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Henry VI, Part 3

Henry VI, Part 3 Translation Act 2, Scene 6

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A loud alarum. Enter CLIFFORD, wounded

CLIFFORD

Here burns my candle out; ay, here it dies, Which, whiles it lasted, gave King Henry light. O Lancaster, I fear thy overthrow More than my body's parting with my soul! My love and fear glued many friends to thee; And, now I fall, thy tough commixture melts. Impairing Henry, strengthening misproud York, The common people swarm like summer flies; And whither fly the gnats but to the sun? And who shines now but Henry's enemies? O Phoebus, hadst thou never given consent That Phaethon should cheque thy fiery steeds, Thy burning car never had scorch'd the earth! And, Henry, hadst thou sway'd as kings should do, Or as thy father and his father did, Giving no ground unto the house of York, They never then had sprung like summer flies; I and ten thousand in this luckless realm Had left no mourning widows for our death; And thou this day hadst kept thy chair in peace. For what doth cherish weeds but gentle air? And what makes robbers bold but too much lenity? Bootless are plaints, and cureless are my wounds; No way to fly, nor strength to hold out flight: The foe is merciless, and will not pity; For at their hands I have deserved no pity. The air hath got into my deadly wounds, And much effuse of blood doth make me faint. Come, York and Richard, Warwick and the rest; I stabb'd your fathers' bosoms, split my breast.

CLIFFORD

My life's candle burns out here. Yes, it dies here. While it lasted, it gave light to King Henry. Oh, Lancaster, I'm more afraid you'll be defeated than I am of death! Love for me, and fear of me, helped you make a lot of friends, and now, as I'm I fall, all of that is falling apart. The common people are swarming everywhere like flies in the summer—hurting Henry and strengthening the wrongfully proud York—and where do such gnats fly but to the sun? And aren't only Henry's enemies shining now? Oh, Phoebus, if only you hadn't given permission to Phaethon, allowing him to ride your horses, your chariot would never have burned the earth! And Henry, if only you ruled like kings should do, or as your father and his father did, and hadn't made this oath to the House of York, they would never have sprung up like swarms of flies in summer. In this unfortunate kingdom, then, ten thousand men, I among them, wouldn't have left mourning widows grieving our deaths. And today, you'd have kept your throne entirely in peace. Isn't it gentle air that makes weeds grow? Isn't it leniency in the law that makes robbers bold? Complaints are useless, and my wounds cannot be cured. There is nowhere I can flee to, and I wouldn't have the strength to run either. The enemy has no mercy and won't pity me because I don't deserve pity from them. The air has gotten into my deadly wounds, and the loss of blood makes me weak. Come, York, Richard, Warwick and all the rest of you. I stabbed your fathers' chests, you should split open mine. 

He faints

Alarum and retreat. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE, RICHARD, MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and Soldiers

EDWARD

Now breathe we, lords: good fortune bids us pause, And smooth the frowns of war with peaceful looks. Some troops pursue the bloody-minded queen, That led calm Henry, though he were a king, As doth a sail, fill'd with a fretting gust, Command an argosy to stem the waves. But think you, lords, that Clifford fled with them?

EDWARD

Now we can breathe, lords. Our good fortune makes us stop for a while and look peacefully instead of frowning like we did while fighting. Some soldiers follow after the blood-thirsty queen. She ruled Henry, even though he is a king, like a ship's sail, blown around with a nasty wind, steers a large merchant ship to cut through the waves. But do you think Clifford fled with them, lords?

WARWICK

No, 'tis impossible he should escape,For, though before his face I speak the wordsYour brother Richard mark'd him for the grave:And wheresoe'er he is, he's surely dead.

WARWICK

No, it's impossible that he could have escaped. Your brother Richard's right in front of me, but I'll tell you that Richard wounded Clifford seriously. Wherever he may be, he is surely dead. 

CLIFFORD groans, and dies

EDWARD

Whose soul is that which takes her heavy leave?

EDWARD

Who is that who dies with such suffering?

RICHARD

A deadly groan, like life and death's departing.

RICHARD

A deadly groan, like the separation between life and death. 

EDWARD

See who it is: and, now the battle's ended,If friend or foe, let him be gently used.

EDWARD

See who it is. Now that the battle is over, treat him honorably, whether he's a friend or an enemy. 

RICHARD

Revoke that doom of mercy, for 'tis Clifford; Who not contented that he lopp'd the branch In hewing Rutland when his leaves put forth, But set his murdering knife unto the root From whence that tender spray did sweetly spring, I mean our princely father, Duke of York.

RICHARD

Take back that sentence of mercy, because it's Clifford. He wasn't content to have killed the child, young Rutland, just as he'd started to grow. Clifford then turned his murderous knife upon the root from which young Rutland grew. I mean our royal father,  the Duke of York. 

WARWICK

From off the gates of York fetch down the head,Your father's head, which Clifford placed there;Instead whereof let this supply the room:Measure for measure must be answered.

WARWICK

Take the head down from off the gates of York—your father's head, which Clifford put there. Instead, let Clifford's head take its place. An eye for an eye. 

EDWARD

Bring forth that fatal screech-owl to our house,That nothing sung but death to us and ours:Now death shall stop his dismal threatening sound,And his ill-boding tongue no more shall speak.

EDWARD

Bring forward that creature who was deadly to our house, who did nothing but bring death to us and our loved ones. Now death shall stop his gloomy, threatening voice, and his ominous tongue shall speak no more.

WARWICK

I think his understanding is bereft.Speak, Clifford, dost thou know who speaks to thee?Dark cloudy death o'ershades his beams of life,And he nor sees nor hears us what we say.

WARWICK

I think he can't perceive us anymore. Clifford, speak! Do you know who is speaking to you? Dark, cloudy death covers up the sunbeams of his life, and he neither sees us nor hears what we are saying. 

RICHARD

O, would he did! And so perhaps he doth:'Tis but his policy to counterfeit,Because he would avoid such bitter tauntsWhich in the time of death he gave our father.

RICHARD

Oh, I wish he did! And maybe he does but it's his strategy to pretend because he doesn't want to hear the sort of angry taunts which he delivered to our father at the time of his death. 

GEORGE

If so thou think'st, vex him with eager words.

GEORGE

If you think so, irritate him with sharp words.

RICHARD

Clifford, ask mercy and obtain no grace.

RICHARD

Clifford, ask for mercy and receive no grace. 

EDWARD

Clifford, repent in bootless penitence.

EDWARD

Clifford, repent with fruitless remorse. 

WARWICK

Clifford, devise excuses for thy faults.

WARWICK

Clifford, make up excuses for your crimes. 

GEORGE

While we devise fell tortures for thy faults.

GEORGE

While we think of brutal tortures for your actions. 

RICHARD

Thou didst love York, and I am son to York.

RICHARD

You loved York and I am York's son. 

EDWARD

Thou pitied'st Rutland; I will pity thee.

EDWARD

You pitied Rutland and now I will pity you.

GEORGE

Where's Captain Margaret, to fence you now?

GEORGE

Where's Captain Margaret to protect you now?

WARWICK

They mock thee, Clifford: swear as thou wast wont.

WARWICK

They mock you, Clifford. Swear as you used to.

RICHARD

What, not an oath? Nay, then the world goes hard When Clifford cannot spare his friends an oath. I know by that he's dead ; and, by my soul, If this right hand would buy two hour's life, That I in all despite might rail at him, This hand should chop it off, and with the issuing blood Stifle the villain whose unstanched thirst York and young Rutland could not satisfy.

RICHARD

What? Not a single curse? Wow, well the world has become a sad place when Clifford doesn't have one curse for his friends. Well, that's how we know that he's dead. By my soul, if this right hand would bring him back to life for two hours just so I could insult and taunt him, I'd cut it off. Then I'd use the blood pouring out the wound to choke this villain whose insatiable thirst for blood couldn't be satisfied by killing York and the young Rutland. 

WARWICK

Ay, but he's dead: off with the traitor's head, And rear it in the place your father's stands. And now to London with triumphant march, There to be crowned England's royal king: From whence shall Warwick cut the sea to France, And ask the Lady Bona for thy queen: So shalt thou sinew both these lands together; And, having France thy friend, thou shalt not dread The scatter'd foe that hopes to rise again; For though they cannot greatly sting to hurt, Yet look to have them buzz to offend thine ears. First will I see the coronation; And then to Brittany I'll cross the sea, To effect this marriage, so it please my lord.

WARWICK

Yes, but he's dead. Off with the traitor's head and put it up in the place where your father's head is. And now let's march triumphantly to London. There you'll be crowned king of England. From there, I'll cross the sea to France and arrange for Lady Bona to be your queen. That way you'll tie these two nations together. And, having France as an ally, you won't fear that the enemy, now dispersed but hoping to return, will ever rise again. Even though they can't do much to hurt you now, expect them to make trouble and spread rumors to offend you. First, I will see the coronation and then I'll go to Brittany across the sea to make this marriage happen, if my lord agrees. 

EDWARD

Even as thou wilt, sweet Warwick, let it be; For in thy shoulder do I build my seat, And never will I undertake the thing Wherein thy counsel and consent is wanting. Richard, I will create thee Duke of Gloucester, And George, of Clarence: Warwick, as ourself, Shall do and undo as him pleaseth best.

EDWARD

Just as you wish, sweet Warwick, let it happen. I build my throne relying on your support, and I will never do anything if you counsel me against it or don't give consent. Richard, I will make you Duke of Gloucester and George, I'll make you Duke of Clarence. Warwick, in my name, shall do and undo whatever he wants. 

RICHARD

Let me be Duke of Clarence, George of Gloucester;For Gloucester's dukedom is too ominous.

RICHARD

Let me be Duke of Clarence, George of Gloucester. Being Duke of Gloucester is too dangerous

WARWICK

Tut, that's a foolish observation:Richard, be Duke of Gloucester. Now to London,To see these honours in possession.

WARWICK

Oh, please, that's a silly comment: Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Now, let's go to London, so you can receive these honors. 

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.