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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, 95
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 his :
This little abstract doth contain that large 101
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, 105

And this is Geffrey's in the name of God; 106. Geffrey's ... God;] Geffreyes in the name of God: Ff 1, 2, 3 (Geffreys F 3); Geffreys, in the name of God, F 4; Geffrey's : in the name of God Cambridge Editors.

95. That ... king] that thou hast the larger volume, Geffrey. Compare undermined the lawful king of Eng. Edward III. 11. i. 82: land. His is the neuter possessive pro “Whose body is an abstract or a noun. Collier MS. reads her, to agree

brief with the personification of England. Contains each general virtue in 97. Out-faced infant state] Gould

the world." conjectures “Out-raced infant right.” 106. And this is Geffrey's ... Mr. Wright explains the line as God] Apart from the variations in the “ browbeaten, put down by intimida. punctuation of the Folios this reading tion or bravado, the state that belongs has much exercised the critics. The to an infant." " Out-facedis simple difficulty lies in the phrase “ And this enough, but “infant stateoffers is Geffrey's." We cannot add "son" some difficulty. How can the state because of the previous line. Vaughan or majesty that belongs to an infant suggests “And is this Geffrey's," i.e. be browbeaten ? And can John's Arthur's, as opposed to "that" conduct be described in this way? Geffrey's the dead father's. FailCan "out-raced” mean "out- ing that, and following out the same rooted"? Compare "a race of idea, he would read " And this is ginger” = a root of ginger.

Geffrey." In default of better, 101. This little abstract, etc.] Vaughan's suggestion is preferable Philip calls Arthur a small copy of to the others.

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How comes it then that thou art calld 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 supernal judge, that stirs good 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 : 115
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 ?

120 Const. Let me make answer ; thy usurping son. Eli. Out, insolent! thy bastard shall be king,

That thou mayst be a queen, and check the world! Const. My bed was ever to thy son as true 113. breast] beast F 1. 119. Excuse ;] so Malone ; Excuse it is Ff.

109. owel own. Frequent in Staunton, with great probability, Shakespeare. Compare Comedy of claims this as a metaphor taken from Errors, Ill. i. 42:

chess. “ What art thou that keepest me 124, 125. My bed ... husband]

out from the house I owe?It seems strange that Constance 111. from thy articles] Hanmer should compare her own fidelity with prints “to." "Articles " are the sec. that of the person whom she accuses tions of a formal document, and the of infidelity a moment later (line idea conveyed here is that Philip has 130). Elinor too had been divorced been taxing John as if he were reading from Louis VII. for infidelity. To a formal indictment.

avoid the difficulty Vaughan proposes 112. supernal] This is the sole use to read : “As to me was my husband." of the word by Shakespeare, but it is It may be that Shakespeare was confound in contemporaries. See Cot. tent to make Constance femininely grave, Sir Thomas More, Milton. illogical in her passion. Mr. Craig's Formed by analogy with infernal suggestion that Constance meant (Mr. Wright).

“My bed was at least as true as 123. That thou ... world] yours” avoids the difficulty.

As thine was to thy husband; and this boy 125
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:

130
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.

Hear the crier. Aust.

What the devil art thou ? Bast. One that will play the devil, sir, with you, 135

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.

140

127. John in manners; being] Capell; John, in manners being Ff. 133. There's ... thee] Pope ; two lines in Ff, ending boy, ... thee.

127. John in manners ; being] in this connection by Elizabethan Vaughan suggests “manners, - writers. being," for the comparison of devil 136. your hide] Austria was wearing and his dam is, of course, more closely the lion's skin he had taken from connected with John and his mother Cour-de-lion. than with Arthur and Constance, 137, the proverb] Given by Erasmus The “devil and his dam” are evi. amongst his Adagia : “mortuo leoni dently two personages from the Moral. et lepores insultant." Compare Re. ity plays. Compare Ralph Roister turn from Parnassus (p. 71, ed. MacDoister, 11. iv. 38: “the devil's dam ray): “Soe hares may pull deade was ne'er so bang'd in hell.” “ Play lions by the bearde.” the devil” (line 135) would mean 139. smoke] beat. Halliwell says “ play as violent a part as the devil that in Devonshire it means “to abuse of the Moralities."

a person," and in the North “ to beat 132. blots] impute dishonour to. severely." To strike one so violently Continually used as noun and verb as to make dust fly out of the coat.

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 shows upon an ass:
But, ass, I'll take that burthen from your back, 145

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 ?

King Philip, determine what we shall do straight.
K. Phi. Women and fools, break off your conference. 150

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? 152. Anjou] Theobald ; Angiers Ff.

144. Alcides shows] The Folios posing that Shakespeare was guilty read “Alcides shooes” (“shoos,” of a most senseless confusion. There F 4). Editors quote a proverb from is no possible point in speaking of an Gosson's Schoole of Abuse : “Too ass wearing the shoes of Hercules, draw the Lyon's skin upon Aesop's and as Vaughan pointed out, the Asse, Hercules shoes on a childes question concerns something worn or feete." It may therefore be possible borne upon the back. that Shakespeare had a confused 147. cracker] boaster. Cotgrave recollection of Gosson's lines in his has “se vanter, ... to crack.” mind and that the reading of the Compare Ralph Roister Doister, 1. i. Folios is correct. Fleay prints 35:-. “shoes ... ape," and suggests “ All the day long is he facing “ dwarf” or “child" to take the and cracking place of “ass.” Rejecting “shows" Of his great acts in fighting and and “shoes,” Keightley reads fraymaking." “ shew'd,and suggests « should.” And compare the modern“a thing Hudson, following a conjecture of much cracked-up," i.e. boasted about, Vaughan's, reads “does." Kinnear and "a crack player.” conjectures "spoil," and Gould 149. King Philip] The Folios read “ robes." Mr. Worrall (see Warwick “ King Lewis.” The emendation is ed.) suggests that if "shows" is Theobald's. Lewis was not king, right, it is a verb. The reading in and Austria was not likely to appeal the text is that of Theobald, followed to him for a final decision in anything by most modern editors. It is in any of moment. We must, therefore, case preferable to the Folios' reading, suppose a mistaken substitution of which can only be defended by sup- Lewis for Philip.

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Eli.

K. John. My life as soon: I do defy thee, France. 155

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..

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. 165 Eli. His mother shames him so, poor boy, he weeps. Const. Now shame upon you, whether she does or no!

His grandam's wrongs, and not his mother's shames
Draws those heaven-moving pearls from his poor eyes,
Which heaven shall take in nature of a fee; 170

156. Bretagne) Hanmer; Britaine Ff 1, 2; Britain F 3; Brittain F 4. 168. wrongs] Ff 1, 2, 3; wrong F 4.

156. Bretagne) This spelling of be Celtic in origin, like many other Hanmer's, in spite of its suggestion words of untraceable pedigree. Proof French pronunciation, is adopted bably of slang derivation (see New by most modern editors to avoid Eng. Dict.). confusion with Britain. Shake- 168, 169. wrongs, ... shames speare spelt Britanny and Britain in Draws] The usual defence of this the same way.

grammatical error, that a singular 160, etc. it] Baby talk. Capell phrase has been slipped in between could not suffer "it" to remain and the nominative and verb, does not reads “it's "! Pope put the whole hold good here. We have either to passage down as spurious, from suppose a misprint or believe with Dr. “ Submit thee” to“ repetitions,” in Abbott that the Elizabethan ear, owing spite of such lines as 165, 168- to dialectic influences, was less sensi

tive than ours. It seems preferable 165. coil] Cotgrave has "vacarme, to blame the printer's eye rather than ...a tumultuous garboil, hurly- Shakespeare's ear. Folio 4 corrects burly, stir, coil.Once thought to the error, but not happily.

172

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