Gambar halaman

Wade to the market-place in Frenchmen's blood, But we will make it subject to this boy.

Const. Stay for an answer to your embassy, Lest unadvis'd you stain your swords with blood : My lord Chatillon may from England bring That right in peace, which here we urge in war; And then we shall repent each drop of blood, That hot rash haste so indirectly shed.

Enter CHATILLON. K. Phi. A wonder, lady !-lo, upon thy wish, Our messenger Chatillon is arriv'd. What England says, say briefly, gentle lord, We coldly pause for thee; Chatillon, speak. Chat. Then turn your forces from this paltry

siege, And stir them up against a mightier task. England, impatient of your just demands, Hath put himself in arms; the adverse winds, Whose leisure I have staid, have given him time To land his legions all as soon as I: His marches are expedient to this town, His forces strong, his soldiers confident. With him along is come the mother-queen, An Até, stirring him to blood and strife; With her her niece, the lady Blanch of Spain; With them a bastard of the king deceas'd: And all the unsettled humours of the land,Rash, inconsiderate, fiery voluntaries, With ladies' faces, and fierce dragons' spleens,Have sold their fortunes at their native homes, Bearing their birthrights proudly on their backs, To make a hazard of new fortunes here. In brief, a braver choice of dauntless spirits, Than now the English bottoms have waft o'er,

[ocr errors][merged small]

Did never float upon the swelling tide,
To do offence and scath' in Christendom.
The interruption of their churlish drums

[Drums beat.
Cuts off more circumstance: they are at hand,
To parley, or to fight; therefore, prepare.
K. Phi. How much unlook'd for is this expedi-

Aust. By how much unexpected, by so much
We must awake endeavour for defence;
For courage mounteth with occasion:
Let them be welcome then, we are prepar'd.

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 re

From France to England, there to live in peace!
England we love; and, for that England's sake,
With burden of our armour 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-wrought' 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 ;-



scath -] Destruction, harm.
under-wrought --] i. e. underworked, undermined.


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 brief 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 call'd a king,
When living blood doth in these temples beat,
Which owe the crown that thou o'er-masterest?
K. John. From whom hast thou this great com-

mission, France, To draw my answer from thy articles ? K. Phi. From that supernal judge, that stirs good

In any breast of strong authority,
To look into the blots and stains of right.
That judge hath made me guardian to this boy :
Under whose warrant, I impeach thy wrong;
And, by whose help, I mean to chástise it.

K. John. Alack, thou 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


Eli. Out, insolent ! thy bastard shall be king ; That thou may'st be a queen, and check the

Const. My bed was ever to thy son as true,
As thine was to thy husband : and this boy
Liker in feature to his father Geffrey,
Than thou and John in manners; being as like,
As rain to water, or devil to his dam.
My boy a bastard ! By my soul, I think,

this bricf -] A brief is a short writing, abstract, or description.

His father never was so true begot ;
It cannot be, an if thou wert his mother.3
Eli. There's a good mother, boy, that blots thy

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. * You are the hare of whom the proverb goes, Whose valour plucks dead lions by the beard ; I'll smoke your skin-coat, an I catch you right; Sirrah, look to't ; i'faith, I will, i'faith. Blanch. O, well did he become that lion's

That did disrobe the lion of that robe !

Bast. It lies as sightly on the back of him,
As great Alcides' shoes upon an ass :-
But, ass, I'll take that burden from your back;
Or lay on that, shall make


shoulders crack. Aust. What cracker is this same, that deafs our


With this abundance of superfluous breath?
K. Phi. Lewis, determine what we shall do


[ocr errors]

an if thou wert his mother.] Constance alludes to Elia nor's infidelity to her husband, Lewis the Seventh, when they were in the Holy Land; on account of which he was divorced from her. She afterwards (1151) married our King Henry II. 4 One that will play the devil, sir, with you, An'a may catch

your hide and you alone.] The story is, that Austria, who killed King Richard Cæur-de-lion, wore, as the spoil of that prince, a lion's hide, which had belonged to bim.


Lew. Women and fools, break off your con

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:-1 do defy thee, ,

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.

Come to thy grandam, child.
Const. Do, child, go to it' grandam, child;
Give grandam kingdom, and it' grandam will
Give it a plum, a cherry, and a fig:
There's a good grandam.

Good my mother, peace!
I would, that I were low laid in my grave;
I am not worth this coil that's made for me.
Eli. His mother shames him so, poor boy, he

weeps. Const. Now shame upon you, whe'r she does,

or no! His grandam's wrongs, and not his mother's shames, Draw those heaven-moving pearls from his poor eyes, Which heaven shall take in nature of a fee; - Ay, with these crystal beads heaven shall be brib’d To do him justice, and revenge on you. Eli. Thou monstrous slanderer of heaven and

earth! Const. Thou monstrous injurer of heaven and

earth! Call not me slanderer; thou, and thine, usurp The dominations, royalties, and rights, Of this oppressed boy: This is thy eldest son's son, Införtünäte in nothing but in thee;

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »