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To make a faithless error in your ears :
Which trust accordingly, kind citizens,
And let us in, your king; whose labour'd spirits,
Forwearied * in this action of swift speed,
Crave harbourage within your city walls.

K. Phi. 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 greens before 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

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 feal'd up; Our cannons' malice vainly shall be spent Against the invulnerable clouds of heaven; And, with a blessed and unvex'd retire, With unhack'd swords, and helmets all 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



peace. But if you fondly pass our proffer'd offer,


* Forwaaried-] i. e. worn out. Sax. So, Chaucer, in his Remaunt of the Roje, speaking of the mantle of Avarice:

" And if it were forwerid, she

“ Would havin," &c. STEEVENS. 5 To him that owes it ;] i, e, owns it. See our author and his contemporaries, pafiim. So, in Othello :

that sweet seep
“ That thou ow'dft yesterday,” STEEVENS.

'Tis not the roundure + 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?
Or shall we give the signal to our rage,
And ftalk in blood to our possession?
i Cir. In brief, we are the king of England's

For him, and in his right, we hold this town.

K. John. Acknowledge then the king, and let

me in.

į Cir. That can we not: but he that


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,

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

BAST. Some bastards too.

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

will she meet our arms
“ With an alternate roundure?".
Again, in Shakspeare's 2ift Sonnet:

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


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K. Pui. Stand in his face, to contradict his claim. i Cır. Till you compound whose right is worthielt, We, for the worthiest, 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. Phi. Amen, Amen!-Mount, chevaliers ! to

arms ! Bast. St. George,-that swing'd the dragon, and

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

Peace; no more. BAST. O, tremble; for you hear the lion roar. K. John. Up higher to the plain ; where we'll

set forth, In best appointment, all our regiments. Bast. Speed then, to take advantage of the

field. K. Pui. It shall be so ;-[To Lewis.] and at the

other hill Command the rest to stand.-God, and our right!


3 I'd fet an ox-head to your lion's hid.,] So, in the old spurious play of K. John :

“ But let the frolick Frenchman take no scorn,
“ If Philip front him with an English horn."



The same.

Alarums and Excursions ; then a Retreat. Enter a

French Herald, with trumpets, to the gates.

F. Her. You men of Angiers, open wide your

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 fons lye scatter'd on the bleeding ground:
Many a widow's husband groveling lies,
Coldly embracing the discolour'd earth;
And victory, with little loss, 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 an English Herald, with trumpets.
E. Her. Rejoice, you men of Angiers, ring your

bells; ?
King John, your king and England's, doth approach,
Commander of this hot malicious day!

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6 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 juft and beautiful. Johnson.

7 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.

cfl. huicht

behold, From first to last, the onset and retire Of both your armies; whose equality By our best eyes cannot be censured : 2 Blood hath bought blood, and blows have answer'd

blows; Strength match'd with strength, and power con

fronted 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.

8 And, like a jolly troop of huntsmen, &c.] It was, I think, one the savage practices of the chase, for all to stain their hands in the blood of the deer, as a trophy. Johnson. Shakspeare alludes to the same practise in Julius Cæfar:

- Here thy hunters stand,
Sign’d in thy spoil, and crimson'd in thy lethe."

STEEVENS. 9 Heralds, from off, &c.] These three speeches seem to have been laboured. The citizen's is the best; yei both alike we like is a poor gingle. JOHNSON.

i-cannot be censured:] i. e. cannot be estimated. Our author ought rather to have written—whose superiority, or whose inequality, cannot be censured. Malone. So, in King Henry VI. Part I:

“ If you do cenfure me by what you were,

“ Not what you are." STEVENS. Vol. VIII.


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