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An echo with the clamour of thy drum,
And even at hand a drum is ready braced
That shall reverberate all as loud as thine ; 170
Sound but another, and another shall
As loud as thine rattle the welkin's ear
And mock the deep-mouth'd thunder: for at hand,
Not trusting to this halting legate here,
Whom he hath used rather for sport than need, 175
Is warlike John; and in his forehead sits
A bare-ribb'd death, whose office is this day

To feast upon whole thousands of the French.
Lew. Strike up your drums, to find this danger out.
Bast. And thou shalt find it, Dauphin, do not doubt. 180

[Exeunt.

SCENE III.--The field of battle.

Alarums. Enter King JOHN and HUBERT. K. John. How goes the day with us? O, tell me, Hubert. Hub. Badly, I fear. How fares your majesty ? K. John. This fever, that hath troubled me so long, Lies heavy on me; O, my heart is sick!

Enter a Messenger. Mess. My lord, your valiant kinsman, Faulconbridge, 5

Desires your majesty to leave the field

And send him word by me which way you go. 170. all as] Pope; all, as Ff.

169. ready braced] ready tightened Compare 1 Henry VI. 11. iv. 12: “Beup for playing. The leathern sliding tween two dogs which hath the loops which are used for tightening deeper mouth." the membranes of military or side 177. A bare-ribb'd death] Compare drums are called “braces."

this image with that used by the 173. deep-mouth'd] deep - voiced. Bastard in 11. i. 352.

IO

K. John. Tell him, toward Swinstead, to the abbey

there.
Mess. Be of good comfort; for the great supply

That was expected by the Dauphin here,
Are wrack'd three nights ago on Goodwin Sands.
This news was brought to Richard but even now:

The French fight coldly, and retire themselves.
K. John. Ay me! this tyrant fever burns me up,

And will not let me welcome this good news. 15
Set on toward Swinstead: to my litter straight;
Weakness possesseth me, and I am faint. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV.--Another part of the field.

Enter SALISBURY, PEMBROKE, and BIGOT.
Sal. I did not think the king so stored with friends
Pem. Up once again; put spirit in the French:

If they miscarry, we miscarry too.
Sal. That misbegotten devil, Faulconbridge,
In spite of spite, alone upholds the day.

5 Pem. They say King John sore sick hath left the

field. 14. Ay me] Aye me Ff; Ah me Pope.

Scene iv. 2, 3. French : ... miscarry,] Rowe; French, ... miscarry, Ff 3, 4; French, ... miscarry; Ff 1, 2. 11. Are] Capell printed Was and

Scene iv. Lettsom supposes a lost line; but supply" here is treated as plural, 5. In spite of spiie] against all odds. as again in v. v. 12 infra.

Compare 3 Henry VI. 11. iii. 5: "And spite of spite needs must I rest awhile."

Enter MELUN, wounded.
Mel. Lead me to the revolts of England here.
Sal. When we were happy we had other names.
Pem. It is the Count Melun.
Sal.

Wounded to death.
Mel. Fly, noble English, you are bought and sold; 10

Unthread the rude eye of rebellion
And welcome home again discarded faith.
Seek out King John and fall before his feet;
For if the French be lords of this loud day,
He means to recompense the pains you take 15
By cutting off your heads: thus hath he sworn
And I with him, and many moe with me,
Upon the altar at Saint Edmundsbury;
Even on that altar where we swore to you
Dear amity and everlasting love.

20 Sal. May this be possible? may this be true ? Mel. Have I not hideous death within my view,

Retaining but a quantity of life, 7. revolts] the revolted nobles, as its correctness is proved by the next in v. ii. 151 supra.

lines. We must therefore suspect II. Unthread ... rebellion] Mr. line 14. Mr. Wright suggests that Wright has conclusively proved in “French" is singular, as in Henry V. the Clarendon Press edition that iv. iv. 80: “The French might have the long series of emendations suc- a good prey of us if he knew it." ceeding Theobald's rejection of the This necessitates reading “lordfor Folios' reading as too homely are “lords,” and, unless we accept the quite unnecessary. Compare Richard conjecture made independently by II. v. v. 17:

Sidney Walker and Keightley that a " It is as hard to come as for a line has been lost between 14 and 15, it camel

seems the only way out of the difficulty. To thread the postern of a small 17. moe] Anglo-Saxon . This needle's eye";

form often occurs in place of “more." and Coriolanus, ill. i. 124: “They 23. quantity] small portion. So would not thread the gates."

Taming of the Shrew, IV. iii. 112: 14, 15. For if the French, etc.] “Thou rag, thou quantity, thou remHe” comes in too abruptly, but nant."

30

35.

Which bleeds away, even as a form of wax
Resolveth from his figure 'gainst the fire ? : 25
What in the world should make me now deceive,
Since I must lose the use of all deceit ?
Why should I then be false, since it is true
That I must die here and live hence by truth?
I say again, if Lewis do win the day,
He is forsworn if e'er those eyes of yours
Behold another day break in the east :
But even this night, whose black contagious breath
Already smokes about the burning crest
Of the old, feeble and day-wearied sun,
Even this ill night, your breathing shall expire,
Paying the fine of rated treachery
Even with a treacherous fine of all your lives,
If Lewis by your assistance win the day.
Commend me to one Hubert with your king: 40
The love of him, and this respect besides,
For that my grandsire was an Englishman,
Awakes my conscience to confess all this.
In lieu whereof, I pray you, bear me hence

From forth the noise and rumour of the field, 45 30. do] omitted by Pope. 31. forsworn] I omit the comma of the Folios. 42. (For . . . Englishman.)] Ff.

24, 25. even as a form of wax, etc.] 34. crest] The anonymous sugIt seems to have been a common prac- gestion of " cresset” is most tempttice to place waxen images of enemies ing. before a fire in the belief that as the 37. rated] properly appreciated or wax melted the person represented recompensed. wasted away. Hence the simile, 37, 38. fine . . . fine] A play upon although not directly referring to the meanings of “penalty” and the above practice, would be more "end.” Compare Hamlet, v. i. 115: familiar to an Elizabethan audience “Is this the fine of his fines " than to us.

41. respect] consideration. Com25. Resolveth] almost=dissolveth. pare 111. i. 318 supra.

Where I may think the remnant of my thoughts
In peace, and part this body and my soul

With contemplation and devout desires.
Sal. We do believe thee; and beshrew my soul
But I do love the favour and the form

50
Of this most fair occasion, by the which
We will untread the steps of damned flight,
And like a bated and retired flood,
Leaving our rankness and irregular course,
Stoop low within those bounds we have o'erlook'd, 55
And calmly run on in obedience
Even to our ocean, to our great King John.
My arm shall give thee help to bear thee hence;
For I do see the cruel pangs of death
Right in thine eye, Away, my friends! New
flight;

60 And happy newness, that intends old right.

[Exeunt, leading off Melun. 53. retired] retiring Hanmer. 59. pangs] fangs Heath.

49. beshrew] “a mild form of im- the reading of the Folios, and so precation" (Dyce-Littledale). So would Schmidt. Still it has perhaps Twelfth Night, iv. i. 62: “ Beshrew a sufficiently suspicious look to justify his soul for me"; and see v. v. 14 the various emendations and suginfra.

gestions—“ Right in thine eyes, 54. rankness] Capell conjectures Pope ; “ Pight in thine eyes,” Han. “bankless" ; but "rankness" in the mer ; " Pight in thine eye," Warbursense of immoderate growth or ton; “ Fight in thine eye,” Capell; pressing beyond bounds is supported “ Bright in thine eye,” Collier, ed. 2 by many passages in the other plays, (Collier MS.); “Fright in thine eye,” and this special use is found in Venus Anon. (ap. Collier conj.); “Riot in and Adonis, 71: “ Rain added to a thine eye,” Brae (conj.); “Writhing river that is rank.Compare also thine eye,” Elze (conj. Athen. 1867); E.E. Psalter (1300): “He turned “Light on thine eye,” Moberly(conj.). into blood the stremes ranke.

60. New flights Pope, in defiance 55. we have o'erlook'd] Compare of the final couplet, read “ And fy 1" Hamlet, iv. v. 99: “ The ocean, over- and omitted the next line. peering of his list."

61. And happy newness ... right] 60. Right in thine eye) Vaughan, happy be the new course which we withdrawing his conjecture of take to establish the right we had “ Brighten thine eye,” would retain forsaken.

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