Page images
PDF
EPUB

Eli. Come hither, little kinsman; hark, a word.

[Taking ARTHUR aside. K. John. Come hither, Hubert.-0 my gentle

Hubert,
We owe thee much; within this wall of flesh
There is a soul counts thee her creditor,
And with advantage means to pay thy love :
And, my good friend, thy voluntary oath
Lives in this bosom, dearly cherished.
Give me thy hand. I had a thing to say,
But I will fit it with some better time.
By Heaven, Hubert, I am almost asham'd
To say what good respect I have of thee.

Hub. I am much bounden to your majesty.
K. John. Good friend, thou hast no cause to say

so yet :
But thou shalt have : and creep time ne'er so slow,
Yet it shall come, for me to do thee good.
I had a thing to say,—But let it go ;
The sun is in the Heaven ; 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;
If this same were a churchyard were 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 men's eyes,
And strain their cheeks to idle merriment,
A passion hateful to my purposes;
Or if that thou could'st see me without eyes,
Hear me without thine ears, and make reply
Without a tongue, using conceit alone,
Without eyes, ears, and harmful sound of words;
Then, in despite of blooded watchful day,

I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts:
But, ah! I will not: Yet, I love thee well;
And, by my troth, I think, thou lov'st me well.

Hub. So well, that what you bid me undertake,
Though that my death were adjunct to my act,
By Heaven, I'd do't.

K. John. Do not I know, thou would'st ?—
Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert, throw thine eye
On yon young boy: I'll tell thee what, my friend,
He is a very serpent in my way;
And, wheresoe'er this foot of mine doth tread,
He lies before me. Dost thou understand me?
Thou art his keeper.

Hub. And I'll keep him so,
That he shall not offend your majesty.

K. John. Deatb.
Hub. My lord ?
K. John. A grave.
Hub. He shall not live.

K. John. Enough.-
I could be merry now.-Hubert, I love thee;-
Well, I'll not say what I intend for thee.
Remember.-Madam, fare you well:
I'll send those powers o'er to your majesty.
Eli. My blessing go with thee!

[Exeunt Elinor and ENGLISH Gentlemen. K. John. For England, cousin; go: Hubert shall be your man, attend on you With all true duty.-On, towards Calais, ho !Hubert, remember.[Flourish of Drums and Trumpets.--Exeunt King

John, HUBERT, ARTHUR, the Lords,

GENTLEMEN, HERALD, and GUARDS.

[ocr errors]

SCENE IV.

France.

The French Court.

Enter LEWIS, KING PHILIP, and PANDULPII.

K. Phil. So, by a roaring tempest in the flood,
A whole armado of convicted sail
Is scatter'd, and disjoin'd from fellowship.

Pan. Courage and comfort!. all shall yet go well.
K. Phil. What can go well, when we have run so

ill?
Are we not beaten? Is not Angiers lost?
Arthur ta'en prisoner?
And bloody England into England gone,
O’erbearing interruption?
Look, who comes here! a grave unto a soul;
Holding the eternal spirit, against her will,
In the vile prison of afflicted breath :-

Enter Constance.
I prythee, lady, go away with me.
Cón. Lo, now, now see the issue of your peace!
K. Phil. Patience, good lady! Čomfort, gentle

Constance! Con. No, I defy all counsel, all redress, But that which ends all counsel, true redress, Death, death :-0, amiable, lovely death! 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. Phil. O fair affliction, peace. Con. 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 invocation.

Pan. Lady, you utter madness, and not sorrow.

Con. Thou art not holy to belie me so ;
I 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 lost;
I am not mad;—I would to Heaven, I were !
For then, 'tis like, I should forget myself:
O, if I could, what grief should I forget!

K. Phil. Bind up those tresses.
Con. To England, if you will.
K. Phil. Bind up your hairs.

Con. O, father Cardinal, I have heard you say,
That we shall see and know our friends in heaven :
If that be true, I shall see my boy again;
For since the birth of Cain, the first male child,
To him that did but yesterday suspire,
There was not such a gracious creature born.
But now will canker sorrow eat my bud,
And chase the native beauty from his cheek,
And he will look as hollow as a ghost;
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 heaven,
I shall not know him : therefore néver, never
Must I behold my pretty Arthur more.

Pan. You hold too heinous a respect of grief.
Con. He talks to me, that never had a son.
K. Phil. You are as fond of grief, as of your child.

Con. 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,
Stufl's 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,
When there is such disorder in my wit.*
O lord! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son !
My lite, my joy, my food, my all the world!
My widow-comfort, and my sorrow's cure!

Erit CONSTANCE. K. Phil. I fear some outrage, and I'll follow her.'

[Exit King Philip. Lew. 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;
And bitter shame hath spoil'd the sweet world's taste.
That it yields naught, but shame and bitterness.

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

Lew. All days of glory, joy, and happiness.

Pan. If you had won it, certainly you had, John hath seiz'd Arthur; and it cannot be, That, whiles warm life plays in that infant's veins, The misplac'd John should entertain an hour, One minute, nay, one quiet breath of rest : That John may stand, then Arthur needs must fall.

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

Pan. You, in the right of Lady Blanch your wife, May then make all the claim that Arthur did. Lew. May be, he will not touch young

Arthur's life, But hold himself safe in his prisonment.

Pan. 0, sir, when he shall hear of your approach, If that young Arthur be not gone already, Even at that news he dies : and then the hearts

« PreviousContinue »