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Home > King John > ACT IV - SCENE I. A room in a castle.

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ACT IV - SCENE I. A room in a castle.
Enter HUBERT and Executioners

HUBERT
1    Heat me these irons hot; and look thou stand
2    Within the arras: when I strike my foot
3    Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth,
4    And bind the boy which you shall find with me
5    Fast to the chair: be heedful: hence, and watch.
First Executioner
6    I hope your warrant will bear out the deed.
HUBERT
7    Uncleanly scruples! fear not you: look to't.
Exeunt Executioners
8    Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you.
Enter ARTHUR

ARTHUR
9    Good morrow, Hubert.
HUBERT
10   Good morrow, little prince.
ARTHUR
11   As little prince, having so great a title
12   To be more prince, as may be. You are sad.
HUBERT
13   Indeed, I have been merrier.
ARTHUR
14   Mercy on me!
15   Methinks no body should be sad but I:
16   Yet, I remember, when I was in France,
17   Young gentlemen would be as sad as night,
18   Only for wantonness. By my christendom,
19   So I were out of prison and kept sheep,
20   I should be as merry as the day is long;
21   And so I would be here, but that I doubt
22   My uncle practises more harm to me:
23   He is afraid of me and I of him:
24   Is it my fault that I was Geffrey's son?
25   No, indeed, is't not; and I would to heaven
26   I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert.
HUBERT
Aside
27    If I talk to him, with his innocent prate
28   He will awake my mercy which lies dead:
29   Therefore I will be sudden and dispatch.
ARTHUR
30   Are you sick, Hubert? you look pale to-day:
31   In sooth, I would you were a little sick,
32   That I might sit all night and watch with you:
33   I warrant I love you more than you do me.
HUBERT
Aside
34    His words do take possession of my bosom.
35   Read here, young Arthur.
Showing a paper
Aside
36   How now, foolish rheum!
37   Turning dispiteous torture out of door!
38   I must be brief, lest resolution drop
39   Out at mine eyes in tender womanish tears.
40   Can you not read it? Is it not fair writ?
ARTHUR
41   Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect:
42   Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes?
HUBERT
43   Young boy, I must.
ARTHUR
44   And will you?
HUBERT
45   And I will.
ARTHUR
46   Have you the heart? When your head did but ache,
47   I knit my handercher about your brows,
48   The best I had, a princess wrought it me,
49   And I did never ask it you again;
50   And with my hand at midnight held your head,
51   And like the watchful minutes to the hour,
52   Still and anon cheer'd up the heavy time,
53   Saying, 'What lack you?' and 'Where lies your grief?'
54   Or 'What good love may I perform for you?'
55   Many a poor man's son would have lien still
56   And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you;
57   But you at your sick service had a prince.
58   Nay, you may think my love was crafty love
59   And call it cunning: do, an if you will:
60   If heaven be pleased that you must use me ill,
61   Why then you must. Will you put out mine eyes?
62   These eyes that never did nor never shall
63   So much as frown on you.
HUBERT
64   I have sworn to do it;
65   And with hot irons must I burn them out.
ARTHUR
66   Ah, none but in this iron age would do it!
67   The iron of itself, though heat red-hot,
68   Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears
69   And quench his fiery indignation
70   Even in the matter of mine innocence;
71   Nay, after that, consume away in rust
72   But for containing fire to harm mine eye.
73   Are you more stubborn-hard than hammer'd iron?
74   An if an angel should have come to me
75   And told me Hubert should put out mine eyes,
76   I would not have believed him,--no tongue but Hubert's.
HUBERT
77   Come forth.
Stamps
Re-enter Executioners, with a cord, irons, &c
78   Do as I bid you do.
ARTHUR
79   O, save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes are out
80   Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men.
HUBERT
81   Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.
ARTHUR
82   Alas, what need you be so boisterous-rough?
83   I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still.
84   For heaven sake, Hubert, let me not be bound!
85   Nay, hear me, Hubert, drive these men away,
86   And I will sit as quiet as a lamb;
87   I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word,
88   Nor look upon the iron angerly:
89   Thrust but these men away, and I'll forgive you,
90   Whatever torment you do put me to.
HUBERT
91   Go, stand within; let me alone with him.
First Executioner
92   I am best pleased to be from such a deed.
Exeunt Executioners

ARTHUR
93   Alas, I then have chid away my friend!
94   He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart:
95   Let him come back, that his compassion may
96   Give life to yours.
HUBERT
97   Come, boy, prepare yourself.
ARTHUR
98   Is there no remedy?
HUBERT
99   None, but to lose your eyes.
ARTHUR
100  O heaven, that there were but a mote in yours,
101  A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wandering hair,
102  Any annoyance in that precious sense!
103  Then feeling what small things are boisterous there,
104  Your vile intent must needs seem horrible.
HUBERT
105  Is this your promise? go to, hold your tongue.
ARTHUR
106  Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues
107  Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes:
108  Let me not hold my tongue, let me not, Hubert;
109  Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue,
110  So I may keep mine eyes: O, spare mine eyes.
111  Though to no use but still to look on you!
112  Lo, by my truth, the instrument is cold
113  And would not harm me.
HUBERT
114  I can heat it, boy.
ARTHUR
115  No, in good sooth: the fire is dead with grief,
116  Being create for comfort, to be used
117  In undeserved extremes: see else yourself;
118  There is no malice in this burning coal;
119  The breath of heaven has blown his spirit out
120  And strew'd repentent ashes on his head.
HUBERT
121  But with my breath I can revive it, boy.
ARTHUR
122  An if you do, you will but make it blush
123  And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert:
124  Nay, it perchance will sparkle in your eyes;
125  And like a dog that is compell'd to fight,
126  Snatch at his master that doth tarre him on.
127  All things that you should use to do me wrong
128  Deny their office: only you do lack
129  That mercy which fierce fire and iron extends,
130  Creatures of note for mercy-lacking uses.
HUBERT
131  Well, see to live; I will not touch thine eye
132  For all the treasure that thine uncle owes:
133  Yet am I sworn and I did purpose, boy,
134  With this same very iron to burn them out.
ARTHUR
135  O, now you look like Hubert! all this while
136  You were disguised.
HUBERT
137  Peace; no more. Adieu.
138  Your uncle must not know but you are dead;
139  I'll fill these dogged spies with false reports:
140  And, pretty child, sleep doubtless and secure,
141  That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world,
142  Will not offend thee.
ARTHUR
143  O heaven! I thank you, Hubert.
HUBERT
144  Silence; no more: go closely in with me:
145  Much danger do I undergo for thee.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT III, SCENE IVACT IV, SCENE II (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII

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