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Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale,
Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man;
And bitter shame hath spoilt the sweet world's 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 Ihew evil.
What have you lost by losing of this day?

Lewis. All days of glory, joy, and happiness.

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 ftrange 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?

Lewis. As heartily as he is glad he hath him.

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, whilst warın life plays in that infant's veins, The misplac’d John should entertain an hour, A minute, nay, one quiet breath of reft. A scepter, snatch'd with an unruly hand, Must be as boisterously maintain'd, as gain’d: And he that stands upon a flippery place, Makes nice of no vile hold to stay hiin up. That John may ítand, then Arthur needs must fall

; So be it, for it cannot be but fo.

Lewis. 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.

Lewis. And lose it, life and all, as Arthur did. Pand. How green you are, and fresh in this old world!


John lays you plots; the times conspire with you :
For he that steeps his safety in a 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 Thall step forth
To check his reign, but they will cherish it :
No natural exhalation in the sky,
3 No 'scape of nature, no distemper'd day,
No common wind, no customed event,
But they will pluck away its natural cause,
And call them meteors, prodigies, and signs,
Abortives, presages, and tongues of heaven
Plainly denouncing vengeance upon John.
Lewis. May be, he will not touch young Arthur's

But hold himself safe in his prisonment.

Pand. O, Sir, when he small hear of your approach, If that young Arthur be not gone already, Even at this 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 hurly all on foot ; And, O, 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 call To train ten thousand English to their side ;

true blood] The blood of him that has the juft claim. JOHNSON.

No’scape of nature,-) The author very finely calls a monstrous birth, an escape of nature. As if it were produced while the was bufy elsewhere, or intent on some other thing. But the Oxford editor will have it, that Shakespeare wrote, No jhupe of nature.



4 Or, as a little snow, tumbled about,
Anon becomes a mountain. Onoble dauphin ;
Go with me to the king: 'tis wonderful
What may be wrought out of their discontent :
Now that their souls are top-full of offence,
For England go; I will whet on the king.
Lewis. Strong reason makes strong actions : let us

If you say, ay, the king will not say, no. (Exeunt.




Changes to England.

A prison.
Enter Hubert and executioners.


EAT me these irons hot; and, look, thou stand

Within the arras: when I strike my foot
Upon the bosom of the ground, rulh forth;
And bind the boy, which you shall find with me,
Fast to the chair. Be heedful : hence, and watch.

Exec. I hope your warrant will bear out the deed.

Hub. Uncleanly scruples ! fear not you; look to't. 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 fad,

Hub. Indeed, I have been merrier.

4 Or, as a little snow,–] Bacon, in his hiftory of Henry VII. speaking of Perkin's march, observes, that their snow-ball did kot gathir as it rolled. JOHNSON,


Arth. Mercy on me!
Methinks, no body should be sad but I:
Yet I remember when I was in France,
s Young gentlemen would be as sad as night,
Only for wantonness. By my christendom,
So were I 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, is it not; and I would to heaven,
I were your son, so


would love me, Hubert. Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate

will awake my mercy, which lies dead;
Therefore I will be sudden, and dispatch. [-Alide.

Arth. Are you sick, Hubert? you look pale to-day:
In footh, I would you were a little fick;
That I might fit all night and watch with you,
I warrant, I love you more than you do me.
Hub. His words do take poffeffion of ту

bosom, Read here, young Arthur (Sheveing a paper. How now, foolish rheum,

[Aside. 6

Turning dispiteous torture out of door!
I must be brief; leit refolution 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 ?

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Young gentlemen, &c.] It should seem that this affectation had found its way to England, as it is ridiculed by Ben Jonson in the character of Majter Stephen in Every Man in his Humour. So in Beaumont and Fletcher's Queen of Corinth, Onos says,

• Come let's be melancholy." STEEVENS. Türning dispitecus torture out of door!] For torture Sir T. Hanmer reads nature, and is followed, I think, without neceffity, by Dr. Warburton. Johnson.


E 4

Hub. And I will.
Arth. Have you the heart? When your head did

but ake,
I knit my handkerchief about your brows,
(The belt 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 chear'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 fon would have lain still;
And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you;
But you at your fick service had a prince.
Nay, you may think my love was crafty love,
And call it cunning. Do, an if you

will :
If heaven be pleas'd that you must use me ill,
Why, then you must.— Will you put out mine eyes ?
Thefe eyes, that never did, nor never shall,
So much as frown on you ?

Hub. 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!
The iron cf itself, tho' heat red-hot,
Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears,
And quench its fiery indignation,
Even in the matter of mine innocence:
Nay, after that, consume away in rust,
But for containing fire to harm mine eye.
Are you more stubborn-hard, than hammer'd iron ?
Oh! if an angel should have come to me,
And told me, Hubert should put out mine eyes,
7 I would not have believ'd him; no tongue, but Hu-

bert's. [Hubert stamps, and the men enter, Hilb. Cone forth; do, as I bid

Arth. ? I would not have believed a tongue Eu T HUBERT's.] Thus Mr. Pope found the line in the old editions. According to this reading it is supposed that Hu ert had told him, he would not put out his eyes; for the angel who says he would, is brought

you do,


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