Actus Tertius, Scaena prima.

Enter King Iohn, France, Dolphin, Blanch, Elianor, Philip, Austria, Constance.

Fran. 'Tis true (faire daughter) and this blessed day, Euer in France shall be kept festiuall: To solemnize this day the glorious sunne Stayes in his course, and playes the Alchymist, Turning with splendor of his precious eye The meager cloddy earth to glittering gold: The yearely course that brings this day about, Shall neuer see it, but a holy day

Const. A wicked day, and not a holy day. What hath this day deseru'd? what hath it done, That it in golden letters should be set Among the high tides in the Kalender? Nay, rather turne this day out of the weeke, This day of shame, oppression, periury. Or if it must stand still, let wiues with childe Pray that their burthens may not fall this day, Lest that their hopes prodigiously be crost: But (on this day) let Sea-men feare no wracke, No bargaines breake that are not this day made; This day all things begun, come to ill end, Yea, faith it selfe to hollow falshood change

Fra. By heauen Lady, you shall haue no cause To curse the faire proceedings of this day: Haue I not pawn'd to you my Maiesty? Const. You haue beguil'd me with a counterfeit Resembling Maiesty, which being touch'd and tride, Proues valuelesse: you are forsworne, forsworne, You came in Armes to spill mine enemies bloud, But now in Armes, you strengthen it with yours. The grapling vigor, and rough frowne of Warre Is cold in amitie, and painted peace, And our oppression hath made vp this league: Arme, arme, you heauens, against these periur'd Kings, A widdow cries, be husband to me (heauens) Let not the howres of this vngodly day Weare out the daies in Peace; but ere Sun-set, Set armed discord 'twixt these periur'd Kings, Heare me, Oh, heare me

Aust. Lady Constance, peace

Const. War, war, no peace, peace is to me a warre: O Lymoges, O Austria, thou dost shame That bloudy spoyle: thou slaue, thou wretch, y coward, Thou little valiant, great in villanie, Thou euer strong vpon the stronger side; Thou Fortunes Champion, that do'st neuer fight But when her humourous Ladiship is by To teach thee safety: thou art periur'd too, And sooth'st vp greatnesse. What a foole art thou, A ramping foole, to brag, and stamp, and sweare, Vpon my partie: thou cold blooded slaue, Hast thou not spoke like thunder on my side? Beene sworne my Souldier, bidding me depend Vpon thy starres, thy fortune, and thy strength, And dost thou now fall ouer to my foes? Thou weare a Lyons hide, doff it for shame, And hang a Calues skin on those recreant limbes

Aus. O that a man should speake those words to me

Phil. And hang a Calues-skin on those recreant limbs Aus. Thou dar'st not say so villaine for thy life

Phil. And hang a Calues-skin on those recreant limbs

Iohn. We like not this, thou dost forget thy selfe. Enter Pandulph.

Fra. Heere comes the holy Legat of the Pope

Pan. Haile you annointed deputies of heauen; To thee King Iohn my holy errand is: I Pandulph, of faire Millane Cardinall, And from Pope Innocent the Legate heere, Doe in his name religiously demand Why thou against the Church, our holy Mother, So wilfully dost spurne; and force perforce Keepe Stephen Langton chosen Archbishop Of Canterbury from that holy Sea: This in our foresaid holy Fathers name Pope Innocent, I doe demand of thee

The life and death of King John Page 14

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