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of Bretagne, the elder brother of King John. William Marelhall, Earl of Pembroke. Geffrey Fitz-Peter, Earl of Essex, Chief Justiciary
of England. William Longsword, Earl of Salisbury. Robert Bigot, Earl of Norfolk. Hubert de Burgh, Chamberlain to the King. Robert Faulconbridge, son of Sir Robert Faulcon
bridge: Philip Faulconbridge, bis half-brother; bastard fon · 10 K. Richard the Firsi. James Gurney, servant to Lady Faulconbridge. Peter of Pomfret, a Prophet. Philip, King of France. Lewis, the Dauphin. Arch-duke of Austria. Cardinal Pandulpho, the Pope's Legate. Melun, a French Lord. Chatillon, Ambassador from France to King John. Elinor, the widow of King Henry II. and mother of
King John. Constance, mother to Arthur. Blanch, daughter to Alphonso King of Castile, and
niece to King John. Lady Faulconbridge, mother to the bastard, and Robert
Lords, Ladies, Citizens of Angiers, Sheriff, Heralds,
Officers, Solliers, Messengers, and other Attendants. SCENE, sometimes in England, and sometimes in
Salisbury.] Son to King Henry II. by Rofamond Clifford.
KING JO H N.
ACT I. SCENE I.
Northampton. A Room of State in the Palace.
Enter King John, Queen Elinor, Pembroke, Es
sex, SALISBURY, and Others, with CHATILLON.
K.Foun. Now, say, Chatillon, 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 embassy.
? In my behaviour,] The word behaviour seems here to have a fignification that I have never found in any other author. The king of France, says the envoy, thus Speaks in my behaviour to the majefty of England; that is, the King of France speaks in the character which I here assume. I once thought that these two lines, in my behaviour, &c. had been uttered by the ambassador as part of his master's message, and that behaviour had meant the conduct of the King of France towards the King of England; but the ambassador's speech, as continued after the interruption, will not admit this meaning. Johnson. In my behaviour means, in the manner that I now do.
M. MASON. In my behaviour means, I think, in the words and action that I am now going to use. So, in the fifth act of this play, the Battard says to the French king,
“ Now hear our English king,
Chat. Philip of France, in right and true behalf
K. John. What follows, if we disallow of this?
war, To enforce these rights so forcibly withheld. K. John. Here have we war for war, and blood
for blood, Controlment for controlment; so answer France.
3- control] Opposition, from controller. Johnson.
I think it rather means constraint or compulsion. So, in the second act of King Henry V. when Exeter demands of the King of France the surrender of his crown, and the King answers" Or else what follows?” Exeter replies :
“ Bloody constraint; for if you hide the crown
• Even in your hearts, there will he rake for it." The passages are exactly similar. M. Mason. 4 Here have we war for war, and blood for blood,
Controlment for controlment; &c.] King John's reception of Chatillon not a little resembles that which Andrea meets with from the King of Portugal in the first part of Yeronimo, &c. 1605:
* And. Thou shalt pay tribute, Portugal, with blood.
“ And. — I bid you sudden wars.” Steevens.
MALONE. From the following passage in Barnabie Googe's Cupido conquered, (dedicated with his other Poems, in May, 1562, and printed in 1563,) Jeronymo appears to have been written earlier ihan the earliest of these dates :
Chat. Then take my king's defiance from my
mouth, The furthest limit of my embassy. K. John, Bear mine to him, and so depart in
« Mark hym that showes ye Tragedies,
“ Thyne owne famylyar frende,
" In Englysh verse is pende," B. Googe had already founded the praises of Phaer and Gal. coigne, and is here descanting on the merits of Kyd.
It is not impossible (though Ferrex and Porrex was acted in 1561) that Hieronymo might have been the first regular tragedy that appeared in an English dress.
It may also be remarked, that B. Googe, in the foregoing lines, seems to speak of a tragedy “ in English verse,” as a novelty.
STEEVENS. 5 Be thou as lightning-] The fimile does not suit well: the lightning indeed appears before the thunder is heard, but the lightning is destructive and the thunder innocent. Johnson.
The allusion may notwithstanding be very proper so far as Shakspeare had applied it, i. e. merely to the swiftness of the lightning, and its preceding and foretelling the thunder. But there is some reason to believe that thunder was not thought to be innocent in our author's time, as we elsewhere learn from himself. See King Lear, Act III. sc. ii. Antony and Cleopatra, Act II. sc. v. Fulius Cæsar. A& I. sc. iii. and still more decisively in Measure for Meajure, Act II. sc. ii. This old superstition is still prevalent in many parts of the country. Ritson.
King John does not allude to the destructive powers either of thunder or lightning; he only means to say, that Chatillon shall appear to the eyes of the French like lightning, which Mows that thunder is approaching: and the thunder he alludes to is that of his cannon. Johnson also forgets, that though philosophically speaking, the destructive power is in the lightning, it has generally in poetry been attributed to the thunder. So, Lear says:
• You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
So, hence! Be thou the trumpet of our wrath,
[Exeunt CHATILLON and PEMBROKE.
for us. Eli. Your strong possession, 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 heaven, and you, and I, shall hear.
- sullen presage-] By the epithet fullen, which cannot be applied to a trumpet, it is plain that our author's imagination had now suggested a new idea. It is as if he had said, be a trumpet to alarm with our invasion, be a bird of ill omen to croak out the prognostick of your own ruin. Johnson.
I do not fee why the epithet sullen may not be applied to a trumpet, with as much propriety as to a bell. In our author's Henry IV. P. II. we find
“ Sounds ever after as a sullen bell-..”. Malone. That here are two ideas, is evident; but the second of them has not been luckily explained. The fullen presage of your own decay, means, the dismal paling bell, that announces your own approaching disolution. STEVENS.
7- the managem] i. e. conduct, administration. So, in K. Richard II: a
for the rebels