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Bast. Your sword is bright, sir; put it up again 9.
Sal. Not till I sheath it in a murderer's skin.
Hub. Stand back, Lord Salisbury, stand back, I


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 10 defence;
Lest I, by marking of your rage, forget
Your worth, your greatness, and nobility.

Big. Out, dunghill! dar'st thou brave a nobleman?

Hub. Not for my life: but yet I dare defend
My innocent life against an emperor.

Sal. Thou art a murderer.

Do not prove me so 11; : Yet I am none: Whose tongue soe'er speaks false, Not truly speaks; who speaks not truly, lies."

Pem. Cut him to pieces.

Keep the peace, I say.
Sal. Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulconbridge,

Bast. 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.

Big. What wilt thou do, renowned Faulconbridge ? Second a villain, and a murderer?

9 So in Othello :- Keep up your bright swords; for the dew will rust them. Both Faulconbridge and Othello speak contemptuously. You have shown that your sword is bright, and now you may put it up again ; you shall not use it.'

10 Honest defence, defence in a good cause.

11 Dr. Johnson has, I think, mistaken the sense of this passage, which he explains—Do not make me a murderer, by compelling me to kill you; I am hitherto not a murderer. By 'Do not prove me so' Hubert means do not provoke me, or try my patience so.' This was a common acceptation of the word. 'To assay, to prove, to try, to tempt one to do evil.' Baret, in v. prove.

Hub. Lord Bigot, I am none.

Who kill'd this prince ?
Hub. 'Tis not an hour since 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 loss.

Sal. Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes,
For villany is not without such rheum;
And he, long traded in it, makes it seem
Like rivers of remorse 12 and innocency.
Away, with me, all you, whose souls abhor
The uncleanly savours of a slaughter-house,
For I am stifled with this smell of sin.

Big. Away, toward Bury, to the Dauphin there!
Pem. There, tell the king, he may inquire us out.

[Exeunt Lords. Bast. 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.

Do but hear me, sir.
Bast. Ha! I'll tell thee what;
Thou art damn'd as black-nay, nothing is so black;
Thou art more deep damn'd than prince Lucifer 13 :
There is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell
As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child.

Hub. Upon my soul,-

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

12 Pity.
;13 So in the old play:

• Hell, Hubert, trust me, all the plagues of hell
Hangs on performance of this damned deed;
This seal, the warrant of the body's bliss,
Ensureth Satan chieftain of thy soul.'

Will serve to strangle 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 stifle such a villain up.-
I do suspect thee very grievously.

Hub. 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.
· Bast. Go, bear him in thine arms.-
I am amaz’d 14, 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 the teeth
The unowed 15 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 cincture 16 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. [Exeunt.
14 i. e. unowned. See before, p. 402.

15 i.e. the interest which is not at this moment legally possessed by any one. On the death of Arthur, the right to the crown devolved to his sister Eleanor.

16 Girdle.


ur sovs my hand. ... leie aga

SCENE I. The same. A Room in the Palace. Enter King John, PANDULPH, with the Crown,

and Attendants. K. John. Thus have I yielded up into your hand The circle of my glory. 1. Pand.

[Giving John the Crown.
From this my hand, as holding of the pope,
Your sovereign greatness and authority.
K. John. Now keep your holy word: yo meet

the French;
And from his holiness use all your power
To stop their marches, 'fore we are inflam’d.
Our discontented counties 1 do revolt;
Our people quarrel with obedience;
Swearing allegiance, and the love of soul,
To stranger blood, to foreign royalty.
This inundation of mistemper'd humour
Rests by you only to be qualified.
Then pause not; for the present time's so sick,
That present medicine must be minister'd,
Or overthrow incurable ensues.

Pand. It was my breath that blew this tempest up,
Upon your stubborn usage of the pope:
But, since you are a gentle convertite”,
My tongue shall hush again this storm of war,
And make fair weather in your blustering land.
On this Ascension-day, remember well,

I Counties here most probably mean not the divisions of the kingdom, but the lords and nobility in general. As in Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado about Nothing.

2 Convert.

Upon your oath of service to the pope,
Go I to make the French lay down their arms.

[Exit. K. John. Is this Ascension-day? Did not the

Say, that, before Ascension-day at noon,
My crown I should give off? Even so I have:
I did suppose, it should be on constraint;
But, heaven be thank’d, it is but voluntary.

Enter the Bastard.
Bast. All Kent hath yielded; nothing there holds

But Dover castle: London hath receiv'd,
Like a kind host, the Dauphin and his powers :
Your nobles will not hear you, but are gone
To offer service to your enemy;
And wild amazement hurries up and down
The little number of your doubtful friends.

K. John. Would not my lords return to me again,
After they heard young Arthur was alive?
Bast. They found him dead, and cast into the

streets; An empty casket, where the jewel of life s By some damn'd hand was robb’d and ta’en away.

K. John. That villain Hubert told me, he did live.

Bast. So, on my soul, he did, for aught he knew, But wherefore do you droop? why look you sad? Be great in act, as you have been in thought; Let not the world see fear, and sad distrust, Govern the motion of a kingly eye: Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;

3 Dryden has transferred this image to a speech of Antony, in All for Love :

* An empty circle, since the jewels gone.' So in King Richard II :

A jewel in a ten times barr'd up chest
Is a bold spirit in a loyal breasi.'

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