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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;
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 Citizens upon the Walls.
1 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 call'd you 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 do 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 power 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,
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 war-like 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 armas, like to a muzzled bear.
Save in aspect, have all offence seal'd 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 offer,
'Tis not the rondure 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?
Or shall we give the signal to our rage
And stalk in blood to our possession?
i Cit. In brief, we are the King of England's subjects: For him, and in his right, we hold this town.
K. John. Acknowledge then the king, and let me in.
1 Cit. That can we not; but he that proves the king, 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.
1 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. St. George, that swinged the dragon, and e'er since Sits on his horse back at mine hostess' door, Teach us some fence !-Sirrah (to AUSTRIA], were I at home, At your den, sirrah, with your lioness, I would set an ox-head to your lion's hide, And make a monster of you. Aust.
Peace! no more. Bast. O, tremble, for you hear the lion roar.
K. John. Up higher to the plain; where we'll set forth In best appointment all our regiments.
Bast. Speed, then, to take advantage of the field.
K. Phi. It shall be so ;-[to Louis] and at the other hill Command the rest to stand. -God and our right!
[Exeunt severally. After Excursions, enter a French Herald, with
trumpets, to the gates.
F. Her. You men of Angiers, open wide your gates,
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,
Who are at hand, triumphantly display'd,
To enter conquerors, and to proclaim
Arthur of Bretagne England's king and yours.
Enter an 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 staff of France;
Our colours do return in those same hands
That did display them when we first march'd forth;
And, like a jolly troop of huntsmen, come
Our lusty English, all with purpled hands,
Dy'd in the dying slaughter of their foes:
Open your gates, and give the victors way.
1 Cit. Heralds, from off our towers, we might behold, 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; Strength match'd with strength, and power confronted Both are alike; and both alike we like.
[power: One must prove greatest: while they weigh so even We hold our town for neither; yet for both. Re-enter, on one side, King JOHN, ELINOR, BLANCH, the
BASTARD, and Forces; at the other, KING PHILIP, LOUIS, AUSTRIA, and Forces.
K. John. France, hast thou get 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 water 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!
0, 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 potentates, fiery-kindled spirits !
Then let confusion of one part confirm
The other's peace; till then, blows, blood, and death!
K. John. Whose party do the townsmen yet admit?
K. Phi. Speak, citizens, for England; who's your king?
1 Cit. The King of England, when we know the king.
K. Phi. Know him in us, that here hold up his right.
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.
1 Cit. A greater power than we denies all this;
And till it be undoubted, we do lock
Our former scruple in our strong-barr'd gates;
King'd of our fear, until our fears, resolvid,
Be by some certain king purg'd and depos'd.
Bäst. By heaven, these scroyles of Angiers flout you, kings,
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 mutines 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'd 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,