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Henry VI, Part 2

Henry VI, Part 2 Translation Act 3, Scene 1

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Sound a sennet. Enter KING HENRY VI, QUEEN MARGARET, CARDINAL, SUFFOLK, YORK, BUCKINGHAM, SALISBURY and WARWICK to the Parliament

KING HENRY VI

I muse my Lord of Gloucester is not come:'Tis not his wont to be the hindmost man,Whate'er occasion keeps him from us now.

KING HENRY VI

I wonder why my Lord Gloucester hasn't come. It's not like him to be the last one to arrive. I wander what's keepinghim.

QUEEN MARGARET

Can you not see? Or will ye not observe The strangeness of his alter'd countenance? With what a majesty he bears himself, How insolent of late he is become, How proud, how peremptory, and unlike himself? We know the time since he was mild and affable, And if we did but glance a far-off look, Immediately he was upon his knee, That all the court admired him for submission: But meet him now, and, be it in the morn, When every one will give the time of day, He knits his brow and shows an angry eye, And passeth by with stiff unbowed knee, Disdaining duty that to us belongs. Small curs are not regarded when they grin; But great men tremble when the lion roars; And Humphrey is no little man in England. First note that he is near you in descent, And should you fall, he as the next will mount. Me seemeth then it is no policy, Respecting what a rancorous mind he bears And his advantage following your decease, That he should come about your royal person Or be admitted to your highness' council. By flattery hath he won the commons' hearts, And when he please to make commotion, 'Tis to be fear'd they all will follow him. Now 'tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted; Suffer them now, and they'll o'ergrow the garden And choke the herbs for want of husbandry. The reverent care I bear unto my lord Made me collect these dangers in the duke. If it be fond, call it a woman's fear; Which fear if better reasons can supplant, I will subscribe and say I wrong'd the duke. My Lord of Suffolk, Buckingham, and York, Reprove my allegation, if you can; Or else conclude my words effectual.

QUEEN MARGARET

Can't you see? Or will you not see how strangely he's behaving? How he walks like a king, how arrogant he's become lately, how proud, how bossy he is now—unlike he how he was before? We remember the time when he was mild and kind, and if we only looked at him unkindly once, he was on his knee immediately. All the court admired his humility. But if you met him now in the morning, when everyone usually greets one another, he frowns and looks at you angrily and walks by you, without bending his knee as he used to. He doesn't show us the respect we deserve. Small dogs are not noticed when they show their teeth, but great men are afraid when the lion roars. And Humphrey is not a little man in England. Notice that he's next in line to the throne, and if you fall, he will rise. It seems imprudent to me, considering how bitter he is and that he stands to gain from anything bad happening to you, that you let him come and see you in person and sit on your highness' council. He won the people's hearts by flattering them, and if he wants to start a rebellion, I'm afraid they'll all join him. Now it's the spring, and the weeds are easily pulled up. But if you let them grow, they'll cover the whole garden and choke the plants, for lack of good gardening. My love and concern for you, my husband, makes me point out that the duke is dangerous. If you think it's foolish, call it a woman's fear. If better logic can prove that I was wrong to be afraid, I will give in and say that I was wrong about the duke. My Lords of Suffolk, Buckingham, and York, disprove my accusation, if you can, or otherwise say that my words are true. 

SUFFOLK

Well hath your highness seen into this duke; And, had I first been put to speak my mind, I think I should have told your grace's tale. The duchess, by his subornation, Upon my life, began her devilish practises: Or, if he were not privy to those faults, Yet, by reputing of his high descent, As next the king he was successive heir, And such high vaunts of his nobility, Did instigate the bedlam brain-sick duchess By wicked means to frame our sovereign's fall. Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep; And in his simple show he harbours treason. The fox barks not when he would steal the lamb. No, no, my sovereign; Gloucester is a man Unsounded yet and full of deep deceit.

SUFFOLK

Your highness is right to notice these things about the duke. And if the king had asked me first to say what I think, I would have said the same. The duchess, encouraged by him, plotted to murder me. Even if he isn't aware of those faults, by boasting of his nobility and high position as heir to the king, he provoked the insane and foolish duchess to plot the death of our king with her wicked ways. The water flows smoothly when the river is deep, and in his innocent appearance he is hiding his treason. The fox doesn't bark when it's about to steal the lamb. No, no, my king, you don't know what Gloucester is capable of; he's full of deceit. 

CARDINAL

Did he not, contrary to form of law,Devise strange deaths for small offences done?

CARDINAL

Didn't he condemn some people to death for petty crimes, going outside the law?

YORK

And did he not, in his protectorship, Levy great sums of money through the realm For soldiers' pay in France, and never sent it? By means whereof the towns each day revolted.

YORK

And didn't he, during his protectorship, raise taxes throughout the country to pay our soldiers in France, but never sent it there? And the towns rose up in rebellion as a result.

BUCKINGHAM

Tut, these are petty faults to faults unknown.Which time will bring to light in smoothDuke Humphrey.

BUCKINGHAM

Oh please, these are only small crimes compared to the crimes we don't now about. But time will bring those to light, to show the truth about the apparently amiable Duke Humphrey. 

KING HENRY VI

My lords, at once: the care you have of us, To mow down thorns that would annoy our foot, Is worthy praise: but, shall I speak my conscience, Our kinsman Gloucester is as innocent From meaning treason to our royal person As is the sucking lamb or harmless dove: The duke is virtuous, mild and too well given To dream on evil or to work my downfall.

KING HENRY VI

My lords, once and for all: we appreciate your concern and eagerness to cut down thorns that would injure our feet. But I'll say what I think. Our uncle Gloucester is as innocent of treasonous behavior to the crown as the sucking lamb or the harmless dove. The duke is virtuous, kind, and too loyal to dream of doing evil or to plan my downfall. 

QUEEN MARGARET

Ah, what's more dangerous than this fond affiance! Seems he a dove? His feathers are but borrowed, For he's disposed as the hateful raven: Is he a lamb? His skin is surely lent him, For he's inclined as is the ravenous wolf. Who cannot steal a shape that means deceit? Take heed, my lord; the welfare of us all Hangs on the cutting short that fraudful man.

QUEEN MARGARET

Ah, what's more dangerous than this misguided trust? Does he seem like a dove? His feathers are only borrowed, then, because he's a hateful raven. Is he a lamb? Then surely he's borrowed another skin, because he's a hungry wolf. Who can't put on a disguise in order to deceive? Be careful, my lord; the well-being of us all depends on the cutting short of that treacherous man. 

Enter SOMERSET

SOMERSET

All health unto my gracious sovereign!

SOMERSET

I wish all health to my gracious king!

KING HENRY VI

Welcome, Lord Somerset. What news from France?

KING HENRY VI

Welcome, Lord Somerset. What's the news from France?

SOMERSET

That all your interest in those territoriesIs utterly bereft you; all is lost.

SOMERSET

That you have lost all your legal claim in those territories. 

KING HENRY VI

Cold news, Lord Somerset: but God's will be done!

KING HENRY VI

Sad news, Lord Somerset. But God's will be done!

YORK

[Aside] Cold news for me; for I had hope of France As firmly as I hope for fertile England. Thus are my blossoms blasted in the bud And caterpillars eat my leaves away; But I will remedy this gear ere long, Or sell my title for a glorious grave.

YORK

[To himself] This news isn't good for me either, since I had hoped to rule France as I hope to rule England. My flowers are torn apart as buds and caterpillars eat my leaves away. But I will fix this situation before it's too late, or sell my title for a glorious grave. 

Enter GLOUCESTER

GLOUCESTER

All happiness unto my lord the king!Pardon, my liege, that I have stay'd so long.

GLOUCESTER

Happiness to my lord the king! I am sorry, my lord, that I have been absent for so long. 

SUFFOLK

Nay, Gloucester, know that thou art come too soon,Unless thou wert more loyal than thou art:I do arrest thee of high treason here.

SUFFOLK

No, Gloucester, you have come too soon, unless you were more loyal than you are. I arrest you for high treason here.

GLOUCESTER

Well, Suffolk, thou shalt not see me blush Nor change my countenance for this arrest: A heart unspotted is not easily daunted. The purest spring is not so free from mud As I am clear from treason to my sovereign: Who can accuse me? Wherein am I guilty?

GLOUCESTER

Well, Suffolk, you won't see me blush nor change my expression in response to this arrest. A heart as free of crime as mine is not easily frightened. The purest spring is not so free from mud as I am clear from treason to my king. Who can accuse me? What am I guilty of?

YORK

'Tis thought, my lord, that you took bribes of France,And, being protector, stayed the soldiers' pay;By means whereof his highness hath lost France.

YORK

It's thought, my lord, that you took bribes from France, and as protector withheld the soldiers' pay, and due to that his highness has lost France.

GLOUCESTER

Is it but thought so? What are they that think it? I never robb'd the soldiers of their pay, Nor ever had one penny bribe from France. So help me God, as I have watch'd the night, Ay, night by night, in studying good for England, That doit that e'er I wrested from the king, Or any groat I hoarded to my use, Be brought against me at my trial-day! No; many a pound of mine own proper store, Because I would not tax the needy commons, Have I disbursed to the garrisons, And never ask'd for restitution.

GLOUCESTER

Is it only thought that I did this? Who thinks it then? I never robbed the soldiers of their pay, nor have I ever taken one penny in bribes from France. So God help me, I've stayed awake night by night, thinking how I can do good for England. Let that coin that I got unfairly from the king, or any other coin that I have taken for my own use, be brought to court on the day of my trial! No, I have paid out many pounds from my own personal wealth to the army, because I didn't want to tax the needy poor. And I've never asked for compensation. 

CARDINAL

It serves you well, my lord, to say so much.

CARDINAL

It serves you well, my lord, to say as much.

GLOUCESTER

I say no more than truth, so help me God!

GLOUCESTER

I say no more than truth, so God help me!

YORK

In your protectorship you did deviseStrange tortures for offenders never heard of,That England was defamed by tyranny.

YORK

You came up with illegal tortures that were never heard of before for criminals during your protectorship, so that England became infamous for tyranny.

GLOUCESTER

Why, 'tis well known that, whiles I was protector, Pity was all the fault that was in me; For I should melt at an offender's tears, And lowly words were ransom for their fault. Unless it were a bloody murderer, Or foul felonious thief that fleeced poor passengers, I never gave them condign punishment: Murder indeed, that bloody sin, I tortured Above the felon or what trespass else.

GLOUCESTER

It's well known that while I was protector, my only fault was pity and that I would be weakened by a criminal's tears, thinking that humble words of penance were payment enough for their crime. Unless it were a bloody murderer, or a wicked thief that robbed poor travelers, I never gave them appropriate punishment. Although indeed I did punish murder, that bloody sin, even more severely than other offences.

SUFFOLK

My lord, these faults are easy, quickly answered: But mightier crimes are laid unto your charge, Whereof you cannot easily purge yourself. I do arrest you in his highness' name; And here commit you to my lord cardinal To keep, until your further time of trial.

SUFFOLK

My lord, these accusations are small and they can be quickly answered. But there are bigger crimes that you are accused of, and you can't excuse yourself from those so easily. I arrest you in his highness' name, and make the lord cardinal your jailer until your trial.

KING HENRY VI

My lord of Gloucester, 'tis my special hopeThat you will clear yourself from all suspect:My conscience tells me you are innocent.

KING HENRY VI

My lord Gloucester, I do hope that you will clear yourself from all this suspicion. My conscience tells me you are innocent. 

GLOUCESTER

Ah, gracious lord, these days are dangerous: Virtue is choked with foul ambition And charity chased hence by rancour's hand; Foul subornation is predominant And equity exiled your highness' land. I know their complot is to have my life, And if my death might make this island happy, And prove the period of their tyranny, I would expend it with all willingness: But mine is made the prologue to their play; For thousands more, that yet suspect no peril, Will not conclude their plotted tragedy. Beaufort's red sparkling eyes blab his heart's malice, And Suffolk's cloudy brow his stormy hate; Sharp Buckingham unburthens with his tongue The envious load that lies upon his heart; And dogged York, that reaches at the moon, Whose overweening arm I have pluck'd back, By false accuse doth level at my life: And you, my sovereign lady, with the rest, Causeless have laid disgraces on my head, And with your best endeavour have stirr'd up My liefest liege to be mine enemy: Ay, all you have laid your heads together— Myself had notice of your conventicles— And all to make away my guiltless life. I shall not want false witness to condemn me, Nor store of treasons to augment my guilt; The ancient proverb will be well effected: 'A staff is quickly found to beat a dog.'

GLOUCESTER

Ah, gracious lord, these are dangerous days. Virtue is choked by evil ambition and charity is pursued by jealousy. Filthy bribery is common practice and justice is exiled from your highness' land. I know their plot is to take my life, and if my death can make this island happy, and mean the end of their tyranny, I would pay the price of my death willingly. But my death would only be a prologue to their play, since thousands more, that don't expect it yet, won't put an end to this tragedy. Beaufort's red sparkling eyes reveal the evil of his heart, and Suffolk's frowns show his hate; merciless Buckingham reveals the malice he feels in his heart with his sharp words; and stubborn York, that reaches for the moon, whose overreaching arm I have pulled back, wants to kill me with these false accusations. And you, my queen, have joined with them to accuse me of dishonorable behavior for no reason, and have done your best to turn my dearest king against me. And all of you have put your heads together—I have noticed your secret meetings—to end my guiltless life. I know I won't lack false witnesses to condemn me, nor an abundance of supposed "treasons" to make me look guilty. The ancient proverb fits well here: "It is easy to find a stick to beat a dog."

CARDINAL

My liege, his railing is intolerable: If those that care to keep your royal person From treason's secret knife and traitors' rage Be thus upbraided, chid and rated at, And the offender granted scope of speech, 'Twill make them cool in zeal unto your grace.

CARDINAL

My lord, his ranting is intolerable. If those that are trying to save your royal life from treason and murder can be criticized, rebuked and berated this way, and the offender given free opportunity to say such things, it will make them less likely to have so much care for you.

SUFFOLK

Hath he not twit our sovereign lady here With ignominious words, though clerkly couch'd, As if she had suborned some to swear False allegations to o'erthrow his state?

SUFFOLK

Hasn't he insulted our queen with humiliating words (although they were skillfully expressed), as if she had bribed some of us to falsely accuse him in order to bring him down?

QUEEN MARGARET

But I can give the loser leave to chide.

QUEEN MARGARET

But I can let the loser insult me all he likes.

GLOUCESTER

Far truer spoke than meant: I lose, indeed;Beshrew the winners, for they play'd me false!And well such losers may have leave to speak.

GLOUCESTER

That's more truthful than you meant! I lose, indeed; curse the winners because they have played me falsely! And so the losers can speak. 

BUCKINGHAM

He'll wrest the sense and hold us here all day:Lord cardinal, he is your prisoner.

BUCKINGHAM

He'll twist the meaning and keep us here all day. Lord cardinal, he is your prisoner.

CARDINAL

Sirs, take away the duke, and guard him sure.

CARDINAL

Sirs, take away the duke and make sure he's guarded well. 

GLOUCESTER

Ah! Thus King Henry throws away his crutch Before his legs be firm to bear his body. Thus is the shepherd beaten from thy side, And wolves are gnarling who shall gnaw thee first. Ah, that my fear were false! Ah, that it were! For, good King Henry, thy decay I fear.

GLOUCESTER

Ah! And so King Henry throws away his crutch before his legs are strong enough to hold his body up. So the shepherd is beaten from your side, and wolves are growling over who will eat you first. Ah, I wish that my fear was wrong! Ah, if only it were! I am afraid, good King Henry, that your downfall will come soon!

Exit, guarded

KING HENRY VI

My lords, what to your wisdoms seemeth best,Do or undo, as if ourself were here.

KING HENRY VI

My lords, do or undo whatever you think best, as if I were here.

QUEEN MARGARET

What, will your highness leave the parliament?

QUEEN MARGARET

What? Will your highness leave the parliament?

KING HENRY VI


Ay, Margaret; my heart is drown'd with grief,
Whose flood begins to flow within mine eyes,
My body round engirt with misery,
For what's more miserable than discontent?
Ah, uncle Humphrey! In thy face I see
The map of honour, truth and loyalty:
And yet, good Humphrey, is the hour to come
That e'er I proved thee false or fear'd thy faith.
What louring star now envies thy estate,
That these great lords and Margaret our queen
Do seek subversion of thy harmless life?
Thou never didst them wrong, nor no man wrong;
And as the butcher takes away the calf
And binds the wretch, and beats it when it strays,
Bearing it to the bloody slaughter-house,
Even so remorseless have they borne him hence;
And as the dam runs lowing up and down,
Looking the way her harmless young one went,
And can do nought but wail her darling's loss,
Even so myself bewails good Gloucester's case
With sad unhelpful tears, and with dimm'd eyes
Look after him and cannot do him good,
So mighty are his vowed enemies.
His fortunes I will weep; and, 'twixt each groan
Say 'Who's a traitor? Gloucester he is none.'

KING HENRY VI

Yes, Margaret. My heart is drowned with grief. Its flood begins to flow in my eyes and my body is encircled with misery. What's more miserable than unhappiness? Ah, uncle Humphrey! I see the image of honor, truth and loyalty in your face. And good Humphrey, the time has not yet come when I ever found you disloyal or was worried about your faith. What angry star now envies your position, that these great lords and our queen Margaret want the destruction of your harmless life? You never wronged them, nor wronged any man. And just like the butcher takes away the calf and binds the poor thing, beating it when it tries to get away and taking it to the bloody slaughter-house, so they have taken him here without pity. And just as the mother runs up and down, looking for where her harmless young one went, and can do nothing but cry after losing her, so I cry at the case of the good Gloucester with sad unhelpful tears, looking after him with blurred eyes. I look after him, but I can't help him because my sworn enemies are so powerful. I will cry at his fortunes and in between each groan, I will say :"Who's a traitor? Not Gloucester."

Exeunt all but QUEEN MARGARET, CARDINAL, SUFFOLK, and YORK; SOMERSET remains apart

QUEEN MARGARET

Free lords, cold snow melts with the sun's hot beams. Henry my lord is cold in great affairs, Too full of foolish pity, and Gloucester's show Beguiles him as the mournful crocodile With sorrow snares relenting passengers, Or as the snake roll'd in a flowering bank, With shining chequer'd slough, doth sting a child That for the beauty thinks it excellent. Believe me, lords, were none more wise than I— And yet herein I judge mine own wit good— This Gloucester should be quickly rid the world, To rid us of the fear we have of him.

QUEEN MARGARET

Noble lords, cold snow melts with the sun's hot rays. My husband Henry knows nothing about politics. He is full of foolish pity, and Gloucester's false appearance deceives him like the mournful crocodile entices pitying passengers with sorrow, or like the snake in the grass stings a child who likes his shining skin—and thinks that because it's beautiful it's safe to touch. Believe me, lords, if any of you are wiser than me—and yet I judge that my own intellect is good—this Gloucester should quickly depart this life, to rid us of the fear we have of him. 

CARDINAL

That he should die is worthy policy;But yet we want a colour for his death:'Tis meet he be condemn'd by course of law.

CARDINAL

His death is good politics. But we still need an excuse for his death. If it's appropriate, he will be condemned by law.

SUFFOLK

But, in my mind, that were no policy: The king will labour still to save his life, The commons haply rise, to save his life; And yet we have but trivial argument, More than mistrust, that shows him worthy death.

SUFFOLK

But I think that no matter what clever strategy we come up with, the king will continually try to save his life and the people may perhaps rebel to save him. And anyway, we only have some scant evidence besides our suspicions to show that he should die.

YORK

So that, by this, you would not have him die.

YORK

So based on what you just said, you'd rather not have him die.

SUFFOLK

Ah, York, no man alive so fain as I!

SUFFOLK

Ah, York, there is no man alive so eager to see him dead! 

YORK

'Tis York that hath more reason for his death. But, my lord cardinal, and you, my Lord of Suffolk, Say as you think, and speak it from your souls, Were't not all one, an empty eagle were set To guard the chicken from a hungry kite, As place Duke Humphrey for the king's protector?

YORK

It's York who has more reasons to want him dead. But, my lord cardinal, and you, my Lord of Suffolk, say what you think and speak it from your souls. Isn't placing Duke Humphrey as the king's protector just as bad as sending a hungry eagle to guard the chicken from a bird of prey? 

QUEEN MARGARET

So the poor chicken should be sure of death.

QUEEN MARGARET

That poor chicken would be sure to die. 

SUFFOLK

Madam, 'tis true; and were't not madness, then, To make the fox surveyor of the fold? Who being accused a crafty murderer, His guilt should be but idly posted over, Because his purpose is not executed. No; let him die, in that he is a fox, By nature proved an enemy to the flock, Before his chaps be stain'd with crimson blood, As Humphrey, proved by reasons, to my liege. And do not stand on quillets how to slay him: Be it by gins, by snares, by subtlety, Sleeping or waking, 'tis no matter how, So he be dead; for that is good deceit Which mates him first that first intends deceit.

SUFFOLK

That's true, madam. And wouldn't it be then mad to make the fox the keeper of the sheep? We've accused him of being a cunning murderer—so should we foolishly let him slip from our grasp, simply because he had yet to kill one of the sheep? No, let him die. Because he's a fox, he is an enemy to the flock by nature, even before his jaws are colored with blood. It's the same with Humphrey, who we've proven is a threat to the king. And do not insist on some crafty scheme to kill him. Let it be by any kind of traps, or by a secret plot, sleeping or awake—it doesn't matter how, as long as he's dead. It's a good trick to catch him first, before he has the chance to trick us.

QUEEN MARGARET

Thrice-noble Suffolk, 'tis resolutely spoke.

QUEEN MARGARET

Three times noble Suffolk, you speak decisively. 

SUFFOLK

Not resolute, except so much were done; For things are often spoke and seldom meant: But that my heart accordeth with my tongue, Seeing the deed is meritorious, And to preserve my sovereign from his foe, Say but the word, and I will be his priest.

SUFFOLK

Not decisively, unless it is actually done. Because things are often said that are not always meant. But to show that my heart believes what I've said—seeing that the deed is worthy, and that I do it to save my king from his enemy—say the word and I will kill him

CARDINAL

But I would have him dead, my Lord of Suffolk, Ere you can take due orders for a priest: Say you consent and censure well the deed, And I'll provide his executioner, I tender so the safety of my liege.

CARDINAL

But I'd want him dead, my Lord of Suffolk, before you have time to arrange a priest to be there. Say that you agree and approve the act, and I'll provide his executioner, since I hold the safety of my king so dear.

SUFFOLK

Here is my hand, the deed is worthy doing.

SUFFOLK

Here's my hand. This is a good deed.

QUEEN MARGARET

And so say I.

QUEEN MARGARET

I agree.

YORK

And I and now we three have spoke it,It skills not greatly who impugns our doom.

YORK

And now that the three of us agree, it doesn't matter who questions our judgement. 

Enter a Post

POST

Great lords, from Ireland am I come amain, To signify that rebels there are up And put the Englishmen unto the sword: Send succors, lords, and stop the rage betime, Before the wound do grow uncurable; For, being green, there is great hope of help.

POST

Great lords, I have come quickly from Ireland to report that the rebels are up in arms and have started fighting the Englishmen. Send assistance, lords and stop the rebellion at an early stage, before the wound becomes impossible to heal. Since it's a new injury, there's still hope of help.

CARDINAL

A breach that craves a quick expedient stop!What counsel give you in this weighty cause?

CARDINAL

A rebellion that needs to be stopped quickly! [To YORK] What advice do you give in this pressing matter? 

YORK

That Somerset be sent as regent thither:'Tis meet that lucky ruler be employ'd;Witness the fortune he hath had in France.

YORK

That Somerset should be sent there as a regent. It's appropriate that we send a"lucky" ruler, since his luck in France has been so great so far.

SOMERSET

If York, with all his far-fet policy,Had been the regent there instead of me,He never would have stay'd in France so long.

SOMERSET

If York, with all his incompetent policies, had been the regent there instead of me, he would have never stayed in France so long.

YORK

No, not to lose it all, as thou hast done: I rather would have lost my life betimes Than bring a burthen of dishonour home By staying there so long till all were lost. Show me one scar character'd on thy skin: Men's flesh preserved so whole do seldom win.

YORK

No, and I wouldn't have lost it all, as you have done. I would have rather lost my life before bringing a burden of dishonor home by staying there so long until it was all lost. Show me one scar on your skin! Men without battle scars don't tend to win very often.

QUEEN MARGARET

Nay, then, this spark will prove a raging fire, If wind and fuel be brought to feed it with: No more, good York; sweet Somerset, be still: Thy fortune, York, hadst thou been regent there,Might happily have proved far worse than his.

QUEEN MARGARET

No, this spark will ignite into a raging fire if we feed it with wind and fuel. No more, good York; sweet Somerset, be calm. If you had been there, York, you luck might have perhaps been worse than his.

YORK

What, worse than nought? Nay, then, a shame take all!

YORK

What do you mean? Worse than nothing? No, then we would have all died of shame!

SOMERSET

And, in the number, thee that wishest shame!

SOMERSET

And you with them all, since you brought shame on yourself! 

CARDINAL

My Lord of York, try what your fortune is. The uncivil kerns of Ireland are in arms And temper clay with blood of Englishmen: To Ireland will you lead a band of men, Collected choicely, from each county some, And try your hap against the Irishmen?

CARDINAL

My lord of York, put your luck to the test. The rebellious Irish soldiers are ready to fight and they're killing Englishmen. Will you lead a carefully selected group of men (some from each county) to Ireland and try your luck against the Irishmen?

YORK

I will, my lord, so please his majesty.

YORK

I will, my lord, if his majesty gives permission. 

SUFFOLK

Why, our authority is his consent,And what we do establish he confirms:Then, noble York, take thou this task in hand.

SUFFOLK

Well, we'll give permission for him; what we order, he confirms. Then, noble York, carry out this task. 

YORK

I am content: provide me soldiers, lords,Whiles I take order for mine own affairs.

YORK

I am happy with it. Provide me soldiers, lords, while I put my own affairs in order.

SUFFOLK

A charge, Lord York, that I will see perform'd.But now return we to the false Duke Humphrey.

SUFFOLK

That's a task that I will take care of, Lord York. But now let's come back to the false Duke Humphrey. 

CARDINAL

No more of him; for I will deal with him That henceforth he shall trouble us no more. And so break off; the day is almost spent: Lord Suffolk, you and I must talk of that event.

CARDINAL

No more about him. I will deal with him so that he won't trouble us from now on. And so let's go our separate ways, since the day is almost over. Lord Suffolk, you and I must talk about that event.

YORK

My Lord of Suffolk, within fourteen daysAt Bristol I expect my soldiers;For there I'll ship them all for Ireland.

YORK

My Lord of Suffolk, within fourteen days I'll expect my soldiers at Bristol. From there I'll ship them all to Ireland. 

SUFFOLK

I'll see it truly done, my Lord of York.

SUFFOLK

I'll see that it's all arranged, my Lord of York.

Exeunt all but YORK

YORK

Now, York, or never, steel thy fearful thoughts, And change misdoubt to resolution: Be that thou hopest to be, or what thou art Resign to death; it is not worth the enjoying: Let pale-faced fear keep with the mean-born man, And find no harbour in a royal heart. Faster than spring-time showers comes thought on thought, And not a thought but thinks on dignity. My brain more busy than the labouring spider Weaves tedious snares to trap mine enemies. Well, nobles, well, 'tis politicly done, To send me packing with an host of men: I fear me you but warm the starved snake, Who, cherish'd in your breasts, will sting your hearts. 'Twas men I lack'd and you will give them me: I take it kindly; and yet be well assured You put sharp weapons in a madman's hands. Whiles I in Ireland nourish a mighty band, I will stir up in England some black storm Shall blow ten thousand souls to heaven or hell; And this fell tempest shall not cease to rage Until the golden circuit on my head, Like to the glorious sun's transparent beams, Do calm the fury of this mad-bred flaw. And, for a minister of my intent, I have seduced a headstrong Kentishman, John Cade of Ashford, To make commotion, as full well he can, Under the title of John Mortimer. In Ireland have I seen this stubborn Cade Oppose himself against a troop of kerns, And fought so long, till that his thighs with darts Were almost like a sharp-quill'd porpentine; And, in the end being rescued, I have seen Him caper upright like a wild Morisco, Shaking the bloody darts as he his bells. Full often, like a shag-hair'd crafty kern, Hath he conversed with the enemy, And undiscover'd come to me again And given me notice of their villanies. This devil here shall be my substitute; For that John Mortimer, which now is dead, In face, in gait, in speech, he doth resemble: By this I shall perceive the commons' mind, How they affect the house and claim of York. Say he be taken, rack'd and tortured, I know no pain they can inflict upon him Will make him say I moved him to those arms. Say that he thrive, as 'tis great like he will, Why, then from Ireland come I with my strength And reap the harvest which that rascal sow'd; For Humphrey being dead, as he shall be, And Henry put apart, the next for me.

YORK

Now or never, York. Gather your fearful thoughts, and exchange uncertainty for determination. Be that which you hope to be, or die trying, since life is worth nothing without it. Low-born men are afraid; don't let fear find shelter in a royal heart. Thoughts come my way faster than spring-time showers , and there is not a thought which doesn't relate to kingship. My brain is busier than the hard-working spider that weaves laborious snares to trap his enemies. Well, nobles, well, it's strategically done—to send me away with an army. I am afraid that you are only keeping your enemies too close, like a hungry snake that you warm with embraces until it stings you on the heart. I needed soldiers and you will give them to me. I take them kindly—and yet know that you've put sharp weapons in a madman's hands. While I build up a mighty army in Ireland, I'll also start some black storm in England which will blow ten thousand souls to heaven or hell. And this cruel tempest won't stop raging until the crown on my head—like the transparent beams of the golden sun—come out and calm the anger of this mad storm. To work on my behalf, I have persuaded a headstrong Kentishman, John Cade of Ashford, to rouse a rebellion, as well as he can, to fight for the title of John Mortimer. I saw this stubborn Cade in Ireland as he stood against a group of Irish soldiers. He fought for so long, until his thighs were almost pierced by arrows. And as he was rescued in the end, I saw him nimbly dancing like a wild Morisco, shaking the bloody arrows as if they were bells. He often spied on the enemy, pretending to be a wild-haired cunning Irish soldier, and he came back to me undiscovered and gave me information on their plans. That devil will be my substitute. Since John Mortimer is now dead, he looks like him in face, bearing and in speech. By this I'll bring the common people over to my side, so that they support the house of York and my claim to the throne. Even if he's arrested and tortured, I know that no pain they can inflict upon him will make him say that I persuaded him to start the rebellion. Let's say that he's successful, as it's very likely that he will be. Then I'll come back from Ireland with my army, and reap the harvest that the rogue has sown. Then Humphrey will be dead, and Henry put aside, and I'll be next in line.

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.