ePub 版

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.


Enter a

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
That did display them when we first march'd forth,
And, like a jolly troop of huntsmen, come
Our lusty English, all with purpled hands,
Died in the dying slaughter of their foes:
Open your gates, and give the victors way.

Cit. Heralds, from off our towers we might behold, From first to last, the onset and retire

Of both your armies; whose equality
By our best eyes cannot be censured:1

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
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 down our just-borne arms,
We'll put thee down, 'gainst whom these arms we bear,
Or add a royal number to the dead;

Gracing the scroll, that tells of this war's loss,
With slaughter coupled to the name of kings.

Phil. Ha, majesty! how high thy glory towers,
When the rich blood of kings is set on fire!
O, now doth death line his dead chaps with steel;
The swords of soldiers are his teeth, his fangs;
And now he feasts, mouthing the flesh of men,
In undetermin'd differences of kings.-
Why stand these royal fronts amazed thus?
Cry, havoc, kings! back to the stained field,

1 cannot be estimated.

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. 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:
King'd3 of our fears; until our fears, resolv'd,
Be by some certain king purg'd and depos'd.

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
Your sharpest deeds of malice on this town:
By east and west let France and England mount
Their battering cannon, charged to the mouths;
Till their soul-fearing clamours have brawl'd down
The flinty ribs of this contemptuous city:
I'd play incessantly upon these jades,

Even till unfenced desolation

Leave them as naked as the vulgar air.
That done, dissever your united strengths,
And part your mingled colours once again;



2 i. e. The Lord of Hosts, who has not yet decided the supe

riority of either army.

4 of for by.

6 mutineers.

3 Swayed by our fears.

5 scroyles, scabby, scrofulous fellows.

7 soul-scaring.

Turn face to face, and bloody point to point:
Then, in a moment, fortune shall cull forth
Out of one side her happy minion;

To whom in favour she shall give the day,
And kiss him with a glorious victory.

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
And lay this Angiers even with the ground;
Then, after, fight who shall be king of it?

Phil. And if thou hast the mettle of a king,-
Being wrong'd, as we are, by this peevish town,-
Turn thou the mouth of thy artillery,

As we will ours, against these saucy walls:
And when that we have dash'd them to the ground,
Why, then defy each other; and, pell-mell,

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.

K. Phi.

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.

[ocr errors]

Is near to England; Look upon the years
Of Lewis the Dauphin, and that lovely maid :
If lusty love should go in quest of beauty,
Where should he find it fairer than in Blanch?
If zealous' love should go in search of virtue,
Where should he find it purer than in Blanch?
If love ambitious sought a match of birth,
Whose veins bound richer blood than lady Blanch?
Such as she is, in beauty, virtue, birth,

Is the young Dauphin every way complete:
O, two such silver currents, when they join,
Do glorify the banks that bound them in:

And two such shores to two such streams made one,
Two such controlling bounds shall you be, kings,
To these two princes, if you marry them.
This union shall do more than battery can,
To our fast-closed gates; for, at this match,
With swifter spleen' than powder can enforce,
The mouth of passage shall we fling wide ope,
And give you entrance; but, without this match,
The sea enraged is not half so deaf,

Lions more confident, mountains and rocks

More free from motion; no, not death himself
In mortal fury half so peremptory,

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.

« 上一頁繼續 »