Open Source Shakespeare

History of King John

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Act V, Scene 6

An open place in the neighbourhood of Swinstead Abbey.


[Enter the BASTARD and HUBERT, severally]

  • Hubert de Burgh. Who's there? speak, ho! speak quickly, or I shoot.
  • Philip the Bastard. A friend. What art thou?
  • Hubert de Burgh. Of the part of England. 2580
  • Philip the Bastard. Whither dost thou go?
  • Hubert de Burgh. What's that to thee? why may not I demand
    Of thine affairs, as well as thou of mine?
  • Philip the Bastard. Hubert, I think?
  • Hubert de Burgh. Thou hast a perfect thought: 2585
    I will upon all hazards well believe
    Thou art my friend, that know'st my tongue so well.
    Who art thou?
  • Philip the Bastard. Who thou wilt: and if thou please,
    Thou mayst befriend me so much as to think 2590
    I come one way of the Plantagenets.
  • Hubert de Burgh. Unkind remembrance! thou and eyeless night
    Have done me shame: brave soldier, pardon me,
    That any accent breaking from thy tongue
    Should 'scape the true acquaintance of mine ear. 2595
  • Philip the Bastard. Come, come; sans compliment, what news abroad?
  • Hubert de Burgh. Why, here walk I in the black brow of night,
    To find you out.
  • Philip the Bastard. Brief, then; and what's the news?
  • Hubert de Burgh. O, my sweet sir, news fitting to the night, 2600
    Black, fearful, comfortless and horrible.
  • Philip the Bastard. Show me the very wound of this ill news:
    I am no woman, I'll not swoon at it.
  • Hubert de Burgh. The king, I fear, is poison'd by a monk:
    I left him almost speechless; and broke out 2605
    To acquaint you with this evil, that you might
    The better arm you to the sudden time,
    Than if you had at leisure known of this.
  • Philip the Bastard. How did he take it? who did taste to him?
  • Hubert de Burgh. A monk, I tell you; a resolved villain, 2610
    Whose bowels suddenly burst out: the king
    Yet speaks and peradventure may recover.
  • Philip the Bastard. Who didst thou leave to tend his majesty?
  • Hubert de Burgh. Why, know you not? the lords are all come back,
    And brought Prince Henry in their company; 2615
    At whose request the king hath pardon'd them,
    And they are all about his majesty.
  • Philip the Bastard. Withhold thine indignation, mighty heaven,
    And tempt us not to bear above our power!
    I'll tell tree, Hubert, half my power this night, 2620
    Passing these flats, are taken by the tide;
    These Lincoln Washes have devoured them;
    Myself, well mounted, hardly have escaped.
    Away before: conduct me to the king;
    I doubt he will be dead or ere I come. 2625