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We now imagine the gradual approach and entry of the forces forming the expedition from England. The next immediate speakers are the kings, John and Philip. [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 heaven. [Philip.] Peace be to England, if that war return
From France to England, there to live in peace.
eyes, these brows, were moulded out of his.
How comes it then, that thou art callid a king ? [John.] From whom hast thou this great commission, France,
To draw my answer from thy articles ? [Philip.] From that supernal Judge, that stirs good thoughts
In any breast of strong authority,
Wilt thou resign them, and lay down thine arms ? [John.] My life as soon: I do defy thee, France.
Arthur of Bretagne, yield thee to my hand,
Than e'er the coward hand of France can win. During this time, we may imagine that Faulconbridge has been surveying, with indignation and contempt, the person of the duke of Austria, over whose armour appears the lion's skin, which had been worn by Richard, the father of Faulconbridge. At this moment, Austria, if we suppose him to utter aloud the following call, will be the prominent person on the scene :
[Austria.] 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. [Faulconbridge.] Hear the crier! [Austria.] Who the devil art thou ? [Faulconbridge.] One that will play the devil, Sir, with you, An he may catch your hide and
skin coat, an I catch you right; Sirrah, look to 't ; i' faith I will, i' faith. [Austria.] What cracker is this same, that deafs our ears
With this abundance of superfluous breath?
-Princes, determine what we shall do straight. The citizens being summoned to their walls by the heralds of each party, declare their purpose of keeping their gates closed, till, by agreement, or the force of arms, the future king is with certainty determined. A battle in consequence takes place, during a pause in which the two kings again hold a parley : [John.] France, hast thou yet more blood to cast away
y? Say, shall the current of our right run on ? [Philip.] England, thou hast not sav’d one drop of blood
In this hot trial more than we of France :
sways the earth this climate overlooks,
Faulconbridge comes forward. [Faulconbridge.] Ha, majesty! how high thy glory towers,
When the rich blood of kings is set on fire!
Then let confusion of one part, confirm
The other's peace : till then, blows, blood, and death! [John.] Whose party do the townsmen yet admit ? [Philip.] Speak, citizens, for England: who's your king ?
The citizens being formally summoned, repeat their declaration to keep the gates closed till the undoubted king shall be determined. Fuulconbridge continues. [Faulconbridge.] By heavens, these scroyles of Angiers flout
And stand securely on their battlements, [you, Kings,
How like you this wild counsel, mighty states ?
I like it well : France, shall we knit our powers,
Then, after, fight who shall be King of it ? An agreement is concluded between the powers to make a common assault on the city. The citizens are no sooner sensible of this movement, than, entreating a parley, a herald thus speaks : [Herald.] Hear us, great Kings: vouchsafe awhile to stay,
And we shall show you how, with fair-fac'd league,
Which here come sacrifices for the field. The kings manifest a disposition to listen favourably; on which the herald descending, as we may suppose, to a nearer situation, continues his address:
That daughter there of Spain, the Lady Blanche,
hands. The Queen Eleunor whispers King John. [Eleanor.] Son, list to this conjunction ; make this match;
Give with our niece a dowry large enough;
After a pause, the Herald continues.
[Herald.] Why answer not the double majesties
This friendly treaty of our threaten’d town? [Philip.] Let England speak, that hath been forward first
To speak unto this city : what say you ?
Can, in this book of beauty, read I love,
[a pause.] Prince dauphin, speak; say, can you love the lady? [Lewis.] Nay, ask me if I can refrain from love;
For I do love her most unfeignedly. [John.] She still is silent: what say you, my niece ? [Blanche.] That she is bound in honour still to do, What
in wisdom still vouchsafe to say. [John.] Philip of France, if thou be pleas'd withal,
Command thy son and daughter to join hands. [Philip.] It likes me well : Young princes, join your hands.
Now citizens of Angiers, ope your gates,
Where is she, and her son ? tell me, who knows? [Lewis.] She' is sad and passio'nate at your highness' tent. [Philip.] And, by my faith, this league that we have made
Will give her sadness very little cure.
This widow lady ?
For we'll create young Arthur duke of Bretagne,