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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.
Enter HUBERT and Two ATTENDANTS.
Hub. HEAT me* these irons hot; and, look thou
Within the arras ;* when I strike my foot
Hub. Uncleanly scruples!* Fear not you: look
Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you.
Arth. Good morrow, Hubert.
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
Bear out the deed,
Exeunt, a Latin
So great a title,
Mercy on me!
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
Hub. [Aside.] If I talk to him, with his innocent
Arth. Are you sick, Hubert? you look pale to-day;
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.
Fair writ, legibly or distinctly writ
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:
Arth. Have you the heart? When your head did
I knit my handkerchief about your brows,
(The best I had, a princess wrought* it me,)
And with my hand, at midnight, held your head;
Saying "What lack * you?" and, "Where lies your
Or, "What good love* may I perform for you?"
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,
But for containing fire to harm mine eye.
Are you more stubborn hard than hammer'd iron?
75 And told me Hubert should put out mine eyes,
Hub. Come forth!
Re-enter ATTENDANTS with cords, irons, &c.
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.
I will not stir, nor wince,* nor speak a word,
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.
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
Hub. Is this your promise? go to, hold your tongue.
Being create, &c.
to be used either
business, and not for purposes of cruelty.
Tarre him on, encourage him to fight, to excite, to provoke.
Mercy-lacking, merciless, pitiless.
Arth. No, in good sooth: the fire is dead with 115
Being create* for comfort, to be us'd
Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy.
That mercy which fierce fire and iron extends,
Hub. Well, see to live; I will not touch thine
Owes, possesses, For all the treasure that thine uncle owes :
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.*
ter, as by a change Your uncle must not know but you are dead :
cautiously. Undergo, risk.
Pipe, to sing.
Vast for ever, eternity.
Arth. O heaven !-I thank you, Hubert.
My gentle child, I have no song to give you;
Be good, sweet child, and let who will be clever; 5
FRIENDS, Romans, countrymen ! lend me your
I come to bury Cæsar,* not to praise him.
He was my friend-faithful and just to me—
15 And Brutus is an honourable man!
He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
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
like a son.
The rest, the other
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;
O judgment! thou hast fled to brutish beasts,
My heart is in the coffin there with Cæsar;
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.