Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Edward III (Quarto 1, 1596)
  • Editor: Sonia Massai

  • Copyright Sonia Massai. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Sonia Massai
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Edward III (Quarto 1, 1596)

    The Raigne of King
    680 Say that my greefe is no way medicinable,
    But 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,
    685War: I cannot nor I would not if I could.
    King. 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,
    690War. That hee hath broke his faith with God and man,
    And 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,
    695Ki. That deuilles office must thou do for me,
    Or 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,
    700Go to thy daughter and in my behalfe,
    Comaund 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.
    705King: O doting King, or detestable office,
    Well 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,
    710To cut this right hande of the better waie,
    Were 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,