Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

At least from fair five hundred pound a year :
Heaven guard my mother's honour, and my land !
K. John. A good blunt fellow :- Why, being

younger born,
Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance ?

Bast. I know not why, except to get the land.
But once he slander'd me with bastardy :
But whe'r? I be as true-begot, or no,
That still I lay upon my mother's head;
But, that I am as well begot, my liege,
(Fair fall the bones that took the pains for me !)
Compare our faces, and be judge yourself.
If old sir Robert did beget us both,
And were our father, and this son like him ;-
O old sir Robert, father, on my knee
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 4 of Cæur-de-lion's face,
The accent of his tongue affecteth him ;
Do you not read some tokens of my son
In the large composition of this man ?

K. John. Mine eye hath well examined his parts,
And finds them perfect Richard.—Sirrah, speak,
What doth move you to claim your brother's land ?
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 liv’d, Your brother did employ my father much ;

Bast. Well, sir, by this you cannot get my land;

[blocks in formation]

Your tale must be, how he employ'd my mother.

Rob. And once despatch'd 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 sojourn’d 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 bequeath'd
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.
Then, good my liege, let me have what is mine,
My father's land, as was my father's will.

K. John. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate;
Your father's wife did after wedlock bear him :
And, if she did play false, the fault was hers ;
Which fault lies on the hazards of all husbands
That marry wives. Tell me, how if my brother
Who, as you say, took pains to get this son,
Had of your father claim'd this son for his?
In sooth, good friend, your father might have kept
This calf, bred from his cow, from all the world ;
In sooth, he might : then, if he were my brother's,
My brother might not claim him; nor your father,
Being none of his, refuse him: This concludes,-
My mother's son did get your father's heir ;
Your father's heir must have

your

father's land.

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 Faulcon-

bridge,
And like thy brother, to enjoy thy land;
Or the reputed son of Cæur-de-lion,
Lord of thy presence, and no land beside ?

Bast. Madam, an if my brother had my shape,
And I had his, sir Robert his, like him ;
And if my legs were two such riding-rods,
My arms such eel-skins stuff’d; my face so thin,
That in mine ear I durst not stick a rose,
Lest men should say, Look, where three-farthings

goes ! And, to his shape, were heir to all this land, 'Would I might never stir from off this place, I'd give it every foot to have this face; I would not be sir Nob in any case. Eli. I like thee well; Wilt thou forsake thy for

tune,
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.
Bast. Our country manners give our betters way.

[blocks in formation]

K. John. What is thy name?

Bast. Philip, my liege ; so is my name begun; Philip, good old sir Robert's wife's eldest son. K. John. From henceforth bear his name whose

form thou bear'st: Kneel thou down Philip, but arise more great: Arise sir Richard, and Plantagenet. Bast. Brother, by the mother's side, give me your

hand; My father gave me honour, yours gave

land :Now blessed be the hour, by night or day, When I was got, sir Robert was away.

Eli. The very spirit of Plantagenet ! I am thy grandame, Richard ; call me so. Bast. Madam, by chance, but not by truth: What

though?
Something about, a little from the right,

In at the window, or else o'er the hatch:
Who dares not stir by day, must walk by night;

And have is have, however men do catch:
Near or far off, well won is still well shot;
And I am I, howe'er I was begot.
K. John. Go, Faulconbridge; now hast thou thy

desire, A landless knight makes thee a landed 'squire.Come, madam, and come, Richard; we must speed For France, for France; for it is more than need.

Bast. Brother, adieu; Good fortune come to thee! For thou wast got i'the way of honesty.

[E.reunt all but the Bastard, A foot of honour better than I was ; But inany a foot of land the worse.

[ocr errors]

2

Well, now can I make any Joan a lady:
Good den,? sir Richard,-God-a-mercy, fellow ;-
And if his name be George, I'll call him Peter:
For new-made honour doth forget men's names;
'Tis too respective,& and too sociable,
For your conversion. Now your traveller,-
He and his tooth-pick at my worship's mess;
And when my knightly stomach is suffic'd,
Why then I suck my teeth, and catechise
My picked man of countries : My dear sir,
(Thus, leaning on mine elbow, I begin,)
I shall beseech you-That is question now;
And then comes answer like an ABC-book :
O sir, says answer, at your

best command;
At your employment; at your service, sir :-
No, sir, says question, I, sweet sir, at yours :
And so, ere answer knows what question would,
(Saving in dialogue of compliment;
And talking of the Alps, and Appenines,
The Pyrenean, and the river Po,)
It draws toward supper in conclusion so.
But this is worshipful society,
And fits the mounting spirit, like myself:
For he is but a bastard to the time,
That doth not smack of observation ;
(And so am I, whether I smack, or no ;)
And not alone in habit and device,
Exterior form, outward accoutrement;
But from the inward motion to deliver
Sweet, sweet, sweet poison for the age's tooth :

8

7 Good evening. Respectable,

My travelled fop.

• Change of condition. 2 Catechism.

« ZurückWeiter »