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Full of unpleasing blots, and fightless stains,
Lame, foolish, crooked, swart, prodigious,
Patch'd with foul moles, and eye-offending marks;
I would not care, I chen would be content :
For then I should not love thee : no, nor thou
Become thy great birth, nor deserve a crown.
But thy art fair, and at thy birth, dear boy!
(5) Nature and fortune join'd to make thee great.
Of nature's gifts thou may'st with lillies boaft,
And with the half blown-rose.
I will inftruct my sorrows to be proud ;
For grief is proud, and makes the owner stout.
If thou had't been born
Deform'd and crooked in the features of
Thy body, as the manners of thy mind,
Moor-lip'd, flat-nos’d, dim-ey'd and beetle-brow'd,
With a dwarfs ftature to a giant's waift:.
Sour-breath’d, with claws for fingers on thy hands,
Splay-footed, gouty-leg'd, and over all
A loathsome leprosy had spread itself,
And made thee Thun'd of human fellowships,
I had been blest.-
Rather than as now,
(Tho' I had drown'd thee for it in the sea)
Appearing as thou doft a new Pandora,
With Juno's fair cow-eyes, Minerva's brow,
Aurora's blushing cheeks, Hebe's fresh youth,
Venus soft paps, and Thetis filver feet. A & 4. S. 1. The last lines of Maffinger, are an immediate translation from a pretty Greek epigram, the author of which compares his mistresses eyes to Juno's, her paps to Venus, &c. Oμματ’ εχεις Ηρης, Μελιτη, τας χειρας Αθηνης,
Tες μαζες Παφιης, τα σφυρα της Θεσιδος, & (5) Nature, &c.] In the Pbiloetetes of Sophocles, it is faid,
Αλλ' ευγενης γαρ ηφυσις, κα'ξ ευγενων
Ω τεκνον, η ση
Noble thy nature, as thy birth, my son.
Scene V. The Horrors of unclofing & Conspiracy.
(6) I had a thing to say-but, let it go :
The fun is in the heav'n, and the proud day,
Attended with the pleasures of the world,
Is all too wanton, and too full of gawds,
To give me audience. If the midnight bell,
Did with his iron tongue and brazen mouth
Sound one unto the drowsy race of night;
(6) I had, &c.] The reader cannot but be ftruck with the peculiar excellencies of this speech : we see into the very workings of king Jobn's troubled soul, while he is wishing yet afraid to disclose his bloody purpose to Hubert ; and how finely does the author describe the situation the mind fou'd be in to hear and embrace fuch a proposal, the place fitteft to disclose it in, the time most suitable to pour it into the bofom of the hearer. See Julius Cæsar, p. 97. Shakespear, when he would express the most dreadful time of night, always speaks of the hours of twelve or one; for that, in the vulgar opinion, was the peculiar time of ghosts and spirits. In Midsummer Night's Dream, he fays,
The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve. And the ghost in Hamblet just then stalks forth, when Bernardo giving an account of it comes to
The bell then beating one.
A most beautiful break, and finely imagin'd.
The king, in Beaumont and Fletcher's King and no King, is alike troubled and fearful to disclose his intentions, Mardonius says of him,
-He has followed me
Thro' twenty rooms, and ever when I stay
To wait's command, he blushes like a girl,
And looks upon me as if modesty
Kept in his bufi nefs : so turns away from me :
But if I go on, he follows me again,
And the king fays of himself,
I cannot utter it ; why shou'd I keep
A breast to harbour thoughts I dare not speak ?
Darkness is in my bosom, and there lie
A thousand thoughts that cannot brook the light ;
How wilt thou vex me, when this deed is done,
Conscience that art afraid to let me name it? AEF 36
If this same were a churchyard, where we stand,
And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs ;
Or if that surly spirit melancholy
Had bak'd thy blood, and made it heavy-thick,
Which else runs tickling up and down the veins,
Making that ideot laughter keep mens eyes,
And strain their cheeks to idle merriment ;
(A passion hateful to my purposes)
Or if that thou couldst fee me without eyes,
Hear me without thine ears, and make reply
Without a tongue, using conceit alone
Without eyes, ears, and harmful soul of words ;
Then in dispight of broad-ey'd watchful day,
I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts ;
But ah, I will not:-
SCENE VI. A Mother's Ravings.
1 am not mad; this hair I tear is mine ;
My name is Constance, I was Geffrey's wife :-
Young Arthur is my son, and he is loft,
I am not mad; I would to heav'n, I were !
For then 'tis like, I should forget myself.
Oh, if I could, what grief should I forget!
Preach some philosophy to make me mad,
And thou shall be canoniz'd Cardinal,
For being not mad, but fenfible of grief,
My reasonable part produces reason
How I may be deliver'd of these woes,
And teaches me to kill or hang myself.
If I were mad, I fou'd forget my son,
Or madly think, a babe of clouts were he ::
I am not mad ; too well, too well I feel,
The diff'rent plague of each calamity.
A Mother's Grief.
Father Cardinal, I have heard you say,
That we shall see and know our friends in heav'n ;
If that be, I shall see 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 Mall 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.
Conft. He talks to me, that never had a son.-
K. Phil. You are as fond of grief, as of your
Conft. 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 our his vacant garments with his form ;
Then have I reason to be fond of grief.
Scene VII. Despondency. There's nothing in this world can make me joy; (7) Life is as tedious as a twice told tałe, Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.
(7) Life, &c.] So in another part of the play he says,
This act is as an ancient tale new told,
And in the last repeating troublesome. I bring this passage chiefly that the reader may more carefully dwell on the inimitable beauties of that in the text.
Departing Diseases. 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.
Danger lays hold of any Support. He that stands upon a slipp'ry place, Makes nice of no vile hold to stay him up.
ACT IV. SCENEI.
Arthur's pathetick speeches to Hubert.
Methinks, nobody should be sad but I ;
Yet I remember when I was in France,
Young gentlemen would be as sad as night,
Only for wantonness. By my Christendom,
So were I out of prison and kept sheep,
I should be merry as the day is long.
the heart? when your head did but ake; I knit my handkerchief about your brows ; (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 cheard 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 son would have lain still, 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 heav'n be pleas'd that you must use me ill,