Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Edward III (Quarto 1, 1596)

Enter Charles of Normandy and Villiers
Ch: I wounder Villiers, thou shouldest importune me
For one that is our deadly ennemie.
Vil: Not for his sake my gratious Lord so much,
Am I become an earnest aduocate,
1835As that thereby my ransome will be quit,
Ch: Thy ransome man: why needest thou talke of that?
Art thou not free? and are not all occasions,
That happen for aduantage of our foes,
To be accepted of, and stood vpon?
1840Vil: No good my Lord except the same be iust,
For profit must with honor be comixt,
Or else our actions are but scandalous:
But letting passe these intricate obiections,
Wilt please your highnes to subscribe or no?
1845Ch. Villiers I will not, nor I cannot do it,
Salisbury shall not haue his will so much,
To clayme a pasport how it, pleaseth himselfe,
Vil: Why then I know the extremitie my Loid,
I must returne to prison whence I came,
1850Ch. Returne, I hope thou wilt not,
What bird that hath escapt the fowlers gin,
Will not beware how shees insnard againe:
Or what is he so senceles and secure,
That hauing hardely past a dangerous gulfe,
1855Will put him selfe in perill there againe.
Vil: Ah but it is mine othe my gratious Lord,
Which I in conscience may not violate,
Or else a kingdome should not draw me hence.
Ch: Thine othe, why that doth bind thee to abide:
1860Hast thou not sworne obedience to thy Prince?
Vil: In all things that vprightly he commands:
But either to perswade or threaten me,
Not to performe the couenant of my word,
Is lawlesse, and I need not to obey.
1865Ch: Why is it lawfull for a man to kill,
And not to breake a promise with his foe?
Vil: To kill my Lord when warre is once proclaymd,
So that our quarrel be for wrongs receaude,
No doubt is lawfully permitted vs:
1870But in an othe we must be well aduisd,
How we do sweare, and when we once haue sworne,
Not to infringe it though we die therefore:
Therefore my Lord, as willing I returne,
As if I were to flie to paradise.
1875Ch: Stay my Villeirs, thine honorable minde,
Deserues to be eternally admirde,
Thy sute shalbe no longer thus deferd:
Giue me the paper, Ile subscribe to it,
And wheretofore I loued thee as Villeirs,
1880Heereafter Ile embrace thee as my selfe,
Stay and be still in fauour with thy Lord.
Vil: I humbly thanke your grace, I must dispatch,
And send this pasport first vnto the Earle,
And then I will attend your highnes pleasure.
1885Ch. Do so Villeirs, and Charles when he hath neede,
Be such his souldiers, howsoeuer he speede.
Exit Villeirs.
Enter King Iohn.
K. Io: Come Charles and arme thee, Edward is intrapt,
The Prince of Wales is falne into our hands,
1890And we haue compast him he cannot scape.
Ch: But will your highnes fight to day.
Io: What else my son, hees scarse eight thousand
and we are threescore thousand at the least,
Ch: I haue a prophecy my gratious Lord,
1895Wherein is written what successe is like
To happen vs in this outragious warre,
It was deliuered me at Cresses field,
By one that is an aged Hermyt there,
when fethered foul shal make thine army tremble,
1900and flint stones rise and breake the battell ray:
Then thinke on him that doth not now dissemble
For that shalbe the haples dreadfull day,
Yet in the end thy foot thou shalt aduance,
as farre in England, as thy foe in Fraunce,
1905Io: By this it seemes we shalbe fortunate:
For as it is impossible that stones
Should euer rise and breake the battaile ray,
Or airie foule make men in armes to quake,
So is it like we shall not be subdude:
1910Or say this might be true, yet in the end,
Since he doth promise we shall driue him hence,
And forrage their Countrie as they haue don ours
By this reuenge, that losse will seeme the lesse,
But all are fryuolous, fancies, toyes and dreames,
1915Once we are sure we haue insnard the sonne,
Catch we the father after how we can.