« ÎnapoiContinuați »
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 reconciled
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 threatening colors now wind up,
And tame the savage spirit of wild war;
That, like a lion fostered up at hand,
It may lie gently at the foot of
And be no further harmful than in show.
Lew. Your grace shall pardon me, I will not back; I am too high-born to be propertied,1
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 chástised 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 enterprise into my heart;
And come you now to tell me, John hath made
His peace with Rome? What is that peace to me?
I, by the honor of my marriage-bed,
After young Arthur, claim this land for mine;
And, now it is half conquered, 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,
2 This was the phraseology of the time :
"He hath more worthy interest to the state,
Than thou the shadow of succession."
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 banked their towns?1
Have I not here the best cards for the game
To win this easy match played for a crown?
And shall I now give o'er the yielded set?
No, no, on my soul, it never shall be said.
Pand. You look but on the outside of this work.
Lew. Outside or inside, I will not return
Till my attempt so much be glorified
As to my ample hope was promised
Before I drew this gallant head of war,2
And culled these fiery spirits from the world,
To outlook conquest, and to win renown
Even in the jaws of danger and of death.—
What lusty trumpet thus doth summon us?
Enter the Bastard, attended.
Bast. According to the fair play of the world,
Let me have audience; I am sent to speak.-
My holy lord of Milan, from the king
I come to learn how you have dealt for him;
And, as you answer, I do know the scope
And warrant limited unto my tongue.
Pand. The dauphin is too wilful-opposite,
And will not temporize with my entreaties;
He flatly says, he'll not lay down his arms.
Bast. By all the blood that ever fury breathed, The youth says well.-Now hear our English king; For thus his royalty doth speak in me.
He is prepared; and reason too, he should.
This apish and unmannerly approach,
1 Banked is supposed by some to mean the throwing up of intrenchments, and by others, traversing the river banks.
21. e. assembled it, drew it out of the field.
3 Face down, bear down by a show of magnanimity.
This harnessed mask, and unadvised revel,
This unhaired sauciness, and boyish troops,
The king doth smile at; and is well prepared
To whip this dwarfish war, these pygmy arms,
From out the circle of his territories.
That hand, which had the strength, even at your door,
To cudgel you, and make you take the hatch;2
To dive, like buckets, in concealed wells;
To crouch in litter of your stable planks;
To lie, like pawns, locked up in chests and trunks ;
To hug with swine; to seek sweet safety out
In vaults and prisons; and to thrill, and shake,
Even at the crying of your nation's crow,3
Thinking his voice an armed Englishman ;-
Shall that victorious hand be feebled here,
That in your chambers gave you chastisement?
No;-know, the gallant monarch is in arms;
And like an eagle o'er his eyry towers,
To souse annoyance that comes near his nest.-
And you degenerate, you ingrate revolts,
You bloody Neroes, ripping up the wound
Of your dear mother England, blush for shame;
For your own ladies, and pale-visaged maids,
Like Amazons, come tripping after drums;
Their thimbles into armed gauntlets change,
Their neelds to lances, and their gentle hearts
To fierce and bloody inclination.
Lew. There end thy brave, and turn thy face in
We grant, thou canst outscold us; fare thee well;
We hold our time too precious to be spent
With such a brabbler.
Give me leave to speak.
1 The old copies read unheard. The emendation is Theobald's. It should be remarked that hair was often spelled hear.
2 To take, for to leap. Hunters still say to take a hedge or gate, meaning to leap over them. Baret has "to take horse, to leap on horseback."
3 i. e. the crowing of a cock; Gallus being both a cock and a French
Bast. No, I will speak.
Lew. We will attend to neither.
Strike up the drums; and let the tongue of war
Plead for our interest, and our being here.
Bast. Indeed, your drums, being beaten, will cry out;
And so shall you, being beaten. Do but start
An echo with the clamor of thy drum,
And even at hand a drum is ready braced,
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-mouthed thunder; for at hand
(Not trusting to this halting legate here,
Whom he hath used rather for sport than need)
Is warlike John; and in his forehead sits
A bare-ribbed death, whose office is this day
To feast upon whole thousands of the French.
Lew. Strike up our drums, to find this danger out. Bast. And thou shalt find it, dauphin, do not doubt. [Exeunt. 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 long, Lies heavy on me. O, my heart is sick!
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. My lord, your valiant kinsman, Faulconbridge, 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,'
1 Supply is here used as a noun of multitude, as it is again in Scene V. 44
That was expected by the dauphin here,
Are wrecked three nights ago on Goodwin Sands.
This news was brought to Richard' but even now.
The French fight coldly, and retire themselves.
K. John. Ah 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.
SCENE IV. The same. Another part of the same.
Enter SALISBURY, PEMBROKE, BIGOT, and others.
Sal. I did not think the king so stored with friends. Pem. Up once again; put spirit in the French; If they miscarry, we miscarry too.
Sal. That misbegotten devil, Faulconbridge, In spite of spite, alone upholds the day.
Pem. They say, king John, sore sick, hath left the field.
Enter MELUN, wounded, and led by Soldiers. Mel. Lead me to the revolts of England here. Sal. When we were happy, we had other names. Pem. It is the count Melun.
Wounded to death.
Mel. Fly, noble English; you are bought and sold; Unthread the rude eye of rebellion, And welcome home again discarded faith. Seek out king John, and fall before his feet; For, if the French be lords of this loud day, He2 means to recompense the pains you take, By cutting off your heads. Thus hath he sworn, And I with him, and many more with me, Upon the altar of Saint Edmund's Bury ;
1 The king had not long since called him by his original name of Philip, but the messenger could not take the same liberty.
2 The Frenchman, i. e. Lewis, means, &c.