King Edward III

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Flourish. Enter King Edward, Derby, Prince Edward, Audley, Warwick, and Artois


Robert of Artois, banished though thou be

From France thy native country, yet with us

Thou shalt retain as great a seigniory,
seigniory (n.) lordship, domain, dominion

For we create thee Earl of Richmond here.

And now go forward with our pedigree:

Who next succeeded Phillip le Beau?


Three sons of his, which all successively

Did sit upon their father's regal throne,

Yet died and left no issue of their loins.
issue (n.) 1 child(ren), offspring, family, descendant See Topics: Frequency count


But was my mother sister unto those?


She was, my lord, and only Isabel

Was all the daughters that this Phillip had,

Whom afterward your father took to wife;

And from the fragrant garden of her womb

Your gracious self, the flower of Europe's hope,

Derived is inheritor to France.

But note the rancour of rebellious minds:

When thus the lineage of le Beau was out,

The French obscured your mother's privilege,

And, though she were the next of blood, proclaimed

John of the house of Valois now their king.

The reason was, they say, the realm of France,

Replete with princes of great parentage,

Ought not admit a governor to rule

Except he be descended of the male;

And that's the special ground of their contempt
special (adj.) particular, specific, distinctive

Wherewith they study to exclude your grace.


But they shall find that forged ground of theirs

To be but dusty heaps of brittle sand.


Perhaps it will be thought a heinous thing

That I, a Frenchman, should discover this;
discover (v.) 1 reveal, show, make known See Topics: Frequency count

But heaven I call to record of my vows:
record (n.) 2 witness, confirmation

It is not hate nor any private wrong,

But love unto my country and the right

Provokes my tongue, thus lavish in report.

You are the lineal watchman of our peace,
lineal (adj.) lineally descended, in the direct line, hereditary

And John of Valois indirectly climbs.

What then should subjects but embrace their king?

Ah, wherein may our duty more be seen

Than striving to rebate a tyrant's pride
rebate (v.) 1 check, stop, suppress

And place the true shepherd of our commonwealth?
place (v.) 1 establish in office, appoint to a post


This counsel, Artois, like to fruitful showers,
like to / unto (conj./prep.) similar to, comparable with

Hath added growth unto my dignity;

And, by the fiery vigour of thy words,

Hot courage is engendered in my breast,

Which heretofore was racked in ignorance,
rack (v.) 5 torment, torture, scourge

But now doth mount with golden wings of fame,

And will approve fair Isabel's descent,
approve (v.) 1 prove, confirm, corroborate, substantiate

Able to yoke their stubborn necks with steel

That spurn against my sovereignty in France.
spurn against / at (v.) kick out at, treat with contempt

Sound a horn

A messenger. – Lord Audley, know from whence.

Exit Audley, and returns


The Duke of Lorraine, having crossed the seas,

Entreats he may have conference with your highness.
entreat, intreat (v.) 2 beseech, beg, ask earnestly


Admit him, lords, that we may hear the news.

Exeunt Lords. King takes his State.

Re-enter Lords, with Lorraine, attended
attend (v.) 2 serve, follow, wait [on/upon]

Say, Duke of Lorraine, wherefore art thou come?


The most renowned prince, King John of France,

Doth greet thee, Edward, and by me commands

That, for so much as by his liberal gift

The Guyen dukedom is entailed to thee,
entail to (v.) 1 bestow on, confer on, transfer to

Thou do him lowly homage for the same.

And for that purpose here I summon thee
purpose (n.) 3 outcome, result, end

Repair to France within these forty days,
repair (v.) 1 come, go, make one's way

That there, according as the custom is,

Thou mayst be sworn true liegeman to our king;
liegeman (n.) vassal, subject, follower

Or else thy title in that province dies,
die (v.) 1 cease, expire, come to an end
title (n.) 1 [legal] right, claim, entitlement

And he himself will repossess the place.


See how occasion laughs me in the face!
occasion (n.) 1 circumstance, opportunity

No sooner minded to prepare for France,

But straight I am invited – nay, with threats,
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Upon a penalty enjoined to come.

'Twere but a childish part to say him nay. –

Lorraine, return this answer to thy lord:

I mean to visit him as he requests.

But how? Not servilely disposed to bend,
bend (v.) 5 give way, bow, submit

But like a conqueror to make him bow.

His lame unpolished shifts are come to light;
lame (adj.) unsatisfactory, mediocre, faulty
shift (n.) 3 stratagem, contriving, trick
unpolished (adj.) primitive, rudimentary, defective

And truth hath pulled the vizard from his face,
vizard (n.) mask, visor

That set a gloss upon his arrogance.
gloss (n.) 1 deceptive appearance, plausibility

Dare he command a fealty in me?
fealty (n.) [feudal obligation of obedience] duty of loyalty, allegiance, fidelity

Tell him: the crown that he usurps is mine,

And where he sets his foot he ought to kneel.

'Tis not a petty dukedom that I claim,

But all the whole dominions of the realm,
dominion (n.) land, territory, province

Which if with grudging he refuse to yield,

I'll take away those borrowed plumes of his,

And send him naked to the wilderness.


Then, Edward, here, in spite of all thy lords,

I do pronounce defiance to thy face.


Defiance, Frenchman? We rebound it back,

Even to the bottom of thy master's throat.

And, be it spoke with reverence of the King,

My gracious father, and these other lords,

I hold thy message but as scurrilous,
but (adv.) 1 merely, only
scurrilous (adj.) offensively facetious, coarsely abusive

And him that sent thee like the lazy drone

Crept up by stealth unto the eagle's nest,

From whence we'll shake him with so rough a storm

As others shall be warned by his harm.


Bid him leave off the lion's case he wears,
case (n.) 7 skin, hide, coat

Lest, meeting with the lion in the field,
field, in the engaged in military operations, in military array
lest (conj.) unless, in case

He chance to tear him piecemeal for his pride.


The soundest counsel I can give his grace
counsel (n.) 1 advice, guidance, direction

Is to surrender ere he be constrained.

A voluntary mischief hath less scorn
mischief (n.) 2 wicked action, evil deed, harmful scheme

Than when reproach with violence is borne.


Regenerate traitor, viper to the place
regenerate (adj.) 1 renegade, degenerate, unnatural

Where thou wast fostered in thine infancy!

Bear'st thou a part in this conspiracy?

He draws his sword


(drawing his sword) Lorraine, behold the sharpness of this steel.

Fervent desire that sits against my heart

Is far more thorny-pricking than this blade;
thorny-pricking (adj.) prickly, barbed, pricking like a thorn

That, with the nightingale, I shall be scarred

As oft as I dispose myself to rest
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

Until my colours be displayed in France.
colours (n.) 1 battle-flags, ensigns, standards, banners See Topics: Frequency count

This is my final answer; so be gone.


It is not that, nor any English brave,
brave (n.) boast, bravado, blustering threat

Afflicts me so, as doth his poisoned view.

That is most false, should most of all be true.
false (adj.) 2 disloyal, faithless, inconstant, unfaithful



Now, Lords, our fleeting bark is under sail;
bark, barque (n.) ship, vessel
fleeting (adj.) 2 swift-moving, speedy

Our gage is thrown, and war is soon begun,
gage (n.) pledge, challenge [usually, a glove or gauntlet thrown down] See Topics: Frequency count

But not so quickly brought unto an end.

Enter Montague

But wherefore comes Sir William Montague?

How stands the league between the Scot and us?


Cracked and dissevered, my renowned lord.
dissevered (adj.) divided, split, broken

The treacherous King no sooner was informed

Of your withdrawing of your army back,

But straight, forgetting of his former oath,
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

He made invasion of the bordering towns.
bordering (adj.) on the border

Berwick is won, Newcastle spoiled and lost,
spoil (v.) 1 plunder, pillage, sack

And now the tyrant hath begirt with siege
begird (v.), past form begirt surround, encircle, besiege

The castle of Roxborough, where enclosed

The Countess Salisbury is like to perish.
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count


That is thy daughter, Warwick, is it not.

Whose husband hath in Brittayne served so long

About the planting of Lord Mountford there?
planting (n.) installing, stationing, establishing


It is, my lord.


Ignoble David! Hast thou none to grieve

But silly ladies with thy threat'ning arms?
silly (adj.) 1 helpless, defenceless, vulnerable

But I will make you shrink your snaily horns.
shrink (v.) 5 draw back, pull in
snaily (adj.) snail-like

First, therefore, Audley, this shall be thy charge:

Go levy footmen for our wars in France;
footman (n.) 1 foot-soldier, infantryman

And Ned, take muster of our men at arms;

In every shire elect a several band;
band (n.) 3 body of men, troop
elect (v.) 1 pick out, choose, select
several (adj.) 1 separate, different, distinct See Topics: Frequency count

Let them be soldiers of a lusty spirit,
lusty (adj.) 1 vigorous, strong, robust, eager

Such as dread nothing but dishonour's blot;

Be wary, therefore, since we do commence

A famous war, and with so mighty a nation.
famous (adj.) 2 memorable, glorious, bringing renown

Derby, be thou ambassador for us

Unto our father-in-law, the Earl of Hainault:

Make him acquainted with our enterprise,

And likewise will him, with our own allies

That are in Flanders, to solicit too

The Emperor of Almaigne in our name.

Myself, whilst you are jointly thus employed,

Will, with these forces that I have at hand,

March, and once more repulse the traitorous Scot.

But sirs, be resolute: we shall have wars

On every side; and, Ned, thou must begin

Now to forget thy study and thy books,

And ure thy shoulders to an armour's weight.
ure (v.) accustom, inure, habituate


As cheerful sounding to my youthful spleen
spleen (n.) 3 eagerness, spirits, impetuosity

This tumult is of war's increasing broils,

As, at the coronation of a king,

The joyful clamours of the people are,

When Ave, Caesar! they pronounce aloud.

Within this school of honour I shall learn

Either to sacrifice my foes to death,

Or in a rightful quarrel spend my breath.

Then cheerfully forward, each a several way;
several (adj.) 1 separate, different, distinct See Topics: Frequency count

In great affairs 'tis naught to use delay.
naught, nought (adj.) 5 damaging, harmful, hurtful


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