A line-by-line translation

King John

King John Translation Act 4, Scene 3

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Enter ARTHUR, on the walls

ARTHUR

The wall is high, and yet will I leap down: Good ground, be pitiful and hurt me not! There's few or none do know me: if they did, This ship-boy's semblance hath disguised me quite. I am afraid; and yet I'll venture it. If I get down, and do not break my limbs, I'll find a thousand shifts to get away: As good to die and go, as die and stay.

ARTHUR

The wall is high but I'll jump down. Kind ground, take pity and don't hurt me! Few people or none will recognize me. Even if they could, I'm well disguised as a ship-boy. I am afraid but I'll try this. If I get down and don't break my limbs, I'll find a thousand ways to get away. It's as good to go and die as to stay and die.

Leaps down

ARTHUR

O me! my uncle's spirit is in these stones:Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones!

ARTHUR

Poor me! My uncle's hatred of me is in these rocks. May heaven take my soul and England keep my bones!

Dies

Enter PEMBROKE, SALISBURY, and BIGOT

SALISBURY

Lords, I will meet him at Saint Edmundsbury:It is our safety, and we must embraceThis gentle offer of the perilous time.

SALISBURY

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PEMBROKE

Who brought that letter from the cardinal?

PEMBROKE

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SALISBURY

The Count Melun, a noble lord of France,Whose private with me of the Dauphin's loveIs much more general than these lines import.

SALISBURY

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BIGOT

To-morrow morning let us meet him then.

BIGOT

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SALISBURY

Or rather then set forward; for 'twill beTwo long days' journey, lords, or ere we meet.

SALISBURY

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Enter the BASTARD

BASTARD

Once more to-day well met, distemper'd lords!The king by me requests your presence straight.

BASTARD

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SALISBURY

The king hath dispossess'd himself of us: We will not line his thin bestained cloak With our pure honours, nor attend the foot That leaves the print of blood where'er it walks. Return and tell him so: we know the worst.

SALISBURY

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BASTARD

Whate'er you think, good words, I think, were best.

BASTARD

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SALISBURY

Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now.

SALISBURY

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BASTARD

But there is little reason in your grief;Therefore 'twere reason you had manners now.

BASTARD

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PEMBROKE

Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege.

PEMBROKE

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BASTARD

'Tis true, to hurt his master, no man else.

BASTARD

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SALISBURY

This is the prison. What is he lies here?

SALISBURY

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Seeing ARTHUR

PEMBROKE

O death, made proud with pure and princely beauty!The earth had not a hole to hide this deed.

PEMBROKE

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SALISBURY

Murder, as hating what himself hath done,Doth lay it open to urge on revenge.

SALISBURY

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BIGOT

Or, when he doom'd this beauty to a grave,Found it too precious-princely for a grave.

BIGOT

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SALISBURY

Sir Richard, what think you? have you beheld, Or have you read or heard? or could you think? Or do you almost think, although you see, That you do see? could thought, without this object, Form such another? This is the very top, The height, the crest, or crest unto the crest, Of murder's arms: this is the bloodiest shame, The wildest savagery, the vilest stroke, That ever wall-eyed wrath or staring rage Presented to the tears of soft remorse.

SALISBURY

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PEMBROKE

All murders past do stand excused in this: And this, so sole and so unmatchable, Shall give a holiness, a purity, To the yet unbegotten sin of times; And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest, Exampled by this heinous spectacle.

PEMBROKE

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BASTARD

It is a damned and a bloody work;The graceless action of a heavy hand,If that it be the work of any hand.

BASTARD

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SALISBURY

If that it be the work of any hand! We had a kind of light what would ensue: It is the shameful work of Hubert's hand; The practise and the purpose of the king: From whose obedience I forbid my soul, Kneeling before this ruin of sweet life, And breathing to his breathless excellence The incense of a vow, a holy vow, Never to taste the pleasures of the world, Never to be infected with delight, Nor conversant with ease and idleness, Till I have set a glory to this hand, By giving it the worship of revenge .

SALISBURY

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BIGOT

Our souls religiously confirm thy words.

BIGOT

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Enter HUBERT

HUBERT

Lords, I am hot with haste in seeking you:Arthur doth live; the king hath sent for you.

HUBERT


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SALISBURY

O, he is old and blushes not at death.Avaunt, thou hateful villain, get thee gone!

SALISBURY

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HUBERT

I am no villain.

HUBERT

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SALISBURY

Must I rob the law?

SALISBURY

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Drawing his sword

BASTARD

Your sword is bright, sir; put it up again.

BASTARD

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SALISBURY

Not till I sheathe it in a murderer's skin.

SALISBURY

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HUBERT

Stand back, Lord Salisbury, stand back, I say; By heaven, I think my sword's as sharp as yours: I would not have you, lord, forget yourself, Nor tempt the danger of my true defence; Lest I, by marking of your rage, forget Your worth, your greatness and nobility.

HUBERT

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BIGOT

Out, dunghill! darest thou brave a nobleman?

BIGOT

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HUBERT

Not for my life: but yet I dare defendMy innocent life against an emperor.

HUBERT

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SALISBURY

Thou art a murderer.

SALISBURY

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HUBERT

Do not prove me so;Yet I am none: whose tongue soe'er speaks false,Not truly speaks; who speaks not truly, lies.

HUBERT

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PEMBROKE

Cut him to pieces.

PEMBROKE

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BASTARD

Keep the peace, I say.

BASTARD

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SALISBURY

Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulconbridge.

SALISBURY

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BASTARD

Thou wert better gall the devil, Salisbury: If thou but frown on me, or stir thy foot, Or teach thy hasty spleen to do me shame, I'll strike thee dead. Put up thy sword betime; Or I'll so maul you and your toasting-iron, That you shall think the devil is come from hell.

BASTARD

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BIGOT

What wilt thou do, renowned Faulconbridge?Second a villain and a murderer?

BIGOT

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HUBERT

Lord Bigot, I am none.

HUBERT

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BIGOT

Who kill'd this prince?

BIGOT

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HUBERT

'Tis not an hour since I left him well:I honour'd him, I loved him, and will weepMy date of life out for his sweet life's loss.

HUBERT

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SALISBURY

Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes, For villany is not without such rheum; And he, long traded in it, makes it seem Like rivers of remorse and innocency. Away with me, all you whose souls abhor The uncleanly savours of a slaughter-house; For I am stifled with this smell of sin.

SALISBURY

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BIGOT

Away toward Bury, to the Dauphin there!

BIGOT

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PEMBROKE

There tell the king he may inquire us out.

PEMBROKE

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Exeunt Lords

BASTARD

Here's a good world! Knew you of this fair work?Beyond the infinite and boundless reachOf mercy, if thou didst this deed of death,Art thou damn'd, Hubert.

BASTARD

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HUBERT

Do but hear me, sir.

HUBERT

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BASTARD

Ha! I'll tell thee what; Thou'rt damn'd as black—nay, nothing is so black; Thou art more deep damn'd than Prince Lucifer: There is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child.

BASTARD

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HUBERT

Upon my soul—

HUBERT

Lorem ipsum

BASTARD

If thou didst but consent To this most cruel act, do but despair; And if thou want'st a cord, the smallest thread That ever spider twisted from her womb Will serve to strangle thee, a rush will be a beam To hang thee on; or wouldst thou drown thyself, Put but a little water in a spoon, And it shall be as all the ocean, Enough to stifle such a villain up. I do suspect thee very grievously.

BASTARD

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HUBERT

If I in act, consent, or sin of thought, Be guilty of the stealing that sweet breath Which was embounded in this beauteous clay, Let hell want pains enough to torture me. I left him well.

HUBERT

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BASTARD

Go, bear him in thine arms. I am amazed, methinks, and lose my way Among the thorns and dangers of this world. How easy dost thou take all England up! From forth this morsel of dead royalty, The life, the right and truth of all this realm Is fled to heaven; and England now is left To tug and scamble and to part by the teeth The unowed interest of proud-swelling state. Now for the bare-pick'd bone of majesty Doth dogged war bristle his angry crest And snarleth in the gentle eyes of peace: Now powers from home and discontents at home Meet in one line; and vast confusion waits, As doth a raven on a sick-fall'n beast, The imminent decay of wrested pomp. Now happy he whose cloak and cincture can Hold out this tempest. Bear away that child And follow me with speed: I'll to the king: A thousand businesses are brief in hand, And heaven itself doth frown upon the land.

BASTARD

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Exeunt

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