| | Search | | E-Mail | | News | | Weather | | Finance | | Directory | | Music | | Lottery Results | | Horoscopes | | Translation | | Games | | E-Cards | | Maps | | Jobs | | Magazines | | DVDs |

Home > King John > ACT II - SCENE I. France. Before Angiers.

Search: King John

< (Previous) ACT I, SCENE IACT III, SCENE I (Next) >

ACT II - SCENE I. France. Before Angiers.
1    Before Angiers well met, brave Austria.
2    Arthur, that great forerunner of thy blood,
3    Richard, that robb'd the lion of his heart
4    And fought the holy wars in Palestine,
5    By this brave duke came early to his grave:
6    And for amends to his posterity,
7    At our importance hither is he come,
8    To spread his colours, boy, in thy behalf,
9    And to rebuke the usurpation
10   Of thy unnatural uncle, English John:
11   Embrace him, love him, give him welcome hither.
12   God shall forgive you Coeur-de-lion's death
13   The rather that you give his offspring life,
14   Shadowing their right under your wings of war:
15   I give you welcome with a powerless hand,
16   But with a heart full of unstained love:
17   Welcome before the gates of Angiers, duke.
18   A noble boy! Who would not do thee right?
19   Upon thy cheek lay I this zealous kiss,
20   As seal to this indenture of my love,
21   That to my home I will no more return,
22   Till Angiers and the right thou hast in France,
23   Together with that pale, that white-faced shore,
24   Whose foot spurns back the ocean's roaring tides
25   And coops from other lands her islanders,
26   Even till that England, hedged in with the main,
27   That water-walled bulwark, still secure
28   And confident from foreign purposes,
29   Even till that utmost corner of the west
30   Salute thee for her king: till then, fair boy,
31   Will I not think of home, but follow arms.
32   O, take his mother's thanks, a widow's thanks,
33   Till your strong hand shall help to give him strength
34   To make a more requital to your love!
35   The peace of heaven is theirs that lift their swords
36   In such a just and charitable war.
37   Well then, to work: our cannon shall be bent
38   Against the brows of this resisting town.
39   Call for our chiefest men of discipline,
40   To cull the plots of best advantages:
41   We'll lay before this town our royal bones,
42   Wade to the market-place in Frenchmen's blood,
43   But we will make it subject to this boy.
44   Stay for an answer to your embassy,
45   Lest unadvised you stain your swords with blood:
46   My Lord Chatillon may from England bring,
47   That right in peace which here we urge in war,
48   And then we shall repent each drop of blood
49   That hot rash haste so indirectly shed.

50   A wonder, lady! lo, upon thy wish,
51   Our messenger Chatillon is arrived!
52   What England says, say briefly, gentle lord;
53   We coldly pause for thee; Chatillon, speak.
54   Then turn your forces from this paltry siege
55   And stir them up against a mightier task.
56   England, impatient of your just demands,
57   Hath put himself in arms: the adverse winds,
58   Whose leisure I have stay'd, have given him time
59   To land his legions all as soon as I;
60   His marches are expedient to this town,
61   His forces strong, his soldiers confident.
62   With him along is come the mother-queen,
63   An Ate, stirring him to blood and strife;
64   With her her niece, the Lady Blanch of Spain;
65   With them a bastard of the king's deceased,
66   And all the unsettled humours of the land,
67   Rash, inconsiderate, fiery voluntaries,
68   With ladies' faces and fierce dragons' spleens,
69   Have sold their fortunes at their native homes,
70   Bearing their birthrights proudly on their backs,
71   To make hazard of new fortunes here:
72   In brief, a braver choice of dauntless spirits
73   Than now the English bottoms have waft o'er
74   Did nearer float upon the swelling tide,
75   To do offence and scath in Christendom.
Drum beats
76   The interruption of their churlish drums
77   Cuts off more circumstance: they are at hand,
78   To parley or to fight; therefore prepare.
79   How much unlook'd for is this expedition!
80   By how much unexpected, by so much
81   We must awake endavour for defence;
82   For courage mounteth with occasion:
83   Let them be welcome then: we are prepared.
84   Peace be to France, if France in peace permit
85   Our just and lineal entrance to our own;
86   If not, bleed France, and peace ascend to heaven,
87   Whiles we, God's wrathful agent, do correct
88   Their proud contempt that beats His peace to heaven.
89   Peace be to England, if that war return
90   From France to England, there to live in peace.
91   England we love; and for that England's sake
92   With burden of our armour here we sweat.
93   This toil of ours should be a work of thine;
94   But thou from loving England art so far,
95   That thou hast under-wrought his lawful king
96   Cut off the sequence of posterity,
97   Out-faced infant state and done a rape
98   Upon the maiden virtue of the crown.
99   Look here upon thy brother Geffrey's face;
100  These eyes, these brows, were moulded out of his:
101  This little abstract doth contain that large
102  Which died in Geffrey, and the hand of time
103  Shall draw this brief into as huge a volume.
104  That Geffrey was thy elder brother born,
105  And this his son; England was Geffrey's right
106  And this is Geffrey's: in the name of God
107  How comes it then that thou art call'd a king,
108  When living blood doth in these temples beat,
109  Which owe the crown that thou o'ermasterest?
110  From whom hast thou this great commission, France,
111  To draw my answer from thy articles?
112  From that supernal judge, that stirs good thoughts
113  In any breast of strong authority,
114  To look into the blots and stains of right:
115  That judge hath made me guardian to this boy:
116  Under whose warrant I impeach thy wrong
117  And by whose help I mean to chastise it.
118  Alack, thou dost usurp authority.
119  Excuse; it is to beat usurping down.
120  Who is it thou dost call usurper, France?
121  Let me make answer; thy usurping son.
122  Out, insolent! thy bastard shall be king,
123  That thou mayst be a queen, and cheque the world!
124  My bed was ever to thy son as true
125  As thine was to thy husband; and this boy
126  Liker in feature to his father Geffrey
127  Than thou and John in manners; being as like
128  As rain to water, or devil to his dam.
129  My boy a bastard! By my soul, I think
130  His father never was so true begot:
131  It cannot be, an if thou wert his mother.
132  There's a good mother, boy, that blots thy father.
133  There's a good grandam, boy, that would blot thee.
134  Peace!
135  Hear the crier.
136  What the devil art thou?
137  One that will play the devil, sir, with you,
138  An a' may catch your hide and you alone:
139  You are the hare of whom the proverb goes,
140  Whose valour plucks dead lions by the beard;
141  I'll smoke your skin-coat, an I catch you right;
142  Sirrah, look to't; i' faith, I will, i' faith.
143  O, well did he become that lion's robe
144  That did disrobe the lion of that robe!
145  It lies as sightly on the back of him
146  As great Alcides' shows upon an ass:
147  But, ass, I'll take that burthen from your back,
148  Or lay on that shall make your shoulders crack.
149  What craker is this same that deafs our ears
150  With this abundance of superfluous breath?
151  Lewis, determine what we shall do straight.
152  Women and fools, break off your conference.
153  King John, this is the very sum of all;
154  England and Ireland, Anjou, Touraine, Maine,
155  In right of Arthur do I claim of thee:
156  Wilt thou resign them and lay down thy arms?
157  My life as soon: I do defy thee, France.
158  Arthur of Bretagne, yield thee to my hand;
159  And out of my dear love I'll give thee more
160  Than e'er the coward hand of France can win:
161  Submit thee, boy.
162  Come to thy grandam, child.
163  Do, child, go to it grandam, child:
164  Give grandam kingdom, and it grandam will
165  Give it a plum, a cherry, and a fig:
166  There's a good grandam.
167  Good my mother, peace!
168  I would that I were low laid in my grave:
169  I am not worth this coil that's made for me.
170  His mother shames him so, poor boy, he weeps.
171  Now shame upon you, whether she does or no!
172  His grandam's wrongs, and not his mother's shames,
173  Draws those heaven-moving pearls from his poor eyes,
174  Which heaven shall take in nature of a fee;
175  Ay, with these crystal beads heaven shall be bribed
176  To do him justice and revenge on you.
177  Thou monstrous slanderer of heaven and earth!
178  Thou monstrous injurer of heaven and earth!
179  Call not me slanderer; thou and thine usurp
180  The dominations, royalties and rights
181  Of this oppressed boy: this is thy eld'st son's son,
182  Infortunate in nothing but in thee:
183  Thy sins are visited in this poor child;
184  The canon of the law is laid on him,
185  Being but the second generation
186  Removed from thy sin-conceiving womb.
187  Bedlam, have done.
188  I have but this to say,
189  That he is not only plagued for her sin,
190  But God hath made her sin and her the plague
191  On this removed issue, plague for her
192  And with her plague; her sin his injury,
193  Her injury the beadle to her sin,
194  All punish'd in the person of this child,
195  And all for her; a plague upon her!
196  Thou unadvised scold, I can produce
197  A will that bars the title of thy son.
198  Ay, who doubts that? a will! a wicked will:
199  A woman's will; a canker'd grandam's will!
200  Peace, lady! pause, or be more temperate:
201  It ill beseems this presence to cry aim
202  To these ill-tuned repetitions.
203  Some trumpet summon hither to the walls
204  These men of Angiers: let us hear them speak
205  Whose title they admit, Arthur's or John's.
Trumpet sounds. Enter certain Citizens upon the walls

First Citizen
206  Who is it that hath warn'd us to the walls?
207  'Tis France, for England.
208  England, for itself.
209  You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects--
210  You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's subjects,
211  Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle--
212  For our advantage; therefore hear us first.
213  These flags of France, that are advanced here
214  Before the eye and prospect of your town,
215  Have hither march'd to your endamagement:
216  The cannons have their bowels full of wrath,
217  And ready mounted are they to spit forth
218  Their iron indignation 'gainst your walls:
219  All preparation for a bloody siege
220  All merciless proceeding by these French
221  Confronts your city's eyes, your winking gates;
222  And but for our approach those sleeping stones,
223  That as a waist doth girdle you about,
224  By the compulsion of their ordinance
225  By this time from their fixed beds of lime
226  Had been dishabited, and wide havoc made
227  For bloody power to rush upon your peace.
228  But on the sight of us your lawful king,
229  Who painfully with much expedient march
230  Have brought a countercheque before your gates,
231  To save unscratch'd your city's threatened cheeks,
232  Behold, the French amazed vouchsafe a parle;
233  And now, instead of bullets wrapp'd in fire,
234  To make a shaking fever in your walls,
235  They shoot but calm words folded up in smoke,
236  To make a faithless error in your ears:
237  Which trust accordingly, kind citizens,
238  And let us in, your king, whose labour'd spirits,
239  Forwearied in this action of swift speed,
240  Crave harbourage within your city walls.
241  When I have said, make answer to us both.
242  Lo, in this right hand, whose protection
243  Is most divinely vow'd upon the right
244  Of him it holds, stands young Plantagenet,
245  Son to the elder brother of this man,
246  And king o'er him and all that he enjoys:
247  For this down-trodden equity, we tread
248  In warlike march these greens before your town,
249  Being no further enemy to you
250  Than the constraint of hospitable zeal
251  In the relief of this oppressed child
252  Religiously provokes. Be pleased then
253  To pay that duty which you truly owe
254  To that owes it, namely this young prince:
255  And then our arms, like to a muzzled bear,
256  Save in aspect, hath all offence seal'd up;
257  Our cannons' malice vainly shall be spent
258  Against the invulnerable clouds of heaven;
259  And with a blessed and unvex'd retire,
260  With unhack'd swords and helmets all unbruised,
261  We will bear home that lusty blood again
262  Which here we came to spout against your town,
263  And leave your children, wives and you in peace.
264  But if you fondly pass our proffer'd offer,
265  'Tis not the roundure of your old-faced walls
266  Can hide you from our messengers of war,
267  Though all these English and their discipline
268  Were harbour'd in their rude circumference.
269  Then tell us, shall your city call us lord,
270  In that behalf which we have challenged it?
271  Or shall we give the signal to our rage
272  And stalk in blood to our possession?
First Citizen
273  In brief, we are the king of England's subjects:
274  For him, and in his right, we hold this town.
275  Acknowledge then the king, and let me in.
First Citizen
276  That can we not; but he that proves the king,
277  To him will we prove loyal: till that time
278  Have we ramm'd up our gates against the world.
279  Doth not the crown of England prove the king?
280  And if not that, I bring you witnesses,
281  Twice fifteen thousand hearts of England's breed,--
282  Bastards, and else.
283  To verify our title with their lives.
284  As many and as well-born bloods as those,--
285  Some bastards too.
286  Stand in his face to contradict his claim.
First Citizen
287  Till you compound whose right is worthiest,
288  We for the worthiest hold the right from both.
289  Then God forgive the sin of all those souls
290  That to their everlasting residence,
291  Before the dew of evening fall, shall fleet,
292  In dreadful trial of our kingdom's king!
293  Amen, amen! Mount, chevaliers! to arms!
294  Saint George, that swinged the dragon, and e'er since
295  Sits on his horseback at mine hostess' door,
296  Teach us some fence!
297  Sirrah, were I at home,
298  At your den, sirrah, with your lioness
299  I would set an ox-head to your lion's hide,
300  And make a monster of you.
301  Peace! no more.
302  O tremble, for you hear the lion roar.
303  Up higher to the plain; where we'll set forth
304  In best appointment all our regiments.
305  Speed then, to take advantage of the field.
306  It shall be so; and at the other hill
307  Command the rest to stand. God and our right!

French Herald
308  You men of Angiers, open wide your gates,
309  And let young Arthur, Duke of Bretagne, in,
310  Who by the hand of France this day hath made
311  Much work for tears in many an English mother,
312  Whose sons lie scattered on the bleeding ground;
313  Many a widow's husband grovelling lies,
314  Coldly embracing the discolour'd earth;
315  And victory, with little loss, doth play
316  Upon the dancing banners of the French,
317  Who are at hand, triumphantly display'd,
318  To enter conquerors and to proclaim
319  Arthur of Bretagne England's king and yours.
Enter English Herald, with trumpet

English Herald
320  Rejoice, you men of Angiers, ring your bells:
321  King John, your king and England's doth approach,
322  Commander of this hot malicious day:
323  Their armours, that march'd hence so silver-bright,
324  Hither return all gilt with Frenchmen's blood;
325  There stuck no plume in any English crest
326  That is removed by a staff of France;
327  Our colours do return in those same hands
328  That did display them when we first march'd forth;
329  And, like a troop of jolly huntsmen, come
330  Our lusty English, all with purpled hands,
331  Dyed in the dying slaughter of their foes:
332  Open your gates and gives the victors way.
First Citizen
333  Heralds, from off our towers we might behold,
334  From first to last, the onset and retire
335  Of both your armies; whose equality
336  By our best eyes cannot be censured:
337  Blood hath bought blood and blows have answered blows;
338  Strength match'd with strength, and power confronted power:
339  Both are alike; and both alike we like.
340  One must prove greatest: while they weigh so even,
341  We hold our town for neither, yet for both.
342  France, hast thou yet more blood to cast away?
343  Say, shall the current of our right run on?
344  Whose passage, vex'd with thy impediment,
345  Shall leave his native channel and o'erswell
346  With course disturb'd even thy confining shores,
347  Unless thou let his silver water keep
348  A peaceful progress to the ocean.
349  England, thou hast not saved one drop of blood,
350  In this hot trial, more than we of France;
351  Rather, lost more. And by this hand I swear,
352  That sways the earth this climate overlooks,
353  Before we will lay down our just-borne arms,
354  We'll put thee down, 'gainst whom these arms we bear,
355  Or add a royal number to the dead,
356  Gracing the scroll that tells of this war's loss
357  With slaughter coupled to the name of kings.
358  Ha, majesty! how high thy glory towers,
359  When the rich blood of kings is set on fire!
360  O, now doth Death line his dead chaps with steel;
361  The swords of soldiers are his teeth, his fangs;
362  And now he feasts, mousing the flesh of men,
363  In undetermined differences of kings.
364  Why stand these royal fronts amazed thus?
365  Cry, 'havoc!' kings; back to the stained field,
366  You equal potents, fiery kindled spirits!
367  Then let confusion of one part confirm
368  The other's peace: till then, blows, blood and death!
369  Whose party do the townsmen yet admit?
370  Speak, citizens, for England; who's your king?
First Citizen
371  The king of England; when we know the king.
372  Know him in us, that here hold up his right.
373  In us, that are our own great deputy
374  And bear possession of our person here,
375  Lord of our presence, Angiers, and of you.
First Citizen
376  A greater power then we denies all this;
377  And till it be undoubted, we do lock
378  Our former scruple in our strong-barr'd gates;
379  King'd of our fears, until our fears, resolved,
380  Be by some certain king purged and deposed.
381  By heaven, these scroyles of Angiers flout you, kings,
382  And stand securely on their battlements,
383  As in a theatre, whence they gape and point
384  At your industrious scenes and acts of death.
385  Your royal presences be ruled by me:
386  Do like the mutines of Jerusalem,
387  Be friends awhile and both conjointly bend
388  Your sharpest deeds of malice on this town:
389  By east and west let France and England mount
390  Their battering cannon charged to the mouths,
391  Till their soul-fearing clamours have brawl'd down
392  The flinty ribs of this contemptuous city:
393  I'ld play incessantly upon these jades,
394  Even till unfenced desolation
395  Leave them as naked as the vulgar air.
396  That done, dissever your united strengths,
397  And part your mingled colours once again;
398  Turn face to face and bloody point to point;
399  Then, in a moment, Fortune shall cull forth
400  Out of one side her happy minion,
401  To whom in favour she shall give the day,
402  And kiss him with a glorious victory.
403  How like you this wild counsel, mighty states?
404  Smacks it not something of the policy?
405  Now, by the sky that hangs above our heads,
406  I like it well. France, shall we knit our powers
407  And lay this Angiers even to the ground;
408  Then after fight who shall be king of it?
409  An if thou hast the mettle of a king,
410  Being wronged as we are by this peevish town,
411  Turn thou the mouth of thy artillery,
412  As we will ours, against these saucy walls;
413  And when that we have dash'd them to the ground,
414  Why then defy each other and pell-mell
415  Make work upon ourselves, for heaven or hell.
416  Let it be so. Say, where will you assault?
417  We from the west will send destruction
418  Into this city's bosom.
419  I from the north.
420  Our thunder from the south
421  Shall rain their drift of bullets on this town.
422  O prudent discipline! From north to south:
423  Austria and France shoot in each other's mouth:
424  I'll stir them to it. Come, away, away!
First Citizen
425  Hear us, great kings: vouchsafe awhile to stay,
426  And I shall show you peace and fair-faced league;
427  Win you this city without stroke or wound;
428  Rescue those breathing lives to die in beds,
429  That here come sacrifices for the field:
430  Persever not, but hear me, mighty kings.
431  Speak on with favour; we are bent to hear.
First Citizen
432  That daughter there of Spain, the Lady Blanch,
433  Is niece to England: look upon the years
434  Of Lewis the Dauphin and that lovely maid:
435  If lusty love should go in quest of beauty,
436  Where should he find it fairer than in Blanch?
437  If zealous love should go in search of virtue,
438  Where should he find it purer than in Blanch?
439  If love ambitious sought a match of birth,
440  Whose veins bound richer blood than Lady Blanch?
441  Such as she is, in beauty, virtue, birth,
442  Is the young Dauphin every way complete:
443  If not complete of, say he is not she;
444  And she again wants nothing, to name want,
445  If want it be not that she is not he:
446  He is the half part of a blessed man,
447  Left to be finished by such as she;
448  And she a fair divided excellence,
449  Whose fulness of perfection lies in him.
450  O, two such silver currents, when they join,
451  Do glorify the banks that bound them in;
452  And two such shores to two such streams made one,
453  Two such controlling bounds shall you be, kings,
454  To these two princes, if you marry them.
455  This union shall do more than battery can
456  To our fast-closed gates; for at this match,
457  With swifter spleen than powder can enforce,
458  The mouth of passage shall we fling wide ope,
459  And give you entrance: but without this match,
460  The sea enraged is not half so deaf,
461  Lions more confident, mountains and rocks
462  More free from motion, no, not Death himself
463  In moral fury half so peremptory,
464  As we to keep this city.
465  Here's a stay
466  That shakes the rotten carcass of old Death
467  Out of his rags! Here's a large mouth, indeed,
468  That spits forth death and mountains, rocks and seas,
469  Talks as familiarly of roaring lions
470  As maids of thirteen do of puppy-dogs!
471  What cannoneer begot this lusty blood?
472  He speaks plain cannon fire, and smoke and bounce;
473  He gives the bastinado with his tongue:
474  Our ears are cudgell'd; not a word of his
475  But buffets better than a fist of France:
476  Zounds! I was never so bethump'd with words
477  Since I first call'd my brother's father dad.
478  Son, list to this conjunction, make this match;
479  Give with our niece a dowry large enough:
480  For by this knot thou shalt so surely tie
481  Thy now unsured assurance to the crown,
482  That yon green boy shall have no sun to ripe
483  The bloom that promiseth a mighty fruit.
484  I see a yielding in the looks of France;
485  Mark, how they whisper: urge them while their souls
486  Are capable of this ambition,
487  Lest zeal, now melted by the windy breath
488  Of soft petitions, pity and remorse,
489  Cool and congeal again to what it was.
First Citizen
490  Why answer not the double majesties
491  This friendly treaty of our threaten'd town?
492  Speak England first, that hath been forward first
493  To speak unto this city: what say you?
494  If that the Dauphin there, thy princely son,
495  Can in this book of beauty read 'I love,'
496  Her dowry shall weigh equal with a queen:
497  For Anjou and fair Touraine, Maine, Poictiers,
498  And all that we upon this side the sea,
499  Except this city now by us besieged,
500  Find liable to our crown and dignity,
501  Shall gild her bridal bed and make her rich
502  In titles, honours and promotions,
503  As she in beauty, education, blood,
504  Holds hand with any princess of the world.
505  What say'st thou, boy? look in the lady's face.
506  I do, my lord; and in her eye I find
507  A wonder, or a wondrous miracle,
508  The shadow of myself form'd in her eye:
509  Which being but the shadow of your son,
510  Becomes a sun and makes your son a shadow:
511  I do protest I never loved myself
512  Till now infixed I beheld myself
513  Drawn in the flattering table of her eye.
Whispers with BLANCH

514  Drawn in the flattering table of her eye!
515  Hang'd in the frowning wrinkle of her brow!
516  And quarter'd in her heart! he doth espy
517  Himself love's traitor: this is pity now,
518  That hang'd and drawn and quartered, there should be
519  In such a love so vile a lout as he.
520  My uncle's will in this respect is mine:
521  If he see aught in you that makes him like,
522  That any thing he sees, which moves his liking,
523  I can with ease translate it to my will;
524  Or if you will, to speak more properly,
525  I will enforce it easily to my love.
526  Further I will not flatter you, my lord,
527  That all I see in you is worthy love,
528  Than this; that nothing do I see in you,
529  Though churlish thoughts themselves should be your judge,
530  That I can find should merit any hate.
531  What say these young ones? What say you my niece?
532  That she is bound in honour still to do
533  What you in wisdom still vouchsafe to say.
534  Speak then, prince Dauphin; can you love this lady?
535  Nay, ask me if I can refrain from love;
536  For I do love her most unfeignedly.
537  Then do I give Volquessen, Touraine, Maine,
538  Poictiers and Anjou, these five provinces,
539  With her to thee; and this addition more,
540  Full thirty thousand marks of English coin.
541  Philip of France, if thou be pleased withal,
542  Command thy son and daughter to join hands.
543  It likes us well; young princes, close your hands.
544  And your lips too; for I am well assured
545  That I did so when I was first assured.
546  Now, citizens of Angiers, ope your gates,
547  Let in that amity which you have made;
548  For at Saint Mary's chapel presently
549  The rites of marriage shall be solemnized.
550  Is not the Lady Constance in this troop?
551  I know she is not, for this match made up
552  Her presence would have interrupted much:
553  Where is she and her son? tell me, who knows.
554  She is sad and passionate at your highness' tent.
555  And, by my faith, this league that we have made
556  Will give her sadness very little cure.
557  Brother of England, how may we content
558  This widow lady? In her right we came;
559  Which we, God knows, have turn'd another way,
560  To our own vantage.
561  We will heal up all;
562  For we'll create young Arthur Duke of Bretagne
563  And Earl of Richmond; and this rich fair town
564  We make him lord of. Call the Lady Constance;
565  Some speedy messenger bid her repair
566  To our solemnity: I trust we shall,
567  If not fill up the measure of her will,
568  Yet in some measure satisfy her so
569  That we shall stop her exclamation.
570  Go we, as well as haste will suffer us,
571  To this unlook'd for, unprepared pomp.
Exeunt all but the BASTARD

572  Mad world! mad kings! mad composition!
573  John, to stop Arthur's title in the whole,
574  Hath willingly departed with a part,
575  And France, whose armour conscience buckled on,
576  Whom zeal and charity brought to the field
577  As God's own soldier, rounded in the ear
578  With that same purpose-changer, that sly devil,
579  That broker, that still breaks the pate of faith,
580  That daily break-vow, he that wins of all,
581  Of kings, of beggars, old men, young men, maids,
582  Who, having no external thing to lose
583  But the word 'maid,' cheats the poor maid of that,
584  That smooth-faced gentleman, tickling Commodity,
585  Commodity, the bias of the world,
586  The world, who of itself is peised well,
587  Made to run even upon even ground,
588  Till this advantage, this vile-drawing bias,
589  This sway of motion, this Commodity,
590  Makes it take head from all indifferency,
591  From all direction, purpose, course, intent:
592  And this same bias, this Commodity,
593  This bawd, this broker, this all-changing word,
594  Clapp'd on the outward eye of fickle France,
595  Hath drawn him from his own determined aid,
596  From a resolved and honourable war,
597  To a most base and vile-concluded peace.
598  And why rail I on this Commodity?
599  But for because he hath not woo'd me yet:
600  Not that I have the power to clutch my hand,
601  When his fair angels would salute my palm;
602  But for my hand, as unattempted yet,
603  Like a poor beggar, raileth on the rich.
604  Well, whiles I am a beggar, I will rail
605  And say there is no sin but to be rich;
606  And being rich, my virtue then shall be
607  To say there is no vice but beggary.
608  Since kings break faith upon commodity,
609  Gain, be my lord, for I will worship thee.

< (Previous) ACT I, SCENE IACT III, SCENE I (Next) >
Scene Index

  • ACT II


  • ACT IV

  • ACT V

  • ©1999-. All rights reserved.Contact
    Part of the Network.Add Bookmark