k. John. For our advantage; -- Therefore, hear us

These flags of France, that are advanced here
Before the eye and prospect of your town,
Have hither march'd to your endamagement:
The cannons have their bowels full of wrath

And ready mounted are they, to spit forth
Their iron indignation 'gainst your walls :
All preparation for a bloody siege,
And merciless proceeding by these French,
Confronts your city's eyes', your winking gates ;
And, but for our approach, those sleeping stones,
That as a waist do girdle you about;
By the compulsion of their ordinance
By this time from their fixed beds of lime
Had been dishabited, and wide havock made
For bloody power to rush upon your peace.
But, on the light of us, your lawful king,
Who, painfully, with much expedient march,
Have brought a countercheck ? before your gates,
To save unscratch'd your city's threaten'd cheeks,
Behold, the French, amaz’d, vouchsafe a parle :
And now, instead of bullets wrap'd in fire,
To make a shaking fever in your walls,
They shoot but calm words, folded up in smoke,
To make a faithless error in your ears :
Which trust accordingly, kind citizens,
And let us in, your king; whose labour'd spirits,
Forweary'd in this action of swift speed,
Crave harbourage within your city walls.

9 For our advantage ; - Therefore bear us first:-) If we read for your advantage, it would be a more specious reason for interrupting Philip. TYRWHITT. - Confronts your city's eyes,

-] The old copy reads :-Com. forts , &c: Mr. Rowe made this necessary change. STEEVENS.

a countercheck -] This, I believe, is one of the anciemt terms used in the game of chess. So, in Mucedorus : “ Post hence thyself; thou counterchecking trull.”



K. Phil.



K. Phil. When I have said, make answer to us both.
Lo, in this right hand, whose protection
Is most divinely vow'd upon the right
Of him it holds, stands young Plantagenet ;
Son to the elder brother of this man,
And king o'er him, and all that he enjoys :
For this down-trodden equity; we tread
In warlike march these


your town;
Being no further enemy to you,
Than the constraint of hospitable zeal,
In the relief of this oppressed child,
Religiously provokes. Be pleased then

pay that duty, which you truly owe,
To him that owes it; namely, this young prince :
And then our arms, like to a muzzled bear,
Save in aspect, have all offence seald up ;
Our cannons' inalice rainly fhall be spent
Against the invulnerable clouds of heaven;
And, with a blessed and unvex'd retire,
With unhack'd swords, and helmets alt unbruis’d,
We will bear home that lusty blood again,
Which here we came to spout against your town,
And leave your children, wives, and you, in peace.
But if you fondly pass our proffer’d offer,
'Tis not the roundure 3 of your old fac'd walls
Can hide you from our messengers of war;
Though all these English, and their discipline,
Were harbour'd in their rude circumference.
Then, tell us, shall your city call us lord,
In that behalf which we have challeng’d it?

3 'Tis not the roundure, &c.] Roundure means the same as the French rondeur, i. e. the circle. So, in All's lojt by Luft, a tragedy by Rowley, 1633 :

-will she nieet our arms " With an alternate roundure?” Again, in Shakespeare's 21st fonnet:

all things rare,
" That heaven’s air in this huge rondure hems."



Or shall we give the signal to our rage,
And stalk in blood to our poffeffion?

Cit. In brief, we are the king of England's subjects;
For him, and in his right, we hold this town.
K. John. Acknowledge then the king, and let me in.

. That can we not : but he that proves the king, To him will we prove loyal; 'till that time, Have we ramm'd up our gates against the world, K. John. Doth not the crown of England prove the

king And, if not that, I bring you witnesses, Twice fifteen thousand hearts of England's breed,

Faulc. Bastards, and else.
K. John.--To verify our title with their lives.
K. Philip. As many, and as well-born bloods as

Faulc. Some bastards too.
K. Pbil.--Stand in his face, to contradict his claim.
Cit. 'Till you compound whose right is worthiest,
We, for the worthieit, hold the right from both.

K. John. Then God forgive the fin of all those souls, That to their everlasting residence, Before the dew of evening fall, shall fleet, In dreadful trial of our kingdom's king! K. Phil. Amen, Amen! –Mount, chevaliers ! to

arms! Faulo. Saint George,—that swing'd the dragon, and

e'er fince,
Sits on his horseback at mine hostess? door,
Teach us some fence !-Sirrah, were I at home,
At your den, firrah, with your lioness,
I'd set an ox-head to your lion's hide 4,
And make a monster of you.-

[To Muftria. Auft. Peace ; no more. ** I'd set an ox-bead to your lion's bide,] So, in the old spurious play of K. John:

" But let the frolick Frenchman take no fcorn,
“ If Philip front him with an English horn.” Steevens.
D 2


Faulc. O, tremble; for you hear the lion roar.
K. John. Up higher to the plain; where we'll set

In best appointment, all our regiments.

Faulo. Speed then, to take advantage of the field.

K. Phil. It shall be so ;-and at the other hill Command the rest to stand. --God, and our right!


[blocks in formation]

After excursions, enter the Herald of France, with trumpets,

to the gates.

F. Her. 5 You men of Angiers, open wide your gates, And let young Arthur, duke of Bretagne, in; Who, by the hand of France, this day hath made Much work for tears in many an English mother, Whose sons lye scatter'd on the bleeding ground: Many a widow's husband groveling lies, Coldly embracing the discolour'd earth; And victory, with little lofs, doth play Upon the dancing banners of the French; Who are at hand, triumphantly display'd, To enter conquerors, and to proclaim Arthur of Bretagne, England's king, and yours.

Enter English Herald, with trumpets. E. Her. "Rejoice, you men of Angiers, ring your

bells; King John, your king and England's, doth approach,

s You men of Angiers, &c.] This speech is very poetical and smooth, and except the conceit of the widow's husband embracing. the earth, is just and beautiful. Johnson.

Rejoice, you men of Angiers, &c.] The English herald falls somewhat below his antagonist. Silver armour gilt with blood is a poor image, Yet our author has it again in Macbeth :

Here lay Duncan, “ His filver skin lac'd with his golden blood.Johnson.


Commander of this hot malicious day !
Their armours, that march'd hence so filver-bright,
Hither return all gilt with Frenchmens' blood;
There stuck no plume in any English crest,
That is removed by a staff of France;
Our colours do return in those same hands
That did display them when we first march'd forth ;,
And, like a jolly troop of huntsmen', come
Our lusty English, all with purpled hands,
Dy'd in the dying slaughter of their foes :
Open your gates, and give the victors

Çit. * Heralds, from off our towers we might behold,
From first to last, the onset and retire
Of both your armies ; whose equality
By our best eyes cannot be censured :
Blood hath bought blood, and blows have answer'd

blows; Strength match'd with strength, and

power confronted power : Both are alike; and both alike we like. One must prove greatest: while they weigh so even, We hold our town for neither; yet for both. Enter the two Kings with their powers, at several doors.

K. John. France, hast thou yet more blood to cast


Say, shall the current of our right run on?
Whose passage vext with thy impediment,
Shall leave his native channel, and o'er-swell
With course disturb'd even thy confining shores;
Unless thou let his silver water keep
A peaceful progress to the ocean.

? And, like a jolly troop of huntsmen,-) It was, I think, one of the favage practices of the chase, for all to ftain their hands in the blood of the deer, as a trophy. JOHNSON,

& Heralds, from off &c.] These three speeches seem to have been laboured. The citizen's is the best; yet both alike we like is a poor gingle. JOHNSON.

K. Phil.

D 3

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