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Enter Pembroke, Salisbury and Bigot.
Sal. Lords, I will meet him at St. Edmonsbury ;
It is our fafety; and we muft embrace
This gentle offer of the perilous time.
Pemb. 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 fet forward, for 'twill be
Two long days journey, lords, or e'er we meet,
Faulc. Once more to day well met, diftemper'd lords;
The King by me requests your prefence ftrait.
Sal. The King hath difpoffeft himself of us;
We will not line his thin, bestained 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.
Faulc. What e'er you think, good words, I think,
Sal. Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now.
Faule. But there is little reafon in your grief,
Therefore 'twere reason, you had manners now.
Pemb. Sir, Sir, impatience hath its privilege.
Faulc. 'Tis true, to hurt its mafter, no man elfe.
Sal. This is the prison: what is he lyes here?
Pemb. O death, made proud with pure and princely
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? have you beheld,
Or have you read, or heard, or could you think,
Or do you almost think, altho' you fee,
What you do fee? could thought, without this object,
Form fuch 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 favag'ry, the vileft ftroke,
That ever wall-ey'd wrath, or ftaring rage,
Prefented to the tears of foft remorse.
Pemb. All murders past do ftand excus'd in this;
And this fo fole, and fo unmatchable,
Shall give a holiness, a purity,
To the yet-unbegotten fins of time; :
And prove a deadly blood, fhed but a jeft,
Exampled by this heinous fpectacle.
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 enfue..
It is the shameful work of Hubert's hand,
The practice and the purpose of the King:
From whofe obedience I forbid my foul,
Kneeling before this ruin of fweet life,
And breathing to this breathlefs excellence.
The incenfe of a vow, a holy vow!!
Never to taste the pleasures of the world,.
Never to be infected with delight,
Nor converfant with ease and idleness,.
Till I have fet a glory to this hand,
By giving it the worship of revenge.
Biget. Our Souls religiously comfirm thy words:
Hub. Lords, I am hot with hafte, in feeking you; Arthur doth live, the king hath fent for you.
Sal. Oh, he is bold, and blushes not at death; Avant, thou hateful Villain, get thee gone!
Faule. Your Sword is bright, Sir, put it up again.
Sal. Not till I fheath it in a murd'rer's skin.
Hab. Stand back, Lord Salisbury; ftand back, I fay;
By heav'n, I think, my fword's as fharp as yours.
I would not have you, Lord, forget yourself,
Nor tempt the danger of my true defence ;.
Left 1, by marking of your rage, forget
Your worth, your greatness, and nobility.
Bigat. Out, dunghill! dar'ft 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 fo;
Yet, I am none. Whofe tongue foe'er speaks falfe,
Not truly speaks; who fpeaks not truly, lyes.
Pemb. Cut him to pieces.
Faule. Keep the peace, I fay.
Sal. Stand by, or I fhall gaul you, Faulconbridge.
Faulc. Thou wert better gaul the devil, Salisbury-
If thou but frown on me, or ftir thy foot,
Or teach thy hafty fpleen to do me fhame, -
I'll ftrike thee dead. Put up thy fword betime,
Or I'll fo maul you, and your toiling iron,
That you fhall think, the devil is come from hell.
Bigot. What will you do, renowned Faulconbridge?
Second a villain, and murderer?
Hub. Lord Bigot, I am none.
Bigot. Who kill'd this Prince ?
Hub. 'Tis not an hour fince 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 lofs."
Sal. Truft not thofe cunning waters of his eyes
For villany is not without fuch rheum;
And he, long traded in it, makes it seem
Like rivers of remorfe and innocence.
Away with me all you, whofe fouls abhor
Th' uncleanly favour of a flaughter-house,
For I am ftifled with the fmell of fin.
Bigot. Away tow'rd Bury, to the Dauphin there.
Pemb. There, tell the King, he may enquire us out.
Faule. Here's a good world; knew you of this fair work?
Beyond the infinite and boundless reach
of mercy, (if thou didft this deed of death) Art thou damn'd, Hubert.
Hub. Do but hear me, Sir.
Faulc. Ha? I'll tell thee what,
Thou'rt danın'd fo black-nay, nothing is fo black;
Thou art more deep damn'd than prince Lucifer.
There is not yet fo ugly a fiend of hell
As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child.
Hub. Upon my foul
Faulc. If thou didst but confent
To this moft cruel act, do but defpair,
And if thou want'ft a cord, the smallest thread,
That ever spider twisted from her womb,
Will ftrangle 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 ftifle fuch a villain up.
I do fufpect thee very grievously.
Hub. If I in act, confent, or fin of thought,
Be guilty of the ftealing that fweet 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 lofe my way
Among the thorns and dangers of this world.
How eafie doft thou take all England up! (17)
(17) How eafie doft 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? Moft fagacious Editors! The stupid Pointing, which has prevail'd in all the Copies, makes stark Nonsense of the Paffage. My Pointing reftores it to its genuine Purity. Faulconbridge, feeing Hubert take up the Body of the dead Prince, makes two Reflections : — How eafly, fays he, doft theu take up all England in that Burthen! and then, That the Life, Right, and Truth of the Realm was filed to Heaven from out the breathlefs Coarfe of that slaughter'd Royalty, &c.
From forth this morfel 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 intereft of proud-fwelling State.
Now for the bare-pickt bone of Majefty,
Doth dogged war briftle his angry creft;
And fnarleth in the gentle eyes of peace.
Now Pow'rs from home and discontents at home
Meet in one line: and vaft confufion waits
(As doth a Raven on a fick, fall'n beast)
The imminent Decay of wrefted Pomp.
Now happy he, whofe 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 itself doth frown upon the Land. [Exeunt.
SCENE, the Court of ENGLAND. Enter King John, Pandulph, and Attendants.
HUS I have yielded up into your hand
The circle of my Glory.
Pand. Take again
From this my hand, as holding of the Pope,
Your fovereign Greatness and Authority.
K. John. Now keep your holy word; go meet the
And from his Holinefs ufe all your power
To ftop their Marches, 'fore we are inflam'd.
Our difcontented Counties do revolt;
Our people quarrel with obedience;
Swearing allegiance, and the love of foul,
To ftranger blood, to foreign Royalty;