Page images
PDF
EPUB

Oh, if I could, what grief fhould I forget!
I am not mad; too well, too well I feel
The diff'rent plague of each calamity. +
And, Father Cardinal, I have heard you say,
That we shall see and know our friends in heav'n;
If that be, I shall fee my boy again.
For since the birth of Cain, the first male child,
To him that did but yesterday fufpire,
There was not such a gracious creature born.
But now will canker forrow eat my bud,
And chase the native beauty from his cheek;
And he will look as hollow as a ghoft;
As dim and meagre as an ague's fit;
And so he'll die : and, rising so again,
When I shall meet him in the court of heav'n,
I shall not know him; therefore never, never,
Must I behold my pretty Arthur more.

Pand. You hold too heinous a respect of grief.

- fhould I forge: !
Preach some philosophy to make me mad,
And thou malt be canoniz'd, Cardinal.
For, bing not mad, bu: sensible of grief,
My realonable part produces reafou
How I may be deliver'u of these woes,
And teaches me to kill or hang myself.
If I were mad, I thould for. et my
Or madly think a babe of clouis were he.
I am not mad, &c.

+

each calamity,
K. Pril. Bind up those trelles. O, what love I goce
In the fair multitude of those her hails;
Where but by chance a si ver drop hath fall'n,
Ev’n 10 that drop ten thousand wiery friends
Do glew the mselves in sociable griet;
: Like frue, inseparable, faithful loves,
Sticking together in calamitv.

Conf. To England, if vou will.
K Phil. Bind up your hairs.

Conft. Yes, that I will; aid wherefore will I do it;
I tore them from their bonds, and cry a abrud,
O, that there hands could lo rodeem my son,
As they have giv’n thee hails their liberty!
But now I envy at their liverty,
And will again commit them to their bonds;
Bec use my poor child is a prisoner.
And, Father Cardinal, &c.

Tt2

Conft

your

Conft. He talks to me'that never had a fon. K. Phil. You are as fond of grief as of child. Const. Grief fills the room up of my abfent 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 lofs as I, I could give better comfort than you do. I will not keep this form upon my head,

[Tearing of her head-cloaths. 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.Phil. I fearsome outrage, and I'll follow her. [Exit.

S CE N E VII. Lewis. There's nothing in this world can make me

joy;

. Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale,

Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.'
A bitter shame hath spoilt the sweet world's taste,
That it yields nought bựt shame and bitterness.

Pand. Before the curing of a strong disease,
Ev’n in the instant of repair and health,
The fit is strongest : evils that take leave,
On their departure, most of all shew evil.
What have you lost by losing of this day?

Lewis. All days of glory, joy, and happinefs.

Pand. If you had won it, certainly you had. No, no; when Fortune means to men most good, She looks upon them with a threat’ning eye. 'Tis strange to think how much King John hath lost In this, which he accounts fo clearly won. Are not you griev'd that Arthur is his prisoner?

Lewis. As heartily as he is glad he hath him.

Pand. Your mind is all as youthful as your blond. Now hear me speak with a prophetic spirit; For ev'n the breath of what I mean to speak Shall blow each dust, each straw, each little rub,

Out

Out of the path which shall directly lead 11
Thy foot to England's throne : and therefore mark.
John hath feiz'd Arthur, and it cannot be
That whilst warm life plays in that infant's veins,
The misplace'd John should entertain an hour,
A minute, nay, one quiet breath, of rest.
A sceptre snatch'd with an unruly hand,
Must be as boist'rously maintain’d as gain’d.
“ And he that stands upon a slipp'ry place,
“ Makes nice of no vile hold to stay him

up.” That John may stand, then Arthur needs must fall; So be it, for it cannot be but so.

Lewis. But what shall I gain by young Arthur's fall?

Pand. You, in the right of Lady Blanch yoar wife, May then make all the claim that Arthur did.

Lewis. And lose it, life and all, as Arthur did. Pand. How green you are, and fresh in this old

world! John lays you plots; the times conspire with you; For he that steeps his fafety 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 no fo small advantage shall step forth To check his reign, but they will cherish it. • No nat'ral exhalation in the sky, “ No 'scape of nature, no distemper'd day, “ No common wind, no customed event, “ But they will pluck away its natral cause, « And call them meteors, prodigies, and signs, “ Abortives, and presages, tongues of heav'n

Plainly denouncing vengeance upon John.”
Lewis. May be he will not touch young Arthur's

life;
But hold himfelf safe in his prisonment.

Pand. O Sir, when he shall hear of your approach, If that young Arthur be not gone already, Ev’n at this news he dies : and then the hearts Of all his people shall revolt from hin, And kiss the lips of unacquainted change ; And pick strong matter of revolt and wrath, Out of the bloody fingers' ends of John.

Methink

Methinks I see this hurly all on foot;
And 0, what better matter breeds for you
Than I have nam'd !---The bastard Faulconbridge
Is now in England, ransacking the church,
Offending charity. If but twelve French
Were there in arms, they would be as a call
To train ten thoufand English to their fide ;
Or, as a little snow, tumbled about,
Anon becomes a mountain. Noble Daupbin,
Go with me to the King : 'tis wonderful
What may be wrought out of their discontent.
Now that their souls are top-full of offence,
For England go; I will whet on the King.

Lewis. Strong reason makes strong actions : let us go; If you say dy, the King will not say No. [Exeunt.

[blocks in formation]

H

Changes to England.
A prison.

1
Enter Hubert and Executioners.
Hub. Eat me these irons hot, and look thou stand
Within the arras; when I strike my

foot Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth; And bind the boy which you shall find with me, Fast to the chair : be heedful; hence, and watch.

Exe. I hope your warrant will bear out the deed.

Hub. Uncleanly scruples! fear not you; look to't. Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you.

Enter Arthur. Arth. Good morrow, Hubert. Hub. Good morrow, little Prince.

Arth. As little prince (having so great a title To be more prince) as may be. You are fad.

Hub. Indeed I have been merrier.

Arth. Mercy on me !
Methinks no body should be sad but I;
Yet I remember when I was in France,
Young gentlemen would be as fad as night,

Only

Only for wantonness. By my christendom, snimi
So were I out of prison, and kept flieep,
I should be as merry as the day is long.
And so I should be here, but that I doubt
My uncle practises more harm to me.
He is afraid of me, and I of him.
Is it my fault that I was Geffrey's son?
Indeed it is not; and I would to heav'n
I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert.

Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate
He will awake my mercy, which lies dead;
Therefore I will be sudden and dispatch. [ Afide.

Arth. Are you fick, Hubert! you look pale to-day; In footh I wou'd you were a little fick, That I might fit all night and watch with you. Alas, I love you more than you do me.

Hub. His words do take pofleffion of my bosom. . Read here, young Arthur [Slewing a paper. How now, foolith rheum,

[-Ijide. Turning dif-piteous nature out of door! I must be brief, leit resolution drop Out at mine eyes in tender womanish tears. Can you not read it? is it not fair writ?

Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for to foul effect.
Must
you

with irons burn out both mine eyes?
Hub. Young boy, I must.
Arth. And will you?
Hub. And I will.

Arth. Have you the heart? When your head did but
I knit my hankerchief about your brows; [ake,
The best I had, a princess wrought it me,
And I did never ask it you again ;
And with my hand at midnight held your head;
And, like the watchful minutes to the hour,
Still and anon chear'd up the heavy time,
Saying, What lack you? and, Where lies your grief?
Or, What good love may I perform for you?
Many a poor man's fon would have lain fill,
And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you ;
But you at your fick service had a prince.
Nay, you may think my love was crafty love,
And call it cunning. Do, an if you will:

If

« PreviousContinue »