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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 wish,
Our messenger Chatillon is arriv'd.-

What England says, say briefly, gentle lord,
We coldly 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 deceas'd:
And all th' 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 English bottoms have waft2 o'er,
Did never float upon the swelling tide,

To do offence and scath3 in Christendom.

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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 expedition!
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, PHILIP,
PEMBROKE, and forces.

K. John. Peace be to France; if France in peace
Our just and lineal entrance to our own! [permit
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 ;

2

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'ermastereth?

1

underworked, undermined.

2

draft, outline.

K. John. From whom hast thou this great commis-
To draw my answer from thy articles? [sion, France,
K. Phi. From that supernal judge, that stirs good
In any breast of strong authority,
[thoughts

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 thou 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.

Aust. Peace!

Phil.

Aust.

Hear the crier.

What the devil art thou?

Phil. 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 proverb2 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!

Phil. 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?

'The lion's hide, the spoil of Richard Coeur de Lion, which Austria wore.

2 The proverb alluded to is, " Mortuo leoni et lepores insultant. Erasmi Adag.-MALONE.

K. Phi. Lewis, determine what we shall do straight.
Lew. Women and fools, break off your conference.-
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?
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; 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, or no! His grandam's wrongs, and not his mother's shames, Draw those heaven-moving pearls from his poor eyes, Which heaven shall take in nature of a fee;

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
The dominations, royalties, and rights,

Of this oppressed boy: This is thy eldest son's son, Infortunate in nothing but in thee;

Thy sins are visited in this poor child.

K. John. Beldam, have done.

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 :

It ill beseems this presence, to cry aim1
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 subOur trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle. [jects,

K. John. For our advantage;-Therefore, hear us These flags of France, that are advanced here [first.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 winking3 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 cheeks,Behold, the French, amaz'd, vouchsafe a parle :

1 to cry aim, to encourage.

If we read, For your advantage, it would be a more specious reason for interrupting Philip.-TYRWHITT.

3 winking gates, gates hastily closed from an apprehension of danger.

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