That sways the earth this climate overlooks,
Before we will lay down our just-borne arms,
We'll put thee down, 'gainst whom these arms we bear,
Or add a royal number to the dead;
Gracing the scroll, that tells of this war's loss,
With slaughter coupled to the name of kings.

Bast. Ha, majesty! how high thy glory towers,
When the rich blood of kings is set on fire!
O, now doth death line his dead chaps with steel ;
The swords of soldiers are his teeth, his fangs;
And now he feasts, mousing a the flesh of men,
In undetermin’d differences of kings.
Why stand these royal fronts amazed thus?
Cry, havoc, kings ! back to the stained field,
You equal potents, fiery-kindled spirits !
Then let confusion of one part confirm
The other's peace; till then, blows, blood, and death!

K. John. Whose party do the townsmen yet admit?
K. Phi. Speak, citizens, for England; who's your king?
Hubert. The king of England, when we know the king.
K. Phi. Know him in us, that here hold up his right.

K. John. In us, that are our own great deputy,
And bear possession of our person here;
Lord of our presence, Angiers, and of you.

Hubert. A greater power than we denies all this;
And, till it be undoubted, we do lock
Our former scruple in our strong-barr’dl gates,
Kings, of our fear;” until our fears, resolv'd,
Be by some certain king purg'd and depos’d.


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Mousing. This figurative and characteristic expression in the original was rendered by Pope into the prosaic mouthing, which has ever since usurped its place. We restore the reading.

b Kings, of our fear. The change of this passage is amongst the most remarkable of the examples which this play furnishes of the unsatisfactory nature of conjectural emendation. Warburton and Johnson, disregarding the original, say, Kings are our fears.” Malone adopts Tyrwhitt's conjecture—“King’d of our fears; '—and so the passage runs in all modern editions. If the safe rule of endeavouring to understand the existing text, in preference to guessing what the author ou have written, had been adopted in this and hundreds of other cases, we should have been spared volumes of commentary. The two kings peremptorily demand the


Bast. By heaven, these scroyles of Angiers flout you,

And stand securely on their battlements,
As in a theatre, whence they gape and point

your industrious scenes and acts of death. Your royal presences be rul’d by me; Do like the mutines of Jerusalem," Be friends a while, and both conjointly bend Your sharpest deeds of malice on this town: By east and west let France and England mount Their battering cannon charged to the mouths; Till their soul-fearing clamours have brawl'd down citizens of Angiers to acknowledge the respective rights of each, England for himself, France for Arthur. The citizens, by the mouth of Hubert, answer,

“ A greater power than we denies all this." Their quarrel is uudecided—the arbitrement of Heaven is wanting.

“ And, till it be undoubted, we do lock

Our former scruple in our strong-barr'd gates,

Kings, of our fear;"'on account of our fear, or through our fear, or by our fear, we hold our former scruple, kings,

“ until our fears, resolv’d, Be by some certain king purg'd and depos’d.” Through and by had the same meaning, for examples of which see Tooke's · Diversions of Purley' (vol. i. p. 379); and so had by and of~as, “ he was tempted of the devil," in our translation of the Bible; and as in Gower --

“ But that arte couth thei not fynde

Of which Ulisses was deceived." a Scroyles; from Les Escrouelles, the king's evil.

b Soul-fearing. To fear is often used by the old writers in the sense of to make afraid. Thus, in Sir Thomas Elyot’s ‘Governor,' “ the good husband" setteth up “shailes to fear away birds." In North’s ‘Plutarch,' Pyrrhus, “thinking to fear"? Fabricius, suddenly produces an elephant. Shakspere has several examples: An. tony says,

“ Thou canst not fear us, Pompey, with thy sails." Angelo, in ‘ Measure for Measure,' would not

“ Make a scarecrow of the law,

Setting it up to fear the birds of prey." But this active sense of the verb fear is not its exclusive meaning in Shakspere; and in ‘The Taming of the Shrew ’he exhibits its common use as well in the neuter as in the active acceptation :

Pet. Now, for my life, Hortensio fears his widow.

Wid. Then never trust me if I be afeard.
Pet. You are very sensible, and yet you miss my sense :

I meant Hortensio is aseard of you."

The flinty ribs of this contemptuous city :
I'd play incessantly upon these jades,
Even till unfenced desolation
Leave them as naked as the vulgar air.
That done, dissever your united strengths,
And part your mingled colours once again;
Turn face to face, and bloody point to point :
Then, in a moment, fortune shall cull forth
Out of one side her happy minion;
To whom in favour she shall give the day,
And kiss him with a glorious victory.
How like you this wild counsel, mighty states ?
Smacks it not something of the policy?

K. John. Now, by the sky that hangs above our heads,
I like it well ;--France, shall we knit our powers,
And lay this Angiers even with the ground;
Then, after, fight who shall be king of it?

Bast. An if thou hast the mettle of a king,
Being wrong’d, as we are, by this peevish town,
Turn thou the mouth of thy artillery,
As we will ours, against these saucy walls :
And when that we have dash'd them to the ground,
Why, then defy each other: and, pell-mell,
Make work upon ourselves, for heaven, or hell.

K. Phi. Let it be so :-Say, where will you assault?

K. John. We from the west will send destruction
Into this city's bosom.

Aust. I from the north.
K. Phi.

Our thunder from the south,
Shall rain their drift of bullets on this town.

Bast. O prudent discipline! From north to south; Austria and France shoot in each other's mouth ; [Aside. I'll stir them to it :-Come, away, away!

Hubert. Hear us, great kings: vouchsafe a while to stay, And I shall show you peace, and fair-fac'd league ; Win you this city without stroke or wound; Rescue those breathing lives to die in beds, That here come sacrifices for the field: Persever not, but hear me, mighty kings.

K. John. Speak on, with favour; we are bent to hear.

Hubert. That daughter there of Spain, the lady Blanch,
Is near to England ; Look upon the years
Of Lewis the Dauphin, and that lovely maid:
If lusty love should go in quest of beauty,
Where should he find it fairer than in Blanch?
If zealous love should go in scarch 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?
Such as she is, in beauty, virtue, birth,
Is the young Dauphin every way complete;
If not complete of, a say, he is not she;
And she again wants nothing, to name want,
If want it be not, that she is not he:
He is the half part of a blessed man,
Left to be finished by such a she;
And she a fair divided excellence,
Whose fulness of perfection lies in him.
0, two such silver currents, when they join,
Do glorify the banks that bound them in :
And two such shores to two such streams made one,
Two such controlling bounds shall you be, kings,
To these two princes, if you marry them.
This union shall do more than battery can,
To our fast-closed gates; for, at this match,
With swifter spleen than powder can enforce,
The mouth of passage shall we fling wide ope,
And give you entrance; but, without this match,
The sca enraged is not half so deaf,
Lions more confident, mountains and rocks
More free from motion, no, not death himself
In mortal fury half so peremptory,
As we to keep this city.


Complete of. So the original. Haniner changed this reading to,

“ If not complete, O say, he is not she," which is to substitute the language of the eighteenth century for that of the sixteenth.

b A. The original reads as-evidently a misprint.

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Here's a stay,
That shakes the rotten carcase of old death
Out of his rags! Here 's a large mouth, indeed,
That spits forth death, and mountains, rocks, and seas :
Talks as familiarly of roaring lions,
As maids of thirteen do of puppy-dogs!
What cannoneer begot this lusty blood ?
He speaks plain cannon, fire, and smoke, and bounce;
He gives the bastinado with his tongue;
Our ears are cudgell'd; not a word of his,
But buffets better than a fist of France :
Zounds! I was never so bethump'd with words,
Since I first callid my brother's father, dad.

Eli. Son, list to this conjunction, make this match;
Give with our niece a dowry large enough:
For by this knot thou shalt so surely tie
Thy now unsur'd assurance to the crown,
That yon green boy shall have no sun to ripe
The bloom that promiseth a mighty fruit.
I see a yielding in the looks of France;
Mark, how they whisper: urge them, while their souls
Are capable of this ambition ;
Lest zeal, now melted, by the windy breath
Of soft petitions, pity, and remorse,
Cool and congeal again to what it was.

à Here's a stay. This little word has produced large criticism. Johnson would read flaw; another emendator, Becket, would give us say. Malone and Steevens have two pages to prove, what requires no proof, that stay means interruption.

b Zeal, now melted. There is great confusion in what the commentators say on this image. Johnson thinks Shakspere means to represent zeal, in its highest degree, as congealed by a frost; Steevens thinks “ the poet means to compare zeal to metal in a state of fusion, and not to dissolving ice ;" Malone affirms that “Shakspere does not say that zeal, when congealed, exerts its utmost power; but, on the contrary, that when it is congealed or frozen it ceases to exert itself at all.” All this discordance appears to us to be produced by not limiting the image by the poet's own words. The “ zeal” of the King of France and of Lewis is “now melted”whether that melting represent metal in a state of fusion, or dissolving ice: it has lost its compactness, its cohesion; but

“ the windy breath

Of soft petitions,”– the pleading of Constance and Arthur,-the pity and remorse of Philip for their lot, -may “cool and congeal” it “ again to what it was;”—may make it again solid and entire.

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