King Edward III

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Act II, Scene I

Lor.
I might perceiue his eye in her eye lost,
His eare to drinke her sweet tongues vtterance,
And changing passion like inconstant clouds:
That 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,
Anone with reuerent feare, when she grewpale,
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,
If she did blush twas tender modest shame,
Beingin 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,
To beare her selfe in presence of a king:
Ifhe 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,
Here 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,
Vnfolded 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,
For 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,
It wakened Casar 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,
Nor 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.
Art 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.

Ki.
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,
Herselfe 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,
Make 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,
That 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,
And 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,
Could 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,
Whose 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,
Fly 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,
Beginne 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?

King.
Whatbewtie 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,

King.
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,

Her 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,
And 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,
The 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,
Ah 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,
Fill 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,
That 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,
And 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:

King.
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.
My loue shallbraue the ey of heauen at noon,
And being vnmaskt outshine the golden sun,

Lo.
What is the other faulte, my soueraigne Lord,

King.
Readeore the line againe,

Lo.
More faire and chast,

King.
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,
Say 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,
That 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,
Lets 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,

King.
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,
But 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,
The 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.
But 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,

Co.
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.

Con.
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,
Since I came hither Countes I am wronged.

Cont.
Now God forbid that anie in my howse
Should thinck my soueraigne wrong, thrice gentle King:
Acquant me with theyr cause of discontent.

King.
How neere then shall I be to remedie.

Cont.
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.

Coun.
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,
Say 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,
That 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,
Though 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.

King.
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,
Yt hauntes the sunshineof 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,
A 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,

King.
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,
In rich exchaunge I tender to thee myne,

Count.
Butthat your lippes were sacred my Lord,
You would prophane the holie name of loue,
That loue you offer me you cannot giue,
For Casar owes that tribut to his Queene,
That 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,
To 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,
Then 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,
Though not enacted with your highnes hand,
How much more to infringe the holy act,
Made by the mouth ofGod, seald with his hand,
I know my souereigne in my husbands loue,
Who now doth loyall seruice in his warrs,
Doth 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,
Or 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,
To 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,
O 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.
Enter 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,
And 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,
Whie 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
The 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,
And that by me it may be lesned,
My proper harme should buy your highnes good,

Kin.
These are the vulger tenders of false men,
That neuer pay the duetie of their words,
Thou wilt not sticke to sweare what thou hast said,
But 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.
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,

War.
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,

War.
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,

Ki.
That deuilles office must thou do for me,
Or breake thy oth or cancell all the bondes,
Ofloue and duetie twixt thy self and mee,
And therefore Warwike if thou art thy selfe,
The Lord and master of thy word and othe,
Go 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,

King.
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,
To 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,
Ile 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,
But 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.
Enter 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,
To 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:
Then wife of Salisbury shall I so begin:
No hees my friend, and where is found the friend
That will doefriendship snch indammagement:
Neither my daughter, nor my deare friends wife,
I am not Warwike as thou thinkst I am,
But 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,
Hath 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 withersheye goth nourish grasse,
The 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,
And 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:
What 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:
A 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,
And 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,
But 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,
When 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,
A 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,
And 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,
An vnreputed mote, flying in the Sunne,
Presents agreater 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,
That 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,
Adds 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,
Lillies 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,
When 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.
Original text
Act II, Scene II
Enter at one doore Derby from Eraunce, At an other doore, Audley with a Drum.

Der.
Thrice noble Audley, well incountred heere,
How is it with oursoueraigne and his peeres?

Aud.
Tis full a fortnight since I saw his highnes,
What time he sent me forth to muster men,
Which I accordingly haue done and bring them hither,
In faire aray before his maiestie:
King. What newes my Lord of Derby from the Emperor.

Der.
As good as we desire: the Emperor
Hath yeelded to his highnes friendly ayd,
And makes our king leiuetenant generall
In all his lands and large dominions,
Then via for the spatious bounds of Fraunce;

Aud.
What doth his highnes leap to heare these newes?

Der.
Ihaue not yet found time to open them,
The king is in his closet malcontent,
For what I know not, but he gaue in charge,
Till after dinner, none should interrupt him:
The Countesse Salisbury, and her father Warwike,
Artoyes, and all looke vnderneath the browes.

Aud.
Vndoubtedly then some thing is a misse.


Dar.
The Trumpets sound, the king is now abroad,
Enter the King.

Ar.
Hhere comes his highnes.

Der.
Befall my soueraigne, all my soueraignes wish,

King.
Ah that thou wert a Witch to make it so.

Der.
The Emperour greeteth you.

Kin.
Would it were the Countesse.

Der.
And hath accorded to your highnes suite,

King.
Thou lyest she hath not, but I would she had,

Au.
All loue and duety to my Lord the King.

Kin.
Well all but one is none, what newes with you?

Au.
I haue my liege, leuied those horse and foote.
According as your charge, and brought them hither.

Kin.
Then let those foote trudge hence vpon those horse,
According too our discharge and be gonne:
Darby Ile looke vpon the Countesse minde anone,

Dar.
The Countesse minde my liege.

Kin.
I meane the Emperour, leaue me alone.

Au.
What is his mind?

Dar.
Lets leaue him to his humor.
Exunt.

Ki.
Thus from the harts aboundant speakes the tongue,
Countesse for Emperour, and indeed why not?
She is as imperator ouer me, and I to her
Am as a kneeling vassaile that obserues,
The pleasure, or displeasure of her eye
Enter Lodwike.
Ki. What saies the more then Cleopatras match,
To Casar now?

Lo.
That yet my liege ere night,
She will resolue your maiestie.

Ki.
What drum is this that thunders forth this march,
To start the tender Cupid in my bosome,
Poore shipskin how it braules with him that beateth it:
Go breake the thundring parchment bottome out,
And I will teach it to conduct sweete lynes,
Vnto the bosome of a heauenly Nymph,
For I wiii vse it as my writing paper,
And so reduce him from a scoulding drum,
To be the herald and deare counsaiie bearer,
Betwixt a goddesse, and a mighty king:
Go bid the drummer learne to touch the Lute,
Or hang him in the braces of his drum,
For now we thinke it an vnciuill thing,
To trouble heauen wrth such harsh resounds,
Away.
Exit.
The quarrell that I haue requires no armes,
But these of myne, and these shall meete my foe,
In a deepe march of penytrable grones,
My eyes shall be my arrowes, and my sighes
Shall serue me as the vantage of the winde,
To wherle away my sweetest artyllerie:
Ah but alas she winnes the sunne of me,
For that is she her selfe, and thence it comes,
That Poets tearme, the wanton warriour blinde:
But loue hath eyes as iudgement to his steps,
Till two much loued glory dazles them?
How now.
Enter Lodwike.

Lo.
My liege the drum that stroke the lusty march,
Stands with Prince Edward your thrice valiant sonne.
Enter Prince Edward.

King.
I see the boy, oh how his mothers face,
Modeld in his, corrects my straid desire,
And rates my heart, and chides my theeuish eie,
Who being rich ennough in seeing her,
Yet seekes elsewhere and basest theft is that,
Which cannot cloke it selfe on pouertie.
Now boy, what newes?

Pr. E.
I haue assembled my deare Lord and father,
The choysest buds of all our English blood,
For our affaires to Fraunce, and heere we come,
To take direction from your maiestie.

Kin.
Still do I see in him deliniate,
His mothers visage, those his eies are hers,
Who looking wistely on me, make me blush:
For faults against themselues, giue euidence,
Lust as a fire, and me like lanthorne show,
Light lust within them selues; euen through them selues:
A way loose silkes or wauering vanitie,
Shall the large limmit offaire Brittayne.
By me be ouerthrowne, and shall I not,
Master this little mansion of my selfe;
Giue me an Armor of eternall steele,
I go to conquer kings, andshall I not then
Subdue my selfe, and be my enimies friend,
It must not be, come boy forward, aduaunce,
Lets with our coullours sweete the Aire of Fraunce.
Enter Lodwike.

Lo.
My liege, the Countesse with a smiling cheere.
Desires accesse vnto your Maiestie.

King.
Why there it goes, that verie smile of hers,
Hath ransomed captiue Fraunce, and set the King,
The Dolphin and the Peeres at liberty,
Goe leaue me Ned, and reuell with thy friends.
Exit Pr.
Thy mother is but blacke, and thou like her.
Dost put it in my minde how foule she is,
Goe fetch the Countesse hether in thy hand,
Exit Lod.
And let her chase away these winter clouds,
For shee giues beautie both to heauen and earth,
The sin is more to hacke and hew poore men,
Then to embrace in an vnlawfull bed,
The register of all rarieties,
Since Letherne Adam, till this youngest howre.
Enter Countesse.
King. Goe Lodwike, put thy hand into thy purse,
Play, spend, giue, ryot, wast, do what thou wilt,
So thou wilt hence awhile and leaue me heere.
Now my soules plaiefellow art thou come,
To speake the more then heauenly word of yea,
To my obiection in thy beautious loue.

Count.
My father on his blessing hath commanded.

King.
That thou shalt yeeld to me.

Coun.
I deare my liege, your due.

King.
And that my dearest loue, can be no lesse,
Then right for right, and render loue for loue.

Count.
Then wrong for wrong, and endles hate for hate:
But fith I see your maiestie so bent,
That my vnwillingnes, my husbands loue,
Your high estate, nor no respect respected,
Can be my helpe, but that your mightines:
Will ouerbeare and awe these deare regards,
I bynd my discontent to my content,
And what I would not, Ile compell I will,
Prouided that your selfe remoue those lets,
That stand betweene your highnes loue and mine,

King.
Name then faire Countesse, and by heauen I will.

Co.
It is their liues that stand betweene our loue.
That I would haue chokt vp my soueraigne.

Ki.
Whose liues my Lady?

Co.
My thrice loning liege,
Your Queene, and Salisbury my wedded husband,
Who liuing haue that tytle in our loue,
That we cannot bestow but by their death,

Ki.
Thy opposition is beyond our Law,

Co.
So is your desire, if the law
Can hinder you to execute the one,
Let it forbid you to attempt the other:
I Cannot thinke you loue me as you say,
Vnlesse you do make good what you haue sworne.
No mor, ethy husband and the Queene shall dye,
Fairer thou art by farre, then Hero was,
Beardles Leander not so strong as I:
He swome an easie curraunt for his loue,
But I will throng a hellie spout of bloud,
To arryue at Cestus where my Hero lyes.

Co.
Nay youle do more, youle make the Ryuer to,
With their hart bloods, that keepe our loue asunder,
Of which my husband, and your wife are twayne.

Ki.
Thy beauty makes them guilty of their death,
And giues in euidence that they shall dye,
Vpon which verdict I their Iudge condemne them.

Co.
O periurde beautie, more corrupted Iudge:
When to the great Starre-chamber ore our heads,
The vniuersell Sessions cals to count,
This packing euill, we both shall tremble for it.

Ki.
What saies my faire loue, is she resolute?

Co.
Resolute to be dissolude, and therefote this,
Keepe but thy word great king, and I am thine,
Stand where thou dost, ile part a little from thee
And see how I will yeeld me to thy hands:
Here by my side doth hang my wedding knifes,
Take thou the one, and with it kill thy Queene
And learne by me to finde her where she lies
And with this other, Ile dispatch my loue,
Which now lies fast a sleepe within my hart,
When they are gone, then Ile consent to loue:
Stir not lasciuious king to hinder me,
My resolution is more nimbler far,
Then thy preuention can be in my rescue,
And if thou stir, I strike, therefore stand still,
And heare the choyce that I will put thee to:
Either sweare to leaue thy most vnholie sute,
And neuer hence forth to solicit me,
Or else by heauen, this sharpe poynted knyfe,
Shall staine thy earth, with that which thou would staine:
My poore chast blood, sweare Edward sweare,
Or I will strike and die before thee heere.

King.
Euen by that power I sweare that giues me now,
The power to be ashamed of my selfe,
I neuer meane to part my lips againe,
In any words that tends to such a sute.
A rise true English Ladie, whom our Ile
May better boast of then euer Romaine might,
Of her whose ransackt treasurie hath taskt,
The vaine indeuor of so many pens:
Arise and be my fault, thy honors fame,
Which after ages shall enrich thee with,
I am awaked from this idle dreame,
Warwike, my Sonne, Darby, Artoys and Audley,
Braue warriours all, where are you all this while?
Enter all.
Warwike, I make thee Warden of the North,
Thou Prince of Wales, and Audley straight to Sea,
Scoure to New-hauen, some there staie for me:
My selfe, Artoys and Darby will through Flaunders,
To greete our friends there, and to craue their aide,
This night will scarce suffice me to discouer,
My follies seege, against a faithfull louer,
For ere the Sunne shal guide the esterne skie,
Wele wake him with our Marshall harmonie.
Exeunt.
Modern text
Act II, Scene I
Enter Lodowick

LODOWICK
I might perceive his eye in her eye lost,
His ear to drink her sweet tongue's utterance,
And changing passions, like inconstant clouds
That rack upon the carriage of the winds,
Increase and die in his disturbed cheeks.
Lo, when she blushed, even then did he look pale,
As if her cheeks by some enchanted power
Attracted had the cherry blood from his.
Anon, with reverent fear when she grew pale,
His cheeks put on their scarlet ornaments,
But no more like her oriental red
Than brick to coral, or live things to dead.
Why did he then thus counterfeit her looks?
If she did blush, 'twas tender modest shame,
Being in the sacred presence of a king.
If he did blush, 'twas red immodest shame,
To vail his eyes amiss, being a king.
If she looked pale, 'twas silly woman's fear,
To bear herself in presence of a king.
If he looked pale, it was with guilty fear,
To dote amiss, being a mighty king.
Then, Scottish wars, farewell! I fear 'twill prove
A ling'ring English siege of peevish love.
Here comes his highness, walking all alone.
Enter King Edward

KING EDWARD
She is grown more fairer far since I came hither,
Her voice more silver every word than other,
Her wit more fluent. What a strange discourse
Unfolded she of David and his Scots!
‘ Even thus,’ quoth she, ‘ he spake,’ and then spoke broad,
With epithets and accents of the Scot,
But somewhat better than the Scot could speak.
‘ And thus ’ quoth she, and answered then herself,
For who could speak like her? – But she herself
Breathes from the wall an angel's note from heaven
Of sweet defiance to her barbarous foes.
When she would talk of peace, methinks her tongue
Commanded war to prison; when of war,
It wakened Caesar from his Roman grave
To hear war beautified by her discourse.
Wisdom is foolishness but in her tongue,
Beauty a slander but in her fair face.
There is no summer but in her cheerful looks,
Nor frosty winter but in her disdain.
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,
Having so rich and fair a cause to stay. –
Art thou there, Lod'wick? Give me ink and paper.

LODOWICK
I will, my liege.

KING EDWARD
And bid the lords hold on their play at chess,
For we will walk and meditate alone.

LODOWICK
I will, my sovereign.
Exit

KING EDWARD
This fellow is well read in poetry,
And hath a lusty and persuasive spirit.
I will acquaint him with my passion,
Which he shall shadow with a veil of lawn,
Through which the queen of beauty's queen shall see
Herself the ground of my infirmity.
Enter Lodowick

KING EDWARD
Hast thou pen, ink, and paper ready, Lodowick?

LODOWICK
Ready, my liege.

KING EDWARD
Then in the summer arbour sit by me;
Make it our counsel house or cabinet.
Since green our thoughts, green be the conventicle
Where we will ease us by disburd'ning them.
Now, Lod'wick, invocate some golden Muse
To bring thee hither an enchanted pen
That may for sighs set down true sighs indeed,
Talking of grief, to make thee ready groan,
And when thou writ'st of tears, encouch the word
Before and after with such sweet laments,
That it may raise drops in a Tartar's eye,
And make a flint-heart Scythian pitiful;
For so much moving hath a poet's pen
Then, if thou be a poet, move thou so,
And be enriched by thy sovereign's love;
For if the touch of sweet concordant strings
Could force attendance in the ears of hell,
How much more shall the strains of poets' wit
Beguile and ravish soft and human minds!

LODOWICK
To whom, my lord, shall I direct my style?

KING EDWARD
To one that shames the fair and sots the wise;
Whose body is an abstract or a brief,
Contains each general virtue in the world.
‘ Better than beautiful ’ thou must begin.
Devise for fair a fairer word than fair,
And every ornament that thou wouldst praise,
Fly it a pitch above the soar of praise.
For flattery fear thou not to be convicted;
For, were thy admiration ten times more,
Ten times ten thousand more the worth exceeds
Of that thou art to praise, thy praise's worth.
Begin. I will to contemplate the while.
Forget not to set down how passionate,
How heartsick, and how full of languishment
Her beauty makes me.

LODOWICK
Write I to a woman?

KING EDWARD
What beauty else could triumph over me?
Or who but women do our love-lays greet?
What, think'st thou I did bid thee praise a horse?

LODOWICK
Of what condition or estate she is
'Twere requisite that I should know, my lord.

KING EDWARD
Of such estate, that hers is as a throne,
And my estate the footstool where she treads;
Then mayst thou judge what her condition is
By the proportion of her mightiness.
Write on, while I peruse her in my thoughts.
[Line thought to be missing here]
Her voice to music or the nightingale –
To music every summer-leaping swain
Compares his sunburnt lover when she speaks.
And why should I speak of the nightingale?
The nightingale sings of adulterate wrong,
And that, compared, is too satirical;
For sin, though sin, would not be so esteemed,
But rather, virtue sin, sin virtue deemed.
Her hair, far softer than the silkworm's twist,
Like to a flattering glass, doth make more fair
The yellow amber. – ‘ Like a flattering glass ’
Comes in too soon; for, writing of her eyes,
I'll say that like a glass they catch the sun,
And thence the hot reflection doth rebound
Against my breast, and burns my heart within.
Ah, what a world of descant makes my soul
Upon this voluntary ground of love! –
Come, Lod'wick, hast thou turned thy ink to gold?
If not, write but in letters capital
My mistress' name, and it will gild thy paper.
Read, Lod'wick, read.
Fill thou the empty hollows of mine ears
With the sweet hearing of thy poetry.

LODOWICK
I have not to a period brought her praise.

KING EDWARD
Her praise is as my love, both infinite,
Which apprehend such violent extremes
That they disdain an ending period.
Her beauty hath no match but my affection;
Hers more than most, mine most and more than more;
Hers more to praise than tell the sea by drops,
Nay, more than drop the massy earth by sands,
And sand by sand print them in memory.
Then wherefore talk'st thou of a period
To that which craves unended admiration?
Read, let us hear.

LODOWICK
‘ More fair and chaste than is the queen of shades ’

KING EDWARD
That line hath two faults, gross and palpable:
Compar'st thou her to the pale queen of night,
Who, being set in dark, seems therefore light?
What is she, when the sun lifts up his head,
But like a fading taper, dim and dead?
My love shall brave the eye of heaven at noon,
And, being unmasked, outshine the golden sun.

LODOWICK
What is the other fault, my sovereign lord?

KING EDWARD
Read o'er the line again.

LODOWICK
‘ More fair and chaste ’ –

KING EDWARD
I did not bid thee talk of chastity,
To ransack so the treasure of her mind;
For I had rather have her chased than chaste.
Out with the moon line, I will none of it,
And let me have her likened to the sun.
Say she hath thrice more splendour than the sun,
That her perfections emulates the sun,
That she breeds sweets as plenteous as the sun,
That she doth thaw cold winter like the sun,
That she doth cheer fresh summer like the sun,
That she doth dazzle gazers like the sun;
And, in this application to the sun,
Bid her be free and general as the sun,
Who smiles upon the basest weed that grows
As lovingly as on the fragrant rose. –
Let's see what follows that same moonlight line.

LODOWICK
‘ More fair and chaste than is the queen of shades,
More bold in constancy ’ –

KING EDWARD
In constancy than who?

LODOWICK
‘ than Judith was.’

KING EDWARD
O monstrous line! Put in the next a sword,
And I shall woo her to cut off my head.
Blot, blot, good Lod'wick! Let us hear the next.

LODOWICK
There's all that yet is done.

KING EDWARD
I thank thee, then. Thou hast done little ill,
But what is done is passing passing ill.
No, let the captain talk of boist'rous war,
The prisoner of immured dark constraint,
The sick man best sets down the pangs of death,
The man that starves the sweetness of a feast,
The frozen soul the benefit of fire,
And every grief his happy opposite:
Love cannot sound well but in lovers' tongues.
Give me the pen and paper; I will write.
Enter Countess
But soft, here comes the treasurer of my spirit. –
Lod'wick, thou know'st not how to draw a battle:
These wings, these flankers, and these squadrons
Argue in thee defective discipline.
Thou shouldst have placed this here, this other here.

COUNTESS
Pardon my boldness, my thrice gracious lords.
Let my intrusion here be called my duty,
That comes to see my sovereign how he fares.

KING EDWARD
Go, draw the same, I tell thee in what form.

LODOWICK
I go.
Exit

COUNTESS
Sorry I am to see my liege so sad.
What may thy subject do to drive from thee
Thy gloomy consort, sullen melancholy?

KING EDWARD
Ah, lady, I am blunt, and cannot strew
The flowers of solace in a ground of shame.
Since I came hither, Countess, I am wronged.

COUNTESS
Now God forbid that any in my house
Should think my sovereign wrong! Thrice gentle King,
Acquaint me with your cause of discontent.

KING EDWARD
How near then shall I be to remedy?

COUNTESS
As near, my liege, as all my woman's power
Can pawn itself to buy thy remedy.

KING EDWARD
If thou speak'st true, then have I my redress:
Engage thy power to redeem my joys,
And I am joyful, Countess; else I die.

COUNTESS
I will, my liege.

KING EDWARD
Swear, Countess, that thou wilt.

COUNTESS
By heaven, I will.

KING EDWARD
Then take thyself a little way aside,
And tell thyself a king doth dote on thee;
Say that within thy power doth lie
To make him happy, and that thou hast sworn
To give him all the joy within thy power.
Do this, and tell me when I shall be happy.

COUNTESS
All this is done, my thrice dread sovereign.
That power of love that I have power to give,
Thou hast with all devout obedience:
Employ me how thou wilt in proof thereof.

KING EDWARD
Thou hear'st me say that I do dote on thee.

COUNTESS
If on my beauty, take it if thou canst:
Though little, I do prize it ten times less.
If on my virtue, take it if thou canst,
For virtue's store by giving doth augment.
Be it on what it will that I can give,
And thou canst take away, inherit it.

KING EDWARD
It is thy beauty that I would enjoy.

COUNTESS
O, were it painted, I would wipe it off
And dispossess myself, to give it thee.
But, sovereign, it is soldered to my life:
Take one and both, for, like an humble shadow,
It haunts the sunshine of my summer's life.

KING EDWARD
But thou mayst lend it me to sport withal.

COUNTESS
As easy may my intellectual soul
Be lent away, and yet my body live,
As lend my body, palace to my soul,
Away from her, and yet retain my soul.
My body is her bower, her court, her abbey,
And she an angel, pure, divine, unspotted:
If I should leave her house, my lord, to thee,
I kill my poor soul, and my poor soul me.

KING EDWARD
Didst thou not swear to give me what I would?

COUNTESS
I did, my liege, so what you would I could.

KING EDWARD
I wish no more of thee than thou mayst give,
Nor beg I do not, but I rather buy –
That is, thy love; and for that love of thine
In rich exchange I tender to thee mine.

COUNTESS
But that your lips were sacred, my lord,
You would profane the holy name of love.
That love you offer me you cannot give,
For Caesar owes that tribute to his queen.
That love you beg of me I cannot give,
For Sarah owes that duty to her lord.
He that doth clip or counterfeit your stamp
Shall die, my lord; and will your sacred self
Commit high treason against the king of heaven,
To stamp his image in forbidden metal,
Forgetting your allegiance and your oath?
In violating marriage' sacred law
You break a greater honour than yourself.
To be a king is of a younger house
Than to be married: your progenitor,
Sole reigning Adam on the universe,
By God was honoured for a married man,
But not by him anointed for a king.
It is a penalty to break your statutes,
Though not enacted with your highness' hand;
How much more to infringe the holy act
Made by the mouth of God, sealed with His hand?
I know my sovereign, in my husband's love,
Who now doth loyal service in his wars,
Doth but so try the wife of Salisbury,
Whither she will hear a wanton's tale or no.
Lest being therein guilty by my stay,
From that, not from my liege, I turn away.
Exit

KING EDWARD
Whether is her beauty by her words divine,
Or are her words sweet chaplains to her beauty?
Like as the wind doth beautify a sail,
And as a sail becomes the unseen wind,
So do her words her beauty, beauty words.
O, that I were a honey-gathering bee,
To bear the comb of virtue from this flower,
And not a poison-sucking envious spider,
To turn the juice I take to deadly venom!
Religion is austere, and beauty gentle:
Too strict a guardian for so fair a ward.
O, that she were as is the air to me!
Why, so she is; for when I would embrace her,
This do I, and catch nothing but myself.
I must enjoy her, for I cannot beat
With reason and reproof fond love away.
Enter Warwick
Here comes her father: I will work with him
To bear my colours in this field of love.

WARWICK
How is it that my sovereign is so sad?
May I, with pardon, know your highness' grief,
And that my old endeavour will remove it,
It shall not cumber long your majesty.

KING EDWARD
A kind and voluntary gift thou profferest,
That I was forward to have begged of thee.
But O, thou world, great nurse of flattery,
Why dost thou tip men's tongues with golden words,
And peise their deeds with weight of heavy lead,
That fair performance cannot follow promise?
O, that a man might hold the heart's close book
And choke the lavish tongue, when it doth utter
The breath of falsehood not charactered there!

WARWICK
Far be it from the honour of my age
That I should owe bright gold and render lead:
Age is a cynic, not a flatterer.
I say again, that if I knew your grief,
And that by me it may be lessened,
My proper harm should buy your highness' good.

KING EDWARD
These are the vulgar tenders of false men,
That never pay the duty of their words.
Thou wilt not stick to swear what thou hast said,
But, when thou know'st my grief's condition,
This rash disgorged vomit of thy word
Thou wilt eat up again, and leave me helpless.

WARWICK
By heaven, I will not, though your majesty
Did bid me run upon your sword and die.

KING EDWARD
Say that my grief is no way medicinable
But by the loss and bruising of thine honour.

WARWICK
If nothing but that loss may vantage you,
I would account that loss my vantage too.

KING EDWARD
Think'st that thou canst unswear thy oath again?

WARWICK
I cannot; nor I would not, if I could.

KING EDWARD
But if thou dost, what shall I say to thee?

WARWICK
What may be said to any perjured villain,
That breaks the sacred warrant of an oath.

KING EDWARD
What wilt thou say to one that breaks an oath?

WARWICK
That he hath broke his faith with God and man,
And from them both stands excommunicate.

KING EDWARD
What office were it to suggest a man
To break a lawful and religious vow?

WARWICK
An office for the devil, not for man.

KING EDWARD
That devil's office must thou do for me,
Or break thy oath or cancel all the bonds
Of love and duty 'twixt thyself and me.
And therefore, Warwick, if thou art thyself,
The lord and master of thy word and oath,
Go to thy daughter, and in my behalf
Command her, woo her, win her any ways
To be my mistress and my secret love.
I will not stand to hear thee make reply:
Thy oath break hers, or let thy sovereign die.
Exit

WARWICK
O doting King! O detestable office!
Well may I tempt myself to wrong myself,
When he hath sworn me by the name of God
To break a vow made by the name of God.
What if I swear by this right hand of mine
To cut this right hand off? The better way
Were to profane the idol than confound it.
But neither will I do: I'll keep mine oath,
And to my daughter make a recantation
Of all the virtue I have preached to her.
I'll say she must forget her husband Salisbury,
If she remember to embrace the King;
I'll say an oath can easily be broken,
But not so easily pardoned, being broken;
I'll say it is true charity to love,
But not true love to be so charitable;
I'll say his greatness may bear out the shame,
But not his kingdom can buy out the sin;
I'll say it is my duty to persuade,
But not her honesty to give consent.
Enter Countess
See where she comes; was never father had
Against his child an embassage so bad.

COUNTESS
My lord and father, I have sought for you.
My mother and the peers importune you
To keep in presence of his majesty,
And do your best to make his highness merry.

WARWICK
(aside) How shall I enter in this graceless errand?
I must not call her child, for where's the father
That will in such a suit seduce his child?
Then ‘ wife of Salisbury ’ shall I so begin?
No, he's my friend, and where is found the friend
That will do friendship such endamagement?
(to the Countess) Neither my daughter nor my dear friend's wife,
I am not Warwick, as thou think'st I am,
But an attorney from the court of hell,
That thus have housed my spirit in his form,
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
Hath power to take thine honour; then consent
To pawn thine honour rather than thy life.
Honour is often lost and got again,
But life, once gone, hath no recovery.
The sun that withers hay doth nourish grass:
The King that would distain thee will advance thee.
The poets write that great Achilles' spear
Could heal the wound it made: the moral is,
What mighty men misdo, they can amend.
The lion doth become his bloody jaws,
And grace his foragement by being mild
When vassal fear lies trembling at his feet.
The King will in his glory hide thy shame;
And those that gaze on him to find out thee
Will lose their eyesight looking in the sun.
What can one drop of poison harm the sea,
Whose hugy vastures can digest the ill
And make it lose his operation?
The king's great name will temper thy misdeeds,
And give the bitter potion of reproach
A sugared, sweet, and most delicious taste.
Besides, it is no harm to do the thing
Which without shame could not be left undone.
Thus have I in his majesty's behalf
Apparelled sin in virtuous sentences,
And dwell upon thy answer in his suit.

COUNTESS
Unnatural besiege! Woe me unhappy,
To have escaped the danger of my foes,
And to be ten times worse envired by friends!
Hath he no means to stain my honest blood,
But to corrupt the author of my blood
To be his scandalous and vile solicitor?
No marvel though the branch be then infected,
When poison hath encompassed the root;
No marvel though the lep'rous infant die,
When the stern dame envenometh the dug.
Why then, give sin a passport to offend
And youth the dangerous reign of liberty;
Blot out the strict forbidding of the law,
And cancel every canon that prescribes
A shame for shame, or penance for offence.
No, let me die, if his too boist'rous will
Will have it so, before I will consent
To be an actor in his graceless lust.

WARWICK
Why, now thou speak'st as I would have thee speak;
And mark how I unsay my words again:
An honourable grave is more esteemed
Than the polluted closet of a king;
The greater man, the greater is the thing,
Be it good or bad, that he shall undertake;
An unreputed mote, flying in the sun,
Presents a greater substance than it is;
The freshest summer's day doth soonest taint
The loathed carrion that it seems to kiss;
Deep are the blows made with a mighty axe;
That sin doth ten times aggravate itself,
That is committed in a holy place;
An evil deed, done by authority,
Is sin and subornation; deck an ape
In tissue, and the beauty of the robe
Adds but the greater scorn unto the beast.
A spacious field of reasons could I urge
Between his glory, daughter, and thy shame:
That poison shows worst in a golden cup;
Dark night seems darker by the lightning flash;
Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds;
And every glory that inclines to sin,
The shame is treble by the opposite.
So leave I with my blessing in thy bosom,
Which then convert to a most heavy curse
When thou convert'st from honour's golden name
To the black faction of bed-blotting shame.

COUNTESS
I'll follow thee; and when my mind turns so,
My body sink my soul in endless woe!
Exeunt
Modern text
Act II, Scene II
Enter at one door Derby from France, at an other door Audley with a drum

DERBY
Thrice noble Audley, well encountered here!
How is it with our sovereign and his peers?

AUDLEY
'Tis full a fortnight since I saw his highness,
What time he sent me forth to muster men,
Which I accordingly have done, and bring them hither
In fair array before his majesty.
What news, my lord of Derby, from the Emperor?

DERBY
As good as we desire: the Emperor
Hath yielded to his highness friendly aid,
And makes our king lieutenant-general
In all his lands and large dominions.
Then via for the spacious bounds of France!

AUDLEY
What, doth his highness leap to hear these news?

DERBY
I have not yet found time to open them.
The King is in his closet, malcontent,
For what I know not, but he gave in charge
Till after dinner none should interrupt him.
The Countess Salisbury and her father Warwick,
Artois, and all, look underneath the brows.

AUDLEY
Undoubtedly then something is amiss.
Trumpet within

DERBY
The trumpets sound; the King is now abroad.
Enter the King

AUDLEY
Here comes his highness.

DERBY
Befall my sovereign all my sovereign's wish!

KING EDWARD
Ah, that thou wert a witch to make it so!

DERBY
The Emperor greeteth you – (presenting letters)

KING EDWARD
Would it were the Countess!

DERBY
And hath accorded to your highness' suit –

KING EDWARD
Thou liest, she hath not; but I would she had.

AUDLEY
All love and duty to my lord the king!

KING EDWARD
Well, all but one is none. – What news with you?

AUDLEY
I have, my liege, levied those horse and foot
According as your charge, and brought them hither.

KING EDWARD
Then let those foot trudge hence upon those horse,
According to our discharge, and be gone. –
Derby, I'll look upon the Countess' mind anon.

DERBY
The Countess' mind, my liege?

KING EDWARD
I mean the Emperor. – Leave me alone.

AUDLEY
What's in his mind?

DERBY
Let's leave him to his humour.
Exeunt Derby and Audley

KING EDWARD
Thus from the heart's abundance speaks the tongue:
‘ Countess ’ for ‘ Emperor ’ – and indeed, why not?
She is as imperator over me, and I to her
Am as a kneeling vassal, that observes
The pleasure or displeasure of her eye.
Enter Lodowick
What says the more than Cleopatra's match
To Caesar now?

LODOWICK
That yet, my liege, ere night
She will resolve your majesty.
Drum within

KING EDWARD
What drum is this that thunders forth this march
To start the tender Cupid in my bosom?
Poor sheepskin, how it brawls with him that beateth it!
Go, break the thund'ring parchment-bottom out,
And I will teach it to conduct sweet lines
Unto the bosom of a heavenly nymph;
For I will use it as my writing paper,
And so reduce him from a scolding drum
To be the herald and dear counsel-bearer
Betwixt a goddess and a mighty king.
Go, bid the drummer learn to touch the lute,
Or hang him in the braces of his drum,
For now we think it an uncivil thing
To trouble heaven with such harsh resounds.
Away!
Exit Lodowick
The quarrel that I have requires no arms
But these of mine; and these shall meet my foe
In a deep march of penetrable groans;
My eyes shall be my arrows, and my sighs
Shall serve me as the vantage of the wind,
To whirl away my sweetest artillery.
Ah, but alas, she wins the sun of me,
For that is she herself, and thence it comes
That poets term the wanton warrior blind;
But love hath eyes as judgement to his steps,
Till too much loved glory dazzles them. –
How now?
Enter Lodowick

LODOWICK
My liege, the drum that stroke the lusty march
Stands with Prince Edward, your thrice valiant son.
Enter Prince Edward

KING EDWARD
(aside) I see the boy. Oh, how his mother's face,
Modelled in his, corrects my strayed desire,
And rates my heart, and chides my thievish eye,
Who, being rich enough in seeing her,
Yet seeks elsewhere: and basest theft is that
Which cannot cloak itself on poverty. –
Now, boy, what news?

PRINCE
I have assembled, my dear lord and father,
The choicest buds of all our English blood
For our affairs to France, and here we come
To take direction from your majesty.

KING EDWARD
(aside) Still do I see in him delineate
His mother's visage: those his eyes are hers,
Who looking wistly on me make me blush,
For faults against themselves give evidence.
Lust is a fire, and men like lanthorns show
Light lust within themselves, even through themselves.
Away, loose silks of wavering vanity!
Shall the large limit of fair Brittayne
By me be overthrown, and shall I not
Master this little mansion of myself?
Give me an armour of eternal steel!
I go to conquer kings; and shall I not then
Subdue myself, and be my enemies' friend?
It must not be. – Come, boy, forward, advance!
Let's with our colours sweet the air of France.
Enter Lodowick

LODOWICK
My liege, the Countess with a smiling cheer
Desires access unto your majesty.

KING EDWARD
(aside) Why, there it goes! That very smile of hers
Hath ransomed captive France, and set the king,
The Dauphin, and the peers at liberty. –
Go, leave me, Ned, and revel with thy friends.
Exit Prince
Thy mother is but black, and thou, like her,
Dost put it in my mind how foul she is. –
Go, fetch the Countess hither in thy hand,
Exit Lodowick
And let her chase away these winter clouds,
For she gives beauty both to heaven and earth.
The sin is more to hack and hew poor men,
Than to embrace in an unlawful bed
The register of all rarieties
Since leathern Adam till this youngest hour.
Enter Lodowick and the Countess
Go, Lod'wick, put thy hand into thy purse,
Play, spend, give, riot, waste, do what thou wilt,
So thou wilt hence a while and leave me here.
Exit Lodowick
Now, my soul's playfellow, art thou come
To speak the more than heavenly word of yea
To my objection in thy beauteous love?

COUNTESS
My father on his blessing hath commanded –

KING EDWARD
That thou shalt yield to me.

COUNTESS
Ay, dear my liege, your due.

KING EDWARD
And that, my dearest love, can be no less
Than right for right, and render love for love.

COUNTESS
Than wrong for wrong, and endless hate for hate.
But sith I see your majesty so bent,
That my unwillingness, my husband's love,
Your high estate, nor no respect respected,
Can be my help, but that your mightiness
Will overbear and awe these dear regards,
I bind my discontent to my content,
And what I would not, I'll compel I will,
Provided that yourself remove those lets
That stand between your highness' love and mine.

KING EDWARD
Name them, fair Countess, and by heaven I will.

COUNTESS
It is their lives that stand between our love
That I would have choked up, my sovereign.

KING EDWARD
Whose lives, my lady?

COUNTESS
My thrice-loving liege,
Your Queen, and Salisbury, my wedded husband,
Who living have that title in our love
That we cannot bestow but by their death.

KING EDWARD
Thy opposition is beyond our law.

COUNTESS
So is your desire. If the law
Can hinder you to execute the one,
Let it forbid you to attempt the other.
I cannot think you love me as you say,
Unless you do make good what you have sworn.

KING EDWARD
No more: thy husband and the Queen shall die.
Fairer thou art by far than Hero was,
Beardless Leander not so strong as I:
He swum an easy current for his love,
But I will through a Hellespont of blood
To arrive at Sestos, where my Hero lies.

COUNTESS
Nay, you'll do more: you'll make the river too
With their heart bloods that keep our love asunder,
Of which my husband and your wife are twain.

KING EDWARD
Thy beauty makes them guilty of their death
And gives in evidence that they shall die,
Upon which verdict I their judge condemn them.

COUNTESS
(aside) O perjured beauty, more corrupted judge!
When to the great Star-chamber o'er our heads
The universal sessions calls to 'count
This packing evil, we both shall tremble for it.

KING EDWARD
What says my fair love? Is she resolved?

COUNTESS
Resolved to be dissolved; and therefore this:
Keep but thy word, great King, and I am thine.
Stand where thou dost – I'll part a little from thee –
And see how I will yield me to thy hands.
Here by my side doth hang my wedding knives:
Take thou the one, and with it kill thy queen,
And learn by me to find her where she lies;
And with this other I'll dispatch my love,
Which now lies fast asleep within my heart.
When they are gone, then I'll consent to love. –
Stir not, lascivious King, to hinder me.
My resolution is more nimbler far
Than thy prevention can be in my rescue;
And if thou stir, I strike. Therefore, stand still,
And hear the choice that I will put thee to:
Either swear to leave thy most unholy suit
And never henceforth to solicit me,
Or else, by heaven, this sharp-pointed knife
Shall stain thy earth with that which thou wouldst stain,
My poor chaste blood. Swear, Edward, swear,
Or I will strike, and die before thee here.

KING EDWARD
Even by that power I swear, that gives me now
The power to be ashamed of myself,
I never mean to part my lips again
In any words that tends to such a suit.
Arise, true English lady, whom our isle
May better boast of than ever Roman might
Of her, whose ransacked treasury hath tasked
The vain endeavour of so many pens;
Arise, and be my fault thy honour's fame,
Which after ages shall enrich thee with.
I am awaked from this idle dream. –
Warwick, my son, Derby, Artois, and Audley,
Brave warriors all, where are you all this while?
Enter all
Warwick, I make thee Warden of the North.
Thou, Prince of Wales, and Audley, straight to sea;
Scour to Newhaven; some there stay for me.
Myself, Artois, and Derby will through Flanders
To greet our friends there and to crave their aid.
This night will scarce suffice me to discover
My folly's siege against a faithful lover;
For ere the sun shall gild the eastern sky,
We'll wake him with our martial harmony.
Exeunt
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2020 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL