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Lords, Ladies, Citizens of Angiers, Sheriff, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, Messengers,
and other Attendants.

SCENE.-Sometimes in England, and sometimes in France.

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Chat. Thus, after greeting, speaks the King of For ere thou canst report I will be there,

In my behaviour, to the majesty,
The borrow'd majesty of England here.

Eli. A strange beginning; borrow'd majesty!' K. John. Silence, good mother; hear the embassy.


Chat. Philip of France, in right and true behalf Of thy deceased brother Geffrey's son, Arthur Plantagenet, lays most lawful claim To this fair island and the territories, To Ireland, Poictiers, Anjou, Touraine, Maine; Desiring thee to lay aside the sword Which sways usurpingly these several titles, And put the same into young Arthur's hand, Thy nephew and right 1oyal sovereign.

K. John. What follows if we disallow of this? Chat. The proud control of fierce and bloody war, To enforce these rights so forcibly withheld.

The thunder of my cannon shall be heard.
So hence! Be thou the trumpet of our wrath
And sullen presage of your own decay.
An honourable conduct let him have:
Pembroke, look to't. Farewell, Chatillon.


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Or else it must go wrong with you and me :
So much my conscience whispers in your ear,
Which none but heaven and you and I shall hear.

Enter a Sheriff, who whispers ESSEX.

Essex. My liege, here is the strangest contro


Come from the country to be judg'd by you,
That e'er I heard: shall I produce the men?
K. John. Let them approach. Exit Sheriff.
Our abbeys and our priories shall pay
This expedition's charge.

Re-enter Sherif, with ROBERT FAULCONBRIDGE,
and PHILIP, his Bastard Brother.

What men are you?
Bast. Your faithful subject I, a gentleman 50
Born in Northamptonshire, and eldest son,
As I suppose, to Robert Faulconbridge,
A soldier, by the honour-giving hand
Of Coeur-de-Lion knighted in the field.
K. John. What art thou?

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Between my father and my mother lay,
As I have heard my father speak himself,
When this same lusty gentleman was got.
His lands to me, and took it on his death
Upon his death-bed he by will bequeath'd
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;

Rob. The son and heir to that same Faulcon- Which fault lies on the hazards of all husbands bridge.

K. John. Is that the elder, and art thou the heir?
You came not of one mother then, it seems.
Bast. Most certain of one mother, mighty king;
That is well known: and, as I think, one father:
But for the certain knowledge of that truth
I put you o'er to heaven and to my mother:
Of that I doubt, as all men's children may.
Eli. Out on thee, rude man! thou dost shame
thy mother

And wound her honour with this diffidence.


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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 us here!


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That marry wives. Tell me, how if my brother,
Who, as you say, took pains to get this son, 121
Had of your father claim'd this son for his?
In sooth, good friend, your father might have

This calf bred from his cow from all the world;
In sooth he might: then, if he were my brother's,
My brother might not claim him; nor your father,
Being none of his, refuse him: this concludes;
My mother's son did get your father's heir;
Your father's heir must have your father's land.

Rob. Shall then my father's will be of no force
To dispossess that child which is not his ? 131
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-Lion,
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 cel-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 goes!'

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 Nob in any case.

Eli. I like thee well: wilt thou forsake thy

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Kneel thou down Philip, but arise more great; Arise Sir Richard, and Plantagenet.

Bast. Brother by the mother's side, give me your hand:

My father gave me honour, yours 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 !
I am thy grandam, Richard: call me so.
Bast. Madam, by chance but not by truth;
what though?

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 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!'
And if his name be George, I'll call him Peter;
For new-made honour doth forget men's names :
'Tis too respective and too sociable

For your conversion. Now your traveller,
He and his toothpick at my worship's mess,
And when my knightly stomach is suffic'd,
Why then I suck my teeth, and catechize
My picked man of countries: 'My dear sir,'
Thus, leaning on mine elbow, I begin,

Lady F. Where is that slave, thy brother? where is hc,

That holds in chase mine honour up and down?

Bast. My brother Robert? old Sir Robert's son ? Colbrand the giant, that same mighty man? Is it Sir Robert's son that you seek so?

Lady F. Sir Robert's son! Ay, thou unreverent boy,

Sir Robert's son: why scorn'st thou at Sir Robert?
He is Sir Robert's son, and so art thou.
Bast. James Gurney, wilt thou give us leave

Gur. Good leave, good Philip.


Philip! sparrow! James, There's toys abroad: anon I'll tell thee more. Eeit GURNEY. Madam, I was not old Sir Robert's son: Sir Robert might have eat his part in me Upon Good-Friday and ne'er broke his fast. Sir Robert could do well: marry, to confess, Could he get me? Sir Robert could not do it: We know his handiwork: therefore, good mother, To whom am I beholding for these limbs ? Sir Robert never holp to make this leg. Lady F. Hast thou conspired with thy brother too.


That for thine own gain should'st defend mine honour?

What means this scorn, thou most untoward knave?

Bast. Knight, knight, good mother, Basiliscolike.

What! I am dubb'd; I have it on my shoulder. But, mother, I am not Sir Robert's son; I have disclaim'd Sir Robert and my land; 190 Legitimation, name, and all is gone.

'I shall beseech you'-that is question now;
And then comes answer like an absey-book :
'O sir,' says answer, 'at your best command;
At your employment; at your service, sir:
'No, sir,' says question, 'I, sweet sir, at yours:
And so, ere answer knows what question would,
Saving in dialogue of compliment,
And talking of the Alps and Apennines,
The Pyrenean and the river Po,

It draws toward supper in conclusion so.
But this is worshipful society


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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

Needs must you lay your heart at his dispose,
Subjected tribute to commanding love,

210 Against whose fury and unmatched force

And fits the mounting spirit like myself;
For he is but a bastard to the time,
That doth not smack of observation;
And so am I, whether I smack or no;
And not alone in habit and device,
Exterior form, outward accoutrement,
But from the inward motion to deliver
Sweet, sweet, sweet poison for the age's tooth:
Which, though I will not practise to deceive,
Yet, to avoid deceit, I mean to learn;

For it shall strew the footsteps of my rising.
But who comes in such haste in riding-robes?
What woman-post is this? hath she no husband
That will take pains to blow a horn before her?


O me! it is my mother. How now, good lady!
What brings you here to court so hastily?


The aweless lion could not wage the fight,
Nor keep his princely heart from Richard's

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


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 hadst said him nay, it had been sin :
Who says it was, he lies: I say 'twas not.

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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 And coops from other lands her islanders, Even till that England, hedg'd in with the main, That water-walled bulwark, still secure 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 home, but follow arms. Const. O take his mother's thanks, a widow's thanks,


Chat. Then turn your forces from this paltry siege

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And stir them up against a mightier task.
England, impatient of your just demands,
Whose leisure I have stay'd, have given him time
Hath put himself in arms: the adverse winds,
His marches are expedient to this town,
To land bis legions all as soon as I;
His forces strong, his soldiers confident.
With him along is come the mother-queen,
An Ate, stirring him to blood and strife;
With her her niece, the Lady Blanch of Spain;
With them a bastard of the king's 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.


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Till your strong hand shall help to give him From France to England, there to live in peace. strength

To make a more requital to your love.

England we love; and for that England's sake
With burden of our armour here we sweat:

Aust. The peace of heaven is theirs that lift This toil of ours should be a work of thine; their swords

In such a just and charitable war.

K. Phi. Well then, to work: our cannon shall

be bent


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, 50 Our messenger, Chatillon, is arriv'd! What England says, say briefly, gentle lord; We coldly pause for thee; Chatillon, speak.

But thou from loving England art so far
That thou hast under-wrought his lawful king,
Cut off the sequence of posterity,
Out-faced infant state, and done a rape
Upon the maiden virtue of the crown.
Look here upon thy brother Geffrey's face:
These eyes, these brows, were moulded out of


This little 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'ermasterest!
K. John. From whom hast thou this great com-
mission, France.

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To draw my answer from thy articles? K. Phi. From that superial judge, that stirs good thoughts

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Eli. Out, insolent! thy bastard shall be king, That thon may'st be a queen, and check the world!

Const. My bed was ever to thy son as true As thine was to thy husband, and this boy Liker in feature to his father Geffrey Than thou and John in manners; being as like As rain to water, or devil to his dam. My boy a bastard! By my soul I think His father never was so true begot : It cannot be an if thou wert his mother. Eli. There's a good mother, boy, that blots thy father.


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King John, this is the very sum of all: England and Ireland, Anjou, Touraine, Maine, In light 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, France.

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.

Eli. Come to thy grandam, child. Const. Do, child, go to it grandam, child; 160 Give grandam kingdom, and it grandam will Give it a plum, a cherry, and a fig: There's a good grandam. Arth.

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 weeps.

Const. Now shame upon you, whe'r she does

or no!

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: 170 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 earth!

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 eld'st 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 say,
That he is 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; s 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

A woman's will; a canker'd grandam's will!
K. Phi. Peace, lady! pause, or be more

temperate :

It ill beseems this presence to cry aim
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. First Cit. Who is it that hath warn'd us to the walls?

K. Phi. 'Tis France, for England. K. John. England, for itself. You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects,K. Phi. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's subjects,

Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle,-
K. John. For our advantage; therefore hear
us first.

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, 210
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
Confronts your city's eyes, your winking gates;
And but for our approach those sleeping stones,
That as a waist doth girdle you about,
By the compulsion of their ordinance
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,


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