Page images
PDF
EPUB

That, having our fair order written down,
Both they, and we, perusing o'er these notes,
May know wherefore, we took the sacrament,
And keep our faiths firm and inviolable.

Sal. Upon our sides it never shall be broken.
And, noble dauphin, albeit we swear.
A voluntary zeal, and unurg'd faith
To your proceedings; yet, believe me, prince,
I am not glad that such a sore of time
Should seek a plaster by contemn'd revolt,
And heal the inveterate canker of one wound,
By making many: O, it grieves my soul,
That I must draw this metal from my side
To be a widow-maker; O, and there,
Where honourable rescue, and defence,
Cries out upon the name of Salisbury:
But such is the infection of the time,
That, for the health and physic of our right
We cannot deal but with the very hand
Of stern injustice and confused wrong.-
And is't not pity, O my grieved friends!
That we, the sons and children of this isle,
Were born to see so sad an hour as this:
Wherein we step after a stranger march
Upon her gentle bosom, and fill up

Her enemies' ranks (I must withdraw and weep I, by the honour of my marriage-bed,

Upon the spot of this enforced cause),

To grace the gentry of a land remote,
And follow unacquainted colours here?

What, here?-O nation, that thou could'st remove!
That Neptune's arms, who clippeth thee about,
Would bear thee from the knowledge of thyself,
And grapple thee unto a Pagan shore;
Where these two Christian armies might combine And such as to my claim are liable,
The blood of malice in a vein of league,
And not to spend it so unneighbourly!

Lew. A noble temper dost thou show in this;
And great affections, wrestling in thy bosom.
Do make an earthquake of nobility.

O, what a noble combat hast thou fought,
Between compulsion and a brave respect!
Let me wipe off this honourable dew,
That silverly doth progress on thy cheeks;
My heart hath melted at a lady's tears,

P

[ocr errors]

Pand. Hail, noble prince of France!
The next is this,-king John hath reconcil'j
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 threat'ning colours now wind up,
And tame the savage spirit of wild war;
That, like a lion foster'd up at hand,

It may lie gently at the foot of peace,
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,
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 chástis'd kingdom and myseif,
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 enterprize into my heart;
And come you now to tell me, John hath made
His peace with Rome? What is that peace to me?

And even there, methinks, an angel spake :
Look, where the holy legate comes apace,
So give us warrant from the hand of heaven;
And on our actions set the name of right,
With holy breath.

After young Arthur, claim this land for mine;
And, now it is half-conquer'd, must I back,
Because that Johu 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,
That undergo this charge? who else but I,

ng an ordinary inundation;
But this e..usion of suc' manly arops,
This shower, blown up by tempests of the soul,
Startles mine eyes, and makes me more amaz'd
Than had I seen the vaulty top of heaven
Figur'd quite o'er with burning meteors.
Lift up thy brow, renowned Salisbury,
And with a great heart heave away this storm:
Commend these waters to those baby eyes,
That never saw the giant-world enrag'd;
Nor met with fortune other than at feasts,
Full warm of blood, of mirth, of gossiping.
Come, come; for thou shalt thrust thy hand as deep And warrant limited unto my tongue.
Into the purse of rich prosperity,
As Lewis himself:-so, nobles, shall you all,
That knit your sinews to the strength of mine.
Enter Pandulph, attended.

I come, to learn how you have dealt for him;
And, as you answer, I do know the scope

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 breath'd,
The youth says well:-Now hear our English
For thus his royalty doth speak in me. [king;
He is prepard and, reason too, he should:
This apish and unmannerly approach,
This harness'd masque, and unadvised revel,

Sweat in this business, and maintain this war?
Have not I heard these islanders shout out,
Vive le roy! as I have bank'd their towns?
Have I not here the best cards for the game,
To win this easy match, play'd for a crown?
And shall I now give o'er the yielded set?
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,
Bore I drew this galant head of war,
And cull'd these fiery spirits from the world,
To outlook conquest, and to win renown
Even in the jaws of danger and of death.— Strumpet
What lusty trumpet thus doth summon us? sounds.
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

[door,

This unhair'd sauciness, and boyish troops,
The king doth smile at; and is well prepar'd
To whip this dwarfish war, these pigmy arms,
From out the circle of his territories.
That hand, which had the strength, even at your
To cudgel you, and make you take the hatch;
To dive, like buckets, in concealed wells;
To crouch in litter of your stable planks;
To lie, like pawns, lock'd 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,
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 aiery towers,

To souse annoyance, that comes near his nest.
And you degenerate, you ingrate revolts,
You bloody Neroes, ripping up the womb
Of your dear mother England, blush for shame:
For your own ladies, and pale-visag'd 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.

[peace;

Lew. There end thy brave, and turn thy face in
We grant, thou can'st outscold us: fare thee well;
We hold our time too precious to be spent
With such a brabbler.

Pand. Give me leave to speak.

Bast. No, I will speak.

Lew. We will attend to neither :

out.

Bast. And thou shalt find it, dauphin, do not [exeunt.

doubt.

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.

Lies heavy on me; O, my heart is sick!
Enter a Messenger.

Hub. Badly, I fear: How fares your majesty? K. John. This fever that hath troubled me so long,

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 Upon the altar at St. Edmund's-bury ;

cry out;

Even on that altar, where we swore to you
Dear amity and everlasting love.

And so, shall you, being beaten: Do but start
An echo with the clamour of thy drum,
And even at hand a drum is ready brac'd,
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-mouth'd thunder: for at hand What in the world should make me now deceive,

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
Resolveth from his figure 'gainst the fire?

(Not trusting to this halting legate here,
Whom he hath us'd rather for sport than need),
Is warlike John; and in his forehead sits
A bare-ribb'd death, whose office is this day
To feast upon whole thousands of the French.
Lew. Strike up our drums, to find this danger

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: [breath
But even this night,-whose black contagious
Already smokes above 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.

K. John. Tell him, toward Swinstead, to the
abbey 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 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. [ereunt.

SCENE IV. THE SAME. ANOTHER PART OF THE

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.

FIELD.

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.

[sold;

Mel. Fly, noble English, you are bought and
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,

sans compliment, wha'

Bast. Come, come;
news abroad?
Hub. Why, here walk I, in the black brow of
To find you out.
[night

Bast. Brief, then; and what's the news?
Hub. O, my sweet sir, news fitting to the night,
Black, fearful, comfortless, and horrible.

Bast. Show me the very wound of this ill news;
I am no woman, I'll not swoon at it.

Hub. The king, I fear, is poison'd by a monk ;
I left him almost speechless, and broke out
To 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.

Bast. How did he take it? who did taste to him?
Hub. A monk, I tell you; a resolved villain,

Lew. The sun of heaven, methought, was loath Whose bowels suddenly burst out: the king
Yet speaks, and, peradventure, may recover.
Bast. Who didst thou leave to tend his majesty?
Hub. Why, know you not? the lords are all
come back,

And brought prince Henry in their company;
At whose request the king hath pardon'd them,
And they are all about his majesty.

[ven,

Bast. Withhold thine indignation, mighty hea
And tempt us not to bear above our power!
I'll tell thee, Hubert, half my power this night,
Passing these flats, are taken by the tide,
These Lincoln washes have devour'd them;
Myself, well-mounted, hardly have escaped.
Away, before! conduct me to the king;
I doubt he will be dead, or ere I come.
SCENE VII. THE ORCHARD OF SWINSTEAD-ABBEY.

[exeunt.

Enter Prince Henry, Salisbury, and Bigot.
P. Hen. It is too late; the life of all his blood
Is touch'd corruptibly; and his pure brain
(Which some suppose the soul's frail dwelling-
house),

Doth, by the idle comments that it makes,
Foretell the ending of mortality.
Enter Pembroke.

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

[flight;

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
And happy newness, that intends old right.
[exeunt, leading off Melun.

SCENE V. THE SAME. THE FRENCH CAMP.
Enter Lewis and his Train.

to set;

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

In faint retire: O, 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,
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 fall'n off:
And your supply, which you have wish'd so long
Are cast away, and sunk, un Goodwin sands.
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.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Re-enter Bigot and Attendants, who bring in King
John in a chair.

K. Jolin. Ay, marry, now my soul hath elbow

room;

It would not out at windows, nor at doors,
There is so hot a summer in my bosom,
That all my bowels crumble up to dust:
I am a scribbled form, drawn with a pen
Upon a parchment; and against this fire
Do I shrink up.

P. Hen. How fares your majesty;

K. John. Poison'd,-Ill fare!-dead, forsook, The dauphin rages at our very heels.

cast off;

And none of you will bid the winter come,
To thrust his icy fingers in my maw;
Nor let my kingdom's rivers take their course
Through my burn'd bosom; nor entreat the north
To make his bleak winds kiss my parched lips,
And comfort me with cold:-I do not ask you
much,

I beg cold comfort; and you are so strait,
And so ungrateful, you deny me that.

P. Hen. O, that there were some virtue in my That might relieve you!

[tears,

K. John. 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:

[sail,

The tackle of my heart is crack'd and burn'd;
And all the shrouds, wherewith my life should
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

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,
As it on earth hath been thy servant still.
Now, now, you stars, that move in your right
spheres,

Where be your powers? Show now your mended
And instantly return with me again, [faiths;
To push destruction, and perpetual shame,
Out of the weak door of our fainting land:
Straight let us seek, or straight we shall be sought;

an ear.

My liege! my lord!-But now a king,-now thus.
P. Hen. Even so must I run on, and even so
stop.
What surety of the world, what hope, what stay,
When this was now a king, and now is clay'

2

Sal. It seems, you know not then so much ag
The cardinal Pandulph is within at rest,
[we:
Who half an hour since came from the dauphin;
And brings from him such offers of our peace
As we with honour and respect may take,
With purpose presently to leave this war.

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; For many carriages he hath despatch'd

To the sea-side, and put his cause and quarrel
To the disposing of the cardinal:

With whom yourself, myself, and other lords,
If
you think meet, this afternoon will post
To consummate this business happily.

Bast. Let it be so:-And you, my noble prince,
With other princes that may best be spar'd
Shall wait upon your father's funeral.

P. Hen. At Worcester must his body be inter.
For so he will'd it.

[redi

Bast. Thither shall it then,

275

And happily may your sweet self put on
The lineal state and glory of the land!
To whom, with all submission, on my knee,
I do bequeath my faithful services
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 won,
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 u

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

Oberon, King of the Fairies,
Titania, Queen of the Fairies.
Puck, or Robin-Goodfellow, a Fairy.
Peas-blossom,"
Cobweb,

Fairies.

Moth,

Mustard-seed,
Pyramus,
Thisbe,
Wall,
Moonshine,
Lion,

SCENE, Athens, and a Wood not far from it.

ACT I.

Hippolyta, I wood thee with my sword,
And won thy love, doing thee injuries;
But I will wed thee in another key,
With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling.
Enter Egeus, Hermia, Lysander, and Demetrius.
Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke!
The. Thanks, good Egeus; what's the news
with thee?

Ege. Full of vexation come I, with complaint
Against my child, my daughter Hermia.
S and forth, Demetrius ;-my noble lord, -

Characters in the Interlude, performed by the Clowns,

SCENE I. ATHENS. A ROOM IN THE PALACE OF
THESEUS.

This man hath my consent to marry her :-
Stand forth, Lysander,-and, my gracious duke,

Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Philostrate, and Atten- This hath bewitch'd the bosom of my child: dants.

The. Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour
Draws on apace; four happy days bring in
Another moon; but, oh, methinks, how slow
This old moon wanes! she lingers my desires,
Like to a step-dame, or a dowager,
Long withering out a young man's revenue.
Hip. Four days will quickly steep themselves
in nights;

Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes,
And interchang'd love-tokens with my child;
Thou hast by moon-light at her window sung,
With feigning voice, verses of feigning love;
And stolen the impression of her fantasy
With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gauds, conceits,
Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats, messen-

Four nights will quickly dream away the time;
And then the moon, like to a silver bow
Now bent in heaven, shall behold the night
Of our solemnities.

The. Go, Philostrate,

Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments;
Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth;
Turn melancholy forth to funerals,
The pale companion is not for our pomp..
[erit Phil.

Other Fairies attending their King and Queen.
Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyte.

gers

Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth: With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's heart;

Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me,
To stubborn harshness:-and, my gracious duke,
Be it so she will not here before your grace
Consent to marry with Demetrius,
I beg the ancient privilege of Athens;
As she is mine, I may dispose of her:
Which shall be either to this gentleman,
Or to her death, according to our law,
Immediately provided in that case.

The. What say you, Hermia? be advis'd, faix
maid:

To you your father should be as a god;
One that compos'd your beauties; yea, and one
To whom you are but as a form in wax,
By him imprinted, and within his power
To leave the figure, or disfigure it.
Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.
Her. So is Lysander.
The. In himself he is.

« PreviousContinue »