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King John: Act 5 Scene 4
Scene IV Another part of the field.
- [Enter SALISBURY, PEMBROKE, and BIGOT]
- I did not think the king so stored with friends.
- Up once again; put spirit in the French:
- If they miscarry, we miscarry too.
- That misbegotten devil, Faulconbridge,
- In spite of spite, alone upholds the day.
- They say King John sore sick hath left the field.
- [Enter MELUN, wounded]
- Lead me to the revolts of England here.
- When we were happy we had other names.
- It is the Count Melun.
- Wounded to death.
- Fly, noble English, you are bought and sold;
- Unthread the rude eye of rebellion
- And welcome home again discarded faith.
- Seek out King John and fall before his feet;
- For if the French be lords of this loud day,
- He means to recompense the pains you take
- By cutting off your heads: thus hath he sworn
- And I with him, and many moe with me,
- Upon the altar at Saint Edmundsbury;
- Even on that altar where we swore to you
- Dear amity and everlasting love.
- May this be possible? may this be true?
- Have I not hideous death within my view,
- Retaining but a quantity of life,
- Which bleeds away, even as a form of wax
- Resolveth from his figure 'gainst the fire?
- What in the world should make me now deceive,
- Since I must lose the use of all deceit?
- Why should I then be false, since it is true
- That I must die here and live hence by truth?
- I say again, if Lewis do win the day,
- He is forsworn, if e'er those eyes of yours
- Behold another day break in the east:
- But even this night, whose black contagious breath
- Already smokes about the burning crest
- Of the old, feeble and day-wearied sun,
- Even this ill night, your breathing shall expire,
- Paying the fine of rated treachery
- Even with a treacherous fine of all your lives,
- If Lewis by your assistance win the day.
- Commend me to one Hubert with your king:
- The love of him, and this respect besides,
- For that my grandsire was an Englishman,
- Awakes my conscience to confess all this.
- In lieu whereof, I pray you, bear me hence
- From forth the noise and rumour of the field,
- Where I may think the remnant of my thoughts
- In peace, and part this body and my soul
- With contemplation and devout desires.
- We do believe thee: and beshrew my soul
- But I do love the favour and the form
- Of this most fair occasion, by the which
- We will untread the steps of damned flight,
- And like a bated and retired flood,
- Leaving our rankness and irregular course,
- Stoop low within those bounds we have o'erlook'd
- And cabby run on in obedience
- Even to our ocean, to our great King John.
- My arm shall give thee help to bear thee hence;
- For I do see the cruel pangs of death
- Right in thine eye. Away, my friends! New flight;
- And happy newness, that intends old right.
- [Exeunt, leading off MELUN]