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Come, lady, I will show thee to my kin;
And they shall say, when Richard me begot, If thou hadst said him nay, it had been sin. Who says it was, he lies; I say, 'twas not.
SCENE 1. France. Before the Walls of Angiers.
Enter, on one side, the Archduke of Austria,' and
Forces; on the other, PHILIP, King of France, and Forces; LEWIS, CONSTANCE, ARTHUR, and Attendants.
Lew. Before Angiers well met, brave Austria.-
Arth. God shall forgive you Cœur-de-lion's death,
· Leopol193, died in conseevents upon whiduke of Austria to this
1 Leopold, duke of Austria, by whom Richard had been thrown into prison in 1193, died in consequence of a fall from his horse, 1195, some years before the date of the events upon which this play turns. The cause of the enmity between Richard and the duke of Austria is variously related by the old chroniclers. Shakspeare has been led into this anachronism by the old play of King John.
But with a heart full of unstained love.
Lew. A noble boy! who would not do thee right?
Aust. Upon thy cheek lay I this zealous kiss, As seal to this indenture of my love ; That to my home I will no more return, Till Angiers, and the right thou hast in France, Together with that pale, that white-faced shore, Whose foot spurns back the ocean's roaring tides, And coops from other lands her islanders, Even till that England, hedged in with the main, That water-walled bulwark, still secure And confident from foreign purposes,Even till that utmost corner of the west Salute thee for her king. Till then, fair boy, Will I not think of home, but follow arms. Const. O, take his mother's thanks, a widow's
thanks, Till your strong hand shall help to give him strength, To make a more requital to your love. Aust. The peace of heaven is theirs, that list their
swords In such a just and charitable war. K. Phi. Well, then, to work; our cannon shall be
Const. Stay for an answer to your embassy,
1 i. e. greater.
2 To mark the best stations to overawe the town.
Chat. Then turn your forces from this paltry siege,
K. Phi. How much unlooked for is this expedition !
Aust. By how much unexpected, by so much
1 Immediate, expeditious.
Enter King John, Elinor, Blanch, the Bastard,
PEMBROKE, and Forces.
K. Phi. Peace be to England ; if that war return From France to England, there to live in peace! England we love ; and, for that England's sake, With burden of our armor 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, 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 2 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 called a king, When living blood doth in these temples beat, Which owe the crown that thou o'ermasterest? K. John. From whom hast thou this great commis
sion, France, To draw my answer from thy articles ? K. Phi. From that supernal Judge, that stirs good
2 A short writing, abstract, or description.
Under whose warrant 1 impeach thy wrong;
K. John. Alack, thou dost usurp authority.
Eli. Out, insolent! thy bastard shall be king;
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, His father never was so true begot; It cannot be, an if thou wert his mother.? Eli. There's a good mother, boy, that blots thy
father. Const. There's a good grandam, boy, that would
blot thee. Aust. Peace ! Bast.
Hear the crier.
What the devil art thou?
1 “Surely (says Holinshed) Queen Eleanor, the king's mother, was sore against her nephew Arthur, rather moved thereto by envye conceyved against his mother, than upon any just occasion, given in behalfe of the childe: for that she saw, if he were king, how his mother Constance would looke to beare the most rule within the realme of Englande till her son should come of lawful age to governe of himselfe. So hard a thing it is to bring women to agree in one minde, their natures commonly being so contrary."
2 Constance alludes to Elinor's infidelity to her husband, Louis the VIIth, when they were in the Holy Land ; on account of which he was divorced from her. She afterwards, in 1151, married Henry II. of England.
3 Austria, who had imprisoned king Richard Caur-de-lion, wore, as the spoil of that prince, a lion's hide, which had belonged to him. This was the ground of the Bastard's quarrel.
4 The proverb alluded to is “ Mortuo leoni et lepores insultant.”—Erasmi Adagia.