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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Edward the third.
    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,
    790And marke how I vnsaie my words againe,
    An 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,
    795An vnreputed mote, flying in the Sunne,
    Presents 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,
    800That sinne doth ten times agreuate it selfe,
    That 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,
    805Adds but the greater scorne vnto the beast:
    A 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,
    810Lillies that fester, smel far worse then weeds,
    And 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,
    815When thou conuertest from honors golden name,
    To 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.
    Enter at one doore Derby from Eraunce, At an other doore,
    Audley with a Drum.
    Der. Thrice noble Audley, well incountred heere,
    How is it with our soueraigne and his peeres?
    Aud: Tis