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K. Phi. 'Tis France, for England.
K. John,

England, for itself:
You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects,
K. Phi, You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's

subjects, Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle.9 K. John. For our advantage ;-Therefore, hear us

first.-
These flags 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 preparation 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 waist do girdle you about,
By the compulsion of their ordnance
By this time from their fixed beds of lime
Had been dishabited, and wide havock made
For bloody power to rush upon your peace.
But, on the sight of us, your lawful king,
Who painfully, with much expedient march,
Have brought a countercheck before your gates,
To save unscratch'd your city's threaten'd 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 smoke,

9 Conference,

To make a faithless error in your ears :
Which trust accordingly, kind citizens,
And let us in, your king; whose labour'd spirits,
Forwearied' in this action of swift speed,
Crave harbourage within your city walls.

K. Phi. 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
In warlike march these

greens
before

your town;
Being no further enemy to you,
Than the constraint of hospitable zeal,
In the relief of this oppressed child,
Religiously provokes. Be pleased then
To pay that duty, which you truly owe,
To him that owesit; namely, this young prince:
And then our arms, like to a muzzled bear,
Save in aspect, have all offence seal'd up;
Our cannons' malice vainly shall be spent
Against the invulnerable clouds of heaven;
And, with a blessed and unvex'd retire,
With unhack'd swords, and helmets all unbruis'd,
We will bear home that lusty blood again,
Which here we came to spout against your town,
And leave your children, wives, and you, in peace.
But if you fondly pass our proffer'd offer,
'Tis not the roundured of your old-fac'd walls
Can hide you from our messengers of war ;

1 Worn out.

2 Owns.

3 Circle.

Though 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 challeng'd it?
Or shall we give the signal to our rage,
And stalk in blood to our possession?
i Cit. In brief, we are the king of England's sub-

jects; For him, and in his right, we hold this town. K. John. Acknowledge then the king, and let me

in. 1 Cit. That can we not: but he that proves the

king, To him will we prove loyal ; till that time, Have we ramm’d up our gates against the world. K. John. Doth not the crown of England prove the

king? And, if not that, I bring you witnesses, Twice fifteen thousand hearts of England's breed,

Bast. Bastards, and else.
K. John. To verify our title with their lives.
K. Phi. As many, and as well-born bloods as

those,

Bast. Some bastards too. K. Phi. Stand in his face, to contradict his claim. 1 Cit. Till you compound whose right is wor

thiest, We, for the worthiest, hold the right from both. K. John. Then God forgive the sin of all those

souls, That to their everlasting residence, Before the dew of evening fall, shall fleet,

In dreadful trial of our kingdom's king!
K. Phi. Amen, Amen !-Mount, chevaliers ! to

arms! Bast. St. George, -that swing'd the dragon, and

e'er since, Sits on his horseback at mine hostess' door, Teach us some fence !-Sirrah, were I at home, At your den, sirrah, [To Austria] with your

lioness, I'd set an ox-head to your lion's hide, And make a monster of you.

Peace; no more. Bast. O, tremble; for you hear the lion roar. K. John. Up higher to the plain; where we'll set

forth, In best appointment, all our regiments.

Bast. 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!

[Exeunt.

Aust.

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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 lye 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 : 4 Blood hath bought blood, and blows have answer'd

blows;

4 Judged, determined.

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