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Strength match'd with strength, and power con

fronted power : Both are alike; and both alike we like. 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 the Bastard; at the other, King PHILIP, LEWIS, AUSTRIA, and Forces. K. John. France, hast thou yet more blood to cast

away? 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

blood,
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.

Bast. 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, havock, kings! back to the stained field,
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 ad-

mit?
K. Phi. Speak, citizens, for England; who's your

king? 1 Cit. The king of England, when we know the

king.
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'd of our fears ; until our fears, resolv’d,
Be by some certain king purg'd and depos'd.
Bast. By heaven, these scroyles of Angiers flout

you, kings;
And stand securely on their battlements,
As in a theatre, whence they gape and point
At your industrious scenes and acts of death.
Your royal presences be rul'd by me;
Do like the mutines 7 of Jerusalem,
Be friends a while, and both conjointly bend

1

7 Murineers.

3 Potentates. VOL. IV.

6 Scabby fellows.

Y

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 brawld 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;
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

heads, 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?

Bast. An 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 as

sault? K. John. We from the west will send destruction Into this city's bosom.

5

Aust. I from the north.
K. Phi.

Our thunder from the south, Shall rain their drift of bullets on this town.

Bast. 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! i Cit. Hear us, great kings : vouchsafe a while to

stay, And I shall show you peace, and fair-faced league; Win you this city without stroke, or wound; Rescue those breathing lives to die in beds, That here come sacrifices for the field : Persever not, but hear me, mighty kings. K. John. Speak on, with favour; we are bent to

hear. i Cit. That daughter there of Spain, the lady

Blanch,
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 8 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: If not complete, O say, he is not she; And she again wants nothing, to name want, If want it be not, that she is not he:

8 Pious.

He is the half part of a blessed man,
Left to be finished by such a she;
And she a fair divided excellence,
Whose fulness of perfection lies in him.
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.
Bast.

Here's a stay,
That shakes the rotten carcase 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, But buffets better than a fist of France :

9 Speed.

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