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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

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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

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KING HENRY VI

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

KING HENRY VI

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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

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CLIFFORD

Why, that is spoken like a toward prince.

CLIFFORD

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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

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CLIFFORD

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

CLIFFORD

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QUEEN MARGARET

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

QUEEN MARGARET

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KING HENRY VI

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

KING HENRY VI

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NORTHUMBERLAND

Be it with resolution then to fight.

NORTHUMBERLAND

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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

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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

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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

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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

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CLIFFORD

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

CLIFFORD

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RICHARD

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

RICHARD

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CLIFFORD

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

CLIFFORD

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RICHARD

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

RICHARD

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CLIFFORD

Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfied.

CLIFFORD

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RICHARD

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

RICHARD

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WARWICK

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

WARWICK

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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

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WARWICK

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

WARWICK

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CLIFFORD

You said so much before, and yet you fled.

CLIFFORD

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WARWICK

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

WARWICK

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NORTHUMBERLAND

No, nor your manhood that durst make you stay.

NORTHUMBERLAND

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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

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CLIFFORD

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

CLIFFORD

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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

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KING HENRY VI

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

KING HENRY VI

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QUEEN MARGARET

Defy them then, or else hold close thy lips.

QUEEN MARGARET

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KING HENRY VI

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

KING HENRY VI

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CLIFFORD

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

CLIFFORD

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RICHARD

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

RICHARD

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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

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WARWICK

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

WARWICK

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PRINCE EDWARD

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

PRINCE EDWARD

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RICHARD

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

RICHARD

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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QUEEN MARGARET

Stay, Edward.

QUEEN MARGARET

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EDWARD

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

EDWARD

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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.