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Henry VI, Part 1

Henry VI, Part 1 Translation Act 3, Scene 2

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Enter JOAN LA PUCELLE disguised, with four Soldiers with sacks upon their backs

JOAN LA PUCELLE

These are the city gates, the gates of Rouen, Through which our policy must make a breach: Take heed, be wary how you place your words; Talk like the vulgar sort of market men That come to gather money for their corn. If we have entrance, as I hope we shall, And that we find the slothful watch but weak, I'll by a sign give notice to our friends, That Charles the Dauphin may encounter them.

JOAN LA PUCELLE

These are the gates of the city Rouen, through which, according to our strategy, we must make an opening to get into. Be careful how you construct your sentences and what words you use. Talk like the commoners, like the people at markets who come to collect money for their wheat. If we enter, and I really hope we do, and if we find that the lazy guards are weak, I'll give a sign to our friends that Charles the Dauphin can confront them.

FIRST SOLDIER

Our sacks shall be a mean to sack the city,And we be lords and rulers over Rouen;Therefore we'll knock.

FIRST SOLDIER

Our bags will be used to attack the city and we'll be lords and rulers of Rouen. And so, I'll knock. 

Knocks

WATCH

[Within] Qui est la?

WATCH

[Inside] Who is there?

JOAN LA PUCELLE

Paysans, pauvres gens de France;Poor market folks that come to sell their corn.

JOAN LA PUCELLE

Peasants, the poor people of France. Poor market people who come here to sell their wheat.

WATCH

Enter, go in; the market bell is rung.

WATCH

Go in, then. The market bell is ringing.

JOAN LA PUCELLE

Now, Rouen, I'll shake thy bulwarks to the ground.

JOAN LA PUCELLE

Now I will destroy your walls, Rouen. 

Exeunt

Enter CHARLES, the BASTARD OF ORLEANS, ALENCON, REIGNIER, and forces

CHARLES

Saint Denis bless this happy stratagem!And once again we'll sleep secure in Rouen.

CHARLES

Bless this happy plan, Saint Denis! And once again, we'll sleep safely in Rouen. 

BASTARD OF ORLEANS

Here enter'd Pucelle and her practisants;Now she is there, how will she specifyWhere is the best and safest passage in?

BASTARD OF ORLEANS

Pucelle and her conspirators entered the city here. Now that she's in the city, how will she let us know the safest and best way to get in?

REIGNIER

By thrusting out a torch from yonder tower;Which, once discern'd, shows that her meaning is,No way to that, for weakness, which she enter'd.

REIGNIER

By signaling a burning torch from that tower over there, so we will recognize what she means. No entrance is as weakly guarded as the one she entered. 

Enter JOAN LA PUCELLE on the top, thrusting out a torch burning

JOAN LA PUCELLE

Behold, this is the happy wedding torchThat joineth Rouen unto her countrymen,But burning fatal to the Talbotites!

JOAN LA PUCELLE

Look! This is the happy wedding torch that joined Rouen and its countrymen but now it burns a deadly fire to Talbot and his men. 

Exit

BASTARD OF ORLEANS

See, noble Charles, the beacon of our friend;The burning torch in yonder turret stands.

BASTARD OF ORLEANS

See, noble Charles, the torch of our friend! The burning torch is over there at that tower. 

CHARLES

Now shine it like a comet of revenge,A prophet to the fall of all our foes!

CHARLES

Now it shines like a comet of revenge, it predicts the fall of all our enemies!

REIGNIER

Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends;Enter, and cry 'The Dauphin!' presently,And then do execution on the watch.

REIGNIER

Let's not waste time, wasting time has dangerous consequences. Enter the city and immediately scream "The Dauphin!" and then kill all the guards. 

Alarum. Exeunt

An alarum. Enter TALBOT in an excursion

TALBOT

France, thou shalt rue this treason with thy tears, If Talbot but survive thy treachery. Pucelle, that witch, that damned sorceress, Hath wrought this hellish mischief unawares, That hardly we escaped the pride of France.

TALBOT

France, you will regret this treason with your tears, if Talbot survives your betrayal. The witch Pucelle, that cursed sorceress has brought this evil mischief so unexpectedly on us, that we barely escaped the French. 

Exit

An alarum: excursions. BEDFORD, brought in sick in a chair. Enter TALBOT and BURGUNDY without: within JOAN LA PUCELLE, CHARLES, BASTARD OF ORLEANS, ALENCON, and REIGNIER, on the walls

JOAN LA PUCELLE

Good morrow, gallants! want ye corn for bread? I think the Duke of Burgundy will fast Before he'll buy again at such a rate: 'Twas full of darnel; do you like the taste?

JOAN LA PUCELLE

Good morning, you fine young gentlemen! Do you want wheat instead of bread? I think the Duke of Burgundy would rather starve than buy food again at that cost. It was full of weeds, do you like the taste of it?

BURGUNDY

Scoff on, vile fiend and shameless courtezan!I trust ere long to choke thee with thine ownAnd make thee curse the harvest of that corn.

BURGUNDY

Make fun of me as much as you want, you disgusting devil and shameless prostitute! Trust me, I will soon choke you with your own weapon and I'll make sure that you regret the outcome of your actions. 

CHARLES

Your grace may starve perhaps before that time.

CHARLES

Your king will starve before that will happen. 

BEDFORD

O, let no words, but deeds, revenge this treason!

BEDFORD

Oh, you should let actions and not words revenge this treason!

JOAN LA PUCELLE

What will you do, good grey-beard? break a lance,And run a tilt at death within a chair?

JOAN LA PUCELLE

What are you going to do, good man with the grey beard? Break a spear in two and fight in a tournament with it until you die? 

TALBOT

Foul fiend of France, and hag of all despite, Encompass'd with thy lustful paramours! Becomes it thee to taunt his valiant age And twit with cowardice a man half dead? Damsel, I'll have a bout with you again, Or else let Talbot perish with this shame.

TALBOT

You dirty demon from France and witch filled with hate! You are surrounded by your passionate lovers! Do you think it's appropriate for you to mock his incredible age and insult a half dead man by talking of him being a coward? Girl, I'll fight you again. If I don't then I will die of shame. 

JOAN LA PUCELLE

Are ye so hot, sir? yet, Pucelle, hold thy peace;If Talbot do but thunder, rain will follow.

JOAN LA PUCELLE

Are you so hot-tempered, sir? And still, Pucelle, be calm, if Talbot is only like a thunder now, then it will be followed by rain.

The English whisper together in council

JOAN LA PUCELLE

God speed the parliament! who shall be the speaker?

JOAN LA PUCELLE

God, hurry up the parliament! Who will be the speaker? 

TALBOT

Dare ye come forth and meet us in the field?

TALBOT

Do you come forward and meet us in battle? 

JOAN LA PUCELLE

Belike your lordship takes us then for fools,To try if that our own be ours or no.

JOAN LA PUCELLE

It looks like your lordship thinks we are idiots! He thinks we're going to try our luck. 

TALBOT

I speak not to that railing Hecate,But unto thee, Alencon, and the rest;Will ye, like soldiers, come and fight it out?

TALBOT

I don't want to speak to that swearing Hecate, but to you, Alencon, and the rest of you. Will you, like soldiers, come and fight us? 

ALENCON

Signior, no.

ALENCON

No, we won't, my lord. 

TALBOT

Signior, hang! base muleters of France!Like peasant foot-boys do they keep the wallsAnd dare not take up arms like gentlemen.

TALBOT

Hang then, "my lord!" Lowly French mule-drivers! They stand near the walls like peasant boy servants and don't dare to grasp their weapons and fight like gentlemen. 

JOAN LA PUCELLE

Away, captains! let's get us from the walls; For Talbot means no goodness by his looks. God be wi' you, my lord! we came but to tell you That we are here.

JOAN LA PUCELLE

Stand back, captains! Go away from the walls! It looks like Talbot doesn't mean us well. God be with you, my lord! We only came to tell you that we are here. 

Exeunt from the walls

TALBOT

And there will we be too, ere it be long, Or else reproach be Talbot's greatest fame! Vow, Burgundy, by honour of thy house, Prick'd on by public wrongs sustain'd in France, Either to get the town again or die: And I, as sure as English Henry lives And as his father here was conqueror, As sure as in this late-betrayed town Great Coeur-de-lion's heart was buried, So sure I swear to get the town or die.

TALBOT

And we will be where you are, very soon. Or otherwise Talbot will be most famous for his disgrace.

[To BURGUNDY] Swear to me, Burgundy, on the honor of your family, that you will regain the town or die, even though you are still injured by the public abuse you endured in France.  As sure as King Henry lives, and that his father was a hero, and as sure that the great Cour-de-lion's heart was buried here in this town we lost. I swear to conquer this town or die! 

BURGUNDY

My vows are equal partners with thy vows.

BURGUNDY

My promise is as sure as yours. 

TALBOT

But, ere we go, regard this dying prince, The valiant Duke of Bedford. Come, my lord, We will bestow you in some better place, Fitter for sickness and for crazy age.

TALBOT

But, before we go, look towards this dying prince—the brave Duke of Bedford. My lord, come! We will carry you to a nicer place than this; a place better suited to your sickness and your weak old age. 

BEDFORD

Lord Talbot, do not so dishonour me:Here will I sit before the walls of RouenAnd will be partner of your weal or woe.

BEDFORD

Lord Talbot, don't dishonor me. I will sit here, on the walls of Rouen and will also swear, like you did, in the name of happiness or misery.

BURGUNDY

Courageous Bedford, let us now persuade you.

BURGUNDY

Brave Bedford, please let us change your mind!

BEDFORD

Not to be gone from hence; for once I read That stout Pendragon in his litter sick Came to the field and vanquished his foes: Methinks I should revive the soldiers' hearts, Because I ever found them as myself.

BEDFORD

I won't leave this place. I read somewhere that the strong Pendragon was carried onto the battle field in his sick bed and killed all his enemies. I think that I should renew the hearts of our soldiers, because I feel so similar to them.

TALBOT

Undaunted spirit in a dying breast! Then be it so: heavens keep old Bedford safe! And now no more ado, brave Burgundy, But gather we our forces out of hand And set upon our boasting enemy.

TALBOT

The spirit coming from your dying chest is unbreakable! Then, let it be so. Keep the old Bedford safe, heavens! And now, no more fuss. Brave Burgundy, let's gather our soldiers immediately and march towards our bragging enemy. 

Exeunt all but BEDFORD and Attendants

An alarum: excursions. Enter FASTOLFE and a Captain

CAPTAIN

Whither away, Sir John Fastolfe, in such haste?

CAPTAIN

Where are you going in such a hurry, Sir John Fastolfe? 

FASTOLFE

Whither away! to save myself by flight:We are like to have the overthrow again.

FASTOLFE

Which way!? I have to save myself by running away because it seems like we're about to be defeated again. 

CAPTAIN

What! will you fly, and leave Lord Talbot?

CAPTAIN

What!? You will run away and leave Lord Talbot? 

FASTOLFE

Ay,All the Talbots in the world, to save my life!

FASTOLFE

Yes. I will leave all the Talbots in the world to save my life!

Exit

CAPTAIN

Cowardly knight! ill fortune follow thee!

CAPTAIN

That knight is such a coward! I hope bad luck follows him.

Exit

Retreat: excursions. JOAN LA PUCELLE, ALENCON, and CHARLES fly

BEDFORD

Now, quiet soul, depart when heaven please, For I have seen our enemies' overthrow. What is the trust or strength of foolish man? They that of late were daring with their scoffs Are glad and fain by flight to save themselves.

BEDFORD

Now, my quiet soul, please die when heaven tells you to, because I have seen our enemies conquered. What does the trust or strength of a foolish man mean? Those who recently challenged us with their mockery are relieved and want to run away to save themselves. 

BEDFORD dies, and is carried in by two in his chair

An alarum. Re-enter TALBOT, BURGUNDY, and the rest

TALBOT

Lost, and recover'd in a day again!This is a double honour, Burgundy:Yet heavens have glory for this victory!

TALBOT

We have both lost and won in only one day! This is a double honor, Burgundy. But we must thank heavens for this victory!

BURGUNDY

Warlike and martial Talbot, BurgundyEnshrines thee in his heart and there erectsThy noble deeds as valour's monuments.

BURGUNDY

Talbot—our warrior and leader—Burgundy will keep you in his heart like a saint and there will build a monument to your bravery and all your great acts. 

TALBOT

Thanks, gentle duke. But where is Pucelle now? I think her old familiar is asleep: Now where's the Bastard's braves, and Charles his gleeks? What, all amort? Rouen hangs her head for grief That such a valiant company are fled. Now will we take some order in the town, Placing therein some expert officers, And then depart to Paris to the king, For there young Henry with his nobles lie.

TALBOT

Thanks, kind duke. But where is Pucelle now? I think her old trusted spirit is asleep. Where is the laughter of the Bastard and Charles' jokes now? What? Are they all depressed now? Rouen lowers her head in grief that such a courageous company ran away. Now we will establish order in the town. We'll place some experienced officers here and then go to Paris to meet the king, because that's where young Henry and his dukes are. 

BURGUNDY

What wills Lord Talbot pleaseth Burgundy.

BURGUNDY

Whatever Talbot wants to do, Burgundy agrees to. 

TALBOT

But yet, before we go, let's not forget The noble Duke of Bedford late deceased, But see his exequies fulfill'd in Rouen: A braver soldier never couched lance, A gentler heart did never sway in court; But kings and mightiest potentates must die, For that's the end of human misery.

TALBOT

But before we go, let's not forget the kind Duke of Bedford who has recently died. Let's arrange a funeral for him here in Rouen. A braver soldier has never risen his spear in an attack and a gentler heart never ruled over the court than he. But even kings and the most powerful rulers must die one day, as that's the end of human misery. 

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.