A line-by-line translation

Henry VI, Part 2

Henry VI, Part 2 Translation Act 4, Scene 2

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Enter GEORGE BEVIS and JOHN HOLLAND

BEVIS

Come, and get thee a sword, though made of a lath;they have been up these two days.

BEVIS

Come and get yourself a sword, even though it's made of wood. They've been rebelling these past two days.

HOLLAND

They have the more need to sleep now, then.

HOLLAND

They have more reason to sleep now, then.

BEVIS

I tell thee, Jack Cade the clothier means to dressthe commonwealth, and turn it, and set a new nap upon it.

BEVIS

I am telling you, Jack Cade the cloth worker means to clothe and reform the commonwealth, turn it upside down, and give it a smooth finish. 

HOLLAND

So he had need, for 'tis threadbare. Well, I say itwas never merry world in England since gentlemen came up.

HOLLAND

He really needs to, since it's worn-out. Well, I say that England has never been as good as in the old days, ever since gentlemen came into fashion. 

BEVIS

O miserable age! Virtue is not regarded in handicrafts-men.

BEVIS

Oh, it's a miserable time! Virtue is not valued in handicraft workers. 

HOLLAND

The nobility think scorn to go in leather aprons.

HOLLAND

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BEVIS

Nay, more, the king's council are no good workmen.

BEVIS

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HOLLAND

True; and yet it is said, labour in thy vocation; which is as much to say as, let the magistrates be labouring men; and therefore should we be magistrates.

HOLLAND

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BEVIS

Thou hast hit it; for there's no better sign of abrave mind than a hard hand.

BEVIS

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HOLLAND

I see them! I see them! There's Best's son, thetanner of Wingham,—

HOLLAND

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BEVIS

He shall have the skin of our enemies, to makedog's-leather of.

BEVIS

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HOLLAND

And Dick the Butcher,—

HOLLAND

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BEVIS

Then is sin struck down like an ox, and iniquity'sthroat cut like a calf.

BEVIS

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HOLLAND

And Smith the weaver,—

HOLLAND

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BEVIS

Argo, their thread of life is spun.

BEVIS

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HOLLAND

Come, come, let's fall in with them.

HOLLAND

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Drum. Enter CADE, DICK the Butcher, SMITH the Weaver, and a Sawyer, with infinite numbers

CADE

We John Cade, so termed of our supposed father,—

CADE

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DICK

[Aside] Or rather, of stealing a cade of herrings.

DICK

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CADE

For our enemies shall fall before us, inspired withthe spirit of putting down kings and princes,—Command silence.

CADE

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DICK

Silence!

DICK

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CADE

My father was a Mortimer,—

CADE

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DICK

[Aside] He was an honest man, and a goodbricklayer.

DICK

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CADE

My mother a Plantagenet,—

CADE

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DICK

[Aside] I knew her well; she was a midwife.

DICK

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CADE

My wife descended of the Lacies,—

CADE

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DICK

[Aside] She was, indeed, a pedler's daughter, andsold many laces.

DICK

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SMITH

[Aside] But now of late, not able to travel with herfurred pack, she washes bucks here at home.

SMITH

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CADE

Therefore am I of an honourable house.

CADE

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DICK

[Aside] Ay, by my faith, the field is honourable;and there was he borne, under a hedge, for hisfather had never a house but the cage.

DICK

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CADE

Valiant I am.

CADE

Lorem ipsum

SMITH

[Aside] A' must needs; for beggary is valiant.

SMITH

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CADE

I am able to endure much.

CADE

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DICK

[Aside] No question of that; for I have seen himwhipped three market-days together.

DICK

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CADE

I fear neither sword nor fire.

CADE

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SMITH

[Aside] He need not fear the sword; for his coat is ofproof.

SMITH

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DICK

[Aside] But methinks he should stand in fear offire, being burnt i' the hand for stealing of sheep.

DICK

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CADE

Be brave, then; for your captain is brave, and vows reformation. There shall be in England seven halfpenny loaves sold for a penny: the three-hooped pot; shall have ten hoops and I will make it felony to drink small beer: all the realm shall be in common; and in Cheapside shall my palfrey go to grass: and when I am king, as king I will be,—

CADE

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ALL

God save your majesty!

ALL

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CADE

I thank you, good people: there shall be no money; all shall eat and drink on my score; and I will apparel them all in one livery, that they may agree like brothers and worship me their lord.

CADE

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DICK

The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.

DICK

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CADE

Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should be made parchment? That parchment, being scribbled o'er, should undo a man? Some say the bee stings: but I say, 'tis the bee's wax; for I did but seal once to a thing, and I was never mine own man since. How now! Who's there?

CADE

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Enter some, bringing forward the Clerk of Chartham

SMITH

The clerk of Chartham: he can write and read andcast accompt.

SMITH

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CADE

O monstrous!

CADE

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SMITH

We took him setting of boys' copies.

SMITH

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CADE

Here's a villain!

CADE

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SMITH

Has a book in his pocket with red letters in't.

SMITH

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CADE

Nay, then, he is a conjurer.

CADE

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DICK

Nay, he can make obligations, and write court-hand.

DICK

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CADE

I am sorry for't: the man is a proper man, of minehonour; unless I find him guilty, he shall not die.Come hither, sirrah, I must examine thee: what is thy name?

CADE

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CLERK

Emmanuel.

CLERK

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DICK

They use to write it on the top of letters: 'twillgo hard with you.

DICK

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CADE

Let me alone. Dost thou use to write thy name? Orhast thou a mark to thyself, like an honestplain-dealing man?

CADE

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CLERK

Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought upthat I can write my name.

CLERK

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ALL

He hath confessed: away with him! He's a villainand a traitor.

ALL

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CADE

Away with him, I say! Hang him with his pen andink-horn about his neck.

CADE

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Exit one with the Clerk

Enter MICHAEL

MICHAEL

Where's our general?

MICHAEL

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CADE

Here I am, thou particular fellow.

CADE

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MICHAEL

Fly, fly, fly! Sir Humphrey Stafford and hisbrother are hard by, with the king's forces.

MICHAEL

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CADE

Stand, villain, stand, or I'll fell thee down. Heshall be encountered with a man as good as himself:he is but a knight, is a'?

CADE

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MICHAEL

No.

MICHAEL

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CADE

To equal him, I will make myself a knight presently.

CADE

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Kneels

CADE

Rise up Sir John Mortimer.

CADE

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Rises

CADE

Now have at him!

CADE

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Enter SIR HUMPHREY and WILLIAM STAFFORD, with drum and soldiers

SIR HUMPHREY

Rebellious hinds, the filth and scum of Kent, Mark'd for the gallows, lay your weapons down; Home to your cottages, forsake this groom: The king is merciful, if you revolt.

SIR HUMPHREY

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WILLIAM STAFFORD

But angry, wrathful, and inclined to blood,If you go forward; therefore yield, or die.

WILLIAM STAFFORD

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CADE

As for these silken-coated slaves, I pass not:It is to you, good people, that I speak,Over whom, in time to come, I hope to reign;For I am rightful heir unto the crown.

CADE

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SIR HUMPHREY

Villain, thy father was a plasterer;And thou thyself a shearman, art thou not?

SIR HUMPHREY

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CADE

And Adam was a gardener.

CADE

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WILLIAM STAFFORD

And what of that?

WILLIAM STAFFORD

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CADE

Marry, this: Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March.Married the Duke of Clarence' daughter, did he not?

CADE

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SIR HUMPHREY

Ay, sir.

SIR HUMPHREY

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CADE

By her he had two children at one birth.

CADE

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WILLIAM STAFFORD

That's false.

WILLIAM STAFFORD

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CADE

Ay, there's the question; but I say, 'tis true: The elder of them, being put to nurse, Was by a beggar-woman stolen away; And, ignorant of his birth and parentage, Became a bricklayer when he came to age: His son am I; deny it, if you can.

CADE

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DICK

Nay, 'tis too true; therefore he shall be king.

DICK

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SMITH

Sir, he made a chimney in my father's house, andthe bricks are alive at this day to testify it;therefore deny it not.

SMITH

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SIR HUMPHREY

And will you credit this base drudge's words,That speaks he knows not what?

SIR HUMPHREY

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ALL

Ay, marry, will we; therefore get ye gone.

ALL

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WILLIAM STAFFORD

Jack Cade, the Duke of York hath taught you this.

WILLIAM STAFFORD

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CADE

[Aside] He lies, for I invented it myself. Go to, sirrah, tell the king from me, that, for his father's sake, Henry the Fifth, in whose time boys went to span-counter for French crowns, I am content he shall reign; but I'll be protector over him.

CADE

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DICK

And furthermore, we'll have the Lord Say's head forselling the dukedom of Maine.

DICK

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CADE

And good reason; for thereby is England mained, and fain to go with a staff, but that my puissance holds it up. Fellow kings, I tell you that that Lord Say hath gelded the commonwealth, and made it an eunuch: and more than that, he can speak French; and therefore he is a traitor.

CADE

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SIR HUMPHREY

O gross and miserable ignorance!

SIR HUMPHREY

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CADE

Nay, answer, if you can: the Frenchmen are our enemies; go to, then, I ask but this: can he that speaks with the tongue of an enemy be a good counsellor, or no?

CADE

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ALL

No, no; and therefore we'll have his head.

ALL

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WILLIAM STAFFORD

Well, seeing gentle words will not prevail,Assail them with the army of the king.

WILLIAM STAFFORD

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SIR HUMPHREY

Herald, away; and throughout every town Proclaim them traitors that are up with Cade; That those which fly before the battle ends May, even in their wives' and children's sight, Be hang'd up for example at their doors: And you that be the king's friends, follow me.

SIR HUMPHREY

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Exeunt WILLIAM STAFFORD and SIR HUMPHREY, and soldiers

CADE

And you that love the commons, follow me. Now show yourselves men; 'tis for liberty. We will not leave one lord, one gentleman: Spare none but such as go in clouted shoon; For they are thrifty honest men, and such As would, but that they dare not, take our parts.

CADE

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DICK

They are all in order and march toward us.

DICK

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CADE

But then are we in order when we are mostout of order. Come, march forward.

CADE

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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.