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.

Scoena Tertia.

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[aint]. 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

The life and death of King John Page 26

William Shakespeare Plays

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