Page images

on me?

Pem. This once again, but that your highness | Than whereupon our weal, on you depending, pleas'd,

Counts it your weal, he have his liberty, Was once superfluous :' you were crown'd before, K. John. Let it be so; I do commit his youth And that high royalty was ne'er pluck'd off;

Enter HUBERT. The faiths of men ne'er stained with revolt;

To your direction.-Hubert, what news with you? Fresh expectation troubled not the land,

Pem. This is the man should do the bloody deed;
With any long‘d-for change, or better state.
Sal. Therefore, to be possess’d with double pomp, The image of a wicked heinous fault

He show'd his warrant to a friend of mine :
To guarda a title that was rich before,
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,

Lives in his eye, that close aspect of his

Dnes show the mood of a much troubled breast; To throw a perfume on the violet, To smooth the ice, or add another hue

And I do fearfully believe, 'tis done,

What we so fear'd he had a charge to do. Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light

Sal. The colour of the king doth come and go, To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, Is wasteful, and ridiculous excess.

Between his purpose and his conscience,"

Like heralds 'twixt two dreadful battles set: Pem. But that your royal pleasure must be done, His passion is so ripe it needs must break. This act is as an ancient tale new told ;)

Pem. And when it breaks, I fear, will issue thence And, in the last repeating, troublesome,

The foul corruption of a sweet child's death, Being urged at a time unseasonable.

K. John. We cannot hold mortality's strong Sal. In this, the antique and well-noted face

hand :-
Of plain old form is much disfigured :
And, like a shifted wind unto a sail,

Good lords, although my will to give is living,
The suit which demand is

gone It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about :

and dead :

He tells us, Arthur is deceas'd to-night. Startles and frights consideration;

Sal. Indeed, we fear'd his sickness was past cure. Makes sound opinion sick, and truth suspected,

Pem. Indeed, we heard how near his deaih he was, For putting on so new a fashion'd robe. Pem. When workmen strive to do better than This must be answer’d, either here, or hence.

Before the child himself felt he was sick: well, They do confound their skill in covetousness :*

K. John. Why do you bend such solemn brows And, oftentimes, excusing of a fault,

Think you, I bear the shears of destiny?
Doch make the fault the worse by the excuse ;

Have I commandment on the pulse of life?
As patches, set upon a little breach,
Discredit more in hiding of the fault,

Sal. It is apparent foul-play; and 'tis shame, Than did the fault before it was so patch'd.

That greatness should so grossly offer it : Sal. To this effect, before you were new-crown'd,

So thrive it in your game! and so farewell. We breath'd our counsel : but it pleas'd your high- and find the inheritance of this poor child,

Pem. Stay yet, Lord Salisbury; I'll go with thee,

His little kingdom of a forced grave.. To overbear it; and we are all well pleas’d;

That blood, which ow'dı? the breadth of all this isle, Since all and every part of what we would,

Three foot of it doth hold ; Bad world the while ! Doth make a stand at what your highness will.

K. John. Some reasons of this double coronation This must not be thus borne : this will break out I have possess'd you with, and thirok them strong;

To all our sorrows, and ere long, I doubt.

[Errunt Lords. And more, more strong (when lesser is my fear,)

K. John. They burn in indignation; I repent; I shall indue you with: Mean time, but ask

There is no sure foundation set on blood;
What you would have reform’d, that is not well;

No certain life achiev'd by others' death -
And well shall you perceive, how willingly
I will both hear and grant you your requests.

Enter a Messenger.
Pem. Then I (as one that am the tongue of these, A fearful eye thou hast ; Where is that blood,
To sound the purposes of all their hearts,) That I have seen inhabit in those cheeks?
Both for myself and them (but, chief of all,

So foul a sky clears not without a storm : Your safety, for the which myself and them Pour down thy weather :-How goes all in France ? Bend their best studies), heartily request

Mess. From France to England.13_Never such The enfranchisement' of Arthur; whose restraint

a power Doth move the murmuring lips of discontent For any foreign preparation, To break into this dangerous argument,

Was levied in the body of a land ! If, what in rest you have, in right you hold, The copy of your speed is learn'd by them; Why then your fears (which, as they say, attend For, when you should be told they do prepare, The steps of wrong), should move you to mew up The tidings come that they are all arrivd. Your tender kinsman, and to choke his days

K. John. 0, where hath our intelligence been With barbarous ignorance, and deny his youth

drunk? The rich advantage of good exercise ? 10

Where hath it slept ?14 Where is my mother's eare? That the time's enemies may not have this

That such an army could be drawn in France, To grace occasions, let it be our suit,

And she not hear of it? That you have bid us ask his liberty;


My liege, her ear Which for our goods we do no further ask, Is stopp'd with dust; the first of April, died


1 i. e. this one time more, was one time more than 10 In the middle ages, the whole education of princes enough. It should be reinembered that King John was and noble youths consisted in martial exercises, &c. now crowned for the fourth time.

Mental improvement might have been had in a prison 2 To guard is to ornument,

as well as any where else. 3 Shakspeare has here repeated an idea which he 11 The purpose of the king, to which Salisbury alludes, had first pu into the mouth of the Dauphin:

is that of putting Arthur to death, which he cousiders as • Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale,

not yet accomplished, and therefore supposes thai there Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.

might be still a conflice in the king's mind4 l. e. not by their avarice, but in an eager desire of Between his purpose and his eonseience.' excelling.

12 i. e..ound the breadth of all this isle. The two á Fault means blemish.

last variorum editions erroneously read breath for 6 Since the whole and each particular part of our breadth,' which is found in the old copy. wishes, &c.

13 The king asks hou all goes in France; the mes. 7 To declare, to publish the purposes of all, &c senger catches the word goce, and answers, that whatS Releasement.

ever is in France goes now into England. 9 The construction of this passage is 'If you have a 14 So in Macbeth: good title to what you have now in real (i. e. quiel), why

Was the hope drunk then is it that your fears should move you ? &c.

Wherein you drest yourself? hath it slept since ?'

Your noble mother; And, as I hear, my lord, K. John. Spoke like a spriteful noblo gentle The Lady Constance in a frenzy died

man. Three days before : but this from rumour's tongue Go after him; for he, perhaps, shall need I idly heard ; if true, or false, I know not. Some messenger betwixt me and the peers ;

K. John. Withhold thy speed, dreadful occasion! And be thou he. O, make a league with me, till I have pleas'd


With all my heart, my liege. My discontented peers !-What! mother dead ?

(Exit. How wildly then walks my estate in France !). K. John. My mother dead! Under whose conduct came those powers of France,

Re-enter HUBERT.
That thou for truth giv'st out, are landed here?
Mess. Under the Dauphin.

Hub. My lord, they say, five moons were seen Enter the Bastard and PETER of Pomfret.

to-night: K. John. Thou hast made me giddy The other four, in wondrous motion,

Four fixed; and the fifth did whirl about With these ill tidings.—Now, what says the world

K. John. Five moons? To your proceedings ? do not seek to stuff

Hub. Old men, and beldams, in the streets My head with more ill news, for it is full.

Do prophesy upon it dangerously: Bast. But if you be afeard to hear the worst,

Young Arthur's death is common in their mouths; Then let the worst, unheard, fall on your head. K. John. Bear with me, cousin ; for I was And whisper one another in the ear;

And when they talk of him, they shake their heads, amaz'da

And he, that speaks, doth gripe the hearer's wrist ; Under the tide ; but now breathe again Aloft the food, and can give audience

Whilst he, that hears, makes fearful action,

With wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling eyes, To any tongue, speak it of what it will.

I saw a smith stand with his hammer thus, Basi. How I have sped among the clergymen, The whilst his iron did on the anvil cool, The sums I have collected shall express.

With open mouth swallowing a tailor's news; But, as I travelled hither through the land,

Who, with his shears and measure in his hand, I find the people strangely fantasied ;

Standing on slippers (which his nimble haste Possess'd with rumours, full of idle dreams;

Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet),
Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear':

Told of a thousand warlike French,
And here's a prophet, that I brought with me That were embattailed and rank'd in Kent:
From forth the streets of Pomfret, whom I found

Another lean unwash'd artificer
With many hundreds treading on his heels;
To whom he sung, in rude harsh sounding rhymes,

Cuts off his tale, and talks of Arthur's death.
That, ere the next Ascension-day at noon,

K. John. Why seek'st thou to possess me with

these fears? Your highness should deliver up your crown. K. John. Thou idle dreamer, wherefore didst Thy hand hath murder'd him; I had a mighty cause

Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's death? thou so?

To wish him dead, but thou hadst none io kill him. Peter. Foreknowing that the truth will fall out so. K. John. Hubert, away with him ; imprison him;

Hub. Had none, my lord ! why, did you not pro

voke me? And on that day at noon, whereon, he says,

K. John. It is the curse of kings to be attended I shall yield up my crown, let him be hang'd: Deliver him to safety, and return,

By slaves, that take their humours for a warrant

To break within the bloody house of life:
For I must use thee.-0 my gentle cousin,
(Erii HUBERT, with Peter. To understand a law; to know the meaning

And, on the winking of authority,
Hear'st thou the news abroad, who are arriv'd ?
Bast. The French, my lord; men's mouths are More upon humour than advis'd respect."

of dangerous majesty, when, perchance, it frowns full of it:

Hub. Here is your hand and seal for what I did. Besides, I met Lord Bigot, and Lord Salisbury

K. John, 0, when the last account 'twixt heaven (With eyes as red as new-enkindled fire),

and earth And others more, going to seek the grave

Is to be made, then shall this hand and seal or Arthur, who, they say, is kill'd to-night

Witness against us to damnation !
On your suggestion.

How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds,
K. John.
Gentle kinsman, go,

Make deeds ill done! Hadest not thou been by, And thrust thyself into their companies :

A fellow by the hand of nature mark'd,
I have a way to win their loves again;
Bring them before me.

Quoted, and sign'd, to do a deed of shame,

This murder had not come into my mind :

I will seek them out.
K. John. Nay, but make hasle ; the better foot Finding thee fit for bloody villany,

But, taking note of thy abhorr'd aspect,
o, let me have no subject enemies,

Apt, liable, to be employ'd in danger, When adverse foreigners affright my towns

I faintly broke with thee of Arthur's death;

And thou, to be endeared to a king, With dreadful pomp of stout invasion !

Made it no conscience to destroy a prince.
Be Mercury, set feathers to thy heels;

Hub. My lord,
And fly, like thought, from them to me again.
Bast. The spirit of the time shall teach me speed.

1. John. Hadst thou but shook thy head, or made

a pause,

[Erit. 1 i. e. how ill my affairs go in France.

Each other's words, and yet no creature speaks ; 2 Astonied, stunned, confounded, are the ancient

A tongue tied fear liath made a midnight bour, synonymes of amazed, obstupesco.

And speeches sleep through all the waking region.' 3 This man was a hermit in great repute with the com knowledge of so many learned commentators, is pont

6. This passage, which called forth the antiquarian mon people. Notwithstanding the event is said to have fallen out as he prophesied, the poor fellow was inhu. from the return of the fashion of right und left shoes, manly dragged at horses' tails through the streets of become intelligible without a note. Warham, and, together with his son, who appears to

7 Deliberale consideration. have been even more innocent than his father, hanged

A To quote is to note or mark. afterwards upon a gibbet. Holinshed, in anno 1213.

9 There are many touches of nature in this conference Speed says that Peter the hermit was suborned by the of John with Hubert. A man engaged in wickedness pope's legate, the French king, and the barons for this

would keep the profit to himself, and tranfer the guilt

to his accomplice. These reproaches vented against purpose. 1 1. e. to safe custody.

Hubert are not words of art or policy, but the eruptions 5 This may be compared with a spirited passage in desirous of discharging its misery on another. This

of a mind swelling with consciousness of a crime, and Edward III. Capel's Prolusions, p. 75 Our mon, with open mouths and staring eyes,

account of the timidity of guilt is drawn, ab ipsis reces. Look on each other, as they did attend.

sibus mentis, from the intimate knowledge of mankind; particularly that line in which he says, that to have bid



When I spake darkly what I purposed;

Sal. The Count Melun, a noble lord of France, Or turn'd an eye of doubt upon my face,

Whose private with me,s of the Dauphin's love, And' bid me tell my tale in express words; Is much more general than these lines import. Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me break off, Big. To-morrow morning let us meet him then. And those thy fears might have wrought fears in me: Sal. Or, rather then set forward: for 't will be But thou didst understand me by my signs,

Two long days' journey, lords, or e'ers we meet. And didst in signs again parley with sin;

Enter the Bastard.
Yea, without stop, didst let thy heart consent,
And, consequently, thy rude hand to act

Bast. Once more to-day well met, distemper’d' The deed, which both our tongues held vile to

lords !

The king, by me, requests your presence straight. Out of my sight, and never see me more!

Sal. The king hath dispossess'd himself of us; My nobles leave me; and my state is bravid,

We will not line his thin bestained cloak Even at my gates, with ranks of foreign powers ;

With our pure honours, nor attend the foot Nay, in the body of this fleshly land,

That leaves the print of blood where'er it walks : This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath, Return, and tell him so; we know the worst. Hostility and civil tumult reigns

Bast. Whate'er you think, good words, I think Between my conscience, and my cousin's death.

were best, Hub. Arm you against your other enemies,

Sal. Our griefs, and not our manners, reason I'll make a peace between your soul and you. Young Arthur is alive: This hand of mine

Bast. But there is little reason in your grief; Is yet a maiden and an innocent band,

Therefore, 'iwere reason, you had manners now. Not painted with the crimson spots of blood.

Pem. Sir, sir, impatience hath its privilege. Within this bosom never enter'd yet

Bast. 'Tis true : to hurt bis master, no man else. The dreadful motion of a murd'rous thought,

Sal. This is the prison : What is he lies here ? And you have slander'd nature in my form;

[Seeing ARTHUR Which, howsoever rude exteriorly,

Pem. O death, made proud with pure

and princeIs yet the cover of a fairer mind

ly beauty! 'Than to be butcher of an innocent child.

The earth had not a hole to hide this deed. K. John. Doth Arthur live? O, haste thee to the

Sal. Murder, as hating what himself hath done,

Doth lay it open, to urge on revenge. peers, Throw this report on their incensed rage,

Big. 'Or, when he doom'd this beauty to a grave, And make them tame to their obedience!

Found it too precious-princely for a grave. Forgive the comment that my passion made

Sal. Sir Richard, what think you ? Have you Upon thy feature ; for my rage was blind,

beheld, And foul imaginary eyes of blood

Or have you read, or heard? or could you think? Presented thee more hideous than thou art.

Or do you almost think, although you see, O, answer not; but to my closet bring

That you do see ? could though, without this ob • The angry lords, with all expedient? haste :

Form such another ? This

the very top, I conjure thee but slowly ; run more fast.)

The height, the crest, or crest unto ihe crest, SCENE III. The same. Before the Castle. Enter Of murder's arms: this is the bloodiest shame, ARTHUR, on the Walls.

The wildest savag'ry, the vilest stroke, Arth. The wall is high; and yet will I leap That ever wall-ey'd wrath, or staring rage, down:4

Presented to the tears of soft remorse. Good ground, be pitiful, and hurt me not !

Pem. All murders past do stand excus'd in this: There's few, or none, do know me; if they did,

And this, so sole, and so unmatchable,
This ship-boy's semblance hath disguis'd me quite. Shall give a holiness, a purity,
I am afraid ; and yet I'll venture it.

To the yet unbegotten sins of time,'
If I get down, and do not break my limbs,

And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest, Pll find a thousand shifts to get away:

Exampled by this heinous spectacle. As good to die, and go, as die, and stay.

Bast. It is a damned and a bloody work ;

(Leaps down. The graceless action of a heavy hand, O me! my uncle's spirit is in these stones

If that it be the work of any hand. Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones!

Sal. If that it be the work of any hand ? [Dies.

We had a kind of light, what would ensue:

It is the shameful work of Hubert's hand; Enter PEMBROKE, SALISBURY, and Bigot.

The practice, and the purpose, of the king :Sal. Lords, I will meet him at Saint Edmund's From whose obedience I forbid my soul, Bury;

Kneeling before this ruin of sweet life, It is our safety, and we must embrace

And breathing to his breathless excellence
This gentle offer of the perilous time.

The incense of a vow, a holy vow;
Pem. Who brought that letter from the cardinal ? Never to taste the pleasures of the world,

Never to be infected with delight, him tell his tale in erpress words would have struck Nor conversant with ease and idleness, him dumb : nothing is more certain than that bad men use all the arts of fallacy upon themselves, palliate their John, coming in a boat during the night to the castle of actions to their own minds by gentle terms, and hide Rouen, where the young prince was confined, stabbed themselves from their own detection in ambiguities and him while supplicating for mercy, fastened a stone to the subterfuges.-Johnson.

body, and threw it into the Seine, in order to give some 1 The old copy reads' As bid me,' &c. Malone made colour to a report, which he caused to be spread, that the correction, in which I concur; though as frequent. the prince, attempting to escape out of a window, fell Jy is used for that, which. See'Julius Cæsar, Act. i. into the river, and was drowned. Śc. 2.

5 Private account, 2 Expeditious.

6 The use of or for ere, before, is at least as old as . The old play of The Troublesome Raigne of King Chaucer's time. Ere ever, or ever, or ere, is, in mo. John is divided into two parts; the first of which con. dern English, sooner than at any time ; before ever : cludes with the king's despatch of Hubert on this mes. and this is the sense in which Shakspeare and our elder sage; the second begins with Enter Arthur, &c. as in writers constantly use the phrase. the following scene.

7 i. e. ruffled, out of humour. 4 Shakspeare has followed the old play. In what 8 To reason, in Shakspeare, is not so often to argue manner Arthur was deprived of his life is not ascer. as to talk. tained. Matthew Paris relating the event, uses the word

9 Pity. evanuit; and it appears to have been conducted with 10 The old copy reads sin of times emendation impenetrable secrecy. The French historians say thai | is Pope's.


'Till I have set a glory to this head,

Thou art damn'd as black-nay, nothing is so black; By giving it the worship of revenge

Thou art more deep damu'd ihan prince Lucifer Pem. Big. Our souls religiously confirm thy words. There is not yet so 'ugly a fiend of hell

As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child.

Hub. Upon my soul,-
Hub. Lords, I am hot with haste in seeking you: Bast.

If thou didst but consent Arthur doth live; the king hath sent for you.

To this most cruel act, do but despair, Sal. O, he is bold, and blushes not at death : And, if thou want'st a cord, the smallest thread Avaunt, thou hateful villain, get thee gone! That ever spider twisted from her womb, Hub. I am no villain.

Will serve to strangle thee; a rush will be Sal.

Must I rob the law ? A beam to hang thee on; or would'st thou drown [Drawing his sword.

thyself, Bast. Your sword is bright, sir; put it up again.2

Put but a little water in a spoon, Sal. Not till I sheath it in a murderer's skin.

And it shall be as all the ocean, Hub. Stand back, Lord Salisbury, stand back, I Enough to stifle such a villain up. say;

I do suspect thee very grievously. By heaven, I think my sword's as sharp as yours :

Hub, Ir I in act, consent, or sin of thought I would not have you, lord, forget yourself, Be guilty of the stealing that sweet breath Nor tempt the danger of my true defence; Which was embounded in this beauteous clay, Lest I, by marking of your rage, forget

Let hell want pains enough to torture me! Your worth, your greatness, and nobility.

I left him well. Big. Oui, dunghill! dar'st thou brave a noble Bast.

Go, bear him in thine ?

I am amaz'd," methinks; and lose my way Hub. Not for my life: but yet I dare defend Among the thorns and dangers of this world. My innocent life against an emperor.

How easy dost thou take all England up! Sal. Thou art a murderer.

From forth this morsel of dead royalty, Hub.

Do not prove me so;* The life, the right, and truth of all this realm Yet I am none: Whose tongue soe'er speaks false, Is fled to heaven: and England now is left Not truly speaks; who speaks not truly, lies. To tug and scamble, and to part by the teeth Pem. Cut him to pieces.

The unowed interest of proud-swelling state. Bast.

Keep the peace, I say. Now, for the bare-pick'd bone of majesty, Sal. Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulcon- Doth dogged war bristle his angry crest, bridge.

And snarleth in the gentle eyes of peace :
Bast. Thou wert better gall the devil, Salisbury: Now powers from home, and discontents at hom,
If thou but frown on me, or stir thy foot,

Meet in one line; and vast confusion waits
Or teach thy hasty spleen to do me shame, (As doth a raven on a sick-fall'n beast,)
I'll strike thee dead. 'Put up thy sword betime; The imminent decay of wrested pomp.
Or I'll so maul you
and your toasting-iron,

Now happy he, whose cloak and cincture can That you shall think the devil is come from hell. Hold out this tempest. Bear away that child, Big. What wilt thou do, renowned Faulcon- And follow me with speed ; I'll to the king: bridge ?

A thousand businesses are brief in hand, Second a villain, and a murderer ?

And heaven itself doth frown upon the land. Hub. Lord Bigot, I am none.

(Eseunt. Big.

Who kill'd this prince?
Hub. 'Tis not an hour since I left him well:
I honour'd him, I lov'd him ; and will weep

My date of life out, for his sweet life's loss. SCENE I. The same. A Room in the Palace,

Sal. Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes, Enter King John, PandulpH, with the Crown, For villany is not without such rheum;

and Attendants. And he, long traded in it, makes it seem

K. John. Thus have I yielded up into your hand Like rivers of remorses and innocency.

The circle of my glory,
Away, with

whose souls abhor


Take again The uncleanly savours of a slaughter-house,

(Giving John the Crown For I am stified with this smell of sin. Big. Away, toward Bury, to the Dauphin there! Your sovereign greatness and authority,

From this my hand, as holding of the pope, Pem. There, teil the king, he may inquire ns out.

K. John. Now keep your holy word: go ment (Ereunt Lords.

the French; Bast. Here's a

world !-Knew

And from his holiness use all your power
fair work?

To stop their marches, 'fore we are inflam'd. Beyond the infinite and boundless reach

Our discontented counties'° do revolt;
Of mercy, if thou didst this deed of death,

Our people quarrel with obedience;
Art thou damn'd, Hubert.

Do but hear me, sir.

Swearing allegiance, and the love of soul, Bast. Ha! I'll tell thee what;

To stranger blood, to foreign royalty, i The old copy reads, "Till I have set a glory to this murderer, by compellmg me wu kill you; I am hitherto

this passage, which he explains-Do not make me a hand. This is a copy of the vowe made in the ages of not a murderer.' . By Do not prove me so,' Hubert superstition and chivalry. Pope thought that we should means do not proroke me, or try my patience so.' read ' a glory to this head,' pointing to the head of the This was a common acceptation of the word.

«To dead prince, and using worship in its common accep. assay, to prore, to try, to tempi one to do evil.' Bartl, tation. A glory is a circle of rays, such as is represent in v. Prove. ed surrounding the heads of saints and other holy per. 5 Pity. Bons. The solemn confirmation of the other lords seems 6 So in the old play :to require this sense. Gray, the poet (says Dr. Far.

Hell, Huberi, trust me, all the plagues of hell mer,) was much pleased with this correction. The old

Hangs on performance of this damned deed; reading has been explained, 'till I have famed and re This seal, the warrant of the body's bliss, nowned my own hand by giving it the houour of re. Ensureth Satan chieftain of thy soul.' venge for so foul a deed.'

7 i. e. con founded. 2 So in Othello :-- Keep up your bright swords ; for 8 i. e. the interest which is not at this moment legally the dew will rust them. Both Faulconbridge and Othel. possessed by any one. On the death of Arthur, the lo speak contemptuously. You have shown that your right to the crown devolved to his sister Eleanor. sword is bright, and now you may put it up again; you 9 Girdle, shall not use it.'

10 Co nties here most probably mean, not the di. 3 Honest defence, defence in a good cause.

visions of the kingdom, but the 'lords and nobilily in 4 Dr. Johnson has, I tbink, mistaken the sense of general,

you of this

This inundation of nustemper'd humour

Bast. O inglorious league ! Rests by you only to be qualified.

Shall we, upon the footing of our land, Then pause not; for the present time's so sick, Send fair-play orders, and make compromise, That present medicine must be minister'd, Insinuation, parley, and base truce, Or overthrow incurable ensues.

To arins invasive? shall a beardless boy, Pand. It was my breath that blew this tempest up, A cocker'd silken wanton brave our fields, Upon your stubborn usage of the pope :

And fesh his spirit in a warlike soil, But, since you are a gentle converute,'

Mocking the air with colours idly spread, My tongue shall hush again this storm of war, And find no check? Let us, my liege, to arms : And make fair weather in your blustering land. Perchance, the cardinal cannot make your peace ; On this Ascension-day, remember well,

Or if he do, let it at least be said, Upon your oath of service to the pope,

They saw we had a purpose of defence. Go I to make the French lay down their arms. K. John. Have thou the ordering of this present


time. K. John. Is this Ascension-day? Did not the Bast. Away then, with good courage ; yet, I prophet

know, Say, that, before Ascension-day at noon,

Our party may well meet a prouder foe.' (Excunt. My crown I should give off? Even so I have : I did suppose, it should be on constraint;

SCENE II. A Plain, near St. Edmund's-Bury. But, heaven be thank'd, it is but voluntary.

Enter, in arms, LEWIS, SALISBURY, MELUN, Enter the Bastard.

PEMBROKE, Bigot, and Soldiers. Bast. All Kent hath yielded ; nothing there holds

Lew. My Lord Melun, let this be copied out, out,

And keep it safe for our remembrance: But Dover castle: London hath receiv'd,

Return the precedent to these lords again; Like a kind host, the Dauphin and his powers :

That having our fair order written down, Your nobles will not bear you, but are gone

Both they, and we, perusing o'er these notes, To offer service to your enemy;

May know wherefore we took the sacrament, And wild amazement hurries up and down And keep our faiths firm and inviolable. The little number of your doubiful friends.

Sal. Upon our sides it never shall be broken K. John. Would not my lords return to me again, And, noble Dauphin, albeit we swear After they heard young Arthur was alive?

A voluntary zeal, and unurg'd faith, Bast. They found him dead, and cast into the To your proceedings; yet, believe me, prince, streets;

I am not glad that such a sore of time An empty casket, where the jewel of life,

Should seek a plaster by contemn'd revolt, By some damn'd hand was robb'd and ta'en away.

And heal the inveterate canker of one wound, K. John. That villain Hubert told me, he did live. By making many: 0, it grieves my soul,

Bust. So, on my soul, he did, for aught he knew. That I must draw this metal from my side
But wherefore do you droop? why look you sad ? To be a widow-maker; O and there,
Be great in act, as you have been in thought;

Where honourable rescue and defence,
Let not the world seo fear, and sad distrust,

Cries ont upon the name of Salisbury :
Govern the motion of a kingly eye :

But such is the infection of the time,
Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire ; That, for the health and physic of our right,
Threaten the threat'ner, and outface the brow We cannot deal but with the very hand
Of bragging horror: so shall inferior eyes,

Of stern injustice and confused wrong.-
That borrow their behaviours from the great,

And is't not pity, O my grieved friends! Grow great by your example, and put on

That we, the sons and children of this islo, The dauntless spirit of resolution 3

Were born to see so sad an hour as this; Away; and glister like the god of war,

Wherein we step after a stranger march When he intendeth to become the field : 4

Upon her gentle' bosom, and fill up Show boldness, and aspiring confidence.

Her enemies' ranks (I must withdraw and weep What, shall they seek ihe lion in his den,

Upon the spotlo of this enforced cause,) And fright him there? and make him tremble there? To grace the gentry of a land remote, 0, let it not be said !-Forage,s and run

And follow unacquainted colours here? To meet displeasure further from the doors; What, here?-0 nation, that thou could'st remove! And grapple with him, ere he come so nigh. That Neptune's arms, who clippeth thee about, K. John. The legate of the pope hath been with Would bear thee from the knowledge of thyself, me,

And grapplel' thee unto a Pagan shore ; And I have made a happy peace with him ;

Where these two Christian armies might combine And he hath promised to dismiss the powers

The blood of malice in a vein of league, Led by the Dauphin.

And not to-spend it'3 so unneighbourly! 1 Convert.

yet prouder, and more confident of its strength than 2 Dryden has transferred this image to a speech of theirs. Antony, in All for Love :

8 j. e. the rough draught of the original treaty. In An empty circle, since the jewel's gone.' King Richard II. the scrivener employed to engross the So in King Richard II :

indictment of Lord Hastings says, 'It took him eleven A jewel in a ten times barr’d up chest, hours to write it, and that the precedent was full as long Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast.'

a doing.' 3 So in Macbeth:

9 Shakspeare often uses stranger as an adjective. Let's briefly put on manly readiness,

See the last scene :
And meet i’ the hall together.'

Swearing allegiance and the love of soul 4 Thus in Hamlet:

To strunger blood, to foreign royalty." such a sight as this

10 i. e. the slain. Becomes the field.'

11 To clip is to embrace; not yet obsolete in the 5 Forage here seems to mean to range abroad; northern counties. which Dr. Johnson says is its original sense: but four 12 The old copy reads cripple. The emendation was tage, the French source of it, is formed from the low made by Pope. The poet alludes to the wars carried on Latin foderagium, food : the sense of ranging therefore by the Christian princes in the Holy Land against the appears to be secondary.

Saracens, where the united armies of France and Eng. 6 We have the same image in Macbeth:

land might have laid their animosities aside and fough: * Where the Norweyan banners fout the sky, in the cause of Christ, instead of fighting against bre And fan our people cold."

thren and countrymen. From these two passages Gray formed the first lines of 13 Shakspeare here employs a phraseology used be his Bard.

fore in the Merry Wives of Windsor :7 i. e. I know that our party is able to cope with one • And, fairy-like, to-pinch the unclean knight.'

« PreviousContinue »