Imatges de pàgina
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Const. What should he say, but as the cardinal ?

Lew. Bethink you, father; for the difference
Is, purchase of a heavy curse from Rome,
Or the light loss of England for a friend:
Forgo the easier.
Blanch.

That's the curse of Rome.
Const. O Lewis, stand fast; the devil tempts

thee here, In likeness of a new untrimmed bride.? Blanch. The lady Constance speaks not from her

faith, But from her need, Const.

O, if thou grant my need, Which only lives but by the death of faith, That need must needs infer this principle, That faith would live again by death of need; O, then, tread down my need, and faith mounts up; Keep my need up, and faith is trodden down. K. John. The king is mov'd, and answers not to

this. Const. O, be remov'd from him, and answer well. Aust. Do so, king Philip; hang no

hang no more in doubt. Bast. Hang nothing but a calf's-skin, most sweet

lout. K. Phi. I am perplex’d, and know not what to

say. Pand. What can’st thou say, but will perplex

thee more,

If thou stand excommunicate, and curs'd ?
K. Phi. Good reverend father, make my person

yours,
And tell me, how you would bestow yourself.
This royal hand and mine are newly knit;
And the conjunction of our inward souls

a new untrimmed bride.] i. e. undressed.

Married in league, coupled and link'd together
With all religious strength of sacred vows;
The latest breath that gave the sound of words,
Was deep-sworn faith, peace, amity, true love,
Between our kingdoms, and our royal selves;
And even before this truce, but new before,
No longer than we well could wash our hands,
To clap this royal bargain up

of

peace, Heaven knows, they were besmear'd and overstain'd With slaughter's pencil; where revenge did paint The fearful difference of incensed kings: And shall these hands, so lately purg'd of blood, So newly join'd in love, so strong in both, Unyoke this seizure, and this kind regreet? Play fast and loose with faith? so jest with heaven, Make such unconstant children of ourselves, As now again to snatch our palm from palm; Unswear faithi sworn; and on the marriage bed Of smiling peace to march a bloody host, And make a riot on the gentle brow Of true sincerity? O holy sir, My reverend father, let it not be so: Out of your grace, devise, ordain, impose Some gentle order; and then we shall be bless'd To do your pleasure, and continue friends.

Pand. All form is formless, order orderless, Save what is opposite to England's love. Therefore, to arms! be champion of our church! Or let the church, our mother, breathe her curse, A mother's curse, on her revolting son. France, thou may'st hold a serpent by the tongue, A cased lion by the mortal paw, A fasting tiger safer by the tooth, Than keep in peace that hand which thou dost hold.

K. Phi. I may disjoin my hand, but not my faith.

this kind regreet?) A regreet is an exchange of salutation. * Is not amiss when it is truly done;] i. e. that, which you have sworn to do amiss, is not amiss, (i. e. becomes right) when it is done truly (that is, as he explains it, not done at all;) and being not done, where it would be a sin to do it, the truth is most done when you do it not: Other parts of this speech have puzzled the commentators, who have, in turn, puzzled their readers.

purposes mistook

Pand. So mak'st thou faith an enemy to faith; And, like a civil war, set’st oath to oath, Thy tongue against thy tongue. O, let thy vow First made to heaven, first be to heaven perform'd; That is, to be the champion of our church! What since thou sworst, is sworn against thyself, And may not be performed by thyself: For that, which thou hast sworn to do amiss, Is not amiss when it is truly done; And being not done, where doing tends to ill, The truth is then most done not doing it: The better act of Is, to mistake again; though indirect, Yet indirection thereby grows direct, And falsehood falsehood cures; as fire cools fire, Within the scorched veins of one new burn'd. It is religion, that doth make vows kept; But thou hast sworn against religion; By what thou swear'st, against the thing thou

swear'st; And mak'st an oath the surety for thy truth Against an oath: The truth thou art unsure To swear, swear only not to be forsworn; Else, what a mockery should it be to swear? But thou dost swear only to be forsworn; And most forsworn, to keep what thou dost swear. Therefore, thy latter vows, against thy first, Is in thyself rebellion to thyself: And better conquest never canst thou make, Than arm thy constant and thy nobler parts Against those giddy loose suggestions:

Upon which better part our prayers come in,
If thou vouchsafe them: but, if not, then know,
The peril of our curses light on thee;
So heavy, as thou shalt not shake them off,
But, in despair, die under their black weight.

Aust. Rebellion, flat rebellion!
Bast.

Will't not be? Will not a calf's-skin stop that mouth of thine ?

Lew. Father, to arms!
Blanch.

Upon thy wedding day?
Against the blood that thou hast married ?
What, shall our feast be kept with slaughter'd

men? Shall braying trumpets, and loud churlish drums, Clamours of hell,-be measures to our pomp? O husband, hear me!-ah, alack, how new Is husband in my mouth!—even for that name, Which till this time my tongue did ne'er pronounce, Upon my knee I beg, go not to arms Against mine uncle. Const.

0, upon my knee, Made hard with kneeling, I do pray to thee, Thou virtuous Dauphin, alter not the doom Fore-thought by heaven. Blanch. Now shall I see thy love; What motive

may Be stronger with thee than the name of wife? Const. That which upholdeth him that thee

upholds, His honour: 0, thine honour, Lewis, thine honour!

Lew. I muse, your majesty doth seem so cold, When such profound respects do pull you on.

Pand. I will denounce a curse upon his head.

5

be measures-] The measures, it has already been more than once observed, were a species of solemn dance in our author's time. 6 I muse,] i. e. I wonder. VOL. V.

E

K. Phi. Thou shalt not need:-England, I'll fall

from thee. Const. O fair return of banish'd majesty! Eli. O foul revolt of French inconstancy! K. John. France, thou shalt rue this hour within

this hour. Bast. Old time the clock-setter, that bald sexton

time, Is it as he will ? well then, France shall rue. Blanch. The sun's o'ercast with blood: Fair day,

adieu!
Which is the side that I must go withal?
I am with both: each army hath a hand;
And, in their rage, I having hold of both,
They whirl asunder, and dismember me.
Husband, I cannot pray that thou may'st win;
Uncle, I needs must pray that thou may'st lose;
Father, I may not wish the fortune thine;
Grandam, I will not wish thy wishes thrive:
Whoever wins, on that side shall I lose;
Assured loss, before the match be play'd.

Lew. Lady, with me; with me thy fortune lies.
Blanch. There where my fortune lives, there my

life dies. K. John. Cousin, go draw our puissance together.

[Exit Bastard. France, I am burn'd up with inflaming wrath; A rage, whose heat hath this condition, Than nothing can allay, nothing but blood, The blood, and dearest-valu'd blood, of France. K. Phi. Thy rage shall burn thee up, and thou

shalt turn To ashes, ere our blood shall quench that fire: Look to thyself, thou art in jeopardy. K. John. No more than he that threats.To arms let's hie!

[Exeunt.

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