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monarch are evident in the style of the manifesto; conventional dignity is most indispensable when personal dignity is wanting. Faulconbridge ridicules the secret springs of politics without disapproving them, but frankly confesses that he is endeavoring to make his fortune by similar means, and wishes rather to belong to the deceivers than the deceived." Our commiseration is a little excited for the fallen and degraded monarch toward the close of the play. The death of the king and his previous suffering are not among the least impressive parts; they carry a pointed moral. Malone places the date of the composition in 1596.
PRINCE HENRY, his Son; afterwards King Henry III. ARTHUR, Duke of Bretagne, Son of Geffrey, late Duke of Bretagne, the elder Brother of King John.
WILLIAM MARESHALL, Earl of Pembroke.
GEFFREY FITZ-PETER, Earl of Essex, chief Justiciary of England.
WILLIAM LONGSWORD, Earl of Salisbury.
ROBERT BIGOT, Earl of Norfolk.
Hubert de BURGH, Chamberlain to the King.
ROBERT FAULCONBRIDGE, Son of Sir Robert Faulconbridge.
PHILIP FAULCONBRIDGE, his Half-brother, Bastard Son to King Richard the First.
JAMES GURNEY, Servant to Lady Faulconbridge.
PETER of Pomfret, a Prophet.
PHILIP, King of France.
LEWIS, the Dauphin.
Archduke of Austria.
CARDINAL PANDULPH, the Pope's Legate.
MELUN, a French Lord.
CHATILLON, Ambassador from France to King John.
ELINOR, the Widow of King Henry II. and Mother of King John.
CONSTANCE, Mother to Arthur.
BLANCH, Daughter to Alphonso, King of Castile, and Niece to King John.
LADY FAULCONBRIDGE, Mother to the Bastard and Robert Faulconbridge.
Lords, Ladies, Citizens of Angiers, Sheriff, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.
SCENE, sometimes in England, and sometimes in France.
SCENE I. Northampton. A Room of State in the Palace.
Enter KING JOHN, QUEEN ELINOR, PEMBROKE, ESSEX, SALISBURY, and others, with CHATILLON.
King John. Now, say, Chatillon, what would France with us?
Chat. Thus, after greeting, speaks the king of France,
In my behavior,' to the majesty,
The borrowed majesty of England here.
Eli. A strange beginning;-borrowed majesty !
Arthur Plantagenet, lays most lawful claim
To Ireland, Poictiers, Anjou, Touraine, Maine;
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.
1 In my behavior probably means "In the words and action I am now going to use."
K. John. Here have we war for war, and blood for
Controlment for controlment; so answer France.
Chat. 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 sullen1 presage of your own decay.An honorable conduct let him have ;Pembroke, look to't. Farewell, Chatillon.
[Exeunt CHATILLON and PEMBroke.
This might have been prevented and made whole,
Which now the manage of two kingdoms must
K. John. Our strong possession, and our right,
Eli. Your strong possession, much more than your
Or else it must go wrong with you, and me.
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 judged by you,
That e'er I heard. Shall I produce the men?
1 i. e. gloomy, dismal.
2 i. e. conduct, administration.
Re-enter Sheriff, with ROBERT FAULCONBRIdge, and
This expedition's charge.-What men are you?
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;
Eli. Out on thee, rude man! thou dost shame thy mother,
And wound her honor 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 honor, and my land! K. John. A good blunt fellow.-Why, being younger born,
Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance?
1 Shakspeare, in adopting the character of Philip Faulconbridge from the old play, proceeded on the following slight hint:
"Next them a bastard of the king's deceased,
A hardie wild-head, rough and venturous."
The character is compounded of two distinct personages. "Sub illius temporis curriculo Falcasius de Brente, Neusteriensis, et spurius ex parte matris, atque Bastardus, qui in vili jumento manticato ad Regis paulo ante clientelam descenderat. Mathew Paris.-Holinshed says that "Richard I. had a natural son named Philip, who, in the year following, killed the Viscount de Limoges to revenge the death of his father." Perhaps the name of Faulconbridge was suggested by the following passage in the continuation of Harding's Chronicle, 1543, fol. 24, 6:-" One Faulconbridge, th' erle of Kent his bastarde, a stoute-hearted man."