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And this is Geffrey's. In the name of God But, ass, I'll take that burden fron
King Philip, determine what we shall do To draw my answer from thy articles ?
straight. K, Pui. From that supernal Judge that stirs | K. Pui. Women and fools, break off your congood thoughts
ference. In any breasta of strong authority,
King John, this is the very sum of all, To look into the blots and stains of right.
England and Ireland, Anjou,' Touraine, Maine, That Judge hath made me guardian to this boy : Under whose warrant, I impeach thy wrong, Wilt thou resign them, and lay down thy arms ? And by whose help, I mean to chastise it.
K. John. My life as soon !—I do defy thee, K. JOHN. Alack, thou dost usurp authority. K. PH. Excuse—it is to beat usurping down. Arthur of Bretagne, yield thee to my hand, Eli. Who is it, thou dost call usurper, France ? | And, out of my dear love, I'll give thee more Const. Let me make answer ;-thy usurping Than e'er the coward hand of France can win : son.
Submit thee, boy. Eli. Out, insolent! thy bastard shall be king, Eli.
Come to thy grandame, child. That thou mayst be a queen, and check the world ! Const. Do, child, go to it (3) grandame, child ;
Const. My bed was ever to thy son as true, Give grandame kingdom, and it grandame will As thine was to thy husband ; and this boy Give it a plum, a cherry, and a fig: Liker in feature to his father Geffrey,
There's a good grandame. Than thou and John, in manners being as like
Good my mother, peace! As rain to water, or devil to his dam.
I would that I were low laid in my grave; My boy a bastard ! By my soul, I think,
I am not worth this coil that's made for me. His father never was so true begot ;
Eli. His mother shames him so, poor boy, he It cannot be, an if thou wert his mother,
weeps. Eli. There's a good mother, boy, that blots Const. Now shame upon you, whe'r she does, thy father.
or no! Coxst. There's a good grandame, boy, that His grandame's wrongs, and not his mother's would blot thee.
shames, Aust. Peace!
Draw those heaven-moving pearls from his poor Bast. Hear the crier.
eyes, What the devil art thou ? | Which Heaven shall take in nature of a fee; Bast. One that will play the devil, sir, with you, Ay, with these crystal beads Heaven shall be An ’a may catch your hide and you alone.
bribid, You are the hare of whom the proverb goes,
To do him justice, and revenge on you. Whose valour plucks dead lions by the beard.
Eli. Thou monstrous slanderer of heaven and I'll smoke your skin-coat, an I catch you right:
earth! Sirrah, look to't; i' faith, I will, i' faith.
Const. Thou monstrous injurer of heaven and Blanch, O, well did he become that lion's robe,
earth! That did disrobe the lion of that robe !
Call not me slanderer ; thou, and thine, usurp Bast. It lies as sightly on the back of him, The dominations, royalties, and rights As great Alcides' shows upon an ass :—(2) Of this oppressed boy. This is thy eldest son's son,
lion's hide which had belonged to that 'prince, Shakespeare has
Bastard. “ how do my sinews shake?
2 Base heardgroom, coward, peasant, worse than a threshing slave, What mak'st thou with the trophie of a king?"
a In any breast-] The first folio has beast; corrected in the edition of 1632.
b That thou mayst be a queen, and check the world !) It has been doubted whether Shakespeare, who appears to have had cognizance of nearly every sport and pastime of his age, was acquainted with the ancient game of chess; we believe the present passage may be taken to settle the question decisively. The allusion is obviously to the Queen of the chess-board, which, in this country, was invested with those remarkable powers that render her by far the most powerful piece in the game, somewhere about the second decade of the 16th century. c One that will play the devil, sir, with you,
An'a may catch your hide and you alone.) The circumstance which more particularly awakens the wrath of Faulconbridge against Austria, namely, that after having caused the death of King Richard Caur-de-lion, he now wore the
d The hare of whom the proverb goes,-) "Mortuo leoni et lepores insultant."- Erasmi Adagia,
e King Philip, determine-] The old copies have “King Lewis," &c., and prefix Lewis to the next speech, which evidently belongs to the King.
f Anjou,-) The old editions read Angiers. Theobald made the necessary alteration.
Infortunate in nothing but in thee;
It ill beseems this presence, to cry aim ! Thy sins are visited in this poor child;
To these ill-tuned repetitions. The canon of the law is laid on him,
Some trumpet summon hither to the walls Being but the second generation
These men of Angiers ; let us hear them speak, Removed from thy sin-conceiving womb.
Whose title they admit, Arthur's or John's.
I have but this to say,–
Trumpet sounds. Enter Citizens upon the Walls. But God hath made her sin and her the plague On this removed issue ;—plagued for her,
Cit. Who is it, that hath warn'd us to the walls ? And with her plagued; her sin, his injury
K. Pui. 'Tis France, for England. Her injury, the beadle to her sin ;
England, for itself: All punish'd in the person of this child,
You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects — And all for her. A plague upon her!
K. Phi. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's Eli. Thou unadvised scold, I can produce
subjects, A will, that bars the title of thy son. Const. Ay, who doubts that? a will! a wicked / K. John. For our advantage,—therefore, hear will,
us first. A woman's will, a canker'd grandame's will! These flags of France, that are advanced here K. Phi. Peace, lady; pause, or be more tem- | Before the eye and prospect of your town, perate:
Have hither march'd to your endamagement.
a That he's not only plagued for her sin, &c.] The only departure from the old text in this obscure passage is in the punctuation, and in the addition of a d in the sentence of the second clause
“And with her plagued -" which was first suggested by Mr. Roderick.
In the original, where it runs as follows, the whole passage is pointed with a ruthless disregard of meaning:
I have but this to say,
And all for her, a plague upon her."
The cannons have their bowels full of wrath, | 'Tis not the roundure of your old-fac'd walls
Can hide you from our messengers of war,
Though all these English, and their discipline, All preparation for a bloody siege,
Were harbour'd in their rude circumference.
And stalk in blood to our possession ?
Cit. In brief, we are the king of England's By this time from their fixed beds of lime
subjects ; Had been dishabited, and wide havoc made For him, and in his right, we hold this town. For bloody power to rush upon your peace.
K. John. Acknowledge then the king, and let But, on the sight of us, your lawful king,
me in. Who painfully, with much expedient march,
Cır. That can we not; but he that proves the Have brought a countercheck before your gates,
king, To save unscratch'd your city'sthreaten'dcheeks,- | To him will we prove loyal ; till that time, Behold, the French, amaz’d, vouchsafe a parle ; Have we ramm’d up our gates against the world. And now, instead of bullets wrapp'd in fire,
K. John. Doth not the crown of England prove To make a shaking fever in your walls,
the king? They shoot but calm words, folded up in smoke, And if not that, I bring you witnesses, To make a faithless error in your ears :
Twice fifteen thousand hearts of England's Which trust accordingly, kind citizens,
breed, And let us in. Your king, whose labour'd spirits, Basr. Bastards, and else.
[Aside. Forwearied in this action of swift speed,
K. JOHN. To verify our title with their lives. Craves harbourage within your city walls.
K. Phi. As many, and as well-born bloods as K. Phi. When I have said, make answer to us
Bast. Some bastards, too.
[Aside. Lo, in this right hand, whose protection
K. Phi. Stand in his face, to contradict his Is most divinely vow'd upon the right
claim. Of him it holds, stands young Plantagenet,
Cit. Till you compound whose right is worthiest, Son to the elder brother of this man,
We, for the worthiest, hold the right from both. And king o'er him, and all that he enjoys :
K. John. Then God forgive the sin of all those For this down-trodden equity, we tread
souls, In warlike march these greens before your town; That to their everlasting residence, Being no further enemy to you,
Before the dew of evening fall, shall fleet, Than the constraint of hospitable zeal,
In dreadful trial of our kingdom's king! In the relief of this oppressed child,
K. Phi. Amen, Amen - Mount, chevaliers ! Religiously provokes. Be pleased then
to arms! To pay that duty, which you truly owe,
Bast. St. George, that swindg'd the dragon, and To him that owes (4) it, -namely, this young
e'er since prince:
Sits on his horseback at mine hostess' door, And then our arms, like to a muzzled bear, Teach us some fence!—Sirrah, were I at home, Save in aspect, have all offence seald up;
At your den, sirrah [to AUSTRIA], with your Our cannons' malice vainly shall be spent
lioness, Against the invulnerable clouds of heaven ; I'd set an ox-head to your lion's hide, And, with a blessed and unvex'd retire,
And make a monster of you. With unhack'd swords, and helmets all unbruis'd, Aust.
Peace; no more. We will bear home that lusty blood again,
Bast. O, tremble, for you hear the lion Which here we came to spout against your town,
roar! And leave your children, wives, and you, in K. John. Up higher to the plain; where we'll peace.
set forth, But if you fondly pass our proffer'd offer, In best appointment, all our regiments.
a Confronts your city's eyes,-) The original has comfort, which was altered by Rowe to confront. Mr. Collier's MS, annotator reads, Come 'fore your city's eyes.
Ordinance,-) The old 'spelling of this word should be retained here for the measure's sake.
c The roundure-) Roundure, or, as the old copies spell it, | rounder, means circle, from the French, rondeur.
d St. George, &c.] In the old text this passage runs thus,-
Bast. Speed then, to take advantage of the Of both your armies; whose equality field.
By our best eyes cannot be censured. K. Phi. It shall be so ;-[to LEWIS] and at Blood hath bought blood, and blows have answer'd
the other hill Command the rest to stand. —God, and our right! Strength match'd with strength, and power con
fronted power: Both are alike, and both alike we like. One must prove greatest: while they weigh so
even, SCENE II.—The same.
We hold our town for neither; yet for both.
a French Herald, with Trumpets, to the gates. | Re-enter, at one side, King John, with his Power, FR. HER. You men of Angiers, open wide your
ELINOR, BLANCH, and the Bastard ; at the gates,
other, KING PHILIP, LEWIS, Austria, and And let young Arthur, duke of Bretagne, in ;
K. JOHN. France, hast thou yet more blood to Whose sons lie scatter'd on the bleeding ground;
cast away? Many a widow's husband grovelling lies,
Say, shall the current of our right runoon, Coldly embracing the discolour'd earth;
Whose passage, vex'd with thy impediment, And victory, with little loss, doth play
Shall leave his native channel, and o'erswell Upon the dancing banners of the French,
With course disturb'd even thy confining shores, Who are at hand, triumphantly display'd,
Unless thou let his silver water keep
A peaceful progress to the ocean? To enter conquerors, and to proclaim
K. Phi. England, thou hast not sav'd one drop Arthur of Bretagne, England's king, and yours !
In this hot trial, more than we of France ; Enter an English Herald, with Trumpets.
That sways the earth this climate overlooks, Eng. HER. Rejoice, you men of Angiers, ring | Before we will lay down our just-borne arms. your bells ;
We'll put thee down, 'gainst whom these arms King John, your king and England's, doth
Or add a royal number to the dead ; Commander of this hot malicious day!
Gracing the scroll, that tells of this war's loss, Their armours, that march'd hence so silver With slaughter coupled to the name of kings. bright,
Bast. Ha, majesty! how high thy glory towers, Hither return all gilt with Frenchmen's blood; When the rich blood of kings is set on fire ! There stuck no plume in any English crest, O, now doth death line his dead chaps with steel, That is removed by a staff of France;
The swords of soldiers are his teeth, his fangs; Our colours do return in those same hands
And now he feasts, mousing " the flesh of men, That did display them when we first march'd In undetermin’d differences of kings. forth;
Why stand these royal fronts amazed thus ? And, like a jolly troop of huntsmen, come Cry, havoc, kings ! back to the stained field, Our lusty English, all with purpled hands,
You equal-potents, fiery-kindled spirits ! Dyed in the dying slaughter of their foes :
Then let confusion of one part confirm Open your gates, and give the victors way. The other's peace; till then, blows, blood, and HUBERT." Heralds, from off our towers we might
K. JOHN. Whose party do the townsmen yet From first to last, the onset and retire
A And, like a jolly troop of huntsmen.-1 It appears to have been a practice of the chase formerly for the huntsmen to steep their hands in the blood of the deer as a trophy. Thus in ** Julius Cæsar," Act III. Sc. 1,
" here thy hunters stand,
Sign'd in thy spoil and crimson'd in thy lethe." b Hubert.] In the early copies several speeches of the present scene have this prefix, and Shakespeare may have intended to represent Hubert as a citizen of Angiers; but the more probable explanation is, that the name was prefixed merely because it was
the custom of the actor who personated the character of Hubert to “double" with it that of the Angiers' spokesman.
cSay, shall the current of our right run on,-) So the second folio; the first has rome, a likely misprint of ronne.
d Mousing the flesh of men,-) For mousing Pope substituted a less expressive term, mouthing, which Malone very properly reiected and restored the old word. Mousing meant gorging. devouring. Thus, in Decker's “Wonderful Year," 1603, " Whilst Troy was swilling sack and sugar, and mousing fat venison," &c.
K. Pui. Speak, citizens, for England; who's | As we will ours, against these saucy walls : your king ?
And when that we have dash'd them to the ground, HUBERT. The king of England, when we know Why, then defy each other; and, pell-mell, the king.
Make work upon ourselves, for heaven, or hell. K. PHI. Know him in us, that here hold up his K. Phi. Let it be so.—Say, where will you right.
assault? K. John. In us, that are our own great deputy, K. John. We from the west will send destrucAnd bear possession of our person here;
tion Lord of our presence, Angiers, and of you. Into this city's bosom. HUBERT. A greater power than we denies all | Aust. I, from the north. this;
Our thunder from the south, And, till it be undoubted, we do lock
Shall rain their drift of bullets on this town. Our former scruple in our strong-barr'd gates, Bast. ( prudent discipline! From north to Kings, of our fear ;a until our fears, resolv’d,
south, Be by some certain king purg'd and depos’d. Austria and France shoot in each other's mouth: Bast. By heaven, these scroyles" of Angiers
[Aside. flout you, kings,
I'll stir them to it :-Come, away, away! And stand securely on their battlements,
HUBERT. Hear us, great kings: vouchsafe a As in a theatre, whence they gape and point
while to stay, At your industrious scenes and acts of death. And I shall show you peace, and fair-fac'd league ; Your royal presences be ruld by me;
Win you this city without stroke or wound, Do like the mutines of Jerusalem, (5)
Rescue those breathing lives to die in beds, Be friends a while, and both conjointly bend That here come sacrifices for the field: Your sharpest deeds of malice on this town: Persever not, but hear me, mighty kings. By east and west let France and England mount K. John. Speak on, with favour ; we are bent Their battering cannon charged to the mouths,
to hear. Till their soul-fearing clamours have brawl'd down HUBERT. That daughter there of Spain, the The flinty ribs of this contemptuous city:
lady Blanch, I'd play incessantly upon these jades,
Is near to England: look upon the years Even till unfenced desolation
Of Lewis the Dauphin, and that lovely maid : Leave them as naked as the vulgar air.
If lusty love should go in quest of beauty, That done, dissever your united strengths,
Where should he find it fairer than in Blanch? And part your mingled colours once again, If zealous love should go in search of virtue, Turn face to face, and bloody point to point: Where should he find it purer than in Blanch? Then, in a moment, fortune shall cull forth
If lore ambitious sought a match of birth, Out of one side her happy minion;
Whose veins bound richer blood than lady Blanch ? To whom in favour she shall give the day,
Such as she is, in beauty, virtue, birth, And kiss him with a glorious victory.
Is the young Dauphin every way complete ; How like you this wild counsel, mighty states ? If not complete, O say," he is not she: Smacks it not something of the policy ?
And she again wants nothing, to name want, K. John. Now, by the sky that hangs above If want it be not, that she is not he: our heads,
He is the half part of a blessed man, I like it well ;— France, shall we knit our powers, Left to be finished by such a * she; And lay this Angiers even with the ground; And she a fair divided excellence, Then, after, fight who shall be king of it?
Whose fulness of perfection lies in him. Bast. An if thou hast the mettle of a king, 0, two such silver currents, when they join, Being wrong’d, as we are, by this peevish town, Do glorify the banks that bound them in ; Turn thou the mouth of thy artillery,
And two such shores to two such streams made one,
Kings, of our fear:1 This passage has been a good deal
(*) Old copies, as. discussed. Warburton and Johnson read, “Kings are our fears; "
trust to our strong-barred gates as the protectors, or Kings, of our
b These scroyles - ] From the French escrouelles, scabby “King'd of our fears ;''
c The lady Blanch,-) This lady was daughter to Alphonso the which latter is the reading usually adopted. Mr. Knight adheres
Ninth, King of Castile, and was niece to King John, by his to the original text; but his interpretation of it is to us unfathom
sister Eleanor. able. The meaning of the speaker, however quaintly expressed,
d If not complete, O say,-) The old copy reads:we imagine to be simply this,-Each of you lays claim to our allegiance, but neither has produced satisfactory proof of his right
“If not complete of, say," to it; and until all doubts upon that point are resolved, we shall | Hanmer first suggested the alteration.