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Infortunate in nothing but in thee;
K. JOHN. Bedlam, have done.
I have but this to say,
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 grandame's will ! K PHI. Peace, lady; pause, or be more tem
Cit. Who is it, that hath warn'd us to the walls ?
England, for itself:
subjects, Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parleK. John. For our advantage,—therefore, hear
A That he's not only plagued for her ein, &c.] The only departure from the old text in this obscure passage is in the punctuation, and in the addition of a d in the sentence of the second clause
“And with her plagued -" which was first suggested by Mr. Roderick.
In the original, where it runs as follows, the whole passage is pointed with a ruthless disregard of meaning :
" — I have but this to say,
That he is not only plagued for her sin,
And all for her, a plague upon her." • To cry aim !] See note (), page 39, of the present volume.
The cannons have their bowels full of wrath, 'Tis not the roundure of your old-fac'd walls And ready mounted are they, to spit forth
Can hide you from our messengers of war, Their iron indignation 'gainst your walls : Though all these English, and their discipline, All preparation for a bloody siege,
Were harbour'd in their rude circumference. And merciless proceeding, by these French, Then, tell us, shall your city call us lord, Confronts a your city's eyes, your winking gates ; In that behalf which we have challeng'd it? And but for our approach, those sleeping stones, Or shall we give the signal to our rage, That as a waist do girdle you about,
And stalk in blood to our possession ? By the compulsion of their ordinance,
Cit. In brief, we are the king of England's By this time from their fixed beds of lime
subjects; Had been dishabited, and wide havoc made For him, and in his right, we hold this town. For bloody power to rush upon your peace.
K. JOHN. Acknowledge then the king, and let But, on the sight of us, your lawful king, Who painfully, with much expedient march, Cit. That can we not: but he that proves the Have brought a countercheck before your gates,
king, To save unscratch'd
your city's threaten’d cheeks,- To him will we prove loyal; till that time, Behold, the French, amaz'd, vouchsafe a parle ; Have we ramm'à up our gates against the world. And now, instead of bullets wrapp'd in fire,
K. JOHN. Doth not the crown of England prove To make a shaking fever in your walls,
the king ? They shoot but calm words, folded up in smoke, And if not that, I bring you witnesses, To make a faithless error in your ears :
Twice fifteenthousand hearts of England's Which trust accordingly, kind citizens,
breed, And let us in. Your king, whose labour'd spirits, Bast. Bastards, and else.
[ Aside. Forwearied in this action of swift speed,
K. John. To verify our title with their lives. Craves harbourage within your city walls.
K. PHI. As many, and as well-born bloods as K. Pui. When I have said, make answer to us
Bast. Some bastards, too.
[Aside. Lo, in this right hand, whose protection
K. Pui. Stand in his face, to contradict his Is most divinely vow'd upon the right
claim. Of him it holds, stands young Plantagenet,
Cır. Till you compound whose right is worthiest, Son to the elder brother of this man,
We, for the worthiest, hold the right from both. And king o'er him, and all that he enjoys :
K. JOHN. Then God forgive the sin of all those For this down-trodden equity, we tread
souls, In warlike march these
That to their everlasting residence,
Before the dew of evening fall, shall fleet, Than the constraint of hospitable zeal,
In dreadful trial of our kingdom's king! In the relief of this oppressed child,
K. PHI. Amen, Amen !-Mount, chevaliers ! Religiously provokes. Be pleased then
to arms! To pay that duty, which you truly owe,
Bast. St. George, that swindg'd the dragon, and To him that owes (4) it, -namely, this young
e'er since prince:
Sits on his horseback at mine hostess' door, And then our arms, like to a muzzled bear, Teach us some fence !—Sirrah, were I at home, Save in aspect, have all offence seal'd up;
At your den; sirrah [to AUSTRIA], with your Our cannons' malice vainly shall be spent
lioness, Against the invulnerable clouds of heaven; I'd set an ox-head to your lion's hide, And, with a blessed and unvex'd retire,
And make a monster of you. With unhack'd swords, and helmets all unbruis'd, AUST.
Peace; no more. We will bear home that lusty blood again,
Bast. O, tremble, for you hear the lion Which here we came to spout against your town,
roar! And leave your children, wives, and you, in K. JOHN. Up higher to the plain; where we'll peace.
set forth, But if you fondly pass our proffer'd offer,
In best appointment, all our regiments.
a Confronts your city's eyes,–] The original has comfort, which was altered by Rowe to confront. Mr. Collier's MS. annotator reads, Come 'fore your city's eyes.
6 Ordinance,-) The old spelling of this word should be retained here for the measure's sake.
c The roundure-] Roundure, or, as the o.d copies spell it, rounder, means circle, from the French, rondeur. d St. George, &c.] In the old text this passage runs thus,“St. George that swindg'd the dragon, And ere since sits on 's horseback at mine hostess door,” &c. admit?
Bast. Speed then, to take advantage of the Of both your armies; whose equality field.
By our best eyes cannot be censured. K. Pui. It shall be so ;-[to LEWIS) and at Blood hath bought blood, and blows have answer'd
the other hill Command the rest to stand.—God, and our right! Strength match'd with strength, and power con
fronted power: Both are alike, and both alike we like. One must prove greatest: while they weigh so
even, SCENE II.—The same.
We hold our town for neither ; yet for both. Alarums and Excursions; then a Retreat. Enter a French Herald, with Trumpets, to the gates.
Re-enter, at one side, KING JOHN, with his Power, FR. HER. You men of Angiers, open wide your
ELINOR, BLANCH, and the Bastard ; at the
other, KING PHILIP, LEWIS, AUSTRIA, and gates,
K. JOHN. France, hast thou yet more blood to
cast away? Whose sons lie scatter'd on the bleeding ground;
Say, shall the current of our right runoon, Many a widow's husband grovelling lies,
Whose passage, vex'd with thy impediment, Coldly embracing the discolour'd earth ; And victory, with little loss, doth play
Shall leave his native channel, and o'erswell Upon the dancing banners of the French,
With course disturb'd even thy confining shores, Who are at band, triumphantly display'd,
Unless thou let his silver water keep To enter conquerors, and to proclaim
A peaceful progress to the ocean ? Arthur of Bretagne, England's king, and yours !
K. Phi, England, thou hast not sav’d one drop
In this hot trial, more than we of France; Enter an English Herald, with Trumpets. Rather, lost more. And by this hand I swear,
the earth this climate overlooks, ENG. HER. Rejoice, you men of Angiers, ring Before we will lay down our just-borne arms,
We'll put thee down, 'gainst whom these arms King John, your king and England's, doth
we bear, approach,
Or add a royal number to the dead ; Commander of this bot malicious day!
Gracing the scroll, that tells of this war's loss, Their armours, that march'd hence so silver- With slaughter coupled to the name of kings. bright,
Bast. Ha, majesty! how high thy glory towers, Hither return all gilt with Frenchmen's blood; When the rich blood of kings is set on fire ! There stuck no plume in any English crest, O, now doth death line his dead chaps with steel, That is removed by a staff of France ;
The swords of soldiers are his teeth, his fangs; Our colours do return in those same hands
And now he feasts, mousing the flesh of men, That did display them when we first march'd In undetermin'd differences of kings. forth;
Why stand these royal fronts amazed thus ? And, like a jolly troop of huntsmen, a come Cry, havoc, kings ! back to the stained field, Our lusty English, all with purpled hands, You equal-potents, fiery-kindled spirits ! Dyed in the dying slaughter of their foes :
Then let confusion of one part confirm Open your gates, and give the victors way. The other's peace; till then, blows, blood, and HUBERT. Heralds, from off our towers we might
K. JOHN. Whose party do the townsmen yet From first to last, the onset and retire
a And, like a jolly troop of huntsmen,-) It appears to have been a practice of the chase formerly for the huntsmen to steep their hands in the blood of the deer as a trophy. Thus in “ Julius Cæsar,” Act III. Sc. 1,
here thy hunters stand, Sign'd in thy spoil and crimson'd in thy lethe." b Hubert.] In the early copies several speeches of the present scene have this prefix, and Shakespeare may have intended to represent Hubert as a citizen of Angiers; but the more probable explanation is, that the name was prefixed merely because it was
the custom of the actor who personated the character of Hubert to “double" with it that of the Angiers' spokesman.
c Say, shall the current of our right run on,-) So the second folio; the first has rome, a likely misprint of ronne.
d Mousing the flesh of men,-) For mousing Pope substituted a less expressive term, mouthing, which Malone very properly rejected, and restored the old word. Mousing meant gorging, devouring. Thus, in Decker's “Wonderful Year," 1603,“ Whilst Troy was swilling sack and sugar, and mousing fat venison," &c.
while to stay,
K. PHI. Speak, citizens, for England; who's As we will ours, against these saucy walls :
And when that we have dash'd them to the ground, HUBERT. The king of England, when we know Why, then defy each other; and, pell-mell, the king.
Make work upon ourselves, for heaven, or hell. K. Phi. Know him in us, that ere hold
his K. Phi. Let it be so.—Say, where will you right.
assault? K. JOHN. In us, that are our own great deputy, K. JOHN. We from the west will send destrucAnd bear possession of our person here;
tion Lord of our presence, Angiers, and of you.
Into this city's bosom. HUBERT. A greater power than we denies all Aust. I, from the north. this;
Our thunder from the south, And, till it be undoubted, we do lock
Shall rain their drift of bullets on this town. Our former scruple in our strong-barr'd gates, Bast. O prudent discipline! From north to Kings, of our fear ;4 until our fears, resolvid,
south, Be by some certain king purg'd and depos’d. Austria and France shoot in each other's mouth: Bast. By heaven, these scroyles of Angiers
[Aside. flout you, kings,
I'll stir them to it :-Come, away, away! And stand securely on their battlements,
HUBERT. Hear us, great kings: vouchsafe a As in a theatre, whence they gape and point At your
industrious scenes and acts of death. And I shall show you peace, and fair-fac'd league ; Your royal presences be rul’d by me;
Win this city without stroke or wound, Do like the mutines of Jerusalem, (5)
Rescue those breathing lives to die in beds, Be friends a while, and both conjointly bend That here come sacrifices for the field : Your sharpest deeds of malice on this town: Persèver not, but hear me, mighty kings. By east and west let France and England mount K. John. Speak on, with favour ; we are bent Their battering cannon charged to the mouths,
to hear. Till their soul-fearing clamours have brawld down HUBERT. That daughter there of Spain, the The flinty ribs of this contemptuous city :
lady Blanch, I'd play incessantly upon these jades,
Is near to England: look upon
years Even till unfenced desolation
Of Lewis the Dauphin, and that lovely maid : Leave them as naked as the vulgar air. - If lusty love should go in quest of beauty, That done, dissever your united strengths,
Where should he find it fairer than in Blanch? And part your mingled colours once again, If zealous love should go in search of virtue, Turn face to face, and bloody point to point Where should he find it purer than in Blanch? Then, in a moment, fortune shall cull forth If love ambitious sought a match of birth, Out of one side her happy minion ;
Whose veins bound richer blood than lady Blanch? To whom in favour she shall give the day, Such as she is, in beauty, virtue, birth, And kiss him with a glorious victory,
Is the young Dauphin every way complete; How like you this wild counsel, mighty states ? If not complete, O say," he is not she: Smacks it not something of the policy?
And she again wants nothing, to name want, K. John. Now, by the sky that hangs above If want it be not, that she is not he: our heads,
He is the half part of a blessed man,
Bast. An if thou hast the mettle of a king, 0, two such silver currents, when they join,
And two such shores to two such streams made one,
a Kings, of our fear;) This passage has been a good deal discussed. Warburton and Johnson read,
“ Kings are our fears; "Tyrwhitt,
King'd of our fears ;'which latter is the reading usually adopted. Mr. Knight adheres to the original text; but his interpretation of it is to us unfathomable. The meaning of the speaker, however quaintly expressed, we imagine to be simply this,-Each of you lays claim to our allegance, but neither has produced satisfactory proof of his right to it; and until all doubts upon that point are resolved, we shall
(*) Old copies, as. trust to our strong-barred gates as the protectors, or Kings, of our fear.
b These scroyles - ] From the French eserouelles, scabby rogues.
The lady Blanch,-) This lady was daughter to Alphonso the Ninth, King of Castile, and was niece to King John, by his sister Eleanor. d If not complete, O say,-) The old copy reads :
“ If not complete of, say," Hanmer first suggested the alteration.
Two such controlling bounds shall you be, Her dowry shall weigh equal with a queen : kings,
For Anjou,* and fair Touraine, Maine, Poictiers, To these two princes, if you marry them. And all that we upon this side the sea This union shall do more than battery can, (Except this city now by us besieg'd) To our fast-closed gates ; for, at this match, Find liable to our crown and dignity, With swifter spleen than powder can enforce, Shall gild her bridal bed ; and make her rich The mouth of passage shall we fling, wide ope, In titles, honours, and promotions, And give you entrance ; but, without this match, As she in beauty, education, blood, The sea enraged is not half so deaf,
Holds hand with any princess of the world. Lions more confident, mountains and rocks
K. PHI. What sayst thou, boy ? look in the More free from motion, no, not death himself
lady's face. In mortal fury half so peremptory,
LEW. I do, my lord, and in her eye
I find As we to keep this city.
A wonder, or a wondrous miracle,
The shadow of myself form’d in her eye ;
Till now infixed I beheld myself, Talks as familiarly of roaring lions,
Drawn in the flattering table of her eye. As maids of thirteen do of puppy-dogs!
[Whispers with BLANCH. What cannoneer begot this lusty blood ?
Bast. Drawn in the flattering table of her He speaks plain cannon-fire, and smoke, and bounce;
Hang'd in the frowning wrinkle of her brow !He gives the bastinado with his tongue ;
And quarter'd in her heart !he doth espy Our ears are cudgell'd; not a word of his,
Himself love's traitor: this is pity now, But buffets better than a fist of France :
That hang'd, and drawn, and quarter'd, there Zounds ! I was never so bethump'd with words,
should be, Since I first called my brother's father, dad. In such a love, so vile a lout as he. [ A side. Eli, Son, list to this conjunction, make this
BLANCH. My uncle's will, in this respect, is match;
mine. Give with our niece a dowry large enough: If he see aught in you, that makes him like, For by this knot thou shalt so surely tie
That anything he sees, which moves his liking, Thy now unsur'd assurance to the crown,
I can with ease translate it to my will ; That yon green boy shall have no sun to ripe Or, if you will, to speak more properly, The bloom that promiseth a mighty fruit.
I will enforce it easily to my love. I see a yielding in the looks of France ;
Further I will not flatter you, my lord, Mark, how they whisper : urge them, while their That all I see in you is worthy love, souls
Than this,—that nothing do I see in you, Are capable of this ambition ;
Though churlish thoughts themselves should be Lest zeal, now melted, by the windy breath
your judge, Of soft petitions, pity, and remorse,
That I can find should merit any hate. Cool and congeal again to what it was.
K. JOHN. What say
these young ones? What HUBERT. Why answer not the double majesties,
say you, my niece ? This friendly treaty of our threaten'd town?
BLANCH. That she is bound in honour still K. PhI. Speak England first, that hath been
to do forward first
in wisdom still vouchsafe to say. To speak unto this city. What say you ?
K. John, Speak then, prince Dauphin ; can K. JOHN. If that the Dauphin there, thy
you love this lady? princely son,
LEW. Nay, ask me if I can refrain from love ; Can in this book of beauty read—I love,
For I do love her most unfeignedly.
a Here's a stay,–] Stay, if that be the poet's word, is used, we suppose, in the sense of a sudden check or obstacle. It may not be the most suitable expression to introduce the following line; but it appears at least as good as flaw or say, which have been proposed to supersede it.
b Are capable of this ambition ;) Capable is impressible, susceptible. So, in the next Act, Constance says,
I am sick and capable of fears.
(*) Old copies, Angiers. and “Hamlet," Act III. Sc. 4,
“ His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones,
Would make them capable." c The flattering table-] Table the expositors define to mean picture, or the board or canvas on which any object is painted.