Read Shakespeare’s First Folio Part 260

Shakespeare’s First Folio is a Webnovel made by William Shakespeare.
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Iohn. What saie these yong-ones? What say you my Neece?

Blan. That she is bound in honor still to do What you in wisedome still vouchsafe to say

Iohn. Speake then Prince Dolphin, can you loue this Ladie?

Dol. Nay aske me if I can refraine from loue, For I doe loue her most vnfainedly

Iohn. Then I doe giue Volquessen, Toraine, Maine, Poyctiers and Aniow, these fiue Prouinces With her to thee, and this addition more, Full thirty thousand Markes of English coyne: Phillip of France, if thou be pleas’d withall, Command thy sonne and daughter to ioyne hands

Fra. It likes vs well young Princes: close your hands Aust. And your lippes too, for I am well a.s.sur’d, That I did so when I was first a.s.sur’d

Fra. Now Cittizens of Angires ope your gates, Let in that amitie which you haue made, For at Saint Maries Chappell presently, The rights of marriage shallbe solemniz’d.

Is not the Ladie Constance in this troope?

I know she is not for this match made vp, Her presence would haue interrupted much.

Where is she and her sonne, tell me, who knowes?

Dol. She is sad and pa.s.sionate at your highnes Tent

Fra. And by my faith, this league that we haue made Will giue her sadnesse very little cure: Brother of England, how may we content This widdow Lady? In her right we came, Which we G.o.d knowes, haue turn’d another way, To our owne vantage

Iohn. We will heale vp all, For wee’l create yong Arthur Duke of Britaine And Earle of Richmond, and this rich faire Towne We make him Lord of. Call the Lady Constance, Some speedy Messenger bid her repaire To our solemnity: I trust we shall, (If not fill vp the measure of her will) Yet in some measure satisfie her so, That we shall stop her exclamation, Go we as well as hast will suffer vs, To this vnlook’d for vnprepared pompe.


Bast. Mad world, mad kings, mad composition: Iohn to stop Arthurs t.i.tle in the whole, Hath willingly departed with a part, And France, whose armour Conscience buckled on, Whom zeale and charitie brought to the field, As G.o.ds owne souldier, rounded in the eare, With that same purpose-changer, that slye diuel, That Broker, that still breakes the pate of faith, That dayly breake-vow, he that winnes of all, Of kings, of beggers, old men, yong men, maids, Who hauing no externall thing to loose, But the word Maid, cheats the poore Maide of that.

That smooth-fac’d Gentleman, tickling commoditie, Commoditie, the byas of the world, The world, who of it selfe is peysed well, Made to run euen, vpon euen ground; Till this aduantage, this vile drawing byas, This sway of motion, this commoditie, Makes it take head from all indifferency, From all direction, purpose, course, intent.

And this same byas, this Commoditie, This Bawd, this Broker, this all-changing-word, Clap’d on the outward eye of fickle France, Hath drawne him from his owne determin’d ayd, From a resolu’d and honourable warre, To a most base and vile-concluded peace.

And why rayle I on this Commoditie?

But for because he hath not wooed me yet: Not that I haue the power to clutch my hand, When his faire Angels would salute my palme, But for my hand, as vnattempted yet, Like a poore begger, raileth on the rich.

Well, whiles I am a begger, I will raile, And say there is no sin but to be rich: And being rich, my vertue then shall be, To say there is no vice, but beggerie: Since Kings breake faith vpon commoditie, Gaine be my Lord, for I will worship thee.


Actus Secundus

Enter Constance, Arthur, and Salisbury.

Con. Gone to be married? Gone to sweare a peace?

False blood to false blood ioyn’d. Gone to be freinds?

Shall Lewis haue Blaunch, and Blaunch those Prouinces?

It is not so, thou hast mispoke, misheard, Be well aduis’d, tell ore thy tale againe.

It cannot be, thou do’st but say ’tis so.

I trust I may not trust thee, for thy word Is but the vaine breath of a common man: Beleeue me, I doe not beleeue thee man, I haue a Kings oath to the contrarie.

Thou shalt be punish’d for thus frighting me, For I am sicke, and capeable of feares, Opprest with wrongs, and therefore full of feares, A widdow, husbandles, subiect to feares, A woman naturally borne to feares; And though thou now confesse thou didst but iest With my vext spirits, I cannot take a Truce, But they will quake and tremble all this day.

What dost thou meane by shaking of thy head?

Why dost thou looke so sadly on my sonne?

What meanes that hand vpon that breast of thine?

Why holdes thine eie that lamentable rhewme, Like a proud riuer peering ore his bounds?

Be these sad signes confirmers of thy words?

Then speake againe, not all thy former tale, But this one word, whether thy tale be true

Sal. As true as I beleeue you thinke them false, That giue you cause to proue my saying true

Con. Oh if thou teach me to beleeue this sorrow, Teach thou this sorrow, how to make me dye, And let beleefe, and life encounter so, As doth the furie of two desperate men, Which in the very meeting fall, and dye.

Lewes marry Blaunch? O boy, then where art thou?

France friend with England, what becomes of me?

Fellow be gone: I cannot brooke thy sight, This newes hath made thee a most vgly man

Sal. What other harme haue I good Lady done, But spoke the harme, that is by others done?

Con. Which harme within it selfe so heynous is, As it makes harmefull all that speake of it

Ar. I do beseech you Madam be content

Con. If thou that bidst me be content, wert grim Vgly, and slandrous to thy Mothers wombe, Full of vnpleasing blots, and sightlesse staines, Lame, foolish, crooked, swart, prodigious, Patch’d with foule Moles, and eye-offending markes, I would not care, I then would be content, For then I should not loue thee: no, nor thou Become thy great birth, nor deserue a Crowne.

But thou art faire, and at thy birth (deere boy) Nature and Fortune ioyn’d to make thee great.

Of Natures guifts, thou mayst with Lillies boast, And with the halfe-blowne Rose. But Fortune, oh, She is corrupted, chang’d, and wonne from thee, Sh’ adulterates hourely with thine Vnckle Iohn, And with her golden hand hath pluckt on France To tread downe faire respect of Soueraigntie, And made his Maiestie the bawd to theirs.

France is a Bawd to Fortune, and king Iohn, That strumpet Fortune, that vsurping Iohn: Tell me thou fellow, is not France forsworne?

Envenom him with words, or get thee gone, And leaue those woes alone, which I alone Am bound to vnder-beare

Sal. Pardon me Madam, I may not goe without you to the kings

Con. Thou maist, thou shalt, I will not go with thee, I will instruct my sorrowes to bee proud, For greefe is proud, and makes his owner stoope, To me and to the state of my great greefe, Lets kings a.s.semble: for my greefe’s so great, That no supporter but the huge firme earth Can hold it vp: here I and sorrowes sit, Heere is my Throne bid kings come bow to it.

Actus Tertius, Scaena prima.

Enter King Iohn, France, Dolphin, Blanch, Elianor, Philip, Austria, Constance.

Fran. ‘Tis true (faire daughter) and this blessed day, Euer in France shall be kept festiuall: To solemnize this day the glorious sunne Stayes in his course, and playes the Alchymist, Turning with splendor of his precious eye The meager cloddy earth to glittering gold: The yearely course that brings this day about, Shall neuer see it, but a holy day

Const. A wicked day, and not a holy day.

What hath this day deseru’d? what hath it done, That it in golden letters should be set Among the high tides in the Kalender?

Nay, rather turne this day out of the weeke, This day of shame, oppression, periury.

Or if it must stand still, let wiues with childe Pray that their burthens may not fall this day, Lest that their hopes prodigiously be crost: But (on this day) let Sea-men feare no wracke, No bargaines breake that are not this day made; This day all things begun, come to ill end, Yea, faith it selfe to hollow falshood change

Fra. By heauen Lady, you shall haue no cause To curse the faire proceedings of this day: Haue I not p.a.w.n’d to you my Maiesty?

Const. You haue beguil’d me with a counterfeit Resembling Maiesty, which being touch’d and tride, Proues valuelesse: you are forsworne, forsworne, You came in Armes to spill mine enemies bloud, But now in Armes, you strengthen it with yours.

The grapling vigor, and rough frowne of Warre Is cold in amitie, and painted peace, And our oppression hath made vp this league: Arme, arme, you heauens, against these periur’d Kings, A widdow cries, be husband to me (heauens) Let not the howres of this vnG.o.dly day Weare out the daies in Peace; but ere Sun-set, Set armed discord ‘twixt these periur’d Kings, Heare me, Oh, heare me

Aust. Lady Constance, peace

Const. War, war, no peace, peace is to me a warre: O Lymoges, O Austria, thou dost shame That bloudy spoyle: thou slaue, thou wretch, y coward, Thou little valiant, great in villanie, Thou euer strong vpon the stronger side; Thou Fortunes Champion, that do’st neuer fight But when her humourous Ladiship is by To teach thee safety: thou art periur’d too, And sooth’st vp greatnesse. What a foole art thou, A ramping foole, to brag, and stamp, and sweare, Vpon my partie: thou cold blooded slaue, Hast thou not spoke like thunder on my side?

Beene sworne my Souldier, bidding me depend Vpon thy starres, thy fortune, and thy strength, And dost thou now fall ouer to my foes?

Thou weare a Lyons hide, doff it for shame, And hang a Calues skin on those recreant limbes

Aus. O that a man should speake those words to me

Phil. And hang a Calues-skin on those recreant limbs Aus. Thou dar’st not say so villaine for thy life

Phil. And hang a Calues-skin on those recreant limbs


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