Act IV, Scene 3
Before King John’s castle.
- Enter Arthur on the walls.
Arthur1 - 10
- The wall is high, and yet will I leap down.
- Good ground, be pitiful and hurt me not!
- There’s few or none do know me; if they did,
- This ship-boy’s semblance hath disguis’d me quite.
- I am afraid, and yet I’ll venture it.
- If I get down, and do not break my limbs,
- I’ll find a thousand shifts to get away.
- As good to die and go, as die and stay.
- Leaps down.
- O me, my uncle’s spirit is in these stones.
- Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones!
- Enter Pembroke, Salisbury, and Bigot.
Earl of Salisbury11 - 13
- Lords, I will meet him at Saint Edmundsbury.
- It is our safety, and we must embrace
- This gentle offer of the perilous time.
Earl of Pembroke14
- Who brought that letter from the Cardinal?
Earl of Salisbury15 - 17
- The Count Melune, a noble lord of France,
- Whose private with me of the Dauphin’s love
- Is much more general than these lines import.
- Tomorrow morning let us meet him then.
Earl of Salisbury19 - 20
- Or rather then set forward, for ’twill be
- Two long days’ journey, lords, or ere we meet.
- Enter Bastard.
Bastard21 - 22
- Once more today well met, distemper’d lords!
- The King by me requests your presence straight.
Earl of Salisbury23 - 27
- The King hath dispossess’d himself of us.
- We will not line his thin bestained cloak
- With our pure honors, nor attend the foot
- That leaves the print of blood where e’er it walks.
- Return, and tell him so. We know the worst.
- What e’er you think, good words I think were best.
Earl of Salisbury29
- Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now.
Bastard30 - 31
- But there is little reason in your grief;
- Therefore ’twere reason you had manners now.
Earl of Pembroke32
- Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege.
- ’Tis true—to hurt his master, no man else.
Earl of Salisbury34 - 35
- This is the prison.
- Seeing Arthur.
- What is he lies here?
Earl of Pembroke36 - 37
- O death, made proud with pure and princely beauty!
- The earth had not a hole to hide this deed.
Earl of Salisbury38 - 39
- Murder, as hating what himself hath done,
- Doth lay it open to urge on revenge.
Lord Bigot40 - 41
- Or when he doom’d this beauty to a grave,
- Found it too precious-princely for a grave.
Earl of Salisbury42 - 51
- Sir Richard, what think you? Have you beheld,
- Or have you read, or heard, or could you think?
- Or do you almost think, although you see,
- That you do see? Could thought, without this object,
- Form such another? This is the very top,
- The height, the crest, or crest unto the crest,
- Of murder’s arms. This is the bloodiest shame,
- The wildest savagery, the vildest stroke,
- That ever wall-ey’d wrath or staring rage
- Presented to the tears of soft remorse.
Earl of Pembroke52 - 57
- All murders past do stand excus’d in this;
- And this, so sole and so unmatchable,
- Shall give a holiness, a purity,
- To the yet unbegotten sin of times;
- And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest,
- Exampled by this heinous spectacle.
Bastard58 - 60
- It is a damned and a bloody work,
- The graceless action of a heavy hand—
- If that it be the work of any hand.
Earl of Salisbury61 - 73
- If that it be the work of any hand?
- We had a kind of light what would ensue.
- It is the shameful work of Hubert’s hand,
- The practice and the purpose of the King;
- From whose obedience I forbid my soul,
- Kneeling before this ruin of sweet life,
- And breathing to his breathless excellence
- The incense of a vow, a holy vow,
- Never to taste the pleasures of the world,
- Never to be infected with delight,
- Nor conversant with ease and idleness,
- Till I have set a glory to this hand,
- By giving it the worship of revenge.
Both Earl of Pembroke and Lord Bigot74
- Our souls religiously confirm thy words.
- Enter Hubert.
Hubert de Burgh75 - 76
- Lords, I am hot with haste in seeking you.
- Arthur doth live, the King hath sent for you.
Earl of Salisbury77 - 78
- O, he is bold, and blushes not at death.
- Avaunt, thou hateful villain, get thee gone!
Hubert de Burgh79
- I am no villain.
Earl of Salisbury80
- Must I rob the law?
- Drawing his sword.
- Your sword is bright, sir, put it up again.
Earl of Salisbury82
- Not till I sheathe it in a murderer’s skin.
Hubert de Burgh83 - 88
- Stand back, Lord Salisbury, stand back, I say;
- By heaven, I think my sword’s as sharp as yours.
- I would not have you, lord, forget yourself,
- Nor tempt the danger of my true defense,
- Lest I, by marking of your rage, forget
- Your worth, your greatness, and nobility.
- Out, dunghill! Dar’st thou brave a nobleman?
Hubert de Burgh90 - 91
- Not for my life; but yet I dare defend
- My innocent life against an emperor.
Earl of Salisbury92
- Thou art a murderer.
Hubert de Burgh93 - 95
- Do not prove me so;
- Yet I am none. Whose tongue soe’er speaks false,
- Not truly speaks; who speaks not truly, lies.
Earl of Pembroke96
- Cut him to pieces.
- Keep the peace, I say.
Earl of Salisbury98
- Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulconbridge.
Bastard99 - 104
- Thou wert better gall the devil, Salisbury.
- If thou but frown on me, or stir thy foot,
- Or teach thy hasty spleen to do me shame,
- I’ll strike thee dead. Put up thy sword betime,
- Or I’ll so maul you and your toasting-iron
- That you shall think the devil is come from hell.
Lord Bigot105 - 106
- What wilt thou do, renowned Faulconbridge?
- Second a villain and a murderer?
Hubert de Burgh107
- Lord Bigot, I am none.
- Who kill’d this prince?
Hubert de Burgh109 - 111
- ’Tis not an hour since I left him well.
- I honor’d him, I lov’d him, and will weep
- My date of life out for his sweet live’s loss.
Earl of Salisbury112 - 118
- Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes,
- For villainy is not without such rheum,
- And he, long traded in it, makes it seem
- Like rivers of remorse and innocency.
- Away with me, all you whose souls abhor
- Th’ uncleanly savors of a slaughter-house,
- For I am stifled with this smell of sin.
- Away toward Bury, to the Dauphin there!
Earl of Pembroke120
- There, tell the King, he may inquire us out.
- Exeunt Lords.
Bastard121 - 124
- Here’s a good world! Knew you of this fair work?
- Beyond the infinite and boundless reach
- Of mercy, if thou didst this deed of death,
- Art thou damn’d, Hubert.
Hubert de Burgh125
- Do but hear me, sir.
Bastard126 - 130
- Ha? I’ll tell thee what;
- Thou’rt damn’d as black—nay, nothing is so black—
- Thou art more deep damn’d than Prince Lucifer.
- There is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell
- As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child.
Hubert de Burgh131
- Upon my soul—
Bastard132 - 141
- If thou didst but consent
- To this most cruel act, do but despair,
- And if thou want’st a cord, the smallest thread
- That ever spider twisted from her womb
- Will serve to strangle thee; a rush will be a beam
- To hang thee on; or wouldst thou drown thyself,
- Put but a little water in a spoon,
- And it shall be as all the ocean,
- Enough to stifle such a villain up.
- I do suspect thee very grievously.
Hubert de Burgh142 - 146
- If I in act, consent, or sin of thought
- Be guilty of the stealing that sweet breath
- Which was embounded in this beauteous clay,
- Let hell want pains enough to torture me.
- I left him well.
Bastard147 - 167
- Go, bear him in thine arms.
- I am amaz’d, methinks, and lose my way
- Among the thorns and dangers of this world.
- How easy dost thou take all England up
- From forth this morsel of dead royalty!
- The life, the right, and truth of all this realm
- Is fled to heaven; and England now is left
- To tug and scamble, and to part by th’ teeth
- The unowed interest of proud swelling state.
- Now for the bare-pick’d bone of majesty
- Doth dogged war bristle his angry crest,
- And snarleth in the gentle eyes of peace;
- Now powers from home and discontents at home
- Meet in one line; and vast confusion waits,
- As doth a raven on a sick-fall’n beast,
- The imminent decay of wrested pomp.
- Now happy he whose cloak and center can
- Hold out this tempest. Bear away that child,
- And follow me with speed. I’ll to the King.
- A thousand businesses are brief in hand,
- And heaven itself doth frown upon the land.