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Juliet, ill. I : " Could not take truce witli the unruly spleen of Tybalt deaf
to peace."

2 lAirncntahle for lamentitif; ; the passive form with the active sense,
according to the old usage which I have often noted. See Much Ado, page
63, note II. — Kheum was used indifferently for tears, and for the secretions
of the nose and mouth.


ACT 111.

France friend with England ! what becomes of me ? —
Fellow, be gone : I cannot brook thy sight ;
This news hath made thee a most ugly man.

Sa/. What other harm have I, good lady, done,
But spoke the harm that is by others done ?

Co/is f. Which harm within itself so heinous is,
As it makes harmful all that speak of it.

Ar//i. I do beseech you, madam, be content.

Consf. If thou, that bidd'st me be content, wert grim.
Ugly, and slanderous to thy mother's womb,
Full of unpleasing blots and sightless ^ stains,
Lame, foolish, crooked, swart, prodigious,
Patch'd with foul moles and eye-offending marks,
I would not care, I then would be content ;
For then I should not love thee ; no, nor thou
Become thy great birth, nor deserve a crown.
But thou art fair ; and at thy birth, dear boy,
Nature and Fortune join'd to make thee great :
Of Nature's gifts thou mayst with lilies boast
And with the half-blown rose : but Fortune, O !
She is corrupted, changed, and won from thee ;
She adulterates hourly with thine uncle John ;
And with her golden hand hath pluck'd on France
To tread down fair respect of sovereignty.
And made his majesty the jjawd to theirs.
France is a bawd to Fortune and King John,
That harlot Fortune, that usurping John ! —
Tell me, thou fellow, is not France forsworn ?

3 Sightless for unsightly. The Poet has a like use of several other words ;
as in King Richard II., iv. i: "The bloody office of his timeless end."
— Swart, in the next line, is dark or swarthy, ^nd prodigious in the sense of
viisshapen or monstrous.


Envenom him with words ; or get thee gone,
And leave those woes alone which I alone
Am bound to under-bear.

Sal. Pardon mc, madam,

I may not go without you to the Kings.

Const. Thou mayst, thou shalt ; I will not go with thee :
I will instruct my sorrows to be proud ;
For grief is proud, and makes his owner stout.^
To me, and to the state of my great grief,
Let kings assemble ; for my griefs so great,
That no supporter but the huge firm Earth
Can hold it up : here I and sorrow sit ;
Here is my throne, bid kings come bow to it.

\Seats herself on the ground.

Enter King John, King Philip, Louis, Blanch, Elinor, the
Bastard, Austria, and Attendants.

K. Phi. 'Tis true, fair daughter ; and this blessed day
Ever in France shall be kept festival :
To solemnize this day the glorious Sun
Stays in his course, and plays the alchemist.
Turning with sj^lendour of his precious eye
The meagre cloddy earth to glittering gold :
The yearly course that brings this day about
Shall never see it but a holiday.

Const. \^Rising.'\ A wicked day, and not a holy day !
What hath this day deserved? what hath it done,

* Slout in a moral sense; that h, proud. — "Distress," says Jolinson,
" while there remains any prospect of relief, is weak and flexible ; but, when
no succour remains, is fearless and stubborn : angry alike at those that
injure, and at those that do not help; careless to jilease wh<T(' nothing can
be gained, and fearless to oflTend when there is nothing further to be



That it in goklen letters should be set
Among the high tides in the calendar P^
Nay, rather turn this day out of the week,
This day of shame, oppression, perjury :
Or, if it must stand still, let teeming wives
Pray that their burdens may not fall this day.
Lest that their hopes prodigiously be cross'd : ^
But''' on this day let seamen fear no wreck;
No bargains break that are not this day made :
This day, all things begun come to ill end ;
Yea, faith itself to hollow falsehood change !

K. Phi. By Heaven, lady, you shall have no cause
To curse the fair proceedings of this day :
Have I not pawn'd to you my majesty?

Const. You have beguiled mc with a counterfeit
Resembling majesty ; which, being touch'd and tried,
Proves valueless : you are forsworn, forsworn ;
You came in arms to spill mine enemies' blood.
But now in arms you strengthen it with yours :
The grappling vigour and rough frown of war
Is cold in amity and painted peace,
And our oppression hath made up this league. —
Arm, arm, you Heavens, against these perjured Kings !
A widow cries ; be husband to me, Heavens !
Let not the hours of this ungodly day
Wear out the day in peace ; but, ere sunset.
Set armed discord 'twixt these perjured Kings !
Hear me, O, hear me !

s " High tides of the calendar " arc times set down in the almanac to be
specially observed ; days marked for public honour and celebration.
C Lest their hopes be frustrated by monstrous births.
■? But in the exceptive sense ; from be out.


Aust. Lady Constance, peace !

Const. A\'ar ! war ! no peace ! peace is to me a war.
O Limoges ! O Austria ! thou dost shame
That bloody spoil : thou slave, thou wretch, thou coward !
Thou little valiant, great in villainy !
Thou ever strong upon the stronger side !
Thou Fortune's champion that dost never fight
But when her humorous ladyship is by
To teach thee safety ! thou art jjerjurcd too,
And soothest up greatness. What a fool wert thou,
A ramping fool, to brag, and stamp, and swear,
Upon my party !^ Thou cold-blooded slave,
Hast thou not spoke like thunder on my side ?
Been sworn my soldier? bidding me depend
Upon thy stars, thy fortune, and thy strength ?
And dost thou now fall over to my foes ?
Thou wear a lion's hide ! doff it for shame.
And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs.

Aust. O, that a man should^ speak those words to me !

Bast. And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs.

Aust. Thou darest not say so, villain, Ajr thy life.

Bast. And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs.

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

K. Phi. Here comes the holy legate of the Pope.

Entrr Pandulph, attended.
Band. Hail, you anointed deputies of Heaven !

8 Party {ox part ; th.it is, iide. Tlic two words were often used intcr-

* Should for would : the two being often used indiscriminately. Con-
stance means that Austria is a coward, and that a ca!fs-skin would fit him
better tlian a lion's.



To thee, King John, my holy errand is.

I Pandulph, of fair Milan Cardinal,

And from Pope Innocent the legate here,

Do in his name religiously demand.

Why thou against the Church, our holy mother,

So wilfully dost spurn, and, force i^erforce,!*^

Keep Stephen Langton, chosen Archbishop

Of Canterbury, from that holy see?

This, in our foresaid holy father's name.

Pope Innocent, I do demand of thee,

K.John. What earthly name to interrogatories

Can task the free breath of a sacred kina-?'!

Thou canst not. Cardinal, devise a name

So slight, unworthy, and ridiculous.

To charge me to an answer, as the Pope.

Tell him this tale ; and from the mouth of England

Add thus much more. That no Italian priest

Shall tithe or toll in our dominions ;

But as we, under Heaven, are supreme head,

So, under Him, that great supremacy,

Where we do reign, we will alone uphold.

Without th' assistance of a mortal hand :

So tell the Pope ; all reverence set apart

To him and his usurp'd authority.'-

K. Phi. Brother of England, you blaspheme in this.

10 Force v^nA perforce were often thus used together, merely to intensify
the expression. Cotgrave explains it, " of necessitie, will he nill he, in spite
of his teeth."

11 The order is, " What earthly name can task to interrogatories the free
breath," &c. ; meaning, simply, "what earthly power can hold a ivQu. king
responsible, or call him to account ? "

12 " All reverence to him and his usurp'd authority being set apart " ; that
is, cast olT.



K.John. Though you, and all the kings of Christendom,
Are led so grossly by this meddling priest.
Dreading the curse that money may buy out ;
And by the merit of vile gold, dross, dust,
Purchase corrupted pardon of a man.
Who in that sale sells pardon from himself;
Though you and all the rest, so grossly led,
This juggling witchcraft with revenue cherish ;
Yet I, alone, alone do me oppose
Against the Pope, and count his friends my foes.

Pand. Then, by the lawful power that I have,
Thou shalt stand cursed and excommunicate :
And blessed shall he be that doth revolt
From his allegiance to an heretic ;
And meritorious shall that hand be call'd,
Can6niz(^d, and worshipp'd as a saint,
That takes away by any secret course
Thy hateful life.

Const. O, lawful let it be

That I have room with Rome to curse awhile !
Good father Cardinal, cry thou amen
To my keen curses ; for without my wrong
There is no tongue hath power to curse liim right.

Pand. There's law and warrant, lady, for my curse.

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

Pand. Piiilip of I'rance, on i>eril of a curse,
Let go the hand of that arch-heretic ;



And raise the power of France upon his head,
Unless he do submit himself to Rome.

Eli. Look'st thou pale, France ? do not let go thy hand.

Const. Look to that, devil; lest that France repent,.
And by disjoining hands. Hell lose a soul.

Aust. King Philip, listen to the Cardinal.

Bast. And hang a calfs-skin un his recreant limbs.

Aust. ^^'cll, ruffian, I must pocket up these wrongs,
Because —

Bast. Your breeclies best may carry them.

K.John. Philip, what say'st thou to the Cardinal?

Cotist. What should he say, but as the Cardinal?

Lou. Bethink you, father; for the difference
Is, purchase of a heavy curse from Rome,
Or the light loss of England for a friend :
Forgo the easier.

Blanch. Tliat's the curse of Rome.

Const. O Louis, stand fast ! the Devil tempts thee here
In likeness of a new-uptrimmed bride.

Blanch. The Lady Constance speaks not from her faith.
But from her need.

Const. O, if thou grant my need,

Which only lives but by the death of faith,
That need must needs infer this principle,
That faith would live again by death of need !
O, then, tread down my need, and faith mounts up ;
Keep my need up, and faith is trodden down !

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

Cotist. O, be removed from him, and answer well !

Aust. Do so, King Philip ; hang no more in doubt.

Bast. Hang nothing but a calPs-skin, most sweet lout.

K. Phi. I am perplcx'd, and know not what to say.



Pa7id. What canst thou say but will perplex thee more,
If thou stand excommunicate and cursed?

K. Phi. Good reverend father, make my person yours,
And tell me liow you would bestow yourself.
This royal hand and mine are newly knit,
And the conjunction of our inward souls
Married in league, coupled and link'd together
With all religious strength of sacred vows \
The latest breath that gave the sound of words
Was deep-sworn faith, peace, amity, true love
Between our kingdoms and our royal selves ;
And even before this truce, but new before, —
No longer tiian we well could wash our hands,
To clap this royal bargain up of peace, —
Heaven knows, they were besmear'd and overstain'd
With slaughter's pencil, where revenge did paint
The fearful difference of incensed kings :
And shall these hands, so lately purged of blood,
So newly join'd in love, so strong in bolh,'^
Unyoke this seizure and this kind regreet?'"*
Play fast and loose with faith? so jest with Heaven,
Make such unconstant children of ourselves.
As now again to snatch our j^alm from palm ;
Unswear faitii sworn ; and on the marriage-bed
Of smiling peace to march a bloody host,
And make a riot on the gentle brow
Of true sincerity? O, holy sir,
My reverend father, let it not be so !
Out of your grace, devise, ortlain, impose

" So strong both in deeds ^/bloorl and in deeds of\o\<i.
l< Regrect here means interchange of salutation.


Some gentle order ; then we shall be blest
To do your pleasure, and continue friends,

Pand. All form is formless, order orderless,
Save what is opposite to England's love.
Therefore, to arms ! be champion of our Church !
Or let the Church, our mother, breathe her curse, —
A mother's curse, — on her revolting son.
France, thou mayst hold a serpent by the tongue,
A chafed lion by the mortal '^ p-^^^^
A fasting tiger safer by the tooth.
Than keep in peace that hand which thou dost hold.

K. Phi. I may disjoin my hand, but not my faith.

Pand. So makest thou faith an enemy to faith ;
And, like a civil war, sett'st oath to oath.
Thy tongue against thy tongue. O, let thy vow
First made to Heaven, first be to Heaven perform'd ;
That is, to be the champion of our Church !
What since thou sworest is sworn against thyself,
And may not be performed by thyself:
For that which thou hast sworn to do amiss
Is most amiss when it is truly done ;
And being not done, where doing tends to ill.
The truth is then most done, not doing it : ^^
The better act of purposes mistook
Is to mistake again ; though indirect.
Yet indirection thereby grows direct,

15 Mortal is deadly, that which kills. Commonly so in Shakespeare.
The venom of serpents, or snakes, was formerly supposed to be seated in
the tongue; and snakes in general were held to be poisonous.

16 A specimen of argument in converso. "On the one hand, the wrong
which you have sworn to do, is most wrong when your oath is truly per-
formed ; on the other hand, when a proposed act tends to ill, the truth is
most done by leaving the act undone."



And falsehood falsehood cures ; as fire cools fire

Within the scorched veins of one new-burn'd.^'

It is religion that doth make vows kept :

But thou hast sworn against religion ;

By which thou swear'st against the thing thou swear'st,

And makest an oath — the surety for thy truth —

Against an oath, — the test thou art unsure.^^

Who swears, swears only not to be forsworn ;

Else what a mockery should it be to swear !

But thou dost swear only to be forsworn ;

And most forsworn, to keep what thou dost swear.^^

Therefore thy later vow against thy first

Is in thyself rebellion to thyself ; •

And better conquest never canst thou make

Than arm thy constant and thy nobler parts

Against these giddy-loose suggestions i^"

Upon which better part our prayers come in,

If thou vouchsafe them ; but if not, then know

The peril of our curses light-^ on thee.

So heavy as thou shalt not shake them off,

But in despair die under their black weight.

1' llic Poet has several references to tlic mode of curing a burn by hold-
ing the burnt place up to the fire. So in Romeo and Juliet, i. 2; "Tut,
man, one fire burns out another's burning." .\nd in jfulius Gcsar, iii. i :
" As fire drives out fire, so pity, pity."

>* " liy which act, thou swcarest against the thing thou swearest by ;
and, by setting an oath against an oath, thou makest that which is the surety
for thy truth the proof that thou art untru'-." See Critical Notes.

•' That is, " ill keeping that which lliou dost swear." An instance of the
infinitive used gcrundively. Sec yiilius Cecsar, page 137, note 2.

2" Sui^,^'estionj, as usual in Shakespeare, for temptations or seductions.
Sec T/ie Tempest, patjc 89, note 53.

^2' An instance of false concord ; the verb agreeing with the nearest sub-
stantive, curses, instead of with the proper subject, /er//.



J//S/. Rebellion, flat rebellion !

^'?->-/'. Will'tnotbe?

Will not a calfs-skin stop that mouth of thine ?

Lou. Father, to arms !

Blanch. Upon thy wedding-day?

Against the blood that thou hast married ?
What, shall our feast be kept with slaughter'd men?
Shall braying trumpets and loud churlish drums —
Clamours of Hell — be measures to our pomp?
O husband, hear me ! — ah, alack, how new
Is husband in my mouth ! — even for that name,
AVhich till this time my tongue did ne'er pronounce.
Upon my«l-:nce, 1 beg, go not to arms
Against mine uncle.

Const. O, upon my knee,

Made hard with kneeling, I do pray to thee,
Thou virtuous Dauphin, alter not the doom
Forethought by Heaven !

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

Const. That which upholdeth him that thee upholds.
His honour : — O, thine honour, Louis, thine honour !

Lou. I muse ~~ your Majesty doth seem so cold.
When such profound respects do pull you on.
Pand. I will denounce a curse upon his head.
K. Phi. Thou shalt not need. — England, Fll fall from

Const. O fair return of banish'd majesty !
Eli. O foul revolt of French inconstancy !

22 Muse for wonder. Often so. — Respects, in the next line, is considers
lions; a frequent usage. See Afuch Ado, page 63, note 10.



K.John. France, thou shalt me this hour within this

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

Blanch. The Sun's o'ercast with blood : fair day, adieu 1
Which is the side that I must go withal ?
I am with both : each army hath a hand ;
And in their rage, I having hold of both.
They whirl asunder and dismember me. —
Husband, I cannot pray that thou mayst win; —
Uncle, I needs must pray that thou mayst lose ; —
Father, I may not wish the fortune thine ; —
Grandam, I will not wish thy wishes thrive : — •
Whoever wins, on that side shall I lose ;
Assured loss before the match be play'd.

Lou. Lady, with me ; with me thy fortune lies.

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

K.JoJin. C'ousin, go draw our puissance together. —

\_Exit Bastard.
France, I am burn'd up witli inflaming wrath ;
A rage whose heat hath this condition,
That nothing can allay't, notliing but blood,
The best and dearest-valued blood of France.

K. Phi. Thy rage shall burn thee up, and thoti shalt turn
To ashes, ere our blood shall ([Mench that fire :
Look to thyself, thou art in jcojjardy.

K.John. No more than he that threats. — To arms let's
hie ! \_Excunt, severally, iJic English and French

Kings, ^c.



Scene II. — TIic Same. P/ains near A;m'ers.

Alarums, excursions. Enter the Bastard, with Austria's


Bast. Now, by my life, this day grows wondrous hot ;
Some fiery devil hovers in the sky,
And pours down mischief. — Austria's head lie there.
While Philip breathes.

Enter King John, Arthur, and Hubert.

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

Bast. My lord, I rescued her ;

Her Highness is in safety, fear you not :
But on, my liege ; for very little pains
Will bring this labour to an happy end. \_Exeunt.

Scene III. — The Same. Another Part of the Plains.

Alarums, excursions, retreat. Enter King John, Elinor,
Arthur, the Bastard, Hubert, and Lords.

K.John. [7<? Elinor.] So shall it be; your Grace shall

stay behind,
More strongly guarded. — \To Arthur.] Cousin, look not

sad :
Thy grandam loves thee ; and thy uncle will
As dear be to thee as thy father was.

1 Make -up is an old military term for advance. — Here John calls the
Bastard Philip, notwithstanding lie has knighted him as Sir Richard, and
has before called him by the latter name.


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

K. John. \To the Bast.] Cousin, away for England ; haste
before :
And, ere our coming, see thou shake the bags
Of hoarding abbots ; set at liberty
Imprison'd angels : - the fat ribs of peace
Must by the hungry war be fed upon :
Use our commission in his utmost force.

Bast. Bell, book, and candle ^ shall not drive me back,
AVhen gold and silver becks me to come on.
I leave your Highness. — Grandam, I will pray —
If ever I remember to be holy —
For your fair safety ; so, I kiss your hand.

Eli. Farewell, gentle cousin.

K.John. Coz, farewell.

\_Exit Bastard.

Eli. Come hither, litllc kinsman ; hark, a word.

S^Takcs Arthur aside.

K.John. Come hither, Hubert. O my gentle Hubert,
We owe thee much ! within tliis wall of flesh
There is a soul counts thee her creditor.
And with advantage means to pay thy love :
And, my good friend, thy voluntary oath
Lives in this bosom, dearly cherished.

' The gold coin so namrd. See page 74, note 65.

• Alluding to the old forms used in pronouncing the final curse of cxcom-
munication. On such occasions, the bishop and clergy went into the church,
with a cross borne before tl)em, and with several waxen tajjers lighted. At
the climax of the cursing, the tapers were extinguished, witii a prayer that
the soul of the excommunicate might be " given over utterly to the power
of the fiend, as this candle is now quenched and put out." What with these
things, and what with the tolling of bells and the using of books, it was an
appalling ceremony.


Give me thy hand. I had a thing to say, —
But I will fit it with some better time.
By Heaven, Hubert, I'm almost ashamed
To say what good respect I have of thee.

/////'. I am much bounden to your Majesty.

K. John. Good friend, thou hast no cause to say so yet :
But thou shalt have ; and, creep time ne'er so slow,
Yet it shall come for me to do thee good.
I had a thing to say, — but let it go :
The Sun is in the heaven, and the proud day,
Attended with the pleasures of the world,
Is all too wanton and too full of gauds
To give me audience : if the midnight bell
Did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth,
Sound one ^ into the drowsy ear of night ;
If this same were a churchyard where we stand,
And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs ;
Or if that surly spirit, melancholy.
Had baked thy blood, and made it heavy-thick.
Which else runs tickling up and down the veins.
Making that idiot, laughter, keep men's eyes.
And strain their cheeks to idle merriment,
A passion hateful to my purposes ;
Or if that thou couldst see me without eyes.
Hear me without thine ears, and make reply
Without a tongue, using conceit alone.
Without eyes, ears, and harmful sound of words ;

^ Tliere is an apparent discrepancy here between midnight and sound
one. But such notes of inexactness were not uncommon in all sorts of
writing. So in The Famous History of Doctor Faitstus, quoted by Dyce :
" It Iiapjjened that, betweene twelve and one a clocke at midnight, there
ble\v a mighty storme of winde against the house."


Then, in despite of brooded •'' watcliful day,
I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts :
But, ah, I will not ! yet T love thee well ;
And, by my troth, I think thou lovest me well.

Hub. So well, that what you bid me undertake,
Though that my death were adjunct to my act,
By Heaven, I'd do't.

K. John. Do not I know thou wouldst?

Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert, throw thine eye
On yon young boy : I'll tell thee what, my friend.
He is a very serpent in my way ;
And, wheresoe'er this foot of mine doth tread,
He lies before me : dost thou understand me ?
Thou art his keeper.

Jlul>. And I'll keep him so.

That he shall not offend your Majesty.

K. John. Death.

Hub. My lord?

K. John. A grave.

Hub. He shall not live.

K. John. Enough.

I could be merry now. ?Iubert, I love thee ;
Well, I'll not say what I intend for thee :
Remember. — Madam, fare you well :
I'll send those powers o'er to your Majesty.

Eli. My blessing go with thee !

K.John. For l''.ngland, cousin, go:

Hubert shall be your man, t' attend on you
With all true cluty. — On toward Calais, ho ! \_Exeunt.

* Drooded for broodini^', under the old indiscriminate use of .ictivc and
passive forms. See Ttrnpat, page 135. note 10. — Milton lias a like expres-
sion in Ills /,', \ll,-i^ro : " I'ind out sonic uncouth cell, wiicrc iroodinj^ dvitkncss
spreads his jealous wings."


Scene IV. — Tlie Same. The French King's Tent
Enter King Philip, Louis, Pandulph, and Attendants.

A'. Phi. So, by a roaring tempest on the flood,
A whole armado of convented ' sail
Is scatter'd and disjoin'd from fellowship.

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