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Henry IV, Part 1

Henry IV, Part 1 Translation Act 5, Scene 1

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Enter the KING, PRINCE HENRY of Wales, Lord John of LANCASTER, Earl of WESTMORELAND, BLUNT, and FALSTAFF

KING

How bloodily the sun begins to peerAbove yon busky hill. The day looks paleAt his distemp'rature.

KING

How bloody the sun looks as it peers over that looming hill. The day looks pale and sick because it has seen the unhealthy appearance of the sun. 

PRINCE HENRY

The southern windDoth play the trumpet to his purposes,And by his hollow whistling in the leavesForetells a tempest and a blust'ring day.

PRINCE HENRY

The southern wind is a trumpeter, announcing the motives of the sun. And the whistling of the breeze in the leaves makes it clear that it is going to be a stormy and windy day.

KING

Then with the losers let it sympathize,For nothing can seem foul to those that win.

KING

Then let it sympathize with the losing side, since nothing seems bad to people who have just won a battle. 

The trumpet sounds. Enter WORCESTER and VERNON

How now, my Lord of Worcester? ' Tis not well That you and I should meet upon such terms As now we meet. You have deceived our trust And made us doff our easy robes of peace To crush our old limbs in ungentle steel. This is not well, my lord; this is not well. What say you to it? Will you again unknit This churlish knot of all-abhorrèd war And move in that obedient orb again Where you did give a fair and natural light, And be no more an exhaled meteor, A prodigy of fear and a portent Of broachèd mischief to the unborn times?

How is it going, my Lord of Worcester? It's not right for us to meet like this. You have betrayed our trust and made us take off the robes we wear in peaceful times to crush our old bodies into uncomfortable armor again. This is not good, my lord, this is not good. What do you have to say for yourself? Will you untie this uncivil knot of detested war and stop it from happening? Will you be loyal to me again and act like an obedient globe, orbiting your King, shining beautifully and naturally? Or will you continue to be a fireball, a terrible omen and a sign of the trouble which can be expected in the future?

WORCESTER

Hear me, my liege: For mine own part I could be well content To entertain the lag end of my life With quiet hours. For I do protest I have not sought the day of this dislike.

WORCESTER

Listen to me, my lord. I would much prefer to spend the last years of my life in peace and quiet. I am telling you that I did not seek this day of conflict.

KING

You have not sought it? How comes it then?

KING

You didn't seek it? Then how did it happen?

FALSTAFF

Rebellion lay in his way, and he found it.

FALSTAFF

Rebellion was right in front of him, so he found it by accident, he didn't seek it.

PRINCE HENRY

Peace, chewet, peace.

PRINCE HENRY

Be quiet, you chatterer. Be quiet. 

WORCESTER

(to the KING ) It pleased your Majesty to turn your looks Of favour from myself and all our house; And yet I must remember you, my lord, We were the first and dearest of your friends. For you my staff of office did I break In Richard’s time, and posted day and night To meet you on the way, and kiss your hand When yet you were in place and in account Nothing so strong and fortunate as I. It was myself, my brother, and his son That brought you home and boldly did outdare The dangers of the time. You swore to us, And you did swear that oath at Doncaster, That you did nothing purpose 'gainst the state, Nor claim no further than your new-fall'n right, The seat of Gaunt, dukedom of Lancaster. To this we swore our aid. But in short space It rained down fortune show'ring on your head, And such a flood of greatness fell on you— What with our help, what with the absent King, What with the injuries of a wanton time, The seeming sufferances that you had borne, And the contrarious winds that held the KingSo long in his unlucky Irish warsThat all in England did repute him dead— And from this swarm of fair advantages You took occasion to be quickly wooed To gripe the general sway into your hand, Forget your oath to us at Doncaster; And being fed by us, you used us so As that ungentle gull, the cuckoo’s bird, Useth the sparrow—did oppress our nest, Grew by our feeding to so great a bulk That even our love durst not come near your sight For fear of swallowing; but with nimble wing We were enforced for safety sake to fly Out of sight and raise this present head, Whereby we stand opposèd by such means As you yourself have forged against yourself By unkind usage, dangerous countenance, And violation of all faith and troth Sworn to us in your younger enterprise.

WORCESTER

[To the KING] Your Majesty was happy to turn your back on me and all of my family. Yet, I must remind you, my lord, that we were your first and your dearest friends. I left the role that I had during Richard's reign for you, and rode all day and night to meet you on the road and kiss your hand. Even though you were less powerful than me and your reputation was far weaker than mine, it was me, my brother, and his son that took you home and ignored the danger that went with that. When we were at Doncaster you swore an oath to us that you were not interested in the throne, that you just wanted to claim your recently inherited title—your father Gaunt's estate, the dukedom of Lancaster. We promised to help you with this. But, very quickly luck poured down on you and a flood of greatness fell upon you. What with our help, King Richard's absence and the abuses people had been suffering under his rule, you seemed like you had suffered unfairly.  Also, because of bad winds, the King had spent so long fighting in the unsuccessful Irish wars that most people in England thought that he was dead. You made the most of these opportunities and were persuaded to take control of the entire kingdom. You forgot the oath that you had made to us at Doncaster. We fed you and kept you alive, but you just used us, like the aggressive cuckoo-bird uses the sparrow. We let you stay in our nest, but you grew so big that even we, the people who loved you, didn't want to come anywhere near you in case you swallowed us up. We were forced to run away for our own safety and raise this army in secret. Now we are here with this army, forced to stand against you because of your actions. You have treated us badly, your behavior has been threatening, and you have broken the promises and vows that you swore to us when you were younger. 

KING

These things indeed you have articulate, Proclaimed at market crosses, read in churches, To face the garment of rebellion With some fine color that may please the eye Of fickle changelings and poor discontents, Which gape and rub the elbow at the news Of hurlyburly innovation. And never yet did insurrection want Such water colors to impaint his cause, Nor moody beggars starving for a time Of pellmell havoc and confusion.

KING

You have said these things already, you have announced them in markets, you have lectured on them in churches. You have done everything you can to make rebellion look better and to please the eyes of fickle turncoats and poor unhappy people, who laugh and are delighted at news of revolution. Rebellion has never lacked thin excuses in support of a cause. And angry beggars are eager to support a time of chaotic fighting and confusion. 

PRINCE HENRY

In both your armies there is many a soul Shall pay full dearly for this encounter If once they join in trial. Tell your nephew, The Prince of Wales doth join with all the world In praise of Henry Percy. By my hopes, This present enterprise set off his head, I do not think a braver gentleman, More active-valiant, or more valiant-young, More daring or more bold, is now alive To grace this latter age with noble deeds. For my part, I may speak it to my shame, I have a truant been to chivalry, And so I hear he doth account me too. Yet this before my father’s majesty: I am content that he shall take the odds Of his great name and estimation, And will, to save the blood on either side, Try fortune with him in a single fight.

PRINCE HENRY

Both of our armies contain many men who will sacrifice their lives for this battle, once it starts. Tell your nephew that the Prince of Wales agrees with the whole world in praising Henry Percy. I swear on my hopes of salvation, that except for his current actions, I don't think there's another man alive who is as brave, courageous, daring, or bold as him, or has acted as nobly. As for me, I should be ashamed of how I have acted. I have avoided my noble position, and I know he agrees with me about that. Yet, with my father here as witness, I would like to challenge him to fight me in single combat, to save the amount of men who are killed on either side. I am aware that because of his fame and great reputation he is the favorite to win. 

KING

And, Prince of Wales, so dare we venture thee, Albeit considerations infinite Do make against it.— No, good Worcester, no, We love our people well, even those we love That are misled upon your cousin’s part. And, will they take the offer of our grace, Both he and they and you, yea, every man Shall be my friend again, and I’ll be his. So tell your cousin, and bring me word What he will do. But if he will not yield, Rebuke and dread correction wait on us, And they shall do their office. So begone. We will not now be troubled with reply. We offer fair. Take it advisedly.

KING

And, Prince of Wales, I should let you stake your life on this, even though there are countless reasons why I shouldn't. No, good Worcester, no. We love our people very much, even the people who have been led astray by Hotspur's influence. If they will accept our pardon, then he, they, you, and in fact every man will be my friend again, and I will be his. Tell your nephew this, and bring us back his reply. If he will not accept this pardon then we will have to respond with harsh punishments. So, leave. I don't want to listen to anything else you have to say right now. Our offer is fair. Consider it carefully. 

Exeunt WORCESTER and VERNON

PRINCE HENRY

It will not be accepted, on my life. The Douglas and the Hotspur both together Are confident against the world in arms.

PRINCE HENRY

He isn't going to accept—I could bet my life on it. Douglas and Hotspur are confident that they could fight against the whole world and win. 

KING

Hence, therefore, every leader to his charge,For on their answer will we set on them,And God befriend us as our cause is just.

KING

Well then, every leader get to your unit and as soon as they reply, we will attack! God be with us, for our cause is just!

Exeunt all but PRINCE HENRY and FALSTAFF

FALSTAFF

Hal, if thou see me down in the battle and bestride me,so;’tis a point of friendship.

FALSTAFF

Hal, if you see me fall down during the battle, stand over me  to defend me from further harm. It's what a friend would do. 

PRINCE HENRY

Nothing but a colossus can do thee that friendship.Say thy prayers, and farewell.

PRINCE HENRY

Only a giant would be able to be that friend for you. Say your prayers, and goodbye. 

FALSTAFF

I would ’twere bedtime, Hal, and all well.

FALSTAFF

I wish it was just bedtime, Hal, and that everything was okay. 

PRINCE HENRY

Why, thou owest God a death.

PRINCE HENRY

Why, you owe God a death.

Exit PRINCE HENRY

FALSTAFF

'Tis not due yet. I would be loath to pay Him before His day. What need I be so forward with Him that calls not on me? Well, ’tis no matter. Honour pricks me on. Yea, but how if honor prick me off when I come on? How then? Can honor set to a leg? no. Or an arm? no. Or takeaway the grief of a wound? No. Honor hath no skill in surgery, then? No. What is honor? A word. What is in that word “honor”? What is that “honor”? Air. A trim reckoning. Who hath it? He that died o' Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. 'Tis insensible, then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it. Therefore, I’ll none of it. Honor is a mere scutcheon. And so ends my catechism.

FALSTAFF

Not yet I don't. I don't want to pay God before I have to. Why would I be so eager to pay God before he even asks for it? Well, it doesn't matter anyway. Honor drives me forward. Yes, but what if honor also picks me out to die when I go bravely forward? What then? Can honor reattach a leg? No. Or an arm? No. Or take away the pain of a wound? No. Honor can't do surgery then? No. What is honor? A word. Well what's in that word "honor?" What is that "honor?" Just air. What a great deal! Who has it? That guy who died on Wednesday. Does he feel it? No. Does he hear it? No. Is it something which the sense can't be felt by the senses then? Well, at least not by the dead. But won't it exist with the living? No. Why? Slander will not allow it. Therefore I will have none of it. Honor is just a gravestone, and that concludes my examination of the subject. 

Exit

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Lani strange
About the Translator: Lani Strange

Lani is currently studying for an MA in Shakespeare Studies at King's College London and Shakespeare's Globe. She has a BA in English and Latin Literature from the University of Warwick and worked as a Teacher of Drama for a year in between her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. She has a love for all things theatrical and spends all of her free time either watching theatre or taking part in it herself.