King Edward III


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter the Countess of Salisbury, above


COUNTESS

Alas, how much in vain my poor eyes gaze

For succour that my sovereign should send!

Ah, cousin Montague, I fear thou want'st
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

The lively spirit sharply to solicit
solicit (v.) 1 urge, move, incite, prevail upon

With vehement suit the king in my behalf.
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count

Thou dost not tell him what a grief it is

To be the scornful captive to a Scot,
scornful (adj.) scorned, contemptible, derided

Either to be wooed with broad untuned oaths,
untuned (adj.) 2 disagreeable, distressing, rude

Or forced by rough insulting barbarism;
barbarism (n.) 1 rudeness, churlishness

Thou doest not tell him, if he here prevail,

How much they will deride us in the north,

And, in their vile uncivil skipping jigs,
uncivil (adj.) uncivilized, barbarous, unrefined

Bray forth their conquest and our overthrow,

Even in the barren, bleak, and fruitless air.
fruitless (adj.) barren, sterile, useless

Enter below, King David, Douglas, and Lorraine

I must withdraw. The everlasting foe

Comes to the wall; I'll closely step aside,
closely (adv.) 1 secretly, covertly, privately

And list their babble, blunt and full of pride.
blunt (adj.) 1 stupid, obtuse, dull-witted
list (v.) 3 listen to, pay attention to


KING DAVID

My lord of Lorraine, to our brother of France

Commend us, as the man in Christendom
commend (v.) 1 convey greetings, present kind regards See Topics: Frequency count

That we most reverence and entirely love.

Touching your embassage, return and say
embassage, ambassage (n.) message, errand, business, mission

That we with England will not enter parley,

Nor never make fair weather or take truce,
weather, make fair appear friendly, be conciliatory

But burn their neighbour towns, and so persist
neighbour (adj.) 2 nearby, not far away, accessible

With eager rods beyond their city, York;
eager (adj.) 4 fierce, angry, savage
rod (n.) 1 inroad, foray, raid

And never shall our bonny riders rest,
bonny (adj.) 1 strong, stalwart, strapping

Nor rusting canker have the time to eat
canker (n./adj.) 2 cancer, ulcer, blight, corruption

Their light-borne snaffles, nor their nimble spurs,
snaffle (n.) bridle-bit

Nor lay aside their jacks of gimmaled mail,
gimmaled (adj.) jointed, hinged, linked
jack (n.) 1 jacket, tunic, coat [usually of quilted leather] See Topics: Clothing
mail (n.) 1 armour, chain mail, piece of armour See Topics: Body-armour

Nor hang their staves of grained Scottish ash

In peaceful wise upon their city walls,
wise (n.) manner, way, fashion

Nor from their buttoned tawny leathern belts
buttoned (adj.) fitted out with buttons, studded, bossed
leathern (adj.) 1 leather-like

Dismiss their biting whinyards, till your king
whinyard (n.) short sword See Topics: Weapons

Cry out: ‘ Enough, spare England now for pity!’

Farewell, and tell him that you leave us here

Before this castle; say you came from us

Even when we had that yielded to our hands.


LORRAINE

I take my leave, and fairly will return

Your acceptable greeting to my king.
acceptable (adj.) welcome, pleasing, gratifying

Exit


KING DAVID

Now, Douglas, to our former task again,

For the division of this certain spoil.
spoil (n.) 2 plunder, booty


DOUGLAS

My liege, I crave the lady, and no more.
crave (v.) 1 beg, entreat, request See Topics: Frequency count


KING DAVID

Nay, soft ye, sir; first I must make my choice,

And first I do bespeak her for myself.
bespeak (v.), past forms bespake, bespoke 3 speak for, arrange for, claim


DOUGLAS

Why then, my liege, let me enjoy her jewels.


KING DAVID

Those are her own, still liable to her,
liable (adj.) 2 legally belonging, in her ownership
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

And who inherits her hath those withal.

Enter a Messenger in haste
prick (v.) 3 spur a horse, ride, gallop


MESSENGER

My liege, as we were pricking on the hills

To fetch in booty, marching hitherward

We might descry a mighty host of men.
descry (v.) 1 catch sight of, make out, espy, discover

The sun reflecting on the armour showed

A field of plate, a wood of picks advanced.
pick (n.) pike See Topics: Weapons
plate (n.) 2 armour, plate-armour

Bethink your highness speedily herein:
bethink (v.), past form bethought 3 resolve, decide, have a mind

An easy march within four hours will bring

The hindmost rank unto this place, my liege.


KING DAVID

Dislodge, dislodge! It is the King of England.
dislodge (v.) withdraw, retreat, pull back


DOUGLAS

Jemmy, my man, saddle my bonny black.
bonny (adj.) 2 fine, beautiful, splendid


KING DAVID

Mean'st thou to fight, Douglas? We are too weak.


DOUGLAS

I know it well, my liege, and therefore fly.


COUNTESS

My lords of Scotland, will ye stay and drink?


KING DAVID

She mocks at us, Douglas; I cannot endure it.


COUNTESS

Say, good my lord, which is he must have the lady,

And which her jewels? I am sure, my lords,

Ye will not hence till you have shared the spoils.
spoil (n.) 2 plunder, booty


KING DAVID

She heard the messenger, and heard our talk,

And now that comfort makes her scorn at us.

Enter another Messenger


MESSENGER

Arm, my good lord! O, we are all surprised!


COUNTESS

After the French ambassador, my liege,

And tell him that you dare not ride to York.

Excuse it that your bonny horse is lame.
bonny (adj.) 2 fine, beautiful, splendid


KING DAVID

She heard that too; intolerable grief!

Woman, farewell! Although I do not stay –

Exeunt Scots


COUNTESS

'Tis not for fear, and yet you run away. –

O happy comfort, welcome to our house!

The confident and boist'rous boasting Scot,
boisterous (adj.) 1 violent, fierce, savage

That swore before my walls they would not back

For all the armed power of this land,
power (n.) 4 force, strength, might

With faceless fear that ever turns his back,

Turned hence again the blasting north-east wind
again (prep.) against, facing

Upon the bare report and name of arms.

Enter Montague

O summer's day! See where my cousin comes!


MONTAGUE

How fares my aunt? We are not Scots.
fare (v.) 1 get on, manage, do, cope See Topics: Frequency count

Why do you shut your gates against your friends?


COUNTESS

Well may I give a welcome, cousin, to thee,

For thou com'st well to chase my foes from hence.


MONTAGUE

The king himself is come in person hither.

Dear aunt, descend, and gratulate his highness.
gratulate (v.) greet, welcome, salute


COUNTESS

How may I entertain his majesty,

To show my duty and his dignity?

Exit above

Enter King Edward, Warwick, Artois, with others


KING EDWARD

What, are the stealing foxes fled and gone

Before we could uncouple at their heels?
uncouple (v.) release pairs of hunting dogs for the chase


WARWICK

They are, my liege; but, with a cheerful cry,

Hot hounds and hardy chase them at the heels.

Enter Countess


KING EDWARD

This is the Countess, Warwick, is it not?


WARWICK

Even she, my liege; whose beauty tyrants fear,

As a May blossom with pernicious winds

Hath sullied, withered, overcast, and done.


KING EDWARD

Hath she been fairer, Warwick, than she is?


WARWICK

My gracious King, fair is she not at all,

If that her self were by to stain herself,

As I have seen her when she was herself.


KING EDWARD

What strange enchantment lurked in those her eyes

When they excelled this excellence they have,

That now her dim decline hath power to draw

My subject eyes from piercing majesty

To gaze on her with doting admiration?


COUNTESS

In duty lower than the ground I kneel,

And for my dull knees bow my feeling heart

To witness my obedience to your highness

With many millions of a subject's thanks

For this your royal presence, whose approach

Hath driven war and danger from my gate.


KING EDWARD

Lady, stand up; I come to bring thee peace,

However thereby I have purchased war.


COUNTESS

No war to you, my liege; the Scots are gone,

And gallop home toward Scotland with their hate.


KING EDWARD

Lest, yielding here, I pine in shameful love,

Come, we'll pursue the Scots. – Artois, away!


COUNTESS

A little while, my gracious sovereign, stay,

And let the power of a mighty king
power (n.) 4 force, strength, might

Honour our roof; my husband in the wars,

When he shall hear it, will triumph for joy.

Then, dear my liege, now niggard not thy state.
niggard (v.) 1 begrudge, hoard, use sparingly
state (n.) 4 splendour, magnificence, stateliness, dignity

Being at the wall, enter our homely gate.


KING EDWARD

Pardon me, Countess, I will come no near'r;

I dreamed tonight of treason, and I fear.
tonight (adv.) last night, this past night


COUNTESS

Far from this place let ugly treason lie!


KING EDWARD

(aside)

No farther off than her conspiring eye,

Which shoots infected poison in my heart,

Beyond repulse of wit or cure of art.
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

Now in the sun alone it doth not lie

With light to take light from a mortal eye;

For here two day-stars that mine eyes would see

More than the sun steals mine own light from me.

Contemplative desire, desire to be

In contemplation, that may master thee. –

Warwick, Artois, to horse and let's away!


COUNTESS

What might I speak to make my sovereign stay?


KING EDWARD

(aside)

What needs a tongue to such a speaking eye,

That more persuades than winning oratory?


COUNTESS

Let not thy presence, like the April sun,

Flatter our earth and suddenly be done.

More happy do not make our outward wall

Than thou wilt grace our inner house withal.

Our house, my liege, is like a country swain,
swain (n.) 1 [contemptuous] rustic, yokel, fellow

Whose habit rude and manners blunt and plain
blunt (adj.) 2 plain-spoken, unceremonious, forthright
habit (n.) 3 behaviour, bearing, demeanour
plain (adj.) 2 simple, homely, unaffected
rude (adj.) 2 rough, wild, harsh-looking

Presageth nought, yet inly beautified
inly (adv.) inwardly, deep within
presage (v.) 1 signify, indicate

With bounty's riches and faire hidden pride.
bounty (n.) 1 great generosity, gracious liberality, munificence
pride (n.) 1 splendour, magnificence, pomp

For where the golden ore doth buried lie,

The ground, undecked with nature's tapestry,
undecked (adj.) unadorned, not decked out

Seems barren, sere, unfertile, fruitless, dry;
sere (adj.) dried up, withered, parched

And where the upper turf of earth doth boast

His pride, perfumes, and parti-coloured cost,
cost (n.) 2 abundance, richness, costly appearance
parti-coloured (adj.) variegated, diverse, multi-coloured
pride (n.) 1 splendour, magnificence, pomp

Delve there, and find this issue and their pride
issue (n.) 3 yield, product, result
pride (n.) 1 splendour, magnificence, pomp

To spring from ordure and corruption's side.
corruption (n.) 2 decomposition, putrefaction
ordure (n.) filth, dirt, dung

But, to make up my all too long compare,
compare (n.) comparison, simile, analogy
make up (v.) 6 conclude, finish, end

These ragged walls no testimony are
ragged (adj.) 3 rough-hewn, dilapidated, rugged

What is within, but like a cloak doth hide

From weather's waste the undergarnished pride.
pride (n.) 1 splendour, magnificence, pomp
undergarnished (adj.) adorned underneath
waste (n.) 1 wasting, devastation, ravages

More gracious than my terms can, let thee be.
term (n.) 1 word, expression, utterance

Entreat thy self to stay a while with me.


KING EDWARD

(aside)
fit (n.) 1 fever, attack, seizure
fond (adj.) 4 infatuated, doting, passionate

As wise as fair: what fond fit can be heard

When wisdom keeps the gate as beauty's guard? –

Countess, albeit my business urgeth me,
albeit (conj.) although

It shall attend, while I attend on thee. –
attend (v.) 5 wait, tarry, postpone

Come on, my lords, here will I host tonight.
host (v.) lodge, stay, put up

Exeunt

 
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