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PRINCE HENRY, his Son; afterwards King Henry III.
GEFFREY FITZ-PETER, Earl of Essex, chief Justiciary of
WILLIAM LONGSWORD, Earl of Salisbury.
ROBERT BIGOT, Earl of Norfolk.
HUBERT DE BURGH, Chamberlain to the King.
ROBERT FAULCONBRIDGE, Son of Sir Robert Faulconbridge. PHILIP FAULCONBRIDGE, his Half-brother, Bastard Son to King Richard the First.
JAMES GURNEY, Servant to Lady Faulconbridge.
PHILIP, King of France.
LEWIS, the Dauphin.
Archduke of Austria.
CARDINAL PANDULPH, the Pope's Legate.
MELUN, a French Lord.
CHATILLON, Ambassador from France to King John.
ELINOR, the Widow of King Henry II. and Mother of King
CONSTANCE, Mother to Arthur.
BLANCH, Daughter to Alphonso, King of Castile, and Niece to King John.
LADY FAULCONBRIDGE, Mother to the Bastard, and Robert Faulconbridge.
Lords, Ladies, Citizens of Angiers, Sheriff, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.
SCENE, sometimes in England, and sometimes in France.
SCENE I. Northampton. A Room of State in the Palace. Enter KING JOHN, QUEEN ELINOR, PEMBROKE, ESSEX, SALISBURY, and others, with CHATILLON.
King John. Now, say, Chatillon, what would France with us?
Chat. Thus, after greeting, speaks the king of France, In my behavior, to the majesty,
The borrowed majesty of England here.
Eli. A strange beginning;-borrowed majesty!
To Ireland, Poictiers, Anjou, Touraine, Maine;
K. John. What follows, if we disallow of this?
K. John. Here have we war for war, and blood for blood, Controlment for controlment; so answer France.
Chat. Then take my king's defiance from my mouth, The furthest limit of my embassy.
K. John. 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,
And sullen presage of your own decay.-
[Exeunt CHATILLON and PEMBROKE.
Which now the manage of two kingdoms must
K. John. Our strong possession, and our right, for us.
K. John. Let them approach.
Our abbeys, and our priories, shall pay
Re-enter Sheriff, with ROBERT FAULCONBRIDGE, and PHILIP, his bastard Brother.
This expedition's charge.- What men are you?
Of Coeur-de-lion knighted in the field.
Rob. 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.
Bast. Most certain of one mother, mighty king;
Eli. Out on thee, rude man! thou dost shame thy mother, And wound her honor with this diffidence.
Bast. 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, 'a pops me out
Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance?
Bast. I know not why, except to get the land.
That still I lay upon my mother's head;
And were our father, and this son like him ;—
I give Heaven thanks, I was not like to thee.
K. John. Why, what a madcap hath Heaven lent us here! Eli. He hath a trick of Coeur-de-lion's face:
The accent of his tongue affecteth him.
K. John. Mine eye hath well examined his parts,
Bast. Because he hath a half-face, like my father: With that half-face would he have all my land. A half-faced groat five hundred pound a year!
Rob. My gracious liege, when that my father lived, Your brother did employ my father much;
Bast. Well, sir, by this you cannot get my land; Your tale must be how he employed my mother.
Rob. And once despatched him in an embassy To Germany, there, with the emperor, To treat of high affairs touching that time. The advantage of his absence took the king, And in the mean time sojourned at my father's; Where how he did prevail, I shame to speak. But truth is truth; large lengths of seas and shores. Between my father and my mother lay, (As I have heard my father speak himself,) When this same lusty gentleman was got. Upon his death-bed he by will bequeathed His lands to me; and took it, on his death, That this, my mother's son, was none of his; And, if he were, he came into the world
Full fourteen weeks before the course of time.
K. John. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate;
Rob. Shall then my father's will be of no force, To dispossess that child which is not his?
Bast. Of no more force to dispossess me, sir, Than was his will to get me, as I think.
Eli. Whether hadst thou rather, be a Faulconbridge, And like thy brother, to enjoy thy land; Or the reputed son of Coeur-de-lion, Lord of thy presence, and no land beside?
Bast. Madam, an if my brother had my shape,
Lest men should say, Look, where three-farthings goes
I would not be sir Nob in any case.
Eli. I like thee well. Wilt thou forsake thy fortune, Bequeath thy land to him, and follow me?
I am a soldier, and now bound to France.
Bast. Brother, take you my land; I'll take my chance. Your face hath got five hundred pounds a year; Yet sell your face for five pence, and 'tis dear.— Madam, I'll follow you unto the death.
Eli. Nay, I would have you go before me thither.