Document:  All > Shakespeare > Histories > King John > Act V, scene IV


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,
	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.

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;
	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;
	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,
	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
	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
	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,
	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.
	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.

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,
	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;
	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]


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