King Edward III

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Original text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter Lord Mountford with a Coronet in his hande, with him the Earle of Salisbury

Mo.
My Lord of Salisbury since by our aide,
Mine ennemie Sir Charles of Bloys is slaine,
And I againe am quietly possest,
In Btittaines Dukedome, knowe that I resolue,
For this kind furtherance of your king and you,
To sweare allegeance to his maiesty:
In signe where of receiue this Coronet,
Beare it vnto him, and with all mine othe,
Neuer to be but Edwards faithful friend.

Sa.
I take it Mountfort, thus I hope eare long,
The whole Dominions of the Realme of Fraunce
Wilbe surrendred to his conquering hand:
Exit
Now if I knew but safely how to passe,
I would to Calice gladly meete his Grace,
Whether I am by letters certified,
Yet he intends to haue his host remooude,
It shal be so, this pollicy will serue,
Ho whose within? bring Villiers to me.
Enter Villeirs.
Villiers, thou kuowest thou art my prisoner,
And that I might for ransome if I would,
Require of thee a hundred thousand Francks,
Or else retayne and keepe thee captiue still:
But so it is, that for a smaller charge,
Thou maist be quit and if thou wilt thy selfe,
And this it is, procure me but a pasport,
Of Charles the Duke of Normandy, that I,
Without restraint may haue recourse to Callis,
Through all the Countries where he hath to doe.
Which thou maist easely obtayne I thinke,
By reason I haue often heard thee say,
He and thou were students once together:
And then thou shalt be set at libertie,
How saiest thou, wilt thou vndertake to do it?

Vil.
I will my Lord, but I must speake with him.

Sa.
Why so thou shalt, take Horse and post from hence,
Onely before thou goest, sweare by thy faith,
That if thou canst not compasse my desire,
Thou wilt returne my prisoner backe againe,
And that shalbe sufficient warrant for mee.

Vil.
To that condition I agree my Lord,
And will vnfaynedly performe the same.
Exit.

Sal:
Farewell Villiers,
Thus once I meane to trie a French mans faith.
Exit.
Original text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter King Edward and Derby with Souldiers.

Kin.
Since they refuse our profered league my Lord,
And will not ope their gates and let vs in,
We will intrench our selues on euery side,
That neithet vituals, nor supply of men,
May come to succour this accursed towne,
Famine shall combate where our swords are stopt.
Enter sixe poore Frenchmen.

Der.
The promised aid that made them stand aloofe,
Is now retirde and gone an other way:
It will repent them of their stubborne will,
But what are these poore ragged slaues my Lord?

Ki: Edw.
Aske what they are, it seemes they come from Callis.

Der.
You wretched patterns of dispayre and woe,
What are you liuing men, er glyding ghosts,
Crept from your graues to walke vpon the earth,

Poore.
No ghosts my Lord, but men that breath a life,
Farre worse then is the quiet sleepe of death:
Wee are distressed poore inhabitants,
That long haue been deseased, sicke and lame;
And now because we are not fit to serue,
The Captayne of the towne hath thrust vs foorth,
That so expence of victuals may be saued.

K. Ed.
A charitable deed no doubt, and worthy praise:
But how do you imagine then to speed?
We are your enemies in such a case,
We can no lesse but put ye to the sword,
Since when we proffered truce, it was refusde,

So.
And if your grace no otherwise vouchsafe,
As welcome death is vnto vs as life.

Ki.
Poore silly men, much wrongd, and more distrest,
Go Derby go, and see they be relieud,
Command that victuals be appoynted them,
And giue to euery one fiue Crownes a peece:
The Lion scornes to touch the yeelding pray,
And Edwards sword must fresh it selfe in such,
As wilfull stubbornnes hath made peruerse.
Enter Lord Pearsie.

Ki.
Lord Persie welcome: whats the newes in England:

Per.
The Queene my Lord comes heere to your Grace,
And from hir highnesse, and the Lord vicegerent,
I bring this happie tidings of successe,
Dauid of Scotland lately vp in armes,
Thinking belike he soonest should preuaile,
Your highnes being absent from the Realme,
Is by the fruitfull seruice of your peeres,
And painefull trauell of the Queene her selfe:
That big with child was euery day in armes,
Vanquisht, subdude, and taken prisoner.

Ki.
Thanks Persie for thy newes with all my hart,
What was he tooke him prisoner in the field.

Per.
A Esquire my Lord, Iohn Copland is his name:
Who since intreated by her Maiestie,
Denies to make surrender of his prize,
To anie but vnto your grace alone:
Whereat the Queene is greouously displeasd.

Ki.
Well then wele haue a Pursiuaunt dispatch,
To summon Copland hither out of hand,
And with him he shall bring his prisoner king.

Per.
The Queene my Lord her selfe by this at Sea,
And purposeth as soone as winde will serue,
To land at Callis, and to visit you,

Ki.
She shall be welcome, and to wait her comming,
Ile pitch my tent neere to the sandy shore.
Enter a Captayne.
The Burgesses of Callis mighty king,
Haue by a counsell willingly decreed,
To yeeld the towne and Castle to your hands,
Vpon condition it will please your grace,
To graunt them benefite of life and goods.

K. Ed.
They wil so: Then belike they may command,
Dispose, elect, and gouerne as they list,
No sirra, tell them since they did refuse,
Our princely clemencie at first proclaymed,
They shall not haue it now although they would,
Will accept of nought but fire and sword,
Except within these two daies sixe of them
That are the welthiest marchaunts in the towne,
Come naked all but for their linnen shirts,
With each a halter hangd about his necke,
And prostrate yeeld themselues vpon their knees,
To be afflicted, hanged, or what I please,
And so you may informe their masterships.
Exeunt

Cap.
Why this it is to trust a broken staffe.
Had we not been perswaded Iohn our King,
Would with his armie haue releeud the towne,
We had not stood vpon defiance so:
But now tis past that no man can recall,
And better some do go to wrack then all.
Exit,
Original text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter Charles of Normandy and Villiers

Ch.
I wounder Villiers, thou shouldest importune me
For one that is our deadly ennemie.

Vil.
Not for his sake my gratious Lord so much,
Am I become an earnest aduocate,
As that thereby my ransome will be quit,

Ch.
Thy ransome man: why needest thou talke of that?
Art thou not free? and are not all occasions,
That happen for aduantage of our foes,
To be accepted of, and stood vpon?

Vil.
No good my Lord except the same be iust,
For profit must with honor be comixt,
Or else our actions are but scandalous:
But letting passe these intricate obiections,
Wilt please your highnes to subscribe or no?

Ch.
Villiers I will not, nor I cannot do it,
Salisbury shall not haue his will so much,
To clayme a pasport how it pleaseth himselfe,

Vil.
Why then I know the extremitie my Loid,
I must returne to prison whence I came,

Ch.
Returne, I hope thou wilt not,
What bird that hath e(s)capt the fowlers gin,
Will not beware how shees insnard againe:
Or what is he so senceles and secure,
That hauing hardely past a dangerous gulfe,
Will put him selfe in perill there againe.

Vil.
Ah but itis mine othe my gratious Lord,
Which I in conscience may not violate,
Or else a kingdome should not draw me hence.

Ch.
Thine othe, why that doth bind thee to abide:
Hast thou not sworne obedience to thy Prince?

Vil.
In all things that vprightly he commands:
But either to perswade or threaten me,
Not to performe the couenant of my word,
Is lawlesse, and I need not to obey.

Ch.
Why is it lawfull for a man to kill,
And not to breake a promise with his foe?

Vil.
To kill my Lord when warre is once proclaymd,
So that our quarrel be for wrongs receaude,
No doubt is lawfully permitted vs:
But in an othe we must be well aduisd,
How we do sweare, and when we once haue sworne,
Not to infringe it though we die therefore:
Therefore my Lord, as willing I returne,
As if I were to flie to paradise.

Ch.
Stay my Villeirs, thine honorable minde,
Deserues to be eternally admirde,
Thy sute shalbe no longer thus deferd:
Giue me the paper, Ile subscribe to it,
And wheretofore I loued thee as Villeirs,
Heereafter Ile embrace thee as my selfe,
Stay and be still in fauour with thy Lord.

Vil.
I humbly thanke your grace, I must dispatch,
And send this pasport first vnto the Earle,
And then I will attend your highnes pleasure.

Ch.
Do so Villeirs, and Charles when he hath neede,
Be such his souldiers, howsoeuer he speede.
Exit Villeirs.
Enter King Iohn.

K. Io.
Come Charles and arme thee, Edward is intrapt,
The Prince of Wales is falne into our hands,
And we haue compast him he cannot scape.

Ch.
But will your highnes fight to day.

Io.
What else my son, hees scarse eight thousand strong
and we are threescore thousand at the least,

Ch.
I haue a prophecy my gratious Lord,
Wherein is written what successe is like
To happen vs in this outragious warre,
It was deliuered me at Cresses field,
By one that is an aged Hermyt there,
when fethered foul shal make thine army tremble,
and flint stones rise and breake the battell ray:
Then thinke on him that doth not now dissemble
For that shalbe the haples dreadfull day,
Yet in the end thy foot thou shalt aduance,
as farre in England, as thy foe in Fraunce,

Io.
By this it seemes we shalbe fortunate:
For as it is impossible that stones
Should euer rise and breake the battaile ray,
Or airie foule make men in armes to quake,
So is it like we shall not be subdude:
Or say this might be true, yet in the end,
Since he doth promise we shall driue him hence,
And forrage their Countrie as they haue don ours
By this reuenge, that losse will seeme the lesse,
But all are fryuolous, fancies, toyes and dreames,
Once we are sure we haue insnard the sonne,
Catch we the father after how we can.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act IV, Scene IV
Enter Prince Edward, Audley and others.

Pr.
Audley the armes of death embrace vs round,
And comfort haue we none saue that to die,
We pay sower earnest for a sweeter life,
At Cressey field our Clouds of Warlike smoke,
chokt vp those French mouths, & disseuered them
But now their multitudes of millions hide
Masking as twere the beautious burning Sunne,
Leauing no hope to vs but sullen darke,
And eie lesse terror of all ending night.

Au.
This suddaine, mightie, and expedient head,
That they haue made, faire Prince is wonderfull.
Before vs in the vallie lies the king,
Vantagd with all that heauen and earth can yeeld,
His partie stronger battaild then our whole:
His sonne the brauing Duke of Normandie,
Hath trimd the Mountaine on our right hand vp,
In shining plate, that now the aspiring hill,
Shewes like a siluer quarrie, or an orbe
Aloft the which the Banners bannarets,
And new replenisht pendants cuff the aire,
And beat the windes, that for their gaudinesse,
Struggles to kisse them on our left handlies,
Phillip the younger issue of the king,
Coting the other hill in such arraie,
That all his guilded vpright pikes do seeme,
Streight trees of gold, the pendant leaues,
And their deuice of Antique heraldry,
Quartred in collours seeming sundy fruits,
Makes it the Orchard of the Hesperides,
Behinde vs two the hill doth beare his height,
For like a halfe Moone opening but one way,
It rounds vs in, there at our backs are lodgd,
The fatall Crosbowes, and the battaile there,
Is gouernd by the rough Chattillion,
Then thus it stands, the valleie for our flight,
The king binds in, the hils on either hand,
Are proudly royalized by his sonnes,
And on the Hill behind stands certaine death,
In pay and seruice with Chattillion.

Pr.
Deathes name is much more mightie then his deeds,
Thy parcelling this power hath made it more,
As many sands as these my hands can hold,
are but my handful of so many sands,
Then all the world, and call it but a power:
Easely tane vp and quickly throwne away,
But if I stand to count them sand by sand
The number would confound my memorie,
And make a thousand millions of a taske,
Which briefelie is no more indeed then one,
These quarters, spuadrons, and these regements,
Before, behinde vs, and on either hand,
Are but a power, when we name a man,
His hand, his foote, his head hath seuerall strengthes,
And being al but one selfe instant strength,
Why all this many, Audely is but one,
And we can call it all but one mans strength:
He that hath farre to goe, tels it by miles,
If he should tell the steps, it kills his hart:
The drops are infinite that make a floud,
And yet thou knowest we call it but a Raine:
There is but one Fraunce, one king of Fraunce,
That Fraunce hath no more kings, and that same king
Hath but the puissant legion of one king?
And we haue one, then apprehend no ods,
For one to one, is faire equalitie.
Enter an Herald from king Iohn.

Pr.
What tidings messenger, be playne and briefe.

He.
The king of Fraunce my soueraigne Lord and master,
Greets by me his fo, the Prince of Wals,
If thou call forth a hundred men of name
Of Lords, Knights, Esquires and English gentlemen,
And with thy selfe and those kneele at his feete,
He straight will fold his bloody collours vp,
And ransome shall redeeme liues forfeited:
If not, this day shall drinke more English blood,
Then ere was buried in our Bryttish earth,
What is the answere to his profered mercy?

Pr.
This heauen that couers Fraunce containes the mercy
That drawes from me submissiue orizons,
That such base breath should vanish from my lips
To vrge the plea of mercie to a man,
The Lord forbid, returne and tell the king,
My tongue is made of steele, and it shall beg
My mercie on his coward burgonet.
Tell him my colours are as red as his,
My men as bold, our English armes as strong,
returne him my defiance in his face.

He.
I go.
Enter another.

Pr.
What newes with thee?

He.
The Duke of Normandie my Lord & master
Pittying thy youth is so ingirt with perill,
By me hath sent a nimble ioynted iennet,
As swift as euer yet thou didst bestride,
And therewithall he counsels thee to flie,
Els death himself hath sworne that thou shalt die.

P.
Back with the beast vnto the beast that sent him
Tell him I cannot sit a cowards horse,
Bid him to daie bestride the iade himselfe,
For I will staine my horse quite ore with bloud,
And double guild my spurs, but I will catch him,
So tell the capring boy, and get thee gone.
Enter another.

He.
Edward of Wales, Phillip the second sonne
To the most mightie christian king of France,
Seeing thy bodies liuing date expird,
All full of charitie and christian loue,
Commends this booke full fraught with prayers,
To thy faire hand, and for thy houre of lyfe,
Intreats thee that thou meditate therein,
And arme thy soule for hir long iourney towards.
Thus haue I done his bidding, and returne.

Pr.
Herald of Phillip greet thy Lord from me,
All good that he can send I can receiue,
But thinkst thou not the vnaduised boy,
Hath wrongd himselfe in this far tendering me,
Happily he cannot praie without the booke,
I thinke him no diuine extemporall,
Then render backe this common place of prayer,
To do himselfe good in aduersitie,
Besides, he knows not my sinnes qualitie,
and therefore knowes no praiers for my auaile,
Ere night his praier may be to praie to God,
To put it in my heart to heare his praier,
So tell the courtly wanton, and be gone.

He.
I go.

Pr.
How confident their strength and number makes them,
Now Audley sound those siluer winges of thine,
And let those milke white messengers of time,
Shew thy times learning in this dangerous time,
Thy selfe art busie, and bit with many broiles,
And stratagems forepast with yron pens,
Are texted in thine honorable face,
Thou art a married man in this distresse.
But danger wooes me as a blushing maide,
Teach me an answere to this perillous time.

Aud.
To die is all as common as to liue,
The one in choice the other holds in chase,
For from the instant we begin to liue,
We do pursue and hunt the time to die,
First bud we, then we blow, and after seed,
Then presently we fall, and as a shade
Followes the bodie, so we follow death,
If then we hunt for death, why do we feare it?
If we feare it, why do we follow it?
If we do feare, how can we shun it?
If we do feare, with feare we do but aide
The thing we feare, to seizeon vs the sooner,
If wee feare not, then no resolued proffer,
Can ouerthrow the limit of our fate,
For whether ripe or rotten, drop we shall,
as we do drawe the lotterie of our doome.

Pri.
Ah good olde man, a thousand thousand armors,
These wordes of thine haue buckled on my backe,
Ah what an idiot hast thou made of lyfe,
To seeke the thing it feares, and how disgrast,
The imperiall victorie of murdring death,
Since all the liues his conquering arrowes strike,
Seeke him, and he not them, to shame his glorie,
I will not giue a pennie for a lyfe,
Nor halfe a halfepenie to shun grim death,
Since for to liue is but to seeke to die,
And dying but beginning of new lyfe,
Let come the houre when he that rules it will,
To liue or die I hold indifferent.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act IV, Scene V
Enter king Iohn and Charles.

Ioh.
A sodaine darknes hath defast the skie,
The windes are crept into their caues for feare,
the leaues moue not, the world is husht and still,
the birdes cease singing, and the wandring brookes,
Murmure no wonted greeting to their shores,
Silence attends some wonder, and expecteth
That heauen should pronounce some prophesie,
Where or from whome proceeds this silence Charles?

Ch.
Our men with open mouthes and staring eyes,
Looke on each other, as they did attend
Each others wordes, and yet no creature speakes,
A tongue-tied feare hath made a midnight houre,
and speeches sleepe through all the waking regions.

Ioh.
But now the pompeous Sunne in all his pride,
Lookt through his golden coach vpon the worlde,
and on a sodaine hath he hid himselfe,
that now the vnder earth is as a graue,
Darke, deadly, silent, and vncomfortable.
A clamor of rauens
Harke, what a deadly outcrie do I heare?

Ch.
Here comes my brother Phillip.

Ioh.
All dismaid.
What fearefull words are those thy lookes presage?

Pr.
A flight, a flight.

Ioh.
Coward what flight? thou liest there needs no flight.

Pr.
A flight.

Kin.
Awake thycrauen powers, and tell on
the substance of that verie feare in deed,
Which is so gastly printed in thy face,
What is the matter?

Pr.
A flight of vgly rauens
Do croke and houer ore our souldiers heads
And keepe in triangles and cornerd squares,
Right as our forces are imbatteled,
With their approach there came this sodain fog,
Which now hath hid the airie flower of heauen,
And made at noone a night vnnaturall,
Vpon the quaking and dismaied world,
In briefe, our souldiers haue let fall their armes,
and stand like metamorphosd images,
Bloudlesse and pale, one gazing on another.

Io.
I now I call to mind the prophesie,
But I must giue no enterance to a feare,
Returne and harten vp these yeelding soules,
Tell them the rauens seeing them in armes,
So many faire against a famisht few,
Come but to dine vpon their handie worke,
and praie vpon the carrion that they kill,
For when we see a horse laid downe to die,
although not dead, the rauenous birds
Sit watching the departure of his life,
Euen so these rauens for the carcases,
Of those poore English that are markt to die,
Houer about, and if they crie to vs,
Tis but for meate that we must kill for them,
Awaie and comfort vp my souldiers,
and sound the trumpets, and at once dispatch
This litle busines of a silly fraude.
Exit Pr.
Another noise, Salisbury brought in by aFrench Captaine.

Cap.
Behold my liege, this knight and fortie mo,
Of whom the better part are slaine and fled,
With all indeuor sought to breake our rankes,
And make their waie to the incompast prince,
Dispose of him as please your maiestie.

Io.
Go, & the next bough, souldier, that thou seest,
Disgrace it with his bodie presently,
Eor I doo hold a tree in France too good,
To be the gallowes of an English theefe.

Sa.
My Lord of Normandie, I haue your passe,
And warrant for my safetie through this land.

Ch.
Villiers procurd it for thee, did he not?

Sal.
He did.

Ch.
And it is currant, thou shalt freely passe.

En: Io.
I freely to the gallows to be hangd,
Without deniall or impediment.
Awaie with him.

Vil.
I hope your highnes will not so disgrace me,
and dash the vertue of my seale at armes,
He hath my neuer broken name to shew,
Carectred with this princely hande of mine,
and rather let me leaue to be a prince,
Than break the stable verdict of a prince,
I doo beseech you let him passe in quiet,

Ki.
Thou and thy word lie both in my command,
What canst thou promise that I cannot breake?
Which of these twaine is greater infamie,
To disobey thy father or thy selfe?
Thy word nor no mans may exceed his power,
Nor that same man doth neuer breake his worde,
That keepes it to the vtmost of his power.
The breach of faith dwels in the soules consent,
Which if thy selfe without consent doo breake,
Thou art not charged with the breach of faith,
Go hang him, for thy lisence lies in mee,
and my constraint stands the excuse for thee.

Ch.
What am I not a soldier in my word?
Then armes adieu, and let them fight that list,
Shall I not giue my girdle from my wast,
But with a gardion I shall be controld,
To saie I may not giue my things awaie,
Vpon my soule, had Edward prince of Wales
Ingagde his word, writ downe his noble hand,
For all your knights to passe his fathers land,
The roiall king to grace his warlike sonne,
Would not alone safe conduct giue to them.
But with all bountie feasted them and theirs.

Kin.
Dwelst thou on presidents, then be it so,
Say Englishman of what degree thou art.

Sa.
An Earle in England, though a prisoner here,
And those that knowe me call me Salisburie.

Kin.
Then Salisburie, say whether thou art bound.

Sa.
To Callice where my liege king Edward is.

Kin.
To Callice Salisburie, then to Callice packe,
and bid the king prepare a noble graue,
To put his princely sonne blacke Edward in,
and as thou trauelst westward from this place,
Some two leagues hence there is a loftie hill,
Whose top seemes toplesse, for the imbracing skie,
Doth hide his high head in her azure bosome,
Vpon whose tall top when thy foot attaines,
Looke backe vpon the humble vale beneath,
Humble of late, but now made proud with armes,
and thence behold the wretched prince of Wales,
Hoopt with a bond ofyron round about,
After which sight to Callice spurre amaine,
and saie the prince was smoothered, and not slaine,
and tell the king this is not all his ill,
For I will greet him ere he thinkes I will,
Awaie be gone, the smoake but of our shot,
Will choake our foes, though bullets hit them not.
Exit.
Original text
Act IV, Scene VI
Allarum. Enter prince Edward and Artoys.

Art.
How fares your grace, are you not shot my Lord?

Pri.
No deare Artoys, but choakt with dust and smoake,
And stept aside for breath and fresher aire.

Art.
Breath then, and too it againe, the amazed French
are quite distract with gazing on the crowes,
and were our quiuers full of shafts againe,
Your grace should see a glorious day of this,
O for more arrowes Lord, thats our want.

Pri.
Courage Artoys, a fig for feathered shafts,
When feathered foules doo bandie on our side,
What need we fight, and sweate, and keepe a coile,
When railing crowes outscolde our aduersaries
Vp, vp Artoys, the ground it selfe is armd,
Fire containing flint, command our bowes
To hurle awaie their pretie colored Ew,
and to it with stones, awaie Artoys, awaie,
My soule doth prophesie we win the daie.
Exeunt.
Allarum. Enter king Iohn.
Our multitudes are in themselues confounded,
Dismayed, and distraught, swift starting feare
Hath buzd a cold dismaie through all our armie,
and euerie pettie disaduantage promptes
The feare possessed abiect soule to flie,
My selfe whose spirit is steele to their dull lead,
What with recalling of the prophesie,
and that our natiue stones from English armes
Rebell against vs, finde my selfe attainted
With strong surprise of weake and yeelding feare.
Enter Charles.
Fly father flie, the French do kill the French,
Some that would stand, let driue at some that flie,
Our drums strike nothing but discouragement,
Our trumpets sound dishonor, and retire,
The spirit of feare that feareth nought but death,
Cowardly workes confusion on it selfe.
Enter Phillip.
Plucke out your eies, and see not this daies shame,
An arme hath beate an armie, one poore Dauid
Hath with a stone foild twentie stout Goliahs,
Some twentie naked staruelings with small flints,
Hath driuen backe a puisant host of men,
Araid and fenst in al accomplements,

Ioh.
Mordiu they quait at vs, and kill vs vp,
No lesse than fortie thousand wicked elders,
Haue fortie leane slaues this daie stoned to death.

Ch.
O that I were some other countryman,
This daie hath set derision on the French,
and all the world wilt blurt and scorne at vs.

Kin.
What is there no hope left?

Pr.
No hope but death to burie vp our shame,

Ki.
Make vp once more with me the twentith part
Of those that liue, are men inow to quaile,
The feeble handfull on the aduerse part.

Ch.
Then charge againe, if heauen be not opposd
We cannot loose the daie.

Kin.
On awaie.
Exeunt
Enter Audley wounded, & rescued by two squirs.

Esq.
How fares my Lord;

Aud.
Euen as a man may do
That dines at such a bloudie feast as this.

Esq.
I hope my Lord that is no mortall scarre,

Aud.
No matter if it be, the count is cast,
and in the worst ends but a mortall man,
Good friends conuey me to the princely Edward
That in the crimson brauerie of my bloud,
I may become him with saluting him,
Ile smile and tell him that this open scarre,
Doth end the haruest of his Audleys warre.
Ex.
Original text
Act IV, Scene VII
Enter prince Edward, king Iohn, Charles, and all with Ensignes spred. Retreat sounded.

Pri.
Now Iohn in France, & lately Iohn of France,
Thy bloudie Ensignes are my captiue colours,
and you high vanting Charles of Normandie,
That once to daie sent me a horse to flie,
are now the subiects of my clemencie.
Fie Lords, is it not a shame that English boies,
Whose early daies are yet not worth a beard,
Should in the bosome of your kingdome thus,
One against twentie beate you vp together.

Kin.
Thy fortune, not thy force hath conquerd vs.

Pri.
an argument that heauen aides the right,
See, see, Artoys doth bring with him along,
the late good counsell giuer to my soule,
Welcome Artoys, and welcome Phillip to,
Who now of you or I haue need to praie,
Now is the prouerbe verefied in you,
Too bright a morning breeds a louring daie.
Sound Trumpets, enter Audley.
But say, what grym discoragement comes heere,
Alas what thousand armed men of Fraunce,
Haue writ that note of death in Audleys face:
Speake thou that wooest death with thy careles smile
and lookst so merrily vpon thv graue,
As if thou wert enamored on thyne end,
What hungry sword hath so bereuad thy face,
And lopt a true friend from my louing soule:

Au.
O Prince thy sweet bemoning speech to me.
Is as a morneful knell to one dead sicke.

Pr.
Deare Audley if my tongue ring out thy end:
My armes shalbethe graue, what may I do,
To win thy life, or to reuenge thy death,
If thou wilt drinke the blood of captyue kings,
Or that it were restoritiue, command
A Heath of kings blood, and Ile drinke to thee,
Ifhonor may dispence for thee with death,
The neuer dying honor of this daie,
Share wholie Audley to thy selfe and liue.

Aud.
Victorious Prince, that thou art so, behold
A Casars fame in kings captiuitie;
If I could hold dym death but at a bay,
Till I did see my liege thy loyall father,
My soule should yeeld this Castle of my flesh,
This mangled tribute with all willingnes;
To darkenes consummation, dust and Wormes.

Pr.
Cheerely bold man, thy soule is all to proud,
To yeeld her Citie for one little breach,
Should be diuorced from her earthly spouse,
By the soft temper of a French mans sword:
Lo, to repaire thy life, I giue to thee,
Three thousand Marks a yeere in English land.

Au.
I take thy gift to pay the debts I owe:
These two poore Esquires redeemd me from the French
With lusty & deer hazzard of their liues;
What thou hast giuen me I giue to them,
And as thou louest me Prince, lay thy consent.
To this bequeath in my last testament.

Pr.
Renowned Audley, liue and haue from mee,
This gift twise doubled to these Esquires and thee
But liue or die, what thou hast giuen away,
To these and theirs shall lasting freedome stay,
Come gentlemen, I will see my friend bestowed,
With in an easie Litter, then wele martch.
Proudly toward Callis with tryumphant pace,
Vnto my royall father, and there bring,
The tribut of my wars, faire Fraunce his king.
Ex.
Modern text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter Lord Mountford with a coronet in his hand, with him the Earl of Salisbury

MOUNTFORD
My lord of Salisbury, since by your aid
Mine enemy, Sir Charles of Blois, is slain,
And I again am quietly possessed
In Bretagne's dukedom, know that I resolve,
For this kind furtherance of your king and you,
To swear allegiance to his majesty:
In sign whereof receive this coronet.
Bear it unto him, and withal mine oath
Never to be but Edward's faithful friend.

SALISBURY
I take it, Mountford. Thus, I hope, ere long
The whole dominion of the realm of France
Will be surrendered to his conquering hand.
Exit Mountford
Now, if I knew but safely how to pass,
I would at Calais gladly meet his grace,
Whither I am by letters certified
That he intends to have his host removed.
It shall be so, this policy will serve. –
Ho, who's within? – Bring Villiers to me.
Enter Villiers
Villiers, thou know'st thou art my prisoner,
And that I might for ransom, if I would,
Require of thee a hundred thousand francs,
Or else retain and keep thee captive still.
But so it is, that for a smaller charge
Thou mayst be quit, and if thou wilt thyself.
And this it is: procure me but a passport
Of Charles, the Duke of Normandy, that I
Without restraint may have recourse to Calais
Through all the countries where he hath to do,
Which thou mayst easily obtain, I think,
By reason I have often heard thee say
He and thou were students once together;
And then thou shalt be set at liberty.
How say'st thou? Wilt thou undertake to do it?

VILLIERS
I will, my lord; but I must speak with him.

SALISBURY
Why, so thou shalt: take horse, and post from hence.
Only, before thou goest, swear by thy faith
That, if thou canst not compass my desire,
Thou wilt return my prisoner back again;
And that shall be sufficient warrant for me.

VILLIERS
To that condition I agree, my lord,
And will unfeignedly perform the same.
Exit

SALISBURY
Farewell, Villiers.
Thus once I mean to try a Frenchman's faith.
Exit
Modern text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter King Edward and Derby, with Soldiers

KING EDWARD
Since they refuse our proffered league, my lord,
And will not ope their gates and let us in,
We will entrench ourselves on every side,
That neither victuals nor supply of men
May come to succour this accursed town.
Famine shall combat where our swords are stopped.
Enter six poor Frenchmen

DERBY
The promised aid that made them stand aloof
Is now retired and gone another way:
It will repent them of their stubborn will. –
But what are these poor ragged slaves, my lord?

KING EDWARD
Ask what they are; it seems they come from Calais.

DERBY
You wretched patterns of despair and woe,
What are you, living men or gliding ghosts,
Crept from your graves to walk upon the earth?

FIRST POOR FRENCHMAN
No ghosts, my lord, but men that breathe a life
Far worse than is the quiet sleep of death.
We are distressed poor inhabitants
That long have been diseased, sick, and lame;
And now, because we are not fit to serve,
The captain of the town hath thrust us forth,
That so expense of victuals may be saved.

KING EDWARD
A charitable deed, no doubt, and worthy praise!
But how do you imagine then to speed?
We are your enemies; in such a case
We can no less but put you to the sword,
Since, when we proffered truce, it was refused.

FIRST POOR FRENCHMAN
And if your grace no otherwise vouchsafe,
As welcome death is unto us as life.

KING EDWARD
Poor silly men, much wronged, and more distressed!
Go, Derby, go, and see they be relieved.
Command that victuals be appointed them,
And give to every one five crowns apiece.
Exeunt Derby and Frenchmen
The lion scorns to touch the yielding prey,
And Edward's sword must flesh itself in such
As wilful stubbornness hath made perverse.
Enter Lord Percy

KING EDWARD
Lord Percy, welcome! What's the news in England?

PERCY
The Queen, my lord, commends her to your grace,
And from her highness and the lord viceregent
I bring this happy tidings of success:
David of Scotland, lately up in arms,
Thinking belike he soonest should prevail,
Your highness being absent from the realm,
Is, by the fruitful service of your peers
And painful travail of the Queen herself,
That, big with child, was every day in arms,
Vanquished, subdued, and taken prisoner.

KING EDWARD
Thanks, Percy, for thy news, with all my heart!
What was he took him prisoner in the field?

PERCY
A squire, my Lord; John Copland is his name,
Who since, intreated by her majesty,
Denies to make surrender of his prize
To any but unto your grace alone,
Whereat the Queen is grievously displeased.

KING EDWARD
Well, then we'll have a pursuivant dispatched
To summon Copland hither out of hand,
And with him he shall bring his prisoner king.

PERCY
The Queen's, my lord, herself by this at sea,
And purposeth, as soon as wind will serve,
To land at Calais, and to visit you.

KING EDWARD
She shall be welcome; and to wait her coming
I'll pitch my tent near to the sandy shore.
Enter a French Captain

CAPTAIN
The burgesses of Calais, mighty prince,
Have by a council willingly decreed
To yield the town and castle to your hands,
Upon condition it will please your grace
To grant them benefit of life and goods.

KING EDWARD
They will so? Then, belike, they may command,
Dispose, elect, and govern as they list!
No, sirrah, tell them, since they did refuse
Our princely clemency at first proclaimed,
They shall not have it now, although they would.
I will accept of naught but fire and sword,
Except, within these two days, six of them,
That are the wealthiest merchants in the town,
Come naked, all but for their linen shirts,
With each a halter hanged about his neck,
And prostrate yield themselves, upon their knees,
To be afflicted, hanged, or what I please;
And so you may inform their masterships.
Exeunt Edward and Percy

CAPTAIN
Why, this it is to trust a broken staff.
Had we not been persuaded John our King
Would with his army have relieved the town,
We had not stood upon defiance so.
But now 'tis past that no man can recall,
And better some do go to wrack, than all.
Exit
Modern text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter Charles of Normandy and Villiers

CHARLES
I wonder, Villiers, thou shouldst importune me
For one that is our deadly enemy.

VILLIERS
Not for his sake, my gracious lord, so much
Am I become an earnest advocate,
As that thereby my ransom will be quit.

CHARLES
Thy ransom, man? Why need'st thou talk of that?
Art thou not free? And are not all occasions
That happen for advantage of our foes
To be accepted of and stood upon?

VILLIERS
No, good my lord, except the same be just;
For profit must with honour be commixed,
Or else our actions are but scandalous.
But, letting pass their intricate objections,
Will't please your highness to subscribe, or no?

CHARLES
Villiers, I will not nor I cannot do it;
Salisbury shall not have his will so much
To claim a passport how it pleaseth himself.

VILLIERS
Why, then I know the extremity, my lord:
I must return to prison whence I came.

CHARLES
Return? I hope thou wilt not.
What bird that hath escaped the fowler's gin
Will not beware how she's ensnared again?
Or what is he, so senseless and secure,
That, having hardly passed a dangerous gulf,
Will put himself in peril there again?

VILLIERS
Ah, but it is mine oath, my gracious lord,
Which I in conscience may not violate,
Or else a kingdom should not draw me hence.

CHARLES
Thine oath? Why, that doth bind thee to abide.
Hast thou not sworn obedience to thy prince?

VILLIERS
In all things that uprightly he commands;
But either to persuade or threaten me
Not to perform the covenant of my word
Is lawless, and I need not to obey.

CHARLES
Why, is it lawful for a man to kill,
And not to break a promise with his foe?

VILLIERS
To kill, my lord, when war is once proclaimed,
So that our quarrel be for wrongs received,
No doubt is lawfully permitted us;
But in an oath we must be well advised
How we do swear, and, when we once have sworn,
Not to infringe it, though we die therefor.
Therefore, my lord, as willing I return
As if I were to fly to paradise.

CHARLES
Stay, my Villiers; thine honourable mind
Deserves to be eternally admired.
Thy suit shall be no longer thus deferred:
Give me the paper; I'll subscribe to it;
And wheretofore I loved thee as Villiers,
Hereafter I'll embrace thee as myself.
Stay, and be still in favour with thy lord.

VILLIERS
I humbly thank your grace. I must dispatch
And send this passport first unto the earl,
And then I will attend your highness' pleasure.

CHARLES
Do so, Villiers – and Charles, when he hath need,
Be such his soldiers, howsoever he speed!
Exit Villiers
Enter King John

KING JOHN
Come, Charles, and arm thee. Edward is entrapped,
The Prince of Wales is fall'n into our hands,
And we have compassed him; he cannot scape.

CHARLES
But will your highness fight today?

KING JOHN
What else, my son? He's scarce eight thousand strong,
And we are threescore thousand at the least.

CHARLES
I have a prophecy, my gracious lord,
Wherein is written what success is like
To happen us in this outrageous war.
It was delivered me at Crécy's field
By one that is an aged hermit there.
(reads)
‘ When feathered fowl shall make thine army tremble,
And flintstones rise and break the battle 'ray,
Then think on him that doth not now dissemble,
For that shall be the hapless dreadful day.
Yet in the end thy foot thou shalt advance
As far in England as thy foe in France.’

KING JOHN
By this it seems we shall be fortunate:
For, as it is impossible that stones
Should ever rise and break the battle 'ray,
Or airy fowl make men in arms to quake,
So is it like we shall not be subdued.
Or say this might be true; yet, in the end,
Since he doth promise we shall drive him hence
And forage their country as they have done ours,
By this revenge that loss will seem the less.
But all are frivolous fancies, toys, and dreams:
Once we are sure we have ensnared the son,
Catch we the father after as we can.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene IV
Enter Prince Edward, Audley, and others

PRINCE
Audley, the arms of death embrace us round,
And comfort have we none, save that to die
We pay sour earnest for a sweeter life.
At Crécy field our clouds of warlike smoke
Choked up those French mouths and dissevered them;
But now their multitudes of millions hide,
Masking, as 'twere, the beauteous burning sun,
Leaving no hope to us but sullen dark
And eyeless terror of all-ending night.

AUDLEY
This sudden, mighty, and expedient head
That they have made, fair prince, is wonderful.
Before us in the valley lies the king,
Vantaged with all that heaven and earth can yield,
His party stronger battled than our whole.
His son, the braving Duke of Normandy,
Hath trimmed the mountain on our right hand up
In shining plate, that now the aspiring hill
Shows like a silver quarry, or an orb,
Aloft the which the banners, bannerets,
And new-replenished pendants cuff the air
And beat the winds, that for their gaudiness
Struggles to kiss them. On our left hand lies
Philip, the younger issue of the king,
Coting the other hill in such array
That all his gilded upright pikes do seem
Straight trees of gold, the pendants, leaves;
And their device of antique heraldry,
Quartered in colours, seeming sundry fruits,
Makes it the orchard of the Hesperides.
Behind us too the hill doth bear his height,
For, like a half-moon opening but one way,
It rounds us in: there at our back are lodged
The fatal cross-bows, and the battle there
Is governed by the rough Chattillon.
Then thus it stands: the valley for our flight
The king binds in; the hills on either hand
Are proudly royalized by his sons;
And on the hill behind stands certain death
In pay and service with Chattillon.

PRINCE
Death's name is much more mighty than his deeds:
Thy parcelling this power hath made it more
Than all the world, and call it but a power.
As many sands as these my hands can hold
Are but my handful of so many sands,
Easily ta'en up, and quickly thrown away.
But if I stand to count them sand by sand,
The number would confound my memory,
And make a thousand millions of a task
Which briefly is no more indeed than one.
These quarters, squadrons, and these regiments,
Before, behind us, and on either hand,
Are but a power. When we name a man,
His hand, his foot, his head hath several strengths;
And being all but one self instant strength,
Why, all this many, Audley, is but one,
And we can call it all but one man's strength.
He that hath far to go tells it by miles:
If he should tell by steps, it kills his heart.
The drops are infinite that make a flood,
And yet thou know'st we call it but a rain.
There is but one France, one king of France:
That France hath no more kings, and that same king
Hath but the puissant legion of one king,
And we have one. Then apprehend no odds,
For one to one is fair equality.
Enter a Herald from King John

PRINCE
What tidings, messenger? Be plain and brief.

HERALD
The King of France, my sovereign lord and master,
Greets by me his foe, the Prince of Wales.
If thou call forth a hundred men of name,
Of lords, knights, squires, and English gentlemen,
And with thyself and those kneel at his feet,
He straight will fold his bloody colours up,
And ransom shall redeem lives forfeited;
If not, this day shall drink more English blood
Than e'er was buried in our Breton earth.
What is the answer to this proffered mercy?

PRINCE
This heaven that covers France contains the mercy
That draws from me submissive orisons.
That such base breath should vanish from my lips,
To urge the plea of mercy to a man,
The Lord forbid! Return and tell the king:
My tongue is made of steel, and it shall beg
My mercy on his coward burgonet.
Tell him my colours are as red as his,
My men as bold, our English arms as strong.
Return him my defiance in his face.

HERALD
I go.
Exit
Enter another Herald

PRINCE
What news with thee?

HERALD
The Duke of Normandy, my lord and master,
Pitying thy youth is so engirt with peril,
By me hath sent a nimble-jointed jennet,
As swift as ever yet thou didst bestride,
And therewithal he counsels thee to fly,
Else death himself hath sworn that thou shalt die.

PRINCE
Back with the beast unto the beast that sent him!
Tell him I cannot sit a coward's horse.
Bid him today bestride the jade himself,
For I will stain my horse quite o'er with blood
And double gild my spurs, but I will catch him.
So tell the cap'ring boy, and get thee gone.
Exit Herald
Enter another Herald

HERALD
Edward of Wales, Philip, the second son
To the most mighty Christian King of France,
Seeing thy body's living date expired,
All full of charity and Christian love,
Commends this book, full fraught with prayers,
To thy fair hand, and, for thy hour of life,
Entreats thee that thou meditate therein,
And arm thy soul for her long journey towards.
Thus have I done his bidding, and return.

PRINCE
Herald of Philip, greet thy lord from me.
All good that he can send, I can receive.
But think'st thou not, the unadvised boy
Hath wronged himself in thus far tend'ring me?
Haply he cannot pray without the book:
I think him no divine extemporal.
Then render back this commonplace of prayer
To do himself good in adversity.
Besides, he knows not my sins' quality,
And therefore knows no prayers for my avail.
Ere night his prayer may be to pray to God
To put it in my heart to hear his prayer.
So tell the courtly wanton, and be gone.

HERALD
I go.
Exit

PRINCE
How confident their strength and number makes them!
Now, Audley, sound those silver wings of thine,
And let those milk-white messengers of time
Show thy time's learning in this dangerous time.
Thyself art busy and bit with many broils,
And stratagems forepast with iron pens
Are texted in thine honourable face.
Thou art a married man in this distress,
But danger woos me as a blushing maid.
Teach me an answer to this perilous time.

AUDLEY
To die is all as common as to live:
The one in choice, the other holds in chase;
For, from the instant we begin to live,
We do pursue and hunt the time to die.
First bud we, then we blow, and after seed,
Then presently we fall; and, as a shade
Follows the body, so we follow death.
If then we hunt for death, why do we fear it?
If we fear it, why do we follow it?
If we do fear, how can we shun it?
If we do fear, with fear we do but aid
The thing we fear to seize on us the sooner.
If we fear not, then no resolved proffer
Can overthrow the limit of our fate,
For, whether ripe or rotten, drop we shall,
As we do draw the lottery of our doom.

PRINCE
Ah, good old man, a thousand thousand armours
These words of thine have buckled on my back.
Ah, what an idiot hast thou made of life,
To seek the thing it fears; and how disgraced
The imperial victory of murd'ring death,
Since all the lives his conquering arrows strike
Seek him, and he not them, to shame his glory.
I will not give a penny for a life,
Nor half a halfpenny to shun grim death,
Since for to live is but to seek to die,
And dying but beginning of new life.
Let come the hour when he that rules it will!
To live or die I hold indifferent.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene V
Enter King John and Charles

KING JOHN
A sudden darkness hath defaced the sky,
The winds are crept into their caves for fear,
The leaves move not, the world is hushed and still,
The birds cease singing, and the wand'ring brooks
Murmur no wonted greeting to their shores.
Silence attends some wonder, and expecteth
That heaven should pronounce some prophecy.
Where or from whom proceeds this silence, Charles?

CHARLES
Our men, with open mouths and staring eyes,
Look on each other, as they did attend
Each other's words, and yet no creature speaks.
A tongue-tied fear hath made a midnight hour,
And speeches sleep through all the waking regions.

KING JOHN
But now the pompous sun in all his pride
Looked through his golden coach upon the world,
And on a sudden hath he hid himself,
That now the under earth is as a grave,
Dark, deadly, silent, and uncomfortable.
A clamour of ravens
Hark, what a deadly outcry do I hear?
Enter Philip

CHARLES
Here comes my brother Philip.

KING JOHN
All dismayed.
What fearful words are those thy looks presage?

PHILIP
A flight, a flight!

KING JOHN
Coward, what flight? Thou liest, there needs no flight.

PHILIP
A flight!

KING JOHN
Awake thy craven powers, and tell on
The substance of that very fear indeed
Which is so ghastly printed in thy face.
What is the matter?

PHILIP
A flight of ugly ravens
Do croak and hover o'er our soldiers' heads,
And keep in triangles and cornered squares,
Right as our forces are embattled.
With their approach there came this sudden fog,
Which now hath hid the airy floor of heaven
And made at noon a night unnatural
Upon the quaking and dismayed world.
In brief, our soldiers have let fall their arms
And stand like metamorphosed images,
Bloodless and pale, one gazing on another.

KING JOHN
Ay, now I call to mind the prophecy,
But I must give no entrance to a fear. –
Return, and hearten up these yielding souls:
Tell them the ravens, seeing them in arms,
So many fair against a famished few,
Come but to dine upon their handiwork
And prey upon the carrion that they kill.
For when we see a horse laid down to die,
Although not dead, the ravenous birds
Sit watching the departure of his life,
Even so these ravens, for the carcasses
Of those poor English that are marked to die,
Hover about, and, if they cry to us,
'Tis but for meat that we must kill for them.
Away, and comfort up my soldiers,
And sound the trumpets, and at once dispatch
This little business of a silly fraud.
Exit Philip
Another noise. Salisbury brought in by a French Captain

CAPTAIN
Behold, my liege, this knight and forty mo,
Of whom the better part are slain and fled,
With all endeavour sought to break our ranks
And make their way to the encompassed prince.
Dispose of him as please your majesty.

KING JOHN
Go, and the next bough, soldier, that thou seest,
Disgrace it with his body presently;
For I do hold a tree in France too good
To be the gallows of an English thief.

SALISBURY
My Lord of Normandy, I have your pass
And warrant for my safety through this land.

CHARLES
Villiers procured it for thee, did he not?

SALISBURY
He did.

CHARLES
And it is current: thou shalt freely pass.

KING JOHN
Ay, freely to the gallows to be hanged,
Without denial or impediment.
Away with him!

CHARLES
I hope your highness will not so disgrace me
And dash the virtue of my seal at arms.
He hath my never broken name to show,
Charactered with this princely hand of mine;
And rather let me leave to be a prince
Than break the stable verdict of a prince.
I do beseech you, let him pass in quiet.

KING JOHN
Thou and thy word lie both in my command.
What canst thou promise that I cannot break?
Which of these twain is greater infamy:
To disobey thy father or thyself?
Thy word, nor no man's, may exceed his power,
Nor that same man doth never break his word
That keeps it to the utmost of his power.
The breach of faith dwells in the soul's consent,
Which, if thyself without consent do break,
Thou art not charged with the breach of faith.
Go, hang him: for thy licence lies in me,
And my constraint stands the excuse for thee.

CHARLES
What, am I not a soldier in my word?
Then, arms, adieu, and let them fight that list.
Shall I not give my girdle from my waist,
But with a guardian I shall be controlled
To say I may not give my things away?
Upon my soul, had Edward Prince of Wales
Engaged his word, writ down his noble hand,
For all your knights to pass his father's land,
The royal king, to grace his warlike son,
Would not alone safe-conduct give to them,
But with all bounty feasted them and theirs.

KING JOHN
Dwell'st thou on precedents? Then be it so!
Say, Englishman, of what degree thou art.

SALISBURY
An earl in England, though a prisoner here,
And those that know me call me Salisbury.

KING JOHN
Then, Salisbury, say whither thou art bound.

SALISBURY
To Calais, where my liege King Edward is.

KING JOHN
To Calais, Salisbury? Then to Calais pack,
And bid the king prepare a noble grave
To put his princely son, black Edward, in.
And as thou travel'st westward from this place,
Some two leagues hence, there is a lofty hill
Whose top seems topless, for the embracing sky
Doth hide his high head in her azure bosom,
Upon whose tall top, when thy foot attains,
Look back upon the humble vale beneath,
Humble of late, but now made proud with arms,
And thence behold the wretched Prince of Wales,
Hooped with a bond of iron round about.
After which sight, to Calais spur amain,
And say the prince was smothered and not slain;
And tell the king this is not all his ill,
For I will greet him ere he thinks I will.
Away, be gone; the smoke but of our shot
Will choke our foes, though bullets hit them not.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene VI
Alarum. Enter Prince Edward and Artois

ARTOIS
How fares your grace? Are you not shot, my lord?

PRINCE
No, dear Artois, but choked with dust and smoke,
And stepped aside for breath and fresher air.

ARTOIS
Breathe, then, and to it again. The amazed French
Are quite distract with gazing on the crows,
And, were our quivers full of shafts again,
Your grace should see a glorious day of this.
O, for more arrows, Lord! That's our want.

PRINCE
Courage, Artois! A fig for feathered shafts
When feathered fowls do bandy on our side!
What need we fight and sweat and keep a coil
When railing crows outscold our adversaries?
Up, up, Artois! The ground itself is armed
With fire-containing flint. Command our bows
To hurl away their pretty-coloured yew,
And to it with stones! Away, Artois, away!
My soul doth prophesy we win the day.
Exeunt
Alarum. Enter King John

KING JOHN
Our multitudes are in themselves confounded,
Dismayed, and distraught; swift-starting fear
Hath buzzed a cold dismay through all our army,
And every petty disadvantage prompts
The fear-possessed abject soul to fly.
Myself, whose spirit is steel to their dull lead,
What with recalling of the prophecy,
And that our native stones from English arms
Rebel against us, find myself attainted
With strong surprise of weak and yielding fear.
Enter Charles

CHARLES
Fly, father, fly! The French do kill the French:
Some that would stand let drive at some that fly;
Our drums strike nothing but discouragement;
Our trumpets sound dishonour and retire;
The spirit of fear, that feareth naught but death,
Cowardly works confusion on itself.
Enter Philip

PHILIP
Pluck out your eyes and see not this day's shame!
An arm hath beat an army; one poor David
Hath with a stone foiled twenty stout Goliaths;
Some twenty naked starvelings with small flints
Hath driven back a puissant host of men
Arrayed and fenced in all accomplements.

KING JOHN
Mort Dieu! They quoit at us and kill us up.
No less than forty thousand wicked elders
Have forty lean slaves this day stoned to death.

CHARLES
O that I were some other countryman!
This day hath set derision on the French,
And all the world will blurt and scorn at us.

KING JOHN
What, is there no hope left?

PHILIP
No hope but death, to bury up our shame.

KING JOHN
Make up once more with me. The twentieth part
Of those that live are men enow to quail
The feeble handful on the adverse part.

CHARLES
Then charge again. If heaven be not opposed,
We cannot lose the day.

KING JOHN
On, away!
Exeunt
Enter Audley, wounded, and rescued by two esquires

FIRST ESQUIRE
How fares my lord?

AUDLEY
Even as a man may do
That dines at such a bloody feast as this.

SECOND ESQUIRE
I hope, my lord, that is no mortal scar.

AUDLEY
No matter if it be; the count is cast,
And, in the worst, ends but a mortal man.
Good friends, convey me to the princely Edward,
That in the crimson bravery of my blood
I may become him with saluting him.
I'll smile and tell him that this open scar
Doth end the harvest of his Audley's war.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene VII
Enter Prince Edward, King John, Charles, and all, with ensigns spread. Retreat sounded

PRINCE
Now, John in France, and lately John of France,
Thy bloody ensigns are my captive colours;
And you, high-vaunting Charles of Normandy,
That once today sent me a horse to fly,
Are now the subjects of my clemency.
Fie, lords, is't not a shame that English boys,
Whose early days are yet not worth a beard,
Should in the bosom of your kingdom thus,
One against twenty, beat you up together?

KING JOHN
Thy fortune, not thy force, hath conquered us.

PRINCE
An argument that heaven aids the right.
Enter Artois with Philip
See, see, Artois doth bring with him along
The late good counsel-giver to my soul.
Welcome, Artois, and welcome, Philip, too.
Who now, of you or I, have need to pray?
Now is the proverb verified in you:
Too bright a morning brings a louring day.
Sound trumpets. Enter Audley, with the two esquires
But say, what grim discouragement comes here!
Alas, what thousand armed men of France
Have writ that note of death in Audley's face?
Speak, thou that wooest death with thy careless smile,
And look'st so merrily upon thy grave
As if thou wert enamoured on thine end.
What hungry sword hath so bereaved thy face
And lopped a true friend from my loving soul?

AUDLEY
O Prince, thy sweet bemoaning speech to me
Is as a mournful knell to one dead sick.

PRINCE
Dear Audley, if my tongue ring out thy end,
My arms shall be thy grave. What may I do
To win thy life or to revenge thy death?
If thou wilt drink the blood of captive kings,
Or that it were restorative, command
A health of king's blood, and I'll drink to thee.
If honour may dispense for thee with death,
The never-dying honour of this day
Share wholly, Audley, to thyself, and live.

AUDLEY
Victorious prince – that thou art so, behold
A Caesar's fame in kings' captivity –
If I could hold dim death but at a bay
Till I did see my liege thy royal father,
My soul should yield this castle of my flesh,
This mangled tribute, with all willingness,
To darkness, consummation, dust, and worms.

PRINCE
Cheerily, bold man, thy soul is all too proud
To yield her city for one little breach,
Should be divorced from her earthly spouse
By the soft temper of a Frenchman's sword.
Lo, to repair thy life I give to thee
Three thousand marks a year in English land.

AUDLEY
I take thy gift to pay the debts I owe.
These two poor squires redeemed me from the French
With lusty and dear hazard of their lives.
What thou hast given me, I give to them;
And, as thou lov'st me, Prince, lay thy consent
To this bequeath in my last testament.

PRINCE
Renowned Audley, live, and have from me
This gift twice doubled to these squires and thee:
But, live or die, what thou hast given away
To these and theirs shall lasting freedom stay.
Come, gentlemen, I will see my friend bestowed
Within an easy litter. Then we'll march
Proudly toward Calais with triumphant pace
Unto my royal father, and there bring
The tribute of my wars, fair France his king.
Exeunt
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2018 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL