Con. I who doubts that, a Will: a wicked will, A womans will, a cankred Grandams will

Fra. Peace Lady, pause, or be more temperate, It ill beseemes this presence to cry ayme To these ill-tuned repetitions: Some Trumpet summon hither to the walles These men of Angiers, let vs heare them speake, Whose title they admit, Arthurs or Iohns.

Trumpet sounds. Enter a Citizen vpon the walles.

Cit. Who is it that hath warn'd vs to the walles? Fra. 'Tis France, for England

Iohn. England for it selfe: You men of Angiers, and my louing subiects

Fra. You louing men of Angiers, Arthurs subiects, Our Trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle

Iohn. For our aduantage, therefore heare vs first: These flagges of France that are aduanced heere Before the eye and prospect of your Towne, Haue hither march'd to your endamagement. The Canons haue their bowels full of wrath, And ready mounted are they to spit forth Their Iron indignation 'gainst your walles: All preparation for a bloody siedge And merciles proceeding, by these French. Comfort your Citties eies, your winking gates: And but for our approch, those sleeping stones, That as a waste doth girdle you about By the compulsion of their Ordinance, By this time from their fixed beds of lime Had bin dishabited, and wide hauocke made For bloody power to rush vppon your peace. But on the sight of vs your lawfull King, Who painefully with much expedient march Haue brought a counter-checke before your gates, To saue vnscratch'd your Citties threatned cheekes: Behold the French amaz'd vouchsafe a parle, And now insteed of bulletts wrapt in fire To make a shaking feuer in your walles, They shoote but calme words, folded vp in smoake, To make a faithlesse errour in your eares, Which trust accordingly kinde Cittizens, And let vs in. Your King, whose labour'd spirits Fore-wearied in this action of swift speede, Craues harbourage within your Citie walles

France. When I haue saide, make answer to vs both. Loe in this right hand, whose protection Is most diuinely vow'd vpon the right Of him it holds, stands yong Plantagenet, Sonne to the elder brother of this man, And King ore him, and all that he enioyes: For this downe-troden equity, we tread In warlike march, these greenes before your Towne, Being no further enemy to you Then the constraint of hospitable zeale, In the releefe of this oppressed childe, Religiously prouokes. Be pleased then To pay that dutie which you truly owe, To him that owes it, namely, this yong Prince, And then our Armes, like to a muzled Beare, Saue in aspect, hath all offence seal'd vp: Our Cannons malice vainly shall be spent Against th' involnerable clouds of heauen, And with a blessed and vn-vext retyre, With vnhack'd swords, and Helmets all vnbruis'd, We will beare home that lustie blood againe, Which heere we came to spout against your Towne, And leaue your children, wiues, and you in peace. But if you fondly passe our proffer'd offer, 'Tis not the rounder of your old-fac'd walles, Can hide you from our messengers of Warre, Though all these English, and their discipline Were harbour'd in their rude circumference: Then tell vs, Shall your Citie call vs Lord, In that behalfe which we haue challeng'd it? Or shall we giue the signall to our rage, And stalke in blood to our possession? Cit. In breefe, we are the King of Englands subiects For him, and in his right, we hold this Towne

Iohn. Acknowledge then the King, and let me in

The life and death of King John Page 08

William Shakespeare Plays

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William Shakespeare
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