Obrazy na stronie
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This expedition's charge. What men are you?
Bast. Your faithful subject I, a gentleman,
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?

Rob. The son and heir to that same Faulcon-
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.
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
younger born,

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.

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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 her's;
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?
In sooth, good friend, your father might have
kept

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?

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-
bridge,

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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 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
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 fortune,

K. John. Why, what a madcap hath heaven lent Bequeath thy land to him, and follow me?

us here!

Eli. He hath a trick of Coeur-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-faced groat five hundred pound a-year!
Rob. My gracious liege, when that my father liv'd,
Your brother did employ my father much;

land:

Bas. Well, sir, by this you cannot get my Your tale must be, how he employ'd my mother.

I 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 sir 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.

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

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 grandame, 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 was got i'the way of honesty.

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[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:
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 tooth-pick at my worship's mess;
And when my knightly stomach is suffic'd,
Why then I suck my teeth, and catechise
My picked man of countries: My dear sir,
(Thus, leaning on my elbow, I begin,)
I shall beseech you That is question now;

And then comes answer like an ABC-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,

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?
Enter Lady FAULCONBRIDGE, and JAMES GURNEY.
O me! it is my mother : How now, good lady?
What brings you here to court so hastily?

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James,

Gur. Good leave, good Philip.
Bast.
Philip? sparrow !
There's toys abroad; anon I'll tell thee more.
[Exit 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 handy-work : — Therefore, good mo-
ther,

To whom am I beholden 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, Basilisco

like:
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;
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-
bridge?

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.

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

say,

[Exeunt.

SCENE I..

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ACT II.

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 fore-runner 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 tnis 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,

Till your strong hand shall help to give him strength,
To make a more requital to your love.
Aust. The peace of heaven is theirs, that lift 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.

Enter CHATIllon.

K.Phi. A wonder, lady!-lo, upon thy wisn, Our messenger Chatillon is arriv'd. What England says, say briefly, gentle lord, We coolly 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 deceased:
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 FEnglish 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-
tion !

Aust. By how much unexpected, by so much
We must awake endeavour for defence;
For courage mounteth with occasion :
Let them be welcome then, we are prepar'd.
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 sequence 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 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
mission, France,

To draw my answer from thy articles?

K. Phi. From that supernal judge, that stirs good | Ay, with these crystal beads heaven shall be brib'd

thoughts

In any breast of strong authority,

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 tho 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!

Bast.

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!

Bust. 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.

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 conference.

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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 eldest son's sott,
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.
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
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

rate :

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 parle.
K. John. For our advantage;

us first.

-

Therefore, he ar

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,
Who painfully, with much expedient march,
Have brought a countercheck before your gates,
To save unscratch'd your city's threaten'd checks,—
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, kina 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. Philip. 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,

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,

To him that owes it; namely, this young prince:
And then our arms, like to a muzzled bear,
Save in aspect, 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 roundure 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?

1 Cit. In brief, we are the king of England.
subjects;

For him, and in his right, we hold this town.
K. John. Acknowledge then the king, and let

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Alarums and Excursions; then a Retreat. Enter
a French Herald, with trumpets, to the gates.
F.Her. You men of Angiers, open wide your gates,
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 groveling 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
bells;

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,
Died in the dying slaughter of their foes:
Open your gates, and give the victors way.

C. 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:

Blood hath bought blood, and blows have answer'd

blows;

Strength match'd with strength, and power confronted power:

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.

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?

Say, shall the current of our right run on?
Whose passage, vex'd with thy impediment,
Shall leave his native channel, and o'erswell
With course disturb'd even thy confining shores;
Unless thou let his silver water keep

A peaceful progress to the ocean.

K. Phi. England, thou hast not sav'd one drop of blood,

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