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Bequeath thy land to him, and follow me?
I am a soldier, and now bound to France?
Bast. Brother, take you my land, I'll take my chance.
Your face hath got five hundred pounds a year,
Eli. Nay, I would have you go before me thither.
Bast. Philip, my liege; so is my name begun ; Philip, good old sir Robert's wife's eldest son.
K. John. From henceforth bear his name whose form thou bearest :
Kneel thou down Philip, but rise more great;
Bast. Brother, by the mother's side, give me your
My father gave me honour, yours gave land.—
Eli. The very spirit of Plantagenet !—
I am thy grandame, Richard: call me so.
Bast. Madam, by chance, but not by truth: what though?
Something about, a little from the right,
In at the window, or else o'er the hatch: Who dares not stir by day, must walk by night,
And have is have, however men do catch.
Near or far off, well won is still well shot,
And I am I, howe'er I was begot.
K. John. Go, Faulconbridge: now hast thou thy desire;
A landless knight makes thee a landed 'squire.—
Bast. Brother, adieu: good fortune come to thee,
For thou wast got i' the way of honesty 10.
[Exeunt all but the Bastard.
A foot of honour better than I was,
Well, now can I make any Joan a lady:
"Good den', sir Richard."-" God-a-mercy, fellow ;”—
For your conversion. Now your traveller,—
"I shall beseech you"-that is question now;
And talking of the Alps, and Apennines,
It draws toward supper, in conclusion so.
And fits the mounting spirit, like myself;
That doth not smack of observation3;
For thou wast got i' the way of honesty.] Alluding to the proverb, that "bastards are born lucky." Philip wishes his brother good fortune, because Robert was not a bastard: had he been illegitimate, the wish, according to the proverb, would have been needless.
1 Good DEN,] An abbreviation of "good even," or evening; but sometimes used for good day. See "Much Ado about Nothing," Vol. ii. p. 229.
2 And then comes answer like an ABC-book:] In the old copies it is printed, "like an absey-book ;" and so it must be pronounced for the measure.
That doth not SMACK of observation ;] The folio, 1623, reads smoak, and
And so am I, whether I smack, or no;
Sweet, sweet, sweet poison for the age's tooth:
For it shall strew the footsteps of my rising.-
Enter Lady FAULCONBRIDGE and JAMES GURNEY. O me! it is my mother.-How now, good lady! What brings you here to court so hastily?
Lady F. Where is that slave, thy brother? where
That holds in chase mine honour up and down?
Bast. My brother Robert? old sir Robert's son?
Lady F. Sir Robert's son! Ay, thou unreverend boy,
Sir Robert's son: why scorn'st thou at sir Robert?
Bast. James Gurney, wilt thou give us leave a while?
Gur. Good leave, good Philip.
the second and later folios do not correct the misprint, although very obvious from the next line. "Smack" was first substituted by Theobald.
That will take pains TO BLOW A HORN before her?] The allusion is of course double, to the horn of a post, and to the horn of such a husband as Lady Faulconbridge had rendered hers.
Colbrand-] Colbrand was the Danish giant, whom Guy of Warwick discomfited in the presence of King Athelstan. This line reads as if quoted from an old romance or ballad, in which the acts of Guy and Colbrand were celebrated. "The History of Guy Earl of Warwick," by S. Rowlands, did not come out until 1607; but a romance on the same incidents had appeared long before, having been printed by W. Copland and J. Cawood. A fragment of an edition, from the types of Pynson, or Wynkyn de Worde, is also in existence.
There's toys abroad: anon I'll tell thee more.
Madam, I was not old sir Robert's son:
Sir Robert never holp to make this leg.
Lady F. Hast thou conspired with thy brother, too, That for thine own gain should'st defend mine honour? What means this scorn, thou most untoward knave?
Bast. Knight, knight, good mother,-Basilisco-like.
I have disclaim'd sir Robert, and my land;
Then, good my mother, let me know my father:
Lady F. King Richard Coeur-de-lion was thy father. By long and vehement suit I was seduc'd
To make room for him in my husband's bed.—
6 Philip ?-sparrow !] Philip was the old name given to a sparrow. The Bastard means, that he is no longer to be called by an appellation which belongs to so insignificant an animal.
7 Could HE get me ?] The folios omit "he," which is necessary to the sense. Basilisco-like.] Basilisco is a cowardly braggart in the old play of "Soliman and Perseda," 1599, who claims to be a knight. The piece must have been popular, and has been attributed to Thomas Kyd, the author of "The Spanish Tragedy." The date when "Soliman and Perseda" was written has not been ascertained, but it was anterior to "King John," and in it we meet with just the same substitution of "knave" for "knight," in a passage which Theobald pointed out :
"Basilisco. I, the aforesaid Basilisco, knight; good fellow, knight.
That art the issue of my dear offence,
And they shall say, when Richard me begot,
ACT II. SCENE I.
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.— Arthur, that great fore-runner of thy blood,
9 THAT art the issue of my dear offence,] The meaning is, "Let not heaven and you, that art the issue of my dear offence, lay the transgression to my charge." The modern reading has generally been to make a period at "charge," and to begin a new sentence with "Thou art," &c.; but all the old editions give the passage as in our text, and no alteration is required. VOL. IV.