Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: John Bale
Editor: Nicola Goshulak
Not Peer Reviewed

Kynge Johann (Old-spelling)


[Enter KYNGE JOHAN and ENGLANDE]
KYNGE JOHAN. No prince in the worlde in suche captivyte
As I am thys howre, and all for ryghteousnesse.
2110Agaynst me I have both the lordes and commynalte,
Byshoppes and lawers, whych in their cruell madnesse
Hath brought in hyther the Frenche kynges eldest sonne Lewes.
The chaunce unto me is not so dolourrouse,
But my lyfe thys daye is muche more tedyouse.
2115More of compassyon for shedynge of Christen blood,
Than any thynge els. My sceptre I gave up latelye
To the Pope of Rome, whych hath no tytle good
Of jurisdycyon, but of usurpacyon onlye,
And now to the Lorde I woulde resygne up gladlye
2120
Flectit genua.
Both my crowne and lyfe, for thyne owne ryght it is,
If it would please the to take my sowle to thy blys.
ENGLANDE. Sir, discomfort ye not: in the honour of Christe Jesu
God wyll never fayle yow, intendynge not els but vertu.
2125KYNGE JOHAN. The anguysh of sprete so pangeth me every where
That incessantly I thyrst tyll I be there.
ENGLANDE. Sir, be of good chere, for the pope hath sent a legate,
Whose name is Gualo, your foes to excommunycate;
Not only Lewes, whych hath wonne Rochestre,
2130Wynsore and London, Readynge and Wynchestre,
But so many els as agaynst ye have rebelled
He hath suspended and openly accursed.
KYNGE JOHAN. They are all false knaves; all men of them be ware:
They never left me tyll they had me in their snare.
2135Now have they Otto, the emproure, so wele as me,
And the French kynge, Phylypp, undre their captivyte.
All Christen princes they wyll have in their handes:
The pope and his priestes are poyseners of all landes.
All Christen people be ware of trayterouse pristes,
2140For of truthe they are the pernicyouse Antichristes.
ENGLANDE. Thys same Gualo, Sir, in your cause doth stoughtly barke.
KYNGE JOHAN. They are all nought, Englande, so many as weare that marke.
From thys habytacyon, swete Lorde, delyver me,
And preserve thys realme of thy benygnyte.
2145DYSSYMULACYON. Wassayle, wassayle out of the mylke payle,
Wassayle, wassayle, as whyte as my nayle,
Wassayle, wassayle in snowe froste and hayle,
Wassayle, wassayle with partriche and rayle,
Wassayle, wassayle that muche doth avayle,
2150Wassayle, wassayle that never wyll fayle.
KYNGE JOHAN. Who is that, Englande? I praye the stepp fourth and see.
ENGLANDE. He doth seme a farre some relygyous man to be.
[Enter DYSSYMULACYON]
DYSSYMULACYON. Now Jesus preserve your worthye and excellent grace,
2155For doubtlesse there is a very angelyck face.
Now forsoth and God, I woulde thynke my self in heaven,
If I myght remayne with yow but yeares alevyn.
I woulde covete here none other felicyte.
KYNGE JOHAN. A lovynge persone thu mayest seme for to be.
2160DYSSYMULACYON. I am as gentle a worme as ever ye see.
KYNGE JOHAN. But what is thy name, good frynde, I praye the tell me?
DYSSYMULACYON. Simon of Swynsett my very name is per dee.
I am taken of men for monastycall Devocyon,
And here have I brought yow a marvelouse good pocyon,
2165For I harde ye saye that ye were very drye.
KYNGE JOHAN. In dede I wolde gladlye drynke. I praye the come nye.
DYSSYMULACYON. The dayes of your lyfe never felt ye suche a cuppe,
So good and so holsome, if ye woulde drynke it upp:
It passeth malmesaye, capryck, tyre, or ypocras;
2170By my fay the I thynke a better drynke never was.
KYNGE JOHAN. Begynne, gentle monke: I pray the drynke half to me.
DYSSYMULACYON. If ye dronke all up, it were the better for ye.
It woulde slake your thirst and also quycken your brayne:
A better drynke is not in Portyngale nor Spayne,
2175Therfore suppe it of, and make an ende of it quycklye.
KYNGE JOHAN. Naye, thu shalte drynke half, there is no remedye.
DYSSYMULACYON. Good lucke to ye than! have at it by and bye:
Halfe wyll I consume, if there be no remedye.
KYNGE JOHAN. God saynt the, good monke, with all my very harte!
2180DYSSYMULACYON. I have brought ye half; conveye me that for your parte.
Where art thu, Sedicyon? by the masse I dye, I dye.
Helpe now at a pynche! Alas, man, cum awaye shortlye.
[Enter SEDITION]
SEDYSYON. Come hyther apace, and gett thee to the farmerye;
2185I have provyded for the, by swete saynt Powle,
Fyve monkes that shall synge contynually for thy sowle,
That, I warande the, thu shalt not come in helle.
DYSSYMULACYON. To sende me to heaven goo rynge the holye belle,
And synge for my sowle a masse of Scala Celi,
2190That I maye clyme up aloft with Enoch and Heli:
I do not doubte it but I shall be a saynt.
Provyde a gyldar myne image for to paynt.
I dye for the Churche with Thomas of Canterberye:
Ye shall fast my vigyll and upon my daye be merye.
2195No doubt but I shall do myracles in a whyle,
And therfore lete me be shryned in the north yle.
SEDYSYON. To the than wyll offer both crypple, halte, and blynde,
Mad men and mesels, with such as are woo behynde.
Exeunt.
2200KYNGE JOHAN. My bodye me vexeth: I doubt much of a tympanye.
ENGLANDE. Now, alas, alas! your grace is betrayed cowardlye.
KYNGE JOHAN. Where became the monke that was here with me latelye?
ENGLANDE. He is poysened, sir, and lyeth a dyenge surelye.
KYNGE JOHAN. It can not be so, for he was here even now.
2205ENGLANDE. Doubtlesse, sir, it is so true as I have tolde yow:
A false Judas kysse he hath gyven and is gone.
The halte, sore, and lame thys pitiefull case wyll mone.
Never prynce was there that made to poore peoples use
So many masendewes, hospytals and spyttle howses,
2210As your grace hath done yet sens the worlde began.
KYNGE JOHAN. Of priestes and of monkes I am counted a wycked man.
For that I never buylte churche nor monasterye,
But my pleasure was to helpe suche as were nedye.
ENGLANDE. The more grace was yours, for at the daye of judgment
2215Christe wyll rewarde them whych hath done hys commaundement.
There is no promyse for voluntarye wurkes,
No more than there is for sacrifyce of the Turkes.
KYNGE JOHAN. Doubtlesse I do fele muche grevaunce in my bodye.
ENGLANDE. As the Lorde wele knoweth, for that I am full sorye.
2220KYNGE JOHAN. There is no malyce to the malyce of the clergye:
Well, the Lorde God of heaven on me and them have mercye.
For doynge justyce they have ever hated me.
They caused my lande to be excommunycate,
And me to resygne both crowne and princely dygnyte,
2225From my obedyence assoylynge every estate;
And now last of all they have me intoxycate.
I perceyve ryght wele their malyce hath none ende:
I desyre not els but that they maye sone amende.
I have sore hungred and thirsted ryghteousnesse
2230For the offyce sake that God hath me appoynted,
But now I perceyve that synne and wyckednesse
In thys wretched worlde, lyke as Christe prophecyed,
Have the overhande: in me it is verefyed.
Praye for me, good people, I besych yow hartely,
2235That the Lorde above on my poore sowle have mercy.
Farwell noble men, with the clergye spirytuall,
Farwell men of lawe, with the whole commynalte.
Your disobedyence I do forgyve yow all,
And desyre God to perdon your iniquyte.
2240Farwell, swete Englande, now last of all to the:
I am ryght sorye I coulde do for the nomore.
Farwell ones agayne, yea, farwell for evermore.
ENGLANDE. With the leave of God I wyll not leave ye thus,
But styll be with ye tyll he do take yow from us,
2245And than wyll I kepe your bodye for a memoryall.
KYNGE JOHAN. Than plye it, Englande, and provyde for my buryall.
A wydowes offyce it is to burye the deade.
ENGLANDE. Alas, swete maistre, ye waye so heavy as leade.
Oh horryble case, that euer so noble a kynge
2250Shoulde thus be destroyed and lost for ryghteouse doynge,
By a cruell sort of disguysed bloud-souppers,
Unmercyfull murtherers, all dronke in the bloude of marters!
Report what they wyll in their most furyouse madnesse,
Of thys noble kynge muche was the godlynesse.
2255
Exeunt.
[Enter] VERYTE.
VERYTE. I assure ye, fryndes, lete men wryte what they wyll,
Kynge Johan was a man both valiaunt and godlye.
What though Polydorus reporteth hym very yll
2260At the suggestyons of the malicyouse clergye,
Thynke yow a Romane with the Romans can not lye?
Yes; therfore, Leylonde, out of thy slumbre awake,
And wytnesse a trewthe for thyne owne contrayes sake.
For hys valiauntnesse many excellent writers make,
2265As Sigebertus, Vincentius, and also Nauclerus,
Giraldus and Mathu Parys with hys noble vertues take;
Yea, Paulus Phrigio, Johan Major, and Hector Boethius.
Nothynge is allowed in hys lyfe of Polydorus
Whych discommendeth hys ponyshmentes for trayterye,
2270Advauncynge very sore hygh treason in the clergye.
Of hys godlynesse thus muche report wyll I:
Gracyouse provysyon for sore, sycke, halte and lame
He made in hys tyme, he made both in towne and cytie,
Grauntynge great lyberties for mayntenaunce of the same,
2275By markettes and fayers in places of notable name.
Great monymentes are in Yppeswych, Donwych and Berye,
Whych noteth hym to be a man of notable mercye.
The cytie of London, through his mere graunt and premye,
Was first privyleged to have both mayer and shryve,
2280Where before hys tyme it had but baylyves onlye.
In hys dayes the brydge the cytizens ded contryve.
Though he now be dead, hys noble actes are alyve,
Hys zele is declared, as towchynge Christes religyon,
In that he exyled the Jewes out of thys regyon.
2285
[Enter NOBELYTE, THE CLARGY, and CYVYLL ORDER]
NOBELYTE. Whome speake ye of, sir, I besyche ye hartelye?
VERYTE. I talke of Kynge Johan, of late your prynce most worthye.
NOBELYTE. Sir, he was a man of a very wycked sorte.
VERYTE. Ye are muche to blame your prynce so to reporte.
2290How can ye presume to be called Nobilyte,
Diffamynge a prynce in your malygnyte?
Ecclesiastes sayth, If thu with an hatefull harte
Misnamest a kynge, thu playest suche a wycked parte
As byrdes of ayer to God wyll represent,
2295To thy great parell and exceedynge ponnyshment.
Saynt Hierome sayth also that he is of no renowne,
But a vyle traytour, that rebelleth agaynst the crowne.
THE CLARGY. He speaketh not agaynst the crowne, but the man per dee.
VERYTE. Oh, where is the sprete whych ought to reigne in the?
2300The crowne of it selfe without the man is nothynge.
Learne of the Scriptures to have better undrestandynge.
The harte of a kynge is in the handes of the Lorde,
And he directeth it, wyse Salomon to recorde,
They are abhomynable that use hym wyckedlye.
2305THE CLARGY. He was never good to us, the sanctifyed Clergye.
VERYTE. Wyll ye know the cause, before thys worshypfull cumpanye?
Your conversacyon and lyves are very ungodlye.
Kynge Salomon sayth, Who hath a pure mynde,
Therin delyghtynge, shall have a kynge to frynde.
2310On thys wurde Cleros, whych signyfieth a lott,
Or a sortynge out into a most godly knott,
Ye do take your name, for that ye are the Lordes
Select, of hys wurde to be the specyall recordes.
As of saynt Mathias we have a syngular mencyon,
2315That they chose hym owt anon after Christes ascencyon.
Thus do ye recken; but I feare ye come of Clerus,
A very noyfull worme, as Aristotle sheweth us,
By whome are destroyed the honycombes of bees,
For poore wydowes ye robbe, as ded the Pharysees.
2320CYVYLL ORDER. I promyse yow it is uncharytably spoken.
VERYTE. Trouthe ingendereth hate: ye shewe therof a token.
Ye are suche a man as owght every where to see
A godly order, but ye loose yche commynalte.
Plato thowght alwayes that no hygher love coulde be
2325Than a man to peyne hymself for hys own countreye.
David for their sake the proude Philistian slewe:
Aioth mad Eglon hys wyckednesse to rewe.
Esdras from Persye for hys owne countreys sake
Came to Hierusalem their stronge holdes up to make.
2330But yow lyke wretches cast over both contreye and kynge:
All manhode shameth to see your unnaturall doynge.
Ye wycked rulers, God doth abhorre ye all;
As Mantuan reporteth in hys Egloges pastorall,
Ye fede not the shepe, but ever ye pylle the flocke,
2335And clyppe them so nygh that scarsely ye leve one locke.
Your judgementes are suche that ye call to God in vayne,
So longe as ye have yowr prynces in disdayne.
Chrysostome reporteth that nobilyte of fryndes
Avayleth nothynge, except ye have godly myndes.
2340What profiteth it yow to be called spirytuall,
Whyls yow for lucre from all good vertues fall?
What prayse is it to yow to be called cyvylyte,
If yow from obedyence and godly order flee?
Anneus Seneca hath thys most provable sentence,
2345The gentyll free hart goeth never from obedyence.
CYVYLL ORDER. Sir, my bretherne and I woulde gladly knowe your name.
VERYTE. I am Veritas, that come hyther yow to blame
For castynge awaye of our most lawfull kynge:
Both God and the worlde detesteth your dampnable doynge.
2350How have ye used Kynge Johan here now of late?
I shame to rehearce the corruptyons of your state.
Ye were never wele tyll ye hym cruelly slayne,
And now, beynge dead, ye have hym styll in disdayne.
Ye have raysed up of hym most shamelesse lyes,
2355Both by your reportes and by your written storyes.
He that slewe Saul throwgh fearcenesse vyolent
Was slayne sone after at Davids just commaundement;
For bycause that Saul was anoynted of the Lorde:
The seconde of Kynges of thys beareth plenteouse recorde.
2360He was in those dayes estemed wurthie to dye
On a noynted Kynge that layed handes violentlye.
Ye are not ashamed to fynde fyve priestes to synge
For that same traytour that slewe your naturall kynge.
A trayterouse knave ye can set upp for a saynte,
2365And a ryghteouse kynge lyke an odyouse tyrant paynte.
I coulde shewe the place where you most spyghtfullye
Put out your torches upon hys physnomye.
In your glasse wyndowes ye whyppe your naturall kynges:
As I sayde afore, I abhorre to shewe your doynges.
2370The Turkes, I dare say, are a thowsande tymes better than yow.
NOBELYTE. For Gods love no more. Alas, ye have sayde ynough.
THE CLARGY. All the worlde doth knowe that we have done sore amys.
CYVYLL ORDER. Forgyve it us, so that we never heare more of thys.
VERYTE. But are ye sorye for thys ungodly wurke?
2375NOBELYTE. I praye to God else I be dampned lyke a Turke.
VERYTE. And make true promyse ye wyll never more do so?
THE CLARGY. Sir, never more shall I from true obedyence goo.
VERYTE. What say you, brother? I must have also your sentence.
CYVYLL ORDER. I wyll ever gyve to my prynce due reverence.
2380VERYTE. Well than, I doubt not but the Lorde wyll condescende
To forgyve yow all, so that ye mynde to amende.
Adewe to ye all, for now I must be gone.
[Enter] IMPERYALL MAJESTYE.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Abyde, Veryte; ye shall not depart so sone.
2385Have ye done all thynges as we commanded yow?
VERYTE. Yea, most gracyouse prynce, I concluded the whole even now.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. And how do they lyke the customs they have used
With our predecessours whome they have so abused,
Specyally Kynge Johan? thynke they they have done well?
2390VERYTE. They repent that ever they folowed sedicyouse counsell,
And have made promes they wyll amende all faultes.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. And forsake the pope with all hys cruell assaultes?
VERYTE. Whie do ye not bowe to Imperyall Majeste?
Knele and axe pardon for yowr great enormyte.
2395NOBELYTE. Most godly governour, we axe your gracyouse pardon,
Promysynge nevermore to maynteyne false Sedicyon.
THE CLARGY. Neyther Pryvate Welthe, nor yet Usurped Poure
Shall cause me disobeye my prynce from thys same houre.
False Dissymulacyon shall never me begyle,
2400Where I shall mete hym I wyll ever hym revyle.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. I perceyve, Veryte, ye have done wele your part,
Refowrmynge these men: gramercyes with all my hart.
I praye yow take paynes to call our Commynalte
To true obedyence, as ye are Gods Veryte.
2405VERYTE. I wyll do it, sir; yet shall I have muche a doo
With your popish prelates, they wyll hunte me to and fro.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. So longe as I lyve they shall do yow no wronge.
VERYTE. Than wyll I go preache Gods wurde your commens amonge.
But first I desyre yow their stubberne factes to remytt.
2410IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. I forgyve yow all, and perdon your frowarde wytt.
Omnes una. The heavenly Governour rewarde your goodnesse for it.
VERYTE. For Gods sake obeye, lyke as doth yow befall,
For in hys owne realme a kynge is judge over all,
By Gods appoyntment, and none maye hym judge agayne,
2415But the Lorde hymself: in thys the scripture is playne.
He that condempneth a kynge condempneth God without dought;
He that harmeth a kynge to harme God goeth abought.
He that a prynce resisteth doth dampne Gods ordynaunce,
And resisteth God in withdrawynge hys affyaunce.
2420All subjectes offendynge are undre the kynges judgement:
A kynge is reserved to the Lorde omnypotent.
He is a mynyster immedyate undre God,
Of hys ryghteousnesse to execute the rod.
I charge yow, therfore, as God hath charge me,
2425To gyve to your kynge hys due supremyte,
And exyle the pope thys realme for evermore.
Omnes una. We shall gladly doo accordynge to your loore.
VERYTE. Your grace is content I shewe your people the same.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Yea, gentle Veryte, shewe them their dewtye in Gods name.
2430To confyrme the tale that Veryte had now
The seconde of Kynges is evydent to yow.
The younge man that brought the crowne and bracelett
Of Saul to David, saynge that he had hym slayne,
David commaunded, as though he had done the forfett,
2435Strayght waye to be slayne: Gods sprete ded hym constrayne
To shewe what it is a kynges bloude to distayne.
So ded he those two that in the fyelde hym mett,
And unto hym brought the heade of Isboset.
Consydre that Christe was undre the obedyence
2440Of worldly prynces so longe as he was here,
And alwayes used them with a lowly reverence,
Payinge them tribute, all his true servauntes to stere
To obeye them, love them, and have them in reverent feare.
Dampnacyon it is to hym that an ordre breake
2445Appoynted of God, lyke as the Apostle speake.
No man is exempt from thys, Gods ordynaunce,
Bishopp, monke, chanon, priest, cardynall nor pope:
All they by Gods lawe to kynges owe their allegeaunce.
Thys wyll be wele knowne in thys same realme I hope.
2450Of Verytees wurdes the syncere meanynge I grope:
He sayth that a Kynge is of God immedyatlye;
Than shall never Pope rule more in thys monarchie.
THE CLARGY. If it be your pleasure we wyll exyle hym cleane,
That he in thys realme shall nevermore be seane;
2455And your grace shall be the supreme head of the churche.
To brynge thys to passe, ye shall see how we wyll wurche.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Here is a nyce tale! he sayth, if it be my pleasure
He wyll do thys acte to the popes most hygh displeasure:
As who sayth I woulde for pleasure of my persone,
2460And not for Gods truthe have suche an enterpryse done.
Full wysely convayed: the crowe wyll not chaunge her hewe.
It is marvele to me and ever ye be trewe.
I wyll the auctoryte of Gods holy wurde to do it.
And it not to aryse of your vayne slypper wytt.
2465That scripture doth not is but a lyght fantasye.
THE CLARGY. Both Daniel and Paule calleth hym Gods adversarye,
And therfore ye ought as a devyll hym to expell.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Knewe ye thys afore, and woulde it never tell?
Ye shoulde repent it, had we not nowforgyven ye.
2470Nobylyte, what say yow? Wyll ye to thys agree?
NOBELYTE. I can no lesse, sir, for he is wurse than the Turke,
Whych none other wayes but by tyrannye doth wurke.
Thys bloudy bocher with hys pernycyouse bayte
Oppresse Christen princes by frawde, crafte and dissayte,
2475Tyll he compell them to kysse hys pestylent fete,
Lyke a levyathan syttynge in Moyses sete.
I thynke we can do unto God no sacrifyce
That is more accept, nor more agreynge to justyce,
Than to slea that beaste and slauterman of the devyll,
2480That Babylon boore, whych hath done so muche evyll.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. It is a clere sygne of a true Nobilyte,
To the wurde of God whan your conscyence doth agree:
For as Christe ded saye to Peter, Caro et sanguis
Non revelavit tibi, sed Pater meus celestis:
2485Ye have not thys gyfte of carnall generacion,
Nor of noble bloude, but by Gods owne demonstracyon.
Of yow, Cyvyle Order, one sentence woulde I heare.
CYVYLL ORDER. I rewe it that ever any harte I ded hym beare.
I thynke he hath spronge out of the bottomlesse pytt,
2490And in mennys conscyence in the stede of God doth sytt,
Blowynge fourth a swarme of grassopers and flyes,
Monkes, fryers and priestes, that all truthe putrifyes.
Of the Christen faythe playe now the true defendar,
Exyle thys monster and ravenouse devourar,
2495With hys venym wormes, hys adders, whelpes and snakes,
Hys cuculled vermyne that unto all myschiefe wakes.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Than in thys purpose ye are all of one mynde?
THE CLARGY. We detest the pope, and abhorre hym to the fynde.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. And ye are wele content to disobeye hys pryde?
2500NOBELYTE. Yea, and his lowsye lawes and decrees to sett asyde.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Than must ye be sworne to take me for your heade.
CYVYLL ORDER. We wyll obeye yow as our governour in Gods steade.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Now that ye are sworne unto me your pryncypall,
I charge ye to regarde the wurde of God over all,
2505And in that alone to rule to speake and to judge,
As ye wyll have me your socour and refuge.
THE CLARGY. If ye wyll make sure, ye must exyle Sedicyon,
False Dyssymulacyon, with all vayne superstycyon,
And put Private Welthe out of the monasteryes,
2510Than Usurped Power maye goo a birdynge for flyes.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Take yow it in hande, and do your true dilygence:
Iche man for hys part; ye shall wante no assystence.
THE CLARGY. I promyse yow here to exyle Usurped Powre,
And yowr supremyte to defende yche daye and howre.
2515NOBELYTE. I promyse also out of the monasteryes
To put Private Welthe, and detect hys mysteryes.
CYVYLL ORDER. False Dissymulacyon I wyll hange up in Smythfylde,
With suche supersticion as your people hath begylde.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Than I trust we are at a very good conclusyon,
2520Vertu to have place, and vyce to have confusyon.
Take Veryte wyth ye for every acte ye doo,
So shall ye be sure not out of the waye to goo.
SEDICYON intrat.
SEDYSYON. [Sing] Pepe I see ye, I am glad I have spyed ye
2525NOBELYTE. There is Sedicyon: stand yow asyde a whyle,
Ye shall see how we shall catche hym by a wyle.
SEDYSYON. No noyse amonge ye? where is the mery chere,
That was wont to be with quaffynge of double bere?
The worlde is not yet as some men woulde it have.
2530I have bene abroade, and I thynke I have playde the knave.
CYVYLL ORDER. Thu canst do none other, except thu change thy wunte.
SEDYSYON. What myschiefe ayle ye that ye are to me so blunte?
I have sene the daye ye have favoured me, Perfectyon.
THE CLARGY. Thy selfe is not he, thu art of an other complectyon.
2535Sir, thys is the thiefe that first subdued Kynge John,
Vexynge other prynces that sens have ruled thys regyon,
And now he doth prate he hath played the knave,
That the worlde is not yet as some men woulde it have.
It woulde be knowne, sir, what he hath done of late.
2540IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. What is thy name, frynde, to us here intymate?
SEDYSYON. A sayntwary! a sayntwary! for Gods dere passion, a sayntwarye!
Is there none wyll holde me, and I have made so manye?
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Tell me what thy name is? Thu playest the knave I trowe.
SEDYSYON. I am wyndelesse, good man, I have muche peyne to blowe.
2545IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. I saye tell thy name, or the racke shall the constrayne.
SEDYSYON. Holy Perfectyon my godmother called me playne.
NOBELYTE. It is Sedicyon, God gyve hym a very myschiefe.
CYVYLL ORDER. Under heaven is not a more detestable thiefe.
SEDYSYON. By the messe ye lye: I see wele ye do not knowe me.
2550IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Ah, brother, art thu come? I am ryght glad we have the.
SEDYSYON. By bodye, bloude, bones, and sowle, I am not he.
THE CLARGY. If swearynge myghte helpe he woulde do wele ynough.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. He scape not our handes so lyghtly I warande yow.
THE CLARGY. Thys is that thiefe, Sir, that all Christendome hath troubled,
2555And the pope of Rome agaynst all kynges maynteyned.
NOBELYTE. Now that ye have hym, no more, but hange hym uppe.
CYVYLL ORDER. If ye so be content, it shall be done ere I suppe.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Loo, the Clergye accuseth the, Nobylyte condempneth the,
And the lawe wyll hange the. What sayst now to me?
2560SEDYSYON. I woulde I were now at Rome at the sygne of the cuppe,
For heavynesse is drye. Alas, must I nedes clymbe uppe?
Perdon my lyfe, and I shall tell ye all,
Both that is past, and that wyll herafter fall.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Aryse; I perdon the, so that thu tell the trewthe.
2565SEDYSYON. I wyll tell to yow suche treason as ensewthe.
Yet a ghostly father ought not to bewraye confessyon.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. No confessyon is but ought to discover treason.
SEDYSYON. I thynke it maye kepe all thynge save heresye.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. It maye holde no treason, I tell the verelye,
2570And therfore tell the whole matter by and bye.
Thu saydest now of late that thu haddest played the knave,
And that the worlde was not as some men woulde it have.
SEDYSYON. I coulde playe Pasquyll, but I feare to have rebuke.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. For utterynge the truthe feare neyther byshopp nor duke.
2575SEDYSYON. Ye gave injunctyons that Gods wurde myghte be taught;
But who observe them? full manye a tyme have I laught
To see the conveyaunce that prelates and priestes can fynde.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. And whie do they beare Gods wurd no better mynde?
SEDYSYON. For if that were knowne, than woulde the people regarde
2580No heade but their prynce: with the churche than were it harde;
Than shoulde I lacke helpe to maynteyne their estate,
As I attempted in the Northe but now of late,
And sens that same tyme in other places besyde,
Tyll my setters on were of their purpose wyde.
2585A vengeaunce take it, it was never well with me
Sens the cummynge hyther of that same Veryte;
Yet do the byshoppes for my sake vexe hym amonge.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Do they so in dede? well, they shall not do so longe.
SEDYSYON. In your parlement, commaunde yow what ye wyll,
2590The popes ceremonyes shall drowne the Gospell styll.
Some of the byshoppes at your injunctyons slepe,
Some laugh and go bye, and some can playe boo pepe.
Some of them do nought but searche for heretykes,
Whyls their priestes abroade do playe the scysmatykes.
2595Tell me in London how manye their othes discharge
Of the curates there, yet is it muche wurse at large.
If your true subjectes impugne their trecheryes,
They can fatche them in, man, for Sacramentaryes,
Or Anabaptystes: thus fynde they subtyle shyfte
2600To proppe up their kyngedome, suche is their wyly dryfte.
Get they false wytnesses, they force not of whens they be,
Be they of Newgate, or be they of the Marshallsee.
Paraventure a thousande are in one byshoppes boke,
And agaynst a daye are readye to the hooke.
2605IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Are those matters true that thu hast spoken here?
SEDYSYON. What can in the worlde more evydent wytnesse bere?
First of all consydre the prelates do not preache,
But persecute those that the holy scriptures teache:
And marke me thys wele, they never ponnysh for popery,
2610But the Gospell readers they handle very coursely;
For on them they laye by hondred poundes of yron,
And wyll suffer none with them ones for to common.
Sytt they never so longe, nothynge by them cometh fourthe
To the truthes furtherance that any thynge ys wourthe.
2615In some byshoppes howse ye shall not fynde a testament,
But yche man readye to devoure the innocent.
We lyngar a tyme and loke but for a daye
To sett upp the pope, if the Gospell woulde decaye.
THE CLARGY. Of that he hath tolde hys selfe is the very grounde.
2620IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Art thu of counsell in this that thu hast spoken?
SEDYSYON. Yea, and in more than that, if all secretes myght be broken.
For the pope I make so muche as ever I maye do.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. I praye the hartely tell me why thu doest so?
SEDYSYON. For I perceyve wele the pope is a jolye fellawe,
2625A trymme fellawe, a ryche fellawe, yea and myry fellawe.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. A jolye fellawe how dost thu prove the pope?
SEDYSYON. For he hath crossekeyes with a tryple crowne and a cope,
Trymme as a trencher, havynge his shoes of golde,
Ryche in hys ryalte and angelyck to beholde.
2630IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. How dost thu prove hym to be a fellawe myrye?
SEDYSYON. He hath pipys and belles with kyrye, kyrye, kyrye,
Of hym ye maye bye both salt, creame, oyle and waxe,
And after hygh masse ye may learne to beare the paxe.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Yea, and nothynge heare of the pystle and the gospell?
2635SEDYSYON. No, Sir, by the masse, he wyll gyve no suche counsell.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Whan thu art abroade where doest thy lodgynge take?
SEDYSYON. Amonge suche people as God ded never make:
Not only cuckoldes, but suche as folow the Popes lawes
In disgysed coates, with balde crownes lyke Jacke Dawes.
2640IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Than every where thu art the popes altogyther.
SEDYSYON. Ye had proved it ere thys, if I had not chaunced hyther.
I sought to have served yow lyke as I ded Kynge John,
But that Veryte stopte me, the devyll hym poyson.
NOBELYTE. He is wurthie to dye and there were men nomore.
2645CYVYLL ORDER. Hange up the vyle knave, and kepe hym no longar in store.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. Drawe hym to Tyburne: lete hym be hanged and quartered.
SEDYSYON. Whye, of late dayes ye sayde I shoulde not be so martyred.
Where is the pardon that ye ded promyse me?
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. For doynge more harme thu shalt sone pardoned be.
2650Have hym fourth, Cyvyle Ordre, and hang hym tyll he be dead,
And on London brydge loke ye bestowe hys head.
CYVYLL ORDER. I shall see it done and returne to yow agayne.
SEDYSYON. I beshrewe your hart for takynge so muche payne.
Some man tell the pope, I besyche ye with all my harte,
2655How I am ordered for takynge the Churches parte,
That I maye be put in the holye letanye
With Thomas Beckett, for I thynke I am as wurthye.
Praye to me with candels, for I am a saynt alreadye.
O blessed saynt Partryck, I see the I verylye.
2660
[Exit CYVYLL ORDER and SEDYSYON]
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. I see by thys wretche there hath bene muche faulte in ye:
Shewe your selves herafter more sober and wyse to be.
Kynge Johan ye subdued for that he ponnyshed treason
Rape, theft, and murther in the holye spirytualte:
2665But Thomas Beckett ye exalted without reason,
Because that he dyed for the Churches wanton lyberte,
That the priestes myght do all kyndes of inyquyte,
And be unponnyshed: Marke now the judgement
Of your ydle braynes, and for Gods love repent.
2670NOBELYTE. As God shall judge me I repent me of my rudenesse.
THE CLARGY. I am ashamed of my most vayne folyshenesse.
NOBELYTE. I consydre now that God hath for Sedicyon
Sent ponnyshmentes great: examples we have in Brute,
In Catilyne, in Cassius, and fayer Absolon,
2675Whome of their purpose God alwayes destytute,
And terryble plages on them ded execute
For their rebellyon. And therfore I wyll be ware,
Least his great vengeaunce trappe me in suche lyke snare.
[Enter CYVYLL ORDER]
2680THE CLARGY. I pondre also that sens the tyme of Adam
The Lorde evermore the governours preserved:
Examples we fynde in Noe and in Abraham,
In Moyses and David, from whome God never swerved.
I wyll therfor obeye least he be with me displeased.
2685Homerus doth saye that God putteth fourth hys shyelde
The prynce to defende whan he is in the fyelde.
CYVYLL ORDER. Thys also I marke: whan the priestes had governaunce
Over the Hebrues, the sectes ded first aryse
As Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essees, whych wrought muche grevaunce
2690Amonge the people by their most devylysh practyse,
Tyll destructyons the prynces ded devyse,
To the quyetnesse of their faythfull commens all,
As your grace hath done with the sectes papistycall.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. That poynt hath in tyme fallen in your memoryes.
2695The Anabaptystes, a secte newe rysen of late,
The scriptures poyseneth with their subtle allegoryes,
The heades to subdue after a sedicyouse rate.
The cytie of Mynster was lost through their debate.
They have here begunne their pestilent sedes to sowe,
2700But we trust in God to increace they shall not growe.
THE CLARGY. God forbyd they shoulde, for they myght do muche harme.
CYVYLL ORDER. We shall cut them short if they do hyther swarme.
IMPERYALL MAJESTYE. The adminystracyon of a princes governaunce
Is the gifte of God and hys hygh ordynaunce,
2705Whome with all your power yow thre ought to support
In the lawes of God to all hys peoples confort.
First yow, the Clergye, in preachynge of Gods worde,
Than yow, Nobilyte, defendynge with the sworde,
Yow, Cyvyle Order, in executynge justyce.
2710Thus, I trust, we shall seclude all maner of vyce,
And after we have establyshed our kyngedome
In peace of the Lorde and in hys godly fredome,
We wyll confirme it with wholesom lawes and decrees,
To the full suppressynge of Antichristes vanytees.
2715
Hic omnes rex osculatur.
Farwele to ye all; first to yow, Nobilyte,
Than to yow, Clergye, than to yow Cyvylyte;
And above all thynges remembre our injunctyon.
Omnes una. By the helpe of God yche one shall do hys functyon.
2720
[Exit IMPERYALL MAJESTYE]
NOBELYTE. By thys example ye may see with your eyes
How Antichristes whelpes have noble princes used.
Agayne ye may see how they with prodigyouse lyes
And craftes uncomely their myschiefes have excused:
2725Both nature, manhode and grace they have abused,
Defylynge the lawe and blyndynge Nobilyte;
No Christen regyon from their abusyons free.
THE CLARGY. Marke wele the dampnable bestowynge of their masses,
With their foundacyons for poysenynge of their kynge;
2730Their confessyon driftes all other traytery passes:
A saynt they can make of the moste knave thys daye lyvynge,
Helpynge their market. And to promote the thynge
He shall do myracles; but he that blemysh their glorye
Shall be sent to helle without anye remedye.
2735CYVYLL ORDER. Here was to be seane what ryseth of Sedicyon,
And howe he doth take hys mayntenaunce and grounde
Of ydle persones, brought upp in supersticyon,
Whose daylye practyse is alwayes to confounde
Such as myndeth vertu and to them wyll not be bounde.
2740Expedyent it is to knowe their pestylent wayes,
Consyderynge they were so busye now of late dayes.
NOBELYTE. Englande hath a quene, thankes to the Lorde above,
Whych maye be a lyghte to other princes all
For the godly wayes whome she doth dayly move
2745To her liege people, through Gods wurde specyall.
She is that Angell, as saynt Johan doth hym call,
That with the Lordes scale doth marke out his true servauntes,
Pryntynge in their hartes his holy wourdes and covenauntes.
THE CLARGY. In Danyels sprete she hath subdued the papistes,
2750With all the ofsprynge of Antichristes generacyon;
And now of late dayes the sect of Anabaptistes
She seketh to suppresse for their pestiferouse facyon.
She vanquysheth also the great abhomynacyon
Of supersticyons, witchecraftes, and hydolatrye,
2755Restorynge Gods honoure to hys first force and bewtye.
CYVYLL ORDER. Praye unto the Lorde that hir grace may contynewe
The dayes of Nestor to our sowles consolacyon,
And that hir ofsprynge may lyve also to subdewe
The great Antichriste, with hys whole generacyon,
2760In Helias sprete to the confort of thys nacyon:
Also to preserve hir most honourable counsel,
To the prayse of God and glorye of the Gospell.
[Exeunt.]
Thus endeth the .ij. playes of Kynge Johan.