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That was expected by the dauphin here,
Are wrecked three nights ago on Goodwin Sands.
This news was brought to Richard' but even now.
The French fight coldly, and retire themselves.

K. John. Ah me! this tyrant fever burns me up,
And will not let me welcome this good news.
Set on toward Swinstead. To my litter straight;
Weakness possesseth me, and I am faint. [Exeunt.


The same.

Another part of the same.

Enter SALISBURY, PEMBROKE, Bigot, and others 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. Pem. They say, king John, sore sick, hath left the


Enter MELUN, wounded, and led by Soldiers. 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; 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, By cutting off your heads. Thus hath he sworn, And I with him, and many more with me, Upon the altar of Saint Edmund's Bury ;

1 The king had not long since called him by his original name of Philip, but the messenger could not take the same liberty.

2 The Frenchman, i. e. Lewis, means, &c.


Even on that altar, where we swore to you
Dear amity and everlasting love.

Sal. May this be possible ? may this be true ?

Mel. Have I not hideous death within my view, Retaining but a quantity of life; 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? I say again, if Lewis do win the day, He is forsworn, if e'er those eyes 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; ' The love of him—and this respect besides, For that my grandsire was an EnglishmanAwakes my conscience to confess all this. In lieu whereof, I pray you, bear me hence From forth the noise and rumor of the field; 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 favor 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 rankness” and irregular course,

1 i. e. dissolveth.

2 Rankness, as applied to a river, here signifies eruberant, ready to overftow; as applied to the actions of the speaker and his party, it signifies wanton wildness.

Stoop low within those bounds we have o’erlooked,
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!
And happy newness, 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 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.
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 wished so long, Are cast away, and sunk, on Goodwin Sands. Lew. Ah, foul, shrewd news !—Beshrew thy very

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 ?

1 Immediate.

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, ser shake and wagge."

Mess. Whoever spoke it, it is true, my lord.
Lew. 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. [Exeunt.

SCENE VI. An open Place in the Neighborhood 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 ?

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!
I will, upon all hazards, well believe,
Thou art my friend, that know'st my tongue so well.
Who art thou ?

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. 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;
I am no woman; I'll not swoon at it.

Hub. The king, I fear, is poisoned by a monk.
I left him almost speechless, and broke out
To acquaint you with this evil; that you might
The better arm you to the sudden time,
Than if you 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?
Hub. Why, know you not ? The lords are all come

And brought prince Henry in their company;
At whose request the king hath pardoned 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 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.


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.
3 Prince Henry was only nine years old when his father died.

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