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A CT I. SCENE I. Enter King John, Queen Elinor, Pembroke, Effex,
and Salisbury, with Chattilion.
King JOHN. ow say, Chattilion, what would France with
Char. Thus, after greeting, speaks the King
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 Embassie.
Char. 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, Poyłtiers, Anjou, Touaine, Maine,
D firing thee to lay aside the Sword
Which sways ufurpingly these severa! Ticles,
And put the fame into young Arthur's Hand, · Thy Nephew, and right Royal Soveraigo.
K. John. What follows, if we disallow of this? Chat. The proud Control of fierce and bloody War, ; To inforce these Rights so forcibly with-held.
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 farthest limir of my Embaslie.
K. John. Bear mine to him, and so depart in Peace.
Be thou as Lightning in the Eyes of France;
For e'er 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's; farewel Chatrilior. [Exit Chat, and Pem,
Eli. What now, my Son, have I not ever said
How that Ambitious Constance would not cease
'Til she had kindled France and all the World,
Upon th: Right and Party of her Son?
This might have been prevented, and made who
With very easie arguments of Love,
Which now the Manage of two Kingdoms must
With fearful bloody issue arbitrate.
K. 7ohn. Our ftrosg Possession and our Right for us.
Eli. Your strong Poffeffion much more than your Right,
Or ele 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.
Effex, 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 the Bastard..
Baft, Your faithful Subje&; 1, a Gentleman,
Born is Northampton fire, and eldest Song -
As I suppose, to Faulconbridge,
A Soldier, by the Honour-giving-hand
Of Cordelion, Knighted in the Field.
K. John. What are thou?
Robert. The Son and Heir to that same Faulconbridger
K, John. Is that the Elder, and art thou the Heir?
You came not of one Mother, then it seems?
Baft. Most certain of one Mother, mighry King, .
That is well known, and, as I think, obe 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 Mens Children may.
Eli. Outon thee, rude Man, thou dost thame thy Myth:1, And wound her Honour with this diffidence.
Baft. 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,
At least from fair five hundred pound a Year:
Heav'n guard my Mother's Honour, and my Land.
K. John. A good blunt Fellow;why being younger Born Doch he lay claim to thine Inheritance ?
Baft. I know not why, except to get the Land;
But once he Nander'd me with Bastardy:
But whether I be as true begot or no,
That still 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.
If old Sir Robert did beget is both,
And were our Father, and this Son like him:
O old Sir Robert Father, on my Knec
I give Heav'n thanks I was not like to thee.
K. John. Why what a mad-cap hath Heav'n lent us here?
Eli. He hath à trick of Cordelion's Face,
The accent of his Tongue affeð him:
Do you not read some Tokens of my Son
In the large Composition of this Man?
K. John. Mine Eye hath well examined his Parts,
And finds them perfect Richard: Sirrah, speak,
What doth move you to claim your Brother's Land ?
• Baft. Because he hath a half-face, like my Father,
- With half that Face would he have all my Lands,
A half-lac'd Groat, five hundred Pound a Year?
Rob. My gracious Liege, when that my Father liv'd,
Your Brother did imploy my Father much
Baft. Well, Sir, by this you cannot get my Land,
Your Tale must be how he imploy'd my Mother.
Rob. And once dispatch'd him in an Embalie
To Germany, there with the Emperor
To treat of high Affairs touching that time :
Th’Advantage of his Ablence took the King,
And in the mean time sojourn'd at my Father's;
Where, how he did prevail, I shame to speak:
But truth is truth, large lengths of Seas and Shores
Between my Father and my Mother lay,
As I have heard my Father speak himself,
When this same lufty Gentleman was got.
Upon his Death-bed he by Will bequeath'd
His Lands to me, and took it on his Death
That this my Mother's Son was none of his ;
And if he were, he came into the World
Full fourteen Weeks before the Course of time :
Then good my Liege, let me have what is mine,
My Father's Land, as was my Father's Will.
K. John. Siriah, your Brother is Legitimate,
Your Father's Wife did after Wedlock bear him:
And if she did play false, the Fault was hers,
Which Fault lyes on the hazards of all Husbands
That marry Wives. Tell me, how if my Brocher,
Who, as you say, took pains to get this Son,
Had of your Father claim'd this Son for his,
In footh, good friend, your Father might have kepe
This Calf, bred from his Cow, from all the World:
In footh he might; then if he were my Broiher's,
My Brother might not claim him; nor your Father,
Being none of his, refuse him; this concludes,
My Mother's Son did get your Father's Heir,
Your Father's Heir must have your Father's Land.
: Rob. Shall then my Father's Will be of ro force
To difpofitis that Child which is not his?
Nobbet to have this placed
Baft. Of no more force to dispossess me, Sir,
Then was his Will to get me, as I think.
Eli. Whether hadit thou rather be a Faulconbridge
And, like thy Brother, to enjoy thy Land :
Or the reputed Son of Cordelion,
Lord of thy Presence, and no Land behide?
Baft. Madam, and if my Brother had my Shape,
And I had his, Sir Robert's his, like him,
And if my Legs were two such riding Rods,
My Arms such Eel-skins Ituff, my Face so thin,
That in mine Ear I durft not stick a Rose,
Left Men should say, look where three Farthings goes,
And to his Shape were Heir to all this Land,
Would I might-never stir from off this Place,
I would give it every Foot to have this Face :
I would not be Sir Nobbe in any case.
Eli. I like thee well; wilt thou forsake thy Fortune,
Bequeath thy Land to him, and follow me?
I am a Soldier, and now bound to France.
Baft. Brother, take you my Land, I'll take my Chance ;
Your Face hath got five hundred Pound a Year,
Yet sell your Face for five Pence, and 'tis dear.
Madam, I'll follow you unto the Death.
Eli. Nay, I would have you go before me thither.
Baft. Our Country manners give our Betters way.
K. John. What is thy Name?
Baft, Philip, my Liege, so is my Name begun,
Philip, good old Sir Robert's Wife's eldest Son.
K. Zobn. From henceforth bear his Name
Whole Form thou bearest :
Kneel thou down Philip, but rise more great,
Arise Sir Richard and Plantagenet.
Baft. Brother by th'Mother's side, give me your Hand,
My Father gave me Honour, yours gave Land.
Now blessed be the Hour, by Night or Day,
When I was got, Sir Robert was away.
Eli. The very Spirit of Plantagenet:
I am thy Grandam, Richard, call me fo.
Baft. Madam, by chance, but not by truth, what tho';
Something about, a little from the right,
In ar che Window, or else o'er the Hatch: