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King John - Act 3, scene 1
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Navigate this workKing John - Act 3, scene 1
Act 3, scene 1
The league between John and Philip is attacked first by Constance, who accuses Philip of treacherously betraying Arthur’s cause, and then by Pandulph, legate from Pope Innocent. Pandulph excommunicates John when John refuses to obey the Pope; Pandulph then threatens Philip with excommunication if he does not turn against John. When Philip obeys Pandulph, John prepares for war.Enter Constance, Arthur, and Salisbury.
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?
p. 790933 Why holds thine eye that lamentable rheum,
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
p. 810962 Become thy great birth, nor deserve a crown.
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.
p. 830990 80 To solemnize this day the glorious sun
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
p. 851022 A widow cries; be husband to me, ⌜God!⌝
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.
p. 87Enter Pandulph.
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,
p. 891080 170 Dreading the curse that money may buy out,
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.
p. 91QUEEN ELEANOR
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.
p. 93KING JOHN
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,
p. 951165 255 Unswear faith sworn, and on the marriage bed
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,
p. 971197 And falsehood falsehood cures, as fire cools fire
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,
p. 991230 320 Which till this time my tongue did ne’er pronounce,
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,
p. 1011254 And in their rage, I having hold of both,
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!