Page images





Let me wipe off this honourable dew,

And shall I now give o'er the yielded set ? That silverly doth progress on thy cheeks : No, no, on my soul, it never shall be said. My heart hath melted at a lady's tears,

Pand. You look but on the outside of this Being an ordinary inundation;

work. But this effusion of such manly drops,

Lew. Outside or inside, I will not return This shower, blown up by tempest of the soul, 50 Till my attempt so much be glorified Startles mine eyes, and makes me more amaz'd As to my ample hope was promised Than had I seen the vaulty top of heaven Before I drew this gallant head of war, Figur'd quite o'er with burning meteors. And cull’d these fiery spirits from the world, Lift up thy brow, renowned Salisbury,

To outlook conquest and to win renown And with a great heart heave away this storm : Even in the jaws of danger and of death. Commend these waters to those baby eyes

Trumnet sounds. That never saw the giant world enragd ; What lusty trumpet thus doth summon us ! Nor met with fortune other than at feasts,

Enter the Bastard, attended. Full warm of blood, of mirth, of gossiping. Come, come; for thou shalt thrust thy hand as Bast. According to the fair play of the world, deep

Let me have audience ; I am sent to speak: Into the purse of rich prosperity

My holy Lord of Milan, from the king
As Lewis himself : so, nobles, shall you all, I come, to learn how you have dealt for him ;
That knit your sinews to the strength of mine. And, as you answer, I do know the scope

And warrant limited unto my tongue.
Enter PANDULPH, attended.

Pand. The Dauphin is too wilful-opposite,
And even there, methinks, an angel spake : And will not temporize with my entreaties :
Look! where the holy legate comes a pace, He flatly says he 'll not lay down his arms.
To give us warrant from the hand of heaven, Bast. By all the blood that ever fury breath’d,
And on our actions set the name of right The youth says well. Now hear our English king ;
With holy breath.

For thus his royalty doth speak in me. Pand.

Hail, noble prince of France ! He prepar'd; and reason too he should : The next is this : King John hath reconcil'd This apish and unmannerly approach, Himself to Rome; his spirit is come in 70 This harness'd masque and unadvised revel, That so stood out against the holy church,

This unhair'd sauciness and boyish troops, The great metropolis and see of Rome.

The king doth smile at; and is well prepar'd Therefore thy threat'ning colours now wind up, To whip this dwarfish war, these pigmy arms, And tame the savage spirit of wild war,

From out the circle of his territories. That, like a lion foster'd up at hand,

That hand which had the strength, even at your It may lie gently at the foot of peace,

door, And be no further harmful than in show. To cudgel you and make you take the hatch; Ler. Your grace shall pardon me; I will not To dive like buckets in concealed wells ; back :

To crouch in litter of your stable planks ; I am too high-born to be propertied,

To lie like pawns lock'd up in chests and trunks; To be a secondary at control,

80 To hug with swine ; to seek sweet safety out Or useful servingman and instrument,

In vaults and prisons; and to thrill and shake To any sovereign state throughout the world. Even at the crying of your nation's crow, Your breath first kindled the dead coal of wars Thinking this voice an armed Englishman : Between this chastis'd kingdom and myself, Shall that victorions hand be feebied here And brought in matter that should feed this fire; | That in your chambers gave you chastisement ? And now 'tis far too huge to be blown out No! Know, the gallant monarch is in arms, With that same weak wind which enkindled it. And like an eagle o'er his aery towers, You taught me how to know the face of right, To souse annoyance that comes near his nest. 150 Acquainted me with interest to this land, And you degenerate, you ingrate revolts, Yea, thrust this enterprise into my heart; You bloody Neroes, ripping up the womb And come ye now to tell me John hath made Of your dear mother England, blush for shame: His peace with Rome? What is that peace to For your own ladies and pale-visag'd maids me ?

Like Amazons come tripping after drums, I. by the honour of my marriage-bed,

Their thimbles into armed gauntlets change, After young Arthur, claim this land for mine ; Their neelds to lances, and their gentle hearts And, now it is half-conquer'd, must I back To fierce and bloody inclination. Because that John hath made his peace with Lew. There end thy brave, and turn thy face Rome?

in peace; Am I Rome's slave? What penny hath Rome Wegrant thou can'st outscold us : fare thee well; borne,

We hold our time too precious to be spent What men provided, what munition sent, With such a brabbler. To underprop this action? Is 't not I


Give me leave to speak. That ondergo this charge? who else but I, Bast. No, I will speak. And such as to my claim are liable,

We will attend to neither. Sweat in this business and maintain this war ? Strike up the drums; and let the tongue of war Have I not heard these islanders shout out, Plead for our interest and our being here. T'ire le roy! as I have bank'd their towns ? Bast. Indeed, your drums, being beaten, will Have I not here the best cards for the game To win this easy match play'd for a crown? And so shall you, being beaten. Do but start







cry out;

An echo with the clamour of thy drum,
And even at hand a drum is ready brac'd
That shall reverberate all as loud as thine;
Sound but another, and another shall
As loud as thine rattle the welkin's ear

And mock the deep-mouth'd thunder: for at hand,


By cutting off your heads. Thus hath he sworn,
And I with him, and many more with me,
Upon the altar at Saint Edmundsbury;
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 of yours
Behold another day break in the east:
But even this night, whose black contagious

Not trusting to this halting legate here,
Whom he hath us'd rather for sport than need,
Is war-like John; and in his forehead sits
A bare-ribb'd death, whose office is this day
To feast upon whole thousands of the French.
Lew. Strike up our drums, to find this danger


Bast. And thou shalt find it, Dauphin, do not doubt. Exeunt. 180

SCENE III.-The Same. A Field of Battle.
Alarums. Enter King JOHN and HUBERT.
K. John. How goes the day with us? O! tell
me, Hubert.

Hub. Badly, I fear. How fares your majesty?
K. John. This fever, that hath troubled me so

Lies heavy on me: O! my heart is sick.
Enter a Messenger.

Mess. My lord, your valiant kinsman, Faulcon-

Desires your majesty to leave the field,
And send him word by me which way you go.
K. John. Tell him, toward Swinstead, to the
abbey there.


Mess. Be of good comfort: for the great supply
That was expected by the Dauphin here,
Are wreck'd three nights ago on Goodwin sands.
This news was brought to Richard but even now.
The French fight coldly, and retire themselves.

K. John. Ay 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.

[blocks in formation]


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 Englishman,
Awakes my conscience to confess all this.
In lieu whereof, I pray you, bear me hence
From forth the noise and rumour 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 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 rankness 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
Right in thine eye. Away, my friends! New
And happy newness,

that intends old right. Exeunt, leading off MELUN.

[blocks in formation]

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 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.

[blocks in formation]

Bast. Who thou wilt: and if thou please, Thou may'st befriend me so much as to think 10 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 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. 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.

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 e'er I come. Exeunt.

SCENE VII-The Orchard of Swinstead Abbey.

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-

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


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?


Exit BIGOT. 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, invisible; 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.

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.


'Tis strange that death


[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

as we.


mine eye:

P. Hen. O! that there were some virtue in Straight let us seek, or straight we shall be my tears,

sought : That might relieve you.

The Dauphin rages at our very heels. K. John.

The salt in them is hot. Sal. It seems you know not then so much Within me is a hell ; and there the poison Is as a fiend contin'd to tyrannize

The Cardinal Pandulph is within at rest, On unreprievable condemned blood.

Who half an hour since came from the Dauphin,

And brings from him such offers of our peace Enter the Bastard.

As we with honour and respect may take, Bast. O! I am scalded with my violent motion With purpose presently to leave this war. And spleen of speed to see your majesty.

Bast. He will the rather do it when he sees K. John. O cousin! thou art come to set Ourselves well sinewed to our defence.

Sal. Nay, it is in a manner done already ; The tackle of my heart is crack'd and burn'd, For many carriages he hath dispatch'd And all the shrouds wherewith my life should To the sea-side, and put his cause and quarrel sail

To the disposing of the cardinal: Are turned to one thread, one little hair ; With whom yourself, myself, and other lords, My heart bath one poor string to stay it by, If you think meet, this afternoon will post Which holds but till thy news be uttered ; To consummate this business happily. And then all this thou seest is but a clod

Bast. Let it be so. And you, my noble prince, And module of confounded royalty.

With other princes that may best be spar'd, Bast. The Dauphin is preparing hitherward, Shall wait upon your father's funeral. Where heaven he knows how we shall answer P. Hen. At Worcester must his body be bim :

interr'd ; For in a night the best part of my power, For so he will'd it. As I upon advantage did remove,


Thither shall it then. Were in the Washes all unwarily

And happily may your sweet self put on Devoured by the unexpected flood.

The lineal state and glory of the land !

The King dies. To whom, with all submission, on my knee, Sal. You breathe these dead news in as dead I do bequeath my faithful services

And true subjection everlastingly. My liege! my lord ! but now a king, now thus. Sal. And the like tender of our love we make, P. Hen. Even so must I run on, and even so To rest without a spot for evermore. stop.

P. Hen. I have a kind soul that would give What surety of the world, what hope, what stay,

you thanks. When this was now a king, and now is clay? And knows not how to do it but with tears.

Bast. Art thou gone so? I do but stay behind Bast. O! let us pay the time but needful woe To do the office for thee of revenge,

7. Since it hath been beforehand with our griefs. And then my soul shall wait on thee to heaven, This England never did, nor never shall. As it on earth hath been thy servant still. Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror, Now, now, you stars, that move in your right But when it first did help to wound itself. spheres,

Now these her princes are come home again, Where be your powers ? Show now your Come the three corners of the world in arms, mended faiths,

And we shall shock them. Nought shall make And instantly return with me again, To push destruction and perpetual shame If England to itself do rest but true. Out of the weak door of our fainting land.




an ear.


us rue,

[blocks in formation]


SCENE L-London. A Room in the Palace. Enter King RICHARD, attended; JOHN OF GAUNT, and other Nobles, with him.

K. Rich. Old John of Gaunt, time-honour'd, Lancaster,

Hast thou, according to thy oath and band, Brought hither Henry Hereford thy bold son, Here to make good the boisterous late appeal, Which then our leisure would not let us hear, Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray? Gaunt. I have, my liege.

K. Rich. Tell me, moreover, hast thou sounded him,

[ocr errors]


If he appeal the duke on ancient malice,
Or worthily, as a good subject should,
On some known ground of treachery in him?
Gaunt. As near as I could sift him on that

Lords, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, Gardeners, Keeper, Messenger, Groom, and
other Attendants.

SCENE.-Dispersedly in England and Wales.

On some apparent danger seen in him
Aim'd at your highness, no inveterate malice.
K. Rich. Then call them to our presence; face
to face,




And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear The accuser and the accused freely speak: Exeunt some Attendants. High-stomach'd are they both, and full of ire, In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.




Captain of a Band of Welshmen.



Lady attending on the Queen.

Re-enter Attendants, with BOLINGBROKE and MOWBRAY.

Boling. Many years of happy days befall My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege!

Mow. Each day still better other's happiness; Until the heavens, envying earth's good hap, Add an immortal title to your crown!

In the devotion of a subject's love,
Tendering the precious safety of my prince,
And free from other misbegotten hate,
Come I appellant to this princely presence.
Now, Thomas Mowbray, do I turn to thee,
And mark my greeting well; for what I speak
My body shall make good upon this earth,
Or my divine soul answer it in heaven.
Thou art a traitor and a miscreant ;
Too good to be so and too bad to live,
Since the more fair and crystal is the sky,
The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly.
Once more, the more to aggravate the note,
With a foul traitor's name stuff I thy throat;


K. Rich. We thank you both: yet one but flatters us,

As well appeareth by the cause you come; Namely, to appeal each other of high treason. Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray? Boling. First, heaven be the record to my speech!


« PreviousContinue »