A line-by-line translation

Pericles

Pericles Translation Act 4, Scene 6

Line Map Clear Line Map Add

Enter Pandar, Bawd, and BOULT

PANDAR

Well, I had rather than twice the worth of her shehad ne'er come here.

PANDAR

I don't care what she's worth; I wish she had never come here.

BAWD

Fie, fie upon her! she's able to freeze the god Priapus, and undo a whole generation. We must either get her ravished, or be rid of her. When she should do for clients her fitment, and do me the kindness of our profession, she has me her quirks, her reasons, her master reasons, her prayers, her knees; that she would make a puritan of the devil, if he should cheapen a kiss of her.

BAWD

Shame, shame on her! She could convince even the most hot-blooded man not to have sex. We either need to have someone sleep with her or get rid of her. When she's supposed to be fulfilling her customers' desires (and giving me the profit), instead she's up to all her shenanigans: her excuses, her better excuses, her prayers, begging on her knees. She could turn the devil himself into a born-again Christian if he so much as tried to kiss her.

BOULT

'Faith, I must ravish her, or she'll disfurnish usof all our cavaliers, and make our swearers priests.

BOULT

Well, I'll have to rape her, or she'll ruin all our customers, converting the evil-doers to good.

PANDAR

Now, the pox upon her green-sickness for me!

PANDAR

Damn her inexperience!

BAWD

'Faith, there's no way to be rid on't but by theway to the pox. Here comes the Lord Lysimachus disguised.

BAWD

Well, there's no way for her to get experience except by getting experience.  Here comes Lord Lysimachus in a disguise.

BOULT

We should have both lord and lown, if the peevishbaggage would but give way to customers.

BOULT

We could win him and his money over if the girl would just give in to customers.

Enter LYSIMACHUS

LYSIMACHUS

How now! How a dozen of virginities?

LYSIMACHUS

Hello! How much for a dozen virginities?

BAWD

Now, the gods to-bless your honour!

BAWD

God bless you, sir.

BOULT

I am glad to see your honour in good health.

BOULT

I'm glad to see you're healthy, sir.

LYSIMACHUS

You may so; 'tis the better for you that your resorters stand upon sound legs. How now! wholesome iniquity have you that a man may deal withal, and defy the surgeon?

LYSIMACHUS

I'm sure you are—it's better for your business when your clients keep from getting sick! What new stock do you have here that might allow a man to enjoy his whores and keep the sexually-transmitted diseases at bay?

BAWD

We have here one, sir, if she would—but there nevercame her like in Mytilene.

BAWD

We have one here, sir, if she would . . . but we've never had anyone like her in Mytilene.

LYSIMACHUS

If she'ld do the deed of darkness, thou wouldst say.

LYSIMACHUS

If she would do the dirty, you mean.

BAWD

Your honour knows what 'tis to say well enough.

BAWD

You're exactly right, sir.

LYSIMACHUS

Well, call forth, call forth.

LYSIMACHUS

Well, bring her in, then!

BOULT

For flesh and blood, sir, white and red, you shallsee a rose; and she were a rose indeed, if she had but—

BOULT

Sir, it might be better if someone else popped the cherry before you—

LYSIMACHUS

What, prithee?

LYSIMACHUS

What did you say?

BOULT

O, sir, I can be modest.

BOULT

Oh, sir, I can be quiet.

LYSIMACHUS

That dignifies the renown of a bawd, no less than itgives a good report to a number to be chaste.

LYSIMACHUS

Silence is as useful to a bawd as a reputation is to a virgin.

Exit BOULT

BAWD

Here comes that which grows to the stalk; neverplucked yet, I can assure you.

BAWD

Here comes a fresh flower. Never been picked, I can assure you.

Re-enter BOULT with MARINA

BAWD

Is she not a fair creature?

BAWD

Isn't she pretty?

LYSIMACHUS

'Faith, she would serve after a long voyage at sea.Well, there's for you: leave us.

LYSIMACHUS

She's just what you want after a long voyage at sea.

 [He gives the BAWD a coin] Well, there you go. Leave us.

BAWD

I beseech your honour, give me leave: a word, andI'll have done presently.

BAWD

Please, sir, let me speak with her first and then I'll leave you.

LYSIMACHUS

I beseech you, do.

LYSIMACHUS

Please, do.

BAWD

[To MARINA] First, I would have you note, this isan honourable man.

BAWD

[To MARINA] First, please note that he is an honorable man.

MARINA

I desire to find him so, that I may worthily note him.

MARINA

I hope he proves himself so; then I can respect him.

BAWD

Next, he's the governor of this country, and a manwhom I am bound to.

BAWD

Second: he's the governor of this country, and I'm bound to serve him.

MARINA

If he govern the country, you are bound to himindeed; but how honourable he is in that, I know not.

MARINA

If he governs the country, you are definitely bound to serve him. It's unclear how honorable he is in the act of governing, though.

BAWD

Pray you, without any more virginal fencing, willyou use him kindly? He will line your apron with gold.

BAWD

Please stop arguing with me. Will you do him well? He'll give you a lot of money.

MARINA

What he will do graciously, I will thankfully receive.

MARINA

Whatever he gives courteously, I accept gratefully.

LYSIMACHUS

Ha' you done?

LYSIMACHUS

Are you done?

BAWD

My lord, she's not paced yet: you must take somepains to work her to your manage. Come, we willleave his honour and her together. Go thy ways.

BAWD

Sir, she hasn't been broken in yet; you'll need to work hard to make her obey.

 [To BOULT and PANDAR] Come on, we'll leave the two of them together. Go on, now.

Exeunt Bawd, Pandar, and BOULT

LYSIMACHUS

Now, pretty one, how long have you been at this trade?

LYSIMACHUS

So, pretty girl, how long have you been working in this business?

MARINA

What trade, sir?

MARINA

What business, sir?

LYSIMACHUS

Why, I cannot name't but I shall offend.

LYSIMACHUS

I can't say the name, or I'll offend you.

MARINA

I cannot be offended with my trade. Please you to name it.

MARINA

I can't be offended by the name of my business. Please say it.

LYSIMACHUS

How long have you been of this profession?

LYSIMACHUS

How long have you been in this profession?

MARINA

E'er since I can remember.

MARINA

Ever since I can remember.

LYSIMACHUS

Did you go to 't so young? Were you a gamester atfive or at seven?

LYSIMACHUS

Did you start that young? Were you a prostitute at the age of five or seven?

MARINA

Earlier too, sir, if now I be one.

MARINA

Earlier that that, sir, if that's what I am now.

LYSIMACHUS

Why, the house you dwell in proclaims you to be acreature of sale.

LYSIMACHUS

The place where you live proclaims you to be a prostitute.

MARINA

Do you know this house to be a place of such resort,and will come into 't? I hear say you are ofhonourable parts, and are the governor of this place.

MARINA

If you know this place is a brothel, why did you come in? I've heard that you're honorable, and that you're the governor of this place.

LYSIMACHUS

Why, hath your principal made known unto you who I am?

LYSIMACHUS

Did your boss tell you who I am?

MARINA

Who is my principal?

MARINA

Who is my boss?

LYSIMACHUS

Why, your herb-woman; she that sets seeds and roots of shame and iniquity. O, you have heard something of my power, and so stand aloof for more serious wooing. But I protest to thee, pretty one, my authority shall not see thee, or else look friendly upon thee. Come, bring me to some private place: come, come.

LYSIMACHUS

The Bawd, the one that teaches you and facilitates your shame and wickedness. All right, you've heard I'm powerful  and rich so you're playing hard to get. I'll have you know, pretty girl, that once I see you, I'll pay you very well. Come on, bring me to a private room. Come, come.

MARINA

If you were born to honour, show it now; If put upon you, make the judgment good That thought you worthy of it.

MARINA

If you were born to power, sir, prove how honorable you are now. If you rose to power later, prove that those who thought you were honorable then made a good choice.

LYSIMACHUS

How's this? how's this? Some more; be sage.

LYSIMACHUS

What? What? Say more, be clear.

MARINA

For me, That am a maid, though most ungentle fortune Have placed me in this sty, where, since I came, Diseases have been sold dearer than physic, O, that the gods Would set me free from this unhallow'd place, Though they did change me to the meanest bird That flies i' the purer air!

MARINA

I'm a virgin, although bad luck has landed me in this dump where, since I came people have paid more to get diseases than they would for medicine. Oh, may the gods set me free from this hellish place, even if it means changing me into a bird that flies through the pure air!

LYSIMACHUS

I did not think Thou couldst have spoke so well; ne'er dream'd thou couldst. Had I brought hither a corrupted mind, Thy speech had alter'd it. Hold, here's gold for thee: Persever in that clear way thou goest, And the gods strengthen thee!

LYSIMACHUS

I couldn't have imagined you could speak so well; I couldn't have dreamed it. If I had had a dirty mind, your speech would have changed it. Here, take this coin. Keep going on this virtuous path, and may the gods bless you!

MARINA

The good gods preserve you!

MARINA

May the gods protect you!

LYSIMACHUS

For me, be you thoughten That I came with no ill intent; for to me The very doors and windows savour vilely. Fare thee well. Thou art a piece of virtue, and I doubt not but thy training hath been noble. Hold, here's more gold for thee. A curse upon him, die he like a thief, That robs thee of thy goodness! If thou dost Hear from me, it shall be for thy good.

LYSIMACHUS

As for me: rest assured I had no bad intentions. Actually, this whole place is disgusting. Goodbye. You are virtuous, and I have no doubt that you've had an aristocratic education. Here, here's more gold for you. Curse anyone who tries to force himself on you, may he die like a thief! If you ever hear from me again, it'll be for your benefit.

Re-enter BOULT

BOULT

I beseech your honour, one piece for me.

BOULT

Please, sir, a coin for me?

LYSIMACHUS

Avaunt, thou damned door-keeper!Your house, but for this virgin that doth prop it,Would sink and overwhelm you. Away!

LYSIMACHUS

Get out, you damned doorman! Without this virgin keeping it up, this whole house would collapse and bury you! Away!

Exit

BOULT

How's this? We must take another course with you. If your peevish chastity, which is not worth a breakfast in the cheapest country under the cope, shall undo a whole household, let me be gelded like a spaniel. Come your ways.

BOULT

What now? We'll have to try a different tactic with you. Your worthless virginity—which isn't worth a cheap breakfast eaten in the night—isn't about to ruin this place; I'd rather be neutered like a dog than see that happen. Come with me.

MARINA

Whither would you have me?

MARINA

Where are you taking me?

BOULT

I must have your maidenhead taken off, or the common hangman shall execute it. Come your ways. We'll have no more gentlemen driven away. Come your ways, I say.

BOULT

I have to deflower you; otherwise you'll have to be killed. Come with me. We can't have any more gentleman driven away. Come with me, I said!

Re-enter Bawd

BAWD

How now! what's the matter?

BAWD

Hey, what's going on here?

BOULT

Worse and worse, mistress; she has here spoken holywords to the Lord Lysimachus.

BOULT

Worse and worse, ma'am. She's preached some sermon to Lord Lysimachus.

BAWD

O abominable!

BAWD

It's unthinkable!

BOULT

She makes our profession as it were to stink aforethe face of the gods.

BOULT

She's ruining the name of our profession.

BAWD

Marry, hang her up for ever!

BAWD

For goodness' sake, have her hanged!

BOULT

The nobleman would have dealt with her like anobleman, and she sent him away as cold as asnowball; saying his prayers too.

BOULT

The nobleman would have done with her what a nobleman does, but she sent him away as cold as a snowball, and saying his prayers, too.

BAWD

Boult, take her away; use her at thy pleasure:crack the glass of her virginity, and make the rest malleable.

BAWD

Boult, take her away. Do whatever you like with her. Smash her virginity into pieces so we can mold the rest into whatever shape we want.

BOULT

An if she were a thornier piece of ground than sheis, she shall be ploughed.

BOULT

Even if she were uglier than she is, she'd have to be screwed.

MARINA

Hark, hark, you gods!

MARINA

Gods, listen, help me!

BAWD

She conjures: away with her! Would she had never come within my doors! Marry, hang you! She's born to undo us. Will you not go the way of women-kind? Marry, come up, my dish of chastity with rosemary and bays!

BAWD

She's praying; take her away! I wish she had never set foot in this house. Damn her! She's going to ruin us. Don't you want to do what women do? Come up, my little virgin pie with rosemary and bay leaves!

Exit

BOULT

Come, mistress; come your ways with me.

BOULT

Come on, missy, come with me.

MARINA

Whither wilt thou have me?

MARINA

What are you going to do to me?

BOULT

To take from you the jewel you hold so dear.

BOULT

Take away your most prized possession. 

MARINA

Prithee, tell me one thing first.

MARINA

Please, tell me one thing first.

BOULT

Come now, your one thing.

BOULT

All right, what's your one thing?

MARINA

What canst thou wish thine enemy to be?

MARINA

Who's the worst person you know?

BOULT

Why, I could wish him to be my master, or rather, my mistress.

BOULT

Probably the Pandar. Or the Bawd.

MARINA

Neither of these are so bad as thou art, Since they do better thee in their command. Thou hold'st a place, for which the pained'st fiend Of hell would not in reputation change: Thou art the damned doorkeeper to every Coistrel that comes inquiring for his Tib; To the choleric fisting of every rogue Thy ear is liable; thy food is such As hath been belch'd on by infected lungs.

MARINA

Neither of them is as bad as you; their jobs are better than yours. The worst demon in hell wouldn't trade places with you. You're the damned doorman who lets in every vagabond that comes looking for his slut; every diseased person owes his misery to you. The very food you eat has been burped on by infected lungs.

BOULT

What would you have me do? go to the wars, would you? where a man may serve seven years for the loss of a leg, and have not money enough in the end to buy him a wooden one?

BOULT

What do you want me to do? Fight in the war, huh? Where a man might serve seven years before he loses a leg, and then not have enough money to buy a wooden one?

MARINA

Do any thing but this thou doest. Empty Old receptacles, or common shores, of filth; Serve by indenture to the common hangman: Any of these ways are yet better than this; For what thou professest, a baboon, could he speak, Would own a name too dear. O, that the gods Would safely deliver me from this place! Here, here's gold for thee. If that thy master would gain by thee, Proclaim that I can sing, weave, sew, and dance, With other virtues, which I'll keep from boast: And I will undertake all these to teach. I doubt not but this populous city will Yield many scholars.

MARINA

Do anything but this. Empty trash cans, or clean up the beaches. Work as an apprentice in the prison. Anything is better than this. What you do? If a baboon could speak, he would say your job is beneath him. I wish the gods would take me out of here safely! Here, take this gold coin. If your master is intent to make a profit from me, let him know I can sing, weave, sew, and dance, and more which I won't brag about. I'll hire myself out to teach all these. I have no doubt that I'll find plenty of students in the city.

BOULT

But can you teach all this you speak of?

BOULT

Can you teach all those things?

MARINA

Prove that I cannot, take me home again,And prostitute me to the basest groomThat doth frequent your house.

MARINA

If it turns out that I can't, you can take me home and prostitute me to the lowest peasant that's a regular at your house.

BOULT

Well, I will see what I can do for thee: if I canplace thee, I will.

BOULT

Well, I'll see what I can do for you. If I can help you, I will.

MARINA

But amongst honest women.

MARINA

I want to work among honest women.

BOULT

'Faith, my acquaintance lies little amongst them. But since my master and mistress have bought you, there's no going but by their consent: therefore I will make them acquainted with your purpose, and I doubt not but I shall find them tractable enough. Come, I'll do for thee what I can; come your ways.

BOULT

I don't know many of them, I'll tell you. But since my master and mistress have bought you, there's no way of going unless they consent. So I'll explain your plan to them; I'm sure they'll be willing. Come on, I'll do what I can for you. Come with me.

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 16,605 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.