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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,
Confound themselves. 'Tis strange that death should

I am the cygnet to this pale faint swan,
Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death,
And from the organ-pipe of frailty sings


His soul and body to their lasting rest.

Sal. Be of good comfort, prince; for you are born
To set a form upon that indigest


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.

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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;
It would not out at windows nor at doors.
There is so hot a summer in my bosom,
That all my bowels crumble up to dust:
I am a scribbled form, drawn with a pen
Upon a parchment, and against this fire
Do I shrink up.

P. Hen.

How fares your majesty?

K. John. Poison'd,-ill fare-dead, forsook, cast off:
And none of you will bid the winter come
To thrust his icy fingers in my maw,



Nor let my kingdom's rivers take their course
Through my burn'd bosom, nor entreat the north
To make his bleak winds kiss my parched lips 40
And comfort me with cold. I do not ask you much,
I beg cold comfort; and you are so strait,
And so ingrateful, you deny me that.

P. Hen. O that there were some virtue in my tears,
That might relieve you!

K. John.

The salt in them is hot. 45 Within me is a hell; and there the poison

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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
On unreprievable condemned blood.

Enter the BASTARD.

Bast. O, I am scalded with my violent motion,
And spleen of speed to see your majesty !

K. John. O cousin, thou art come to set mine eye:
The tackle of my heart is crack'd and burn'd,
And all the shrouds wherewith my life should sail
Are turned to one thread, one little hair :
My heart hath one poor string to stay it by,
Which holds but till thy news be uttered;

And then all this thou seest is but a clod
And module of confounded royalty.

Bast. The Dauphin is preparing hitherward,



Where heaven He knows how we shall answer him; 60
For in a night the best part of my power,

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.

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P. Hen. Even so must I run on, and even so stop.
What surety of the world, what hope, what stay,
When this was now a king, and now is clay?
Bast. Art thou gone so? I do but stay behind
To do the office for thee of revenge,


And then my soul shall wait on thee to heaven,
As it on earth hath been thy servant still.
Now, now, you stars that move in your right spheres,
Where be your powers? show now your mended

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;
The Dauphin rages at our very heels.

Sal. It seems you know not, then, so much as we:
The Cardinal Pandulph is within at rest,
Who half an hour since came from the Dauphin,
And brings from him such offers of our peace
As we with honour and respect may take,
With purpose presently to leave this war.
Bast. He will the rather do it when he sees
Ourselves well sinewed to our defence.

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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
To the disposing of the cardinal:

With whom yourself, myself and other lords,


If you think meet, this afternoon will post
To consummate this business happily.
Bast. Let it be so: and you, my noble prince,

With other princes that may best be spared,
Shall wait upon your father's funeral.

P. Hen. At Worcester must his body be interr'd;
For so he will'd it.


Thither shall it then:
And happily may your sweet self put on


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.

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