Page images

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. 30

[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 35
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 right, 40

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 a Sheriff.
Essex. My liege, here is the strangest controversy

Come from the country to be judged by you, 45 K. John. Let them approach.

That e'er I heard : shall I produce the men ? 29. An honourable conduct ... 37. the manage of two kingdoms] have] In Troublesome Raigne, 1. i. 61 i.e. those who manage the two et seq. John says:

kingdoms, the powers, the authori. “Pembroke, convay him safely to ties. Compare note on line 17 supra. the sea,

Fleay wished to treat it as a plural But not in hast: for as we are noun, but if we take it in the more advisde

abstract sense this is unnecessary. We mean to be in France as 38. fearful-bloody] Mr. Craig sugsoone as he.”

gests the hyphen-a typically ShakeShakespeare does not ascribe this spearian compound. petty treachery to John.

'Enter a Sherif] The Trouble29. conduct] safe conduct.

some Raigne, Part i., has the stage. 49. expedition's] expeditious F1; Fleay keeps this reading. 54. Coeurde-lion] Ff and Troublesome Raigne spell Richard's appellation Cordelion. direction, “Enter the Shrive, and some Raigne than in King Fohn. In whispers the Earlof Sals. in the eare." Bale's Kynge Yohan John is always Capell introduced this into Shake. harping on the riches of the Church. speare's play, substituting “Essex” See Introduction. for “Salisbury.” Some such device 54. knighted ... field] To be is necessary, unless we assume that knighted in the field was an honour Shakespeare wishes us to believe given only to the bravest fighters. that Essex had previous knowledge See Gautier's La Chevalerie for inof the Sheriff's business.

Our abbeys and our priories shall pay
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 Caur-de-lion knighted in the field.
K. John. What art thou ?

55 Rob. The son and heir to that same Faulconbridge. K. John. Is that the elder, and art thou the heir ?

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: 60
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.

stances (pp. 253, 254). Compare also 48, 49. Our abbeys ... charge] Cymbeline, v. v. 20. This pillaging of the Church plays 62. put you o'er to] refer you to. a much larger part in the Trouble.

Eli. Out on thee, rude man! thou dost shame thy mother

And wound her honour with this diffidence. 65 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 land! 70 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 whether 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

80 75. whether] Ff 1-3 have where for whether according to the pronunciation.

64. rude man) = rúde-man. Com. would then require alteration to pare “rudesby” in Taming of the “slanders.” There seems no adeShrew, III. ii. io, and Twelfth Night, quate reason for rejecting the obvious iv. i. 55. Mr. Craig suggests read- meaning of “once”-in time past. ing “Out, out on thee, rude man! “Slander'ddoes not here necesDost shame thy mother !"

sarily imply falseness of accusation 65. diffidence] obsolete sense of as it does nowadays, but accusation “mistrust." Compare King Lear, merely. 1. ii. 161: “heedless diffidences, 74-78. But] Vaughan suggests that banishment of friends, dissipation of three initial" buts” in five lines cohorts."

could not be due to Shakespeare. 69. pound] The singular is often He would put line 76 in brackets, and used for the plural by Shakespeare in read “ Yet” for Butin line 77. these cases. Here it adds to the 78. Fair fall] fair hap befal. Comcolloquialism of the Bastard's speech, pare Richard III. 1, iii. 282: “Now who also uses the colloquial a' for fair befal thee and thy noble house" ; he.

Beaumont and Fletcher, The Captain, 74. once] Delius would take "once" iii. 3: “Fair fall thy sweet face for as equivalent to "once for all.” Mr. it"; Burns' 'Lines to a Haggis : Wright objects, for “slander'dFair fa' thy honest sonsie face."

And were our father and this son like him,
O old sir 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

Eli. He hath a trick of Caur-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, 90

What doth move you to claim your brother's land ? Bast. Because he hath a half-face, like my father.

84. lent] sent Hudson (Heath conj.). 92-94. father. . . . land: ... year l] father? ... land, . .. year ? Ff 1, 2; father, ... land, ... year? Ff 3, 4; father, ... land ; ... year. Capell; father, ... land ? ... year! Theobald.

85. He hath a trick] Vaughan would “disposition of the mind follows comprefer to read “the trick.As it position of the body." stands it means “ He hath a copy of . 92, 94. half-face] profile. For Caur-de-lion's face"; " trickbeing "half that face" (line 93) Theobald a heraldic term for a pen-and-ink reads “that half-face"; Vaughan copy of a coat-of-arms. Tricked: suggests “half a face," and another sketched in outline with pen and conjecture is "half the face." Theoink" (Boutell's Heraldry, p. 84). bald's reading seems to be the most Compare “Copy of the father, eye, rational. Half-faced groat: a groat nose, lip, The trick of's frown" (The with the sovereign's face in profile. Winter's Tale, II. iii. 100); "The Compare Boorde, Introduction to trick of that voice I do well remem- Knowledge (quoted in New Eng. ber" (King Lear, iv. vi. 108), which Dict.): “They have half-face seem to be less pertinent examples, crowns." There seems to be at where “trick" is used in the more least a suggestion of contempt in the modern sense of “peculiarity,” use of the term. Compare 2 Henry

86. affecteth] resembleth. There IV. II. ii. 283 : “And this same half. is no other example of this use in faced fellow, Shadow ... the foeShakespeare.

man may with as great aim level at 88. large composition] big build. the edge of a penknife"; and MunCompare 1 Henry VI. 11. iii. 75: day's Downfall of Richard Earl of " You did mistake The outward com- Huntington (quoted in New Eng. position of his body"; and Lyly's Dict.): “You half-fac'd groat! You Euphues (ed. Arber, p. 293, line 6): thick- (? thin-) cheek'd chittiface."


With half that face would he have all my land:

A half-faced groat five hundred pound a year! Rob. My gracious liege, when that my father lived, 95

Your brother did employ my father much,—
Bast. Well sir, by this you cannot get my land :

Your tale must be how he employ'd my mother.
Rob. And once dispatch'd him in an embassy
To Germany, there with the emperor

To treat of high affairs touching that time.
The advantage of his absence took the king
And in the mean time sojourn'd at my father's;
Where how he did prevail I shame to speak,
But truth is truth: large lengths of seas and shores 105
Between my father and my mother lay,
As I have heard my father speak himself,
When this same lusty gentleman was got.
Upon his death-bed he by will bequeath'd
His lands to me, and took it on his death 110
That this my mother's son 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. 115


100. the emperor] Henry VI. this wound on the thigh." Owing

110. took it on his death] my to the mention of “death-bed" in father swore most solemnly. This line 109, Steevens explains it as phrase, often met with in Elizabethan "entertained it as his fixed opinion literature, implies that the person when he was dying." Vaughan swearing used the most solemn form takes it to mean “engaged to be reof words known to him. Compare sponsible for it as for a statement the modern phrase “May I die if made at the approach of death," ..." Falstaff could use this for which seems to be exactly the meanmula without fear on one point onlying here. “Oath” has been need.' See 1 Henry IV. v. iv. 154: “I'll lessly suggested for “ death." take it upon my death, I gave him

« PreviousContinue »