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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.
Tell him this tale; and from the mouth of England,
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 this.
K. John. Though you, and all the kings of Chris-

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 callid, Canonized, and worship’d as a saint, That takes away by any secret course Thy hateful life. Const.

O, lawful let it be, That I have room with Rome to curse a while ! Good father cardinal, cry thou, amen, To my keen curses; for, without my wrong, There is no tongue hath power to curse him right. Pand. There's law and warrant, lady, for my curse. Const. And for mine too; when law can do no right,

Let it be lawful, that law bar no wrong:
Law cannot give my child his kingdom here;
For he that holds his kingdom, holds the law:
Therefore, since law itself is perfect wrong,
Ilow 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 repent, 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 limbs.

Aust. Well, ruffian, I must pocket up these wrongs,
Bast. Your breeches best may carry them 15.
K. John. Philip, what say'st thou to the cardinal?
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:
Forgo the easier.

That's the curse of Rome. Const. O Lewis, stand fast; the devil tempts thee

here, In likeness of a new untrimmed 16 bride.

15 This may be a proverbial sarcasm; but the allusion is now lost. We have something similar in the old play of King Leir, 1605 : Mum. We'll have a pair of slops for the nonce

Will hold all your mocks: 16 Trim is dress. Comptuis virgineus is explained by the dictionaries, “The attyre of maydens, or maidenly trimming.' An untrimmed bride may therefore mean a bride undressed or disencuinbered of the forbiddi forms of dress. It is however probable that this term may have been used for a virgin bride, as the following passage in The Loyal Subject of Beaumont and Fletcher will show. Theodore, in describing the ravages of the Tartars, says to Boroskie :

They would not only have abused your buildings,
Your goodly buildings, sir, and have drink your butteries,
Purloin'd your lordship's plate, the duke bestowed ou you,

Blanch. The Lady Constance speaks not from

her faith, But from her need. 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; 0, then, tread down my need, and faith mounts up; Keep my need up, and faith is trodden down. K. John. The king is mor’d, and answers not to

this. Const. O, be remov'd from him, and answer well. Aust. Do so, King Philip; hang no more in doubt. Bast. Hang nothing but a calf's-skin, most sweet

lout. 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 curs’d ? K. Phi. Good reverend father, make my person

yours, 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, Heaven knows, they were besmear'd and overstain's

For turning handsomely of th’ toe, and trimm'd your virgins,
Trimm'd 'em of a new cut, an't like your worship,

'Tis ten to one, your wife too.'" The same use of the word is made in The False One, Act ii. Sc. 3. In Titus Andronicus, Act i. Sc. 1; and in the fourth' act of Chapman's May Day; to a note on which, in the fourth volume of the Ancieut Drama, I owe the suggestion.

With slaughter's pencil; where rerenge 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 both17,
Unyoke this seizure, and this kind regreet18 ?
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, device, 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 19 lion by the mortal paw,
A fasting tiger safer by the tooth,
Than keep in peace that hand which thou dost hold.

K. Phi. I may disjoin my hand, but not my faith. Pand. So mak’st thou faith an enemy to faith ; And, like a civil war, sett’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:

17 i. e. 90 strong both in hatred and love; in deeds of amily or deeds of blood.

18 A regreet is an exchange of salutation.

19 A cased lion is a lion irritated by confinement. So in King Henry VI. Part III. Act i. Sc. 3:

«So looks the pent up lion o'er the wretch
That trembles under his devouring paws.

For that, which thou hast sworn to do amiss,
Is not amiss when it is truly done20;
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 art thou unsure
To swear, swear only not to be forsworn21;
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 those 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 !

Will't not be! Will not a calf-skin stop that mouth of thine ?

Lew. Father, to arms!

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20 «Where doing tends to ill,' where an intended act is criminal, the truth is most done by not doing the act. The criminal act therefore, which thou hast sworn to do, is not amiss, will not be imputed to you as a crime, if it be done truly, in the sense I have now affixed to truth; that is, if you do not do it.

21 By what thou swear'st, &c. 'In swearing by religion against religion, thou hast sworn by what thou swearest; i. e. in that which thou hast sworn, against the thing thou swearest by; i. e. religion.'

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