Page images



KING John.

LEWIS, the Dauphin. Prince Henry, his Son; afterwards King ARCH-DUKE of Austria. Henry III.

CARDINAL PANDULPH, the Pope's legate. ARTHUR, Duke of Bretagne, Son of Geffrey, MELUN, a French Lord.

late Duke of Bretagne, the elder Bro-CHATILLON, Ambassador from France to King ther of King John.

John. WILLIAM MARESHALL, Earl of Pembroke. Geffrey Fitz-Peter, Earl of Essex, Chief ELINOR, the Widow of King Henry II. and Justiciary of England,

Mother of King John. WILLIAM LONGSWORD, Earl of Salisbury.

CONSTANCE, Mother to Arthur. Robert Bigot, Earl of Norfolk.

Blanch, Daughter to Alphonso, King of Cas. HUBERT De Burgh, Chamberlain to the King.

tile, and Niece to King John. Robert FAULCONBRIDGE, Son of Sir Robert LADY FAULCON BRIDGE, Mother to the Bastard Faulconbridge.

and Robert Faulconbridge. Philip FAOLCONBRIDGE, his Half-brother, bas

Lords, Ladies, Citizens of Angiers, Sheriff, tard Son to King Richard the First.

Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, JAMES GURNEY, Servant to Lady Faulcon

and other Attendants. bridge. Peter of Pomfret, a Prophet.

Scene, sometimes in England, and sometimes Pune, King of France.

in France.



K. John. Bear mine to him, and so depart is

peace: SCENE 1.– Northampton.-A Room of State Be thou as lightning in the eyes of France; in the Palace.

For ere thou canst report I will be there, Enter King John, Queen ELINOR, PEMEROKE,

The thunder of my canon shall be heard: Essex, SALISBURY, and others, with Chatil So, hence! Be thou the trumpet of our wrath,

And sullen presage of your own decay.

An honourable conduct let him have K. John. Now, say, Chatillon, what would Pembroke, look to't: Farewell, Chatillon. France with us?

[Exeunt CHATILLON und PEMBROKE. Chat. Thus, after greeting, speaks the king Eli. What now, my son? have I not ever of France,

said, In my behaviour,* to the majesty,

How that ambitious Constance would not cease, The borrow'd majesty of England here. Till she had kindled France, and all the world, Eli. A strange beginning ;-~borrow'd ma- Upon the right and party of her son ? jesty!

This might have been prevented, and mado K. John. Silence, good mother; hear the em- With very easy arguments of love; (whole, bassy.

Which now the manage* of two kingdoms must Chat. Philip of France, in right and true be- i With fearful bloody issue arbitrate. Of thy deceased brother Geffrey's son, , [half K. John. Our strong possession, and our Arthur Plantagenet, lays most lawful claim

right, for us. To this fair island, and the territories ;

Eli. Your strong possession, much more than To Ireland, Puictiers, Anjou, Touraine, Maine: your right; Desiring thee to lay aside the sword,

Or else it must go wrong with you, and me: Which sways usurpingly these several titles; So much my conscience whispers in your ear; And put the same into young Arthur's hand, Which none but heaven, and you, and I, shall Thy nephew, and right royal sovereign.

hear. K. John. What follows, if we disallow of Enter the Sherif of Northamptonshire, who whis

this? Chat. The proud control of fierce and bloody

pers Essex.

Essex. My liege, here is the strangest conTo enforce these rights so forcibly withheld.

troversy, K. John. Here have we war for war, and come from the country to be judg'd by you, blood for blood,

[France. That ere I heard : Shall I produce the men ? Controlment for controlment:

K. John. Let them approach.. Chat. Then take my king's defiance from my

[Erit Sheryf. Tbe furthest limit of my embassy. smouth, 'Our abbies, and our priories, shall pay # In the manner I now do

* Conduct, administration,




Re-enter Sheriff, with Robert FAULCONBRIDGE, Upon his death-bed he by will bequeath'a

and Philip, his bastard Brother. His lands to me; and took it, on his death, This expedition's charge.- What men are yon ? That this, my mother's son, was none of his; Bast. Your faithful subject I, a gentleman, And,

if he were, he came into the world

Full fourteen weeks before the course of time Born in Northamptonshire ; and eldest son, As I suppose, to Robert Faulconbridge;

Then, good my liege, let me have what is mine, A soldier, by the honour-giving hand

My father's land, as was my father's will. Or Coeur-de-lion knighted in the field.

K. John. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate, K. John. What art thou ?

Your father's wife did after wedlock bear him: Rob. The son and heir to that same Faulcon- And, if she did play false, the fault was hers; bridge,

Which fault lies on the hazards of all husbands K. John. Is that the elder, and art thou the That marry wives. Tell me, how if my brother heir ?

Who, as you say, took pains to get this son, You came not of one mother then, it seems.

Had of your father claim’d this son for his? Bast. Most certain of one mother, mighty In sooth, good friend, your father might have king,


[world; That is well known; and, as I think, one This call, bred from his cow, from all the But, for the certain knowledge of that truth,

In sooth, he might: then, if he were my broI put you o'er to heaven, and to my mother;


(father, Of that I doubt, as all men's children may.

My brother might not claim him; nor your Eli. Out on thee, rude man! thou dost shame Being none of his, refuse him: 'This conthy mother,

cludes,And wound her honour with this diffidence.

My mother's son did get your father's heir; Bast. I, madam ? no, I have no reason for it; Your father's heir must have your father's

land. That is my brother's plea, and none of mine; The which if he can prove, 'a pops me out

Rob. Shall then my father's will be of no At least from fair five hundred pound a year: To dispossess that chili which is not his ?

force, Heaven guard my mother's honour, and my land!

Bast. Of no more force to dispossess me, Sir, K. John. A good blunt fellow :-Why, being Than was his will to get me, as I think.

Eli. Whether hadst thou rather,-be a Faulyounger born, Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance?

conbridge, Bast. I know not why, except to get the land. And like thy brother, to enjoy thy land; But once he slander'd me with bastardy:

Or the reputed son of Cour-de-lion, But whe'r" I be as true-bégot, or no,

Lord of thy presence,* and no land beside ? That still I lay upon my mother's head;

Bast. Madam, an it my brother had my shape, But, that I am as well begot, my liege,

And I had his, Sir Robert his, like him; (Fair fall the bones that took the pains for me!) My arms such eel-skins stuff*d; my face so

And if my legs were two such riding-rods, Compare our faces, and be judge yourself. If old Sir Robert did be get iis both,

thin, And were our father, and this son like him ;-- Lest men should say, Look, where three-far

That in mine ear I durst not stick a rose, O old Sir Robert, father, on my knee I give heaven thanks, I was not like to thee.

things goes! K. John. Why, what a mad-cap hath heaven And, to his shape, were heir to all this land, lent us here!

'Would I might never stir from off this place, Eli. He hath a trickt of Coeur-de-lion's face, I'd give it every foot to have this face; The accent of his tongue affecteth him :

I would not be Sir Nobt in any case. Do you not read some tokens of my son

Eli. I like thee well; Wilt thou forsake thy In the large composition of this man?

fortune, K. John. Mine eye hath well examined his Pequeath thy land to him, and follow me ? parts,


I am a soldier, and now bound to France. And finds them perfect Richard.—Sirrah,

Bast. Brother, take you my land, I'll take What doth move you to claim your brother's

iny chance:

[year; land ?

Your face hath got five hundred pounds a Bust. Because he hath a half-face, like my Madam, I'll follow you unto the death:

Yet sell your face for fivepence, and 'tis dear.father; With that half-face would he have all my land:

Eli. Nay, I would have you go before me

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

Bast. Our country manners give our betterg liv'd,

way. Your brother did employ my father much ;

K. John. "What is thy name? Bast. Well, Sir, by this you cannot get my Philip, good old Sir Robert's wife's eldest son.

Bust. Philip, my liege; so is my name begun; Your tale must be, how he employ'd my mother.

K. John. From henceforth bear his name Rob. And once despatch'd him in an embassy Kneel thou down Philip, but arise more greata

whose form thou bear'st: To Germany, there, with the emperor, To treat of high affairs touching that time:

Arise Sir Richard and Plantagenet. The advantage of his absence took the king,

Bast. Brother, by the mother's side, give mu And in the mean time sojourn'd at my father's;

your hand; Where how he did prevail, I shame to speak? My father gave me honour, yours gave land:But truth is truth; large lengths of seas and Now blessed be the hour, by night or day, shores

When I was got, Sir Robert was away. Between my father and my mother lay,

Eli. The very spirit of Plantagenet ! (As I have heard my father speak himself,)

I am thy grandame, Richard; vall me so. When this same lusty gentleman was got.

Bast. Madam, by chance, but not by truth:

What though?
. Whether.
+ Trace, outline.
* Dignity of appearance.

+ Robert


[ocr errors]

Something about, a little from the right, Bast. Philip ?--sparrow!-James,

In at the window, or else o'er the hatch: There's toy's abroad ;* anon I'll tell thee more. Who dares not stir by day, must walk by night;

(Exit GURNEY. And have is have, however men do catch: Madam, I was not old Sir Robert's son; Near or far off, weil won is still well shot; Sir Robert might have eat his part in nie And I am I, howe'er I was begot.

Upon Good-friday, and ne'er broke his fast: K. John. Go, Faulconbridge; now hast thon Sir Robert could do well; Marry, (to confess!) thy desire,

['squire.- Could he get me? Sir Robert could not do it; A landless knight makes thee a landed We know his handy-work:-Therefore, good Come, madam, and come, Richard; we must

mother, speed

(need. To whom am I beholden for these limbs ? For France, for France; for it is more than Sir Robert never holp to make this leg.

Bast. Brother, adieu; Good fortune come to Lady F. Hast thou ionspired with thy brother For thou was got i'the way of honesty. [thee!


(honour! [Exeunt all but the BASTARD. That for thine own gain should'st detend mine A foot of honour better than I was;

What means this scorn, thou most untoward But many a foot of land the worse.

knave? Well, now can I make any Joan a lady :- Bast. Knight, knight, good mother,-BasiGood den,* Sir Richard, -God-a-mercy, fel

liscolike:t lou;

What! I am dubb’d; I have it on my shoulder. And if his name be George, I'll call bim Peter: But, mother, I am not Sir Robert's son; For new-made honour doth forget men's names; I have disclaim'd Sir Robert, and my land; "Tis too respective, and too sociable,

Legitimation, name, and all is gone : For your conversion. Now your traveller, Then, good my mother, let me know my father; He and his tooth-pick at my worship's mess; Some proper man, I hope ; Who was it, mo. And when my knightly stomach is suffic'd,

ther? Why then I suck my tecth, and catechise Lady F. Hast thou denied thyself a FaulMy picked man of countries: My dear Sir,

conbridge ? (Thus leaning on mine elbows, I begin,)

Bast. As faithfully as I deny the devil. I shall bescech yoit—That is question now; Lady F. King Richard Coeur-de-lion was And tben comes an: wer like an ABC-book:||

thy father; O Sir, says answer ut your best command ; By long and vehement suit I was seduc'd At your employment, ut your service, Sir: To make room for him in my husband's bed :No, Sir, says question, 7, sweet Sir, at yours: Heaven lay not my transgression to my charge! And so, ereans aer knows whatquestion would, Thou art the issue of my dear offence, (Saving in dialogue of compliment;

Which was so strongly urg'd, past my defence. And talking of the Alps, and Appenines, Bast. Now, by this light, were I to get again, The Pyrenean, and the river Po,)

Madam, I would not wish a better father. It draws toward supper in conclusion so. Some sins do bear their privilege on earth, But this is worshipful society,

And so doth yours; your fault was not your And fits the mounting spirit, like myself:

folly: For he is but a bastard to the time,

Need must you lay your heart at his dispose,That doth not smack of observation ;

Subjected tribute to commanding love,(And so am I, whether I smack, or no ;) Against whose fury and unmatched force And not alone in habit and device,

The awless lion could not wage the fight, Exterior form, outward accoutrement; Nor keep his princely heart from Richard's But from the inward motion to deliver

hand. Sweet, sweet, sweet poison for the age's tooth: He, that perforce robs lions of their hearts, Which, though I will not practise to deceive, May easily win a woman's. Ay, my mother, Yet, to avoid deceit, I mean to learn;

With all my heart I thank thee for my father! For it shall strew the footsteps of iny'rising.- Who lives and dares but say, thou didst not But who comes in such haste, in riding robes !

well What woman-post is this ? hath she no hus- When I was got, I'll send his soul to hell. band,

Come, lady, I will show thee to my kin; That will take pains to blow a horn before her? And they shall say, when Richard me begot, Enter Lady FaulcoNBKIDGE and James,

If thou badst said him nay, it had been sin:
Who says it was, he lies; I say, 'twas not.

(Exeunt. O me! it is my mother:- How now, good lady! What brings you here to court so bastily?

ACT II. Ludy F. Where is that slave, thy brother! where is he?

SCENE I.-France. Before the Walls of That holds in chase mine honour up and down?

Angiers. Bast. My brother Robert? old Sir Robert's Enter, on one side, the ARCHDUKE of Austria,

son? Colbrand the giant, that same mighty man?

and Forces ; on the other, Philip, King of Is it Sir Robert's son, that you seek so ?

France, and Forces ; LEWIS, CONSTANCE, Lady F. Sir Robert's son! Ay, thou unre

ARTHUR, and Attendants. verend boy,

[Robert ? Lew. Before Angiers well met, brave AusSir Robert's son: Why scorn'st thou at Sir

tria.He is Sir Robert's son; and so art thou. Arthur, that great fore-runner

thy blood, Bast. James Gurney, wilt thou give us leave Richard, that robb'd the lion

is heart, a while ?

And fought the holy wars in Palestine, Gör. Good leave, good Philip.

By this brave duke came early to his grave: * evening

+ Respectable.

* Idle reports. Change or condition.

My travelled fop. + A character in an old drama calle SNiman and Per u Catechism.



And, for amends to his posterity,

With her her niece, the lady Blanch of Spain; At our importance,* hither is he come, With them a bastard of the king deceas'd : To spread his colours, boy, in thy behalf; And all the unsettled humours of the land, And to rebuke the usurpation

Rash, inconsiderate, fiery voluntaries, Of thy unnatural uncle, English John: With ladies' faces,and fierce dragons' spleens,Embrace him, love him, give him welcoine Have sold their fortunes at their native homes, hither.

Bearing their birthrights proudly on their Arth. God shall forgive you Coeur-de-lion's

backs, death,

To make a hazard of new fortunes here. The rather, that you give his offspring life, In brief, a braver choice of dauntless spirits, Shadowing their right under your wings of Than now the English bottoms have waft o'er,

Did never float upon the swelling tide, I give you welcome with a powerless hand, To do offence and scath* in Christendom. But with a heart full of unstained love : The interruption of their churlish drums Welcome before the gates of Angiers, duke.

[Drums beat. Lew. A noble boy? Who would not do thee Cuts off more circumstance: they are at hand, right?

To parley, or to fight; therefore, prepare. Aust. Upon thy cheek lay I this zealous kiss, K. Phi. How much unlook'd for is this ex. As seal to this indenture of my love;

pedition ! That to my home I will no more return, Aust. By how much unexpected, by so much Till Angiers, and the right thou hast in France, We must awake endeavour for detence; Together with that pale, that white-fac'd shore, For courage mounteth with occasion : Whose foot spurns back the ocean's roaring Let them be welcome then, we are prepar'd.

tides, And coops from other lands her islanders,

Enter King John, ELINOR, BLANCH, the Even till that England, hedg'd in with the

BASTARD, PEMBROKE, and Forces. main,

K. John. Peace be to France: if France in That water-walled bulwark, still secure

peace permit And confident from foreign purposes,

Our just and lineal entrance to our own! Even till that utmost corner of the west If not; bleed France, and peace ascend to Salute thee for her king : till then, fair boy,

heaven! Will I not think of home, but follow arms. Whiles we, God's wrathful agent, do correct Const. 0, take his mother's thanks, a wi- Their proud contempt that beat his peace to dow's thanks,


heaven, Till your strong hand shall help to give him K. Phi. Peace be to England ; if that war To make a more requital to your love.

return Aust. The peace of heaven is theirs, that list From France to England, there to live in peace! their swords

England we love; and, for that England's sake, In such a just and charitable war.

With burden of our armour here we sweat: K. Phi. Well then, to work; our cannon This toil of ours should be a work of thine ; shall be bent

But thou from loving England art so far, Against the brows of this resisting town.- That thou has under-wrought his lawful king, Call for our chiefest men of discipline,

Cut off the sequence of posterity, To cull the plots of best advantages:

Outfaced infant state, and done a rape We'll lay before this town our royal bones, Upon the maiden virtue of the crown. Wade to the market-place in Frenchmen's Look here upon thy brother Geffrey's face;blood,

These eyes, these brows, were moulded out of But we will make it subject to this boy.

his: Const. Stay for an answer to your embassy, This little abstract doth contain that large, Lest unadvis'd you stain your swords with Which died in Geffrey; and the hand of time blood :

Shall draw this brief into as huge a volume. My lord Chatillon may from England bring That Geffrey was thy elder brother born, That right in peace, which here we urge in And this his son; England was Geffrey's right, war ;

And this is Geffrey's: In the name of God, | And then we shall repent each drop of blood, How comes it then, that thou art call’d a king, That bot rash haste so indirectly sbed.

When living blood doth in these temples beat,

Wbich owe the crown that thou o'ermasterest? Enter CHATILLON.

K. John. From whom hast thou this great

commission, France, K. Phi. A wonder, lady!-lo, upon thy wish, To draw my answer from thy articles ? Our messenger Cha illon is arriv'd.

K. Phi. From that supernalll judge, that stirs What England says, say briefly, gentle lord,

good thoughts He coldly pause for thee; Chatillon, speak. In any breast of strong anthority, Chut. Then turn your forces from this paltry To look into the blots and stains of right. siege,

That judge hath made me guardian to this boy: And stir them up against a mightier task. Under whose warrant, I impeach thy wrong; England, impatient of your jus demands, And, by whose help, I mean to chastise it. Hath put himself in arms; the idverse winds, K. John. Alack, thou dost usurp authority. Whose leisure I have staid, nave given him K. Phi. Excuse; it is to beat usurping down. To land his legions all as soon as I: [time Eli. Who is it, thou dost call usurper, France? His marches are expedient; to this town, Const. Let me make answer;-thy usurping His forces strong, his soldiers confident. With him along is come the mother-queen, Eli. Out, insolent! thy bastard shall be An Até,ý stirring him to blood and strife;



That thou may'st be a queen, and check the Importunity. + Best stations to over-awe the town.

* Mischic + Undermined. 1 Succession. 1 laimediate, expeditions. $ The Goddess of Revenge. A sort writing.

I! Celestial.

[ocr errors]


our ears

Const. My bed was ever to thy son as true, Being but the second generation
As thine was to thy husband : and this boy Removed from thy sin-conceiving wom..
Liker in feature to his father Geffrey,

K. John. Bedlam, have done.
Than thou and John in manners; being as like, Const. I have but this to say,

As rain to water, or devil to his dam.

That he's not only plagued for her sin My boy a bastard! By my soul, I think, But God hath made her sin and her tt plague His father never was so true begot;

On this removed issue, plagu'd for her, It cannot be, an if thou wert his mother. And with her plague, her sin; his injury Eli. There's a good mother, boy, that blots Her injury, -the beadle to her sin; thy father.

All punish'd in the person of this child, Const. There's a good grandam, boy, that | And all for her; A plague upon her! would blot thee.

Eli. Thou unadvised scold, I can produce Aust. Peace!

A will, that bars the title of thy son. Bast. Hear the crier.

Const. Ay, who doubts that? a will! a wicked Aust. What the devil art thou?

will; Bust. One that will play the devil, Sir, with A woman's will; a canker'd grandam's wil!! you,

K. Phi. Peace, lady; pause, or be more temAn 'a may catch your hide and you alone.

perate :
You are the hare of whom the proverb goes, It ill beseems this presence, to cry aim
Whose valour plucks dead lions by the beard ; To these ill-tuned repetitions.-
I'll smoke your skin-coat,* an I catch you right; Some trumpet summon hither to the walls
Sirrah, look to't ; i'faith, 1 will, i'faith. These men of Angiers ; let us hear them speak,

Blanch, 0, well did he become that lion's Whose title they admit, Arthur's or John's.
That did disrobe the lion of that robe! [robe,
Bast. It lies as sightly on the back of him,

Trumpets sound. Enter Citizens upon the walls. As great Alcides' shoes upon an ass :

i Cit. Who is it, that hath warned us to the But, ass, I'll take that burden from your back ;

walls ? Or lay on that, shall make your shoulders K. Phi. 'Tis France, for England. crack.

K. John. England, for itself: Aust. What cracker is this same, that deafs You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects,

K. Phi. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's With this abundance of superfluous breath?

subjects, K. Phi. Lewis, determine what we shall do Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle. straight.

K. John. For our advantage ;-Therefore, Lew. Women and fools, break off your con

hear us first.--ference.-

These flags of France, that are advanced here King John, this is the very sum of all,- Before the eye and prospect of your town, England, and Ireland, 'Anjou, Touraine, Have hither march'd to your endamagement: Maine,

The cannons have their bowels full of wrath; In right of Arthur do I claim of thee:

And ready mounted are they, to spit forth Wilt thou resign them, and lay down thy arms? | Their iron indignation ’gainst your walls: K. John. My life as soon :-1 do desy thee, All preparation for a bloody siege, France.

And merciless proceeding by these French, Arthur of Bretagne, yield thee to my hand; Confront your city's eyes, your winking gules; And, out of my dear love, I'll give thee more And, but for our approach, those sleeping Than e'er the coward hand of France can win: That as a waist do girdle you about, (stones, Submit thee, boy.

By the compulsion of their ordnance Eli. Come to ihy grandam, child.

By this time from their fixed beds of lime Const. Do, child, go to it' grandam, child; Had been dishabited, and wide havoc made Give grandam kingdom, and it' grandam will For bloody power to rush upon your peace. Give it a plum, a cherry, and a fig:

But, on the sight of us, your lawful king, There's a good grandam.

Who painfully, with much expedient marci, Arth. Good my mother, peace!

Have brought a countercheck before your gates, I would, that I were low laid in my grave; To save unscratch'd your city's threaten'd I am not worth this coilt that's made for me.

cheeks,-Eli. His mother shames him so, poor boy, he Behold, the French, umaz’d, vouchsafe a parle: weeps.

And now, instead of bullets wrapp'd in fire, Const. Now shame upon you, whe’rt she To make a shaking fever in your walls, does, or no!

They shoot but calm words, folded upin smoke, His grandam's wrongs, and not his mother's To make a faithless error in your ears: shames,

[eyes, which trust accordingly, kind citizens, Draw those heaven-moving pearls from his poor | And let us in, your king; whose labour'd spirits, Which heaven shall take in nature of a fee; Forweariedt in this action of swift speed, Ay, with these crystal beads heaven shall be Crave harbourage within your city walls. To do him justice, and revenge on you. [brib’d Ki Phi. When I have said, make answer to Eli. Thou monstrous slanderer of heaven and

us both. earth!

Lo, in this right hand, whose protection Const. Thou monstrous injurer of heaven and Is most divinely vow'd upon the right earth!

Of him it holds, stands young Plantagenet; Call not me slanderer; thou, and thine, usurp Son to the elder brother of this man, The dominations, royalties, and rights, And king o'er him, and all that he enjoys: Of this oppressed boy: This is thy eldest son's For this down-trodden equity, we tread Infortunate in nothing but in thee; (sun, In warlike march these greens before your Thy sins are visited in this poor child; Being no further enemy to you, [towa: The canon of the law is laid on him,

Than the constraint of hospitable zeal, Austrio was a li's skirl. + Bl:silsW.ccr. * To encourage

Conference. * Worn out

« PreviousContinue »