ACT III, SCENE I  Flanders. The French Camp.

Enter King John of France, his two sons, Charles the Duke of Normandy, and Phillip; Duke of Lorrain, and others.

 

KING JOHN
 
Here, till our Navy of a thousand sail
Have made a breakfast to our foe by sea,
Let us encamp, to wait their happy speed.--
Lorraine, what readiness is Edward in?
How hast thou heard that he provided is
Of marshall furniture for this exploit?
LORRAINE
 
To lay aside unnecessary soothing,
And not to spend the time in circumstance,
'Tis bruited for a certainty, my Lord,
That he's exceeding strongly fortified;
His subjects flock as willingly to war,
As if unto a triumph they were led.
CHARLES
 
England was wont to harbour malcontents,
Blood thirsty and seditious Catilines,
Spendthrifts, and such as gape for nothing else
But changing and alteration of the state;
And is it possible
That they are now so loyal in themselves?
LORRAINE
 
All but the Scot, who solemnly protests,
As heretofore I have informed his grace,
Never to sheath his Sword or take a truce.
KING JOHN
 
Ah, that's the anchorage of some better hope!
But, on the other side, to think what friends
King Edward hath retain'd in Netherland,
Among those ever-bibbing Epicures,
Those frothy Dutch men, puft with double beer,
That drink and swill in every place they come,
Doth not a little aggravate mine ire;
Besides, we hear, the Emperor conjoins,
And stalls him in his own authority;
But, all the mightier that their number is,
The greater glory reaps the victory.
Some friends have we beside domestic power;
The stern Polonian, and the warlike Dane,
The king of Bohemia, and of Sicily,
Are all become confederates with us,
And, as I think, are marching hither apace.
[Drum within.]
But soft, I hear the music of their drums,
By which I guess that their approach is near.
  [Enter the King of Bohemia, with Danes, and a Polonian Captain, with other soldiers, another way.]
KING OF BOHEMIA
 
King John of France, as league and neighbourhood
Requires, when friends are any way distress'd,
I come to aide thee with my country's force.
POLONIAN CAPTAIN
 
And from great Musco, fearful to the Turk,
And lofty Poland, nurse of hardy men,
I bring these servitors to fight for thee,
Who willingly will venture in thy cause.
KING JOHN
 
Welcome, Bohemian king, and welcome all:
This your great kindness I will not forget.
Besides your plentiful rewards in Crowns,
That from our Treasury ye shall receive,
There comes a hare brained Nation, decked in pride,
The spoil of whom will be a treble gain.
And now my hope is full, my joy complete:
At Sea, we are as puissant as the force
Of Agamemnon in the haven of Troy;
By land, with Zerxes we compare of strength,
Whose soldiers drank up rivers in their thirst;
Then Bayardlike, blind, overweaning Ned,
To reach at our imperial diadem
Is either to be swallow'd of the waves,
Or hacked a pieces when thou com'st ashore.
  [Enter Mariner.]
MARINER
 
Near to the coast I have descried, my Lord,
As I was buy in my watchful charge,
The proud Armado of King Edward's ships:
Which, at the first, far off when I did ken,
Seemed as it were a grove of withered pines;
But, drawing near, their glorious bright aspect,
Their streaming Ensigns, wrought of coloured silk,
Like to a meadow full of sundry flowers,
Adorns the naked bosom of the earth:
Majestical the order of their course,
Figuring the horned Circle of the Moon:
And on the top gallant of the Admiral
And likewise all the handmaids of his train
The Arms of England and of France unite
Are quartered equally by Heralds' art:
Thus, tightly carried with a merry gale,
They plough the ocean hitherward amain.
KING JOHN
 
Dare he already crop the Fleur de Luce?
I hope, the honey being gathered thence,
He, with the spider, afterward approached,
Shall suck forth deadly venom from the leaves.--
But where's our Navy? how are they prepared
To wing them selves against this flight of Ravens?
MARINER
 
They, having knowledge, brought them by the scouts,
Did break from Anchor straight, and, puffed with rage,
No otherwise then were their sails with wind,
Made forth, as when the empty Eagle flies,
To satisfy his hungry griping maw.
KING JOHN
 
There's for thy news. Return unto thy bark;
And if thou scape the bloody stroke of war
And do survive the conflict, come again,
And let us hear the manner of the fight.
[Exit Mariner.]
Mean space, my Lords, 'tis best we be dispers'd
To several places, least they chance to land:
First you, my Lord, with your Bohemian Troops,
Shall pitch your battailes on the lower hand;
My eldest son, the Duke of Normandy,
Together with the aide of Muscovites,
Shall climb the higher ground another way;
Here in the middle cost, betwixt you both,
Phillip, my youngest boy, and I will lodge.
So, Lors, be gone, and look unto your charge:
You stand for France, an empire fair and large.
[Exeunt.]
Now tell me, Philip, what is thy conceit,
Touching the challenge that the English make?
PHILLIP
 
I say, my Lord, claim Edward what he can,
And bring he ne'er so plain a pedigree,
Tis you are in the possession of the crown,
And that's the surest point of all the law:
But, were it not, yet ere he should prevail,
I'll make a conduit of my dearest blood,
Or chase those straggling upstarts home again.
KING JOHN
 
Well said, young Philip! Call for bread and Wine,
That we may cheer our stomachs with repast,
To look our foes more sternly in the face.
[A Table and Provisions brought in. The battle hard a far off.]
Now is begun the heavy day at sea:
Fight, Frenchmen, fight; be like the field of bears,
When they defend their younglings in the Caves!
Stir, angry Nemesis, the happy helm,
That, with the sulphur battles of your rage,
The English fleet may be dispersed and sunk.
[Shot.]
PHILLIP
 
O Father, how this echoing Cannon-shot,
Like sweet harmony, digests my eats!
KING JOHN
 
Now, boy, thou hear'st what thund'ring terror 'tis,
To buckle for a kingdom's sovereignty:
The earth, with giddy trembling when it shakes,
Or when the exhalations of the air
Breaks in extremity of lightning flash,
Affrights not more than kings, when they dispose
To shew the rancor of their high-swollen hearts.
[Retreat.]
Retreat is sounded; one side hath the worse;
O, if it be the French, sweet fortune, turn;
And, in thy turning, change the forward winds,
That, with advantage of a favoring sky,
Our men may vanquish, and the other fly!
[Enter Mariner.]
My heart misgives:--say, mirror of pale death,
To whom belongs the honor of this day?
Relate, I pray thee, if thy breath will serve,
The sad discourse of this discomfiture.
MARINER
 
I will, my Lord.
My gracious sovereign, Franch hath ta'en the foil,
And boasting Edward triumphs with success.
These iron-hearted navies,
When last I was reporter to your grace,
Both full of angry spleen, of hope, and fear,
Hasting to meet each other in the face,
At last conjoined; and by their Admiral
Our Admiral encountered many shot:
By this, the other, that beheld these twain
Give earnest penny of a further wrack,
Like fiery Dragons took their haughty flight;
And, likewise meeting, from their smoky wombs
Sent many grim Ambassadors of death.
Then gan the day to turn to gloomy night,
And darkness did as well enclose the quick
As those that were but newly reft of life.
No leisure served for friends to bid farewell;
And, if it had, the hideous noise was such,
As each to other seemed deaf and dumb.
Purple the Sea, whose channel filled as fast
With streaming gore, that from the maimed fell,
As did her gushing moisture break into
The crannied cleftures of the through shot planks.
Here flew a head, dissevered from the trunk,
There mangled arms and legs were toss'd aloft,
As when a whirl wind takes the summer dust
And scatters it in middle of the air.
Then might ye see the reeling vessels split,
And tottering sink into the ruthless flood,
Until their lofty tops were seen no more.
All shifts were tried, both for defence and hurt:
And now the effect of valor and of force,
Of resolution and of cowardice,
We lively pictures; how the one for fame,
The other by compulsion laid about;
Much did the Nonpareille, that brave ship;
So did the black-snake of Bullen, then which
A bonnier vessel never yet spread sail.
But all in vain; both Sun, the Wind and tide,
Revolted all unto our foe men's side,
That we perforce were fain to give them way,
And they are landed. Thus my tale is done:
We have untimely lost, and they have won.
KING JOHN
 
Then rests there nothing, but with present speed
To join our several forces all in one,
And bid them battle, ere they range too far.
Come, gentle Philip, let us hence depart;
This soldier's words have pierc'd thy father's heart.
  [Exeunt.]

 

To see other scenes in the show:

Full Play Text

ACT III, SCENE 4 The Same./ACT III, SCENE 5 The Same.

ACT I, SCENE 1 London. A Room of State in the Palace. 

ACT IV, SCENE 1 Bretagne. Camp of the English/ACT IV, SCENE 2 Picardy. The English Camp before Calais.

ACT I, Scene 2 Roxborough. Before the Castle.

ACT IV, SCENE 3 Poitou. Fields near Poitiers. The French camp; Tent of the Duke of Normandy.

ACT II, SCENE 1 The Same. Gardens of the Castle.

ACT IV, SCENE 4 The same. The English Camp.

ACT II, SCENE2 The Same. A Room in the Castle.

ACT IV, SCENE 5 The same. The French Camp.

ACT III, SCENE1  Flanders. The French Camp.

ACT IV, SCENE 6  The same. A Part of the Field of Battle./ACT IV, SCENE 7  The same. Another Part of the Field of Battle.

ACT III, SCENE 2 Picardy. Fields near Cressy.

ACT IV, SCENE 8  The same. Another Part of the Field of Battle. /ACT IV, SCENE 9  The same. The English Camp.

ACT III, SCENE 3 The same. Drums.

ACT V, SCENE 1  Picardy. The English Camp before Calais.

 

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