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  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Enter Charles of Normandy and Villiers
    1830Ch: 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,
    As that thereby my ransome will be quit,
    1835Ch: 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?
    Vil: No good my Lord except the same be iust,
    1840For 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?
    Ch. Villiers I will not, nor I cannot do it,
    1845Salisbury 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,
    Ch. Returne, I hope thou wilt not,
    1850What bird that hath e(s)capt 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,
    Will put him selfe in perill there againe.
    1855Vil: 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:
    Hast thou not sworne obedience to thy Prince?
    1860Vil: 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.
    Ch: Why is it lawfull for a man to kill,
    1865And 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:
    But in an othe we must be well aduisd,
    1870How 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.
    Ch: Stay my Villeirs, thine honorable minde,
    1875Deserues 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,
    Heereafter Ile embrace thee as my selfe,
    1880Stay 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.
    Ch. Do so Villeirs, and Charles when he hath neede,
    1885Be 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,
    And we haue compast him he cannot scape.
    1890Ch: But will your highnes fight to day.
    Io: What else my son, hees scarse eight thousand (strong
    and we are threescore thousand at the least,
    Ch: I haue a prophecy my gratious Lord,
    Wherein is written what successe is like
    1895To 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,
    and flint stones rise and breake the battell ray:
    1900Then 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,
    Io: By this it seemes we shalbe fortunate:
    1905For 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:
    Or say this might be true, yet in the end,
    1910Since 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,
    Once we are sure we haue insnard the sonne,
    1915Catch we the father after how we can. Exeunt.