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King John: Act 3, Scene 4

King John
Act 3, Scene 4

The plains near Angiers. King Philip’s tent.

  1. Enter King Philip of France, Lewis the Dauphin, Pandulph,
  2. Attendants.

King Philip

3 - 5
  1. So by a roaring tempest on the flood,
  2. A whole armado of convicted sail
  3. Is scattered and disjoin’d from fellowship.

Cardinal Pandulph

6
  1. Courage and comfort! All shall yet go well.

King Philip

7 - 11
  1. What can go well, when we have run so ill?
  2. Are we not beaten? Is not Angiers lost?
  3. Arthur ta’en prisoner? Divers dear friends slain?
  4. And bloody England into England gone,
  5. O’erbearing interruption, spite of France?

Lewis

12 - 16
  1. What he hath won, that hath he fortified.
  2. So hot a speed with such advice dispos’d,
  3. Such temperate order in so fierce a cause,
  4. Doth want example. Who hath read or heard
  5. Of any kindred action like to this?

King Philip

17 - 23
  1. Well could I bear that England had this praise,
  2. So we could find some pattern of our shame.
  3. Enter Constance.
  4. Look who comes here! A grave unto a soul,
  5. Holding th’ eternal spirit, against her will,
  6. In the vild prison of afflicted breath.
  7. I prithee, lady, go away with me.

Constance

24
  1. Lo! Now! Now see the issue of your peace.

King Philip

25
  1. Patience, good lady, comfort, gentle Constance!

Constance

26 - 39
  1. No, I defy all counsel, all redress,
  2. But that which ends all counsel, true redress:
  3. Death, death. O amiable lovely death!
  4. Thou odoriferous stench! Sound rottenness!
  5. Arise forth from the couch of lasting night,
  6. Thou hate and terror to prosperity,
  7. And I will kiss thy detestable bones,
  8. And put my eyeballs in thy vaulty brows,
  9. And ring these fingers with thy household worms,
  10. And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust,
  11. And be a carrion monster like thyself.
  12. Come, grin on me, and I will think thou smil’st,
  13. And buss thee as thy wife. Misery’s love,
  14. O, come to me!

King Philip

40
  1.                O fair affliction, peace!

Constance

41 - 46
  1. No, no, I will not, having breath to cry.
  2. O that my tongue were in the thunder’s mouth!
  3. Then with a passion would I shake the world,
  4. And rouse from sleep that fell anatomy
  5. Which cannot hear a lady’s feeble voice,
  6. Which scorns a modern invocation.

Cardinal Pandulph

47
  1. Lady, you utter madness, and not sorrow.

Constance

48 - 64
  1. Thou art not holy to belie me so,
  2. I am not mad. This hair I tear is mine,
  3. My name is Constance, I was Geffrey’s wife,
  4. Young Arthur is my son, and he is lost.
  5. I am not mad, I would to heaven I were!
  6. For then ’tis like I should forget myself.
  7. O, if I could, what grief should I forget!
  8. Preach some philosophy to make me mad,
  9. And thou shalt be canoniz’d, Cardinal;
  10. For, being not mad, but sensible of grief,
  11. My reasonable part produces reason
  12. How I may be deliver’d of these woes,
  13. And teaches me to kill or hang myself.
  14. If I were mad, I should forget my son,
  15. Or madly think a babe of clouts were he.
  16. I am not mad; too well, too well I feel
  17. The different plague of each calamity.

King Philip

65 - 71
  1. Bind up those tresses. O, what love I note
  2. In the fair multitude of those her hairs!
  3. Where but by chance a silver drop hath fall’n,
  4. Even to that drop ten thousand wiry friends
  5. Do glue themselves in sociable grief,
  6. Like true, inseparable, faithful loves,
  7. Sticking together in calamity.

Constance

72
  1. To England, if you will.

King Philip

73
  1.                          Bind up your hairs.

Constance

74 - 94
  1. Yes, that I will; and wherefore will I do it?
  2. I tore them from their bonds, and cried aloud,
  3. O that these hands could so redeem my son
  4. As they have given these hairs their liberty!”
  5. But now I envy at their liberty,
  6. And will again commit them to their bonds,
  7. Because my poor child is a prisoner.
  8. And, father Cardinal, I have heard you say
  9. That we shall see and know our friends in heaven.
  10. If that be true, I shall see my boy again;
  11. For since the birth of Cain, the first male child,
  12. To him that did but yesterday suspire,
  13. There was not such a gracious creature born.
  14. But now will canker-sorrow eat my bud,
  15. And chase the native beauty from his cheek,
  16. And he will look as hollow as a ghost,
  17. As dim and meager as an ague’s fit,
  18. And so he’ll die; and rising so again,
  19. When I shall meet him in the court of heaven
  20. I shall not know him: therefore never, never
  21. Must I behold my pretty Arthur more.

Cardinal Pandulph

95
  1. You hold too heinous a respect of grief.

Constance

96
  1. He talks to me that never had a son.

King Philip

97
  1. You are as fond of grief as of your child.

Constance

98 - 111
  1. Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
  2. Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,
  3. Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
  4. Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
  5. Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form;
  6. Then, have I reason to be fond of grief?
  7. Fare you well! Had you such a loss as I,
  8. I could give better comfort than you do.
  9. I will not keep this form upon my head
  10. Tearing her hair.
  11. When there is such disorder in my wit.
  12. O Lord, my boy, my Arthur, my fair son!
  13. My life, my joy, my food, my all the world!
  14. My widow-comfort, and my sorrows’ cure!
  1. Exit.

King Philip

113
  1. I fear some outrage, and I’ll follow her.
  1. Exit.

Lewis

115 - 119
  1. There’s nothing in this world can make me joy:
  2. Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale
  3. Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man;
  4. And bitter shame hath spoil’d the sweet word’s taste,
  5. That it yields nought but shame and bitterness.

Cardinal Pandulph

120 - 124
  1. Before the curing of a strong disease,
  2. Even in the instant of repair and health,
  3. The fit is strongest; evils that take leave,
  4. On their departure most of all show evil.
  5. What have you lost by losing of this day?

Lewis

125
  1. All days of glory, joy, and happiness.

Cardinal Pandulph

126 - 131
  1. If you had won it, certainly you had.
  2. No, no; when Fortune means to men most good,
  3. She looks upon them with a threat’ning eye.
  4. ’Tis strange to think how much King John hath lost
  5. In this which he accounts so clearly won.
  6. Are not you griev’d that Arthur is his prisoner?

Lewis

132
  1. As heartily as he is glad he hath him.

Cardinal Pandulph

133 - 148
  1. Your mind is all as youthful as your blood.
  2. Now hear me speak with a prophetic spirit;
  3. For even the breath of what I mean to speak
  4. Shall blow each dust, each straw, each little rub,
  5. Out of the path which shall directly lead
  6. Thy foot to England’s throne. And therefore mark:
  7. John hath seiz’d Arthur, and it cannot be
  8. That whiles warm life plays in that infant’s veins,
  9. The misplac’d John should entertain an hour,
  10. One minute, nay, one quiet breath of rest.
  11. A sceptre snatch’d with an unruly hand
  12. Must be as boisterously maintain’d as gain’d;
  13. And he that stands upon a slipp’ry place
  14. Makes nice of no vild hold to stay him up.
  15. That John may stand, then Arthur needs must fall:
  16. So be it, for it cannot be but so.

Lewis

149
  1. But what shall I gain by young Arthur’s fall?

Cardinal Pandulph

150 - 151
  1. You, in the right of Lady Blanch your wife,
  2. May then make all the claim that Arthur did.

Lewis

152
  1. And lose it, life and all, as Arthur did.

Cardinal Pandulph

153 - 167
  1. How green you are and fresh in this old world!
  2. John lays you plots; the times conspire with you,
  3. For he that steeps his safety in true blood
  4. Shall find but bloody safety, and untrue.
  5. This act so evilly borne shall cool the hearts
  6. Of all his people, and freeze up their zeal,
  7. That none so small advantage shall step forth
  8. To check his reign, but they will cherish it;
  9. No natural exhalation in the sky,
  10. No scope of nature, no distemper’d day,
  11. No common wind, no customed event,
  12. But they will pluck away his natural cause
  13. And call them meteors, prodigies, and signs,
  14. Abortives, presages, and tongues of heaven,
  15. Plainly denouncing vengeance upon John.

Lewis

168 - 169
  1. May be he will not touch young Arthur’s life,
  2. But hold himself safe in his prisonment.

Cardinal Pandulph

170 - 189
  1. O sir, when he shall hear of your approach,
  2. If that young Arthur be not gone already,
  3. Even at that news he dies; and then the hearts
  4. Of all his people shall revolt from him,
  5. And kiss the lips of unacquainted change,
  6. And pick strong matter of revolt and wrath
  7. Out of the bloody fingers’ ends of John.
  8. Methinks I see this hurly all on foot;
  9. And O, what better matter breeds for you
  10. Than I have nam’d! The bastard Faulconbridge
  11. Is now in England ransacking the Church,
  12. Offending charity. If but a dozen French
  13. Were there in arms, they would be as a call
  14. To train ten thousand English to their side,
  15. Or as a little snow, tumbled about,
  16. Anon becomes a mountain. O noble Dauphin,
  17. Go with me to the King. ’Tis wonderful
  18. What may be wrought out of their discontent,
  19. Now that their souls are topful of offense.
  20. For England go; I will whet on the King.

Lewis

190 - 191
  1. Strong reasons makes strange actions. Let us go;
  2. If you say ay, the King will not say no.
  1. Exeunt.
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