Act 5 - Scene 7
The orchard in Swinstead Abbey.
Enter PRINCE HENRY, SALISBURY, and BIGOT
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.
His highness yet doth speak, and holds belief
That, being brought into the open air,
It would allay the
Of that fell poison which assaileth him.
Let him be brought into the orchard here.
Doth he still rage?
He is more patient
Than when you left him; even now he sung.
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
With many legions of strange fantasies,
Which, in their throng and press to that last hold,
themselves. 'Tis strange that death
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
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.
Enter Attendants, and BIGOT, carrying KING JOHN in a chair
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
a parchment, and against this fire
Do I shrink up.
How fares your majesty?
Poison'd, ill faredead, 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
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