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Enter King John, Queen Elinor, Pembroke, Effex, and
Salisbury, witb Chatilion.
O W say, Chatilion, what would France
Chat. Thus, after greeting, speaks the
King of France,
In my behaviour, to the Majesty
The borrow'd Majesty of England here.
Eli. A strange beginning ; borrow'd Majesty!
K. John. Silence, good mother, hear the embassie.
Chat. Philip of France, in right and true behalf
Of thy deceased brother Geffrey's son,
Arthur Plantagenet, lays lawful claim
To this fair ifand, and the territories :
The troublesome reign of K. John was written in two parts hy W. Shakespear and w. Rowley, and printed 1611. But the present Play :s çatirely different, and infinitely fuperior to it
To Ireland, Poiftiers, 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 controul of fierce and bloody war, Tinforce these rights so forcibly withheld.
K. Jobn. Here have we war for war, and blood for blood, Controulment for controulment; so answer France.
Cbat. Then take my King's defiance from my mouth, The farthest limit of my embassie.
K. John. Bear mine to him, and fo 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; farewel, Chatilion.
[Ex. Chat and Pem,
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 easie arguments of love;
Which now the manage of two kingdoms must
With fearful bloody issue arbitrate,
K. John. Our Atrong poffeffion and our right for us.
Eli. Your strong porteffion much more than your right,
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 fall hear.
Elix. My Liege, here is the strangest controverfie
Come from the country to be judg’d by you
That e'er I heard ; thall I produce the men ?
K. John. Let them approach.
Our Abbies and our Priories shall pay
This expedicion's charge. What men are you?
Enter Robert Faulconbridge and the Battard,
Baff. Your faithful subject, I, a gentleman.
Born in Nortbamptonshire, 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. Jobn. What art thou ..
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 ?
Bafft. 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 heav'n and to my mother ;
of that I doubt, as all men's children may.
Eli. Out on thee, rude man, thou dost shame thy mother, And wound her honour with this diffidence.
Baft. 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, he pops me out
At leaft from fair five hundred pound a year :
Heav'n guard my mother's honour and
K. John. A good blunt fellow : why, being younger born, Doch he lay claim to thine inheritance ? :
Baft. I know not why, except to get the land ;
But once he Nander'd me with bastardy:
But whether I be 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 yourfelf,
If old Sir Robert did begec 'us both,
And were our father, and this son like him ;
O old Sir Robert, father, on my knee,
I give hear'a chanke. I was not like to thee,
K. John. Why, what a mad-cap hath heav'n lent us here?
Eli. He hath a trick of Caur-de-lion's face,
The accent of his tongue affecteth him:
Do you not read fume tokens of my fon
. you. IV.
In the large composition of this man?
K. Jobn. Mine eye hath.well examin'd his parts,
And finds them perfect Richard : firrah, speak,
What doth move you to claim your brother's land?
Baft. Because he hath a half-face, like my father,
With that half-face would he have all my land?
A half-fac'd groat, five hundred pound a year?
Rob. My gracious Liege, when that my father livid, Your brother did employ my father much
Baft. 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 embassie
To Germany; there with the Emperor
To treat of high affairs touching that time :
Th’advantage of bis 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 feas and shores
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
That this my mother's fon was none of his;
An 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 lands, as was my father's will..
K. Jobn. Sirrah, your brother is Jegitimate,
Your father's wife did after wedlock bear him:
And if she did play false, the fault was hers,
Which fault lies on the hazard 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 claimed this son for his to
In sooth, good friend, your father might have kept
This calf, bred from his cow, from all the world.
In fuoch he might; then if he were my brother's;
My brother might not claim bim; Dor your father,
Being none of his, refuse himthis concludes, ?
My mother's son did get your father's heir,
Your father's heir must have your father's land.
Rob. Shall then my father's will be of no force
To dispossess that child which is not his ?
Baji. Of no more force to dispossess me, Sir,
Than was his will to get me, as I think.
Eli. Say, hadst chou rather be a Faulconbridge,
And like thy brother, to enjoy thy land : '
Or the reputed son of Coeur-de-lion,
Lord of thy presence, and no land beside ?
Baft. Madam, an if my brother had my shape,
And I had his, Sir Robert's, his, like him,
And if my legs were two such riding rods,
My arms such eel-skins stuft; my face so thin,
That in mine ear I durft not stick a rose, *
Left men should say, look where three farthings goes;
And with his shape were heir to all this land ;
Would I might never stir from off this place,
I'd give it ev'ry foot to have this face:
I would not be + Sir Nobbe in any case.
Eli. I like thee well; wilt thou forsake thy fortune,
Bequeath thy land to him, and follow me ?
I am a soldier and now bound to France.
Baft. Brother, take you my land, I'll take my chance;
Your face hath got five hundred pound a year,
Yet sell your face for five pence, and 'tis dear.
Madam, I'll follow you unto the death.
Eli, Nay, I would have you go before me thither.
Baft. Our country manners give our betters way.
K. John. What is thy name?
Baft. Philip, my Liege, so is my name begun,
Pbilip, good old Sir Robert's wife's eldest son. [bear't:
K. John. From henceforth bear his name whose form thou Kneel thou down Philip, but rise up more great, Arise Sir Richard and Plantagenet.
Baft. Brother by th' mother's side, give me your hand,
* Alluding to the three farthing pieces corrent in Queen Elizabeth's time which had a rose on the reverse: and being of Silver they mult be supposed to be very thin. † Sir Nobbe, a nickname, in colitenpe of Sir Robert.