Page images
PDF
EPUB

That this, my mother's son, was none of his; Arise Sir Richard, and Plantagenet.
And if he were, he came into the world

Bast. Brother, by the mother's side, give
Full fourteen weeks before the course of time me your hand :
Ther, good my liege, let me have what is My father gave me honour, yours gave land. -
minc,

Now blessed be the hour, by night or day, My father's land, as was my father's will. When I was got, Sir Robert was away.

k. John. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate ; Eli. The very spirit of Plantagenet ! Your father's wife did after wedlock bear him; I am thy grandam, Richard ; call me so. And if she did play false, the fault was hers; Bust. Madam, by chance, but not by truth : Which fault lies on the hazards of all hus- what though? bands

(brother, Something about, a little from the right, That marry wives. Tell me, how if my In at the window, or else o'er the hatch ; Who, as you say, took pains to get this son, Who dares not stir by day, must walk by Had of your father claim'd this son for his ? night ; In sooth, good friend, your father might have And have is have, however men do catch ; kept

worid; Vear or far off, well won is still well shot ; This calf, bred from his cow, from all the And I am I, howe'er I was begot. In sooth, he might : then, if he were my K. John. Go, Faulconbridge: now hast brother's, [father, thou thv desire ;

['squire.-My brother might not claim him ; nor your A landless knight makes thee a landed Being none of his, refuse him : this concludes,- Come, madam, -and come, Richard ; we My mother's son did get your father's heir ; must speed

(need. Your father's heir must have your father's For France, for France ; for it is more than land.

force Bast. Brother, adieu : good fortune come to Rob. Shall, then, my father's will be of no thee! To dispossess that child which is not his? For thou wast got i' the way of honesty. Bast. Of no more force to dispossess me, sir,

[Exeunt all except the Bastard. Than was his will to get me, as I think. A foot of honour better than I was : Eli. Whether hadst thou rather be a Faul- But many a many foot of land the worse. conbridge,

Well, now can I make any Joan a lady :And like thy brother, to enjoy thy land,

Good den, Sir Richard : God-u-mercy, Or the reputed son of Cæur-de-lion,

fellow :" Lord of thy presence, and no land beside? And if his name be George, I'll call him Peter ; Bast. Madam, an if my brother had my For new-made honour doth forget men's names, shape,

'Tis too respective, and too sociable, And I had his, Sir Robert his, like him ; For your conversion. Now your traveller, And if my legs were two such riding-rods, He and his toothpick at my worship's mess ; liy arms such eel-skins stuff d; my face so And when my knightly stomach is suffic'd, thin,

Why then I suck my teeth, and catechize That in mine ear I durst not stick a rose, My pickéd man of countries :--"My dear sir," Lest men should say, Look, where three-'(Thus leaning on mine elbow, I begin,) farthings goes!

I shall bescech you".-that is question now ; And, to his shape, were heir to all this land, And then comes auswer like an A. B, C. Would I might never stir from off this place, book: I'd give it every foot to have this face ;

O, sir," says answer, "at your best command; I would no: be Sir Nob in any case. [fortune, At your cmployment; at your service, sir :"

Eli. I like thee well : wilt thou forsake thy ivo, sir," says question, 7, sweet sir, at Bequeath thy land to him, and follow me?

yours : I am a soldier, and now bound to France. And so, ere answer knows what question would, Bast. Brother, take you my land, I'll take (Saving in dialogue of compliment, my chance :

(year ; And talking of the Alps and Apennines, Your face hath got five hundred pounds a The Pyrenean, and the river Po,) Yet sell your face for five pence, and 'tis It draws toward supper, in conclusion so. dear.

But this is worshipful society, Madam, I'll follow you unto the death. And fits the mounting spirit, like myself ; Eli. Nay, I would have you go before me For he is but a bastard to the time, thither.

[way. That doth not smack of observation ; B.ist. Our country manners give our beiters And so am I, whether I smack, or no; K. John. What is thy name? (begun,' And not alone in habit and device,

Bast. Philip, my liege, so is my name Exterior form, outward accoutrement, Philip, good old Sir Robert's wife's eldest son. But from the inward motion to deliver Ki Jonn. From henceforth bear his name Sweet, sweet, sweet poison for the age's tooth whose form thou bearest :

Which, though I will not practise to deceive, Kneel thou down Philip, but arise more great ;. Yes, to avoid deceit, I mean to learn;

[ocr errors]

Bast.

:

For it shall strew the footsteps of my rising -- The aweless lion could not wage the fight,
But who comes in such haste, in riding robes ? Nor keep his princely heart from Richard's
What woman-post is this? hath she no husband, hand :
That will take pains to blow a horn before her? He, that perforce robs lions of their hearts,
O me! it is my mother.-

May easily win a woman's. Ay, my mother, Enter Lady Faulconbridge and James Gurney. With all my heart I thank thee for my father!

How now, good lady! Who lives, and dares but say thou didst not What brings you here to court so hastily?

well Lady F. Where is that slave, thy brother? When I was got, I'll send his soul to hell. where is he,

Come, lady, I will show thee to my kin; That holds in chase mine honour up and down? And they shall say, when Richard me begot, Bast. My brother Robert ? old Sir Robert's If thou hadst said him nay, it had been sin

: son?

Who says it was, he lies; I say, 'twas not. Colbrand the giant, that same mighty man?

(Exeunt. Is it Sir Robert's son that you seek so? Lady F. Sir Robert's son! Ay, thou unreverend boy,

ACT II. Sir Robert's son : why scorn'st thou at Sir Ro

SCENE I.--France. Before the walls of He is Sir Robert's son, and so art thou. (bert ?

Angiers.
Bast. James Gurney, wilt thou give us leave
Gur. Good leave, good Philip.

[a while? Enter, on one side, the Archduke of Austria, Philip ?-sparrow !- James,

and forces; on the other, Philip, k'ing of There's toys abroad: anon I'll tell thee more.

France, and forces, Lewis, Constance, Ar[Exit Gurney.

thur, and Attendants. Madam, I was not old Sir Robert's son ; Lew. Before Angiers well met, brave AusSir Robert might have eat his part in me

tria.Upon Good-Friday, and ne'er broke his fast : Arthur, that great forerunner of thy blood, Sir Robert could do well : marry, (to confess) Richard, that robb'd the lion of his heart, Could he get me ? Sir Robert could not do it ; And fought the holy wars in Palestine, We know his handy-work :—therefore, good By this brave duke came early to his grave : mother,

And, for amends to his posterity, To whom am I beholden for these limbs ? At our importance hither is he come, Sir Robert never holp to make this leg. To spread his colours, boy, in thy behalf ; Lady F. Hast thou conspired with thy bro- And to rebuke the usurpation ther too,

(honour? Of thy unnatural uncle, English John : That for thine own gain shouldst defend mine Embrace him, love him, give him welcome hiWhat means this scorn, thou most untoward ther.

[death, knave?

(lisco-like : Arth. God shall forgive you Cœur-de-lion's Bast. Knight, knight, good mother,--Basi- The rather that you give his offspring life, What ! I am dubbd; I have it on my shoulder. Shadowing their right under your wings of war: But, mother, I am not Sir Robert's son ; I give you welcome with a powerless hand, I have disclaim'd Sir Robert, and my land ; But with a heart full of unstained love : Legitimation, name, and all is gone. [ther ; Welcome before the gates of Angiers, duke. Then, good my mother, let me know my fa- Lew. A noble boy! Who would not do thee Some proper man, I hope : who was it, mother? right? Lady F. Hast thou denied thyself a Faul- Aust. Upon thy cheek lay I this zealous conbridge?

As seal to this indenture of my love ; [kiss, Bast. As faithfully as I deny the devil. That to my home I will no more return, Lady F. King Richard Cæur-de-lion was Till Angiers, and the right thou hast in France, thy father:

Together with that pale, that white-fac'd shore, By long and vehement suit I was seduc'd Whose foot spurns back the ocean's roaring To make room for him in my husband's bed :

tides, Heaven lay not my transgression to my And coops from other lands her islanders, – charge!

Even till that England, hedg'd in with the Thou art the issue of my dear offence,

main, Which was so strongly urg'd, past my defence. That water-walled bulwark, still secure

Bast. Now, by this light, were I to get again, And confident from foreign purposes,Madam, I would not wish a better father. Even till that utmost corner of the west Some sins do bear their privilege on earth, Salute thee for her king : till then, fair boy, And so doth yours ; your fault was not your Will I not think of home, but follow arms. folly ;

Const. O take his mother's thanks, a widow's Needs must you lay your heart at his dispose, thanks,

[strength, Subjected tribute to coinmanding love, Till your strong hand shall help to give him Against whose fury and unmatched force To make a more requital to your love !

his :

[ocr errors]

Aust. The peace of heaven is theirs, that Whiles we, God's wrathful agent, do correct lift their swords

Their proud contempt that beat his peace to In such a just and charitable war.

heaven.

(turn K. Phi. Well, then, to work : our cannon K. Phi. Peace be to England ; if that war reshall be bent

From France to England, there to live in peace ! Against the brows of this resisting town.- England we love ; and, for that England's Call for our chiefest men of discipline,

sake, To cull the plots of best advantages : With burden of our armour here we sweat. We'll lay before this town our royal bones, This toil of ours should be a work of thine ; Wade to the market-place in Frenchmen's But thou from loving England art so far, blood,

That thou hast under-wrought his lawful king, But we will make it subject to this boy. Cut off the sequence of posterity,

Const. Stay for an answer to your embassy, Outfaced infant state, and done a rape Lest unadvis d you stain your swords with Upon the maiden virtue of the crown. blood :

Look here upon thy brother Geffrey's face :-My lord Chatillon may from England bring These eyes, these brows, were moulded out of That right in peace, which here we urge in war; And then we shall repent each drop of blood, This little abstract doth contain that large, That hot rash haste so indirectly shed. Which died in Geffrey ; and the hand of time Enter Chatillon.

Shall draw this brief into as huge a volume. K. Phi. A wonder, lady !-lo, upon thy wish, That Geffrey was thy elder brother born, Our messenger, Chatillon, is arriv'd.- And this his son ; England was Geffrey's right, What England says, say briefly, gentle lord ; And this is Geffrey's : in the name of God, We coldly pause for thee : Chatilon, speak. How comes it, then, that thou art call'd a king, Chat. Then turn your forces from this paltry When living blood doth in these temples beat, siege,

Which owe the crown that thou o'ermasterest? And stir them up against a mightier task. K. John. From whom hast thou this great England, impatient of your just demands,

commission, France, Hath put himself in arms : the adverse winds, To draw my answer from thy articles ? Whose leisure I have stay'd, have given him K. Phi. From that supernal Judge, that stirs To land his legions all as soon as I : [time good thoughts His marches are expedient to this town, In any breast of strong authority, His forces strong, his soldiers confident. To look into the blots

and stains of right. With him along is come the mother-queen, That Judge hath made me guardian to this An Atė, stirring him to blood and strise :

boy: With her her niece, the lady Blanch of Spain ; Under whose warrant I impeach thy wrong : With them a bastard of the king's deceas'd, And by whose help I mean to chastise it. And all th' unsettled humours of the land, K. John. Alack, thou dost usurp authority. Rash, inconsiderate, fiery voluntaries,

Ki Phi. Excuse : it is to beat usurping down. With ladies' faces, and fierce dragons'spleens, – Eli. Who is it thou dost call usurper, France? Have sold their fortunes at their native homes, Const. Let me make answer Sthy usurping Bearing their birthrights proudly on their backs,

(king. To make a hazard of new fortunes here :

Eli. Out, insolent! thy bastard shall be In brief, a braver choice of dauntless spirits, That thou mayst be a queen, and check the Than now the English bottoms have waft o'er, world ! Did never float upon the swelling tide,

Const. My bed was ever to thy son as true, To do offence and scath in Christendom. As thine was to thy husband : and this boy

[Drums beat within. Liker in feature to his father Geffrey. The interruption of their churlish drums Than thou and John in manners ; being as like Cuts off more circumstance : they are at hand, As rain to water, or devil to his dam. To parley, or to fight; therefore, prepare. My boy a bastard ! By my soul, I think K. Phi. How much unlook'd for is this ex- His father never was so true begot : pedition !

It cannot be, an is thou wert his mother. Aust. By how much unexpected, by so much Eli. There's a good mother, boy, that blots We must awake endeavour for defence ;

thy father. For courage mounteth with occasion :

Const. There's a good grandam, boy, that Let them be welcome, then ; we are prepar'd. Aust. Peace !

(would blot thee. Enter King John, Elinor, Blanch, the Bastard, Bust.

Hear the crier.
Pembroke, and forces.

Aust.

What the devil art thou? K. John. Peace be to France, if France in Bast. One that will play the devil, sir, with peace perniit

vou, Our just and lineal entrance to our own! An 'a may catch your hide and you alone : If not, bleed France, and peace ascend to You are the hare of whom the proverb goes, heaven!

Whose valour plucks dead lions by the beard :

son.

our ears

I'll smoke your skin-coat, an I catch you A will, that bars the title of thy son. right ;

Const. Ay, who doubts that? a will ! a Sirrah, look to't ; i' faith, I will, i' faith.

wicked will ; Blanch. O, well did he become that lion's A woman's will ; a canker'd grandam's will! That did disrobe the lion of that robe! (robe, K. Phi. Peace, lady! pause, or be more

Bast. It lies as sightly on the back of him, temperate : As great Alcides' shoes upon an ass :-- It ill beseems this presence to cry aim But, ass, I'll take that burden from your back, To these ill-tuned repetitions. — Or lay on that shall make your shoulders crack. Some trumpet summon hither to the walls Aust. What cracker is this same, that deals These men of Angiers : let us hear them

speak, With this abundance of superfluous breath? Whose title they admit, Arthur's or John's. K. Phi. Lewis, determine what we shall do Trumpet sounds. Enter Citizens upon the straight. ference.

walls. Lew. Women and fools, break off your con- i Cit. Who is it that hath warn'd us to the King John, this is the very sum of all,

K. Phi. 'Tis France, for England. [walls? England and Ireland, Anjou, Touraine, Maine, K. John.

England for itself : In right of Arthur do I claim of thee :

You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects, Wilt thou resign them, and lay down thy arms? K. Phi. You loving men of Angiers, ArK. John. My life as soon :- 1 do defy thee, thur's subjects, France,

Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle. Arthur of Bretagne, vield thee to my hand ; K. John. For our advantage ; therefore And, out of my dear love, I'll give thee more hear us first. Than e'er the coward hand of France can win : These flags of France, that are advanced here Submit thee, boy.

Before the eye and prospect of your town, Eli.

Come to thy grandam, child. Have hither march'd to your endamagement : Const. Do, child, go to it' grandam, child ; | The cannons have their bowels full of wrath, Give grandam kingdom, and it grandam will And ready mounted are they, to spit forth Give it a plum, a cherry, and a fig :

Their iron indignation 'gainst your walls : There's a good grandam.

All preparation for a bloody siege, Arth.

Good my mother, peace ! And merciless proceeding by these French, I would that I were low laid in my grave; Confront your city's eyes, your winking gates; I am not worth this coil that's made for me. And, but for our approach, those sleeping Eli. His mother shames him so, poor boy. That as a waist do girdle you about, (stones, he weeps.

(or no! By the compulsion of their ordnance Const. Now, shame upon you, whe'r she does, By this time from their fixed beds of lime His grandam's wrongs, and not his mother's Had been dishabited, and wide havoc made shames,

(poor eyes, For bloody power to rush upon your peace. Draw those heaven-moving pearls from his But, on the sight of us, your lawful king.Which heaven shall take in nature of a fee ; Who painfully, with much expedient march, Ay, with these crystal beads heaven shall be Have brought a countercheck before your brib'd

gates,

cheeks, To do him justice, and revenge on you. To save unscratch'd your city's threaten'd Eli. Thou monstrous slanderer of heaven Behold, the French, amaz'd, vouchsafe a parle ; and earth!

[and earth! And now, instead of bullets wrapp'd in fire, Const. Thou monstrous injurer of heaven To make a shaking fever in your walls, Call not me slanderer ; thou and thine usurp They shoot but calm words, folded up in The dominations, royalties, and rights,

smoke, Of this oppressed boy : this is thy eldest son's To make a faithless error in your ears : Infortunate in nothing but in thee : (son, Which trust accordingly, kind citizens, Thy sins are visited in this poor child ; And let us in, your king ; whose labour' 1 The canon of the law is laid on him,

spirits, Being but the second generation

Forwearied in this action of swift speed, Removed from thy sin-conceiving womb. Crave harbourage within your city walls. K'. John. Bedlam, have done.

K. Phi. When I have said, make answer to Const. I have but this to say,

us both. That he is not only plagued for her sins, Lo, in this right hand, whose protection But God hath made her sin and her the plague Is most divinely vow'd upon the right On this removed issue, plagu'd for her Of him it holds, stands young Plantagenet, And with her plague, her sin ; his injury Son to the elder brother of this man, Her injury.--the beadle to her sin ;

And king o'er him, and all that he enjoys : All punish'd in the person of this child, For this down-trodden equity, we tread And all for her ; a plague upon her !

In warlike march these greens before your town; Eli. Thou unadvised scold, I can produce l Being no further enemy to you

Than the constraint of hospitable zeal

Bast. Speed, then, to take advantage of the In the relief of this oppressed child,

field.

(other hill Religiously provokes. Be pleased, then, K. Phi. It shall be so ;-[To Lewis.] at the To pay that duty, which you truly owe, Command the rest to stand, -God, and our To him that owes it, namely, this young prince ;

right!

(Exeunt. And then our arms, like to a muzzled bear, Save in aspect, have all offence seal'd up ;

SCENE II.-The Same. Our cannons' malice vainly shall be spent Alarums and Excursions; then a Retreat. EnAgainst the invulnerable clouds of heaven : ter a French Herald, with trumpets, to the And with a blessed and unvex'd retire,

gates.

(your gates, With unhack'd swords, and helmets all un- F. Her. You men of Angiers, open wide bruis'd,

And let young Arthur, duke of Bretagne, in, We will bear home that lusty blood again, Who, by the hand of France, this day hath Which here we came to spout against your

made

[ther, town,

(peace. Much work for tears in many an English moAnd leave your children, wives, and you, in Whose sons lie scatter'd on the bleeding ground: But if you fondly pass our proffer'd offer, Many a widow's husband grovelling lies, 'Tis not the roundure of your old-fac'd walls Coldly embracing the discolour'd earth; Can hide you from our messengers of war, And victory, with little loss, doth play Though all these English, and their discipline, Upon the dancing banners of the French, Were harbour'd in their rude circumference, Who are at hand, triumphantly display'd, Then, tell us, shall your city call us lord, To enter conquerors, and to proclaim In that behalf which we have challeng'd it? Arthur of Bretagne, England's king, and yours. Or shall we give the signal to our rage,

Enter an English Herald, with trumpets. And stalk in blood to our possession ?

E. Her. Rejoice, you men of Angiers, ring 1 Cit. In brief, we are the king of England's

your bells;

[proach, subjects :

King John, your king and England's, doth apFor him, and in his right, we hold this town. Commander of this hot malicious day : K. John. Acknowledge then the king, and Their armours, that march'd hence so silverlet me in.

(the king, bright, i Cit. That can we not ; but he that proves Hither return all gilt with Frenchmen's blood ; To him will we prove loyal ; till that time, There stuck no piume in any English crest, Have we ramm'd up our gates against the That is removed by a staff of France ; world.

(prove the king ? Our colours do return in those same hands, K. John. Doth not the crown of England That did display them when we first march'd And if not that, I bring you witnesses,

forth ; Twice fifteen thousand hearts of England's And, like a jolly troop of huntsmen, come

Bast. Bastards, and else. (breed, - Our lusty English, all with purpled hands,
K. John. To verify our title with their lives. Dy'd in the dying slaughter of their foes :
K. Phi. As many, and as well-born bloods Open your gates, and give the victors way.
Bast Some bastards, too. (as those, - i Cit. Heralds, from off our towers we
K. Phi. Stand in his face to contradict his might behold
claim.

(worthiest, From first to last, the onset and retire i Cit. Till you compound whose right is of both your armies; whose equality We for the worthiest hold the right from both. By our best eyes cannot be censured: K. John. Then God forgive the sins of all Blood hath bought blood, and blows have anthose souls,

swer'd blows; [fronted power ; That to their everlasting residence,

Strength match'd with strength, and power conBefore the dew of evening fall, shall fleet; Both are alike ; and both alike we like. [even, In dreadful trial of our kingdom's king! One must prove greatest : while they weigh so K. Phi. Amen, Amen !--Mount, chevaliers ! We hold our town for neither ; yet for both. to arms!

[and e'er since Enter, at one side, King John, with his power, Bast. St. George, that swinged the dragon, Elinor, Blanch, and the Bastard ; at the other, Sits on his horseback at mine hostess' door, King Philip, Lewis, Austria, and forces. Teach us some fence !--[To Austria.) Sirrah, K. Yohn. France, hast thou yet more blood Were I at home,

to cast away? At your den, sirrah, with your lioness, Say, shall the current of our right run on? I would set an ox-head to your lion's hide, Whose passage, vex'd with thy impediment, And make a monster of you.

Shall leave his native channel, and o'erswell Aust.

Peace! no more. With course disturb'd even thy confining shores, Bast. O, tremble, for you hear the lion roar! Unless thou let his silver water keep K. John. Up bigher to the plain ; where A peaceful progress to the ocean. we'll set forth

K. Phi. England, thou hast not sav'd one In best appointment all our regiments.

drop of blood,

« PreviousContinue »