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65

Preach some philosophy to make me mad,
And thou shalt be canonized, 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.
K, Phi. Bind up those tresses. O, what love I note

In the fair multitude of those her hairs !
Where but by chance a silver drop hath fallen,
Even to that drop ten thousand wiry friends
Do glue themselves in sociable grief,
Like true, inseparable, faithful loves,

Sticking together in calamity.
Const. To England, if you will.
K. Phi.

Bind up your hairs.
Const. Yes, that I will; and wherefore will I do it?

I tore them from their honds and cried aloud, 70
“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.

75 52. canonized] pronounced canón- Wright suggests that lines 21-67 may iz'd. See 11, i. 177 supra.

have been added to the original 58. babe of clouts] rag doll.

draft of the play. His alternative 64. friends] Rowe's reading. The suggestion that Constance is sinking Folios have "fiends"-a queer error. into apathy after her first outburst is

68. To England] Constance's reply not convincing, because, in the next to Philip's invitation, line 20. Mr. line, she resumes her lamentations.

Que

80

And, 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, 1 85
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.
Pand. You hold too heinous a respect of grief. 90
Const. He talks to me that never had a son.
K. Phi. You are as fond of grief as of your child.
Const. 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 ;

95

78. If that ... boy again] The comfort from the thought that she slight irregularity of this line has led will see and know her son in heaven. to its being suspected, and its con- But then comes the thought “ sorrow tradiction of lines 88, 89 appears to will so alter him that I may meet him in confirm the suspicion. Pope omits the court of heaven and not know him, “ true,” Vaughan omits “see,” Fleay, therefore I shall never see him more." following Sidney Walker's conjecture, 90. You hold ... of grief] You prints "shall,” while Seymour con- look upon your grief too hatefully. jectures “ I 'll.” All these merely 92. "You are as fond . . . child] set the rhythm right. Kinnear con- One may suspect a play upon " fondjectures “ If that be true, then never here. You are as fond of (or you as shall I see my boy again.” But this foolish owing to) grief as you are is not warranted by the real meaning fond of your child. Constance, of of the speech. Constance first takes course, only sees one meaning.

Then have I reason to be fond of grief.
Fare you well: had you such a loss as I,
I could give better comfort than you do. 100
I will not keep this form upon my head,
When there is such disorder in my wit.
O Lord ! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son!
My life, my joy, my food, my all the world!

My widow-comfort, and my sorrows' cure! [Exit. 105 K. Phi. I fear some outrage, and I'll follow her. (Exit. Lew. 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;
And bitter shame hath spoild the sweet world's taste,

That it yields nought but shame and bitterness. III 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: 115

What have you lost by losing of this day?
Lew. All days of glory, joy and happiness.
Pand. If you had won it, certainly you had.

101. Most editors print a stage- 110, world's] Pope's almost certain direction here. “Tearing off her emendation of the “wordsof the Head-cloaths,” Pope; “Looses her Folios. Delius suggests a meaning hair again,” Dent' MS.; "Tearing by allowing “word's" to refer to life, her hair” Collier, ed. 2 (Collier MS.). and reading "that sweet word's It is evident that Constance does taste.” jackson conjectures “word, again fall to tearing her hair, and we state." must understand “form" as merely III. shame] The repetition of order or arrangement in opposition shame" has led Sidney Walker to to “disorder" in the next line with conjecture “gall” in the second out going into the concrete “Head. place, while Cartwright suggests cloaths” of Pope.

* grief.” There is no pressing need 107. joy] rejoice. So Much Ado for this painting of the lily. About Nothing, 1. i. 28:“ How much 118. If you had won it, etc.] better it is to weep at joy than to joy Pandulph rises through sophistry at weeping!"

into prophecy.

No, no; when fortune means to men most good,
She looks upon them with a threatening eye. 120
'Tis strange to think how much King John hath

lost
In this which he accounts so clearly won :

Are not you grieved that Arthur is his prisoner ?
Lew. As heartily as he is glad he hath him.
Pand. Your mind is all as youthful as your blood. 125

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 seized Arthur ; and it cannot be 131
That, whiles warm life plays in that infant's veins,
The misplaced John should entertain an hour,
One minute, nay, one quiet breath of rest.
A sceptre snatch'd with an unruly hand

135
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.

140 Lew. But what shall I gain by young Arthur's fall ? 132. whiles] whilst Rowe. 139. stand, then] stand then, Hanmer.

128. rub] "Any obstruction to the green is supposed to be as absolutely bowl's course from inequalities of the true as a billiard-table. Bowls was ground or natural obstacles; also a favourite Elizabethan game, and used of a running bowl sideling from from Shakespeare's frequent referanother” (Encyc. of Sport, i. 129). ences to it we may guess that it was “ Each dust, each straw," is hardly a favourite game of his. any exaggeration, for a good bowling

155

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 you are and fresh in this old world! 145

John lays you plots; 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, 150
That none so small advantage shall step forth
To check his reign, but they will cherish it;
No natural exhalation in the sky,
No scope of nature, no distemper'd day,
No common wind, no customed event,
But they will pluck away his natural cause
And call them meteors, prodigies and signs,
Abortives, presages and tongues of heaven,

Plainly denouncing vengeance upon John. · 152. reign] F 4; reigne Ff 1, 2, 3 ; rein Capell conj.

146. John lays you plots] John lays within the range of natural phenoplots by which you and not he will mena. Pope reads "scape" as benefit. Malone conjectures “ your equivalent to “freak,” but this is plots," where the meaning would unsupported by any example of the necessarily be the same; hence we same use in Shakespeare. gain nothing by the alteration.

157. meteors] supernatural pheno151, 152. none so small ... but] mena. See Coles, “ Meteors : apparino circumstance, however trifling, tions on high, or bodies imperfectly that may give them any weapon mixt of vapours drawn up in the air, against him will they omit to make as comets, clouds, wind, rain, etc." the most of.

Evidently in the sixteenth and seven153. exhalation] meteor. So Zulius teenth centuries "meteors” and “ exCæsar, 11. i. 44 : “ The exhalations halations" were terms loosely used whizzing in the air"; and 1 Henry and imperfectly understood. IV. 11. iv. 352: “My lord, do you see 158. Abortives] We may either these meteors? Do you behold these take this to mean abortions of exhalations ?!" See “meteor," line nature, or dreadful happenings that 157 infra.

would bring about abortion in those 154. scope of nature] anything witnessing them.

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