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Each one demand, and answer to his part
Perform'd in this wide gap of time, since first
We were dissever'd. Hastily lead away.
DRAMATIS PERSONÆ. KING JOAN.
PETER of Pomfret. PRINCE HENRY, his Son.
King of France. ARTHUR, Duke of Bretagne. LEWIS, the Dauphin. WILLIAM MARESHALL, Earl of Archduke of Austria. Pembroke.
CARDINAL PANDULPH, the GEFFREY FITZ-PETER, Earl of Pope's Legale. Essex.
MELUN, a French Lord. WILLIAM LONGSWORD, Earl of CHATILLON, Ambassador from Salisbury.
France. ROBERT BIGOT, Earl of Norfolk. HUBERT DE BURGH, Chamber- ELINOR, Widow of King Henry II. lain to the King.
CONSTANCE, Mother to Arthur. ROBERT FAULCONBRIDGE.
BLANCH, Daughter to Alphonso, PHILIP FAULCONBRIDGE.
King of Castile.
JAMES GURNEY, Servant to Lady LADY FAULCONBRIDGE.
Lords, Ladies, Citizens of Angiers, Sheriff, Heralds, Officers,
Soldiers, Messengers, and Attendants.
SCENE, sometimes in England, and sometimes in France.
ACT 1. SCENE I.
Northampton. A Room of State in the Palace.
Enter King JOHN, Queen ELINOR, PEMBROKE, Essex,
SALISRURY, and Others, with CAATILLON.
K. John. Now, say, Chatillon, what would France with us?
Chat. Thus, after greeting, speaks the king of France,
In my behaviour, to the majesty,
The borrow'd majesty, of Eogland here.
Eli. A strange beginning! - borrow'd majesty?
K. John. Silence, good mother: hear the embassy.
Chat. Philip of France, in right and true behalf
Of thy deceased brother Geffrey's son,
Arthur Plantagenet, lays most lawful claim
To this fair island, and the territories,
To Ireland, Poictiers, Anjou, Touraine, Maine;
Desiring thee to lay aside the sword
Which sways usurpingly these several titles,
And put the same into young Arthur's hand,
Thy nephew, and right royal sovereign.
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 farthest limit of my embassy.
K. John. Bear mine to him, and so depart in peace.
Be thou as lightning in the eyes of France;
For ere thou canst report I will be there,
The thunder of my cannon shall be heard.
So, hence! Be thou the trumpet of our wrath,
And sullen presage of your own decay.
An honourable conduct let him have:
Pembroke, look to 't. Farewell, Chatillon.
[Exeunt CHATILLON and PEMBROKE.
Eli. What now, my son ? have I not ever said,
How that ambitious Constance would not cease,
Till she had kindled France, and all the world,
Upon the right and party of her son?,
This might have been prevented, and made whole,
With very easy arguments of love,
Which now the manage of two kingdoms must
With fearful bloody issue arbitrate.
K. John. Our strong possession, and our right for us.
Eli. Your strong possession, much more than your right,
Or else it must go wrong with you,
So much my conscience whispers in your ear,
Which none but heaven, and you, and I, shall hear.
Enter the Sheriff of Northamptonshire, who whispers Essex.
Essex. My liege, here is the strangest controversy,
Come from the country to be judg'd by you,
That e'er I heard: shall I produce the men ?
K. John. Let them approach.
[Exit Sheriff". Our abbeys, and our priories, shall pay Re-enter Sheriff, with RoBERT FAULCONBRIDGE, and Philir,
his bastard Brother.
This expedition's charge. — What men are you?
Bast. Your faithful subject I; a gentleman
Born in Northamptonshire, and eldest son,
As I suppose, to Robert Faulconbridge,
A soldier, by the honour-giving band
Of Cour-de-lion knighted in the field.
K. John, What art thou?
Rob. The son and heir to that same Faulconbridge.
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 thy mother, And wound her honour with this diffidence.
Bast. I, Madam? no, I have no reason for it:
That is my brother's plea and none of mine;
The which if he can prove, 'a pops me out
At least from fair five hundred pound a-year.
Heaven guard my mother's honour, and my land!
K. Joh. A good blunt fellow. – Why, being younger born, Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance?
Bast. I know not why, except to get the land.
Bat once he slander'd me with bastardy:
But whe'r I be as true begot, or no,
That still I lay upon my mother's head;
But, that I am as well begot, my liege,
(Fair fall the bones that took the pains for me!)
Compare our faces, and be judge yourself.
If old Sir Robert did beget us both,
And were our father, and this son like him
0! old Sir Robert, father, on my knee
I give heaven thanks, I was not like to thee.
K. John. Why, what a madcap hath heaven lent us here!
Eli. He hath a trick of Caur-de-lion's face;
The accent of bis tongue affecteth him.
Do you not read some tokens of my son
In the large composition of this man?
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 father,
With half that face would he have all my
A half-fac'd groat five hundred pound a-year!
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 lapd :
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 facner speak himself,
When this same lusty gentleman was got.
Upon his death-bed he by will bequeath'd