Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Sonia Massai
Not Peer Reviewed

Edward III (Quarto 1, 1596)


Edward the third.
2150To be the gallowes of an English theefe.
Sa: My Lord of Norman die, I haue your passe,
And warrant for my safetie through this land.
Ch. Villiers procurd it for thee, did he not?
Sal: He did.
2155Ch: And it is currant, thou shalt freely passe.
En: Io: I freely to the gallows to be hangd,
Without deniall or impediment.
Awaie with him.
Vil. I hope your highnes will not so disgrace me,
2160and dash the vertue of my seale at armes,
He hath my neuer broken name to shew,
Carectred with this princely hande of mine,
and rather let me leaue to be a prince,
Than break the stable verdict of a prince,
2165I doo beseech you let him passe in quiet,
Ki: Thou and thy word lie both in my command,
What canst thou promise that I cannot breake?
Which of these twaine is greater infamie,
To disobey thy father or thy selfe?
2170Thy word nor no mans may exceed his power,
Nor that same man doth neuer breake his worde,
That keepes it to the vtmost of his power.
The breach of faith dwels in the soules consent,
Which if thy selfe without consent doo breake,
2175Thou art not charged with the breach of faith,
Go hang him, for thy lisence lies in mee,
and my constraint stands the excuse for thee.
Ch. VVhat am I not a soldier in my word?
Then armes adieu, and let them fight that list,
2180Shall I not giue my girdle from my wast,
But with a gardion I shall be controld,
To saie I may not giue my things awaie,
Vpon my soule, had Edward prince of VVales
Ingagde his word, writ downe his noble hand,
2185For all your knights to passe his fathers land,
The roiall king to grace his warlike sonne,
VVould not alone safe conduct giue to them.
I
But