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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)

    2520For I do see the cruell pangs of death
    Right in thine eye. Away, my friends, new flight,
    And happie newnesse, that intends old right. Exeunt

    Scena Quinta.

    Enter Dolphin, and his Traine.
    2525Dol. The Sun of heauen (me thought) was loth to set;
    But staid, and made the Westerne Welkin blush,
    When English measure backward their owne ground
    In faint Retire: Oh brauely came we off,
    When with a volley of our needlesse shot,
    2530After such bloody toile, we bid good night,
    And woon'd our tott'ring colours clearly vp,
    Last in the field, and almost Lords of it.
    Enter a Messenger.
    Mes. Where is my Prince, the Dolphin?
    2535Dol. Heere: what newes?
    Mes. The Count Meloone is slaine: The English Lords
    By his perswasion, are againe falne off,
    And your supply, which you haue wish'd so long,
    Are cast away, and sunke on Goodwin sands.
    2540Dol. Ah fowle, shrew'd newes. Beshrew thy very (hart:
    I did not thinke to be so sad to night
    As this hath made me. Who was he that said
    King Iohn did flie an houre or two before
    The stumbling night did part our wearie powres?
    2545Mes. Who euer spoke it, it is true my Lord.
    Dol. Well: keepe good quarter, & good care to night,
    The day shall not be vp so soone as I,
    To try the faire aduenture of to morrow. Exeunt

    Scena Sexta.

    2550Enter Bastard and Hubert, seuerally.
    Hub. Whose there? Speake hoa, speake quickely, or
    I shoote.
    Bast. A Friend. What art thou?
    Hub. Of the part of England.
    2555Bast. Whether doest thou go?
    Hub. What's that to thee?
    Why may not I demand of thine affaires,
    As well as thou of mine?
    Bast. Hubert, I thinke.
    2560Hub. Thou hast a perfect thought:
    I will vpon all hazards well beleeue
    Thou art my friend, that know'st my tongue so well:
    Who art thou?
    Bast. Who thou wiIt: and if thou please
    2565Thou maist be-friend me so much, as to thinke
    I come one way of the Plantagenets.
    Hub. Vnkinde remembrance: thou, & endles night,
    Haue done me shame: Braue Soldier, pardon me,
    That any accent breaking from thy tongue,
    2570Should scape the true acquaintance of mine eare.
    Bast. Come, come: sans complement, What newes
    Hub. Why heere walke I, in the black brow of night
    To finde you out.
    2575Bast. Brcefe then: and what's the newes?
    Hub. O my sweet sir, newes fitting to the night,
    Blacke, fearefull, comfortlesse, and horrible.
    Bast. Shew me the very wound of this ill newes,
    I am no woman, Ile not swound at it.
    2580Hub. The King I feare is poyson'd by a Monke,
    I left him almost speechlesse, and broke out
    To acquaint you with this euill, that you might
    The better arme you to the sodaine time,
    Then if you had at leisure knowne of this.
    2585Bast. How did he take it? Who did taste to him?
    Hub. A Monke I tell you, a resolued villaine
    Whose Bowels sodainly burst out: The King
    Yet speakes, and peraduenture may recouer.
    Bast. Who didst thou leaue to tend his Maiesty?
    2590Hub. Why know you not? The Lords are all come
    And brought Prince Henry in their companie,
    At whose request the king hath pardon'd them,
    And they are all about his Maiestie.
    2595Bast. With-hold thine indignation, mighty heauen,
    And tempt vs not to beare aboue our power.
    Ile tell thee Hubert, halfe my power this night
    Passing these Flats, are taken by the Tide,
    These Lincolne-Washes haue deuoured them,
    2600My selfe, well mounted, hardly haue escap'd.
    Away before: Conduct me to the king,
    I doubt he will be dead, or ere I come. Exeunt

    Scena Septima.

    Enter Prince Henry, Salisburie, and Bigot.
    2605Hen. It is too late, the life of all his blood
    Is touch'd, corruptibly: and his pure braine
    (Which some suppose the soules fraile dwelling house)
    Doth by the idle Comments that it makes,
    Fore-tell the ending of mortality.
    2610Enter Pembroke.
    Pem. His Highnesse yet doth speak, & holds beleefe,
    That being brought into the open ayre,
    It would allay the burning qualitie
    Of that fell poison which assayleth him.
    2615Hen. Let him be brought into the Orchard heere:
    Doth he still rage?
    Pem. He is more patient
    Then when you left him; euen now he sung.
    Hen. Oh vanity of sicknesse: fierce extreames
    2620In their continuance, will not feele themselues.
    Death hauing praide vpon the outward parts
    Leaues them inuisible, and his seige is now
    Against the winde, the which he prickes and wounds
    With many legions of strange fantasies,
    2625Which in their throng, and presse to that last hold,
    Counfound themselues. 'Tis strange yt death shold sing:
    I am the Symet to this pale faint Swan,
    Who chaunts a dolefull hymne to his owne death,
    And from the organ-pipe of frailety sings
    2630His soule and body to their lasting rest.
    Sal. Be of good comfort (Prince) for you are borne
    To set a forme vpon that indigest
    Which he hath left so shapelesse, and so rude.
    Iohn brought in.
    2635Iohn. I marrie, now my soule hath elbow roome,