think, good words, I think, were best.

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

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

PEMBROKE
Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege.

BASTARD
'Tis true – to hurt his master, no man else.

SALISBURY
This is the prison.
He sees Arthur's body
What is he lies here?

PEMBROKE
O death, made proud with pure and princely beauty!
The earth had not a hole to hide this deed.

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

BIGOT
Or, when he doomed this beauty to a grave,
Found it too precious-princely for a grave.

SALISBURY
Sir Richard, what think you? You have beheld.
Or have you read, or heard, or could you think,
Or do you almost think, although you see,
That you do see? Could thought, without this object,
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 savagery, the vilest stroke,
That ever wall-eyed wrath or staring rage
Presented to the tears of soft remorse.

PEMBROKE
All murders past do stand excused in this.
And this, so sole and so unmatchable,
Shall give a holiness, a purity,
To the yet-unbegotten sin of times,
And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest,
Exampled by this heinous spectacle.

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

SALISBURY
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.

PEMBROKE and BIGOT
Our souls religiously confirm thy words.
Enter Hubert

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

SALISBURY
O, he is bold, and blushes not at death!
Avaunt, thou hateful villain! Get thee gone!

HUBERT
I am no villain.

SALISBURY
Must I rob the law?
He draws his sword

BASTARD
Your sword is bright, sir; put it up again.

SALISBURY
Not till I sheathe it in a murderer's skin.

HUBERT
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.

BIGOT
Out, dunghill! Darest thou brave a nobleman?

HUBERT
Not for my life; but yet I dare defend
My innocent life against an emperor.

SALISBURY
Thou art a murderer.

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

PEMBROKE
Cut him to pieces!

BASTARD
Keep the peace, I say.

SALISBURY
Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulconbridge.

BASTARD
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,
Or I'll so maul you and your toasting-iron
That you shall think the devil is come from hell.

BIGOT
What wilt thou do, renowned Faulconbridge?
Second a villain and a murderer?

HUBERT
Lord Bigot, I am none.

BIGOT
Who killed this prince?

HUBERT
'Tis not an hour since I left him well.
I honoured him, I loved him, and will weep
My date of life out for his sweet life's loss.

SALISBURY
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 me, all you whose souls abhor
Th' uncleanly savours of a slaughter-house;
For I am stifled with this smell of sin.

BIGOT
Away toward Bury, to the Dauphin there!

PEMBROKE
There tell the King he may inquire us out.
Exeunt Pembroke, Salisbury, and Bigot

BASTARD
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 damned, Hubert.

HUBERT
Do but hear me, sir –

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

HUBERT
Upon my soul –

BASTARD
If thou didst but consent
To this most cruel act, do but despair;
And if thou wantest 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 wouldst thou drown thyself,
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.

HUBERT
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.

BASTARD
Go, bear him in thine arms.
I am amazed, 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 th' teeth
The unowed interest of proud-swelling state.
Now for the bare-picked 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.
Now happy he whose cloak and ceinture 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.
Exeunt
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2020 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL