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

The life and death of King John Page 23

William Shakespeare Plays

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