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Ay, with these crystal beads heaven shall be bribed

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 175
The dominations, royalties and rights
Of this oppressed boy: this is thy eld'st son's son,
Infortunate in nothing but in thee:
Thy sins are visited in this poor child;
The canon of the law is laid on him,

180 Being but the second generation

Removed from thy sin-conceiving womb.
K. John. Bedlam, have done.

I have but this to say,
That he is not only plagued for her sin,
But God hath made her sin and her the plague 185
On this removed issue, plagued 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!


175. not me] Ff 1, 2, 3; me not F 4. 176. dominations] F 1; domination Ff 2, 3, 4.

177. this is thy eld'st] Capell; this is thy eldest Ff. 171. crystal . . . bribed] Mr. Craig passage as follows: “God hath made suggests that here we have a reflec- her sin and herself to be a plague to tion of the old voyagers' stories of this distant child, who is punished bribing Indians with beads.

for her and with the punishment be180. The canon .. on him] The longing to her : God has made her sins of Elinor, Arthur's grandmother, sin to be an injury to Arthur, and her are being visited upon her grandson, injurious deeds to be the executioner according to the canon of the law, to punish her sin : all which (viz. her even to the third and fourth genera- first sin and her now injurious deeds) tion.

are punished in the person of this 183. Bedlam] lunatic. Rann, child." The only difficulty here is after a conjecture of Ritson's, reads the use of“ injury" in two ways, the (quite possibly) “Beldam,” but com. first meaning injury to Arthur, and the pare King Lear, III. vii. 103: “Let's second meaning injurious deeds perfollow the old earl, and get the bed. petrated by Elinor. The Folios read lam To lead him where he would.” (line 187) « with her plague her sinne.” Derived from the Bethlehem Hospital The passage is difficult and has given for the Insane.

rise to all kinds of suggestions. 185. But God hath made her sin, Malone supposed that two half lines etc.] We follow the punctuation sug- had been dropped after “And with gested by Roby, who explains the her.”

190 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 temperate : 195

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.


Trumpet sounds. Enter certain 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 callid you to this gentle parle, - 205 K. John. For our advantage; therefore hear us first.

her) Mr. Craig sug- violent proceedings all thy neighbours gests that Shakespeare wrote “ And shall cry aim. Several editors have all for her, for her; a plague upon endeavoured to improve the passage. her !"

Jonson suggested that “aim 196. cry aim] “ To cry aim" meant abbreviation of “

J'aime"! in the first place, to encourage archers 198. Some . . . walls] Mr. Craig when shooting. The bystanders suggests “ Sound trumpet! Summon evidently used to cry “Aim!” It hither to the walls." then came to mean encouragement in 205. parle] parley, conference, or general. Compare Merry Wives of even speech. So constantly in Windsor, ill. ii. 45: “ And to these Elizabethan plays.

190. And

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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, 210
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
Confronts your city's eyes, your winking gates; 215
And but for our approach those sleeping stones,
That as a waist doth girdle you about,
By the compulsion of their ordinance
By this time from their fixed beds of lime
Had been dishabited, and wide havoc made 220
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 threatened cheeks, 225

Behold, the French amaz'd vouchsafe a parle; 215. Confronts your] Capell; Comfort yours Ff 1, 2; Comfort your Ff 3, 4; Confront your Rowe; Come 'fore your Collier, ed. 2 (Collier MŚ.).

207. advanced] lifted up (a common 217. waist] a garment worn round Elizabethan meaning). Compare the waist. The modern American Cotgrave, Haussé : hoised, raised, lady calls a blouse " waist.' advanced,

set Compare Spenser's Ditty to Eliza : aloft."

“gird in your waist, For more fine215. winking] closed at our ap- ness with a tawdry lace." proach.

“ To wink,” in the sense 217. doth] Here we have “stones of closing both_eyes, is common nominative to dothowing to the in Elizabethan English. Compare interposition of the singular noun Promos and Cassandra (pt. i.), v. v.: waist." Contrast lines 168, 169

your eyes harde you must above. close. . . . Winke harde”; and Lyly, 220. Had been made] Fleay Euphues (ed. Arber, p. 333, line 28) : regularises the line by reading “dis“though I wink at a flash of lightning, habit"-needlessly. Compare 1. i. I dare open my eyes again."

20 and note above.


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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, 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. 235

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: 240
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,

234. Crave] Pope; Craves Ff.

229. They shoot ... smoke] Com- 247, 248. owe .. owes] The two pare Lucrece, 1027: “This helpless meanings of “owe" are used. Comsmoke of words doth me no right.” pare “owes," which Pope needlessly

233. Forwearied] completely altered to "owns,” with line 109 wearied, tired out. The prefix for above. is exactly equivalent to the German 249. arms] Vaughan suggests

"army” as more in keeping with the 234. Crave) See note on line 217 simile of the bear, and as saving the above.

grammar; but it makes the line too 236. in] We should now say “on." long.


Save in aspect, hath all offence seald up; 250
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 unbruised,
We will bear home that lusty blood again 255
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-faced walls
Can hide you from our messengers of war, 260
Though all the 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 challenged it?
Or shall we give the signal to our rage

265 And stalk in blood to our possession ? First Cit. In brief, we are the king of England's subjects :

For him, and in his right, we hold this town. K. John. Acknowledge then the king, and let me in. First Cit. That can we not; but he that proves the king, 270

253. unvex'd] unharassed.

words in -ure. Compare Sonnet xxi. : 253. retire]

retreat. Compare ... all things rare That heaven's Henry V. iv. iii. 86:

air in this huge rondure hems"; and “ that their souls cincture, iv. iii. 155 infra. May make a peaceful and a sweet 259. old-faced] Williams' conjecture retire”;

of“ bold-faced" looks very probable. and line 326 infra.

Old-faceddoes not seem particu258. profferd offer] The repetition larly apt in the light of the context. of sound here has worried the critics; The same scholar would alter “rude" but the “proper offer" of Jervis, the in line 262 to "wide.”

We might proffer'd love" of S. Walker, the suppose that Philip is belittling the

proffer'd peace" of Hudson, do not fortifications of Angiers, which would seem needful or convincing.

justify reading 'old-facedand 259. roundure] The Folios read “rude." “rounder," as often with French


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