Sidor som bilder

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.

P. Hen.

How fares your majesty?

K. John. Poison'd, -ill fare;-dead, forsook,

cast off;

And none of you will bid the winter come,
To thrust his icy fingers in my maw5;

Nor let my kingdom's rivers take their course
Through my burn'd bosom; nor entreat the north
To make his bleak winds kiss my parched lips,
And comfort me with cold:-I do not ask you

I beg cold comfort: and you are so straits,
And so ingrateful, you deny me that.

P. Hen. O, that there were some virtue in my


That might relieve you!

K. John.

The salt in them is hot.— Within me is a hell; and there the poison Is, as a fiend, confin'd to tyrannize On unreprievable condemned blood.

This scene has been imitated by Beaumont and Fletcher, in A Wife for a Month, Act iv. Decker, in the Gull's Hornbook, has the same thought the morning waxing cold thrust his frosty fingers into thy bosome.' Perhaps Shakspeare was acquainted with the following passages in two of Marlowe's plays, which must both have been written previous to King John, for Marlowe died in 1593:

'O I am dull, and the cold hand of sleep
Hath thrust his icy fingers in my breast,
And made a frost within me.-Lust's Dominion.
'O poor Zabina, O my queen, my queen,
Fetch me some water for my burning breast,
To cool and comfort me with longer date

Tamburlaine, 1591.

The corresponding passage in the old play runs thus:—

Philip, some drink. O for the frozen Alps
To tumble on, and cool this inward heat
That rageth as a furnace seven-fold.`

Narrow, avaricious.

Enter the Bastard.

Bast. 0, I am scalded with my violent motion, And spleen of speed to see your majesty.

K. John. O, cousin, thou art come to set mine eye:

The tackle of my heart is crack'd and burn'd;
And all the shrouds, wherewith my life should sail,
Are turned to one thread, one little hair:
My heart hath one poor string to stay it by,
Which holds but till thy news be uttered:
And then all this thou seest, is but a clod,
And module of confounded royalty.

Bast. The Dauphin is preparing hitherward:
Where, heaven he knows, how we shall answer him:
For, in a night, the best part of my power,
As I upon advantage did remove,

Were in the washes, all unwarily,

Devoured by the unexpected floods. [The King dies. Sal. You breathe these dead news in as dead an


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,

Module and model were only different modes of spelling the same word. Model signified not an archetype, after which some thing was to be formed, but the thing formed after an archetype, a copy. Bullokar, in his Expositor, 1616, explains 'model, the platform, or form of any thing.'

8 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.

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
Ourselves well sinewed to our defence.
Sal. Nay, it is in a manner done already;
For many carriages he hath despatch'd
To the seaside, and put his cause and quarrel
To the disposing of the cardinal:

With whom yourself, myself, and other lords,
If you think meet, this afternoon will post
To cónsummate this business happily.

Bast. Let it be so:-And you, my noble prince, With other princes that may best be spared, Shall wait upon your father's funeral.

P. Hen. At Worcester must his body be interr'do; For so he will'd it.


Thither shall it then.
And happily may your sweet self put on
The lineal state and glory of the land!
To whom, with all submission, on my knee,
I do bequeath my faithful services

And true subjection everlastingly.

Sal. And the like tender of our love we make, To rest without a spot for evermore.

P. Hen. I have a kind soul, that would give you


And knows not how to do it, but with tears.

9 In crastino S Lucac Johannes Rex Angliae in castro de Newark obiit, et sepultus est in ecclesia Wigorniensi inter corpora S. Oswaldi et sancti [Woltsani] Chronic. sive Annal. Prioratus de Dunstable, edit. a T. Hearne, t. i. p. 173. A stone coffiu, containing the body of King John, was discovered in the cathedral church of Worcester, July 17, 1797.

Bast. 0, let us pay the time but needful woe,
Since it hath been beforehand with our griefs 10..
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 home 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 truell. [Exeunt.

10 As previously we have found sufficient cause for lamentation, let us not waste the time in superfluous sorrow.'

11 This sentiment may have been borrowed from one of the following passages in the old play :

'Let England live but true within herself,

And all the world can never wrong her state.'

Again at the conclusion:

'If England's peers and people join in one

Nor Pope, nor France, nor Spain can do them wrong.' Shakspeare has used it again in King Henry VI. Part III:— of itself

England is safe, if true within itself.'

Such was also the opinion of the celebrated Duke de Rohan :'L'Angleterre est un grand animal qui ne peut jamais mourir, s'il ne se tue lui-même.' The sentiment has been traced still higher :

'O Britaine bloud, mark this at my desire-
If that you sticke together as you ought

This lyttle yle may set the world at nought.'

A Discourse of Rebellion, by T. Churchyard, 1570, 120. Andrew Borde, in his 'Boke of the Introduction of Knowledge, printed in the reign of Henry VIII. says of the English, if they were true wythin themselves they nede not to feare although al nacions were set against them.'

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.



« FöregåendeFortsätt »