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Scene III

The same

Alarums, excursions, retreat. Enter King John, Queen Elinor, Arthur, the Bastard, Hubert, and Lords

King John

To Queen 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.

Arthur

O, this will make my mother die with grief!

King John

To the Bastard

Cousin, away for England! haste before:
And, ere our coming, see thou shake the bags
Of hoarding abbots; imprisoned angels
Set at liberty: the fat ribs of peace
Must by the hungry now be fed upon:
Use our commission in his utmost force.

Bastard

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.

Elinor

Farewell, gentle cousin.

King John

Coz, farewell.

Exit the Bastard

Queen Elinor

Come hither, little kinsman; hark, a word.

King 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 ashamed
To say what good respect I have of thee.

Hubert

I am much bounden to your majesty.

King 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 from 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 on 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 baked 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 lovest me well.

Hubert

So well, that what you bid me undertake,
Though that my death were adjunct to my act,
By heaven, I would do it.

King 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 whereso'er this foot of mine doth tread,
He lies before me: dost thou understand me?
Thou art his keeper.

Hubert

And I'll keep him so,
That he shall not offend your majesty.

King John

Death.

Hubert

My lord?

King John

A grave.

Hubert

He shall not live.

King 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.

Elinor

My blessing go with thee!

King 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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