A line-by-line translation

Henry VI, Part 2

Henry VI, Part 2 Translation Act 4, Scene 10

Line Map Clear Line Map Add

Enter CADE

CADE

Fie on ambition! Fie on myself, that have a sword, and yet am ready to famish! These five days have I hid me in these woods and durst not peep out, for all the country is laid for me; but now am I so hungry that if I might have a lease of my life for a thousand years I could stay no longer. Wherefore, on a brick wall have I climbed into this garden, to see if I can eat grass, or pick a sallet another while, which is not amiss to cool a man's stomach this hot weather. And I think this word 'sallet' was born to do me good: for many a time, but for a sallet, my brainpan had been cleft with a brown bill; and many a time, when I have been dry and bravely marching, it hath served me instead of a quart pot to drink in; and now the word 'sallet' must serve me to feed on.

CADE

To hell with ambition! To hell with me, who has a sword but will starve anyway! I have been hiding in these woods for these past five days and didn't dare to come out, because the entire country is looking for me. But now I am so hungry that even if I could stay alive for a thousand years here, I couldn't wait any longer. That's why I have climbed into this garden over a brick wall, to see if I can eat grass, or pick salad (leaves and vegetables), which is not bad to satisfy a man's appetite during this hot weather. And I think that this word "salad" will do me some good. If I didn't have it, my skull would have been cut in half by an ax. And often, when I have been thirsty and marching, I've used it as a pot to drink out of. Now the word "salad" has to be enough to feed me.

Enter IDEN

IDEN

Lord, who would live turmoiled in the court, And may enjoy such quiet walks as these? This small inheritance my father left me Contenteth me, and worth a monarchy. I seek not to wax great by others' waning, Or gather wealth, I care not, with what envy: Sufficeth that I have maintains my state And sends the poor well pleased from my gate.

IDEN

Who would live stressed in the court when you could enjoy such quiet walks like these? This small inheritance that my father left me makes me happy and it is worth a whole monarchy. I don't want to grow great by others' loss, or gather wealth, regardless of others' jealousy. It's enough that I have what I need and can send the poor from my gate with plenty of food.

CADE

Here's the lord of the soil come to seize me for a stray, for entering his fee-simple without leave. Ah, villain, thou wilt betray me, and get a thousand crowns of the king carrying my head to him: but I'll make thee eat iron like an ostrich, and swallow my sword like a great pin, ere thou and I part.

CADE

Here is the owner of the garden who has come to catch me for trespassing, for entering his land without permission. Oh, villain, you will betray me and get a thousand crowns from the king when you carry my head to him. But I'll stab you and make you swallow my sword like an ostrich, before you and I say goodbye.

IDEN

Why, rude companion, whatsoe'er thou be, I know thee not; why, then, should I betray thee? Is't not enough to break into my garden, And, like a thief, to come to rob my grounds, Climbing my walls in spite of me the owner, But thou wilt brave me with these saucy terms?

IDEN

Rough fellow! Whoever you are, I don't know you. Why, then, do you think that I will betray you? Isn't it enough to break into my garden and steal from me like a thief, climbing my walls without the permission of the owner? Will you will also defy me with these rude words?

CADE

Brave thee! Ay, by the best blood that ever was broached, and beard thee too. Look on me well: I have eat no meat these five days; yet, come thou and thy five men, and if I do not leave you all as dead as a doornail, I pray God I may never eat grass more.

CADE

Defy you! Yes, by the best blood that was ever shed, I defy you! Look at me. I haven't eaten food for these last five days. Yet if you and your five servants come at me and I don't leave you as dead as a doornail, I pray to God that I never eat grass again.

IDEN

Nay, it shall ne'er be said, while England stands, That Alexander Iden, an esquire of Kent, Took odds to combat a poor famish'd man. Oppose thy steadfast-gazing eyes to mine, See if thou canst outface me with thy looks: Set limb to limb, and thou art far the lesser; Thy hand is but a finger to my fist, Thy leg a stick compared with this truncheon; My foot shall fight with all the strength thou hast; And if mine arm be heaved in the air, Thy grave is digg'd already in the earth. As for words, whose greatness answers words, Let this my sword report what speech forbears.

IDEN

No, as long as England stands, it won't be said that Alexander Iden, a gentleman of Kent, accepted such an unequal challenge from a poor hungry man. Look at me and see if you can defy me with your looks. Compare limb with limb and you will see that you are the weaker one. Your hand is only a finger compared to my whole fist, your leg is a stick compared to my leg. My foot shall fight will all the strength you have and if I just raise my arm, you're as good as dead. As for words, the power of my sword answers them. 

CADE

By my valour, the most complete champion that ever I heard! Steel, if thou turn the edge, or cut not out the burly-boned clown in chines of beef ere thou sleep in thy sheath, I beseech God on my knees thou mayst be turned to hobnails.

CADE

By my bravery, you are the most accomplished fighter that I have ever heard of! Sword, if you fail me and don't cut this heavily-built clown into strips of beef before you sleep in your sheath, I pray God on my knees that you may be melted down and turned into nails for boots. 

Here they fight. CADE falls

CADE

O, I am slain! Famine and no other hath slain me: let ten thousand devils come against me, and give me but the ten meals I have lost, and I'll defy them all. Wither, garden; and be henceforth a burying-place to all that do dwell in this house, because the unconquered soul of Cade is fled.

CADE

Oh, I'm murdered! Starvation and nothing else has killed me. Give me the ten meals that I have lost, and I could defeat ten thousand devils. Wither, garden, and from now on be a grave for everyone who lives in this house, because the unconquered soul of Cade is gone.

IDEN

Is't Cade that I have slain, that monstrous traitor? Sword, I will hollow thee for this thy deed, And hang thee o'er my tomb when I am dead: Ne'er shall this blood be wiped from thy point; But thou shalt wear it as a herald's coat, To emblaze the honour that thy master got.

IDEN

Did I just kill the unnatural traitor Cade? Sword, I will bless you for this act and place you over my tomb when I am dead. I'll never wipe off his blood, but you shall wear it like a herald's coat, to display the honor that your master has won.

CADE

Iden, farewell, and be proud of thy victory. Tell Kent from me, she hath lost her best man , and exhort all the world to be cowards; for I, that never feared any, am vanquished by famine, not by valour.

CADE

Goodbye, Iden, and be proud of your victory. Tell Kent from me that she has lost her best man. Urge everyone to be cowards, because I—who has never been afraid of anyone—am now killed by starvation and not by bravery. 

Dies

IDEN

How much thou wrong'st me, heaven be my judge. Die, damned wretch, the curse of her that bare thee; And as I thrust thy body in with my sword, So wish I, I might thrust thy soul to hell. Hence will I drag thee headlong by the heels Unto a dunghill which shall be thy grave, And there cut off thy most ungracious head; Which I will bear in triumph to the king, Leaving thy trunk for crows to feed upon.

IDEN

Heaven will judge how you've wronged me. Die, damned man, the curse of the mother that gave birth to you. As I thrust my sword into your body, so I wish that I could send your soul to hell. I will drag you by the heels to a dunghill that will be your grave, and there I'll cut off your ungrateful head, which I will take triumphantly to the king, leaving the rest of your body for the crows to eat. 

Exit

Henry vi part 2
Join LitCharts A+ and get the entire Henry VI, Part 2 Translation as a printable PDF.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
  • Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
  • Downloads of 677 LitCharts Lit Guides
  • Explanations and citation info for 16,717 quotes covering 677 books
  • Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
  • PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms
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.