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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. 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. Arch-duke 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, Lallies, Citizens of Angiers, Sheriff, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants. Scene, sometimes in England, and sometimes in France.

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 CHATILLON.

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 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;
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 control of fierce and bloody war,

:

i In the manner I now do.

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 2 of two kingdoms must With fearful bloody issue arbitrate.

K. John. Our strong possession, and our right, for

us.

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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,

2 Conduct, administration.

Enter the Sheriff of Northamptonshire, who whispers

Essex.

Essex. 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.

[Erit Sheriff. Our abbies, and our priories, shall pay

Re-enter Sheriff, with Robert FAULCON BRIDGE,

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 Faulconbridge.

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 me'out

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