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But they will pluck away his natural cause,
Pand. O, sir, when he shall hear of your approach, If that young Arthur be not gone already, Even at that 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 17 all on foot; And, 0, 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 18 To train ten thousand English to their side; Or, as a little snow 19, tumbled about, Anon becomes a mountain. O noble Dauphin, Go with me to the king: 'Tis wonderful, What
may be wrought out of their discontent: Now that their souls are topfull of offence, For England go; I will whet on the king.
Lew. Strong reasons make strong 20 actions: Let
If you say, ay, the king will not say, no. [Exeunt.
17 Hurly is tumult.
18 The image is taken from the manner in which birds are sometimes caught; one being placed for the purpose of drawing others to the net by his note or call.
19 Bacon, in his History of Henry VII. speaking of Sinnel's march, observes that their snowball did not gather as it went.
20 The first folio reads strange; the second folio strong,
SCENE I. Northampton'. A Room in the Castle.
Enter HUBERT and two Attendants.
foot Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth: And bind the boy, which you shall find with me, Fast to the chair: be heedful: hence, and watch. 1 Attend. I hope, your warrant will bear out the
deed. Hub. Uncleanly scruples! Fear not you: look to't.
[Exeunt Attendants. Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you.
Good morrow, little prince.
Hub. Indeed, I have been merrier.
Mercy on me!
1 There is no circumstance, either in the original play or in this of Shakspeare, to point out the particular castle in which Arthur is supposed to be confined. The castle of Northampton has been mentioned merely because, in the first act, King John seems to have been in that town. It has already been stated that Arthur was in fact confined at Falaise, and afterwards at Rouen, where he was put to death.
Only for wantonness 3. By my christendom *,
Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate He will awake my mercy, which lies dead: Therefore I will be sudden, and despatch. [Aside.
Arth. Are you sick, Hubert? you look pale to-day: In sooth, I would you were a little sick; That I might sit all night, and watch with you: I warrant, I love you more than you
Hub. His words do take possession of my bo
Read here, young Arthur. [Showing a paper.]
foolish rheum! [Aside. Turning dispiteous torture out of door! I must be brief, lest resolution 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
with hot irons burn out both mine eyes?
3 This is a satirical glance at the fashionable affectation of his time by Shakspeare: which Lyly also ridicules in his Midas: * Now every base companion, being in his muble-fubles, says he is melancholy.' Again : Melancholy is the crest of courtiers, and now every base companion says he is melancholy.'
4 i.e. by my baptism. The use of this word for christening or baptism is not peculiar to Shakspeare; it was common in his time. Hearne has published a Prone from a MS. of Henry the Seventh's time, in the glossary to Robert of Gloucester in a note on the word midewinter, by which it appears that it was the ancient orthography. "The childer ryzt schape & chrystyndonie. It is also used by Lyly, Fanshaw, Harington, and Fairfaxe.
Hub. Young boy, I must.
And will you?
And I will. Arth. Have
you the heart? When your head did but ake, I knit
hankerchief about your brows (The best 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 cheer'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 son would have lain still, And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you; But you
sick service had a prince. Nay, you may
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 ? These 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 of itself, though heat red-hot, Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears, And quench his 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?
5 The participle heat, though now obsolete, was in use in Shakspeare's time. He commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heat.' - Daniel, iii. 19.
An if an angel should have come to me,
[Stamps. Re-enter Attendants, with Cords, Irons, &c. Do as I bid
do. Arth. O, save me, Hubert, save me; my eyes
are out, Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men.
Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.
Arth. Alas! what need you be so boist'rous-rough? I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still. For heaven's sake, Hubert, let me not be bound ! Nay, hear me, Hubert! drive these men away, And I will sit as quiet as a lamb; I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word, Nor look upon the iron angerly: Thrust but these men away, and I'll forgive you, Whatever torment you do put me to.
Hub. Go, stand within ; let me alone with him. 1 Attend. I am best pleas’d to be from such a deed.
[Exeunt Attendants. Arth. Alas! I then have chid away my friend; He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart;-Let him come back, that his compassion may Give life to yours. Hub.
Come, boy, prepare yourself. Arth. Is there no remedy? Hub.
None, but to lose your eyes. Arth. O heaven!--that there were but a mote in
yours, A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wand'ring hair, Any annoyance in that precious sense! Then, feeling what small things are boist'rous there, Your vile intent must needs seem horrible.