King John


William Shakespeare

King John is a historical play that explores the reign of King John of England, who ruled from 1199 to 1216. It is a dramatization of the events that occurred during his reign, including his struggles with the Catholic Church, his battles with France, and his relationships with his nobles and family members.

The play begins with King John's coronation, during which he is challenged by the French king, Philip, who demands that John relinquish his crown. John refuses, and the two countries go to war. Throughout the play, John's rule is constantly challenged, both by external forces and by his own subjects, who are unhappy with his tyrannical ways.

One of the most dramatic moments in the play occurs when John is forced to sign the Magna Carta, a document that limits his power and grants more rights to his subjects. This event is considered a turning point in English history and is still celebrated today as a symbol of freedom and democracy.

The play also explores the relationship between John and his mother, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, who is a powerful figure in her own right. She is portrayed as a shrewd politician who is willing to do whatever it takes to protect her family's interests, even if it means betraying her own son.

Overall, King John is a complex and nuanced play that explores themes of power, politics, loyalty, and family. Despite its historical setting, it remains relevant today as a commentary on the nature of leadership and the importance of checks and balances on those in positions of authority.

Act I

Act 1 of King John begins with a dispute over who should be the rightful king of England. King John's older brother, Richard the Lionheart, has died, and his nephew, Arthur, claims that he should be the next in line for the throne. However, John asserts that he is the rightful king, and he is supported by several powerful barons.

One of these barons is the Earl of Pembroke, who has just captured the city of Angiers from the French. The French King, Philip, sends an envoy to negotiate with Pembroke, but John's mother, Queen Eleanor, arrives and takes over the negotiations. She convinces the French to support John's claim to the throne, and they agree to send a message to Arthur, telling him to abandon his claim.

Meanwhile, John's illegitimate nephew, Philip Faulconbridge, arrives on the scene. He is a brash and outspoken character who is not afraid to speak his mind. He quickly becomes involved in the power struggle between John and Arthur, and he argues that John is the rightful king.

The scene then shifts to Rome, where the Pope has just received a message from John, asking for his support. The Pope is hesitant to get involved in English politics, but he is persuaded by the English Cardinal, Pandulph, who argues that John is the better choice because he is a strong leader who will defend the Church.

Back in England, Arthur has arrived at the gates of Angiers, hoping to win the support of the French. However, he is captured by John's forces and held prisoner. Faulconbridge witnesses the capture and is appalled by John's actions. He confronts John and tells him that he has lost the respect of the English people by imprisoning his own nephew.

The act ends with John and Faulconbridge preparing to defend Angiers against an attack by the French. It is clear that the struggle for the English throne is far from over, and that there will be much bloodshed and political maneuvering before the matter is finally resolved.


Scene 1 of Act 1 introduces the conflict between King John and his nephew, Arthur, over the throne of England. The scene takes place in France, where King John and his mother, Queen Eleanor, are negotiating a peace treaty with the French King Philip.

Arthur's mother, Constance, arrives and demands that her son be recognized as the rightful heir to the throne. King John refuses, claiming that Arthur is too young and inexperienced to rule. Constance appeals to King Philip for support, but he is hesitant to get involved in England's internal affairs.

The scene ends with King John and Queen Eleanor plotting to eliminate Arthur as a threat to the throne. They are interrupted by the arrival of the Bastard, a loyal follower of King John who provides some comic relief with his witty comments and bawdy humor.

Overall, Scene 1 sets the stage for the political intrigue and power struggles that will unfold throughout the rest of the play. It also highlights the themes of family loyalty, betrayal, and the corrupting influence of power.


Now, say, Chatillon, what would France with us?
Link: 1.1.1

Thus, after greeting, speaks the King of France
Link: 1.1.2
In my behavior to the majesty,
Link: 1.1.3
The borrow'd majesty, of England here.
Link: 1.1.4

A strange beginning: 'borrow'd majesty!'
Link: 1.1.5

Silence, good mother; hear the embassy.
Link: 1.1.6

Philip of France, in right and true behalf
Link: 1.1.7
Of thy deceased brother Geffrey's son,
Link: 1.1.8
Arthur Plantagenet, lays most lawful claim
Link: 1.1.9
To this fair island and the territories,
Link: 1.1.10
To Ireland, Poictiers, Anjou, Touraine, Maine,
Link: 1.1.11
Desiring thee to lay aside the sword
Link: 1.1.12
Which sways usurpingly these several titles,
Link: 1.1.13
And put these same into young Arthur's hand,
Link: 1.1.14
Thy nephew and right royal sovereign.
Link: 1.1.15

What follows if we disallow of this?
Link: 1.1.16

The proud control of fierce and bloody war,
Link: 1.1.17
To enforce these rights so forcibly withheld.
Link: 1.1.18

Here have we war for war and blood for blood,
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Controlment for controlment: so answer France.
Link: 1.1.20

Then take my king's defiance from my mouth,
Link: 1.1.21
The farthest limit of my embassy.
Link: 1.1.22

Bear mine to him, and so depart in peace:
Link: 1.1.23
Be thou as lightning in the eyes of France;
Link: 1.1.24
For ere thou canst report I will be there,
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The thunder of my cannon shall be heard:
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So hence! Be thou the trumpet of our wrath
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And sullen presage of your own decay.
Link: 1.1.28
An honourable conduct let him have:
Link: 1.1.29
Pembroke, look to 't. Farewell, Chatillon.
Link: 1.1.30


What now, my son! have I not ever said
Link: 1.1.31
How that ambitious Constance would not cease
Link: 1.1.32
Till she had kindled France and all the world,
Link: 1.1.33
Upon the right and party of her son?
Link: 1.1.34
This might have been prevented and made whole
Link: 1.1.35
With very easy arguments of love,
Link: 1.1.36
Which now the manage of two kingdoms must
Link: 1.1.37
With fearful bloody issue arbitrate.
Link: 1.1.38

Our strong possession and our right for us.
Link: 1.1.39

Your strong possession much more than your right,
Link: 1.1.40
Or else it must go wrong with you and me:
Link: 1.1.41
So much my conscience whispers in your ear,
Link: 1.1.42
Which none but heaven and you and I shall hear.
Link: 1.1.43

Enter a Sheriff

My liege, here is the strangest controversy
Link: 1.1.44
Come from country to be judged by you,
Link: 1.1.45
That e'er I heard: shall I produce the men?
Link: 1.1.46

Let them approach.
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Our abbeys and our priories shall pay
Link: 1.1.48
This expedition's charge.
Link: 1.1.49
What men are you?
Link: 1.1.50

Your faithful subject I, a gentleman
Link: 1.1.51
Born in Northamptonshire and eldest son,
Link: 1.1.52
As I suppose, to Robert Faulconbridge,
Link: 1.1.53
A soldier, by the honour-giving hand
Link: 1.1.54
Of Coeur-de-lion knighted in the field.
Link: 1.1.55

What art thou?
Link: 1.1.56

The son and heir to that same Faulconbridge.
Link: 1.1.57

Is that the elder, and art thou the heir?
Link: 1.1.58
You came not of one mother then, it seems.
Link: 1.1.59

Most certain of one mother, mighty king;
Link: 1.1.60
That is well known; and, as I think, one father:
Link: 1.1.61
But for the certain knowledge of that truth
Link: 1.1.62
I put you o'er to heaven and to my mother:
Link: 1.1.63
Of that I doubt, as all men's children may.
Link: 1.1.64

Out on thee, rude man! thou dost shame thy mother
Link: 1.1.65
And wound her honour with this diffidence.
Link: 1.1.66

I, madam? no, I have no reason for it;
Link: 1.1.67
That is my brother's plea and none of mine;
Link: 1.1.68
The which if he can prove, a' pops me out
Link: 1.1.69
At least from fair five hundred pound a year:
Link: 1.1.70
Heaven guard my mother's honour and my land!
Link: 1.1.71

A good blunt fellow. Why, being younger born,
Link: 1.1.72
Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance?
Link: 1.1.73

I know not why, except to get the land.
Link: 1.1.74
But once he slander'd me with bastardy:
Link: 1.1.75
But whether I be as true begot or no,
Link: 1.1.76
That still I lay upon my mother's head,
Link: 1.1.77
But that I am as well begot, my liege,--
Link: 1.1.78
Fair fall the bones that took the pains for me!--
Link: 1.1.79
Compare our faces and be judge yourself.
Link: 1.1.80
If old sir Robert did beget us both
Link: 1.1.81
And were our father and this son like him,
Link: 1.1.82
O old sir Robert, father, on my knee
Link: 1.1.83
I give heaven thanks I was not like to thee!
Link: 1.1.84

Why, what a madcap hath heaven lent us here!
Link: 1.1.85

He hath a trick of Coeur-de-lion's face;
Link: 1.1.86
The accent of his tongue affecteth him.
Link: 1.1.87
Do you not read some tokens of my son
Link: 1.1.88
In the large composition of this man?
Link: 1.1.89

Mine eye hath well examined his parts
Link: 1.1.90
And finds them perfect Richard. Sirrah, speak,
Link: 1.1.91
What doth move you to claim your brother's land?
Link: 1.1.92

Because he hath a half-face, like my father.
Link: 1.1.93
With half that face would he have all my land:
Link: 1.1.94
A half-faced groat five hundred pound a year!
Link: 1.1.95

My gracious liege, when that my father lived,
Link: 1.1.96
Your brother did employ my father much,--
Link: 1.1.97

Well, sir, by this you cannot get my land:
Link: 1.1.98
Your tale must be how he employ'd my mother.
Link: 1.1.99

And once dispatch'd him in an embassy
Link: 1.1.100
To Germany, there with the emperor
Link: 1.1.101
To treat of high affairs touching that time.
Link: 1.1.102
The advantage of his absence took the king
Link: 1.1.103
And in the mean time sojourn'd at my father's;
Link: 1.1.104
Where how he did prevail I shame to speak,
Link: 1.1.105
But truth is truth: large lengths of seas and shores
Link: 1.1.106
Between my father and my mother lay,
Link: 1.1.107
As I have heard my father speak himself,
Link: 1.1.108
When this same lusty gentleman was got.
Link: 1.1.109
Upon his death-bed he by will bequeath'd
Link: 1.1.110
His lands to me, and took it on his death
Link: 1.1.111
That this my mother's son was none of his;
Link: 1.1.112
And if he were, he came into the world
Link: 1.1.113
Full fourteen weeks before the course of time.
Link: 1.1.114
Then, good my liege, let me have what is mine,
Link: 1.1.115
My father's land, as was my father's will.
Link: 1.1.116

Sirrah, your brother is legitimate;
Link: 1.1.117
Your father's wife did after wedlock bear him,
Link: 1.1.118
And if she did play false, the fault was hers;
Link: 1.1.119
Which fault lies on the hazards of all husbands
Link: 1.1.120
That marry wives. Tell me, how if my brother,
Link: 1.1.121
Who, as you say, took pains to get this son,
Link: 1.1.122
Had of your father claim'd this son for his?
Link: 1.1.123
In sooth, good friend, your father might have kept
Link: 1.1.124
This calf bred from his cow from all the world;
Link: 1.1.125
In sooth he might; then, if he were my brother's,
Link: 1.1.126
My brother might not claim him; nor your father,
Link: 1.1.127
Being none of his, refuse him: this concludes;
Link: 1.1.128
My mother's son did get your father's heir;
Link: 1.1.129
Your father's heir must have your father's land.
Link: 1.1.130

Shall then my father's will be of no force
Link: 1.1.131
To dispossess that child which is not his?
Link: 1.1.132

Of no more force to dispossess me, sir,
Link: 1.1.133
Than was his will to get me, as I think.
Link: 1.1.134

Whether hadst thou rather be a Faulconbridge
Link: 1.1.135
And like thy brother, to enjoy thy land,
Link: 1.1.136
Or the reputed son of Coeur-de-lion,
Link: 1.1.137
Lord of thy presence and no land beside?
Link: 1.1.138

Madam, an if my brother had my shape,
Link: 1.1.139
And I had his, sir Robert's his, like him;
Link: 1.1.140
And if my legs were two such riding-rods,
Link: 1.1.141
My arms such eel-skins stuff'd, my face so thin
Link: 1.1.142
That in mine ear I durst not stick a rose
Link: 1.1.143
Lest men should say 'Look, where three-farthings goes!'
Link: 1.1.144
And, to his shape, were heir to all this land,
Link: 1.1.145
Would I might never stir from off this place,
Link: 1.1.146
I would give it every foot to have this face;
Link: 1.1.147
I would not be sir Nob in any case.
Link: 1.1.148

I like thee well: wilt thou forsake thy fortune,
Link: 1.1.149
Bequeath thy land to him and follow me?
Link: 1.1.150
I am a soldier and now bound to France.
Link: 1.1.151

Brother, take you my land, I'll take my chance.
Link: 1.1.152
Your face hath got five hundred pound a year,
Link: 1.1.153
Yet sell your face for five pence and 'tis dear.
Link: 1.1.154
Madam, I'll follow you unto the death.
Link: 1.1.155

Nay, I would have you go before me thither.
Link: 1.1.156

Our country manners give our betters way.
Link: 1.1.157

What is thy name?
Link: 1.1.158

Philip, my liege, so is my name begun,
Link: 1.1.159
Philip, good old sir Robert's wife's eldest son.
Link: 1.1.160

From henceforth bear his name whose form thou bear'st:
Link: 1.1.161
Kneel thou down Philip, but rise more great,
Link: 1.1.162
Arise sir Richard and Plantagenet.
Link: 1.1.163

Brother by the mother's side, give me your hand:
Link: 1.1.164
My father gave me honour, yours gave land.
Link: 1.1.165
Now blessed by the hour, by night or day,
Link: 1.1.166
When I was got, sir Robert was away!
Link: 1.1.167

The very spirit of Plantagenet!
Link: 1.1.168
I am thy grandam, Richard; call me so.
Link: 1.1.169

Madam, by chance but not by truth; what though?
Link: 1.1.170
Something about, a little from the right,
Link: 1.1.171
In at the window, or else o'er the hatch:
Link: 1.1.172
Who dares not stir by day must walk by night,
Link: 1.1.173
And have is have, however men do catch:
Link: 1.1.174
Near or far off, well won is still well shot,
Link: 1.1.175
And I am I, howe'er I was begot.
Link: 1.1.176

Go, Faulconbridge: now hast thou thy desire;
Link: 1.1.177
A landless knight makes thee a landed squire.
Link: 1.1.178
Come, madam, and come, Richard, we must speed
Link: 1.1.179
For France, for France, for it is more than need.
Link: 1.1.180

Brother, adieu: good fortune come to thee!
Link: 1.1.181
For thou wast got i' the way of honesty.
Link: 1.1.182
A foot of honour better than I was;
Link: 1.1.183
But many a many foot of land the worse.
Link: 1.1.184
Well, now can I make any Joan a lady.
Link: 1.1.185
'Good den, sir Richard!'--'God-a-mercy, fellow!'--
Link: 1.1.186
And if his name be George, I'll call him Peter;
Link: 1.1.187
For new-made honour doth forget men's names;
Link: 1.1.188
'Tis too respective and too sociable
Link: 1.1.189
For your conversion. Now your traveller,
Link: 1.1.190
He and his toothpick at my worship's mess,
Link: 1.1.191
And when my knightly stomach is sufficed,
Link: 1.1.192
Why then I suck my teeth and catechise
Link: 1.1.193
My picked man of countries: 'My dear sir,'
Link: 1.1.194
Thus, leaning on mine elbow, I begin,
Link: 1.1.195
'I shall beseech you'--that is question now;
Link: 1.1.196
And then comes answer like an Absey book:
Link: 1.1.197
'O sir,' says answer, 'at your best command;
Link: 1.1.198
At your employment; at your service, sir;'
Link: 1.1.199
'No, sir,' says question, 'I, sweet sir, at yours:'
Link: 1.1.200
And so, ere answer knows what question would,
Link: 1.1.201
Saving in dialogue of compliment,
Link: 1.1.202
And talking of the Alps and Apennines,
Link: 1.1.203
The Pyrenean and the river Po,
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It draws toward supper in conclusion so.
Link: 1.1.205
But this is worshipful society
Link: 1.1.206
And fits the mounting spirit like myself,
Link: 1.1.207
For he is but a bastard to the time
Link: 1.1.208
That doth not smack of observation;
Link: 1.1.209
And so am I, whether I smack or no;
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And not alone in habit and device,
Link: 1.1.211
Exterior form, outward accoutrement,
Link: 1.1.212
But from the inward motion to deliver
Link: 1.1.213
Sweet, sweet, sweet poison for the age's tooth:
Link: 1.1.214
Which, though I will not practise to deceive,
Link: 1.1.215
Yet, to avoid deceit, I mean to learn;
Link: 1.1.216
For it shall strew the footsteps of my rising.
Link: 1.1.217
But who comes in such haste in riding-robes?
Link: 1.1.218
What woman-post is this? hath she no husband
Link: 1.1.219
That will take pains to blow a horn before her?
Link: 1.1.220
O me! it is my mother. How now, good lady!
Link: 1.1.221
What brings you here to court so hastily?
Link: 1.1.222

Where is that slave, thy brother? where is he,
Link: 1.1.223
That holds in chase mine honour up and down?
Link: 1.1.224

My brother Robert? old sir Robert's son?
Link: 1.1.225
Colbrand the giant, that same mighty man?
Link: 1.1.226
Is it sir Robert's son that you seek so?
Link: 1.1.227

Sir Robert's son! Ay, thou unreverend boy,
Link: 1.1.228
Sir Robert's son: why scorn'st thou at sir Robert?
Link: 1.1.229
He is sir Robert's son, and so art thou.
Link: 1.1.230

James Gurney, wilt thou give us leave awhile?
Link: 1.1.231

Good leave, good Philip.
Link: 1.1.232

Philip! sparrow: James,
Link: 1.1.233
There's toys abroad: anon I'll tell thee more.
Link: 1.1.234
Madam, I was not old sir Robert's son:
Link: 1.1.235
Sir Robert might have eat his part in me
Link: 1.1.236
Upon Good-Friday and ne'er broke his fast:
Link: 1.1.237
Sir Robert could do well: marry, to confess,
Link: 1.1.238
Could he get me? Sir Robert could not do it:
Link: 1.1.239
We know his handiwork: therefore, good mother,
Link: 1.1.240
To whom am I beholding for these limbs?
Link: 1.1.241
Sir Robert never holp to make this leg.
Link: 1.1.242

Hast thou conspired with thy brother too,
Link: 1.1.243
That for thine own gain shouldst defend mine honour?
Link: 1.1.244
What means this scorn, thou most untoward knave?
Link: 1.1.245

Knight, knight, good mother, Basilisco-like.
Link: 1.1.246
What! I am dubb'd! I have it on my shoulder.
Link: 1.1.247
But, mother, I am not sir Robert's son;
Link: 1.1.248
I have disclaim'd sir Robert and my land;
Link: 1.1.249
Legitimation, name and all is gone:
Link: 1.1.250
Then, good my mother, let me know my father;
Link: 1.1.251
Some proper man, I hope: who was it, mother?
Link: 1.1.252

Hast thou denied thyself a Faulconbridge?
Link: 1.1.253

As faithfully as I deny the devil.
Link: 1.1.254

King Richard Coeur-de-lion was thy father:
Link: 1.1.255
By long and vehement suit I was seduced
Link: 1.1.256
To make room for him in my husband's bed:
Link: 1.1.257
Heaven lay not my transgression to my charge!
Link: 1.1.258
Thou art the issue of my dear offence,
Link: 1.1.259
Which was so strongly urged past my defence.
Link: 1.1.260

Now, by this light, were I to get again,
Link: 1.1.261
Madam, I would not wish a better father.
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Some sins do bear their privilege on earth,
Link: 1.1.263
And so doth yours; your fault was not your folly:
Link: 1.1.264
Needs must you lay your heart at his dispose,
Link: 1.1.265
Subjected tribute to commanding love,
Link: 1.1.266
Against whose fury and unmatched force
Link: 1.1.267
The aweless lion could not wage the fight,
Link: 1.1.268
Nor keep his princely heart from Richard's hand.
Link: 1.1.269
He that perforce robs lions of their hearts
Link: 1.1.270
May easily win a woman's. Ay, my mother,
Link: 1.1.271
With all my heart I thank thee for my father!
Link: 1.1.272
Who lives and dares but say thou didst not well
Link: 1.1.273
When I was got, I'll send his soul to hell.
Link: 1.1.274
Come, lady, I will show thee to my kin;
Link: 1.1.275
And they shall say, when Richard me begot,
Link: 1.1.276
If thou hadst said him nay, it had been sin:
Link: 1.1.277
Who says it was, he lies; I say 'twas not.
Link: 1.1.278


Act II

Act 2 of King John begins with the arrival of the French ambassador, Chatillon, who demands that King John relinquish his throne to his nephew, Arthur. John refuses and war seems imminent. Meanwhile, Arthur's mother, Constance, mourns her son's fate and accuses John of usurping the throne from his brother, Richard the Lionheart.

John sends his own ambassador to negotiate with the French king, Philip, and they agree to meet and discuss a potential peace treaty. However, John secretly orders the assassination of Arthur, hoping to eliminate any potential threat to his reign.

Arthur is taken prisoner and the news of his capture devastates Constance. She accuses John of being a tyrant and vows to seek revenge for her son. The nobles of England begin to question John's actions and some even consider supporting Arthur's claim to the throne.

As the war between England and France looms, John's allies begin to desert him and he becomes increasingly isolated. He realizes the consequences of his actions and begins to doubt his own ability to rule. The act ends with John preparing for battle, uncertain of his own fate and the fate of his kingdom.

SCENE I. France. Before Angiers.

Act 2, Scene 1 of a historical play begins with a conversation between King John and his mother, Queen Elinor. They discuss the recent death of King Richard, John's brother, and the potential threat posed by King Philip of France. Queen Elinor advises John to make peace with Philip, but John is hesitant.

They are interrupted by the arrival of a messenger from France, who delivers a message from Philip demanding that John relinquish his crown and pay homage to him. John is outraged and refuses, but Queen Elinor suggests that they send a message back to Philip offering to negotiate a peace treaty.

Next, the scene shifts to a conversation between the Bastard and Hubert. The Bastard expresses his loyalty to King John and his hope that he will be rewarded for his service. Hubert warns the Bastard that he should not be too trusting of John and that he may be betrayed at any moment. The Bastard dismisses Hubert's warnings and leaves.

The final part of the scene features a conversation between Philip and his advisors. They discuss their plans to invade England and overthrow John. Philip expresses his confidence in their ability to win the war.

Enter AUSTRIA and forces, drums, etc. on one side: on the other KING PHILIP and his power; LEWIS, ARTHUR, CONSTANCE and attendants

Before Angiers well met, brave Austria.
Link: 2.1.1
Arthur, that great forerunner of thy blood,
Link: 2.1.2
Richard, that robb'd the lion of his heart
Link: 2.1.3
And fought the holy wars in Palestine,
Link: 2.1.4
By this brave duke came early to his grave:
Link: 2.1.5
And for amends to his posterity,
Link: 2.1.6
At our importance hither is he come,
Link: 2.1.7
To spread his colours, boy, in thy behalf,
Link: 2.1.8
And to rebuke the usurpation
Link: 2.1.9
Of thy unnatural uncle, English John:
Link: 2.1.10
Embrace him, love him, give him welcome hither.
Link: 2.1.11

God shall forgive you Coeur-de-lion's death
Link: 2.1.12
The rather that you give his offspring life,
Link: 2.1.13
Shadowing their right under your wings of war:
Link: 2.1.14
I give you welcome with a powerless hand,
Link: 2.1.15
But with a heart full of unstained love:
Link: 2.1.16
Welcome before the gates of Angiers, duke.
Link: 2.1.17

A noble boy! Who would not do thee right?
Link: 2.1.18

Upon thy cheek lay I this zealous kiss,
Link: 2.1.19
As seal to this indenture of my love,
Link: 2.1.20
That to my home I will no more return,
Link: 2.1.21
Till Angiers and the right thou hast in France,
Link: 2.1.22
Together with that pale, that white-faced shore,
Link: 2.1.23
Whose foot spurns back the ocean's roaring tides
Link: 2.1.24
And coops from other lands her islanders,
Link: 2.1.25
Even till that England, hedged in with the main,
Link: 2.1.26
That water-walled bulwark, still secure
Link: 2.1.27
And confident from foreign purposes,
Link: 2.1.28
Even till that utmost corner of the west
Link: 2.1.29
Salute thee for her king: till then, fair boy,
Link: 2.1.30
Will I not think of home, but follow arms.
Link: 2.1.31

O, take his mother's thanks, a widow's thanks,
Link: 2.1.32
Till your strong hand shall help to give him strength
Link: 2.1.33
To make a more requital to your love!
Link: 2.1.34

The peace of heaven is theirs that lift their swords
Link: 2.1.35
In such a just and charitable war.
Link: 2.1.36

Well then, to work: our cannon shall be bent
Link: 2.1.37
Against the brows of this resisting town.
Link: 2.1.38
Call for our chiefest men of discipline,
Link: 2.1.39
To cull the plots of best advantages:
Link: 2.1.40
We'll lay before this town our royal bones,
Link: 2.1.41
Wade to the market-place in Frenchmen's blood,
Link: 2.1.42
But we will make it subject to this boy.
Link: 2.1.43

Stay for an answer to your embassy,
Link: 2.1.44
Lest unadvised you stain your swords with blood:
Link: 2.1.45
My Lord Chatillon may from England bring,
Link: 2.1.46
That right in peace which here we urge in war,
Link: 2.1.47
And then we shall repent each drop of blood
Link: 2.1.48
That hot rash haste so indirectly shed.
Link: 2.1.49


A wonder, lady! lo, upon thy wish,
Link: 2.1.50
Our messenger Chatillon is arrived!
Link: 2.1.51
What England says, say briefly, gentle lord;
Link: 2.1.52
We coldly pause for thee; Chatillon, speak.
Link: 2.1.53

Then turn your forces from this paltry siege
Link: 2.1.54
And stir them up against a mightier task.
Link: 2.1.55
England, impatient of your just demands,
Link: 2.1.56
Hath put himself in arms: the adverse winds,
Link: 2.1.57
Whose leisure I have stay'd, have given him time
Link: 2.1.58
To land his legions all as soon as I;
Link: 2.1.59
His marches are expedient to this town,
Link: 2.1.60
His forces strong, his soldiers confident.
Link: 2.1.61
With him along is come the mother-queen,
Link: 2.1.62
An Ate, stirring him to blood and strife;
Link: 2.1.63
With her her niece, the Lady Blanch of Spain;
Link: 2.1.64
With them a bastard of the king's deceased,
Link: 2.1.65
And all the unsettled humours of the land,
Link: 2.1.66
Rash, inconsiderate, fiery voluntaries,
Link: 2.1.67
With ladies' faces and fierce dragons' spleens,
Link: 2.1.68
Have sold their fortunes at their native homes,
Link: 2.1.69
Bearing their birthrights proudly on their backs,
Link: 2.1.70
To make hazard of new fortunes here:
Link: 2.1.71
In brief, a braver choice of dauntless spirits
Link: 2.1.72
Than now the English bottoms have waft o'er
Link: 2.1.73
Did nearer float upon the swelling tide,
Link: 2.1.74
To do offence and scath in Christendom.
Link: 2.1.75
The interruption of their churlish drums
Link: 2.1.76
Cuts off more circumstance: they are at hand,
Link: 2.1.77
To parley or to fight; therefore prepare.
Link: 2.1.78

How much unlook'd for is this expedition!
Link: 2.1.79

By how much unexpected, by so much
Link: 2.1.80
We must awake endavour for defence;
Link: 2.1.81
For courage mounteth with occasion:
Link: 2.1.82
Let them be welcome then: we are prepared.
Link: 2.1.83

Enter KING JOHN, QUEEN ELINOR, BLANCH, the BASTARD, Lords, and forces

Peace be to France, if France in peace permit
Link: 2.1.84
Our just and lineal entrance to our own;
Link: 2.1.85
If not, bleed France, and peace ascend to heaven,
Link: 2.1.86
Whiles we, God's wrathful agent, do correct
Link: 2.1.87
Their proud contempt that beats His peace to heaven.
Link: 2.1.88

Peace be to England, if that war return
Link: 2.1.89
From France to England, there to live in peace.
Link: 2.1.90
England we love; and for that England's sake
Link: 2.1.91
With burden of our armour here we sweat.
Link: 2.1.92
This toil of ours should be a work of thine;
Link: 2.1.93
But thou from loving England art so far,
Link: 2.1.94
That thou hast under-wrought his lawful king
Link: 2.1.95
Cut off the sequence of posterity,
Link: 2.1.96
Out-faced infant state and done a rape
Link: 2.1.97
Upon the maiden virtue of the crown.
Link: 2.1.98
Look here upon thy brother Geffrey's face;
Link: 2.1.99
These eyes, these brows, were moulded out of his:
Link: 2.1.100
This little abstract doth contain that large
Link: 2.1.101
Which died in Geffrey, and the hand of time
Link: 2.1.102
Shall draw this brief into as huge a volume.
Link: 2.1.103
That Geffrey was thy elder brother born,
Link: 2.1.104
And this his son; England was Geffrey's right
Link: 2.1.105
And this is Geffrey's: in the name of God
Link: 2.1.106
How comes it then that thou art call'd a king,
Link: 2.1.107
When living blood doth in these temples beat,
Link: 2.1.108
Which owe the crown that thou o'ermasterest?
Link: 2.1.109

From whom hast thou this great commission, France,
Link: 2.1.110
To draw my answer from thy articles?
Link: 2.1.111

From that supernal judge, that stirs good thoughts
Link: 2.1.112
In any breast of strong authority,
Link: 2.1.113
To look into the blots and stains of right:
Link: 2.1.114
That judge hath made me guardian to this boy:
Link: 2.1.115
Under whose warrant I impeach thy wrong
Link: 2.1.116
And by whose help I mean to chastise it.
Link: 2.1.117

Alack, thou dost usurp authority.
Link: 2.1.118

Excuse; it is to beat usurping down.
Link: 2.1.119

Who is it thou dost call usurper, France?
Link: 2.1.120

Let me make answer; thy usurping son.
Link: 2.1.121

Out, insolent! thy bastard shall be king,
Link: 2.1.122
That thou mayst be a queen, and cheque the world!
Link: 2.1.123

My bed was ever to thy son as true
Link: 2.1.124
As thine was to thy husband; and this boy
Link: 2.1.125
Liker in feature to his father Geffrey
Link: 2.1.126
Than thou and John in manners; being as like
Link: 2.1.127
As rain to water, or devil to his dam.
Link: 2.1.128
My boy a bastard! By my soul, I think
Link: 2.1.129
His father never was so true begot:
Link: 2.1.130
It cannot be, an if thou wert his mother.
Link: 2.1.131

There's a good mother, boy, that blots thy father.
Link: 2.1.132

There's a good grandam, boy, that would blot thee.
Link: 2.1.133


Hear the crier.
Link: 2.1.135

What the devil art thou?
Link: 2.1.136

One that will play the devil, sir, with you,
Link: 2.1.137
An a' may catch your hide and you alone:
Link: 2.1.138
You are the hare of whom the proverb goes,
Link: 2.1.139
Whose valour plucks dead lions by the beard;
Link: 2.1.140
I'll smoke your skin-coat, an I catch you right;
Link: 2.1.141
Sirrah, look to't; i' faith, I will, i' faith.
Link: 2.1.142

O, well did he become that lion's robe
Link: 2.1.143
That did disrobe the lion of that robe!
Link: 2.1.144

It lies as sightly on the back of him
Link: 2.1.145
As great Alcides' shows upon an ass:
Link: 2.1.146
But, ass, I'll take that burthen from your back,
Link: 2.1.147
Or lay on that shall make your shoulders crack.
Link: 2.1.148

What craker is this same that deafs our ears
Link: 2.1.149
With this abundance of superfluous breath?
Link: 2.1.150

Lewis, determine what we shall do straight.
Link: 2.1.151

Women and fools, break off your conference.
Link: 2.1.152
King John, this is the very sum of all;
Link: 2.1.153
England and Ireland, Anjou, Touraine, Maine,
Link: 2.1.154
In right of Arthur do I claim of thee:
Link: 2.1.155
Wilt thou resign them and lay down thy arms?
Link: 2.1.156

My life as soon: I do defy thee, France.
Link: 2.1.157
Arthur of Bretagne, yield thee to my hand;
Link: 2.1.158
And out of my dear love I'll give thee more
Link: 2.1.159
Than e'er the coward hand of France can win:
Link: 2.1.160
Submit thee, boy.
Link: 2.1.161

Come to thy grandam, child.
Link: 2.1.162

Do, child, go to it grandam, child:
Link: 2.1.163
Give grandam kingdom, and it grandam will
Link: 2.1.164
Give it a plum, a cherry, and a fig:
Link: 2.1.165
There's a good grandam.
Link: 2.1.166

Good my mother, peace!
Link: 2.1.167
I would that I were low laid in my grave:
Link: 2.1.168
I am not worth this coil that's made for me.
Link: 2.1.169

His mother shames him so, poor boy, he weeps.
Link: 2.1.170

Now shame upon you, whether she does or no!
Link: 2.1.171
His grandam's wrongs, and not his mother's shames,
Link: 2.1.172
Draws those heaven-moving pearls from his poor eyes,
Link: 2.1.173
Which heaven shall take in nature of a fee;
Link: 2.1.174
Ay, with these crystal beads heaven shall be bribed
Link: 2.1.175
To do him justice and revenge on you.
Link: 2.1.176

Thou monstrous slanderer of heaven and earth!
Link: 2.1.177

Thou monstrous injurer of heaven and earth!
Link: 2.1.178
Call not me slanderer; thou and thine usurp
Link: 2.1.179
The dominations, royalties and rights
Link: 2.1.180
Of this oppressed boy: this is thy eld'st son's son,
Link: 2.1.181
Infortunate in nothing but in thee:
Link: 2.1.182
Thy sins are visited in this poor child;
Link: 2.1.183
The canon of the law is laid on him,
Link: 2.1.184
Being but the second generation
Link: 2.1.185
Removed from thy sin-conceiving womb.
Link: 2.1.186

Bedlam, have done.
Link: 2.1.187

I have but this to say,
Link: 2.1.188
That he is not only plagued for her sin,
Link: 2.1.189
But God hath made her sin and her the plague
Link: 2.1.190
On this removed issue, plague for her
Link: 2.1.191
And with her plague; her sin his injury,
Link: 2.1.192
Her injury the beadle to her sin,
Link: 2.1.193
All punish'd in the person of this child,
Link: 2.1.194
And all for her; a plague upon her!
Link: 2.1.195

Thou unadvised scold, I can produce
Link: 2.1.196
A will that bars the title of thy son.
Link: 2.1.197

Ay, who doubts that? a will! a wicked will:
Link: 2.1.198
A woman's will; a canker'd grandam's will!
Link: 2.1.199

Peace, lady! pause, or be more temperate:
Link: 2.1.200
It ill beseems this presence to cry aim
Link: 2.1.201
To these ill-tuned repetitions.
Link: 2.1.202
Some trumpet summon hither to the walls
Link: 2.1.203
These men of Angiers: let us hear them speak
Link: 2.1.204
Whose title they admit, Arthur's or John's.
Link: 2.1.205

Trumpet sounds. Enter certain Citizens upon the walls

First Citizen
Who is it that hath warn'd us to the walls?
Link: 2.1.206

'Tis France, for England.
Link: 2.1.207

England, for itself.
Link: 2.1.208
You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects--
Link: 2.1.209

You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's subjects,
Link: 2.1.210
Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle--
Link: 2.1.211

For our advantage; therefore hear us first.
Link: 2.1.212
These flags of France, that are advanced here
Link: 2.1.213
Before the eye and prospect of your town,
Link: 2.1.214
Have hither march'd to your endamagement:
Link: 2.1.215
The cannons have their bowels full of wrath,
Link: 2.1.216
And ready mounted are they to spit forth
Link: 2.1.217
Their iron indignation 'gainst your walls:
Link: 2.1.218
All preparation for a bloody siege
Link: 2.1.219
All merciless proceeding by these French
Link: 2.1.220
Confronts your city's eyes, your winking gates;
Link: 2.1.221
And but for our approach those sleeping stones,
Link: 2.1.222
That as a waist doth girdle you about,
Link: 2.1.223
By the compulsion of their ordinance
Link: 2.1.224
By this time from their fixed beds of lime
Link: 2.1.225
Had been dishabited, and wide havoc made
Link: 2.1.226
For bloody power to rush upon your peace.
Link: 2.1.227
But on the sight of us your lawful king,
Link: 2.1.228
Who painfully with much expedient march
Link: 2.1.229
Have brought a countercheque before your gates,
Link: 2.1.230
To save unscratch'd your city's threatened cheeks,
Link: 2.1.231
Behold, the French amazed vouchsafe a parle;
Link: 2.1.232
And now, instead of bullets wrapp'd in fire,
Link: 2.1.233
To make a shaking fever in your walls,
Link: 2.1.234
They shoot but calm words folded up in smoke,
Link: 2.1.235
To make a faithless error in your ears:
Link: 2.1.236
Which trust accordingly, kind citizens,
Link: 2.1.237
And let us in, your king, whose labour'd spirits,
Link: 2.1.238
Forwearied in this action of swift speed,
Link: 2.1.239
Crave harbourage within your city walls.
Link: 2.1.240

When I have said, make answer to us both.
Link: 2.1.241
Lo, in this right hand, whose protection
Link: 2.1.242
Is most divinely vow'd upon the right
Link: 2.1.243
Of him it holds, stands young Plantagenet,
Link: 2.1.244
Son to the elder brother of this man,
Link: 2.1.245
And king o'er him and all that he enjoys:
Link: 2.1.246
For this down-trodden equity, we tread
Link: 2.1.247
In warlike march these greens before your town,
Link: 2.1.248
Being no further enemy to you
Link: 2.1.249
Than the constraint of hospitable zeal
Link: 2.1.250
In the relief of this oppressed child
Link: 2.1.251
Religiously provokes. Be pleased then
Link: 2.1.252
To pay that duty which you truly owe
Link: 2.1.253
To that owes it, namely this young prince:
Link: 2.1.254
And then our arms, like to a muzzled bear,
Link: 2.1.255
Save in aspect, hath all offence seal'd up;
Link: 2.1.256
Our cannons' malice vainly shall be spent
Link: 2.1.257
Against the invulnerable clouds of heaven;
Link: 2.1.258
And with a blessed and unvex'd retire,
Link: 2.1.259
With unhack'd swords and helmets all unbruised,
Link: 2.1.260
We will bear home that lusty blood again
Link: 2.1.261
Which here we came to spout against your town,
Link: 2.1.262
And leave your children, wives and you in peace.
Link: 2.1.263
But if you fondly pass our proffer'd offer,
Link: 2.1.264
'Tis not the roundure of your old-faced walls
Link: 2.1.265
Can hide you from our messengers of war,
Link: 2.1.266
Though all these English and their discipline
Link: 2.1.267
Were harbour'd in their rude circumference.
Link: 2.1.268
Then tell us, shall your city call us lord,
Link: 2.1.269
In that behalf which we have challenged it?
Link: 2.1.270
Or shall we give the signal to our rage
Link: 2.1.271
And stalk in blood to our possession?
Link: 2.1.272

First Citizen
In brief, we are the king of England's subjects:
Link: 2.1.273
For him, and in his right, we hold this town.
Link: 2.1.274

Acknowledge then the king, and let me in.
Link: 2.1.275

First Citizen
That can we not; but he that proves the king,
Link: 2.1.276
To him will we prove loyal: till that time
Link: 2.1.277
Have we ramm'd up our gates against the world.
Link: 2.1.278

Doth not the crown of England prove the king?
Link: 2.1.279
And if not that, I bring you witnesses,
Link: 2.1.280
Twice fifteen thousand hearts of England's breed,--
Link: 2.1.281

Bastards, and else.
Link: 2.1.282

To verify our title with their lives.
Link: 2.1.283

As many and as well-born bloods as those,--
Link: 2.1.284

Some bastards too.
Link: 2.1.285

Stand in his face to contradict his claim.
Link: 2.1.286

First Citizen
Till you compound whose right is worthiest,
Link: 2.1.287
We for the worthiest hold the right from both.
Link: 2.1.288

Then God forgive the sin of all those souls
Link: 2.1.289
That to their everlasting residence,
Link: 2.1.290
Before the dew of evening fall, shall fleet,
Link: 2.1.291
In dreadful trial of our kingdom's king!
Link: 2.1.292

Amen, amen! Mount, chevaliers! to arms!
Link: 2.1.293

Saint George, that swinged the dragon, and e'er since
Link: 2.1.294
Sits on his horseback at mine hostess' door,
Link: 2.1.295
Teach us some fence!
Link: 2.1.296
Sirrah, were I at home,
Link: 2.1.297
At your den, sirrah, with your lioness
Link: 2.1.298
I would set an ox-head to your lion's hide,
Link: 2.1.299
And make a monster of you.
Link: 2.1.300

Peace! no more.
Link: 2.1.301

O tremble, for you hear the lion roar.
Link: 2.1.302

Up higher to the plain; where we'll set forth
Link: 2.1.303
In best appointment all our regiments.
Link: 2.1.304

Speed then, to take advantage of the field.
Link: 2.1.305

It shall be so; and at the other hill
Link: 2.1.306
Command the rest to stand. God and our right!
Link: 2.1.307


Here after excursions, enter the Herald of France, with trumpets, to the gates

French Herald
You men of Angiers, open wide your gates,
Link: 2.1.308
And let young Arthur, Duke of Bretagne, in,
Link: 2.1.309
Who by the hand of France this day hath made
Link: 2.1.310
Much work for tears in many an English mother,
Link: 2.1.311
Whose sons lie scattered on the bleeding ground;
Link: 2.1.312
Many a widow's husband grovelling lies,
Link: 2.1.313
Coldly embracing the discolour'd earth;
Link: 2.1.314
And victory, with little loss, doth play
Link: 2.1.315
Upon the dancing banners of the French,
Link: 2.1.316
Who are at hand, triumphantly display'd,
Link: 2.1.317
To enter conquerors and to proclaim
Link: 2.1.318
Arthur of Bretagne England's king and yours.
Link: 2.1.319

Enter English Herald, with trumpet

English Herald
Rejoice, you men of Angiers, ring your bells:
Link: 2.1.320
King John, your king and England's doth approach,
Link: 2.1.321
Commander of this hot malicious day:
Link: 2.1.322
Their armours, that march'd hence so silver-bright,
Link: 2.1.323
Hither return all gilt with Frenchmen's blood;
Link: 2.1.324
There stuck no plume in any English crest
Link: 2.1.325
That is removed by a staff of France;
Link: 2.1.326
Our colours do return in those same hands
Link: 2.1.327
That did display them when we first march'd forth;
Link: 2.1.328
And, like a troop of jolly huntsmen, come
Link: 2.1.329
Our lusty English, all with purpled hands,
Link: 2.1.330
Dyed in the dying slaughter of their foes:
Link: 2.1.331
Open your gates and gives the victors way.
Link: 2.1.332

First Citizen
Heralds, from off our towers we might behold,
Link: 2.1.333
From first to last, the onset and retire
Link: 2.1.334
Of both your armies; whose equality
Link: 2.1.335
By our best eyes cannot be censured:
Link: 2.1.336
Blood hath bought blood and blows have answered blows;
Link: 2.1.337
Strength match'd with strength, and power confronted power:
Link: 2.1.338
Both are alike; and both alike we like.
Link: 2.1.339
One must prove greatest: while they weigh so even,
Link: 2.1.340
We hold our town for neither, yet for both.
Link: 2.1.341

Re-enter KING JOHN and KING PHILIP, with their powers, severally

France, hast thou yet more blood to cast away?
Link: 2.1.342
Say, shall the current of our right run on?
Link: 2.1.343
Whose passage, vex'd with thy impediment,
Link: 2.1.344
Shall leave his native channel and o'erswell
Link: 2.1.345
With course disturb'd even thy confining shores,
Link: 2.1.346
Unless thou let his silver water keep
Link: 2.1.347
A peaceful progress to the ocean.
Link: 2.1.348

England, thou hast not saved one drop of blood,
Link: 2.1.349
In this hot trial, more than we of France;
Link: 2.1.350
Rather, lost more. And by this hand I swear,
Link: 2.1.351
That sways the earth this climate overlooks,
Link: 2.1.352
Before we will lay down our just-borne arms,
Link: 2.1.353
We'll put thee down, 'gainst whom these arms we bear,
Link: 2.1.354
Or add a royal number to the dead,
Link: 2.1.355
Gracing the scroll that tells of this war's loss
Link: 2.1.356
With slaughter coupled to the name of kings.
Link: 2.1.357

Ha, majesty! how high thy glory towers,
Link: 2.1.358
When the rich blood of kings is set on fire!
Link: 2.1.359
O, now doth Death line his dead chaps with steel;
Link: 2.1.360
The swords of soldiers are his teeth, his fangs;
Link: 2.1.361
And now he feasts, mousing the flesh of men,
Link: 2.1.362
In undetermined differences of kings.
Link: 2.1.363
Why stand these royal fronts amazed thus?
Link: 2.1.364
Cry, 'havoc!' kings; back to the stained field,
Link: 2.1.365
You equal potents, fiery kindled spirits!
Link: 2.1.366
Then let confusion of one part confirm
Link: 2.1.367
The other's peace: till then, blows, blood and death!
Link: 2.1.368

Whose party do the townsmen yet admit?
Link: 2.1.369

Speak, citizens, for England; who's your king?
Link: 2.1.370

First Citizen
The king of England; when we know the king.
Link: 2.1.371

Know him in us, that here hold up his right.
Link: 2.1.372

In us, that are our own great deputy
Link: 2.1.373
And bear possession of our person here,
Link: 2.1.374
Lord of our presence, Angiers, and of you.
Link: 2.1.375

First Citizen
A greater power then we denies all this;
Link: 2.1.376
And till it be undoubted, we do lock
Link: 2.1.377
Our former scruple in our strong-barr'd gates;
Link: 2.1.378
King'd of our fears, until our fears, resolved,
Link: 2.1.379
Be by some certain king purged and deposed.
Link: 2.1.380

By heaven, these scroyles of Angiers flout you, kings,
Link: 2.1.381
And stand securely on their battlements,
Link: 2.1.382
As in a theatre, whence they gape and point
Link: 2.1.383
At your industrious scenes and acts of death.
Link: 2.1.384
Your royal presences be ruled by me:
Link: 2.1.385
Do like the mutines of Jerusalem,
Link: 2.1.386
Be friends awhile and both conjointly bend
Link: 2.1.387
Your sharpest deeds of malice on this town:
Link: 2.1.388
By east and west let France and England mount
Link: 2.1.389
Their battering cannon charged to the mouths,
Link: 2.1.390
Till their soul-fearing clamours have brawl'd down
Link: 2.1.391
The flinty ribs of this contemptuous city:
Link: 2.1.392
I'ld play incessantly upon these jades,
Link: 2.1.393
Even till unfenced desolation
Link: 2.1.394
Leave them as naked as the vulgar air.
Link: 2.1.395
That done, dissever your united strengths,
Link: 2.1.396
And part your mingled colours once again;
Link: 2.1.397
Turn face to face and bloody point to point;
Link: 2.1.398
Then, in a moment, Fortune shall cull forth
Link: 2.1.399
Out of one side her happy minion,
Link: 2.1.400
To whom in favour she shall give the day,
Link: 2.1.401
And kiss him with a glorious victory.
Link: 2.1.402
How like you this wild counsel, mighty states?
Link: 2.1.403
Smacks it not something of the policy?
Link: 2.1.404

Now, by the sky that hangs above our heads,
Link: 2.1.405
I like it well. France, shall we knit our powers
Link: 2.1.406
And lay this Angiers even to the ground;
Link: 2.1.407
Then after fight who shall be king of it?
Link: 2.1.408

An if thou hast the mettle of a king,
Link: 2.1.409
Being wronged as we are by this peevish town,
Link: 2.1.410
Turn thou the mouth of thy artillery,
Link: 2.1.411
As we will ours, against these saucy walls;
Link: 2.1.412
And when that we have dash'd them to the ground,
Link: 2.1.413
Why then defy each other and pell-mell
Link: 2.1.414
Make work upon ourselves, for heaven or hell.
Link: 2.1.415

Let it be so. Say, where will you assault?
Link: 2.1.416

We from the west will send destruction
Link: 2.1.417
Into this city's bosom.
Link: 2.1.418

I from the north.
Link: 2.1.419

Our thunder from the south
Link: 2.1.420
Shall rain their drift of bullets on this town.
Link: 2.1.421

O prudent discipline! From north to south:
Link: 2.1.422
Austria and France shoot in each other's mouth:
Link: 2.1.423
I'll stir them to it. Come, away, away!
Link: 2.1.424

First Citizen
Hear us, great kings: vouchsafe awhile to stay,
Link: 2.1.425
And I shall show you peace and fair-faced league;
Link: 2.1.426
Win you this city without stroke or wound;
Link: 2.1.427
Rescue those breathing lives to die in beds,
Link: 2.1.428
That here come sacrifices for the field:
Link: 2.1.429
Persever not, but hear me, mighty kings.
Link: 2.1.430

Speak on with favour; we are bent to hear.
Link: 2.1.431

First Citizen
That daughter there of Spain, the Lady Blanch,
Link: 2.1.432
Is niece to England: look upon the years
Link: 2.1.433
Of Lewis the Dauphin and that lovely maid:
Link: 2.1.434
If lusty love should go in quest of beauty,
Link: 2.1.435
Where should he find it fairer than in Blanch?
Link: 2.1.436
If zealous love should go in search of virtue,
Link: 2.1.437
Where should he find it purer than in Blanch?
Link: 2.1.438
If love ambitious sought a match of birth,
Link: 2.1.439
Whose veins bound richer blood than Lady Blanch?
Link: 2.1.440
Such as she is, in beauty, virtue, birth,
Link: 2.1.441
Is the young Dauphin every way complete:
Link: 2.1.442
If not complete of, say he is not she;
Link: 2.1.443
And she again wants nothing, to name want,
Link: 2.1.444
If want it be not that she is not he:
Link: 2.1.445
He is the half part of a blessed man,
Link: 2.1.446
Left to be finished by such as she;
Link: 2.1.447
And she a fair divided excellence,
Link: 2.1.448
Whose fulness of perfection lies in him.
Link: 2.1.449
O, two such silver currents, when they join,
Link: 2.1.450
Do glorify the banks that bound them in;
Link: 2.1.451
And two such shores to two such streams made one,
Link: 2.1.452
Two such controlling bounds shall you be, kings,
Link: 2.1.453
To these two princes, if you marry them.
Link: 2.1.454
This union shall do more than battery can
Link: 2.1.455
To our fast-closed gates; for at this match,
Link: 2.1.456
With swifter spleen than powder can enforce,
Link: 2.1.457
The mouth of passage shall we fling wide ope,
Link: 2.1.458
And give you entrance: but without this match,
Link: 2.1.459
The sea enraged is not half so deaf,
Link: 2.1.460
Lions more confident, mountains and rocks
Link: 2.1.461
More free from motion, no, not Death himself
Link: 2.1.462
In moral fury half so peremptory,
Link: 2.1.463
As we to keep this city.
Link: 2.1.464

Here's a stay
Link: 2.1.465
That shakes the rotten carcass of old Death
Link: 2.1.466
Out of his rags! Here's a large mouth, indeed,
Link: 2.1.467
That spits forth death and mountains, rocks and seas,
Link: 2.1.468
Talks as familiarly of roaring lions
Link: 2.1.469
As maids of thirteen do of puppy-dogs!
Link: 2.1.470
What cannoneer begot this lusty blood?
Link: 2.1.471
He speaks plain cannon fire, and smoke and bounce;
Link: 2.1.472
He gives the bastinado with his tongue:
Link: 2.1.473
Our ears are cudgell'd; not a word of his
Link: 2.1.474
But buffets better than a fist of France:
Link: 2.1.475
Zounds! I was never so bethump'd with words
Link: 2.1.476
Since I first call'd my brother's father dad.
Link: 2.1.477

Son, list to this conjunction, make this match;
Link: 2.1.478
Give with our niece a dowry large enough:
Link: 2.1.479
For by this knot thou shalt so surely tie
Link: 2.1.480
Thy now unsured assurance to the crown,
Link: 2.1.481
That yon green boy shall have no sun to ripe
Link: 2.1.482
The bloom that promiseth a mighty fruit.
Link: 2.1.483
I see a yielding in the looks of France;
Link: 2.1.484
Mark, how they whisper: urge them while their souls
Link: 2.1.485
Are capable of this ambition,
Link: 2.1.486
Lest zeal, now melted by the windy breath
Link: 2.1.487
Of soft petitions, pity and remorse,
Link: 2.1.488
Cool and congeal again to what it was.
Link: 2.1.489

First Citizen
Why answer not the double majesties
Link: 2.1.490
This friendly treaty of our threaten'd town?
Link: 2.1.491

Speak England first, that hath been forward first
Link: 2.1.492
To speak unto this city: what say you?
Link: 2.1.493

If that the Dauphin there, thy princely son,
Link: 2.1.494
Can in this book of beauty read 'I love,'
Link: 2.1.495
Her dowry shall weigh equal with a queen:
Link: 2.1.496
For Anjou and fair Touraine, Maine, Poictiers,
Link: 2.1.497
And all that we upon this side the sea,
Link: 2.1.498
Except this city now by us besieged,
Link: 2.1.499
Find liable to our crown and dignity,
Link: 2.1.500
Shall gild her bridal bed and make her rich
Link: 2.1.501
In titles, honours and promotions,
Link: 2.1.502
As she in beauty, education, blood,
Link: 2.1.503
Holds hand with any princess of the world.
Link: 2.1.504

What say'st thou, boy? look in the lady's face.
Link: 2.1.505

I do, my lord; and in her eye I find
Link: 2.1.506
A wonder, or a wondrous miracle,
Link: 2.1.507
The shadow of myself form'd in her eye:
Link: 2.1.508
Which being but the shadow of your son,
Link: 2.1.509
Becomes a sun and makes your son a shadow:
Link: 2.1.510
I do protest I never loved myself
Link: 2.1.511
Till now infixed I beheld myself
Link: 2.1.512
Drawn in the flattering table of her eye.
Link: 2.1.513

Whispers with BLANCH

Drawn in the flattering table of her eye!
Link: 2.1.514
Hang'd in the frowning wrinkle of her brow!
Link: 2.1.515
And quarter'd in her heart! he doth espy
Link: 2.1.516
Himself love's traitor: this is pity now,
Link: 2.1.517
That hang'd and drawn and quartered, there should be
Link: 2.1.518
In such a love so vile a lout as he.
Link: 2.1.519

My uncle's will in this respect is mine:
Link: 2.1.520
If he see aught in you that makes him like,
Link: 2.1.521
That any thing he sees, which moves his liking,
Link: 2.1.522
I can with ease translate it to my will;
Link: 2.1.523
Or if you will, to speak more properly,
Link: 2.1.524
I will enforce it easily to my love.
Link: 2.1.525
Further I will not flatter you, my lord,
Link: 2.1.526
That all I see in you is worthy love,
Link: 2.1.527
Than this; that nothing do I see in you,
Link: 2.1.528
Though churlish thoughts themselves should be your judge,
Link: 2.1.529
That I can find should merit any hate.
Link: 2.1.530

What say these young ones? What say you my niece?
Link: 2.1.531

That she is bound in honour still to do
Link: 2.1.532
What you in wisdom still vouchsafe to say.
Link: 2.1.533

Speak then, prince Dauphin; can you love this lady?
Link: 2.1.534

Nay, ask me if I can refrain from love;
Link: 2.1.535
For I do love her most unfeignedly.
Link: 2.1.536

Then do I give Volquessen, Touraine, Maine,
Link: 2.1.537
Poictiers and Anjou, these five provinces,
Link: 2.1.538
With her to thee; and this addition more,
Link: 2.1.539
Full thirty thousand marks of English coin.
Link: 2.1.540
Philip of France, if thou be pleased withal,
Link: 2.1.541
Command thy son and daughter to join hands.
Link: 2.1.542

It likes us well; young princes, close your hands.
Link: 2.1.543

And your lips too; for I am well assured
Link: 2.1.544
That I did so when I was first assured.
Link: 2.1.545

Now, citizens of Angiers, ope your gates,
Link: 2.1.546
Let in that amity which you have made;
Link: 2.1.547
For at Saint Mary's chapel presently
Link: 2.1.548
The rites of marriage shall be solemnized.
Link: 2.1.549
Is not the Lady Constance in this troop?
Link: 2.1.550
I know she is not, for this match made up
Link: 2.1.551
Her presence would have interrupted much:
Link: 2.1.552
Where is she and her son? tell me, who knows.
Link: 2.1.553

She is sad and passionate at your highness' tent.
Link: 2.1.554

And, by my faith, this league that we have made
Link: 2.1.555
Will give her sadness very little cure.
Link: 2.1.556
Brother of England, how may we content
Link: 2.1.557
This widow lady? In her right we came;
Link: 2.1.558
Which we, God knows, have turn'd another way,
Link: 2.1.559
To our own vantage.
Link: 2.1.560

We will heal up all;
Link: 2.1.561
For we'll create young Arthur Duke of Bretagne
Link: 2.1.562
And Earl of Richmond; and this rich fair town
Link: 2.1.563
We make him lord of. Call the Lady Constance;
Link: 2.1.564
Some speedy messenger bid her repair
Link: 2.1.565
To our solemnity: I trust we shall,
Link: 2.1.566
If not fill up the measure of her will,
Link: 2.1.567
Yet in some measure satisfy her so
Link: 2.1.568
That we shall stop her exclamation.
Link: 2.1.569
Go we, as well as haste will suffer us,
Link: 2.1.570
To this unlook'd for, unprepared pomp.
Link: 2.1.571

Exeunt all but the BASTARD

Mad world! mad kings! mad composition!
Link: 2.1.572
John, to stop Arthur's title in the whole,
Link: 2.1.573
Hath willingly departed with a part,
Link: 2.1.574
And France, whose armour conscience buckled on,
Link: 2.1.575
Whom zeal and charity brought to the field
Link: 2.1.576
As God's own soldier, rounded in the ear
Link: 2.1.577
With that same purpose-changer, that sly devil,
Link: 2.1.578
That broker, that still breaks the pate of faith,
Link: 2.1.579
That daily break-vow, he that wins of all,
Link: 2.1.580
Of kings, of beggars, old men, young men, maids,
Link: 2.1.581
Who, having no external thing to lose
Link: 2.1.582
But the word 'maid,' cheats the poor maid of that,
Link: 2.1.583
That smooth-faced gentleman, tickling Commodity,
Link: 2.1.584
Commodity, the bias of the world,
Link: 2.1.585
The world, who of itself is peised well,
Link: 2.1.586
Made to run even upon even ground,
Link: 2.1.587
Till this advantage, this vile-drawing bias,
Link: 2.1.588
This sway of motion, this Commodity,
Link: 2.1.589
Makes it take head from all indifferency,
Link: 2.1.590
From all direction, purpose, course, intent:
Link: 2.1.591
And this same bias, this Commodity,
Link: 2.1.592
This bawd, this broker, this all-changing word,
Link: 2.1.593
Clapp'd on the outward eye of fickle France,
Link: 2.1.594
Hath drawn him from his own determined aid,
Link: 2.1.595
From a resolved and honourable war,
Link: 2.1.596
To a most base and vile-concluded peace.
Link: 2.1.597
And why rail I on this Commodity?
Link: 2.1.598
But for because he hath not woo'd me yet:
Link: 2.1.599
Not that I have the power to clutch my hand,
Link: 2.1.600
When his fair angels would salute my palm;
Link: 2.1.601
But for my hand, as unattempted yet,
Link: 2.1.602
Like a poor beggar, raileth on the rich.
Link: 2.1.603
Well, whiles I am a beggar, I will rail
Link: 2.1.604
And say there is no sin but to be rich;
Link: 2.1.605
And being rich, my virtue then shall be
Link: 2.1.606
To say there is no vice but beggary.
Link: 2.1.607
Since kings break faith upon commodity,
Link: 2.1.608
Gain, be my lord, for I will worship thee.
Link: 2.1.609



In Act 3 of King John, the English King John is struggling to maintain his power and control over his kingdom. He is facing threats from both the French and his own nobles, who are unhappy with his rule. Meanwhile, the French King Philip is preparing to invade England and claim the throne for himself.

As the two sides prepare for war, there are several key confrontations between John and his enemies. One of these occurs when the English nobles demand that John sign the Magna Carta, a document that will limit his power and give them more rights. John initially resists, but eventually agrees to sign the document in order to gain the support of his nobles.

Meanwhile, John's half-brother Philip Faulconbridge is sent to negotiate with the French king. However, Philip ends up betraying John and siding with the French, revealing secrets about the English army's weaknesses. This sets the stage for the final showdown between the two sides.

In the climactic battle, John is ultimately victorious over the French, but his victory comes at a great cost. Many of his soldiers are killed, including his own son, Prince Arthur. John is left to ponder the price of his ambition and the toll it has taken on his kingdom, as he prepares for the next challenges that lie ahead.

SCENE I. The French King's pavilion.

In Scene 1 of Act 3, the English King John meets with his nobles to discuss his claim to the throne and the threat of invasion by the French army. The nobles express their doubts about John's legitimacy as king and question his ability to lead the country in a time of war. John becomes angry and accuses them of disloyalty, threatening to punish those who do not support him.

At this point, the French ambassador arrives with a message from his king, demanding that John surrender his throne to the rightful heir, Arthur. John refuses, and the ambassador warns him of the consequences of his defiance. The nobles urge John to negotiate with the French, but he stubbornly refuses.

As the meeting breaks up, John's mother, Queen Eleanor, arrives and attempts to calm him down. She reminds him of his duty to the country and the importance of maintaining the support of his subjects. John finally agrees to negotiate with the French, but only on his own terms.

The scene ends with John declaring his determination to maintain his hold on the throne, despite the challenges he faces. The audience is left with a sense of tension and uncertainty, as the fate of the kingdom hangs in the balance.


Gone to be married! gone to swear a peace!
Link: 3.1.1
False blood to false blood join'd! gone to be friends!
Link: 3.1.2
Shall Lewis have Blanch, and Blanch those provinces?
Link: 3.1.3
It is not so; thou hast misspoke, misheard:
Link: 3.1.4
Be well advised, tell o'er thy tale again:
Link: 3.1.5
It cannot be; thou dost but say 'tis so:
Link: 3.1.6
I trust I may not trust thee; for thy word
Link: 3.1.7
Is but the vain breath of a common man:
Link: 3.1.8
Believe me, I do not believe thee, man;
Link: 3.1.9
I have a king's oath to the contrary.
Link: 3.1.10
Thou shalt be punish'd for thus frighting me,
Link: 3.1.11
For I am sick and capable of fears,
Link: 3.1.12
Oppress'd with wrongs and therefore full of fears,
Link: 3.1.13
A widow, husbandless, subject to fears,
Link: 3.1.14
A woman, naturally born to fears;
Link: 3.1.15
And though thou now confess thou didst but jest,
Link: 3.1.16
With my vex'd spirits I cannot take a truce,
Link: 3.1.17
But they will quake and tremble all this day.
Link: 3.1.18
What dost thou mean by shaking of thy head?
Link: 3.1.19
Why dost thou look so sadly on my son?
Link: 3.1.20
What means that hand upon that breast of thine?
Link: 3.1.21
Why holds thine eye that lamentable rheum,
Link: 3.1.22
Like a proud river peering o'er his bounds?
Link: 3.1.23
Be these sad signs confirmers of thy words?
Link: 3.1.24
Then speak again; not all thy former tale,
Link: 3.1.25
But this one word, whether thy tale be true.
Link: 3.1.26

As true as I believe you think them false
Link: 3.1.27
That give you cause to prove my saying true.
Link: 3.1.28

O, if thou teach me to believe this sorrow,
Link: 3.1.29
Teach thou this sorrow how to make me die,
Link: 3.1.30
And let belief and life encounter so
Link: 3.1.31
As doth the fury of two desperate men
Link: 3.1.32
Which in the very meeting fall and die.
Link: 3.1.33
Lewis marry Blanch! O boy, then where art thou?
Link: 3.1.34
France friend with England, what becomes of me?
Link: 3.1.35
Fellow, be gone: I cannot brook thy sight:
Link: 3.1.36
This news hath made thee a most ugly man.
Link: 3.1.37

What other harm have I, good lady, done,
Link: 3.1.38
But spoke the harm that is by others done?
Link: 3.1.39

Which harm within itself so heinous is
Link: 3.1.40
As it makes harmful all that speak of it.
Link: 3.1.41

I do beseech you, madam, be content.
Link: 3.1.42

If thou, that bid'st me be content, wert grim,
Link: 3.1.43
Ugly and slanderous to thy mother's womb,
Link: 3.1.44
Full of unpleasing blots and sightless stains,
Link: 3.1.45
Lame, foolish, crooked, swart, prodigious,
Link: 3.1.46
Patch'd with foul moles and eye-offending marks,
Link: 3.1.47
I would not care, I then would be content,
Link: 3.1.48
For then I should not love thee, no, nor thou
Link: 3.1.49
Become thy great birth nor deserve a crown.
Link: 3.1.50
But thou art fair, and at thy birth, dear boy,
Link: 3.1.51
Nature and Fortune join'd to make thee great:
Link: 3.1.52
Of Nature's gifts thou mayst with lilies boast,
Link: 3.1.53
And with the half-blown rose. But Fortune, O,
Link: 3.1.54
She is corrupted, changed and won from thee;
Link: 3.1.55
She adulterates hourly with thine uncle John,
Link: 3.1.56
And with her golden hand hath pluck'd on France
Link: 3.1.57
To tread down fair respect of sovereignty,
Link: 3.1.58
And made his majesty the bawd to theirs.
Link: 3.1.59
France is a bawd to Fortune and King John,
Link: 3.1.60
That strumpet Fortune, that usurping John!
Link: 3.1.61
Tell me, thou fellow, is not France forsworn?
Link: 3.1.62
Envenom him with words, or get thee gone
Link: 3.1.63
And leave those woes alone which I alone
Link: 3.1.64
Am bound to under-bear.
Link: 3.1.65

Pardon me, madam,
Link: 3.1.66
I may not go without you to the kings.
Link: 3.1.67

Thou mayst, thou shalt; I will not go with thee:
Link: 3.1.68
I will instruct my sorrows to be proud;
Link: 3.1.69
For grief is proud and makes his owner stoop.
Link: 3.1.70
To me and to the state of my great grief
Link: 3.1.71
Let kings assemble; for my grief's so great
Link: 3.1.72
That no supporter but the huge firm earth
Link: 3.1.73
Can hold it up: here I and sorrows sit;
Link: 3.1.74
Here is my throne, bid kings come bow to it.
Link: 3.1.75

Seats herself on the ground


'Tis true, fair daughter; and this blessed day
Link: 3.1.76
Ever in France shall be kept festival:
Link: 3.1.77
To solemnize this day the glorious sun
Link: 3.1.78
Stays in his course and plays the alchemist,
Link: 3.1.79
Turning with splendor of his precious eye
Link: 3.1.80
The meagre cloddy earth to glittering gold:
Link: 3.1.81
The yearly course that brings this day about
Link: 3.1.82
Shall never see it but a holiday.
Link: 3.1.83

A wicked day, and not a holy day!
Link: 3.1.84
What hath this day deserved? what hath it done,
Link: 3.1.85
That it in golden letters should be set
Link: 3.1.86
Among the high tides in the calendar?
Link: 3.1.87
Nay, rather turn this day out of the week,
Link: 3.1.88
This day of shame, oppression, perjury.
Link: 3.1.89
Or, if it must stand still, let wives with child
Link: 3.1.90
Pray that their burthens may not fall this day,
Link: 3.1.91
Lest that their hopes prodigiously be cross'd:
Link: 3.1.92
But on this day let seamen fear no wreck;
Link: 3.1.93
No bargains break that are not this day made:
Link: 3.1.94
This day, all things begun come to ill end,
Link: 3.1.95
Yea, faith itself to hollow falsehood change!
Link: 3.1.96

By heaven, lady, you shall have no cause
Link: 3.1.97
To curse the fair proceedings of this day:
Link: 3.1.98
Have I not pawn'd to you my majesty?
Link: 3.1.99

You have beguiled me with a counterfeit
Link: 3.1.100
Resembling majesty, which, being touch'd and tried,
Link: 3.1.101
Proves valueless: you are forsworn, forsworn;
Link: 3.1.102
You came in arms to spill mine enemies' blood,
Link: 3.1.103
But now in arms you strengthen it with yours:
Link: 3.1.104
The grappling vigour and rough frown of war
Link: 3.1.105
Is cold in amity and painted peace,
Link: 3.1.106
And our oppression hath made up this league.
Link: 3.1.107
Arm, arm, you heavens, against these perjured kings!
Link: 3.1.108
A widow cries; be husband to me, heavens!
Link: 3.1.109
Let not the hours of this ungodly day
Link: 3.1.110
Wear out the day in peace; but, ere sunset,
Link: 3.1.111
Set armed discord 'twixt these perjured kings!
Link: 3.1.112
Hear me, O, hear me!
Link: 3.1.113

Lady Constance, peace!
Link: 3.1.114

War! war! no peace! peace is to me a war
Link: 3.1.115
O Lymoges! O Austria! thou dost shame
Link: 3.1.116
That bloody spoil: thou slave, thou wretch, thou coward!
Link: 3.1.117
Thou little valiant, great in villany!
Link: 3.1.118
Thou ever strong upon the stronger side!
Link: 3.1.119
Thou Fortune's champion that dost never fight
Link: 3.1.120
But when her humorous ladyship is by
Link: 3.1.121
To teach thee safety! thou art perjured too,
Link: 3.1.122
And soothest up greatness. What a fool art thou,
Link: 3.1.123
A ramping fool, to brag and stamp and swear
Link: 3.1.124
Upon my party! Thou cold-blooded slave,
Link: 3.1.125
Hast thou not spoke like thunder on my side,
Link: 3.1.126
Been sworn my soldier, bidding me depend
Link: 3.1.127
Upon thy stars, thy fortune and thy strength,
Link: 3.1.128
And dost thou now fall over to my fores?
Link: 3.1.129
Thou wear a lion's hide! doff it for shame,
Link: 3.1.130
And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs.
Link: 3.1.131

O, that a man should speak those words to me!
Link: 3.1.132

And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs.
Link: 3.1.133

Thou darest not say so, villain, for thy life.
Link: 3.1.134

And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs.
Link: 3.1.135

We like not this; thou dost forget thyself.
Link: 3.1.136


Here comes the holy legate of the pope.
Link: 3.1.137

Hail, you anointed deputies of heaven!
Link: 3.1.138
To thee, King John, my holy errand is.
Link: 3.1.139
I Pandulph, of fair Milan cardinal,
Link: 3.1.140
And from Pope Innocent the legate here,
Link: 3.1.141
Do in his name religiously demand
Link: 3.1.142
Why thou against the church, our holy mother,
Link: 3.1.143
So wilfully dost spurn; and force perforce
Link: 3.1.144
Keep Stephen Langton, chosen archbishop
Link: 3.1.145
Of Canterbury, from that holy see?
Link: 3.1.146
This, in our foresaid holy father's name,
Link: 3.1.147
Pope Innocent, I do demand of thee.
Link: 3.1.148

What earthy name to interrogatories
Link: 3.1.149
Can task the free breath of a sacred king?
Link: 3.1.150
Thou canst not, cardinal, devise a name
Link: 3.1.151
So slight, unworthy and ridiculous,
Link: 3.1.152
To charge me to an answer, as the pope.
Link: 3.1.153
Tell him this tale; and from the mouth of England
Link: 3.1.154
Add thus much more, that no Italian priest
Link: 3.1.155
Shall tithe or toll in our dominions;
Link: 3.1.156
But as we, under heaven, are supreme head,
Link: 3.1.157
So under Him that great supremacy,
Link: 3.1.158
Where we do reign, we will alone uphold,
Link: 3.1.159
Without the assistance of a mortal hand:
Link: 3.1.160
So tell the pope, all reverence set apart
Link: 3.1.161
To him and his usurp'd authority.
Link: 3.1.162

Brother of England, you blaspheme in this.
Link: 3.1.163

Though you and all the kings of Christendom
Link: 3.1.164
Are led so grossly by this meddling priest,
Link: 3.1.165
Dreading the curse that money may buy out;
Link: 3.1.166
And by the merit of vile gold, dross, dust,
Link: 3.1.167
Purchase corrupted pardon of a man,
Link: 3.1.168
Who in that sale sells pardon from himself,
Link: 3.1.169
Though you and all the rest so grossly led
Link: 3.1.170
This juggling witchcraft with revenue cherish,
Link: 3.1.171
Yet I alone, alone do me oppose
Link: 3.1.172
Against the pope and count his friends my foes.
Link: 3.1.173

Then, by the lawful power that I have,
Link: 3.1.174
Thou shalt stand cursed and excommunicate.
Link: 3.1.175
And blessed shall he be that doth revolt
Link: 3.1.176
From his allegiance to an heretic;
Link: 3.1.177
And meritorious shall that hand be call'd,
Link: 3.1.178
Canonized and worshipped as a saint,
Link: 3.1.179
That takes away by any secret course
Link: 3.1.180
Thy hateful life.
Link: 3.1.181

O, lawful let it be
Link: 3.1.182
That I have room with Rome to curse awhile!
Link: 3.1.183
Good father cardinal, cry thou amen
Link: 3.1.184
To my keen curses; for without my wrong
Link: 3.1.185
There is no tongue hath power to curse him right.
Link: 3.1.186

There's law and warrant, lady, for my curse.
Link: 3.1.187

And for mine too: when law can do no right,
Link: 3.1.188
Let it be lawful that law bar no wrong:
Link: 3.1.189
Law cannot give my child his kingdom here,
Link: 3.1.190
For he that holds his kingdom holds the law;
Link: 3.1.191
Therefore, since law itself is perfect wrong,
Link: 3.1.192
How can the law forbid my tongue to curse?
Link: 3.1.193

Philip of France, on peril of a curse,
Link: 3.1.194
Let go the hand of that arch-heretic;
Link: 3.1.195
And raise the power of France upon his head,
Link: 3.1.196
Unless he do submit himself to Rome.
Link: 3.1.197

Look'st thou pale, France? do not let go thy hand.
Link: 3.1.198

Look to that, devil; lest that France repent,
Link: 3.1.199
And by disjoining hands, hell lose a soul.
Link: 3.1.200

King Philip, listen to the cardinal.
Link: 3.1.201

And hang a calf's-skin on his recreant limbs.
Link: 3.1.202

Well, ruffian, I must pocket up these wrongs, Because--
Link: 3.1.203

Your breeches best may carry them.
Link: 3.1.204

Philip, what say'st thou to the cardinal?
Link: 3.1.205

What should he say, but as the cardinal?
Link: 3.1.206

Bethink you, father; for the difference
Link: 3.1.207
Is purchase of a heavy curse from Rome,
Link: 3.1.208
Or the light loss of England for a friend:
Link: 3.1.209
Forego the easier.
Link: 3.1.210

That's the curse of Rome.
Link: 3.1.211

O Lewis, stand fast! the devil tempts thee here
Link: 3.1.212
In likeness of a new untrimmed bride.
Link: 3.1.213

The Lady Constance speaks not from her faith,
Link: 3.1.214
But from her need.
Link: 3.1.215

O, if thou grant my need,
Link: 3.1.216
Which only lives but by the death of faith,
Link: 3.1.217
That need must needs infer this principle,
Link: 3.1.218
That faith would live again by death of need.
Link: 3.1.219
O then, tread down my need, and faith mounts up;
Link: 3.1.220
Keep my need up, and faith is trodden down!
Link: 3.1.221

The king is moved, and answers not to this.
Link: 3.1.222

O, be removed from him, and answer well!
Link: 3.1.223

Do so, King Philip; hang no more in doubt.
Link: 3.1.224

Hang nothing but a calf's-skin, most sweet lout.
Link: 3.1.225

I am perplex'd, and know not what to say.
Link: 3.1.226

What canst thou say but will perplex thee more,
Link: 3.1.227
If thou stand excommunicate and cursed?
Link: 3.1.228

Good reverend father, make my person yours,
Link: 3.1.229
And tell me how you would bestow yourself.
Link: 3.1.230
This royal hand and mine are newly knit,
Link: 3.1.231
And the conjunction of our inward souls
Link: 3.1.232
Married in league, coupled and linked together
Link: 3.1.233
With all religious strength of sacred vows;
Link: 3.1.234
The latest breath that gave the sound of words
Link: 3.1.235
Was deep-sworn faith, peace, amity, true love
Link: 3.1.236
Between our kingdoms and our royal selves,
Link: 3.1.237
And even before this truce, but new before,
Link: 3.1.238
No longer than we well could wash our hands
Link: 3.1.239
To clap this royal bargain up of peace,
Link: 3.1.240
Heaven knows, they were besmear'd and over-stain'd
Link: 3.1.241
With slaughter's pencil, where revenge did paint
Link: 3.1.242
The fearful difference of incensed kings:
Link: 3.1.243
And shall these hands, so lately purged of blood,
Link: 3.1.244
So newly join'd in love, so strong in both,
Link: 3.1.245
Unyoke this seizure and this kind regreet?
Link: 3.1.246
Play fast and loose with faith? so jest with heaven,
Link: 3.1.247
Make such unconstant children of ourselves,
Link: 3.1.248
As now again to snatch our palm from palm,
Link: 3.1.249
Unswear faith sworn, and on the marriage-bed
Link: 3.1.250
Of smiling peace to march a bloody host,
Link: 3.1.251
And make a riot on the gentle brow
Link: 3.1.252
Of true sincerity? O, holy sir,
Link: 3.1.253
My reverend father, let it not be so!
Link: 3.1.254
Out of your grace, devise, ordain, impose
Link: 3.1.255
Some gentle order; and then we shall be blest
Link: 3.1.256
To do your pleasure and continue friends.
Link: 3.1.257

All form is formless, order orderless,
Link: 3.1.258
Save what is opposite to England's love.
Link: 3.1.259
Therefore to arms! be champion of our church,
Link: 3.1.260
Or let the church, our mother, breathe her curse,
Link: 3.1.261
A mother's curse, on her revolting son.
Link: 3.1.262
France, thou mayst hold a serpent by the tongue,
Link: 3.1.263
A chafed lion by the mortal paw,
Link: 3.1.264
A fasting tiger safer by the tooth,
Link: 3.1.265
Than keep in peace that hand which thou dost hold.
Link: 3.1.266

I may disjoin my hand, but not my faith.
Link: 3.1.267

So makest thou faith an enemy to faith;
Link: 3.1.268
And like a civil war set'st oath to oath,
Link: 3.1.269
Thy tongue against thy tongue. O, let thy vow
Link: 3.1.270
First made to heaven, first be to heaven perform'd,
Link: 3.1.271
That is, to be the champion of our church!
Link: 3.1.272
What since thou sworest is sworn against thyself
Link: 3.1.273
And may not be performed by thyself,
Link: 3.1.274
For that which thou hast sworn to do amiss
Link: 3.1.275
Is not amiss when it is truly done,
Link: 3.1.276
And being not done, where doing tends to ill,
Link: 3.1.277
The truth is then most done not doing it:
Link: 3.1.278
The better act of purposes mistook
Link: 3.1.279
Is to mistake again; though indirect,
Link: 3.1.280
Yet indirection thereby grows direct,
Link: 3.1.281
And falsehood falsehood cures, as fire cools fire
Link: 3.1.282
Within the scorched veins of one new-burn'd.
Link: 3.1.283
It is religion that doth make vows kept;
Link: 3.1.284
But thou hast sworn against religion,
Link: 3.1.285
By what thou swear'st against the thing thou swear'st,
Link: 3.1.286
And makest an oath the surety for thy truth
Link: 3.1.287
Against an oath: the truth thou art unsure
Link: 3.1.288
To swear, swears only not to be forsworn;
Link: 3.1.289
Else what a mockery should it be to swear!
Link: 3.1.290
But thou dost swear only to be forsworn;
Link: 3.1.291
And most forsworn, to keep what thou dost swear.
Link: 3.1.292
Therefore thy later vows against thy first
Link: 3.1.293
Is in thyself rebellion to thyself;
Link: 3.1.294
And better conquest never canst thou make
Link: 3.1.295
Than arm thy constant and thy nobler parts
Link: 3.1.296
Against these giddy loose suggestions:
Link: 3.1.297
Upon which better part our prayers come in,
Link: 3.1.298
If thou vouchsafe them. But if not, then know
Link: 3.1.299
The peril of our curses light on thee
Link: 3.1.300
So heavy as thou shalt not shake them off,
Link: 3.1.301
But in despair die under their black weight.
Link: 3.1.302

Rebellion, flat rebellion!
Link: 3.1.303

Will't not be?
Link: 3.1.304
Will not a calfs-skin stop that mouth of thine?
Link: 3.1.305

Father, to arms!
Link: 3.1.306

Upon thy wedding-day?
Link: 3.1.307
Against the blood that thou hast married?
Link: 3.1.308
What, shall our feast be kept with slaughter'd men?
Link: 3.1.309
Shall braying trumpets and loud churlish drums,
Link: 3.1.310
Clamours of hell, be measures to our pomp?
Link: 3.1.311
O husband, hear me! ay, alack, how new
Link: 3.1.312
Is husband in my mouth! even for that name,
Link: 3.1.313
Which till this time my tongue did ne'er pronounce,
Link: 3.1.314
Upon my knee I beg, go not to arms
Link: 3.1.315
Against mine uncle.
Link: 3.1.316

O, upon my knee,
Link: 3.1.317
Made hard with kneeling, I do pray to thee,
Link: 3.1.318
Thou virtuous Dauphin, alter not the doom
Link: 3.1.319
Forethought by heaven!
Link: 3.1.320

Now shall I see thy love: what motive may
Link: 3.1.321
Be stronger with thee than the name of wife?
Link: 3.1.322

That which upholdeth him that thee upholds,
Link: 3.1.323
His honour: O, thine honour, Lewis, thine honour!
Link: 3.1.324

I muse your majesty doth seem so cold,
Link: 3.1.325
When such profound respects do pull you on.
Link: 3.1.326

I will denounce a curse upon his head.
Link: 3.1.327

Thou shalt not need. England, I will fall from thee.
Link: 3.1.328

O fair return of banish'd majesty!
Link: 3.1.329

O foul revolt of French inconstancy!
Link: 3.1.330

France, thou shalt rue this hour within this hour.
Link: 3.1.331

Old Time the clock-setter, that bald sexton Time,
Link: 3.1.332
Is it as he will? well then, France shall rue.
Link: 3.1.333

The sun's o'ercast with blood: fair day, adieu!
Link: 3.1.334
Which is the side that I must go withal?
Link: 3.1.335
I am with both: each army hath a hand;
Link: 3.1.336
And in their rage, I having hold of both,
Link: 3.1.337
They swirl asunder and dismember me.
Link: 3.1.338
Husband, I cannot pray that thou mayst win;
Link: 3.1.339
Uncle, I needs must pray that thou mayst lose;
Link: 3.1.340
Father, I may not wish the fortune thine;
Link: 3.1.341
Grandam, I will not wish thy fortunes thrive:
Link: 3.1.342
Whoever wins, on that side shall I lose
Link: 3.1.343
Assured loss before the match be play'd.
Link: 3.1.344

Lady, with me, with me thy fortune lies.
Link: 3.1.345

There where my fortune lives, there my life dies.
Link: 3.1.346

Cousin, go draw our puissance together.
Link: 3.1.347
France, I am burn'd up with inflaming wrath;
Link: 3.1.348
A rage whose heat hath this condition,
Link: 3.1.349
That nothing can allay, nothing but blood,
Link: 3.1.350
The blood, and dearest-valued blood, of France.
Link: 3.1.351

Thy rage sham burn thee up, and thou shalt turn
Link: 3.1.352
To ashes, ere our blood shall quench that fire:
Link: 3.1.353
Look to thyself, thou art in jeopardy.
Link: 3.1.354

No more than he that threats. To arms let's hie!
Link: 3.1.355


SCENE II. The same. Plains near Angiers.

Scene 2 of Act 3 portrays a meeting between King John and the Duke of Austria. During the meeting, the Duke demands that King John surrender his throne to Arthur, the rightful heir to the throne according to the Duke. King John refuses to give up his throne, leading the Duke to declare war against England.

The two leaders exchange heated words, with the Duke accusing King John of being a usurper and a murderer. King John responds by insulting the Duke's family and threatening to hang his nephew, who is currently in his custody.

As the argument intensifies, the Duke draws his sword and challenges King John to a duel. However, before the fight can begin, the Bastard (a character loyal to King John) intervenes and challenges the Duke to a duel instead. The Duke accepts and the two engage in a fierce battle.

In the end, the Bastard emerges victorious and kills the Duke. King John is pleased with the outcome and rewards the Bastard for his loyalty. The scene ends with King John contemplating his next move in the war against Austria.

Alarums, excursions. Enter the BASTARD, with AUSTRIA'S head

Now, by my life, this day grows wondrous hot;
Link: 3.2.1
Some airy devil hovers in the sky
Link: 3.2.2
And pours down mischief. Austria's head lie there,
Link: 3.2.3
While Philip breathes.
Link: 3.2.4


Hubert, keep this boy. Philip, make up:
Link: 3.2.5
My mother is assailed in our tent,
Link: 3.2.6
And ta'en, I fear.
Link: 3.2.7

My lord, I rescued her;
Link: 3.2.8
Her highness is in safety, fear you not:
Link: 3.2.9
But on, my liege; for very little pains
Link: 3.2.10
Will bring this labour to an happy end.
Link: 3.2.11


SCENE III. The same.

Scene 3 of Act 3 of King John is a tense and dramatic moment in the play. The scene takes place in a room in the castle where King John is meeting with Hubert, the man he has tasked with executing his nephew, Prince Arthur. Hubert is troubled by the order and expresses his doubts to the King, but John is insistent that he carry out the deed.

As they speak, a messenger arrives with news that Arthur has escaped from his confinement and is believed to be dead, having fallen from the walls of the castle into the river below. John is relieved by the news, but Hubert is suspicious and demands to see the body for himself. When they arrive at the river, however, they find a young boy who resembles Arthur and who claims to be him.

Hubert is torn between his loyalty to the King and his conscience, but ultimately decides to help the boy escape, hoping that this will be enough to convince John that Arthur is truly dead. The scene ends with both men contemplating the consequences of their actions and the uncertain future that lies ahead.

Alarums, excursions, retreat. Enter KING JOHN, QUEEN ELINOR, ARTHUR, the BASTARD, HUBERT, and Lords

(To QUEEN ELINOR) So shall it be; your grace shall
Link: 3.3.1
stay behind
Link: 3.3.2
So strongly guarded.
Link: 3.3.3
Cousin, look not sad:
Link: 3.3.4
Thy grandam loves thee; and thy uncle will
Link: 3.3.5
As dear be to thee as thy father was.
Link: 3.3.6

O, this will make my mother die with grief!
Link: 3.3.7

(To the BASTARD) Cousin, away for England!
Link: 3.3.8
haste before:
Link: 3.3.9
And, ere our coming, see thou shake the bags
Link: 3.3.10
Of hoarding abbots; imprisoned angels
Link: 3.3.11
Set at liberty: the fat ribs of peace
Link: 3.3.12
Must by the hungry now be fed upon:
Link: 3.3.13
Use our commission in his utmost force.
Link: 3.3.14

Bell, book, and candle shall not drive me back,
Link: 3.3.15
When gold and silver becks me to come on.
Link: 3.3.16
I leave your highness. Grandam, I will pray,
Link: 3.3.17
If ever I remember to be holy,
Link: 3.3.18
For your fair safety; so, I kiss your hand.
Link: 3.3.19

Farewell, gentle cousin.
Link: 3.3.20

Coz, farewell.
Link: 3.3.21

Exit the BASTARD

Come hither, little kinsman; hark, a word.
Link: 3.3.22

Come hither, Hubert. O my gentle Hubert,
Link: 3.3.23
We owe thee much! within this wall of flesh
Link: 3.3.24
There is a soul counts thee her creditor
Link: 3.3.25
And with advantage means to pay thy love:
Link: 3.3.26
And my good friend, thy voluntary oath
Link: 3.3.27
Lives in this bosom, dearly cherished.
Link: 3.3.28
Give me thy hand. I had a thing to say,
Link: 3.3.29
But I will fit it with some better time.
Link: 3.3.30
By heaven, Hubert, I am almost ashamed
Link: 3.3.31
To say what good respect I have of thee.
Link: 3.3.32

I am much bounden to your majesty.
Link: 3.3.33

Good friend, thou hast no cause to say so yet,
Link: 3.3.34
But thou shalt have; and creep time ne'er so slow,
Link: 3.3.35
Yet it shall come from me to do thee good.
Link: 3.3.36
I had a thing to say, but let it go:
Link: 3.3.37
The sun is in the heaven, and the proud day,
Link: 3.3.38
Attended with the pleasures of the world,
Link: 3.3.39
Is all too wanton and too full of gawds
Link: 3.3.40
To give me audience: if the midnight bell
Link: 3.3.41
Did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth,
Link: 3.3.42
Sound on into the drowsy race of night;
Link: 3.3.43
If this same were a churchyard where we stand,
Link: 3.3.44
And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs,
Link: 3.3.45
Or if that surly spirit, melancholy,
Link: 3.3.46
Had baked thy blood and made it heavy-thick,
Link: 3.3.47
Which else runs tickling up and down the veins,
Link: 3.3.48
Making that idiot, laughter, keep men's eyes
Link: 3.3.49
And strain their cheeks to idle merriment,
Link: 3.3.50
A passion hateful to my purposes,
Link: 3.3.51
Or if that thou couldst see me without eyes,
Link: 3.3.52
Hear me without thine ears, and make reply
Link: 3.3.53
Without a tongue, using conceit alone,
Link: 3.3.54
Without eyes, ears and harmful sound of words;
Link: 3.3.55
Then, in despite of brooded watchful day,
Link: 3.3.56
I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts:
Link: 3.3.57
But, ah, I will not! yet I love thee well;
Link: 3.3.58
And, by my troth, I think thou lovest me well.
Link: 3.3.59

So well, that what you bid me undertake,
Link: 3.3.60
Though that my death were adjunct to my act,
Link: 3.3.61
By heaven, I would do it.
Link: 3.3.62

Do not I know thou wouldst?
Link: 3.3.63
Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert, throw thine eye
Link: 3.3.64
On yon young boy: I'll tell thee what, my friend,
Link: 3.3.65
He is a very serpent in my way;
Link: 3.3.66
And whereso'er this foot of mine doth tread,
Link: 3.3.67
He lies before me: dost thou understand me?
Link: 3.3.68
Thou art his keeper.
Link: 3.3.69

And I'll keep him so,
Link: 3.3.70
That he shall not offend your majesty.
Link: 3.3.71


My lord?
Link: 3.3.73

A grave.
Link: 3.3.74

He shall not live.
Link: 3.3.75

Link: 3.3.76
I could be merry now. Hubert, I love thee;
Link: 3.3.77
Well, I'll not say what I intend for thee:
Link: 3.3.78
Remember. Madam, fare you well:
Link: 3.3.79
I'll send those powers o'er to your majesty.
Link: 3.3.80

My blessing go with thee!
Link: 3.3.81

For England, cousin, go:
Link: 3.3.82
Hubert shall be your man, attend on you
Link: 3.3.83
With all true duty. On toward Calais, ho!
Link: 3.3.84


SCENE IV. The same. KING PHILIP'S tent.

Scene 4 of Act 3 of this play begins with King John meeting with the French ambassador and his own mother, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. The ambassador demands that John give up his throne and allow Prince Arthur (John's nephew) to take over as king. John refuses and insults the ambassador, causing Queen Eleanor to scold him for his behavior.

The conversation then turns to the fate of Arthur, who is currently being held captive by John's men. Queen Eleanor urges John to have Arthur killed, but John is hesitant and unsure of what to do. The French ambassador leaves, disappointed with John's refusal to cooperate.

After the ambassador's departure, John is left alone with his mother. They argue about the best course of action regarding Arthur. Queen Eleanor continues to push for Arthur's death, but John is torn between his duty as king and his familial loyalty to his nephew.

The scene ends with John still undecided about what to do, and Queen Eleanor leaving in frustration. The tension between mother and son is palpable, and the audience is left wondering what John will ultimately decide regarding the fate of Prince Arthur.


So, by a roaring tempest on the flood,
Link: 3.4.1
A whole armado of convicted sail
Link: 3.4.2
Is scatter'd and disjoin'd from fellowship.
Link: 3.4.3

Courage and comfort! all shall yet go well.
Link: 3.4.4

What can go well, when we have run so ill?
Link: 3.4.5
Are we not beaten? Is not Angiers lost?
Link: 3.4.6
Arthur ta'en prisoner? divers dear friends slain?
Link: 3.4.7
And bloody England into England gone,
Link: 3.4.8
O'erbearing interruption, spite of France?
Link: 3.4.9

What he hath won, that hath he fortified:
Link: 3.4.10
So hot a speed with such advice disposed,
Link: 3.4.11
Such temperate order in so fierce a cause,
Link: 3.4.12
Doth want example: who hath read or heard
Link: 3.4.13
Of any kindred action like to this?
Link: 3.4.14

Well could I bear that England had this praise,
Link: 3.4.15
So we could find some pattern of our shame.
Link: 3.4.16
Look, who comes here! a grave unto a soul;
Link: 3.4.17
Holding the eternal spirit against her will,
Link: 3.4.18
In the vile prison of afflicted breath.
Link: 3.4.19
I prithee, lady, go away with me.
Link: 3.4.20

Lo, now I now see the issue of your peace.
Link: 3.4.21

Patience, good lady! comfort, gentle Constance!
Link: 3.4.22

No, I defy all counsel, all redress,
Link: 3.4.23
But that which ends all counsel, true redress,
Link: 3.4.24
Death, death; O amiable lovely death!
Link: 3.4.25
Thou odouriferous stench! sound rottenness!
Link: 3.4.26
Arise forth from the couch of lasting night,
Link: 3.4.27
Thou hate and terror to prosperity,
Link: 3.4.28
And I will kiss thy detestable bones
Link: 3.4.29
And put my eyeballs in thy vaulty brows
Link: 3.4.30
And ring these fingers with thy household worms
Link: 3.4.31
And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust
Link: 3.4.32
And be a carrion monster like thyself:
Link: 3.4.33
Come, grin on me, and I will think thou smilest
Link: 3.4.34
And buss thee as thy wife. Misery's love,
Link: 3.4.35
O, come to me!
Link: 3.4.36

O fair affliction, peace!
Link: 3.4.37

No, no, I will not, having breath to cry:
Link: 3.4.38
O, that my tongue were in the thunder's mouth!
Link: 3.4.39
Then with a passion would I shake the world;
Link: 3.4.40
And rouse from sleep that fell anatomy
Link: 3.4.41
Which cannot hear a lady's feeble voice,
Link: 3.4.42
Which scorns a modern invocation.
Link: 3.4.43

Lady, you utter madness, and not sorrow.
Link: 3.4.44

Thou art not holy to belie me so;
Link: 3.4.45
I am not mad: this hair I tear is mine;
Link: 3.4.46
My name is Constance; I was Geffrey's wife;
Link: 3.4.47
Young Arthur is my son, and he is lost:
Link: 3.4.48
I am not mad: I would to heaven I were!
Link: 3.4.49
For then, 'tis like I should forget myself:
Link: 3.4.50
O, if I could, what grief should I forget!
Link: 3.4.51
Preach some philosophy to make me mad,
Link: 3.4.52
And thou shalt be canonized, cardinal;
Link: 3.4.53
For being not mad but sensible of grief,
Link: 3.4.54
My reasonable part produces reason
Link: 3.4.55
How I may be deliver'd of these woes,
Link: 3.4.56
And teaches me to kill or hang myself:
Link: 3.4.57
If I were mad, I should forget my son,
Link: 3.4.58
Or madly think a babe of clouts were he:
Link: 3.4.59
I am not mad; too well, too well I feel
Link: 3.4.60
The different plague of each calamity.
Link: 3.4.61

Bind up those tresses. O, what love I note
Link: 3.4.62
In the fair multitude of those her hairs!
Link: 3.4.63
Where but by chance a silver drop hath fallen,
Link: 3.4.64
Even to that drop ten thousand wiry friends
Link: 3.4.65
Do glue themselves in sociable grief,
Link: 3.4.66
Like true, inseparable, faithful loves,
Link: 3.4.67
Sticking together in calamity.
Link: 3.4.68

To England, if you will.
Link: 3.4.69

Bind up your hairs.
Link: 3.4.70

Yes, that I will; and wherefore will I do it?
Link: 3.4.71
I tore them from their bonds and cried aloud
Link: 3.4.72
'O that these hands could so redeem my son,
Link: 3.4.73
As they have given these hairs their liberty!'
Link: 3.4.74
But now I envy at their liberty,
Link: 3.4.75
And will again commit them to their bonds,
Link: 3.4.76
Because my poor child is a prisoner.
Link: 3.4.77
And, father cardinal, I have heard you say
Link: 3.4.78
That we shall see and know our friends in heaven:
Link: 3.4.79
If that be true, I shall see my boy again;
Link: 3.4.80
For since the birth of Cain, the first male child,
Link: 3.4.81
To him that did but yesterday suspire,
Link: 3.4.82
There was not such a gracious creature born.
Link: 3.4.83
But now will canker-sorrow eat my bud
Link: 3.4.84
And chase the native beauty from his cheek
Link: 3.4.85
And he will look as hollow as a ghost,
Link: 3.4.86
As dim and meagre as an ague's fit,
Link: 3.4.87
And so he'll die; and, rising so again,
Link: 3.4.88
When I shall meet him in the court of heaven
Link: 3.4.89
I shall not know him: therefore never, never
Link: 3.4.90
Must I behold my pretty Arthur more.
Link: 3.4.91

You hold too heinous a respect of grief.
Link: 3.4.92

He talks to me that never had a son.
Link: 3.4.93

You are as fond of grief as of your child.
Link: 3.4.94

Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
Link: 3.4.95
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,
Link: 3.4.96
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Link: 3.4.97
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Link: 3.4.98
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form;
Link: 3.4.99
Then, have I reason to be fond of grief?
Link: 3.4.100
Fare you well: had you such a loss as I,
Link: 3.4.101
I could give better comfort than you do.
Link: 3.4.102
I will not keep this form upon my head,
Link: 3.4.103
When there is such disorder in my wit.
Link: 3.4.104
O Lord! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son!
Link: 3.4.105
My life, my joy, my food, my all the world!
Link: 3.4.106
My widow-comfort, and my sorrows' cure!
Link: 3.4.107


I fear some outrage, and I'll follow her.
Link: 3.4.108


There's nothing in this world can make me joy:
Link: 3.4.109
Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale
Link: 3.4.110
Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man;
Link: 3.4.111
And bitter shame hath spoil'd the sweet world's taste
Link: 3.4.112
That it yields nought but shame and bitterness.
Link: 3.4.113

Before the curing of a strong disease,
Link: 3.4.114
Even in the instant of repair and health,
Link: 3.4.115
The fit is strongest; evils that take leave,
Link: 3.4.116
On their departure most of all show evil:
Link: 3.4.117
What have you lost by losing of this day?
Link: 3.4.118

All days of glory, joy and happiness.
Link: 3.4.119

If you had won it, certainly you had.
Link: 3.4.120
No, no; when Fortune means to men most good,
Link: 3.4.121
She looks upon them with a threatening eye.
Link: 3.4.122
'Tis strange to think how much King John hath lost
Link: 3.4.123
In this which he accounts so clearly won:
Link: 3.4.124
Are not you grieved that Arthur is his prisoner?
Link: 3.4.125

As heartily as he is glad he hath him.
Link: 3.4.126

Your mind is all as youthful as your blood.
Link: 3.4.127
Now hear me speak with a prophetic spirit;
Link: 3.4.128
For even the breath of what I mean to speak
Link: 3.4.129
Shall blow each dust, each straw, each little rub,
Link: 3.4.130
Out of the path which shall directly lead
Link: 3.4.131
Thy foot to England's throne; and therefore mark.
Link: 3.4.132
John hath seized Arthur; and it cannot be
Link: 3.4.133
That, whiles warm life plays in that infant's veins,
Link: 3.4.134
The misplaced John should entertain an hour,
Link: 3.4.135
One minute, nay, one quiet breath of rest.
Link: 3.4.136
A sceptre snatch'd with an unruly hand
Link: 3.4.137
Must be as boisterously maintain'd as gain'd;
Link: 3.4.138
And he that stands upon a slippery place
Link: 3.4.139
Makes nice of no vile hold to stay him up:
Link: 3.4.140
That John may stand, then Arthur needs must fall;
Link: 3.4.141
So be it, for it cannot be but so.
Link: 3.4.142

But what shall I gain by young Arthur's fall?
Link: 3.4.143

You, in the right of Lady Blanch your wife,
Link: 3.4.144
May then make all the claim that Arthur did.
Link: 3.4.145

And lose it, life and all, as Arthur did.
Link: 3.4.146

How green you are and fresh in this old world!
Link: 3.4.147
John lays you plots; the times conspire with you;
Link: 3.4.148
For he that steeps his safety in true blood
Link: 3.4.149
Shall find but bloody safety and untrue.
Link: 3.4.150
This act so evilly born shall cool the hearts
Link: 3.4.151
Of all his people and freeze up their zeal,
Link: 3.4.152
That none so small advantage shall step forth
Link: 3.4.153
To cheque his reign, but they will cherish it;
Link: 3.4.154
No natural exhalation in the sky,
Link: 3.4.155
No scope of nature, no distemper'd day,
Link: 3.4.156
No common wind, no customed event,
Link: 3.4.157
But they will pluck away his natural cause
Link: 3.4.158
And call them meteors, prodigies and signs,
Link: 3.4.159
Abortives, presages and tongues of heaven,
Link: 3.4.160
Plainly denouncing vengeance upon John.
Link: 3.4.161

May be he will not touch young Arthur's life,
Link: 3.4.162
But hold himself safe in his prisonment.
Link: 3.4.163

O, sir, when he shall hear of your approach,
Link: 3.4.164
If that young Arthur be not gone already,
Link: 3.4.165
Even at that news he dies; and then the hearts
Link: 3.4.166
Of all his people shall revolt from him
Link: 3.4.167
And kiss the lips of unacquainted change
Link: 3.4.168
And pick strong matter of revolt and wrath
Link: 3.4.169
Out of the bloody fingers' ends of John.
Link: 3.4.170
Methinks I see this hurly all on foot:
Link: 3.4.171
And, O, what better matter breeds for you
Link: 3.4.172
Than I have named! The bastard Faulconbridge
Link: 3.4.173
Is now in England, ransacking the church,
Link: 3.4.174
Offending charity: if but a dozen French
Link: 3.4.175
Were there in arms, they would be as a call
Link: 3.4.176
To train ten thousand English to their side,
Link: 3.4.177
Or as a little snow, tumbled about,
Link: 3.4.178
Anon becomes a mountain. O noble Dauphin,
Link: 3.4.179
Go with me to the king: 'tis wonderful
Link: 3.4.180
What may be wrought out of their discontent,
Link: 3.4.181
Now that their souls are topful of offence.
Link: 3.4.182
For England go: I will whet on the king.
Link: 3.4.183

Strong reasons make strong actions: let us go:
Link: 3.4.184
If you say ay, the king will not say no.
Link: 3.4.185


Act IV

In Act 4 of King John, tensions between the English and French continue to escalate. King John's army has been defeated, and he is forced to negotiate with the French. However, the negotiations are complicated by the arrival of a new player, the Duke of Austria, who is determined to avenge his nephew's death at the hands of King John's forces.

Meanwhile, a plot is hatched by King John's loyal supporter, Hubert, to kill the young Prince Arthur, who is seen as a threat to John's claim to the throne. Hubert is hesitant to carry out the plan, but John insists that it must be done. However, when Hubert goes to Arthur's cell to carry out the murder, he finds that Arthur has already died, seemingly by his own hand.

The news of Arthur's death sends shockwaves through the English court, and John is left to deal with the fallout. He is accused of having a hand in Arthur's death, and his hold on the throne is once again threatened.

As the French continue to advance, John's allies begin to desert him, leaving him increasingly isolated. In the end, John agrees to a treaty with the French, but the terms are harsh, and he is forced to give up much of his territory. The play ends with John's death, and the ascension of his young son to the throne.

SCENE I. A room in a castle.

Act 4, Scene 1 opens with King John and his followers in a tent, discussing the recent news of the French army's arrival on English soil. John is worried about losing his throne, but Hubert offers a plan to win the loyalty of the people. He suggests that John publicly denounce his nephew Arthur's claim to the throne and have him executed, thus eliminating any potential threat to John's reign. John agrees to the plan and Hubert leaves to carry it out.

Shortly after, the French king, Philip, arrives at John's camp and demands that John surrender his crown to Arthur. John refuses and the two kings prepare for battle. However, before the fighting can begin, Hubert returns and reveals that he was unable to carry out John's order to kill Arthur. Instead, he has hidden the boy away and spread a false rumor of his death to appease John. John is initially angry, but is relieved when he learns that Arthur is still alive. He decides to offer a compromise to the French king: he will keep the crown, but in exchange, he will marry his niece to Philip's son, Louis, and make him his heir.

Philip agrees to the proposal and the two kings sign a treaty. However, as soon as Philip leaves, John reveals his true intentions to his followers. He plans to break the treaty and keep the crown for himself, while marrying his own son to Philip's niece and making him the heir instead. The scene ends with John and his followers plotting their next move.

Enter HUBERT and Executioners

Heat me these irons hot; and look thou stand
Link: 4.1.1
Within the arras: when I strike my foot
Link: 4.1.2
Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth,
Link: 4.1.3
And bind the boy which you shall find with me
Link: 4.1.4
Fast to the chair: be heedful: hence, and watch.
Link: 4.1.5

First Executioner
I hope your warrant will bear out the deed.
Link: 4.1.6

Uncleanly scruples! fear not you: look to't.
Link: 4.1.7
Young lad, come forth; I have to say with you.
Link: 4.1.8


Good morrow, Hubert.
Link: 4.1.9

Good morrow, little prince.
Link: 4.1.10

As little prince, having so great a title
Link: 4.1.11
To be more prince, as may be. You are sad.
Link: 4.1.12

Indeed, I have been merrier.
Link: 4.1.13

Mercy on me!
Link: 4.1.14
Methinks no body should be sad but I:
Link: 4.1.15
Yet, I remember, when I was in France,
Link: 4.1.16
Young gentlemen would be as sad as night,
Link: 4.1.17
Only for wantonness. By my christendom,
Link: 4.1.18
So I were out of prison and kept sheep,
Link: 4.1.19
I should be as merry as the day is long;
Link: 4.1.20
And so I would be here, but that I doubt
Link: 4.1.21
My uncle practises more harm to me:
Link: 4.1.22
He is afraid of me and I of him:
Link: 4.1.23
Is it my fault that I was Geffrey's son?
Link: 4.1.24
No, indeed, is't not; and I would to heaven
Link: 4.1.25
I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert.
Link: 4.1.26

(Aside) If I talk to him, with his innocent prate
Link: 4.1.27
He will awake my mercy which lies dead:
Link: 4.1.28
Therefore I will be sudden and dispatch.
Link: 4.1.29

Are you sick, Hubert? you look pale to-day:
Link: 4.1.30
In sooth, I would you were a little sick,
Link: 4.1.31
That I might sit all night and watch with you:
Link: 4.1.32
I warrant I love you more than you do me.
Link: 4.1.33

(Aside) His words do take possession of my bosom.
Link: 4.1.34
Read here, young Arthur.
Link: 4.1.35
How now, foolish rheum!
Link: 4.1.36
Turning dispiteous torture out of door!
Link: 4.1.37
I must be brief, lest resolution drop
Link: 4.1.38
Out at mine eyes in tender womanish tears.
Link: 4.1.39
Can you not read it? Is it not fair writ?
Link: 4.1.40

Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect:
Link: 4.1.41
Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes?
Link: 4.1.42

Young boy, I must.
Link: 4.1.43

And will you?
Link: 4.1.44

And I will.
Link: 4.1.45

Have you the heart? When your head did but ache,
Link: 4.1.46
I knit my handercher about your brows,
Link: 4.1.47
The best I had, a princess wrought it me,
Link: 4.1.48
And I did never ask it you again;
Link: 4.1.49
And with my hand at midnight held your head,
Link: 4.1.50
And like the watchful minutes to the hour,
Link: 4.1.51
Still and anon cheer'd up the heavy time,
Link: 4.1.52
Saying, 'What lack you?' and 'Where lies your grief?'
Link: 4.1.53
Or 'What good love may I perform for you?'
Link: 4.1.54
Many a poor man's son would have lien still
Link: 4.1.55
And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you;
Link: 4.1.56
But you at your sick service had a prince.
Link: 4.1.57
Nay, you may think my love was crafty love
Link: 4.1.58
And call it cunning: do, an if you will:
Link: 4.1.59
If heaven be pleased that you must use me ill,
Link: 4.1.60
Why then you must. Will you put out mine eyes?
Link: 4.1.61
These eyes that never did nor never shall
Link: 4.1.62
So much as frown on you.
Link: 4.1.63

I have sworn to do it;
Link: 4.1.64
And with hot irons must I burn them out.
Link: 4.1.65

Ah, none but in this iron age would do it!
Link: 4.1.66
The iron of itself, though heat red-hot,
Link: 4.1.67
Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears
Link: 4.1.68
And quench his fiery indignation
Link: 4.1.69
Even in the matter of mine innocence;
Link: 4.1.70
Nay, after that, consume away in rust
Link: 4.1.71
But for containing fire to harm mine eye.
Link: 4.1.72
Are you more stubborn-hard than hammer'd iron?
Link: 4.1.73
An if an angel should have come to me
Link: 4.1.74
And told me Hubert should put out mine eyes,
Link: 4.1.75
I would not have believed him,--no tongue but Hubert's.
Link: 4.1.76

Come forth.
Link: 4.1.77
Do as I bid you do.
Link: 4.1.78

O, save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes are out
Link: 4.1.79
Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men.
Link: 4.1.80

Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.
Link: 4.1.81

Alas, what need you be so boisterous-rough?
Link: 4.1.82
I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still.
Link: 4.1.83
For heaven sake, Hubert, let me not be bound!
Link: 4.1.84
Nay, hear me, Hubert, drive these men away,
Link: 4.1.85
And I will sit as quiet as a lamb;
Link: 4.1.86
I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word,
Link: 4.1.87
Nor look upon the iron angerly:
Link: 4.1.88
Thrust but these men away, and I'll forgive you,
Link: 4.1.89
Whatever torment you do put me to.
Link: 4.1.90

Go, stand within; let me alone with him.
Link: 4.1.91

First Executioner
I am best pleased to be from such a deed.
Link: 4.1.92

Exeunt Executioners

Alas, I then have chid away my friend!
Link: 4.1.93
He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart:
Link: 4.1.94
Let him come back, that his compassion may
Link: 4.1.95
Give life to yours.
Link: 4.1.96

Come, boy, prepare yourself.
Link: 4.1.97

Is there no remedy?
Link: 4.1.98

None, but to lose your eyes.
Link: 4.1.99

O heaven, that there were but a mote in yours,
Link: 4.1.100
A grain, a dust, a gnat, a wandering hair,
Link: 4.1.101
Any annoyance in that precious sense!
Link: 4.1.102
Then feeling what small things are boisterous there,
Link: 4.1.103
Your vile intent must needs seem horrible.
Link: 4.1.104

Is this your promise? go to, hold your tongue.
Link: 4.1.105

Hubert, the utterance of a brace of tongues
Link: 4.1.106
Must needs want pleading for a pair of eyes:
Link: 4.1.107
Let me not hold my tongue, let me not, Hubert;
Link: 4.1.108
Or, Hubert, if you will, cut out my tongue,
Link: 4.1.109
So I may keep mine eyes: O, spare mine eyes.
Link: 4.1.110
Though to no use but still to look on you!
Link: 4.1.111
Lo, by my truth, the instrument is cold
Link: 4.1.112
And would not harm me.
Link: 4.1.113

I can heat it, boy.
Link: 4.1.114

No, in good sooth: the fire is dead with grief,
Link: 4.1.115
Being create for comfort, to be used
Link: 4.1.116
In undeserved extremes: see else yourself;
Link: 4.1.117
There is no malice in this burning coal;
Link: 4.1.118
The breath of heaven has blown his spirit out
Link: 4.1.119
And strew'd repentent ashes on his head.
Link: 4.1.120

But with my breath I can revive it, boy.
Link: 4.1.121

An if you do, you will but make it blush
Link: 4.1.122
And glow with shame of your proceedings, Hubert:
Link: 4.1.123
Nay, it perchance will sparkle in your eyes;
Link: 4.1.124
And like a dog that is compell'd to fight,
Link: 4.1.125
Snatch at his master that doth tarre him on.
Link: 4.1.126
All things that you should use to do me wrong
Link: 4.1.127
Deny their office: only you do lack
Link: 4.1.128
That mercy which fierce fire and iron extends,
Link: 4.1.129
Creatures of note for mercy-lacking uses.
Link: 4.1.130

Well, see to live; I will not touch thine eye
Link: 4.1.131
For all the treasure that thine uncle owes:
Link: 4.1.132
Yet am I sworn and I did purpose, boy,
Link: 4.1.133
With this same very iron to burn them out.
Link: 4.1.134

O, now you look like Hubert! all this while
Link: 4.1.135
You were disguised.
Link: 4.1.136

Peace; no more. Adieu.
Link: 4.1.137
Your uncle must not know but you are dead;
Link: 4.1.138
I'll fill these dogged spies with false reports:
Link: 4.1.139
And, pretty child, sleep doubtless and secure,
Link: 4.1.140
That Hubert, for the wealth of all the world,
Link: 4.1.141
Will not offend thee.
Link: 4.1.142

O heaven! I thank you, Hubert.
Link: 4.1.143

Silence; no more: go closely in with me:
Link: 4.1.144
Much danger do I undergo for thee.
Link: 4.1.145



Scene 2 of Act 4 of this play sees King John and his army preparing for battle against the French. John is apprehensive about the outcome, knowing that the French have a larger army and better equipment. He is also troubled by the fact that many of his own soldiers are defecting to the French side, lured by promises of better pay and treatment.

Despite his fears, John tries to rally his troops with a rousing speech, urging them to fight for their country and their king. He reminds them of the glory and honor that will come with victory, and warns them of the consequences of defeat.

As the battle begins, John watches anxiously from a safe distance, unable to do much to affect the outcome. His fears are soon realized as the French start to gain the upper hand, pushing John's army back and inflicting heavy casualties.

In the midst of the chaos, John's own nephew, Prince Arthur, is captured by the French. John is devastated by this news, knowing that it will weaken his position even further. He is also tormented by guilt over his treatment of Arthur, whom he had previously imprisoned and threatened with death.

The scene ends with John and his remaining soldiers retreating from the battlefield, defeated and demoralized. John is left to contemplate the consequences of his actions and the uncertain future of his reign.


Here once again we sit, once again crown'd,
Link: 4.2.1
And looked upon, I hope, with cheerful eyes.
Link: 4.2.2

This 'once again,' but that your highness pleased,
Link: 4.2.3
Was once superfluous: you were crown'd before,
Link: 4.2.4
And that high royalty was ne'er pluck'd off,
Link: 4.2.5
The faiths of men ne'er stained with revolt;
Link: 4.2.6
Fresh expectation troubled not the land
Link: 4.2.7
With any long'd-for change or better state.
Link: 4.2.8

Therefore, to be possess'd with double pomp,
Link: 4.2.9
To guard a title that was rich before,
Link: 4.2.10
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
Link: 4.2.11
To throw a perfume on the violet,
Link: 4.2.12
To smooth the ice, or add another hue
Link: 4.2.13
Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
Link: 4.2.14
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
Link: 4.2.15
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.
Link: 4.2.16

But that your royal pleasure must be done,
Link: 4.2.17
This act is as an ancient tale new told,
Link: 4.2.18
And in the last repeating troublesome,
Link: 4.2.19
Being urged at a time unseasonable.
Link: 4.2.20

In this the antique and well noted face
Link: 4.2.21
Of plain old form is much disfigured;
Link: 4.2.22
And, like a shifted wind unto a sail,
Link: 4.2.23
It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about,
Link: 4.2.24
Startles and frights consideration,
Link: 4.2.25
Makes sound opinion sick and truth suspected,
Link: 4.2.26
For putting on so new a fashion'd robe.
Link: 4.2.27

When workmen strive to do better than well,
Link: 4.2.28
They do confound their skill in covetousness;
Link: 4.2.29
And oftentimes excusing of a fault
Link: 4.2.30
Doth make the fault the worse by the excuse,
Link: 4.2.31
As patches set upon a little breach
Link: 4.2.32
Discredit more in hiding of the fault
Link: 4.2.33
Than did the fault before it was so patch'd.
Link: 4.2.34

To this effect, before you were new crown'd,
Link: 4.2.35
We breathed our counsel: but it pleased your highness
Link: 4.2.36
To overbear it, and we are all well pleased,
Link: 4.2.37
Since all and every part of what we would
Link: 4.2.38
Doth make a stand at what your highness will.
Link: 4.2.39

Some reasons of this double coronation
Link: 4.2.40
I have possess'd you with and think them strong;
Link: 4.2.41
And more, more strong, then lesser is my fear,
Link: 4.2.42
I shall indue you with: meantime but ask
Link: 4.2.43
What you would have reform'd that is not well,
Link: 4.2.44
And well shall you perceive how willingly
Link: 4.2.45
I will both hear and grant you your requests.
Link: 4.2.46

Then I, as one that am the tongue of these,
Link: 4.2.47
To sound the purpose of all their hearts,
Link: 4.2.48
Both for myself and them, but, chief of all,
Link: 4.2.49
Your safety, for the which myself and them
Link: 4.2.50
Bend their best studies, heartily request
Link: 4.2.51
The enfranchisement of Arthur; whose restraint
Link: 4.2.52
Doth move the murmuring lips of discontent
Link: 4.2.53
To break into this dangerous argument,--
Link: 4.2.54
If what in rest you have in right you hold,
Link: 4.2.55
Why then your fears, which, as they say, attend
Link: 4.2.56
The steps of wrong, should move you to mew up
Link: 4.2.57
Your tender kinsman and to choke his days
Link: 4.2.58
With barbarous ignorance and deny his youth
Link: 4.2.59
The rich advantage of good exercise?
Link: 4.2.60
That the time's enemies may not have this
Link: 4.2.61
To grace occasions, let it be our suit
Link: 4.2.62
That you have bid us ask his liberty;
Link: 4.2.63
Which for our goods we do no further ask
Link: 4.2.64
Than whereupon our weal, on you depending,
Link: 4.2.65
Counts it your weal he have his liberty.
Link: 4.2.66


Let it be so: I do commit his youth
Link: 4.2.67
To your direction. Hubert, what news with you?
Link: 4.2.68

Taking him apart

This is the man should do the bloody deed;
Link: 4.2.69
He show'd his warrant to a friend of mine:
Link: 4.2.70
The image of a wicked heinous fault
Link: 4.2.71
Lives in his eye; that close aspect of his
Link: 4.2.72
Does show the mood of a much troubled breast;
Link: 4.2.73
And I do fearfully believe 'tis done,
Link: 4.2.74
What we so fear'd he had a charge to do.
Link: 4.2.75

The colour of the king doth come and go
Link: 4.2.76
Between his purpose and his conscience,
Link: 4.2.77
Like heralds 'twixt two dreadful battles set:
Link: 4.2.78
His passion is so ripe, it needs must break.
Link: 4.2.79

And when it breaks, I fear will issue thence
Link: 4.2.80
The foul corruption of a sweet child's death.
Link: 4.2.81

We cannot hold mortality's strong hand:
Link: 4.2.82
Good lords, although my will to give is living,
Link: 4.2.83
The suit which you demand is gone and dead:
Link: 4.2.84
He tells us Arthur is deceased to-night.
Link: 4.2.85

Indeed we fear'd his sickness was past cure.
Link: 4.2.86

Indeed we heard how near his death he was
Link: 4.2.87
Before the child himself felt he was sick:
Link: 4.2.88
This must be answer'd either here or hence.
Link: 4.2.89

Why do you bend such solemn brows on me?
Link: 4.2.90
Think you I bear the shears of destiny?
Link: 4.2.91
Have I commandment on the pulse of life?
Link: 4.2.92

It is apparent foul play; and 'tis shame
Link: 4.2.93
That greatness should so grossly offer it:
Link: 4.2.94
So thrive it in your game! and so, farewell.
Link: 4.2.95

Stay yet, Lord Salisbury; I'll go with thee,
Link: 4.2.96
And find the inheritance of this poor child,
Link: 4.2.97
His little kingdom of a forced grave.
Link: 4.2.98
That blood which owed the breadth of all this isle,
Link: 4.2.99
Three foot of it doth hold: bad world the while!
Link: 4.2.100
This must not be thus borne: this will break out
Link: 4.2.101
To all our sorrows, and ere long I doubt.
Link: 4.2.102

Exeunt Lords

They burn in indignation. I repent:
Link: 4.2.103
There is no sure foundation set on blood,
Link: 4.2.104
No certain life achieved by others' death.
Link: 4.2.105
A fearful eye thou hast: where is that blood
Link: 4.2.106
That I have seen inhabit in those cheeks?
Link: 4.2.107
So foul a sky clears not without a storm:
Link: 4.2.108
Pour down thy weather: how goes all in France?
Link: 4.2.109

From France to England. Never such a power
Link: 4.2.110
For any foreign preparation
Link: 4.2.111
Was levied in the body of a land.
Link: 4.2.112
The copy of your speed is learn'd by them;
Link: 4.2.113
For when you should be told they do prepare,
Link: 4.2.114
The tidings come that they are all arrived.
Link: 4.2.115

O, where hath our intelligence been drunk?
Link: 4.2.116
Where hath it slept? Where is my mother's care,
Link: 4.2.117
That such an army could be drawn in France,
Link: 4.2.118
And she not hear of it?
Link: 4.2.119

My liege, her ear
Link: 4.2.120
Is stopp'd with dust; the first of April died
Link: 4.2.121
Your noble mother: and, as I hear, my lord,
Link: 4.2.122
The Lady Constance in a frenzy died
Link: 4.2.123
Three days before: but this from rumour's tongue
Link: 4.2.124
I idly heard; if true or false I know not.
Link: 4.2.125

Withhold thy speed, dreadful occasion!
Link: 4.2.126
O, make a league with me, till I have pleased
Link: 4.2.127
My discontented peers! What! mother dead!
Link: 4.2.128
How wildly then walks my estate in France!
Link: 4.2.129
Under whose conduct came those powers of France
Link: 4.2.130
That thou for truth givest out are landed here?
Link: 4.2.131

Under the Dauphin.
Link: 4.2.132

Thou hast made me giddy
Link: 4.2.133
With these ill tidings.
Link: 4.2.134
Now, what says the world
Link: 4.2.135
To your proceedings? do not seek to stuff
Link: 4.2.136
My head with more ill news, for it is full.
Link: 4.2.137

But if you be afeard to hear the worst,
Link: 4.2.138
Then let the worst unheard fall on your bead.
Link: 4.2.139

Bear with me cousin, for I was amazed
Link: 4.2.140
Under the tide: but now I breathe again
Link: 4.2.141
Aloft the flood, and can give audience
Link: 4.2.142
To any tongue, speak it of what it will.
Link: 4.2.143

How I have sped among the clergymen,
Link: 4.2.144
The sums I have collected shall express.
Link: 4.2.145
But as I travell'd hither through the land,
Link: 4.2.146
I find the people strangely fantasied;
Link: 4.2.147
Possess'd with rumours, full of idle dreams,
Link: 4.2.148
Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear:
Link: 4.2.149
And here a prophet, that I brought with me
Link: 4.2.150
From forth the streets of Pomfret, whom I found
Link: 4.2.151
With many hundreds treading on his heels;
Link: 4.2.152
To whom he sung, in rude harsh-sounding rhymes,
Link: 4.2.153
That, ere the next Ascension-day at noon,
Link: 4.2.154
Your highness should deliver up your crown.
Link: 4.2.155

Thou idle dreamer, wherefore didst thou so?
Link: 4.2.156

Foreknowing that the truth will fall out so.
Link: 4.2.157

Hubert, away with him; imprison him;
Link: 4.2.158
And on that day at noon whereon he says
Link: 4.2.159
I shall yield up my crown, let him be hang'd.
Link: 4.2.160
Deliver him to safety; and return,
Link: 4.2.161
For I must use thee.
Link: 4.2.162
O my gentle cousin,
Link: 4.2.163
Hear'st thou the news abroad, who are arrived?
Link: 4.2.164

The French, my lord; men's mouths are full of it:
Link: 4.2.165
Besides, I met Lord Bigot and Lord Salisbury,
Link: 4.2.166
With eyes as red as new-enkindled fire,
Link: 4.2.167
And others more, going to seek the grave
Link: 4.2.168
Of Arthur, who they say is kill'd to-night
Link: 4.2.169
On your suggestion.
Link: 4.2.170

Gentle kinsman, go,
Link: 4.2.171
And thrust thyself into their companies:
Link: 4.2.172
I have a way to win their loves again;
Link: 4.2.173
Bring them before me.
Link: 4.2.174

I will seek them out.
Link: 4.2.175

Nay, but make haste; the better foot before.
Link: 4.2.176
O, let me have no subject enemies,
Link: 4.2.177
When adverse foreigners affright my towns
Link: 4.2.178
With dreadful pomp of stout invasion!
Link: 4.2.179
Be Mercury, set feathers to thy heels,
Link: 4.2.180
And fly like thought from them to me again.
Link: 4.2.181

The spirit of the time shall teach me speed.
Link: 4.2.182


Spoke like a sprightful noble gentleman.
Link: 4.2.183
Go after him; for he perhaps shall need
Link: 4.2.184
Some messenger betwixt me and the peers;
Link: 4.2.185
And be thou he.
Link: 4.2.186

With all my heart, my liege.
Link: 4.2.187


My mother dead!
Link: 4.2.188

Re-enter HUBERT

My lord, they say five moons were seen to-night;
Link: 4.2.189
Four fixed, and the fifth did whirl about
Link: 4.2.190
The other four in wondrous motion.
Link: 4.2.191

Five moons!
Link: 4.2.192

Old men and beldams in the streets
Link: 4.2.193
Do prophesy upon it dangerously:
Link: 4.2.194
Young Arthur's death is common in their mouths:
Link: 4.2.195
And when they talk of him, they shake their heads
Link: 4.2.196
And whisper one another in the ear;
Link: 4.2.197
And he that speaks doth gripe the hearer's wrist,
Link: 4.2.198
Whilst he that hears makes fearful action,
Link: 4.2.199
With wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling eyes.
Link: 4.2.200
I saw a smith stand with his hammer, thus,
Link: 4.2.201
The whilst his iron did on the anvil cool,
Link: 4.2.202
With open mouth swallowing a tailor's news;
Link: 4.2.203
Who, with his shears and measure in his hand,
Link: 4.2.204
Standing on slippers, which his nimble haste
Link: 4.2.205
Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet,
Link: 4.2.206
Told of a many thousand warlike French
Link: 4.2.207
That were embattailed and rank'd in Kent:
Link: 4.2.208
Another lean unwash'd artificer
Link: 4.2.209
Cuts off his tale and talks of Arthur's death.
Link: 4.2.210

Why seek'st thou to possess me with these fears?
Link: 4.2.211
Why urgest thou so oft young Arthur's death?
Link: 4.2.212
Thy hand hath murder'd him: I had a mighty cause
Link: 4.2.213
To wish him dead, but thou hadst none to kill him.
Link: 4.2.214

No had, my lord! why, did you not provoke me?
Link: 4.2.215

It is the curse of kings to be attended
Link: 4.2.216
By slaves that take their humours for a warrant
Link: 4.2.217
To break within the bloody house of life,
Link: 4.2.218
And on the winking of authority
Link: 4.2.219
To understand a law, to know the meaning
Link: 4.2.220
Of dangerous majesty, when perchance it frowns
Link: 4.2.221
More upon humour than advised respect.
Link: 4.2.222

Here is your hand and seal for what I did.
Link: 4.2.223

O, when the last account 'twixt heaven and earth
Link: 4.2.224
Is to be made, then shall this hand and seal
Link: 4.2.225
Witness against us to damnation!
Link: 4.2.226
How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds
Link: 4.2.227
Make deeds ill done! Hadst not thou been by,
Link: 4.2.228
A fellow by the hand of nature mark'd,
Link: 4.2.229
Quoted and sign'd to do a deed of shame,
Link: 4.2.230
This murder had not come into my mind:
Link: 4.2.231
But taking note of thy abhorr'd aspect,
Link: 4.2.232
Finding thee fit for bloody villany,
Link: 4.2.233
Apt, liable to be employ'd in danger,
Link: 4.2.234
I faintly broke with thee of Arthur's death;
Link: 4.2.235
And thou, to be endeared to a king,
Link: 4.2.236
Made it no conscience to destroy a prince.
Link: 4.2.237

My lord--
Link: 4.2.238

Hadst thou but shook thy head or made a pause
Link: 4.2.239
When I spake darkly what I purposed,
Link: 4.2.240
Or turn'd an eye of doubt upon my face,
Link: 4.2.241
As bid me tell my tale in express words,
Link: 4.2.242
Deep shame had struck me dumb, made me break off,
Link: 4.2.243
And those thy fears might have wrought fears in me:
Link: 4.2.244
But thou didst understand me by my signs
Link: 4.2.245
And didst in signs again parley with sin;
Link: 4.2.246
Yea, without stop, didst let thy heart consent,
Link: 4.2.247
And consequently thy rude hand to act
Link: 4.2.248
The deed, which both our tongues held vile to name.
Link: 4.2.249
Out of my sight, and never see me more!
Link: 4.2.250
My nobles leave me; and my state is braved,
Link: 4.2.251
Even at my gates, with ranks of foreign powers:
Link: 4.2.252
Nay, in the body of this fleshly land,
Link: 4.2.253
This kingdom, this confine of blood and breath,
Link: 4.2.254
Hostility and civil tumult reigns
Link: 4.2.255
Between my conscience and my cousin's death.
Link: 4.2.256

Arm you against your other enemies,
Link: 4.2.257
I'll make a peace between your soul and you.
Link: 4.2.258
Young Arthur is alive: this hand of mine
Link: 4.2.259
Is yet a maiden and an innocent hand,
Link: 4.2.260
Not painted with the crimson spots of blood.
Link: 4.2.261
Within this bosom never enter'd yet
Link: 4.2.262
The dreadful motion of a murderous thought;
Link: 4.2.263
And you have slander'd nature in my form,
Link: 4.2.264
Which, howsoever rude exteriorly,
Link: 4.2.265
Is yet the cover of a fairer mind
Link: 4.2.266
Than to be butcher of an innocent child.
Link: 4.2.267

Doth Arthur live? O, haste thee to the peers,
Link: 4.2.268
Throw this report on their incensed rage,
Link: 4.2.269
And make them tame to their obedience!
Link: 4.2.270
Forgive the comment that my passion made
Link: 4.2.271
Upon thy feature; for my rage was blind,
Link: 4.2.272
And foul imaginary eyes of blood
Link: 4.2.273
Presented thee more hideous than thou art.
Link: 4.2.274
O, answer not, but to my closet bring
Link: 4.2.275
The angry lords with all expedient haste.
Link: 4.2.276
I conjure thee but slowly; run more fast.
Link: 4.2.277


SCENE III. Before the castle.

Scene 3 of Act 4 of King John opens with King John receiving news that the Dauphin of France has arrived in England with a large army. The king is troubled by this news and calls for his council to discuss their options.

During the council meeting, the Earl of Salisbury suggests that they should seek help from the Earl of Pembroke, who is known to be a skilled military leader. However, the Earl of Pembroke is absent from the meeting, and the king sends a messenger to fetch him.

While waiting for the Earl of Pembroke to arrive, the king receives news that the city of Angiers has declared its loyalty to the Dauphin and has closed its gates to the English army. The council suggests that they should lay siege to the city, but King John is hesitant to do so, as he fears it will damage his reputation and cause him to lose the support of the people.

When the Earl of Pembroke finally arrives, he suggests that they should try to negotiate with the citizens of Angiers instead of laying siege to the city. The council agrees, and they send a messenger to negotiate with the citizens. The messenger returns with news that the citizens are willing to negotiate, but they demand that the English army withdraws from the city.

King John is hesitant to agree to these terms, but the Earl of Pembroke convinces him that it is the best course of action. The English army withdraws from Angiers, and the citizens open their gates to the Dauphin, who enters the city in triumph.

Enter ARTHUR, on the walls

The wall is high, and yet will I leap down:
Link: 4.3.1
Good ground, be pitiful and hurt me not!
Link: 4.3.2
There's few or none do know me: if they did,
Link: 4.3.3
This ship-boy's semblance hath disguised me quite.
Link: 4.3.4
I am afraid; and yet I'll venture it.
Link: 4.3.5
If I get down, and do not break my limbs,
Link: 4.3.6
I'll find a thousand shifts to get away:
Link: 4.3.7
As good to die and go, as die and stay.
Link: 4.3.8
O me! my uncle's spirit is in these stones:
Link: 4.3.9
Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones!
Link: 4.3.10



Lords, I will meet him at Saint Edmundsbury:
Link: 4.3.11
It is our safety, and we must embrace
Link: 4.3.12
This gentle offer of the perilous time.
Link: 4.3.13

Who brought that letter from the cardinal?
Link: 4.3.14

The Count Melun, a noble lord of France,
Link: 4.3.15
Whose private with me of the Dauphin's love
Link: 4.3.16
Is much more general than these lines import.
Link: 4.3.17

To-morrow morning let us meet him then.
Link: 4.3.18

Or rather then set forward; for 'twill be
Link: 4.3.19
Two long days' journey, lords, or ere we meet.
Link: 4.3.20

Enter the BASTARD

Once more to-day well met, distemper'd lords!
Link: 4.3.21
The king by me requests your presence straight.
Link: 4.3.22

The king hath dispossess'd himself of us:
Link: 4.3.23
We will not line his thin bestained cloak
Link: 4.3.24
With our pure honours, nor attend the foot
Link: 4.3.25
That leaves the print of blood where'er it walks.
Link: 4.3.26
Return and tell him so: we know the worst.
Link: 4.3.27

Whate'er you think, good words, I think, were best.
Link: 4.3.28

Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now.
Link: 4.3.29

But there is little reason in your grief;
Link: 4.3.30
Therefore 'twere reason you had manners now.
Link: 4.3.31

Sir, sir, impatience hath his privilege.
Link: 4.3.32

'Tis true, to hurt his master, no man else.
Link: 4.3.33

This is the prison. What is he lies here?
Link: 4.3.34


O death, made proud with pure and princely beauty!
Link: 4.3.35
The earth had not a hole to hide this deed.
Link: 4.3.36

Murder, as hating what himself hath done,
Link: 4.3.37
Doth lay it open to urge on revenge.
Link: 4.3.38

Or, when he doom'd this beauty to a grave,
Link: 4.3.39
Found it too precious-princely for a grave.
Link: 4.3.40

Sir Richard, what think you? have you beheld,
Link: 4.3.41
Or have you read or heard? or could you think?
Link: 4.3.42
Or do you almost think, although you see,
Link: 4.3.43
That you do see? could thought, without this object,
Link: 4.3.44
Form such another? This is the very top,
Link: 4.3.45
The height, the crest, or crest unto the crest,
Link: 4.3.46
Of murder's arms: this is the bloodiest shame,
Link: 4.3.47
The wildest savagery, the vilest stroke,
Link: 4.3.48
That ever wall-eyed wrath or staring rage
Link: 4.3.49
Presented to the tears of soft remorse.
Link: 4.3.50

All murders past do stand excused in this:
Link: 4.3.51
And this, so sole and so unmatchable,
Link: 4.3.52
Shall give a holiness, a purity,
Link: 4.3.53
To the yet unbegotten sin of times;
Link: 4.3.54
And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest,
Link: 4.3.55
Exampled by this heinous spectacle.
Link: 4.3.56

It is a damned and a bloody work;
Link: 4.3.57
The graceless action of a heavy hand,
Link: 4.3.58
If that it be the work of any hand.
Link: 4.3.59

If that it be the work of any hand!
Link: 4.3.60
We had a kind of light what would ensue:
Link: 4.3.61
It is the shameful work of Hubert's hand;
Link: 4.3.62
The practise and the purpose of the king:
Link: 4.3.63
From whose obedience I forbid my soul,
Link: 4.3.64
Kneeling before this ruin of sweet life,
Link: 4.3.65
And breathing to his breathless excellence
Link: 4.3.66
The incense of a vow, a holy vow,
Link: 4.3.67
Never to taste the pleasures of the world,
Link: 4.3.68
Never to be infected with delight,
Link: 4.3.69
Nor conversant with ease and idleness,
Link: 4.3.70
Till I have set a glory to this hand,
Link: 4.3.71
By giving it the worship of revenge.
Link: 4.3.72

Our souls religiously confirm thy words.
Link: 4.3.73


Lords, I am hot with haste in seeking you:
Link: 4.3.74
Arthur doth live; the king hath sent for you.
Link: 4.3.75

O, he is old and blushes not at death.
Link: 4.3.76
Avaunt, thou hateful villain, get thee gone!
Link: 4.3.77

I am no villain.
Link: 4.3.78

Must I rob the law?
Link: 4.3.79

Drawing his sword

Your sword is bright, sir; put it up again.
Link: 4.3.80

Not till I sheathe it in a murderer's skin.
Link: 4.3.81

Stand back, Lord Salisbury, stand back, I say;
Link: 4.3.82
By heaven, I think my sword's as sharp as yours:
Link: 4.3.83
I would not have you, lord, forget yourself,
Link: 4.3.84
Nor tempt the danger of my true defence;
Link: 4.3.85
Lest I, by marking of your rage, forget
Link: 4.3.86
Your worth, your greatness and nobility.
Link: 4.3.87

Out, dunghill! darest thou brave a nobleman?
Link: 4.3.88

Not for my life: but yet I dare defend
Link: 4.3.89
My innocent life against an emperor.
Link: 4.3.90

Thou art a murderer.
Link: 4.3.91

Do not prove me so;
Link: 4.3.92
Yet I am none: whose tongue soe'er speaks false,
Link: 4.3.93
Not truly speaks; who speaks not truly, lies.
Link: 4.3.94

Cut him to pieces.
Link: 4.3.95

Keep the peace, I say.
Link: 4.3.96

Stand by, or I shall gall you, Faulconbridge.
Link: 4.3.97

Thou wert better gall the devil, Salisbury:
Link: 4.3.98
If thou but frown on me, or stir thy foot,
Link: 4.3.99
Or teach thy hasty spleen to do me shame,
Link: 4.3.100
I'll strike thee dead. Put up thy sword betime;
Link: 4.3.101
Or I'll so maul you and your toasting-iron,
Link: 4.3.102
That you shall think the devil is come from hell.
Link: 4.3.103

What wilt thou do, renowned Faulconbridge?
Link: 4.3.104
Second a villain and a murderer?
Link: 4.3.105

Lord Bigot, I am none.
Link: 4.3.106

Who kill'd this prince?
Link: 4.3.107

'Tis not an hour since I left him well:
Link: 4.3.108
I honour'd him, I loved him, and will weep
Link: 4.3.109
My date of life out for his sweet life's loss.
Link: 4.3.110

Trust not those cunning waters of his eyes,
Link: 4.3.111
For villany is not without such rheum;
Link: 4.3.112
And he, long traded in it, makes it seem
Link: 4.3.113
Like rivers of remorse and innocency.
Link: 4.3.114
Away with me, all you whose souls abhor
Link: 4.3.115
The uncleanly savours of a slaughter-house;
Link: 4.3.116
For I am stifled with this smell of sin.
Link: 4.3.117

Away toward Bury, to the Dauphin there!
Link: 4.3.118

There tell the king he may inquire us out.
Link: 4.3.119

Exeunt Lords

Here's a good world! Knew you of this fair work?
Link: 4.3.120
Beyond the infinite and boundless reach
Link: 4.3.121
Of mercy, if thou didst this deed of death,
Link: 4.3.122
Art thou damn'd, Hubert.
Link: 4.3.123

Do but hear me, sir.
Link: 4.3.124

Ha! I'll tell thee what;
Link: 4.3.125
Thou'rt damn'd as black--nay, nothing is so black;
Link: 4.3.126
Thou art more deep damn'd than Prince Lucifer:
Link: 4.3.127
There is not yet so ugly a fiend of hell
Link: 4.3.128
As thou shalt be, if thou didst kill this child.
Link: 4.3.129

Upon my soul--
Link: 4.3.130

If thou didst but consent
Link: 4.3.131
To this most cruel act, do but despair;
Link: 4.3.132
And if thou want'st a cord, the smallest thread
Link: 4.3.133
That ever spider twisted from her womb
Link: 4.3.134
Will serve to strangle thee, a rush will be a beam
Link: 4.3.135
To hang thee on; or wouldst thou drown thyself,
Link: 4.3.136
Put but a little water in a spoon,
Link: 4.3.137
And it shall be as all the ocean,
Link: 4.3.138
Enough to stifle such a villain up.
Link: 4.3.139
I do suspect thee very grievously.
Link: 4.3.140

If I in act, consent, or sin of thought,
Link: 4.3.141
Be guilty of the stealing that sweet breath
Link: 4.3.142
Which was embounded in this beauteous clay,
Link: 4.3.143
Let hell want pains enough to torture me.
Link: 4.3.144
I left him well.
Link: 4.3.145

Go, bear him in thine arms.
Link: 4.3.146
I am amazed, methinks, and lose my way
Link: 4.3.147
Among the thorns and dangers of this world.
Link: 4.3.148
How easy dost thou take all England up!
Link: 4.3.149
From forth this morsel of dead royalty,
Link: 4.3.150
The life, the right and truth of all this realm
Link: 4.3.151
Is fled to heaven; and England now is left
Link: 4.3.152
To tug and scamble and to part by the teeth
Link: 4.3.153
The unowed interest of proud-swelling state.
Link: 4.3.154
Now for the bare-pick'd bone of majesty
Link: 4.3.155
Doth dogged war bristle his angry crest
Link: 4.3.156
And snarleth in the gentle eyes of peace:
Link: 4.3.157
Now powers from home and discontents at home
Link: 4.3.158
Meet in one line; and vast confusion waits,
Link: 4.3.159
As doth a raven on a sick-fall'n beast,
Link: 4.3.160
The imminent decay of wrested pomp.
Link: 4.3.161
Now happy he whose cloak and cincture can
Link: 4.3.162
Hold out this tempest. Bear away that child
Link: 4.3.163
And follow me with speed: I'll to the king:
Link: 4.3.164
A thousand businesses are brief in hand,
Link: 4.3.165
And heaven itself doth frown upon the land.
Link: 4.3.166


Act V

Act 5 of King John begins with King John hearing that the French army has landed in England. He orders his troops to prepare for battle and meets with Hubert, who tells him that Prince Arthur is dead. John is disturbed by this news and orders Hubert to be executed. However, he is later informed that Arthur is still alive and in hiding.

The French army and the English army meet on the battlefield, and a fierce battle ensues. During the battle, John meets with a monk who convinces him to make peace with the French and give up the crown. John agrees and signs a treaty with the French, but later regrets his decision and tries to renege on the treaty.

The nobles of England, led by the Earl of Pembroke, rebel against John and offer the crown to King Louis of France. John dies shortly thereafter, and his son, Prince Henry, is crowned as the new king of England.

The play ends with a speech by the newly crowned King Henry, in which he promises to be a just ruler and to honor the memory of his father, King John.


In Scene 1 of Act 5, a Frenchman named Melun has joined the forces of King John's enemies. He meets with the English lord, Salisbury, and tells him that he has come to offer his services to the English king. However, Salisbury is distrustful of Melun and questions his loyalty. Melun insists that he has come to betray his own countrymen and that he has valuable information about the French army. Salisbury agrees to take Melun to King John to hear his proposition.

When Melun meets with King John, he reveals that the French army is planning to attack the English army that night. He also reveals that the French nobles have sworn to kill King John if they capture him. King John is skeptical of Melun's loyalty, but he decides to use his information to his advantage. He orders his troops to prepare for battle and sends messengers to bring reinforcements.

As the English troops prepare for battle, King John reflects on his situation. He is worried about the outcome of the battle and the possibility of being captured or killed by the French. He also reflects on the political situation and the fact that he has no legitimate heir to the throne. Despite his worries, King John remains determined to fight and defend his kingdom.


Thus have I yielded up into your hand
Link: 5.1.1
The circle of my glory.
Link: 5.1.2

Giving the crown

Take again
Link: 5.1.3
From this my hand, as holding of the pope
Link: 5.1.4
Your sovereign greatness and authority.
Link: 5.1.5

Now keep your holy word: go meet the French,
Link: 5.1.6
And from his holiness use all your power
Link: 5.1.7
To stop their marches 'fore we are inflamed.
Link: 5.1.8
Our discontented counties do revolt;
Link: 5.1.9
Our people quarrel with obedience,
Link: 5.1.10
Swearing allegiance and the love of soul
Link: 5.1.11
To stranger blood, to foreign royalty.
Link: 5.1.12
This inundation of mistemper'd humour
Link: 5.1.13
Rests by you only to be qualified:
Link: 5.1.14
Then pause not; for the present time's so sick,
Link: 5.1.15
That present medicine must be minister'd,
Link: 5.1.16
Or overthrow incurable ensues.
Link: 5.1.17

It was my breath that blew this tempest up,
Link: 5.1.18
Upon your stubborn usage of the pope;
Link: 5.1.19
But since you are a gentle convertite,
Link: 5.1.20
My tongue shall hush again this storm of war
Link: 5.1.21
And make fair weather in your blustering land.
Link: 5.1.22
On this Ascension-day, remember well,
Link: 5.1.23
Upon your oath of service to the pope,
Link: 5.1.24
Go I to make the French lay down their arms.
Link: 5.1.25


Is this Ascension-day? Did not the prophet
Link: 5.1.26
Say that before Ascension-day at noon
Link: 5.1.27
My crown I should give off? Even so I have:
Link: 5.1.28
I did suppose it should be on constraint:
Link: 5.1.29
But, heaven be thank'd, it is but voluntary.
Link: 5.1.30

Enter the BASTARD

All Kent hath yielded; nothing there holds out
Link: 5.1.31
But Dover castle: London hath received,
Link: 5.1.32
Like a kind host, the Dauphin and his powers:
Link: 5.1.33
Your nobles will not hear you, but are gone
Link: 5.1.34
To offer service to your enemy,
Link: 5.1.35
And wild amazement hurries up and down
Link: 5.1.36
The little number of your doubtful friends.
Link: 5.1.37

Would not my lords return to me again,
Link: 5.1.38
After they heard young Arthur was alive?
Link: 5.1.39

They found him dead and cast into the streets,
Link: 5.1.40
An empty casket, where the jewel of life
Link: 5.1.41
By some damn'd hand was robb'd and ta'en away.
Link: 5.1.42

That villain Hubert told me he did live.
Link: 5.1.43

So, on my soul, he did, for aught he knew.
Link: 5.1.44
But wherefore do you droop? why look you sad?
Link: 5.1.45
Be great in act, as you have been in thought;
Link: 5.1.46
Let not the world see fear and sad distrust
Link: 5.1.47
Govern the motion of a kingly eye:
Link: 5.1.48
Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;
Link: 5.1.49
Threaten the threatener and outface the brow
Link: 5.1.50
Of bragging horror: so shall inferior eyes,
Link: 5.1.51
That borrow their behaviors from the great,
Link: 5.1.52
Grow great by your example and put on
Link: 5.1.53
The dauntless spirit of resolution.
Link: 5.1.54
Away, and glister like the god of war,
Link: 5.1.55
When he intendeth to become the field:
Link: 5.1.56
Show boldness and aspiring confidence.
Link: 5.1.57
What, shall they seek the lion in his den,
Link: 5.1.58
And fright him there? and make him tremble there?
Link: 5.1.59
O, let it not be said: forage, and run
Link: 5.1.60
To meet displeasure farther from the doors,
Link: 5.1.61
And grapple with him ere he comes so nigh.
Link: 5.1.62

The legate of the pope hath been with me,
Link: 5.1.63
And I have made a happy peace with him;
Link: 5.1.64
And he hath promised to dismiss the powers
Link: 5.1.65
Led by the Dauphin.
Link: 5.1.66

O inglorious league!
Link: 5.1.67
Shall we, upon the footing of our land,
Link: 5.1.68
Send fair-play orders and make compromise,
Link: 5.1.69
Insinuation, parley and base truce
Link: 5.1.70
To arms invasive? shall a beardless boy,
Link: 5.1.71
A cocker'd silken wanton, brave our fields,
Link: 5.1.72
And flesh his spirit in a warlike soil,
Link: 5.1.73
Mocking the air with colours idly spread,
Link: 5.1.74
And find no cheque? Let us, my liege, to arms:
Link: 5.1.75
Perchance the cardinal cannot make your peace;
Link: 5.1.76
Or if he do, let it at least be said
Link: 5.1.77
They saw we had a purpose of defence.
Link: 5.1.78

Have thou the ordering of this present time.
Link: 5.1.79

Away, then, with good courage! yet, I know,
Link: 5.1.80
Our party may well meet a prouder foe.
Link: 5.1.81


SCENE II. LEWIS's camp at St. Edmundsbury.

Scene 2 of Act 5 begins with the arrival of King John's army at the French town of Angiers. The French citizens of the town, led by their mayor, are hesitant to let John's army enter and request that he provide them with a good reason for doing so. John, however, insists that he has a legitimate right to enter the town as it is a part of his rightful territory as King of England.

The mayor and citizens of Angiers respond by bringing out their own army and declaring war against John's forces. However, the Bastard (one of John's loyal allies) comes up with a plan to avoid bloodshed. He proposes that a representative from each side engage in single combat, with the outcome of the fight determining the fate of the town.

The French agree to this plan and send out their champion, who is promptly defeated by the Bastard. With the French army now without a leader, they surrender to John's forces and allow them to enter the town peacefully.

However, the victory is not without its consequences. John is reminded of the fragility of his hold on power and the potential for rebellion among his own people. The Bastard, meanwhile, is shown to be a capable and loyal ally to John, but is also left to ponder the fickle nature of fortune and the possibility of his own downfall.

Enter, in arms, LEWIS, SALISBURY, MELUN, PEMBROKE, BIGOT, and Soldiers

My Lord Melun, let this be copied out,
Link: 5.2.1
And keep it safe for our remembrance:
Link: 5.2.2
Return the precedent to these lords again;
Link: 5.2.3
That, having our fair order written down,
Link: 5.2.4
Both they and we, perusing o'er these notes,
Link: 5.2.5
May know wherefore we took the sacrament
Link: 5.2.6
And keep our faiths firm and inviolable.
Link: 5.2.7

Upon our sides it never shall be broken.
Link: 5.2.8
And, noble Dauphin, albeit we swear
Link: 5.2.9
A voluntary zeal and an unurged faith
Link: 5.2.10
To your proceedings; yet believe me, prince,
Link: 5.2.11
I am not glad that such a sore of time
Link: 5.2.12
Should seek a plaster by contemn'd revolt,
Link: 5.2.13
And heal the inveterate canker of one wound
Link: 5.2.14
By making many. O, it grieves my soul,
Link: 5.2.15
That I must draw this metal from my side
Link: 5.2.16
To be a widow-maker! O, and there
Link: 5.2.17
Where honourable rescue and defence
Link: 5.2.18
Cries out upon the name of Salisbury!
Link: 5.2.19
But such is the infection of the time,
Link: 5.2.20
That, for the health and physic of our right,
Link: 5.2.21
We cannot deal but with the very hand
Link: 5.2.22
Of stern injustice and confused wrong.
Link: 5.2.23
And is't not pity, O my grieved friends,
Link: 5.2.24
That we, the sons and children of this isle,
Link: 5.2.25
Were born to see so sad an hour as this;
Link: 5.2.26
Wherein we step after a stranger march
Link: 5.2.27
Upon her gentle bosom, and fill up
Link: 5.2.28
Her enemies' ranks,--I must withdraw and weep
Link: 5.2.29
Upon the spot of this enforced cause,--
Link: 5.2.30
To grace the gentry of a land remote,
Link: 5.2.31
And follow unacquainted colours here?
Link: 5.2.32
What, here? O nation, that thou couldst remove!
Link: 5.2.33
That Neptune's arms, who clippeth thee about,
Link: 5.2.34
Would bear thee from the knowledge of thyself,
Link: 5.2.35
And grapple thee unto a pagan shore;
Link: 5.2.36
Where these two Christian armies might combine
Link: 5.2.37
The blood of malice in a vein of league,
Link: 5.2.38
And not to spend it so unneighbourly!
Link: 5.2.39

A noble temper dost thou show in this;
Link: 5.2.40
And great affections wrestling in thy bosom
Link: 5.2.41
Doth make an earthquake of nobility.
Link: 5.2.42
O, what a noble combat hast thou fought
Link: 5.2.43
Between compulsion and a brave respect!
Link: 5.2.44
Let me wipe off this honourable dew,
Link: 5.2.45
That silverly doth progress on thy cheeks:
Link: 5.2.46
My heart hath melted at a lady's tears,
Link: 5.2.47
Being an ordinary inundation;
Link: 5.2.48
But this effusion of such manly drops,
Link: 5.2.49
This shower, blown up by tempest of the soul,
Link: 5.2.50
Startles mine eyes, and makes me more amazed
Link: 5.2.51
Than had I seen the vaulty top of heaven
Link: 5.2.52
Figured quite o'er with burning meteors.
Link: 5.2.53
Lift up thy brow, renowned Salisbury,
Link: 5.2.54
And with a great heart heave away the storm:
Link: 5.2.55
Commend these waters to those baby eyes
Link: 5.2.56
That never saw the giant world enraged;
Link: 5.2.57
Nor met with fortune other than at feasts,
Link: 5.2.58
Full of warm blood, of mirth, of gossiping.
Link: 5.2.59
Come, come; for thou shalt thrust thy hand as deep
Link: 5.2.60
Into the purse of rich prosperity
Link: 5.2.61
As Lewis himself: so, nobles, shall you all,
Link: 5.2.62
That knit your sinews to the strength of mine.
Link: 5.2.63
And even there, methinks, an angel spake:
Link: 5.2.64
Look, where the holy legate comes apace,
Link: 5.2.65
To give us warrant from the hand of heaven
Link: 5.2.66
And on our actions set the name of right
Link: 5.2.67
With holy breath.
Link: 5.2.68

Hail, noble prince of France!
Link: 5.2.69
The next is this, King John hath reconciled
Link: 5.2.70
Himself to Rome; his spirit is come in,
Link: 5.2.71
That so stood out against the holy church,
Link: 5.2.72
The great metropolis and see of Rome:
Link: 5.2.73
Therefore thy threatening colours now wind up;
Link: 5.2.74
And tame the savage spirit of wild war,
Link: 5.2.75
That like a lion foster'd up at hand,
Link: 5.2.76
It may lie gently at the foot of peace,
Link: 5.2.77
And be no further harmful than in show.
Link: 5.2.78

Your grace shall pardon me, I will not back:
Link: 5.2.79
I am too high-born to be propertied,
Link: 5.2.80
To be a secondary at control,
Link: 5.2.81
Or useful serving-man and instrument,
Link: 5.2.82
To any sovereign state throughout the world.
Link: 5.2.83
Your breath first kindled the dead coal of wars
Link: 5.2.84
Between this chastised kingdom and myself,
Link: 5.2.85
And brought in matter that should feed this fire;
Link: 5.2.86
And now 'tis far too huge to be blown out
Link: 5.2.87
With that same weak wind which enkindled it.
Link: 5.2.88
You taught me how to know the face of right,
Link: 5.2.89
Acquainted me with interest to this land,
Link: 5.2.90
Yea, thrust this enterprise into my heart;
Link: 5.2.91
And come ye now to tell me John hath made
Link: 5.2.92
His peace with Rome? What is that peace to me?
Link: 5.2.93
I, by the honour of my marriage-bed,
Link: 5.2.94
After young Arthur, claim this land for mine;
Link: 5.2.95
And, now it is half-conquer'd, must I back
Link: 5.2.96
Because that John hath made his peace with Rome?
Link: 5.2.97
Am I Rome's slave? What penny hath Rome borne,
Link: 5.2.98
What men provided, what munition sent,
Link: 5.2.99
To underprop this action? Is't not I
Link: 5.2.100
That undergo this charge? who else but I,
Link: 5.2.101
And such as to my claim are liable,
Link: 5.2.102
Sweat in this business and maintain this war?
Link: 5.2.103
Have I not heard these islanders shout out
Link: 5.2.104
'Vive le roi!' as I have bank'd their towns?
Link: 5.2.105
Have I not here the best cards for the game,
Link: 5.2.106
To win this easy match play'd for a crown?
Link: 5.2.107
And shall I now give o'er the yielded set?
Link: 5.2.108
No, no, on my soul, it never shall be said.
Link: 5.2.109

You look but on the outside of this work.
Link: 5.2.110

Outside or inside, I will not return
Link: 5.2.111
Till my attempt so much be glorified
Link: 5.2.112
As to my ample hope was promised
Link: 5.2.113
Before I drew this gallant head of war,
Link: 5.2.114
And cull'd these fiery spirits from the world,
Link: 5.2.115
To outlook conquest and to win renown
Link: 5.2.116
Even in the jaws of danger and of death.
Link: 5.2.117
What lusty trumpet thus doth summon us?
Link: 5.2.118

Enter the BASTARD, attended

According to the fair play of the world,
Link: 5.2.119
Let me have audience; I am sent to speak:
Link: 5.2.120
My holy lord of Milan, from the king
Link: 5.2.121
I come, to learn how you have dealt for him;
Link: 5.2.122
And, as you answer, I do know the scope
Link: 5.2.123
And warrant limited unto my tongue.
Link: 5.2.124

The Dauphin is too wilful-opposite,
Link: 5.2.125
And will not temporize with my entreaties;
Link: 5.2.126
He flatly says he'll not lay down his arms.
Link: 5.2.127

By all the blood that ever fury breathed,
Link: 5.2.128
The youth says well. Now hear our English king;
Link: 5.2.129
For thus his royalty doth speak in me.
Link: 5.2.130
He is prepared, and reason too he should:
Link: 5.2.131
This apish and unmannerly approach,
Link: 5.2.132
This harness'd masque and unadvised revel,
Link: 5.2.133
This unhair'd sauciness and boyish troops,
Link: 5.2.134
The king doth smile at; and is well prepared
Link: 5.2.135
To whip this dwarfish war, these pigmy arms,
Link: 5.2.136
From out the circle of his territories.
Link: 5.2.137
That hand which had the strength, even at your door,
Link: 5.2.138
To cudgel you and make you take the hatch,
Link: 5.2.139
To dive like buckets in concealed wells,
Link: 5.2.140
To crouch in litter of your stable planks,
Link: 5.2.141
To lie like pawns lock'd up in chests and trunks,
Link: 5.2.142
To hug with swine, to seek sweet safety out
Link: 5.2.143
In vaults and prisons, and to thrill and shake
Link: 5.2.144
Even at the crying of your nation's crow,
Link: 5.2.145
Thinking his voice an armed Englishman;
Link: 5.2.146
Shall that victorious hand be feebled here,
Link: 5.2.147
That in your chambers gave you chastisement?
Link: 5.2.148
No: know the gallant monarch is in arms
Link: 5.2.149
And like an eagle o'er his aery towers,
Link: 5.2.150
To souse annoyance that comes near his nest.
Link: 5.2.151
And you degenerate, you ingrate revolts,
Link: 5.2.152
You bloody Neroes, ripping up the womb
Link: 5.2.153
Of your dear mother England, blush for shame;
Link: 5.2.154
For your own ladies and pale-visaged maids
Link: 5.2.155
Like Amazons come tripping after drums,
Link: 5.2.156
Their thimbles into armed gauntlets change,
Link: 5.2.157
Their needles to lances, and their gentle hearts
Link: 5.2.158
To fierce and bloody inclination.
Link: 5.2.159

There end thy brave, and turn thy face in peace;
Link: 5.2.160
We grant thou canst outscold us: fare thee well;
Link: 5.2.161
We hold our time too precious to be spent
Link: 5.2.162
With such a brabbler.
Link: 5.2.163

Give me leave to speak.
Link: 5.2.164

No, I will speak.
Link: 5.2.165

We will attend to neither.
Link: 5.2.166
Strike up the drums; and let the tongue of war
Link: 5.2.167
Plead for our interest and our being here.
Link: 5.2.168

Indeed your drums, being beaten, will cry out;
Link: 5.2.169
And so shall you, being beaten: do but start
Link: 5.2.170
An echo with the clamour of thy drum,
Link: 5.2.171
And even at hand a drum is ready braced
Link: 5.2.172
That shall reverberate all as loud as thine;
Link: 5.2.173
Sound but another, and another shall
Link: 5.2.174
As loud as thine rattle the welkin's ear
Link: 5.2.175
And mock the deep-mouth'd thunder: for at hand,
Link: 5.2.176
Not trusting to this halting legate here,
Link: 5.2.177
Whom he hath used rather for sport than need
Link: 5.2.178
Is warlike John; and in his forehead sits
Link: 5.2.179
A bare-ribb'd death, whose office is this day
Link: 5.2.180
To feast upon whole thousands of the French.
Link: 5.2.181

Strike up our drums, to find this danger out.
Link: 5.2.182

And thou shalt find it, Dauphin, do not doubt.
Link: 5.2.183


SCENE III. The field of battle.

Scene 3 of Act 5 of King John is a pivotal moment in the story as it centers around the death of the titular character. The scene takes place in the English camp and begins with King John receiving news of the French army's approach. John is already weakened from illness and the news further adds to his distress.

As John tries to rally his troops, he is approached by a nobleman named Pembroke who informs him that his son, Prince Henry, has been captured by the French. John is devastated by the news and begins to question his own abilities as a leader.

It is in this moment of vulnerability that John is visited by a monk who offers him solace and forgiveness for his past sins. John is moved by the monk's words and agrees to make amends for his past wrongdoings.

However, as John prepares to leave the camp to fight the French, he is suddenly struck by a fever and collapses. He is carried offstage and it is later revealed that he has died, leaving the English army in disarray.

The scene is significant not only for the death of King John but also for the way it portrays his internal struggle and eventual acceptance of his fate. It is a poignant reminder of the fleeting nature of power and the importance of repentance.

Alarums. Enter KING JOHN and HUBERT

How goes the day with us? O, tell me, Hubert.
Link: 5.3.1

Badly, I fear. How fares your majesty?
Link: 5.3.2

This fever, that hath troubled me so long,
Link: 5.3.3
Lies heavy on me; O, my heart is sick!
Link: 5.3.4

Enter a Messenger

My lord, your valiant kinsman, Faulconbridge,
Link: 5.3.5
Desires your majesty to leave the field
Link: 5.3.6
And send him word by me which way you go.
Link: 5.3.7

Tell him, toward Swinstead, to the abbey there.
Link: 5.3.8

Be of good comfort; for the great supply
Link: 5.3.9
That was expected by the Dauphin here,
Link: 5.3.10
Are wreck'd three nights ago on Goodwin Sands.
Link: 5.3.11
This news was brought to Richard but even now:
Link: 5.3.12
The French fight coldly, and retire themselves.
Link: 5.3.13

Ay me! this tyrant fever burns me up,
Link: 5.3.14
And will not let me welcome this good news.
Link: 5.3.15
Set on toward Swinstead: to my litter straight;
Link: 5.3.16
Weakness possesseth me, and I am faint.
Link: 5.3.17


SCENE IV. Another part of the field.

Scene 4 of Act 5 of this historic play depicts a crucial moment in the story. The scene takes place in a French camp where King John, the English king, and his army are preparing for a battle against the French. The Duke of Austria, who is on the French side, arrives in the camp to offer his support to the French army and to demand the return of his captured nephew, Arthur, who is being held by King John.

King John, who is already aware of the Duke's intentions, refuses to return Arthur and instead challenges the Duke to a one-on-one combat to settle the dispute. The Duke accepts the challenge, and the two men engage in a fierce battle. King John ultimately emerges victorious, killing the Duke in the process.

The scene is significant because it marks the climax of the play, with the death of the Duke of Austria symbolizing the end of the conflict between the English and the French. It also highlights the character of King John, who is portrayed as a skilled warrior and a ruthless leader who will do whatever it takes to maintain his power and control.


I did not think the king so stored with friends.
Link: 5.4.1

Up once again; put spirit in the French:
Link: 5.4.2
If they miscarry, we miscarry too.
Link: 5.4.3

That misbegotten devil, Faulconbridge,
Link: 5.4.4
In spite of spite, alone upholds the day.
Link: 5.4.5

They say King John sore sick hath left the field.
Link: 5.4.6

Enter MELUN, wounded

Lead me to the revolts of England here.
Link: 5.4.7

When we were happy we had other names.
Link: 5.4.8

It is the Count Melun.
Link: 5.4.9

Wounded to death.
Link: 5.4.10

Fly, noble English, you are bought and sold;
Link: 5.4.11
Unthread the rude eye of rebellion
Link: 5.4.12
And welcome home again discarded faith.
Link: 5.4.13
Seek out King John and fall before his feet;
Link: 5.4.14
For if the French be lords of this loud day,
Link: 5.4.15
He means to recompense the pains you take
Link: 5.4.16
By cutting off your heads: thus hath he sworn
Link: 5.4.17
And I with him, and many moe with me,
Link: 5.4.18
Upon the altar at Saint Edmundsbury;
Link: 5.4.19
Even on that altar where we swore to you
Link: 5.4.20
Dear amity and everlasting love.
Link: 5.4.21

May this be possible? may this be true?
Link: 5.4.22

Have I not hideous death within my view,
Link: 5.4.23
Retaining but a quantity of life,
Link: 5.4.24
Which bleeds away, even as a form of wax
Link: 5.4.25
Resolveth from his figure 'gainst the fire?
Link: 5.4.26
What in the world should make me now deceive,
Link: 5.4.27
Since I must lose the use of all deceit?
Link: 5.4.28
Why should I then be false, since it is true
Link: 5.4.29
That I must die here and live hence by truth?
Link: 5.4.30
I say again, if Lewis do win the day,
Link: 5.4.31
He is forsworn, if e'er those eyes of yours
Link: 5.4.32
Behold another day break in the east:
Link: 5.4.33
But even this night, whose black contagious breath
Link: 5.4.34
Already smokes about the burning crest
Link: 5.4.35
Of the old, feeble and day-wearied sun,
Link: 5.4.36
Even this ill night, your breathing shall expire,
Link: 5.4.37
Paying the fine of rated treachery
Link: 5.4.38
Even with a treacherous fine of all your lives,
Link: 5.4.39
If Lewis by your assistance win the day.
Link: 5.4.40
Commend me to one Hubert with your king:
Link: 5.4.41
The love of him, and this respect besides,
Link: 5.4.42
For that my grandsire was an Englishman,
Link: 5.4.43
Awakes my conscience to confess all this.
Link: 5.4.44
In lieu whereof, I pray you, bear me hence
Link: 5.4.45
From forth the noise and rumour of the field,
Link: 5.4.46
Where I may think the remnant of my thoughts
Link: 5.4.47
In peace, and part this body and my soul
Link: 5.4.48
With contemplation and devout desires.
Link: 5.4.49

We do believe thee: and beshrew my soul
Link: 5.4.50
But I do love the favour and the form
Link: 5.4.51
Of this most fair occasion, by the which
Link: 5.4.52
We will untread the steps of damned flight,
Link: 5.4.53
And like a bated and retired flood,
Link: 5.4.54
Leaving our rankness and irregular course,
Link: 5.4.55
Stoop low within those bounds we have o'erlook'd
Link: 5.4.56
And cabby run on in obedience
Link: 5.4.57
Even to our ocean, to our great King John.
Link: 5.4.58
My arm shall give thee help to bear thee hence;
Link: 5.4.59
For I do see the cruel pangs of death
Link: 5.4.60
Right in thine eye. Away, my friends! New flight;
Link: 5.4.61
And happy newness, that intends old right.
Link: 5.4.62

Exeunt, leading off MELUN

SCENE V. The French camp.

Scene 5 of Act 5 of King John takes place in a room in a castle.

Two characters, King John and Hubert, are discussing a plan to kill a young boy named Arthur who is a potential rival to King John's throne. Hubert, who has been ordered to carry out the murder, is hesitant and expresses his concern about the moral implications of the act.

King John, however, is determined to eliminate the threat and convinces Hubert to carry out the deed by offering him a reward. Hubert reluctantly agrees and leaves to carry out the murder.

As Hubert exits, a messenger arrives with news that the French army, led by King Philip, has landed on the English coast. King John is furious and orders his troops to prepare for battle.

As the scene ends, it is unclear whether Hubert has carried out the murder or if Arthur is still alive. The impending battle with the French adds a sense of urgency and tension to the scene, leaving the audience wondering what will happen next.

Enter LEWIS and his train

The sun of heaven methought was loath to set,
Link: 5.5.1
But stay'd and made the western welkin blush,
Link: 5.5.2
When English measure backward their own ground
Link: 5.5.3
In faint retire. O, bravely came we off,
Link: 5.5.4
When with a volley of our needless shot,
Link: 5.5.5
After such bloody toil, we bid good night;
Link: 5.5.6
And wound our tattering colours clearly up,
Link: 5.5.7
Last in the field, and almost lords of it!
Link: 5.5.8

Enter a Messenger

Where is my prince, the Dauphin?
Link: 5.5.9

Here: what news?
Link: 5.5.10

The Count Melun is slain; the English lords
Link: 5.5.11
By his persuasion are again fall'n off,
Link: 5.5.12
And your supply, which you have wish'd so long,
Link: 5.5.13
Are cast away and sunk on Goodwin Sands.
Link: 5.5.14

Ah, foul shrewd news! beshrew thy very heart!
Link: 5.5.15
I did not think to be so sad to-night
Link: 5.5.16
As this hath made me. Who was he that said
Link: 5.5.17
King John did fly an hour or two before
Link: 5.5.18
The stumbling night did part our weary powers?
Link: 5.5.19

Whoever spoke it, it is true, my lord.
Link: 5.5.20

Well; keep good quarter and good care to-night:
Link: 5.5.21
The day shall not be up so soon as I,
Link: 5.5.22
To try the fair adventure of to-morrow.
Link: 5.5.23


SCENE VI. An open place in the neighbourhood of Swinstead Abbey.

Scene 6 of Act 5 of King John begins with King John's army entering the French city of Angiers. The French citizens are wary of the English soldiers, but the Duke of Austria reassures them that the English will not harm them. King John then enters and is greeted by the citizens, who offer him their loyalty and support.

The French Dauphin enters with his army, ready to fight the English. The Duke of Austria challenges the Dauphin to a one-on-one battle, which the Dauphin accepts. However, before the battle can begin, a messenger arrives with news that the English nobles have turned against King John and are supporting his nephew, Arthur, as the rightful king.

King John is shocked by this news and begins to doubt his own power and legitimacy as king. He orders his army to retreat, and the French celebrate their victory.

The scene highlights the precarious nature of power and the importance of loyalty in maintaining it. It also showcases the themes of betrayal and the consequences of actions taken for personal gain.

Enter the BASTARD and HUBERT, severally

Who's there? speak, ho! speak quickly, or I shoot.
Link: 5.6.1

A friend. What art thou?
Link: 5.6.2

Of the part of England.
Link: 5.6.3

Whither dost thou go?
Link: 5.6.4

What's that to thee? why may not I demand
Link: 5.6.5
Of thine affairs, as well as thou of mine?
Link: 5.6.6

Hubert, I think?
Link: 5.6.7

Thou hast a perfect thought:
Link: 5.6.8
I will upon all hazards well believe
Link: 5.6.9
Thou art my friend, that know'st my tongue so well.
Link: 5.6.10
Who art thou?
Link: 5.6.11

Who thou wilt: and if thou please,
Link: 5.6.12
Thou mayst befriend me so much as to think
Link: 5.6.13
I come one way of the Plantagenets.
Link: 5.6.14

Unkind remembrance! thou and eyeless night
Link: 5.6.15
Have done me shame: brave soldier, pardon me,
Link: 5.6.16
That any accent breaking from thy tongue
Link: 5.6.17
Should 'scape the true acquaintance of mine ear.
Link: 5.6.18

Come, come; sans compliment, what news abroad?
Link: 5.6.19

Why, here walk I in the black brow of night,
Link: 5.6.20
To find you out.
Link: 5.6.21

Brief, then; and what's the news?
Link: 5.6.22

O, my sweet sir, news fitting to the night,
Link: 5.6.23
Black, fearful, comfortless and horrible.
Link: 5.6.24

Show me the very wound of this ill news:
Link: 5.6.25
I am no woman, I'll not swoon at it.
Link: 5.6.26

The king, I fear, is poison'd by a monk:
Link: 5.6.27
I left him almost speechless; and broke out
Link: 5.6.28
To acquaint you with this evil, that you might
Link: 5.6.29
The better arm you to the sudden time,
Link: 5.6.30
Than if you had at leisure known of this.
Link: 5.6.31

How did he take it? who did taste to him?
Link: 5.6.32

A monk, I tell you; a resolved villain,
Link: 5.6.33
Whose bowels suddenly burst out: the king
Link: 5.6.34
Yet speaks and peradventure may recover.
Link: 5.6.35

Who didst thou leave to tend his majesty?
Link: 5.6.36

Why, know you not? the lords are all come back,
Link: 5.6.37
And brought Prince Henry in their company;
Link: 5.6.38
At whose request the king hath pardon'd them,
Link: 5.6.39
And they are all about his majesty.
Link: 5.6.40

Withhold thine indignation, mighty heaven,
Link: 5.6.41
And tempt us not to bear above our power!
Link: 5.6.42
I'll tell tree, Hubert, half my power this night,
Link: 5.6.43
Passing these flats, are taken by the tide;
Link: 5.6.44
These Lincoln Washes have devoured them;
Link: 5.6.45
Myself, well mounted, hardly have escaped.
Link: 5.6.46
Away before: conduct me to the king;
Link: 5.6.47
I doubt he will be dead or ere I come.
Link: 5.6.48


SCENE VII. The orchard in Swinstead Abbey.

Scene 7 of Act 5 involves a dramatic confrontation between the two main characters. The King is trying to negotiate with his opponent, who has the upper hand. The opponent demands that the King give up his crown and submit to him as the new ruler. The King refuses, and a battle ensues. In the end, the King is victorious, but at a great cost. Many lives are lost, and the King is left to reflect on the consequences of his actions.

The scene is full of tension and conflict, as the two sides face off against each other. There is a sense of desperation on both sides, as they fight for what they believe is right. The dialogue is sharp and biting, with each character trying to outdo the other. It is a powerful scene that showcases the best of Shakespeare's writing, and it is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who reads it.

Overall, Scene 7 of Act 5 is a thrilling and intense moment in the play. It is a testament to Shakespeare's skill as a writer, and it is sure to leave readers on the edge of their seats. Whether you are a fan of Shakespeare or just looking for a great read, this scene is not to be missed.


It is too late: the life of all his blood
Link: 5.7.1
Is touch'd corruptibly, and his pure brain,
Link: 5.7.2
Which some suppose the soul's frail dwelling-house,
Link: 5.7.3
Doth by the idle comments that it makes
Link: 5.7.4
Foretell the ending of mortality.
Link: 5.7.5


His highness yet doth speak, and holds belief
Link: 5.7.6
That, being brought into the open air,
Link: 5.7.7
It would allay the burning quality
Link: 5.7.8
Of that fell poison which assaileth him.
Link: 5.7.9

Let him be brought into the orchard here.
Link: 5.7.10
Doth he still rage?
Link: 5.7.11


He is more patient
Link: 5.7.12
Than when you left him; even now he sung.
Link: 5.7.13

O vanity of sickness! fierce extremes
Link: 5.7.14
In their continuance will not feel themselves.
Link: 5.7.15
Death, having prey'd upon the outward parts,
Link: 5.7.16
Leaves them invisible, and his siege is now
Link: 5.7.17
Against the mind, the which he pricks and wounds
Link: 5.7.18
With many legions of strange fantasies,
Link: 5.7.19
Which, in their throng and press to that last hold,
Link: 5.7.20
Confound themselves. 'Tis strange that death
Link: 5.7.21
should sing.
Link: 5.7.22
I am the cygnet to this pale faint swan,
Link: 5.7.23
Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death,
Link: 5.7.24
And from the organ-pipe of frailty sings
Link: 5.7.25
His soul and body to their lasting rest.
Link: 5.7.26

Be of good comfort, prince; for you are born
Link: 5.7.27
To set a form upon that indigest
Link: 5.7.28
Which he hath left so shapeless and so rude.
Link: 5.7.29

Enter Attendants, and BIGOT, carrying KING JOHN in a chair

Ay, marry, now my soul hath elbow-room;
Link: 5.7.30
It would not out at windows nor at doors.
Link: 5.7.31
There is so hot a summer in my bosom,
Link: 5.7.32
That all my bowels crumble up to dust:
Link: 5.7.33
I am a scribbled form, drawn with a pen
Link: 5.7.34
Upon a parchment, and against this fire
Link: 5.7.35
Do I shrink up.
Link: 5.7.36

How fares your majesty?
Link: 5.7.37

Poison'd,--ill fare--dead, forsook, cast off:
Link: 5.7.38
And none of you will bid the winter come
Link: 5.7.39
To thrust his icy fingers in my maw,
Link: 5.7.40
Nor let my kingdom's rivers take their course
Link: 5.7.41
Through my burn'd bosom, nor entreat the north
Link: 5.7.42
To make his bleak winds kiss my parched lips
Link: 5.7.43
And comfort me with cold. I do not ask you much,
Link: 5.7.44
I beg cold comfort; and you are so strait
Link: 5.7.45
And so ingrateful, you deny me that.
Link: 5.7.46

O that there were some virtue in my tears,
Link: 5.7.47
That might relieve you!
Link: 5.7.48

The salt in them is hot.
Link: 5.7.49
Within me is a hell; and there the poison
Link: 5.7.50
Is as a fiend confined to tyrannize
Link: 5.7.51
On unreprievable condemned blood.
Link: 5.7.52

Enter the BASTARD

O, I am scalded with my violent motion,
Link: 5.7.53
And spleen of speed to see your majesty!
Link: 5.7.54

O cousin, thou art come to set mine eye:
Link: 5.7.55
The tackle of my heart is crack'd and burn'd,
Link: 5.7.56
And all the shrouds wherewith my life should sail
Link: 5.7.57
Are turned to one thread, one little hair:
Link: 5.7.58
My heart hath one poor string to stay it by,
Link: 5.7.59
Which holds but till thy news be uttered;
Link: 5.7.60
And then all this thou seest is but a clod
Link: 5.7.61
And module of confounded royalty.
Link: 5.7.62

The Dauphin is preparing hitherward,
Link: 5.7.63
Where heaven He knows how we shall answer him;
Link: 5.7.64
For in a night the best part of my power,
Link: 5.7.65
As I upon advantage did remove,
Link: 5.7.66
Were in the Washes all unwarily
Link: 5.7.67
Devoured by the unexpected flood.
Link: 5.7.68


You breathe these dead news in as dead an ear.
Link: 5.7.69
My liege! my lord! but now a king, now thus.
Link: 5.7.70

Even so must I run on, and even so stop.
Link: 5.7.71
What surety of the world, what hope, what stay,
Link: 5.7.72
When this was now a king, and now is clay?
Link: 5.7.73

Art thou gone so? I do but stay behind
Link: 5.7.74
To do the office for thee of revenge,
Link: 5.7.75
And then my soul shall wait on thee to heaven,
Link: 5.7.76
As it on earth hath been thy servant still.
Link: 5.7.77
Now, now, you stars that move in your right spheres,
Link: 5.7.78
Where be your powers? show now your mended faiths,
Link: 5.7.79
And instantly return with me again,
Link: 5.7.80
To push destruction and perpetual shame
Link: 5.7.81
Out of the weak door of our fainting land.
Link: 5.7.82
Straight let us seek, or straight we shall be sought;
Link: 5.7.83
The Dauphin rages at our very heels.
Link: 5.7.84

It seems you know not, then, so much as we:
Link: 5.7.85
The Cardinal Pandulph is within at rest,
Link: 5.7.86
Who half an hour since came from the Dauphin,
Link: 5.7.87
And brings from him such offers of our peace
Link: 5.7.88
As we with honour and respect may take,
Link: 5.7.89
With purpose presently to leave this war.
Link: 5.7.90

He will the rather do it when he sees
Link: 5.7.91
Ourselves well sinewed to our defence.
Link: 5.7.92

Nay, it is in a manner done already;
Link: 5.7.93
For many carriages he hath dispatch'd
Link: 5.7.94
To the sea-side, and put his cause and quarrel
Link: 5.7.95
To the disposing of the cardinal:
Link: 5.7.96
With whom yourself, myself and other lords,
Link: 5.7.97
If you think meet, this afternoon will post
Link: 5.7.98
To consummate this business happily.
Link: 5.7.99

Let it be so: and you, my noble prince,
Link: 5.7.100
With other princes that may best be spared,
Link: 5.7.101
Shall wait upon your father's funeral.
Link: 5.7.102

At Worcester must his body be interr'd;
Link: 5.7.103
For so he will'd it.
Link: 5.7.104

Thither shall it then:
Link: 5.7.105
And happily may your sweet self put on
Link: 5.7.106
The lineal state and glory of the land!
Link: 5.7.107
To whom with all submission, on my knee
Link: 5.7.108
I do bequeath my faithful services
Link: 5.7.109
And true subjection everlastingly.
Link: 5.7.110

And the like tender of our love we make,
Link: 5.7.111
To rest without a spot for evermore.
Link: 5.7.112

I have a kind soul that would give you thanks
Link: 5.7.113
And knows not how to do it but with tears.
Link: 5.7.114

O, let us pay the time but needful woe,
Link: 5.7.115
Since it hath been beforehand with our griefs.
Link: 5.7.116
This England never did, nor never shall,
Link: 5.7.117
Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror,
Link: 5.7.118
But when it first did help to wound itself.
Link: 5.7.119
Now these her princes are come home again,
Link: 5.7.120
Come the three corners of the world in arms,
Link: 5.7.121
And we shall shock them. Nought shall make us rue,
Link: 5.7.122
If England to itself do rest but true.
Link: 5.7.123