Iohn. What earthie name to Interrogatories Can tast the free breath of a sacred King? Thou canst not (Cardinall) deuise a name So slight, vnworthy, and ridiculous To charge me to an answere, as the Pope: Tell him this tale, and from the mouth of England, Adde thus much more, that no Italian Priest Shall tythe or toll in our dominions: But as we, vnder heauen, are supreame head, So vnder him that great supremacy Where we doe reigne, we will alone vphold Without th' assistance of a mortall hand: So tell the Pope, all reuerence set apart To him and his vsurp'd authoritie

Fra. Brother of England, you blaspheme in this

Iohn. Though you, and all the Kings of Christendom Are led so grossely by this medling Priest, Dreading the curse that money may buy out, And by the merit of vilde gold, drosse, dust, Purchase corrupted pardon of a man, Who in that sale sels pardon from himselfe: Though you, and al the rest so grossely led, This iugling witchcraft with reuennue cherish, Yet I alone, alone doe me oppose Against the Pope, and count his friends my foes

Pand. Then by the lawfull power that I haue, Thou shalt stand curst, and excommunicate, And blessed shall he be that doth reuolt From his Allegeance to an heretique, And meritorious shall that hand be call'd, Canonized and worship'd as a Saint, That takes away by any secret course Thy hatefull life

Con. O lawfull let it be That I haue roome with Rome to curse a while, Good Father Cardinall, cry thou Amen To my keene curses; for without my wrong There is no tongue hath power to curse him right

Pan. There's Law and Warrant (Lady) for my curse

Cons. And for mine too, when Law can do no right. Let it be lawfull, that Law barre no wrong: Law cannot giue my childe his kingdome heere; For he that holds his Kingdome, holds the Law: Therefore since Law it selfe is perfect wrong, How can the Law forbid my tongue to curse? Pand. Philip of France, on perill of a curse, Let goe the hand of that Arch-heretique, And raise the power of France vpon his head, Vnlesse he doe submit himselfe to Rome

Elea. Look'st thou pale France? do not let go thy hand

Con. Looke to that Deuill, lest that France repent, And by disioyning hands hell lose a soule

Aust. King Philip, listen to the Cardinall

Bast. And hang a Calues-skin on his recreant limbs

Aust. Well ruffian, I must pocket vp these wrongs, Because, Bast. Your breeches best may carry them

Iohn. Philip, what saist thou to the Cardinall? Con. What should he say, but as the Cardinall? Dolph. Bethinke you father, for the difference Is purchase of a heauy curse from Rome, Or the light losse of England, for a friend: Forgoe the easier

Bla. That's the curse of Rome

Con. O Lewis, stand fast, the deuill tempts thee heere In likenesse of a new vntrimmed Bride

Bla. The Lady Constance speakes not from her faith, But from her need

Con. Oh, if thou grant my need, Which onely liues but by the death of faith, That need, must needs inferre this principle, That faith would liue againe by death of need: O then tread downe my need, and faith mounts vp, Keepe my need vp, and faith is trodden downe

Iohn. The king is moud, and answers not to this

Con. O be remou'd from him, and answere well

Aust. Doe so king Philip, hang no more in doubt

Bast. Hang nothing but a Calues skin most sweet lout

Fra. I am perplext, and know not what to say

The life and death of King John Page 15

William Shakespeare Plays

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