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A grave. Hub.
He shall not live. K. John.
Enough. I could be merry now: Hubert, I love 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, ho7!
[Ereunt. SCENE IV. The same. The French King's Tent. Enter King Philip, LEWIS, PANDULPH and
Attendants. K. Phi. So, by a roaring tempest on the flood, A whole armadol of convicted2 sail Is scatter'd and disjoin'd 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 dispos’d, Such temperate order in so fierce a cause3,
divers dear cone,
7 King John, after he had taken Arthur prisoner, sent him to the town of Falaise, in Norinaudy, 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 substract nothing from its beauties.'
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.
? Convicted is vanquished, overcome. To convince and convict were synonymous. See Macbeth, Act I, Sc. 7, and Act iii, Sc 4.
3 A fierce cause is a cause conducted with precipitation. Fierce wretchedness in Timon of Athens is hasty, sudden misery.
Doth want example; Who hath read, or heard,
Const. Lo, now! now see the issue of your peace!
Constance! Const. No, I defys all counsel, all redress, But that which ends all counsel, true redress, Death, death:40 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 détestable bones; And put my eyeballs in thy vaulty brows; And ring these fingers with thy household worms; And stop this gap of breath6 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, 0, 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,
46_ the vile prison of afflicted breath' is the body; the same vile prison in which the breath is confined.
5 To defy formerly signified to refuse, to reject.
'I do defy the commiseration.'— Romeo and Juliet. 6 i. e. this mouth.
Which cannot hear a lady's feeble voice,
Const. Thou art not holy to belie me so;
K. Phi. Bind up those tresses; 0, what love I note
Bind up your hairs. Const. Yes, that I will; and wherefore will I do it? I tore them from their bonds; and cried aloud, O 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.
7 i. e. common.
8 Probably Constance in despair means to apostrophize the absent King John :--Take my son to England if you will."
And, father cardinal, I have heard you say,
9 To suspire Shakspeare uses for to breathe. Thus in King Henry IV. Part 11:
'Did he suspire, that light and weightless down
Perforce must move.' In Bullokar's Expositor, 1616, we have suspiration, a breathing or sighing.
10°Gracious is used by Shakspeare often in the sense of beautiful, comely, graceful. Florio, in his Italian Dictionary, shows that this was no uncommon signification; he explains gratioso, graceful, gracious, also comely, fine, well-favoured, gentle. 11 To the saine purpose Macduff observes :
He has no children -The thought occurs again in King Henry VI. Part 111. 12 «Pertruitur lachrymis, et amat pro conjuge luctum.'
Lucan, I. in., Maynard, a French poet, has the same thought:
"Qui me console excite ma colere,
Et le repos est un bien que je crains :
Il me tient lieu de celle que je plains.'
I could give better comfort than you do.
[Tearing off her head-dress.
[Exit. Lew. There's nothing in this world can make me
joy; Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale13, Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man; And bitter shame hath spoild the sweet world's14
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 happinesą. 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 griev’d, that Arthur is his prisoner ? Lew. As heartily, as he is glad he hath him.
13 "For when thou art angry, all our days are gone, we bring our years to an end, as it were a tale that is told.' Psalm xc. Thus also in Macbeth :
"Life's but a walking shadow,
-- - it is a tale
Signifying nothing.' 14 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, which is countenanced by Hamlet's
'How weary, stale, flat, unprofitable
Seem to me all the use of this world! Vol. IV.