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King John: Act 3, Scene 1

King John
Act 3, Scene 1

Scene 1

The French King’s tent.

  1. Enter Constance, Arthur, and Salisbury.

Constance

2 - 27
  1. Gone to be married? Gone to swear a peace?
  2. False blood to false blood join’d! Gone to be friends?
  3. Shall Lewis have Blanch, and Blanch those provinces?
  4. It is not so, thou hast misspoke, misheard;
  5. Be well advis’d, tell o’er thy tale again.
  6. It cannot be, thou dost but say ’tis so.
  7. I trust I may not trust thee, for thy word
  8. Is but the vain breath of a common man.
  9. Believe me, I do not believe thee, man,
  10. I have a king’s oath to the contrary.
  11. Thou shalt be punish’d for thus frighting me,
  12. For I am sick and capable of fears,
  13. Oppress’d with wrongs, and therefore full of fears,
  14. A widow, husbandless, subject to fears,
  15. A woman, naturally born to fears;
  16. And though thou now confess thou didst but jest,
  17. With my vex’d spirits I cannot take a truce,
  18. But they will quake and tremble all this day.
  19. What dost thou mean by shaking of thy head?
  20. Why dost thou look so sadly on my son?
  21. What means that hand upon that breast of thine?
  22. Why holds thine eye that lamentable rheum,
  23. Like a proud river peering o’er his bounds?
  24. Be these sad signs confirmers of thy words?
  25. Then speak again, not all thy former tale,
  26. But this one word, whether thy tale be true.

Earl of Salisbury

28 - 29
  1. As true as I believe you think them false
  2. That give you cause to prove my saying true.

Constance

30 - 38
  1. O, if thou teach me to believe this sorrow,
  2. Teach thou this sorrow how to make me die,
  3. And let belief and life encounter so
  4. As doth the fury of two desperate men,
  5. Which in the very meeting fall, and die.
  6. Lewis marry Blanch? O boy, then where art thou?
  7. France friend with England, what becomes of me?
  8. Fellow, be gone! I cannot brook thy sight,
  9. This news hath made thee a most ugly man.

Earl of Salisbury

39 - 40
  1. What other harm have I, good lady, done,
  2. But spoke the harm that is by others done?

Constance

41 - 42
  1. Which harm within itself so heinous is
  2. As it makes harmful all that speak of it.

Arthur

43
  1. I do beseech you, madam, be content.

Constance

44 - 66
  1. If thou that bid’st me be content wert grim,
  2. Ugly, and sland’rous to thy mother’s womb,
  3. Full of unpleasing blots and sightless stains,
  4. Lame, foolish, crooked, swart, prodigious,
  5. Patch’d with foul moles and eye-offending marks,
  6. I would not care, I then would be content,
  7. For then I should not love thee; no, nor thou
  8. Become thy great birth nor deserve a crown.
  9. But thou art fair, and at thy birth, dear boy,
  10. Nature and Fortune join’d to make thee great.
  11. Of Nature’s gifts thou mayst with lilies boast,
  12. And with the half-blown rose. But Fortune, O,
  13. She is corrupted, chang’d, and won from thee;
  14. Sh’ adulterates hourly with thine uncle John,
  15. And with her golden hand hath pluck’d on France
  16. To tread down fair respect of sovereignty,
  17. And made his majesty the bawd to theirs.
  18. France is a bawd to Fortune and King John,
  19. That strumpet Fortune, that usurping John!
  20. Tell me, thou fellow, is not France forsworn?
  21. Envenom him with words, or get thee gone,
  22. And leave those woes alone, which I alone
  23. Am bound to underbear.

Earl of Salisbury

67 - 68
  1.                        Pardon me, madam,
  2. I may not go without you to the kings.

Constance

69 - 78
  1. Thou mayst, thou shalt, I will not go with thee.
  2. I will instruct my sorrows to be proud,
  3. For grief is proud and makes his owner stoop.
  4. To me and to the state of my great grief
  5. Let kings assemble; for my grief’s so great
  6. That no supporter but the huge firm earth
  7. Can hold it up.
  8. Throws herself on the ground.
  9. Here I and sorrows sit;
  10. Here is my throne, bid kings come bow to it.
  1. Enter King John, King Philip of France, Lewis the Dauphin,
  2. Blanch, Elinor, Philip the Bastard, Austria, and Attendants.

King Philip

81 - 88
  1. ’Tis true, fair daughter, and this blessed day
  2. Ever in France shall be kept festival.
  3. To solemnize this day the glorious sun
  4. Stays in his course and plays the alchemist,
  5. Turning with splendor of his precious eye
  6. The meager cloddy earth to glittering gold.
  7. The yearly course that brings this day about
  8. Shall never see it but a holy day.

Constance

89 - 102
  1. A wicked day, and not a holy day!
  2. Rising.
  3. What hath this day deserv’d? What hath it done,
  4. That it in golden letters should be set
  5. Among the high tides in the calendar?
  6. Nay, rather turn this day out of the week,
  7. This day of shame, oppression, perjury.
  8. Or if it must stand still, let wives with child
  9. Pray that their burdens may not fall this day,
  10. Lest that their hopes prodigiously be cross’d;
  11. But on this day let seamen fear no wrack;
  12. No bargains break that are not this day made:
  13. This day all things begun come to ill end,
  14. Yea, faith itself to hollow falsehood change!

King Philip

103 - 105
  1. By heaven, lady, you shall have no cause
  2. To curse the fair proceedings of this day.
  3. Have I not pawn’d to you my majesty?

Constance

106 - 119
  1. You have beguil’d me with a counterfeit
  2. Resembling majesty, which being touch’d and tried,
  3. Proves valueless. You are forsworn, forsworn!
  4. You came in arms to spill mine enemies’ blood,
  5. But now in arms you strengthen it with yours.
  6. The grappling vigor and rough frown of war
  7. Is cold in amity and painted peace,
  8. And our oppression hath made up this league.
  9. Arm, arm, you heavens, against these perjur’d kings!
  10. A widow cries; be husband to me, heavens!
  11. Let not the hours of this ungodly day
  12. Wear out the day in peace; but ere sunset,
  13. Set armed discord ’twixt these perjur’d kings!
  14. Hear me, O, hear me!

Duke of Austria

120
  1.                      Lady Constance, peace!

Constance

121 - 137
  1. War, war, no peace! Peace is to me a war.
  2. O Lymoges, O Austria! Thou dost shame
  3. That bloody spoil. Thou slave, thou wretch, thou coward!
  4. Thou little valiant, great in villainy!
  5. Thou ever strong upon the stronger side!
  6. Thou Fortune’s champion that dost never fight
  7. But when her humorous ladyship is by
  8. To teach thee safety! Thou art perjur’d too,
  9. And sooth’st up greatness. What a fool art thou,
  10. A ramping fool, to brag and stamp and swear
  11. Upon my party! Thou cold-blooded slave,
  12. Hast thou not spoke like thunder on my side?
  13. Been sworn my soldier, bidding me depend
  14. Upon thy stars, thy fortune, and thy strength,
  15. And dost thou now fall over to my foes?
  16. Thou wear a lion’s hide! Doff it for shame,
  17. And hang a calve’s-skin on those recreant limbs.

Duke of Austria

138
  1. O, that a man should speak those words to me!

Bastard

139
  1. And hang a calve’s-skin on those recreant limbs.

Duke of Austria

140
  1. Thou dar’st not say so, villain, for thy life.

Bastard

141
  1. And hang a calve’s-skin on those recreant limbs.

King John

142
  1. We like not this, thou dost forget thyself.
  1. Enter Pandulph.

King Philip

144
  1. Here comes the holy legate of the Pope.

Cardinal Pandulph

145 - 155
  1. Hail, you anointed deputies of heaven!
  2. To thee, King John, my holy errand is:
  3. I Pandulph, of fair Milan cardinal,
  4. And from Pope Innocent the legate here,
  5. Do in his name religiously demand
  6. Why thou against the Church, our holy mother,
  7. So willfully dost spurn; and force perforce
  8. Keep Stephen Langton, chosen Archbishop
  9. Of Canterbury, from that holy see?
  10. This, in our foresaid Holy Father’s name,
  11. Pope Innocent, I do demand of thee.

King John

156 - 169
  1. What earthy name to interrogatories
  2. Can taste the free breath of a sacred king?
  3. Thou canst not, Cardinal, devise a name
  4. So slight, unworthy, and ridiculous,
  5. To charge me to an answer, as the Pope.
  6. Tell him this tale, and from the mouth of England
  7. Add thus much more, that no Italian priest
  8. Shall tithe or toll in our dominions;
  9. But as we, under God, are supreme head,
  10. So under Him that great supremacy,
  11. Where we do reign, we will alone uphold
  12. Without th’ assistance of a mortal hand.
  13. So tell the Pope, all reverence set apart
  14. To him and his usurp’d authority.

King Philip

170
  1. Brother of England, you blaspheme in this.

King John

171 - 180
  1. Though you and all the kings of Christendom
  2. Are led so grossly by this meddling priest,
  3. Dreading the curse that money may buy out,
  4. And by the merit of vild gold, dross, dust,
  5. Purchase corrupted pardon of a man
  6. Who in that sale sells pardon from himself;
  7. Though you, and all the rest so grossly led,
  8. This juggling witchcraft with revenue cherish,
  9. Yet I alone, alone do me oppose
  10. Against the Pope, and count his friends my foes.

Cardinal Pandulph

181 - 188
  1. Then, by the lawful power that I have,
  2. Thou shalt stand curs’d and excommunicate,
  3. And blessed shall he be that doth revolt
  4. From his allegiance to an heretic,
  5. And meritorious shall that hand be call’d,
  6. Canonized and worshipp’d as a saint,
  7. That takes away by any secret course
  8. Thy hateful life.

Constance

189 - 193
  1.                   O, lawful let it be
  2. That I have room with Rome to curse a while!
  3. Good father Cardinal, cry thou amen
  4. To my keen curses; for without my wrong
  5. There is no tongue hath power to curse him right.

Cardinal Pandulph

194
  1. There’s law and warrant, lady, for my curse.

Constance

195 - 200
  1. And for mine too: when law can do no right,
  2. Let it be lawful that law bar no wrong;
  3. Law cannot give my child his kingdom here,
  4. For he that holds his kingdom holds the law;
  5. Therefore since law itself is perfect wrong,
  6. How can the law forbid my tongue to curse?

Cardinal Pandulph

201 - 204
  1. Philip of France, on peril of a curse,
  2. Let go the hand of that arch-heretic,
  3. And raise the power of France upon his head,
  4. Unless he do submit himself to Rome.

Queen Elinor

205
  1. Look’st thou pale, France? Do not let go thy hand.

Constance

206 - 207
  1. Look to that, devil, lest that France repent,
  2. And by disjoining hands hell lose a soul.

Duke of Austria

208
  1. King Philip, listen to the Cardinal.

Bastard

209
  1. And hang a calve’s-skin on his recreant limbs.

Duke of Austria

210 - 211
  1. Well, ruffian, I must pocket up these wrongs,
  2. Because

Bastard

212
  1.          Your breeches best may carry them.

King John

213
  1. Philip, what say’st thou to the Cardinal?

Constance

214
  1. What should he say, but as the Cardinal?

Lewis

215 - 218
  1. Bethink you, father, for the difference
  2. Is purchase of a heavy curse from Rome,
  3. Or the light loss of England for a friend.
  4. Forgo the easier.

Blanch of Spain

219
  1.                   That’s the curse of Rome.

Constance

220 - 221
  1. O Lewis, stand fast! The devil tempts thee here
  2. In likeness of a new untrimmed bride.

Blanch of Spain

222 - 223
  1. The Lady Constance speaks not from her faith,
  2. But from her need.

Constance

224 - 229
  1.                    O, if thou grant my need,
  2. Which only lives but by the death of faith,
  3. That need must needs infer this principle,
  4. That faith would live again by death of need.
  5. O then tread down my need, and faith mounts up;
  6. Keep my need up, and faith is trodden down!

King John

230
  1. The King is mov’d, and answers not to this.

Constance

231
  1. O, be remov’d from him, and answer well!

Duke of Austria

232
  1. Do so, King Philip, hang no more in doubt.

Bastard

233
  1. Hang nothing but a calve’s-skin, most sweet lout.

King Philip

234
  1. I am perplex’d, and know not what to say.

Cardinal Pandulph

235 - 236
  1. What canst thou say but will perplex thee more,
  2. If thou stand excommunicate and curs’d?

King Philip

237 - 265
  1. Good reverend father, make my person yours,
  2. And tell me how you would bestow yourself.
  3. This royal hand and mine are newly knit,
  4. And the conjunction of our inward souls
  5. Married in league, coupled, and link’d together
  6. With all religious strength of sacred vows.
  7. The latest breath that gave the sound of words
  8. Was deep-sworn faith, peace, amity, true love
  9. Between our kingdoms and our royal selves,
  10. And even before this truce, but new before,
  11. No longer than we well could wash our hands
  12. To clap this royal bargain up of peace,
  13. Heaven knows they were besmear’d and over-stain’d
  14. With slaughter’s pencilwhere revenge did paint
  15. The fearful difference of incensed kings
  16. And shall these hands, so lately purg’d of blood,
  17. So newly join’d in love, so strong in both,
  18. Unyoke this seizure and this kind regreet?
  19. Play fast and loose with faith? So jest with heaven?
  20. Make such unconstant children of ourselves,
  21. As now again to snatch our palm from palm,
  22. Unswear faith sworn, and on the marriage-bed
  23. Of smiling peace to march a bloody host,
  24. And make a riot on the gentle brow
  25. Of true sincerity? O holy sir,
  26. My reverend father, let it not be so!
  27. Out of your grace devise, ordain, impose
  28. Some gentle order, and then we shall be blest
  29. To do your pleasure and continue friends.

Cardinal Pandulph

266 - 274
  1. All form is formless, order orderless,
  2. Save what is opposite to England’s love.
  3. Therefore to arms! Be champion of our Church,
  4. Or let the Church, our mother, breathe her curse,
  5. A mother’s curse, on her revolting son.
  6. France, thou mayst hold a serpent by the tongue,
  7. A cased lion by the mortal paw,
  8. A fasting tiger safer by the tooth,
  9. Than keep in peace that hand which thou dost hold.

King Philip

275
  1. I may disjoin my hand, but not my faith.

Cardinal Pandulph

276 - 310
  1. So mak’st thou faith an enemy to faith,
  2. And like a civil war set’st oath to oath,
  3. Thy tongue against thy tongue. O, let thy vow
  4. First made to heaven, first be to heaven perform’d,
  5. That is, to be the champion of our Church!
  6. What since thou swor’st is sworn against thyself,
  7. And may not be performed by thyself,
  8. For that which thou hast sworn to do amiss
  9. Is not amiss when it is truly done;
  10. And being not done, where doing tends to ill,
  11. The truth is then most done not doing it.
  12. The better act of purposes mistook
  13. Is to mistake again; though indirect,
  14. Yet indirection thereby grows direct,
  15. And falsehood falsehood cures, as fire cools fire
  16. Within the scorched veins of one new burn’d.
  17. It is religion that doth make vows kept,
  18. But thou hast sworn against religion,
  19. By what thou swear’st against the thing thou swear’st,
  20. And mak’st an oath the surety for thy truth
  21. Against an oath; the truth thou art unsure
  22. To swear, swears only not to be forsworn,
  23. Else what a mockery should it be to swear!
  24. But thou dost swear only to be forsworn,
  25. And most forsworn, to keep what thou dost swear;
  26. Therefore thy later vows, against thy first,
  27. Is in thyself rebellion to thyself;
  28. And better conquest never canst thou make
  29. Than arm thy constant and thy nobler parts
  30. Against these giddy loose suggestions;
  31. Upon which better part our pray’rs come in,
  32. If thou vouchsafe them. But if not, then know
  33. The peril of our curses light on thee
  34. So heavy as thou shalt not shake them off,
  35. But in despair die under their black weight.

Duke of Austria

311
  1. Rebellion, flat rebellion!

Bastard

312 - 313
  1.                            Will’t not be?
  2. Will not a calve’s-skin stop that mouth of thine?

Lewis

314
  1. Father, to arms!

Blanch of Spain

315 - 324
  1.                  Upon thy wedding-day?
  2. Against the blood that thou hast married?
  3. What, shall our feast be kept with slaughtered men?
  4. Shall braying trumpets and loud churlish drums,
  5. Clamors of hell, be measures to our pomp?
  6. O husband, hear me! Ay, alack, how new
  7. Is husband in my mouth! Even for that name,
  8. Which till this time my tongue did ne’er pronounce,
  9. Upon my knee I beg, go not to arms
  10. Against mine uncle.

Constance

325 - 328
  1.                     O, upon my knee,
  2. Made hard with kneeling, I do pray to thee,
  3. Thou virtuous Dauphin, alter not the doom
  4. Forethought by heaven!

Blanch of Spain

329 - 330
  1. Now shall I see thy love. What motive may
  2. Be stronger with thee than the name of wife?

Constance

331 - 332
  1. That which upholdeth him that thee upholds,
  2. His honor. O, thine honor, Lewis, thine honor!

Lewis

333 - 334
  1. I muse your Majesty doth seem so cold,
  2. When such profound respects do pull you on.

Cardinal Pandulph

335
  1. I will denounce a curse upon his head.

King Philip

336
  1. Thou shalt not need. England, I will fall from thee.

Constance

337
  1. O fair return of banish’d majesty!

Queen Elinor

338
  1. O foul revolt of French inconstancy!

King John

339
  1. France, thou shalt rue this hour within this hour.

Bastard

340 - 341
  1. Old Time the clock-setter, that bald sexton Time!
  2. Is it as he will? Well then, France shall rue.

Blanch of Spain

342 - 352
  1. The sun’s o’ercast with blood; fair day, adieu!
  2. Which is the side that I must go withal?
  3. I am with both, each army hath a hand,
  4. And in their rage, I having hold of both,
  5. They whirl asunder and dismember me.
  6. Husband, I cannot pray that thou mayst win;
  7. Uncle, I needs must pray that thou mayst lose;
  8. Father, I may not wish the fortune thine;
  9. Grandam, I will not wish thy wishes thrive:
  10. Whoever wins, on that side shall I lose;
  11. Assured loss before the match be play’d.

Lewis

353
  1. Lady, with me, with me thy fortune lies.

Blanch of Spain

354
  1. There where my fortune lives, there my life dies.

King John

355 - 360
  1. Cousin, go draw our puissance together.
  2. Exit Bastard.
  3. France, I am burn’d up with inflaming wrath,
  4. A rage whose heat hath this condition,
  5. That nothing can allay, nothing but blood,
  6. The blood and dearest-valued blood of France.

King Philip

361 - 363
  1. Thy rage shall burn thee up, and thou shalt turn
  2. To ashes, ere our blood shall quench that fire.
  3. Look to thyself, thou art in jeopardy.

King John

364
  1. No more than he that threats. To arms let’s hie!
  1. Exeunt.
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