King John - Entire Play
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Navigate this workKing John - Entire Play
The events in King John take place in the thirteenth century, well before Shakespeare’s other English history plays. After the death of John’s brother, Richard I, John rules England.
John’s young nephew, Arthur, has a claim to the throne and is supported by the French. At first, a proposed marriage between the French crown prince and John’s niece, Blanche, calms Anglo-French tensions. Then the pope, in a dispute over recognizing an archbishop, excommunicates John and backs Arthur’s claim.
After war erupts, John captures Arthur and orders his death. Arthur’s guardian, Hubert, prepares to burn out Arthur’s eyes, but then spares him. Arthur dies leaping from the prison wall. Arthur’s mother Constance grieves inconsolably.
Meanwhile, French forces reach England. John submits to the pope to gain his aid. Rebellious English nobles join the French, but return to John when they learn the French prince plans to kill them. English forces under the bastard son of Richard I expel the French, but a monk poisons King John, whose son becomes Henry III.
Salisbury, with the Chatillion of France.
0001 Now say, Chatillion, what would France with us?
0002 Thus, after greeting, speaks the King of France
0003 In my behavior to the majesty,
0004 The borrowed majesty, of England here.
0005 5 A strange beginning: “borrowed majesty”!
0006 Silence, good mother. Hear the embassy.
0007 Philip of France, in right and true behalf
0008 Of thy deceasèd brother Geoffrey’s son,
0009 Arthur Plantagenet, lays most lawful claim
0010 10 To this fair island and the territories,
0011 To Ireland, Poitiers, Anjou, Touraine, Maine,
0012 Desiring thee to lay aside the sword
0013 Which sways usurpingly these several titles,
0014 And put the same into young Arthur’s hand,
0015 15 Thy nephew and right royal sovereign.
0016 What follows if we disallow of this?
0017 The proud control of fierce and bloody war,
0018 To enforce these rights so forcibly withheld.
0019 Here have we war for war and blood for blood,
0020 20 Controlment for controlment: so answer France.
0021 Then take my king’s defiance from my mouth,
0022 The farthest limit of my embassy.
0023 Bear mine to him, and so depart in peace.
0024 Be thou as lightning in the eyes of France,
0025 25 For ere thou canst report, I will be there;
0026 The thunder of my cannon shall be heard.
0027 So, hence. Be thou the trumpet of our wrath
0028 And sullen presage of your own decay.—
0029 An honorable conduct let him have.
0030 30 Pembroke, look to ’t.—Farewell, Chatillion.
Chatillion and Pembroke exit.
QUEEN ELEANOR, ⌜aside to King John⌝
0031 What now, my son! Have I not ever said
0032 How that ambitious Constance would not cease
0033 Till she had kindled France and all the world
0034 Upon the right and party of her son?
0035 35 This might have been prevented and made whole
0036 With very easy arguments of love,
0037 Which now the manage of two kingdoms must
0038 With fearful bloody issue arbitrate.
KING JOHN, ⌜aside to Queen Eleanor⌝
0039 Our strong possession and our right for us.
QUEEN ELEANOR, ⌜aside to King John⌝
0040 40 Your strong possession much more than your right,
0041 Or else it must go wrong with you and me—
0042 So much my conscience whispers in your ear,
0043 Which none but ⌜God⌝ and you and I shall hear.
0044 My liege, here is the strangest controversy
0045 45 Come from the country to be judged by you
0046 That e’er I heard. Shall I produce the men?
KING JOHN 0047 Let them approach.⌜Sheriff exits.⌝
0048 Our abbeys and our priories shall pay
0049 This ⌜expedition’s⌝ charge.
Enter Robert Faulconbridge and Philip ⌜Faulconbridge.⌝
0050 50 What men are you?
0051 Your faithful subject I, a gentleman,
0052 Born in Northamptonshire, and eldest son,
0053 As I suppose, to Robert Faulconbridge,
0054 A soldier, by the honor-giving hand
0055 55 Of Coeur de Lion knighted in the field.
KING JOHN, ⌜to Robert Faulconbridge⌝ 0056 What art thou?
0057 The son and heir to that same Faulconbridge.
0058 Is that the elder, and art thou the heir?
0059 You came not of one mother then, it seems.
0060 60 Most certain of one mother, mighty king—
0061 That is well known—and, as I think, one father.
0062 But for the certain knowledge of that truth
0063 I put you o’er to heaven and to my mother.
0064 Of that I doubt, as all men’s children may.
0065 65 Out on thee, rude man! Thou dost shame thy
0067 And wound her honor with this diffidence.
0068 I, madam? No, I have no reason for it.
0069 That is my brother’s plea, and none of mine,
0071 At least from fair five hundred pound a year.
0072 Heaven guard my mother’s honor and my land!
0073 A good blunt fellow.—Why, being younger born,
0074 Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance?
0075 75 I know not why, except to get the land.
0076 But once he slandered me with bastardy.
0077 But whe’er I be as true begot or no,
0078 That still I lay upon my mother’s head.
0079 But that I am as well begot, my liege—
0080 80 Fair fall the bones that took the pains for me!—
0081 Compare our faces and be judge yourself.
0082 If old Sir Robert did beget us both
0083 And were our father, and this son like him,
0084 O, old Sir Robert, father, on my knee
0085 85 I give heaven thanks I was not like to thee!
0086 Why, what a madcap hath heaven lent us here!
QUEEN ELEANOR, ⌜aside to King John⌝
0087 He hath a trick of Coeur de Lion’s face;
0088 The accent of his tongue affecteth him.
0089 Do you not read some tokens of my son
0090 90 In the large composition of this man?
KING JOHN, ⌜aside to Queen Eleanor⌝
0091 Mine eye hath well examinèd his parts
0092 And finds them perfect Richard. ⌜To Robert
Faulconbridge⌝ 0093 Sirrah, speak.
0094 What doth move you to claim your brother’s land?
0095 95 Because he hath a half-face, like my father.
0096 With half that face would he have all my land—
0097 A half-faced groat five hundred pound a year!
0098 My gracious liege, when that my father lived,
0099 Your brother did employ my father much—
0100 100 Well, sir, by this you cannot get my land.
0101 Your tale must be how he employed my mother.
0102 And once dispatched him in an embassy
0103 To Germany, there with the Emperor
0104 To treat of high affairs touching that time.
0105 105 Th’ advantage of his absence took the King
0106 And in the meantime sojourned at my father’s;
0107 Where how he did prevail I shame to speak.
0108 But truth is truth: large lengths of seas and shores
0109 Between my father and my mother lay,
0110 110 As I have heard my father speak himself,
0111 When this same lusty gentleman was got.
0112 Upon his deathbed he by will bequeathed
0113 His lands to me, and took it on his death
0114 That this my mother’s son was none of his;
0115 115 An if he were, he came into the world
0116 Full fourteen weeks before the course of time.
0117 Then, good my liege, let me have what is mine,
0118 My father’s land, as was my father’s will.
0119 Sirrah, your brother is legitimate.
0120 120 Your father’s wife did after wedlock bear him,
0121 An if she did play false, the fault was hers,
0122 Which fault lies on the hazards of all husbands
0123 That marry wives. Tell me, how if my brother,
0124 Who as you say took pains to get this son,
0125 125 Had of your father claimed this son for his?
0126 In sooth, good friend, your father might have kept
0127 This calf, bred from his cow, from all the world;
0128 In sooth he might. Then if he were my brother’s,
0129 My brother might not claim him, nor your father,
0130 130 Being none of his, refuse him. This concludes:
0131 My mother’s son did get your father’s heir;
0132 Your father’s heir must have your father’s land.
0133 Shall then my father’s will be of no force
0134 To dispossess that child which is not his?
0135 135 Of no more force to dispossess me, sir,
0136 Than was his will to get me, as I think.
0137 Whether hadst thou rather: be a Faulconbridge
0138 And, like thy brother, to enjoy thy land,
0139 Or the reputed son of Coeur de Lion,
0140 140 Lord of thy presence, and no land besides?
0141 Madam, an if my brother had my shape
0142 And I had his, Sir Robert’s his like him,
0143 And if my legs were two such riding-rods,
0144 My arms such eel-skins stuffed, my face so thin
0145 145 That in mine ear I durst not stick a rose,
0146 Lest men should say “Look where three-farthings
0148 And, to his shape, were heir to all this land,
0149 Would I might never stir from off this place,
0150 150 I would give it every foot to have this face.
0151 ⌜I⌝ would not be Sir Nob in any case.
0152 I like thee well. Wilt thou forsake thy fortune,
0153 Bequeath thy land to him, and follow me?
0154 I am a soldier and now bound to France.
0155 155 Brother, take you my land. I’ll take my chance.
0156 Your face hath got five hundred pound a year,
0157 Yet sell your face for five pence and ’tis dear.—
0158 Madam, I’ll follow you unto the death.
0159 Nay, I would have you go before me thither.
0160 160 Our country manners give our betters way.
0162 Philip, my liege, so is my name begun,
0163 Philip, good old Sir Robert’s wife’s eldest son.
0164 From henceforth bear his name whose form thou
0165 165 bearest.
0166 Kneel thou down Philip, but rise more great.
⌜Philip kneels. King John dubs him a knight,
tapping him on the shoulder with his sword.⌝
0167 Arise Sir Richard and Plantagenet.
BASTARD, ⌜rising, to Robert Faulconbridge⌝
0168 Brother by th’ mother’s side, give me your hand.
0169 My father gave me honor, yours gave land.
0170 170 Now blessèd be the hour, by night or day,
0171 When I was got, Sir Robert was away!
0172 The very spirit of Plantagenet!
0173 I am thy grandam, Richard. Call me so.
0174 Madam, by chance but not by truth. What though?
0175 175 Something about, a little from the right,
0176 In at the window, or else o’er the hatch.
0177 Who dares not stir by day must walk by night,
0178 And have is have, however men do catch.
0179 Near or far off, well won is still well shot,
0180 180 And I am I, howe’er I was begot.
KING JOHN, ⌜to Robert Faulconbridge⌝
0181 Go, Faulconbridge, now hast thou thy desire.
0182 A landless knight makes thee a landed squire.—
0183 Come, madam,—and come, Richard. We must
0185 185 For France, for France, for it is more than need.
0186 Brother, adieu, good fortune come to thee,
All but Bastard exit.
0188 A foot of honor better than I was,
0189 But many a many foot of land the worse.
0190 190 Well, now can I make any Joan a lady.
0191 “Good den, Sir Richard!” “God-a-mercy, fellow!”
0192 An if his name be George, I’ll call him “Peter,”
0193 For new-made honor doth forget men’s names;
0194 ’Tis too respective and too sociable
0195 195 For your conversion. Now your traveler,
0196 He and his toothpick at my Worship’s mess,
0197 And when my knightly stomach is sufficed,
0198 Why then I suck my teeth and catechize
0199 My pickèd man of countries: “My dear sir,”
0200 200 Thus leaning on mine elbow I begin,
0201 “I shall beseech you”—that is Question now,
0202 And then comes Answer like an absey-book:
0203 “O, sir,” says Answer, “at your best command,
0204 At your employment, at your service, sir.”
0205 205 “No, sir,” says Question, “I, sweet sir, at yours.”
0206 And so, ere Answer knows what Question would,
0207 Saving in dialogue of compliment
0208 And talking of the Alps and Apennines,
0209 The Pyrenean and the river Po,
0210 210 It draws toward supper in conclusion so.
0211 But this is worshipful society
0212 And fits the mounting spirit like myself;
0213 For he is but a bastard to the time
0214 That doth not ⌜smack⌝ of observation,
0215 215 And so am I whether I smack or no;
0216 And not alone in habit and device,
0217 Exterior form, outward accouterment,
0218 But from the inward motion to deliver
0219 Sweet, sweet, sweet poison for the age’s tooth,
0220 220 Which though I will not practice to deceive,
0222 For it shall strew the footsteps of my rising.
Enter Lady Faulconbridge and James Gurney.
0223 But who comes in such haste in riding robes?
0224 What woman post is this? Hath she no husband
0225 225 That will take pains to blow a horn before her?
0226 O me, ’tis my mother.—How now, good lady?
0227 What brings you here to court so hastily?
0228 Where is that slave thy brother? Where is he
0229 That holds in chase mine honor up and down?
0230 230 My brother Robert, old Sir Robert’s son?
0231 Colbrand the Giant, that same mighty man?
0232 Is it Sir Robert’s son that you seek so?
0233 “Sir Robert’s son”? Ay, thou unreverent boy,
0234 Sir Robert’s son. Why scorn’st thou at Sir Robert?
0235 235 He is Sir Robert’s son, and so art thou.
0236 James Gurney, wilt thou give us leave awhile?
0237 Good leave, good Philip.
BASTARD 0238 “Philip Sparrow,” James.
0239 There’s toys abroad. Anon I’ll tell thee more.
James ⌜Gurney⌝ exits.
0240 240 Madam, I was not old Sir Robert’s son.
0241 Sir Robert might have eat his part in me
0242 Upon Good Friday and ne’er broke his fast.
0243 Sir Robert could do well—marry, to confess—
0244 Could ⌜he⌝ get me. Sir Robert could not do it;
0245 245 We know his handiwork. Therefore, good mother,
0246 To whom am I beholding for these limbs?
0247 Sir Robert never holp to make this leg.
0248 Hast thou conspirèd with thy brother too,
0249 That for thine own gain shouldst defend mine
0250 250 honor?
0251 What means this scorn, thou most untoward knave?
0252 Knight, knight, good mother, Basilisco-like.
0253 What, I am dubbed! I have it on my shoulder.
0254 But, mother, I am not Sir Robert’s son.
0255 255 I have disclaimed Sir Robert and my land.
0256 Legitimation, name, and all is gone.
0257 Then, good my mother, let me know my father—
0258 Some proper man, I hope. Who was it, mother?
0259 Hast thou denied thyself a Faulconbridge?
0260 260 As faithfully as I deny the devil.
0261 King Richard Coeur de Lion was thy father.
0262 By long and vehement suit I was seduced
0263 To make room for him in my husband’s bed.
0264 Heaven lay not my transgression to my charge!
0265 265 ⌜Thou⌝ art the issue of my dear offense,
0266 Which was so strongly urged past my defense.
0267 Now, by this light, were I to get again,
0268 Madam, I would not wish a better father.
0269 Some sins do bear their privilege on Earth,
0270 270 And so doth yours. Your fault was not your folly.
0271 Needs must you lay your heart at his dispose,
0272 Subjected tribute to commanding love,
0273 Against whose fury and unmatchèd force
0274 The aweless lion could not wage the fight,
0275 275 Nor keep his princely heart from Richard’s hand.
0276 He that perforce robs lions of their hearts
0278 With all my heart I thank thee for my father.
0279 Who lives and dares but say thou didst not well
0280 280 When I was got, I’ll send his soul to hell.
0281 Come, lady, I will show thee to my kin,
0282 And they shall say when Richard me begot,
0283 If thou hadst said him nay, it had been sin.
0284 Who says it was, he lies. I say ’twas not.
King of France, Louis ⌜the⌝ Dauphin, Constance, Arthur,
⌜and Attendants; at the other side, with Forces,⌝ Austria,
⌜wearing a lion’s skin.⌝
0285 Before Angiers well met, brave Austria.—
0286 Arthur, that great forerunner of thy blood,
0287 Richard, that robbed the lion of his heart
0288 And fought the holy wars in Palestine,
0289 5 By this brave duke came early to his grave.
0290 And, for amends to his posterity,
0291 At our importance hither is he come
0292 To spread his colors, boy, in thy behalf,
0293 And to rebuke the usurpation
0294 10 Of thy unnatural uncle, English John.
0295 Embrace him, love him, give him welcome hither.
0296 God shall forgive you Coeur de Lion’s death
0297 The rather that you give his offspring life,
0298 Shadowing their right under your wings of war.
0299 15 I give you welcome with a powerless hand
0300 But with a heart full of unstainèd love.
0301 Welcome before the gates of Angiers, duke.
0302 A noble boy. Who would not do thee right?
0303 Upon thy cheek lay I this zealous kiss
0304 20 As seal to this indenture of my love:
0305 That to my home I will no more return
0306 Till Angiers and the right thou hast in France,
0307 Together with that pale, that white-faced shore,
0308 Whose foot spurns back the ocean’s roaring tides
0309 25 And coops from other lands her islanders,
0310 Even till that England, hedged in with the main,
0311 That water-wallèd bulwark, still secure
0312 And confident from foreign purposes,
0313 Even till that utmost corner of the West
0314 30 Salute thee for her king. Till then, fair boy,
0315 Will I not think of home, but follow arms.
0316 O, take his mother’s thanks, a widow’s thanks,
0317 Till your strong hand shall help to give him strength
0318 To make a more requital to your love.
0319 35 The peace of heaven is theirs that lift their swords
0320 In such a just and charitable war.
0321 Well, then, to work. Our cannon shall be bent
0322 Against the brows of this resisting town.
0323 Call for our chiefest men of discipline
0324 40 To cull the plots of best advantages.
0325 We’ll lay before this town our royal bones,
0326 Wade to the marketplace in Frenchmen’s blood,
0327 But we will make it subject to this boy.
0328 Stay for an answer to your embassy,
0329 45 Lest unadvised you stain your swords with blood.
0330 My lord Chatillion may from England bring
0331 That right in peace which here we urge in war,
0332 And then we shall repent each drop of blood
0333 That hot rash haste so indirectly shed.
0334 50 A wonder, lady! Lo, upon thy wish
0335 Our messenger Chatillion is arrived.—
0336 What England says say briefly, gentle lord.
0337 We coldly pause for thee. Chatillion, speak.
0338 Then turn your forces from this paltry siege
0339 55 And stir them up against a mightier task.
0340 England, impatient of your just demands,
0341 Hath put himself in arms. The adverse winds,
0342 Whose leisure I have stayed, have given him time
0343 To land his legions all as soon as I.
0344 60 His marches are expedient to this town,
0345 His forces strong, his soldiers confident.
0346 With him along is come the Mother Queen,
0347 An ⌜Ate⌝ stirring him to blood and strife;
0348 With her her niece, the Lady Blanche of Spain;
0349 65 With them a bastard of the King’s deceased.
0350 And all th’ unsettled humors of the land—
0351 Rash, inconsiderate, fiery voluntaries,
0352 With ladies’ faces and fierce dragons’ spleens—
0353 Have sold their fortunes at their native homes,
0354 70 Bearing their birthrights proudly on their backs,
0355 To make a hazard of new fortunes here.
0356 In brief, a braver choice of dauntless spirits
0357 Than now the English bottoms have waft o’er
0358 Did never float upon the swelling tide
0359 75 To do offense and scathe in Christendom.
0360 The interruption of their churlish drums
0361 Cuts off more circumstance. They are at hand,
0362 To parley or to fight, therefore prepare.
0363 How much unlooked-for is this expedition.
0364 80 By how much unexpected, by so much
0365 We must awake endeavor for defense,
0366 For courage mounteth with occasion.
0367 Let them be welcome, then. We are prepared.
Enter King ⌜John⌝ of England, Bastard, Queen
⌜Eleanor,⌝ Blanche, ⌜Salisbury,⌝ Pembroke, and others.
0368 Peace be to France, if France in peace permit
0369 85 Our just and lineal entrance to our own.
0370 If not, bleed France, and peace ascend to heaven,
0371 Whiles we, God’s wrathful agent, do correct
0372 Their proud contempt that beats his peace to heaven.
0373 Peace be to England, if that war return
0374 90 From France to England, there to live in peace.
0375 England we love, and for that England’s sake
0376 With burden of our armor here we sweat.
0377 This toil of ours should be a work of thine;
0378 But thou from loving England art so far
0379 95 That thou hast underwrought his lawful king,
0380 Cut off the sequence of posterity,
0381 Outfacèd infant state, and done a rape
0382 Upon the maiden virtue of the crown.
0383 Look here upon thy brother Geoffrey’s face.
⌜He points to Arthur.⌝
0384 100 These eyes, these brows, were molded out of his;
0385 This little abstract doth contain that large
0386 Which died in Geoffrey, and the hand of time
0387 Shall draw this brief into as huge a volume.
0388 That Geoffrey was thy elder brother born,
0389 105 And this his son. England was Geoffrey’s right,
0390 And this is Geoffrey’s. In the name of God,
0391 How comes it then that thou art called a king,
0393 Which owe the crown that thou o’ermasterest?
0394 110 From whom hast thou this great commission,
0396 To draw my answer from thy articles?
0397 From that supernal judge that stirs good thoughts
0398 In any ⌜breast⌝ of strong authority
0399 115 To look into the blots and stains of right.
0400 That judge hath made me guardian to this boy,
0401 Under whose warrant I impeach thy wrong,
0402 And by whose help I mean to chastise it.
0403 Alack, thou dost usurp authority.
0404 120 Excuse it is to beat usurping down.
0405 Who is it thou dost call usurper, France?
0406 Let me make answer: thy usurping son.
0407 Out, insolent! Thy bastard shall be king
0408 That thou mayst be a queen and check the world.
0409 125 My bed was ever to thy son as true
0410 As thine was to thy husband, and this boy
0411 Liker in feature to his father Geoffrey
0412 Than thou and John, in manners being as like
0413 As rain to water or devil to his dam.
0414 130 My boy a bastard? By my soul, I think
0415 His father never was so true begot.
0416 It cannot be, an if thou wert his mother.
QUEEN ELEANOR, ⌜to Arthur⌝
0417 There’s a good mother, boy, that blots thy father.
0418 There’s a good grandam, boy, that would blot thee.
0419 135 Peace!
BASTARD 0420 Hear the crier!
AUSTRIA 0421 What the devil art thou?
0422 One that will play the devil, sir, with you,
0423 An he may catch your hide and you alone.
0424 140 You are the hare of whom the proverb goes,
0425 Whose valor plucks dead lions by the beard.
0426 I’ll smoke your skin-coat an I catch you right.
0427 Sirrah, look to ’t. I’ faith, I will, i’ faith!
0428 O, well did he become that lion’s robe
0429 145 That did disrobe the lion of that robe.
0430 It lies as sightly on the back of him
0431 As great Alcides’ shoes upon an ass.—
0432 But, ass, I’ll take that burden from your back
0433 Or lay on that shall make your shoulders crack.
0434 150 What cracker is this same that deafs our ears
0435 With this abundance of superfluous breath?
0436 Louis, determine what we shall do straight.
0437 Women and fools, break off your conference.—
0438 King John, this is the very sum of all:
0439 155 England and Ireland, ⌜Anjou,⌝ Touraine, Maine,
0440 In right of Arthur do I claim of thee.
0441 Wilt thou resign them and lay down thy arms?
0442 My life as soon! I do defy thee, France.—
0443 Arthur of Brittany, yield thee to my hand,
0445 Than e’er the coward hand of France can win.
0446 Submit thee, boy.
QUEEN ELEANOR 0447 Come to thy grandam, child.
0448 Do, child, go to it grandam, child.
0449 165 Give grandam kingdom, and it grandam will
0450 Give it a plum, a cherry, and a fig.
0451 There’s a good grandam.
ARTHUR, ⌜weeping⌝ 0452 Good my mother, peace.
0453 I would that I were low laid in my grave.
0454 170 I am not worth this coil that’s made for me.
0455 His mother shames him so, poor boy, he weeps.
0456 Now shame upon you whe’er she does or no!
0457 His grandam’s wrongs, and not his mother’s
0459 175 Draws those heaven-moving pearls from his poor
0461 Which heaven shall take in nature of a fee.
0462 Ay, with these crystal beads heaven shall be bribed
0463 To do him justice and revenge on you.
0464 180 Thou monstrous slanderer of heaven and Earth!
0465 Thou monstrous injurer of heaven and Earth,
0466 Call not me slanderer. Thou and thine usurp
0467 The dominations, royalties, and rights
0468 Of this oppressèd boy. This is thy eldest son’s son,
0469 185 Infortunate in nothing but in thee.
0470 Thy sins are visited in this poor child.
0471 The canon of the law is laid on him,
0472 Being but the second generation
0473 Removèd from thy sin-conceiving womb.
0474 190 Bedlam, have done.
CONSTANCE 0475 I have but this to say,
0476 That he is not only plaguèd for her sin,
0477 But God hath made her sin and her the plague
0478 On this removèd issue, plagued for her,
0479 195 And with her plague; her sin his injury,
0480 Her injury the beadle to her sin,
0481 All punished in the person of this child
0482 And all for her. A plague upon her!
0483 Thou unadvisèd scold, I can produce
0484 200 A will that bars the title of thy son.
0485 Ay, who doubts that? A will—a wicked will,
0486 A woman’s will, a cankered grandam’s will.
0487 Peace, lady. Pause, or be more temperate.
0488 It ill beseems this presence to cry aim
0489 205 To these ill-tunèd repetitions.—
0490 Some trumpet summon hither to the walls
0491 These men of Angiers. Let us hear them speak
0492 Whose title they admit, Arthur’s or John’s.
Enter ⌜Citizens⌝ upon the walls.
0493 Who is it that hath warned us to the walls?
0494 210 ’Tis France, for England.
KING JOHN 0495 England, for itself.
0496 You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects—
0497 You loving men of Angiers, Arthur’s subjects,
0498 Our trumpet called you to this gentle parle—
0499 215 For our advantage. Therefore hear us first.
0500 These flags of France that are advancèd here
0501 Before the eye and prospect of your town,
0502 Have hither marched to your endamagement.
0503 The cannons have their bowels full of wrath,
0504 220 And ready mounted are they to spit forth
0505 Their iron indignation ’gainst your walls.
0506 All preparation for a bloody siege
0507 And merciless proceeding by these French
0508 ⌜Confronts your⌝ city’s eyes, your winking gates,
0509 225 And, but for our approach, those sleeping stones,
0510 That as a waist doth girdle you about,
0511 By the compulsion of their ordinance
0512 By this time from their fixèd beds of lime
0513 Had been dishabited, and wide havoc made
0514 230 For bloody power to rush upon your peace.
0515 But on the sight of us your lawful king,
0516 Who painfully with much expedient march
0517 Have brought a countercheck before your gates
0518 To save unscratched your city’s threatened cheeks,
0519 235 Behold, the French, amazed, vouchsafe a parle.
0520 And now, instead of bullets wrapped in fire
0521 To make a shaking fever in your walls,
0522 They shoot but calm words folded up in smoke
0523 To make a faithless error in your ears,
0524 240 Which trust accordingly, kind citizens,
0525 And let us in. Your king, whose labored spirits
0526 Forwearied in this action of swift speed,
0527 Craves harborage within your city walls.
0528 When I have said, make answer to us both.
⌜He takes Arthur by the hand.⌝
0529 245 Lo, in this right hand, whose protection
0530 Is most divinely vowed upon the right
0532 Son to the elder brother of this man,
0533 And king o’er him and all that he enjoys.
0534 250 For this downtrodden equity we tread
0535 In warlike march these greens before your town,
0536 Being no further enemy to you
0537 Than the constraint of hospitable zeal
0538 In the relief of this oppressèd child
0539 255 Religiously provokes. Be pleasèd then
0540 To pay that duty which you truly owe
0541 To him that owes it, namely, this young prince,
0542 And then our arms, like to a muzzled bear
0543 Save in aspect, hath all offense sealed up.
0544 260 Our cannons’ malice vainly shall be spent
0545 Against th’ invulnerable clouds of heaven,
0546 And with a blessèd and unvexed retire,
0547 With unbacked swords and helmets all unbruised,
0548 We will bear home that lusty blood again
0549 265 Which here we came to spout against your town,
0550 And leave your children, wives, and you in peace.
0551 But if you fondly pass our proffered offer,
0552 ’Tis not the roundure of your old-faced walls
0553 Can hide you from our messengers of war,
0554 270 Though all these English and their discipline
0555 Were harbored in their rude circumference.
0556 Then tell us, shall your city call us lord
0557 In that behalf which we have challenged it?
0558 Or shall we give the signal to our rage
0559 275 And stalk in blood to our possession?
0560 In brief, we are the King of England’s subjects.
0561 For him, and in his right, we hold this town.
0562 Acknowledge then the King and let me in.
0563 That can we not. But he that proves the King,
0565 Have we rammed up our gates against the world.
0566 Doth not the crown of England prove the King?
0567 And if not that, I bring you witnesses,
0568 Twice fifteen thousand hearts of England’s breed—
BASTARD 0569 285Bastards and else.
0570 To verify our title with their lives.
0571 As many and as wellborn bloods as those—
BASTARD 0572 Some bastards too.
0573 Stand in his face to contradict his claim.
0574 290 Till you compound whose right is worthiest,
0575 We for the worthiest hold the right from both.
0576 Then God forgive the sin of all those souls
0577 That to their everlasting residence,
0578 Before the dew of evening fall, shall fleet
0579 295 In dreadful trial of our kingdom’s king.
0580 Amen, amen.—Mount, chevaliers! To arms!
0581 Saint George, that swinged the dragon and e’er
0583 Sits on ’s horseback at mine hostess’ door,
0584 300 Teach us some fence! ⌜To Austria.⌝ Sirrah, were I at
0586 At your den, sirrah, with your lioness,
0587 I would set an ox head to your lion’s hide
0588 And make a monster of you.
AUSTRIA 0589 305 Peace! No more.
0590 O, tremble, for you hear the lion roar.
0591 Up higher to the plain, where we’ll set forth
0592 In best appointment all our regiments.
0593 Speed, then, to take advantage of the field.
KING PHILIP, ⌜to his officers⌝
0594 310 It shall be so, and at the other hill
0595 Command the rest to stand. God and our right!
They exit. ⌜Citizens remain, above.⌝
Here, after excursions, enter the Herald of France, with
Trumpets, to the gates.
0596 You men of Angiers, open wide your gates,
0597 And let young Arthur, Duke of Brittany, in,
0598 Who by the hand of France this day hath made
0599 315 Much work for tears in many an English mother,
0600 Whose sons lie scattered on the bleeding ground.
0601 Many a widow’s husband groveling lies
0602 Coldly embracing the discolored earth,
0603 And victory with little loss doth play
0604 320 Upon the dancing banners of the French,
0605 Who are at hand, triumphantly displayed,
0606 To enter conquerors and to proclaim
0607 Arthur of Brittany England’s king and yours.
Enter English Herald, with Trumpet.
0608 Rejoice, you men of Angiers, ring your bells!
0609 325 King John, your king and England’s, doth approach,
0610 Commander of this hot malicious day.
0611 Their armors, that marched hence so silver bright,
0612 Hither return all gilt with Frenchmen’s blood.
0613 There stuck no plume in any English crest
0614 330 That is removèd by a staff of France.
0616 That did display them when we first marched forth,
0617 And like a jolly troop of huntsmen come
0618 Our lusty English, all with purpled hands,
0619 335 Dyed in the dying slaughter of their foes.
0620 Open your gates, and give the victors way.
0621 Heralds, from off our towers we might behold
0622 From first to last the onset and retire
0623 Of both your armies, whose equality
0624 340 By our best eyes cannot be censurèd.
0625 Blood hath bought blood, and blows have answered
0627 Strength matched with strength, and power
0628 confronted power.
0629 345 Both are alike, and both alike we like.
0630 One must prove greatest. While they weigh so even,
0631 We hold our town for neither, yet for both.
Enter the two Kings with their Powers (⌜including the
Bastard, Queen Eleanor, Blanche, and Salisbury;
Austria, and Louis the Dauphin⌝), at several doors.
0632 France, hast thou yet more blood to cast away?
0633 Say, shall the current of our right roam on,
0634 350 Whose passage, vexed with thy impediment,
0635 Shall leave his native channel and o’erswell
0636 With course disturbed even thy confining shores,
0637 Unless thou let his silver water keep
0638 A peaceful progress to the ocean?
0639 355 England, thou hast not saved one drop of blood
0640 In this hot trial more than we of France,
0641 Rather lost more. And by this hand I swear
0642 That sways the earth this climate overlooks,
0644 360 We’ll put thee down, ’gainst whom these arms we
0646 Or add a royal number to the dead,
0647 Gracing the scroll that tells of this war’s loss
0648 With slaughter coupled to the name of kings.
0649 365 Ha, majesty! How high thy glory towers
0650 When the rich blood of kings is set on fire!
0651 O, now doth Death line his dead chaps with steel,
0652 The swords of soldiers are his teeth, his fangs,
0653 And now he feasts, mousing the flesh of men
0654 370 In undetermined differences of kings.
0655 Why stand these royal fronts amazèd thus?
0656 Cry havoc, kings! Back to the stainèd field,
0657 You equal potents, fiery-kindled spirits.
0658 Then let confusion of one part confirm
0659 375 The other’s peace. Till then, blows, blood, and
0661 Whose party do the townsmen yet admit?
0662 Speak, citizens, for England. Who’s your king?
0663 The King of England, when we know the King.
0664 380 Know him in us, that here hold up his right.
0665 In us, that are our own great deputy
0666 And bear possession of our person here,
0667 Lord of our presence, Angiers, and of you.
0668 A greater power than we denies all this,
0669 385 And till it be undoubted, we do lock
0670 Our former scruple in our strong-barred gates,
0672 Be by some certain king purged and deposed.
0673 By heaven, these scroyles of Angiers flout you, kings,
0674 390 And stand securely on their battlements
0675 As in a theater, whence they gape and point
0676 At your industrious scenes and acts of death.
0677 Your royal presences, be ruled by me:
0678 Do like the mutines of Jerusalem,
0679 395 Be friends awhile, and both conjointly bend
0680 Your sharpest deeds of malice on this town.
0681 By east and west let France and England mount
0682 Their battering cannon chargèd to the mouths,
0683 Till their soul-fearing clamors have brawled down
0684 400 The flinty ribs of this contemptuous city.
0685 I’d play incessantly upon these jades,
0686 Even till unfencèd desolation
0687 Leave them as naked as the vulgar air.
0688 That done, dissever your united strengths
0689 405 And part your mingled colors once again;
0690 Turn face to face and bloody point to point.
0691 Then in a moment Fortune shall cull forth
0692 Out of one side her happy minion,
0693 To whom in favor she shall give the day
0694 410 And kiss him with a glorious victory.
0695 How like you this wild counsel, mighty states?
0696 Smacks it not something of the policy?
0697 Now by the sky that hangs above our heads,
0698 I like it well. France, shall we knit our powers
0699 415 And lay this Angiers even with the ground,
0700 Then after fight who shall be king of it?
BASTARD, ⌜to King Philip⌝
0701 An if thou hast the mettle of a king,
0702 Being wronged as we are by this peevish town,
0704 420 As we will ours, against these saucy walls,
0705 And when that we have dashed them to the ground,
0706 Why, then, defy each other and pell-mell
0707 Make work upon ourselves, for heaven or hell.
0708 Let it be so. Say, where will you assault?
0709 425 We from the west will send destruction
0710 Into this city’s bosom.
AUSTRIA 0711 I from the north.
KING PHILIP 0712 Our thunder from the south
0713 Shall rain their drift of bullets on this town.
0714 430 O, prudent discipline! From north to south,
0715 Austria and France shoot in each other’s mouth.
0716 I’ll stir them to it. — Come, away, away!
0717 Hear us, great kings. Vouchsafe awhile to stay,
0718 And I shall show you peace and fair-faced league,
0719 435 Win you this city without stroke or wound,
0720 Rescue those breathing lives to die in beds
0721 That here come sacrifices for the field.
0722 Persever not, but hear me, mighty kings.
0723 Speak on with favor. We are bent to hear.
0724 440 That daughter there of Spain, the Lady Blanche,
0725 Is near to England. Look upon the years
0726 Of Louis the Dauphin and that lovely maid.
0727 If lusty love should go in quest of beauty,
0728 Where should he find it fairer than in Blanche?
0729 445 If zealous love should go in search of virtue,
0730 Where should he find it purer than in Blanche?
0731 If love ambitious sought a match of birth,
0734 450 Such as she is, in beauty, virtue, birth,
0735 Is the young Dauphin every way complete.
0736 If not complete of, say he is not she,
0737 And she again wants nothing, to name want,
0738 If want it be not that she is not he.
0739 455 He is the half part of a blessèd man,
0740 Left to be finishèd by such as she,
0741 And she a fair divided excellence,
0742 Whose fullness of perfection lies in him.
0743 O, two such silver currents when they join
0744 460 Do glorify the banks that bound them in,
0745 And two such shores to two such streams made one,
0746 Two such controlling bounds shall you be, kings,
0747 To these two princes, if you marry them.
0748 This union shall do more than battery can
0749 465 To our fast-closèd gates, for at this match,
0750 With swifter spleen than powder can enforce,
0751 The mouth of passage shall we fling wide ope
0752 And give you entrance. But without this match,
0753 The sea enragèd is not half so deaf,
0754 470 Lions more confident, mountains and rocks
0755 More free from motion, no, not Death himself
0756 In mortal fury half so peremptory
0757 As we to keep this city.
⌜King Philip and Louis the Dauphin
walk aside and talk.⌝
BASTARD, ⌜aside⌝ 0758 Here’s a stay
0759 475 That shakes the rotten carcass of old Death
0760 Out of his rags! Here’s a large mouth indeed
0761 That spits forth death and mountains, rocks and
0763 Talks as familiarly of roaring lions
0764 480 As maids of thirteen do of puppy dogs.
0766 He speaks plain cannon fire, and smoke, and
0768 He gives the bastinado with his tongue.
0769 485 Our ears are cudgeled. Not a word of his
0770 But buffets better than a fist of France.
0771 Zounds, I was never so bethumped with words
0772 Since I first called my brother’s father Dad.
QUEEN ELEANOR, ⌜aside to King John⌝
0773 Son, list to this conjunction; make this match.
0774 490 Give with our niece a dowry large enough,
0775 For by this knot thou shalt so surely tie
0776 Thy now unsured assurance to the crown
0777 That yon green boy shall have no sun to ripe
0778 The bloom that promiseth a mighty fruit.
0779 495 I see a yielding in the looks of France.
0780 Mark how they whisper. Urge them while their
0782 Are capable of this ambition,
0783 Lest zeal, now melted by the windy breath
0784 500 Of soft petitions, pity, and remorse,
0785 Cool and congeal again to what it was.
0786 Why answer not the double majesties
0787 This friendly treaty of our threatened town?
0788 Speak England first, that hath been forward first
0789 505 To speak unto this city. What say you?
0790 If that the Dauphin there, thy princely son,
0791 Can in this book of beauty read “I love,”
0792 Her dowry shall weigh equal with a queen.
0793 For ⌜Anjou⌝ and fair Touraine, Maine, Poitiers,
0794 510 And all that we upon this side the sea—
0795 Except this city now by us besieged—
0797 Shall gild her bridal bed and make her rich
0798 In titles, honors, and promotions,
0799 515 As she in beauty, education, blood,
0800 Holds hand with any princess of the world.
0801 What sayst thou, boy? Look in the lady’s face.
0802 I do, my lord, and in her eye I find
0803 A wonder or a wondrous miracle,
0804 520 The shadow of myself formed in her eye,
0805 Which, being but the shadow of your son,
0806 Becomes a sun and makes your son a shadow.
0807 I do protest I never loved myself
0808 Till now infixèd I beheld myself
0809 525 Drawn in the flattering table of her eye.
⌜He⌝ whispers with Blanche.
0810 “Drawn in the flattering table of her eye”?
0811 Hanged in the frowning wrinkle of her brow
0812 And quartered in her heart! He doth espy
0813 Himself love’s traitor. This is pity now,
0814 530 That hanged and drawn and quartered there should
0816 In such a love so vile a lout as he.
BLANCHE, ⌜aside to Dauphin⌝
0817 My uncle’s will in this respect is mine.
0818 If he see aught in you that makes him like,
0819 535 That anything he sees which moves his liking
0820 I can with ease translate it to my will.
0821 Or if you will, to speak more properly,
0822 I will enforce it eas’ly to my love.
0823 Further I will not flatter you, my lord,
0824 540 That all I see in you is worthy love,
0825 Than this: that nothing do I see in you,
0827 your judge,
0828 That I can find should merit any hate.
0829 545 What say these young ones? What say you, my
0831 That she is bound in honor still to do
0832 What you in wisdom still vouchsafe to say.
0833 Speak then, Prince Dauphin. Can you love this lady?
0834 550 Nay, ask me if I can refrain from love,
0835 For I do love her most unfeignedly.
0836 Then do I give Volquessen, Touraine, Maine,
0837 Poitiers and Anjou, these five provinces
0838 With her to thee, and this addition more:
0839 555 Full thirty thousand marks of English coin.—
0840 Philip of France, if thou be pleased withal,
0841 Command thy son and daughter to join hands.
0842 It likes us well.—Young princes, close your hands.
0843 And your lips too, for I am well assured
0844 560 That I did so when I was first assured.
⌜Dauphin and Blanche join hands and kiss.⌝
0845 Now, citizens of Angiers, ope your gates.
0846 Let in that amity which you have made,
0847 For at Saint Mary’s Chapel presently
0848 The rites of marriage shall be solemnized.—
0849 565 Is not the Lady Constance in this troop?
0850 I know she is not, for this match made up
0851 Her presence would have interrupted much.
0852 Where is she and her son? Tell me, who knows.
0853 She is sad and passionate at your Highness’ tent.
0854 570 And by my faith, this league that we have made
0855 Will give her sadness very little cure.—
0856 Brother of England, how may we content
0857 This widow lady? In her right we came,
0858 Which we, God knows, have turned another way
0859 575 To our own vantage.
KING JOHN 0860 We will heal up all,
0861 For we’ll create young Arthur Duke of Brittany
0862 And Earl of Richmond, and this rich, fair town
0863 We make him lord of.—Call the Lady Constance.
0864 580 Some speedy messenger bid her repair
0865 To our solemnity. ⌜Salisbury exits.⌝ I trust we
0867 If not fill up the measure of her will,
0868 Yet in some measure satisfy her so
0869 585 That we shall stop her exclamation.
0870 Go we as well as haste will suffer us
0871 To this unlooked-for, unpreparèd pomp.
⌜All but the Bastard⌝ exit.
0872 Mad world, mad kings, mad composition!
0873 John, to stop Arthur’s title in the whole,
0874 590 Hath willingly departed with a part;
0875 And France, whose armor conscience buckled on,
0876 Whom zeal and charity brought to the field
0877 As God’s own soldier, rounded in the ear
0878 With that same purpose-changer, that sly devil,
0879 595 That broker that still breaks the pate of faith,
0880 That daily break-vow, he that wins of all,
0881 Of kings, of beggars, old men, young men, maids—
0882 Who having no external thing to lose
0883 But the word “maid,” cheats the poor maid of
0884 600 that—
0886 Commodity, the bias of the world—
0887 The world, who of itself is peisèd well,
0888 Made to run even upon even ground,
0889 605 Till this advantage, this vile-drawing bias,
0890 This sway of motion, this Commodity,
0891 Makes it take head from all indifferency,
0892 From all direction, purpose, course, intent.
0893 And this same bias, this Commodity,
0894 610 This bawd, this broker, this all-changing word,
0895 Clapped on the outward eye of fickle France,
0896 Hath drawn him from his own determined aid,
0897 From a resolved and honorable war
0898 To a most base and vile-concluded peace.
0899 615 And why rail I on this Commodity?
0900 But for because he hath not wooed me yet.
0901 Not that I have the power to clutch my hand
0902 When his fair angels would salute my palm,
0903 But for my hand, as unattempted yet,
0904 620 Like a poor beggar raileth on the rich.
0905 Well, whiles I am a beggar, I will rail
0906 And say there is no sin but to be rich;
0907 And being rich, my virtue then shall be
0908 To say there is no vice but beggary.
0909 625 Since kings break faith upon Commodity,
0910 Gain, be my lord, for I will worship thee!
CONSTANCE, ⌜to Salisbury⌝
0911 Gone to be married? Gone to swear a peace?
0912 False blood to false blood joined? Gone to be friends?
0913 Shall Louis have Blanche and Blanche those
0915 5 It is not so. Thou hast misspoke, misheard.
0916 Be well advised; tell o’er thy tale again.
0917 It cannot be; thou dost but say ’tis so.
0918 I trust I may not trust thee, for thy word
0919 Is but the vain breath of a common man.
0920 10 Believe me, I do not believe thee, man.
0921 I have a king’s oath to the contrary.
0922 Thou shalt be punished for thus flighting me,
0923 For I am sick and capable of fears,
0924 Oppressed with wrongs and therefore full of fears,
0925 15 A widow, husbandless, subject to fears,
0926 A woman naturally born to fears.
0927 And though thou now confess thou didst but jest,
0928 With my vexed spirits I cannot take a truce,
0929 But they will quake and tremble all this day.
0930 20 What dost thou mean by shaking of thy head?
0931 Why dost thou look so sadly on my son?
0932 What means that hand upon that breast of thine?
0934 Like a proud river peering o’er his bounds?
0935 25 Be these sad signs confirmers of thy words?
0936 Then speak again—not all thy former tale,
0937 But this one word, whether thy tale be true.
0938 As true as I believe you think them false
0939 That give you cause to prove my saying true.
0940 30 O, if thou teach me to believe this sorrow,
0941 Teach thou this sorrow how to make me die,
0942 And let belief and life encounter so
0943 As doth the fury of two desperate men
0944 Which in the very meeting fall and die.
0945 35 Louis marry Blanche?—O, boy, then where art
0947 France friend with England? What becomes of me?
0948 Fellow, be gone. I cannot brook thy sight.
0949 This news hath made thee a most ugly man.
0950 40 What other harm have I, good lady, done
0951 But spoke the harm that is by others done?
0952 Which harm within itself so heinous is
0953 As it makes harmful all that speak of it.
0954 I do beseech you, madam, be content.
0955 45 If thou that bidd’st me be content wert grim,
0956 Ugly, and sland’rous to thy mother’s womb,
0957 Full of unpleasing blots and sightless stains,
0958 Lame, foolish, crooked, swart, prodigious,
0959 Patched with foul moles and eye-offending marks,
0960 50 I would not care; I then would be content,
0961 For then I should not love thee; no, nor thou
0963 But thou art fair, and at thy birth, dear boy,
0964 Nature and Fortune joined to make thee great.
0965 55 Of Nature’s gifts thou mayst with lilies boast,
0966 And with the half-blown rose. But Fortune, O,
0967 She is corrupted, changed, and won from thee;
0968 Sh’ adulterates hourly with thine Uncle John,
0969 And with her golden hand hath plucked on France
0970 60 To tread down fair respect of sovereignty,
0971 And made his majesty the bawd to theirs.
0972 France is a bawd to Fortune and King John,
0973 That strumpet Fortune, that usurping John.—
0974 Tell me, thou fellow, is not France forsworn?
0975 65 Envenom him with words, or get thee gone
0976 And leave those woes alone which I alone
0977 Am bound to underbear.
SALISBURY 0978 Pardon me, madam,
0979 I may not go without you to the Kings.
0980 70 Thou mayst, thou shalt, I will not go with thee.
0981 I will instruct my sorrows to be proud,
0982 For grief is proud and makes his owner stoop.
⌜She sits down.⌝
0983 To me and to the state of my great grief
0984 Let kings assemble, for my grief ’s so great
0985 75 That no supporter but the huge firm Earth
0986 Can hold it up. Here I and sorrows sit.
0987 Here is my throne; bid kings come bow to it.
Enter King John, ⌜hand in hand with King Philip of⌝
France, ⌜Louis the⌝ Dauphin, Blanche, ⌜Queen⌝ Eleanor,
⌜Bastard,⌝ Austria, ⌜and Attendants.⌝
KING PHILIP, ⌜to Blanche⌝
0988 ’Tis true, fair daughter, and this blessèd day
0989 Ever in France shall be kept festival.
0991 Stays in his course and plays the alchemist,
0992 Turning with splendor of his precious eye
0993 The meager cloddy earth to glittering gold.
0994 The yearly course that brings this day about
0995 85 Shall never see it but a holy day.
0996 A wicked day, and not a holy day!
0997 What hath this day deserved? What hath it done
0998 That it in golden letters should be set
0999 Among the high tides in the calendar?
1000 90 Nay, rather turn this day out of the week,
1001 This day of shame, oppression, perjury.
1002 Or if it must stand still, let wives with child
1003 Pray that their burdens may not fall this day,
1004 Lest that their hopes prodigiously be crossed.
1005 95 But on this day let seamen fear no wrack;
1006 No bargains break that are not this day made;
1007 This day, all things begun come to ill end,
1008 Yea, faith itself to hollow falsehood change!
1009 By heaven, lady, you shall have no cause
1010 100 To curse the fair proceedings of this day.
1011 Have I not pawned to you my majesty?
1012 You have beguiled me with a counterfeit
1013 Resembling majesty, which, being touched and tried,
1014 Proves valueless. You are forsworn, forsworn.
1015 105 You came in arms to spill mine enemies’ blood,
1016 But now in arms you strengthen it with yours.
1017 The grappling vigor and rough frown of war
1018 Is cold in amity and painted peace,
1019 And our oppression hath made up this league.
1020 110 Arm, arm, you heavens, against these perjured
1023 Let not the hours of this ungodly day
1024 Wear out the days in peace, but ere sunset
1025 115 Set armèd discord ’twixt these perjured kings.
1026 Hear me, O, hear me!
AUSTRIA 1027 Lady Constance, peace.
1028 War, war, no peace! Peace is to me a war.
1029 O Limoges, O Austria, thou dost shame
1030 120 That bloody spoil. Thou slave, thou wretch, thou
1032 Thou little valiant, great in villainy,
1033 Thou ever strong upon the stronger side,
1034 Thou Fortune’s champion, that dost never fight
1035 125 But when her humorous Ladyship is by
1036 To teach thee safety. Thou art perjured too,
1037 And sooth’st up greatness. What a fool art thou,
1038 A ramping fool, to brag and stamp and swear
1039 Upon my party. Thou cold-blooded slave,
1040 130 Hast thou not spoke like thunder on my side?
1041 Been sworn my soldier, bidding me depend
1042 Upon thy stars, thy fortune, and thy strength?
1043 And dost thou now fall over to my foes?
1044 Thou wear a lion’s hide! Doff it for shame,
1045 135 And hang a calfskin on those recreant limbs.
1046 O, that a man should speak those words to me!
1047 “And hang a calfskin on those recreant limbs.”
1048 Thou dar’st not say so, villain, for thy life!
1049 “And hang a calfskin on those recreant limbs.”
1050 140 We like not this. Thou dost forget thyself.
1051 Here comes the holy legate of the Pope.
1052 Hail, you anointed deputies of heaven!
1053 To thee, King John, my holy errand is.
1054 I, Pandulph, of fair Milan cardinal
1055 145 And from Pope Innocent the legate here,
1056 Do in his name religiously demand
1057 Why thou against the Church, our holy mother,
1058 So willfully dost spurn, and force perforce
1059 Keep Stephen Langton, chosen Archbishop
1060 150 Of Canterbury, from that Holy See.
1061 This, in our foresaid Holy Father’s name,
1062 Pope Innocent, I do demand of thee.
1063 What earthy name to interrogatories
1064 Can ⌜task⌝ the free breath of a sacred king?
1065 155 Thou canst not, cardinal, devise a name
1066 So slight, unworthy, and ridiculous
1067 To charge me to an answer, as the Pope.
1068 Tell him this tale, and from the mouth of England
1069 Add thus much more, that no Italian priest
1070 160 Shall tithe or toll in our dominions;
1071 But as we under ⌜God⌝ are supreme head,
1072 So, under Him, that great supremacy
1073 Where we do reign we will alone uphold
1074 Without th’ assistance of a mortal hand.
1075 165 So tell the Pope, all reverence set apart
1076 To him and his usurped authority.
1077 Brother of England, you blaspheme in this.
1078 Though you and all the kings of Christendom
1079 Are led so grossly by this meddling priest,
1081 And by the merit of vile gold, dross, dust,
1082 Purchase corrupted pardon of a man
1083 Who in that sale sells pardon from himself,
1084 Though you and all the rest, so grossly led,
1085 175 This juggling witchcraft with revenue cherish,
1086 Yet I alone, alone do me oppose
1087 Against the Pope, and count his friends my foes.
1088 Then, by the lawful power that I have,
1089 Thou shalt stand cursed and excommunicate;
1090 180 And blessèd shall he be that doth revolt
1091 From his allegiance to an heretic;
1092 And meritorious shall that hand be called,
1093 Canonizèd and worshiped as a saint,
1094 That takes away by any secret course
1095 185 Thy hateful life.
CONSTANCE 1096 O, lawful let it be
1097 That I have room with Rome to curse awhile!
1098 Good father cardinal, cry thou “Amen”
1099 To my keen curses, for without my wrong
1100 190 There is no tongue hath power to curse him right.
1101 There’s law and warrant, lady, for my curse.
1102 And for mine, too. When law can do no right,
1103 Let it be lawful that law bar no wrong.
1104 Law cannot give my child his kingdom here,
1105 195 For he that holds his kingdom holds the law.
1106 Therefore, since law itself is perfect wrong,
1107 How can the law forbid my tongue to curse?
1108 Philip of France, on peril of a curse,
1109 Let go the hand of that arch-heretic,
1110 200 And raise the power of France upon his head
1111 Unless he do submit himself to Rome.
1112 Look’st thou pale, France? Do not let go thy hand.
1113 Look to that, devil, lest that France repent
1114 And by disjoining hands, hell lose a soul.
1115 205 King Philip, listen to the Cardinal.
1116 And hang a calfskin on his recreant limbs.
1117 Well, ruffian, I must pocket up these wrongs,
BASTARD 1119 Your breeches best may carry them.
1120 210 Philip, what sayst thou to the Cardinal?
1121 What should he say, but as the Cardinal?
1122 Bethink you, father, for the difference
1123 Is purchase of a heavy curse from Rome,
1124 Or the light loss of England for a friend.
1125 215 Forgo the easier.
BLANCHE 1126 That’s the curse of Rome.
1127 O Louis, stand fast! The devil tempts thee here
1128 In likeness of a new untrimmèd bride.
1129 The Lady Constance speaks not from her faith,
1130 220 But from her need.
CONSTANCE, ⌜to King Philip⌝
1131 O, if thou grant my need,
1132 Which only lives but by the death of faith,
1133 That need must needs infer this principle:
1134 That faith would live again by death of need.
1135 225 O, then tread down my need, and faith mounts up;
1136 Keep my need up, and faith is trodden down.
1137 The King is moved, and answers not to this.
CONSTANCE, ⌜to King Philip⌝
1138 O, be removed from him, and answer well!
1139 Do so, King Philip. Hang no more in doubt.
1140 230 Hang nothing but a calfskin, most sweet lout.
1141 I am perplexed and know not what to say.
1142 What canst thou say but will perplex thee more,
1143 If thou stand excommunicate and cursed?
1144 Good reverend father, make my person yours,
1145 235 And tell me how you would bestow yourself.
1146 This royal hand and mine are newly knit,
1147 And the conjunction of our inward souls
1148 Married, in league, coupled, and linked together
1149 With all religious strength of sacred vows.
1150 240 The latest breath that gave the sound of words
1151 Was deep-sworn faith, peace, amity, true love
1152 Between our kingdoms and our royal selves;
1153 And even before this truce, but new before,
1154 No longer than we well could wash our hands
1155 245 To clap this royal bargain up of peace,
1156 ⌜God⌝ knows they were besmeared and overstained
1157 With slaughter’s pencil, where revenge did paint
1158 The fearful difference of incensèd kings.
1159 And shall these hands, so lately purged of blood,
1160 250 So newly joined in love, so strong in both,
1161 Unyoke this seizure and this kind regreet?
1162 Play fast and loose with faith? So jest with heaven?
1163 Make such unconstant children of ourselves
1164 As now again to snatch our palm from palm,
1166 Of smiling peace to march a bloody host
1167 And make a riot on the gentle brow
1168 Of true sincerity? O holy sir,
1169 My reverend father, let it not be so!
1170 260 Out of your grace, devise, ordain, impose
1171 Some gentle order, and then we shall be blest
1172 To do your pleasure and continue friends.
1173 All form is formless, order orderless,
1174 Save what is opposite to England’s love.
1175 265 Therefore to arms! Be champion of our Church,
1176 Or let the Church, our mother, breathe her curse,
1177 A mother’s curse, on her revolting son.
1178 France, thou mayst hold a serpent by the tongue,
1179 A ⌜chafèd⌝ lion by the mortal paw,
1180 270 A fasting tiger safer by the tooth,
1181 Than keep in peace that hand which thou dost hold.
1182 I may disjoin my hand, but not my faith.
1183 So mak’st thou faith an enemy to faith,
1184 And like a civil war sett’st oath to oath,
1185 275 Thy tongue against thy tongue. O, let thy vow
1186 First made to ⌜God,⌝ first be to ⌜God⌝ performed,
1187 That is, to be the champion of our Church!
1188 What since thou swor’st is sworn against thyself
1189 And may not be performèd by thyself,
1190 280 For that which thou hast sworn to do amiss
1191 Is not amiss when it is truly done;
1192 And being not done where doing tends to ill,
1193 The truth is then most done not doing it.
1194 The better act of purposes mistook
1195 285 Is to mistake again; though indirect,
1196 Yet indirection thereby grows direct,
1198 Within the scorchèd veins of one new-burned.
1199 It is religion that doth make vows kept,
1200 290 But thou hast sworn against religion
1201 By what thou swear’st against the thing thou
1203 And mak’st an oath the surety for thy truth
1204 Against an oath. The truth thou art unsure
1205 295 To swear swears only not to be forsworn,
1206 Else what a mockery should it be to swear?
1207 But thou dost swear only to be forsworn,
1208 And most forsworn to keep what thou dost swear.
1209 Therefore thy later vows against thy first
1210 300 Is in thyself rebellion to thyself.
1211 And better conquest never canst thou make
1212 Than arm thy constant and thy nobler parts
1213 Against these giddy loose suggestions,
1214 Upon which better part our prayers come in,
1215 305 If thou vouchsafe them. But if not, then know
1216 The peril of our curses light on thee
1217 So heavy as thou shalt not shake them off,
1218 But in despair die under their black weight.
1219 Rebellion, flat rebellion!
BASTARD 1220 310 Will ’t not be?
1221 Will not a calfskin stop that mouth of thine?
1222 Father, to arms!
BLANCHE 1223 Upon thy wedding day?
1224 Against the blood that thou hast marrièd?
1225 315 What, shall our feast be kept with slaughtered men?
1226 Shall braying trumpets and loud churlish drums,
1227 Clamors of hell, be measures to our pomp?
1228 O husband, hear me! Ay, alack, how new
1229 Is “husband” in my mouth! Even for that name,
1231 Upon my knee I beg, go not to arms
1232 Against mine uncle.
1233 O, upon my knee
1234 Made hard with kneeling, I do pray to thee,
1235 325 Thou virtuous Dauphin, alter not the doom
1236 Forethought by heaven!
BLANCHE, ⌜to Dauphin⌝
1237 Now shall I see thy love. What motive may
1238 Be stronger with thee than the name of wife?
1239 That which upholdeth him that thee upholds,
1240 330 His honor.—O, thine honor, Louis, thine honor!
DAUPHIN, ⌜to King Philip⌝
1241 I muse your Majesty doth seem so cold,
1242 When such profound respects do pull you on.
1243 I will denounce a curse upon his head.
KING PHILIP, ⌜dropping King John’s hand⌝
1244 Thou shalt not need.—England, I will fall from
1245 335 thee.
1246 O, fair return of banished majesty!
1247 O, foul revolt of French inconstancy!
1248 France, thou shalt rue this hour within this hour.
1249 Old Time the clock-setter, that bald sexton Time,
1250 340 Is it as he will? Well, then, France shall rue.
1251 The sun’s o’ercast with blood. Fair day, adieu.
1252 Which is the side that I must go withal?
1253 I am with both, each army hath a hand,
1255 345 They whirl asunder and dismember me.
1256 Husband, I cannot pray that thou mayst win.—
1257 Uncle, I needs must pray that thou mayst lose.—
1258 Father, I may not wish the fortune thine.—
1259 Grandam, I will not wish thy wishes thrive.
1260 350 Whoever wins, on that side shall I lose.
1261 Assurèd loss before the match be played.
1262 Lady, with me, with me thy fortune lies.
1263 There where my fortune lives, there my life dies.
KING JOHN, ⌜to Bastard⌝
1264 Cousin, go draw our puissance together.
1265 355 France, I am burned up with inflaming wrath,
1266 A rage whose heat hath this condition,
1267 That nothing can allay, nothing but blood—
1268 The blood, and dearest-valued blood, of France.
1269 Thy rage shall burn thee up, and thou shalt turn
1270 360 To ashes ere our blood shall quench that fire.
1271 Look to thyself. Thou art in jeopardy.
1272 No more than he that threats.—To arms let’s hie!
Enter Bastard with Austria’s head.
1273 Now, by my life, this day grows wondrous hot.
1274 Some airy devil hovers in the sky
1275 And pours down mischief. Austria’s head lie there,
1276 While Philip breathes.
1277 5 Hubert, keep this boy.—Philip, make up.
1278 My mother is assailèd in our tent
1279 And ta’en, I fear.
BASTARD 1280 My lord, I rescued her.
1281 Her Highness is in safety, fear you not.
1282 10 But on, my liege, for very little pains
1283 Will bring this labor to an happy end.
Enter ⌜King⌝ John, ⌜Queen⌝ Eleanor, Arthur, Bastard,
KING JOHN, ⌜to Queen Eleanor⌝
1284 So shall it be. Your Grace shall stay behind
1285 So strongly guarded. ⌜To Arthur.⌝ Cousin, look not sad.
1286 Thy grandam loves thee, and thy uncle will
1287 As dear be to thee as thy father was.
1288 5 O, this will make my mother die with grief!
KING JOHN, ⌜to Bastard⌝
1289 Cousin, away for England! Haste before,
1290 And ere our coining see thou shake the bags
1291 Of hoarding abbots; imprisoned angels
1292 Set at liberty. The fat ribs of peace
1293 10 Must by the hungry now be fed upon.
1294 Use our commission in his utmost force.
1295 Bell, book, and candle shall not drive me back
1296 When gold and silver becks me to come on.
1297 I leave your Highness.—Grandam, I will pray,
1299 For your fair safety. So I kiss your hand.
1300 Farewell, gentle cousin.
KING JOHN 1301 Coz, farewell.⌜Bastard exits.⌝
QUEEN ELEANOR, ⌜to Arthur⌝
1302 Come hither, little kinsman. Hark, a word.
⌜They walk aside.⌝
1303 20 Come hither, Hubert.⌜He takes Hubert aside.⌝
1304 O, my gentle Hubert,
1305 We owe thee much. Within this wall of flesh
1306 There is a soul counts thee her creditor,
1307 And with advantage means to pay thy love.
1308 25 And, my good friend, thy voluntary oath
1309 Lives in this bosom dearly cherishèd.
1310 Give me thy hand. I had a thing to say,
1311 But I will fit it with some better tune.
1312 By heaven, Hubert, I am almost ashamed
1313 30 To say what good respect I have of thee.
1314 I am much bounden to your Majesty.
1315 Good friend, thou hast no cause to say so yet,
1316 But thou shalt have. And, creep time ne’er so slow,
1317 Yet it shall come for me to do thee good.
1318 35 I had a thing to say—but let it go.
1319 The sun is in the heaven, and the proud day,
1320 Attended with the pleasures of the world,
1321 Is all too wanton and too full of gauds
1322 To give me audience. If the midnight bell
1323 40 Did with his iron tongue and brazen mouth
1324 Sound on into the drowsy race of night;
1325 If this same were a churchyard where we stand,
1326 And thou possessèd with a thousand wrongs;
1328 45 Had baked thy blood and made it heavy, thick,
1329 Which else runs tickling up and down the veins,
1330 Making that idiot, laughter, keep men’s eyes
1331 And strain their cheeks to idle merriment,
1332 A passion hateful to my purposes;
1333 50 Or if that thou couldst see me without eyes,
1334 Hear me without thine ears, and make reply
1335 Without a tongue, using conceit alone,
1336 Without eyes, ears, and harmful sound of words;
1337 Then, in despite of brooded watchful day,
1338 55 I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts.
1339 But, ah, I will not. Yet I love thee well,
1340 And by my troth I think thou lov’st me well.
1341 So well that what you bid me undertake,
1342 Though that my death were adjunct to my act,
1343 60 By heaven, I would do it.
KING JOHN 1344 Do not I know thou wouldst?
1345 Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert, throw thine eye
1346 On yon young boy. I’ll tell thee what, my friend,
1347 He is a very serpent in my way,
1348 65 And wheresoe’er this foot of mine doth tread,
1349 He lies before me. Dost thou understand me?
1350 Thou art his keeper.
HUBERT 1351 And I’ll keep him so
1352 That he shall not offend your Majesty.
1353 70 Death.
HUBERT 1354 My lord?
KING JOHN 1355 A grave.
HUBERT 1356 He shall not live.
KING JOHN 1357 Enough.
1358 75 I could be merry now. Hubert, I love thee.
1359 Well, I’ll not say what I intend for thee.
1361 you well.
1362 I’ll send those powers o’er to your Majesty.
QUEEN ELEANOR 1363 80My blessing go with thee.
KING JOHN, ⌜to Arthur⌝ 1364 For England, cousin, go.
1365 Hubert shall be your man, attend on you
1366 With all true duty.—On toward Calais, ho!
1367 So, by a roaring tempest on the flood,
1368 A whole armada of convicted sail
1369 Is scattered and disjoined from fellowship.
1370 Courage and comfort. All shall yet go well.
1371 5 What can go well when we have run so ill?
1372 Are we not beaten? Is not Angiers lost?
1373 Arthur ta’en prisoner? Divers dear friends slain?
1374 And bloody England into England gone,
1375 O’erbearing interruption, spite of France?
1376 10 What he hath won, that hath he fortified.
1377 So hot a speed, with such advice disposed,
1378 Such temperate order in so fierce a cause,
1379 Doth want example. Who hath read or heard
1380 Of any kindred action like to this?
1381 15 Well could I bear that England had this praise,
1382 So we could find some pattern of our shame.
Enter Constance, ⌜with her hair unbound.⌝
1384 Holding th’ eternal spirit against her will
1385 In the vile prison of afflicted breath.—
1386 20 I prithee, lady, go away with me.
1387 Lo, now, now see the issue of your peace!
1388 Patience, good lady. Comfort, gentle Constance.
1389 No, I defy all counsel, all redress,
1390 But that which ends all counsel, true redress.
1391 25 Death, death, O amiable, lovely death,
1392 Thou odoriferous stench, sound rottenness,
1393 Arise forth from the couch of lasting night,
1394 Thou hate and terror to prosperity,
1395 And I will kiss thy detestable bones
1396 30 And put my eyeballs in thy vaulty brows,
1397 And ring these fingers with thy household worms,
1398 And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust,
1399 And be a carrion monster like thyself.
1400 Come, grin on me, and I will think thou smil’st,
1401 35 And buss thee as thy wife. Misery’s love,
1402 O, come to me!
KING PHILIP 1403 O fair affliction, peace!
1404 No, no, I will not, having breath to cry.
1405 O, that my tongue were in the thunder’s mouth!
1406 40 Then with a passion would I shake the world
1407 And rouse from sleep that fell anatomy
1408 Which cannot hear a lady’s feeble voice,
1409 Which scorns a modern invocation.
1410 Lady, you utter madness and not sorrow.
1411 45 Thou art ⌜not⌝ holy to belie me so.
1412 I am not mad. This hair I tear is mine;
1414 Young Arthur is my son, and he is lost.
1415 I am not mad; I would to heaven I were,
1416 50 For then ’tis like I should forget myself.
1417 O, if I could, what grief should I forget!
1418 Preach some philosophy to make me mad,
1419 And thou shalt be canonized, cardinal.
1420 For, being not mad but sensible of grief,
1421 55 My reasonable part produces reason
1422 How I may be delivered of these woes,
1423 And teaches me to kill or hang myself.
1424 If I were mad, I should forget my son,
1425 Or madly think a babe of clouts were he.
1426 60 I am not mad. Too well, too well I feel
1427 The different plague of each calamity.
1428 Bind up those tresses.—O, what love I note
1429 In the fair multitude of those her hairs;
1430 Where but by chance a silver drop hath fall’n,
1431 65 Even to that drop ten thousand wiry ⌜friends⌝
1432 Do glue themselves in sociable grief,
1433 Like true, inseparable, faithful loves,
1434 Sticking together in calamity.
1435 To England, if you will.
KING PHILIP 1436 70 Bind up your hairs.
1437 Yes, that I will. And wherefore will I do it?
1438 I tore them from their bonds and cried aloud
1439 “O, that these hands could so redeem my son,
1440 As they have given these hairs their liberty!”
1441 75 But now I envy at their liberty,
1442 And will again commit them to their bonds,
1443 Because my poor child is a prisoner.
⌜She binds up her hair.⌝
1445 That we shall see and know our friends in heaven.
1446 80 If that be true, I shall see my boy again;
1447 For since the birth of Cain, the first male child,
1448 To him that did but yesterday suspire,
1449 There was not such a gracious creature born.
1450 But now will canker sorrow eat my bud
1451 85 And chase the native beauty from his cheek,
1452 And he will look as hollow as a ghost,
1453 As dim and meager as an ague’s fit,
1454 And so he’ll die; and, rising so again,
1455 When I shall meet him in the court of heaven
1456 90 I shall not know him. Therefore never, never
1457 Must I behold my pretty Arthur more.
1458 You hold too heinous a respect of grief.
1459 He talks to me that never had a son.
1460 You are as fond of grief as of your child.
1461 95 Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
1462 Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,
1463 Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
1464 Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
1465 Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form;
1466 100 Then, have I reason to be fond of grief?
1467 Fare you well. Had you such a loss as I,
1468 I could give better comfort than you do.
⌜She unbinds her hair.⌝
1469 I will not keep this form upon my head
1470 When there is such disorder in my wit.
1471 105 O Lord! My boy, my Arthur, my fair son,
1472 My life, my joy, my food, my all the world,
1473 My widow-comfort and my sorrows’ cure!She exits.
1474 I fear some outrage, and I’ll follow her.
He exits, ⌜with Attendants.⌝
1475 There’s nothing in this world can make me joy.
1476 110 Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale,
1477 Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man;
1478 And bitter shame hath spoiled the sweet ⌜world’s⌝
1480 That it yields naught but shame and bitterness.
1481 115 Before the curing of a strong disease,
1482 Even in the instant of repair and health,
1483 The fit is strongest. Evils that take leave
1484 On their departure most of all show evil.
1485 What have you lost by losing of this day?
1486 120 All days of glory, joy, and happiness.
1487 If you had won it, certainly you had.
1488 No, no. When Fortune means to men most good,
1489 She looks upon them with a threat’ning eye.
1490 ’Tis strange to think how much King John hath lost
1491 125 In this which he accounts so clearly won.
1492 Are not you grieved that Arthur is his prisoner?
1493 As heartily as he is glad he hath him.
1494 Your mind is all as youthful as your blood.
1495 Now hear me speak with a prophetic spirit.
1496 130 For even the breath of what I mean to speak
1497 Shall blow each dust, each straw, each little rub,
1498 Out of the path which shall directly lead
1499 Thy foot to England’s throne. And therefore mark:
1500 John hath seized Arthur, and it cannot be
1501 135 That, whiles warm life plays in that infant’s veins,
1503 One minute, nay, one quiet breath of rest.
1504 A scepter snatched with an unruly hand
1505 Must be as boisterously maintained as gained.
1506 140 And he that stands upon a slipp’ry place
1507 Makes nice of no vile hold to stay him up.
1508 That John may stand, then Arthur needs must fall.
1509 So be it, for it cannot be but so.
1510 But what shall I gain by young Arthur’s fall?
1511 145 You, in the right of Lady Blanche your wife,
1512 May then make all the claim that Arthur did.
1513 And lose it, life and all, as Arthur did.
1514 How green you are and fresh in this old world!
1515 John lays you plots. The times conspire with you,
1516 150 For he that steeps his safety in true blood
1517 Shall find but bloody safety, and untrue.
1518 This act so evilly borne shall cool the hearts
1519 Of all his people and freeze up their zeal,
1520 That none so small advantage shall step forth
1521 155 To check his reign but they will cherish it.
1522 No natural exhalation in the sky,
1523 No scope of nature, no distempered day,
1524 No common wind, no customèd event,
1525 But they will pluck away his natural cause
1526 160 And call them meteors, prodigies, and signs,
1527 Abortives, presages, and tongues of heaven,
1528 Plainly denouncing vengeance upon John.
1529 Maybe he will not touch young Arthur’s life,
1530 But hold himself safe in his prisonment.
1531 165 O, sir, when he shall hear of your approach,
1533 Even at that news he dies; and then the hearts
1534 Of all his people shall revolt from him
1535 And kiss the lips of unacquainted change,
1536 170 And pick strong matter of revolt and wrath
1537 Out of the bloody fingers’ ends of John.
1538 Methinks I see this hurly all on foot;
1539 And, O, what better matter breeds for you
1540 Than I have named! The bastard Faulconbridge
1541 175 Is now in England ransacking the Church,
1542 Offending charity. If but a dozen French
1543 Were there in arms, they would be as a call
1544 To train ten thousand English to their side,
1545 Or as a little snow, tumbled about,
1546 180 Anon becomes a mountain. O noble dauphin,
1547 Go with me to the King. ’Tis wonderful
1548 What may be wrought out of their discontent,
1549 Now that their souls are topful of offense.
1550 For England, go. I will whet on the King.
1551 185 Strong reasons makes strange actions. Let us go.
1552 If you say ay, the King will not say no.
1553 Heat me these irons hot, and look thou stand
1554 Within the arras. When I strike my foot
1555 Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth
1556 And bind the boy which you shall find with me
1557 5 Fast to the chair. Be heedful. Hence, and watch.
1558 I hope your warrant will bear out the deed.
1559 Uncleanly scruples fear not you. Look to ’t.
1560 Young lad, come forth. I have to say with you.
1561 Good morrow, Hubert.
HUBERT 1562 10 Good morrow, little prince.
1563 As little prince, having so great a title
1564 To be more prince, as may be. You are sad.
1565 Indeed, I have been merrier.
ARTHUR 1566 Mercy on me!
1568 Yet I remember, when I was in France,
1569 Young gentlemen would be as sad as night
1570 Only for wantonness. By my christendom,
1571 So I were out of prison and kept sheep,
1572 20 I should be as merry as the day is long.
1573 And so I would be here but that I doubt
1574 My uncle practices more harm to me.
1575 He is afraid of me, and I of him.
1576 Is it my fault that I was Geoffrey’s son?
1577 25 No, indeed, is ’t not. And I would to heaven
1578 I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert.
1579 If I talk to him, with his innocent prate
1580 He will awake my mercy, which lies dead.
1581 Therefore I will be sudden and dispatch.
1582 30 Are you sick, Hubert? You look pale today.
1583 In sooth, I would you were a little sick
1584 That I might sit all night and watch with you.
1585 I warrant I love you more than you do me.
1586 His words do take possession of my bosom.
⌜He shows Arthur a paper.⌝
1587 35 Read here, young Arthur. (⌜Aside.⌝) How now,
1588 foolish rheum?
1589 Turning dispiteous torture out of door?
1590 I must be brief lest resolution drop
1591 Out at mine eyes in tender womanish tears.—
1592 40 Can you not read it? Is it not fair writ?
1593 Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect.
1594 Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes?
1595 Young boy, I must.
HUBERT 1597 45 And I will.
1598 Have you the heart? When your head did but ache,
1599 I knit my handkercher about your brows—
1600 The best I had, a princess wrought it me—
1601 And I did never ask it you again;
1602 50 And with my hand at midnight held your head,
1603 And like the watchful minutes to the hour
1604 Still and anon cheered up the heavy time,
1605 Saying “What lack you?” and “Where lies your
1607 55 Or “What good love may I perform for you?”
1608 Many a poor man’s son would have lien still
1609 And ne’er have spoke a loving word to you;
1610 But you at your sick service had a prince.
1611 Nay, you may think my love was crafty love,
1612 60 And call it cunning. Do, an if you will.
1613 If heaven be pleased that you must use me ill,
1614 Why then you must. Will you put out mine eyes—
1615 These eyes that never did nor never shall
1616 So much as frown on you?
HUBERT 1617 65 I have sworn to do it.
1618 And with hot irons must I burn them out.
1619 Ah, none but in this Iron Age would do it.
1620 The iron of itself, though heat red-hot,
1621 Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears
1622 70 And quench this fiery indignation
1623 Even in the matter of mine innocence;
1624 Nay, after that, consume away in rust
1625 But for containing fire to harm mine eye.
1626 Are you more stubborn-hard than hammered iron?
1627 75 An if an angel should have come to me
1628 And told me Hubert should put out mine eyes,
HUBERT ⌜stamps his foot and calls⌝ 1631 Come forth.
⌜Enter Executioners with ropes, a heated iron, and a
brazier of burning coals.⌝
1632 80 Do as I bid you do.
1633 O, save me, Hubert, save me! My eyes are out
1634 Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men.
1635 Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.
⌜He takes the iron.⌝
1636 Alas, what need you be so boist’rous-rough?
1637 85 I will not struggle; I will stand stone-still.
1638 For ⌜God’s⌝ sake, Hubert, let me not be bound!
1639 Nay, hear me, Hubert! Drive these men away,
1640 And I will sit as quiet as a lamb.
1641 I will not stir nor wince nor speak a word
1642 90 Nor look upon the iron angerly.
1643 Thrust but these men away, and I’ll forgive you,
1644 Whatever torment you do put me to.
HUBERT, ⌜to Executioners⌝
1645 Go stand within. Let me alone with him.
1646 I am best pleased to be from such a deed.
1647 95 Alas, I then have chid away my friend!
1648 He hath a stern look but a gentle heart.
1649 Let him come back, that his compassion may
1650 Give life to yours.
HUBERT 1651 Come, boy, prepare yourself.
1652 100 Is there no remedy?
1654 O ⌜God,⌝ that there were but a mote in yours,
1655 A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wandering hair,
1656 Any annoyance in that precious sense.
1657 105 Then, feeling what small things are boisterous
1659 Your vile intent must needs seem horrible.
1660 Is this your promise? Go to, hold your tongue.
1661 Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues
1662 110 Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes.
1663 Let me not hold my tongue. Let me not, Hubert,
1664 Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue,
1665 So I may keep mine eyes. O, spare mine eyes,
1666 Though to no use but still to look on you.
⌜He seizes the iron.⌝
1667 115 Lo, by my troth, the instrument is cold,
1668 And would not harm me.
HUBERT, ⌜taking back the iron⌝
1669 I can heat it, boy.
1670 No, in good sooth. The fire is dead with grief,
1671 Being create for comfort, to be used
1672 120 In undeserved extremes. See else yourself.
1673 There is no malice in this burning coal.
1674 The breath of heaven hath blown his spirit out
1675 And strewed repentant ashes on his head.
1676 But with my breath I can revive it, boy.
1677 125 An if you do, you will but make it blush
1678 And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert.
1679 Nay, it perchance will sparkle in your eyes,
1681 Snatch at his master that doth tar him on.
1682 130 All things that you should use to do me wrong
1683 Deny their office. Only you do lack
1684 That mercy which fierce fire and iron extends,
1685 Creatures of note for mercy-lacking uses.
1686 Well, see to live. I will not touch thine eye
1687 135 For all the treasure that thine uncle owes.
1688 Yet am I sworn, and I did purpose, boy,
1689 With this same very iron to burn them out.
1690 O, now you look like Hubert. All this while
1691 You were disguisèd.
HUBERT 1692 140 Peace. No more. Adieu.
1693 Your uncle must not know but you are dead.
1694 I’ll fill these doggèd spies with false reports.
1695 And, pretty child, sleep doubtless and secure
1696 That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world,
1697 145 Will not offend thee.
ARTHUR 1698 O heaven! I thank you, Hubert.
1699 Silence. No more. Go closely in with me.
1700 Much danger do I undergo for thee.
Lords. ⌜King John ascends the throne.⌝
1701 Here once again we sit, once ⌜again⌝ crowned
1702 And looked upon, I hope, with cheerful eyes.
1703 This “once again,” but that your Highness pleased,
1705 5 And that high royalty was ne’er plucked off,
1706 The faiths of men ne’er stainèd with revolt;
1707 Fresh expectation troubled not the land
1708 With any longed-for change or better state.
1709 Therefore, to be possessed with double pomp,
1710 10 To guard a title that was rich before,
1711 To gild refinèd gold, to paint the lily,
1712 To throw a perfume on the violet,
1713 To smooth the ice or add another hue
1714 Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
1715 15 To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
1716 Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.
1717 But that your royal pleasure must be done,
1718 This act is as an ancient tale new told,
1719 And, in the last repeating, troublesome,
1720 20 Being urgèd at a time unseasonable.
1721 In this the antique and well-noted face
1722 Of plain old form is much disfigurèd,
1723 And like a shifted wind unto a sail,
1724 It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about,
1725 25 Startles and frights consideration,
1726 Makes sound opinion sick and truth suspected
1727 For putting on so new a fashioned robe.
1728 When workmen strive to do better than well,
1729 They do confound their skill in covetousness,
1730 30 And oftentimes excusing of a fault
1731 Doth make the fault the worse by th’ excuse,
1732 As patches set upon a little breach
1733 Discredit more in hiding of the fault
1734 Than did the fault before it was so patched.
1735 35 To this effect, before you were new-crowned,
1736 We breathed our counsel; but it pleased your
1738 To overbear it, and we are all well pleased,
1739 Since all and every part of what we would
1740 40 Doth make a stand at what your Highness will.
1741 Some reasons of this double coronation
1742 I have possessed you with, and think them strong;
1743 And more, more strong, ⌜when⌝ lesser is my fear,
1744 I shall endue you with. Meantime, but ask
1745 45 What you would have reformed that is not well,
1746 And well shall you perceive how willingly
1747 I will both hear and grant you your requests.
1748 Then I, as one that am the tongue of these
1749 To sound the purposes of all their hearts,
1750 50 Both for myself and them, but chief of all
1751 Your safety, for the which myself and them
1752 Bend their best studies, heartily request
1753 Th’ enfranchisement of Arthur, whose restraint
1754 Doth move the murmuring lips of discontent
1755 55 To break into this dangerous argument:
1756 If what in rest you have in right you hold,
1757 Why then your fears, which, as they say, attend
1758 The steps of wrong, should move you to mew up
1759 Your tender kinsman and to choke his days
1760 60 With barbarous ignorance and deny his youth
1761 The rich advantage of good exercise.
1762 That the time’s enemies may not have this
1763 To grace occasions, let it be our suit
1764 That you have bid us ask, his liberty,
1765 65 Which for our goods we do no further ask
1766 Than whereupon our weal, on you depending,
1767 Counts it your weal he have his liberty.
1768 Let it be so. I do commit his youth
1769 To your direction.
1770 70 Hubert, what news with you?
⌜King John and Hubert talk aside.⌝
1771 This is the man should do the bloody deed.
1772 He showed his warrant to a friend of mine.
1773 The image of a wicked heinous fault
1774 Lives in his eye. That close aspect of his
1775 75 ⌜Doth⌝ show the mood of a much troubled breast,
1776 And I do fearfully believe ’tis done
1777 What we so feared he had a charge to do.
1778 The color of the King doth come and go
1779 Between his purpose and his conscience,
1780 80 Like heralds ’twixt two dreadful battles set.
1781 His passion is so ripe it needs must break.
1782 And when it breaks, I fear will issue thence
1783 The foul corruption of a sweet child’s death.
KING JOHN, ⌜coming forward with Hubert⌝
1784 We cannot hold mortality’s strong hand.—
1785 85 Good lords, although my will to give is living,
1786 The suit which you demand is gone and dead.
1787 He tells us Arthur is deceased tonight.
1788 Indeed, we feared his sickness was past cure.
1789 Indeed, we heard how near his death he was
1790 90 Before the child himself felt he was sick.
1791 This must be answered either here or hence.
1792 Why do you bend such solemn brows on me?
1794 Have I commandment on the pulse of life?
1795 95 It is apparent foul play, and ’tis shame
1796 That greatness should so grossly offer it.
1797 So thrive it in your game, and so farewell.
1798 Stay yet, Lord Salisbury. I’ll go with thee
1799 And find th’ inheritance of this poor child,
1800 100 His little kingdom of a forcèd grave.
1801 That blood which owed the breadth of all this isle,
1802 Three foot of it doth hold. Bad world the while!
1803 This must not be thus borne; this will break out
1804 To all our sorrows, and ere long, I doubt.
⌜Pembroke, Salisbury, and other Lords⌝ exit.
1805 105 They burn in indignation. I repent.
1806 There is no sure foundation set on blood,
1807 No certain life achieved by others’ death.
1808 A fearful eye thou hast. Where is that blood
1809 That I have seen inhabit in those cheeks?
1810 110 So foul a sky clears not without a storm.
1811 Pour down thy weather: how goes all in France?
1812 From France to England. Never such a power
1813 For any foreign preparation
1814 Was levied in the body of a land.
1815 115 The copy of your speed is learned by them,
1816 For when you should be told they do prepare,
1817 The tidings comes that they are all arrived.
1818 O, where hath our intelligence been drunk?
1819 Where hath it slept? Where is my mother’s care,
1821 And she not hear of it?
MESSENGER 1822 My liege, her ear
1823 Is stopped with dust. The first of April died
1824 Your noble mother. And as I hear, my lord,
1825 125 The Lady Constance in a frenzy died
1826 Three days before. But this from rumor’s tongue
1827 I idly heard. If true or false, I know not.
KING JOHN, ⌜aside⌝
1828 Withhold thy speed, dreadful occasion!
1829 O, make a league with me till I have pleased
1830 130 My discontented peers. What? Mother dead?
1831 How wildly then walks my estate in France!—
1832 Under whose conduct came those powers of France
1833 That thou for truth giv’st out are landed here?
1834 Under the Dauphin.
KING JOHN 1835 135 Thou hast made me giddy
1836 With these ill tidings.
Enter Bastard and Peter of Pomfret.
⌜To Bastard.⌝ 1837 Now, what says the world
1838 To your proceedings? Do not seek to stuff
1839 My head with more ill news, for it is full.
1840 140 But if you be afeard to hear the worst,
1841 Then let the worst, unheard, fall on your head.
1842 Bear with me, cousin, for I was amazed
1843 Under the tide, but now I breathe again
1844 Aloft the flood and can give audience
1845 145 To any tongue, speak it of what it will.
1846 How I have sped among the clergymen
1847 The sums I have collected shall express.
1849 I find the people strangely fantasied,
1850 150 Possessed with rumors, full of idle dreams,
1851 Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear.
1852 And here’s a prophet that I brought with me
1853 From forth the streets of Pomfret, whom I found
1854 With many hundreds treading on his heels,
1855 155 To whom he sung in rude harsh-sounding rhymes
1856 That ere the next Ascension Day at noon,
1857 Your Highness should deliver up your crown.
KING JOHN, ⌜to Peter⌝
1858 Thou idle dreamer, wherefore didst thou so?
1859 Foreknowing that the truth will fall out so.
1860 160 Hubert, away with him! Imprison him.
1861 And on that day at noon, whereon he says
1862 I shall yield up my crown, let him be hanged.
1863 Deliver him to safety and return,
1864 For I must use thee.⌜Hubert and Peter exit.⌝
1865 165 O my gentle cousin,
1866 Hear’st thou the news abroad, who are arrived?
1867 The French, my lord. Men’s mouths are full of it.
1868 Besides, I met Lord Bigot and Lord Salisbury
1869 With eyes as red as new-enkindled fire,
1870 170 And others more, going to seek the grave
1871 Of Arthur, whom they say is killed tonight
1872 On your suggestion.
KING JOHN 1873 Gentle kinsman, go
1874 And thrust thyself into their companies.
1875 175 I have a way to win their loves again.
1876 Bring them before me.
BASTARD 1877 I will seek them out.
1878 Nay, but make haste, the better foot before!
1880 180 When adverse foreigners affright my towns
1881 With dreadful pomp of stout invasion.
1882 Be Mercury, set feathers to thy heels,
1883 And fly like thought from them to me again.
1884 The spirit of the time shall teach me speed.
1885 185 Spoke like a sprightful noble gentleman.
1886 ⌜To Messenger.⌝ Go after him, for he perhaps shall
1888 Some messenger betwixt me and the peers,
1889 And be thou he.
MESSENGER 1890 190 With all my heart, my liege.
KING JOHN 1891 My mother dead!
1892 My lord, they say five moons were seen tonight—
1893 Four fixèd, and the fifth did whirl about
1894 The other four in wondrous motion.
1895 195 Five moons!
HUBERT 1896 Old men and beldams in the streets
1897 Do prophesy upon it dangerously.
1898 Young Arthur’s death is common in their mouths,
1899 And when they talk of him, they shake their heads
1900 200 And whisper one another in the ear,
1901 And he that speaks doth grip the hearer’s wrist,
1902 Whilst he that hears makes fearful action
1903 With wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling eyes.
1904 I saw a smith stand with his hammer, thus,
1905 205 The whilst his iron did on the anvil cool,
1907 Who with his shears and measure in his hand,
1908 Standing on slippers which his nimble haste
1909 Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet,
1910 210 Told of a many thousand warlike French
1911 That were embattlèd and ranked in Kent.
1912 Another lean, unwashed artificer
1913 Cuts off his tale and talks of Arthur’s death.
1914 Why seek’st thou to possess me with these fears?
1915 215 Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur’s death?
1916 Thy hand hath murdered him. I had a mighty cause
1917 To wish him dead, but thou hadst none to kill him.
1918 No had, my lord! Why, did you not provoke me?
1919 It is the curse of kings to be attended
1920 220 By slaves that take their humors for a warrant
1921 To break within the bloody house of life,
1922 And on the winking of authority
1923 To understand a law, to know the meaning
1924 Of dangerous majesty, when perchance it frowns
1925 225 More upon humor than advised respect.
HUBERT, ⌜showing a paper⌝
1926 Here is your hand and seal for what I did.
1927 O, when the last accompt twixt heaven and Earth
1928 Is to be made, then shall this hand and seal
1929 Witness against us to damnation!
1930 230 How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds
1931 Make deeds ill done! Hadst not thou been by,
1932 A fellow by the hand of nature marked,
1933 Quoted, and signed to do a deed of shame,
1934 This murder had not come into my mind.
1935 235 But taking note of thy abhorred aspect,
1937 Apt, liable to be employed in danger,
1938 I faintly broke with thee of Arthur’s death;
1939 And thou, to be endearèd to a king,
1940 240 Made it no conscience to destroy a prince.
HUBERT 1941 My lord—
1942 Hadst thou but shook thy head or made a pause
1943 When I spake darkly what I purposèd,
1944 Or turned an eye of doubt upon my face,
1945 245 As bid me tell my tale in express words,
1946 Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me break
1948 And those thy fears might have wrought fears in me.
1949 But thou didst understand me by my signs
1950 250 And didst in signs again parley with sin,
1951 Yea, without stop didst let thy heart consent
1952 And consequently thy rude hand to act
1953 The deed which both our tongues held vile to name.
1954 Out of my sight, and never see me more.
1955 255 My nobles leave me, and my state is braved,
1956 Even at my gates, with ranks of foreign powers.
1957 Nay, in the body of this fleshly land,
1958 This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath,
1959 Hostility and civil tumult reigns
1960 260 Between my conscience and my cousin’s death.
1961 Arm you against your other enemies.
1962 I’ll make a peace between your soul and you.
1963 Young Arthur is alive. This hand of mine
1964 Is yet a maiden and an innocent hand,
1965 265 Not painted with the crimson spots of blood.
1966 Within this bosom never entered yet
1967 The dreadful motion of a murderous thought,
1968 And you have slandered nature in my form,
1970 270 Is yet the cover of a fairer mind
1971 Than to be butcher of an innocent child.
1972 Doth Arthur live? O, haste thee to the peers,
1973 Throw this report on their incensèd rage,
1974 And make them tame to their obedience.
1975 275 Forgive the comment that my passion made
1976 Upon thy feature, for my rage was blind,
1977 And foul imaginary eyes of blood
1978 Presented thee more hideous than thou art.
1979 O, answer not, but to my closet bring
1980 280 The angry lords with all expedient haste.
1981 I conjure thee but slowly; run more fast.
1982 The wall is high, and yet will I leap down.
1983 Good ground, be pitiful and hurt me not.
1984 There’s few or none do know me. If they did,
1985 This shipboy’s semblance hath disguised me quite.
1986 5 I am afraid, and yet I’ll venture it.
1987 If I get down and do not break my limbs,
1988 I’ll find a thousand shifts to get away.
1989 As good to die and go as die and stay.
1990 O me, my uncle’s spirit is in these stones.
1991 10 Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones.
Enter Pembroke, Salisbury ⌜with a letter,⌝ and Bigot.
1992 Lords, I will meet him at Saint Edmundsbury;
1994 This gentle offer of the perilous time.
1995 Who brought that letter from the Cardinal?
1996 15 The Count Melun, a noble lord of France,
1997 Whose private with me of the Dauphin’s love
1998 Is much more general than these lines import.
1999 Tomorrow morning let us meet him, then.
2000 Or rather then set forward, for ’twill be
2001 20 Two long days’ journey, lords, or ere we meet.
2002 Once more today well met, distempered lords.
2003 The King by me requests your presence straight.
2004 The King hath dispossessed himself of us.
2005 We will not line his thin bestainèd cloak
2006 25 With our pure honors, nor attend the foot
2007 That leaves the print of blood where’er it walks.
2008 Return, and tell him so. We know the worst.
2009 Whate’er you think, good words I think were best.
2010 Our griefs and not our manners reason now.
2011 30 But there is little reason in your grief.
2012 Therefore ’twere reason you had manners now.
2013 Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege.
2014 ’Tis true, to hurt his master, no man’s else.
2015 This is the prison.
⌜He sees Arthur’s body.⌝
2016 35 What is he lies here?
2017 O Death, made proud with pure and princely beauty!
2018 The Earth had not a hole to hide this deed.
2019 Murder, as hating what himself hath done,
2020 Doth lay it open to urge on revenge.
2021 40 Or when he doomed this beauty to a grave,
2022 Found it too precious-princely for a grave.
SALISBURY, ⌜to Bastard⌝
2023 Sir Richard, what think you? You have beheld.
2024 Or have you read or heard, or could you think,
2025 Or do you almost think, although you see,
2026 45 That you do see? Could thought, without this object,
2027 Form such another? This is the very top,
2028 The height, the crest, or crest unto the crest,
2029 Of murder’s arms. This is the bloodiest shame,
2030 The wildest savagery, the vilest stroke
2031 50 That ever wall-eyed wrath or staring rage
2032 Presented to the tears of soft remorse.
2033 All murders past do stand excused in this.
2034 And this, so sole and so unmatchable,
2035 Shall give a holiness, a purity,
2036 55 To the yet unbegotten sin of times
2037 And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest,
2038 Exampled by this heinous spectacle.
2039 It is a damnèd and a bloody work,
2040 The graceless action of a heavy hand,
2041 60 If that it be the work of any hand.
2042 If that it be the work of any hand?
2043 We had a kind of light what would ensue.
2044 It is the shameful work of Hubert’s hand,
2045 The practice and the purpose of the King,
2046 65 From whose obedience I forbid my soul,
2047 Kneeling before this ruin of sweet life⌜He kneels.⌝
2048 And breathing to his breathless excellence
2049 The incense of a vow, a holy vow:
2050 Never to taste the pleasures of the world,
2051 70 Never to be infected with delight,
2052 Nor conversant with ease and idleness,
2053 Till I have set a glory to this hand
2054 By giving it the worship of revenge.
PEMBROKE, BIGOT, ⌜kneeling⌝
2055 Our souls religiously confirm thy words.
2056 75 Lords, I am hot with haste in seeking you.
2057 Arthur doth live; the King hath sent for you.
2058 O, he is bold and blushes not at death!—
2059 Avaunt, thou hateful villain, get thee gone!
2060 I am no villain.
SALISBURY, ⌜drawing his sword⌝ 2061 80 Must I rob the law?
2062 Your sword is bright, sir. Put it up again.
2063 Not till I sheathe it in a murderer’s skin.
2064 Stand back, Lord Salisbury, stand back, I say.
2065 By heaven, I think my sword’s as sharp as yours.
⌜He puts his hand on his sword.⌝
2067 Nor tempt the danger of my true defense,
2068 Lest I, by marking of your rage, forget
2069 Your worth, your greatness, and nobility.
2070 Out, dunghill! Dar’st thou brave a nobleman?
2071 90 Not for my life. But yet I dare defend
2072 My innocent life against an emperor.
2073 Thou art a murderer.
HUBERT 2074 Do not prove me so.
2075 Yet I am none. Whose tongue soe’er speaks false,
2076 95 Not truly speaks. Who speaks not truly, lies.
PEMBROKE, ⌜drawing his sword⌝
2077 Cut him to pieces.
BASTARD, ⌜drawing his sword⌝ 2078 Keep the peace, I say.
2079 Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulconbridge.
2080 Thou wert better gall the devil, Salisbury.
2081 100 If thou but frown on me, or stir thy foot,
2082 Or teach thy hasty spleen to do me shame,
2083 I’ll strike thee dead. Put up thy sword betime,
2084 Or I’ll so maul you and your toasting-iron
2085 That you shall think the devil is come from hell.
2086 105 What wilt thou do, renownèd Faulconbridge?
2087 Second a villain and a murderer?
2088 Lord Bigot, I am none.
BIGOT 2089 Who killed this prince?
2090 ’Tis not an hour since I left him well.
2091 110 I honored him, I loved him, and will weep
2092 My date of life out for his sweet life’s loss.
2093 Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes,
2094 For villainy is not without such rheum,
2095 And he, long traded in it, makes it seem
2096 115 like rivers of remorse and innocency.
2097 Away with me, all you whose souls abhor
2098 Th’ uncleanly savors of a slaughterhouse,
2099 For I am stifled with this smell of sin.
2100 Away, toward Bury, to the Dauphin there.
2101 120 There, tell the King, he may inquire us out.
2102 Here’s a good world! Knew you of this fair work?
2103 Beyond the infinite and boundless reach
2104 Of mercy, if thou didst this deed of death,
2105 Art thou damned, Hubert.
HUBERT 2106 125Do but hear me, sir.
BASTARD 2107 Ha! I’ll tell thee what.
2108 Thou ’rt damned as black—nay, nothing is so black—
2109 Thou art more deep damned than Prince Lucifer.
2110 There is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell
2111 130 As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child.
2112 Upon my soul—
BASTARD 2113 If thou didst but consent
2114 To this most cruel act, do but despair,
2115 And if thou want’st a cord, the smallest thread
2116 135 That ever spider twisted from her womb
2117 Will serve to strangle thee; a rush will be a beam
2118 To hang thee on. Or wouldst thou drown thyself,
2119 Put but a little water in a spoon
2120 And it shall be as all the ocean,
2121 140 Enough to stifle such a villain up.
2122 I do suspect thee very grievously.
2123 If I in act, consent, or sin of thought
2124 Be guilty of the stealing that sweet breath
2125 Which was embounded in this beauteous clay,
2126 145 Let hell want pains enough to torture me.
2127 I left him well.
BASTARD 2128 Go, bear him in thine arms.
2129 I am amazed, methinks, and lose my way
2130 Among the thorns and dangers of this world.
⌜Hubert takes up Arthur’s body.⌝
2131 150 How easy dost thou take all England up!
2132 From forth this morsel of dead royalty,
2133 The life, the right, and truth of all this realm
2134 Is fled to heaven, and England now is left
2135 To tug and scamble and to part by th’ teeth
2136 155 The unowed interest of proud-swelling state.
2137 Now for the bare-picked bone of majesty
2138 Doth doggèd war bristle his angry crest
2139 And snarleth in the gentle eyes of peace.
2140 Now powers from home and discontents at home
2141 160 Meet in one line, and vast confusion waits,
2142 As doth a raven on a sick-fall’n beast,
2143 The imminent decay of wrested pomp.
2144 Now happy he whose cloak and cincture can
2145 Hold out this tempest. Bear away that child,
2146 165 And follow me with speed. I’ll to the King.
2147 A thousand businesses are brief in hand,
2148 And heaven itself doth frown upon the land.
⌜They⌝ exit, ⌜with Hubert carrying Arthur’s body.⌝
2149 Thus have I yielded up into your hand
2150 The circle of my glory.
PANDULPH, ⌜handing John the crown⌝ 2151 Take again
2152 From this my hand, as holding of the Pope,
2153 5 Your sovereign greatness and authority.
2154 Now keep your holy word. Go meet the French,
2155 And from his Holiness use all your power
2156 To stop their marches ’fore we are inflamed.
2157 Our discontented counties do revolt,
2158 10 Our people quarrel with obedience,
2159 Swearing allegiance and the love of soul
2160 To stranger blood, to foreign royalty.
2161 This inundation of mistempered humor
2162 Rests by you only to be qualified.
2163 15 Then pause not, for the present time’s so sick
2164 That present med’cine must be ministered,
2165 Or overthrow incurable ensues.
2166 It was my breath that blew this tempest up,
2167 Upon your stubborn usage of the Pope;
2169 My tongue shall hush again this storm of war
2170 And make fair weather in your blust’ring land.
2171 On this Ascension Day, remember well:
2172 Upon your oath of service to the Pope,
2173 25 Go I to make the French lay down their arms.
He exits, ⌜with Attendants.⌝
2174 Is this Ascension Day? Did not the prophet
2175 Say that before Ascension Day at noon
2176 My crown I should give off? Even so I have.
2177 I did suppose it should be on constraint,
2178 30 But, ⌜God⌝ be thanked, it is but voluntary.
2179 All Kent hath yielded. Nothing there holds out
2180 But Dover Castle. London hath received
2181 Like a kind host the Dauphin and his powers.
2182 Your nobles will not hear you, but are gone
2183 35 To offer service to your enemy;
2184 And wild amazement hurries up and down
2185 The little number of your doubtful friends.
2186 Would not my lords return to me again
2187 After they heard young Arthur was alive?
2188 40 They found him dead and cast into the streets,
2189 An empty casket where the jewel of life
2190 By some damned hand was robbed and ta’en away.
2191 That villain Hubert told me he did live!
2192 So, on my soul, he did, for aught he knew.
2193 45 But wherefore do you droop? Why look you sad?
2194 Be great in act, as you have been in thought.
2196 Govern the motion of a kingly eye.
2197 Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;
2198 50 Threaten the threat’ner, and outface the brow
2199 Of bragging horror. So shall inferior eyes,
2200 That borrow their behaviors from the great,
2201 Grow great by your example and put on
2202 The dauntless spirit of resolution.
2203 55 Away, and glister like the god of war
2204 When he intendeth to become the field.
2205 Show boldness and aspiring confidence.
2206 What, shall they seek the lion in his den
2207 And fright him there? And make him tremble there?
2208 60 O, let it not be said! Forage, and run
2209 To meet displeasure farther from the doors,
2210 And grapple with him ere he come so nigh.
2211 The legate of the Pope hath been with me,
2212 And I have made a happy peace with him,
2213 65 And he hath promised to dismiss the powers
2214 Led by the Dauphin.
BASTARD 2215 O inglorious league!
2216 Shall we upon the footing of our land
2217 Send fair-play orders and make compromise,
2218 70 Insinuation, parley, and base truce
2219 To arms invasive? Shall a beardless boy,
2220 A cockered silken wanton, brave our fields
2221 And flesh his spirit in a warlike soil,
2222 Mocking the air with colors idly spread,
2223 75 And find no check? Let us, my liege, to arms!
2224 Perchance the Cardinal cannot make your peace;
2225 Or if he do, let it at least be said
2226 They saw we had a purpose of defense.
2227 Have thou the ordering of this present time.
2228 80 Away, then, with good courage! (⌜Aside.⌝) Yet I
2230 Our party may well meet a prouder foe.
Pembroke, Bigot, ⌜and French and English⌝ Soldiers.
DAUPHIN, ⌜handing a paper to Melun⌝
2231 My Lord Melun, let this be copied out,
2232 And keep it safe for our remembrance.
2233 Return the precedent to these lords again,
2234 That having our fair order written down,
2235 5 Both they and we, perusing o’er these notes,
2236 May know wherefore we took the Sacrament,
2237 And keep our faiths firm and inviolable.
2238 Upon our sides it never shall be broken.
2239 And, noble dauphin, albeit we swear
2240 10 A voluntary zeal and unurged faith
2241 To your proceedings, yet believe me, prince,
2242 I am not glad that such a sore of time
2243 Should seek a plaster by contemned revolt
2244 And heal the inveterate canker of one wound
2245 15 By making many. O, it grieves my soul
2246 That I must draw this metal from my side
2247 To be a widow-maker! O, and there
2248 Where honorable rescue and defense
2249 Cries out upon the name of Salisbury!
2250 20 But such is the infection of the time
2251 That for the health and physic of our right,
2252 We cannot deal but with the very hand
2253 Of stern injustice and confusèd wrong.
2255 25 That we, the sons and children of this isle,
2256 Was born to see so sad an hour as this,
2257 Wherein we step after a stranger, march
2258 Upon her gentle bosom, and fill up
2259 Her enemies’ ranks? I must withdraw and weep
2260 30 Upon the spot of this enforcèd cause,
2261 To grace the gentry of a land remote,
2262 And follow unacquainted colors here.
2263 What, here? O nation, that thou couldst remove,
2264 That Neptune’s arms, who clippeth thee about,
2265 35 Would bear thee from the knowledge of thyself
2266 And ⌜grapple⌝ thee unto a pagan shore,
2267 Where these two Christian armies might combine
2268 The blood of malice in a vein of league,
2269 And not to spend it so unneighborly.⌜He weeps.⌝
2270 40 A noble temper dost thou show in this,
2271 And great affections wrestling in thy bosom
2272 Doth make an earthquake of nobility.
2273 O, what a noble combat hast ⌜thou⌝ fought
2274 Between compulsion and a brave respect!
2275 45 Let me wipe off this honorable dew
2276 That silverly doth progress on thy cheeks.
2277 My heart hath melted at a lady’s tears,
2278 Being an ordinary inundation,
2279 But this effusion of such manly drops,
2280 50 This shower, blown up by tempest of the soul,
2281 Startles mine eyes and makes me more amazed
2282 Than had I seen the vaulty top of heaven
2283 Figured quite o’er with burning meteors.
2284 Lift up thy brow, renownèd Salisbury,
2285 55 And with a great heart heave away this storm.
2286 Commend these waters to those baby eyes
2287 That never saw the giant world enraged,
2288 Nor met with fortune other than at feasts
2290 60 Come, come; for thou shalt thrust thy hand as deep
2291 Into the purse of rich prosperity
2292 As Louis himself.—So, nobles, shall you all,
2293 That knit your sinews to the strength of mine.
2294 And even there, methinks, an angel spake.
2295 65 Look where the holy legate comes apace
2296 To give us warrant from the hand of ⌜God,⌝
2297 And on our actions set the name of right
2298 With holy breath.
PANDULPH 2299 Hail, noble prince of France.
2300 70 The next is this: King John hath reconciled
2301 Himself to Rome; his spirit is come in
2302 That so stood out against the holy Church,
2303 The great metropolis and See of Rome.
2304 Therefore thy threat’ning colors now wind up,
2305 75 And tame the savage spirit of wild war
2306 That, like a lion fostered up at hand,
2307 It may lie gently at the foot of peace
2308 And be no further harmful than in show.
2309 Your Grace shall pardon me; I will not back.
2310 80 I am too high-born to be propertied,
2311 To be a secondary at control,
2312 Or useful servingman and instrument
2313 To any sovereign state throughout the world.
2314 Your breath first kindled the dead coal of wars
2315 85 Between this chastised kingdom and myself
2316 And brought in matter that should feed this fire;
2317 And now ’tis far too huge to be blown out
2318 With that same weak wind which enkindled it.
2319 You taught me how to know the face of right,
2320 90 Acquainted me with interest to this land,
2321 Yea, thrust this enterprise into my heart.
2323 His peace with Rome? What is that peace to me?
2324 I, by the honor of my marriage bed,
2325 95 After young Arthur claim this land for mine.
2326 And now it is half conquered, must I back
2327 Because that John hath made his peace with Rome?
2328 Am I Rome’s slave? What penny hath Rome borne?
2329 What men provided? What munition sent
2330 100 To underprop this action? Is ’t not I
2331 That undergo this charge? Who else but I,
2332 And such as to my claim are liable,
2333 Sweat in this business and maintain this war?
2334 Have I not heard these islanders shout out
2335 105 “Vive le Roi” as I have banked their towns?
2336 Have I not here the best cards for the game
2337 To win this easy match played for a crown?
2338 And shall I now give o’er the yielded set?
2339 No, no, on my soul, it never shall be said.
2340 110 You look but on the outside of this work.
2341 Outside or inside, I will not return
2342 Till my attempt so much be glorified
2343 As to my ample hope was promisèd
2344 Before I drew this gallant head of war
2345 115 And culled these fiery spirits from the world
2346 To outlook conquest and to win renown
2347 Even in the jaws of danger and of death.
⌜A trumpet sounds.⌝
2348 What lusty trumpet thus doth summon us?
2349 According to the fair play of the world,
2350 120 Let me have audience. I am sent to speak,
2351 My holy lord of Milan, from the King.
2353 And, as you answer, I do know the scope
2354 And warrant limited unto my tongue.
2355 125 The Dauphin is too willful-opposite
2356 And will not temporize with my entreaties.
2357 He flatly says he’ll not lay down his arms.
2358 By all the blood that ever fury breathed,
2359 The youth says well! Now hear our English king,
2360 130 For thus his royalty doth speak in me:
2361 He is prepared—and reason too he should.
2362 This apish and unmannerly approach,
2363 This harnessed masque and unadvisèd revel,
2364 This unheard sauciness and boyish troops,
2365 135 The King doth smile at, and is well prepared
2366 To whip this dwarfish war, these pigmy arms,
2367 From out the circle of his territories.
2368 That hand which had the strength, even at your door,
2369 To cudgel you and make you take the hatch,
2370 140 To dive like buckets in concealèd wells,
2371 To crouch in litter of your stable planks,
2372 To lie like pawns locked up in chests and trunks,
2373 To hug with swine, to seek sweet safety out
2374 In vaults and prisons, and to thrill and shake
2375 145 Even at the crying of your nation’s crow,
2376 Thinking this voice an armèd Englishman—
2377 Shall that victorious hand be feebled here
2378 That in your chambers gave you chastisement?
2379 No! Know the gallant monarch is in arms,
2380 150 And like an eagle o’er his aerie towers
2381 To souse annoyance that comes near his nest.—
2382 And you degenerate, you ingrate revolts,
2383 You bloody Neroes, ripping up the womb
2384 Of your dear mother England, blush for shame!
2385 155 For your own ladies and pale-visaged maids
2387 Their thimbles into armèd gauntlets change,
2388 Their needles to lances, and their gentle hearts
2389 To fierce and bloody inclination.
2390 160 There end thy brave and turn thy face in peace.
2391 We grant thou canst outscold us. Fare thee well.
2392 We hold our time too precious to be spent
2393 With such a brabbler.
PANDULPH 2394 Give me leave to speak.
2395 165 No, I will speak.
DAUPHIN 2396 We will attend to neither.
2397 Strike up the drums, and let the tongue of war
2398 Plead for our interest and our being here.
2399 Indeed, your drums being beaten will cry out,
2400 170 And so shall you, being beaten. Do but start
2401 An echo with the clamor of thy drum,
2402 And even at hand a drum is ready braced
2403 That shall reverberate all as loud as thine.
2404 Sound but another, and another shall,
2405 175 As loud as thine, rattle the welkin’s ear
2406 And mock the deep-mouthed thunder. For at hand,
2407 Not trusting to this halting legate here,
2408 Whom he hath used rather for sport than need,
2409 Is warlike John, and in his forehead sits
2410 180 A bare-ribbed Death, whose office is this day
2411 To feast upon whole thousands of the French.
2412 Strike up our drums to find this danger out.
2413 And thou shalt find it, dauphin, do not doubt.
2414 How goes the day with us? O, tell me, Hubert.
2415 Badly, I fear. How fares your Majesty?
2416 This fever that hath troubled me so long
2417 Lies heavy on me. O, my heart is sick.
Enter a Messenger.
2418 5 My lord, your valiant kinsman, Faulconbridge,
2419 Desires your Majesty to leave the field
2420 And send him word by me which way you go.
2421 Tell him toward Swinstead, to the abbey there.
2422 Be of good comfort, for the great supply
2423 10 That was expected by the Dauphin here
2424 Are wracked three nights ago on Goodwin Sands.
2425 This news was brought to Richard but even now.
2426 The French fight coldly and retire themselves.
2427 Ay me, this tyrant fever burns me up
2428 15 And will not let me welcome this good news.
2429 Set on toward Swinstead. To my litter straight.
2430 Weakness possesseth me, and I am faint.
2431 I did not think the King so stored with friends.
2432 Up once again. Put spirit in the French.
2433 If they miscarry, we miscarry too.
2434 That misbegotten devil, Faulconbridge,
2435 5 In spite of spite, alone upholds the day.
2436 They say King John, sore sick, hath left the field.
Enter Melun, wounded, ⌜led by a Soldier.⌝
2437 Lead me to the revolts of England here.
2438 When we were happy, we had other names.
2439 It is the Count Melun.
SALISBURY 2440 10 Wounded to death.
2441 Fly, noble English; you are bought and sold.
2442 Unthread the rude eye of rebellion
2443 And welcome home again discarded faith.
2444 Seek out King John and fall before his feet,
2445 15 For if the French be lords of this loud day,
2446 He means to recompense the pains you take
2447 By cutting off your heads. Thus hath he sworn,
2448 And I with him, and many more with me,
2449 Upon the altar at Saint Edmundsbury,
2450 20 Even on that altar where we swore to you
2451 Dear amity and everlasting love.
2452 May this be possible? May this be true?
2453 Have I not hideous death within my view,
2454 Retaining but a quantity of life,
2455 25 Which bleeds away even as a form of wax
2456 Resolveth from his figure ’gainst the fire?
2458 Since I must lose the use of all deceit?
2459 Why should I then be false, since it is true
2460 30 That I must die here and live hence by truth?
2461 I say again, if Louis do win the day,
2462 He is forsworn if e’er those eyes of yours
2463 Behold another daybreak in the East.
2464 But even this night, whose black contagious breath
2465 35 Already smokes about the burning crest
2466 Of the old, feeble, and day-wearied sun,
2467 Even this ill night your breathing shall expire,
2468 Paying the fine of rated treachery
2469 Even with a treacherous fine of all your lives,
2470 40 If Louis by your assistance win the day.
2471 Commend me to one Hubert with your king;
2472 The love of him, and this respect besides,
2473 For that my grandsire was an Englishman,
2474 Awakes my conscience to confess all this.
2475 45 In lieu whereof, I pray you bear me hence
2476 From forth the noise and rumor of the field,
2477 Where I may think the remnant of my thoughts
2478 In peace, and part this body and my soul
2479 With contemplation and devout desires.
2480 50 We do believe thee, and beshrew my soul
2481 But I do love the favor and the form
2482 Of this most fair occasion, by the which
2483 We will untread the steps of damnèd flight,
2484 And like a bated and retirèd flood,
2485 55 Leaving our rankness and irregular course,
2486 Stoop low within those bounds we have o’erlooked
2487 And calmly run on in obedience
2488 Even to our ocean, to our great King John.
2489 My arm shall give thee help to bear thee hence,
2490 60 For I do see the cruel pangs of death
2492 And happy newness, that intends old right.
They exit, ⌜assisting Melun.⌝
2493 The sun of heaven, methought, was loath to set,
2494 But stayed and made the western welkin blush,
2495 When English ⌜measured⌝ backward their own
2497 5 In faint retire. O, bravely came we off,
2498 When with a volley of our needless shot,
2499 After such bloody toil, we bid good night
2500 And wound our tott’ring colors clearly up,
2501 Last in the field and almost lords of it.
Enter a Messenger.
2502 10 Where is my prince, the Dauphin?
DAUPHIN 2503 Here. What news?
2504 The Count Melun is slain. The English lords,
2505 By his persuasion, are again fall’n off,
2506 And your supply, which you have wished so long,
2507 15 Are cast away and sunk on Goodwin Sands.
2508 Ah, foul, shrewd news. Beshrew thy very heart!
2509 I did not think to be so sad tonight
2510 As this hath made me. Who was he that said
2511 King John did fly an hour or two before
2512 20 The stumbling night did part our weary powers?
2513 Whoever spoke it, it is true, my lord.
2514 Well, keep good quarter and good care tonight.
2515 The day shall not be up so soon as I
2516 To try the fair adventure of tomorrow.
2517 Who’s there? Speak ho! Speak quickly, or I shoot.
2518 A friend. What art thou?
HUBERT 2519 Of the part of England.
2520 Whither dost thou go?
HUBERT 2521 5 What’s that to thee?
2522 Why may not I demand of thine affairs
2523 As well as thou of mine? Hubert, I think?
HUBERT 2524 Thou hast a perfect thought.
2525 I will upon all hazards well believe
2526 10 Thou art my friend, that know’st my tongue so well.
2527 Who art thou?
BASTARD 2528 Who thou wilt. An if thou please,
2529 Thou mayst befriend me so much as to think
2530 I come one way of the Plantagenets.
2531 15 Unkind remembrance! Thou and endless night
2532 Have done me shame. Brave soldier, pardon me
2533 That any accent breaking from thy tongue
2534 Should ’scape the true acquaintance of mine ear.
2535 Come, come. Sans compliment, what news abroad?
2536 20 Why, here walk I in the black brow of night
2537 To find you out.
BASTARD 2538 Brief, then; and what’s the news?
2539 O my sweet sir, news fitting to the night,
2540 Black, fearful, comfortless, and horrible.
2541 25 Show me the very wound of this ill news.
2542 I am no woman; I’ll not swoon at it.
2543 The King, I fear, is poisoned by a monk.
2544 I left him almost speechless, and broke out
2545 To acquaint you with this evil, that you might
2546 30 The better arm you to the sudden time
2547 Than if you had at leisure known of this.
2548 How did he take it? Who did taste to him?
2549 A monk, I tell you, a resolvèd villain,
2550 Whose bowels suddenly burst out. The King
2551 35 Yet speaks and peradventure may recover.
2552 Who didst thou leave to tend his Majesty?
2553 Why, know you not? The lords are all come back,
2554 And brought Prince Henry in their company,
2555 At whose request the King hath pardoned them,
2556 40 And they are all about his Majesty.
2557 Withhold thine indignation, mighty ⌜God,⌝
2558 And tempt us not to bear above our power.
2559 I’ll tell thee, Hubert, half my power this night,
2560 Passing these flats, are taken by the tide.
2561 45 These Lincoln Washes have devourèd them.
2562 Myself, well mounted, hardly have escaped.
2564 I doubt he will be dead or ere I come.
2565 It is too late. The life of all his blood
2566 Is touched corruptibly, and his pure brain,
2567 Which some suppose the soul’s frail dwelling-house,
2568 Doth, by the idle comments that it makes,
2569 5 Foretell the ending of mortality.
2570 His Highness yet doth speak, and holds belief
2571 That being brought into the open air
2572 It would allay the burning quality
2573 Of that fell poison which assaileth him.
2574 10 Let him be brought into the orchard here.
2575 Doth he still rage?
PEMBROKE 2576 He is more patient
2577 Than when you left him. Even now he sung.
2578 O vanity of sickness! Fierce extremes
2579 15 In their continuance will not feel themselves.
2580 Death, having preyed upon the outward parts,
2581 Leaves them invisible, and his siege is now
2582 Against the ⌜mind,⌝ the which he pricks and wounds
2583 With many legions of strange fantasies,
2584 20 Which in their throng and press to that last hold
2587 I am the cygnet to this pale faint swan,
2588 Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death,
2589 25 And from the organ-pipe of frailty sings
2590 His soul and body to their lasting rest.
2591 Be of good comfort, prince, for you are born
2592 To set a form upon that indigest
2593 Which he hath left so shapeless and so rude.
⌜King⌝ John brought in, ⌜attended by Bigot.⌝
2594 30 Ay, marry, now my soul hath elbow-room.
2595 It would not out at windows nor at doors.
2596 There is so hot a summer in my bosom
2597 That all my bowels crumble up to dust.
2598 I am a scribbled form drawn with a pen
2599 35 Upon a parchment, and against this fire
2600 Do I shrink up.
PRINCE HENRY 2601 How fares your Majesty?
2602 Poisoned—ill fare—dead, forsook, cast off,
2603 And none of you will bid the winter come
2604 40 To thrust his icy fingers in my maw,
2605 Nor let my kingdom’s rivers take their course
2606 Through my burned bosom, nor entreat the North
2607 To make his bleak winds kiss my parchèd lips
2608 And comfort me with cold. I do not ask you much.
2609 45 I beg cold comfort, and you are so strait
2610 And so ingrateful, you deny me that.
2611 O, that there were some virtue in my tears
2612 That might relieve you!
KING JOHN 2613 The salt in them is hot.
2614 50 Within me is a hell, and there the poison
2616 On unreprievable, condemnèd blood.
2617 O, I am scalded with my violent motion
2618 And spleen of speed to see your Majesty.
2619 55 O cousin, thou art come to set mine eye.
2620 The tackle of my heart is cracked and burnt,
2621 And all the shrouds wherewith my life should sail
2622 Are turnèd to one thread, one little hair.
2623 My heart hath one poor string to stay it by,
2624 60 Which holds but till thy news be utterèd,
2625 And then all this thou seest is but a clod
2626 And module of confounded royalty.
2627 The Dauphin is preparing hitherward,
2628 Where ⌜God⌝ He knows how we shall answer him.
2629 65 For in a night the best part of my power,
2630 As I upon advantage did remove,
2631 Were in the Washes all unwarily
2632 Devourèd by the unexpected flood.
⌜King John dies.⌝
2633 You breathe these dead news in as dead an ear.—
2634 70 My liege! My lord!—But now a king, now thus.
2635 Even so must I run on, and even so stop.
2636 What surety of the world, what hope, what stay,
2637 When this was now a king and now is clay?
2638 Art thou gone so? I do but stay behind
2639 75 To do the office for thee of revenge,
2640 And then my soul shall wait on thee to heaven,
2641 As it on Earth hath been thy servant still.—
2643 Where be your powers? Show now your mended
2644 80 faiths
2645 And instantly return with me again
2646 To push destruction and perpetual shame
2647 Out of the weak door of our fainting land.
2648 Straight let us seek, or straight we shall be sought;
2649 85 The Dauphin rages at our very heels.
2650 It seems you know not, then, so much as we.
2651 The Cardinal Pandulph is within at rest,
2652 Who half an hour since came from the Dauphin,
2653 And brings from him such offers of our peace
2654 90 As we with honor and respect may take,
2655 With purpose presently to leave this war.
2656 He will the rather do it when he sees
2657 Ourselves well-sinewèd to our defense.
2658 Nay, ’tis in a manner done already,
2659 95 For many carriages he hath dispatched
2660 To the sea-side, and put his cause and quarrel
2661 To the disposing of the Cardinal,
2662 With whom yourself, myself, and other lords,
2663 If you think meet, this afternoon will post
2664 100 To consummate this business happily.
2665 Let it be so.—And you, my noble prince,
2666 With other princes that may best be spared,
2667 Shall wait upon your father’s funeral.
2668 At Worcester must his body be interred,
2669 105 For so he willed it.
BASTARD 2670 Thither shall it, then,
2671 And happily may your sweet self put on
2672 The lineal state and glory of the land,
2674 110 I do bequeath my faithful services
2675 And true subjection everlastingly.⌜He kneels.⌝
2676 And the like tender of our love we make
2677 To rest without a spot forevermore.
⌜Salisbury, Pembroke, and Bigot kneel.⌝
2678 I have a kind soul that would give ⌜you⌝ thanks
2679 115 And knows not how to do it but with tears.
2680 O, let us pay the time but needful woe,
2681 Since it hath been beforehand with our griefs.
2682 This England never did nor never shall
2683 Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror
2684 120 But when it first did help to wound itself.
2685 Now these her princes are come home again,
2686 Come the three corners of the world in arms
2687 And we shall shock them. Naught shall make us rue,
2688 If England to itself do rest but true.
They exit, ⌜bearing the body of King John.⌝