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CONSTANCE.

Constance. I will instruct my sorrows to be proud;
For grief is proud, and makes its owner stout.
Το
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 sorrow sit;
Here is my throne, bid kings come bow to it.

[She throws herself on the ground. Enter King JOHN KING PHILIP, LEWIS, BLANCH, Elinor, Bastard,

AUSTRIA, and Attendants.
King Philip. '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 alchemist;
Turning, with splendour of his precious eye,
The meagre cloddy earth to glistering gold:
The yearly course, that brings this day about,
Shall never see it but a holyday.

Constance. 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 calendar ?
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 burdens may not fall this day,
Lest that their hopes prodigiously be cross’d;
But on this day let seamen fear no wreck;
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!

King John.-Act III. Scene I.

CONSTANCE.

Constance. Il le faut; je n'irai pas avec toi. Je veux à ma douleur enseigner la fierté; car la douleur est fière et donne du courage. Que les rois s'assemblent devant moi, devant la majesté de ma douleur puissante; elle est si grande, qu'il n'y a plus que la terre solide, inébranlable, qui puisse en porter le poids; c'est ici que je m'assieds avec mon affliction: voilà mon trône; que les rois viennent incliner leur front devant lui.

[Elle se jette à terre. Entrent avec leur Suite, Le Roi JEAN, LE Roi PHILIPPE, Louis, BLANCHE,

ELÉONORE, LE BATARD, L'ARCHIDUC. Le Roi Philippe (A Blanche.) Il est vrai, ma fille, et la France à jamais célébrera par des fêtes ce jour fortuné. Pour accroître la solennité de ce jour, le soleil radieux s'arrête dans sa course; et, céleste alchimiste, la splendeur de son opulent regard transforme en or brillant la masse inerte et aride de la terre. Le jour qui ramènera, chaque année, cet anniversaire, sera éternellement un jour de fête.

Constance. (Se relevant.) Un jour néfaste, et non un jour de fête. Qu'a donc ce jour de si méritoire? qu'a-t-il fait pour être inscrit en lettres d'or parmi les plus beaux du calendrier? qu'on raye plutôt des jours de la semaine ce jour de honte, d'oppression, de parjure; ou si on le conserve, que les femmes enceintes prient Dieu de ne point accoucher ce jour-là, de peur de voir leurs espérances trompées, et de mettre au jour un monstre; qu'il n'y ait de marchés rompus que ceux qui seront faits ce jour-là; que tout ce qui sera entrepris dans ce jour fatal ait une funeste issue; que la bonne foi elle-même se transforme en mensonge.

LE ROI JEAN.- Acte III. Scènc I.

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LADY PERCY.

"Do you

not love me? do you not indeed ? Well, do not then; for since you love me not, I will not love myself.”

The play of Llenry IV. consists chiefly of a dramatic reproduction of events connected with the reign of that King Shakspeare has chosen those in which HOTSPUR, the son of the DUKE OF NORTHUMBERLAND, and his relations, MORTIMER and GLENDOWER, took part. HOTSPUR, having married the sister of MORTIMER, and LADY MORTIMER being daughter to GLENDOWER, the families combine together, and attempt to raise a rebellion against

the King

LADY PERCY is introduced to us, in the second act, at Warkworth. Her husband, HOTSPUR, whose impetuous character has been so well depicted in this play by Shakspeare, is reading a letter, remonstrating with him on the mad enterprise to which he is committing himself, when LADY PERCY enters, and remarking the vacancy of manner which had of late befallen him, urges him to disclose the cause to her

“O what portents are these ? Some heavy business hath my lord in hand ;

And I must know it, else he loves me uot.” He endeavours to baffle her inquiries; but LADY PERCY is not so easily managed, and exhibits something of the spirit and character of her husband; exclaiming, whilst guessing the reason of his silence

I'll know your business, Harry, that I will." But not succeeding in threats, she flees to the stronghold of her sex; and, pleading her love, so far succeeds, as to persuade Harry to “trust her to keep secret what she does not know;" and, with this, he leaves her.

Shakspeare does not exhibit any special quality of Lady Percy's character, but contents himself with introducing her as an element of the domestic life of HOTSPUR. We next meet with her and LADY MORTIMER at Bangor, in a room in the archdeacon's house, where, with their husbands, they enjoy music and bantering, in peace and felicity. This affords a pleasing contrast to the dreadful scenes in which most of them have soon to take part.

Much of the interest of the play depends on the conduct of HOTSPUR in the council and in the field. His rashness in both is made a prominent feature; and at last, with the defection of his father, causes the defeat of his party, and his own death.

In the second part of the play, the scene is removed to Warkworth. HOTSPUR being no more, his father, the DUKE OF NORTHUMBERLAND, prepares to lead the rebellion; and LADY PERcy, by her earnest entreaties, endeavours to dissuade him. She also chides him for not having helped her husband, charging him with deceiving and deserting one so dear to her

“O wondrous him !
O miracle of men !-him did you leave
(Second to none, unsecouded by yor),
To look upon the hideous god of war,
In disadvantage.”

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