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10 (1. 27). Prate, idle talk, child-like 21 (1. 116). Create, for created. conversation.

22 (l. 120). Repentant ashes, &c., in 11 (l. 29). Dispatch, quickly do the allusion to the custom of penitents

work for which I was engaged. placing ashes on their heads as a 12 (l. 31). In sooth, in truth.

mark of sorrow. 13 (1. 36). Rheum, here means tears. * 23 (1. 126). Tarre, excite or urge on. 14 (l. 37). Dispiteous, having no pity. , 24 (l. 129). Fierce fire and iron, &c., The word is obsolete.

the one known as an instrument 15 (l. 40). Fair writ, legibly written. of destruction, the other of torture, 16 (1. 66). Iron age, hard, unmerciful and yet they show more mery age.

than Hubert. 17 (1. 88). Angerly, the old form of 25 (1. 139). Dogged, watching in the angrily.

sense of following about as a dog 18 (l. 100). Mote, a speck, a particle. from place to place. 19 (l. 102). Precious sense, the eye, the 26 (l. 144). Closely, secretly, so as not organ of the sense of sight.

to be noticed. 20 (l. 103). Boisterous, rough, painful.

The King's REMORSE.-Act 1V. SCENES 2, 3.
KING John, alarmed at the disaffection of his nobles and people,
repents of his conduct towards Prince Arthur, and accuses
Hubert of tempting him to accede to the murder.
SCENE.—A Room of State in the Palace.

Enter a Messenger.
K. John. A fearful eye thou hast; where

is that blood That I have seen inhabit in those cheeks? So foul a sky clears not without a storm : Pour down thy weather : how goes all in

France ? Mess. From France to England-Never such

a power For any foreign preparation Was levied in the body of a land ! The copy

of

your speed is learned by them ; For when you should be told they do prepare, The tidings come that they are all arrived. K. John. Oh, where hath our intelligence

been drunk?

5

IO 20

Where hath it slept? Where is my mother's

care,
That such an army could be drawn in France,
And she not hear of it?
Mess.
My liege, her ear

15
Is stopped with dust; the first of April died
Your noble mother : and, as I hear, my lord,
The Lady Constance in a frenzy died,
Three days before : but this from rumour's

tongue I idly heard ; if true, or false, I know not. K. John. Withhold thy speed, dreadful

occasion ! Oh, make a league with me, till I have pleased My discontented peers!

s [Exit Messenger. My mother dead!

Enter HUBERT. Hub. My lord, they say five moons were

seen to-night; Four fixed, and the fifth did whirl about The other four, in wondrous motion.

K. John. Five moons !

Hub. Old men and beldams,' in the streets, Do prophesy upon it dangerously : Young Arthur's death is common in their

months : And when they talk of him, they shake their

heads, And whisper one another in the ear; And he that speaks doth gripe? the hearer's

wrist; Whilst he that hears makes fearful action,

25

1

30

2

35

3

4

With wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling

eyes. I saw a smith stand with his hammer, thus, 3 The whilst his iron did on the anvil cool, With open mouth swallowing a tailor's news; Who, with his shears and measure in his hand, 40 Standing on slippers (which his nimble haste Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet), Told of a many thousand warlike French That were embattailed and ranked in Kent : Another lean unwashed artificer Cuts off his tale, and talks of Arthur's death. K. John. Why seek’st thou to possess me

with these fears? Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's

death? Thy hand hath murdered him : I had mighty

5

6

45

:

cause

To wish him dead, but thou hadst none to kill him.

50 Hub. No had, my lord ! why, did you not

provokeo me? K. John. It is the curse of kings to be

attended By slaves, that take their humours for a

warrant To break 10 within the bloody house of life ; And, on the winking of authority, To understand a law; to know the meaning Of dangerous majesty, when, perchance, it

frowns More upon humour than advised respect.

11

55 12

60

Hub. Here is your hand and seal "? for what

I did.
K. John. Oh, when the last account 'twixt

heaven and earth
Is to be made, then shall this hand and seal
Witness against us to damnation !
How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds
Makes deeds ill done! Hadst not thou been

by,
A fellow by the hand of Nature marked, 65
Quoted and signed to do a deed of shame,
This murder had not come into my mind :
But, taking note of thy abhorrëd aspect,
Finding thee fit for bloody villany,
Apt, liable to be employed 19 in danger,
I faintly broke with thee of Arthur's death ;
And thou, to be endearëd to a king,
Made it no conscience to destroy a prince.

Hub. My lord --
K. John. Hadst thou but shook thy head, or

a

13

70

made a pause,

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When I spake darkly what I purposëd :
Or turned an eye of doubt upon my face,
And bid me tell my tale in express words ;
Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me

break off,
And those thy fears might have wrought fears
But thou didst understand me by my signs,
And didst in signs again parley 14 with sin ;
Yea, without stop, didst let thy heart consent,
And consequently thy rude hand to act

in me:

80

15

The deed, which both our tongues held vile to name.

85
Out of my sight, and never see me more !
My nobles leave me; and my state is braved,
Even at my gates, with ranks of foreign powers :
Nay, in the body of this fleshly land,16
This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath, 90
Hostility and civil tumult reigns
Between my conscience and my cousin's death.

Hub. Arm you against your other enemies,
I'll make a peace betwixt your soul and you.
Young Arthur is alive: this hand of mine
Is yet a maiden” and an innocent hand,
Not painted with the crimson spots of blood.
K. John. Doth Arthur live? Oh haste thee

to the peers,
Throw this report on their incensëd rage,
And make them tame to their obedience!

[Exeunt.

95

17

18

100

NOTES.

1 (1. 20). Beldams (beldames), old to put his own crime upon Hn. women of repulsive appearance,

bert. hags.

9 (l. 51). Provoke, here means urge, % (1. 34). Gripe, hold tightly, clutch ; encourage. grip.

10 (l. 54). Break, &c., to murder. 3 (l. 37). Thus. Hubert puts himself 11 (1.55). Winking of authority, small.

in the posture assumed by the est hint dropped by a king or one smith.

in power. 4 (l. 42). Contrary feet, the right 12 (1. 59). Hand and seal, your warrant

slipper on the left foot, and the of authority.

left slipper on the right foot. 13 (l. 70). Liable to be employed, well 5 (1. 44). Embattailed, drawn up in suited for such a work. order of battle.

14 (l. 82). Parley, hold converse with. 6 (l. 45). Artificer, a man who works 15 (1. 87). My state is braved, my kingat a trade.

dom is invaded. 7 (l. 47). Possess me, cause me to '16 (l. 89). This fleshly land, &c. The have.

king's body. 8 (l. 51). No had, here means, IVhat! 17 (1. 96). A maiden hand, one not

had no cause! expressing Hubert's ! practised in crime. great astonishment at the treache. 18 (1. 98). The Peers, the nobility who rous manner of the king in trying

had forsaken the king.

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