Изображения страниц

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 Até, stirring him to blood and ftrife.
With her, her neice, the lady Blanch of Spain ;;
With them a bastard of the King deceas'd,
And all th' unsettled humours of the land ;
Rash, 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 swelling tide,
To do offence and scathe in christendom.
The interruption of their churlith drums [Drums.beati
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 so 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 just and lineal entrance to our own: If not, bleed France, and peace ascend to heav'n.. Whilft we, God's wrathful agent, do correct Their proud contempt that beats his peace to heav'ns

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 sake: With burthen 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 haft under wrought its lawful King ::


[ocr errors]

Cut off the sequence of pofterity;
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 hisz:
This little abstract 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-mastereft?.
K. Joh. From whom bast thou this great commiffion;

France, To draw my answer to thy articles ? .K. Philip. From that supernal judge, that stirs good

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 chatise it.

K. Fobn.. Alack, thou doft usurp authority.
.K. Philip. Excuse it, 'tis to beat usurping down.
· Eli. Who is't, that thou dost call usurper, France ?

Conft. Let me make answer : thy usurping son.

El Out, insolent! thy bastard shall be King, That thou may't be a Queen, and check the world!

Cont. 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 baftard ! by my foul, I think, His father neyer was so true.begot ; : It cannot be, an if thou wert his mother, Eli. There's a good mother, boy, that blots thy father,


[ocr errors]

Conft. There's a good grandam, boy, that would

blot thee.
Auft. Peace.
Fauic. Hear the crier.
Auft. What the devil art thou?

Faulo. 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 smoak 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 robes
That did difrobe the Lion of that robe.

Faul. It lyes as fightly on the back of him, (6)
As great Alcidesshews upon an ass;
But, ass, I'll take that burthen from your back,
Or lay on that, shall make your shoulders crack.

Auft. What cracker is this fame, that deafs our eara
With this abundance of superfluous breath?
King Pbilip, determine what we shall do Atrait.

K. Philip. Women and fools, break off your conference.
King John, this is the very sum of all;
England, and Ireland, Anjou, Touraine, Maine,
In right of Arthur I do claim of thee :
Wilt thou resign them, and lay down thy arms. ?

(6) It lyes, as figbtly on the Back of bim,

As great Alcides' Shoes upon an Afs.] But why his Sboessa in the Name of Propriety ? For let Hercules and his Sboes have been really as big as they were ever fuppos’d to be, yet they NI mean, the Shoes) would not have been an Overload for an Ass. I am persuaded, I have retriev'd the true Reading; and let us observe the Justness of the Comparison now. Faulconbridge in his Refentment would say this to Austria,

" That Lion's Skin, which my great Father King Ricband 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 " Ass." A double Allufion was intended ; first, to the Fable of the Ass in the Lion's Skin: then Richard I. is finely fet in Competition with Alcidos; as Auftria is satirically coupled with a the Ass.

K. Jobri.

K. John. My life as soon-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.

Conjt. 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.

Conf. Now shame upon you, whe're she does or no !
His grandam's wrong, and not his mother's shames,
Draws those heav'n-moving pearls from his poor eyes,
Which heav'n fhall take in nature of a fee :
Ay, with these crystal beads heav'n shall be brib'd
To do him justice, and revenge on you.
Eli. Thou monstrous slanderer of heav'n and earth!

Conft. Thou monstrous injurer of heav'n and earth.
Call me not flanderer; thou, and thine, usurp
The domination, royalties and rights
Of this oppressed boy; this is thy eldest son's son,
Infortunate in nothing but in thee :
Thy fins are visited in this


child l;
The canon of the law is laid on him ;
Being but the second generation
Removed from thy fin-conceiving womb.

K. John. Bedlam, have done.
Conft. I have but this to say,
That he is not only plagued for her sin,
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 person of this child,
And all for her, a plague upon

Eli. Thou unadvised scold, I can produce


A will, that bars the title of thy son.

Conft. Ay, who doubts that? a will!

-a wicked


[ocr errors]

A woman's will, a cankred grandam's will.

K. Philip. Peace, Lady; pause, or be more temperate :
It ill beseems this presence to cry Aim
To these ill-tuned repetitions.
Some trumpet summon hither to the walls
These men of Angiers ; let us hear them speak,
Whose title they admit, Arthur's or John's.

[Trumpet founds
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 subjects
K. Philip. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's fub

jects, Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle

K. John. For our advantage; therefore hear as first : These flags of France, that are advanced here 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 preparations for a bloody fiege And merciless proceeding, by these French, Confront your city's eyes, your winking gates ; And, but for our approach, those sleeping 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 dilhabited, 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 save unscratch'd your city's threatned cheeks)


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »