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Stoop low within those bounds we have o’erlooked,
[Exeunt, leading off Melun.
The French Camp.
Enter Lewis and his Train. Lew. The sun of heaven, methought, was loath to set; But staid, and made the western welkin blush, When the English measured backward their own ground In faint retire. O, bravely came we off, When with a volley of our needless shot, After such bloody toil
, we bid good night; And wound our tottering 3 colors clearly up, Last in the field, and almost lords of it!
Enter a Messenger.
Here :-What news?
2 Innovation. 3 Tottering colors is the reading of the old copy, which was altered to tattered by Johnson, who is followed by the subsequent editors. To totter, in old language, was to waver, to shake with a tremulous motion, as colors would do in the wind. “To tottre (says Baret), nutare, vacillare, see shake and wagge.”
Mess. Whoever spoke it, it is true, my lord.
night; The day shall not be up so soon as I, To try the fair adventure of to-morrow. [Exeunt.
SCENE VI. An open Place in the Neighborhood of
Enter the Bastard and HUBERT, meeting.
Of the part of England. Bast. Whither dost thou go?
Hub. What's that to thee? Why may not I demand Of thine affairs, as well as thou of mine?
Bast. Hubert, I think.
Thou hast a perfect? thought!
Who thou wilt: an if thou please,
Hub. Unkind remembrance! thou and eyeless nights
abroad ? Hub. Why, here walk I, in the black brow of night, To find Bast.
Brief, then; and what's the news ? Hub. O, my sweet sir, news fitting to the night, Black, fearful, comfortless, and horrible.
1 i. e. keep in your allotted posts or stations. 2 i. e. a well-informed one. 3 The old copy reads “ endless night.” The emendation was made by Theobald.
Bast. Show me the very wound of this ill news;
Hub. The king, I fear, is poisoned by a monk.'
had at leisure? known of this. Bast. How did he take it? Who did taste to him?
Hub. A monk, I tell you ; a resolved villain, Whose bowels suddenly burst out.
The king Yet speaks, and, peradventure, may recover.
Bast. Who didst thou leave to tend his majesty ?
Bast. Withhold thine indignation, mighty Heaven,
These Lincoln washes have devoured them; Myself, well mounted, hardly have escaped. Away, before! conduct me to the king; I doubt he will be dead, or ere I come. [Exeunt.
SCENE VII. The Orchard of Swinstead Abbey.
Enter PRINCE HENRY, SALISBURY, and Bigot.
P. Hen. It is too late ; the life of all his blood Is touched corruptibly ; and his pure brain (Which some suppose the soul's frail dwelling-house)
1 Not one of the historians who wrote within sixty years of the event, mentions this improbable story. The tale is, that a monk, to revenge himself on the king for a saying at which he took offence, poisoned a cup of ale, and having brought it to his majesty, drank some of it himself, to induce the king to taste it, and soon afterwards expired. Thomas Wylkes is the first who mentions it in his Chronicle as a report. According to the best accounts, John died at Newark, of a fever.
2 i. e. less speedily, after some delay.
Doth, by the idle comments that it makes,
P. Hen. Let him be brought into the orchard here. Doth he still rage?
[Exit Bigot. Pem.
He is more patient Than when
left him ; even now he sung. P. Hen. O vanity of sickness! fierce extremes, In their continuance,' will not feel themselves. Death, having preyed upon the outward parts, Leaves them insensible ; 2 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
sing 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. Re-enter Bigor and Attendants, who bring in 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
: Continuance here means continuity. Bacon uses it in that sense also. 2 The old copy reads invisible. Sir T. Hanmer proposed the reading admitted into the text.
Do I shrink up
P. Hen. How fares your majesty ?
K. John. Poisoned,-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 burned bosom; nor entreat the north To make his bleak winds kiss my parched lips, 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,
The salt in them is hot.-
Enter the Bastard.
K. John. 0, cousin, thou art come to set mine eye.
Bast. The dauphin is preparing hitherward;
1 Narrow, avaricious. 2 Module and model were only different modes of spelling the same word. Model signified, not an archetype, after which something was to be formed, but the thing formed after an archetype, a copy. Bullokar, in his Expositor, 1616, explains “ model, the platform, or form of any thing."
3 This untoward accident really happened to king John himself. As he passed from Lynn to Lincolnshire, he lost, by an inundation, all his treasure, carriages, baggage, and regalia.