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K. John. England for itself; You men of Angiers and my loving subjects K. Phil. You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's sub
jects, Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle —
K. John. For our advantage; therefore hear us first. These fags 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 preparations for a bloody siege And merciless proceeding, by these French, Confront your city's eyes, your winking * gates; And, but for our approach, those sleeping stones, That as a waite do girdle you about, By the compulsion of their ordinance By this time from their fixed beds of lime Had been dilhabited, 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 counter-check before your gates, To save unicratch'd your city's threat'ned cheeks), Behold, the French, amaz’d, vouchsafe a parle ; And now, instead of bullets wrapp'd in fire, To make a shaking fever in your walls, They shoot but calm words folded up in smoak, To make a faithlefs error in your ears ; Which trust accordingly, kind citizens; And let in us, your King, whose labour'd spirits, Fore-weary'd in this action of swift speed, Crave harbourage within your city-walls.
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 * Winking, a metaphor for belf open,
In warlike march these
children, wives, and you in peace. But if you fondly pass our proffer'd offer, 'Tis not the rounder * of your old-face'd walls Can hide you from our messengers of war; Tho' 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 challenge'd it? Or shall we give the signal to our rage, And stalk in blood to our possession ?
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.
Cit. That can we not; but he that proves the King,
Faul. (Bastards, and elfe).
well-born bloods as those Faulc. (Some bastards too). K. Phil. Stand in his face to contradiét his claim. * i, e, ciicie. Q 92
Cit. Till you compound whose right is worthieft, We for the worthiest hold the right from both. K. John. Then God forgive the fin of all those
fouls, That to their everlasting refidence, Before the dew of evening fall, shall fleet, In dreadful trial of our kingdom's King! K. Phil. Amen, Amen. -Mount, Chevaliers, te
arms ! Faulc. Saint George that swinge’d the dragon, and
forth In best appointment all our regiments.
Faulc. Speed then to take th' advantage of the field.
K. Phil. It shall be so; and at the other hill Command the rest to stand. God, and our right!
S C E N E IV. A long charge founded : then, after excurhons, enter the
Herald of France with trumpets to the gates. F. Her. 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, Whofe sons lie scatter'd on the bleeding ground : And many a widow's husband groveling lies, Coldly embracing the discolour'd earth; While victory with little loss doth play Upon the dancing banners of the French; Who are at hand triumphantly display'd,
* The Archduke wore a lion's hide which had belonged to Richard Ceur-de-lion.
To enter conquerors ; and to proclaim
Enter English Herald with trumpets.
bells; King John, your King and England's, doth approach, Commander of this hot malicious day. Their armours, that march'd hence so filver-bright, Hither return all gilt in Frenchiens' blood. There stuck no plume in any English creft, That is removed by a staff of France. Our colours do return in those fame hands, That did display them when we firit 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 way.
Cit. Heralds, from off our tow'rs 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 confront
ed 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.
S CE N E V.
K. Phil. England, thou hast not fav’d one drop of
blood In this hot trial, more than we of France ; Rather lost more. And by this hand I swear, That sways the earth this climate overlooks, Before we will lay by our just-borne arms, We'll put thee down,'gainit whom these arms we bear; Or add a royal number to the dead ; Gracing the scroul that tell's of this war's loss, With flaughter coupled to the name of Kings.
Faulc. Ha ! Majeily, how high thy glory towers, When the rich blood of Kings is set on fire! Oh, now doth Death line his dead chaps with steel; The swords of soldiers are his teeth, his phangs; And now he feasts, mouthing the flesh of men In undetermin'd differences of Kings. Why stand these royal fronts amazed thus ? Cry havock, Kings; back to the stained field, You equal potents, fiery-kindled spirits ! Then let confusion of one part confirm The other's peace; till then, blows, blood, and death.
K. John. Whose party do the townsmen yet admit? K. Phil. Speak, Citizens, for England, who's your
King ? Cit. The King of England, when we know the
Cit. A greater pow'r than ye denies all this;