William Shakespeare's The Life and Death of King John in the complete original text.
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HOME > Plays > The Life and Death of King John > Act V. Scene VI.

The Life and Death of King John

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Act V. Scene VI.

Scene VI.—An open Place in the neighbour-
hood of Swinstead Abbey.

Enter the BASTARD and HUBERT, severally

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