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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 an 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 are you, and fresh in this old
world! John lays you plots15; 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 scape16 of nature, no distemper'd day,
15 "John lays you plots.' A similar phrase occurs in the First Part of King Henry VI. :
• He writes me here.' Again, in the second part of the same play :
He would have carried you a forehand shaft,' &c. 16 The old copy reads scope. The emendation is Pope's. Shakspeare finely calls a monstrous birth an escape of nature, as if it were produced while she was busy elsewhere, or intent upon some other thing.
No common wind, no customed event,
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 hurly17 all on foot; And, 0, 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 call18 : To train ten thousand English to their side; Or, as a little snow19, tumbled about, Anon becomes a mountain. O noble Dauphin, Go with me to the king: "Tis wonderful, What may be wrought out of their discontent: Now that their souls are topful of offence, For England go; I will whet on the king. Lew. Strong reasons make strong20 actions: Let
us go; If you say, ay, the king will not say, no. (Exeunt.
17 Hurly is tumult.
18 The image is taken from the manner in which birds are sometimes caught; one being placed for the purpose of drawing others to the net by his note or call.
19 Bacon, in his History of Henry VII. speaking of Simnel's march, observes that their snowball did not gather as it went.
20 The first folio reads strange; the second folio strong.
ACT IV. SCENE I. Northampton1. A Room in the Castle.
Enter Hubert and two Attendants. Hub. Heat me these irons hot: and, look thou
stand Within the arras2: 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. 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. Arth.
Mercy on me! Methinks nobody should be sad but I: Yet, I remember, when I was in France, Young gentlemen would be as sad as night, Only for wantonness3. By my christendomo,
1 There is no circumstance, either in the original play or in this of Shakspeare, to point out the particular castle in which Arthur is supposed to be confined. The castle of Northampton has been mentioned merely because, in the first act, King John seems to have been in that town. It has already been stated that Arthur was in fact confined at Falaise, and afterwards at Rouen, where he was put to death.
Tapestry. s This is a satirical glance at the fashionable affectation of his time by Shakspeare: which Lyly also ridicules in his Midas: “Now every base companion, being in his muble-fubles, says he is melancholy. Again : Melancholy is the crest of courtiers, and now every base companion says he is melancholy.'
Hi. e. by my baptism The use of this word for christening or baptism is not peculiar to Shakspeare; it was common in his time. Hearne has published a Prone from a MS. of Henry the Seventh's time, in the glossary to Robert of Gloucester in a note on the word midewinter, by which it appears that it was the ancient orthography. "The childer ryzt schape & chrystyndome.' It is also used by Lyly, Fanshaw, Harington, and Fairfaxe.
So I were out of prison, and kept sheep,
Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate He will awake my mercy, which lies dead: Therefore I will be sudden, and despatch. [Aside.
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. His words do take possession of my bo
som.-Read here, young Arthur. [Showing a paper.]
How now, foolish rheum! (Aside. Turning dispiteous torture out of door! I must be brief, lest resolution drop Out at 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. Arth.
And will you? Hub.
And I will. Arth. Have you the heart? When your head did
but ake, I knit my handkerchief about your brows (The best I had, a princess wrought it me), Ànd I did never ask it you again : And with my hand at midnight held your head; And, like the watchful minutes to the hour,
pead herei Low now' torturol
Still and anon cheer'd up the heavy time;
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!
are out, Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men. Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here. Arth. Alas! what need you be so boist'rous-rough?
5 The participle heat, though now obsolete, was in use in Shakspeare's time. He commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heat.' Daniel, iii. 19.