Sivut kuvina

K. John. Up higher to the plain; where we'll set

In best appointment all our regiments.

Bast. Speed, then, to take advantage of the field.
K. Phi. It shall be so ;-[To Lewis.] and at the

other hill
Command the rest to stand. —God, and our right!



The Same.

Alarums and Excursions; then a Retreat. Enter a

French Herald, with trumpets, to the gates. F. Her. You men of Angiers, open


your gates, And let young Arthur, duke of Bretagne, in, Who by the hand of France this day hath made Much work for tears in many an English mother, Whose sons lie scatter'd on the bleeding ground: Many a widow's husband grovelling lies, Coldly embracing the discolour'd earth, And victory, with little loss, doth play Upon the dancing banners of the French, Who are at hand, triumphantly display'd, To enter conquerors, and to proclaim Arthur of Bretagne, England's king, and yours.

Enter an English Herald, with trumpets. E. Her. Rejoice, you men of Angiers, ring your

bells: King John, your king and England's, doth approach, Commander of this hot malicious day. Their armours, that march'd hence so silver-bright, Ilither return all gilt with Frenchmen’s blood. There stuck no plume in any English crest,

That is removed by a staff of France:
Our colours do return in those same hands,
That did display them when we first march'd forth;
And like a jolly troop of huntsmen come
Our lusty English, all with purpled hands,
Dyed in the dying slaughter of their foes.
Open your gates, and give the victors way.

Cit. Heralds, from off our towers & we might behold,
From first to last, the onset and retire
Of both your armies; whose equality
By our best eyes cannot be censured :
Blood hath bought blood, and blows have answer'd

blows; Strength match'd with strength, and power confronted

power: Both are alike; and both alike we like. One must prove greatest : while they weigh so even, We hold our town for neither, yet for both.

Enter, at one side, King John, with his power, ELINOR,

BLANCH, and the Bastard ; at the other, King PHILIP,
LEWIS, AUSTRIA, and forces'.
K. John. France, hast thou yet more blood to cast


Say, shall the current of our right roam on?
Whose passage, vex'd with thy impediment,
Shall leave his native channel, and o'er-swell
With course disturb'd even thy confining shores,
Unless thou let his silver water keep
A peaceful progress to the ocean.

8 Cit. Heralds, from off our towers, &c.] In the old copies, this speech has the prefix of Hubert. Possibly the actor of the part of Hubert also personated the citizen, in order that the speeches might be well delivered, and this may have led to the insertion of his name in the MS.

9 — Austria, and forces.] The following is the simple direction in the old folios, and it is worth preserving, on account of the manner in which the two armies, headed by their kings, are represented to come upon the stage:“ Enter the two Kings with their powers, at sereral doors.”

K. Phi. England, thou hast not sav'd one drop of

blood, In this hot trial, more than we of France; Rather, lost more: and by this hand I swear, That sways the earth this climate overlooks, Before we will lay down our just-borne arms, We'll put thee down,'gainst whom these arms we bear, Or add a royal number to the dead, Gracing the scroll, that tells of this war's loss, With slaughter coupled to the name of kings.

Bast. Ha! majesty, how high thy glory towers, When the rich blood of kings is set on fire. O! now doth death line his dead chaps with steel ; The swords of soldiers are his teeth, his fangs; And now he feasts, mousing the flesh of men', In undetermin’d differences of kings.Why stand these royal fronts amazed thus? Cry, havock, kings! back to the stained field, You equal potents’, fiery-kindled spirits ! Then let confusion of one part confirm The other's peace; till then, blows, blood, and death!

K. John. Whose party do the townsmen yet admit? K. Phi. Speak, citizens, for England, who's your

king ? Cit. The king of England, when we know the

king K. Phi. Know him in us, that here hold up his right.

K. John. In us, that are our own great deputy,
And bear possession of our person here;
Lord of our presence, Angiers, and of you.

Cit. A greater power than we denies all this;
And, till it be undoubted, we do lock


MOUSING the flesh of men,] See “ Midsummer Night's Dream,” Vol. ï. p. 462, note 1. In both instances the word is mousing, and it also occurs in Sir R. Fanshaw's translation of Pastor Fido, 1648.

2 You EQUAL POTENTS,] “ Potents” may, as Steevens says, be put for potentates ; but by “equal potents” the Bastard seems rather to mean, that the victory being undecided, the two kings are equi-potent.

Our former scruple in our strong-barr'd gates,
Kings of our fear'; until our fears, resolvid,
Be by some certain king purg'd and depos’d.
Bast. By heaven, these scroyles of Angiers* flout

you, kings,
And stand securely on their battlements,
As in a theatre, whence they gape and point

industrious scenes and acts of death.
Your royal presences be ruld by me:
Do like the mutines of Jerusalem,
Be friends awhile, and both conjointly bend
Your sharpest deeds of malice on this town.
By east and west let France and England mount
Their battering cannon, charged to the mouths,
Till their soul-fearing clamours have brawl'd down
The flinty ribs of this contemptuous city:
I'd play incessantly upon these jades,
Even till unfenced desolation
Leave them as naked as the vulgar air.
That done, dissever your united strengths,
And part your mingled colours once again;
Turn face to face, and bloody point to point ;

3 Kings of our fear ;] This is the old authentic reading, which the sense does not require us to alter. The meaning of the citizens is, that they will be ruled by their fear, admitting no other monarch, until it shall have been seen which power is the strongest, that of England or France. Tyrwhitt recommended that the passage should run“ King'd of our fear,” and Warburton, “ Kings are our fear.” Malone adopted the former. The speech is erroneously assigned to King Philip in all the folios.

these SCROYLES of Angiers] i. e. scabs of Angiers, from the French, escroulles. Ben Jonson uses it twice in the same sense, but I do not recollect to have met with it in any other dramatist of the time.

5 Do like the MUTINES of Jerusalem,] i.e. the mutineers of Jerusalem. In the case alluded to, the mutineers, or seditious parties, of Jerusalem combined their forces against the Roman besiegers: here, the converse was proposedthe besiegers were to unite against the inhabitants of the town. This event, during the siege of Jerusalem, as Malone pointed out, is found related in Joseph Ben Gorion's “Historie of the Latter Tymes of the Jewes Common-Weale," translated by Peter Morwyng, and originally published, not as Malone states in 1575, but in 1558. Henslowe, in his Diary, mentions a play to which he gives the title of “ Titus and Vespasian,” under date April, 1591, perhaps relating to the siege of Jerusalem, in which the combination of the mutines of Jerusalem” against the Roman besiegers might form an incident.


Then, in a moment, fortune shall cull forth
Out of one side her happy minion,
To whom in favour she shall give the day,
And kiss him with a glorious victory.
Ilow like you this wild counsel, mighty states?
Smacks it not something of the policy?
K. John. Now, by the sky that hangs above our

I like it well.-France, shall we knit our powers,
And lay this Angiers even with the ground,
Then, after, fight who shall be king of it?

Bast. An if thou hast the mettle of a king,
Being wrong'd as we are by this peevish town,
Turn thou the mouth of thy artillery,
As we will ours, against these saucy walls ;
And when that we have dash'd them to the ground,
Why, then defy each other, and, pell-mell,
Make work upon ourselves for heaven, or hell.

K. Phi. Let it be so.—Say, where will you assault?

K. John. We from the west will send destruction Into this city's bosom.

Aust. I from the north.
K. Phi.

Our thunder from the south, Shall rain their drift of bullets on this town.

Bast. O, prudent discipline! From north to south, Austria and France shoot in each other's mouth :

[Aside. I'll stir them to it.—Come, away, away! Cit. Hear us, great kings : vouchsafe a while to

stay, And I shall show you peace, and fair-fac'd league; Win

you this city without stroke, or wound; Rescue those breathing lives to die in beds, That here come sacrifices for the field. Persever not, but hear me, mighty kings. K. John. Speak on, with favour: we are bent to


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