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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 temperate :
It ill beseems this presence, to cry aima
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.
Cit. Who is it that hath warn’d us to the walls ?
K. Phi. 'Tis France for England.
K. John.

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 cye 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 ordnance 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,

a To cry aim. See note in “ Two Gentlemen of Verona,' Act III., Scene 1.

b Confronts your city's eyes. The original edition has comfort your city's eyes, which is, in part, a misprint, although comfort might be used by John in irony. The later editions read confront, after Rowe. Preparation is here the nominative, and therefore we use confronts.

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, a whose labour'd spirits
Forwearied in this action of swift speed,
Craves 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 warlike 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 e it,-namely, this young prince :
And then our arms, like to a muzzled bear,
Save in aspect, have all offence seal'd up;
Our cannons' malice vainly shall be spent
Against th' 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,

a Your king, &c. We have here restored the old reading, in which “your king is the nominative to “ craves.” In all the modern editions we read

“ And let us in, your king ; whose labour'd spirits,
Forwearied in this action of swift speed,

Crave harbourage,” &c. b It is to be observed that “forweary” and “weary” are the same; and that “forwearied” may be used, not as a participle requiring an auxiliary verb, but as a verb neuter. “Our spirits wearied in this action” would be correct, even in modern construction.

c Owesowns. Vol. IV.

T

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,
"T is not the rounder a 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?

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.

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.

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 swindg’d the dragon, and e'er since Sits on his horseback b at mine hostess' door,

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a Rounder. This is the English of the original. The modern editions have turned the word into the French roundure.

b Sits on his horseback. Shakspere might have found an example for the expression in North’s • Plutarch,'—one of his favourite books: “ He commanded his captains to set out their bands to the field, and he himself took his horseback."

Teach us some fence !-Sirrah, were I at home,
At your den, sirrah, [to AUSTRIA] with

your

lioness,
I'd 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 LEWIS) and at the other hill Command the rest to stand,—God, and our right! [Exeunt.

SCENE II.---The same.

Alarums and Excursions; then a Retreat. 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 groveling lies,
Coldly cmbracing the discolourd 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,
Dyed in the dying slaughter of their foes :
Open your gates, and give the victors way.

Huberta 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 power:
Both are alike; and both alike we like.
One must prove greatest : while they weigh so even,
We hold our town for neither; yet for both.

Enter, at one side, King John, with his Power, ELINOR,

BLANCH, and the Bastard ; at the other, King Philip, LEWIS, AUSTRIA, and Forces.

K. John. France, hast thou yet more blood to cast away? Say, shall the current of our right roam 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,

2 Hubert. Without any assigned reason the name of this speaker has been altered by the modern editors to Citizen. The folio distinctly gives this, and all the subsequent speeches of the same person, to the end of the act, to Hubert. The proposition to the kings to reconcile their differences by the marriage of Lewis and Blanch would appear necessarily to come from some person in authority; and it would seem to have been Shakspere's intention to make that person Hubert de Burgh, who occupies so conspicuous a place in the remainder of the play. In the third act John says to Hubert,

“thy voluntary oath,

Lives in this bosom.“ It might be his “voluntary oath as a citizen of Angiers, to John, which called for this expression. We, therefore, retain the name as in the original.

The editor of the second folio substituted run, which reading has been continued. Neither the poetry nor the sense appear to have gained by the fancied improvement.

b Roam on.

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