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King John: Act 4, Scene 3

King John
Act 4, Scene 3

Before King John’s castle.

  1. Enter Arthur on the walls.

Arthur

2 - 12
  1. The wall is high, and yet will I leap down.
  2. Good ground, be pitiful and hurt me not!
  3. There’s few or none do know me; if they did,
  4. This ship-boy’s semblance hath disguis’d me quite.
  5. I am afraid, and yet I’ll venture it.
  6. If I get down, and do not break my limbs,
  7. I’ll find a thousand shifts to get away.
  8. As good to die and go, as die and stay.
  9. Leaps down.
  10. O me, my uncle’s spirit is in these stones.
  11. Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones!
  1. Dies.
  1. Enter Pembroke, Salisbury, and Bigot.

Earl of Salisbury

15 - 17
  1. Lords, I will meet him at Saint Edmundsbury.
  2. It is our safety, and we must embrace
  3. This gentle offer of the perilous time.

Earl of Pembroke

18
  1. Who brought that letter from the Cardinal?

Earl of Salisbury

19 - 21
  1. The Count Melune, a noble lord of France,
  2. Whose private with me of the Dauphin’s love
  3. Is much more general than these lines import.

Lord Bigot

22
  1. Tomorrow morning let us meet him then.

Earl of Salisbury

23 - 24
  1. Or rather then set forward, for ’twill be
  2. Two long days’ journey, lords, or ere we meet.
  1. Enter Bastard.

Bastard

26 - 27
  1. Once more today well met, distemper’d lords!
  2. The King by me requests your presence straight.

Earl of Salisbury

28 - 32
  1. The King hath dispossess’d himself of us.
  2. We will not line his thin bestained cloak
  3. With our pure honors, nor attend the foot
  4. That leaves the print of blood where e’er it walks.
  5. Return, and tell him so. We know the worst.

Bastard

33
  1. What e’er you think, good words I think were best.

Earl of Salisbury

34
  1. Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now.

Bastard

35 - 36
  1. But there is little reason in your grief;
  2. Therefore ’twere reason you had manners now.

Earl of Pembroke

37
  1. Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege.

Bastard

38
  1. ’Tis trueto hurt his master, no man else.

Earl of Salisbury

39 - 41
  1. This is the prison.
  2. Seeing Arthur.
  3.                     What is he lies here?

Earl of Pembroke

42 - 43
  1. O death, made proud with pure and princely beauty!
  2. The earth had not a hole to hide this deed.

Earl of Salisbury

44 - 45
  1. Murder, as hating what himself hath done,
  2. Doth lay it open to urge on revenge.

Lord Bigot

46 - 47
  1. Or when he doom’d this beauty to a grave,
  2. Found it too precious-princely for a grave.

Earl of Salisbury

48 - 57
  1. Sir Richard, what think you? Have you beheld,
  2. Or have you read, or heard, or could you think?
  3. Or do you almost think, although you see,
  4. That you do see? Could thought, without this object,
  5. Form such another? This is the very top,
  6. The height, the crest, or crest unto the crest,
  7. Of murder’s arms. This is the bloodiest shame,
  8. The wildest savagery, the vildest stroke,
  9. That ever wall-ey’d wrath or staring rage
  10. Presented to the tears of soft remorse.

Earl of Pembroke

58 - 63
  1. All murders past do stand excus’d in this;
  2. And this, so sole and so unmatchable,
  3. Shall give a holiness, a purity,
  4. To the yet unbegotten sin of times;
  5. And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest,
  6. Exampled by this heinous spectacle.

Bastard

64 - 66
  1. It is a damned and a bloody work,
  2. The graceless action of a heavy hand
  3. If that it be the work of any hand.

Earl of Salisbury

67 - 79
  1. If that it be the work of any hand?
  2. We had a kind of light what would ensue.
  3. It is the shameful work of Hubert’s hand,
  4. The practice and the purpose of the King;
  5. From whose obedience I forbid my soul,
  6. Kneeling before this ruin of sweet life,
  7. And breathing to his breathless excellence
  8. The incense of a vow, a holy vow,
  9. Never to taste the pleasures of the world,
  10. Never to be infected with delight,
  11. Nor conversant with ease and idleness,
  12. Till I have set a glory to this hand,
  13. By giving it the worship of revenge.

Both Earl of Pembroke and Lord Bigot

80
  1. Our souls religiously confirm thy words.
  1. Enter Hubert.

Hubert de Burgh

82 - 83
  1. Lords, I am hot with haste in seeking you.
  2. Arthur doth live, the King hath sent for you.

Earl of Salisbury

84 - 85
  1. O, he is bold, and blushes not at death.
  2. Avaunt, thou hateful villain, get thee gone!

Hubert de Burgh

86
  1. I am no villain.

Earl of Salisbury

87
  1.                  Must I rob the law?
  1. Drawing his sword.

Bastard

89
  1. Your sword is bright, sir, put it up again.

Earl of Salisbury

90
  1. Not till I sheathe it in a murderer’s skin.

Hubert de Burgh

91 - 96
  1. Stand back, Lord Salisbury, stand back, I say;
  2. By heaven, I think my sword’s as sharp as yours.
  3. I would not have you, lord, forget yourself,
  4. Nor tempt the danger of my true defense,
  5. Lest I, by marking of your rage, forget
  6. Your worth, your greatness, and nobility.

Lord Bigot

97
  1. Out, dunghill! Dar’st thou brave a nobleman?

Hubert de Burgh

98 - 99
  1. Not for my life; but yet I dare defend
  2. My innocent life against an emperor.

Earl of Salisbury

100
  1. Thou art a murderer.

Hubert de Burgh

101 - 103
  1.                      Do not prove me so;
  2. Yet I am none. Whose tongue soe’er speaks false,
  3. Not truly speaks; who speaks not truly, lies.

Earl of Pembroke

104
  1. Cut him to pieces.

Bastard

105
  1.                    Keep the peace, I say.

Earl of Salisbury

106
  1. Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulconbridge.

Bastard

107 - 112
  1. Thou wert better gall the devil, Salisbury.
  2. If thou but frown on me, or stir thy foot,
  3. Or teach thy hasty spleen to do me shame,
  4. I’ll strike thee dead. Put up thy sword betime,
  5. Or I’ll so maul you and your toasting-iron
  6. That you shall think the devil is come from hell.

Lord Bigot

113 - 114
  1. What wilt thou do, renowned Faulconbridge?
  2. Second a villain and a murderer?

Hubert de Burgh

115
  1. Lord Bigot, I am none.

Lord Bigot

116
  1.                        Who kill’d this prince?

Hubert de Burgh

117 - 119
  1. ’Tis not an hour since I left him well.
  2. I honor’d him, I lov’d him, and will weep
  3. My date of life out for his sweet live’s loss.

Earl of Salisbury

120 - 126
  1. Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes,
  2. For villainy is not without such rheum,
  3. And he, long traded in it, makes it seem
  4. Like rivers of remorse and innocency.
  5. Away with me, all you whose souls abhor
  6. Th’ uncleanly savors of a slaughter-house,
  7. For I am stifled with this smell of sin.

Lord Bigot

127
  1. Away toward Bury, to the Dauphin there!

Earl of Pembroke

128
  1. There, tell the King, he may inquire us out.
  1. Exeunt Lords.

Bastard

130 - 133
  1. Here’s a good world! Knew you of this fair work?
  2. Beyond the infinite and boundless reach
  3. Of mercy, if thou didst this deed of death,
  4. Art thou damn’d, Hubert.

Hubert de Burgh

134
  1.                          Do but hear me, sir.

Bastard

135 - 139
  1. Ha? I’ll tell thee what;
  2. Thou’rt damn’d as blacknay, nothing is so black
  3. Thou art more deep damn’d than Prince Lucifer.
  4. There is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell
  5. As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child.

Hubert de Burgh

140
  1. Upon my soul

Bastard

141 - 150
  1.               If thou didst but consent
  2. To this most cruel act, do but despair,
  3. And if thou want’st a cord, the smallest thread
  4. That ever spider twisted from her womb
  5. Will serve to strangle thee; a rush will be a beam
  6. To hang thee on; or wouldst thou drown thyself,
  7. Put but a little water in a spoon,
  8. And it shall be as all the ocean,
  9. Enough to stifle such a villain up.
  10. I do suspect thee very grievously.

Hubert de Burgh

151 - 155
  1. If I in act, consent, or sin of thought
  2. Be guilty of the stealing that sweet breath
  3. Which was embounded in this beauteous clay,
  4. Let hell want pains enough to torture me.
  5. I left him well.

Bastard

156 - 176
  1.                  Go, bear him in thine arms.
  2. I am amaz’d, methinks, and lose my way
  3. Among the thorns and dangers of this world.
  4. How easy dost thou take all England up
  5. From forth this morsel of dead royalty!
  6. The life, the right, and truth of all this realm
  7. Is fled to heaven; and England now is left
  8. To tug and scamble, and to part by th’ teeth
  9. The unowed interest of proud swelling state.
  10. Now for the bare-pick’d bone of majesty
  11. Doth dogged war bristle his angry crest,
  12. And snarleth in the gentle eyes of peace;
  13. Now powers from home and discontents at home
  14. Meet in one line; and vast confusion waits,
  15. As doth a raven on a sick-fall’n beast,
  16. The imminent decay of wrested pomp.
  17. Now happy he whose cloak and center can
  18. Hold out this tempest. Bear away that child,
  19. And follow me with speed. I’ll to the King.
  20. A thousand businesses are brief in hand,
  21. And heaven itself doth frown upon the land.
  1. Exeunt.
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