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Even on that altar, where we swore to you
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 ? 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 EnglishmanAwakes my conscience to confess all this. In lieu whereof, I pray you, bear me hence From forth the noise and rumor of the field ; Where I may think the remnant of my thoughts In peace, and part this body and
soul With contemplation and devout desires.
Sal. We do believe thee,—and beshrew my soul But I do love the favor 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,
1 i. e. dissolveth. 2 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.
Stoop low within those bounds we have o'erlooked,
[Exeunt, leading off Melun.
SCENE V. The same.
The French Camp.
Enter Lewis and his Train.
Enter a Messenger.
Here :-What news?
2 Innovation. 3 Tottering colors is the reading of the old copy, which was altered to tattered by Johnson, who is followed by the subsequent editors. To totter, in old language, was to waver, to shake with a tremulous motion, as colors would do in the wind. “To tottre (says Baret), nutare, vacillare, see shake and wagge."
Mess. Whoever spoke it, it is true, my lord.
SCENE VI. An open Place in the Neighborhood of
Enter the Bastard and Hubert, meeting.
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.
Thou hast a perfect? thought!
Who thou wilt: an if thou please,
Hub. Unkind remembrance! thou and eyeless night3
abroad? Hub. Why, here walk I, in the black brow of night, To find you out. . Bast.
Brief, then ; and what's the news? Hub. O, my sweet sir, news fitting to the night, Black, fearful, comfortless, and horrible.
1 i. e. keep in your allotted posts or stations. 2 i. e. a well-informed one. 3 The old copy reads “ endless night.” The emendation was made by Theobald.
Bast. Show me the very wound of this ill news;
Hub. The king, I fear, is poisoned by a monk."
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, Whose bowels suddenly burst out.
The king Yet speaks, and, peradventure, may recover.
Bast. Who didst thou leave to lend his majesty ?
Bast. Withhold thine indignation, mighty Heaven,
SCENE VII. The Orchard of Swinstead Abbey.
Enter PRINCE HENRY, SALISBURY, and Bigot.
P. Hen. It is too late ; the life of all his blood Is touched corruptibly; and his pure brain (Which some suppose the soul's frail dwelling-house)
1 Not one of the historians who wrote within sixty years of the event, mentions this improbable story. The tale is, that a monk, to revenge himself on the king for a saying at which he took offence, poisoned a cup of ale, and having brought it to his majesty, drank some of it himself, to induce the king to taste it, and soon afterwards expired. Thomas Wylkes is the first who mentions it in his Chronicle as a report. According to the best accounts, John died at Newark, of a fever.
2 i. e. less speedily, after some delay.
Doth, by the idle comments that it makes,
P. Hen. Let him be brought into the orchard here. Doth he still rage?
[Exit Bigot. Pem.
He is more patient
P. Hen. O vanity of sickness ! fierce extremes,
Sal. Be of good comfort, prince; for you are born
JOHN in a chair. 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.
Continuance here means continuity. Bacon uses it in that sense also. 2 The old copy reads invisible. Sir T. Hanmer proposed the reading admitted into the text.