صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

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 shew.

Lewis. Your grace shall pardon me, I will not back:
I am too high-born to be property'd,
To be a secondary at controul,
Or useful ferving-man, and instrument,
To any sovereign state throughout the world.
Your breath first kindled the dead coal of war,
Between this chastis'd 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 enterprize into my heart;
And come ye now to tell me, John hath made
His peace with Rome? What is that peace to me?
I, by the honour of my marriage-bed,
After young Arthur, claim this land for mine; ·
And now it is half-conquer'd muft I back,
Because that John hath made his peace with Rome?
Ain 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,
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 bank'd their towns 3?
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.

3 as I have bank'd their towns?) Bank'd their towns means, thrown up fortifications, or rather entrenchments, before their towns. STEEVENS. .

Lewis. Outside or inside, I will not return
Till my attempt so much be glorify’d,
As to my ample hope was promised,
Before I drew this gallant 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.

[Trumpet sounds. What lufty trumpet thus doth summon us?

Enter Faulconbridge.
Fanlc. According to the fair play of the world,
Let me have audience. I am fent 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.

Fault. By all the blood that ever fury breath’d, The youth says well. Now hear our English king; For thus his royalty doth speak in me. He is prepar'd; and reason too he should : This apish and unmannerly approach, This harness'd masque, and unadvised revel, 4 This unhair'd sawciness, and boyish troops, The king doch smile at; and is well prepar’d To whip this dwarfish war, these pigmy arins,

4 This unheard fawciness, and borish troops,] Thus the printed copies in general; but unheard is an epithet of very little force or meaning here ; besides, let us observe how it is coupled. Faulconbridge is sneering at the dauphin's invasion, as an unadvised enterprize, favouring of youth and indiscretion; the result of childishness, and unthinking rashness : and he seems altogether to dwell on this charačier of it, by calling his preparation boyish troops, dworfilh var, pirmy arms, &c. which, according to my emendation, fort very well with ur hair'd, i.e. unbearded fawciness. THEOPALD.

G2

From

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 5 ;
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 airy towers,
To souse the annoyance that comes near his nest.
And you degenerate, you ingrate revolts,
You bloody Nero's, 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 needles to lances, and their gentle hearts
To fierce and bloody inclination.
Lewis. There end thy brave, and turn thy face in

peace;
We grant, thou canst out-scold us : fare thee well;
We hold our time too precious to be spent
With such a brabler.

Pand. Give me leave to speak.
Faulo. No, I will speak."

Levis. We will attend to neither.
Strike up the drums; and let the tongue of war
Plead for our interest, and our being here.
Faulc. Indeed, your drums, being beaten, will cry

out;

s haich.

take the hatch ; ] To take the batch, is to leap the To take a hedge or a diich is the hunter's phrase.

STEEVENS,

And

And so fhall 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
(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.

Lewis. Strike up our drums, to find this danger out. Faulc. And thou shalt find it, dauphin, do not doubt.

[Exeunt.

SCENE III.

Changes to a field of battle.
Alarms. Enter king John and Hubert.
K. John. How goes the day with us? oh, 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. Oh, my heart is sick!

Enter a messenger. Mes. My lord, your valiant kinsman, Faulcon

bridge, Desires your majesty to leave the field, i And send him word by me which way you go. K. John. Tell him, toward Swinstead, to the abbey

there. Mes. 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 thenselves. GS

K. John.

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 strait; Weakness poffeffeth me, and I am faint, Exeunt.

SCENE IV.

Changes to the French camp. Enter Salisvury, Pembroke, and Bigot. Sal. I did not think the king so stor’d with friends,

Pemb. Up once again ; put spirit in the French : If they miscarry, we miscarry too.

Sol. That mii-begotten devil, Faulconbridge, In spight of spight, alone upholds the day. Pemb. They say, king John, fore sick, hath left the

field.

Enten Melun wounded, and led by soldiers.
Melun. Lead me to the revolts of England here.
Sal. When we were happy we had other names,
Pemb. It is the count Melun,
Scl. Wounded to death.

Mel. Fly, noble Englih, you are bought and sold;
2 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,

? Unthread the rude eye of rebellion,] Though all the copies concur in this reading, how poor is the metaphor of unthreading the eye of a needle? And besides, as there is no mention made of a needle, how remote and obscure is the allusion without it? The text, as I have restored it, is easy and natural; and it is the mode of exprcfiion, which our author is every where fond of, to iread and untread, the way, path, fteps, &c.

THEOBALD. The metaphor is certainly harsh, but I do not think the passage corrupted. JOHNSON. . . Shakespeare elsewhere uses the same expresion, threading dark ey'd night. STEEVENS,

He

« السابقةمتابعة »