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Thou wear a llon s hide! doff it for shame,
And hang a calf's skin on these recreant limbs.
Aust. O, that a man should speak these words
to me!

Bast. And hang a calf's skin on those recreant
Aust. Thou dar'st not say so, villain, for thy
Bast. And hang a calf's skin on these recreant
K. John. We like not this; thou dost forget.

Enter Pandulph.

K. Phi. Here comes the holy legate of the pope.
Pand. Hail, you anointed deputies of heaven!-
To thee, king John, my holy errand is,
I, Pandulph, of fair Milan cardinal,
And from pope Innocent the legate here,
Do, in his name, religiously demand,
Why thou against the church, our holy mother,
So wilfully dost spurn? and, force perforce,
Keep Stephen Langton, chosen archbishop
Of Canterbury, from that holy see?
This, in our 'foresaid holy father's name,
Pope Innocent, I do demand of thee.

K. John. What earthly name to interrogatories,
Can task the free breath of a sacred king?
Thou canst not, cardinal, devise a name
So slight, unworthy, and ridiculous,

To charge me to an answer, as the pope. [land,
Tell him this tale; and from the mouth of Eng-
Add thus much more,- That no Italian priest
Shall tithe or toll in our dominions;
But as we under heaven are supreme head,
So, under him, that great supremacy,
Where we do reign, we will alone uphold,
Without the assistance of a mortal hand:
So tell the pope; all reverence set apart,
To him, and his usurp'd authority.-


K. Phi. Brother of England, you blaspheme in
K. John. Though you, and all the kings of

Are led so grossly by this meddling priest,
Dreading the curse, that money may buy out;
And, by the merit of vile gold, dross, dust,
Purchase corrupted pardon of a man,
Who, in that sale, sells pardon from himself:
Though you, and all the rest, so grossly led,
This juggling witchcraft with revenue cherish;
Yet I, alone, alone do me oppose
Against the pope, and count his friends my foes.
Pand. Then, by the lawful power that I have,
Thou shalt stand curs'd, and excommunicate:
And blessed shall he be, that doth revolt
From his allegiance to an heretic;
And meritorious shall that hand be call'd,
Canonized, and worshipp'd as a saint,
That takes away, by any secret course,
Thy hateful life.

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Law cannot give my child his kingdom here;
For he, that holds his kingdom, holds the law:
Therefore, since law itself is perfect wrong,
How can the law forbid my tongue to curse?
Pand. Philip of France, on peril of a curse,
Let go the hand of that arch-heretic;
And raise the power of France upon his head,
Unless he do submit himself to Rome.

Eli. Look'st thou pale, France? do not let go
thy hand.
Const. Look to that, devil! lest that France
And, by disjoining hands, hell lose a soul.

Aust. King Philip, listen to the cardinal.
Bast. And hang a calf's skin on his recreant

Const. O, lawful let it be,

That I have room with Rome to curse awhile!
Good father cardinal, cry thou, amen,
To my keen curses: for, without my wrong,
There is no tongue hath power to curse him right.
Pard. There's law, and warrant, lady, for my
[no right,
Const. And for mine too: when law can do
Let it be lawful, that law bar no wrong:


Aust. Well, ruffian, I must pocket up these

Bast. Your breeches best may carry them.
K. John. Philip, what say'st thou to the car-


Const. What should he say, but as the cardinal?
Lew. Bethink you, father; for the difference
Is, purchase of a heavy curse from Rome,
Or the light loss of England for a friend:
Forego the easier.

Blanch. That's the curse of Rome. [thee here,
Const. O, Lewis, stand fast; the devil tempts
In likeness of a new untrimmed bride.

Blanch. The lady Constance speaks not from But from her need. [her faith,

Const. O, if thou grant my need, Which only lives but by the death of faith, That need must needs infer this principle,That faith would live again by death of need: O, then, tread down my need, and faith mounts up; Keep my need up, and faith is trodden down. K. John. The king is mov'd, and answers not to this. [well. Const. O, be remov'd from him, and answer Aust. Do so, king Philip; hang no more ir. doubt. [lout. Bast. Hang nothing but a calf's skin, most sweet K. Phi. I am perplex'd, and know not what

to say.

Pand. What canst thou say, but will perplex
thee more,

If thou stand excommunicate, and cursed? [yours,
K. Phi. Good reverend father, make my person
And tell me, how you would bestow yourself.
This royal hand and mine are newly knit;
And the conjunction of our inward souls
Married in league, coupled and link'd together
With all religious strength of sacred vows;
The latest breath that gave the sound of words,
Was deep-sworn faith, peace, amity, true love,
Between our kingdoms, and our royal selves;
And even before this truce, but new before,
No longer than we well could wash our hands,
To clap this royal bargain up of peace,- [stain'd
Heaven knows, they were besmear'd and over-
With slaughter's pencil; where revenge did paint
The fearful difference of incensed kings:
And shall these hands, so lately purg'd of blood,
So newly join'd in love, so strong in both,
Unyoke this seizure, and this kind regret?
Play fast and loose with faith? so jest with heaven

Make such unconstant children of ourselves,
As now again to snatch our palm from palm;
Unswear faith sworn: and on the marriage-bed
Of smiling peace to march a bloody host,
And make a riot on the gentle brow
Of true sincerity? O holy sir,

My reverend father, let it not be so:
Out of your grace, devise, ordain, impose
Some gentle order; and then we shall be bless'd
To do your pleasure, and continue friends.

Pand. All form is formless, order orderless,
Save what is opposite to England's love.
Therefore, to arms! be champion of our church!
Or let the church, our mother, breathe her curse,
A mother's curse, on her revolting son.
France, thou may'st hold a serpent by the tongue,
A cased lion by the mortal paw,


A fasting tiger safer by the tooth,
Than keep in peace that hand which thou dost
K. Phi. I may disjoin my hand, but not my

likeak'st thou faith an enemy to faith;

And, a war, set'st oath to oath,
Thy tongue against thy tongue. O, let thy vow,
First made to heaven, first be to heaven perform'd;
That is, to be the champion of our church!
What since thou swor'st, is sworn against thyself,
And may not be performed by thyself:

For that, which thou hast sworn to do amiss,
Is not amiss, when it is truly done;

And being not done, where doing tends to ill,
The truth is then most done not doing it:
The better act of purposes mistook
Is, to mistake again; though indirect,
Yet indirection thereby grows direct,

And falsehood.falsehood cures; as fire cools fire,
Within the scorched veins of one new burn'd.
It is religion, that doth make vows kept;
But thou hast sworn against religion;

By what thou swear'st, against the thing thou swear'st

And mak'st an oath the surety for thy truth,
Against an oath: The truth thou art unsure
To swear, swear only not to be forsworn;
Else, what a mockery should it be to swear?
But thou dost swear only to be forsworn;
And most forsworn, to keep what thou dost swear.
Therefore, thy latter vows, against thy first,
Is in thyself rebellion to thyself:

And better conquest never canst thou make,
Than arm thy constant and thy nobler parts
Against these giddy loose suggestions :
Upon which better part our prayers come in,
If thou vouchsafe them; but, if not, then know,
The peril of our curses light on thee;

So heavy, as thou shalt not shake them off,
But, in despair, die under their black weight.
Aust. Rebellion, flat rebellion!
Bast. Will't not be?

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O, husband, hear me !-ah, alack, how new
Is husband in my mouth!-even for that name,
Which till this time my tongue did ne'er pro-
Upon my knee I beg, go not to arms
Against mine uncle.


Const. O, upon my knee,

Made hard with kneeling, I do pray to thee,
Thou virtuous dauphin, alter not the doom
Forethought by heaven.

Blanch. Now shall I see thy love; What motive may

Be stronger with thee than the name of wife?
Const. That, which upholdeth him, that thee
His honour: O, thine honour, Lewis, thine
Lew. I muse, your majesty doth seem so cold,
When such profound respects do pull you on.
Pand. I will denounce a curse upon his head.

K. Phi. Thou shalt not need:-England, I'll fall from thee.

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Const. O, fair return of banish'd majesty!
Eli. O foul revolt of French inconstancy!
K. John. France, thou shalt rue this hour
within this hour.

Bast. Old Time, the clock-setter, that bald sexton, Time,

Is it as he will? well then, France shall rue. Blanch. The sun's o'ercast with blood: Fair day, adieu !

Which is the side that I must go withal?
I am with both: each army hath a hand;
And, in their rage, I having hold of both,
They whirl asunder, and dismember me.
Husband, I cannot pray that thou may'st win;
Uncle, I needs must pray that thou may'st lose :
Father, I may not wish the fortune thine;
Grandam, I will not wish thy wishes thrive:
Whoever wins, on that side shall I lose;
Assured loss, before the match be play'd.
Lew. Lady, with me; with me thy fortune lies.
Blanch. There where my fortune lives, there
my life dies.

41 21

K. John. Cousin, go draw our puissance together.[exit Bastard. France, I am burn'd up with inflaming wrath : A rage, whose heat hath this condition, That nothing can allay, nothing but blood, The blood, and dearest-valu'd blood, of France.

K. Phi. Thy rage shall burn thee up, and thou shalt turn

To ashes, ere our blood shall quench that fire:
Look to thyself, thou art in jeopardy.

K. John. No more than he that threats.-To arms let's hie! [excunt. Alarums, excursions. Enter Bastard with Austria's head.


Bast. Now, by my life, this day grows wondrous hot;

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Bast. My lord, I rescu'd her;
Her highness is in safety, fear you not;
But on, my liege; for very little pains
Will bring this labour to an happy end.



Alarums, excursions, retreat, Enter King John, Elinor, Arthur, the Bastard, Hubert, and Lords. K. John. So shall it be; your grace shall stay behind, [to Elinor. So strongly guarded.-Cousin, look not sad:

[to Arthur.

Thy grandam loves thee; and thy uncle will
As dear be to thee as thy father was. [grief.
Arth. O, this will make my mother die with
K. John. Cousin [to the Bastard] away for
England; haste before:

And, ere our coming, see thou shake the bags
Of hoarding abbots; angels imprison'd
Set thou at liberty: the fat ribs of peace
Must by the hungry now be fed upon :
Use our commission in his utmost force.

Then, in despite of brooded watchful day,
I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts:
But ah, I will not:-Yet I love thee well;
And, by my troth, I think thou lov'st me well.

Hub. So well, that what you bid me undertake
Though that my death were adjunct to my act,
By heaven, I'd do't.

K. John. Do not I know thou would'st?
Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert, throw thine eye
On yon young boy: I'll tell thee what, my friends,
He is a very serpent in my way;
And, whereso'er this foot of mine doth tread,
He lies before me: Dost thou understand me?
Thou art his keeper.

Hub. And I will keep him so,
That he shall not offend your majesty.
K. John. Death.

me back,

When gold and silver becks me to come on.

I leave your highness:-Grandam, I will pray
(If ever I remember to be holy)

For your fair safety; so I kiss your hand.
Eli. Farewell, my gentle cousin.
K. John. Coz, farewell. [exit Bastard.
Eli. Come hither, little kinsman; hark, a word.
[she takes Arthur aside.
K. John. Come hither, Hubert, O, my gentle


We owe thee much; within this wall of flesh
There is a soul, counts thee her creditor,
And with advantage means to pay thy love:
And, my good friend, thy voluntary oath
Lives in this bosom, dearly cherished.
Give me thy hand. I had a thing to say,—
But I will fit it with some better time.
By heaven, Hubert, I am almost asham'd
To say what good respect I have of thee.

Hub. I am much bounden to your majesty.
K. John. Good friend, thou hast no cause to
say so yet:

But thou shalt have; and, creep time ne'er so
Yet it shall come, for me to do thee good.
I had a thing to say,-But let it go:

The sun is in the heaven, and the proud day,
Attended with the pleasures of the world,
Is all too wanton, and too full of gawds,
To give me audience. If the midnight bell
Did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth,
Sound one unto the drowsy race of night;
If this same were a church-yard where we stand,
And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs;
Or if that surly spirit, melancholy,
Had bak'd thy blood, and made it heavy, thick;
(Which, else, runs tickling up and down the veins,
Making that idiot, laughter, keep men's eyes,
And strain their cheeks to idle merriment,
A passion hateful to my purposes ;)

Or if that thou could'st see me without eyes,
Hear me without thine ears, and make reply
Without a tongue, using conceit alone,
Without eyes, ears, and harmful sound of words;

Hub. My lord?

K. John. A grave.

Hub. He shall not live.

K. John. Enough.

Bast. Bell, book, and candle, shall not drive I could be merry now: Hubert, I love thee:
Well, I'll not say what I intend for thee:
Remember.-Madam, fare you well:

I'll send those powers o'er to your majesty.
Eli. My blessing go with thee!
K. John. For England, cousin ;
Hubert shall be your man, attend on you
With all true duty.-On toward Calais, ho!


[exeunt. SCENE IV. THE SAME. THE FRENCH King's tent.

Enter King Philip, Lewis, Pandulph, and Atten


K. Phi. So, by a roaring tempest on the flood, A whole armado of convicted sail

Is scatter'd, and disjoin'd from fellowship. [well.
Pand. Courage and comfort! all shall yet go
K. Phi. What can go well, when we have run
so ill.

Are we not beaten? Is not Angiers lost?
Arthur ta'en prisoner? divers dear friends slain?
And bloody England into England gone,
O'erbearing interruption, spite of France?

Lew. What he hath won, that hath he fortified:
So hot a speed with such advice dispos'd,
Such temperate order in so fierce a cause,
Doth want example: who hath read, or heard,
Of any kindred action like to this?

K. Phi. Well could I bear, that England had
this praise,

So we could find some pattern of our shame.
Enter Constance.

Look, who comes here! a grave unto a soul;
Holding the eternal spirit, against her will,
In the vile prison of afflicted breath :-
I pr'ythee, lady, go away with me. [peace!
Const. Lo, now! now see the issue of your
K. Phi. Patience, good lady! comfort, gentle
Constance !

Const. No, I defy all counsel, all redress,
But that which ends all counsel, true redress,
Death, death:-O amiable, lovely death!
Thou odoriferous stench! sound rottenness!
Arise forth from the couch of lasting night,
Thou hate and terror to prosperity,
And I will kiss thy détestable bones;

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K. Phi. O fair affliction, peace.


Const. No, no, I will not, having breath to O, that my tongue were in the thunder's mouth! Then with a passion would I shake the world; And rouse from sleep that fell anatomy, Which cannot hear a lady's feeble voice, Which scorns a modern invocation.


Pand. Lady, you utter madness, and not sor-
Const. Thou art not holy to belie me so;
I am not mad: this hair I tear, is mine;
My name is Constance; I was Geffrey's wife;
Young Arthur is my son, and he is lost :
I am not mad ;-I would to heaven, I were!
For then, 'tis like I should forget myself:
O, if I could, what grief should I forget !—
Preach some philosophy to make me mad,
And thou shalt be canoniz'd, cardinal:
For, not being mad, but sensible of grief,
My reasonable part produces reason
How I may be deliver'd of these woes,
And teaches me to kill or hang myself;
If I were mad, I should forget my son;
Or madly think, a babe of clouts were he:
I am not mad; too well, too well I feel
The different plague of each calamity.

K. Phi. Bind up those tresses. O, what
In the fair multitude of these her hairs!
Where but by chance a silver drop hath fallen,
Even to that drop ten thousand wiry friends
Do glew themselves in sociable grief;
Like truc, inseparable, faithful loves,
Sticking together in calamity.

Const. To England, if you will.
K. Phi. Bind up your hairs.
[do it?
Const. Yes, that I will; and wherefore will I
I tore them from their bonds; and cried aloud,
O that these hands could so redeem my son,
As they have given these hairs their liberty!
But now I envy at their liberty,
And will again commit them to their bonds,
Because my poor child is a prisoner.—
And, father cardinal, I have heard you say,
That we shall see and know our friends in heaven:
If that be true, I shall see my boy again;
For, since the birth of Cain, the first male child,
To him that did but yesterday suspire,
There was not such a gracious creature born.
But now will canker-sorrow eat my bud,
And chase the native beauty from his cheek,
And he will look as hollow as a ghost;
As dim and meagre as an ague's fit;
And so he'll die; and, rising so again,
When I shall meet him in the court of heaven
I shall not know him: therefore, never, never
Must I behold my pretty Arthur more.

Pand. You hold too heinous a respect of grief. Const. He talks to me, that never had a son. K. Phi. You are as fond of grief, as of your child

Const. Grief fills the room up of my absent

Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me;
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form;
Then, have I reason to be fond of grief.
Fare you well: had you such a loss as I,
I could give better comfort than you do.-
I will not keep this form upon my head,
[tearing off her head-dress.
When there is such disorder in my wit.
O lord! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son !
My life, my joy, my food, my all the world!
My widow-comfort, and my sorrows' cure! [exit.
K. Phi. I fear some outrage, and I'll follow
Lew. There's nothing in this world, can make
me joy :

Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale,
Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man; [taste,
And bitter shame hath spoil'd the sweet world's
That it yields naught, but shame and bitterness.
Pand. Before the curing of a strong disease,
Even in the instant of repair and health,
The fit is strongest evils, that take leave,
On their departure most of all show evil:
What have you lost by losing of this day?

Lew. All days of glory, joy, and happiness.
Pand. If you had won it, certainly, you had.
No, no when fortune means to men most good,
She looks upon them with a threatening eye.
'Tis strange, to think how much King John hath
In this, which he accounts so clearly won: [lost
Are you not griev'd, that Arthur is his prisoner?
Lew. As heartily, as he is glad he hath him.
Pand. Your mind is all as youthful as your

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Now hear me speak, with a prophetic spirit;
For even the breath of what I mean to speak
Shall blow each dust, each straw, each little rub,
Out of the path which shall directly lead [mark.
Thy foot to England's throne; and, therefore
John hath seiz'd Arthur; and it cannot be,
That, whiles warm life plays in that infant's veins,
The misplac'd John should entertain an hour,
One minute, nay, one quiet breath of rest:
A sceptre, snatch'd with an unruly hand,
Must be as boisterously maintain'd as gain'd
And he, that stands upon a slippery place
Makes nice of no vile hold to stay him up:
That John may stand, then Arthur needs must
So be it, for it cannot be but so.


Lew. But what shall I gain by young Arthur's fall? [wife, Pand. You, in the right of lady Blanch, your May then make all the claim that Arthur did. Lew. And lose it, life and all, as Arthur did. Pand. How green are you, and fresh in this old world!

John lays you plots; the times conspire with you.
For he that steeps his safety in true blood,
Shall find but bloody safety, and untrue.
This act, so evilly born, shall cool the hearts
Of all his people, and freeze up their zeal;
That none so small advantage shall step forth,

To check his reign, but they will cherish it:
No natural exhalation in the sky,
No scape of nature, no distemper'd day,
No common wind, no customed event,
But they will pluck away his natural cause,
And call them meteors, prodigies, and sigus,
Abortives, présages, and tongues of heaven,
Plainly denouncing vengeance upon John.

Lew. May be, he will not touch young Arthur's But hold himself safe in his prisonment. [life, Pand. O, sir, when he shall hear of your approach,

If that young Arthur be not gone already,
Even at that news he dies: and then the hearts
Of all his people shall revolt from him,
And kiss the lips of unacquainted change;
And pick strong matter of revolt, and wrath,


Enter Hubert, with two Attendants.

Hub. Heat me these irons hot: and, look thou Within the arras: when I strike my foot [stand Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth; And bind the boy, which you shall find with me, Fast to the chair: be heedful: hence, and watch.

us go;

If you say, ay, the king will not say, no. [exeunt. ACT IV.

Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect: Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes? Hub. Young boy, I must.

Arth. And will you?

Hub. And I will.

1 Attend. I hope, your warrant will bear out the deed.

Hub. Uncleanly scruples! Fear not you: look to't.[exeunt Attendants. Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you. Enter Arthur. Arth. Good morrow, Hubert.

Hub. Good morrow, little prince.

Arth. As little prince (having so great a title
To be more prince) as may be. You are sad.
Hub. Indeed, I have been merrier.
Arth. Mercy on me!

Methinks, nobody should be sad but I:
Yet, I remember, when I was in France,
Young gentlemen would be as sad as night,
Only for wantonness. By my christendom,
So were I out of prison, and kept sheep,
I should be as merry as the day is long;
And so I would be here, but that I doubt
My uncle practises more harm to me;
He is afraid of me, and I of him:

Is it my fault, that I was Geffrey's son ?
No, indeed, is't not; and I would to heaven,
I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert.
Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate
He will awake my mercy, which lies dead:
Therefore I will be sudden, and despatch. [aside.

Arth. Are you sick, Hubert? you look pale toIn sooth, I would you were a little sick; [day: That I might sit all night, and watch with you: I warrant, I love you more than you do me.

Hub. His words do take possession of my bo


Read here, young Arthur. [showing a paper] How now, foolish rheum! [aside.

Out of the bloody fingers' ends of John.
Methinks, I see this hurly all on foot;
And, O, what better matter breeds for you,
Than I have nam'd!-The bastard Faulconbridge
Is now in England, ransacking the church,
Offending charity: if but a dozen French
Were there in arms, they would be as a call
To train ten thousand English to their side;
Or, as a little snow, tumbled about,
Anon becomes a mountain. O noble Dauphin,
Go with me to the king: 'tis wonderful,
What may be wrought out of their discontent:
Now that their souls are topfull of offence,
For England go; I will whet on the king.

Lew. Strong reasons make strong actions: let

Turning dispiteous torture out of door!
I must be brief; lest resolution drop
Out at mine eyes, in tender womanish tears..
Can you not read it? is it not fair writ?

Arth. Have you the heart? When your head did but ache,

I knit my handkerchief about your brows,
(The best I had, a princess wrought it me),
And I did never ask it you again:
And with my hand at midnight held your head;
And, like the watchful minutes to the hour,
Still and anon cheer'd up the heavy time; [grief?
Saying, What lack you? and, where lies your
Or, what good love may I perform for you?
Many a poor man's son would have lain still,
And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you;
But you at your sick service had a prince.
Nay, you may think, my love was crafty love,
And call it, cunning; do, an if you will:
If heaven be pleas'd that you must use me ill,
Why, then you must. Will you put out mine

These eyes, that never did, nor never shall, So much as frown on you!

Hub. I have sworn to do it;

And with hot irons must I burn them out.

Arth. Ah, none, but in this iron age, would do The iron of itself, though heat red-hot, [it! Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears, And quench his fiery indignation, Even in the matter of mine innocence : Nay, after that, consume away in rust, But for containing fire to harm mine eye. Are you more stubborn-hard than hammer'd iron? An if an angel should have come to me, And told me, Hubert should put out mine eyes, I would not have believ'd no tongue but Hubert's. Hub. Come forth. [stamps.

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Re-enter Attendants, with cords, irons, &c. Do as I bid you do.

[are out,

Arth. O, save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men. Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here. [rough? Arth. Alas, what need you be sc buistrous

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