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Changes to a Field of Battle.
Alarms, Excurfions: Enter Faulconbridge, with
W, by my life, this day grows wond'rous hot;
'Some airy devil hovers in the sky,
And pours down mifchief. Auftria's head lie there.
Unto his father's ever-living foul.
Enter King John, Arthur, and Hubert.
K. John. There, Hubert, keep this boy. Richard,
My mother is affailed in our tent,
Faul. My Lord, I refcu'd her:
3 Some airy devil. -] We must read, Some fiery devil, if we will have the cause equal to the effect. WARBURTON.
There is no end of fuch alterations; every page of a vehement and negligent writer will afford opportunities for changes of terms, if mere propriety will
juftify them. Not that of this change the propriety is out of controverfy. Dr. Warburton will have the devil fiery, because he' makes the day hot; the author makes him airy, because he hovers in the fky, and the heat and mischief are natural confequences of his malignity.
Alarms, Excurfions, Retreat. Re-enter King John, Elinor, Arthur, Faulconbridge, Hubert, and Lords.
K. John. So fhall it be your Grace shall stay be
So ftrongly guarded-Coufin, look not fad,
Thy grandam loves thee, and thy uncle will
Ufe our commiffion in its utmost force.
Faulc. Bell, book, and candle fhall not drive me
When gold and filver beck me to come on.
For your fair fafety; fo I kiss your hand.
Eli. Farewel, my gentle cousin.
K. John. Coz, farewel.
Eli. Come, hither, little kinfman ;-hark, a word. [Taking him to one fide of the stage.
K. John. [To Hubert on the other fide.
Come hither, Hubert. O my gentle Hubert,
K. John. Good friend, thou haft no cause to say so
...But thou fhalt have-and creep time ne'er fo flow,
Had bak'd thy blood and made it heavy thick,
Sound ON unto the drowfie race of night;] We should read,
(A paffion hateful to my purposes)
Or if thou could'ft fee me without eyes,
K. John. Do not I know, thou would'st?
And, wherefoe'er this foot of mine doth tread,
Hub. And I'll keep him so,
That he shall not offend your Majesty.
K. John. Death.
Hub. My Lord ?
K. John. A grave.
Hub. He fhall not live.
K. John. Enough.
I could be merry now. Hubert, I love thee;
Well, I'll not fay what I intend for thee:
Madam, fare you well.
[Returning to the Queen.
I'll fend those pow'rs o'er to your Majesty,
Eli. My bleffing go with thee!
K. John. For England, coufin, go.
Enter King Philip, Lewis, Pandulpho, and Attendance,
O, by a roaring tempeft on the flood, A whole Armada of collected fail. Is fcatter'd and disjoin'd from fellowship.
Pand. Courage and comfort, all shall yet go well, K. Philip. What can go well, when we have run fo ill?
Are we not beaten? Is not Angiers loft?
Lewis. What he hath won, that hath he fortify'd:
Doth want example; who hath read, or heard,
K. Philip. Well could I bear that England had this
So we could find fome pattern of our shame.
5 A whole Armada, &c.] This fimilitude, as little as it makes for the purpose in hand, was, I do not question, a very taking one when the play was first reprefented; which was a winter or two at most, after the Spanish invafion in 1588. It was in reference likewife to that glorious period that Shakespeare concludes his play in that triumphant man
Thus England never did, nor
Iye at the proud foot of a con-
But the whole play aboundswith touches relative to the then pofture of affairs. WARBURTON. This play, fo far as I can difcover, was not played till a long time after the defeat of the Armada. The old play, I think, wants this fimile. The commentator fhould not have affirmed what he could only guess.
in fo fierce a CAUSE,] We should read COURSE, i. e. march. The Oxford Editor condefcends to this emendation.