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Re-enter BIGOT and Attendants, who bring in King JOHN in a Chair.
`K. JOHN. Ay, marry, now my soul hath elbow
It would not out at windows, nor at doors.
How fares your majesty ? K. JOHN. Poison'd,-ill-fare';-dead, forsook, cast off:
And none of you will bid the winter come 2
Poison'd,-ill-FARE;] Mr. Malone supposes fare to be here used as a dissyllable, like fire, hour, &c. But as this word has not concurring vowels in it, like hour, or fair, nor was ever dissyllabically spelt (like fier) faer; I had rather suppose the present line imperfect, than complete it by such unprecedented means.
2 This scene has been imitated by Beaumont and Fletcher, in The Wife for a Month, Act IV. STEEVENS.
3 To thrust his ICY fingers in my maw ;] Decker, in The Gul's Hornbook, 1609, has the same thought: "the morning waxing cold, thrust his frosty fingers into thy bosome."
Again, in a pamphlet entitled The Great Frost, Cold Doings, &c. in London, 1608; "The cold hand of winter is thrust into our bosoms." STEEVENS.
The corresponding passage in the old play runs thus:
There is so strong a resemblance, not only in the thought, but in the expression, between the passage before us and the following lines in two of Marlowe's plays, that we may fairly suppose them to have been in our author's thoughts:
"O, I am dull, and the cold hand of sleep
"And made a frost within me." Lust's Dominion.
Nor let my kingdom's rivers take their course
I beg cold comfort; and you are so strait3,
P. HEN. O, that there were some virtue in my tears,
That might relieve you!
K. JOHN. The salt in them is hot.Within me is a hell; and there the poison Is, as a fiend, confin'd to tyrannize On unreprievable condemned blood.
Enter the Bastard.
BAST. O, I am scalded with my violent motion, And spleen of speed to see your majesty.
K. JOHN. O cousin, thou art come to set mine
The tackle of my heart is crack'd and burn'd;
"O, poor Zabina, O my queen, my queen,
Lust's Dominion, like many of the plays of that time, remained unpublished for a great number of years, and was first printed in 1657, by Francis Kirkman, a bookseller. It must, however, have been written before 1593, in which year Marlowe died. MALONE. I do not ask you much,] We should read, for the sake of metre, with Sir T. Hanmer-" I ask not much." STEEVENS. 5, SO STRAIT,] i. e. narrow, avaricious; an unusual sense of the word. STEEVENS.
And then all this thou see'st is but a clod,
BAST. The Dauphin is preparing hitherward; Where, heaven he knows, how we shall answer him : For, in a night, the best part of my power, As I upon advantage did remove, Were in the washes, all unwarily, Devoured by the unexpected flood.
[The King dies.
SAL. You breathe these dead news in as dead an
My liege! my lord!-But now a king,-now thus. P. HEN. Even so must I run on, and even so stop. What surety of the world, what hope, what stay, When this was now a king, and now is clay!
BAST. Art thou gone so? I do but stay behind, To do the office for thee of revenge;
And then my soul shall wait on thee to heaven,
And instantly return with me again,
To push destruction, and perpetual shame,
7 And MODULE of confounded royalty.] Module and model, it has been already observed, were, in our author's time, 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; and hence it is used by Shakspeare and his contemporaries for a representation. So, in The London Prodigal, 1605:
66 Dear copy of my husband! O let me kiss thee!
"How like him is this model?"
& Were in the washes, all unwarily, &c.] 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. MALONE.
Straight let us seek, or straight we shall be sought; The Dauphin rages at our very heels.
SAL. It seems, you know not then so much as we : The cardinal Pandulph is within at rest, Who half an hour since came from the Dauphin; And brings from him such offers of our peace As we with honour and respect may take, With purpose presently to leave this war.
BAST. He will the rather do it, when he sees
SAL. Nay, it is in a manner done already;
With whom yourself, myself, and other lords,
BAST. Let it be so:-And you, my noble prince, With other princes that may best be spar'd, Shall wait upon your father's funeral.
P. HEN. At Worcester must his body be interr'd; For so he will'd it.
And true subjection everlastingly.
SAL. And the like tender of our love we make, To rest without a spot for evermore.
9 At Worcester must his body be interr'd;] A stone coffin, containing the body of King John, was discovered in the cathedral church of Worcester, July 17, 1797. STEEVENS.
"In crastino Sancti Lucæ Johannes Rex Angliæ in castro de Newark obiit, et sepultus est in ecclesia Wigorniensi inter corpora sancti Oswaldi et sancti [Wolstani. Chronic. sive Annal. Prioratus de Dunstaple, edit. a Tho. Hearne, tom. i. p. 173. GREY.
P. HEN. I have a kind soul, that would give you1 thanks,
And knows not how to do it, but with tears.
BAST. O, let us pay the time but needful woe, Since it hath been beforehand with our griefs 2.This England never did, (nor never shall,) Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror, But when it first did help to wound itself. Now these her princes are come home again, Come the three corners of the world in arms, And we shall shock them: Nought shall make us
If England to itself do rest but true 3.
that would give You-] You, which is not in the old copy, was added, for the sake of the metre, by Mr. Rowe.
let us pay the time but needful woe,
Since it hath been beforehand with our griefs.] Let us now indulge in sorrow, since there is abundant cause for it. England has been long in a scene of confusion, and its calamities have anticipated our tears. By those which we now shed, we only pay her what is her due. MALONE.
I believe the plain meaning of the passage is this:- As previously we have found sufficient cause for lamentation, let us not waste the present time in superfluous sorrow.' STEEVENS.
3 If England to itself do rest but true.] This sentiment seems borrowed from the conclusion of the old play:
"If England's peers and people join in one,
"Nor pope, nor France, nor Spain, can do them wrong." Again, in King Henry VI. Part III. :
England is safe, if true within itself."
Such also was the opinion of the celebrated Duc de Rohan : "L'Angleterre est un grand animal qui ne peut jamais mourir s'il ne se tue lui mesme." STEEVENS.
Shakspeare's conclusion seems rather to have been borrowed from these two lines of the old play :
"Let England live but true within itself,
"And all the world can never wrong her state." MALONE. "Brother, brother, we may be both in the wrong." This sentiment might originate from A Discourse of Rebellion, drawne