A line-by-line translation

Henry IV, Part 2

Henry IV, Part 2 Translation Act 5, Scene 2

Line Map Clear Line Map Add

Enter WARWICK and the Lord CHIEF JUSTICE

WARWICK

How now, my Lord Chief Justice, whither away?

WARWICK

How's it going, my Lord Chief Justice? Where are you going?

CHIEF JUSTICE

How doth the King?

CHIEF JUSTICE

How is the King?

WARWICK

Exceeding well. His cares are now all ended.

WARWICK

Very well. All of his cares are gone. 

CHIEF JUSTICE

I hope, not dead.

CHIEF JUSTICE

I hope you don't mean he's dead.

WARWICK

He’s walked the way of nature,And to our purposes he lives no more.

WARWICK

He's followed the path nature intended. And for our purposes, he is no longer alive. 

CHIEF JUSTICE

I would his Majesty had called me with him.The service that I truly did his lifeHath left me open to all injuries.

CHIEF JUSTICE

I wish his Majesty had taken me with him. The work that I did for him when he was alive has put me in danger now that he's dead.

WARWICK

Indeed, I think the young King loves you not.

WARWICK

Indeed, especially as I don't think the young King cares for you. 

CHIEF JUSTICE

I know he doth not, and do arm myself To welcome the condition of the time, Which cannot look more hideously upon me Than I have drawn it in my fantasy.

CHIEF JUSTICE

I know he doesn't, and I need to be prepared for what's going to happen now. I'm hoping it can't be any worse than what I've pictured in my head. 

Enter LANCASTER, CLARENCE, GLOUCESTER, and others

WARWICK

Here come the heavy issue of dead Harry. O, that the living Harry had the temper Of he the worst of these three gentlemen! How many nobles then should hold their places That must strike sail to spirits of vile sort!

WARWICK

Here come the sad children of the dead king. Oh, if only the living Harry had the personality of the worst of these three gentlemen! Then a lot of noblemen would be safe in their positions, whereas now they will be forced to leave and let nasty men take over their roles. 

CHIEF JUSTICE

O God, I fear all will be overturned.

CHIEF JUSTICE

Oh God, I am scared that everything is going to change. 

LANCASTER

Good morrow, cousin Warwick, good morrow.

LANCASTER

Good morning, Warwick, good morning. 

GLOUCESTER AND CLARENCE

Good morrow, cousin.

GLOUCESTER AND CLARENCE

Good morning to you. 

LANCASTER

We meet like men that had forgot to speak.

LANCASTER

We're all acting like men who have forgotten how to speak.

WARWICK

We do remember, but our argumentIs all too heavy to admit much talk.

WARWICK

We remember how to speak, but the subject we have to talk about is too sad for us to want to say much about it. 

LANCASTER

Well, peace be with him that hath made us heavy.

LANCASTER

Well, peace be with the late king, the man who has made us sad. 

CHIEF JUSTICE

Peace be with us, lest we be heavier.

CHIEF JUSTICE

And peace be with us, or we'll be even sadder. 

GLOUCESTER

O, good my lord, you have lost a friend indeed,And I dare swear you borrow not that faceOf seeming sorrow; it is sure your own.

GLOUCESTER

Oh, my good lord, you have certainly lost a friend. I am sure that the sorrow you wear on your face is not borrowed. It is truly yours. 

LANCASTER

Though no man be assured what grace to find,You stand in coldest expectation.I am the sorrier; would ’twere otherwise.

LANCASTER

Although no man knows what is going to happen to him, you get used to expecting very little from life. I am sorry, I wish things could be different. 

CLARENCE

Well, you must now speak Sir John Falstaff fair,Which swims against your stream of quality.

CLARENCE

Well, now we're even going to be expected to say nice things about Sir John Falstaff—which goes against the normal behavior of noble people.

CHIEF JUSTICE

Sweet princes, what I did I did in honor, Led by th' impartial conduct of my soul; And never shall you see that I will beg A ragged and forestalled remission. If truth and upright innocency fail me, I’ll to the King my master that is dead And tell him who hath sent me after him.

CHIEF JUSTICE

Sweet princes, everything I have done, I did honorably—motivated by impartiality and my moral nature. You will never see me horribly begging for a pardon only for the pardon to be taken away again. If truth and real innocence aren't enough to save me, then I will follow after my dead master, the late King, and tell him who has sent me.  

WARWICK

Here comes the Prince.

WARWICK

Here comes the Prince. 

Enter PRINCE HENRY (now King Henry V), attended

CHIEF JUSTICE

Good morrow, and God save your Majesty.

CHIEF JUSTICE

Good morning, and may God save your Majesty. 

PRINCE HENRY

This new and gorgeous garment majesty Sits not so easy on me as you think. Brothers, you mix your sadness with some fear. This is the English, not the Turkish court; Not Amurath an Amurath succeeds, But Harry Harry. Yet be sad, good brothers, For, by my faith, it very well becomes you. Sorrow so royally in you appears That I will deeply put the fashion on And wear it in my heart. Why then, be sad. But entertain no more of it, good brothers, Than a joint burden laid upon us all. For me, by heaven, I bid you be assured, I’ll be your father and your brother too. Let me but bear your love, I ’ll bear your cares. Yet weep that Harry’s dead, and so will I, But Harry lives that shall convert those tears By number into hours of happiness.

PRINCE HENRY

This new addition of the word "majesty" doesn't suit me as well you might think. 

[To LANCASTER, CLARENCE, and GLOUCESTER] Brothers, your sadness seems to be mixed with some fear. This is the English court, not the Turkish one. I am not like Amurath, who killed all of his brothers when he succeeded the late king Amurath. I'm just a Harry, following another Harry. It's all right to be sad, my good brothers. And honestly, it suits you. You all look so grand in your sorrow that I will try and put it on as well, and will wear it in my heart. Be sad, my good brothers. But think of this sadness as a burden which we must all share. I want you to know that as far as I'm concerned, I will be both your father and your brother as well. Give me your love, and I will take car e of you. For now, keep crying for the dead Harry, and I will too. But there is still a living Harry who will gradually change those tears into hours of happiness. 

PRINCES

We hope no otherwise from your Majesty.

PRINCES

We hope for nothing more from your Majesty. 

PRINCE HENRY

You all look strangely on me. [to the CHIEF JUSTICE] And you most.You are, I think, assured I love you not.

PRINCE HENRY

You are all still looking at me strangely, though.

[To the CHIEF JUSTICE]
You most of all. You are convinced that I do not love you, isn't that right?

CHIEF JUSTICE

I am assured, if I be measured rightly,Your Majesty hath no just cause to hate me.

CHIEF JUSTICE

I am certain that, if you judge me fairly, you should have no reason to hate me. 

PRINCE HENRY

No? How might a prince of my great hopes forget So great indignities you laid upon me? What, rate, rebuke, and roughly send to prison Th' immediate heir of England? Was this easy? May this be washed in Lethe and forgotten?

PRINCE HENRY

No? How could a great prince forget the awful things you did to me? What, did you think you could judge, punish, and violently send to prison the next heir of England? Did you find this an easy thing to do? Do you think your wrongdoings can now just be washed in the Lethe  River and forgotten?

CHIEF JUSTICE

I then did use the person of your father; The image of his power lay then in me. And in th' administration of his law, Whiles I was busy for the commonwealth, Your Highness pleasèd to forget my place, The majesty and power of law and justice, The image of the King whom I presented, And struck me in my very seat of judgment, Whereon, as an offender to your father, I gave bold way to my authority And did commit you. If the deed were ill, Be you contented, wearing now the garland, To have a son set your decrees at nought? To pluck down justice from your awful bench? To trip the course of law and blunt the sword That guards the peace and safety of your person? Nay more, to spurn at your most royal image And mock your workings in a second body? Question your royal thoughts, make the case yours; Be now the father and propose a son, Hear your own dignity so much profaned, See your most dreadful laws so loosely slighted, Behold yourself so by a son disdained, And then imagine me taking your part And in your power soft silencing your son. After this cold considerance, sentence me, And, as you are a king, speak in your state What I have done that misbecame my place, My person, or my liege’s sovereignty.

CHIEF JUSTICE

I was acting on behalf of your father, with the power and responsibility that he had given me. And in terms of the law, while I was busy keeping the country safe, you ignored my rank and the authority and power of law and justice that I had, as a representative of the King. You hit me in the head—the very location of my judgement. And since this action went against your father's laws, I used my power as I was meant to and arrested you. If that was the wrong thing to do, then are you prepared, now that you wear the crown, to have a son who ignores all of your laws? A son who mocks the judges that enforce these laws? A son who disrupts the law and blunts the swords that looks after your own peace and safety? Or even worse, mocks you and the actions taken by the men you have chosen to work for you? Ask yourself these questions, and put yourself in his position. Think of yourself as a father and imagine a son who disrespects your dignity and so easily ignores your most important laws. Think about how it would feel to be scorned by such a son. Then imagine that I support you, and use your power to gently silence your son. Sentence me only after you have considered all of this. Now that you are King, tell me what I have done to overstep my role, my person, or my lord's power. 

PRINCE HENRY

You are right, justice, and you weigh this well. Therefore still bear the balance and the sword. And I do wish your honors may increase Till you do live to see a son of mine Offend you and obey you as I did. So shall I live to speak my father’s words: “Happy am I that have a man so bold That dares do justice on my proper son; And not less happy, having such a son That would deliver up his greatness so Into the hands of justice.” You did commit me, For which I do commit into your hand Th' unstainèd sword that you have used to bear, With this remembrance: that you use the same With the like bold, just, and impartial spirit As you have done 'gainst me. There is my hand. You shall be as a father to my youth, My voice shall sound as you do prompt mine ear, And I will stoop and humble my intents To your well-practiced wise directions. And, princes all, believe me, I beseech you: My father is gone wild into his grave, For in his tomb lie my affections, And with his spirit sadly I survive To mock the expectation of the world, To frustrate prophecies, and to raze out Rotten opinion, who hath writ me down After my seeming. The tide of blood in me Hath proudly flowed in vanity till now. Now doth it turn and ebb back to the sea, Where it shall mingle with the state of floods And flow henceforth in formal majesty. Now call we our high court of parliament, And let us choose such limbs of noble counsel That the great body of our state may go In equal rank with the best governed nation; That war, or peace, or both at once, may be As things acquainted and familiar to us, In which you, father, shall have foremost hand. Our coronation done, we will accite, As I before remembered, all our state. And, God consigning to my good intents, No prince nor peer shall have just cause to say God shorten Harry’s happy life one day.

PRINCE HENRY

You are right, Justice. And you have made your case very well. Therefore, keep your role as a judge and an enforcer of the law. I hope that your honors will increase and you will even live to see a son of mine offend you and then obey you—just as I have done. In that way, I will live to speak my father's words, "I am happy to have a man who is brave enough to even punish my own son; I am just as happy that my son is prepared to give up his greatness in the name of the law." You did arrest me, and for that I ask you to continue in your role, remembering this: you must always be as brave, just, and impartial as you have been with me. Shake my hand. You will be like a father to me in my young age, and I will say the things that you whisper in my ear. I will bow to you and will be humble in my ideas, needing your years of experience and wise ideas to help me.

[To LANCASTER, CLARENCE, and GLOUCESTER] And, princes, I am asking you to please believe me about this. My wildness is buried with my father; my passions now lie in his tomb. His sensible spirit now lies in me, and I am ready to prove the world wrong, defying their expectations of me. I am going to challenge their predictions, and will destroy the bad opinions of me held by people who judged me based on what I seemed to be like in the past. My actions, the tide of my blood—both used to flow with excess and vanity. But now it is changing its course and turning back to the sea, where it will be able to mix with the ocean's majesty. Now we must assemble parliament, and choose worthy members for this noble council who will allow our country to stand alongside even the best-governed nations. We will be acquainted and familiar with matters of war, peace, or even both at once—and you will be needed greatly for this. Once my coronation is over, we will, as I have mentioned, summon all men of rank. And, if God endorses my good intention, there will be no reason for any prince or man to say that he hopes that God will shorten Harry's happy life by even one day. 

Exeunt

Henry iv part 2
Join LitCharts A+ and get the entire Henry IV, Part 2 Translation as a printable PDF.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
  • Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
  • Downloads of 672 LitCharts Lit Guides
  • Explanations and citation info for 16,595 quotes covering 672 books
  • Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
  • PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms
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.