« PreviousContinue »
Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale,
Pand. Before the curing of a strong disease,
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 :
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.
WARBURTON. E 3
4 Or, as a little snow, tumbled about,
A CT IV.
Changes to England.
Within the arras: when I strike my foot
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!
would love me, Hubert. Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate
will awake my mercy, which lies dead;
Arth. Are you sick, Hubert? you look pale to-day:
bosom, Read here, young Arthur (Sheveing a paper. How now, foolish rheum,
Turning dispiteous torture out of door!
Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect.
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.
Hub. And I will.
Hub. I have sworn to do it ;
Arth. Ah, none but in this iron age would do it!
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