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SCENE VII. Defpondency.
There's nothing in this world can make me joy ;
(9) Life is as tedious as a twice told tale,
Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.
Before the curing of a strong disease,
Ev’n in the instant of repair and health,
The fit is strongest: evils that take leave,
On their departure, most of all shew evil.
Danger lays hold of any Support..
He that stands upon a slipp'ry place,
Makes nice of no vile hold to stay him up.
Arthur's pathetic Speeches to Hubert.
Methinks, nobody should be sad but I;
Yet I remeinber when I was in France,
Young gentlemen would be as fad as night,
Only for wantonness. By my Christendom,
So were I out of prison and kept sheep,
I should be merry as the day is long.
the heart? when
head did but ake, I knit my handkerchief about your brows; (The best I had, a princess wrought it me)
(9) Life, &c.] So in another part of the play, he says,
This act is as an ancient tale new told,
And in the last repeating troublesome. I bring this passage chiefly that the Reader may more carefully dwell on the inimitable beauties of that in the text.
And I did never ask it you again;
And with my hand at midnight held your head;
And, like the watchful minutes to the hour,
Still and anon chear'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 fon would have lain still,
And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you;
fick service had a prince.
Nay, you may think, my love was crafty love,
And call it cunning. Do, and if you will:
If heav'n be pleas'd that you
must use me ill,
Why then you must-Will you put out mine eyes?
that never did, nor never shall, So much as frown on you.
Alas, what need you be so boist'rous rough?
I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still.
For heav'n's fake, Hubert, let me not be bound,
Nay, hear me, Hubert, drive these men away,
And I will fit 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
put me to; Is there no remedy?
Hub. None but to lose your eyes.
Art. O heav'n! that there were but a moth in yours, A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wand'ring hair, Any annoyance in that precious sense : Then, feeling what small things are boist'rous there, Your vile intent must needs feem horrible.
SCENE II. To add to Perfection, superfluous, and
fufpicious. To gild refin'd gold, to paint the lily, To throw a perfume on the violet,
To smooth the ice, or add another hue
Unto the Tain-bow, or with taper light
To seek the beauteous eye of heav'n to garnish,
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.
In this the antique and well-noted face
Of plain old form is much disfigured :
And, like a shifted wind unto a fail,
It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about;
Startles and frights confideration;
Makes found opinion fick, and truth suspected,
For putting on to new a fashion’d robe.
This is the man shou'd do the bloody deed;
The image of a wicked heinous fault
Lives in his eye: that close aspect of his
Does Thew the mood of a much troubled breast.
Struggling Conscience, , The colour of the king doth come and go, Between his purpose and his conscience, Like heralds 'twixt two dreadful battles sent; His paffion is so ripe, it needs must break.
SCENE IV. News-tellers on the Death of Arthur.
Old men and beldams, in the streets, Do prophecy upon it dangeroufly : Young Arthur's death is common in their mouths ; And, when they talk of him, they shake their heads, And whisper one another in the ear. And he that speaks doth gripe the hearer's wrist, Whilst he that hears makes fearful action ; With wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling eyes ; I saw a smith stand with his hammer, thus,
The whilst his iron did on the anvil coul,
With open mouth, swallowing a taylor's news,
Who, with his shears and mealure in his hand,
Standing on flippers, which his nimble hafte
Had fallely thruit upon contrary feet,
Told of a many thousand warlike French,
That were embattled and rank'd in Kent.
Another lean, unwash'd artificer
Cuts off his tale, and talks of Arthur's death.
Kings evil Purposes too servilely and hastily executed.
(10) It is the curse of kings, to be attended
By flaves that take their humours for a warrant,
To break into the bloody house of life:
And, on the winking of authority,
To understand a law, to know a meaning
Of dang'rous majesty, when perchance, it frowns
More upon humour, than advis'd respect.
110) It is, &c.] So the king, in A King and no King, observes,
If there were no such instruments as thou,
We kings could never act such wicked deeds :
Seek out a man that mocks divinity,
That breaks each precept both of God and man,
And nature's too, and does it without lust,
Merely because it is a law, and good,
And live with him ; for him thou can'ft not spoil.
And a little before, he speaks of Belis, as the most horrid oba joct, after consenting to his wicked proposal.
But thou appear'st to me after thy grant,
The ugliest, loathed, detestable thing,
That I have met with: thou hast eyes
Like fiames of sulphur, which methinks do dart
Infection on me; and thou hast a mouth
Enough to take me in, where there does stand
Four rows of iron teeth
Ad 3. the end.
1 Villain's Look, and wicked Zeal.
How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds, Makes deeds ill done ? For had'st not thou been by, A fellow, by the hand of nature mark’d, Quoted and fign'd to do a deed of shame, This murther had not come into
mind. Hadst thou but shook thy head, or made a pause, When I spake darkly what I purposed; Or turn'd an eye of doubt upon my
face, Or bid me tell my tale in express words ; Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me break off, And those thy fears might have wrought fears in me.
Scene VI. Hypocrisy.
Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes,
For villainy is not without such rheum;
And he long traded in it, makes it seem
Like rivers of remorse and innocence.
SCENE VII. Despair.
(11) If thou didst but consent
To this most cruel act, do but despair,
And if thou want'st a cord, the finallest thread,
That ever spider twisted from her womb,
Will strangle thee: a rush will be a beam
To hang thee on : or wouldst thou drown-thyself,
Put but a little water in a spoon,
And it shall be as all the ocean,
Enough to stifle such a villain up.
(11) It is, &c.] So in the Winter's Tale. Paulina tells the king his crime is so great, it can never be forgotten, and nothing remains for him but to despair,