King John

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Modern text


Key line

Enter Arthur on the walles.Enter Arthur on the walls KJ IV.iii.1
The Wall is high, and yet will I leape downe.The wall is high, and yet will I leap down. KJ IV.iii.1
Good ground be pittifull, and hurt me not:Good ground, be pitiful and hurt me not! KJ IV.iii.2
There's few or none do know me, if they did,There's few or none do know me; if they did, KJ IV.iii.3
This Ship-boyes semblance hath disguis'd me quite.This ship-boy's semblance hath disguised me quite.semblance (n.)
appearance, outward show
KJ IV.iii.4
I am afraide, and yet Ile venture it.I am afraid – and yet I'll venture it. KJ IV.iii.5
If I get downe, and do not breake my limbes,If I get down, and do not break my limbs, KJ IV.iii.6
Ile finde a thousand shifts to get away;I'll find a thousand shifts to get away.shift (n.)
stratagem, tactics, way
KJ IV.iii.7
As good to dye, and go; as dye, and stay.As good to die and go as die and stay. KJ IV.iii.8
He leaps down KJ IV.iii.9
Oh me, my Vnckles spirit is in these stones,O me! My uncle's spirit is in these stones! KJ IV.iii.9
Heauen take my soule, and England keep my bones. Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones! KJ IV.iii.10
DiesHe dies KJ IV.iii.10
Enter Pembroke, Salisbury, & Bigot.Enter Pembroke, Salisbury, and Bigot KJ IV.iii.11.1
Lords, I will meet him at S. Edmondsbury,Lords, I will meet him at Saint Edmundsbury.Saint Edmundsbury
Bury St Edmunds, market town in Suffolk; site of the shrine of St Edmund and a place of pilgrimage
KJ IV.iii.11
It is our safetie, and we must embraceIt is our safety, and we must embracesafety (n.)

old form: safetie
prudent course of action, best safeguard
KJ IV.iii.12
This gentle offer of the perillous time.This gentle offer of the perilous time.gentle (adj.)
courteous, friendly, kind
KJ IV.iii.13
Who brought that Letter from the Cardinall?Who brought that letter from the Cardinal? KJ IV.iii.14
The Count Meloone, a Noble Lord of France,The Count Melun, a noble lord of France, KJ IV.iii.15
Whose priuate with me of the Dolphines loue,Whose private with me of the Dauphin's loveprivate (n.)

old form: priuate
private communication, confidential message
KJ IV.iii.16
Is much more generall, then these lines import.Is much more general than these lines import.import (v.)
signify, mean, suggest
KJ IV.iii.17
general (adj.)

old form: generall
all-embracing, universal, comprehensive
To morrow morning let vs meete him then.Tomorrow morning let us meet him then. KJ IV.iii.18
Or rather then set forward, for 'twill beOr rather then set forward; for 'twill beset forward (v.)
go forward, set out, go forth
KJ IV.iii.19
Two long dayes iourney (Lords) or ere we meete.Two long days' journey, lords, or ere we meet. KJ IV.iii.20
Enter Bastard.Enter the Bastard KJ IV.iii.21.1
Once more to day well met, distemper'd Lords,Once more today well met, distempered lords!distempered (adj.)

old form: distemper'd
vexed, troubled, ill-humoured
KJ IV.iii.21
The King by me requests your presence straight.The King by me requests your presence straight.straight (adv.)
straightaway, immediately, at once
KJ IV.iii.22
The king hath dispossest himselfe of vs,The King hath dispossessed himself of us;dispossess (v.)

old form: dispossest
cause to lose possession
KJ IV.iii.23
We will not lyne his thin-bestained cloakeWe will not line his thin bestained cloakbestained (adj.)
stained all over, marked with stains
KJ IV.iii.24
With our pure Honors: nor attend the footeWith our pure honours, nor attend the footattend (v.)
serve, follow, wait [on/upon]
KJ IV.iii.25
That leaues the print of blood where ere it walkes.That leaves the print of blood where'er it walks. KJ IV.iii.26
Returne,and tell him so: we know the worst.Return and tell him so. We know the worst. KJ IV.iii.27
What ere you thinke, good words I thinke were best.Whate'er you think, good words, I think, were best. KJ IV.iii.28
Our greefes, and not our manners reason now.Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now.grief (n.)

old form: greefes
grievance, complaint, hurt, injury
KJ IV.iii.29
But there is little reason in your greefe.But there is little reason in your grief. KJ IV.iii.30
Therefore 'twere reason you had manners now.Therefore 'twere reason you had manners now.reason (n.)
reasonable view, sensible judgement, right opinion
KJ IV.iii.31
Sir, sir, impatience hath his priuiledge.Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege.impatience (n.)
anger, rage, fury
KJ IV.iii.32
'Tis true, to hurt his master, no mans else.'Tis true – to hurt his master, no man else. KJ IV.iii.33
This is the prison:This is the prison. KJ IV.iii.34.1
He sees Arthur's body KJ IV.iii.34
What is he lyes heere?What is he lies here? KJ IV.iii.34.2
Oh death, made proud with pure & princely beuty,O death, made proud with pure and princely beauty! KJ IV.iii.35
The earth had not a hole to hide this deede.The earth had not a hole to hide this deed. KJ IV.iii.36
Murther, as hating what himselfe hath done,Murder, as hating what himself hath done, KJ IV.iii.37
Doth lay it open to vrge on reuenge.Doth lay it open to urge on revenge. KJ IV.iii.38
Or when he doom'd this Beautie to a graue,Or, when he doomed this beauty to a grave,doom (v.)

old form: doom'd
condemn, pronounce judgement against
KJ IV.iii.39
Found it too precious Princely, for a graue.Found it too precious-princely for a grave.precious-princely (adv.)like the precious character of a princeKJ IV.iii.40
Sir Richard, what thinke you? you haue beheld,Sir Richard, what think you? You have beheld. KJ IV.iii.41
Or haue you read, or heard, or could you thinke?Or have you read, or heard, or could you think, KJ IV.iii.42
Or do you almost thinke, although you see,Or do you almost think, although you see, KJ IV.iii.43
That you do see? Could thought, without this obiectThat you do see? Could thought, without this object, KJ IV.iii.44
Forme such another? This is the very top,Form such another? This is the very top, KJ IV.iii.45
The heighth, the Crest: or Crest vnto the CrestThe height, the crest, or crest unto the crest,heighth (n.)
variant spelling of ‘height’
KJ IV.iii.46
crest (n.)
heraldic device placed above the shield and helmet in a coat-of-arms
Of murthers Armes: This is the bloodiest shame,Of murder's arms. This is the bloodiest shame, KJ IV.iii.47
The wildest Sauagery, the vildest strokeThe wildest savagery, the vilest stroke, KJ IV.iii.48
That euer wall-ey'd wrath, or staring rageThat ever wall-eyed wrath or staring ragewall-eyed

old form: wall-ey'd
with glaring eyes
KJ IV.iii.49
Presented to the teares of soft remorse.Presented to the tears of soft remorse.remorse (n.)
pity, compassion, tenderness
KJ IV.iii.50
All murthers past, do stand excus'd in this:All murders past do stand excused in this. KJ IV.iii.51
And this so sole, and so vnmatcheable,And this, so sole and so unmatchable,sole (adj.)
unique, unrivalled, singular
KJ IV.iii.52
Shall giue a holinesse, a puritie,Shall give a holiness, a purity, KJ IV.iii.53
To the yet vnbegotten sinne of times;To the yet-unbegotten sin of times,time (n.)
time to come, future days
KJ IV.iii.54
And proue a deadly blood-shed, but a iest,And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest, KJ IV.iii.55
Exampled by this heynous spectacle.Exampled by this heinous spectacle.example (v.)
exemplify, illustrate
KJ IV.iii.56
heinous (adj.)

old form: heynous
calamitous, terrible, severe
It is a damned, and a bloody worke,It is a damned and a bloody work, KJ IV.iii.57
The gracelesse action of a heauy hand,The graceless action of a heavy hand – heavy (adj.)

old form: heauy
brutal, oppressive, wicked
KJ IV.iii.58
graceless (adj.)

old form: gracelesse
wicked, ungodly, immoral
If that it be the worke of any hand.If that it be the work of any hand. KJ IV.iii.59
If that it be the worke of any hand?If that it be the work of any hand! KJ IV.iii.60
We had a kinde of light, what would ensue:We had a kind of light what would ensue.light (n.)
inkling, foresight, glimmering
KJ IV.iii.61
It is the shamefull worke of Huberts hand,It is the shameful work of Hubert's hand, KJ IV.iii.62
The practice, and the purpose of the king:The practice, and the purpose, of the King – practice (n.)
scheme, plot, stratagem, intrigue
KJ IV.iii.63
purpose (n.)
intention, aim, plan
From whose obedience I forbid my soule,From whose obedience I forbid my soul, KJ IV.iii.64
Kneeling before this ruine of sweete life,Kneeling before this ruin of sweet life, KJ IV.iii.65
And breathing to his breathlesse ExcellenceAnd breathing to this breathless excellence KJ IV.iii.66
The Incense of a Vow, a holy Vow:The incense of a vow, a holy vow, KJ IV.iii.67
Neuer to taste the pleasures of the world,Never to taste the pleasures of the world, KJ IV.iii.68
Neuer to be infected with delight,Never to be infected with delight,infect (v.)
affect, influence, stir
KJ IV.iii.69
Nor conuersant with Ease, and Idlenesse,Nor conversant with ease and idleness,conversant (adj.)

old form: conuersant
occupied, concerned, having to do
KJ IV.iii.70
Till I haue set a glory to this hand,Till I have set a glory to this hand KJ IV.iii.71
By giuing it the worship of Reuenge.By giving it the worship of revenge.worship (n.)
honour, distinction, repute
KJ IV.iii.72
Our soules religiously confirme thy words.Our souls religiously confirm thy words. KJ IV.iii.73
Enter Hubert.Enter Hubert KJ IV.iii.74
Lords, I am hot with haste, in seeking you,Lords, I am hot with haste in seeking you. KJ IV.iii.74
Arthur doth liue, the king hath sent for you.Arthur doth live; the King hath sent for you. KJ IV.iii.75
Oh he is bold, and blushes not at death,O, he is bold, and blushes not at death! KJ IV.iii.76
Auant thou hatefull villain, get thee gone.Avaunt, thou hateful villain! Get thee gone!avaunt (int.)

old form: Auant
be gone, go away, be off
KJ IV.iii.77
I am no villaine. I am no villain. KJ IV.iii.78.1
Must I rob the law?Must I rob the law? KJ IV.iii.78.2
He draws his sword KJ IV.iii.79
Your sword is bright sir, put it vp againe.Your sword is bright, sir; put it up again. KJ IV.iii.79
Not till I sheath it in a murtherers skin.Not till I sheathe it in a murderer's skin. KJ IV.iii.80
Stand backe Lord Salsbury, stand backe I say:Stand back, Lord Salisbury, stand back, I say! KJ IV.iii.81
By heauen, I thinke my sword's as sharpe as yours.By heaven, I think my sword's as sharp as yours. KJ IV.iii.82
I would not haue you (Lord) forget your selfe,I would not have you, lord, forget yourself, KJ IV.iii.83
Nor tempt the danger of my true defence;Nor tempt the danger of my true defence;tempt (v.)
try, test, make trial of
KJ IV.iii.84
true (adj.)
[unclear meaning] skilful, of high quality; honest, justified
defence (n.)
fencing, swordsmanship, skill of self-defence
Least I, by marking of your rage, forgetLest I, by marking of your rage, forgetmark (v.)
note, pay attention [to], take notice [of]
KJ IV.iii.85
your Worth, your Greatnesse, and Nobility.Your worth, your greatness, and nobility. KJ IV.iii.86
Out dunghill: dar'st thou braue a Nobleman?Out, dunghill! Darest thou brave a nobleman?brave (v.)

old form: braue
challenge, defy, confront, provoke
KJ IV.iii.87
Not for my life: But yet I dare defendNot for my life; but yet I dare defend KJ IV.iii.88
My innocent life against an Emperor.My innocent life against an emperor. KJ IV.iii.89
Thou art a Murtherer.Thou art a murderer. KJ IV.iii.90.1
Do not proue me so:Do not prove me so; KJ IV.iii.90.2
Yet I am none. Whose tongue so ere speakes false,Yet I am none. Whose tongue soe'er speaks false,false (adj.)
wrong, mistaken
KJ IV.iii.91
Not truely speakes: who speakes not truly, Lies.Not truly speaks; who speaks not truly, lies. KJ IV.iii.92
Cut him to peeces.Cut him to pieces! KJ IV.iii.93.1
Keepe the peace, I say.Keep the peace, I say. KJ IV.iii.93.2
Stand by, or I shall gaul you Faulconbridge.Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulconbridge.gall (v.)

old form: gaul
injure, harm, wound
KJ IV.iii.94
by (adv.)
aside, out of the way
Thou wer't better gaul the diuell Salsbury.Thou wert better gall the devil, Salisbury. KJ IV.iii.95
If thou but frowne on me, or stirre thy foote,If thou but frown on me, or stir thy foot, KJ IV.iii.96
Or teach thy hastie spleene to do me shame,Or teach thy hasty spleen to do me shame,spleen (n.)

old form: spleene
irritability, malice, bad temper
KJ IV.iii.97
Ile strike thee dead. Put vp thy sword betime,I'll strike thee dead. Put up thy sword betime,betime (adv.)
at once, immediately
KJ IV.iii.98
Or Ile so maule you, and your tosting-Iron,Or I'll so maul you and your toasting-iron KJ IV.iii.99
That you shall thinke the diuell is come from hell.That you shall think the devil is come from hell. KJ IV.iii.100
What wilt thou do, renowned Faulconbridge?What wilt thou do, renowned Faulconbridge? KJ IV.iii.101
Second a Villaine, and a Murtherer?Second a villain and a murderer? KJ IV.iii.102
Lord Bigot, I am none.Lord Bigot, I am none. KJ IV.iii.103.1
Who kill'd this Prince?Who killed this prince? KJ IV.iii.103.2
'Tis not an houre since I left him well:'Tis not an hour since I left him well. KJ IV.iii.104
I honour'd him, I lou'd him, and will weepeI honoured him, I loved him, and will weep KJ IV.iii.105
My date of life out, for his sweete liues losse.My date of life out for his sweet life's (n.)
duration, period of existence
KJ IV.iii.106
Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes,Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes,water (n.)
KJ IV.iii.107
For villanie is not without such rheume,For villainy is not without such rheum,rheum (n.)

old form: rheume
KJ IV.iii.108
And he, long traded in it, makes it seemeAnd he, long traded in it, makes it seemtraded (adj.)
practised, expert, experienced
KJ IV.iii.109
Like Riuers of remorse and innocencie.Like rivers of remorse and innocency.innocency (n.)

old form: innocencie
KJ IV.iii.110
remorse (n.)
pity, compassion, tenderness
Away with me, all you whose soules abhorreAway with me, all you whose souls abhor KJ IV.iii.111
Th'vncleanly sauours of a Slaughter-house,Th' uncleanly savours of a slaughter-house;savour (n.)

old form: sauours
smell, stench, stink
KJ IV.iii.112
uncleanly (adj.)

old form: vncleanly
offensive, foul
For I am stifled with this smell of sinne.For I am stifled with this smell of sin. KJ IV.iii.113
Away, toward Burie, to the Dolphin there.Away toward Bury, to the Dauphin there! KJ IV.iii.114
There tel the king, he may inquire vs out. There tell the King he may inquire us out. KJ IV.iii.115
Ex.Lords.Exeunt Pembroke, Salisbury, and Bigot KJ IV.iii.115
Here's a good world: knew you of this faire work?Here's a good world! Knew you of this fair work? KJ IV.iii.116
Beyond the infinite and boundlesse reach of mercie,Beyond the infinite and boundless reach KJ IV.iii.117
(If thou didst this deed of death) art yu damn'd Hubert.Of mercy, if thou didst this deed of death, KJ IV.iii.118
Art thou damned, Hubert. KJ IV.iii.119
Do but heare me sir.Do but hear me, sir –  KJ IV.iii.120.1
Ha? Ile tell thee what.Ha! I'll tell thee what. KJ IV.iii.120.2
Thou'rt damn'd as blacke, nay nothing is so blacke,Thou'rt damn'd as black – nay, nothing is so black; KJ IV.iii.121
Thou art more deepe damn'd then Prince Lucifer:Thou art more deep damned than Prince Lucifer;Lucifer (n.)
in the Bible, the name of a principal devil; or, the Devil
KJ IV.iii.122
There is not yet so vgly a fiend of hellThere is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell KJ IV.iii.123
As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this childe.As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child. KJ IV.iii.124
Vpon my soule.Upon my soul –  KJ IV.iii.125.1
If thou didst but consentIf thou didst but consentconsent (v.)
agree, concur, acquiesce
KJ IV.iii.125.2
To this most cruell Act: do but dispaire,To this most cruel act, do but despair; KJ IV.iii.126
And if thou want'st a Cord, the smallest thredAnd if thou wantest a cord, the smallest threadwant (v.)
lack, need, be without
KJ IV.iii.127
That euer Spider twisted from her wombeThat ever spider twisted from her womb KJ IV.iii.128
Will serue to strangle thee: A rush will be a beameWill serve to strangle thee; a rush will be a beam KJ IV.iii.129
To hang thee on. Or wouldst thou drowne thy selfe,To hang thee on; or wouldst thou drown thyself, KJ IV.iii.130
Put but a little water in a spoone,Put but a little water in a spoon, KJ IV.iii.131
And it shall be as all the Ocean,And it shall be as all the ocean, KJ IV.iii.132
Enough to stifle such a villaine vp.Enough to stifle such a villain up. KJ IV.iii.133
I do suspect thee very greeuously.I do suspect thee very grievously.grievously (adv.)

old form: greeuously
seriously, greatly
KJ IV.iii.134
If I in act, consent, or sinne of thought,If I in act, consent, or sin of thought KJ IV.iii.135
Be guiltie of the stealing that sweete breathBe guilty of the stealing that sweet breath KJ IV.iii.136
Which was embounded in this beauteous clay,Which was embounded in this beauteous clay,embound
enclose, contain, confine
KJ IV.iii.137
Let hell want paines enough to torture me:Let hell want pains enough to torture me.want (v.)
fall short [of], be deficient [in]
KJ IV.iii.138
I left him well.I left him well. KJ IV.iii.139.1
Go, beare him in thine armes:Go, bear him in thine arms. KJ IV.iii.139.2
I am amaz'd me thinkes, and loose my wayI am amazed, methinks, and lose my waymethinks(t), methought(s) (v.)

old form: me thinkes
it seems / seemed to me
KJ IV.iii.140
amaze (v.)

old form: amaz'd
confuse, perplex, bewilder
Among the thornes, and dangers of this world.Among the thorns and dangers of this world. KJ IV.iii.141
How easie dost thou take all England vp,How easy dost thou take all England up! KJ IV.iii.142
From forth this morcell of dead Royaltie?From forth this morsel of dead royalty KJ IV.iii.143
The life, the right, and truth of all this RealmeThe life, the right and truth, of all this realm KJ IV.iii.144
Is fled to heauen: and England now is leftIs fled to heaven; and England now is left KJ IV.iii.145
To tug and scamble, and to part by th'teethTo tug and scamble and to part by th' teethpart (v.)
cleave, break, tear
KJ IV.iii.146
scamble (v.)
scramble, struggle, make shift
The vn-owed interest of proud swelling State:The unowed interest of proud-swelling state.state (n.)
kingship, majesty, sovereignty
KJ IV.iii.147
unowed (adj.)

old form: vn-owed
unowned, vacant
Now for the bare-pickt bone of Maiesty,Now for the bare-picked bone of majesty KJ IV.iii.148
Doth dogged warre bristle his angry crest,Doth dogged war bristle his angry crestdogged (adj.)
fierce, cruel, ferocious
KJ IV.iii.149
crest (n.)
[on an animal head or neck] ridge of feathers, ridge of hairs; hackles
And snarleth in the gentle eyes of peace:And snarleth in the gentle eyes of peace;gentle (adj.)
soft, tender, kind
KJ IV.iii.150
Now Powers from home, and discontents at homeNow powers from home and discontents at homepower (n.)
armed force, troops, host, army
KJ IV.iii.151
Meet in one line: and vast confusion waitesMeet in one line; and vast confusion waits,vast (adj.)
boundless, extensive, widespread
KJ IV.iii.152
confusion (n.)
calamity, disaster, catastrophe
As doth a Rauen on a sicke-falne beast,As doth a raven on a sick-fallen beast, KJ IV.iii.153
The iminent decay of wrested pompe.The imminent decay of wrested pomp.pomp (n.)

old form: pompe
greatness, nobility, high rank
KJ IV.iii.154
wrested (adj.)
seized, snatched away, taken by force
decay (n.)
destruction, downfall, ending
Now happy he, whose cloake and center canNow happy he whose cloak and ceinture canceinture (n.)
belt, girdle
KJ IV.iii.155
Hold out this tempest. Beare away that childe,Hold out this tempest. Bear away that child KJ IV.iii.156
And follow me with speed: Ile to the King:And follow me with speed; I'll to the King. KJ IV.iii.157
A thousand businesses are briefe in hand,A thousand businesses are brief in hand,brief (adj.)

old form: briefe
[unclear meaning] rife, widespread; pressing, urgent
KJ IV.iii.158
And heauen it selfe doth frowne vpon the Land. And heaven itself doth frown upon the land. KJ IV.iii.159
Exit.Exeunt KJ IV.iii.159
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