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Q. El. Out, insolent! thy stripling shall be King,
That thou mayst be a 'Queen, and check the world!
"There 's a good mother, boy, that blots thy 'father.
L. Con. There's a good 'grandam, boy, that would blot 'thee.
The Archduke of Austria interposes; but he is at once checked
Aust. Lady Constance, peace !
Hear the crier !
What the devil art thou ?
Faul. One that will 'play the devil, sir, with 'you,
An a' may catch your
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!
The Dauphin advances :
Lew. Women, and fools ! break-off
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, France. -
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 ! 1. Con. 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 !
Prince Arthur interposes:
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.
Queen Elinor bitterly says:
Q. El. His mother shames him so, poor boy, he weeps.
Lady Constance replies :
L. Con. 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,
To do 'him justice, and revenge on 'you.
Q. El. Thou monstrous 'slanderer of heaven and earth !
L. Con. Thou monstrous 'injurer of heaven and earth!
Call not me 'slanderer ; thou and thine 'usurp
The dominations, royalties, and rights
Of this oppresséd boy: A plague upon thee!
Q. El. Thou unadviséd scold! I can produce
A 'will,—that 'bars the title of thy son.
L. Con. Ay! who doubts that? A will ? a 'wicked will ;
A 'woman's will; a canker'd 'grandam's will !
King Philip advances :
K. Phi. Peace, lady! Pause, or be more temperate.-
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.
The trumpet sounds a parley. Several Citizens appear on the
C'it. Who is it that hath warned us to the walls ?
K. Phi. 'Tis 'France, for England.
England for 'itself.
You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects,
These flags of France, that are advanced here,
Have bither marched to your 'endamagement:
But, on the sight of 'us your lawful King,
Behold, the French, amazed, vouchsafe a 'parle ;
And now, instead of 'bullets wrapped in 'fire,
They shoot but calm 'words, folded up in 'smoke ;
Which trust accordingly, kind citizens,
And let 'us in, your King, -whose laboured spirits
Crave harbourage within your city walls.
K. Phi. When I have said, make answer to us both.
On this right hand stands young Plantagenet,
Son to the elder brother of this man,
And 'King o'er him and all that he enjoys.
For this down-trodden 'equity, 'we tread,
In warlike march, these greens” before your town.
Then tell us, shall your city call 'us lord,
In that behalf which we have challenged it ?
Or shall we give the signal to our rage,
And stalk in 'blood to our possession ?
The Spokesman for the Citizens replies:
Cit. In brief, we are the King of 'England's subjects:
For 'him, and in 'his right, we hold this town.
K. John. 'Acknowledge then the King, and let 'me in.
Cit. That can we 'not; but he that 'proves the King,
To him will we prove loyal: 'Till that time,
We, for the 'worthiest, hold the right from 'both.
K. John. Then Heaven forgive the sin of all those souls
That, to their everlasting residence,
Before the dew of evening fall, shall fleet,
In dreadful trial of our kingdom's King!
K. Phi. Amen, amen! Mount, chevaliers ! to arms!
A brief but decisive engagement is fought; after which the Kings hold another parley. K. John. France, hast thou yet 'more blood to cast away?
Say, shall the current of our right run on ?
K. Phi. England, thou hast not saved one 'drop of blood,
In this hot trial, more than we of France;
Rather, 'lost more. And by this hand I swear,
Before we will lay 'down our just-borne arms,
We'll put 'thee down,'gainst whom these arms we bear,
Or add a 'royal number to the dead !
Faulconbridge exclaims :
Faul. Ha, majesty! how high thy glory towers,
When the rich blood of 'Kings is set on fire !-
Why stand these royal fronts amazéd thus?
Cry “Havoc,” Kings! 'Back to the stained field !
Then, let confusion of 'one part, confirm
The other's 'peace ; 'till then, blows, blood and death !
K. John. 'Whose party do the townsmen yet admit?
Cit. The King of 'England, when we 'know the King.
K. Phi. Know him in 'us, that here hold
up K. John. In 'us, that are our 'own great deputy ! Cit. A greater power than we, 'denies all this ;
And till it be undoubted, we do lock
Our former scruple in our strong-barred gates.
Faul. By heaven, these scroyles’ of Angiers flout® you, Kings!
And stand securely on their battlements,
As in a 'theatre,—whence they gape and point
industrious scenes and acts of death.
Your royal presences be ruled by 'ine:
Be 'friends awhile, and both conjointly bend
Your sharpest deeds of malice on this town:
By east and west, let France and England mount
Their battering cannon charged to the mouths ;
Till their soul-fearing clamours have brawled down
The flinty ribs of this contemptuous city.
That 'done, 'dis-sever your united strengths ;
Turn face to face, and bloody point to point ;
Then, in a moment, Fortune shall cull forth
Out of one side her happy minion,
And kiss him with a glorious victory.-
How 'like you this wild counsel, mighty States?
K. John. Now, by the sky that hangs above our heads,
I like it 'well. France, 'shall we knit our powers,
And lay this Angiers even with the ground ?
Then, 'after, fight who shall be King of it?
K. Phi. Let it be so. Say, where will 'you assault?
K. John. We from the 'west will send destruction
Into this city's bosom.
Aust. I from the 'north.
Our thunder from the 'south
Shall rain a 'drift of bullets on this town.
Justly dreading this combination, the Citizens hasten to pro-
pose a 'friendly arrangement:
Cit. Hear us, great Kings : Vouchsafe awhile to 'stay,
And 'I shall show you 'peace, and fair-faced league ;
Win you this city 'without stroke or wound;
Rescue those breathing lives to die in 'beds,
That here come 'sacrifices for the field.
K. John. Speak-on with 'favour; we are bent to hear.
Cit. That daughter there of Spain, the Lady Blanch,
Is niece to England. Look upon the years
Of Lewis the Dauphin, and that lovely maid :
If månly love should go in quest of 'beauty,
Where should he find it 'fairer than in 'Blanch?
If 'zealous love should go in search of 'virtue,
Where should he find it 'purer than in Blanch?
If love 'ambitious sought a match of 'birth,
'Whose veins bound richer blood than Lady Blanch?
Such as 'she is, in beauty, virtue, birth,
Is the young 'Dauphin every way complete.
'He is the 'half-part of a blesséd man;
And 'she a fair divided excellence,
Whose fulness of perfection lies in 'him.
0, two such silver currents, when they 'join,
Do glorify the 'banks that bound them in ;
Two such controlling bounds shall 'you be, Kings,
To these two Princes, if you marry them.
This 'union shall do more than 'battery can
To our fast-closed gates; 'without this match,
The sea enragéd is not half so deaf,
Lions more confident, mountains and rocks
More free from motion ; no, not Death 'himself
In mortal fury 'half so peremptory,
As 'we, to 'keep this city.
Faulconbridge, in astonishment at this wily proposal, which so
effectually mars his own intentions, ejaculates :
Here's a stay?
That shakes the rotten carcass of old Death
Out of his rags! Here's a large 'mouth, indeed,
That spits forth Death and mountains, rocks and seas,-
Talks as familiarly of roaring “lions,
As maids of thirteen do of 'puppy-dogs!
Why, I was never so bethumped with words,
Since I first called my 'brother's father “dad.”
Queen Elinor whispers to King John:
Q. El. Son, 'list to this conjunction ; 'make this match :
Give with our niece a dowry large enough:
For 'by this knot thou shalt so surely tie
Thy now 'un-sured assurance to the crown,
That yon green boy shall have no sun, to 'ripe
The bloom that promiseth a mighty fruit.
Cit. Why 'answer not the double majesties
This friendly treaty of our threatened town?
K. Phi. Speak England first, that hath been forward first
To speak unto this city: What say 'you ?
K. John. If that the Dauphin there, thy princely son,
Can in this book of beauty read, “I love,”
Her dowry shall weigh equal with a 'Queen. K. Phi. What say'st 'thou, boy? look in the lady's face. Lew. I do, my lord ; and find a wondrous miracle,
The shadow of 'myself,
Drawn in the flattering tablet of her 'eye.
The thwarted leader makes his jeering commentary, while the
Dauphin is addressing the lady:
Faul. 'Drawn, in the flattering table of her 'eye?
Hanged, in the frowning wrinkle of her brow!
And 'quartered in her heart! Ah! this is pity now,
That, —hanged, and drawn, and quartered,- there
In such a 'love, so vile a 'lout as he !
Stop, obstruction. 3 Immature, inexperienced. 4 Tablet, retina,