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Like a proud river peering o'er his bounds ?
Be these sad signs confirmers of thy words?
Then speak again; not all thy former tale,
But this one word, whether thy tale be true.
Sul. As true, as, I believe, you think them false, That give you cause to prove my saying true.
Const. O, if thou teach me to believe this sorrow, Teach thou this sorrow how to make me die ; And let belief and life encounter so, As doth the fury of two desperate men, Which, in the very meeting, fall, and die.Lewis marry Blanch! O, boy, then where art thou ? 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.
Sal. What other harm have I, good lady, done, But spoke the harm that is by others done?
Const. Which harm within itself so heinous is,
As it makes harmful all that speak of it.
Arth. I do beseech you, madam, be content.
Const. If thou, that bid'st me be content, wert
Ugly, and sland'rous to thy mother's womb,
Full of unpleasing blots, and sightless 22 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 may'st with lilies boast,
And with the half-blown rose : but fortune, O!
She is corrupted, chang’d, 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 bawd to theirs.
France is a bawd to fortune, and king John;
The strumpet fortune, that usurping John :-
Tell me, thou fellow, is not France forsworn ?
Envenom him with words; or get thee gone,
And leave those woes alone, which I alone,
Am bound to underbear.
Pardon me, madam,
I may not go without you to the kings.
Const. Thou may'st, thou shalt, I will not go with
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 assemble24; for my grief's 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 25.
[She throws herself on the ground, Enter King Joun, King Philip, Lewis, BLANCH,
ELINOR, 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 26 ;
Turning, with splendor 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 holyday.
Const. A wicked day, and not a holyday!--
What hath this day deserv'd? what hath it done;
That it in golden letters should be set,
Among the high tides, in the kalendar ?
Nay, rather, turn this day out of the week;
This day of shame, oppression, perjury:
Or, if it must stand still, let wives with child
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 beguil'd me 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 perjur'd 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 o 'twixt these perjur'd kings!
Hear me, O, hear me !
Lady Constance, peace. Const. War! war! no peace! peace is to me a
O Lymoges ! O Austria 28 ! thou dost shame
That bloody spoil: Thou slave, thou wretch, thou
Thou little valiant, great in villainy !
Thou ever strong upon
stronger side! Thou fortune's champion, that dost never fight But when her humourous ladyship is by To teach thee safety! thou art perjur'd too, And sooth'st up greatness. What a fool art 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
Bast. And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant
limbs 29. Aust. Thou dar’st not say so, villain, for 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.
Pand. Hail, you anointed deputies of heaven !
To thee, king John, my holy errand is.
I Pandulph, of fair Milan cardinal,
And from pope Innocent the legate here,
Do, in his name, religiously demand,
Why thou against the church, our holy mother,
So wilfully dost spurn; and, force perforce,
Keep Stephen Langton, chosen archbishop
Of Canterbury, from that holy see?
This, in our 'foresaid holy father's name,
Pope Innocent, I do demand of thee.
K. John. What earthly name to interrogatories so,
Can task the free breath of a sacred king?
Thou canst not, cardinal, devise a name
So slight, unworthy, and ridiculous,
To charge me to an answer, as the pope.
Tell him this tale ; and from the mouth of England,
Add thus much more,—That no Italian priest
Shall tithe or toll in our dominions ;
But as we under heaven are supreme head,
So, under him, that great supremacy,
Where we do reign, we will alone uphold,