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The life and death of King John
Actus PrimusScaena Prima.
Enter King IohnQueene ElinorPembrokeEssexand Salisbury
Chattylion of France.
King Iohn. Now say Chatillionwhat would France with vs?
Chat. Thus (after greeting) speakes the King
In my behauiour to the Maiesty
The borrowed Maiesty of England heere
Elea. A strange beginning: borrowed Maiesty?
K.Iohn. Silence (good mother) heare the Embassie
Chat. Philip of Francein right and true behalfe
Of thy deceased brotherGeffreyes sonne
Arthur Plantaginetlaies most lawfull claime
To this faire Ilandand the Territories:
Desiring thee to lay aside the sword
Which swaies vsurpingly these seuerall titles
And put the same into yong Arthurs hand
Thy Nephewand right royall Soueraigne
K.Iohn. What followes if we disallow of this?
Chat. The proud controle of fierce and bloudy warre
To inforce these rightsso forcibly with-held
K.Io. Heere haue we war for war& bloud for bloud
Controlement for controlement: so answer France
Chat. Then take my Kings defiance from my mouth
The farthest limit of my Embassie
K.Iohn. Beare mine to himand so depart in peace
Be thou as lightning in the eies of France;
For ere thou canst reportI will be there:
The thunder of my Cannon shall be heard.
So hence: be thou the trumpet of our wrath
And sullen presage of your owne decay:
An honourable conduct let him haue
Pembroke looke too't: farewell Chattillion.
Exit Chat. and Pem.
Ele. What now my sonnehaue I not euer said
How that ambitious Constance would not cease
Till she had kindled France and all the world
Vpon the right and party of her sonne.
This might haue beene preuentedand made whole
With very easie arguments of loue
Which now the mannage of two kingdomes must
With fearefull bloudy issue arbitrate
K.Iohn. Our strong possessionand our right for vs
Eli. Your strong possessio[n] much more then your right
Or else it must go wrong with you and me
So much my conscience whispers in your eare
Which none but heauenand youand Ishall heare.
Enter a Sheriffe.
Essex. My Liegehere is the strangest controuersie
Come from the Country to be iudg'd by you
That ere I heard: shall I produce the men?
K.Iohn. Let them approach:
Our Abbies and our Priories shall pay
This expeditions charge: what men are you?
Enter Robert Faulconbridgeand Philip.
Philip. Your faithfull subiectI a gentleman
Borne in Northamptonshireand eldest sonne
As I supposeto Robert Faulconbridge
A Souldier by the Honor-giuing-hand
Of CordelionKnighted in the field
K.Iohn. What art thou?
Robert. The son and heire to that same Faulconbridge
K.Iohn. Is that the elderand art thou the heyre?
You came not of one mother then it seemes
Philip. Most certain of one mothermighty King
That is well knowneand as I thinke one father:
But for the certaine knowledge of that truth
I put you o're to heauenand to my mother;
Of that I doubtas all mens children may
Eli. Out on thee rude many dost shame thy mother
And wound her honor with this diffidence
Phil. I Madame? NoI haue no reason for it
That is my brothers pleaand none of mine
The which if he can prouea pops me out
At least from faire fiue hundred pound a yeere:
Heauen guard my mothers honorand my Land
K.Iohn. A good blunt fellow: why being yonger born
Doth he lay claime to thine inheritance?
Phil. I know not whyexcept to get the land:
But once he slanderd me with bastardy:
But where I be as true begot or no
That still I lay vpon my mothers head
But that I am as well begot my Liege
(Faire fall the bones that tooke the paines for me)
Compare our facesand be Iudge your selfe
If old Sir Robert did beget vs both
And were our fatherand this sonne like him:
O old sir Robert Fatheron my knee
I giue heauen thankes I was not like to thee
K.Iohn. Why what a mad-cap hath heauen lent vs here?
Elen. He hath a tricke of Cordelions face
The accent of his tongue affecteth him:
Doe you not read some tokens of my sonne
In the large composition of this man?
K.Iohn. Mine eye hath well examined his parts
And findes them perfect Richard: sirra speake
What doth moue you to claime your brothers land
Philip. Because he hath a half-face like my father?
With halfe that face would he haue all my land
A halfe-fac'd groatfiue hundred pound a yeere?
Rob. My gracious Liegewhen that my father liu'd
Your brother did imploy my father much
Phil. Well sirby this you cannot get my land
Your tale must be how he employ'd my mother
Rob. And once dispatch'd him in an Embassie
To Germanythere with the Emperor
To treat of high affaires touching that time:
Th' aduantage of his absence tooke the King
And in the meane time soiourn'd at my fathers;
Where how he did preuaileI shame to speake:
But truth is truthlarge lengths of seas and shores
Betweene my fatherand my mother lay
As I haue heard my father speake himselfe
When this same lusty gentleman was got:
Vpon his death-bed he by will bequeath'd
His lands to meand tooke it on his death
That this my mothers sonne was none of his;
And if he werehe came into the world
Full fourteene weekes before the course of time:
Then good my Liedge let me haue what is mine
My fathers landas was my fathers will
K.Iohn. Sirrayour brother is Legittimate
Your fathers wife did after wedlocke beare him:
And if she did play falsethe fault was hers
Which fault lyes on the hazards of all husbands
That marry wiues: tell mehow if my brother
Who as you saytooke paines to get this sonne
Had of your father claim'd this sonne for his
Insoothgood friendyour father might haue kept
This Calfebred from his Cow from all the world:
Insooth he might: then if he were my brothers
My brother might not claime himnor your father
Being none of hisrefuse him: this concludes
My mothers sonne did get your fathers heyre
Your fathers heyre must haue your fathers land
Rob. Shal then my fathers Will be of no force
To dispossesse that childe which is not his
Phil. Of no more force to dispossesse me sir
Then was his will to get meas I think
Eli. Whether hadst thou rather be a Faulconbridge
And like thy brother to enioy thy land:
Or the reputed sonne of Cordelion
Lord of thy presenceand no land beside
Bast. Madamand if my brother had my shape
And I had hissir Roberts his like him
And if my legs were two such riding rods
My armessuch eele skins stuftmy face so thin
That in mine eare I durst not sticke a rose
Lest men should saylooke where three farthings goes
And to his shape were heyre to all this land
Would I might neuer stirre from off this place
I would giue it euery foot to haue this face:
It would not be sir nobbe in any case
Elinor. I like thee well: wilt thou forsake thy fortune
Bequeath thy land to himand follow me?
I am a Souldierand now bound to France
Bast. Brothertake you my landIle take my chance;
Your face hath got fiue hundred pound a yeere
Yet sell your face for fiue pence and 'tis deere:
MadamIle follow you vnto the death
Elinor. NayI would haue you go before me thither
Bast. Our Country manners giue our betters way
K.Iohn. What is thy name?
Bast. Philip my Liegeso is my name begun
Philipgood old Sir Roberts wiues eldest sonne
K.Iohn. From henceforth beare his name
Whose forme thou bearest:
Kneele thou downe Philipbut rise more great
Arise Sir Richardand Plantagenet
Bast. Brother by th' mothers sidegiue me your hand
My father gaue me honoryours gaue land:
Now blessed be the houre by night or day
When I was gotSir Robert was away
Ele. The very spirit of Plantaginet:
I am thy grandame Richardcall me so
Bast. Madam by chancebut not by truthwhat tho;
Something about a little from the right
In at the windowor else ore the hatch:
Who dares not stirre by daymust walke by night
And haue is hauehow euer men doe catch:
Neere or farre offwell wonne is still well shot
And I am Ihow ere I was begot
K.Iohn. GoeFaulconbridgenow hast thou thy desire
A landlesse Knightmakes thee a landed Squire:
Come Madamand come Richardwe must speed
For Francefor Francefor it is more then need
Bast. Brother adieugood fortune come to thee
For thou wast got i'th way of honesty.
Exeunt. all but bastard.
Bast. A foot of Honor better then I was
But many a many foot of Land the worse.
Wellnow can I make any Ioane a Lady
Good den Sir RichardGodamercy fellow
And if his name be GeorgeIle call him Peter;
For new made honor doth forget mens names:
'Tis two respectiueand too sociable
For your conuersionnow your traueller
Hee and his tooth-picke at my worships messe
And when my knightly stomacke is suffis'd
Why then I sucke my teethand catechize
My picked man of Countries: my deare sir
Thus leaning on mine elbow I begin
I shall beseech you; that is question now
And then comes answer like an Absey booke:
O sirsayes answerat your best command
At your employmentat your seruice sir:
No sirsaies questionI sweet sir at yours
And so ere answer knowes what question would
Sauing in Dialogue of Complement
And talking of the Alpes and Appenines
The Perennean and the riuer Poe
It drawes toward supper in conclusion so.
But this is worshipfull society
And fits the mounting spirit like my selfe;
For he is but a bastard to the time
That doth not smoake of obseruation
And so am I whether I smacke or no:
And not alone in habit and deuice
Exterior formeoutward accoutrement;
But from the inward motion to deliuer
Sweetsweetsweet poyson for the ages tooth
Which though I will not practice to deceiue
Yet to auoid deceit I meane to learne;
For it shall strew the footsteps of my rising:
But who comes in such haste in riding robes?
What woman post is this? hath she no husband
That will take paines to blow a horne before her?
O me'tis my mother: how now good Lady
What brings you heere to Court so hastily?
Enter Lady Faulconbridge and Iames Gurney.
Lady. Where is that slaue thy brother? where is he?
That holds in chase mine honour vp and downe
Bast. My brother Robertold Sir Roberts sonne:
Colbrand the Gyantthat same mighty man
Is it Sir Roberts sonne that you seeke so?
Lady. Sir Roberts sonneI thou vnreuerend boy
Sir Roberts sonne? why scorn'st thou at sir Robert?
He is Sir Roberts sonneand so art thou
Bast. Iames Gourniewilt thou giue vs leaue a while?
Gour. Good leaue good Philip
There's toyes abroadanon Ile tell thee more.
MadamI was not old Sir Roberts sonne
Sir Robert might haue eat his part in me
Vpon good Fridayand nere broke his fast:
Sir Robert could doe wellmarrie to confesse
Could get me sir Robert could not doe it;
We know his handy-worketherefore good mother
To whom am I beholding for these limmes?
Sir Robert neuer holpe to make this legge
Lady. Hast thou conspired with thy brother too
That for thine owne gaine shouldst defend mine honor?
What meanes this scornethou most vntoward knaue?
Bast. Knightknight good motherBasilisco-like:
WhatI am dub'dI haue it on my shoulder:
But motherI am not Sir Roberts sonne
I haue disclaim'd Sir Robert and my land
Legitimationnameand all is gone;
Then good my motherlet me know my father
Some proper man I hopewho was it mother?
Lady. Hast thou denied thy selfe a Faulconbridge?
Bast. As faithfully as I denie the deuill
Lady. King Richard Cordelion was thy father
By long and vehement suit I was seduc'd
To make roome for him in my husbands bed:
Heauen lay not my transgression to my charge
That art the issue of my deere offence
Which was so strongly vrg'd past my defence
Bast. Now by this light were I to get againe
Madam I would not wish a better father:
Some sinnes doe beare their priuiledge on earth
And so doth yours: your faultwas not your follie
Needs must you lay your heart at his dispose
Subiected tribute to commanding loue
Against whose furie and vnmatched force
The awlesse Lion could not wage the fight
Nor keepe his Princely heart from Richards hand:
He that perforce robs Lions of their hearts
May easily winne a womans: aye my mother
With all my heart I thanke thee for my father:
Who liues and dares but saythou didst not well
When I was gotIle send his soule to hell.
Come Lady I will shew thee to my kinne
And they shall saywhen Richard me begot
If thou hadst sayd him nayit had beene sinne;
Who sayes it washe lyesI say twas not.
Enter before AngiersPhilip King of FranceLewisDaulphin
Lewis. Before Angiers well met braue Austria
Arthur that great fore-runner of thy bloud
Richard that rob'd the Lion of his heart
And fought the holy Warres in Palestine
By this braue Duke came early to his graue:
And for amends to his posteritie
At our importance hether is he come
To spread his colours boyin thy behalfe
And to rebuke the vsurpation
Of thy vnnaturall VncleEnglish Iohn
Embrace himloue himgiue him welcome hether
Arth. God shall forgiue you Cordelions death
The ratherthat you giue his off-spring life
Shadowing their right vnder your wings of warre:
I giue you welcome with a powerlesse hand
But with a heart full of vnstained loue
Welcome before the gates Angiers Duke
Lewis. A noble boywho would not doe thee right?
Aust. Vpon thy cheeke lay I this zelous kisse
As seale to this indenture of my loue:
That to my home I will no more returne
Till Angiersand the right thou hast in France
Together with that palethat white-fac'd shore
Whose foot spurnes backe the Oceans roaring tides
And coopes from other lands her Ilanders
Euen till that England hedg'd in with the maine
That Water-walled Bulwarkestill secure
And confident from forreine purposes
Euen till that vtmost corner of the West
Salute thee for her Kingtill then faire boy
Will I not thinke of homebut follow Armes
Const. O take his mothers thanksa widdows thanks
Till your strong hand shall helpe to giue him strength
To make a more requitall to your loue
Aust. The peace of heauen is theirs y lift their swords
In such a iust and charitable warre
King. Wellthen to worke our Cannon shall be bent
Against the browes of this resisting towne
Call for our cheefest men of discipline
To cull the plots of best aduantages:
Wee'll lay before this towne our Royal bones
Wade to the market-place in French-mens bloud
But we will make it subiect to this boy
Con. Stay for an answer to your Embassie
Lest vnaduis'd you staine your swords with bloud
My Lord Chattilion may from England bring
That right in peace which heere we vrge in warre
And then we shall repent each drop of bloud
That hot rash haste so indirectly shedde.
King. A wonder Lady: lo vpon thy wish
Our Messenger Chattilion is arriu'd
What England saiessay breefely gentle Lord
We coldly pause for theeChatilion speake
Chat. Then turne your forces from this paltry siege
And stirre them vp against a mightier taske:
England impatient of your iust demands
Hath put himselfe in Armesthe aduerse windes
Whose leisure I haue staidhaue giuen him time
To land his Legions all as soone as I:
His marches are expedient to this towne
His forces stronghis Souldiers confident:
With him along is come the Mother Queene
An Ace stirring him to bloud and strife
With her her Neecethe Lady Blanch of Spaine
With them a Bastard of the Kings deceast
And all th' vnsetled humors of the Land
With Ladies facesand fierce Dragons spleenes
Haue sold their fortunes at their natiue homes
Bearing their birth-rights proudly on their backs
To make a hazard of new fortunes heere:
In briefea brauer choyse of dauntlesse spirits
Then now the English bottomes haue waft o're
Did neuer flote vpon the swelling tide
To doe offence and scathe in Christendome:
The interruption of their churlish drums
Cuts off more circumstancethey are at hand
To parlie or to fighttherefore prepare
Kin. How much vnlook'd foris this expedition
Aust. By how much vnexpectedby so much
We must awake indeuor for defence
For courage mounteth with occasion
Let them be welcome thenwe are prepar'd.
Enter K[ing]. of EnglandBastardQueeneBlanchPembrokeand
K.Iohn. Peace be to France: If France in peace permit
Our iust and lineall entrance to our owne;
If notbleede Franceand peace ascend to heauen.
Whiles we Gods wrathfull agent doe correct
Their proud contempt that beats his peace to heauen
Fran. Peace be to Englandif that warre returne
From France to Englandthere to liue in peace:
England we loueand for that Englands sake
With burden of our armor heere we sweat:
This toyle of ours should be a worke of thine;
But thou from louing England art so farre
That thou hast vnder-wrought his lawfull King
Cut off the sequence of posterity
Out-faced Infant Stateand done a rape
Vpon the maiden vertue of the Crowne:
Looke heere vpon thy brother Geffreyes face
These eyesthese broweswere moulded out of his;
This little abstract doth containe that large
Which died in Geffrey: and the hand of time
Shall draw this breefe into as huge a volume:
That Geffrey was thy elder brother borne
And this his sonneEngland was Geffreys right
And this is Geffreyes in the name of God:
How comes it then that thou art call'd a King
When liuing blood doth in these temples beat
Which owe the crownethat thou ore-masterest?
K.Iohn. From whom hast thou this great commission France
To draw my answer from thy Articles?
Fra. Fro[m] that supernal Iudge that stirs good thoughts
In any breast of strong authoritie
To looke into the blots and staines of right
That Iudge hath made me guardian to this boy
Vnder whose warrant I impeach thy wrong
And by whose helpe I meane to chastise it
K.Iohn. Alack thou dost vsurpe authoritie
Fran. Excuse it is to beat vsurping downe
Queen. Who is it thou dost call vsurper France?
Const. Let me make answer: thy vsurping sonne
Queen. Out insolentthy bastard shall be King
That thou maist be a Queenand checke the world
Con. My bed was euer to thy sonne as true
As thine was to thy husbandand this boy
Liker in feature to his father Geffrey
Then thou and Iohnin manners being as like
As raine to wateror deuill to his damme;
My boy a bastard? by my soule I thinke
His father neuer was so true begot
It cannot beand if thou wert his mother
Queen. Theres a good mother boythat blots thy father
Const. There's a good grandame boy
That would blot thee
Bast. Heare the Cryer
Aust. What the deuill art thou?
Bast. One that wil play the deuill sir with you
And a may catch your hide and you alone:
You are the Hare of whom the Prouerb goes
Whose valour plucks dead Lyons by the beard;
Ile smoake your skin-coat and I catch you right
Sirra looke too'tyfaith I willyfaith
Blan. O well did he become that Lyons robe
That did disrobe the Lion of that robe
Bast. It lies as sightly on the backe of him
As great Alcides shooes vpon an Asse:
But AsseIle take that burthen from your backe
Or lay on that shall make your shoulders cracke
Aust. What cracker is this same that deafes our eares
With this abundance of superfluous breath?
King Lewisdetermine what we shall doe strait
Lew. Women & foolesbreake off your conference.
King Iohnthis is the very summe of all:
England and IrelandAngiersToraineMaine
In right of Arthur doe I claime of thee:
Wilt thou resigne themand lay downe thy Armes?
Iohn. My life as soone: I doe defie thee France
Arthur of Britaineyeeld thee to my hand
And out of my deere loue Ile giue thee more
Then ere the coward hand of France can win;
Submit thee boy
Queen. Come to thy grandame child
Cons. Doe childegoe to yt grandame childe
Giue grandame kingdomeand it grandame will
Giue yt a pluma cherryand a figge
There's a good grandame
Arthur. Good my mother peace
I would that I were low laid in my graue
I am not worth this coyle that's made for me
Qu.Mo. His mother shames him sopoore boy hee weepes
Con. Now shame vpon you where she does or no
His grandames wrongsand not his mothers shames
Drawes those heauen-mouing pearles fro[m] his poor eies
Which heauen shall take in nature of a fee:
Iwith these Christall beads heauen shall be brib'd
To doe him Iusticeand reuenge on you
Qu. Thou monstrous slanderer of heauen and earth
Con. Thou monstrous Iniurer of heauen and earth
Call not me slandererthou and thine vsurpe
The DominationsRoyaltiesand rights
Of this oppressed boy; this is thy eldest sonnes sonne
Infortunate in nothing but in thee:
Thy sinnes are visited in this poore childe
The Canon of the Law is laide on him
Being but the second generation
Remoued from thy sinne-conceiuing wombe
Iohn. Bedlam haue done
Con. I haue but this to say
That he is not onely plagued for her sin
But God hath made her sinne and herthe plague
On this remoued issueplagued for her
And with her plague her sinne: his iniury
Her iniurie the Beadle to her sinne
All punish'd in the person of this childe
And all for hera plague vpon her
Que. Thou vnaduised scoldI can produce
A Willthat barres the title of thy sonne
Con. I who doubts thata Will: a wicked will
A womans willa cankred Grandams will
Fra. Peace Ladypauseor be more temperate
It ill beseemes this presence to cry ayme
To these ill-tuned repetitions:
Some Trumpet summon hither to the walles
These men of Angierslet vs heare them speake
Whose title they admitArthurs or Iohns.
Trumpet sounds. Enter a Citizen vpon the walles.
Cit. Who is it that hath warn'd vs to the walles?
Fra. 'Tis Francefor England
Iohn. England for it selfe:
You men of Angiersand my louing subiects
Fra. You louing men of AngiersArthurs subiects
Our Trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle
Iohn. For our aduantagetherefore heare vs first:
These flagges of France that are aduanced heere
Before the eye and prospect of your Towne
Haue hither march'd to your endamagement.
The Canons haue their bowels full of wrath
And ready mounted are they to spit forth
Their Iron indignation 'gainst your walles:
All preparation for a bloody siedge
And merciles proceedingby these French.
Comfort your Citties eiesyour winking gates:
And but for our approchthose sleeping stones
That as a waste doth girdle you about
By the compulsion of their Ordinance
By this time from their fixed beds of lime
Had bin dishabitedand wide hauocke made
For bloody power to rush vppon your peace.
But on the sight of vs your lawfull King
Who painefully with much expedient march
Haue brought a counter-checke before your gates
To saue vnscratch'd your Citties threatned cheekes:
Behold the French amaz'd vouchsafe a parle
And now insteed of bulletts wrapt in fire
To make a shaking feuer in your walles
They shoote but calme wordsfolded vp in smoake
To make a faithlesse errour in your eares
Which trust accordingly kinde Cittizens
And let vs in. Your Kingwhose labour'd spirits
Fore-wearied in this action of swift speede
Craues harbourage within your Citie walles
France. When I haue saidemake answer to vs both.
Loe in this right handwhose protection
Is most diuinely vow'd vpon the right
Of him it holdsstands yong Plantagenet
Sonne to the elder brother of this man
And King ore himand all that he enioyes:
For this downe-troden equitywe tread
In warlike marchthese greenes before your Towne
Being no further enemy to you
Then the constraint of hospitable zeale
In the releefe of this oppressed childe
Religiously prouokes. Be pleased then
To pay that dutie which you truly owe
To him that owes itnamelythis yong Prince
And then our Armeslike to a muzled Beare
Saue in aspecthath all offence seal'd vp:
Our Cannons malice vainly shall be spent
Against th' involnerable clouds of heauen
And with a blessed and vn-vext retyre
With vnhack'd swordsand Helmets all vnbruis'd
We will beare home that lustie blood againe
Which heere we came to spout against your Towne
And leaue your childrenwiuesand you in peace.
But if you fondly passe our proffer'd offer
'Tis not the rounder of your old-fac'd walles
Can hide you from our messengers of Warre
Though all these Englishand their discipline
Were harbour'd in their rude circumference:
Then tell vsShall your Citie call vs Lord
In that behalfe which we haue challeng'd it?
Or shall we giue the signall to our rage
And stalke in blood to our possession?
Cit. In breefewe are the King of Englands subiects
For himand in his rightwe hold this Towne
Iohn. Acknowledge then the Kingand let me in
Cit. That can we not: but he that proues the King
To him will we proue loyalltill that time
Haue we ramm'd vp our gates against the world
Iohn. Doth not the Crowne of Englandprooue the
And if not thatI bring you Witnesses
Twice fifteene thousand hearts of Englands breed
Bast. Bastards and else
Iohn. To verifie our title with their liues
Fran. As many and as well-borne bloods as those
Bast. Some Bastards too
Fran. Stand in his face to contradict his claime
Cit. Till you compound whose right is worthiest
We for the worthiest hold the right from both
Iohn. Then God forgiue the sinne of all those soules
That to their euerlasting residence
Before the dew of euening fallshall fleete
In dreadfull triall of our kingdomes King
Fran. AmenAmenmount Cheualiers to Armes
Bast. Saint George that swindg'd the Dragon
And ere since sit's on's horsebacke at mine Hostesse dore
Teach vs some sence. Sirrahwere I at home
At your den sirrahwith your Lionnesse
I would set an Oxe-head to your Lyons hide:
And make a monster of you
Aust. Peaceno more
Bast. O tremble: for you heare the Lyon rore
Iohn. Vp higher to the plainewhere we'l set forth
In best appointment all our Regiments
Bast. Speed then to take aduantage of the field
Fra. It shall be soand at the other hill
Command the rest to standGod and our right.
Heere after excursionsEnter the Herald of France with Trumpets
F.Her. You men of Angiers open wide your gates
And let yong Arthur Duke of Britaine in
Who by the hand of Francethis day hath made
Much worke for teares in many an English mother
Whose sonnes lye scattered on the bleeding ground:
Many a widdowes husband groueling lies
Coldly embracing the discoloured earth
And victorie with little losse doth play
Vpon the dancing banners of the French
Who are at hand triumphantly displayed
To enter Conquerorsand to proclaime
Arthur of BritaineEnglands Kingand yours.
Enter English Herald with Trumpet.
E.Har. Reioyce you men of Angiersring your bels
King Iohnyour king and Englandsdoth approach
Commander of this hot malicious day
Their Armours that march'd hence so siluer bright
Hither returne all gilt with Frenchmens blood:
There stucke no plume in any English Crest
That is remoued by a staffe of France.
Our colours do returne in those same hands
That did display them when we first marcht forth:
And like a iolly troope of Huntsmen come
Our lustie Englishall with purpled hands
Dide in the dying slaughter of their foes
Open your gatesand giue the Victors way
Hubert. Heraldsfrom off our towres we might behold
From first to lastthe on-set and retyre:
Of both your Armieswhose equality
By our best eyes cannot be censured:
Blood hath bought bloodand blowes haue answerd blowes:
Strength matcht with strengthand power confronted
Both are alikeand both alike we like:
One must proue greatest. While they weigh so euen
We hold our Towne for neither: yet for both.
Enter the two Kings with their powersat seuerall doores.
Iohn. Francehast thou yet more blood to cast away?
Sayshall the currant of our right rome on
Whose passage vext with thy impediment
Shall leaue his natiue channelland ore-swell
With course disturb'd euen thy confining shores
Vnlesse thou let his siluer Waterkeepe
A peacefull progresse to the Ocean
Fra. England thou hast not sau'd one drop of blood
In this hot triall more then we of France
Rather lost more. And by this hand I sweare
That swayes the earth this Climate ouer-lookes
Before we will lay downe our iust-borne Armes
Wee'l put thee downe'gainst whom these Armes wee beare
Or adde a royall number to the dead:
Gracing the scroule that tels of this warres losse
With slaughter coupled to the name of kings
Bast. Ha Maiesty: how high thy glory towres
When the rich blood of kings is set on fire:
Oh now doth death line his dead chaps with steele
The swords of souldiers are his teethhis phangs
And now he feastsmousing the flesh of men
In vndetermin'd differences of kings.
Why stand these royall fronts amazed thus:
Cry hauocke kingsbacke to the stained field
You equall Potentsfierie kindled spirits
Then let confusion of one part confirm
The others peace: till thenblowesbloodand death
Iohn. Whose party do the Townesmen yet admit?
Fra. Speake Citizens for Englandwhose your king
Hub. The king of Englandwhen we know the king
Fra. Know him in vsthat heere hold vp his right
Iohn. In Vsthat are our owne great Deputie
And beare possession of our Person heere
Lord of our presence Angiersand of you
Fra. A greater powre then We denies all this
And till it be vndoubtedwe do locke
Our former scruple in our strong barr'd gates:
Kings of our fearevntill our feares resolu'd
Be by some certaine kingpurg'd and depos'd
Bast. By heauenthese scroyles of Angiers flout you kings
And stand securely on their battelments
As in a Theaterwhence they gape and point
At your industrious Scenes and acts of death.
Your Royall presences be rul'd by mee
Do like the Mutines of Ierusalem
Be friends a-whileand both conioyntly bend
Your sharpest Deeds of malice on this Towne.
By East and West let France and England mount.
Their battering Canon charged to the mouthes
Till their soule-fearing clamours haue braul'd downe
The flintie ribbes of this contemptuous Citie
I'de play incessantly vpon these Iades
Euen till vnfenced desolation
Leaue them as naked as the vulgar ayre:
That donedisseuer your vnited strengths
And part your mingled colours once againe
Turne face to faceand bloody point to point:
Then in a moment Fortune shall cull forth
Out of one side her happy Minion
To whom in fauour she shall giue the day
And kisse him with a glorious victory:
How like you this wilde counsell mighty States
Smackes it not something of the policie
Iohn. Now by the sky that hangs aboue our heads
I like it well. Franceshall we knit our powres
And lay this Angiers euen with the ground
Then after fight who shall be king of it?
Bast. And if thou hast the mettle of a king
Being wrong'd as we are by this peeuish Towne:
Turne thou the mouth of thy Artillerie
As we will oursagainst these sawcie walles
And when that we haue dash'd them to the ground
Why then defie each otherand pell-mell
Make worke vpon our seluesfor heauen or hell
Fra. Let it be so: saywhere will you assault?
Iohn. We from the West will send destruction
Into this Cities bosome
Aust. I from the North
Fran. Our Thunder from the South
Shall raine their drift of bullets on this Towne
Bast. O prudent discipline! From North to South:
Austria and France shoot in each others mouth.
Ile stirre them to it: Comeawayaway
Hub. Heare vs great kingsvouchsafe awhile to stay
And I shall shew you peaceand faire-fac'd league:
Win you this Citie without strokeor wound
Rescue those breathing liues to dye in beds
That heere come sacrifices for the field.
Perseuer notbut heare me mighty kings
Iohn. Speake on with fauourwe are bent to heare
Hub. That daughter there of Spainethe Lady Blanch
Is neere to Englandlooke vpon the yeeres
Of Lewes the Dolphinand that louely maid.
If lustie loue should go in quest of beautie
Where should he finde it fairerthen in Blanch:
If zealous loue should go in search of vertue
Where should he finde it purer then in Blanch?
If loue ambitioussought a match of birth
Whose veines bound richer blood then Lady Blanch?
Such as she isin beautievertuebirth
Is the yong Dolphin euery way compleat
If not compleat ofsay he is not shee
And she againe wants nothingto name want
If want it be notthat she is not hee.
He is the halfe part of a blessed man
Left to be finished by such as shee
And she a faire diuided excellence
Whose fulnesse of perfection lyes in him.
O two such siluer currents when they ioyne
Do glorifie the bankes that bound them in:
And two such shoresto two such streames made one
Two such controlling bounds shall you bekings
To these two Princesif you marrie them:
This Vnion shall do more then batterie can
To our fast closed gates: for at this match
With swifter spleene then powder can enforce
The mouth of passage shall we fling wide ope
And giue you entrance: but without this match
The sea enraged is not halfe so deafe
Lyons more confidentMountaines and rockes
More free from motionno not death himselfe
In mortall furie halfe so peremptorie
As we to keepe this Citie
Bast. Heeres a stay
That shakes the rotten carkasse of old death
Out of his ragges. Here's a large mouth indeede
That spits forth deathand mountainesrockesand seas
Talkes as familiarly of roaring Lyons
As maids of thirteene do of puppi-dogges.
What Cannoneere begot this lustie blood
He speakes plaine Cannon fireand smoakeand bounce
He giues the bastinado with his tongue:
Our eares are cudgel'dnot a word of his
But buffets better then a fist of France:
ZoundsI was neuer so bethumpt with words
Since I first cal'd my brothers father Dad
Old Qu. Sonlist to this coniunctionmake this match
Giue with our Neece a dowrie large enough
For by this knotthou shalt so surely tye
Thy now vnsur'd assurance to the Crowne
That yon greene boy shall haue no Sunne to ripe
The bloome that promiseth a mightie fruite.
I see a yeelding in the lookes of France:
Marke how they whispervrge them while their soules
Are capeable of this ambition
Least zeale now melted by the windie breath
Of soft petitionspittie and remorse
Coole and congeale againe to what it was
Hub. Why answer not the double Maiesties
This friendly treatie of our threatned Towne
Fra. Speake England firstthat hath bin forward first
To speake vnto this Cittie: what say you?
Iohn. If that the Dolphin there thy Princely sonne
Can in this booke of beautie readI loue:
Her Dowrie shall weigh equall with a Queene:
For Angiersand faire Toraine MainePoyctiers
And all that we vpon this side the Sea
(Except this Cittie now by vs besiedg'd)
Finde liable to our Crowne and Dignitie
Shall gild her bridall bed and make her rich
In titleshonorsand promotions
As she in beautieeducationblood
Holdes hand with any Princesse of the world
Fra. What sai'st thou boy? looke in the Ladies face
Dol. I do my Lordand in her eie I find
A wonderor a wondrous miracle
The shadow of my selfe form'd in her eye
Which being but the shadow of your sonne
Becomes a sonne and makes your sonne a shadow:
I do protest I neuer lou'd my selfe
Till nowinfixed I beheld my selfe
Drawne in the flattering table of her eie.
Whispers with Blanch.
Bast. Drawne in the flattering table of her eie
Hang'd in the frowning wrinkle of her brow
And quarter'd in her hearthee doth espie
Himselfe loues traytorthis is pittie now;
That hang'dand drawneand quarter'd there should be
In such a loueso vile a Lout as he
Blan. My vnckles will in this respect is mine
If he see ought in you that makes him like
That any thing he see's which moues his liking
I can with ease translate it to my will:
Or if you willto speake more properly
I will enforce it easlie to my loue.
Further I will not flatter youmy Lord
That all I see in you is worthie loue
Then thisthat nothing do I see in you
Though churlish thoughts themselues should bee your
That I can findeshould merit any hate
Iohn. What saie these yong-ones? What say you my
Blan. That she is bound in honor still to do
What you in wisedome still vouchsafe to say
Iohn. Speake then Prince Dolphincan you loue this
Dol. Nay aske me if I can refraine from loue
For I doe loue her most vnfainedly
Iohn. Then I doe giue VolquessenToraineMaine
Poyctiers and Aniowthese fiue Prouinces
With her to theeand this addition more
Full thirty thousand Markes of English coyne:
Phillip of Franceif thou be pleas'd withall
Command thy sonne and daughter to ioyne hands
Fra. It likes vs well young Princes: close your hands
Aust. And your lippes toofor I am well assur'd
That I did so when I was first assur'd
Fra. Now Cittizens of Angires ope your gates
Let in that amitie which you haue made
For at Saint Maries Chappell presently
The rights of marriage shallbe solemniz'd.
Is not the Ladie Constance in this troope?
I know she is not for this match made vp
Her presence would haue interrupted much.
Where is she and her sonnetell mewho knowes?
Dol. She is sad and passionate at your highnes Tent
Fra. And by my faiththis league that we haue made
Will giue her sadnesse very little cure:
Brother of Englandhow may we content
This widdow Lady? In her right we came
Which we God knoweshaue turn'd another way
To our owne vantage
Iohn. We will heale vp all
For wee'l create yong Arthur Duke of Britaine
And Earle of Richmondand this rich faire Towne
We make him Lord of. Call the Lady Constance
Some speedy Messenger bid her repaire
To our solemnity: I trust we shall
(If not fill vp the measure of her will)
Yet in some measure satisfie her so
That we shall stop her exclamation
Go we as well as hast will suffer vs
To this vnlook'd for vnprepared pompe.
Bast. Mad worldmad kingsmad composition:
Iohn to stop Arthurs Title in the whole
Hath willingly departed with a part
And Francewhose armour Conscience buckled on
Whom zeale and charitie brought to the field
As Gods owne souldierrounded in the eare
With that same purpose-changerthat slye diuel
That Brokerthat still breakes the pate of faith
That dayly breake-vowhe that winnes of all
Of kingsof beggersold menyong menmaids
Who hauing no externall thing to loose
But the word Maidcheats the poore Maide of that.
That smooth-fac'd Gentlemantickling commoditie
Commoditiethe byas of the world
The worldwho of it selfe is peysed well
Made to run euenvpon euen ground;
Till this aduantagethis vile drawing byas
This sway of motionthis commoditie
Makes it take head from all indifferency
From all directionpurposecourseintent.
And this same byasthis Commoditie
This Bawdthis Brokerthis all-changing-word
Clap'd on the outward eye of fickle France
Hath drawne him from his owne determin'd ayd
From a resolu'd and honourable warre
To a most base and vile-concluded peace.
And why rayle I on this Commoditie?
But for because he hath not wooed me yet:
Not that I haue the power to clutch my hand
When his faire Angels would salute my palme
But for my handas vnattempted yet
Like a poore beggerraileth on the rich.
Wellwhiles I am a beggerI will raile
And say there is no sin but to be rich:
And being richmy vertue then shall be
To say there is no vicebut beggerie:
Since Kings breake faith vpon commoditie
Gaine be my Lordfor I will worship thee.
Enter ConstanceArthurand Salisbury.
Con. Gone to be married? Gone to sweare a peace?
False blood to false blood ioyn'd. Gone to be freinds?
Shall Lewis haue Blaunchand Blaunch those Prouinces?
It is not sothou hast mispokemisheard
Be well aduis'dtell ore thy tale againe.
It cannot bethou do'st but say 'tis so.
I trust I may not trust theefor thy word
Is but the vaine breath of a common man:
Beleeue meI doe not beleeue thee man
I haue a Kings oath to the contrarie.
Thou shalt be punish'd for thus frighting me
For I am sickeand capeable of feares
Opprest with wrongsand therefore full of feares
A widdowhusbandlessubiect to feares
A woman naturally borne to feares;
And though thou now confesse thou didst but iest
With my vext spiritsI cannot take a Truce
But they will quake and tremble all this day.
What dost thou meane by shaking of thy head?
Why dost thou looke so sadly on my sonne?
What meanes that hand vpon that breast of thine?
Why holdes thine eie that lamentable rhewme
Like a proud riuer peering ore his bounds?
Be these sad signes confirmers of thy words?
Then speake againenot all thy former tale
But this one wordwhether thy tale be true
Sal. As true as I beleeue you thinke them false
That giue you cause to proue my saying true
Con. Oh if thou teach me to beleeue this sorrow
Teach thou this sorrowhow to make me dye
And let beleefeand life encounter so
As doth the furie of two desperate men
Which in the very meeting falland dye.
Lewes marry Blaunch? O boythen where art thou?
France friend with Englandwhat becomes of me?
Fellow be gone: I cannot brooke thy sight
This newes hath made thee a most vgly man
Sal. What other harme haue I good Lady done
But spoke the harmethat is by others done?
Con. Which harme within it selfe so heynous is
As it makes harmefull all that speake of it
Ar. I do beseech you Madam be content
Con. If thou that bidst me be contentwert grim
Vglyand slandrous to thy Mothers wombe
Full of vnpleasing blotsand sightlesse staines
Patch'd with foule Molesand eye-offending markes
I would not careI then would be content
For then I should not loue thee: nonor thou
Become thy great birthnor deserue a Crowne.
But thou art faireand at thy birth (deere boy)
Nature and Fortune ioyn'd to make thee great.
Of Natures guiftsthou mayst with Lillies boast
And with the halfe-blowne Rose. But Fortuneoh
She is corruptedchang'dand wonne from thee
Sh' adulterates hourely with thine Vnckle Iohn
And with her golden hand hath pluckt on France
To tread downe faire respect of Soueraigntie
And made his Maiestie the bawd to theirs.
France is a Bawd to Fortuneand king Iohn
That strumpet Fortunethat vsurping Iohn:
Tell me thou fellowis not France forsworne?
Envenom him with wordsor get thee gone
And leaue those woes alonewhich I alone
Am bound to vnder-beare
Sal. Pardon me Madam
I may not goe without you to the kings
Con. Thou maistthou shaltI will not go with thee
I will instruct my sorrowes to bee proud
For greefe is proudand makes his owner stoope
To me and to the state of my great greefe
Lets kings assemble: for my greefe's so great
That no supporter but the huge firme earth
Can hold it vp: here I and sorrowes sit
Heere is my Throne bid kings come bow to it.
Actus TertiusScaena prima.
Enter King IohnFranceDolphinBlanchElianorPhilipAustria
Fran. 'Tis true (faire daughter) and this blessed day
Euer in France shall be kept festiuall:
To solemnize this day the glorious sunne
Stayes in his courseand playes the Alchymist
Turning with splendor of his precious eye
The meager cloddy earth to glittering gold:
The yearely course that brings this day about
Shall neuer see itbut a holy day
Const. A wicked dayand not a holy day.
What hath this day deseru'd? what hath it done
That it in golden letters should be set
Among the high tides in the Kalender?
Nayrather turne this day out of the weeke
This day of shameoppressionperiury.
Or if it must stand stilllet wiues with childe
Pray that their burthens may not fall this day
Lest that their hopes prodigiously be crost:
But (on this day) let Sea-men feare no wracke
No bargaines breake that are not this day made;
This day all things beguncome to ill end
Yeafaith it selfe to hollow falshood change
Fra. By heauen Ladyyou shall haue no cause
To curse the faire proceedings of this day:
Haue I not pawn'd to you my Maiesty?
Const. You haue beguil'd me with a counterfeit
Resembling Maiestywhich being touch'd and tride
Proues valuelesse: you are forsworneforsworne
You came in Armes to spill mine enemies bloud
But now in Armesyou strengthen it with yours.
The grapling vigorand rough frowne of Warre
Is cold in amitieand painted peace
And our oppression hath made vp this league:
Armearmeyou heauensagainst these periur'd Kings
A widdow criesbe husband to me (heauens)
Let not the howres of this vngodly day
Weare out the daies in Peace; but ere Sun-set
Set armed discord 'twixt these periur'd Kings
Heare meOhheare me
Aust. Lady Constancepeace
Const. Warwarno peacepeace is to me a warre:
O LymogesO Austriathou dost shame
That bloudy spoyle: thou slauethou wretchy coward
Thou little valiantgreat in villanie
Thou euer strong vpon the stronger side;
Thou Fortunes Championthat do'st neuer fight
But when her humourous Ladiship is by
To teach thee safety: thou art periur'd too
And sooth'st vp greatnesse. What a foole art thou
A ramping fooleto bragand stampand sweare
Vpon my partie: thou cold blooded slaue
Hast thou not spoke like thunder on my side?
Beene sworne my Souldierbidding me depend
Vpon thy starresthy fortuneand thy strength
And dost thou now fall ouer to my foes?
Thou weare a Lyons hidedoff it for shame
And hang a Calues skin on those recreant limbes
Aus. O that a man should speake those words to me
Phil. And hang a Calues-skin on those recreant limbs
Aus. Thou dar'st not say so villaine for thy life
Phil. And hang a Calues-skin on those recreant limbs
Iohn. We like not thisthou dost forget thy selfe.
Fra. Heere comes the holy Legat of the Pope
Pan. Haile you annointed deputies of heauen;
To thee King Iohn my holy errand is:
I Pandulphof faire Millane Cardinall
And from Pope Innocent the Legate heere
Doe in his name religiously demand
Why thou against the Churchour holy Mother
So wilfully dost spurne; and force perforce
Keepe Stephen Langton chosen Archbishop
Of Canterbury from that holy Sea:
This in our foresaid holy Fathers name
Pope InnocentI doe demand of thee
Iohn. What earthie name to Interrogatories
Can tast the free breath of a sacred King?
Thou canst not (Cardinall) deuise a name
So slightvnworthyand ridiculous
To charge me to an answereas the Pope:
Tell him this taleand from the mouth of England
Adde thus much morethat no Italian Priest
Shall tythe or toll in our dominions:
But as wevnder heauenare supreame head
So vnder him that great supremacy
Where we doe reignewe will alone vphold
Without th' assistance of a mortall hand:
So tell the Popeall reuerence set apart
To him and his vsurp'd authoritie
Fra. Brother of Englandyou blaspheme in this
Iohn. Though youand all the Kings of Christendom
Are led so grossely by this medling Priest
Dreading the curse that money may buy out
And by the merit of vilde golddrossedust
Purchase corrupted pardon of a man
Who in that sale sels pardon from himselfe:
Though youand al the rest so grossely led
This iugling witchcraft with reuennue cherish
Yet I alonealone doe me oppose
Against the Popeand count his friends my foes
Pand. Then by the lawfull power that I haue
Thou shalt stand curstand excommunicate
And blessed shall he be that doth reuolt
From his Allegeance to an heretique
And meritorious shall that hand be call'd
Canonized and worship'd as a Saint
That takes away by any secret course
Thy hatefull life
Con. O lawfull let it be
That I haue roome with Rome to curse a while
Good Father Cardinallcry thou Amen
To my keene curses; for without my wrong
There is no tongue hath power to curse him right
Pan. There's Law and Warrant (Lady) for my curse
Cons. And for mine toowhen Law can do no right.
Let it be lawfullthat Law barre no wrong:
Law cannot giue my childe his kingdome heere;
For he that holds his Kingdomeholds the Law:
Therefore since Law it selfe is perfect wrong
How can the Law forbid my tongue to curse?
Pand. Philip of Franceon perill of a curse
Let goe the hand of that Arch-heretique
And raise the power of France vpon his head
Vnlesse he doe submit himselfe to Rome
Elea. Look'st thou pale France? do not let go thy hand
Con. Looke to that Deuilllest that France repent
And by disioyning hands hell lose a soule
Aust. King Philiplisten to the Cardinall
Bast. And hang a Calues-skin on his recreant limbs
Aust. Well ruffianI must pocket vp these wrongs
Bast. Your breeches best may carry them
Iohn. Philipwhat saist thou to the Cardinall?
Con. What should he saybut as the Cardinall?
Dolph. Bethinke you fatherfor the difference
Is purchase of a heauy curse from Rome
Or the light losse of Englandfor a friend:
Forgoe the easier
Bla. That's the curse of Rome
Con. O Lewisstand fastthe deuill tempts thee heere
In likenesse of a new vntrimmed Bride
Bla. The Lady Constance speakes not from her faith
But from her need
Con. Ohif thou grant my need
Which onely liues but by the death of faith
That needmust needs inferre this principle
That faith would liue againe by death of need:
O then tread downe my needand faith mounts vp
Keepe my need vpand faith is trodden downe
Iohn. The king is moudand answers not to this
Con. O be remou'd from himand answere well
Aust. Doe so king Philiphang no more in doubt
Bast. Hang nothing but a Calues skin most sweet lout
Fra. I am perplextand know not what to say
Pan. What canst thou saybut wil perplex thee more?
If thou stand excommunicateand curst?
Fra. Good reuerend fathermake my person yours
And tell me how you would bestow your selfe?
This royall hand and mine are newly knit
And the coniunction of our inward soules
Married in leaguecoupledand link'd together
With all religous strength of sacred vowes
The latest breath that gaue the sound of words
Was deepe-sworne faithpeaceamitytrue loue
Betweene our kingdomes and our royall selues
And euen before this trucebut new before
No longer then we well could wash our hands
To clap this royall bargaine vp of peace
Heauen knowes they were besmear'd and ouer-staind
With slaughters pencill; where reuenge did paint
The fearefull difference of incensed kings:
And shall these hands so lately purg'd of bloud?
So newly ioyn'd in loue? so strong in both
Vnyoke this seysureand this kinde regreete?
Play fast and loose with faith? so iest with heauen
Make such vnconstant children of our selues
As now againe to snatch our palme from palme:
Vn-sweare faith sworneand on the marriage bed
Of smiling peace to march a bloody hoast
And make a ryot on the gentle brow
Of true sincerity? O holy Sir
My reuerend fatherlet it not be so;
Out of your gracedeuiseordaineimpose
Some gentle orderand then we shall be blest
To doe your pleasureand continue friends
Pand. All forme is formelesseOrder orderlesse
Saue what is opposite to Englands loue.
Therefore to Armesbe Champion of our Church
Or let the Church our mother breathe her curse
A mothers curseon her reuolting sonne:
Francethou maist hold a serpent by the tongue
A cased Lion by the mortall paw
A fasting Tyger safer by the tooth
Then keepe in peace that hand which thou dost hold
Fra. I may dis-ioyne my handbut not my faith
Pand. So mak'st thou faith an enemy to faith
And like a ciuill warre setst oath to oath
Thy tongue against thy tongue. O let thy vow
First made to heauenfirst be to heauen perform'd
That isto be the Champion of our Church
What since thou sworstis sworne against thy selfe
And may not be performed by thy selfe
For that which thou hast sworne to doe amisse
Is not amisse when it is truely done:
And being not donewhere doing tends to ill
The truth is then most done not doing it:
The better Act of purposes mistooke
Is to mistake againthough indirect
Yet indirection thereby growes direct
And falshoodfalshood curesas fire cooles fire
Within the scorched veines of one new burn'd:
It is religion that doth make vowes kept
But thou hast sworne against religion:
By what thou swear'st against the thing thou swear'st
And mak'st an oath the suretie for thy truth
Against an oath the truththou art vnsure
To swearesweares onely not to be forsworne
Else what a mockerie should it be to sweare?
But thou dost sweareonely to be forsworne
And most forsworneto keepe what thou dost sweare
Therefore thy later vowesagainst thy first
Is in thy selfe rebellion to thy selfe:
And better conquest neuer canst thou make
Then arme thy constant and thy nobler parts
Against these giddy loose suggestions:
Vpon which better partour prayrs come in
If thou vouchsafe them. But if notthen know
The perill of our curses light on thee
So heauyas thou shalt not shake them off
But in despairedye vnder their blacke weight
Aust. Rebellionflat rebellion
Bast. Wil't not be?
Will not a Calues-skin stop that mouth of thine?
Daul. Fatherto Armes
Blanch. Vpon thy wedding day?
Against the blood that thou hast married?
Whatshall our feast be kept with slaughtered men?
Shall braying trumpetsand loud churlish drums
Clamors of hellbe measures to our pomp?
O husband heare me: ayealackehow new
Is husband in my mouth? euen for that name
Which till this time my tongue did nere pronounce;
Vpon my knee I beggoe not to Armes
Against mine Vncle
Const. Ovpon my knee made hard with kneeling
I doe pray to theethou vertuous Daulphin
Alter not the doome fore-thought by heauen
Blan. Now shall I see thy louewhat motiue may
Be stronger with theethen the name of wife?
Con. That which vpholdeth himthat thee vpholds
His HonorOh thine HonorLewis thine Honor
Dolph. I muse your Maiesty doth seeme so cold
When such profound respects doe pull you on?
Pand. I will denounce a curse vpon his head
Fra. Thou shalt not need. EnglandI will fall fro[m] thee
Const. O faire returne of banish'd Maiestie
Elea. O foule reuolt of French inconstancy
Eng. Francey shalt rue this houre within this houre
Bast. Old Time the clocke settery bald sexton Time:
Is it as he will? well thenFrance shall rue
Bla. The Sun's orecast with bloud: faire day adieu
Which is the side that I must goe withall?
I am with botheach Army hath a hand
And in their rageI hauing hold of both
They whurle a-sunderand dismember mee.
HusbandI cannot pray that thou maist winne:
VncleI needs must pray that thou maist lose:
FatherI may not wish the fortune thine:
GrandamI will not wish thy wishes thriue:
Who-euer winson that side shall I lose:
Assured lossebefore the match be plaid
Dolph. Ladywith mewith me thy fortune lies
Bla. There where my fortune liuesthere my life dies
Iohn. Cosengoe draw our puisance together
FranceI am burn'd vp with inflaming wrath
A ragewhose heat hath this condition;
That nothing can allaynothing but blood
The blood and deerest valued bloud of France
Fra. Thy rage shall burne thee vp& thou shalt turne
To ashesere our blood shall quench that fire:
Looke to thy selfethou art in ieopardie
Iohn. No more then he that threats. To Arms let's hie.
AllarumsExcursions: Enter Bastard with Austria's head.
Bast. Now by my lifethis day grows wondrous hot
Some ayery Deuill houers in the skie
And pour's downe mischiefe. Austrias head lye there
While Philip breathes
Iohn. Hubertkeepe this boy: Philip make vp
My Mother is assayled in our Tent
And tane I feare
Bast. My Lord I rescued her
Her Highnesse is in safetyfeare you not:
But on my Liegefor very little paines
Will bring this labor to an happy end.
AlarumsexcursionsRetreat. Enter IohnEleanorArthur Bastard
Iohn. So shall it be: your Grace shall stay behinde
So strongly guarded: Cosenlooke not sad
Thy Grandame loues theeand thy Vnkle will
As deere be to theeas thy father was
Arth. O this will make my mother die with griefe
Iohn. Cosen away for Englandhaste before
And ere our comming see thou shake the bags
Of hoording Abbotsimprisoned angells
Set at libertie: the fat ribs of peace
Must by the hungry now be fed vpon:
Vse our Commission in his vtmost force
Bast. BellBooke& Candleshall not driue me back
When gold and siluer becks me to come on.
I leaue your highnesse: GrandameI will pray
(If euer I remember to be holy)
For your faire safety: so I kisse your hand
Ele. Farewell gentle Cosen
Ele. Come hether little kinsmanharkea worde
Iohn. Come hether Hubert. O my gentle Hubert
We owe thee much: within this wall of flesh
There is a soule counts thee her Creditor
And with aduantage meanes to pay thy loue:
And my good friendthy voluntary oath
Liues in this bosomedeerely cherished.
Giue me thy handI had a thing to say
But I will fit it with some better tune.
By heauen HubertI am almost asham'd
To say what good respect I haue of thee
Hub. I am much bounden to your Maiesty
Iohn. Good friendthou hast no cause to say so yet
But thou shalt haue: and creepe time nere so slow
Yet it shall comefor me to doe thee good.
I had a thing to saybut let it goe:
The Sunne is in the heauenand the proud day
Attended with the pleasures of the world
Is all too wantonand too full of gawdes
To giue me audience: If the mid-night bell
Did with his yron tongueand brazen mouth
Sound on into the drowzie race of night:
If this same were a Church-yard where we stand
And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs:
Or if that surly spirit melancholy
Had bak'd thy bloudand made it heauythicke
Which else runnes tickling vp and downe the veines
Making that idiot laughter keepe mens eyes
And straine their cheekes to idle merriment
A passion hatefull to my purposes:
Or if that thou couldst see me without eyes
Heare me without thine earesand make reply
Without a tonguevsing conceit alone
Without eyesearesand harmefull sound of words:
Thenin despight of brooded watchfull day
I would into thy bosome poure my thoughts:
But (ah) I will notyet I loue thee well
And by my troth I thinke thou lou'st me well
Hub. So wellthat what you bid me vndertake
Though that my death were adiunct to my Act
By heauen I would doe it
Iohn. Doe not I know thou wouldst?
Good HubertHubertHubert throw thine eye
On yon young boy: Ile tell thee what my friend
He is a very serpent in my way
And wheresoere this foot of mine doth tread
He lies before me: dost thou vnderstand me?
Thou art his keeper
Hub. And Ile keepe him so
That he shall not offend your Maiesty
Hub. My Lord
Iohn. A Graue
Hub. He shall not liue
I could be merry nowHubertI loue thee.
WellIle not say what I intend for thee:
Remember: MadamFare you well
Ile send those powers o're to your Maiesty
Ele. My blessing goe with thee
Iohn. For England Cosengoe.
Hubert shall be your manattend on you
With al true duetie: On toward Callicehoa.
Fra. So by a roaring Tempest on the flood
A whole Armado of conuicted saile
Is scattered and dis-ioyn'd from fellowship
Pand. Courage and comfortall shall yet goe well
Fra. What can goe wellwhen we haue runne so ill?
Are we not beaten? Is not Angiers lost?
Arthur tane prisoner? diuers deere friends slaine?
And bloudy England into England gone
Ore-bearing interruption spight of France?
Dol. What he hath wonthat hath he fortified:
So hot a speedwith such aduice dispos'd
Such temperate order in so fierce a cause
Doth want example: who hath reador heard
Of any kindred-action like to this?
Fra. Well could I beare that England had this praise
So we could finde some patterne of our shame:
Looke who comes heere? a graue vnto a soule
Holding th' eternall spirit against her will
In the vilde prison of afflicted breath:
I prethee Lady goe away with me
Con. Lo; now: now see the issue of your peace
Fra. Patience good Ladycomfort gentle Constance
Con. NoI defie all Counsellall redresse
But that which ends all counselltrue Redresse:
DeathdeathO amiablelouely death
Thou odoriferous stench: sound rottennesse
Arise forth from the couch of lasting night
Thou hate and terror to prosperitie
And I will kisse thy detestable bones
And put my eye-balls in thy vaultie browes
And ring these fingers with thy houshold wormes
And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust
And be a Carrion Monster like thy selfe;
Comegrin on meand I will thinke thou smil'st
And busse thee as thy wife: Miseries Loue
O come to me
Fra. O faire afflictionpeace
Con. NonoI will nothauing breath to cry:
O that my tongue were in the thunders mouth
Then with a passion would I shake the world
And rowze from sleepe that fell Anatomy
Which cannot heare a Ladies feeble voyce
Which scornes a moderne Inuocation
Pand. Ladyyou vtter madnesseand not sorrow
Con. Thou art holy to belye me so
I am not mad: this haire I teare is mine
My name is ConstanceI was Geffreyes wife
Yong Arthur is my sonneand he is lost:
I am not madI would to heauen I were
For then 'tis like I should forget my selfe:
Oif I couldwhat griefe should I forget?
Preach some Philosophy to make me mad
And thou shalt be Canoniz'd (Cardinall.)
Forbeing not madbut sensible of greefe
My reasonable part produces reason
How I may be deliuer'd of these woes.
And teaches mee to kill or hang my selfe:
If I were madI should forget my sonne
Or madly thinke a babe of clowts were he;
I am not mad: too welltoo well I feele
The different plague of each calamitie
Fra. Binde vp those tresses: O what loue I note
In the faire multitude of those her haires;
Where but by chance a siluer drop hath falne
Euen to that drop ten thousand wiery fiends
Doe glew themselues in sociable griefe
Like trueinseparablefaithfull loues
Sticking together in calamitie
Con. To Englandif you will
Fra. Binde vp your haires
Con. Yes that I will: and wherefore will I do it?
I tore them from their bondsand cride aloud
Othat these hands could so redeeme my sonne
As they haue giuen these hayres their libertie:
But now I enuie at their libertie
And will againe commit them to their bonds
Because my poore childe is a prisoner.
And Father CardinallI haue heard you say
That we shall see and know our friends in heauen:
If that be trueI shall see my boy againe;
For since the birth of Cainethe first male-childe
To him that did but yesterday suspire
There was not such a gracious creature borne:
But now will Canker-sorrow eat my bud
And chase the natiue beauty from his cheeke
And he will looke as hollow as a Ghost
As dim and meager as an Agues fitte
And so hee'll dye: and rising so againe
When I shall meet him in the Court of heauen
I shall not know him: therefore neuerneuer
Must I behold my pretty Arthur more
Pand. You hold too heynous a respect of greefe
Const. He talkes to methat neuer had a sonne
Fra. You are as fond of greefeas of your childe
Con. Greefe fils the roome vp of my absent childe:
Lies in his bedwalkes vp and downe with me
Puts on his pretty lookesrepeats his words
Remembers me of all his gracious parts
Stuffes out his vacant garments with his forme;
Thenhaue I reason to be fond of griefe?
Fareyouwell: had you such a losse as I
I could giue better comfort then you doe.
I will not keepe this forme vpon my head
When there is such disorder in my witte:
O Lordmy boymy Arthurmy faire sonne
My lifemy ioymy foodmy all the world:
My widow-comfortand my sorrowes cure.
Fra. I feare some out-rageand Ile follow her.
Dol. There's nothing in this world can make me ioy
Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale
Vexing the dull eare of a drowsie man;
And bitter shame hath spoyl'd the sweet words taste
That it yeelds nought but shame and bitternesse
Pand. Before the curing of a strong disease
Euen in the instant of repaire and health
The fit is strongest: Euils that take leaue
On their departuremost of all shew euill:
What haue you lost by losing of this day?
Dol. All daies of gloryioyand happinesse
Pan. If you had won itcertainely you had.
Nono: when Fortune meanes to men most good
Shee lookes vpon them with a threatning eye:
'Tis strange to thinke how much King Iohn hath lost
In this which he accounts so clearely wonne:
Are not you grieu'd that Arthur is his prisoner?
Dol. As heartily as he is glad he hath him
Pan. Your minde is all as youthfull as your blood.
Now heare me speake with a propheticke spirit:
For euen the breath of what I meane to speake
Shall blow each dusteach straweach little rub
Out of the path which shall directly lead
Thy foote to Englands Throne. And therefore marke:
Iohn hath seiz'd Arthurand it cannot be
That whiles warme life playes in that infants veines
The mis-plac'dIohn should entertaine an houre
One minutenay one quiet breath of rest.
A Scepter snatch'd with an vnruly hand
Must be as boysterously maintain'd as gain'd.
And he that stands vpon a slipp'ry place
Makes nice of no vilde hold to stay him vp:
That Iohn may standthen Arthur needs must fall
So be itfor it cannot be but so
Dol. But what shall I gaine by yong Arthurs fall?
Pan. Youin the right of Lady Blanch your wife
May then make all the claime that Arthur did
Dol. And loose itlife and allas Arthur did
Pan. How green you areand fresh in this old world?
Iohn layes you plots: the times conspire with you
For he that steepes his safetie in true blood
Shall finde but bloodie safetyand vntrue.
This Act so euilly borne shall coole the hearts
Of all his peopleand freeze vp their zeale
That none so small aduantage shall step forth
To checke his reignebut they will cherish it.
No naturall exhalation in the skie
No scope of Natureno distemper'd day
No common windeno customed euent
But they will plucke away his naturall cause
And call them Meteorsprodigiesand signes
Abbortiuespresagesand tongues of heauen
Plainly denouncing vengeance vpon Iohn
Dol. May be he will not touch yong Arthurs life
But hold himselfe safe in his prisonment
Pan. O Sirwhen he shall heare of your approach
If that yong Arthur be not gone alreadie
Euen at that newes he dies: and then the hearts
Of all his people shall reuolt from him
And kisse the lippes of vnacquainted change
And picke strong matter of reuoltand wrath
Out of the bloody fingers ends of Iohn.
Me thinkes I see this hurley all on foot;
And Owhat better matter breeds for you
Then I haue nam'd. The Bastard Falconbridge
Is now in England ransacking the Church
Offending Charity: If but a dozen French
Were there in Armesthey would be as a Call
To traine ten thousand English to their side;
Oras a little snowtumbled about
Anon becomes a Mountaine. O noble Dolphine
Go with me to the King'tis wonderfull
What may be wrought out of their discontent
Now that their soules are topfull of offence
For England go; I will whet on the King
Dol. Strong reasons makes strange actions: let vs go
If you say Ithe King will not say no.
Actus QuartusScaena prima.
Enter Hubert and Executioners.
Hub. Heate me these Irons hotand looke thou stand
Within the Arras: when I strike my foot
Vpon the bosome of the groundrush forth
And binde the boywhich you shall finde with me
Fast to the chaire: be heedfull: henceand watch
Exec. I hope your warrant will beare out the deed
Hub. Vncleanly scruples feare not you: looke too't.
Yong Lad come forth; I haue to say with you.
Ar. Good morrow Hubert
Hub. Good morrowlittle Prince
Ar. As little Princehauing so great a Title
To be more Princeas may be: you are sad
Hub. Indeed I haue beene merrier
Art. 'Mercie on me:
Me thinkes no body should be sad but I:
Yet I rememberwhen I was in France
Yong Gentlemen would be as sad as night
Onely for wantonnesse: by my Christendome
So I were out of prisonand kept Sheepe
I should be as merry as the day is long:
And so I would be heerebut that I doubt
My Vnckle practises more harme to me:
He is affraid of meand I of him:
Is it my faultthat I was Geffreyes sonne?
No in deede is't not: and I would to heauen
I were your sonneso you would loue meHubert:
Hub. If I talke to himwith his innocent prate
He will awake my merciewhich lies dead:
Therefore I will be sodaineand dispatch
Ar. Are you sicke Hubert? you looke pale to day
Insooth I would you were a little sicke
That I might sit all nightand watch with you.
I warrant I loue you more then you do me
Hub. His words do take possession of my bosome.
Reade heere yong Arthur. How now foolish rheume?
Turning dispitious torture out of doore?
I must be breefeleast resolution drop
Out at mine eyesin tender womanish teares.
Can you not reade it? Is it not faire writ?
Ar. Too fairely Hubertfor so foule effect
Must you with hot Ironsburne out both mine eyes?
Hub. Yong BoyI must
Art. And will you?
Hub. And I will
Art. Haue you the heart? When your head did but
I knit my hand-kercher about your browes
(The best I hada Princesse wrought it me)
And I did neuer aske it you againe:
And with my handat midnight held your head;
And like the watchfull minutesto the houre
Still and anon cheer'd vp the heauy time;
Sayingwhat lacke you? and where lies your greefe?
Or what good loue may I performe for you?
Many a poore mans sonne would haue lyen still
And nere haue spoke a louing word to you:
But youat your sicke seruice had a Prince:
Nayyou may thinke my loue was craftie loue
And call it cunning. Doand if you will
If heauen be pleas'd that you must vse me ill
Why then you must. Will you put out mine eyes?
These eyesthat neuer didnor neuer shall
So much as frowne on you
Hub. I haue sworne to do it:
And with hot Irons must I burne them out
Ar. Ahnone but in this Iron Agewould do it:
The Iron of it selfethough heate red hot
Approaching neere these eyeswould drinke my teares
And quench this fierie indignation
Euen in the matter of mine innocence:
Nayafter thatconsume away in rust
But for containing fire to harme mine eye:
Are you more stubborne hardthen hammer'd Iron?
And if an Angell should haue come to me
And told me Hubert should put out mine eyes
I would not haue beleeu'd him: no tongue but Huberts
Hub. Come forth: Do as I bid you do
Art. O saue me Hubertsaue me: my eyes are out
Euen with the fierce lookes of these bloody men
Hub. Giue me the Iron I sayand binde him heere
Art. Alaswhat neede you be so boistrous rough?
I will not struggleI will stand stone still:
For heauen sake Hubert let me not be bound:
Nay heare me Hubertdriue these men away
And I will sit as quiet as a Lambe.
I will not stirrenor winchnor speake a word
Nor looke vpon the Iron angerly:
Thrust but these men awayand Ile forgiue you
What euer torment you do put me too
Hub. Go stand within: let me alone with him
Exec. I am best pleas'd to be from such a deede
Art. AlasI then haue chid away my friend
He hath a sterne lookebut a gentle heart:
Let him come backethat his compassion may
Giue life to yours
Hub. Come (Boy) prepare your selfe
Art. Is there no remedie?
Hub. Nonebut to lose your eyes
Art. O heauen: that there were but a moth in yours
A grainea dusta gnata wandering haire
Any annoyance in that precious sense:
Then feeling what small things are boysterous there
Your vilde intent must needs seeme horrible
Hub. Is this your promise? Go toohold your toong
Art. Hubertthe vtterance of a brace of tongues
Must needes want pleading for a paire of eyes:
Let me not hold my tongue: let me not Hubert
Or Hubertif you will cut out my tongue
So I may keepe mine eyes. O spare mine eyes
Though to no vsebut still to looke on you.
Loeby my troththe Instrument is cold
And would not harme me
Hub. I can heate itBoy
Art. Noin good sooth: the fire is dead with griefe
Being create for comfortto be vs'd
In vndeserued extreames: See else your selfe
There is no malice in this burning cole
The breath of heauenhath blowne his spirit out
And strew'd repentant ashes on his head
Hub. But with my breath I can reuiue it Boy
Art. And if you doyou will but make it blush
And glow with shame of your proceedingsHubert:
Nayit perchance will sparkle in your eyes:
Andlike a dogge that is compell'd to fight
Snatch at his Master that doth tarre him on.
All things that you should vse to do me wrong
Deny their office: onely you do lacke
That merciewhich fierce fireand Iron extends
Creatures of note for mercylacking vses
Hub. Wellsee to liue: I will not touch thine eye
For all the Treasure that thine Vnckle owes
Yet am I sworneand I did purposeBoy
With this same very Ironto burne them out
Art. O now you looke like Hubert. All this while
You were disguis'd
Hub. Peace: no more. Adieu
Your Vnckle must not know but you are dead.
Ile fill these dogged Spies with false reports:
Andpretty childesleepe doubtlesseand secure
That Hubert for the wealth of all the world
Will not offend thee
Art. O heauen! I thanke you Hubert
Hub. Silenceno more; go closely in with mee
Much danger do I vndergo for thee.
Enter IohnPembrokeSalisburyand other Lordes.
Iohn. Heere once againe we sit: once against crown'd
And look'd vponI hopewith chearefull eyes
Pem. This once again (but that your Highnes pleas'd)
Was once superfluous: you were Crown'd before
And that high Royalty was nere pluck'd off:
The faiths of mennere stained with reuolt:
Fresh expectation troubled not the Land
With any long'd-for-changeor better State
Sal. Thereforeto be possess'd with double pompe
To guard a Titlethat was rich before;
To gilde refined Goldto paint the Lilly;
To throw a perfume on the Violet
To smooth the yceor adde another hew
Vnto the Raine-bow; or with Taper-light
To seeke the beauteous eye of heauen to garnish
Is wastefulland ridiculous excesse
Pem. But that your Royall pleasure must be done
This acteis as an ancient tale new told
Andin the last repeatingtroublesome
Being vrged at a time vnseasonable
Sal. In this the Antickeand well noted face
Of plaine old formeis much disfigured
And like a shifted winde vnto a saile
It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about
Startlesand frights consideration:
Makes sound opinion sickeand truth suspected
For putting on so new a fashion'd robe
Pem. When Workemen striue to do better then wel
They do confound their skill in couetousnesse
And oftentimes excusing of a fault
Doth make the fault the worse by th' excuse:
As patches set vpon a little breach
Discredite more in hiding of the fault
Then did the fault before it was so patch'd
Sal. To this effectbefore you were new crown'd
We breath'd our Councell: but it pleas'd your Highnes
To ouer-beare itand we are all well pleas'd
Since alland euery part of what we would
Doth make a standat what your Highnesse will
Ioh. Some reasons of this double Corronation
I haue possest you withand thinke them strong.
And moremore strongthen lesser is my feare
I shall indue you with: Meane timebut aske
What you would haue reform'dthat is not well
And well shall you perceiuehow willingly
I will both heareand grant you your requests
Pem. Then Ias one that am the tongue of these
To sound the purposes of all their hearts
Both for my selfeand them: but chiefe of all
Your safety: for the whichmy selfe and them
Bend their best studiesheartily request
Th' infranchisement of Arthurwhose restraint
Doth moue the murmuring lips of discontent
To breake into this dangerous argument.
If what in rest you hauein right you hold
Why then your feareswhich (as they say) attend
The steppes of wrongshould moue you to mew vp
Your tender kinsmanand to choake his dayes
With barbarous ignoranceand deny his youth
The rich aduantage of good exercise
That the times enemies may not haue this
To grace occasions: let it be our suite
That you haue bid vs aske his libertie
Which for our goodswe do no further aske
Thenwhereupon our weale on you depending
Counts it your weale: he haue his liberty.
Iohn. Let it be so: I do commit his youth
To your direction: Hubertwhat newes with you?
Pem. This is the man should do the bloody deed:
He shew'd his warrant to a friend of mine
The image of a wicked heynous fault
Liues in his eye: that close aspect of his
Do shew the mood of a much troubled brest
And I do fearefully beleeue 'tis done
What we so fear'd he had a charge to do
Sal. The colour of the King doth comeand go
Betweene his purpose and his conscience
Like Heralds 'twixt two dreadfull battailes set:
His passion is so ripeit needs must breake
Pem. And when it breakesI feare will issue thence
The foule corruption of a sweet childes death
Iohn. We cannot hold mortalities strong hand.
Good Lordsalthough my will to giueis liuing
The suite which you demand is goneand dead.
He tels vs Arthur is deceas'd to night
Sal. Indeed we fear'd his sicknesse was past cure
Pem. Indeed we heard how neere his death he was
Before the childe himselfe felt he was sicke:
This must be answer'd either heereor hence
Ioh. Why do you bend such solemne browes on me?
Thinke you I beare the Sheeres of destiny?
Haue I commandement on the pulse of life?
Sal. It is apparant foule-playand 'tis shame
That Greatnesse should so grossely offer it;
So thriue it in your gameand so farewell
Pem. Stay yet (Lord Salisbury) Ile go with thee
And finde th' inheritance of this poore childe
His little kingdome of a forced graue.
That blood which ow'd the bredth of all this Ile
Three foot of it doth hold; bad world the while:
This must not be thus bornethis will breake out
To all our sorrowesand ere long I doubt.
Io. They burn in indignation: I repent:
There is no sure foundation set on blood:
No certaine life atchieu'd by others death:
A fearefull eye thou hast. Where is that blood
That I haue seene inhabite in those cheekes?
So foule a skiecleeres not without a storme
Poure downe thy weather: how goes all in France?
Mes. From France to Englandneuer such a powre
For any forraigne preparation
Was leuied in the body of a land.
The Copie of your speede is learn'd by them:
For when you should be told they do prepare
The tydings comesthat they are all arriu'd
Ioh. Oh where hath our Intelligence bin drunke?
Where hath it slept? Where is my Mothers care?
That such an Army could be drawne in France
And she not heare of it?
Mes. My Liegeher eare
Is stopt with dust: the first of Aprill di'de
Your noble mother; and as I hearemy Lord
The Lady Constance in a frenzie di'de
Three dayes before: but this from Rumors tongue
I idely heard: if trueor false I know not
Iohn. With-hold thy speeddreadfull Occasion:
O make a league with me'till I haue pleas'd
My discontented Peeres. What? Mother dead?
How wildely then walkes my Estate in France?
Vnder whose conduct came those powres of France
That thou for truth giu'st out are landed heere?
Mes. Vnder the Dolphin.
Enter Bastard and Peter of Pomfret.
Ioh. Thou hast made me giddy
With these ill tydings: Now? What sayes the world
To your proceedings? Do not seeke to stuffe
My head with more ill newes: for it is full
Bast. But if you be a-feard to heare the worst
Then let the worst vn-heardfall on your head
Iohn. Beare with me Cosenfor I was amaz'd
Vnder the tide; but now I breath againe
Aloft the floodand can giue audience
To any tonguespeake it of what it will
Bast. How I haue sped among the Clergy men
The summes I haue collected shall expresse:
But as I trauail'd hither through the land
I finde the people strangely fantasied
Possest with rumorsfull of idle dreames
Not knowing what they fearebut full of feare.
And here's a Prophet that I brought with me
From forth the streets of Pomfretwhom I found
With many hundreds treading on his heeles:
To whom he sung in rude harsh sounding rimes
That ere the next Ascension day at noone
Your Highnes should deliuer vp your Crowne
Iohn. Thou idle Dreamerwherefore didst thou so?
Pet. Fore-knowing that the truth will fall out so
Iohn. Hubertaway with him: imprison him
And on that day at noonewhereon he sayes
I shall yeeld vp my Crownelet him be hang'd
Deliuer him to safetyand returne
For I must vse thee. O my gentle Cosen
Hear'st thou the newes abroadwho are arriu'd?
Bast. The French (my Lord) mens mouths are ful of it:
Besides I met Lord Bigotand Lord Salisburie
With eyes as red as new enkindled fire
And others moregoing to seeke the graue
Of Arthurwhom they say is kill'd to nighton your suggestion
Iohn. Gentle kinsmango
And thrust thy selfe into their Companies
I haue a way to winne their loues againe:
Bring them before me
Bast. I will seeke them out
Iohn. Naybut make haste: the better foote before.
Olet me haue no subiect enemies
When aduerse Forreyners affright my Townes
With dreadfull pompe of stout inuasion.
Be Mercurieset feathers to thy heeles
And flye (like thought) from themto me againe
Bast. The spirit of the time shall teach me speed.
Iohn. Spoke like a sprightfull Noble Gentleman.
Go after him: for he perhaps shall neede
Some Messenger betwixt meand the Peeres
And be thou hee
Mes. With all my heartmy Liege
Iohn. My mother dead?
Hub. My Lordthey say fiue Moones were seene to night:
Foure fixedand the fift did whirle about
The other fourein wondrous motion
Ioh. Fiue Moones?
Hub. Old menand Beldamesin the streets
Do prophesie vpon it dangerously:
Yong Arthurs death is common in their mouths
And when they talke of himthey shake their heads
And whisper one another in the eare.
And he that speakesdoth gripe the hearers wrist
Whilst he that hearesmakes fearefull action
With wrinkled broweswith nodswith rolling eyes.
I saw a Smith stand with his hammer (thus)
The whilst his Iron did on the Anuile coole
With open mouth swallowing a Taylors newes
Who with his Sheeresand Measure in his hand
Standing on slipperswhich his nimble haste
Had falsely thrust vpon contrary feete
Told of a many thousand warlike French
That were embattailedand rank'd in Kent.
Another leanevnwash'd Artificer
Cuts off his taleand talkes of Arthurs death
Io. Why seek'st thou to possesse me with these feares?
Why vrgest thou so oft yong Arthurs death?
Thy hand hath murdred him: I had a mighty cause
To wish him deadbut thou hadst none to kill him
H. No had (my Lord?) whydid you not prouoke me?
Iohn. It is the curse of Kingsto be attended
By slauesthat take their humors for a warrant
To breake within the bloody house of life
And on the winking of Authoritie
To vnderstand a Law; to know the meaning
Of dangerous Maiestywhen perchance it frownes
More vpon humorthen aduis'd respect
Hub. Heere is your hand and Seale for what I did
Ioh. Ohwhen the last accompt twixt heauen & earth
Is to be madethen shall this hand and Seale
Witnesse against vs to damnation.
How oft the sight of meanes to do ill deeds
Make deeds ill done? Had'st not thou beene by
A fellow by the hand of Nature mark'd
Quotedand sign'd to do a deede of shame
This murther had not come into my minde.
But taking note of thy abhorr'd Aspect
Finding thee fit for bloody villanie:
Aptliable to be employ'd in danger
I faintly broke with thee of Arthurs death:
And thouto be endeered to a King
Made it no conscience to destroy a Prince
Hub. My Lord
Ioh. Had'st thou but shooke thy heador made a pause
When I spake darkelywhat I purposed:
Or turn'd an eye of doubt vpon my face;
As bid me tell my tale in expresse words:
Deepe shame had struck me dumbemade me break off
And those thy fearesmight haue wrought feares in me.
Butthou didst vnderstand me by my signes
And didst in signes againe parley with sinne
Yeawithout stopdidst let thy heart consent
And consequentlythy rude hand to acte
The deedwhich both our tongues held vilde to name.
Out of my sightand neuer see me more:
My Nobles leaue meand my State is braued
Euen at my gateswith rankes of forraigne powres;
Nayin the body of this fleshly Land
This kingdomethis Confine of bloodand breathe
Hostilitieand ciuill tumult reignes
Betweene my conscienceand my Cosins death
Hub. Arme you against your other enemies:
Ile make a peace betweene your souleand you.
Yong Arthur is aliue: This hand of mine
Is yet a maidenand an innocent hand.
Not painted with the Crimson spots of blood
Within this bosomeneuer entred yet
The dreadfull motion of a murderous thought
And you haue slander'd Nature in my forme
Which howsoeuer rude exteriorly
Is yet the couer of a fayrer minde
Then to be butcher of an innocent childe
Iohn. Doth Arthur liue? O hast thee to the Peeres
Throw this report on their incensed rage
And make them tame to their obedience.
Forgiue the Comment that my passion made
Vpon thy featurefor my rage was blinde
And foule immaginarie eyes of blood
Presented thee more hideous then thou art.
Ohanswer not; but to my Closset bring
The angry Lordswith all expedient hast
I coniure thee but slowly: run more fast.
Enter Arthur on the walles.
Ar. The Wall is highand yet will I leape downe.
Good ground be pittifulland hurt me not:
There's few or none do know meif they did
This Ship-boyes semblance hath disguis'd me quite.
I am afraideand yet Ile venture it.
If I get downeand do not breake my limbes
Ile finde a thousand shifts to get away;
As good to dyeand go; as dyeand stay.
Oh memy Vnckles spirit is in these stones
Heauen take my souleand England keep my bones.
Enter PembrokeSalisbury& Bigot.
Sal. LordsI will meet him at S[aint]. Edmondsbury
It is our safetieand we must embrace
This gentle offer of the perillous time
Pem. Who brought that Letter from the Cardinall?
Sal. The Count Meloonea Noble Lord of France
Whose priuate with me of the Dolphines loue
Is much more generallthen these lines import
Big. To morrow morning let vs meete him then
Sal. Or rather then set forwardfor 'twill be
Two long dayes iourney (Lords) or ere we meete.
Bast. Once more to day well metdistemper'd Lords
The King by me requests your presence straight
Sal. The king hath dispossest himselfe of vs
We will not lyne his thin-bestained cloake
With our pure Honors: nor attend the foote
That leaues the print of blood where ere it walkes.
Returneand tell him so: we know the worst
Bast. What ere you thinkegood words I thinke
Sal. Our greefesand not our manners reason now
Bast. But there is little reason in your greefe.
Therefore 'twere reason you had manners now
Pem. Sirsirimpatience hath his priuiledge
Bast. 'Tis trueto hurt his masterno mans else
Sal. This is the prison: What is he lyes heere?
P. Oh deathmade proud with pure & princely beuty
The earth had not a hole to hide this deede
Sal. Murtheras hating what himselfe hath done
Doth lay it open to vrge on reuenge
Big. Or when he doom'd this Beautie to a graue
Found it too precious Princelyfor a graue
Sal. Sir Richardwhat thinke you? you haue beheld
Or haue you reador heardor could you thinke?
Or do you almost thinkealthough you see
That you do see? Could thoughtwithout this obiect
Forme such another? This is the very top
The heighththe Crest: or Crest vnto the Crest
Of murthers Armes: This is the bloodiest shame
The wildest Sauagerythe vildest stroke
That euer wall-ey'd wrathor staring rage
Presented to the teares of soft remorse
Pem. All murthers pastdo stand excus'd in this:
And this so soleand so vnmatcheable
Shall giue a holinessea puritie
To the yet vnbegotten sinne of times;
And proue a deadly bloodshedbut a iest
Exampled by this heynous spectacle
Bast. It is a damnedand a bloody worke
The gracelesse action of a heauy hand
If that it be the worke of any hand
Sal. If that it be the worke of any hand?
We had a kinde of lightwhat would ensue:
It is the shamefull worke of Huberts hand
The practiceand the purpose of the king:
From whose obedience I forbid my soule
Kneeling before this ruine of sweete life
And breathing to his breathlesse Excellence
The Incense of a Vowa holy Vow:
Neuer to taste the pleasures of the world
Neuer to be infected with delight
Nor conuersant with Easeand Idlenesse
Till I haue set a glory to this hand
By giuing it the worship of Reuenge
Pem. Big. Our soules religiously confirme thy words.
Hub. LordsI am hot with hastein seeking you
Arthur doth liuethe king hath sent for you
Sal. Oh he is boldand blushes not at death
Auant thou hatefull villainget thee gone
Hu. I am no villaine
Sal. Must I rob the Law?
Bast. Your sword is bright sirput it vp againe
Sal. Not till I sheath it in a murtherers skin
Hub. Stand backe Lord Salsburystand backe I say
By heauenI thinke my sword's as sharpe as yours.
I would not haue you (Lord) forget your selfe
Nor tempt the danger of my true defence;
Least Iby marking of your rageforget
Your Worthyour Greatnesseand Nobility
Big. Out dunghill: dar'st thou braue a Nobleman?
Hub. Not for my life: But yet I dare defend
My innocent life against an Emperor
Sal. Thou art a Murtherer
Hub. Do not proue me so:
Yet I am none. Whose tongue so ere speakes false
Not truely speakes: who speakes not trulyLies
Pem. Cut him to peeces
Bast. Keepe the peaceI say
Sal. Stand byor I shall gaul you Faulconbridge
Bast. Thou wer't better gaul the diuell Salsbury.
If thou but frowne on meor stirre thy foote
Or teach thy hastie spleene to do me shame
Ile strike thee dead. Put vp thy sword betime
Or Ile so maule youand your tosting-Iron
That you shall thinke the diuell is come from hell
Big. What wilt thou dorenowned Faulconbridge?
Second a Villaineand a Murtherer?
Hub. Lord BigotI am none
Big. Who kill'd this Prince?
Hub. 'Tis not an houre since I left him well:
I honour'd himI lou'd himand will weepe
My date of life outfor his sweete liues losse
Sal. Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes
For villanie is not without such rheume
And helong traded in itmakes it seeme
Like Riuers of remorse and innocencie.
Away with meall you whose soules abhorre
Th' vncleanly sauours of a Slaughter-house
For I am stifled with this smell of sinne
Big. Awaytoward Burieto the Dolphin there
P. There tel the kinghe may inquire vs out.
Ba. Here's a good world: knew you of this faire work?
Beyond the infinite and boundlesse reach of mercie
(If thou didst this deed of death) art y damn'd Hubert
Hub. Do but heare me sir
Bast. Ha? Ile tell thee what.
Thou'rt damn'd as blackenay nothing is so blacke
Thou art more deepe damn'd then Prince Lucifer:
There is not yet so vgly a fiend of hell
As thou shalt beif thou didst kill this childe
Hub. Vpon my soule
Bast. If thou didst but consent
To this most cruell Act: do but dispaire
And if thou want'st a Cordthe smallest thred
That euer Spider twisted from her wombe
Will serue to strangle thee: A rush will be a beame
To hang thee on. Or wouldst thou drowne thy selfe
Put but a little water in a spoone
And it shall be as all the Ocean
Enough to stifle such a villaine vp.
I do suspect thee very greeuously
Hub. If I in actconsentor sinne of thought
Be guiltie of the stealing that sweete breath
Which was embounded in this beauteous clay
Let hell want paines enough to torture me:
I left him well
Bast. Gobeare him in thine armes:
I am amaz'd me thinkesand loose my way
Among the thornesand dangers of this world.
How easie dost thou take all England vp
From forth this morcell of dead Royaltie?
The lifethe rightand truth of all this Realme
Is fled to heauen: and England now is left
To tug and scambleand to part by th' teeth
The vn-owed interest of proud swelling State:
Now for the bare-pickt bone of Maiesty
Doth dogged warre bristle his angry crest
And snarleth in the gentle eyes of peace:
Now Powers from homeand discontents at home
Meet in one line: and vast confusion waites
As doth a Rauen on a sicke-falne beast
The iminent decay of wrested pompe.
Now happy hewhose cloake and center can
Hold out this tempest. Beare away that childe
And follow me with speed: Ile to the King:
A thousand businesses are briefe in hand
And heauen it selfe doth frowne vpon the Land.
Actus QuartusScaena prima.
Enter King Iohn and Pandolphattendants.
K.Iohn. Thus haue I yeelded vp into your hand
The Circle of my glory
Pan. Take againe
From this my handas holding of the Pope
Your Soueraigne greatnesse and authoritie
Iohn. Now keep your holy wordgo meet the French
And from his holinesse vse all your power
To stop their marches 'fore we are enflam'd:
Our discontented Counties doe reuolt:
Our people quarrell with obedience
Swearing Allegianceand the loue of soule
To stranger-bloudto forren Royalty;
This inundation of mistempred humor
Rests by you onely to be qualified.
Then pause not: for the present time's so sicke
That present medcine must be ministred
Or ouerthrow incureable ensues
Pand. It was my breath that blew this Tempest vp
Vpon your stubborne vsage of the Pope:
But since you are a gentle conuertite
My tongue shall hush againe this storme of warre
And make faire weather in your blustring land:
On this Ascention dayremember well
Vpon your oath of seruice to the Pope
Goe I to make the French lay downe their Armes.
Iohn. Is this Ascension day? did not the Prophet
Saythat before Ascension day at noone
My Crowne I should giue off? euen so I haue:
I did suppose it should be on constraint
But (heau'n be thank'd) it is but voluntary.
Bast. All Kent hath yeelded: nothing there holds out
But Douer Castle: London hath receiu'd
Like a kinde Hostthe Dolphin and his powers.
Your Nobles will not heare youbut are gone
To offer seruice to your enemy:
And wilde amazement hurries vp and downe
The little number of your doubtfull friends
Iohn. Would not my Lords returne to me againe
After they heard yong Arthur was aliue?
Bast. They found him deadand cast into the streets
An empty Casketwhere the Iewell of life
By some damn'd hand was rob'dand tane away
Iohn. That villaine Hubert told me he did liue
Bast. So on my soule he didfor ought he knew:
But wherefore doe you droope? why looke you sad?
Be great in actas you haue beene in thought:
Let not the world see feare and sad distrust
Gouerne the motion of a kinglye eye:
Be stirring as the timebe fire with fire
Threaten the threatnerand out-face the brow
Of bragging horror: So shall inferior eyes
That borrow their behauiours from the great
Grow great by your exampleand put on
The dauntlesse spirit of resolution.
Awayand glister like the god of warre
When he intendeth to become the field:
Shew boldnesse and aspiring confidence:
Whatshall they seeke the Lion in his denne
And fright him there? and make him tremble there?
Oh let it not be said: forrageand runne
To meet displeasure farther from the dores
And grapple with him ere he come so nye
Iohn. The Legat of the Pope hath beene with mee
And I haue made a happy peace with him
And he hath promis'd to dismisse the Powers
Led by the Dolphin
Bast. Oh inglorious league:
Shall we vpon the footing of our land
Send fayre-play-ordersand make comprimise
Insinuationparleyand base truce
To Armes Inuasiue? Shall a beardlesse boy
A cockred-silken wanton braue our fields
And flesh his spirit in a warre-like soyle
Mocking the ayre with colours idlely spred
And finde no checke? Let vs my Liege to Armes:
Perchance the Cardinall cannot make your peace;
Or if he doelet it at least be said
They saw we had a purpose of defence
Iohn. Haue thou the ordering of this present time
Bast. Away then with good courage: yet I know
Our Partie may well meet a prowder foe.
Enter (in Armes) DolphinSalisburyMeloonePembrokeBigot
Dol. My Lord Melloonelet this be coppied out
And keepe it safe for our remembrance:
Returne the president to these Lords againe
That hauing our faire order written downe
Both they and weperusing ore these notes
May know wherefore we tooke the Sacrament
And keepe our faithes firme and inuiolable
Sal. Vpon our sides it neuer shall be broken.
And Noble Dolphinalbeit we sweare
A voluntary zealeand an vn-urg'd Faith
To your proceedings: yet beleeue me Prince
I am not glad that such a sore of Time
Should seeke a plaster by contemn'd reuolt
And heale the inueterate Canker of one wound
By making many: Oh it grieues my soule
That I must draw this mettle from my side
To be a widdow-maker: ohand there
Where honourable rescueand defence
Cries out vpon the name of Salisbury.
But such is the infection of the time
That for the health and Physicke of our right
We cannot deale but with the very hand
Of sterne Iniusticeand confused wrong:
And is't not pitty(oh my grieued friends)
That wethe sonnes and children of this Isle
Was borne to see so sad an houre as this
Wherein we step after a strangermarch
Vpon her gentle bosomand fill vp
Her Enemies rankes? I must withdrawand weepe
Vpon the spot of this inforced cause
To grace the Gentry of a Land remote
And follow vnacquainted colours heere:
What heere? O Nation that thou couldst remoue
That Neptunes Armes who clippeth thee about
Would beare thee from the knowledge of thy selfe
And cripple thee vnto a Pagan shore
Where these two Christian Armies might combine
The bloud of malicein a vaine of league
And not to spend it so vn-neighbourly
Dolph. A noble temper dost thou shew in this
And great affections wrastling in thy bosome
Doth make an earth-quake of Nobility:
Ohwhat a noble combat hast fought
Between compulsionand a braue respect:
Let me wipe off this honourable dewe
That siluerly doth progresse on thy cheekes:
My heart hath melted at a Ladies teares
Being an ordinary Inundation:
But this effusion of such manly drops
This showreblowne vp by tempest of the soule
Startles mine eyesand makes me more amaz'd
Then had I seene the vaultie top of heauen
Figur'd quite ore with burning Meteors.
Lift vp thy brow (renowned Salisburie)
And with a great heart heaue away this storme:
Commend these waters to those baby-eyes
That neuer saw the giant-world enrag'd
Nor met with Fortuneother then at feasts
Full warm of bloodof mirthof gossipping:
Comecome; for thou shalt thrust thy hand as deepe
Into the purse of rich prosperity
As Lewis himselfe: so (Nobles) shall you all
That knit your sinewes to the strength of mine.
And euen theremethinkes an Angell spake
Looke where the holy Legate comes apace
To giue vs warrant from the hand of heauen
And on our actions set the name of right
With holy breath
Pand. Haile noble Prince of France:
The next is this: King Iohn hath reconcil'd
Himselfe to Romehis spirit is come in
That so stood out against the holy Church
The great Metropolis and Sea of Rome:
Therefore thy threatning Colours now winde vp
And tame the sauage spirit of wilde warre
That like a Lion fostered vp at hand
It may lie gently at the foot of peace
And be no further harmefull then in shewe
Dol. Your Grace shall pardon meI will not backe:
I am too high-borne to be proportied
To be a secondary at controll
Or vsefull seruing-manand Instrument
To any Soueraigne State throughout the world.
Your breath first kindled the dead coale of warres
Betweene this chastiz'd kingdome and my selfe
And brought in matter that should feed this fire;
And now 'tis farre too huge to be blowne out
With that same weake windewhich enkindled it:
You taught me how to know the face of right
Acquainted me with interest to this Land
Yeathrust this enterprize into my heart
And come ye now to tell me Iohn hath made
His peace with Rome? what is that peace to me?
I (by the honour of my marriage bed)
After yong Arthurclaime this Land for mine
And now it is halfe conquer'dmust I backe
Because that Iohn hath made his peace with Rome?
Am I Romes slaue? What penny hath Rome borne?
What men prouided? What munition sent
To vnder-prop this Action? Is't not I
That vnder-goe this charge? Who else but I
And such as to my claime are liable
Sweat in this businesseand maintaine this warre?
Haue I not heard these Islanders shout out
Viue le Royas I haue bank'd their Townes?
Haue I not heere the best Cards for the game
To winne this easie matchplaid for a Crowne?
And shall I now giue ore the yeelded Set?
Nonoon my soule it neuer shall be said
Pand. You looke but on the out-side of this worke
Dol. Out-side or in-sideI will not returne
Till my attempt so much be glorified
As to my ample hope was promised
Before I drew this gallant head of warre
And cull'd these fiery spirits from the world
To out-looke Conquestand to winne renowne
Euen in the iawes of dangerand of death:
What lusty Trumpet thus doth summon vs?
Bast. According to the faire-play of the world
Let me haue audience: I am sent to speake:
My holy Lord of Millanefrom the King
I come to learne how you haue dealt for him:
Andas you answerI doe know the scope
And warrant limited vnto my tongue
Pand. The Dolphin is too wilfull opposite
And will not temporize with my intreaties:
He flatly saieshee'll not lay downe his Armes
Bast. By all the bloud that euer fury breath'd
The youth saies well. Now heare our English King
For thus his Royaltie doth speake in me:
He is prepar'dand reason to he should
This apish and vnmannerly approach
This harness'd Maskeand vnaduised Reuell
This vn-heard sawcinesse and boyish Troopes
The King doth smile atand is well prepar'd
To whip this dwarfish warrethis Pigmy Armes
From out the circle of his Territories.
That hand which had the strengtheuen at your dore
To cudgell youand make you take the hatch
To diue like Buckets in concealed Welles
To crowch in litter of your stable plankes
To lye like pawneslock'd vp in chests and truncks
To hug with swineto seeke sweet safety out
In vaults and prisonsand to thrill and shake
Euen at the crying of your Nations crow
Thinking this voyce an armed Englishman.
Shall that victorious hand be feebled heere
That in your Chambers gaue you chasticement?
No: know the gallant Monarch is in Armes
And like an Eagleo're his ayerie towres
To sowsse annoyance that comes neere his Nest;
And you degenerateyou ingrate Reuolts
You bloudy Nero'sripping vp the wombe
Of your deere Mother-England: blush for shame:
For your owne Ladiesand pale-visag'd Maides
Like Amazonscome tripping after drummes:
Their thimbles into armed Gantlets change
Their Needl's to Lancesand their gentle hearts
To fierce and bloody inclination
Dol. There end thy braueand turn thy face in peace
We grant thou canst out-scold vs: Far thee well
We hold our time too precious to be spent
with such a brabler
Pan. Giue me leaue to speake
Bast. NoI will speake
Dol. We will attend to neyther:
Strike vp the drummesand let the tongue of warre
Pleade for our interestand our being heere
Bast. Indeede your drums being beatenwil cry out;
And so shall youbeing beaten: Do but start
An eccho with the clamor of thy drumme
And euen at handa drumme is readie brac'd
That shall reuerberate allas lowd as thine.
Sound but anotherand another shall
(As lowd as thine) rattle the Welkins eare
And mocke the deepe mouth'd Thunder: for at hand
(Not trusting to this halting Legate heere
Whom he hath vs'd rather for sportthen neede)
Is warlike Iohn: and in his fore-head sits
A bare-rib'd deathwhose office is this day
To feast vpon whole thousands of the French
Dol. Strike vp our drummesto finde this danger out
Bast. And thou shalt finde it (Dolphin) do not doubt
Alarums. Enter Iohn and Hubert.
Iohn. How goes the day with vs? oh tell me Hubert
Hub. Badly I feare; how fares your Maiesty?
Iohn. This Feauer that hath troubled me so long
Lyes heauie on me: ohmy heart is sicke.
Enter a Messenger.
Mes. My Lord: your valiant kinsman Falconbridge
Desires your Maiestie to leaue the field
And send him word by mewhich way you go
Iohn. Tell him toward Swinstedto the Abbey there
Mes. Be of good comfort: for the great supply
That was expected by the Dolphin heere
Are wrack'd three nights ago on Goodwin sands.
This newes was brought to Richard but euen now
The French fight coldlyand retyre themselues
Iohn. Aye methis tyrant Feauer burnes mee vp
And will not let me welcome this good newes.
Set on toward Swinsted: to my Litter straight
Weaknesse possesseth meand I am faint.
Enter SalisburyPembrokeand Bigot.
Sal. I did not thinke the King so stor'd with friends
Pem. Vp once againe: put spirit in the French
If they miscarry: we miscarry too
Sal. That misbegotten diuell Falconbridge
In spight of spightalone vpholds the day
Pem. They say King Iohn sore sickhath left the field.
Enter Meloon wounded.
Mel. Lead me to the Reuolts of England heere
Sal. When we were happiewe had other names
Pem. It is the Count Meloone
Sal. Wounded to death
Mel. Fly Noble Englishyou are bought and sold
Vnthred the rude eye of Rebellion
And welcome home againe discarded faith
Seeke out King Iohnand fall before his feete:
For if the French be Lords of this loud day
He meanes to recompence the paines you take
By cutting off your heads: Thus hath he sworne
And I with himand many moe with mee
Vpon the Altar at S[aint]. Edmondsbury
Euen on that Altarwhere we swore to you
Deere Amityand euerlasting loue
Sal. May this be possible? May this be true?
Mel. Haue I not hideous death within my view
Retaining but a quantity of life
Which bleeds awayeuen as a forme of waxe
Resolueth from his figure 'gainst the fire?
What in the world should make me now deceiue
Since I must loose the vse of all deceite?
Why should I then be falsesince it is true
That I must dye heereand liue henceby Truth?
I say againeif Lewis do win the day
He is forsworneif ere those eyes of yours
Behold another day breake in the East:
But euen this nightwhose blacke contagious breath
Already smoakes about the burning Crest
Of the oldfeebleand day-wearied Sunne
Euen this ill nightyour breathing shall expire
Paying the fine of rated Treachery
Euen with a treacherous fine of all your liues:
If Lewisby your assistance win the day.
Commend me to one Hubertwith your King;
The loue of himand this respect besides
(For that my Grandsire was an Englishman)
Awakes my Conscience to confesse all this.
In lieu whereofI pray you beare me hence
From forth the noise and rumour of the Field;
Where I may thinke the remnant of my thoughts
In peace: and part this bodie and my soule
With contemplationand deuout desires
Sal. We do beleeue theeand beshrew my soule
But I do loue the fauourand the forme
Of this most faire occasionby the which
We will vntread the steps of damned flight
And like a bated and retired Flood
Leauing our ranknesse and irregular course
Stoope lowe within those bounds we haue ore-look'd
And calmely run on in obedience
Euen to our Oceanto our great King Iohn.
My arme shall giue thee helpe to beare thee hence
For I do see the cruell pangs of death
Right in thine eye. Awaymy friendsnew flight
And happie newnessethat intends old right.
Enter Dolphinand his Traine.
Dol. The Sun of heauen (me thought) was loth to set;
But staidand made the Westerne Welkin blush
When English measure backward their owne ground
In faint Retire: Oh brauely came we off
When with a volley of our needlesse shot
After such bloody toilewe bid good night
And woon'd our tott'ring colours clearly vp
Last in the fieldand almost Lords of it.
Enter a Messenger.
Mes. Where is my Princethe Dolphin?
Dol. Heere: what newes?
Mes. The Count Meloone is slaine: The English Lords
By his perswasionare againe falne off
And your supplywhich you haue wish'd so long
Are cast awayand sunke on Goodwin sands
Dol. Ah fowleshrew'd newes. Beshrew thy very hart:
I did not thinke to be so sad to night
As this hath made me. Who was he that said
King Iohn did flie an houre or two before
The stumbling night did part our wearie powres?
Mes. Who euer spoke itit is true my Lord
Dol. Well: keepe good quarter& good care to night
The day shall not be vp so soone as I
To try the faire aduenture of to morrow.
Enter Bastard and Hubertseuerally.
Hub. Whose there? Speake hoaspeake quickelyor
Bast. A Friend. What art thou?
Hub. Of the part of England
Bast. Whether doest thou go?
Hub. What's that to thee?
Why may not I demand of thine affaires
As well as thou of mine?
Bast. HubertI thinke
Hub. Thou hast a perfect thought:
I will vpon all hazards well beleeue
Thou art my friendthat know'st my tongue so well:
Who art thou?
Bast. Who thou wilt: and if thou please
Thou maist be-friend me so muchas to thinke
I come one way of the Plantagenets
Hub. Vnkinde remembrance: thou& endles night
Haue done me shame: Braue Soldierpardon me
That any accent breaking from thy tongue
Should scape the true acquaintance of mine eare
Bast. Comecome: sans complementWhat newes
Hub. Why heere walke I in the black brow of night
To finde you out
Bast. Breefe then: and what's the newes?
Hub. O my sweet sirnewes fitting to the night
Bast. Shew me the very wound of this ill newes
I am no womanIle not swound at it
Hub. The King I feare is poyson'd by a Monke
I left him almost speechlesseand broke out
To acquaint you with this euillthat you might
The better arme you to the sodaine time
Then if you had at leisure knowne of this
Bast. How did he take it? Who did taste to him?
Hub. A Monke I tell youa resolued villaine
Whose Bowels sodainly burst out: The King
Yet speakesand peraduenture may recouer
Bast. Who didst thou leaue to tend his Maiesty?
Hub. Why know you not? The Lords are all come
And brought Prince Henry in their companie
At whose request the king hath pardon'd them
And they are all about his Maiestie
Bast. With-hold thine indignationmighty heauen
And tempt vs not to beare aboue our power.
Ile tell thee Huberthalfe my power this night
Passing these Flatsare taken by the Tide
These Lincolne-Washes haue deuoured them
My selfewell mountedhardly haue escap'd.
Away before: Conduct me to the king
I doubt he will be deador ere I come.
Enter Prince HenrySalisburieand Bigot.
Hen. It is too latethe life of all his blood
Is touch'dcorruptibly: and his pure braine
(Which some suppose the soules fraile dwelling house)
Doth by the idle Comments that it makes
Fore-tell the ending of mortality.
Pem. His Highnesse yet doth speak& holds beleefe
That being brought into the open ayre
It would allay the burning qualitie
Of that fell poison which assayleth him
Hen. Let him be brought into the Orchard heere:
Doth he still rage?
Pem. He is more patient
Then when you left him; euen now he sung
Hen. Oh vanity of sicknesse: fierce extreames
In their continuancewill not feele themselues.
Death hauing praide vpon the outward parts
Leaues them inuisibleand his seige is now
Against the windethe which he prickes and wounds
With many legions of strange fantasies
Which in their throngand presse to that last hold
Counfound themselues. 'Tis strange y death shold sing:
I am the Symet to this pale faint Swan
Who chaunts a dolefull hymne to his owne death
And from the organ-pipe of frailety sings
His soule and body to their lasting rest
Sal. Be of good comfort (Prince) for you are borne
To set a forme vpon that indigest
Which he hath left so shapelesseand so rude.
Iohn brought in.
Iohn. I marrienow my soule hath elbow roome
It would not out at windowesnor at doores
There is so hot a summer in my bosome
That all my bowels crumble vp to dust:
I am a scribled forme drawne with a pen
Vpon a Parchmentand against this fire
Do I shrinke vp
Hen. How fares your Maiesty?
Ioh. Poyson'dill fare: deadforsookecast off
And none of you will bid the winter come
To thrust his ycie fingers in my maw;
Nor let my kingdomes Riuers take their course
Through my burn'd bosome: nor intreat the North
To make his bleake windes kisse my parched lips
And comfort me with cold. I do not aske you much
I begge cold comfort: and you are so straight
And so ingratefullyou deny me that
Hen. Oh that there were some vertue in my teares
That might releeue you
Iohn. The salt in them is hot.
Within me is a helland there the poyson
Isas a fiendconfin'd to tyrannize
On vnrepreeuable condemned blood.
Bast. OhI am scalded with my violent motion
And spleene of speedeto see your Maiesty
Iohn. Oh Cozenthou art come to set mine eye:
The tackle of my heartis crack'd and burnt
And all the shrowds wherewith my life should saile
Are turned to one thredone little haire:
My heart hath one poore string to stay it by
Which holds but till thy newes be vttered
And then all this thou seestis but a clod
And module of confounded royalty
Bast. The Dolphin is preparing hither-ward
Where heauen he knowes how we shall answer him.
For in a night the best part of my powre
As I vpon aduantage did remoue
Were in the Washes all vnwarily
Deuoured by the vnexpected flood
Sal. You breath these dead newes in as dead an eare
My Liegemy Lord: but now a Kingnow thus
Hen. Euen so must I run onand euen so stop.
What surety of the worldwhat hopewhat stay
When this was now a Kingand now is clay?
Bast. Art thou gone so? I do but stay behinde
To do the office for theeof reuenge
And then my soule shall waite on thee to heauen
As it on earth hath bene thy seruant still.
Nownow you Starresthat moue in your right spheres
Where be your powres? Shew now your mended faiths
And instantly returne with me againe.
To push destructionand perpetuall shame
Out of the weake doore of our fainting Land:
Straight let vs seekeor straight we shall be sought
The Dolphine rages at our verie heeles
Sal. It seemes you know not then so much as we
The Cardinall Pandulph is within at rest
Who halfe an houre since came from the Dolphin
And brings from him such offers of our peace
As we with honor and respect may take
With purpose presently to leaue this warre
Bast. He will the rather do itwhen he sees
Our selues well sinew'd to our defence
Sal. Nay'tis in a manner done already
For many carriages hee hath dispatch'd
To the sea sideand put his cause and quarrell
To the disposing of the Cardinall
With whom your selfemy selfeand other Lords
If you thinke meetethis afternoone will poast
To consummate this businesse happily
Bast. Let it be soand you my noble Prince
With other Princes that may best be spar'd
Shall waite vpon your Fathers Funerall
Hen. At Worster must his bodie be interr'd
For so he will'd it
Bast. Thither shall it then
And happily may your sweet selfe put on
The lineall stateand glorie of the Land
To whom with all submission on my knee
I do bequeath my faithfull seruices
And true subiection euerlastingly
Sal. And the like tender of our loue wee make
To rest without a spot for euermore
Hen. I haue a kinde soulethat would giue thankes
And knowes not how to do itbut with teares
Bast. Oh let vs pay the time: but needfull woe
Since it hath beene before hand with our greefes.
This England neuer didnor neuer shall
Lye at the proud foote of a Conqueror
But when it first did helpe to wound it selfe.
Nowthese her Princes are come home againe
Come the three corners of the world in Armes
And we shall shocke them: Naught shall make vs rue
If England to it selfedo rest but true.
The life and death of King Iohn.