Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Sonia; Young, Jennifer Massai
Not Peer Reviewed

Edward III (Quarto 1, 1596)

Enter King Edward and Derby with Souldiers.
Kin: Since they refuse our profered league my Lord,
And will not ope their gates and let vs in,
We will intrench our selues on euery side,
That neithet vituals, nor supply of men,
1745May come to succour this accursed towne,
Famine shall combate where our swords are stopt.
Enter sixe poore Frenchmen.
Der. The promised aid that made them stand aloofe,
Is now retirde and gone an other way:
1750It will repent them of their stubborne will,
But what are these poore ragged slaues my Lord?
Ki: Edw: Aske what they are, it seemes they come from
Der. You wretched patterns of dispayre and woe,
1755What are you liuing men, er glyding ghosts,
Crept from your graues to walke vpon the earth,
Poore: No ghosts my Lord, but men that breath a life,
Farre worse then is the quiet sleepe of death:
Wee are distressed poore inhabitants,
1760That long haue been deseased, sicke and lame;
And now because we are not fit to serue,
The Captayne of the towne hath thrust vs foorth,
That so expence of victuals may be saued.
K. Ed. A charitable deed no doubt, and worthy praise:
1765But how do you imagine then to speed?
We are your enemies in such a case,
We can no lesse but put ye to the sword,
Since when we proffered truce, it was refusde,
So: And if your grace no otherwise vouchsafe,
1770As welcome death is vnto vs as life.
Ki: Poore silly men, much wrongd, and more distrest,
Go Derby go, and see they be relieud,
Command that victuals be appoynted them,
And giue to euery one fiue Crownes a peece:
1775The Lion scornes to touch the yeelding pray,
And Edwards sword must fresh it selfe in such,
As wilfull stubbornnes hath made peruerse.
Enter Lord Pearsie.
Ki: Lord Persie welcome: whats the newes in England:
1780Per: The Queene my Lord comes heere to your Grace,
And from hir highnesse, and the Lord vicegerent,
I bring this happie tidings of successe,
Dauid of Scotland lately vp in armes,
Thinking belike he soonest should preuaile,
1785Your highnes being absent from the Realme,
Is by the fruitfull seruice of your peeres,
And painefull trauell of the Queene her selfe:
That big with child was euery day in armes,
Vanquisht, subdude, and taken prisoner.
1790Ki: Thanks Persie for thy newes with all my hart,
What was he tooke him prisoner in the field.
Per. A Esquire my Lord, Iohn Copland is his name:
Who since intreated by her Maiestie,
Denies to make surrender of his prize,
1795To anie but vnto your grace alone:
Whereat the Queene is greouously displeasd.
Ki: Well then wele haue a Pursiuaunt dispatch,
To summon Copland hither out of hand,
And with him he shall bring his prisoner king.
1800Per: The Queene my Lord her selfe by this at Sea,
And purposeth as soone as winde willserue,
To land at Callis, and to visit you,
Ki: She shall be welcome, and to wait her comming,
Ile pitch my tent neere to the sandy shore.
Enter a Captayne.
The Burgesses of Callis mighty king,
Haue by a counsell willingly decreed,
To yeeld the towne and Castle to your hands,
Vpon condition it will please your grace,
1810To graunt them benefite of life and goods.
K. Ed, They wil so: Then belike they may command,
Dispose, elect, and gouerne as they list,
No sirra, tell them since they didrefuse,
Our princely clemencie at first proclaymed,
1815They shall not haue it now although they would,
Will accept of nought but fire and sword,
Except within these two daies sixe of them
That are the welthiest marchaunts in the towne,
Come naked all but for their linnen shirts,
1820With each a halter hangd about his necke,
And prostrate yeeld themselues vpon their knees,
To be afflicted, hanged, or what I please,
And so you may informe their masterships.
Cap. Why this it is to trust a broken staffe.
1825Had we not been perswaded Iohn our King,
Would with his armie haue releeud the towne,
We had not stood vpon defiance so:
But now tis past that no man can recall,
And better some do go to wrack then all.