Act III, Scene 1
The French King’s tent.
- Enter Constance, Arthur, and Salisbury.
Constance1 - 26
- Gone to be married? Gone to swear a peace?
- False blood to false blood join’d! Gone to be friends?
- Shall Lewis have Blanch, and Blanch those provinces?
- It is not so, thou hast misspoke, misheard;
- Be well advis’d, tell o’er thy tale again.
- It cannot be, thou dost but say ’tis so.
- I trust I may not trust thee, for thy word
- Is but the vain breath of a common man.
- Believe me, I do not believe thee, man,
- I have a king’s oath to the contrary.
- Thou shalt be punish’d for thus frighting me,
- For I am sick and capable of fears,
- Oppress’d with wrongs, and therefore full of fears,
- A widow, husbandless, subject to fears,
- A woman, naturally born to fears;
- And though thou now confess thou didst but jest,
- With my vex’d spirits I cannot take a truce,
- But they will quake and tremble all this day.
- What dost thou mean by shaking of thy head?
- Why dost thou look so sadly on my son?
- What means that hand upon that breast of thine?
- Why holds thine eye that lamentable rheum,
- Like a proud river peering o’er his bounds?
- Be these sad signs confirmers of thy words?
- Then speak again, not all thy former tale,
- But this one word, whether thy tale be true.
Earl of Salisbury27 - 28
- As true as I believe you think them false
- That give you cause to prove my saying true.
Constance29 - 37
- O, if thou teach me to believe this sorrow,
- Teach thou this sorrow how to make me die,
- And let belief and life encounter so
- As doth the fury of two desperate men,
- Which in the very meeting fall, and die.
- Lewis marry Blanch? O boy, then where art thou?
- France friend with England, what becomes of me?
- Fellow, be gone! I cannot brook thy sight,
- This news hath made thee a most ugly man.
Earl of Salisbury38 - 39
- What other harm have I, good lady, done,
- But spoke the harm that is by others done?
Constance40 - 41
- Which harm within itself so heinous is
- As it makes harmful all that speak of it.
- I do beseech you, madam, be content.
Constance43 - 65
- If thou that bid’st me be content wert grim,
- Ugly, and sland’rous to thy mother’s womb,
- Full of unpleasing blots and sightless stains,
- Lame, foolish, crooked, swart, prodigious,
- Patch’d with foul moles and eye-offending marks,
- I would not care, I then would be content,
- For then I should not love thee; no, nor thou
- Become thy great birth nor deserve a crown.
- But thou art fair, and at thy birth, dear boy,
- Nature and Fortune join’d to make thee great.
- Of Nature’s gifts thou mayst with lilies boast,
- And with the half-blown rose. But Fortune, O,
- She is corrupted, chang’d, and won from thee;
- Sh’ adulterates hourly with thine uncle John,
- And with her golden hand hath pluck’d on France
- To tread down fair respect of sovereignty,
- And made his majesty the bawd to theirs.
- France is a bawd to Fortune and King John,
- That strumpet Fortune, that usurping John!
- Tell me, thou fellow, is not France forsworn?
- Envenom him with words, or get thee gone,
- And leave those woes alone, which I alone
- Am bound to underbear.
Earl of Salisbury66 - 67
- Pardon me, madam,
- I may not go without you to the kings.
Constance68 - 76
- Thou mayst, thou shalt, I will not go with thee.
- I will instruct my sorrows to be proud,
- For grief is proud and makes his owner stoop.
- To me and to the state of my great grief
- Let kings assemble; for my grief’s so great
- That no supporter but the huge firm earth
- Can hold it up.
- Throws herself on the ground.
- Here I and sorrows sit;
- Here is my throne, bid kings come bow to it.
- Enter King John, King Philip of France, Lewis the Dauphin,
- Blanch, Elinor, Philip the Bastard, Austria, and Attendants.
King Philip77 - 84
- ’Tis true, fair daughter, and this blessed day
- Ever in France shall be kept festival.
- To solemnize this day the glorious sun
- Stays in his course and plays the alchemist,
- Turning with splendor of his precious eye
- The meager cloddy earth to glittering gold.
- The yearly course that brings this day about
- Shall never see it but a holy day.
Constance85 - 97
- A wicked day, and not a holy day!
- What hath this day deserv’d? What hath it done,
- That it in golden letters should be set
- Among the high tides in the calendar?
- Nay, rather turn this day out of the week,
- This day of shame, oppression, perjury.
- Or if it must stand still, let wives with child
- Pray that their burdens may not fall this day,
- Lest that their hopes prodigiously be cross’d;
- But on this day let seamen fear no wrack;
- No bargains break that are not this day made:
- This day all things begun come to ill end,
- Yea, faith itself to hollow falsehood change!
King Philip98 - 100
- By heaven, lady, you shall have no cause
- To curse the fair proceedings of this day.
- Have I not pawn’d to you my majesty?
Constance101 - 114
- You have beguil’d me with a counterfeit
- Resembling majesty, which being touch’d and tried,
- Proves valueless. You are forsworn, forsworn!
- You came in arms to spill mine enemies’ blood,
- But now in arms you strengthen it with yours.
- The grappling vigor and rough frown of war
- Is cold in amity and painted peace,
- And our oppression hath made up this league.
- Arm, arm, you heavens, against these perjur’d kings!
- A widow cries; be husband to me, heavens!
- Let not the hours of this ungodly day
- Wear out the day in peace; but ere sunset,
- Set armed discord ’twixt these perjur’d kings!
- Hear me, O, hear me!
Duke of Austria115
- Lady Constance, peace!
Constance116 - 132
- War, war, no peace! Peace is to me a war.
- O Lymoges, O Austria! Thou dost shame
- That bloody spoil. Thou slave, thou wretch, thou coward!
- Thou little valiant, great in villainy!
- Thou ever strong upon the stronger side!
- Thou Fortune’s champion that dost never fight
- But when her humorous ladyship is by
- To teach thee safety! Thou art perjur’d too,
- And sooth’st up greatness. What a fool art thou,
- A ramping fool, to brag and stamp and swear
- Upon my party! Thou cold-blooded slave,
- Hast thou not spoke like thunder on my side?
- Been sworn my soldier, bidding me depend
- Upon thy stars, thy fortune, and thy strength,
- And dost thou now fall over to my foes?
- Thou wear a lion’s hide! Doff it for shame,
- And hang a calve’s-skin on those recreant limbs.
Duke of Austria133
- O, that a man should speak those words to me!
- And hang a calve’s-skin on those recreant limbs.
Duke of Austria135
- Thou dar’st not say so, villain, for thy life.
- And hang a calve’s-skin on those recreant limbs.
- We like not this, thou dost forget thyself.
- Enter Pandulph.
- Here comes the holy legate of the Pope.
Cardinal Pandulph139 - 149
- Hail, you anointed deputies of heaven!
- To thee, King John, my holy errand is:
- I Pandulph, of fair Milan cardinal,
- And from Pope Innocent the legate here,
- Do in his name religiously demand
- Why thou against the Church, our holy mother,
- So willfully dost spurn; and force perforce
- Keep Stephen Langton, chosen Archbishop
- Of Canterbury, from that holy see?
- This, in our foresaid Holy Father’s name,
- Pope Innocent, I do demand of thee.
King John150 - 163
- What earthy name to interrogatories
- Can taste the free breath of a sacred king?
- Thou canst not, Cardinal, devise a name
- So slight, unworthy, and ridiculous,
- To charge me to an answer, as the Pope.
- Tell him this tale, and from the mouth of England
- Add thus much more, that no Italian priest
- Shall tithe or toll in our dominions;
- But as we, under God, are supreme head,
- So under Him that great supremacy,
- Where we do reign, we will alone uphold
- Without th’ assistance of a mortal hand.
- So tell the Pope, all reverence set apart
- To him and his usurp’d authority.
- Brother of England, you blaspheme in this.
King John165 - 174
- Though you and all the kings of Christendom
- Are led so grossly by this meddling priest,
- Dreading the curse that money may buy out,
- And by the merit of vild gold, dross, dust,
- Purchase corrupted pardon of a man
- Who in that sale sells pardon from himself;
- Though you, and all the rest so grossly led,
- This juggling witchcraft with revenue cherish,
- Yet I alone, alone do me oppose
- Against the Pope, and count his friends my foes.
Cardinal Pandulph175 - 182
- Then, by the lawful power that I have,
- Thou shalt stand curs’d and excommunicate,
- And blessed shall he be that doth revolt
- From his allegiance to an heretic,
- And meritorious shall that hand be call’d,
- Canonized and worshipp’d as a saint,
- That takes away by any secret course
- Thy hateful life.
Constance183 - 187
- O, lawful let it be
- That I have room with Rome to curse a while!
- Good father Cardinal, cry thou amen
- To my keen curses; for without my wrong
- There is no tongue hath power to curse him right.
- There’s law and warrant, lady, for my curse.
Constance189 - 194
- And for mine too: when law can do no right,
- Let it be lawful that law bar no wrong;
- Law cannot give my child his kingdom here,
- For he that holds his kingdom holds the law;
- Therefore since law itself is perfect wrong,
- How can the law forbid my tongue to curse?
Cardinal Pandulph195 - 198
- Philip of France, on peril of a curse,
- Let go the hand of that arch-heretic,
- And raise the power of France upon his head,
- Unless he do submit himself to Rome.
- Look’st thou pale, France? Do not let go thy hand.
Constance200 - 201
- Look to that, devil, lest that France repent,
- And by disjoining hands hell lose a soul.
Duke of Austria202
- King Philip, listen to the Cardinal.
- And hang a calve’s-skin on his recreant limbs.
Duke of Austria204 - 205
- Well, ruffian, I must pocket up these wrongs,
- Your breeches best may carry them.
- Philip, what say’st thou to the Cardinal?
- What should he say, but as the Cardinal?
Lewis209 - 212
- Bethink you, father, for the difference
- Is purchase of a heavy curse from Rome,
- Or the light loss of England for a friend.
- Forgo the easier.
Blanch of Spain213
- That’s the curse of Rome.
Constance214 - 215
- O Lewis, stand fast! The devil tempts thee here
- In likeness of a new untrimmed bride.
Blanch of Spain216 - 217
- The Lady Constance speaks not from her faith,
- But from her need.
Constance218 - 223
- O, if thou grant my need,
- Which only lives but by the death of faith,
- That need must needs infer this principle,
- That faith would live again by death of need.
- O then tread down my need, and faith mounts up;
- Keep my need up, and faith is trodden down!
- The King is mov’d, and answers not to this.
- O, be remov’d from him, and answer well!
Duke of Austria226
- Do so, King Philip, hang no more in doubt.
- Hang nothing but a calve’s-skin, most sweet lout.
- I am perplex’d, and know not what to say.
Cardinal Pandulph229 - 230
- What canst thou say but will perplex thee more,
- If thou stand excommunicate and curs’d?
King Philip231 - 259
- Good reverend father, make my person yours,
- And tell me how you would bestow yourself.
- This royal hand and mine are newly knit,
- And the conjunction of our inward souls
- Married in league, coupled, and link’d together
- With all religious strength of sacred vows.
- The latest breath that gave the sound of words
- Was deep-sworn faith, peace, amity, true love
- Between our kingdoms and our royal selves,
- And even before this truce, but new before,
- No longer than we well could wash our hands
- To clap this royal bargain up of peace,
- Heaven knows they were besmear’d and over-stain’d
- With slaughter’s pencil—where revenge did paint
- The fearful difference of incensed kings—
- And shall these hands, so lately purg’d of blood,
- So newly join’d in love, so strong in both,
- Unyoke this seizure and this kind regreet?
- Play fast and loose with faith? So jest with heaven?
- Make such unconstant children of ourselves,
- As now again to snatch our palm from palm,
- Unswear faith sworn, and on the marriage-bed
- Of smiling peace to march a bloody host,
- And make a riot on the gentle brow
- Of true sincerity? O holy sir,
- My reverend father, let it not be so!
- Out of your grace devise, ordain, impose
- Some gentle order, and then we shall be blest
- To do your pleasure and continue friends.
Cardinal Pandulph260 - 268
- All form is formless, order orderless,
- Save what is opposite to England’s love.
- Therefore to arms! Be champion of our Church,
- Or let the Church, our mother, breathe her curse,
- A mother’s curse, on her revolting son.
- France, thou mayst hold a serpent by the tongue,
- A cased lion by the mortal paw,
- A fasting tiger safer by the tooth,
- Than keep in peace that hand which thou dost hold.
- I may disjoin my hand, but not my faith.
Cardinal Pandulph270 - 304
- So mak’st thou faith an enemy to faith,
- And like a civil war set’st oath to oath,
- Thy tongue against thy tongue. O, let thy vow
- First made to heaven, first be to heaven perform’d,
- That is, to be the champion of our Church!
- What since thou swor’st is sworn against thyself,
- And may not be performed by thyself,
- For that which thou hast sworn to do amiss
- Is not amiss when it is truly done;
- And being not done, where doing tends to ill,
- The truth is then most done not doing it.
- The better act of purposes mistook
- Is to mistake again; though indirect,
- Yet indirection thereby grows direct,
- And falsehood falsehood cures, as fire cools fire
- Within the scorched veins of one new burn’d.
- It is religion that doth make vows kept,
- But thou hast sworn against religion,
- By what thou swear’st against the thing thou swear’st,
- And mak’st an oath the surety for thy truth
- Against an oath; the truth thou art unsure
- To swear, swears only not to be forsworn,
- Else what a mockery should it be to swear!
- But thou dost swear only to be forsworn,
- And most forsworn, to keep what thou dost swear;
- Therefore thy later vows, against thy first,
- Is in thyself rebellion to thyself;
- And better conquest never canst thou make
- Than arm thy constant and thy nobler parts
- Against these giddy loose suggestions;
- Upon which better part our pray’rs come in,
- If thou vouchsafe them. But if not, then know
- The peril of our curses light on thee
- So heavy as thou shalt not shake them off,
- But in despair die under their black weight.
Duke of Austria305
- Rebellion, flat rebellion!
Bastard306 - 307
- Will’t not be?
- Will not a calve’s-skin stop that mouth of thine?
- Father, to arms!
Blanch of Spain309 - 318
- Upon 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, hear me! Ay, alack, how new
- Is “husband” in my mouth! Even for that name,
- Which till this time my tongue did ne’er pronounce,
- Upon my knee I beg, go not to arms
- Against mine uncle.
Constance319 - 322
- O, upon my knee,
- Made hard with kneeling, I do pray to thee,
- Thou virtuous Dauphin, alter not the doom
- Forethought by heaven!
Blanch of Spain323 - 324
- Now shall I see thy love. What motive may
- Be stronger with thee than the name of wife?
Constance325 - 326
- That which upholdeth him that thee upholds,
- His honor. O, thine honor, Lewis, thine honor!
Lewis327 - 328
- I muse your Majesty doth seem so cold,
- When such profound respects do pull you on.
- I will denounce a curse upon his head.
- Thou shalt not need. England, I will fall from thee.
- O fair return of banish’d majesty!
- O foul revolt of French inconstancy!
- France, thou shalt rue this hour within this hour.
Bastard334 - 335
- Old Time the clock-setter, that bald sexton Time!
- Is it as he will? Well then, France shall rue.
Blanch of Spain336 - 346
- The sun’s o’ercast with blood; fair day, adieu!
- Which is the side that I must go withal?
- I am with both, each army hath a hand,
- And in their rage, I having hold of both,
- They whirl asunder and dismember me.
- Husband, I cannot pray that thou mayst win;
- Uncle, I needs must pray that thou mayst lose;
- Father, I may not wish the fortune thine;
- Grandam, I will not wish thy wishes thrive:
- Whoever wins, on that side shall I lose;
- Assured loss before the match be play’d.
- Lady, with me, with me thy fortune lies.
Blanch of Spain348
- There where my fortune lives, there my life dies.
King John349 - 353
- Cousin, go draw our puissance together.
- Exit Bastard.
- France, I am burn’d up with inflaming wrath,
- A rage whose heat hath this condition,
- That nothing can allay, nothing but blood,
- The blood and dearest-valued blood of France.
King Philip354 - 356
- Thy rage shall burn thee up, and thou shalt turn
- To ashes, ere our blood shall quench that fire.
- Look to thyself, thou art in jeopardy.
- No more than he that threats. To arms let’s hie!