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Even till that utmost corner of the west
Salute thee for her king : till then, fair boy,
Will I not think of home, but follow arms.
Const. O, take his mother's thanks, a widow's

thanks,
Till your strong hand shall help to give him

strength To make a more requital to your

love ! Aust. The peace of heaven is theirs that lift

their swords
In such a just and charitable war.
K. Phi. Well then, to work : our cannon shall

be bent
Against the brows of this resisting town.
Call for our chiefest men of discipline,
To cull the plots of best advantages :
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 unadvised 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.

40

50

Enter CHATILLON.
K. Phi. A wonder, lady! lo, upon thy wish,
Our messenger Chatillon is arrived !
What England says, say briefly, gentle lord ;
We coldly pause for thee; Chatillon, speak.
Chat. Then turn your forces from this paltry

siege 34. more, greater.

choose the best positions for

attack. 40. To cull the plots, etc., to 45. unadvised, rashly.

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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 stay'd, 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 Atè, stirring him to blood and strife;
With her her niece, the Lady Blanch of Spain;
With them a bastard of the king's deceased ;
And all the 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 waft o'er
Did never float upon the swelling tide,
To do offence and scath in Christendom.

[Drum beats.
The interruption of their churlish drums
Cuts off more circumstance: they are at hand,
To parley or to fight; therefore prepare.
K. Phi. How much unlook'd for is this expeci-

tion!
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 prepared.

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60. expedient, expeditious.

63. Atè, the goddess of revenge.

Ff • Ace.' 64. Blanch was the daughter of John's sister Eleanor, married

to Alphonso VIII. of Castile.

65. of the king's deceased, of the deceased king's.

67. voluntaries, volunteers. 77. circumstance, detail.

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90

Enter KING JOHN, ELINOR, BLANCH, the

Bastard, Lords, and forces.
K. John. Peace be to France, if France in

peace permit
Our just and lineal entrance to our own;
If not, bleed France, and peace ascend to heaven,
Whiles we, God's wrathful agent, do correct
Their proud contempt that beats 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, 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 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,

95. under-wrought, under. this "abstract.' mined.

106. this is Geffrey's; i.e. 96. posterity. Cf. note to ii. this boy is Geffrey's son (and 1. 2 above.

as such inheritor of his 'right' Outfaced infant state, to England). The phrase is defied the royal authority per- ambiguous, but the other possonated in a child.

sible interpretations (e.g. this 101. large, full-grown for territory is Geffrey's) are less 103. draw this brief, expand natural.

• 100

97.

110

120

n.

When living blood doth in these temples beat,
Which owe the crown that thou o'ermasterest?
K. John. From whom hast thou this great com-

mission, 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 :
Under whose warrant I impeach thy wrong
And by whose help I mean to chástise 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

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
As thine was to thy husband; and this boy
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 :
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! 109. owe, own.

131.

This charge against 116. impeach, accuse.

Eleanor has support in 123. a queen, and check the Holinshed; but both Fabyan world ; an allusion to the queen and Stow report traditions of her at chess.

adultery (Hol. ed. Stone, p. 51). 136. your hide; i.e. the legen. of the Nemean lion borne by dary lion's hide worn by Richard, Hercules. and seized as a trophy by Austria 147. cracker, braggart. (his murderer, in the romance).

130

no

Bast.

Hear the crier.
Aust.

What the devil art thou ?
Bast. 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 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.

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,
Or lay on that shall make your shoulders crack.

Aust. What cracker is this same that deafs our

140

ears

130

With this abundance of superfluous breath?
King Philip, determine what we shall do straight.
K. Phi. Women and fools, break off your con-

ference.
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?

Theo137. the hare of whom the 149. King Philip. proverb goes.

Ff have The proverb was

bald's emendation. familiar from Erasmus' Adagia,

* King, Lewis,' as a part of in the form : Mortuo leoni et

Austria's speech ; and, ‘Lewis' lepores insultant.'

In English it

as the next speaker. But John's occurs in nearly identical words

reply makes it clear that the in Kyd's Spanish Tragedy. It

French king is the speaker in was a favourite device of the vv. 150-4, and therefore the emblem-writers.

person addressed in v. 149. ash.

152. Anjou. Theobald's cor144. Alcides', i.e. the skin rection for Ff 'Angiers.'

139. smoke,

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