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And wild amazement hurries up and down
The little number of your doubtful friends.
K. John. Would not my lords return to me again,
After they heard young Arthur was alive?
Bast. They found him dead, and cast into the
streets; An empty casket, where the jewel of life By some damn'd hand was robb’d and ta’en aways.
K. John. That villain Hubert told me he did live.
Bast. So, on my soul, he did, for aught he knew. But wherefore do you droop? why look you sad ? Be great in act, as you have been in thought; Let not the world see fear, and sad distrust, Govern the motion of a kingly eye: Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire; Threaten the threatener, and outface the brow Of bragging horror: so shall inferior eyes, That borrow their behaviours from the great, Grow great by your example, and put on The dauntless spirit of resolution. Away! and glister like the god of war, When he intendeth to become the field : Show boldness, and aspiring confidence. What! shall they seek the lion in his den, And fright him there? and make him tremble there? 0! let it not be said.–Forage, and run To meet displeasure further from the doors, And grapple with him ere he come so nigh. K. John. The legate of the pope hath been with
me, And I have made a happy peace with him ;
5 An empty casket, where the jewel of life
By some damn’d hand was robb’d and ta’en away.] The prettiest passage in the old “King John” relates to the death of Arthur, of whom, when his body is found by the peers, it is said,
- Lo ! lords, the wither'd flower,
Who in his life shin'd like the morning's blush,
Cast out a-door."
These lines occur when the body of Arthur is first found.
And he hath promis’d to dismiss the powers
Led by the Dauphin.
O, inglorious league !
Shall we, upon the footing of our land,
Send fair-play orders, and make compromise,
Insinuation, parley, and base truce,
To arms invasive ? shall a beardless boy,
A cocker'd silken wanton, brave our fields,
And flesh his spirit in a warlike soil,
Mocking the air with colours idly spread,
And find no check? Let us, my liege, to arms :
Perchance, the cardinal cannot make your peace;
Or if he do, let it at least be said,
They saw we had a purpose of defence.
K. John. Have thou the ordering of this present
time. Bast. Away then, with good courage ; yet, I know, Our party may well meet a prouder foe. [Exeunt.
A Plain, near St. Edmund's Bury.
Enter, in arms, LEWIS, SALISBURY, MELUN, PEMBROKE,
Bigot, and Soldiers.
Lew. My lord Melun, let this be copied out,
And keep it safe for our remembrance.
Return the precedent to these lords again ;
That, having our fair order written down,
Both they, and we, perusing o'er these notes,
May know wherefore we took the sacrament,
And keep our faiths firm and inviolable.
Sal. Upon our sides it never shall be broken.
And, noble Dauphin, albeit we swear
A voluntary zeal, and an unurg'd faith®,
To your proceedings; yet, believe me, prince,
I am not glad that such a sore of time
Should seek a plaster by contemn'd revolt,
And heal the inveterate canker of one wound,
By making many. O! it grieves my soul,
That I must draw this metal from my side
To be a widow-maker; O! and there,
Where honourable rescue, and defence,
Cries out upon the name of Salisbury.
But such is the infection of the time,
That, for the health and physic of our right,
We cannot deal but with the very hand
Of stern injustice and confused wrong.-
And is't not pity, O, my grieved friends!
That we, the sons and children of this isle,
Were born to see so sad an hour as this;
Wherein we step after a stranger, march
Upon her gentle bosom, and fill up
Her enemies' ranks, (I must withdraw, and weep
Upon the spot of this enforced cause)
To grace the gentry of a land remote,
And follow unacquainted colours here?
What, here?-0 nation, that thou could'st remove!
That Neptune's arms, who clippeth thee about?,
Would bear thee from the knowledge of thyself ®,
And grapple thee unto a pagan shore;
Where these two Christian armies might combine
6 A voluntary zeal, and an unurg'd faith,] Malone and the modern editors silently omit “an,” probably under the notion that they had a right to correct Shakespeare's metre.
who clipfEth thee about,] i. e. who embraceth thee. To clip, from the Saxon clippan, is of perpetual occurrence in our old writers.
8 Would bear thee from the knowledge of thyself,] By a strange error this line, in Malone's Shakespeare by Boswell, is transferred from this, its proper place, to twenty-six lines earlier, where it stands without the slightest connexion. In the next line, “ And grapple thee,” &c., which is unquestionably the true reading, is printed “And cripple thee” in the old copies. The correction was not introduced until the time of Pope. Seven lines lower, “thou,” necessary both to the sense and metre, was not inserted until the fourth folio.
The blood of malice in a vein of league,
And not to spend it so unneighbourly!
Lew. A noble temper dost thou show in this ;
And great affections wrestling in thy bosom
Do make an earthquake of nobility.
O! what a noble combat hast thou fought,
Between compulsion, and a brave respect !
Let me wipe off this honourable dew,
That silverly doth progress on thy cheeks.
My heart hath melted at a lady's tears,
Being an ordinary inundation;
But this effusion of such manly drops,
This shower, blown up by tempest of the soul,
Startles mine eyes, and makes me more amaz'd
Than had I seen the vaulty top of heaven
Figur'd quite o'er with burning meteors.
Lift up thy brow, renowned Salisbury,
And with a great heart heave away this storm :
Commend these waters to those baby eyes,
That never saw the giant-world enrag'd;
Nor met with fortune other than at feasts,
Full warm of blood, of mirth, of gossiping.
Come, come; for thou shalt thrust thy hand as deep
Into the purse of rich prosperity,
As Lewis himself:-so, nobles, shall you all,
That knit your sinews to the strength of mine.
Enter PANDULPH, attended.
And even there, methinks, an angel spake :
Look, where the holy legate comes apace,
To give us warrant from the hand of heaven,
And on our actions set the name of right
With holy breath.
Hail, noble prince of France.
The next is this :-king John hath reconcil'd
Himself to Rome; his spirit is come in,
That so stood out against the holy church,
The great metropolis and see of Rome :
Therefore, thy threat’ning colours now wind up,
And tame the savage spirit of wild war,
That, like a lion foster'd up at hand,
It may lie gently at the foot of peace,
And be no farther harmful than in show.
Lew. Your grace shall pardon me; I will not back:
I am too high-born to be propertied,
To be a secondary at control,
Or useful serving-man, and instrument,
To any sovereign state throughout the world.
Your breath first kindled the dead coal of wars
Between this chastis'd kingdom and myself,
And brought in matter that should feed this fire;
And now 'tis far too huge to be blown out
With that same weak wind which enkindled it.
You taught me how to know the face of right,
Acquainted me with interest to this land,
Yea, thrust this enterprize into my heart,
And come ye now to tell me, John hath made
His peace with Rome? What is that peace to me?
I, by the honour of my marriage-bed,
young Arthur, claim this land for mine;
And now it is half-conquer'd must I back,
Because that John hath made his peace with Rome?
Am I Rome's slave? What penny hath Rome borne,
What men provided, what munition sent,
To underprop this action? is't not I,
That undergo this charge? who else but I,
And such as to my claim are liable,
Sweat in this business, and maintain this war?
Have I not heard these islanders shout out,
Vive le roy! as I have bank'd their townso?
as I have bank'd their towns ?] It is doubtful in what sense we are to take “bank'd ;" whether Lewis means to say that he has thrown up embankments before the towns, or whether he uses “bank'd” in reference to the towns