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[Constance.) And for mine too, since law will do no right;
Since law withholds his kingdom from my child,
And he that holds the kingdom holds the law. [Pandulph.] Philip of France, on peril of a curse, Let
the hand of that arch-heretic,
Unless he do submit himself to Rome.
And tell me how you would bestow yourself.
To do your pleasure, and continue friends.
Save what is opposite to England's love.
Than keep in peace the hand which thou dost hold. [Philip.] I may disjoin my hand, but not my faith. [Pandulph.] So mak'st thou faith an enemy to faith.
Thy vow to heaven must first to heaven be paid :
The silence of suspense, which follows, is broken by an exclamation from the duke of Austria. [Austria.] King Philip, listen to the cardinal. [Faulconb.) And hang a calf's skin on his recreant limbs. [Austria.] Rebellion, flat rebellion to the church ! [Faulconb.] Will not a calf's skin stop that mouth of thine ? [Austria.} Well, ruffian, I must pocket up these wrongs
[Faulconb.] Your pockets best may carry them. .
The dauphin, observing the irresolution of his father, advances.to determine him against continuing a peace with John. The next immediate speakers are the lady Blanche and lady Constance. [Blanche.] O, husband, hear me!-ah, alas, how new
Is husband to my mouth!—even for that name,
Against my uncle.
Made hard with kneeling, I do pray to thee,
Forethought by heaven.
Be stronger with thee than the name of wife? [Constance.] That which upholdeth him,—that thee upholds,
His honou'r;—0, thine honour, Lewi's, thine honour! [Lewis.] I muse my royal father is so cold,
When such profound respects do pull him on. [Pandulph.] I will denounce a curse upon his head. [Philip.] Thou shalt not need : England I fall from thee.
[John.] France, thou shalt rue this hour within this hour.
The wrath, the rage I burn with, hath a heat
The blood, the dearest valu'd blood in France. [Philip.] Look to thyself, thou art in jeopardy. [John.] No more than he that threats : To arms! to arms
THE INDIGNATION OF PHILIP AND HIS SON AT THE TEMPORARY
SUCCESSES OF KING JOHN; THE DESPAIR OF CONSTANCE ON
HISTORICAL MEMORANDA. Arthur was taken prisoner in 1203. He had broken into Poictou with a small army, in the hope of surprising Queen Eleanor, who had always been unfavourable to his interests ; but John fell on his camp unawares, dispersed his force, captured him with many other nobles, and returned to Normandy with a force, which made it prudent in Philip to retire from before Arques, which he was besieging. The greater part of John's prisoners were sent to England, and the poet imagines Arthur to be among them. The destruction of the French fleet did not occur till 1213. It was in 1206 that John took Angers, and the poet magnifies the success of the English king by bringing together facts of different dates. The circumstances which fixed the hopes of Lewis on the crown of England did not occur till 1216.
The speakers are King Philip and the Cardinal Pandulph; subsequently the Lady Constance and the Cardinal; lastly the Dauphin and the Cardinal. [Philip.] So, by a roaring tempest on the flood,
A whole armada, flying from the foe,
Is scatter'd, and disjoin'd from fellowship. [Pandulph.] Courage and comfort! all shall yet go well. [Philip.] What can go well, when we have run so ill ?
Are we not beaten ? Is not Angiers lost ?
[Constance.] Lo now! now see the issue of your peace.
But that which ends all counsel,—death. O Death,
O! come to me.
I am not mad; this hair I tear is mine;
Must I behold my pretty Arthur more. [Pandulph.] You hold too heinous a respect of grief. [Constance.] He talks to me that never had a son. [Pandulph.] You are as fond of grief as of your child. [Constance.] Grief fills the room up of my absent child:
Lies in his bed; walks up and down with me;
such loss as I, I could better comfort than
When there is such disorder in
My widow-comfort, and my sorrow's cure!
Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale,
That it yields nought but shame and bitterness. [Pandulph.] Before the curing of a strong disease,
Eve'n in the instant of repair and health,
What have you lost by losing of this day?
No, no : when fortune means to men most good,
That John may stand, young Arthur needs must fall. [Lewis.] But what shall I gain by young Arthur's fall ? [Pandulph.] You, in the right of Lady Blanche your wife,
May then make all the claim that Arthur doth. [Lewis.] May be, he will not touch young Arthur's life,
But hold him safely in imprisonment.