Enter the Bastard, attended.
Bast. According to the fair play of the world,
Let me have audience. I am sent to speak :
My holy lord of Milan, from the king
I come, to learn how you have dealt for him ;
And, as you answer, I do know the

scope And warrant limited unto my tongue.

Pand. The dauphin is too wilful opposite, And will not temporize with my entreaties; He flatly says he ʼll not lay down his arms.

Bast. By all the blood that ever fury breath’d, The youth says well :-Now hear our English king; For thus his royalty doth speak in me. He is prepar’d; and reason too, he should : This apish and unmannerly approach, This harness'd masque, and unadvised revel, This unhair'da sauciness, and boyish troops, The king doth smile at; and is well prepar'd To whip this dwarfish war, these pigmy arms, From out the circle of his territories. That hand, which had the strength, even at your door, To cudgel you, and make you take the hatch; To dive, like buckets, in concealed wells; To crouch in litter of your stable planks ; To lie, like pawns, lock'd up in chests and trunks; To hug with swine; to seek sweet safety out In vaults and prisons; and to thrill, and shake, Even at the crying of your nation's crow, Thinking this voice an armed Englishman ;Shall that victorious hand be feebled here, That in your chambers gave you chastisement ? No: Know, the gallant monarch is in arms; And like an eagle o'er his aiery towers, To souse annoyance that comes near his nest.And you degenerate, you ingrate revolts, You bloody Neros, ripping up the womb Of your dear mother England, blush for shame:

A Unhaird-unbearded.

For your own ladies, and pale-visag'd maids,
Like Amazons, come tripping after drums;
Their thimbles into armed gauntlets change,
Their neelds to lances, and their gentle hearts
To fierce and bloody inclination.

Lew. There end thy brave,a and turn thy face in peace ;
We grant thou canst outscold us : fare thee well;
We hold our time too precious to be spent
With such a brabbler.

Give me leave to speak.
Bast. No, I will speak.

We will attend to neither :-
Strike up the drums; and let the tongue of war
Plead for our interest, and our being here.

Bast. Indeed, your drums, being beaten, will cry out;
And so shall you, being beaten : Do but start
An echo with the clamour of thy drum,
And even at hand a drum is ready brac'd,
That shall reverberate all as loud as thine;
Sound but another, and another shall,
As loud as thine, rattle the welkin's car,
And mock the deep-mouth'd thunder: for at hand
(Not trusting to this halting legate here,
Whom he hath us'd rather for sport than need)
Is warlike John; and in his forehead sits
A bare-ribb’d death, whose office is this day
To feast upon whole thousands of the French.

Lew. Strike up our drums, to find this danger out.
Bast. And thou shalt find it, dauphin, do not doubt.


SCENE III.-The same.

A Field of Battle.


Enter KING John and HUBERT.

K. John. How goes the day with us? O, tell me, Hubert. Hub. Badly, I fear : How fares your majesty ?

a Brave-bravado.

K. John. This fever, that hath troubled me so long, Lies heavy on me ; 0, my heart is sick !

Enter a Messenger.
Mess. My lord, your valiant kinsman, Faulconbridge,
Desires your majesty to leave the field,
And send him word by me which way you go.

K. John. Tell him, toward Swinstead, to the abbey there.

Mess. Be of good comfort ; for the great supply,
That was expected by the dauphin here,
Are wrack'd three nights ago on Goodwin sands.
This news was brought to Richard but even now :
The French fight coldly, and retire themselves.

K. John. Ah me! this tyrant fever burns me up,
And will not let me welcome this good news.
Set on toward Swinstead : to my litter straight;?
Weakness possesseth me, and I am faint.


SCENE IV:--The same.

Another part of the same.

Enter SALISBURY, PEMBROKE, BIGOT, and others. Sal. I did not think the king so stor'd with friends.

Pem. Up once again ; put spirit in the French : If they miscarry, we miscarry too.

Sal. That misbegotten devil, Faulconbridge, In spite of spite, alone upholds the day.

Pem. They say, king John, sore sick, hath left the field.

Enter MELUN, wounded, and led by Soldiers.
Mel. Lead me to the revolts of England here.
Sal. When we were happy we had other names.
Pem. It is the count Melun.

Wounded to death.
Mel. Fly, noble English, you are bought and sold;
Unthread the rude eye a of rebellion,

a Unthread the rude eye. Theobald corrupted this passage into “untread the rude way;" he turned, by an easy process, the poetry into prose. Malone, who agrees in the restoration of the passage, says Shakspere “ was evidently thinking of the eye of a needle," and he calls this, therefore, an humble metaphor. Nothing, it

And welcome home again discarded faith.
Seek out king John, and fall before his feet;
For, if the French be lords of this loud day,
He means to recompense the pains you take
By cutting off your heads: Thus hath he sworn,
And I with him, and

many more with me,
Upon the altar at Saint Edmund's-Bury;
Even on that altar where we swore to you
Dear amity and everlasting love.

Sal. May this be possible? may this be true?

Mel. Have I not hideous death within my view,
Retaining but a quantity of life
Which bleeds away, even as a form of wax
Resolveth from his figure 'gainst the fire ?
What in the world should make me now deceive,
Since I must lose the use of all deceit?
Why should I then be false; since it is true
That I must die here, and live hence by truth?
I say again, if Lewis do win the day,
He is forsworn if c'er those cyes of yours
Behold another day break in the cast :
But even this night,--whose black contagious breath
Already smokes about the burning crest
Of the old, feeble, and day-wearied sun,
Even this ill night, your breathing shall expire ;
Paying the fine of rated treachery,
Even with a treacherous fine of all your lives,
If Lewis by your assistance win the day.
Commend me to one Hubert, with your king;
The love of him,—and this respect besides,
For that my grandsire was an Englishman,
Awakes my conscience to confess all this.
appears to us, is humble in poetry that conveys an image forcibly and distinctly;
and “the eye of a needle” by the application of the poet may become dignified.
But the word thread, perhaps metaphorically, is used to convey the meaning of
passing through anything intricate, narrow, difficult.

“ They would not thread the gates,"
in ‘Coriolanus,' and

“ One gains the thickets and one thrids the brake,” in Dryden, have each the same meaning. The “rude eye” in the line before us is the rough and dangerous passage of " rebellion."

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In lieu whereof, I pray you, bear me hence
From forth the noise and rumour of the field ;
Where I may think the remnant of my thoughts
In peace, and part this body and my soul
With contemplation and devout desires.

Sal. We do believe thee,----And beshrew my soul
But I do love the favour and the form
Of this most fair occasion, by the which
We will untread the steps of damned flight;
And, like a bated and retired flood,
Leaving our rankness and irregular course,
Stoop low within those bounds we have o'crlook'd,
And calmly run on in obedience,
Even to our ocean, to our great king John.
My arm shall give thee help to bear thee hence;
For I do see the cruel pangs of death
Right in thine eye.—Away, my friends! New flight;
And happy newness, that intends old right.

[Exeunt, leading off MELUN.

SCENE V.- The same.

The French Camp.

Enter LEWIS and his Train.

Lew. The sun of heaven, methought, was loth to set, But stay’d, and made the western welkin blush, When the English measur'da backward their own ground, In faint retire: 0, bravely came we off When with a volley of our needless shot, After such bloody toil, we bid good night; And wound our tottering colours clearly up, Last in the field, and almost lords of it!

Enter a Messenger. Mess. Where is my prince, the dauphin? Lew.

Here What news?

a The original has measure, and omits the article before English.

b Tottering. Steevens reads tatter d—Malone tattering. The original tottering was the same as tattering, of which Capell gives an example in his “School of Shakspeare,' p. 54. But tottering, in our present meaning of unsteady, may be received without difficulty.

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