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Henry VI, Part 3

Henry VI, Part 3 Translation Act 3, Scene 1

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Enter two Keepers, with cross-bows in their hands

FIRST KEEPER

Under this thick-grown brake we'll shroud ourselves;For through this laund anon the deer will come;And in this covert will we make our stand,Culling the principal of all the deer.

FIRST KEEPER

We'll hide under this thick bush, because the deer will soon come through this clearing. We can make a hiding place from which to shoot in this concealed spot. We'll aim at the superior deer. 

SECOND KEEPER

I'll stay above the hill, so both may shoot.

SECOND KEEPER

I'll stay above the hill so that both of us can shoot.

FIRST KEEPER

That cannot be; the noise of thy cross-bow Will scare the herd, and so my shoot is lost. Here stand we both, and aim we at the best: And, for the time shall not seem tedious, I'll tell thee what befell me on a day In this self-place where now we mean to stand.

FIRST KEEPER

That won't work. The noise of your bow will scare the herd and my shot will be pointless. Let us both stand here and aim at the best deer. And, so that the time won't seem too long, I'll tell you what happened to me one day in this same place where we're planning to stand now. 

SECOND KEEPER

Here comes a man; let's stay till he be past.

SECOND KEEPER

Look a man is coming our way. Let's not move until he's gone. 

Enter KING HENRY VI, disguised, with a prayerbook

KING HENRY VI

From Scotland am I stol'n, even of pure love, To greet mine own land with my wishful sight. No, Harry, Harry, 'tis no land of thine; Thy place is fill'd, thy sceptre wrung from thee, Thy balm wash'd off wherewith thou wast anointed: No bending knee will call thee Caesar now, No humble suitors press to speak for right, No, not a man comes for redress of thee; For how can I help them, and not myself?

KING HENRY VI

I have snuck away from Scotland out of pure love in order to look longingly at my own land. No, Harry, Harry, it's not your land. Your throne is filled, your scepter taken from you, the oil that once blessed you at your coronation has now washed away. No citizens on bended knee will call you Caesar now. No humble people will come to you to ask for justice. No, no one at all will come to ask for help from you. Because how can I help them when I could not help myself?

FIRST KEEPER

Ay, here's a deer whose skin's a keeper's fee:This is the quondam king; let's seize upon him.

FIRST KEEPER

Ah, well here's a deer whose skin is worth a high price. This is the former king. Let's grab him. 

KING HENRY VI

Let me embrace thee, sour adversity,For wise men say it is the wisest course.

KING HENRY VI

Let me embrace you, sour misery, because wise men say that's the wisest thing to do.

SECOND KEEPER

Why linger we? Let us lay hands upon him.

SECOND KEEPER

Why do we wait? Let's get him. 

FIRST KEEPER

Forbear awhile; we'll hear a little more.

FIRST KEEPER

Wait a while. Let's hear a little more. 

KING HENRY VI

My queen and son are gone to France for aid; And, as I hear, the great commanding Warwick Is thither gone, to crave the French king's sister To wife for Edward: if this news be true, Poor queen and son, your labour is but lost; For Warwick is a subtle orator, And Lewis a prince soon won with moving words. By this account then Margaret may win him; For she's a woman to be pitied much: Her sighs will make a battery in his breast; Her tears will pierce into a marble heart; The tiger will be mild whiles she doth mourn; And Nero will be tainted with remorse, To hear and see her plaints, her brinish tears. Ay, but she's come to beg, Warwick to give; She, on his left side, craving aid for Henry, He, on his right, asking a wife for Edward. She weeps, and says her Henry is deposed; He smiles, and says his Edward is install'd; That she, poor wretch, for grief can speak no more; Whiles Warwick tells his title, smooths the wrong, Inferreth arguments of mighty strength, And in conclusion wins the king from her, With promise of his sister, and what else, To strengthen and support King Edward's place. O Margaret, thus 'twill be; and thou, poor soul, Art then forsaken, as thou went'st forlorn!

KING HENRY VI

My queen and son have gone to France for help. I hear that the great, powerful Warwick has also gone there to ask if the French king's sister-in-law will be Edward's wife. If this news is true, your efforts are in vain, poor queen and son, because Warwick is a persuasive speaker and Lewis is a king who is too easily won by well-spoken words. But, then, in the same way, Margaret might convince him too, since she's a woman who can be much pitied. Her sighs will make an assault on his chest, her tears will pierce into his marble heart. The tiger in her will act gentle while she bewails her situation, and even Emperor Nero would be moved to hear and see her laments and her salty tears. Yes, but she's come to beg and Warwick's going to make an offer. She, one on side, comes begging for aid for Henry. Warwick, on the other side, comes asking for a wife for Edward. She weeps and says her Henry's been deposed. He smiles and says his Edward is made king. She, the poor woman, says she can't speak anymore because of her grief while Warwick announces his title, glosses over the conflict, presents very strong arguments, and finally wins the king from her, with a promise of his sister in marriage. Besides the marriage, he'll get anything he needs to strengthen and support King Edward's power. Oh, Margaret, that's how it will be. And you, poor soul, will then be abandoned, as miserable leaving as when you came! 

SECOND KEEPER

Say, what art thou that talk'st of kings and queens?

SECOND KEEPER

Tell us, who are you who speaks of kings and queens?

KING HENRY VI

More than I seem, and less than I was born to:A man at least, for less I should not be;And men may talk of kings, and why not I?

KING HENRY VI

More than I seem and less than I was born to be. I am a man at least, because I shouldn't be less than that. And since men may talk of kings, why shouldn't I?

SECOND KEEPER

Ay, but thou talk'st as if thou wert a king.

SECOND KEEPER

Yes, but you speak as if you were a king. 

KING HENRY VI

Why, so I am, in mind; and that's enough.

KING HENRY VI

Well, I am, in my mind. And that's enough. 

SECOND KEEPER

But, if thou be a king, where is thy crown?

SECOND KEEPER

But if you are a king, where is your crown?

KING HENRY VI

My crown is in my heart, not on my head;Not decked with diamonds and Indian stones,Nor to be seen: my crown is called content:A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.

KING HENRY VI

My crown is in my heart, not on my head. It's not decorated with diamonds and Indian jewels and it can't be seen. My crown is called contentedness. It's a crown that kings don't often get to enjoy wearing. 

SECOND KEEPER

Well, if you be a king crown'd with content, Your crown content and you must be contented To go along with us; for as we think, You are the king King Edward hath deposed; And we his subjects sworn in all allegiance Will apprehend you as his enemy.

SECOND KEEPER

Well, if you are a king crowned with contentedness, both your happy crown and yourself must be content to come with us. We think that you are the king who was deposed by King Edward. We, his subjects, sworn to be faithful to him, will arrest you as his enemy. 

KING HENRY VI

But did you never swear, and break an oath?

KING HENRY VI

But have you never sworn and then broken the oath?

SECOND KEEPER

No, never such an oath; nor will not now.

SECOND KEEPER

No, I've never sworn an oath like that. And I won't do it now.

KING HENRY VI

Where did you dwell when I was King of England?

KING HENRY VI

Where did you live when I was King of England?

SECOND KEEPER

Here in this country, where we now remain.

SECOND KEEPER

Here in this region, where we are now.

KING HENRY VI

I was anointed king at nine months old;My father and my grandfather were kings,And you were sworn true subjects unto me:And tell me, then, have you not broke your oaths?

KING HENRY VI

I became king when I was nine months old. My father and my grandfather were kings and you were sworn to be my faithful subjects. Tell me, then, haven't you broken your oaths to me? 

FIRST KEEPER

No;For we were subjects but while you were king.

FIRST KEEPER

No, because we were loyal subjects to you while you were king. 

KING HENRY VI

Why, am I dead? Do I not breathe a man? Ah, simple men, you know not what you swear! Look, as I blow this feather from my face, And as the air blows it to me again, Obeying with my wind when I do blow, And yielding to another when it blows, Commanded always by the greater gust; Such is the lightness of you common men. But do not break your oaths; for of that sin My mild entreaty shall not make you guilty. Go where you will, the king shall be commanded; And be you kings, command, and I'll obey.

KING HENRY VI

Well, am I dead? Am I not breathing like any man? Ah, foolish men, you don't know what you swore! Look, I blow this feather from my face and  the air blows it back to me again. It follows my breath when I blow, and it surrenders to the wind when it blows. The feather is always commanded by the more powerful gust. The fickleness of you common men is the same. But don't break your oaths. My mild plea shall not make you guilty of that sin. Go wherever you want and you can command the king. As if you were kings, command me and I'll obey you. 

FIRST KEEPER

We are true subjects to the king, King Edward.

FIRST KEEPER

We are faithful subjects of the king, King Edward. 

KING HENRY VI

So would you be again to Henry,If he were seated as King Edward is.

KING HENRY VI

And you would be again to Henry, if he was seated where King Edward sits.

FIRST KEEPER

We charge you, in God's name, and the king's,To go with us unto the officers.

FIRST KEEPER

We order you, in God's name and the king's, to go with us to the officers.

KING HENRY VI

In God's name, lead; your king's name be obey'd:And what God will, that let your king perform;And what he will, I humbly yield unto.

KING HENRY VI

In God's name, lead on. Your king's name will be obeyed. Whatever God wills, that's what your king will do. And what he wants me to do, I'll yield to him. 

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.