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Henry VI, Part 2

Henry VI, Part 2 Translation Act 2, Scene 1

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Enter KING HENRY VI, QUEEN MARGARET, GLOUCESTER, CARDINAL, and SUFFOLK, with Falconers halloing

QUEEN MARGARET

Believe me, lords, for flying at the brook, I saw not better sport these seven years' day: Yet, by your leave, the wind was very high; And, ten to one, old Joan had not gone out.

QUEEN MARGARET

Believe me, lords, in seven years I haven't seen better entertainment than hunting waterbirds by using dogs. But the wind was very high, and I bet you ten to one that the old Joan hasn't been able to fly.

KING HENRY VI

But what a point, my lord, your falcon made, And what a pitch she flew above the rest! To see how God in all his creatures works! Yea, man and birds are fain of climbing high.

KING HENRY VI

But your falcon flew very high, my lord, higher than anyone else! Ah, to see how God moves all his creatures! Yes, man and birds like to climb high. 

SUFFOLK

No marvel, an it like your majesty, My lord protector's hawks do tower so well; They know their master loves to be aloft, And bears his thoughts above his falcon's pitch.

SUFFOLK

No wonder, if your majesty allows me to say, that my lord protector's hawks soar so high above us. They know that their master loves to be above others, and that his thoughts are at the highest point the falcon can fly. 

GLOUCESTER

My lord, 'tis but a base ignoble mindThat mounts no higher than a bird can soar.

GLOUCESTER

My lord, it's your lowly and dishonorable brain that cannot fly higher than a bird can. 

CARDINAL

I thought as much; he would be above the clouds.

CARDINAL

I thought as much. He wants to be above the clouds.

GLOUCESTER

Ay, my lord cardinal? How think you by that?Were it not good your grace could fly to heaven?

GLOUCESTER

Yes, my lord cardinal? What do you mean by that? Wouldn't it be good if your grace could fly to heaven?

KING HENRY VI

The treasury of everlasting joy.

KING HENRY VI

Heaven is the place of never-ending joy.

CARDINAL

Thy heaven is on earth; thine eyes and thoughts Beat on a crown, the treasure of thy heart; Pernicious protector, dangerous peer, That smooth'st it so with king and commonweal!

CARDINAL

[To GLOUCESTER] Your heaven is on earth; your eyes and thoughts are set on the crown. That's the treasure you're after, you wicked protector, dangerous man, who so smoothly flatters the king and country!

GLOUCESTER

What, cardinal, is your priesthood grown peremptory? Tantaene animis coelestibus irae? Churchmen so hot? Good uncle, hide such malice; With such holiness can you do it?

GLOUCESTER

Cardinal, is your office suddenly all-powerful? "Is there so much anger in heavenly minds?" Are the men of church so angry? Good uncle, hide your ill will. How can a holy man behave this way?

SUFFOLK

No malice, sir; no more than well becomesSo good a quarrel and so bad a peer.

SUFFOLK

No ill will, sir. Or no more than is fit for such a good fight and such a bad man.

GLOUCESTER

As who, my lord?

GLOUCESTER

Which bad man do you mean, my lord?

SUFFOLK

Why, as you, my lord,An't like your lordly lord-protectorship.

SUFFOLK

You, my lord! If it please your lord-protectorship.

GLOUCESTER

Why, Suffolk, England knows thine insolence.

GLOUCESTER

Suffolk, England knows how disrespectful you are!

QUEEN MARGARET

And thy ambition, Gloucester.

QUEEN MARGARET

And England also knows how ambitious you are, Gloucester. 

KING HENRY VI

I prithee, peace, good queen,And whet not on these furious peers;For blessed are the peacemakers on earth.

KING HENRY VI

Please, be calm, good queen and don't encourage these enraged men. Because the ones who make peace on earth are blessed!

CARDINAL

Let me be blessed for the peace I make,Against this proud protector, with my sword!

CARDINAL

Let me be blessed for the peace that I make against this proud protector—with my sword!

GLOUCESTER

[Aside to CARDINAL] Faith, holy uncle, would'twere come to that!

GLOUCESTER

[Whispers to CARDINAL] Ah, holy uncle, how could it come to this?

CARDINAL

[Aside to GLOUCESTER] Marry, when thou darest.

CARDINAL

[Whispers to GLOUCESTER] Indeed, when you encouraged it.

GLOUCESTER

[Aside to CARDINAL] Make up no factiousnumbers for the matter;In thine own person answer thy abuse.

GLOUCESTER

[Whispers to CARDINAL] Don't bring any of your supporters into this business. You alone should be accountable for your insult to me. 

CARDINAL

[Aside to GLOUCESTER] Ay, where thou darestnot peep: an if thou darest,This evening, on the east side of the grove.

CARDINAL

[Whispers to GLOUCESTER] Yes, if you dare to show up. If you do, meet me this evening on the east side of the forest. 

KING HENRY VI

How now, my lords!

KING HENRY VI

What's this, my lords?

CARDINAL

Believe me, cousin Gloucester, Had not your man put up the fowl so suddenly, We had had more sport. [Aside to GLOUCESTER] Come with thy two-hand sword.

CARDINAL

Believe me, cousin Gloucester, if your falconer hadn't provoked the fowl so suddenly, we would have had more fun. [Whispers to GLOUCESTER] Bring your heavy sword. 

GLOUCESTER

True, uncle. [Aside to CARDINAL ] Are ye advised? The east side of the grove.

GLOUCESTER

That's true, uncle. [Whispers to CARDINAL] Do you understand? The east side of the forest. 

CARDINAL

[Aside to GLOUCESTER] I am with you.

CARDINAL

[Whispers to GLOUCESTER] I understand. 

KING HENRY VI

Why, how now, uncle Gloucester!

KING HENRY VI

What's going on, uncle Gloucester?

GLOUCESTER

Talking of hawking; nothing else, my lord.

GLOUCESTER

We're talking about hawking. Nothing else, my lord!

GLOUCESTER

[Aside to CARDINAL] Now, by God's mother, priest, I'll shave your crown for this,Or all my fence shall fail.

GLOUCESTER

[Whispers to CARDINAL] Now, by the Virgin Mary, I'll shave your tonsure for this, or otherwise all my fencing skills shall fail me. 

CARDINAL

[Aside to GLOUCESTER] Medice, teipsum—Protector, see to't well, protect yourself.

CARDINAL

[Whispers to GLOUCESTER] "Doctor, heal yourself." Protector, you do the same and protect yourself.

KING HENRY VI

The winds grow high; so do your stomachs, lords. How irksome is this music to my heart! When such strings jar, what hope of harmony? I pray, my lords, let me compound this strife.

KING HENRY VI

The winds blow high and so do your tempers, lords. This music sounds out of tune in my heart! When such strings sound discordant, is there any hope they'll ever be harmonious? Please, my lords, let me settle this fight.

Enter a Townsman of Saint Alban's, crying 'A miracle!'

GLOUCESTER

What means this noise?Fellow, what miracle dost thou proclaim?

GLOUCESTER

What is this noise? What miracle do you mean, man?

TOWNSMAN

A miracle! A miracle!

TOWNSMAN

A miracle, a miracle!

SUFFOLK

Come to the king and tell him what miracle.

SUFFOLK

Come to the king and tell him what this miracle is.

TOWNSMAN

Forsooth, a blind man at Saint Alban's shrine,Within this half-hour, hath received his sight;A man that ne'er saw in his life before.

TOWNSMAN

I speak the truth when I say that a blind man at Saint Alban's holy place, has gotten his sight back in this last half an hour. He's a man that has never seen before in his life.

KING HENRY VI

Now, God be praised, that to believing soulsGives light in darkness, comfort in despair!

KING HENRY VI

Now we give thanks to God, he who gives light in darkness and comfort in despair to those that believe!

Enter the Mayor of Saint Alban's and his brethren, bearing SIMPCOX, between two in a chair, SIMPCOX's Wife following

CARDINAL

Here comes the townsmen on procession,To present your highness with the man.

CARDINAL

The men of the town have marched here to show you this man, your highness.

KING HENRY VI

Great is his comfort in this earthly vale,Although by his sight his sin be multiplied.

KING HENRY VI

His comfort is great in this mortal world, although by gaining his sight, he will be subject to more temptations. 

GLOUCESTER

Stand by, my masters: bring him near the king;His highness' pleasure is to talk with him.

GLOUCESTER

Stand aside, my masters. Bring him close to the king. His highness would like to talk to him.

KING HENRY VI

Good fellow, tell us here the circumstance,That we for thee may glorify the Lord.What, hast thou been long blind and now restored?

KING HENRY VI

Good man, tell us the details of this so that we may celebrate the Lord in your name. Have you always been blind, has your sight now been restored?

SIMPCOX

Born blind, an't please your grace.

SIMPCOX

I was born blind, as it pleases your grace.

WIFE

Ay, indeed, was he.

WIFE

Yes, he was, indeed.

SUFFOLK

What woman is this?

SUFFOLK

Who's this woman?

WIFE

His wife, an't like your worship.

WIFE

I'm his wife, your worship.

GLOUCESTER

Hadst thou been his mother, thou couldst havebetter told.

GLOUCESTER

If you had been his mother, you would have been in a better position to say that he was blind from his birth.

KING HENRY VI

Where wert thou born?

KING HENRY VI

Where were you born?

SIMPCOX

At Berwick in the north, an't like your grace.

SIMPCOX

At Berwick in the north, if your grace pleases.

KING HENRY VI

Poor soul, God's goodness hath been great to thee:Let never day nor night unhallow'd pass,But still remember what the Lord hath done.

KING HENRY VI

You are a poor soul. God's goodness has been great to you. Let not a day or night pass without saying your prayers, but remember what the Lord has done for you. 

QUEEN MARGARET

Tell me, good fellow, camest thou here by chance,Or of devotion, to this holy shrine?

QUEEN MARGARET

Tell me, good man, did you come here by accident or because of your devotion to this holy place?

SIMPCOX

God knows, of pure devotion; being call'd A hundred times and oftener, in my sleep, By good Saint Alban; who said, 'Simpcox, come, Come, offer at my shrine, and I will help thee.'

SIMPCOX

God knows that I came here because of pure devotion. I was called a hundred times and more, in my sleep by the good Saint Alban. He said: "Simpox, come, come, make an offering at this holy place and I will help you."

WIFE

Most true, forsooth; and many time and oftMyself have heard a voice to call him so.

WIFE

That's true, really. And I have heard a voice call him that way many times.

CARDINAL

What, art thou lame?

CARDINAL

Are you crippled?

SIMPCOX

Ay, God Almighty help me!

SIMPCOX

Yes, God Almighty help me!

SUFFOLK

How camest thou so?

SUFFOLK

How did it happen?

SIMPCOX

A fall off of a tree.

SIMPCOX

I fell off a tree.

WIFE

A plum-tree, master.

WIFE

A plum-tree, master.

GLOUCESTER

How long hast thou been blind?

GLOUCESTER

How long have you been blind?

SIMPCOX

Born so, master.

SIMPCOX

I was born that way, master.

GLOUCESTER

What, and wouldst climb a tree?

GLOUCESTER

Then how could you have climbed a tree?

SIMPCOX

But that in all my life, when I was a youth.

SIMPCOX

I've only done it that once time, when I was young.

WIFE

Too true; and bought his climbing very dear.

WIFE

That's true! And the climbing has cost him dearly.

GLOUCESTER

Mass, thou lovedst plums well, that wouldstventure so.

GLOUCESTER

God, you must really love plums, in order to do that.

SIMPCOX

Alas, good master, my wife desired some damsons,And made me climb, with danger of my life.

SIMPCOX

Ah, good master, my wife wanted some of them and she made me climb, even though it was dangerous for me.

GLOUCESTER

A subtle knave! But yet it shall not serve.Let me see thine eyes: wink now: now open them:In my opinion yet thou seest not well.

GLOUCESTER

You are a crafty villain! But it won't do. Let me see your eyes. Now wink. Now open then. I think that you can't see well.

SIMPCOX

Yes, master, clear as day, I thank God andSaint Alban.

SIMPCOX

Yes I can, master. As clear as day. I thank God and Saint Alban.

GLOUCESTER

Say'st thou me so? What colour is this cloak of?

GLOUCESTER

Do you say that to me? What color is this cloak?

SIMPCOX

Red, master; red as blood.

SIMPCOX

Red, master. Red as blood.

GLOUCESTER

Why, that's well said. What colour is my gown of?

GLOUCESTER

Well, that's correct. What color is my robe?

SIMPCOX

Black, forsooth: coal-black as jet.

SIMPCOX

It's black. Coal-black as jet.

KING HENRY VI

Why, then, thou know'st what colour jet is of?

KING HENRY VI

Well, how do you know what color jet is, then?

SUFFOLK

And yet, I think, jet did he never see.

SUFFOLK

I don't think he's ever seen jet. 

GLOUCESTER

But cloaks and gowns, before this day, a many.

GLOUCESTER

But he has seen many cloaks and robes before today. 

WIFE

Never, before this day, in all his life.

WIFE

Never before today, in all his life!

GLOUCESTER

Tell me, sirrah, what's my name?

GLOUCESTER

Tell me sir, what's my name?

SIMPCOX

Alas, master, I know not.

SIMPCOX

Ah, master, I don't know.

GLOUCESTER

What's his name?

GLOUCESTER

What's his name?

SIMPCOX

I know not.

SIMPCOX

I don't know.

GLOUCESTER

Nor his?

GLOUCESTER

Or his?

SIMPCOX

No, indeed, master.

SIMPCOX

No, indeed, master.

GLOUCESTER

What's thine own name?

GLOUCESTER

What's your own name? 

SIMPCOX

Saunder Simpcox, an if it please you, master.

SIMPCOX

Saunder Simpox, if it pleases you, master.

GLOUCESTER

Then, Saunder, sit there, the lyingest knave in Christendom. If thou hadst been born blind, thou mightest as well have known all our names as thus to name the several colours we do wear. Sight may distinguish of colours, but suddenly to nominate them all, it is impossible. My lords, Saint Alban here hath done a miracle; and would ye not think his cunning to be great, that could restore this cripple to his legs again?

GLOUCESTER

Then, Saunder, stay there, you villain who lies the most in the whole of the Christian world! If you have been born blind, you might as well have know all our names in the same way you name the several colors that we wear. Sight may distinguish between colors, but to suddenly name them all is impossible! My lords, Saint Alban here has done a miracle. Wouldn't you think that his skill is so great that he would restore this cripple his legs again?

SIMPCOX

O master, that you could!

SIMPCOX

Oh, master, if only you could!

GLOUCESTER

My masters of Saint Alban's, have you not beadles inyour town, and things called whips?

GLOUCESTER

My masters of Saint Alban's, don't you have constables in your town and things called whips?

MAYOR

Yes, my lord, if it please your grace.

MAYOR

Yes, my lord, if it pleases your grace.

GLOUCESTER

Then send for one presently.

GLOUCESTER

Then send for one immediately.

MAYOR

Sirrah, go fetch the beadle hither straight.

MAYOR

Sir, go get the constable straight away.

Exit an Attendant

GLOUCESTER

Now fetch me a stool hither by and by. Now, sirrah,if you mean to save yourself from whipping, leap meover this stool and run away.

GLOUCESTER

Now get me a stool immediately. Now, sir, if you want to save yourself from whipping, jump across this stool and run away.

SIMPCOX

Alas, master, I am not able to stand alone:You go about to torture me in vain.

SIMPCOX

Ah, but master, I am not able to stand unsupported. You are about to torture me for nothing. 

Enter a Beadle with whips

GLOUCESTER

Well, sir, we must have you find your legs. Sirrahbeadle, whip him till he leap over that same stool.

GLOUCESTER

Well, sir, we must make you find your legs. Sir constable, whip him until he jumps over that stool there.

BEADLE

I will, my lord. Come on, sirrah; off with yourdoublet quickly.

CONSTABLE

I will, my lord. Come on, sir, take off your jacket!

SIMPCOX

Alas, master, what shall I do? I am not able to stand.

SIMPCOX

Ah, master, what shall I do? I am not able to stand. 

After the Beadle hath hit him once, he leaps over the stool and runs away; and they follow and cry, 'A miracle!'

KING HENRY VI

O God, seest Thou this, and bearest so long?

KING HENRY VI

Oh, God, can you see this and can you endure it for so long?

QUEEN MARGARET

It made me laugh to see the villain run.

QUEEN MARGARET

It made me laugh to see the villain run.

GLOUCESTER

Follow the knave; and take this drab away.

GLOUCESTER

Follow the villain and take this whore away.

WIFE

Alas, sir, we did it for pure need.

WIFE

Ah, sir, we did it because we really needed the money.

GLOUCESTER

Let them be whipped through every market-town, tillthey come to Berwick, from whence they came.

GLOUCESTER

Let them be whipped through every market town, until they come back to Berwick, from where they came.

Exeunt Wife, Beadle, Mayor, & c

CARDINAL

Duke Humphrey has done a miracle to-day.

CARDINAL

Duke Humphrey has done a miracle today.

SUFFOLK

True; made the lame to leap and fly away.

SUFFOLK

True, he made the crippled jump and run away.

GLOUCESTER

But you have done more miracles than I;You made in a day, my lord, whole towns to fly.

GLOUCESTER

But you have done more miracles than I. You made whole towns run away in a day, my lord. 

Enter BUCKINGHAM

KING HENRY VI

What tidings with our cousin Buckingham?

KING HENRY VI

What's the news, cousin Buckingham?

BUCKINGHAM

Such as my heart doth tremble to unfold. A sort of naughty persons, lewdly bent, Under the countenance and confederacy Of Lady Eleanor, the protector's wife, The ringleader and head of all this rout, Have practised dangerously against your state, Dealing with witches and with conjurers: Whom we have apprehended in the fact; Raising up wicked spirits from under ground, Demanding of King Henry's life and death, And other of your highness' privy-council; As more at large your grace shall understand.

BUCKINGHAM

My heart trembles to reveal it. A gang of wicked people bent on evil, supported by and in collusion with Lady Eleanor, the protector's wife—the leader and head of this gang—have made a dangerous plot against you. They employed witches and magicians, whom we have caught in the act, raising wicked spirits from underground. They wanted to know when King Henry would die, and others from your highness' council, as your grace shall find out at length. 

CARDINAL

And so, my lord protector, by this means Your lady is forthcoming yet at London. This news, I think, hath turn'd your weapon's edge; 'Tis like, my lord, you will not keep your hour.

CARDINAL

And so, my lord protector, your lady is awaiting a trial in London. This news has blunted the edge of your weapon, I think. It seems like you won't come to your duel at the appointed time.

GLOUCESTER

Ambitious churchman, leave to afflict my heart: Sorrow and grief have vanquish'd all my powers; And, vanquish'd as I am, I yield to thee, Or to the meanest groom.

GLOUCESTER

Ambitious churchman, stop torturing my heart. Sorrow and grief have defeated all my powers and defeated as I am, I surrender to you or to the humblest servant. 

KING HENRY VI

O God, what mischiefs work the wicked ones,Heaping confusion on their own heads thereby!

KING HENRY VI

Oh God, what mischief do the wicked ones do, so that they pile up destruction on their heads by doing so!

QUEEN MARGARET

Gloucester, see here the tainture of thy nest.And look thyself be faultless, thou wert best.

QUEEN MARGARET

Gloucester, this corruption in your own family. Make sure that you aren't guilty too.

GLOUCESTER

Madam, for myself, to heaven I do appeal, How I have loved my king and commonweal: And, for my wife, I know not how it stands; Sorry I am to hear what I have heard: Noble she is, but if she have forgot Honour and virtue and conversed with such As, like to pitch, defile nobility, I banish her my bed and company And give her as a prey to law and shame, That hath dishonour'd Gloucester's honest name.

GLOUCESTER

Madam, I turn to heaven to clear my name. I have loved my king and the country so much. As for my wife, I don't know how things stand; I am sorry for what I have heard, since she is noble. But if she has forgotten about honor and virtue and has been associated with the sort of company that, like pitch, defiles nobility, I banish her from my bed and company. I'll turn her over to the law to be punished and shamed, because she has dishonored Gloucester's honest name. 

KING HENRY VI

Well, for this night we will repose us here: To-morrow toward London back again, To look into this business thoroughly And call these foul offenders to their answers And poise the cause in justice' equal scales, Whose beam stands sure, whose rightful cause prevails.

KING HENRY VI

Well, we will sleep here tonight. We'll head towards London again tomorrow, to look into this business properly and bring these criminals to trial. We'll put the case to justice, whose scales are evenly balanced and who always finds out what's right.

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.