Imagini ale paginilor


will ;

K. Phi. From that supernal judge, that stirs good | Ay, with these crystal beads heaven shall be bribd thoughts

To do him justice, and revenge on you. In any breast of strong authority,

Eli. Thou monstrous slanderer of heaven and To look into the blots and stains of right.

earth! That judge hath made me guardian to this boy : Const. Thou monstrous injurer of heaven and Under whose warrant, I impeach thy wrong;

earth! And, by whose help, I mean to chastise it.

Call not me slanderer; thou, and thine, usurp K. John. Alack, thou dost usurp authority. The dominations, royalties, and rights, K. Phi. Excuse; it is to beat usurping down. Of this oppressed boy: This is thy eldest son's son, Eli. Who is it, thou dost call usurper, France ? Infortunate in nothing but in thee; Const. Let me make answer;-thy usurping son. Thy sins are visited in this poor child;

Eli. Out. insolent ! thy bastard shall be king; The canon of the law is laid on him, That thomay'st be a queen, and check the world! Being but the second generation

Const. My bed was ever to thy son as true, Removed from thy sin-conceiving womb. As thine was to thy husband : and this boy

K. John. Bedlam, have done, Liker in feature to his father Geffrey,


I have but this to say, Than thou and John in manners; being as like, That he's not only plagued for her sin, As rain to water, or devil to his dam.

But God hath made her sin and her the plague My boy a bastard! By my soul, I think,

On this removed issue, plagu'd for her, His father never was so true begot;

And with her plague, her sin; his injury It cannot be, an if thou wert his mother.

Her injury, - the beadle to her sin; Eli. There's a good mother, boy, that blots thy All punish'd in the person of this child, father.

And all for her; A plague upon her! Const. There's a good grandam, boy, that would Eli. Thou unadvised scold, I can produce blot thee.

A.will, that bars the title of thy son. Aust. Peace!

Const, Ay, who doubts that? a will! a wicked Bast. Hear the crier. Aust.

What the devil art thou ? A woman's will ; a canker'd grandam's will!
Bast. One that will play the devil, sir, with you, K. Phi. Peace, lady; pause, or be more tempe-
An'a may catch your hide and you alone.

rate :
You are the hare of whom the proverb goes, It ill beseems this presence, to cry aim
Whose valour plucks dead lions by the beard ; To these ill-tuned repetitions. -
I'll smoke your skin-coat, an I catch you right; Some trumpet summon hither to the walls
Sirrah, look to't; i'faith, I will, i'faith.

These men of Angiers ; let us hear them speak,
Blanch. O, well did he become that lion's robe, Whose title they admit, Arthur's or John's.
That did disrobe the lion of that robe!
Bust. It lies as sightly on the back of him,

Trumpets sound. Enter Citizens upon the walls. As great Alcides' shoes upon an ass :

1 Cit. Who is it, that hath warn'd us to the walls? But, ass, I'll take that burden from your back; K. Phi. 'Tis France, for England. Or lay on that, shall make your shoulders crack. K. John.

England, for itself: Aust. What cracker is this same, that deafs our ears You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects. With this abundapce of superfluous breath ?

K. Phi. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's K. Phi. Lewis, determine what we shall do

subjects, straight.

Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle. Lew. Women and fools, break off your con- K. John. For our advantage; - Therefore, hrar ference.

us first. King John, this is the very sum of all,

These flags of France, that are advanced here England, and Ireland, Anjou, Touraine, Maine, Before the eye and prospect of your town, In right of Arthur do I claim of thee:

Have hither march'd to your endamnagement: Wilt thou resign them, and lay down thy arms ? The cannons have their bowels full of wrath; X. John. My life as soon :- I do defy thee, And ready mounted are they, to spit forth France.

Their iron indignation 'gainst your walls : Arthur of Bretagne, yield thee to my hand ; All preparation for a bloody siege, And, out of my dear love, I'll give thee more And merciless proceeding by these Freneh, Than e'er the coward hand of France can win : Confront your city's eyes, your winking gates ; Submit thee, boy.

And, but for our approach, those sleeping stones, Eli.

Come to thy grandam, child. That as a waist do girdle you about,
Const. Do, child, go to it' grandam, child; By the compulsion of their ordnance
Give grandam kingdom, and it' grandam will By this time from their fixed beds of lime
Give it a plum, a cherry, and a fig:

Had been dishabited, and wide havock made There's a good grandam.

For bloody power to rush upon your peace. Arth.

Good my mother, peace! But, on the sight of us, your lawful king, I would, that I were low laid in my grave; Who painfully, with much expedient march, I am not worth this coil that's made for me.

Have brought a countercheck before your gates, Eli. His mother shames him so, poor boy, he To save unscratch'd your city's threaten'd cheeks, – weeps.

Behold, the French, amaz'd, vouchisafe a parle : Const. Now shame upon you, whe'r she does, or no! And now, instead of bullets wrapp'd in fire, His grandam's wrongs, and not his mother's shames, To make a shaking fever in your walls, Draw those heaven-moving pearls from his poor eyes, They shoot but calm words, folded up in smoke, Which heaven shall take in nature of a fee; To make a faithless error in your ears :


Which trust accordingly, kind citizens,

I'd set an ox-head to your lion's hide, And let us in, your king; whose labour'd spirits, And make a monster of you. Forwearied in this action of swift speed,


Peace; no more. Crave harbourage within your city walls.

Bast. O, tremble ; for you hear the lion roar. K. Philip. When I have said, make answer to us K. John. Up higher to the plain ; where we'll set both.

forth, Lo, in this right hand, whose protection

In best appointment, all our regiments, Is most divinely vow'd upon the right

Bast. Speed then, to take advantage of the field.' Of him it holds, stands young Plantagenet ;

K. Phi. It shall be so ; [to Lewis.] and at the Son to the elder brother of this man,

other hill And king o'er him, and all that he enjoys:

Command the rest to stand. God, and our right! For this down-trodden equity, we tread

(Exeunt. In warlike march these greens before your town;

SCENE II. The same.
Being no further enemy to you,
Than the constraint of hospitable zeal,

Alarums and Excursions; then a Retreat, Enter In the relief of this oppressed child,

a French Herald, with trumpets, to the gates. Religiously provokes. Be pleased then

F.Her. You men of Angiers, open wide your gates, To pay that duty, which you truly owe,

And let young Arthur, duke of Bretagne, in; To him that owes it; namely, this young prinee : Who, by the hand of France, this day hath made And then our arms, like to a muzzled bear, Much work for tears in many an English mother, Save in aspéct, have all offence seal'd up ;

Whose sons lie scatter'd on the bleeding ground; Our cannons' malice vainly shall be spent

Many a widow's husband groveling lies, Against the invulnerable clouds of heaven; Coldly embracing the discolour'd earth ; And, with a blessed and unvex'd retire,

And vietory, with little loss, doth play
With unhack'd swords, and helmets all unbruis'd, Upon the dancing banners of the French;
We will bear home that lusty blood again,

Who are at hand, triumphantly display'd,
Which here we came to spout against your town, To enter conquerors, and to proclaim
And leave your children, wives, and you, in peace. Arthur of Bretagne, England's king, and yo
But if you fondly pass our proffer'd offer,
'Tis not the roundure of your old-fac'd walls

Enter an English Herald, with trumpets. Can hide you from our messengers of war;

E. Her. Rejoice, you men of Angiers, ring your Though all these English, and their discipline,

bells; Were harbour'd in their rude circumference, King John, your king and England's, doth approach, Then, tell us, shall your city call us lord,

Commander of this hot malicious day! In that behalf which we have challeng'd it ? Their armours, that march'd hence so silver-bright, Or shall we give the signal to our rage,

Hither return all gilt with Frenchmen's blood ; And stalk in blood to our possession ?

There stuck no plume in any English crest, i Ci. In brief, we are the king of England's That is removed by a staff of France ; subjects;

Our colours do return in those same hands For him, and in his right, we hold this town. That did display them when we first march'd forth"; K. John. Acknowledge then the king, and let And, like a jolly troop of huntsmen, come me in.

Our lusty English, all with purpled hands, 1 Cit. That can we not: but he that proves the Died in the dying slaughter of their foes : king,

Open your gates, and give the victors way. To him will we prove loyal ; till that time,

Cis. Heralds, from off our towers we might Have we ramı'd up our gates against the world.

behold, K. John. Doth not the crown of England prove From first to last, the onset and retire the king ?

Of both your armies; whose equality And, if not that, I bring you witnesses,

By our best eyes cannot be censured : Twice fifteen thousand hearts of England's breed, - Blood hath bought blood, and blows have answer'd Bad. Bastards, and else.

blows; K. John. To verify our title with their lives. Strength match'd with strength, and power conK. Phi. As many, and as well-born bloods as

fronted power : those,

Both are alike; and both alike we like. Bast. Some bastards too.

One must prove greatest : while they weigh so even, K. Phi. Stand in his face, to contradict his claim. We hold our town for neither ; yet for both. I Cat. Till you compound whose right is worthiest, We, for the worthiest, hold the right from both.

Enter, at one side, King Jown, with his power ; X. Jokn. Then God forgive the sin of all those

Elinor, BLANCH, and the Bastard ; at the other, souls,

King Philip, LEWIS, Austria, and Forces. That to their everlasting residenee,

K. John. France, hast thou yet more blood to Before the dew of evening fall, shall fleet,

cast away? In dreadful trial of our kingdom's king !

Say, shall the current of our right run on ? K. Pki. Amen, Amen! - Mount chevaliers ! to Whose passage, vex'd with thy impediment, arms!

Shall leave his native channel, and o'erswell Bast. St. George, - that swing'd the dragon, and With course disturb'd even thy confining shores ; e'er since,

Unless thou let his silver water keep Sits on his horseback at mine hostess' door,

A peaceful progress to the ocean. Teach us some fence ! - Sirrah, were I at home, K. Phi. England, thou hast not sav'd one drop at your den, sirrah, (to Austria.) with your lioness,

of blood,



to stay,


In this hot trial, more than we of France;

As we will ours, against these saucy walls : Rather, lost more : And by this hand I swear, And when that we have dash'd them to the ground, That sways the earth this climate overlooks; - Why, then defy each other : and, pell-mell, Before we will lay down our just-borne arms, Make work upon ourselves, for heaven, or hell. We'll put thee down, 'gainst whom these arms we K. Phi. Let it be so : - Say, where will you bear,

assault ? Or add a royal number to the dead;

X. John. We from the west will send destruction Gracing the scroll, that tells of this war's loss, Into this city's bosom. With slaughter coupled to the name of kings.

Aust. I from the north. Bast. Ha, majesty! how high thy glory towers,

K. Phi.

Our thunder from the south, When the rich blood of kings is set on fire!

Shall rain their drift of bullets on this town. O, now doth death line his dead chaps with steel ; Bast. O prudent discipline! From north to south; The swords of soldiers are his teeth, his fangs; Austria and France shoot in each other's mouth : And now he feasts, mouthing the flesh of men,

[ Aside. In undetermin'd differences of kings.

I'll stir them to it: - Come, away, away! Why stand these royal fronts amazed thus ?

i Cit. Hear us, great kings : vouchsafe a while Cry, havock, kings back to the stained field, You equal potents, fiery-kindled spirits !

And I shall show you peace, and fair-faced league; Then let confusion of one part confirm

Win you this city without stroke or wound; The other's peace ; till then, blows, blood, and Rescue those breathing lives to die in beds, death!

That here come sacrifices for the field : K. John. Whose party do the townsmen yet ad- Perséver not, but hear me, mighty kings.' mit?

K. John. Speak on, with favour; we are bent to K. Phi. Speak, citizens, for England ; who's your

hear. king?

i Cit. That daughter there of Spain, the lady 1 Cit. The king of England, when we know the

Blanch, king

Is near to England ; Look upon the years K. Phi. Know him in us, that here hold up his Of Lewis the Dauphin, and that lovely, maid: right.

If lusty love should go in quest of beauty, K. John. In us, that are our own great deputy, Where should he find it fairer than ia Blanch? And bear possession of our person here;

If zealous love should go in search of virtue, Lord of our presence, Angiers, and of you. Where should he find it purer than in Blanch?

1 Cit. A greater power than we, denies all this ; If love ambitious sought a match of birth, And, till it be undoubted, we do lock

Whose veins bound richer blood than lady Blanch? Our former scruple in our strong-barr'd gates : Such as she is, in beauty, virtue, birth, King'd of our fears; until our fears, resolv’d, Is the young Dauphin every way complete : Be by some certain king purg'd and depos'd. If not complete, O say, he is not she; Bast. By heaven, these scroyles of Angiers flout And she again wants nothing, to name want, you, kings;

If want it be not, that she is not he:
And stand securely on their battlements,

He is the half part of a blessed man,
As in a theatre, whence they gape and point Left to be finished by such a she ;
At your industrious scenes and acts of death. And she a fair divided excellence,
Your royal presences be rul’d by me;

Whose fulness of perfection lies in him.
Do like the mutines of Jerusalem,

0, two such silver currents, when they join, Be friends a while, and both conjointly bend Do glorify the banks that bound them in : Your sharpest deeds of malice on this town: And two such shores to two such streams made one, By east and west let France and England mount Two such controlling bounds shall you be, kings, Their battering cannon charged to the mouths ; To these two princes, if you marry them. Till their soul-fearing clamours have brawl'd down This union shall do more than battery can, The flinty ribs of this contemptuous city:

To our fast-closed gates; for, at this match, I'd play incessantly upon these jades,

With swifter spleen than powder can enforce, Even till unfenced desolation

The mouth of passage shall we fling wide ope, Leave them as naked as the vulgar air.'

And give you entrance; but, without this match, That done, dissever your united strengths,

The sea enraged is not half so deaf, And part your mingled colours once again ; Lions more confident, mountains and rocks Turn face to face, and bloody point to point: More free from motion ; no, pot death himself Then, in a moment, fortune shall cull forth

In mortal fury half so peremptory, Out of one side her happy minion;

As we to keep this city. To whom in favour she shall give the day,


Here's a stay, And kiss him' with a glorious victory.

That shakes the rotten carcase of old death How like you this wild counsel, mighty states ? Out of his rags! Here's a large mouth, indese, Smacks it not something of the policy?

That spits forth death, and mountains, rocks, and seas; K. John. Now, by the sky that hangs above our Talks as familiarly of roaring lions, heads,

As maiús of thirteen do of puppy-dogs ?
I like it well ; - France, shall we knit our powers, What cannoneer begot this lusty blood ?
And lay this Angiers even with the ground; He speaks plain cannon, fire, and smoke, and
Then, after, fight who shall be king of it?

bounce ;
Bast. An if thou hast the mettle of a king, He gives the bastinado with his tongue;
Being wrong'd, as we are, by this peevish town, Our ears are cudgeld; not a word of his,
Turn thou the mouth of thy artillery,

But buffets better than a fist of France :

your hands.

[ocr errors]



Zounds! I was never so bethump'd with words, K. John. Then do I give Yolquessen, Touraine, Since I first call'd my brother's father, dad.

Maine, Eli. Son, list to this conjunction, make this poictiers, and Anjou, these five provinces, match;

With her to thee; and this addition more, Give with our niece a dowry large enough: Full thirty thousand marks of English coin. For by this knot thou shalt so surely tie

Philip of France, if thou be pleas'd withal, Tuy now unsur'd assurance to the crown,

Command thy son and daughter to join hands. That yon green boy shall have no sun to ripe

K. Phi. It likes us well ; - Young princes close The bloom that promiseth a mighty fruit. I see a yielding in the looks of France ;

Aust. And your lips too; for, I am well issur’d, Mark, how they whisper : urge them, while their souls That I did so, when I was first assur'd. Are capable of this ambition :

K. Phi. Now, citizens of Angiers, ope your gates, Lest zeal, now melted, by the windy breath Let in that amity which you have made ; Of soft petitions, pity, and remorse,

For at saint Mary's chapel, presently, Cool and congeal again to what it was.

The rites of marriage shall be solemniz'd. 1 (it. Why answer not the double majesties Is not the lady Constance in this troop? This friendly treaty of our threaten'd town? I know, she is not ; for this match, made up, I. Pki. Speak England first, that hath been for. Her presence would have interrupted much : ward first

Where is she and her son ? tell me, who knows. To speak unto this city : What say you ?

Lew. She is sad and passionate at your highness' Ľ John. If that the Dauphin there, thy princely

K. Phi. And, by my faith, this league, that we Can in this book of beauty read, I love,

have made, Her dowry shall weigh equal with a queen:

Will give her sadness very little cure. For Anjou, and fair Touraine, Maine, Poictiers, Brother of England, how may we content And all that we upon this side the sea

This widow lady? In her right we came; (Except this city now by us besieg'd,)

Which we, God knows, have turn'd another way, Find liable to our crown and dignity,

To our own vantage. Stall gild her bridal bed ; and make her rich

K. John.

We will heal up all, In titles, honours, and promotions,

For we'll create young Arthur duke of Bretagne, As she in beauty, education, blood,

And earl of Richmond ; and this rich fair town Holds hand with any princess of the world.

We'll make him lord of. Call the lady Constance; 1. Phi. What say'st thou, boy? look in the lady's Some speedy messenger bid her repair face.

To our solemnity :- I trust we shall,
Le. I do, my lord, and in her eye I find If not fill up the measure of her will,
A wonder, or a wondrous miracle,

Yet in some measure satisfy her so,
The shadow of myself form'd in her eye ;

That we shall stop her exclamation. Which, being but the shadow of your son,

Go we, as well as haste will suffer us, and makes your son a shadow :

To this unlook'd-for unprepared pomp. I do protest, I never lov'd myself,

[Exeunt all but the Bastard. — The Citizens Till now infixed I beheld myself,

retire from the walls. Drawn in the flattering table of her eye.

Bast. Mad world! mad kings! mad composition ! (Whispers with BLANCH. John, to stop Arthur's title in the whole, Best

. Drawn in the flattering table of her eye! Hath willingly departed with a part :

Hang'd in the frowning wrinkle of her brow! And France, (whose armour conscience buckled And quarter'd in her heart ! - he doth espy Himself lore's traitor : This is pity now,

Whom zeal and charity brought to the field, That hang’d, and drawn and quarter'd, there should As God's own soldier,) rounded in the ear be,

With that same purpose-changer, that sly devil; In such a love, so vile a lout as he.

That broker that still breaks the pate of faith ; Blenck

. My uncle's will, in this respect, is mine. That daily break-vow; he that wins of all, If he see aught in you, that makes him like, Of kings, of beggars, old men, young men, maids ;That any thing he sees, which moves his liking, Who having no external thing to lose I can with ease translate it to my will ;

But the word maid, - cheats the poor maid of that; Or, if you will, (to speak more properly,)

That smooth-faced gentleman, tickling commoI will enforce it easily to my love.

dity, Further I will not fatter you, my lord,

Commodity, the bias of the world; That all I see in you is worthy love,

The world, who of itself is peised well, Than this, – that nothing do I see in you,

Made to run even ; upon even ground; (Though churlish thoughts themselves should be Till this advantage, this vile drawing bias, Four judge,)

This sway of motion, this commodity, That I can find should merit any hate.

Makes it take head from all indifferency, K. John. What say these young ones? What say From all direction, purpose, course, intent: you, my niece ?

And this same bias, this commodity, Blanch. That she is bound in honour still to do This bawd, this broker, this all-changing word,

you in wisdom shall vouchsafe to say. Clapp'd on the outward eye of fickle France, L. John. Speak then, prince Dauphin; can you Hath drawn him from his own determin’d aid, love this lady?

From a resolv'd and honourable war, Ize. Nay, ask me if I can refrain from love; To a most base and vile-concluded peace. fer i do love her ment unfeignedly.

And why rail I on this commodity ?

Become a sun,

on ;


But for because he hath not woo'd me yet : And say, there is no sin, but to be rich;
Not that I have the power to clutch my hand, And being rich, my virtue then shall be,
When his fair angels would salute my palm : To say, there is no vice, but beggary:
But for my hand, as unattempted yet,

Since kings break faith upon commodity,
Like a poor beggar, raileth on the rich.

Gain, be my lord! for I will worship thee! (Exit. Well, whiles I am a beggar, I will rail,


SCENE I. - The same. The French King's Tent. Of nature's gifts thou may'st with lifies boast,

And with the half-blown rose : but fortune, O! Enter CONSTANCE, ARTHUR, and SALISBURY.

She is corrupted, chang'd, and won from thee;
Const. Gone to be married ! gone to swear a peace! She adulterates hourly with thine uncle John;
False blood to false blood join'd! Gone to be friends! And with her golden hand hath pluck'd on France
Shall Lewis have Blanch ? and Blanch those pro- To tread down fair respect of sovereignty,
vinces ?

And made his majesty the bawd to theirs.
It is not so; thou hast misspoke, misheard; France is a bawd to fortune, and king John ;
Be well advis'd, tell o'er thy tale again :,

That strumpet fortune, that usurping John :
It cannot be; thou dost but say, 'tis so :

Tell me, thou fellow, is not France forsworn ? I trust, I may not trust thee; for thy word Envenom him with words; or get thee gone, Is but the vain breath of a common man:

And leave these woes alone, which I alone, Believe me, I do not believe thee, man;

Am bound to under-bear. I have a king's oath to the contrary.


Pardon me, madam, Thou shalt be punish'd for thus frighting me, I may not go without you to the kings. For I am sick, and capable of fears ;

Const. Thou may'st, thou shalt, I will not go Oppress'd with wrongs, and therefore full of fears ;

with thee: A widow, husbandless, subject to fears ;

I will instruct my sorrows to be proud : A woman, naturally born to fears;

For grief is proud, and makes his owner stout. And though thou now confess, thou didst but jest, To me, and to the state of my great grief, With my vex'd spirits I cannot take a truce, Let kings assemble ; for my grief's so great, But they will quake and tremble all this day. That no supporter but the huge firm earth What dost thou mean by shaking of thy head ? Can hold it up: here I and sorrow sit; Why dost thou look so sadly on my son ?

Here is my throne, bid kings come bow to it. What means that hand upon that breast of thine ?

(She throws herself on the ground. Why holds thine eye that lamentable rheum, Like a proud river peering o'er his bounds?

Enter King John, King PHILIP, LEWIS, BLaxli, Be these sad signs confirmers of thy words ?

Elinor, Bastard, Austria, and Attendants. Then speak again; not all thy former tale,

K. Phi. 'Tis true, fair daughter ; and this blessed But this one word, whether thy tale be true.

day, Sal. As true, as, I believe, you think them false, Ever in France shall be kept festival : That give you cause to prove my saying true. To solemnize this day, the glorious sun

Const. O, if thou teach me to believe this sorrow, Stays in his course, and plays the alchemist; Teach thou this sorrow how to make me die; Turning, with splendor of his precious eye, And let belief and life encounter so,

The ineagre cloddy earth to glittering gold :
As doth the fury of two desperate men,

The yearly course, that brings this day about,
Which, in the very meeting, fall, and die. - Shall never see it but a holyday.
Lewis marry Blanch! O, boy, then where art thou? Const. A wicked day, and not a holyday!
France friend with England! what becomes of

(Hising, me?

What hath this day deserv'd ? what hath it done ; Fellow, be gone: I cannot brook thy sight; That it in golden letters should be set, This news hath made thee a most ugly man. Among the high tides, in the kalendar?

Sal. What other harm have I, good lady, done, Nay, rather, turn this day out of the week; But spoke the harm that is by others done? This day of shame, oppression, perjury :

Const. Which harm within itself so heinous is, Or, if it must stand still, let wives with child As it makes harmful all that speak of it.

Pray, that their burdens may not fall this day, Arth. I do beseech you, madam, be content. Lest that their hopes prodigiously be cross'd : Const. If thou, that bid'st me be content, wert But on this day, let seamen fear no wreck ; grim,

No bargains break, that are not this day made : Ugly, and sland'rous to thy mother's womb, This day, all things begun come to ill end ; Full of unpleasing blots, and sightless stains, Yea, faith itself to hollow falsehood change! Lame, foolish, crook'd, swart, prodigious,

K. Phi. By heaven, lady, you shall have no car Patch'd with foul moles, and eye-offending marks, To curse the fair proceedings of this day. I would not care, I then would be content ; Have I not pawn'd to you my majesty ? For then I should not love thee ; no, nor thou Const. You have beguil'd ine with a counterfeit Become thy great birth, nor deserve a crown. Resembling majesty; which, being touch'd, and But thou art fair; and at thy birth, dear boy!

tried, Nature and fortune join'd to make thee great: Proves valueless : You are forsworn, forsworn;

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ÎnapoiContinuă »