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Hub. Well, see to live; I will not touch thine eyes For all the treasure that thine uncle owes 9 : Yet am I sworn, and I did purpose, boy, With this same very iron to burn them out.
Arth. O, now you look like Hubert ! all this while You were disguised. Hub.
Peace: no more. Adieu : Your uncle must not know but you are dead: I'll fill these dogged spies with false reports. And, pretty child, sleep doubtless, and secure, That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world, Will not offend thee. Arth. O heaven! I thank
Hubert. Hub. Silence; no more: Go closely 10 in with me; Much danger do I undergo for thee. [Exeunt.
A Room of State in the Palace. Enter KING JOHN, crowned; PEMBROKE, SALIS
BURY, and other Lords. The King takes his
crown'd, And look'd upon, I hope, with cheerful eyes. Pem. This once again, but that your highness
pleas'd, Was once superfluous 1: you were crown'd before, And that high royalty was ne'er pluck'd off;
10 i. e. secretly, privately. So in Albumazar, 1610, Act iii. Sc.1:
• I'll entertain him here; meanwhile steal you
Closely into the room.' 1 i.e. this one time more was one time more than enough. It should be remembered that King John was now crowned for the fourth time. VOL. IV.
The faiths of men ne'er stained with revolt;
Sal. Therefore, to be possess'd with double pomp,
Pem. But that your royal pleasure must be done,
Sal. In this, the antique and well noted face
Pem. When workmen strive to do better than well,
2 To guard is to ornament. So in the Merchant of Venice, Act ii. Sc. 2:
give him a livery
More guarded than his fellows.' Shakspeare has here repeated an idea which he had first put into the mouth of the Dauphin :
· Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale,
Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.' 4 i. e. not by their avarice, but in an eager desire of excelling. As in King Henry V.:
* But if it be a sin to covet honour,
Discredit more in hiding of the fault",
Sal. To this effect, before you were new-crown'd,
K. John. Some reasons of this double coronation I have possess'd you with, and think them strong; And more, more strong (when lesser is my fear), I shall indue you with: Mean time, but ask What
would have reform’d, that is not well; And well shall you perceive, how willingly I will both hear 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 myself and them (but, chief of all, Your safety, for the which myself and them Bend their best studies), heartily request The enfranchisements of Arthur; whose restraint Doth move the murmuring lips of discontent To break into this dangerous argument, If, what in rest you have, in right you hold, Why then your fears (which, as they say, attend The steps of wrong), should move you to mew up Your tender kinsman, and to choke his days With barbarous ignorance, and deny his youth The rich advantage of good exercise 10?
5 Fault means blemish. 6 Since the whole and each particular part of our wishes, &c. 7 To declare, to publish the purposes of all, &c. 8 Releasement.
9 The construction of this passage is ‘If you have a good title to what you now have in rest (i. e. quiet), why then is it that your fears should move you,' &c.
10 In the middle ages, the whole education of princes and noble youths consisted in martial exercises, &c. Mental improvement might have been had in a prison as well as any where
That the time's enemies may not have this
direction.-Hubert, what news with you. Pem. This is the man should do the bloody deed; He show'd his warrant to a friend of mine: The image of a wicked heinous fault Lives in his eye; that close aspect of his Does show the mood of a much troubled breast; And I do fearfully believe, 'tis done, What we so fear'd he had a charge to do.
Sal. The colour of the king doth come and go, Between his purpose and his conscience", Like heralds 'twixt two dreadful battles set: His passion is so ripe, it needs must break.
Pem. And when it breaks, I fear, will issue thence The foul corruption of a sweet child's death. K. John. We cannot hold mortality's strong
hand : Good lords, although my will to give is living, The suit which
you demand is gone and dead : He tells us, Arthur is deceas'd to-night.
Sal. Indeed, we fear'd his sickness was past cure.
Pem. Indeed, we heard how near his death he was, Before the child himself felt he was sick: This must be answer’d, either here, or hence.
11 The purpose of the king, to which Salisbary allades, is that of putting Arthur to death, which he considers as not yet accomplished, and therefore supposes that there might be still a conflict in the king's mind
• Between his purpose and his conscience.'
K. John. Why do you bend such solemn brows
I bear the shears of destiny?
Sal. It is apparent foul-play; and 'tis shame,
Pem. Stay yet, Lord Salisbury; I'll go with thee,
Enter a Messenger.
all in France ? Mess. From France to England 13.—Never such
should be told they do prepare, The tidings come, that they are all arriv'd.
own'd the breadth of all this isle.' The two last variorum editions erroneously read breath for breadth, which is found in the old copy.
13 The king asks how all goes in France; the messenger catches the word goes, and answers, that whatever is in France goes now into England.