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But this is not true. In the second edition of this old play, in 1611, the letters W. Sh. were put into the title-page, to deceive the purchaser, and to lead him to suppose the piece was Shakspeare's play, which, at that time, was not published. Our author's King John was written, I imagine, in 1596. MALONE.

Though this play have the title of The Life and Death of King John, yet the action of it begins at the thirty-fourth year of his life, and takes in only some transactions of his reign to the time of his demise, being an interval of about seventeen years.

THEOBALD. Hall, Holinshed, Stowe, &c. are closely followed, not only in the conduct, but sometimes in the very expressions, throughout the following historical dramas, viz. Macbeth, this play, Richard II. Henry IV. two parts, Henry V. Henry VI. three parts, Richard III. and Henry VIII.

“A booke called The Historie of Lord Faulconbridge,bastard Son to Richard Cordelion,was entered at Stationers' Hall, Nov. 29, 1614; but I have never met with it, and therefore know not whether it was the old black letter history, or a play upon the same subject. For the original King John, see Sir old Plays on which Shakspeare founded, &c. published by S. Leacroft, Charing-cross.

STEEVENS. The Historie of Lord Faulconbridge, &c. is a prose narrative, in bl. l. The earliest edition that I have seen of it was printed in 1616.

A book entitled Richard Cur de Lion was entered on the Stationers' Books in 1558.

A play called The Funeral of Richard Cordelion, was written by Robert Wilson, Henry Chettle, Anthony Mundy, and Michael Drayton, and first exhibited in the year 1598. MALONE.

King John:
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-Peter, Earl of Essex, Chief Justiciary

of England. Willjam Longsword, Earl of Salisbury. Robert Bigot, Earl of Norfolk. Hubert de Burgh, Chamberlain to the King. Robert Faulconbridge, Son of Sir Robert Faulcon

bridge: 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. Archduke of Austria. Cardinal Pandulph, the Pope's Legate. 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 Alphonso, King of Castile, and

Niece to King John. Lady Faulconbridge, Mother to the Bastard and

Robert Faulconbridge. Lords, Ladies, Citizens of Angiers, Sheriff, Heralds,

Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants. SCENE, sometimes in England, and sometimes in

France.

1

Salisbury.] Son to King Henry II. by Rosamond Clif

ford.

KING JOHN.

ACT I.

SCENE I. Northampton. A Room of State in the

Palace.

Enter King JOHN, Queen Elinor, PEMBROKE,

Essex, SALISBURY, and Others, with CHATIL

LON.

King John. Now, say, Chatillon, what would

France with us? Chat. Thus, after greeting, speaks the king of

France, In

my behaviour, to the majesty,
The borrow'd majesty of England here.

Eli. A strange beginning ;-borrow'd majesty!
K. John. Silence, good mother; hear the em-

bassy.

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

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In

my behaviour,] In my behaviour means, I think, in the words and action that I am now going to use. MALONE.

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K. John. What follows, if we disallow of this? Chat. The proud control 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

peace:
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 sullen 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.

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.

the manage --] i. e, con

administration.

Enter the Sheriff of Northamptonshire, who whis

pers Essex.

Essex. My liege, here is the strangest contro

versy, 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

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Re-enter Sheriff, with Robert FAULCONBRIDGE,

and Philip, his bastard Brother.
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 Caur-de-lion knighted in the field.

K. John. What art thou?
Rob. The son and heir to that same Faulcon-

bridge. K. John. Is that the elder, and art thou the heir? You came not of one mother then, it seems.

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 ine out
At least from fair five hundred pound a year:
Heaven guard my mother's honour, and my land!

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