Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: John Bale
Editor: Nicola Goshulak
Not Peer Reviewed

Kynge Johann (Old-spelling)


KYNGE JOHAN. For non other cawse God hath kyngs constytute
And gevyn them the sword, but forto correct all vyce.
I have attempted this thyng to execute
1320Uppon transgressers accordyng unto justyce;
And be cawse I wyll not be parcyall in myn offyce
For theft and murder to persones spirytuall,
I have ageynst me the pristes and the bysshoppes all.
A lyke dysplesure in my fathers tyme ded fall.
1325Forty yeres ago, for ponyshment of a clarke:
No cunsell myght them to reformacyon call,
In ther openyon they were so stordy and starke,
But ageynst ther prynce to the pope they dyd so barke,
That here in Ynglond in every cyte and towne
1330Excommunycacyons as thonder bolts cam downe.
For this ther captayn had a ster apared crowne,
And dyed upon yt with owt the kynges consent.
Than interdiccyons were sent from the popes renowne,
Whych never left hym tyll he was penytent,
1335And fully agreed unto the popes apoyntment
In Ynglond to stand with the Chyrches lyberte,
And suffer the pristes to Rome for appeles to flee.
They bownd hym also to helpe Jerusalem cyte
With ij hundrid men the space of a yere and more,
1340And thre yere after to maynteyne battell free
Ageynst the Sarazens whych vext the Spanyards sore.
Synce my fathers tyme I have borne them groge therfore,
Consyderyng the pryde and the capcyose dysdayne,
That they have to kyngs whych oughte over them to rayne.
1345
PRIVAT WELTH cum in lyke a Cardynall.
PRIVATE WELTH. God save you, sur Kyng, in yowr pryncly mageste.
KYNGE JOHAN. Frynd, ye be welcum: what is yowr plesure with me?
PRIVATE WELTH. From the holy father, Pope Innocent the thred,
As a massanger I am to yow dyrectyd,
1350To reforme the peace betwyn Holy Chyrch and yow.
And in his behalfe I avertyce yow here now
Of the Chyrchys goods to make full restytucyon,
And to accepte also the popes holy constytucyon
For Stevyn Langton, archebysshop of Canturbery,
1355And so admytt hym to his state and primacy:
The monkes exilyd ye shall restore agayne
To ther placys and londes, and nothyng of thers retayne.
Owr holy fatheres mynde ys that ye shall agayne restore
All that ye have ravyshyd from Holy Chyrche with the more.
1360KYNGE JOHAN. I reken yowr father wyll never be so harde,
But he wyll my cawse as well as theres regarde.
I have done nothyng but that I may do well,
And as for ther taxe I have for me the gospell.
PRIVATE WELTH. Tushe, gospell or no, ye must make a recompens.
1365KYNGE JOHAN. Yowr father is sharpe and very quycke in sentence,
Yf he wayeth the word of God no more than so;
But I shall tell yow in this what Y shall do.
I am well content to receyve the monkes agayne
Upon amendement, but as for Stevyn Langton playne
1370He shall not cum here, for I know his dysposycyon.
He is moche inclyned to sturdynesse and sedycyon.
There shall no man rewle in the lond where I am kyng
With owt my consent, for no mannys plesure lyvyng.
Never the lesse, yet upon a newe behaver
1375At the popys request here after I may hyrn faver,
And graunt hym to have sum other benyfyce.
PRIVATE WELTH. By thys I perseyve ye bare hym groge and malyce.
Well, thys wyll I say by cause ye are so blunte,
A prelate to dyscharge Holy Chyrche was never wont,
1380But her custome ys to mynyster ponyshment
To kynges and princes beyng dyssobedyent.
KYNGE JOHAN. Avant, pevysh prist: what, dost thow thretten me?
I defye the worst both of thi pope and the.
The power of princys ys gevyn from God above,
1385And, as sayth Salomon, ther harts the Lord doth move.
God spekyth in ther lyppes whan they geve jugement:
The lawys that they make are by the Lordes appoyntment.
Christ wylled not his the princes to correcte,
But to ther precepptes rether to be subjecte.
1390The offyce of yow ys not to bere the sword,
But to geve cownsell accordyng to Gods word.
He never tawght his to weare nowther sword ne sallett,
But to preche abrode with owt staffe, scrypp or walett;
Yet are ye becum soche myghty lordes this hower,
1395That ye are able to subdewe all princes power.
I can not perseyve but ye are becum Belles prystes,
Lyvyng by ydolls, yea, the very antychrysts.
PRIVATE WELTH. Ye have sayd yowr mynd, now wyll I say myn also.
Here I cursse yow for the wrongs that ye have do
1400Unto Holy Churche, with crosse, bocke, bell and candell;
And by sydes all thys I must yow other wyse handell.
Of contumacy the pope hath yow convyt:
From this day forward yowr lond stond interdytt
The bysshope of Norwyche and the bysshope of Wynchester,
1405Hath full autoryte to spred it in Ynglond here.
The bysshope of Salysbery and the bysshope of Rochester
Shall execute yt in Scotland every where.
The bysshope of Landaffe, seynt Assys, and seynt Davy
In Walles and in Erlond shall puplyshe yt openly,
1410Throwgh owt all crystyndom the bysshopps shall suspend
All soche as to yow any mayntenance pretend;
And I cursse all them that geve to yow ther harte,
Dewks, erlls and lordes so many as take yowr parte:
And I assoyle yowr peple from yowr obedyence,
1415That they shall owe yow noyther sewte nor reverence.
By the popys awctoryte I charge them yow to fyght
As with a tyrant agenst Holy Chyrchys ryght;
And by the popes auctoryte I geve them absolucyon
A pena et culpa, and also clene remyssyon.
1420
SEDYCYON extra locum.
SEDWSYON. Alarum! Alarum! tro ro ro ro ro, tro ro ro ro ro, tro ro ro ro ro!
Thomp, thomp, thomp, downe, downe, downe, to go, to go, to go!
KYNGE JOHAN. What a noyse is thys that without the dore is made.
PRIVATE WELTH. Suche enmyes are up as wyll your realme invade.
1425KYNGE JOHAN. Ye cowde do no more and ye cam from the devyll of hell,
Than ye go abowt here to worke by yowr wyckyd cownsell.
Ys this the charyte of that ye call the Churche?
God graunt Cristen men not after yowr wayes to worche.
I sett not by yowr curssys the shakyng of a rod,
1430For I know they are of the devyll and not of God.
Yowr curssys we have that we never yet demaundyd,
But we can not have that God hath yow commandyd.
PRIVATE WELTH. What ye mene by that I wold ye shuld opynly tel
KYNGE JOHAN. Why know ye it not? the prechyng of the gospell.
1435Take to ye yowr traysh, yowr ryngyng, synyg, pypyng,
So that we may have the scryptures openyng:
But that we can not have, yt stondyth not with yowr avantage.
PRIVATE WELTH. Ahe, now I fell yow for this heretycall langage;
I thynke noyther yow nor ony of yowres, iwys,
1440We wyll so provyd, shall ware the crowne after this.
[PRIVATE WELTH] Go owt and drese for NOBYLYTE.
KYNGE JOHAN. Yt becum not the Godes secret workes to deme.
Gett the hence, or elles we shall teche the to blaspheme.
Oh Lord, how wycked ys that same generacyon
1445That never wyll cum to a godly reformacyon.
The prystes report me to be a wyckyd tyrant
Be cause I correct ther actes and lyfe unplesant.
Of thy prince, sayth God, thow shalt report non yll,
But thy selfe applye his plesur to fulfyll.
1450The byrdes of the ayer shall speke to ther gret shame,
As sayth Ecclesyastes, that wyll a prince dyffame.
The powers are of God, I wot Powle hath soch sentence,
He that resyst them agenst God maketh resystence.
Mary and Joseph at Cyryus appoyntment
1455In the descripcyon to Cesar were obedyent.
Crist ded paye trybute for hymselfe and Peter to,
For a lawe prescrybyng the same unto pristes also.
To prophane princes he obeyed unto dethe;
So ded John Baptyst so longe as he had brethe.
1460Peter, John, and Powle, with the other apostles all,
Ded never withstand the powers imperyall.
[Enter CYVYLL ORDER]
Prystes are so wycked they wyll obeye no power,
But seke to subdewe ther prynces day and hower,
1465As they wold do me; but I shall make them smart,
Yf that Nobelyte and Law wyll take my parte.
CYVYLL ORDER. Dowghtles we can not tyll ye be reconsylyd
Unto Holy Chyrche, for ye are a man defylyd.
KYNGE JOHAN. How am I defylyd? telme, good gentyll mate.
1470CYVYLL ORDER. By the popes hye power ye are excomynycate.
KYNGE JOHAN. By the word of God, I pray the, what power hath he?
CYVYLL ORDER. I spake not with hym, and therfore I cannot tell ye.
KYNGE JOHAN. With whom spake ye not? late me know yowr intent.
CYVYLL ORDER. Mary, not with God sens the latter weeke of Lent.
1475
[Enter THE CLARGY]
KYNGE JOHAN. Oh mercyfull God, what an unwyse clawse ys this,
Of hym that shuld se that nothyng ware amys.
That sentence or curse that scriptur doth not dyrect
In my opynyon shall be of non effecte.
1480THE CLARGY. Ys that yowr beleve? Mary, God save me from yow.
KYNGE JOHAN. Prove yt by scriptur, and than wyll I yt alowe.
But this know I well, whan Baalam gave the curse
Uppon Godes peple they ware never a whyt the worse.
THE CLARGY. I passe not on the Scriptur; that is I now for me,
1485Whyche the holy father approvyth by his auctoryte.
KYNGE JOHAN. Now, alas, alas! what wreched peple ye are,
And how ygnorant yowr owne wordes doth declare.
Woo ys that peple whych hath so wycked techeres.
THE CLARGY. Naye, wo ys that peple that hathe so cruell rewlars.
1490Owr holy father, I trow, cowd do no lesse,
Consyderyng the factes of yowr owtragyosnes.
[Enter NOBELYTE]
NOBELYTE. Com awaye for shame, and make no more ado:
Ye are in gret danger for commynyng with hym so.
1495He is accursyd, I mervell ye do not waye yt.
THE CLARGY. I here by his wordes that he wyll not obeye yt.
NOBELYTE. Whether he wyll or no, I wyll not with hym talke
Tell he be assoyllyd. Com on, my frynds, wyll ye walke?
KYNGE JOHAN. Oh, this is no tokyn of trew Nobelyte
1500To flee from yowr kyng in his extremyte.
NOBELYTE. I shall dyssyer yow as now to pardone me.
I had moche rather do agaynst God veryly,
Than to Holy Chyrche to do any injurye.
KYNGE JOHAN. What blyndnes is this? On this peple, Lord, have mercy!
1505Ye speke of defylyng, but ye are corrupted all
With pestylent doctryne or leven pharesyacall.
Good to faythfull Susan sayd that yt was moche better
To fall in daunger of men than do the gretter,
As to love Godes lawe, whych ys his word most pure.
1510THE CLARGY. Ye have nothyng yow to allege to us but scripture.
Ye shall fare the worse for that ye may be sure.
KYNGE JOHAN. What shulde I allege elles, thu wycked pharyse?
To yowr false lernyng no faythfull man wyll agree.
Dothe not the Lord say, nunc reges intellege,
1515The kyngs of the erthe that worldly cawses juge,
Seke to the scriptur, late that be yowr refuge?
CYVYLL ORDER. Have ye nothyng elles but this? than God be with ye.
KYNGE JOHAN. One questyon more yet ere ye departe from me.
I wyll fyrst demaund of yow, Nobelyte,
1520Why leve ye yowr prince and cleave to the pope so sore?
NOBELYTE. For I toke an othe to defend the Chyrche ever more.
KYNGE JOHAN. Clergy, I am sure than yowr quarell ys not small.
THE CLARGY. I am professyd to the ryghtes ecclesyastycall.
KYNGE JOHAN. And yow, Cyvyle Order, oweth her sum offyce of dewtye.
1525CYVYLL ORDER. I am hyr feed man: who shuld defend her but I?
KYNGE JOHAN. Of all thre partyes yt is spoken resonably,
Ye may not obeye becawse of the othe ye mad;
Yowr strong professyon maketh yow of that same trad;
Yowr fee provokyth yow to do as thes men do,
1530Grett thyngs to cawse men from God to the devyll to go.
Yowr othe is growndyd fyrst uppon folyshenes,
And yowr professyon uppon moche pevyshenes;
Yowr fee last of all ryseth owt of covetusnes,
And thes are the cawses of yowr rebellyosnes.
1535THE CLARGY. Cum, Cyvill Order, lett us departe from hence.
KYNGE JOHAN. Than are ye at a poynt for yowr obedyence.
CYVYLL ORDER. We wyll in no wysse be partakers of yowr yll.
Here go owt CLARGY and dresse for YNGLOND, and CYVYLL ORDER for COMMYNALTE.
KYNGE JOHAN. As ye have bene ever, so ye wyll contynew styll.
1540Thowgh they be gone, tarye yow with me a whyle:
The presence of a prynce to yow shuld never be vyle.
NOBELYTE. Sur, nothyng grevyth me but yowr excomynycacion.
KYNGE JOHAN. That ys but a fantasy in yowr ymagynacyon.
The Lord refuse not soch as hath his great cursse,
1545But call them to grace, and faver them never the worsse.
Saynt Pawle wyllyth you whan ye are among soch sort,
Not to abhore them but geve them words of comfort.
Why shuld ye than flee from me yowr lawfull kyng,
For plesure of soch as owght to do no suche thyng?
1550The Chyrches abusyons, as holy seynt Powle do saye,
By the princes power owght for to be takyn awaye:
He baryth not the sword withowt a cawse (sayth he).
In this neyther bysshope nor spirituall man is free,
Offendyng the lawe they are under the powers all.
1555NOBELYTE. How wyll ye prove me that the fathers sprytuall
Were under the princes ever contynewally?
KYNGE JOHAN. By the actes of kynges I wyll prove yt by and by.
David and Salomon the pristes ded constitute,
Commandyng the offyces that they shuld execute.
1560Josaphat the kyng the mynysters ded appoynt,
So ded kyng Ezechias whom God hymselfe ded anoynt.
Dyverse of the princes for the pristes ded make decrees,
Lyke as yt is pleyn in the fyrst of Machabees.
Owr prists are rysyn throwgh lyberte of kyngs
1565By ryches to pryd and other unlawfull doynges,
And that is the cawse that they so oft dysobeye.
NOBELYTE. Good Lord, what a craft have you thes thynges to convaye!
KYNGE JOHAN. Now, alas, that the false pretence of superstycyon
Shuld cawse yow to be a mayntener of Sedycyon!
1570Sum thynkyth Nobelyte in natur to consyst
Or in parentage; ther thowght is but amyst:
Wher habundance is of vertu, faith, and grace,
With knowlage of the Lord, Nobelyte is ther in place,
And not wher as in the wylfull contempte of thyngs
1575Pertaynyng to God in the obedyence of kynges.
Beware ye synke not with Dathan and Abiron
For dysobeyng the power and domynyon.
NOBELYTE. Nay, byd me be aware I do not synke with yow here:
Beyng acurssyd, of trowth ye put me in fere.
1580KYNGE JOHAN. Why, are ye gone hence and wyll ye no longar tarrye?
NOBELYTE. No, wher as yow are in place, by swete seynt Marye.
Here NOBELYTE go owt and dresse for the CARDYNALL. Here enter YNGLOND and COMMYNALTE.
KYNGE JOHAN. Blessed Lord of Heaven, what is the wretchednesse
Of thys wycked worlde? An evyll of all evyls doubtlesse.
1585Perceyve ye not here how the Clergye hath rejecte
Their true allegeaunce to maynteyne the popysh secte?
See ye not how lyghte the lawyers sett the poure,
Whanne God commandyth them to obeye yche daye and howre?
Nobylyte also, whych ought hys prynce to assyste,
1590Is vanyshed awaye as it we[re] a wynter myste.
All they are from me: I am now left alone,
Knd God wote knowe not to whome to make my mone.
Oh, yet wolde I fayne knowe the mynde of my Commynalte,
Whether he wyll go with them or abyde with me.
1595ENGLANDE. He is here at hond, a symple creature as may be.
KYNGE JOHAN. Cum hether, my frynde; stand nere: ys thy selfe he?
COMMYNALTE. Yf it lyke yowr grace, I am yowr pore Commynalte.
KYNGE JOHAN. Thou art poore inowgh, yf that be good God helpe the.
Me thynke thow art blynd: tell me, frynde, canst thu not see?
1600ENGLANDE. He is blynd in dede: yt is the more rewth and pytte.
KYNGE JOHAN. How cummyst thow so blynd, I pray the, good fellow, tell me?
COMMYNALTE. For want of knowlage in Christes lyvely veryte.
ENGLANDE. This spirituall blyndnes bryngeth men owt of the waye,
And cause them oft tymes ther kynges to dyssobaye.
1605KYNGE JOHAN. How sayst thow, Commynalte; wylt not thu take my parte?
COMMYNALTE. To that I cowd be contented with all my hart,
But, alas, in me are two great impedymentes.
KYNGE JOHAN. I pray the shew me what are those impedymentes.
COMMYNALTE. The fyrst is blyndnes, wherby I myght take with the pope
1610Soner than with yow; for, alas, I can but grope,
And ye know full well ther are many nowghty gydes.
The nexte is poverte, whych cleve so hard to my sydes,
And ponych me so sore that my power ys lytyll or non.
KYNGE JOHAN. In Godes name tell me how cummyth thi substance gone?
1615COMMYNALTE. By pristes, channons, and monkes, which do but fyll ther bely
With my swett and labour for ther popych purgatory.
ENGLANDE. Yowr grace promysed me that I shuld have remedy
In that same mater whan I was last here trewly.
KYNGE JOHAN. Dowghtles I ded so, but, alas, yt wyll not be.
1620In hart I lament this great infelycyte.
ENGLANDE. Late me have my spowse and my londes at lyberte,
And I promyse you my sonne here, your Commynallte,
I wyll make able to do ye dewtyfull servyce.
KYNGE JOHAN. I wold I ware able to do to the that offyce;
1625But alas, I am not, for why my Nobelyte,
My Lawers, and Clargy hath cowardly forsake me,
And now last of all, to my most anguysh of mynd,
My Commynalte here I fynd both poore and blynde.
ENGLANDE. Rest upon this, ser, for my governor ye shall be
1630So long as ye lyve: God hath so apoynted me.
His owtward blyndnes ys but a sygnyficacion
Of blyndnes in sowle for lacke of informacyon
In the word of God, which is the orygynall grownd
Of dyssobedyence, which all realmes doth confund.
1635Yf yowr grace wold cawse Godes word to be tawght syncerly,
And subdew those pristes that wyll not preche yt trewly,
The peple shuld know to ther prynce ther lawfull dewty;
But yf ye permytt contynuance of ypocresye
In monkes, chanons, and pristes, and mynysters of the clargy,
1640Yowr realme shall never be with owt moch traytery.
KYNGE JOHAN. All that I perseyve, and therfore I kepe owt fryers,
Lest they shuld bryng the moch farder into the bryers.
They have mad labur to inhabytt this same regyon:
They shall for my tyme not enter into domynyon.
1645We have to many of soch vayne lowghtes all redy.
I beshrew ther harts they have made you ij full nedy.
Here enter PANDULPHUS, the CARDYNALL, and sayth
PRIVATE WELTH. What, Commynalte, ys this the connaunt kepyng?
Thow toldyst me thu woldest take hym no more for thi kyng.
1650COMMYNALTE. Peccavi, mea culpa: I submyt me to yowr holynes.
PRIVATE WELTH. Gett the hence than shortly, and go abowt thi besynes.
Wayet on thy capttaynes, Nobelyte and the Clargy,
With Cyvyll Order, and the other company.
Blow owt yowr tromppettes and sett forth manfully.
1655The Frenche kyng Phelype by sea doth hether apply
With the power of Fraunce to subdew this herytyke.
KYNGE JOHAN. I defy both hym and the, lewde scysmatyke.
Why wylt thu forsake thy prince or thi prince leve the?
COMMYNALTE. I must nedes obbay whan Holy Chirch commandyth me.
1660
Go owt COMMYNALTE.
ENGLANDE. Yf thow leve thy kyng take me never for thy mother.
PRIVATE WELTH. Tush, care not thu for that, I shall provyd the another.
Yt ware fytter for yow to be in another place.
ENGLANDE. Yt shall becum me to wayte upon his grace,
1665And do hym servyce where as he ys resydente,
For I was gevyn hym of the Lord omnypotente.
THE CLARGY. Thow mayst not abyde here, for whye we have hym curssyd.
ENGLANDE. I be shrow yowr hartes, so have ye me onpursed.
Yf he be acurssed than are we a mete cuppell,
1670For I am interdyct: no salve that sore can suppell.
THE CLARGY. I say gett the hence, and make me no more pratyng.
ENGLANDE. I wyll not a waye from myn owne lawfull kyng,
Appoynted of God, tyll deth shall us departe.
THE CLARGY. Wyll ye not in dede? well than ye are lyke to smarte.
1675ENGLANDE. I smarte all redy throw yowr most suttell practyse,
And am clene ondone by yowr false merchandyce,
Yowr pardons, yowr bulles, yowr purgatory pyckepurse,
Yowr lent fastes, yowr schryftes, that I pray God geve yow his cursse.
PRIVATE WELTH. Thu shalt smart better or we have done with the,
1680For we have this howr great navyes upon the see
In every quarter with this Loller here to fyght,
And to conquarre hym for the Holy Chyrchis ryght.
We have on the northe Alexander, the kyng of Scotts,
With an armye of men that for their townnes cast lottes.
1685On the sowthe syde we have the French kyng with his power.
Which wyll sle and burne tyll he cum to London Tower.
In the west parts we have kyng Alphonso with the Spanyards,
With sheppes full of gonepowder now cummyng hether towards,
And on the est syde we have Esterlynges, Danes and Norways,
1690With soch power landynge as can be resystyd nowayes.
KYNGE JOHAN. All that is not true that yow have here expressed.
PRIVATE WELTH. By the masse, so true as I have now confessed.
KYNGE JOHAN. And what do ye meane by such an hurly burlye?
PRIVATE WELTH. For the Churches ryght to subdue ye manfullye.
1695
[Enter SEDWYSON]
SEDYSYON. To all that wyll fyght I proclame a Jubyle
Of cleane remyssyon thys tyrant here to slee,
Destroye hys people, burne up both cytie and towne
That the Pope of Rome maye have hys scepture and crowne.
1700In the Churches cawse to dye thys daye be bolde:
Your sowles shall to heaven ere your fleshe and bones be colde.
KYNGE JOHAN. Most mercyfull God, as my trust is in the,
So comforte me now in this extremyte.
As thow helpyst David in his most hevynes,
1705So helpe me this hour of thy grace, mercye and goodnes.
PRIVATE WELTH. This owtward remorse that ye show here evydent
Ys a grett lykelyhod and token of amendment.
How say ye, kyng Johan, can ye fynd now in yowr hart
To obaye Holy Chyrch and geve ower yowr froward part?
1710KYNGE JOHAN. Were yt so possyble to hold thes enmyes backe,
That my swete Ynglond perysh not in this sheppewracke.
PRIVATE WELTH. Possyble quoth he! yea, they shuld go bake in dede,
And ther gret armyse to some other quarters leade,
Or elles they have not so many good blyssyngs now,
1715But as many cursyngs they shall have, I make God avowe.
I promyse yow, sur, ye shall have specyall faver
Yf ye wyll submyt yowr sylfe to Holy Chyrch here.
KYNGE JOHAN. I trust than ye wyll graunt some delyberacyon
To have an answere of thys your protestacyon.
1720SEDYSYON. Tush, gyve upp the crowne, and make no more a do.
KYNGE JOHAN. Your spirytuall charyte wyll be better to me than so.
The crowne of a realme is a matter of great wayght;
In gyvynge it upp we maye not be to slayght.
SEDYSYON. I saye gyve it up: lete us have no more a do.
1725PRIVATE WELTH. Yea, and in our warres we wyll no farder go.
KYNGE JOHAN. Ye wyll gyve me leave to talke first with my Clergye?
SEDYSYON. With them ye nede not: they are at a poynt alreadye.
KYNGE JOHAN. Than with my lawers, to heare what they wyll tell.
SEDYSYON. Ye shall ever have them as the Clergye gyve them counsell.
1730KYNGE JOHAN. Then wyll I commen with my Nobylyte.
SEDYSYON. We have hym so jugled he wyll not to yow agree.
KYNGE JOHAN. Yet shall I be content to do as he counsell me.
PRIVATE WELTH. Than be not to longe from hence I wyll advyse ye.
[Exit KYNGE JOHAN]
1735SEDYSYON. Is not thys a sport? by the messe it is, I trowe.
What welthe and pleasure wyll now to owr kyngedom growe!
Englande is our owne whych is the most plesaunte grounde
In all the rounde worlde: now may we realmes confounde.
Our holye father maye now lyve at hys pleasure,
1740And have habundaunce of wenches, wynes, and treasure.
He is now able to kepe downe Christe and his gospell,
True fayth to exyle, and all vertues to expell.
Now shall we ruffle it in velvetts, gold, and sylke,
With shaven crownes, syde gownes, and rochettes whyte as mylke.
1745By the messe, Pandulphus, now may we synge Cantate,
And crowe Confitebor with a joyfull Jubilate.
Holde me, or els for laughynge I must burste.
PRIVATE WELTH. Holde thy peace, whorson; I wene thu art accurst.
Kepe a sadde countenaunce: a very vengeaunce take the,
1750SEDYSYON. I can not do it by the messe, and thu shuldest hange me.
If Solon were here, I recken that he woulde laugh
Whych never laught yet, yea, lyke a whelpe he would waugh.
Ha, ha, ha, laugh quoth he? yea, laugh and laugh agayne:
We had never cause to laugh more free, I am playne.
1755PRIVATE WELTH. I pray the, no more, for here come the kynge agayne.
[Enter KYNGE JOHAN]
Ye are at a poynt wherto ye intende to stande.
SEDYSYON. Yea, hardely, sir, gyve up the crowne of Englande.
KYNGE JOHAN. I have cast in my mynde the great displeasures of warre,
1760The daungers, the losses, the decayes both nere and farre;
The burnynge of townes, the throwynge downe of buyldynges,
Destructyon of corne and cattell with other thynges;
Defylynge of maydes, and shedynge of Christen blood,
With suche lyke outrages, neythar honest, true, nor good.
1765These thynges consydered, I am compelled thys houre
To resigne up here both crowne and regall poure.
[Enter] ENGLANDE.
ENGLANDE. For the love of God yet take some better advysement.
SEDYSYON. Holde your tunge, ye whore, or by the messe ye shall repent.
1770Downe on yowr marry bones, and make no more a do.
ENGLANDE. If ye love me, sir, for Gods sake do never so.
KYNGE JOHAN. O Englande, Englande! showe now thyselfe a mother,
Thy people wyll els be slayne here without nomber.
As God shall judge me, I do not thys of cowardnesse,
1775But of compassyon in thys extreme heavynesse.
Shall my people shedde their bloude in suche habundaunce?
Naye, I shall rather gyve upp my whole governaunce.
SEDYSYON. Come of apace than, and make an ende of it shortly.
ENGLANDE. The most pytiefull chaunce that hath bene hytherto surely.
1780KYNGE JOHAN. Here I submyt me to pope Innocent the thred,
Dyssyering mercy of hys holy fatherhed.
PRIVATE WELTH. Geve up the crowne than, yt shalbe the better for ye:
He wyll unto yow the more favorable be.
Here the KYNG delevyr the crowne to the CARDYNALL.
1785KYNGE JOHAN. To hym I resygne here the septer and the crowne
Of Ynglond and Yrelond with the power and renowne,
And put me wholly to his mercyfull ordynance.
PRIVATE WELTH. I may say this day the Chyrch hath a full gret chaunce.
This v dayes I wyll kepe this crowne in myn owne hande
1790In the Popes behalfe, upseasyng Ynglond and Yerlond.
In the meane season ye shall make an oblygacyon
For yow and yowr ayers in this synyficacyon:
To resayve yowr crowne of the pope for ever more
In maner of fefarme; and for a tokyn therfore
1795Ye shall every yere paye hym a thowsand marke
With the Peter pens, and not agenst yt barke.
Ye shall also geve to the bysshoppe of Cantorbery
A thre thowsand marke for his gret injury.
To the Chyrch besydes, for the great scathe ye have done,
1800Forty thowsand marke ye shall delyver sone.
KYNGE JOHAN. Ser, the taxe that I had of the hole realme of Ynglond
Amownted to no more but unto xxxti thowsand;
Why shuld I then paye so moche unto the clargy?
PRIVATE WELTH. Ye shall geve yt them: ther is no remedy.
1805KYNGE JOHAN. Shall they pay no tribute yf the realme stond in rerage?
PRIVATE WELTH. Sir, they shall pay none: we wyll have no soch bondage.
KYNGE JOHAN. The Pope had at once thre hundred thowsand marke.
PRIVATE WELTH. What is that to you? ah, styll ye wyll be starke.
Ye shall pay yt, sur: ther is no remedy.
1810KYNGE JOHAN. Yt shall be performed as ye wyll have yt trewly.
ENGLANDE. So noble a realme to stande tributarye, alas,
To the devylls vycar! suche fortune never was.
SEDYSYON. Out with thys harlot: cocks sowle, she hath lete a fart.
ENGLANDE. Lyke a wretche thu lyest. Thy report is lyke as thu art.
1815
[Exit SEDWYSON]
PRIVATE WELTH. Ye shall suffer the monks and chanons to make reentry
In to ther abbayes and to dwell ther peaceably;
Ye shall se also to my great labur and charge:
For other thyngs elles we shall commen more at large.
1820KYNGE JOHAN. Ser, in every poynt I shall fulfyll yowr plesur.
PRIVATE WELTH. Than plye yt apace, and lett us have the tresur.
ENGLANDE. Alacke for pyte that euer ye grantyd this.
For me, pore Ynglond, ye haue done sore amys;
Of a fre woman ye haue now mad a bonde mayd.
1825Yowr selfe and heyres ye haue for euer decayd.
Alas, I had rether be vnderneth the Turke
Than vnder the wynges of soch a thefe to lurke.
KYNGE JOHAN. Content the, Ynglond, for ther ys no remedy.
ENGLANDE. Yf yow be plesyd, than I mvst consent gladly.
1830KYNGE JOHAN. If I shoulde not graunt here woulde be a wondrefull spoyle:
Every where the enemyes woulde ruffle and turmoyle.
The losse of people stycketh most unto my harte.
ENGLANDE. Do as ye thynke best, yche waye is to my smarte.
PRIVATE WELTH. Are ye at a poynt with the same oblygacyon?
1835KYNGE JOHAN. Yt is here redye at yowr interrogacyon.
Here kyng Iohn shall delevr the oblygacyon.
PRIVATE WELTH. Wher is the mony for yowr full restytucyon?
KYNGE JOHAN. Here, ser, accordyng to yowr last constytucyon.
PRIVATE WELTH. Cum hether, my lorde. By the popys autoryte
1840Assoyll this man here of irregularyte.
Here the bysshop STEVYN LANGTON cum in.
KYNGE JOHAN. Me thynke this bysshope resembleth moch Sedycyon.
PRIVATE WELTH. I cownsell yow yet to be ware of wrong suspycyon.
This is Stevyn Langton, yowr meteropolytan.
1845KYNGE JOHAN. Than do the offyce of the good samarytan
And pore oyle and wyne in my old festerd wownd.
Releace me of synne that yt doth not me confownd.
Confiteor domino pape et omnibus cardinalibus eius et vobis, quia peccaui nimis exigendo ab ecclesia tributum, mea culpa. Ideo precor sanctissimum dominum papam et omnes prelatos eitis et vos, orare pro me.
SEDYSYON. Misereatur tui omnipotens papa, et dimittat tibi omnes erratus tuos, liberetque te a suspencione, excominicacione et interdicto, et restituat te in regnum tuum.
1850KYNGE JOHAN. Amen.
SEDYSYON. Dominus papa noster te absoluat, et ego absoluo te auctoritate eius, et apostolorum Petri et Pauli in hac parte mihi comissa, ab omnibus impietatibus tuis, et restituo te corone et regno, in nomine domini pape, amen.
PRIVATE WELTH. Ye are well content to take this man for yowr primate?
KYNGE JOHAN. Yea, and to vse hym accordyng to his estate.
I am ryght sory that euer I yow offended.
1855SEDYSYON. And I am full gladde ye are so welle amended.
Unto Holy Churche ye are now an obedyent chylde,
Where ye were afore with heresye muche defyelde.
ENGLANDE. Sir, yonder is a clarke whych is condempned for treason.
The shryves woulde fayne knowe what to do with hym thys season.
1860KYNGE JOHAN. Come hyther, fellawe. What, me thynke, thu art a pryste.
[Enter] TREASON.
TREASON. He hath ofter gessed that of the truthe have myste.
KYNGE JOHAN. A pryste and a traytour? how maye that wele agree?
TREASON. Yes, yes, wele ynough, underneth Benedicite.
1865Myself hath played it, and therfore I knowe it the better.
Amonge craftye cloyners there hath not bene a gretter.
KYNGE JOHAN. Tell some of thy feates; thu mayest the better escape.
SEDYSYON. Hem; not to bolde yet: for a mowse the catte wyll gape.
TREASON. Twenty thousande traytour I have made in my tyme,
1870Undre Benedicite, betwyn hygh masse and pryme.
I have made Nobylyte to be obedyent
To the church of Rome, whych most kynges maye repent.
I have so convayed that neyther priest nor lawer
Wyll obeye Gods wurde, nor yet the gospell faver.
1875In the place of Christe I have sett up supersticyons,
For preachynges ceremonyes, for Gods wurde mennys tradicyons.
Come to the temple and there Christe hath no place;
Moyses and the Paganes doth utterly hym deface.
ENGLANDE. Marke wele, sir. Tell what we have of Moyses.
1880TREASON. All your ceremonyes, your copes and your sensers doubtlesse,
Your fyers, your waters, your oyles, your aulters, your ashes,
Your candlestyckes, your cruettes, your salte, with suche lyke trashes.
Ye lacke but the bloude of a goate, or els a calfe.
ENGLANDE. Lete us heare sumwhat also in the Paganes behalfe.
1885TREASON. Of the Paganes ye have your gylded ymages all,
In your necessytees upon them for to call;
With crowchynges, with kyssynges and settynge up of lyghtes,
Bearynge them in processyon and fastynges upon their nyghtes.
Some for the tothe ake, some for the pestylence and poxe,
1890With ymages of waxe to brynge moneye to the boxe.
ENGLANDE. What have they of Christe in the churche, I praye the tell?
TREASON. Marry, nothynge at all, but the epystle and the gospell,
And that is in Latyne that no man shoulde it knowe.
SEDYSYON. Peace, noughty whoreson, peace: thu playest the knave I trowe.
1895KYNGE JOHAN. Has thu knowne suche wayes, and sought no reformacyon?
TREASON. It is the lyvynge of my whole congregacyon.
If supersticyons and ceremonyes from us fall,
Farwele monke and chanon, priest, fryer, byshopp, and all.
My conveyaunce is suche that we haue both moneye and ware.
1900SEDYSYON. Our occupacyon thu wylt marre. God gyve the care.
ENGLANDE. Very fewe of ye wyll Peters offyce take.
TREASON. Yes, the more part of us our maistre hath forsake.
ENGLANDE. I meane for preachynge. I pray God thu be curste.
TREASON. No, no, with Judas we love wele to be purste.
1905We selle owr maker so sone as we have hym made,
And as for preachynge we meddle not with that trade,
Least Annas, Cayphas, and the lawers shulde us blame,
Callyng us to reckenynge for preachynge in that name.
KYNGE JOHAN. But tell to me, person, whie wert thu cast in preson?
1910TREASON. For no great matter; but a lyttle petye treason:
For conjurynge, calkynge, and coynynge of newe grotes,
For clippynge of nobles, with suche lyke pratye motes.
ENGLANDE. Thys is hygh treason, and hath bene evermor.
KYNGE JOHAN. It is suche treason as he shall sure hange for.
1915TREASON. I have holy orders: by the messe, I defye your wurst.
Ye can not towche me but ye must be accurst.
KYNGE JOHAN. We wyll not towche the; the halter shall do yt alone.
Curse the rope therfor whan thu begynnest to grone.
TREASON. And sett ye no more by the holy ordre of prestehode?
1920Ye wyll prove your selfe an heretyke by the rode.
KYNGE JOHAN. Come hyther, Englande, and here what I saye to the.
ENGLANDE. I am all readye to do as ye commaunde me.
KYNGE JOHAN. For so much as he hath falsefyed our coyne,
As he is worthie, lete hym with an halter joyne.
1925Thu shalt hange no priest, nor yet none honest man,
But a traytour, a thefe, and one that lyttle good can.
PRIVATE WELTH. What, yet agaynst the Churche? gett me boke, belle, and candle:
As I am true priest, I shall ye yett better handle.
Ye neyther regarde hys crowne nor anoynted fyngers,
1930The offyce of a priest, nor the grace that therin lyngers.
SEDYSYON. Sir, pacyent yourselfe, and all thynge shall be well.
Fygh, man, to the Churche that ye shulde be styll a rebell.
ENGLANDE. I accompt hym no priest that worke such haynouse treason.
SEDYSYON. It is a worlde to heare a folysh woman reason.
1935PRIVATE WELTH. After thys maner ye used Peter Pomfrete,
A good symple man, and as they saye a profete.
KYNGE JOHAN. Sir, I did prove hym a very supersticyouse wretche,
And blasphemouse lyar, therfor did the lawe hym upstretche.
He prophecyed first I shulde reigne but xiiij years,
1940Makynge the people to beleve he coulde bynde bears;
And I have reigned a seventene yeares, and more.
And anon after he grudged at me very sore,
And sayde I shulde be exyled out of my realme
Before the ascencyon, whych was turned to a fantastycall dreame,
1945Saynge he woulde hange if hys prophecye were not true.
Thus hys owne decaye hys folyshnesse did brue.
PRIVATE WELTH. Ye shuld not hange hym whych is a frynde to the Churche.
KYNGE JOHAN. Alac, that ye shoulde counte them fryndes of the Churche,
That agaynst all truthe so hypocritycally lurche.
1950An yll Churche is it that hath such fryndes in dede.
ENGLANDE. Of maister Morres suche an other fable we reade,
That in Morgans fyelde the sowle of a knyght made verses,
Apearynge unto hym, and thys one he rehearses,
Destruat hoc regnum Rex regum duplici plaga,
1955Whych is true as God spake with the Ape at Praga.
The sowles departed from thys heavye mortall payne
To the handes of God returneth never agayne.
A marvelouse thynge that ye thus delyght in lyes.
SEDYSYON. Thys queane doth not els but mocke the blessed storyes.
1960That Peter angred ye whan he called ye a devyll incarnate.
KYNGE JOHAN. He is now full sure no more so uncomely to prate.
Well, as for thys man, because that he is a priste
I gyve hym to ye: do with hym what ye lyste.
PRIVATE WELTH. In the Popes behalfe I wyll sumwhat take upon me.
1965Here I delyver hym to the Churches lyberte,
In spyght of your hart, make of it what ye lyste.
KYNGE JOHAN. I am pleased, I saye, because he ys pryste.
PRIVATE WELTH. Whether ye be or no, it shall not greatly force.
Lete me see those cheanes: go thy waye and have remorce.
1970TREASON. God save your Lordeshypps; I trust I shall amende,
And do no more so, or els, sir, God defende.
SEDYSYON. I shall make the, I trowe, to kepe thy benefyce.
By the Marye messe, the knave wyll never be wyse.
ENGLANDE. Lyke Lorde, lyke chaplayne; neyther barrell better herynge.
1975SEDYSYON. Styll she must trattle: that tunge is alwayes sterynge.
A wurde or two, sir, I must tell yow in your eare.
PRIVATE WELTH. Of some advauntage I woulde very gladly heare.
SEDYSYON. Releace not Englande of the generall interdictyon,
Tyll the kynge hath graunted the dowrye and the pencyon
1980Of Julyane the wyfe of kynge Richard Cour de Lyon:
Ye knowe very well she beareth the Churche good mynde.
Tush, we must have all, manne, that she shall leave behynde.
As the saynge is, he fyndeth that surely bynde.
It were but folye suche louce endes for to lose:
1985The lande and the monye wyll make well for our purpose.
Tush, laye yokes upon hym, more then he is able to beare,
Of Holy Churche so he wyll stande ever in feare.
Suche a shrewe as he it is good to kepe undre awe.
ENGLANDE. Woo is that persone whych is undreneth your lawe.
1990Ye may see, good people, what these same merchantes are:
Their secrete knaveryes their open factes declare.
SEDYSYON. Holde thy peace, callet. God gyve the sorowe and care.
PRIVATE WELTH. Ere I releace yow of the interdyctyon heare,
In the whych yowr realme contynued hath thys seven yeare,
1995Ye shall make Julyane, your syster in lawe, thys bande,
To gyve her the thirde part of Englande and of Irelande.
KYNGE JOHAN. All the worlde knoweth, sir, I owe her no suche dewtye.
PRIVATE WELTH. Ye shall gyve it to hir; there is no remedye.
Wyll ye styll withstande our holy fathers precepte?
2000SEDYSYON. In peyne of dampnacyon hys commaundement must be kepte.
KYNGE JOHAN. Oh, ye undo me, consyderynge my great paymentes.
ENGLANDE. Sir, disconfort not, for God hath sent debatementes.
Yowr mercyfull maker hath shewed upon ye hys powere,
From thys heavye yoke delyverynge yow thys howre.
2005The woman is dead: suche newes are hyther brought.
KYNGE JOHAN. For me a synnar thys myracle hath God wrought.
In most hygh paryls he ever me preserved,
And in thys daunger he hath not from me swerved.
In genua procumbens Deum adorat, dicens,
2010As David sayth, Lorde, thu dost not leave thy servaunt
That wyll trust in the, and in thy blessyd covenaunt.
SEDYSYON. A vengeaunce take it! by the messe, it is unhappye
She is dead so sone. Now is it past remedye:
So must we lose all now that she is clerely gone.
2015If that praye had bene ours, oh, it had bene alone!
The chaunce beynge suche, by my trouth, even lete it go:
No grote no pater noster, no penye no placebo.
The devyll go with it, seynge it wyll be no better.
ENGLANDE. Their myndes are all sett upon the fylthie luker.
2020PRIVATE WELTH. Than here I releace yow of yowr interdictyons all,
And strayghtly commaunde yow upon daungers that may fall
No more to meddle with the Churches reformacyon,
Nor holde men from Rome whan they make appellacyon,
By God and by all the contentes of thys boke.
2025KYNGE JOHAN. Agaynst Holy Churche I wyll nomore speake nor loke.
SEDYSYON. Go, open the churche dores and let the belles be ronge,
And through out the realme see that Te Deum be songe.
Pryck upp your candels before saynt Loe and saynt Legearde:
Lete saynt Antonyes hogge be had in some regarde.
2030If yowr ale be sowre, and yowr breade moulde certayne,
Now wyll they waxe swete, for the pope hath blest ye agayne.
ENGLANDE. Than within a whyle I trust ye wyll preache the Gospell.
SEDYSYON. That shall I tell the, kepe thu it in secrete counsell:
It shall neyther come in churche nor yet in chauncell.
2035PRIVATE WELTH. Goo your wayes a pace, and see my pleasure be done.
KYNGE JOHAN. As ye have commaunded all shall be perfourmed sone.
[Exit John and England]
PRIVATE WELTH. By the messe, I laugh to see thys cleane conveyaunce:
He is now full glad as our pype goeth to daunce.
2040By cockes sowle, he is now become a good parrysh clarke.
SEDYSYON. Ha, ha, wylye whoreson, dost that so busyly marke?
I hope in a whyle we wyll make hym so to rave,
That he shall become unto us a commen slave,
And shall do nothynge but as we byd hym do.
2045If we byd hym slea, I trowe he wyll do so;
If we byd hym burne suche as beleve in Christe,
He shall not say naye to the byddynge of a priste.
But yet it is harde to trust what he wyll be,
He is so crabbed: by the holy Trinyte,
2050To save all thynges up I holde best we make hym more sure,
And gyve hym a sawce that he no longar endure.
Now that I remembre we shall not leave hym thus.
PRIVATE WELTH. Whye, what shall we do to hym els, in the name of Jesus?
SEDYSYON. Marry, fatche in Lewes, Kynge Phylyppes sonne, of Fraunce,
2055To falle upon hym with his menne and ordynaunce,
With wyldefyer, gunpouder, and suche lyke myrye trickes,
To dryve hym to holde and scarche hym in the quyckes.
I wyll not leave hym tyll I brynge hym to hys yende.
PRIVATE WELTH. Well, farwele, Sedicyon, do as shall lye in thy myende.
2060
[Exit PRIVATE WELTH]
SEDYSYON. I mervele greatly where Dissymulacyon is.
DYSSYMULACYON. I wyll come anon, if thu tarry tyll I pysse.
[Enter DYSSYMULACYON]
SEDYSYON. I beshrewe your hart, where have ye bene so longe?
2065DYSSYMULACYON. In the gardene, man, the herbes and wedes amonge;
And there have I gote the poyson of toade.
I hope in a whyle to wurke some feate abroade.
SEDYSYON. I was wonte sumtyme of thy prevye counsell to be:
Am I now adayes become a straunger to the?
2070DYSSYMULACYON. I wyll tell the all, undreneth Benedicite,
What I mynde to do, in case thu wylte assoyle me.
SEDYSYON. Thu shalt be assoyled by the most holy fathers auctoryte.
DYSSYMULACYON. Shall I so in dede? by the masse, than now have at the.
Benedicite.
2075SEDYSYON. In nomine papæ, amen.
DYSSYMULACYON. Sir, thys is my mynde. I wyll gyve Kynge Johan thys poyson,
So makynge hym sure that he shall never have foyson.
And thys must thu saye to colour with the thynge,
That a penye lofe he wolde have brought to a shyllynge.
2080SEDYSYON. Naye, that is suche a lye as easely wyll be felte.
DYSSYMULACYON. Tush, man, amonge fooles it never wyll be out smelte.
Though it be a foule lye, set upon it a good face,
And that wyll cause men beleve it in every place.
SEDYSYON. I am sure, than, thu wylt geve it hym in a drynke.
2085DYSSYMULACYON. Marry, that I wyll and the one half with hym swynke,
To encourage hym to drynke the botome off.
SEDYSYON. If thu drynke the halfe, thu shalt fynde it no scoff:
Of terryble deathe thu wylt stacker in the plashes.
DYSSYMULACYON. Tush, though I dye, man, there wyll ryse more of my ashes.
2090I am sure the monkes wyll praye for me so bytterlye,
That I shall not come in helle, nor in purgatorye.
In the popes kychyne the scullyons shall not brawle,
Nor fyght for my grese. If the priestes woulde for me yawle,
And grunt a good pace placebo with requiem masse,
2095Without muche tarryaunce I shulde to paradyse passe,
Where I myght be sure to make good cheare and be myrye,
For I can not awaye with that whoreson purgatorye.
SEDYSYON. To kepe the from thens thu shalt have five monkes syngynge
In Swynsett abbeye, so longe as the worlde is durynge:
2100They wyll daylye praye for the sowle of father Symon,
A Cisteane monke whych poysened Kynge John.
DYSSYMULACYON. Whan the worlde is done, what helpe shall I have than?
SEDYSYON. Than shyft for thy self so wele as ever thu can.
DYSSYMULACYON. Cockes sowle, he cometh here. Assoyle me that I were gone then.
2105SEDYSYON. Ego absolvo te in nomine papæ, amen.
[Exit DYSSYMULACYON and SEDWSYON]