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Sc. I


Strength match'd with strength, and power confronted

Both are alike; and both alike we like.
One must prove greatest: while they weigh so even,
We hold our Town for neither; yet for both.


Re-enter the two KINGS, with their Powers, at

several doors.
K. JOHN. France, hast thou yet more blood to cast away?

Say, shall the current of our right run on?
Whose passage, vex'd with thy impediment,
Shall leave his native channel, and o'erswell
With course disturb'd even thy confining shores,
Unless thou let his silver waters keep

A peaceful progress to the Ocean.
K. Phi. England, thou hast not sav'd one drop of blood

In this hot trial more than we of France;
Rather, lost more: and by this hand I swear,
That sways the earth this climate overlooks,
Before we will lay down our just-borne arms,
We'll put thee down, 'gainst whom these arms we bear,
Or add a royal number to the dead,
Gracing the scroll that tells of this war's loss

With slaughter coupled to the name of Kings.
Bast. Ha, Majesty! how high thy glory towers,

When the rich blood of Kings is set on fire!
O, now doth Death line his dead chaps with steel;
The swords of soldiers are his teeth, his fangs;
And now he feasts, mousing the flesh of men,
In undetermin’d differences of Kings.
Why stand these royal fronts amazed thus ?
Cry Havoc! Kings; back to the stained field,
You equal Potents, fiery-kindled Spirits !
Then let confusion of one parto confirm

The other's peace; till then, blows, blood, and death!
K. John. Whose party do the townsmen yet admit? 361
K. Phi. Speak, Citizens, for England; who's your King ?
First Cit. The King of England, when we know the

K. Phi. Know him in us, that here hold up his right.
li.e. the sky of France. ? i.e. a king or kings. 3 mous'ling, i.e. lipping and tonguing.



4 the ruin.

5 side.

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K. John. In us, that are our own great deputy,

And bear possession of our person here;

Lord of our presence, Angiers, and of you. .
FIRST CIT. A greater Power than ye denies all this;

And, till it be undoubted, we do lock
Our former scruple in our strong-barr'd gates;
King'd of our fears, until our fears, resolvid,

Be by some certain King purg'd and depos'd.
Bast. By Heaven, these scroyles? of Angiers flout you,

And stand securely on their battlements,
As in a theatre, whence they gape and point

At your industrious scenes and acts of death.
Your royal Presences be rul'd by me:
Do like the mutiners of Jerusalem,
Be friends awhile, and both conjointly bend
Your sharpest deeds of malice on this Town:
By East and West let France and England mount
Their battering cannon, charged to the mouths,
Till their soul-fearing* clamours have brawl'd down
The flinty ribs of this contemptuous City:
I'ld play incessantly upon these jades,
Even till unfenced Desolation
Leave them as naked as the vulgar Air.
That done, dissever your united strengths,
And part your mingled colours once again;
Turn face to face, and bloody point to point;
Then, in a moment, Fortune shall cull forth
Out of one side her happy minion,
To whom in favour she shall give the day,
And kiss him with a glorious victory.
How like you this wild counsel, mighty States ?

Smacks it not something of the policy?
K. JOHN. Now, by the Sky that hangs above our heads,

I like it well. France, shall we knit our powers,
And lay this Angiers even with the ground?

Then, after, fight who shall be King of it?
Bast. An if thou hast the mettle of a King,

Being wrong'd, as we are, by this peevish Town, scrofulous scabs (Fr. écrouelles='scroyles'=King's evil). 2 practical and earnest. i.e. John of Giscala and Simon ben Gioras, who, being fierce opposites, yet drew together 4 terrifying

level 21




against Titus.

6 favourite.


Sc. I


Turn thou the mouth of thy artillery,
As we will our's, against these saucy walls;
And, when that we have dash'd them to the ground,
Why, then defy each other, and pell-mell

Make work upon ourselves for Heaven or Hell.
K. Phi. Let it be so. Say, where will you assault?
K. JOHN. We from the West will send destruction

Into this City's bosom.
Aust. I from the North.
K. Phi.

Our thunders from the South
Shall rain their drift of bullets on this Town.
Bast. [aside.] O prudent Discipline! From North to

Austria and France shoot in each other's mouth:

I'll stir them to it. Come, away, away!
FIRST Cır. Hear us, great Kings : vouchsafe awhile to

And I shall shew you peace and fair-fac'd league:
Win you this City without stroke or wound;
Rescue those breathing lives to die in beds,
That here come sacrifices for the field :

Persever not, but hear me, mighty Kings.
K. John. Speak on, with favour; we are bent to hear.
FIRST Cit. That daughter there of Spain, the Lady

Is niece to England: look upon

the years
Of Lewis the Dolphin and that lovely maid :
If lusty Love should go in quest of Beauty,
Where should he find it fairer than in Blanch?
If zealous Love should go in search of Virtue,
Where should he find it purer than in Blanch?
If Love ambitious sought a match of Birth,
Whose veins bound richer blood than Lady Blanch?
Such as she is, in beauty, virtue, birth,
Is the young Dolphin every way complete:
Or, if not complete, say he is not she;
And she, again, wants nothing, to name want,
If want it be, but that she is not he:
He is the balf part of a blessed man,
Left to be finished by such a She;


430 a

Sc. I




And she a fair divided excellence,
Whose fulness of perfection lies in him.
0, two such silver currents, when they join,
Do glorify the banks that bound them in;
And two such shores to two such streams made one,
Two such controlling bounds shall you be, Kings,
To these two Princes, if

you marry them.
This union shall do more than battery can
To our fast-closed gates; for, at this match,
With swifter spleen' than powder can enforce
The mouth of passage shall we fling wide ope,
And give you entrance: but, without this match,
The Sea enraged is not half so deaf,
Lions more confident, mountains and rocks
More free from motion; no, not Death himself
In mortal fury half so peremptory,

As we to keep this City.

Here's a stay,
That shakes the rotten carcass of old Death
Out of his rags! Here's a large mouth, indeed,
That spits forth death and mountains, rocks and seas,
Talks as familiarly of roaring lions
As maids of thirteen do of puppy-dogs !
What cannoneer begot this lusty blood ?
He speaks plain cannon, fire and smoke and bounce ;3
He gives the bastinado with his tongue:
Our ears are cudgell’d; not a word of his
But buffets better than a fist of France:
Zounds! I was never so bethump'd with words

Since I first call’d my brother's father Dad.
ELI. Son, list to this conjunction, make this match;

Give with our niece a dowry large enough ;
For by this knot thou shalt so surely tie
Thy now unsure assurance to the crown
That yon green boy shall have no Sun to ripe
The bloom, that promiseth a mighty fruit.
I see a yielding in the looks of France;
Mark, how they whisper: urge them, while their souls
Are capable of this ambition,
Lest zeal, now melted by the windy breath




1 passion of haste.

2 check.

3 noise.

Sc. I



Of soft petitions, pity, and remorse,

Cool and congeal again to what it was.
First Cit. Why answer not the double Majesties

This friendly treaty of our threaten’d Town?
K. Phi. Speak England first, that hath been forward first

To speak unto this City: what say you ?
K. John. If that the Dolphin there, thy princely son,

Can in this book of beauty read I love,
Her dowry shall weigh equal with a Queen's :
For Anjou, and fair Touraine, Maine, Poictiers,
And all that we upon this side the Sea
(Except this City now by us besieg’d)
Find liable to our crown and dignity,
Shall gild her bridal bed; and make her rich
In titles, honours, and promotions
As she in beauty, education, blood,

Holds hand with any Princess of the World.
K. Phi. What say'st thou, Boy ? look in the lady's face.
LEW. I do, my Lord; and in her eye I find

A wonder, or a wondrous miracle,
The shadow of myself form’d in her eye;
Which, being but the shadow of your son,
Becomes a Sun, and makes your son a shadow :
I do protest I never lov'd myself,
Till now infixed I beheld myself
Drawn in the flattering table of her eye.

[whispers with BLANCH. Bast. Drawn in the flattering table of her eye!

Hang'd in the frowning wrinkle of her brow!
And quarter'd in her heart ! he doth espy

Himself Love's traitor: this is pity now,
That hang'd, and drawn, and quarter'd, there should be

In such a love so vile a lout as he.
BLANCH. My uncle's will in this respect is mine:

If he see aught in you that makes him like,
That any thing he sees, which moves his liking,
I can with ease translate it to my will;
Or if you will, to speak more properly,
I will enforce it easily to my

love. Further I will not flatter you, my Lord,



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