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And send him word by me which way you go,
K. Jahn. Tell him, tow'rd Swinfiead, to the Abbey
Mes. Be of good Comfort: for the great fupply,
That was expected by the Dauphin here,
Are wreck'd three nights ago on Godwin-lands.
This news was brought to Richard but ev'n now;
The French fight coldly, and retire themselves.
K. Jobr. Ah me! this tyrant feaver burns me up,
And will not let me welcome this good news.
Set on tow'rd Swinstead; to my Litter ftrait;
Weakness poffefseth me, and I am faint. [Exeunt.
SCENE changes to the French Camp.
Enter Salisbury, Pembroke and Bigot.
Sal. Did not think the King fo ftor'd with friends.
If they miscarry, we miscarry too.
Sal. That mil-begotten devil, Faulconbridge.
In spight of spight, alone upholds the day.
Pemb. They say, King John, sore sick, hath left the field.
Enter Melun, wounded.
Melun. Lead me to the Revolts of England here.
Sal. When we were happy, we had other names.
Pemb. It is the Count Melun.
Sal. Wounded to death.
Melun. Fly, noble English, you are bought and fold;
Untread the rude way of Rebellion, (21)
And welcome home again discarded faith.
Seek out King Jobn, and fall before his feet :
For if the French be lords of this loud day,
He means to recompence the pains you take,
(21) Unthread tbe rude Eye of Rebellion.] Tho' all the copies concur in this Reading, how poor is the Metaphor of unibreading the Eye of a Needle? And, besides, as there is no Mention made of a Needle, how remote and obscure is the Allusion without it? The Text, as I have restor'd it, is easy and natural ; and it is the mode of Expression, which our Au. thor is every where fond of, to tread and unread, the Way, Parb, Steps, &c.
By cutting off your heads; thus hath he sworn,
And I with him, and many more with me,
Upon the altar at St. Edmondsbury ;
Ev'n on that altar, where we swore to you
Dear amity and everlasting love.
Sal. May this be poflible! may this be true!
Melun. Have I not hideous death within
Retaining but a quantity of life,
Which bleeds away, ev'n as a form of wax
Resolveth from its figure 'gainft the fire ?
What in the world ňould
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 muft 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 ev'n this night, whose black contagious breath
Already smoaks about the burning crest
Of the old, feeble, and day-wearied sun,
Ev'n this ill night, your breathing shall expire;
Paying the fine of rated treachery,
Ev'n with a treacherous fine of all your lives,
If Lewis by your affiftance win the day.
Commend me to one Hubert, with your King ;
The love of him, and this respect besides,
(For that my grandfire 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
and part this body and
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,
Scoop low within those bounds, we have o'er-look'd;
And calmly run on in obedience
Ev'n 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 changes to a different part of the French
Camp. Enter Lewis, and his Train. Lewis. HE sun of heav'n, methought, was loth to
But staid, and made the western welkin blush;
When th’ English measur'd backward their own ground
In faint retire : oh, bravely came we off,
When with a volley of our needless shot,
After such bloody toil, we bid good night;
And wound our tatter'd colours clearly up,
Laft in the field, and almost lords of it!
Enter a Messenger.
Mef. Where is my prince, the Dauphin?
Lewis. Here; what news?
Mes. The count Melun is sain ; the English lords
By his perswafion are again fall n off;
And your supply, which you have wish'd fo long,
Are cast away, and funk on Godwin sands.
Lewis Ah foul, shrewd, news! Beshrew thy very heart,
I did not think to be fad 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 ?
Mej. Who ever fpoke it, it is true,a my lord.
Lewis. Well; keep good quarter, and good care to
The day shall not be up so soon as I,
To try the fair adventure of to morrow.
SCENE, an open Place in the Neighbourhood of
Euter Faulconbridge, and Hubert, feverally.
7HO's there? speak, ho! speak quickly, or
Faulc. A friend. What art thou?
Hub. Of the part of England.
Faulc. And whither dost thou go ?
Hub. What's that to thee ?
Why may not I demand of thine affairs,
As well as thou of mine?
Faulo. Hubert, I think.
Hub. Thou hast a perfect thought :
all hazards well believe
Thou art my friend, that know'st my tongue fo'well :
Who art thou ?
Faulc. Who thou wilt; and, if thou please,
Thou may'it be-friend me so much, as to think,
I come one way of the Plantagenets.
Hub. Unkind remembrance ! thou and eyeless night (22)
Have done me shame ; brave foldier, pardon me,
That any accent, breaking from thy tongue,
Should 'scape the true acquaintance of mine ear.
Faulc. Come,come; sans compliment, what news abroad i
Hub. Why here walk I, in the black brow of night, To find you out
Faulc. Brief then : and what's the news?
Hub. O my sweet Sir, news fitting to the night ;
Black, fearful, comfortless, and horrible.
Faulc. Shew me the very wound of this ill news,
I am no woman, I'll not fwoon at it.
(22) Unkind Remembrance ; tbou and endless Night
Have done me shame :---] Why, endless Night? Hubert means no more, than that the Dulness of his Recollection, and the Darkness of the Night, had disgraced him in his not knowing Faulconbridge by the Tone of his Voice. Our Author certainly wrote, eye-less. Mr. Warburton likewise concurr'd in starting this Emendation,
Hub. The King, I fear, is poison'd by a Monk :
I left him almost speechless, and broke out
T' 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.
Fault. How did he take it? who did tafte to him?
Hub. A monk, I tell you; a resolved villain,
Whose bowels suddenly burst out ; the King,
Yet speaks ; and, peradventure, may recover.
Faulc. 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 requel the King hath pardon à them,
And they are all about his Majesty.
Faul. With-hold thine indignation, mighty heav'n!
And tempt us not to bear above our power.
I'll tell thee, Hubert, half my pow'rs this night,
Pabling 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 e'er I come. (Exeunt.
SCENE changes to the Orchard in Swinstead Abbey.
Enter Prince Henry, Salisbury and Bigof. Henry. I mis
too later the life of all his blood
Is touch'd corruptibly; and his pure brain, (Which, some sappose, the foul's frail dwelling house,) Doth, by the idle comments that it makes, Foretel the ending of mortality.
Enter Pembroke. Pemb. 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 affaileth him.
Henry. Let him be brought into the orchard here; Doth he still rage ?