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He is more patient
Than when you left him; even now he sung. P. Hen. O vanity of sickness! fierce extremes In their continuance will not feel themselves. Death, having prey'd upon the outward parts, Leaves them invisible, and his siege is now Against the mind, the which he pricks and wounds With many legions of strange fantasies,
Which, in their throng and press to that last hold,
I am the cygnet to this pale faint swan,
His soul and body to their lasting rest.
Sal. Be of good comfort, prince; for you are born
Which he hath left so shapeless and so rude.
17. mind] Rowe (ed. 2); winde 21. cygnet] Rowe (ed. 2); Symet Ff. 24. to]
16. his] F 1; hir Ff 2, 4; her F 3. FI; wind Ff 2, 3, 4. FI; omitted in Ff 2, 3, 4.
found their skill in covetousness," IV. ii. 29 supra.
21, 22. I am the cygnet . . . death] It was a popular belief that the swa "fluted a wild carol ere her death." So The Merchant of Venice, III. ii. 44: "He makes a swan-like end, fading in music."
26. indigest] chaotic confusion. This appears to be a reminiscence of Ovid's "rudis indigestaque moles." So 3 Henry VI. v. vi. 51: "An indigested and deformed lump."
Enter Attendants, and BIGOT, carrying KING JOHN
in a chair.
K. John. Ay, marry, now my soul hath elbow-room;
How fares your majesty?
K. John. Poison'd,-ill fare-dead, forsook, cast off:
Nor let my kingdom's rivers take their course
P. Hen. O that there were some virtue in my tears,
The salt in them is hot. 45 Within me is a hell; and there the poison
43. ingrateful] ungrateful F 4.
up] one line in Ff. 35. ill fare] ill fair F 4. 45. in them] F 1; of them Ff 2, 3, 4. words has a parallel in the death scene of Gaunt in Richard II.
35. ill fare] I fare ill, poisoned by ill fare. Mr. Worrall points out kindred "clenches" in Hamlet, III. ii. 97, 98, and Edward III. iv. vi. 53, 54. 37. maw] stomach, generally of animals. A.S. maga.
42. cold comfort] As Mr. Wright points out, this death-bed trifling with
42. strait] niggardly, mean. We have a somewhat similar use in Timon of Athens, 1. i. 96: "His means most short, his creditors most strait." The Folios have “straight," which was corrected by Pope.
Is as a fiend confined to tyrannise
Enter the BASTARD.
Bast. O, I am scalded with my violent motion,
K. John. O cousin, thou art come to set mine eye:
And then all this thou seest is but a clod
Bast. The Dauphin is preparing hitherward,
Where heaven He knows how we shall answer him; 60
As I upon advantage did remove,
Were in the Washes all unwarily
Devoured by the unexpected flood. [The King dies. Sal. You breathe these dead news in as dead an ear. 65 My liege! my lord! but now a king, now thus.
P. Hen. Even so must I run on, and even so stop.
And then my soul shall wait on thee to heaven,
And instantly return with me again,
To push destruction and perpetual shame
Out of the weak door of our fainting land.
Straight let us seek, or straight we shall be sought;
Sal. It seems you know not, then, so much as we:
74. right] bright Pope. 84. our] fair Roderick conj. 75. Where be mended faiths] I cannot agree with Mr. Wright's note upon "mended ”—“ John's fortune had broken faith with him"implying that the Bastard was really addressing the stars. It seems to me quite evident that "Plantagenet" is talking to the nobles-"stars that
legiance by marching with me upon the foe at once.' Pope also misunderstood the passage, or he could never have read "bright" for "right."
move in your right spheres (which you had left awhile) where are your men? Show your returned al
86. presently] immediately. 88. sinewed] The Folios have "sinew'd," which makes the line defective, leading to Rowe's reading of "sinewed" in the text, and the suggestion of the Collier MS., "sinew'd to our own.'
Sal. Nay, it is in a manner done already;
For many carriages he hath dispatch'd
To the sea-side, and put his cause and quarrel
With whom yourself, myself and other lords,
If you think meet, this afternoon will post
With other princes that may best be spared,
P. Hen. At Worcester must his body be interr'd;
Thither shall it then:
The lineal state and glory of the land!
To whom, with all submission, on my knee
I do bequeath my faithful services
And true subjection everlastingly.
Sal. And the like tender of our love we make,
To rest without a spot for evermore.
P. Hen. I have a kind soul that would give you thanks And knows not how to do it but with tears.
89. it is] Pope; 'tis Ff. 99. Worcester] Ff 3, 4; Worster Ff 1, 2.