Page images
PDF
EPUB

But since you are a gentle convertite, (24)
My tongue shall hush again this storm of war,
And make fair weather in your bluft'ring Land.
On this Afcenfion-day, remember well,
Upon your oath of fervice to the Pope,
Go I to make the French lay down their arms. [Exit.

K. John. Is this Afcenfion-day? did not the Prophet
Say, that before Afcenfion-day at noon
My Crown 'I should give off? even so I have:
I did suppose, it should be on constraint;
But, heav'n be thank'd, it is but voluntary.

Enter Faulconbridge. Faulc. All Kent hath yielded, nothing there holds out Bụt Daver-Castle : London hath receiv'd, Like a kind hoft, the Dauphin and his Powers. Your Nobles will not hear you, but are gone To offer service to your enemy; And wild amazement hurries up and down The little number of your doubtful friends.

K. John. Would not my lords return to me again, After they heard, young Arthur was alive?

Faulc. They found him dead, and cast into the streets, An empty casket, where the jewel, life, By some damn'd hand was robb'd and ta'en away, K. John. That villain Hubert told me, he did live.

Faulc. So on my soul he did, for ought he knew : But wherefore do you droop? why look you sad?

(24) But fince you are a gentle Convertite.) i. e. a Convert, (a Penitent) as we now phrase it: But in our Author's Time, Convertite was the Term in Fashion. We find him use it again more than once; In As you like it, sententious Jaques fays ;

out of these Convertites There is much Matter to be heard and learn'd. And in his Poem, callid, Tarquin and Lucrece;

He thence departs a heavy Convertite;

She there remains a hopelefs Caft-away.
And Beaumont and Fletcher in their Noble Gentleman.

Your Coufin, who is now a Convertite;
The Termination of this Word, no doubt, we form'd from the Italian
Participle, convertito: And ithe Spaniards likewise call a Convert, un Gow-
vertido.

Bc

Be great in act, as you have been in thought:
Let not the world see fear and fad distrust
Govern the motion of a kingly eye:
Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;
Threaten the threatner, and out-face the brow
Of bragging horror: fo fhall inferior eyes,
That borrow their behaviours from the Great,
Grow great by your example; and put on
The dauntless spirit of resolution.
Away, and glister like the God of war,
'When he intendeth to become the field;
Shew boldness and aspiring confidence.
What, shall they seek the Lion in his den,
And fright him there? and make him tremble. there?
Oh, let it not be said! Forage, and run
To meet displeasure farther from the doors;
And grapple with him, ere he 'come so nigh.

K. John. The Legate of the Pope hath been with me,
And I have made a happy peace with him ;
And he hath promis'd to dismiss the Powers
Led by the Dauphin.

Faulc. Oh inglorious league !
Shall we, upon the footing of our Land,
Send fair-play-orders, and make compromise,
Insinuation, parly, and base truce,
Ta arms invasive? shall a beardless bay,
A cockred, silken, Wanton brave our fields,
And flesh his fpirit in a warlike soil,
Mocking the air with Colours idely spread,
And find no check ? let us, my Liege, to arms :
Perchance, the Cardinal can't make your peace;
Or if he do, let it at least be said,
They saw, we had a purpose of defence.

K. John. Have thou the ord'ring of this present time.

Faulc. Away then, with good courage; yet, I know, Our Party may well meet a prouder foe. [Exeunt.

SCENE

SCEN E changes to the Dauphin's Camp, at

St. Edmundsbury: (25)
Enter, in arms, Lewis, Salisbury, Melun, Pembroke,

Bigot, and Soldiers.
Lewis. Y lord Melun, let this be copied out,

And keep it safe for our remembrance:
Return the president to these lords again,
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 un-urg'd faith
To your proceedings; yet believe me, Prince,
I am not glad that

such a Sore of time
Should seek a plaister by contemn'd revolt;
And heal th' invet'rate canker of one wound,
By making many. Oh, it grieves my soul,
That I must draw this metal from my side
To be a widow-maker: oh, 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 physick of our Right,

(25) at St. Edmondsbury.] I have ventur'd to fix the Place of the Scene here, which is specified by none of the Editors, on the following Authorities. In the preceding Act, where Salisbury has fix'd to go over to the Dauphin, he says,

Lords, I will meet him at St. Edmondsbury.
And Count Melun, in this last A&, says;

and many more with me,
Upon the Altar at St. Edmondsbury;
Even on that Altar, where We swore to You

Dear Amity, and everlasting Love. And it appears likewise from the Troublesom Reign of King Jobn, in two Parts, (the first rough Model of this Play) that the Interchange of Vows betwixt the Dauphin and the Englifs Barons was at St. Edmond'sbury.

We

[ocr errors]

We cannot deal but with the very hand
Of ftern injustice, and confused wrong.
And is’t not pity, oh my grieved friends!
That we, the fons and children of this ifle,
Were born to see so sad an hour as this,
Wherein we step after a stranger March (26)
Upon her gentle bosom, and fill up
Her enemies ranks? (I muft withdraw and weep (27)
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'ft remove!
That Neptune's arms, who elippeth thee about,
Would bear thee from the knowledge of thy felf,
And grapple thec unta a Pagan shore !
Where these two christian armies might combine
The blood of malice in a vein of league,
And not to spend it so un-neighbourly.

Lewis. A noble temper dost thou shew in this,
And great affection, wrestling in thy bosom, ,
Doth make an earthquake of Nobility.
Oh, what a noble combat haft thou fought,
(26) Wherein we flep after a franger, march

Upon her gentle Bofom,] Thus all the printed Copies have miftak. ingly pointed this Passage: but, with Submission to the former Editors, the Word Stranger is here an Adje&tive in its Ufage, and to be caupled to March, which is its Subitantive and no Verb. So in Richard II.

And tread the stranger Paths of Banishment. And so in his Poem, calld, Tarquin and Lucrece;

But She, that never copd with stranger Eyes. As to the Use of this Word adjectively, I have already spoke in my zd Note on Midfummer Night's Dream. (27)

I must withdraw and weep Upon the Spot, for this enforced Cause.] Thus Mr. Pope points and reads these Lines: which, if I understand the Drift

, is making Salisbury fay, I must go from this Spot, and weep upon it.

I have chose to stick to the reading of the old Copies, and to throw the Passage into Parenthesis ; This is what, I apprehend, the Poet means, Salisburg Thould fay; “ I must turn afide, and weep for this Stain, this Disgrace, of our “'Revolt; to which We have been enforced by the King's Proceedings. $o in the last Speech of Salisbury to Prince Henry the Word Spot again - used.

And the like Tender of our Love we make
To rest without a Spot for evermore.

Between

[ocr errors]

di

Between compulfion, and a brave respect!
Let me wipe off this honourable dew,
That filverly doth progress on thy cheeks.
My heart hath melced at a lady's tears,
Being an ordinary inundation:
But this effufion of such manly drops,
This show'r, blown up by tempest of the soul,
Startles mine eyes, and makes me more amaz’d,
Than had I seen the vaulty top of heav'n
Figur'd quite o'er with burning meteors.
Lift up thy brow, renowned Salisbury,
And with a great heart heaye away this storm.
Commend these waters to those baby-eyes,
That never saw the giant world enrag
Nor met with fortune, other than at feasts,
Full-warm of blood, of mirth, of gollipping.
Come, come; for thou shalt thrust thy hand as deep
Into the purse of rich prosperity,
As Lewis himself; so, Nobles, thall you all,
That knit your finews to the strength of mine.

Enter Pandulph.
And even there, methinks, an angel spake!
Look, where the holy legate comes apace,
To give us warrant from the hand of heav'n,
And on our actions set the name of Right
With holy breath.

Pand. Hail, noble Prince of France !
The next is this: King John hath reconcil'd
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 threatning Colours now wind up,
And tame the fayage spirit of wild war;
That, like a Lion Foster'd up at hand,
It may lye 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 propertied,
To be a secondary at controul;

Or

« PreviousContinue »