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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,
And raise the power of France upon his head,

Unless he do submit himself to Rome.
[Philip.] Good father cardinal, 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,
Married in league, coupled, and link'd together
The latest breath that gave the sound of words,
Was deep-sworn faith, peace, amity, and love,
Between our kingdoms and our royal selves.
Heaven knows our hands were overstain’d with slaugh-
And now, when they are newly wash'd from blood, [ter;
Shall we snatch palm from palm, and jest with heaven?
My reverend father let it not be so :
Out of your grace, devise, ordain, impose,
Some gentle order; then shall we be bless’d

To do your pleasure, and continue friends.
[Pandulph.] 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 mayst hold a serpent by the tongue,
A fasting tiger safer by the tooth,

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 :
Which is, to be the champion of our church.
If not, then know, our curses light on thee
So heavy, that thou shalt not shake them off,
But, in despair, die under their black weight.

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, 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,
Which till this time my tongue did ne'er pronounce,
Upon my knee I beg, go not to arms

Against my uncle.
[Constance.] O, upon my knee

Made hard with kneeling, I do pray to thee,
Thou virtuous dauphin, alter not the doom

Forethought by heaven.
[Blanche.] Husband, what motive may

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
That nothing can allay, nothing but blood,

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



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 ?
Arthur ta’en prisoner ? divers dear friends slain ?
And England gone to England, spite of France ?
Look who comes here ? a grave unto a soul,
Holding the' eternal spi'rit against her will,
In the vile prison of afflicted breath.
I pr’ythee, lady, go away with me.

[Constance.] Lo now! now see the issue of your peace.
[Philip.] Patience, good lady! comfort, gentle Constance !
[Constance.] No, I defy all counsel, all redress,

But that which ends all counsel,—death. O Death,
Come grin on me, and I will think thou smil'st,
And buss thee as thy wife! Misery's love,

O! come to me.
[Pandulph.] Lady, you utter madness.
[Constance.] Thou art not holy to belie me so:

I am not mad; this hair I tear is mine;
My name is Constance; I was Geoffrey's wife;
Young Arthur is my son, and he is lost;
I am not mad ;-I would to heaven I were !
For then ’tis like I should forget myself •
Oh, if I could, what grief should I forget!
I know my poor child is a prisoner ;
And now will canker sorrow eat my bud,
And chase the native beauty from his cheek,
And he will look as hollow as a ghost;
As dull and meagre as an ague’s fit;
And so he 'll die; and, rising so again,
When I shall meet him at the court of heaven,
I shall not know him : therefore, never, never

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;
Puts on his pretty looks ; repeats his words ;
Remembers me of all his gracious parts ;
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form:
Then have I reason to be fond of grief.
Now, fare

well : had


such loss as I, I could better comfort than


I will not keep this form upon my head,


When there is such disorder in


O Lord! my boy, my Arthur, my

My life, my joy, my food, my all the world,

My widow-comfort, and my sorrow's cure!
King Philip, fearing some outrage, follows Constance :
Lewis and the Cardinal remain.
[Lewis.] There's nothing in this world can make me joy.

Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale,
Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man ;
And bitter shame hath spoil'd the sweet world's taste,

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,
The fit is strongest; evils, that take leave,
On their departure most of all show evil :

What have you lost by losing of this day?
[Lewis.] All days of glory, joy, and happiness.
[Pandulph.) 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.
You grieve, with mind as youthful as your blood,
That John hath seiz’d young Arthur : but this act
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.
While the warm life plays in that infant's veins,
It cannot be that John shall entertain
An hour, a minute, nay a breath of rest :

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.

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