Actus Quartus, Scaena prima.

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 to day, 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 Arthur. 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

The life and death of King John Page 21

William Shakespeare Plays

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