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Northampton. A Room of State in the Palace. Enter King John, Queen ELINOR, PEMBROXE, Essex,

SALISBURY, and Orbers, with CHATILLON.
K. John. Now, fay, Chatillon, what would France with

Chat: Thus, after greeting, speaks the king of France,
In my behaviour, to the majesty,
The borrow'd majesty of England here.

Eli. A frange beginning ; borrow'd majesty!
K. John. Sidence, 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 illand, and the territories;
To Ireland, Poictiers, Anjou, Touraine, Maine :
Dehring thee to lay aside the sword,
Which Iways ufurpingly these several titles ;
And put the fame into young Arthur's hand,
Thy nephew, and right royal sovereign.
B 3

K. Jabr. 2 The word bebaviour seems here to have a signification that I have never found in any other author. The king of France, says the envoy, thus

. Speaks in my behaviour to the majesty of England ; that is, the King of France speaks in the character which I here assume. I once thought that these two lines, in my bebaviour, &c. had been uttered by the ambasador as part of his master's message, and that bebaviour had meant the conduet of the King of France towards the King of England; but the ambassador's speech, as continued after the interruption, will not admit this meaning.

JOHNSON. In my bebaviour means, in the manner that I now do.

M. MASON. In my behaviour means, I think, in the words and action that I am now going to use. MALONE.

K. John. What follows, if we difallow of this ?

Chat. The proud control 3 of fierce and bloody war, To enforce these rights fo forcibly withheld.

K. John. Here have we war for war, and blood for blood, Controlment for controlinent; fo answer France.

Ckat. Then take my king's defiance from my mouth,
The furthest limit of my embassy.

K. John. Bear mine to him, and so depart in peace:
Be thou as lightning 4 in the eyes of France;
For ere thou canst report I will be there,
'The thunder of my cannon shall be heard :
So, hence! Be thou the trumpet of our wrath,
And sullen presages of your own decay..
An honourable conduct let him have ;-


3 Offofitien, from controller. JOHNSON.
I think it rather means constraint or compulfion. M. Mason.

4 The fimile does not suit well: the lightning indeed appears before the thunder is heard, but the lightning is destructive and the thunder innocent. JOHNSON.

The altulion may notwithstanding be very proper so far as Shakspeare had applied it, i. e. merely to the freifeness of the ligbening, and its preceding and foretelling the rhunder. But there is some reason to believe that tbunder was not thought to be innocent in our author's time, as we else. where learn from himself. See King Lear, A& III. sc. ij. Antony and Cleopatra, A& II, fc. v. Julius Calar, Act 1. sc. iii. and still more deci. sively in Meafure for Miasure, A&. II. sc. ij. This old fuperftition is till prevalent in many parts of the country. Ritson.

King John does not allude to the destructive powers either of thunder or lightning; he only mears to say, that Chatillon shall appear to the eyes of the French like lighting, which shows that thunder is approaching : and the thunder he aludes to is that of his cannon. Johnson also forgets, that though philofophically speaking, the destructive power is in the lightnirs, it has generally in poetry been attributed to the thunder. M. Mason,

$ By the epithetsuier, which cannot be applied to a trumpet, it is plain that our author's imagination had now suggested a new idea. It is as if he had said, be a trumpet to alarm with our invasion, be a bird of ill omen to croak out the prognostick of your own ruin. Jo¥NSCN. I do not see why the epithet

sullen may not be applied

to a trumfet, with as much propriety as to a bell. ' in our authcr's Henry IV. P. II. we find

" Sounds ever after as a fullen bell-,” MALONE. That here are two ideas, is evident; but the second of them has pot been luckily explained. - Tbe Jullen presage of your own decay, means, ike dismal paffing bill, ibat announces your own approaching disolution.


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Pembroke, look to't : Farewell, Chatillon.

Eli. What now, my son ? have I not ever faid,
How that ambitious Constance would not ceale,
Till Me had kindled France, and all the world,
Upon the right and party of her fon?
This might have been prevented, and made whole,
With very easy arguments of love;
Which now the manage 6 of two kingdomas must
With fearful bloody issue arbitrate.

K. John. Our strong poffeffion, and our right, for us.

Eli. Your strong poffeffion, much more than your right ;
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, Thall hear.
Enter the Sheriff of Northamptonshire, who whispers ESSEX.

Efex. My liege, here is the strangest controversy,
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 abbies, and our priories, shall pay
Re-enter Sheriff, with ROBERT FAULCON BRIDGE, and

PHILIP, his baftard brother,?
This expedition's charge.-What men are you?
Baft. Your faithful subject I, a gentleman,
B 4


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6 i. c. conduct, administration. STEEVENS.

7 Though Shakfpeare adopted this character of Philip Faulconbridge, from the old play, it is not improper to mention that it is compounded of two diftinct personages.

Matthew Paris lays :-“ Sub illius temporis curriculo, Falcafius de Brente, Ncuiterienfis, et fpurius ex parte matris, atque Baltardus, qui in vili jumento manticato ad Regis paulo ante clientelam descenderat,” &c.

Matthew Paris, in his History of ibe Monks of St Albans, calls him Falco, but in his General History, Folcasius de Brente, as above.

Holinihed says, “ That Richard J. had a natural son named Philip, who in the year following killed the Viscount de Limoges to revenge the death of his father." STEEVENS.

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Born in Northamptonfhire; and eldeft fon,
As I fuppose, to Robert Faulconbridge ;
A soldier, by the honour-giving hand
Of Cour-de-lion knighted in the field.

K. John. What art thou ?
Rob. The son and heir to that fame Faulconbridge.

K. John. Is that the elder, and art thou the heir?
You came not of one mother then, it seems.

Baft. Moft certain of one mother, mighty king,
That is well known; and, as I think, 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 doft shame thy mother, And wound her honour with this diffidence,

Baft. I, madam ? no, I have no reason for it ; That is my brother's plea, and none of mine j 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

Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance ?

Baft. I know not why, except to get the land.
But once he flander'd me with bastardy :
But whe'r $ 1 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 ine!)
Compare our faces, and be judge yourself.
If olá fir Robert did beget us both,
And were our father, and this son like him ;-

O old Perhaps the following passage in the Continuation of Harding's Chroni. cle, 1543, fol. 24. b. ad ann. 1472, induced the author of the old play to affix the name of Faulconbridge to King Richard's natural son, who is only mentioned in our histories by the name of Philip: "one Faul. cenbridge, therle of Kent, his baftarde, a stoute-harted man."

Who the mother of Philip was, is not ascertained. It is said that the was a lady of Poi&tou, and that King Richard bestowed upon her son a Jordship in that province.

& Whe'r for wbetber. STIEVEN.S.

B 5

O old fir 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!

Eli. He hath a trick of Caur-de-lion's face, 9
The accent of his congue affecteth himn :

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?

Baft. Because he hath a half-face, like my father ;
With that half-face 2 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; Baft. Well, fir, by this you cannot get my land; Your tale must be, how he employ'd my mother,

Rob. 9 The tri. k, cs trickling, is the fame as the tracing of a drawing, meaning that peculiarity of face which may be sufficiently shown by the flightest outline. STIEVENS. By a trick, io this place, is meant fome peculiarity of look or motion.

M. MASON. Our author often uses this phrase, and generally in the sense of a pecu. liar air or cast of countenance or feature. MALONE.

2 The old copy-with balf ebat faced But why with balf that face? There is no question but the poet wrote, as I have restored the text: Witb ibat half-face- Mr. Pope, perhaps, will be angry with me for discovering an anachronism of our poet's in the next line, where he alludes to a coin not struck ti!l the year 1504, in the reign of King Henry VII. viz. a groat, which, as well as the half groat, bore but half faces impreffed. Vide Stowe's Survey of London, p. 47. Holinshed, Camden's Remains, &c. The poet faeers at the ineagre fhaip visage of the elder brother, by comparing him to a silver groat, that böre the King's face in profile, so showed but half the face: the groats of all our Kings of Eng. jand, and indeed all their other coins of filver, one or two only excepted, had a full face crowned; til Henry VII. at the time above mentioned, coined groats and half-groats, as also some shillings, with half faces, i. la faces in profile, as all our coin has now. The first groats of King Henry VIII were like those of his father; though afterwards he returned to the broad faces again. These groats, with the impression in profile, are vndoubtedly here alluded to: though, as I said, the poet is knowingly guilty of an anachronism in it: for in the time of King John there were no groats at all; they being first, as far as appears, coined in the reign of King Edward III. THENBALD.

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