Imatges de pÓgina

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,
Yet sell your face for five pence, and 'tis dear.—
Madam, I'll follow you unto the death.

Eli. Nay, I would have you go before me thither.
Bast. Our country manners give our betters way.
K. John. What is thy name?

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;
Arise sir Richard, and Plantagenet.

Bast. Brother, by the mother's side, give me your


My father gave me honour, yours gave land.—
Now blessed be the hour, by night or day,
When I was got sir Robert was away.

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.—
Come, madam, and come, Richard: we must speed
For France, for France, for it is more than need.

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,
But many a many foot of land the worse.

Well, now can I make any Joan a lady:

"Good den', sir Richard."-" God-a-mercy, fellow ;”—
And if his name be George, I'll call him Peter;
For new-made honour doth forget men's names:
'Tis too respective, and too sociable,

For your conversion. Now your traveller,—
He and his tooth-pick at my worship's mess;
And when my knightly stomach is suffic'd,
Why then I suck my teeth, and catechize
My picked man of countries:-"My dear sir,"
Thus leaning on mine elbow I begin,


"I shall beseech you"-that is question now;
And then comes answer like an ABC-book2:-
"O sir," says answer, "at your best command;
At your employment; at your service, sir:"-
"No, sir," says question, "I, sweet sir, at yours:"
And so, ere answer knows what question would,
Saving in dialogue of compliment,

And talking of the Alps, and Apennines,
The Pyrenean, and the river Po,

It draws toward supper, in conclusion so.
But this is worshipful society,

And fits the mounting spirit, like myself;
For he is but a bastard to the time,

That doth not smack of observation3;

[blocks in formation]

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;
And not alone in habit and device,
Exterior form, outward accoutrement,
But from the inward motion to deliver

Sweet, sweet, sweet poison for the age's tooth:
Which, though I will not practise to deceive,
Yet, to avoid deceit, I mean to learn,

For it shall strew the footsteps of my rising.-
But who comes in such haste, in riding robes?
What woman-post is this? hath she no husband,
That will take pains to blow a horn before her1?

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

is he,

That holds in chase mine honour up and down?

Bast. My brother Robert? old sir Robert's son?
Colbrand' the giant, that same mighty man?
Is it sir Robert's son, that you seek so?

Lady F. Sir Robert's son! Ay, thou unreverend boy,

Sir Robert's son: why scorn'st thou at sir Robert?
He is sir Robert's son, and so art thou.

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 might have eat his part in me
Upon Good-friday, and ne'er broke his fast.
Sir Robert could do well: marry, to confess,
Could he get me'? Sir Robert could not do it:
We know his handy-work.-Therefore, good mother,
To whom am I beholding for these limbs?

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.
What! I am dubb'd; I have it on my shoulder.
But, mother, I am not sir Robert's son;

I have disclaim'd sir Robert, and my land;
Legitimation, name, and all is gone.

Then, good my mother, let me know my father:
Some proper man, I hope; who was it, mother?
Lady F. Hast thou denied thyself a Faulconbridge?
Bast. As faithfully as I deny the devil.

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.—
Heaven! lay not my transgression to my charge,

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.
Piston. Knave, good fellow, knave.”

That art the issue of my dear offence,
Which was so strongly urg'd, past my defence.
Bast. Now, by this light, were I to get again,
Madam, I would not wish a better father.
Some sins do bear their privilege on earth,
And so doth yours; your fault was not your folly:
Needs must you lay your heart at his dispose,
Subjected tribute to commanding love,
Against whose fury and unmatched force
The aweless lion could not wage the fight,
Nor keep his princely heart from Richard's hand.
He, that perforce robs lions of their hearts,
May easily win a woman's. Ay, my mother,
With all my heart I thank thee for my father!
Who lives, and dares but say thou didst not well
When I was got, I'll send his soul to hell.
Come, lady, I will show thee to my kin;

And they shall say, when Richard me begot,
If thou hadst said him nay, it had been sin :
Who says it was, he lies: I say, 'twas not.



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.


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