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91.--THE DEATH OF JOHN. SHARspERE,

SCENE I-An open Place in the Neighbourhood of Swinstead Abbey.
Enter the Bastard and Hubert meeting.

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Jsub. Of the part of England.
Bast. Whither dost thou go?
Hub What's that to thee!

Why may I not demand of thine affairs,
As well as thou of mine !
Bast. Hubert, I think.
Hub. Thou hast a perfect thought:
I will, upon all hazards, well believe
Thou art my friend, that know'st my tongue so well:
Who art thou?
Bast. Who thou wilt: an if thou please,
Thou mayst befriend me so much as to think
I come one way of the Plantagenets.
Hub. Unkind remembrance thou, and endless night,
Have done me shame:—Brave soldier, pardon me,
That any accent, breaking from thy tongue,
Should 'scape the true acquaintance of mine ear.
Bast. Come, come ; sans compliment, what news abroad 1
Hub. Why, here walk I, in the black brow of night,
To find you out.
Bast. Brief, then ; and what's the news 7
Hub. O, my sweet sir, news fitting to the night,
Black, fearful, comfortless, and horrible.
Bast. Show me the very wound of this ill news;
I am no woman, I’ll not swoon at it.
Hub. The king, I fear, is poison'd by a monk:
I left him almost speechless, and broke out
To acquaint you with this evil; that you might
The better arm you to the sudden time,’
Than if you had at leisure known of this.
Bast. How did he take it? who did taste to him?
Hub. A monk, I tell you; a resolved villain,
Whose bowels suddenly burst out: the king
Yet speaks, and, peradventure, may recover.
Bast. Who didst thou leave to tend his majesty
Hub. Why, know you not the lords are all come back,
And brought prince Henry in their company;
At whose request the king hath pardon'd them,
And they are all about his majesty.
Bast. Withhold thine indignation, mighty heaven,
And tempt us not to bear above our power!
I'll tell thee, Hubert, half my power this night,
Passing these flats, are taken by the tide,

These Lincoln washes have devoured them ;
Myself, well mounted, hardly have escap'd.
Away, before conduct me to the king;
I doubt he will be dead, or e'er I come. [Ereunt.

ScENE II.-The Orchard of Swinstead Abbey.
Enter Prince Henry, Salisbury, and Bigot.
P. Hen. It is too late ; the life of all his blood
Is touch'd corruptibly; and his pure brain
(Which some suppose the soul's frail dwelling-house)
Doth, by the idle comments that it makes,
Foretell the ending of mortality.

Enter Pembroke.

Pem. His highness yet doth speak; and holds belief, That being brought into the open air It would allay the burning quality Of that fell poison which assaileth him. P. Hen. Let him be brought into the orchard here.— Doth he still rage 7 - Erit Bigot. Pem. He is more patient Than when you left him; even now he sung. P. Hen. O vanity of sickness fierce extremes, In their continuance, will not feel themselves. Death, having prey'd upon the outward parts, Leaves them invisible; and his siege is now Against the mind, the which he pricks and wounds With many legions of strange fantasies; Which, in their throng and press to that last hold, Confound themselves. T is strange, that death should sing, I am the cygnet to this pale faint swan, Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death; And, from the organ-pipe of frailty, sings His soul and body to their lasting rest. Sal. Be of good comfort, prince ; for you are born To set a form upon that indigest Which he hath left so shapeless and so rude.

Re-enter Bigot and Attendants, who bring in King John in a Chair.

K. John. Ay, marry, now my soul hath elbow-room;
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 maw;
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 much,
I beg cold comfort; and you are so straight,
And so ingrateful, you deny me that.
P. Hen. O, that there were some virtue in my tears,
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.
Enter the Bastard.
Bast. O, 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 mine heart is crack'd and burnt
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 flood.
Sal. You breathe these dead news in as dead an ear—
My liege my lord 1–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,
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. o

Sal. Nay, it is in a manner done already;
For many carriages he hath despatch'd
To the sea-side, 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 consummate this business happily.
Bast. Let it be so:—And you, my noble prince,
With other princes that may best be spard,
Shall wait upon your father's funeral.
P. Hen. At Worcester must his body be interr'd;
For so he will'd it.
Bast. 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 thanks,
And knows not how to do it, but with tears.
Bast. O, let us pay the time but needful woe,
Since it hath been beforehand with our griefs.-
This England never did, nor never shall,
Lie at the proud feet 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 true. [Ereunt.

92.--THE ANNALS OF HENRY III.

From the “Penny Cyclopaedia."

Henry III, surnamed of Winchester, from the place of his birth, was the eldest son of king John, by his queen Isabella of Angoulême, and was born 1st October, 1206. His father having died 18th October, 1216, the boy was chiefly through the influence of the earl of Pembroke, lord marshal, acknowledged heir to the throne by those of the barons who were opposed to the French party; and on the 28th he was solemnly crowned in the abbey-church of St. Peter, at Gloucester, by the papal legate Gualo. His reign is reckoned from that day.

On the 11th November following, at a great council held at Bristol, Pembroke was appointed protector or governor of the king and kingdom (Rector Regis et Regni); and this able and excellent nobleman continued at the head of affairs till his death in May, 1219; long before which event the dauphin Louis and the French had been compelled to quit the country, their evacuation having been finally arranged in a conference held at Kingston 11th September, 1217. After the death of Pembroke the administration of the government fell into the hands of Hubert de Burgh, who had greatly distinguished himself in the expulsion of the foreigners, and Peter des Roches, bishop of Winchester. De Burgh however and the bishop, who was

not an Englishman, but a native of Poitou, from coadjutors soon became rivals, and their attempts to throw each other down at length led, in 1224, to the resignation of Des Roches and his retirement from the kingdom. Meanwhile, on the 17th May, 1220, Henry, in consequence of some doubts being entertained about the efficacy of the former ceremony, had been crowned a second time at Westminster, by Langton, archbishop of Canterbury. In 1221 the relations of peace and alliance with Scotland, which had subsisted ever since the departure of the French, were made closer and firmer by the marriages of Alexander II, the king of that country, with Jane, Henry's eldest sister, and of De Burgh with the Princess Margaret, the eldest sister of Alexander. About the same time Pandulf, who had succeeded Gualo as papal legate, left the country, which was thus practically freed from the domination of Rome, although that power still persisted in asserting theoretically the vassalage of the crown which had been originally conceded by John, and which had also been acknowledged at his accession by the present king. In 1222 Henry had been declared of age to exercise at least certain of the functions of government; but his feeble character was already become sufficiently apparent, and this formality gave him no real power. It only served to enable De Burgh the more easily to get rid of his colleague. That minister, now left alone at the head of affairs, conducted the government with ability and success on the whole, though in a spirit of severity, which, whether necessary or not, could not fail to make him many enemies. A war broke out with France in 1225, which however was carried on with little spirit on either side, and produced no events of note, although Henry, in May, 1230, conducted in person an expedition to the Continent, from which great things were expected by himself and his subjects; but he returned home in the following October, without having done anything. At this time France was suffering under the usual weakness and distraction of a regal minority, Louis IX., afterwards designated St. Louis, having, while yet only in his twelfth year, succeeded his father in 1226. A growing opposition to De Burgh was at length headed by Richard, earl of Cornwall, the king's brother, who possessed very great influence, not only from his nearness to the throne, but from his immense wealth; and the consequence was the sudden expulsion of that minister from all his offices, and his consignment to prison, with the loss of all his honours and estates, in the latter part of the year 1232. Des Roches, the bishop of Winchester, who had returned to the country some time before this crisis, was now placed at the head of affairs; but his administration, a course of insulting preference for his countrymen and other foreigners, and of open hostility to the great charter and the whole body of the national liberties, speedily proved unbearably distasteful to both barons and commons; and a confederacy of the laity and the clergy, with Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury, at its head, compelled his dismissal within little more than a year after his restoration to power. The archbishop now became chief minister. In 1236 Henry, being now in his thirtieth year, married Eleanor, the daughter of Raymond, count of Provence; and this connection soon gave new and great umbrage to the nation, in consequence of the numbers of her relations and countrymen who came over with or followed the queen, and with whom she surrounded her weak husband, besides inducing him to gratify their rapacity with pensions, estates, honours, and the most lucrative offices in the kingdom. In the midst of the contests thus occasioned between the crown and the nobility, whose meetings for deliberation on national affairs were now commonly called parliaments, a renewal of active hostilities with France was brought about through a private resentment of Henry's mother Isabella, who, after the death of John, had returned and been re-married to Hugh, count of La Marche, to whom she had been espoused before she gave her hand to John: she had instigated La Marche

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