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HUBERT. I am much bounden to your majesty.
KING JOHN. Good friend, thou hast no cause to say
But thou shalt have; and creep time ne'er so slow,
Yet it shall come, for me to do thee good.
I had a thing to say,- But let it go:
The sun is in the heaven, and the proud day,
Attended with the pleasures of the world,
Is all too wanton, and too full of gauds,*
To give me audience :—If the midnight bell
Did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth,
Sound one unto the drowsy race of night;
If this same were a church-yard where we stand,
And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs;
Or if that surly spirit, melancholy,
Had bak'd thy blood, and made it heavy, thick;
(Which, else, runs tickling up and down the veins,
Making that idiot, laughter, keep men's eyes,
And strain their cheeks to idle merriment,
A passion hateful to my purposes);
Or if that thou could'st see me without eyes,
Hear me without thine ears, and make reply
Without a tongue, using conceit alone,
Without eyes, ears, and harmful sound of words;
Then, in despite of brooded watchful day,
I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts:
But ah, I will not:-Yet I love thee well;
And by my troth, I think thou lov'st me well.
HUBERT. So well, that what you bid me undertake,
Though that my death were adjunct to my act,
By heaven, I'd do't.
KING JOHN. Do not I know, thou would'st?
Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert, throw thine eye
On yon young boy: I'll tell thee what, my friend— He is a very serpent in my way;
And wheresoe'er this foot of mine doth tread,
He lies before me: Dost thou understand me?
Thou art his keeper.
HUBERT. And I will keep him so,
That he shall not offend your majesty.
KING JOHN. Death.
HUBERT. My lord?
KING JOHN. A grave.
HUBERT. He shall not live.
KING JOHN. Enough.
I could be merry now: Hubert, I love thee;
Well, I'll not say what I intend for thee.
Constance's Apostrophe to Death.
Death, death, O 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 detestable bones:
And put my eye-balls in thy vaulty brows:
And ring these fingers with thy household worms!
And stop this gap of breath 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,
O, come to me!
I am not mad: this hair I tear, is mine;
My name is Constance; I was Geffrey's wife:
Young Arthur is my son, and he is lost:
I am not mad :-I would to heaven I were !
For then, 'tis like I should forget myself:
O, if I could, what grief should I forget!-
Preach some philosophy to make me mad,
And thou shalt be canoniz'd, cardinal
For, being not mad, but sensible of grief,
My reasonable part produces reason
How I may be deliver'd of these woes,
And teaches me to kill or hang myself:
If I were mad, I should forget my son :
Or madly think a babe of clouts were he;
I am not mad; too well too well I feel
The different plague of each calamity.
A Mother's distress for the loss of her Child. Father cardinal, I have heard you say,
That we shall see, and know our friends in heaven :
If that be true, I shall see my boy again;
For, since the birth of Cain the first male child,
To him that did but yesterday suspire,*
There was not such a gracious† creature born.
But now will canker sorrow eat my bud,
And chase the native beauty from his cheek,
And he will look as hollow as a ghost;
As dim and meagre as an ague's fit;
And so he'll die; and, rising so again
When I shall meet him in the court of heaven
I shall not know him; therefore never, never,
Must I behold my pretty Arthur more.
Grief fills the room up of my absent child, Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me; Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts.
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form;
Then have I reason to be fond of grief.
There's nothing in this world can make me joy; Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale,
Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.
Strength of a Disease when on the point of cure. 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.
Danger clings to any Support.
He that stands upon a slippery place, Makes nice of no vile hold to stay him up.
Scene between Hubert and Prince Arthur.
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 wantonness. By my christendom,
So I were out of prison, and kept sheep,
I should be as merry as the day is long;
And so I would be here, but that I doubt
My uncle practises more harm to me.
He is afraid of me, and I of him.
Is it my fault that I was Geffrey's son?
No, indeed, it's not; and I would to heaven
I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert.
HUBERT. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate He will awake my mercy, which lies dead. Therefore, I will be sudden and despatch.
ARTHUR. 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.
HUBERT. His words do take possession of my bosom. Read here, young Arthur. How now, foolish rheum! 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?
ARTHUR. TOO, fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect.
Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes?
HUBERT. Young boy, I must.
ARTHUR. Have you the heart? When your head did but ache,
my handkerchief about your brows,
(The best I had-a princess wrought it me),
And I did never ask it you again;
And with my hand at midnight held your head;
And, like the watchful minutes to the hour,
Still and anon cheer'd up the heavy time;
Saying, What lack you? and Where lies your grief?
Or, What good love may I perform for you?
Many a poor man's son would have lain still
And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you;
But you at your
sick service had a prince.
Nay, you may think my love was crafty love,
And call it cunning. Do, an if you will.