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Henry VI, Part 2

Henry VI, Part 2 Translation Act 4, Scene 9

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Sound Trumpets. Enter KING HENRY VI, QUEEN MARGARET, and SOMERSET, on the terrace

KING HENRY VI

Was ever king that joy'd an earthly throne, And could command no more content than I? No sooner was I crept out of my cradle But I was made a king, at nine months old. Was never subject long'd to be a king As I do long and wish to be a subject.

KING HENRY VI

Was there ever a king that enjoyed this earthly throne and was more miserable than me? As soon as I crept out of my cradle, nine months old, I was made a king. No commoner wants to be a king as much as I want to be a commoner.

Enter BUCKINGHAM and CLIFFORD

BUCKINGHAM

Health and glad tidings to your majesty!

BUCKINGHAM

We wish health and good news to your majesty!

KING HENRY VI

Why, Buckingham, is the traitor Cade surprised?Or is he but retired to make him strong?

KING HENRY VI

Is the traitor Cade captured, Buckingham? Or has he retreated to gather his strength?

Enter below, multitudes, with halters about their necks

CLIFFORD

He is fled, my lord, and all his powers do yield;And humbly thus, with halters on their necks,Expect your highness' doom of life or death.

CLIFFORD

He has escaped, my lord, and all his soldiers surrendered. With ropes around their necks, they humbly await your sentence of life or death.

KING HENRY VI

Then, heaven, set ope thy everlasting gates, To entertain my vows of thanks and praise! Soldiers, this day have you redeemed your lives, And show'd how well you love your prince and country: Continue still in this so good a mind, And Henry, though he be infortunate, Assure yourselves, will never be unkind: And so, with thanks and pardon to you all, I do dismiss you to your several countries.

KING HENRY VI

Then, heaven, open your everlasting gates to receive my vows of thanks and praise! Soldiers, you have redeemed your lives today and showed how well you love your king and country. Carry on in this spirit and Henry, although he is unfortunate, promises you that he will never be unkind. And so I send you back to your homes, with thanks and pardon.

ALL

God save the king! God save the king!

ALL

God save the king! God save the king!

Enter a Messenger

MESSENGER

Please it your grace to be advertised The Duke of York is newly come from Ireland, And with a puissant and a mighty power Of gallowglasses and stout kerns Is marching hitherward in proud array, And still proclaimeth, as he comes along,His arms are only to remove from theeThe Duke of Somerset, whom he terms traitor.

MESSENGER

Your grace should know that the Duke of York has just come from Ireland with a powerful and strong army of Irish soldiers. They are marching this way, ready for a fight. He continually proclaims as he goes that his weapons are only there to remove you, the Duke of Somerset, whom he calls a traitor.

KING HENRY VI

Thus stands my state, 'twixt Cade and York distress'd.Like to a ship that, having 'scaped a tempest,Is straightway calm'd and boarded with a pirate:But now is Cade driven back, his men dispersed;And now is York in arms to second him.I pray thee, Buckingham, go and meet him,And ask him what's the reason of these arms.Tell him I'll send Duke Edmund to the Tower;And, Somerset, we'll commit thee thither,Until his army be dismiss'd from him.

KING HENRY VI

And here is my kingship—it is afflicted between Cade and York. It is like a ship that, having just escaped a tempest, is steadied and attacked by a pirate straight away. But now Cade is driven back, his men are scattered and York is now armed to support him. Buckingham, please go and meet him and ask him why is he bringing this army. Tell him I'll send Duke Edmund to the Tower. Somerset, we're sending you there until his army is gotten rid of.  

SOMERSET

My lord,I'll yield myself to prison willingly,Or unto death, to do my country good.

SOMERSET

My lord, I surrender to go to prison willingly. Or go to my death, to do some good for my country.

KING HENRY VI

In any case, be not too rough in terms;For he is fierce and cannot brook hard language.

KING HENRY VI

Either way, don't be too harsh in your choice of language. He is fierce and cannot tolerate such language. 

BUCKINGHAM

I will, my lord; and doubt not so to dealAs all things shall redound unto your good.

BUCKINGHAM

I will, my lord, and don't doubt that I shall negotiate so that everything will turn out well for you.

KING HENRY VI

Come, wife, let's in, and learn to govern better;For yet may England curse my wretched reign.

KING HENRY VI

Come, wife, let's go in and learn to rule better. England may curse my horrible rule up until now. 

Flourish. 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.