Obrazy na stronie

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,
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 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.
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 her hair.' Wher. 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! [Erit. K. Phi. I fear some outrage, and I'll follow her.

(Exit. Lew. There's nothing in this world can make me 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 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 ?

1 Not in f. e.

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. 'T is strange, to think how much king John hath lost In this which he accounts so clearly won. Are not you griev'd 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; For even the breath of what I mean to speak Shall blow each dust, each straw, each little rub, Out of the path which shall directly lead Thy foot to England's throne ; and therefore mark. 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 one hour, One minute, nay, one quiet breath of rest. A sceptre, snatch'd with an unruly hand, Must be as boisterously maintain’d as gain'd; And he, that stands upon a slippery place, Makes nice of no vile hold to stay him up: That John may stand, then Arthur needs must fall, So be it, for it cannot be but so.

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

Pand. You, in the right of lady Blanch your wife, May then make all the claim that Arthur did.

Lew. And lose it, life and all, as Arthur did.
Pand. How green you are, and fresh in this old

John lays you plots; the times conspire with you,
For he that steeps his safety in true blood
Shall find but bloody'safety, and untrue.
This act, so evilly born, shall cool the hearts
Of all his people, and freeze up their zeal,
That none so small advantage shall step forth
To check his reign, but they will cherish it :
No natural exhalation in the sky,
No scape of nature, no distemper'd day,
No common wind, no customed event,
But they will pluck away his natural cause,
And call them meteors, prodigies, and signs,
Abortives, presages, and tongues of heaven,


scope : in f. e.

Plainly denouncing vengeance upon John.

Lew. May be, he will not touch young Arthur's life, But hold himself safe in his prisonment.

Pand. O! 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 Of all his people shall revolt from him, And kiss the lips of unacquainted change; And pick strong matter of revolt, and wrath, Out of the bloody fingers' ends of John. Methinks, I see this hurly all on foot : And, O! what better matter breeds for you, Than I have nam’d.—The bastard Faulconbridge Is now in England ransacking the church, Offending charity: if but a dozen French Were there in arms, they would be as a call To train ten thousand English to their side ; Or as a little snow, tumbled about, Anon becomes a mountain. 0, noble Dauphin! Go with me to the king. 'T is wonderful, What may be wrought out of their discontent. Now that their souls are topfull of offence, For England go; I will whet on the king.

Lew. Strong reasons make strong actions. Let us go : If you say, ay, the king will not say, no. [Exeunt.


SCENE I.—Northampton. A Room in the Castle.

Enter HUBERT and two Attendants. Hub. Heat me these irons hot; and, look thou stand Within the arras : when I strike my foot Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth, And bind the boy, which you shall find with me, Fast to the chair: be heedful. Hence, and watch.

1 Attend. I hope, your warrant will bear out the deed. Hub. Uncleanly scruples: fear not you: look to 't.

[Exeunt Attendants. Young lad, come forth ; I have to say with you.

Enter ARTHUR. Vol. IV.-5

Arth. Good morrow,

Hubert. Hub.

Good morrow, little prince.
Arth. As little prince (having so great a title
To be more prince,) as may be.—You are sad.

Hub. Indeed, I have been merrier.

Mercy on me!
Methinks, no body should be sad but 1:
Yet, I remember, when I was in France,
Young gentlemen would be as sad as night,
Only for wantonness. By my christendom,
So I were out of prison, and kept sheep,
I should be merry as the day is long;
And so I would be here, but that I doubt
My uncle practises more harm to me:
He is afraid of me, and I of him.
Is it my fault that I was Geffrey's son ?
No, indeed, is 't not; and I would to heaven,
I were your son, so you would love


Hubert. Hub. [Aside.) If I talk to him, with his innocent prate He will awake my mercy, which lies dead : Therefore I will be sudden, and dispatch.

Arth. Are you sick, Hubert ? you look pale to-day, In sooth, I would you were a little sick ; That I might sit all night, and watch with you: I warrant, I love you more than you do me. Hub. [Aside.] His words do take possession of my

Read here, young Arthur. [Showing a paper.]

[Aside.] How now, foolish rheum !
Turning dispiteous torture out of door ?
I must be brief; lest resolution drop
Out mine eyes in tender womanish tears.-
Can you not read it ? is it not fair writ?

Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect.
Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes ?

Hub. Young boy, I must.

And will you ?

And I will. Arth. Have you the heart ? When your head did

but ache, I knit my handkerchief about your brows, (The best I had, a princess wrought it me,) And I did never ask it you again : And with my hand at midnight held your head,

And, like the watchful minutes to the hour,
Still and anon cheer'd up the heavy time,
Saying, What lack you ? and, Where lies your grief ?
Or, What good love may I perform for you?
Many a poor man's son would have lain still,
And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you;
But you at your sick service had a prince.
Nay, you may think my love was crafty love,
And call it cunning: do, an if you will.
If heaven be pleas'd that you will use me ill,
Why, then you must-Will you put out mine eyes ?
These eyes, that never did, nor never shall
So much as frown on you ?

I have sworn to do it,
And with hot irons must I burn them out.

Arth. Ah! none but in this iron age would do it. The iron of itself, though heat red-hot, Approaching near these eyes would drink my tears, And quench this? fiery indignation, Even in the matter of mine innocence : Nay, after that, consume away in rust, But for containing fire to harm mine eye. Are you more stubborn-hard than hammer'd iron ? An if an angel should have come to me, And told me Hubert should put out mine eyes, I would not have believ'd him; no tongue but Hubert's. Hub. Come forth.

(Stamps. Re-enter Attendants, with Cord, Irons, 8c. Do as I bid you do.

Arth. O! save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes are out, Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men. Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.

[Taking it. Arth. Alas ! what need you be so boisterous-rough ? I will not struggle; I will stand stone-still. For heaven's sake. Hubert, let me not be bound. Nay, hear me, Hubert: drive these men away, And I will sit as quiet as a lamb; I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word, Nor look upon the iron angerly. Thrust but these men away, and I'll forgive you, Whatever torment you do put me to. Hub. Go, stand within: let me alone with him.

1 So the folio; most eds. read : his. 9 Not in f. e.

« PoprzedniaDalej »