Imagens das páginas



The Entrance to Swinstead Abbey.

Enter FAULCONBRIDGE, meeting HUBERT. Hub. Who's there! speak, ho! speak quickly. Faul. A friend:-What are thou?

Hub. Of the part of England.

Faul. Hubert, I think.-What news abroad? Hub. O, my sweet sir, news fitting to the night. Black, fearful, comfortless, and horrible.

Faul. 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 :
I left him almost speechless, and broke out
To acquaint you with this exil.

Faul. 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.

Faul. Whom didst thou leave to tend his majesty? Hub. Why, know you not? The lords are all come back,

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

Faul. 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.



The Orchard of Swinstead Abbey.

Enter ENGLISH GUARDS, with Torches, PRINCE

P. Hen. It is too late; the life of all his blood
Is touch'd corruptibly; and his pure brain
Doth, by the idle comments that it makes,
Foretel the ending of mortality.


Sal. 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. Doth he still rage?

Sal. He is more patient

Than when you left him; even now he sung.


K. John. Ay, marry, now my soul hath elbow


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
Do I shrink up.

[ocr errors]

P. Hen. How fares your majesty?

K. John. Poison'd,-ill fare;-dead, forsook, cast


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
To make his bleak winds kiss my parched lips,
And comfort me with cold.

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.


Faul. 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,
Are turned to one thread, one little hair:

My heart hath one poor string to stay it by,
Which holds but till thy news be uttered;
And then all this thou seest, is but a clod,
And module of confounded royalty.

Faul. 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.

Pem. You breathe these dead news in as dead an


My liege! my lord!-But now a king,-now thus! Faul. 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,
As it on earth hath been thy servant still.

Ess. At Worcester must his body be interr'd;
For so he will'd it.

Faul. Thither shall it then.

And happily may you, sweet prince, put on
The lineal state and glory of the land !
To whom, with all submission, on my knee,
I do bequeath my faithful services

And true subjection everlastingly.

Sal. And the like tender of our love we make,

To rest without a spot for evermore.

[All kneel. P. Hen. I have a kind soul, that would give you


And knows not how to do it, but with tears.

Faul. O, let us pay the time but needful woe,
Since it hath been beforehand with our griefs.-
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 rue,
If England to itself do rest but true.

[Exeunt omnes.


« AnteriorContinuar »