Speeches (Lines) for First Citizen in "History of King John"

Total: 10
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# Act / Scene Speech text
1 II / 1
  • Who is it that hath warn'd us to the walls?
  • Who is it that hath warn'd us to the walls?
  • King Phillip. Peace, lady! pause, or be more temperate:
    It ill beseems this presence to cry aim
    To these ill-tuned repetitions.
    Some trumpet summon hither to the walls
    These men of Angiers: let us hear them speak
    Whose title they admit, Arthur's or John's.

    First Citizen. Who is it that hath warn'd us to the walls?

2 II / 1
  • In brief, we are the king of England's subjects:
    For him, and in his right,...
  • In brief, we are the king of England's subjects:
    For him, and in his right, we hold this town.
  • King Phillip. 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 that owes it, namely this young prince:
    And then our arms, like to a muzzled bear,
    Save in aspect, hath 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 unbruised,
    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 roundure of your old-faced walls
    Can hide you from our messengers of war,
    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 challenged it?
    Or shall we give the signal to our rage
    And stalk in blood to our possession?

    First Citizen. In brief, we are the king of England's subjects:
    For him, and in his right, we hold this town.

3 II / 1
  • That can we not; but he that proves the king,
    To him will we prove loyal: ti...
  • 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.
  • King John. Acknowledge then the king, and let me in.

    First Citizen. 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.

4 II / 1
  • Till you compound whose right is worthiest,
    We for the worthiest hold the ri...
  • Till you compound whose right is worthiest,
    We for the worthiest hold the right from both.
  • King Phillip. Stand in his face to contradict his claim.

    First Citizen. Till you compound whose right is worthiest,
    We for the worthiest hold the right from both.

5 II / 1
  • Heralds, from off our towers we might behold,
    From first to last, the onset...
  • 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:
    Blood hath bought blood and blows have answered blows;
    Strength match'd with strength, and power confronted 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.
    [Re-enter KING JOHN and KING PHILIP, with their]
    powers, severally]
  • English Herald. 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 troop of jolly huntsmen, come
    Our lusty English, all with purpled hands,
    Dyed in the dying slaughter of their foes:
    Open your gates and gives the victors way.

    First Citizen. 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:
    Blood hath bought blood and blows have answered blows;
    Strength match'd with strength, and power confronted 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.
    [Re-enter KING JOHN and KING PHILIP, with their]
    powers, severally]

6 II / 1
  • The king of England; when we know the king.
  • The king of England; when we know the king.
  • King Phillip. Speak, citizens, for England; who's your king?

    First Citizen. The king of England; when we know the king.

7 II / 1
  • A greater power then we denies all this;
    And till it be undoubted, we do loc...
  • A greater power then 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, resolved,
    Be by some certain king purged and deposed.
  • King John. In us, that are our own great deputy
    And bear possession of our person here,
    Lord of our presence, Angiers, and of you.

    First Citizen. A greater power then 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, resolved,
    Be by some certain king purged and deposed.

8 II / 1
  • Hear us, great kings: vouchsafe awhile to stay,
    And I shall show you peace a...
  • Hear us, great kings: vouchsafe awhile 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.
  • Philip the Bastard. O prudent discipline! From north to south:
    Austria and France shoot in each other's mouth:
    I'll stir them to it. Come, away, away!

    First Citizen. Hear us, great kings: vouchsafe awhile 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.

9 II / 1
  • That daughter there of Spain, the Lady Blanch,
    Is niece to England: look upo...
  • That daughter there of Spain, the Lady Blanch,
    Is niece 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 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 of, say he is not she;
    And she again wants nothing, to name want,
    If want it be not that she is not he:
    He is the half part of a blessed man,
    Left to be finished by such as 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 moral fury half so peremptory,
    As we to keep this city.
  • King John. Speak on with favour; we are bent to hear.

    First Citizen. That daughter there of Spain, the Lady Blanch,
    Is niece 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 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 of, say he is not she;
    And she again wants nothing, to name want,
    If want it be not that she is not he:
    He is the half part of a blessed man,
    Left to be finished by such as 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 moral fury half so peremptory,
    As we to keep this city.

10 II / 1
  • Why answer not the double majesties
    This friendly treaty of our threaten'd t...
  • Why answer not the double majesties
    This friendly treaty of our threaten'd town?
  • Queen Elinor. Son, list to this conjunction, make this match;
    Give with our niece a dowry large enough:
    For by this knot thou shalt so surely tie
    Thy now unsured assurance to the crown,
    That yon green boy shall have no sun to ripe
    The bloom that promiseth a mighty fruit.
    I see a yielding in the looks of France;
    Mark, how they whisper: urge them while their souls
    Are capable of this ambition,
    Lest zeal, now melted by the windy breath
    Of soft petitions, pity and remorse,
    Cool and congeal again to what it was.

    First Citizen. Why answer not the double majesties
    This friendly treaty of our threaten'd town?

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© Copyright 2017-2022 Shakespeare Network - Maximianno Cobra - All rights reserved.