King Edward III


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Prince Edward, King John, Charles, and all, with ensigns spread. Retreat sounded
lately (adv.) 2 formerly, within recent times


PRINCE

Now, John in France, and lately John of France,

Thy bloody ensigns are my captive colours;
colours (n.) 1 battle-flags, ensigns, standards, banners See Topics: Frequency count

And you, high-vaunting Charles of Normandy,
high-vaunting (adj.) boastful, bragging, loud-mouthed

That once today sent me a horse to fly,

Are now the subjects of my clemency.

Fie, lords, is't not a shame that English boys,

Whose early days are yet not worth a beard,

Should in the bosom of your kingdom thus,

One against twenty, beat you up together?


KING JOHN

Thy fortune, not thy force, hath conquered us.


PRINCE

An argument that heaven aids the right.
argument (n.) 6 proof, evidence, demonstration

Enter Artois with Philip

See, see, Artois doth bring with him along

The late good counsel-giver to my soul.
counsel-giver (n.) counsellor, mentor, advisor

Welcome, Artois, and welcome, Philip, too.

Who now, of you or I, have need to pray?

Now is the proverb verified in you:

Too bright a morning brings a louring day.
louring (adj.) 1 gloomy, threatening, dark

Sound trumpets. Enter Audley, with the two esquires

But say, what grim discouragement comes here!

Alas, what thousand armed men of France

Have writ that note of death in Audley's face?

Speak, thou that wooest death with thy careless smile,

And look'st so merrily upon thy grave

As if thou wert enamoured on thine end.
enamoured [on] (adj.) in love [with], delight [in], relish

What hungry sword hath so bereaved thy face
bereave (v.) 2 plunder, ravage, devastate

And lopped a true friend from my loving soul?


AUDLEY

O Prince, thy sweet bemoaning speech to me
bemoaning (adj.) lamenting, plaintive, sorrowful

Is as a mournful knell to one dead sick.


PRINCE

Dear Audley, if my tongue ring out thy end,

My arms shall be thy grave. What may I do

To win thy life or to revenge thy death?

If thou wilt drink the blood of captive kings,

Or that it were restorative, command

A health of king's blood, and I'll drink to thee.

If honour may dispense for thee with death,
dispense with (v.) 3 gain exemption from, set aside, dissolve

The never-dying honour of this day

Share wholly, Audley, to thyself, and live.


AUDLEY

Victorious prince – that thou art so, behold

A Caesar's fame in kings' captivity –

If I could hold dim death but at a bay

Till I did see my liege thy royal father,

My soul should yield this castle of my flesh,

This mangled tribute, with all willingness,

To darkness, consummation, dust, and worms.


PRINCE

Cheerily, bold man, thy soul is all too proud

To yield her city for one little breach,

Should be divorced from her earthly spouse

By the soft temper of a Frenchman's sword.
temper (n.) 2 quality, constitution, condition

Lo, to repair thy life I give to thee

Three thousand marks a year in English land.


AUDLEY

I take thy gift to pay the debts I owe.

These two poor squires redeemed me from the French

With lusty and dear hazard of their lives.
hazard (n.) 1 risk, peril, danger
lusty (adj.) 1 vigorous, strong, robust, eager

What thou hast given me, I give to them;

And, as thou lov'st me, Prince, lay thy consent

To this bequeath in my last testament.
bequeath (n.) bequest, legacy


PRINCE

Renowned Audley, live, and have from me

This gift twice doubled to these squires and thee:

But, live or die, what thou hast given away

To these and theirs shall lasting freedom stay.
stay (v.) 4 remain, continue, endure

Come, gentlemen, I will see my friend bestowed
bestow (v.) 4 accommodate, lodge, quarter

Within an easy litter. Then we'll march
easy (adj.) 3 comfortable, restful, agreeable
litter (n.) 1 [transportable] bed, couch

Proudly toward Calais with triumphant pace

Unto my royal father, and there bring

The tribute of my wars, fair France his king.

Exeunt

 
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