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  • Title: King John (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Michael Best
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-410-3

    Copyright Michael Best. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Michael Best
    Peer Reviewed

    King John (Folio 1, 1623)

    Bast. Old Time the clocke setter, yt bald sexton Time:
    Is it as he will? well then, France shall rue.
    Bla. The Sun's orecast with bloud: faire day adieu,
    1260Which is the side that I must goe withall?
    I am with both, each Army hath a hand,
    And in their rage, I hauing hold of both,
    They whurle a-sunder, and dismember mee.
    Husband, I cannot pray that thou maist winne:
    1265Vncle, I needs must pray that thou maist lose:
    Father, I may not wish the fortune thine:
    Grandam, I will not wish thy wishes thriue:
    Who-euer wins, on that side shall I lose:
    Assured losse, before the match be plaid.
    1270Dolph. Lady, with me, with me thy fortune lies.
    Bla. There where my fortune liues, there my life dies.
    Iohn. Cosen, goe draw our puisance together,
    France, I am burn'd vp with inflaming wrath,
    A rage, whose heat hath this condition;
    1275That nothing can allay, nothing but blood,
    The blood and deerest valued bloud of France.
    Fra. Thy rage shall burne thee vp, & thou shalt turne
    To ashes, ere our blood shall quench that fire:
    Looke to thy selfe, thou art in ieopardie.
    1280Iohn. No more then he that threats. To Arms le'ts hie.

    Scœna Secunda.

    Allarums, Excursions: Enter Bastard with Austria's

    1285Bast. Now by my life, this day grows wondrous hot,
    Some ayery Deuill houers in the skie,
    And pour's downe mischiefe. Austrias head lye there,
    Enter Iohn, Arthur, Hubert.
    While Philip breathes.
    1290Iohn. Hubert, keepe this boy: Philip make vp,
    My Mother is assayled in our Tent,
    And tane I feare.
    Bast. My Lord I rescued her,
    Her Highnesse is in safety, feare you not:
    1295But on my Liege, for very little paines
    Will bring this labor to an happy end. Exit.

    Alarums, excursions, Retreat. Enter Iohn Eleanor, Arthur
    Bastard, Hubert, Lords.

    Iohn. So shall it be: your Grace shall stay behinde
    1300So strongly guarded: Cosen, looke not sad,
    Thy Grandame loues thee, and thy Vnkle will
    As deere be to thee, as thy father was.
    Arth. O this will make my mother die with griefe.
    Iohn. Cosen away for England, haste before,
    1305And ere our comming see thou shake the bags
    Of hoording Abbots, imprisoned angells
    Set at libertie: the fat ribs of peace
    Must by the hungry now be fed vpon:
    Vse our Commission in his vtmost force.
    1310Bast. Bell, Booke, & Candle, shall not driue me back,
    When gold and siluer becks me to come on.
    I leaue your highnesse: Grandame, I will pray
    (If euer I remember to be holy)
    For your faire safety: so I kisse your hand.
    1315Ele. Farewell gentle Cosen.
    Iohn. Coz, farewell.
    Ele. Come hether little kinsman, harke, a worde.
    Iohn. Come hether Hubert. O my gentle Hubert,
    We owe thee much: within this wall of flesh
    1320There is a soule counts thee her Creditor,
    And with aduantage meanes to pay thy loue:
    And my good friend, thy voluntary oath
    Liues in this bosome, deerely cherished.
    Giue me thy hand, I had a thing to say,
    1325But I will fit it with some better tune.
    By heauen Hubert, I am almost asham'd
    To say what good respect I haue of thee.
    Hub. I am much bounden to your Maiesty.
    Iohn. Good friend, thou hast no cause to say so yet,
    1330But thou shalt haue: and creepe time nere so slow,
    Yet it shall come, for me to doe thee good.
    I had a thing to say, but let it goe:
    The Sunne is in the heauen, and the proud day,
    Attended with the pleasures of the world,
    1335Is all too wanton, and too full of gawdes
    To giue me audience: If the mid-night bell
    Did with his yron tongue, and brazen mouth
    Sound on into the drowzie race of night:
    If this same were a Church-yard where we stand,
    1340And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs:
    Or if that surly spirit melancholy
    Had bak'd thy bloud, and made it heauy, thicke,
    Which else runnes tickling vp and downe the veines,
    Making that idiot laughter keepe mens eyes ,
    1345And straine their cheekes to idle merriment,
    A passion hatefull to my purposes:
    Or if that thou couldst see me without eyes,
    Heare me without thine eares, and make reply
    Without a tongue, vsing conceit alone,
    1350Without eyes, eares, and harmefull sound of words:
    Then, in despight of brooded watchfull day,
    I would into thy bosome poure my thoughts:
    But (ah) I will not, yet I loue thee well,
    And by my troth I thinke thou lou'st me well.
    1355Hub. So well, that what you bid me vndertake,
    Though that my death were adiunct to my Act,
    By heauen I would doe it.
    Iohn. Doe not I know thou wouldst?
    Good Hubert, Hubert, Hubert throw thine eye
    1360On yon young boy: Ile tell thee what my friend,
    He is a very serpent in my way,
    And wheresoere this foot of mine doth tread,
    He lies before me: dost thou vnderstand me?
    Thou art his keeper.
    1365Hub. And Ile keepe him so,
    That he shall not offend your Maiesty.
    Iohn. Death.
    Hub. My Lord.
    Iohn. A Graue.
    1370Hub. He shall not liue.
    Iohn. Enough.
    I could be merry now, Hubert, I loue thee.
    Well, Ile not say what I intend for thee:
    Remember: Madam, Fare you well,
    1375Ile send those powers o're to your Maiesty.
    Ele. My blessing goe with thee.
    Iohn. For England Cosen, goe.
    Hubert shall be your man, attend on you
    With al true duetie: On toward Callice, hoa.
    1380 Exeunt.