Page images

Pand. Hail, you anointed deputies of heaven! And raise the power of France upon his head, To thee, king John, my holy errand is. Unless he do submit himself to Rome. I Pandulph, of fair Milan cardinal,

Eli. Look’st thou pale, France ? do not let go And from pope Innocent thé legate here,

thy hand. Do, in his name, religiously demand,

Const. Look to that, devil ! lest that France Why thou against the church, our holy mother, repent, So wilfully dost spurn? and, force perforce, And, by disjoining hands, hell lose a soul. Keep Stephen Langton, chosen archbishop Aust. King Philip, listen to the cardinal. Of Canterbury, from that holy see?

Bast. And hang a calf's-skin on his recreant This, in our 'foresaid holy father's name,

limbs. Pope Innocent, I do demand of thee.

Aust. Well

, ruffian, I must pocket up these K. John. What earthly name to interrogatories, wrongs, Can task the free breath of a sacred king ? Because Thou canst not, cardinal, devise a name Bast. Your breeches best may carry them. So slight, unworthy, and ridiculous,

K. John. Philip, what say'st thou to the To charge me to an answer, as the pope.

cardinal? Tell him this tale; and from the mouth of Const. What should he say, but as the cardinal? England,

Lew. Bethink you, father; for the difference Add thus much more, ---That no Italian priest Is, purchase of a heavy curse from Rome, Shall tithe or toll in our dominions ;

Or the light loss of England for a friend : But as we under heaven are supreme head,

Forego the easier. So, under him, that great supremacy,

Blanch. That's the curse of Rome. Where we do reign, we will alone uphold, Const. O Lewis, stand fast; the devil tempts Without the assistance of a mortal hand:

thee here, So tell the pope ; all reverence set apart, In likeness of a new untrimmed bride. To him, and his usurp'd authority.

Blanch. The lady Constance speaks not from K. Phi. Brother of England, you blaspheme her faith, in this.

But from her need.
K. John. Though you, and all the kings of Const. O, if thou grant my need,

Which only lives but by the death of faith,
Are led so grossly by this meddling priest, That need must needs infer this principle,-
Dreading the curse, that money may buy out; That faith would live again by death of need:
And, by the merit of vile gold, dross, dust, 0, then, tread down my need, and faith mounts up;
Purchase corrupted pardon of a man,

Keep my need up, and faith is trodden down. Who, in that sale, sells pardon from himself: K. John. The king is mov'd, and answers not Though you, and all the rest, so grossly led,

to this. This juggling witchcraft with revenue cherish; Const. 0, be remov'd from him, and answer Yet I, alone, alone do me oppose

well. Against the pope, and count his friends my foes. Aust. Do so, king Philip; hang no more in

Pand. Then, by the lawful power that I have, doubt.
Thou shalt stand curs’d, and excommunicate : Bast. Hang nothing but a calf's-skin, most
And blessed shall he be, that doth revolt

sweet lout. From his allegiance to an heretic;

K. Phi. I am perplex'd, and know not what And meritorious shall that hand be call’d, Canonized, and worshipp'd as a saint,

Pand. What can’st thou say, but will perplex That takes away, by any secret course,

thee more, Thy hateful life.

If thou stand excommunicate, and curs’d? Const. 0, lawful let it be,

K. Phi. Good reverend father, make my person That I have room with Rome to curse a while !

yours, Good father cardinal, cry thou, amen,

And tell me, how you would bestow yourself. To my keen curses ; for, without my wrong, This royal hand and mine are newly knit; There is no tongue hath power to curse him right. And the conjunction of our inward souls Pand. There's law and warrant, lady, for my Married in league, coupled and link'd together

With all religious strength of sacred vows; Const. And for mine too; when law can do no The latest breath that gave the sound of words, right,

Was deep-sworn faith, peace, amity, true love, Let it be lawful, that law bar no wrong; Between our kingdoms, and our royal selves; Law cannot give my child his kingdom here ; And even before this truce, but new before, For he, that holds his kingdom, holds the law : No longer than we well could wash our hands, Therefore, since law itself is perfect wrong, To clap this royal bargain up of peace, How can the law forbid my tongue to curse? Heaven knows, they were besmear'd and overPand. Philip of France, on peril of a curse,

stain's Let go the hand of that arch-heretic;

With slaughter's pencil; where revenge did paint

to say.


men ?

tive may


The fearful difference of incensed kings :

Aust. Rebellion, flat rebellion ! And shall these hands, so lately purg'd of blood, Bast. Will't not be ? So newly join'd in love, so strong in both, Will not a calf's-skin stop that mouth of thine ? Unyoke this seizure, and this kind regret ? Lew. Father, to arms! Play fast and loose with faith? so jest with heaven, Blanch. Upon thy wedding day? Make such unconstant children of ourselves, Against the blood that thou hast married ? As now again to snatch our palm from palm ; What, shall our feast be kept with slaughter'd Unswear faith sworn; and on the marriage bed Of smiling peace to march a bloody host, Shall braying trumpets, and loud churlish And make a riot on the gentle brow

drums,Of true sincerity? O holy sir,

Clamours of hell --be measures to our pomp? My reverend father, let it not be so :

O husband, hear me !-ah, alack, how new Out of your grace, devise, ordain, impose Is husband in my mouth !--even for that name, Some gentle order ; and then we shall be bless'd Which till this time my tongue did ne'er proTo do your pleasure, and continue friends.

nounce, Pand. All form is formless, order orderless, Upon my knee I beg, go not to arms Save what is opposite to England's love. Against mine uncle. Therefore, to arms: be champion of our church ! Const. 0, upon my knee, Or let the church, our mother, breathe her curse, Made hard with kneeling, I do pray to thee, A mother's curse, on her revolting son.

Thou virtuous Dauphin, alter not the doom France, thou may'st hold a serpent by the tongue, Forethought by heaven. A cased lion by the mortal paw,

Blanch. Now shall I see thy love ; What moA fasting tiger safer by the tooth, Than keep in peace that hand, which thou dost Be stronger with thee than the name of wife? hold.

Const. That, which upholdeth him, that thee K. Phi. I may disjoin my hand, but not my faith. upholds,

Pand. So mak'st thou faith an enemy to faith; His honour: 0, thine honour, Lewis, thine hoAnd, like a civil war, set’st oath to oath,

! Thy tongue against thy tongue. O, let thy vow, Lew. I muse, your majesty doth seem so cold, First made to heaven, first be to heaven per- When such profound respects do pull you on. form'd;

Pand. I will denounce a curse upon his head. That is, to be the champion of our church ! K. Phi. Thou shalt not need :-England, I'll What since thou swor’st, is sworn against thyself,

fall from thee. And may not be performed by thyself:

Const. O fair return of banish'd majesty! For that, which thou hast sworn to do amiss, Eli. O foul revolt of French inconstancy! Is not amiss, when it is truly done ;

K. John. France, thou shalt rue this hour And being not done, where doing tends to ill,

within this hour. The truth is then most done not doing it : Bast. Old time the clock-setter, that bald The better act of purposes mistook

sexton time, Is, to mistake again ; though indirect,

Is it as he will ? well then, France shall rue. Yet indirection thereby grows direct,

Blanch. The sun's o'ercast with blood : Fair And falsehood falsehood cures; as fire cools fire, day, adieu ! Within the scorched veins of one new burn'd. Which is the side, that I must go withal? It is religion, that doth make vows kept ; I am with both : each army hath a hand ; But thou hast sworn against religion ;

And, in their rage, I having hold of both, By what thou swear’st, against the thing thou They whirl asunder, and dismember me. swear'st;

Husband, I cannot pray that thou may'st win; And mak'st an oath the surety for thy truth Uncle, I needs must

pray, that thou may'st lose; Against an oath : The truth thou art unsure Father, I may not wish the fortune thine; To swear, swear only not to be forsworn; Grandam, I will not wish thy wishes thrive: Else, what a mockery should it be to swear? Whoever wins, on that side shall I lose ; But thou dost swear only to be forsworn; Assured loss, before the match be play'd. And most forsworn, to keep what thou dost swear. Lew. Lady, with me; with me thy fortune lies. Therefore, thy latter vows, against thy first, Blanch. There where my fortune lives, there Is in thyself rebellion to thyself:

my life dies. And better conquest never canst thou make, K. John. Cousin, go draw our puissance toThan arm thy constant and thy nobler parts


[Exit Bastard. Against those giddy loose suggestions :

France, I am burn'd up with inflaming wrath ; Upon which better part our prayers come in, A rage, whose heat hath this condition, If thou vouchsafe them: but, if not, then know, That nothing can allay, nothing but blood, The peril of our curses light on thee;

The blood, and dearest valued blood, of France. So heavy, as thou shalt not shake them off, K. Phi. Thy rage shall burn thee up, and But, in despair, die under their black weight.

thou shalt turn

make up:

To ashes, ere our blood shall quench that fire: There is a soul, counts thee her creditor,
Look to thyself, thou art in jeopardy.

And with advantage means to pay thy love: K. John. No more than he that threats.—To And, my good friend, thy voluntary oath arms let's hie!

[Exeunt. Lives in this bosom, dearly cherished.

Give me thy hand. I had a thing to say,SCENE II.-The same.

Plains near Angiers. But I will fit it with some better time.

By heaven, Hubert, I am almost asham'd Alarums, excursions. Enter the Bastard, with To say what good respect I have of thee. AUSTRIA's head.

Hub. I am much bounden to your majesty.

K. John. Good friend, thou hast no cause to Bast. Now, by my life, this day grows won

say so yet: drous hot;

But thou shalt have; and creeptime ne'er so slow, Some airy devil hovers in the sky,

Yet it shall come, for me to do thee good. And pours down mischief. Austria's head lie I had a thing to say,-But let it go : there;

The sun is in the heaven, and the proud day, While Philip breathes.

Attended with the pleasures of the world,

Is all too wanton, and too full of gawds, Enter King John, ARTHUR, and HUBERT.

To give me audience :-If the midnight bell K. John. Hubert, keep this boy :-Philip, Did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth,

Sound one unto the drowsy race of night; My mother is assailed in our tent,

If this same were a church-yard where we stand, And ta'en, I fear.

And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs ; Bast. My lord, I rescu'd her ;

Or if that surly spirit, melancholy, Her highness is in safety, fear you not: Had bak'd thy blood, and made it heavy, thick; But on, my liege ; for very little pains (Which, else, runs tickling up and down the veins, Will bring this labour to an happy end. Making that idiot, laughter, keep men's eyes,

[Exeunt. And strain their cheeks to idle merriment,

A passion hateful to my purposes ;)
SCENE III.-The same.

Or if that thou could'st see me without eyes,

Hear me without thine ears, and make reply Alarums ; excursions ; retreat. Enter King

Without a tongue, using conceit alone, John, Elinor, Arthur, the Bastard, Hu- Without eyes, ears, and harmful sound of words; BERT, and Lords.

Then, in despite of brooded watchful day,

I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts: K. John. So shall it be ; your grace shall stay But ah, I will not :-Yet I love thee well; behind,

[To Elinor. And, by my troth, I think, thou lov'st me well. So strongly guarded.-Cousin, look not sad: Hub. So well, that what you bid me undertake,

[To Arthur. Though that my death were adjunct to my act, Thy grandam loves thee ; and thy uncle will By heaven, I'd do't. As dear be to thee as thy father was.

K. John. Do not I know thou would'st? Arth. O, this will make my mother die with Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert, throw thine eye grief.

On yon young boy: I'll tell thee what, my friend, K. John. Cousin, [To the Bastard.) away He is a very serpent in my way; for England; haste before:

And, whereso'er this foot of mine doth tread, And, ere our coming, see thou shake the bags He lies before me: Dost thou understand me? Of hoarding abbots; angels imprisoned Thou art his keeper. Set thou at liberty : the fat ribs of peace Hub. And I will keep himn so, Must by the hungry now be fed upon :

That he shall not offend your majesty. Use our commission in his utmost force.

K. John. Death. Bast. Bell, book, and candle, shall not drive Iub. My lord ? me back,

K. John. A grave.
When gold and silver becks me to come on. Ilub. He shall not live.
I leave your highness :--Grandam, I will pray K. John. Enough.
(If ever I remember to be holy,)

I could be merry now: Hubert, I love thee; For your fair safety; so I kiss your hand. Well, I'll not say what I intend for thee: Eli. Farewell, my gentle cousin.

Remember.-Madam, fare you well : K. John. Coz, farewell. [Exit Bastard. I'll send those powers o'er to your majesty. Eli. Come hither, little kinsman; hark, a Eli. My blessing go with thee! word.

[She takes Arthur aside. K. John. For England, cousin : R. John. Come hither, Hubert. O my gen- Hubert shall be your man, attend on you tle Hubert,

With all true duty.-Un toward Calais, ho! We owe thee much ; within this wall of flesh


[ocr errors]

so ill ?

I am not mad ;-- I would to heaven, I were ! SCENE IV.-The same. The French King's For then, 'tis like I should forget myself: tent.

0, if I could, what grief should I forget!

Preach some philosophy to make me mad,
Enter King Philip, Lewis, PANDULPH, and And thou shalt be canoniz'd, cardinal;

For, being not mad, but sensible of grief,
K. Phi. So, by a roaring tempest on the flood, My reasonable part produces reason
A whole armado of convicted sail

How I may be deliver'd of these woes,
Is scatter'd and disjoin'd from fellowship. And teaches me to kill or hang myself:
Pand. Courage and comfort ! all shall yet go If I were mad, I should forget my son ;

Or madly think a babe of clouts were he: K. Phi. What can go well, when we have run I am not mad; too well, too well I feel

The different plague of each calamity.
Are we not beaten ? Is not Angiers lost ? K. Phi. Bind up those tresses : 0, what love
Arthur ta'en prisoner ? divers dear friends slain ? I note
And bloody England into England gone, In the fair multitude of those her hairs !
O'erbearing interruption, spite of France ? Where but by chance a silver drop hath fallen,

Lew. What he hath won, that hath he fortified: Even to that drop ten thousand wiry friends
So hot a speed with such advice dispos'd, Do glew themselves in sociable grief ;
Such temperate order in so fierce a cause, Like true, inseparable, faithful loves,
Doth want example : Who hath read, or heard, Sticking together in calamity.
Of any kindred action like to this ?

Const. To England, if you will.
K. Phi. Well could I bear, that England had

K. Phi. Bind up your hairs. this praise,

Const. Yes, that I will; And wherefore will So we could find some pattern of our shame.

I do it?

I tore them from their bonds; and cried aloud, Enter CONSTANCE.

O that these hands could so redeem my son, Look, who comes here ! a grave unto a soul; As they have given these hairs their liberty ! Holding the eternal spirit, against her will, But now I envy at their liberty, In the vile prison of afflicted

breath :

And will again commit them to their bonds, I pr’ythee, lady, go away with me.

Because my poor child is a prisoner. Const. Lo, now! now see the issue of your And, father cardinal, I have heard you say,

That we shall see and know our friends in K. Phi. Patience, good lady! comfort, gentle heaven : Constance !

If that be true, I shall see my boy again; Const. No, I defy all counsel, all redress, For, since the birth of Cain, the first male child, But that, which ends all counsel, true redress, To him that did but yesterday suspire, Death, death :-( amiable lovely death! There was not such a gracious creature born. Thou odoriferous stench! sound rottenness ! But now will canker sorrow eat my bud, Arise forth from the couch of lasting night, And chase the native beauty from his cheek, Thou hate and terror to prosperity,

And he will look as hollow as a ghost; And I will kiss thy détestable bones;

As dim and meagre as an ague's fit; And put my eye-balls in thy vaulty brows ; And so he'll die; and, rising so again, Andring these fingers with thy household worms; When I shall meet him in the court of heaven And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust, I shall not know him : therefore never, never And be a carrion monster like thyself:

Must I behold my pretty Arthur more. Come, grin on me; and I will think thou smilst, Pand. You hold too heinous a respect of grief. And buss thee' as thy wife ! Misery's love, Const. He talks to me, that never had a son, O, come to me!

K. Phi. You are as fond of grief, as of your K. Phi. O fair affliction, peace.

child. Const. No, no, I will not, having breath to Const. Grief fills the room up of my absent

cry: , that my tongue were in the thunder's mouth! Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me; Then with a passion would I shake the world; Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words, And rouse from sleep that fell anatomy,

Remembers me of all his gracious parts, Which cannot hear a lady's feeble voice, Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form ; Which scorns a modern invocation.

Then, have I reason to be fond of grief.
Pand. Lady, you utter madness, and not sor- Fare you well : had you such a loss as !,

I could give better comfort than you do.
Const. Thou art not holy to belie me so ; I will not keep this form upon my head,
I am not mad: this hair I tear, is mine;

[Tearing off her head-dress My name is Constance; I was Geffrey's wife ; When there is such disorder in my wit. Young Arthur is my son, and he is lost: O lord! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son

peace !




My life, my joy, my food, my all the world ! Pand. You, in the right of lady Blanch your My widow-comfort, and my sorrows' cure.


[Exit. May then make all the claim that Arthur did. K. Phi. I fear some outrage, and I'll follow Lew. And lose it, life and all, as Arthur did. her.

[E.cit. Pand. How green are you, and fresh in this Lew. There's nothing in this world, can make old world! me joy :

John lays you plots; the times conspire with you: Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale,

For he that steeps his safety in true blood, Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man ;

Shall find but bloody safety, and untrue. And bitter shame hath spoild the sweet world's This act, so evilly born, shall cool the hearts taste,

Of all his people, and freeze up their zeal ;
That it yields naught, but shame and bitterness. That none so small advantage shall step forth,

Pand. Before the curing of a strong disease, To check his reign, but they will cherish it:
Even in the instant of repair and health, No natural exhalation in the sky,
The fit is strongest ; evils, that take leave, No scape of nature, no distemper's day,
On their departure most of all show evil : No common wind, no customed event,
What have you lost by losing of this day? But they will pluck away his natural cause,

Lew. All days of glory, joy, and happiness. And call them meteors, prodigies, and signs,

Pand. If you had won it, certainly, you had. Abortives, présages, and tongues of heaven, No, no : when fortune means to men most good, Plainly denouncing vengeance upon John. She looks upon them with a threatening eye. Lew. May be, he will not touch young Ar'Tis strange, to think how much king John hath thur's life, lost

But hold himself safe in his prisonment. In this, which he accounts so clearly won : Pand. O, sir, when he shall hear of your apAre not you griev'd, that Arthur is his prisoner? proach,

Lew. As heartily, as he is glad he hath him. If that young Arthur be not gone already,
Pand. Your mind is all as youthful as your Even at that news he dies: and then the hearts

Of all his people shall revolt from him,
Now hear me speak, with a prophetic spirit; And kiss the lips of unacquainted change;
For even the breath of what I mean to speak And piek strong matter of revolt, and wrath,
Shall blow each dust, each straw, each little rub, Out of the bloody fingers' ends of John.
Out of the path, which shall directly lead Methinks, I see this hurly all on foot ;
Thy foot to England's throne ; and, therefore, And, 0, what better matter breeds for you,

Than I have nam’d!—The bastard Faulconbridge
John hath seiz'd Arthur; and it cannot be, Is now in England, ransacking the church,
That, whiles warm life plays in that infant's Offending charity: If but a dozen French

Were there in arms, they would be as a call The misplac'd John should entertain an hour, To train ten thousand English to their side ; One minute, nay, one quiet breath of rest : Or, as a little snow, tumbled about, A scepter, snatch'd with an unruly hand, Anon becomes a mountain. O noble Dauphin, Must be as boisterously maintain'd as gain'd: Go with me to the king : 'Tis wonderful, And he, that stands upon a slippery place, What may be wrought out of their discontent: Makes nice of no vile hold to stay him up: Now that their souls are topfull of offence, That John may stand, then Arthur needs must For England go; I will whet on the king. fall;

Lew. Strong reasons make strong actions: Let So be it, for it cannot be but so.

us go ; Lew. But what shall I gain by young Arthur's If you say, ay, the king will not say, no. fall ?


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »