« PreviousContinue »
Lew. A noble boy! Who would not do thee
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-fac'd shore,
Whose foot spurns back the ocean's roaring tides,
Ev'n till that England, hedg'd in with the main,
That water-walled bulwark, still secure
And confident from foreign purposes,
Salute thee for her King : till then, fair boy,
Will I not think of home, but follow arms.
Con. 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. Phil. Well then, to work; our cannon shall be
Against the brows of this resisting town.-
We'll lay before this town our royal bones,
But we will make it subject to this boy.
Con. Stay for an answer to your embassy,
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.
[A Trumpet sounds. K. Phil, A wonder, lady !--lo, upon thy wish, Our messenger Chatillon is arriv’d. -
Enter CHATILLON and French GENTLEMEN. What England says, say briefly, gentle lord; Chatillon, speak;
Cha. 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 stay'd, have given him time
To land his legions all as soon as I :
With him along is come the mother Queen,
An Até, stirring him to blood and strife ;
With her her niece, the Lady Blanch of Spain ;
With them a bastard of the King's deceas'd;
And all the unsettled humours of the land :
In brief, a braver choice of dauntless spirits,
Than now the English bottoms have watt o'er,
upon the swelling tide, 1 To do offence and scath in Christendom.-
(A March at a Distance. The interruption of their churlish drums Cuts off more circumstance: they are at hand, I To parley, or to fight; therefore, prepare. K. Phil. How much unlook'd for is this expedition !
Enter King John, FAULCON BRIDGE, Elinor, Sa-
LISBURY, BLANCH, PEMBROKE, Essex, HUBERT,
ENGLISH HERALD, GENTLEMEN, a TRUMPET,
K. John. Peace be to France; if France in peace
Our just and lineal entrance to our own!
If not, bleed France, and peace ascend to heaven !
K. Phil. Peace be to England; if that war return From France to England, there to live in peace! Look here upon thy brother Geffrey's face ; These eyes, these brows, were moulded out of his : 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 Heaven, How comes it then, that thou art call'd a king,
When living blood doth in these temples beat,
Which owe the crown that thou o'er-masterest?
K. John. From whom hast thou this great commis-
sion, France, To draw my answer from thy articles ? K. Phil. 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,
K. John. Alack, thou dost usurp authority.
K. Phil. Excuse: it is to beat usurping down.
Eli. Who is it, thou dost call usurper, France ?
Con. Let me make answer; thy usurping son.
Arth. 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
Con. His grandam's wrongs, and not his mother's
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 brib'd
To do him justice, and revenge on you.
Eli. Thou monstrous slanderer of Heaven and
Faul. Hear the crier,
Aust. What the devil art thou?
Faul, One that will play the devil, sir, with you,
You are the hare of whom the proverb goes,
Whose valour 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.
K. Phil. 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.
K. Phil. 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.
[The French Trumpet sounds a Parley,
Enter Citizens upon the Walls. Cit. Who is it, that hath warn'd us to the walls ? K. Phil. "Tis France, for England.
K. John. England, for itself: You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects,--K. Phil. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's sub
jects, Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle. K. John. For your advantage ;-therefore, hear us
first.These flags of France, that are advanced here Before the and prospect
Have hither march'd to your endamagement:
All preparation for a bloody siege,
And merciless proceeding by these French,
Confront your city's eyes, your winking gates;
But, on the sight of us, your lawful King,
Behold, the French, amaz'd, vouchsafe a parle:
And now, instead of bullets wrapp'd 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 labour'd spirits,
Forwcaried in this action of swift speed,
Crave harbourage within your city walls.
K. Phil. When I have said, make answer to us
Lo, in this right hand,
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
Being no further enemy to you,
Than the constraint of hospitable zeal,
In the relief of this oppressed child,
Then tell us, shall your city call us lord,
In that behalf which we have challeng’d it?
Or shall we give the signal to our rage,
And stalk in blood to our possession ?
Cit. In brief, we are the King of England's sub-
jects; For him, and in his right, we hold this town. K. John. Acknowledge then the King, and let me
in. Cit. That can we not: but he that
the King, To him will we prove loyal; till that time, Have we ramm'd 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,
Faul. Bastards, and else.
K. John. To verify our title with their lives.
K. Phil. As many, and as well-born bloods as
those, Faul. Some bastards too. K. Phil. Stand in his face, to contradict his claim.