Imatges de pàgina
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catch your

alone.

My boy a bastard ! By my soul, I think,
His father never was so true begot ;
It cannot be, an if thou wert his mother.
Eli. There's a good mother, boy, that blots thy

father. Const. There's a good grandam, boy, that would

blot thee. Aust. Peace ! Bast.

Hear the crier. Aust.

What the devil art thou ? Bast. One that will play the devil, sir, with you, An'a may

hide and

you
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.

Blanch. O, well did he become that lion's robe,
That did disrobe the lion of that robe !

Bast. It lies as sightly on the back of him,
As great Alcides' shoes upon an ass ' ;-
But, ass, I'll take that burden from your back;
Or lay on that, shall make your shoulders crack.

Aust. What cracker is this same, that deafs our ears. With this abundance of superfluous breath?

K. Phi. Lewis, determine what we shall do straight. Lew. Women and fools, break off your confer

ence.

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.
Eli.

Come to thy grandam, child.
Const. 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.
Arth.

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,

Eli. His mother shames him so, poor boy, he weeps.

Const. Now shame upon you, whe'r she does, or no! 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; Ay, with these crystal beads heaven shall be brib'd To do him justice, and revenge on you. Eli. Thou monstrous slanderer of heaven and

earth! Const. Thou monstrous injurer of heaven and

earth! Call not me slanderer ; thou, and thine, usurp The dominations, royalties, and rights, Of this oppressed boy: This is thy eldest son's son, Infortunate in nothing but in thee;

child;

Thy sins are visited in this

poor
The canon of the law is laid on him,
Being but the second generation
Removed from thy sin-conceiving womb.

K. John. Bedlam, have done.
Const.

15 I have but this to say,
That he's not only plagued for her sin,
But God hath made her sin and her the plague
On this removed issue, plagu'd for her,
And with her plague, her sin; his injury
Her injury,—the beadle to her sin;
All punish'd in the person of this child,
And all for her; A plague upon her!

Eli. Thou unadvised scold, I can produce A will, that bars the title of thy son. Const. Ay, who doubts that? a will! a wicked

will; A woman's will ; a canker'd grandam's will !

K. Phi. Peace, lady; pause, or be more temperate : It ill beseems this presence, to cry aim To these ill-tuned repetitions. 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.

Trumpets sound. Enter Citizens upon the walls. i Cit. Who is it, that hath warn'd us to the walls ? K. Phi. 'Tis France, for England. K. John.

England, for itself : You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects,VOL. VI.

N

K. Phi. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's

subjects, Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle. K. John. For our advantage ;—Therefore, hear us

first. These flags of France, that are advanced here Before the eye and prospect of your town, Have hither march'd to your endamagement: The cannons have their bowels full of wrath ; And ready mounted are they, to spit forth Their iron indignation 'gainst your walls : All preparation for a bloody siege, And merciless proceeding by these French, Confront your city's eyes, your winking gates; And, but for our approach, those sleeping stones, That as a waist do girdle you about, By the compulsion of their ordnance By this time from their fixed beds of lime Had been dishabited, and wide havock made For bloody power to rush upon your peace. But, on the sight of us, your lawful king, Who painfully, with much expedient march, Have brought a countercheck before your gates, To save unscratch'd your city's threaten'd cheeks,Behold, the French, amaz’d, vouchsafe a parle : And now, instead of bullets wrapp'd in fire, To make a shaking fever in your walls, They shoot but calm words, folded up in smoke, To make a faithless error in your ears : Which trust accordingly, kind citizens,

And let us in, your king; whose labour'd spirits,
Forwearied in this action of swift speed,
Crave harbourage within your city walls.
K. Phi. When I have said, make answer to us

both,
Lo, in this right hand, whose protection
Is most divinely vow'd upon the right
Of him it holds, 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;
Being no further enemy to you,
Than the constraint of hospitable zeal,
In the relief of this oppressed child,
Religiously provokes. Be pleased then
To pay that duty, which you truly owe,
To him that owes it; namely, this young prince:
And then our arms, like to a muzzled bear,
Save in aspéct, have all offence seal’d up;
Qur cannons' malice vainly shall be spent
Against the invulnerable clouds of heaven;
And, with a blessed and unvex'd retire,
With unhack'd swords, and helmets all unbruis'd,
We will bear home that lusty blood again,
Which here we came to spout against your town,
And leave your children, wives, and you, in

peace. But if you fondly pass our proffer'd offer, 'Tis not the roundure 16 of your old-fac'd walls Can hide you from our messengers of war;

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