Page images
PDF
EPUB

Teach thou this sorrow how to make me die;
And let belief and life encounter so,
As doth the fury of two desperate men,
Which, in the very meeting, fall, and die.-
Lewis marry Blanch! O, boy, then where art thou ?
France friend with England ! what becomes of me?
Fellow, be gone; I cannot brook thy sight;
This news hath made thee a most ugly man

Sal. What other harm have I, good lady, done,
But spoke the harm that is by others done?

Const. Which harm within itself so heinous is,
As it makes harmful all that speak of it.

Arth. I do beseech you, madam, be content.
Const. If thou that bidd'st me be content, wert

grim,
Ugly, and slanderous to thy mother's womb,
Full of unpleasing blots, and sightless stains,
Lame, foolish, crooked, swart, prodigious,
Patched with foul moles, and eye-offending marks,
I would not care; I then would be content;
For then I should not love thee; no, nor thou
Become thy great birth, nor deserve a crown.
But thou art fair ; and at thy birth, dear boy!
Nature and fortune joined to make thee great.
Of nature's gifts thou mayst with lilies boast,
And with the half-blown rose; but fortune, 0!
She is corrupted, changed, and won from thee;
She adulterates hourly with thine uncle John;
And with her golden hand hath plucked on France
To tread down fair respect of sovereignty,
And made his majesty the bawd to theirs.
France is a bawd to fortune, and king John;
That strumpet fortune, that unsurping John.-
Tell me, thou fellow, is not France forsworn ?
Envenom him with words; or get thee gone,
And leave those woes alone, which I alone
Am bound to underbear.

[ocr errors]

1 Unsightly. 2. Swart is dark, dusky. Prodigious is portentous, so deformed as to be taken for a foretoken of evil.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

I

1

Sal.

Pardon me, madam, may not go without you to the kings. Const. Thou mayst, thou shalt; I will not

I will not go with thee. I will instruct my sorrows to be proud ; For grief is proud, and makes his owner stout. To me, and to the state of my great grief, Let kings assemble ; for my grief's so great, That no supporter but the huge, firm earth Can hold it up. Here I and sorrow sit; Here is my throne ; bid kings come how to it.

[She throws herself on the ground.

Enter King JOHN, KING PHILIP, LEWIS, BLANCH,

Elinor, Bastard, AUSTRIA, and Attendants.
K. Phi. 'Tis true, fair daughter; and this blessed

day,
Ever in France shall be kept festival.
To solemnize this day, the glorious sun
Stays in his course, and plays the alchemist;
Turning, with splendor of his precious eye,
The meagre, cloddy earth to glittering gold.
The yearly course, that brings this day about,
Shall never see it but a holyday.
Const. A wicked day, and not a holyday!

[Rising
What hath this day deserved? What hath it done;
That it in golden letters should be set
Among the high tides, in the calendar ?
Nay, rather, turn this day out of the week;
This day of shame, oppression, perjury:
Or, if it must stand still, let wives with child
Pray, that their burdens may not fall this day,
Lest that their hopes prodigiously be crossed ;3

1 The old copy reads, “ makes its owner stoop.” The emendation is sir T. Hanmer's.

2 Solemn seasons, times to be observed above others.
3 i. e. be disappointed by the production of a prodigy, a monster.

But? on this day, let seamen fear no wreck;
No bargains break, that are not this day made :
This day, all things begun, come to ill end ;
Yea, faith itself to hollow falsehood change!

K. Phi. By Heaven, lady, you shall have no cause
To curse the fair proceedings of this day.
Have I not pawned to you my majesty ?

Const. You have beguiled me with a counterfeit, Resembling majesty; which, being touched, and tried, Proves valueless. You are forsworn, forsworn; You came in arms to spill mine enemies' blood, But now in arms you strengthen it with yours. The grappling vigor and rough frown of war Is cold in amity and painted peace, And our oppression hath made up this league.Arm, arm, you Heavens, against these perjured kings! A widow cries; be husband to me, Heavens ! Let not the hours of this ungodly day Wear out the day in peace; but, ere sunset, Set armed discord 'twixt these perjured kings! Hear me, 0, hear me! Aust.

Lady Constance, peace.
Const. War! war! no peace! peace is to me a war.
O Lymoges ! O Austria !2 thou dost shame
That bloody spoil. Thou slave, thou wretch, thou

coward,
Thou little valiant, great in villany!
Thou ever strong upon the stronger side!
Thou fortune's champion, that dost never fight
But when her humorous ladyship is by

1 But for unless; its exceptive sense of be out. In the ancient almanacs, the days supposed to be favorable or unfavorable to bargains, are distinguished, among a number of particulars of the like importance.

2 Shakspeare, in the person of Austria, has conjoined the two wellknown enemies of Richard Caur-de-lion. Leopold, duke of Austria, threw him into prison in a former expedition (in 1193); but the castle of Chaluz, before which he fell (in 1199), belonged to Vidomar, viscount of Limoges. The archer who pierced his shoulder with an arrow (of which wound he died) was Bertrand de Gourdon. Austria, in the old play, is called Lymoges, the Austrich duke. Holinshed says, “ The same year Philip, bastard sonne to King Richard, to whom his father had given the castell and honour of Coniacke, killed the viscount of Lymoges in revenge of his father's death,” &c.

« PreviousContinue »