The life and death of King John

by

William Shakespeare

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Classic Literature Library

The life and death of King John Page 01

Actus Primus, Scaena Prima.

Enter King Iohn, Queene Elinor, Pembroke, Essex, and Salisbury, with the Chattylion of France.

King Iohn. Now say Chatillion, what would France with vs? Chat. Thus (after greeting) speakes the King of France, In my behauiour to the Maiesty, The borrowed Maiesty of England heere

Elea. A strange beginning: borrowed Maiesty? K.Iohn. Silence (good mother) heare the Embassie

Chat. Philip of France, in right and true behalfe Of thy deceased brother, Geffreyes sonne, Arthur Plantaginet, laies most lawfull claime To this faire Iland, and the Territories: To Ireland, Poyctiers, Aniowe, Torayne, Maine, Desiring thee to lay aside the sword Which swaies vsurpingly these seuerall titles, And put the same into yong Arthurs hand, Thy Nephew, and right royall Soueraigne

K.Iohn. What followes if we disallow of this? Chat. The proud controle of fierce and bloudy warre, To inforce these rights, so forcibly with-held, K.Io. Heere haue we war for war, & bloud for bloud, Controlement for controlement: so answer France

Chat. Then take my Kings defiance from my mouth, The farthest limit of my Embassie

K.Iohn. Beare mine to him, and so depart in peace, Be thou as lightning in the eies 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, And sullen presage of your owne decay: An honourable conduct let him haue, Pembroke looke too't: farewell Chattillion.

Exit Chat. and Pem.

Ele. What now my sonne, haue I not euer said How that ambitious Constance would not cease Till she had kindled France and all the world, Vpon the right and party of her sonne. This might haue beene preuented, and made whole With very easie arguments of loue, Which now the mannage of two kingdomes must With fearefull bloudy issue arbitrate

K.Iohn. Our strong possession, and our right for vs

Eli. Your strong possessio[n] much more then your right, Or else it must go wrong with you and me, So much my conscience whispers in your eare, Which none but heauen, and you, and I, shall heare. Enter a Sheriffe.

Essex. My Liege, here is the strangest controuersie Come from the Country to be iudg'd by you That ere I heard: shall I produce the men? K.Iohn. Let them approach: Our Abbies and our Priories shall pay This expeditions charge: what men are you? Enter Robert Faulconbridge, and Philip.

Philip. Your faithfull subiect, I a gentleman, Borne in Northamptonshire, and eldest sonne As I suppose, to Robert Faulconbridge, A Souldier by the Honor-giuing-hand Of Cordelion, Knighted in the field

K.Iohn. What art thou? Robert. The son and heire to that same Faulconbridge

K.Iohn. Is that the elder, and art thou the heyre? You came not of one mother then it seemes

Philip. Most certain of one mother, mighty King, That is well knowne, and as I thinke one father: But for the certaine knowledge of that truth, I put you o're to heauen, and to my mother; Of that I doubt, as all mens children may

Eli. Out on thee rude man, y dost shame thy mother, And wound her honor with this diffidence

Phil. I Madame? No, I haue no reason for it, That is my brothers plea, and none of mine, The which if he can proue, a pops me out, At least from faire fiue hundred pound a yeere: Heauen guard my mothers honor, and my Land

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The life and death of King John Page 02

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