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KING John.
Prince Henry, Son to the King.
Arthur, Duke of Bretagne, and Nephew to the King,

English Lords.
Faulconbridge, Bastard-Son to Richard the First.
Robert Faulconbridge, suppos'd Brother to the Bastard.
James Gurney, Servant to the Lady Faulconbridge,
Peter of Pomfret, & Prophet,
Philip, King of France.
Lewis, the Dauphin.
Arch-Duke of. Austria.
Card. Pandulpho, the Pope's Legate,
Melun, a French Lord.
Chatilion, Ambasador from France to King John.

Elinor, Queen-Mother. of England.
Constance, Mother to Arthur.
Blanch, Daughter to Alphonso King of Caftile, and Neice

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


Citizens of Angiers, Heralds, Executioners, Messengers,

Soldiers, and other Attendants.

The SCENE, sometimes in England ; and,

sometimes, in France.

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(1) The Life and DEATH of



SCENE, the Court of ENGLAND.

Enter King John, Queen Elinor, Pembroke, Essex,

and Salisbury, with Chatilion.

King John.
OW fay, Chatilion, what would France

with us?
N 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; borrowd Majesty!

(1) The Life and DEATH-] Tho' this Play have this Title, yet the Action of it begins at the 34th Year of his Life; and takes in only fome Transactions of his Reign to the Time of his Demise, being an Interval of about 17 Years. Of all the English Princes, (as Mr. Warburton obsery'd to me) that Shakespeare has taken into Tragedy, King John was the fittest to have made a Hero for a Tragedy on the antient Plan. Henry IV, V, and VIII, had Qualities great enough for it, but were generally fortunate. Richard II, and Henry VI, (fit Verbo Venia) were, at times, little better than Poltrons : And Richard III. was so black a Villain, that the Antients would have thought him fitter for a Gibbet than a Stage. But John had that "Turb ilence and Grandeur of the Passions, that Inconitancy of Temper, equal Mixture of Good and Ill, and that Series of Misfortunes consequent thereto, as might make him very fit for a Hero in a juft Compofition.


M 4

K. Jobn. Silence, good Mother; hear the Embaslie.

Chat. Philip of France, in right and true behalf
Of thy deceased brother Geffry's Son,
Arthur Plantagenet, lays lawful Claim
To this fair Iland, and the territories:
To Ireland, Poictiers, Anjou, Touraine, Maine :
Desiring thee to lay aside the sword,
Which Tways usurpingly these several Titles ;
And put the same into young Arthur's hand,
Thy nephew, and right-royal Soveraign.

K. John. What follows, if we disallow of this?

Chat. The proud controul of fierce and bloody war, T'inforce these Rights so forcibly with-held. K. Zobn. Here have we war for war, and blood for

blood, Controulment for controuļment; so answer France.

Chat. Then take my King's defiance from my mouth, The farthest limit of my Embassie.

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; farewel, Chatilion.

[Ex. Chat. and Pem. 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 easie arguments of love; Which now the Manage of two Kingdoms must With fearful, bloody issue arbitrate.

K. John. Our strong Poffeffion,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 heav'n, and you, and I shall hear.

Essex. My Liege, here is the strangest controversie, 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.
Our Abbies and our Priories shall pay
This Expedition's charge - What men are you?
Enter Robert Faulconbridge, and Philip, his Brotber.

Phil. 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 chou?
Robert. 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?

Phil. 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 heav'n, and to my mother; Of that I doubt, as all men's children may, Eli. Out on thee, rude man! thou doft shame thy

And wound her honour with this diffidence.

Phil. 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, he pops me out
At least from fair five hundred pound a year:
Heav'n guard my mother's honour, and my

K. John. A good blunt fellow; why, being younger

born, Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance ?

Phil. I know not why, except to get the land, But, once, he flander'd me with bastardy: But whether I be as true begot or no, 'That ftill 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 your self,

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