A line-by-line translation

Henry VIII

Henry VIII Translation Act 2, Scene 1

Line Map Clear Line Map Add

Enter two Gentlemen, meeting

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Whither away so fast?

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Where are you going so fast?

SECOND GENTLEMAN

O, God save ye!Even to the hall, to hear what shall becomeOf the great Duke of Buckingham.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Oh, hello! To the hall to hear what will happen to the great Duke of Buckingham.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

I'll save youThat labour, sir. All's now done, but the ceremonyOf bringing back the prisoner.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

I'll spare you that effort, sir. It's all over, except for bringing the prisoner back to jail.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Were you there?

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Were you there?

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Yes, indeed, was I.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Yes, I was.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Pray, speak what has happen'd.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Please tell me what happened.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

You may guess quickly what.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

You can easily guess.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Is he found guilty?

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Was he found guilty?

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Yes, truly is he, and condemn'd upon't.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Yes, and condemned for it.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

I am sorry for't.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

I'm sorry about that.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

So are a number more.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

So are many other people.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

But, pray, how pass'd it?

SECOND GENTLEMAN

But tell me, how did it happen?

FIRST GENTLEMAN

I'll tell you in a little. The great duke Came to the bar; where to his accusations He pleaded still not guilty and alleged Many sharp reasons to defeat the law. The king's attorney on the contrary Urged on the examinations, proofs, confessions Of divers witnesses; which the duke desired To have brought viva voce to his face: At which appear'd against him his surveyor; Sir Gilbert Peck his chancellor; and John Car, Confessor to him; with that devil-monk, Hopkins, that made this mischief.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

I'll tell you in a few words. The great duke came to court, where he still pled not guilty to the accusations against him and made many good arguments to escape the law. But the king's lawyer brought against him the questioning, proofs, and confessions of many different witnesses. The duke asked to have them testify in front of him. So his surveyor appeared against him along with Sir Gilbert Peck (his chancellor), John Car (his confessor) and that devilish monk Hopkins, who caused this trouble.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

That was heThat fed him with his prophecies?

SECOND GENTLEMAN

He was the one who fed the duke his prophecies?

FIRST GENTLEMAN

The same. All these accused him strongly; which he fain Would have flung from him, but, indeed, he could not: And so his peers, upon this evidence, Have found him guilty of high treason. Much He spoke, and learnedly, for life; but all Was either pitied in him or forgotten.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Yes. They all accused him strongly. He tried to deny everything but couldn't. So his peers, seeing this evidence, found him guilty of high treason. He said a lot that was very learned to argue for his life. But everything he said was either pitied (but not listened to) or forgotten.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

After all this, how did he bear himself?

SECOND GENTLEMAN

After all this, how did he act?

FIRST GENTLEMAN

When he was brought again to the bar, to hear His knell rung out, his judgment, he was stirr'd With such an agony, he sweat extremely, And something spoke in choler, ill, and hasty: But he fell to himself again, and sweetly In all the rest show'd a most noble patience.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

When he was brought back to the stand to hear the judgement, he was filled with such agony that he sweated a lot and spoke words angrily, badly, and hastily. But he came back to himself and showed a noble patience for the rest of it.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

I do not think he fears death.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

I do not think he fears death.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Sure, he does not:He never was so womanish; the causeHe may a little grieve at.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Surely he doesn't. He was never that womanish. He may be a little sad about the cause of his death.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

CertainlyThe cardinal is the end of this.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Certainly the cardinal is responsible for this.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

'Tis likely, By all conjectures: first, Kildare's attainder, Then deputy of Ireland; who removed, Earl Surrey was sent thither, and in haste too, Lest he should help his father.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

It's likely, and everyone thinks so. First, there's the fact that Kildare was arrested, who was then the deputy of Ireland. Once he was removed, the Earl of Surry was sent there, and quickly too, so he couldn't help his father.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

That trick of stateWas a deep envious one.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

That was a sneaky, jealous trick.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

At his return No doubt he will requite it. This is noted, And generally, whoever the king favours, The cardinal instantly will find employment, And far enough from court too.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

No doubt he'll take his revenge for it when he returns. It has been noticed that, in general, the cardinal instantly finds a job far from court for whomever the king favors.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

All the commons Hate him perniciously, and, o' my conscience, Wish him ten fathom deep: this duke as much They love and dote on; call him bounteous Buckingham, The mirror of all courtesy;—

SECOND GENTLEMAN

All the common people hate him and I swear they want him dead and buried. They love this duke as much as they hate the cardinal. They call him generous Buckingham, the best example of all good qualities—

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Stay there, sir,And see the noble ruin'd man you speak of.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Stop there, sir, and look at the noble, ruined man you're talking about.

Enter BUCKINGHAM from his arraignment; tip-staves before him; the axe with the edge towards him; halberds on each side: accompanied with LOVELL, VAUX, SANDS, and common people

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Let's stand close, and behold him.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Let's get closer and look at him.

BUCKINGHAM

All good people, You that thus far have come to pity me, Hear what I say, and then go home and lose me. I have this day received a traitor's judgment, And by that name must die: yet, heaven bear witness, And if I have a conscience, let it sink me, Even as the axe falls, if I be not faithful! The law I bear no malice for my death; 'T has done, upon the premises, but justice: But those that sought it I could wish more Christians: Be what they will, I heartily forgive 'em: Yet let 'em look they glory not in mischief, Nor build their evils on the graves of great men; For then my guiltless blood must cry against 'em. For further life in this world I ne'er hope, Nor will I sue, although the king have mercies More than I dare make faults. You few that loved me, And dare be bold to weep for Buckingham, His noble friends and fellows, whom to leave Is only bitter to him, only dying, Go with me, like good angels, to my end; And, as the long divorce of steel falls on me, Make of your prayers one sweet sacrifice, And lift my soul to heaven. Lead on, o' God's name.

BUCKINGHAM

Good people, you who have come here to pity me, listen to what I say and then go home and forget me. Today I was sentenced as a traitor, and I must die as one. But, may heaven bear witness, and may my conscience sink me into the ground just as the axe is falling if I lie, I am a faithful subject! I don't blame the law for my death. It did what was right based on the evidence. But I wish those who prosecuted me were better Christians. Whatever they are, I gladly forgive them. But let them be sure not to be proud of the mischief they do or kill great men to pursue their evil goals. Because then my innocent blood will accuse them. I don't hope for more life in this world and I won't ask for it, although the king is able to forgive more evil deeds than I would dare do. You few who loved me and dare to weep for Buckingham, his noble friends, the only pain and death he feels is having to leave you. Go with me to my death like good angels. And, as the blade cuts me in two, offer your prayers as a sweet offering to God and lift my soul to heaven. Let's go, in God's name.

LOVELL

I do beseech your grace, for charity,If ever any malice in your heartWere hid against me, now to forgive me frankly.

LOVELL

Please, your grace, as a kindness, forgive me if there was ever any resentment against me in your heart.

BUCKINGHAM

Sir Thomas Lovell, I as free forgive you As I would be forgiven: I forgive all; There cannot be those numberless offences 'Gainst me, that I cannot take peace with: no black envy Shall mark my grave. Commend me to his grace; And if he speak of Buckingham, pray, tell him You met him half in heaven: my vows and prayers Yet are the king's; and, till my soul forsake, Shall cry for blessings on him: may he live Longer than I have time to tell his years! Ever beloved and loving may his rule be! And when old time shall lead him to his end, Goodness and he fill up one monument!

BUCKINGHAM

Sir Thomas Lovell, I forgive you as freely as I wish to be forgiven. I forgive everything. There can't be so many crimes against me that I can't forgive them all. No evil resentment will be left in me when I die. Give my best to the king. If he talks about Buckingham, please, tell him you saw him already half in heaven. My prayers are still with the king and until I die I will bless him: may he live longer than I have time to count his age! May he be always beloved and loving! And when it's time for him to die, may he lie in the same grave as goodness!

LOVELL

To the water side I must conduct your grace;Then give my charge up to Sir Nicholas Vaux,Who undertakes you to your end.

LOVELL

I must lead you to the riverbank, your grace, then hand you over to Sir Nicholas Vaux, who will lead you to your death.

VAUX

Prepare there, The duke is coming: see the barge be ready; And fit it with such furniture as suits The greatness of his person.

VAUX

Prepare yourselves, the duke is coming. Make sure the barge is ready and fill it with furniture good enough for someone that important.

BUCKINGHAM

Nay, Sir Nicholas, Let it alone; my state now will but mock me. When I came hither, I was lord high constable And Duke of Buckingham; now, poor Edward Bohun: Yet I am richer than my base accusers, That never knew what truth meant: I now seal it; And with that blood will make 'em one day groan for't. My noble father, Henry of Buckingham, Who first raised head against usurping Richard, Flying for succor to his servant Banister, Being distress'd, was by that wretch betray'd, And without trial fell; God's peace be with him! Henry the Seventh succeeding, truly pitying My father's loss, like a most royal prince, Restored me to my honours, and, out of ruins, Made my name once more noble. Now his son, Henry the Eighth, life, honour, name and all That made me happy at one stroke has taken For ever from the world. I had my trial, And, must needs say, a noble one; which makes me, A little happier than my wretched father: Yet thus far we are one in fortunes: both Fell by our servants, by those men we loved most; A most unnatural and faithless service! Heaven has an end in all: yet, you that hear me, This from a dying man receive as certain: Where you are liberal of your loves and counsels Be sure you be not loose; for those you make friends And give your hearts to, when they once perceive The least rub in your fortunes, fall away Like water from ye, never found again But where they mean to sink ye. All good people, Pray for me! I must now forsake ye: the last hour Of my long weary life is come upon me. Farewell: And when you would say something that is sad, Speak how I fell. I have done; and God forgive me!

BUCKINGHAM

No, Sir Nicholas, leave it alone. Standing on ceremony will only mock me now. When I came here I was lord high constable and the Duke of Buckingam. Now, I'm just Edward Bohun. But I am better than my low accusers who never knew what truth was. I am now showing them. And my blood will punish them for this someday. My noble father, Henry of Buckingham, who first revolted against the usurper Richard, ran for help to his servant Bannister when he was in trouble and was betrayed by that wretch and died without a trial. May he rest in peace! Henry VII succeeded to the throne and pitied the death of my father. Like a good king should, he gave me back the titles I had lost and made my name noble again. Now his son, Henry VIII, takes my life, honor, name, and everything that made me happy from this world with one stroke. I had my trial and I have to say it was a noble one. That makes me a little luckier than my poor father. But we are the same in our fortune in this way: we were both brought down by our servants, by the men we loved most. Those were unnatural and unfaithful servants! God is responsible for everything. But you who listen to me, know this for sure since you hear it from a dying man. Be sure that you are not too generous with your love and your secrets. Because those you make your friends and give your hearts to will fall away from you like drops of water when they see the smallest misfortune ahead of you. And they will disappear forever, except when they come back to drown you. All good people should pray for me! I must leave you now. The last hour of my long, tired life has arrived. Goodbye. And when you want to hear something sad, talk about how I died. I am done. May God forgive me!

Exeunt BUCKINGHAM and Train

FIRST GENTLEMAN

O, this is full of pity! Sir, it calls,I fear, too many curses on their headsThat were the authors.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Oh, this is sad! I'm afraid this will damn the people who did it.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

If the duke be guiltless, 'Tis full of woe: yet I can give you inkling Of an ensuing evil, if it fall, Greater than this.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

If the duke is innocent, this is really sad. But I can give you a hint of a future evil that will be worse than this if it happens.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Good angels keep it from us!What may it be? You do not doubt my faith, sir?

FIRST GENTLEMAN

May good angels protect us from it! What can it be? You trust me to keep it secret, don't you sir?

SECOND GENTLEMAN

This secret is so weighty, 'twill requireA strong faith to conceal it.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

This secret is so important that it will require great strength of character to keep it secret.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Let me have it;I do not talk much.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Let me hear it. I don't talk much.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

I am confident, You shall, sir: did you not of late days hear A buzzing of a separation Between the king and Katharine?

SECOND GENTLEMAN

I trust you. You will hear it, sir. Did you not recently hear talk about a separation between the king and Katharine?

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Yes, but it held not: For when the king once heard it, out of anger He sent command to the lord mayor straight To stop the rumor, and allay those tongues That durst disperse it.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Yes, but it wasn't true. Because when the king heard about it, he was angry and sent an order immediately to the mayor to stop the rumor and arrest the people who dared to spread it.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

But that slander, sir, Is found a truth now: for it grows again Fresher than e'er it was; and held for certain The king will venture at it. Either the cardinal, Or some about him near, have, out of malice To the good queen, possess'd him with a scruple That will undo her: to confirm this too, Cardinal Campeius is arrived, and lately; As all think, for this business.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

But it turns out that this lie is true now. Because the rumor has reappeared stronger than it ever was, and it's believed that the king will definitely try to get a separation. Either the cardinal or some of his people have, out of malice against the good queen, ruined her by sowing some doubt in the king. What confirms the truth of this is that Cardinal Campeius has recently arrived, and everyone thinks it's about this business.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

'Tis the cardinal; And merely to revenge him on the emperor For not bestowing on him, at his asking, The archbishopric of Toledo, this is purposed.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

It's the cardinal. And he's doing this just to get revenge against the emperor for not making him archbishop of Toledo as he asked.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

I think you have hit the mark: but is't not cruelThat she should feel the smart of this? The cardinalWill have his will, and she must fall.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

I think you're right. But isn't it cruel to make her suffer for that? The cardinal will get what he wants and she will lose power.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

'Tis woful.We are too open here to argue this;Let's think in private more.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

It is sad. We shouldn't talk about this so openly. Let's consider this more in private.

Exeunt

Henry viii
Join LitCharts A+ and get the entire Henry VIII Translation as a printable PDF.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
  • Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
  • Downloads of 673 LitCharts Lit Guides
  • Explanations and citation info for 16,605 quotes covering 673 books
  • Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
  • PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms