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But with a heart full of unstained love.
Welcome before the gates of Angiers, duke.

Lew. A noble boy! who would not do thee right?

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-faced shore,
Whose foot spurns back the ocean's roaring tides,
And coops from other lands her islanders,—
Even till that England, hedged in with the main,
That water-walled bulwark, still secure
And confident from foreign purposes,—
Even till that utmost corner of the west
Salute thee for her king. Till then, fair boy,
Will I not think of home, but follow arms.

Const. O, take his mother's thanks, a widow's
thanks,
Till your strong hand shall help to give him strength,
To make a morel requital to your love.

Aust. The peace of heaven is theirs, that lift their swords In such a just and charitable war.

K. Phi. Well, then, to work; our cannon shall be bent

Against the brows of this resisting town.

Call for our chiefest men of discipline,
To cull the plots of best advantages.2
We'll lay before this town our royal bones,
Wade to the market-place in Frenchmen's blood,
But we will make it subject to this boy.

Const. Stay for an answer to your embassy,
Lest unadvised 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.

1 i. e. greater. 2 To mark the best stations to overawe the town.

Enter Chatillon.

K. Phi. A wonder, lady!—lo, upon thy wish,
Our messenger Chatillon is arrived.—
What England says, say briefly, gentle lord;
We coldly pause for thee. Chatillon, speak.

Chat. 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 staid, have given him time
To land his legions all as soon as I;
His marches are expedient1 to this town,
His forces strong, his soldiers confident.
With him along is come the mother-queen,
An Ate, stirring him to blood and strife;
With her her niece, the lady Blanch of Spain;
With them a bastard of the king's deceased;
And all the unsettled humors of the land,— Rash, inconsiderate, fiery voluntaries,
With ladies' faces, and fierce dragons' spleens,—
Have sold theii fortunes at their native homes,
Bearing their birthrights proudly on their backs,
To make a hazard of new fortunes here.
In brief, a braver choice of dauntless spirits,
Than now the English bottoms have waft o'er,
Did never float upon the swelling tide,
To do offence and scath in Christendom.
The interruption of their churlish drums [Drums beat
Cuts off more circumstance; they are at hand,
To parley, or to fight; therefore, prepare.

K. Phi. How much unlooked for is this expedition;

Aust. By how much unexpected, by so much
We must awake endeavor for defence;
For courage mounteth with occasion.
Let them be welcome then; we are prepared.

1 Immediate, expeditious.

Enter King John, Elinor, Blanch, the Bastard, Pembroke, and Forces.

K. John. Peace be to France; if France in peace permit Our just and lineal entrance to our own!If not, bleed France, and peace ascend to heaven!Whiles we, God's wrathful agent, do correct Their proud contempt that beat his peace to heaven. K. Phi. Peace be to England; if that war return From France to England, there to live in peace! England we love; and, for that England's sake, With burden of our armor here we sweat. This toil of ours should be a work of thine; But thou from loving England art so far, That thou hast under-wroughtl his lawful king, Cut off the sequence of posterity, Outfaced infant state, and done a rape Upon the maiden virtue of the crown. Look here upon thy brother Geffrey's face,— These eyes, these brows, were moulded out of his; This little abstract doth contain that large, Which died in Geffrey; and the hand of time Shall draw this brief2 into as huge a volume. 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 God, How comes it, then, that thou art called a king, When living blood doth in these temples beat, Which owe the crown that thou o'ermasterest?

K. John. From whom hast thou this great commission, France, To draw my answer from thy articles?

K. Phi. From that supernal Judge, that stirs good thoughts In any breast of strong authority, To look into the blots and stains of right— That Judge hath made me guardian to this boy;

1 Undermined. 2 A short writing, abstract, or description.

Under whose warrant 1 impeach thy wrong;
And by whose help I mean to chastise it.

K. John. Alack, thoii dost usurp authority.

K. Phi. Excuse; it is to beat usurping down.

Eli. Who is it thou dost call usurper, France?

Const. Let me make answer;—thy usurping son.

Eli. Out, insolent! thy bastard shall be king;
That thou mayst be a queen, and check the world.1

Const. My bed was ever to thy son as true,
As thine was to thy husband; and this boy
Liker in feature to his father Geffrey,
Than thou and John in manners; being as like,
As rain to water, or devil to his dam.
My boy a bastard! by my soul, I think,
His father never was so true begot;
It cannot be, an if thou wert his mother.2

Eli. There's a good mother, boy, that blots thy father. #

Const. There's a good grandam, boy, that would blot thee. Aust. Peace!

Bast. Hear the crier.

Aust. What the devil art thou?

Bast. One that will play the devil, sir, with you, An 'a may catch your hide and you alone.3 You are the hare of whom the proverb goes, Whose valor plucks dead lions by the beard ;4

i "Surely (says Holinshed) Queen Eleanor, the king's mother, was sore against her nephew Arthur, rather moved thereto by envye conceyved against his mother, than upon any just occasion, given in behalfe of the childe: for that she saw, if he were king, how his mother Constance would looke to beare the most rule within the realme of Englande till her son should come of lawful age to governe of himselfe. So hard a thing it is to bring women to agree in one minde, their natures commonly being so contrary."

2 Constance alludes to Elinor's infidelity to her husband, Louis the Vllth, when they were in the Holy Land; on account of which he was divorced from her. She afterwards, in 1151, married Henry II. of England.

3 Austria, who had imprisoned king Richard Cceur-de-lion, wore, as the spoil of that prince, a lion's hide, which had belonged to him. This was the ground of the Bastard's quarrel.

4 The proverb alluded to is "Mortuoleoni et lepores insultant."—Erasmi Adagia.

Vol. in. 36

Pll smoke your skin-coat, an I catch you right.
Sirrah, look to't; i' faith, I will, i' faith.

Blanch. O, well did he become that lion's robe,
That did disrobe the lion of that robe!

Bast. It lies as sightly on the back of him,
As great Alcides' shoes 1 upon an ass.—
But, ass, I'll take that burden from your back;
Or lay on that shall make your shoulders crack.

Aust. What cracker is this same, that deafs our ears With this abundance of superfluous breath?

K. Phi. Lewis, determine what we shall do straight.

Leiv. Women and fools, break offyour conference.— 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. Submit thee, boy.

Eli. Come to thy grandam, child.

Const. Do, child, go to it' grandam, child;
Give grandam kingdom, and it' grandam will
Give it a plum, a cherry, and a fig.
There's a good grandam.

Arth. Good my mother, peace!

I would that I were low laid in my grave;
I am not worth this coil2 that's made for me.

Eli. His mother shames him so, poor boy, he weeps.

Const. Now shame upon you, whe'r3 she does or no!His grandam's wrongs, and not his mother's shames, Draw those Heaven-moving pearls from his poor eyes,

1 Theobald thought that we should read Alcides shows; but Malone has shown that the shoes of Hercules were very frequently introduced in the old comedies on much the same occasions. Theobald supposed that the shoes must be placed on the hack of the ass, instead of upon his hoofs, and therefore proposed his alteration.

2 Bustle. 3 Whether.

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