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Edward III: Act 4, Scene 2

Edward III
Act 4, Scene 2

Picardy. The English camp before Calais.

  1. Enter King Edward and Derby, with Soldiers.

Edward III

2 - 7
  1. Since they refuse our proffered league, my lord,
  2. And will not ope their gates, and let us in,
  3. We will entrench ourselves on every side,
  4. That neither victuals nor supply of men
  5. May come to succor this accursed town:
  6. Famine shall combat where our swords are stopped.
  1. Enter six poor Frenchmen, including a Poor Inhabitant of
  2. Calais.

Earl of Derby

10 - 13
  1. The promised aid, that made them stand aloof,
  2. Is now retired and gone an other way:
  3. It will repent them of their stubborn will.
  4. But what are these poor ragged slaves, my lord?

Edward III

14
  1. Ask what they are; it seems, they come from Callice.

Earl of Derby

15 - 17
  1. You wretched patterns of despair and woe,
  2. What are you, living men or gliding ghosts,
  3. Crept from your graves to walk upon the earth?

Poor Inhabitant of Calais

18 - 24
  1. No ghosts, my lord, but men that breath a life
  2. Far worse than is the quiet sleep of death:
  3. We are distressed poor inhabitants,
  4. That long have been diseased, sick, and lame;
  5. And now, because we are not fit to serve,
  6. The captain of the town hath thrust us forth,
  7. That so expense of victuals may be saved.

Edward III

25 - 29
  1. A charitable deed, no doubt, and worthy praise!
  2. But how do you imagine then to speed?
  3. We are your enemies; in such a case
  4. We can no less but put ye to the sword,
  5. Since, when we proffered truce, it was refused.

Poor Inhabitant of Calais

30 - 31
  1. And if your grace no otherwise vouchsafe,
  2. As welcome death is unto us as life.

Edward III

32 - 39
  1. Poor silly men, much wronged and more distressed!
  2. Go, Derby, go, and see they be relieved;
  3. Command that victuals be appointed them,
  4. And give to every one five crowns a piece.
  5. Exeunt Derby and Frenchmen.
  6. The lion scorns to touch the yielding prey,
  7. And Edward’s sword must flesh itself in such
  8. As willful stubbornness hath made perverse.
  1. Enter Lord Percy.

Edward III

41
  1. Lord Percy! Welcome: what’s the news in England?

Percy

42 - 51
  1. The Queen, my lord, comes here to your Grace,
  2. And from her highness and the lord viceregent
  3. I bring this happy tidings of success:
  4. David of Scotland, lately up in arms,
  5. Thinking, belike, he soonest should prevail,
  6. Your highness being absent from the realm,
  7. Is, by the fruitful service of your peers
  8. And painful travel of the Queen herself,
  9. That, big with child, was every day in arms,
  10. Vanquished, subdued, and taken prisoner.

Edward III

52 - 53
  1. Thanks, Percy, for thy news, with all my heart!
  2. What was he took him prisoner in the field?

Percy

54 - 58
  1. An esquire, my lord; John Copland is his name:
  2. Who since, intreated by her Majesty,
  3. Denies to make surrender of his prize
  4. To any but unto your grace alone;
  5. Whereat the Queen is grievously displeas’d.

Edward III

59 - 61
  1. Well, then we’ll have a Pursiuvant despatched,
  2. To summon Copland hither out of hand,
  3. And with him he shall bring his prisoner king.

Percy

62 - 64
  1. The Queen’s, my lord, herself by this at sea,
  2. And purposeth, as soon as wind will serve,
  3. To land at Callice, and to visit you.

Edward III

65 - 66
  1. She shall be welcome; and, to wait her coming,
  2. I’ll pitch my tent near to the sandy shore.
  1. Enter First French Captain.

First French Captain

68 - 72
  1. The Burgesses of Callice, mighty king,
  2. Have by a counsel willingly decreed
  3. To yield the town and castle to your hands,
  4. Upon condition it will please your grace
  5. To grant them benefit of life and goods.

Edward III

73 - 85
  1. They will so! Then, belike, they may command,
  2. Dispose, elect, and govern as they list.
  3. No, sirra, tell them, since they did refuse
  4. Our princely clemency at first proclaimed,
  5. They shall not have it now, although they would;
  6. I will accept of nought but fire and sword,
  7. Except, within these two days, six of them,
  8. That are the wealthiest merchants in the town,
  9. Come naked, all but for their linen shirts,
  10. With each a halter hanged about his neck,
  11. And prostrate yield themselves, upon their knees,
  12. To be afflicted, hanged, or what I please;
  13. And so you may inform their masterships.
  1. Exeunt Edward and Percy.

First French Captain

87 - 92
  1. Why, this it is to trust a broken staff:
  2. Had we not been persuaded, John our King
  3. Would with his army have relieved the town,
  4. We had not stood upon defiance so:
  5. But now ’tis past that no man can recall,
  6. And better some do go to wrack them all.
  1. Exit.
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