Bast. With-hold thine indignation, mighty heauen, And tempt vs not to beare aboue our power. Ile tell thee Hubert, halfe my power this night Passing these Flats, are taken by the Tide, These Lincolne-Washes haue deuoured them, My selfe, well mounted, hardly haue escap'd. Away before: Conduct me to the king, I doubt he will be dead, or ere I come.

Exeunt.

Scena Septima.

Enter Prince Henry, Salisburie, and Bigot.

Hen. It is too late, the life of all his blood Is touch'd, corruptibly: and his pure braine (Which some suppose the soules fraile dwelling house) Doth by the idle Comments that it makes, Fore-tell the ending of mortality. Enter Pembroke.

Pem. His Highnesse yet doth speak, & holds beleefe, That being brought into the open ayre, It would allay the burning qualitie Of that fell poison which assayleth him

Hen. Let him be brought into the Orchard heere: Doth he still rage? Pem. He is more patient Then when you left him; euen now he sung

Hen. Oh vanity of sicknesse: fierce extreames In their continuance, will not feele themselues. Death hauing praide vpon the outward parts Leaues them inuisible, and his seige is now Against the winde, the which he prickes and wounds With many legions of strange fantasies, Which in their throng, and presse to that last hold, Counfound themselues. 'Tis strange y death shold sing: I am the Symet to this pale faint Swan, Who chaunts a dolefull hymne to his owne death, And from the organ-pipe of frailety sings His soule and body to their lasting rest

Sal. Be of good comfort (Prince) for you are borne To set a forme vpon that indigest Which he hath left so shapelesse, and so rude.

Iohn brought in.

Iohn. I marrie, now my soule hath elbow roome, It would not out at windowes, nor at doores, There is so hot a summer in my bosome, That all my bowels crumble vp to dust: I am a scribled forme drawne with a pen Vpon a Parchment, and against this fire Do I shrinke vp

Hen. How fares your Maiesty? Ioh. Poyson'd, ill fare: dead, forsooke, cast off, And none of you will bid the winter come To thrust his ycie fingers in my maw; Nor let my kingdomes Riuers take their course Through my burn'd bosome: nor intreat the North To make his bleake windes kisse my parched lips, And comfort me with cold. I do not aske you much, I begge cold comfort: and you are so straight And so ingratefull, you deny me that

Hen. Oh that there were some vertue in my teares, That might releeue you

Iohn. The salt in them is hot. Within me is a hell, and there the poyson Is, as a fiend, confin'd to tyrannize, On vnrepreeuable condemned blood. Enter Bastard.

Bast. Oh, I am scalded with my violent motion And spleene of speede, to see your Maiesty

Iohn. Oh Cozen, thou art come to set mine eye: The tackle of my heart, is crack'd and burnt, And all the shrowds wherewith my life should saile, Are turned to one thred, one little haire: My heart hath one poore string to stay it by, Which holds but till thy newes be vttered, And then all this thou seest, is but a clod, And module of confounded royalty

Bast. The Dolphin is preparing hither-ward, Where heauen he knowes how we shall answer him. For in a night the best part of my powre, As I vpon aduantage did remoue, Were in the Washes all vnwarily, Deuoured by the vnexpected flood

Sal. You breath these dead newes in as dead an eare My Liege, my Lord: but now a King, now thus

The life and death of King John Page 34

William Shakespeare Plays

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