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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 King Edward and the Erle of Darby
    1320With Souldiors, and Gobin de Graie.
    Kin: Wheres the French man by whose cunning guide,
    We found the shalow of this Riuer Sone,
    And had direction how to passe the sea.
    Go: Here my good Lord.
    1325Kin: How art thou calde, tell me thy name.
    Go: Gobin de Graie if please your excellence,
    Kin: Then Gobin for the seruice thou hast done,
    We here inlarge and giue thee liberty,
    And for recompenc beside this good,
    1330Thou shalt receiue fiue hundred markes in golde,
    I know not how we should haue met our sonne,
    Whom now in heart I wish I might behold.
    Enter Artoyes.
    Good newes my Lord the prince is hard at hand,
    1335And with him comes Lord Awdley and the rest,
    Whome since our landing we could neuer meet.
    Enter Prince Edward, Lord Awdley and Souldiers.
    K. E: Welcome faire Prince, how hast thou sped my sonne,
    Since thy arriuall on the coaste of Fraunce?
    1340Pr. Ed: Succesfullie I thanke the gratious heauens,
    Some of their strongest Cities we haue wonne,
    As Harslen, Lie, Crotag, and Carentigne,
    And others wasted, leauing at our heeles,
    A wide apparant feild and beaten path,
    1345For sollitarines to progresse in,
    Yet those that would submit we kindly pardned,
    For who in scorne refused our poffered peace,
    Indurde the penaltie of sharpe reuenge.
    Ki. Ed: Ah Fraunce, why shouldest thou be this obstinate,
    1350Agaynst the kind imbracement of thy friends,
    How gently had we thought to touch thy brest,
    And set our foot vpon thy tender mould,
    But that in froward and disdainfull pride
    Thou like a skittish and vntamed coult,
    1355Dost start aside and strike vs with thy heeles,
    But tel me Ned, in all thy warlike course,
    Hast thou not seene the vsurping King of Fraunce.
    Pri. Yes my good Lord, and not two owers ago,
    With full a hundred thousand fighting men,
    1360Vppon the one side with the riuers banke,
    And on the other both his multitudes,
    I feard he would haue cropt our smaller power,
    But happily perceiuing your approch,
    He hath with drawen himselfe to Cressey plaines,
    1365Where as it seemeth by his good araie.
    He meanes to byd vs battaile presently,
    Kin. Ed: He shall be welcome thats the thing we craue.
    Enter King Iohn, Dukes of Normanndy and Lorraine, King of
    Boheme, yong Phillip, and Souldiers.
    1370Iohn. Edward know that Iohn the true king of Fraunce,
    Musing thou shouldst incroach vppon his land,
    And in thy tyranous proceeding slay,
    His faithfull subiects, and subuert his Townes,
    Spits in thy face, and in this manner folowing,
    1375Obraids thee with thine arrogant intrusion,
    First I condeme thee for a fugitiue,
    A theeuish pyrate, and a needie mate,
    One that hath either no abyding place,
    Or else inhabiting some barraine soile,
    1380Where neither hearb or frutfull graine is had,
    Doest altogether liue by pilfering,
    Next, insomuch thou hast infringed thy faith,
    Broke leage and solemne couenant made with mee,
    I hould thee for a false pernitious wretch,
    1385And last of all, although I scorne to cope
    With one such inferior to my selfe,
    Yet in respect thy thirst is all for golde,
    They labour rather to be feared then loued,
    To satisfie thy lust in either parte
    1390Heere am I come and with me haue I brought,
    Exceding store of treasure, perle, and coyne,
    Leaue therfore now to persecute the weake,
    And armed entring conflict with the armd,
    Let it be seene mongest other pettie thefts,
    1395How thou canst win this pillage manfully.
    K: Ed: If gall or worm wood haue a pleasant tast,
    Then is thy sallutation hony sweete,
    But as the one hath no such propertie,
    So is the other most satiricall:
    1400Yet wot how I regarde thy worthles tants,
    If thou haue vttred them to foile my fame,
    Or dym the reputation of my birth,
    Know that thy woluish barking cannot hurt,
    If slylie to insinuate with the worlde,
    1405And with a strumpets artifitiall line,
    To painte thy vitious and deformed cause,
    Bee well assured the counterfeit will fade,
    And in the end thy fowle defects be seene,
    But if thou didst it to prouoke me on,
    1410As who should saie I were but timerous,
    Or coldly negligent did need a spurre,
    Bethinke thy selfe howe slacke I was at sea.
    Now since my landing I haue wonn no townes,
    Entered no further but vpon the coast,
    1415And there haue euer since securelie slept,
    But if I haue bin other wise imployd,
    Imagin Valoys whether I intende
    To skirmish, not for pillage but for the Crowne,
    Which thou dost weare and that I vowe to haue,
    1420Or one of vs shall fall in to this graue,
    Pri Ed: Looke not for crosse inuectiues at our hands,
    Or rayling execrations of despight,
    Let creeping serpents hide in hollow banckes,
    Sting with theyr tongues; we haue remorseles swordes,
    1425And they shall pleade for vs and our affaires,
    Yet thus much breefly by my fathers leaue,
    As all the immodest poyson of thy throat,
    Is scandalous and most notorious lyes,
    And our pretended quarell is truly iust,
    1430So end the battaile when we meet to daie,
    May eyther of vs prosper and preuaile,
    Or luckles curst, receue eternall shame.
    Kin Ed: That needs no further question, and I knowe
    His conscience witnesseth it is my right,
    1435Therfore Valoys say, wilt thou yet resigne,
    Before the sickles thrust into the Corne,
    Or that inkindled fury, turne to flame:
    Ioh: Edward I know what right thou hast in France,
    And ere I basely will resigne my Crowne,
    1440This Champion field shallbe a poole of bloode,
    And all our prospect as a slaughter house,
    Pr Ed: I that approues thee tyrant what thou art,
    No father, king, or shepheard of thy realme,
    But one that teares her entrailes with thy handes,
    1445And like a thirstie tyger suckst her bloud.
    Aud: You peeres of France, why do you follow him,
    That is so prodigall to spend your liues?
    Ch: Whom should they follow, aged impotent,
    But he that is their true borne soueraigne?
    1450Kin: Obraidst thou him, because within his face,
    Time hath ingraud deep caracters of age:
    Know that these graue schollers of experience,
    Like stiffe growen oakes, will stand immouable,
    When whirle wind quickly turnes vp yonger trees.
    1455Dar. Was euer anie of thy fathers house king,
    But thyselfe, before this present time,
    Edwards great linage by the mothers side,
    Fiue hundred yeeres hath helde the scepter vp,
    Iudge then conspiratours by this descent,
    1460Which is the true borne soueraigne this or that.
    Pri: Father range your battailes, prate no more,
    These English faine would spend the time in wodrs,
    That night approching, they might escape vnfought.
    K. Ioh: Lords and my louing Subiects knowes the time,
    1465That your intended force must bide the touch,
    Therfore my frinds consider this in breefe,
    He that you fight for is your naturall King,
    He against whom you fight a forrener:
    He that you fight for rules in clemencie,
    1470And raines you with a mild and gentle byt,
    He against whome you fight if hee preuaile,
    Will straight inthrone himselfe in tyrranie,
    Make slaues of you, and with a heauie hand
    Curtall and courb your swetest libertie.
    1475Then to protect your Country and your King,
    Let but the haughty Courrage of your hartes,
    Answere the number of your able handes,
    And we shall quicklie chase theis fugitiues,
    For whats this Edward but a belly god,
    1480A tender and lasciuious wantonnes,
    That thother daie was almost dead for loue,
    And what I praie you is his goodly gard,
    Such as but scant them of their chines of beefe,
    And take awaie their downie featherbedes,
    1485And presently they are as resty stiffe,
    As twere a many ouer ridden iades,
    Then French men scorne that such should be your Lords
    And rather bind ye them in captiue bands,
    All Fra: Viue le Roy, God saue King Iohn of France.
    1490Io: Now on this plaine of Cressie spred your selues,
    And Edward when thou darest, begin the fight:
    Ki. Ed: We presently wil meet thee Iohn of Fraunce,
    And English Lordes let vs resolue the daie,
    Either to cleere vs of that scandalous cryme,
    1495Or be intombed in our innocence,
    And Ned, because this battell is the first,
    That euer yet thou foughtest in pitched field,
    As ancient custome is of Martialists,
    To dub thee with the tipe of chiualrie,
    1500In solemne manner wee will giue thee armes,
    Come therefore Heralds, orderly bring forth,
    A strong attirement for the prince my sonne.
    Enter foure Heraldes bringing in a coate armour, a helmet, a
    lance, and a shield.
    1505Kin: Edward Plantagenet, in the name of God,
    As with this armour I impall thy breast,
    So be thy noble vnrelenting heart,
    Wald in with flint of matchlesse fortitude,
    That neuer base affections enter there,
    1510Fight and be valiant, conquere where thou comst,
    Now follow Lords, and do him honor to.
    Dar: Edward Plantagenet prince of Wales,
    As I do set this helmet on thy head,
    Wherewith the chamber of this braine is fenst,
    1515So may thy temples with Bellonas hand,
    Be still adornd with lawrell victorie,
    Fight and be valiant, conquer where thou comst.
    Aud. Edward Plantagenet prince of Wales,
    Receiue this lance into thy manly hand,
    1520Vse it in fashion of a brasen pen,
    To drawe forth bloudie stratagems in France,
    And print thy valiant deeds in honors booke,
    Fight and be valiant, vanquish where thou comst.
    Art: Edward Plantagener prince of Wales,
    1525Hold take this target, weare it on thy arme,
    And may the view there of like Perseus shield,
    Astonish and transforme thy gazing foes
    To senselesse images of meger death,
    Fight and be valiant, couquer where thou comst.
    1530Ki. Now wants there nought but knighthood, which deferd
    Wee leaue till thou hast won it in the fielde,
    My gratious father and yee forwarde peeres,
    This honor you haue done me animates,
    And chears my greene yet scarse appearing strength,
    1535With comfortable good persaging signes,
    No other wise then did ould Iacobes wordes,
    When as he breathed his blessings on his sonnes,
    These hallowed giftes of yours when I prophane,
    Or vse them not to glory of my God,
    1540To patronage the fatherles and poore,
    Or for the benefite of Englands peace,
    Be numbe my ioynts, waxe feeble both mine armes,
    Wither my hart that like a saples tree,
    I may remayne the map of infamy,
    1545K. Ed: Then this our steelde Battailes shall be rainged,
    The leading of the vowarde Ned is thyne,
    To dignifie whose lusty spirit the more
    We temper it with Audlys grauitie,
    That courage and experience ioynd in one,
    1550Your manage may be second vnto none,
    For the mayne battells I will guide my selfe,
    And Darby in the rereward march behind,
    That orderly disposd and set in ray,
    Let vs to horse and God graunt vs the daye. Exeunt: