A line-by-line translation

All's Well That Ends Well

All's Well That Ends Well Translation Act 2, Scene 4

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Enter HELENA and Clown

HELENA

My mother greets me kindly; is she well?

HELENA

My mother greets me kindly. Is she well?

CLOWN

She is not well; but yet she has her health: she's very merry; but yet she is not well: but thanks be given, she's very well and wants nothing i', the world; but yet she is not well.

CLOWN

She is not well, but she still has her health. She's very cheerful. But yet she is not well. But, thankfully, she's very well and doesn't need anything in the world. But still she's not well. 

HELENA

If she be very well, what does she ail, that she'snot very well?

HELENA

If she is so well, what pains her, that she's still not very well?

CLOWN

Truly, she's very well indeed, but for two things.

CLOWN

Truly, she's very well indeed, except for two things. 

HELENA

What two things?

HELENA

What two things?

CLOWN

One, that she's not in heaven, whither God send herquickly! the other that she's in earth, from whenceGod send her quickly!

CLOWN

One, that she's not in heaven, where God will send her quickly! The other, that she's on the earth, from where God will send her quickly! 

Enter PAROLLES

PAROLLES

Bless you, my fortunate lady!

PAROLLES

God bless you, my fortunate lady! 

HELENA

I hope, sir, I have your good will to have mine owngood fortunes.

HELENA

I hope, sir, I have your blessing to celebrate my own good fortune. 

PAROLLES

You had my prayers to lead them on; and to keep themon, have them still. O, my knave, how does my old lady?

PAROLLES

I prayed for you to pursue your good fortune. And so you can keep them, have them still. Oh, my rogue, how is my old lady doing?

CLOWN

So that you had her wrinkles and I her money,I would she did as you say.

CLOWN

If you could have her wrinkles and I could have her money, I wish she would do as you say. 

PAROLLES

Why, I say nothing.

PAROLLES

But I have said nothing. 

CLOWN

Marry, you are the wiser man; for many a man's tongue shakes out his master's undoing: to say nothing, to do nothing, to know nothing, and to have nothing, is to be a great part of your title; which is within a very little of nothing.

CLOWN

Ah, you are the wiser man. Many a man's tongue causes his master's downfall. To say nothing, to do nothing, to know nothing, and to have nothing, is going to be a big part of your position, which is pretty close to nothing itself. 

PAROLLES

Away! thou'rt a knave.

PAROLLES

Get away! You're a rogue. 

CLOWN

You should have said, sir, before a knave thou'rt aknave; that's, before me thou'rt a knave: this hadbeen truth, sir.

CLOWN

You should have said, sir, in front of a rascal that you are a rascal. That is, in front of me, you are a rascal. This would have been a true statement, sir. 

PAROLLES

Go to, thou art a witty fool; I have found thee.

PAROLLES

Get out, you're a witty fool. I've found you out. 

CLOWN

Did you find me in yourself, sir? or were you taught to find me? The search, sir, was profitable; and much fool may you find in you, even to the world's pleasure and the increase of laughter.

CLOWN

Did you find me in yourself, sir? Or were you taught to find me? The search was successful, sir. And you may find a big fool inside yourself, even one who can please the world and make many people laugh. 

PAROLLES

A good knave, i' faith, and well fed. Madam, my lord will go away to-night; A very serious business calls on him. The great prerogative and rite of love, Which, as your due, time claims, he does acknowledge; But puts it off to a compell'd restraint; Whose want, and whose delay, is strew'd with sweets, Which they distil now in the curbed time, To make the coming hour o'erflow with joy And pleasure drown the brim.

PAROLLES

You're a good rascal, I swear, and well fed. Madam, my lord will go away tonight. A very serious business summons him. He acknowledges the great needs and ceremonies of love, which you're entitled to, but he has no choice but to put them off. The absence of those love ceremonies, and their delay, will make them all the sweeter, now that they're distilled in the meantime, so that when you finally consummate your love, that hour will overflow with joy and pleasure will run over the brim. 

HELENA

What's his will else?

HELENA

What else does he want me to do?

PAROLLES

That you will take your instant leave o' the king And make this haste as your own good proceeding, Strengthen'd with what apology you think May make it probable need.

PAROLLES

That you will immediately leave the king and tell him that your urgency is your own idea. Use whatever excuse you think makes your story sound stronger and more probable. 

HELENA

What more commands he?

HELENA

What else does he command?

PAROLLES

That, having this obtain'd, you presentlyAttend his further pleasure.

PAROLLES

That, once you've done this, you wait to hear more from him. 

HELENA

In every thing I wait upon his will.

HELENA

In everything, I serve him. 

PAROLLES

I shall report it so.

PAROLLES

I shall report that to him. 

HELENA

I pray you.

HELENA

I pray you do so. 

Exit PAROLLES

HELENA

Come, sirrah.

HELENA

[To the CLOWN] Come, sir. 

Exeunt

All s well that ends well
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Dan rubins
About the Translator: Dan Rubins

Dan Rubins is currently completing his MA in Shakespeare Studies from King's College London/Shakespeare's Globe and will be pursuing an MA in Elementary Inclusive Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He holds a BA in English from Yale University. His Masters dissertation focuses on announcements of death in early modern drama, and other research areas of interest include Shakespeare in transformative contexts (prisons, schools, etc.) and rhyme in Shakespeare's dramatic texts. In addition to teaching and learning, he also writes theatre reviews (often of Shakespeare productions), composes musical theatre (frequently with Shakespearean inspirations), and sings in choirs (occasionally in Shakespearean choral settings).