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But, ah, I will not:—yet I love thee well;
Hub. So well, that what you bid me undertake,
K. John. Do not I know, thou wouldst?
Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert, throw thine eye
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
[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,
Pand. Courage and comfort! all shall yet go well.
K. Phi. What can go well, when we have run
Lew. What he hath won, that hath he fortified.
K. Phi. Well could I bear that England had this praise, So we could find some pattern of our shame.
Look, who comes here! a grave unto a soul;
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!
Pand. Lady, you utter madness, and not sorrow.
1 am not mad: this hair I tear is mine;
My name is Constance: I was Geffrey's wife;
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.
K. Phi. Bind up those tresses; O, what love I note
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
Pand. You hold too heinous a respect of grief.
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;
Pand. Before the curing of a strong disease,
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.