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Now say, Chatillion, what would France with us?

King John
Now say, Chatillion, what would France with us?
Chatillion
Thus, after greeting, speaks the King of France
In my behavior to the majesty,
The borrowed majesty, of England here.
Be thou the trumpet of our wrath
And sullen presage of your own decay.
Queen Eleanor
A strange beginning: “borrowed majesty”!
King John
Silence, good mother. Hear the embassy.
Chatillion
Philip of France, in right and true behalf
Of thy deceasèd brother Geoffrey’s son,
Arthur Plantagenet, lays most lawful claim
To this fair island and the territories,
To Ireland, Poitiers, Anjou, Touraine, Maine,
Desiring thee to lay aside the sword
Which sways usurpingly these several titles,
And put the same into young Arthur’s hand,
Thy nephew and right royal sovereign.
King John

What follows if we disallow of this?
Chatillion
The proud control of fierce and bloody war,
To enforce these rights so forcibly withheld.
King John
Here have we war for war and blood for blood,
Controlment for controlment: so answer France.
Chatillion
Then take my king's defiance from my mouth,
The farthest limit of my embassy.
King John
Bear mine to him, and so depart in peace.
Be thou as lightning in the eyes of France,
For ere thou canst report, I will be there;
The thunder of my cannon shall be heard.
So, hence. Be thou the trumpet of our wrath
And sullen presage of your own decay.—
An honorable conduct let him have.
Pembroke, look to ‘t.—Farewell, Chatillion.
Chatillion and Pembroke exit.
Queen Eleanor, aside to King John
What now, my son! Have I not ever said
How that ambitious Constance would not cease
Till she had kindled France and all the world
Upon the right and party of her son?
This might have been prevented and made whole
With very easy arguments of love,
Which now the manage of two kingdoms must
With fearful bloody issue arbitrate.
King John, aside to Queen Eleanor
Our strong possession and our right for us.
Queen Eleanor, aside to King John
Your strong possession much more than your right,
Or else it must go wrong with you and me—
So much my conscience whispers in your ear,
Which none but God and you and I shall hear.

Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 1

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