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Eflex. My Liege, here is the strangest controversie,
Come from the country to be judg'd

by you,
That e'er I heard : fhall I produce the men ?

K. John. Let them approach.
Qur abbies and our priories Thall pay
This expedition's charge-What men are you?

Enter Robert Faulconbridge, and Philip, his Brother.

Phil. Your faithful subject, I, a gentleman
Born in Northamptonshire, and eldelt fon,
As I suppose, to Robert Faulconbridge,
A foldier, by the honour-giving hand
Of Cæur de lion knighted in the field.

K John. What art chou?
Rob. The son and heir to that same Faulconbridgei

K. John. Is that the elder, and art thou the heir ?
You came not of one mother then, it seems ?'

Phil. 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 heav'n, and to my mother ;
of that I doubt, as all mens' children may.
Eli. Out on thee, rude man ! thou dost fame thy

mother,
And wound her honour with this diffidence.

Phil. I, Madam ? no, I have no reason for it;
That is

my
brother's

's plea, and none of mine ;
The which if he can prove, he 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 ?

Phil. I know not why, except to get the land ;
But once, he slander'd me with bastardy :
But whether I be true begot or no,
That ftill 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

P. 3.

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 heav'n thanks, I was not like to thee.
K. John. Why, what a mad cap hath heav'n lent us

here?
Eli. He hath a trick of Caur-de-lion's face,
The accent of his tongue affecteth him :
Do you not read some tokens of my fon
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 ?

Pbil. Because he hath a half-face like my father, With that half-face would he have all my land ? (2) A half fac'd groat, five hundred pound a year!

Rob, My gracious Liege, when that my father liv'd, Your brother did imploy my father much ;

(2) Wirb half that Face] But why with balf that Face ? There is no Question but the Poet wrote, as I have restor’d the Text, Witb that half-face Mr. Pope, perhaps, will be angry with me for discovering an Anacbronism of our Poet's, in the next Line ; where he alludes to a Coin not struck 'till the Year 1504, in the Reign of King Henry VII. viz. a Groat, which, as well as the half-Groat, bare but half-faces impress'd. Vide Stow's Survey of London, p. 47. Holingshed, Cambden's Remains, &c. The Poet fneers at the meagre Tharp Visage of the elder Brother, by comparing him to a Silver Groat, that bore the King's Face in Profile, so shew'd but half the Face. The Groats of all our Kings of England, and, indeed, all their other Coins of Silver, one or two only excepted, had a full Face crown'd; 'till Henry VII, at the Time above-mention'd, coin'd Groats and half Groats, as also fome Shillings, with half Faces, that is, Faces in Profile, as all our Coin has now. The first Groats of King Henry VIII. were like those of his Father; tho' afterwards he return'd to the broad Faces again. These Groats with the Impreffion in Profile, are undoubtedly here alluded to : tho', as I said, the Poet is knowingly guilty of an Apachronism in it: for, in the Time of King Jobn there were no Groats at all: they being first, as far as appears, coin'd in the Reign of King Edward II.

1

Phil. Well, Sir, by this you cannot get my land.
Your tale must be, how he imploy'd my mother:

Rob. And once dispatch'd him in an embassie.
To Germany; there with the Emperor
To treat of high affairs touching that time:
Th’ advantage of his absence took the King,
And in the mean time fojourn'd at my father's ;
Where, how he did prevail, I shame to speak :
But truth is truth; large lengths of feas and shores
Between my father and my mother lay,
(As I have heard my father speak himself)
When this fame lusty gentleman was got.
Upon his death-bed he by will bequeath'd
His lands to me; and took it on his death,
That this, my mother's fon, was none of bis ;
And if he were, he came into the world
Full fourteen weeks before the course of time:
Then, good my Liege, let me have what is mine;
My father's land, as was my father's will.

K. John. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate ;
Your father's wife did after wedlock bear him :
And if she did play false, the fault was hers
Which fault lyes on the hazard of all husbands,
That marry

wives. Tell me, how if my brother, Who, as you say, took pains to get this son, Had of

your

father claim'd this son for his ?
In footh, good friend, your father might bave kept
This calf, bred from his cow, from all the world.
In footh, he might ; then, if he were my brother's,
My brother might not claim him ; nor your father,
Being none of his, refuse him; this concludes,
My mother's son did get your father's heir,
Your father's heir must have

your

father's land. Rob. Shall then my father's Will be of no force To dispossess that child, which is not his ?

Phil. Of no more force to dispossess me, Sir,
Than was his will to get me, as I think.

Eli. Whether hadft thou rather be a Faulconbridge,
And, like thy brother, to enjoy thy land :
Or the reputed son of Caur-de-lion,

Lord

P4

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goes!

Lord of thy presence, and no land befide ?

Phil. Madam, and if my brother had my shape,
And I had his, Sir Robert his, like him ;
And if my legs were two fuch riding rods,
My arms such eel-skins ftaft; my face fo thin, (3)
That in mine ear I durft not stick a rose,
Left men should fay, “ Look, where three farthings
And to his shape were heir to all this land ;”
Would, I might never stir from off this place,
I'd give it every foot to have this face :
I would not be Sir Nobbe in any case.

Eli. I like thee well ; wilt thou forfake thy fortune,
Bequeath thy land to him, and follow me
I am a soldier, and now bound to France.

Phil. Brother, take you my land, I'll take my chances
Your face hach got five hundred pound a year,
Yet sell your face for five pence, and 'tis dear.
Madam, I'll follow you unto the death.

Eli. Nay, I would have you go before me thithers.
Phil. Our country manners give our betters way,
K. John. What is thy name?
Phil

. Philip, my Liege, fo is my name begun z. Philip, good old Sir Robert's wife's eldest son.

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(3)

my Face fotbini, That in mine Ear I durft not fick a Rose,

Left Men should say, Look, wbere three-farthings goes !] In this very obscure Passage our Poet is anticipating the Dateof another Coin ; humourously to rally a thin Face, eclipsed, as it were, by a full-blown Rose. We must observe, to explain this Allusion, that Queen Elizabeth was the first, and indeed the only, Prince who coin’d in England three. half-pence, and;three-farthing Pieces. She at one and the fame Time, coin'd Shillings, Six-pences, Groats, Three-pences, Two-pences, Three. half pence, Pence, Three-farthings, and Half-pence; And there Pieces all had her Head, and were alternately with the Rose behind, and without the Rose. The Shilling, Groat, Two-pence, Penny, and Half-penny liad it not : The other intermediate Coins, viz. the Six-pence, Three-pence, Three-half-pence, and Three-farthings had the Rofco.

K johtaa

· K. John. From henceforth bear his name, whose form

thou bear'ft:
Kneel thou down Philip, but rise up more great;
Arise Sir Richard, and Plantagenet.

Phil. Brother by th’ mother's side, give me your

hand ;

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fire ;

My father gave me honour, yours gave land.
Now blessed be the hour, by night or day,
When I was got, Sir Robert was away!

Eli. The very spirit of Plantagenet !
I am thy grandam ; Richard, call me so.
Phil. Madam, by chance, but not by truth ; what

though?
Something about, a little from the right,

In at the window, or else o'er. the hatch:
Who dares not ftir by day, must walk by night,

And have is have, however men do catch ; .
Near or far off, well won is still well shot ;
And I am I, howe'er I was begot.

K. John. Go, Faulconbridge, now haft thou thy de-
A landless Knight makes thee a landed 'Squire:
Come, Madam ; and come, Richard; we must speed:
For France, for France ; for it is more than need.

Phil. Brother, adieu ; good fortune come to thee,
For thou was got i' th’ way of honesty.

[Exeunt all but Philip;
A foot of honour better than I was,
But

many a many foot of land the worse!
Well, now can I make any Joan a lady.
Gocd den, Sir Richard, -Godamercy, fellow; :
And if his name be George, I'll call him Peter ;
For new-made honour doth forget mens' names : -
'Tis too respective and unsociable
For your conversing. Now your traveller,
He and his tooth pick at my worship's mess;
And when my knightly stomach is suffic'd,
Why then I fuck my teeth, and catechise
My picqued man of countries ; -My dear Sir,
(Thus leaning on mine elbow, I begin)

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