King Edward III

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Alarum. Enter a many Frenchmen flying. After them Prince Edward running. Then enter King John and the Duke of Lorraine


Oh, Lorraine, say, what mean our men to fly?

Our number is far greater than our foe's.


The garrison of Genoese, my lord,

That came from Paris, weary of their march,

Grudging to be suddenly employed,
suddenly (adv.) 1 immediately, at once, without delay

No sooner in the forefront took their place

But, straight retiring, so dismayed the rest
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

As likewise they betook themselves to flight,
betake (v.) 1 go, take oneself off, make one's way

In which, for haste to make a safe escape,

More in the clustering throng are pressed to death

Than by the enemy a thousandfold.


O hapless fortune! Let us yet assay
assay (v.) 1 attempt, try, venture
hapless (adj.) luckless, unfortunate, unlucky

If we can counsel some of them to stay.
counsel (v.) advise, urge


Enter King Edward and Audley


Lord Audley, whiles our son is in the chase,

Withdraw our powers unto this little hill,

And here a season let us breathe ourselves.
breathe (v.) 2 catch breath, pause, rest
season (n.) 3 while, short period of time


I will, my lord.


Sound retreat
just-dooming (adj.) rightly-judging, justly-ordaining


Just-dooming heaven, whose secret providence

To our gross judgement is inscrutable,
gross (adj.) 9 dull, obtuse, ignorant

How are we bound to praise thy wondrous works,

That hast this day given way unto the right,

And made the wicked stumble at themselves.

Enter Artois


Rescue, King Edward, rescue for thy son!


Rescue, Artois? What, is he prisoner,

Or by violence fell beside his horse?


Neither, my lord; but narrowly beset

With turning Frenchmen, whom he did pursue,
turning (adj.) facing the other way, retreating

As 'tis impossible that he should scape,

Except your highness presently descend.
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count
scape, 'scape (v.) escape, avoid See Topics: Frequency count


Tut, let him fight; we gave him arms today,

And he is labouring for a knighthood, man.

Enter Derby
succour (v.) help, assist, aid


The Prince, my Lord, the Prince! Oh, succour him!

He's close encompassed with a world of odds!
close (adv.) 2 closely, in a hemmed-in way
odds (n. plural) 2 inequalities, unfavourable circumstances


Then will he win a world of honour too,

If he by valour can redeem him thence.
redeem (v.) 1 free, liberate, extricate

If not, what remedy? We have more sons

Than one, to comfort our declining age.

Enter Audley

Renowned Edward, give me leave, I pray,

To lead my soldiers where I may relieve

Your grace's son, in danger to be slain.

The snares of French, like emmets on a bank,
bank (n.) 3 ant-hill

Muster about him; whilst he, lion-like,

Entangled in the net of their assaults,

Franticly rends and bites the woven toil;
toil (n.) net, snare, trap

But all in vain, he cannot free himself.


Audley, content. I will not have a man,
content (adj.) 3 satisfied, calm, easy in mind
succour (v.) help, assist, aid

On pain of death, sent forth to succour him.

This is the day, ordained by destiny,

To season his courage with those grievous thoughts
grievous (adj.) heavy, grave, serious
season (v.) 7 fortify, temper, strengthen
thought (n.) 1 intention, purpose, design

That, if he break out, Nestor's years on earth

Will make him savour still of this exploit.
savour (v.) 2 relish, enjoy, delight [in]
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count


Ah, but he shall not live to see those days.


Why, then his epitaph is lasting praise.


Yet, good my lord, 'tis too much willfulness

To let his blood be spilt, that may be saved.


Exclaim no more; for none of you can tell

Whether a borrowed aid will serve or no;

Perhaps he is already slain or ta'en;

And dare a falcon when she's in her flight,
dare (v.) 4 disturb, distract

And ever after she'll be haggard-like.
haggard-like (adj.) wild, unmanageable, untrainable

Let Edward be delivered by our hands,

And still in danger he'll expect the like;
like, the the same
still (adv.) 2 ever, now [as before]

But if himself, himself redeem from thence,
redeem (v.) 1 free, liberate, extricate

He will have vanquished, cheerful, death and fear,

And ever after dread their force no more

Than if they were but babes or captive slaves.


O cruel father! Farewell Edward, then.


Farewell, sweet Prince, the hope of chivalry.


Oh, would my life might ransom him from death!

Retreat sounded
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count


But soft, methinks I hear

The dismal charge of trumpets' loud retreat.
charge (n.) 1 command, order, injunction, instruction

All are not slain, I hope, that went with him;

Some will return with tidings, good or bad.

Enter Prince Edward in triumph, bearing in his hand his shivered lance, and the body of the King of Bohemia borne before, wrapped in the colours. They run and embrace him
colours (n.) 1 battle-flags, ensigns, standards, banners See Topics: Frequency count
shivered (adj.) shattered, broken, splintered


O joyful sight! Victorious Edward lives!


Welcome, brave Prince!
brave (adj.) 2 noble, worthy, excellent


                         Welcome, Plantagenet!

The Prince kneels and kisses his father's hand
beseem (v.) befit, be fitting [for], be seemly [for]


First having done my duty as beseemed,

Lords, I regreet you all with hearty thanks.
regreet (v.) greet again, salute upon returning

And now, behold, after my winter's toil,

My painful voyage on the boist'rous sea
boisterous (adj.) 2 tumultuous, violent, tempestuous

Of war's devouring gulfs and steely rocks,
steely (adj.) hard as steel

I bring my fraught unto the wished port,
fraught (n.) 1 freight, cargo, goods
wished (adj.) longed-for, desired

My summer's hope, my travel's sweet reward,

And here with humble duty I present

This sacrifice, this first fruit of my sword,

Cropped and cut down even at the gate of death:

The king of Boheme, father, whom I slew,

Whose thousands had entrenched me round about,
entrench, intrench (v.) 1 put within a trench

And lay as thick upon my battered crest
lay on / upon (v.) 2 inflict blows, beat soundly

As on an anvil with their ponderous glaives.
glaive (n.) long-handled blade, spear

Yet marble courage still did underprop,
marble (adj.) enduring, solid [as marble]
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count
underprop (v.) prop up, support, uphold

And when my weary arms, with often blows,
often (adj.) frequent, numerous, continuous

Like the continual labouring woodman's axe

That is enjoined to fell a load of oaks,

Began to falter, straight I would recover
recover (v.) 4 recall, recollect, bring to mind
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

My gifts you gave me, and my zealous vow,
zealous (adj.) earnest, fervent, ardent

And then new courage made me fresh again,

That, in despite, I carved my passage forth,
despite (n.) 1 contempt, scorn, disdain

And put the multitude to speedy flight.

Lo, thus hath Edward's hand filled your request,

And done, I hope, the duty of a knight.


Ay, well thou hast deserved a knighthood, Ned;

And therefore with thy sword, yet reeking warm
reeking (adj.) 2 smeared with blood, freshly bloodstained

His sword borne by a soldier
bane (n.) 2 murderer, killer, destroyer

With blood of those that fought to be thy bane,

Arise, Prince Edward, trusty knight at arms.

This day thou hast confounded me with joy,
confound (v.) 6 amaze, dumbfound, stun

And proved thyself fit heir unto a king.


Here is a note, my gracious lord, of those

That in this conflict of our foes were slain:

Eleven princes of esteem, fourscore barons,

A hundred and twenty knights, and thirty thousand

Common soldiers; and of our men, a thousand.


Our God be praised! Now, John of France, I hope

Thou know'st King Edward for no wantonness,
wantonness (n.) 2 libertine, seducer, womanizer

No love-sick cockney, nor his soldiers jades.
cockney (n.) 2 milksop, sissy, softy
jade (n.) 1 worn-out horse, hack, worthless nag

But which way is the fearful king escaped?


Towards Poitiers, noble father, and his sons.


Ned, thou and Audley shall pursue them still;
still (adv.) 2 ever, now [as before]

Myself and Derby will to Calais straight,
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

And there begirt that haven town with siege.
begird (v.), past form begirt surround, encircle, besiege

Now lies it on an upshot; therefore strike,
lie (v.) 5 hang, depend, hinge
upshot (n.) 1 remaining stroke, final shot [as in archery, determining the result]

And wistly follow whiles the game's on foot. –
foot, on 2 [hunting] roused, up for pursuit
wistly (adv.) intently, attentively, earnestly

What picture's this?


                         A pelican, my lord,

Wounding her bosom with her crooked beak,

That so her nest of young ones might be fed

With drops of blood that issue from her heart:

The motto Sic et vos: ‘ and so should you.’
sic et vos and so should you See Topics: Latin


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