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Bast. And hang a calf's-skin on his recreant | Some gentle order, and then we shall be bless'd limbs.

Aust. Well, ruffian, I must pocket up these wrongs, Because


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

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 chafed lion by the mortal paw,
A fasting tiger safer by the tooth,
Than keep in peace that hand which thou dost


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.


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

In likeness of a new untrimmed bride.
Blanch. The Lady Constance speaks not from
her faith,


But from her need.

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
Keep my need up, and faith is trodden down.
K. John. The king is mov'd, and answers not
to this.

Const. O be remov'd from him, and answer

Aust. Do so, King Philip: hang no more in doubt.

Bast. Hang nothing but a calf's-skin, most sweet lout. 220

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



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 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 regreet?
Play fast and loose with faith? so jest with


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;
For that which thou hast sworn to do amiss 270
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

And mak'st an oath the surety for thy truth
Against an oath the truth thou art unsure
To swear, swears 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 later vows against thy first
Is in thyself rebellion to thyself;

And better conquest never canst thou make 290
Than arm thy constant and thy nobler parts
Against these giddy loose suggestions:
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's-skin stop that mouth of thine?
Lew. Father, to arms!

Upon thy wedding-day? 300 Against the blood that thou hast married? What! shall our feast be kept with slaughter'd


Shall braying trumpets and loud churlish drums,
Clamours of hell, be measures to our pomp?
O hu nd, hear me ! ay, alack! how ew
Is husband in my mouth; even for that name,
Which till this time my tongue did ne'er pro-

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


Upon my knee I beg, go not to arms
Against mine uncle.


O! upon my knee,

Made hard with kneeling, I do pray to thee, 310 Thou virtuous Dauphin, alter not the doom 250 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 upholds,

His honour: O! thine honour, Lewis, thine honour.

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.


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.

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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! Exeunt.

SCENE II.-The Same. Plains near Angiers. Alarums; cxcursions. Enter the Bastard, with the Duke of AUSTRIA's head.

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

Some airy devil hovers in the sky
And pours down mischief. Austria's head lie


While Philip breathes.

K. John. Hubert, keep this boy. make up:

Enter King JOHN, ARTHUR, and HUBERT.

My mother is assailed in our tent,
And ta'en, I fear.

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.

10 Exeunt.


Alarums; excursions; retreat. Enter King Jons, ELINOR, ARTHUR, the Bastard, HUBERT, and Lords.

K. John. To ELINOR. So shall it be; your grace shall stay behind


strongly guarded. To ARTHUR. Cousin,
look not sad:

Thy grandam loves thee, and thy uncle will
As dear be to thee as thy father was.

Arth. O! this will make my mother die with grief.

K. John. To the Bastard. Cousin, away for
England! haste before;

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


Bast. Bell, book, and candle shall not drive 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, 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 20
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 slow,

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
Did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth,
To give me audience: if the midnight bell
Sound one into the drowsy race of night;
If this same were a churchyard 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 should'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;
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;

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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 would do it.

K. John. Do not I know thon would'st? Good Hubert! Hubert, Hubert, throw thine eye On yon young boy: I'll tell thee what, my friend, He is a very serpent in my way;

And wheresoe'er this foot of mine doth tread,
He lies before me: dost thou understand me?
Thou art his keeper.
And I'll keep him so
That he shall not offend your majesty.

K. John. Death.

A grave.


Hub. My lord?

K. John.


He shall not live.

K. John.

Enough. 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: go. Hubert shall be your man, attend on you With all true duty. On toward Calais, ho!



SCENE IV. The Sume. The French King's Tent. Enter King PHILIP, LEWIS, PANDULPHI, and Attendants.

K. Phi. So, by a roaring tempest on the flood, A whole armado of connected sail Is scatter'd and disjoin'd from fellowship. Pand. Courage and comfort! all shall yet go well.

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.


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And ring these fingers with thy household worms,
And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust,
And be a carrion monster like thyself:
Come, grin on me; and I will think thou smil'st
And buss thee as thy wife! Misery's love,
O! come to me.
K. Phi.

O fair affliction, peace! Const. No, no, I will not, having breath to cry. 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 sorrow. 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 being not 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. Pind up those tresses. Of what love

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I note

In the fair multitude of those her hairs:
Where but by chance a silver drop hath fallen,
Even to that drop ten thousand wiry friends
Do glue themselves in sociable grief;
Like true, inseparable, faithful loves,
Sticking together in calamity.

Const. To England, if you will.
K. Phi.
Bind up your hairs.
Const. Yes, that I will; and wherefore will I
do it?

I tore them from their bonds, and cried aloud 70
0! 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 child,

Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,



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Let us go :

Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words, No common wind, no customed event,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,

But they will pluck away his natural cause Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form : And call them meteors, prodigies, and signs, Then have I reason to be fond of grief.

Abortives, presages, and tongues of heaven, Fare you well : had you such a loss as I, Plainly denouncing vengeance upon John. I could give better comfort than you do.

Lero. May be he will not touch young Arthur's I will not keep this form upon my head

life, When there is such disorder in my wit.

But hold himself safe in his prisonment. O Lord! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son! Pand. O! sir, when he shall hear of your apMy life, my joy, my food, my all the world !

proach, My widow-confort, and my sorrow's cure! Erit. If that young Arthur be not gone already, K. Phi. I fear some outrage, and I 'll follow Even at that news he dies ; and then the hearts her.

Ecit. Of all his people shall revoit from him Lew. There's nothing in this world can make And kiss the lips of unacquainted change, me joy :

And pick strong matter of revolt and wrath Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale

Out of the bloody fingers' ends of John. Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man ;

Methinks I see this hurly all on foot : And bitter shame hath spoiled the sweet world's | And, O! what better matter breeds for you 170 taste,

Than I have nam'd. The bastard Faulconbridge That it yields nought but shame and bitterness. Is now in England ransacking the church,

Pand. Before the curing of a strong disease, Offending charity: if but a dozen French Even in the instant of repair and health, Were there in arms, they would be as a call The fit is strongest : evils that take leave, To train ten thousand English to their side; On their departure most of all show evil. Or as a little snow, tumbled about, What have you lost by losing of this day ! Anon becomes a mountain. O noble Dauphin !

Lew. All days of glory, joy, and happiness. Go with me to the king. 'Tis wonderful

Pand, If you had won it, certainly you had. What may be wrought out of their discontent No, no; when Fortune means to men most good, Now that their souls are topful of offence. She looks upon them with a threatening eye. For England, go; I will whet on the king. 'Tis strange to think how much King John hath Lew. Strong reasons make strong actions.

lost In this which he accounts so clearly won. If you say ay, the king will not say no. Eceunt. Are not you 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

Now hear me speak with a prophetic spirit; SCENE I.-- Northampton. A Room in the Castle,
For even the breath of what I mean to speak

Enter HUBERT an'l two Attendants.
Shall blow each dust, each straw, each little rub,
Out of the path which shall directly lead

Ilub. Heat me these irons hot; and look thou Thy foot to England's throne; and therefore stand mark

Within the arras: when I strike my foot John hath seiz'd Arthur; and it cannot be, Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth, That wbiles warm life plays in that infant's veins, And bind the boy which you shall find with me The misplac'd John should entertain an hour, Fast to the chair: be heedful. Hence, and One minute, nay, one quiet breath of rest.

watch. A sceptre snatch'd with an unruly band

First Atten. I hope your warrant will bear out Must be as boisterously maintain'd as gain'd ; the deed. And he that stands upon a slippery place

Ilub. Uncleanly scruples ! fear not you : look Makes nice of no vile hold to stay him up:


Errunt Attendants. That John may stand, then Arthur neeils must Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you.

fall; So be it, for it cannot be but so.

Enter ARTHUR. Low. But what shall I gain by young Arthur's Arth. Good morrow, Hubert. fall ?


Good morrow, little prince. Pane. You, in the right of Lady Blanch your Arth. As little prince, having so great a title wife,

To be more prince, as may be. You are sad. 11 May then make all the claim that Arthur did. Hub. Indeed, I have been merrier. Lew. And lose it, life and all, as Arthur did. Arth.

Mercy on me! Pand. How green you are and fresh in this Methinks nobody should be sad but I: old world!

Yet, I remember, when I was in France, John lays you plots; the times conspire with you; Young gentlemen would be as sad as night, For he that steeps his safety in true blood Only for wantonness. By my christendom, Shall find but bloody safety and untrue. So I were out of prison and kept sheep, This act so evilly borne shall cool the hearts I should be as merry as the day is long : Of all his people and freeze up their zeal, And so I would be here, but that I doubt That none so small advantage shall step forth My uncle practises more harm to me: To check his reign, but they will cherish it ; He is afraid of me, and I of him. No natural exhalation in the sky,

Is it my fault that I was Geffrey's son ? No scope of nature, no distemper'd day,

No, indeed, is 't not; and I would to heaven






in yours,



I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert. I will not struggle ; I will stand stone-still. Ilub. Aside. If I talk to him, with his innocent For heaven sake, Hubert, let me not be bound ! prate

Nay, hear me, Hubert : drive these men away, He will awake my mercy which lies dead : And I will sit as quiet as a lamb; Therefore I will be sudden and dispatch. I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word, Arth. Are you sick, Hubert ? you look pale Nor look upon the iron angerly. to-day :

Thrust but these men away, and I'll forgive you, In sooth, I would you were a little sick, Whatever torment you do put me to. That I might sit all night and watch with you : Hub. Go, stand within : let me alone with him. I warrant I love you more than you do me. First Atten. I am best pleas'd to be from such Hub. Aside. His words do take possession of

a deed.

Exeunt Attendants, my bosom.

Arth. Alas ! I then have chid away my friend : Read here, young Arthur. Showing a paper. He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart.

Aside. How now, foolish rheum! Let him come back, that his compassion may Turning dispiteous torture out of door !

Give life to yours. I must be brief, lest resolution drop


Come, boy, prepare yourself. Out at mine eyes in tender womanish tears. Arth. Is there no remedy? Can you not read it ? is it not fair writ?


None, but to lose your eyes. 90
Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect. Arth. O heaven ! that there were but a mote
Must you with hot irons burn out both mineeyes?
Hub. Young boy, I must.

A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wandering hair,
And will you ?

Any annoyance in that precious sense;

And I will. Then feeling what small things are boisterous Arth. Have you the heart? When your head there, did but ache

Your vile intent must needs seem horrible. I knit my handkercher about your brows, Hub. Is this your promise ? go to, hold your The best I had, a princess wrought it ine,

tongue. And I did never ask it you again ;

Arth. Hubert, the utterance of a brace of And with my hand at midnight held your head, tongues And like the watchful minutes to the hour, Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes : Still and anon cheer'd up the heavy time, Let me not hold my tongue; let me not, Hubert : Saying, “What lack you?' and 'Where lies your Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue, grief?'

So I may keep mine eyes : O! spare mine eyes, Or What good love may I perform for you?' Though to no use but still to look on you. Many a poor man's son would have lain still, 50 Lo! by my troth, the instrument is cold And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you ; And would not harm me. But you at your sick-service had a prince.


I can heat it, boy. Nay, you may think my love was crafty love, Arth. No, in good sooth; the fire is dead with Aud call it cunning : do, an if you will.

grief, If heaven be pleas'd that you must use me ill, Being create for comfort, to be us'd Why then you must. Will you put ont mine eyes? In undeserv'd extremes : see else yourself ; These eyes that never did nor never shall There is no malice in this burning coal; So much as frown on you ?

The breath of heaven hath blown his spirit out Hub.

I have sworn to do it; | And strew'd repentant ashes on his head. And with hot irons must I burn them out.

lub. But with my breath I can revive it, boy. Arth. Ah! none but in this iron age would Arth. An if you do you will but make it blash do it.

60 And glow with shame of your proceedings, The iron of itself, though heat red-hot,

Hubert: Approaching near these eyes, woull drink my Nay, it perchance will sparkle your eyes; tears

And like a dog that is compell'd to fight, And quench this fiery indignation

Snatch at his master that doth tarre him on. Even in the matter of mine innocence ;

All things that you should use to do me wrong Nay, after that, consume away in rust,

Deny their office: only you do lack But for containing fire to harm mine ere. That mercy which fierce fire and iron extends, Are you more stubborn-hard than hammer'd iron? Creatures of note for mercy-lacking uses. An if an angel should have come to me

Hub. Well, see to live ; I will not touch thine And told me Hubert should put out mine eyes, I would not have believ'd him ; no tongue but For all the treasure that thine uncle owes : Hubert's.

Yet am I sworn and I did purpose, boy, Hub. Come forth.

Stamps. With this same very iron to burn them ont. Re-enter. Attendants, with cords, irons, etc.

Arth. 0! now you look like Hubert: all this

while Do as I bid you do. You were disguised. Arth. O! save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes


Peace! no more. Adieu. are out

Your uncle must not know but you are dead; Eren with the fierce looks of these bloody men. I'll fill these dogged spies with false reports : Hlub. Give me the iron, I say, and bind him And, pretty child, sleep doubtless and secure, here,

That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world, 130 Arth. Alas! what need you be so boisterous. Will not offend thee. rough?

Arth, O heaven! I thank you, Hubert.





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