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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Lor: I might perceiue his eye in her eye lost,
    His eare to drinke her sweet tongues vtterance,
    And changing passion like inconstant clouds:
    355That racke vpon the carriage of the windes,
    Increase and die in his disturbed cheekes:
    Loe when shee blusht, euen then did he looke pale,
    As if her cheekes by some inchaunted power,
    Attracted had the cherie blood from his,
    360Anone with reuerent feare, when she grew pale,
    His cheeke put on their scarlet ornaments,
    But no more like her oryent all red,
    Then Bricke to Corrall, or liue things to dead,
    Why did he then thus counterfeit her lookes,
    365If she did blush twas tender modest shame,
    Being in the sacred present of a King.
    If he did blush, twas red immodest shame,
    To waile his eyes amisse being a king;
    If she lookt pale, twas silly womans feare,
    370To beare her selfe in presence of a king:
    If he lookt pale, it was with guiltie feare,
    To dote a misse being a mighty king,
    Then Scottish warres farewell, I feare twill prooue
    A lingring English seege of peeuish loue,
    375Here comes his highnes walking all alone.
    Enter King Edward.
    King: Shee is growne more fairer far since I came thither,
    Her voice more siluer euery word then other,
    Her wit more fluent, what a strange discourse,
    380Vnfolded she of Dauid and his Scots:
    Euen thus quoth she, he spake, and then spoke broad,
    With epithites and accents of the Scot:
    But somewhat better then the Scot could speake,
    And thus quoth she, and answered then herselfe,
    385For who could speake like her but she herselfe:
    Breathes from the wall, an Angels note from Heauen:
    Of sweete defiance to her barbarous foes,
    When she would talke of peace me thinkes her tong,
    Commanded war to prison: when of war,
    390It wakened Cæsar from his Romane graue,
    To heare warre beautified by her discourse,
    Wisedome is foolishnes, but in her tongue,
    Beauty a slander but in her faire face,
    There is no summer, but in her cheerefull lookes,
    395Nor frosty winter, but in her disdayne,
    I cannot blame the Scots that did besiege her,
    For she is all the Treasure of our land:
    But call them cowards that they ran away,
    Hauing so rich and faire a cause to stay.
    400Art thou thete Lodwicke, giue me incke and paper?
    Lo: I will my liege.
    K: And bid the Lords hold on their play at Chesse,
    For wee will walke and meditate alone.
    Lo: I will my soueraigne.
    405Ki: This fellow is well read in poetrie,
    And hath a lustie and perswasiue spirite:
    I will acquaint him with my passion,
    Which he shall shadow with a vaile of lawne,
    Through which the Queene of beauties Queene shall see,
    410Herselfe the ground of my infirmitie.
    Enter Lodwike.
    Ki: Hast thou pen, inke and paper ready Lodowike,
    Lo: Ready my liege.
    Ki: Then in the sommer arber sit by me,
    415Make it our counsel house or cabynet:
    Since greene our thoughts, greene be the conuenticle,
    Where we will ease vs by disburdning them:
    Now Lodwike inuocate some golden Muse,
    To bring thee hither an inchanted pen,
    420That may for sighes, set downe true sighes indeed:
    Talking of griefe, to make thee ready grone,
    And when thou writest of teares, encouch the word,
    Before and after with such sweete laments,
    That it may rayse drops in a Torters eye,
    425And make a flynt heart Sythian pytifull,
    For so much moouing hath a Poets pen:
    Then if thou be a Poet moue thou so,
    And be enriched by thy soueraigne loue:
    For if the touch of sweet concordant strlngs,
    430Could force attendance in the eares of hel:
    How much more shall the straines of poets wit,
    Beguild and rauish soft and humane myndes.
    Lor: To whome my Lord shal I direct my stile.
    King: To one that shames the faire and sots the wise,
    435Whose bodie is an abstract or a breefe,
    Containes ech generall vertue in the worlde,
    Better then bewtifull thou must begin,
    Deuise for faire a fairer word then faire,
    And euery ornament that thou wouldest praise,
    440Fly it a pitch aboue the soare of praise,
    For flattery feare thou not to be conuicted,
    For were thy admiration ten tymes more,
    Ten tymes ten thousand more thy worth exceeds,
    Of that thou art to praise their praises worth,
    445Beginne I will to contemplat the while,
    Forget not to set downe how passionat,
    How hart sicke and how full of languishment,
    Her beautie makes mee,
    Lor: Writ I to a woman?
    450King: What bewtie els could triumph on me,
    Or who but women doe our loue layes greet,
    What thinekst thou I did bid thee praise a horse.
    Lor, Of what condicion or estate she is,
    Twere requisit that I should know my Lord,
    455King: Of such estate, that hers is as a throane,
    And my estate the footstoole where shee treads,
    Then maist thou iudge what her condition is,
    By the proportion of her mightines,
    Write on while I peruse her in my thoughts,
    460Her voice to musicke or the nightingale,
    To musicke euery sommer leaping swaine,
    Compares his sunburnt louer when shee speakes,
    And why should I speake of the nightingale,
    The nightingale singes of adulterate wrong,
    465And that compared is to satyrical,
    For sinne though synne would not be so esteemd,
    But rather vertue sin, synne vertue deemd,
    Her hair far softor then the silke wormes twist,
    Like to a flattering glas doth make more faire,
    470The yelow Amber like a flattering glas,
    Comes in to soone: for writing of her eies,
    Ile say that like a glas they catch the sunne,
    And thence the hot reflection doth rebounde,
    Against my brest and burnes my hart within,
    475Ah what a world of descant makes my soule,
    Vpon this voluntarie ground of loue,
    Come Lodwick hast thou turnd thy inke to golde,
    If not, write but in letters Capitall my mistres name,
    And it wil guild thy paper, read Lorde, reade,
    480Fill thou the emptie hollowes of mine eares,
    With the sweete hearing of thy poetrie.
    Lo: I haue not to a period brought her praise.
    King: Her praise is as my loue, both infinit,
    Which apprehend such violent extremes,
    485That they disdaine an ending period.
    Her bewtie hath no match but my affection,
    Hers more then most, myne most, and more then more,
    Hers more to praise then tell the sea by drops,
    Nay more then drop the massie earth by sands,
    490And said, by said, print them in memorie,
    Then wherefore talkest thou of a period,
    To that which craues vnended admiration.
    Read let vs heare,
    Lo: More faire and chast then is the queen of shades:
    495King: That loue hath two falts grosse and palpable,
    Comparest thou her to the pale queene of night,
    Who being set in darke seemes therefore light,
    What is she, when the sunne lifts vp his head,
    But like a fading taper dym and dead.
    500My loue shall braue the ey of heauen at noon,
    And being vnmaskt outshine the golden sun,
    Lo: What is the other faulte, my soueraigne Lord,
    King. Reade ore the line againe,
    Lo: More faire and chast,
    505King: I did not bid thee talke of chastitie,
    To ransack so the treason of her minde,
    For I had rather haue her chased then chast,
    Out with the moone line, I wil none of it,
    And let me haue hir likened to the sun,
    510Say shee hath thrice more splendour then the sun,
    That her perfections emulats the sunne,
    That shee breeds sweets as plenteous as the sunne,
    That shee doth thaw cold winter like the sunne,
    That she doth cheere fresh sommer like the sunne,
    515That shee doth dazle gazers like the sunne,
    And in this application to the sunne,
    Bid her be free and generall as the sunne,
    Who smiles vpon the basest weed that growes,
    As louinglie as on the fragrant rose,
    520Lets see what followes that same moonelight line,
    Lo: More faire and chast then is the louer of shades,
    More bould in constancie.
    King: In constancie then who,
    Lo: Then Iudith was,
    525King: O monstrous line, put in the next a sword
    And I shall woo her to cut of my head
    Blot, blot, good Lodwicke let vs heare the next.
    Lo: Theres all that yet is donne.
    King: I thancke thee then thou hast don litle ill,
    530But what is don is passing passing ill,
    No let the Captaine talke of boystrous warr,
    The prisoner of emured darke constraint,
    The sick man best sets downe the pangs of death,
    The man that starues the sweetnes of a feast,
    535The frozen soule the benefite of fire,
    And euery griefe his happie opposite,
    Loue cannot sound well but in louers toungs,
    Giue me the pen and paper I will write,
    Enter Countes.
    540But soft here comes the treasurer of my spirit,
    Lodwick thou knowst not how to drawe a battell,
    These wings, these flankars, and these squadrons,
    Argue in thee defectiue discipline,
    Thou shouldest haue placed this here, this other here,
    545Co. Pardon my boldnes my thrice gracious Lords,
    Let my intrusion here be cald my duetie,
    That comes to see my soueraigne how he fares,
    Kin: Go draw the same I tell thee in what forme.
    Lor: I go.
    550Con: Sorry I am to see my liege so sad,
    What may thy subiect do to driue from thee.
    Thy gloomy consort, sullome melancholie,
    King: Ah Lady I am blunt and cannot strawe,
    The flowers of solace in a ground of shame,
    555Since I came hither Countes I am wronged.
    Cont: Now God forbid that anie in my howse
    Should thinck my soueraigne wrong, thrice gentle King:
    King: Acquant me with theyr cause of discontent.
    How neere then shall I be to remedie.
    560Cont: As nere my Liege as all my womans power,
    Can pawne it selfe to buy thy remedy.
    King: Yf thou speakst true then haue I my redresse,
    Ingage thy power to redeeme my Ioyes,
    And I am ioyfull Countes els I die.
    565Coun: I will my Liege.
    King: Sweare Counties that thou wilt.
    Coun: By heauen I will,
    King: Then take thy selfe a litel waie a side,
    And tell thy self a King doth dote on thee,
    570Say that within thy power doth lie.
    To make him happy, and that thou hast sworne,
    To giue him all the Ioy within thy power,
    Do this and tell me when I shall be happie.
    Coun: All this is done my thrice dread souereigne,
    575That power of loue that I haue power to giue.
    Thou hast with all deuout obedience,
    Inploy me how thou wilt in prose therof,
    King. Thou hearst me saye that I do dote on thee,
    Coun: Yfon my beauty take yt if thou canst,
    580Though litle I do prise it ten tymes lesse,
    If on my vertue take it if thou canst,
    For vertues store by giuing doth augment,
    Be it on what it will that I can giue,
    And thou canst take awaie inherit it.
    585King. It is thy beauie that I woulde enioy,
    Count. O were it painted I would wipe it of,
    And disposse my selfe to giue it thee,
    But souereigne it is souldered to my life,
    Take one and both for like an humble shaddow,
    590Yt hauntes the sunshine of my summers life,
    But thou maist leue it me to sport with all,.
    Count: As easie may my intellectual soule,
    Be lent awaie and yet my bodie liue,
    As lend my bodie pallace to my soule,
    595A waie from her and yet retaine my soule,.
    My bodie is her bower her Court her abey,
    And shee an Angell pure deuine vnspotted,
    If I should leaue her house my Lord to thee,
    I kill my poore soule and my poore soule me,
    600King. Didst thou not swere to giue me what I would,
    Count: I did my liege so what you would I could.
    King: I wish no more of thee then thou maist giue,
    Nor beg I do not but I rather buie,
    That is thy loue and for that loue of thine,
    605In rich exchaunge I tender to thee myne,
    Count. But that your lippes were sacred my Lord,
    You would prophane the holie name of loue,
    That loue you offer me you cannot giue,
    For Cæsar owes that tribut to his Queene,
    610That loue you beg of me I cannot giue,
    For Sara owes that duetie to her Lord,
    He that doth clip or counterfeit your stamp,
    Shall die my Lord, and will your sacred selfe,
    Comit high treason against the King of heauen,
    615To stamp his Image in forbidden mettel,
    Forgetting your alleageance, and your othe,
    In violating mariage secred law,
    You breake a greater honor then your selfe,
    To be a King is of a yonger house,
    620Then to be maried, your progenitour
    Sole ragning Adam on the vniuerse,
    By God was honored for a married man,
    But not by him annointed for a king,
    It is a pennalty to breake your statutes,
    625Though not enacted with your highnes hand,
    How much more to infringe the holy act,
    Made by the mouth of God, seald with his hand,
    I know my souereigne in my husbands loue,
    Who now doth loyall seruice in his warrs,
    630Doth but to try the wife of Salisbury,
    Whither shee will heare a wantons tale or no,
    Lest being therein giulty by my stay,
    From that not from my leige I tourne awaie: Exit.
    King: Whether is her bewtie by her words dyuine,
    635Or are her words sweet chaplaines to her bewtie,
    Like as the wind doth beautifie a saile,
    And as a saile becomes the vnseene winde,
    So doe her words her bewties, bewtie wordes,
    O that I were a honie gathering bee,
    640To beare the combe of vertue from his flower,
    And not a poison sucking enuious spider,
    To turne the vice I take to deadlie venom,
    Religion is austere and bewty gentle,
    To stricke a gardion for so faire a weed,
    645O that shee were as is the aire to mee,
    Why so she is, for when I would embrace her,
    This do I, and catch nothing but my selfe,
    I must enioy her, for I cannot beate
    With reason and reproofe fond loue a waie.
    650Enter Warwicke.
    Here comes her father I will worke with him,
    To beare my collours in this feild of loue.
    War: How is it that my souereigne is so sad,
    May I with pardon know your highnes griefe,
    655And that my old endeuor will remoue it,
    It shall not comber long your maiestie,
    King: A kind and voluntary giift thou proferest,
    That I was forwarde to haue begd of thee,
    But O thou world great nurse of flatterie,
    660Whie dost thou tip mens tongues with golden words,
    And peise their deedes with weight of heauie leade,
    That faire performance cannot follow promise,
    O that a man might hold the hartes close booke,
    And choke the lauish tongue when it doth vtter
    665The breath of falshood not carectred there:
    War: Far be it from the honor of my age,
    That I shouid owe bright gould and render lead,
    Age is a cyncke, not a flatterer,
    I saye againe, that I if knew your griefe,
    670And that by me it may be lesned,
    My proper harme should buy your highnes good,
    These are the vulger tenders of false men,
    That neuer pay the duetie of their words,
    Kin: Thou wilt not sticke to sweare what thou hast said,
    675But when thou knowest my greifes condition,
    This rash disgorged vomit of thy word,
    Thou wilt eate vp againe and leaue me helples.
    War. By heauen I will not though your maiestie,
    Did byd me run vpon your sworde and die.
    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. Exit,
    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,
    715Ile say she must forget her husband Salisbury,
    If she remember to embrace the king,
    Ile say an othe may easily be broken,
    But not so easily pardoned being broken:
    Ile say it is true charitie to loue,
    720But not true loue to be so charitable;
    Ile say his greatnes may beare out the shame,
    But not his kingdome can buy out the sinne;
    Ile say it is my duety to perswade,
    But not her honestie to giue consent.
    725Enter Countesse.
    See where she comes, was neuer father had,
    Against his child, an embassage so bad.
    Co: My Lord and father, I haue sought for you:
    My mother and the Peeres importune you,
    730To keepe in promise of his maiestie.
    And do your best to make his highnes merrie.
    War: How shall I enter in this gracelesse arrant,
    I must not call her child, for wheres the father,
    That will in such a sute seduce his child:
    735Then wife of Salisbury shall I so begin:
    No hees my friend, and where is found the friend
    That will doe friendship snch indammagement:
    Neither my daughter, nor my deare friends wife,
    I am not Warwike as thou thinkst I am,
    740But an atturnie from the Court of hell:
    That thus haue housd my spirite in his forme,
    To do a message to thee from the king:
    The mighty king of England dotes on thee:
    He that hath power to take away thy life,
    745Hath power to take thy honor, then consent,
    To pawne thine honor rather then thy life;
    Honor is often lost and got againe,
    But life once gon, hath no recouerie:
    The Sunne that withers heye goth nourish grasse,
    750The king that would distaine thee, will aduance thee:
    The Poets write that great Achilles speare,
    Could heale the wound it made: the morrall is,
    What mighty men misdoo, they can amend:
    The Lyon doth become his bloody iawes,
    755And grace his forragement by being milde,
    When vassell feare lies trembling at his feete,
    The king will in his glory hide thy shame,
    And those that gaze on him to finde out thee,
    Will loose their eie-sight looking in the Sunne:
    760What can one drop of poyson harme the Sea,
    Whose hugie vastures can digest the ill,
    And make it loose his operation:
    The kings great name will temper their misdeeds,
    And giue the bitter portion of reproch:
    765A sugred sweet, and most delitious tast:
    Besides it is no harme to do the thing,
    Which without shame, could not be left vndone;
    Thus haue I in his maiesties behalfe,
    Apparraled sin, in vertuous sentences,
    770And dwel vpon thy answere in his sute.
    Cou: Vnnaturall beseege, woe me vnhappie,
    To haue escapt the danger of my foes,
    And to be ten times worse inuierd by friends:
    Hath he no meanes to stayne my honest blood,
    775But to corrupt the author of my blood,
    To be his scandalous and vile soliciter:
    No maruell though the braunches be then infected,
    When poyson hath encompassed the roote:
    No maruell though the leprous infant dye,
    780When the sterne dame inuennometh the Dug:
    Why then giue sinne a pasport to offend,
    And youth the dangerous reigne of liberty:
    Blot out the strict forbidding of the law,
    And cancell euery cannon that prescribes,
    785A shame for shame, or pennance for offence,
    No let me die, if his too boystrous will,
    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.Exeunt.