« PreviousContinue »
SCEN E, the French King's Pavilion.
Enter Confance, Arthur and Salisbury,
CONSTANCE. G !
ONE. to be marry'd ! gone to swear a peace !
Sal. As true, as, I believe, you think them false,
Teach thou this forrow how to make me die ;
Sal. What other harm have I, good Lady done,
Conft. Which harm within itself so heinous is, As it makes harmful all that speak of it.
Arth. I do beseech you, mother, be content.
gones And leave these woes alone, which I alone Am bound to under-bear.
Sal. Pardon me, Madam, I may not
go without you to the Kings. Conft. Thou may'ft, thou shalt, I will not go with thee. I will instruct my sorrows to be proud ;
For Grief is proud, and makes his owner stoop.
[Sits down on the Flora
-bid Kings come bow to it.] I muft here account for the liberty I have taken to make a change in the divifion of the second and third afts. In the old editions, the second a&t was made to end here ; tho"'tis evident, Lady Confance here, in her despair, seats her. Self on the floor : and le must be supposed, as I formerly observ'd, immediately to rise again, only to go off and end the aft decently; or the flat scene muft fhut her in from the sight of the Audience, an ab. furdity I cannot wish to accuse Sbakespeare of. Mr. Gildon and some other criticks fancied, that a considerable part of the second act was Bort; and that the chasm began here. I had joined in this fufpicion of a Scene or two being loft; and unwittingly drew Mr. Pope into this
“ It seems to be so, says he, and it were to be wished tbe reftores “ (meaning me,) could supply it." To deserve this great man's thanks, I'll venture at the talk; and hope to convince my readers, that nothing is loft; but that I have supplied the suspected chasm, only by recti. fying the division of the a&ts. Upon looking a little more narrowly into the confitution of the play, lam satisfied that the third act ought to begin with that scene, which has hitherto been accounted the last of the second act : and my reasons for it are these. The match being concluded, in the scene before that, betwixt the Daupbir and Blancb, a messenger is fent for Lady Constance to King Pbilip's tent, for her to: come to St. Mary's church to the folemnity. The Princes all go out, as to the marriage; and the bastard, itaying a little behind, to descant on interest and commodity, very properly ends the act. The nexo Scene then, in the French King's tent, brings us Salisbury, delivering his message to Constance, who, refusing to go to the folemnity, fets. herself down on the floor. The whole train returning from the church to the French King's pavilion, Pbilip expresses such fatisfaction on occasion of the happy folemnity of that day; that Confance rises from the floor, and joins in the scene by entering her protest against their joy, and curfing the business of the day. Thus, I conceive, the scenes are fairly continued; and there is no chasm in the action : but a proper interval made both for Salisbury's coming to Lady Conftance, and for the solemnization of the marriage. Besides, as Faulcenbridge is evidently the Poet's favourite character ; 'twas very well judg’d to close the a&t with his soliloquy.
Enter King John, King Philip, Lewis, Blanch, Elinor,
Faulconbridge, and Aufria.
Conft. A wicked day, and not an holy-day.-Rifing.
This day of lhame, oppreflon, perjury:
K. Philip. By heaven, Lady, you shall bave no caufe
Conft. You have beguil'd me with a counterfeit
Set armed discord 'twixt these perjur'd Kings.
Auft. Lady Confiance, peace.
Conft. War, war, no peace; peace is to me a war:
Auft. O, that a man would speak those words to me!
limbs. Auft. Methinks, that Richard's pride and Richard's Should be a precedent to fright you, Sir.
(14) Aust. Metbinks, ibat Richard's pride and Richard's fall} Thefe 12 subsequent lires Mr. Pope fiift inserted fiom the od sketch of this plav, callid, The troublesome Reign of King Jobri, in Two Pasts. As the Verses are not bad, I have not catheer'o them; tho' I do not conceive them so absolutely essential to clearing up any circumstance of the action, as Mr. Pope seems to imagine. Wbat was ebe ground of this quarrel of the Baflard 10 Auftria (says that Gentleman) is no wbere specified in the present play; nor is there in this place, or the scene where it is firfit binted at, (namely, the ad of Act 2) rbe leaf mention of any reason for it. This is the Editor's affera gicn; but let us examine, how well it is grounded. fo the very