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Henry VI, Part 3

Henry VI, Part 3 Translation Act 2, Scene 2

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Flourish. Enter KING HENRY VI, QUEEN MARGARET, PRINCE EDWARD, CLIFFORD, and NORTHUMBERLAND, with drum and trumpets

QUEEN MARGARET

Welcome, my lord, to this brave town of York.Yonder's the head of that arch-enemyThat sought to be encompass'd with your crown:Doth not the object cheer your heart, my lord?

QUEEN MARGARET

Welcome to this splendid town of York, my lord. Over there is the head of our biggest enemy that wanted to take over your crown. Doesn't it cheer you to look on it, my lord?

KING HENRY VI

Ay, as the rocks cheer them that fear their wreck:To see this sight, it irks my very soul.Withhold revenge, dear God! 'Tis not my fault,Nor wittingly have I infringed my vow.

KING HENRY VI

Yes, as the rocks cheer up those that fear they'll crash on them. To see this disturbs my soul. Stop this revenge, dear God! It's not my fault and I haven't knowingly broken my oath. 

CLIFFORD

My gracious liege, this too much lenity And harmful pity must be laid aside. To whom do lions cast their gentle looks? Not to the beast that would usurp their den. Whose hand is that the forest bear doth lick? Not his that spoils her young before her face. Who 'scapes the lurking serpent's mortal sting? Not he that sets his foot upon her back. The smallest worm will turn being trodden on, And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood. Ambitious York doth level at thy crown, Thou smiling while he knit his angry brows: He, but a duke, would have his son a king, And raise his issue, like a loving sire; Thou, being a king, blest with a goodly son, Didst yield consent to disinherit him, Which argued thee a most unloving father. Unreasonable creatures feed their young; And though man's face be fearful to their eyes, Yet, in protection of their tender ones, Who hath not seen them, even with those wings Which sometime they have used with fearful flight, Make war with him that climb'd unto their nest, Offer their own lives in their young's defence? For shame, my liege, make them your precedent! Were it not pity that this goodly boy Should lose his birthright by his father's fault, And long hereafter say unto his child, 'What my great-grandfather and his grandsire got My careless father fondly gave away'? Ah, what a shame were this! Look on the boy; And let his manly face, which promiseth Successful fortune, steel thy melting heart To hold thine own and leave thine own with him.

CLIFFORD

My gracious lord, this harmful mildness and pity must be put to one side. At whom do lions look gently? Not the beast that wants to take over their cave. Whose hand does the forest bear lick? Not the hunter that slaughters her young in front of her. Who escapes the sting of the sneaky, venomous snake? Not the man that puts his foot on her back. The smallest worm will grown violent when someone steps on it, and doves will peck to keep their littles ones safe. Ambitious York aims at your crown! You smile while he furrows his angry brows. He is only a duke and wants his son to be a king! Like a loving father, he'd raise up his offspring. You, a king's who's lucky to have a fine son, agreed to disinherit him which made you look like a rather unloving father. Even creatures without reason feed their young. And though they view man's face as scary, who hasn't seen them use their wings, which were meant for taking flight, to fight in protection of their young ones against any man who invades their nest? They offer their own lives in defense of their young! For shame, my king, take those creatures as an example! Wouldn't it be a pity if this fine young boy should lose his birthright because of the mistake his father made? And, in years to come, he'll say to his own child, "That which my great-grandfather and my grand-father got, my father threw away carelessly"? Ah, what a shame that would be! Look at this boy. Let his manly face, which promises good fortune, harden your melting heart into fighting to hold your title and let him inherit it. 

KING HENRY VI

Full well hath Clifford play'd the orator, Inferring arguments of mighty force. But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear That things ill-got had ever bad success? And happy always was it for that son Whose father for his hoarding went to hell? I'll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind; And would my father had left me no more! For all the rest is held at such a rate As brings a thousand-fold more care to keep Than in possession and jot of pleasure. Ah, cousin York! Would thy best friends did know How it doth grieve me that thy head is here!

KING HENRY VI

Clifford has played the role of orator very well, offering powerful arguments. But, tell me Clifford, have you never heard that things wrongfully gained end up turning out badly? And was it always a happy ending for the son whose father went to hell for hoarding his money? My son will inherit my virtuous actions, and I wish my father left me nothing but those too! Because the rest that I've inherited is considered to be worth so much that it brings a thousand times more troubles to hold on to than it does to possess or enjoy it. Ah, cousin York! I wish your best friends knew how grief-stricken I am that that your head is here!

QUEEN MARGARET

My lord, cheer up your spirits: our foes are nigh, And this soft courage makes your followers faint. You promised knighthood to our forward son: Unsheathe your sword, and dub him presently. Edward, kneel down.

QUEEN MARGARET

My lord, cheer up. Our enemies are near and this lack of courage makes your followers weak. You promised our impressive son a knighthood. Unsheathe your sword and dub him a knight immediately. Edward, kneel. 

KING HENRY VI

Edward Plantagenet, arise a knight;And learn this lesson, draw thy sword in right.

KING HENRY VI

Edward Plantagenet, stand as a knight. And learn this lesson: only use your sword for a just cause. 

PRINCE

My gracious father, by your kingly leave,I'll draw it as apparent to the crown,And in that quarrel use it to the death.

PRINCE

My gracious father, if you allow me, I'll use my sword to fight for my right to be heir to the crown. In that fight, I'll fight with this sword to the death. 

CLIFFORD

Why, that is spoken like a toward prince.

CLIFFORD

You spoke that like a brave prince. 

Enter a Messenger

MESSENGER

Royal commanders, be in readiness: For with a band of thirty thousand men Comes Warwick, backing of the Duke of York; And in the towns, as they do march along, Proclaims him king, and many fly to him: Darraign your battle, for they are at hand.

MESSENGER

Royal leaders, prepare yourselves. Warwick is coming with a group of thirty thousand men, supporting the Duke of York. And in the towns through which they pass, they proclaim him king and many join him. Get the soldiers ready because they are nearly here. 

CLIFFORD

I would your highness would depart the field:The queen hath best success when you are absent.

CLIFFORD

I wish your highness would leave the battlefield. The queen is most successful when you're not there.

QUEEN MARGARET

Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our fortune.

QUEEN MARGARET

Yes, my good lord. And leave us to our own fate. 

KING HENRY VI

Why, that's my fortune too; therefore I'll stay.

KING HENRY VI

But that's my fate too. So I'll stay. 

NORTHUMBERLAND

Be it with resolution then to fight.

NORTHUMBERLAND

Then let's go fight with determination. 

PRINCE EDWARD

My royal father, cheer these noble lordsAnd hearten those that fight in your defence:Unsheathe your sword, good father; cry 'Saint George!'

PRINCE EDWARD

My royal father, cheer up these brave lords and encourage those that fight to defend you. Take up your sword, good father, and shout, "Saint George!"

March. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE, RICHARD, WARWICK, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, and Soldiers

EDWARD

Now, perjured Henry! Wilt thou kneel for grace,And set thy diadem upon my head;Or bide the mortal fortune of the field?

EDWARD

Now, lying Henry! Will you kneel for mercy, and put your crown on my head? Or will you await your fate on the battlefield? 

QUEEN MARGARET

Go, rate thy minions, proud insulting boy!Becomes it thee to be thus bold in termsBefore thy sovereign and thy lawful king?

QUEEN MARGARET

Go and scold your followers, you proud, insulting boy! Do you dare address your sovereign and your lawful king with these rude words?

EDWARD

I am his king, and he should bow his knee;I was adopted heir by his consent:Since when, his oath is broke; for, as I hear,You, that are king, though he do wear the crown,Have caused him, by new act of parliament,To blot out me, and put his own son in.

EDWARD

[To QUEEN MARGARET]

I am his king, and he should bend his knee. I was made heir with his consent. Since then, he's broken his oath. For, I've heard tell, you, who acts as the real king, even though he might wear the crown, have made him cross my name out in favor of his own son, by a new act of parliament. 

CLIFFORD

And reason too:Who should succeed the father but the son?

CLIFFORD

And there's a good reason for that too. Who should follow the father but his son? 

RICHARD

Are you there, butcher? O, I cannot speak!

RICHARD

Are you there, murderer? Oh, I cannot speak!

CLIFFORD

Ay, crook-back, here I stand to answer thee,Or any he the proudest of thy sort.

CLIFFORD

Yes, hunchback! I am standing here to answer you or whoever's the most foolhardy of your mob.

RICHARD

'Twas you that kill'd young Rutland, was it not?

RICHARD

It was you who killed young Rutland, wasn't it?

CLIFFORD

Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfied.

CLIFFORD

Yes, and I killed old York. But I'm still not satisfied. 

RICHARD

For God's sake, lords, give signal to the fight.

RICHARD

For God's sake, lords, give a signal to start the fight.

WARWICK

What say'st thou, Henry, wilt thou yield the crown?

WARWICK

What do you say, Henry? Will you give up your crown?

QUEEN MARGARET

Why, how now, long-tongued Warwick! Dare you speak?When you and I met at Saint Alban's last,Your legs did better service than your hands.

QUEEN MARGARET

Ah, how are you, you blabbing Warwick? Do you dare to speak? When we last met at Saint Alban's, you were running away instead of fighting. 

WARWICK

Then 'twas my turn to fly, and now 'tis thine.

WARWICK

Then it was my time to flee, and now it's yours. 

CLIFFORD

You said so much before, and yet you fled.

CLIFFORD

You said that before, and yet it was you who ran away. 

WARWICK

'Twas not your valour, Clifford, drove me thence.

WARWICK

It wasn't your bravery that made me run, Clifford. 

NORTHUMBERLAND

No, nor your manhood that durst make you stay.

NORTHUMBERLAND

But your manliness didn't make you stay either. 

RICHARD

Northumberland, I hold thee reverently.Break off the parley; for scarce I can refrainThe execution of my big-swoln heartUpon that Clifford, that cruel child-killer.

RICHARD

Northumberland, I respect you. End the conversation because I can barely stop my swollen heart from taking revenge upon Clifford, the cruel child-killer! 

CLIFFORD

I slew thy father, call'st thou him a child?

CLIFFORD

I killed your father. Do you call him a child?

RICHARD

Ay, like a dastard and a treacherous coward,As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland;But ere sunset I'll make thee curse the deed.

RICHARD

Yes, you did, like a treasonous coward, just as you killed our young brother Rutland. But I will make you regret that you did before the sun sets.

KING HENRY VI

Have done with words, my lords, and hear me speak.

KING HENRY VI

Stop squabbling, my lords, and listen to me now. 

QUEEN MARGARET

Defy them then, or else hold close thy lips.

QUEEN MARGARET

Challenge them then, or if you won't, then keep your mouth closed. 

KING HENRY VI

I prithee, give no limits to my tongue:I am a king, and privileged to speak.

KING HENRY VI

Please, don't tell me what my tongue can do. I am a king and I am privileged to speak.

CLIFFORD

My liege, the wound that bred this meeting hereCannot be cured by words; therefore be still.

CLIFFORD

My king, the wound that is the cause of this meeting can't be healed by words. Therefore, be silent. 

RICHARD

Then, executioner, unsheathe thy sword:By him that made us all, I am resolvedthat Clifford's manhood lies upon his tongue.

RICHARD

Then, murderer, unsheathe your sword. By God, I am convinced that Clifford's manliness exists only in his words. 

EDWARD

Say, Henry, shall I have my right, or no?A thousand men have broke their fasts to-day,That ne'er shall dine unless thou yield the crown.

EDWARD

Tell me, Henry, will I have my right to the throne or not? A thousand men had breakfast this morning, but they'll never eat dinner again if you don't give up the crown. 

WARWICK

If thou deny, their blood upon thy head;For York in justice puts his armour on.

WARWICK

If you deny him his right, their blood will be on your head. York justly puts on his armor. 

PRINCE EDWARD

If that be right which Warwick says is right,There is no wrong, but every thing is right.

PRINCE EDWARD

If what Warwick says is right is actually right, then there is nothing wrong in the world, but everything is right. 

RICHARD

Whoever got thee, there thy mother stands;For, well I wot, thou hast thy mother's tongue.

RICHARD

Whoever your father may be, I know it's your mother who stands over there. For I can tell you have your mother's tongue. 

QUEEN MARGARET

But thou art neither like thy sire nor dam;But like a foul mis-shapen stigmatic,Mark'd by the destinies to be avoided,As venom toads, or lizards' dreadful stings.

QUEEN MARGARET

But you aren't like your father or your mother. Instead, you're like a ugly, deformed monster, branded by the fates as someone who should be avoided, like poisonous toads or the stings of dreadful lizards. 

RICHARD

Iron of Naples hid with English gilt,Whose father bears the title of a king,—As if a channel should be call'd the sea,—Shamest thou not, knowing whence thou art extraught,To let thy tongue detect thy base-born heart?

RICHARD

You cheap Naples girl, disguised in English robes. Your father has the title of a king but in the same way we could also call a channel the sea. Are you not ashamed of yourself, knowing where you come from, to let your tongue reveal your lowly origins? 

EDWARD

A wisp of straw were worth a thousand crowns, To make this shameless callet know herself. Helen of Greece was fairer far than thou, Although thy husband may be Menelaus; And ne'er was Agamemnon's brother wrong'd By that false woman, as this king by thee. His father revell'd in the heart of France, And tamed the king, and made the dauphin stoop; And had he match'd according to his state, He might have kept that glory to this day; But when he took a beggar to his bed, And graced thy poor sire with his bridal-day, Even then that sunshine brew'd a shower for him, That wash'd his father's fortunes forth of France, And heap'd sedition on his crown at home. For what hath broach'd this tumult but thy pride? Hadst thou been meek, our title still had slept; And we, in pity of the gentle king, Had slipp'd our claim until another age.

EDWARD

I'd pay a thousand crowns to make this shameless whore know herself for what she is. Helen of Greece was more beautiful than you although your husband may be Menelaus. But Menelaus, Agamemnon's brother, was never wronged by that false woman like you have wronged this king.  The king's father, Henry V, had great success in the heart of France, where he won over the king of France, and made the dauphin, the prince, bow to him too. And if this king here had married according to his station, he might have retained his father's glory until today.  

[To QUEEN MARGARET]

But when he married a beggar, honoring your impoverished father on your wedding day, even then the sunshine that day prepared a future rainshower for him. That rain has washed his father's power out of France and led to rebellion against his power at home. For what else initiated this chaos but your pride? If you had stayed in your place, we wouldn't have awoken our claim to the throne. And we, pitying the gentle king, would have waited until another era to claim our right to the crown. 

GEORGE

But when we saw our sunshine made thy spring, And that thy summer bred us no increase, We set the axe to thy usurping root; And though the edge hath something hit ourselves, Yet, know thou, since we have begun to strike, We'll never leave till we have hewn thee down, Or bathed thy growing with our heated bloods.

GEORGE

[To QUEEN MARGARET]

But when we saw that our toil was making you successful, and that your reaped the rewards without helping us in return, we decided to rise up against your usurping claim to the throne. And although we've had some losses too now, you should know that, since we've started this rebellion, we'll never leave until we have cut you down entirely, or until all of our warm blood has been spilt. 

EDWARD

And, in this resolution, I defy thee;Not willing any longer conference,Since thou deniest the gentle king to speak.Sound trumpets! Let our bloody colours wave!And either victory, or else a grave.

EDWARD

And, in that spirit, I refuse to listen to you any longer since you won't let the gentle king speak. Let the trumpets sound! Let our bloody flags wave! We'll either have victory or death. 

QUEEN MARGARET

Stay, Edward.

QUEEN MARGARET

Stay, Edward.

EDWARD

No, wrangling woman, we'll no longer stay:These words will cost ten thousand lives this day.

EDWARD

No, you bargaining woman. We won't stay any longer. These words will cost ten thousand soldiers their lives today.

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.