A line-by-line translation

Henry VI, Part 2

Henry VI, Part 2 Translation Act 4, Scene 7

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Alarums. MATTHEW GOFFE is slain, and all the rest. Then enter CADE, with his company.

CADE

So, sirs: now go some and pull down the Savoy;others to the Inns of Court; down with them all.

CADE

So, sirs, now let's go and pull down the Savoy. Others, go to the Inns of Court and pull them all down.

DICK

I have a suit unto your lordship.

DICK

I have a request for your lordship.

CADE

Be it a lordship, thou shalt have it for that word.

CADE

If it is a lordship, your request will be granted for using that word.

DICK

Only that the laws of England may come out of your mouth.

DICK

I request that all the laws of England come from your mouth.

HOLLAND

[Aside] Mass, 'twill be sore law, then; for he wasthrust in the mouth with a spear, and 'tis not wholeyet.

HOLLAND

[To SMITH] It will be a painful law, then, because he was stabbed in the mouth with a spear and it's not healed yet.

SMITH

[Aside] Nay, John, it will be stinking law for hisbreath stinks with eating toasted cheese.

SMITH

[To HOLLAND] No, John, it will be a stinking law because his breath stinks from eating toasted cheese.

CADE

I have thought upon it, it shall be so. Away, burnall the records of the realm: my mouth shall bethe parliament of England.

CADE

I have thought about it; it shall be so. Go and burn all the records of the kingdom. My mouth will be the parliament of England.

HOLLAND

[Aside] Then we are like to have biting statutes,unless his teeth be pulled out.

HOLLAND

[To himself] Then we will have severe statutes, unless his teeth are pulled out.

CADE

And henceforward all things shall be in common.

CADE

And from now on all things will be shared.

Enter a Messenger

MESSENGER

My lord, a prize, a prize! Here's the Lord Say, which sold the towns in France ; he that made us pay one and twenty fifteens, and one shilling to the pound, the last subsidy.

MESSENGER

My lord, I have a prize for you! Here is the Lord Say, who sold the towns in France. He made us pay a tax of 140 per cent, and the last taxation was one shilling to the pound.

Enter BEVIS, with Lord SAY

CADE

Well, he shall be beheaded for it ten times. Ah, thou say, thou serge, nay, thou buckram lord! Now art thou within point-blank of our jurisdiction regal. What canst thou answer to my majesty for giving up of Normandy unto Mounsieur Basimecu, the dauphin of France? Be it known unto thee by these presence, even the presence of Lord Mortimer, that I am the besom that must sweep the court clean of such filth as thou art. Thou hast most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm in erecting a grammar school; and whereas, before, our forefathers had no other books but the score and the tally, thou hast caused printing to be used, and, contrary to the king, his crown and dignity, thou hast built a paper-mill. It will be proved to thy face that thou hast men about thee that usually talk of a noun and a verb, and such abominable words as no Christian ear can endure to hear. Thou hast appointed justices of peace, to call poor men before them about matters they were not able to answer. Moreover, thou hast put them in prison ; and because they could not read, thou hast hanged them; when, indeed, only for that cause they have been most worthy to live. Thou dost ride in a foot-cloth, dost thou not?

CADE

Well, he'll be beheaded for it ten times over. Ah, you silk fabric, you woollen fabric—no, you coarse linen! Now you are within the direct range of our legal power. How can you defend yourself to my majesty for giving up Normandy to Monsieur Basimecu, the dauphin of France? Let it be known to you all in the presence of Lord Mortimer, that I am the broom that must sweep the court clean of dirt like you. You have traitorously corrupted the youth of the country by setting up a grammar school, and while our ancestors had no other books but the score and tally to keep accounts, you've used printing. Against the crown and dignity of the king, you have built a paper mill. It will be proved to your face that you have men around you that usually talk about "nouns" and "verbs" and similar abominable words than no Christian ear can dare to hear. You have appointed justices of peace, to call poor men in front of them and ask them about things they didn't understand. Moreover, you have put them in prison; and because they couldn't read, you have hanged them for the one reason why they were worthy to live. Your horse has an ornamental cloth draped over him when you ride, doesn't he?

SAY

What of that?

SAY

And why does that matter?

CADE

Marry, thou oughtest not to let thy horse wear acloak, when honester men than thou go in their hoseand doublets.

CADE

You shouldn't let your horse wear a cloak, when men more honest than you only wear breeches and jacket with no other garment.

DICK

And work in their shirt too; as myself, for example,that am a butcher.

DICK

And they work in their shirt too—like myself, for example, a butcher.

SAY

You men of Kent,—

SAY

You men of Kent—

DICK

What say you of Kent?

DICK

What are you saying about Kent?

SAY

Nothing but this; 'tis 'bona terra, mala gens.'

SAY

Just this: "a poor land, bad people."

CADE

Away with him, away with him! He speaks Latin.

CADE

Take him away, take him away! He speaks Latin.

SAY

Hear me but speak, and bear me where you will. Kent, in the Commentaries Caesar writ, Is term'd the civil'st place of this isle: Sweet is the country, because full of riches; The people liberal, valiant, active, wealthy; Which makes me hope you are not void of pity. I sold not Maine, I lost not Normandy, Yet, to recover them, would lose my life. Justice with favour have I always done; Prayers and tears have moved me, gifts could never. When have I aught exacted at your hands, But to maintain the king, the realm and you? Large gifts have I bestow'd on learned clerks, Because my book preferr'd me to the king, And seeing ignorance is the curse of God, Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven, Unless you be possess'd with devilish spirits, You cannot but forbear to murder me: This tongue hath parley'd unto foreign kings For your behoof,—

SAY

Hear me speak a little and then take me wherever you like. Kent, in the Commentaries Caesar wrote, is called the most civil place on this island. The country is called sweet, because it's full of wealth. The people are called generous, brave, active and wealthy, which makes me hope you have some pity. I didn't sell Maine, nor did I lose Normandy. To take them back would have killed me. I have always been compassionate when I had to carry out justice. Prayers and tears have moved me, but bribes never could. When have I raised any taxes, except when it was necessary to satisfy the king, the country, and you? I have given large gifts to scholars, because the king valued me for my learning. And seeing ignorance is the curse of God, knowledge is the wing on which we fly to heaven. Unless you are possessed with evil spirits, you can't murder me. This tongue has negotiated with foreign kings for your benefit—

CADE

Tut, when struck'st thou one blow in the field?

CADE

Please, tell me, when did you fight in the field?

SAY

Great men have reaching hands: oft have I struckThose that I never saw and struck them dead.

SAY

Great men have hands that can reach far. I have often fought those that I never saw in person, and killed them too.

BEVIS

O monstrous coward! What, to come behind folks?

BEVIS

Oh, you monstrous coward! Did you attack from behind?

SAY

These cheeks are pale for watching for your good.

SAY

These cheeks are pale because I remained awake for your own good.

CADE

Give him a box o' the ear and that will make 'em red again.

CADE

Slap him; that will bring color to his cheeks. 

SAY

Long sitting to determine poor men's causesHath made me full of sickness and diseases.

SAY

I've spent a long time sitting as a judge to settle poor men's cases, and it's made me sick and diseased.

CADE

Ye shall have a hempen caudle, then, and the help of hatchet.

CADE

You will have a hangman's rope, then, and the help of the executioner's axe.

DICK

Why dost thou quiver, man?

DICK

Why do you shake, man?

SAY

The palsy, and not fear, provokes me.

SAY

It is palsy and not fear that makes me shake.

CADE

Nay, he nods at us, as who should say, I'll be evenwith you: I'll see if his head will stand steadieron a pole, or no. Take him away, and behead him.

CADE

No, he nods at us like one who would say, I'll be be fair with you. I'll see if his head will stand steady on a pole or not. Take him away and behead him.

SAY

Tell me wherein have I offended most? Have I affected wealth or honour? Speak. Are my chests fill'd up with extorted gold? Is my apparel sumptuous to behold? Whom have I injured, that ye seek my death? These hands are free from guiltless bloodshedding, This breast from harbouring foul deceitful thoughts. O, let me live!

SAY

Tell me, what have I done to offend you? Have I taken your wealth or honor? Tell me. Are my chests filled with stolen money? Do my clothes look luxurious? Whom have I hurt, that you want me dead? These hands are guiltless of shedding innocent blood. This heart is guiltless of having bad, deceitful feelings. Oh, let me live!

CADE

[Aside] I feel remorse in myself with his words; but I'll bridle it: he shall die, an it be but for pleading so well for his life. [Aloud.] Away with him! He has a familiar under his tongue; he speaks not o' God's name. Go, take him away, I say, and strike off his head presently; and then break into his son-in-law's house, Sir James Cromer, and strike off his head, and bring them both upon two poles hither.

CADE

[To himself] I feel pity inside when he speaks. But I'll restrain it. He shall die, even if it's just for pleading for his life. [Aloud.] Take him away! He has a demon under his tongue; he doesn't speak God's language. Go and take him away, I say! Chop off his head at once, and then break into his son-in-law Sir James Cromer's house, take his head too, and stick them both on these two poles here. 

ALL

It shall be done.

ALL

It shall be done.

SAY

Ah, countrymen! If when you make your prayers,God should be so obdurate as yourselves,How would it fare with your departed souls?And therefore yet relent, and save my life.

SAY

Oh, my countrymen! If God was as merciless as you when we pray to him, what would happen to your souls? So stop and spare my life.

CADE

Away with him! And do as I command ye.

CADE

Take him away! And do as I ordered you.

Exeunt some with Lord SAY

CADE

The proudest peer in the realm shall not wear a head on his shoulders, unless he pay me tribute; there shall not a maid be married, but she shall pay to me her maidenhead ere they have it: men shall hold of me in capite; and we charge and command that their wives be as free as heart can wish or tongue can tell.

CADE

The proudest man in the country won't wear a head on his shoulders, unless he gives me a payment as an act of homage. A virgin won't be married before she gives me her virginity. Men will hold property directly from the crown, and we charge and command that their wives will be as sexually available as a heart can wish or tongue can tell.

DICK

My lord, when shall we go to Cheapside and take upcommodities upon our bills?

DICK

My lord, when will we go to Cheapside and spear decapitated heads on our weapons?

CADE

Marry, presently.

CADE

Soon.

ALL

O, brave!

ALL

Oh, that's marvelous! 

Re-enter one with the heads

CADE

But is not this braver? Let them kiss one another, for they loved well when they were alive. Now part them again, lest they consult about the giving up of some more towns in France. Soldiers, defer the spoil of the city until night: for with these borne before us, instead of maces, will we ride through the streets, and at every corner have them kiss. Away!

CADE

But isn't this even better? Let them kiss each other because they loved each other well when they were alive. Now break them apart again, lest they talk about giving up some more towns in France. Soldiers, delay the plunder of the city until tonight. We will ride through the streets with these heads carried before us instead of staffs of office, and have them kiss at every corner. Let's go!

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.