Actus Quartus, Scaena prima.

Enter King Iohn and Pandolph, attendants.

K.Iohn. Thus haue I yeelded vp into your hand The Circle of my glory

Pan. Take againe From this my hand, as holding of the Pope Your Soueraigne greatnesse and authoritie

Iohn. Now keep your holy word, go meet the French, And from his holinesse vse all your power To stop their marches 'fore we are enflam'd: Our discontented Counties doe reuolt: Our people quarrell with obedience, Swearing Allegiance, and the loue of soule To stranger-bloud, to forren Royalty; This inundation of mistempred humor, Rests by you onely to be qualified. Then pause not: for the present time's so sicke, That present medcine must be ministred, Or ouerthrow incureable ensues

Pand. It was my breath that blew this Tempest vp, Vpon your stubborne vsage of the Pope: But since you are a gentle conuertite, My tongue shall hush againe this storme of warre, And make faire weather in your blustring land: On this Ascention day, remember well, Vpon your oath of seruice to the Pope, Goe I to make the French lay downe their Armes. Enter.

Iohn. Is this Ascension day? did not the Prophet Say, that before Ascension day at noone, My Crowne I should giue off? euen so I haue: I did suppose it should be on constraint, But (heau'n be thank'd) it is but voluntary. Enter Bastard.

Bast. All Kent hath yeelded: nothing there holds out But Douer Castle: London hath receiu'd Like a kinde Host, the Dolphin and his powers. Your Nobles will not heare you, but are gone To offer seruice to your enemy: And wilde amazement hurries vp and downe The little number of your doubtfull friends

Iohn. Would not my Lords returne to me againe After they heard yong Arthur was aliue? Bast. They found him dead, and cast into the streets, An empty Casket, where the Iewell of life By some damn'd hand was rob'd, and tane away

Iohn. That villaine Hubert told me he did liue

Bast. So on my soule he did, for ought he knew: But wherefore doe you droope? why looke you sad? Be great in act, as you haue beene in thought: Let not the world see feare and sad distrust Gouerne the motion of a kinglye eye: Be stirring as the time, be fire with fire, Threaten the threatner, and out-face the brow Of bragging horror: So shall inferior eyes That borrow their behauiours from the great, Grow great by your example, and put on The dauntlesse spirit of resolution. Away, and glister like the god of warre When he intendeth to become the field: Shew boldnesse and aspiring confidence: What, shall they seeke the Lion in his denne, And fright him there? and make him tremble there? Oh let it not be said: forrage, and runne To meet displeasure farther from the dores, And grapple with him ere he come so nye

Iohn. The Legat of the Pope hath beene with mee, And I haue made a happy peace with him, And he hath promis'd to dismisse the Powers Led by the Dolphin

Bast. Oh inglorious league: Shall we vpon the footing of our land, Send fayre-play-orders, and make comprimise, Insinuation, parley, and base truce To Armes Inuasiue? Shall a beardlesse boy, A cockred-silken wanton braue our fields, And flesh his spirit in a warre-like soyle, Mocking the ayre with colours idlely spred, And finde no checke? Let vs my Liege to Armes: Perchance the Cardinall cannot make your peace; Or if he doe, let it at least be said They saw we had a purpose of defence

Iohn. Haue thou the ordering of this present time

The life and death of King John Page 29

William Shakespeare Plays

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