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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)

    Scena Quarta.
    Enter Salisbury, Pembroke, and Bigot.
    2460Sal. 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.
    2465Pem. 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.
    2470Sal. 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:
    2475For 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. Edmondsbury,
    2480Euen 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,
    2485Which 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
    2490That 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
    2495Already 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:
    2500If 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.
    2505In 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.
    2510Sal. We do beleeue thee, and beshrew my soule,
    But I do loue the fauour, and the forme
    Of this most faire occasion, by the which
    We will vntread the steps of damned flight,
    And like a bated and retired Flood,
    2515Leauing our ranknesse and irregular course,
    Stoope lowe within those bounds we haue ore-look'd,
    And calmely run on in obedience
    Euen to our Ocean, to our great King Iohn.
    My arme shall giue thee helpe to beare thee hence,
    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