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We grant thou canst outscold us: fare thee well;
We hold our time too precious to be spent 161
With such a brabbler.

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Bast. No, I will speak.
We will attend to neither.
Strike up the drums; and let the tongue of war
Plead for our interest and our being here.
Bast. Indeed, your drums, being beaten, will
cry out;

Sal. When we were happy we had other names.
Pem. It is the Count Melun.

Wounded to death.

Mel. Fly, noble English, you are bought and

Unthread the rude eye of rebellion
And welcome home again discarded faith.
Seek out King John and fall before his feet;
For if the French be lords of this loud day,
He means to recompense the pains you take
By cutting off your heads: thus hath he sworn
And I with him, and many moe with me,
Upon the altar at Saint Edmundsbury;
170 Even on that altar where we swore to you
Dear amity and everlasting love.

And so shall you, being beaten: do but start
An echo with the clamour of thy drum,
And even at hand a drum is ready braced
That shall reverberate all as loud as thine;
Sound but another, and another shall
As loud as thine rattle the welkin's ear
And mock the deep-mouth'd thunder: for at hand,
Not trusting to this halting legate here,
Whom he hath used rather for sport than need,
Is warlike John; and in his forehead sits
A bare-ribb'd death, whose office is this day
To feast upon whole thousands of the French.
Lew. Strike up our drums, to find this danger


Bast. And thou shalt find it, Dauphin, do not
[Exeunt. 180

SCENE III. The field of battle.
Alarums. Enter KING JOHN and HUBERT.
K. John. How goes the day with us? O, tell
me, Hubert.

Hub. Badly, I fear. How fares your majesty? K. John. This fever, that hath troubled me so long,

Lies heavy on me; O, my heart is sick!

Enter a Messenger.



Sal. May this be possible? may this be true? Mel. Have I not hideous death within my view, Retaining but a quantity of life,


Which bleeds away, even as a form of wax
Resolveth from his figure 'gainst the fire?
What in the world should make me now deceive,
Since I must lose the use of all deceit?
Why should I then be false, since it is true
That I must die here and live hence by truth?
I say again, if Lewis do win the day,
He is forsworn, if e'er those eyes of yours
Behold another day break in the east:
But even this night, whose black contagious breath
Already smokes about the burning crest
Of the old, feeble and day-wearied sun,
Even this ill night, your breathing shall expire,
Paying the fine of rated treachery
Even with a treacherous fine of all your lives,
If Lewis by your assistance win the day.
Commend me to one Hubert with your king: 40
The love of him, and this respect besides,
For that my grandsire was an Englishman,
Awakes my conscience to confess all this.

Mess. My lord, your valiant kinsman, Faul- In lieu whereof, I pray you, bear me hence


Desires your majesty to leave the field
And send him word by me which way you go.
K. John. Tell him, toward Swinstead, to the
abbey there.


Mess. Be of good comfort; for the great supply
That was expected by the Dauphin here,
Are wreck'd three nights ago on Goodwin Sands.
This news was brought to Richard but even now:
The French fight coldly, and retire themselves.
K. John. Ay me! this tyrant fever burns me

And will not let me welcome this good news.
Set on toward Swinstead: to my litter straight;
Weakness possesseth me, and I am faint.


SCENE IV. Another part of the field. Enter SALISBURY, PEMBROKE, and BIGOT. Sal. I did not think the king so stored with friends.

Pem. Up once again; put spirit in the French: If they miscarry, we miscarry too.

Sal. That misbegotten devil, Faulconbridge, In spite of spite, alone upholds the day.

Pem. They say King John sore sick hath left the field.

Enter MELUN, wounded.

From forth the noise and rumour of the field,
Where I may think the remnant of my thoughts
With contemplation and devout desires.
In peace, and part this body and soul

Sal. We do believe thee: and beshrew my soul
But I do love the favour and the form

We will untread the steps of damned flight,
. Of this most fair occasion, by the which


And like a bated and retired flood,
Leaving our rankness and irregular course,
Stoop low within those bounds we have o'erlook'd
And calmly run on in obedience

Even to our ocean, to our great King John.
My arm shall give thee help to bear thee hence;
For I do see the cruel pangs of death
Right in thine eye. Away, my friends! New


And happy newness, that intends old right.
[Exeunt, leading off Melun.

SCENE V. The French camp.
Enter LEWIS and his train.

Lew. The sun of heaven methought was loath to set,

But stay'd and made the western welkin blush, When English measure backward their own ground

In faint retire. O, bravely came we off, Mel. Lead me to the revolts of England here. When with a volley of our needless shot,

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By his persuasion are again fall'n off,
And your supply, which you have wish'd so long,
Are cast away and sunk on Goodwin Sands.
Lew. Ah, foul shrewd news! beshrew thy
very heart!

I did not think to be so sad to-night

As this hath made me. Who was he that said
King John did fly an hour or two before
The stumbling night did part our weary powers?
Mess. Whoever spoke it, it is true, my lord.
Lew. Well; keep good quarter and good care


The day shall not be up so soon as I,
To try the fair adventure of to-morrow. [Exeunt.

SCENE VI. An open place in the neighbourhood of Swinstead Abbey.

Enter the BASTARD and HUBERT, severally. Hub. Who's there? speak, ho! speak quickly, or I shoot.




A friend. What art thou?
Of the part of England.
Whither dost thou go?

Hub. What's that to thee? why may not I demand

Of thine affairs, as well as thou of mine?
Bast. Hubert, I think?

Thou hast a perfect thought:
I will upon all hazards well believe
Thou art my friend, that know'st my tongue so

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Bast. Brief, then; and what's the news? Hub. O, my sweet sir, news fitting to the night,

Black, fearful, comfortless and horrible.



Hub. A monk, I tell you; a resolved villain, Whose bowels suddenly burst out: the king Yet speaks and peradventure may recover. Bast. Who didst thou leave to tend his majesty?

Hub. Why, know you not? the lords are all come back,

And brought Prince Henry in their company; At whose request the king hath pardon'd them, And they are all about his majesty.

Bast. Withhold thine indignation, mighty heaven,


And tempt us not to bear above our power!
I'll tell thee, Hubert, half my power this night,
Passing these flats, are taken by the tide;
These Lincoln Washes have devoured them;
Myself, well mounted, hardly have escaped.
Away before: conduct me to the king;
I doubt he will be dead or ere I come. [Exeunt.
SCENE VII. The orchard in Swinstead Abbey.
P. Hen. It is too late: the life of all his
Is touch'd corruptibly, and his pure brain,
Which some suppose the soul's frail dwelling-

Doth by the idle comments that it makes
Foretell the ending of mortality.

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In their continuance will not feel themselves.
Death, having prey'd upon the outward parts,
Leaves them invisible, and his siege is now
Against the mind, the which he pricks and

With many legions of strange fantasies,
Which, in their throng and press to that last hold,
Confound themselves. 'Tis strange that death
should sing.

I am the cygnet to this pale faint swan,
Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death,
And from the organ-pipe of frailty sings
His soul and body to their lasting rest.


Sal.. Be of good comfort, prince; for you are born

Bast. Show me the very wound of this ill To set a form upon that indigest


I am no woman, I'll not swoon at it.

Hub. The king, I fear, is poison'd by a monk: I left him almost speechless; and broke out To acquaint you with this evil, that you might The better arm you to the sudden time, Than if you had at leisure known of this.

Which he hath left so shapeless and so rude.

Enter Attendants, and BIGOT, carrying KING JOHN in a chair.

K. John. Ay, marry, now my soul hath elbow


It would not out at windows nor at doors.

Bast How did he take it? who did taste to There is so hot a summer in my bosom,
That all my bowels crumble up to dust:



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K. John. Poison'd,-ill fare-dead, forsook, cast off:

And none of you will bid the winter come
To thrust his icy fingers in my maw,
Nor let my kingdom's rivers take their course
Through my burn'd bosom, nor entreat the north
To make his bleak winds kiss my parched lips 40
And comfort me with cold. I do not ask you

I beg cold comfort; and you are so strait
And so ingrateful, you deny me that.

P. Hen.

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as we:

The Cardinal Pandulph is within at rest,
Who half an hour since came from the Dauphin,

O that there were some virtue in And brings from him such offers of our peace

my tears,

That might relieve you! K. John.

The salt in them is hot. Within me is a hell; and there the poison Is as a fiend confined to tyrannize

On unreprievable condemned blood.

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As we with honour and respect may take,
With purpose presently to leave this war.

Bast. He will the rather do it when he sees Ourselves well sinewed to our defence.

Sal. Nay, it is in a manner done already; For many carriages he hath dispatch'd To the sea-side, and put his cause and quarrel To the disposing of the cardinal: With whom yourself, myself and other lords, If you think meet, this afternoon will post To consummate this business happily.


Bast. Let it be so: and you, my noble prince,
With other princes that may best be spared,
Shall wait upon your father's funeral.
P. Hen. At Worcester must his body be in-
For so he will'd it.

Thither shall it then:
And happily may your sweet self put on
The lineal state and glory of the land!
To whom, with all submission, on my knee
I do bequeath my faithful services
And true subjection everlastingly.


Sal. And the like tender of our love we make, To rest without a spot for evermore.

P. Hen. I have a kind soul that would give you thanks

And knows not how to do it but with tears.

Bast. O, let us pay the time but needful woe, Since it hath been beforehand with our griefs. 111 This England never did, nor never shall, Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror, But when it first did help to wound itself. Now these her princes are come home again, Come the three corners of the world in arms, And we shall shock them. Nought shall make [Excunt.

us rue,

If England to itself do rest but true.

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Old John of Gaunt, time-honour'd Lancaster,

Hast thou, according to thy oath and band, Brought hither Henry Hereford thy bold son, Here to make good the boisterous late appeal, Which then our leisure would not let us hear, Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray? Gaunt. I have, my liege.

K. Rich. Tell me, moreover, hast thou sounded him,



If he appeal the duke on ancient malice;
Or worthily, as a good subject should,
On some known ground of treachery in him?
Gaunt. As near as I could sift him on that

On some apparent danger seen in him
Aim'd at your highness, no inveterate malice.

K. Rich. Then call them to our presence; face to face,

And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear The accuser and the accused freely speak: High-stomach'd are they both, and full of ire, In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.

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Bishop of Carlisle..
Abbot of Westminster.
Lord Marshal.

SIR PIERCE of Exton.
Captain of a band of Welshmen.
QUEEN to King Richard.


Lady attending on the Queen.

Lords, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, two Gardeners, Keeper, Messenger, Groom, and other


SCENE: England and Wales.

As well appeareth by the cause you come;
Namely, to appeal each other of high treason.
Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object

Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray? Boling. First, heaven be the record to my speech!

In the devotion of a subject's love,
Tendering the precious safety of my prince,
And free from other misbegotten hate,


Come I appellant to this princely presence.
Now, Thomas Mowbray, do I turn to thee,
And mark my greeting well; for what I speak
My body shall make good upon this earth,
Or my divine soul answer it in heaven.
Thou art a traitor and a miscreant,
Too good to be so and too bad to live,
Since the more fair and crystal is the sky,
The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly.
Once more, the more to aggravate the note,
With a foul traitor's name stuff I thy throat;
And wish, so please my sovereign, ere I move,
What my tongue speaks my right drawn sword

may prove.


Mow. Let not my cold words here accuse my zeal:

"Tis not the trial of a woman's war,


The bitter clamour of two eager tongues,
Can arbitrate this cause betwixt us twain;
The blood is hot that must be cool'd for this:
Yet can I not of such tame patience boast
As to be hush'd and nought at all to say:
First, the fair reverence of your highness curbs me
From giving reins and spurs to my free speech;
Which else would post until it had return'd
These terms of treason doubled down his throat.
Setting aside his high blood's royalty,
And let him be no kinsman to my liege,
I do defy him, and I spit at him;


Call him a slanderous coward and a villain :
Which to maintain I would allow him odds,
And meet him, were I tied to run afoot
Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps,
Or any other ground inhabitable,
Where ever Englishman durst set his foot.
Mean time let this defend my loyalty,
By all my hopes, most falsely doth he lie.
Boling. Pale trembling coward, there I throw
my gage,

Disclaiming here the kindred of the king,
And lay aside my high blood's royalty,


Which fear, not reverence, makes thee to except.
If guilty dread have left thee so much strength
As to take up mine honour's pawn, then stoop:
By that and all the rites of knighthood else,
Will I make good against thee, arm to arm,
What I have spoke, or thou canst worse devise.
Mow. I take it up; and by that sword I swear,
Which gently laid my knighthood on my shoulder,
I'll answer thee in any fair degree,
Or chivalrous design of knightly trial:
And when I mount, alive may
I not light,
If I be traitor or unjustly fight!
K. Rich. What doth our cousin lay to Mow-
bray's charge?

It must be great that can inherit us
So much as of a thought of ill in him.
Boling. Look, what I speak, my life shall
prove it true;

That Mowbray hath received eight thousand nobles


In name of lendings for your highness' soldiers,
The which he hath detain'd for lewd employments,
Like a false traitor and injurious villain.
Besides I say and will in battle prove,
Or here or elsewhere to the furthest verge
That ever was survey'd by English eye,
That all the treasons for these eighteen years
Complotted and contrived in this land

Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and spring.

Further I say and further will maintain
Upon his bad life to make all this good,


That he did plot the Duke of Gloucester's death,
Suggest his soon-believing adversaries,
And consequently, like a traitor coward,
Sluiced out his innocent soul through streams of

Which blood, like sacrificing Abel's, cries,
Even from the tongueless caverns of the earth,
To me for justice and rough chastisement;
And, by the glorious worth of my descent,
This arm shall do it, or this life be spent.

K. Rich. How high a pitch his resolution soars! Thomas of Norfolk, what say'st thou to this? IIO Mow. O, let my sovereign turn away his face And bid his ears a little while be deaf, Till I have told this slander of his blood, How God and good men hate so foul a liar.

K. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears:

Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir,
As he is but my father's brother's son,
Now, by my sceptre's awe, I make a vow,
Such neighbour nearness to our sacred blood
Should nothing privilege him, nor partialize
The unstooping firmness of my upright soul:
He is our subject, Mowbray; so art thou:


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I slew him not; but to my own disgrace
Neglected my sworn duty in that case.
For you, my noble Lord of Lancaster,
The honourable father to my foe,
Once did I lay an ambush for your life,
A trespass that doth vex my grieved soul;
But ere I last received the sacrament
I did confess it, and exactly begg'd
Your grace's pardon, and I hope I had it.
This is my fault: as for the rest appeal'd,
It issues from the rancour of a villain,
A recreant and most degenerate traitor:
Which in myself I boldly will defend;
And interchangeably hurl down my gage
Upon this overweening traitor's foot,
To prove myself a loyal gentleman
Even in the best blood chamber'd in his bosom.
In haste whereof, most heartily I pray
Your highness to assign our trial day.
K. Rich.

by me;


Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be ruled

Let's purge this choler without letting blood:
This we prescribe, though no physician;
Deep malice makes too deep incision;
Forget, forgive; conclude and be agreed;
Our doctors say this is no month to bleed.
Good uncle, let this end where it begun;
We'll calm the Duke of Norfolk, you your son.
Gaunt. To be a make-peace shall become my


Throw down, my son, the Duke of Norfolk's gage.

K. Rich. And, Norfolk, throw down his. Gaunt. When, Harry, when? Obedience bids I should not bid again. K. Rich. Norfolk, throw down, we bid; there is no boot.

Mow. Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot.

My life thou shalt command, but not my shame:
The one my duty owes; but my fair name,
Despite of death that lives upon my grave,
To dark dishonour's use thou shalt not have.
I am disgraced, impeach'd and baffled here, 170
Pierced to the soul with slander's venom'd spear,
The which no balm can cure but his heart-blood'
Which breathed this poison.

K. Rich.
Rage must be withstood:
Give me his gage: lions make leopards tame.
Mow. Yea, but not change his spots: take

but my shame,

And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord,
The purest treasure mortal times afford
Is spotless reputation: that away,
Men are but gilded loam or painted clay.
A jewel in a ten-times-barr'd-up chest
Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast.


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