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Niece to King John.
bert Faulconbridge. Citizens of Angiers, Heralds, Executioners, Messengers,
Soldiers, and other Attendants.
The SCENE, sometimes in England ; and some
times in France.
Of this Play there are three editions in 4to preceding the firit folio.
1. 1591, for Samofin Clarke.
II. 1611, Valentine Sias
for Joha Helme. III. 1622, Aug. Marbatus for 7 homas Dewe.
The LIFE and DEATH of
A C T I.
SCE N E 1.
The Court of England.
Enter King John, Queen Elinor, Pembroke, Eflex,
and Salisbury, with Chatillon.
of France, In my behaviour, o to the Majesty,
The " The troublesome Reign of King its present form, is that of 1623 John was written in two parts, in fol. The edition of 1591 I by W. Shakespeare and W. Rowley, have not seen. and printed 1611. But the pre The Life and Death ] fent Play is intirely different, and Though this Play have this Title, infinitely superior to it. Pope. yet the Action of it begins at the · The edition of 1611 has no thirty-fourth Year of his Life ; mention of Rowley, nor in the and takes in only fome Transaccount of Rowley's works is any actions of his Reign to the Time mention made of his conjunction of his Demise, being an Interwith Shakespeare in any play. val of about seventeen Years. King John was reprinted in two
THEOBALD. parts in 1622. The first edition 2 In my behaviour,] The that I have found of this play in word bebaviour seems here to
The borrow'd Majesty of England here.
Eli. A strange beginning. Borrow'd Majesty!
Chat. Philip of France, in right and true behalf
put the same into young Arthur's hand, Thy nephew, and right-royal Sovereign.
K. Jobn. What follows, if we disallow of this?
blood, Controulment for controulment; so answer France.
Chat. Then take my King's defiance from my mouth,
K. Jobn. Bear mine to him, and so depart in peace.
have a fignification that I have ne- France towards the king of Eng.
And 5 sullen presage of your own decay.
[Exeunt Chat. and Pem.
K. John. Our strong poffeßion, and our right for
Eli. Your strong poffesfior much more than your
right, Or else it must go wrong
ng with you and me; So much my conscience whispers in your ear, Which none but heav'n, and you, and I shall hear.
Enter Eflex. Esex. My Liege, here is the strangest controversie, 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.
Pbil. Your faithful subject, I, a gentleman
s Sullen presagr.] By the epi- It is as if he had said, be a thet juilen, which cannot be ap- trum et to alarm with our invaplied to a trumpet, it is plain, fion, be a bird of ili omen to that our authour's imagination croak out the prognostick of had now suggested a new idea. your own ruin.
Born in Northamptonshire, and eldest son,
K. John. What art thou ?
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 doft shame thy
mother, And wound her honour with this diffidence.
Phil. 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, 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 Nander'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 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,