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Rob. The son and heir to that same Faulcon-In sooth, good friend, your father might have kept bridge. This calf, bred from his cow, from all the world; K. John. Is that the elder, and art thou the heir? In sooth, he might: then, if he were my brother's, You came not of one mother then, it seems. My brother might not claim him; nor your father, Bast. Most certain of one mother, mighty king, Being none of his, refuse him: This concludes,That is well known; and, as I think, one father: My mother's son did get your father's heir; But, for the certain knowledge of that truth, Your father's heir must have your father's land. I put you o'er to heaven, and to my mother; Of that I doubt, as all men's children may.
Rob. Shall then my father's will be of no force, To dispossess that child which is not his?
Eli. Out on thee, rude man! thou dost shame thy mother,
Bast. Of no more force to dispossess me, sir, Than was his will to get me, as I think.
Eli. Whether hadst thou rather, be a Faulcon
And like thy brother, to enjoy thy land;
Or the reputed son of Coeur-de-líon,
Lord of thy presence, and no land beside?
Bast. Madam, an if my brother had my shape,
And I had his, sir Robert his, like him ; ̧
And if my legs were two such riding-rods,
My arms such eel-skins stuff'd; my face so thin,
That in mine ear I durst not stick a rose,
Lest men should say, Look, where three-farthings
And wound her honour with this diffidence.
Bast. I, madam? no, I have no reason for it;
That is my brother's plea, and none of mine;
The which if he can prove, 'a pops me out
At least from fair five hundred pound a year;
Heaven guard my mother's honour, and my land!
K. John. A good blunt fellow:-Why, being
Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance?
Bast. I know not why, except to get the land.
But once he slander'd me with bastardy:
But whe'r' I be as true begot, or no,
That still I lay upon my mother's head;
But, that I am as well begot, my liege,
(Fair fall the bones that took the pains for me!)
Compare our faces, and be judge yourself.
If old sir Robert did beget us both,
And were our father, and this son like him ;-
O, old sir Robert, father, on my knee
I give heaven thanks, I was not like to thee.
K. John. Why, what a madcap hath heaven lent
Eli. He hath a trick2 of Cœur-de-lion's face,
The accent of his tongue affecteth him:
Do you not read some tokens of my son
In the large composition of this man?
K. John. Mine eye hath well examined his parts,
And finds them perfect Richard.--Sirrah, speak,
What doth move you to claim your brother's land?!
Bast. Because he hath a half-face, like my father;
With that half-face would he have all my land:
A half-fac'd groat five hundred pound a year!
Rob. My gracious liege, when that my father liv'd,
Your brother did employ my father much;-
Bast. Well, sir, by this you cannot get my land;|
Your tale must be, how he employ'd my mother.
Rob. And once despatch'd him in an embassy
To Germany, there, with the emperor,
To treat of high affairs touching that time:
The advantage of his absence took the king,
And in the mean time sojourn'd at my father's;
Where how he did prevail, I shame to speak:
But truth is truth; large lengths of seas and shores
Between my father and my mother lay
(As I have heard my father speak himself,)
When this same lusty gentleman was got.
Upon his death-bed he by will bequeath'd
His lands to me; and took it, on his death,
That this, my mother's son, was none of his;
And, if he were, he came into the world
Full fourteen weeks before the course of time.
Then, good my liege, let me have what is mine,
My father's land, as was my father's will.
K. John. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate;
Your father's wife did, after wedlock, bear him:
And, if she did play false, the fault was hers;
Which fault lies on the hazards of all husbands
That marry wives. Tell me, how if my brother,
Who, as you say, took pains to get this son,
Had of your father claim'd this son for his?
(1) Whether. (2) Trace, outline.
(3) Dignity of appearance.
And, to his shape, were heir to all this land,
'Would I might never stir from off this place,
I'd give it every foot to have this face;
I would not be sir Nob4 in any case.
Eli. I like thee well; Wilt thou forsake thy for-
Bequeath thy land to him, and follow me?
am a soldier, and now bound to France.
Bast. Brother, take you my land, I'll take my chance:
Your face hath got five hundred pounds a year;
Yet sell your face for five pence, and 'tis dear.-
Madam, I'll follow you unto the death.
Eli. Nay, I would have you go before me thither.
Bast. Our country manners give our betters way.
K. John. What is thy name?
Bast. Philip, my liege; so is my name begun;
Philip, good old sír Robert's wife's eldest son.
K. John. From henceforth bear his name whose
form thou bear'st:
Kneel thou down Philip, but arise more great;
Arise sir Richard, and Plantagenet.
Bast. Brother, by the mother's side, give me
My father gave me honour, your's gave land:-
Now blessed be the hour, by night or day,
When I was got, sir Robert was away.
Eli. The very spirit of Plantagenet!-
am thy grandame, Richard; call me so.
Bast. Madam, by chance, but not by truth:
Something about, a little from the right,
In at the window, or else o'er the hatch:
Who dares not stir by day, must walk by night;
And have is have, however men do catch:
Near or far off, well won is still well shot;
And I am I, howe'er I was begot.
K. John. Go, Faulconbridge; now hast thou thy desire,
A landless knight makes thee a landed 'squire.-
Come, madam, and come, Richard; we must speed
For France, for France; for it is more than need.
Bast. Brother, adieu; Good fortune come to thee!
For thou wast got i'the way of honesty.
[Exeunt all but the Bastard.
A foot of honour better than I was;
But many a many foot of land the worse.
Well, now can I make any Joan a lady :--
Good den, sir Richard,—God-a-mercy, fellow ;-
(5) Good evening.
But, mother, I am not sir Robert's son ;
I have disclaim'd sir Robert, and my land;
Legitimation, name, and all is gone:
Then, good my mother, let me know my father;
Some proper man, I hope; Who was it, mother?
Lady F. Hast thou denied thyself a Faulcon
Bast. As faithfully as I deny the devil. Lady F. King Richard Coeur-de-lion was thy father;
By long and vehement suit I was seduc'd
To make room for him in my husband's bed :-
Heaven lay not my transgression to my charge!
Thou art the issue of my dear offence,
Which was so strongly urg'd, past my defence.
Bast. Now, by this light, were I to get again,
Madam, I would not wish a better father.
Some sins do bear their privilege on earth,
And so doth yours; your fault was not your folly:
Needs must you lay your heart at his dispose,-
Subjected tribute to commanding love,-
Against whose fury and unmatched force
The awless lion could not wage the fight,
Nor keep his princely heart from Richard's hand.
He, that perforce robs lions of their hearts,
May easily win a woman's. Ay, my mother,
With all my heart I thank thee for my father!
Who lives and dares but say, thou didst not well
When I was got, I'll send his soul to hell.
Come, lady, I will show thee to my kin;
And they shall say, when Richard me begot, If thou had'st said him nay, it had been sin: Who says it was, he lies; I say, 'twas not. [Exe.
SCENE I-France. Before the walls of Angiers. Enter, on one side, the Archduke of Austria, and forces; on the other, Philip, King of France, and forces; Lewis, Constance, Arthur, and attendants.
Lew. Before Angiers well met, brave Austria.Arthur, that great forerunner of thy blood, Richard, that robb'd the lion of his heart, And fought the holy wars in Palestine, By this brave duke came early to his grave: And, for amends to his posterity, At our importance," hither is he come, To spread his colours, boy, in thy behalf; And to rebuke the usurpation
Of thy unnatural uncle, English John:
Embrace him, love him, give him welcome hither.
Arth. God shall forgive you Coeur-de-lion's death,
The rather, that you give his offspring life,
Shadowing their right under your wings of war:
I give you welcome with a powerless hand,
But with a heart full of unstained love:
Welcome before the gates of Angiers, duke.
Lew. A noble boy! Who would not do thee right?
Aust. Upon thy cheek lay I this zealous kiss,
As seal to this indenture of my love;
That to my home I will no more return,
Till Angiers, and the right thou hast in France,
Together with that pale, that white-fac'd shore,
Whose foot spurns back the ocean's roaring tides,
(6) A character in an old drama, called Soliman and Perseda.
And confident from foreign purposes,
Even till that utmost corner of the west
Salute thee for her king: till then, fair boy,
Will I not think of homie, but follow arms.
Const. O, take his mother's thanks, a widow's thanks,
Till your strong hand shall help to give him strength, To make a more requital to your love.
Whiles we, God's wrathful agent, do correct
Their proud contempt that beat his peace to heaven
K. Phi. Peace be to England; if that war return
From France to England, there to live in peace!
England we love; and, for that England's sake,
With burden of our armour here we sweat:
This toil of ours should be a work of thine;
But thou from loving England art so far,
That thou hast under-wrought his lawful king,
Cut off the sequences of posterity,
Outfaced infant state, and done a rape
Aust. The peace of heaven is theirs, that
In such a just and charitable war.
K. Phi. Well then, to work: our cannon shall Upon the maiden virtue of the crown.
Against the brows of this resisting town.--
Call for our chiefest men of discipline,
To cull the plots of best advantages:-
We'll lay before this town our royal bones,
Wade to the market-place in Frenchmen's blood,
But we will make it subject to this boy.
Const. Stay for an answer to your embassy,
Lest unadvis'd you stain your swords with blood:
My lord Chatillon may from England bring
That right in peace, which here we urge in war;
And then we shall repent each drop of blood,
That hot rash haste so indirectly shed.
K. Phi. A wonder, lady!-lo, upon thy wish, Our messenger Chatillon is arriv'd.What England says, say briefly, gentle lord, We coldly pause for thee; Chatillon, speak.
Chat. Then turn your forces from this paltry siege, And stir them up against a mightier task. England, impatient of your just demands, Hath put himself in arms; the adverse winds, Whose leisure I have staid, have given him time To land his legions all as soon as I: His marches are expedient to this town, His forces strong, his soldiers confident." With him along is come the mother-queen, An Até, stirring him to blood and strife; With her her niece, the lady Blanch of Spain; With them a bastard of the king deceas'd: And all the unsettled humours of the land,Rash, inconsiderate, fiery voluntaries, With ladies' faces, and fierce dragons' spleens, Have sold their fortunes at their native homes, Bearing their birthrights proudly on their backs, To make a hazard of new fortunes here. In brief, a braver choice of dauntless spirits, Than now the English bottoms have waft o'er, Did never float upon the swelling tide, To do offence and scath in Christendom. The interruption of their churlish drums [Drums beat. Cuts off more circumstance: they are at hand, To parley, or to fight; therefore, prepare. K. Phi. How much unlook'd for is this expedi
Aust. By how much unexpected, by so much We must awake endeavour for defence; For courage mounteth with occasion: Let them alone be welcome then, we are prepar'd. Enter King John, Elinor, Blanch, the Bastard, Pembroke, and forces.
Peace be to France; if France in peace permit Our just and lineal entrance to our own!
If not; bleed France, and peace ascend to heaven!
Look here upon thy brother Geffrey's face;-
These cyes, these brows, were moulded out of his :
This lit le abstract doth contain that large,
Which died in Geffrey; and the hand of time
Shall draw this brief into as huge a volume.
That Geffrey was thy elder brother born,
And this his son; England was Geffrey's right,
And this is Geffrey's: In the name of God,
How comes it then, that thou art call'd a king,
When living blood doth in these temples beat,
Which owe the crown that thou o'er-masterest?
K. John. From whom hast thou this great com-
K. Phi. Lewis, determine what we shall do straight.
Lew. Women and fools, break off your confer
King John, this is the very sum of all,-
England, and Ireland, Anjou, Touraine, Maine,
In right of Arthur do I claim of thee:
Wilt thou resign them, and lay down thy arms?
K. John. My life as soon:-I do defy thee,
Arthur of Bretagne, yield thee to my hand;
And, out of my dear love, I'll give thee more
Than e'er the coward hand of France can win :
Submit thee, boy.
Come to thy grandam, child.
Const. Do, child, go to it' grandam, child;
Give grandam kingdom, and it' grandam will
Give it a plum, a cherry, and a fig:
There's a good grandam.
Good my mother, peace!
I would, that I were low laid in my grave;
I am not worth this coil' that's made for me.
Eli. His mother shames him so, poor boy, he
Const. Now shame upon you, whe'r' she does,
His grandam's wrongs, and not his mother's shames,
Draw those heaven-moving pearls from his poor
Which heaven shall take in nature of a fee;
Ay, with these crystal beads heaven shall be brib'd
To do him justice, and revenge on you.
Eli. Thou monstrous slanderer of heaven and
Const. Thou monstrous injurer of heaven and earth!
Call not me slanderer; thou, and thine, usurp
The dominations, royalties, and rights,
Of this oppressed boy: This is thy eldest son's son,
Infortunate in nothing but in thee;
Thy sins are visited in this poor child;
The canon of the law is laid on him,
Being but the second generation
Removed from thy sin-conceiving womb.
K. John. Bedlam, have done.
I have but this to
That he's not only plagued for her sin,
But God hath made her sin and her the plague
On this removed issue, plagu'd for her,
And with her plague, her sin; his injury
Her injury, the beadle to her sin ;
All punish'd in the person of this child,
And all for her; A plague upon her!
Eli. Thou unadvised scold, I can produce
A will, that bars the title of thy son.
Const. Ay, who doubts that? a will! a wicked will; A woman's will; a canker'd grandam's will!
K. Phi. Peace, lady; pause, or be more tempe
It ill beseems this presence, to cry aim3
To these ill-tuned repetitions.-
Some trumpet summon hither to the walls
These men of Angiers; let us hear them speak,
Whose title they admit, Arthur's or John's.
Trumpets sound. Enter Citizens upon the walls.
1 Cit. Who is it, that hath warn'd us to the walls?
K. Phi. 'Tis France, for England.
England, for itself:
You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects,-
K. Phi. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's
Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle.*
K. John. For our advantage;-Therefore, hear
These flags of France, that are advanced here
Before the eye and prospect of your town,
Have hither march'd to your endamagement:
The cannons have their bowels full of wrath;
And ready mounted are they, to spit forth
Their iron indignation 'gainst your walls:
All preparation for a bloody siege,
And merciless proceeding by these French,
Confront your city's eyes, your winking gates;
And, but for our approach, those sleeping stones,
That as a waist do girdle you about,
By the compulsion of their ordnance
By this time from their fixed beds of lime
Had been dishabited, and wide havoc made
For bloody power to rush upon your peace.
But, on the sight of us, your lawful king,-
Who painfully, with much expedient march,
Have brought a countercheck before your gates,
To save unscratch'd your city's threaten'd cheeks,-
Behold, the French, amaz'd, vouchsafe a parle :
And now, instead of bullets wrapp'd in fire,
To make a shaking fever in your walls,
They shoot but calm words, folded up in smoke,
To make a faithless error in your ears:
Which trust accordingly, kind citizens,
And let us in, your king; whose labour'd spirits,
Forwearied in this action of swift speed,
Crave harbourage within your city walls.
K. Phi. When I have said, make answer to us
Lo, in this right hand, whose protection
Is most divinely vow'd upon the right
Of him it holds, stands young Plantagenet;
Son to the elder brother of this man,
And king o'er him, and all that he enjoys:
For this down-trodden equity, we tread
In warlike march these greens before your town:
Being no further enemy to you,
Than the constraint of hospitable zeal,
In the relief of this oppressed child,
Religiously provokes. Be pleased then
To pay that duty, which you truly owe,
say,-To him that owes it; namely, this young prince :
And then our arms, like to a muzzled bear,
Save in aspéct, have all offence seal'd up;
Our cannons' malice vainly shall be spent
Against the invulnerable clouds of heaven;
And, with a blessed and unvex'd retire,
With unhack'd swords, and helmets all unbruis'd,
We will bear home that lusty blood again,
Which here we came to spout against your town,
And leave your children, wives, and you, in peace.
But if you fondly pass our proffer'd offer,
'Tis not the rondure" of your old-fac'd walls
Can hide you from our messengers of war;
Though all these English, and their discipline,
Were harbour'd in their rude circumference.
Then, tell us, shall your city call us lord,
In that behalf which we have challeng'd it?
Or shall we give the signal to our rage,
And stalk in blood to our possession?
To him will we prove loyal; till that time,
Have we ramm'd up our gates against the world.
K. John. Doth not the crown of England prove
And, if not that, I bring you witnesses,
Twice fifteen thousand hearts of England's breed,-
Bast. Bastards, and else.
K. John. To verify our title with their lives.
K. Phi. As many, and as well-born bloods as
Bast. Some bastards too.
K. Phi. Stand in his face, to contradict his claim.[
1 Cit. Till you compound whose right is worthiest,
We, for the worthiest, hold the right from both.
K. John. Then God forgive the sin of all those
That to their everlasting residence,
Before the dew of evening fall, shall fleet,
In dreadful trial of our kingdom's king!
K. Phi. Amen, Amen!-Mount, chevaliers! to
I'd set an ox head to your lion's hide,
And make a monster of you.
Bast. St. George,—that swing'd the dragon, and
Sits on his horseback at mine hostess' door,
Teach us some fence!-Sirrah, were I at home,
At your den, sirrah, [To Austria,] with your
Cit. Heralds, from off our towers we might behold,
From first to last, the onset and retire
Of both your armies; whose equality
By our best eyes cannot be censured:1
Blood hath bought blood, and blows have answer'd
Strength match'd with strength, and power con-
Both are alike; and both alike we like.
One must prove greatest: while they weigh so even,
We hold our town for neither; yet for both.
Say, shall the current of our right run on?
Shall leave his native channel, and o'er-swell
Whose passage, vex'd with thy impediment,
Unless thou let his silver water keep
With course disturb'd even thy confining shores;
A peaceful progress to the ocean.
K. Phi. England, thou hast not sav'd one drop
In this hot trial, more than we of France;
Rather, lost more: And by this hand I swear,
That sways the earth this climate overlooks,-
Before we will lay down our just-borne arms,
We'll put thee down, 'gainst whom these arms we
Or add a royal number to the dead;
Gracing the scroll, that tells of this war's loss,
With slaughter coupled to the name of kings.
Peace; no more.
Bast. O, tremble; for you hear the lion roar.
K. John. Up higher to the plain; where we'll
In best appointment, all our regiments.
Bast. Speed then, to take advantage of the field.
K. Phi. It shall be so ;-[To Lewis.] and at the
Command the rest to stand.-God, and our right!
When the rich blood of kings is set on fire!
Bast. Ha, majesty! how high thy glory towers,
The swords of soldiers are his teeth, his fangs; O, now doth death line his dead chaps with steel; [Exeunt. And now he feasts, mouthing the flesh of men, SCENE II.-The same. Alarums and Excur- In undetermin'd differences of kings.sions; then a Retreat. Enter a French Herald, Why stand these royal fronts amazed thus? with trumpets, to the gates. Cry, havoc, kings! back to the stained field, Then let confusion of one part confirm You equal potents, fiery-kindled spirits!
F. Her. You men of Angiers, open wide your
The other's peace; till then, blows, blood, and
K. John. Whose party do the townsmen yet admit?
K. Phi. Speak, citizens, for England; who's your king?
1 Cit. The king of England, when we know the king.
K. Phi. Know him in us, that here hold up his
K. John. In us, that are our own great deputy,
And bear possession of our person here;
Lord of our presence, Angiers, and of you.
1 Cit. A greater power than we, denies all this;
And, till it be undoubted, we do lock
Our former scruple in our strong-barr'd gates:
King'd of our fears; until our fears, resolv'd,
Be by some certain king purg'd and depos'd."
Bast. By heaven, these scroyles of Angiers flout
And let young Arthur, duke of Bretagne, in;
Who, by the hand of France, this day hath made
Much work for tears in many an English mother,
Whose sons lie scatter'd on the bleeding ground:
Many a widow's husband grovelling lies,
Coldly embracing the discolour'd earth;
And victory, with little loss, doth play
Upon the dancing banners of the French;
Who are at hand, triumphantly display'd,
To enter conquerors, and to proclaim
Arthur of Bretagne, England's king, and yours.
Enter an English Herald, with trumpets.
E. Her. Rejoice, you men of Angiers, ring your
King John, your king and England's, doth approach,
Commander of this hot malicious day!
Their armours, that march'd hence so silver-bright,
Hither return all gilt with Frenchmen's blood;
There stuck no plume in any English crest,
That is removed by a staff of France;
Our colours do return in those same hands
That did display them when we first march'd forth;
And, like a jolly troop of huntsmen, come
Our lusty English, all with purpled hands,
Dyed in the dying slaughter of their foes:
Open your gates, and give the victors way.
(1) Judged, determined.
Enter, at one side, King John, with his power;
Elinor, Blanch, and the Bastard; at the other,
King Philip, Lewis, Austria, and forces.
K. John. France, hast thou yet more blood to cast away?
And stand securely on their battlements,
As in a theatre, whence they gape and point
At your industrious scenes and acts of death.
Your royal presences be rul'd by me;
Do like the mutines of Jerusalem.
Be friends a while, and both conjointly bend
Your sharpest deeds of malice on this town:
By east and west let France and England mount
(3) Scabby fellows.