William Shakespeare's The Life and Death of King John in the complete original text.
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The Life and Death of King John

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Act III. Scene III.

Scene III.—The Same.

Alarums! excursions; retreat, Enter KING
JOHN, ELINOR, ARTHUR, the BASTARD,
HUBERT, and Lords.

K. John. [To ELINOR.] So shall it be; your
grace shall stay behind
So strongly guarded. [To ARTHUR.] Cousin,
look not sad:
Thy grandam loves thee! and thy uncle will
As dear be to thee as thy father was.
Arth. O! this will make my mother die with
grief.
K. John. [To the BASTARD.] Cousin, away for
England! haste before;
And, ere our coming, see thou shake the bags
Of hoarding abbots; set at liberty
Imprison'd angels: the fat ribs of peace
Must by the hungry now be fed upon:
Use our commission in his utmost force.
Bast. Bell, book, and candle shall not drive
me back
When gold and silver becks me to .come on.
I leave your highness. Grandam, I will pray,—
If ever I remember to be holy,—
For your fair safety; so I kiss your hand.
Eli. Farewell, gentle cousin.
K. John. Coz, farewell.
[Exit BASTARD.
Eli. Come hither, little kinsman; hark, a
word. [She takes ARTHUR aside.
K. John. Come hither, Hubert. O my gentle
Hubert,
We owe thee much: within this wall of flesh
There is a soul counts thee her creditor,
And with advantage means to pay thy love:
And, my good friend, thy voluntary oath
Lives in this bosom, dearly cherished.
Give me thy hand. I had a thing to say,
But I will fit it with some better time.
By heaven, Hubert, I am almost asham'd
To say what good respect I have of thee.
Hub. I am much bounden to your majesty.
K. John. Good friend, thou hast no cause to
say so yet;
But thou shalt have; and creep time ne'er so slow,
Yet it shall come for me to do thee good.
I had a thing to say, but let it go:
The sun is in the heaven, and the proud day,
Attended with the pleasures of the world,
Is all too wanton and too full of gawds
To give me audience: if the midnight bell
Did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth,
Sound one into the drowsy race of night;
If this same were a churchyard where we stand,
And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs;
Or if that surly spirit, melancholy,
Had bak'd thy blood and made it heavy-thick,
Which else runs tickling up and down the veins,
Making that idiot, laughter, keep men's eyes
And strain their cheeks to idle merriment,
A passion hateful to my purposes;
Or if that thou couldst see me without eyes,
Hear me without thine ears, and make reply
Without a tongue, using conceit alone,
Without eyes, ears, and harmful sound of words;
Then, in despite of brooded watchful day,
I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts:
But ah! I will not: yet I love thee well;
And, by my troth, I think thou lov'st me well.
Hub. So well, that what you bid me under-
take,
Though that my death were adjunct to my
act,
By heaven, I would do it
K. John. Do not I know thou wouldst?
Good Hubert! Hubert, Hubert, throw thine eye
On yon young boy: I'll tell thee what, my
friend,
He is a very serpent in my way;
And wheresoe'er this foot of mine doth tread
He lies before me: dost thou understand me?
Thou art his keeper.
Hub. And I'll keep him so
That he shall not offend your majesty.
K. John. Death.
Hub. My lord?
K. John. A grave.
Hub. He shall not live.
K. John. Enough.
I could be merry now. Hubert, I love thee;
Well, I'll not say what I intend for thee:
Remember. Madam, fare you well:
I'll send those powers o'er to your majesty.
Eli. My blessing go with thee!
K. John. For England, cousin; go:
Hubert shall be your man, attend on you
With all true duty. On toward Calais, ho!
[Exeunt.
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