Page images

Thou wear a lon s bide! doff it for shame, Law cannot give my child his kingdom bero;
And hang a calf's skin on these recreant limbs. For he, that holds his kingdom, holds the law:
Aust. O, that a man should speak these words Therefore, since law itself is perfect wrong,
to me!

(limbs. How can the law forbid my tongue to curse? Bast. And bang a calf's skin on those recreant Pand. Philip of France, on peril of a curse, Arst. Thou dar'st not say so, villain, for thy Let go the hand of that arch-heretic; life.

[limbs. And raise the power of France upon his head, Bast. And hang a calf's skin on these recreant Unless he do submit himself to Rome. K. John. We like not this ; thou dost forget Eli. Look'st thou pale, France ? do not let go thyself.

thy hand.

(repent, Enter Pandulph.

Const. Look to that, devil! lest that France K.. Phi. Here comes the holy legate of the pope. And, by disjoining hands, hell lose a soul. ;

Pand. Hail, you anointed deputies of heaven ! Aust. King Philip, listen to the cardinal. To thee, king John, my holy errand is,

Bast. And bang a calf's skin on his recreant I, Pandulph, of fair Milan cardinal,

limbs. And from pope Innocent the legate here,

Aust. Well, ruffian, I must pocket up these No, in his name, religiously demand,


(wrongs, Why thou against the church, our holy mother, Bast. Your breeches best may carry them. So wilfully dost spurn ? and, force perforce,

K. John. Pbilip, what say'st thou to the car. Keep Stephen Langton, chosen archbishop

dinal ? Of Canterbury, from that holy see?

Const. What should he say, but as the cardinal ? This, in our 'foresaid holy father's name,

Lew. Bethink you, father; for the difference Pope Innocent, I do demand of thee.

Is, purchase of a heavy curse from Rome, K. John. Wbat earthly name to interrogatories, Or the light loss of England for a friend : Can task the free breath of a sacred king ?

Forego the easier. Thou canst not, cardinal, devise a name

Blanch. That's the curse of Rome. [thee here, So slight, unworthy, and ridiculous,

Const. 0, Lewis, stand fast; the devil tempts To charge me to an answer, as the pope. [land, In likeness of a new untrimmed bride. Tell him this tale; and from the mouth of Eng- Blanch. The lady Constance speaks not from Add thus much more, - That no Italian priest But from her need.

[her faith, Shall tithe or toll in our dominions;

Const. O, if thou grant my need,
But as we under heaven are supreme head, Which only lives but by the death of faith,
So, under him, that great supremacy,

That need must needs infer this principle,
Where we do reign, we will alone uphold,

That faith would live again by death of need : Without the assistance of a mortal hand :

0, then, tread down my need, and faith mounts up; So tell the pope ; all reverence set apart,

Keep my need up, and faith is trodden down. To him, and his usurp'd authority.- (this. K. John. The king is mov'd, and answers not K. Phi. Brother of England, you blaspheme in

to this.

(well. K. John. Though you, and all-the kings of Const. O, be remov'd from him, and answer Christendom,

Aust. Do so, king Philip; hang no more ir. Are led so grossly by this meddling priest,


[lout. Dreading the curse, that money may buy out; Bast. Hang nothing but a calf's skin, most sweet And, by the merit of vile gold, dross, dust,

K. Phi. I am perplex'd, and know not what Purchase corrupted pardon of a man, Who, in that sale, sells pardon from himself: Pand. What canst thou say, but will perples Though you, and all the rest, so grossly led,

thee more, This juggling witchcraft with revenue cherish; If thou stand excommunicato, and cursed ? (yours, Yet I, alone, alone do me oppose

K. Phi. Good reverend father, make my person Against the pope, and count his friends my foes. And tell me, how you would bestow yourself.

Pand. Then, by the lawful power that I have, | This royal hand and mine are newly knit;
Thou shalt stand curs'd, and excommunicate: And the conjunction of our inward souls
And blessed shall he be, that doth revolt

Married in league, coupled and link'd together From his allegiance to an heretic;

With all religious strength of sacred vows; And meritorious shall that hand be call'd,

The latest breath that gave the sound of words, Canonized, and worshipp'd as a saint,

Was deep-sworn faith, peace, amity, true love, That takes away, by any secret course,

Between our kingdoms, and our royal selves; Thy hateful life.

And even before this truce, but new before, Const. O, lawful let it be,

No longer than we well could wash our hands, That I have room with Rome to curse awhile ! To clap this royal bargain up of peace,- (stain'd Good father cardinal, cry thou, amen,

Heaven knows, they were besmear'd and overTo my keen curses : for, without my wrong, With slaughter's pencil ; where revenge (lid paint There is no tongue bath power to curse him right. The fearful difference of incensed kings : Pard. There's law, and warrant, lady, for my And shall these hands, so lately purg'd of blood,

[no right, So newly join'd in love, so strong in both, Consl. And for mine too: when law can do Unyoke this seizure, and this kind regret? Let it be lawful, that law bar no wrong:

Play fast and loose with faith? su jest with heevering

to say


motive may

[ocr errors]



Make such unconstant children of ourselves, O, husband, hear mesah, alack, how new
As now again to snatch our palm from palm ; Is husband in my mouth !—even for that name,
Unswear faith sworn: and on the marriage-bed Which till this, time my tongue did ne'er pro
Of smiling peace to march a bloody host,

Upon my knee I beg, go got to arms [nounce And make a riot on the gentle brow

Against mine uncle. Of true sincerity ? O holy sir,

Const. O, upon my knee, My reverend father, let it not be so :

Made hard with kneeling, I do pray to thee, Out of your grace, devise, ordain, impose

Thou virtuous dauphin, alter not the doom , Some gentle order; and then we shall be bless'd Forethought by heaven. To do your pleasure, and continue friends.

Blanch. Now shall I see thy love; What Pand. All form is formless, order orderless, is Save what is opposite to England's love.

Be stronger with thee than the name of wife? Therefore, to arms! be champion of our church! Const. Thạt, which upholdeth him, that thee Or let the church, our mother, breathe her curse, upholds,

(honour ! A mother's curse, on her revolting son.

His honour: 0, thine honour, Lewis, thing France, thou may'st hold a serpent by the tongue, Lew. I muse, your majesty doth seem so cold, A cased lion by the mortal paw,

When such profound respects do pull you on. A fasting tiger safer by the tooth, (hold. Pand. I will devounce a curse upon his bead. Than keep in peace that band which thoa dost K. Phi. Thou shalt not need :-England, I'll K. Phi. I may

isjoin my hand, but not my fall from thee. faith.

Const. O, fair return of banish'd majesty! Pand.

Eli. O foul revolt of French inconstancy ! And,

civir it thou faith an enemy to faith;
war, set'st oath to oath,

K. John. France, thou shalt rue this hour Thy tongue against thy tongue. O, let thy vow,

within this hour. First made to heaven, first be to heaven perform'd; Bast. Old Time, the clock-setter, that bald That is, to be the champion of our church !

sexton, Time, What since thou sworist, is sworn against thyself, Is it as he will ? well then, France shall rue. And may not be performed by thyself :

Blanch. The sun's o'ercast with blood : Fair For that, wbich thou hast sworn to do amiss,

day, adieu ! Is not amiss, when it is truly done ;

Which is the side that I must go withal ? And being not done, where doing tends to ill, I am with both : each army hath a hand; The truth is then most done not doing it: And, in their rage, I having bold of both, The better act of purposes, mistook

They whirl asunder, and dismember me. Is, to mistake again; though indirect,

Husband, I cannot pray that thou may'st win; Yet indirection thereby grows direct,

Uncle, I needs must pray that thou may'st lose: And falsehood. falsehood cures; as fire cools fire, Father, I may not wish the fortune thine ; Within the scorched veins of one new burn'd. Grandam, I will not wish thy wishes thrive: It is religion, that doth make vows kept;

Whoever wins, on that side shall I lose; But thou hast sworn against religion;

Assured loss, before the match be play'd. : ) By what thou swear'st, against the thing thou Lew. Lady, with me; with me thy fortune lies. swear'st

Blanch. There where my fortune lives, there And mak’st an oath the surety for thy truth,

my life dies. Against an oath : The truth thou art unsure K. John. Cousin, go draw our puissance to To swear, swear only not to be forsworn;


(erit Bastard. Else, what a mockery should it be to swear ? France, I am burn’d up with inflaming wrath : But thou dost swear only to be forsworn; A ragę, whose heat hath this condition, And most forsworn, to keep what thou dost swear. That nothing can allay, nothing but blood, Therefore, thy latter vows, against thy first, The blood, and dearest-valu'd blood, of France. Is in thyself rebellion to thyself:


6. Phi. Thy rage shall burn thee up, and thou And better conquest never canst thou make,

shalt turn Than arm thy constant and thy nobler parts To ashes, ere our blood shall quench that fire: Against these giddy loose suggestions :

Look to thyself, thou art in jeopardy. Upon which better part our prayers come in, K. John. No more than he that threats.--To If thou vouchsafe them ; but, if not, then know,

arms let's hie!

[excunt. The peril of our curses light on thee;

SCENE II. THE SAME. PLAINS NEAR ANGIERS So heavy, as thou shalt not shake them off, Alarums, ercursions. Enter Bastard with AustBut, in despair, die under their black weight.

ria's head. Aust. Rebellion, dat rebellion !

Bast. Now, by my life, this day grows wonBast. Will't not be ?

drous hot ; Will not a calf's skin stop that mouth of thine ? Some airy devil hovers in the sky, Lew. Father, to arms!

And pours down mischief. Austria's head lie Blanch. Upon thy wedding-day?

While Philip breathes.

In [there; Against the blood that thou hast married ? [men ? Enter King John, Arthur, and Hubert. Wbat, shall our feast be kept with slaughter'd R. John. Hubert, keep this boy :-Puisiz, Shall braying trumpets, and loud churlish drums,- My mother is assailed in our tent, Clamours of bell be measures to our pomp? | And ta'en, I fcar.

make ng


fed upon :

Bast. My lord, I rescu'd her;

Then, in despite of brooded watchful day, Her highness is in safety, fear you not;

I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts : But on, my liege; for very little pains

But ah, I will not :-Yet I love thee well; Will bring this labour to an happy end. [ereunt. And, by my troth, I think thou lov'st me well.

Hub. So well, that what you bid me undertake Alarums, e.rcursions, retreat, Enter King John, Though that my death were adjunct to my act, Elinor, Arthur, the Bastard, Hubert, and Lords. By heaven, I'd do't. K. John. So shall it be ; your grace shall stay

K. John. Do not I know thou would'st? behind,

(to Elinor. Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert, throw thine eye So strongly guarded.—Cousin, look not sad : On yon young boy: I'll tell thee what, my friends,

[to Arthur. He is a very serpent in my way; Thy grandam loves thee; and thy uncle will And, whereso'er this foot of mine doth tread, As dear be to thee as thy father was. [grief. He lies before me: Dost thou understand me?

Arth. O, this will make my mother die with Thou art his keeper.
K. John. Cousin (to the Bastard] away for Hub. And I will keep him so,
England; haste before :

That he shall not offend your majesty.
And, ere our coming, see thou shake the bags K. John. Death.
Of hoarding abbots; angels imprison'd

Hub. My lord?
Set thou at liberty : the fat ribs of peace

K. John. A grave. Must by the hungry now

Hub. He shall not live. Use our commission in his utmost force.

K. John. Enough. Bast. Bell, book, and candle, shall not drive I could be merry now : Hubert, I love thee : me back,

Well, I'll not say what I intend for thee :
When gold and silver becks me to come on. Remember.—Madam, fare you well :
I leave your highness :-Grandam, I will pray I'll send those powers o'er to your majesty.
(If ever I remember to be holy)

Eli. My blessing go with thee !
For your fair safety; so I kiss your hand.

K. John. For Eugland, cousin ;
Eli. Farewell, my gentle cousin.

Hubert shall be your man, attend on you
K. John. Coz, farewell. [erit Bastard. With all true duty.—On toward Calais, ho!
Eli. Come hither, little kinsman; hark, a word.

[ereunt. (she takes Arthur aside.

SCENE IV. THE SAME. THE FRENCH KING'S TEXT. K. John. Come hither, Hubert, O, my gentle Enter King Philip, Lewis, Pandulph, and AttenHubert,

dants. We owe thee much; within this wall of flesh K. Phi. So, by a roaring tempest on the flood, There is a soul, counts thee her creditor,

A whole armado of convicted sail And with advantage means to pay thy love: Is scatter'd, and disjoin’d from fellowship. [well. And, my good friend, thy voluntary oath

Pand. Courage and comfort! all shall yet go Lives in this bosom, dearly cherished.

K. Phi. What can go well, when we have run Give me thy band. I had a thing to say, — But I will fit it with some better time.

Are we not beaten ? Is not Angiers lost? By heaven, Hubert, I am almost asham'd

Arthur ta'en prisoner? divers dear friends slain? To say what good respect I have of thee. And bloody England into England gone,

Hub. I am much bounden to your 'majesty. O’erbearing interruption, spite of France ? K. John. Good friend, thou hast no cause to Lew. What he hath won, that hath he fortified: say so yet :

[slow, So hot a speed with such advice dispos'd, But thou shalt have ; and, creep time ne'er so Such temperate order in so fierce a cause, Yet it shall come, for me to do thee good.

Doth want example: who hath read, or heard, I had a thing to say,— But let it go:

Of any kindred action like to this? The sun is in the heaven, and the proud day, K. Phi. Well could I bear, that England lad Attended with the pleasures of the world,

this praise, Is all too wanton, and too full of gawds,

So we could find some pattern of our shame. To give me audience. If the midnight bell

Enter Constance. Did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth, Look, who comes here! a grave unto a soul; Sound one unto the drowsy race of night; Holding the eternal spirit, against her will, If this same were a church-yard where we stand, In the vile prison of afflicted breath :And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs; I pr'ythee, lady, go away with me. [peace ! Or if that surly spirit, melancholy,

Const. Lo, now! now see the issue of your Had bak'd thy blood, and made it heavy, thick ; K. Phi. Patience, good lady! comfort, gentle (Which, else, runs tickling up and down the veins, Constance! Making that idiot, laughter, keep men's eyes, Const. No, I defy all counsel, all redress, And strain their cheeks to idle merriment, But that which ends all counsel, trne redress, A passion hateful to my purposes ;)

Death, death :-O amiable, lovely death! Or if that thou could'st see me without eyes, Thou odoriferous stench ! sound rottenness! Hear me without thine ears, and make reply Arise forth from the couch of lasting night, Without a tongue, using conceit alone,

Thou hate and terror to prosperity, Without eyes, ears, and harmful sound of words ;l And I will kiss thy détestable bones ;

so ill.

[ocr errors]

And put my eyeballs in thy vaulty brows;

Const. Grief fills the room up of my absent And riog these fingers with thy household worms;

child, And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust, Lies in his bed, walks up and down with mc; And be a carrion monster like thyself:

Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words, Come, grin on me, and I will thiuk thou smil'st, Remembers me of all his gracious parts, And buss thee as thy wife! Misery's love,

Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form; 0, come to me!

Then, have I reason to be fond of grief. K. Phi. O fair affliction, peace. [cry: Fare you well : had you such a loss as I,

Const. No, no, I will not, having breath to I could give better comfort than you do. 0, that my tongue were in the thunder's mouth! | I will not kcep this form upon my head, Then with a passion would I shake the world;

(tearing off her head-dress. Aud rouse from sleep that fell anatomy,

When there is such disorder in my wit. Which cannot hear a lady's feeble voice,

O lord ! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son ! Which scorus a modern invocation. [row. My life, my joy, my food, my all the world!

Pand. Lady, you utter madness, and not sor- My widow-comfort, and my sorrows' cure! (erit. Const. Thou art not holy to belie me so ;

K. Phi. I fear some outrage, and I'll follow I am not mad : this hair I tear, is mine;


(erit. My name is Constance; I was Geffrey's wife; Lew. There's nothing in this world, can make Young Arthuw is my son, and he is lost :

me joy: I am not mad ;-I would to heaven, I were ! Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale, For then, 'tis like I should forget myself:

Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man ; [taste, O, if I could, what grief should I forget !

And bitter shame hath spoil'd the sweet world's Preach some philosophy to make me mad,

That it yields naught, but shame and bitterness. And thou shalt be canoniz'd, cardinal :

Pand. Before the curing of a strong disease. For, not being mad, but sensible of grief,

Even in the instant of repair and health, My reasonable part produces reason

The fit is strongest : evils, that take leave, How I may be deliver'd of these woes,

On their departure most of all show evil: And teaches me to kill or hang myself ;

What have you lost by losing of this day? If I were mad, I should forget my son;

Lew. All days of glory, joy, and happiness. Or madly think, a babe of clouts were he:

Pand. If you had won it, certainly, you had. I am not mad; too well, too well I feel

No, no: when fortune means to men most good, The different plague of each calamity. (note She looks upon them with a threatening eye.

K. Phi. Bind up those tresses. O, what love I 'Tis strange, to think how inuch King Jolin hath In the fair multitude of these her hairs!

In this, which he accounts so clearly won : [lost Where but by chance a silver drop hath fallen, Are you not griev'd, that Arthur is his prisoner ? Even to that drop ten thousanıl wiry friends Lew. As heartily, as he is glad he hath him. Do glew themselves in sociable grief;

Pand. Your mind is all as youthful as your Like truc, inseparable, faithful loves,

blood. Sticking together in calamity.

Now hear me speak, with a prophetic spirit; Const. To England, if you will.

For even the breath of what I mean to speak K. Phi. Bind up your hairs.

[do it? Shall blow each dust, each straw, cach little ruby Const. Yes, that I will; and wherefore will I | Out of the path which shall directly lead [mark. I tore them from their bonds; and cried aloud, Thy foot to England's throne; and, therefore O that these hands could so redeem my son, John hath seiz'd Arthur; and it cannot be, As they have given these hairs their liberty ! That, whiles warm life plays in that infant's veins, But now I envy at their liberty,

The misplac'd John should entertain an hour, And will again commit them to their bonds, One minute, nay, one quiet breath of rests Because my poor child is a prisoner.

A sceptre, snatch'd with an unruly hand, And, father cardinal, I have heard you say, Must be as boisterously maintain'd as gain'd: That we shall see and know our friends in heaven: And he, that stands upon a slippery place If that be true, I shall see my boy again;

Makes nice of no vile hold to stay him For, since the birth of Cain, the first male child, That John may stand, then Arthur needs must To him that did but yesterday suspire,

So be it, for it cannot be but su.

(fall; There was not such a gracious creature born. Lew. But what shall I gain by young Arthur's But now will canker-sorrow eat my bud,


(wife, And chase the native beauty from his chcek,

Pand. You, in the right of lady Blanch, your And he will look as hollow as a ghost;

May then make all the claim that Arthur did. As dim and meagre as an agae's fit;

Lew. And lose it, life and all, as Arthur did. And so he'll die; and, rising so again,

Pund. How green are you, and fresh in this When I shall meet him in the court of heaven

old world! I shall not know him : therefore, never, never John lays you plots; the times conspire with you , Must I behold my pretty Arthur more.

For he that steeps bis safety in true blood, Pand. You hold too heinous a respect of grief. Shall find but bloody safety, and untrue. Const. He talks to me, that never had a son. This act, so evilly born, shall cool the hearts K. Phi. You are as fond of grief, as of your Of all his people, and freeze up their zeul; child.

That none so small advantage shall step forthy


us go ;


To check his reign, but they will cherish it : Out of the bloody fingers' ends of Joho. wo natural exhalation in the sky,

Methinks, I see this hurly'all on foot; No scape of nature, no distemper'd day,

And, 0, what better matter breeds for you, No common wind, no customed event,

Than I have nam'd!- The bastard Faulconbridge But they will pluck away his natural cause, Is now in Eggland, ransacking the church, And call them meteors, prodigies, and signs, Offending charity: if but a dozen French Abortives, présages, and tongues of heaven, Were there in arms, they would be as a call Plainly denouncing vengeance upon John. To train ten thousand English to their side;

Lew. May be, he will not touch young Arthur's Or, as a little snow, tumbled about, But hold himself safe in his prisonment. [life, Anon becomes a mountain. O noble Dauphin, Pand. O, sir, when he shall bear of your ap- Go with me to the king : 'tis wonderful, proach,

What may be wrought out of their discontent: If that young Arthur be not gone already, Now that their souls are topfull of offence, Even at that news he dies : and then the hearts For England gò; I will whet on the king. Of all his people shall revolt from him,"

Lew. Strong reasons make strong actions: let And kiss the lips of unacquainted change ; And pick strong matter of revolt, and wrath, If you say, ay, the king will not say, no. [ereunt.


Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect : Enter Hubert, with two Attendants. Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes? Hub. Heat me these irons hot: and, look thou Hub. Young boy, I must. Within the arras : when I strike my foot [stand Arth. And will you? Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth; Hub. And I will. And bind the boy, which you shall find with me, Arth. Have you the heart? When your head Fast to the chair : be heedful: hence, and watch.

did but ache, 1 Attend. I hope, your warrant will bear out I knit my bandkerchief about your brows, the deed.

(The best I had, a princess wrought it mə), Hub. Uncleanly scruples ! Fear not you: look And I did never ask it you again : to't.

[ereunt Attendants. And with my hand at midnight held your head; Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you. And, like the watchful minutes to the hour, Enter Arthur.

Still and anon cheer'd up the heavy time; (grief? Arth. Good morrow, Hubert.

Saying, What lack you ? and, where lies your Hub. Good morrow, little prince.

Or, what good love may I perform for you? Arth. As little prince (having so great a title Many a poor man's son would have lain still, To be more prince) as may be. - You are sad. And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you; Hub. Indeed, I have been merrier.

But you at your sick service had a prince. Arth. Mercy on me!

Nay, you may think, my love was crafty love, Methinks, nobody should be sad but I:

And call it, cunning ; do, an if you will : Yet, I remember, when I was in France,

If heaven be pleas'd that you must use me ill, Young gentlemen would be as sad as night, Why, then you must. - Will you put out mive Only for wantonness. By my christendom, So were I out of prison, and kept sheep,

These eyes, that never did, nor never shall, I should be as merry as the day is long ;

So much as frown on you ! And so I would be here, but that I doubt

Hub. I have sworn to do it; My uncle practises more harm to me;

And with hot irons must I burn them out. He is afraid of me, and I of him :

Arth. Ah, none, but in this iron age, would do Is it my fault, that I was Geffrey's son ?

The iron of itself, though heat red-hot, [it! No, indeed, is't not; and I would to heaven, Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears, I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert. And quench his fiery indignation,

Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate Even in the matter of mine innocence : He will awake my mercy, which lies dead : Nay, after that, consume away in rust, Therefore I will be sudden, and despatch. [aside. But for containing fire to harm mine eye.

Arth. Are you sick, Hubert? you look pale to- Are you more stubborn-hard than hammer'd iron? In sooth, I would you were a little sick; [day: ! An if an angel should have come to me, That I might sit all night, and watch with you : And told me, Hubert should put out mine eyes, I warrant, I love you more than you do me. I would not have believ'd no tongue but Hubert's. Hub. His words do take possession of my bo- Hub. Coine forth.


Re-enter Attendants, with cords, irons, 8c. Read here, young Arthur. [showing a paper] How Do as I bid you do,

[are out, now, foolish rheum!

[aside. Arth. 0, save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes Turning dispiteous torture out of door!

Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men. I must be brief; lest resulution drop

Hub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him Out at mine eyes, in tender womanish tears..


[rough? Can you not read it? is it not fair writ?

Arth. Alas, what need you be sc buist'r cus



« PreviousContinue »