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Ichn. A doubtfull tale as euer I did heare,
Thy brother, and thine elder, and no heire :
Explaine this darke. Ænigma.
Robert. I grant (my lord) he is my mothers sonne,
Base borne, and base begot, no Fauconbridge.
Indeede the world reputes him lawfull heire,
My father in his life did count him so,
And here my mother stands to prooue him so:
But I (my lord) can prooue, and doe auerre
Both to my mothers shame, and his reproach,
He is no heire, nor yet legitimate.
Then (gratious lord) let Fauconbridge enioy
The liuing that belongs to Fauconbridge.
And let not him possesse anothers right.
Iobn. Prooue this, the land is thine by Englands lawe.
Q. Elin. Vngratious youth, to rip thy mothers shame,
The wombe from whence thou didst thy being take,
All honeft eares abhorre thy wickednesle,
But gold I see doth beate downe natures law.
Mother. My gratious lord, and you thrice reuerend dame,
That see the teares distilling from mine eies,
And scalding sighes blowne from a rented heart :
For honour and regard of womanhood,
Let me intreate to be commaunded hence.
Let not these eares heere receiue the hisling sound
Of such a viper, who with poyroned words
Doth masserate the bowells of my soule.
Lohn. Lady, stand vp, be patient for a while :
And fellow, say, whose bastard is thy brother ?
Philip. Not for my felfe, nor for my mother now;
But for the honour of so braue a man,
Whom hee accuseth with adulterie :
Heere I beseech your grace vpon my knees,
To count him mad, and so dismisse vs hence.
Robert. Nor mad, nor mazde, but well aduised, I
Charge thee before this royall presence here
To be a bastard to king Richards selfe,
Sonne to your grace, and brother to your maiestie.
Thus bluntly, and
Elian. Yong man, thou needst not be ashamed of thy kin, Nor of thy fire. But forward with thy proofe.
Robert. The proofe so plaine, the argument so strong,
As that your highnese and these noble lords,
And all (saue those that haue no eies to fee)
Shall sweare him to be bastard to the king.
First, when my father was embassadour
In Germanie into the Emperour,
The king lay often at my fathers house;
And all the realme suspected what befell :
And at my fathers backe.returne agen
My mother was deliuered, as tis sed,
Sixe weeks before the account my father made.
But more than this : looke but on Philips face,
His features, actions, and his lineaments,
And all this priocely presence shall confesse,
He is no other but king Richards fonne.
Then gratious lord, rest he king Richards fonne,
And let me rest safe in my fathers right,
That am his rightfull sonne and only heire.
Ichn. Is this thy proofe, and all thou hast to say ?
Robert. I haue no more, nor neede I greater proofe.
lohn. First, where thou said it in absence of thy fire
My brother often lodged in his house :
And what of that? base groome to Naunder him,
That honoured his embassador so much,
In absence of the man to cheere the wife?
This will not hold, proceed vnto the next.
Q Elin. Thou saist she teemde fixe weekes before her time,
Why good sir squire, are you so cunning growen,
To make account of womens reckonings?
Spit in your hand and to your other proofes :
Many mischances happen in such affaires,
To make a woman come before her time.
lohn. And where thou saist, he looketh like the king,
In action, feature and proportion :
Therein I hold with thee, for in my life
I never saw so lively counterfet
Of Richard Cordelion, as in him.
Robert. Then good my lord, be you indiffrent iudge,
And let me haue my liuing and my right.
2. Elinor. Nay, heare you fir, you runge away too fast: Know you not, omne fimile non est idem ? Or have read in. Harke yee good fir, Twas thus I warrant, and no otherwise.
Shee lay with fir Robert your father, and thought vpon king Richard my sonne, and so your brother was formed in this fashion.
Robert. Madame, you wrong me thus to ieft it out,
I crave my right : king lohn, as thou art king,
So be thou iust, and let me haue my right.
lohn. Why (foolish boy) thy proofes are friuolous,
Nor canst thou chalenge any thing thereby.
But thou shalt see how I will helpe thy claime :
This is my doome, and this my doome shall stand
Irreuocable, as I am king of England.
For thou know'st not, weele alke of them that know,
His mother and himselfe faall end this strife:
And as they say, lo shall thy living passe.
Robert. My lord, herein I challenge you of wrong,
To giue away my right, and put the doome
Vnto themselues. Can there be likelihood
That shee will loose ?
Or he will giue the living from himselfe?
It may not be my lord. Why should it be?
Iohn. Lords, keep him back, and let him heare the doom. Esex, first aske the mother thrice who was his fire ?
Esex. Lady Margaret, widow of Fauconbridge,
Who was father to thy fonne Philip?
Mother. Please it your maiesty, sir Rob. Fauconbridge.
Rob. This is right, aske my fellow there if I be a thiefe.
lohn. Alke Philip whose fonne he is.
Elex. Philip, who was thy father ?
Philip. Mas my lord, and that's a question : and you had not taken some paines with her before, I should haue desired you to aske my mother.
John. Say, who was thy father?
Philip. Faith (my lord) to answere you, fure hee is my father that was neerest my mother when I was begotten, and him I thinke to be fir Robert Fauconbridge.
Iohn. Esex, for fashions fake demand agen,
And so an end to this contention.
Robert. Was euer man thus wrongd as Robert is?
Esex. Philip speake I say, who was thy father :
lohn. Young man how now, what art thou in a trance ?
Elianor. Philip awake, the man is in a dreame.
Philip. Philippus atauis ædite Regibus.
What faist thou Philip, sprung of auncient kings ?
Quo me rapit tempeftas?
What winde of honour blowes this furie forth?
Or whence proceede these fumes of maiestie?
Me thinkes I heare a hollow eccho sound,
That Philip is the sonne vato a king :
The whistling leaues vpon the trembling trees,
Whistle in confort I am Richaras sonne :
The bubling murmur of the waters fall,
Records Philippus Regius filius :
Birds in their flight make musicke with their wings,
Filling the aire with glorie of my birth:
Birds, bubbles, leaues, and mountaines, eccho, all
Ring in mine eares, that I am Richards sonne.
Fond man ! ah whither art thou carried ?
How are thy thoughts ywrapt in honors heauen?
Forgetfull what thou art, and whence thou camft.
Thy fathers land cannot maintaine these thoughts,
These thoughts are farre vnfitting Fauconbridge :
And well they may; for why this mounting minde
Doth soare too high to stoupe to Fauconbridge.
Why how now? knowest thou where thou art ?
And knowest thou who expects thine answer here?
Wilt thou vpon a franticke madding vaine
Goe loose thy land, and say thy felfe bare borne?
No, keepe thy land, though Richard were thy fire,
What ere thou thinkst, say thou art Fauconbridge.
lohn. Speake mau, be sodaine, who thy father was.
· Philip. Please it your maiestie, fir Robert
Philip, that Fauconbridge cleaues to thy iawes :
It will not out, I cannot for my life
Say I am sonne vnto a Fauconbridge.
Let land and living goe, tis honors fire
That makes me sweare king Richard was my fire.
Base to a king addes title of more state,
Than knights begotten, though legittimate.
Please it your grace, I am king Richards fonne.
Robert. Robert reuiue thy heart, let sorrow die,
His faltring tongue not suffers him to lie.