Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Sonia Massai
Not Peer Reviewed

Edward III (Quarto 1, 1596)


Lor: I might perceiue his eye in her eye lost,
His care to drinke her sweet tongues vtterance,
And changing passion like inconstant clouds:
That racke vpon the carriage of the windes,
355Increase and die in his disturbed cheekes:
Loe when shee blusht, euen then did he looke pale,
As if her cheekes by some inchaunted power,
Attracted had the cherie blood from his,
Anone with reuerent feare, when she grewpale,
360His cheeke put on their scarlet ornaments,
But no more like her oryent all red,
Then Bricke to Corrall, or liue things to dead,
Why did he then thus counterfeit her lookes,
If she did blush twas tender modest shame,
365Beingin the sacred present of a King.
If he did blush, twas red immodest shame,
To waile his eyes amisse being a king;
If she lookt pale, twas silly womans feare,
To beare her selfe in presence of a king:
370If he lookt pale, it was with guiltie feare,
To dote a misse being a mighty king,
Then Scottish warres farewell, I feare twill prooue
A lingring English seege of peeuish loue,
Here comes his highnes walking all alone.
375
Enter King Edward.
King: Shee is growne more fairer far since I came thither,
Her voice more siluer euery word then other,
Her wit more fluent, what a strange discourse,
Vnfolded she of Dauid and his Scots:
380Euen thus quoth she, he spake, and then spoke broad,
With epithites and accents of the Scot:
But somewhat better then the Scot could speake,
And thus quoth she, and answered then herselfe,
For who could speake like her but she herselfe:
385Breathes from the wall, an Angels note from Heauen:
Of sweete defiance to her barbarous foes,
When she would talke of peace me thinkes her tong,
Commanded war to prison: when of war,
It wakened Cæsar from his Romane graue,
390To heare warre beautified by her discourse,
Wisedome is foolishnes, but in her tongue,
Beauty a slander but in her faire face,
There is no summer, but in her cheerefull lookes,
Nor frosty winter, but in her disdayne,
395I cannot blame the Scots that did besiege her,
For she is all the Treasure of our land:
But call them cowards that they ran away,
Hauing so rich and faire a cause to stay.
Art thou thete Lodwicke, giue me incke and paper?
400Lo: I will my liege.
K: And bid the Lords hold on their play at Chesse,
For wee will walke and meditate alone.
Lo: I will my soueraigne.
Ki: This fellow is well read in poetrie,
405And hath a lustie and perswasiue spirite:
I will acquaint him with my passion,
Which he shall shadow with a vaile of lawne,
Through which the Queene of beauties Queene shall see,
Herselfe the ground of my infirmitie.
410
Enter Lodwike.
Ki: Hast thou pen, inke and paper ready Lodowike,
Lo: Ready my liege.
Ki: Then in the sommer arber sit by me,
Make it our counsel house or cabynet:
415Since greene our thoughts, greene be the conuenticle,
Where we will ease vs by disburdning them:
Now Lodwike inuocate some golden Muse,
To bring thee hither an inchanted pen,
That may for sighes, set downe true sighes indeed:
420Talking of griefe, to make thee ready grone,
And when thou writest of teares, encouch the word,
Before and after with such sweete laments,
That it may rayse drops in a Torters eye,
And make a flynt heart Sythian pytifull,
425For so much moouing hath a Poets pen:
Then if thou be a Poet moue thou so,
And be enriched by thy soueraigne loue:
For if the touch of sweet concordant strings,
Could force attendance in the eares of hel:
430How much more shall the straines of poets wit,
Beguild and rauish soft and humane myndes.
Lor: To whome my Lord shal I direct my stile.
King: To one that shames the faire and sots the wise,
Whose bodie is an abstract or a breefe,
435Containes ech generall vertue in the worlde,
Better then bewtifull thou must begin,
Deuise for faire a fairer word then faire,
And euery ornament that thou wouldest praise,
Fly it a pitch aboue the soare of praise,
440For flattery feare thou not to be conuicted,
For were thy admiration ten tymes more,
Ten tymes ten thousand more thy worth exceeds,
Of that thou art to praise their praises worth,
Beginne I will to contemplat the while,
445Forget not to set downe how passionat,
How hart sicke and how full of languishment,
Her beautie makes mee,
Lor: Writ I to a woman?
King: Whatbewtie els could triumph on me,
450Or who but women doe our loue layes greet,
What thinekst thou I did bid thee praise a horse.
Lor, Of what condicion or estate she is,
Twere requisit that I should know my Lord,
King: Of such estate, that hers is as a throane,
455And my estate the footstoole where shee treads,
Then maist thou iudge what her condition is,
By the proportion of her mightines,
Write on while I peruse her in my thoughts,
Her voice to musicke or the nightingale,
460To musicke euery sommer leaping swaine,
Compares his sunburnt louer when shee speakes,
And why should I speake of the nightingale,
The nightingale singes of adulterate wrong,
And that compared is to satyrical,
465For sinne though synne would not be so esteemd,
But rather vertue sin, synne vertue deemd,
Her hair far softor then the silke wormes twist,
Like to a flattering glas doth make more faire,
The yelow Amber like a flattering glas,
470Comes in to soone: for writing of her eies,
Ile say that like a glas they catch the sunne,
And thence the hot reflection doth rebounde,
Against my brest and burnes my hart within,
Ah what a world of descant makes my soule,
475Vpon this voluntarie ground of loue,
Come Lodwick hast thou turnd thy inke to golde,
If not, write but in letters Capitall my mistres name,
And it wil guild thy paper, read Lorde, reade,
Fill thou the emptie hollowes of mine eares,
480With the sweete hearing of thy poetrie.
Lo: I haue not to a period brought her praise.
King: Her praise is as my loue, both infinit,
Which apprehend such violent extremes,
That they disdaine an ending period.
485Her bewtie hath no match but my affection,
Hers more then most, myne most, and more then more,
Hers more to praise then tell the sea by drops,
Nay more then drop the massie earth by sands,
And said, by said, print them in memorie,
490Then wherefore talkest thou of a period,
To that which craues vnended admiration.
Read let vs heare,
Lo: More faire and chast then is the queen of shades:
King: That loue hath two falts grosse and palpable,
495Comparest thou her to the pale queene of night,
Who being set in darke seemes therefore light,
What is she, when the sunne lifts vp his head,
But like a fading taper dym and dead.
My loue shall braue the ey of heauen at noon,
500And being vnmaskt outshine the golden sun,
Lo: What is the other faulte, my soueraigne Lord,
King. Readeore the line againe,
Lo: More faire and chast,
King: I did not bid thee talke of chastitie,
505To ransack so the treason of her minde,
For I had rather haue her chased then chast,
Out with the moone line, I wil none of it,
And let me haue hir likened to the sun,
Say shee hath thrice more splendour then the sun,
510That her perfections emulats the sunne,
That shee breeds sweets as plenteous as the sunne,
That shee doth thaw cold winter like the sunne,
That she doth cheere fresh sommer like the sunne,
That shee doth dazle gazers like the sunne,
515And in this application to the sunne,
Bid her be free and generall as the sunne,
Who smiles vpon the basest weed that growes,
As louinglie as on the fragrant rose,
Lets see what followes that same moonelight line,
520Lo: More faire and chast then is the louer of shades,
More bould in constancie.
King: In constancie then who,
Lo: Then Iudith was,
King: O monstrous line, put in the next a sword
525And I shall woo her to cut of my head
Blot, blot, good Lodwicke let vsheare the next.
Lo: Theres all that yet is donne.
King: I thancke thee then thou hast don litle ill,
But what is don is passing passing ill,
530No let the Captaine talke of boystrous warr,
The prisoner of emured darke constraint,
The sick man best sets downe the pangs of death,
The man that starues the sweetnes of a feast,
The frozen soule the benefite of fire,
535And euery griefe his happie opposite,
Loue cannot sound well but in louers toungs,
Giue me the pen and paper I will write,
Enter Countes.
But soft here comes the treasurer of my spirit,
540Lodwick thou knowst not how to drawe a battell,
These wings, these flankars, and these squadrons,
Argue in thee defectiue discipline,
Thou shouldest haue placed this here, this other here,
Co. Pardon my boldnes my thrice gracious Lords,
545Let my intrusion here be cald my duetie,
That comes to see my soueraigne how he fares,
Kin: Go draw the same I tell thee in what forme.
Lor: I go.
Con: Sorry I am to see my liege so sad,
550What may thy subiect do to driue from thee.
Thy gloomy consort, sullome melancholie,
King: Ah Lady I am blunt and cannot strawe,
The flowers of solace in a ground of shame,
Since I came hither Countes I am wronged.
555Cont: Now God forbid that anie in my howse
Should thinck my soueraigne wrong, thrice gentle King:
King: Acquant me with theyr cause of discontent.
How neere then shall I be to remedie.
Cont: As nere my Liege as all my womans power,
560Can pawne it selfe to buy thy remedy.
King: Yf thou speakst true then haue I my redresse,
Ingage thy power to redeeme my Ioyes,
And I am ioyfull Countes els I die.
Coun: I will my Liege.
565King: Sweare Counties that thou wilt.
Coun: By heauen I will,
King: Then take thy selfe a litel waie a side,
And tell thy self a King doth dote on thee,
Say that within thy power doth lie.
570To make him happy, and that thou hast sworne,
To giue him all the Ioy within thy power,
Do this and tell me when I shall be happie.
Coun: All this is done my thrice dread souereigne,
That power of loue that I haue power to giue.
575Thou hast with all deuout obedience,
Inploy me how thou wilt in prose therof,
King. Thou hearst me saye that I do dote on thee,
Coun: Yfon my beauty take yt if thou canst,
Though litle I do prise it ten tymes lesse,
580If on my vertue take it if thou canst,
For vertues store by giuing doth augment,
Be it on what it will that I can giue,
And thou canst take awaie inherit it.
King. It is thy beauie that I woulde enioy,
585Count. O were it painted I would wipe it of,
And disposse my selfe to giue it thee,
But souereigne it is souldered to my life,
Take one and both for like an humble shaddow,
Yt hauntes the sunshineof my summers life,
590But thou maist leue it me to sport with all,
Count: As easie may my intellectual soule,
Be lent a waie and yet my bodie liue,
As lend my bodie pallace to my soule,
A waie from her and yet retaine my soule,
595My bodie is her bower her Court her abey,
And shee an Angell pure deuine vnspotted,
If I should leaue her house my Lord to thee,
I kill my poore soule and my poore soule me,
King. Didst thou not swere to giue me what I would,
600Count: I did my liege so what you would I could.
King: I wish no more of thee then thou maist giue,
Nor beg I do not but I rather buie,
That is thy loue and for that loue of thine,
In rich exchaunge I tender to thee myne,
605Count. But that your lippes were sacred my Lord,
You would prophane the holie name of loue,
That loue you offer me you cannot giue,
For Cæsar owes that tribut to his Queene,
That loue you beg of me I cannot giue,
610For Sara owes that duetie to her Lord,
He that doth clip or counterfeit your stamp,
Shall die my Lord, and will your sacred selfe,
Comit high treason against the King of heauen,
To stamp his Image in forbidden mettel,
615For getting your alleageance, and your othe,
In violating mariage secred law,
You breake a greater honor then your selfe,
To be a King is of a yonger house,
Then to be maried, your progenitour
620Sole ragning Adam on the vniuerse,
By God was honored for a married man,
But not by him annointed for a king,
It is a pennalty to breake your statutes,
Though not enacted with your highnes' hand,
625How much more to infringe the holy act,
Made by the mouth of God, seald with his hand,
I know my souereigne in my husbands loue,
Who now doth loyall seruice in his warrs,
Doth but to try the wife of Salisbury,
630Whither shee will heare a wantons tale or no,
Lest being therein giulty by my stay,
From that not from my leige I tourne awaie:
Exit.
King. Whether is her bewtie by her words dyuine,
Or are her words sweet chaplaines to her bewtie,
635Like as the wind doth beautifie a saile,
And as a saile becomes the vnseene winde,
So doe her words her bewties, bewtie wordes,
O that I were a honie gathering bee,
To beare the combe of vertue from his flower,
640And not a poison sucking enuious spider,
To turne the vice I take to deadlie venom,
Religion is austere and bewty gentle,
To stricke a gardion for so faire a weed,
O that shee were as is the aire to mee,
645Why so she is, for when I would embrace her,
This do I, and catch nothing but my selfe,
I must enioy her, for I cannot beate
With reason and reproofe fond loue a waie.
Enter Warwicke.
650Here comes her father I will worke with him,
To beare my collours in this feild of loue.
War: How is it that my souereigne is so sad,
May I with pardon know your highnes griefe,
And that my old endeuor will remoue it,
655It shall not comber long your maiestie,
King: A kind and voluntary giift thou proferest,
That I was forwarde to haue begd of thee,
But O thou world great nurse of flatterie,
Whie dost thou tip mens tongues with golden words,
660And peise their deedes with weight of heauie leade,
That faire performance cannot follow promise,
O that a man might hold the hartes close booke,
And choke the lauish tongue when it doth vtter
The breath of falshood not carectred there:
665War: Far be it from the honor of my age,
That I shouid owe bright gould and render lead,
Age is a cyncke, not a flatterer,
I saye againe, that I if knew your griefe,
And that by me it may be lesned,
670My proper harme should buy your highnes good,
These are the vulger tenders of false men,
That neuer pay the duetie of their words,
Kin: Thou wilt not sticke to sweare what thou hast said,
But when thou knowest my greifes condition,
675This rash disgorged vomit of thy word,
Thou wilt eate vp againe and leaue me helples.
War. By heauen I will not though your maiestie,
Did byd me run vpon your sworde and die.
Say that my greefe is no way medicinable,
680But by the losse and bruising of thine honour,
War: Yf nothing but that losse may vantage you,
I would accomplish that losse my vauntage to,
King. Thinkst that thou canst answere thy oth againe,
War: I cannot nor I would not if I could.
685King. But if thou dost what shal I say to thee,
War: What may be said to anie periurd villane,
That breake the sacred warrant of an oath,
King. What wilt thou say to one that breaks an othe,
War. That hee hath broke his faith with God and man,
690And from them both standes excommunicat,
King. What office were it to suggest a man,
To breake a lawfull and religious vowe.
War. An office for the deuill not for man,
Ki. That deuilles office must thou do forme,
695Or breake thy oth or cancell all the bondes,
Of loue and duetie twixt thy self and mee,
And therefore Warwike if thou art thy selfe,
The Lord and master of thy word and othe,
Go to thy daughter and in my behalfe,
700Comaund her, woo her, win her anie waies,
To be my mistres and my secret loue,
I will not stand to heare thee make reply,
Thy oth breake hers or let thy souereigne dye. Exit,
King: O doting King, or detestable office,
705Well may I tempt my self to wrong my self,
When he hath sworne me by the name of God,
To breake a vowe made by the name of God,
What if I sweare by this right hand of mine,
To cut this right hande of the better waie,
710Were to prophaine the Idoll then confound it,
But neither will I do Ile keepe myne oath,
And to my daughter make a recantation,
Of all the vertue I haue preacht to her,
Ile say she must forget her husband Salisbury,
715If she remember to embrace the king,
Ile say an othe may easily be broken,
But not so easily pardoned being broken:
Ile say it is true charitie to loue,
But not true loue to be so charitable;
720Ile say his greatnes may beare out the shame,
But not his kingdome can buy out the sinne;
Ile say it is my duety to perswade,
But not her honestie to giue consent.
Enter Countesse.
725See where she comes, was neuer father had,
Against his child, an embassage so bad.
Co: My Lord and father, I haue sought for you:
My mother and the Peeres importune you,
To keepe in promise of his maiestie.
730And do your best to make his highnes merrie.
War: How shall I enter in this gracelesse arrant,
I must not call her child, for wheres the father,
That will in such a sute seduce his child:
Then wife of Salisbury shall I so begin:
735No hees my friend, and where is found the friend
That will doe friendship snch indammagement:
Neither my daughter, nor my deare friends wife,
I am not Warwike as thou thinkst I am,
But an atturnie from the Court of hell:
740That thus haue housd my spirite in his forme,
To do a message to thee from the king:
The mighty king of England dotes on thee:
He that hath power to take away thy life,
Hath power to take thy honor, then consent,
745To pawne thine honor rather then thy life;
Honor is often lost and got againe,
But life once gon, hath no recouerie:
The Sunne that withersheye goth nourish grasse,
The king that would distaine thee, will aduance thee:
750The Poets write that great Achilles speare,
Could heale the wound it made: the morrall is,
What mighty men misdoo, they can amend:
The Lyon doth become his bloody iawes,
And grace his forragement by being milde,
755When vassell feare lies trembling at his feete,
The king will in his glory hide thy shame,
And those that gaze on him to finde out thee,
Will loose their eie-sight looking in the Sunne:
What can one drop of poyson harme the Sea,
760Whose hugie vastures can digest the ill,
And make it loose his operation:
The kings great name will temper their misdeeds,
And giue the bitter portion of reproch:
A sugred sweet, and most delitious tast:
765Besides it is no harme to do the thing,
Which without shame, could not be left vndone;
Thus haue I in his maiesties behalfe,
Apparraled sin, in vertuous sentences,
And dwel vpon thy answere in his sute.
770Cou: Vnnaturall beseege, woe me vnhappie,
To haue escapt the danger of my foes,
And to be ten times worse inuierd by friends:
Hath he no meanes to stayne my honest blood,
But to corrupt the author of my blood,
775To be his scandalous and vile soliciter:
No maruell though the braunches be then infected,
When poyson hath encompassed the roote:
No maruell though the leprous infant dye,
When the sterne dame inuennometh the Dug:
780Why then giue sinne a pasport to offend,
And youth the dangerous reigne of liberty:
Blot out the strict forbidding of the law,
And cancell euery cannon that prescribes,
A shame for shame, or pennance for offence,
785No let me die, if his too boystrous will,
Will haue it so, before I will consent,
To be an actor in his gracelesse lust,
Wa: Why now thou speakst as I would haue thee speake,
And marke how I vnsaie my words againe,
790An honorable graue is more esteemd,
Then the polluted closet of a king,
The greater man, the greater is the thing,
Be it good or bad that he shall vndertake,
An vnreputed mote, flying in the Sunne,
795Presents a greater substaunce then it is:
The freshest summers day doth soonest taint,
The lothed carrion that it seemes to kisse:
Deepe are the blowes made with a mightie Axe,
That sinne doth ten times agreuate it selfe,
800That is committed in a holie place,
An euill deed done by authoritie,
Is sin and subbornation: Decke an Ape
In tissue, and the beautie of the robe,
Adds but the greater scorne vnto the beast:
805A spatious field of reasons could I vrge,
Betweene his gloomie daughter and thy shame,
That poyson shewes worst in a golden cup,
Darke night seemes darker by the lightning flash,
Lillies that fester, smel far worse then weeds,
810And euery glory that inclynes to sin,
The shame is treble, by the opposite,
So leaue I with my blessing in thy bosome,
Which then conuert to a most heauie curse,
When thou conuertest from honors golden name,
815To the blacke faction of bed blotting, shame.
Coun: Ils follow thee, and when my minde turnes so,
My body sinke, my soule in endles woo.
Exeunt.