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1 Cit. That can we not: but he that proves the king, Cit. Heralds, from off our towers we might behold, To him will we prove loyal; till that time,
From first to last, the onset and retire Have we ramm'd up our gates against the world. Of both your armies; whose equality K. John. Doth not the crown of England prove By our best eyes cannot be censured": the king ?
Blood hath bought blood, and blows have answer'd And, if not that, I bring you witnesses,
blows; Twice fifteen thousand hearts of England's breed, - Strength match'd with strength, and power conBast. Bastards, and else.
fronted power : K. John. To verify our title with their lives. Both are alike; and both alike we like. K. Phi. As many, and as well-born bloods as One must prove greatest : while they weigh so even, those,
We hold our town for neither; yet for both. Bast. Some bastards too. K. Phi. Stand in his face to contradict his claim. Enter, at one side, King John, with his Power ; 1 Cit. Till you compound whose right is worthiest,
ELINOR, BLANCH, and the Bastard ; at the other, We, for the worthiest, hold the right from both.
King Philip, LEWIS, AUSTRIA, and Forces. K. John. Then God forgive the sin of all those K. John. France, hast thou yet more blood to cast
souls, That to their everlasting residence,
Say, shall the current of our right run on? Before the dew of evening fall, sball fleet,
Whose passage, vex'd with thy impediment, In dreadful trial of our kingdom's king!
Shall leave his native channel, and o'erswell K. Phi. Amen! Amen! — Mount, chevaliers, to With course disturb’d even thy confining shores, arms!
Unless thou let his silver water keep Bast. St. George, — that swing'd the dragon, A peaceful progress to the ocean. and e'er since,
K. Phi. England, thou hast not sav'd one drop of Sits on his horseback at mine hostess' door,
blood, Teach us some fence ! — Sirrah, were I at home, In this hot trial, more than we of France ; At your den, sirrah, ( To Austria.) with your lioness, Rather, lost more: And by this hand I swear, I'd set an ox-head to your lion's hide,
That sways the earth this climate overlooks, – And make a monster of you.
Before we will lay down our just-borne arms, Aust.
Peace; no more. We'll put thee down,'gainst whom these arms we bear, Bast. O, tremble ; for you hear the lion roar, Or add a royal number to the dead; K. John. Up higher to the plain; where we'll set | Gracing the scroll, that tells of this war's loss, forth,
With slaughter coupled to the name of kings. In best appointment, all our regiments.
Bast. Ha, majesty! how high thy glory towers, Bast. Speed then, to take advantage of the field. When the rich blood of kings is set on fire! K. Phi. It shall be so ;-[To Lewis.) and at the O, now doth death line his dead chaps with steel; other hill
The swords of soldiers are his teeth, his fangs; Command the rest to stand. — God, and our right! | And now he feasts, mouthing the flesh of men,
[Ereunt. In undetermin’d differences of kings. SCENE II. The same.
Why stand these royal fronts amazed thus? Alarums and Excursions; then a Retreat. Enter a Cry, havock, kings ! back to the stained field,
French Herald, with Trumpets, to the Gates. You equal potents 5, fiery kindled spirits !
Then let confusion of one part confirm
K. John. Whose party do the townsmen yet admit? Much work for tears in many an English mother,
K. Phi. Speak, citizens, for England; who's your Whose sons lie scatter'd on the bleeding ground:
king? Many a widow's husband grovelling lies,
1 Cit. The king of England, when we know the king. Coldly embracing the discolour'd earth ;
K. Phi. Know him in us, that here hold up his And victory, with little loss, doth play
right. Upon the dancing banners of the French;
K. John. In us that are our own great deputy, Who are at hand, triumphantly display'd,
And bear possession of our person here ; To enter conquerors, and to proclaim
Lord of our presence, Angiers, and of you. Arthur of Bretagne, England's king, and yours.
1 Cit. A greater power than we, denies all this;
And, till it be undoubted, we do lock Enter an English Herald, with Trumpets. Our former scruple in our strong-barr'd gates : E. Her. Rejoice, you men of Angiers, ring your King'd of our fears; until our fears resolvid, bells,
Be by some certain king purg'd and depos'd.
Your royal presences be rul'd by me;
Do like the mutines 7 of Jerusalem ;
Your sharpest deeds of malice on this town:
5 Potentates. Open your gates, and give the victors way.
4 Judged, determined.
6 Scably fellows.
Their battering cannon, charged to the mouths; With swifter spleen 9 than powder can enforce, Till their soul-fearing clamours have brawl'd down The mouth of passage shall we fling wide ope, The finty ribs of this contemptuous city :
And give you entrance; but without this match, I'd play incessantly upon these jades,
The sea enraged is not half so deaf, Even till unfenced desolation
Lions more confident, mountains and rocks Leave them as naked as the vulgar air.
More free from motion; no, not death himself That done, dissever your united strengths,
In mortal fury half so peremptory,
Here's a stay, Then, in a moment, fortune shall cull forth
That shakes the rotten carcase of old Death Out of one side her happy minion;
Out of his rags! Here's a large mouth, indeed, To whom in favour she shall give the day,
That spits forth death, and mountains, rocks, and seas; And kiss him with a glorious victory:
And talks familiarly of roaring lions, How like you this wild counsel, mighty states ? He speaks plain cannon, fire, and smoke, and bounce; Smacks it not something of the policy ?
He gives the bastinado with his tongue; K.John. Now, by the sky that hangs aboveourheads, Our ears are cudgeld; not a word of his, I like it well ; – France, shall we knit our powers, But buffets better than a fist of France : And lay this Angiers even with the ground; Why! I was never so bethump'd with words, Then, after, fight who shall be king of it ?
Since I first call'd my brother's father, dad.
For by this knot thou shalt so surely tie
K. Phi. Let it be so:— Say, where will you assault? Mark, how they whisper: urge them, while their souls
K. John. We from the west will send destruction Are capable of this ambition : Into this city's bosom.
Lest zeal, now melted by the windy breath Aust. I from the north.
Of soft petitions, pity and remorse, A. Phi.
Our thunder from the south, Cool and congeal again to what it was. Shall rain their drift of bullets on this town.
1 Cit. Why answer not the double majesties Bast. () prudent discipline! From north to south; This friendly treaty of our threaten'd town? Austria and France shoot in each other's mouth: K. Phi. Speak England first, that hath been for
ward first I'll stir them to it:- - Come, away, away!
To speak unto this city: What say you ? 1 Cit. Hear us, great kings: vouchsafe a while to K.John. If that the Dauphin there, thy princely son, stay,
Can in this book of beauty read, I love, And I shall show you peace, and fair-faced league; Her dowry shall weigh equal with a queen: Win you this city without stroke, or wound; For Anjou, and fair Touraine, Maine, Poictiers, Rescue those breathing lives to die in beds,
And all that we upon this side the sea That here come sacrifices for the field :
(Except this city now by us besieg'd) Persever not, but hear me, mighty kings.
Find liable to our crown and dignity,
1 Cit. That daughter there of Spain, the lady Blanch, In titles, honours, and promotions, Is near to England: Look upon the years
As she in beauty, education, blood,
The shadow of myself form'd in her eye ;
Becomes a sun, and makes your son a shadow:
Till now infixed I beheld myself,
[Whispers with Blanch. He is the half part of a blessed man,
Bast. Drawn in the flattering table of her eye! Left to be finished by such as she;
Hang'd in the frowning wrinkle of her brow! And she a fair divided excellence,
And quarter'd in her heart ! — he doth espy Whose fulness of perfection lies in him.
Himself love's traitor : This is pity now, 0, two such silver currents, when they join, That hang'd, and drawn, andquarter'd, there should be, Do glorify the banks that bound them in :
In such a love, so vile a lout as he. And two such shores to two such streams made one, Blanch. My uncle's will, in this respect is mine : Two such controlling bounds, shall you be, kings, If he see aught in you, that makes him like, To these two princes, if you marry them.
That any thing he sees, which moves his liking, This union shall do more than battery can, I can with ease translate it to my will; To our fast-closed gates; for, at this match, Or, if you will, (to speak more properly,)
I will enforce it easily to my love.
And earl of Richmond; and this rich fair town Further I will not flatter you, my lord,
We make him lord of. Call the lady Constance ; That all I see in you is worthy love,
Some speedy messenger bid her repair Than this — that nothing do I see in you,
To our solemnity: - I trust we shall, (Though churlish thoughts themselves should be If not fill up the measure of her will, your judge,)
Yet in some measure satisfy her so, That I can find should merit any hate.
That we shall stop her exclamation. X. John. What say these young ones? What say Go we, as well as haste will suffer us, you, my niece?
To this unlook'd for unprepared pomp. Blanch. That she is bound in honour still to do [Exeunt all but the Bastard. - The Citizens What you in wisdom shall vouchsafe to say.
retire from the walls. K. John. Speak then, prince Dauphin ; can you Bast. Mad world! inad kings! mad composition ! love this lady?
John, to stop Arthur's title in the whole,
And France, (whose armour conscience buckled on;
As God's own soldier,) rounded 4 in the ear Poictiers, and Anjou, these five provinces, With that same purpose-changer, that sly devil ; With her to thee; and this addition more, That broker, that still breaks the pate of faith; Full thirty thousand marks of English coin. That daily break-vow; he that wins of all, Philip of France, if thou be pleas'd withal, Of kings, of beggars, old men, young men, maids ;Command thy son and daughter to join hands. Commodity, the bias of the world; K. Phi. It likes us well; - Young princes, close The world, who of itself is peised 5 well,
Made to run even, upon even ground;
This sway of motion, this commodity,
From all direction, purpose, course, intent :
And this same bias, this commodity, The rites of marriage shall be solemniz'd.
Clapp'd on the outward eye of fickle France, Is not the lady Constance in this troop?
Hath drawn him from his own determin'd aid, I know, she is not; for this match, made up, From a resolv'd and honourable war, Her presence would have interrupted much :- To a most base and vile-concluded peace. Where is she and her son ? tell me, who knows. And why rail I on this commodity ? Lew. She is sad and passionate ? at your highness' But for because he hath not woo'd me yet: tent.
Not that I have the power to clutch 0 my hand, K. Phi. And, by my faith, this league, that we When his fair angels 7 would salute my palm: have made,
But for my hand, as unattempted yet, Will give her sadness very little cure. —
Like a poor beggar, raileth on the rich. Brother of England, how may we content
Well, whiles I am a beggar, I will rail, This widow lady? In her right we came :
- there is no sin, but to be rich; Which we, Heaven knows, have turn'd another way, | And being rich, my virtue then shall be, To our own vantage.
To say, there is no vice but beggary : K. John.
We will heal up all; Since kings break faith upon commodity, For we'll create young Arthur duke of Bretagne, Gain, be my lord! for I will worship thee! (Erik.
SCENE I. - The French King's Tent. A widow, husbandless, subject to fears ; Enter CONSTANCE, ARTHUR, and SALISBURY.
A woman, naturally born to fears;
And though thou now confess, thou didst but jest Const. Gone to be married ! gone to swear a peace! With my vex'd spirits, I cannot take a truce, False blood to false blood join'd! Gone to be friends! But they will quake and tremble all this day. Shall Lewis have Blanch? and Blanch those pro- What dost thou mean by shaking of thy head? vinces?
Why dost thou look so sadly on my son ? It is not so; thou hast mis-spoke, misheard ; What means that hand upon that breast of thine ? Be well advis'd, tell o'er thy tale again :
Why holds thine eye that lamentable rheum, It cannot be ; thou dost but say, 'tis so :
Like a proud river peering 8 o'er his bounds ? I trust, I may not trust three ; for thy word
Be these sad signs confirmers of thy words? Is but the vain breath of a common man :
Then speak again ; not all thy former tale, Believe me, I do not believe thee, man;
But this one word; whether thy tale be true. I have a king's oath to the contrary.
Sal. As true, as, I believe, you think them false Thou shalt be punish'd for thus frighting me, That give you cause to prove my saying true. For I am sick, and capable 3 of fears ;
Const. O, if thou teach me to believe
this sorrow, Oppress'd with wrongs, and therefore full of fears;
* Conspired. -9 Poised, balanced 1 Affianced 2 Mournful 3 Susceptible.
Teach thou this sorrow how to make me die; No bargains break, that are not this day made : And let belief and life encounter so,
This day, all things begun come to ill end ; As doth the fury of two desperate men,
Yea, faith itself to hollow falsehood change! Which, in the very meeting, fall, and die.
K. Phi. By heaven, lady, you shall have no cause Lewis marry Blanch! O, boy, then where art thou ? To curse the fair proceedings of this day : France friend with England! what becomes of me?- Have I not pawn'd to you my majesty? Fellow, be gone; I cannot brook thy sight;
Const. You have beguild me with a counterfeit, This news hath made thee a most ugly man. Resembling majesty; which, being touch'd and tried,
Sal. What other harm have I, good lady, done, Proves valueless : You are forsworn, forsworn; But spoke the harm that is by others done? You came in arms to spill mine enemies' blood,
Const. Which harm within itself so heinous is, But now in arms you strengthen it with yours : As it makes harmful all that speak of it.
The grappling vigour and rough frown of war, Arth. I do beseech you, madam, be content. Is cold in amity and painted peace, Const. If thou, that bid'st me be content, wert And our oppression hath made up this league: grim,
Arm, arm, you heavens, against these perjur'd kings! Ugly, and sland'rous to thy mother's womb, A widow cries; be husband to me, heavens ! Full of unpleasing blots, and sightless 9 stains, Let not the hours of this ungodly day Lame, foolish, crooked, swarth, prodigious', Wear out the day in peace; but, ere sunset, Patch'd with foul moles, and eye-offending marks, Set arm'd discord 'twixt these perjur'd kings ! I would not care, I then would be content; Hear me, O, hear me ! For then I should not love thee ; no, nor thou
Lady Constance, peace. Become thy great birth, nor deserve a crown. Const. War! war! no peace! peace is to me a war. But thou art fair; and at thy birth, dear boy! O Lymoges! O Austria ! thou dost shame Nature and fortune join'd to make thee great : That bloody spoil : Thou slave, thou wretch, thou Of nature's gifts thou mayst with lilies boast,
coward ; And with the half-blown rose : but fortune, 0 ! Thou little valiant, great in villainy! She is corrupted, chang'd, and won from thee; Thou ever strong upon the stronger side! She adulterates hourly with thine uncle John; Thou fortune's champion, that dost never fight And with her golden hand hath pluck'd on France But when her humorous ladyship is by To tread down fair respect of sovereignty.
To teach thee safety! thou art perjur'd too, Tell me, thou fellow, is not France forsworn ? And sooth’st up greateness. What a fool art thou, Envenom him with words; or get thee gone, A ramping fool; to brag, and stamp, and swear, And leave those woes alone, which I alone Upon my party! Thou cold-blooded slave, Am bound to under-bear.
Hast thou not spoke like thunder on my side ? Sal,
Pardon me, madam, Been sworn my soldier ? bidding me depend I may not go without you to the kings.
Upon thy stars, thy fortune, and thy strength ? Const. Thou mayst, thou shalt, I will not go with And dost thou now fall over to my foes ?
Thou wear a lion's hide! doff it 3 for shame, I will instruct my sorrows to be proud;
And hang a calf's skin on those recreant limbs. For grief is proud, and makes his owner stout. Aust. O, that a man should speak those words to To me, and to the state ?, of my great grief,
me! Let kings assemble ; for my grief's so great,
Bast. And hang a calf's skin on those recreant That no supporter but the huge firm earth
limbs. Can hold it up : here I and sorrow sit;
Aust. Thou dar'st not say so, villain, for thy life. Here is my throne, bid kings come bow to it. Bast. And hang a calf's skin on those recreant [She throws herself on the ground.
limbs. Enter King John, King PHILIP, LEWIS, BLANCH,
K. John. We like not this: thou dost forget thyself. ELINOR, Bastard, AUSTRIA, and Attendants.
Enter PANDULPH. K. Phi. 'Tis true, fair daughter; and this blessed K. Phi. Here comes the holy legate of the pope. day,
Pand. Hail, you anointed deputies of heaven! Ever in France shall be kept festival :
To thee, king John, my holy errand is. To solemnize this day, the glorious sun
I Pandulph, of fair Milan cardinal, Stays in his course, and plays the alchemist; And from pope Innocent the legate here, Turning, with splendour of his precious eye, Do, in his name, religiously demand, The meagre cloddy earth to glittering gold: Why thou against the church, our holy mother, The yearly course, that brings this day about, So wilfully dost spurn; and, force perforce, Shall never see it but a holyday.
Keep Stephen Langton, chosen archbishop Const. A wicked day, and not a holyday! of Canterbury, from that holy see?
(Rising. This in our 'foresaid holy father's name, What hath this day deserv'd; what hath it done; Pope Innocent, I do demand of thee. That it in golden letters should be set,
K. John. What earthly name to interrogatories Among the high tides, in the kalendar ?
Can task the free breath of a sacred king? Nay, rather, turn this day out of the week; Thou canst not, cardinal, devise a name This day of shame, oppression, perjury:
So slight, unworthy, and ridiculous, Or, if it must stand still, let wives with child To charge me to an answer, as the pope. Pray, that their burdens may not fall this day, Tell him this tale ; and from the mouth of England, Lest that their hopes prodigiously be cross'd:
Add thus much more, That no Italian priest But on this day, let seamen fear no wreck,
Shall tithe or toll in our dominions : 9 Unsightly. 1 Monstrous, · Dignity.
3 Put it off.
But as we under heaven are supreme head,
Aust. Do so, king Philip; hang no more in So, under him, that great supremacy,
doubt. Where we do reign, we will alone uphold,
Bast. Hang nothing but a calf's skin, most sweet Without the assistance of a mortal hand :
lout. So tell the pope; all reverence set apart,
K. Phi. I am perplex'd, and know not what to say. To him, and his usurp'd authority.
Pand. What canst thou say, but will perplex thee K. Phi. Brother of England, you blaspheme in
If thou stand excommunicate, and curs’d ? K. John. Though you, and all the kings of Chris- K. Phi. Goc reverend father, make my person tendom,
yours, Are led so grossly by this meddling priest,
And tell me, how you would bestow yourself. Dreading the curse that money may buy out; This royal hand and mine are newly knit; And, by the merit of vile gold, dross, dust, And the conjunction of our inward souls Purchase corrupted pardon of a man,
Married in league, coupled and link'd together Who, in that sale, sells pardon from himself: With all religious strength of sacred vows; Though you, and all the rest, so grossly led, The latest breath that gave the sound of words, This juggling witchcraft with revenue cherish; Was deep-sworn faith, peace, amity, true love, Yet I, alone, alone do me oppose
Between our kingdoms, and our royal selves; Against the pope, and count his friends my foes. And even before this truce, but new before,
Pand. Then, by the lawful power that I have, No longer than we well could wash our hands, Thou shalt stand curs'd and excommunicate : To clap this royal bargain up of peace, And blessed shall he be, that doth revolt
Heaven knows, they were besmear'd and overstain'd From his allegiance to an heretick ;
With slaughter's pencil ; where revenge did paint And meritorious shall that hand be callid,
The fearful difference of incensed kings: Canonized, and worshipp'd as a saint,
And shall these hands so lately purg'd of blood, That takes away by any secret course
So newly join'd in love, so strong in both,
Unyoke this seizure, and this kind regreet ?
Play fast and loose with faith? so jest with heaven,
As now again to snatch our palm from palm; To my keen curses; for, without my wrong, Unswear faith sworn; and on the marriage bed There is no tongue hath power to curse him right. Of smiling peace to march a bloody host,
Pand. There's law and warrant, lady, for my curse. And make a riot on the gentle brow
My reverend father, let it not be so :
Pand. Philip of France, on peril of a curse, Save what is opposite to England's love. Let go the hand of that arch-heretick;
Therefore, to arms! be champion of our church! And raise the power of France upon his head, Or let the church, our mother, breathe her curse, Unless he do submit himself to Rome.
A mother's curse, on her revolting son. Eli. Look’st thou pale, France ? do not let go France, thou mayst hold a serpent by the tongue, thy hand.
A cased lion by the mortal paw, Const. Look to that, devil! lest that France repent. A fasting tiger safer by the tooth, Aust. King Philip, listen to the cardinal. Than keep in peace that hand which thou dost hold. Bast. And hang a calf's skin on his recreant limbs. K. Phi. I may disjoin my hand, but not my faith. K. John. Philip, what say'st thou to the cardinal ? Pand. So mak'st thou faith an eneniy to faith; Const. What should he say, but as the cardinal ? And, like a civil war, sett'st oath to oath,
Lew. Bethink you, father : for the difference Thy tongue against thy tongue. O, let thy vow Is, purchase of a heavy curse from Rome,
First made to heaven, first be to heaven perform’d; Or the light loss of England for a friend :
That is, to be the champion of our church! Forego the easier.
What since thou sworst, is sworn against thyself, Blanch.
That's the curse of Rome. And may not be performed by thyself : Const. O Lewis, stand fast ; the devil tempts thee For that, which thou hast sworn to do amiss, here,
Is not amiss when it is truly done ; In likeness of a new untrimmed bride.
And being not done, where doing tends to ill, Blanch. The lady Constance speaks not from her The truth is then most done not doing it : faith,
The better act of purposes mistook But from her need.
Is, to mistake again ; though indirect, Const.
O, if thou grant my need. Yet indirection thereby grows direct, Which only lives but by the death of faith, And falsehood, falsehood cures; as fire cools fire, That need must needs infer this principle,
Within the scorched veins of one new burn'd. That faith would live again by death of need; It is religion, that doth make vows kepit ; 0, then, tread down my need, and faith mounts up; But thou hast sworn against religion ; Keep my need up, and faith is trodden down. By what thou swear'st, against the thing thou swear'st; K.John. The king is mov'd, and answers not to And mak’st an oath the surety for thy truth this.
Against an oath: The truth thou art unsure Const. O, be remov'd from him, and answer well.
4 Exchange of salutation.