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King of France,
The borrow'd Majesty of England here.
(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. Philip of France, in right and true behalf
K. john. What follows, if we disallow of this ?
blood, Controulment for controulment; so answer France.
Chat. Then take my King's defiance from my mouth, The fartheit limit of
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,
K. John. Our strong poffeffion, and our right for us.
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.
Phil. Your faithful subject, I, a gentleman
K. John. What art thou ?
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
Pbil. I know not why, except to get the land ;
If old Sir Robert did beget us both,
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.
Rob. And once dispatch'd him in an embassie
at my father's ;
K. John. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate ;
father claim'd this son for his ?
Rob. Shall then my father's Will be of no force
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,