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Henry VI, Part 3

Henry VI, Part 3 Translation Act 2, Scene 1

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A march. Enter EDWARD, RICHARD, and their power

EDWARD

I wonder how our princely father 'scaped, Or whether he be 'scaped away or no From Clifford's and Northumberland's pursuit: Had he been ta'en, we should have heard the news; Had he been slain, we should have heard the news; Or had he 'scaped, methinks we should have heard The happy tidings of his good escape. How fares my brother? why is he so sad?

EDWARD

I wonder how our father managed to escape, or if he even did escape from Clifford and Northumberland chasing after him. If he were taken, we would have heard the news already. If we were killed, we would have heard the news already. Or if he escaped, I think we would have heard the happy news of his fortunate escape. Now, how are you, brother? Why are you so sad?

RICHARD

I cannot joy, until I be resolved Where our right valiant father is become. I saw him in the battle range about; And watch'd him how he singled Clifford forth. Methought he bore him in the thickest troop As doth a lion in a herd of neat; Or as a bear, encompass'd round with dogs, Who having pinch'd a few and made them cry, The rest stand all aloof, and bark at him. So fared our father with his enemies; So fled his enemies my warlike father: Methinks, 'tis prize enough to be his son. See how the morning opes her golden gates, And takes her farewell of the glorious sun! How well resembles it the prime of youth, Trimm'd like a younker prancing to his love!

RICHARD

I can't be happy until I am told where our brave father is. I saw him in the battle moving around, and I watched how he singled out Clifford. I thought father placed himself in the busiest area of the battle as if he were a lion in a group of cattle. Or else like a bear, surrounded with dogs, who, once the bear has bitten a few and made them cry, stand at a distance and bark at him. That's how our father dealt with our enemies. That's how our warrior father escaped his enemies. I think it's enough of a prize to be his son. See how the morning opens her golden arms, and says goodbye to the glorious sun! The morning looks very much like the peak of youth, dressed like a fashionable young man leaping towards his love!

EDWARD

Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?

EDWARD

Are my eyes blinded by the beams, or do I see three suns?

RICHARD

Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun; Not separated with the racking clouds, But sever'd in a pale clear-shining sky. See, see! they join, embrace, and seem to kiss, As if they vow'd some league inviolable: Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun. In this the heaven figures some event.

RICHARD

Three glorious suns. Each one is a perfect sun, not just seeming to be separated by the drifting clouds but actually separate in a pale, clear sky. Look, look! They come together and embrace. They look like they're kissing as if they promised to join in an indestructible union. Now they are joined together like one lamp, one light, one sun. The heavens must be predicting some event by showing this. 

EDWARD

'Tis wondrous strange, the like yet never heard of. I think it cites us, brother, to the field, That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet, Each one already blazing by our meeds, Should notwithstanding join our lights together And over-shine the earth as this the world. Whate'er it bodes, henceforward will I bear Upon my target three fair-shining suns.

EDWARD

It's very strange, something that I've never heard of. I think it is calling us to the battlefield, brother. It means that we, the sons of the brave Plantagenet, since each of is already renowned for our own individual successes, we should nevertheless join our strengths and outshine the earth just like these three suns shine over the world. Whatever it means, I will wear the image of three shining suns on my shield from now on. 

RICHARD

Nay, bear three daughters: by your leave I speak it,You love the breeder better than the male.

RICHARD

No, you should wear three daughters instead. I speak this with your permission. You love women more than men. 

Enter a Messenger

RICHARD

But what art thou, whose heavy looks foretellSome dreadful story hanging on thy tongue?

RICHARD

But who are you? Your frowns predict some terrible story that you are going to tell. 

MESSENGER

Ah, one that was a woeful looker-onWhenas the noble Duke of York was slain,Your princely father and my loving lord!

MESSENGER

Ah, I am someone who was an unlucky bystander when the noble Duke of York was killed, your father and my beloved lord. 

EDWARD

O, speak no more, for I have heard too much.

EDWARD

Oh, stop speaking, for I have already heard too much. 

RICHARD

Say how he died, for I will hear it all.

RICHARD

Tell us how he died. I'm going to hear it all. 

MESSENGER

Environed he was with many foes, And stood against them, as the hope of Troy Against the Greeks that would have enter'd Troy. But Hercules himself must yield to odds; And many strokes, though with a little axe, Hew down and fell the hardest-timber'd oak. By many hands your father was subdued; But only slaughter'd by the ireful arm Of unrelenting Clifford and the queen, Who crown'd the gracious duke in high despite, Laugh'd in his face; and when with grief he wept, The ruthless queen gave him to dry his cheeks A napkin steeped in the harmless blood Of sweet young Rutland, by rough Clifford slain: And after many scorns, many foul taunts, They took his head, and on the gates of York They set the same; and there it doth remain, The saddest spectacle that e'er I view'd.

MESSENGER

He was surrounded by many enemies, and he stood against them, like when Hector stood against the Greeks that were trying to get into Troy. But even Hercules himself would have to surrender when outnumbered. And even a little axe can cut down the toughest oak with many strokes.  Your father was captured by many soldiers, but he was killed only the hateful hands of the remorseless Clifford and the queen. She mockingly crowned the duke to spite him, laughed in his face, and, when he cried with grief, the cruel queen gave him a napkin to dry his cheeks that was dipped in the innocent blood of sweet, young Rutland, who rough Clifford killed. And after many insults, many nasty taunts, they cut off his head and put it up on the gates of York. And it's still there now. It's the saddest sight that I've ever seen.

EDWARD

Sweet Duke of York, our prop to lean upon, Now thou art gone, we have no staff, no stay. O Clifford, boisterous Clifford! Thou hast slain The flower of Europe for his chivalry; And treacherously hast thou vanquish'd him, For hand to hand he would have vanquish'd thee. Now my soul's palace is become a prison: Ah, would she break from hence, that this my body Might in the ground be closed up in rest! For never henceforth shall I joy again, Never, O never shall I see more joy!

EDWARD

Sweet Duke of York, the father we could lean on, you are now gone and we have nothing to support us. Oh, Clifford, wild Clifford! You have killed the flower of Europe for his bravery. You've treacherously slaughtered him, a man who would have destroyed you in hand-to-hand combat. Now my body has become a prison. Ah, if only my soul would break away from my body so that my body could be buried in the ground! Because I'll never be happy from now on! Never, oh never, shall I experience joy again!

RICHARD

I cannot weep; for all my body's moisture Scarce serves to quench my furnace-burning heart: Nor can my tongue unload my heart's great burthen; For selfsame wind that I should speak withal Is kindling coals that fires all my breast, And burns me up with flames that tears would quench. To weep is to make less the depth of grief: Tears, then, for babes—blows and revenge for me! Richard, I bear thy name; I'll venge thy death, Or die renowned by attempting it.

RICHARD

I am not able to cry because all of the wetness of my body is being used to try to put out the fire of my burning heart. I can't speak my grief either because the same air that I would speak with is lighting the fire in my chest, burning me with flames that tears would extinguish. To cry is to lessen the depth of grief. Tears are for children, fighting and revenge are for me. Richard, my father, I share your name. I'll revenge your death or earn fame when I die in the attempt. 

EDWARD

His name that valiant duke hath left with thee;His dukedom and his chair with me is left.

EDWARD

That brave duke left his name with you. He left his dukedom and his power with me. 

RICHARD

Nay, if thou be that princely eagle's bird,Show thy descent by gazing 'gainst the sun:For "chair and dukedom," "throne and kingdom" say;Either that is thine, or else thou wert not his.

RICHARD

No, if you're truly a prince, show your power by looking directly into the sun without blinking like an eagle: instead of "power and dukedom," say "throne and kingdom." They rightfully belong to you, too, or else you're not our father's son. 

March. Enter WARWICK, MONTAGUE, and their army

WARWICK

How now, fair lords! What fare? What news abroad?

WARWICK

How are you, my lords? What success have you had? Have you heard any news from abroad?

RICHARD

Great Lord of Warwick, if we should recountOur baleful news, and at each word's deliveranceStab poniards in our flesh till all were told,The words would add more anguish than the wounds.O valiant lord, the Duke of York is slain!

RICHARD

Great lord of Warwick, if we should repeat our deadly news, and stab daggers in our flesh as each word is spoken until our speech was done, the words would be more painful than the wounds. Oh, brave lord, the Duke of York is killed! 

EDWARD

O Warwick, Warwick! That Plantagenet,Which held thee dearly as his soul's redemption,Is by the stern Lord Clifford done to death.

EDWARD

Oh, Warwick, Warwick! Plantagenet, who cared about you as much as he cared about his own soul's salvation, was killed by the cruel Clifford. 

WARWICK

Ten days ago I drown'd these news in tears; And now, to add more measure to your woes, I come to tell you things sith then befall'n. After the bloody fray at Wakefield fought, Where your brave father breathed his latest gasp, Tidings, as swiftly as the posts could run, Were brought me of your loss and his depart. I, then in London keeper of the king, Muster'd my soldiers, gather'd flocks of friends, And very well appointed, as I thought, March'd toward Saint Alban's to intercept the queen, Bearing the king in my behalf along; For by my scouts I was advertised That she was coming with a full intent To dash our late decree in parliament Touching King Henry's oath and your succession. Short tale to make, we at Saint Alban's met Our battles join'd, and both sides fiercely fought: But whether 'twas the coldness of the king, Who look'd full gently on his warlike queen, That robb'd my soldiers of their heated spleen; Or whether 'twas report of her success; Or more than common fear of Clifford's rigour, Who thunders to his captives blood and death, I cannot judge : but to conclude with truth, Their weapons like to lightning came and went; Our soldiers', like the night-owl's lazy flight, Or like an idle thresher with a flail, Fell gently down, as if they struck their friends. I cheer'd them up with justice of our cause, With promise of high pay and great rewards: But all in vain; they had no heart to fight, And we in them no hope to win the day; So that we fled; the king unto the queen; Lord George your brother, Norfolk and myself, In haste, post-haste, are come to join with you: For in the marches here we heard you were, Making another head to fight again.

WARWICK

I cried after hearing this news ten days ago. And now, to add even more to your misery, I am here to tell you what's happened since. After the bloody battle was fought at Wakefield, where your brave father drew his last breath, news was brought to me of your loss and his death as swiftly as the messengers could carry it. I was then in London, watching over the king,  so I gathered my soldiers and many friends, and well-prepared (as I thought), headed towards Saint Alban's to block the queen's way. I took the king with me for my own advantage. I was warned by my spies that she was coming fully intending to overturn our recent agreement in the parliament—the one about King Henry's oath and your succession to the throne. To make a long story short, we met at Saint Alban's, our armies crossed swords, and both sides fought fiercely. But I don't know if it was the coldness of the king, who looked gently on his warrior-like queen, that took away the fiery passion from my soldiers, or if it was the news of her success, or the general fear of cruel Clifford, who treats the ones he captures with blood and death—I can't tell what did it in the end. But to sum it all up truthfully, their weapons came and went like flashes of lightning. Our soldiers fell down gently, like the lazy flight of a night owl or a useless farmer in a wheat field, as if they were attacking their friends and not their enemies. I encouraged them by reminding them about the justice we were fighting for and by promising them high pay and great rewards. But it was all in vain. They didn't have the heart to fight and we had no hope in them to win the battle. So we ran away. The king ran to the queen, while your brother Lord George, Norfolk, and myself have come quickly as we can to join you. Near the Welsh border, we heard heard that you were here, getting an army together for another fight. 

EDWARD

Where is the Duke of Norfolk, gentle Warwick?And when came George from Burgundy to England?

EDWARD

Where is the Duke of Norfolk, kind Warwick? And when did George come from Burgundy to England? 

WARWICK

Some six miles off the duke is with the soldiers;And for your brother, he was lately sentFrom your kind aunt, Duchess of Burgundy,With aid of soldiers to this needful war.

WARWICK

The duke and his soldiers are around six miles away. Your brother recently left your kind aunt, the Duchess of Burgundy, who gave him soldiers to help populate our depleted army. 

RICHARD

'Twas odds, belike, when valiant Warwick fled:Oft have I heard his praises in pursuit,But ne'er till now his scandal of retire.

RICHARD

The odds must have been very unfavorable if brave Warwick ran away. I have often heard you praised for following the enemy, but I've never heard of your disgrace in fleeing until now. 

WARWICK

Nor now my scandal, Richard, dost thou hear; For thou shalt know this strong right hand of mine Can pluck the diadem from faint Henry's head, And wring the awful sceptre from his fist, Were he as famous and as bold in war As he is famed for mildness, peace, and prayer.

WARWICK

You don't hear of my disgrace now, Richard. You will see that this strong right hand of mine can tear the crown off weak Henry's head, and wrench the staff from his fist. I'd do so even if he were as renowned and as brave in war as he is is famous for his mildness, peacefulness and praying. 

RICHARD

I know it well, Lord Warwick; blame me not: 'Tis love I bear thy glories makes me speak. But in this troublous time what's to be done? Shall we go throw away our coats of steel, And wrap our bodies in black mourning gowns, Numbering our Ave-Maries with our beads? Or shall we on the helmets of our foes Tell our devotion with revengeful arms? If for the last, say ay, and to it, lords.

RICHARD

I know that's true, Lord Warwick. Don't blame me. It's the love that I have for your glory that makes me speak. But what should we do in these troubling times? Shall we go and throw away our steel armor and wear black mourning clothes, counting Hail Marys with our rosary beads? Or, instead, should we show our devotion and count the strokes we make with our vengeful swords on the helmets of our enemies? If you think it's the latter, say yes, and let's get to it, lords!

WARWICK

Why, therefore Warwick came to seek you out; And therefore comes my brother Montague. Attend me, lords. The proud insulting queen, With Clifford and the haught Northumberland, And of their feather many more proud birds, Have wrought the easy-melting king like wax. He swore consent to your succession, His oath enrolled in the parliament; And now to London all the crew are gone, To frustrate both his oath and what beside May make against the house of Lancaster. Their power, I think, is thirty thousand strong: Now, if the help of Norfolk and myself, With all the friends that thou, brave Earl of March, Amongst the loving Welshmen canst procure, Will but amount to five and twenty thousand, Why, Via! To London will we march amain, And once again bestride our foaming steeds, And once again cry 'Charge upon our foes!' But never once again turn back and fly.

WARWICK

Well, that's why I came to look for you and that's why my brother Montague is coming. Listen to me, lords. The proud insulting queen, with Clifford and the arrogant Northumberland, and many proud folks like them, have molded this king as if he were easily melted wax. He swore an oath that you would succeed him, and his promise was officially recorded in the parliament. And now all the men are going to London to overturn both his promise and anything else that can be used against the House of Lancaster. I think they have thirty thousand soldiers. Now, if we put together the soldiers that Norfolk and I are providing, all the friends that you—brave Earl of March—can gather from the loving Welshmen, it will only be about twenty-five thousand total. I say, "onward," then! We'll go straight to London, and once again ride our horses, and once again shout, "Charge at our enemies!," but we'll never again turn back and flee. 

RICHARD

Ay, now methinks I hear great Warwick speak:Ne'er may he live to see a sunshine day,That cries 'Retire,' if Warwick bid him stay.

RICHARD

Yes, now that sounds like the Warwick I know and love. I don't think a man would live to see the sun rise again if he cried, "Withdraw! once Warwick told him to stay. 

EDWARD

Lord Warwick, on thy shoulder will I lean;And when thou fail'st—as God forbid the hour!—Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forfend!

EDWARD

Lord Warwick, I will lean on your shoulder and when you fail in your mission—God forbid!—Edward will also fall, heaven forbid!

WARWICK

No longer Earl of March, but Duke of York: The next degree is England's royal throne; For King of England shalt thou be proclaim'd In every borough as we pass along; And he that throws not up his cap for joy Shall for the fault make forfeit of his head. King Edward, valiant Richard, Montague, Stay we no longer, dreaming of renown, But sound the trumpets, and about our task.

WARWICK

You are no longer Earl of March but Duke of York! Next stop: the throne of England. You shall be named the King of England in every part of the country that we pass. And anyone who won't throw up his hat in joy shall lose his head for that mistake. King Edward, brave Richard, Montague, let's not stay here for much longer, only dreaming of glory. Let's sound the trumpets, and carry out our mission.

RICHARD

Then, Clifford, were thy heart as hard as steel,As thou hast shown it flinty by thy deeds,I come to pierce it, or to give thee mine.

RICHARD

Then, Clifford, even if your heart is as hard as steel, as you have shown it to be steely by your actions, I'd come either to pierce your heart or to give you my own heart and loyalty. 

EDWARD

Then strike up drums: God and Saint George for us!

EDWARD

Then sound the drums! God and Saint George support us!

Enter a Messenger

WARWICK

How now! What news?

WARWICK

What now? What's the news?

MESSENGER

The Duke of Norfolk sends you word by me,The queen is coming with a puissant host;And craves your company for speedy counsel.

MESSENGER

The Duke of Norfolk sends me with a message for you. The queen is coming with a powerful army and he desires your company for a immediate consultation.

WARWICK

Why then it sorts, brave warriors, let's away.

WARWICK

Well, then, things are falling into place. Brave warriors, 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.