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Henry VI, Part 3

Henry VI, Part 3 Translation Act 3, Scene 2

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Enter KING EDWARD IV, GLOUCESTER, CLARENCE, and LADY GREY

KING EDWARD IV

Brother of Gloucester, at Saint Alban's field This lady's husband, Sir Richard Grey, was slain, His lands then seized on by the conqueror: Her suit is now to repossess those lands; Which we in justice cannot well deny, Because in quarrel of the house of York The worthy gentleman did lose his life.

KING EDWARD IV

Brother Gloucester, this lady's husband, Sir Richard Grey, was killed at Saint Alban's battlefield. His lands were taken over by the enemy. She now wants to make a case to get back those lands, which we cannot justly deny her, since the worthy gentleman lost his life fighting for the house of York.

GLOUCESTER

Your highness shall do well to grant her suit;It were dishonour to deny it her.

GLOUCESTER

Your highness would do well to give her what she wants. It would be dishonorable to deny it to her.

KING EDWARD IV

It were no less; but yet I'll make a pause.

KING EDWARD IV

That's true, but I'll pause before agreeing. 

GLOUCESTER

[Aside to CLARENCE] Yea, is it so?I see the lady hath a thing to grant,Before the king will grant her humble suit.

GLOUCESTER

[So only CLARENCE can hear] Oh, is that it? I see that the lady has something she can offer him, before the king will agree to her humble request.

CLARENCE

[Aside to GLOUCESTER] He knows the game: how truehe keeps the wind!

CLARENCE

[So only GLOUCESTER can hear] He knows how to play the game. Oh, how coyly he plots this conquest! 

GLOUCESTER

[Aside to CLARENCE] Silence!

GLOUCESTER

[So only CLARENCE can hear] Be quiet!

KING EDWARD IV

Widow, we will consider of your suit;And come some other time to know our mind.

KING EDWARD IV

I will consider your request, widow. Come some other time to find out what I've decided. 

LADY GREY

Right gracious lord, I cannot brook delay:May it please your highness to resolve me now;And what your pleasure is, shall satisfy me.

LADY GREY

My gracious lord, I can't delay finding out your answer. Would it be possible for your highness to answer me now? Whatever you decide, that will satisfy me. 

GLOUCESTER

[Aside to CLARENCE] Ay, widow? Then I'll warrantyou all your lands,An if what pleases him shall pleasure you.Fight closer, or, good faith, you'll catch a blow.

GLOUCESTER

[So only CLARENCE can hear] Yes, widow? Then I bet you that all your lands will be yours, if what pleases him will pleasure you too. She needs to fight closer to the enemy or, I'd wager, she'll get hit

CLARENCE

[Aside to GLOUCESTER] I fear her not, unless shechance to fall.

CLARENCE

[So only GLOUCESTER can hear] I'm not afraid for her, unless she should chance to fall under him.

GLOUCESTER

[Aside to CLARENCE] God forbid that! For he'lltake vantages.

GLOUCESTER

[So only CLARENCE can hear] God prevent that from happening! Because then he'll take advantage. 

KING EDWARD IV

How many children hast thou, widow? Tell me.

KING EDWARD IV

How many children do you have, widow? Tell me.

CLARENCE

[Aside to GLOUCESTER] I think he means to beg achild of her.

CLARENCE

[So only GLOUCESTER can hear] I think he wants to beg her to give him a child. 

GLOUCESTER

[Aside to CLARENCE] Nay, whip me then: he'll rathergive her two.

GLOUCESTER

[So only CLARENCE can hear] No, whip me if you're right about that. He'd rather give her two of his own children. 

LADY GREY

Three, my most gracious lord.

LADY GREY

Three, my most gracious lord.

GLOUCESTER

[Aside to CLARENCE] You shall have four, if you'llbe ruled by him.

GLOUCESTER

[So only CLARENCE can hear] You will have four, if you'll be ruled by him.

KING EDWARD IV

'Twere pity they should lose their father's lands.

KING EDWARD IV

It's a shame that they should lose their father's lands.

LADY GREY

Be pitiful, dread lord, and grant it then.

LADY GREY

Feel sorry for them, honorable lord, and give me the land then. 

KING EDWARD IV

Lords, give us leave: I'll try this widow's wit.

KING EDWARD IV

Lords, leave us alone. I'll test the intellect of this widow.

GLOUCESTER

[Aside to CLARENCE] Ay, good leave have you; foryou will have leave,Till youth take leave and leave you to the crutch.

GLOUCESTER

[So only CLARENCE can hear] Yes, enjoy your privacy.  You'll take what you can get until you lose your youth and you're hobbling around on a crutch in old age. 

GLOUCESTER and CLARENCE retire

KING EDWARD IV

Now tell me, madam, do you love your children?

KING EDWARD IV

Now, madam, tell me, do you love your children?

LADY GREY

Ay, full as dearly as I love myself.

LADY GREY

Yes, as much as I love myself.

KING EDWARD IV

And would you not do much to do them good?

KING EDWARD IV

And wouldn't you do a lot for them?

LADY GREY

To do them good, I would sustain some harm.

LADY GREY

For them, I would even undergo being hurt.

KING EDWARD IV

Then get your husband's lands, to do them good.

KING EDWARD IV

Then get them your husband's lands to do good by them.

LADY GREY

Therefore I came unto your majesty.

LADY GREY

That's why I came to your majesty.

KING EDWARD IV

I'll tell you how these lands are to be got.

KING EDWARD IV

I'll tell you how you can get these lands.

LADY GREY

So shall you bind me to your highness' service.

LADY GREY

If you can get them, I'll be your highness' faithful servant. 

KING EDWARD IV

What service wilt thou do me, if I give them?

KING EDWARD IV

What service can you do for me, if I give you the lands?

LADY GREY

What you command, that rests in me to do.

LADY GREY

Whatever you command, it'll be my responsibility to carry out. 

KING EDWARD IV

But you will take exceptions to my boon.

KING EDWARD IV

But you think there are exceptions to my request. 

LADY GREY

No, gracious lord, except I cannot do it.

LADY GREY

No, gracious lord, unless I can't do it. 

KING EDWARD IV

Ay, but thou canst do what I mean to ask.

KING EDWARD IV

Yes, but you can do what I'm planning to ask you to do. 

LADY GREY

Why, then I will do what your grace commands.

LADY GREY

Well, then, I will do what your grace commands. 

GLOUCESTER

[Aside to CLARENCE] He plies her hard; and much rainwears the marble.

GLOUCESTER

[So only CLARENCE can hear] He is working on her persistently. He's wearing down her stony exterior. 

CLARENCE

[Aside to GLOUCESTER] As red as fire! nay, thenher wax must melt.

CLARENCE

[So only GLOUCESTER can hear] He is as hot as fire! Her wax must melt under him. 

LADY GREY

Why stops my lord, shall I not hear my task?

LADY GREY

Why does my lord stop? Shall I not hear what I have to do?

KING EDWARD IV

An easy task; 'tis but to love a king.

KING EDWARD IV

It's an easy job—only to love a king.

LADY GREY

That's soon perform'd, because I am a subject.

LADY GREY

That can be done easily because I am one of your loyal subjects. 

KING EDWARD IV

Why, then, thy husband's lands I freely give thee.

KING EDWARD IV

Well, then, I give you back your husband's lands freely.

LADY GREY

I take my leave with many thousand thanks.

LADY GREY

And I leave with a thousand thanks. 

GLOUCESTER

[Aside to CLARENCE] The match is made; she seals itwith a curtsy.

GLOUCESTER

[So only CLARENCE can hear] The match is made. She seals the deal by curtsying. 

KING EDWARD IV

But stay thee, 'tis the fruits of love I mean.

KING EDWARD IV

But wait. I'm talking about the enjoyment of love. 

LADY GREY

The fruits of love I mean, my loving liege.

LADY GREY

I'm also talking about the enjoyment of love, my loving lord.

KING EDWARD IV

Ay, but, I fear me, in another sense.What love, think'st thou, I sue so much to get?

KING EDWARD IV

Yes, but I think you mean it in another sense. What kind of love, do you think, do I try so hard to get from you?

LADY GREY

My love till death, my humble thanks, my prayers;That love which virtue begs and virtue grants.

LADY GREY

My love until death, my humble thanks, my prayers. A kind of love that being virtuous asks of me and being virtuous then makes me be. 

KING EDWARD IV

No, by my troth, I did not mean such love.

KING EDWARD IV

No, to tell you the truth, I didn't mean that kind of love. 

LADY GREY

Why, then you mean not as I thought you did.

LADY GREY

Well, then you don't mean what I thought you did.

KING EDWARD IV

But now you partly may perceive my mind.

KING EDWARD IV

But now you may partially understand what I meant.

LADY GREY

My mind will never grant what I perceiveYour highness aims at, if I aim aright.

LADY GREY

My mind will never allow me to think what I imagine your highness means, if I guess correctly. 

KING EDWARD IV

To tell thee plain, I aim to lie with thee.

KING EDWARD IV

I'll say it simply then. I want to sleep with you.

LADY GREY

To tell you plain, I had rather lie in prison.

LADY GREY

To say it simply, I would rather sleep in prison. 

KING EDWARD IV

Why, then thou shalt not have thy husband's lands.

KING EDWARD IV

Well, then you won't have your husband's lands.

LADY GREY

Why, then mine honesty shall be my dower;For by that loss I will not purchase them.

LADY GREY

Well, then my chastity will be payment enough. No, I won't pay for these lands with my virtue.

KING EDWARD IV

Therein thou wrong'st thy children mightily.

KING EDWARD IV

You wrong your children so much by refusing. 

LADY GREY

Herein your highness wrongs both them and me.But, mighty lord, this merry inclinationAccords not with the sadness of my suit:Please you dismiss me either with 'ay' or 'no.'

LADY GREY

Your highness wrongs both them and me in making this demand. But, powerful king, this playful toying with me does not fit well with the seriousness of my request. Please, let me go and either tell me "yes" or "no."

KING EDWARD IV

Ay, if thou wilt say 'ay' to my request;No if thou dost say 'no' to my demand.

KING EDWARD IV

"Yes," if you'll say "yes" to what I request. "No," if you'll say "no" to what I demand.  

LADY GREY

Then, no, my lord. My suit is at an end.

LADY GREY

Then, I say "no," my lord. My pleas to you are over. 

GLOUCESTER

[Aside to CLARENCE] The widow likes him not, sheknits her brows.

GLOUCESTER

[So only CLARENCE can hear] The widow doesn't like him, she's frowning. 

CLARENCE

[Aside to GLOUCESTER] He is the bluntest wooer inChristendom.

CLARENCE

[So only GLOUCESTER can hear] He makes his sexual offer more directly than any man in the Christian world. 

KING EDWARD IV

[Aside] Her looks do argue her replete with modesty; Her words do show her wit incomparable; All her perfections challenge sovereignty: One way or other, she is for a king; And she shall be my love, or else my queen.

[To LADY GREY]
Say that King Edward take thee for his queen?

KING EDWARD IV

[To himself] Her appearance proves that she is full of modesty. Her words show her matchless intellect. All the ways in which she seems perfect make the case for her to be queen. One way or another, she's meant for a king's bed. And she shall be my lover, or, if not, my queen.

 [To LADY GREY] What about if King Edward takes you for his queen?

LADY GREY

'Tis better said than done, my gracious lord:I am a subject fit to jest withal,But far unfit to be a sovereign.

LADY GREY

That's easier said than done, my royal lord. I am a lowly subject that's only fit to joke with on this topic, but I'm certainly not fit to be a ruler.

KING EDWARD IV

Sweet widow, by my state I swear to theeI speak no more than what my soul intends;And that is, to enjoy thee for my love.

KING EDWARD IV

Sweet widow, I swear to you, by my royal standing, that I don't say anything I don't intend to make true. That is, I'm going to to enjoy you as a lover. 

LADY GREY

And that is more than I will yield unto:I know I am too mean to be your queen,And yet too good to be your concubine.

LADY GREY

And that's more than I'll consent to. I know I am too poor to be your queen and yet too good to be your mistress. 

KING EDWARD IV

You cavil, widow: I did mean, my queen.

KING EDWARD IV

You're just coming up with excuses, widow. I really mean to make you my queen.

LADY GREY

'Twill grieve your grace my sons should call you father.

LADY GREY

It will make you upset to hear my sons call you father.

KING EDWARD IV

No more than when my daughters call thee mother. Thou art a widow, and thou hast some children; And, by God's mother, I, being but a bachelor, Have other some: why, 'tis a happy thing To be the father unto many sons. Answer no more, for thou shalt be my queen.

KING EDWARD IV

Not more than when my daughters call you mother. You are a widow and you have some children. And, holy moly, even though I'm only a bachelor, I do have some other children myself. It's a happy thing to be a father to many sons. Don't say anything else since you will be my queen. 

GLOUCESTER

[Aside to CLARENCE] The ghostly father now hath donehis shrift.

GLOUCESTER

[So only CLARENCE can hear] He's like a priest who's heard her confession and granted absolution. 

CLARENCE

[Aside to GLOUCESTER] When he was made a shriver,'twas for shift.

CLARENCE

[So only GLOUCESTER can hear] He became like a priest to get her to sleep with him. 

KING EDWARD IV

Brothers, you muse what chat we two have had.

KING EDWARD IV

Brothers, you must be wondering what we've been talking about.

GLOUCESTER

The widow likes it not, for she looks very sad.

GLOUCESTER

Whatever it was, the widow doesn't like it. She looks very sad.

KING EDWARD IV

You'll think it strange if I should marry her.

KING EDWARD IV

You would think it's strange if I said I'm going to marry her.

CLARENCE

To whom, my lord?

CLARENCE

Marry her to whom, my lord?

KING EDWARD IV

Why, Clarence, to myself.

KING EDWARD IV

Well, Clarence, to myself.

GLOUCESTER

That would be ten days' wonder at the least.

GLOUCESTER

That would be a wonder lasting ten days at least.

CLARENCE

That's a day longer than a wonder lasts.

CLARENCE

That's one day longer than a wonder lasts. 

GLOUCESTER

By so much is the wonder in extremes.

GLOUCESTER

Yes, I meant that it would be extraordinary even for a wonder. 

KING EDWARD IV

Well, jest on, brothers: I can tell you bothHer suit is granted for her husband's lands.

KING EDWARD IV

Well, keep joking about it, brothers. I can tell you both that I'll grant her request and return her husband's lands.

Enter a Nobleman

NOBLEMAN

My gracious lord, Henry your foe is taken,And brought your prisoner to your palace gate.

NOBLEMAN

My gracious lord, your enemy Henry was captured and brought as your prisoner to your palace gates.

KING EDWARD IV

See that he be convey'd unto the Tower:And go we, brothers, to the man that took him,To question of his apprehension.Widow, go you along. Lords, use her honourably.

KING EDWARD IV

Make sure that he is taken to the Tower. And let's go, brothers, to the man that captured him, so we can find out how he was taken. Widow, go along, and, lords, treat her well. 

Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER

GLOUCESTER

Ay, Edward will use women honourably. Would he were wasted, marrow, bones and all, That from his loins no hopeful branch may spring, To cross me from the golden time I look for! And yet, between my soul's desire and me— The lustful Edward's title buried— Is Clarence, Henry, and his son young Edward, And all the unlook'd for issue of their bodies, To take their rooms, ere I can place myself: A cold premeditation for my purpose! Why, then, I do but dream on sovereignty; Like one that stands upon a promontory, And spies a far-off shore where he would tread, Wishing his foot were equal with his eye, And chides the sea that sunders him from thence, Saying, he'll lade it dry to have his way: So do I wish the crown, being so far off; And so I chide the means that keeps me from it; And so I say, I'll cut the causes off, Flattering me with impossibilities. My eye's too quick, my heart o'erweens too much, Unless my hand and strength could equal them. Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard; What other pleasure can the world afford? I'll make my heaven in a lady's lap, And deck my body in gay ornaments, And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks. O miserable thought! And more unlikely Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns! Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb: And, for I should not deal in her soft laws, She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe, To shrink mine arm up like a wither'd shrub; To make an envious mountain on my back, Where sits deformity to mock my body; To shape my legs of an unequal size; To disproportion me in every part, Like to a chaos, or an unlick'd bear-whelp That carries no impression like the dam. And am I then a man to be beloved? O monstrous fault, to harbour such a thought! Then, since this earth affords no joy to me, But to command, to check, to o'erbear such As are of better person than myself, I'll make my heaven to dream upon the crown, And, whiles I live, to account this world but hell, Until my mis-shaped trunk that bears this head Be round impaled with a glorious crown. And yet I know not how to get the crown, For many lives stand between me and home: And I,—like one lost in a thorny wood, That rends the thorns and is rent with the thorns, Seeking a way and straying from the way; Not knowing how to find the open air, But toiling desperately to find it out,— Torment myself to catch the English crown: And from that torment I will free myself, Or hew my way out with a bloody axe. Why, I can smile, and murder whiles I smile, And cry 'Content' to that which grieves my heart, And wet my cheeks with artificial tears, And frame my face to all occasions. I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall; I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk; I'll play the orator as well as Nestor, Deceive more slily than Ulysses could, And, like a Sinon, take another Troy. I can add colours to the chameleon, Change shapes with Proteus for advantages, And set the murderous Machiavel to school. Can I do this, and cannot get a crown? Tut, were it farther off, I'll pluck it down.

GLOUCESTER

Yes, Edward will treat women well. I wish he were consumed with disease,  in his bone marrow, bones and everything else, so that he could father no future monarchs who would prevent me from getting the crown myself! And yet, even once Edward's dead, Clarence, Henry, and his son young Edward, stand in my way of getting the throne too. Not to mention all the as-yet-unborn children they may father, who will take over for them before I can put myself on the throne. Well, this is an unfortunate thing to anticipate if I want to be king! Honestly, I can only dream of being the king, like a man who stands on a cliff, looking at a faraway shore where he wants to walk, wishing that his foot was already in the place he's seeing. He curses the sea that keeps him so far from that land, and says that he'll drain it dry in order to get there. That's how much I want to have the crown, even though it's so far away from me, and so I curse the obstacles that keep me from obtaining it. And so I say that I'll murder those in my way. I am deluding myself with impossibilities. I look too far ahead, my heart presumes too much about what I am capable of, unless my hand and strength could do what my mind and heart imagine. Well, let's say that I'll never be king. What other pleasures can the world offer me? I can enjoy women and wear lavish clothing and seduce  sweet ladies with my words and looks. Oh, what a hopeless idea! It's more unlikely than obtaining twenty different kingdoms! After all, love rejected me when I was in my mother's womb. In order that I'd never have anything to do with love, maybe love bribed gullible nature to shrink my arm like it was a decaying bush. What's more, to make a disgusting mountain on my back, which makes everyone see that my body is deformed. Also, to make my legs different sizes and to make me disproportional in all my body parts. I am like a shapeless mass, or like an unformed bear cub before its mother has licked into shape. And with all this, I'm supposed to be a man who's loved? Oh, it's a horrible mistake to even entertain such a thought! Then, since this world doesn't offer me any happiness, apart from ruling, punishing, and dominating those people that have better appearances than I do, I'll make it my heaven on earth to dream about the crown. And, while I live, I will consider this world hell until my misshapen body will be topped by a glorious crown encircling my head. But I still don't know how to get the crown since many people stand between me and my goal. And I'm like someone lost in a thorny forest who pushes the thorns out of the way but is scratched by the thorns at the same time, looking for a path and straying from the path, not knowing how to find the way out, but desperately trying to find it. Just like that, I torment myself about finding a way to seize the English crown. I will free myself from that torment or I'll cut my way through with a bloody axe. After all, I can smile, and murder while I'm smiling. I can pretend that I'm happy about that which makes me sad and I can cry fake tears and put on whatever expressions are necessary for any situation. I'll drown more sailors than the sirens did, I'll kill more onlookers than the basilisk did. I'll persuade people with my rhetoric just like Nestor did, and I'll deceive them more cunningly than Ulysses could. And, like Sinon, I will bring down a kingdom just like he brought down Troy. I can show more different colors than a chameleon, and I can change my shape with more variety than Proteus. I can teach the murderous Machiavelli a thing or two. How can I do all of this and fail to win the  crown? Hah, even if I was further down the line of succession, I'd still win it. 

Exit

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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.