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Henry VI, Part 2

Henry VI, Part 2 Translation Act 5, Scene 1

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Enter YORK, and his army of Irish, with drum and colours

YORK

From Ireland thus comes York to claim his right, And pluck the crown from feeble Henry's head: Ring, bells, aloud; burn, bonfires, clear and bright, To entertain great England's lawful king. Ah! Sancta majestas, who would not buy thee dear? Let them obey that know not how to rule; This hand was made to handle naught but gold. I cannot give due action to my words, Except a sword or sceptre balance it: A sceptre shall it have, have I a soul, On which I'll toss the flower-de-luce of France.

YORK

Here comes York from Ireland to claim his right and take the crown from the head of weak Henry. Ring the bells loud and start bright bonfires to welcome great England's lawful king. Oh, sacred majesty, who wouldn't do anything to buy yo? Those don't know how to rule should obey instead. This hand was made to handle nothing but gold. I can't make my words powerful enough to fit my actions, unless a sword or a scepter supports me. I'll have a scepter, that's as sure as I have a soul, on which I'll toss the flower-de-luce of France.

Enter BUCKINGHAM

YORK

[Aside ] Whom have we here? Buckingham, to disturb me?The king hath sent him, sure: I must dissemble.

YORK

[To himself] Who do we have here? Does Buckingham come to disturb me? I am sure that the king has sent him. I must disguise the truth.

BUCKINGHAM

York, if thou meanest well, I greet thee well.

BUCKINGHAM

York, I welcome you, if you mean well. 

YORK

Humphrey of Buckingham, I accept thy greeting.Art thou a messenger, or come of pleasure?

YORK

Humphrey of Buckingham, I accept your welcome. Are you a messenger, or do you come on your own initiative?

BUCKINGHAM

A messenger from Henry, our dread liege, To know the reason of these arms in peace; Or why thou, being a subject as I am, Against thy oath and true allegiance sworn, Should raise so great a power without his leave, Or dare to bring thy force so near the court.

BUCKINGHAM

I am a messenger sent from Henry, our respected king, to find out why you've raised an army during peace time, and why you—since you're a subject just like me—should do so without the king's permission and against your promise to be loyal to him. And how do you dare to bring your army so close to the court?

YORK

[Aside] Scarce can I speak, my choler is so great: O, I could hew up rocks and fight with flint, I am so angry at these abject terms; And now, like Ajax Telamonius, On sheep or oxen could I spend my fury. I am far better born than is the king, More like a king, more kingly in my thoughts: But I must make fair weather yet a while, Till Henry be more weak and I more strong,— Buckingham, I prithee, pardon me, That I have given no answer all this while; My mind was troubled with deep melancholy. The cause why I have brought this army hither Is to remove proud Somerset from the king, Seditious to his grace and to the state.

YORK

[To himself] I can barely speak, my anger is bubbling. Oh, I could cut down rocks and fight with a small stone; I am so angry at these insulting terms. And now, like Ajax Telamonius, I could slaughter a sheep or oxen to calm my anger. I have a superior claim to the throne than the king; I am more like a king, because I have more kingly thoughts. But I must pretend to be agreeable for a while, until Henry is weaker and I am stronger. [Aloud] Buckingham, I am sorry, forgive me for not answering you for all this time. My mind is troubled with deep sadness. The reason why I have brought this army here is to remove proud Somerset's influence on the king. He is disloyal to the king and to the state. 

BUCKINGHAM

That is too much presumption on thy part: But if thy arms be to no other end, The king hath yielded unto thy demand: The Duke of Somerset is in the Tower.

BUCKINGHAM

You expect too much. But if your army is here for no other reason, the king has agreed to your demand. The Duke of Somerset is in the Tower.

YORK

Upon thine honour, is he prisoner?

YORK

Tell me, on your honor: is he a prisoner?

BUCKINGHAM

Upon mine honour, he is prisoner.

BUCKINGHAM

On my honor, he is a prisoner.

YORK

Then, Buckingham, I do dismiss my powers. Soldiers, I thank you all; disperse yourselves; Meet me to-morrow in St. George's field, You shall have pay and every thing you wish. And let my sovereign, virtuous Henry, Command my eldest son, nay, all my sons, As pledges of my fealty and love; I'll send them all as willing as I live: Lands, goods, horse, armour, any thing I have, Is his to use, so Somerset may die.

YORK

Then, Buckingham, I will send away my army. Soldiers, thank you all, scatter yourselves. Meet me tomorrow in St. George's field and you'll have your wages and anything else you want. Ask my king, the virtuous Henry, to summon my eldest son—no, all of my sons, as pledges of my loyalty and love. I'll send them as willingly as I live. My lands, goods, horses, armor, and everything I have is his to use, provided that Somerset dies.

BUCKINGHAM

York, I commend this kind submission:We twain will go into his highness' tent.

BUCKINGHAM

York, I praise this kind submission. We will go together to his highness' tent. 

Enter KING HENRY VI and Attendants

KING HENRY VI

Buckingham, doth York intend no harm to us,That thus he marcheth with thee arm in arm?

KING HENRY VI

Buckingham, does York not intend harm us, since you come together arm in arm?

YORK

In all submission and humilityYork doth present himself unto your highness.

YORK

York has come to your highness with submission and humility.

KING HENRY VI

Then what intends these forces thou dost bring?

KING HENRY VI

Then why did you bring this army with you?

YORK

To heave the traitor Somerset from hence,And fight against that monstrous rebel Cade,Who since I heard to be discomfited.

YORK

To take the traitor Somerset from here and fight that monstrous rebel Cade, who I have heard is now defeated.

Enter IDEN, with CADE'S head

IDEN

If one so rude and of so mean condition May pass into the presence of a king, Lo, I present your grace a traitor's head, The head of Cade, whom I in combat slew.

IDEN

If someone so ignorant and of such low rank may come into the presence of a king, here is a traitor's head. This is the head of Cade, who I killed in a one-on-one fight.

KING HENRY VI

The head of Cade! Great God, how just art Thou!O, let me view his visage, being dead,That living wrought me such exceeding trouble.Tell me, my friend, art thou the man that slew him?

KING HENRY VI

The head of Cade! Great God, how just you are! Oh, let me see how he looks like now that he's dead, but caused me so much trouble when he was alive. Tell me, my friend, are you the man that killed him?

IDEN

I was, an't like your majesty.

IDEN

I was, if it please your majesty.

KING HENRY VI

How art thou call'd? And what is thy degree?

KING HENRY VI

What's your name and what is your rank?

IDEN

Alexander Iden, that's my name;A poor esquire of Kent, that loves his king.

IDEN

Alexander Iden, that's my name. I am a poor esquire of Kent, that loves his king.

BUCKINGHAM

So please it you, my lord, 'twere not amissHe were created knight for his good service.

BUCKINGHAM

If my king is happy with it, it wouldn't be out of place to make him a knight for this good service.

KING HENRY VI

Iden, kneel down.

KING HENRY VI

Iden, kneel down.

He kneels

KING HENRY VI

Rise up a knight.We give thee for reward a thousand marks,And will that thou henceforth attend on us.

KING HENRY VI

Stand up a knight. We give you a thousand crowns as a reward and desire that you will attend on us from now on.

IDEN

May Iden live to merit such a bounty.And never live but true unto his liege!

IDEN

May Iden live to be deserving of such a generosity and never live unless he is loyal to his king!

Rises

Enter QUEEN MARGARET and SOMERSET

KING HENRY VI

See, Buckingham, Somerset comes with the queen:Go, bid her hide him quickly from the duke.

KING HENRY VI

Buckingham, look—Somerset is coming with the queen. Go and tell her to hide him quickly from York. 

QUEEN MARGARET

For thousand Yorks he shall not hide his head,But boldly stand and front him to his face.

QUEEN MARGARET

He shall not hide his head even if there were thousand Yorks here, but he will bravely stand and confront him face to face.

YORK

How now! Is Somerset at liberty?Then, York, unloose thy long-imprison'd thoughts,And let thy tongue be equal with thy heart.Shall I endure the sight of Somerset?False king! Why hast thou broken faith with me,Knowing how hardly I can brook abuse?King did I call thee? No, thou art not king,Not fit to govern and rule multitudes,Which darest not, no, nor canst not rule a traitor.That head of thine doth not become a crown;Thy hand is made to grasp a palmer's staff,And not to grace an awful princely sceptre.That gold must round engirt these brows of mine,Whose smile and frown, like to Achilles' spear,Is able with the change to kill and cure.Here is a hand to hold a sceptre upAnd with the same to act controlling laws.Give place: by heaven, thou shalt rule no moreO'er him whom heaven created for thy ruler.

YORK

What's this? Is Somerset free? Then, York will release the thoughts he has kept for so long and let his tongue speak what his heart feels. Shall I endure to look at Somerset? You are a false king! Why have you deceived me, knowing with what difficulty can I tolerate deception? Did I call you king? No, you are not a king, nor are you capable of  ruling the crowds. A traitor doesn't dare and cannot rule. Your head does is not fit for a crown, your hand is made to grasp a pilgrim's staff and not to hold an awe-inspiring princely scepter. That gold must encircle my head. My smile and frown, like Achilles' spear is able to change from killing to healing in a moment. Here is a hand that is made for holding a scepter and also bring about effective laws. By heaven, you shall not rule any more over him whom heaven created to be your ruler.

SOMERSET

O monstrous traitor! I arrest thee, York,Of capital treason 'gainst the king and crown;Obey, audacious traitor; kneel for grace.

SOMERSET

Oh, monstrous traitor! I arrest you, York, of capital treason against the king and the crown. Obey, audacious traitor. Kneel in front of your king.

YORK

Wouldst have me kneel? First let me ask of these,If they can brook I bow a knee to man.Sirrah, call in my sons to be my bail;

YORK

Do you want me to kneel!? First, let me ask these attendants, if they can permit me to bow to any man. Sir, call my sons to come in and bail me out.

Exit Attendant

YORK

I know, ere they will have me go to ward,They'll pawn their swords for my enfranchisement.

YORK

I know that before they will let me go to custody, they will bring out their swords to free me.

QUEEN MARGARET

Call hither Clifford! Bid him come amain,To say if that the bastard boys of YorkShall be the surety for their traitor father.

QUEEN MARGARET

Call Clifford! Tell him to come quickly to say whether the bastard boys of York shall be the assurance for their traitor father.

Exit BUCKINGHAM

YORK

O blood-besotted Neapolitan,Outcast of Naples, England's bloody scourge!The sons of York, thy betters in their birth,Shall be their father's bail; and bane to thoseThat for my surety will refuse the boys!

YORK

Oh, bloodthirsty Neapolitan, outcast of Naples, England's bloody punishment! The sons of York are your superiors in birth. They shall bail out their father. I wish destruction to those who will refuse my boys as my assurance!

Enter EDWARD and RICHARD

YORK

See where they come: I'll warrant they'llmake it good.

YORK

See where they come! I swear that they will make everything all right.

Enter CLIFFORD and YOUNG CLIFFORD

QUEEN MARGARET

And here comes Clifford to deny their bail.

QUEEN MARGARET

And here comes Clifford to stop them from bailing you out.

CLIFFORD

Health and all happiness to my lord the king!

CLIFFORD

I wish health and happiness to my lord the king!

Kneels

YORK

I thank thee, Clifford: say, what news with thee?Nay, do not fright us with an angry look;We are thy sovereign, Clifford, kneel again;For thy mistaking so, we pardon thee.

YORK

Thank you, Clifford! What's the news with you? No, don't look at so angrily. We are the king, Clifford, so kneel again. We excuse you for not doing so. 

CLIFFORD

This is my king, York, I do not mistake;But thou mistakest me much to think I do:To Bedlam with him! Is the man grown mad?

CLIFFORD

This is my king, York. I am not making a mistake. But you mistake me for thinking that I do. To the madhouse with him! Has he become mad? 

KING HENRY VI

Ay, Clifford; a bedlam and ambitious humourMakes him oppose himself against his king.

KING HENRY VI

Yes, Cliffors, a mad and ambitious mood makes him oppose himself against his king. 

CLIFFORD

He is a traitor; let him to the Tower,And chop away that factious pate of his.

CLIFFORD

He is a traitor, take him to the Tower and chop off his rebellious head.

QUEEN MARGARET

He is arrested, but will not obey;His sons, he says, shall give their words for him.

QUEEN MARGARET

He is arrested but won't listen to us. He says that his sons will speak for him.

YORK

Will you not, sons?

YORK

Won't you speak for me, sons?

EDWARD

Ay, noble father, if our words will serve.

EDWARD

We will, noble father. If our words will be enough.

RICHARD

And if words will not, then our weapons shall.

RICHARD

And if words won't be, then our weapons will.

CLIFFORD

Why, what a brood of traitors have we here!

CLIFFORD

Ah, what a group of traitors do we have here!

YORK

Look in a glass, and call thy image so: I am thy king, and thou a false-heart traitor. Call hither to the stake my two brave bears, That with the very shaking of their chains They may astonish these fell-lurking curs: Bid Salisbury and Warwick come to me.

YORK

Look in a mirror and call yourself a traitor. I am your king and you are a disloyal traitor. Call my two brave bears to the stake, to terrify these fierce dogs with the shaking of their chains. Tell Salisbury and Warwick to come here.

Enter the WARWICK and SALISBURY

CLIFFORD

Are these thy bears? We'll bait thy bears to death.And manacle the bear-ward in their chains,If thou darest bring them to the baiting place.

CLIFFORD

Are these your bears? We'll fight your bears until we kill them. And we'll put the bear-baiter in their chains, if you dare to bring them to the bear pit.

RICHARD

Oft have I seen a hot o'erweening cur Run back and bite, because he was withheld; Who, being suffer'd with the bear's fell paw, Hath clapp'd his tail between his legs and cried: And such a piece of service will you do, If you oppose yourselves to match Lord Warwick.

RICHARD

I have often seen an angry overexcited dog turn around and bite the dog handler, because he was stopped from fighting. The dog, hurt by the bear's savage paw, has put his tail between his legs and cried. And you'll be just like that, if you stand against Lord Warwick.

CLIFFORD

Hence, heap of wrath, foul indigested lump,As crooked in thy manners as thy shape!

CLIFFORD

Get out of here, you pile of anger, you foul indigested lump, as deformed in your manners as you are in your body.

YORK

Nay, we shall heat you thoroughly anon.

YORK

No, we'll make you hot from fighting very soon.

CLIFFORD

Take heed, lest by your heat you burn yourselves.

CLIFFORD

Be careful, unless you burn yourselves with that heat. 

KING HENRY VI

Why, Warwick, hath thy knee forgot to bow? Old Salisbury, shame to thy silver hair, Thou mad misleader of thy brain-sick son! What, wilt thou on thy death-bed play the ruffian, And seek for sorrow with thy spectacles? O, where is faith? O, where is loyalty? If it be banish'd from the frosty head, Where shall it find a harbour in the earth? Wilt thou go dig a grave to find out war, And shame thine honourable age with blood? Why art thou old, and want'st experience? Or wherefore dost abuse it, if thou hast it? For shame! In duty bend thy knee to me That bows unto the grave with mickle age.

KING HENRY VI

Why don't you kneel in front of me, Warwick? Old Salisbury, shame to your silver hair, you mad corrupter of your brain-sick son! Will you play a hooligan on your death-bed and look for sorrow with your glasses? Oh, where is faith? Oh, where is loyalty? If its banished from your old head, where shall it find a home anywhere in this world? Will you go and dig a grave to find war, and shame your honorable age with bloodshed? Are you old and still lack experience? Or why do you misuse your wisdom, if you have it? Shame on you! Kneel dutifully in front of me, like old age kneels to the grave.

SALISBURY

My lord, I have consider'd with myself The title of this most renowned duke; And in my conscience do repute his grace The rightful heir to England's royal seat.

SALISBURY

My lord, I have considered the title of this renowned duke myself, and in my conscience I consider him the rightful heir to the English throne.

KING HENRY VI

Hast thou not sworn allegiance unto me?

KING HENRY VI

Haven't you sworn your loyalty to me?

SALISBURY

I have.

SALISBURY

I have.

KING HENRY VI

Canst thou dispense with heaven for such an oath?

KING HENRY VI

Can you disregard it and swear against heaven?

SALISBURY

It is great sin to swear unto a sin, But greater sin to keep a sinful oath. Who can be bound by any solemn vow To do a murderous deed, to rob a man, To force a spotless virgin's chastity, To reave the orphan of his patrimony, To wring the widow from her custom'd right, And have no other reason for this wrong But that he was bound by a solemn oath?

SALISBURY

It is sinful to swear to a sin. But it is even a greater sin to keen a sinful promise. Who can be bound to any serious promise to commit a murder, to rob a man, to rape a virgin, to steal an orphan's inheritance, to steal the rights of inheritance from a widow, and have no other reason for these crimes than that he made a promise to do so?

QUEEN MARGARET

A subtle traitor needs no sophister.

QUEEN MARGARET

A cunning traitor doesn't need false logic.

KING HENRY VI

Call Buckingham, and bid him arm himself.

KING HENRY VI

Call Buckingham, and tell him to arm for battle.

YORK

Call Buckingham, and all the friends thou hast,I am resolved for death or dignity.

YORK

Call Buckingham and all the friends you have. I am determined to die or take the throne.

CLIFFORD

The first I warrant thee, if dreams prove true.

CLIFFORD

I will give you the first, if my dreams come true.

WARWICK

You were best to go to bed and dream again,To keep thee from the tempest of the field.

WARWICK

It would be better if you went back to bed and dreamed again, to keep yourself safe from the storm of the battlefield.

CLIFFORD

I am resolved to bear a greater storm Than any thou canst conjure up to-day; And that I'll write upon thy burgonet, Might I but know thee by thy household badge.

CLIFFORD

I am determined to suffer a greater storm than any of you can stir up today. And I'll write on your helmet, if I can recognize you by your family crest.

WARWICK

Now, by my father's badge, old Nevil's crest, The rampant bear chain'd to the ragged staff, This day I'll wear aloft my burgonet, As on a mountain top the cedar shows That keeps his leaves in spite of any storm, Even to affright thee with the view thereof.

WARWICK

Now, by my father's badge, old Nevil's crest—the roaring bear chained to the rough staff—I'll wear my helmet on my horse, like a cedar shows itself on a mountain top and keeps its leaves though any storm, just to frighten you with the view.

CLIFFORD

And from thy burgonet I'll rend thy bearAnd tread it under foot with all contempt,Despite the bear-ward that protects the bear.

CLIFFORD

And I'll tear your bear from your helmet, and tread it under your feet with contempt, despite the bear-keeper that protects the bear.

YOUNG CLIFFORD

And so to arms, victorious father,To quell the rebels and their complices.

YOUNG CLIFFORD

And so let's fight, victorious father! To kill the rebels and their accomplices.

RICHARD

Fie! Charity, for shame! Speak not in spite,For you shall sup with Jesu Christ to-night.

RICHARD

Oh, please! That's shameful! Don't speak, because you'll have dinner with Jesus Christ tonight.

YOUNG CLIFFORD

Foul stigmatic, that's more than thou canst tell.

YOUNG CLIFFORD

Foul criminal, that's more than you can say for yourself.

RICHARD

If not in heaven, you'll surely sup in hell.

RICHARD

If I won't have dinner in heaven, I'll surely have dinner in hell!

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.