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Sc. I



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.

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.

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, whether she does or no!

His grandam's wrongs,' and not his mother's shames,
Draws 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, thy eld'st son's son,
Infortunate in nothing but in thee:
Thy sins are visited in this poor child ;

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.

I have but this to say:
That he is 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 :
2 punished,





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1 crimes.

3 Exodus xx, 5.

Sc. I


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.




Trumpet sounds.

Enter certain Citizens upon

the walls.
FIRST Cit. Who is it that hath warn'd us to the walls?
K. Phi. 'Tis France, for England.

England, for itself.
You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects-
K. Phi. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's subjects,
Our trumpet callid

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
Confronts your City's eyes, your winking gates;
And, but for our approach, those sleeping stones,
That as a waist doth girdle you about,
By the compulsion of their ordinance
By this time from their fixed beds of lime
Had been dishabited,' and wide havoc made
For bloody powers 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
1 headstrong.

2 (archers') =

= to encourage : 'Go it again!' 3 shut: like eyes in sleep. 16 4 dislodged.

5 soldiery,


Sc. I



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 aspect, hath all offence seald up;
Our 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 favour,
"Tis not the rounder of your old-fac'd walls
Can hide you from our messengers of war,

, Though all these English and their discipline Were harbour'd in their rude circumference. Then tell us : shall your City call us Lord In that behalf which we have challeng'd it? places of grass, swards.

4 foolishly. IV : C







2 owns.

3 retreat.



Sc. I



Or shall we give the signal to our rage,

And stalk in blood to our possession ?
First Cit. In brief, we are the King of England's sub-

jects :
For him, and in his right, we hold this Town.
K. JOHN. Acknowledge, then, the King, and let me in.
First Cit. That can we not; but he that proves the

To him will we prove loyal: till that time

Have we ramm'd up our gates against the world.
K. John. Doth not the crown of England prove the

King ?
And if not that, I bring you witnesses,

Twice fifteen thousand hearts of England's breed-
Bast. Bastards, and else.
K. John. – To verify our title with their lives.
K. Phi. As many and as well-born bloods as those-
Bast. Some bastards too.
K. Phi. -Stand in his face, to contradict his claim.
FIRST Cit. Till you compound whose right is worthiest,

We for the worthiest hold the right from both.
K. JOHN. Then God forgive the sin of all those souls,

That to their everlasting residence,
Before the dew of evening fall, shall fleet

In dreadful trial of our kingdom's King!
K. Phi. Amen, amen! Mount, Chevaliers ! to arms!
Bast. Saint George, that swing'd’ the Dragon, and e'er

Sits on his horse' back at mine hostess' door,
Teach us some fence! [to Aust.] Sirrah, were I at

At your den, sirrah, with your lioness,
I would set an ox-head to your lion's hide,

And make a monster of you.

Peace! no more.
Bast. O, tremble, for you hear the lion roar!
K. JOHN. Up higher to the plain; where we'll set

In best appointment all our regiments.
Bast. Speed, then, to take advantage of the field.


2 (slang) swinge=drub.

1 other.

K. Phi. It shall be so; and at the other hill
Command the rest to stand. God and our right!


Sc. I

Here, after excursions, enter the Herald of France, with

Trumpets,' to the Gates.
F. HER. You Men of Angiers, open wide your gates, 300

And let young Arthur, Duke of Bretagne, in,
Who by the hand of France this day hath made
Much work for tears in many an English mother,
Whose sons lie scatter'd on the bleeding ground:
Many a widow's husband grovelling lies,
Coldly embracing the discolour'd earth;
And Victory with little loss doth play
Upon the dancing banners of the French,
Triumphantly display'd; who are at hand,
To enter conquerors, and to proclaim
Arthur of Bretagne England's King and your's.


Enter the English Herald, with Trumpets.
E. HER. Rejoice, you Men of Angiers, ring your bells !

King John, your King and England's, doth approach.
Commander of this hot malicious day:
Their armours, that march'd hence so silver-bright,
Hither return all gilt with Frenchmen's blood;
There stuck no plume in any English crest,
That is removed by a staffo of France;
Our colours do return in those same hands,
That did display them when we first march'd forth; 320
And, like a jolly troop of huntsmen, come
Our lusty English, all with purpled hands,
Dy'd in the slaughter of their dying foes :

Open your gates, and give the victors way.
First Cit. Heralds, from off our towers we might

From first to last the onset and retire
Of both your armies; whose equality
By our best eyes cannot be censured :-
Blood hath bought blood, and blows have answer'd

blows; i trumpeters.

as from breaking up quarry. Cf. vol. 11., Twelfth Night, m. iv. 212: 'bloody as the hunter.'

* judged.


3 lance.

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