A line-by-line translation

Measure for Measure

Measure for Measure Translation Act 4, Scene 1

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Enter MARIANA and a Boy

BOY

Take, O, take those lips away, That so sweetly were forsworn; And those eyes, the break of day, Lights that do mislead the morn: But my kisses bring again, bring again; Seals of love, but sealed in vain, sealed in vain.

BOY 

[Singing]  
Take, oh, take those lips away
That so sweetly promised you'd be faithful to me;
And those eyes that, like the dawn,
Make you think that morning has come.
But kiss me again and again,
To prove your love, though it's all fake, all fake.

Enter DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before

MARIANA

Break off thy song, and haste thee quick away: Here comes a man of comfort, whose advice Hath often still'd my brawling discontent.

MARIANA

End your song there and go away now. Here comes a religious man whose advice always makes me feel better when I'm upset.

Exit Boy.

MARIANA

I cry you mercy, sir; and well could wish You had not found me here so musical: Let me excuse me, and believe me so, My mirth it much displeased, but pleased my woe.

MARIANA

Forgive me, sir. I wish you hadn't found me listening to music. Let me excuse myself, and please believe me: it didn't make me happy, it just made me sadder.

DUKE VINCENTIO

'Tis good; though music oft hath such a charm To make bad good, and good provoke to harm. I pray, you, tell me, hath any body inquired for me here to-day? much upon this time have I promised here to meet.

DUKE VINCENTIO

That's all right, although music often has the power to turn bad into good, and good into bad. Please tell me, has anyone asked for me here today? I promised to meet someone here at this time.

MARIANA

You have not been inquired after:I have sat here all day.

MARIANA

No one has asked for you. I've sat here all day.

Enter ISABELLA

DUKE VINCENTIO

I do constantly believe you. The time is come evennow. I shall crave your forbearance a little: maybe I will call upon you anon, for some advantage to yourself.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Of course, I believe you. It's just coming to be the time now. Please wait here for a minute—I'll come back to you shortly with some news that will help you.

MARIANA

I am always bound to you.

MARIANA

I will always follow your instructions.

Exit

DUKE VINCENTIO

Very well met, and well come.What is the news from this good deputy?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Good to see you. And you're welcome here. What's the news from the good deputy?

ISABELLA

He hath a garden circummured with brick, Whose western side is with a vineyard back'd; And to that vineyard is a planched gate, That makes his opening with this bigger key: This other doth command a little door Which from the vineyard to the garden leads; There have I made my promise Upon the heavy middle of the night To call upon him.

ISABELLA

[Showing him a ring of keys] He has a garden with a brick wall around it; the western side backs up onto a vineyard. To enter the vineyard, there's a gate that can be opened with this bigger key. This other one opens a little door between the vineyard and the garden. I promised to meet him there in the middle of the night.

DUKE VINCENTIO

But shall you on your knowledge find this way?

DUKE VINCENTIO

But do you know how to get there?

ISABELLA

I have ta'en a due and wary note upon't: With whispering and most guilty diligence, In action all of precept, he did show me The way twice o'er.

ISABELLA

I was careful to remember it. He showed me the way twice, whispering and looking guilty about everything he did.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Are there no other tokensBetween you 'greed concerning her observance?

DUKE VINCENTIO

And you didn't agree on any other details for the meeting?

ISABELLA

No, none, but only a repair i' the dark; And that I have possess'd him my most stay Can be but brief; for I have made him know I have a servant comes with me along, That stays upon me, whose persuasion is I come about my brother.

ISABELLA

No, none, just that we'll meet in the dark and that I can only stay for a little while. I told him that my servant will come with me and wait for me, thinking I'm visiting my brother.

DUKE VINCENTIO

'Tis well borne up.I have not yet made known to MarianaA word of this. What, ho! within! come forth!

DUKE VINCENTIO

That's well done. I haven't told Mariana about this yet.

[To MARIANA] Hello there! You in there, come out!

Re-enter MARIANA

I pray you, be acquainted with this maid;She comes to do you good.

Please be introduced. Here's a girl who's come to help you.

ISABELLA

I do desire the like.

ISABELLA

That's what I hope.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Do you persuade yourself that I respect you?

DUKE VINCENTIO

You know that I respect you, right?

MARIANA

Good friar, I know you do, and have found it.

MARIANA

Good friar, I know you do; I've found you to be respectful.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Take, then, this your companion by the hand, Who hath a story ready for your ear. I shall attend your leisure: but make haste; The vaporous night approaches.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Take this girl's hand, then, and listen to the story she has to tell you. I'll wait for you. But hurry—it's nearly nightfall.

MARIANA

Will't please you walk aside?

MARIANA

Will you come walk with me alone?

Exeunt MARIANA and ISABELLA

DUKE VINCENTIO

O place and greatness! millions of false eyes Are stuck upon thee: volumes of report Run with these false and most contrarious quests Upon thy doings: thousand escapes of wit Make thee the father of their idle dreams And rack thee in their fancies.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Oh, rank! Oh, power! Millions of eyes are on you at all times. The history books are full of misleading, misguided attempts to secure you. You always seem to remain out of reach, which is why you continue to fill people's dreams and take up all their waking thoughts.

Re-enter MARIANA and ISABELLA

DUKE VINCENTIO

Welcome, how agreed?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Welcome back. Have you both agreed?

ISABELLA

She'll take the enterprise upon her, father,If you advise it.

ISABELLA

Father, she'll do it, if you tell her to.

DUKE VINCENTIO

It is not my consent,But my entreaty too.

DUKE VINCENTIO

I don't just agree to it, I'm asking her to do it, too.

ISABELLA

Little have you to sayWhen you depart from him, but, soft and low,"Remember now my brother."

ISABELLA

You don't have to say anything when you leave him, except whisper, "Remember my brother, now."

MARIANA

Fear me not.

MARIANA

Don't worry.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Nor, gentle daughter, fear you not at all. He is your husband on a pre-contract: To bring you thus together, 'tis no sin, Sith that the justice of your title to him Doth flourish the deceit. Come, let us go: Our corn's to reap, for yet our tithe's to sow.

DUKE VINCENTIO

And you, my daughter, don't you worry at all. He's your husband by engagement. It's not sinful for you to have sex with him. The fact that you're legally bound to him as a wife makes the trick the opposite of dishonest. Come on, let's go. It's time to put our plan into action.

Exeunt

Measure for measure
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Bailey sincox
About the Translator: Bailey Sincox

Bailey Sincox is a PhD student in English at Harvard University, where she researches the theatre of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Her teaching experience includes accessible online courses with edX on Hamlet and The Merchant of Venice. She holds a Master's from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor's from Duke University.