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Pem. Then I, as one that am the tongue of
these, To sound the purposes 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 restraint Doth move the murmuring lips of discontent To break into this dangerous argument,If, what in rest you have, in right you hold, Why then your fears, (which, as they say, attend The steps of wrong,) should move you to mew up Your tender kinsman, and to choke 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 ask 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. John. Let it be so; I do commit his youth
Enter HUBERT. To your direction.-Hubert, what news with you?
Pem. This is the man should do the bloody. deed; He show'd his warrant to a friend of mine: The image of a wicked heinous fault Lives in his eye; that close aspéct of his
To sound the purposes -] To declare, to publish the desires of all those.
good exercise?] In the middle ages, the whole education of princes and noble youths consisted in martial exercises, &c. These could not be easily had in a prison, where mental improvements might have been afforded as well as any where else; but this sort of education never entered into the thoughts of our active, warlike, but illiterate nobility. PERCY.
Does show the mood of a much-troubled breast;
Sal. The colour of the king doth come and go,
Sal. Indeed, we fear'd, his sickness was past cure.
Pem. Indeed, we heard how near his death he was,
Sal. It is apparent foul-play; and 'tis shame,
Pem. Stay yet, lord Salisbury; I'll go with thee,
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? Mess. From France to England.-Never such a
power, For any foreign preparation, Was levied in the body of a land! The copy
your speed is learn’d by them; For, when you should be told they do prepare, The tidings come, that they are all arriv'd. K. John. 0, where hath our intelligence been
drunk? Where hath it slept? Where is my
mother's care? That such an army could be drawn in France, And she not hear of it? Mess.
My liege, her ear
those powers of France, That thou for truth giv’st out, are landed here?
Mess. Under the Dauphin.
• How wildly then walks my estate in Irance !] i. e. how ill my affairs in France !--The verb, to walk, is used with great license by old writers.
Enter the Bastard and PETER of POMFRET. K. John.
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.
Bast. 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 To any tongue, speak it of what it will.
Bast. How I have sped among the clergymen, The sums I have collected shall express. But, as I travelled hither through the land, I find the people strangely fantasied; Possess'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 rhymes, That, ere the next Ascension-day at noon, Your highness should deliver up your crown. K. John. Thou idle dreamer, wherefore didst
thou so? Peter. Foreknowing that the truth will fall out so.
K. John. Hubert, away with him; imprison him; And on that day at noon, whereon, he says,
I was amaz'd -] i. e. stunned, confounded. 2 And here's a prophet,] This man was a hermit in great repute with the common people. Notwithstanding the event is said to have fallen ont as he had prophesied, the poor
fellow was inhumanly dragged at horses' tails through the streets of Warham, and, together with his son, who appears to have been even more innocent than his father, hanged afterwards upon a gibbet. See Holinshed's Chronicle, under the year 1213.
I shall yield up my crown, let him be hang'd:
[Exit HUBERT, with PETER,
full of it:
Gentle kinsman, gó,
I will seek them out.
[Exit. K. John. Spoke like a spriteful noble gentle
Go after him; for he, perhaps, shall need
With all my heart, my liege.
K. John. My mother dead!
* Deliver him to safety,] That is, Give him into safe custody.