KING JOHN,* ACT IV. SCENE I.-Shakspeare.

WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE (1564-1616) the greatest of dramatic poets, and the greatest name in our literature, was born at Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire. He became a player in London, and afterwards the manager of a theatre. Before his death he retired with a competence to his native place. His works consist of thirty-seven plays, two poems, and a collection of sonnets. Among the plays may be mentioned such masterpieces as Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, King John, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry VIII., The Tempest, &c.


Hub. HEAT me* these irons hot; and, look thou

stand *

Within the arras ;* when I strike my foot
Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth,
And bind the boy, which you shall find with me,
5 Fast to the chair: be heedful: hence, and watch.
I Attend. I hope your warrant* will bear out

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the deed.*

Hub. Uncleanly scruples!* Fear not you: look



Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you.


Arth. Good morrow, Hubert.

Good morrow, little prince.
Arth. As little prince (having so great a title *
To be more prince,) as may be.-You are sad.
Hub. Indeed, I have been merrier.

Heat me, heat for


Look thou stand, take care to stand.

Arras, tapestry. Embroidered curtains or hangings representsometimes


battles, or the figures of men, birds, beasts, &c.,

used formerly to
cover the walls of
mansions. First
manufactured at
Arras, a town in
Warrant, written

Bear out the deed,
free the doer from
all blame.
fears or doubts.
scruples, foolish

Exeunt, a Latin
word meaning to
go out.

So great a title,

Mercy on me!

15 Methinks,* nobody should be sad but I;
Yet, I remember, when I was in France,
Young gentlemen would be as sad as night,
Only for wantonness.* By my Christendom,*
So I were out of prison, and kept sheep,
I should be merry as the day is long;
And so I would be here, but that I doubt
My uncle practises more harm to me:
He is afraid of me, and I of him :


Is it my fault, that I was Geffrey's son? 25 No, indeed, is't not; And I would to heaven

I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert.


&c., having a right to be more than a prince, viz., to be a king. Methinks, seems to me. Wantonness, sport, amusement, playfulness, mischief. Christendom, that part of the world which acknowledges the Christian faith. By my Christendom, by my christening.

*King John was the younger brother of Geffrey, the third son of Henry II. Therefore, according to law, Geffrey's son, Arthur, had a better claim to the crown than his uncle. John knowing this, and fearing a rebellion in favour of his nephew, was anxious to get rid of him, so he employed Hubert de Burgh to murder him. Arthur was born in 1187, and is supposed to have been murdered at Rouen in 1203; some say by John's own hand


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Rheum, here



Hub. [Aside.] If I talk to him, with his innocent
He will awake my mercy, which lies dead; [prate
Therefore I will be sudden, and despatch." *

Arth. Are you sick, Hubert? you look pale to-day;
In sooth,* I would you were a little sick :
That I might sit all night and watch with you:
I warrant I love you more than you do me.

Hub. [Aside.] His words do take possession of my


Read here, young Arthur.


[Showing a paper. 35 [Aside.] How now, foolish rheum !* flow of tears; Turning dispiteous* torture out of door! I must be brief, lest resolution drop Out at mine eyes in tender womanish tears.— Can you not read it? is it not fair writ?

Greek, rheuma, from rheo, meaning to flow.

Dispiteous, cruel,

unpitying, merci


Fair writ, legibly or distinctly writ


Wrought, worked,

Lack, to want, to

require, to be without.

What good love,

what good action.

Crafty, cunning, artful, deceitful.

Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect:
Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes?
Hub. Young boy, I must.



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Arth. Have you the heart? When your head did

but ache,

I knit my handkerchief about your brows,

(The best I had, a princess wrought* it me,)
And I did never ask it you again.

And with my hand, at midnight, held your head;
And, like the watchful minutes to the hour,
Still and anon cheered up the heavy time,

Saying "What lack * you?" and, "Where lies your

Or, "What good love* may I perform for you?"
Many a poor man's son would have lain still,
And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you;
But you at your sick service had a prince.
Nay, you may think my love was crafty* love,
And call it, cunning; do, an if you will:
If heaven be pleas'd that you must use me ill,
Why then, you must.-Will you put out mine eyes?
These eyes that never did, nor never shall,




Heat, heated. Approaching, coming near.

Drink my tears,

my tears would

So much as frown upon you?


I have sworn to do it;


And with hot irons must I burn them out.

Arth. Ah, none but in this iron age would do it;

cool the heated The iron of itself, though heat* red-hot,

iron and thus Approaching* near these eyes, would drink my tears,* make it unable And quench his fiery indignation,'

to harm my eyes.


Indignation, Even in the matter of my innocence : anger, wrath, Nay, after that, consume away in rust,

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But for containing fire to harm mine eye.

Are you more stubborn hard than hammer'd iron?
An if an angel should have come to me,

75 And told me Hubert should put out mine eyes,
I would not have believ'd him.-No tongue * but

Hub. Come forth!


Re-enter ATTENDANTS with cords, irons, &c.
Do as I bid you do.

Arth. O save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes are


80 Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men.


Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.
Arth. Alas, what* need you be so boist'rous*
I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still.
For Heaven's sake, Hubert let me not be bound!
85 Nay, hear me, Hubert! drive these men away,
And I will sit as quiet as a lamb,

I will not stir, nor wince,* nor speak a word,
Nor look upon the iron angerly ;*

Thrust* but these men away, and I'll forgive you, 90 Whatever torment you do put me to.

Hub. Go, stand within; let me alone with him. I Attend. I am best pleased to be from such a deed. [Exeunt ATTENDANTS. Arth. Alas! I then have chid* away my friend; He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart :95 Let him come back, that his compassion* may Give life to yours.




Come, boy, prepare yourself.
Arth. Is there no remedy?


None, but to lose your eyes,


No tongue, the expression," I would have be

lieved," is under

stood to come before these words.

What, why, Boisterous, brutal, violent, noisy."

Wince, to shrink or start back. Angerly, with anger, angrily. Thrust, send,put

Chid,reproached, driven away. Compassion, mercy.



Arth. O heaven! that there were but a mote * in Mote, a very small
A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wandering hair,
Any annoyance in that precious sense,*
Then, feeling what small things are boist'rous* there,
Your vile intent* must needs seem horrible.


Hub. Is this your promise? go to, hold your tongue.
Arth. Hubert, the utterance of a brace* of tongues
Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes:
Let me not hold my tongue; let me not, Hubert!
Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue,
110 So I may keep mine eyes. O, spare mine eyes;
Though to no use, but still to look on you!
Lo, by my troth,* the instrument is cold,
And would not harm me.

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Being create, &c.
Fire is intended

to be used either
for our personal
comfort or for as-
sisting us in our

business, and not for purposes of cruelty.

Tarre him on, encourage him to fight, to excite, to provoke.

Mercy-lacking, merciless, pitiless.

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Arth. No, in good sooth: the fire is dead with 115


Being create* for comfort, to be us'd
In undeserv'd extremes: See else yourself.
There is no malice in this burning coal;
The breath of heav'n hath blown his spirit out,
And strew'd repentant ashes on his head.

Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy.
Arth. An if you do, you will but make it blush,
And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert:
Nay, it, perchance, will sparkle in your eyes;
And, like a dog, that is compell'd to fight,
Snatch at his master that doth tarre him on."
All things that you should use to do me wrong,
Deny their office; only you do lack


That mercy which fierce fire and iron extends,
Creatures of note for mercy-lacking* uses.

Hub. Well, see to live; I will not touch thine

Owes, possesses, For all the treasure that thine uncle owes :
Yet am I sworn, and I did purpose, boy,


Disguised, al

tered in appearance or charac


With this same very iron to burn them out.




Arth. O, now you look like Hubert! all this while 135 You were disguised.*



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ter, as by a change Your uncle must not know but you are dead :
of dress, manner, I'll fill these dogged* spies with false reports.
Dogged, surly, And, pretty child, sleep doubtless,* and secure,
sullen; following That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world,
from place to Will not offend thee.
place like a dog.
Doubtless, trust-
ful, without fear.

Closely, secretly,

cautiously. Undergo, risk.


Pipe, to sing.

Vast for ever, eternity.


Arth. O heaven !-I thank you, Hubert.
Hub. Silence; no more: go closely * in with me;
Much danger do I undergo* for thee. [Exeunt. 145

A FAREWELL.-Kingsley.

My gentle child, I have no song to give you;
No lark could pipe* to skies so dull and grey;
Yet, ere we part, one lesson I can leave you
For every day.

Be good, sweet child, and let who will be clever; 5
Do noble things, not dream them, all day long;
And so make life, death, and that vast for ever,'
Óne grand, sweet song.







FRIENDS, Romans, countrymen ! lend me your



I come to bury Cæsar,* not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones:
So let it be with Cæsar !-Noble Brutus
Hath told you Cæsar was ambitious—
If it was so, it was a grievous fault;
And grievously hath Cæsar answered it!
Here, under leave * of Brutus and the rest
For Brutus is an honourable man!
So are they all! all honourable men-
Come I to speak in Cæsar's funeral.


He was my friend-faithful and just to me—
But Brutus says he was ambitious;

15 And Brutus is an honourable man!





He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms * did the general coffers* fill;
Did this in Cæsar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Cæsar
wept :

Ambition should be made of sterner stuff
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man!
You all did see that on the Lupercal*
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,*
Which he did thrice refuse

bition ?


was this

Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And sure he is an honourable man!


Caesar was the leader of the popular party among the Romans. He became the foremost man in all the world, and the greatest general of his time.

Brutus, the nephew
of Cato, was a young
man whom Cæsar
had treated almost

like a son.
Under leave, by per-

The rest, the other
Roman senators,
some of whom had
helped to murder

Honourable, noble,
without reproach.
To speak, &c. It was
the custom in Rome

for the nearest friend

of any great man to attend his funeral and deliver a speech in his praise.

Ransom, the money paid to liberate a captive.

Coffer, a chest to hold am- Lupercal, the place money.

I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke;
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once; not without cause:
What cause withholds you,* then, to mourn

for him?

O judgment! thou hast fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason!-Bear with


My heart is in the coffin there with Cæsar;
And I must pause till it come back to me !

in Rome where Romulus and Remus, the founders of the city, were said to have been suckled by a shewolf.

Kingly crown. The Romans had a great dislike of kings, and

one of the principal charges brought

against Cæsar was

that he wished to be

come king in name as well as in power. Withholds you, forbids or prevents you.

* Mark Antony was connected with the family of Cæsar through his mother. After being defeated by Augustus at Actium, B. C. 31, he stabbed himself. This famous speech is taken from Shakspeare's "Julius Cæsar," Act III., Scene II.

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