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Sal. We do believe thee,-And beshrew my soul But I do love the favour and the form 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 rankness4 and irregular course, Stoop low within those bounds we have o'erlook'd, 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 Rights in thine eye.-Away, my friends! New

flight: And happy newness6, that intends old right.

[Exeunt, leading off MELUN.

SCENE V. The same. The French Camp.

Enter Lewis and his Train. Lew. The sun of heaven, methought, was loath

to set; But stay'd, and made the western welkin blush, When the English measur'd backward their own

In faint retire: 0, bravely came we off,
When with a volley of our needless shot,
After such bloody toil, we bid good night;
And wound our tott'ringl colours clearly up,
Last in the field, and almost lords of it!

4 Rankness, as applied to a river, here signifies exuberant, ready to over flou; as applied to the actions of the speaker and his party it signifies wanton wildne88. Petulantia

“Rain added to a river that is rank

Perforce will force it overflow the bank.' 5 Immediate. 6 Innovation.

1 Tott'ring colours is the reading of the old copy, which was unnecessarily altered to tatter'd by Johnson, who is followed by the sabsequent editors. To totter, in old language, was to waver, to shake with a tremulous motion, as colours would do in the wind. It is obvious that tatter'd cannot be the right word, for how could their tatter'd colours be clearly wound up?' 'to tottre (says Baret), nutare, vaccilare, see shake and wagge. The colours were waving in the wind during the battle, and were wound up at the close of it.

Enter a Messenger.
Mess. Where is my prince, the Dauphin?

Here:- What news?
Mess. The Count Melun is slain; the English lords,
By his persuasion, are again fallen off:
And your supply, which you have wish'd so long,
Are cast away, and sunk, on Goodwin Sands.
Lew. Ah, foul shrewd news!-Beshrew thy very

heart! I did not think to be so sad to-night, As this hath made me.-Who was he, that said, King John did fly, an hour or two before The stumbling night did part our weary powers? Mess. Whoever spoke it, it is true, my lord. Lew. Well; keep good quarter, and good care

The dato-nightep 800d", it is trueweary power

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 Neighbourhood of Swinstead

Enter the Bastard and HUBERT, meeting.
Hub. Who's there? speak, ho! speak quickly, or

I shoot.
Bast. A friend:- What art thou?

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.

? i. e keep in your allotted posts or stations.


Thou hast a perfecti thought: I will, upon all hazards, well believe, Thou art my friend, that know'st my tongue so

well: Who art thou ? Bast.

Who thou wilt: an if thou please, Thou may'st befriend me so much, as to think I come one way of the Plantagenets. Hub. Unkind remembrance! thou, and eyeless

night, Have done me shame:-Brave soldier, pardon me, That any accent, breaking from thy tongue, Should ’scape the true acquaintance of mine ear. Bast. Come, come; sans compliment, what news

abroad? Hub. Why, here walk I, in the black brow of

night, To find you out. Bast. Brief, then ; and what's the news? Hub. O, my sweet sir, news fitting to the night, Black, fearful, comfortless, and horrible.

Bast. Show me the very wound of this ill news; I am no woman, I'll not swoon at it.

Hub. The king, I fear, is poison’d by a monk3 : I left him almost speechless, and broke out To acquaint you with this evil; that you might

Black. Show me, I'll not, is poison broke outight

Ti. e. a well informed one. So in Cymbeline :

--I am perfect

That the Pannonians, &c.' 2 The old copy reads "endless night. The emendation was made by Theobald. The epithet is found in Jarvis Markham's English Arcadia, 1607 :

“O eyeless night, the portraiture of death.' In Shakspeare's Rape of Lucrece, we have

"Poor grooms are sightless night; kings glorious day.'

3 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 havig brought it to his majesty, drank some of it himself, to induce the king to taste it, and soon afterwards expired. Thomas Wykes is the first who mentions it in his Chronicle as a report. According to the best accounts John, died at Newark, of a fever.

The better arm you to the sudden time,
Than if you had at leisuret 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 ?
Hub. Why, know you not? the lords are all come

And brought prince Henry in their company;
At whose request the king hath pardon'd them,
And they are all about his majesty.

Bast. 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; Myself, well mounted, hardly have escap’d. 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 touch'd corruptibly; and his pure brain (Which some suppose the soul's frail dwelling

house, Doth, by the idle comments that it makes, Foretell the ending of mortality.

Enter PEMBROKE. Pem. His highness yet doth speak: and holds

belief, That, being brought into the open air,

4 i. e. less speedily, after some delay. i Prince Henry was only nine years old when his father died.

It would allay the burning quality
Of that fell poison which assaileth him.
P. Hen. Let him be brought into the orchard

Doth he still rage?

[Exit Bigot. Pem.

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 insensible3; 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 rude4. Re-enter Bigot and Attendants, who bring in

KING JOHN in a Chair. K. John. Ay, marry, now, my soul hath elbow

room ;

2 Continuance here means continuity. Bacon uses it in that sense also. So Baret, 'If the disease be of any continuance, if it be an old and settled disease.' I should not have thought this passage needed elucidation, had not Malone proposed to read 'in thy coutinuance.'

3 The old copy reads invisible. Sir T. Hanmer proposed the reading admitted into the text. Malone has endeavoured to ela. borate a meaning out of the old reading, but without success. I must refer the reader to the variorum editions for his argument, and Steevens's vein of pleasant irony upon it. 4 A description of Chaos almost in the very words of Ovid :

Quem dixere Chaos rudis indigestaeque moles. -Met. i. Which Chaos hight a huge rude heap :No sunne as yeth with lightsome beames the shapeless world did view.

Golding's Translation.

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