Speeches (Lines) for King John
in "King John"

Total: 95

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# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

I,1,3

(stage directions). [Enter KING JOHN, QUEEN ELINOR, PEMBROKE, ESSEX,]
SALISBURY, and others, with CHATILLON]

King John. Now, say, Chatillon, what would France with us?


2

I,1,8

Queen Elinor. A strange beginning: 'borrow'd majesty!'

King John. Silence, good mother; hear the embassy.


3

I,1,18

Chatillon. Philip of France, in right and true behalf
Of thy deceased brother Geffrey's son,
Arthur Plantagenet, lays most lawful claim
To this fair island and the territories,
To Ireland, Poictiers, Anjou, Touraine, Maine,
Desiring thee to lay aside the sword
Which sways usurpingly these several titles,
And put these same into young Arthur's hand,
Thy nephew and right royal sovereign.

King John. What follows if we disallow of this?


4

I,1,21

Chatillon. The proud control of fierce and bloody war,
To enforce these rights so forcibly withheld.

King John. Here have we war for war and blood for blood,
Controlment for controlment: so answer France.


5

I,1,25

Chatillon. Then take my king's defiance from my mouth,
The farthest limit of my embassy.

King John. Bear mine to him, and so depart in peace:
Be thou as lightning in the eyes of France;
For ere thou canst report I will be there,
The thunder of my cannon shall be heard:
So hence! Be thou the trumpet of our wrath
And sullen presage of your own decay.
An honourable conduct let him have:
Pembroke, look to 't. Farewell, Chatillon.


6

I,1,42

Queen Elinor. What now, my son! have I not ever said
How that ambitious Constance would not cease
Till she had kindled France and all the world,
Upon the right and party of her son?
This might have been prevented and made whole
With very easy arguments of love,
Which now the manage of two kingdoms must
With fearful bloody issue arbitrate.

King John. Our strong possession and our right for us.


7

I,1,51

Essex. My liege, here is the strangest controversy
Come from country to be judged by you,
That e'er I heard: shall I produce the men?

King John. Let them approach.
Our abbeys and our priories shall pay
This expedition's charge.
[Enter ROBERT and the BASTARD]
What men are you?


8

I,1,61

Philip the Bastard. Your faithful subject I, a gentleman
Born in Northamptonshire and eldest son,
As I suppose, to Robert Faulconbridge,
A soldier, by the honour-giving hand
Of Coeur-de-lion knighted in the field.

King John. What art thou?


9

I,1,63

Faulconbridge. The son and heir to that same Faulconbridge.

King John. Is that the elder, and art thou the heir?
You came not of one mother then, it seems.


10

I,1,77

Philip the Bastard. I, madam? no, I have no reason for it;
That is my brother's plea and none of mine;
The which if he can prove, a' pops me out
At least from fair five hundred pound a year:
Heaven guard my mother's honour and my land!

King John. A good blunt fellow. Why, being younger born,
Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance?


11

I,1,90

Philip the Bastard. I know not why, except to get the land.
But once he slander'd me with bastardy:
But whether I be as true begot or no,
That still I lay upon my mother's head,
But that I am as well begot, my liege,—
Fair fall the bones that took the pains for me!—
Compare our faces and be judge yourself.
If old sir Robert did beget us both
And were our father and this son like him,
O old sir Robert, father, on my knee
I give heaven thanks I was not like to thee!

King John. Why, what a madcap hath heaven lent us here!


12

I,1,95

Queen Elinor. He hath a trick of Coeur-de-lion's face;
The accent of his tongue affecteth him.
Do you not read some tokens of my son
In the large composition of this man?

King John. Mine eye hath well examined his parts
And finds them perfect Richard. Sirrah, speak,
What doth move you to claim your brother's land?


13

I,1,122

Faulconbridge. And once dispatch'd him in an embassy
To Germany, there with the emperor
To treat of high affairs touching that time.
The advantage of his absence took the king
And in the mean time sojourn'd at my father's;
Where how he did prevail I shame to speak,
But truth is truth: large lengths of seas and shores
Between my father and my mother lay,
As I have heard my father speak himself,
When this same lusty gentleman was got.
Upon his death-bed he by will bequeath'd
His lands to me, and took it on his death
That this my mother's son was none of his;
And if he were, he came into the world
Full fourteen weeks before the course of time.
Then, good my liege, let me have what is mine,
My father's land, as was my father's will.

King John. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate;
Your father's wife did after wedlock bear him,
And if she did play false, the fault was hers;
Which fault lies on the hazards of all husbands
That marry wives. Tell me, how if my brother,
Who, as you say, took pains to get this son,
Had of your father claim'd this son for his?
In sooth, good friend, your father might have kept
This calf bred from his cow from all the world;
In sooth he might; then, if he were my brother's,
My brother might not claim him; nor your father,
Being none of his, refuse him: this concludes;
My mother's son did get your father's heir;
Your father's heir must have your father's land.


14

I,1,163

Philip the Bastard. Our country manners give our betters way.

King John. What is thy name?


15

I,1,166

Philip the Bastard. Philip, my liege, so is my name begun,
Philip, good old sir Robert's wife's eldest son.

King John. From henceforth bear his name whose form thou bear'st:
Kneel thou down Philip, but rise more great,
Arise sir Richard and Plantagenet.


16

I,1,182

Philip the Bastard. Madam, by chance but not by truth; what though?
Something about, a little from the right,
In at the window, or else o'er the hatch:
Who dares not stir by day must walk by night,
And have is have, however men do catch:
Near or far off, well won is still well shot,
And I am I, howe'er I was begot.

King John. Go, Faulconbridge: now hast thou thy desire;
A landless knight makes thee a landed squire.
Come, madam, and come, Richard, we must speed
For France, for France, for it is more than need.


17

II,1,378

Lymoges. By how much unexpected, by so much
We must awake endavour for defence;
For courage mounteth with occasion:
Let them be welcome then: we are prepared.
[Enter KING JOHN, QUEEN ELINOR, BLANCH, the BASTARD,]
Lords, and forces]

King John. Peace be to France, if France in peace permit
Our just and lineal entrance to our own;
If not, bleed France, and peace ascend to heaven,
Whiles we, God's wrathful agent, do correct
Their proud contempt that beats His peace to heaven.


18

II,1,404

King Phillip. Peace be to England, if that war return
From France to England, there to live in peace.
England we love; and for that England's sake
With burden of our armour here we sweat.
This toil of ours should be a work of thine;
But thou from loving England art so far,
That thou hast under-wrought his lawful king
Cut off the sequence of posterity,
Out-faced infant state and done a rape
Upon the maiden virtue of the crown.
Look here upon thy brother Geffrey's face;
These eyes, these brows, were moulded out of his:
This little abstract doth contain that large
Which died in Geffrey, and the hand of time
Shall draw this brief into as huge a volume.
That Geffrey was thy elder brother born,
And this his son; England was Geffrey's right
And this is Geffrey's: in the name of God
How comes it then that thou art call'd a king,
When living blood doth in these temples beat,
Which owe the crown that thou o'ermasterest?

King John. From whom hast thou this great commission, France,
To draw my answer from thy articles?


19

II,1,412

King Phillip. From that supernal judge, that stirs good thoughts
In any breast of strong authority,
To look into the blots and stains of right:
That judge hath made me guardian to this boy:
Under whose warrant I impeach thy wrong
And by whose help I mean to chastise it.

King John. Alack, thou dost usurp authority.


20

II,1,451

Lewis. Women and fools, break off your conference.
King John, this is the very sum of all;
England and Ireland, Anjou, Touraine, Maine,
In right of Arthur do I claim of thee:
Wilt thou resign them and lay down thy arms?

King John. My life as soon: I do defy thee, France.
Arthur of Bretagne, yield thee to my hand;
And out of my dear love I'll give thee more
Than e'er the coward hand of France can win:
Submit thee, boy.


21

II,1,481

Constance. Thou monstrous injurer of heaven and earth!
Call not me slanderer; thou and thine usurp
The dominations, royalties and rights
Of this oppressed boy: this is thy eld'st son's son,
Infortunate in nothing but in thee:
Thy sins are visited in this poor child;
The canon of the law is laid on him,
Being but the second generation
Removed from thy sin-conceiving womb.

King John. Bedlam, have done.


22

II,1,503

King Phillip. 'Tis France, for England.

King John. England, for itself.
You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects—


23

II,1,507

King Phillip. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's subjects,
Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle—

King John. For our advantage; therefore hear us first.
These flags of France, that are advanced here
Before the eye and prospect of your town,
Have hither march'd to your endamagement:
The cannons have their bowels full of wrath,
And ready mounted are they to spit forth
Their iron indignation 'gainst your walls:
All preparation for a bloody siege
All merciless proceeding by these French
Confronts your city's eyes, your winking gates;
And but for our approach those sleeping stones,
That as a waist doth girdle you about,
By the compulsion of their ordinance
By this time from their fixed beds of lime
Had been dishabited, and wide havoc made
For bloody power to rush upon your peace.
But on the sight of us your lawful king,
Who painfully with much expedient march
Have brought a countercheque before your gates,
To save unscratch'd your city's threatened cheeks,
Behold, the French amazed vouchsafe a parle;
And now, instead of bullets wrapp'd in fire,
To make a shaking fever in your walls,
They shoot but calm words folded up in smoke,
To make a faithless error in your ears:
Which trust accordingly, kind citizens,
And let us in, your king, whose labour'd spirits,
Forwearied in this action of swift speed,
Crave harbourage within your city walls.


24

II,1,570

First Citizen. In brief, we are the king of England's subjects:
For him, and in his right, we hold this town.

King John. Acknowledge then the king, and let me in.


25

II,1,574

First Citizen. That can we not; but he that proves the king,
To him will we prove loyal: till that time
Have we ramm'd up our gates against the world.

King John. Doth not the crown of England prove the king?
And if not that, I bring you witnesses,
Twice fifteen thousand hearts of England's breed,—


26

II,1,578

Philip the Bastard. Bastards, and else.

King John. To verify our title with their lives.


27

II,1,584

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

King John. Then God forgive the sin of all those souls
That to their everlasting residence,
Before the dew of evening fall, shall fleet,
In dreadful trial of our kingdom's king!


28

II,1,599

Philip the Bastard. O tremble, for you hear the lion roar.

King John. Up higher to the plain; where we'll set forth
In best appointment all our regiments.


29

II,1,644

First Citizen. Heralds, from off our towers we might behold,
From first to last, the onset and retire
Of both your armies; whose equality
By our best eyes cannot be censured:
Blood hath bought blood and blows have answered blows;
Strength match'd with strength, and power confronted power:
Both are alike; and both alike we like.
One must prove greatest: while they weigh so even,
We hold our town for neither, yet for both.
[Re-enter KING JOHN and KING PHILIP, with their]
powers, severally]

King John. France, hast thou yet more blood to cast away?
Say, shall the current of our right run on?
Whose passage, vex'd with thy impediment,
Shall leave his native channel and o'erswell
With course disturb'd even thy confining shores,
Unless thou let his silver water keep
A peaceful progress to the ocean.


30

II,1,671

Philip the Bastard. Ha, majesty! how high thy glory towers,
When the rich blood of kings is set on fire!
O, now doth Death line his dead chaps with steel;
The swords of soldiers are his teeth, his fangs;
And now he feasts, mousing the flesh of men,
In undetermined differences of kings.
Why stand these royal fronts amazed thus?
Cry, 'havoc!' kings; back to the stained field,
You equal potents, fiery kindled spirits!
Then let confusion of one part confirm
The other's peace: till then, blows, blood and death!

King John. Whose party do the townsmen yet admit?


31

II,1,675

King Phillip. Know him in us, that here hold up his right.

King John. In us, that are our own great deputy
And bear possession of our person here,
Lord of our presence, Angiers, and of you.


32

II,1,707

Philip the Bastard. By heaven, these scroyles of Angiers flout you, kings,
And stand securely on their battlements,
As in a theatre, whence they gape and point
At your industrious scenes and acts of death.
Your royal presences be ruled by me:
Do like the mutines of Jerusalem,
Be friends awhile and both conjointly bend
Your sharpest deeds of malice on this town:
By east and west let France and England mount
Their battering cannon charged to the mouths,
Till their soul-fearing clamours have brawl'd down
The flinty ribs of this contemptuous city:
I'ld play incessantly upon these jades,
Even till unfenced desolation
Leave them as naked as the vulgar air.
That done, dissever your united strengths,
And part your mingled colours once again;
Turn 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 favour she shall give the day,
And kiss him with a glorious victory.
How like you this wild counsel, mighty states?
Smacks it not something of the policy?

King John. Now, by the sky that hangs above our heads,
I like it well. France, shall we knit our powers
And lay this Angiers even to the ground;
Then after fight who shall be king of it?


33

II,1,719

King Phillip. Let it be so. Say, where will you assault?

King John. We from the west will send destruction
Into this city's bosom.


34

II,1,733

First Citizen. Hear us, great kings: vouchsafe awhile to stay,
And I shall show you peace and fair-faced league;
Win you this city without stroke or wound;
Rescue those breathing lives to die in beds,
That here come sacrifices for the field:
Persever not, but hear me, mighty kings.

King John. Speak on with favour; we are bent to hear.


35

II,1,796

King Phillip. Speak England first, that hath been forward first
To speak unto this city: what say you?

King John. If that the Dauphin there, thy princely son,
Can in this book of beauty read 'I love,'
Her dowry shall weigh equal with a queen:
For Anjou and fair Touraine, Maine, Poictiers,
And all that we upon this side the sea,
Except this city now by us besieged,
Find liable to our crown and dignity,
Shall gild her bridal bed and make her rich
In titles, honours and promotions,
As she in beauty, education, blood,
Holds hand with any princess of the world.


36

II,1,834

Blanch. My uncle's will in this respect is mine:
If he see aught in you that makes him like,
That any thing he sees, which moves his liking,
I can with ease translate it to my will;
Or if you will, to speak more properly,
I will enforce it easily to my love.
Further I will not flatter you, my lord,
That all I see in you is worthy love,
Than this; that nothing do I see in you,
Though churlish thoughts themselves should be your judge,
That I can find should merit any hate.

King John. What say these young ones? What say you my niece?


37

II,1,837

Blanch. That she is bound in honour still to do
What you in wisdom still vouchsafe to say.

King John. Speak then, prince Dauphin; can you love this lady?


38

II,1,840

Lewis. Nay, ask me if I can refrain from love;
For I do love her most unfeignedly.

King John. Then do I give Volquessen, Touraine, Maine,
Poictiers and Anjou, these five provinces,
With her to thee; and this addition more,
Full thirty thousand marks of English coin.
Philip of France, if thou be pleased withal,
Command thy son and daughter to join hands.


39

II,1,864

King Phillip. And, by my faith, this league that we have made
Will give her sadness very little cure.
Brother of England, how may we content
This widow lady? In her right we came;
Which we, God knows, have turn'd another way,
To our own vantage.

King John. We will heal up all;
For we'll create young Arthur Duke of Bretagne
And Earl of Richmond; and this rich fair town
We make him lord of. Call the Lady Constance;
Some speedy messenger bid her repair
To our solemnity: I trust we shall,
If not fill up the measure of her will,
Yet in some measure satisfy her so
That we shall stop her exclamation.
Go we, as well as haste will suffer us,
To this unlook'd for, unprepared pomp.


40

III,1,1055

Philip the Bastard. And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs.

King John. We like not this; thou dost forget thyself.


41

III,1,1069

Cardinal Pandulph. 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 wilfully 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 John. What earthy name to interrogatories
Can task 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 heaven, are supreme head,
So under Him that great supremacy,
Where we do reign, we will alone uphold,
Without the assistance of a mortal hand:
So tell the pope, all reverence set apart
To him and his usurp'd authority.


42

III,1,1084

King Phillip. Brother of England, you blaspheme in this.

King John. 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 vile 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.


43

III,1,1125

Philip the Bastard. Your breeches best may carry them.

King John. Philip, what say'st thou to the cardinal?


44

III,1,1142

Constance. 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!

King John. The king is moved, and answers not to this.


45

III,1,1251

Queen Elinor. O foul revolt of French inconstancy!

King John. France, thou shalt rue this hour within this hour.


46

III,1,1267

Blanch. There where my fortune lives, there my life dies.

King John. 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.


47

III,1,1276

King Phillip. Thy rage sham burn thee up, and thou shalt turn
To ashes, ere our blood shall quench that fire:
Look to thyself, thou art in jeopardy.

King John. No more than he that threats. To arms let's hie!


48

III,2,1285

(stage directions). [Enter KING JOHN, ARTHUR, and HUBERT]

King John. Hubert, keep this boy. Philip, make up:
My mother is assailed in our tent,
And ta'en, I fear.


49

III,3,1296

(stage directions). [Alarums, excursions, retreat. Enter KING JOHN,]
QUEEN ELINOR, ARTHUR, the BASTARD, HUBERT,
and Lords]

King John. [To QUEEN ELINOR] So shall it be; your grace shall
stay behind
So strongly guarded.
[To ARTHUR]
Cousin, look not sad:
Thy grandam loves thee; and thy uncle will
As dear be to thee as thy father was.


50

III,3,1304

Arthur. O, this will make my mother die with grief!

King John. [To the BASTARD] Cousin, away for England!
haste before:
And, ere our coming, see thou shake the bags
Of hoarding abbots; imprisoned angels
Set at liberty: the fat ribs of peace
Must by the hungry now be fed upon:
Use our commission in his utmost force.


51

III,3,1317

Queen Elinor. Farewell, gentle cousin.

King John. Coz, farewell.


52

III,3,1320

Queen Elinor. Come hither, little kinsman; hark, a word.

King John. Come hither, Hubert. O my gentle Hubert,
We owe thee much! within this wall of flesh
There is a soul counts thee her creditor
And with advantage means to pay thy love:
And my good friend, thy voluntary oath
Lives in this bosom, dearly cherished.
Give me thy hand. I had a thing to say,
But I will fit it with some better time.
By heaven, Hubert, I am almost ashamed
To say what good respect I have of thee.


53

III,3,1331

Hubert de Burgh. I am much bounden to your majesty.

King John. Good friend, thou hast no cause to say so yet,
But thou shalt have; and creep time ne'er so slow,
Yet it shall come from me to do thee good.
I had a thing to say, but let it go:
The sun is in the heaven, and the proud day,
Attended with the pleasures of the world,
Is all too wanton and too full of gawds
To give me audience: if the midnight bell
Did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth,
Sound on into the drowsy race of night;
If this same were a churchyard where we stand,
And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs,
Or if that surly spirit, melancholy,
Had baked thy blood and made it heavy-thick,Which else runs tickling up and down the veins,
Making that idiot, laughter, keep men's eyes
And strain their cheeks to idle merriment,
A passion hateful to my purposes,
Or if that thou couldst see me without eyes,
Hear me without thine ears, and make reply
Without a tongue, using conceit alone,
Without eyes, ears and harmful sound of words;
Then, in despite of brooded watchful day,
I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts:
But, ah, I will not! yet I love thee well;
And, by my troth, I think thou lovest me well.


54

III,3,1359

Hubert de Burgh. So well, that what you bid me undertake,
Though that my death were adjunct to my act,
By heaven, I would do it.

King John. Do not I know thou wouldst?
Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert, throw thine eye
On yon young boy: I'll tell thee what, my friend,
He is a very serpent in my way;
And whereso'er this foot of mine doth tread,
He lies before me: dost thou understand me?
Thou art his keeper.


55

III,3,1368

Hubert de Burgh. And I'll keep him so,
That he shall not offend your majesty.

King John. Death.


56

III,3,1370

Hubert de Burgh. My lord?

King John. A grave.


57

III,3,1372

Hubert de Burgh. He shall not live.

King John. Enough.
I could be merry now. Hubert, I love thee;
Well, I'll not say what I intend for thee:
Remember. Madam, fare you well:
I'll send those powers o'er to your majesty.


58

III,3,1378

Queen Elinor. My blessing go with thee!

King John. For England, cousin, go:
Hubert shall be your man, attend on you
With all true duty. On toward Calais, ho!


59

IV,2,1728

(stage directions). [Enter KING JOHN, PEMBROKE, SALISBURY, and other Lords]

King John. Here once again we sit, once again crown'd,
And looked upon, I hope, with cheerful eyes.


60

IV,2,1767

Salisbury. To this effect, before you were new crown'd,
We breathed our counsel: but it pleased your highness
To overbear it, and we are all well pleased,
Since all and every part of what we would
Doth make a stand at what your highness will.

King John. Some reasons of this double coronation
I have possess'd you with and think them strong;
And more, more strong, then lesser is my fear,
I shall indue you with: meantime but ask
What you would have reform'd that is not well,
And well shall you perceive how willingly
I will both hear and grant you your requests.


61

IV,2,1795

(stage directions). [Enter HUBERT]

King John. Let it be so: I do commit his youth
To your direction. Hubert, what news with you?


62

IV,2,1811

Pembroke. And when it breaks, I fear will issue thence
The foul corruption of a sweet child's death.

King John. We cannot hold mortality's strong hand:
Good lords, although my will to give is living,
The suit which you demand is gone and dead:
He tells us Arthur is deceased to-night.


63

IV,2,1819

Pembroke. Indeed we heard how near his death he was
Before the child himself felt he was sick:
This must be answer'd either here or hence.

King John. Why do you bend such solemn brows on me?
Think you I bear the shears of destiny?
Have I commandment on the pulse of life?


64

IV,2,1833

(stage directions). [Exeunt Lords]

King John. They burn in indignation. I repent:
There is no sure foundation set on blood,
No certain life achieved by others' death.
[Enter a Messenger]
A fearful eye thou hast: where is that blood
That I have seen inhabit in those cheeks?
So foul a sky clears not without a storm:
Pour down thy weather: how goes all in France?


65

IV,2,1847

Messenger. From France to England. Never such a power
For any foreign preparation
Was levied in the body of a land.
The copy of your speed is learn'd by them;
For when you should be told they do prepare,
The tidings come that they are all arrived.

King John. O, where hath our intelligence been drunk?
Where hath it slept? Where is my mother's care,
That such an army could be drawn in France,
And she not hear of it?


66

IV,2,1857

Messenger. My liege, her ear
Is stopp'd with dust; the first of April died
Your noble mother: and, as I hear, my lord,
The Lady Constance in a frenzy died
Three days before: but this from rumour's tongue
I idly heard; if true or false I know not.

King John. Withhold thy speed, dreadful occasion!
O, make a league with me, till I have pleased
My discontented peers! What! mother dead!
How wildly then walks my estate in France!
Under whose conduct came those powers of France
That thou for truth givest out are landed here?


67

IV,2,1864

Messenger. Under the Dauphin.

King John. Thou hast made me giddy
With these ill tidings.
[Enter the BASTARD and PETER of Pomfret]
Now, what says the world
To your proceedings? do not seek to stuff
My head with more ill news, for it is full.


68

IV,2,1872

Philip the Bastard. But if you be afeard to hear the worst,
Then let the worst unheard fall on your bead.

King John. Bear with me cousin, for I was amazed
Under the tide: but now I breathe again
Aloft the flood, and can give audience
To any tongue, speak it of what it will.


69

IV,2,1888

Philip the Bastard. How I have sped among the clergymen,
The sums I have collected shall express.
But as I travell'd hither through the land,
I find the people strangely fantasied;
Possess'd with rumours, full of idle dreams,
Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear:
And here a prophet, that I brought with me
From forth the streets of Pomfret, whom I found
With many hundreds treading on his heels;
To whom he sung, in rude harsh-sounding rhymes,
That, ere the next Ascension-day at noon,
Your highness should deliver up your crown.

King John. Thou idle dreamer, wherefore didst thou so?


70

IV,2,1890

Peter of Pomfret. Foreknowing that the truth will fall out so.

King John. Hubert, away with him; imprison him;
And on that day at noon whereon he says
I shall yield up my crown, let him be hang'd.
Deliver him to safety; and return,
For I must use thee.
[Exeunt HUBERT with PETER]
O my gentle cousin,
Hear'st thou the news abroad, who are arrived?


71

IV,2,1904

Philip the Bastard. The French, my lord; men's mouths are full of it:
Besides, I met Lord Bigot and Lord Salisbury,
With eyes as red as new-enkindled fire,
And others more, going to seek the grave
Of Arthur, who they say is kill'd to-night
On your suggestion.

King John. Gentle kinsman, go,
And thrust thyself into their companies:
I have a way to win their loves again;
Bring them before me.


72

IV,2,1909

Philip the Bastard. I will seek them out.

King John. Nay, but make haste; the better foot before.
O, let me have no subject enemies,
When adverse foreigners affright my towns
With dreadful pomp of stout invasion!
Be Mercury, set feathers to thy heels,
And fly like thought from them to me again.


73

IV,2,1917

(stage directions). [Exit]

King John. Spoke like a sprightful noble gentleman.
Go after him; for he perhaps shall need
Some messenger betwixt me and the peers;
And be thou he.


74

IV,2,1923

(stage directions). [Exit]

King John. My mother dead!


75

IV,2,1928

Hubert de Burgh. My lord, they say five moons were seen to-night;
Four fixed, and the fifth did whirl about
The other four in wondrous motion.

King John. Five moons!


76

IV,2,1947

Hubert de Burgh. Old men and beldams in the streets
Do prophesy upon it dangerously:
Young Arthur's death is common in their mouths:
And when they talk of him, they shake their heads
And whisper one another in the ear;
And he that speaks doth gripe the hearer's wrist,
Whilst he that hears makes fearful action,
With wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling eyes.
I saw a smith stand with his hammer, thus,
The whilst his iron did on the anvil cool,
With open mouth swallowing a tailor's news;
Who, with his shears and measure in his hand,
Standing on slippers, which his nimble haste
Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet,
Told of a many thousand warlike French
That were embattailed and rank'd in Kent:
Another lean unwash'd artificer
Cuts off his tale and talks of Arthur's death.

King John. Why seek'st thou to possess me with these fears?
Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's death?
Thy hand hath murder'd him: I had a mighty cause
To wish him dead, but thou hadst none to kill him.


77

IV,2,1952

Hubert de Burgh. No had, my lord! why, did you not provoke me?

King John. It is the curse of kings to be attended
By slaves that take their humours for a warrant
To break within the bloody house of life,
And on the winking of authority
To understand a law, to know the meaning
Of dangerous majesty, when perchance it frowns
More upon humour than advised respect.


78

IV,2,1960

Hubert de Burgh. Here is your hand and seal for what I did.

King John. O, when the last account 'twixt heaven and earth
Is to be made, then shall this hand and seal
Witness against us to damnation!
How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds
Make deeds ill done! Hadst not thou been by,
A fellow by the hand of nature mark'd,
Quoted and sign'd to do a deed of shame,
This murder had not come into my mind:
But taking note of thy abhorr'd aspect,
Finding thee fit for bloody villany,
Apt, liable to be employ'd in danger,
I faintly broke with thee of Arthur's death;
And thou, to be endeared to a king,
Made it no conscience to destroy a prince.


79

IV,2,1975

Hubert de Burgh. My lord—

King John. Hadst thou but shook thy head or made a pause
When I spake darkly what I purposed,
Or turn'd an eye of doubt upon my face,
As bid me tell my tale in express words,
Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me break off,
And those thy fears might have wrought fears in me:
But thou didst understand me by my signs
And didst in signs again parley with sin;
Yea, without stop, didst let thy heart consent,
And consequently thy rude hand to act
The deed, which both our tongues held vile to name.
Out of my sight, and never see me more!
My nobles leave me; and my state is braved,
Even at my gates, with ranks of foreign powers:
Nay, in the body of this fleshly land,
This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath,
Hostility and civil tumult reigns
Between my conscience and my cousin's death.


80

IV,2,2004

Hubert de Burgh. Arm you against your other enemies,
I'll make a peace between your soul and you.
Young Arthur is alive: this hand of mine
Is yet a maiden and an innocent hand,
Not painted with the crimson spots of blood.
Within this bosom never enter'd yet
The dreadful motion of a murderous thought;
And you have slander'd nature in my form,
Which, howsoever rude exteriorly,
Is yet the cover of a fairer mind
Than to be butcher of an innocent child.

King John. Doth Arthur live? O, haste thee to the peers,
Throw this report on their incensed rage,
And make them tame to their obedience!
Forgive the comment that my passion made
Upon thy feature; for my rage was blind,
And foul imaginary eyes of blood
Presented thee more hideous than thou art.
O, answer not, but to my closet bring
The angry lords with all expedient haste.
I conjure thee but slowly; run more fast.


81

V,1,2192

(stage directions). [Enter KING JOHN, CARDINAL PANDULPH, and Attendants]

King John. Thus have I yielded up into your hand
The circle of my glory.


82

V,1,2198

Cardinal Pandulph. Take again
From this my hand, as holding of the pope
Your sovereign greatness and authority.

King John. Now keep your holy word: go meet the French,
And from his holiness use all your power
To stop their marches 'fore we are inflamed.
Our discontented counties do revolt;
Our people quarrel with obedience,
Swearing allegiance and the love of soul
To stranger blood, to foreign royalty.
This inundation of mistemper'd humour
Rests by you only to be qualified:
Then pause not; for the present time's so sick,
That present medicine must be minister'd,
Or overthrow incurable ensues.


83

V,1,2219

(stage directions). [Exit]

King John. Is this Ascension-day? Did not the prophet
Say that before Ascension-day at noon
My crown I should give off? Even so I have:
I did suppose it should be on constraint:
But, heaven be thank'd, it is but voluntary.


84

V,1,2232

Philip the Bastard. All Kent hath yielded; nothing there holds out
But Dover castle: London hath received,
Like a kind host, the Dauphin and his powers:
Your nobles will not hear you, but are gone
To offer service to your enemy,
And wild amazement hurries up and down
The little number of your doubtful friends.

King John. Would not my lords return to me again,
After they heard young Arthur was alive?


85

V,1,2237

Philip the Bastard. They found him dead and cast into the streets,
An empty casket, where the jewel of life
By some damn'd hand was robb'd and ta'en away.

King John. That villain Hubert told me he did live.


86

V,1,2257

Philip the Bastard. So, on my soul, he did, for aught he knew.
But wherefore do you droop? why look you sad?
Be great in act, as you have been in thought;
Let not the world see fear and sad distrust
Govern the motion of a kingly eye:
Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;
Threaten the threatener and outface the brow
Of bragging horror: so shall inferior eyes,
That borrow their behaviors from the great,
Grow great by your example and put on
The dauntless spirit of resolution.
Away, and glister like the god of war,
When he intendeth to become the field:
Show boldness and aspiring confidence.
What, shall they seek the lion in his den,
And fright him there? and make him tremble there?
O, let it not be said: forage, and run
To meet displeasure farther from the doors,
And grapple with him ere he comes so nigh.

King John. The legate of the pope hath been with me,
And I have made a happy peace with him;
And he hath promised to dismiss the powers
Led by the Dauphin.


87

V,1,2273

Philip the Bastard. O inglorious league!
Shall we, upon the footing of our land,
Send fair-play orders and make compromise,
Insinuation, parley and base truce
To arms invasive? shall a beardless boy,
A cocker'd silken wanton, brave our fields,
And flesh his spirit in a warlike soil,
Mocking the air with colours idly spread,
And find no cheque? Let us, my liege, to arms:
Perchance the cardinal cannot make your peace;
Or if he do, let it at least be said
They saw we had a purpose of defence.

King John. Have thou the ordering of this present time.


88

V,3,2467

(stage directions). [Alarums. Enter KING JOHN and HUBERT]

King John. How goes the day with us? O, tell me, Hubert.


89

V,3,2469

Hubert de Burgh. Badly, I fear. How fares your majesty?

King John. This fever, that hath troubled me so long,
Lies heavy on me; O, my heart is sick!


90

V,3,2475

Messenger. My lord, your valiant kinsman, Faulconbridge,
Desires your majesty to leave the field
And send him word by me which way you go.

King John. Tell him, toward Swinstead, to the abbey there.


91

V,3,2481

Messenger. Be of good comfort; for the great supply
That was expected by the Dauphin here,
Are wreck'd three nights ago on Goodwin Sands.
This news was brought to Richard but even now:
The French fight coldly, and retire themselves.

King John. Ay me! this tyrant fever burns me up,
And will not let me welcome this good news.
Set on toward Swinstead: to my litter straight;
Weakness possesseth me, and I am faint.


92

V,7,2660

(stage directions). [Enter Attendants, and BIGOT, carrying KING JOHN in a chair]

King John. Ay, marry, now my soul hath elbow-room;
It would not out at windows nor at doors.
There is so hot a summer in my bosom,
That all my bowels crumble up to dust:
I am a scribbled form, drawn with a pen
Upon a parchment, and against this fire
Do I shrink up.


93

V,7,2668

Prince Henry. How fares your majesty?

King John. Poison'd,—ill fare—dead, forsook, cast off:
And none of you will bid the winter come
To thrust his icy fingers in my maw,
Nor let my kingdom's rivers take their course
Through my burn'd bosom, nor entreat the north
To make his bleak winds kiss my parched lips
And comfort me with cold. I do not ask you much,
I beg cold comfort; and you are so strait
And so ingrateful, you deny me that.


94

V,7,2679

Prince Henry. O that there were some virtue in my tears,
That might relieve you!

King John. The salt in them is hot.
Within me is a hell; and there the poison
Is as a fiend confined to tyrannize
On unreprievable condemned blood.


95

V,7,2686

Philip the Bastard. O, I am scalded with my violent motion,
And spleen of speed to see your majesty!

King John. O cousin, thou art come to set mine eye:
The tackle of my heart is crack'd and burn'd,
And all the shrouds wherewith my life should sail
Are turned to one thread, one little hair:
My heart hath one poor string to stay it by,
Which holds but till thy news be uttered;
And then all this thou seest is but a clod
And module of confounded royalty.


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