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Why thou against the church, our holy mother,
So wilfully dost spurn; ar d, force perforce,
Keep Stephen Langton, chosen archbishop
Of Canterbury, from that holy see?
This, in our 'foresaid holy father's name,
Pope Innocent, I do demand of thee,

K. John. What earthly name to interrogatories,
Can task the free breath of a sacred king ?
Thou canst not, cardinal, devise a name
So slight, unworthy, and ridiculous,
To charge me to an answer, as

the

pope. Tell him this tale; and from the mouth of England, Add thus much more,—That no Italian priest Shall tithe or toll in our dominions ; But as we under heaven are supreme head, So, under him, that great supremacy, Where we do reign, we will alone uphold, Without the assistance of a mortal hand : So tell the pope; all reverence set apart, To him, and his usurp'd authority.

K. Phi. Brother of England, you blaspheme in this.
K. John. Though you, and all the kings of Chris-

tendom,
Are led so grossly by this meddling priest,
Dreading the curse that money may buy out;
And, by the merit of vile gold, dross, dust,
Purchase corrupted pardon of a man,
Who, in that sale, sells pardon from himself:
Though you, and all the rest, so grossly led,
This juggling witchcraft with revenue cherish;
Yet I, alone, alone do me oppose
Against the pope, and count his friends my foes.

Pand. Then, by the lawful power that I have,
Thou shalt stand curs'd, and excommunicate :
And blessed shall he be, that doth revolt
From his allegiance to an heretick;
And meritorious shall that hand be callid,
Canonized, and worshipp'd as a saint,
That’takes away by any secret course
Thy hateful life.
Const.

O, lawful let it be,
That I have room with Rome to curse a while !
Good father cardinal, cry thou, amen,
To my keen curses ; for, without my wrong,
There is no tongue hath power to curse him right.
Pand. There's law and warrant, lady, for

my curse. Const. And for mine too; when law can do no

right,
Let it be lawful, that law bar no wrong:
Law cannot give my child his kingdom here ;
For he, that holds his kingdom, holds the law:
Therefore, since law itself is perfect wrong,
How can the law forbid my tongue to curse ?

Pand. Philip of France; on peril of a curse,
Let
go

the hand of that arch-heretick; And raise the power of France upon his head, Unless he do submit himself to Rome. Eli. Look’st thou pale, France ? do not let go thy

hand. Const. Look to that, devil! lest that France repent, And, by disjoining hands, hell lose a soul.

Aust. King Philip, listen to the cardinal.
Bast. And hang a calf's-skin on his recreant limbs.
Aust. Well, ruffian, I must pocket up these wrongs,

1

Because

Bast. Your breeches best may carry them.
K. John. Philip, what say’st thou to the cardinal?
Const. What should he say, but as the cardinal?

Lew. Bethink you, father; for the difference
Is, purchase of a heavy curse from Rome,
Or the light loss of England for a friend :
Forgo the easier.
Blanch.

That's the curse of Rome.
Const. O Lewis, stand fast; the devil tempts thee

here, In likeness of a new untrimmed 8 bride. Blanch. The lady Constance speaks not from her

faith, But from her need. Const.

O, if thou grant my need, Which only lives but by the death of faith, That need must needs infer this principle, That faith would live again by death of need; O, then, tread down my need, and faith mounts up; Keep my need up, and faith is trodden down. K. John. The king is mov’d, and answers not to

this. Const. O, be remov'd from him, and answer well. Aust. Do so, king Philip; hang no more in doubt. Bast. Hang nothing but a calf's-skin, most sweet

lout. K. Phi. I am perplex’d, and know not what to say. Pand. What can’st thou say, but will perplex thee

more,

$ " When unadorn'd adorn'd the most."

Thomson's Autumn, 206, VOL. IV,

Z

If thou stand excommunicate, and curs'd?
K. Phi. Good reverend father, make my person

yours,
And tell me, how you would bestow yourself,
This royal hand and mine are newly knit;
And the conjunction of our inward souls
Married in league, coupled and link'd together
With all religious strength of sacred vows;
The latest breath that gave the sound of words,
Was deep-sworn faith, peace, amity, true love,
Between our kingdoms, and our royal selves;
And even before this truce, but new before,
No longer than we well could wash our hands,
To clap this royal bargain up of peace,
Heaven knows, they were besmear'd and overstain'd
With slaughter's pencil; where revenge did paint
The fearful difference of incensed kings :
And shall these hands, so lately purg'd of blood,
So newly join'd in love, so strong in both,
Unyoke this seizure, and this kind regreet ?9
Play fast and loose with faith? so jest with heaven,
Make such unconstant children of ourselves,
As now again to snatch our palm from palm;
Unswear faith sworn; and on the marriage bed
Of smiling peace to march a bloody host,
And make a riot on the gentle brow
Of true sincerity? O holy sir,
My reverend father, let it not be so :
Out of your grace, devise, ordain, impose
Some gentle order; and then we shall be bless'd
To do your pleasure, and continue friends.

9 Exchange of salutation.

1

Pand. All form is formless, order orderless, Save what is opposite to England's love. Therefore, to arms! be champion of our church ! Or let the church, our mother, breathe her curse, A mother's curse, on her revolting son. France, thou may'st hold a serpent by the tongue, A cased lion by the mortal paw, A fasting tiger safer by the tooth, Than keep in peace that hand which thou dost hold.

K. Phi. I may disjoin my hand, but not my faith.

Pand. So mak’st thou faith an enemy to faith; And, like a civil war, set'st oath to oath, Thy tongue against thy tongue. 0, let thy vow First made to heaven, first be to heaven perform’d; That is, to be the champion of our church! What since thou swor’st, is sworn against thyself, And may not be performed by thyself: For that, which thou hast sworn to do amiss, Is not amiss when it is truly done; And being not done, where doing tends to ill, The truth is then most done not doing it: The better act of purposes mistook Is, to mistake again; though indirect, Yet indirection thereby grows direct, And falsehood falsehood cures; as fire cools fire, Within the scorched veins of one new burn’d. It is religion, that doth make vows kept; But thou hast sworn against religion ; By what thou swear'st, against the thing thou swear'st; And mak'st an oath the surety for thy truth Against an oath : The truth thou art unsure

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