Sidor som bilder

King John.



GOOD den*, sir Richard,—God-a-mercy, fellow ;-
And if his name be George, I'll call him Peter:
For new-made honour doth forget men's names;
"Tis too respective†, and too sociable,

For your conversion t. Now your traveller,-
He and his tooth-pick at my worship's mess;
And when my knightly stomach is suffic'd,
Why then I suck my teeth, and catechise
My picked man of countries §:- -My dear sir,
(Thus, leaning on mine elbow, I begin,)
I shall beseech you That is question now;
And then comes answer like an ABC-book ||:—
O sir, says answer, at your best command;

At your employment; at your service, sir :
No, sir, says question, I, sweet sir, at yours:

And so, ere answer knows what question would, (Saving in dialogue of compliment;

And talking of the Alps, and Appenines,
The Pyrenean, and the river Po,)

It draws toward supper in conclusion so.
But this is worshipful society,

And fits the mounting spirit, like myself:
For he is but a bastard to the time,

That doth not smack of observation.

* Good evening.

Change of condition.

+ Respectable.

My travelled fop.



THAT pale, that white-fac'd shore,

Whose foot spurns back the ocean's roaring tides,
And coops from other lands her islanders,
Even till that England, hedg'd in with the main,
That water-walled bulwark, still secure,
And confident from foreign purposes,
Even till that utmost corner of the west
Salute thee for her king.


His marches are expedient* to this town, His forces strong, his soldiers confident. With him along is come the mother-queen, An Atét, stirring him to blood and strife; With her her niece, the lady Blanch of Spain; With them a bastard of the king deceas'd: And all the unsettled humours of the land,— Rash, inconsiderate, fiery voluntaries, With ladies' faces, and fierce dragons' spleens,— Have sold their fortunes at their native homes, Bearing their birthrights proudly on their backs, To make a hazard of new fortunes here. In brief, a braver choice of dauntless spirits, Than now the English bottoms have waft o'er, Did never float upon the swelling tide, To do offence and scath† in Christendom. The interruption of their churlish drums Cuts off more circumstance: they are at hand.'


By how much unexpected, by so much We must awake endeavour for defence; For courage mounteth with occasion.

* Immediate, expeditious. + The Goddess of Revenge. + Mischief.


What cracker is this same, that deafs our ears With this abundance of superfluous breath?


You men of Angiers, open wide your gates, And let young Arthur, duke of Bretagne, in; Who, by the hand of France, this day hath made Much work for tears in many an English mother, Whose sons lie scatter'd on the bleeding ground: Many a widow's husband groveling lies, Coldly embracing the discolour'd earth; And victory, with little loss, doth play Upon the dancing banners of the French; Who are at hand, triumphantly display'd, To enter conquerors.


Rejoice, you men of Angiers, ring your bells; King John, your king and England's, doth approach, Commander of this hot malicious day!

Their armours, that march'd hence so silver bright,
Hither return all gilt with Frenchmen's blood;
There stuck no plume in any English crest,
That is removed by a staff of France;

Our colours do return in those same hands

That did display them when we first march'd forth;
And, like a jolly troop of huntsmen, come
Our lusty English, all with purpled hands,
Died in the dying slaughter of their foes.


If lusty love should go in quest of beauty, Where should he find it fairer than in Blanch? If zealous love should go in search of virtue, Where should he find it purer than in Blanch? If love ambitious sought a match of birth, Whose veins bound richer blood than lady Blanch?

* Pious.

[merged small][graphic]

Mad world! mad kings! mad composition!
John, to stop Arthur's title to the whole,
Hath willingly departed with a part:

And France (whose armour conscience buckled on;
Whom zeal and charity brought to the field,
As God's own soldier), rounded* in the ear
With that same purpose-changer, that sly devil;
That broker, that still breaks the pate of faith;
That daily break-vow; he that wins of all,
Of kings, of beggars, old men, young men, maids
Who having no external thing to lose
But the word maid,-cheats the poor maid of that;
That smooth-faced gentleman, tickling commodi-
Commodity, the bias of the world;

The world, who of itself is peised ‡ well,
Made to run even, upon even ground;
Till this advantage, this vile drawing bias,
This sway of motion, this commodity,
Makes it take head from all indifferency,
From all direction, purpose, course, intent:
And this same bias, &c.

* Conspired.

+ Interest.

Poised, balanced.

[ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »