« AnteriorContinuar »
To land his legions all as soon as I.
His marches are expedient to this town,
His forces ftrong, his foldiers confident.
With him along is come the mother Queen;
An Até, ftirring him to blood and ftrife.
With her, her neice, the lady Blanch of Spain;;
With them a baftard of the King deceas'd,
And all th' unfettled humours of the land;
Rafh, inconfid'rate, fiery voluntaries,
With ladies' faces, and fierce dragons' spleens,
Have fold 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 fwelling tide,
To do offence and scathe in christendom.
The interruption of their churlish drums
Cuts off more circumstance; they are at hand.
To parly, or to fight, therefore prepare.
K. Philip. How much unlook'd for is this expedition.!!
Auft. By how much unexpected, by fo much.
We must awake endeavour for defence;
For courage mounteth with occafion :
Let them be welcome then, we are prepar'd.
Enter King of England, Faulconbridge, Elinor, Blanch,
Pembroke, and others.
K. John. Peace be to France, if France in peace permit
Our juft and lineal entrance to our own:
If not, bleed France, and peace afcend to heav'n..
Whilft we, God's wrathful agent, do correct
Their proud contempt that beats his peace to heav'n.'
K. Philip. 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 fake
With burthen of our armour here we fweat;:
This toil of ours fhould be a work of thine.
But thou from loving England art fo far,
That thou haft under-wrought its lawful King;
Cut off the fequence of pofterity;
Out-faced infant ftate; 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 abftract doth contain that large,
Which dy'd in Geffrey; and the hand of time
Shall draw this brief into as large a volume.
That Geffrey was thy elder brother born,
And this his fon; 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 own the crown that thou o'er-maftereft?.
K. John. From whom haft thou this great commiffion,
To draw my answer to thy articles?
K. Philip. From that fupernal judge, that ftirs goodi 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 whofe warrant I impeach thy wrong,
And by whofe help I mean to chastise it.
K. John. Alack, thou doft ufurp authority.
.K. Philip. Excuse it, 'tis to beat ufurping down.
Eli. Who is't, that thou doft call ufurper, France?
Conft. Let me make anfwer: thy ufurping fon.-
Eli Out, infolent! thy bastard fhall be King,
That thou may't be a Queen, and check the world!
Conft. My bed was ever to thy fon 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 foul, I think,
His father never was fo true-begot ;
It cannot be, an if thou wert his mother.
Eli. There's a good mother, boy, that blots thy
Conft. There's a good grandam, boy, that would
Faulc. Hear the crier.
Auft. What the devil art thou?
Faulc. 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, Whofe valour plucks dead Lions by the beard; I'll fmoak 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 difrobe the Lion of that robe...
Faule. It lyes as fightly on the back of him, (6)
As great Alcides' fhews upon an ass;
But, afs, I'll take that burthen from your back,
Or lay on that, fhall make your fhoulders crack.
Auft. What cracker is this fame, that deafs our ears
With this abundance of fuperfluous breath?
King Philip, determine what we shall do ftrait.
K.Philip. Women and fools, break off your conference.. King John, this is the very fum of all;
England, and Ireland, Anjou, Touraine, Maine,
In right of Arthur I do claim of thee:
Wilt thou refign them, and lay down thy arms?
(6) It lyes as fightly on the Back of him,
As great Alcides' Shoes upon an Afs.] But why his Shorts in the Name of Propriety? For let Hercules and his Shoes have been really as big as they were ever fuppos'd to be, yet they (I mean, the Sboes) would not have been an Overload for an Afs. I am perfuaded, I have retriev'd the true Reading; and let us obferve the Juftnefs of the Comparison now. Faulconbridge in his Refentment would fay this to Auftria, “That "Lion's Skin, which my great Father King Richand once wore, looks as uncouthly on thy Back; as that other noble Hide, "which was borne by Hercules, would look on the Back of an "Afs." A double Allufion was intended; firft, to the Fable of the Afs in the Lion's Skin: then Richard I. is finely fet in Competition with Alcides; as Auftria is fatirically coupled with the Afs.
K. John. My life as foon-I do defie thee, France.
Arthur of Britain, 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.
Conf. 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 fhames him fo, poor boy, he weeps. Conft. Now fhame upon you, whe're fhe does or no? His grandam's wrong, and not his mother's fhames, Draws thofe heav'n-moving pearls from his poor eyes, Which heav'n fhall take in nature of a fee:
Ay, with these cryftal beads heav'n fhall be brib'd
To do him juftice, and revenge on you.
Eli. Thou monftrous flanderer of heav'n and earth !
Conft. Thou monftrous injurer of heav'n and earth.
Call me not flanderer; thou, and thine, ufurp
The domination, royalties and rights
Of this oppreffed boy; this is thy eldest son's fon,
Infortunate in nothing but in thee:
Thy fins are vifited in this poor child;
The canon of the law is laid on him;
Being but the fecond generation
Removed from thy fin-conceiving womb.
K. John. Bedlam, have done.
Conft. I have but this to fay,
That he is not only plagued for her fin,
But God hath made her fin and her the plague
On this removed iffue, plagu'd for her,
And with her plague her fin; his injury,
Her injury, the beadle to her fin,
All punish'd in the perfon of this child,
And all for her, a plague upon her!
Eli. Thou unadvised scold, I can produce
A will, that bars the title of thy son.
Conft. Ay, who doubts that? a will!
A woman's will, a cankred grandam's will.
K. Philip. Peace, Lady; pause, or be more temperate : It ill befeems this prefence to cry Aim
To thefe ill-tuned repetitions.
Some trumpet fummon hither to the walls
Thefe men of Angiers; let us hear them speak,
Whole title they admit, Arthur's or John's.
Enter a Citizen upon the Walls.
Cit. Who is it, that hath warn'd us to the walls?
K. Philip. 'Tis France, for England.
K. John. England for itself;
You men of Angiers and my loving fubjects
K. Philip. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's fubjects,
Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle
K. John. For our advantage; therefore hear us first:
Thefe flags of France, that are advanced here
Before the eye and profpect 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 preparations for a bloody fiege
And merciless proceeding, by thefe French,
Confront your city's eyes, your winking gates;
And, but for our approach, thofe fleeping stones,
That as a waste do girdle you about,
By the compulfion of their ordinance
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 fight of us your lawful King,
(Who painfully with much expedient march
Have brought a counter check before your gates,
To fave unfcratch'd your city's threatned cheeks)