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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Part 27 out of 63

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For truth's sake and his conscience; that his bones
When he has run his course and sleeps in blessings,
May have a tomb of orphans' tears wept on him!
What more?
CROMWELL. That Cranmer is return'd with welcome,
Install'd Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.
WOLSEY. That's news indeed.
CROMWELL. Last, that the Lady Anne,
Whom the King hath in secrecy long married,
This day was view'd in open as his queen,
Going to chapel; and the voice is now
Only about her coronation.
WOLSEY. There was the weight that pull'd me down.
O Cromwell,
The King has gone beyond me. All my glories
In that one woman I have lost for ever.
No sun shall ever usher forth mine honours,
Or gild again the noble troops that waited
Upon my smiles. Go get thee from me, Cromwell;
I am a poor fall'n man, unworthy now
To be thy lord and master. Seek the King;
That sun, I pray, may never set! I have told him
What and how true thou art. He will advance thee;
Some little memory of me will stir him-
I know his noble nature-not to let
Thy hopeful service perish too. Good Cromwell,
Neglect him not; make use now, and provide
For thine own future safety.
CROMWELL. O my lord,
Must I then leave you? Must I needs forgo
So good, so noble, and so true a master?
Bear witness, all that have not hearts of iron,
With what a sorrow Cromwell leaves his lord.
The King shall have my service; but my prayers
For ever and for ever shall be yours.
WOLSEY. Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
In all my miseries; but thou hast forc'd me,
Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.
Let's dry our eyes; and thus far hear me, Cromwell,
And when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
Of me more must be heard of, say I taught thee-
Say Wolsey, that once trod the ways of glory,
And sounded all the depths and shoals of honour,
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in-
A sure and safe one, though thy master miss'd it.
Mark but my fall and that that ruin'd me.
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition:
By that sin fell the angels. How can man then,
The image of his Maker, hope to win by it?
Love thyself last; cherish those hearts that hate thee;
Corruption wins not more than honesty.
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace
To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not;
Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,
Thy God's, and truth's; then, if thou fall'st, O Cromwell,
Thou fall'st a blessed martyr!
Serve the King, and-prithee lead me in.
There take an inventory of all I have
To the last penny; 'tis the King's. My robe,
And my integrity to heaven, is all
I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Cromwell!
Had I but serv'd my God with half the zeal
I serv'd my King, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.
CROMWELL. Good sir, have patience.
WOLSEY. So I have. Farewell
The hopes of court! My hopes in heaven do dwell. Exeunt



A street in Westminster

Enter two GENTLEMEN, meeting one another

FIRST GENTLEMAN. Y'are well met once again.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. You come to take your stand here, and
The Lady Anne pass from her coronation?
SECOND GENTLEMAN. 'Tis all my business. At our last encounter
The Duke of Buckingham came from his trial.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. 'Tis very true. But that time offer'd
This, general joy.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. 'Tis well. The citizens,
I am sure, have shown at full their royal minds-
As, let 'em have their rights, they are ever forward-
In celebration of this day with shows,
Pageants, and sights of honour.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. Never greater,
Nor, I'll assure you, better taken, sir.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. May I be bold to ask what that contains,
That paper in your hand?
FIRST GENTLEMAN. Yes; 'tis the list
Of those that claim their offices this day,
By custom of the coronation.
The Duke of Suffolk is the first, and claims
To be High Steward; next, the Duke of Norfolk,
He to be Earl Marshal. You may read the rest.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. I thank you, sir; had I not known
those customs,
I should have been beholding to your paper.
But, I beseech you, what's become of Katharine,
The Princess Dowager? How goes her business?
FIRST GENTLEMAN. That I can tell you too. The Archbishop
Of Canterbury, accompanied with other
Learned and reverend fathers of his order,
Held a late court at Dunstable, six miles of
From Ampthill, where the Princess lay; to which
She was often cited by them, but appear'd not.
And, to be short, for not appearance and
The King's late scruple, by the main assent
Of all these learned men, she was divorc'd,
And the late marriage made of none effect;
Since which she was removed to Kimbolton,
Where she remains now sick.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. Alas, good lady! [Trumpets]
The trumpets sound. Stand close, the Queen is coming.


1. A lively flourish of trumpets.
2. Then two JUDGES.
3. LORD CHANCELLOR, with purse and mace before him.
4. CHORISTERS singing. [Music]
5. MAYOR OF LONDON, bearing the mace. Then GARTER, in
his coat of arms, and on his head he wore a gilt copper
6. MARQUIS DORSET, bearing a sceptre of gold, on his head a
demi-coronal of gold. With him, the EARL OF SURREY,
bearing the rod of silver with the dove, crowned with an
earl's coronet. Collars of Esses.
7. DUKE OF SUFFOLK, in his robe of estate, his coronet on
his head, bearing a long white wand, as High Steward.
With him, the DUKE OF NORFOLK, with the rod of
marshalship, a coronet on his head. Collars of Esses.
8. A canopy borne by four of the CINQUE-PORTS; under it
the QUEEN in her robe; in her hair richly adorned with
pearl, crowned. On each side her, the BISHOPS OF LONDON
9. The old DUCHESS OF NORFOLK, in a coronal of gold
wrought with flowers, bearing the QUEEN'S train.
10. Certain LADIES or COUNTESSES, with plain circlets of gold
without flowers.

Exeunt, first passing over the stage in order and state,
and then a great flourish of trumpets

SECOND GENTLEMAN. A royal train, believe me. These know.
Who's that that bears the sceptre?
FIRST GENTLEMAN. Marquis Dorset;
And that the Earl of Surrey, with the rod.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. A bold brave gentleman. That should be
The Duke of Suffolk?
FIRST GENTLEMAN. 'Tis the same-High Steward.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. And that my Lord of Norfolk?
SECOND GENTLEMAN. [Looking on the QUEEN] Heaven
bless thee!
Thou hast the sweetest face I ever look'd on.
Sir, as I have a soul, she is an angel;
Our king has all the Indies in his arms,
And more and richer, when he strains that lady;
I cannot blame his conscience.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. They that bear
The cloth of honour over her are four barons
Of the Cinque-ports.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. Those men are happy; and so are all
are near her.
I take it she that carries up the train
Is that old noble lady, Duchess of Norfolk.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. It is; and all the rest are countesses.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. Their coronets say so. These are stars indeed,
And sometimes falling ones.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. No more of that.
Exit Procession, with a great flourish of trumpets

Enter a third GENTLEMAN

God save you, sir! Where have you been broiling?
THIRD GENTLEMAN. Among the crowds i' th' Abbey, where a finger
Could not be wedg'd in more; I am stifled
With the mere rankness of their joy.
The ceremony?
THIRD GENTLEMAN. Well worth the seeing.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. Good sir, speak it to us.
THIRD GENTLEMAN. As well as I am able. The rich stream
Of lords and ladies, having brought the Queen
To a prepar'd place in the choir, fell of
A distance from her, while her Grace sat down
To rest awhile, some half an hour or so,
In a rich chair of state, opposing freely
The beauty of her person to the people.
Believe me, sir, she is the goodliest woman
That ever lay by man; which when the people
Had the full view of, such a noise arose
As the shrouds make at sea in a stiff tempest,
As loud, and to as many tunes; hats, cloaks-
Doublets, I think-flew up, and had their faces
Been loose, this day they had been lost. Such joy
I never saw before. Great-bellied women,
That had not half a week to go, like rams
In the old time of war, would shake the press,
And make 'em reel before 'em. No man living
Could say 'This is my wife' there, all were woven
So strangely in one piece.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. But what follow'd?
THIRD GENTLEMAN. At length her Grace rose, and with
modest paces
Came to the altar, where she kneel'd, and saintlike
Cast her fair eyes to heaven, and pray'd devoutly.
Then rose again, and bow'd her to the people;
When by the Archbishop of Canterbury
She had all the royal makings of a queen:
As holy oil, Edward Confessor's crown,
The rod, and bird of peace, and all such emblems
Laid nobly on her; which perform'd, the choir,
With all the choicest music of the kingdom,
Together sung 'Te Deum.' So she parted,
And with the same full state pac'd back again
To York Place, where the feast is held.
You must no more call it York Place: that's past:
For since the Cardinal fell that title's lost.
'Tis now the King's, and called Whitehall.
But 'tis so lately alter'd that the old name
Is fresh about me.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. What two reverend bishops
Were those that went on each side of the Queen?
THIRD GENTLEMAN. Stokesly and Gardiner: the one of Winchester,
Newly preferr'd from the King's secretary;
The other, London.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. He of Winchester
Is held no great good lover of the Archbishop's,
The virtuous Cranmer.
THIRD GENTLEMAN. All the land knows that;
However, yet there is no great breach. When it comes,
Cranmer will find a friend will not shrink from him.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. Who may that be, I pray you?
THIRD GENTLEMAN. Thomas Cromwell,
A man in much esteem with th' King, and truly
A worthy friend. The King has made him Master
O' th' jewel House,
And one, already, of the Privy Council.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. He will deserve more.
THIRD GENTLEMAN. Yes, without all doubt.
Come, gentlemen, ye shall go my way, which
Is to th' court, and there ye shall be my guests:
Something I can command. As I walk thither,
I'll tell ye more.
BOTH. You may command us, sir. Exeunt



Enter KATHARINE, Dowager, sick; led between GRIFFITH, her Gentleman Usher,
and PATIENCE, her woman

GRIFFITH. How does your Grace?
KATHARINE. O Griffith, sick to death!
My legs like loaden branches bow to th' earth,
Willing to leave their burden. Reach a chair.
So-now, methinks, I feel a little ease.
Didst thou not tell me, Griffith, as thou led'st me,
That the great child of honour, Cardinal Wolsey,
Was dead?
GRIFFITH. Yes, madam; but I think your Grace,
Out of the pain you suffer'd, gave no ear to't.
KATHARINE. Prithee, good Griffith, tell me how he died.
If well, he stepp'd before me, happily,
For my example.
GRIFFITH. Well, the voice goes, madam;
For after the stout Earl Northumberland
Arrested him at York and brought him forward,
As a man sorely tainted, to his answer,
He fell sick suddenly, and grew so ill
He could not sit his mule.
KATHARINE. Alas, poor man!
GRIFFITH. At last, with easy roads, he came to Leicester,
Lodg'd in the abbey; where the reverend abbot,
With all his covent, honourably receiv'd him;
To whom he gave these words: 'O father Abbot,
An old man, broken with the storms of state,
Is come to lay his weary bones among ye;
Give him a little earth for charity!'
So went to bed; where eagerly his sickness
Pursu'd him still And three nights after this,
About the hour of eight-which he himself
Foretold should be his last-full of repentance,
Continual meditations, tears, and sorrows,
He gave his honours to the world again,
His blessed part to heaven, and slept in peace.
KATHARINE. So may he rest; his faults lie gently on him!
Yet thus far, Griffith, give me leave to speak him,
And yet with charity. He was a man
Of an unbounded stomach, ever ranking
Himself with princes; one that, by suggestion,
Tied all the kingdom. Simony was fair play;
His own opinion was his law. I' th' presence
He would say untruths, and be ever double
Both in his words and meaning. He was never,
But where he meant to ruin, pitiful.
His promises were, as he then was, mighty;
But his performance, as he is now, nothing.
Of his own body he was ill, and gave
The clergy ill example.
GRIFFITH. Noble madam,
Men's evil manners live in brass: their virtues
We write in water. May it please your Highness
To hear me speak his good now?
KATHARINE. Yes, good Griffith;
I were malicious else.
GRIFFITH. This Cardinal,
Though from an humble stock, undoubtedly
Was fashion'd to much honour from his cradle.
He was a scholar, and a ripe and good one;
Exceeding wise, fair-spoken, and persuading;
Lofty and sour to them that lov'd him not,
But to those men that sought him sweet as summer.
And though he were unsatisfied in getting-
Which was a sin-yet in bestowing, madam,
He was most princely: ever witness for him
Those twins of learning that he rais'd in you,
Ipswich and Oxford! One of which fell with him,
Unwilling to outlive the good that did it;
The other, though unfinish'd, yet so famous,
So excellent in art, and still so rising,
That Christendom shall ever speak his virtue.
His overthrow heap'd happiness upon him;
For then, and not till then, he felt himself,
And found the blessedness of being little.
And, to add greater honours to his age
Than man could give him, he died fearing God.
KATHARINE. After my death I wish no other herald,
No other speaker of my living actions,
To keep mine honour from corruption,
But such an honest chronicler as Griffith.
Whom I most hated living, thou hast made me,
With thy religious truth and modesty,
Now in his ashes honour. Peace be with him!
patience, be near me still, and set me lower:
I have not long to trouble thee. Good Griffith,
Cause the musicians play me that sad note
I nam'd my knell, whilst I sit meditating
On that celestial harmony I go to.
[Sad and solemn music]
GRIFFITH. She is asleep. Good wench, let's sit down quiet,
For fear we wake her. Softly, gentle Patience.


Enter, solemnly tripping one after another, six
PERSONAGES clad in white robes, wearing on their
heads garlands of bays, and golden vizards on their
faces; branches of bays or palm in their hands. They
first congee unto her, then dance; and, at certain
changes, the first two hold a spare garland over her
head, at which the other four make reverent curtsies.
Then the two that held the garland deliver the
same to the other next two, who observe the same
order in their changes, and holding the garland over
her head; which done, they deliver the same garland
to the last two, who likewise observe the same order;
at which, as it were by inspiration, she makes
in her sleep signs of rejoicing, and holdeth up her
hands to heaven. And so in their dancing vanish,
carrying the garland with them. The music continues

KATHARINE. Spirits of peace, where are ye? Are ye all gone?
And leave me here in wretchedness behind ye?
GRIFFITH. Madam, we are here.
KATHARINE. It is not you I call for.
Saw ye none enter since I slept?
GRIFFITH. None, madam.
KATHARINE. No? Saw you not, even now, a blessed troop
Invite me to a banquet; whose bright faces
Cast thousand beams upon me, like the sun?
They promis'd me eternal happiness,
And brought me garlands, Griffith, which I feel
I am not worthy yet to wear. I shall, assuredly.
GRIFFITH. I am most joyful, madam, such good dreams
Possess your fancy.
KATHARINE. Bid the music leave,
They are harsh and heavy to me. [Music ceases]
PATIENCE. Do you note
How much her Grace is alter'd on the sudden?
How long her face is drawn! How pale she looks,
And of an earthly cold! Mark her eyes.
GRIFFITH. She is going, wench. Pray, pray.
PATIENCE. Heaven comfort her!


MESSENGER. An't like your Grace-
KATHARINE. You are a saucy fellow.
Deserve we no more reverence?
GRIFFITH. You are to blame,
Knowing she will not lose her wonted greatness,
To use so rude behaviour. Go to, kneel.
MESSENGER. I humbly do entreat your Highness' pardon;
My haste made me unmannerly. There is staying
A gentleman, sent from the King, to see you.
KATHARINE. Admit him entrance, Griffith; but this fellow
Let me ne'er see again. Exit MESSENGER


If my sight fail not,
You should be Lord Ambassador from the Emperor,
My royal nephew, and your name Capucius.
CAPUCIUS. Madam, the same-your servant.
KATHARINE. O, my Lord,
The times and titles now are alter'd strangely
With me since first you knew me. But, I pray you,
What is your pleasure with me?
CAPUCIUS. Noble lady,
First, mine own service to your Grace; the next,
The King's request that I would visit you,
Who grieves much for your weakness, and by me
Sends you his princely commendations
And heartily entreats you take good comfort.
KATHARINE. O my good lord, that comfort comes too late,
'Tis like a pardon after execution:
That gentle physic, given in time, had cur'd me;
But now I am past all comforts here, but prayers.
How does his Highness?
CAPUCIUS. Madam, in good health.
KATHARINE. So may he ever do! and ever flourish
When I shall dwell with worms, and my poor name
Banish'd the kingdom! Patience, is that letter
I caus'd you write yet sent away?
PATIENCE. No, madam. [Giving it to KATHARINE]
KATHARINE. Sir, I most humbly pray you to deliver
This to my lord the King.
CAPUCIUS. Most willing, madam.
KATHARINE. In which I have commended to his goodness
The model of our chaste loves, his young daughter-
The dews of heaven fall thick in blessings on her!-
Beseeching him to give her virtuous breeding-
She is young, and of a noble modest nature;
I hope she will deserve well-and a little
To love her for her mother's sake, that lov'd him,
Heaven knows how dearly. My next poor petition
Is that his noble Grace would have some pity
Upon my wretched women that so long
Have follow'd both my fortunes faithfully;
Of which there is not one, I dare avow-
And now I should not lie-but will deserve,
For virtue and true beauty of the soul,
For honesty and decent carriage,
A right good husband, let him be a noble;
And sure those men are happy that shall have 'em.
The last is for my men-they are the poorest,
But poverty could never draw 'em from me-
That they may have their wages duly paid 'em,
And something over to remember me by.
If heaven had pleas'd to have given me longer life
And able means, we had not parted thus.
These are the whole contents; and, good my lord,
By that you love the dearest in this world,
As you wish Christian peace to souls departed,
Stand these poor people's friend, and urge the King
To do me this last right.
CAPUCIUS. By heaven, I will,
Or let me lose the fashion of a man!
KATHARINE. I thank you, honest lord. Remember me
In all humility unto his Highness;
Say his long trouble now is passing
Out of this world. Tell him in death I bless'd him,
For so I will. Mine eyes grow dim. Farewell,
My lord. Griffith, farewell. Nay, Patience,
You must not leave me yet. I must to bed;
Call in more women. When I am dead, good wench,
Let me be us'd with honour; strew me over
With maiden flowers, that all the world may know
I was a chaste wife to my grave. Embalm me,
Then lay me forth; although unqueen'd, yet like
A queen, and daughter to a king, inter me.
I can no more. Exeunt, leading KATHARINE



London. A gallery in the palace

Enter GARDINER, BISHOP OF WINCHESTER, a PAGE with a torch before him,

GARDINER. It's one o'clock, boy, is't not?
BOY. It hath struck.
GARDINER. These should be hours for necessities,
Not for delights; times to repair our nature
With comforting repose, and not for us
To waste these times. Good hour of night, Sir Thomas!
Whither so late?
LOVELL. Came you from the King, my lord?
GARDINER. I did, Sir Thomas, and left him at primero
With the Duke of Suffolk.
LOVELL. I must to him too,
Before he go to bed. I'll take my leave.
GARDINER. Not yet, Sir Thomas Lovell. What's the matter?
It seems you are in haste. An if there be
No great offence belongs to't, give your friend
Some touch of your late business. Affairs that walk-
As they say spirits do-at midnight, have
In them a wilder nature than the business
That seeks despatch by day.
LOVELL. My lord, I love you;
And durst commend a secret to your ear
Much weightier than this work. The Queen's in labour,
They say in great extremity, and fear'd
She'll with the labour end.
GARDINER. The fruit she goes with
I pray for heartily, that it may find
Good time, and live; but for the stock, Sir Thomas,
I wish it grubb'd up now.
LOVELL. Methinks I could
Cry thee amen; and yet my conscience says
She's a good creature, and, sweet lady, does
Deserve our better wishes.
GARDINER. But, sir, sir-
Hear me, Sir Thomas. Y'are a gentleman
Of mine own way; I know you wise, religious;
And, let me tell you, it will ne'er be well-
'Twill not, Sir Thomas Lovell, take't of me-
Till Cranmer, Cromwell, her two hands, and she,
Sleep in their graves.
LOVELL. Now, sir, you speak of two
The most remark'd i' th' kingdom. As for Cromwell,
Beside that of the Jewel House, is made Master
O' th' Rolls, and the King's secretary; further, sir,
Stands in the gap and trade of moe preferments,
With which the time will load him. Th' Archbishop
Is the King's hand and tongue, and who dare speak
One syllable against him?
GARDINER. Yes, yes, Sir Thomas,
There are that dare; and I myself have ventur'd
To speak my mind of him; and indeed this day,
Sir-I may tell it you-I think I have
Incens'd the lords o' th' Council, that he is-
For so I know he is, they know he is-
A most arch heretic, a pestilence
That does infect the land; with which they moved
Have broken with the King, who hath so far
Given ear to our complaint-of his great grace
And princely care, foreseeing those fell mischiefs
Our reasons laid before him-hath commanded
To-morrow morning to the Council board
He be convented. He's a rank weed, Sir Thomas,
And we must root him out. From your affairs
I hinder you too long-good night, Sir Thomas.
LOVELL. Many good nights, my lord; I rest your servant.

Enter the KING and the DUKE OF SUFFOLK

KING. Charles, I will play no more to-night;
My mind's not on't; you are too hard for me.
SUFFOLK. Sir, I did never win of you before.
KING. But little, Charles;
Nor shall not, when my fancy's on my play.
Now, Lovell, from the Queen what is the news?
LOVELL. I could not personally deliver to her
What you commanded me, but by her woman
I sent your message; who return'd her thanks
In the great'st humbleness, and desir'd your Highness
Most heartily to pray for her.
KING. What say'st thou, ha?
To pray for her? What, is she crying out?
LOVELL. So said her woman; and that her suff'rance made
Almost each pang a death.
KING. Alas, good lady!
SUFFOLK. God safely quit her of her burden, and
With gentle travail, to the gladding of
Your Highness with an heir!
KING. 'Tis midnight, Charles;
Prithee to bed; and in thy pray'rs remember
Th' estate of my poor queen. Leave me alone,
For I must think of that which company
Will not be friendly to.
SUFFOLK. I wish your Highness
A quiet night, and my good mistress will
Remember in my prayers.
KING. Charles, good night. Exit SUFFOLK


Well, sir, what follows?
DENNY. Sir, I have brought my lord the Archbishop,
As you commanded me.
KING. Ha! Canterbury?
DENNY. Ay, my good lord.
KING. 'Tis true. Where is he, Denny?
DENNY. He attends your Highness' pleasure.
KING. Bring him to us. Exit DENNY
LOVELL. [Aside] This is about that which the bishop spake.
I am happily come hither.

Re-enter DENNY, With CRANMER

KING. Avoid the gallery. [LOVELL seems to stay]
Ha! I have said. Be gone.
What! Exeunt LOVELL and DENNY
CRANMER. [Aside] I am fearful-wherefore frowns he thus?
'Tis his aspect of terror. All's not well.
KING. How now, my lord? You do desire to know
Wherefore I sent for you.
CRANMER. [Kneeling] It is my duty
T'attend your Highness' pleasure.
KING. Pray you, arise,
My good and gracious Lord of Canterbury.
Come, you and I must walk a turn together;
I have news to tell you; come, come, me your hand.
Ah, my good lord, I grieve at what I speak,
And am right sorry to repeat what follows.
I have, and most unwillingly, of late
Heard many grievous-I do say, my lord,
Grievous-complaints of you; which, being consider'd,
Have mov'd us and our Council that you shall
This morning come before us; where I know
You cannot with such freedom purge yourself
But that, till further trial in those charges
Which will require your answer, you must take
Your patience to you and be well contented
To make your house our Tow'r. You a brother of us,
It fits we thus proceed, or else no witness
Would come against you.
CRANMER. I humbly thank your Highness
And am right glad to catch this good occasion
Most throughly to be winnowed where my chaff
And corn shall fly asunder; for I know
There's none stands under more calumnious tongues
Than I myself, poor man.
KING. Stand up, good Canterbury;
Thy truth and thy integrity is rooted
In us, thy friend. Give me thy hand, stand up;
Prithee let's walk. Now, by my holidame,
What manner of man are you? My lord, I look'd
You would have given me your petition that
I should have ta'en some pains to bring together
Yourself and your accusers, and to have heard you
Without indurance further.
CRANMER. Most dread liege,
The good I stand on is my truth and honesty;
If they shall fail, I with mine enemies
Will triumph o'er my person; which I weigh not,
Being of those virtues vacant. I fear nothing
What can be said against me.
KING. Know you not
How your state stands i' th' world, with the whole world?
Your enemies are many, and not small; their practices
Must bear the same proportion; and not ever
The justice and the truth o' th' question carries
The due o' th' verdict with it; at what ease
Might corrupt minds procure knaves as corrupt
To swear against you? Such things have been done.
You are potently oppos'd, and with a malice
Of as great size. Ween you of better luck,
I mean in perjur'd witness, than your Master,
Whose minister you are, whiles here He liv'd
Upon this naughty earth? Go to, go to;
You take a precipice for no leap of danger,
And woo your own destruction.
CRANMER. God and your Majesty
Protect mine innocence, or I fall into
The trap is laid for me!
KING. Be of good cheer;
They shall no more prevail than we give way to.
Keep comfort to you, and this morning see
You do appear before them; if they shall chance,
In charging you with matters, to commit you,
The best persuasions to the contrary
Fail not to use, and with what vehemency
Th' occasion shall instruct you. If entreaties
Will render you no remedy, this ring
Deliver them, and your appeal to us
There make before them. Look, the good man weeps!
He's honest, on mine honour. God's blest Mother!
I swear he is true-hearted, and a soul
None better in my kingdom. Get you gone,
And do as I have bid you.
He has strangled his language in his tears.


GENTLEMAN. [Within] Come back; what mean you?
OLD LADY. I'll not come back; the tidings that I bring
Will make my boldness manners. Now, good angels
Fly o'er thy royal head, and shade thy person
Under their blessed wings!
KING. Now, by thy looks
I guess thy message. Is the Queen deliver'd?
Say ay, and of a boy.
OLD LADY. Ay, ay, my liege;
And of a lovely boy. The God of Heaven
Both now and ever bless her! 'Tis a girl,
Promises boys hereafter. Sir, your queen
Desires your visitation, and to be
Acquainted with this stranger; 'tis as like you
As cherry is to cherry.
KING. Lovell!


KING. Give her an hundred marks. I'll to the Queen. Exit
OLD LADY. An hundred marks? By this light, I'll ha' more!
An ordinary groom is for such payment.
I will have more, or scold it out of him.
Said I for this the girl was like to him! I'll
Have more, or else unsay't; and now, while 'tis hot,
I'll put it to the issue. Exeunt


Lobby before the Council Chamber


CRANMER. I hope I am not too late; and yet the gentleman
That was sent to me from the Council pray'd me
To make great haste. All fast? What means this? Ho!
Who waits there? Sure you know me?


KEEPER. Yes, my lord;
But yet I cannot help you.
KEEPER. Your Grace must wait till you be call'd for.


BUTTS. [Aside] This is a piece of malice. I am glad
I came this way so happily; the King
Shall understand it presently. Exit
CRANMER. [Aside] 'Tis Butts,
The King's physician; as he pass'd along,
How earnestly he cast his eyes upon me!
Pray heaven he sound not my disgrace! For certain,
This is of purpose laid by some that hate me-
God turn their hearts! I never sought their malice-
To quench mine honour; they would shame to make me
Wait else at door, a fellow councillor,
'Mong boys, grooms, and lackeys. But their pleasures
Must be fulfill'd, and I attend with patience.

Enter the KING and BUTTS at window above

BUTTS. I'll show your Grace the strangest sight-
KING. What's that, Butts?
BUTTS. I think your Highness saw this many a day.
KING. Body a me, where is it?
BUTTS. There my lord:
The high promotion of his Grace of Canterbury;
Who holds his state at door, 'mongst pursuivants,
Pages, and footboys.
KING. Ha, 'tis he indeed.
Is this the honour they do one another?
'Tis well there's one above 'em yet. I had thought
They had parted so much honesty among 'em-
At least good manners-as not thus to suffer
A man of his place, and so near our favour,
To dance attendance on their lordships' pleasures,
And at the door too, like a post with packets.
By holy Mary, Butts, there's knavery!
Let 'em alone, and draw the curtain close;
We shall hear more anon. Exeunt


The Council Chamber

A Council table brought in, with chairs and stools, and placed
under the state. Enter LORD CHANCELLOR, places himself at the upper end
of the table on the left band, a seat being left void above him,
as for Canterbury's seat. DUKE OF SUFFOLK, DUKE OF NORFOLK, SURREY,
LORD CHAMBERLAIN, GARDINER, seat themselves in order on each side;
CROMWELL at lower end, as secretary. KEEPER at the door

CHANCELLOR. Speak to the business, master secretary;
Why are we met in council?
CROMWELL. Please your honours,
The chief cause concerns his Grace of Canterbury.
GARDINER. Has he had knowledge of it?
NORFOLK. Who waits there?
KEEPER. Without, my noble lords?
KEEPER. My Lord Archbishop;
And has done half an hour, to know your pleasures.
CHANCELLOR. Let him come in.
KEEPER. Your Grace may enter now.

CRANMER approaches the Council table

CHANCELLOR. My good Lord Archbishop, I am very sorry
To sit here at this present, and behold
That chair stand empty; but we all are men,
In our own natures frail and capable
Of our flesh; few are angels; out of which frailty
And want of wisdom, you, that best should teach us,
Have misdemean'd yourself, and not a little,
Toward the King first, then his laws, in filling
The whole realm by your teaching and your chaplains-
For so we are inform'd-with new opinions,
Divers and dangerous; which are heresies,
And, not reform'd, may prove pernicious.
GARDINER. Which reformation must be sudden too,
My noble lords; for those that tame wild horses
Pace 'em not in their hands to make 'em gentle,
But stop their mouth with stubborn bits and spur 'em
Till they obey the manage. If we suffer,
Out of our easiness and childish pity
To one man's honour, this contagious sickness,
Farewell all physic; and what follows then?
Commotions, uproars, with a general taint
Of the whole state; as of late days our neighbours,
The upper Germany, can dearly witness,
Yet freshly pitied in our memories.
CRANMER. My good lords, hitherto in all the progress
Both of my life and office, I have labour'd,
And with no little study, that my teaching
And the strong course of my authority
Might go one way, and safely; and the end
Was ever to do well. Nor is there living-
I speak it with a single heart, my lords-
A man that more detests, more stirs against,
Both in his private conscience and his place,
Defacers of a public peace than I do.
Pray heaven the King may never find a heart
With less allegiance in it! Men that make
Envy and crooked malice nourishment
Dare bite the best. I do beseech your lordships
That, in this case of justice, my accusers,
Be what they will, may stand forth face to face
And freely urge against me.
SUFFOLK. Nay, my lord,
That cannot be; you are a councillor,
And by that virtue no man dare accuse you.
GARDINER. My lord, because we have business of more moment,
We will be short with you. 'Tis his Highness' pleasure
And our consent, for better trial of you,
From hence you be committed to the Tower;
Where, being but a private man again,
You shall know many dare accuse you boldly,
More than, I fear, you are provided for.
CRANMER. Ah, my good Lord of Winchester, I thank you;
You are always my good friend; if your will pass,
I shall both find your lordship judge and juror,
You are so merciful. I see your end-
'Tis my undoing. Love and meekness, lord,
Become a churchman better than ambition;
Win straying souls with modesty again,
Cast none away. That I shall clear myself,
Lay all the weight ye can upon my patience,
I make as little doubt as you do conscience
In doing daily wrongs. I could say more,
But reverence to your calling makes me modest.
GARDINER. My lord, my lord, you are a sectary;
That's the plain truth. Your painted gloss discovers,
To men that understand you, words and weakness.
CROMWELL. My Lord of Winchester, y'are a little,
By your good favour, too sharp; men so noble,
However faulty, yet should find respect
For what they have been; 'tis a cruelty
To load a falling man.
GARDINER. Good Master Secretary,
I cry your honour mercy; you may, worst
Of all this table, say so.
CROMWELL. Why, my lord?
GARDINER. Do not I know you for a favourer
Of this new sect? Ye are not sound.
CROMWELL. Not sound?
GARDINER. Not sound, I say.
CROMWELL. Would you were half so honest!
Men's prayers then would seek you, not their fears.
GARDINER. I shall remember this bold language.
Remember your bold life too.
CHANCELLOR. This is too much;
Forbear, for shame, my lords.
GARDINER. I have done.
CHANCELLOR. Then thus for you, my lord: it stands agreed,
I take it, by all voices, that forthwith
You be convey'd to th' Tower a prisoner;
There to remain till the King's further pleasure
Be known unto us. Are you all agreed, lords?
ALL. We are.
CRANMER. Is there no other way of mercy,
But I must needs to th' Tower, my lords?
GARDINER. What other
Would you expect? You are strangely troublesome.
Let some o' th' guard be ready there.

Enter the guard

CRANMER. For me?
Must I go like a traitor thither?
GARDINER. Receive him,
And see him safe i' th' Tower.
CRANMER. Stay, good my lords,
I have a little yet to say. Look there, my lords;
By virtue of that ring I take my cause
Out of the gripes of cruel men and give it
To a most noble judge, the King my master.
CHAMBERLAIN. This is the King's ring.
SURREY. 'Tis no counterfeit.
SUFFOLK. 'Tis the right ring, by heav'n. I told ye all,
When we first put this dangerous stone a-rolling,
'Twould fall upon ourselves.
NORFOLK. Do you think, my lords,
The King will suffer but the little finger
Of this man to be vex'd?
CHAMBERLAIN. 'Tis now too certain;
How much more is his life in value with him!
Would I were fairly out on't!
CROMWELL. My mind gave me,
In seeking tales and informations
Against this man-whose honesty the devil
And his disciples only envy at-
Ye blew the fire that burns ye. Now have at ye!

Enter the KING frowning on them; he takes his seat

GARDINER. Dread sovereign, how much are we bound to heaven
In daily thanks, that gave us such a prince;
Not only good and wise but most religious;
One that in all obedience makes the church
The chief aim of his honour and, to strengthen
That holy duty, out of dear respect,
His royal self in judgment comes to hear
The cause betwixt her and this great offender.
KING. You were ever good at sudden commendations,
Bishop of Winchester. But know I come not
To hear such flattery now, and in my presence
They are too thin and bare to hide offences.
To me you cannot reach you play the spaniel,
And think with wagging of your tongue to win me;
But whatsoe'er thou tak'st me for, I'm sure
Thou hast a cruel nature and a bloody.
[To CRANMER] Good man, sit down. Now let me see the proudest
He that dares most but wag his finger at thee.
By all that's holy, he had better starve
Than but once think this place becomes thee not.
SURREY. May it please your Grace-
KING. No, sir, it does not please me.
I had thought I had had men of some understanding
And wisdom of my Council; but I find none.
Was it discretion, lords, to let this man,
This good man-few of you deserve that title-
This honest man, wait like a lousy footboy
At chamber door? and one as great as you are?
Why, what a shame was this! Did my commission
Bid ye so far forget yourselves? I gave ye
Power as he was a councillor to try him,
Not as a groom. There's some of ye, I see,
More out of malice than integrity,
Would try him to the utmost, had ye mean;
Which ye shall never have while I live.
My most dread sovereign, may it like your Grace
To let my tongue excuse all. What was purpos'd
concerning his imprisonment was rather-
If there be faith in men-meant for his trial
And fair purgation to the world, than malice,
I'm sure, in me.
KING. Well, well, my lords, respect him;
Take him, and use him well, he's worthy of it.
I will say thus much for him: if a prince
May be beholding to a subject,
Am for his love and service so to him.
Make me no more ado, but all embrace him;
Be friends, for shame, my lords! My Lord of Canterbury,
I have a suit which you must not deny me:
That is, a fair young maid that yet wants baptism;
You must be godfather, and answer for her.
CRANMER. The greatest monarch now alive may glory
In such an honour; how may I deserve it,
That am a poor and humble subject to you?
KING. Come, come, my lord, you'd spare your spoons. You
shall have
Two noble partners with you: the old Duchess of Norfolk
And Lady Marquis Dorset. Will these please you?
Once more, my Lord of Winchester, I charge you,
Embrace and love this man.
GARDINER. With a true heart
And brother-love I do it.
CRANMER. And let heaven
Witness how dear I hold this confirmation.
KING. Good man, those joyful tears show thy true heart.
The common voice, I see, is verified
Of thee, which says thus: 'Do my Lord of Canterbury
A shrewd turn and he's your friend for ever.'
Come, lords, we trifle time away; I long
To have this young one made a Christian.
As I have made ye one, lords, one remain;
So I grow stronger, you more honour gain. Exeunt


The palace yard

Noise and tumult within. Enter PORTER and his MAN

PORTER. You'll leave your noise anon, ye rascals. Do you
take the court for Paris garden? Ye rude slaves, leave your
[Within: Good master porter, I belong to th' larder.]
PORTER. Belong to th' gallows, and be hang'd, ye rogue! Is
this a place to roar in? Fetch me a dozen crab-tree staves,
and strong ones; these are but switches to 'em. I'll scratch
your heads. You must be seeing christenings? Do you look
for ale and cakes here, you rude rascals?
MAN. Pray, sir, be patient; 'tis as much impossible,
Unless we sweep 'em from the door with cannons,
To scatter 'em as 'tis to make 'em sleep
On May-day morning; which will never be.
We may as well push against Paul's as stir 'em.
PORTER. How got they in, and be hang'd?
MAN. Alas, I know not: how gets the tide in?
As much as one sound cudgel of four foot-
You see the poor remainder-could distribute,
I made no spare, sir.
PORTER. You did nothing, sir.
MAN. I am not Samson, nor Sir Guy, nor Colbrand,
To mow 'em down before me; but if I spar'd any
That had a head to hit, either young or old,
He or she, cuckold or cuckold-maker,
Let me ne'er hope to see a chine again;
And that I would not for a cow, God save her!
[ Within: Do you hear, master porter?]
PORTER. I shall be with you presently, good master puppy.
Keep the door close, sirrah.
MAN. What would you have me do?
PORTER. What should you do, but knock 'em down by th'
dozens? Is this Moorfields to muster in? Or have we some
strange Indian with the great tool come to court, the
women so besiege us? Bless me, what a fry of fornication
is at door! On my Christian conscience, this one christening
will beget a thousand: here will be father, godfather,
and all together.
MAN. The spoons will be the bigger, sir. There is a fellow
somewhat near the door, he should be a brazier by his
face, for, o' my conscience, twenty of the dog-days now
reign in's nose; all that stand about him are under the line,
they need no other penance. That fire-drake did I hit three
times on the head, and three times was his nose discharged
against me; he stands there like a mortar-piece, to blow us.
There was a haberdasher's wife of small wit near him, that
rail'd upon me till her pink'd porringer fell off her head,
for kindling such a combustion in the state. I miss'd the
meteor once, and hit that woman, who cried out 'Clubs!'
when I might see from far some forty truncheoners draw
to her succour, which were the hope o' th' Strand, where
she was quartered. They fell on; I made good my place.
At length they came to th' broomstaff to me; I defied 'em
still; when suddenly a file of boys behind 'em, loose shot,
deliver'd such a show'r of pebbles that I was fain to draw
mine honour in and let 'em win the work: the devil was
amongst 'em, I think surely.
PORTER. These are the youths that thunder at a playhouse
and fight for bitten apples; that no audience but the tribulation
of Tower-hill or the limbs of Limehouse, their dear
brothers, are able to endure. I have some of 'em in Limbo
Patrum, and there they are like to dance these three days;
besides the running banquet of two beadles that is to come.


CHAMBERLAIN. Mercy o' me, what a multitude are here!
They grow still too; from all parts they are coming,
As if we kept a fair here! Where are these porters,
These lazy knaves? Y'have made a fine hand, fellows.
There's a trim rabble let in: are all these
Your faithful friends o' th' suburbs? We shall have
Great store of room, no doubt, left for the ladies,
When they pass back from the christening.
PORTER. An't please your honour,
We are but men; and what so many may do,
Not being torn a pieces, we have done.
An army cannot rule 'em.
If the King blame me for't, I'll lay ye an
By th' heels, and suddenly; and on your heads
Clap round fines for neglect. Y'are lazy knaves;
And here ye lie baiting of bombards, when
Ye should do service. Hark! the trumpets sound;
Th' are come already from the christening.
Go break among the press and find a way out
To let the troops pass fairly, or I'll find
A Marshalsea shall hold ye play these two months.
PORTER. Make way there for the Princess.
MAN. You great fellow,
Stand close up, or I'll make your head ache.
PORTER. You i' th' camlet, get up o' th' rail;
I'll peck you o'er the pales else. Exeunt


The palace

DUKE OF NORFOLK, with his marshal's staff, DUKE OF SUFFOLK,
two Noblemen bearing great standing-bowls for the christening gifts;
then four Noblemen bearing a canopy, under which the DUCHESS OF NORFOLK,
godmother, bearing the CHILD richly habited in a mantle, etc.,
train borne by a LADY; then follows the MARCHIONESS DORSET,
the other godmother, and LADIES. The troop pass once about the stage,
and GARTER speaks

GARTER. Heaven, from thy endless goodness, send prosperous
life, long and ever-happy, to the high and mighty
Princess of England, Elizabeth!

Flourish. Enter KING and guard

CRANMER. [Kneeling] And to your royal Grace and the
good Queen!
My noble partners and myself thus pray:
All comfort, joy, in this most gracious lady,
Heaven ever laid up to make parents happy,
May hourly fall upon ye!
KING. Thank you, good Lord Archbishop.
What is her name?
CRANMER. Elizabeth.
KING. Stand up, lord. [The KING kisses the child]
With this kiss take my blessing: God protect thee!
Into whose hand I give thy life.
KING. My noble gossips, y'have been too prodigal;
I thank ye heartily. So shall this lady,
When she has so much English.
CRANMER. Let me speak, sir,
For heaven now bids me; and the words I utter
Let none think flattery, for they'll find 'em truth.
This royal infant-heaven still move about her!-
Though in her cradle, yet now promises
Upon this land a thousand blessings,
Which time shall bring to ripeness. She shall be-
But few now living can behold that goodness-
A pattern to all princes living with her,
And all that shall succeed. Saba was never
More covetous of wisdom and fair virtue
Than this pure soul shall be. All princely graces
That mould up such a mighty piece as this is,
With all the virtues that attend the good,
Shall still be doubled on her. Truth shall nurse her,
Holy and heavenly thoughts still counsel her;
She shall be lov'd and fear'd. Her own shall bless her:
Her foes shake like a field of beaten corn,
And hang their heads with sorrow. Good grows with her;
In her days every man shall eat in safety
Under his own vine what he plants, and sing
The merry songs of peace to all his neighbours.
God shall be truly known; and those about her
From her shall read the perfect ways of honour,
And by those claim their greatness, not by blood.
Nor shall this peace sleep with her; but as when
The bird of wonder dies, the maiden phoenix
Her ashes new create another heir
As great in admiration as herself,
So shall she leave her blessedness to one-
When heaven shall call her from this cloud of darkness-
Who from the sacred ashes of her honour
Shall star-like rise, as great in fame as she was,
And so stand fix'd. Peace, plenty, love, truth, terror,
That were the servants to this chosen infant,
Shall then be his, and like a vine grow to him;
Wherever the bright sun of heaven shall shine,
His honour and the greatness of his name
Shall be, and make new nations; he shall flourish,
And like a mountain cedar reach his branches
To all the plains about him; our children's children
Shall see this and bless heaven.
KING. Thou speakest wonders.
CRANMER. She shall be, to the happiness of England,
An aged princess; many days shall see her,
And yet no day without a deed to crown it.
Would I had known no more! But she must die-
She must, the saints must have her-yet a virgin;
A most unspotted lily shall she pass
To th' ground, and all the world shall mourn her.
KING. O Lord Archbishop,
Thou hast made me now a man; never before
This happy child did I get anything.
This oracle of comfort has so pleas'd me
That when I am in heaven I shall desire
To see what this child does, and praise my Maker.
I thank ye all. To you, my good Lord Mayor,
And you, good brethren, I am much beholding;
I have receiv'd much honour by your presence,
And ye shall find me thankful. Lead the way, lords;
Ye must all see the Queen, and she must thank ye,
She will be sick else. This day, no man think
Has business at his house; for all shall stay.
This little one shall make it holiday. Exeunt


'Tis ten to one this play can never please
All that are here. Some come to take their ease
And sleep an act or two; but those, we fear,
W'have frighted with our trumpets; so, 'tis clear,
They'll say 'tis nought; others to hear the city
Abus'd extremely, and to cry 'That's witty!'
Which we have not done neither; that, I fear,
All the expected good w'are like to hear
For this play at this time is only in
The merciful construction of good women;
For such a one we show'd 'em. If they smile
And say 'twill do, I know within a while
All the best men are ours; for 'tis ill hap
If they hold when their ladies bid 'em clap.





by William Shakespeare


ARTHUR, DUKE OF BRITAINE, son of Geffrey, late Duke of
Britaine, the elder brother of King John
ROBERT FAULCONBRIDGE, son to Sir Robert Faulconbridge
PHILIP THE BASTARD, his half-brother
JAMES GURNEY, servant to Lady Faulconbridge

LEWIS, the Dauphin
LYMOGES, Duke of Austria
CARDINAL PANDULPH, the Pope's legate
MELUN, a French lord
CHATILLON, ambassador from France to King John

QUEEN ELINOR, widow of King Henry II and mother to
King John
CONSTANCE, Mother to Arthur
BLANCH OF SPAIN, daughter to the King of Castile
and niece to King John
LADY FAULCONBRIDGE, widow of Sir Robert Faulconbridge

Lords, Citizens of Angiers, Sheriff, Heralds, Officers,
Soldiers, Executioners, Messengers, Attendants


England and France


KING JOHN's palace


KING JOHN. Now, say, Chatillon, what would France with us?
CHATILLON. Thus, after greeting, speaks the King of France
In my behaviour to the majesty,
The borrowed majesty, of England here.
ELINOR. A strange beginning- 'borrowed majesty'!
KING JOHN. Silence, good mother; hear the embassy.
CHATILLON. Philip of France, in right and true behalf
Of thy deceased brother Geffrey's son,
Arthur Plantagenet, lays most lawful claim
To this fair island and the territories,
To Ireland, Poictiers, Anjou, Touraine, Maine,
Desiring thee to lay aside the sword
Which sways usurpingly these several titles,
And put the same into young Arthur's hand,
Thy nephew and right royal sovereign.
KING JOHN. What follows if we disallow of this?
CHATILLON. The proud control of fierce and bloody war,
To enforce these rights so forcibly withheld.
KING JOHN. Here have we war for war, and blood for blood,
Controlment for controlment- so answer France.
CHATILLON. Then take my king's defiance from my mouth-
The farthest limit of my embassy.
KING JOHN. Bear mine to him, and so depart in peace;
Be thou as lightning in the eyes of France;
For ere thou canst report I will be there,
The thunder of my cannon shall be heard.
So hence! Be thou the trumpet of our wrath
And sullen presage of your own decay.
An honourable conduct let him have-
Pembroke, look to 't. Farewell, Chatillon.
ELINOR. What now, my son! Have I not ever said
How that ambitious Constance would not cease
Till she had kindled France and all the world
Upon the right and party of her son?
This might have been prevented and made whole
With very easy arguments of love,
Which now the manage of two kingdoms must
With fearful bloody issue arbitrate.
KING JOHN. Our strong possession and our right for us!
ELINOR. Your strong possession much more than your right,
Or else it must go wrong with you and me;
So much my conscience whispers in your ear,
Which none but heaven and you and I shall hear.


ESSEX. My liege, here is the strangest controversy
Come from the country to be judg'd by you
That e'er I heard. Shall I produce the men?
KING JOHN. Let them approach. Exit SHERIFF
Our abbeys and our priories shall pay
This expedition's charge.


What men are you?
BASTARD. Your faithful subject I, a gentleman
Born in Northamptonshire, and eldest son,
As I suppose, to Robert Faulconbridge-
A soldier by the honour-giving hand
Of Coeur-de-lion knighted in the field.
KING JOHN. What art thou?
ROBERT. The son and heir to that same Faulconbridge.
KING JOHN. Is that the elder, and art thou the heir?
You came not of one mother then, it seems.
BASTARD. Most certain of one mother, mighty king-
That is well known- and, as I think, one father;
But for the certain knowledge of that truth
I put you o'er to heaven and to my mother.
Of that I doubt, as all men's children may.
ELINOR. Out on thee, rude man! Thou dost shame thy mother,
And wound her honour with this diffidence.
BASTARD. I, madam? No, I have no reason for it-
That is my brother's plea, and none of mine;
The which if he can prove, 'a pops me out
At least from fair five hundred pound a year.
Heaven guard my mother's honour and my land!
KING JOHN. A good blunt fellow. Why, being younger born,
Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance?
BASTARD. I know not why, except to get the land.
But once he slander'd me with bastardy;
But whe'er I be as true begot or no,
That still I lay upon my mother's head;
But that I am as well begot, my liege-
Fair fall the bones that took the pains for me!-
Compare our faces and be judge yourself.
If old Sir Robert did beget us both
And were our father, and this son like him-
O old Sir Robert, father, on my knee
I give heaven thanks I was not like to thee!
KING JOHN. Why, what a madcap hath heaven lent us here!
ELINOR. He hath a trick of Coeur-de-lion's face;
The accent of his tongue affecteth him.
Do you not read some tokens of my son
In the large composition of this man?
KING JOHN. Mine eye hath well examined his parts
And finds them perfect Richard. Sirrah, speak,
What doth move you to claim your brother's land?
BASTARD. Because he hath a half-face, like my father.
With half that face would he have all my land:
A half-fac'd groat five hundred pound a year!
ROBERT. My gracious liege, when that my father liv'd,
Your brother did employ my father much-
BASTARD. Well, sir, by this you cannot get my land:
Your tale must be how he employ'd my mother.
ROBERT. And once dispatch'd him in an embassy
To Germany, there with the Emperor
To treat of high affairs touching that time.
Th' advantage of his absence took the King,
And in the meantime sojourn'd at my father's;
Where how he did prevail I shame to speak-
But truth is truth: large lengths of seas and shores
Between my father and my mother lay,
As I have heard my father speak himself,
When this same lusty gentleman was got.
Upon his death-bed he by will bequeath'd
His lands to me, and took it on his death
That this my mother's son was none of his;
And if he were, he came into the world
Full fourteen weeks before the course of time.
Then, good my liege, let me have what is mine,
My father's land, as was my father's will.
KING JOHN. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate:
Your father's wife did after wedlock bear him,
And if she did play false, the fault was hers;
Which fault lies on the hazards of all husbands
That marry wives. Tell me, how if my brother,
Who, as you say, took pains to get this son,
Had of your father claim'd this son for his?
In sooth, good friend, your father might have kept
This calf, bred from his cow, from all the world;
In sooth, he might; then, if he were my brother's,
My brother might not claim him; nor your father,
Being none of his, refuse him. This concludes:
My mother's son did get your father's heir;
Your father's heir must have your father's land.
ROBERT. Shall then my father's will be of no force
To dispossess that child which is not his?
BASTARD. Of no more force to dispossess me, sir,
Than was his will to get me, as I think.
ELINOR. Whether hadst thou rather be a Faulconbridge,
And like thy brother, to enjoy thy land,
Or the reputed son of Coeur-de-lion,
Lord of thy presence and no land beside?
BASTARD. Madam, an if my brother had my shape
And I had his, Sir Robert's his, like him;
And if my legs were two such riding-rods,
My arms such eel-skins stuff'd, my face so thin
That in mine ear I durst not stick a rose
Lest men should say 'Look where three-farthings goes!'
And, to his shape, were heir to all this land-
Would I might never stir from off this place,
I would give it every foot to have this face!
I would not be Sir Nob in any case.
ELINOR. I like thee well. Wilt thou forsake thy fortune,
Bequeath thy land to him and follow me?
I am a soldier and now bound to France.
BASTARD. Brother, take you my land, I'll take my chance.
Your face hath got five hundred pound a year,
Yet sell your face for fivepence and 'tis dear.
Madam, I'll follow you unto the death.
ELINOR. Nay, I would have you go before me thither.
BASTARD. Our country manners give our betters way.
KING JOHN. What is thy name?
BASTARD. Philip, my liege, so is my name begun:
Philip, good old Sir Robert's wife's eldest son.
KING JOHN. From henceforth bear his name whose form thou bearest:
Kneel thou down Philip, but rise more great-
Arise Sir Richard and Plantagenet.
BASTARD. Brother by th' mother's side, give me your hand;
My father gave me honour, yours gave land.
Now blessed be the hour, by night or day,
When I was got, Sir Robert was away!
ELINOR. The very spirit of Plantagenet!
I am thy grandam, Richard: call me so.
BASTARD. Madam, by chance, but not by truth; what though?
Something about, a little from the right,
In at the window, or else o'er the hatch;
Who dares not stir by day must walk by night;
And have is have, however men do catch.
Near or far off, well won is still well shot;
And I am I, howe'er I was begot.
KING JOHN. Go, Faulconbridge; now hast thou thy desire:
A landless knight makes thee a landed squire.
Come, madam, and come, Richard, we must speed
For France, for France, for it is more than need.
BASTARD. Brother, adieu. Good fortune come to thee!
For thou wast got i' th' way of honesty.
Exeunt all but the BASTARD
A foot of honour better than I was;
But many a many foot of land the worse.
Well, now can I make any Joan a lady.
'Good den, Sir Richard!'-'God-a-mercy, fellow!'
And if his name be George, I'll call him Peter;
For new-made honour doth forget men's names:
'Tis too respective and too sociable
For your conversion. Now your traveller,
He and his toothpick at my worship's mess-
And when my knightly stomach is suffic'd,
Why then I suck my teeth and catechize
My picked man of countries: 'My dear sir,'
Thus leaning on mine elbow I begin
'I shall beseech you'-That is question now;
And then comes answer like an Absey book:
'O sir,' says answer 'at your best command,
At your employment, at your service, sir!'
'No, sir,' says question 'I, sweet sir, at yours.'
And so, ere answer knows what question would,
Saving in dialogue of compliment,
And talking of the Alps and Apennines,
The Pyrenean and the river Po-
It draws toward supper in conclusion so.
But this is worshipful society,
And fits the mounting spirit like myself;
For he is but a bastard to the time
That doth not smack of observation-
And so am I, whether I smack or no;
And not alone in habit and device,
Exterior form, outward accoutrement,
But from the inward motion to deliver
Sweet, sweet, sweet poison for the age's tooth;
Which, though I will not practise to deceive,
Yet, to avoid deceit, I mean to learn;
For it shall strew the footsteps of my rising.
But who comes in such haste in riding-robes?
What woman-post is this? Hath she no husband
That will take pains to blow a horn before her?


O me, 'tis my mother! How now, good lady!
What brings you here to court so hastily?
LADY FAULCONBRIDGE. Where is that slave, thy brother?
Where is he
That holds in chase mine honour up and down?
BASTARD. My brother Robert, old Sir Robert's son?
Colbrand the giant, that same mighty man?
Is it Sir Robert's son that you seek so?
LADY FAULCONBRIDGE. Sir Robert's son! Ay, thou unreverend boy,
Sir Robert's son! Why scorn'st thou at Sir Robert?
He is Sir Robert's son, and so art thou.
BASTARD. James Gurney, wilt thou give us leave awhile?
GURNEY. Good leave, good Philip.
BASTARD. Philip-Sparrow! James,
There's toys abroad-anon I'll tell thee more.
Madam, I was not old Sir Robert's son;
Sir Robert might have eat his part in me
Upon Good Friday, and ne'er broke his fast.
Sir Robert could do: well-marry, to confess-
Could he get me? Sir Robert could not do it:
We know his handiwork. Therefore, good mother,
To whom am I beholding for these limbs?
Sir Robert never holp to make this leg.
LADY FAULCONBRIDGE. Hast thou conspired with thy brother too,
That for thine own gain shouldst defend mine honour?
What means this scorn, thou most untoward knave?
BASTARD. Knight, knight, good mother, Basilisco-like.
What! I am dubb'd; I have it on my shoulder.
But, mother, I am not Sir Robert's son:
I have disclaim'd Sir Robert and my land;
Legitimation, name, and all is gone.
Then, good my mother, let me know my father-
Some proper man, I hope. Who was it, mother?
LADY FAULCONBRIDGE. Hast thou denied thyself a Faulconbridge?
BASTARD. As faithfully as I deny the devil.
LADY FAULCONBRIDGE. King Richard Coeur-de-lion was thy father.
By long and vehement suit I was seduc'd
To make room for him in my husband's bed.
Heaven lay not my transgression to my charge!
Thou art the issue of my dear offence,
Which was so strongly urg'd past my defence.
BASTARD. Now, by this light, were I to get again,
Madam, I would not wish a better father.
Some sins do bear their privilege on earth,
And so doth yours: your fault was not your folly;
Needs must you lay your heart at his dispose,
Subjected tribute to commanding love,
Against whose fury and unmatched force
The aweless lion could not wage the fight
Nor keep his princely heart from Richard's hand.
He that perforce robs lions of their hearts
May easily win a woman's. Ay, my mother,
With all my heart I thank thee for my father!
Who lives and dares but say thou didst not well
When I was got, I'll send his soul to hell.
Come, lady, I will show thee to my kin;
And they shall say when Richard me begot,
If thou hadst said him nay, it had been sin.
Who says it was, he lies; I say 'twas not. Exeunt



France. Before Angiers

Enter, on one side, AUSTRIA and forces; on the other, KING PHILIP OF FRANCE,
LEWIS the Dauphin, CONSTANCE, ARTHUR, and forces

KING PHILIP. Before Angiers well met, brave Austria.
Arthur, that great forerunner of thy blood,
Richard, that robb'd the lion of his heart
And fought the holy wars in Palestine,
By this brave duke came early to his grave;
And for amends to his posterity,
At our importance hither is he come
To spread his colours, boy, in thy behalf;
And to rebuke the usurpation
Of thy unnatural uncle, English John.
Embrace him, love him, give him welcome hither.
ARTHUR. God shall forgive you Coeur-de-lion's death
The rather that you give his offspring life,
Shadowing their right under your wings of war.
I give you welcome with a powerless hand,
But with a heart full of unstained love;
Welcome before the gates of Angiers, Duke.
KING PHILIP. A noble boy! Who would not do thee right?
AUSTRIA. Upon thy cheek lay I this zealous kiss
As seal to this indenture of my love:
That to my home I will no more return
Till Angiers and the right thou hast in France,
Together with that pale, that white-fac'd shore,
Whose foot spurns back the ocean's roaring tides
And coops from other lands her islanders-
Even till that England, hedg'd in with the main,
That water-walled bulwark, still secure
And confident from foreign purposes-
Even till that utmost corner of the west
Salute thee for her king. Till then, fair boy,
Will I not think of home, but follow arms.
CONSTANCE. O, take his mother's thanks, a widow's thanks,
Till your strong hand shall help to give him strength
To make a more requital to your love!
AUSTRIA. The peace of heaven is theirs that lift their swords
In such a just and charitable war.
KING PHILIP. Well then, to work! Our cannon shall be bent
Against the brows of this resisting town;
Call for our chiefest men of discipline,
To cull the plots of best advantages.
We'll lay before this town our royal bones,
Wade to the market-place in Frenchmen's blood,
But we will make it subject to this boy.
CONSTANCE. Stay for an answer to your embassy,
Lest unadvis'd you stain your swords with blood;
My Lord Chatillon may from England bring
That right in peace which here we urge in war,
And then we shall repent each drop of blood
That hot rash haste so indirectly shed.


KING PHILIP. A wonder, lady! Lo, upon thy wish,
Our messenger Chatillon is arriv'd.
What England says, say briefly, gentle lord;
We coldly pause for thee. Chatillon, speak.
CHATILLON. Then turn your forces from this paltry siege
And stir them up against a mightier task.
England, impatient of your just demands,
Hath put himself in arms. The adverse winds,
Whose leisure I have stay'd, have given him time
To land his legions all as soon as I;
His marches are expedient to this town,
His forces strong, his soldiers confident.
With him along is come the mother-queen,
An Ate, stirring him to blood and strife;
With her the Lady Blanch of Spain;
With them a bastard of the king's deceas'd;
And all th' unsettled humours of the land-
Rash, inconsiderate, fiery voluntaries,
With ladies' faces and fierce dragons' spleens-
Have sold their fortunes at their native homes,
Bearing their birthrights proudly on their backs,
To make a hazard of new fortunes here.
In brief, a braver choice of dauntless spirits
Than now the English bottoms have waft o'er
Did never float upon the swelling tide
To do offence and scathe in Christendom. [Drum beats]
The interruption of their churlish drums
Cuts off more circumstance: they are at hand;
To parley or to fight, therefore prepare.
KING PHILIP. How much unlook'd for is this expedition!
AUSTRIA. By how much unexpected, by so much
We must awake endeavour for defence,
For courage mounteth with occasion.
Let them be welcome then; we are prepar'd.

PEMBROKE, and others

KING JOHN. Peace be to France, if France in peace permit
Our just and lineal entrance to our own!
If not, bleed France, and peace ascend to heaven,
Whiles we, God's wrathful agent, do correct
Their proud contempt that beats His peace to heaven!
KING PHILIP. Peace be to England, if that war return
From France to England, there to live in peace!
England we love, and for that England's sake
With burden of our armour here we sweat.
This toil of ours should be a work of thine;
But thou from loving England art so far
That thou hast under-wrought his lawful king,
Cut off the sequence of posterity,
Outfaced infant state, and done a rape
Upon the maiden virtue of the crown.
Look here upon thy brother Geffrey's face:
These eyes, these brows, were moulded out of his;
This little abstract doth contain that large
Which died in Geffrey, and the hand of time
Shall draw this brief into as huge a volume.
That Geffrey was thy elder brother born,
And this his son; England was Geffrey's right,
And this is Geffrey's. In the name of God,
How comes it then that thou art call'd a king,
When living blood doth in these temples beat
Which owe the crown that thou o'er-masterest?
KING JOHN. From whom hast thou this great commission, France,
To draw my answer from thy articles?
KING PHILIP. From that supernal judge that stirs good thoughts
In any breast of strong authority
To look into the blots and stains of right.
That judge hath made me guardian to this boy,
Under whose warrant I impeach thy wrong,
And by whose help I mean to chastise it.
KING JOHN. Alack, thou dost usurp authority.
KING PHILIP. Excuse it is to beat usurping down.
ELINOR. Who is it thou dost call usurper, France?
CONSTANCE. Let me make answer: thy usurping son.
ELINOR. Out, insolent! Thy bastard shall be king,
That thou mayst be a queen and check the world!
CONSTANCE. My bed was ever to thy son as true
As thine was to thy husband; and this boy
Liker in feature to his father Geffrey
Than thou and John in manners-being as Eke
As rain to water, or devil to his dam.
My boy a bastard! By my soul, I think
His father never was so true begot;
It cannot be, an if thou wert his mother.
ELINOR. There's a good mother, boy, that blots thy father.
CONSTANCE. There's a good grandam, boy, that would blot thee.
BASTARD. Hear the crier.
AUSTRIA. What the devil art thou?
BASTARD. One that will play the devil, sir, with you,
An 'a may catch your hide and you alone.
You are the hare of whom the proverb goes,
Whose valour plucks dead lions by the beard;
I'll smoke your skin-coat an I catch you right;
Sirrah, look to 't; i' faith I will, i' faith.
BLANCH. O, well did he become that lion's robe
That did disrobe the lion of that robe!
BASTARD. It lies as sightly on the back of him
As great Alcides' shows upon an ass;
But, ass, I'll take that burden from your back,
Or lay on that shall make your shoulders crack.
AUSTRIA. What cracker is this same that deafs our ears
With this abundance of superfluous breath?
King Philip, determine what we shall do straight.
KING PHILIP. Women and fools, break off your conference.
King John, this is the very sum of all:
England and Ireland, Anjou, Touraine, Maine,
In right of Arthur, do I claim of thee;
Wilt thou resign them and lay down thy arms?
KING JOHN. My life as soon. I do defy thee, France.
Arthur of Britaine, yield thee to my hand,
And out of my dear love I'll give thee more
Than e'er the coward hand of France can win.
Submit thee, boy.
ELINOR. Come to thy grandam, child.
CONSTANCE. Do, child, go to it grandam, child;
Give grandam kingdom, and it grandam will
Give it a plum, a cherry, and a fig.
There's a good grandam!
ARTHUR. Good my mother, peace!
I would that I were low laid in my grave:
I am not worth this coil that's made for me.
ELINOR. His mother shames him so, poor boy, he weeps.
CONSTANCE. Now shame upon you, whe'er she does or no!
His grandam's wrongs, and not his mother's shames,
Draws those heaven-moving pearls from his poor eyes,
Which heaven shall take in nature of a fee;
Ay, with these crystal beads heaven shall be brib'd
To do him justice and revenge on you.
ELINOR. Thou monstrous slanderer of heaven and earth!
CONSTANCE. Thou monstrous injurer of heaven and earth,
Call not me slanderer! Thou and thine usurp
The dominations, royalties, and rights,
Of this oppressed boy; this is thy eldest son's son,
Infortunate in nothing but in thee.
Thy sins are visited in this poor child;
The canon of the law is laid on him,
Being but the second generation
Removed from thy sin-conceiving womb.
KING JOHN. Bedlam, have done.
CONSTANCE. I have but this to say-
That he is not only plagued for her sin,
But God hath made her sin and her the plague
On this removed issue, plagued for her
And with her plague; her sin his injury,
Her injury the beadle to her sin;
All punish'd in the person of this child,
And all for her-a plague upon her!
ELINOR. Thou unadvised scold, I can produce
A will that bars the title of thy son.
CONSTANCE. Ay, who doubts that? A will, a wicked will;
A woman's will; a cank'red grandam's will!
KING PHILIP. Peace, lady! pause, or be more temperate.
It ill beseems this presence to cry aim
To these ill-tuned repetitions.
Some trumpet summon hither to the walls
These men of Angiers; let us hear them speak
Whose title they admit, Arthur's or John's.

Trumpet sounds. Enter citizens upon the walls

CITIZEN. Who is it that hath warn'd us to the walls?
KING PHILIP. 'Tis France, for England.
KING JOHN. England for itself.
You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects-
KING PHILIP. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's subjects,
Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle-
KING JOHN. For our advantage; therefore hear us first.
These flags of France, that are advanced here
Before the eye and prospect of your town,
Have hither march'd to your endamagement;
The cannons have their bowels full of wrath,
And ready mounted are they to spit forth
Their iron indignation 'gainst your walls;
All preparation for a bloody siege
And merciless proceeding by these French
Confront your city's eyes, your winking gates;
And but for our approach those sleeping stones
That as a waist doth girdle you about
By the compulsion of their ordinance
By this time from their fixed beds of lime
Had been dishabited, and wide havoc made
For bloody power to rush upon your peace.
But on the sight of us your lawful king,
Who painfully with much expedient march
Have brought a countercheck before your gates,
To save unscratch'd your city's threat'ned cheeks-
Behold, the French amaz'd vouchsafe a parle;
And now, instead of bullets wrapp'd in fire,
To make a shaking fever in your walls,
They shoot but calm words folded up in smoke,
To make a faithless error in your cars;
Which trust accordingly, kind citizens,
And let us in-your King, whose labour'd spirits,
Forwearied in this action of swift speed,
Craves harbourage within your city walls.
KING PHILIP. When I have said, make answer to us both.
Lo, in this right hand, whose protection
Is most divinely vow'd upon the right
Of him it holds, stands young Plantagenet,
Son to the elder brother of this man,
And king o'er him and all that he enjoys;
For this down-trodden equity we tread
In warlike march these greens before your town,
Being no further enemy to you
Than the constraint of hospitable zeal
In the relief of this oppressed child
Religiously provokes. Be pleased then
To pay that duty which you truly owe
To him that owes it, namely, this young prince;
And then our arms, like to a muzzled bear,
Save in aspect, hath all offence seal'd up;
Our cannons' malice vainly shall be spent
Against th' invulnerable clouds of heaven;
And with a blessed and unvex'd retire,
With unhack'd swords and helmets all unbruis'd,
We will bear home that lusty blood again
Which here we came to spout against your town,
And leave your children, wives, and you, in peace.
But if you fondly pass our proffer'd offer,
'Tis not the roundure of your old-fac'd walls
Can hide you from our messengers of war,
Though all these English and their discipline
Were harbour'd in their rude circumference.
Then tell us, shall your city call us lord
In that behalf which we have challeng'd it;
Or shall we give the signal to our rage,
And stalk in blood to our possession?
CITIZEN. In brief: we are the King of England's subjects;
For him, and in his right, we hold this town.
KING JOHN. Acknowledge then the King, and let me in.
CITIZEN. That can we not; but he that proves the King,
To him will we prove loyal. Till that time
Have we ramm'd up our gates against the world.
KING JOHN. Doth not the crown of England prove the King?
And if not that, I bring you witnesses:
Twice fifteen thousand hearts of England's breed-
BASTARD. Bastards and else.
KING JOHN. To verify our title with their lives.
KING PHILIP. As many and as well-born bloods as those-
BASTARD. Some bastards too.
KING PHILIP. Stand in his face to contradict his claim.
CITIZEN. Till you compound whose right is worthiest,
We for the worthiest hold the right from both.
KING JOHN. Then God forgive the sin of all those souls
That to their everlasting residence,
Before the dew of evening fall shall fleet
In dreadful trial of our kingdom's king!
KING PHILIP. Amen, Amen! Mount, chevaliers; to arms!
BASTARD. Saint George, that swing'd the dragon, and e'er since
Sits on's horse back at mine hostess' door,
Teach us some fence! [To AUSTRIA] Sirrah, were I at home,
At your den, sirrah, with your lioness,
I would set an ox-head to your lion's hide,
And make a monster of you.
AUSTRIA. Peace! no more.
BASTARD. O, tremble, for you hear the lion roar!
KING JOHN. Up higher to the plain, where we'll set forth
In best appointment all our regiments.
BASTARD. Speed then to take advantage of the field.
KING PHILIP. It shall be so; and at the other hill
Command the rest to stand. God and our right! Exeunt

Here, after excursions, enter the HERALD OF FRANCE,
with trumpets, to the gates

FRENCH HERALD. You men of Angiers, open wide your gates
And let young Arthur, Duke of Britaine, in,
Who by the hand of France this day hath made
Much work for tears in many an English mother,
Whose sons lie scattered on the bleeding ground;
Many a widow's husband grovelling lies,
Coldly embracing the discoloured earth;
And victory with little loss doth play
Upon the dancing banners of the French,
Who are at hand, triumphantly displayed,
To enter conquerors, and to proclaim
Arthur of Britaine England's King and yours.

Enter ENGLISH HERALD, with trumpet

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