A line-by-line translation

As You Like It

As You Like It Translation Act 2, Scene 5

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Enter AMIENS, JAQUES, and others

AMIENS

[sings] Under the greenwood tree Who loves to lie with me And turn his merry note Unto the sweet bird’s throat, Come hither, come hither, come hither. Here shall he see No enemy But winter and rough weather.

AMIENS

[Singing]
Who wants to lie with me,
Under the greenwood tree,
And tune his merry notes
To the sweet bird's singing,
Come here, come here, come here.
Here he will see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

JAQUES

More, more, I prithee, more.

JAQUES

More, more, please, more.

AMIENS

It will make you melancholy, Monsieur Jaques.

AMIENS

It will make you sad, Sir Jaques.

JAQUES

I thank it. More, I prithee, more. I can suck melancholy out of a song as a weasel sucks eggs. More, Iprithee, more.

JAQUES

I will be glad about that. More, please, more. I can suck sadness out of a song like a weasel sucks the yolk out of an egg. More, please, more.

AMIENS

My voice is ragged. I know I cannot please you.

AMIENS

My voice has grown ragged. I know it won't please you.

JAQUES

I do not desire you to please me. I do desire you to sing. Come, more, another stanzo. Call you 'em “stanzos?”

JAQUES

I don't want you to please me. I want you to sing. Come, more, another verse. Is that what you call them, "verses?"

AMIENS

What you will, Monsieur Jaques.

AMIENS

Call them what you want, Sir Jaques.

JAQUES

Nay, I care not for their names. They owe me nothing. Will you sing?

JAQUES

No, the only names I care about are those of people who owe me money. Will you sing?

AMIENS

More at your request than to please myself.

AMIENS

Only because you ask me, not to please myself.

JAQUES

Well then, if ever I thank any man, I’ll thank you. But that they call “compliment” is like th' encounter oftwo dog-apes. And when a man thanks me heartily, methinks I have given him a penny and he renders me the beggarly thanks. Come, sing. And you that will not, holdyour tongues.

JAQUES

Well then, if I've ever thanked any man, I'll thank you. But two men complimenting each other are like two baboons scratching each others' backs: insincere politeness. When a man thanks me heartily for a compliment, it feels like I have given a beggar a penny and in return he thanks me far too much. Come, sing. And those of you who won't sing, stay quiet.

AMIENS

Well, I’ll end the song.—Sirs, cover the while; the duke will drink under this tree.—He hath been all this day to look you.

AMIENS

Well, I'll sing the end of the song. 

[To the others] Sirs, you set the table in the meantime; the duke will drink under this tree. 

[To JAQUES] He has been looking for you all day.

JAQUES

And I have been all this day to avoid him. He is too disputable for my company. I think of as many matters ashe, but I give heaven thanks and make no boast of them.Come, warble, come.

JAQUES

And I have been avoiding him all day. He is too argumentative for my company. I think about just as many things as he does, but I thank heaven for them instead of boasting about them. Come, sing, come.

EVERYONE

[singing] Who doth ambition shun And loves to live i' th' sun, Seeking the food he eats And pleased with what he gets, Come hither, come hither, come hither. Here shall he see No enemy But winter and rough weather.

EVERYONE

[Singing]
Whoever shuns ambition
And loves to live in the sun,
Seeking the food he eats,
And pleased with what he gets,
Come here, come here, come here.
Here he will see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

JAQUES

I’ll give you a verse to this note that I made yesterday in despite of my invention.

JAQUES

I'll give you a verse I wrote for this tune yesterday, though it's not very imaginative.

AMIENS

And I’ll sing it. [taking paper from JAQUES] Thus it goes: If it do come to pass That any man turn ass, Leaving his wealth and ease A stubborn will to please, Ducdame, ducdame, ducdame. Here shall he see Gross fools as he, An if he will come to me.

AMIENS

And I'll sing it. [Taking a paper from JAQUES] It goes like this:
If it should come to pass
That any man turns into an ass,
Leaving his wealth and ease
To please his stubborn will,
Ducdame, ducdame, ducdame.
Here he will see
Fools as vulgar as he,
If he will come to me.

AMIENS

What’s that “ducdame”?

AMIENS

What does "ducdame" mean?

JAQUES

'Tis a Greek invocation, to call fools into a circle. I’ll go sleep if I can. If I cannot, I’ll rail against all the first-born of Egypt.

JAQUES

It's a Greek invocation, to call fools into a circle. I'm going to sleep, if I can. If I can't, I'll curse all the first-born children of Egypt.

AMIENS

And I’ll go seek the duke. His banquet is prepared.

AMIENS

And I'll go seek the duke. His meal is ready.

Exeunt severally

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Matt cosby
About the Translator: Matt Cosby
Matt Cosby graduated from Amherst College in 2011, and currently works as a writer and editor for LitCharts. He is from Florida but now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also makes art, plays the piano, and goes to dog parks.