Imágenes de páginas

Blanch, daughter to Alphonso King of CastUe, and

niece to King John. Lady FAULCONBRiDGE, mother to the Bastard, and

Robert Faulconbridge.

Lords, Ladies, Citizens of Angiers, Sheriff, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.

SCENE, sometimes in England, and sometimes in France.



Northampton, A Room of State in the Palace.

Enter King JoHy, Queen Elinor, Pembroke, Essex, Salisbury, and Others, wth Chatillon.

K. John. Now, say, Chatillon, what would France with us?

Chat. Thus, after greeting, speaks the king of France, In my behaviour1, to the majesty, The borrow'd majesty of England here.

Eli. A strange beginning ;—borrow'd majesty!

K. John. Silence, good mother; hear the embassy.

Chat. Philip of France, in right and true behalf
Of thy deceased brother Geffrey's son,
Arthur Plantagenet, lays most lawful claim
To this fair island, and the territories;
To Ireland, Poictiers, Anjou, Touraine, Maine:
Desiring thee to lay aside the sword,
Which sways usurpingly these several titles;
And put the same into young Arthur's hand,
Thy nephew, and right royal sovereign.

K.. John. What follows, if we disallow of this»

Chat. The proud control of fierce and bloody war, To enforce these rights so forcibly withheld.

K. John. Here have we war for war, and blood for

blood, Controlment for controlment: so answer France.

Chat. Then take my king's defiance from my mouth, The furthest limit of my embassy.

K. John. Bear mine to him, and so depart in peace: Be thou as lightning in the eyes of France; For ere thou canst report I will be there, The thunder of my cannon shall be heard: So, hence! Be thou the trumpet of our wrath, And sullen presage of your own decay.— . An honourable conduct let him have :— Pembroke, look to't: farewell, Chatillon.

[Exeunt Chatillon and Pembroke.

Eli. What now, my son? have I not ever said,
How that ambitious Constance would not cease,
Till she had kindled France, and all the world,
Upon the right and party of her son?
This might have been prevented, and made whole,
With very easy arguments of love;
Which now the manage of two kingdoms must
With fearful bloody issue arbitrate.

K. John. Our strong possession, and our right, for us.

Eli. Your strong possession, much more than your


Or else it must go wrong with you, and me:
So much my conscience whispers in your ear;
Which none but heaven, and you, and I, shall hear.

Enter the Sheriff of Northamptonshire, who whispers Essex.

Esser. My liege, here is the strangest controversy, Come from the country to be judg’d by you, That e'er I heard: shall I produce the men 2

K. John. Let them approach.- [Erit Sheriff. Our abbies, and our priories, shall pay

Re-enter Sheriff, with Rob ERT FAULconBRIDGE, and PHILIP, his bastard brother.

This expedition's charge.—What men are you?
Bast. Your faithful subject I, a gentleman,
Born in Northamptonshire; and eldest son,
As I suppose, to Robert Faulconbridge;
A soldier, by the honour-giving hand
Of Coeur-de-lion knighted in the field.
K. John. What art thou ? -
Rob. The son and heir to that same Faulconbridge.
K. John. Is that the elder, and art thou the heir 2
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
And wound her honour with this diffidence.
Bast. I, madam no, I have no reason for it;
W. O. L. W.I. M

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 whe'r 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;—

0 old sir Robert, father, on my knee

1 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 Cceur-de-lion*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?

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 that half-face would he have all my land: A half-faced groat five hundred pound a year!

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