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Set on toward Swinstead: to my litter straight;
SCENE IV.-The same. Another part of the same.
Enter SALISBURY, PEMBROKE, and others.
Sal. I did not think the king so stor❜d with friends.
Sal. That misbegotten devil, Falconbridge,
In spite of spite, alone upholds the day.
Pem. They say King John, sore sick, hath left the field.
Enter MELUN wounded, and led by Soldiers.
Mel. Lead me to the revolts of England here.
Wounded to death.
Mel. Fly, noble English, you are bought and sold;
And welcome home again discarded faith.
Sal. May this be possible? may this be true?
Which bleeds away even as a form of wax
Resolveth from his figure 'gainst the fire?
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?
say again, if Louis 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
Sal. We do believe thee:--and beshrew my soul
Of this most fair occasion, by the which
Leaving our rankness and irregular course,
Even to our ocean, to our great King John.—
Right in thine eye.-Away, my friends! New flight,
And happy newness, that intends old right.
[Exeunt, leading off MELUN.
SCENE V.-The same. The French Camp.
Lou. The sun of heaven methought was loth to set,
When with a volley of our needless shot,
And wound our tattering colours clearly up,
Last in the field, and almost lords of it!
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. Where is my prince, the Dauphin?
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,
Lou. 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.
Lou. Well; keep good quarter and good care to-night: The day shall not be up so soon as I,
To try the fair adventure of to-morrow.
SCENE VI.—An open Place in the neighbourhood of Swinstead Abbey.
Enter the BASTARD and HUBERT, meeting.
Hub. Who's there? speak, ho! speak quickly, or I shoot. Bast. A friend.-What art thou?
Bast. Whither dost thou go?
Of the part of England.
Hub. What's that to thee? Why may I not demand Of thine affairs, as well as thou of mine?
Bast. Hubert, I think.
Thou hast a perfect thought:
I will, upon all hazards, well believe
Thou art my friend, that know'st my tongue so well.
Who thou wilt: an if thou please,
Thou mayst 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.
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 monk:
The better arm you to the sudden time,
Bast. How did he take it? who did taste to him?
Bast. Who didst thou leave to tend his majesty?
Bast. Withhold thine indignation, mighty heaven,
SCENE VII.-The Orchard of Swinstead Abbey.
Enter PRINCE HENRY, SALISBURY, and BIGOT.
Pem. His highness yet doth speak; and holds belief That, being brought into the open air,
It would allay the burning quality
Of that fell poison which assaileth him.
P. Hen. Let him be brought into the orchard here.Doth he still rage?
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 BIGOT and Attendants, who bring in KING JOHN in a chair.
K. John. Ay, marry, now my soul hath elbow-room;
How fares your majesty?
K. John. Poison'd,-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 burn'd bosom; nor entreat the north
And comfort me with cold:-I do not ask you much;
And so ingrateful, you deny me that.
P. Hen. O that there were some virtue in my tears, That might relieve you!
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 eye:
The tackle of my heart is crack'd and burn'd;
And all the shrouds, wherewith my life should sail,