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History of King John

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Act V, Scene 1

KING JOHN’S palace.


[Enter KING JOHN, CARDINAL PANDULPH, and Attendants]

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

[Giving the crown]

  • Cardinal Pandulph. Take again 2195
    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. 2200
    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 2205
    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.
  • Cardinal Pandulph. It was my breath that blew this tempest up, 2210
    Upon your stubborn usage of the pope;
    But since you are a gentle convertite,
    My tongue shall hush again this storm of war
    And make fair weather in your blustering land.
    On this Ascension-day, remember well, 2215
    Upon your oath of service to the pope,
    Go I to make the French lay down their arms.


  • King John. Is this Ascension-day? Did not the prophet
    Say that before Ascension-day at noon 2220
    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.

[Enter the BASTARD]

  • Philip the Bastard. All Kent hath yielded; nothing there holds out 2225
    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 2230
    The little number of your doubtful friends.
  • King John. Would not my lords return to me again,
    After they heard young Arthur was alive?
  • Philip the Bastard. They found him dead and cast into the streets,
    An empty casket, where the jewel of life 2235
    By some damn'd hand was robb'd and ta'en away.
  • King John. That villain Hubert told me he did live.
  • 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; 2240
    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, 2245
    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: 2250
    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, 2255
    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. 2260
  • 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, 2265
    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; 2270
    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.
  • Philip the Bastard. Away, then, with good courage! yet, I know,
    Our party may well meet a prouder foe. 2275