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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    1240Enter two French men, a woman and two little Children,
    meet them another Citizens.
    One: Wel met my masters: how now, whats the newes,
    And wherefore are ye laden thus with stuffe:
    What is it quarter daie that you remoue,
    1245And carrie bag and baggage too?
    Two Quater
    The Raigne of King
    Two: Quarter day, I and quartering pay I feare:
    Haue we not heard the newes that flies abroad?
    One: What newes?
    Three: How the French Nauy is destroyd at Sea,
    1250And that the English Armie is arriued.
    One: What then?
    Two: What then quoth you? why ist not time to flie,
    When enuie and destruction is so nigh,
    One. Content thee man, they are farre enough from hence,
    1255And will be met I warrant ye to their cost,
    Before they breake so far into the Realme.
    Two: I so the Grashopper doth spend the time,
    In mirthfull iollitie till Winter come,
    And then too late he would redeeme his time,
    1260When frozen cold hath nipt his carelesse head:
    He that no sooner will prouide a Cloake,
    Then when he sees it doth begin to raigne,
    May peraduenture for his negilgence,
    Be throughly washed when he suspects it not,
    1265We that haue charge, and such a trayne as this,
    Must looke in time, to looke for them and vs,
    Least when we would, we cannot be relieued.
    One: Be like you then dispaire of ill successe,
    And thinke your Country will be subiugate.
    1270Three. We cannot tell, tis good to feare the worst.
    One: Yet rather fight, then like vnnaturall sonnes,
    For sake your louing parents in distresse.
    Two. Tush they that haue already taken armes,
    Are manie fearefull millions in respect
    1275Of that small handfull of our enimies:
    But tis a rightfull quarrell must preuaile,
    Edward is sonnne vnto our late kings sister,
    Where Iohn Valoys, is three degrees remoued.
    Wo: Besides, there goes a Prophesie abroad,
    1280Published by one that was a Fryer once,
    Whose Oracles haue many times prooued true,
    Edward the third.
    And now he sayes the tyme will shortly come,
    When as a Lyon rowsed in the west,
    Shall carie hence the fluerdeluce of France,
    1285These I can tell yee and such like surmises,
    Strike many french men cold vnto the heart:
    Enter a French man.
    Flie cuntry men and cytizens of France,
    Sweete flowring peace the roote of happie life,
    1290Is quite abandoned and expulst the lande,
    In sted of whome ransackt constraining warre,
    Syts like to Rauens vppon your houses topps,
    Slaughter and mischiefe walke within your streets.
    And vnrestrained make hauock as they passe,
    1295The forme whereof euen now my selfe beheld,
    Vpon this faire mountaine whence I came,
    For so far of as I directed mine eies,
    I might perceaue fiue Cities all on fire,
    Corne fieldes and vineyards burning like an ouen,
    1300And as the leaking vapour in the wind,
    I tourned but a side I like wise might disserne.
    The poore inhabitants escapt the flame,
    Fall numberles vpon the souldiers pikes,
    Three waies these dredfull ministers of wrath,
    1305Do tread the measuers of their tragicke march,
    Vpon the right hand comes the conquering King,
    Vpon the lefte is hot vnbridled sonne,
    And in the midst our nations glittering hoast,
    All which though distant yet conspire in one,
    1310To leaue a desolation where they come,
    Flie therefore Citizens if you be wise,
    Seeke out som habitation further of,
    Here if you staie your wiues will be abused,
    Your treasure sharde before your weeping eies,
    1315Shelter you your selues for now the storme doth rise,
    F A
    The Raigne of King
    Away, away, me thinks I heare their drums,
    Ah wreched France, I greatly feare thy fal,
    Thy glory shaketh like a tottering wall.