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Henry VI, Part 2

Henry VI, Part 2 Translation Act 1, Scene 3

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Enter three or four Petitioners, PETER, the Armourer's man, being one

FIRST PETITIONER

My masters, let's stand close: my lord protectorwill come this way by and by, and then we may deliverour supplications in the quill.

FIRST PETITIONER

Gentlemen, let's stand near one another. My lord protector will come this way soon, and then we can tell him our requests as a group. 

SECOND PETITIONER

Marry, the Lord protect him, for he's a good man!Jesu bless him!

SECOND PETITIONER

Yes, may the Lord protect him, since he is a good man! Jesus bless him!

Enter SUFFOLK and QUEEN MARGARET

PETER

Here a' comes, methinks, and the queen with him.I'll be the first, sure.

PETER

I think he's coming now, with the queen. I have to be the first to talk to him. 

SECOND PETITIONER

Come back, fool; this is the Duke of Suffolk, andnot my lord protector.

SECOND PETITIONER

Step back, you idiot! This is the Duke of Suffolk and not my lord protector.

SUFFOLK

How now, fellow! Would'st anything with me?

SUFFOLK

What's this, man? What do you want from me?

FIRST PETITIONER

I pray, my lord, pardon me; I took ye for my lordprotector.

FIRST PETITIONER

Please, my lord, I am sorry, I thought you were the lord protector.

QUEEN MARGARET

[Reading] 'To my Lord Protector!' Are yoursupplications to his lordship? Let me see them:what is thine?

QUEEN MARGARET

[Reading] "To my Lord Protector!" Do you have requests to his lordship? Let me see them. What's yours?

FIRST PETITIONER

Mine is, an't please your grace, against JohnGoodman, my lord cardinal's man, for keeping myhouse, and lands, and wife and all, from me.

FIRST PETITIONER

Mine is, if it's all right with your grace, against John Goodman, the lord cardinal's servant. He has taken my house, lands, wife and everything from me.

SUFFOLK

Thy wife, too! That's some wrong, indeed. What'syours? What's here!

SUFFOLK

Your wife as well! Something is wrong about that, for sure. What's yours? What do we have here?

SUFFOLK

[Reading] 'Against the Duke of Suffolk, for enclosing thecommons of Melford.' How now, sir knave!

SUFFOLK

[Reading] "Against the Duke of Suffolk, for fencing in the communal land of Melford." What's this, you villain!

SECOND PETITIONER

Alas, sir, I am but a poor petitioner of our whole township.

SECOND PETITIONER

But, sir, I am only one poor petitioner from our whole town. 

PETER

[Giving his petition] Against my master, ThomasHorner, for saying that the Duke of York was rightfulheir to the crown.

PETER

[Offering his petition] This is against my master, Thomas Horner, for saying that the Duke of York was the true heir to the crown.

QUEEN MARGARET

What sayst thou? Did the Duke of York say he wasrightful heir to the crown?

QUEEN MARGARET

What did you say? Did the Duke of York say that he was the true heir to the crown?

PETER

That my master was? No, forsooth: my master saidthat he was, and that the king was an usurper.

PETER

That my master was the true heir? No, my master said that he was and that the king is ruling wrongfully.

SUFFOLK

Who is there?

SUFFOLK

Who is there?

Enter Servant

SUFFOLK

Take this fellow in, and send forhis master with a pursuivant presently: we'll hearmore of your matter before the King.

SUFFOLK

Take this man inside and get his master to come immediately with a messenger. We'll hear more about your issue in front of the king.

Exit Servant with PETER

QUEEN MARGARET

And as for you, that love to be protectedUnder the wings of our protector's grace,Begin your suits anew, and sue to him.

QUEEN MARGARET

And as for you, since you love to be protected under our protector's wings, you can start your requests all over again and ask him. 

Tears the supplication

QUEEN MARGARET

Away, base cullions! Suffolk, let them go.

QUEEN MARGARET

Get out, you lowly peasants! Suffolk, send them away. 

ALL

Come, let's be gone.

ALL

Come, let's go.

Exeunt

QUEEN MARGARET

My Lord of Suffolk, say, is this the guise, Is this the fashion in the court of England? Is this the government of Britain's isle, And this the royalty of Albion's king? What shall King Henry be a pupil still Under the surly Gloucester's governance? Am I a queen in title and in style, And must be made a subject to a duke? I tell thee, Pole, when in the city Tours Thou ran'st a tilt in honour of my love And stolest away the ladies' hearts of France, I thought King Henry had resembled thee In courage, courtship and proportion: But all his mind is bent to holiness, To number Ave-Maries on his beads; His champions are the prophets and apostles, His weapons holy saws of sacred writ, His study is his tilt-yard, and his loves Are brazen images of canonized saints. I would the college of the cardinals Would choose him pope, and carry him to Rome, And set the triple crown upon his head: That were a state fit for his holiness.

QUEEN MARGARET

My Lord Suffolk, tell me, is this what happens, is this the custom in the court of England? Is this the government of the British island, and is this the royalty of Albion's king? Should King Henry be a student under the teaching of the grumpy Gloucester? Am I a queen in title and mode of address, and do I have to obey a duke? I'm telling you, Pole, when you took part in the tournament in the city of Tours and jousted for my love, stealing away the hearts of all the ladies of France, I thought that King Henry was like you—in courage, flirting, and looks. But all he thinks about is religion and counting Hail Marys on his rosary. The heroes that he admires are the prophets and apostles, his weapons are holy books, his study is his tournament ground, and his loves are his bronze statues of glorified saints. I wish that the highest council of the Catholic Church's cardinal would choose him to be a pope and take him to Rome, and set the pope's triple crown on his head. That would be an appropriate job for his holiness.

SUFFOLK

Madam, be patient: as I was causeYour highness came to England, so will IIn England work your grace's full content.

SUFFOLK

Madam, be patient. I was the reason why your highness came to England and so I will do everything here in England to please you. 

QUEEN MARGARET

Beside the haughty protector, have we Beaufort, The imperious churchman, Somerset, Buckingham, And grumbling York: and not the least of these But can do more in England than the king.

QUEEN MARGARET

In addition to the arrogant protector, we have Beaufort, the bossy churchman, Somerset, Buckingham and the sulky York. And even the least important of them can do more in England than the king.

SUFFOLK

And he of these that can do most of allCannot do more in England than the Nevils:Salisbury and Warwick are no simple peers.

SUFFOLK

And he who can do most of them all can't do more in England than the Nevilles. Salisbury and Warwick aren't any ordinary men.

QUEEN MARGARET

Not all these lords do vex me half so much As that proud dame, the lord protector's wife. She sweeps it through the court with troops of ladies, More like an empress than Duke Humphrey's wife: Strangers in court do take her for the queen: She bears a duke's revenues on her back, And in her heart she scorns our poverty: Shall I not live to be avenged on her? Contemptuous base-born callet as she is, She vaunted 'mongst her minions t'other day, The very train of her worst wearing gown Was better worth than all my father's lands, Till Suffolk gave two dukedoms for his daughter.

QUEEN MARGARET

All of these lords don't annoy me half as much as that proud woman, the lord protector's wife. She parades through the court with a group of ladies, more like an empress than Duke Humphrey's wife. Foreigners in the court think she is the queen. She dresses in a magnificent style thanks to the duke's income and secretly she makes fun of me for being poor. Shouldn't I be revenged on her? She is a contemptible lowly-born whore! She boasted to her friends the other day that the train of her most unfashionable dress was worth what my father's lands were, until Suffolk gave him two dukedoms for his daughter.

SUFFOLK

Madam, myself have limed a bush for her, And placed a quire of such enticing birds, That she will light to listen to the lays, And never mount to trouble you again. So, let her rest: and, madam, list to me; For I am bold to counsel you in this. Although we fancy not the cardinal, Yet must we join with him and with the lords, Till we have brought Duke Humphrey in disgrace. As for the Duke of York, this late complaint Will make but little for his benefit. So, one by one, we'll weed them all at last, And you yourself shall steer the happy helm.

SUFFOLK

Madam, I have already laid a trap and placed a group of little birds around her, so that she will fall from her nest to listen to their pretty songs, and never trouble you again. So, let her go for now and listen to me, madam, because I am bold enough to advise you on this. Although we don't like the cardinal, we have to join him and his lords, until we have brought Duke Humphrey down. As for the Duke of York, this allegation about him being the true king we just heard will do him little good. So, one by one, we'll uproot them all, until at last you alone will rule the happy kingdom. 

Sound a sennet. Enter KING HENRY VI, GLOUCESTER, CARDINAL, BUCKINGHAM, YORK, SOMERSET, SALISBURY, WARWICK, and the DUCHESS

KING HENRY VI

For my part, noble lords, I care not which;Or Somerset or York, all's one to me.

KING HENRY VI

When it comes to me, my lords, I don't really care which one—Somerset or York. They're all the same to me.

YORK

If York have ill demean'd himself in France,Then let him be denay'd the regentship.

YORK

If York has behaved badly in France, then don't make him regent.

SOMERSET

If Somerset be unworthy of the place,Let York be regent; I will yield to him.

SOMERSET

If Somerset isn't worthy of the position, then York should be regent. I'll surrender to him.

WARWICK

Whether your grace be worthy, yea or no,Dispute not that: York is the worthier.

WARWICK

Don't discuss whether you are worthy or not. York is clearly more worthy.

CARDINAL

Ambitious Warwick, let thy betters speak.

CARDINAL

Let others better than you speak, ambitious Warwick.

WARWICK

The cardinal's not my better in the field.

WARWICK

The cardinal isn't better than me pn the battlefield.

BUCKINGHAM

All in this presence are thy betters, Warwick.

BUCKINGHAM

Everyone around you is better than you, Warwick.

WARWICK

Warwick may live to be the best of all.

WARWICK

Warwick could still end up to be the best of you all.

SALISBURY

Peace, son! And show some reason, Buckingham,Why Somerset should be preferred in this.

SALISBURY

Calm down, son! And give us a reason, Buckingham, why Somerset should be regent instead. 

QUEEN MARGARET

Because the king, forsooth, will have it so.

QUEEN MARGARET

Because the king wants it that way.

GLOUCESTER

Madam, the king is old enough himselfTo give his censure: these are no women's matters.

GLOUCESTER

Madam, the king is old enough to give us his opinion. These issues are not for women.

QUEEN MARGARET

If he be old enough, what needs your graceTo be protector of his excellence?

QUEEN MARGARET

If he's old enough, why does your grace need to be protector of his excellence?

GLOUCESTER

Madam, I am protector of the realm;And, at his pleasure, will resign my place.

GLOUCESTER

Madam, I am the protector of this country and if he wants me to, I will resign my place.

SUFFOLK

Resign it then and leave thine insolence.Since thou wert king—as who is king but thou?—The commonwealth hath daily run to wreck;The Dauphin hath prevail'd beyond the seas;And all the peers and nobles of the realmHave been as bondmen to thy sovereignty.

SUFFOLK

Resign it then and stop being so arrogant. Since you've been king—who else is king but you?—the country has been driven into ruin. The Dauphin gained in strength beyond the seas and all the noblemen in the country have been like slaves to your government. 

CARDINAL

The commons hast thou rack'd; the clergy's bagsAre lank and lean with thy extortions.

CARDINAL

You have ruined the common people; the moneybags of the church are shrunken and poor because of your taxes.

SOMERSET

Thy sumptuous buildings and thy wife's attireHave cost a mass of public treasury.

SOMERSET

Your luxurious buildings and your wife's dresses have cost a lot of public money.

BUCKINGHAM

Thy cruelty in executionUpon offenders, hath exceeded law,And left thee to the mercy of the law.

BUCKINGHAM

Your cruelty when punishing offenders is beyond law and has left you to the mercy of the law. 

QUEEN MARGARET

Thy sale of offices and towns in France,If they were known, as the suspect is great,Would make thee quickly hop without thy head.

QUEEN MARGARET

If we knew about your selling of official positions and towns in France (since there is already suspicion about it), you'd be beheaded.

Exit GLOUCESTER. QUEEN MARGARET drops her fan

QUEEN MARGARET

Give me my fan: what, minion! Can ye not?

QUEEN MARGARET

[To DUCHESS] Give me my fan. What, servant? Can't you do that?

She gives the DUCHESS a box on the ear

QUEEN MARGARET

I cry you mercy, madam; was it you?

QUEEN MARGARET

I beg your pardon, madam. Was it you?

DUCHESS

Was't I! Yea, I it was, proud Frenchwoman:Could I come near your beauty with my nails,I'd set my ten commandments in your face.

DUCHESS

Was it? Yes, it was, you proud Frenchwoman! If only I could come closer to your beautiful face with my nails, I'd scratch it with my fingernails!

KING HENRY VI

Sweet aunt, be quiet; 'twas against her will.

KING HENRY VI

Sweet aunt, be quiet. She didn't mean to do it.

DUCHESS

Against her will! Good king, look to't in time; She'll hamper thee, and dandle thee like a baby: Though in this place most master wear no breeches, She shall not strike Dame Eleanor unrevenged.

DUCHESS

She didn't mean to do it! Good king, beware of her. She'll manipulate you and pet you like a baby. But although the greatest master in this place doesn't wear trousers, she won't slap Dame Eleanor without paying for it.

Exit

BUCKINGHAM

Lord cardinal, I will follow Eleanor, And listen after Humphrey, how he proceeds: She's tickled now; her fume needs no spurs, She'll gallop far enough to her destruction.

BUCKINGHAM

Lord cardinal, I'll follow Eleanor and watch out for Humphrey and what he's going to do next. She is provoked now; we don't need to make her any angrier. She'll run fast and far enough towards her own destruction. 

Exit

Re-enter GLOUCESTER

GLOUCESTER

Now, lords, my choler being over-blown With walking once about the quadrangle, I come to talk of commonwealth affairs. As for your spiteful false objections, Prove them, and I lie open to the law: But God in mercy so deal with my soul, As I in duty love my king and country! But, to the matter that we have in hand: I say, my sovereign, York is meetest man To be your regent in the realm of France.

GLOUCESTER

Now, lords, I calmed down as I walked around the quadrangle once, so I have come to talk about the government. As for your hateful, false accusations, show your proof and let the law judge my case. But God will have mercy on my soul, since God knows I love my king and country! But, let's talk about the matter in hand. I say, my king, that York is the right man to be your regent in France.

SUFFOLK

Before we make election, give me leaveTo show some reason, of no little force,That York is most unmeet of any man.

SUFFOLK

Before we make a choice, let me show you why York is the most unsuitable out of all men.

YORK

I'll tell thee, Suffolk, why I am unmeet: First, for I cannot flatter thee in pride; Next, if I be appointed for the place, My Lord of Somerset will keep me here, Without discharge, money, or furniture, Till France be won into the Dauphin's hands: Last time, I danced attendance on his will Till Paris was besieged, famish'd, and lost.

YORK

I'll tell you why I am unsuitable, Suffolk. First of all, because my self-respect will not allow me to flatter you. Next, because if I am appointed to the position, my lord of Somerset will keep me here without payment, money or military equipment, until France is won by the Dauphin. Last time I had to listen to his commands, Paris was attacked, our people starved, and the city was lost.

WARWICK

That can I witness; and a fouler factDid never traitor in the land commit.

WARWICK

I can bear witness to that. A traitor has never committed worse crimes. 

SUFFOLK

Peace, headstrong Warwick!

SUFFOLK

Calm yourself, stubborn Warwick!

WARWICK

Image of pride, why should I hold my peace?

WARWICK

You're the embodiment of pride! Why should I be calm?

Enter HORNER, the Armourer, and his man PETER, guarded

SUFFOLK

Because here is a man accused of treason:Pray God the Duke of York excuse himself!

SUFFOLK

Because he is a man accused of treason. I pray God that the Duke of York excuses himself!

YORK

Doth any one accuse York for a traitor?

YORK

Does anyone accuse York of being a traitor?

KING HENRY VI

What mean'st thou, Suffolk; tell me, what are these?

KING HENRY VI

What do you mean, Suffolk? Tell me, who are these people?

SUFFOLK

Please it your majesty, this is the man That doth accuse his master of high treason: His words were these: that Richard, Duke of York, Was rightful heir unto the English crown And that your majesty was a usurper.

SUFFOLK

Please, majesty, this [points to PETER] is the man that accuses his master of high treason. He said that Richard, Duke of York is the true heir to the English crown and that your majesty has no right to the throne.

KING HENRY VI

Say, man, were these thy words?

KING HENRY VI

Is this what you said, man?

HORNER

An't shall please your majesty, I never said northought any such matter: God is my witness, I amfalsely accused by the villain.

HORNER

If it makes your majesty happy, I never said nor thought that! God is my witness that I am accused falsely by this villain.

PETER

By these ten bones, my lords, he did speak them tome in the garret one night, as we were scouring myLord of York's armour.

PETER

By these fingers, my lords, he said those words to me in the watch-tower one night as we were cleaning the armor of my Lord of York.

YORK

Base dunghill villain and mechanical, I'll have thy head for this thy traitor's speech. I do beseech your royal majesty, Let him have all the rigor of the law.

YORK

Lowly foul villain, peasant! I'll have your head for your treachery. I ask your royal majesty to punish him with all the harshness of the law.

HORNER

Alas, my lord, hang me, if ever I spake the words. My accuser is my 'prentice; and when I did correct him for his fault the other day, he did vow upon his knees he would be even with me: I have good witness of this: therefore I beseech your majesty, do not cast away an honest man for a villain's accusation.

HORNER

Ah, hang me if I have ever spoken those words, my lord. My apprentice is the one who accuses me and when I punished him for his mistake the other day, he swore on his knees that he would get even with me.  I have witnesses to prove it. So I beg your majesty, don't cast away an honest man because of a villain's accusation.

KING HENRY VI

Uncle, what shall we say to this in law?

KING HENRY VI

Uncle, how should we answer to this?

GLOUCESTER

This doom, my lord, if I may judge: Let Somerset be regent over the French, Because in York this breeds suspicion: And let these have a day appointed them For single combat in convenient place, For he hath witness of his servant's malice: This is the law, and this Duke Humphrey's doom.

GLOUCESTER

My advice, my lord, would be to let Somerset be the regent of France because this makes us suspicious of York. Let the two of them set a date to duel in a suitable place, for he has seen how evil his servant is. This is the law and this is Duke Humphrey's sentence.

SOMERSET

I humbly thank your royal majesty.

SOMERSET

I humbly thank you, your royal majesty.

HORNER

And I accept the combat willingly.

HORNER

And I willingly accept the fight.

PETER

Alas, my lord, I cannot fight; for God's sake, pity my case. The spite of man prevaileth against me. O Lord, have mercy upon me! I shall never be able to fight a blow. O Lord, my heart!

PETER

Ah, but my lord, I can't fight! For God's sake, take pity on my situation. The viciousness of mankind is against me. Oh, Lord, have mercy on me! I shall never be able to fight. Oh, Lord, my heart!

GLOUCESTER

Sirrah, or you must fight, or else be hang'd.

GLOUCESTER

Sir, either you fight or you'll be hanged.

KING HENRY VI

Away with them to prison; and the day of combatshall be the last of the next month. Come,Somerset, we'll see thee sent away.

KING HENRY VI

Take them away to prison; the day of the fight will be the last day of the next month. Come, Somerset, we'll make sure that they're sent away.

Flourish. 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.