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O, wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful! and yet again wonderful, and after that out of all hooping.

      — As You Like It, Act III Scene 2

History of King John

Act V

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Scene 1. KING JOHN’S palace.

Scene 2. LEWIS’s camp at St. Edmundsbury.

Scene 3. The field of battle.

Scene 4. Another part of the field.

Scene 5. The French camp.

Scene 6. An open place in the neighbourhood of Swinstead Abbey.

Scene 7. The orchard in Swinstead Abbey.

---
       

Act V, Scene 1

KING JOHN’S palace.

      next scene .
---

[Enter KING JOHN, CARDINAL PANDULPH, and Attendants]

  • King John. Thus have I yielded up into your hand
    The circle of my glory.

[Giving the crown]

  • Cardinal Pandulph. Take again 2195
    From this my hand, as holding of the pope
    Your sovereign greatness and authority.
  • King John. Now keep your holy word: go meet the French,
    And from his holiness use all your power
    To stop their marches 'fore we are inflamed. 2200
    Our discontented counties do revolt;
    Our people quarrel with obedience,
    Swearing allegiance and the love of soul
    To stranger blood, to foreign royalty.
    This inundation of mistemper'd humour 2205
    Rests by you only to be qualified:
    Then pause not; for the present time's so sick,
    That present medicine must be minister'd,
    Or overthrow incurable ensues.
  • Cardinal Pandulph. It was my breath that blew this tempest up, 2210
    Upon your stubborn usage of the pope;
    But since you are a gentle convertite,
    My tongue shall hush again this storm of war
    And make fair weather in your blustering land.
    On this Ascension-day, remember well, 2215
    Upon your oath of service to the pope,
    Go I to make the French lay down their arms.

[Exit]

  • King John. Is this Ascension-day? Did not the prophet
    Say that before Ascension-day at noon 2220
    My crown I should give off? Even so I have:
    I did suppose it should be on constraint:
    But, heaven be thank'd, it is but voluntary.

[Enter the BASTARD]

  • Philip the Bastard. All Kent hath yielded; nothing there holds out 2225
    But Dover castle: London hath received,
    Like a kind host, the Dauphin and his powers:
    Your nobles will not hear you, but are gone
    To offer service to your enemy,
    And wild amazement hurries up and down 2230
    The little number of your doubtful friends.
  • King John. Would not my lords return to me again,
    After they heard young Arthur was alive?
  • Philip the Bastard. They found him dead and cast into the streets,
    An empty casket, where the jewel of life 2235
    By some damn'd hand was robb'd and ta'en away.
  • King John. That villain Hubert told me he did live.
  • Philip the Bastard. So, on my soul, he did, for aught he knew.
    But wherefore do you droop? why look you sad?
    Be great in act, as you have been in thought; 2240
    Let not the world see fear and sad distrust
    Govern the motion of a kingly eye:
    Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;
    Threaten the threatener and outface the brow
    Of bragging horror: so shall inferior eyes, 2245
    That borrow their behaviors from the great,
    Grow great by your example and put on
    The dauntless spirit of resolution.
    Away, and glister like the god of war,
    When he intendeth to become the field: 2250
    Show boldness and aspiring confidence.
    What, shall they seek the lion in his den,
    And fright him there? and make him tremble there?
    O, let it not be said: forage, and run
    To meet displeasure farther from the doors, 2255
    And grapple with him ere he comes so nigh.
  • King John. The legate of the pope hath been with me,
    And I have made a happy peace with him;
    And he hath promised to dismiss the powers
    Led by the Dauphin. 2260
  • Philip the Bastard. O inglorious league!
    Shall we, upon the footing of our land,
    Send fair-play orders and make compromise,
    Insinuation, parley and base truce
    To arms invasive? shall a beardless boy, 2265
    A cocker'd silken wanton, brave our fields,
    And flesh his spirit in a warlike soil,
    Mocking the air with colours idly spread,
    And find no cheque? Let us, my liege, to arms:
    Perchance the cardinal cannot make your peace; 2270
    Or if he do, let it at least be said
    They saw we had a purpose of defence.
  • King John. Have thou the ordering of this present time.
  • Philip the Bastard. Away, then, with good courage! yet, I know,
    Our party may well meet a prouder foe. 2275

[Exeunt]

---
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Act V, Scene 2

LEWIS’s camp at St. Edmundsbury.

      next scene .
---

[Enter, in arms, LEWIS, SALISBURY, MELUN, PEMBROKE,] [p]BIGOT, and Soldiers]

  • Lewis. My Lord Melun, let this be copied out,
    And keep it safe for our remembrance: 2280
    Return the precedent to these lords again;
    That, having our fair order written down,
    Both they and we, perusing o'er these notes,
    May know wherefore we took the sacrament
    And keep our faiths firm and inviolable. 2285
  • Salisbury. Upon our sides it never shall be broken.
    And, noble Dauphin, albeit we swear
    A voluntary zeal and an unurged faith
    To your proceedings; yet believe me, prince,
    I am not glad that such a sore of time 2290
    Should seek a plaster by contemn'd revolt,
    And heal the inveterate canker of one wound
    By making many. O, it grieves my soul,
    That I must draw this metal from my side
    To be a widow-maker! O, and there 2295
    Where honourable rescue and defence
    Cries out upon the name of Salisbury!
    But such is the infection of the time,
    That, for the health and physic of our right,
    We cannot deal but with the very hand 2300
    Of stern injustice and confused wrong.
    And is't not pity, O my grieved friends,
    That we, the sons and children of this isle,
    Were born to see so sad an hour as this;
    Wherein we step after a stranger march 2305
    Upon her gentle bosom, and fill up
    Her enemies' ranks,—I must withdraw and weep
    Upon the spot of this enforced cause,—
    To grace the gentry of a land remote,
    And follow unacquainted colours here? 2310
    What, here? O nation, that thou couldst remove!
    That Neptune's arms, who clippeth thee about,
    Would bear thee from the knowledge of thyself,
    And grapple thee unto a pagan shore;
    Where these two Christian armies might combine 2315
    The blood of malice in a vein of league,
    And not to spend it so unneighbourly!
  • Lewis. A noble temper dost thou show in this;
    And great affections wrestling in thy bosom
    Doth make an earthquake of nobility. 2320
    O, what a noble combat hast thou fought
    Between compulsion and a brave respect!
    Let me wipe off this honourable dew,
    That silverly doth progress on thy cheeks:
    My heart hath melted at a lady's tears, 2325
    Being an ordinary inundation;
    But this effusion of such manly drops,
    This shower, blown up by tempest of the soul,
    Startles mine eyes, and makes me more amazed
    Than had I seen the vaulty top of heaven 2330
    Figured quite o'er with burning meteors.
    Lift up thy brow, renowned Salisbury,
    And with a great heart heave away the storm:
    Commend these waters to those baby eyes
    That never saw the giant world enraged; 2335
    Nor met with fortune other than at feasts,
    Full of warm blood, of mirth, of gossiping.
    Come, come; for thou shalt thrust thy hand as deep
    Into the purse of rich prosperity
    As Lewis himself: so, nobles, shall you all, 2340
    That knit your sinews to the strength of mine.
    And even there, methinks, an angel spake:
    [Enter CARDINAL PANDULPH]
    Look, where the holy legate comes apace,
    To give us warrant from the hand of heaven 2345
    And on our actions set the name of right
    With holy breath.
  • Cardinal Pandulph. Hail, noble prince of France!
    The next is this, King John hath reconciled
    Himself to Rome; his spirit is come in, 2350
    That so stood out against the holy church,
    The great metropolis and see of Rome:
    Therefore thy threatening colours now wind up;
    And tame the savage spirit of wild war,
    That like a lion foster'd up at hand, 2355
    It may lie gently at the foot of peace,
    And be no further harmful than in show.
  • Lewis. Your grace shall pardon me, I will not back:
    I am too high-born to be propertied,
    To be a secondary at control, 2360
    Or useful serving-man and instrument,
    To any sovereign state throughout the world.
    Your breath first kindled the dead coal of wars
    Between this chastised kingdom and myself,
    And brought in matter that should feed this fire; 2365
    And now 'tis far too huge to be blown out
    With that same weak wind which enkindled it.
    You taught me how to know the face of right,
    Acquainted me with interest to this land,
    Yea, thrust this enterprise into my heart; 2370
    And come ye now to tell me John hath made
    His peace with Rome? What is that peace to me?
    I, by the honour of my marriage-bed,
    After young Arthur, claim this land for mine;
    And, now it is half-conquer'd, must I back 2375
    Because that John hath made his peace with Rome?
    Am I Rome's slave? What penny hath Rome borne,
    What men provided, what munition sent,
    To underprop this action? Is't not I
    That undergo this charge? who else but I, 2380
    And such as to my claim are liable,
    Sweat in this business and maintain this war?
    Have I not heard these islanders shout out
    'Vive le roi!' as I have bank'd their towns?
    Have I not here the best cards for the game, 2385
    To win this easy match play'd for a crown?
    And shall I now give o'er the yielded set?
    No, no, on my soul, it never shall be said.
  • Lewis. Outside or inside, I will not return 2390
    Till my attempt so much be glorified
    As to my ample hope was promised
    Before I drew this gallant head of war,
    And cull'd these fiery spirits from the world,
    To outlook conquest and to win renown 2395
    Even in the jaws of danger and of death.
    [Trumpet sounds]
    What lusty trumpet thus doth summon us?

[Enter the BASTARD, attended]

  • Philip the Bastard. According to the fair play of the world, 2400
    Let me have audience; I am sent to speak:
    My holy lord of Milan, from the king
    I come, to learn how you have dealt for him;
    And, as you answer, I do know the scope
    And warrant limited unto my tongue. 2405
  • Cardinal Pandulph. The Dauphin is too wilful-opposite,
    And will not temporize with my entreaties;
    He flatly says he'll not lay down his arms.
  • Philip the Bastard. By all the blood that ever fury breathed,
    The youth says well. Now hear our English king; 2410
    For thus his royalty doth speak in me.
    He is prepared, and reason too he should:
    This apish and unmannerly approach,
    This harness'd masque and unadvised revel,
    This unhair'd sauciness and boyish troops, 2415
    The king doth smile at; and is well prepared
    To whip this dwarfish war, these pigmy arms,
    From out the circle of his territories.
    That hand which had the strength, even at your door,
    To cudgel you and make you take the hatch, 2420
    To dive like buckets in concealed wells,
    To crouch in litter of your stable planks,
    To lie like pawns lock'd up in chests and trunks,
    To hug with swine, to seek sweet safety out
    In vaults and prisons, and to thrill and shake 2425
    Even at the crying of your nation's crow,
    Thinking his voice an armed Englishman;
    Shall that victorious hand be feebled here,
    That in your chambers gave you chastisement?
    No: know the gallant monarch is in arms 2430
    And like an eagle o'er his aery towers,
    To souse annoyance that comes near his nest.
    And you degenerate, you ingrate revolts,
    You bloody Neroes, ripping up the womb
    Of your dear mother England, blush for shame; 2435
    For your own ladies and pale-visaged maids
    Like Amazons come tripping after drums,
    Their thimbles into armed gauntlets change,
    Their needles to lances, and their gentle hearts
    To fierce and bloody inclination. 2440
  • Lewis. There end thy brave, and turn thy face in peace;
    We grant thou canst outscold us: fare thee well;
    We hold our time too precious to be spent
    With such a brabbler.
  • Lewis. We will attend to neither.
    Strike up the drums; and let the tongue of war
    Plead for our interest and our being here.
  • Philip the Bastard. Indeed your drums, being beaten, will cry out; 2450
    And so shall you, being beaten: do but start
    An echo with the clamour of thy drum,
    And even at hand a drum is ready braced
    That shall reverberate all as loud as thine;
    Sound but another, and another shall 2455
    As loud as thine rattle the welkin's ear
    And mock the deep-mouth'd thunder: for at hand,
    Not trusting to this halting legate here,
    Whom he hath used rather for sport than need
    Is warlike John; and in his forehead sits 2460
    A bare-ribb'd death, whose office is this day
    To feast upon whole thousands of the French.
  • Lewis. Strike up our drums, to find this danger out.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 3

The field of battle.

      next scene .
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[Alarums. Enter KING JOHN and HUBERT]

  • King John. How goes the day with us? O, tell me, Hubert.
  • King John. This fever, that hath troubled me so long,
    Lies heavy on me; O, my heart is sick! 2470

[Enter a Messenger]

  • Messenger. My lord, your valiant kinsman, Faulconbridge,
    Desires your majesty to leave the field
    And send him word by me which way you go.
  • King John. Tell him, toward Swinstead, to the abbey there. 2475
  • Messenger. Be of good comfort; for the great supply
    That was expected by the Dauphin here,
    Are wreck'd three nights ago on Goodwin Sands.
    This news was brought to Richard but even now:
    The French fight coldly, and retire themselves. 2480
  • King John. Ay me! this tyrant fever burns me up,
    And will not let me welcome this good news.
    Set on toward Swinstead: to my litter straight;
    Weakness possesseth me, and I am faint.

[Exeunt]

---
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Act V, Scene 4

Another part of the field.

      next scene .
---

[Enter SALISBURY, PEMBROKE, and BIGOT]

  • 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, 2490
    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. 2495
  • Melun. Fly, noble English, you are bought and sold;
    Unthread the rude eye of rebellion
    And welcome home again discarded faith. 2500
    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, 2505
    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, 2510
    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? 2515
    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: 2520
    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 2525
    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, 2530
    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 2535
    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, 2540
    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. 2545
    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]

---
. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 5

The French camp.

      next scene .
---

[Enter LEWIS and his train]

  • Lewis. The sun of heaven methought was loath to set,
    But stay'd and made the western welkin blush,
    When English measure backward their own ground
    In faint retire. O, bravely came we off, 2555
    When with a volley of our needless shot,
    After such bloody toil, we bid good night;
    And wound our tattering colours clearly up,
    Last in the field, and almost lords of it!

[Enter a Messenger]

  • Messenger. The Count Melun is slain; the English lords
    By his persuasion are again fall'n off,
    And your supply, which you have wish'd so long, 2565
    Are cast away and sunk on Goodwin Sands.
  • Lewis. Ah, foul shrewd news! beshrew thy very heart!
    I did not think to be so sad to-night
    As this hath made me. Who was he that said
    King John did fly an hour or two before 2570
    The stumbling night did part our weary powers?
  • Messenger. Whoever spoke it, it is true, my lord.
  • Lewis. Well; keep good quarter and good care to-night:
    The day shall not be up so soon as I,
    To try the fair adventure of to-morrow. 2575

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 6

An open place in the neighbourhood of Swinstead Abbey.

      next scene .
---

[Enter the BASTARD and HUBERT, severally]

  • Hubert de Burgh. What's that to thee? why may not I demand
    Of thine affairs, as well as thou of mine?
  • Hubert de Burgh. Thou hast a perfect thought: 2585
    I will upon all hazards well believe
    Thou art my friend, that know'st my tongue so well.
    Who art thou?
  • Philip the Bastard. Who thou wilt: and if thou please,
    Thou mayst befriend me so much as to think 2590
    I come one way of the Plantagenets.
  • Hubert de Burgh. Unkind remembrance! thou and eyeless night
    Have done me shame: brave soldier, pardon me,
    That any accent breaking from thy tongue
    Should 'scape the true acquaintance of mine ear. 2595
  • Hubert de Burgh. Why, here walk I in the black brow of night,
    To find you out.
  • Hubert de Burgh. O, my sweet sir, news fitting to the night, 2600
    Black, fearful, comfortless and horrible.
  • Philip the Bastard. Show me the very wound of this ill news:
    I am no woman, I'll not swoon at it.
  • Hubert de Burgh. The king, I fear, is poison'd by a monk:
    I left him almost speechless; and broke out 2605
    To acquaint you with this evil, that you might
    The better arm you to the sudden time,
    Than if you had at leisure known of this.
  • Hubert de Burgh. A monk, I tell you; a resolved villain, 2610
    Whose bowels suddenly burst out: the king
    Yet speaks and peradventure may recover.
  • Hubert de Burgh. Why, know you not? the lords are all come back,
    And brought Prince Henry in their company; 2615
    At whose request the king hath pardon'd them,
    And they are all about his majesty.
  • Philip the Bastard. Withhold thine indignation, mighty heaven,
    And tempt us not to bear above our power!
    I'll tell tree, Hubert, half my power this night, 2620
    Passing these flats, are taken by the tide;
    These Lincoln Washes have devoured them;
    Myself, well mounted, hardly have escaped.
    Away before: conduct me to the king;
    I doubt he will be dead or ere I come. 2625

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 7

The orchard in Swinstead Abbey.

       
---

[Enter PRINCE HENRY, SALISBURY, and BIGOT]

  • Prince Henry. It is too late: the life of all his blood
    Is touch'd corruptibly, and his pure brain,
    Which some suppose the soul's frail dwelling-house, 2630
    Doth by the idle comments that it makes
    Foretell the ending of mortality.

[Enter PEMBROKE]

  • Pembroke. His highness yet doth speak, and holds belief
    That, being brought into the open air, 2635
    It would allay the burning quality
    Of that fell poison which assaileth him.
  • Prince Henry. Let him be brought into the orchard here.
    Doth he still rage?

[Exit BIGOT]

  • Pembroke. He is more patient
    Than when you left him; even now he sung.
  • Prince Henry. O vanity of sickness! fierce extremes
    In their continuance will not feel themselves.
    Death, having prey'd upon the outward parts, 2645
    Leaves them invisible, and his siege is now
    Against the mind, the which he pricks and wounds
    With many legions of strange fantasies,
    Which, in their throng and press to that last hold,
    Confound themselves. 'Tis strange that death 2650
    should sing.
    I am the cygnet to this pale faint swan,
    Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death,
    And from the organ-pipe of frailty sings
    His soul and body to their lasting rest. 2655
  • Salisbury. Be of good comfort, prince; for you are born
    To set a form upon that indigest
    Which he hath left so shapeless and so rude.

[Enter Attendants, and BIGOT, carrying KING JOHN in a chair]

  • King John. Ay, marry, now my soul hath elbow-room; 2660
    It would not out at windows nor at doors.
    There is so hot a summer in my bosom,
    That all my bowels crumble up to dust:
    I am a scribbled form, drawn with a pen
    Upon a parchment, and against this fire 2665
    Do I shrink up.
  • King John. Poison'd,—ill fare—dead, forsook, cast off:
    And none of you will bid the winter come
    To thrust his icy fingers in my maw, 2670
    Nor let my kingdom's rivers take their course
    Through my burn'd bosom, nor entreat the north
    To make his bleak winds kiss my parched lips
    And comfort me with cold. I do not ask you much,
    I beg cold comfort; and you are so strait 2675
    And so ingrateful, you deny me that.
  • Prince Henry. O that there were some virtue in my tears,
    That might relieve you!
  • King John. The salt in them is hot.
    Within me is a hell; and there the poison 2680
    Is as a fiend confined to tyrannize
    On unreprievable condemned blood.

[Enter the BASTARD]

  • Philip the Bastard. O, I am scalded with my violent motion,
    And spleen of speed to see your majesty! 2685
  • King John. O cousin, thou art come to set mine eye:
    The tackle of my heart is crack'd and burn'd,
    And all the shrouds wherewith my life should sail
    Are turned to one thread, one little hair:
    My heart hath one poor string to stay it by, 2690
    Which holds but till thy news be uttered;
    And then all this thou seest is but a clod
    And module of confounded royalty.
  • Philip the Bastard. The Dauphin is preparing hitherward,
    Where heaven He knows how we shall answer him; 2695
    For in a night the best part of my power,
    As I upon advantage did remove,
    Were in the Washes all unwarily
    Devoured by the unexpected flood.

[KING JOHN dies]

  • Salisbury. You breathe these dead news in as dead an ear.
    My liege! my lord! but now a king, now thus.
  • Prince Henry. Even so must I run on, and even so stop.
    What surety of the world, what hope, what stay,
    When this was now a king, and now is clay? 2705
  • Philip the Bastard. Art thou gone so? I do but stay behind
    To do the office for thee of revenge,
    And then my soul shall wait on thee to heaven,
    As it on earth hath been thy servant still.
    Now, now, you stars that move in your right spheres, 2710
    Where be your powers? show now your mended faiths,
    And instantly return with me again,
    To push destruction and perpetual shame
    Out of the weak door of our fainting land.
    Straight let us seek, or straight we shall be sought; 2715
    The Dauphin rages at our very heels.
  • Salisbury. It seems you know not, then, so much as we:
    The Cardinal Pandulph is within at rest,
    Who half an hour since came from the Dauphin,
    And brings from him such offers of our peace 2720
    As we with honour and respect may take,
    With purpose presently to leave this war.
  • Philip the Bastard. He will the rather do it when he sees
    Ourselves well sinewed to our defence.
  • Salisbury. Nay, it is in a manner done already; 2725
    For many carriages he hath dispatch'd
    To the sea-side, and put his cause and quarrel
    To the disposing of the cardinal:
    With whom yourself, myself and other lords,
    If you think meet, this afternoon will post 2730
    To consummate this business happily.
  • Philip the Bastard. Let it be so: and you, my noble prince,
    With other princes that may best be spared,
    Shall wait upon your father's funeral.
  • Prince Henry. At Worcester must his body be interr'd; 2735
    For so he will'd it.
  • Philip the Bastard. Thither shall it then:
    And happily may your sweet self put on
    The lineal state and glory of the land!
    To whom with all submission, on my knee 2740
    I do bequeath my faithful services
    And true subjection everlastingly.
  • Salisbury. And the like tender of our love we make,
    To rest without a spot for evermore.
  • Prince Henry. I have a kind soul that would give you thanks 2745
    And knows not how to do it but with tears.
  • Philip the Bastard. O, let us pay the time but needful woe,
    Since it hath been beforehand with our griefs.
    This England never did, nor never shall,
    Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror, 2750
    But when it first did help to wound itself.
    Now these her princes are come home again,
    Come the three corners of the world in arms,
    And we shall shock them. Nought shall make us rue,
    If England to itself do rest but true. 2755

[Exeunt]

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