Lords Citizens of Angiers Sheriff Heralds Officers Soldiers
and other Attendants.
SCENE: Sometimes in England and sometimes in France.
SCENE 1. Northampton. A Room of State in the Palace.
[Enter KING JOHN QUEEN ELINOR PEMBROKE ESSEX SALISBURY and
others with CHATILLON.]
Now say Chatillon what would France with us?
Thus after greeting speaks the King of France
In my behaviour to the majesty
The borrow'd majesty of England here.
A strange beginning:--borrow'd majesty!
Silence good mother; hear the embassy.
Philip of France in right and true behalf
Of thy deceased brother Geffrey's son
Arthur Plantagenet lays most lawful claim
To this fair island and the territories--
To Ireland Poictiers Anjou Touraine Maine;
Desiring thee to lay aside the sword
Which sways usurpingly these several titles
And put the same into young Arthur's hand
Thy nephew and right royal sovereign.
What follows if we disallow of this?
The proud control of fierce and bloody war
To enforce these rights so forcibly withheld.
Here have we war for war and blood for blood
Controlment for controlment;--so answer France.
Then take my king's defiance from my mouth
The farthest limit of my embassy.
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.]
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 of two kingdoms must
With fearful bloody issue arbitrate.
Our strong possession and our right for us.
Your strong possession much more than your right
Or else it must go wrong with you and me:
So much my conscience whispers in your ear
Which none but heaven and you and I shall hear.
[Enter the Sheriff of Northamptonshire who whispers to 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?
Let them approach.--
Our abbeys and our priories shall pay
This expedition's charge.
[Re-enter Sheriff with ROBERT FAULCONBRIDGE and PHILIP his
What men are you?
Your faithful subject I a gentleman
Born in Northamptonshire and eldest son
As I suppose to Robert Falconbridge--
A soldier by the honour-giving hand
Of Coeur-de-lion knighted in the field.
What art thou?
The son and heir to that same Falconbridge.
Is that the elder and art thou the heir?
You came not of one mother then it seems.
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.
Out on thee rude man! thou dost shame thy mother
And wound her honour with this diffidence.
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 least from fair five hundred pound a-year:
Heaven guard my mother's honour and my land!
A good blunt fellow.--Why being younger born
Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance?
I know not why except to get the land.
But once he slander'd me with bastardy:
But whe'er 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!
Why what a madcap hath heaven lent us here!
He hath a trick of Coeur-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?
Mine eye hath well examined his parts
And finds them perfect Richard.--Sirrah speak