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King John: Act 5 Scene 2
Scene II LEWIS's camp at St. Edmundsbury.
- [Enter, in arms, LEWIS, SALISBURY, MELUN, PEMBROKE,
- BIGOT, and Soldiers]
- My Lord Melun, let this be copied out,
- And keep it safe for our remembrance:
- Return the precedent to these lords again;
- That, having our fair order written down,
- Both they and we, perusing o'er these notes,
- May know wherefore we took the sacrament
- And keep our faiths firm and inviolable.
- Upon our sides it never shall be broken.
- And, noble Dauphin, albeit we swear
- A voluntary zeal and an unurged faith
- To your proceedings; yet believe me, prince,
- I am not glad that such a sore of time
- Should seek a plaster by contemn'd revolt,
- And heal the inveterate canker of one wound
- By making many. O, it grieves my soul,
- That I must draw this metal from my side
- To be a widow-maker! O, and there
- Where honourable rescue and defence
- Cries out upon the name of Salisbury!
- But such is the infection of the time,
- That, for the health and physic of our right,
- We cannot deal but with the very hand
- Of stern injustice and confused wrong.
- And is't not pity, O my grieved friends,
- That we, the sons and children of this isle,
- Were born to see so sad an hour as this;
- Wherein we step after a stranger march
- Upon her gentle bosom, and fill up
- Her enemies' ranks,--I must withdraw and weep
- Upon the spot of this enforced cause,--
- To grace the gentry of a land remote,
- And follow unacquainted colours here?
- What, here? O nation, that thou couldst remove!
- That Neptune's arms, who clippeth thee about,
- Would bear thee from the knowledge of thyself,
- And grapple thee unto a pagan shore;
- Where these two Christian armies might combine
- The blood of malice in a vein of league,
- And not to spend it so unneighbourly!
- A noble temper dost thou show in this;
- And great affections wrestling in thy bosom
- Doth make an earthquake of nobility.
- O, what a noble combat hast thou fought
- Between compulsion and a brave respect!
- Let me wipe off this honourable dew,
- That silverly doth progress on thy cheeks:
- My heart hath melted at a lady's tears,
- Being an ordinary inundation;
- But this effusion of such manly drops,
- This shower, blown up by tempest of the soul,
- Startles mine eyes, and makes me more amazed
- Than had I seen the vaulty top of heaven
- Figured quite o'er with burning meteors.
- Lift up thy brow, renowned Salisbury,
- And with a great heart heave away the storm:
- Commend these waters to those baby eyes
- That never saw the giant world enraged;
- Nor met with fortune other than at feasts,
- Full of warm blood, of mirth, of gossiping.
- Come, come; for thou shalt thrust thy hand as deep
- Into the purse of rich prosperity
- As Lewis himself: so, nobles, shall you all,
- That knit your sinews to the strength of mine.
- And even there, methinks, an angel spake:
- [Enter CARDINAL PANDULPH]
- Look, where the holy legate comes apace,
- To give us warrant from the hand of heaven
- And on our actions set the name of right
- With holy breath.
- CARDINAL PANDULPH
- Hail, noble prince of France!
- The next is this, King John hath reconciled
- Himself to Rome; his spirit is come in,
- That so stood out against the holy church,
- The great metropolis and see of Rome:
- Therefore thy threatening colours now wind up;
- And tame the savage spirit of wild war,
- That like a lion foster'd up at hand,
- It may lie gently at the foot of peace,
- And be no further harmful than in show.
- Your grace shall pardon me, I will not back:
- I am too high-born to be propertied,
- To be a secondary at control,
- Or useful serving-man and instrument,
- To any sovereign state throughout the world.
- Your breath first kindled the dead coal of wars
- Between this chastised kingdom and myself,
- And brought in matter that should feed this fire;
- And now 'tis far too huge to be blown out
- With that same weak wind which enkindled it.
- You taught me how to know the face of right,
- Acquainted me with interest to this land,
- Yea, thrust this enterprise into my heart;
- And come ye now to tell me John hath made
- His peace with Rome? What is that peace to me?
- I, by the honour of my marriage-bed,
- After young Arthur, claim this land for mine;
- And, now it is half-conquer'd, must I back
- Because that John hath made his peace with Rome?
- Am I Rome's slave? What penny hath Rome borne,
- What men provided, what munition sent,
- To underprop this action? Is't not I
- That undergo this charge? who else but I,
- And such as to my claim are liable,
- Sweat in this business and maintain this war?
- Have I not heard these islanders shout out
- 'Vive le roi!' as I have bank'd their towns?
- Have I not here the best cards for the game,
- To win this easy match play'd for a crown?
- And shall I now give o'er the yielded set?
- No, no, on my soul, it never shall be said.
- CARDINAL PANDULPH
- You look but on the outside of this work.
- Outside or inside, I will not return
- Till my attempt so much be glorified
- As to my ample hope was promised
- Before I drew this gallant head of war,
- And cull'd these fiery spirits from the world,
- To outlook conquest and to win renown
- Even in the jaws of danger and of death.
- [Trumpet sounds]
- What lusty trumpet thus doth summon us?
- [Enter the BASTARD, attended]
- According to the fair play of the world,
- Let me have audience; I am sent to speak:
- My holy lord of Milan, from the king
- I come, to learn how you have dealt for him;
- And, as you answer, I do know the scope
- And warrant limited unto my tongue.
- CARDINAL PANDULPH
- The Dauphin is too wilful-opposite,
- And will not temporize with my entreaties;
- He flatly says he'll not lay down his arms.
- By all the blood that ever fury breathed,
- The youth says well. Now hear our English king;
- For thus his royalty doth speak in me.
- He is prepared, and reason too he should:
- This apish and unmannerly approach,
- This harness'd masque and unadvised revel,
- This unhair'd sauciness and boyish troops,
- The king doth smile at; and is well prepared
- To whip this dwarfish war, these pigmy arms,
- From out the circle of his territories.
- That hand which had the strength, even at your door,
- To cudgel you and make you take the hatch,
- To dive like buckets in concealed wells,
- To crouch in litter of your stable planks,
- To lie like pawns lock'd up in chests and trunks,
- To hug with swine, to seek sweet safety out
- In vaults and prisons, and to thrill and shake
- Even at the crying of your nation's crow,
- Thinking his voice an armed Englishman;
- Shall that victorious hand be feebled here,
- That in your chambers gave you chastisement?
- No: know the gallant monarch is in arms
- And like an eagle o'er his aery towers,
- To souse annoyance that comes near his nest.
- And you degenerate, you ingrate revolts,
- You bloody Neroes, ripping up the womb
- Of your dear mother England, blush for shame;
- For your own ladies and pale-visaged maids
- Like Amazons come tripping after drums,
- Their thimbles into armed gauntlets change,
- Their needles to lances, and their gentle hearts
- To fierce and bloody inclination.
- There end thy brave, and turn thy face in peace;
- We grant thou canst outscold us: fare thee well;
- We hold our time too precious to be spent
- With such a brabbler.
- CARDINAL PANDULPH
- Give me leave to speak.
- No, I will speak.
- We will attend to neither.
- Strike up the drums; and let the tongue of war
- Plead for our interest and our being here.
- Indeed your drums, being beaten, will cry out;
- And so shall you, being beaten: do but start
- An echo with the clamour of thy drum,
- And even at hand a drum is ready braced
- That shall reverberate all as loud as thine;
- Sound but another, and another shall
- As loud as thine rattle the welkin's ear
- And mock the deep-mouth'd thunder: for at hand,
- Not trusting to this halting legate here,
- Whom he hath used rather for sport than need
- Is warlike John; and in his forehead sits
- A bare-ribb'd death, whose office is this day
- To feast upon whole thousands of the French.
- Strike up our drums, to find this danger out.
- And thou shalt find it, Dauphin, do not doubt.