A line-by-line translation

Pericles

Pericles Translation Act 4, Scene 2

Line Map Clear Line Map Add

Enter Pandar, Bawd, and BOULT

PANDAR

Boult!

PANDAR

Boult!

BOULT

Sir?

BOULT

Sir?

PANDAR

Search the market narrowly; Mytilene is full ofgallants. We lost too much money this mart by beingtoo wenchless.

PANDAR

Search the market carefully. Mytilene is full of young men. We lost too much money this season because we didn't have enough girls.

BAWD

We were never so much out of creatures. We have but poor three, and they can do no more than they can do; and they with continual action are even as good as rotten.

BAWD

We've never had such a shortage of creatures. We only have three, and they can only do what they can do. And they've worked so much they're as good as rotten.

PANDAR

Therefore let's have fresh ones, whate'er we pay for them. If there be not a conscience to be used in every trade, we shall never prosper.

PANDAR

So, let's get some fresh ones, no matter what we have to pay for them. If we don't put any heart into this business we'll never succeed.

BAWD

Thou sayest true: 'tis not our bringing up of poorbastards,—as, I think, I have brought up some eleven—

BAWD

You're right. Of course, we've brought up some bastards . . . I've brought up at least eleven, I think—

BOULT

Ay, to eleven; and brought them down again. Butshall I search the market?

BOULT

Yeah, it was eleven, and we brought them down again! But should I search the market?

BAWD

What else, man? The stuff we have, a strong windwill blow it to pieces, they are so pitifully sodden.

BAWD

What else can we do? The girls we have are so pitiful, a strong wind would blow them all to pieces.

PANDAR

Thou sayest true; they're too unwholesome, o' conscience. The poor Transylvanian is dead, that lay with the little baggage.

PANDAR

You're right; they're a mess, truth be told. The poor Transylvanian girl is dead—the one that slept with that guy with the tiny junk.

BOULT

Ay, she quickly pooped him; she made him roast-meatfor worms. But I'll go search the market.

BOULT

Yeah, and she gave him whatever she had; he's food for worms now! But I'll go search the market.

Exit

PANDAR

Three or four thousand chequins were as pretty aproportion to live quietly, and so give over.

PANDAR

Three or four thousand gold coins is all we need to retire quietly and give up the business.

BAWD

Why to give over, I pray you? is it a shame to getwhen we are old?

BAWD

Why would we give it up? Is there anything wrong with working while we're old?

PANDAR

O, our credit comes not in like the commodity, nor the commodity wages not with the danger: therefore, if in our youths we could pick up some pretty estate, 'twere not amiss to keep our door hatched. Besides, the sore terms we stand upon with the gods will be strong with us for giving over.

PANDAR

Our credit's not as good as our property, and our property hasn't held up well. When we were young we could pick up lots of young girls, and it was easy to keep a roof over our heads. Besides, the fact that we're in the gods' bad books is reason enough to retire.

BAWD

Come, other sorts offend as well as we.

BAWD

Oh, come on. Loads of people do as much evil as we do.

PANDAR

As well as we! ay, and better too; we offend worse. Neither is our profession any trade; it's no calling. But here comes Boult.

PANDAR

As much as we do? But our evil is worse. And our profession isn't really a "trade" or a "calling." But here comes Boult.

Re-enter BOULT, with the Pirates and MARINA

BOULT

[To MARINA] Come your ways. My masters, you sayshe's a virgin?

BOULT

[To MARINA] Hurry up, now. 

[To the PIRATES] So, guys, you say she's a virgin?

FIRST PIRATE

O, sir, we doubt it not.

FIRST PIRATE

Oh, sir, we have no doubt.

BOULT

Master, I have gone through for this piece, you see:if you like her, so; if not, I have lost my earnest.

BOULT

Master, I've paid through the nose for this one. If you like her, good. If not, I've lost my bet.

BAWD

Boult, has she any qualities?

BAWD

Boult, what are her assets?

BOULT

She has a good face, speaks well, and has excellentgood clothes: there's no further necessity ofqualities can make her be refused.

BOULT

She has a good face, speaks well, and has really nice clothes. There's nothing about her that would make you dislike her.

BAWD

What's her price, Boult?

BAWD

What's her price, Boult?

BOULT

I cannot be bated one doit of a thousand pieces.

BOULT

I can't get her for a cent less than a thousand gold coins.

PANDAR

Well, follow me, my masters, you shall have your money presently. Wife, take her in; instruct her what she has to do, that she may not be raw in her entertainment.

PANDAR

Well, follow me, guys. You'll get your money shortly.

[To BAWD] Wife, take her in. Teach her what she has to do so she's not caught unawares her first time.

Exeunt Pandar and Pirates

BAWD

Boult, take you the marks of her, the colour of her hair, complexion, height, age, with warrant of her virginity; and cry 'He that will give most shall have her first.' Such a maidenhead were no cheap thing, if men were as they have been. Get this done as I command you.

BAWD

Boult, write a full report of her: the color of her hair, complexion, height, age, with a guarantee of her virginity, and cry, "Whoever pays the most can have her first." If I know men, a virginity like this won't go cheap. Do exactly as I say.

BOULT

Performance shall follow.

BOULT

I'll take care of it.

Exit

MARINA

Alack that Leonine was so slack, so slow! He should have struck, not spoke; or that these pirates, Not enough barbarous, had not o'erboard thrown me For to seek my mother!

MARINA

If only Leonine hadn't been so slow! He should have killed me instead of talking so much. Or if only the pirates (as if they weren't barbarous enough) had thrown me overboard, to go after my mother!

BAWD

Why lament you, pretty one?

BAWD

Why are you crying, pretty girl?

MARINA

That I am pretty.

MARINA

Because I'm pretty.

BAWD

Come, the gods have done their part in you.

BAWD

Come on, the gods have blessed you.

MARINA

I accuse them not.

MARINA

I'm not accusing them.

BAWD

You are light into my hands, where you are like to live.

BAWD

You've come into my hands now, where you're likely to live.

MARINA

The more my faultTo scape his hands where I was like to die.

MARINA

Which makes it even worse that I escaped Leonine's hands, where I might have died.

BAWD

Ay, and you shall live in pleasure.

BAWD

Oh, but you'll live in pleasure.

MARINA

No.

MARINA

No.

BAWD

Yes, indeed shall you, and taste gentlemen of allfashions: you shall fare well; you shall have thedifference of all complexions. What! do you stop your ears?

BAWD

Yes, you will, and you'll taste all different kinds of gentlemen. You'll do well! You'll have all sorts. What? Why are you covering your ears?

MARINA

Are you a woman?

MARINA

Are you a woman?

BAWD

What would you have me be, an I be not a woman?

BAWD

What would you rather me be, if not a woman?

MARINA

An honest woman, or not a woman.

MARINA

A good woman, or not a woman at all.

BAWD

Marry, whip thee, gosling: I think I shall have something to do with you. Come, you're a young foolish sapling, and must be bowed as I would have you.

BAWD

Shut your mouth, girl. I think I'll have to do something about you. You're young and naive and you'll have to be broken as I would have you.

MARINA

The gods defend me!

MARINA

May the gods protect me!

BAWD

If it please the gods to defend you by men, then menmust comfort you, men must feed you, men must stiryou up. Boult's returned.

BAWD

If it pleases the gods to protect you through men, then men will comfort you, feed you, sleep with you. Boult's back.

Re-enter BOULT

BAWD

Now, sir, hast thou cried her through the market?

BAWD

Have you spread the word about her all over the market?

BOULT

I have cried her almost to the number of her hairs;I have drawn her picture with my voice.

BOULT

I've described her down to every last hair. I've drawn a picture of her with my voice.

BAWD

And I prithee tell me, how dost thou find theinclination of the people, especially of the younger sort?

BAWD

And please, tell me: how do people seem to be reacting, especially the younger ones?

BOULT

'Faith, they listened to me as they would have hearkened to their father's testament. There was a Spaniard's mouth so watered, that he went to bed to her very description.

BOULT

Well, they listened to me as closely as they would to their own father's will being read. There was a Spanish guy whose mouth watered so much, he went to masturbate off just the description of her.

BAWD

We shall have him here to-morrow with his best ruff on.

BAWD

I'm sure he'll be here tomorrow in his best clothes.

BOULT

To-night, to-night. But, mistress, do you know theFrench knight that cowers i' the hams?

BOULT

Tonight, tonight. But, mistress, do you know the French guy who works as a butcher?

BAWD

Who, Monsieur Veroles?

BAWD

Who, Mr. Syphilis?

BOULT

Ay, he: he offered to cut a caper at theproclamation; but he made a groan at it, and sworehe would see her to-morrow.

BOULT

Yeah, him. He wanted to do it as soon as he heard the proclamation, but then groaned and swore he would see her tomorrow.

BAWD

Well, well; as for him, he brought his disease hither: here he does but repair it. I know he will come in our shadow, to scatter his crowns in the sun.

BAWD

Well, well, as for him—he brought his disease here, and he just keeps it up. I know he'll come here soon and that he'll spend plenty of money.

BOULT

Well, if we had of every nation a traveller, weshould lodge them with this sign.

BOULT

Well, if we had customers from every country in the world, we'd welcome them in, since they either have syphilis or will do soon.

BAWD

[To MARINA] Pray you, come hither awhile. You have fortunes coming upon you. Mark me: you must seem to do that fearfully which you commit willingly, despise profit where you have most gain. To weep that you live as ye do makes pity in your lovers: seldom but that pity begets you a good opinion, and that opinion a mere profit.

BAWD

[To MARINA] Come here for a minute. Good things are coming your way. Mark my words: you need to pretend you're afraid of having sex even though you're perfectly willing, and you need to seem like you don't want the money, even though you'll make a fortune. If you cry about having to work as a prostitute, your customers will take pity on you; pity equals good reviews, and good reviews equals a huge profit.

MARINA

I understand you not.

MARINA

I don't understand you.

BOULT

O, take her home, mistress, take her home: theseblushes of hers must be quenched with some present practise.

BOULT

Oh, take her home, mistress, take her home. We'll get rid of all this shyness with a little practice.

BAWD

Thou sayest true, i' faith, so they must; for yourbride goes to that with shame which is her way to gowith warrant.

BAWD

You're right, darn it, we will. Even brides are afraid of the wedding night, though they have no reason to be.

BOULT

'Faith, some do, and some do not. But, mistress, ifI have bargained for the joint,—

BOULT

Well, some do, some don't. But, mistress, since it's me that bought her—

BAWD

Thou mayst cut a morsel off the spit.

BAWD

—you can have a little taste.

BOULT

I may so.

BOULT

I may?

BAWD

Who should deny it? Come, young one, I like themanner of your garments well.

BAWD

Who's stopping you?

[To MARINA] Cheer up, missy. I like your clothes.

BOULT

Ay, by my faith, they shall not be changed yet.

BOULT

Ah, don't change them yet.

BAWD

Boult, spend thou that in the town: report what a sojourner we have; you'll lose nothing by custom. When nature flamed this piece, she meant thee a good turn; therefore say what a paragon she is, and thou hast the harvest out of thine own report.

BAWD

[She gives BOULT a coin] Boult, spread the news in town about our new guest, and don't leave out a single detail. When Mother Nature put together this girl, she meant to do you a favor. If you tell everyone how beautiful she is, you'll get money and you'll get to sleep with her, too.

BOULT

I warrant you, mistress, thunder shall not so awakethe beds of eels as my giving out her beauty stir upthe lewdly-inclined. I'll bring home some to-night.

BOULT

I promise I'll excite those dirty-minded men as much as I can. I'll bring some home tonight.

BAWD

Come your ways; follow me.

BAWD

Come on, then, follow me.

MARINA

If fires be hot, knives sharp, or waters deep,Untied I still my virgin knot will keep.Diana, aid my purpose!

MARINA

I swear I'll stay a virgin! Diana, help me!

BAWD

What have we to do with Diana? Pray you, will you go with us?

BAWD

What do we have to do with Diana? Now will you come with us?

Exeunt

Pericles
Join LitCharts A+ and get the entire Pericles Translation as a printable PDF.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
  • Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
  • Downloads of 672 LitCharts Lit Guides
  • Explanations and citation info for 16,595 quotes covering 672 books
  • Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
  • PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms
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.