Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Sonia Massai
Not Peer Reviewed

Edward III (Quarto 1, 1596)


The Raigne of King
The number would confound my memorie,
1965And make a thousand millions of a taske,
Which briefelie is no more indeed then one,
These quarters, spuadrons, and these regements,
Before, behinde vs, and on either hand,
Are but a power, when we name a man,
1970His hand, his foote, his head hath seuerall strengthes,
And being al but one selfe instant strength,
Why all this many, Audely is but one,
And we can call it all but one mans strength:
He that hath farre to goe, tels it by miles,
1975If he should tell the steps, it kills his hart:
The drops are infinite that make a floud,
And yet thou knowest we call it but a Raine:
There is but one Fraunce, one king of Fraunce,
That Fraunce hath no more kings, and that same king
1980Hath but the puissant legion of one king?
And we haue one, then apprehend no ods,
For one to one, is faire equalitie.

Enter an Herald from king Iohn.
Pr: What tidings messenger, be playne and briefe.
1985He: The king of Fraunce my soueraigne Lord and master,
Greets by me his fo, the Prince of Wals,
If thou call forth a hundred men of name
Of Lords, Knights, Esquires and English gentlemen,
And with thy selfe and those kneele at his feete,
1990He straight will fold his bloody collours vp,
And ransome shall redeeme liues forfeited:
If not, this day shall drinke more English blood,
Then ere was buried in our Bryttish earth,
What is the answere to his profered mercy?
1995Pr, This heauen that couers Fraunce containes the mercy
That drawes from me submissiue orizons,
That such base breath should vanish from my lips
To vrge the plea of mercie to a man,
The Lord forbid, returne and tell the king,
My