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King John :
Bretagne, the elder brother of King John.
England. 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. Peter of Pomfret, a prophet. Philip, King of France. Lewis, the Dauphin. Arch-duke 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 John, 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, Lallies, 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
Enter King John, Queen Elinor, PEMBROKE, EsSEX, SALISBURY, and Others, with CHATILLON.
Eli. A strange beginning ;-borrow'd majesty!
Chat. Philip of France, in right and true behalf
K. John. What follows, if we disallow of this?
i In the manner I now do.
To enforce these rights so forcibly withheld.
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.An honourable conduct let him have :Pembroke, look to't : Farewell, Chatillon,
[Exeunt CHATILLON and PemBROKE. Eli. What now, my son ? have I not ever said, How that ambitious Constance would not cease, Till she had kindled France, and all the world, Upon the right and party of her son ? This might have been prevented, and made whole, With very easy arguments of love; Which now the manage 2 of two kingdoms must With fearful bloody issue arbitrate.
K. John. Our strong possession, and our right, for
Eli. Your strong possession, much more than your
and me : So much my conscience whispers in your ear ; Which none but heaven, and you, and I, shall hear,
2 Conduct, administration.
Enter the Sheriff of Northamptonshire, who whispers
Essex. My liege, here is the strangest controversy, Come from the country to be judg'd by you, That e'er I heard : Shall I produce the men ? K. John. Let them approach.
[Erit Sheriff. Our abbies, and our priories, shall pay
Re-enter Sheriff, with Robert FAULCON BRIDGE,
and PHILIP, his bastard Brother. This expedition's charge.-What men are you?
Bast. Your faithful subject I, a gentleman,
K. John. What art thou ?
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, That is well known; and, as I think, one father : But, for the certain knowledge of that truth, I put you o'er to heaven, and to my mother ; Of that I doubt, as all men's children may. Eli. Out on thee, rude man! thou dost shame thy
mother, And wound her honour 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