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Which, 8 in their throng and press to that last hold,
Sal. Be of good comfort, prince ; for you are born
King John brought in. K. John. 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.
Hen. How fares your majesty ?
K. John. Poison'd! ill fare! dead, forsook, cast off! 9 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 intreat 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.
Hen. Oh, that there were some virtue in my tears, That might relieve you!
K. Yobn. The salt of them is hot.
8 – in their throng and press-] In their tumult and hurry of resorting to the last tenable part. Johnson.
9 This scene has been imitated by Beaumont and Fletcher ip The Wife for a Month, act 4. STEEVENS.
! I am scalde your majesty:o fet mine eye.
Enter Faulconbridge. Faulc. Oh! I am scalded with my violent motion, And spleen of speed to see your majesty. .
K. John. Oh! cousin, thou art come to set mine eye. The tackle of my heart is crack'd and burnt; And all the shrowds, wherewith my life should fail, 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 feeft, is but a clod, And module of confounded royalty.
Faulc. 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 food. [The king dies.
Sal. You breathe these dead news in as dead an ear. My liege ! my lord ! — but now a king now
Faulc. Art thou gone so? I do but stay behind,
Sal. It seems you know not then so much as we:
to this arcanefs happily: ble prince,
As we with honour and respect may take,
Faulc. He will the rather do it, when he sees
Sal. Nay, it is in a manner done already;
Faulc. Let it be fo: and you, my noble prince,
Hen. At Worcester must his body be interr'd.
Faulc. Thither shall it then.
Sal. And the like tender of our love we make,
Hen. I have a kind soul, that would give you thanks, And knows not how to do it, but with tears.
Faulc. Oh, let us pay the time but needful woe, Since it hath been before-hand with our griefs. This England never did, nor never shall, Lye 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. (Exeunt omnes.
THE tragedy of King John, though not written with the utmost power of Shakespeare, 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. There is extant another play of King John, published in 1611. Shakespeare has preserved the greatest part of the conduct of it. as well as a number of the lines. Some of these I have pointed out in the notes, and some I have omitted as undeserving notice. What most inclines me to believe it was the work of some cotemporary writer, is the number of quotations from Horace, and other scraps of learning scattered over it. There is likewise a quantity of rhiming Latin, and ballad-metre, in a scene where the Bastard is represented as plundering a monastery ; and some ftrokes of humour, which seem, from their particular turn, to have been most evidently produced by another hand than that of Shakespeare.
Of this play there is said to have been an edition in 1591 for Sampson Clarke, but I have never seen it; and the copy in 1611, which is the oldest I could find, was printed for John Helme, whose name appears before no other of the plays of Shakespeare. I admitted this play some years ago as Shakespeare's own among the twenty which I published from the old editions ; but a more careful perusal of it, and a further conviction of our poet's custom of borrowing plots, sentiments, 6c, disposes me to recede from that opinion. STEEVEN 5.