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Henry VI, Part 1

Henry VI, Part 1 Translation Act 2, Scene 4

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Enter the Earls of SOMERSET, SUFFOLK, and WARWICK; RICHARD PLANTAGENET, VERNON, and another Lawyer

PLANTAGENET

Great lords and gentlemen, what means this silence?Dare no man answer in a case of truth?

PLANTAGENET

What do you mean by this silence, great lords and gentlemen? Do none of you dare to answer in the name of truth?

SUFFOLK

Within the Temple-hall we were too loud;The garden here is more convenient.

SUFFOLK

We were too loud inside the Temple hall, so here in the garden is more convenient. 

PLANTAGENET

Then say at once if I maintain'd the truth;Or else was wrangling Somerset in the error?

PLANTAGENET

Then tell me immediately if I told the truth, or to put it another way: was the argumentative Somerset wrong? 

SUFFOLK

Faith, I have been a truant in the law,And never yet could frame my will to it;And therefore frame the law unto my will.

SUFFOLK

It is true that I have been negligent in the law, and never could adapt my will to it, and instead I adapt the law onto my will.

SOMERSET

Judge you, my Lord of Warwick, then, between us.

SOMERSET

My lord of Warwick, decide, then between us. 

WARWICK

Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch; Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth; Between two blades, which bears the better temper: Between two horses, which doth bear him best; Between two girls, which hath the merriest eye; I have perhaps some shallow spirit of judgement; But in these nice sharp quillets of the law, Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.

WARWICK

Between two hawks, which flies to the higher point? Between two dogs, which has the deeper bark? Between two swords' blades, which has the better quality? Between two horses, which carries himself best? Between two girls, which has the prettier eye? Maybe I have a naive sense of judgement, but in these precise, sharp, fine distinctions of the law, I'm no smarter than a jackdaw.

PLANTAGENET

Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance:The truth appears so naked on my sideThat any purblind eye may find it out.

PLANTAGENET

Tut tut! Here is a courteous reluctance to be involved. The truth looks so obvious from where I'm standing that anyone, even someone partially blind, could discover it. 

SOMERSET

And on my side it is so well apparell'd,So clear, so shining and so evidentThat it will glimmer through a blind man's eye.

SOMERSET

And from where I'm standing, it is so well dressed, so clear, shining and evident that it could shine through a blind man's eye. 

PLANTAGENET

Since you are tongue-tied and so loath to speak, In dumb significants proclaim your thoughts: Let him that is a true-born gentleman And stands upon the honour of his birth, If he suppose that I have pleaded truth, From off this brier pluck a white rose with me.

PLANTAGENET

Since you are unable to express yourself clearly and hate to speak, show us your thoughts in dumb signs. Let him—a true-born gentleman who values the honor of his birth—pluck a white rose with me from this bush here, if he thinks that I have spoken the truth. 

SOMERSET

Let him that is no coward nor no flatterer,But dare maintain the party of the truth,Pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me.

SOMERSET

Let him that is no coward or flatterer, but who dares to tell the real truth, pluck a red rose with me, from this thorn. 

WARWICK

I love no colours, and without all colourOf base insinuating flatteryI pluck this white rose with Plantagenet.

WARWICK

I don't love any color and without all colors of lowly subtle flattery, I pluck this white rose with Plantagenet. 

SUFFOLK

I pluck this red rose with young SomersetAnd say withal I think he held the right.

SUFFOLK

I pluck this red rose with young Somerset and I will also say that I think he is in the right. 

VERNON

Stay, lords and gentlemen, and pluck no more, Till you conclude that he upon whose side The fewest roses are cropp'd from the tree Shall yield the other in the right opinion.

VERNON

Stop, lords and gentlemen and don't pluck any more, until you agree that whichever side has the fewest roses taken from the tree, shall admit to the other that he is right.

SOMERSET

Good Master Vernon, it is well objected:If I have fewest, I subscribe in silence.

SOMERSET

Good master Vernon, that's a good argument that you bring forward. If I have the fewest, I submit in silence.

PLANTAGENET

And I.

PLANTAGENET

As will I. 

VERNON

Then for the truth and plainness of the case.I pluck this pale and maiden blossom here,Giving my verdict on the white rose side.

VERNON

Then, for the sake of the truth and the plainness of the case, I pluck this pale and pure blossom here, by which I give a verdict on the white rose side. 

SOMERSET

Prick not your finger as you pluck it off,Lest bleeding you do paint the white rose redAnd fall on my side so, against your will.

SOMERSET

Don't prick your finger as you pluck it off, or else your bleeding may paint the white rose red and put you on my side, against your will. 

VERNON

If I my lord, for my opinion bleed,Opinion shall be surgeon to my hurtAnd keep me on the side where still I am.

VERNON

If I bleed for my opinion, my lord, opinion shall be the doctor to my wound and keep me on the side I was on before. 

SOMERSET

Well, well, come on: who else?

SOMERSET

Well, well, come on! Anyone else?

LAWYER

Unless my study and my books be false,The argument you held was wrong in you:

LAWYER

Unless my studies and my books were incorrect, the argument you believed in was wrong. 

To SOMERSET

LAWYER

In sign whereof I pluck a white rose too.

LAWYER

As a sign of that, I also pluck a white rose. 

PLANTAGENET

Now, Somerset, where is your argument?

PLANTAGENET

Somerset, where is your argument now?

SOMERSET

Here in my scabbard, meditating thatShall dye your white rose in a bloody red.

SOMERSET

Here, in the sheath of my sword, thinking on that which shall dye your white rose a bloody red.

PLANTAGENET

Meantime your cheeks do counterfeit our roses;For pale they look with fear, as witnessingThe truth on our side.

PLANTAGENET

In the meantime, your cheeks imitate our roses, since they look white with fear, as they can see that the truth is on our side. 

SOMERSET

No, Plantagenet, 'Tis not for fear but anger that thy cheeks Blush for pure shame to counterfeit our roses, And yet thy tongue will not confess thy error.

SOMERSET

No, Plantagenet. It is not with fear but with anger that your cheeks blush out of pure shame, which imitates our roses. And yet your tongue will not admit that you're wrong. 

PLANTAGENET

Hath not thy rose a canker, Somerset?

PLANTAGENET

Does not your rose have a canker, Somerset?

SOMERSET

Hath not thy rose a thorn, Plantagenet?

SOMERSET

Does not your rose have a thorn, Plantagenet?

PLANTAGENET

Ay, sharp and piercing, to maintain his truth;Whiles thy consuming canker eats his falsehood.

PLANTAGENET

Ah yes, sharp and piercing to maintain its truth, while your hungry canker eats all its falsehood. 

SOMERSET

Well, I'll find friends to wear my bleeding roses,That shall maintain what I have said is true,Where false Plantagenet dare not be seen.

SOMERSET

Well, I'll find friends who will wear my bleeding roses and they shall maintain that what I have said is true, where the dishonest Plantagenet doesn't dare to be seen. 

PLANTAGENET

Now, by this maiden blossom in my hand,I scorn thee and thy fashion, peevish boy.

PLANTAGENET

Now, by this pure blossom in my hand, I shall mock you and your fashion of wearing a red rose, you foolish boy. 

SUFFOLK

Turn not thy scorns this way, Plantagenet.

SUFFOLK

Don't point your mockery this way, Plantagenet.

PLANTAGENET

Proud Pole, I will, and scorn both him and thee.

PLANTAGENET

Proud Pole, I will and mock both him and you.

SUFFOLK

I'll turn my part thereof into thy throat.

SUFFOLK

I'll throw the mockery back down your throat. 

SOMERSET

Away, away, good William de la Pole!We grace the yeoman by conversing with him.

SOMERSET

Let's go away, good William de la Pole! We favor the gentleman by talking to him.

WARWICK

Now, by God's will, thou wrong'st him, Somerset; His grandfather was Lionel Duke of Clarence, Third son to the third Edward King of England: Spring crestless yeomen from so deep a root?

WARWICK

Now, by God's will, you do him wrong, Somerset. His grandfather was Lionel Duke of Clarence, third son to the third Edward King of England. Do yeomen without a heraldic base to their family tree come from such a line? 

PLANTAGENET

He bears him on the place's privilege,Or durst not, for his craven heart, say thus.

PLANTAGENET

He relies on the fact that this is a privileged place, but does not, since he has a heart of a coward, say so. 

SOMERSET

By him that made me, I'll maintain my words On any plot of ground in Christendom. Was not thy father, Richard Earl of Cambridge, For treason executed in our late king's days? And, by his treason, stand'st not thou attainted, Corrupted, and exempt from ancient gentry? His trespass yet lives guilty in thy blood; And, till thou be restored, thou art a yeoman.

SOMERSET

I'll keep to my word on any plot on the ground in the Christian land, by him that made me. Wasn't your father, Richard Earl of Cambridge, executed for treason in the days of our last king? And because of this treason, are you not stained, corrupted and excluded from the ancient aristocracy? His sin still lives in your blood, full of guilt. And until you are reinstated, you are only a servant.

PLANTAGENET

My father was attached, not attainted, Condemn'd to die for treason, but no traitor; And that I'll prove on better men than Somerset, Were growing time once ripen'd to my will. For your partaker Pole and you yourself, I'll note you in my book of memory, To scourge you for this apprehension: Look to it well and say you are well warn'd.

PLANTAGENET

My father was arrested, not stained. He was condemned to die for treason, but he was no traitor. And I'll prove that to men better than you, Somerset, given the opportunity. Your supporter Pole and yourself, I will make sure to remember so I can punish you for your opinion. Beware of it and don't say that you weren't warned. 

SOMERSET

Ah, thou shalt find us ready for thee still;And know us by these colours for thy foes,For these my friends in spite of thee shall wear.

SOMERSET

Ah, you will find out that we'll be ready for you and you'll know us by the colors of your enemies, because we will wear these in spite of you.

PLANTAGENET

And, by my soul, this pale and angry rose, As cognizance of my blood-drinking hate, Will I for ever and my faction wear, Until it wither with me to my grave Or flourish to the height of my degree.

PLANTAGENET

And I swear by my soul that I will wear this pale and angry rose as a badge of my blood-drinking hate forever, until it goes with me to my grave, or grow to the highest point of my rank. 

SUFFOLK

Go forward and be choked with thy ambition!And so farewell until I meet thee next.

SUFFOLK

Go ahead and suffocate on your ambition! And so, goodbye, until I see you next time. 

Exit

SOMERSET

Have with thee, Pole. Farewell, ambitious Richard.

SOMERSET

I will go with you, Pole. Goodbye, ambitious Richard. 

Exit

PLANTAGENET

How I am braved and must perforce endure it!

PLANTAGENET

Now I am insulted and must therefore bear it!

WARWICK

This blot that they object against your house Shall be wiped out in the next parliament Call'd for the truce of Winchester and Gloucester; And if thou be not then created York, I will not live to be accounted Warwick. Meantime, in signal of my love to thee, Against proud Somerset and William Pole, Will I upon thy party wear this rose: And here I prophesy: this brawl to-day, Grown to this faction in the Temple-garden, Shall send between the red rose and the white A thousand souls to death and deadly night.

WARWICK

This claim that they bring forward to accuse your house will be eliminated in the next parliament. Make peace between Winchester and Gloucester, and if you will not be named York, then I won't live to be called Warwick. In the meantime, as a sign of my love for you, against the proud Somerset and William Pole, I will wear the rose of your side. I predict that this argument here today, the forming of two opposing sides in the Temple garden, will send a thousand people between the red rose and the white, to death and deadly night.

PLANTAGENET

Good Master Vernon, I am bound to you,That you on my behalf would pluck a flower.

PLANTAGENET

Good master Vernon, I thank you that you would pluck a flower in my name.

VERNON

In your behalf still will I wear the same.

VERNON

In your name I will continue to wear it. 

LAWYER

And so will I.

LAWYER

And so will I. 

PLANTAGENET

Thanks, gentle sir.Come, let us four to dinner: I dare sayThis quarrel will drink blood another day.

PLANTAGENET

Thanks, gentlemen. Come, let's go to dinner. I dare say that this argument will draw blood some other day. 

Exeunt

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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.