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K. John. Poison'd,-ill-fare ;-dead, forsook, cast off:
And none of you will bid the winter come,
P. Hen. O, that there were some virtue in my tears,
That might relieve you!
The salt in them is hot.Within me is a hell; and there the poison Is, as a fiend, confin'd to tyrannize On unreprievable condemned blood.
Enter the Bastard.
Bast. O, I am scalded with my violent motion, And spleen of speed to see your majesty.
K. John. O cousin, thou art come to set mine eye: The tackle of my heart is crack'd and burn'd, And all the shrouds, wherewith my life should sail, Are turned to one thread, one little hair : My heart hath one poor string to stay it by, Which holds but till thy news be uttered; And then all this thou see'st, is but a clod, And module † of confounded royalty.
Bast. The dauphin is preparing hitherward; Where, heaven he knows, how we shall answer him: For, in a night, the best part of my power, As I upon advantage did remove, Were in the washes, all unwarily, Devoured by the unexpected flood. [The King dies. Sal. You breathe these dead news in as dead an
My liege my lord !-But now a king,-now thus. P. Hen. Even so must I run on, and even so stop.
* Narrow, avaricious.
What surety of the world, what hope, what stay, When this was now a king, and now is clay!
Bast. Art thou gone so? I do but stay behind, To do the office for thee of revenge;
And then my soul shall wait on thee to heaven,
Where be your powers? Show now your mended faiths;
And instantly return with me again,
Sal. It seems, you know not then so much as we:
Bast. He will the rather do it, when he sees Ourselves well sinewed to our defence.
Sal. Nay, it is in a manner done already;
With whom yourself, myself, and other lords,
Bust. Let it be so :-And you, my noble prince,
P. Hen. At Worcester must his body be interr'd; For so he will'd it.
Thither shall it then.
And true subjection everlastingly.
Sal. And the like tender of our love we make, To rest without a spot for evermore.
P. Hen. I have a kind soul, that would give you thanks,
And knows not how to do it, but with tears.
Bast. O, let us pay the time but needful woe, Since it hath been beforehand with our griefs.This England never did, (nor never shall,) Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror, But when it first did help to wound itself. Now these her princes are come home again, Come the three corners of the world in arms, And we shall shock them: Nought shall make us
rue, If England to itself do rest but true.
The tragedy of King John, though not written with the utmost power of Shakspeare, is varied with a very pleasing interchange of incidents and characters. The lady's grief is very affecting; and the character of the Bastard contains that mixture of greatness and levity, which this author delighted to exhibit. JOHNSON.
END OF VOL. IV.