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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    Not Peer Reviewed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
    To do himselfe good in aduersitie,
    Besides, he knows not my sinnes qualitie,
    and therefore knowes no praiers for my auaile,
    Ere night his praier may be to praie to God,
    2040To put it in my heart to heare his praier,
    So tell the courtly wanton, and be gone.
    He. I go.
    Pr. How confident their strength and number makes them,
    Now Audley sound those siluer winges of thine,
    2045And let those milke white messengers of time,
    Shew thy times learning in this dangerous time,
    Thy selfe art busie, and bit with many broiles,
    And stratagems forepast with yron pens,
    Are texted in thine honorable face,
    2050Thou art a married man in this distresse.
    But danger wooes me as a blushing maide,
    Teach me an answere to this perillous time.
    Aud. To die is all as common as to liue,
    The one in choice the other holds in chase,
    2055For from the instant we begin to liue,
    We do pursue and hunt the time to die,
    First bud we, then we blow, and after seed,
    Then presently we fall, and as a shade
    Followes the bodie, so we follow death,
    2060If then we hunt for death, why do we feare it?
    If we feare it, why do we follow it?
    If we do feare, how can we shun it?
    If we do feare, with feare we do but aide
    The thing we feare, to seize on vs the sooner,
    2065If wee feare not, then no resolued proffer,
    Can ouerthrow the limit of our fate,
    For whether ripe or rotten, drop we shall,
    as we do drawe the lotterie of our doome.
    Pri. Ah good olde man, a thousand thousand armors,
    2070These wordes of thine haue buckled on my backe,
    Ah what an idiot hast thou made of lyfe,
    To seeke the thing it feares, and how disgrast,
    The imperiall victorie of murdring death,