K.Iohn. A good blunt fellow: why being yonger born Doth he lay claime to thine inheritance? Phil. I know not why, except to get the land: But once he slanderd me with bastardy: But where I be as true begot or no, That still I lay vpon my mothers head, But that I am as well begot my Liege (Faire fall the bones that tooke the paines for me) Compare our faces, and be Iudge your selfe If old Sir Robert did beget vs both, And were our father, and this sonne like him: O old sir Robert Father, on my knee I giue heauen thankes I was not like to thee

K.Iohn. Why what a mad-cap hath heauen lent vs here? Elen. He hath a tricke of Cordelions face, The accent of his tongue affecteth him: Doe you not read some tokens of my sonne In the large composition of this man? K.Iohn. Mine eye hath well examined his parts, And findes them perfect Richard: sirra speake, What doth moue you to claime your brothers land

Philip. Because he hath a half-face like my father? With halfe that face would he haue all my land, A halfe-fac'd groat, fiue hundred pound a yeere? Rob. My gracious Liege, when that my father liu'd, Your brother did imploy my father much

Phil. Well sir, by this you cannot get my land, Your tale must be how he employ'd my mother

Rob. And once dispatch'd him in an Embassie To Germany, there with the Emperor To treat of high affaires touching that time: Th' aduantage of his absence tooke the King, And in the meane time soiourn'd at my fathers; Where how he did preuaile, I shame to speake: But truth is truth, large lengths of seas and shores Betweene my father, and my mother lay, As I haue heard my father speake himselfe When this same lusty gentleman was got: Vpon his death-bed he by will bequeath'd His lands to me, and tooke it on his death That this my mothers sonne was none of his; And if he were, he came into the world Full fourteene weekes before the course of time: Then good my Liedge let me haue what is mine, My fathers land, as was my fathers will

K.Iohn. Sirra, your brother is Legittimate, Your fathers wife did after wedlocke beare him: And if she did play false, the fault was hers, Which fault lyes on the hazards of all husbands That marry wiues: tell me, how if my brother Who as you say, tooke paines to get this sonne, Had of your father claim'd this sonne for his, Insooth, good friend, your father might haue kept This Calfe, bred from his Cow from all the world: Insooth he might: then if he were my brothers, My brother might not claime him, nor your father Being none of his, refuse him: this concludes, My mothers sonne did get your fathers heyre, Your fathers heyre must haue your fathers land

Rob. Shal then my fathers Will be of no force, To dispossesse that childe which is not his

Phil. Of no more force to dispossesse me sir, Then was his will to get me, as I think

Eli. Whether hadst thou rather be a Faulconbridge, And like thy brother to enioy thy land: Or the reputed sonne of Cordelion, Lord of thy presence, and no land beside

Bast. Madam, and if my brother had my shape And I had his, sir Roberts his like him, And if my legs were two such riding rods, My armes, such eele skins stuft, my face so thin, That in mine eare I durst not sticke a rose, Lest men should say, looke where three farthings goes, And to his shape were heyre to all this land, Would I might neuer stirre from off this place, I would giue it euery foot to haue this face: It would not be sir nobbe in any case

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book
King Edward the Third
The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight
The life and death of King John
The Tragedie of King Lear