« PreviousContinue »
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 hand;
My father gave me honor, yours gave land.
Now blessed be the hour by night or day,
When I was got, sir Robert was away:
Eli. The very spirit of Plantagenet !
I am thy grandame, Richard; call me so.
Bast. Madam, by chance, but not by truth. What though? Something about, a little from the right,
In at the window, or else o'er the hatch:
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, Faulconbridge; 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 ali 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; And when my knightly stomach is sufficed, Why then I suck my teeth, and catechize My picked man of countries.—My dear sir, (Thus, leaning on my elbow, I begin,) I shall beseech you — That is question now; And then comes answer like an A B C-book.O, sir, says answer, at your best command; At your employment; at your service, sir.No, sir, says question, I, sweet sir, at yours ; And, so, ere answer knows what question would, (Saving in dialogue of compliment;
And talking of the Alps, and Apennines,
The Pyrenean, and the river Po,)
draws towards supper in conclusion so.
But this is worshipful society,
And fits the mounting spirit, like myself.
For he is but a bastard to the time,
That doth not smack of observation;
(And so am I, whether I smack, or no;)
And not alone in habit and device,
Exterior form, outward accoutrement;
But from the inward motion to deliver
Sweet, sweet, sweet poison for the age's tooth:
Which, though I will not practise to deceive,
Yet, to avoid deceit, I mean to learn ;
For it shall strew the footsteps of my rising.-
But who comes in such haste, in riding robes ?
What woman-post is this? Hath she no husband,
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?
What brings you here to court so hastily?
Lady F. Where is that slave, thy brother? Where is he, That holds in chase mine honor
Bast. My brother Robert? old sir Robert's son?
Colbrand the giant, that same mighty man?
Is it sir Robert's son,
Lady F. Sir Robert's son! ay, thou unreverend boy,
Sir Robert's son! Why scorn'st thou at sir Robert ?
He is sir Robert's son; and so art thou.
Bast. James Gurney, wilt thou give us leave awhile ?
Gur. Good leave, good Philip.
Philip? - sparrow!-- James, There's toys abroad; anon I'll tell thee more.
Madam, I was not old sir Robert's son;
Sir Robert might have eat his part in me
Upon Good Friday, and ne'er broke his fast.
Sir Robert could do well; marry, (to confess !)
Could he get me? Sir Robert could not do it;
We know his handy-work.-- Therefore, good mother,
To whom am I beholden for these limbs?
Sir Robert never holp to make this leg.
Lady F. Hast thou conspired with thy brother too, That for thine own gain should'st defend mine honor ? What means this scorn, thou most untoward knave?
Bast. Knight, knight, good mother, - Basilisco-like.
What! I am dubbed; I have it on my shoulder.
But, mother, I am not sir Robert's son,
I have disclaimed sir Robert, and my land;
Legitimation, name, and all is gone:
Then, good my mother, let me know my father.
Some proper man, I hope; who was it, mother?
Lady F. Hast thou denied thyself a Faulconbridge ?
Bast. As faithfully as I deny the devil.
Lady F. King Richard Cour-de-lion was thy father;
By long and vehement suit I was seduced
To make room for him in my husband's bed.-
Heaven, lay not my transgression to my charge!
Thou art the issue of my dear offence,
Which was so strongly urged, past my defence.
Bast. Now, by this light, were I to get again,
Madam, I would not wish a better father.
Some sins do bear their privilege on earth,
And so doth yours; your fault was not your folly:
Needs must you lay your heart at his dispose,-
Subjected tribute to commanding love, —
Against whose fury and unmatched force
The aweless lion could not wage the fight,
Nor keep his princely heart from Richard's hand.
He, that perforce robs lions of their hearts,
May easily win a woman's. Ay, my mother,
With all my heart I thank thee for my father!
Who lives and dares but say, thou didst not well
When I was got, I'll send his soul to hell.
Come, lady, I will show thee to my kin;
And they shall say, when Richard me begot,
If thou hadst said him nay, it had been sin.
Who says it was, he lies; I say, 'twas not. [Exeunt.
SCENE I. France. Before the Walls of Angiers. Enter, on one side, the Archduke of Austria, and Forces ;
on the other, PHILIP, King of France, and Forces; LEWIS, CONSTANCE, ARTHUR, and Attendants.
Lew. Before Angiers well met, brave Austria.Arthur, that great forerunner of thy blood,
Richard, that robbed the lion of his heart,
And fought the holy wars in Palestine,
By this brave duke came early to his grave;
And, for amends to his posterity,
At our importance, hither is he come,
To spread his colors, boy, in thy behalf;
And to rebuke the usurpation
Of thy unnatural uncle, English John.
Embrace him, love him, give him welcome hither.
Arth. God shall forgive you Cæur-de-lion's death,
The rather, that you give his offspring life,
Shadowing their right under your wings of war.
I give you welcome with a powerless hand,
But with a heart full of unstained love.
Welcome before the gates of Angiers, duke.
Lew. A noble boy! who would not do thee right
Aust. Upon thy cheek lay I this zealous kiss,
As seal to this indenture of my love;
That to my home I will no more return,
Till Angiers, and the right thou hast in France,
Together with that pale, that white-faced shore,
Whose foot spurns back the ocean's roaring tides,
And coops from other lands her islanders, –
Even till that England, hedged in with the main,
That water-walled bulwark, still secure
And confident from foreign purposes, —
Even till that utmost corner of the west
Salute thee for her king. Till then, fair boy,
Will I not think of home, but follow arms.
Const. O, take his mother's thanks, a widow's thanks,
Till your strong hand shall help to give him strength,
To make a more requital to your love.
Aust. The peace of heaven is theirs, that lift their
swords In such a just and charitable war.
K. Phi. Well, then, to work; our cannon shall be bent
Against the brows of this resisting town.-
Call for our chiefest men of discipline,
To cull the plots of best advantages.-
We'll lay before this town our royal bones,
Wade to the market-place in Frenchmen's blood,
But we wiil make it subject to this boy.
Const Stay for an answer to your embassy,
Lest unadvised you stain your swords with blood.
My lord Chatillon may from England bring
That right in peace, which here we urge in war;
And then we shall repent each drop of blood,
That hot, rash haste so indirectly shed.
K. Phi. A wonder, lady!- lo, upon thy wish,
Our messenger Chatillon is arrived.-
What England says, say briefly, gentle lord;
We coldly pause for thee. Chatillon, speak.
Chat. Then turn your forces from this paltry siege,
And stir them up against a mightier task.
England, impatient of your just demands,
Hath put himself in arms; the adverse winds,
Whose leisure I have staid, have given him time
To land his legions all as soon as I;
His marches are expedient to this town,
His forces strong, his soldiers confident.
With him along is come the mother-queen,
An Ate, stirring him to blood and strife ;
With her her niece, the lady Blanch of Spain;
With them a bastard of the king's deceased;
And all the unsettled humors of the land,
Rash, inconsiderate, fiery voluntaries,
With ladies' faces, and fierce dragons' spleens, -
Have sold their fortunes at their native homes,
Bearing their birthrights proudly on their backs,
To make a hazard of new fortunes here.
In brief, a braver choice of dauntless spirits,
Than now the English bottoms have waft o'er,
Did never float upon the swelling tide,
To do offence and scath in Christendom.
The interruption of their churlish drums [Drums beat.
Cuts off more circumstance; they are at hand,
To parley, or to fight; therefore, prepare.
K. Phi. How much unlooked-for is this expedition !
Aust. By how much unexpected, by so much We must awake endeavor for defence; For courage mounteth with occasion. Let them be welcome then; we are prepared. Enter KING JOHN, ELINOR, BLANCH, the Bastard, PEM
BROKE, and Forces. K. 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! Whiles we, God's wrathful agent, do correct Their proud contempt that beat his peace to heaven.