Looke who comes heere? a graue vnto a soule, Holding th' eternall spirit against her will, In the vilde prison of afflicted breath: I prethee Lady goe away with me

Con. Lo; now: now see the issue of your peace

Fra. Patience good Lady, comfort gentle Constance

Con. No, I defie all Counsell, all redresse, But that which ends all counsell, true Redresse: Death, death, O amiable, louely death, Thou odoriferous stench: sound rottennesse, Arise forth from the couch of lasting night, Thou hate and terror to prosperitie, And I will kisse thy detestable bones, And put my eye-balls in thy vaultie browes, And ring these fingers with thy houshold wormes, And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust, And be a Carrion Monster like thy selfe; Come, grin on me, and I will thinke thou smil'st, And busse thee as thy wife: Miseries Loue, O come to me

Fra. O faire affliction, peace

Con. No, no, I will not, hauing breath to cry: O that my tongue were in the thunders mouth, Then with a passion would I shake the world, And rowze from sleepe that fell Anatomy Which cannot heare a Ladies feeble voyce, Which scornes a moderne Inuocation

Pand. Lady, you vtter madnesse, and not sorrow

Con. Thou art holy to belye me so, I am not mad: this haire I teare is mine, My name is Constance, I was Geffreyes wife, Yong Arthur is my sonne, and he is lost: I am not mad, I would to heauen I were, For then 'tis like I should forget my selfe: O, if I could, what griefe should I forget? Preach some Philosophy to make me mad, And thou shalt be Canoniz'd (Cardinall.) For, being not mad, but sensible of greefe, My reasonable part produces reason How I may be deliuer'd of these woes. And teaches mee to kill or hang my selfe: If I were mad, I should forget my sonne, Or madly thinke a babe of clowts were he; I am not mad: too well, too well I feele The different plague of each calamitie

Fra. Binde vp those tresses: O what loue I note In the faire multitude of those her haires; Where but by chance a siluer drop hath falne, Euen to that drop ten thousand wiery fiends Doe glew themselues in sociable griefe, Like true, inseparable, faithfull loues, Sticking together in calamitie

Con. To England, if you will

Fra. Binde vp your haires

Con. Yes that I will: and wherefore will I do it? I tore them from their bonds, and cride aloud, O, that these hands could so redeeme my sonne, As they haue giuen these hayres their libertie: But now I enuie at their libertie, And will againe commit them to their bonds, Because my poore childe is a prisoner. And Father Cardinall, I haue heard you say That we shall see and know our friends in heauen: If that be true, I shall see my boy againe; For since the birth of Caine, the first male-childe To him that did but yesterday suspire, There was not such a gracious creature borne: But now will Canker-sorrow eat my bud, And chase the natiue beauty from his cheeke, And he will looke as hollow as a Ghost, As dim and meager as an Agues fitte, And so hee'll dye: and rising so againe, When I shall meet him in the Court of heauen I shall not know him: therefore neuer, neuer Must I behold my pretty Arthur more

Pand. You hold too heynous a respect of greefe

Const. He talkes to me, that neuer had a sonne

Fra. You are as fond of greefe, as of your childe

Con. Greefe fils the roome vp of my absent childe: Lies in his bed, walkes vp and downe with me, Puts on his pretty lookes, repeats his words, Remembers me of all his gracious parts, Stuffes out his vacant garments with his forme; Then, haue I reason to be fond of griefe? Fareyouwell: had you such a losse as I, I could giue better comfort then you doe. I will not keepe this forme vpon my head, When there is such disorder in my witte: O Lord, my boy, my Arthur, my faire sonne, My life, my ioy, my food, my all the world: My widow-comfort, and my sorrowes cure. Enter.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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