« PreviousContinue »
Const. No, I defy all counsel, all redress, But that which ends all counsel, true redress, Death, death.—0 amiable, lovely death! Thou odoriferous stench! sound rottenness! Arise forth from the couch of lasting night, Thou hate and terror to prosperity, And I will kiss thy détestable bones; And put my eyeballs in thy vaulty brows; And ring these fingers with thy household worms; And stop this gap of breath ? with fulsome dust, And be a carrion monster like thyself. Come, grin on me; and I will think thou smil'st, And buss thee as thy wife! Misery's love, O, come to me!
K. Phi. O, fair affliction, peace.
Const. No, no, I will not, having breath to cry.O that my tongue were in the thunder's mouth! Then with a passion would I shake the world ; And rouse from sleep that fell anatomy, Which cannot hear a lady's feeble voice, Which scorns a modern 3 invocation,
Pand. Lady, you utter madness, and not sorrow.
Const. Thou art not holy to belie me so.
1 To defy formerly signified to refuse, to reject.
“I do defy thy commiseration.”— Romeo and Juliet. 2 i. e. this mouth.
3 i. e. common. VOL. III.
Or madly think a babe of clouts were he.
will." K. Phi.
Bind up your hairs.
Pand. You hold too heinous a respect of grief.
1 Probably Constance, in despair, means to apostrophize the absent king John:-“Take my son to England if you will."
2 To suspire, Shakspeare uses for to breathe.
3 Gracious is used by Shakspeare often in the sense of beautiful, comely, graceful.
K. Phi. You are as fond of grief, as of your child.
Const. Grief fills the room up of my absent child, Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me; Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words, Remembers me of all his gracious parts, Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form ; Then, have I reason to be fond of grief. Fare you well ; had you such a loss as I, I could give better comfort than you do.I will not keep this form upon my head,
[Tearing off her head-dress. When there is such disorder in my wit. O Lord, my boy, my Arthur, my fair son ! My life, my joy, my food, my all the world! My widow-comfort, and my sorrow's cure ! [Exit. K. Phi. I fear some outrage, and I'll follow her.
Pand. Before the curing of a strong disease,
Lew. All days of glory, joy, and happiness.
. No, no; when fortune means to men most good, She looks upon them with a threatening eye. 'Tis strange, to think how much king John hath lost In this which he accounts so clearly won. Are not you grieved that Arthur is his prisoner?
Lew. As heartily as he is glad he hath him.
Pand. Your mind is all as youthful as your blood. Now hear me speak, with a prophetic spirit ;
1 The old copy reads word's. The alteration was made by Pope. Malone thinks that it is unnecessary; and that by the sweet word, life is meant. Steevens prefers Pope's emendation.
For even the breath of what I mean to speak
Lew. But what shall I gain by young Arthur's fall ?
Pand. You, in the right of lady Blanch, your wife, May then make all the claim that Arthur did.
Lew. And lose it, life and all, as Arthur did.
Pand. How green are you, and fresh in this old world! ! John lays you plots; the times conspire with you ; For he that steeps his safety in true blood, Shall find but bloody safety, and untrue. This act, so evilly born, shall cool the hearts Of all his people, and freeze up their zeal ; That none so small advantage shall step forth, To check his reign, but they will cherish it ; No natural exhalation in the sky, No scape 2 of nature, no distempered day, No common wind, no customed event, But they will pluck away his natural cause, And call them meteors, prodigies, and signs, Abortives, presages, and tongues of Heaven, Plainly denouncing vengeance upon John.
Lew. May be, he will not touch young Arthur's life, But hold himself safe in his prisonment.
Pand. O, sir, when he shall hear of your approach,
1 “ John lays you plots." A similar phrase occurs in the First Part of King Henry VI. :
“He writes, me here." 2 The old copy reads scope. The emendation is Pope's.
If that young Arthur be not gone already,
may be wrought out of their discontent. Now that their souls are topfull of offence, For England go; I will whet on the king.
Lew. Strong reasons make strong 3 actions. Let
us go ;
If you say, ay, the king will not say, no.
SCENE I. Northampton. A Room in the Castle.
Enter HUBERT and two Attendants. Hub. Heat me these irons hot ; and, look thou
| Hurly is tumult.
2 The image is taken from the manner in which birds are sometimes caught; one being placed for the purpose of drawing others to the net by his note or call.
3 The first folio reads strange; the second folio strong. 4 There is no circumstance, either in the original play or in this of