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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. Bast.' Withhold thine indignation, mighty
heaven, 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 devoured them; Myself, well-mounted, hardly have escap'd, Away, before! conduct me to the king; I doubt, he will be dead, or ere I come. [Exeunt.
The Orchard of Swinstead-Abbey.
P. Hen. It is too late; the life of all his blood
brain (Which some suppose the soul's frail dwelling-house,) Doth, by the idle comments that it makes, Foretell the ending of mortality.
Doth he still rage?
[Exit Bigot, Pem.
He is more patient
P. Hen. O vanity of sickness! fierce extremes,
'Tis strange, that death should sing I am the cygnet to this pale faint swan, Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death; And, from the organ-pipe of frailty, sings His soul and body to their lasting rest.
Sal. Be of good comfort, prince; for you are
To set a form upon that indigest
Re-enter Bigot and Attendants, who bring in King
John in a Chair.
P. Hen. How fares your majesty?
Through my burn'd bosom; nor. entreat the north
The salt in them is hot.
Bast. O, I am scalded with my violent motion,
Bast. The Dauphin is preparing hitherward;
[The King dies.
so strait,] i. e. narrow, avaricious; an unusual sense of the word.
6 And module of confounded royalty.) i.e. model.
? Were in the washes, all unwarily, &c.] This. untoward accident really happened to King John himself. As he passed from Lynn to Lincolnshire, he lost by an inundation all his treasure, carriages, baggage, and regalia.
Sal. You breathe these dead news in as dead 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!
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
faiths; And instantly return with me again, 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; The Dauphin rages at our very heels.
Sal. It seems, you know not then so much as we: The cardinal Pandulph is within at rest, 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
Sal. Nay, it is in a manner done already;
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 interrd;
Thither shall it then.
Sal. And the like tender of our love we make,
thanks, And knows not how to do it, but with tears.
Bast. O, let us pay the time but needful woe, 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 hoine 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.
• At Worcester must his body be interr’d;] A store coffin, containing the body of King John, was discovered in the cathedral church of Worcester, July 17, 1797. STEEVENS.
9 The tragedy of King John, though not written with the utmost power of Shakspeare, 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.