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Phil. Speed then, to take advantage of the field. K. Phi. It shall be so;-[To LEWIS] and at the other hill
Command the rest to stand.-God, and our right!
SCENE II.-The same.
Alarums and excursions, then a retreat.
French Herald, 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, Whose sons lie 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!
Their armours, that march'd hence so silver-bright, Hither return all gilt with Frenchmen's 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
Cit. Heralds, from off our towers we might behold, From first to last, the onset and retire
Of both your armies; whose equality
Blood hath bought blood, and blows have answer'd blows;
Strength match'd with strength, and power confronted Both are alike; and both alike we like.
[power: One must prove greatest: while they weigh so even, We hold our town for neither; yet for both.
Enter, at one side, King JOHN, with his power; ELINOR, BLANCH, and PHILIP; at the other, King PHILIP, LEWIS, AUSTRIA, and forces.
K. John. France, hast thou yet more blood to cast Say, shall the current of our right run on? Whose passage, vex'd 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.
K. Phi. England, thou hast not sav'd one drop of
Gracing the scroll, that tells of this war's loss,
Phil. Ha, majesty! how high thy glory towers,
1 cannot be estimated.
You equal potents,' fiery-kindled spirits!
The other's peace; till then, blows, blood, and death! K. John. Whose party do the townsmen yet admit? K. Phi. Speak, citizens, for England; who's your
1 Cit. The king of England, when we know the
K. Phi. Know him in us, that here hold up his right. K. John. In us, that are our own great deputy, And bear possession of our person here;
Lord of our presence, Angiers, and of you.
1 Cit. A greater power than we, denies all this; And, till it be undoubted, we do lock
Our former scruple in our strong-barr'd gates:
Phil. By heaven, these scroyles5 of Angiers flout And stand securely on their battlements, [you, kings; As in a theatre, whence they gape and point
your industrious scenes and acts of death. Your royal presences be rul'd by me;
Do like the mutines of Jerusalem,
Be friends a while, and both conjointly bend
Even till unfenced desolation
Leave them as naked as the vulgar air.
2 i. e. The Lord of Hosts, who has not yet decided the supe
riority of either army.
4 of for by.
3 Swayed by our fears.
5 scroyles, scabby, scrofulous fellows.
Turn face to face, and bloody point to point:
To whom in favour she shall give the day,
How like you this wild counsel, mighty states?
Smacks it not something of the policy?
K. John. Now, by the sky that hangs above our
I like it well: France, shall we knit our powers
Phil. And if thou hast the mettle of a king,-
As we will ours, against these saucy walls:
Make work upon ourselves, for heaven, or hell.
K. Phi. Let it be so :-Say, where will you assault? K. John. We from the west will send destruction Into the city's bosom.
Aust. I from the north.
Our thunder from the south, Shall rain their drift of bullets on this town.
Phi. O prudent discipline! From north to south; Austria and France shoot in each other's mouth: [Aside. I'll stir them to it :-Come, away, away!
1 Cit. Hear us, great kings: vouchsafe a while to And I shall show you peace, and fair-fac'd league; Win you this city without stroke, or wound; Rescue those breathing lives to die in beds, That here come sacrifices for the field: Perséver not, but hear me, mighty kings.
K. John. Speak on, with favour; we are bent to hear.
1 Cit. That daughter there of Spain, the lady Blanch,'
The lady Blanch was daughter to Alphonso IX., king of Castile, and was niece to John, by his sister Eleanor.-STEEVENS.
Is near to England; Look upon the years
Is the young Dauphin every way complete:
And two such shores to two such streams made one,
Lions more confident, mountains and rocks
More free from motion; no, not death himself
As we to keep this city.
Here's a stay,3
That shakes the rotten carcass of old death
Out of his rags! Here's a large mouth, indeed,
That spits forth death, and mountains, rocks, and seas; Talks as familiarly of roaring lions,
As maids of thirteen do of puppy-dogs!
What cannoneer begot this lusty blood?
He speaks plain cannon, fire, and smoke, and bounce; He gives the bastinado with his tongue;
Our ears are cudgel'd; not a word of his,
1 pious. 2 spleen, for violent hurry, or tumultuous speed. 3 Here's an extraordinary partisan, That shakes, &c.