Act 4 - Scene 2
KING JOHN'S palace.
Enter KING JOHN, PEMBROKE, SALISBURY, and other Lords
Here once again we sit, once again crown'd,
And looked upon, I hope, with cheerful eyes.
This 'once again,' but that your highness pleased,
Was once superfluous: you were crown'd before,
that high royalty was ne'er pluck'd off,
The faiths of men ne'er stained with revolt;
Fresh expectation troubled
not the land
With any long'd-for change or better state.
Therefore, to be possess'd with double pomp,
To guard a title that was rich before,
To gild refined gold, to
paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet,
To smooth the ice, or add another hue
Unto the rainbow, or
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.
But that your royal pleasure must be done,
This act is as an ancient tale new told,
And in the last repeating
Being urged at a time unseasonable.
In this the antique and well noted face
Of plain old form is much disfigured;
And, like a shifted wind unto
It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about,
Startles and frights consideration,
opinion sick and truth suspected,
For putting on so new a fashion'd robe.
When workmen strive to do better than well,
They do confound their skill in covetousness;
excusing of a fault
Doth make the fault the worse by the excuse,
As patches set upon a little breach
more in hiding of the fault
Than did the fault before it was so patch'd.
To this effect, before you were new crown'd,
We breathed our counsel: but it pleased your highness
overbear it, and we are all well pleased,
Since all and every part of what we would
Doth make a stand at
what your highness will.
Some reasons of this double coronation
I have possess'd you with and think them strong;
And more, more
strong, then lesser is my fear,
I shall indue you with: meantime but ask
What you would have reform'd that
is not well,
And well shall you perceive how willingly
I will both hear and grant you your requests.
Then I, as one that am the tongue of these,
To sound the purpose of all their hearts,
Both for myself and
them, but, chief of all,
Your safety, for the which myself and them
Bend their best studies, heartily request
enfranchisement of Arthur; whose restraint
Doth move the murmuring lips of discontent
To break into this
If what in rest you have in right you hold,
Why then your fears, which, as they say,
The steps of wrong, should move you to mew up
Your tender kinsman and to choke his days
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