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That Geffrey was thy elder brother born,
my answer from thy articles ? K. Phi. From that supernal judge, that stirs good
K. John. Alack, thou dost usurp authority.
Eli. Out, insolent! thy bastard shall be king;
Const. My bed was ever to thy son as true As thine was to thy husband: and this boy Liker in feature to his father Geffrey, Than thou and John in manners; being as like, As rain to water, or devil to his dam. My boy a bastard! by my soul, I think, His father never was so true begot; It cannot be, an if thou wert his mother. Eli. There's a good mother, boy, that blots thy fa
ther. Const. There's a good grandam, boy, that would blot
an if thou wert his mother.] Constance alludes to Elinor's infidelity to her husband, Lewis the Seventh, when they were in the Holy Land; on account of which he was divorced from her. She afterwards (1151) married our king Henry II.
Hear the crier.
What the devil art thou ? Bast. One that will play the devil, sir, with you, An ’a may catch your hide and you alone. 4 You are the hare of whom the proverb goes, Whose valour plucks dead lions by the beard; I'll smoke your skin-coat, an I catch you right; Sirrah, look to't; i'faith, I will, i'faith.
Blanch. O, well did he become that lion's robe,
Bast. It lies as sightly on the back of him,
Aust. What cracker is this same, that deafs our ears With this abundance of superfluous breath?
K. Phi. Lewis, determine what we shall do straight.
Lew. Women and fools, break off your conference, King John, this is the very sum
K. John. My life as soon :-- I do defy thee, France.
Come to thy grandam, child.
4 One that will play the devil, sir, with you,
your hide and you alone. The story is, that Austria, who killed king Richard Cæur-de-lion, wore, as the spoil of that prince, a lion's hide, which had belonged to him.
Good my mother, peace ! I would, that I were low laid in my grave; I am not worth this coil that's made for me.
Eli. His mother shames him so, poor boy, he weeps.
Const. Now shame upon you, whe’r she does or no! His grandam's wrongs, and not his mother's shames, Draw those heaven-moving pearls from his poor eyes, Which heaven shall take in nature of a fee; Ay, with these crystal beads heaven shall be brib'd To do him justice, and revenge on you.
Eli. Thou monstrous slanderer of heaven and earth!
Const. Thou monstrous injurer of heaven and earth!
K. John. Bedlam, have done.
I have but this to say,
5 I have but this to say,
That he's not only plagued for her sin,
But God hath made her sin and her the plague, &c.] The commentators have laboured hard to make out a meaning in this passage. The following by Mr. Henley seems as satisfactory as any. Young Arthur is here represented as not only suffering from the guilt of his grandmother ; but also, by her, in person, she being made the very instrument of his sufferings. As he was not hér immediate, but REMOVED issue -- the second generation from her sin-conceiving womb mit might have been expected, that the evils to which, upon her account, he was obnoxious, would have incidentally befallen him; instead of his being punished for them all, by her immediate infliction, He is not only plagued on account of her sin, according to the threatening of the commandment, but she is preserved alive to her second generation, to be the instrument of inflicting on her grand
On this removed issue, plagu'd for her,
Const. Ay, who doubts that? a will ! a wicked will; A woman's will; a canker'd grandam's will !
K. Phi. Peace, lady; pause, or be more temperate : It ill beseems this presence, cry
Trumpets sound. Enter Citizens upon the walls. i Cit. Who is it, that hath warn'd us to the walls? 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. K. John. For our advantage; - Therefore, hear us
child the penalty annexed to her sin; so that he is plagued on her account, and with her plague, which is, her sin, that is (taking, by a common figure, the cause for the consequence] the penalty entailed upon it. His injury, or the evil he suffers, her sin brings upon him, and HEB injury, or, the evil she inflicts, he suffers from her, as the beadle to her sin, or erecutioner of the punishment annexed to it.
0 It ill beseems this presence, to cry aim ~] To cry aim is' borrowed probably from archery, and means to incite notice, or raise attention.
And ready mounted are they, to spit forth
your ears :
K. Phi. When I have said, make answer to us both.
- your winking gates ;] i.e. gates hastily closed from an apprehension of danger.
8 Forwearied - ) i. e. worn out, Sax.