King John

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter King John, Cardinal Pandulph, and attendants


(giving the crown to Cardinal Pandulph)

Thus have I yielded up into your hand

The circle of my glory.


(returning the crown)
circle (n.) 3 crown, coronet, diadem

                         Take again

From this my hand, as holding of the Pope
holding (n.) 2 leasehold, tenure, grant of occupation

Your sovereign greatness and authority.


Now keep your holy word. Go meet the French,

And from his holiness use all your power

To stop their marches 'fore we are inflamed.
inflamed (adj.) 2 engulfed with fire

Our discontented counties do revolt;

Our people quarrel with obedience,
quarrel with (v.) object to, take exception to, refuse to practise

Swearing allegiance and the love of soul
soul (n.) 3 conscience, heart, inner being

To stranger blood, to foreign royalty.
blood (n.) 6 blood relationship, kinship
strange (adj.) 4 foreign, alien, from abroad
stranger (adj.) foreign, alien

This inundation of mistempered humour
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count
inundation (n.) outpouring, overflowing, flood
mistempered (adj.) 1 disordered, diseased, deranged

Rests by you only to be qualified.
qualify (v.) 2 appease, pacify, calm down

Then pause not, for the present time's so sick,

That present medicine must be ministered,

Or overthrow incurable ensues.


It was my breath that blew this tempest up,

Upon your stubborn usage of the Pope;

But since you are a gentle convertite,
convertite (n.) convert, penitent
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind

My tongue shall hush again this storm of war

And make fair weather in your blustering land.
blustering (adj.) turbulent, buffeted, tempestuous

On this Ascension Day, remember well,

Upon your oath of service to the Pope,

Go I to make the French lay down their arms.



Is this Ascension Day? Did not the prophet

Say that before Ascension Day at noon

My crown I should give off? Even so I have!
give way (v.) 2 give up, yield, relinquish

I did suppose it should be on constraint,

But, heaven be thanked, it is but voluntary.

Enter the Bastard


All Kent hath yielded – nothing there holds out

But Dover Castle; London hath received,

Like a kind host, the Dauphin and his powers;
dauphin, dolphin (n.) title of the eldest son of the King of France [between 1349 and 1830]
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count

Your nobles will not hear you, but are gone

To offer service to your enemy;

And wild amazement hurries up and down
amazement (n.) 2 bewilderment, perplexity, distraction

The little number of your doubtful friends.
doubtful (adj.) 1 fearful, worried, apprehensive


Would not my lords return to me again

After they heard young Arthur was alive?


They found him dead and cast into the streets,

An empty casket, where the jewel of life

By some damned hand was robbed and ta'en away.


That villain Hubert told me he did live.


So, on my soul, he did, for aught he knew.
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count

But wherefore do you droop? Why look you sad?
sad (adj.) 3 downcast, distressed, mournful, gloomy

Be great in act, as you have been in thought;

Let not the world see fear and sad distrust
distrust (n.) 1 lack of confidence, doubt
sad (adj.) 1 serious, grave, solemn See Topics: Frequency count

Govern the motion of a kingly eye.

Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;

Threaten the threatener, and outface the brow
brow (n.) 2 bold front, confidence, effrontery
outface (v.) 1 defy, intimidate, overcome by confronting

Of bragging horror. So shall inferior eyes,
bragging (adj.) threatening, menacing, challenging

That borrow their behaviours from the great,

Grow great by your example and put on

The dauntless spirit of resolution.

Away, and glister like the god of war
glister (v.) glitter, sparkle, gleam

When he intendeth to become the field.
become (v.) 2 grace, honour, dignify See Topics: Frequency count
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count

Show boldness and aspiring confidence!

What, shall they seek the lion in his den,

And fright him there? And make him tremble there?
fright (v.), past form frighted frighten, scare, terrify See Topics: Frequency count

O, let it not be said! Forage, and run
forage (v.) 1 range abroad, go out and about

To meet displeasure farther from the doors,

And grapple with him ere he come so nigh.


The legate of the Pope hath been with me,

And I have made a happy peace with him;
happy (adj.) 2 opportune, appropriate, propitious, favourable

And he hath promised to dismiss the powers
power (n.) 1 armed force, troops, host, army See Topics: Frequency count

Led by the Dauphin.
inglorious (adj.) shameful, humiliating, ignominious
league (n.) 1 compact, alliance, treaty, bond of friendship


                         O inglorious league!

Shall we, upon the footing of our land,
footing (n.) 1 support, surface, foundation, foothold

Send fair-play orders and make compromise,
comprimise (v.) variant form of ‘compromise’
fair-play (adj.) chivalrous, courtly, full of honour
order (n.) 1 arrangement, disposition, direction

Insinuation, parley, and base truce
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count
parle, parley (n.) 1 negotiation, meeting [between enemies under a truce, to discuss terms] See Topics: Frequency count

To arms invasive? Shall a beardless boy,

A cockered silken wanton, brave our fields
brave (v.) 1 challenge, defy, confront, provoke
cockered (adj.) spoiled, indulged, pampered
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count
wanton (n.) 6 spoilt child, pampered baby, weakling

And flesh his spirit in a warlike soil,
flesh (v.) 2 initiate, introduce [to bloodshed]

Mocking the air with colours idly spread,
colours (n.) 1 battle-flags, ensigns, standards, banners See Topics: Frequency count
idly (adv.) 1 foolishly, crazily, frivolously

And find no check? Let us, my liege, to arms!
check (n.) 2 repulse, reverse, resistance

Perchance the Cardinal cannot make your peace;
perchance (adv.) 1 perhaps, maybe See Topics: Frequency count

Or, if he do, let it at least be said

They saw we had a purpose of defence.
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count


Have thou the ordering of this present time.
ordering (n.) management, direction, regulation


Away, then, with good courage! Yet, I know,

Our party may well meet a prouder foe.
party (n.) 1 side, faction, camp
proud (adj.) 2 courageous, valiant, brave


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