Imatges de pàgina
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Command thy son and daughter to join hands.

K. Phi. It likes us well;-Young princes, close

your hands.

Aust. And your lips too; for, I am well assur’d, That I did so, when I was first assur'd."

K. Phi. Now, citizens of Angiers, ope your gates, Let in that amity which you have made; For at saint Mary's chapel, presently, The rites of marriage shall be solemniz'd.Is not the lady Constance in this troop?I know, she is not; for this match, made up, Her presence would have interrupted much :Where is she and her son ? tell me, who knows. Lew. She is sad and passionate at your highness'

tent. K. Phi. And, by my faith, this league, that we

have made, Will give her sadness very little cure.Brother of England, how may we content This widow lady? In her right we came; Which we, God knows, have turn'd another way, To our own vantage. K. John.

We will heal up all, For we'll create young Arthur duke of Bretagne, And earl of Richmond; and this rich fair town We'll make him lord of.-Call the lady Constance; Some speedy messenger bid her repair To our solemnity:-I trust we shall, If not fill up the measure of her will, Yet in some measure satisfy her so, That we shall stop her exclamation.

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I am well assur'd, That I did so, when I was first assur'd.] Assur'd is here used both in its common sense, and in an uncommon one, where it signifies affianced, contracted.

She is sad and passionate ] Passionate, in this instance, does not signify disposed to anger, but a prey to mournful sensations.

Go we, as well as haste will suffer us,
To this unlook'd for unprepared pomp.

[Exeunt all but the Bastard.—The Citizens

retire from the walls. Bast. Mad world! mad kings! mad composition ! John, to stop Arthur's title in the whole, Hath willingly departed with a part: And France, (whose armour conscience buckled

on;

Whom zeal and charity brought to the field,
As God's own soldier, rounded in the ear?
With that same purpose-changer, that sly devil;
That broker, that still breaks the pate of faith;
That daily break-vow; he that wins of all,
Of kings, of beggars, old men, young men, maids ;-
Who having no external thing to lose
But the word maid,-cheats the poor maid of that;
That smooth-faced gentleman, tickling commo-

dity,–
Commodity, the bias of the world ;
The world, who of itself is peised well,
Made to run even, upon even ground;
Till this advantage, this vile drawing bias,
This sway of motion, this commodity,
Makes it take head from all indifferency,
From all direction, purpose, course, intent:
And this same bias, this commodity,
This bawd, this broker, this all-changing word,
Clapp'd on the outward eye of fickle France,
Hath drawn him from his own determin'd aid,
From a resolv'd and honourable war,
To a most base and vile-concluded peace.-
And why rail I on this commodity?

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departed with a part:] To part and to depart were formerly synonymous

rounded in the ear -] i. e. whispered in the ear. Commodity, the bias of the world;] Commodity is interest.

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But for because he hath not woo'd me yet:
Not that I have the

power to clutch my hand,
When his fair angels would salute my palm:
But for my hand, as unattempted yet,
Like a poor beggar, raileth on the rich.
Well, whiles I am a beggar, I will rail,
And say,—there is no sin, but to be rich;
And being rich, my virtue then shall be,
To say,—there is no vice, but beggary:
Since kings break faith upon commodity,
Gain, be my lord! for I will worship thee! [Exit.

ACT III.

.

SCENE I. The same. The French King's Tent.

Enter CONSTANCE, ARTHUR, and SALISBURY. Const. Gone to be married! gone to swear a

peace! False blood to false blood join'd! Gone to be friends! Shall Lewis have Blanch? and Blanch those pro

vinces ?
It is not so; thou hast misspoke, misheard;
Be well advis'd, tell o'er thy tale again:
It cannot be; thou dost but say, 'tis so:
I trust, I may not trust thee; for thy word
Is but the vain breath of a common man:
Believe me, I do not believe thee, man;
I have a king's oath to the contrary.
Thou shalt be punish'd for thus frighting me,
For I am sick, and capable of fears;'

9 But for -] i. e. because.

· For I am sick, and capable of fears;] i. e. I have a strong sensibility; I am tremblingly alive to apprehension.

Oppress'd with wrongs, and therefore full of fears ;
A widow, husbandless, subject to fears;
A woman, naturally born to fears;
And though thou now confess, thou didst but jest,
With my vex'd spirits I cannot take a truce,
But they will quake and tremble all this day.
What dost thou mean by shaking of thy head?
Why dost thou look so sadly on my son?
What means that hand upon that breast of thine?
Why holds thine eye that lamentable rheum,
Like a proud river peering o'er its bounds ?
Be these sad signs confirmers of thy words?

Then speak again; not all thy former tale,
But this one word, whether thy tale be true.

Sal. As true, as, I believe, you think them false, That give you cause to prove my saying true.

Const. O, if thou teach me to believe this sorrow, Teach thou this sorrow how to make me die; And let belief and life encounter so, As doth the fury of two desperate men, Which, in the very meeting, fall, and die.Lewis marry Blanch! o, boy, then where art thou? France friend with England! what becomes of

me? Fellow, be gone; I cannot brook thy sight; This news hath made thee a most ugly man.

Sal. What other harm have I, good lady, done, But spoke the harm that is by others done?

Const. Which harm within itself so heinous is, As it makes harmful all that speak of it.

Arth. I do beseech you, madam, be content. Const. If thou, that bid'st me be content, wert

grim, Ugly, and sland'rous to thy mother's womb, Full of unpleasing blots, and sightless? stains,

sightless —] The poet uses sightless for that which we now express by unsightly, disagreeable to the eyes.

Lame, foolish, crooked, swart,» prodigious,*
Patch'd with foul moles, and eye-offending marks,
I would not care, I then would be content;
For then I should not love thee; no, nor thou
Become thy great birth, nor deserve a crown.
But thou art fair; and at thy birth, dear boy!
Nature and fortune join'd to make thee great:
Of nature's gifts thou may'st with lilies boast,
And with the half-blown rose: but fortune, O!
She is corrupted, chang'd, and won from thee;
She adulterates hourly with thine uncle John;
And with her golden hand hath pluck'd on France
To tread down fair respect of sovereignty,
And niade his majesty the bawd to theirs.
France is a bawd to fortune, and king John;
That strumpet fortune, that usurping John:-
Tell me, thou fellow, is not France forsworn?
Envenom him with words; or get thee gone,
And leave these woes alone, which I alone,
Am bound to under-bear.
Sal.

Pardon me, madam,
I may not go without you to the kings.
Const. Thou may’st, thou shalt, I will not go

with thee:
I will instruct my sorrows to be proud;
For grief is proud, and makes his owner stout.
To me, and to the state of my great grief,
Let kings assemble;' for my grief's so great,

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s-swart,] Swart is brown, inclining to black.

- prodigious,] That is, portentous, so deformed as to be taken for a foretoken of evil. To me, and to the state of my great grief,

Let kings assemble ;] In Much Ado about Nothing, the father of Hero, depressed by her disgrace, declares himself so subdued by grief, that a thread may lead him. How is it that grief, in Leonato and Lady Constance, produces effects directly opposite, and yet both agreeable to nature ? Sorrow softens the mind while it is yet warmed by hope, but hardens it when it is congealed by

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