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on my

K. John. A good blunt fellow :- Why, being

younger born, Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance ?

Bast. I know not why, except to get the land. But once he slander'd me with bastardy : But whe'r 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, 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, knee I give heaven thanks, I was not like to thee. K. John. Why, what a madcap hath heaven lent

us here! Eli. He hath a trick 3 of Caur-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?

K. John. Mine eye hath well examined his parts, And finds them perfect Richard. Sirrah, speak, What doth move you to claim your

brother's land ? Bast. Because he hath a half-face, like my

father : With that half-face would he have all


land : A half-faced groat five hundred pound a year ! Rob. My gracious liege, when that my father

liv'd, Your brother did employ my father much ;

- Bast. Well, sir, by this you cannot get my land; Your tale must be, how he employ'd my

mother. Rob. And once despatch'd him in an embassy To Germany, there, with the emperor, To treat of high affairs touching that time: The advantage of his absence took the king, And in the mean time sojourn'd at my father's ;

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Where how he did prevail, I shame to speak :
But truth is truth; large lengths of seas and shores

father and


mother lay,
(As I have heard my father speak himself,)
When this same lusty gentleman was got.
Upon his death-bed he by will bequeath'd
His lands to me; and took it, on his death,
That this, my mother's son, was none of his;
And, if he were, he came into the world
Full fourteen weeks before the course of time.
Then, good my liege, let me have what is mine,
My father's land, as was my father's will.

K. John. Sirrah, your brother is legitimate ;
Your father's wife did after wedlock bear him
And, if she did play false, the fault was hers;
Which fault lies on the hazards of all husbands
wives. Tell me, how if


brother Had of


father claim'd this son for his ? In sooth, good friend, your father might have kept



In sooth, he might: then, if he were my brother's, My brother might not claim him; nor your father, Being none of his, refuse him: This concludes, Your father's heir must have


father's land. Rob. Shall then my father's will be of no force, To dispossess that child which is not his ?

Bast. Of no more force to dispossess me, sir,
Than was his will to get me, as I think.
Eli. Whether hadst thou rather, be a Faulcon-

And like thy brother, to enjoy thy land;
Or the reputed son of Caur-de-lion,
Lord of thy presence, and no land beside ?

Bast. Madam, an if my brother had my shape,
And I had his, sir Robert his, like him ;
And if my legs were two such riding-rods,
My arms such eel-skins stuff’d; my face so thin,
That in mine ear I durst not stick a rose,

Lest men should say, Look, where three-farthings

goes ! And, to his shape, were heir to all this land, 'Would I might never stir from off this place, I'd give it every foot to have this face; I would not be sir Nob in any case. Eli. I like thee well; Wilt thou forsake thy for

Bequeath thy land to him, and follow me?
I am a soldier, and now bound to France.
Bast. Brother, take you my land, I'll take my

chance :
Your face hath got five hundred pounds a year;
Yet sell your face for five pence, and 'tis dear.
Madam, I'll follow you unto the death.

Eli. Nay, I would have you go before me thither.
Bast. Our country manners give our betters way.
K. John. What is thy name?
Bast. Philip, my liege; so is my name begun;
Philip, good old sir Robert's wife's eldest son.
K. John. From henceforth bear his name whose

form thou bear'st: Kneel thou down Pbilip, but arise more great : Arise sir Richard, and Plantagenet.

Bast. Brother, by the mother's side, give me your


My father gave me honour, yours gave land :

Eli. The very spirit of Plantagenet ! I am thy grandame, Richard; call me so. Bast. Madam, by chance, but not by truth: What

though? K. John. Go, Faulconbridge; now hast thou thy For thou wast got i’the way of honesty.

desire, A landless knight makes thee a landed 'squire. Come, madam, and come, Richard; we must speed For France, for France ; for it is more than need. Bast. Brother, adieu ; Good fortune come to


[Exeunt all but the Bastard.
A foot of honour better than I was ;
But many a foot of land the worse.
Well, now can I make any Joan a lady:-
Good den, sir Richard, God-a-mercy, fellow ; -
And if his name be George, I'll call him Peter:
For new-made honour doth forget men's names ;
'Tis too respective, and too sociable,
For your conversion. Now your traveller, -
He and his tooth-pick at my worship's mess;
And when my knightly stomach is suffic'd,
Why then I suck my teeth, and catechise
My picked man of countries : My dear sir,
(Thus, leaning on mine elbow, I begin,)
I shall beseech you

That is question now;
And then comes answer like an ABC-book :
O sir, says answer, at your best command;
At your employment ; at your service, sir :
No, sir, says question, I, sweet sir, at
And so, ere answer knows what question would,
(Saving in dialogue of compliment;
And talking of the Alps, and Appenines,
The Pyrenean, and the river Po,)
It draws toward supper in conclusion so.
But this is worshipful society,
And fits the mounting spirit, like myself:
And not alone in habit and device,
Exterior form, outward accoutrement ;
But from the inward motion to deliver
Sweet, sweet, sweet poison for the age's tooth:
Which, though I will not practise to deceive,
Yet, to avoid deceit, I mean to learn;
For it shall strew the footsteps of my rising.
But who comes in such haste, in riding robes ?
What woman-post is this? hath she no husband,
That will take pains to blow a horn before her?

yours :

s Good evening

6 My travelled fop.


GURNEY. O me! it is


mother: How now, good lady? What brings you here to court so hastily. Lady F. Where is that slave, thy brother? where

is he? That holds in chase mine honour


and down?
Bast. My brother Robert? old sir Robert's son ?'
Colbrand the giant, that same mighty man?
Is it sir Robert's


seek so? Lady F. Sir Robert's son! Ay, thou unreverend

boy, Sir Robert's son: Why scorn’st thou at sir Robert ? He is sir Robert's son; and so art thou. Bast. James Gurney, wilt thou give us leave a

while ? Gur. Good leave, good Philip. Bast.

Philip? - sparrow!- James, There's toys? abroad; anon I'll tell thee more.

[Exit GURNEY, Madam, I was not old sir Robert's son. Lady F. Hast thou conspired with thy brother

too, That for thine own gain should'st defend mine ho

nour? What means this scorn, thou most untoward knave? Bast. Knight, knight, good mother, — Basilisco

like 8:
What! I am dubb'd; I have it on my shoulder.
But, mother, I am not sir Robert's son;
I have disclaim'd sir Robert, and


land; Legitimation, name, and all is gone: Then, good my mother, let me know


father ; Some proper man, I hope ; Who was it, mother?

7 Idle reports, 8 A character in an old Drama called Soliman and Perseda,

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