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Edward III: Act 2, Scene 1

Edward III
Act 2, Scene 1

Roxborough. The gardens of the castle.

  1. Enter Lodowick.

Lodowick

2 - 25
  1. I might perceive his eye in her eye lost,
  2. His ear to drink her sweet tongue’s utterance,
  3. And changing passion, like inconstant clouds
  4. That rack upon the carriage of the winds,
  5. Increase and die in his disturbed cheeks.
  6. Lo, when she blushed, even then did he look pale,
  7. As if her cheeks by some enchanted power
  8. Attracted had the cherry blood from his:
  9. Anon, with reverent fear when she grew pale,
  10. His cheeks put on their scarlet ornaments;
  11. But no more like her oriental red,
  12. Than brick to coral or live things to dead.
  13. Why did he then thus counterfeit her looks?
  14. If she did blush, twas tender modest shame,
  15. Being in the sacred presence of a King;
  16. If he did blush, twas red immodest shame,
  17. To veil his eyes amiss, being a king;
  18. If she looked pale, twas silly woman’s fear,
  19. To bear herself in presence of a king;
  20. If he looked pale, it was with guilty fear,
  21. To dote amiss, being a mighty king.
  22. Then, Scottish wars, farewell; I fear twill prove
  23. A lingering English siege of peevish love.
  24. Here comes his highness, walking all alone.
  1. Enter King Edward.

Edward III

27 - 50
  1. She is grown more fairer far since I came hither,
  2. Her voice more silver every word than other,
  3. Her wit more fluent. What a strange discourse
  4. Unfolded she of David and his Scots!
  5. Even thus,” quoth she, he spake,” and then spoke broad,
  6. With epithites and accents of the Scot,
  7. But somewhat better than the Scot could speak:
  8. And thus,” quoth she, and answered then herself
  9. For who could speak like her but she herself
  10. Breathes from the wall an angel’s note from heaven
  11. Of sweet defiance to her barbarous foes.
  12. When she would talk of peace, methinks, her tongue
  13. Commanded war to prison; when of war,
  14. It wakened Caesar from his Roman grave,
  15. To hear war beautified by her discourse.
  16. Wisdom is foolishness but in her tongue,
  17. Beauty a slander but in her fair face,
  18. There is no summer but in her cheerful looks,
  19. Nor frosty winter but in her disdain.
  20. I cannot blame the Scots that did besiege her,
  21. For she is all the treasure of our land;
  22. But call them cowards, that they ran away,
  23. Having so rich and fair a cause to stay.—
  24. Art thou there, Lodowick? Give me ink and paper.

Lodowick

51
  1. I will, my liege.

Edward III

52 - 53
  1. And bid the lords hold on their play at chess,
  2. For we will walk and meditate alone.

Lodowick

54
  1. I will, my sovereign.
  1. Exit Lodowick.

Edward III

56 - 61
  1. This fellow is well read in poetry,
  2. And hath a lusty and persuasive spirit;
  3. I will acquaint him with my passion,
  4. Which he shall shadow with a veil of lawn,
  5. Through which the queen of beauty’s queen shall see
  6. Her self the ground of my infirmity.
  1. Enter Lodowick.

Edward III

63
  1. Hast thou pen, ink, and paper ready, Lodowick?

Lodowick

64
  1. Ready, my liege.

Edward III

65 - 83
  1. Then in the summer arbor sit by me,
  2. Make it our counsel house or cabinet:
  3. Since green our thoughts, green be the conventicle,
  4. Where we will ease us by disburdening them.
  5. Now, Lodowick, invocate some golden muse,
  6. To bring thee hither an enchanted pen,
  7. That may for sighs set down true sighs indeed,
  8. Talking of grief, to make thee ready groan;
  9. And when thou writest of tears, encouch the word
  10. Before and after with such sweet laments,
  11. That it may raise drops in a Tartar’s eye,
  12. And make a flintheart Scythian pitiful;
  13. For so much moving hath a Poet’s pen:
  14. Then, if thou be a poet, move thou so,
  15. And be enriched by thy sovereign’s love.
  16. For, if the touch of sweet concordant strings
  17. Could force attendance in the ears of hell,
  18. How much more shall the strains of poets’ wit
  19. Beguile and ravish soft and humane minds?

Lodowick

84
  1. To whom, my lord, shall I direct my stile?

Edward III

85 - 99
  1. To one that shames the fair and sots the wise;
  2. Whose bod is an abstract or a brief,
  3. Contains each general virtue in the world.
  4. Better than beautiful thou must begin,
  5. Devise for fair a fairer word than fair,
  6. And every ornament that thou wouldest praise,
  7. Fly it a pitch above the soar of praise.
  8. For flattery fear thou not to be convicted;
  9. For, were thy admiration ten times more,
  10. Ten times ten thousand more the worth exceeds
  11. Of that thou art to praise, thy praises worth.
  12. Begin; I will to contemplate the while:
  13. Forget not to set down, how passionate,
  14. How heart sick, and how full of languishment,
  15. Her beauty makes me.

Lodowick

100
  1. Write I to a woman?

Edward III

101 - 103
  1. What beauty else could triumph over me,
  2. Or who but women do our love lays greet?
  3. What, thinkest thou I did bid thee praise a horse?

Lodowick

104 - 105
  1. Of what condition or estate she is,
  2. ’Twere requisite that I should know, my lord.

Edward III

106 - 133
  1. Of such estate, that hers is as a throne,
  2. And my estate the footstool where she treads:
  3. Then mayst thou judge what her condition is
  4. By the proportion of her mightiness.
  5. Write on, while I peruse her in my thoughts.—
  6. Her voice to music or the nightingale
  7. To music every summer leaping swain
  8. Compares his sunburnt lover when she speaks;
  9. And why should I speak of the nightingale?
  10. The nightingale sings of adulterate wrong,
  11. And that, compared, is too satyrical;
  12. For sin, though sin, would not be so esteemed,
  13. But, rather, virtue sin, sin virtue deemed.
  14. Her hair, far softer than the silk worm’s twist,
  15. Like to a flattering glass, doth make more fair
  16. The yellow Amber:—like a flattering glass
  17. Comes in too soon; for, writing of her eyes,
  18. I’ll say that like a glass they catch the sun,
  19. And thence the hot reflection doth rebound
  20. Against the breast, and burns my heart within.
  21. Ah, what a world of descant makes my soul
  22. Upon this voluntary ground of love!—
  23. Come, Lodowick, hast thou turned thy ink to gold?
  24. If not, write but in letters capital
  25. My mistress’ name, and it will gild thy paper:
  26. Read, lord, read;
  27. Fill thou the empty hollows of mine ears
  28. With the sweet hearing of thy poetry.

Lodowick

134
  1. I have not to a period brought her praise.

Edward III

135 - 145
  1. Her praise is as my love, both infinite,
  2. Which apprehend such violent extremes,
  3. That they disdain an ending period.
  4. Her beauty hath no match but my affection;
  5. Hers more than most, mine most and more than more:
  6. Hers more to praise than tell the sea by drops,
  7. Nay, more than drop the massy earth by sands,
  8. And sand by sand print them in memory:
  9. Then wherefore talkest thou of a period
  10. To that which craves unended admiration?
  11. Read, let us hear.

Lodowick

146
  1. More fair and chaste than is the queen of shades,”—

Edward III

147 - 153
  1. That line hath two faults, gross and palpable:
  2. Comparest thou her to the pale queen of night,
  3. Who, being set in dark, seems therefore light?
  4. What is she, when the sun lifts up his head,
  5. But like a fading taper, dim and dead?
  6. My love shall brave the eye of heaven at noon,
  7. And, being unmasked, outshine the golden sun.

Lodowick

154
  1. What is the other fault, my sovereign lord?

Edward III

155
  1. Read o’er the line again.

Lodowick

156
  1. More fair and chaste”—

Edward III

157 - 172
  1. I did not bid thee talk of chastity,
  2. To ransack so the treasure of her mind;
  3. For I had rather have her chased than chaste.
  4. Out with the moon line, I will none of it;
  5. And let me have her likened to the sun:
  6. Say she hath thrice more splendor than the sun,
  7. That her perfections emulate the sun,
  8. That she breeds sweets as plenteous as the sun,
  9. That she doth thaw cold winter like the sun,
  10. That she doth cheer fresh summer like the sun,
  11. The she doth dazzle gazers like the sun;
  12. And, in this application to the sun,
  13. Bid her be free and general as the sun,
  14. Who smiles upon the basest weed that grows
  15. As lovingly as on the fragrant rose.
  16. Let’s see what follows that same moonlight line.

Lodowick

173 - 174
  1. More fair and chaste than is the queen of shades,
  2. More bold in constance”—

Edward III

175
  1.                          In constance! Than who?

Lodowick

176
  1. Than Judith was.”

Edward III

177 - 179
  1. O monstrous line! Put in the next a sword,
  2. And I shall woo her to cut off my head.
  3. Blot, blot, good Lodowick! Let us hear the next.

Lodowick

180
  1. There’s all that yet is done.

Edward III

181 - 196
  1. I thank thee then; thou hast done little ill,
  2. But what is done, is passing, passing ill.
  3. No, let the captain talk of boisterous war,
  4. The prisoner of emured dark constraint,
  5. The sick man best sets down the pangs of death,
  6. The man that starves the sweetness of a feast,
  7. The frozen soul the benefit of fire,
  8. And every grief his happy opposite:
  9. Love cannot sound well but in lover’s tongues;
  10. Give me the pen and paper, I will write.
  11. Enter Countess.
  12. But soft, here comes the treasurer of my spirit.—
  13. Lodowick, thou knowst not how to draw a battle;
  14. These wings, these flankers, and these squadrons
  15. Argue in thee defective discipline:
  16. Thou shouldest have placed this here, this other here.

Countess

197 - 199
  1. Pardon my boldness, my thrice gracious lords;
  2. Let my intrusion here be called my duty,
  3. That comes to see my sovereign how he fares.

Edward III

200
  1. Go, draw the same, I tell thee in what form.

Lodowick

201
  1. I go.
  1. Exit Lodowick.

Countess

203 - 205
  1. Sorry I am to see my liege so sad:
  2. What may thy subject do to drive from thee
  3. Thy gloomy consort, sullome melancholy?

Edward III

206 - 208
  1. Ah, lady, I am blunt and cannot straw
  2. The flowers of solace in a ground of shame:—
  3. Since I came hither, Countess, I am wronged.

Countess

209 - 211
  1. Now God forbid that any in my house
  2. Should think my sovereign wrong! Thrice gentle King,
  3. Acquaint me with your cause of discontent.

Edward III

212
  1. How near then shall I be to remedy?

Countess

213 - 214
  1. As near, my liege, as all my woman’s power
  2. Can pawn itself to buy thy remedy.

Edward III

215 - 217
  1. If thou speakst true, then have I my redress:
  2. Engage thy power to redeem my Joys,
  3. And I am joyful, Countess; else I die.

Countess

218
  1. I will, my Liege.

Edward III

219
  1. Swear, Countess, that thou wilt.

Countess

220
  1. By heaven, I will.

Edward III

221 - 226
  1. Then take thyself a little way a side,
  2. And tell thyself, a king doth dote on thee;
  3. Say that within thy power it doth lie
  4. To make him happy, and that thou hast sworn
  5. To give him all the joy within thy power:
  6. Do this, and tell me when I shall be happy.

Countess

227 - 230
  1. All this is done, my thrice dread sovereign:
  2. That power of love, that I have power to give,
  3. Thou hast with all devout obedience;
  4. Employ me how thou wilt in proof thereof.

Edward III

231
  1. Thou hear’st me say that I do dote on thee.

Countess

232 - 237
  1. If on my beauty, take it if thou canst;
  2. Though little, I do prize it ten times less;
  3. If on my virtue, take it if thou canst,
  4. For virtue’s store by giving doth augment;
  5. Be it on what it will, that I can give
  6. And thou canst take away, inherit it.

Edward III

238
  1. It is thy beauty that I would enjoy.

Countess

239 - 243
  1. O, were it painted, I would wipe it off
  2. And dispossess myself, to give it thee.
  3. But, sovereign, it is soldered to my life:
  4. Take one and both; for, like an humble shadow,
  5. It haunts the sunshine of my summer’s life.

Edward III

244
  1. But thou mayst lend it me to sport with all.

Countess

245 - 252
  1. As easy may my intellectual soul
  2. Be lent away, and yet my body live,
  3. As lend my body, palace to my soul,
  4. Away from her, and yet retain my soul.
  5. My body is her bower, her court, her abbey,
  6. And she an angel, pure, divine, unspotted:
  7. If I should leave her house, my lord, to thee,
  8. I kill my poor soul and my poor soul me.

Edward III

253
  1. Didst thou not swear to give me what I would?

Countess

254
  1. I did, my liege, so what you would I could.

Edward III

255 - 258
  1. I wish no more of thee than thou mayst give:—
  2. Nor beg I do not, but I rather buy
  3. That is, thy love; and for that love of thine
  4. In rich exchange I tender to thee mine.

Countess

259 - 287
  1. But that your lips were sacred, my lord,
  2. You would profane the holy name of love.
  3. That love you offer me you cannot give,
  4. For Caesar owes that tribute to his queen;
  5. That love you beg of me I cannot give,
  6. For Sara owes that duty to her lord.
  7. He that doth clip or counterfeit your stamp
  8. Shall die, my lord; and will your sacred self
  9. Commit high treason against the King of Heaven,
  10. To stamp his image in forbidden metal,
  11. Forgetting your allegiance and your oath?
  12. In violating marriage sacred law,
  13. You break a greater honor than yourself:
  14. To be a king is of a younger house
  15. Than to be married; your progenitour,
  16. Sole reigning Adam on the universe,
  17. By God was honored for a married man,
  18. But not by him anointed for a king.
  19. It is a penalty to break your statutes,
  20. Though not enacted with your highness’ hand:
  21. How much more, to infringe the holy act,
  22. Made by the mouth of God, sealed with his hand?
  23. I know, my sovereign, in my husband’s love,
  24. Who now doth loyal service in his wars,
  25. Doth but so try the wife of Salisbury,
  26. Whither she will hear a wanton’s tale or no,
  27. Lest being therein guilty by my stay,
  28. From that, not from my liege, I turn away.
  29. Exit.

Edward III

288 - 306
  1. Whether is her beauty by her words dying,
  2. Or are her words sweet chaplains to her beauty?
  3. Like as the wind doth beautify a sail,
  4. And as a sail becomes the unseen wind,
  5. So do her words her beauties, beauties words.
  6. O, that I were a honey gathering bee,
  7. To bear the comb of virtue from this flower,
  8. And not a poison sucking envious spider,
  9. To turn the juice I take to deadly venom!
  10. Religion is austere and beauty gentle;
  11. Too strict a guardian for so fair a ward!
  12. O, that she were, as is the air, to me!
  13. Why, so she is, for when I would embrace her,
  14. This do I, and catch nothing but myself.
  15. I must enjoy her; for I cannot beat
  16. With reason and reproof fond love a way.
  17. Enter Warwick.
  18. Here comes her father: I will work with him,
  19. To bear my colors in this field of love.

Earl of Warwick

307 - 310
  1. How is it that my sovereign is so sad?
  2. May I with pardon know your highness grief;
  3. And that my old endeavor will remove it,
  4. It shall not cumber long your majesty.

Edward III

311 - 319
  1. A kind and voluntary gift thou proferest,
  2. That I was forward to have begged of thee.
  3. But, O thou world, great nurse of flattery,
  4. Why dost thou tip men’s tongues with golden words,
  5. And peise their deeds with weight of heavy lead,
  6. That fair performance cannot follow promise?
  7. O, that a man might hold the heart’s close book
  8. And choke the lavish tongue, when it doth utter
  9. The breath of falsehood not charactered there!

Earl of Warwick

320 - 325
  1. Far be it from the honor of my age,
  2. That I should owe bright gold and render lead;
  3. Age is a cynic, not a flatterer.
  4. I say again, that if I knew your grief,
  5. And that by me it may be lessened,
  6. My proper harm should buy your Highness’ good.

Edward III

326 - 331
  1. These are the vulgar tenders of false men,
  2. That never pay the duty of their words.
  3. Thou wilt not stick to swear what thou hast said;
  4. But, when thou knowest my grief’s condition,
  5. This rash disgorged vomit of thy word
  6. Thou wilt eat up again, and leave me helpless.

Earl of Warwick

332 - 333
  1. By heaven, I will not, though your majesty
  2. Did bid me run upon your sword and die.

Edward III

334 - 335
  1. Say that my grief is no way medicinable
  2. But by the loss and bruising of thine honor.

Earl of Warwick

336 - 337
  1. If nothing but that loss may vantage you,
  2. I would accompt that loss my vantage too.

Edward III

338
  1. Thinkst that thou canst unswear thy oath again?

Earl of Warwick

339
  1. I cannot; nor I would not, if I could.

Edward III

340
  1. But, if thou dost, what shall I say to thee?

Earl of Warwick

341 - 342
  1. What may be said to any perjured villain,
  2. That breaks the sacred warrant of an oath.

Edward III

343
  1. What wilt thou say to one that breaks an oath?

Earl of Warwick

344 - 345
  1. That he hath broke his faith with God and man,
  2. And from them both stands excommunicate.

Edward III

346 - 347
  1. What office were it, to suggest a man
  2. To break a lawful and religious vow?

Earl of Warwick

348
  1. An office for the devil, not for man.

Edward III

349 - 358
  1. That devil’s office must thou do for me,
  2. Or break thy oath, or cancel all the bonds
  3. Of love and duty twixt thyself and me;
  4. And therefore, Warwick, if thou art thyself,
  5. The lord and master of thy word and oath,
  6. Go to thy daughter; and in my behalf
  7. Command her, woo her, win her any ways,
  8. To be my mistress and my secret love.
  9. I will not stand to hear thee make reply:
  10. Thy oath break hers, or let thy sovereign die.
  1. Exit.

Earl of Warwick

360 - 382
  1. O doting King! O detestable office!
  2. Well may I tempt myself to wrong myself,
  3. When he hath sworn me by the name of God
  4. To break a vow made by the name of God.
  5. What, if I swear by this right hand of mine
  6. To cut this right hand off? The better way
  7. Were to profane the Idol than confound it:
  8. But neither will I do; I’ll keep mine oath,
  9. And to my daughter make a recantation
  10. Of all the virtue I have preacht to her:
  11. I’ll say, she must forget her husband Salisbury,
  12. If she remember to embrace the king;
  13. I’ll say, an oath may easily be broken,
  14. But not so easily pardoned, being broken;
  15. I’ll say, it is true charity to love,
  16. But not true love to be so charitable;
  17. I’ll say, his greatness may bear out the shame,
  18. But not his kingdom can buy out the sin;
  19. I’ll say, it is my duty to persuade,
  20. But not her honesty to give consent.
  21. Enter Countess.
  22. See where she comes; was never father had
  23. Against his child an embassage so bad?

Countess

383 - 386
  1. My lord and father, I have sought for you:
  2. My mother and the Peers importune you
  3. To keep in presence of his majesty,
  4. And do your best to make his highness merry.

Earl of Warwick

387 - 427
  1. Aside.
  2. How shall I enter in this graceless arrant?
  3. I must not call her child, for where’s the father
  4. That will in such a suit seduce his child?
  5. Then, wife of Salisbury”; shall I so begin?
  6. No, he’s my friend, and where is found the friend
  7. That will do friendship such indammagement?
  8. To the Countess.
  9. Neither my daughter nor my dear friend’s wife,
  10. I am not Warwick, as thou thinkst I am,
  11. But an attorney from the court of hell,
  12. That thus have housed my spirit in his form,
  13. To do a message to thee from the king.
  14. The mighty king of England dotes on thee:
  15. He that hath power to take away thy life,
  16. Hath power to take thy honor; then consent
  17. To pawn thine honor rather than thy life:
  18. Honor is often lost and got again,
  19. But life, once gone, hath no recovery.
  20. The sun, that withers hay, doth nourish grass;
  21. The king, that would disdain thee, will advance thee.
  22. The poets write that great Achilles’ spear
  23. Could heal the wound it made: the moral is,
  24. What mighty men misdo, they can amend.
  25. The lion doth become his bloody jaws,
  26. And grace his forragement by being mild,
  27. When vassel fear lies trembling at his feet.
  28. The king will in his glory hide thy shame;
  29. And those that gaze on him to find out thee,
  30. Will lose their eyesight, looking in the sun.
  31. What can one drop of poison harm the sea,
  32. Whose huge vastures can digest the ill
  33. And make it loose his operation?
  34. The king’s great name will temper thy misdeeds,
  35. And give the bitter potion of reproach,
  36. A sugared, sweet and most delicious taste.
  37. Besides, it is no harm to do the thing
  38. Which without shame could not be left undone.
  39. Thus have I in his majesty’s behalf
  40. Appareled sin in virtuous sentences,
  41. And dwell upon thy answer in his suit.

Countess

428 - 445
  1. Unnatural besiege! Woe me unhappy,
  2. To have escaped the danger of my foes,
  3. And to be ten times worse injured by friends!
  4. Hath he no means to stain my honest blood,
  5. But to corrupt the author of my blood
  6. To be his scandalous and vile solicitor?
  7. No marvel though the branches be then infected,
  8. When poison hath encompassed the root:
  9. No marvel though the leprous infant die,
  10. When the stern dame invenometh the Dug.
  11. Why then, give sin a passport to offend,
  12. And youth the dangerous reign of liberty:
  13. Blot out the strict forbidding of the law,
  14. And cancel every cannon that prescribes
  15. A shame for shame or penance for offense.
  16. No, let me die, if his too boistrous will
  17. Will have it so, before I will consent
  18. To be an actor in his graceless lust.

Earl of Warwick

446 - 473
  1. Why, now thou speakst as I would have thee speak:
  2. And mark how I unsay my words again.
  3. An honorable grave is more esteemed
  4. Than the polluted closet of a king:
  5. The greater man, the greater is the thing,
  6. Be it good or bad, that he shall undertake:
  7. An unreputed mote, flying in the sun,
  8. Presents a greater substance than it is:
  9. The freshest summer’s day doth soonest taint
  10. The loathed carrion that it seems to kiss:
  11. Deep are the blows made with a mighty axe:
  12. That sin doth ten times aggravate itself,
  13. That is committed in a holy place:
  14. An evil deed, done by authority,
  15. Is sin and subornation: deck an ape
  16. In tissue, and the beauty of the robe
  17. Adds but the greater scorn unto the beast.
  18. A spatious field of reasons could I urge
  19. Between his glory, daughter, and thy shame:
  20. That poison shews worst in a golden cup;
  21. Dark night seems darker by the lightning flash;
  22. Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds;
  23. And every glory that inclines to sin,
  24. The shame is treble by the opposite.
  25. So leave I with my blessing in thy bosom,
  26. Which then convert to a most heavy curse,
  27. When thou convertest from honor’s golden name
  28. To the black faction of bed blotting shame.

Countess

474 - 475
  1. I’ll follow thee; and when my mind turns so,
  2. My body sink my soul in endless woe!
  1. Exeunt.
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