Fra. I feare some out-rage, and Ile follow her. Enter

Dol. There's nothing in this world can make me ioy, Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale, Vexing the dull eare of a drowsie man; And bitter shame hath spoyl'd the sweet words taste, That it yeelds nought but shame and bitternesse

Pand. Before the curing of a strong disease, Euen in the instant of repaire and health, The fit is strongest: Euils that take leaue On their departure, most of all shew euill: What haue you lost by losing of this day? Dol. All daies of glory, ioy, and happinesse

Pan. If you had won it, certainely you had. No, no: when Fortune meanes to men most good, Shee lookes vpon them with a threatning eye: 'Tis strange to thinke how much King Iohn hath lost In this which he accounts so clearely wonne: Are not you grieu'd that Arthur is his prisoner? Dol. As heartily as he is glad he hath him

Pan. Your minde is all as youthfull as your blood. Now heare me speake with a propheticke spirit: For euen the breath of what I meane to speake, Shall blow each dust, each straw, each little rub Out of the path which shall directly lead Thy foote to Englands Throne. And therefore marke: Iohn hath seiz'd Arthur, and it cannot be, That whiles warme life playes in that infants veines, The mis-plac'dIohn should entertaine an houre, One minute, nay one quiet breath of rest. A Scepter snatch'd with an vnruly hand, Must be as boysterously maintain'd as gain'd. And he that stands vpon a slipp'ry place, Makes nice of no vilde hold to stay him vp: That Iohn may stand, then Arthur needs must fall, So be it, for it cannot be but so

Dol. But what shall I gaine by yong Arthurs fall? Pan. You, in the right of Lady Blanch your wife, May then make all the claime that Arthur did

Dol. And loose it, life and all, as Arthur did

Pan. How green you are, and fresh in this old world? Iohn layes you plots: the times conspire with you, For he that steepes his safetie in true blood, Shall finde but bloodie safety, and vntrue. This Act so euilly borne shall coole the hearts Of all his people, and freeze vp their zeale, That none so small aduantage shall step forth To checke his reigne, but they will cherish it. No naturall exhalation in the skie, No scope of Nature, no distemper'd day, No common winde, no customed euent, But they will plucke away his naturall cause, And call them Meteors, prodigies, and signes, Abbortiues, presages, and tongues of heauen, Plainly denouncing vengeance vpon Iohn

Dol. May be he will not touch yong Arthurs life, But hold himselfe safe in his prisonment

Pan. O Sir, when he shall heare of your approach, If that yong Arthur be not gone alreadie, Euen at that newes he dies: and then the hearts Of all his people shall reuolt from him, And kisse the lippes of vnacquainted change, And picke strong matter of reuolt, and wrath Out of the bloody fingers ends of Iohn. Me thinkes I see this hurley all on foot; And O, what better matter breeds for you, Then I haue nam'd. The Bastard Falconbridge Is now in England ransacking the Church, Offending Charity: If but a dozen French Were there in Armes, they would be as a Call To traine ten thousand English to their side; Or, as a little snow, tumbled about, Anon becomes a Mountaine. O noble Dolphine, Go with me to the King, 'tis wonderfull, What may be wrought out of their discontent, Now that their soules are topfull of offence, For England go; I will whet on the King

Dol. Strong reasons makes strange actions: let vs go, If you say I, the King will not say no.


William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book