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Enter Pembroke, Salisbury and Bigot.
Sal. Lords, I will meet him at St. Edmondsbury;
It is our safety ; and we must embrace
This gentle offer of the perilous time.
Pem. Who brought that letter from the Cardinal ?
Sal. The Count Melun, a noble lord of France,
Whose private with me of the Dauphin's love
Is much more gen'ral than these lines import.
Bigot. To-morrow morning let us meet him then.
Sal. Or rather then set forward, for 'twill be Two long day's journey, lords, or ere we meet.
Faulc. Once more to day well met, diftemper*d lords ;
The King by me requests your presence strait.
Sal. The King hath difpofíeft himself of us;
We will not line his thin, beitained cloak
With our pure honours: nor attend the foot,
That leaves the print of blood where-e'er it walks.
Return, and tell him fo: we know the worst.
Faulć. What e'er you think, good words, I think,
Sal. Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now.
Faulc. But there is little reason in your grief,
Therefore 'twere reason, you had manners now.
Pem. Sir, Sir, impatience hath its privilege.
Faulc. 'Tis true, to hurt its master, no man else.
Sal. This is the prison : what is he lyes here?
[Seeing Arthur. Pem. O death, made proud with pure and princely
beauty! The earth had not a hole to hide this deed.
Sal. Murder, as hating what himself hath done, Doth lay it open to urge on revenge.
Bigot. Or when he doom'd this beauty to the grave, Found it too precious princely for a grave.
Sal. Sir Richard, what think you ? bave you beheld, Or have you read, or heard, or could you think, Or do you almost think, altho' you see,
What you do fee? could thought, without this object,
Form such another ? 'tis the very top,
The height, the creft, or crest unto the crest
Of murder's arms ; this is the bloodiest shame,
The wildest savag'ry, the vileft ftroke,
That ever wall-ey'd wrath, or staring rage,
Presented to the tears of soft remorse.
Pem. All murders past do stand excus'd in this ;
And this so sole, and fo unmatchable,
Shall give a holiness, a purity,
To the yet-unbegotten sins of time ;
And prove a deadly blood-shed but a jeft,
Exampled by this heinous spectacle.
Faulc. It is a damned and a bloody work,
The graceless action of a heavy hand :
If that it be the work of any hand.
Sal. If that it be the work of any hand ?
We had a kind of light, what would ensue.
It is the lhameful 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.
Oar souls religiously confirm thy words.
Enter. Hubert. Hub. Lords, I am hot with hafte, in seeking you ; Artbur doth live, the King hath sent for you.
Sal. Oh, he is bold, and blushes not at death ;
Avaunt, thou hateful villain, get thee gone !
Hub. I am no villain.
Sal. Muft I rob the law ? [Drawing his sword.
Fault. Your sword is bright, Sir, put it up again.
Sat. Not till I fheath it in a murd'rer's skin.
Hub. Stand back, Lord Salisbury; stand back, I say ; By heav'n, 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 ; Left I, by marking of your rage, forget Your worth, your greatness, and nobility.
Bigot. Out, dunghill ! dar'lt thou brave a Nobleman?
Hub. Not for my life ; but yet I dare defend My innocent life against an Emperor.
Sal. Thou art a murd'rer.
Hub. Do not prove me so;
Yet, I am none. Whose tongue foe'er speaks false,
Not truly speaks ; who speaks not truly, lyes.
Pem. Cut him to pieces.
Faulc. Keep the peace, I say.
Sal. Stand by, or I Mall gaul you, Faulconbridge.
Faulc. Thou wert better gaul the devil, Salisbury.
If thou but frown on me, or stir thy foot,
Or teach thy hafty spleen to do me shame,
I'll strike thee dead. Put up thy sword betime,
Or I'll so maul you, and your tosting-iron,
That you shall think, the devil is come from hell.
Bigot. What will you do, renowned Faulconbridge? Second a villain, and a murderer ?
Hub. Lord Bigot, I am none.
Bigot. 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 villany is not without such rheum ;
And he, long traded in it, makes it seem
Like rivers of remorse and innocence.
Away with me all you, whose souls abhor
Th' uncleanly favour of a slaughter-house,
For I am stifed with the smell of fin.
Bigot. Away tow'rd Bury, to the Dauphin there.
Pem. There, tell the King, he may enquire us out.
[Exeunt Lords. Faulc. 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.
Hub. Do but hear me, Sir.
Fault. Ha ? I'll tell thee what, Thou'rt danın'd fo black nay, nothing is so black, Thou art more deep damn'd than prince Lucifer. There is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell As thou shalt be, if thou didft kill this child.
Hub. Upon my soul
Faulc. If thou didit 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 strangle thee ; a rush will be a beam
To hang thee on : or would'st thou drown thyself,
Put but a little water in a spoon,
And it shall be as all the ocean,
Enough to stile such a villain up.
I do fufpect thee very grievously.
Hub. "If I in act, consent, or fin 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.
Faulc. Go, bear him in thine arms.
I am amaz’d, methinks, and lose my way,
Among the thorns and dangers of this world.
How easie dost thou take all England up! (17)
(17) How easie dost thou take all England up,
From forth this Morfel of dead Royalty?] But how did Hubert take England up, from forth the dead Body of young Arthur ? Most sagacious Editors! The ftupid Pointing, which has prevail'd in all the Copics, makes ftask Nonsenle of the Passage. My Pointing restores it to its genuine Purity. Faulconbridge, seeing Hubert take up the Body of the dead Prince, makes two Reflections: - How easily, says he, dost thou take up all England in that Burthen ! and then, That the Life, Right, and Truth of the Realm was Aled to Heaven from out the breathless Coarse of that Naughter'd Royalty, &c.
From forth this morsel of dead Royalty,
The life, the right, and truth of all this Realm
Is fled to heav'n; and England now is left
To tug and scramble, and to part by th' teeth
The un-owed interest of proud-swelling State.
Now for the bare-pickt bone of Majeity,
Doth dogged war bristle his angry
And snarleth in the gentle eyes of peace.
Now Pow'rs from home and discontents at home
Meet in one line: and vast confufion waits
(As doth a Raven on a sick, fall'n beast)
The imminent Decay of wrested Pomp.
Now happy he, whose cloak and cincture can
Hold out this tempeft. Bear away that child,
And follow me with speed; I'll to the King ;
A thousand businesses are brief at hand,
And heav'n it self doth frown upon the Land. Exeunt.
A CT V.
SCENE, the Court of ENGLAND.
Enter King John, Pandulph, and Attendants.
HUS I have yielded up into your hand
The circle of my Glory. Giving the Crown.
Pand. Take again
From this my hand, as holding of the Pope,
Your sovereign Greatness and Authority.
K. John. Now keep your holy word; go meet the
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 ftranger blood, to foreign Royalty ;