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King John

ACT V SCENE IV Another part of the field. 
SALISBURY I did not think the king so stored with friends. 
PEMBROKE Up once again; put spirit in the French: 
 If they miscarry, we miscarry too. 
SALISBURY That misbegotten devil, Faulconbridge, 5
 In spite of spite, alone upholds the day. 
PEMBROKE They say King John sore sick hath left the field. 
 Enter MELUN, wounded. 
MELUN Lead me to the revolts of England here. 
SALISBURY When we were happy we had other names. 
PEMBROKE It is the Count Melun. 10
SALISBURY Wounded to death. 
MELUN Fly, noble English, you are bought and sold; 
 Unthread the rude eye of rebellion 
 And welcome home again discarded faith. 
 Seek out King John and fall before his feet; 15
 For if the French be lords of this loud day, 
 He means to recompense the pains you take 
 By cutting off your heads: thus hath he sworn 
 And I with him, and many moe with me, 
 Upon the altar at Saint Edmundsbury; 20
 Even on that altar where we swore to you 
 Dear amity and everlasting love. 
SALISBURY May this be possible? may this be true? 
MELUN Have I not hideous death within my view, 
 Retaining but a quantity of life, 25
 Which bleeds away, even as a form of wax 
 Resolveth from his figure 'gainst the fire? 
 What in the world should make me now deceive, 
 Since I must lose the use of all deceit? 
 Why should I then be false, since it is true 30
 That I must die here and live hence by truth? 
 I say again, if Lewis do win the day, 
 He is forsworn, if e'er those eyes of yours 
 Behold another day break in the east: 
 But even this night, whose black contagious breath 35
 Already smokes about the burning crest 
 Of the old, feeble and day-wearied sun, 
 Even this ill night, your breathing shall expire, 
 Paying the fine of rated treachery 
 Even with a treacherous fine of all your lives, 40
 If Lewis by your assistance win the day. 
 Commend me to one Hubert with your king: 
 The love of him, and this respect besides, 
 For that my grandsire was an Englishman, 
 Awakes my conscience to confess all this. 45
 In lieu whereof, I pray you, bear me hence 
 From forth the noise and rumour of the field, 
 Where I may think the remnant of my thoughts 
 In peace, and part this body and my soul 
 With contemplation and devout desires. 50
SALISBURY We do believe thee: and beshrew my soul 
 But I do love the favour and the form 
 Of this most fair occasion, by the which 
 We will untread the steps of damned flight, 
 And like a bated and retired flood, 55
 Leaving our rankness and irregular course, 
 Stoop low within those bounds we have o'erlook'd 
 And cabby run on in obedience 
 Even to our ocean, to our great King John. 
 My arm shall give thee help to bear thee hence; 60
 For I do see the cruel pangs of death 
 Right in thine eye. Away, my friends! New flight; 
 And happy newness, that intends old right. 
 Exeunt, leading off MELUN. 

Next: King John, Act 5, Scene 5


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