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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: 0, my heart is sick!

Enter a Messenger. Mess. My lord, your valiant kinsman, Faulcon

bridge, 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 ab

bey there. Mess. Be of good comfort; for the great supply', That was expected by the Dauphin here, Are wreck'd 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. [Exeunt.

1 Supply is here used as a noun of multitude, as it is again in Scene v. p. 428.

2 The king had not long since called him by his original name of Philip, but the messenger could not take the same liberty.

SCENE IV. The same. Another Part of the same. Enter SALISBURY, PEMBROKE, BIGOT, and

Others. Sal. I did not think the king so stor’d 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.
Sal.

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,
He? 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 at Saint Edmund's Bury;
Even on that altar, where we swore to you
Dear amity and everlasting love.

Sal. May this be possible ? may this be true?

Mel. Have I not hideous death within my view, Retaining but a quantity of life; Which bleeds away, even as a form of wax

| A proverbial expression intimating treachery. See King Henry VI. Part 1. Act iv. Sc. 4.

2 The Frenchman, i. e. Lewis means, &c.

Resolveth 3 from his figure 'gainst the fire ?
What in the world should 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 must 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 even this night,-whose black contagious breath
Already smokes about the burning crest
Of the old, feeble, and day-wearied sun,--
Even this ill night, your breathing shall expire;
Paying the fine of rated treachery,
Even with a treacherous fine of all

your

lives, If Lewis by your assistance win the day. Commend me to one Hubert, with your king; The love of him,--and this respect besides, For that my grandsire 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 In peace,

and part this body and my soul 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, 3 i. e. dissolveth. So in Hamlet:

« Thaw and resolve itself into a dew.' Again in Baret's Alvearie, 1575, T. 120, ‘to thaw or resolve that which is frosen.'

4 Rankness, as applied to a river, here signifies exuberant, ready to overflow; as applied to the actions of the speaker and his party it signifies wanton wildness. Petulantia.

* Rain added to a river that is rank
Perforce will force it overflow the bank.'

Stoop low within those bounds we have o'erlook'd,
And calmly run on in obedience,
Even 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 V.

The same.

The French Camp. Enter Lewis and his Train. Lew. The sun of heaven, methought, was loath

to set; But stay'd, and made the western welkin blush, When the English measur'd backward their own

ground,
In faint retire: 0, bravely came we off,
When with a volley of our needless shot,
After such bloody toil, we bid good night;
And wound our tottring 2 colours clearly up,
Last in the field, and almost lords of it!

Enter a Messenger.
Mess. Where is my prince, the Dauphin?
Lew.

Here:

-What news? Mess. The Count Melun is slain; the English lords, By his persuasion, are again fallen off : And your supply, which you have wish'd so long, Are cast away, and sunk, on Goodwin Sands. 5 Immediate.

6 Innovation. | Tottring colours is the reading of the old copy, which was unnecessarily altered to tatter'd by Johnson, who is followed by the subsequent editors. To totter, in old language, was to waver, to shake with a tremulous motion, as colours would do in the wind. It is obvious that tatter'd cannot be the right word, for how could their tatter'd colours be clearly wound up? (says Baret), nutare, vaccilare, see shake and wagge.'

The colours were waving in the wind during the battle, and were wound up at the close of it.

( to tottre

Lew. Ah, foul shrewd news!-Beshrew thy very

heart!
I did not think to be so sad 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?

Mess. Whoever spoke it, it is true, my lord.
Lew. Well; keep good quarter, and good care

to-night; The day shall not be up so soon as I, To try the fair adventure of to-morrow. [Exeunt.

SCENE VI. An open Place in the neighbourhood of Swinstead

Abbey.
Enter the Bastard and HUBERT, meeting.
Hub. Who's there? speak, ho! speak quickly, or

I shoot.
Bast. A friend :- What art thou ?
Hub.

Of the part of England. Bast. Whither dost thou go?

Hub. What's that to thee? Why may not I demand Of thine affairs, as well as thou of mine?

Bast. Hubert, I think.
Hub.

Thou hast a perfect thought:
I will, upon all hazards, well believe,
Thou art my friend, that know’st my tongue so well:
Who art thou ?

Bast. Who thou wilt: an if thou please, Thou may’st befriend me so much, as to think I come one way of the Plantagenets.

2 i. e. keep in your allotted posts or stations.
Ti. ea well informed one. So in Cymbeline.

I am perfect
That the Pannonians, &c.'

6

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