A line-by-line translation

Henry IV, Part 2

Henry IV, Part 2 Translation Act 1, Scene 3

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Enter the ARCHBISHOP of York, Thomas MOWBRAY the Earl Marshal, Lord HASTINGS, and LORD BARDOLPH

ARCHBISHOP

Thus have you heard our cause and known our means, And, my most noble friends, I pray you all Speak plainly your opinions of our hopes. And first, Lord Marshal, what say you to it?

ARCHBISHOP

So now you have heard why we're fighting and what kind of support we have, my noble friends. I want you to tell me truthfully if you think we have a chance. Firstly you, Marshal Mowbray: what do you think?

MOWBRAY

I well allow the occasion of our arms, But gladly would be better satisfied How in our means we should advance ourselves To look with forehead bold and big enough Upon the power and puissance of the King.

MOWBRAY

I agree with why we are fighting, but I would feel happier if I knew how we were going to be strong enough to fight with so few resources against the King's powerful forces.

HASTINGS

Our present musters grow upon the file To five-and-twenty thousand men of choice, And our supplies live largely in the hope Of great Northumberland, whose bosom burns With an incensèd fire of injuries.

HASTINGS

Our present army now stands at twenty-five thousand good men, and we are hoping for reinforcements from the great Northumberland, whose heart is burning with the grief of his loss. 

LORD BARDOLPH

The question then, Lord Hastings, standeth thus: Whether our present five-and-twenty thousand May hold up head without Northumberland.

LORD BARDOLPH

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HASTINGS

With him we may.

HASTINGS

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LORD BARDOLPH

Yea, marry, there’s the point. But if without him we be thought too feeble, My judgment is we should not step too far Till we had his assistance by the hand. For in a theme so bloody-faced as this, Conjecture, expectation, and surmise Of aids incertain should not be admitted.

LORD BARDOLPH

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ARCHBISHOP

'Tis very true, Lord Bardolph; for indeedIt was young Hotspur’s cause at Shrewsbury.

ARCHBISHOP

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LORD BARDOLPH

It was, my lord; who lined himself with hope, Eating the air on promise of supply, Flatt'ring himself in project of a power Much smaller than the smallest of his thoughts, And so, with great imagination Proper to madmen, led his powers to death And, winking, leapt into destruction.

LORD BARDOLPH

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HASTINGS

But, by your leave, it never yet did hurtTo lay down likelihoods and forms of hope.

HASTINGS

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LORD BARDOLPH

Yes, if this present quality of war— Indeed the instant action, a cause on foot— Lives so in hope, as in an early spring We see the appearing buds, which to prove fruit Hope gives not so much warrant as despair That frosts will bite them. When we mean to build, We first survey the plot, then draw the model, And when we see the figure of the house, Then must we rate the cost of the erection, Which if we find outweighs ability, What do we then but draw anew the model In fewer offices, or at last desist To build at all? Much more in this great work, Which is almost to pluck a kingdom down And set another up, should we survey The plot of situation and the model, Consent upon a sure foundation, Question surveyors, know our own estate, How able such a work to undergo, To weigh against his opposite. Or else We fortify in paper and in figures, Using the names of men instead of men, Like one that draws the model of a house Beyond his power to build it , who, half through, Gives o'er and leaves his part-created cost A naked subject to the weeping clouds And waste for churlish winter’s tyranny.

LORD BARDOLPH

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HASTINGS

Grant that our hopes, yet likely of fair birth, Should be stillborn and that we now possessed The utmost man of expectation, I think we are a body strong enough, Even as we are, to equal with the King.

HASTINGS

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LORD BARDOLPH

What, is the King but five-and twenty-thousand?

LORD BARDOLPH

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HASTINGS

To us no more, nay, not so much, Lord Bardolph, For his divisions, as the times do brawl, Are in three heads: one power against the French, And one against Glendower; perforce a third Must take up us. So is the unfirm King In three divided, and his coffers sound With hollow poverty and emptiness.

HASTINGS

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ARCHBISHOP

That he should draw his several strengths togetherAnd come against us in full puissanceNeed not be dreaded.

ARCHBISHOP

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HASTINGS

If he should do so,He leaves his back unarmed, the French and WelshBaying him at the heels. Never fear that.

HASTINGS

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LORD BARDOLPH

Who is it like should lead his forces hither?

LORD BARDOLPH

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HASTINGS

The Duke of Lancaster and Westmoreland;Against the Welsh, himself and Harry Monmouth;But who is substituted against the FrenchI have no certain notice.

HASTINGS

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ARCHBISHOP

Let us on, And publish the occasion of our arms. The commonwealth is sick of their own choice. Their over-greedy love hath surfeited. An habitation giddy and unsure Hath he that buildeth on the vulgar heart. O thou fond many, with what loud applause Didst thou beat heaven with blessing Bolingbroke Before he was what thou wouldst have him be. And being now trimmed in thine own desires, Thou, beastly feeder, art so full of him That thou provok’st thyself to cast him up. So, so, thou common dog, didst thou disgorge Thy glutton bosom of the royal Richard, And now thou wouldst eat thy dead vomit up And howl’st to find it. What trust is in these times? They that, when Richard lived, would have him die Are now become enamored on his grave. Thou, that threw’st dust upon his goodly head When through proud London he came sighing on After th' admired heels of Bolingbroke, Criest now “O earth, yield us that King again, And take thou this!” O thoughts of men accursed! Past and to come seems best; things present, worst.

ARCHBISHOP

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MOWBRAY

Shall we go draw our numbers and set on?

MOWBRAY

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HASTINGS

We are time’s subjects, and time bids begone.

HASTINGS

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Exeunt

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