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А ст І.
SCENE, The Court of England,
Enter King John, Queen Elinor, Pembroke, Effex,
and Salisbury, with Chatilion.

King John.
OW, say, Chatilion, what would France

with us?
Chat. Thus, after greeting, speaks the

King of France,
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.

(1) The Life and Death -) Tho' this Play have this Title, yet the Aaion of it begins at the thirty-fourth Year of his Life ; and takes in only some Transactions of his Reign to the Time of his Demise, being an Interval of about sevens teen Years.

Chat.

P 2

Chat. Philip of France, in right and true behalf
Of thy deceased brother Geffrey's son,
Arthur Plantagenet, lays lawful claim
To this fair ifland, and the territories :
To Ireland, Poitiers, Anjou, Touraine, Maine :
Defiring thee to lay aside the sword,
Which lways usurpingly these several titles ;
And put the same into young Arthur's hand,
Thy nephew, and right-royal Sovereign.

K. john. What follows, if we disallow of this ?
Chat. The proud controul of fierce and bloody war,
T'inforce these rights fo forcibly with-held.
K. John. Here have we war for war, and blood for

blood, Controulment for controulment; so answer France.

Chat. Then take my King's defiance from my mouth, The fartheit limit of

my

embaffie. K. John. Bear mine to him, and so depart in peace. Be thou as lightning in the eyes of France, For ere 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't; farewel, Chatilion.

[Exeunt Chat. and Pem,
Eli. What now, my son, have I not ever said,
How that ambitious Constance would not cease,
Till she had kindled France and all the world,
Upon the right and party of her son ?
This might have been prevented, and made whole
With very easy arguments of love ;
Which now the manage of two kingdoms must
With fearful, bloody, issue arbitrate.

K. John. Our strong poffeffion, and our right for us.
Eli. Your strong poffeffion much more than your

right,
Or else 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 fall hear.

Efex.

Esex. 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 Philip, his Brother.

Phil. Your faithful subject, I, a gentleman
Born in Northamptonshire, and eldest son,
As I suppose, to Robert Faulconbridge,
A soldier, by the honour-giving hand
Of Cæur-de-lion knighted in the field,

K. John. What art thou ?
Robert. The fon and heir to that same Faulconbridge.

K. John. Is that the elder, and art thou the heir ? You came not of one mother then, it seems ?

Phil. Most certain of one mother, mighty King, That is well known ; and, as I think, one 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. Out on thee, rude man ! thou doft shame thy

mother, And wound her honour with this diffidence.

Phil. 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, he 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,
Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance?

Pbil. I know not why, except to get the land ;
But, once, he flander'd me with bastardy :
But whether I be 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 yourself.

If old Sir Robert did beget us both,
And were our father, and this son like him ;
O old Sir Robert, father, on my knee
I give heav'n thanks, I was not like to thee.
K. John. Why, what a mad-cap hath heay'n lent us

here?
Eli. He hath a trick of Caur-de-lion's face,
The accent of his tongue affecteth 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 ?

Phil. Because he hath a half-face, like my father, With that half-face would he have all my land ? (2) A half-fac'd groat, five hundred pound a year !

Rob. My gracious Liege, when that my father liv'd, Your brother did imploy my father much

(2) With half thar Face] But why with half that Face : There is no Question but the Poet wrote, as I have reford the Text, With that half-face-Mr. Pope, perhaps, will be angry with me for discovering an Anachronism of our Poet's, in the next Line ; where he alludes to a Coin not ftruck till the Year 1504, in the Reign of King Henry VII. viz. a Groat, vhich as well as the half Groat, bare but half-faces impress’d. Vide Stow's Survey of London, p. 47. Holingshed, Camden's Remains, &c. The Poet sneers at the meagre larp Visage of the elder Brother, by comparing him to a silver Groat, that bore the King's Face in Profile, so hew'd but half the Face: The Groats of all our Kings of England, and, indeed, all their other Coins of Silver, one or two only excepted, had a full Face crown'd; till Henry VII, at the Time above-mention'd, coin'd Groats and half Groats, as also some Shillings, with half Faces, that is, Faces in Profile, as all our Coin has now. The first Groats of King Henry VIII. were like these of his Father; tho' afterwards he return'd to the broad Faces again. These roats, with the Impression in Profile, are undoubtedly here alluded to: tho', as I said, the Poet is knowingly guilty of an Anachronism in it : for, in the Time of King John there were no Groats at all : they being first, as far as appears, coin'd in the Reign of King Edward III.

Phil. Well, Sir, by this you cannot get my land.
Your tale muft be, how he imploy'd my mother.

Rob. And once dispatch'd him in an embassie
To Germany; there with the Emperor
To treat of high affairs touching that time :
Th' advantage of his absence 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 lusty 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 s
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. Sirrah, 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 hazard of all husbands,
That marry wives. Tell me, how if my brother,
Who, as you say, took pains to get this son,
Had of

your

father claim'd this son for his ?
In sooth, good friend, your father might have kept
This calf, bred from his cow, from all the world.
In sooth, he might; then, if he were my brother'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 no force
To dispossess that child, which is not his ?

Phil. Of no more force to dispossess me, Sir, Than was his will to get me, as I think.

Eli. Whether hadst thou rather be a Faulconbridge, And, like thy brother, to enjoy thy land : Or the reputed fon of Cæur-de-lion,

Lord:

P. 4.

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