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BAST. Your faithful fubject I, a gentleman,
Born in Northamptonshire; and eldest fon,
As I fuppofe, to Robert Faulconbridge;
A foldier, by the honour-giving hand
Of Coeur-de-lion knighted in the field.
K. JOHN. What art thou?

ROB. The fon and heir to that fame Faulcon-

K. JOHN. Is that the elder, and art thou the heir?
You came not of one mother then, it seems.

BAST. Moft 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.9

Philip, who, in the year following, killed the Viscount De Limoges, to revenge the death of his father. STEEVENS.

Perhaps the following paffage in the continuation of Harding's Chronicle, 1543, fol. 24, b. ad ann. 1472, induced the author of the old play to affix the name of Faulconbridge to King Richard's natural fon, who is only mentioned in our hiftories by the name of Philip: -one Faulconbridge, therle of Kent, his baftarde, a ftoute-harted man."

Who the mother of Philip was is not ascertained. It is faid that she was a lady of Poitou, and that King Richard bestowed upon her fon a lordship in that province.

In expanding the character of the Baftard, Shakspeare feems to have proceeded on the following flight hint in the original play:

"Next them, a baftard of the king's deceas'd,
"A hardie wild-head, rough, and venturous.'

• But, for the certain knowledge of that truth,
I put you o'er to heaven, and to my mother;

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Of that I doubt, as all men's children may.] The refemblance between this fentiment, and that of Telemachus, in the firft Book of the Ody Jey, is apparent. The paffage is thus tranflated by Chapman :

ELI. Out on thee, rude man! thou doft 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 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 flander'd me with baftardy:
But whe'r' I be as true begot, or no,
That ftill 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 fir Robert did beget us both,

And were our father, and this fon like him ;-
O old fir 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!

"My mother, certaine, fays I am his fonne;
"I know not; nor was ever fimply knowne,

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By any child, the fure truth of his fire."

Mr. Pope has obferved, that the like fentiment is found in Euripides, Menander, and Ariftotle. Shakspeare expreffes the fame doubt in feveral of his other plays. STEEVENS.

But whe'r-] Whe'r for whether.


So, in The Comedy of

"Good fir, fay whe'r you'll answer me, or no."



ELI. He hath a trick of Coeur-de-lion's face,2
The accent of his tongue affecteth him:
Do you not read fome tokens of my fon
In the large compofition of this man?

K. JOHN. Mine eye hath well examined his parts, And finds them perfect Richard.Sirrah, peak, What doth move you to claim your brother's land?

BAST. Because he hath a half-face, like my father;

"He hath a trick of Coeur-de-lion's face,] The trick, or tricking, is the fame as the tracing of a drawing, meaning that peculiarity of face which may be fufficiently fhown by the flightest outline. This expreffion is used by Heywood and Rowley, in their comedy called Fortune by Land and Sea: "Her face, the trick of her eye, her leer."

The following paffage, in Ben Jonfon's Every Man out of his Humour, proves the phrafe to be borrowed from delineation: You can blazon the reft, Signior?

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"O ay, I have it in writing here o'purpofe; it coft me two fhillings the tricking."

So again, in Cynthia's Revels:

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the parish-buckets with his name at length trick'd upon them." STEEVENS.

By a trick, in this place, is meant fome peculiarity of look or motion. So, Helen, in All's well that ends well, fays, fpeaking of Bertram

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'Twas pretty, though a plague,

"To fee him every hour; to fit and draw
"His arched brows, &c.

"In our heart's table; heart too capable

"Of every line and trick of his fweet favour."

And Glofter, in King Lear, fays

"The trick of that voice I do well remember."



Our author often ufes this phrafe, and generally in the fenfe of a peculiar air or caft of countenance or feature. So, in King Henry IV. P. I: "That thou art my fon, I have partly thy mother's word, partly my own opinion; but chiefly a villainous trick of thine eye,-.' MALONE.

With that half-face3 would he have all my land:
A half-faced groat five hundred pound a year!
ROB. My gracious liege, when that my father


Your brother did employ my father much ;— land;

BAST. Well, fir, by this you cannot get my Your tale muft be, how he employ'd my mother.

ROB. And once despatch'd him in an embaffy
To Germany, there, with the emperor,
To treat of high affairs touching that time:
The advantage of his abfence took the king,
And in the mean time fojourn'd at my father's;

3 With that half-face-] The old copy-with half that face. But why with half that face? There is no queftion but the poet wrote, as I have reftored the text: With that halfface. Mr. Pope, perhaps, will be angry with me for difcovering an anachronism of our poet's in the next line, where he alludes to a coin not ftruck till the year 1504, in the reign of King Henry VII. viz. a groat, which, as well as the half groat, bore but half faces impreffed. Vide Stowe's Survey of London, p. 47, Holinfhed, Camden's Remains, &c. The poet fneers at the meagre sharp vifage of the elder brother, by comparing him to a filver groat, that bore the king's face in profile, fo fhowed but half the face: the groats of all our Kings of England, and indeed all their other coins of filver, one or two only excepted, had a full face crowned; till Henry VII. at the time above mentjoned, coined groats and half-groats, as alfo fome fhillings, with half faces, i. e. faces in profile, as all our coin has now. The firft groats of King Henry VIII. were like thofe of his father; though afterwards he returned to the broad faces again. These groats, with the impreffion in profile, are undoubtedly here alluded to: though, as I faid, the poet is knowingly guilty of an anachronism in it: for, in the time of King John, there were no groats at all; they being firft, as far as appears, coined in the reign of King Edward III. THEOBALD.

The fame contemptuous allufion occurs in The Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington, 1601:

"You half-fac'd groat, you thick-cheek'd chitty-face." Again, in Hiftriomaftix, 1610:

"Whilft I behold yon half-fac'd minion." STEEVENS.

Where how he did prevail, I fhame to speak:
But truth is truth; large lengths of feas and fhores
Between my father and my mother lay,4
(As I have heard my father speak himself,)
When this fame lufty gentleman was got.
Upon his death-bed he by will bequeath'd
His lands to me; and took it, on his death,5
That this, my mother's fon, was none of his;
And, if he were, he came into the world
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.

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K. JOHN. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate;
Your father's wife did after wedlock bear him :
And, if she did play falfe, 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 fon,
Had of your father claim'd this fon for his?
In footh, good friend, your father might have kept
This calf, bred from his cow, from all the world;

4 large lengths of feas and fhores

Between my father and my mother lay,] This is Homeric, and is thus rendered by Chapman, in the firft Iliad:

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hills enow, and farre-refounding feas
"Powre out their fhades and deepes between.-

Again, in Ovid, De Triftibus, IV. vii. 21 :

"Innumeri montes inter me teque, viæque

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Fluminaque et campi, nec freta pauca, jacent."

5 took it, on his death,] i. e. entertained it as his fixed opinion, when he was dying. So, in Hamlet:


this, I take it,

"Is the main motive of our preparation." STEEVENS.

your father might have kept

This calf, bred from his cow, from all the world;] The decifion of King John coincides with that of Menie, the Indian

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