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monarch are evident in the style of the manifesto; conventional dignity is most indispensable when personal dignity is wanting. Faulconbridge ridicules the secret springs of politics without disapproving them, but frankly confesses that he is endeavoring to make his fortune by similar means, and wishes rather to belong to the deceivers than the deceived.” Our commiseration is a little excited for the fallen and degraded monarch toward the close of the play. The death of the king and his previous suffering are not among the least impressive parts ; they carry a pointed moral. Malone places the date of the composition in 1596.
VOL. III. 34
1111 KING JOAN. VOI Prince Henry, his Son; afterwards King Henry III. ARTHUR, Duke of Bretagne, Son of Geffrey, late Duke of
Bretagne, the elder Brother of King John. William MARESHALL, Earl of Pembroke. Geffrey Fitz-PETER, Earl of Essex, chief Justiciary of
England. William LONGSWORD, Earl of Salisbury. Robert Bigot, Earl of Norfolk. Hubert De Burgh, Chamberlain to the King. Robert FauLCONBRIDGE, Son of Sir Robert Faulcon
bridge. Philip FaulCONBRIDGE, his Half-brother, Bastard Son
to King Richard the First. James GURNEY, Servant to Lady Faulconbridge. Peter of Pomfret, a Prophet.
Philip, King of France.
ELINOR, the Widow of King Henry II. and Mother of
King John. CONSTANCE, Mother to Arthur. Blanch, Daughter to Alphonso, King of Castile, and
Niece to King John. LADY FauLCONBRIDGE, Mother to the Bastard and
Lords, Ladies, Citizens of Angiers, Sheriff, Heralds,
Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and olher Attendants.
SCENE, sometimes in England, and sometimes in France.
SCENE I. Northampton. A Room of State in the
Enter King JOHN, QUEEN ELINOR, PEMBROKE, Es
SEX, SALISBURY, and others, with Chatillon,
Eli. A strange beginning ;-borrowed majesty!
Chat. Philip of France, in right and true behalf
K. John. What follows, if we disallow of this ?
Chat. The proud control of fierce and bloody war, To enforce these rights so forcibly withheld.
! In my behavior probably means “ In the words and action I am now going to use."
K. John. Here have we war for war, and blood for
blood, Controlment for controlment; so answer France.
Chat. Then take my king's defiance from my mouth,
K. John. Bear mine to him, and so depart in peace.
your own decay.An honorable conduct let him have ;Pembroke, look to't. Farewell, Chatillon.
[Exeunt Chatillon and PEMBROKE.
K. John. Our strong possession, and our right,
Eli. Your strong possession, much more than your
Enter the Sheriff of Northamptonshire, who whispers
[Exit Sheriff, Our abbeys, and our priories, shall pay
Ti e. gloomy, dismal.
2 i. e. conduct, administration.
Re-enter Sheriff, with ROBERT FAULCONBRIDGE, and
Philip, his bastard Brother.
Bast. Your faithful subject, I, a gentleman,
K. John. What art thou ?
K. John. Is that the elder, and art thou the heir ? You came not of one mother then, it seems.
Bast. Most certain of one mother, mighty king; That is well known; and, as I think, one father: But, for the certain knowledge of that truth, I put you o'er to Heaven, and to my mother; Of that I doubt, as all men's children may. Eli. Out on thee, rude man! thou dost shame thy
mother, And wound her honor with this diffidence.
Bast. I, madam ? no, I have no reason for it ; That is my brother's plea, and none of mine. The which if he can prove, 'a pops me out At least from fair five hundred pound a year. Heaven guard my mother's honor, and my land ! K. John. A good blunt fellow.—Why, being young
er born, Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance?
1 Shakspeare, in adopting the character of Philip Faulconbridge from the old play, proceeded on the following slight hint:
“ Next them a bastard of the king's deceased,
A hardie wild-head, rough and venturous." The character is compounded of two distinct personages. « Sub illius temporis curriculo Falcasius de Brente, Neusteriensis, et spurius ex parte matris, atque Bastardus, qui in vili jumento manticato ad Regis paulo ante clientelam descenderat. Mathew Paris.-Holinshed says that “ Richard I. had a natural son named Philip, who, in the year following, killed the Viscount de Limoges to revenge the death of his father.” Perhaps the name of Faulconbridge was suggested by the following passage in the continuation of Harding's Chronicle, 1543, fol. 24, 6:-“ One Faulconbridge, th'erle of Kent his bastarde, a stoute-hearted man."