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Northamplon. A Room of State in the Palace.

Enter King John, Queen ELINOR, PEMBROKE,

Essex, SALISBURY, and Others, with Cha


K. John. Now, say, Chatillon, what would

France with us?
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

embassy Chat. Philip of France, in right and true

Of thy deseased brother Geffrey's son,
Arthur Plantagenet , lays most lawful claim
To this fair island, and the territories ;

To Ireland, Poictiers, 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 control of fierce and

bloody war, To enforce these rights so forcibly withheld. K. John. Here have we war for

war ;

and blood for blooil, Controlment for controlment; so answer France. Chat. Then take my King's defiance froin

my mouth, The furthest limit of my embassy. K. John. Bear mine to him, and so 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 ; Pcmbroke, look to't: Farewell, Chatillon.


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 vexy 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; Or else it must go wrong with you, and me :

conscience whispers in your ear; Which one but heaven, and you, and I, shall


So nuch my

Enter the Sheriff of Northamptonshire, who

whispers Essex. Essex. My liege, here is the strangest con

troversy, Come from the country to be judg'd by you That e'er I heard : Shail produce the men ? K, John. Let them approach.

[Exit Sheriff, Our abbies, and our priories, shall pay Re-enter Sheriff, with ROBERT FAULCON

BRIDGE, and PHILIP, his bastard brother. 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, hy the honour - giving hanii
Of Coeur - de - lion knighted in the field,

K. John. What art thou?
Rob. The son and heir to that samo Faulcon-

bridge. K. John. Is that the elder, and art thou the

heir ?


You came not of one mother thien, it seems. Bast. Most certain of one mother, mighty

King, That is well known: and, as I think, onc

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. Eli, Out on thee, rudc man! thou dost

shame thy mother, And wound her honour with this diffidence. Bast. I, Madam ? no, I have no

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 inother's honour, and my

land! K. John. A good blunt fellow : Wliy, heing

younger born, Doth hé lạy claim to thine inheritance ? Bast. I know not why, except to get the

land. But once he slander'd me with bastardy: But whe'r I be as true begot, or uo, 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!) Cornpare our faces, and be judge yourself. If old sir Robert did beget us both, 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 here!

Eli. He hath a trick of Coeur-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, What doth move you to claim your brother's

land? Bast. Because he hath a half-face, like


father; With that. half-face would he have all my land : A half - faced groat five hundred pound a year! Rob. My gracious Liege, when that my father

liv'd, Your brother did employ my faiher much ; Bast, Well, Sir, by this you cannot get my

land; Your tale must be, how he employ'd my mother.

Rob. And once despatch'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 sojouru'd at my father's ; Whore how he did prevail, I shame to speak : Bụi truth is truth ; large lengths of seas and shores Between iny father and my motherlay, (As I have heard my father speak himsell,) When this same lusty gentleman was got. Upon his death - bed hc hy will bequoath'd His lands to me; and took it, an his death, That this, my mother's son, was none of hisi Ail, if he were, he came into the world }'all fourteen weeks before the course of time. 'Then, good my Liege, let me have what is mine, Dly father's laud,

was my father's will,


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