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PRINCE HENRY, his son; afterwards King Henry III. ARTHUR, Duke of Bretagne, Son of Geffrey, late Duke of Bretagne, the elder Brother of King John,

WILLIAM MARESHALL, Earl of Pembroke.

GEFFREY FITZ-PETEB, Earl of Essex, chief Justiciary of England.

WILLIAM LONGSWORD, Earl of Salisbury.

ROBERT BIGOT, Earl of Norfolk.

HUBERT DE BURGH, Chamberlain to the King.

ROBERT FAULCONBRIDGE, Son of Sir Robert Faulconbridge.
PHILIP FAULCONBRIDGE, his Half-brother, Bastard Son to
King Richard the First.

JAMES GURNEY, Servant to Lady Faulconbridge.
PETER of Pomfret, a Prophet.

PHILIP, King of France.

LEWIS, the Dauphin.


CARDINAL PANDULPH, the Pope's Legate. 50

MELUN, a French Lord.

CHATILLON, Ambassador from France to King John.

ELINOR, the Widow of King Henry II. and. Mother of King John.

CONSTANCE, Mother to Arthur.

BLANCH, Daughter to

Niece to King John.

Alphonso, King of Castile, and

LADY FAULCONBRIDGE, Mother to the Bastard and Robert Faulconbridge.

Lords, Ladies,

Officers, Soldiizens of Angiers, Sheriff, Heralds,

Messengers, and other Attendants.

SCENE, sometimes in England, and sometimes in France.




SCENE 1. Northampton. A Room of State in the Palace.


King John.

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Now, say, Chatillon, what would France with us? Chat. Thus, after greeting, speaks the king of France,

In my behaviour1, to the majesty,

The borrow'd majesty of England here.

Eli. A strange beginning;-borrow'd majesty! K. John. Silence, good mother; hear the embassy. Chat. Philip of France, in right and true behalf Of thy deceased brother Geffrey's son, Arthur Plantagenet, lays most lawful claim To this fair island, and the territories; To Ireland, Poictiers, Anjou, Touraine, Maine: Desiring thee to lay aside the sword, Which sways usurpingly these several titles;

In my behaviour probably means 'In the words and action I am now going to use. In the fifth act of this play the Bastard says to the French king:

Now hear our English king,

For thus his royalty doth speak in me.`

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And put the same into young Arthur's hand,
Thy nephew, and right royal sovereign.

K. John. What follows, if we disallow of this?
Chat. The proud control2 of fierce and bloody war,
To enforce these rights so forcibly withheld.
K. John. Here have we war for war, and blood
for blood,

Controlment for controlment: so answer France. Chat. Then take my king's defiance from my mouth, The furthest limit of my embassy.


K. John. Bear mine to him, and so depart in Be thou as lightning in the eyes of France; For ere thou canst report I will be there, The thunder of my cannon shall be heard: So, hence! Be thou the trumpet of our wrath, And sullen3 presage of your own decay.An honourable conduct let him have:— Pembroke, look to't; Farewell, Chatillon.

[Exeunt CHATILLON and PEMBROKE. Eli. What now, my son? have I not ever said, How that ambitious Constance would not cease, Till she had kindled France, and all the world, Upon the right and party of her son?

This might have been prevented and made whole, With very easy arguments of love!

Which now the manage of two kingdoms must With fearful bloody issue arbitrate.

2 Control here means constraint or compulsion. In the second act of King Henry V. when Exeter demands of the King of France the surrender of his crown, the king answers, Or else what follows?' and Exeter replies:

Bloody constraint; for if you hide the crown
Even in your hearts, there will he rake for it.'

3 i. e. gloomy, dismal. Thus in King Henry VI, Part II. Act i.

Sc. 2:

"Why are thy eyes fixed on the sullen earth ?

And in King Richard II. Act i. Sc. 3:

"The sullen passage of thy weary steps.'

So Milton in his Sonnet to his friend Lawrence:

help waste a sullen day.'

4 i. e. conduct, administration. So in King Richard II.:

for the rebels

Expedient manage must be made, my liege.20

K. John. Our strong possession, and our right

for us.

Eli. Your strong possession, much more than your right;

Or else it must go wrong with you, and me :
So much my conscience whispers in your ear;
Which none but heaven, and you, and I, shall hear.
Enter the Sheriff of Northamptonshire, who
whispers EssEx

Esser. My liege, here is the strangest controversy,
Come from the country to be judg'd by you,
That e'er I heard: Shall I produce the men?
K. John. Let them approach.- [Exit Sheriff.
Our abbies, and our priories, shall pay

Re-enter Sheriff, with ROBERT FAULCONBRIDGE, and
PHILIP, his bastard Brother5.

This expedition's charge.-What men are you?
Bast. Your faithful subject I, a gentleman,
Born in Northamptonshire; and eldest son,
As I suppose, to Robert Faulconbridge;
A soldier, by the honour-giving hand
Of Coeur-de-lion knighted in the field.
K. John. What art thou?

Rob. The son and heir to that same Faulconbridge. K. John. Is that the elder, and art thou the heir? You came not of one mother then, it seems.

Shakspeare in adopting the character of Philip Faulconbridge from the old play, proceeded on the following slight hint:

'Next them a bastard of the king's deceas'd,
A hardie wild-head, rough and venturous.'

The character is compounded of two distinct personages. "Sab illius temporis curriculo Falcasius de Brente, Neusteriensis, et sparius ex parte matris, atque Bastardus, qui in vili jumento manticato ad Regis paulo ante clientelam descenderat ' Mathew Paris. Holinshed says that 'Richard I. had a natural son named Philip, who, in the year following, killed the Viscount de Limoges to revenge the death of his father. Perhaps the name of Faulconbridge was suggested by the following passage in the continuation of Harding's Chronicle, 1543, fol. 24, 6:-One Faulconbridge, th' erle of Kent his bastarde, a stoute-hearted man.'


Bast. Most certain of one mother, mighty king, That is well known; and, as I think, one father: But, for the certain knowledge of that truth, . I put you o'er to heaven, and to my mother; Of that I doubt, as all men's children may.

Eli. Out on thee, rude man! thou dost shame
thy mother,

And wound her honour with this diffidence.
Bast. I, madam? no, I have no reason for it;
That is my brother's plea, and none of mine;
The which if he can prove, a pops me out
At least from fair five hundred pound a year;
Heaven guard my mother's honour, and my land!
K. John. A good blunt fellow: Why, being
by younger born,

Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance?

Bast. I know not why, except to get the land. But once he slander'd me with bastardy: But whe'r I be as true begot, or no, 14 That still I lay upon my mother's head; But, that I am as well begot, my liege, (Fair fall the bones that took the pains for me!) Compare our faces, and be judge yourself. P If old Sir Robert did beget us both,


were our father, and this son like him;O old Sir Robert, father, on my knee

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I give heaven thanks, I was not like to thee.
K. John. Why, what a madcap hath heaven lent
But us here!

Eli. He hath a trick of Coeur-de-lion's face, The accent of his tongue affecteth him:

Do you not read some tokens of my son
In the large composition of this man?

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6 Whether, howtot


Shakspeare uses the word trick generally in the sense of 'a peculiar air or cast of countenance or Well that Ends Well, Act i. Sc. or feature. Thus in All's

Of every line and trick of his sweet favour.'

And in King Henry IV. Part 1,

That thou art my son, I have partly thy mother's word, partly mine owne opinion; but chiefly

a villanous trick of thine eye.

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