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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 wouldst?

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 will keep him so,

That he shall not offend your majesty.

K. John. Death.

Hub. My lord?

K. John. A grave

Hub. He shall not live.

K. John. Enough. I could be merry now. Hubert, I Jove 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!

K. John. For England, cousin;

Hubert shall be your man, attend on you
With all true duty.—On toward Calais, ho!l

[Exeunt. SCENE IV. The same. The French King's Tent.

1 King John, after he had taken Arthur prisoner, sent him to the town of Falaise, in Normandy, under the care of Hubert, his chamberlain, from whence he was afterwards removed to Rouen, and delivered to the custody of Robert de Veypont Here he was secretly put to death. "This is one of those scenes (says Steevens) to which may be promised a lasting commendation. Art could add little to its perfection; no change in dramatic taste can injure it; and time itself can subtract nothing from its beauties."

Enter King Philip, Lewis, Pandulph, and Attendants.

K. Phi. So, by a roaring tempest on the flood,
A whole armadox of convicted 2 sail
Is scattered and disjoined from fellowship.

Pand. Courage and comfort! all shall yet go well.

K. Phi. What can go well, when we have run
so ill?
Are we not beaten? Is not Angiers lost?
Arthur ta'en prisoner? divers dear friends slain?
And bloody England into England gone,
O'erbearing interruption, spite of France?

Lew. What he hath won, that hath he fortified.
So hot a speed with such advice disposed,
Such temperate order in so fierce a cause,3
Doth want example. Who hath read, or heard,
Of any kindred action like to this?

K. Phi. Well could I bear that England had this praise, So we could find some pattern of our shame.

Enter Constance.

Look, who comes here! a grave unto a soul;
Holding the eternal spirit, against her will,
In the vile prison of afflicted breath.4
I pr'ythee, lady, go away with me.

Const. Lo, now! now see the issue of your peace!

K. Phi. Patience, good lady! comfort, gentle Constance!

1 Armado is a fleet of war; the word is adopted from the Spanish, and the recent defeat of the Spanish armado had made it familiar.

2 Convicted is vanquished, overcome. To convince and convict were synonymous.

3 & fierce cause is a cause conducted with precipitation.

4 « the vile prison of afflicted hreath" is the body; the same vile

prison in which the breath is confined.

Const. No, I defy1 all counsel, all redress, But that which ends all counsel, true redress, Death, death.—O amiable, lovely death! Thou odoriferous stench! sound rottenness! Arise forth from the couch of lasting night, Thou hate and terror to prosperity, And I will kiss thy detestable bones; And put my eyeballs in thy vaulty brows; And ring these fingers with thy household worms; And stop this gap of breath 2 with fulsome dust, And be a carrion monster like thyself. 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. Phi. O, fair affliction, peace.

Const. No, no, I will not, having breath to cry.—

0 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 modern3 invocation.

Pand. Lady, you utter madness, and not sorrow.
Const. Thou art not holy to belie me so.

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 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!—
Preach some philosophy to make me mad,
And thou shalt be canonized, cardinal;
For, being not mad, but sensible of grief,
My reasonable part produces reason
How I may be delivered of these woes,
And teaches me to kill or hang myself.
If I were mad, I should forget my son;

1 To defy formerly signified to refuse, to reject.

u I do defy thy commiseration."—Romeo and Juliet

2 i. e. this mouth. 3 i. e. common. Vol. in. 40

Or madly think a babe of clouts were he.
I am not mad; too well, too well I feel
The different plague of each calamity.

K. Phi. Bind up those tresses; O, what love I note
In the fair multitude of those her hairs!
Where but by chance a silver drop hath fallen,
Even to that drop ten thousand wiry friends
Do glue themselves in sociable grief;
Like true, inseparable, faithful loves,
Sticking together in calamity.

Const. To England, if you will.1

K. Phi. Bind up your hairs.

Const. Yes, that I will; and wherefore will I do it? I tore them from their bonds; and cried aloud,

0 that these hands could so redeem my son, As they have given these hairs their liberty! But now I envy at their liberty,

And will again commit them to their bonds,

Because my poor child is a prisoner.

And, 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,2

There was not such a gracious3 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

1 shall not know him. Therefore never, never
Must I behold my pretty Arthur more.

Pand. You hold too heinous a respect of grief.
Const. He talks to me, that never had a son.

1 Probably Constance, in despair, means to apostrophize the absent king John:—"Take my son to England if you will."

2 To suspire, Shakspeare uses for to breathe.

3 Gracious is used by Shakspeare often in the sense of beautiful, comely, graceful.

K. Phi. You are as fond of grief, as of your child.

Const. 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 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,

[Tearing off her head-dress. 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. Phi. I fear some outrage, and I'll follow her.


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 spoiled the sweet world's1 taste,
That it yields nought, but shame, and bitterness.

Pand. 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.

Pand. If you had won it, certainly, you had. No, no; when fortune means to men most good, She looks upon them with a threatening eye. 'Tis strange, to think how much king John hath lost In this which he accounts so clearly won. Are not you grieved that Arthur is his prisoner?

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

Pand. Your mind is all as youthful as your blood. Now hear me speak, with a prophetic spirit;

1 The old copy reads word's. The alteration was made by Pope. Malone thinks that-it is unnecessary; and that by the sweet word, life is meant Steevens prefers Pope's emendation.

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