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Henry VI, Part 1

Henry VI, Part 1 Translation Act 3, Scene 1

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Flourish. Enter KING HENRY VI, EXETER, GLOUCESTER, WARWICK, SOMERSET, and SUFFOLK; the BISHOP OF WINCHESTER, RICHARD PLANTAGENET, and others. GLOUCESTER offers to put up a bill; BISHOP OF WINCHESTER snatches it, and tears it

WINCHESTER

Comest thou with deep premeditated lines, With written pamphlets studiously devised, Humphrey of Gloucester? If thou canst accuse, Or aught intend'st to lay unto my charge, Do it without invention, suddenly; As I with sudden and extemporal speech Purpose to answer what thou canst object.

WINCHESTER

Do you come with carefully planned statements, with written pamphlets that you carefully created, Humphrey of Gloucester? If you want to accuse me or plan to interrupt my command, do it without these made up reasons. Do it spontaneously, like I plan to spontaneously and unprepared answer what you can't object to.

GLOUCESTER

Presumptuous priest! this place commands my patience, Or thou shouldst find thou hast dishonour'd me. Think not, although in writing I preferr'd The manner of thy vile outrageous crimes, That therefore I have forged, or am not able Verbatim to rehearse the method of my pen: No, prelate; such is thy audacious wickedness, Thy lewd, pestiferous and dissentious pranks, As very infants prattle of thy pride. Thou art a most pernicious usurer, Forward by nature, enemy to peace; Lascivious, wanton, more than well beseems A man of thy profession and degree; And for thy treachery, what's more manifest? In that thou laid'st a trap to take my life, As well at London bridge as at the Tower. Beside, I fear me, if thy thoughts were sifted, The king, thy sovereign, is not quite exempt From envious malice of thy swelling heart.

GLOUCESTER

You arrogant priest! This place obliges me to endure it or else you would find out just how much you have dishonored me. And although I have already put forward in writing the manner of your shameful and shocking crimes, do not think that I have invented them or that I am not able to repeat what I have written down, word for word. No, priest, your wickedness is reckless, your low, poisonous, and argumentative wicked actions are proof of your pride. You are the most destructive moneylender, stubborn by nature, enemy to peace, lustful and careless—more than a man of your profession and status should be. And as for your treason, what more evidence do you need? You laid a trap to kill me, both at London Bridge and at the Tower. Also, I worry that if your thoughts were closely examined, the king, your ruler, would not be entirely excluded from the jealous cruelty of your arrogant heart. 

WINCHESTER

Gloucester, I do defy thee. Lords, vouchsafe To give me hearing what I shall reply. If I were covetous, ambitious or perverse, As he will have me, how am I so poor? Or how haps it I seek not to advance Or raise myself, but keep my wonted calling? And for dissension, who preferreth peace More than I do?—except I be provoked. No, my good lords, it is not that offends; It is not that that hath incensed the duke: It is, because no one should sway but he; No one but he should be about the king; And that engenders thunder in his breast And makes him roar these accusations forth. But he shall know I am as good—

WINCHESTER

Gloucester, I dare you. Lords, listen to my reply to him. If I were greedy, ambitious or stubborn, as he described me, why am I so poor? Or why do I not try to rise above my status, but instead keep my low position? And in a disagreement, who prefers peace more than I do—unless I am provoked? No, my good lords, this is not what offends him. It is not this that made the duke angry. It is because he believes no one but him should rule, no one but him should be around the king. That's what causes thunder in his chest and makes him scream these accusations at us. But he shall know that I am as good—

GLOUCESTER

As good!Thou bastard of my grandfather!

GLOUCESTER

As good!? You are a bastard of my grandfather!

WINCHESTER

Ay, lordly sir; for what are you, I pray,But one imperious in another's throne?

WINCHESTER

Yes, my lord, but what are you if not one acting like a king in someone else's throne?

GLOUCESTER

Am I not protector, saucy priest?

GLOUCESTER

Am I not the protector, you insolent priest?

WINCHESTER

And am not I a prelate of the church?

WINCHESTER

Am I not the representative of the church?

GLOUCESTER

Yes, as an outlaw in a castle keepsAnd useth it to patronage his theft.

GLOUCESTER

Yes, you are like a criminal who lives in a castle and uses it to protect what he stole. 

WINCHESTER

Unreverent Gloucester!

WINCHESTER

You are not worthy of respect, Gloucester!

GLOUCESTER

Thou art reverentTouching thy spiritual function, not thy life.

GLOUCESTER

You are worthy of respect, when it comes to your spiritual function but not your life.

WINCHESTER

Rome shall remedy this.

WINCHESTER

Rome shall fix this.

WARWICK

Roam thither, then.

WARWICK

Wander over there, then.

SOMERSET

My lord, it were your duty to forbear.

SOMERSET

My lord, it is your duty to refrain yourself.

WARWICK

Ay, see the bishop be not overborne.

WARWICK

Yes, the bishop should not be overruled. 

SOMERSET

Methinks my lord should be religiousAnd know the office that belongs to such.

SOMERSET

I think my lord should be religious and know that the office belongs to such religious persons. 

WARWICK

Methinks his lordship should be humbler;it fitteth not a prelate so to plead.

WARWICK

I think his lordship should be more modest, a priest should not beg so much. 

SOMERSET

Yes, when his holy state is touch'd so near.

SOMERSET

Yes, especially when his holy status is so closely concerned.

WARWICK

State holy or unhallow'd, what of that?Is not his grace protector to the king?

WARWICK

Holy or unholy status, who cares about that? Isn't his grace the protector to the king? 

PLANTAGENET

[Aside] Plantagenet, I see, must hold his tongue, Lest it be said 'Speak, sirrah, when you should; Must your bold verdict enter talk with lords?' Else would I have a fling at Winchester.

PLANTAGENET

[To himself] I see that a Plantagenet must remain quiet unless they would say "Speak, sir, when you should. Why must your daring judgement interrupt the lords' talk?" Otherwise, I would attack Winchester with my words. 

KING HENRY VI

Uncles of Gloucester and of Winchester, The special watchmen of our English weal, I would prevail, if prayers might prevail, To join your hearts in love and amity. O, what a scandal is it to our crown, That two such noble peers as ye should jar! Believe me, lords, my tender years can tell Civil dissension is a viperous worm That gnaws the bowels of the commonwealth.

KING HENRY VI

Uncles Gloucester and Winchester, you are the special men who watch over our commonwealth. I would successfully persuade you, with the help of my prayers, to join your hearts in love and friendship. Oh, it is a scandal to our crown that two good lords should argue! Believe me, my lords, even my youth recognizes that civil disagreement is like a poisonous snake that chews the insides of the commonwealth. 

A noise within, 'Down with the tawny-coats!'

KING HENRY VI

What tumult's this?

KING HENRY VI

What noise is that? 

WARWICK

An uproar, I dare warrant,Begun through malice of the bishop's men.

WARWICk

I'd say it is a hubbub that began as a result of the bitterness of the bishop's men. 

A noise again, 'Stones! stones!' Enter Mayor

MAYOR

O, my good lords, and virtuous Henry, Pity the city of London, pity us! The bishop and the Duke of Gloucester's men, Forbidden late to carry any weapon, Have fill'd their pockets full of pebble stones And banding themselves in contrary parts Do pelt so fast at one another's pate That many have their giddy brains knock'd out: Our windows are broke down in every street And we for fear compell'd to shut our shops.

MAYOR

Oh, my good lords and virtuous Henry! Feel sorry for the city of London, feel sorry for us! The bishop and the Duke of Gloucester's men, who have recently been forbidden from carrying weapons, have filled their pockets with small stones. They formed groups of the two opposing parties and threw the stones at each others' heads so that many of their mad brains were knocked out of them. In every street, our windows are broken and we were so afraid of them that we had to close our shops. 

Enter Serving-men, in skirmish, with bloody pates

KING HENRY VI

We charge you, on allegiance to ourself,To hold your slaughtering hands and keep the peace.Pray, uncle Gloucester, mitigate this strife.

KING HENRY VI

We command you, based on your loyalty to us, to stop your murdering hands and to maintain peace. Please, uncle Gloucester, calm down this fight.

FIRST SERVING-MAN

Nay, if we be forbidden stones,We'll fall to it with our teeth.

FIRST SERVING-MAN

No! If we are forbidden from using stones, we will fight with our own teeth!

SECOND SERVING-MAN

Do what ye dare, we are as resolute.

SECOND SERVING-MAN

Do what you want! We are determined.

Skirmish again

GLOUCESTER

You of my household, leave this peevish broilAnd set this unaccustom'd fight aside.

GLOUCESTER

Those of you who are from my house, leave this foolish and unusual fight behind.

THIRD SERVING-MAN

My lord, we know your grace to be a man Just and upright; and, for your royal birth, Inferior to none but to his majesty: And ere that we will suffer such a prince, So kind a father of the commonweal, To be disgraced by an inkhorn mate, We and our wives and children all will fight And have our bodies slaughtered by thy foes.

Third Serving-man

My lord, we know that your grace is a good fair man and that only the king has a higher royal birth than you do. And before we allow such a prince, such a kind father to the commonwealth to be disgraced by someone of a low status, we and our wives and children will all fight and have ourselves killed by your enemies.


FIRST SERVING-MAN

Ay, and the very parings of our nailsShall pitch a field when we are dead.

FIRST SERVING-MAN

Yes! And the trimmings of our nails will prepare a battle for us when we are dead. 

Begin again

GLOUCESTER

Stay, stay, I say!And if you love me, as you say you do,Let me persuade you to forbear awhile.

GLOUCESTER

Stay, stay, I say! And if you love me as much as you say you do, let me persuade you to stop for a while. 

KING HENRY VI

O, how this discord doth afflict my soul! Can you, my Lord of Winchester, behold My sighs and tears and will not once relent? Who should be pitiful, if you be not? Or who should study to prefer a peace. If holy churchmen take delight in broils?

KING HENRY VI

Oh, how this disorder upsets my soul! Lord Winchester, can you watch me sigh and cry and not soften at the sight of it? Who will be sympathetic if not you? Or who will work towards peace, if holy churchmen take pleasure in fights? 

WARWICK

Yield, my lord protector; yield, Winchester; Except you mean with obstinate repulse To slay your sovereign and destroy the realm. You see what mischief and what murder too Hath been enacted through your enmity; Then be at peace except ye thirst for blood.

WARWICK

Surrender, my lord protector, and surrender Winchester. Or do you mean to kill your king and destroy the country with your stubborn refusal? If you see what evil and murder have occurred here because of your hatred, then be at peace and stop your thirst for blood. 

WINCHESTER

He shall submit, or I will never yield.

WINCHESTER

He should obey, otherwise I will never surrender.

GLOUCESTER

Compassion on the king commands me stoop;Or I would see his heart out, ere the priestShould ever get that privilege of me.

GLOUCESTER

The king's kindness makes me bow. Otherwise I would keep fighting against him before the priest would have an advantage over me. 

WARWICK

Behold, my Lord of Winchester, the duke Hath banish'd moody discontented fury, As by his smoothed brows it doth appear: Why look you still so stern and tragical?

WARWICK

Look, my lord of Winchester, the duke has let go of his anger, as you can tell by looking at his calm expression. Why do you still look so strict and full of sorrow, though? 

GLOUCESTER

Here, Winchester, I offer thee my hand.

GLOUCESTER

Winchester, here. I offer you my hand. 

KING HENRY VI

Fie, uncle Beaufort! I have heard you preach That malice was a great and grievous sin; And will not you maintain the thing you teach, But prove a chief offender in the same?

KING HENRY VI

Shame on you, uncle Beaufort! I've heard you preach that evil was a great and dreadful sin and you still won't live according to what you preach, but instead turn into the sinner yourself? 

WARWICK

Sweet king! the bishop hath a kindly gird.For shame, my lord of Winchester, relent!What, shall a child instruct you what to do?

WARWICK

Sweet king, the bishop has been told off enough. Shame on you, my lord of Winchester, give up! What, will a child instruct you what to do? 

WINCHESTER

Well, Duke of Gloucester, I will yield to thee;Love for thy love and hand for hand I give.

WINCHESTER

Well, Duke of Gloucester, I surrender to you. I give you my hand for your hand and my love for your love. 

GLOUCESTER

[Aside] Ay, but, I fear me, with a hollow heart.— See here, my friends and loving countrymen, This token serveth for a flag of truce Betwixt ourselves and all our followers: So help me God, as I dissemble not!

GLOUCESTER

[To himself] Yes, but I fear that you don't mean this and do it with an empty heart. See, my friends and loving countrymen, this sign that represents a flag of peace between us and our followers. God help me, I am not pretending!

WINCHESTER

[Aside] So help me God, as I intend it not!

 WINCHESTER

[To himself] God help me, I didn't mean it!

KING HENRY VI

O, loving uncle, kind Duke of Gloucester, How joyful am I made by this contract! Away, my masters! trouble us no more; But join in friendship, as your lords have done.

KING HENRY VI

Oh, loving uncle, kind Duke of Gloucester! I am so happy about this agreement! Go away now, my masters. Don't make any more problems but make friends with one another, as your lords have done here. 

FIRST SERVING-MAN

I'll to the surgeon's.

FIRST SERVING-MAN

I am happy about this. I'll go to the surgeon.

second SERVING-MAN

And so will I.

SECOND SERVING-MAN

And so will I.

third SERVING-MAN

And I will see what physic the tavern affords.

THIRD SERVING-MAN

And I will see what type of medicine the pub might offer.

Exeunt Serving-men, Mayor, & c

WARWICK

Accept this scroll, most gracious sovereign,Which in the right of Richard PlantagenetWe do exhibit to your majesty.

WARWICK

Accept this document, my most gracious king. It shows the right of Richard Plantagenet. 

GLOUCESTER

Well urged, my Lord of Warwick: or sweet prince, And if your grace mark every circumstance, You have great reason to do Richard right; Especially for those occasions At Eltham Place I told your majesty.

GLOUCESTER

Good timing, Lord of Warwick. Sweet prince, if you consider every detail, you have good reason to treat Richard well, especially for those reasons I told your majesty about at Eltham Palace

KING HENRY VI

And those occasions, uncle, were of force:Therefore, my loving lords, our pleasure isThat Richard be restored to his blood.

KING HENRY VI

And those reasons, uncle, were convincing. Therefore, my loving lords, it is our pleasure that Richard shall be given his property and titles back. 

WARWICK

Let Richard be restored to his blood;So shall his father's wrongs be recompensed.

WARWICK

Let Richard have his rights back, so that his father's wrongs will be repaid. 

WINCHESTER

As will the rest, so willeth Winchester.

WINCHESTER

And all the rest, Winchester wants it that way. 

KING HENRY VI

If Richard will be true, not that alone But all the whole inheritance I give That doth belong unto the house of York, From whence you spring by lineal descent.

KING HENRY VI

If Richard is truthful, I will give him not only that but also all the inheritance that rightfully belongs to the family of York, from where his bloodline began. 

PLANTAGENET

Thy humble servant vows obedienceAnd humble service till the point of death.

PLANTAGENET

Your poor servant swears that he will be obedient and I offer my lowly service until the day I die. 

KING HENRY VI

Stoop then and set your knee against my foot; And, in reguerdon of that duty done, I gird thee with the valiant sword of York: Rise Richard, like a true Plantagenet, And rise created princely Duke of York.

KING HENRY VI

Bow then and put your knee against my foot. As a reward, with this brave sword of York, I give you a title. Richard, stand up, like a true Plantagenet and rise as the newly titled Duke of York. 

PLANTAGENET

And so thrive Richard as thy foes may fall!And as my duty springs, so perish theyThat grudge one thought against your majesty!

PLANTAGENET

And so Richard prospers while your enemies fall! And as it is my duty, so those that have even one hateful thought against your majesty will die!

ALL

Welcome, high prince, the mighty Duke of York!

ALL

Welcome, high prince, the powerful Duke of York!

SOMERSET

[Aside] Perish, base prince, ignoble Duke of York!

SOMERSET

[To himself] Die, lowly prince, dishonorable Duke of York!

GLOUCESTER

Now will it best avail your majesty To cross the seas and to be crown'd in France: The presence of a king engenders love Amongst his subjects and his loyal friends, As it disanimates his enemies.

GLOUCESTER

Now it may be good time for your majesty to travel across the sea and be crowned in France. The king's presence brings about love among his people and his loyal friends, and it discourages his enemies.

KING HENRY VI

When Gloucester says the word, King Henry goes;For friendly counsel cuts off many foes.

KING HENRY VI

Wherever Gloucester will tell me to go, I will go. Friendly advice helps you get rid of many enemies.

GLOUCESTER

Your ships already are in readiness.

GLOUCESTER

Your ships are ready.

Sennet. Flourish. Exeunt all but EXETER

EXETER

Ay, we may march in England or in France, Not seeing what is likely to ensue. This late dissension grown betwixt the peers Burns under feigned ashes of forged love And will at last break out into a flame: As fester'd members rot but by degree, Till bones and flesh and sinews fall away, So will this base and envious discord breed. And now I fear that fatal prophecy Which in the time of Henry named the Fifth Was in the mouth of every sucking babe; That Henry born at Monmouth should win all And Henry born at Windsor lose all: Which is so plain that Exeter doth wish His days may finish ere that hapless time.

EXETER

Ah, yes, we may go to fight in England or in France, but we can't predict what will happen afterwards. This recent disagreement that has grown between the lords burns under ashes of false love and will finally turn into a flame! Like rotten arms and legs slowly decompose, until bones and ligaments fall apart, so this lowly and malicious disorder will spread. And now I am afraid of that the deadly prophecy which was spread around during Henry the Fifth's reign and heard from the mouth of every new born baby; that Henry born at Monmouth should win it all while Henry born at Windsor should lose it all. It is so clear that Exeter wishes that his days may end before that unlucky time. 

Exit

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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.