King John

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Original text
Act V, Scene I
Enter King Iohn and Pandolph, attendants.

K.Iohn.
Thus haue I yeelded vp into your hand
The Circle of my glory.

Pan.
Take againe
From this my hand, as holding of the Pope
Your Soueraigne greatnesse and authoritie.

Iohn.
Now keep your holy word,go 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 Allegiance, and the loue of soule
To stranger-bloud, to 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 day, remember well,
Vpon your oath of seruice to the Pope,
Goe I to make the French lay downe their Armes.
Exit.

Iohn.
Is this Ascension day? did not the Prophet
Say, that 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.
Enter Bastard.

Bast.
All Kent hath yeelded: nothing there holds out
But Douer Castle: London hath receiu'd
Like a kinde Host, the Dolphin and his powers.
Your Nobles will not heare you, but 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 dead, and cast into the streets,
An empty Casket, where the Iewell of life
By some damn'd hand was rob'd, and tane away.

Iohn.
That villaine Hubert told me he did liue.

Bast.
So on my soule he did, for ought he knew:
But wherefore doe you droope? why looke you sad?
Be great in act, as 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 time, be fire with fire,
Threaten the threatner, and out-face the brow
Of bragging horror: So shall inferior eyes
That borrow their behauiours from the great,
Grow great by your example, and put on
The dauntlesse spirit of resolution.
Away, and glister like the god of warre
When he intendeth to become the field:
Shew boldnesse and aspiring confidence:
What, shall they seeke the Lion in his denne,
And fright him there? and make him tremble there?
Oh let it not be said: forrage, and 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-orders, and make comprimise,
Insinuation, parley, and 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 doe, let 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.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act V, Scene II
Enter (in Armes) Dolphin, Salisbury, Meloone, Pembroke,
Bigot, Souldiers.

Dol.
My Lord Melloone, let 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 we, perusing 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 Dolphin, albeit we sweare
A voluntary zeale, and 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: oh, and there
Where honourable rescue, and 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 Iniustice, and confused wrong:
And is't not pitty, (oh my grieued friends)
That we, the sonnes and children of this Isle,
Was borne to see so sad an houre as this,
Wherein we step after a stranger, march
Vpon her gentle bosom, and fill vp
Her Enemies rankes? I must withdraw, and 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 malice, in 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:
Oh, what a noble combat hast fought
Between compulsion, and 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 showre, blowne vp by tempest of the soule,
Startles mine eyes, and 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 Fortune, other then at feasts,
Full warm of blood, of mirth, of gossipping:
Come,come; 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 there, methinkes an Angell spake,
Enter Pandulpho.
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 Rome, his 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 me, I will not backe:
I am too high-borne to be proportied
To be a secondary at controll,
Or vsefull seruing-man, and 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 winde, which enkindled it:
You taught me how to know the face of right,
Acquainted me with interest to this Land,
Yea, thrust 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 Arthur, claime this Land for mine,
And now it is halfe conquer'd, must 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 businesse, and maintaine this warre?
Haue I not heard these Islanders shout out
Viue le Roy, as I haue bank'd their Townes?
Haue I not heere the best Cards for the game
To winne this easie match, plaid for a Crowne?
And shall I now giue ore the yeelded Set?
No, no, on my soule it neuer shall be said.

Pand.
You looke but on the out-side of this worke.

Dol.
Out-side or in-side, I 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 Conquest, and to winne renowne
Euen in the iawes of danger, and of death:

What lusty Trumpet thus doth summon vs?
Enter Bastard.

Bast.
According to the faire-play of the world,
Let me haue audience: I am sent to speake:
My holy Lord of Millane, from the King
I come to learne how you haue dealt for him:
And, as you answer, I 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 saies, heell 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'd, and reason to he should,
This apish and vnmannerly approach,
This harness'd Maske, and vnaduised Reuell,
This vn-heard sawcinesse and boyish Troopes,
The King doth smile at, and is well prepar'd
To whip this dwarfish warre, this Pigmy Armes
From out the circle of his Territories.
That hand which had the strength, euen at your dore,
To cudgell you, and make you take the hatch,
To diue like Buckets in concealed Welles,
To crowch in litter of your stable plankes,
To lye like pawnes, lock'd vp in chests and truncks,
To hug with swine, to seeke sweet safety out
In vaults and prisons, and 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 Eagle, o're his ayerie towres,
To sowsse annoyance that comes neere his Nest;
And you degenerate, you ingrate Reuolts,
you bloudy Nero's, ripping vp the wombe
Of your deere Mother-England: blush for shame:
For your owne Ladies, and pale-visag'd Maides,
Like Amazons, come tripping after drummes:
Their thimbles into armed Gantlets change,
Their Needl's to Lances, and their gentle hearts
To fierce and bloody inclination.

Dol.
There end thy braue, and 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.
No, I will speake.

Dol.
We will attend to neyther:
Strike vp the drummes, and let the tongue of warre
Pleade for our interest, and our being heere.

Bast.
Indeede your drums being beaten, wil cry out;
And so shall you, being beaten: Do but start
An eccho with the clamor of thy drumme,
And euen at hand, a drumme is readie brac'd,
That shall reuerberate all, as lowd as thine.
Sound but another, and 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 sport, then neede)
Is warlike Iohn: and in his fore-head sits
A bare-rib'd death, whose office is this day
To feast vpon whole thousands of the French.

Dol.
Strike vp our drummes, to finde this danger out.

Bast.
And thou shalt finde it (Dolphin) do not doubt
Exeunt.
Original text
Act V, Scene III
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: oh, my 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 me, which way you go.

Iohn.
Tell him toward Swinsted, to 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 coldly, and retyre themselues.

Iohn.
Aye me, this tyrant Feauer burnes mee vp,
And will not let me welcome this good newes.
Set on toward Swinsted: to my Litter straight,
Weaknesse possesseth me, and I am faint.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act V, Scene IV
Enter Salisbury, Pembroke, and 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 spight, alone vpholds the day.

Pem.
They say King Iohn sore sick, hath left the field.
Enter Meloon wounded.

Mel.
Lead me to the Reuolts of England heere.

Sal.
When we were happie, we had other names.

Pem.
It is the Count Meloone.

Sal.
Wounded to death.

Mel.
Fly Noble English, you are bought and sold,
Vnthred the rude eye of Rebellion,
And welcome home againe discarded faith,
Seeke out King Iohn, and 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 him, and many moe with mee,
Vpon the Altar at S. Edmondsbury,
Euen on that Altar, where we swore to you
Deere Amity, and 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 away, euen 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 false, since it is true
That I must dye heere, and liue hence, by Truth?
I say againe, if Lewis do win the day,
He is forsworne, if ere those eyes of yours
Behold another day breake in the East:
But euen this night, whose blacke contagious breath
Already smoakes about the burning Crest
Of the old, feeble, and day-wearied Sunne,
Euen this ill night, your breathing shall expire,
Paying the fine of rated Treachery,
Euen with a treacherous fine of all your liues:
If Lewis, by your assistance win the day.
Commend me to one Hubert, with your King;
The loue of him, and this respect besides
(For that my Grandsire was an Englishman)
Awakes my Conscience to confesse all this.
In lieu whereof, I 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 contemplation, and deuout desires.

Sal.
We do beleeue thee, and beshrew my soule,
But I do loue the fauour, and the forme
Of this most faire occasion, by 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 Ocean, to 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. Away, my friends, new flight,
And happie newnesse, that intends old right.
Exeunt
Original text
Act V, Scene V
Enter Dolphin,and his Traine.

Dol.
The Sun of heauen (me thought) was loth to set;
But staid, and 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 toile, we bid good night,
And woon'd our tott'ring colours clearly vp,
Last in the field, and almost Lords of it.
Enter a Messenger.

Mes.
Where is my Prince, the Dolphin?

Dol.
Heere: what newes?

Mes.
The Count Meloone is slaine: The English Lords
By his perswasion, are againe falne off,
And your supply, which you haue wish'd so long,
Are cast away, and sunke on Goodwin sands.

Dol.
Ah fowle, shrew'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 it, it 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.
Exeunt
Original text
Act V, Scene VI
Enter Bastard and Hubert, seuerally.

Hub.
Whose there? Speake hoa, speake quickely, or I shoote.

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.
Hubert, I thinke.

Hub.
Thou hast a perfect thought:
I will vpon all hazards well beleeue
Thou art my friend, that know'st my tongue so well:
Who art thou?

Bast.
Who thou wiIt: and if thou please
Thou maist be-friend me so much, as to thinke
I come one way of the Plantagenets.

Hub.
Vnkinde remembrance: thou, & endles night,
Haue done me shame: Braue Soldier, pardon me,
That any accent breaking from thy tongue,
Should scape the true acquaintance of mine eare.

Bast.
Come, come: sans complement, What newes abroad?

Hub.
Why heere walke I, in the black brow of night
To finde you out.

Bast.
Brcefe then: and what's the newes?

Hub.
O my sweet sir, newes fitting to the night,
Blacke, fearefull, comfortlesse, and horrible.

Bast.
Shew me the very wound of this ill newes,
I am no woman, Ile not swound at it.

Hub.
The King I feare is poyson'd by a Monke,
I left him almost speechlesse, and broke out
To acquaint you with this euill, that 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 you, a resolued villaine
Whose Bowels sodainly burst out: The King
Yet speakes, and peraduenture may recouer.

Bast.
Who didst thou leaue to tend his Maiesty?

Hub.
Why know you not? The Lords are all come backe,
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 indignation, mighty heauen,
And tempt vs not to beare aboue our power.
Ile tell thee Hubert, halfe my power this night
Passing these Flats, are taken by the Tide,
These Lincolne-Washes haue deuoured them,
My selfe, well mounted, hardly haue escap'd.
Away before: Conduct me to the king,
I doubt he will be dead, or ere I come.
Exeunt
Original text
Act V, Scene VII
Enter Prince Henry, Salisburie, and Bigot.

Hen.
It is too late, the life of all his blood
Is touch'd, corruptibly: 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.
Enter Pembroke.

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 continuance, will not feele themselues.
Death hauing praide vpon the outward parts
Leaues them inuisible, and his seige is now
Against the winde, the which he prickes and wounds
With many legions of strange fantasies,
Which in their throng, and presse to that last hold,
Counfound themselues. 'Tis strange yt 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 shapelesse, and so rude.
Iohn brought in.

Iohn.
I marrie, now my soule hath elbow roome,
It would not out at windowes, nor 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 Parchment, and against this fire
Do I shrinke vp.

Hen.
How fares your Maiesty?

Ioh.
Poyson'd, ill fare: dead, forsooke, cast 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 ingratefull, you 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 hell, and there the poyson
Is, as a fiend, confin'd to tyrannize,
On vnrepreeuable condemned blood.
Enter Bastard.

Bast.
Oh, I am scalded with my violent motion
And spleene of speede, to see your Maiesty.

Iohn.
Oh Cozen, thou art come to set mine eye:
The tackle of my heart, is crack'd and burnt,
And all the shrowds wherewith my life should saile,
Are turned to one thred, one 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 seest, is 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 Liege, my Lord: but now a King, now thus.

Hen.
Euen so must I run on, and euen so stop.
What surety of the world, what hope, what stay,
When this was now a King, and now is clay?

Bast.
Art thou gone so? I do but stay behinde,
To do the office for thee, of reuenge,
And then my soule shall waite on thee to heauen,
As it on earth hath bene thy seruant still.
Now, now you Starres, that moue in your right spheres,
Where be your powres? Shew now your mended faiths,
And instantly returne with me againe.
To push destruction,and perpetuall shame
Out of the weake doore of our fainting Land:
Straight let vs seeke, or 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.
Hc will the rather do it, when 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 side, and put his cause and quarrell
To the disposing of the Cardinall,
With whom your selfe, my selfe, and other Lords,
If you thinke meete, this afternoone will poast
To consummate this businesse happily.

Bast.
Let it be so, and 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 state, and 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 soule,that would giue thankes,
And knowes not how to do it, but with teares.

Bast.
Oh let vs pay the time: but needfull woe,
Since it hath beene before hand with our greefes.
This England neuer did, nor neuer shall
Lye at the proud foote of a Conqueror,
But when it first did helpe to wound it selfe.
Now, these 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 selfe, do rest but true.
Exeunt.
Modern text
Act V, Scene I
Enter King John, Cardinal Pandulph, and attendants

KING JOHN
(giving the crown to Cardinal Pandulph)
Thus have I yielded up into your hand
The circle of my glory.

CARDINAL PANDULPH
(returning the crown)
Take again
From this my hand, as holding of the Pope
Your sovereign greatness and authority.

KING JOHN
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.
Our discontented counties do revolt;
Our people quarrel with obedience,
Swearing allegiance and the love of soul
To stranger blood, to foreign royalty.
This inundation of mistempered humour
Rests by you only to be qualified.
Then pause not, for the present time's so sick,
That present medicine must be ministered,
Or overthrow incurable ensues.

CARDINAL PANDULPH
It was my breath that blew this tempest up,
Upon your stubborn usage of the Pope;
But since you are a gentle convertite,
My tongue shall hush again this storm of war
And make fair weather in your blustering land.
On this Ascension Day, remember well,
Upon your oath of service to the Pope,
Go I to make the French lay down their arms.
Exit

KING JOHN
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!
I did suppose it should be on constraint,
But, heaven be thanked, it is but voluntary.
Enter the Bastard

BASTARD
All Kent hath yielded – nothing there holds out
But Dover Castle; London hath received,
Like a kind host, the Dauphin and his powers;
Your nobles will not hear you, but are gone
To offer service to your enemy;
And wild amazement hurries up and down
The little number of your doubtful friends.

KING JOHN
Would not my lords return to me again
After they heard young Arthur was alive?

BASTARD
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.

KING JOHN
That villain Hubert told me he did live.

BASTARD
So, on my soul, he did, for aught he knew.
But wherefore do you droop? Why look you sad?
Be great in act, as you have been in thought;
Let not the world see fear and sad distrust
Govern the motion of a kingly eye.
Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;
Threaten the threatener, and outface the brow
Of bragging horror. So shall inferior eyes,
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
When he intendeth to become the field.
Show boldness and aspiring confidence!
What, shall they seek the lion in his den,
And fright him there? And make him tremble there?
O, let it not be said! Forage, and run
To meet displeasure farther from the doors,
And grapple with him ere he come so nigh.

KING JOHN
The legate of the Pope hath been with me,
And I have made a happy peace with him;
And he hath promised to dismiss the powers
Led by the Dauphin.

BASTARD
O inglorious league!
Shall we, upon the footing of our land,
Send fair-play orders and make compromise,
Insinuation, parley, and base truce
To arms invasive? Shall a beardless boy,
A cockered silken wanton, brave our fields
And flesh his spirit in a warlike soil,
Mocking the air with colours idly spread,
And find no check? Let us, my liege, to arms!
Perchance the Cardinal cannot make your peace;
Or, if he do, let it at least be said
They saw we had a purpose of defence.

KING JOHN
Have thou the ordering of this present time.

BASTARD
Away, then, with good courage! Yet, I know,
Our party may well meet a prouder foe.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene II
Enter, in arms, Lewis the Dauphin, Melun, Pembroke,
Salisbury, Bigot, and soldiers

LEWIS THE DAUPHIN
My Lord Melun, let this be copied out,
And keep it safe for our remembrance.
Return the precedent to these lords again,
That, having our fair order written down,
Both they and we, perusing o'er these notes,
May know wherefore we took the sacrament,
And keep our faiths firm and inviolable.

SALISBURY
Upon our sides it never shall be broken.
And, noble Dauphin, albeit we swear
A voluntary zeal and an unurged faith
To your proceedings, yet believe me, prince,
I am not glad that such a sore of time
Should seek a plaster by contemned revolt,
And heal the inveterate canker of one wound
By making many. O, it grieves my soul
That I must draw this metal from my side
To be a widow-maker! O, and there
Where honourable rescue and defence
Cries out upon the name of Salisbury!
But such is the infection of the time
That, for the health and physic of our right,
We cannot deal but with the very hand
Of stern injustice and confused wrong.
And is't not pity, O my grieved friends,
That we, the sons and children of this isle,
Were born to see so sad an hour as this;
Wherein we step after a stranger, march
Upon her gentle bosom, and fill up
Her enemies' ranks – I must withdraw and weep
Upon the spot of this enforced cause –
To grace the gentry of a land remote,
And follow unacquainted colours here?
What, here? O nation, that thou couldst remove!
That Neptune's arms, who clippeth thee about,
Would bear thee from the knowledge of thyself
And grapple thee unto a pagan shore,
Where these two Christian armies might combine
The blood of malice in a vein of league,
And not to spend it so unneighbourly!

LEWIS THE DAUPHIN
A noble temper dost thou show in this,
And great affections wrestling in thy bosom
Doth make an earthquake of nobility.
O, what a noble combat hast thou fought
Between compulsion and a brave respect!
Let me wipe off this honourable dew
That silverly doth progress on thy cheeks.
My heart hath melted at a lady's tears,
Being an ordinary inundation,
But this effusion of such manly drops,
This shower, blown up by tempest of the soul,
Startles mine eyes, and makes me more amazed
Than had I seen the vaulty top of heaven
Figured quite o'er with burning meteors.
Lift up thy brow, renowned Salisbury,
And with a great heart heave away this storm.
Commend these waters to those baby eyes
That never saw the giant world enraged,
Nor met with fortune other than at feasts,
Full warm of blood, of mirth, of gossiping.
Come, come; for thou shalt thrust thy hand as deep
Into the purse of rich prosperity
As Lewis himself. So, nobles, shall you all,
That knit your sinews to the strength of mine.
A trumpet sounds
And even there, methinks, an angel spake.
Enter Cardinal Pandulph
Look where the holy legate comes apace,
To give us warrant from the hand of heaven,
And on our actions set the name of right
With holy breath.

CARDINAL PANDULPH
Hail, noble prince of France!
The next is this: King John hath reconciled
Himself to Rome; his spirit is come in
That so stood out against the holy church,
The great metropolis and see of Rome.
Therefore thy threatening colours now wind up,
And tame the savage spirit of wild war,
That, like a lion fostered up at hand,
It may lie gently at the foot of peace
And be no further harmful than in show.

LEWIS THE DAUPHIN
Your grace shall pardon me, I will not back.
I am too high-born to be propertied,
To be a secondary at control,
Or useful servingman and instrument
To any sovereign state throughout the world.
Your breath first kindled the dead coal of wars
Between this chastised kingdom and myself,
And brought in matter that should feed this fire;
And now 'tis far too huge to be blown out
With that same weak wind which enkindled it.
You taught me how to know the face of right,
Acquainted me with interest to this land,
Yea, thrust this enterprise into my heart;
And come ye now to tell me John hath made
His peace with Rome? What is that peace to me?
I, by the honour of my marriage-bed,
After young Arthur, claim this land for mine;
And, now it is half conquered must I back
Because that John hath made his peace with Rome?
Am I Rome's slave? What penny hath Rome borne,
What men provided, what munition sent,
To underprop this action? Is't not I
That undergo this charge? Who else but I,
And such as to my claim are liable,
Sweat in this business and maintain this war?
Have I not heard these islanders shout out
‘Vive le roi!' as I have banked their towns?
Have I not here the best cards for the game
To win this easy match played for a crown?
And shall I now give o'er the yielded set?
No! No, on my soul, it never shall be said!

CARDINAL PANDULPH
You look but on the outside of this work.

LEWIS THE DAUPHIN
Outside or inside, I will not return
Till my attempt so much be glorified
As to my ample hope was promised
Before I drew this gallant head of war,
And culled these fiery spirits from the world
To outlook conquest and to win renown
Even in the jaws of danger and of death.
A trumpet sounds
What lusty trumpet thus doth summon us?
Enter the Bastard

BASTARD
According to the fair play of the world,
Let me have audience; I am sent to speak.
My holy lord of Milan, from the King
I come, to learn how you have dealt for him;
And, as you answer, I do know the scope
And warrant limited unto my tongue.

CARDINAL PANDULPH
The Dauphin is too wilful-opposite,
And will not temporize with my entreaties.
He flatly says he'll not lay down his arms.

BASTARD
By all the blood that ever fury breathed,
The youth says well! Now hear our English King,
For thus his royalty doth speak in me:
He is prepared, and reason too he should.
This apish and unmannerly approach,
This harnessed masque and unadvised revel,
This unhaired sauciness and boyish troops,
The King doth smile at; and is well prepared
To whip this dwarfish war, this pygmy arms,
From out the circle of his territories.
That hand which had the strength, even at your door,
To cudgel you and make you take the hatch,
To dive like buckets in concealed wells,
To crouch in litter of your stable planks,
To lie like pawns locked up in chests and trunks,
To hug with swine, to seek sweet safety out
In vaults and prisons, and to thrill and shake
Even at the crying of your nation's crow,
Thinking his voice an armed Englishman –
Shall that victorious hand be feebled here
That in your chambers gave you chastisement?
No! Know the gallant monarch is in arms
And like an eagle o'er his eyrie towers
To souse annoyance that comes near his nest.
And you degenerate, you ingrate revolts,
You bloody Neroes, ripping up the womb
Of your dear mother England, blush for shame!
For your own ladies and pale-visaged maids,
Like Amazons, come tripping after drums,
Their thimbles into armed gauntlets change,
Their needles to lances, and their gentle hearts
To fierce and bloody inclination.

LEWIS THE DAUPHIN
There end thy brave, and turn thy face in peace.
We grant thou canst outscold us. Fare thee well!
We hold our time too precious to be spent
With such a brabbler.

CARDINAL PANDULPH
Give me leave to speak.

BASTARD
No, I will speak.

LEWIS THE DAUPHIN
We will attend to neither.
Strike up the drums, and let the tongue of war
Plead for our interest and our being here.

BASTARD
Indeed, your drums, being beaten, will cry out –
And so shall you, being beaten. Do but start
An echo with the clamour of thy drum,
And even at hand a drum is ready braced
That shall reverberate all as loud as thine.
Sound but another, and another shall,
As loud as thine, rattle the welkin's ear
And mock the deep-mouthed thunder. For at hand –
Not trusting to this halting legate here,
Whom he hath used rather for sport than need –
Is warlike John; and in his forehead sits
A bare-ribbed death, whose office is this day
To feast upon whole thousands of the French.

LEWIS THE DAUPHIN
Strike up our drums to find this danger out.

BASTARD
And thou shalt find it, Dauphin, do not doubt.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene III
Alarums. Enter King John and Hubert

KING JOHN
How goes the day with us? O, tell me, Hubert.

HUBERT
Badly, I fear. How fares your majesty?

KING JOHN
This fever that hath troubled me so long
Lies heavy on me. O, my heart is sick!
Enter a Messenger

MESSENGER
My lord, your valiant kinsman, Faulconbridge,
Desires your majesty to leave the field
And send him word by me which way you go.

KING JOHN
Tell him, toward Swinstead, to the abbey there.

MESSENGER
Be of good comfort; for the great supply
That was expected by the Dauphin here
Are wracked three nights ago on Goodwin Sands.
This news was brought to Richard but even now.
The French fight coldly, and retire themselves.

KING JOHN
Ay me! This tyrant fever burns me up,
And will not let me welcome this good news.
Set on toward Swinstead. To my litter straight;
Weakness possesseth me, and I am faint.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene IV
Enter Salisbury, Pembroke, and Bigot

SALISBURY
I did not think the King so stored with friends.

PEMBROKE
Up once again! Put spirit in the French;
If they miscarry, we miscarry too.

SALISBURY
That misbegotten devil, Faulconbridge,
In spite of spite, alone upholds the day.

PEMBROKE
They say King John, sore sick, hath left the field.
Enter Melun, wounded

MELUN
Lead me to the revolts of England here.

SALISBURY
When we were happy we had other names.

PEMBROKE
It is the Count Melun.

SALISBURY
Wounded to death.

MELUN
Fly, noble English, you are bought and sold.
Unthread the rude eye of rebellion,
And welcome home again discarded faith.
Seek out King John and fall before his feet;
For if the French be lords of this loud day,
He means to recompense the pains you take
By cutting off your heads. Thus hath he sworn,
And I with him, and many more with me,
Upon the altar at Saint Edmundsbury;
Even on that altar where we swore to you
Dear amity and everlasting love.

SALISBURY
May this be possible? May this be true?

MELUN
Have I not hideous death within my view,
Retaining but a quantity of life,
Which bleeds away, even as a form of wax
Resolveth from his figure 'gainst the fire?
What in the world should make me now deceive,
Since I must lose the use of all deceit?
Why should I then be false, since it is true
That I must die here, and live hence by truth?
I say again, if Lewis do win the day,
He is forsworn if e'er those eyes of yours
Behold another daybreak in the east.
But even this night, whose black contagious breath
Already smokes about the burning crest
Of the old, feeble, and day-wearied sun,
Even this ill night, your breathing shall expire,
Paying the fine of rated treachery
Even with a treacherous fine of all your lives,
If Lewis by your assistance win the day.
Commend me to one Hubert, with your King.
The love of him, and this respect besides,
For that my grandsire was an Englishman,
Awakes my conscience to confess all this.
In lieu whereof, I pray you bear me hence
From forth the noise and rumour of the field,
Where I may think the remnant of my thoughts
In peace, and part this body and my soul
With contemplation and devout desires.

SALISBURY
We do believe thee; and beshrew my soul
But I do love the favour and the form
Of this most fair occasion, by the which
We will untread the steps of damned flight,
And like a bated and retired flood,
Leaving our rankness and irregular course,
Stoop low within those bounds we have o'erlooked,
And calmly run on in obedience
Even to our ocean, to our great King John.
My arm shall give thee help to bear thee hence;
For I do see the cruel pangs of death
Right in thine eye. Away, my friends! New flight,
And happy newness, that intends old right!
Exeunt, giving assistance to Melun
Modern text
Act V, Scene V
Enter Lewis the Dauphin and his train

LEWIS THE DAUPHIN
The sun of heaven, methought, was loath to set,
But stayed and made the western welkin blush,
When English measured backward their own ground
In faint retire! O, bravely came we off,
When with a volley of our needless shot,
After such bloody toil, we bid good night,
And wound our tottering colours clearly up,
Last in the field, and almost lords of it.
Enter a Messenger

MESSENGER
Where is my prince, the Dauphin?

LEWIS THE DAUPHIN
Here. What news?

MESSENGER
The Count Melun is slain. The English lords
By his persuasion are again fallen off,
And your supply, which you have wished so long,
Are cast away and sunk on Goodwin Sands.

LEWIS THE DAUPHIN
Ah, foul, shrewd news! Beshrew thy very heart!
I did not think to be so sad tonight
As this hath made me. Who was he that said
King John did fly an hour or two before
The stumbling night did part our weary powers?

MESSENGER
Whoever spoke it, it is true, my lord.

LEWIS THE DAUPHIN
Well, keep good quarter and good care tonight!
The day shall not be up so soon as I
To try the fair adventure of tomorrow.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene VI
Enter the Bastard and Hubert, severally

BASTARD
Who's there? Speak, ho! Speak quickly, or I shoot.

HUBERT
A friend. What art thou?

BASTARD
Of the part of England.

HUBERT
Whither dost thou go?

BASTARD
What's that to thee?

HUBERT
Why may not I demand
Of thine affairs as well as thou of mine?

BASTARD
Hubert, I think.

HUBERT
Thou hast a perfect thought.
I will upon all hazards well believe
Thou art my friend, that knowest my tongue so well.
Who art thou?

BASTARD
Who thou wilt; and if thou please,
Thou mayst befriend me so much as to think
I come one way of the Plantagenets.

HUBERT
Unkind remembrance! Thou and endless night
Have done me shame. Brave soldier, pardon me
That any accent breaking from thy tongue
Should 'scape the true acquaintance of mine ear.

BASTARD
Come, come! Sans compliment, what news abroad?

HUBERT
Why, here walk I in the black brow of night
To find you out.

BASTARD
Brief, then; and what's the news?

HUBERT
O my sweet sir, news fitting to the night –
Black, fearful, comfortless, and horrible.

BASTARD
Show me the very wound of this ill news;
I am no woman, I'll not swound at it.

HUBERT
The King, I fear, is poisoned by a monk;
I left him almost speechless, and broke out
To acquaint you with this evil, that you might
The better arm you to the sudden time
Than if you had at leisure known of this.

BASTARD
How did he take it? Who did taste to him?

HUBERT
A monk, I tell you, a resolved villain,
Whose bowels suddenly burst out. The King
Yet speaks, and peradventure may recover.

BASTARD
Who didst thou leave to tend his majesty?

HUBERT
Why, know you not? The lords are all come back,
And brought Prince Henry in their company,
At whose request the King hath pardoned them,
And they are all about his majesty.

BASTARD
Withhold thine indignation, mighty heaven,
And tempt us not to bear above our power!
I'll tell tree, Hubert, half my power this night,
Passing these flats, are taken by the tide –
These Lincoln Washes have devoured them;
Myself, well mounted, hardly have escaped.
Away before! Conduct me to the King;
I doubt he will be dead or ere I come.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act V, Scene VII
Enter Prince Henry, Salisbury, and Bigot

PRINCE HENRY
It is too late. The life of all his blood
Is touched corruptibly, and his pure brain,
Which some suppose the soul's frail dwelling-house,
Doth by the idle comments that it makes
Foretell the ending of mortality.
Enter Pembroke

PEMBROKE
His highness yet doth speak, and holds belief
That, being brought into the open air,
It would allay the burning quality
Of that fell poison which assaileth him.

PRINCE HENRY
Let him be brought into the orchard here.
Exit Bigot
Doth he still rage?

PEMBROKE
He is more patient
Than when you left him. Even now he sung.

PRINCE HENRY
O vanity of sickness! Fierce extremes
In their continuance will not feel themselves.
Death, having preyed upon the outward parts,
Leaves them invincible, and his siege is now
Against the mind, the which he pricks and wounds
With many legions of strange fantasies,
Which, in their throng and press to that last hold,
Confound themselves. 'Tis strange that death should sing.
I am the cygnet to this pale faint swan
Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death,
And from the organ-pipe of frailty sings
His soul and body to their lasting rest.

SALISBURY
Be of good comfort, prince; for you are born
To set a form upon that indigest
Which he hath left so shapeless and so rude.
King John is brought in by Bigot and other attendants

KING JOHN
Ay, marry, now my soul hath elbow-room;
It would not out at windows nor at doors.
There is so hot a summer in my bosom,
That all my bowels crumble up to dust.
I am a scribbled form, drawn with a pen
Upon a parchment, and against this fire
Do I shrink up.

PRINCE HENRY
How fares your majesty?

KING JOHN
Poisoned – ill fare! Dead, forsook, cast off;
And none of you will bid the winter come
To thrust his icy fingers in my maw,
Nor let my kingdom's rivers take their course
Through my burned bosom, nor entreat the north
To make his bleak winds kiss my parched lips
And comfort me with cold. I do not ask you much –
I beg cold comfort; and you are so strait
And so ingrateful you deny me that.

PRINCE HENRY
O that there were some virtue in my tears
That might relieve you!

KING JOHN
The salt in them is hot.
Within me is a hell, and there the poison
Is as a fiend confined to tyrannize
On unreprievable, condemned blood.
Enter the Bastard

BASTARD
O, I am scalded with my violent motion
And spleen of speed to see your majesty!

KING JOHN
O cousin, thou art come to set mine eye!
The tackle of my heart is cracked and burnt,
And all the shrouds wherewith my life should sail
Are turned to one thread, one little hair;
My heart hath one poor string to stay it by,
Which holds but till thy news be uttered;
And then all this thou seest is but a clod
And module of confounded royalty.

BASTARD
The Dauphin is preparing hitherward,
Where God He knows how we shall answer him!
For in a night the best part of my power,
As I upon advantage did remove,
Were in the Washes all unwarily
Devoured by the unexpected flood.
King John dies

SALISBURY
You breathe these dead news in as dead an ear.
My liege! My lord! But now a king, now thus!

PRINCE HENRY
Even so must I run on, and even so stop.
What surety of the world, what hope, what stay,
When this was now a king, and now is clay?

BASTARD
Art thou gone so? I do but stay behind
To do the office for thee of revenge,
And then my soul shall wait on thee to heaven,
As it on earth hath been thy servant still.
Now, now, you stars that move in your right spheres,
Where be your powers? Show now your mended faiths,
And instantly return with me again
To push destruction and perpetual shame
Out of the weak door of our fainting land.
Straight let us seek, or straight we shall be sought;
The Dauphin rages at our very heels.

SALISBURY
It seems you know not, then, so much as we.
The Cardinal Pandulph is within at rest,
Who half an hour since came from the Dauphin,
And brings from him such offers of our peace
As we with honour and respect may take,
With purpose presently to leave this war.

BASTARD
He will the rather do it when he sees
Ourselves well sinewed to our defence.

SALISBURY
Nay, 'tis in a manner done already;
For many carriages he hath dispatched
To the sea-side, and put his cause and quarrel
To the disposing of the Cardinal;
With whom yourself, myself, and other lords,
If you think meet, this afternoon will post
To consummate this business happily.

BASTARD
Let it be so. And you, my noble prince,
With other princes that may best be spared,
Shall wait upon your father's funeral.

PRINCE HENRY
At Worcester must his body be interred,
For so he willed it.

BASTARD
Thither shall it then.
And happily may your sweet self put on
The lineal state and glory of the land!
To whom, with all submission, on my knee,
I do bequeath my faithful services
And true subjection everlastingly.

SALISBURY
And the like tender of our love we make,
To rest without a spot for evermore.

PRINCE HENRY
I have a kind soul that would give thanks,
And knows not how to do it but with tears.

BASTARD
O, let us pay the time but needful woe,
Since it hath been beforehand with our griefs.
This England never did, nor never shall,
Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror
But when it first did help to wound itself.
Now these her princes are come home again,
Come the three corners of the world in arms
And we shall shock them! Naught shall make us rue
If England to itself do rest but true!
Exeunt
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