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Enter King John, Elinor, Blanch, the Bastard, Pembroke, and forces.

K. John. 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!
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 sequencet of posterity,

Outfaced 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 his :
This little abstract doth contain that large,
Which died in Geffrey; and the hand of time
Shall draw this brieft 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 commission, France,

To draw my answer from thy articles?

K. Phi. From that supernalý judge, that stirs good thoughts

In any breast of strong authority,

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To look into the blots and stains of right.
That judge hath made me guardian to this boy:
Under whose warrant, I impeach thy wrong;
And, by whose help, I mean to chastise it.

K. John. Alack, thou dost usurp authority.
K. Phi. Excuse; it is to beat usurping down.
Eli. Who is it, thou dost call usurper, France?
Const. Let me make answer;-thy usurping son.
Eli. Out, insolent! thy bastard shall be king;
That thou 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.

Const. There's a good grandam, boy, that would blot thee.

Aust. Peace!

Bust.

Aust.

Hear the crier.

What the devil art thou?

Bast. One that will play the devil, sir, with you, An 'a may catch your hide and you alone. You are the hare of whom the proverb goes, Whose valour plucks dead lions by the beard; I'll smoke your skin-coat*, an I catch you right; Sirrah, look to't; i'faith, I will, i'faith.

Blanch. O, well did he become that lion's robe, That did disrobe the lion of that robe!

Bast. It lies as sightly on the back of him,

As great Alcides' shoes upon an ass:-

But, ass, I'll take that burden from your back;
Or lay on that, shall make your shoulders crack.

* Austria wears a lion's skin.

Aust. What cracker is this same, that deafs our ears With this abundance of superfluous breath?

K. Phi. Lewis, determine what we shall do straight.

Lew. Women and fools, break off your confer

ence.

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, 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; 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'rt she does,

or no!

His grandam's wrongs, and not his mother's shames, Draw those heaven-moving pearls from his poor eyes, 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 earth!

Const. Thou monstrous injurer of heaven and

earth!

Call not me slanderer; thou, and thine, usurp
The dominations, royalties, and rights,

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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 cannon of the law is laid on him,
Being but the second generation
Removed from thy sin-conceiving womb.
K. John. Bedlam, have done,
Const.

I have but this to say,

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
Iler 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 temper

ate:

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.

1 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 parlet.
K. John. For our advantage;-Therefore, hear

us first.

* To encourage.

+ Conference.

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 havock made
For bloody power to rush upon your peace.
But, on the sight of us, your lawful king,nd
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 calin 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
both.

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,

* Worn out.

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