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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
Sal. Nay, it is in a manner done already ;
Bast. Let it be so :-And you, my noble prince,
P. Hen. At Worcester must his body be interr’d”;
Thither shall it then.
Sal. And the like tender of our love we make,
9 At Worcester must his body be interr’d;] A stone coffin, containing the body of King John, was discovered in the cathedral church of Worcester, July 17, 1797. Steevens.
“ In crastino Sancti Lucæ Johannes Rex Angliæ in castro de Newark obiit, et sepultus est in ecclesia Wigorniensi inter corpora sancti Oswaldi et sancti [Wolstani. Chronic. sive Annal. Prioratus de Dunstaple, edit. a Tho. Hearne, tom. i. p. 173. Grey.
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 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 true 3.
that would give you-] You, which is not in the old copy, was added, for the sake of the metre, by Mr. Rowe.
Malone. let us pay the time but needful woe, Since it hath been beforehand with our griefs.] Let us now indulge in sorrow, since there is abundant cause for it. England has been long in a scene of confusion, and its calamities have anticipated our tears. By those which we now shed, we only pay her what is her due. Malone.
I believe the plain meaning of the passage is this :- As previously we have found sufficient cause for lamentation, let us not waste the present time in superfluous sorrow.' Steevens.
3 If England to itself do rest but true.] This sentiment seems borrowed from the conclusion of the old play:
“ If England's peers and people join in one,
“ Nor pope, nor France, nor Spain, can do them wrong." Again, in King Henry VI. Part III. :
of itself “England is safe, if true within itself." Such also was the opinion of the celebrated Duc de Rohan: “L'Angleterre est un grand animal qui ne peut jamais mourir s'il ne se tue lui mesme." Steevens.
Shakspeare's conclusion seems rather to have been borrowed from these two lines of the old play:
“Let England live but true within itself,
“ And all the world can never wrong her state.” Malone. “ Brother, brother, we may be both in the wrong.” This sentiment might originate from A Discourse of Rebellion, drawne forth for to warne the Wanton Wittes how to kepe their Heads on their Shoulders, by T. Churchyard, 12mo. 1570:
“ O Britayne bloud, marke this at my desire-
STEEVENS. This sentiment may be traced still higher : Andrew Borde, in his Fyrst Boke of the Introduction of Knowledge, bl. 1. printed for Copland, sig. A 4, says, “ They (i.e. the English) fare sumptuously; God is served in their churches devoutli, but treason and deceit amonge them is used craftyly, the more pitie, for if they were true rythin themselves they nede not to feare although al nacions were set against them, specialli now consydering our noble prince (i. e. Henry VIII.) hath and dayly dothe make noble defences, as castells," &c. Again, in Fuimus Troes, 1633 :
“ Yet maugre all, if we ourselves are true,
“We may despise what all the earth can do." Reed. 4 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.