A line-by-line translation

The Merry Wives of Windsor

The Merry Wives of Windsor Translation Act 4, Scene 1

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Enter MISTRESS PAGE, MISTRESS QUICKLY, and WILLIAM PAGE

MISTRESS PAGE

Is he at Master Ford's already, think'st thou?

MISTRESS PAGE

Do you think he's already at Master Ford's?

MISTRESS QUICKLY

Sure he is by this, or will be presently: but,truly, he is very courageous mad about his throwinginto the water. Mistress Ford desires you to come suddenly.

MISTRESS QUICKLY

I'm sure he is by now, or he will be soon. But I'm telling you, he is furiously angry about being thrown into the water. Mistress Ford wants you to come over immediately. 

MISTRESS PAGE

I'll be with her by and by; I'll but bring my youngman here to school. Look, where his master comes;'tis a playing-day, I see.

MISTRESS PAGE

I'll be with her soon. I'm just going to bring my young son here to school. Look, his schoolmaster's coming. I see that today must be a holiday.

Enter SIR HUGH EVANS

MISTRESS PAGE

How now, Sir Hugh! no school to-day?

MISTRESS PAGE

Hello there, Sir Hugh! There's no school today?

SIR HUGH EVANS

No; Master Slender is let the boys leave to play.

SIR HUGH EVANS

No, Master Slender's given permission for the boys to play.

MISTRESS QUICKLY

Blessing of his heart!

MISTRESS QUICKLY

Bless his heart!

MISTRESS PAGE

Sir Hugh, my husband says my son profits nothing inthe world at his book. I pray you, ask him somequestions in his accidence.

MISTRESS PAGE

Sir Hugh, my husband says our son William isn't getting any better at reading. Please, ask him some questions about his Latin grammar.

SIR HUGH EVANS

Come hither, William; hold up your head; come.

SIR HUGH EVANS

Come here, William. Stand up straight, come on.

MISTRESS PAGE

Come on, sirrah; hold up your head; answer yourmaster, be not afraid.

MISTRESS PAGE

Come on, young man, stand up straight. Answer your master, don't be scared.

SIR HUGH EVANS

William, how many numbers is in nouns?

SIR HUGH EVANS

William, how many kinds of nouns are there?

WILLIAM PAGE

Two.

WILLIAM PAGE

Two.

MISTRESS QUICKLY

Truly, I thought there had been one number more,because they say, ''Od's nouns.'

MISTRESS QUICKLY

Really, I thought there were three, because the expression is, "Od's nouns."

SIR HUGH EVANS

Peace your tattlings! What is 'fair,' William?

SIR HUGH EVANS

Stop your chattering! What is "beautiful," William?

WILLIAM PAGE

Pulcher.

WILLIAM PAGE

Pulcher.

MISTRESS QUICKLY

Polecats! there are fairer things than polecats, sure.

MISTRESS QUICKLY

Polecats! I'm sure there are things more beautiful than polecats!

SIR HUGH EVANS

You are a very simplicity 'oman: I pray you peace.What is 'lapis,' William?

SIR HUGH EVANS

You're a very ignorant woman. I ask you to be quiet. What does "lapis" mean, William?

WILLIAM PAGE

A stone.

WILLIAM PAGE

A stone.

SIR HUGH EVANS

And what is 'a stone,' William?

SIR HUGH EVANS

And what is "a stone," William?

WILLIAM PAGE

A pebble.

WILLIAM PAGE

A pebble.

SIR HUGH EVANS

No, it is 'lapis:' I pray you, remember in your prain.

SIR HUGH EVANS

No, it's "lapis." I ask you, please, remember that in your mind. 

WILLIAM PAGE

Lapis.

WILLIAM PAGE

Lapis.

SIR HUGH EVANS

That is a good William. What is he, William, thatdoes lend articles?

SIR HUGH EVANS

That's a good boy, William. From what part of speech do we get articles?

WILLIAM PAGE

Articles are borrowed of the pronoun, and be thusdeclined, Singulariter, nominativo, hic, haec, hoc.

WILLIAM PAGE

We get articles from the pronoun, and they are declined like this: Singulariter, nominativo, hic, haec, hoc.

SIR HUGH EVANS

Nominativo, hig, hag, hog; pray you, mark:genitivo, hujus. Well, what is your accusative case?

SIR HUGH EVANS

Nominavito, hig, hag, hog. Please, pay attention. Genitivo, hujus. Well, what is the article in the accusative case? 

WILLIAM PAGE

Accusativo, hinc.

WILLIAM PAGE

Accusativo, hinc.

SIR HUGH EVANS

I pray you, have your remembrance, child,accusative, hung, hang, hog.

SIR HUGH EVANS

Please, remember your lessons, child, the accusative is hung, hang, hog.

MISTRESS QUICKLY

'Hang-hog' is Latin for bacon, I warrant you.

MISTRESS QUICKLY

I bet that "hang-hog" is Latin for bacon.

SIR HUGH EVANS

Leave your prabbles, 'oman. What is the focativecase, William?

SIR HUGH EVANS

Stop chattering, woman. What's the focative case, William?

WILLIAM PAGE

O,—vocativo, O.

WILLIAM PAGE

O—vocativo, O.

SIR HUGH EVANS

Remember, William; focative is caret.

SIR HUGH EVANS

Remember, William, focative is caret.

MISTRESS QUICKLY

And that's a good root.

MISTRESS QUICKLY

A carrot is a good root.

SIR HUGH EVANS

'Oman, forbear.

SIR HUGH EVANS

Woman, cut it out. 

MISTRESS PAGE

Peace!

MISTRESS PAGE

Be quiet!

SIR HUGH EVANS

What is your genitive case plural, William?

SIR HUGH EVANS

What is the genitive case plural, William?

WILLIAM PAGE

Genitive case!

WILLIAM PAGE

Genitive case!

SIR HUGH EVANS

Ay.

SIR HUGH EVANS

That's the one.

WILLIAM PAGE

Genitive,—horum, harum, horum.

WILLIAM PAGE

Genitive—horum, harum, horum.

MISTRESS QUICKLY

Vengeance of Jenny's case! fie on her! never nameher, child, if she be a whore.

MISTRESS QUICKLY

Jenny's case is disgraceful! Shame on her! Don't talk about her, child, if she's a whore.

SIR HUGH EVANS

For shame, 'oman.

SIR HUGH EVANS

Shame on you, woman.

MISTRESS QUICKLY

You do ill to teach the child such words: he teaches him to hick and to hack, which they'll do fast enough of themselves, and to call 'horum:' fie upon you!

MISTRESS QUICKLY

It's wrong of you teach the child words like that. 

[To MISTRESS PAGE]
he teaches him to hick and hack, which children learn fast enough on their own, and to say the word "horum." Shame on you!

SIR HUGH EVANS

'Oman, art thou lunatics? hast thou no understandings for thy cases and the numbers of the genders? Thou art as foolish Christian creatures as I would desires.

SIR HUGH EVANS

Woman, are you crazy? Don't you understand the cases, singular and plural, and genders? You're the most foolish creature I have ever seen. 

MISTRESS PAGE

Prithee, hold thy peace.

MISTRESS PAGE

I'm telling you, be quiet. 

SIR HUGH EVANS

Show me now, William, some declensions of your pronouns.

SIR HUGH EVANS

Tell me now, William, how to decline pronouns.

WILLIAM PAGE

Forsooth, I have forgot.

WILLIAM PAGE

Actually, I've forgotten. 

SIR HUGH EVANS

It is qui, quae, quod: if you forget your 'quies,'your 'quaes,' and your 'quods,' you must bepreeches. Go your ways, and play; go.

SIR HUGH EVANS

It is qui, quae, quod. If you forget your "quies," your "quaes," and your "quods," you ought to be beaten. Go on and play, go. 

MISTRESS PAGE

He is a better scholar than I thought he was.

MISTRESS PAGE

He's a better scholar than I thought he was. 

SIR HUGH EVANS

He is a good sprag memory. Farewell, Mistress Page.

SIR HUGH EVANS

He has a good active memory. Goodbye, Mistress Page. 

MISTRESS PAGE

Adieu, good Sir Hugh.

MISTRESS PAGE

Goodbye, good Sir Hugh.

Exit SIR HUGH EVANS

MISTRESS PAGE

Get you home, boy. Come, we stay too long.

MISTRESS PAGE

Go along home, boy. Come on, we've been hanging around too long.

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.