Dol. There end thy braue, and turn thy face in peace, We grant thou canst out-scold vs: Far thee well, We hold our time too precious to be spent with such a brabler

Pan. Giue me leaue to speake

Bast. No, I will speake

Dol. We will attend to neyther: Strike vp the drummes, and let the tongue of warre Pleade for our interest, and our being heere

Bast. Indeede your drums being beaten, wil cry out; And so shall you, being beaten: Do but start An eccho with the clamor of thy drumme, And euen at hand, a drumme is readie brac'd, That shall reuerberate all, as lowd as thine. Sound but another, and another shall (As lowd as thine) rattle the Welkins eare, And mocke the deepe mouth'd Thunder: for at hand (Not trusting to this halting Legate heere, Whom he hath vs'd rather for sport, then neede) Is warlike Iohn: and in his fore-head sits A bare-rib'd death, whose office is this day To feast vpon whole thousands of the French

Dol. Strike vp our drummes, to finde this danger out

Bast. And thou shalt finde it (Dolphin) do not doubt


Scaena Tertia.

Alarums. Enter Iohn and Hubert.

Iohn. How goes the day with vs? oh tell me Hubert

Hub. Badly I feare; how fares your Maiesty? Iohn. This Feauer that hath troubled me so long, Lyes heauie on me: oh, my heart is sicke. Enter a Messenger.

Mes. My Lord: your valiant kinsman Falconbridge, Desires your Maiestie to leaue the field, And send him word by me, which way you go

Iohn. Tell him toward Swinsted, to the Abbey there

Mes. Be of good comfort: for the great supply That was expected by the Dolphin heere, Are wrack'd three nights ago on Goodwin sands. This newes was brought to Richard but euen now, The French fight coldly, and retyre themselues

Iohn. Aye me, this tyrant Feauer burnes mee vp, And will not let me welcome this good newes. Set on toward Swinsted: to my Litter straight, Weaknesse possesseth me, and I am faint.


Scena Quarta.

Enter Salisbury, Pembroke, and Bigot.

Sal. I did not thinke the King so stor'd with friends

Pem. Vp once againe: put spirit in the French, If they miscarry: we miscarry too

Sal. That misbegotten diuell Falconbridge, In spight of spight, alone vpholds the day

Pem. They say King Iohn sore sick, hath left the field. Enter Meloon wounded.

Mel. Lead me to the Reuolts of England heere

Sal. When we were happie, we had other names

Pem. It is the Count Meloone

Sal. Wounded to death

Mel. Fly Noble English, you are bought and sold, Vnthred the rude eye of Rebellion, And welcome home againe discarded faith, Seeke out King Iohn, and fall before his feete: For if the French be Lords of this loud day, He meanes to recompence the paines you take, By cutting off your heads: Thus hath he sworne, And I with him, and many moe with mee, Vpon the Altar at S[aint]. Edmondsbury, Euen on that Altar, where we swore to you Deere Amity, and euerlasting loue

Sal. May this be possible? May this be true? Mel. Haue I not hideous death within my view, Retaining but a quantity of life, Which bleeds away, euen as a forme of waxe Resolueth from his figure 'gainst the fire? What in the world should make me now deceiue, Since I must loose the vse of all deceite? Why should I then be false, since it is true That I must dye heere, and liue hence, by Truth? I say againe, if Lewis do win the day, He is forsworne, if ere those eyes of yours Behold another day breake in the East: But euen this night, whose blacke contagious breath Already smoakes about the burning Crest Of the old, feeble, and day-wearied Sunne, Euen this ill night, your breathing shall expire, Paying the fine of rated Treachery, Euen with a treacherous fine of all your liues: If Lewis, by your assistance win the day. Commend me to one Hubert, with your King; The loue of him, and this respect besides (For that my Grandsire was an Englishman) Awakes my Conscience to confesse all this. In lieu whereof, I pray you beare me hence From forth the noise and rumour of the Field; Where I may thinke the remnant of my thoughts In peace: and part this bodie and my soule With contemplation, and deuout desires

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book