A line-by-line translation

King John

King John Translation Act 3, Scene 4

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Enter KING PHILIP, LEWIS, CARDINAL PANDULPH, and Attendants

KING PHILIP

So, by a roaring tempest on the flood,A whole armado of convicted sailIs scatter'd and disjoin'd from fellowship.

KING PHILIP

So, because of a roaring storm at sea, a whole fleet of ships has been scattered.

CARDINAL PANDULPH

Courage and comfort! all shall yet go well.

CARDINAL PANDULPH

Take courage and comfort! Everything will still turn out well.

KING PHILIP

What can go well, when we have run so ill? Are we not beaten? Is not Angiers lost? Arthur ta'en prisoner? divers dear friends slain? And bloody England into England gone, O'erbearing interruption, spite of France?

KING PHILIP

What can go well when we have done so badly? Haven't we been beaten? Isn't Angiers lost? Hasn't Arthur been taken prisoner? Haven't many of our dear friends been killed? And hasn't the bloody king of England gone to England, defeating anyone standing in his way? And France couldn't stop him.

LEWIS

What he hath won, that hath he fortified: So hot a speed with such advice disposed, Such temperate order in so fierce a cause, Doth want example: who hath read or heard Of any kindred action like to this?

LEWIS

What he's won, he's protected. There's never been an example of such great speed in following such good military advice, such calm order in such a fierce battle. Who has read or heard of any action like this?

KING PHILIP

Well could I bear that England had this praise,So we could find some pattern of our shame.

KING PHILIP

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Enter CONSTANCE

KING PHILIP

Look, who comes here! a grave unto a soul; Holding the eternal spirit against her will, In the vile prison of afflicted breath. I prithee, lady, go away with me.

KING PHILIP

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CONSTANCE

Lo, now I now see the issue of your peace.

CONSTANCE

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KING PHILIP

Patience, good lady! comfort, gentle Constance!

KING PHILIP

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CONSTANCE

No, I defy all counsel, all redress, But that which ends all counsel, true redress, Death, death; O amiable lovely death! Thou odouriferous stench! sound rottenness! Arise forth from the couch of lasting night, Thou hate and terror to prosperity, And I will kiss thy detestable bones And put my eyeballs in thy vaulty brows And ring these fingers with thy household worms And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust And be a carrion monster like thyself: Come, grin on me, and I will think thou smilest And buss thee as thy wife. Misery's love, O, come to me!

CONSTANCE

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KING PHILIP

O fair affliction, peace!

KING PHILIP

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CONSTANCE

No, no, I will not, having breath to cry: O, that my tongue were in the thunder's mouth! Then with a passion would I shake the world; And rouse from sleep that fell anatomy Which cannot hear a lady's feeble voice, Which scorns a modern invocation.

CONSTANCE

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CARDINAL PANDULPH

Lady, you utter madness, and not sorrow.

CARDINAL PANDULPH

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CONSTANCE

Thou art not holy to belie me so; I am not mad: this hair I tear is mine; My name is Constance; I was Geffrey's wife; Young Arthur is my son, and he is lost: I am not mad: I would to heaven I were! For then, 'tis like I should forget myself: O, if I could, what grief should I forget! Preach some philosophy to make me mad, And thou shalt be canonized, cardinal; For being not mad but sensible of grief, My reasonable part produces reason How I may be deliver'd of these woes, And teaches me to kill or hang myself: If I were mad, I should forget my son, Or madly think a babe of clouts were he: I am not mad; too well, too well I feel The different plague of each calamity.

CONSTANCE

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KING PHILIP

Bind up those tresses. O, what love I note In the fair multitude of those her hairs! Where but by chance a silver drop hath fallen, Even to that drop ten thousand wiry friends Do glue themselves in sociable grief, Like true, inseparable, faithful loves, Sticking together in calamity.

KING PHILIP

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CONSTANCE

To England, if you will.

CONSTANCE

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KING PHILIP

Bind up your hairs.

KING PHILIP

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CONSTANCE

Yes, that I will; and wherefore will I do it? I tore them from their bonds and cried aloud 'O that these hands could so redeem my son, As they have given these hairs their liberty!' But now I envy at their liberty, And will again commit them to their bonds, Because my poor child is a prisoner. And, father cardinal, I have heard you say That we shall see and know our friends in heaven: If that be true, I shall see my boy again; For since the birth of Cain, the first male child, To him that did but yesterday suspire, There was not such a gracious creature born. But now will canker-sorrow eat my bud And chase the native beauty from his cheek And he will look as hollow as a ghost, As dim and meagre as an ague's fit, And so he'll die; and, rising so again, When I shall meet him in the court of heaven I shall not know him: therefore never, never Must I behold my pretty Arthur more.

CONSTANCE

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CARDINAL PANDULPH

You hold too heinous a respect of grief.

CARDINAL PANDULPH

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CONSTANCE

He talks to me that never had a son.

CONSTANCE

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KING PHILIP

You are as fond of grief as of your child.

KING PHILIP

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CONSTANCE

Grief fills the room up of my absent child, Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me, Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words, Remembers me of all his gracious parts, Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form; Then, have I reason to be fond of grief? Fare you well: had you such a loss as I, I could give better comfort than you do. I will not keep this form upon my head, When there is such disorder in my wit. O Lord! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son! My life, my joy, my food, my all the world! My widow-comfort, and my sorrows' cure!

CONSTANCE

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Exit

KING PHILIP

I fear some outrage, and I'll follow her.

KING PHILIP

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Exit

LEWIS

There's nothing in this world can make me joy: Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man; And bitter shame hath spoil'd the sweet world's taste That it yields nought but shame and bitterness.

LEWIS

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CARDINAL PANDULPH

Before the curing of a strong disease, Even in the instant of repair and health, The fit is strongest; evils that take leave, On their departure most of all show evil: What have you lost by losing of this day?

CARDINAL PANDULPH

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LEWIS

All days of glory, joy and happiness.

LEWIS

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CARDINAL PANDULPH

If you had won it, certainly you had. No, no; when Fortune means to men most good, She looks upon them with a threatening eye. 'Tis strange to think how much King John hath lost In this which he accounts so clearly won: Are not you grieved that Arthur is his prisoner?

CARDINAL PANDULPH

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LEWIS

As heartily as he is glad he hath him.

LEWIS

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CARDINAL PANDULPH

Your mind is all as youthful as your blood. Now hear me speak with a prophetic spirit; For even the breath of what I mean to speak Shall blow each dust, each straw, each little rub, Out of the path which shall directly lead Thy foot to England's throne; and therefore mark. John hath seized Arthur; and it cannot be That, whiles warm life plays in that infant's veins, The misplaced John should entertain an hour, One minute, nay, one quiet breath of rest. A sceptre snatch'd with an unruly hand Must be as boisterously maintain'd as gain'd; And he that stands upon a slippery place Makes nice of no vile hold to stay him up: That John may stand, then Arthur needs must fall; So be it, for it cannot be but so.

CARDINAL PANDULPH

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LEWIS

But what shall I gain by young Arthur's fall?

LEWIS

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CARDINAL PANDULPH

You, in the right of Lady Blanch your wife,May then make all the claim that Arthur did.

CARDINAL PANDULPH

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LEWIS

And lose it, life and all, as Arthur did.

LEWIS

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CARDINAL PANDULPH

How green you are and fresh in this old world! John lays you plots; the times conspire with you; For he that steeps his safety in true blood Shall find but bloody safety and untrue. This act so evilly born shall cool the hearts Of all his people and freeze up their zeal, That none so small advantage shall step forth To cheque his reign, but they will cherish it; No natural exhalation in the sky, No scope of nature, no distemper'd day, No common wind, no customed event, But they will pluck away his natural cause And call them meteors, prodigies and signs, Abortives, presages and tongues of heaven, Plainly denouncing vengeance upon John.

CARDINAL PANDULPH

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LEWIS

May be he will not touch young Arthur's life,But hold himself safe in his prisonment.

LEWIS

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CARDINAL PANDULPH

O, sir, when he shall hear of your approach, If that young Arthur be not gone already, Even at that news he dies; and then the hearts Of all his people shall revolt from him And kiss the lips of unacquainted change And pick strong matter of revolt and wrath Out of the bloody fingers' ends of John. Methinks I see this hurly all on foot: And, O, what better matter breeds for you Than I have named! The bastard Faulconbridge Is now in England, ransacking the church, Offending charity: if but a dozen French Were there in arms, they would be as a call To train ten thousand English to their side, Or as a little snow, tumbled about, Anon becomes a mountain. O noble Dauphin, Go with me to the king: 'tis wonderful What may be wrought out of their discontent, Now that their souls are topful of offence. For England go: I will whet on the king.

CARDINAL PANDULPH

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LEWIS

Strong reasons make strong actions: let us go:If you say ay, the king will not say no.

LEWIS

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Exeunt

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