The life and death of King John by William Shakespeare

*** Scanner’s Notes: What this is and isn’t. This was taken from a copy of Shakespeare’s first folio and it is as close as I can come in ASCII to the printed text. The elongated S’s have been changed to small s’s and the conjoined ae have been changed to ae. I have left the
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Scanner’s Notes: What this is and isn’t. This was taken from a copy of Shakespeare’s first folio and it is as close as I can come in ASCII to the printed text.

The elongated S’s have been changed to small s’s and the conjoined ae have been changed to ae. I have left the spelling, punctuation, capitalization as close as possible to the printed text. I have corrected some spelling mistakes (I have put together a spelling dictionary devised from the spellings of the Geneva Bible and Shakespeare’s First Folio and have unified spellings according to this template), typo’s and expanded abbreviations as I have come across them. Everything within brackets [] is what I have added. So if you don’t like that you can delete everything within the brackets if you want a purer Shakespeare.

Another thing that you should be aware of is that there are textual differences between various copies of the first folio. So there may be differences (other than what I have mentioned above) between this and other first folio editions. This is due to the printer’s habit of setting the type and running off a number of copies and then proofing the printed copy and correcting the type and then continuing the printing run. The proof run wasn’t thrown away but incorporated into the printed copies. This is just the way it is. The text I have used was a composite of more than 30 different First Folio editions’ best pages.

If you find any scanning errors, out and out typos, punctuation errors, or if you disagree with my spelling choices please feel free to email me those errors. I wish to make this the best etext possible. My email address for right now are and I hope that you enjoy this.

David Reed

The life and death of King John

Actus Primus, Scaena Prima.

Enter King Iohn, Queene Elinor, Pembroke, Essex, and Salisbury, with the
Chattylion of France.

King Iohn. Now say Chatillion, what would France with vs? Chat. Thus (after greeting) speakes the King of France,
In my behauiour to the Maiesty,
The borrowed Maiesty of England heere

Elea. A strange beginning: borrowed Maiesty? K.Iohn. Silence (good mother) heare the Embassie

Chat. Philip of France, in right and true behalfe Of thy deceased brother, Geffreyes sonne, Arthur Plantaginet, laies most lawfull claime To this faire Iland, and the Territories: To Ireland, Poyctiers, Aniowe, Torayne, Maine, Desiring thee to lay aside the sword
Which swaies vsurpingly these seuerall titles, And put the same into yong Arthurs hand, Thy Nephew, and right royall Soueraigne

K.Iohn. What followes if we disallow of this? Chat. The proud controle of fierce and bloudy warre, To inforce these rights, so forcibly with-held, K.Io. Heere haue we war for war, & bloud for bloud, Controlement for controlement: so answer France

Chat. Then take my Kings defiance from my mouth, The farthest limit of my Embassie

K.Iohn. Beare mine to him, and so depart in peace, Be thou as lightning in the eies 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 owne decay:
An honourable conduct let him haue, Pembroke looke too’t: farewell Chattillion.

Exit Chat. and Pem.

Ele. What now my sonne, haue I not euer said How that ambitious Constance would not cease Till she had kindled France and all the world, Vpon the right and party of her sonne.
This might haue beene preuented, and made whole With very easie arguments of loue,
Which now the mannage of two kingdomes must With fearefull bloudy issue arbitrate

K.Iohn. Our strong possession, and our right for vs

Eli. Your strong possessio[n] much more then your right, Or else it must go wrong with you and me, So much my conscience whispers in your eare, Which none but heauen, and you, and I, shall heare. Enter a Sheriffe.

Essex. My Liege, here is the strangest controuersie Come from the Country to be iudg’d by you That ere I heard: shall I produce the men? K.Iohn. Let them approach:
Our Abbies and our Priories shall pay This expeditions charge: what men are you? Enter Robert Faulconbridge, and Philip.

Philip. Your faithfull subiect, I a gentleman, Borne in Northamptonshire, and eldest sonne As I suppose, to Robert Faulconbridge,
A Souldier by the Honor-giuing-hand Of Cordelion, Knighted in the field

K.Iohn. What art thou?
Robert. The son and heire to that same Faulconbridge

K.Iohn. Is that the elder, and art thou the heyre? You came not of one mother then it seemes

Philip. Most certain of one mother, mighty King, That is well knowne, and as I thinke one father: But for the certaine knowledge of that truth, I put you o’re to heauen, and to my mother; Of that I doubt, as all mens children may

Eli. Out on thee rude man, y dost shame thy mother, And wound her honor with this diffidence

Phil. I Madame? No, I haue no reason for it, That is my brothers plea, and none of mine, The which if he can proue, a pops me out, At least from faire fiue hundred pound a yeere: Heauen guard my mothers honor, and my Land

K.Iohn. A good blunt fellow: why being yonger born Doth he lay claime to thine inheritance? Phil. I know not why, except to get the land: But once he slanderd me with bastardy:
But where I be as true begot or no, That still I lay vpon my mothers head,
But that I am as well begot my Liege (Faire fall the bones that tooke the paines for me) Compare our faces, and be Iudge your selfe If old Sir Robert did beget vs both,
And were our father, and this sonne like him: O old sir Robert Father, on my knee
I giue heauen thankes I was not like to thee

K.Iohn. Why what a mad-cap hath heauen lent vs here? Elen. He hath a tricke of Cordelions face, The accent of his tongue affecteth him:
Doe you not read some tokens of my sonne In the large composition of this man?
K.Iohn. Mine eye hath well examined his parts, And findes them perfect Richard: sirra speake, What doth moue you to claime your brothers land

Philip. Because he hath a half-face like my father? With halfe that face would he haue all my land, A halfe-fac’d groat, fiue hundred pound a yeere? Rob. My gracious Liege, when that my father liu’d, Your brother did imploy my father much

Phil. Well sir, by this you cannot get my land, Your tale must be how he employ’d my mother

Rob. And once dispatch’d him in an Embassie To Germany, there with the Emperor
To treat of high affaires touching that time: Th’ aduantage of his absence tooke the King, And in the meane time soiourn’d at my fathers; Where how he did preuaile, I shame to speake: But truth is truth, large lengths of seas and shores Betweene my father, and my mother lay,
As I haue heard my father speake himselfe When this same lusty gentleman was got:
Vpon his death-bed he by will bequeath’d His lands to me, and tooke it on his death That this my mothers sonne was none of his; And if he were, he came into the world
Full fourteene weekes before the course of time: Then good my Liedge let me haue what is mine, My fathers land, as was my fathers will

K.Iohn. Sirra, your brother is Legittimate, Your fathers wife did after wedlocke beare him: And if she did play false, the fault was hers, Which fault lyes on the hazards of all husbands That marry wiues: tell me, how if my brother Who as you say, tooke paines to get this sonne, Had of your father claim’d this sonne for his, Insooth, good friend, your father might haue kept This Calfe, bred from his Cow from all the world: Insooth he might: then if he were my brothers, My brother might not claime him, nor your father Being none of his, refuse him: this concludes, My mothers sonne did get your fathers heyre, Your fathers heyre must haue your fathers land

Rob. Shal then my fathers Will be of no force, To dispossesse that childe which is not his

Phil. Of no more force to dispossesse me sir, Then was his will to get me, as I think

Eli. Whether hadst thou rather be a Faulconbridge, And like thy brother to enioy thy land:
Or the reputed sonne of Cordelion,
Lord of thy presence, and no land beside

Bast. Madam, and if my brother had my shape And I had his, sir Roberts his like him, And if my legs were two such riding rods, My armes, such eele skins stuft, my face so thin, That in mine eare I durst not sticke a rose, Lest men should say, looke where three farthings goes, And to his shape were heyre to all this land, Would I might neuer stirre from off this place, I would giue it euery foot to haue this face: It would not be sir nobbe in any case

Elinor. I like thee well: wilt thou forsake thy fortune, Bequeath thy land to him, and follow me? I am a Souldier, and now bound to France

Bast. Brother, take you my land, Ile take my chance; Your face hath got fiue hundred pound a yeere, Yet sell your face for fiue pence and ’tis deere: Madam, Ile follow you vnto the death

Elinor. Nay, I would haue you go before me thither

Bast. Our Country manners giue our betters way

K.Iohn. What is thy name?
Bast. Philip my Liege, so is my name begun, Philip, good old Sir Roberts wiues eldest sonne

K.Iohn. From henceforth beare his name Whose forme thou bearest:
Kneele thou downe Philip, but rise more great, Arise Sir Richard, and Plantagenet

Bast. Brother by th’ mothers side, giue me your hand, My father gaue me honor, yours gaue land: Now blessed be the houre by night or day When I was got, Sir Robert was away

Ele. The very spirit of Plantaginet: I am thy grandame Richard, call me so

Bast. Madam by chance, but not by truth, what tho; Something about a little from the right, In at the window, or else ore the hatch: Who dares not stirre by day, must walke by night, And haue is haue, how euer men doe catch: Neere or farre off, well wonne is still well shot, And I am I, how ere I was begot

K.Iohn. Goe, Faulconbridge, now hast thou thy desire, A landlesse Knight, makes thee a landed Squire: Come Madam, and come Richard, we must speed For France, for France, for it is more then need

Bast. Brother adieu, good fortune come to thee, For thou wast got i’th way of honesty.

Exeunt. all but bastard.

Bast. A foot of Honor better then I was, But many a many foot of Land the worse.
Well, now can I make any Ioane a Lady, Good den Sir Richard, Godamercy fellow,
And if his name be George, Ile call him Peter; For new made honor doth forget mens names: ‘Tis two respectiue, and too sociable
For your conuersion, now your traueller, Hee and his tooth-picke at my worships messe, And when my knightly stomacke is suffis’d, Why then I sucke my teeth, and catechize My picked man of Countries: my deare sir, Thus leaning on mine elbow I begin,
I shall beseech you; that is question now, And then comes answer like an Absey booke: O sir, sayes answer, at your best command, At your employment, at your seruice sir: No sir, saies question, I sweet sir at yours, And so ere answer knowes what question would, Sauing in Dialogue of Complement,
And talking of the Alpes and Appenines, The Perennean and the riuer Poe,
It drawes toward supper in conclusion so. But this is worshipfull society,
And fits the mounting spirit like my selfe; For he is but a bastard to the time
That doth not smoake of obseruation, And so am I whether I smacke or no:
And not alone in habit and deuice,
Exterior forme, outward accoutrement; But from the inward motion to deliuer
Sweet, sweet, sweet poyson for the ages tooth, Which though I will not practice to deceiue, Yet to auoid deceit I meane to learne;
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 paines to blow a horne before her? O me, ’tis my mother: how now good Lady, What brings you heere to Court so hastily? Enter Lady Faulconbridge and Iames Gurney.

Lady. Where is that slaue thy brother? where is he? That holds in chase mine honour vp and downe

Bast. My brother Robert, old Sir Roberts sonne: Colbrand the Gyant, that same mighty man, Is it Sir Roberts sonne that you seeke so? Lady. Sir Roberts sonne, I thou vnreuerend boy, Sir Roberts sonne? why scorn’st thou at sir Robert? He is Sir Roberts sonne, and so art thou

Bast. Iames Gournie, wilt thou giue vs leaue a while? Gour. Good leaue good Philip

Bast. Philip, sparrow, Iames,
There’s toyes abroad, anon Ile tell thee more.

Exit Iames.

Madam, I was not old Sir Roberts sonne, Sir Robert might haue eat his part in me Vpon good Friday, and nere broke his fast: Sir Robert could doe well, marrie to confesse Could get me sir Robert could not doe it; We know his handy-worke, therefore good mother To whom am I beholding for these limmes? Sir Robert neuer holpe to make this legge

Lady. Hast thou conspired with thy brother too, That for thine owne gaine shouldst defend mine honor? What meanes this scorne, thou most vntoward knaue? Bast. Knight, knight good mother, Basilisco-like: What, I am dub’d, I haue it on my shoulder: But mother, I am not Sir Roberts sonne,
I haue 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. Hast thou denied thy selfe a Faulconbridge? Bast. As faithfully as I denie the deuill

Lady. King Richard Cordelion was thy father, By long and vehement suit I was seduc’d
To make roome for him in my husbands bed: Heauen lay not my transgression to my charge, That art the issue of my deere offence
Which was so strongly vrg’d past my defence

Bast. Now by this light were I to get againe, Madam I would not wish a better father:
Some sinnes doe beare their priuiledge on earth, And so doth yours: your fault, was not your follie, Needs must you lay your heart at his dispose, Subiected tribute to commanding loue,
Against whose furie and vnmatched force, The awlesse Lion could not wage the fight, Nor keepe his Princely heart from Richards hand: He that perforce robs Lions of their hearts, May easily winne a womans: aye my mother, With all my heart I thanke thee for my father: Who liues and dares but say, thou didst not well When I was got, Ile send his soule to hell. Come Lady I will shew thee to my kinne,
And they shall say, when Richard me begot, If thou hadst sayd him nay, it had beene sinne; Who sayes it was, he lyes, I say twas not.


Scaena Secunda.

Enter before Angiers, Philip King of France, Lewis, Daulphin, Austria,
Constance, Arthur.

Lewis. Before Angiers well met braue Austria, Arthur that great fore-runner of thy bloud, Richard that rob’d the Lion of his heart, And fought the holy Warres in Palestine, By this braue Duke came early to his graue: And for amends to his posteritie,
At our importance hether is he come, To spread his colours boy, in thy behalfe, And to rebuke the vsurpation
Of thy vnnaturall Vncle, English Iohn, Embrace him, loue him, giue him welcome hether

Arth. God shall forgiue you Cordelions death The rather, that you giue his off-spring life, Shadowing their right vnder your wings of warre: I giue you welcome with a powerlesse hand, But with a heart full of vnstained loue, Welcome before the gates Angiers Duke

Lewis. A noble boy, who would not doe thee right? Aust. Vpon thy cheeke lay I this zelous kisse, As seale to this indenture of my loue:
That to my home I will no more returne Till Angiers, and the right thou hast in France, Together with that pale, that white-fac’d shore, Whose foot spurnes backe the Oceans roaring tides, And coopes from other lands her Ilanders, Euen till that England hedg’d in with the maine, That Water-walled Bulwarke, still secure And confident from forreine purposes,
Euen till that vtmost corner of the West Salute thee for her King, till then faire boy Will I not thinke of home, but follow Armes

Const. O take his mothers thanks, a widdows thanks, Till your strong hand shall helpe to giue him strength, To make a more requitall to your loue

Aust. The peace of heauen is theirs y lift their swords In such a iust and charitable warre

King. Well, then to worke our Cannon shall be bent Against the browes of this resisting towne, Call for our cheefest men of discipline, To cull the plots of best aduantages:
Wee’ll lay before this towne our Royal bones, Wade to the market-place in French-mens bloud, But we will make it subiect to this boy

Con. Stay for an answer to your Embassie, Lest vnaduis’d you staine your swords with bloud, My Lord Chattilion may from England bring That right in peace which heere we vrge in warre, And then we shall repent each drop of bloud, That hot rash haste so indirectly shedde. Enter Chattilion.

King. A wonder Lady: lo vpon thy wish Our Messenger Chattilion is arriu’d,
What England saies, say breefely gentle Lord, We coldly pause for thee, Chatilion speake, Chat. Then turne your forces from this paltry siege, And stirre them vp against a mightier taske: England impatient of your iust demands,
Hath put himselfe in Armes, the aduerse windes Whose leisure I haue staid, haue giuen him time To land his Legions all as soone as I:
His marches are expedient to this towne, His forces strong, his Souldiers confident: With him along is come the Mother Queene, An Ace stirring him to bloud and strife, With her her Neece, the Lady Blanch of Spaine, With them a Bastard of the Kings deceast, And all th’ vnsetled humors of the Land, Rash, inconsiderate, fiery voluntaries,
With Ladies faces, and fierce Dragons spleenes, Haue sold their fortunes at their natiue homes, Bearing their birth-rights proudly on their backs, To make a hazard of new fortunes heere:
In briefe, a brauer choyse of dauntlesse spirits Then now the English bottomes haue waft o’re, Did neuer flote vpon the swelling tide,
To doe offence and scathe in Christendome: The interruption of their churlish drums Cuts off more circumstance, they are at hand,

Drum beats.

To parlie or to fight, therefore prepare

Kin. How much vnlook’d for, is this expedition

Aust. By how much vnexpected, by so much We must awake indeuor for defence,
For courage mounteth with occasion, Let them be welcome then, we are prepar’d. Enter K[ing]. of England, Bastard, Queene, Blanch, Pembroke, and others.

K.Iohn. Peace be to France: If France in peace permit Our iust and lineall entrance to our owne; If not, bleede France, and peace ascend to heauen. Whiles we Gods wrathfull agent doe correct Their proud contempt that beats his peace to heauen

Fran. Peace be to England, if that warre returne From France to England, there to liue in peace: England we loue, and for that Englands sake, With burden of our armor heere we sweat: This toyle of ours should be a worke of thine; But thou from louing England art so farre, That thou hast vnder-wrought his lawfull King, Cut off the sequence of posterity,
Out-faced Infant State, and done a rape Vpon the maiden vertue of the Crowne:
Looke heere vpon thy brother Geffreyes face, These eyes, these browes, were moulded out of his; This little abstract doth containe that large, Which died in Geffrey: and the hand of time, Shall draw this breefe into as huge a volume: That Geffrey was thy elder brother borne, And this his sonne, England was Geffreys right, And this is Geffreyes in the name of God: How comes it then that thou art call’d a King, When liuing blood doth in these temples beat Which owe the crowne, that thou ore-masterest? K.Iohn. From whom hast thou this great commission France, To draw my answer from thy Articles?
Fra. Fro[m] that supernal Iudge that stirs good thoughts In any breast of strong authoritie,
To looke into the blots and staines of right, That Iudge hath made me guardian to this boy, Vnder whose warrant I impeach thy wrong, And by whose helpe I meane to chastise it

K.Iohn. Alack thou dost vsurpe authoritie

Fran. Excuse it is to beat vsurping downe

Queen. Who is it thou dost call vsurper France? Const. Let me make answer: thy vsurping sonne

Queen. Out insolent, thy bastard shall be King, That thou maist be a Queen, and checke the world

Con. My bed was euer to thy sonne as true As thine was to thy husband, and this boy Liker in feature to his father Geffrey
Then thou and Iohn, in manners being as like, As raine to water, or deuill to his damme; My boy a bastard? by my soule I thinke
His father neuer was so true begot, It cannot be, and if thou wert his mother

Queen. Theres a good mother boy, that blots thy father Const. There’s a good grandame boy
That would blot thee

Aust. Peace

Bast. Heare the Cryer

Aust. What the deuill art thou?
Bast. One that wil play the deuill sir with you, And a may catch your hide and you alone: You are the Hare of whom the Prouerb goes Whose valour plucks dead Lyons by the beard; Ile smoake your skin-coat and I catch you right, Sirra looke too’t, yfaith I will, yfaith

Blan. O well did he become that Lyons robe, That did disrobe the Lion of that robe

Bast. It lies as sightly on the backe of him As great Alcides shooes vpon an Asse:
But Asse, Ile take that burthen from your backe, Or lay on that shall make your shoulders cracke

Aust. What cracker is this same that deafes our eares With this abundance of superfluous breath? King Lewis, determine what we shall doe strait

Lew. Women & fooles, breake off your conference. King Iohn, this is the very summe of all: England and Ireland, Angiers, Toraine, Maine, In right of Arthur doe I claime of thee: Wilt thou resigne them, and lay downe thy Armes? Iohn. My life as soone: I doe defie thee France, Arthur of Britaine, yeeld thee to my hand, And out of my deere loue Ile giue thee more, Then ere the coward hand of France can win; Submit thee boy

Queen. Come to thy grandame child

Cons. Doe childe, goe to yt grandame childe, Giue grandame kingdome, and it grandame will Giue yt a plum, a cherry, and a figge,
There’s a good grandame

Arthur. Good my mother peace,
I would that I were low laid in my graue, I am not worth this coyle that’s made for me

Qu.Mo. His mother shames him so, poore boy hee weepes

Con. Now shame vpon you where she does or no, His grandames wrongs, and not his mothers shames Drawes those heauen-mouing pearles fro[m] his poor eies, Which heauen shall take in nature of a fee: I, with these Christall beads heauen shall be brib’d To doe him Iustice, and reuenge on you

Qu. Thou monstrous slanderer of heauen and earth

Con. Thou monstrous Iniurer of heauen and earth, Call not me slanderer, thou and thine vsurpe The Dominations, Royalties, and rights
Of this oppressed boy; this is thy eldest sonnes sonne, Infortunate in nothing but in thee:
Thy sinnes are visited in this poore childe, The Canon of the Law is laide on him,
Being but the second generation
Remoued from thy sinne-conceiuing wombe

Iohn. Bedlam haue done

Con. I haue but this to say,
That he is not onely plagued for her sin, But God hath made her sinne and her, the plague On this remoued issue, plagued for her,
And with her plague her sinne: his iniury Her iniurie the Beadle to her sinne,
All punish’d in the person of this childe, And all for her, a plague vpon her

Que. Thou vnaduised scold, I can produce A Will, that barres the title of thy sonne

Con. I who doubts that, a Will: a wicked will, A womans will, a cankred Grandams will

Fra. Peace Lady, pause, or be more temperate, It ill beseemes this presence to cry ayme To these ill-tuned repetitions:
Some Trumpet summon hither to the walles These men of Angiers, let vs heare them speake, Whose title they admit, Arthurs or Iohns.

Trumpet sounds. Enter a Citizen vpon the walles.

Cit. Who is it that hath warn’d vs to the walles? Fra. ‘Tis France, for England

Iohn. England for it selfe:
You men of Angiers, and my louing subiects

Fra. You louing men of Angiers, Arthurs subiects, Our Trumpet call’d you to this gentle parle

Iohn. For our aduantage, therefore heare vs first: These flagges of France that are aduanced heere Before the eye and prospect of your Towne, Haue hither march’d to your endamagement. The Canons haue their bowels full of wrath, And ready mounted are they to spit forth Their Iron indignation ‘gainst your walles: All preparation for a bloody siedge
And merciles proceeding, by these French. Comfort your Citties eies, your winking gates: And but for our approch, those sleeping stones, That as a waste doth girdle you about
By the compulsion of their Ordinance, By this time from their fixed beds of lime Had bin dishabited, and wide hauocke made For bloody power to rush vppon your peace. But on the sight of vs your lawfull King, Who painefully with much expedient march Haue brought a counter-checke before your gates, To saue vnscratch’d your Citties threatned cheekes: Behold the French amaz’d vouchsafe a parle, And now insteed of bulletts wrapt in fire To make a shaking feuer in your walles,
They shoote but calme words, folded vp in smoake, To make a faithlesse errour in your eares, Which trust accordingly kinde Cittizens, And let vs in. Your King, whose labour’d spirits Fore-wearied in this action of swift speede, Craues harbourage within your Citie walles

France. When I haue saide, make answer to vs both. Loe in this right hand, whose protection Is most diuinely vow’d vpon the right
Of him it holds, stands yong Plantagenet, Sonne to the elder brother of this man,
And King ore him, and all that he enioyes: For this downe-troden equity, we tread
In warlike march, these greenes before your Towne, Being no further enemy to you
Then the constraint of hospitable zeale, In the releefe of this oppressed childe, Religiously prouokes. Be pleased then
To pay that dutie which you truly owe, To him that owes it, namely, this yong Prince, And then our Armes, like to a muzled Beare, Saue in aspect, hath all offence seal’d vp: Our Cannons malice vainly shall be spent Against th’ involnerable clouds of heauen, And with a blessed and vn-vext retyre,
With vnhack’d swords, and Helmets all vnbruis’d, We will beare home that lustie blood againe, Which heere we came to spout against your Towne, And leaue your children, wiues, and you in peace. But if you fondly passe our proffer’d offer, ‘Tis not the rounder of your old-fac’d walles, Can hide you from our messengers of Warre, Though all these English, and their discipline Were harbour’d in their rude circumference: Then tell vs, Shall your Citie call vs Lord, In that behalfe which we haue challeng’d it? Or shall we giue the signall to our rage, And stalke in blood to our possession?
Cit. In breefe, we are the King of Englands subiects For him, and in his right, we hold this Towne

Iohn. Acknowledge then the King, and let me in

Cit. That can we not: but he that proues the King To him will we proue loyall, till that time Haue we ramm’d vp our gates against the world

Iohn. Doth not the Crowne of England, prooue the King?
And if not that, I bring you Witnesses Twice fifteene thousand hearts of Englands breed

Bast. Bastards and else

Iohn. To verifie our title with their liues

Fran. As many and as well-borne bloods as those

Bast. Some Bastards too

Fran. Stand in his face to contradict his claime

Cit. Till you compound whose right is worthiest, We for the worthiest hold the right from both

Iohn. Then God forgiue the sinne of all those soules, That to their euerlasting residence,
Before the dew of euening fall, shall fleete In dreadfull triall of our kingdomes King

Fran. Amen, Amen, mount Cheualiers to Armes

Bast. Saint George that swindg’d the Dragon, And ere since sit’s on’s horsebacke at mine Hostesse dore Teach vs some sence. Sirrah, were I at home At your den sirrah, with your Lionnesse, I would set an Oxe-head to your Lyons hide: And make a monster of you

Aust. Peace, no more

Bast. O tremble: for you heare the Lyon rore

Iohn. Vp higher to the plaine, where we’l set forth In best appointment all our Regiments

Bast. Speed then to take aduantage of the field

Fra. It shall be so, and at the other hill Command the rest to stand, God and our right.


Heere after excursions, Enter the Herald of France with Trumpets to the

F.Her. You men of Angiers open wide your gates, And let yong Arthur Duke of Britaine in, Who by the hand of France, this day hath made Much worke for teares in many an English mother, Whose sonnes lye scattered on the bleeding ground: Many a widdowes husband groueling lies,
Coldly embracing the discoloured earth, And victorie with little losse doth play Vpon the dancing banners of the French,
Who are at hand triumphantly displayed To enter Conquerors, and to proclaime
Arthur of Britaine, Englands King, and yours. Enter English Herald with Trumpet.

E.Har. Reioyce you men of Angiers, ring your bels, King Iohn, your king and Englands, doth approach, Commander of this hot malicious day,
Their Armours that march’d hence so siluer bright, Hither returne all gilt with Frenchmens blood: There stucke no plume in any English Crest, That is remoued by a staffe of France.
Our colours do returne in those same hands That did display them when we first marcht forth: And like a iolly troope of Huntsmen come Our lustie English, all with purpled hands, Dide in the dying slaughter of their foes, Open your gates, and giue the Victors way

Hubert. Heralds, from off our towres we might behold From first to last, the on-set and retyre: Of both your Armies, whose equality
By our best eyes cannot be censured: Blood hath bought blood, and blowes haue answerd blowes: Strength matcht with strength, and power confronted power,
Both are alike, and both alike we like: One must proue greatest. While they weigh so euen, We hold our Towne for neither: yet for both. Enter the two Kings with their powers, at seuerall doores.

Iohn. France, hast thou yet more blood to cast away? Say, shall the currant of our right rome on, Whose passage vext with thy impediment,
Shall leaue his natiue channell, and ore-swell With course disturb’d euen thy confining shores, Vnlesse thou let his siluer Water, keepe A peacefull progresse to the Ocean

Fra. England thou hast not sau’d one drop of blood In this hot triall more then we of France, Rather lost more. And by this hand I sweare That swayes the earth this Climate ouer-lookes, Before we will lay downe our iust-borne Armes, Wee’l put thee downe, ‘gainst whom these Armes wee beare, Or adde a royall number to the dead:
Gracing the scroule that tels of this warres losse, With slaughter coupled to the name of kings

Bast. Ha Maiesty: how high thy glory towres, When the rich blood of kings is set on fire: Oh now doth death line his dead chaps with steele, The swords of souldiers are his teeth, his phangs, And now he feasts, mousing the flesh of men In vndetermin’d differences of kings.
Why stand these royall fronts amazed thus: Cry hauocke kings, backe to the stained field You equall Potents, fierie kindled spirits, Then let confusion of one part confirm
The others peace: till then, blowes, blood, and death

Iohn. Whose party do the Townesmen yet admit? Fra. Speake Citizens for England, whose your king

Hub. The king of England, when we know the king

Fra. Know him in vs, that heere hold vp his right

Iohn. In Vs, that are our owne great Deputie, And beare possession of our Person heere, Lord of our presence Angiers, and of you

Fra. A greater powre then We denies all this, And till it be vndoubted, we do locke
Our former scruple in our strong barr’d gates: Kings of our feare, vntill our feares resolu’d Be by some certaine king, purg’d and depos’d

Bast. By heauen, these scroyles of Angiers flout you kings, And stand securely on their battelments, As in a Theater, whence they gape and point At your industrious Scenes and acts of death. Your Royall presences be rul’d by mee,
Do like the Mutines of Ierusalem,
Be friends a-while, and both conioyntly bend Your sharpest Deeds of malice on this Towne. By East and West let France and England mount. Their battering Canon charged to the mouthes, Till their soule-fearing clamours haue braul’d downe The flintie ribbes of this contemptuous Citie, I’de play incessantly vpon these Iades,
Euen till vnfenced desolation
Leaue them as naked as the vulgar ayre: That done, disseuer your vnited strengths, And part your mingled colours once againe, Turne face to face, and bloody point to point: Then in a moment Fortune shall cull forth Out of one side her happy Minion,
To whom in fauour she shall giue the day, And kisse him with a glorious victory:
How like you this wilde counsell mighty States, Smackes it not something of the policie

Iohn. Now by the sky that hangs aboue our heads, I like it well. France, shall we knit our powres, And lay this Angiers euen with the ground, Then after fight who shall be king of it? Bast. And if thou hast the mettle of a king, Being wrong’d as we are by this peeuish Towne: Turne thou the mouth of thy Artillerie,
As we will ours, against these sawcie walles, And when that we haue dash’d them to the ground, Why then defie each other, and pell-mell, Make worke vpon our selues, for heauen or hell

Fra. Let it be so: say, where will you assault? Iohn. We from the West will send destruction Into this Cities bosome

Aust. I from the North

Fran. Our Thunder from the South,
Shall raine their drift of bullets on this Towne

Bast. O prudent discipline! From North to South: Austria and France shoot in each others mouth. Ile stirre them to it: Come, away, away

Hub. Heare vs great kings, vouchsafe awhile to stay And I shall shew you peace, and faire-fac’d league: Win you this Citie without stroke, or wound, Rescue those breathing liues to dye in beds, That heere come sacrifices for the field. Perseuer not, but heare me mighty kings

Iohn. Speake on with fauour, we are bent to heare

Hub. That daughter there of Spaine, the Lady Blanch Is neere to England, looke vpon the yeeres Of Lewes the Dolphin, and that louely maid. If lustie loue should go in quest of beautie, Where should he finde it fairer, then in Blanch: If zealous loue should go in search of vertue, Where should he finde it purer then in Blanch? If loue ambitious, sought a match of birth, Whose veines bound richer blood then Lady Blanch? Such as she is, in beautie, vertue, birth, Is the yong Dolphin euery way compleat,
If not compleat of, say he is not shee, And she againe wants nothing, to name want, If want it be not, that she is not hee.
He is the halfe part of a blessed man, Left to be finished by such as shee,
And she a faire diuided excellence, Whose fulnesse of perfection lyes in him. O two such siluer currents when they ioyne Do glorifie the bankes that bound them in: And two such shores, to two such streames made one, Two such controlling bounds shall you be, kings, To these two Princes, if you marrie them: This Vnion shall do more then batterie can To our fast closed gates: for at this match, With swifter spleene then powder can enforce The mouth of passage shall we fling wide ope, And giue you entrance: but without this match, The sea enraged is not halfe so deafe,
Lyons more confident, Mountaines and rockes More free from motion, no not death himselfe In mortall furie halfe so peremptorie,
As we to keepe this Citie

Bast. Heeres a stay,
That shakes the rotten carkasse of old death Out of his ragges. Here’s a large mouth indeede, That spits forth death, and mountaines, rockes, and seas, Talkes as familiarly of roaring Lyons,
As maids of thirteene do of puppi-dogges. What Cannoneere begot this lustie blood, He speakes plaine Cannon fire, and smoake, and bounce, He giues the bastinado with his tongue:
Our eares are cudgel’d, not a word of his But buffets better then a fist of France: Zounds, I was neuer so bethumpt with words, Since I first cal’d my brothers father Dad

Old Qu. Son, list to this coniunction, make this match Giue with our Neece a dowrie large enough, For by this knot, thou shalt so surely tye Thy now vnsur’d assurance to the Crowne, That yon greene boy shall haue no Sunne to ripe The bloome that promiseth a mightie fruite. I see a yeelding in the lookes of France: Marke how they whisper, vrge them while their soules Are capeable of this ambition,
Least zeale now melted by the windie breath Of soft petitions, pittie and remorse,
Coole and congeale againe to what it was

Hub. Why answer not the double Maiesties, This friendly treatie of our threatned Towne

Fra. Speake England first, that hath bin forward first To speake vnto this Cittie: what say you? Iohn. If that the Dolphin there thy Princely sonne, Can in this booke of beautie read, I loue: Her Dowrie shall weigh equall with a Queene: For Angiers, and faire Toraine Maine, Poyctiers, And all that we vpon this side the Sea,
(Except this Cittie now by vs besiedg’d) Finde liable to our Crowne and Dignitie, Shall gild her bridall bed and make her rich In titles, honors, and promotions,
As she in beautie, education, blood, Holdes hand with any Princesse of the world

Fra. What sai’st thou boy? looke in the Ladies face

Dol. I do my Lord, and in her eie I find A wonder, or a wondrous miracle,
The shadow of my selfe form’d in her eye, Which being but the shadow of your sonne, Becomes a sonne and makes your sonne a shadow: I do protest I neuer lou’d my selfe
Till now, infixed I beheld my selfe, Drawne in the flattering table of her eie.

Whispers with Blanch.

Bast. Drawne in the flattering table of her eie, Hang’d in the frowning wrinkle of her brow, And quarter’d in her heart, hee doth espie Himselfe loues traytor, this is pittie now; That hang’d, and drawne, and quarter’d there should be In such a loue, so vile a Lout as he

Blan. My vnckles will in this respect is mine, If he see ought in you that makes him like, That any thing he see’s which moues his liking, I can with ease translate it to my will: Or if you will, to speake more properly, I will enforce it easlie to my loue.
Further I will not flatter you, my Lord, That all I see in you is worthie loue,
Then this, that nothing do I see in you, Though churlish thoughts themselues should bee your Iudge,
That I can finde, should merit any hate

Iohn. What saie these yong-ones? What say you my Neece?
Blan. That she is bound in honor still to do What you in wisedome still vouchsafe to say

Iohn. Speake then Prince Dolphin, can you loue this Ladie?
Dol. Nay aske me if I can refraine from loue, For I doe loue her most vnfainedly

Iohn. Then I doe giue Volquessen, Toraine, Maine, Poyctiers and Aniow, these fiue Prouinces With her to thee, and this addition more, Full thirty thousand Markes of English coyne: Phillip of France, if thou be pleas’d withall, Command thy sonne and daughter to ioyne hands

Fra. It likes vs well young Princes: close your hands Aust. And your lippes too, for I am well assur’d, That I did so when I was first assur’d

Fra. Now Cittizens of Angires ope your gates, Let in that amitie which you haue made,
For at Saint Maries Chappell presently, The rights of marriage shallbe solemniz’d. Is not the Ladie Constance in this troope? I know she is not for this match made vp, Her presence would haue interrupted much. Where is she and her sonne, tell me, who knowes? Dol. She is sad and passionate at your highnes Tent

Fra. And by my faith, this league that we haue made Will giue her sadnesse very little cure: Brother of England, how may we content
This widdow Lady? In her right we came, Which we God knowes, haue turn’d another way, To our owne vantage

Iohn. We will heale vp all,
For wee’l create yong Arthur Duke of Britaine And Earle of Richmond, and this rich faire Towne We make him Lord of. Call the Lady Constance, Some speedy Messenger bid her repaire
To our solemnity: I trust we shall, (If not fill vp the measure of her will) Yet in some measure satisfie her so,
That we shall stop her exclamation, Go we as well as hast will suffer vs,
To this vnlook’d for vnprepared pompe.


Bast. Mad world, mad kings, mad composition: Iohn to stop Arthurs Title in the whole, Hath willingly departed with a part,
And France, whose armour Conscience buckled on, Whom zeale and charitie brought to the field, As Gods owne souldier, rounded in the eare, With that same purpose-changer, that slye diuel, That Broker, that still breakes the pate of faith, That dayly breake-vow, he that winnes of all, Of kings, of beggers, old men, yong men, maids, Who hauing no externall thing to loose,
But the word Maid, cheats the poore Maide of that. That smooth-fac’d Gentleman, tickling commoditie, Commoditie, the byas of the world,
The world, who of it selfe is peysed well, Made to run euen, vpon euen ground;
Till this aduantage, this vile drawing byas, This sway of motion, this commoditie,
Makes it take head from all indifferency, From all direction, purpose, course, intent. And this same byas, this Commoditie,
This Bawd, this Broker, this all-changing-word, Clap’d on the outward eye of fickle France, Hath drawne him from his owne determin’d ayd, From a resolu’d and honourable warre,
To a most base and vile-concluded peace. And why rayle I on this Commoditie?
But for because he hath not wooed me yet: Not that I haue the power to clutch my hand, When his faire Angels would salute my palme, But for my hand, as vnattempted yet,
Like a poore begger, raileth on the rich. Well, whiles I am a begger, I will raile, And say there is no sin but to be rich:
And being rich, my vertue then shall be, To say there is no vice, but beggerie:
Since Kings breake faith vpon commoditie, Gaine be my Lord, for I will worship thee. Enter.

Actus Secundus

Enter Constance, Arthur, and Salisbury.

Con. Gone to be married? Gone to sweare a peace? False blood to false blood ioyn’d. Gone to be freinds? Shall Lewis haue Blaunch, and Blaunch those Prouinces? It is not so, thou hast mispoke, misheard, Be well aduis’d, tell ore thy tale againe. It cannot be, thou do’st but say ’tis so. I trust I may not trust thee, for thy word Is but the vaine breath of a common man: Beleeue me, I doe not beleeue thee man,
I haue a Kings oath to the contrarie. Thou shalt be punish’d for thus frighting me, For I am sicke, and capeable of feares,
Opprest with wrongs, and therefore full of feares, A widdow, husbandles, subiect to feares, A woman naturally borne to feares;
And though thou now confesse thou didst but iest With my vext spirits, I cannot take a Truce, But they will quake and tremble all this day. What dost thou meane by shaking of thy head? Why dost thou looke so sadly on my sonne? What meanes that hand vpon that breast of thine? Why holdes thine eie that lamentable rhewme, Like a proud riuer peering ore his bounds? Be these sad signes confirmers of thy words? Then speake againe, not all thy former tale, But this one word, whether thy tale be true

Sal. As true as I beleeue you thinke them false, That giue you cause to proue my saying true

Con. Oh if thou teach me to beleeue this sorrow, Teach thou this sorrow, how to make me dye, And let beleefe, and life encounter so,
As doth the furie of two desperate men, Which in the very meeting fall, and dye. Lewes marry Blaunch? O boy, then where art thou? France friend with England, what becomes of me? Fellow be gone: I cannot brooke thy sight, This newes hath made thee a most vgly man

Sal. What other harme haue I good Lady done, But spoke the harme, that is by others done? Con. Which harme within it selfe so heynous is, As it makes harmefull all that speake of it

Ar. I do beseech you Madam be content

Con. If thou that bidst me be content, wert grim Vgly, and slandrous to thy Mothers wombe, Full of vnpleasing blots, and sightlesse staines, Lame, foolish, crooked, swart, prodigious, Patch’d with foule Moles, and eye-offending markes, I would not care, I then would be content, For then I should not loue thee: no, nor thou Become thy great birth, nor deserue a Crowne. But thou art faire, and at thy birth (deere boy) Nature and Fortune ioyn’d to make thee great. Of Natures guifts, thou mayst with Lillies boast, And with the halfe-blowne Rose. But Fortune, oh, She is corrupted, chang’d, and wonne from thee, Sh’ adulterates hourely with thine Vnckle Iohn, And with her golden hand hath pluckt on France To tread downe faire respect of Soueraigntie, And made his Maiestie the bawd to theirs. France is a Bawd to Fortune, and king Iohn, That strumpet Fortune, that vsurping Iohn: Tell me thou fellow, is not France forsworne? Envenom him with words, or get thee gone, And leaue those woes alone, which I alone Am bound to vnder-beare

Sal. Pardon me Madam,
I may not goe without you to the kings

Con. Thou maist, thou shalt, I will not go with thee, I will instruct my sorrowes to bee proud, For greefe is proud, and makes his owner stoope, To me and to the state of my great greefe, Lets kings assemble: for my greefe’s so great, That no supporter but the huge firme earth Can hold it vp: here I and sorrowes sit, Heere is my Throne bid kings come bow to it.

Actus Tertius, Scaena prima.

Enter King Iohn, France, Dolphin, Blanch, Elianor, Philip, Austria, Constance.

Fran. ‘Tis true (faire daughter) and this blessed day, Euer in France shall be kept festiuall:
To solemnize this day the glorious sunne Stayes in his course, and playes the Alchymist, Turning with splendor of his precious eye The meager cloddy earth to glittering gold: The yearely course that brings this day about, Shall neuer see it, but a holy day

Const. A wicked day, and not a holy day. What hath this day deseru’d? what hath it done, That it in golden letters should be set
Among the high tides in the Kalender? Nay, rather turne this day out of the weeke, This day of shame, oppression, periury.
Or if it must stand still, let wiues with childe Pray that their burthens may not fall this day, Lest that their hopes prodigiously be crost: But (on this day) let Sea-men feare no wracke, No bargaines breake that are not this day made; This day all things begun, come to ill end, Yea, faith it selfe to hollow falshood change

Fra. By heauen Lady, you shall haue no cause To curse the faire proceedings of this day: Haue I not pawn’d to you my Maiesty?
Const. You haue beguil’d me with a counterfeit Resembling Maiesty, which being touch’d and tride, Proues valuelesse: you are forsworne, forsworne, You came in Armes to spill mine enemies bloud, But now in Armes, you strengthen it with yours. The grapling vigor, and rough frowne of Warre Is cold in amitie, and painted peace,
And our oppression hath made vp this league: Arme, arme, you heauens, against these periur’d Kings, A widdow cries, be husband to me (heauens) Let not the howres of this vngodly day
Weare out the daies in Peace; but ere Sun-set, Set armed discord ‘twixt these periur’d Kings, Heare me, Oh, heare me

Aust. Lady Constance, peace

Const. War, war, no peace, peace is to me a warre: O Lymoges, O Austria, thou dost shame
That bloudy spoyle: thou slaue, thou wretch, y coward, Thou little valiant, great in villanie,
Thou euer strong vpon the stronger side; Thou Fortunes Champion, that do’st neuer fight But when her humourous Ladiship is by
To teach thee safety: thou art periur’d too, And sooth’st vp greatnesse. What a foole art thou, A ramping foole, to brag, and stamp, and sweare, Vpon my partie: thou cold blooded slaue, Hast thou not spoke like thunder on my side? Beene sworne my Souldier, bidding me depend Vpon thy starres, thy fortune, and thy strength, And dost thou now fall ouer to my foes?
Thou weare a Lyons hide, doff it for shame, And hang a Calues skin on those recreant limbes

Aus. O that a man should speake those words to me

Phil. And hang a Calues-skin on those recreant limbs Aus. Thou dar’st not say so villaine for thy life

Phil. And hang a Calues-skin on those recreant limbs

Iohn. We like not this, thou dost forget thy selfe. Enter Pandulph.

Fra. Heere comes the holy Legat of the Pope

Pan. Haile you annointed deputies of heauen; To thee King Iohn my holy errand is:
I Pandulph, of faire Millane Cardinall, And from Pope Innocent the Legate heere, Doe in his name religiously demand
Why thou against the Church, our holy Mother, So wilfully dost spurne; and force perforce Keepe Stephen Langton chosen Archbishop
Of Canterbury from that holy Sea:
This in our foresaid holy Fathers name Pope Innocent, I doe demand of thee

Iohn. What earthie name to Interrogatories Can tast the free breath of a sacred King? Thou canst not (Cardinall) deuise a name So slight, vnworthy, and ridiculous
To charge me to an answere, as the Pope: Tell him this tale, and from the mouth of England, Adde thus much more, that no Italian Priest Shall tythe or toll in our dominions:
But as we, vnder heauen, are supreame head, So vnder him that great supremacy
Where we doe reigne, we will alone vphold Without th’ assistance of a mortall hand: So tell the Pope, all reuerence set apart To him and his vsurp’d authoritie

Fra. Brother of England, you blaspheme in this

Iohn. Though you, and all the Kings of Christendom Are led so grossely by this medling Priest, Dreading the curse that money may buy out, And by the merit of vilde gold, drosse, dust, Purchase corrupted pardon of a man,
Who in that sale sels pardon from himselfe: Though you, and al the rest so grossely led, This iugling witchcraft with reuennue cherish, Yet I alone, alone doe me oppose
Against the Pope, and count his friends my foes

Pand. Then by the lawfull power that I haue, Thou shalt stand curst, and excommunicate, And blessed shall he be that doth reuolt From his Allegeance to an heretique,
And meritorious shall that hand be call’d, Canonized and worship’d as a Saint,
That takes away by any secret course Thy hatefull life

Con. O lawfull let it be
That I haue roome with Rome to curse a while, Good Father Cardinall, cry thou Amen
To my keene curses; for without my wrong There is no tongue hath power to curse him right

Pan. There’s Law and Warrant (Lady) for my curse

Cons. And for mine too, when Law can do no right. Let it be lawfull, that Law barre no wrong: Law cannot giue my childe his kingdome heere; For he that holds his Kingdome, holds the Law: Therefore since Law it selfe is perfect wrong, How can the Law forbid my tongue to curse? Pand. Philip of France, on perill of a curse, Let goe the hand of that Arch-heretique, And raise the power of France vpon his head, Vnlesse he doe submit himselfe to Rome

Elea. Look’st thou pale France? do not let go thy hand

Con. Looke to that Deuill, lest that France repent, And by disioyning hands hell lose a soule

Aust. King Philip, listen to the Cardinall

Bast. And hang a Calues-skin on his recreant limbs

Aust. Well ruffian, I must pocket vp these wrongs, Because,
Bast. Your breeches best may carry them

Iohn. Philip, what saist thou to the Cardinall? Con. What should he say, but as the Cardinall? Dolph. Bethinke you father, for the difference Is purchase of a heauy curse from Rome,
Or the light losse of England, for a friend: Forgoe the easier

Bla. That’s the curse of Rome

Con. O Lewis, stand fast, the deuill tempts thee heere In likenesse of a new vntrimmed Bride

Bla. The Lady Constance speakes not from her faith, But from her need

Con. Oh, if thou grant my need,
Which onely liues but by the death of faith, That need, must needs inferre this principle, That faith would liue againe by death of need: O then tread downe my need, and faith mounts vp, Keepe my need vp, and faith is trodden downe

Iohn. The king is moud, and answers not to this

Con. O be remou’d from him, and answere well

Aust. Doe so king Philip, hang no more in doubt

Bast. Hang nothing but a Calues skin most sweet lout

Fra. I am perplext, and know not what to say

Pan. What canst thou say, but wil perplex thee more? If thou stand excommunicate, and curst?
Fra. Good reuerend father, make my person yours, And tell me how you would bestow your selfe? This royall hand and mine are newly knit, And the coniunction of our inward soules Married in league, coupled, and link’d together With all religous strength of sacred vowes, The latest breath that gaue the sound of words Was deepe-sworne faith, peace, amity, true loue Betweene our kingdomes and our royall selues, And euen before this truce, but new before, No longer then we well could wash our hands, To clap this royall bargaine vp of peace, Heauen knowes they were besmear’d and ouer-staind With slaughters pencill; where reuenge did paint The fearefull difference of incensed kings: And shall these hands so lately purg’d of bloud? So newly ioyn’d in loue? so strong in both, Vnyoke this seysure, and this kinde regreete? Play fast and loose with faith? so iest with heauen, Make such vnconstant children of our selues As now againe to snatch our palme from palme: Vn-sweare faith sworne, and on the marriage bed Of smiling peace to march a bloody hoast, And make a ryot on the gentle brow
Of true sincerity? O holy Sir
My reuerend father, let it not be so; Out of your grace, deuise, ordaine, impose Some gentle order, and then we shall be blest To doe your pleasure, and continue friends

Pand. All forme is formelesse, Order orderlesse, Saue what is opposite to Englands loue.
Therefore to Armes, be Champion of our Church, Or let the Church our mother breathe her curse, A mothers curse, on her reuolting sonne: France, thou maist hold a serpent by the tongue, A cased Lion by the mortall paw,
A fasting Tyger safer by the tooth, Then keepe in peace that hand which thou dost hold

Fra. I may dis-ioyne my hand, but not my faith

Pand. So mak’st thou faith an enemy to faith, And like a ciuill warre setst oath to oath, Thy tongue against thy tongue. O let thy vow First made to heauen, first be to heauen perform’d, That is, to be the Champion of our Church, What since thou sworst, is sworne against thy selfe, And may not be performed by thy selfe,
For that which thou hast sworne to doe amisse, Is not amisse when it is truely done:
And being not done, where doing tends to ill, The truth is then most done not doing it: The better Act of purposes mistooke,
Is to mistake again, though indirect, Yet indirection thereby growes direct,
And falshood, falshood cures, as fire cooles fire Within the scorched veines of one new burn’d: It is religion that doth make vowes kept, But thou hast sworne against religion:
By what thou swear’st against the thing thou swear’st, And mak’st an oath the suretie for thy truth, Against an oath the truth, thou art vnsure To sweare, sweares onely not to be forsworne, Else what a mockerie should it be to sweare? But thou dost sweare, onely to be forsworne, And most forsworne, to keepe what thou dost sweare, Therefore thy later vowes, against thy first, Is in thy selfe rebellion to thy selfe:
And better conquest neuer canst thou make, Then arme thy constant and thy nobler parts Against these giddy loose suggestions:
Vpon which better part, our prayrs come in, If thou vouchsafe them. But if not, then know The perill of our curses light on thee
So heauy, as thou shalt not shake them off But in despaire, dye vnder their blacke weight

Aust. Rebellion, flat rebellion

Bast. Wil’t not be?
Will not a Calues-skin stop that mouth of thine? Daul. Father, to Armes

Blanch. Vpon thy wedding day?
Against the blood that thou hast married? What, shall our feast be kept with slaughtered men? Shall braying trumpets, and loud churlish drums Clamors of hell, be measures to our pomp? O husband heare me: aye, alacke, how new Is husband in my mouth? euen for that name Which till this time my tongue did nere pronounce; Vpon my knee I beg, goe not to Armes
Against mine Vncle

Const. O, vpon my knee made hard with kneeling, I doe pray to thee, thou vertuous Daulphin, Alter not the doome fore-thought by heauen

Blan. Now shall I see thy loue, what motiue may Be stronger with thee, then the name of wife? Con. That which vpholdeth him, that thee vpholds, His Honor, Oh thine Honor, Lewis thine Honor

Dolph. I muse your Maiesty doth seeme so cold, When such profound respects doe pull you on? Pand. I will denounce a curse vpon his head

Fra. Thou shalt not need. England, I will fall fro[m] thee

Const. O faire returne of banish’d Maiestie

Elea. O foule reuolt of French inconstancy

Eng. France, y shalt rue this houre within this houre

Bast. Old Time the clocke setter, y bald sexton Time: Is it as he will? well then, France shall rue

Bla. The Sun’s orecast with bloud: faire day adieu, Which is the side that I must goe withall? I am with both, each Army hath a hand,
And in their rage, I hauing hold of both, They whurle a-sunder, and dismember mee. Husband, I cannot pray that thou maist winne: Vncle, I needs must pray that thou maist lose: Father, I may not wish the fortune thine: Grandam, I will not wish thy wishes thriue: Who-euer wins, on that side shall I lose: Assured losse, before the match be plaid

Dolph. Lady, with me, with me thy fortune lies

Bla. There where my fortune liues, there my life dies

Iohn. Cosen, goe draw our puisance together, France, I am burn’d vp with inflaming wrath, A rage, whose heat hath this condition;
That nothing can allay, nothing but blood, The blood and deerest valued bloud of France

Fra. Thy rage shall burne thee vp, & thou shalt turne To ashes, ere our blood shall quench that fire: Looke to thy selfe, thou art in ieopardie

Iohn. No more then he that threats. To Arms let’s hie.


Scoena Secunda.

Allarums, Excursions: Enter Bastard with Austria’s head.

Bast. Now by my life, this day grows wondrous hot, Some ayery Deuill houers in the skie,
And pour’s downe mischiefe. Austrias head lye there, Enter Iohn, Arthur, Hubert.

While Philip breathes

Iohn. Hubert, keepe this boy: Philip make vp, My Mother is assayled in our Tent,
And tane I feare

Bast. My Lord I rescued her,
Her Highnesse is in safety, feare you not: But on my Liege, for very little paines
Will bring this labor to an happy end. Enter.

Alarums, excursions, Retreat. Enter Iohn, Eleanor, Arthur Bastard, Hubert,

Iohn. So shall it be: your Grace shall stay behinde So strongly guarded: Cosen, looke not sad, Thy Grandame loues thee, and thy Vnkle will As deere be to thee, as thy father was

Arth. O this will make my mother die with griefe

Iohn. Cosen away for England, haste before, And ere our comming see thou shake the bags Of hoording Abbots, imprisoned angells
Set at libertie: the fat ribs of peace Must by the hungry now be fed vpon:
Vse our Commission in his vtmost force

Bast. Bell, Booke, & Candle, shall not driue me back, When gold and siluer becks me to come on. I leaue your highnesse: Grandame, I will pray (If euer I remember to be holy)
For your faire safety: so I kisse your hand

Ele. Farewell gentle Cosen

Iohn. Coz, farewell

Ele. Come hether little kinsman, harke, a worde

Iohn. Come hether Hubert. O my gentle Hubert, We owe thee much: within this wall of flesh There is a soule counts thee her Creditor, And with aduantage meanes to pay thy loue: And my good friend, thy voluntary oath
Liues in this bosome, deerely cherished. Giue me thy hand, I had a thing to say,
But I will fit it with some better tune. By heauen Hubert, I am almost asham’d
To say what good respect I haue of thee

Hub. I am much bounden to your Maiesty

Iohn. Good friend, thou hast no cause to say so yet, But thou shalt haue: and creepe time nere so slow, Yet it shall come, for me to doe thee good. I had a thing to say, but let it goe:
The Sunne is in the heauen, and the proud day, Attended with the pleasures of the world, Is all too wanton, and too full of gawdes To giue me audience: If the mid-night bell Did with his yron tongue, and brazen mouth Sound on into the drowzie race of night: If this same were a Church-yard where we stand, And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs: Or if that surly spirit melancholy
Had bak’d thy bloud, and made it heauy, thicke, Which else runnes tickling vp and downe the veines, Making that idiot laughter keepe mens eyes, And straine their cheekes to idle merriment, A passion hatefull to my purposes:
Or if that thou couldst see me without eyes, Heare me without thine eares, and make reply Without a tongue, vsing conceit alone,
Without eyes, eares, and harmefull sound of words: Then, in despight of brooded watchfull day, I would into thy bosome poure my thoughts: But (ah) I will not, yet I loue thee well, And by my troth I thinke thou lou’st me well

Hub. So well, that what you bid me vndertake, Though that my death were adiunct to my Act, By heauen I would doe it

Iohn. Doe not I know thou wouldst?
Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert throw thine eye On yon young boy: Ile tell thee what my friend, He is a very serpent in my way,
And wheresoere this foot of mine doth tread, He lies before me: dost thou vnderstand me? Thou art his keeper

Hub. And Ile keepe him so,
That he shall not offend your Maiesty

Iohn. Death

Hub. My Lord

Iohn. A Graue

Hub. He shall not liue

Iohn. Enough.
I could be merry now, Hubert, I loue thee. Well, Ile not say what I intend for thee: Remember: Madam, Fare you well,
Ile send those powers o’re to your Maiesty

Ele. My blessing goe with thee

Iohn. For England Cosen, goe.
Hubert shall be your man, attend on you With al true duetie: On toward Callice, hoa.


Scaena Tertia.

Enter France, Dolphin, Pandulpho, Attendants.

Fra. So by a roaring Tempest on the flood, A whole Armado of conuicted saile
Is scattered and dis-ioyn’d from fellowship

Pand. Courage and comfort, all shall yet goe well

Fra. What can goe well, when we haue runne so ill? Are we not beaten? Is not Angiers lost?
Arthur tane prisoner? diuers deere friends slaine? And bloudy England into England gone,
Ore-bearing interruption spight of France? Dol. What he hath won, that hath he fortified: So hot a speed, with such aduice dispos’d, Such temperate order in so fierce a cause, Doth want example: who hath read, or heard Of any kindred-action like to this?
Fra. Well could I beare that England had this praise, So we could finde some patterne of our shame: Enter Constance.

Looke who comes heere? a graue vnto a soule, Holding th’ eternall spirit against her will, In the vilde prison of afflicted breath: I prethee Lady goe away with me

Con. Lo; now: now see the issue of your peace

Fra. Patience good Lady, comfort gentle Constance

Con. No, I defie all Counsell, all redresse, But that which ends all counsell, true Redresse: Death, death, O amiable, louely death,
Thou odoriferous stench: sound rottennesse, Arise forth from the couch of lasting night, Thou hate and terror to prosperitie,
And I will kisse thy detestable bones, And put my eye-balls in thy vaultie browes, And ring these fingers with thy houshold wormes, And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust, And be a Carrion Monster like thy selfe; Come, grin on me, and I will thinke thou smil’st, And busse thee as thy wife: Miseries Loue, O come to me

Fra. O faire affliction, peace

Con. No, no, I will not, hauing breath to cry: O that my tongue were in the thunders mouth, Then with a passion would I shake the world, And rowze from sleepe that fell Anatomy
Which cannot heare a Ladies feeble voyce, Which scornes a moderne Inuocation

Pand. Lady, you vtter madnesse, and not sorrow

Con. Thou art holy to belye me so,
I am not mad: this haire I teare is mine, My name is Constance, I was Geffreyes wife, Yong Arthur is my sonne, and he is lost: I am not mad, I would to heauen I were,
For then ’tis like I should forget my selfe: O, if I could, what griefe should I forget? Preach some Philosophy to make me mad,
And thou shalt be Canoniz’d (Cardinall.) For, being not mad, but sensible of greefe, My reasonable part produces reason
How I may be deliuer’d of these woes. And teaches mee to kill or hang my selfe: If I were mad, I should forget my sonne, Or madly thinke a babe of clowts were he; I am not mad: too well, too well I feele The different plague of each calamitie

Fra. Binde vp those tresses: O what loue I note In the faire multitude of those her haires; Where but by chance a siluer drop hath falne, Euen to that drop ten thousand wiery fiends Doe glew themselues in sociable griefe,
Like true, inseparable, faithfull loues, Sticking together in calamitie

Con. To England, if you will

Fra. Binde vp your haires

Con. Yes that I will: and wherefore will I do it? I tore them from their bonds, and cride aloud, O, that these hands could so redeeme my sonne, As they haue giuen these hayres their libertie: But now I enuie at their libertie,
And will againe commit them to their bonds, Because my poore childe is a prisoner.
And Father Cardinall, I haue heard you say That we shall see and know our friends in heauen: If that be true, I shall see my boy againe; For since the birth of Caine, the first male-childe To him that did but yesterday suspire,
There was not such a gracious creature borne: But now will Canker-sorrow eat my bud,
And chase the natiue beauty from his cheeke, And he will looke as hollow as a Ghost,
As dim and meager as an Agues fitte, And so hee’ll dye: and rising so againe, When I shall meet him in the Court of heauen I shall not know him: therefore neuer, neuer Must I behold my pretty Arthur more

Pand. You hold too heynous a respect of greefe

Const. He talkes to me, that neuer had a sonne

Fra. You are as fond of greefe, as of your childe

Con. Greefe fils the roome vp of my absent childe: Lies in his bed, walkes vp and downe with me, Puts on his pretty lookes, repeats his words, Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Stuffes out his vacant garments with his forme; Then, haue I reason to be fond of griefe? Fareyouwell: had you such a losse as I,
I could giue better comfort then you doe. I will not keepe this forme vpon my head, When there is such disorder in my witte: O Lord, my boy, my Arthur, my faire sonne, My life, my ioy, my food, my all the world: My widow-comfort, and my sorrowes cure.

Fra. I feare some out-rage, and Ile follow her. Enter

Dol. There’s nothing in this world can make me ioy, Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale, Vexing the dull eare of a drowsie man;
And bitter shame hath spoyl’d the sweet words taste, That it yeelds nought but shame and bitternesse

Pand. Before the curing of a strong disease, Euen in the instant of repaire and health, The fit is strongest: Euils that take leaue On their departure, most of all shew euill: What haue you lost by losing of this day? Dol. All daies of glory, ioy, and happinesse

Pan. If you had won it, certainely you had. No, no: when Fortune meanes to men most good, Shee lookes vpon them with a threatning eye: ‘Tis strange to thinke how much King Iohn hath lost In this which he accounts so clearely wonne: Are not you grieu’d that Arthur is his prisoner? Dol. As heartily as he is glad he hath him

Pan. Your minde is all as youthfull as your blood. Now heare me speake with a propheticke spirit: For euen the breath of what I meane to speake, Shall blow each dust, each straw, each little rub Out of the path which shall directly lead Thy foote to Englands Throne. And therefore marke: Iohn hath seiz’d Arthur, and it cannot be, That whiles warme life playes in that infants veines, The mis-plac’dIohn should entertaine an houre, One minute, nay one quiet breath of rest. A Scepter snatch’d with an vnruly hand,
Must be as boysterously maintain’d as gain’d. And he that stands vpon a slipp’ry place, Makes nice of no vilde hold to stay him vp: That Iohn may stand, then Arthur needs must fall, So be it, for it cannot be but so

Dol. But what shall I gaine by yong Arthurs fall? Pan. You, in the right of Lady Blanch your wife, May then make all the claime that Arthur did

Dol. And loose it, life and all, as Arthur did

Pan. How green you are, and fresh in this old world? Iohn layes you plots: the times conspire with you, For he that steepes his safetie in true blood, Shall finde but bloodie safety, and vntrue. This Act so euilly borne shall coole the hearts Of all his people, and freeze vp their zeale, That none so small aduantage shall step forth To checke his reigne, but they will cherish it. No naturall exhalation in the skie,
No scope of Nature, no distemper’d day, No common winde, no customed euent,
But they will plucke away his naturall cause, And call them Meteors, prodigies, and signes, Abbortiues, presages, and tongues of heauen, Plainly denouncing vengeance vpon Iohn

Dol. May be he will not touch yong Arthurs life, But hold himselfe safe in his prisonment

Pan. O Sir, when he shall heare of your approach, If that yong Arthur be not gone alreadie, Euen at that newes he dies: and then the hearts Of all his people shall reuolt from him, And kisse the lippes of vnacquainted change, And picke strong matter of reuolt, and wrath Out of the bloody fingers ends of Iohn.
Me thinkes I see this hurley all on foot; And O, what better matter breeds for you, Then I haue nam’d. The Bastard Falconbridge Is now in England ransacking the Church, Offending Charity: If but a dozen French Were there in Armes, they would be as a Call To traine ten thousand English to their side; Or, as a little snow, tumbled about,
Anon becomes a Mountaine. O noble Dolphine, Go with me to the King, ’tis wonderfull, What may be wrought out of their discontent, Now that their soules are topfull of offence, For England go; I will whet on the King

Dol. Strong reasons makes strange actions: let vs go, If you say I, the King will not say no.


Actus Quartus, Scaena prima.

Enter Hubert and Executioners.

Hub. Heate me these Irons hot, and looke thou stand Within the Arras: when I strike my foot
Vpon the bosome of the ground, rush forth And binde the boy, which you shall finde with me Fast to the chaire: be heedfull: hence, and watch

Exec. I hope your warrant will beare out the deed

Hub. Vncleanly scruples feare not you: looke too’t. Yong Lad come forth; I haue to say with you. Enter Arthur.

Ar. Good morrow Hubert

Hub. Good morrow, little Prince

Ar. As little Prince, hauing so great a Title To be more Prince, as may be: you are sad

Hub. Indeed I haue beene merrier

Art. ‘Mercie on me:
Me thinkes no body should be sad but I: Yet I remember, when I was in France,
Yong Gentlemen would be as sad as night Onely for wantonnesse: by my Christendome, So I were out of prison, and kept Sheepe I should be as merry as the day is long: And so I would be heere, but that I doubt My Vnckle practises more harme to me:
He is affraid of me, and I of him:
Is it my fault, that I was Geffreyes sonne? No in deede is’t not: and I would to heauen I were your sonne, so you would loue me, Hubert: Hub. If I talke to him, with his innocent prate He will awake my mercie, which lies dead: Therefore I will be sodaine, and dispatch

Ar. Are you sicke Hubert? you looke pale to day, Insooth I would you were a little sicke, That I might sit all night, and watch with you. I warrant I loue you more then you do me

Hub. His words do take possession of my bosome. Reade heere yong Arthur. How now foolish rheume? Turning dispitious torture out of doore? I must be breefe, least resolution drop
Out at mine eyes, in tender womanish teares. Can you not reade it? Is it not faire writ? Ar. Too fairely Hubert, for so foule effect, Must you with hot Irons, burne out both mine eyes? Hub. Yong Boy, I must

Art. And will you?
Hub. And I will

Art. Haue you the heart? When your head did but ake,
I knit my hand-kercher about your browes (The best I had, a Princesse wrought it me) And I did neuer aske it you againe:
And with my hand, at midnight held your head; And like the watchfull minutes, to the houre, Still and anon cheer’d vp the heauy time; Saying, what lacke you? and where lies your greefe? Or what good loue may I performe for you? Many a poore mans sonne would haue lyen still, And nere haue spoke a louing word to you: But you, at your sicke seruice had a Prince: Nay, you may thinke my loue was craftie loue, And call it cunning. Do, and if you will, If heauen be pleas’d that you must vse me ill, Why then you must. Will you put out mine eyes? These eyes, that neuer did, nor neuer shall So much as frowne on you

Hub. I haue sworne to do it:
And with hot Irons must I burne them out

Ar. Ah, none but in this Iron Age, would do it: The Iron of it selfe, though heate red hot, Approaching neere these eyes, would drinke my teares, And quench this fierie indignation,
Euen in the matter of mine innocence: Nay, after that, consume away in rust,
But for containing fire to harme mine eye: Are you more stubborne hard, then hammer’d Iron? And if an Angell should haue come to me, And told me Hubert should put out mine eyes,