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K. John. What follows, if we disallow of this? Chat. The proud control of fierce and bloody
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. 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
[Exeunt CHATILLON and PEMBROKE.
for us E.. 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 hearen, and you, and I, shall hear. Enter the Sheriff of Northamptonshire, who whis
te marie apdoct, admostatica
pers Essex. Essex. My liege, here is the strangest contro
Exit Sheriff. Our abbies, and our priories, shall pay
Re-enter Sheriff, with Robert FAULCONBRIDGE,
and PHILIP, his bastard Brother. This expedition's charge.—What men are you
K. John. What art thou?
bridge. K. John. Is that the elder, and art thou the heir? You came not of one mother then, it seems.
Bast. Most certain of one mother, mighty king, That is well known; and, as I think, one father: But, for the certain knowledge of that truth, I put you o'er to heaven, and to my mother; Of that I doubt, as all men's children may. Eli. Out on thee, rude man! thou dost shame
Bast. I, madam? no, I have no reason for it;
K. John. A good blunt fellow :- Why, being
younger born, Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance?
Bast. I know not whs, except to get the land.
K. John. Mine eye hath well examined his parts, And finds them perfect Richard.—Sirrah, speak, What doth move you to claim your brother's land? Bast. Because he hath a half-face, like my fa
ther; With that half-face would he have all my land: A half-faced groat five hundred pound a year!
s But whe'r-] Whe'r for whether.
- He hath a trick of Cæur-de-lion's face,] By a trick, in this place, is meant some peculiarity of look or motion.
5 With that half-face -] The poet sneers at the meagre sharp visage of the elder brother, by comparing him to a silver groat, that bore the king's face in profile, so showed but half the face: the groats of all our Kings of England, and indeed all their other coins of silver, one or two only excepted, had a full face crowned; till Henry VII. at the time above-mentioned, coined groats, and half-groats, as also some shillings, with half-faces, i. e. faces in profile, as all our coin has now.
Rob. My gracious liege, when that my father
liv'd, Your brother did employ my father much;
Bast. Well, sir, by this you cannot get my Your tale must be, how he employ'd my mother.
Rob. And once despatch'd him in an embassy To Germany, there, with the emperor, To treat of high affairs touching that time: The advantage of his absence took the king, And in the mean time sojourn'd at my father's; Where how he did prevail, I shame to speak: But truth is truth; large lengths of seas and shores Between my father and my mother lay, (As I have heard my father speak himself,) When this same lusty gentleman was got. Upon his death-bed he by will bequeath'd His lands to me; and took it, on his death, That this, my mother's son, was none of his ; And, if he were, he came into the world Full fourteen weeks before the course of time. Then, good my liege, let me have what is mine, My father's land, as was my father's will.
K. John. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate; Your father's wife did after wedlock bear him: And, if she did play false, the fault was hers; Which fault lies on the hazards of all husbands That marry
wives. Tell me, how if my brother, Who, as you say, took pains to get this son, Had of your father claim'd this son for his? In sooth, good friend, your father might have kept This calf, bred from his cow, from all the world; In sooth, he might: then, if he were my brother's, My brother might not claim him; nor your father, Being none of his, refuse him: This concludes,
took it, on his death,] i. e. entertained it as his fixed opinion, when he was dying.
My mother's son did get your father's heir;
Bast. Of no more force to dispossess me, sir,
brother had my shape,
? Lord of thy presence, and no land beside ?] Lord of his presence apparently signifies, great in his own person, and is used in this sense by King John in one of the following scenes.
8 And I had his, sir Robert his, like him;] This is obscure and ill expressed. The meaning is-If I had his shape, sir Robert's as he has.
my face so thin, That in mine ear I durst not stick a rose,
Lest men should say, Look, where three-farthings goes !! In this very obscure passage our poet is anticipating the date of another silver coin; humorously to rally a thin face, eclipsed, as it were, by a full blown rose. We must observe, to explain this allusion, that Queen Elizabeth was the first, and indeed the only prince, who coined in England three-half-pence, and three farthing pieces.
And, to his shape, were heir to all this land,] “ To his shape,” means, in addition to the shape he had been just describing.