Fra. England thou hast not sau'd one drop of blood In this hot triall more then we of France, Rather lost more. And by this hand I sweare That swayes the earth this Climate ouer-lookes, Before we will lay downe our iust-borne Armes, Wee'l put thee downe, 'gainst whom these Armes wee beare, Or adde a royall number to the dead: Gracing the scroule that tels of this warres losse, With slaughter coupled to the name of kings

Bast. Ha Maiesty: how high thy glory towres, When the rich blood of kings is set on fire: Oh now doth death line his dead chaps with steele, The swords of souldiers are his teeth, his phangs, And now he feasts, mousing the flesh of men In vndetermin'd differences of kings. Why stand these royall fronts amazed thus: Cry hauocke kings, backe to the stained field You equall Potents, fierie kindled spirits, Then let confusion of one part confirm The others peace: till then, blowes, blood, and death

Iohn. Whose party do the Townesmen yet admit? Fra. Speake Citizens for England, whose your king

Hub. The king of England, when we know the king

Fra. Know him in vs, that heere hold vp his right

Iohn. In Vs, that are our owne great Deputie, And beare possession of our Person heere, Lord of our presence Angiers, and of you

Fra. A greater powre then We denies all this, And till it be vndoubted, we do locke Our former scruple in our strong barr'd gates: Kings of our feare, vntill our feares resolu'd Be by some certaine king, purg'd and depos'd

Bast. By heauen, these scroyles of Angiers flout you kings, And stand securely on their battelments, As in a Theater, whence they gape and point At your industrious Scenes and acts of death. Your Royall presences be rul'd by mee, Do like the Mutines of Ierusalem, Be friends a-while, and both conioyntly bend Your sharpest Deeds of malice on this Towne. By East and West let France and England mount. Their battering Canon charged to the mouthes, Till their soule-fearing clamours haue braul'd downe The flintie ribbes of this contemptuous Citie, I'de play incessantly vpon these Iades, Euen till vnfenced desolation Leaue them as naked as the vulgar ayre: That done, disseuer your vnited strengths, And part your mingled colours once againe, Turne face to face, and bloody point to point: Then in a moment Fortune shall cull forth Out of one side her happy Minion, To whom in fauour she shall giue the day, And kisse him with a glorious victory: How like you this wilde counsell mighty States, Smackes it not something of the policie

Iohn. Now by the sky that hangs aboue our heads, I like it well. France, shall we knit our powres, And lay this Angiers euen with the ground, Then after fight who shall be king of it? Bast. And if thou hast the mettle of a king, Being wrong'd as we are by this peeuish Towne: Turne thou the mouth of thy Artillerie, As we will ours, against these sawcie walles, And when that we haue dash'd them to the ground, Why then defie each other, and pell-mell, Make worke vpon our selues, for heauen or hell

Fra. Let it be so: say, where will you assault? Iohn. We from the West will send destruction Into this Cities bosome

Aust. I from the North

Fran. Our Thunder from the South, Shall raine their drift of bullets on this Towne

Bast. O prudent discipline! From North to South: Austria and France shoot in each others mouth. Ile stirre them to it: Come, away, away

Hub. Heare vs great kings, vouchsafe awhile to stay And I shall shew you peace, and faire-fac'd league: Win you this Citie without stroke, or wound, Rescue those breathing liues to dye in beds, That heere come sacrifices for the field. Perseuer not, but heare me mighty kings

The life and death of King John Page 10

William Shakespeare Plays

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