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[John.] Doth Arthur live? O, haste thee to the peers,

Throw this report on their incensed rage,
And make them tame to their obedience.
Forgive the comment that my passion made
Upon thy features; for my rage was blind;
And foul imaginary eyes of blood
Presented thee more hideous than thou art.
0, answer not, but to my closet bring

The angry lords with all expedient haste. We imagine an interval of time, and John is again discovered, not on his throne, but in the act of doing homage to Cardinal Pandulph as representative of the Pope. When the Cardinal quits the scene, his place in the dialogue is supplied by Faulconbridge: John addresses the Cardinal : [John.]. Thus have I yielded up into your hand

The circle of my glory. [Pandulph.] Take again,

From this my hand, as holding of the pope,

Your sovereign greatness and authority. [John.] Now keep your holy word: go meet the French;

And from his holiness use all your power

To stop their march.
[Pandulph.] I blew this tempest up,

Upon your stubborn usage of the pope;
But since you are repentant, I will make
Fair weather smile within your blustering land.
On this Ascension-day, remember well
The oath you've sworn.

I go to stop the French. [John.] Is this Ascension-day? I knew it not. (pause.]

My gentle cousin, what's the news you bring ? [Faulconb.] All Kent hath yielded: nothing there holds out

But Dovor Castle; London hath receiv’d,
Like a kind host, the dauphin and his powers :
Your nobles will not hear you, but are gone

To offer service to your enemy;
And wild amazement hurries up and down

The little number of your doubtful friends.
[John.] Would not my lords return to me again,

After they heard young Arthur was alive? [Faulconb.] They found him dead, and cast into the streets

An empty casket, where the jewel life

By some curs’d hand was robb’d and ta’en away. [John.] That villain Hubert told me he did live. [Faulconbridge.] So, on my soul, he did, for aught he knew.

But wherefore do you droop ? why look you sad ?
Let not the world see fear and sad distrust
Govern the motion of a kingly eye:
Be stirring as the time, be fire with fire;
Threaten the threatener, and outface the brow
Of bragging horror : so shall inferior eyes
That borrow their behaviour from the great,
Grow great by your example, and put on
The dauntless spirit of resolution.
Away! and glitter like the god of war,
When he intendeth to become the field :
Show boldness and aspiring confidence.
What! shall they seek the lion in his den,
And fright him there, and make him tremble there?
O, let it not be said ! Forage and run
To meet displeasure further from the doors,

And grapple with him ere he come so nigh.
[John.] The legate of the pope hath been with me,

And I have made a happy peace with him ;
And he hath promis’d to dismiss the powers

Led by the dauphin.
[Faulconbridge.] O inglorious league !

Shall we, upon the footing of our land,
Send fair-play orders, and make compromise
With arms invasive ? Shall a beardless boy
Brave our own fields with colours idly spread,

And find no check ? Let us, my liege, to arms.
Perchance the cardi'nal cannot make your peace;
Or if he do, let it at least be said,

They saw we had a purpose of defence.
[John.] Have thou the ordering of this present time:

This fever, that hath troubled me so long,
Lies heavy on me, and my heart is sick.
I will towa’rd Swinstead ; to my litter straight ;
Weakness possesses me, and I am faint.

The Death or KING JOHN, AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES BEFORE AND AFTER IT, INDICATED

SCENE AT SWINSTEAD ABBEY, IN LINCOLNSHIRE.

BY

A SUPPOSED

HISTORICAL MEMORANDA.

When Pandulph, after receiving the homage of John, returned to France in 1213, he gave Philip to understand that, as England was now a part of St. Peter's patrimony, the invasion, which at the Pope's instigation had been prepared, could not, without flagrant im piety, be carried into effect. Philip was enraged; and determined to persevere, notwithstanding the inhibitions and menaces of the legate. Yet it was not till three years after, when John had again broken faith with his barons by infringing the provisions of Magna Charta, that the Dauphin could count on sufficient aid in England to venture on her shores. On this occasion he was at first joined by many of the English nobles; but some even of these were fearful of Lewis's treachery, and very soon returned to their allegiance. Under favour of these and other circumstances, King John was able to collect a considerable army, with which he designed to fight one great battle for his crown; but, passing from Lynn to Lincolnshire, and not choosing the proper time for his journey in his way by the sea-shore, he lost, by the inundation of the tide, all his treasure, carriages, baggage, and regalia. The affliction for this disaster increased the sickness under which he then laboured ; and though he reached the castle of Newark (the poet makes it Swinstead Abbey), he was obliged to halt there, and there he died. The earl of Pembroke (the second who bore that title during the reign of John) was then mareschal of England, and by that office was at the head of the army. He had maintained his loyalty unshaken to John during the lowest fortune of that monarch, and he now determined to support the authority of Prince Henry, who at this juncture was only nine years of age. The prudence and courage of this nobleman, whose character and actions

are in the play assigned to the fictitious Faulconbridge, finally brought all the barons back to their allegiance; and before the end of the same year (1216) Lewis was glad to make a peace, and evacuate the kingdom.

We are to imagine an open place adjoining Swinstead Abbey: Faulconbridge and Hubert encounter each other at night-time; Hubert hears footsteps near him, and, putting an arrow to his bow, exclaims, [Hubert.] Who's there ? speak ho! speak quickly, or I shoot. [Faulconbridge.] A friend :—what art thou ? [Hubert.] Of the part of England. [Faulconbridge.] And whither dost thou go? [Hubert.] What's that to thee? [Faulconbridge.] Hubert, I think. [Hubert.] Thou hast a perfect thought.

I will, upon all hazards, well believe
Thou art a friend :-brave soldier, pardon me,
That any accent, breaking from thy tongue,

Should 'scape the true acquaintance of mine ear. [Faulconb.) Come, come; no compliments : the news within. [Hubert.] O, my sweet sir, news fitted to the night,

Black, fearful, comfortless, and horrible.
The king, I fear, is poison'd by a monk :
I left him almost speechless, and broke out

To ́acquaint you with this evil. [Faulconbridge.] Who is with him? [Hubert.] Why, know you not ? the lords have all come back,

And brought prince Henry in their company;
At whose request the king hath pardon'd them;

And they are all about his majesty. [Faulconb.] Withhold thine indignation, mighty heaven,

And tempt us not to bear above our power!
I'll tell thee, Hubert, half my power this night,

Passing these flats, are taken by the tide ;
These Lincoln washes have devoured them :

Away, before! conduct me to the king.
The scene

now discloses the orchard of the Abbey : some noblemen are there expecting the king, who, consumed with the heat of his fever, or with the poison supposed to have been administered to him, has given directions to be carried into the open air :—he is brought in by his attendants; the barons stand at a little distance around him ; prince Henry is closer to his couch: [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.
[Henry.] How fares my royal father?
(John.] Poison'd, --ill fare ;-dead, forsook, cast off;

And none of you will bid the winter come,
And 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,

And comfort me with cold. [Henry.] Oh, that my tears

Might give relief!
[John.] The salt of them is hot;

Within me is a hell; and there the poison
Is as a fiend, confin'd to tyrannize

On unreprievable, condemned blood.
Faulconbridge enters : the king sees him, and continues

Oh cousin, thou art come to set mine eye;
The tackle of my heart is crack'd and burn'a;
And all the shrouds wherewith my life should sail
Are turned to a thread, one little hair :

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