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You came not of one mother then, it seems.

Bast. Most certain of one mother, mighty king;
That is well known; and, as I think, one 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 dost shame

thy mother
And wound her honour with this diffidence.

Bast. I, madam? no, I have no reason for it; That is my brother's plea and none of mine ; 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 born, Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance ?

Bast. I know not why, except to get the land.
But once he slander'd me with bastardy:
But whether I 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 me!
Compare our faces and be judge yourself.
If old sir Robert did beget us both
And were our father and this son like him,
O old sir 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 Cordelion's face ;
The accent of his tongue affecteth him.
Do you not read some tokens of my son
In the large composition of this man?

62. put you o'er, refer you. 85. trick, trait. 68. a', he.

86. affecteth, resembles.

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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 ? Bast. Because he hath a half-face, like my

father. With half that face would he have all


land: A half-faced groat five hundred pound a year ! Rob. My gracious liege, when that my father

lived, Your brother did employ my father much,

Bast. Well, sir, by this you cannot get my land : Your tale must be how he employ'd my mother.

Rob. And once dispatch'd him in an embassy To Germany, there with the emperor To treat of high affairs touching that time. The advantage of his absence took the king And in the mean time sojourn'd at my father's ; Where how he did prevail I shame to speak, But truth is truth : large lengths of seas and shores Between my father and my mother lay, As I have heard my father speak himself, When this same lusty gentleman was got. Upon his death-bed he by will bequeath'd His lands to me, and took it on his death That this


mother's son was none of his; An if he were, he came into the world


ΙΙο 120

94. half - faced groat; the force. It was commonly used groat (first issued by Henry VII.) by men who made solemn asbore the profile or ‘half - face' severations on their death-beds of the king on one side.

or before execution. 110. took it on his death, swore, as surely as he expected 112. An if, if. So Hanmer, to die, that, etc. This phrase is followed by Delius. The Ff and not exactly parallel with ‘took it is used indiscriminately both for on his salvation,' where it is the and' and 'an'; but an 'and' strength of desire, not of assur- sentence is here clearly out of ance, that gives the oath its place.

Full fourteen weeks before the course of time.
Then, good my liege, let me have what is mine,
My father's land, as was my father's will.

K. John. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate;
Your father's wife did after wedlock bear him,
And if she did play false, the fault was hers;
Which fault lies on the hazards of all husbands
That marry wives. Tell me, how if my brother,
Who, as you say, took pains to get this son,
Had of your father claim'd this son for his ?
In sooth, good friend, your father might have

This calf bred from his cow from all the world;
In sooth he might; then, if he were my brother's,
My brother might not claim him ; nor your father,
Being none of his, refuse him : this concludes :
My mother's son did get your father's heir;
Your father's heir must have your father's land.

Rob. Shall then my father's will be of no force
To dispossess that child which is not his ?

Bast. Of no more force to dispossess me, sir,
Than was his will to get me, as I think.
Eli. Whether hadst thou rather be a Faulcon-

And like thy brother, to enjoy thy land,
Or the reputed son of Cordelion,
Lord of thy presence and no land beside ?

Bast. Madam, an if my brother had my shape,
And I had his, sir Robert's his, like him ;

127. . concludes, proves de- substantively with that rollicking cisively.

effect which is so characteristic 134. Whether (monosyllabic). Faulconbridge

his 137. of thy presence, of thy emphasising substantively the goodly person.

previous pronominal use of the 139. sir Robert's his, Sir word.' The line might be Robert's shape. This is, I think, paraphrased : •And I had his rightly explained by Mr. shape, in other words a his of Gollancz: 'Surely “his" is used Sir Robert's.'




And if my legs were two such riding-rods,
My arms such eel-skins stuff'd, my face so thin
That in mine ear I durst not stick a rose
Lest men should say 'Look, where three-farthings

goes !'


And, to his shape, were heir to all this land,
Would I might never stir from off this place,
I would give it every foot to have this face;
I would not be sir Nob in any case.
Eli. I like thee well: wilt thou forsake thy

Bequeath thy land to him and follow me?
I am a soldier and now bound to France.
Bast. Brother, take you my land, I'll take my

Your face hath got five hundred pound a year,
Yet sell your face for five pence and 'tis dear.
Madam, I'll follow you unto the death.
Eli. Nay, I would have you go before

thither. Bast. Our country manners give our betters way. K. John. What is thy name?

Bast. Philip, my liege, so is my name begun;
Philip, good old sir Robert's wife's eldest son.
K. John. From henceforth bear his

whose form thou bear'st:
Kneel thou down Philip, but rise more great,
Arise sir Richard and Plantagenet.
Bast. Brother by the mother's side, give me





hand :

143. three-farthings; the thin 144. to, in addition to. silver piece of this value (coined

147. sir Nob, Sir Robert. from 1561 to 1582) had on one side a profile-head of Elizabeth, 153. sell your face for five with a rose at the back.

It was

pence and 'tis dear; carrying on a court fashion to put a rose in the jest of v. 94, where it was the ear.

valued at a groat (i.e. 4d.).


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My father gave me honour, yours gave land.
Now blessed be the hour, by night or day,
When I was got, sir Robert was away!

Eli. The very spirit of Plantagenet !
I am thy grandam, Richard ; call me so.
Bast. Madam, by chance but not by truth;

what though?
Something about, a little from the right,

In at the window, or else o'er the hatch:
Who dares not stir by day must walk by night,

And have is have, however men do catch :
Near or far off, well won is still well shot,
And I am I, howe'er I was begot.
K. John. Go, Faulconbridge: now hast thou

thy desire;
A landless knight makes thee a landed squire.
Come, madam, and come, Richard, we must

speed For France, for France, for it is more than need. Bast. Brother, adieu : good fortune come to

thee! For thou wast got i’ the way of honesty.

[Exeunt all but Bastard. A foot of honour better than I was ; But many a many foot of land the worse. Well, now can I make any Joan a lady. 'Good den, sir Richard !'-'God-a-mercy, fel

low!'And if his name be George, I'll call him Peter; For new-made honour doth forget men's names ;



170. about, i.e. not perfectly 180, 181. Bastards, according straight, regular.

to the proverb, are born lucky ; 170. from, away from.

whereas the honestly

born 171. In at the window, or else Robert's luck is precarious and o'er the hatch; both phrases to be prayed for. were proverbially applied to 184. any Joan, any peasantchildren born out of wedlock. girl.

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