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Henry VI, Part 2

Henry VI, Part 2 Translation Act 3, Scene 2

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Enter certain Murderers, hastily

FIRST MURDERER

Run to my Lord of Suffolk; let him knowWe have dispatch'd the duke, as he commanded.

FIRST MURDERER

Run to my Lord of Suffolk and let him know that we have killed the duke like he ordered us to.

SECOND MURDERER

O that it were to do! What have we done?Didst ever hear a man so penitent?

SECOND MURDERER

Oh, what a thing it was for us to do! What have we done? Have you ever heard of a man so religious as the duke?

Enter SUFFOLK

FIRST MURDER

Here comes my lord.

FIRST MURDER

Here comes my lord.

SUFFOLK

Now, sirs, have you dispatch'd this thing?

SUFFOLK

Have you done the thing, sirs?

FIRST MURDERER

Ay, my good lord, he's dead.

FIRST MURDERER

Yes, my good lord. He's dead.

SUFFOLK

Why, that's well said. Go, get you to my house; I will reward you for this venturous deed. The king and all the peers are here at hand. Have you laid fair the bed? Is all things well, According as I gave directions?

SUFFOLK

That's good. Now go to my house and I will reward you for this risky task. The king and all his people are here near him. Have you tidied up the bed? Was everything done according to my instructions? 

FIRST MURDERER

'Tis, my good lord.

FIRST MURDERER

It was, my good lord.

SUFFOLK

Away! Be gone.

SUFFOLK

Go then! 

Exeunt Murderers

Sound trumpets. Enter KING HENRY VI, QUEEN MARGARET, CARDINAL, SOMERSET, with Attendants

KING HENRY VI

Go, call our uncle to our presence straight;Say we intend to try his grace to-day.If he be guilty, as 'tis published.

KING HENRY VI

Go and order our uncle to come here straight away. Tell him that we are planning to question him today and find out whether he is guilty, as he was accused. 

SUFFOLK

I'll call him presently, my noble lord.

SUFFOLK

I'll call him at once, my noble lord.

Exit

KING HENRY VI

Lords, take your places; and, I pray you all, Proceed no straiter 'gainst our uncle Gloucester Than from true evidence of good esteem He be approved in practise culpable.

KING HENRY VI

Lords, take your places. I ask you all: don't deal more harshly with our uncle Gloucester than he is proven guilty by good and solid evidence. 

QUEEN MARGARET

God forbid any malice should prevail,That faultless may condemn a nobleman!Pray God he may acquit him of suspicion!

QUEEN MARGARET

God forbid that such a bad thing should happen—that a guiltless nobleman would be condemned! Pray God that he may pronounce him not guilty!

KING HENRY VI

I thank thee, Meg; these words content me much.

KING HENRY VI

Thank you, Meg. Your words make me very happy.

Re-enter SUFFOLK

KING HENRY VI

How now! Why look'st thou pale? Why tremblest thou?Where is our uncle? What's the matter, Suffolk?

KING HENRY VI

What's this? Why do you look pale? Why are you shaking? Where is our uncle? What's the matter, Suffolk?

SUFFOLK

Dead in his bed, my lord; Gloucester is dead.

SUFFOLK

He is dead in his bed, my lord. Gloucester is dead.

QUEEN MARGARET

Marry, God forfend!

QUEEN MARGARET

Oh, no, God forbid it!

CARDINAL

God's secret judgment: I did dream to-nightThe duke was dumb and could not speak a word.

CARDINAL

It's God's secret judgement. I dreamed last night that the duke was numb and couldn't speak a word.

KING HENRY VI swoons

QUEEN MARGARET

How fares my lord? Help, lords! The king is dead.

QUEEN MARGARET

How is my lord? Help, lords! The king is dead.

SOMERSET

Rear up his body; wring him by the nose.

SOMERSET

Support his body, squeeze his nose

QUEEN MARGARET

Run, go, help, help! O Henry, ope thine eyes!

QUEEN MARGARET

Run, go and get help! Oh, Henry, open your eyes!

SUFFOLK

He doth revive again: madam, be patient.

SUFFOLK

He is waking up. Madam, be patient.

KING HENRY VI

O heavenly God!

KING HENRY VI

Oh, heavenly God!

QUEEN MARGARET

How fares my gracious lord?

QUEEN MARGARET

How is my gracious lord?

SUFFOLK

Comfort, my sovereign! Gracious Henry, comfort!

SUFFOLK

Be calm, my king! Gracious Henry, be calm!

KING HENRY VI

What, doth my Lord of Suffolk comfort me? Came he right now to sing a raven's note, Whose dismal tune bereft my vital powers; And thinks he that the chirping of a wren, By crying comfort from a hollow breast, Can chase away the first-conceived sound? Hide not thy poison with such sugar'd words; Lay not thy hands on me; forbear, I say; Their touch affrights me as a serpent's sting. Thou baleful messenger, out of my sight! Upon thy eye-balls murderous tyranny Sits in grim majesty, to fright the world. Look not upon me, for thine eyes are wounding: Yet do not go away: come, basilisk, And kill the innocent gazer with thy sight; For in the shade of death I shall find joy; In life but double death, now Gloucester's dead.

KING HENRY VI

Why is Lord Suffolk comforting me? Didn't he come just now to announce this horrible message, whose deadly sound robbed me of my strength, and does he think that the singing of a bird can chase away the original horrible sound, by crying words of comfort from a chest with no heart? Don't hide your poison with such sweet words. Don't touch me—stop it, I said! Your touch frightens me like a snake's sting. You deadly messenger, get out of my sight! Murderous cruelty is hiding in your eyes; it sits in dreadful majesty, to frighten the whole world. Don't look at me, because your eyes hurt. But don't go away either. Come, basilisk, and kill the innocent onlooker with your sight. I'll find joy in the shade of death. In life, I'll only find double death, now that Gloucester is dead.

QUEEN MARGARET

Why do you rate my Lord of Suffolk thus? Although the duke was enemy to him, Yet he most Christian-like laments his death: And for myself, foe as he was to me, Might liquid tears or heart-offending groans Or blood-consuming sighs recall his life, I would be blind with weeping, sick with groans, Look pale as primrose with blood-drinking sighs, And all to have the noble duke alive. What know I how the world may deem of me? For it is known we were but hollow friends: It may be judged I made the duke away; So shall my name with slander's tongue be wounded, And princes' courts be fill'd with my reproach. This get I by his death: ay me, unhappy! To be a queen, and crown'd with infamy!

QUEEN MARGARET

Why do you treat my Lord Suffolk like this? The duke was his enemy, but he mourns for his death like a true Christian. And as for me—although he was my enemy too—if my tears, heart-wounding groans, and consuming sighs could bring back his life, I would be blind with crying, sick with groans, and look pale as a primrose from sighing, if only it would keep the noble duke alive. What do I know about how the world may judge me? It's well-known that we were not friends. It may be said that I was responsible for killing the duke, and so my name shall be ruined by gossips, and princes' courts will be filled with talk of my disgrace. This is what I get by his death. Yes, unhappy me! To be a queen and to be crowned with such a bad reputation!

KING HENRY VI

Ah, woe is me for Gloucester, wretched man!

KING HENRY VI

Ah, I am so sorry for Gloucester, the wretched man!

QUEEN MARGARET

Be woe for me, more wretched than he is. What, dost thou turn away and hide thy face? I am no loathsome leper; look on me. What! Art thou, like the adder, waxen deaf? Be poisonous too and kill thy forlorn queen. Is all thy comfort shut in Gloucester's tomb? Why, then, dame Margaret was ne'er thy joy. Erect his statue and worship it, And make my image but an alehouse sign. Was I for this nigh wreck'd upon the sea And twice by awkward wind from England's bank Drove back again unto my native clime? What boded this, but well forewarning wind Did seem to say 'Seek not a scorpion's nest, Nor set no footing on this unkind shore'? What did I then, but cursed the gentle gusts And he that loosed them forth their brazen caves: And bid them blow towards England's blessed shore, Or turn our stern upon a dreadful rock Yet AEolus would not be a murderer, But left that hateful office unto thee: The pretty-vaulting sea refused to drown me, Knowing that thou wouldst have me drown'd on shore, With tears as salt as sea, through thy unkindness: The splitting rocks cower'd in the sinking sands And would not dash me with their ragged sides, Because thy flinty heart, more hard than they, Might in thy palace perish Margaret. As far as I could ken thy chalky cliffs, When from thy shore the tempest beat us back, I stood upon the hatches in the storm, And when the dusky sky began to rob My earnest-gaping sight of thy land's view, I took a costly jewel from my neck, A heart it was, bound in with diamonds, And threw it towards thy land: the sea received it, And so I wish'd thy body might my heart: And even with this I lost fair England's view And bid mine eyes be packing with my heart And call'd them blind and dusky spectacles, For losing ken of Albion's wished coast. How often have I tempted Suffolk's tongue, The agent of thy foul inconstancy, To sit and witch me, as Ascanius did When he to madding Dido would unfold His father's acts commenced in burning Troy! Am I not witch'd like her? Or thou not false like him? Ay me, I can no more! Die, Margaret! For Henry weeps that thou dost live so long.

QUEEN MARGARET

But I am sorry for myself, because I am more wretched than he is. What? Do you turn away and hide your face? I am no hateful disease, look at me! Are you like the adder—deaf? Then be poisonous too and kill your neglected queen. Do you only care about Gloucester now? Well, then, you never loved Margaret. Put up his statue and worship it, and make my image only into a pub sign. Did I travel across the sea—and was twice by harsh winds driven back from England's shore to my native country—for this? Who could have predicted this, apart from the warning wind that seemed to have said: "Don't go into the scorpion's nest, or set a food on this hostile land?" What did I do then but curse the kindly winds and he that sent them from their strong caves, urging them to blow towards England's shores, or change the direction towards the dreadful rock. Yet since Aeolus wouldn't be a murderer, he left that hateful job to you. The clever leaping sea refused to drown me, knowing that you would have drowned me on the shore anyway—with tears as salty as the sea, through your unkindness. The jagged rocks covered by the sands would not dash me with their sharp edges, so that your merciless heart, harder than the rocks, might destroy Margaret in your palace. When the storm kept us back from shore, I stood on the deck in the storm and looked at your chalky cliffs, and when the dark sky prevented me from eagerly looking at the view of your land, I took an expensive jewel from my neck (it was a heart surrounded by diamonds) and threw it towards your land. The sea took it and so I wished that you would receive my heart in the same way. And when I lost sight of England, I told my eyes to be gone with my jewel and called them blind and dark spectacles, since they had lost sight of Albion's wished-for coast. How often I tried to persuade Suffolk (since his tongue was the agent of your unfaithful love) to sit with me and bewitch me, as Ascanius did when he would tell the frantic Dido about his father's successes in the battle of Troy! Am I not as bewitched as her? And are you not as disloyal as him? I can do no more. Die, Margaret! Henry's told you that you've lived too long!

Noise within. Enter WARWICK, SALISBURY, and many Commons

WARWICK

It is reported, mighty sovereign, That good Duke Humphrey traitorously is murder'd By Suffolk and the Cardinal Beaufort's means. The commons, like an angry hive of bees That want their leader, scatter up and down And care not who they sting in his revenge. Myself have calm'd their spleenful mutiny, Until they hear the order of his death.

WARWICK

It is rumored that good Duke Humphrey was traitorously murdered by Suffolk and the Cardinal Beaufort, my king. The commoners went wild and didn't care who they hurt in their revenge, like an angry crowd of bees without their leader. I have convinced them to stop their enraged rebellion until they find out who was responsible for his death.

KING HENRY VI

That he is dead, good Warwick, 'tis too true; But how he died God knows, not Henry: Enter his chamber, view his breathless corpse, And comment then upon his sudden death.

KING HENRY VI

It is true that he's dead, good Warwick. But only God knows how he died and not Henry. Go into his room, look at his breathless corpse, and then explain how he died so suddenly.

WARWICK

That shall I do, my liege. Stay, Salisbury,With the rude multitude till I return.

WARWICK

I'll do this, my king. Salisbury, stay here with the ignorant crowd until I come back.

Exit

KING HENRY VI

O Thou that judgest all things, stay my thoughts, My thoughts, that labour to persuade my soul Some violent hands were laid on Humphrey's life! If my suspect be false, forgive me, God, For judgment only doth belong to thee. Fain would I go to chafe his paly lips With twenty thousand kisses, and to drain Upon his face an ocean of salt tears, To tell my love unto his dumb deaf trunk, And with my fingers feel his hand unfeeling: But all in vain are these mean obsequies; And to survey his dead and earthly image, What were it but to make my sorrow greater?

KING HENRY VI

Oh, God, that judges everything, stop my thoughts—my thoughts that try to convince my soul that some violent hands were laid on Humphrey's life! If my suspicion is wrong, God forgive me; my judgement belongs only to you. I'd like to restore warmth to his bloodless lips with twenty thousand kisses, and drown his face with an ocean of salty tears, just so I can show my love to his dumb, deaf body and touch his unfeeling hand with my fingers. But these meager funeral rites are not worth anything. And wouldn't it make my sorrow worse if I were to go look at his dead body? 

Re-enter WARWICK and others, bearing GLOUCESTER'S body on a bed

WARWICK

Come hither, gracious sovereign, view this body.

WARWICK

Come closer, gracious king and look at his body.

KING HENRY VI

That is to see how deep my grave is made;For with his soul fled all my worldly solace,For seeing him I see my life in death.

KING HENRY VI

To come closer is to see how deep my grave has been made. When his soul left this earth, so did all my happiness here. I see an image of my own death by seeing him. 

WARWICK

As surely as my soul intends to live With that dread King that took our state upon him To free us from his father's wrathful curse, I do believe that violent hands were laid Upon the life of this thrice-famed duke.

WARWICK

I believe that this famous duke was violently murdered, as surely as my soul plans to carry on living with that awe-inspiring King who took our sin on himself to free us from his father's angry curse.

SUFFOLK

A dreadful oath, sworn with a solemn tongue!What instance gives Lord Warwick for his vow?

SUFFOLK

That was a dreadful oath sworn in a serious tone. What evidence does Lord Warwick give for his vow?

WARWICK

See how the blood is settled in his face. Oft have I seen a timely-parted ghost, Of ashy semblance, meagre, pale and bloodless, Being all descended to the labouring heart; Who, in the conflict that it holds with death, Attracts the same for aidance 'gainst the enemy; Which with the heart there cools and ne'er returneth To blush and beautify the cheek again. But see, his face is black and full of blood, His eye-balls further out than when he lived, Staring full ghastly like a strangled man; His hair uprear'd, his nostrils stretched with struggling; His hands abroad display'd, as one that grasp'd And tugg'd for life and was by strength subdued: Look, on the sheets his hair you see, is sticking; His well-proportion'd beard made rough and rugged, Like to the summer's corn by tempest lodged. It cannot be but he was murder'd here; The least of all these signs were probable.

WARWICK

See how the blood is not flowing in his face? I've seen a corpse of a person who died naturally and it had an ashy, emaciated, pale and bloodless look, because all the blood had gone to the heart.The heart, threatened by death, attracts all the blood in the body to fight its enemy, and the blood never returns to the cheeks again. But you can see that his face is black and full of blood, his eyeballs are further out than they were when he lived and he's staring alarmingly like a strangled man. His hair is standing on end, his nostrils are stretched as if he were struggling to breathe, and his hands are spread out widely, suggesting that he grasped and fought for his life and was overpowered by force. Look, you can see that his hair is sticking on the sheets; his well-shaped beard is made rough and shaggy, like the summer's corn when it's flattened by a storm. Murder must have happened here. Even the smallest of these signs is sufficient evidence. 

SUFFOLK

Why, Warwick, who should do the duke to death?Myself and Beaufort had him in protection;And we, I hope, sir, are no murderers.

SUFFOLK

Warwick, who would have killed the duke? Beauford and I were responsible for his protection, and I hope that we, sir, are not the murderers. 

WARWICK

But both of you were vow'd Duke Humphrey's foes, And you, forsooth, had the good duke to keep: 'Tis like you would not feast him like a friend; And 'tis well seen he found an enemy.

WARWICK

Both of you were Duke Humphrey's sworn enemies. And you also had to guard the good duke. It seems likely you wouldn't have treated him like a friend, and it's obvious that he has met an enemy. 

QUEEN MARGARET

Then you, belike, suspect these noblemenAs guilty of Duke Humphrey's timeless death.

QUEEN MARGARET

Then you perhaps suspect these noblemen are guilty of Duke Humphrey's untimely death.

WARWICK

Who finds the heifer dead and bleeding fresh And sees fast by a butcher with an axe, But will suspect 'twas he that made the slaughter? Who finds the partridge in the puttock's nest, But may imagine how the bird was dead, Although the kite soar with unbloodied beak? Even so suspicious is this tragedy.

WARWICK

Who can find a dead cow freshly bleeding, and see the butcher standing nearby with an ax, and not suspect it was him that killed the cow? Who can find a partridge in the kite's nest, and not assume that was how the bird died, even if the kite flew away with an clean beak? This tragedy is as suspicious as those. 

QUEEN MARGARET

Are you the butcher, Suffolk? Where's your knife?Is Beaufort term'd a kite? Where are his talons?

QUEEN MARGARET

Are you the killer, Suffolk? Where is your knife? Is Beaufort the kite, then? Where are his claws? 

SUFFOLK

I wear no knife to slaughter sleeping men; But here's a vengeful sword, rusted with ease, That shall be scoured in his rancorous heart That slanders me with murder's crimson badge. Say, if thou darest, proud Lord of Warwickshire, That I am faulty in Duke Humphrey's death.

SUFFOLK

I don't carry a knife to murder sleeping men. But here's a vengeful sword, not often used, that will plunge into the jealous heart of the one who sullies my good name with an accusation of murder. Say, if you dare, proud Lord of Warwickshire, that I am guilty of Duke Humphrey's death. 

Exeunt CARDINAL, SOMERSET, and others

WARWICK

What dares not Warwick, if false Suffolk dare him?

WARWICK

What doesn't Warwick dare to do, if false Suffolk dares him?

QUEEN MARGARET

He dares not calm his contumelious spiritNor cease to be an arrogant controller,Though Suffolk dare him twenty thousand times.

QUEEN MARGARET

He doesn't dare to calm his anger, nor stop being an arrogant busybody, although Suffolk dared him twenty thousand times. 

WARWICK

Madam, be still; with reverence may I say;For every word you speak in his behalfIs slander to your royal dignity.

WARWICK

Madam, be calm. With courtesy, I may say that every word you speak on his behalf is an attack to your royal dignity. 

SUFFOLK

Blunt-witted lord, ignoble in demeanor! If ever lady wrong'd her lord so much, Thy mother took into her blameful bed Some stern untutor'd churl, and noble stock Was graft with crab-tree slip; whose fruit thou art, And never of the Nevils' noble race.

SUFFOLK

You are a stupid man and lack manners! If ever a lady did such a thing to her husband, your mother took some coarse ignorant person into her bed. Your noble family tree was joined by cutting a wild apple tree—you're the fruit of that, not of the Nevils' noble race! 

WARWICK

But that the guilt of murder bucklers thee And I should rob the deathsman of his fee, Quitting thee thereby of ten thousand shames, And that my sovereign's presence makes me mild, I would, false murderous coward, on thy knee Make thee beg pardon for thy passed speech, And say it was thy mother that thou meant'st That thou thyself was born in bastardy; And after all this fearful homage done, Give thee thy hire and send thy soul to hell, Pernicious blood-sucker of sleeping men!

WARWICK

If you weren't made brave by your guilt, I would have killed you myself rather than let you be executed for the murder, exonerating you of ten thousand shames. But my king's presence makes me restrain myself. Otherwise I would make you beg for a pardon on your knees for what you said, you false murderous coward! I would make you say that it was your mother that you meant, that you were born a bastard. And after you'd admitted all this, I'd kill you and send your soul to hell, you wicked blood-sucker of sleeping men!  

SUFFOLK

Thou shall be waking well I shed thy blood,If from this presence thou darest go with me.

SUFFOLK

You'll know you're awake when I shed your blood, if you won't go with me from this royal presence. 

WARWICK

Away even now, or I will drag thee hence:Unworthy though thou art, I'll cope with theeAnd do some service to Duke Humphrey's ghost.

WARWICK

Let's go away now or I will drag you away, although you are not worthy. And I'll fight with you and do some favor for Duke Humphrey's ghost. 

Exeunt SUFFOLK and WARWICK

KING HENRY VI

What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just, And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.

KING HENRY VI

An innocent heart is the strongest breastplate! He is armed three times as much if his fight is justified. And the man whose conscience is corrupted with injustice is naked, even if he wears his armor. 

A noise within

QUEEN MARGARET

What noise is this?

QUEEN MARGARET

What's this noise?

Re-enter SUFFOLK and WARWICK, with their weapons drawn

KING HENRY VI

Why, how now, lords! Your wrathful weapons drawnHere in our presence! Dare you be so bold?Why, what tumultuous clamour have we here?

KING HENRY VI

What's this, lords? You draw your weapons out angrily here in our presence? Do you dare to be so bold? What riotous noise did we hear?

SUFFOLK

The traitorous Warwick with the men of BurySet all upon me, mighty sovereign.

SUFFOLK

The traitorous Warwick attached me with the men of Bury, my king.

SALISBURY

[To the Commons, entering] Sirs, stand apart; the king shall know your mind. Dread lord, the commons send you word by me, Unless Lord Suffolk straight be done to death, Or banished fair England's territories, They will by violence tear him from your palace And torture him with grievous lingering death. They say, by him the good Duke Humphrey died; They say, in him they fear your highness' death; And mere instinct of love and loyalty, Free from a stubborn opposite intent, As being thought to contradict your liking, Makes them thus forward in his banishment. They say, in care of your most royal person, That if your highness should intend to sleep And charge that no man should disturb your rest In pain of your dislike or pain of death, Yet, notwithstanding such a strait edict, Were there a serpent seen, with forked tongue, That slily glided towards your majesty, It were but necessary you were waked, Lest, being suffer'd in that harmful slumber, The mortal worm might make the sleep eternal; And therefore do they cry, though you forbid, That they will guard you, whether you will or no, From such fell serpents as false Suffolk is, With whose envenomed and fatal sting, Your loving uncle, twenty times his worth, They say, is shamefully bereft of life.

SALISBURY

[To the commoners coming in] Sirs, stand aside, the king will hear you out. Respected lord, the commoners send you a message from me: unless Lord Suffolk is killed straight away or banished from England, they will tear him from your palace by violence and torture him with a slow brutal death. They say that he killed Duke Humphrey; they say that they are afraid he might kill you too. A simple instinct of love and loyalty, free from stubborn hostile intention (or any desire to oppose your wishes) makes them demand his banishment. They say, since they care about your royal person, that if your highness planned to sleep and ordered that no man should disturb you on pain of death—yet despite such a strict rule, if they saw a serpent with a split tongue slyly gliding towards your majesty, they would wake you up. Otherwise you might keep sleeping and the poisonous snake would make that sleep last forever. And so they would shout, although you forbade it, and they will guard you, whether you want or not, from a dangerous serpent like lying Suffolk. His poisonous and deadly sting shamefully killed your loving uncle (whose life was worth twenty times more), so they say. 

COMMONS

[Within] An answer from the king, myLord of Salisbury!

COMMONS

[Inside] We want an answer from the king, my Lord of Salisbury!

SUFFOLK

'Tis like the commons, rude unpolish'd hinds, Could send such message to their sovereign: But you, my lord, were glad to be employ'd, To show how quaint an orator you are: But all the honour Salisbury hath won Is, that he was the lord ambassador Sent from a sort of tinkers to the king.

SUFFOLK

We expect those rude rough peasants to send such a message to their king. But you, my lord, were happy to be their messenger, so you can show what a skillful speaker you are. But all the honor that Salisbury has won is that he was the lord ambassador a gang of beggars and thieves sent to the king. 

COMMONS

[Within] An answer from the king, or we will all breakin!

COMMONS

[Inside] We want an answer from the king, or we'll break in!

KING HENRY VI

Go, Salisbury, and tell them all from me. I thank them for their tender loving care; And had I not been cited so by them, Yet did I purpose as they do entreat; For, sure, my thoughts do hourly prophesy Mischance unto my state by Suffolk's means: And therefore, by His majesty I swear, Whose far unworthy deputy I am, He shall not breathe infection in this air But three days longer, on the pain of death.

KING HENRY VI

Go, Salisbury, and tell them everything from me. I thank them for their loving care for me, and even if they hadn't urged me, I was still planning to do what they propose. I predict that Suffolk means to overthrow me. And therefore, I swear by God, whose unworthy agent I am, that he shall not contaminate this air for longer than three days, on pain of death. 

Exit SALISBURY

QUEEN MARGARET

O Henry, let me plead for gentle Suffolk!

QUEEN MARGARET

Oh Henry, let me speak on kind Suffolk's behalf. 

KING HENRY VI

Ungentle queen, to call him gentle Suffolk! No more, I say: if thou dost plead for him, Thou wilt but add increase unto my wrath. Had I but said, I would have kept my word, But when I swear, it is irrevocable. If, after three days' space, thou here be'st found On any ground that I am ruler of, The world shall not be ransom for thy life. Come, Warwick, come, good Warwick, go with me; I have great matters to impart to thee.

KING HENRY VI

You are an unkind queen to call him kind Suffolk! I'm not going to say anything else. If you speak for him, you will increase my anger. Had I only said it, I would have kept my word, but when I swear it, it is irreversible. [To SUFFOLK] If you are found on any part of the land that I rule after three days, the whole world won't be a price big enough to ransom your life. Come, Warwick; good Warwick, come with me. I have things that I want to discuss with you. 

Exeunt all but QUEEN MARGARET and SUFFOLK

QUEEN MARGARET

Mischance and sorrow go along with you! Heart's discontent and sour affliction Be playfellows to keep you company! There's two of you; the devil make a third! And threefold vengeance tend upon your steps!

QUEEN MARGARET

Let bad luck and sorrow go away with you! Heart's discontent and sour suffering can keep you company! There's two of you, then, and the devil will make a third one! And vengeance three times over will follow you!

SUFFOLK

Cease, gentle queen, these execrations,And let thy Suffolk take his heavy leave.

SUFFOLK

Stop these curses, kind queen, and let your Suffolk leave sadly.

QUEEN MARGARET

Fie, coward woman and soft-hearted wretch!Hast thou not spirit to curse thine enemy?

QUEEN MARGARET

Ugh, you are like a coward woman and a girl with a sensitive heart! Don't you have the courage to curse your enemy?

SUFFOLK

A plague upon them! Wherefore should I curse them? Would curses kill, as doth the mandrake's groan, I would invent as bitter-searching terms, As curst, as harsh and horrible to hear, Deliver'd strongly through my fixed teeth, With full as many signs of deadly hate, As lean-faced Envy in her loathsome cave: My tongue should stumble in mine earnest words; Mine eyes should sparkle like the beaten flint; Mine hair be fixed on end, as one distract; Ay, every joint should seem to curse and ban: And even now my burthen'd heart would break, Should I not curse them. Poison be their drink! Gall, worse than gall, the daintiest that they taste! Their sweetest shade a grove of cypress trees! Their chiefest prospect murdering basilisks! Their softest touch as smart as lizards' sting! Their music frightful as the serpent's hiss, And boding screech-owls make the concert full! All the foul terrors in dark-seated hell—

SUFFOLK

A plague on them! Why should I curse them? If curses could kill like a mandrake's shriek, I would come up with such piercing words, harsh and horrible to hear, and I would deliver them strongly through my clenched teeth, with as many signs of deadly hate as Envy in her hateful cave. My tongue would stutter when I say those true words, my eyes would sparkle like the stone which gives off a spark when it is struck, and my hair would stand upright like a madman. And even now my heart would break, if I didn't curse them. Let them drink poison! Bile, worse than bile, would be the most refined thing that they would taste! Their sweetest shade would be a forest of cypress trees! Their greatest view would be murdering basilisks! Their softest touch would be as painful as a lizard's sting! Their music would be as frightening as the serpent's hiss, and ominous screeching owls would make the concert of noises complete! All the horrible terrors in dark hell—

QUEEN MARGARET

Enough, sweet Suffolk; thou torment'st thyself; And these dread curses, like the sun 'gainst glass, Or like an overcharged gun, recoil, And turn the force of them upon thyself.

QUEEN MARGARET

Enough, sweet Suffolk. You are torturing yourself. And these horrible curses, like the sun against a glass, or like an overloaded gun, recoil and turn the force on yourself. 

SUFFOLK

You bade me ban, and will you bid me leave? Now, by the ground that I am banish'd from, Well could I curse away a winter's night, Though standing naked on a mountain top, Where biting cold would never let grass grow, And think it but a minute spent in sport.

SUFFOLK

You told me to curse and now you tell me to stop? Now, by the ground that I am banished from, I could curse away a winter's night. If I were standing naked on the top of the mountain, where biting cold would never allow grass to grow, I'd think it was only a minute of entertainment. 

QUEEN MARGARET

O, let me entreat thee cease. Give me thy hand, That I may dew it with my mournful tears; Nor let the rain of heaven wet this place, To wash away my woful monuments. O, could this kiss be printed in thy hand, That thou mightst think upon these by the seal, Through whom a thousand sighs are breathed for thee! So, get thee gone, that I may know my grief; 'Tis but surmised whiles thou art standing by, As one that surfeits thinking on a want. I will repeal thee, or, be well assured, Adventure to be banished myself: And banished I am, if but from thee. Go; speak not to me; even now be gone. O, go not yet! Even thus two friends condemn'd Embrace and kiss and take ten thousand leaves, Loather a hundred times to part than die. Yet now farewell; and farewell life with thee!

QUEEN MARGARET

Oh, let me beg you to stop this. Give me your hand, so I can cover it with my mournful tears. Don't let even the holiest rain make this place wet, to wash away my sorrowful mementos. Oh, if this kiss could print my lips on your hand, so that you could think of the lips which breathe a thousand sighs for you! So go, so that I can know how terrible my grief is. I can only imagine it if you're still here, and I am like one that overindulges and grows sick by deprivation. I will recall you from exile, or be sure that I will try to be banished as well. And I am banished from you. Go, don't speak to me, and be gone. Oh, don't go yet! Two condemned friends may embrace and kiss and say goodbye ten thousand times, more reluctantly than to die a hundred times. Now, goodbye! And goodbye life, with you.

SUFFOLK

Thus is poor Suffolk ten times banished; Once by the king, and three times thrice by thee. 'Tis not the land I care for, wert thou thence; A wilderness is populous enough, So Suffolk had thy heavenly company: For where thou art, there is the world itself, With every several pleasure in the world, And where thou art not, desolation. I can no more: live thou to joy thy life; Myself no joy in nought but that thou livest.

SUFFOLK

So poor Suffolk is banished ten times—once by the king, and nine times by you. I don't care about this land, if you are not in it. A wilderness is inhabited enough, provided that Suffolk has your heavenly company.Because where you are, there is the whole world, with all the joys of the world, and where you are not, there is desolation. I can't do this anymore. Live to enjoy your life. I won't have joy in anything except in knowing that you are still alive. 

Enter VAUX

QUEEN MARGARET

Wither goes Vaux so fast? What news, I prithee?

QUEEN MARGARET

Why are you in a rush, Vaux? What news do you bring? 

VAUX

To signify unto his majesty That Cardinal Beaufort is at point of death; For suddenly a grievous sickness took him, That makes him gasp and stare and catch the air, Blaspheming God and cursing men on earth. Sometimes he talks as if Duke Humphrey's ghost Were by his side; sometime he calls the king, And whispers to his pillow, as to him, The secrets of his overcharged soul; And I am sent to tell his majesty That even now he cries aloud for him.

VAUX

To tell his majesty that Cardinal Beaufort is almost dead, because a sudden sickness took over him. It makes him gasp and stare and breath heavily, cursing God and men on earth. Sometimes he talks as if Duke Humphrey's ghost is standing by his side; sometimes he calls the king and whispers to his pillow as it were him. He confesses the secrets of his overburdened soul, and I am sent to tell his majesty that he is screaming loudly for him even at this moment. 

QUEEN MARGARET

Go tell this heavy message to the king.

QUEEN MARGARET

Go and give that sad message to the king.

Exit VAUX

QUEEN MARGARET

Ay me! What is this world! What news are these! But wherefore grieve I at an hour's poor loss, Omitting Suffolk's exile, my soul's treasure? Why only, Suffolk, mourn I not for thee, And with the southern clouds contend in tears, Theirs for the earth's increase, mine for my sorrows? Now get thee hence: the king, thou know'st, is coming; If thou be found by me, thou art but dead.

QUEEN MARGARET

Poor me! What is this world? What sort of news is this? But why do I grieve at a loss of an old man, disregarding the exile of Suffolk, the treasure of my soul? Why do I not mourn for you, Suffolk, and compete with the southern clouds for tears—theirs for the earth's increase, mine for sorrows? Now go away. The king, as you know, is coming, and if he found you with me, you are dead. 

SUFFOLK

If I depart from thee, I cannot live; And in thy sight to die, what were it else But like a pleasant slumber in thy lap? Here could I breathe my soul into the air, As mild and gentle as the cradle-babe Dying with mother's dug between its lips: Where, from thy sight, I should be raging mad, And cry out for thee to close up mine eyes, To have thee with thy lips to stop my mouth; So shouldst thou either turn my flying soul, Or I should breathe it so into thy body, And then it lived in sweet Elysium. To die by thee were but to die in jest; From thee to die were torture more than death: O, let me stay, befall what may befall!

SUFFOLK

If I leave you, I cannot live. And what else is it to die in front of you, but a pleasant sleep in your lap? Here I could breathe my last breath, as mild and gentle as the baby dying with mother's nipple between its lips.Whereas I will go mad when I'm away from you, and cry out for you to close my eyes, to have you stop my mouth with your lips. So you would return my flying soul, or I would breathe it into your body, where it would live in sweet heaven. To die by you would not be dying at all. To die away from you is more torturous than any other death. Oh, let me stay, no matter what happens!

QUEEN MARGARET

Away! Though parting be a fretful corrosive, It is applied to a deathful wound. To France, sweet Suffolk: let me hear from thee; For wheresoe'er thou art in this world's globe, I'll have an Iris that shall find thee out.

QUEEN MARGARET

Go away! Although saying goodbye to you is like putting an aggravating corrosive to a deadly wound. Go to France, sweet Suffolk, and let me hear from you. Because wherever you may in this world's globe, I'll have an Iris that shall find you. 

SUFFOLK

I go.

SUFFOLK

I am going. 

QUEEN MARGARET

And take my heart with thee.

QUEEN MARGARET

And take my heart with you.

SUFFOLK

A jewel, lock'd into the wofull'st cask That ever did contain a thing of worth. Even as a splitted bark, so sunder we This way fall I to death.

SUFFOLK

It's like a jewel, locked in the saddest casket that never contained such a worthy thing. We are split in two like a ship that's broken in half. I go to my death this way. 

QUEEN MARGARET

This way for me.

QUEEN MARGARET

And this way for me.

Exeunt severally

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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.