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Const. Gone to be married ! gone to swear a peace!
False blood to false blood join'd! Gone to be friends!
Shall Lewis have Blanch ? and Blanch those provinces ?
It is not so; thou hast misspoke, misheard;
Be well advis'd, tell o'er tby tale again :
It cannot be; thou dost but say, 't is so :
I trust I may not trust thee; for thy word
Is but the vain breath of a common man :
Believe me, I do not believe thee, man ;
I have a king's oath to the contrary.
Thou shalt be punish'd for thus frighting me,
For I am sick, and capable of fears ;
Oppress'd with wrongs, and therefore full of fears ;
A widow, husbandless, subject to fears ;
A woman, naturally born to fears ;
And though thou now confess thou didst but jest,
With my vex'd spirits I cannot take a truce,
But they will quake and tremble all this days.
What dost thou mean by shaking of thy head ?
Why dost thou look so sadly on my son ?
What means that hand upon that breast of thine ?
Why holds thine eye that lamentable rheum,
Like a proud river peering o'er his bounds ?
Be these sad signs confirmers of thy words?
Then speak again; not all thy former tale,
But this one word, whether thy tale be true.
SAL. As true, as, I believe, you think them false
That give you cause to prove my saying true.
Const. O, if thou teach me to believe this sorrow,
Teach thou this sorrow how to make mo die;
And let belief and life encounter so,
As doth the fury of two desperate men,
Which, in the very meeting, fall, and die.—
Lewis marry Blanch! O, boy, then where art thou ?
France friend with England! what becomes of me?-
Fellow, be gone: I cannot brook thy sight;
This news hath made thee a most ugly man.
Sal. What other harm have I, good lady, done,
But spoke the harm that is by others done? Const. Which harm within itself so heinous is,
As it makes harmful all that speak of it.
ARTA. I do beseech you, madam, be content.
Const. If thou that bidd'st me be content, wert grim,
Ugly, and sland'rous to thy mother's womb,
Full of unpleasing blots and sightless stains,
Lame, foolish, crooked, swart, prodigious“,
Patch'd with foul moles and eye-offending marks,
I would not care, I then would be content;
For then I should not love thee; no, nor thou
Become thy great birth, nor deserve a crown.
But thou art fair; and at thy birth, dear boy,
Nature and Fortune join'd to make thee great:
Of Nature's gifts thou mayst with lilies boast,
And with the balf-blown rose : but Fortune, O!
She is corrupted, chang'd, and won from thee;
She adulterates hourly with thy uncle John;
And with her golden hand hath pluck'd on France
To tread down fair respect of sovereignty,
• We adopt Mr. Dyce's punctuation.
Sightless—the opposite of sightly. • Prodigious. Preternatural.
And made his majesty the bawd to theirs.
France is a bawd to Fortune, and king John ;
That strumpet Fortune, that usurping John :-
Tell me, thou fellow, is not France forsworn ?
Envenom him with words; or get thee gone,
And leave those woes alone, which I alone
Am bound to under-bear.
Pardon me, madam,
I may not go without you to the kings.
Const. Thou mayst, 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 a
To me, and to the state of my great grief,
Let kings assemble; for my grief 's so great
That no supporter but the huge firm earth
Can hold it up: here I and sorrows sit;
Here is my throne, bid kings come bow to it.
[She throws herself on the ground.
Enter KING JOHN, KING PHILIP, LEWIS, BLANCA, ELINOR, Bastard, AUSTRIA,
K. Pui. T is true, fair daughter; and this blessed day
Ever in France shall be kept festival:
To solemnize this day, the glorious sun
Stays in his course, and plays the alchymist;
Turning, with splendour of his precious eye,
The meagre cloddy earth to glittering gold :
The yearly course that brings this day about
Shall never see it but a holiday.
CONST. A wicked day, and not a holyday !-
What hath this day deserv'd? what hath it done,
That it in golden letters should be set,
Among the high tides, in the kalendar ?
Nay, rather, turn this day out of the week;
This day of shame, oppression, perjury:
Or, if it must stand still, let wives with child
Pray that their burthens may not fall this day,
Lest that their hopes prodigiously be cross'd :
But on this day let seamen fear no wrack ; • Sloop. An“emendation" by Hanmer,
“For grief is proud, and makes his owner stout," is forced and absurd. The meaning of the passage appears to us briefly thus: Constance refuses to go with Salisbury to the kings she will instruct her sorrows to be proud; for grief is proud in spirit, even while it bows down the body of its owner.
• But othexcept on.
No bargains break, that are not this day made :
This day, all things begun come to ill end;
Yea, faith itself to hollow falsehood change!
K. PHI. By heaven, lady, you shall have no cause
To curse the fair proceedings of this day.
Have I not pawn'd to you my majesty ?
Const. You have beguild me with a counterfeit,
Resembling majesty; which, being touch'd, and tried,
Proves valueless : You are forsworn, forsworn;
You came in arms to spill mine enemies' blood,
But now in arms you strengthen it with yours :
The grappling vigour and rough frown of war
Is cold, in amity and painted peace,
And our oppression hath made up this league :-
Arm, arm, you heavens, against these perjur'd kings !
A widow cries; be husband to me, heavens !
Let not the hours of this ungodly day
Wear out the day a in peace; but, ere sunset,
Set armed discord 'twixt these perjur'd kings !
Hear me, O, hear me!
Lady Constance, peace.
Const. War! war! no peace ! peace is to me a war.
O Lymoges ! O Austria! thou dost shame
That bloody spoil: Thou slave, thou wretch, thou coward ;
Thou little valiant, great in villainy!
Thou ever strong upon the stronger side!
Thou Fortune's champion, that dost never fight
But when her humorous ladyship is by
To teach thee safety! thou art perjur'd too,
And sooth’st up greatness. What a fool art thou,
A ramping fool; to brag, and stamp, and swear,
Upon my party! Thou cold blooded slave,
Hast thou not spoke like thunder on my side ?
Been sworn my soldier? Bidding me depend
Upon thy stars, thy fortune, and thy strength ?
And dost thou now fall over to my foes ?
Thou wear a lion's hide! doff it for shame,
And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs.
Ausr. O, that a man should speak those words to me!
Bast. And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs.
Aust. Thou dar'st not say so, villain, for thy life.
Bast. And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs.
K. John. We like not this; thou dost forget thyself.
• Day. The original has days.
K. Pål. Here comes the holy legate of the pope.
PAND. Hail, you anointed deputies of beaven !
To thee, king John, my holy errand is.
I, Pandulph, of fair Milan cardinal,
And from pope Innocent the legate here,
Do, in his name, religiously demand,
Why thou against the church, our holy mother,
So wilfully dost spurn; and, force perforce,
Keep Stephen Langton, chosen archbishop
Of Canterbury, from that holy see?
This, in our 'foresaid holy father's name,
Pope Innocent, I do demand of thee.
K. JOHN. What earthlya name to interrogatories
Can task the free breath of a sacred king?
Thou canst not, cardinal, devise a name
So slight, unworthy, and ridiculous,
To charge me to an answer, as the pope.
Tell him this tale; and from the mouth of England
Add thus much more,—That no Italian priest
Shall tithe or toll in our dominions;
But as we under heaven are supreme head,
So, under him, that great supremacy,
Where we do reign, we will alone uphold,
Without the assistance of a mortal hand :
So tell the pope ; all reverence set apart,
To him, and his usurp'd authority.
K. Phi. Brother of England, you blaspheme in this.
K. John. Though you, and all the kings of Christendom,
Are led so grossly by this meddling priest,
Dreading the curse that money may buy out;
And, by the merit of vile gold, dross, dust,
Purchase corrupted pardon of a man,
Who, in that sale, sells pardon from himself;
Though you, and all the rest, so grossly led,
This juggling witchcraft with revenue cherish;
Yet I, alone, alone do me oppose
Against the pope, and count his friends my foes.
Pand. Then by the lawful power that I have,
Thou shalt stand curs'd, and excommunicate:
And blessed shall he be that doth revolt
From his allegiance to an heretic;
* Earthly. In the original, earthy.