Open Source Shakespeare

History of King John

Act IV

Scene 1. A room in a castle.

Scene 2. KING JOHN’S palace.

Scene 3. Before the castle.

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Act IV, Scene 1

A room in a castle.


[Enter HUBERT and Executioners]

  • Hubert de Burgh. Heat me these irons hot; and look thou stand
    Within the arras: when I strike my foot 1575
    Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth,
    And bind the boy which you shall find with me
    Fast to the chair: be heedful: hence, and watch.
  • First Executioner. I hope your warrant will bear out the deed.
  • Hubert de Burgh. Uncleanly scruples! fear not you: look to't. 1580
    [Exeunt Executioners]
    Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you.

[Enter ARTHUR]

  • Arthur. Good morrow, Hubert.
  • Hubert de Burgh. Good morrow, little prince. 1585
  • Arthur. As little prince, having so great a title
    To be more prince, as may be. You are sad.
  • Hubert de Burgh. Indeed, I have been merrier.
  • Arthur. Mercy on me!
    Methinks no body should be sad but I: 1590
    Yet, I remember, when I was in France,
    Young gentlemen would be as sad as night,
    Only for wantonness. By my christendom,
    So I were out of prison and kept sheep,
    I should be as merry as the day is long; 1595
    And so I would be here, but that I doubt
    My uncle practises more harm to me:
    He is afraid of me and I of him:
    Is it my fault that I was Geffrey's son?
    No, indeed, is't not; and I would to heaven 1600
    I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert.
  • Hubert de Burgh. [Aside] If I talk to him, with his innocent prate
    He will awake my mercy which lies dead:
    Therefore I will be sudden and dispatch.
  • Arthur. Are you sick, Hubert? you look pale to-day: 1605
    In sooth, I would you were a little sick,
    That I might sit all night and watch with you:
    I warrant I love you more than you do me.
  • Hubert de Burgh. [Aside] His words do take possession of my bosom.
    Read here, young Arthur. 1610
    [Showing a paper]
    How now, foolish rheum!
    Turning dispiteous torture out of door!
    I must be brief, lest resolution drop 1615
    Out at mine eyes in tender womanish tears.
    Can you not read it? Is it not fair writ?
  • Arthur. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect:
    Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes?
  • Hubert de Burgh. Young boy, I must. 1620
  • Arthur. And will you?
  • Hubert de Burgh. And I will.
  • Arthur. Have you the heart? When your head did but ache,
    I knit my handercher about your brows,
    The best I had, a princess wrought it me, 1625
    And I did never ask it you again;
    And with my hand at midnight held your head,
    And like the watchful minutes to the hour,
    Still and anon cheer'd up the heavy time,
    Saying, 'What lack you?' and 'Where lies your grief?' 1630
    Or 'What good love may I perform for you?'
    Many a poor man's son would have lien still
    And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you;
    But you at your sick service had a prince.
    Nay, you may think my love was crafty love 1635
    And call it cunning: do, an if you will:
    If heaven be pleased that you must use me ill,
    Why then you must. Will you put out mine eyes?
    These eyes that never did nor never shall
    So much as frown on you. 1640
  • Hubert de Burgh. I have sworn to do it;
    And with hot irons must I burn them out.
  • Arthur. Ah, none but in this iron age would do it!
    The iron of itself, though heat red-hot,
    Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears 1645
    And quench his fiery indignation
    Even in the matter of mine innocence;
    Nay, after that, consume away in rust
    But for containing fire to harm mine eye.
    Are you more stubborn-hard than hammer'd iron? 1650
    An if an angel should have come to me
    And told me Hubert should put out mine eyes,
    I would not have believed him,—no tongue but Hubert's.
  • Hubert de Burgh. Come forth.
    [Stamps] 1655
    [Re-enter Executioners, with a cord, irons, &c]
    Do as I bid you do.
  • Arthur. O, save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes are out
    Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men.
  • Hubert de Burgh. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here. 1660
  • Arthur. Alas, what need you be so boisterous-rough?
    I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still.
    For heaven sake, Hubert, let me not be bound!
    Nay, hear me, Hubert, drive these men away,
    And I will sit as quiet as a lamb; 1665
    I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word,
    Nor look upon the iron angerly:
    Thrust but these men away, and I'll forgive you,
    Whatever torment you do put me to.
  • Hubert de Burgh. Go, stand within; let me alone with him. 1670
  • First Executioner. I am best pleased to be from such a deed.

[Exeunt Executioners]

  • Arthur. Alas, I then have chid away my friend!
    He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart:
    Let him come back, that his compassion may 1675
    Give life to yours.
  • Hubert de Burgh. Come, boy, prepare yourself.
  • Arthur. Is there no remedy?
  • Hubert de Burgh. None, but to lose your eyes.
  • Arthur. O heaven, that there were but a mote in yours, 1680
    A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wandering hair,
    Any annoyance in that precious sense!
    Then feeling what small things are boisterous there,
    Your vile intent must needs seem horrible.
  • Hubert de Burgh. Is this your promise? go to, hold your tongue. 1685
  • Arthur. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues
    Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes:
    Let me not hold my tongue, let me not, Hubert;
    Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue,
    So I may keep mine eyes: O, spare mine eyes. 1690
    Though to no use but still to look on you!
    Lo, by my truth, the instrument is cold
    And would not harm me.
  • Hubert de Burgh. I can heat it, boy.
  • Arthur. No, in good sooth: the fire is dead with grief, 1695
    Being create for comfort, to be used
    In undeserved extremes: see else yourself;
    There is no malice in this burning coal;
    The breath of heaven has blown his spirit out
    And strew'd repentent ashes on his head. 1700
  • Hubert de Burgh. But with my breath I can revive it, boy.
  • Arthur. An if you do, you will but make it blush
    And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert:
    Nay, it perchance will sparkle in your eyes;
    And like a dog that is compell'd to fight, 1705
    Snatch at his master that doth tarre him on.
    All things that you should use to do me wrong
    Deny their office: only you do lack
    That mercy which fierce fire and iron extends,
    Creatures of note for mercy-lacking uses. 1710
  • Hubert de Burgh. Well, see to live; I will not touch thine eye
    For all the treasure that thine uncle owes:
    Yet am I sworn and I did purpose, boy,
    With this same very iron to burn them out.
  • Arthur. O, now you look like Hubert! all this while 1715
    You were disguised.
  • Hubert de Burgh. 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, 1720
    That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world,
    Will not offend thee.
  • Arthur. O heaven! I thank you, Hubert.
  • Hubert de Burgh. Silence; no more: go closely in with me:
    Much danger do I undergo for thee. 1725



Act IV, Scene 2

KING JOHN’S palace.


[Enter KING JOHN, PEMBROKE, SALISBURY, and other Lords]

  • King John. Here once again we sit, once again crown'd,
    And looked upon, I hope, with cheerful eyes.
  • Pembroke. This 'once again,' but that your highness pleased, 1730
    Was once superfluous: you were crown'd before,
    And that high royalty was ne'er pluck'd off,
    The faiths of men ne'er stained with revolt;
    Fresh expectation troubled not the land
    With any long'd-for change or better state. 1735
  • Salisbury. Therefore, to be possess'd with double pomp,
    To guard a title that was rich before,
    To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
    To throw a perfume on the violet,
    To smooth the ice, or add another hue 1740
    Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
    To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
    Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.
  • Pembroke. But that your royal pleasure must be done,
    This act is as an ancient tale new told, 1745
    And in the last repeating troublesome,
    Being urged at a time unseasonable.
  • Salisbury. In this the antique and well noted face
    Of plain old form is much disfigured;
    And, like a shifted wind unto a sail, 1750
    It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about,
    Startles and frights consideration,
    Makes sound opinion sick and truth suspected,
    For putting on so new a fashion'd robe.
  • Pembroke. When workmen strive to do better than well, 1755
    They do confound their skill in covetousness;
    And oftentimes excusing of a fault
    Doth make the fault the worse by the excuse,
    As patches set upon a little breach
    Discredit more in hiding of the fault 1760
    Than did the fault before it was so patch'd.
  • Salisbury. To this effect, before you were new crown'd,
    We breathed our counsel: but it pleased your highness
    To overbear it, and we are all well pleased,
    Since all and every part of what we would 1765
    Doth make a stand at what your highness will.
  • King John. Some reasons of this double coronation
    I have possess'd you with and think them strong;
    And more, more strong, then lesser is my fear,
    I shall indue you with: meantime but ask 1770
    What you would have reform'd that is not well,
    And well shall you perceive how willingly
    I will both hear and grant you your requests.
  • Pembroke. Then I, as one that am the tongue of these,
    To sound the purpose of all their hearts, 1775
    Both for myself and them, but, chief of all,
    Your safety, for the which myself and them
    Bend their best studies, heartily request
    The enfranchisement of Arthur; whose restraint
    Doth move the murmuring lips of discontent 1780
    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 1785
    With barbarous ignorance and deny his youth
    The rich advantage of good exercise?
    That the time's enemies may not have this
    To grace occasions, let it be our suit
    That you have bid us ask his liberty; 1790
    Which for our goods we do no further ask
    Than whereupon our weal, on you depending,
    Counts it your weal he have his liberty.

[Enter HUBERT]

  • King John. Let it be so: I do commit his youth 1795
    To your direction. Hubert, what news with you?

[Taking him apart]

  • Pembroke. 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 1800
    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.
  • Salisbury. The colour of the king doth come and go 1805
    Between his purpose and his conscience,
    Like heralds 'twixt two dreadful battles set:
    His passion is so ripe, it needs must break.
  • Pembroke. And when it breaks, I fear will issue thence
    The foul corruption of a sweet child's death. 1810
  • King 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 deceased to-night.
  • Salisbury. Indeed we fear'd his sickness was past cure. 1815
  • Pembroke. 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.
  • King John. Why do you bend such solemn brows on me?
    Think you I bear the shears of destiny? 1820
    Have I commandment on the pulse of life?
  • Salisbury. It is apparent foul play; and 'tis shame
    That greatness should so grossly offer it:
    So thrive it in your game! and so, farewell.
  • Pembroke. Stay yet, Lord Salisbury; I'll go with thee, 1825
    And find the inheritance of this poor child,
    His little kingdom of a forced grave.
    That blood which owed the breadth of all this isle,
    Three foot of it doth hold: bad world the while!
    This must not be thus borne: this will break out 1830
    To all our sorrows, and ere long I doubt.

[Exeunt Lords]

  • King John. They burn in indignation. I repent:
    There is no sure foundation set on blood,
    No certain life achieved by others' death. 1835
    [Enter a Messenger]
    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? 1840
  • Messenger. 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 learn'd by them;
    For when you should be told they do prepare, 1845
    The tidings come that they are all arrived.
  • King John. O, where hath our intelligence been drunk?
    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? 1850
  • Messenger. My liege, her ear
    Is stopp'd 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 1855
    I idly heard; if true or false I know not.
  • King John. Withhold thy speed, dreadful occasion!
    O, make a league with me, till I have pleased
    My discontented peers! What! mother dead!
    How wildly then walks my estate in France! 1860
    Under whose conduct came those powers of France
    That thou for truth givest out are landed here?
  • Messenger. Under the Dauphin.
  • King John. Thou hast made me giddy
    With these ill tidings. 1865
    [Enter the BASTARD and PETER of Pomfret]
    Now, what says the world
    To your proceedings? do not seek to stuff
    My head with more ill news, for it is full.
  • Philip the Bastard. But if you be afeard to hear the worst, 1870
    Then let the worst unheard fall on your bead.
  • King John. Bear with me cousin, for I was amazed
    Under the tide: but now I breathe again
    Aloft the flood, and can give audience
    To any tongue, speak it of what it will. 1875
  • Philip the Bastard. How I have sped among the clergymen,
    The sums I have collected shall express.
    But as I travell'd hither through the land,
    I find the people strangely fantasied;
    Possess'd with rumours, full of idle dreams, 1880
    Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear:
    And here a prophet, that I brought with me
    From forth the streets of Pomfret, whom I found
    With many hundreds treading on his heels;
    To whom he sung, in rude harsh-sounding rhymes, 1885
    That, ere the next Ascension-day at noon,
    Your highness should deliver up your crown.
  • King John. Thou idle dreamer, wherefore didst thou so?
  • Peter of Pomfret. Foreknowing that the truth will fall out so.
  • King John. Hubert, away with him; imprison him; 1890
    And on that day at noon whereon he says
    I shall yield up my crown, let him be hang'd.
    Deliver him to safety; and return,
    For I must use thee.
    [Exeunt HUBERT with PETER] 1895
    O my gentle cousin,
    Hear'st thou the news abroad, who are arrived?
  • Philip the Bastard. The French, my lord; men's mouths are full of it:
    Besides, I met Lord Bigot and Lord Salisbury,
    With eyes as red as new-enkindled fire, 1900
    And others more, going to seek the grave
    Of Arthur, who they say is kill'd to-night
    On your suggestion.
  • King John. Gentle kinsman, go,
    And thrust thyself into their companies: 1905
    I have a way to win their loves again;
    Bring them before me.
  • Philip the Bastard. I will seek them out.
  • King John. Nay, but make haste; the better foot before.
    O, let me have no subject enemies, 1910
    When adverse foreigners affright my towns
    With dreadful pomp of stout invasion!
    Be Mercury, set feathers to thy heels,
    And fly like thought from them to me again.
  • Philip the Bastard. The spirit of the time shall teach me speed. 1915


  • King John. Spoke like a sprightful noble gentleman.
    Go after him; for he perhaps shall need
    Some messenger betwixt me and the peers;
    And be thou he. 1920
  • Messenger. With all my heart, my liege.


  • King John. My mother dead!

[Re-enter HUBERT]

  • Hubert de Burgh. My lord, they say five moons were seen to-night; 1925
    Four fixed, and the fifth did whirl about
    The other four in wondrous motion.
  • King John. Five moons!
  • Hubert de Burgh. Old men and beldams in the streets
    Do prophesy upon it dangerously: 1930
    Young Arthur's death is common in their mouths:
    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, 1935
    With wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling eyes.
    I saw a smith stand with his hammer, thus,
    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, 1940
    Standing on slippers, which his nimble haste
    Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet,
    Told of a many thousand warlike French
    That were embattailed and rank'd in Kent:
    Another lean unwash'd artificer 1945
    Cuts off his tale and talks of Arthur's death.
  • King John. Why seek'st thou to possess me with these fears?
    Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's death?
    Thy hand hath murder'd him: I had a mighty cause
    To wish him dead, but thou hadst none to kill him. 1950
  • Hubert de Burgh. No had, my lord! why, did you not provoke me?
  • King John. It is the curse of kings to be attended
    By slaves that take their humours for a warrant
    To break within the bloody house of life,
    And on the winking of authority 1955
    To understand a law, to know the meaning
    Of dangerous majesty, when perchance it frowns
    More upon humour than advised respect.
  • Hubert de Burgh. Here is your hand and seal for what I did.
  • King John. O, when the last account 'twixt heaven and earth 1960
    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
    Make deeds ill done! Hadst not thou been by,
    A fellow by the hand of nature mark'd, 1965
    Quoted and sign'd to do a deed of shame,
    This murder had not come into my mind:
    But taking note of thy abhorr'd aspect,
    Finding thee fit for bloody villany,
    Apt, liable to be employ'd in danger, 1970
    I faintly broke with thee of Arthur's death;
    And thou, to be endeared to a king,
    Made it no conscience to destroy a prince.
  • Hubert de Burgh. My lord—
  • King John. Hadst thou but shook thy head or made a pause 1975
    When I spake darkly what I purposed,
    Or turn'd an eye of doubt upon my face,
    As 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 in me: 1980
    But thou didst understand me by my signs
    And didst in signs again parley with sin;
    Yea, without stop, didst let thy heart consent,
    And consequently thy rude hand to act
    The deed, which both our tongues held vile to name. 1985
    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,
    This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath, 1990
    Hostility and civil tumult reigns
    Between my conscience and my cousin's death.
  • Hubert de Burgh. Arm you against your other enemies,
    I'll make a peace between your soul and you.
    Young Arthur is alive: this hand of mine 1995
    Is yet a maiden and an innocent hand,
    Not painted with the crimson spots of blood.
    Within this bosom never enter'd yet
    The dreadful motion of a murderous thought;
    And you have slander'd nature in my form, 2000
    Which, howsoever rude exteriorly,
    Is yet the cover of a fairer mind
    Than to be butcher of an innocent child.
  • King John. Doth Arthur live? O, haste thee to the peers,
    Throw this report on their incensed rage, 2005
    And make them tame to their obedience!
    Forgive the comment that my passion made
    Upon thy feature; for my rage was blind,
    And foul imaginary eyes of blood
    Presented thee more hideous than thou art. 2010
    O, answer not, but to my closet bring
    The angry lords with all expedient haste.
    I conjure thee but slowly; run more fast.



Act IV, Scene 3

Before the castle.


[Enter ARTHUR, on the walls]

  • Arthur. 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 disguised me quite.
    I am afraid; and yet I'll venture it. 2020
    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: 2025
    Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones!



  • Salisbury. Lords, I will meet him at Saint Edmundsbury:
    It is our safety, and we must embrace 2030
    This gentle offer of the perilous time.
  • Pembroke. Who brought that letter from the cardinal?
  • Salisbury. The Count Melun, a noble lord of France,
    Whose private with me of the Dauphin's love
    Is much more general than these lines import. 2035
  • Lord Bigot. To-morrow morning let us meet him then.
  • Salisbury. Or rather then set forward; for 'twill be
    Two long days' journey, lords, or ere we meet.

[Enter the BASTARD]

  • Philip the Bastard. Once more to-day well met, distemper'd lords! 2040
    The king by me requests your presence straight.
  • Salisbury. The king hath dispossess'd himself of us:
    We will not line his thin bestained cloak
    With our pure honours, nor attend the foot
    That leaves the print of blood where'er it walks. 2045
    Return and tell him so: we know the worst.
  • Philip the Bastard. Whate'er you think, good words, I think, were best.
  • Salisbury. Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now.
  • Philip the Bastard. But there is little reason in your grief;
    Therefore 'twere reason you had manners now. 2050
  • Pembroke. Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege.
  • Philip the Bastard. 'Tis true, to hurt his master, no man else.
  • Salisbury. This is the prison. What is he lies here?

[Seeing ARTHUR]

  • Pembroke. O death, made proud with pure and princely beauty! 2055
    The earth had not a hole to hide this deed.
  • Salisbury. Murder, as hating what himself hath done,
    Doth lay it open to urge on revenge.
  • Lord Bigot. Or, when he doom'd this beauty to a grave,
    Found it too precious-princely for a grave. 2060
  • Salisbury. 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, 2065
    The height, the crest, or crest unto the crest,
    Of murder's arms: this is the bloodiest shame,
    The wildest savagery, the vilest stroke,
    That ever wall-eyed wrath or staring rage
    Presented to the tears of soft remorse. 2070
  • Pembroke. All murders past do stand excused 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, 2075
    Exampled by this heinous spectacle.
  • Philip the Bastard. It is a damned and a bloody work;
    The graceless action of a heavy hand,
    If that it be the work of any hand.
  • Salisbury. If that it be the work of any hand! 2080
    We had a kind of light what would ensue:
    It is the shameful work of Hubert's hand;
    The practise and the purpose of the king:
    From whose obedience I forbid my soul,
    Kneeling before this ruin of sweet life, 2085
    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, 2090
    Till I have set a glory to this hand,
    By giving it the worship of revenge.
  • Pembroke. [with Bigot] Our souls religiously confirm thy words.

[Enter HUBERT]

  • Hubert de Burgh. Lords, I am hot with haste in seeking you: 2095
    Arthur doth live; the king hath sent for you.
  • Salisbury. O, he is old and blushes not at death.
    Avaunt, thou hateful villain, get thee gone!
  • Hubert de Burgh. I am no villain.
  • Salisbury. Must I rob the law? 2100

[Drawing his sword]

  • Philip the Bastard. Your sword is bright, sir; put it up again.
  • Salisbury. Not till I sheathe it in a murderer's skin.
  • Hubert de Burgh. Stand back, Lord Salisbury, stand back, I say;
    By heaven, I think my sword's as sharp as yours: 2105
    I would not have you, lord, forget yourself,
    Nor tempt the danger of my true defence;
    Lest I, by marking of your rage, forget
    Your worth, your greatness and nobility.
  • Lord Bigot. Out, dunghill! darest thou brave a nobleman? 2110
  • Hubert de Burgh. Not for my life: but yet I dare defend
    My innocent life against an emperor.
  • Salisbury. Thou art a murderer.
  • Hubert de Burgh. Do not prove me so;
    Yet I am none: whose tongue soe'er speaks false, 2115
    Not truly speaks; who speaks not truly, lies.
  • Pembroke. Cut him to pieces.
  • Philip the Bastard. Keep the peace, I say.
  • Salisbury. Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulconbridge.
  • Philip the Bastard. Thou wert better gall the devil, Salisbury: 2120
    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. 2125
  • Lord Bigot. What wilt thou do, renowned Faulconbridge?
    Second a villain and a murderer?
  • Hubert de Burgh. Lord Bigot, I am none.
  • Lord Bigot. Who kill'd this prince?
  • Hubert de Burgh. 'Tis not an hour since I left him well: 2130
    I honour'd him, I loved him, and will weep
    My date of life out for his sweet life's loss.
  • Salisbury. Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes,
    For villany is not without such rheum;
    And he, long traded in it, makes it seem 2135
    Like rivers of remorse 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.
  • Lord Bigot. Away toward Bury, to the Dauphin there! 2140
  • Pembroke. There tell the king he may inquire us out.

[Exeunt Lords]

  • Philip the Bastard. 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, 2145
    Art thou damn'd, Hubert.
  • Hubert de Burgh. Do but hear me, sir.
  • Philip the Bastard. 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: 2150
    There is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell
    As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child.
  • Hubert de Burgh. Upon my soul—
  • Philip the Bastard. If thou didst but consent
    To this most cruel act, do but despair; 2155
    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, 2160
    And it shall be as all the ocean,
    Enough to stifle such a villain up.
    I do suspect thee very grievously.
  • Hubert de Burgh. If I in act, consent, or sin of thought,
    Be guilty of the stealing that sweet breath 2165
    Which was embounded in this beauteous clay,
    Let hell want pains enough to torture me.
    I left him well.
  • Philip the Bastard. Go, bear him in thine arms.
    I am amazed, methinks, and lose my way 2170
    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 2175
    To tug and scamble and to part by the 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: 2180
    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 can 2185
    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.