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What fince thou swor'ft, is sworn against thyself;
And may not be performed by thyself;
For that, which thou hast sworn to do amiss,
Is not amiss, when it is truly done:
And being not done, where doing tends to ill,
The truth is then mo. i done, not doing it.
The better act of purposes mistook
Is to mistake again; tho' indirect,
Yet indirection thereby grows direct,
And fallhood falfhood cures; as fire cools fire,
Within the scorched veins of one new-burn'd.
It is religion that doth make vows kept,
But thou haft sworn against religion:
By what thou swear'st, against the thing thou swearit:
And mak'st an oath the surety for thy truth,
Against an oath the truth thou art unfure
To swear, swear only not to be försworn;
Else what a mockery should it be to swear ?
But thou dost swear, only to be forsworn,
And most forsworn, to keep what thou dost swear.
Therefore thy latter vows, against thy first,
Is in thyself rebellion to thyself.
And better conquest never canst thou make, .
Than arm thy constant and thy nobler parts
Against these giddy, loose suggestions ;
Upon which better part; our pray’rs come in,
If thou vouch safe them. But if not, then know, ;
The peril of our curses light on thee
So heavy, as thou shalt not make them off ;
But, in despair, die under their black weight.
Auft. Rebellion, Aat rebellion.
Faulc. Will't not be ?
Will not a calve's-skin stop that mouth of thine ?
Lewis. Father, to arms.
Blanch. Upon thy wedding day? Against the blood that thou hast married ? What, shall our feast be kept with Naughter'd men ? Shall braying trumpets, and loud churlish drums, Clamours of hell, be measures to our pomp? O husband, hear me ; (ah! alacks, how new
Is husband in my mouth ?) ev'n for that name,
Which till this time my tongue did ne'er pronounce,
Upon my knee I beg, go not to arms.
Against mine uncle.
Conft. O, upon my knee,
Made hard with kneeling, I do pray to thee,
Thou virtuous Dauphin, alter not the doom
Forethought by heav'n.
Blanch. Now shall I see thy love; what motive may Be stronger with thee than the name of wife?
Conft. That which upholdeth him, that thee upholds, His honour. Oh, thine honour, Lewis, thine honour I Lewis
. I mule, your Majesty doth seem fo cold, When such profound respects do pull you on?
Pand. I will denounce a curse upon his head.
K. Philip. Thou shalt not need. England, I'll fal
Conft. O fair return of banishid Majefty!
Eli. O foul revolt of French inconftancy !
K. John. France, thou shalt rue this hour within this
hour. Faulc. Old time the clock-setter, that bald fexton
time, Is it, as he will? well then, France shall rue.
Blanch. The sun's o'ercast with blood : fair day, adicu ! Which is the side that I must
I am with both, each army hath a hand,
And in their rage, I having hold of both,
They whirl asunder, and difmember me.
Husband, I cannot pray that thou may't win:
Uncle, I needs must pray that thou may't lose:
Father, I may not with the fortune thine :
Grandam, I will not wish thy wishes thrive:
Whoever wins, on that side shall I lose :
Assured loss, before the match be play'd.
Lewis. Lady, with me, with me thy fortune lies.
Blanch. There where my fortune lives, there my
life dies. K. John. Cousin, go draw our puissance together.
[Exit Faulco nbridge.
· France, I am burn'd up with inflaming wrath,
A rage, whose heat hath this condition
That nothing can allay, nothing but blood,
The blood, and dearest-valu'd blood of France.
K. Philip. Thy rage shall burn thee up, and thou
fhalt turn To ashes, ere our blood shall quench that fire: Look to thyself, thou art in jeopardy. K. John. No more, than he that threats. To arms, let's hie.
[Exeunt. SCENE changes to a Field of Battle. Alarms, Excursions : Enter Faulconbridge, with Auftria's
Head. Faul. Yow, by my life, this day grows wond'rous
hot ; 112) Some fiery devil hovers in the sky, And
pours down mischief. Auftria's head lie there. Thus hath King Richard's fon perform'd' his vow, And offer'd Auftria's blood for sacrifice Unto his father's ever-living soul.
Enter King John, Arthur, and Hubert.
K. Föhn. There, Hubert, keep this boy. Richard,
My mother is affailed in our tent,
And ta'cn, I fear.
Faule. My lord; I rescu'd her:
Her highness is in fafety, fear you not.
-it grows wondrous bot ; Some airy Devil bovers in the Sky.] I have, by Mr. War. burton's Dire&ion, ventur'd to substitute, fiery Devil. It is a very unconclusive Inference, sure, that, because it grew wond'rous hot, soms airy Devil hover'd in the Sky. It is a sort of Reasoning, that carries an Air of Ridicule ; unlefs we could determine, that the Poet meant no more by the Epithet than to express the Sacred Text, in which the Devil is filed the Prince of the Air
But on, my Liege; for very little pains
Will bring this labour to an happy end. [Exeunt.
Alarms, Excursions, Retreat. Re-enter King John, Elinor,
Arthur, Faulconbridge, Hubert, and Lords.
K. John. So shall it be ; your Grace shall stay behind
So strongly guarded : Coufin, look not fad, [Tó Arthur.
Thy grandam loves thee, and thy uncle will
As dear be to thee, as thy father was.
Artb. O, this will make my mother die with grief.
K. John. Cousin, away for England; halte before,
And, ere our coming, fee thou shake the bags
Of hoarding Abbots; their imprison'd angels
Set thou at liberty: the fat ribs of peace (13)
Must by the hungry war be fed upon.
Use our commission in its utmost force.
Faul. Bell, book, and candle shall not drive me back,
When gold and silver beck me to come on.
I leave your highness: grandam, I will pray
(If ever I remember to be holy)
For your fair safety; so I kiss your hand.
Eli. Farewel, my gentle cousin.
K. Yohn, Coz, farewel.
[Exit Faule. Eli. Come hither, little kinsman 3
-hark, a word. [Taking him to one fide of the page. K. John. [to Hubert on the other side.] Come hither, Hubert. O my gentle Hubert, We owe thee much; within this wall of flesh There is a soul counts thee her creditor, And with advantage means to pay thy love : (13)
-the fat Ribs of Peace Muf by the bungry now be fed upon.] This Word now feems a very idle Term here, and conveys no satisfactory Idea. An Antithesis, and Opposition of Terms, so perpetual with ous Author, requires ;
Must by tbe bungry War be fed upon. War demanding a large Expence, is very poetically said to be bungry, and to prey on the Wealth and Fat of. Peace.
And, my good friend, thy voluntary oath
Lives in this bosom, dearly cherished.
Give me thy hand, I had a thing to say.
But I will fit it with some better time.
By heaven, Hubert, I'm almost asham'd
To say what good respect I have of thee.
Hub. I am much bounden to your Majesty.
K. John. Good friend, thou hast no cause to say so
But thou shalt have
time ne'er so flowy
Yet it shall come for me to do thee good.
I had a thing to say—but, let it go :.
The sun is in the heav'n, and the proud day,
Attended with the pleasures of the world,
Is all too wanton, and too full of gawds,
To give me audience. If the midnight bell (14)
Did with his iron tongue and brazen mouth
Sound one unto the drowsie race of night ;
If this fame were a church-yard' where we stand,
And thou poffeffed with a thousand wrongs s.
Or if that furly spirit Melancholy
Had bak'd thy blood and made it heavy thick,
Which else runs tickling up and down the veins,
Making that idiot laughter keep mens' eyes,
And strain their cheeks to idle merriment ;
(A paffion hateful to my purposes)
Or if that thou could'st see me without eyes;
Hear me without thine ears, and make reply:
Without a tongue, using conceit alone,
Without eyes, ears, and harmful sound of words ;
-Ifobe midnigbt Bell
Did with biš iron Tongue, and brazen Moutb,
Sound on into tbe drowzy race of Night;] I do not think, that found on gives here that Idea of Solemnity and Horror which, 'tis plain, our Poet intended to impress by this fine Description; and which my Emendation conveys. i. c. If it were the still part of the Night, or One of the Clock in the Morning, when the Sound of the Bell strikes upon the Ear with most Awe and Terror. And it is very usual with our Sbakespears in other Passages to express the Horror of a Midnight Bell.