A line-by-line translation

Henry IV, Part 2

Henry IV, Part 2 Translation Act 1, Scene 1

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Enter LORD BARDOLPH

LORD BARDOLPH

Who keeps the gate here, ho?

LORD BARDOLPH

Excuse me, who is the porter around here?

Enter the PORTER

Where is the Earl?

[To the PORTER] Where is the Earl of Northumberland?

PORTER

What shall I say you are?

PORTER

Who shall I say that you are?

LORD BARDOLPH

Tell thou the EarlThat the Lord Bardolph doth attend him here.

LORD BARDOLPH

Tell the Earl that Lord Bardolph is here to see him.

PORTER

His lordship is walked forth into the orchard.Please it your Honor knock but at the gateAnd he himself will answer.

PORTER

His Lordship is currently walking in the garden. If you want to, knock on the gate of the garden and he will greet you himself. 

NORTHUMBERLAND Enter

LORD BARDOLPH

Here comes the Earl.

LORD BARDOLPH

Here's the Earl now.

Exit PORTER

NORTHUMBERLAND

What news, Lord Bardolph? Every minute now Should be the father of some stratagem. The times are wild. Contention, like a horse Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose And bears down all before him.

NORTHUMBERLAND

What news do you have for me, Lord Bardolph? There seems to be a new military strategy every minute. These are violent times. This war is like a horse which has been overfed and then breaks out in rage and tramples on everything in its way.

LORD BARDOLPH

Noble Earl,I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.

LORD BARDOLPH

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NORTHUMBERLAND

Good, an God will!

NORTHUMBERLAND

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LORD BARDOLPH

As good as heart can wish. The King is almost wounded to the death, And, in the fortune of my lord your son, Prince Harry slain outright; and both the Blunts Killed by the hand of Douglas; young Prince John And Westmoreland and Stafford fled the field; And Harry Monmouth’s brawn, the hulk Sir John, Is prisoner to your son. O, such a day, So fought, so followed, and so fairly won, Came not till now to dignify the times Since Caesar’s fortunes.

LORD BARDOLPH

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NORTHUMBERLAND

How is this derived?Saw you the field? Came you from Shrewsbury?

NORTHUMBERLAND

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LORD BARDOLPH

I spake with one, my lord, that came from thence,A gentleman well bred and of good name,That freely rendered me these news for true.

LORD BARDOLPH

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NORTHUMBERLAND

Here comes my servant Travers, who I sentOn Tuesday last to listen after news.

NORTHUMBERLAND

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Enter TRAVERS

LORD BARDOLPH

My lord, I overrode him on the way; And he is furnished with no certainties More than he haply may retail from me.

LORD BARDOLPH

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NORTHUMBERLAND

Now, Travers, what good tidings comes with you?

NORTHUMBERLAND

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TRAVERS

My lord, Sir John Umfrevile turned me back With joyful tidings and, being better horsed, Outrode me. After him came spurring hard A gentleman, almost forspent with speed, That stopp’d by me to breathe his bloodied horse. He asked the way to Chester, and of him I did demand what news from Shrewsbury. He told me that rebellion had bad luck And that young Harry Percy’s spur was cold. With that he gave his able horse the head And, bending forward, struck his armèd heels Against the panting sides of his poor jade Up to the rowel-head, and starting so He seemed in running to devour the way, Staying no longer question.

TRAVERS

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NORTHUMBERLAND

Ha? Again:Said he young Harry Percy’s spur was cold?Of Hotspur, Coldspur? That rebellionHad met ill luck?

NORTHUMBERLAND

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LORD BARDOLPH

My lord, I’ll tell you what:If my young lord your son have not the day,Upon mine honor, for a silken pointI’ll give my barony. Never talk of it.

LORD BARDOLPH

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NORTHUMBERLAND

Why should that gentleman that rode by TraversGive then such instances of loss?

NORTHUMBERLAND

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LORD BARDOLPH

Who, he?He was some hilding fellow that had stolenThe horse he rode on and, upon my life,Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes more news.

LORD BARDOLPH

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Enter MORTON

NORTHUMBERLAND

Yea, this man’s brow, like to a title leaf, Foretells the nature of a tragic volume. So looks the strond whereon the imperious flood Hath left a witness’d usurpation. Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury?

NORTHUMBERLAND

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MORTON

I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord,Where hateful death put on his ugliest maskTo fright our party.

MORTON

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NORTHUMBERLAND

How doth my son and brother? Thou tremblest, and the whiteness in thy cheek Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand. Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless, So dull, so dead in look, so woebegone, Drew Priam’s curtain in the dead of night, And would have told him half his Troy was burnt; But Priam found the fire ere he his tongue, And I my Percy’s death ere thou report’st it. This thou wouldst say, “Your son did thus and thus; Your brother thus; so fought the noble Douglas”— Stopping my greedy ear with their bold deeds. But in the end, to stop my ear indeed, Thou hast a sigh to blow away this praise, Ending with “Brother, son, and all are dead.”

NORTHUMBERLAND

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MORTON

Douglas is living, and your brother yet,But for my lord your son—

MORTON

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NORTHUMBERLAND

Why, he is dead. See what a ready tongue suspicion hath! He that but fears the thing he would not know Hath, by instinct, knowledge from others' eyes That what he feared is chancèd . Yet speak, Morton. Tell thou an earl his divination lies, And I will take it as a sweet disgrace And make thee rich for doing me such wrong.

NORTHUMBERLAND

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MORTON

You are too great to be by me gainsaid,Your spirit is too true, your fears too certain.

MORTON

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NORTHUMBERLAND

Yet, for all this, say not that Percy’s dead. I see a strange confession in thine eye. Thou shak’st thy head and hold’st it fear or sin To speak a truth. If he be slain, say so. The tongue offends not that reports his death; And he doth sin that doth belie the dead, Not he which says the dead is not alive. Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news Hath but a losing office, and his tongue Sounds ever after as a sullen bell Remembered tolling a departing friend.

NORTHUMBERLAND

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LORD BARDOLPH

I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.

LORD BARDOLPH

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MORTON

I am sorry I should force you to believe That which I would to God I had not seen, But these mine eyes saw him in bloody state, Rend'ring faint quittance, wearied and outbreathed, To Harry Monmouth; whose swift wrath beat down The never-daunted Percy to the earth, From whence with life he never more sprung up. In few, his death, whose spirit lent a fire Even to the dullest peasant in his camp, Being bruited once, took fire and heat away From the best tempered courage in his troops; For from his metal was his party steeled, Which, once in him abated, all the rest Turned on themselves, like dull and heavy lead. And as the thing that’s heavy in itself Upon enforcement flies with greatest speed, So did our men, heavy in Hotspur’s loss, Lend to this weight such lightness with their fear That arrows fled not swifter toward their aim Than did our soldiers, aiming at their safety, Fly from the field. Then was the noble Worcester Too soon ta'en prisoner; and that furious Scot, The bloody Douglas, whose well-laboring sword Had three times slain th'appearance of the King, Gan vail his stomach and did grace the shame Of those that turned their backs and in his flight, Stumbling in fear, was took. The sum of all Is that the King hath won and hath sent out A speedy power to encounter you, my lord, Under the conduct of young Lancaster And Westmoreland. This is the news at full.

MORTON

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NORTHUMBERLAND

For this I shall have time enough to mourn. In poison there is physic, and these news, Having been well, that would have made me sick, Being sick, have in some measure made me well. And as the wretch whose fever-weakened joints, Like strengthless hinges, buckle under life, Impatient of his fit, breaks like a fire Out of his keeper’s arms, even so my limbs, Weakened with grief, being now enraged with grief, Are thrice themselves. Hence therefore, thou nice crutch. A scaly gauntlet now with joints of steel Must glove this hand. And hence, thou sickly coif. Thou art a guard too wanton for the head Which princes, fleshed with conquest, aim to hit. Now bind my brows with iron, and approach The ragged’st hour that time and spite dare bring To frown upon th'enraged Northumberland. Let heaven kiss earth! Now let not Nature’s hand Keep the wild flood confined. Let order die, And let this world no longer be a stage To feed contention in a lingering act; But let one spirit of the firstborn Cain Reign in all bosoms, that, each heart being set On bloody courses, the rude scene may end, And darkness be the burier of the dead.

NORTHUMBERLAND

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LORD BARDOLPH

This strainèd passion doth you wrong, my lord.

LORD BARDOLPH

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MORTON

Sweet Earl, divorce not wisdom from your honor. The lives of all your loving complices Lean on your health, the which, if you give o'er To stormy passion, must perforce decay. You cast th' event of war, my noble lord, And summed the account of chance before you said “Let us make head.” It was your presurmise That, in the dole of blows your son might drop. You knew he walked o'er perils on an edge, More likely to fall in than to get o'er. You were advised his flesh was capable Of wounds and scars, and that his forward spirit Would lift him where most trade of danger ranged. Yet did you say “Go forth,” and none of this, Though strongly apprehended, could restrain The stiff-borne action. What hath then befall'n, Or what did this bold enterprise brought forth, More than that being which was like to be?

MORTON

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LORD BARDOLPH

We all that are engagèd to this loss Knew that we ventured on such dangerous seas That if we wrought out life, ’twas ten to one; And yet we ventured, for the gain proposed Choked the respect of likely peril feared; And since we are o'erset, venture again. Come, we will all put forth, body and goods.

LORD BARDOLPH

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MORTON

'Tis more than time.—And, my most noble lord, I hear for certain, and do speak the truth: The gentle Archbishop of York is up With well-appointed powers. He is a man Who with a double surety binds his followers. My lord your son had only but the corpse, But shadows and the shows of men, to fight; For that same word “rebellion” did divide The action of their bodies from their souls, And they did fight with queasiness, constrained, As men drink potions, that their weapons only Seemed on our side. But, for their spirits and souls, This word “rebellion,” it had froze them up As fish are in a pond. But now the Bishop Turns insurrection to religion. Supposed sincere and holy in his thoughts, He’s followed both with body and with mind, And doth enlarge his rising with the blood Of fair King Richard, scraped from Pomfret stones; Derives from heaven his quarrel and his cause; Tells them he doth bestride a bleeding land, Gasping for life under great Bolingbroke; And more and less do flock to follow him.

MORTON

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NORTHUMBERLAND

I knew of this before, but, to speak truth, This present grief had wiped it from my mind. Go in with me and counsel every man The aptest way for safety and revenge. Get posts and letters, and make friends with speed. Never so few, and never yet more need.

NORTHUMBERLAND

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Exeunt

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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.