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Pemb. When workmen strive to do better than well, 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, Than did the fault before it was fo patch'd.

Sal. To this effect, before you were new-crown'd,
We breath'd our counsel : but it pleas'd your highness
To over-bear it ; and we are all well pleas'd ;
Since all and every part of what we would,
Doth make a stand at what your highness will.

K. John. Some reasons of this double coronation
I have ? poffess'd you with, and think them strong;
And more, more ftrong (when lesser is my fear)
I shall endue you with : Mean time, but alk
What you would have refórm'd, that, is not well ;
And well shall you perceive, how willingly
I will both hear and grant you your requests.

Pemb. Then I, (as one that am the tongue of these,
• To found the purpofes of all their hearts)
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 reftraint
Doth move the murmuring lips of discontent
To break into this dangerous argument,
If, what in rest you have, in right you hold,

I do confound obeir skill in covetoufriefs :]-defeat, frustrate all the efforts of their ingenuity thro' their emulation, their eager third after anattainable excellence.

*. fault, 1-blemih-flaw. * poles'd]-acquainted.

-- Is he yet poffefsid “ How much you would ?"

MERCHANT OF VENICE, Vol. II. p.96. Anib. • To found 1-To declarc.


Why should your fears (which, as they say, attend
The steps of wrong) then move you to mew up
Your tender kinsman, and to choak his days
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 alk, his liberty;
Which for our goods we do no further ask,
Than whereupon our weal, on you depending,
Counts it your weal, he have his liberty.
K. Jobn. Let it be so; I do commit his youth

Enter Hubert.



direction.-Hubert, what news with you ?
Pemb. This is the man should do the bloody deed;
He Thew'd his warrant to a friend of mine :
The image of a wicked heinous fault
Lives in his eye ; that close aspect of his
Does shew 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.

Sal. The colour of the king doth come and
• Between his purpose and his conscience,
Like heralds 'twixt two dreadful battles ser :
His passion is so ripe, it needs must break.

Pemb. And, when it breaks, I fear, will issue thence The foul corruption of a 'weet child's death.

K. Jobn. We cannot hold mortality's strong hand :Good lords, although my will to give is living,

Between bis purpose and bis conscience, )—Between his conscious guilt, and aim to hide it-Between his horrid design, and the dread of accomplishing it, she king's mind is violently agitated,


The suit which you demand is gone

and dead; He tells us, Arthur is deceas'd to-night.

Sal. Indeed, we fear'd, his sickness was past cure.

Pemb. Indeed, we hear'd how near his death he was, Before the child himself felt he was sick : This must be answer'd, either here, or hence.

K. John. Why do you bend such solemn brows on me? Think you,

I bear the shears of destiny?
Have I commandment on the pulse of life?

Sal. It is apparent foul-play; and 'tis shame,
That greatness should so grossly offer it :-
. So thrive it in your game! and so farewell.
Pemb. Stay yet, lord Salisbury; I'll go

with thee,
And find the inheritance of this poor child, ,
His little kingdom of a forced graye.
That blood, which ow'd the breadth of all this ifle,
Three foot of it doth hold; Bad world the while !
This must not be thus borne : this will break out
To all our sorrows, and ere long, I doubt.


K. John. They burn in indignation ; I repent :
There is no sure foundation set on blood;
No certain life açchiev'd by others' death.

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?

Mef. 'From France to England. - Never such a power
For any foreign preparation,
Was levy'd in the body of a land !

.. So thrive it in your game ! ]—May your game ibrive as it deserves, from your management of the cards; may the issue answer the outset. dow'd ]-own'd.

Prom France to England, ]-All goes from France, &c.


The copy of your speed is learn’d by them ;
For, when


should be told they do prepare, The tidings come, that they are all arriv'd.

K. John. 'O, where hath our intelligence been drunk?
Where hath it Nept? Where is my mother's care ;
That such an army could be drawn in France,
And she not hear of it ?

Mes. My liege, her ear
Is stopt with duft; the first of April, dy'd
Your noble mother: And, as I hear, my lord,
The lady Constance in a frenzy dy'd
Three days before : but this from rumour's tongue
I idly heard; if true, or false, I know not.

K. John. Withhold thy speed, dreadful occasion !
O, make a league with me, 'till I have pleas'd
My discontented peers !What ! mother dead?
How wildly then walks my estate in France ?
Under whose conduct came those powers of France,
That, thou for truth giv'st out, are landed here?
Mef. Under the Dauphin.

Enter Faulconbridge and Peter of Pomfret.
K. Jobn. Thou hast made me giddy
With these ill tidings. Now, what says the world
To your proceedings ? do not seek to stuff
My head with more ill news, for it is full.

Faulo. But, if you be afeard to hear the worst,
Then let the worst, unheard, fall on your head.

K. John. Bear with me, cousin; for I was amaz'd
Under the tide : but now I breathe again
Aloft the flood; and can give audience

any tongue, speak it of what it will.
'0, wbere bath our intelligence been drunk?
Where hath it fiept?]-MACBETH, AG I. S. 7. Lady.


Fault. How I have sped among the clergymen, The fums I have collected shall express. But, as I travell’d hither through the land, I find the people ftrangely fantasy'd; Pofless'd with rumours, full of idle dreams; Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear : And here's 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 rhimes, That, ere the next Afcenfion-day at noon, Your highness should deliver up your crown. K. Fobn. Thou idle dreamer, wherefore did' it thou say

fo? Peter. Fore-knowing that the truth will fall out fo.

K. Jobn. Hubert, away with him; imprison him;
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.-0 my gentle coufin,

[Exit Hubert, with Peter. Hear'ft thou the news abroad, who are arriv'd ? Fgulc. 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)
And others more, going to seek the grave
Of Arthur, who, they fay, is killid to-night
On your fuggeftion.

K. John. Gentle kinsman, go,
And thrust thyself into their companies :
I have a way to win their loves again ;
Bring them before me.
Faulc. I will seek them out.

K. John.

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