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King John
Act 5, scene 6

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The events in King John take place in the thirteenth century, well before Shakespeare’s other English history plays. After the death of…

Act 1, scene 1

John, King of England, is told by a messenger from the King of France that the territories held by John…

Act 2, scene 1

King Philip of France and the Duke of Austria, on behalf of Arthur, begin to lay siege to the city…

Act 3, scene 1

The league between John and Philip is attacked first by Constance, who accuses Philip of treacherously betraying Arthur’s cause, and…

Act 3, scene 2

The Bastard, having killed the Duke of Austria, reports that he has rescued Queen Eleanor. Arthur, captured by John, is…

Act 3, scene 3

John prepares to leave for England with his forces. He tells Hubert that Arthur must die. Hubert promises to kill…

Act 3, scene 4

John’s victories and his capture of Arthur lead the French to despair and Constance to wild grief. Pandulph, predicting Arthur’s…

Act 4, scene 1

Hubert prepares to put out Arthur’s eyes with hot irons. Arthur begs him to show mercy. Hubert plans to tell…

Act 4, scene 2

The nobles express their disapproval of John’s second coronation and urge that he set Arthur free. When Hubert brings word…

Act 4, scene 3

Arthur dies as he attempts to leap from the prison wall. The Bastard reaches the nobles, on their way to…

Act 5, scene 1

King John submits his royal power to the Pope in exchange for Pandulph’s intercession against the French forces. The Bastard…

Act 5, scene 2

The rebellious English nobles swear to support the Dauphin in his attack on England. Pandulph tells the Dauphin to take…

Act 5, scene 3

King John, sick with a fever, is instructed by the Bastard to leave the battle. John receives the good news…

Act 5, scene 4

While the English army continues to fight successfully under the Bastard, the rebel English nobles learn from the wounded French…

Act 5, scene 5

The Dauphin rejoices that his forces have almost defeated the English. He then learns that Count Melun has died, that…

Act 5, scene 6

Hubert brings news to the Bastard that King John has been poisoned by a monk, and that, at the urging…

Act 5, scene 7

As King John lies dying, surrounded by his newly loyal nobles and his son, Prince Henry, the Bastard brings him…

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Scene 6
Enter Bastard and Hubert, severally.

HUBERT 
 Who’s there? Speak ho! Speak quickly, or I shoot.
BASTARD 
 A friend. What art thou?
HUBERT  Of the part of England.
BASTARD 
 Whither dost thou go?
HUBERT 5 What’s that to thee?
BASTARD 
 Why may not I demand of thine affairs
 As well as thou of mine? Hubert, I think?
HUBERT Thou 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?
BASTARD  Who thou wilt. An if thou please,
 Thou mayst befriend me so much as to think
 I come one way of the Plantagenets.
HUBERT 
15 Unkind remembrance! Thou and endless night
 Have done me shame. Brave soldier, pardon me
 That any accent breaking from thy tongue
 Should ’scape the true acquaintance of mine ear.
BASTARD 
 Come, come. Sans compliment, what news abroad?

199
King John
ACT 5. SC. 6

HUBERT 
20 Why, here walk I in the black brow of night
 To find you out.
BASTARD  Brief, then; and what’s the news?
HUBERT 
 O my sweet sir, news fitting to the night,
 Black, fearful, comfortless, and horrible.
BASTARD 
25 Show me the very wound of this ill news.
 I am no woman; I’ll not swoon at it.
HUBERT 
 The King, I fear, is poisoned 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.
BASTARD 
 How did he take it? Who did taste to him?
HUBERT 
 A monk, I tell you, a resolvèd villain,
 Whose bowels suddenly burst out. The King
35 Yet speaks and peradventure may recover.
BASTARD 
 Who didst thou leave to tend his Majesty?
HUBERT 
 Why, know you not? The lords are all come back,
 And brought Prince Henry in their company,
 At whose request the King hath pardoned them,
40 And they are all about his Majesty.
BASTARD 
 Withhold thine indignation, mighty God,
 And tempt us not to bear above our power.
 I’ll tell thee, Hubert, half my power this night,
 Passing these flats, are taken by the tide.
45 These Lincoln Washes have devourèd them.
 Myself, well mounted, hardly have escaped.

201
King John
ACT 5. SC. 7

 Away before. Conduct me to the King.
 I doubt he will be dead or ere I come.
They exit.