King John - Act 2, scene 1
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Act 2, scene 1
King Philip of France and the Duke of Austria, on behalf of Arthur, begin to lay siege to the city of Angiers, property of the English monarch. John and his army arrive. Each king demands that the citizens of Angiers allow the “King of England” to enter, but the citizens ask for proof as to which (John or Arthur) is the true king. When the kings decide to join forces to destroy the city, the citizens propose that the kings instead become allies through a marriage of the French Dauphin Louis to John’s niece Blanche. To further this proposed alliance, John gives up five Continental provinces and makes Arthur Duke of Brittany and Earl of Richmond, while Philip abandons Arthur’s cause.Enter, before Angiers, ⌜at one side, with Forces,⌝ Philip
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!