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We'll lay before this town our royal bones,
Const. Stay for an answer to your embassy,
K. Phi. A wonder, lady !-lo, upon thy wish,
What England says, say briefly, gentle lord,
Chat. Then turn your forces from this paltry siege, And stir them up against a mightier task.
England, impatient of your just demands,
His marches are expedient' to this town,
To do offence and scath3 in Christendom.
The interruption of their churlish drums [Drums beat.
K. Phi. How much unlook'd for is this expedition!
Enter King JOHN, ELINOR, BLANCH, PHILIP,
K. John. Peace be to France; if France in peace
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 :
K. John. From whom hast thou this great commis-
To look into the blots and stains of right.
K. John. Alack, thou dost usurp authority.
Than thou and John in manners.
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,
But, ass, I'll take that burden from your back:
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.
Wilt thou resign them, and lay down thy arms?
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
Eli. Thou monstrous slanderer of heaven and earth!
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
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.