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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 beaven 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 Christendom,
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.
0, 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.
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, 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.
Cons. Look to that, devil! lest that France repent,
And, by disjoining hands, bell 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.
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 :
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 up;
Keep my need up, and faith is trodden down,
K. John. The king is mov'd, and answers not to this.
Const. 0, 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, 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'd
With slaughter's pencil ; where revenge did paint
(1) Make my person yours, i. e. put yourself into my place and circumstances.
The fearful difference of incensed kings:
And shall these bands, 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 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 chased 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: For that which thou hast sworn to do amiss, Is not amiss when it is truly done; And being not done, when 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, swears only not to be forsworn;
Else, what a mock 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,
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 !
Will 't not be?
Will not a calf's-skin stop that mouth of thine ?
Lew. Father, to arms !
Upon thy wedding-day?
Against the blood that thou hast married ?
What, shall our feast be kept with slaughter'd men ?
Shall braying trumpets and loud churlish drums,
Clamours of hell, be measures to our pomp
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 pronounce,
Upon my knee I beg, go not to arms
Against mine uncle.
0, upon my knee,
Made hard with kneeling, I do pray to thee,
Thou virtuous Dauphin, alter not the doom
Fore-thought 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 will fall from thee.
Const. O fair return of banish'd majesty!
Eli. O foul revolt of French inconstancy!
K. John. France, thou shall 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;
Grandame, 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.
K. John. Cousin, go draw our puissance together.-
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-valued 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!
[Exeunt. SCENE II.-The same. Plains near Angiers. Alarums ; Excursions. Enter the Bastard, with 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 there;
While Philip breathes.
Enter King JOHN, ARTHUR, and HUBERT.
K. John. Hubert, keep this boy :-Philip, make up:
My mother is assailed in our tent,
And ta'en, I fear.
My lord, I rescued her ;
Her highness is in safety, fear you not:
But on, my liege ; for very little pains
Will bring this labour to a happy end.
[ Exeunt. SCENE III.-The same. Alarums; Excursions ; Retreat. Enter King JOHN, ELINOR,
ARTHUR, the Bastard, HUBERT, and Lords.
K. John. So shall it be; your grace shall stay behind.
So strongly guarded.—Cousin, look not sad : [70 ARTH
Thy grandame 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.