Page images

KING John.
Prince Henry, Son to the King.
Arthur, Duke of Bretagne, and Nephew to the King.
Salisbury, English Lords.
Faulconbridge, Bastard-Son to Richard the First.
Robert Faulconbridge, suppos’d Brother to the Bastard.
James Gurney, Servant to the Lady Faulconbridge.
Peter of Pomfret, a Prophet.
Philip, King of France.
Lewis, the Dauphin.
Arch-Duke of Austria.
Card. Pandulpho, the Pope's Legate.
Melun, a French Lord.
Chatillon, Ambassador from France to King John.
Elinor, Queen-Mother of England.
Constance, Mother to Arthur.
Blanch, Daughter to Alphonfo King of Caftile, and

Niece to King John.
Lady Faulconbridge, Motber to the Bastard, and Ro-

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.


King John.
TOW, say, Chatillon, what would France with

us ?
Chat. Thus, after greeting, speaks the King

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

Dd 2




The borrow'd Majesty of England here.

Eli. A strange beginning. Borrow'd Majesty!
K. John. Silence, good mother; hear the embassy.

Chat. Philip of France, in right and true behalf
Of thy deceased brother Geffrey's son,
Arthur Plantagenet, lays lawful claim.
To this fair island, and the territories,
To Ireland, Poitiers, Anjou, Touraine, Maine ;
Desiring thee to lay aside the sword,
Which sways usurpingly these several titles;

put the same into young Arthur's hand, Thy nephew, and right-royal Sovereign.

K. Jobn. What follows, if we disallow of this?
Chat. The proud ' controul of fierce and bloody

T'inforce these rights so forcibly with-held.
K. John. Here have we war for war, and blood for

blood, Controulment for controulment; so answer France.

Chat. Then take my King's defiance from my mouth,
The farthest limit of my embassy.

K. Jobn. 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,

have a fignification that I have ne- France towards the king of Eng.
ver found in any other authour. land, but the ambassador's speech,
The king of France, says the En- as continued after the interrup-
voy, thus fpe: ks in my behaviour tion, will not admit this meaning.
to the Majesty of England: That 3 Controul. ] Opposition from
is, the king of Fran e speaks in contrelier.
the character which I here af * Be thou as lightning.) The
fume. I once thought that these simile does not suit well : the
two lines, in my behaviour, &c. lightning indeed appears before
had been uttered by the ambaf- the thunder is heard, but the
sador as part of his master's mel- lightning is destructive, and the
sage, and that behaviour had thunder innocent.
meant tlie conduct of the king of


And 5 sullen presage of your own decay.
An honourable conduct let him have,
Pembroke, look to't ; farewel, Chatillon.

[Exeunt Chat. and Pem.
Eli. What now, my fon? Have I not ever said,
How that ambitious Constance would not cease,
Till she had kindled France and all the world,
Upon the right and party of her son ?
This might have been prevented, and made whole
With very easy arguments of love ;
Which now the manage of two kingdoms must
With fearful, bloody, issue arbitrate.

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 ?

[Exit Effex.

K. John. Let them approach.
Qur abbies and our priories shall pay
This expedition's charge-

Enter Robert Faulconbridge, and Philip, bis Brother.
What men are you?

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,
As I suppose, to Robert Faulconbridge,
A soldier, by the honour giving hand
Of Cæur-de-lion knighted in the field.

K. John. What art thou ?
Robert. 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 ?

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,


« PreviousContinue »