King Edward III

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter King Edward and Derby, with Soldiers
league (n.) 1 compact, alliance, treaty, bond of friendship


Since they refuse our proffered league, my lord,

And will not ope their gates and let us in,
ope (v.) open See Topics: Frequency count

We will entrench ourselves on every side,
entrench, intrench (v.) 1 put within a trench

That neither victuals nor supply of men
victual (n.) (usually plural) provisions, supplies, food and drink

May come to succour this accursed town.
succour (v.) help, assist, aid

Famine shall combat where our swords are stopped.

Enter six poor Frenchmen


The promised aid that made them stand aloof

Is now retired and gone another way:

It will repent them of their stubborn will. –

But what are these poor ragged slaves, my lord?


Ask what they are; it seems they come from Calais.


You wretched patterns of despair and woe,
pattern (n.) 1 picture, model, specimen, example

What are you, living men or gliding ghosts,

Crept from your graves to walk upon the earth?


No ghosts, my lord, but men that breathe a life

Far worse than is the quiet sleep of death.

We are distressed poor inhabitants

That long have been diseased, sick, and lame;

And now, because we are not fit to serve,

The captain of the town hath thrust us forth,

That so expense of victuals may be saved.
victual (n.) (usually plural) provisions, supplies, food and drink


A charitable deed, no doubt, and worthy praise!

But how do you imagine then to speed?
speed (v.) 3 survive, succeed, prosper

We are your enemies; in such a case

We can no less but put you to the sword,

Since, when we proffered truce, it was refused.


And if your grace no otherwise vouchsafe,
vouchsafe (v.) 1 allow, permit, grant See Topics: Politeness

As welcome death is unto us as life.


Poor silly men, much wronged, and more distressed!
silly (adj.) 1 helpless, defenceless, vulnerable

Go, Derby, go, and see they be relieved.

Command that victuals be appointed them,
appoint (v.) 2 grant, provide, assign
victual (n.) (usually plural) provisions, supplies, food and drink

And give to every one five crowns apiece.

Exeunt Derby and Frenchmen

The lion scorns to touch the yielding prey,

And Edward's sword must flesh itself in such
flesh (v.) 3 plunge into the flesh

As wilful stubbornness hath made perverse.
perverse (n.) obstinate, stubborn, intransigent

Enter Lord Percy


Lord Percy, welcome! What's the news in England?


The Queen, my lord, commends her to your grace,
commend (v.) 1 convey greetings, present kind regards See Topics: Frequency count

And from her highness and the lord viceregent
vicegerent (n.) 1 official acting in place of a ruler during his absence

I bring this happy tidings of success:

David of Scotland, lately up in arms,

Thinking belike he soonest should prevail,
belike (adv.) probably, presumably, perhaps, so it seems See Topics: Frequency count

Your highness being absent from the realm,

Is, by the fruitful service of your peers

And painful travail of the Queen herself,
painful (adj.) 1 painstaking, diligent, laborious
travail, travel (n.) 1 labour, effort, exertion [often overlapping with sense 2]

That, big with child, was every day in arms,

Vanquished, subdued, and taken prisoner.


Thanks, Percy, for thy news, with all my heart!

What was he took him prisoner in the field?
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count


A squire, my Lord; John Copland is his name,

Who since, intreated by her majesty,

Denies to make surrender of his prize

To any but unto your grace alone,

Whereat the Queen is grievously displeased.


Well, then we'll have a pursuivant dispatched
pursuivant (n.) royal messenger, state messenger [with power to execute warrants]

To summon Copland hither out of hand,
hand, out of 1 at once, immediately, straight away

And with him he shall bring his prisoner king.


The Queen's, my lord, herself by this at sea,

And purposeth, as soon as wind will serve,

To land at Calais, and to visit you.


She shall be welcome; and to wait her coming

I'll pitch my tent near to the sandy shore.

Enter a French Captain


The burgesses of Calais, mighty prince,

Have by a council willingly decreed

To yield the town and castle to your hands,

Upon condition it will please your grace

To grant them benefit of life and goods.


They will so? Then, belike, they may command,
belike (adv.) probably, presumably, perhaps, so it seems See Topics: Frequency count

Dispose, elect, and govern as they list!
list (v.) 1 wish, like, please

No, sirrah, tell them, since they did refuse

Our princely clemency at first proclaimed,

They shall not have it now, although they would.

I will accept of naught but fire and sword,

Except, within these two days, six of them,

That are the wealthiest merchants in the town,

Come naked, all but for their linen shirts,

With each a halter hanged about his neck,

And prostrate yield themselves, upon their knees,

To be afflicted, hanged, or what I please;
afflict (v.) be made to suffer, torment, persecute

And so you may inform their masterships.
mastership (n.) [ironic use] senior citizen, leading light

Exeunt Edward and Percy


Why, this it is to trust a broken staff.

Had we not been persuaded John our King

Would with his army have relieved the town,

We had not stood upon defiance so.
stand (v.) 2 continue, remain, wait, stay put

But now 'tis past that no man can recall,

And better some do go to wrack, than all.
wrack (n.) 1 destruction, ruin


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