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K. Phi. Peace be to England; if that war return From France to England, there to live in peace! England we love; and, for that England's sake, With burden of our armor here we sweat. This toil of ours should be a work of thine; But thou from loving England art so far, That thou hast under-wrought his lawful king, Cut off the sequence of posterity, Outfaced infant state, and done a rape Upon the maiden virtue of the crown. Look here upon thy brother Geffrey's face, These eyes, these brows, were moulded out of his; This little abstract doth contain that large, Which died in Geffrey; and the hand of time Shall draw this brief into as huge a volume. That Geffrey was thy elder brother born, And this his son; England was Geffrey's right, And this is Geffrey's. In the name of God, How comes it, then, that thou art called a king, When living blood doth in these temples beat, Which owe the crown that thou o'ermasterest? K. John. From whom hast thou this great commission,

To draw my answer from thy articles ?
K. Phi. From that supernal Judge, that stirs good

In any breast of strong authority,
To look into the blots and stains of right-
That Judge hath made me guardian to this boy;
Under whose warrant I impeach thy wrong;
And by whose help I mean to chastise it.

K. John. Alack, thou dost usurp authority.
K. Phi. Excuse; it is to beat usurping down.
Eli. Who is it thou dost call usurper, France ?
Const. Let me make answer; — thy usurping son.

Eli. Out, insolent! thy bastard shall be king;
That thou mayst be a queen, and check the world.

Const. My bed was ever to thy son as true,
As thine was to thy husband; and this boy
Liker in feature to his father Geffrey,
Than thou and John in manners; being as like,
As rain to water, or devil to his dam.
My boy a bastard ! by my soul, I think,
His father never was so true begot;
It cannot be, an if thou wert his mother.

Eli. There's a good mother, boy, that blots thy father.

Const. There's a good grandam, boy, that would blot thee.
Aust. Peace!

Hear the crier.

What the devil art thou? Bast. One that will play the devil, sir, with you, An 'a may catch your hide and you alone. You are the hare of whom the proverb goes, Whose valor plucks dead lions by the beard; I'll smoke your skin-coat, an I catch you right. Sirrah, look to't; i' faith, I will, i' faith.

Blanch. O, well did he become that lion's robe,
That did disrobe the lion of that robe!

Bast. It lies as sightly on the back of him,
As great Alcides' shoes upon an ass.-
But, ass, I'll take that burden from your back;
Or lay on that shall make your shoulders crack.

Aust. What cracker is this same, that deafs our ears With this abundance of superfluous breath?

K. Phi. Lewis, determine what we shall do straight.

Lew. Women and fools, break off your conference.King John, this is the very sum of all, England, and Ireland, Anjou, Touraine, Maine, In right of Arthur do I claim of thee. Wilt thou resign them, and lay down thy arms ?

K. John. My life as soon.— I do defy thee, France.
Arthur of Bretagne, yield thee to my hand;
And, out of my dear love, I'll give thee more
Than e'er the coward hand of France can win.
Submit thee, boy.

Come to thy grandam, child.
Const. Do, child, go to it' grandam, child;
Give grandam kingdom, and it' grandam will
Give it a plum, a cherry, and a fig.
There's a good grandam.

Good my mother, peace !
I would that I were low laid in my grave;
I am not worth this coil that's made for me.

Eli. His mother shames him so, poor boy, he weeps.

Const. Now shame upon you, whe'r she does or no! His grandam's wrongs, and not his mother's shames, Draw those Heaven-moving pearls from his poor eyes, Which Heaven shall take in nature of a fee; Ay, with these crystal beads Heaven shall be bribed To do him justice, and revenge on you.

Eli. Thou monstrous slanderer of heaven and earth! Const. Thou monstrous injurer of heaven and earth;

Call not me slanderer; thou, and thine, usurp
The dominations, royalties, and rights,
Of this oppressed boy. This is thy eldest son's son,
Infortunate in nothing but in thee.
Thy sins are visited in this poor child;
The canon of the law is laid on him,
Being but the second generation
Removed from thy sin-conceiving womb.

K. John. Beldam, have done.

I have but this to say, -
That he's not only plagued for her sin,
But God hath made her sin and her the plague
On this removed issue, plagued for her,
And with her plague, her sin; his injury
Her injury, the beadle to her sin;
All punished in the person of this child,
And all for her; a plague upon her!

Eli. Thou unadvised scold, I can produce A will, that bars the title of thy son.

Const. Ay, who doubts that? A will! a wicked will ; A woman's will; a cankered grandam's will !

K. Phi. Peace, lady; pause, or be more temperate.
It ill beseems this presence, to cry aim
To these ill-tuned repetitions.-
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.

Trumpets sound. Enter Citizens upon the Walls.
1 Cit. Who is it that hath warned us to the walls.
K. Phi. 'Tis France, for England.
K. John.

England, for itself. You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects,

K. Phi. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's subjects, Our trumpet called you to this gentle parle.

K. John. For our advantage;—therefore, hear us first. — These flags of France, that are advanced here Before the eye and prospect of your town, Have hither marched to your endamagement. The cannons have their bowels full of wrath; And ready mounted are they, to spit forth Their iron indignation 'gainst your walls. All preparation for a bloody siege, And merciless proceeding by these French, Confront your city's eyes, your winking gates; And but for our approach those sleeping stones,

That as a waist do girdle you about,
By the compulsion of their ordnance
By this time from their fixed beds of lime
Had been dishabited, and wide havoc made
For bloody power to rush upon your peace.
But, on the sight of us, your lawful king,–
Who painfully, with much expedient march,
Have brought a countercheck before your gates,
To save unscratched your city's threatened cheeks,-
Behold, the French, amazed, vouchsafe a parle;
And now, instead of bullets wrapped in fire,
To make a shaking fever in your walls,
They shoot but calm words, folded up in smoke,
To make a faithless error in your ears;
Which trust accordingly, kind citizens,
And let us in, your king; whose labored spirits,
Forewearied in this action of swift speed,
Crave harborage within your city walls.

K. Phi. When I have said, make answer to us both.
Lo, in this right hand, whose protection
Is most divinely vowed upon the right
Of him it holds, stands young Plantagenet;
Son to the elder brother of this man,
And king o'er him, and all that he enjoys.
For this down-trodden equity, we tread
In warlike march these greens before your town;
Being no further enemy to you,
Than the constraint of hospitable zeal,
In the relief of this oppressed child,
Religiously provokes. Be pleased then
To pay that duty, which you truly owe,
To him that owes it; namely, this young prince;
And then our arms, like to a muzzled bear,
Save in aspect, have all offence sealed up.
Our cannons' malice vainly shall be spent
Against the invulnerable clouds of heaven,
And, with a blessed and unvexed retire,
With unhacked swords, and helmets all unbruised,
We will bear home that lusty blood again,
Which here we came to spout against your town,
And leave your children, wives, and you, in peace.
But if you fondly pass our proffered offer,
'Tis not the roundure of


old-faced walls Can hide you from our messengers of war; Though all these English, and their discipline, Were harbored in their rude circumference.

VOL. II. - 18

Then, tell us, shall your city call us lord,
In that behalf which we have challenged it?
Or shall we give the signal to our rage,
And stalk in blood to our possession ?

1 Cit. In brief, we are the king of England's subjects; For him, and in his right, we hold this town.

K. John. Acknowledge then the king, and let me in.

1 Cit. That can we not: but he that proves the king, To him will we prove loyal; till that time, Have we rammed up our gates against the world.

K. John. Doth not the crown of England prove the king ?
And, if not that, I bring you witnesses,
Twice fifteen thousand hearts of England's breed, -

Bast. Bastards, and else.
K. John. To verify our title with their lives.
K. Phi. As many, and as well-born bloods as those,-
Bast. Some bastards too.
K. Phi. Stand in his face, to contradict his claim.
1 Cit

. Till you compound whose right is worthiest, We, for the worthiest, hold the right from both.

K. John. Then God forgive the sin of all those souls, That to their everlasting residence, Before the dew of evening fall, shall fleet, In dreadful trial of our kingdom's king!

K. Phi. Amen, Amen ! — mount, chevaliers ! to arms ! Bast. St. George, — that swinged the dragon, and e'er

since, Sits on his horseback at mine hostess' door, Teach us some fence.- Sirrah, were I at home, At your den, sirrah, [To AUSTRIA.] with your lioness, I'd set an ox-head to your lion's hide, And make a monster of you. Aust.

Peace; no more. Bast. O, tremble; for you hear the lion roar.

K. John. Up higher to the plain ; where we'll set forth, In best appointment, all our regiments.

Bast. Speed, then, to take advantage of the field.

K. Phi. It shall be so;-[ To LEWIS.) and at the other hill Command the rest to stand.-- God, and our right!

[Exeunt. SCENE II.

The same.

Alarums and Excursions; then

a Retreat. Enter a French Herald, with trumpets, to the gates.

F. Her. You men of Angiers, open wide your gates, And let young Arthur, duke of Bretagne, in;

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