« VorigeDoorgaan »
What we so fear'd he had a charge to do.
Bast. How I have sped among the clergymen, Sal. The colour of the king doth come and go,
The sums I have collected shall express : Between his purpose and his conscience,
But as I travellid hither through the land, Like heralds 'twixt two dreadful battles set:
I find the people strangely fantasied; His passion is so ripe, it needs must break.
Possess'd with rumours, full of idle dreams, Pem. And when it breaks, I fear, will issue thence Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear: The foul corruption of a sweet child's death.
And here's a prophet, that I brought with me K. John. We cannot hold mortality's strong hand. From forth the streets of Pomfret, whom I found Good lords, although my will to give is living, With many hundreds treading on his heels; The suit which you demand is gone and dead: To whom he sung, in rude harsh-sounding rhymes, He tells us, Arthur is deceas'd to-night.
That ere the next Ascension-day at noon, Sal. Indeed, we fear'd his sickness was past cure. Your highness should deliver up your crown.
Pem. Indeed, we heard how near his death he was, K. John. Thou idle dreamer, wherefore did'st thou so? Before the child himself felt he was sick.
Peter. Foreknowing that the truth will fall out so. This must be answer'd, either here, or hence.
K. John. Hubert, away with him: imprison him; K. John. Why do you bend such solemn brows on me? And on that day at noon, whereon, he says, Think you, I bear the shears of destiny?
I shall yield up my crown, let him be hang'd.
Deliver him to safety, and return,
[Exit HUBERT, with Peter. So thrive it in your game; and so farewell.
Hear'st thou the news abroad, who are arriv'd ? Pem. Stay yet, lord Salisbury, I'll go with thee, Bast. The French, my lord; men's mouths are full And find th' inheritance of this poor child,
of it: His little kingdom of a forced grave.
Besides, I met lord Bigot, and lord Salisbury,
Gentle kinsman, go, There is no sure foundation set on blood,
And thrust thyself into their companies.
I have a way to win their loves again:
Bring them before me.
I will seek them out. That I have seen inhabit in those cheeks?
K. John. Nay, but make haste; the better foot So foul a sky clears not without a storm :
before.Pour down thy_weather.--How goes all in France ? 0! let me have no subject enemies,
Mess. From France to England. - Never such a power When adverse foreigners affright my towns For any foreign preparation,
With dreadful pomp of stout invasion. Was levied in the body of a land.
Be Mercury ; set feathers to thy heels, The copy of your speed is learn'd by them;
And fly like thought from them to me again. For, when you should be told they do prepare,
Bast. The spirit of the time shall teach me speed. The tidings come that they are all arriv'd.
And be thou he.
Mess. With all my heart, my liege. [Exit. Is stopp'd with dust: the first of April, died
K. John. My mother dead! Your noble mother; and, as I hear, my lord,
Re-enter Hubert. The lady Constance in a frenzy died
Hub. My lord, they say, five moons were seen to-night: Three days before: but this from rumour's tongue Four fixed; and the fifth did whirl about I idly heard; if true, or false, I know not.
The other four in wonderous motion. K. John. Withhold thy speed, dreadful Occasion ! K. John. Five moons ? 0! make a league with me, till I have pleas'd
Hub. Old men, and beldames, in the streets My discontented peers.—What! mother dead? Do prophesy upon it dangerously. How wildly, then, walks my estate in France !- Young Arthur's death is common in their mouths, Under whose conduct come those powers of France, And when they talk of him, they shake their heads, That thou for truth giv'st out are landed here? And whisper one another in the ear; Mess. Under the Dauphin.
And he that speaks, doth gripe the hearer's wrist, Enter the Bastard, and Peter of Pomfret. Whilst he that hears, makes fearful action, K. John.
Thou hast made me giddy With wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling eyes. With these ill-tidings.- Now, what says the world I saw a smith stand with his hammer, thus, To your proceedings ? do not seek to stuff
The whilst his iron did on the anvil cool, My head with more ill news, for it is full.
With open mouth swallowing a tailor's news; Ba: But if you be afeard to hear the worst, Who, with his shears and measure in his hand, Then let the worst, unheard, fall on your head. Standing on slippers, (which his nimble haste
K. John. Bear with me, cousin, for I was amaz'd Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet) Under the tide ; but now I breathe again
Told of a many thousand warlike French, Aloft the flood, and can give audience
That were embattailed and rank'd in Kent. To any tongue, speak it of what it will.
Another lean, unwash'd artificer
Cuts off his tale, and talks of Arthur's death.
O! answer not; but to my closet bring K. John. Why seek'st thou to possess me with these The angry lords, with all expedient baste : fears?
I conjure thee but slowly; run more fast. [Exeunt. Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's death?
SCENE III.-The Same. Before the Castle. Thy hand hath murder'd him: I had a mighty cause To wish him dead, but thou hadst none to kill him.
Enter Arthur, on the Walls. Hub. Had none, my lord! why, did you not provoke Arth. The wall is high; and yet will I leap down.me?
Good ground, be pitiful, and hurt me not! K. John. It is the curse of kings, to be attended There's few, or none, do know me; if they did, By slaves, that take their humours for a warrant This ship-boy's semblance bath disguis'd me quite. To break into the bloody house of life;
I am afraid; and yet I'll venture it. And, on the winking of authority,
If I get down, and do not break my limbs, To understand a law; to know the meaning
I'll find a thousand shifts to get away : Of dangerous majesty, when, perchance, it frowns As good to die and go, as die and stay. [Leaps down. More upon humour than advis'd respect.
O me! my uncle's spirit is in these stones.Hub. Here is your hand and seal for what I did. Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones. [Dies. K. John. O! when the last account 'twixt heaven Enter PEMBROKE, SALISBURY, and Bigot. and earth
Sal. Lords, I will meet him at Saint Edmund's Bury: Is to be made, then shall this hand and seal
It is our safety, and we must embrace Witness against us to damnation.
This gentle offer of the perilous time. How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds,
Pem. Who brought that letter from the cardinal ? Makes ill deeds done! Had'st not thou been by, Sal. The count Melun, a noble lord of France; A fellow by the hand of nature mark'd,
Whose private missive of the Dauphin's love, Quoted, and sign'd, to do a deed of shame,
Is much more general than these lines import. This murder had not come into my mind;
Big. To-morrow morning let us meet him then. But, taking note of thy abhorr'd aspect,
Sal. Or, rather then set forward : for 'twill be Finding thee fit for bloody villainy,
Two long days' journey, lords, or e'er we meet. Apt, liable to be employ'd in danger,
Enter the Bastard. I faintly broke with thee of Arthur's death ;
Bast. Once more to-day well met, distemper'd lords. And thou, to be endeared to a king,
The king by me requests your pre
ence straight. Made it no conscience to destroy a prince.
Sal. The king hath dispossess'd himself of us : Hub. My lord,
We will not line his sin-bestained cloak K. John. Hadst thou but shook thy head, or made a With our pure honours, nor attend the foot pause,
That leaves the print of blood where-e'er it walks. When I spake darkly what I purposed;
Return, and tell him so: we know the worst. Or turn'd an eye of doubt upon my face,
Bast. Whate'er you think, good words, I think, were Or bid me tell my tale in express words,
best. Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me break off, Sal. Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now. And those thy fears might have wrought fears in me: Bast. But there is little reason in your grief; But thou didst understand me by my signs,
Therefore, 'twere reason you had manners now. And didst in signs again parley with sign ;
Pem. Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege. Yea, without stop, didst let thy heart consent,
Bast. 'Tis true; to hurt his master, no man else. And consequently thy rude hand to act
Sal. This is the prison. What is he lies here? The deed which both our tongues held vile to name.
[Seeing Arthur. Out of my sight, and never see me more!
Pem. O death! made proud with pure and princely My nobles leave me; and my state is brav'd,
beauty, Even at my gates, with ranks of foreign powers : The earth had not a hole to hide this deed. Nay, in the body of this fleshly land,
Sal. Murder, as hating what himself hath done, This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath, Doth lay it open to urge on revenge. Hostility and civil tumult reigos
Big. Or when he doom'd this beauty to a grave, Between my conscience, and my cousin's death. Found it too precious-princely for a grave. Hub. Arm you against your other enemies,
Sal. Sir Richard, what think you? Have you beheld, I'll make a peace between your soul and you. Or have you read, or heard? or could you think? Young Arthur is alive: this hand of miné
Or do you almost think, although you see, Is yet a maiden and an innocent hand,
That you do see ? could
thought, without this object, Not painted with the crimson spots of blood.
Form such another? This is the very top, Within this bosom never enter'd yet
The height, the crest, or crest unto the crest, The dreadful motion of a murderous thought,
Of murder's arms: this is the bloodiest shame, And you have slander'd nature in my form;
The wildest savagery, the vilest stroke, Which, howsoever rude exteriorly,
That ever wall-ey'd wrath, or staring rage, Is yet the cover of a fairer mind,
Presented to the tears of soft remorse. Than to be butcher of an innocent child.
Pem. All murders past do stand excus'd in this; K. John. Doth Arthur live? O! haste thee to the And this, so sole and so unmatchable, peers :
Shall give a holiness, a purity, Throw this report on their incensed rage,
To the yet unbegotten sin of times; And make them tame to their obedience.
And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest, Forgive the comment that my passion made
Exampled by this heinous spectacle. Upon thy feature; for my rage was blind,
Bast. It is a damned and a bloody work; And foul imaginary eyes of blood
The graceless action of a heavy hand, Presented thee more hideous than thou art.
If that it be the work of any hand.
Sal. If that it be the work of any hand ?
Away, with me, all you whose souls abhor We had a kind of light, what would ensue:
Th' uncleanly savours of a slaughter-house. It is the shameful work of Hubert's hand;
For I am stifled with this smell of sin. The practice, and the purpose, of the king :
Big. Away, toward Bury: to the Dauphin there! From whose obedience I forbid my soul,
Pem. There, tell the king, he may inquire us out. Kneeling before this ruin of sweet life,
[Exeunt Lords. And breathing to his breathless excellence
Bast. Here's a good world !-Knew you of this fair The incense of a vow, a holy vow,
work? Never to taste the pleasures of the world,
Beyond the infinite and boundless reach Never to be infected with delight,
Of mercy, if thou didst this deed of death, Nor conversant with ease and idleness,
Art thou damn'd, Hubert. Till I have set a glory to this head,
Do but hear me, sir. By giving it the worship of revenge.
Bast. Ha! I'll tell thee what; Pem. Big. Our souls religiously confirm thy words. Thou art damn'd as black-nay, nothing is so black; Enter Hubert.
Thou art more deep damn'd than prince Lucifer : Hub. Lords, I am hot with haste in seeking you. There is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell Arthur doth live : the king hath sent for you. As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child.
Sal. O! he is bold, and blushes not at death.- Hub. Upon my soul,Avaunt, thou hateful villain ! get thee gone.
If thou didst but consent Hub. I am no villain.
To this most cruel act, do but despair; Sal. Must I rob the law? [Drawing his sword. And if thou want'st a cord, the smallest thread Bast. Your sword is bright, sir: put it up again. That ever spider twisted from her womb Sal. Not till I sheath it in a murderer's skin. Will serve to strangle thee; a rush will be a beam
Hub. Stand back, lord Salisbury; stand back, I say: To hang thee on: or would'st thou drown thyself, By heaven, I think, my sword's as sharp as yours.
Put but a little water in a spoon, I'would not have you, lord, forget yourself,
And it shall be as all the ocean, Nor tempt the danger of my true defence;
Enough to stifle such a villain up. Lest 1, by marking but your rage, forget
I do suspect thee very grievously. Your worth, your greatness, and nobility.
Hub. "If I in act, consent, or sin of thought Big. Out lunghill! dar'st thou brave a nobleman? Be guilty of the stealing that sweet breath,
Hub. Not for my life; but yet I dare defend Which was embounded in this beauteous clay, My innocent life against an emperor.
Let hell want pains enough to torture me.
I left him well.
Go, bear him in thine arms.-
Among the thorns and dangers of this world.-
(Hubert takes up Arthur. Bast.
Keep the peace, I say.
How easy dost thou take all England up! Sal. Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulconbridge. From forth this morsel of dead royalty,
Bast. Thou wert better gall the devil, Salisbury : The life, the right, and truth of all this realm If thou but frown on me, or stir thy foot,
Is fled to heaven; and England now is left Or teach thy hasty spleen to do me shame,
To tug and scramble, and to part by the teeth I'll strike thee dead. Put up thy sword betime, The unowed interest of proud swelling state. Or I'll so maul you and your toasting-iron,
Now for the bare-pick'd bone of majesty That you shall think the devil is come from hell. Doth dogged war bristle his angry crest,
Big. What wilt thou do, renowned Faulconbridge? And snarleth in the gentle eyes of peace: Second a villain, and a murderer.
Now powers from home, and discontents at home, Hub. Lord Bigot, I am none.
Meet in one line; and vast confusion waits, Big. Who kill'd this prince? [Pointing to Arthur. As doth a raven on a sick-fallen beast,
Hub. 'Tis not an hour since I left him well: The imminent decay of wrested pomp. I honour'd him, I lov'd him; and will weep
Now happy he, whose cloak and cincture can My date of life out for his sweet life's loss.
Hold out this tempest.-Bear away that child, Sal. Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes, And follow me with speed: I'll to the king. For villainy is not without such rheum;
A thousand businesses are brief in hand, And he, long traded in it, makes it seem
And heaven itself doth frown upon the land. Like rivers of remorse and innocency.
[Exeunt : Hubert bearing out Arthur's body.
To stop their marches, 'fore we are inflam'd.
hand Our discontented counties do revolt, The circle of my glory.
Our people quarrel with obedience,
To stranger blood, to foreign royalty.
This inundation of mistemper'd humour
Rests by you only to be qualified :
SCENE II.-A Plain, near St. Edmund's Bury. Then pause not; for the present time's so sick, That present medicine must be minister'd,
Enter, in arms, Lewis, Salisbury, Melun, PEMBROKE, Or overthrow incurable ensues.
Bigot, and Soldiers.
And keep it safe for our remembrance.
Return the precedent to these lords again ; My tongue shall hush again this storm of war, That, having our fair order written down, And make fair weather in your blustering land. Both they, and we, perusing o'er these notes, On this Ascension-day, remember well,
May know wherefore we took the sacrament, Upon your oath of service to the pope,
And keep our faiths firm and inviolable. Go I to make the French lay down their arms. [Exit. Sal. Upon our sides it never shall be broken.
K. John. Is this Ascension-day ? Did not the prophet And, noble Dauphin, albeit we swear
A voluntary zeal, and an unurg'd faith,
I am not glad that such a sore of time
Should seek a plaster by contemn'd revolt,
And heal the inveterate canker of one wound,
That I must draw this metal from my side Like a kind host, the Dauphin and his powers. To be a widow-maker; 0! and there, Your nobles will not hear you, but are gone
Where honourable rescue, and defence, To offer service to your enemy;
Cries out upon the name of Salisbury. And wild amazement hurries up and down
But such is the infection of the time, The little number of your doubtful friends.
That, for the health and physic of our right, K. John. Would not my lords return to me again, We cannot deal but with the
hand After they heard young Arthur was alive?
Of stern injustice and confused wrong.Bast. They found him dead, and cast into the streets; And is't not pity, O, my grieved friends! An empty casket, where the jewel of life
That we, the sons and children of this isle, By some damn'd hand was robb’d and ta'en away. Were born to see so sad an hour as this; K. John. That villain Hubert told me he did live. Wherein we step after a stranger, march
Bast. So, on my soul, he did, for aught he knew. Upon her gentle bosom, and fill up But wherefore do you droop? why look you sad ? Her enemies' ranks, (I must withdraw, and weep Be great in act, as you have been in thought; Upon the thought of this enforced cause) Let not the world see fear, and blank distrust, To grace the gentry of a land remote, Govern the motion of a kingly eye:
And follow unacquainted colours here? Be stirring as the time; meet fire with fire;
What, here?- nation, that thou could'st remove ! Threaten the threatener, and outface the brow That Neptune's arms, who clippeth thee about, Of bragging horror: so shall inferior eyes,
Would bear thee from the knowledge of thyself, That borrow their behaviours from the great,
And grapple thee unto a pagan shore ; Grow great by your example, and put on
Where these two Christian armies might combine The dauntless spirit of resolution.
The blood of malice in a vein of league, Away! and glister like the god of war,
And not to spend it so unneighbourly! When he intendeth to become the field :
Lew. A noble temper dost thou show in this; Show boldness, and aspiring confidence.
And great affections wrestling in thy bosom
Do make an earthquake of nobility.
Between compulsion, and a brave respect!
Let me wipe off this honourable dew, And grapple with him ere he come so nigh.
That silverly doth progress on thy cheeks. K. John. The legate of the pope hath been with me, My heart hath melted at a lady's tears, And I have made a happy peace with him ;
Being an ordinary inundation; And he hath promis'd to dismiss the powers
But this effusion of such manly drops,
This shower, blown up by tempest of the soul,
Startles mine eyes, and makes me more amaz'd Shall we, upon the footing of our land,
Than had I seen the vaulty top of heaven Send fair-play offers, and make compromise,
Figur'd quite o'er with burning meteors. Insinuation, parley, and base truce,
Lift up thy brow, renowned Salisbury, To arms invasive ? shall a beardless boy,
And with a great heart heave away this storm : A cocker'd silken wanton, brave our fields,
Commend these waters to those baby eyes, And flesh his spirit in a warlike soil,
That never saw the giant-world enrag'd; Mocking the air with colours idly spread,
Nor met with fortune other than at feasts, And find no check ? Let us, my liege, to arms: Full of warm blood, of mirth, of gossiping. Perchance, the cardinal cannot make your peace; Come, come; for thou shalt thrust thy hand as deep Or if he do, let it at least be said,
Into the purse of rich prosperity, They saw we had a purpose of defence.
As Lewis himself:-80, nobles, shall you all, K. John. Have thou the ordering of this present That knit your sinews to the strength of mine. time.
Enter PanduLPH, attended. Bast. Away then, with good courage ; yet, I know, And even there, methinks, an angel spake: Our party may well meet a prouder foe. (Exeunt. Look, where the holy legate comes apace,
To give us warrant from the hand of heaven, This unheard sauciness of boyish troops,
The king doth smile at; and is well prepar'd
To whip this dwarfish war, these pigmy arms, Pand.
Hail, noble prince of France. From out the circle of his territories. The next is this :—king John hath reconcil'd That hand, which had the strength, even at your door, Himself to Rome; his spirit is come in,
To cudgel you, and make you take the hatch; That so stood out against the holy church,
To dive like buckets in concealed wells; The great metropolis and see of Rome :
To crouch in litter of your stable planks; Therefore, thy threat'ning colours now wind up, To lie like pawns lock'd up in chests and trunks; And tame the savage spirit of wild war,
To hug with swine; to seek sweet safety out That, like a lion foster'd up at hand,
In vaults and prisons; and to thrill, and shake, It may lie gently at the foot of peace,
Even at the crowing of your nation's cock, And be no farther harmful than in show.
Thinking his voice an armed Englishman : Lew. Your grace shall pardon me; I will not back: Shall that victorious hand be feebled here, I am too high-born to be propertied,
That in your chambers gave you chastiseinent ? To be a secondary at control,
No! Know, the gallant monarch is in arms; Or useful serving-man, and instrument,
And like an eagle o'er his aiery towers, To any sovereign state throughout the world.
To souse annoyance that comes near his nest.Your breath first kindled the dead coal of wars And you degenerate, you ingrate revolts, Between this chastis'd kingdom and myself,
You bloody Neroes, ripping up the womb And brought in matter that should feed this fire ; Of
your dear mother England, blush for shame : And now 'tis far too huge to be blown out
For your own ladies, and pale-visag'd maids, With that same weak wind which enkindled it. Like Amazons come tripping after drums; You taught me how to know the face of right, Their thimbles into armed gauntlets chang'd, Acquainted me with interest to this land,
Their needl's to lances, and their gentle hearts Yea, thrust this enterprize into my heart,
To fierce and bloody inclination. And come ye now to tell me, John hath made
Lew. There end thy brave, and turn thy face in peace:
We hold our time too precious to be spent
Give me leave to speak.
We will attend to neither. What men provided, what munition sent,
Strike up the drums! and let the tongue of war To underprop this action ? is't not I,
Plead for our interest, and our being here. That undergo this charge? who else but I,
Bast. Indeed, your drums, being beaten, will cry out; And such as to my claim are liable,
And so shall you, being beaten. Do but start
And even at hand a drum is ready brac'd,
That shall reverberate all as loud as thine; Have I not here the best cards for the game,
Sound but another, and another shall, To win this easy match, play'd for a crown,
As loud as thine, rattle the welkin's ear, And shall I now give o'er the yielded set?
And mock the deep-mouth'd thunder: for at hand No, on my soul, it never shall be said.
(Not trusting to this halting legate here, Pand. You look but on the outside of this work. Whom he hath us'd rather for sport than need) Lew. Outside or inside, I will not return
Is warlike John; and in his forehead sits Till my attempt so much be glorified,
A bare-ribb'd death, whose office is this day As to my ample hope was promised
To feast upon whole thousands of the French. Before I drew this gallant head of war,
Lew. Strike up our drums to find this danger out. And cull’d these fiery spirits from the world,
Bast. And thou shalt find it, Dauphin, do not doubt. To outlook conquest, and to win renown
(E.reunt. Even in the jaws of danger and of death.
SCENE III.-The Same. A Field of Battle. [Trumpet sounds.
Enter King John and HUBERT.
K.John. How goes the day with us? O! tell me, Hubert.
K. John. This fever, that hath troubled me so long, My holy lord of Milan, from the king
Lies heavy on me: 0! my heart is sick. I come, to learn how you have dealt for him;
Enter a Messenger. And, as you answer, I do know the scope
Mess. My lord, your valiant kinsman, Faulconbridge, And warrant limited unto my tongue.
Desires your majesty to leave the field, Pand. The Dauphin is too wilful-opposite,
And send him word by me which way you go. And will not temporize with my entreaties:
K. John. Tell him, toward Swinstead, to the abbey He flatly says, he'll not lay down his arms.
there. Bast. By all the blood that ever fury breath'd, Mess. Be of good comfort; for the great supply, The youth says well.—Now, hear our English king, That was expected by the Dauphin here, For thus his royalty doth speak in me.
Are wreck'd three nights ago on Goodwin sands : He is prepar'd; and reason, too, he should :
This news was brought to Richard but even now. This apish and unmannerly approach,
The French fight coldly, and retire themselves. This harness'd masque, and unadvised revel,
K. John. Ah me! this tyrant fever burns me up,