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King John

ACT V SCENE VIAn open place in the neighbourhood of Swinstead Abbey.
Enter the BASTARD and HUBERT, severally.
HUBERTWho’s there? speak, ho! speak quickly, or I shoot.
BASTARDA friend. What art thou?
HUBERTOf the part of England.
BASTARDWhither dost thou go? 5
HUBERTWhat’s that to thee? why may not I demand
Of thine affairs, as well as thou of mine?
BASTARDHubert, I think?
HUBERTThou hast a perfect thought:
I will upon all hazards well believe 10
Thou art my friend, that know’st my tongue so well.
Who art thou?
BASTARDWho thou wilt: and if thou please,
Thou mayst befriend me so much as to think
I come one way of the Plantagenets. 15
HUBERTUnkind remembrance! thou and eyeless night
Have done me shame: brave soldier, pardon me,
That any accent breaking from thy tongue
Should ‘scape the true acquaintance of mine ear.
BASTARDCome, come; sans compliment, what news abroad? 20
HUBERTWhy, here walk I in the black brow of night,
To find you out.
BASTARDBrief, then; and what’s the news?
HUBERTO, my sweet sir, news fitting to the night,
Black, fearful, comfortless and horrible. 25
BASTARDShow me the very wound of this ill news:
I am no woman, I’ll not swoon at it.
HUBERTThe king, I fear, is poison’d by a monk:
I left him almost speechless; and broke out
To acquaint you with this evil, that you might 30
The better arm you to the sudden time,
Than if you had at leisure known of this.
BASTARDHow did he take it? who did taste to him?
HUBERTA monk, I tell you; a resolved villain,
Whose bowels suddenly burst out: the king 35
Yet speaks and peradventure may recover.
BASTARDWho didst thou leave to tend his majesty?
HUBERTWhy, know you not? the lords are all come back,
And brought Prince Henry in their company;
At whose request the king hath pardon’d them, 40
And they are all about his majesty.
BASTARDWithhold thine indignation, mighty heaven,
And tempt us not to bear above our power!
I’ll tell tree, Hubert, half my power this night,
Passing these flats, are taken by the tide; 45
These Lincoln Washes have devoured them;
Myself, well mounted, hardly have escaped.
Away before: conduct me to the king;
I doubt he will be dead or ere I come.

Next: King John, Act 5, Scene 7