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But with a heart full of unstained love.
Lew. A noble boy! who would not do thee right?
Aust. Upon thy cheek lay I this zealous kiss,
Const. O, take his mother's thanks, a widow's
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,
Const. Stay for an answer to your embassy,
1 i. e. greater. 2 To mark the best stations to overawe the town.
K. Phi. A wonder, lady!—lo, upon thy wish,
Chat. Then turn your forces from this paltry siege,
K. Phi. How much unlooked for is this expedition;
Aust. By how much unexpected, by so much
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;
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;
Const. My bed was ever to thy son as true,
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.
Blanch. O, well did he become that lion's robe,
Bast. It lies as sightly on the back of him,
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;
Arth. Good my mother, peace!
I would that I were low laid in my grave;
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.