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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 return
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 sequence10 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 briefil 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’ermasterest ?
K. John. From whom hast thou this great com-

mission, France, To draw my answer from thy articles ? K. Phi. From that supernal12 judge, that stirs

good thoughts 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.

9 Undermined. 10 Succession. 11 A short writing, abstract, or description. 12 Celestial.

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 son. Eli. Out, insolent! thy bastard shall be king; That thou mayst be a queen, and check the world13!

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 mother14. 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 crier15. Aust.

What the devil art thou? Bast. One that will play the devil, sir, with

you, An ’a may catch your hide and you alone16. You are the hare of whom the proverb goes,

13 Surely (says Holinshed), Queen Eleanor, the king's mother, was gore 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 himsejfe. So hard a thing it is to bring women to agree in one minde, their natures commonly being so contrary.

14 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 our King Henry II.

15 Alluding to the usual proclamation for silence made by criers in the courts of justice, beginning Oyez, corruptly pronounced 0-yes. Austria had just said Peace!

18 Austria, who had killed King Richard Coeur 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.

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Whose valour plucks dead lions by the beard17;
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 robe,
That did disrobe the lion of that robe!

Bast. It lies as sightly on the back of him,
As great Alcides' shoes18 upon an ass:-
But, ass, I'll take that burden from your back;
Or lay on that shall make your 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

Lew. Women and fools, break off your confer-

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:—I 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 iť grandam, child;
Give grandam kingdom, and iť grandam will
Give it a plum, a cherry, and a fig:
There's a good grandam.

Good my mother, peace!

17 The proverb alluded to is 'Mortuo leoni et lepores insul. tant.'- Erasmi Adagia.

18 Theobald thought that we should read Alcides' shows; but Malone has shown that the shoes of Hercules were very frequently introduced in the old comedies on inuch the same occasions. Theobald supposed that the shoes must be placed on the back of the ass, instead of upon his hoofs, and iherefore proposed his alteration,

I would, that I were low laid in my grave;
I am not worth this coil19 that's made for me.
Eli. His mother shames him so, poor boy, he

weeps. Const. Now shame upon you, whe'r20 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

Call not me slanderer; thou, and thine, usurp
The dominations, royalties, and rights,
Of this oppressed boy: This is thy eldest son's son,
Infortunate in nothing but in thee;
Thy sins are visited in this poor child;
The canon of the law is laid on him,
Being but the second generation
Removed from thy sin-conceiving womb.

K. John. Bedlam, have done.

I have but this to say,--
That he's not only plagued for her sin,
But God hath made her sin and her the plague
On this removed issue, plagu'd for her,
And with her plague, her sin; his injury
Her injury, the beadle to her sin21;

10 Bustle.
30 Whether.

21 The key to this obscure passage is contained in the last speech of Constance, where she alludes to the denunciation of the second commandment of “visiting the iniquities of the parents upon the children onto the third and fourth generation. Young Arthur is here represented as not only suffering from the guilt of his grandmother, but also by her in person, she being made the very instrument of his sofferings. So that he is plagued on her account, and with her plague, which is her sin, i. e. (taking by. a common figure the cause for the consequence) the penalty entailed upon it. His injury, or the evil he suffers, her sin brings upon him, and her injury or the evil she inflicts he suffers from her, as the beadle to her sin, or executioner of the punishment anuexed to it.

All punish'd in the person of this child,
And all for her; A plague upon her!

Eli. Thou unadvised scold, I can produce
A will, that bars the title of thy son.
Const. Ay, who doubts that? a will! a wicked

will; A woman's will; a canker'd grandam’s will ! K. Phi. Peace, lady; pause, or be more tem

perate : It ill beseems this presence, to cry aim22 To these ill tuned repetitions.Some trumpet summon hither to the walls These men of Angiers; let us hear them speak, Whose title they admit, Arthur's or John's. Trumpets sound. Enter Citizens upon the Walls. 1 Cit. Who is it, that hath warn'd us to the walls ? K. Phi. 'Tis France, for England. K. John.

England, for itself: You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects, K. Phi. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's

subjects, Our trumpet call’d you to this gentle parle23. K. John. For our advantage;—Therefore, hear

us first.---
These flags of France, that are advanced here
Before the eye and prospect of your town,
Have hither march'd to your endamagement:
The cannons have their bowels full of wrath;
And ready mounted are they, to spit forth
Their iron indignation 'gainst your walls:
All preparation for a bloody siege,
And merciless proceeding by these French,

22 i. e. to encourage. It is a term taken from Archery. Seo note on the Merry Wives of Windsor, Act iii. Sc. 2. vol. i. p. 220

23 Conference.

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