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The yearly course, that brings this day about,
Shall never see it but a holyday.
Const. A wicked day, and not a holyday !
What hath this day deserv’d? what hath it done;
That it in golden letters should be set,
Among the high tides, in the kalendar?
Nay, rather, turn this day out of the week;
This day of shame, oppression, perjury:
Or, if it must stand still, let wives with child
Pray, that their burdens may not fall this day,
Lest that their hopes prodigiously be cross'd:
But on this day, let seamen fear no wreck;
No bargains break, that are not this day made:
This day, all things begun come to ill end;
Yea, faith itself to hollow falsehood change!
K. Phi. By heaven, lady, you shall have no cause To curse the fair proceedings of this day: Have I not pawn'd to you my majesty ?
Const. You have beguild me with a counterfeit, Resembling majesty ; which, being touch'd, and tried, Proves valueless : You are forsworn, forsworn; You came in arms to spill mine enemies' blood, But now in arms you strengthen it with yours: The grappling vigour and rough frown of war Is cold.in amity and painted peace, And our oppression hath made up this league : Arm, arm, you heavens, against these perjur'd kings ! A widow cries; be husband to me, heavens! Let not the hours of this ungodly day Wear out the day in peace; but, ere sunset, Set armed discord 'twixt these perjur'd kings!
Hear me, O, hear me!
Aust. Lady Constance, peace.
Const. War! war! no peace: peace is to me a war. O Lymoges ! O Austria! thou dost shame That bloody spoil: Thou slave, thou wretch, thou cow
Thou little valiant, great in villainy!
Thou ever strong upon the stronger side!
Thou fortune's champion, that dost never fight
But when her humorous ladyship is by,
To teach thee safety! thou art perjur’d too,
And sooth’st up greatness. What a fool art thou,
A ramping fool; to brag, and stamp, and swear,
Upon my party! Thou cold-blooded slave,
Hast thou not spoke like thunder on my side?
Been sworn my soldier? bidding me depend
Upon thy stars, thy fortune, and thy strength?
And dost thou now fall over to
foes? Thou wear a lion's hide! doff it for shame, And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs.
Aust. O, that a man should speak those words to me! Bast. And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs. Aust. Thou dar’st not say so, villain, for thy life. Bast. And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs. K. John. We like not this; thou dost forget thy
K. Phi. Here comes the holy legate of the pope.
Pand. Hail, you anointed deputies of heaven ! -
To thee, king John, my holy errand is.
I Pandulph, of fair Milan cardinal,
And from pope Innocent the legate here,
Do, in his name, religiously demand,
Why thou against the church, our holy mother,
So wilfully dost spurn; and, force perforce,
Keep Stephen Langton, chosen archbishop
Of Canterbury, from that holy see?
This, in our 'foresaid holy father's name,
Pope Innocent, I do demand of thee.
K. John. What earthly name to interrogatories,
Can task the free breath of a sacred king?
Thou canst not, cardinal, devise a name
So slight, unworthy, and ridiculous,
To charge me to an answer, as the pope.
Tell him this tale; and, from the mouth of England,
Add thus much more,—That no Italian priest
Shall tithe or toll in our dominions ;
But as we under heaven are supreme head,
So, under him, that great supremacy,
Where we do reign we will alone uphold,
Without the assistance of a mortal hand:
So tell the pope, all reverence set apart,
To him, and his usurp'd authority.
K. Phi. Brother of England, you blaspheme in this.
K. John. Though you, and all the kings of Chris-
Are led so grossly by this meddling priest,
Dreading the curse, that money may buy out;
And, by the merit of vile gold, dross, dust,
Purchase corrupted pardon of a man,
Who, in that sale, sells pardon from himself :
Though you, and all the rest, so grossly led,
This juggling witchcraft with revenue cherish;
Yet I, alone, alone do me oppose
Against the pope, and count his friends my foes.
Pand. Then, by the lawful power that I have,
Thou shalt stand curs'd and excommunicate:
And blessed shall he be, that doth revolt
From his allegiance to an heretick;
And meritorious shall that hand be callid,
Canoniz'd, and worshipp'd as a saint,
That takes away, by any secret course,
Thy hateful life.
Const. O, lawful let it be,
That I have room with Rome to curse a while !
Good father cardinal, cry thou, amen,
To my keen curses; for, without my wrong,
There is no tongue hath power to curse him right.
Pand. There's law and warrant, lady, for
Const. And for mine too; when law can do no right,
Let it be lawful, that law bar no wrong:
Law cannot give my child his kingdom here;
For he, that holds his kingdom, holds the law :
Therefore, since law itself is perfect wrong,
How can the law forbid my tongue to curse?
Pand. Philip of France, on peril of a curse, Let go the hand of that arch-heretick; And raise the power of France upon his head, Unless he do submit himself to Rome. Eli. Look’st thou pale, France ? do not let go thy
hand. Const. Look to that, devil ! lest that France repent, And, by disjoining hands, hell lose a soul.
Aust. King Philip, listen to the cardinal.
Bast. And hang a calf's-skin on his recreant limbs.
Aust. Well, ruffian, I must pocket up
these wrongs, Because
Bast. Your breeches best may carry them.
K. John. Philip, what say'st thou to the cardinal?
Const. What should he say, but as the cardinal?
Lew. Bethink you, father; for the difference
Is, purchase of a heavy curse from Rome,
Or the light loss of England for a friend :
Forego the easier.
Blanch. That's the curse of Rome.
Const. O Lewis, stand fast; the devil tempts thee
here, In likeness of a new untrimmed bride. Blanch. The lady Constance speaks not from her
faith, But from her need.
Const. O, if thou grant my need, Which only lives but by the death of faith, That need must needs infer this principle,That faith would live again by death of need: O, then, tread down my need, and faith mounts up; Keep my need up, and faith is trodden down.
K. John. The king is mov'd, and answers not to this. Const. O, be remov'd from him, and answer well. Aust. Do so, king Philip; hang no more in doubt. Bast. Hang nothing but a calf's-skin, niost sweet lout. K. Phi. I am perplex’d, and know not what to say. Pand. What can’st thou say, but will perplex thee
more, If thou stand excommunicate, and curs'd ?
K. Phi. Good reverend father, make my person yours, And tell me, how you would bestow yourself.