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PLAY: Cymbeline ACT/SCENE: 4.2 SPEAKER: Imogen CONTEXT: I hope I dream,
For so I thought I was a cave-keeper
And cook to honest creatures. But ’tis not so.
’Twas but a bolt of nothing, shot at nothing,
Which the brain makes of fumes. Our very eyes
Are sometimes like our judgments, blind. Good faith,
I tremble still with fear; but if there be
Yet left in heaven as small a drop of pity
As a wren’s eye, feared gods, a part of it! DUTCH: O, groote goden,
Is boven nog erbarming, slechts een drup,
Als ‘t oog der grasmusch, schenkt me een deel er van!

Schmidt:
A fume=A delusion, a phantasm, anything hindering, like a mist, the function of the brain

Compleat:
The glory of mortals is but a fume=De eerre der stervelingen is maar rook
To be in a fume=In een woede zyn Topics: pity, imagination, madness, evidence

PLAY: The Tempest
ACT/SCENE: Epilogue
SPEAKER: Prospero
CONTEXT:
Now my charms are all o’erthrown,
And what strength I have’s mine own,
Which is most faint. Now, ’tis true,
I must be here confined by you,
Or sent to Naples. Let me not,
Since I have my dukedom got
And pardoned the deceiver, dwell
In this bare island by your spell,
But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands.
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails,
Which was to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant,
And my ending is despair,
Unless I be relieved by prayer,
Which pierces so that it assaults
Mercy itself and frees all faults.
As you from crimes would pardoned be,
Let your indulgence set me free.

DUTCH:
k Derf mijn geesten thans en kunst;
Wanhoop is mijn eind, tenzij
Vroom gebed mijn ziel bevrij,
En mij, nimmer smeekensmoe,
Al mijn schuld vergeven doe!
Hoopt gijzelf eens op gená,
Dat uw gunst mij dan ontsla!

MORE:

Topics: pity, mercy, life, offence, punishment, failure

PLAY: Titus Andronicus
ACT/SCENE: 2.3
SPEAKER: Demetrius
CONTEXT:
DEMETRIUS
Listen, fair madam: let it be your glory
To see her tears; but be your heart to them
As unrelenting flint to drops of rain.
LAVINIA
When did the tiger’s young ones teach the dam?
O, do not learn her wrath; she taught it thee;
The milk thou suckedst from her did turn to marble;
Even at thy teat thou hadst thy tyranny.
Yet every mother breeds not sons alike:
Do thou entreat her show a woman pity.
CHIRON
What, wouldst thou have me prove myself a bastard?
LAVINIA
‘Tis true; the raven doth not hatch a lark:
Yet have I heard,—O, could I find it now!—
The lion moved with pity did endure
To have his princely paws pared all away:
Some say that ravens foster forlorn children,
The whilst their own birds famish in their nests:
O, be to me, though thy hard heart say no,
Nothing so kind, but something pitiful!

DUTCH:
Hoor haar, vorstin; het zij uw roem, haar tranen
Te aanschouwen; doch voor deze zij uw hart,
Wat harde keien zijn voor regendroppels.

MORE:
Proverb: Constant dropping will wear the stone
Proverb: An eagle does not hatch a dove
Proverb: He sucked evil from the dug
Proverb: The lion spares the suppliant

Glory=Pride
Learn her=Teach her
Hadst=Took in
Children=Chicks
Forlorn=Wretched, abandoned
Compleat:
Glory=Heerlykheid, gloori, roem
Learn=Leren
Forlorn=Wanhoopig, neerslagtig door een mislukking; Verlaaten

Topics: proverbs and idioms, pride, life, pity

PLAY: The Comedy of Errors
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Duke
CONTEXT:
Nay, forward, old man. Do not break off so,
For we may pity though not pardon thee.
EGEON
O, had the gods done so, I had not now
Worthily termed them merciless to us.
For, ere the ships could meet by twice five leagues,
We were encounterd by a mighty rock,
Which being violently borne upon,
Our helpful ship was splitted in the midst;
So that, in this unjust divorce of us,
Fortune had left to both of us alike
What to delight in, what to sorrow for.

DUTCH:
Neen, oude, breek niet af; want mededoogen
Mag ik u schenken, schoon genade niet..

MORE:
Worthily=Deservedly, justly
Helpful ship=Mast, which was helpful when the ship was “sinking-ripe”
In the midst=Down the middle

Compleat:
Worthily=Waardiglyk
Helpful=Behulpelyk
Midst=Het middenst, midden

Topics: pity, mercy, judgment, fate/destiny, life

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 4.3
SPEAKER: King
CONTEXT:
Therefore omit him not; blunt not his love,
Nor lose the good advantage of his grace
By seeming cold or careless of his will.
For he is gracious if he be observed;
He hath a tear for pity and a hand
Open as day for melting charity;
Yet notwithstanding, being incensed he is flint,
As humorous as winter, and as sudden
As flaws congealed in the spring of day.
His temper therefore must be well observed.

DUTCH:
Den traan van ‘t meêlij heeft hij, en een hand
Voor weeke goedheid open als de dag;

MORE:

He is gracious if he be observed=If he is shown respect
Humorous=Changeable (as the weather in winter)
Omit=Disregard, ignore
Careless=Heedless, having no regard to, indifferent to
Flint=Proverbial hard, source of fire
Melting=Feeling pity

Compleat:
Careless=Zorgeloos, kommerloos, achteloos, onachtzaam
Omit=Nalaaten, overslaan, voorbygaan, verzuimen
Flint=Een keisteen, vuursteen, keizel, flint
Humoursom (humerous)=Eigenzinnig, koppig, styfhoofdig, eenzinnig

Topics: pity, emotion and mood, respect, flaw/fault

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Falstaff
CONTEXT:
The juvenal, the Prince your master, whose chin is not yet
fledge—I will sooner have a beard grow in the palm
of my hand than he shall get one off his cheek,
and yet he will not stick to say his face is a face royal.
God may finish it when He will.
’Tis not a hair amiss yet.
He may keep it still at a face royal, for a barber
shall never earn sixpence out of it,
and yet he’ll be crowing as if he had writ man
ever since his father was a bachelor.
He may keep his own grace, but he’s
almost out of mine, I can assure him.

DUTCH:
Een prinselijke genade kan hij zijn en
blijven, maar bij mij is hij bijna uit de genade, dat kan
ik hem verzekeren

MORE:

Juvenal=Youth
Amiss=Out of time and order, wrong
Not a hair amiss=Not a hair out of place
Fledge=Covered with down
Stick=Hesitate
Face royal=Majestic face
Writ man=Having reached maturity, manhood
Barber shall never earn a sixpence=Barber would have nothing to shave

Compleat:
Stick=Schroomen
To stick at a thing (to make a conscience or a scruple)=Geweetenswerk ergens van maaken
He sticks at nothing for lucre’s sake=Hij ontziet niets om voordeels wille
Grace (agreeableness)=Bevalligheid
Grace=Genade
Fledged=Met veeren voorzien

Topics: insult, patience, pity, respect, age/experience

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 2.3
SPEAKER: Anne
CONTEXT:
ANNE
Not for that neither: here’s the pang that pinches:
His highness having lived so long with her, and she
So good a lady that no tongue could ever
Pronounce dishonour of her; by my life,
She never knew harm-doing: O, now, after
So many courses of the sun enthroned,
Still growing in a majesty and pomp, the which
To leave a thousand-fold more bitter than
‘Tis sweet at first to acquire,—after this process,
To give her the avaunt! it is a pity
Would move a monster.
OLD LADY
Hearts of most hard temper
Melt and lament for her.
ANNE
O, God’s will! much better
She ne’er had known pomp: though’t be temporal,
Yet, if that quarrel, fortune, do divorce
It from the bearer, ’tis a sufferance panging
As soul and body’s severing.

DUTCH:
Ook daarom niet; wat mij bedrukt, is dit.

MORE:
Pang=Torment, pain
Avaunt=Order to leave
Courses of the sun=Years
Compleat:
Pangs=Pynen, vlaaagen, heftige scheutten, ween

Topics: pity, reputation, authority

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Duke
CONTEXT:
DUKE
I am sorry for thee. Thou art come to answer
A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch
Uncapable of pity, void and empty
From any dram of mercy.
ANTONIO
I have heard
Your grace hath ta’en great pains to qualify
His rigorous course. But since he stands obdurate
And that no lawful means can carry me
Out of his envy’s reach, I do oppose
My patience to his fury, and am armed
To suffer with a quietness of spirit
The very tyranny and rage of his.

DUTCH:
Ik ben in zorg om u; gij hebt te doen
Met een, die harder is dan steen, een onmensch,
Voor medelijden doof, in wien geen vonkjen
Erbarmen huist.

MORE:
Answer=Reply to a charge, defend, account
Stony=Hard, pitiless
Dram=Small measurement, trace
Qualify=Moderate
Envy=Malice
Compleat:
Stony=Steeneig, steenachtig
Dram=Een vierendeel loods; een druppel
Qualify=Maatigen, temperen
Envy=Benyd

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: The Tempest
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Miranda
CONTEXT:
MIRANDA
Abhorrèd slave,
Which any print of goodness wilt not take,
Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee,
Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour
One thing or other. When thou didst not, savage,
Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like
A thing most brutish, I endowed thy purposes
With words that made them known. But thy vile race,
Though thou didst learn, had that in ’t which good natures
Could not abide to be with. Therefore wast thou
Deservedly confined into this rock,
Who hadst deserved more than a prison.
CALIBAN
You taught me language, and my profit on ’t
Is I know how to curse. The red plague rid you
For learning me your language!

DUTCH:
Deernis had ik;
En schonk u met veel zorg de spraak, ik leerde
U ieder uur iets nieuws; toen gij, een wilde,
Uzelven niet begreept, en klanken uitstiet
Gelijk het stomste vee, gaf ik u woorden,
Zoodat ge u uiten kondt;

MORE:
Schmidt:
Print=Imprint
Take=To receive as a thing in any way given or communicated
Gabble=Caliban is speaking in another language (incomprehensible to Miranda)
Purpose=That which a person or thing means to say or express, sense, meaning, purport: “I endowed thy –s with words,”
Rid=Destroy
Compleat:
Imprint=Inddrukken, inprenten
To imprint a thing in one’s mind=Iemand iets in het geheugen prenten
Gabble=Gekakel, gesnater
To gabble=Snappen, kakelen, koeteren
To gabble French=Fransch koeteren

Topics: language, learning/education, understanding, status, pity, order/society

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: King Richard II
CONTEXT:
THOMAS MOWBRAY
(…) Doubly portcullis’d with my teeth and lips;
And dull unfeeling barren ignorance
Is made my gaoler to attend on me.
I am too old to fawn upon a nurse,
Too far in years to be a pupil now:
What is thy sentence then but speechless death,
Which robs my tongue from breathing native breath?
KING RICHARD II
It boots thee not to be compassionate:
After our sentence plaining comes too late.

DUTCH:
Vergeefsch dat roerend jamm’ren; ‘t geeft geen baat;
Uw klacht is, nu ons vonnis viel, te laat.

MORE:

A semi-literal allusion to a proverb of the time, ‘Good that the teeth guard the tongue’ (1578) and the virtue of silence. Ben Jonson recommended a ‘wise tongue’ that should not be ‘licentious and wandering’. (See also the Lucio in Measure for Measure: “’tis a secret must be locked within the
teeth and the lips”.)

Cunning=Skilful
Sentence=Verdict (punning on language)
Breathing native breath=Speaking native English (and breathing English air)
No boot=No point, profit, advantage
Compassionate=Pitiful
Plaining=Making a formal complaint

Compleat:
Cunning=Behendig
No boot=Te vergeefs, vruchteloos

Topics: mercy, regret, pity, punishment

PLAY: Coriolanus
ACT/SCENE: 1.9
SPEAKER: Cominius
CONTEXT:
CORIOLANUS
I sometime lay here in Corioli
At a poor man’s house; he used me kindly:
He cried to me; I saw him prisoner;
But then Aufidius was with in my view,
And wrath o’erwhelm’d my pity: I request you
To give my poor host freedom.
COMINIUS
O, well begg’d!
Were he the butcher of my son, he should
Be free as is the wind. Deliver him, Titus.

DUTCH:
O eed’le bede!
Al had hij mijnen zoon geveld, hij zou
Zoo vrij zijn als de wind. Ontsla hem, Titus!

MORE:
Proverb: As free as the air (wind). Shakespeare refers to this again in AYL (“I must have liberty
Withal, as large a charter as the wind”, 2.7) and The Tempest (“Thou shalt be free
As mountain winds.”, 1.2).

Used=Treated
Sometime lay=Lodged for a while

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, pity, anger

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: Buckingham
CONTEXT:
BUCKINGHAM
All good people,
You that thus far have come to pity me,
Hear what I say, and then go home and lose me.
I have this day received a traitor’s judgment,
And by that name must die: yet, heaven bear witness,
And if I have a conscience, let it sink me,
Even as the axe falls, if I be not faithful!
The law I bear no malice for my death;
‘T has done, upon the premises, but justice:
But those that sought it I could wish more Christians:
Be what they will, I heartily forgive ’em:
Yet let ’em look they glory not in mischief,
Nor build their evils on the graves of great men;
For then my guiltless blood must cry against ’em.
For further life in this world I ne’er hope,
Nor will I sue, although the king have mercies
More than I dare make faults. You few that loved me,
And dare be bold to weep for Buckingham,
His noble friends and fellows, whom to leave
Is only bitter to him, only dying,
Go with me, like good angels, to my end;
And, as the long divorce of steel falls on me,
Make of your prayers one sweet sacrifice,
And lift my soul to heaven. Lead on, o’ God’s name.

DUTCH:
k Draag om mijn dood mijn’ rechters geenen wrok toe,
Zij spraken recht naar wat hun waarheid scheen;

MORE:
Lose=Forget
Sink=Ruin
Premises=Evidence
Look=Guard against
Compleat:
Lose=Verliezen, quyt raaken
To sink=Zinken, te gronde gaan, verzinken
Premisses=Het voorgaande, ‘t voorgemelde, ‘t voorschreevene

Topics: pity, evidence, justice

PLAY: As you Like It
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Touchstone
CONTEXT:
CELIA
My father’s love is enough to honour him. Enough. Speak no more of him; you’ll be whipped for taxation one of these days.
TOUCHSTONE
The more pity that fools may not speak wisely what wise men do foolishly.
CELIA
By my troth, thou sayest true. For, since the little wit that fools have was silenced, the little foolery that wise men have makes a great show. Here comes Monsieur Le Beau.

DUTCH:
Des te erger, als dwazen niet meer in hun wijsheid mogen zeggen, wat wijze lui in hun dwaasheid doen.

MORE:
Silenced’ is probably a topical reference, either to new restraints imposed on theatrical companies or to the burning of satirical books in 1599.
Whipping was a cruel punishment. In the days of Henry VIII an Act decreed that vagrants were to be carried to some market town, or other place, and there tied to the end of a cart, naked, and beaten with whips throughout such market-town, or other place, till the body should be bloody by reason of such whipping. The punishment was mitigated in Elizabeth’s reign, to the extent that vagrants need only to be “stripped naked from the middle upwards and whipped till the body should be bloody”.
Schmidt:
Whipped=Censure, satire, invective “You’ll be whipped for taxation one of these days”.
Foolery=Jesting, buffoonery

Topics: pity, wisdom, language, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Clifford
CONTEXT:
My gracious liege, this too much lenity
And harmful pity must be laid aside.
To whom do lions cast their gentle looks?
Not to the beast that would usurp their den.
Whose hand is that the forest bear doth lick?
Not his that spoils her young before her face.
Who ‘scapes the lurking serpent’s mortal sting?
Not he that sets his foot upon her back.
The smallest worm will turn being trodden on,
And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.

DUTCH:
De kleinste worm verheft, getrapt, den kop

MORE:

Proverb: Tread on a worm and it will turn

Lenity=Mildness
Spoils=Seizes, hunts
Level at=Is aiming for
In safeguard of=To protect

Compleat:
Lenity=Zachtheid, zoetelykheid, gedweegzaamheid, slapheid
To spoil=Bederven, vernielen, berooven
Safeguard=Beschutting, bescherming

Topics: pity, mercy, nature, ambition, strength

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 5.4
SPEAKER: Joan la Pucelle
CONTEXT:
Will nothing turn your unrelenting hearts?
Then, Joan, discover thine infirmity,
That warranteth by law to be thy privilege.
I am with child, ye bloody homicides:
Murder not then the fruit within my womb,
Although ye hale me to a violent death.

DUTCH:
Kan niets u ‘t onmeedoogend hart vermurwen? —
Dan, Jeanne, kome uw zwakheid nu aan ‘t licht,
Die naar de wet een voorrecht u verleent.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
Ligon v. Middletown Area School District, 584 A.2d 376, 379 (Pa. Ct. App. 1990). (The court wrote, “…not since Joan de Plucelle in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part I attempted to defend herself from a capital charge by proclaiming herself a virgin and then, seeing that that particular defense was unlikely to prevail, informed the judge that she was with child, has anyone argued a judicial point with a more breathtaking Jack of concern for consistency.”

Schmidt:
Turn=Change
Unrelenting=Pitiless
Privilege=Right (of a pregnant woman to postpone execution until after the birth of her child)
Homicided=Murderers
Hale=To pull, drag

Compleat:
Turn=Veranderen
Unrelenting=Onmedoogend, onvermurwelyk
Homicide=Doodslager
Hale=Sleepen, trekken, sleuren

Topics: cited in law, rights, pity

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Clifford
CONTEXT:
My gracious liege, this too-much lenity
And harmful pity must be laid aside.
To whom do lions cast their gentle looks?
Not to the beast that would usurp their den.
Whose hand is that the forest bear doth lick?
Not his that spoils her young before her face.
Who ‘scapes the lurking serpent’s mortal sting?
Not he that sets his foot upon her back.
The smallest worm will turn being trodden on,
And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.
Ambitious York doth level at thy crown,
Thou smiling while he knit his angry brows.

DUTCH:
Mijn hooge vorst, schud die te groote zachtheid,
Dit schaad’lijk medelijden van u af.
Wien werpen leeuwen zachte blikken toe?
Toch niet aan ‘t beest, dat in hun hol wil dringen.

MORE:

Proverb: Tread on a worm and it will turn

Lenity=Mildness
Spoils=Seizes, hunts
Level at=Is aiming for
In safeguard of=To protect

Compleat:
Lenity=Zachtheid, zoetelykheid, gedweegzaamheid, slapheid
To spoil=Bederven, vernielen, berooven
Safeguard=Beschutting, bescherming

Topics: pity, mercy, nature, ambition, strength

PLAY: Coriolanus
ACT/SCENE: 5.6
SPEAKER: First Lord
CONTEXT:
AUFIDIUS
I have not deserved it.
But, worthy lords, have you with heed perused
What I have written to you?
LORDS
We have.
FIRST LORD
And grieve to hear’t.
What faults he made before the last, I think
Might have found easy fines: but there to end
Where he was to begin and give away
The benefit of our levies, answering us
With our own charge, making a treaty where
There was a yielding,—this admits no excuse.

DUTCH:
En ‘t wekte ons kommer.
Voor elke feil, voorafgaand aan de laatste,
Volstond een boete; doch het werk te staken,
Waar hij beginnen moest, de winst der waap’ning
Zoo weg te schenken, enkel onze kosten

MORE:
With heed=Heedfulness, attention, care
Easy fines=Light penalties
Give away the benefit=Squander a lead, advantage
Answering us=Satisfying, rewarding
Yielding=Lack of opposition, weakness
Admits no excuse=There is no excuse

Compleat:
Heed=Hoede, zorg, acht, toezit
Take heed=Draag zorg, heb acht, zie toe
Give away for lost=Iets verlooren rekenen
Yielding=Overgeeving, toegeeving, uitlevering; overgeevende, toegeeflyk, meegeeflyk
To admit of one’s excuse=Iemands verschooning plaats geven

Topics: caution, punishment, error, pity, negligence, failure

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