A line-by-line translation

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

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GLOUCESTER

As good!Thou bastard of my grandfather!

GLOUCESTER

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WINCHESTER

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

WINCHESTER

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GLOUCESTER

Am I not protector, saucy priest?

GLOUCESTER

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WINCHESTER

And am not I a prelate of the church?

WINCHESTER

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GLOUCESTER

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

GLOUCESTER

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WINCHESTER

Unreverent Gloucester!

WINCHESTER

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GLOUCESTER

Thou art reverentTouching thy spiritual function, not thy life.

GLOUCESTER

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WINCHESTER

Rome shall remedy this.

WINCHESTER

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WARWICK

Roam thither, then.

WARWICK

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SOMERSET

My lord, it were your duty to forbear.

SOMERSET

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WARWICK

Ay, see the bishop be not overborne.

WARWICK

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SOMERSET

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

SOMERSET

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WARWICK

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

WARWICK

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SOMERSET

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

SOMERSET

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WARWICK

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

WARWICK

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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

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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

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

KING HENRY VI

What tumult's this?

KING HENRY VI

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WARWICK

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

WARWICk

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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

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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

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FIRST SERVING-MAN

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

FIRST SERVING-MAN

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SECOND SERVING-MAN

Do what ye dare, we are as resolute.

SECOND SERVING-MAN

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Skirmish again

GLOUCESTER

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

GLOUCESTER

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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

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FIRST SERVING-MAN

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

FIRST SERVING-MAN

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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

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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

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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

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WINCHESTER

He shall submit, or I will never yield.

WINCHESTER

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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

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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

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GLOUCESTER

Here, Winchester, I offer thee my hand.

GLOUCESTER

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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

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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

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WINCHESTER

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

WINCHESTER

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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

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WINCHESTER

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

 WINCHESTER

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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

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FIRST SERVING-MAN

I'll to the surgeon's.

FIRST SERVING-MAN

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second SERVING-MAN

And so will I.

SECOND SERVING-MAN

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third SERVING-MAN

And I will see what physic the tavern affords.

THIRD SERVING-MAN

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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

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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

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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

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WARWICK

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

WARWICK

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WINCHESTER

As will the rest, so willeth Winchester.

WINCHESTER

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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

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PLANTAGENET

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

PLANTAGENET

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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

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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

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ALL

Welcome, high prince, the mighty Duke of York!

ALL

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SOMERSET

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

SOMERSET

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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

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KING HENRY VI

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

KING HENRY VI

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GLOUCESTER

Your ships already are in readiness.

GLOUCESTER

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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

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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.