A line-by-line translation

All's Well That Ends Well

All's Well That Ends Well Translation Act 5, Scene 2

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Enter Clown, and PAROLLES, following

PAROLLES

Good Monsieur Lavatch, give my Lord Lafeu this letter: I have ere now, sir, been better known to you, when I have held familiarity with fresher clothes; but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's mood, and smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure.

PAROLLES

Good Monsieur Lavatach, give my lord Lafeu this letter. You knew me before, sir, when I wore fresher clothes. Now, sir, I have been muddied by fortune turning against me, and so I smell somewhat like fortune's fool. 

CLOWN

Truly, fortune's displeasure is but sluttish, if it smell so strongly as thou speakest of: I will henceforth eat no fish of fortune's buttering. Prithee, allow the wind.

CLOWN

Well, fortune in a bad mood must be quite dirty if it smells as strongly as you do. I will never again eat any fish that fortune has buttered. Let's air you out. 

PAROLLES

Nay, you need not to stop your nose, sir; I spakebut by a metaphor.

PAROLLES

No, you don't need to hold your nose sir. I was just using a metaphor. 

CLOWN

Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop mynose; or against any man's metaphor. Prithee, getthee further.

CLOWN

Well, sir, since your metaphor stinks, I will hold my nose. I'd hold my nose at any man's metaphor. Please, stand further away from me. 

PAROLLES

Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.

PAROLLES

I hope, sir, that you'll deliver this note. 

CLOWN

Foh! prithee, stand away: a paper from fortune'sclose-stool to give to a nobleman! Look, here hecomes himself.

CLOWN

Pffh! Stand further away. A note from fortune's chamber pot to give to a nobleman! Look, here he comes himself. 

Enter LAFEU

CLOWN

Here is a purr of fortune's, sir, or of fortune's cat,—but not a musk-cat, —that has fallen into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he says, is muddied withal: pray you, sir, use the carp as you may; for he looks like a poor, decayed, ingenious, foolish, rascally knave. I do pity his distress in my similes of comfort and leave him to your lordship.

CLOWn

Sir, here is fortune's rogue, a plaything of fortune's cat—but not a sweet-smelling cat,—who has fallen into the dirty fishpond of fortune's displeasure. And, as he says, is muddied from the fall. I ask you, sir, use this fish as you want. He looks like a poor, decayed, clever, foolish, rascally rogue. In my own state of something like comfort, I do take pity on how distressed he is, and I leave him with your lordship. 

Exit

PAROLLES

My lord, I am a man whom fortune hath cruellyscratched.

PAROLLES

My lord, I am a man who has been cruelly scratched by fortune. 

LAFEU

And what would you have me to do? 'Tis too late to pare her nails now. Wherein have you played the knave with fortune, that she should scratch you, who of herself is a good lady and would not have knaves thrive long under her? There's a quart d'ecu for you: let the justices make you and fortune friends: I am for other business.

LAFEU

And what would have me do about that? It's too late to trim Fortune's nails now. What have you done to Fortune to make her scratch you? Fortune's a good lady and she wouldn't allow rogues to have good fortune for very long. Here's a silver coin for you. I hope you and fortune can become friends. I have other things to deal with. 

PAROLLES

I beseech your honour to hear me one single word.

PAROLLES

I beg your honor to listen to one single word from me. 

LAFEU

You beg a single penny more: come, you shall ha't;save your word.

LAFEU

You beg just a single penny more from me. Come, then, you shall have it. Don't bother with your single word. 

PAROLLES

My name, my good lord, is Parolles.

PAROLLES

My name is Parolles, my good lord. 

LAFEU

You beg more than 'word,' then. Cox my passion!give me your hand. How does your drum?

LAFEU

You beg more than just one "word" then. By God! Give me your hand. How is your drum?

PAROLLES

O my good lord, you were the first that found me!

PAROLLES

Oh, my good lord, you were the first man that found me out! 

LAFEU

Was I, in sooth? and I was the first that lost thee.

LAFEU

Was I, really? And I was the first man that lost you too. 

PAROLLES

It lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some grace,for you did bring me out.

PAROLLES

You're the only man, my lord, who can see that I find favor with the court since you brought me out of favor when you saw through me. 

LAFEU

Out upon thee, knave! dost thou put upon me at onceboth the office of God and the devil? One bringsthee in grace and the other brings thee out.

LAFEU

How dare you, you rascal! Do you claim that I do the work of both God and the devil at the same time? One is bringing you into favor and the other one's bringing you out of it. 

Trumpets sound

LAFEU

The king's coming; I know by his trumpets. Sirrah, inquire further after me; I had talk of you last night: though you are a fool and a knave, you shall eat; go to, follow.

LAFEU

The king's coming. This is his fanfare. Sir, ask for me later. I heard people talking about you last night. Even though you're a fool and a rogue, I'll make sure you eat. Go along, follow. 

PAROLLES

I praise God for you.

PAROLLES

I praise God for you. 

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).