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KING JOHN.

ACT THE FIRST.

SCENE I.

England.—The Palace.
Flourish of Drums and Trumpets.

KING John upon the Throne, QUEEN ELINor, EsSEx, SALISBURY, PEMB RoKE, HUBERT, CHATILLoN,+English and French GENTLEMEN, -and English GUARDs, discovered.

R. John. Now, say, Chatillon, what would France with us? Cha. Thus, after greeting, speaks the King of France, In my behaviour to the majesty, The borrow'd majesty of England here— Eli. A strange beginning;-borrow'd majesty! K. John. Silence, good mother;-hear the embassy. Cha. 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?
Cha. 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.
Cha. Then take my King's defiance from my
mouth,
The furthest 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 ;
Hubert, look to't:—Farewell, Chatillon.
[Ereunt Cii Atillo N, Hu BERT, and the
FitENch GENTLI.M. EN.
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.

Enter ENGL1sh HERALD, who whispers Essex.

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, and me. Ess. 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.[Erit ENGLISH HERALD. Our abbeys and our priories shall pay This expedition's charge.—

Enter ENGLISH HERALD, with PHILIP and Rob ERT FAULCON BRIDGE.

What men are you ? [Erit ENGLISH HERALD.
Faul. Your faithful subject I, a gentleman,
Born in Northamptonshire; and eldest son,
As I suppose, to Robert Faulconbridge;
A soldier, by the honour-giving hand
Of Coeur-de-lion, knighted in the field.
K. John. What art thou ?
Rob. The son and heir to that same Faulcon-
bridge. -
K. John. Is that the elder, and art thou the heir
You came not of one mother then, it seems.
Faul. 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 th
mother, . -
And wound her honour with this diffidence.
Faul. 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:
Heav'n guard my mother's honour and my land

K. John. A good blunt fellow.—Why, being younger born, Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance Faul. I know not why, except to get the land. But once he slander'd me with bastardy: But whether 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;O, old Sir Robert, father, on my knee I give Heaven thanks, I was not like to thee. R. John. Why, what a mad-cap hath Heaven lent us here ! Eli. He hath a trick of Coeur-de-lion's face; The accent of his 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 Rob. My gracious liege, when that my father liv'd, Your brother did employ my father much;Faul. Well, sir, by this you cannot get my land; 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 father speak himself.)

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