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King John - Act 5, scene 2
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Navigate this workKing John - Act 5, scene 2
Act 5, scene 2
The rebellious English nobles swear to support the Dauphin in his attack on England. Pandulph tells the Dauphin to take his army back to France, since John has submitted to the Pope, but the Dauphin refuses. The Bastard is pleased that the Dauphin wants war, and announces that John is close by with his army.Enter, in arms, ⌜Louis the⌝ Dauphin, Salisbury, Melun,
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.
p. 1792254 And is ’t not pity, O my grievèd friends,
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
p. 1812289 Full warm of blood, of mirth, of gossiping.
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.
p. 1832322 And come you now to tell me John hath made
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.
p. 1852352 I come to learn how you have dealt for him,
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
p. 1872386 Like Amazons come tripping after drums,
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.