A line-by-line translation

The Merry Wives of Windsor

The Merry Wives of Windsor Translation Act 3, Scene 1

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Enter SIR HUGH EVANS and SIMPLE

SIR HUGH EVANS

I pray you now, good master Slender's serving-man,and friend Simple by your name, which way have youlooked for Master Caius, that calls himself doctor of physic?

SIR HUGH EVANS

Good Master Slender's servant, whose name is Simple, can you please tell me where have you been looking for Master Caius, who calls himself a medical doctor?

SIMPLE

Marry, sir, the pittie-ward, the park-ward, everyway; old Windsor way, and every way but the townway.

SIMPLE

Well sir, I've looked near the small park, near the big park, everywhere, near the village of old Windsor, and everywhere except back near the town.

SIR HUGH EVANS

I most fehemently desire you you will also look thatway.

SIR HUGH EVANS

I'd really like you to look near the town, too.

SIMPLE

I will, sir.

SIMPLE

I will, sir.

Exit

SIR HUGH EVANS

'Pless my soul, how full of chollors I am, and trempling of mind! I shall be glad if he have deceived me. How melancholies I am! I will knog his urinals about his knave's costard when I have good opportunities for the ork. 'Pless my soul!

SIR HUGH EVANS

Bless my soul, I'm so upset and agitated! I'll be glad if he has lied to me. I feel so dejected! I'll smack him on his dishonest head with his urine-collecting bottles when I get a chance. Bless my soul! 

Sings

SIR HUGH EVANS

To shallow rivers, to whose falls Melodious birds sings madrigals; There will we make our peds of roses, And a thousand fragrant posies. To shallow— Mercy on me! I have a great dispositions to cry.

SIR HUGH EVANS

Let us go to shallow rivers
Where sweetly singing birds sing songs to the waterfalls;
There we'll make beds out of roses
And a thousand sweet-smelling flowers.
Let us go—

God have mercy on me! I feel like I'm going to cry. 

Sings

SIR HUGH EVANS

Melodious birds sing madrigals— When as I sat in Pabylon— And a thousand vagram posies. To shallow & c.

SIR HUGH EVANS

Sweetly-singing birds sing songs—
As when I sat in Babylon—
And a thousand scattered flowers.
Let us go... (etc.)

Re-enter SIMPLE

SIMPLE

Yonder he is coming, this way, Sir Hugh.

SIMPLE

Look, he's coming this way, Sir Hugh. 

SIR HUGH EVANS

He's welcome.

SIR HUGH EVANS

He's welcome.

Sings

SIR HUGH EVANS

To shallow rivers, to whose falls-Heaven prosper the right! What weapons is he?

SIR HUGH EVANS

Let us go to shallow rivers, to the waterfalls—
I hope that God helps the people who are in the right! What weapons is he bringing?

SIMPLE

No weapons, sir. There comes my master, MasterShallow, and another gentleman, from Frogmore, overthe stile, this way.

SIMPLE

He's not bringing any weapons, sir. Here comes my master, Master Shallow, and another gentleman, from Frogmore, over the fence, this way. 

SIR HUGH EVANS

Pray you, give me my gown; or else keep it in your arms.

SIR HUGH EVANS

Please, give me my coat; or else hold on to it. 

Enter PAGE, SHALLOW, and SLENDER

SHALLOW

How now, master Parson! Good morrow, good Sir Hugh. Keep a gamester from the dice, and a good student from his book, and it is wonderful.

SHALLOW

How are you doing, Master Parson! Good morning, good Sir Hugh. If you keep a gambler away from gambling, and a good student away from studying, you can get some surprising results. 

SLENDER

[Aside] Ah, sweet Anne Page!

SLENDER

[To himself] Oh, sweet Anne Page!

PAGE

'Save you, good Sir Hugh!

PAGE

God bless you, good Sir Hugh!

SIR HUGH EVANS

'Pless you from his mercy sake, all of you!

SIR HUGH EVANS

God bless you in his mercy, all of you!

SHALLOW

What, the sword and the word! do you study themboth, master parson?

SHALLOW

What, fighting and religion! Do you practice both of them, Master Parson?

PAGE

And youthful still! in your doublet and hose thisraw rheumatic day!

PAGE

And you're acting as if you were still a young man! You're wearing only your tights and a light jacket on a chilly day when people catch cold! 

SIR HUGH EVANS

There is reasons and causes for it.

SIR HUGH EVANS

I have a good reason for that. 

PAGE

We are come to you to do a good office, master parson.

PAGE

We've come to do something helpful for you, Master Parson.

SIR HUGH EVANS

Fery well: what is it?

SIR HUGH EVANS

Very well, what is it?

PAGE

Yonder is a most reverend gentleman, who, belike having received wrong by some person, is at most odds with his own gravity and patience that ever you saw.

PAGE

Over there is a very honorable gentleman who was probably treated badly by someone, and so he's not behaving in his usual dignified and calm way.

SHALLOW

I have lived fourscore years and upward; I never heard a man of his place, gravity and learning, so wide of his own respect.

SHALLOW

I'm more than eighty years old, and I never heard of someone with his job, dignity, and education, caring so little about his own reputation. 

SIR HUGH EVANS

What is he?

SIR HUGH EVANS

Who is he?

PAGE

I think you know him; Master Doctor Caius, therenowned French physician.

PAGE

I think you know him: Master Doctor Caius, the famous French doctor.

SIR HUGH EVANS

Got's will, and his passion of my heart! I had aslief you would tell me of a mess of porridge.

SIR HUGH EVANS

My God! I would rather you had told me where I could find some thick soup. 

PAGE

Why?

PAGE

Why?

SIR HUGH EVANS

He has no more knowledge in Hibocrates and Galen, —and he is a knave besides; a cowardly knave as you would desires to be acquainted withal.

SIR HUGH EVANS

He doesn't know anything about medicine, and he is also a scoundrel, the most cowardly scoundrel you could ever meet.

PAGE

I warrant you, he's the man should fight with him.

PAGE

[To SHALLOW] I'm telling you, he would fight him.

SHALLOW

[Aside] O sweet Anne Page!

SLENDER

[To himself] Oh sweet Anne Page!

SHALLOW

It appears so by his weapons. Keep them asunder:here comes Doctor Caius.

SHALLOW

[To PAGE] It seems like it, judging by his weapons. Keep them apart, here comes Doctor Caius.

Enter Host, DOCTOR CAIUS, and RUGBY

PAGE

Nay, good master parson, keep in your weapon.

PAGE

No, good Master Parson, don't draw your sword.

SHALLOW

So do you, good master doctor.

SHALLOW

And don't draw your sword either, good Master Doctor.

HOST

Disarm them, and let them question: let them keeptheir limbs whole and hack our English.

HOST

Take away their weapons and let them talk to each other. Keep them from fighting with swords and let them just fight with words.

DOCTOR CAIUS

I pray you, let-a me speak a word with your ear.Vherefore vill you not meet-a me?

DOCTOR CAIUS

[To SIR HUGH so that only he can hear] Please, let me have a private word with you.

[Aloud so that 
the others can hear] Why didn't you meet me?

SIR HUGH EVANS

[Aside to DOCTOR CAIUS] Pray you, use your patience:in good time.

SIR HUGH EVANS

[To DOCTOR CAIUS so that only he can hear] Please, be calm.

[Aloud so that the others can hear]
I was going to come. 

DOCTOR CAIUS

By gar, you are de coward, de Jack dog, John ape.

DOCTOR CAIUS

By God, you are a coward, a dog, an ape!

SIR HUGH EVANS

[Aside to DOCTOR CAIUS] Pray you let us not be laughing-stocks to other men's humours; I desire you in friendship, and I will one way or other make you amends. [Aloud so that the others can hear] I will knog your urinals about your knave's cockscomb for missing your meetings and appointments.

SIR HUGH EVANS

[To DOCTOR CAIUS so that only he can hear] Please, let's not make fools out of ourselves so the others can laugh at us. I want to be friends with you, and I'll make things up to you one way or another.

[Aloud so that the others can hear] I will hit you in the head with your urine-collecting bottles for missing our meeting. 

DOCTOR CAIUS

Diable! Jack Rugby,—mine host de Jarteer,—have I not stay for him to kill him? have I not, at de place I did appoint?

DOCTOR CAIUS

You devil! Jack Rugby—my host of the Garter Inn—didn't I wait for him to kill him? Wasn't I waiting at the place I said I would? 

SIR HUGH EVANS

As I am a Christians soul now, look you, this is the place appointed: I'll be judgement by mine host of the Garter.

SIR HUGH EVANS

As sure as I'm a Christian, I'm telling you, this was the place we were supposed to meet. Ask the Host of the Garter Inn. 

HOST

Peace, I say, Gallia and Gaul, French and Welsh,soul-curer and body-curer!

HOST

Be quiet, I'm telling you, Wales and France, Frenchman and Welshman, man who cures souls and man who cures bodies!

DOCTOR CAIUS

Ay, dat is very good; excellent.

DOCTOR CAIUS

Yes, that's good, excellent. 

HOST

Peace, I say! hear mine host of the Garter. Am I politic? am I subtle? am I a Machiavel? Shall I lose my doctor? no; he gives me the potions and the motions. Shall I lose my parson, my priest, my Sir Hugh? no; he gives me the proverbs and the no-verbs. Give me thy hand, terrestrial; so. Give me thy hand, celestial; so. Boys of art, I have deceived you both; I have directed you to wrong places: your hearts are mighty, your skins are whole, and let burnt sack be the issue. Come, lay their swords to pawn. Follow me, lads of peace; follow, follow, follow.

HOST

Be quiet, I said! Listen to me, the Host of the Garter Inn. Am I devious? Am I crafty? Am I a treacherous schemer? Do I want to lose my doctor? No, he gives me medicines and helps my digestion. Do I want to lose my parson, my priest, my Sir Hugh? No, he gives me verses from the Bible and directions about what I shouldn't do. Give me your hand, man who cures bodies; like this. Give me your hand, man who cures souls; like this. You educated men, I've tricked both of you. I sent you to the wrong places. Your hearts are brave, your bodies aren't hurt, and let's let this fight end in a drink! Come on, put their swords aside. Follow me, you peaceful men: follow, follow, follow. 

SHALLOW

Trust me, a mad host. Follow, gentlemen, follow.

SHALLOW

Believe me, he's a jubilant man! Follow, gentlemen, follow. 

SLENDER

[Aside] O sweet Anne Page!

SLENDER

[To himself] O sweet Anne Page!

Exeunt SHALLOW, SLENDER, PAGE, and Host

DOCTOR CAIUS

Ha, do I perceive dat? have you make-a de sot ofus, ha, ha?

DOCTOR CAIUS

Ha, do I understand what's going on? Have you made fools out of us, ha, ha? 

SIR HUGH EVANS

This is well; he has made us his vlouting-stog. I desire you that we may be friends; and let us knog our prains together to be revenge on this same scall, scurvy cogging companion, the host of the Garter.

SIR HUGH EVANS

This is just great. He's made everyone laugh at us. I want to be friends with you, and let's put our heads together to figure out how to take revenge on this scabby, dishonest, cheating scoundrel, the host of the Garter Inn. 

DOCTOR CAIUS

By gar, with all my heart. He promise to bring mewhere is Anne Page; by gar, he deceive me too.

DOCTOR CAIUS

By God, with all my heart. He promised to take me to Anne Page. By God, he tricked me there, too. 

SIR HUGH EVANS

Well, I will smite his noddles. Pray you, follow.

SIR HUGH EVANS

Well, I'll smack his head. Please, follow me. 

Exeunt

The merry wives of windsor
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Maria devlin
About the Translator: Maria Devlin

Maria Devlin received her Ph.D. in English Literature from Harvard University, where she specialized in Renaissance drama. She has worked as a bibliographical and editorial assistant for The Norton Anthology of English Literature and for The Norton Shakespeare. She is currently working with Stephen Greenblatt to design online courses on Shakespeare, including the modules "Hamlet's Ghost" and "Shylock's Bond" offered through HarvardX. She is writing a book on Renaissance comedy.

Maria Devlin wishes to credit the following sources, which she consulted extensively in composing her translations and annotations:

William Shakespeare. The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition. Eds. Gary Taylor et al. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

William Shakespeare. The Norton Shakespeare, 3rd ed. Eds. Stephen Greenblatt et al. New York: W.W. Norton& Company, Inc., 2016.