THE First and second Part o⟨f⟩ the troublesome Raigne of John King of England. With the discouerie of King Richard Co⟨r⟩ delions Base sonne (vulgarly named, The Bastar⟨d⟩ Fawconbridge:) Also, the death of King Iohn at Swinstead Abbey. As they were (sundry times) lately acted the Queenes Maiesties Players. Written by W. Sh.

Imprinted at London by Ʋalentine Simmes for Iohn Helme, and are to be sold at his shop in Saint Dunstons Churchyard in Fleetestreet. 1611.

The troublesome Raigne of King Iohn.

Enter K. Iohn, Queene Elinor his mother, William Mar­shall Earle of Pembrooke, the Earles of Essex, and of Salisbury.
Queene Elianor.
BArons of England, and my noble Lords;
Though God and Fortune haue bereft from vs
Victorious Richard scourge of Infidells,
And clad this Land in stole of dismall hew:
Yet giue me leaue to ioy, and ioy you all,
That from this wombe hath sprung a second hope,
A King that may in rule and vertue both
Succeede his brother in his Emperie.
K. Iohn
My gratious mother Queene, and Barons all;
Though farre vnworthy of so high a place,
As is the Throne of mighty Englands King;
Yet Iohn your Lord, contented vncontent,
Will (as he may) sustaine the heauy yoke
Of pressing cares, that hang vpon a Crowne.
My Lord of Pembrooke and Lord Salsbury,
Admit the Lord Chattilion to our presence;
That we may know what Philip King of Fraunce
(By his Ambassadors) requires of vs.
Q. Elinor
Dare lay my hand that Elinor can gesse
Whereto this weighty Embassade doth tend:
If of my nephew Arthur and his claime,
Then say, my Sonne, I haue not missde my aime.
Enter Chattilion and the two Earles.
Iohn
[Page]
My Lord Chattilion, welcome into England:
How fares our brother Philip king of Fraunce?
Chat.
His Highnesse at my comming was in health,
And will'd me to salute your Maiestie,
And say the message he hath giuen in charge.
Iohn

And spare not man, wee are preparde to heare.

Chat.

Philip, by the grace of God most Christian King of France, hauing taken into his gardain & protection Ar­thur D. of Brittaine sonne and heire to Ieffrey thine elder brother, requireth in the behalfe of the saide Arthur, the kingdome of England, with the lordship of Ireland, Poi­ters, Aniow, Toraine, Maine: and I attend thine answer.

Iohn
A small request: belike hee makes account,
That England, Ireland, Poiters, Aniow, Toraine, Maine,
Are nothing for a King to giue at once:
I wonder what he meanes to leaue for me.
Tell Philip, he may keepe his Lords at home,
With greater honour than to send them thus
On Embassades that not concerne himselfe,
Or if they did, would yeeld but small returne.
Chat.

Is this thine answer?

Iohn

It is, and too good an answer for so prowd a mes­sage.

Chat.
Then King of England, in my Masters name,
And in Prince Arthur duke of Brittaines name,
I doe defie thee as an enemie,
And wish thee to prepare for bloody warres.
Q. Elinor
My Lord (that stands vpon defiance thus)
Commend me to my nephew, tell the boy,
That I Queene Elianor (his grandmother)
Vpon my blessing charge him leaue his Armes,
Whereto his head-strong mother prickes him so:
Her pride we know, and know her for a Dame
That will not sticke to bring him to his end,
So she may bring herselfe to rule a realme.
Next, wish him to forsake the King of Fraunce,
And come to me and to his vncle here,
And he shall want for nothing at our hands.
Chat.
[Page]

This shall I do, and thus I take my leaue.

Iohn
Pembrooke, conuey him safely to the sea,
But not in haste: for as we are aduisde,
We meane to be in France as soone as he,
To fortifie such townes as we possesse
In Aniow, Toraine, and in Normandie.
Exit Chatt.
Enter the Shriue and whispers the Earle of Salis. in the care.
Sals.

Please it your maiesty, here is the shriue of North­hamptonshire, with certaine persons that of late commit­ted a riot, and haue appeald to your Maiestie, beseeching your Highnesse for speciall cause to heare them.

Iohn
Will them come neere, and while wee heare the cause,
Goe Salsbury and make prouision,
We meane with speed to passe the Sea to France.
Say shriue, what are these men, what haue they done?
Or whereto tends the course of this appeale?
Shriue

Please it your maiesty, these two brethren vnna­turally falling at odds about their fathers liuing, haue bro­ken your Highnesse peace, in seeking to right their owne wrongs without course of Lawe, or order of Iustice, & vn­lawfully assembled thēselues in mutinous maner, hauing committed a riot, appealing from triall in their country to your Highnes: and here I Thomas Nidigate shrine of Nor­thamptonshire do deliuer them ouer to their triall.

Iohn

My Lord of Essex, wil thoffenders to stand forth, and tell the cause of their quarrell.

Essex

Gentlemen, it is the Kings pleasure that you dis­couer your griefs, and doubt not but you shal haue iustice.

Phil.

Please it your M. the wrong is mine: yet will I a­bide all wrongs, before I once open my mouth t'vnrip the shamefull slander of my parents, the dishonor of my self, & the bad dealing of my brother in this princely assemblie.

Robert
Then, by my Prince his leaue, shall Robert speake,
And tell your Maiestie what right I haue
To offer wrong, as he accounteth wrong.
My father (not vnknowne vnto your Grace)
Receiu'd his spurres of Knighthood in the Field,
[Page]At kingly Richards hands in Palestine,
When as the walls of Acon gaue him way:
His name sir Robert Fauconbridge of Mountbery.
What by succession from his Ancestors,
And warlike seruice vnder Englands Armes,
His liuing did amount to at his death
Two thousand markes reuenew euery yeare:
And this (my Lord) I challenge for my right,
As lawfull heire to Robert-Fauconbridge.
Philip
If first-borne sonne be heire indubitate
By certaine right of Englands auntient Lawe,
How should my selfe make any other doubt,
But I am heire to Robert Fauconbridge?
Iohn
Fond youth, to trouble these our princely cares,
Or make a question in so plaine a case:
Speake, is this man thine elder brother borne?
Robert
Please it your Grace with patience for to heare.
I not deny but he mine elder is,
Mine elder brother too: yet in such sort,
As he can make no title to the land.
Iohn
A doubtfull tale as euer I did heare,
Thy brother, and thine elder, and no heire:
Explaine this darke Aenigma.
Robert
I grant (my Lord) he is my mothers sonne,
Base borne, and base begot, no Fauconbridge.
Indeede the world reputes him lawfull heire,
My father in his life did count him so,
And here my mother stands to prooue him so:
But I (my Lord) can prooue, and doe auerre
Both to my mothers shame, and his reproach,
He is no heire, nor yet legitimate.
Then (gratious Lord) let Fauconbridge enioy
The liuing that belongs to Fauconbridge.
And let not him possesse anothers right.
Iohn

Prooue this, the land is thine by Englands lawe.

Q. Elin.
Vngratious youth, to rip thy mothers shame,
The wombe from whence thou didst thy being take,
[Page]All honest eares abhorre thy wickednesse,
But gold I see doth beate downe Natures law.
Mother
My gratious Lord, and you thrice reuerend Dame,
That see the teares distilling from mine eies,
And scalding sighes blowne from a rented heart:
For honour and regard of womanhood,
Let me intreate to be commaunded hence.
Let not these eares heere receiue the hissing sound
Of such a viper, who with poysoned words
Doth masserate the bowells of my soule.
Iohn
Lady, stand vp, be patient for a while:
And fellow, say, whose bastard is thy brother?
Philip
Not for my selfe, nor for my mother now;
But for the honour of so braue a man,
Whom hee accuseth with adulterie:
Heere I beseech your Grace vpon my knees,
To count him mad, and so dismisse vs hence.
Robert
Nor mad, nor mazde, but well aduised, I
Charge thee before this royall presence here
To be a bastard to king Richards selfe,
Sonne to your Grace, and brother to your Maiestie.
Thus bluntly, and
Elian.
Yong man, thou needst not be ashamed of thy kin,
Nor of thy Sire. But forward with thy proofe.
Robert
The proofe so plaine, the argument so strong,
As that your Highnesse and these noble Lords,
And all (saue those that haue no eies to see)
Shall sweare him to be bastard to the king.
First, when my Father was Embassadour
In Germanie vnto the Emperour,
The King lay often at my fathers house;
And all the realme suspected what befell:
And at my fathers backe-returne agen
My mother was deliuered, as tis sed,
Sixe weeks before the account my father made.
But more than this: looke but on Philips face,
His features, actions, and his lineaments,
[Page]And all this princely presence shall confesse,
He is no other but King Richards sonne.
Then gratious Lord, rest he King Richards sonne,
And let me rest safe in my Fathers right,
That am his rightfull sonne and only heire.
Iohn

Is this thy proofe, and all thou hast to say?

Robert

I haue no more, nor neede I greater proofe.

Iohn
First, where thou saidst in absence of thy Sire
My brother often lodged in his house:
And what of that? base groome to slaunder him,
That honoured his Embassador so much,
In absence of the man to cheere the wife?
This will not hold, proceed vnto the next.
Q. Elin.
Thou saist shee teemde sixe weekes before her time,
Why good sir Squire, are you so cunning growen,
To make account of womens reckonings?
Spit in your hand and to your other proofes:
Many mischances happen in such affaires,
To make a woman come before her time.
Iohn
And where thou saist, he looketh like the King,
In action, feature and proportion:
Therein I hold with thee, for in my life
I neuer saw so liuely counterfet
Of Richard Cordelion, as in him.
Robert
Then good my Lord, be you indiffrent Iudge,
And let me haue my liuing and my right.
Q. Elinor
Nay, heare you sir, you runne away too fast:
Know you not, Omne simile non est idem?
Or haue read in. Harke yee good sir,
Twas thus I warrant, and no otherwise,

Shee lay with sir Robert your father, and thought vpon King Richard my sonne, and so your brother was formed in this fashion.

Robert
Madame, you wrong me thus to iest it out,
I craue my right: King Iohn, as thou art King,
So be thou iust, and let me haue my right.
Iohn
Why (foolish boy) thy proofes are friuolous,
[Page]Nor canst thou chalenge any thing thereby.
But thou shalt see how I will helpe thy claime:
This is my doome, and this my doome shall stand
Irreuocable, as I am king of England.
For thou know'st not, weele aske of them that know,
His mother and himselfe shall end this strife:
And as they say, so shall thy liuing paste.
Robert.
My Lord, herein I challenge you of wrong,
To giue away my right, and put the doome
Vnto themselues. Can there be likelihood
That shee will loose?
Or he will giue the liuing from himselfe?
It may not be my Lord. Why should it be?
Iohn.
Lords, keep him back, & let him heare the doom.
Essex, first aske the Mother thrice who was his Sire?
Essex.
Lady Margaret, widow of Fauconbridge,
Who was Father to thy Sonne Philip?
Mother.

Please it your Maiesty, Sir Rob. Fauconbridge.

Rob.

This is right, aske my fellow there if I be a thiefe.

Iohn.

Aske Philip whose sonne he is.

Essex.

Philip, who was thy Father?

Philip.

Mas my Lord, and that's a question: and you had not taken some paines with her before, I should haue desired you to aske my Mother.

Iohn.

Say, who was thy Father?

Philip.

Faith (my Lord) to answere you, sure hee is my father that was neerest my mother when I was begotten, and him I thinke to be Sir Robert Fauconbridge.

Iohn.
Essex, for fashions sake demand agen,
And so an end to this contention.
Robert.

Was euer man thus wrongd as Robert is?

Essex.

Philip speake I say, who was thy father?

Iohn.

Young man how now, what art thou in a trance?

Elianor.

Philip awake, the man is in a dreame.

Philip.
Philippus atauis aedite Regibus.
What saist thou Philip, sprung of auncient Kings?
Quo me rapit tempestas?
[Page]What winde of honour blowes this furie forth?
Or whence proceede these fumes of Maiestie?
Me thinkes I heare a hollow Eccho sound,
That Philip is the sonne vnto a King:
The whistling leaues vpon the trembling trees,
Whistle in consort I am Richards sonne:
The bubling murmur of the waters fall,
Records Philippus Regius filius:
Birds in their flight make musicke with their wings,
Filling the aire with glorie of my birth:
Birds, bubbles, leaues, and mountaines, Eccho, all
Ring in mine eares, that I am Richards sonne.
Fond man! ah whither art thou carried?
How are thy thoughts ywrapt in Honors heauen?
Forgetfull what thou art, and whence thou camst.
Thy Fathers land cannot maintaine these thoughts,
These thoughts are farre vnfitting Fauconbridge:
And well they may; for why this mounting minde
Doth soare too high to stoupe to Fauconbridge.
Why how now? knowest thou where thou art?
And knowest thou who expects thine answer here?
Wilt thou vpon a franticke madding vaine
Goe loose thy land, and say thy selfe base borne?
No, keepe thy land, though Richard were thy Sire,
What ere thou thinkst, say thou art Fauconbridge.
Iohn.

Speake man, be sodaine, who thy Father was.

Philip.
Please it your Maiestie, Sir Robert
Philip, that Fauconbridge cleaues to thy iawes:
It will not out, I cannot for my life
Say I am sonne vnto a Fauconbridge.
Let land and liuing goe, tis Honors fire
That makes me sweare King Richard was my Sire.
Base to a King addes title of more State,
Than Knights begotten, though legittimate.
Please it your Grace, I am King Richards Sonne.
Robert
Robert reuiue thy heart, let sorrow die,
His faltring tongue not suffers him to lie.
Mo.
[Page]

What head-strong furie doth enchant my sonne?

Philip

Philip cannot repent, for he hath done.

Iohn
Then Philip blame not me, thy selfe hast lost
By wilfulnesse, thy liuing and thy land.
Robert, thou art the heire of Fauconbridge,
God giue thee ioy, greater than thy desert.
Q. Elia.

Why how now Philip, giue away thine owne?

Ph.
Madame, I am bold to make my self your nephew,
The poorest kinsman that your Highnesse hath:
And with this Prouerb gin the world anew,
Help hands, I haue no lands, Honor is my desire;
Let Philip liue to shew himselfe worthy so great a Sire.
Eli.
Philip, I think thou knewst thy Grandams minde:
But cheere thee boy, I will not see thee want
As long as Elinor hath foote of land;
Henceforth thou shalt be taken for my sonne,
And waite on me and on thine vncle heere,
Who shall giue honour to thy noble mind.
Iohn
Philip kneele downe, that thou maist throughly know
How much thy resolution pleaseth vs,
Rise vp Sir Richard Plantaginet king Richards Sonne.
Philip
Grant heauens that Philip once may shew him­selfe
Worthy the honour of Plantaginet,
Or basest glorie of a Bastards name.
Iohn
Now Gentlemen, we will away to France,
To checke the pride of Arthur and his mates:
Essex, thou shalt be Ruler of my Realme,
And toward the maine charges of my warres,
Ile ceaze the lasic Abbey lubbers lands
Into my hands to pay my men of warre.
The Pope and Popelings shall not grease themselues
With gold and groates, that are the souldiers due.
Thus forward Lords, let our commaund be done,
And march we forward mightily to France.
Exeunt.
Manet Philip and his Mother.
Philip

Madame, I beseech you deigne me so much lea­sure as the hearing of a matter that I lōg to impart to you.

Mother.
[Page]

What's the matter Philip? I thinke your suit in secret, tends to some money matter, which you suppose burnes in the bottome of my chest.

Phil.
No Madam, it is no such suit as to beg or borrow,
But such a suit, as might some other grant,
I would not now haue troubled you withall.
Mother.

A Gods name let vs heare it.

Phil.
Then Madam thus, your Ladiship sees well,
How that my scandall growes by meanes of you,
In that report hath rumord vp and downe,
I am a bastard, and no Fauconbridge.
This grosse attaint so tilteth in my thoughts,
Maintaining combat to abridge mine ease,
That field and towne, and company alone,
What so I doe, or wheresoere I am,
I cannot chase the slaunder from my thoughts.
If it be true, resolue me of my fire,
For pardon Madam, if I thinke amisse.
Be Philip Philip, and no Fauconbridge,
His father doubtlesse was as braue a man.
To you on knees, as sometime Phaeton,
Mistrusting sielly Merop for his sire,
Straining a little bashfull modestie,
I beg some instance whence I am extraught.
Moth.
Yet more adoe to haste me to my graue,
And wilt thou too become a mothers crosse?
Must I accuse my selfe to close with you?
Slaunder my selfe, to quiet your affects?
Thou moou'st me Philip with this idle talke,
Which I remit, in hope this mood will die.
Phil.
Nay Lady mother, heare me further yet,
For strong conceit driues dutie hence awhile:
Your husband Fauconbridge was father to that sonne,
That carries markes of Nature like the fire,
The sonne that blotteth you with wedlockes breach,
And holds my right, as lineall in descent
From him whose forme was figured in his face▪
[Page]Can Nature so dissemble in her frame,
To make the one so like as like may be,
And in the other print no character
To challenge any marke of true descent?
My brothers mind is base, and too too dull,
To mount where Philip lodgeth his affects,
And his externall graces that you viewe,
(Though I report it) counterpoise not mine:
His constitution plaine debilitie,
Requires the chaire, and mine the seat of steele.
Nay, what is he, or what am I to him?
When any one that knoweth how to carpe,
Will scarcely iudge vs both one countrey borne.
This Madam, this, hath droue me from my selfe:
And here by heauens eternall lampes I sweare,
As cursed Nero with his mother did,
So I with you, if you resolue me not.
Moth.
Let mothers teares quench out thy angers fire,
And vrge no further what thou doest require.
Phil.
Let sonnes intreatie sway the mother now,
Or else shee dies: Ile not infringe my vow.
Moth.
Vnhappy taske: must I recount my shame,
Blab my misdeeds, or by concealing die?
Some power strike me speechlesse for a time,
Or take from him a while his hearings vse.
Why wish I so, vnhappy as I am?
The fault is mine, and he the faultie fruit,
I blush, I faint, oh would I might be mute.
Phil.

Mother be briefe, I long to know my name.

Moth.

And longing die, to shroud thy mothers shame.

Phil.
Come Madame come, you need not be so loath,
The shame is shared equall twixt vs both.
Ist not a slackenesse in me, worthy blame,
To be so old, and cannot write my name.
Good mother resolue me.
Moth.
Then Philip heare thy fortune, and my griefe,
My honours losse by purchasse of thy selfe,
[Page]My shame, thy name, and husbands secret wrong,
All maimd and staind by youths vnruly sway.
And when thou know'st from whence thou art extraught,
Or if thou knew'st what suites, what threats, what feares,
To mooue by loue, or massacre by death.
To yeeld with loue, or end by loues contempt.
The mightinesse of him that courted me,
Who tempered terror with his wanton talke,
That something may extenuate the guilt.
But let it not aduantage me so much:
Vpbraid me rather with the Romane dame,
That shed her blood to wash away her shame.
Why stand I to expostulate the crime
With pro & contra, now the deed is done?
When to conclude two words may tell the tale,
That Philips father was a princes sonne,
Rich Englands rule, worlds onely terror he,
For honours losse left me with child of thee:
Whose sonne thou art, then pardon me the rather,
For faire King Richard was thy noble father.
Phil.
Then Robin Fauconbridge I wish thee ioy,
My sire a king, and I a landlesse boy.
Gods lady mother, the world is in my debt,
There's something owing to Plantaginet.
I marry sir, let me alone for game,
Ile act some wonders now I know my name.
By blessed Mary. Ile not sell that pride
For Englands wealth, and all the world beside.
Sit fast the proudest of my fathers foes,
Away good mother, there the comfort goes.
Exeunt.
Enter Philip the French King, and Lewis, Limoges, Constance, and her sonne Arthur.
King.
Now gin we broach the title of thy claime,
Young Arthur in the Albion territories,
Skaring proud Angiers with a puissant siege:
[Page]Braue Austria, cause of Cordelions death,
Is also come to aide thee in thy warres;
And all our Forces ioyne for Arthurs right.
And, but for causes of great consequence,
Pleading delay till newes from England come,
Twice should not Titan hide him in the West,
To coole the f [...]t-locks of his wearie teame,
Till I had with an vnresisted shocke
Controld the mannage of prowd Angiers walls,
Or made a forfet of my fame to Chaunce.
Const.
May be that Iohn in conscience or in feare
To offer wrong where you impugne the ill,
Will send such calme conditions backe to Fraunce,
As shall rebate the edge of fearefull warres:
If so, forbearance is a deed, well done.
Arth.
Ah mother, possession of a Crowne is much,
And Iohn as I haue heard reported of,
For present vantage would aduenture farre.
The world can witnesse, in his Brothers time,
He tooke vpon him rule, and almost raigne;
Then must it follow as a doubtfull point,
That hee'l resigne the rule vnto his Nephew.
I rather thinke the menace of the world
Sounds in his eares, as threats of no esteeme,
And sooner would he scorne Europa's power,
Than loose the smallest title he enioyes;
For questionlesse he is an Englishman.
Lewis.
Why are the English peerelesse in compare?
Braue Caualiers as ere that Island bred,
Haue liu'd and di'd, and dar'd, and done enough,
Yet neuer grac'd their countrey for the cause:
England is England, yeelding good and bad,
And Iohn of England is as other Iohns.
Trust me yong Arthur, if thou like my reed,
Praise thou the French that helpe thee in this need.
Lymog.
The Englishman hath little cause I trowe,
To spend good speaches on so proud a foe.
[Page]Why Arthur here's his spoyle that now is gone,
Who when he liu'd outrou'd his brother Iohn:
But hastie curres that lie so long to catch,
Come halting home, and meete their ouer-match.
But newes comes now, here's the Embassadour.
Enter Chattilion.
K. Phil.
And in good time, welcome my Lord Chattil­lion:
What newes? will Iohn accord to our command?
Chat.
Be I not briefe to tell your Highnesse all,
He will approach to interrupt my tale:
For one selfe bottome brought vs both to France.
He on his part will trie the chance of warre,
And if his words inferre assured truth,
Will loose himselfe, and all his followers,
Ere yeeld vnto the least of your demands.
The Mother Queene shee taketh on amaine
Gainst Lady Constance, counting her the cause
That doth effect this claime to Albion,
Coniuring Arthur with a grandames care,
To leaue his Mother; willing him submit
His state to Iohn, and her protection,
Who (as shee saith) are studious for his good.
More circumstance the season intercepts:
This is the summe, which briefly I haue showne.
K. Phil.
This bitter wind must nip some-bodies spring:
Sodaine and briefe, why so, tis haruest weather.
But say Chattilion, what persons of account are with him?
Chat.
Of England, Earle Pembrooke and Salisburie,
The onely noted men of any name.
Next them, a bastard of the Kings deceast,
A hardie wild-head, tough and venturous,
With many other men of high resolue.
Then is there with them Elinor Mother Queene,
And Blanch her Neece, daughter to the King of Spaine:
These are the prime birds of this hot aduenture.
Enter Iohn and his followers, Queene, Bastard, Earles, &c.
K. Phil.
Me seemeth Iohn, an ouer-daring spirit
[Page]Effects some frensie in thy rash approach,
Treading my Confines with thy armed troupes.
I rather lookt for some submisse reply
Touching the claime thy Nephew Arthur makes
To that which thou vniustly dost vsurpe.
K. Iohn
For that Chattilion can discharge you all,
I list not pleade my Title with my tongue.
Nor came I hither with intent of wrong
To France or thee, or any right of thine;
But in defence and purchase of my right,
The towne of Angiers: which thou dost begirt
In the behalfe of Lady Constance sonne,
Whereto nor he nor she can lay iust claime.
Constance
Yes (false intruder) if that iust be iust,
And head-strong vsurpation put apart,
Arthur my Sonne, heire to thy elder brother,
Without ambiguous shadow of discent,
Is Soueraigne to the substance thou withholdst.
Q. Elinor
Misgouernd gossip, staine to this resort,
Occasion of these vndecided iarres,
I say (that know) to checke thy vaine suppose,
Thy sonne hath naught to do with that he claimes.
For proofe whereof, I can inferre a Will,
That barres the way he vrgeth by discent.
Con.
A Will indeed, a crabbed womans will,
Wherein the diuell is an ouerseer,
And prowd dame Elinor sole Executresse:
More wills than so, on perill of my soule,
Were neuer made to hinder Arthurs right.
Arthur
But say there was, as sure there can be none,
The Law intends such testaments as void,
Where right discent can no way be impeacht.
Q. Elinor
Peace Arthur peace, thy mother makes thee wings
To soare with perill after Icarus,
And trust me yongling for the Fathers sake,
I pity much the hazard of thy youth.
Constance
Beshrew you else how pittifull you are,
[Page]Ready to weepe to heare him aske his owne;
Sorrow betide such Grandames and such griefe,
That minister a poyson for pure loue.
But who so blind, as cannot see this beame,
That you forsooth would keepe your cousin downe,
For feare his mother should be vs'd too well?
I there's the griefe, confusion catch the braine,
That hammers shiftes to stop a Princes raigne.
Q. Elia.
Impatient, franticke, common slaunderer,
Immodest dame, vnnurtur'd quarreller,
I tell thee I, not enuie to thy sonne,
But iustice makes me speake as I haue done.
K. Phil.

But here's no proofe that shews your son a king.

K.I.
What wants, my sword shal more at large set down
Lew.

But that may breake before the truth be known.

Bast.

Then this may hold till all his tight be showne.

Lym.

Good words sir sauce, your betters are in place.

Bast.

Not you sir doughtie, with your Lyons case.

Blanch.
Ah ioy betide his soule, to whom that spoyle belong'd:
Ah Richard, how thy glory here is wrong'd.
Lym.
Me thinks that Richards pride & Richards fall,
Should be a president t'affright you all.
Bast.
What words are these? how do my sinews shake?
My fathers foe clad in my fathers spoyle,
A thousand furies kindle with reuenge,
This heart that choller keepes a consistori [...],
Searing my inwards with a brand of hate:
How doth Alecto whisper in mine eares?
Delay not Philip, kill the villaine straight,
Disrobe him of the matchlesse monument
Thy fathers triumph ore the Sauages,
Base heardgroom, coward peasant, worse than a threshing slaue,
What mak'st thou with the Trophie of a king?
Sham'st thou not coystrell, loathsome dunghill swad,
To grace thy carkasse with an ornament
Too pretious for a Monarkes couerture?
[Page]Scarce can I temper due obedience
Vnto the presence of my Soueraigne,
From acting outrage on this trunke of hate:
But arme thee traytor, wronger of renowne,
For by his soule I sweare, my Fathers soule,
Twise will I not reuiew the mornings rise,
Till I haue torne that Trophie from thy backe,
And split thy heart for wearing it so long.
Philip hath sworne, and if it be not done,
Let not the world repute me Richards sonne.
Lym.
Nay soft sir bastard, hearts are not split so soone,
Let them reioyce that at the end doe win:
And take this lesson at thy foe-mans hand,
Pawne not thy life to get thy Fathers skin.
Blan.
Wel may the world speake of his knightly valor,
That wins this hide to weare a Ladies fauour.
Bast.
Ill may I thriue, and nothing brooke with me,
If shortly I present it not to thee.
K. Phil.
Lordings forbeare, for time is comming fast,
That deeds may trie what words can not determine,
And to the purpose for the cause you come.
Me seemes you set right in chaunce of warre,
Yeelding no other reasons for your claime,
But so and so, because it shall be so.
So wrong shall be subornd by trust of strength:
A tyrants practise to inuest himselfe,
Where weake resistance giueth wrong the way.
To checke the which, in holy lawfull armes,
I, in the right of Arthur, Geffreys sonne,
Am come before this city of Angiers,
To barre all other false supposed claime,
From whence, or howsoere the error springs.
And in his quarrell on my princely word,
Ile fight it out vnto the latest man.
Iohn.
Know King of France, I will not be commanded
By any power or prince in Christendome,
To yeeld an instance how I hold mine owne,
[Page]More than to answere, that mine owne is mine,
But wilt thou see me parley with the Towne,
And heare them offer me allegeance,
Fealtie and homage, as true liege men ought.
K. Phil.

Summon them, I will not beleeue it till I see it, and when I see it, Ile soone change it.

They summon the Towne, the Citizens appeare vpon the walls.
K. Iohn

You men of Angiors, and as I take it my loiall subiects, I haue summoned you to the walls: to dispute on my right, were to thinke you doubtfull therein, which I am perswaded you are not. In few words, our brothers sonne, backt with the king of France, haue beleagred your towne vpon a false pretended title to the same: in defence wherof I your liege Lord haue brought our power to fence you from the Vsurper, to free your intended seruitude, and vt­terly to supplant the foemen, to my right and your rest. Say then, who keepe you the towne for?

Citizen

For our lawfull King.

Iohn

I was no lesse perswaded: then in Gods name o­pen your gates, and let me enter.

Citizen

And it please your Highnes we comptroll not your title, neither will wee rashly admit your entrance: if you be lawfull King, with all obedience we keep it to your vse, if not King, our rashnes to be impeached for yeelding, without more considerate triall: wee answere not as men lawlesse, but to the behoofe of him that prooues lawfull.

Iohn

I shall not come in then?

Citizen

No my Lord, till we know more.

K. Phil.

Then heare me speak in the behalfe of Arthur son of Geffrey, elder brother to Iohn, his title manifest, with out contradiction, to the crowne & kingdom of England, with Angiers, & diuers townes on this side the sea: wil you acknowledge him your liege Lord, who speaketh in my word, to entertain you with all fauors, as beseemeth a King to his subiects, or a friend to his welwillers: or stand to the peril of your contēpt, whē his title is proued by the sword.

Citiz.
[Page]

We answer as before, till you haue proued one right, we acknowledge none right, he that tries himselfe our Soueraigne; to him wil we remaine firme subiects, and for him, and in his right we hold our towne, as desirous to know the truth, as loth to subscribe before we know: more than this we cannot say, & more than this we dare not do.

K. Phil.

Then Iohn I defie thee, in the name and behalfe of Arthur Plantaginet, thy king and cousin, whose right and patrimony thou detainest, as I doubt not, ere the day end, in a set battel make thee confesse; whereunto, with a zeale to right, I challenge thee.

K. Iohn.

I accept thy challenge, and turne the defiance to thy throat.

Excursions. The Bastard chaseth Lymoges the Austrich Duke, and maketh him leaue the Lyons skin.
Bast.
And art thou gone misfortune haunt thy steps,
And chill cold feare assaile thy times of rest.
Morpheus leaue here thy silent Eban caue,
Besiege his thoughts with dismall fantasies,
And ghastly obiects of pale threatning Mors.
Affright him euery minute with stearne lookes,
Let shadow temper terror in his thoughts,
And let the terror make the coward mad,
And in his madnesse let him feare pursuit,
And so in frensie let the peasant die.
Here is the ransome that allaies his rage,
The first freehold that Richard left his sonne:
With which I shall surprize his liuing foes,
As Hectors statue did the fainting Greekes.
Exit.
Enter the Kings Heraulds with Trumpets to the wals of Angiers: they summon the Towne.
Eng. Her.

Iohn by the grace of God King of England, Lord of Ireland, Aniou, Toraine, &c. demandeth once a­gaine of you his subiects of Angiers, if you wil quietly sur­render vp the towne into his hands?

Fr. Herold.
[Page]

Philip by the grace of God King of France, demaundeth in the behalfe of Arthur Duke of Brittaine, if you will surrender vp the towne into his hands, to the vse of the said Arthur.

Citizens.

Herrolds go tell the two victorious Princes, that we the poore Inhabitants of Angiers, require a parley of their Maiesties.

Herolds.

We goe.

Enter the Kings, Queene Elianor, Blanch, Bastard, Ly­moges, Lewis, Castilean, Pembrooke, Salisbury, Con­stance, and Arthur Duke of Brittaine.
Iohn.

Herold, what answer doe the Townsmen send?

Philip.

Will Angiers yeeld to Philip King of France?

Eng. Her.

The Townsmen on the wals accept your Grace.

Fr. Her.

And craue a parley of your Maiesty.

Iohn.
You cittizens of Angiers, haue your eyes
Beheld the slaughter that our English bowes
Haue made vpon the coward fraudfull French?
And haue you wisely pondred therewithall
Your gaine in yeelding to the English King?
Phil.
Their losse in yeelding to the English King.
But Iohn, they saw from out their highest towers
The Cheualiers of France and crosse-bow-shot
Make lanes of slaughterd bodies through thine hoast,
And are resolu'd to yeeld to Arthurs right.
Iohn.
Why Philip, though thou braust it fore the wals,
Thy conscience knowes that Iohn hath wonne the field.
Phi.
What ere my conscience knowes, thy army feeles
That Philip had the better of the day.
Bastard.
Philip indeed hath got the Lions case,
Which here he holds to Lymoges disgrace.
Base Duke to flie and leaue such spoiles behind:
But this thou knewst of force to make me stay.
It farde with thee as with the mariner,
Spying the hugie Whale, whose monstrous bulke
Doth beare the waues like mountaines fore the wind,
[Page]That throwes out emptie vessels, so to stay
His fury, while the ship doth sayle away.
Philip t'is thine: and fore this princely presence,
Madame, I humbly lay it at your feete,
Being the first aduenture I atchieu'd,
And first exploite your Grace did me enioyne:
Yet many more I long to be enioyn'd.
Blanch.
Philip I take it, and I thee command
To weare the same as earst thy father did:
Therewith receiue this fauour at my hands,
T'incourage thee to follow Richards fame.
Arth.
Ye Cittizens of Angiers are ye mute?
Arthur or Iohn, say which shall be your King?
Citizen.
We care not which, if once we knew the right
But till we know, we will not yeeld our right.
Bast.
Might Philip counsell two so mightie Kings,
As are the Kings of England and of France,
He would aduise your Graces to vnite
And knit your forces gainst these cittizens,
Pulling their battred wals about their eares.
The Towne once wonne, then striue about the claime,
For they are minded to delude you both.
Citti.
Kings, Princes, Lords, & Knights assembled here,
The Cittizens of Angiers all by me
Entreate your Maiestie to heare them speake:
And as you like the motion they shall make,
So to account and follow their aduice.
Iohn. Phil.

Speake on, we giue thee leaue.

Cittiz.
Then thus: whereas the young and lusty knight▪
Incites you on to knit your kingly strengths:
The motion cannot chuse but please the good,
And such as loue the quiet of the State.
But how my Lords, how shold your strengths be knit?
Not to oppresse your subiects and your friends,
And fill the world with brawles and mutinies:
But vnto peace your forces should be knit
To liue in Princely league and amitie:
[Page]Doe this, the gates of Angiers shall giue way,
And stand wide open to your hearts content.
To make this peace a lasting bond of loue,
Remaines one onely honourable meanes,
Which by your pardon I shall here display.
Lewis the Dolphin and the heire of France,
A man of noted valour through the world,
Is yet vnmarried: let him take to wife
The beauteous daughter of the king of Spaine,
Neece to K. Iohn, the louely Lady Blanch,
Begotten on his sister Elianor.
With her in marriage will her vnkle giue
Castles and towers, as fitteth such a match.
The Kings thus ioynd in league of perfect loue,
They may so deale with Arthur Duke of Britaine,
Who is but young, and yet vnmeet to raigne,
As he shall stand contented euery way.
Thus haue I boldly (for the common good)
Deliuered what the Citie gaue in charge.
And as vpon conditions you agree,
So shall we stand content to yeeld the Towne.
Arth.
A proper peace, if such a motion hold;
These Kings beare armes for me, and for my right,
And they shall share my lands to make them friends.
Q. Elian.
Sonne Iohn, follow this motion, as thou lo­uest thy mother.
Make league with Philip, yeeld to any thing:
Lewis shall haue my neece, and then be sure
Arthur shall haue small succour out of France.
Iohn.
Brother of France, you heare the Citizens:
Then tell me, how you meane to deale herein.
Const.
Why Iohn, what canst thou giue vnto thy Neece,
That hast no foote of land, but Arthurs right?
Lew.
Bir lady Citizens, I like your choyce,
A louely damsell is the Lady Blanch,
Worthy the heire of Europe for her pheere.
Const.
What kings, why stand you gazing in a trance?
[Page]Why how now Lords? accursed Cittizens
To fill and tickle their ambitious eares,
With hope of gaine, that springs from Arthurs losse.
Some dismall Planet at thy birth-day raign'd,
For now I see the fall of all thy hopes.
K. Phil.
Ladie, and Duke of Brittaine, know you both,
The King of France respects his honor more,
Than to betray his friends and fauourers.
Princesse of Spaine, could you affect my Sonne,
If we vpon conditions could ageee?
Bast.
Swounds Madam, take an English Gentleman?
Slaue as I was, I thought to haue moou'd the match.
Grandame you made me halfe a promise once,
That Lady Blanch should bring me wealth inough,
And make me heire of store of English land.
Q. Elian.
Peace Philip, I will looke thee out a wife,
We must with policie compound this strife.
Bastar.
If Lewis get her, well, I say no more:
But let the frollicke Frenchman take no scorne,
If Philip front him with an English horne.
Iohn.
Ladie, what answer make you to the K. of France?
Can you affect the Dolphin for your Lord?
Blanch.
I thanke the King that likes of me so well,
To make me Bride vnto so great a Prince:
But giue me leaue my Lord to pause on this,
Least beeing too too forward in the cause,
It may be blemish to my modestie.
Q. Elinor. Sonne Iohn, and worthy Philip K. of France,
Do you confer awhile about the Dower,
And I will schoole my modest Neece so well,
That she shall yeeld as soone as you haue done.
Constance.
I, theres the wretch that brocheth all this il,
Why flie I not vpon the Beldams face,
And with my nayles pull forth her hatefull eyes.
Arthur.
Sweet mother cease these hastie madding fits:
For my sake, let my Grandam haue her will.
O would she with her hands pull forth my heart,
[Page]I could affoord it to appease these broyles.
But (mother) let vs wisely winke at all,
Least farther harmes ensue our hastie speech.
Phil.
Brother of England, what dowrie wilt thou giue
Vnto my sonne in marriage with thy Neece?
Iohn.
First Philip knowes her dowrie out of Spaine,
To be so great as may content a King:
But more to mend and amplifie the same,
I giue in mor ey thirtie thousand markes.
For land I leaue it to thine owne demand.
Phil.
Then I demand Volquesson, Torain, Main,
Poiters and Aniou, these fiue Prouinces,
Which thou as King of England holdst in France:
Then shall our peace be soone concluded on.
Bast.

No lesse then fiue such Prouinces at once?

Iohn.
Mother what shal I do? my brother got these lands
With much effusion of our English bloud:
And shall I giue it all away at once?
Q. Elin.
Iohn giue it him, so shalt thou liue in peace,
And keepe the residue sans ieopardie.
Iohn.
Philip, bring foorth thy sonne, here is my neece,
And here in marriage I do giue with her
From me and my successors English Kings,
Volquesson, Poiters, Aniou, Torain, Main,
And thirtie thousand markes of stipend coyne.
Now cittizens, how like you of this match?
Cittiz.

We ioy to see so sweete a peace begun.

Lewis.
Lewis with Blanch shall euer liue content.
But now King Iohn, what say you to the Duke?
Father, speake as you may in his behalfe.
Phil.
K. Iohn, be good vnto thy Nephew here,
And giue him somewhat that shall please you best.
Iohn.
Arthur, although thou troublest Englands peace
Yet here I giue thee Brittaine for thine owne,
Together with the Earledome of Richmont,
And this rich cittie of Angiers withall,
Q. Elian.
[Page]
And if thou seeke to please thine Vncle Iohn,
Shalt see my sonne how I will make of thee.
Iohn.
Now euery thing is sorted to this end,
Lets in, and there prepare the marriage rites,
Which in S. Maries Chappell presently
Shall be performed ere this Presence part.
Exeunt.
Manent Constance & Arthur.
Art.
Madam good cheere, these drouping languishments
Adde no redresse to salue our awkward haps,
If heauens haue concluded these euents,
To small auaile is bitter pensiuenesse:
Seasons will change, and so our present greefe
May change with them, and all to our releefe.
Const.
Ah boy, thy yeares I see are farre too greene
To looke into the bottome of these cares.
But I, who see the poyse that weigheth downe
Thy weale, my wish, and all the willing meanes
Wherewith thy fortune and thy fame should mount.
What ioy, what ease, what rest can lodge in me,
With whom all hope and hap doe disagree?
Arth.
Yet Ladies teares, and cares, and solemn shewes,
Rather then helpes, heape vp more worke for woes.
Const.
If any power will heare a widowes plaint,
That from a wounded soule implores reuenge;
Send fell contagion to infect this clime,
This cursed countrey, where the traitors breath,
Whose periurie (as proud Briareus,)
Beleaguers all the Skie with mis-beleefe.
He promist Arthur, and he sware it too,
To fence thy right, and check thy fo-mans pride:
But now black-spotted Periure as he is,
He takes a truce with Elnors damned brat,
And marries Lewis to her louely Neece,
Sharing thy fortune, and thy birth-dayes gift
Betweene these louers: ill betide the match.
And as they shoulder thee from out thine owne,
And triumph in a widowes tearefu [...]l cares:
[Page]So heau'ns crosse them with a thriftlesse course,
Is all the bloud yspilt on either part,
Closing the cranies of the thirstie earth,
Growne to a loue-game and a Bridall feast?
And must thy birth-right bid the wedding banes?
Poore helpelesse boy, hopelesse and helplesse too,
To whom misfortune seemes no yoake at all.
Thy stay, thy state, thy imminent mishaps
Woundeth thy mothers thoughts with feeling care,
Why lookst thou pale? the colour flies thy face:
I trouble now the fountaine of thy youth,
And make it muddie with my doles discourse,
Goe in with me, reply not louely boy,
We must obscure this mone with melodie,
Least worser wrack ensue our male-content.
Exeunt.
Enter the King of England, the King of France, Arthur, Bastard, Lewis, Lymoges, Constance, Blanch, Chattillion, Pembrooke, Salisburie, and Elianor.
Iohn.
This is the day, the long-desired day,
Wherein the Realmes of England and of France
Stand highly blessed in a lasting peace.
Thrice happie is the Bridegroome and the Bride,
From whose sweet Bridall such a concord springs,
To make of mortall foes immortall friends.
Const.

Vngodly peace made by anothers warre.

Phil.
Vnhappie peace, that tyes thee from reuenge,
Rouze thee Plantaginet, liue not to see
The butcher of the great Plantaginet.
Kings, Princes, and ye Peeres of either realmes,
Pardon my rashnes, and forgiue the zeale
That carries me in furie to a deede
Of high desert, of honour, and of armes.
A boone (O Kings) a boone doth Philip begge
Prostrate vpon his knee: which knee shall cleaue
Vnto the superficies of the earth,
Till France and England grant this glorious boone.
Iohn.
[Page]

Speake Philip, England grants thee thy request.

Phil.

And France confirmes what ere is in his power.

Bast.
Then Duke sit fast, I leuell at thy head,
Too base a ransome for my fathers life.
Princes, I craue the combate with the Duke
That braues it in dishonour of my sire.
Your words are past, nor can you now reuerse
The Princely promise that reuiues my soule,
Whereat me thinkes I see his sinewes shake:
This is the boone (dread Lords) which granted once
Or life or death are pleasant to my soule;
Since I shall liue and die in Richards right.
Lym.
Base bastard, misbegotten of a King,
To interrupt these holy nuptiall rites
With brawles and tumults to a Dukes disgrace;
Let it suffice, I scorne to ioyne in fight,
With one so farre vnequall to my selfe.
Bast.
A fine excuse, Kings if you will be Kings,
Then keepe your words, and let vs combate it.
Iohn.
Philip, we cannot force the Duke to fight,
Beeing a subiect vnto neither Realme:
But tell me Austria, if an English Duke
Should dare thee thus, wouldst thou accept the challenge?
Lym.
Else let the world account the Austrich Duke
The greatest coward liuing on the earth.
Iohn.
Then cheere thee Philip, Iohn wil keep his word,
Kneele downe, in sight of Philip King of France,
And all these Princely Lords assembled here,
I gird thee with the sword of Normandie,
And of that Land I doe inuest thee Duke:
So shalt thou be in liuing and in land
Nothing inferiour vnto Austria.
Lym.
K. Iohn, I tell thee flatly to thy face,
Thou wrong'st mine honour: and that thou mai'st see
How much I scorne thy new made Duke and thee,
I flatly say, I will not be compeld:
And so farewell sir Duke of lowe degree,
[Page]Ile finde a time to match you for this geare.
Exit.
Iohn.

Stay Philip, let him goe, the honours thine.

Bast.

I cannot liue vnlesse his life be mine.

Q. Elia.
Thy forwardnes this day hath ioy'd my soule,
And made me thinke my Richard liues in thee.
K. Phil.
Lordings let's in, and spend the wedding day
In maskes and triumphs, letting quarrels cease.
Enter a Cardinall from Rome.
Card.
Stay king of France, I charge thee ioyn not hands
With him that stands accurst of God and men.

Know Iohn, that I Pandulph Cardinall of Millaine, and Legate from the Sea of Rome, demand of thee in the name of our holy Father the Pope Innocent, why thou do'st (con­trary to the lawes of our holy mother the Church, and our holy Father the Pope) disturb the quiet of the Church, and disanull the election of Stephen Langhton, whom his holi­nesse hath elected Archbishop of Canterburie: this in his holinesse name I demaund of thee?

Ioh.

And what hast thou or the Pope thy master to do to demand of me, how I imploy mine own? Know sir priest, as I honor the Church and holy Church-men, so I scorne to be subiect to the greatest Prelate in the world. Tell thy master so from me, and say, Iohn of England said it, that ne­uer an Italian Priest of them all, shal either haue tythe, tole, or polling peny out of England; but as I am King, so will I raigne next vnder God, supreame head both ouer spiritual and temporall: and he that contradicts me in this, Ile make him hop headlesse.

K. Phil.

What K. Iohn, know you what you say, thus to blaspheme against our holy father the Pope?

Ioh.

Philip, though thou and all the Princes of Chri­stendome suffer themselues to be abus'd by a Prelates sla­uery, my mind is not of such base temper. If the Pope will bee king of England, let him win it with the sword, I know no other title he can alleadge to mine inheritance.

Card.

Iohn, this is thine answer?

Iohn.
[Page]

What then?

Card.

Then I Pandulph of Padua, Legate from the A­postolike Sea, doe in the name of Saint Peter and his suc­cessor our holy father Pope Innocent, pronounce thee ac­cursed, discharging euery of thy subiects of all dutie and fealtie that they doe owe to thee, and pardon and forgiue­nesse of sinne to those or them whatsoeuer, which shal car­rie armes against thee, or murder thee: This I pronounce, and charge all good men to abhorre thee as an excommu­nicate person.

Ioh.

So sir, the more the foxe is curs'd the better a fares: if God blesse me and my Land, let the Pope and his shaue­lings curse and spare not.

Card.

Furthermore, I charge thee Philip K. of Fraunce, and all the kings and princes of Christendome, to make warre vpon this miscreant: and whereas thou hast made a league with him, and confirmed it by oath, I doe in the name of our foresaid father the Pope, acquit thee of that oath, as vnlawfull, beeing made with an hereticke; howe sai'st thou Philip, do'st thou obey?

Ioh.

Brother of France, what say you to the Cardinall?

Phil.

I say, I am sory for your Maiestie, requesting you to submit your selfe to the Church of Rome.

Ioh.

And what say you to our league, if I do not submit?

Phil.

What should I say? I must obey the Pope.

Ioh.

Obey the Pope, and breake your oath to God?

Phil.
The Legate hath absolu'd me of mine oath:
Then yeeld to Rome, or I defie thee here.
Ioh.
Why Philip, I defie the Pope and thee,
False as thou art, and periur'd King of France,
Vnworthy man to be accounted King.
Giu'st thou thy sword into a Prelates hands?
Pandulph, where I of Abbots, Monkes, and Friers
Haue taken somewhat to maintaine my wars,
Now will I take no more but all they haue.
Ile rouze the lazie lubbers from their cels,
And in despight Ile send them to the Popc.
[Page]Mother come you with me, and for the rest
That will not follow Iohn in this attempt,
Confusion light vpon their damned soules.
Come Lords, fight for your K. that fighteth for your good
Phil.
And are they gone? Pandulph thy selfe shalt see
How France will fight for Rome and Romish rites.
Nobles to armes, let him not passe the seas,
Let's take him captiue, and in triumph lead
The K. of England to the gates of Rome.
Arthur bestirre thee man, and thou shalt see
What Philip K. of France will doe for thee.
Blanch.
And will your Grace vpon your wedding day
Forsake your bride, and follow dreadfull drums?
Nay, good my Lord, stay you at home with me.
Lew.

Sweet heart content thee, and wee shall agree.

Phil.
Follow my Lords, Lord Cardinall lead the way,
Drums shalbe musicke to this wedding day.
Exeunt.
Excursions. The Bastard pursues Austria, and kils him.
Bast.
Thus hath K. Richards son performd his vowes,
And offred Austria's blood for sacrifice
Vnto his fathers euerliuing soule.
Braue Cordelion, now my heart doth say,
I haue deseru'd, though not to be thine heire,
Yet as I am, thy base begotten sonne,
A name as pleasing to thy Philips heart,
As to be cald the Duke of Normandie.
Lie there a prey to euery rau'ning fowle:
And as my father triumpht in thy spoyles,
And trode thine Ensignes vnderneath his feet,
So doe I tread vpon thy cursed selfe,
And leaue thy body to the fowles for food.
Exit.
Excursions. Arthur, Constance, Lewis, hauing taken Q. Elianor prisoner.
Const.
Thus hath the God of kings with conquering arme
[Page]Dispearst the foes to true succession,
Proud, and disturber of thy Countries peace,
Constance doth liue to tame thine insolence,
And on thy head will now auenged be
For all the mischiefs hatched in thy braine.
Q. Elinor.
Contemptuous Dame, vnreuerent Dutches thou,
To braue so great a Queene as Elianor,
Base scold, hast thou forgot, that I was wife
And mother to three mightie English Kings?
I charge thee then, and you forsooth sir boy,
To set your Grandmother at libertie,
And yeeld to Iohn your Vncle and your King.
Const.

T'is not thy words proud Queene shall carry it.

Elin.

Nor yet thy threates proud Dame shal daunt my mind.

Arth.

Sweete Grandam, and good mother leaue these braules.

Elian.

Ile find a time to triumph in thy fall.

Const.
My time is now to triumph in thy fall,
And thou shalt know that Constance will triumph.
Arthur.
Good mother, weigh it is Queene Elinor,
Though she be captiue, vse her like her selfe.
Sweet Grandame beare with what my Mother sayes,
Your Highnesse shall be vsed honourably.
Enter a messenger.
Mess.
Lewis my Lord, Duke Arthur, and the rest,
To armes in hast, K. Iohn relyes his men,
And ginnes the sight afresh: and sweares withall
To loose his life, or set his mother free.
Lewis.

Arthur away, t'is time to looke about.

Eli.

Why how now dame, what is your courage coold?

Const.
No Elinor my courage gathers strength,
And hopes to leade both Iohn and thee as slaues:
And in that hope, I hale thee to the field.
Exeunt.
[Page]Excursions. Elianor is rescued by Iohn, and Arthur is taken prisoner. Exeunt. Sound victory.
Enter Iohn, Elianor, and Arthur prisoner, Bastard, Pem­brooke, Salisbury, and Hubert de Burgh.
Iohn
Thus right triumphs, and Iohn triumphs in right:
Arth [...]r thou seest, Fraunce cannot bolster thee:
Thy mothers pride hath brought thee to this fall.
But if at last nephew thou yeeld thy selfe
Into the gardance of thine vncle Iohn,
Thou shalt be vsed as becomes a Prince.
Arthur
Vncle, my grandame taught her nephew this,
To beare captiuitie with patience.
Might hath preuaild, not right, for I am King
Of England, though thou weare the Diademe.
Q. Elin.
Sonne Iohn, soone shall wee teach him to for­get
These prowd presumptions, and to know himselfe.
Iohn
Mother, he neuer will forget his claime,
I would he liude not to remember it.
But leauing this, we will to England now,
And take some order with our Popelings there,
That swell with pride and fat of lay mens lands.
Philip, I make thee chiefe in this affaire,
Ransacke the Abbeis, Cloysters, Priories,
Conuert their coine vnto my souldiers vse:
And whatsoere he be within my Land,
That goes to Rome for iustice and for law,
While he may haue his right within the Realme,
Let him be iudgde a traitor to the State,
And suffer as an enemy to England.
Mother, wee leaue you here beyond the seas,
As Regent of our Prouinces in France,
While we to England take a speedie course,
And thanke our God that gaue vs victorie.
Hubert de Burgh take Arthur here to thee,
[Page]Be he thy prisoner: Hubert keepe him safe,
For on his life doth hang thy Soueraignes Crowne,
But in his death consists thy Soueraignes blisse:
Then Hubert, as thou shortly hearst from me,
So vse the prisoner I haue giuen in charge.
Hubert
Frolicke yong prince, thogh I your keeper be,
Yet shall your keeper liue at your command.
Arthur

As please my God, so shall become of me.

Q. Elian.
My sonne, to England, I will see thee shipt,
And pray to God to send thee safe ashore.
Bastard
Now warres are done, I long to be at home,
To diue into the Monks and Abbots bagges,
To make some sport among the smooth skind Nunnes,
And keepe some reuell with the fanzen Friers.
Iohn
To England Lords, each looke vnto your charge,
And arme your selues against the Roman pride.
Exeunt.
Enter the King of France, Lewes his sonne, Car­dinall Pandolph Legate, and Constance.
Philip
What, euery man attacht with this mishap?
Why frowne you so, why droope ye Lords of France?
Me thinkes it differs from a warrelike minde,
To lowre it for a checke or two of Chaunce.
Had Lymoges escapt the Bastards spight,
A little sorrow might haue serude our losse.
Braue Austria, heauen ioyes to haue thee there.
Card.
His soule is safe and free from Purgatorie▪
Our holy Father hath dispenst his sinnes,
The blessed Saints haue heard our Orisons,
And all are mediators for his soule,
And in the right of these most holy warres,
His Holinesse free pardon doth pronounce
To all that follow you gainst English heretikes,
Who stand accursed in our mother Church.
Enter Constance alone.
Philip.
[Page]
To aggrauate the measure of our greefe,
All male-content comes Constance for her Sonne.
Be breefe good Madame, for your face imports
A tragicke tale behind thats yet vntold.
Her passions stop the organ of her voyce,
Deepe sorrow throbbeth mis-befalne euents,
Out with it Ladie, that our Act may end
A full Catastrophe of sad laments.
Constance.
My tongue is tun'd to storie forth mishap:
When did I breath to tell a pleasing tale?
Must Constance speake? let teares preuent her talke:
Must I discourse? let Dido sigh and say,
Shee weepes againe to heare the wracke of Troy:
Two words will serue, and then my tale is done:
Elnors proud brat hath rob'd me of my sonne.
Lewis.
Haue patience Madame, this is chance of warre:
He may be ransom'd, we reuenge his wrong.
Const.

Be it ne'r so soone, I shall not liue so long.

Phil.
Despaire not yet, come Constance, go with me,
These clouds will fleet, the day will cleare againe.
Exeunt.
Card.
Now Lewis, thy fortune buds with happy spring,
Our holy Fathers prayers effecteth this.
Arthur is safe, let Iohn alone with him,
Thy title next is fairst to Englands Crowne:
Now stirre thy father to begin with Iohn,
The Pope sayes I, and so is Albion thine.
Lewis.
Thanks my Lord Legat for your good conceit,
T'is best we follow now the game is faire,
My father wants to worke him your good words.
Card.
A few will serue to forward him in this,
Those shall not want: but let's about it then.
Exeunt.
Enter Philip leading a Friar, charging him shew where the Abbots gold lay.
Phil.

Come on you fat Franciscan, dallie no longer, but shew me where the Abbots treasure lies, or die.

Frier.
[Page]
Benedicamus Domini, was euer such an iniurie▪
Sweet S. Withold of thy lenitie, defend vs from extremitie,
And heare vs for S. Charitie, oppressed with austeritie.
In nomini Domini, make I my homily,
Gentle gentilitie grieue not the Cleargie.
Phil.
Gray-gown'd good face, coniure ye,
nere trust me for a groat
If this wast girdle hang thee not
that girdeth in thy coat.
Now bald and barefoot Bungie birds,
when vp the gallowes climing,
Say Philip he had words enough,
to put you downe with riming.
Fr.
O pardon, O parce, S. Francis for mercie,
Shall shield thee from night-spels, and dreaming of diuels,
If thou wilt forgiue me, and neuer more grieue me,
With fasting and praying, and Haile Marie saying,
From blacke Purgatorie, a penance right sory:
Frier Thomas will warme you,
It shall neuer harme you.
Phil.
Come leaue off your rabble,
Sirs, hang vp this lozell.
2. Fr.
For charitie I beg his life,
Saint Francis chiefest Frier,
The best in all our Couent sir,
to keepe a Vintners fire.
O strangle not the good old man,
my hostesse oldest guest,
And I will bring you by and by
vnto the Priors chest.
Phil.
I, saist thou so, & if thou wilt the Frier is at liberty,
If not, as I am honest man, I hang you both for company.
Fr. Come hither, this is the chest, thogh simple to behold,
That wanteth not a thousand pound in siluer and in gold.
My self wil warrant ful so much, I know the Abbots store,
Ile pawn my life there is no lesse, to haue what ere is more.
Phil.
I take thy word, the ouerplus vnto thy share shal come,
[Page]But if there want of full so much, thy necke shall pay the summe.
Breake vp the Coffer, Frier.
Frier
Oh I am vndone, faire Alice the Nunne
Hath tooke vp her rest in the Abbots chest.
Sancte benedicite, pardon my simplicitie.
Fie Alice, confession will not salue this transgression.
Philip
What haue we here, a holy Nunne? so keepe me God in health.
A smooth facde Nunne (sor aught I know) is al the Abbots wealth.
Is this the Nunries chastitie?
Beshrew me but I thinke
They go as oft to venery as niggards to their drinke.
Why paltry Frier and Pandar too, yee shamelesse shauen crowne,
Is this the chest that held a hoord,
at least a thousand pound?
And is the hoord a holy whore?
well, be the hangman nimble,
Hee'l take the paine to pay you home,
and teach you to dissemble.
Nunne O spare the Frier Anthony,
a better neuer was
To sing a Dirige solemnely,
or reade a morning masse.
If money be the meanes of this,
I know an ancient Nunne,
That hath a hoord these seuen yeeres,
did neuer see the sunne;
And that is yours, and what is ours,
so fauour now be showne,
You shall commaund as commonly,
as if it were your owne.
Frier

Your honour excepted.

Nunne

I Thomas, I meane so.

Philip

From all saue from Friers.

Nunne
[Page]

Good sir, doe not thinke so.

Philip
I thinke and see so:
why how camst thou here?
Frier

To hide her from lay men.

Nunne

Tis true sir, for feare.

Philip
For feare of the laitie: a pitifull dred
When a Nunne flies for succour to a fat Friers bed.
But now for your ransome my cloyster-bred conney,
To the chest that you speake of where lies so much mony.
Nun
Faire sir, within this presse, of plate and mony is
The valew of a thousand markes, and other thing by gis.
Let vs alone, and take it all, tis yours sir, now you know it.
Phi.
Come on sir Frier, picke the locke, this geere doth cotton hansome,
That couetousnesse so cunningly must pay the lechers ran­some.
What is in the hoord?
Frier
Frier Laurence my Lord, now holy water helpe vs,
Some witch or some diuell is sent to delude vs:
Haud credo Laurentius, that thou shouldst be pend thus
In the presse of a Nunne we are all vndone,
And brought to discredence if thou be Frier Laurence,
Frier
Amor vincit omnia, so Cato affirmeth,
And therefore a Frier whose fancie soone burneth,
Because he is mortall and made of mould,
He omits what he ought, and doth more than he should.
Philip
How goes this geere? the Friers chest filld with
a fausen Nunne.
The Nunne againe lockes Frier vp,
to keepe him from the Sunne.
Belike the presse is Purgatorie,
or penance passing grieuous:
The Friers chest a hell for Nunnes!
how doe these dolts deceiue vs?
Is this the labour of their liues, to feede and liue at ease?
To reuell so lasciuiously as often as they please.
Ile mend the fault or fault my aime,
if I doe misse amending,
[Page]Tis better burne the Cloysters downe,
than leaue them for offending.
But holy you, to you I speake,
to you religious diuell,
Is this the presse that holds the summe,
to quit you for your euill?
Nun.
I crie peccaui, parce me,
good sir I was beguil'd.
Fr.
Absolue sir for charitie,
shee would bee reconcil'd.
Phil.
And so I shall, sirs bind them fast,
This is their absolution,
goe hang them vp for hurting them,
Haste them to execution.
Fr. Laurence.
O tempus edax rerum,
Giue children bookes they teare them.
O vanitas vanitatis, in this waning aetatis,
At threescore welneere, to goe to this geere,
To my conscience a clog, to die like a dog.
Exaudi me Domine, siuis me parce
Dabo pecuniam, si habeo veniam.
To goe and fetch it, I will dispatch it,
A hundred pound sterling, for my liues sparing.
Enter Peter a Prophet, with people.
Pet.
Hoe, who is here? S. Francis be your speed,
Come in my flocke, and follow me,
your fortunes I will reed.
Come hither boy, goe get thee home,
and clime not ouer hie,
For from aloft thy fortune stands, in hazard thou shalt die.
Boy.

God be with you Peter, I pray you come to our house a Sunday.

Pet.
My boy shew me thy hand, blesse thee my boy,
For in thy palme I see a many troubles are ybent to dwel,
But thou shalt scape them all, and doe full well.
Boy
[Page]

I thanke you Peter, theres a cheese for your labor: my sister prayes yee to come home, and tell her how many husbands she shall haue, and shee'l giue you a rib of bacon.

Peter

My masters, stay at the townes end for me, Ile come to you all anone: I must dispatch some busines with a Frier, and then Ile reade your fortunes.

Philip

How now, a prophet! sir prophet whence are ye?

Peter

I am of the world and in the world, but liue not as others, by the world: what I am I know, and what thou wilt be I know. If thou knowest me now, be answered: if not, enquire no more what I am.

Phil.

Sir, I know you will be a dissembling knaue, that deludes the people with blinde prophecies: you are hee I look for, you shal away with me: bring away all the rable, and you Frier Laurence, remember your raunsome a hun­dred pound, and a pardon for your selfe, and the rest; come on sir prophet, you shall with me, to receiue a prophets re­warde.

Exeunt.
Enter Hubert de Burgh with three men.
Hubert

My masters, I haue shewed you what warrant I haue for this attempt; I perceiue by your heauy counte­nances, you had rather be otherwise imployed, and for my owne part, I would the King had made choice of some o­ther executioner: only this is my comfort, that a king com­maunds, whose precepts neglected or omitted, threatneth torture for the default. Therefore in briefe, leaue me, and be ready to attend the aduenture: stay within that entry, and when you heare me crie, God saue the King, issue sodainely forth, lay hands on Arthur, set him in this chaire, wherein (once fast bound) leaue him with me to finish the rest.

Attendants

We goe, though loath.

Exeunt.
Hubert

My Lord, will it please your Honor to take the benefit of the faire euening?

Enter Arthur to Hubert de Burgh.
Arthur
Gramercie Hubert for thy care of me,
[Page]In or to whom restraint is newly knowne,
The ioy of walking is small benefit,
Yet will I take thy offer with small thanks,
I would not loose the pleasure of the eie.
But tell me curteous Keeper if thou can,
How long the King will haue me tarrie heere.
Hubert
I know not Prince, but as I gesse, not long.
God send you freedome, and God saue the King.
They issue forth.
Arthur
Why how now sirs, what may this outrage meane?
O help me Hubert, gentle Keeper help:
God send this sodaine mutinous approach
Tend not to reaue a wretched guiltles life.
Hubert

So sirs, depart, and leaue the rest for me.

Arth.
Then Arthur yeeld, death frowneth in thy face,
What meaneth this? good Hubert pleade the case.
Hubert
Patience yong Lord, and listen words of woe,
Harmefull and harsh, hells horror to be heard:
A dismall tale fit for a furies tongue.
I faint to tell, deepe sorrow is the sound.
Arthur

What, must I die?

Hubert
No newes of death, but tidings of more hate,
A wrathfull doome, and most vnluckie fate:
Deaths dish were daintie at so fell a feast,
Be deafe, heare not, its hell to tell the rest.
Arthur
Alas, thou wrongst my youth with words of feare,
Tis hell, tis horror, not for one to heare:
What is it man if it must needes be done,
Act it, and end it, that the paine were gone.
Hubert
I will not chaunt such dolour with my tongue,
Yet must I act the outrage with my hand.
My heart, my head, and all my powers beside,
To aide the office haue at once denide.
Peruse this Letter, lines of trebble woe,
Reade ore my charge, and pardon when you know.
[Page]

Hubert, these are to commaund thee, as thou tendrest our quiet in minde, and the estate of our person, that pre­sently vpon the receipt of our commaund, thou put out the eies of Arthur Plantaginet.

Arthur
Ah monstrous damned man! his very breath infects the elements.
Contagious venome dwelleth in his heart,
Effecting meanes to poyson all the world.
Vnreuerent may I be to blame the heauens
Of great iniustice, that the miscreant
Liues to oppresse the innocents with wrong.
Ah Hubert! makes he thee his instrument,
To sound the trump that causeth hell triumph?
Heauen weepes, the Saints do shed celestiall teares,
They feare thy fall, and cite thee with remorse,
They knocke thy conscience, mouing pitie there,
Willing to fence thee from the rage of hell:
Hell Hubert, trust me all the plagues of hell
Hangs on performance of this damned deed.
This scale, the warrant of the bodies blisse,
Ensureth Satan chiefetaine of thy soule:
Subscribe not Hubert, giue not Gods part away.
I speake not only for eies priuiledge,
The chiefe exterior that I would enioy:
But for thy perill, farre beyond my paine,
Thy sweete soules losse, more than my eies vaine lacke:
A cause internall, and eternall too.
Aduise thee Hubert, for the case is hard,
To loose saluation for a Kings reward.
Hubert
My Lord, a subiect dwelling in the land
Is tied to execute the Kings commaund.
Arthur
Yet God commaunds whose power reacheth further,
That no command should stand in force to murther.
Hubert
But that same Essence hath ordaind a law,
A death for guilt, to keepe the world in awe.
Arthur

I pleade, not guilty, treasonlesse and free.

Hubert
[Page]

But that appeale my Lord concernes not me.

Arthur

Why thou art he that maist omit the perill.

Hubert

I, if my Soueraigne would omit his quarrell.

Arthur

His quarrell is vnhallowed false and wrong.

Hubert

Then be the blame to whom it doth belong.

Arthur
Why thats to thee if thou as they proceede,
Conclude their iudgement with so vile a deede.
Hubert
Why then no execution can be lawfull,
If Iudges doomes must be reputed doubtfull.
Arthur
Yes where in forme of Law in place and time,
The offender is conuicted of the crime.
Hubert
My Lord, my Lord, this long expostulation,
Heapes vp more griefe, than promise of redresse;
For this I know, and so resolude I end,
That subiects liues on Kings commands depend.
I must not reason why he is your foe,
But do his charge since he commaunds it so.
Arthur
Then do thy charge, and charged be thy soule
With wrongfull persecution done this day.
You rowling eyes, whose superficies yet
I doe behold with eies that Nature lent:
Send foorth the terror of your Moouers frowne,
To wreake my wrong vpon the murtherers
That rob me of your faire reflecting view:
Let hell to them (as earth they wish to me)
Be darke and direfull guerdon for their guilt,
And let the blacke tormenters of deepe Tartary
Vpbraide them with this damned enterprise,
Inflicting change of tortures on their soules.
Delay not Hubert, my orisons are ended,
Begin I pray thee, reaue me of my sight:
But to performe a tragedie indeede,
Conclude the period with a mortall stab.
Constance farewell, tormenter come away,
Make my dispatch the Tyrants feasting day.
Hubert
I faint, I feare, my conscience bids desist:
Faint did I say? feare was it that I named:
[Page]My King commaunds, that warrant sets me free:
But God forbids, and he commaundeth Kings,
That great Commaunder countercheckes my charge,
He stayes my hand, he maketh soft my heart.
Goe cursed tooles, your office is exempt,
Cheere thee yong Lord, thou shalt not loose an eie,
Though I should purchase it with losse of life.
Ile to the King, and say his will is done,
And of the langor tell him thou art dead,
Goe in with me, for Hubert was not borne
To blinde those lampes that Nature pollisht so.
Arthur
Hubert, if euer Arthur be in state,
Looke for amends of this receiued gift,
I tooke my eiesight by thy curtesie,
Thou lentst them me, I will not be ingrate.
But now procrastination may offend
The issue that thy kindnesse vndertakes:
Depart we Hubert to preuent the worst.
Exeunt.
Enter K. Iohn, Essex, Salisbury, Penbrooke.
Iohn
Now warlike followers, resteth aught vndone
That may impeach vs of fond ouersight?
The French haue felt the temper of our swords,
Cold terror keepes possession in their soules,
Checking their ouerdaring arrogance
For buckling with so great an ouermatch,
The arch prowd titled Priest of Italy,
That calls himselfe grand Vicar vnder God,
Is busied now with trentall obsequies,
Masse and months mind, dirge and I know not what,
To ease their soules in painefull purgatorie,
That haue miscarried in these bloody warres.
Heard you not Lords when first his Holinesse
Had tidings of our small account of him,
How with a taunt vaunting vpon his toes,
He vrgde a reason why the English Asse
Disdaind the blessed ordinance of Rome?
[Page]The title (reuerently might I inferre)
Became the Kings that earst haue borne the load,
The slauish weight of that controlling Priest:
Who at his pleasure temperd them like waxe
To carrie armes on danger of his curse,
Banding their soules with warrants of his hand▪
I grieue to thinke how Kings in ages past
(Simply deuoted to the Sea of Rome)
Haue run into a thousand acts of shame.
But now for confirmation of our State,
Sith we haue proind the more than needfull braunch
That did oppresse the true well-growing stocke,
It resteth we throughout our Territories
Be reproclaimed and inuested King.
Pemb.
My Liege, that were to busie men with doubts,
Once were you crownd, proclaimd, and with applause
Your citie streets haue ecchoed to the eare,
God saue the King, God saue our Soueraigne Iohn.
Pardon my feare, my censure doth inferre
Your Highnesse not deposde from regall State,
Would breed a mutinie in peoples mindes,
What it should meane to haue you crownd againe.
Iohn
Pembrooke, performe what I haue bid thee do,
Thou knowst not what induceth me to this.
Essex goe in, and Lordings all be gone
About this taske, I will be crownd anone.
Enter the Bastard.
Philip
What newes, how do the Abbots chests?
Are Friers fatter than the Nunnes are faire?
What cheere with Church-men, had they gold or no?
Tell me, how hath thy office tooke effect?
Phil.
My Lord, I haue performd your Highnes charge:
The ease-bred Abbots, and the bare-foote Friers,
The Monks, the Priors, and holy cloystred Nunnes,
Are all in health, and were my Lord in wealth,
Till I had tithde and tolde their holy hoords.
[Page]I doubt not when your Highnesse sees my prize,
You may proportion all their former pride.
Iohn
Why so, now sorts it Philip as it should:
This small intrusion into Abbey trunkes,
Will make the Popelings excommunicate,
Curse, ban, and breathe out damned orisons,
As thicke as haile-stones fore the Springs approach:
But yet as harmelesse and without effect,
As is the eccho of a Cannons cracke
Dischargde against the battlements of heauen.
But what newes else befell there Philip?
Bast.
Strange news my Lord: within your territories
Neere Pomfret is a prophet new sprung vp,
Whose diuination volleis wonders foorth:
To him the Commons throng with Countrey gifts,
He sets a date vnto the Beldames death,
Prescribes how long the Virgins state shall last,
Distinguisheth the moouing of the heauens,
Giues limits vnto holy nuptiall rites,
Foretelleth famine, aboundeth plentie forth:
Of fate, of fortune, life and death he chats,
With such assurance, scruples put apart,
As if he knew the certaine doomes of heauen,
Or kept a Register of all the Destinies.
Ioh.
Thou telst me maruels, would thou hadst brought the man,
We might haue questiond him of things to come.
Bastard
My Lord, I tooke a care of had-I-wist,
And brought the prophet with me to the Court,
He staies my Lord but at the Presence doore:
Pleaseth your Highnesse, I will call him in.
Iohn
Nay stay awhile, wee'l haue him here anone,
A thing of weight is first to be performd.
Enter the Nobles and crowne King Iohn, and then cry God saue the King.
Iohn
Lordings and friends supporters of our State,
[Page]Admire not at this vnaccustomd course,
Nor in your thoughts blame not this deede of yours.
Once ere this time was I inuested King,
Your fealtie sworne as Liegemen to our state:
Once since that time ambitious weedes haue sprung
To staine the beauty of our garden plot:
But heauens in our conduct rooting thence
The false intruders, breakers of worlds peace,
Haue to our ioy, made sunne-shine chase the storme.
After the which, to trie your constancie,
That now I see is worthy of your names,
We crau'd once more your helps for to inuest vs
Into the right that enuy sought to wracke.
Once was I not deposde, your former choice;
Now twice beene crowned and applauded King?
Your cheered action to install me so,
Infers assured witnesse of your loues,
And binds me ouer in a Kingly care
To render loue with loue, rewards of worth
To ballance downe requitall to the full.
But thankes the while, thankes Lordings to you all:
Aske me and vse me, trie me and finde me yours.
Essex
A boone my Lord, at vantage of your words
We aske to guerdon all our loyalties.
Pemb.
We take the time your Highnesse bids vs aske:
Please it you grant, you make your promise good,
With lesser losse than one superfluous haire
That not remembred falleth from your head.
Iohn
My word is past, receiue your boone my Lords,
What may it be? Aske it, and it is yours.
Ess.
We craue my Lord, to please the Commons with
The libertie of Lady Constance sonne:
Whose durance darkeneth your Highnesse right,
As if you kept him prisoner, to the end
Your selfe were doubtfull of the thing you haue.
Dismisse him thence, your Highnesse needs not feare,
Twice by consent you are proclaim'd our King.
Pemb.
[Page]
This if you grant, were all vnto your good:
For simple people muse you keepe him close.
Ioh.
Your words haue searcht the center of my thoghts,
Confirming warrant of your loyalties,
Dismisse your counsell, sway my state,
Let Iohn doe nothing, but by your consents.
Why how now Philip, what extasie is this?
Why casts thou vp thy eyes to heauen so?
There the fiue Moones appeare.
Bast.
See, see my Lord, strange apparitions,
Glancing mine eie to see the Diadem
Plac'd by the Bishops on your Highnesse head,
From forth a gloomie cloud, which curtaine-like
Displaid it selfe, I suddainely espied
Fiue Moones reflecting, as you see them now:
Euen in the moment that the crowne was plac'd
Can they appeare, holding the course you see.
Ioh.
What might portend these apparitions,
Vnvsuall signes, forerunners of euent,
Presagers of strange terrors to the world:
Beleeue me Lords, the obiect feares me much.
Philip thou toldst me of a Wizard but of late,
Fetch in the man to descant of this show.
Pemb.
The heauens frowne vpon the sinfull earth,
When with prodigious vnaccustom'd signes
They spot their superficies with such wonder.
Essex.
Before the ruines of Ierusalem,
Such meteors were the Ensignes of his wrath,
That hast'ned to destroy the faultfull towne.
Enter the Bastard with the Prophet.
Iohn.

Is this the man?

Bast.

It is my Lord.

Iohn.
Prophet of Pomfret, for so I heare thou art,
[Page]That calculat'st of many things to come:
Who by a power repleat with heauenly gift,
Canst blab the counsell of thy Makers will.
If fame be true, or truth be wrong'd by thee,
Decide in cyphering, what these fiue moones
Portend this clime, if they presage at all.
Breath out thy gift, and if I liue to see
Thy diuination take a true effect,
Ile honour thee aboue all earthly men.
Pet.
The skie wherein these moones haue residence,
Presenteth Rome the great Metropolis,
Where sits the Pope in all his holy pompe.
Foure of the moones present foure prouinces,
To wit, Spaine, Denmarke, Germanie, and France,
That beare the yoke of proud commanding Rome,
And stand in feare to tempt the Prelates curse.
The smallest moone that whirles about the rest,
Impatient of the place he holds with them,
Doth figure forth this Island Albion,
Who gins to scorne the sea and seat of Rome,
And seekes to shunne the Edicts of the Pope:
This showes the heauen, and this I doe auerre
Is figured in the apparitions.
Ioh.
Why then it seemes the heauens smile on vs,
Giuing applause for leauing of the Pope.
But for they chance in our Meridian,
Doe they effect no priuate growing ill
To be inflicted on vs in this clime?
Pet.
The moones effect no more than what I said:
But on some other knowledge that I haue
By my prescience, ere Ascension day
Haue brought the Sunne vnto his vsuall height,
Of Crowne, Estate, and Royall dignity,
Thou shalt be cleane dispoyl'd and dispossest.
Ioh.
False dreamer, perish with thy witched newes,
Villaine thou woundst me with thy fallacies:
If it be true, die for thy tidings price;
[Page]If false, for fearing me with vaine suppose:
Hence with the Witch, hels damned secretarie.
Locke him vp sure: for by my faith I sweare,
True or not true, the Wizard shall not liue.
Before Ascension day: who should be cause hereof?
Cut off the cause, and then the effect will die.
Tut, tut, my mercie serues to maime my selfe,
The roote doth liue, from whence these thornes spring vp,
I and my promise past for his deliu'rie:
Frowne friends, faile faith, the diuell goe withall,
The brat shall die, that terrifies me thus.
Pembrooke and Essex, I recall my graunt,
I will not buy your fauours with my feare:
Nay murmure not, my will is lawe enough▪
I loue you well, but if I lou'd you better,
I would not buy it with my discontent.
Enter Hubert.
How now, what newes with thee?
Hub.
According to your highnesse strict command,
Young Arthurs eies are blinded and extinct.
Ioh.

Why so, then he may feele the crown, but neuer see it.

Hub.
Nor see nor feele, for of the extream paine,
Within one houre gaue he vp the ghost.
Ioh.

What is he dead?

Hub.

He is my Lord.

Ioh.

Then with him dies my cares.

Essex.

Now ioy betide thy soule.

Pemb.

And heauens reuenge thy death.

Essex.
What haue you done my Lord? Was euer heard
A deed of more inhumane consequence?
Your foes will curse, your friends will crie reuenge.
Vnkindly rage, more rough than Northern wind;
To clip the beautie of so sweete a flower.
What hope in vs for mercie on a fault,
When kinsman dies without impeach of cause,
As you haue done, so come to cheere you with,
The guilt shall neuer be cast me in my teeth.
Exeunt.
Ioh.
[Page]
And are you gone? The diuell be your guide:
Proud rebels as ye are, to braue me so:
Saucie, vnciuill, checkers of my will.
Your tongues giue edge vnto the fatall knife,
That shall haue passage through your trayt'rous throats.
But husht, breath not bugs words too soone abroad,
Lest time preuent the issue of thy reach.
Arthur is dead, I there the corzie growes:
But while he liu'd, the danger was the more;
His death hath freed me from a thousand feares,
But it hath purchast me ten times ten thousand foes.
Why all is one, such lucke shall haunt his game,
To whom the diuell owes an open shame:
His life a foe that leueld at my crowne,
His death a frame to pull my building downe.
My thoughts harpt still on quiet by his end,
Who liuing aimed shrewdly at my roome:
But to preuent that plea, twice was I crown'd,
Twice did my subiects sweare me fealtie,
And in my conscience lou'd me as their liege,
In whose defence they would haue pawn'd their liues.
But now they shun me as a Serpents sting,
A tragyke tyrant, sterne and pitilesse,
And not a title followes after Iohn,
But butcher, blood-sucker, and murtherer.
What planet gouern'd my natiuitie,
To bode me soueraigne types of high estate,
So interlac'd with hellish discontent,
Wherein fell furie hath no interest?
Curst be the crowne, chiefe author of my care,
Nay curst my will, that made the crowne my care:
Curst be my birth-day, curst ten times the wombe
That yeelded me aliue into the world.
Art thou there villaine, furies haunt thee still,
For killing him whom all the world laments.
Hub.
Why here's my Lord your Highnes hand & seale,
[Page]Charging on liues regard to do the deed.
Iohn
Ah dull conceipted pesant, knowst thou not
It was a damned execrable deed?
Shewst me a Seale? Oh villaine, both our soules
Haue solde their freedome to the thrall of hell,
Vnder the warrant of that cursed Seale.
Hence villaine, hang thy selfe, and say in hell
That I am comming for a kingdome there.
Hubert
My Lord, attend the happy tale I tell,
For heauens health send Sathan packing hence
That instigates your Highnesse to despaire.
If Arthurs death be dismall to be heard,
Bandie the newes for rumors of vntruth:
He liues my Lord, the sweetest youth aliue,
In health, with eie sight, not a haire amisse.
This heart tooke vigor from this forward hand,
Making it weake to execute your charge.
Iohn
What, liues he! Then sweete hope come home a­gen,
Chase hence despaire, the purueyor for hell.
Hye Hubert, tell these tidings to my Lords
That throb in passions for yong Arthurs death:
Hence Hubert, stay not till thou hast reueald
The wished newes of Arthurs happy health.
I goe my selfe, the ioyfullst man aliue
To storie out this new supposed crime.
Exeunt.
The end of the first Part.

To the Gentlemen Readers.

THe changelesse purpose of determinde Fate
Giues period to our care, or hearts content,
When heau'ns fixt time for this or that hath end:
Nor can earths pomp or pollicie preuent
The doome ordained in their secret will.
Gentles, we left King Iohn repleate with blisse
That Arthur liude, whom he supposed slaine;
And Hubert posting to returne those Lords,
Who deem'd him dead, and parted discontent:
Arthur himselfe begins our latter Act,
Our Act of outrage, desprate furie, death;
Wherein fond rashnesse murdreth first a Prince,
And Monkish falsenesse poysneth last a King,
First Scene shews Arthurs death in infancie,
And last concludes Iohns fatall tragedie.

The second part of The troublesome Raigne of King Iohn. Containing The entrance of Lewis the French Kings sonne: With the poysoning of King Iohn by a Monke.

Enter yong Arthur on the walls.
NOw help good hap to further mine entent,
Crosse not my youth with any more extremes:
I venter life to gaine my libertie,
And if I die, worlds troubles haue an end.
Feare gins disswade the strength of my resolue,
My holde will faile, and then alas I fall,
And if I fall, no question death is next:
Better desist, and liue in prison still.
Prison said I? nay, rather death than so:
Comfort and courage come againe to me,
Ile venter sure: tis but a leape for life.
He leapes, and brusing his bones, after he was from his traunce, speakes thus;
Hoe, who is nigh? some bodie take me vp.
Where is my mother? let me speake with her.
Who hurts me thus? speake hoe, where are you gone?
Ay me poore Arthur, I am heere alone.
Why calld I mother, how did I forget?
My fall, my fall, hath killd my mothers sonne.
How will she weepe at tidings of my death?
My death indeed, O God, my bones are burst.
[Page]Sweet Iesu saue my soule, forgiue my rash attempt,
Comfort my mother, shield her from despaire,
When shee shall heare my tragycke ouerthrowe.
My heart controls the office of my tongue,
My vitall powers forsake my brused trunke,
I die I die, heauen take my fleeting soule,
And Lady mother all good hap to thee.
He dies.
Enter Pembrooke, Salisburie, Essex.
Essex.
My Lords of Pembrooke and of Salisburie,
We must be carefull in our policie,
To vndermine the keepers of this place,
Else shall we neuer find the Princes graue.
Pemb.
My Lord of Essex, take no care for that,
I warrant you it was not closely done.
But who is this? lo Lords the withered flowre,
Who in his life shin'd like the Mornings blush,
Cast out a doore, deni'd his buriall right,
A prey for birds and beasts to gorge vpon.
Salisb.
O ruthfull spectacle! O damned deed!
My sinewes shake, my very heart doth bleed.
Essex.
Leaue childish teares braue Lords of England,
If water-floods could fetch his life againe,
My eies should conduit forth a sea of teares.
If sobs would helpe, or sorows serue the turne,
My heart should volley out deepe piercing plaints.
But bootlesse were't to breath as many sighes
As might ecclipse the brightest Sommers sunne,
Here rests the helpe, a seruice to his ghost.
Let not the tyrant causer of this dole,
Liue to triumph in ruthfull massacres,
Giue hand and heart, and Englishmen to armes,
Tis Gods decree to wreake vs of these harmes.
Pemb.
The best aduice: But who comes posting here?
[Page]Enter Hubert.
Right noble Lords, I speake vnto you all,
The King entreats your soonest speed
To visit him, who on your present want,
Did ban and curse his birth, himselfe and me,
For executing of his strict command.
I saw his passion, and at fittest time,
Assur'd him of his cousins being safe,
Whom pity would not let me doe to death:
He craues your company my Lords in haste,
To whom I will conduct young Arthur straight,
Who is in health vnder my custody.
Essex.
In health base villaine, were't not I leaue the crime
To Gods reuenge, to whom reuenge belongs,
Here should'st thou perish on my rapiers point.
Call'st thou this health? such health betide thy friends,
And all that are of thy condition,
Hub.
My Lords, but heare me speake, and kil me then,
If here I left not this yong Prince aliue,
Maugre the hastie Edict of the King,
Who gaue me charge to put out both his eyes,
That God that gaue me liuing to this houre,
Thunder reuenge vpon me in this place:
And as I tendred him with earnest loue,
So God loue me, and then I shall be well.
Sals.
Hence traytor hence, thy counsel is herein.
Exit. Hu.
Some in this place appointed by the King,
Haue throwne him from this lodging here aboue,
And sure the murther hath bin newly done,
For yet the body is not fully cold.
Essex.
How say you Lords, shal we with speed dispatch
Vnder our hands a packet into France,
To bid the Dolphin enter with his force,
To claime the kingdom for his proper right,
His title maketh lawfull strength thereto.
Besides, the Pope, on peril of his curse,
[Page]Hath bard vs of obedience vnto Iohn,
This hatefull murder, Lewis his true descent,
The holy charge that we receiu'd from Rome,
Are weightie reasons, if you like my reed,
To make vs all perseuer in this deed.
Pemb.
My Lord of Essex, well haue you aduis'd,
I will accord to further you in this.
Salisb.
And Salisbury will not gainesay the same:
But aide that course as farre forth as he can.
Essex.
Then each of vs send straight to his allies,
To win them to this famous enterprise:
And let vs all yclad in Palmers weed,
The tenth of April at S. Edmunds Bury
Meet to conferre, and on the altar there
Sweare secrecie and aid to this aduise.
Meane while, let vs conuey this body hence,
And giue him buriall, as befits his state,
Keeping his months mind, and his obsequies
With solemne intercession for his soule.
How say you Lordings, are you all agreed?
Pemb.
The tenth of April at S. Edmunds Burie,
God letting not, I will not faile the time.
Essex.

Then let vs all conuey the body hence.

Exeunt.
Enter K. Iohn, with two or three, and the Prophet.
Ioh.
Disturbed thoughts, foredoomers of mine ill,
Distracted passions, signes of growing harmes,
Strange prophecies of imminent mishaps,
Confound my wits, and dull my senses so,
That euery obiect these mine eies behold,
Seeme instruments to bring me to my end.
Ascension day is come, Iohn feare not then
The prodigies this pratling Prophet threats.
Tis come indeed: ah were it fully past,
Then were I carelesse of a thousand feares.
[Page]The Diall tels me, it is twelue at noone.
Were twelue at midnight past, then might I vaunt,
False seers prophecies of no import.
Could I as well with this right hand of mine
Remoue the Sunne from our Meridian,
Vnto the moonested circle of th'antipodes,
As turne this steele from twelue to twelue agen,
Then Iohn, the date of fatall prophecies,
Should with the Prophets life together end.
But multa cadunt inter calicem supremaque labra.
Peter, vnsay thy foolish doting dreame,
And by the crowne of England here I sweare,
To make thee great, and greatest of thy kin.
Peter.
King Iohn, although the time I haue prescrib'd
Be but twelue houres remaining yet behind,
Yet doe I know by inspiration,
Ere that fixt time be fully come about,
King Iohn shall not be king as heretofore.
Iohn.
Vaine buzzard, what mischance can chance so soone,
To set a king beside his regall seat?
My heart is good, my body passing strong,
My Land in peace, my enemies subdu'd,
Onely my barons storme at Arthurs death,
But Arthur liues, I there the challenge growes,
Were he dispatch'd vnto his longest home,
Then were the King secure of thousand foes.
Hubert, what newes with thee, where are my Lords?
Hub.
Hard newes my Lord, Arthur the louely prince,
Seeking to escape ouer the castle walles,
Fell headlong downe, and in the cursed fall
He brake his bones, and there before the gate
Your barons found him dead, and breathlesse quite.
Ioh.
Is Arthur dead? then Hubert without more words hang the Prophet.
Away with Peter, villain out of my sight,
I am deafe, be gone, let him not speake a word.
[Page]Now Iohn, thy feares are vanisht into smoake,
Arthur is dead, thou guiltlesse of his death.
Sweet youth, but that I striued for a crowne,
I could haue well affoarded to thine age,
Long life, and happinesse to thy content.
Enter the Bastard.
Ioh.

Philip what newes with thee?

Bast.
The newes I heard was Peters prayers,
Who wisht like fortune to befall vs all:
And with that word, the rope his latest friend,
Kept him from falling headlong to the ground.
Ioh.
There let him hang, and be the Rauens food,
While Iohn triumphs in spite of prophecies.
But whats the tydings from the Popelings now?
What say the Monkes and Priests to our proceedings?
Or where's the Barons that so suddainely
Did leaue the king vpon a false surmise?
Bast.
The Prelates storme and thirst for sharp reuenge:
But please your Maiestie, were that the worst,
It little skild: a greater danger growes,
Which must be weeded out by carefull speed,
Or all is lost, for all is leueld at.
Ioh.
More frights and feares▪ what ere thy tidings be,
I am prepar'd: then Philip, quickly say,
Meane they to murder, or imprison me,
To giue my Crowne away to Rome or France;
Or will they each of them become a King?
Worse than I thinke it is, it cannot be.
Bast.
Not worse my Lord, but euery whit as bad.
The Nobles haue elected Lewis King,
In right of Lady Blanch, your neece, his wife:
His landing is expected euery houre,
The Nobles, Commons, Clergie, all Estates,
Incited chiefly by the Cardinall,
[Page] Pandulph that lies here Legate for the Pope,
Thinke long to see their new elected King.
And for vndoubted proofe, see here my Liege,
Letters to me from your Nobilitie,
To be a partie in this action:
Who vnder shew of fained holinesse,
Appoint their meeting at S. Edmunds Burie,
There to consult, conspire, and conclude
The ouerthrowe and downefall of your State.
Ioh.
Why so it must be: one houre of content,
Match'd with a month of passionate effects.
Why shines the Sunne to fauour this consort?
Why doe the winds not breake their brazen gates,
And scatter all these periur'd complices,
With all their counsels, and their damned drifts?
But see the welkin rolleth gently on,
There's not a lowring cloud to frowne on them;
The heauen, the earth, the sunne, the moone and all,
Conspire with those confederates my decay.
Then hell for me, if any power be there,
Forsake that place, and guide me step by step,
To poyson, strangle, murder in their steps
These traytors: oh that name is too good for them,
And death is easie: is there nothing worse,
To wreake me on this proud peace-breaking crew?
What saist thou Philip? why assists thou not?
Bast.
These curses (good my Lord) fit not the season:
Help must descend from heauen against this treason?
Ioh.
Nay thou wilt proue a traytor with the rest,
Goe get thee to them, shame come to you all.
Bast.
I would be loath to leaue your Highnesse thus,
Yet you command, and I, though grieu'd, will goe.
Ioh.

Ah Philip, whither go'st thou? come againe.

Bast.

My Lord, these motions are as passions of a mad man.

Ioh.
A mad man Philip, I am mad indeed,
My heart is maz'd, my sences all foredone.
[Page]And Iohn of England now is quite vndone.
Was euer King as I opprest with cares?
Dame Elianor my noble mother Queene,
My onely hope and comfort in distresse,
Is dead, and England excommunicate,
And I am interdicted by the Pope,
All Churches curst, their doores are sealed vp,
And for the pleasure of the Romish Priest,
The seruice of the Highest is neglected,
The multitude (a beast of many heads)
Doe wish confusion to their soueraigne;
The Nobles blinded with ambitions fumes,
Assemble powers to beate mine Empire downe,
And more than this, elect a forrein king.
O England, wert thou euer miserable,
King Iohn of England sees thee miserable:
Iohn, tis thy sinnes that makes it miserable,
Quicquid delirunt Reges, plectuntur Achiui.
Philip, as thou hast euer lou'd thy King,
So show it now: post to S. Edmunds Burie,
Dissemble with the Nobles, know their drifts,
Confound their diuellish plots, and damn'd deuises.
Though Iohn be faultie, yet let subiects beare,
He will amend, and right the peoples wrongs.
A mother though shee were vnnaturall,
Is better than the kindest step-dame is:
Let neuer Englishman trust forraine rule.
Then Philip shew thy fealty to thy King,
And mongst the Nobles plead thou for the King.
Bast.
I goe my Lord: see how he is distraught,
This is the cursed Priest of Italy
Hath heap'd these mischiefes on this haplesse land.
Now Philip, hadst thou Tullies eloquence,
Then might'st thou hope to plead with good successe.
Exit
Ioh.
And art thou gone? successe may follow thee:
Thus hast thou shew'd thy kindnesse to thy King.
[Page]Sirra, in haste goe greet the Cardinall,
Pandulph I meane, the Legat from the Pope.
Say that the King desires to speake with him.
Now Iohn bethinke thee how thou maist resolue:
And if thou wilt continue Englands King,
Then cast about to keepe thy Diadem;
For life and land, and all is leueld at.
The Pope of Rome, tis he that is the cause,
He curseth thee, he sets thy subiects free
From due obedience to their Soueraigne:
He animates the Nobles in their warres,
He giues away the Crowne to Philips sonne,
And pardons all that seeke to murther thee:
And thus blind zeale is still predominant.
Then Iohn there is no way to keepe thy crowne,
But finely to dissemble with the Pope:
That hand that gaue the wound must giue the salue
To cure the hurt, else quite incurable.
Thy sinnes are farre too great to be the man
T'abolish Pope, and Poperie from thy Realme:
But in thy Seate, if I may guesse at all,
A King shall raigne that shall suppresse them all.
Peace Iohn, here comes the Legate of the Pope,
Dissemble thou, and whatsoere thou sai'st,
Yet with thy heart wish their confusion.
Enter Pandulph.
Pand.
Now Iohn, vnworthy man to breath on earth,
That do'st oppugne against thy mother Church:
Why am I sent for to thy cursed selfe?
Iohn.
Thou man of God, Vicegerent for the Pope,
The holy Vicar of S. Peters Church,
Vpon my knees, I pardon craue of thee,
And doe submit me to the sea of Rome,
And vow for penance of my high offence,
[Page]To take on me the holy Crosse of Christ,
And carry Armes in holy Christian warres.
Pand.
No Iohn, thy crowching and dissembling thus
Cannot deceiue the Legate of the Pope,
Say what thou wilt, I will not credite thee:
Thy Crowne and Kingdome both are tane away,
And thou art curst without redemption.
Iohn
Accurst indeed to kneele to such a drudge,
And get no help with thy submission,
Vnsheathe thy sword, and sley the misprowd priest
That thus triumphs ore thee a mightie King:
No Iohn, submit againe, dissemble yet,
For Priests and Women must be flattered.
Yet holy Father thou thy selfe dost know,
No time too late for sinners to repent,
Absolue me then, and Iohn doth sweare to do
The vttermost what euer thou demaundst.
Pandulph
Iohn, now I see thy hearty penitence,
I rew and pitty thy distrest estate,
One way is left to reconcile thy selfe,
And onely one which I shall shew to thee.
Thou must surrender to the sea of Rome
Thy Crowne and Diadem, then shall the Pope
Defend thee from th'inuasion of thy foes.
And where his Holinesse hath kindled Fraunce,
And set thy subiects hearts at warre with thee,
Then shall he curse thy foes, and beate them downe,
That seeke the discontentment of the King.
Iohn
From bad to worse, or I must loose my realme,
Or giue my Crowne for penance vnto Rome:
A miserie more piercing than the darts
That breake from burning exhalations power.
What, shall I giue my Crowne with this right hand?
No: with this hand defend thy Crowne and thee.
What newes with thee?
[Page]Enter Messenger.

Please it your Maiestie, there is descried on the coast of Kent an hundred Sayle of Ships, which of all men is thought to be the French fleet, vnder the conduct of the Dolphin, so that it puts the countrey in a mutiny, so they send to your Grace for succour.

K. Ioh.
How now Lord Cardinal, what's your best ad­uise?
These mutinies must be allaid in time,
By policy or headstrong rage at least.
O Iohn, these troubles tyre thy wearied soule,
And like to Luna in a sad Eclipse,
So are thy thoughts and passions for this newes.
Well may it be, when Kings are grieued so,
The vulgar sort worke Princes ouerthrowe.
Card.
K. Iohn, for not effecting of thy plighted vow,
This strange annoyance happens to thy Land:
But yet be reconcil'd vnto the Church,
And nothing shall be grieuous to thy state.
Ioh.
On Pandulph, be it as thou hast decreed,
Iohn will not spurne against thy sound aduise,
Come lets away, and with thy helpe I trow,
My Realme shall flourish, and my Crowne in peace.
Enter the Nobles, Pembrooke, Essex, Chester, Bew­champe, Clare, with others.
Pemb.
Now sweet S. Edmund holy Saint in heauen,
Whose Shrine is sacred, high esteem'd on earth,
Infuze a constant zeale in all our hearts,
To prosecute this act of mickle weight,
Lord Bewchampe say, what friends haue you procur'd.
Bewch.
The L. Fitz Water, L. Percie, and L. Rosse,
Vow'd meeting here this day the leuenth houre.
Essex.
Vnder the cloke of holy pilgrimage,
[Page]By that same houre on warrant of their faith,
Philip Plantagenet, a bird of swiftest wing,
Lord Eustauce, Vescy, Lord Cressy, and Lord Mowbrey,
Appointed meeting at S. Edmunds shrine.
Pemb.
Vntill their presence, Ile conceale my tale,
Sweet complices in holy Christian acts,
That venture for the purchasse of renowne,
Thrice welcome to the league of high resolue,
That pawne their bodies for their soules regard.
Essex.
Now wanteth but the rest to end this worke,
In Pilgrimes habite comes our holy troupe
A furlong hence, with swift vnwoonted pace,
May be they are the persons you expect.
Pemb.
With swift vnwoonted gate, see what a thing is zeale,
That spurs them on with feruence to this shrine,
Now ioy come to them for their true intent:
And in good time, here come the war-men all,
That sweat in body by the minds disease:
Hap and hearts-ease braue Lordings be your lot.
Enter the Bastard Philip, &c.
Amen my Lords, the like betide your lucke,
And all that trauell in a Christian cause.
Essex.
Cheerely repli'd braue branch of Kingly stocko,
A right Plantagenet should reason so.
But silence Lords, attend our commings cause:
The seruile yoke that pained vs with toyle,
On strong instinct hath fram'd this conuenticle,
To ease our neckes of seruitudes contempt.
Should I not name the foeman of our rest,
Which of you all so barren in conceipt,
As cannot leuell at the man I meane?
But lest Enigma's shadow shining truth,
Plainely to paint, as truth requires no art.
Th'effect of this resort importeth this,
To root and cleane extirpate tyrant Iohn,
Tyrant I say, appealing to the man,
[Page]If any here that loues him, and I aske,
What kindship, lenitie, or Christian raigne,
Rules in the man, to barre this soule impeach?
First I inferre the Chesters banishment:
For reprehending him in most vnchristian crimes▪
Was speciall notice of a tyrants will.
But were this all, the diuell should be sau'd,
But this the least of many thousand faults,
That circumstance with leisure might display.
Our priuate wrongs, no parcell of my tale
Which now in presence, but for some great cause
Might wish to him as to a mortall foe.
But shall I close the period with an act
Abhorring in the eares of Christian men,
His cousins death, that sweet vnguiltie child,
Vntimely butcherd by the tyrants meanes,
Here are my proofes, as cleere as grauel brooke,
And on the same I further must inferre,
That who vpholds a tyrant in his course,
Is culpable of all his damned guilt.
To shew the which, is yet to be describ'd.
My Lord of Pembrooke, shewe what is behinde,
Onely I say, that were there nothing else
To mooue vs, but the Popes most dreadfull curse,
Whereof we are assured, if we faile,
It were enough to instigate vs all,
With earnestnesse ofsprite, to seeke a meane
To dispossesse Iohn of his regiment.
Pemb.
Well hath my Lord of Essex told his tale,
Which I auerre▪ for most substantiall truth,
And more to make the matter to our minde,
I say that Lewis in challenge of his wife,
Hath title of an vncontrouled plea,
To all that longeth to our English crowne.
Short tale to make, the Sea Apostolike,
Hath offerd dispensation for the fault.
[Page]If any be, as trust me none I know,
By planting Lewis in the Vsurpers roome:
This is the cause of all our presence here,
That on the holy Altar we protest,
To aid the right of Lewis with goods and life,
Who on our knowledge is in armes for England.
What say you Lords?
Salis.
As Pembrooke saith, affirmeth Salisburie:
Faire Lewis of France that spoused Lady Blanch,
Hath title of an vncontrouled strength
To England, and what longeth to the Crowne:
In right whereof, as we are true inform'd,
The Prince is marching hitherward in armes.
Our purpose, to conclude that with a word,
Is to inuest him as we may deuise,
King of our countrey, in the tyrants stead:
And so the warrant on the Altar sworne,
And so the intent for which we hither came.
Bast.
My Lord of Salisburie, I cannot couch
My speeches with the needfull words of arte,
As doth beseeme in such a waightie worke,
But what my conscience and my duty will,
I purpose to impart.
For Chesters exile, blame his busie wit,
That medled where his duty quite forbade:
For any priuate causes that you haue,
Me thinke they should not mount to such a height,
As to depose a King in their reuenge.
For Arthurs death, K. Iohn was innocent,
He desperate was the deathsman to himselfe,
Which you, to make a colour to your crime, iniustly do im­pute to his defalt,
But wher fel traitorisme hath residēce,
There wants no words to set despight on worke.
I say tis shame, and worthy all reproofe,
To wrest such petty wrongs in tearms of right,
Against a King annointed by the Lord.
[Page]Why Salsburie, admit the wrongs are true,
Yet subiects may not take in hand reuenge,
And rob the heauens of their proper power,
Where sitteth he to whom reuenge belongs.
And doth a Pope, a priest, a man of pride,
Giue charters for the liues of lawfull kings?
What can he blesse, or who regards his curse,
But such as giue to man, and take from God?
I speake it in the sight of God aboue,
There's not a man that dies in your beleefe,
But sels his soule perpetually to paine.
Aid Lewis, leaue God, kill Iohn, please hell,
Make hauocke of the welfare of your soules,
For here I leaue you in the sight of heauen,
A troope of traytors, food for hellish fiends;
If you desist, then follow me as friends,
If not, then doe your worst, as hatefull traytors.
For Lewis his right, alasse tis too too lame,
A senslesse claime, if truth be titles friend.
In briefe, if this be cause of our resort,
Our pilgrimage is to the diuels shrine.
I came not Lords, to troupe as traytors doe,
Nor will I counsell in so bad a cause:
Please you returne, we goe againe as friends,
If not, I to my King, and you where traytors please.
Exit.
Percie.
A hot yong man, and so my Lords proceed,
I let him goe, and better lost than found.
Pemb.
What say you Lords, will all the rest proceed,
Will you all with me sweare vpon the Altar,
That you wil to the death, be aid to Le. & enemy to Iohn?
Euery man lay his hand by mine, in witnes of his harts ac­cord.
Wel then, euery man to armes to meet the king,
Who is already before London.
Enter Messenger.
Pemb.

What newes Herauld?

[Page]The right Christian Prince my master, Lewis of France, is at hand, comming to visit your Honours, directed hither by the right honourable Richard Earle of Bigot, to con­ferre with your honours.

Pemb.

How neere is his Highnesse?

Mes.

Ready to enter your presence.

Enter Lewis, Earle Bigot, with his troupe.
Lew.
Faire Lords of England, Lewis salutes you all
As friends, and firme wel-willers of his weale,
At whose request, from plentie flowing France,
Crossing the Ocean with a Southerne gale,
He is in person come at your commands,
To vndertake and gratifie withall,
The fulnesse of your fauours profferd him.
But worlds braue men, omitting promises,
Till time be minister of more amends,
I must acquaint you with our fortunes course.
The heauens dewing fauours on my head,
Haue in their conduct safe with victory,
Brought me along your well manured bounds,
With small repulse, and little crosse of chance,
Your Citie Rochester, with great applause,
By some diuine instinct laid armes aside:
And from the hollow holes of Thamesis,
Eccho apace repli'd, Viue la Roy.
From thence, along the wanton rowling glade
To Troynouant, your faire Metropolis,
With lucke came Lewis, to shew his troupes of France,
Wauing our Ensignes with the dallying winds,
The fearefull obiect of fell frowning warre;
Where after some assault, and small defence,
Heauens may I say, and not my warlike troupe,
Temperd their hearts to take a friendly foe
Within the compasse of their high built wals,
Giuing me title, as it seemd they wish.
[Page]Thus fortune (Lords) acts to your forwardnesse,
Meanes of content, in lieu of former griefe:
And may I liue but to requite you all,
Worlds wish were mine, in dying noted yours.
Salis.
Welcom the balme that closeth vp our wounds,
The soueraigne medcine for our quicke recure,
The anchor of our hope, the onely prop,
Whereon depends our liues, our lands, our weale,
Without the which, as sheepe without their heird,
(Except a shepheard winking at the wolfe)
We stray, we pine, we run to thousand harmes.
No maruell then, though with vnwonted ioy,
We welcome him that beateth woes away.
Lew.
Thanks to you all of this religious league,
A holy knot of Catholike consent.
I cannot name you Lordings, man by man,
But like a stranger vnacquainted yet,
In generall I promise faithfull loue:
Lord Bigot brought me to S. Edmunds shrine,
Giuing me warrant of a Christian oath
That this assembly came [...]
To sweare according as your p [...]ckets show'd,
Homage and loyall seruice to our selfe,
I need not doubt the suretie of your wils,
Since well I know, for many of your sakes,
The townes haue yeelded on their own accords:
Yet for a fashion, not for misbeleefe,
My eyes must witnesse, and these eares must heare
Your oath vpon the holy Altar sworne,
And after march, to end our commings cause.
Sals.
That we intend no other than good truth,
All that are present of this holy league,
For confirmation of our better trust,
In presence of his Highnesse, sweare with me,
The sequel that my selfe shall vtter here.

[Page]I Thomas Plantaginet, Earle of Salisburie, sweare vpon the Altar, and by the holy army of Saints, homage and alle­geance to the right Christian Prince Lewis of France, as true and rightfull King to England, Cornewall, & Wales, and to their territories: in the defence whereof, I vpon the holy Altar sweare all forwardnesse. All the Eng. Lo. sweare.

As the noble Earle hath sworne, so sweare we all.

Lew.
I rest assured on your holy oath,
And on this Altar in like sort I sweare
Loue to you all, and princely recompence
To guerdon your good wils vnto the full.
And since I am at this religious shrine,
My good wel-willers giue vs leaue awhile,
To vse some orizons our selues apart,
To all the holy company of heauen,
That they will smile vpon our purposes,
And bring them to a fortunate euent.
Sal.

We leaue your Hignesse to your good intent.

Exeunt Lords of England.
Lew.
Now Vicount Meloun, what remains behind?
Trust me these traytors to their Soueraigne State,
Are not to be beleeu'd in any sort.
Meloun.
Indeed my Lord, they that infringe their oths,
And play the Rebels gainst their natiue King,
Will for as little cause reuolt from you,
If euer opportunitie incite them so:
For once forsworne, and neuer after sound,
There's no affiance after periury.
Lew.
Well Meloun, wel, let's smooth with thē awhile,
Vntill we haue as much as they can doe:
And when their vertue is exhaled drie,
Ile hang them for the guerdon of their helpe:
Meane while wee'l vse them as a pretious poyson,
To vndertake the issue of our hope.
Fr. Lo.
Tis policy (my Lord) to bait our hookes
With merry smiles, and promise of much weight:
[Page]But when your Highnesse needeth them no more.
Tis good make sure worke with them, lest indeede
They prooue to you as to their naturall King.
Melun.
Trust mee my Lord, right well haue you ad­uisde,
Venome for vse, but neuer for a sport
Is to be dallied with, lest it infect.
Were you instald, as soone I hope you shall:
Be free from traitors, and dispatch them all.
Lewes
That so I meane, I sweare before you all
On this same Altar, and by heauens power,
Theres not an English traitor of them all,
Iohn once dispatcht, and I faire Englands King,
Shall on his shoulders beare his head one day,
But I will crop it for their guilts desert:
Nor shall their heires inioy their Seigniories,
But perish by their parents foule amisse.
This haue I sworne, and this will I performe,
If ere I come vnto the height I hope.
Lay downe your hands, and sweare the same with me.
The French Lords sweare.
Why so, now call them in, and speake them faire,
A smile of Fraunce will feed an English foole.
Beare them in hand as friends, for so they be:
But in the heart like traitors as they are.
Enter the English Lords.
Now famous followers, chiefetaines of the world,
Haue we sollicited with hearty prayer
The heauen in fauour of our high attempt.
Leaue we this place, and march we with our power
To rowse the tyrant from his chiefest hold:
And when our labours haue a prosprous end,
Each man shall reape the fruit of his desert.
And so resolu'd, braue followers let vs hence.
[Page]Enter K. Iohn, Bastard, Pandulph, and a many Priests with them.
Thus Iohn, thou art absolu'd from all thy sinnes,
And freed by order from our Fathers curse.
Receiue thy Crowne againe, with this prouiso,
That thou remaine true liegeman to the Pope,
And carry armes in right of holy Rome.
Iohn
I holde the same as tenant to the Pope,
And thanke your Holinesse for your kindnesse shewne.
Philip
A proper iest, when Kings must stoop to Friers,
Need hath no law, when Friers must be Kings.
Enter a Messenger.
Mess.
Please it your maiestie, the Prince of France,
With all the Nobles of your Graces Land
Are marching hitherward in good aray.
Where ere they set their foot, all places yeeld:
Thy Land is theirs, and not a foot holds out
But Douer Castle, which is hard besieg'd.
Pan.
Feare not king Iohn, thy kingdome is the Popes,
And they shall know his Holinesse hath power,
To beate them soone from whence he hath to doe.
Drums and Trumpets. Enter Lewes, Melun, Salisbury, Essex, Pembrooke, and all the Nobles from Fraunce, and England.
Lewes
Pandulph, as gaue his Holinesse in charge,
So hath the Dolphin mustred vp his troupes,
And wonne the greatest part of all this Land.
But ill becomes your Grace Lord Cardinall,
Thus to conuerse with Iohn that is accurst.
Pand.
[Page]
Lewes of France, victorious Conqueror,
Whose sword hath made this Iland quake for feare;
Thy forwardnesse to fight for holy Rome,
Shall be remunerated to the full:
But know my Lord, K. Iohn is now absolu'd,
The Pope is pleasde, the Land is blest agen,
And thou hast brought each thing to good effect.
It resteth then that thou withdraw thy powers,
And quietly returne to Fraunce againe:
For all is done the Pope would wish thee doe.
Lewes
But all's not done that Lewes came to do.
Why Pandulph, hath king Philip sent his sonne
And beene at such excessiue charge in warres,
To be dismist with words? king Iohn shall know,
England is mine, and he vsurps my right.
Pand.
Lewes, I charge thee and thy complices
Vpon the paine of Pandulphs holy curse,
That thou withdraw thy powers to Fraunce againe,
And yeeld vp London and the neighbour townes
That thou hast tane in England by the sword.
Melun
Lord Cardinall, by Lewes princely leaue,
It can be nought but vsurpation
In thee, the Pope, and all the Church of Rome,
Thus to insult on Kings of Christendome,
Now with a word to make them carrie armes,
Then with a word to make them leaue their armes.
This must not be: Prince Lewes keepe thine owne,
Let Pope and Popelings curse their bellies full.
Bast.
My Lord of Melun, what title had the Prince
To England and the Crowne of Albion,
But such a title as the Pope confirm'd:
The Prelate now lets fall his fained claime:
Lewes is but the agent for the Pope,
Then must the Dolphin cease, sith he hath ceast:
But cease or no, it greatly matters not,
If you my Lords and Barons of the Land
[Page]Will leaue the French, and cleaue vnto our King.
For shame yee Peeres of England suffer not
Your selues, your honours, and your land to fall:
But with resolued thoughts beate backe the French,
And free the Land from yoke of seruitude.
Salisbury
Philip, not so, Lord Lewes is our King,
And wee will follow him vnto the death.
Pand.
Then in the name of Innocent the Pope,
I curse the Prince and all that take his part,
And excommunicate the rebell Peeres
As traitors to the King, and to the Pope.
Lew.
Pandulph, our swords shall blesse our selues agen:
Prepare thee Iohn, Lords follow me your King.
Exeunt
Iohn
Accursed Iohn, the Diuell owes thee shame,
Resisting Rome, or yeelding to the Pope, all's one.
The diuell take the Pope, the Peeres, and Fraunce:
Shame be my share for yeelding to the Priest.
Pand.
Comfort thy selfe king Iohn, the Cardnall goes
Vpon his curse to make them leaue their armes.
Exit.
Bastard
Comfort my Lord, and curse the Cardinall,
Betake your selfe to armes, my troupes are prest
To answer Lewes with a lustie shocke:
The English archers haue their quiuers full,
Their bowes are bent, the pikes are prest to push:
Good cheere my Lord, King Richards fortune hangs
Vpon the plume of warrelike Philips helme.
Then let them know his brother and his sonne
Are leaders of the Englishmen at armes.
Iohn
Philip I know not how to answer thee:
But let vs hence, to answer Lewes pride.
Excursions. Enter Meloun with English Lords.
Mel.
O I am slaine, Nobles, Salsbury, Pembrooke,
My soule is charged, heare me: for what I say
Concerns the Peeres of England, and their State.
[Page]Listen, braue Lords, a fearefull mourning tale
To be deliuered by a man of death.
Behold these scarres, the dole of bloudie Mars
Are harbingers from natures common foe,
Citing this truncke to Tellus prison house;
Lifes charter (Lordings) lasteth not an houre:
And fearefull thoughts, forerunners of my end,
Bids me giue physicke to a sickely soule.
O Peeres of England, know you what you do?
There's but a haire that sunders you from harme,
The hooke is baited, and the traine is made,
And simply you runne doating to your deaths.
But lest I die, and leaue my tale vntolde,
With silence slaughtering so braue a crew.
This I auerre, if Lewes winne the day,
There's not an Englishman that lifts his hand
Against King Iohn to plant the heire of France,
But is already damnd to cruell death.
I heard it vow'd; my selfe amongst the rest
Swore on the Altar aide to this Edict.
Two causes Lords, makes me display this drift,
The greatest for the freedome of my soule,
That longs to leaue this mansion free from guilt:
The other on a naturall instinct,
For that my Grandsire was an Englishman.
Misdoubt not Lords the truth of my discourse,
No frensie, nor no brainsicke idle fit,
But well aduisde, and wotting what I say,
Pronounce I here before the face of heauen,
That nothing is discouered but a truth.
Tis time to flie, submit your selues to Iohn,
The smiles of Fraunce shade in the frownes of death,
Lift vp your swords, turne face against the French,
Expell the yoke that's framed for your necks.
Backe warremen, backe, imbowell not the clime,
Your seate, your nurse, your birth dayes breathing place,
[Page]That bred you, beares you, brought you vp in armes.
Ah! be not so ingrate to digge your mothers graue,
Preserue your lambes and beate away the wolfe.
My soule hath said, contritions penitence
Laies hold on mans redemption for my sinne.
Farewell my Lords; witnesse my faith when we are met in heauen,
And for my kindnesse giue me graue roome here.
My soule doth fleet, worlds vanities farewell.
Sals.
Now ioy betide thy soule well-meaning man,
How now my Lords, what cooling carde is this?
A greater griefe growes now than earst hath beene.
What counsell giue you, shall we stay and die?
Or shall we home, and kneele vnto the King.
Pemb.
My heart misgaue this sad accursed newes:
What haue we done? fie Lords, what frensie moued
Our hearts to yeeld vnto the pride of Fraunce?
If we perseuer, we are sure to die:
If we desist, small hope againe of life.
Salsb.
Beare hence the body of this wretched man,
That made vs wretched with his dying tale,
And stand not wayling on our present harmes,
As women wont: but seeke our harmes redresse.
As for my selfe, I will in haste be gone:
And kneele for pardon to our soueraigne Iohn.
Pemb.
I, there's the way, lets rather kneele to him,
Than to the French that would confound vs all.
Exeunt
Enter King Iohn carried betweene two Lords.
Iohn
Set downe, set downe the loade not woorth your paine,
For done I am with deadly wounding griefe:
Sickely and succourlesse, hopelesse of any good,
The world hath wearied me, and I haue wearied it:
It loathes I liue, I liue and loathe my selfe.
Who pities me? to whom haue I beene kinde?
But to a few; a few will pitie me.
Why die I not? Death scornes so vilde a prey.
[Page]Why liue I not, life hates so sad a prize.
I sue to both to be retaind of either,
But both are deafe, I can be heard of neither.
Nor death nor life, yet life and neare the neere,
Ymixt with death, biding I wot not where.
Phil.
How fares my Lord, that he is carried thus?
Not all the aukeward fortunes yet befalne,
Made such impression of lament in me.
Nor euer did my eye attaint my heart
With any obiect moouing more remorse,
Than now beholding of a mighty King,
Borne by his Lords in such distressed State.
Ioh.
What newes with thee? if bad, report it straight▪
If good, be mute, it doth but flatter me.
Phil.
Such as it is, and heauy though it be,
To glut the world with tragicke elegies,
Once will I breathe to aggrauate the rest,
Another moane to make the measure full.
The brauest bow-man had not yet sent forth
Two arrowes from the quiuer at his side,
But that a rumor went throughout our Campe,
That Iohn was fled, the King had left the field.
At last the rumor scal'd these eares of mine,
Who rather chose as sacrifice for Mars,
Than ignominious scandall by retire.
I cheer'd the troupes, as did the prince of Troy
His weary followers gainst the Mermidons,
Crying alowd, S. George, the day is ours.
But feare had captiuated courage quite,
And like the Lambe before the greedie Wolfe,
So heartlesse fled our war-men from the field.
Short tale to make, my selfe amongst the rest,
Was faine to flie before the eager foe.
By this time night had shadowed all the earth,
With sable curtaines of the blackest hue,
And fenc'd vs from the furie of the French,
[Page]As Io from the iealous Iunoes eie,
When in the morning our troupes did gather head,
Passing the washes with our carriages,
The impartiall tide deadly and inexorable,
Came raging in with billowes threatning death,
And swallowed vp the most of all our men,
My selfe vpon a Galloway right free, well pac'd,
Out stript the flouds that followed waue by waue,
I so escap'd to tell this tragicke tale.
Iohn
Griefe vpon griefe, yet none so great a griefe
To end this life, and thereby rid my griefe.
Was euer any so infortunate,
The right Idea of a cursed man,
As I, poore I, a triumph for despight,
My feuer growes, what ague shakes me so?
How farre to Sminstead, tell me, do you know?
Present vnto the Abbot word of my repaire.
My sicknesse rages, to tyrannize vpon me,
I cannot liue vnlesse this feuer leaue me.
Philip
Good cheere my Lord, the Abbey is at hand,
Behold my Lord, the Churchmen come to meet you.
Enter the Abbot and certaine Monkes.
Abb.

All health & happines to our soueraigne lord the King.

Iohn
Nor health nor happines hath Iohn at all.
Say Abbot, am I welcome to thy house?
Abbot
Such welcome as our Abbey can afford,
Your Maiestie shall be assured of.
Philip
The King thou seest is weake and very faint,
What victuals hast thou to refresh his Grace?
Abb.
Good stote my Lord, of that you need not feare,
For Lincolneshire, and these our Abbey grounds
Were neuer fatter, nor in better plight.
Iohn
Philip, thou neuer needst to doubt of cates,
Nor King nor Lord is seated halfe so well,
As are the Abbeis throughout all the land,
If any plot of ground do passe another,
[Page]The Friers fasten on it strait:
But let vs in to taste of their repast,
It goes against my heart to feed with them,
Or be beholding to such Abbey groomes:
Exeunt.
Manet the Monke.
Monke
Is this the King that neuer lou'd a Frier?
Is this the man that doth contemne the Pope?
Is this the man that rob'd the holy Church,
And yet will flie vnto a Friory?
Is this the King that aymes at Abbeis lands?
Is this the man whom all the world abhorres,
And yet will flie vnto a Friorie?
Accurst be Swinstead Abbey, Abbot, Friers,
Monkes, Nunnes, and Clarks, and all that dwells therein,
If wicked Iohn escape aliue away.
Now if that thou wilt looke to merit heauen,
And be canonized for a holy Saint:
To please the world with a deseruing worke,
Be thou the man to set thy countrey free,
And murder him that seekes to murder thee.
Enter the Abbot.
Abbot
Why are not you within to cheere the King?
He now begins to mend, and will to meate.
Monke

What if I say to strangle him in his sleepe?

Abbot
What, at thy Mumpsimus? away,
And seeke some meanes for to pastime the King.
Monke
Ile set a dudgeon dagger at his heart,
And with a mallet knocke him on the head.
Abbot
Alas, what meanes this Monke to murder me?
Dare lay my life hee'l kill me for my place.
Monke
Ile poyson him, and it shall ne'r be knowne,
And then shall I be chiefest of my house.
Abbot
If I were dead indeed he is the next,
But Ile away, for why the Monke is mad,
And in his madnesse he will murder me.
Mon.
[Page]

My L.I cry your Lordship mercy, I saw you not.

Abbot

Alas good Thomas do not murder me, and thou shalt haue my place with thousand thanks.

Monke

I murder you! God shield from such a thought.

Abbot

If thou wilt needs, yet let me say my prayers.

Monke

I will not hurt your Lordship good my Lord: but if you please, I will impart a thing that shall be benefi­ciall to vs all.

Abbot

Wilt thou not hurt me holy Monke? say on.

Monke

You know my Lord, the King is in our house.

Abbot

True.

Monke

You know likewise the King abhorres a Frier.

Abbot

True.

Monke

And he that loues not a Frier is our enemy.

Abbot

Thou saist true.

Monke

Then the King is our enemy.

Abbot

True.

Mon.

Why then should we not kil our enemy, and the king being our enemy, why then should we not kill the K.

Abbot
O blessed Monke! I see God moues thy minde
to free this land from tyrants slauery.
But who dare venter for to do this deede?
Mon.
Who dare? why I my Lord dare do the deed,
Ile free my Countrey and the Church from foes,
And merit heauen by killing of a King.
Abbot
Thomas kneele downe, and if thou art resolu'd,
I will absolue thee here from all thy sinnes,
For why the deede is meritorious.
Forward, and feare not man, for euery month,
Our Friers shall sing a Masse for Thomas soule.
Mon.
God and S. Francis prosper my attempt,
For now my Lord I goe about my worke.
Exeunt.
Enter Lewes and his armie.
Lewes
Thus victorie in bloudie Lawrell clad,
Followes the fortune of yong Lodowike,
The Englishmen as danted at our sight,
[Page]Fall as the fowle before the Eagles eies,
Onely two crosses of contrary change
Do nip my heart, and vex me with vnrest.
Lord Meluns death, the one part of my soule,
A brauer man did neuer liue in Fraunce.
The other griefe, I that's a gall indeed,
To thinke that Douer Castle should hold out
Gainst all assaults, and rest impregnable.
Yee warrelike race of Francus Hectors sonne,
Triumph in conquest of that tyrant Iohn,
The better halfe of England is our owne:
And towards the conquest of the other part,
We haue the face of all the English Lords,
What then remaines but ouerrunne the land?
Be resolute my warrelike followers,
And if good fortune serue as shee begins,
The poorest pesant of the realme of France
Shalbe a master ore an English Lord.
Enter a Messenger.
Lewes

Fellow, what newes?

Mess.

Pleaseth your Grace, the Earle of Salsbury, Pen­brooke, Essex, Clare, and Arundell, with all the Barons that did fight for thee, are on a sodaine fled with all their pow­ers, to ioyne with Iohn, to driue thee backe againe.

Enter another Messenger.
Messen.
Lewes my Lord, why standst thou in a maze?
Gather thy troupes, hope not of helpe from Fraunce,
For all thy forces being fiftie saile,
Containing twenty thousand souldiers,
With victuall and munition for the warre,
Putting them from Callis in vnluckie time,
Did crosse the seas, and on the Goodwin sands,
The men, munition, and the ships are lost.
Enter another Messenger.
Lewes

More newes? say on.

Messen.
Iohn (my Lord [...]ith all his scattered troups,
[Page]Flying the fury of your conquering sword,
As Pharaoh earst within the bloody sea,
So he and his enuironed with the tide,
On Lincolne washes all were ouerwhelmed,
The Barons fled, our forces cast away.
Lewes

Was euer heard such vnexpected newes?

Messenger
Yet Lodowike reuiue thy dying heart,
King Iohn and all his forces are consumde.
The lesse thou needst the aid of English Earles,
The lesse thou needst to grieue thy nauies wracke,
And follow times aduantage with successe.
Lewes
Braue Frenchmen arm'd with magnanimitie,
March after Lewes, who will leade you on
To chase the Barons power that wants a head,
For Iohn is drown'd, and I am Englands King.
Though our munition and our men be lost,
Philip of Fraunce will send vs fresh supplies.
Exeunt.
Enter two Friers laying a Cloth.
Frier
Dispatch, dispatch, the King desires to eate,
Would a might eate his last for the loue he bears to church men.
Frier

I am of thy mind too, and so it should be and we might be our owne caruers.

I maruell why they dine here in the Orchard.

Frier

I know not, nor I care not. The King comes.

Iohn.

Come on Lord Abbot, shall we sit together?

Abbot

Pleaseth your Grace sit downe.

Iohn

Take your places sirs, no pomp in penury, all beg­gers and friends may come, where Necessitie keepes the house, curtesie is barr'd the table, sit downe Philip.

Bast.

My Lord, I am loth to allude so much to the pro­uerb, honors change maners: a king is a king, though For­tune do her worst, & we as dutifull in despite of her frown, as if your highnes were now in the highest tipe of dignitie.

Iohn

Come, no more adoe, and you tell mee much of dignity, you'l marre my appetite in a surfet of sorrow. [Page] What cheere Lord Abbot, me thinks ye frown like an host that knows his guest hath no money to pay the reckning?

Abbot

No my Liege, if I frowne at all, it is for I feare this cheere too homely to entertaine so mighty a guest as your maiestie.

Bast.

I thinke rather, my Lord Abbot, you remember my last being here, when I went in progresse for powches, and the rancor of his heart breakes out in his countenance, to shew he hath not forgot me.

Abb.

Not so my Lord, you, and the meanest follower of his maiesty, are heartily welcome to me.

Monke

Wassell my Liege, and as a poore Monke may say, welcome to Swinstead.

Iohn

Begin Monke, and report hereafter thou wast ta­ster to a King.

Monke

As much health to your Highnesse as to mine owne heart.

Iohn

I pledge thee kind Monke.

Monke
The merriest draught that euer was drunke in England.
Am I not too bold with your Highnesse?
Iohn

Not a whit, all friends and fellowes for a time.

Monke

If the inwards of a toad be a compound of any proofe: why so it workes.

Iohn

Stay Philip, where's the Monke?

Bastard

He is dead my Lord.

Iohn

Then drinke not Philip for a world of wealth.

Ba.

What cheere my liege? your collor gins to change.

Iohn
So doth my life: O Philip, I am poison'd.
The Monke, the Diuell, the poyson gins to rage,
It will depose my selfe a King from raigne.
Bast.
This Abbot hath an interest in this act.
At all aduentures take thou that from me.
There lie the Abbot, Abbey, Lubber, Diuell.
March with the Monke vnto the gates of hell.
How fares my Lord?
Iohn
Philip, some drinke, oh for the frozen Alpes,
To tumble on and coole this inward heate,
That rageth as the fornace seuen-fold hote.
[Page]To burne the holy tree in Babylon,
Power after power forsake their proper power,
Onely the heart impugnes with faint resist
The fierce inuade of him that conquers Kings,
Helpe God, O paine! die Iohn, O plague
Inflicted on thee for thy grieuous sinnes.
Philip, a chaire, and by and by a graue,
My legges disdaine the carriage of a King.
Bast.
A good my Liege, with patience conquer griefe,
And beare this paine with kingly fortitude.
Iohn
Me thinkes I see a catalogue of sinne,
Wrote by a fiend in marble characters,
The least enough to loose my part in heauen.
Me thinkes the Diuell whispers in mine eares,
And tells me, tis in vaine to hope for grace,
I must be damn'd for Arthurs sodaine death,
I see I see a thousand thousand men
Come to accuse me for my wrong on earth,
And there is none so mercifull a God
That will forgiue the number of my sinnes.
How haue I liu'd, but by anothers losse?
What haue I lou'd, but wracke of others weale?
When haue I vow'd, and not infring'd mine oath?
Where haue I done a deede deseruing well?
How, what, when, and where, haue I bestow'd a day,
That tended not to some notorious ill.
My life repleate with rage and tyrannie,
Craues little pittie for so strange a death.
Or, who will say that Iohn deceasde too soone?
Who will not say, he rather liu'd too long.
Dishonour did attaint me in my life,
And shame attendeth Iohn vnto his death.
Why did I scape the fury of the French,
And dide not by the temper of their swords?
Shamelesse my life, and shamefully it ends,
Scorn'd by my foes, disdained of my friends.
Bast.
[Page]
Forgiue the world and all your earthly foes,
And call on Christ, who is your latest friend.
Iohn
My tongue doth falter: Philip, I tell thee man,
Since Iohn did yeeld vnto the Priest of Rome,
Nor he nor his haue prospred on the earth:
Curst are his blessings, and his curse is blisse.
But in the spirit I crie vnto my God,
As did the kingly prophet Dauid cry,
(Whose hands, as mine, with murder were attaint)
I am not he shall build the Lord a house,
Or roote these locusts from the face of earth:
But if my dying heart deceiue me not,
From out these loynes shall spring a kingly braunch
Whose armes shall reach vnto the gates of Rome,
And with his feete treades downe the Strumpets pride,
That sits vpon the chaire of Babylon.
Philip, my heart strings breake, the poysons flame
Hath ouercome in me weake Natures power,
And in the faith of Iesu Iohn doth die.
Bastard
See how he striues for life, vnhappy Lord,
Whose bowels are diuided in themselues.
This is the fruit of Poperie, when true Kings
Are slaine and shouldred out by Monkes and Friers.
Enter a Messenger.
Mess.
Please it your Grace, the Barons of the Land,
Which all this while bare armes against the King,
Conducted by the Legate of the Pope,
Together with the Prince his Highnesse sonne,
Do craue to be admitted to the presence of the King.
Bast.
Your Sonne, my Lord, yong Henry craues to see
Your Maiestie, and brings with him beside
The Barons that reuolted from your Grace.
O piercing sight, he fumbleth in the mouth,
His speech doth faile: lift vp your selfe my Lord,
And see the Prince to comfort you in death.
[Page]Enter Pandulph, yong Henry, the Barons with daggers in their hands.
Prince
O let me see my father ere he die:
O vncle, were you here, and suffred him
To be thus poysned by a damned Monke?
Ah he is dead, Father, sweet Father speake.
Bastard

His speach doth faile, he hasteth to his end.

Pandulph
Lords, giue me leaue to ioy the dying King,
With sight of these his Nobles kneeling here
With daggers in their hands, who offer vp
Their liues for ransome of their foule offence.
Then good my Lord, if you forgiue them all,
Lift vp your hand in token you forgiue.
Salis.
We humbly thanke your royall Maiestie,
And vow to fight for England and her King:
And in the sight of Iohn our soueraigne Lord,
In spite of Lewes and the power of Fraunce,
Who hitherward are marching in all haste,
We crowne yong Henry in his fathers sted.
Henry

Help, help, he dies; Ah father! looke on mee.

Legat
K. Iohn, farewell: in token of thy faith,
And signe thou diest the seruant of the Lord,
Lift vp thy hand, that we may witnesse here,
Thou diedst the seruant of our Sauiour Christ.
Now ioy betide thy soule: what noise is this?
Enter a Messenger.
Mess.
Help Lords, the Dolphin maketh hitherward
With Ensignes of defiance in the winde,
And all our armie standeth at a gaze,
Expecting what their Leaders will commaund.
Bast.
Let's arme our selues in yong K. Henries right,
And beate the power of Fraunce to sea againe.
Legate
[Page]
Philip not so, but I will to the Prince,
And bring him face to face to parley with you.
Bast.
Lord Salsbury, your selfe shall march with me.
So shall we bring these troubles to an end.
King
Sweet vncle, if thou loue thy Soueraigne,
Let not a stone of Swinstead Abbey stand,
But pull the house about the Friers eares:
For they haue kill'd my Father and my King.
Exeunt.
A Parley sounded, Lewes, Pandulph, Salisbury &c.
Pand.
Lewes of Fraunce, yong Henry Englands king
Requires to know the reason of the claime
That thou canst make to any thing of his.
King Iohn that did offend, is dead and gone,
See where his breathlesse trunke in presence lies,
And he as heire apparant to the crowne
Is now succeeded in his Fathers roome.
Henry
Lewes, what law of armes doth leade thee thus,
To kéepe possession of my lawfull right?
Answere; in fine, if thou wilt take a peace,
And make surrender of my right againe,
Or trie thy title with the dint of sword:
I tell thee Dolphin, Henry feares thee not.
For now the Barons cleaue vnto their King,
And what thou hast in England they did get.
Lewes
Henry of England, now that Iohn is dead,
That was the chiefest enemie to Fraunce,
I may the rather be inducde to peace.
But Salsbury, and you Barons of the Realme,
This strange reuolt agrees not with the oath
That you on Bury Altare lately sware.
Sals.
Nor did the oath your Highnesse there did take
Agree with honour of the Prince of Fraunce.
Bast.

My Lord, what answer make you to the King?

Dolphin
Faith Philip this I say: It bootes not me,
[Page]Nor any Prince, nor power of Christendome
To seeke to win this Iland Albion,
Vnlesse he haue a partie in the Realme
By treason for to help him in his warres.
The Peeres which were the partie on my side,
Are fled from me: then bootes not me to fight,
But on conditions, as mine honour wills,
I am contented to depart the Realme.
Henry

On what conditions will your Highnes yeeld?

Lew.

That shall we thinke vpon by more aduice.

Bast.
Then Kings & Princes, let these broils haue end,
And at more leisure talke vpon the League.
Meane while to Worster let vs beare the King,
And there interre his bodie, as beseemes.
But first, in sight of Lewes heire of Fraunce,
Lords take the Crowne, and set it on his head,
That by succession is our lawfull King.
They crowne yong Henry.
Thus Englands peace begins in Henries raigne,
And bloodie warres are closde with happie league.
Let England liue but true within it selfe,
And all the world can neuer wrong her State.
Lewes, thou shalt be brauely shipt to Fraunce,
For neuer Frenchman got of English ground
The twentith part that thou hast conquered.
Dolphin, thy hand; to Worster we will march:
Lords all, lay hands to beare your Soueraigne
With obsequies of honour to his graue:
If Englands Peeres and people ioyne in one,
Nor Pope, nor France, nor Spaine can do them wrong.
FINIS.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.