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Ing John. Prince Henry, Son to the King. Arthur, Duke of Bretaign, and Nephew to the

King. Pembroke,




English Lords.

Faulconbridge, Baftard-Son to Richard the Firft. Robert Faulconbridge, fuppos'd Brother to the Bastard.

James Gurney, Servant to the Lady Faulconbridge. Peter of Pomfret, a Prophet.

Philip, King of France.
Lewis, the Dauphin.
Arch-Duke of Auftria.
Pandulpho, the Pope's Legate.
Melun, a French Lord..

Chattilion, Ambassador from France to King John.

Elinor, Queen-Mother of England.

Conftance, Mother to Arthur.

Blanch, Daughter to Alphonfo King of Caftile, and Neice to King John.

Lady Faulconbridge, Mother to the Baftard and Robert Faulconbridge.

Citizens of Angiers, Heralds, Executioners, Meffengers, Soldiers, and other Attendants.

The SCENE fometimes in England, ́and Sometimes in France.





King FOHN.


Enter King John, Queen Elinor, Pembroke, Effex, and Salisbury, with Chattilion.

King JOHN.

OW fay, Chattilion, what would France with us?

Chat. Thus, after greeting, fpeaks the King of France


In my Behaviour to the Majefty,
The borrow'd Majefty of England here.
Eli. A ftrange Beginning; borrow'd Majefty!
K. John. Silence, good Mother, hear the Embaffie.
Chat. Philip of France, in right and true behalf
Of thy deceased Brother Geffrey's Son,
Arthur Plantagenet, lays moft lawful Claim
To this fair land, and the Territories:
To Ireland, Poytiers, Anjou, Touaine, Maine,

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Defiring thee to lay afide the Sword
Which fways ufurpingly thefe fevera! Titles,
And put the fame into young Arthur's Hand,
Thy Nephew, and right Royal Soveraign.

K. John. What follows, if we difallow of this?
Chat. The proud Control of fierce and bloody War,
To inforce thefe Rights fo forcibly with-held.

K. John. Here have we War for War, and Blood for Blood, Controlment for Controlment; fo anfwer France.

Chat. Then take my King's Defiance from my Mouth, The fartheft limit of my Embaffie.

K. John. Bear mine to him, and fo depart in Peace. Be thou as Lightning in the Eyes of France; For e'er thou canft report, I will be there, The Thunder of my Cannon fhall be heard. So hence; be thou the Trumpet of our Wrath, And fullen Prefage of your own decay: An honourable Conduct let him have, Pembroke look to't; farewel Chattilion. [Exit Chat, and Pem. Eli. What now, my Son, have I not ever faid How that Ambitious Conftance would not cease 'Till fhe 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 eafie Arguments of Love, Which now the Manage of two Kingdoms muft With fearful bloody Iffue arbitrate.

K. John. Our ftrong Poffeffion and our Right for us.
Eli. Your ftrong Poffeffion much more than your Right,

Or else it must go wrong with you and me,


So much my Confcience whispers in your Ear,

Which none but Heav'n, and you and I fhall hear.

Effex. My Liege, here is the ftrangeft Controverfie
Come from the Country to be judg'd by you
That e'er I heard, fhall I produce the Men?

K. John. Let them approach:
Our Abbies and our Priories fhall pay
This Expedition's Charge. What Men are you?
Enter Robert Faulconbridge and the Bastard.
Baft. Your faithful Subject, I, a Gentleman,
Born in Northamptonfire, and eldeft Son,


As I fuppofe, to Faulconbridge,
A Soldier, by the Honour-giving-hand
Of Cordelion, Knighted in the Field.
K. John. What art thou?
Robert. The Son and Heir to that fame Faulconbridge
K. John. Is that the Elder, and art thou the Heir?
You came not of one Mother, then it feems?

Baft. Moft 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 Heav'n, and to my Mother
Of that I doubt, as all Mens Children may.


Eli. Out on thee, rude Man, thou doft hame thy Mother, And wound her Honour with this diffidence.

Baft. 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,
At leaft from fair five hundred pound a Year:
Heav'n 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?

Baft. I know not why, except to get the Land;
But once he flander'd me with Baftardy:
But whether I be as true begot or no,
That ftill 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 your self.
If o'd 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 Heav'n thanks I was not like to thee.

K. John. Why what a mad-cap hath Heav'n lent us here?
Eli. He hath a trick of Cordelion's Face,
The accent of his Tongue affecteth him:
Do you not read fome Tokens of my Son
In the large Compofition 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?

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