Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

(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; 50
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 at your sick service had a prince.
Nay, you may think, 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, 60
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 this fiery indignation,
Even in the matter of mine innocence :

70 Nay, after that, consume away in rust, But for containing fire to harm mine eye. Are you more stubborn-hard than hammer'd iron ? An if an angel should have come to me, And told me, Hubert should put out mine eyes, I would not have believ'd him ; no tongue, but Hubert's. [HUBERT stainps, and the Men enter.

Hub.

Hub. Come forth; do as I bid you do.
Arth. O, save me, Hubert, save mel my eyes are

out, Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men. 79

Hub, Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.

Arth. Alas, what need you be so boisterous-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 angrily : . 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. 90 Exec. I am best pleas'd to be from such a deed.

[Excunt.
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 your's.

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 moth in

your's,
A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wandring hair,
Any annoyance in that precious sense !
Then, feeling what small things are boisterous there,
Your vile intent must needs seem horrible.

Hub.

100

110

Hub. Is this your promise ? go to, hold your

tongue.
Arth. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues
Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes :
Let me not hold my tongue; let me not, Hubert !
Or, Hubert if you will, cut out my tongue,
So I may keep mine eyes ; O, spare mine eyes;
Though to no use, but still to look on you !
Lo, by my troth, the instrument is cold,
And would not harm me.

Hub. I can heat it, boy.
Arth. No, in good sooth; the fire is dead with

grief,
Being create for comfort, to be us'd
In undeserv'd extremes: See else yourself;
There is no malice in this burning coal ;
The breath of heaven hath blown his spirit out,
And strew'd repentant ashes on his head.

Hub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy. 120

Arth. And if you do, you will but make it blush, And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert: Nay, it, perchance, will sparkle in your eyes ; And, like a dog, that is compellid to fight, Snatch at his master that doth tarre him on. All things, that you should use to do me wrong, Deny their office : only you do lack That mercy, which fierce fire, and iron, extends, Creatures of note for mercy-lacking uses.

Hub. Well, see to live; I will not touch thine eye For all the treasure that thine uncle owes : 131 Gij

Yet

Yet am I sworn, and I did purpose, boy,
With this same very iron to burn them out.

Arth. O, now you look like Hubert! all this while You were disguised.

Hub. Peace : no more, Adieu ; Your uncle must not know but you are dead: I'll fill these dogged spies with false reports. And, pretty child, sleep doubtless, and secure, That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world, 140 Will not offend thee.

Arth. O heaven! I thank you, Hubert.

Hub. Silence; no more: Go closely in with me; Much danger do I undergo for thee. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.

The Court of England. Enter King JOHN, PEMBROKE,

SALISBURY, and other Lords.

K. John. Here once again we sit, once again

crown'd, And look'd upon, I hope, with cheerful eyes. Pemb. . This once again, but that your highness

pleas'd, Was once superfluous: you were crown'd before, And that high royalty was ne'er pluck'd oft ; The faiths of men ne'er stained with revolt; 150 Fresh expectation troubled not the land, With any long'd-for change, or better state.

Sel.

Sal. Therefore, to be possess'd with double pomp, To guard a title that was rich before, To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, To throw a perfume on the violet, To smooth the ice, or add another hue Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, Is wasteful, and ridiculous excess.

160 Pemb. But that your royal pleasure must be done, This act is as an ancient tale new told; And, in the last repeating, troublesome, Being urged at a time unseasonable.

Sal. In this, the antique and well-noted face
Of plain old form is much disfigured:
And, like a shifted wind unto a sail,
It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about;
Startles and frights consideration;
Makes sound opinion sick, and truth suspected, 170
For putting on so new a fashion'd robe.
Pemb. When workmen strive to do better than

well,
They do confound their skill in covetousness :
And, oftentimes, excusing of a fault
Doth make the fault the worse by the excuse ;
As patches, set upon a little breach,
Discredit more in hiding of the fault,
Than did the fault before it was so patch'd.

Sal. To this effect, before you were new-crown'd, We breath'd our counsel : but it pleas'd your highness To overbear it; and we are all well pleas'd; 18 Giij

Since

« ПредишнаНапред »