« PreviousContinue »
Lords, Ladies, Citizens of Angiers, Sheriff, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, Messengers,
SCENE.-Sometimes in England, and sometimes in France.
Chat. Thus, after greeting, speaks the King of For ere thou canst report I will be there,
In my behaviour, to the majesty,
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.
Or else it must go wrong with you and me :
Enter a Sheriff, who whispers ESSEX.
Essex. My liege, here is the strangest contro
Come from the country to be judg'd by you,
Re-enter Sherif, with ROBERT FAULCONBRIDGE,
What men are you?
Between my father and my mother lay,
K. John. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate;
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?
And wound her honour with this diffidence.
Bast. I know not why, except to get the land.
That marry wives. Tell me, how if my brother,
This calf bred from his cow from all the world;
Rob. Shall then my father's will be of no force
Eli. Whether hadst thou rather be a Faulcon-
And like thy brother, to enjoy thy land,
Bast. Madam, an if my brother had my shape,
And, to his shape, were heir to all this land,
Eli. I like thee well: wilt thou forsake thy
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.
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.
For your conversion. Now your traveller,
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?
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;
It draws toward supper in conclusion so.
Bast. Now, by this light, were I to get again,
Needs must you lay your heart at his dispose,
210 Against whose fury and unmatched force
And fits the mounting spirit like myself;
For it shall strew the footsteps of my rising.
Enter Lady FAULCONBRIDGE and JAMES
O me! it is my mother. How now, good lady!
The aweless lion could not wage the fight,
He that perforce robs lions of their hearts
When I was got, I'll send his soul to hell.
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
And stir them up against a mightier task.
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
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
Against the brows of this resisting town.
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
This little abstract doth contain that large
To draw my answer from thy articles? K. Phi. From that superial judge, that stirs good thoughts
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.
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
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
Of this oppressed boy: this is thy eld'st son's son,
Infortunate in nothing but in thee:
Eli. Thou unadvised scold, I can produce
A woman's will; a canker'd grandam's will!
It ill beseems this presence to cry aim
Some trumpet summon hither to the walls
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,-
These flags of France, that are advanced here
And merciless proceeding by these French