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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.
Arth. 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 a 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 half-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,
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,
without you to the kings.
a Sightless—the opposite of sightly.
b Prodigious. Preternatural.
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.“ 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 Jonn, KING PHILIP, LEWIS, BLANCH, ELINOR,
Bastard, AUSTRIA, and Attendants. K. Phi, 'Tis 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 !-- [Rising. 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?
Stoop. What is called an “ emendation" by Hanmer still holds its place in all the editions except Malone’s: it is,
“ For grief is proud and makes his owner stout.” The meaning of the passage appears to us briefly thus : Constance refuses to 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. The commentators substituted the ridiculous word “ stout" because they received stoop in the sense of submission. Constance continues the fine image throughout her speech :
“ To me, and to the state of my great grief,
Let kings assemble ;" here grief is “ proud."
6 Here I and sorrows sit;"? here grief « makes his owner stoop,” and leaves the physical power no supporter but the huge firm earth.” A valued friend, for whose opinion we have the highest regard, has no doubt that stoop is the word, but that the meaning is, makes its owner stoop to it-to grief. He thinks that the and joins and assimilates the two clauses of the sentence, instead of contrasting and separating them. At any rate, we cannot but choose to abide by the restoration.
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 :
a this day let seamen fear no wrack;
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 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
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,
a But on--except on.
b Day. The original bas days.
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 focs ?
Thou wear a lion's hide! doff it for shame,
And hang a calf’s-skin on those recreant limbs.
Aust. 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 thysell.
K. Phi. Here comes the holy legate of the pope.
Pand. Hail, you anointed deputies of heaven!
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 earthly a 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 :
a Earthly. In the original, earthy.
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;
And meritorious shall that hand be call'd,
Canonized, and worshipp'd as a saint,
That takes away by any secret course
Thy hateful life.
0, lawful let it be,
That I have room with Rome a to curse a while !
Good father cardinal, cry thou, amen,
keen curses : for, without my wrong, There is no tongue hath power to curse him right.
Pand. There's law and warrant, lady, for my curse.
Const. And for mine too; when law can do no right,
Let it be lawful that law bar no wrong;
Law cannot give my child his kingdom here;
For he that holds his kingdom holds the law :
Therefore, since law itself is perfect wrong,
How can the law forbid my tongue to curse ?
Pand. Philip of France, on peril of a curse,
Let the hand of that arch-hcrctic;
And raise the power of France upon his head,
Unless he do submit himself to Rome.
a Room with Rome. Rome was formerly pronounced room, -and Shakspere indulges in a play upon words, even when the utterer is strongly moved.