Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Gilbert Abbott A'Beckett
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King John: A Burlesque

SCENE VII -- Part of the orchard of Swinstead Abbey
Enter King John, R.
K. John. I don't feel well, and I begin to think
It was neat gin they gave to me to drink.
Enter Faulconbridge, R.
Faul. You enemies are gaining strength each minute.
420K. John. Are they? why then I think the devil's in it,
Would not the lords return, when it was said,
'Twas false about young Arthur being dead?
Faul. They found him dead.
K. John. That villain Hubert, told me,
425Young Arthur lived. I'm fainting, catch me -- hold me!
Faul. My lord, your tendency to drop is such,
That I should say, you've had a drop too much.
But rouse thee, give your enemies no quarter,
Try coffee, seidlitz powders, soda water.
430K. John. In this affair do with me as you will,
Something or other's made me very ill.
SONG -- King John.
Air -- " On the Margin of Zurick's Fair Water."
If you'll get me some nice soda water,
435With an I. O. U.
If they'll take it, sir, that is to say,
When I settle your wages for the quarter,
With an I. O. U.
For that I'll be happy to pay.
440When I'm rich, none more liberal than me,
But at present I'm cashless you see,
Oh, get me the soda I pray,
With an I. O. U.
When you've done so, I for it will pay
445With an I. O. U.
With an I. O. U. I for it will pay,
(Exeunt R.
Enter Herald and Gentlemen with a couch, L.U.E.
Herald. His majesty, the king, is very queer,
450He thinks they gave him gin instead of beer;
The glasses at our head he has been flinging,
And when I left him, he was wildly singing.
Enter King John, reeling, R.
K. John. Ah, now I've elbow room, what is it hinders
455My active soul from jumping out of windows;
My pulse against my breast is fiercely prancing,
Like when a kettle boils the lid is dancing.
Herald. (L.) How fares the king
K. John. (Falling on the couch.) What of me dost make fun for,
460Can you not see I'm doubled up and, done for?
Enter Faulconbridge, R. He kneels to the King.
Faul. It was the gin did this, I know the odour,
Why did you not take as I said, the soda?
K. John. Oh cousin, here's a state in which you've found me,
465Every thing in the place is swimming round me.
Enter all the Characters for the Finale, R. & L.
Yes, here is Faulconbridge, gad there's another,
So like him, I could swear it was his brother;
The earth is moving under me, oddzooks,
470I feel that I am passing off the hooks,
Fate comes, we needs must take it, and not pick it,
Bring me the bucket, for I'm going to kick it.
(Slow Music -- The King dies.
Faul. He's gone, at death's particular desire,
475To give his bones to Davy Jones, Esquire.
(Enter Hubert, he kneels to the body.
Hub. (L.) Oh, is it true? I can't believe it yet,
Death has arrested John for nature's debt?
Death is a creditor that will not trust,
480His cry is always ''Come down with your dust."
But here (To the audience) his largest debt of all is due,
The Benefit of the Act he asks from you.
FINALE -- King John
Air -- "The Finale to La Somnambula."
485Oh don't fancy when I was lying
Oh the ground there, while you were crying,
I'd the slightest idea of dying,
No, I am not done for quite!
Then embrace me my gentle Hubert
490All my feelings you cannot view, but
I've been in a precious stew, but
Let us hope now that all is right.
Let us hope now that all is right.