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Bast. I know not why, except to get the land.
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 my 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 lived, Your brother did employ my father much ;
Bast. Well, sir, by this you cannot get my Your tale must be how he employed my mother.
Rob. And once despatched 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 sojourned at my father's ; Where how he did prevail, I shame to speak. But truth is truth ; large lengths of seas and shores
2 Shakspeare uses the word trick generally in the sense of “a peculiar air, or cast of countenance or feature.”
3 The Poet makes Faulconbridge allude to the silver groats of Henry VII. and Henry VIII., which had on them a half-face or profile. In the reign of John, there were no groats at all, the first being coined in the reign of Edward III.
Between my father and my mother lay,
K. John. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate ;
Rob. Shall then my father's will be of no force,
Bast. Of no more force to dispossess me, sir,
Bast. Madam, an if my brother had my shape,
1 i. e. “this is a decisive argument.”
2 Lord of thy presence means possessor of thy own dignified and manly appearance, resembling thy great progenitor.
3 Sir Robert his, for “Sir Robert's;" his, according to a mistaken notion formerly received, being the sign of the genitive case.
And if my legs were too such riding-rods;
Eli. Nay, I would have you go before me thither.
Bast. Philip, my liege ; so is my name begun; Philip; good old sir Robert's wife's eldest son. K. John. From henceforth bear his name whose
form thou bear'st. Kneel thou down, Philip, but arise * more great : Arise, sir Richard, and Plantagenet."
Bast. Brother, by the mother's side, give me your
My father gave me honor, yours gave land. .
i Queen Elizabeth coined threepenny, threehalfpenny, and threefarthing pieces; these pieces all had her head on the obverse, and some of them a rose on the reverse. Being of silver, they were extremely thin ; and hence the allusion. The roses stuck in the ear, or in a lock near it, were generally of riband; but Burton says that it was once the fashion to stick real flowers in the ear. Some gallants had their ears bored, and wore their mistresses' silken shoestrings in them. 2 To his shape, i. e. in addition to it.
3 Robert 4 The old copy reads rise.
5 Plantagenet was not a family name, but a nickname, by which a grandson of Geoffrey, the first earl of Anjou, was distinguished, from his wearing a broomstalk in his bonnet.
Now blessed be the hour by night or day,
Eli. The very spirit of Plantagenet !-
What though? Something about, a little from the right,
In at the window, or else o'er the hatch : 1 Who dares not stir by day, must walk by night;
And have is have, however men do catch. Near or far off, well won is still well shot ; And I am I, howe'er I was begot. K. John. Go, Faulcon bridge; now hast thou thy
desire ; A landless knight makes thee a landed squire.Come, madam, and come, Richard; we must speed For France, for France ; for it is more than need.
Bast. Brother, adieu. Good fortune come to thee! For thou wast got i’ the way of honesty.
[Exeunt all but the Bastard. A foot of honor better than I was ; But many a many foot of land the worse. . Well, now can I make any Joan a lady.Good den, sir Richard, God-a-mercy, fellow ;And if his name be George, I'll call him Peter: For new-made honor doth forget men's names ; 'Tis too respective, and too sociable, For your conversion. Now your traveller, – He and his toothpick at my worship’s mess ;
1 These expressions were common in the time of Shakspeare for being born out of wedlock.
2 Good evening.
3 Respective does not here mean respectful, as the commentators have explained it, but considerative, regardful.
4 Change of condition. 5 It is said, in All's Well that Ends Well, that “a traveller is a good thing after dinner.” In that age of newly-excited curiosity, one of the entertainments at great tables seems to have been the discourse of a traveller. To use a toothpick seems to have been one of the characteristics of a travelled man who affected foreign fashions.
6 « At my worship's mess means at that part of the table where I, as a knight, shall be placed.—~ Your worship” was the regular address to a knight or esquire, in Shakspeare's time, as your honor" was to a lord. VOL. III.
And when my knightly stomach is sufficed,
? That will take pains to blow a horn before her ?
Enter LADY FAULCONBRIDGE and JAMES GURNEY.
O me! it is my mother.—How now, good lady ?
1 My picked man of countries may be equivalent to my travelled fop: picked generally signified affected, overnice, or curious in dress.
2 An A B C or absey-book, as it was then called, is a catechism.
3 j. e. he is accounted but a mean man, in the present age, who does not show by his dress, deportment, and talk, that he has travelled and made observations in foreign countries.