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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    Not Peer Reviewed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
    Enter sixe poore Frenchmen.
    Der. The promised aid that made them stand aloofe,
    Is now retirde and gone an other way:
    It will repent them of their stubborne will,
    1750But 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,
    What are you liuing men, er glyding ghosts,
    1755Crept 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,
    That long haue been deseased, sicke and lame;
    1760And 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:
    But how do you imagine then to speed?
    1765We 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,
    As welcome death is vnto vs as life.
    1770Ki: 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:
    The Lion scornes to touch the yeelding pray,
    1775And 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:
    Per: The Queene my Lord comes heere to your Grace,
    1780And from hir highnesse, and the Lord vicegerent,