A line-by-line translation

Henry VI, Part 1

Henry VI, Part 1 Translation Act 2, Scene 1

Line Map Clear Line Map Add

Enter a Sergeant of a band with two Sentinels

SERGEANT

Sirs, take your places and be vigilant: If any noise or soldier you perceive Near to the walls, by some apparent sign Let us have knowledge at the court of guard.

SERGEANT

Sirs, take your places and be on your guard. If you hear any noise or see a soldier near the walls, give us an obvious sign so we—at the court of guard—know what's happening. 

FIRST SENTINEL

Sergeant, you shall.

FIRST SENTINEL

Sergeant, you will know it. 

Exit Sergeant

FIRST SENTINEL

Thus are poor servitors,When others sleep upon their quiet beds,Constrain'd to watch in darkness, rain and cold.

FIRST SENTINEL

And so poor servants have to watch in darkness, in rain and cold, while others sleep quietly in their beds. 

Enter TALBOT, BEDFORD, BURGUNDY, and Forces, with scaling-ladders, their drums beating a dead march

TALBOT

Lord Regent, and redoubted Burgundy, By whose approach the regions of Artois, Wallon and Picardy are friends to us, This happy night the Frenchmen are secure, Having all day caroused and banqueted: Embrace we then this opportunity As fitting best to quittance their deceit Contrived by art and baleful sorcery.

TALBOT

Lord Regent and doubtful Burgundy, thanks to your efforts, the regions of Artois, Wallon, and Picardy are our allies. Frenchmen are carefree on this happy night, since they partied the whole day and had a feast. We should therefore take this opportunity to repay their trickery, which was enacted by magic and deadly witchcraft. 

BEDFORD

Coward of France! How much he wrongs his fame,Despairing of his own arm's fortitude,To join with witches and the help of hell!

BEDFORD

French coward! He hurts his own reputation by not trusting in his own ability and instead enlisting witches and accepting help from hell!

BURGUNDY

Traitors have never other company.But what's that Pucelle whom they term so pure?

BURGUNDY

Traitors never have company. But who is that Pucelle, of whom they all speak of as being so virtuous?

TALBOT

A maid, they say.

TALBOT

A simple girl, they say. 

BEDFORD

A maid! and be so martial!

BEDFORD

A girl! And she is a warrior!

BURGUNDY

Pray God she prove not masculine ere long,If underneath the standard of the FrenchShe carry armour as she hath begun.

BURGUNDY

Let's pray to God that she does not turn out to be a man soon, if under the military banner of the French she wore armor from the very beginning. 

TALBOT

Well, let them practise and converse with spirits:God is our fortress, in whose conquering nameLet us resolve to scale their flinty bulwarks.

TALBOT

Well, let them scheme and talk with devilish spirits. God is our protection. Let us, in his conquering name, remove their hard barriers. 

BEDFORD

Ascend, brave Talbot; we will follow thee.

BEDFORD

Rise, brave Talbot and we will follow you.

TALBOT

Not all together: better far, I guess, That we do make our entrance several ways; That, if it chance the one of us do fail, The other yet may rise against their force.

TALBOT

Let's not go all together. I think it may be better if we all enter from different directions. That way, if one of us fails, the others may still fight against them. 

BEDFORD

Agreed: I'll to yond corner.

BEDFORD

I agree. I'll go to that corner over there.

BURGUNDY

And I to this.

BURGUNDY

And I'll go to this one.

TALBOT

And here will Talbot mount, or make his grave. Now, Salisbury, for thee, and for the right Of English Henry , shall this night appear How much in duty I am bound to both.

TALBOT

And here will Talbot climb, or die. Now, Salisbury, for you and for the right of English Henry, you will see tonight how much I am bound in duty to both of you.

SENTINELS

Arm! Arm! The enemy doth make assault!

SENTINELS

Arm yourself! The enemy is attacking!

Cry: 'St. George,' 'A Talbot.'

The French leap over the walls in their shirts. Enter, several ways, the BASTARD OF ORLEANS, ALENCON, and REIGNIER, half ready, and half unready

ALENCON

How now, my lords! What, all unready so?

ALENCON

What's going on, my lords? What?! Are you not ready?

BASTARD OF ORLEANS

Unready! Ay, and glad we 'scaped so well.

BASTARD OF ORLEANS

Not ready indeed! We're glad that we managed to escape. 

REIGNIER

'Twas time, I trow, to wake and leave our beds,Hearing alarums at our chamber-doors.

REIGNIER

It is time that we wake up and leave our beds, since we hear alarms at the doors to our rooms.

ALENCON

Of all exploits since first I follow'd arms,Ne'er heard I of a warlike enterpriseMore venturous or desperate than this.

ALENCON

I have never heard of a plan more reckless or desperate than this, ever since I first fought in battle myself. 

BASTARD OF ORLEANS

I think this Talbot be a fiend of hell.

BASTARD OF ORLEANS

I think this Talbot is a demon from hell.

REIGNIER

If not of hell, the heavens, sure, favour him.

REIGNIER

If he isn't from hell, the heavens favor him, for sure. 

ALENCON

Here cometh Charles: I marvel how he sped.

ALENCON

Here comes Charles! I wonder how it went for him.

BASTARD OF ORLEANS

Tut, holy Joan was his defensive guard.

BASTARD OF ORLEANS

Oh please, holy Joan was his defensive guard.

Enter CHARLES and JOAN LA PUCELLE

CHARLES

Is this thy cunning, thou deceitful dame? Didst thou at first, to flatter us withal, Make us partakers of a little gain, That now our loss might be ten times so much?

CHARLES

Is this your magic, you deceitful woman? Did you at first falsely encourage us with your magic, give us a little victory, so that our loss now might be ten times as bad?

JOAN LA PUCELLE

Wherefore is Charles impatient with his friend! At all times will you have my power alike? Sleeping or waking must I still prevail, Or will you blame and lay the fault on me? Improvident soldiers! had your watch been good, This sudden mischief never could have fall'n.

JOAN LA PUCELLE

Why is Charles angry with his friend!? Is my power supposed to work all the time? Should I always be victorious, whether I am sleeping or awake, will you blame it all on me? Careless soldiers! If your watch had been better, this sudden attack would have never happened. 

CHARLES

Duke of Alencon, this was your default,That, being captain of the watch to-night,Did look no better to that weighty charge.

CHARLES

Duke of Alencon, this is your fault. You were the captain of the watch tonight and you carry the responsibility for what happened. 

ALENCON

Had all your quarters been as safely keptAs that whereof I had the government,We had not been thus shamefully surprised.

ALENCON

If all the rooms had been as guarded as they were when I was in charge, we wouldn't have been so disgracefully surprised.

BASTARD OF ORLEANS

Mine was secure.

BASTARD OF ORLEANS

Mine was guarded.

REIGNIER

And so was mine, my lord.

REIGNIER

And so was mine, my lord. 

CHARLES

And, for myself, most part of all this night, Within her quarter and mine own precinct I was employ'd in passing to and fro, About relieving of the sentinels: Then how or which way should they first break in?

CHARLES

I myself, for most of this night, was in her rooms and in my own area of control, I was moving to and from, concerned about relieving the guards. Then, how or where did they first break in?

JOAN LA PUCELLE

Question, my lords, no further of the case, How or which way: 'tis sure they found some place But weakly guarded, where the breach was made. And now there rests no other shift but this; To gather our soldiers, scatter'd and dispersed, And lay new platforms to endamage them.

JOAN LA PUCELLE

Do not question this case any longer, my lords. It doesn't matter how they did this. What is certain is that they found a place that wasn't guarded enough and that is where they attacked. And now we have no other strategy but this: let's gather all our soldiers, who have been spread all over, and let's make new plans about how to hurt our enemy. 

Alarum. Enter an English Soldier, crying 'A Talbot! a Talbot!' They fly, leaving their clothes behind

SOLDIER

I'll be so bold to take what they have left. The cry of Talbot serves me for a sword; For I have loaden me with many spoils, Using no other weapon but his name.

SOLDIER

I'll be so bold to take what they have left. The call of Talbot alone acts as my sword. I am burdened with many stolen goods from this war and I use no other weapon but his name. 

Exit

Henry vi part 1
Join LitCharts A+ and get the entire Henry VI, Part 1 Translation as a printable PDF.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
  • Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
  • Downloads of 1022 LitCharts Lit Guides
  • Explanations and citation info for 23,166 quotes covering 1022 books
  • Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
  • PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms
Nina romancikova
About the Translator: Nina Romancikova

Nina Romancikova is from Slovakia but her love of literature and theater has brought her to the UK and she has been living and studying there for the past six years. She graduated with a degree in English Literature and Language at University of Glasgow in 2016. Nina is now finishing her Masters in Shakespeare Studies at King's College London and is currently working as a Research Intern at Shakespeare's Globe.