Act IV, Scene 2
Picardy. The English camp before Calais.
- Enter King Edward and Derby, with Soldiers.
Edward III1 - 6
- Since they refuse our proffered league, my lord,
- And will not ope their gates, and let us in,
- We will entrench ourselves on every side,
- That neither victuals nor supply of men
- May come to succor this accursed town:
- Famine shall combat where our swords are stopped.
- Enter six poor Frenchmen, including a Poor Inhabitant of
Earl of Derby7 - 10
- The promised aid, that made them stand aloof,
- Is now retired and gone an other 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 Callice.
Earl of Derby12 - 14
- You wretched patterns of despair and woe,
- What are you, living men or gliding ghosts,
- Crept from your graves to walk upon the earth?
Poor Inhabitant of Calais15 - 21
- No ghosts, my lord, but men that breath 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.
Edward III22 - 26
- A charitable deed, no doubt, and worthy praise!
- But how do you imagine then to speed?
- We are your enemies; in such a case
- We can no less but put ye to the sword,
- Since, when we proffered truce, it was refused.
Poor Inhabitant of Calais27 - 28
- And if your grace no otherwise vouchsafe,
- As welcome death is unto us as life.
Edward III29 - 35
- Poor silly men, much wronged and more distressed!
- Go, Derby, go, and see they be relieved;
- Command that victuals be appointed them,
- And give to every one five crowns a piece.
- Exeunt Derby and Frenchmen.
- The lion scorns to touch the yielding prey,
- And Edward’s sword must flesh itself in such
- As willful stubbornness hath made perverse.
- Enter Lord Percy.
- Lord Percy! Welcome: what’s the news in England?
Percy37 - 46
- The Queen, my lord, comes here to your Grace,
- And from her highness and the lord viceregent
- I bring this happy tidings of success:
- David of Scotland, lately up in arms,
- Thinking, belike, he soonest should prevail,
- Your highness being absent from the realm,
- Is, by the fruitful service of your peers
- And painful travel of the Queen herself,
- That, big with child, was every day in arms,
- Vanquished, subdued, and taken prisoner.
Edward III47 - 48
- Thanks, Percy, for thy news, with all my heart!
- What was he took him prisoner in the field?
Percy49 - 53
- An esquire, 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 displeas’d.
Edward III54 - 56
- Well, then we’ll have a Pursiuvant despatched,
- To summon Copland hither out of hand,
- And with him he shall bring his prisoner king.
Percy57 - 59
- The Queen’s, my lord, herself by this at sea,
- And purposeth, as soon as wind will serve,
- To land at Callice, and to visit you.
Edward III60 - 61
- She shall be welcome; and, to wait her coming,
- I’ll pitch my tent near to the sandy shore.
- Enter First French Captain.
First French Captain62 - 66
- The Burgesses of Callice, mighty king,
- Have by a counsel 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.
Edward III67 - 79
- They will so! Then, belike, they may command,
- Dispose, elect, and govern as they list.
- No, sirra, 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 nought 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;
- And so you may inform their masterships.
- Exeunt Edward and Percy.
First French Captain80 - 85
- 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:
- But now ’tis past that no man can recall,
- And better some do go to wrack them all.