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Shakespeare quotes page

PLAY: Cymbeline ACT/SCENE: 4.2 SPEAKER: Belarius CONTEXT: O thou goddess,
Thou divine Nature, thou thyself thou blazon’st
In these two princely boys! They are as gentle
As zephyrs blowing below the violet,
Not wagging his sweet head; and yet as rough,
Their royal blood enchafed, as the rud’st wind
That by the top doth take the mountain pine
And make him stoop to th’ vale. ’Tis wonder
That an invisible instinct should frame them
To royalty unlearned, honour untaught,
Civility not seen from other, valour
That wildly grows in them but yields a crop
As if it had been sowed. Yet still it’s strange
What Cloten’s being here to us portends,
Or what his death will bring us. DUTCH: t Is wonderbaar,
Hoe een verborgen aandrift hun verleent
Een vorstenwaardigheid, hun nooit getoond,
Een zucht naar eer, nooit bij hen opgewekt,
Wellevendheid, van niemand afgezien,
Een dapperheid, die, wild, van zelf, ontkiemd,
Toch rijk’lijk vruchten geeft, als ware zij
Zorgvuldig aangekweekt!

Proverb: He must stoop that has a low door

Schmidt:
Unlearned=Not learned, not acquired by instruction
Enchafed=Excited, heated
Wonder=wonderful

Compleat:
Unlearned=Ongeleerd, ontleerd
He is apt to chafe=Hy is zeer oploopend
To chafe=Bulder
In a chafe=Hy brandt van toorn Topics: age/experiencelife, nature, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Queen
CONTEXT:
QUEEN
What sport shall we devise here in this garden,
To drive away the heavy thought of care?
LADY
Madam, we’ll play at bowls.
QUEEN
’Twill make me think the world is full of rubs,
And that my fortune rubs against the bias.

DUTCH:
k Herdenk dan al den aanstoot -in de wereld,
En mijn geluk, dat zijwaarts rolt en stuit.139

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Proverb: To run against the bias

Rub=Cause of difficulty, hindrance, obstacle (Originally from the game of bowls, meaning any impediment that would deflect the bowl from its course.)
Bias=That which draws to a particular direction, preponderant tendency (and following the bowls theme, the lead weight in the bowl that turns it in a certain way)

Compleat:
Rub (obstacle, hindrance)=Beletsel, hinderpaal
Rub (word used by way of interjection at bowls)=Zoetjes aan, met gemak
Bias=Hellen van een kloot
Bias=Overhelling, overzwaaijing, neiging
To run bias=Schuin loopen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: As You Like It
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Orlando
CONTEXT:
ROSALIND
Or else she could not have the wit to do this. The wiser, the waywarder. Make the doors upon a woman’s wit, and it will out at the casement. Shut that, and ’twill out at the keyhole. Stop that, ’twill fly with the smoke out at the chimney.
ORLANDO
A man that had a wife with such a wit, he might say “Wit, whither wilt?”
ROSALIND
Nay, you might keep that check for it, till you met your wife’s wit going to your neighbor’s bed.

DUTCH:
Een man, die een vrouw had met zulk een geest,
mocht wel zeggen: „Geest, geest, waar wilt gij heen ?”

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Proverb: Wit, whither wilt thou?
Schmidt:
Wit=Intellect
Wayward=Capricious and obstinate
Check=Rebuke, reproof; “patience bide each check”.
Compleat:
Wayward=Kribbig, korsel, nors, boos
Check=Berisping, beteugeling, intooming

Topics: intellect, wisdom, marriage, proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: King Henry V
ACT/SCENE: 3.7
SPEAKER: Orleans
CONTEXT:
CONSTABLE
By my faith, sir, but it is; never anybody saw it but his lackey. ‘Tis a hooded valour, and when it appears, it will bate.
ORLÉANS
Ill will never said well.
CONSTABLE
I will cap that proverb with “There is flattery in friendship.”
ORLÉANS
And I will take up that with “Give the devil his due.”
CONSTABLE
Well placed; there stands your friend for the devil. Have at the very eye of that proverb with “A pox of the devil.”
ORLÉANS
You are the better at proverbs, by how much “A fool’s bolt is soon shot.”
CONSTABLE
You have shot over.
ORLÉANS
‘Tis not the first time you were overshot.

DUTCH:
Gij zijt in spreekwoorden de baas, en waarom? Een
narrenpijl is ras verschoten./
De pijl van een dwaas is spoedig afgeschoten

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Proverb: Ill will never speaks well (1566)
Proverb: There is flattery in friendship
A series of proverbs in this quote. “Give the devil his due”, “There is flattery in friendship”, “A pox of the devil” and “A fool’s bolt is soon shot”.

A fool’s bolt is soon shot meaning fools act rashly, alluding to bowmen in battle. Good soldiers take aim, foolish soldiers shoot at random.
Lackey (or lacquey)=Footboy, servant
Hooded valour and it will bate=Allusion to falconry; falcons are kept hooded when at rest and when unhooded they ‘bait’ (beat or flap the wings).

Compleat:
Lackey (or footman)=een Lyfknecht, lakey
Hooded=Gekaperd, bekaperd, gekapt
Overshoot=Voorbyschieten.
To overshoot the mark=Het doel voorbyschieten, voorby ‘t merk schieten
I have overshot myself=Ik heb my vergist, het is my ontschooten

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, still in use, haste, caution

PLAY: Cymbeline
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Queen
CONTEXT:
A kind of conquest
Caesar made here, but made not here his brag
Of “came, and saw, and overcame.” With shame—
The first that ever touched him—he was carried
From off our coast, twice beaten; and his shipping,
Poor ignorant baubles, on our terrible seas
Like eggshells moved upon their surges, cracked
As easily ’gainst our rocks. For joy whereof
The famed Cassibelan, who was once at point—
O, giglet Fortune!—to master Caesar’s sword,
Made Lud’s Town with rejoicing-fires bright
And Britons strut with courage.

DUTCH:
Caesar
Heeft, ja, ‘t veroverd, maar kon hier niet zwetsen
Van “kwam en zag en overwon”;


Proverb: I came, saw, and overcame

Made not here his brag=His conquest didn’t live up to (wasn’t the basis for) the boast of “came, and saw, and overcame”
Lud’s town=London
Giglet (or giglot)=Wanton woman (See Hamlet 2.2 re. Fortune: “she is a strumpet”.)
Giglet fortune=Fickle, inconstant
Rejoicing fires=Bonfires

Compleat:
To brag=Pochen, roemen, opsnyen
Upon the point of doing=Op het punt staan van iets te doen
To strut=Prat daar heen treeden, treeden als een paauw

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, achievement, conflict

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 4.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
HAMLET
Ay, sir, that soaks up the king’s countenance, his rewards, his authorities. But such officers do the king best service in the end. He keeps them, like an ape, in the corner of his jaw, first mouthed to be last swallowed. When he needs what you have gleaned, it is but squeezing you and, sponge, you shall be dry again.
ROSENCRANTZ
I understand you not, my lord.
HAMLET
I am glad of it. A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear.

DUTCH:
Een schelmsch gezegde slaapt in ‘t stump’rig. /
De oren van een dwaas zijn doof voor scherts. /
In zotte ooren valt een schalksch gezegde in slaap.

MORE:
Knavish = sly, villainous

Topics: dignity, deceit, proverbs and idioms, status, order/society

PLAY: The Comedy of Errors
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Dromio of Ephesus
CONTEXT:
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
(within) Break any breaking here, and I’ll break your knave’s pate.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
A man may break a word with you, sir, and words are but wind,
Ay, and break it in your face, so he break it not behind.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
(within) It seems thou want’st breaking. Out upon thee, hind!

DUTCH:
Nu wacht maar, wij zullen dat schelden en razen wel stuiten ,
En spoedig genoeg u een ander deuntjen doen fluiten.

MORE:
Proverbs: Words are but wind

Break a word with=Talk to
Thou want’st breaking=You need a thrashing

Topics: proverbs and idioms, language

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Suffolk
CONTEXT:
Well hath your highness seen into this duke;
And, had I first been put to speak my mind,
I think I should have told your grace’s tale.
The duchess, by his subornation,
Upon my life, began her devilish practises:
Or, if he were not privy to those faults,
Yet, by reputing of his high descent,
As next the king he was successive heir,
And such high vaunts of his nobility,
Did instigate the bedlam brain-sick duchess
By wicked means to frame our sovereign’s fall.
Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep;
And in his simple show he harbours treason.
The fox barks not when he would steal the lamb.
No, no, my sovereign; Gloucester is a man
Unsounded yet and full of deep deceit.

DUTCH:
Neen, neen, mijn koning; Gloster is een man,
Die ondoorgrondlijk is, vol diep bedrog.

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Still waters run deep. Proverb of Latin origin meaning a placid exterior hiding a passionate nature.
Proverb: The fox barks not when he would steal the lamb.

Seen into=Penetrated, understood
Subornation=Crime of procuring one to offend, specially to bear false witness
Repute=(+of): Setting great store by, prize
Bedlam=Nickname for Bethlem hospital, for the treatment of mental illness, which has become a byword for chaos and mayhem
Unsounded=Unfathomed (as in depth sounding, i.e. measuring the depth of a body of water)

Compleat:
To see into a thing=Een inzigt in eene zaak hebben, ‘er den grond van beschouwen
Subornation=Besteeking, een bestoken werk, omkooping
To repute=Achten
Bedlam (Bethlem)=Een dolhuis, dulhuis, krankzinnighuis; (mad bodey)=Een dul mensch, een uitzinnige
To sound=Peilen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, appearance, deceit

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Antonio
CONTEXT:
GRATIANO
You look not well, Signor Antonio.
You have too much respect upon the world.
They lose it that do buy it with much care.
Believe me, you are marvelously changed.
ANTONIO
I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano—
A stage where every man must play a part,
And mine a sad one.

DUTCH:
Gij ziet er niet goed uit, Antonio,
Gij trekt te veel u ‘s werelds zaken aan;
Die daar zijn hart op zet, verliest zijn rust.
Geloof me, uw uitzicht is geheel veranderd.

MORE:
A stage where every man must play a part=Still in use today.
Too much respect upon=Too much regard/concern for the world, worldly care
Marvelously=Extraordinarily, very much
To hold=To consider; to regard; to judge with regard to praise or blame

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: John of Gaunt
CONTEXT:
Now He that made me knows I see thee ill;
Ill in myself to see, and in thee seeing ill.
Thy death-bed is no lesser than thy land
Wherein thou liest in reputation sick;
And thou, too careless patient as thou art,
Commit’st thy anointed body to the cure
Of those physicians that first wounded thee:
A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown,
Whose compass is no bigger than thy head;
And yet, incaged in so small a verge,
The waste is no whit lesser than thy land.
O, had thy grandsire with a prophet’s eye
Seen how his son’s son should destroy his sons,
From forth thy reach he would have laid thy shame,
Deposing thee before thou wert possess’d,
Which art possess’d now to depose thyself.

DUTCH:
Een duizend vleiers zitten in uw kroon,
Haar omtrek is niet grooter dan uw hoofd,
En toch, gesperd in zulk een enge ruimte,
Verbrassen zij niet minder dan uw land.

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Proverb: Better in health than in good conditions

Punning on ‘Ill’=Sick (a); wrongly, blamefully (b)
Lesser=Less
Physicians=The flatterers, who harm with their flattery rather than heal
Grandsire=Edward III
Deposing=Removing from the throne
Possessed=In possession of; posssessed by (an evil spirit)
Whit=Point, jot (used negatively)(not in the least, not at all)

Topics: proverbs and idioms, wellbeing, flattery

PLAY: The Comedy of Errors
ACT/SCENE: 4.2
SPEAKER: Adriana
CONTEXT:
LUCIANA
Who would be jealous, then, of such a one?
No evil lost is wailed when it is gone.
ADRIANA
Ah, but I think him better than I say,
And yet would herein others’ eyes were worse.
Far from her nest the lapwing cries away.
My heart prays for him, though my tongue do curse.

DUTCH:
O, maar ik acht hem beter, dan ik zeg;
Als and’rer oog hem maar zoo haatlijk vond!
De kieviet schreeuwt, is hij van ‘t nest ver weg;
Mijn harte bidt voor hem, al vloekt mijn mond.

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Proverb: The lapwing cries most when farthest from her nest

Burgersdijk notes:
De kievit schreeuwt, enz. In Sh’s. tijd werd de kievit meermalen hiervoor aangehaald, ja de uitdrukking schijnt spreekwoordelijk geweest te zijn. In LILY’s Campaspe leest men:
„You resemble the lapwing, who crieth most where her nest is not.” Shakespeare zelf herhaalt het beeld in ,Maat voor Maat,” I.4.

Topics: deceit, perception, insult, proverbs and idioms, envy, manipulation

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Queen Margaret
CONTEXT:
Ah, what’s more dangerous than this fond affiance!
Seems he a dove? His feathers are but borrowed,
For he’s disposed as the hateful raven:
Is he a lamb? His skin is surely lent him,
For he’s inclined as is the ravenous wolf.
Who cannot steal a shape that means deceit?
Take heed, my lord; the welfare of us all
Hangs on the cutting short that fraudful man.

DUTCH:
Ach, hoe gevaarlijk is dit blind vertrouwen!
Schijnt hij een duif? zijn veed’ren zijn geborgd
Want als een booze raaf is hij gezind.

MORE:

Proverb: A wolf in sheep’s clothing (‘His skin is surely lent him’)

Raven=Symbolic of a bad omen
Fond=Foolish
Affiance=Confidence
Steal a shape=Create a false impression or appearance
Hateful=Deserving hate
Hangs on=Depends on

Compleat:
Fond (foolish)=Dwaas
Affiance=Vertrouwen, hoop
Hatefull=Haatelyk
These things seem to hang one upon the other=Deeze zaaken schynen van malkander af te hangen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, deceit

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: John of Gaunt
CONTEXT:
All places that the eye of heaven visits
Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.
Teach thy necessity to reason thus;
There is no virtue like necessity.
Think not the king did banish thee,
But thou the king. Woe doth the heavier sit,
Where it perceives it is but faintly borne.

DUTCH:
Elk oord, welk ook, waar ‘s hemels oog op neêrblikt,
Is voor den wijze een haven van geluk.

MORE:

Proverb: A wise man may live anywhere
Proverb: Make a virtue of necessity
Proverb: Injuries slighted become none at all
Proverb: A wise (valiant) man make every country his own

Topics: virtue, neccessity, wisdom, proverbs and idioms, still in use, sorrow

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 2.7
SPEAKER: Morocco
CONTEXT:
MOROCCO
O hell, what have we here?
A carrion death, within whose empty eye
There is a written scroll. I’ll read the writing.
[reads]“All that glisters is not gold—
Often have you heard that told.
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold.
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
Had you been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgment old,
Your answer had not been inscrolled.
Fare you well. Your suit is cold—
Cold, indeed, and labor lost.”
Then, farewell, heat, and welcome, frost!
Portia, adieu. I have too grieved a heart
To take a tedious leave. Thus losers part.

DUTCH:
Al wat blinkt, is nog geen goud

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
Deborah Leslie, Ltd. v. Rona, Inc., 630 F. Supp. 1250, 1251 (R.I.,1986) on the marking of items containing silver; “The Bard of Avon, dealing with a somewhat different (but equally suspect) precious metal, captured the essence of the plaintiff’s jeremiad poetically: ‘All that glitters is not gold/ Often have you heard that told.”;
B. F. Hirsch, Inc. v. Enright Ref. Co., 617 F. Supp. 49 (N.J., 1985).
Johnson v. Commissioner, T. C. Memo 1992-369 (1992) (Ref to “All that glitters is not gold” when referring to a failure to demand and recover bad debts).
‘Glisters’ is sometimes replaced by glistens or glitters in more modern versions.
The idea already existed, but this expression as still used today was coined by Shakespeare.
Samuel Johnson:

Proverb: All is not gold that glisters (glitters)
To Glister=To shine, to be bright. Elsewhere in Shakespeare: “A glistering grief”; “in his glist’ring coach”; “All that glisters”.
Compleat:
Glister=Glinsteren, blinken.
*All is not gold that glisters*=Is al geen goud dat ‘er blinkt.
Carrion death=Skull
Tedious=Long drawn out
Part=Depart
Suit is cold=unwelcome, disagreeable
Inscroll=recorded on a scroll (registered)

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Thomas Mowbray
CONTEXT:
The language I have learn’d these forty years,
My native English, now I must forego:
And now my tongue’s use is to me no more
Than an unstringed viol or a harp,
Or like a cunning instrument cased up,
Or, being open, put into his hands
That knows no touch to tune the harmony:
Within my mouth you have engaol’d my tongue,
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?

DUTCH:
En maakt tot stokbewaarder, ter bewaking,
Onwetendheid, die dof is, stomp, gevoelloos.
Ik ben reeds te oud tot staam’len met een voedster,
Te veel op jaren om ter school te gaan;

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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)

Compleat:
Cunning=Behendig

Topics: language, understanding, identity, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Hotspur
CONTEXT:
GLENDOWER
I can speak English, lord, as well as you,
For I was trained up in the English court,
Where being but young I framèd to the harp
Many an English ditty lovely well
And gave the tongue a helpful ornament—
A virtue that was never seen in you
HOTSPUR
Marry,
And I am glad of it with all my heart:
I had rather be a kitten and cry “mew”
Than one of these same meter balladmongers.
I had rather hear a brazen can’stick turned,
Or a dry wheel grate on the axletree,
And that would set my teeth nothing an edge,
Nothing so much as mincing poetry.
Tis like the forced gait of a shuffling nag.

DUTCH:
k Wil liever koop’ren luchters hooren draaien,
Of ongesmeerde wagenraadren knarsen;
Daar klemde ik zoo mijn tanden niet van saâm,
Als van die lisp’lend zoete poëzie;
Die is me, als ’t draven van een stijven knol.

MORE:
Schmidt:
Can’stick=candlestick
Axle-tree=Piece of timber on which the wheel turns
Mincing=Affectation
Virtue= Accomplishment
Compleat:
Mincing=Een trappelende gang

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, still in use, skill/talent, achievement, learning/education

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 3.3
SPEAKER: Othello
CONTEXT:
IAGO
Nay, this was but his dream.
OTHELLO
But this denoted a foregone conclusion.
IAGO
‘Tis a shrewd doubt, though it be but a dream.
And this may help to thicken other proofs
That do demonstrate thinly.
OTHELLO
I’ll tear her all to pieces!
IAGO
Nay, yet be wise, yet we see nothing done,
She may be honest yet. Tell me but this,
Have you not sometimes seen a handkerchief
Spotted with strawberries in your wife’s hand?

DUTCH:
En ’t kan ook andere bewijzen schragen,
die niet zo overtuigend zijn.

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Still in use: A foregone conclusion=a decision made before (‘afore’) evidence is known; or a certainty, an inevitable result.

Schmidt:
Foregone=Gone before, previous
Shrewd=Bad, evil, mischievous

Compleat:
Fore-conceived=Vooraf bevat
A fore-conceived=Voor-opgevatte waan, vooroordeel
Fore-deem=Raamen, gissen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, still in use, suspicion, reason, evidence

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 2.6
SPEAKER: Edward
CONTEXT:
Here burns my candle out; ay, here it dies,
Which, whiles it lasted, gave King Henry light.
O Lancaster, I fear thy overthrow
More than my body’s parting with my soul!
My love and fear glued many friends to thee;
And, now I fall, thy tough commixture melts.
Impairing Henry, strengthening misproud York,
The common people swarm like summer flies;
And whither fly the gnats but to the sun?
And who shines now but Henry’s enemies?
O Phoebus, hadst thou never given consent
That Phaethon should check thy fiery steeds,
Thy burning car never had scorch’d the earth!
And, Henry, hadst thou sway’d as kings should do,
Or as thy father and his father did,
Giving no ground unto the house of York,
They never then had sprung like summer flies;
I and ten thousand in this luckless realm
Had left no mourning widows for our death;
And thou this day hadst kept thy chair in peace.
For what doth cherish weeds but gentle air?

DUTCH:
Maar nu ik val, nu smelt die taaie menging,
Maakt Hendrik zwak, versterkt den driesten York.
Waar vliegen muggen heen, dan in de zon?

MORE:

Proverb: His candle burns within the socket

Commixture=Compound (the ‘glued’ friends)
Misproud=Arrogant, viciously proud (Schmidt)
Phoebus=Apollo
Check=Control
Car=Chariot
Swayed=Governed, ruled
Give ground=Yield, recede
Chair=Throne
Cherish=Encourage (growth)

Compleat:
To keep a check on one=Iemand in den teugel houden
Sway=(power, rule, command) Macht, gezach, heerschappy
To bear sway=Heerschappy voeren
To sway=(govern) Regeeren. To sway the scepter=Den schepter zwaaijen
To cherish=Koesteren, opkweeken, streelen, aankweeken

Topics: proverbs and idioms, uthority, leadership

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 2.3
SPEAKER: Northumberland
CONTEXT:
Believe me, noble lord,
I am a stranger here in Gloucestershire:
These high wild hills and rough uneven ways
Draws out our miles, and makes them wearisome,
And yet your fair discourse hath been as sugar,
Making the hard way sweet and delectable.
But I bethink me what a weary way
From Ravenspurgh to Cotswold will be found
In Ross and Willoughby, wanting your company,
Which, I protest, hath very much beguiled
The tediousness and process of my travel:
But theirs is sweetened with the hope to have
The present benefit which I possess;
And hope to joy is little less in joy
Than hope enjoy’d: by this the weary lords
Shall make their way seem short, as mine hath done
By sight of what I have, your noble company.

DUTCH:
Dit land vol wilde heuvels, ruwe wegen,
Rekt tot vermoeinis toe ons elke mijl;
Maar uw schoon onderhoud was suiker; ‘t maakte
Den zuren weg ons zoet en recht verkwikk’lijk.

MORE:

Proverb: Good company makes short miles

Discourse=Conversation
Beguiled=To deceive pleasingly, to drive away by an agreeable delusion, charm
Process=Course, the act of going on and passing by (of time)
Hope to=Anticipation of

Compleat:
Discourse=Gesprek
Beguile=Bedriegen, om den tuin leiden

Topics: proverbs and idioms, friendship

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 3.3
SPEAKER: Bolingbroke
CONTEXT:
Let’s march without the noise of threatening drum,
That from this castle’s tottered battlements
Our fair appointments may be well perused.
Methinks King Richard and myself should meet
With no less terror than the elements
Of fire and water, when their thundering shock
At meeting tears the cloudy cheeks of heaven.
Be he the fire, I’ll be the yielding water:
The rage be his, whilst on the earth I rain
My waters; on the earth, and not on him.
March on, and mark King Richard how he looks.
See, see, King Richard doth himself appear,
As doth the blushing discontented sun
From out the fiery portal of the east,
When he perceives the envious clouds are bent
To dim his glory and to stain the track
Of his bright passage to the occident.

DUTCH:
Ziet, ziet daar, koning Richard zelf verschijnt,
Zooals de blakende en verstoorde zon
Vooruit treedt uit de vuur’ge poort van ‘toosten

MORE:

Proverb: A red morning foretells a stormy day

Tottered=Jagged, irregular, ragged
Occident=West
Fair appointments=Fine equipment, furniture, appearance
Be he=Allow him to be
Yielding=Submissive, giving way, not opposing
Discontented=Dissatisfied

Compleat:
Tattered=Gescheurd, haveloos
Occident=Het westen
Yielding=Overgeeving, toegeeving, toegeeflyk, meegeeflyk
Discontented=Misnoegd, knyzig, ‘t onvreede

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, nature

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Gloucester
CONTEXT:
BUCKINGHAM
Lord cardinal, I will follow Eleanor,
And listen after Humphrey, how he proceeds:
She’s tickled now; her fume needs no spurs,
She’ll gallop far enough to her destruction.
GLOUCESTER
Now, lords, my choler being over-blown
With walking once about the quadrangle,
I come to talk of commonwealth affairs.
As for your spiteful false objections,
Prove them, and I lie open to the law:
But God in mercy so deal with my soul,
As I in duty love my king and country!
But, to the matter that we have in hand:
I say, my sovereign, York is meetest man
To be your regent in the realm of France.

DUTCH:
Nadat ik, lords, mijn gal heb afgekoeld,
Door eens het binnenhof in ‘t rond te gaan,
Isom ik de staatsbelangen weer bespreken.
Wat gij mij fel en valsch heb aangetegen,
Bewijst dit, en ik wacht de rechtspraak af;

MORE:

Proverb: Nothing is well said or done in a passion (in anger)

Listen after=Ask after
Tickled=Irritated
Fume=Irritation, anger
Choler=Anger, bile
Overblown=Blown over, gone away
Spiteful=Malignant
Meetest=Most suitable

Compleat:
Ticklish (touchy, exceptious)=Kittelig, schielyk geraakt
To be in a fume=In een woede zyn
Cholerick=Oploopend, haastig, toornig. To be in choler=Toornig zyn
Spitefull=Spytig, nydig

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, anger

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Warwick
CONTEXT:
KING EDWARD IV
The duke! Why, Warwick, when we parted,
Thou call’dst me king.
WARWICK
Ay, but the case is alter’d:
When you disgraced me in my embassade,
Then I degraded you from being king,
And come now to create you Duke of York.
Alas! How should you govern any kingdom,
That know not how to use ambassadors,
Nor how to be contented with one wife,
Nor how to use your brothers brotherly,
Nor how to study for the people’s welfare,
Nor how to shroud yourself from enemies?

DUTCH:
Ja, maar ‘t is nu anders.
Toen gij mij als gezant beschaamd deed staan,
Toen heb ik u als koning afgezet,
En thans benoem ik u tot hertog York.

MORE:

Proverb: The case is altered, quoth Plowden

Embassade=Diplomatic mission
Study for=Work to ensure
Shroud=Shelter, protect
Use=Treat

Compleat:
To shroud (shrowd)=Bedekken; beschutten; to shrowd one’s self=Zich verbergen, in veiligheid stellen
To use (or treat) one well or ill=Iemand wel of kwaalyk behandelen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, satisfaction, wellbeing

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Ay, sir, but “While the grass grows—” The proverb is something musty—O, the recorders! Let me see one.

DUTCH:
Ja, mijnheer, maar van de lip tot den beker …. het spreekwoord is wat schimmelig. /
Ja, menheer, maar: ‘Eer ‘t gras gewassen is’, – ‘t spreekwoord is eenigszins duf.

MORE:
Musty=stale
Reference to the proverb, “While the grass grows, the horse starves”.
(Dreams and expectations may be realised too late if you sit and wait for too long.)
Compleat:
Musty=Muf, muffig
Musty (out of humour)=Gemelyk, knorrig

Topics: proverbs and idioms, plans/intentions, disappointment

PLAY: All’s Well that Ends Well
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Countess
CONTEXT:
COUNTESS
If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess
makes it soon mortal.
BERTRAM
Madam, I desire your holy wishes.
LAFEW
How understand we that?
COUNTESS
Be thou blest, Bertram ; and succeed thy father
In manners, as in shape! Thy blood and virtue
Contend for empire in thee; and thy goodness
Share with thy birthright ! Love all, trust a few,
Do wrong to none: be able for thine enemy
Rather in power than use, and keep thy friend
Under thy own life’s key: be checked for silence.
But never taxed for speech. What heaven more will
That thee may furnish, and my prayers pluck down,
Fall on thy head! Farewell, my lord;
‘Tis an unseason’d courtier; good my lord,
Advise him.

DUTCH:
Heb allen lief; schenk wein’gen uw vertrouwen;
Doe niemand onrecht; houd uw vijand eer
Door macht dan door haar uiting in bedwang;
Hoed als uw eigen leven dat uws vriends;
Dat men uw zwijgen, nooit uw spreken gispe!

MORE:
Proverb: Blood is inherited but Virtue is achieved
Proverb: Have but few friends though much acquaintance
Proverb: Keep under lock and key
Proverb: Keep well thy friends when thou has gotten them
Mortal=Fatal
Able= Have power to daunt (Be able for thine enemy)
Manners=Conduct
Blood=Inherited nature
Contend=Compete
Empire=Dominance
Rather than in power than in use=By having the power to act rather than acting
Checked=Rebuked
Taxed=Blamed
Furnish=Supply
Compleat:
Able=Sterk, robust
Check=Berispen, beteugelen, intoomen, verwyten
To tax (to blame)=Mispryzen, berispen
To furnish=Verschaffen, voorzien, verzorgen, stoffeeren, toetakelen

Topics: caution, trust, proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: The Comedy of Errors
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Adriana
CONTEXT:
How ill agrees it with your gravity
To counterfeit thus grossly with your slave,
Abetting him to thwart me in my mood.
Be it my wrong you are from me exempt,
But wrong not that wrong with a more contempt.
Come, I will fasten on this sleeve of thine.
Thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine
Whose weakness, married to thy stronger state,
Makes me with thy strength to communicate.
170If aught possess thee from me, it is dross,
Usurping ivy, brier, or idle moss,
Who, all for want of pruning, with intrusion
Infect thy sap and live on thy confusion.

DUTCH:
Hoe kwalijk strookt het met uw waardigheid ,
Dit guichelspel te spelen met uw slaaf,
Hem aan te zetten i dat hij dus mij terg’!
Lijd ik liet onrecht, dat gij mij verlaat,
Hoop niet op onrecht onrecht door uw smaad.

MORE:
Proverb: The vine embraces the elm

Be it= Accepting that it is
To counterfeit=To feign
Thus grossly= So evidently
Exempt=Separated; not subject to my control; relieved from duty (also denoting a person or institution not subject to the jurisdiction of a particular bishop) (OED)

Compleat:
Ill at ease=Onpasselyk, kwaalyk te pas
Gross=Grof, plomp, onbebouwen
You grossly mistake my meaning=Gy vergist u grootelyks omtrent myn meening
To counterfeit (feign)=(Zich) Veinzen
A counterfeit friendship=Een gemaakte of geveinsde vriendschap

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, conspiracy, deceit

PLAY: The Tempest
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Miranda
CONTEXT:
MIRANDA
Be of comfort.
My father’s of a better nature, sir,
Than he appears by speech. This is unwonted
Which now came from him.
PROSPERO
Thou shalt be free
As mountain winds. But then exactly do
All points of my command.
ARIEL
To th’ syllable.

DUTCH:
Houd goeden moed!
Mijn vader, heer, is zachter van natuur,
Dan nu zijn taal verraadt; wat hij daar zeide,
Is ongewoon in hem.

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 Coriolanus (“Be free as is the wind.”, 1.9).
Unwonted=Uncommon, unusual
Compleat:
Ebb=De eb, ebbe; afvlooijen
The lowest ebb of its authority=Genoegzaam haar gezach veloren
My soul hs never ebbed from its constant principles=Myn ziel is nooit van haare grondbeginzels afgeweeken

Topics: language, civility, proverbs and idioms, still in use, free will

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: King Henry VI
CONTEXT:
GLOUCESTER
Why, Suffolk, England knows thine insolence.
QUEEN MARGARET
And thy ambition, Gloucester.
KING HENRY VI
I prithee, peace, good queen,
And whet not on these furious peers;
For blessed are the peacemakers on earth.

DUTCH:
Lieve vrouw,
Zwijg stil en zet die woeste pairs niet aan;
Gezegend zij, die vrede op aarde stichten.

MORE:

Proverb: To make peace with a sword in his hand
Proverb: Blessed are the peacemakers

Insolence=Pride
Whet not on=Don’t encourage

Compleat:
Insolence=Moedwilligheid, verwaandheid, baldaadigheid, trotsheid
Whet=Wetten, slypen, scherp maaken

Topics: proverbs and idioms, resolution

PLAY: Macbeth
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Macbeth
CONTEXT:
It will have blood, they say. Blood will have blood.
Stones have been known to move, and trees to speak.
Augurs and understood relations have
By magot pies and choughs and rooks brought forth
The secret’st man of blood.—What is the night?

DUTCH:
t Wil bloed, is ‘t zeggen; bloed wil bloed.

MORE:
Blood will have blood is an allusion to the proverb of retribution, “Blood will have blood” (c. 1395)

Topics: death, revenge, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Norfolk
CONTEXT:
ABERGAVENNY
A proper title of a peace; and purchased
At a superfluous rate
BUCKINGHAM
Why, all this business
Our reverend cardinal carried.
NORFOLK
Like it your grace,
The state takes notice of the private difference
Betwixt you and the cardinal. I advise you—
And take it from a heart that wishes towards you
Honour and plenteous safety—that you read
The cardinal’s malice and his potency
Together; to consider further that
What his high hatred would effect wants not
A minister in his power. You know his nature,
That he’s revengeful, and I know his sword
Hath a sharp edge: it’s long and, ‘t may be said,
It reaches far, and where ’twill not extend,
Thither he darts it. Bosom up my counsel,
You’ll find it wholesome. Lo, where comes that rock
That I advise your shunning.

DUTCH:
Neem mijn raad ter harte,
En ‘t zal u goed doen. Zie, daar komt de rots,
Die ik u ried te ontwijken.

MORE:
Proverb: Kings have long arms
Purchased=Gained
Rate=Cost
To carry=To manage
Difference=Dispute
Read=Consider, view
High=Haughty
Bosom up=Take to heart, heed
Wholesome=Beneficial
Compleat:
Purchase=Verkrygen
Rate=Prys, waardy
To carry=Draagen, voeren, brengen
Difference=Verschhil, onderscheyd
Read=Leezen
High=Hoog, verheven
Wholesom=Gezond, heylzaam, heelzaam

Topics: proverbs and idioms, caution, dispute, authority

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Queen Margaret
CONTEXT:
SUFFOLK
Hath he not twit our sovereign lady here
With ignominious words, though clerkly couch’d,
As if she had suborned some to swear
False allegations to o’erthrow his state?
QUEEN MARGARET
But I can give the loser leave to chide.
GLOUCESTER
Far truer spoke than meant: I lose, indeed;
Beshrew the winners, for they play’d me false!
And well such losers may have leave to speak.
BUCKINGHAM
He’ll wrest the sense and hold us here all day:
Lord cardinal, he is your prisoner.

DUTCH:
Hem, die verliest, vergun ik ‘t wel, te schimpen.

MORE:

Proverb: Give losers leave to speak (talk)

Twit=To reproach
Clerkly couched=Cleverly expressed, articulated
Suborn=Institgate to perjury
Wrest=Distort, spin, misinterpret
Beshrew=(or beshrow): mild curse

Compleat:
To suborn a witness=Eenen getuige opmaaken of omkoopen
To twit in the teeth=Verwyten
He ever twits me in the teeth with it=Hy werpt het my gestadig voor de scheenen
Twitting=Verwyting, verwytende
To suborn a witness=Eenen getuige opmaaken of omkoopen
To wrest=Verdraaijen, wringen
To wrest one’s words maliciously=Iemands woorden kwaadaardig verdraaijen
Beshrew=Bekyven, vervloeken

Topics: truth, manipulation, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Iago
CONTEXT:
But seeming so, for my peculiar end.
For when my outward action doth demonstrate
The native act and figure of my heart
In compliment extern, ’tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws to peck at. I am not what I am.

DUTCH:
God weet dat ik dat niet uit liefde of plicht
maar voor de schijn, ten eigen bate, doe.
Als mijn gedrag verraadt wat ik beoog
en zien laat wat mij innerlijk beweegt, zal het[5] niet lang meer duren, of ik stel mijn hart aan elke kraai bloot die daarin zijn snavel steekt: ik ben niet wat ik ben.

MORE:

Proverb: To wear one’s heart upon one’s sleeve (1604)

Daws: Jackdaws
Peculiar=Private, particular
End=Purpose
Compliment extern=External show, form
Not what I am=Not what I seem to be

Compleat:
Jack daw=Een exter of kaauw
Extern=Uitwendig, uiterlyk
End=Voorneemen, oogmerk

Topics: deceit, appearance, invented or popularised, proverbs and idioms, still in use, purpose

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Chamberlain
CONTEXT:
SUFFOLK
The Cardinal’s letters to the Pope miscarried
And came to th’ eye o’ th’ King, wherein was read
How that the Cardinal did entreat his Holiness
To stay the judgment o’ th’ divorce; for if
It did take place, “I do,” quoth he, “perceive
My king is tangled in affection to
A creature of the Queen’s, Lady Anne Bullen.”
SURREY
Has the King this?
SUFFOLK
Believe it.
SURREY
Will this work?
CHAMBERLAIN
The King in this perceives him how he coasts
And hedges his own way. But in this point
All his tricks founder, and he brings his physic
After his patient’s death: the King already
Hath married the fair lady.

DUTCH:
Nu merkt de koning, hoe de paap zijn wegen
Omsluipt, doorsnuffelt; doch thans helpen hem
Zijn treken niets; thans komt hij met zijn drankjen
Na ‘s lijders dood.

MORE:
Proverb: After death the doctor
Miscarried=Wrongly delivered
Creature=Servant
To coast=Wander, change course (in allegance)
To hedge=Shift
Compleat:
Miscarry=Mislukken, quaalyk uytvallen
The letter was miscarry’d=De brief was niet wel besteld
To coast along=Langs de strand (of kust) vaaren
To hedge=Beheynen, omheynen

Topics: conspiracy, discovery, truth, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 4.6
SPEAKER: Warwick
CONTEXT:
MESSENGER
He was convey’d by Richard Duke of Gloucester
And the Lord Hastings, who attended him
In secret ambush on the forest side
And from the bishop’s huntsmen rescued him;
For hunting was his daily exercise.
WARWICK
My brother was too careless of his charge.
But let us hence, my sovereign, to provide
A salve for any sore that may betide.

DUTCH:
Mijn broeder was te zorgloos in die zaak. —
Doch gaan wij, heer; wij willen kruiden lezen,
Om elke wond, die voorkomt, te genezen.

MORE:

Proverb: There is a salve for every sore

Conveyed=Carried off
Attended=Awaited
Betide=Occur

Compleat:
To convey=Voeren, leiden, overvoeren, overdraagen
To attend=Opwachten, verzellen
To betide=Aankomen, overkomen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, remedy

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 2.3
SPEAKER: Iago
CONTEXT:
And Cassio high in oath, which till tonight
I ne’er might say before. When I came back—
For this was brief— I found them close together
At blow and thrust, even as again they were
When you yourself did part them.
More of this matter cannot I report.
But men are men, the best sometimes forget.
Though Cassio did some little wrong to him,
As men in rage strike those that wish them best,
Yet surely Cassio, I believe, received
From him that fled some strange indignity
Which patience could not pass.
OTHELLO
I know, Iago,
Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter,
Making it light to Cassio. Cassio, I love thee,
But never more be officer of mine.

DUTCH:
Ach,
een mens is maar een mens en ook de beste
vergeet zichzelf weleens.

MORE:

CITED IN US LAW:
Lindros v. Governing Board of the Torrance Unified School District, 9 Cal.3d 524, 540, 510 P.2d 361, 371, 108 Cal. Rptr. 185, 195 (1973)(Torriner, J.)(en banc).

Proverb: To mince the matter (Tell sparingly or by halves)

Schmidt:
Forget=Forget themselves
Indignity=Contemptuous injury, insult
Patience=Self-control
Pass=Overlook

Compleat:
Indignity=Smaad
Pass, pass by=Passeren, voorbygaan, overslaan
Mince=Kleyn kappen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, cited in law

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: Second Gentleman
CONTEXT:
SECOND GENTLEMAN
I am confident,
You shall, sir: did you not of late days hear
A buzzing of a separation
Between the king and Katharine?
FIRST GENTLEMAN
Yes, but it held not:
For when the king once heard it, out of anger
He sent command to the lord mayor straight
To stop the rumour, and allay those tongues
That durst disperse it.
SECOND GENTLEMAN
But that slander, sir,
Is found a truth now: for it grows again
Fresher than e’er it was; and held for certain
The king will venture at it. Either the cardinal,
Or some about him near, have, out of malice
To the good queen, possess’d him with a scruple
That will undo her: to confirm this too,
Cardinal Campeius is arrived, and lately;
As all think, for this business.

DUTCH:
Maar die lastertaal
Blijkt waarheid nu; zij groeit op nieuw, en frisscher
Dan ooit, weer aan.

MORE:
Proverb: It may be a slander but it is no lie
Buzzing=Rumours
Durst=Ventured to, dared to
Fresher=Stronger (than ever)
Possessed with a scruple=Sowed suspicion
Compleat:
Durst=Durfde
Scruple=Zwaarigheyd, schroom

Topics: proverbs and idioms, conscience, truth

PLAY: Cymbeline
ACT/SCENE: 2.3
SPEAKER: Imogen
CONTEXT:
IMOGEN
If you but said so, ’twere as deep with me:
If you swear still, your recompense is still
That I regard it not.
CLOTEN
This is no answer.
IMOGEN
But that you shall not say I yield being silent,
I would not speak. I pray you, spare me: ‘faith,
I shall unfold equal discourtesy
To your best kindness: one of your great knowing
Should learn, being taught, forbearance.

DUTCH:
Zoudt ge, als ik zweeg, niet denken, dat ik toegaf,
Dan sprak ik niet


Proverb: Silence is (gives) consent

Deep=Weighty, serious
Equal discourtesy=Discourtesy equal to your kindness

Compleat:
Deep=Diepzinnig
Discourtesy=Onbeleefdheid, onheusheid
You have done me a great discourtesy=Gy hebt my daar mede een groote ondienst gedaan

Topics: promise, reply, perception, law/legal, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 4.7
SPEAKER: Gloucester
CONTEXT:
KING EDWARD IV
Why, and I challenge nothing but my dukedom,
As being well content with that alone.
GLOUCESTER
But when the fox hath once got in his nose,
He’ll soon find means to make the body follow.
HASTINGS
Why, master mayor, why stand you in a doubt?
Open the gates; we are King Henry’s friends.

DUTCH:
Doch heeft de vos maar eerst zijn neus er binnen,
Dan zorgt hij ras, dat ook het lichaam volgt.

MORE:

Proverb: When the fox has got in his head (nose) he will soon make the body follow

In a doubt=Uncertain, irresolute, undecided

Compleat:
To be in doubt=In tryffel staan

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, satisfaction

PLAY: King Henry V
ACT/SCENE: 4.3
SPEAKER: King Henry
CONTEXT:
If we are marked to die, we are enough
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will, I pray thee wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.

DUTCH:
Bij Jupiter, ik heb geen dorst naar goud,
En vraag niet, wie er op mijn kosten teert.

MORE:

Admiration=Wonder
Prating=Prattling, chattering
Coxcomb=Fool (From fool’s cap)
Meet=Appropriate

Compleat:
Admiration=Verwondering
To prate=Praaten
Coxcomb=Een haanekam; een nar, uilskuiken
An ignorant coxcomb=Een onweetende zotskap
Mee

Topics: proverbs and idioms, sill in use, honour

PLAY: King Henry V
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: Hostess
CONTEXT:
BOY
Mine host Pistol, you must come to my master and your hostess. He is very sick and would to bed.—Good Bardolph, put thy face between his sheets, and do the office of a warming-pan. Faith, he’s very ill.
BARDOLPH
Away, you rogue!
HOSTESS
By my troth, he’ll yield the crow a pudding one of these days. The king has killed his heart. Good husband, come home presently.

DUTCH:
Waarachtig, hij wordt dezer dagen een gebraad voor
de kraaien; de koning heeft zijn hart gedood

MORE:

Proverb: To make the crow a pudding (c. 1598)
Yield the crow a pudding=Feed the crows after his death

Compleat:
To give the crow a pudding=Sterven

Topics: proverbs and idioms, death, nature

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 3.3
SPEAKER: Joan la Pucelle
CONTEXT:
JOAN LA PUCELLE
Dismay not, princes, at this accident,
Nor grieve that Rouen is so recovered:
Care is no cure, but rather corrosive,
For things that are not to be remedied.
Let frantic Talbot triumph for a while
And like a peacock sweep along his tail;
We ‘ll pull his plumes and take away his train,
If Dauphin and the rest will be but ruled.
CHARLES
We have been guided by thee hitherto,
And of thy cunning had no diffidence:
One sudden foil shall never breed distrust

DUTCH:
Verlies om ‘t ongeval den moed niet, prinsen,
‘t Bedroeve u niet, dat wij Rouaan verloren;
Want smart om dingen, die onheelbaar zijn,
Is geen arts’nij, maar bijtend, knagend gif.

MORE:
Proverb: Care is no cure
Proverb: Past cure past care

Dismay not=Do not be dismayed
Recovered=Taken back
Frantic=Mad
Train=Followers
Diffidence=Suspicion, mistrust

Compleat:
To dismay=Verslagen maaken, beanstigen
To recover=Weder bekomen, weer krygen, weer opkomen
Frantick=Zinneloos, hersenloos, ylhoofdig
Train (retinue)=rein, stoet, gevolg
Diffidence (distrust)=Wantrouwen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, still in use, remedy

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: King Richard II
CONTEXT:
KING RICHARD II
Mine ear is open and my heart prepared;
The worst is worldly loss thou canst unfold.
Say, is my kingdom lost? why, ’twas my care
And what loss is it to be rid of care?
Strives Bolingbroke to be as great as we?
Greater he shall not be; if he serve God,
We’ll serve Him too and be his fellow so:
Revolt our subjects? that we cannot mend;
They break their faith to God as well as us:
Cry woe, destruction, ruin and decay:
The worst is death, and death will have his day.
SIR STEPHEN SCROOP
Glad am I that your highness is so arm’d
To bear the tidings of calamity.
Like an unseasonable stormy day,
Which makes the silver rivers drown their shores,
As if the world were all dissolved to tears,
So high above his limits swells the rage
Of Bolingbroke, covering your fearful land
With hard bright steel and hearts harder than steel.
White-beards have arm’d their thin and hairless scalps
Against thy majesty; boys, with women’s voices,
Strive to speak big and clap their female joints
In stiff unwieldy arms against thy crown:
The very beadsmen learn to bend their bows
Of double-fatal yew against thy state;
Yea, distaff-women manage rusty bills
Against thy seat: both young and old rebel,
And all goes worse than I have power to tell.

DUTCH:
Roep wee, verlies, vernieling, val en nood;
De dood is ‘t ergst, en komen moet de dood.

MORE:

Proverb: All men must die (The worst is death, and death will have his day.)

Care=Worry, responsibillity
His fellow=Equal
Mend=Remedy
Bear the tidings of calamity=Cope with calamitous news
Women’s voices=High, shrill voices
Double-fatal=Dangerous or deadly in two ways (on account of the poisonous quality of the leaves, and of the wood being used for instruments of death)
Billls=Weapons
Distaff=The staff from which the flax is drawn in spinning

Compleat:
Care=Zorg, bezorgdheid, zorgdraagendheid, zorgvuldigheid, vlytigheid
He has not his fellow=Hy heeft zyns gelyk niet, hy heeft zyn weerga niet
Bill=Hellebaard, byl
Distaff=Een spinrok, spinrokken

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, death, life

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Reignier
CONTEXT:
REIGNIER
Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends,
Enter and cry “The Dauphin!” presently,
And then do execution on the watch.
TALBOT
France, thou shalt rue this treason with thy tears,
If Talbot but survive thy treachery.
Pucelle, that witch, that damned sorceress,
Hath wrought this hellish mischief unawares,
That hardly we escaped the pride of France.

DUTCH:
Thans niet getalmd! Elk uitstel eindigt boos;
Dringt binnen; roept terstond dan: „De Dauphijn!”
En slaat de wachters aan de poort ter neer.

MORE:
Proverb: Delay breeds danger (is dangerous)

The watch=The sentinels
Do execution on=Kill
Unawares=Undetected
Hardly=With difficulty

Compleat:
Unawares=Onverhoeds verrassen; Onbedacht, onvoorzigtig, by vergissing
The watch=De wacht
Hardly=(with much ado) Bezwaarlyk, met veel moeiten

Topics: proverbs and idioms, time, consequence

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: King Henry VI
CONTEXT:
Full well hath Clifford play’d the orator,
Inferring arguments of mighty force.
But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear
That things ill-got had ever bad success?
And happy always was it for that son
Whose father for his hoarding went to hell?
I’ll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind;
And would my father had left me no more!
For all the rest is held at such a rate
As brings a thousand-fold more care to keep
Than in possession and jot of pleasure.
Ah, cousin York! Would thy best friends did know
How it doth grieve me that thy head is here!

DUTCH:
Schoon toonde Clifford daar zijn redekunst
En voerde gronden aan van groot gewicht.
Maar, Clifford, zeg mij, hebt gij nooit gehoord,
Dat slecht verworven goed steeds slecht gedijt?

MORE:

Proverb: Evil-gotten (ill-gotten) goods never prove well (prosper, endure)
Proverb: Happy is the child whose father goes to the devil

Full well=Very well
Inferring=Adducing
Success=Result
Happy=Fortunate
Rate=Price

Compleat:
Jot=Zier
To hord up=Opstapelen, vergaaren, byeenschraapen

Burgersdijk notes:
II.2.48. Wiens vader om zijn schrapen voer ter helle. Het spreekwoord, waarop hier gezinspeeld wordt, luidt : Happy the child, whose father went to the devil; „Gelukkig het kind, welks vader door den duivel is gehaald!” Als een vader, die op zondige wijze rijk geworden is, sterft, erft de zoon wel het goed, maar heeft voor de zonden niet meer te boeten. Koning Hendrik betwijfelt blijkbaar de juistheid van het spreekwoord.

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, still in use, corruption, fate/destiny

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Earl of Salisbury
CONTEXT:
Nor near nor farther off, my gracious lord,
Than this weak arm: discomfort guides my tongue
And bids me speak of nothing but despair.
One day too late, I fear me, noble lord,
Hath clouded all thy happy days on earth:
O, call back yesterday, bid time return,
And thou shalt have twelve thousand fighting men!
To-day, to-day, unhappy day, too late,
O’erthrows thy joys, friends, fortune and thy state:
For all the Welshmen, hearing thou wert dead.
Are gone to Bolingbroke, dispersed and fled.

DUTCH:
Ontroostbaarheid
Bestuurt mijn tong en slechts van wanhoop spreekt zij.

MORE:

Proverb: It is too late to call again yesterday

Discomfort=Want of hope, discouragement
State=Rank, position

Compleat:
Discomfort=Mistroostigheid, mismoedigheid

Topics: proverbs and idioms, time, regret

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 4.3
SPEAKER: Claudius
CONTEXT:
This sudden sending him away must seem
Deliberate pause. Diseases desperate grown,
By desperate appliance are relieved,
Or not at all.

DUTCH:
Wanhopige ziekten worden door wanhopige middelen genezen, of in het geheel niet genezen. /
Maar, zooals iemand met een gore ziekte, Bevreesd voor ruchtbaarheid, wij lieten juist De kwaal het merg aantasten.

MORE:
“A desperate disease must have a desperate cure.” Or “Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Topics: still in use, caution, patience, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Cymbeline
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Posthumus
CONTEXT:
Yea, bloody cloth, I’ll keep thee, for I wish’d
Thou shouldst be colour’d thus. You married ones,
If each of you should take this course, how many
Must murder wives much better than themselves
For wrying but a little! O Pisanio!
Every good servant does not all commands:
No bond but to do just ones. Gods! if you
Should have ta’en vengeance on my faults, I never
Had lived to put on this: so had you saved
The noble Imogen to repent, and struck
Me, wretch more worth your vengeance.

DUTCH:
Een goede dienaar volgt niet elk bevel; Slechts aan ‘t gerechte is hij gehouden/
Een goed dienaar voert niet alle bevelen uit


Proverb: Yours to command in the way of honesty

Just=Moral
Wrying=Swerving, deviating from the right course
Put on=Instigate

Compleat:
Just (righteous)=Een rechtvaardige
Just=Effen, juist, net
Wry=Scheef, verdraaid

Topics: proverbs and idioms, honesty, marriage, work, flaw/fault

PLAY: Macbeth
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Witches
CONTEXT:
Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air.

DUTCH:
Eerlijk is vals en vals is eerlijk/
Eerlijk is vuil en vuil is eerlijk/
Eerlijk is fout en fout is eerlijk/

MORE:
Allusion to the proverb “Fair without but foul within” (c1200). (Macbeth also alludes to the same proverb in Act 1.3: “So foul and fair a day I have not seen.”

Topics: appearance, deceit, proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 2.5
SPEAKER: Shylock
CONTEXT:
SHYLOCK
The patch is kind enough, but a huge feeder,
Snail-slow in profit, and he sleeps by day
More than the wildcat. Drones hive not with me.
Therefore I part with him, and part with him
To one that would have him help to waste
His borrowed purse. Well, Jessica, go in.
Perhaps I will return immediately.
Do as I bid you. Shut doors after you.
Fast bind, fast find.
A proverb never stale in thrifty mind.

DUTCH:
Doe wat ik zeide en sluit de deuren goed;
„Een dichte kast, weert meen’gen gast ;”
Zoo spreekt een elk, die op zijn zaken past.

MORE:
Proverb: fast bind, fast find. (Also: Safe bind, safe find.)
According to the 1917 Dictionary of Proverbs, this Proverb teaches that people being generally ‘loose and perfidious’, it is a great Point of Prudence to be upon our Guard against Treachery and Impositions, in all our Dealings and Transactions, either in Buying, Selling, Borrowing, or Lending, in order to preserve a good Understanding and a lasting Friendship among natural Correspondents

Patch=Fool
Profit=Advancement
Compleat:
To bind=Binden, knoopen, verbinden.
To bind with benefits=Verbinden of verpligten door weldaaden
To bind one by covenant=Iemand door een verdrag verbinden
To bind with an earnest=Verpanden, een koop sluiten met een Gods penning

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: York
CONTEXT:
Now, York, or never, steel thy fearful thoughts
And change misdoubt to resolution.
Be that thou hop’st to be, or what thou art
Resign to death; it is not worth th’ enjoying.
Let pale-faced fear keep with the mean-born man
And find no harbor in a royal heart.
Faster than springtime showers comes thought on
thought,
And not a thought but thinks on dignity.
My brain, more busy than the labouring spider,
Weaves tedious snares to trap mine enemies.
Well, nobles, well, ’tis politicly done
To send me packing with an host of men.
I fear me you but warm the starvèd snake,
Who, cherished in your breasts, will sting your
hearts.

DUTCH:
Als voorjaarsbuien komt mij denk- bij denkbeeld,
Doch niet éen denkbeeld, dat niet grootheid denkt.

MORE:

Proverb: To nourish a viper (snake) in one ‘s bosom
Proverb: Ill putting (put not) a naked sword in a madman’s hand

Steel=Harden, strengthen
Politicly=For political reasons
Misdoubt=Forebodings
That=That which
Mean-born=Lowly
Dignity=High rank
Tedious=Laborious
The starved snake=Frozen snake (reference to Aesop’s Fable of the Farmer and the Snake)
Fell=Strong; Vicious, intense, savage

Compleat:
To steel=(harden): Hardmaaken, verharden; To steel one’s self in any sin=Zich in eene zonde verharden; To steel one against another=Den een tegen den ander ophitzen
Fell=(cruel) Wreed, fel
Starve=(of cold) Van koude sterven
Politickly=Staatkundiglyk
Of mean descent=Van een laage afkomst
Dignity (greatness, nobleness)=Grootheid, adelykheid; (merit, importance)=Waardigheid, staat-empot, verdiensten

Topics: proverbs and idioms, mercy, ambiiton, satisfaction

PLAY: The Comedy of Errors
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Antipholus of Ephesus
CONTEXT:
ANGELO
Nay, come, I pray you, sir, give me the chain.
Both wind and tide stays for this gentleman,
And I, to blame, have held him here too long.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Good Lord! You use this dalliance to excuse
Your breach of promise to the Porpentine.
I should have chid you for not bringing it,
But, like a shrew, you first begin to brawl.
SECOND MERCHANT
The hour steals on. I pray you, sir, dispatch.
ANGELO
You hear how he importunes me. The chain!
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Why, give it to my wife, and fetch your money.
ANGELO
Come, come. You know I gave it you even now.
Either send the chain, or send me by some token.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
Fie, now you run this humor out of breath.
Come, where’s the chain? I pray you, let me see it.
SECOND MERCHANT
My business cannot brook this dalliance.
Good sir, say whe’er you’ll answer me or no.
If not, I’ll leave him to the Officer.

DUTCH:
Mijn hemel! wis moet deze scherts bewimp’len,
Dat gij mij in den Egel zitten liet.
Het was aan mij u daarom hard te vallen,
Maar als een feeks zoekt gij het eerste twist.

MORE:
Proverb: Time and tide (The tide) tarries (stays for) no man
Proverb: Some complain to prevent complaint (I should have chid you for not bringing it, But like a shrew you first begin to brawl)

Chid (impf., to chide.)=To rebuke, to scold at
Run this humour out of breath=Taking the joke too far
Token=A sign or attestion of a right

Compleat:
Importune=Lastig vallen, zeer dringen, gestadig aanhouden, overdringen, aandringen
To sail with wind and tide=Voor wind and stroom zeilen
Chide=Kyven, bekyven
Token=Teken, getuigenis
Dalliance=Gestoei, dartelheid

Topics: proverbs and idioms, time, fate/destiny, complaint, promise, business

PLAY: As You Like It
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: Duke Senior
CONTEXT:
These are counselors
That feelingly persuade me what I am.
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.

DUTCH:
Dit leven, vrij van ‘s werelds woelen, vindt
In boomen tongen, spreuken in de sprengen,
In steenen lessen, goeds in ieder ding.

MORE:
“Sermons in Stones” is still in use.
Onions:
Feelingly=so as to be felt or leave an impression
Public haunt=A place much frequented (see also ‘public haunt of men’, Romeo & Juliet 3.1)
Compleat:
Feelingly=Gevoeliglyk
Haunt=Gewoonte, aanwendsel. He returns to his old haunt=Hij keert weer tot zyne oud nukken.
Reference to old proverb: “Adversity makes men wise”.
Reference to old idiom: “Full as a toad of poison”.
Burgersdijk notes:
De pad. Van den fabelachtigen steen, die naar het volksgeloof soms in den kop van een pad voorkwam, werd beweerd, dat hij vergif krachteloos maakte en een uitmuntend geneesmiddel was, vooral tegen den steen of het graveel. Fenton schrijft er van in zijne „Secrete Wonders of Nature” (1569):
That there is found in the heades of old and great toades a stone which they call Borax or Stelon: it is most commonly founde in the head of a hee toad, of power to repulse poysons, and that it is a most sovereigne medicine for the stone.

Topics: adversity, achievement, proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 3.3
SPEAKER: King Richard II
CONTEXT:
HENRY BOLINGBROKE
So far be mine, my most redoubted lord,
As my true service shall deserve your love.
KING RICHARD II
Well you deserve: they well deserve to have,
That know the strong’st and surest way to get.
Uncle, give me your hands: nay, dry your eyes;
Tears show their love, but want their remedies.
Cousin, I am too young to be your father,
Though you are old enough to be my heir.
What you will have, I’ll give, and willing too;
For do we must what force will have us do.
Set on towards London, cousin, is it so?

DUTCH:
Wij moeten doen, wat overmacht gebiedt. —
Naar Londen; — neef, niet waar, daar gaan wij heen

MORE:

Proverb: They that are bound must obey

Redoubted=Feared, respected (often used to address a monarch)
Want=Fail to provide (a remedy)

Compleat:
Redoubted=Geducht, ontzaglyk
Want=Gebrek

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, status, remedy, merit

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 5.3
SPEAKER: King Edward IV
CONTEXT:
KING EDWARD IV
Thus far our fortune keeps an upward course,
And we are graced with wreaths of victory.
But, in the midst of this bright-shining day,
I spy a black, suspicious, threatening cloud,
That will encounter with our glorious sun,
Ere he attain his easeful western bed:
I mean, my lords, those powers that the queen
Hath raised in Gallia have arrived our coast
And, as we hear, march on to fight with us.
CLARENCE
A little gale will soon disperse that cloud
And blow it to the source from whence it came:
The very beams will dry those vapours up,
For every cloud engenders not a storm.

DUTCH:
Een kleine storm verstrooit welras die wolk,
En blaast haar naar de bron, vanwaar zij kwam;
Uw stralen zelf verdrogen ras die dampen;
Niet ied’re wolk verwekt een onweersbui.

MORE:

Proverb: All clouds bring not rain

Our glorious sun=Edward returns again to the image of the sun that represents the House of York.
Gallia=France
Easeful=Comfortable
Beams=Sunbeams (another reference to the sun emblem)

Topics: fate/destiny, conflict, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 4.7
SPEAKER: Gloucester
CONTEXT:
KING EDWARD IV
Now, brother Richard, Lord Hastings, and the rest,
Yet thus far fortune maketh us amends,
And says that once more I shall interchange
My waned state for Henry’s regal crown.
Well have we pass’d and now repass’d the seas
And brought desired help from Burgundy:
What then remains, we being thus arrived
From Ravenspurgh haven before the gates of York,
But that we enter, as into our dukedom?
GLOUCESTER
The gates made fast! Brother, I like not this
For many men that stumble at the threshold
Are well foretold that danger lurks within.

DUTCH:
De poort gesloten! Dit bevalt mij niet;
Voor menigeen is struik’len aan den drempel
Een teeken van ‘t gevaar, dat binnen loert.

MORE:

Proverb: To stumble at the threshold

Make amends=Atone, compensate
Interchange=Exchange
Waned state=Decline, dimnished circumstances
Are well foretold=Have an omen

Compleat:
To make amends=Vergoeding doen, vergoeden
To interchange=Verwisselen, beurt houden
In the wane=Afneemende, afgaande
Foretold=Voorzegd, voorzeid

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, caution, risk, wisdom

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 4.4
SPEAKER: Queen Elizabeth
CONTEXT:
QUEEN ELIZABETH
I am inform’d that he comes towards London,
To set the crown once more on Henry’s head:
Guess thou the rest; King Edward’s friends must down,
But, to prevent the tyrant’s violence,—
For trust not him that hath once broken faith,—
I’ll hence forthwith unto the sanctuary,
To save at least the heir of Edward’s right:
There shall I rest secure from force and fraud.
Come, therefore, let us fly while we may fly:
If Warwick take us we are sure to die.

DUTCH:
Want die eens trouwe brak, zij nooit vertrouwd

MORE:

Proverb: Trust not him that hath once broken faith (broken his word)
Proverb: he that once deceives is ever suspected

Down=Fall, be defeated

Compleat:
To bring down=Beneden brengen, onderbrengen, vernederen

Topics: trust, suspicion, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Measure for Measure
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Isabella
CONTEXT:
It is not truer he is Angelo
Than this is all as true as it is strange:
Nay, it is ten times true; for truth is truth
To the end of reckoning.

DUTCH:
Niet warer is het, dat hij Angelo,
Dan dat dit alles even waar als vreemd is;
Ja, het is tienmaal waar, want waar is waar,
Als eind van alle reek’ning.

MORE:
Still in use.

Topics: truth, invented or popularised, proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: King Henry V
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: King Henry
CONTEXT:
The mercy that was quick in us but late
By your own counsel is suppressed and killed.
You must not dare, for shame, to talk of mercy,
For your own reasons turn into your bosoms,
As dogs upon their masters, worrying you.
—See you, my princes and my noble peers,
These English monsters. My Lord of Cambridge here,
You know how apt our love was to accord
To furnish him with all appurtenants
Belonging to his honor, and this man
Hath, for a few light crowns, lightly conspired,
And sworn unto the practices of France,
To kill us here in Hampton; to the which
This knight, no less for bounty bound to us
Than Cambridge is, hath likewise sworn.

DUTCH:
Wat vroeger in ons van genade leefde,
Werd door uw eigen raad verstikt, gedood.

MORE:

Proverb: A man may cause his own dog to bite him

Quick=Alive
Accord=Agree
Appurtenants=Belongings
Lightly=Casually
Practices=Plots

Compleat:
Quick=Levendig
Accord=Eendragt, toestemming, verdrag, overeekomst
Appurtenance (appertinances)=Toebehooren, toebehoorigheden; afhangkelykheid

Topics: proverbs and idioms, conspiracy

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: King Richard II
CONTEXT:
Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be ruled by me.
Let’s purge this choler without letting blood.
This we prescribe, though no physician.
Deep malice makes too deep incision.
Forget, forgive; conclude and be agreed.
Our doctors say this is no month to bleed.—
Good uncle, let this end where it begun;
We’ll calm the Duke of Norfolk, you your son.

DUTCH:
Gramstorige edellieden, volgt mijn raad.
Verdrijft de galzucht zonder aderlating.
Ofschoon geen arts, schrijf ik u dit toch voor: —
Een diepe wrok snijdt al te diep, snijdt door, —
Vergeeft, vergeet, houdt op elkaar te haten;
Het is, zegt de arts, geen maand van aderlaten

MORE:

Proverb: Forgive and forget

Wrath-kindled=Furious
Be ruled=To prevail on, to persuade (used only passively)
Choler=Anger, bile
Purge=To cure, to restore to health
Month to bleed=Physicians would consult the almanac to determine best time for bloodletting

Compleat:
Wrath=Toorn, gramschap
Wrathfull=Toornig, vertoornd, vergramd, grimmig
Cholerick=Oploopend, haastig, toornig. To be in choler=Toornig zyn
Purge=Zuiveren, reinigen, den buik zuiveren, purgeeren
To purge (clear) one’s self of a crime=Zich van eene misdaad zuiveren
To bleed one=Iemand bloed aftappen, laaten; bloedlaating, bloeding

Burgersdijk notes:
Het is, zegt de arts, geen maand van aderlaten. Vroeger lieten ook gezonden zich op geregelde
tijden sferlaten om te zekerder gezond te blijven. In de almanakken van dien tijd, — er is zulk een Engelsche almanak bekend van 1386, — werd aangegeven, welke maanden er het best voor
waren.

Topics: resolution, remedy, anger, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Coriolanus
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Coriolanus
CONTEXT:
Come, leave your tears. A brief farewell. The beast
With many heads butts me away. Nay, mother,
Where is your ancient courage? You were used
To say extremities was the trier of spirits;
That common chances common men could bear;
That when the sea was calm, all boats alike
Showed mastership in floating; fortune’s blows
When most struck home, being gentle wounded craves
A noble cunning. You were used to load me
With precepts that would make invincible
The heart that conned them.

DUTCH:
Gij zeidet steeds,
Dat overmaat van leed de geesten toetst;
‘t Gewone draagt ook de gewone mensch;
Bij kalme zee toont elke boot in ‘t zeilen
Gelijke kunst; doch, als des noodlots slagen
Fel treffen, kalm te blijven, eischt een geest
Van eed’len aard; gij gaaft mij steeds een schat
Van grootsche lessen, die, in ‘t hart geprent,
Dit onverwinn’lijk moesten maken.

MORE:
Proverb: Calamity (extremity) is the touchstone of a brave mind (unto wit)
Proverb: In a calm sea every man may be a pilot

Beast with many heads=The multitude, the people
Gentle wounded=Bearing damage/wounds with dignity
Cunning=Skill
Load=to furnish or provide in abundance, to adorn, to reward
Precept=Instruction, direction
To con=Learn by heart

Compleat:
Cunning=Behendig

Topics: proverbs and idioms, order/society, authority, failure

PLAY: The Tempest
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Ariel
CONTEXT:
Full fathom five thy father lies.
Of his bones are coral made.
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell.

DUTCH:
Vijf vadem diep uw vader rust,
Zijn gebeente werd koraal,
De oogen paarlen; ongebluscht
Is hun gloed; geen zegepraal
Viert verderf; uit ieder deel
Schept de zee een rijk juweel.

MORE:

“Full fathom five” has become a catchphrase in the English language and has been used as a title for books, songs and even a Jackson Pollock painting. Also referenced by James Joyce in Ulysses and used as a title for at least two books in Dutch (“Vijf vadem diep”)
Fathom=six feet
Fade=Decay, decompose
Sea change=Undergo a radical change, transformation
Compleat:
Fathom (Fadom)=Een vadem, vaam
Fade=Verwelken, verzwakken
Knell=De doodklok

Topics: proverbs and idioms, death

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: King Henry VI
CONTEXT:
KING HENRY VI
Full well hath Clifford play’d the orator,
Inferring arguments of mighty force.
But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear
That things ill-got had ever bad success?
And happy always was it for that son
Whose father for his hoarding went to hell? I
‘ll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind;
And would my father had left me no more!
For all the rest is held at such a rate
As brings a thousand-fold more care to keep
Than in possession and jot of pleasure.
Ah, cousin York!
Would thy best friends did know
How it doth grieve me that thy head is here!

DUTCH:
Schoon toonde ClifTord daar zijn redekunst
En voerde gronden aan van groot gewicht.

MORE:

Proverb: Evil-gotten (ill-gotten) goods never prove well (prosper, endure)
Proverb: Happy is the child whose father goes to the devil

Full well=Very well
Inferring=Adducing
Success=Result
Happy=Fortunate
Rate=Price

Compleat:
Jot=Zier
To hord up=Opstapelen, vergaaren, byeenschraapen

Burgersdijk notes:
II.2.48. Wiens vader om zijn schrapen voer ter helle. Het spreekwoord, waarop hier gezinspeeld wordt, luidt : Happy the child, whose father went to the devil; „Gelukkig het kind, welks vader door den duivel is gehaald!” Als een vader, die op zondige wijze rijk geworden is, sterft, erft de zoon wel het goed, maar heeft voor de zonden niet meer te boeten. Koning Hendrik betwijfelt blijkbaar de juistheid van het spreekwoord.

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, still in use, corruption, fate/destiny

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear ’t that th’ opposèd may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear but few thy voice.
Take each man’s censure but reserve thy judgment.

DUTCH:
Geef elk uw oor, maar enk’len slechts uw oordeel /
Leen iedereen het oor, uw stem slechts enklen

MORE:
Oft-quoted list of maxims in Polonius’ ‘fatherly advice’ monologue to Laertes. Many of these nuggets have acquired proverb status today, although they weren’t invented by Shakespeare (here, for example, Hear much but speak little, 1532,).

Topics: proverbs and idioms, perception, judgment

PLAY: Macbeth
ACT/SCENE: 4.3
SPEAKER: Malcolm
CONTEXT:
What, man! Ne’er pull your hat upon your brows.
Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak
Whispers the o’erfraught heart and bids it break.

DUTCH:
Geef verdriet woorden: Het verdriet dat niet spreekt fluistert in het overbelaste hart, en vraagt het te breken./
Geef jammer woorden; ingehouden smart, breekt door zijn fluisteren het overladen hart./
Geef Uw jammer woorden! Ingehouden smart Breekt door zijn fluist’ren ‘t overladen hart.

MORE:
Allusion to the proverb: “Grief pent up will break the heart” (1589)
CITED IN US LAW:
Baxter v. State, 503 S.W.2d 226,228 (Tenn. 1973): The court observes that “Shakespeare was right, as students of emotion know, when he advised, ‘give sorrows words. The grief that does not speak whispers the o’erfraught heart and bids it break'”.

Topics: grief, cited in law, emotion and mood, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: All’s Well that Ends Well
ACT/SCENE: 2.3
SPEAKER: King
CONTEXT:
KING
Good alone
Is good without a name. Vileness is so:
The property by what it is should go,
Not by the title. She is young, wise, fair;
In these to nature she’s immediate heir,
And these breed honour: that is honour’s scorn,
Which challenges itself as honour’s born
And is not like the sire: honours thrive,
When rather from our acts we them derive
Than our foregoers: the mere word’s a slave
Debauched on every tomb, on every grave
A lying trophy, and as oft is dumb
Where dust and damn’d oblivion is the tomb
Of honour’d bones indeed. What should be said?

DUTCH:
Goed is goed,
Ook zonder hoogen naam; en slecht is slecht;
Alleen op wat hij is, gronde elk zijn recht,
Op titels niet.

MORE:
Idiom: “Let’s write good angel on the devil’s horn, ‘Tis not the devil’s crest”
Challenges itself=Urges as a right, makes a claim for itself
Foregoers=Forebears

Topics: honour, merit, proverbs and idioms, good and bad, order/society

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 2.3
SPEAKER: Iago
CONTEXT:
CASSIO
It hath pleased the devil drunkenness to give place to the devil wrath; one unperfectness shows me another, to make me frankly despise myself.
IAGO
Come, you are too severe a moraler. As the time, the place, and the condition of this country stands, I could heartily wish this had not befallen; but since it is as it is, mend it for your own good.
CASSIO
I will ask him for my place again; he shall tell me I am a drunkard. Had I as many mouths as Hydra, such an answer would stop them all. To be now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a beast! O strange! Every inordinate cup is unblessed, and the ingredience is a devil.
IAGO
Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used ; exclaim no more against it.

DUTCH:
Verzoek ik hem mijn plaats terug, dan zal hij zeggen:
„gij zijt een dronkaard.” En al had ik zooveel monden
als de Hydra, met dit antwoord waren zij allen gestopt.
Een verstandig mensch zijn, kort daarna een dwaas, en
plotseling een beest! 0 onbegrijpelijk! — Ieder beker te
veel is vervloekt en zijn inhoud een duivel!

MORE:

Proverb: As many heads as Hydra

Hydra=Serpent in Greek mythology. When one head was cut off, two would grow in its place
Moraler=Moraliser
Ingredience=Content

Schmidt:
Familiar=Pertaining to the house and family, attached and serviceable to men
Inordinate=Improper, immoderate

Topics: excess, reply, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Falstaff
CONTEXT:
Hang thyself in thine own heir-apparent garters! If I be ta’en, I’ll peach for this. An I have not ballads made on you all and sung to filthy tunes, let a cup of sack be my poison—when a jest is so forward, and afoot too! I hate it

DUTCH:
Nu dan, hang je zelven op aan je eigen vermoedelijke-troonopvolgers-kousebanden! Als zij mij krijgen, verklik ik alles.

MORE:
Proverb:
He may go hang himself in his own garters
Schmidt:
Peach=Impeach, accuse, denounce
Appeach=Beschuldigen, bedraagen

Topics: proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Gloucester
CONTEXT:
KING EDWARD IV
Now, brother of Clarence, how like you our choice,
That you stand pensive, as half malcontent?
CLARENCE
As well as Lewis of France, or the Earl of Warwick,
Which are so weak of courage and in judgment
That they’ll take no offence at our abuse.
KING EDWARD IV
Suppose they take offence without a cause,
They are but Lewis and Warwick: I am Edward,
Your king and Warwick’s, and must have my will.
GLOUCESTER
And shall have your will, because our king:
Yet hasty marriage seldom proveth well.

DUTCH:
Dit doet hij, wijl gij onze koning zijt;
Maar toch, een haastige echt blijkt zelden best.

MORE:

Proverb: Marry in haste and repent at leisure

Malcontent=Disaffected
Weak of courage=Lacking in courage

Compleat:
Pensive=Peinzend, peinsachtig, beducht, bedrukt, zwaarmoedig, suf
Malecontent=Misnoegd, ‘t onvrede

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, marriage, courage

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 3.3
SPEAKER: Warwick
CONTEXT:
WARWICK
Henry now lives in Scotland at his ease,
Where having nothing, nothing can he lose.
And as for you yourself, our quondam queen,
You have a father able to maintain you;
And better ’twere you troubled him than France.
QUEEN MARGARET
Peace, impudent and shameless Warwick, peace,
Proud setter up and puller down of kings!
I will not hence, till, with my talk and tears,
Both full of truth, I make King Lewis behold
Thy sly conveyance and thy lord’s false love;
For both of you are birds of selfsame feather.

DUTCH:
Recht naar zijn wensch leeft Hendrik thans in Schotland,
Waar hij, niets hebbend, niets verliezen kan.

MORE:

Proverb: Birds of a feather flock (fly) together

Will not hence=Won’t go elsewhere
Quondam=Former, as was
Sly conveyance=Underhand dealing, trickery, dishonest actions
Behold=See, recognize

Compleat:
Hence=Van hier, hier uit
Conveyance=Een overwyzing, overvoering, overdragt
To behold=Aanschouwen, zien, aanzien; ziet, let wel

Topics: proverbs and idioms, status, relationship, deceit

PLAY: Coriolanus
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Cominius
CONTEXT:
MENENIUS
Worthy man!
FIRST SENATOR
He cannot but with measure fit the honours
Which we devise him.
COMINIUS
Our spoils he kick’d at,
And look’d upon things precious as they were
The common muck of the world: he covets less
Than misery itself would give; rewards
His deeds with doing them, and is content
To spend the time to end it.
MENENIUS
He’s right noble:
Let him be call’d for.
FIRST SENATOR
Call Coriolanus.

DUTCH:
Onzen buit verstiet hij;
Op kostb’re schatten zag hij neer, als waren
Zij drek en afval., Zijn verlangst is minder,
Dan de armoe zelf zou geven; zijner daden
Belooning is hem ‘t doen; hij is voldaan,
Is zoo zijn tijd besteed

MORE:
Proverb: Muck of the world
Proverb: Virtue is its own reward

With measure=Becomingly, with equal greatness
Misery=Penury

Topics: work, satisfaction, honour, proverbs and idioms, still in use, invented or popularised

PLAY: All’s Well that Ends Well
ACT/SCENE: 4.3
SPEAKER: Parolles
CONTEXT:
PAROLLES
He will steal, sir, an egg out of a cloister: for rapes and ravishments he parallels Nessus: he professes not keeping of oaths; in breaking ’em he is stronger than Hercules: he will lie, sir, with such volubility, that you would think truth were a fool: drunkenness is his best virtue, for he will be swine-drunk; and in his sleep he does little harm, save to his bed-clothes about him; but they know his conditions and lay him in straw. I have but little more to say, sir, of his honesty: he has every thing that an honest man should not have; what an honest man should have, he has nothing.

DUTCH:
[H]ij heeft alles, wat een rechtgeaard man niet moest hebben; en van wat een deugdzaam man wel moet hebben, heeft hij niets.

MORE:
Proverb: Dispraise by evil men is praise
Proverb: As drunk as a swine
Proverb: Honest is a fool
Egg=Eggs being worthless, of no value (so untrustworthy that he would steal something worthless from a sacred place)
Nessus=Centaur who attempted to rape Hercules’ wife
Professes=Claims (not to believe in)
Truth were a fool= To be honest is foolish
With such volubility=So fluently, easily

Topics: honesty, reputation, insult, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Portia
CONTEXT:
PORTIA
He is well paid that is well satisfied;
And I, delivering you, am satisfied,
And therein do account myself well paid:
My mind was never yet more mercenary.
I pray you, know me when we meet again:
I wish you well, and so I take my leave.

DUTCH:
Die weltevreden is, is wel betaald;
Ik ben tevreden, dat ik u bevrijdde,
En reken daardoor reeds mij wel betaald

MORE:
Job satisfaction is payment enough
Satisfied=contented
Exposition=interpretation
Compleat:
To satisfy, content=Voldoen
I will content him for his pains=Ik zal hem voor zyne moeite voldoen
Satisfaction, content=Voldoening
Exposition=Uitlegging

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 5.3
SPEAKER: Duchess of York
CONTEXT:
Pleads he in earnest? look upon his face;
His eyes do drop no tears, his prayers are in jest;
His words come from his mouth, ours from our breast:
He prays but faintly and would be denied;
We pray with heart and soul and all beside:
His weary joints would gladly rise, I know;
Our knees shall kneel till to the ground they grow:
His prayers are full of false hypocrisy;
Ours of true zeal and deep integrity.
Our prayers do out-pray his; then let them have
That mercy which true prayer ought to have.

DUTCH:
Hij spreekt slechts met den mond, wij met het hart;
Hij wenscht een weig’ring op zijn zwakke bede,

MORE:

Proverb: He that asks faintly begs a denial

In jest=Not serious
Hypocrisy=False seeming, deceitful appearance, dissimulation

Topics: proverbs and idioms, appearance

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 3.3
SPEAKER: Othello
CONTEXT:
What sense had I in her stol’n hours of lust?
I saw ’t not, thought it not, it harmed not me.
I slept the next night well, fed well, was free and merry.
I found not Cassio’s kisses on her lips.
He that is robbed, not wanting what is stol’n,
Let him not know’t, and he’s not robbed at al

DUTCH:
Wie wordt beroofd en daarna niet iets mist –
vertel hem niets en hij is niet beroofd.

MORE:

Alluding to the proverb ‘He that is not sensible of his loss has lost nothing’ (c1526).

Wanting=Missing

Schmidt:
Sense=Mental power, faculty of thinking and feeling, spirit, mind

Compleat:
Sense=Het gevoel; gevoeligheid; besef; reden

Topics: proverbs and idioms, betrayal, emotion and mood, satisfaction

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Prince Hal
CONTEXT:
POINS
Good morrow, sweet Hal.—What says Monsieur Remorse? What says Sir John Sack-and-Sugar? Jack, how agrees the devil and thee about thy soul that thou soldest him on Good Friday last for a cup of Madeira and a cold capon’s leg?
PRINCE HAL
Sir John stands to his word. The devil shall have his bargain, for he was never yet a breaker of proverbs. He will give the devil his due.

DUTCH:
Sir John houdt zijn woord; den duivel zal zijn recht geworden, want hij heeft nog nooit een spreekwoord gebroken; hij geeft zelfs den duivel het zijne.

MORE:
The proverb ‘Give the devil his due’ (1589) is generally an acknowledgement that something or somebody bad has a redeeming feature or has done something worthwhile.
Schmidt:
Stand to=To side with, to assist, to support; to maintain, to guard, to be firm in the cause of
Breaker=Transgressor
Compleat:
We must give the devil his due=Men moet den duivel niet erger afmaalen dan hy is.

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 4.2
SPEAKER: Othello
CONTEXT:
OTHELLO
Come, swear it, damn thyself.
Lest, being like one of heaven, the devils themselves
Should fear to seize thee. Therefore be double damned,
Swear thou art honest!
DESDEMONA
Heaven doth truly know it.
OTHELLO
Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell.

DUTCH:
God weet dat jij ontrouw bent als de hel.

MORE:
Proverb: As false as hell
Compleat:
False (not true)=Valsch, onwaar
False (counterfeit)=Nagemaakt
False (treacherous)=Verraderlyk

Topics: honesty, truth, deceit, proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised

PLAY: Cymbeline
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: First Lord
CONTEXT:
FIRST LORD
Sir, as I told you always, her beauty and her brain go not together. She’s a good sign, but I have seen small reflection of her wit.
SECOND LORD
She shines not upon fools, lest the reflection should hurt her.

DUTCH:
Zooals ik u altijd zeide, heer, haar verstand houdt
geen gelijken tred met haar schoonheid.


Proverb: Beauty and folly are often matched together

In Shakespeare’s time beauty was seen as a signifier of virtue. See Thomas Hoby’s translation of the Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier (1561). Fourth Book: True beauty, the reflection of goodness.
Her beauty and her brain go not together=Her brain can’t match her beauty.
A good sign=Semblance. (Fig.: something of a deceptive semblance, not answering the promise)
Reflection=Shining back AND thoughtful consideration

Compleat:
Reflection=Terugkaatzing
Reflection=Overdenking, overpeinzing

Topics: appearance, intellect, perception, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: King Henry VI
CONTEXT:
What, doth my Lord of Suffolk comfort me?
Came he right now to sing a raven’s note,
Whose dismal tune bereft my vital powers;
And thinks he that the chirping of a wren,
By crying comfort from a hollow breast,
Can chase away the first-conceived sound?
Hide not thy poison with such sugar’d words;
Lay not thy hands on me; forbear, I say;
Their touch affrights me as a serpent’s sting.
Thou baleful messenger, out of my sight!
Upon thy eye-balls murderous tyranny
Sits in grim majesty, to fright the world.
Look not upon me, for thine eyes are wounding:
Yet do not go away: come, basilisk,
And kill the innocent gazer with thy sight;
For in the shade of death I shall find joy;
In life but double death, now Gloucester’s dead.

DUTCH:
Verberg uw gif niet zoo met suikerwoorden

MORE:

Proverb: The basilisk’s eye is fatal

Raven’s note=Bad news (the raven was symbolic of a bad omen)
Bereft=Deprived me of, spoiled, impaired
Hollow=Faint, insincere, deceitful
First-conceived=Initially heard
Forbear=Abstain, refrain from doing
Affright=Terrify

Compleat:
Bereft, bereaved=Beroofd
Forbear=Zich van onthouden
Hollow=Hol; Hollow-hearted=Geveinst
To affright=Verschrikken, vervaard maaken

Topics: proverbs and idioms, betrayal, honesty, deceit

PLAY: The Tempest
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Stephano
CONTEXT:
STEPHANO
Come on your ways. Open your mouth. Here is that which will give language to you, cat. Open your mouth. This will shake your shaking, I can tell you, and that soundly. You cannot tell who’s your friend. Open your chaps again.
TRINCULO
I should know that voice. It should be—But he is drowned, and these are devils. Oh, defend me!
STEPHANO
Four legs and two voices—a most delicate monster. His forward voice now is to speak well of his friend. His backward voice is to utter foul speeches and to detract. If all the wine in my bottle will recover him, I will help his ague. Come.
(CALIBAN drinks)
Amen! I will pour some in thy other mouth.

DUTCH:
Vier beenen en twee stemmen! een allerkostelijkst
monster. Zijn voorstem dient zeker om goed te spreken
van zijn vriend, zijn achterstem voor achterklap en laster.

MORE:
Cat=Reference to the proverb ‘Good liquor (ale) will make a cat speak’.
Chaps=Jaws, chops
Delicate=Pleasant, delightful
Compleat:
To turn cat in pan=Overloopen, van party veranderen
The chaps=’t Bakkus
Delicate=Teer, zacht, lekker

Topics: proverbs and idioms, excess, truth

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: John of Gaunt
CONTEXT:
Methinks I am a prophet new inspired
And thus expiring do foretell of him:
His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last,
For violent fires soon burn out themselves;
Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short;
He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes;
With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder:
Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.

DUTCH:
Zijn dol en wulpsch geflakker kan niet duren,
Want ieder heftig vuur brandt schielijk uit

MORE:

Proverb: Nothing violent can be permanent
Proverb: Untimeous [untimely] spurring spoils the steed

Expiring=(a) Dying; (b) Expiration
Riot=Dissolute behaviour
Betimes=Early, at an early hour

Compleat:
Expiration=Eindiging, uitgang, verloop, uitblaazing van den laatsten adem
To expire=Den geest geeven, sterven
To riot=Optrekken, rinkinken, pypestellen
Betimes=Bytyds,vroeg

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, fate/destiny, haste

PLAY: Cymbeline
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Second Lord
CONTEXT:
CLOTEN
If my shirt were bloody, then to shift it. Have I
hurt him?
SECOND LORD
No, faith, not so much as his patience.
FIRST LORD
Hurt him? His body’s a passable carcass if he be not hurt.
It is a thoroughfare for steel if it be not hurt.
SECOND LORD
His steel was in debt; it went o’ th’ backside the town.
CLOTEN
The villain would not stand me.
SECOND LORD
No, but he fled forward still, toward your face.
FIRST LORD
Stand you? You have land enough of your
own, but he added to your having, gave you some
ground.

DUTCH:
Zijn staal bleef in gebreke te betalen; het liep achterafstraten
om.


Proverb: He dares not show his head (himself) for debt

Schmidt:
Passable=Can be passed through, in this case referring to the pass of a rapier.
Stand=Resist
Not so much as=Not even

In debt: Paid no scores, like a debtor hiding in the back alleys to avoid a creditor. Also (from “An Account of King James I’s Visit to Cambridge”), certain Jesuits were not suffered to come through Cambridge, but were “by the Sheriff carried over the backe side of the town to Cambridge castle.”

Compleat:
Thorough-fare=Een doorgang
Passable=Doorganklyk, inschikkelyk, middelmaatig, schappelyk
Money that is passable=Gangbaar geld
A passable hand=Een tamelyke hand
Stand (against or before)=Tegen houden, tegenstaan, verweeren

Burgersdijk notes:
Zijn staal bleef in gebreke te betalen; het liep achterafstraten om. Er staat woordelijk: „Zijn staal had schulden en liep de stad achterom,” evenals een schuldenaar, die zich niet vrij door de stad bewegen durft; Posthumus’ staal spaarde Cloten. — De meening zou ook kunnen zijn: Cloten’s staal trof Posthumus niet.

Topics: debt/obligation, reason, law/legal, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Henry Bolingbroke
CONTEXT:
KING RICHARD II
Uncle, even in the glasses of thine eyes
I see thy grieved heart: thy sad aspect
Hath from the number of his banish’d years
Pluck’d four away.
Six frozen winter spent,
Return with welcome home from banishment.
HENRY BOLINGBROKE
How long a time lies in one little word!
Four lagging winters and four wanton springs
End in a word: such is the breath of kings.

DUTCH:
Wat tijd en macht ligt in een enkel woord!
Vier trage winters en vier dartle Mei’s
Zijn adem, niets, — doet hun een vorst dien eisch.

MORE:

Proverb: The eye is the window of the heart (mind)

Schmidt:
Glasses of thine eyes=Eyeballs
Aspect=Look, glance; possible reference to astrology, with the aspect being the position of one planet in relation to others and its potential to exert influence
Wanton=Bountiful, luxuriant

Compleat:
Aspect=Gezigt, gelaat, aanschouw, stargezigt
Of fierce aspect=Van een straf gelaat

Topics: time, nature, punishment, appearance, proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 2.3
SPEAKER: Iago
CONTEXT:
How poor are they that have not patience!
What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
Thou know’st we work by wit and not by witchcraft,
And wit depends on dilatory time.

DUTCH:
Wie geen geduld heeft, is zeer arm/
Wat dom is hij die zijn geduld verliest!

MORE:

Proverb: He that has no patience has nothing

Depends on dilatory time = Time moves slowly

Compleat:
Dilatory=Uitstel-zoekende

Topics: intellect, patience, proverbs and idioms, purpose

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Falstaff
CONTEXT:
CHIEF JUSTICE
To punish you by the heels would amend the attention of your ears, and I care not if I do become your physician.
FALSTAFF
I am as poor as Job, my lord, but not so patient. Your Lordship may minister the potion of imprisonment to me in respect of poverty, but how I should be your patient to follow your prescriptions, the wise may make some dram of a scruple, or indeed a scruple itself.

DUTCH:
Ik ben zoo arm als Job, mylord, maar zulk een lijdzaam lijder zou ik niet zijn. Uwe lordschap kan mij den drank der gevangenschap opdringen; maar of ik als lijder uwe voorschriften zou opvolgen, daarover kan de wijze wel een grein van een scrupel koesteren, ja geheel scrupuleus zijn.

MORE:

Proverb: To have the patience of Job

“To punish you by the heels” is another reference to the punishment of baffling. This was formally a punishment of infamy inflicted on recreant nights, which included hanging them up by the heels.

Schmidt:
Minister to=Administer (medicines), to prescribe, to order
Scruple=The third part of a dram; proverbially a very small quantity
Make a dram of a scruple=Quibble
Potion=Medicine, remedy

Compleat:
Dram=Vierendeel loods; een zoopje, een borrel
Scruple=Een gewigtje van xx greinen
To scrupule=Zwaarigheid maaken

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, invented or popularised, patience

PLAY: Macbeth
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Macbeth
CONTEXT:
By the worst means, the worst. For mine own good,
All causes shall give way. I am in blood
Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er.
Strange things I have in head, that will to hand,
Which must be acted ere they may be scanned.

DUTCH:
k Heb in bloed
Zoo ver gewaad, dat, als ik nu bleef staan,
Mij de omkeer zwaarder viel, dan ‘t voorwaarts gaan.

MORE:
Allusion to the proverb: “Go forward and fall, go backward and mar all” (1580)

Topics: purpose, uncertainty, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: All’s Well that Ends Well
ACT/SCENE: 5.3
SPEAKER: King
CONTEXT:
LAFEW
He looks well on’t.
KING
I am not a day of season,
For thou mayst see a sunshine and a hail
In me at once: but to the brightest beams
Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth;
The time is fair again.
BERTRAM
My high-repented blames,
Dear sovereign, pardon to me.

DUTCH:
Ik ben geen dag van dit seizoen,
Want tegelijk zijn zonneschijn en hagel
In mij te zien; doch held’re stralen banen
Een weg zich door de wolken; treed dus voor;
Het weder is weer schoon.

MORE:
Proverb: After black clouds clear weather
Proverb: After rain (showers) comes air weather (the sun)
Proverb: After a storm comes a calm
Day of season=Seasonable day, sunshine and showers
Distracted=Agitated, divided
High-repented=Much repented
Compleat:
Distracted=Van een gescheurd, ontroerd
Distracted with one thing or another=Door de eene of de andere zaak weggeerukt, of verrukt
Repentant=Boetvaerdig

Topics: proverbs and idioms, emotion and mood, regret, optimism

PLAY: King Henry V
ACT/SCENE: 4.4
SPEAKER: Boy
CONTEXT:
I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty a heart. But the saying is true: “The empty vessel makes the greatest sound.” Bardolph and Nym had ten times more valour than this roaring devil i’ th’ old play, that everyone may pare his nails with a wooden dagger, and they are both hanged, and so would this be if he durst steal any thing adventurously. I must stay with the lackeys with the luggage of our camp. The French might have a good prey of us if he knew of it, for there is none to guard it but boys.

DUTCH:
Van mijn leven heb ik zulk een volle stem niet hooren
komen uit een ledig hart; maar het zeggen is waar: in
holle vaten zit de meeste klank

MORE:

Proverb: Empty vessels sound most, empty vessels make the greatest sound (most noise)

Paring nails would have been an affront to the Devil, who chose not to pare his own (Malone)
Adventurously=Daringly, boldly
Luggage=Army baggage

Burgersdijk notes:
Dan deze brullende duivel. In de oude moraliteiten zag de duivel er wel vreeselijk uit en brulde
geweldig, maar hij was toch zeer laf en liet zich door den hansworst met zijn houten zwaard ongestraft op de vingers slaan.

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, integrity, honesty

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 5.3
SPEAKER: Duchess of York
CONTEXT:
DUCHESS OF YORK
Nay, do not say, ‘stand up;’
Say, ‘pardon’ first, and afterwards ‘stand up.’
And if I were thy nurse, thy tongue to teach,
‘Pardon’ should be the first word of thy speech.
I never long’d to hear a word till now;
Say ‘pardon,’ king; let pity teach thee how:
The word is short, but not so short as sweet;
No word like ‘pardon’ for kings’ mouths so meet.
DUKE OF YORK
Speak it in French, king; say, ‘pardonnez-moi.’
DUCHESS OF YORK
Dost thou teach pardon pardon to destroy?
Ah, my sour husband, my hard-hearted lord,
That set’st the word itself against the word!
Speak ‘pardon’ as ’tis current in our land;
The chopping French we do not understand.
Thine eye begins to speak; set thy tongue there;
Or in thy piteous heart plant thou thine ear;
That hearing how our plaints and prayers do pierce,
Pity may move thee ‘pardon’ to rehearse.
HENRY BOLINGBROKE
Good aunt, stand up.
DUCHESS OF YORK
I do not sue to stand;
Pardon is all the suit I have in hand.

DUTCH:
Ik vraag niet op te staan;
Neen, enkel om vergeving houd ik aan.

MORE:

Proverb: Short and sweet

Meet=Fitting, appropriate
Chopping=Changing the meaning of words
Plaints=Complaints
Sue=Beg
Suit=A request made to a prince, a court-solicitation
Nurse=Nanny

Compleat:
To chop=Ruilen, ruitebuiten
To chop at a thing=Iets aangrypen, vasthouden
Plaint=Klagte, aanklagte
Sue=Voor ‘t recht roepen, in rechte vervolgen
Suit=Een verzoek, rechtsgeding

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, language

PLAY: All’s Well that Ends Well
ACT/SCENE: 5.3
SPEAKER: King
CONTEXT:
KING
We lost a jewel of her; and our esteem
Was made much poorer by it: but your son,
As mad in folly, lack’d the sense to know
Her estimation home.
COUNTESS
‘Tis past, my liege;
And I beseech your majesty to make it
Natural rebellion, done i’ the blaze of youth;
When oil and fire, too strong for reason’s force,
O’erbears it and burns on.
KING
My honour’d lady,
I have forgiven and forgotten all;
Though my revenges were high bent upon him,
And watch’d the time to shoot.

DUTCH:
Eed’le vrouw,
Vergeven heb ik alles en vergeten,
Hoe straf mijn toorn op hem gespannen waar’,
Den tijd voor ‘t schot bespiedend.

MORE:
Proverb: Forgive and forget
Bent=tension, straining (properly an expression of archery, but used tropically of mental dispositions)
Watch=To have in the eye, to observe closely for some purpose.
Compleat:
To be upon the watch=Op de wacht zyn
I have got the bent of his bow=Ik weet wel waar hy heen wil

Topics: mercy, revenge, proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 4.2
SPEAKER:
CONTEXT:

RODERIGO
Every day thou daff’st me with some device, Iago, and rather, as it seems to me now, keep’st from me all conveniency than suppliest me with the least advantage of hope.
I will indeed no longer endure it, nor am I yet persuaded to put up in peace what already I have foolishly suffered.
IAGO
Will you hear me, Roderigo?
RODERIGO
I have heard too much, and your words and performances are no kin together.
IAGO
You charge me most unjustly.
RODERIGO
With naught but truth. I have wasted myself out of my means. The jewels you have had from me to deliver Desdemona would half have corrupted a votaress. You have told me she hath received them and returned me expectations and comforts of sudden respect and acquaintance, but I find none.
IAGO
Well, go to. Very well.
RODERIGO
“Very well,” “go to”! I cannot go to, man, nor ’tis not very well. Nay, I think it is scurvy, and begin to find myself fopped in it.

DUTCH:
Waarachtig, ik heb te veel naar u geluisterd, want
uw woorden en uw daden zijn elkaar niet verwant.

MORE:

Proverb: ‘Great promise small performance’ (your words and performances are no kin together.)

Conveniency=Opportunity
Advantage=Increase
Device=Scheme
Daff’st=Fob off (Daff=to put off (clothes)) Variation of doff, do off
Put up in peace=Endure silently
Votaress/Votarist=Nun
Comfort=Encouragement
Fopped=To make a fool of, to dupe

Compleat:
Votary=Een die zich door een (religieuse) belofte verbonden heeft; die zich ergens toe heeft overgegeeven

Topics: proverbs and idioms, perception, languge

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Gloucester
CONTEXT:
KING EDWARD IV
My love, forbear to fawn upon their frowns:
What danger or what sorrow can befall thee,
So long as Edward is thy constant friend,
And their true sovereign, whom they must obey?
Nay, whom they shall obey, and love thee too,
Unless they seek for hatred at my hands;
Which if they do, yet will I keep thee safe,
And they shall feel the vengeance of my wrath.
GLOUCESTER
[Aside] I hear, yet say not much, but think the more.

DUTCH:
Ik hoor, doch zeg niet veel; maar denk te meer.

MORE:

Proverb: Though he said little he thought the more

Forbear=Avoid, refrain from
Fawn=Wheedle, act in a servile manner

Compleat:
Forbear=Zich van onthouden
To fawn upon=Vleijen, streelen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, loyalty, leadership

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Bagot
CONTEXT:
BAGOT
My Lord Aumerle, I know your daring tongue
Scorns to unsay what once it hath deliver’d.
In that dead time when Gloucester’s death was plotted,
I heard you say, ‘Is not my arm of length,
That reacheth from the restful English court
As far as Calais, to mine uncle’s head?’
Amongst much other talk, that very time,
I heard you say that you had rather refuse
The offer of an hundred thousand crowns
Than Bolingbroke’s return to England;
Adding withal how blest this land would be
In this your cousin’s death.

DUTCH:
Mylord Aumerle, ik weet, uw stoute tong
Versmaadt, wat ze eenmaal heeft gezegd, te looch’nen.

MORE:

Proverb: Kings have long arms

Unsay=Deny, retract
Dead=(a) deadly; (b) past
Of length=Long enough
Restful=Peaceful, quiet

Compleat:
Unsay=Ontkennen, ontzeggen
To say and unsay=Zeggen en ontkennen
Restful=In ruste, gerust

Topics: proverbs and idioms, law/legal, honour, authority

PLAY: King Henry V
ACT/SCENE: 4.8
SPEAKER: Williams
CONTEXT:
FLUELLEN
My liege, here is a villain and a traitor, that, look your Grace, has struck the glove which your Majesty is take out of the helmet of Alençon.
WILLIAMS
My liege, this was my glove; here is the fellow of it. And he that I gave it to in change promised to wear it in his cap. I promised to strike him if he did. I met this man with my glove in his cap, and I have been as good as my word.
FLUELLEN
Your Majesty, hear now, saving your Majesty’s manhood, what an arrant, rascally, beggarly, lousy knave it is. I hope your Majesty is pear me testimony and witness, and will avouchment that this is the glove of Alençon that your Majesty is give me, in your conscience now.

DUTCH:
Ik ontmoette dezen man met mijn handschoen op zijn muts,
en ik ben zoo goed als mijn woord geweest.

MORE:

Proverb: An honest man is as good as his word

Avouchment=Avouch, testify

Compleat:
Rascally=Schelmsch, schelmachtig
An arrant knave=Een overgegeven guit
To avouch=Vastelyk verzekeren, bewaarheden, zyn onschuld doen blyken
To bear testimony=Tegen iemand getuigen
To bear witness=Getuigenis geeven, getuigen

Topics: proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
I will bestow him and will answer well
The death I gave him. So, again, good night.
I must be cruel only to be kind.
Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.
One word more, good lady

DUTCH:
Wreed moet ik zijn, om liefderijk te wezen. /
Ik ben slechts wreed uit liefde. /
Wreed moet ik zijn terwille van mijn liefde; slecht is dë aanvang, slechter het verschiet.

MORE:
Cruel to be kind was invented by Shakespeare and is still in use today.

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: Coriolanus
ACT/SCENE: 4.7
SPEAKER: Aufidius
CONTEXT:
LIEUTENANT
I do not know what witchcraft’s in him, but
Your soldiers use him as the grace ’fore meat,
Their talk at table, and their thanks at end;
And you are darken’d in this action, sir,
Even by your own.
AUFIDIUS
I cannot help it now,
Unless, by using means, I lame the foot
Of our design. He bears himself more proudlier,
Even to my person, than I thought he would
When first I did embrace him: yet his nature
In that’s no changeling; and I must excuse
What cannot be amended.

DUTCH:
Doch zijn wezen
Verzaakt hij hierin niet; ik moet verschoonen,
Wat ik niet beet’ren kan.

MORE:
Proverb: What cannot be altered must be borne not blamed
Proverb: To be no changeling

Changeling=Sense shifter, inconstant, turncoat, fickle (Arden)
Darken’d=Eclipsed, put into the shade
For your particular=For you personally

Topics: remedy, understanding, regret, plans/intentions, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Falstaff
CONTEXT:
And now is this Vice’s dagger become a squire, and talks as
familiarly of John o’ Gaunt as if he had been sworn brother
to him, and I’ll be sworn he ne’er saw him but once in the
tilt-yard, and then he burst his head for crowding among the
Marshal’s men. I saw it and told John o’ Gaunt he beat his
own name, for you might have thrust him and all his apparel
into an eel-skin; the case of a treble hautboy was a mansion
for him, a court. And now has he land and beefs. Well, I’ll
be acquainted with him, if I return, and ’t shall go hard but
I’ll make him a philosopher’s two stones to me. If the young
dace be a bait for the old pike, I see no reason in the law of
nature but I may snap at him. Let time shape, and there an
end.

DUTCH:
Als de jonge voren een hapjen is voor een ouden
snoek, dan zie ik naar het natuurrecht geen reden, waarom
ik niet naar hem zou mogen happen. Komt tijd, komt
raad, — en daarmee uit.

MORE:

Proverb: The great fish eat up the small

Sworn brother=Comrade in arms
Hautboy=Musical instrument similar to modern oboe
But I’ll=If I don’t
Trussed=Packed (some versions have thrust …into)
Dace=The fish Cyprinus Leuciscus

Compleat:
Sworn-brothers=Eedgenooten, vloekverwanten
To truss=Inpakken
Dace=Een zekere visch, een daas

Topics: proverbs and idioms, achievement, poverty and wealth, time

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Gloucester
CONTEXT:
Sharp Buckingham unburthens with his tongue
The envious load that lies upon his heart;
And dogged York, that reaches at the moon,
Whose overweening arm I have pluck’d back,
By false accuse doth level at my life:
And you, my sovereign lady, with the rest,
Causeless have laid disgraces on my head,
And with your best endeavour have stirr’d up
My liefest liege to be mine enemy:
Ay, all you have laid your heads together–
Myself had notice of your conventicles–
And all to make away my guiltless life.
I shall not want false witness to condemn me,
Nor store of treasons to augment my guilt;
The ancient proverb will be well effected:
‘A staff is quickly found to beat a dog.’

DUTCH:
Ja, ja, gij allen staakt uw hoofden saam, —
Ik kreeg bericht van uwe samenkomsten, —
Om naar mijn schuldloos leven mij te staan.
Het valsch getuignis, dat mij oordeelt, komt wel;
Door tal van listen groeit mijn schuld wel aan;
Bewaarheid zal het oude spreekwoord worden,
Dat, wie een hond wil slaan, den stok wel vindt.

MORE:

Proverb: A staff is quickly found to beat a dog. Other versions are “It is easy to find a stick to beat a dog”; or “It is easy to find a stone to throw at a dog”.

Unburthen=To unload, to free from a burden
Overween=Overreach, be arrogant or presumptuous
Accuse=Accusation
Level at=Aim at
Causeless=Groundless
Liefest=Dearest
Conventicles=Secret meetings, plotting
Want=Lack
Augment=Increase

Compleat:
Unburden=Ontlasten, ontheffen
Overween=Al te veel van zich zelven houden, zich vleijen
Overweening=Laatdunkendheid, verwaandheid, eigenliefde
Accusation=Beschuldiging, aanklaagingn, betichting, aantyging
Level at=Mikken, doelen, bestryken, beschieten
Causeless=Zonder oorzaak
Liefest=Liefst
Conventicle=Een kleine vergadering, doch wordt doorgaans genomen voor een sluipvergadering, or saamenrotting
Want=Gebrek, nood
Augment=Vermeerderen, vergrooten, toeneemen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, betrayal, justice, conspiracy

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Suffolk
CONTEXT:
CRANMER
Stay, good my lords,
I have a little yet to say. Look there, my lords;
By virtue of that ring, I take my cause
Out of the grips of cruel men and give it
To a most noble judge, the King my master.
CHAMBERLAIN
This is the King’s ring.
SURREY
’Tis no counterfeit.
SUFFOLK
’Tis the right ring, by heaven! I told you all,
When we first put this dangerous stone a-rolling,
’Twould fall upon ourselves.
NORFOLK
Do you think, my lords,
The king will suffer but the little finger
Of this man to be vex’d?

DUTCH:
t Is de echte ring, bij God! Ik zeide ‘t wel,
Toen wij den boozen steen aan ‘t rollen brachten,
Dat hij op ons zou vallen.

MORE:
Proverb: The stone you throw will fall on your own head
Suffer=Permit, tolerate
But=Even
Vexed=Harmed
Compleat:
Suffer=Toelaaten, gedoogen
But=Maar alleen
To vex=Quellen, plaagen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, consequence, judgment

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Desdemona
CONTEXT:
For let our finger ache, and it endues
Our other healthful members even to a sense
Of pain. Nay, we must think men are not gods,
Nor of them look for such observancy
As fits the bridal. Beshrew me much, Emilia,
I was – unhandsome warrior as I am –
Arraigning his unkindness with my soul;
But now I find I had suborned the witness

DUTCH:
Wee mij, wee, Emilia;
‘k Liet, tegen alle krijgstucht in, daar toe,
Dat wegens stuurschheid hem mijn ziel verklaagde;
Thasn ken ik die getuige als omgekocht
En hem als valsch beticht.

MORE:

Proverb: We are but men, not gods

Unhandsome=Unskilled, unfair, illiberal
Suborned=Influenced to bear false witness
Observancy=Homage
Arraigning=Accusing
Member=Limb

Compleat:
Member=Lid, Lidmaat. Member of the body=Een lid des lichaams
Arraign=Voor ‘t recht ontbieden; voor ‘t recht daagen
To suborn a witness=Eenen getuige opmaaken of omkoopen
Unhandsomly=Op een fatsoenlyke wyze
Abuser=Misbruiker, belediger, smyter en vegter

Topics: proverbs and idioms, nature, life, manipulation

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 4.2
SPEAKER: Roderigo
CONTEXT:
RODERIGO
Every day thou daff’st me with some device, Iago, and rather, as it seems to me now, keep’st from me all conveniency than suppliest me with the least advantage of hope.
I will indeed no longer endure it, nor am I yet persuaded to put up in peace what already I have foolishly suffered.
IAGO
Will you hear me, Roderigo?
RODERIGO
I have heard too much, and your words and performances are no kin together.

DUTCH:
Ik wil dit bepaald niet langer verdragen, en ben volstrekt
niet gezind, verder kalm mij te laten welgevallen, wat
ik tot nog toe dwaas genoeg verduurd heb.

MORE:

Proverb: ‘Great promise small performance’ (your words and performances are no kin together.)

Conveniency=Opportunity
Advantage=Increase
Device=Scheme
Daff’st=Fob off (Daff=to put off (clothes)) Variation of doff, do off
Put up in peace=Endure silently
Votaress/Votarist=Nun
Comfort=Encouragement
Fopped=To make a fool of, to dupe

Compleat:
Votary=Een die zich door een (religieuse) belofte verbonden heeft; die zich ergens toe heeft overgegeeven

Topics: proverbs and idioms, perception, languge

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 1.4
SPEAKER: Queen Margaret
CONTEXT:
YORK
O Clifford, but bethink thee once again,
And in thy thought o’errun my former time;
And, if though canst for blushing, view this face,
And bite thy tongue, that slanders him with cowardice
Whose frown hath made thee faint and fly ere this!
CLIFFORD
I will not bandy with thee word for word,
But buckler with thee blows, twice two for one.
QUEEN MARGARET
Hold, valiant Clifford! for a thousand causes
I would prolong awhile the traitor’s life.
Wrath makes him deaf: speak thou, Northumberland.
NORTHUMBERLAND
Hold, Clifford! do not honour him so much
To prick thy finger, though to wound his heart:
What valour were it, when a cur doth grin,
For one to thrust his hand between his teeth,
When he might spurn him with his foot away?
It is war’s prize to take all vantages;
And ten to one is no impeach of valour.

DUTCH:
1k wil niet woord voor woord u wedergeven,
Maar slagen wiss’len tweemaal twee voor een.

MORE:

Idiom: To bite one’s tongue

Bethink thee=Reconsider
Bandy=To beat to and fro (fig. of words, looks); exchange words, squabble
Buckler=Ward off (with a buckler, a sort of shield)
O’errun=Review
Cur=Dog
Grin=Bare his teeth
Vantage=Opportunity
Impeach=Discredit

Compleat:
Bandy=Een bal weer toeslaan; een zaak voor en tegen betwisten
To bethink one’s self=Zich bedenken
To buckle together=Worstelen, schermutselen
Cur=Hond (also Curr)
Vantage=Toegift, toemaat, overmaat, overwigt
To impeach=Betichten, beschuldigen, aanklaagen

Topics: anger, caution, wisdom, proverbs and idioms, still in use, invented or popularised

PLAY: All’s Well that Ends Well
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Clown
CONTEXT:
COUNTESS
Come on, sir; I shall now put you to the height of
your breeding.
CLOWN
I will show myself highly fed and lowly taught:
I know my business is but to the court.
COUNTESS
To the court! why, what place make you special,
when you put off that with such contempt? But to the
court!
CLOWN
Truly, madam, if God have lent a man any manners, he
may easily put it off at court: he that cannot make
a leg, put off’s cap, kiss his hand and say nothing,
has neither leg, hands, lip, nor cap; and indeed
such a fellow, to say precisely, were not for the
court; but for me, I have an answer will serve all
men.

DUTCH:
Ik zal mij ten hoogste gevoed en diep geleerd betoonen. Ik weet, dat mijn zending maar naar het hof is .

MORE:
Proverb: Better fed than taught
Compleat:
“He is better fed than taught”=Hy is beter vegoed dan onderwezen
Business=Bezigheid, werk, zaak

Topics: order/society, learning/education, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 1.4
SPEAKER: Lord Talbot
CONTEXT:
Yet livest thou, Salisbury?
Though thy speech doth fail,
One eye thou hast, to look to heaven for grace:
The sun with one eye vieweth all the world.
Heaven, be thou gracious to none alive,
If Salisbury wants mercy at thy hands!
Bear hence his body; I will help to bury it.
Sir Thomas Gargrave, hast thou any life?
Speak unto Talbot; nay, look up to him.
Salisbury, cheer thy spirit with this comfort;
Thou shalt not die whiles—
He beckons with his hand and smiles on me.
As who should say ‘When I am dead and gone,
Remember to avenge me on the French.’
Plantagenet, I will; and like thee, Nero,
Play on the lute, beholding the towns burn:
Wretched shall France be only in my name.

DUTCH:
Hij wenkt mij met de hand en lacht mij toe,
Alsof hij zeggen wilde: „Ben ik dood,
Herdenk dan mij te wreken op de Franschen !”
Plantagenet, ik wil ‘t; ik wil, als Nero,
De luit slaan bij ‘t zien branden van hun steden;
Mijn naam alleen maakt Frankrijk reeds ellendig.

MORE:
Wants=Lacks (mercy)
Whiles=Whilst, during the time that
Only in=At the very sound of

Compleat:
Between whiles (from time to time)=Van tyd tot tyd, by tusschenpoozing

Burgersdijk notes:
Plantagenet. Talbot noemt Salisbury met den familienaam van het koninklijk geslacht, omdat hij een afstammeling was van Koning Edward I11 en de schoone gravin van Salisbury.

Topics: proverbs and idioms, neglect, mercy

PLAY: Coriolanus
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Menenius
CONTEXT:
MENENIUS
Pray you, be gone:
I’ll try whether my old wit be in request
With those that have but little: this must be patch’d
With cloth of any colour.
COMINIUS
Nay, come away.

A PATRICIAN
This man has marr’d his fortune.
MENENIUS
His nature is too noble for the world:
He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
Or Jove for’s power to thunder. His heart’s his mouth:
What his breast forges, that his tongue must vent;
And, being angry, does forget that ever
He heard the name of death.

DUTCH:
Hij is voor de aard te grootsch; hij zou Neptunus
Niet om zijn drietand vleien, Jupiter
Niet om zijn dondermacht. Zijn hart en tong
Zijn één; wat de eene smeedt, moet de ander uiten;
En wordt hij toornig, dan vergeet hij steeds,
Dat hij den naam van dood ooit hoorde

MORE:
Proverb: The heart of a fool is in his tongue (mouth)
Proverb: What the heart thinks the tongue speaks

Wit=Sound sense or judgement, understanding. Intelligence
In request=To be of use

Topics: proverbs and idioms, honour, intellect, reason, honesty

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Emelia
CONTEXT:
If he say so, may his pernicious soul
Rot half a grain a day! He lies to th’ heart.
She was too fond of her most filthy bargain.

DUTCH:
Als hij dat zegt, mag zijn perverse ziel
wegrotten met een grein per dag. Hij liegt:
daarvoor had zij haar slechtste koop te lief.

MORE:
Proverb: He lies to th’heart (Cf. Macbeth 2.3: “That it did, sir, i’ th’ very throat on me; but I requited him for his lie’)

Topics: insult, truth, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry V
ACT/SCENE: 2.3
SPEAKER: King Henry
CONTEXT:
GREY
Sir, you show great mercy if you give him life
After the taste of much correction.
KING HENRY
Alas, your too much love and care of me
Are heavy orisons ‘gainst this poor wretch.
If little faults proceeding on distemper
Shall not be winked at, how shall we stretch our eye
When capital crimes, chewed, swallowed, and digested,
Appear before us? We’ll yet enlarge that man,
Though Cambridge, Scroop, and Grey, in their dear care
And tender preservation of our person,
Would have him punished. And now to our French causes.
Who are the late commissioners?

DUTCH:
Indien men ‘t oog hij dronkenschaps-vergrijpen
Niet sluiten mag, hoe moet men ‘t openspalken,
Zoo hoogverraad, gekauwd, geslikt, verteerd,
Zich voor ons opdoet.

MORE:

Proverb: To wink at small faults
Proverb: He that corrects not small faults cannot control great ones
Proverb: To look through one’s fingers

Correction=Punishment
Heavy orisons=Weighty pleas
Distemper=Illness, confusion (esp. drunkenness)
Stretch our eye=Open our eyes

Compleat:
Correction=Verbetering, tuchtiging, berisping
Orisons=Zekere geboden
Distemper: (disease)=Krankheid, ziekte, kwaal; (troubles of the state)=Wanorder in den Staat

Topics: proverbs and idioms, punishment, mercy, justice

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 5.4
SPEAKER: Porter
CONTEXT:
PORTER
An ’t please Your Honour,
We are but men, and what so many may do,
Not being torn a-pieces, we have done.
An army cannot rule ’em
CHAMBERLAIN
As I live,
If the King blame me for ’t, I’ll lay you all
By th’ heels, and suddenly — and on your heads
Clap round fines for neglect. You’re lazy knaves,
And here you lie baiting of bombards, when
You should do service.

DUTCH:
Zoo waar ik leef,
Berispt de koning mij er om, dan leg ik
Uw voeten in het blok, en op uw hoofd
Een goed rond boetgeld.

MORE:
Proverb: Men are but men
Lay by the heels=To punish, i.e. send to prison or put in the stocks
Clap round=Impose
Bombard=Leather wine jug; a drunk
Compleat:
Lay by the heels=Iemand in de boeijen sluiten

Topics: proverbs and idioms, life, punishment

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 2.5
SPEAKER: Son
CONTEXT:
Ill blows the wind that profits nobody.
This man, whom hand to hand I slew in fight,
May be possessed with some store of crowns ;
And I, that haply take them from him now,
May yet ere night yield both my life and them
To some man else, as this dead man doth me.
Who’s this? O God! It is my father’s face,
Whom in this conflict I unwares have kill’d.
O heavy times, begetting such events!
From London by the king was I press’d forth;
My father, being the Earl of Warwick’s man,
Came on the part of York, press’d by his master;
And I, who at his hands received my life, him
Have by my hands of life bereaved him.
Pardon me, God, I knew not what I did!
And pardon, father, for I knew not thee!
My tears shall wipe away these bloody marks;
And no more words till they have flow’d their fill.

DUTCH:
Een kwade wind, die niemand voordeel aanbrengt!

MORE:

Proverb: It’s an ill wind that blows no body no good (Also Henry IV Part 2, 5.3)

Be possessed with=Own (possessed of)
Haply=By chance
Beget=To cause, lead to
Unwares=Unwittingly
Pressed forth=Pressed (forced) into military service
Bereave=To rob, take from

Compleat:
Possessed (or prepossessed) with=Ergens mede vooringenomen zyn, veel mede op hebben
Beget=Gewinnen, teelen, voortbrengen, verkrygen
Idleness begets beggary=Luiheid veroorzaakt bederlaary
Unawares=Onverhoeds
Press (or force) soldiers=Soldaaten pressen, dat is hen dwingen om dienst te neemen
Bereave=Berooven
Haply=Misschien

Burgersdijk notes:
II.5.61. Wie is ‘t? —O God, het is ‘t gelaat mijns vaders! Men denke, dat de zoon de behnklep van den
doode oplicht.

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, claim

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: Duke of York
CONTEXT:
In war was never lion raged more fierce,
In peace was never gentle lamb more mild,
Than was that young and princely gentleman.
His face thou hast, for even so look’d he,
Accomplish’d with the number of thy hours;
But when he frown’d, it was against the French
And not against his friends; his noble hand
Did win what he did spend and spent not that
Which his triumphant father’s hand had won;
His hands were guilty of no kindred blood,
But bloody with the enemies of his kin.
O Richard! York is too far gone with grief,
Or else he never would compare between.

DUTCH:
In vrede geen geduldig lam ooit zachter,
Dan deze jonge, vorstlijke edelman.

MORE:

Proverb: As gentle (quiet, meek, mild) as a lamb (1530)

With the number of thy hours=At (when he was) your age
Win=Earn

Topics: proverbs and idioms, achievement

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: King Henry VIII
CONTEXT:
BUTTS
There, my lord:
The high promotion of his Grace of Canterbury,
Who holds his state at door, ’mongst pursuivants,
Pages, and footboys.
KING
Ha! ’Tis he indeed.
Is this the honour they do one another?
’Tis well there’s one above ’em yet. I had thought
They had parted so much honesty among ’em—
At least good manners—as not thus to suffer
A man of his place, and so near our favor,
To dance attendance on their Lordships’ pleasures,
And at the door, too, like a post with packets.
By holy Mary, Butts, there’s knavery!
Let ’em alone, and draw the curtain close.
We shall hear more anon.

DUTCH:
Is dit dus de eer, die zij elkander aandoen?
Eén staat er boven hen, gelukkig.

MORE:
Proverb: To dance attendance
Pursuivant=Low-ranking officer
Parted=Distributed
Suffer=Allow, tolerate
Place=Position, rank
Post=Messenger
Compleat:
Pursuivant=Een ‘s Konings boode
Parted=Gedeelt, gescheyden, geschift
Suffer=Toelaaten, gedoogen
Place=Plaats
Post=Een post, boode

Topics: proverbs and idioms, order/society, status

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.4
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
It is a custom
More honoured in the breach than the observance.
This heavy-headed revel east and west
Makes us traduced and taxed of other nations.

DUTCH:
Het is een gebruik, meer eervol voor die het schendt, dan voor die het volgt /
Is ‘t een zede, Meer eerbiedwaard, als men haar schendt, dan volgt. /
Is het een zede Eervoller om te laten dan te volgen.

MORE:
Misquoted in that the meaning has moved nowadays to regretting the falling out of use of a custom or tradition, i.e. a custom more often ignored and observed; whereas Hamlet meant the opposite: if his uncle’s drinking and making promises is a tradition, it is one they can well do without.
CITED IN US LAW
The above point is made by Judge Posner, who wrote that a reader frequently thinks that this means custom that is not observed, which is what the expression viewed in isolation seems plainly to mean. “But if you go back to the passage in Hamlet from which the expression comes (Act I, Sc. iv, lines 8-20), you will see that the custom referred to is that of getting drunk on festive occasions. The point is general: context, in the broadest sense, is the key to understanding language”. (Alliance to End Repression v United States Department of Justice, 742 F 2d 1007, 1013 (7th Cir. 1983)(Posner, J);
U.S. v. Smith, 812 F.2d 161, 167 (4th Cir. 1987);
Calley v. Callaway, 382 F.Supp. 650, 666 (M.D.Ga. 1974);
Arthur v. Nyquist, 415 F.Supp. 904, 959 (W.D.N.Y. 1976);
State v. Griffin, 347 So.2d 692, 694 (Fla. Ct. App. 1977).

Topics: language, still in use, cited in law, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Portia
CONTEXT:
PORTIA
Good sentences, and well pronounced.
NERISSA
They would be better if well followed.
PORTIA
If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do,
chapels had been churches and poor men’s cottages
princes’ palaces. It is a good divine that follows his
own instructions. I can easier teach twenty what were
good to be done than be one of the twenty to follow mine
own teaching. The brain may devise laws for the blood,
but a hot temper leaps o’er a cold decree. Such a hare
is madness the youth—to skip o’er the meshes of good
counsel the cripple. But this reasoning is not in the
fashion to choose me a husband. O me, the word “choose!”
I may neither choose whom I would nor refuse whom I
dislike—so is the will of a living daughter curbed by
the will of a dead father. Is it not hard, Nerissa, that
I cannot choose one nor refuse none?

DUTCH:
Hij is een goed preeker die zijn eigen voorschriften nakomt /
Het is een goed geestelijke, die zijn eigen voorschriften opvolgt

MORE:
Proverb: Practice what you preach
Divine=Priest
Compleat:
A divine=Een Godgeleerde

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: All’s Well that Ends Well
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Parolles
CONTEXT:
PAROLLES
Ten o’clock: within these three hours ’twill be
time enough to go home. What shall I say I have
done? It must be a very plausive invention that
carries it: they begin to smoke me; and disgraces
have of late knocked too often at my door. I find
my tongue is too foolhardy; but my heart hath the
fear of Mars before it and of his creatures, not
daring the reports of my tongue.
SECOND LORD
This is the first truth that e’er thine own tongue
was guilty of.

DUTCH:
Wat zal ik zeggen, dat ik gedaan heb? Het meet een zeer waarschijnlijke vond zijn, als zij mij helpen zal.

MORE:
Proverb: I will smoke you
Plausive=Plausible
Smoke=Scent (suspect)
Creatures=Soldiers
Daring=Daring to do
Compleat:
Plausible=Op een schoonschynende wyze, met toejuyghinge

Topics: proverbs and idioms, suspicion, honesty, courage

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 1.4
SPEAKER: York
CONTEXT:
She-wolf of France, but worse than wolves of France,
Whose tongue more poisons than the adder’s tooth!
How ill-beseeming is it in thy sex
To triumph, like an Amazonian trull,
Upon their woes whom fortune captivates!
But that thy face is, visor-like, unchanging,
Made impudent with use of evil deeds,
I would assay, proud queen, to make thee blush.
To tell thee whence thou camest, of whom derived,
Were shame enough to shame thee, wert thou not
shameless.
Thy father bears the type of King of Naples,
Of both the Sicils and Jerusalem,
Yet not so wealthy as an English yeoman.
Hath that poor monarch taught thee to insult?
It needs not, nor it boots thee not, proud queen,
Unless the adage must be verified,
That beggars mounted run their horse to death.

DUTCH:
Maar, fiere koningin, het baat u niets,
Dan dat het spreekwoord waar blijkt: „Als een beed’laar
Te paard ooit komt, hij jaagt zijn rijdier dood.”

MORE:

Proverb: Set a beggar on horseback and he will ride a gallop (run his horse out of breath): newfound power will go to their heads

Ill-beseeming=Unbecoming, unattractive
Trull=A drab, lewd woman
Captivate=Subdue
Visor=(Vizor, Vizard): Mask
Impudent=Shameless
Assay=Try
Type=Title
Yeoman=Landowner
Needs not=Is unnecessary
Boots not=Is futile
Adage=Proverb

Compleat:
To beseem=Betaamen, voegen, passen
Trull=Een smots, snol
Captivate=Overmeesteren, gevangen neemen
Vizard=Een momaanzigt, mombakkus, masker
Impudent=Onbeschaamd
to assay=Beproeven, toetsen, onderstaan, keuren
Yeoman=Een welgegoed landman, een ryke boer, een Landjonker
It is to no boot=Het doet geen nut, het is te vergeefs
Adage=Spreekwoord

Topics: proverbs and idioms, appearance, civility, language, dignity

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: Iago
CONTEXT:
I’ll have our Michael Cassio on the hip,
Abuse him to the Moor in the right garb
(For I fear Cassio with my night-cape too)
Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me
For making him egregiously an ass
And practicing upon his peace and quiet
Even to madness. ‘Tis here, but yet confused.
Knavery’s plain face is never seen till used.

DUTCH:
De Moor is iemand die geen argwaan kent
en houdt voor eerlijk wie dat schíjnt te zijn;
je neemt hem net zo maklijk bij de neus
als stomme ezels.
Ik heb het, ’t is verwekt! Door hel en nacht
moet deze monstertelg aan ’t licht gebracht.

MORE:

Proverb: To have one on the hip
On the hip=Have the advantage over; have at one’s mercy (See MoV, 1.3 “If I can catch him once upon the hip”)
Schmidt:
Abuse=Slander
Egregiously=In an enormous, shameful manner
Plain=Open, clear, easily understood, evident

Compleat:
Egregiously=Befaamd, berucht, aankerkelyk (in an ill sense)
An egregious knave=Een beruchte boef

Topics: deceit, appearance, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Cymbeline
ACT/SCENE: 5.5
SPEAKER: Posthumus Leonatus
CONTEXT:
POSTHUMUS
Kneel not to me.
The power that I have on you is to spare you;
The malice towards you to forgive you. Live
And deal with others better.
CYMBELINE
Nobly doomed.
We’ll learn our freeness of a son-in-law:
Pardon’s the word to all.

DUTCH:
Kniel niet voor mij;
De macht, die ‘k op u heb, is u te sparen,
En heel mijn wrok, u te vergeven. Leef,
Behandel and’ren beter.


Proverb: To be able to harm and not to do it is noble
Doomed=Judged

Schmidt:
Malice=Malignity, disposition to injure others
Freeness=Generosity

Compleat:
Doom=Vonnis, oordeel, verwyzing
To doom=Veroordelen, verwyzen, doemen
Doomed=Veroordeeld, verweezen.

Topics: good and bad, offence, judgment, mercy, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: The Comedy of Errors
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Antipholus of Syracuse
CONTEXT:
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
If it be, sir, I pray you, eat none of it.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Your reason?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Lest it make you choleric and purchase me another dry basting.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Well, sir, learn to jest in good time. There’s a time for all things.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
I durst have denied that before you were so choleric.

DUTCH:
Het mocht u de gal doen overloopen en mij een tweede klopping bezorgen,

MORE:
Proverb: There is a time for all things (Everything has its time)
Choleric=According to the four humours the four complexions were: sanguine, melancholic, choleric and phlegmatic. Choler was credited with being hot and dry and the choleric man was hot-tempered or irritable
Basting=(1) Keep meat covered with fat or juices to avoid drying out; (2)=Beating with a stick. Dry basting=Severe drubbing

Compleat:
Cholerick=Oploopend, haastig, toornig. To be in choler=Toornig zyn
To jest=Boerten, schertsen, jokken, gekscheeren
Basting=Met een stok slaan, afroffing
Basting of meat=Het bedruipen van ‘t vleesch
CITED IN US LAW:
Griffith v. City of Trenton, 76 N.J.L. 23, 69 A. 29 (1908)

Topics: cited in law, caution, time, proverbs and idioms, misunderstanding, emotion and mood

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Emila
CONTEXT:
Twill out, ’twill out.—I peace?
No, I will speak as liberal as the north.
Let heaven and men and devils, let them all,
All, all cry shame against me, yet I’ll speak

DUTCH:
Het moet eruit, eruit! Ik zwijgen? Nee,
ik spreek mij uit, vrij als de noordenwind.
Laat God en mens en duivel, laat hen allen,
laat allen, allen, mij te schande maken,
toch zeg ik het.

MORE:

‘The truth will out’ (Cf. Murder will Out)

Topics: truth, invented or popularised, proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: As You Like It
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Touchstone
CONTEXT:
Come, shepherd, let us make an honourable retreat; though not with bag and baggage, yet with scrip and scrippage.

DUTCH:

Kom, scheper, een eervollen terugtocht! zoo niet met
pak en zak, toch met tasch en staf!

MORE:
Schmidt:
The necessaries of an army, only in the phrase “”with bag and b.”
Clear out bag and baggage=leave nothing behind
Scrippage=coins, contents of scrip (shepherds’s pouch)
Compleat:
March away bag and baggage=Met pak en zak weg trekken
Scrip (a budget or bag=Tasch

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: All’s Well that Ends Well
ACT/SCENE: 5.3
SPEAKER: King
CONTEXT:
BERTRAM
My high-repented blames,
Dear sovereign, pardon to me.
KING
All is whole;
Not one word more of the consumed time.
Let’s take the instant by the forward top;
For we are old, and on our quick’st decrees
The inaudible and noiseless foot of Time
Steals ere we can effect them. You remember
The daughter of this lord

DUTCH:
t Is alles goed ;
Geen woord meer van ‘t verleed’ne. ‘t Oogenblik
Zij bij de voorhoofdslok door ons gegrepen;
Want wij zijn oud, en wat wij ras ontwerpen,
Besluipt de zachte onhoorb’re voet des tijds,
Eer ‘t is volvoerd .

MORE:
Proverb: Take time (occasion) by the forelock, for she is bald behind
Take the instant by the forward top=Seize the moment
Quickest= Most keenly felt
Compleat:
At this very instant=Op dit eygenste Oogenblik
Quick=Scherp
Cut to the quick=Tot aan ‘t leeven snyden

Topics: time, risk, caution, purpose, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Coriolanus
ACT/SCENE: 5.3
SPEAKER: Coriolanus
CONTEXT:
Like a dull actor now,
I have forgot my part, and I am out,
Even to a full disgrace. Best of my flesh,
Forgive my tyranny; but do not say
For that ‘Forgive our Romans.’ O, a kiss
Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge!
Now, by the jealous queen of heaven, that kiss
I carried from thee, dear; and my true lip
Hath virgin’d it e’er since. You gods! I prate,
And the most noble mother of the world
Leave unsaluted: sink, my knee, i’ the earth;

DUTCH:
Als een verbijsterd speler
Ken ik mijn rol niet meer, blijf steken, sta hier
Tot ieders spot.

MORE:
Proverb: Revenge is sweet

Schmidt:
Disgrace=A state of being abashed, of being exposed to contempt; discredit
Tyranny=Cruelty
Dull=Not bright, dim, clouded; awkward, stupid

Compleat:
Disgrace (discredit, dishonour or reproach)=Smaadheid, schande, hoon
Tyranny=Geweldenary, tyranny, dwingelandy
Dull=Lui, traag; lomp, ongevoelig
A dull wit=Een dof verstand

Topics: regret, language, revenge, proverbs and idioms, still in use, invented or popularised

PLAY: As You Like It
ACT/SCENE: 2.6
SPEAKER: Orlando
CONTEXT:
Why, how now, Adam? No greater heart in thee? Live a little, comfort a little, cheer thyself a little. If this uncouth forest yield anything savage, I will either be food for it or bring it for food to thee. Thy conceit is nearer death than thy powers.

DUTCH:
Komaan, Adam, hoe is het? hebt gij niet meer hart
in ‘t lijf? Leef nog wat, verman u wat, vervroolijk u
wat! Als dit woeste woud iets wilds voortbrengt, zal
ik er spijs voor zijn, of het u als spijze brengen.

MORE:
Schmidt:
Conceit=conception, idea, image in the mind
Power=vital organ, physical or intellectual function
Anything savage=game
Compleat:
Conceit=Waan, bevatting, opvatting, meening

Topics: life, wellbeing, imagination, nature, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: All’s Well that Ends Well
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Countess
CONTEXT:
COUNTESS
If the living be enemy to the grief, the excess
makes it soon mortal.
BERTRAM
Madam, I desire your holy wishes.
LAFEW
How understand we that?
COUNTESS
Be thou blest, Bertram; and succeed thy father
In manners, as in shape! Thy blood and virtue
Contend for empire in thee; and thy goodness
Share with thy birthright ! Love all, trust a few,
Do wrong to none: be able for thine enemy
Rather in power than use, and keep thy friend
Under thy own life’s key: be checked for silence.
But never taxed for speech. What heaven more will
That thee may furnish, and my prayers pluck down,
Fall on thy head! Farewell, my lord;
‘Tis an unseason’d courtier; good my lord,
Advise him.

DUTCH:
Heb allen lief; schenk wein’gen uw vertrouwen;
Doe niemand onrecht; houd uw vijand eer
Door macht dan door haar uiting in bedwang;
Hoed als uw eigen leven dat uws vriends;
Dat men uw zwijgen, nooit uw spreken gispe!

MORE:
Proverb: Blood is inherited but Virtue is achieved
Proverb: Have but few friends though much acquaintance
Proverb: Keep under lock and key
Proverb: Keep well thy friends when thou has gotten them
Mortal=Fatal
Able= Have power to daunt (Be able for thine enemy)
Manners=Conduct
Blood=Inherited nature
Contend=Compete
Empire=Dominance
Rather than in power than in use=By having the power to act rather than acting
Checked=Rebuked
Taxed=Blamed
Furnish=Supply
Compleat:
Able=Sterk, robust
Check=Berispen, beteugelen, intoomen, verwyten
To tax (to blame)=Mispryzen, berispen
To furnish=Verschaffen, voorzien, verzorgen, stoffeeren, toetakelen

Topics: caution, trust, proverbs and idioms, still in use, nature

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: Messenger
CONTEXT:
Environed he was with many foes,
And stood against them, as the hope of Troy
Against the Greeks that would have enter’d Troy.
But Hercules himself must yield to odds;
And many strokes, though with a little axe,
Hew down and fell the hardest-timber’d oak.
By many hands your father was subdued;
But only slaughter’d by the ireful arm
Of unrelenting Clifford and the queen,
Who crown’d the gracious duke in high despite,
Laugh’d in his face; and when with grief he wept,
The ruthless queen gave him to dry his cheeks
A napkin steeped in the harmless blood
Of sweet young Rutland, by rough Clifford slain:
And after many scorns, many foul taunts,
They took his head, and on the gates of York
They set the same; and there it doth remain,
The saddest spectacle that e’er I view’d.

DUTCH:
En, zij de bijl ook klein, een tal van slagen
Houwt om en velt den sterksten, hardsten eik.

MORE:

Proverb: Hercules himself cannot deal with two
Proverb: Many strokes fell great oaks

Environed=Surrounded
In high despite=Contemptuously
Yield to odds=Be outnumbered

Compleat:
Environed=Omringd, omcingeld
Despite=Spyt, versmaading

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, strength

PLAY: The Comedy of Errors
ACT/SCENE: 4.3
SPEAKER: Dromio of Syracuse
CONTEXT:
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
It is the devil.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Nay, she is worse; she is the devil’s dam, and here she comes in the habit of a light wench. And thereof comes that the wenches say “God damn me” that’s as much to say “God make me a light wench.” It is written they appear to men like angels of light. Light is an effect of fire, and fire will burn: ergo, light wenches will burn. Come not near her.
COURTESAN
Your man and you are marvellous merry, sir.
Will you go with me? We’ll mend our dinner here.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Master, if you do, expect spoon meat; or bespeak a long spoon.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Why, Dromio?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Marry, he must have a long spoon that must eat with the devil.

DUTCH:
Daar staat geschreven, dat zij aan mannen zich voordoen als licht; Iicht is een uitwerksel van vuur, en vuur verzengt en steekt aan; dus, lichte deernen steken aan. Kom haar niet te na.

MORE:
Proverb: The devil and his dam
Proverb: The devil can transform himself into an angel of light
Proverb: He who sups with the devil should have a long spoon

Devil’s dam=The devil’s mother
Mend=To set right, to correct, to repair what is amiss
Spoon-meat=Meat for toddlers or invalids
Bespeak=Order, reserve, engage

Compleat:
Spoon-meat=Lepel-kost
Bespeak=Bespreeken

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, caution, good and mad, risk

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 2.6
SPEAKER: Warwick
CONTEXT:
WARWICK
From off the gates of York fetch down the head,
Your father’s head, which Clifford placed there;
Instead whereof let this supply the room:
Measure for measure must be answered.
EDWARD
Bring forth that fatal screech-owl to our house,
That nothing sung but death to us and ours:
Now death shall stop his dismal threatening sound,
And his ill-boding tongue no more shall speak.

DUTCH:
Want maat voor maat moet de vergelding zijn.

MORE:

Proverb: Measure for measure (1595)
Matthew 7.1-2: ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.’

Supply the room=Replace it
Screech-owl=Hooting owl, an unlucky omen
Dismal-threatening=Ominous
Ill-boding=Doom-laden

Compleat:
To supply=Vervullen, verzorgen, toereiken
To supply one’s place=Iemands plaats bekleeden
Screech-owl=Zeker slach van een uil
Ill-boding=Kwaad voorspellende

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 2.3
SPEAKER: Iago
CONTEXT:
And Cassio high in oath, which till tonight
I ne’er might say before. When I came back—
For this was brief— I found them close together
At blow and thrust, even as again they were
When you yourself did part them.
More of this matter cannot I report.
But men are men, the best sometimes forget.
Though Cassio did some little wrong to him,
As men in rage strike those that wish them best,
Yet surely Cassio, I believe, received
From him that fled some strange indignity
Which patience could not pass.
OTHELLO
I know, Iago,
Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter,
Making it light to Cassio. Cassio, I love thee,
But never more be officer of mine.

DUTCH:
Al heeft hem Cassio
dan wel wat kwaad gedaan, zoals een man
in drift hem goedgezinde lieden slaat,
denk ik dat hij door de gevluchte vent
zo werd getergd dat zijn geduld dat niet
op zijn beloop kon laten.

MORE:

CITED IN US LAW:
Lindros v. Governing Board of the Torrance Unified School District, 9 Cal.3d 524, 540, 510 P.2d 361, 371, 108 Cal. Rptr. 185, 195 (1973)(Torriner, J.)(en banc).

Proverb: To mince the matter (Tell sparingly or by halves)

Still in common use e.g Don’t mince matters, don’t mince your words= Speak frankly,say what you mean

Schmidt:
Forget=Forget themselves
Indignity=Contemptuous injury, insult
Patience=Self-control
Pass=Overlook

Compleat:
Indignity=Smaad
Pass, pass by=Passeren, voorbygaan, overslaan
Mince=Kleyn kappen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, still in use, cited in law, language, honour

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 3.3
SPEAKER: Iago
CONTEXT:
IAGO
Men should be what they seem;
Or those that be not, would they might seem none!
OTHELLO
Certain, men should be what they seem.
IAGO
Why then, I think Cassio’s an honest man.
OTHELLO
Nay, yet there’s more in this.
I prithee speak to me as to thy thinkings,
As thou dost ruminate, and give thy worst of thoughts
The worst of words.
IAGO
Good my lord, pardon me;
Though I am bound to every act of duty,
I am not bound to that all slaves are free to.
Utter my thoughts! Why, say they are vile and false?
As where’s that palace, whereinto foul things
Sometimes intrude not? Who has a breast so pure,
But some uncleanly apprehensions
Keep leets and law-days, and in session sit
With meditations lawful?

DUTCH:
Men móét zijn wat men schijnt.
Wie niet oprecht is, moet dat juist niet schijnen.

MORE:

Proverb: Be what thou would seem to be
Proverb: Thought is free

Schmidt:
Ruminate=To muse, to meditate, to ponder
Leet=A manor court, court-leet, private jurisdiction; a day on which such court is held
Apprehensions=Ideas

Compleat:
To ruminate upon (to consider of) a thing=Eene zaak overweegen
Leet, Court leet=Een gerechtshof
Leet-days=Recht-dagen
Apprehension=Bevatting, begryping; jaloezy, achterdogt

Topics: proverbs and idioms, language, duty, betrayal

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 4.2
SPEAKER: Griffith
CONTEXT:
GRIFFITH
Noble madam,
Men’s evil manners live in brass; their virtues
We write in water. May it please your Highness
To hear me speak his good now?
KATHERINE
Yes, good Griffith;
I were malicious else.

DUTCH:
Des menschen boosheid leeft in brons, zijn deugd
Schrijft men in ‘t water

MORE:
Often misquoted as “People’s good deeds we write in water. The evil deeds are etched in brass”
Proverb: Injuries are written in brass
Live=Live on (are etched)
Manners=Conduct, actions
Speak his good=Speak of his goodness, virtue, charitable deeds

Topics: proverbs and idioms, reputation, legacy

PLAY: The Tempest
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Trinculo
CONTEXT:
TRINCULO
(…) Were I in England now, as once I was, and had but this fish painted, not a holiday fool there but would give a piece of silver. There would this monster make a man. Any strange beast there makes a man. When they will not give a doit to relieve a lame beggar, they will lay out ten to see a dead Indian. Legged like a man and his fins like arms! Warm, o’ my troth. I do now let loose my opinion, hold it no longer: this is no fish, but an islander that hath lately suffered by a thunderbolt.
Alas, the storm is come again! My best way is to creep under his gaberdine. There is no other shelter hereabouts. Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. I will here shroud till the dregs of the storm be past.

DUTCH:
Ellende laat een man kennis maken met vreemde kameraden./
De nood brengt een mensch al bij vreemde slaapkameraden.

MORE:
Proverb:Misery makes strange bedfellows
Gaberdine=Cloak
Doit=A former Dutch coin, equivalent to half a farthing
Compleat:
Doit=Een duit (achtste deel van een stuiver)
He is not worth a doit or doitkin=Het is geen duit waard
Fellow ( or companion)=Medgezel
A bed-fellow=Een byslaap, bedgenoot

Topics: fate/destiny, relationship, proverbs and idioms, still in use, adversity

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Gertrude
CONTEXT:
GERTRUDE
More matter, with less art.
POLONIUS
Madam, I swear I use no art at all.
That he is mad, ’tis true. Tis true, ’tis pity,
And pity ’tis ’tis true—a foolish figure,
But farewell it, for I will use no art.
Mad let us grant him then..

DUTCH:
Meer zaaks met minder woordkunst! /
Zaakrijker, minder kunst /
Meer inhoud, minder franje!

MORE:
More substance, less rhetoric: Response to Polonius’ rhetoric (ironically including ‘brevity is the soul of wit”)

Art= Synonymous to cunning, artifice, craft (Schmidt)

Compleat:
Art (cunning or industry)=Behendigheid, Schranderheid, Naarstigheid
A cunning fellow=Een doortrapte vent, een looze gast
To cast a cunning look=Iemand snaaks aanzien

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, still in use

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Gloucester
CONTEXT:
LADY GREY
What you command, that rests in me to do.
KING EDWARD IV
But you will take exceptions to my boon.
LADY GREY
No, gracious lord, except I cannot do it.
KING EDWARD IV
Ay, but thou canst do what I mean to ask.
LADY GREY
Why, then I will do what your grace commands.
GLOUCESTER
[to CLARENCE] He plies her hard; and much rain
wears the marble.

DUTCH:
Hij dringt haar sterk, veel regen holt den steen.

MORE:

Proverb: Constant dropping will wear the stone

Rests in me=Is within my power
My boon=Favour (that I will ask)
Except=Unless
Plies=Keeps working on, persists with

Compleat:
Boon=Een verzoek, geschenk, gunst, voordeel
To ply=Wakker op iets aanvallen
He plies me too hard=Hy valt my al te hard hy wil al te veel werks van my hebben

Topics: proverbs and idioms, authority, remedy

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Cardinal Wolsey
CONTEXT:
CARDINAL WOLSEY
So farewell to the little good you bear me.
Farewell? A long farewell to all my greatness!
This is the state of man: today he puts forth
The tender leaves of hopes; tomorrow blossoms
And bears his blushing honours thick upon him;
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
This many summers in a sea of glory,
But far beyond my depth. My high-blown pride
At length broke under me and now has left me,
Weary and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream that must forever hide me.
Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate you.
I feel my heart new opened. O, how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on princes’ favors!
There is betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women have;
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.

DUTCH:
Ik waagde mij,
Als dart’le knaapjes, die op blazen zwemmen,
Nu meen’gen zomer op een zee van glans,
Ver boven mijne diepte; en eind’lijk berstte
Mijn opgeblazen trots en gaf mij, moede,
Oud in den dienst, een fellen stroom nu prijs,
Die mij voor eeuwig overdekken moet.

MORE:
Proverb: He is now become a new man
Blushing=Glowing
Easy=Complacent, trusting
Wanton=Carefree
Bladders=Floats
High-blown=Inflated
Rude=Rough, turbulent (current)
Blushing=Glowing
Easy=Gemaklyk
Wanton=Dartel, weeldrig, brooddronken
High-flown=Hoogmoedig, grootsch, verwaand
Rude=Ruuw, onbeschouwen, plomp

Topics: proverbs and idioms, pride, authority

PLAY: All’s Well that Ends Well
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Clown
CONTEXT:
COUNTESS
Wilt thou needs be a beggar?
CLOWN
I do beg your good will in this case.
COUNTESS
In what case?
CLOWN
In Isbel’s case and mine own. Service is no
heritage: and I think I shall never have the
blessing of God till I have issue o’ my body; for
they say barnes are blessings.
COUNTESS
Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.
CLOWN
My poor body, madam, requires it: I am driven on
by the flesh; and he must needs go that the devil
drives.

DUTCH:
Mijn arm lichaam, doorluchte vrouw, verlangt het; ik
word door het vleesch er toe gedreven; en wien de duivel aandrijft, die moet loopen.

MORE:
Proverb: He must needs go that the devil drives, meaning necessity compels (Shakespeare meaning clearer that there’s no option)
Compleat:
He must needs go that the devil drives=Hy moet wel loopen die door de duivel gedreven word

Topics: marriage, reason, proverbs and idioms, still in use, invented or popularised, necessity

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Antonio
CONTEXT:
ANTONIO
Believe me, no. I thank my fortune for it—
My ventures are not in one bottom trusted,
Nor to one place, nor is my whole estate
Upon the fortune of this present year.
therefore my merchandise makes me not sad.

DUTCH:
Geloof mij, neen, want, dank zij mijn geluk,
Ik heb mijn goed niet aan een schip vertrouwd,
Niet aan een plaats, en mijn vermogen hangt

MORE:
Proverb: Venture not all in one bottom
Bottom=ship.
Merchandise=trade, business.
Compleat:
Bottom=Een Schip
Merchandize=Koopmanschappen, koopmanschap doen, dingen
Merchantly=Als een koopman

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Norfolk
CONTEXT:
NORFOLK
All this was order’d by the good discretion
Of the right reverend Cardinal of York.
BUCKINGHAM
The devil speed him! no man’s pie is freed
From his ambitious finger. What had he
To do in these fierce vanities? I wonder
That such a keech can with his very bulk
Take up the rays o’ the beneficial sun
And keep it from the earth.
NORFOLK
Surely, sir,
There’s in him stuff that puts him to these ends;
For, being not propp’d by ancestry, whose grace
Chalks successors their way, nor call’d upon
For high feats done to the crown; neither allied
For eminent assistants; but, spider-like,
Out of his self-drawing web, he gives us note,
The force of his own merit makes his way
A gift that heaven gives for him, which buys
A place next to the king.

DUTCH:
De duivel haal’ hem! Zijn eergier’ge vinger
Wil ieders brijpan roeren

MORE:
Often misquoted as “People’s good deeds we write in water. The evil deeds are etched in brass”
Proverb: Injuries are written in brass
Live=Live on (are etched)
Manners=Conduct, actions
Speak his good=Speak of his goodness, virtue, charitable deeds
Compleat:
Manners=Manierlykheid

Topics: merit, ambition, work, status, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Measure for Measure
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Lucio
CONTEXT:
No, pardon; ’tis a secret must be locked within the
teeth and the lips: but this I can let you
understand, the greater file of the subject held the
duke to be wise.

DUTCH:
Neen, vergeef mij, dat is een geheim, dat achter tanden
en lippen besloten moet blijven

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 Thomas Mowbray in Richard II: “Within my mouth you have engaol’d my tongue, / Doubly portcullis’d with my teeth and lips”.)

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, invented or popularised

PLAY: Cymbeline
ACT/SCENE: 5.5
SPEAKER: Cymbeline
CONTEXT:
POSTHUMUS
Kneel not to me.
The power that I have on you is to spare you;
The malice towards you to forgive you. Live
And deal with others better.
CYMBELINE
Nobly doomed.
We’ll learn our freeness of a son-in-law:
Pardon’s the word to all.

DUTCH:
Mijn schoonzoon doet mij zien, wat edel is;
Vergiffenis voor alien!


Proverb: To be able to harm and not to do it is noble
Doomed=Judged

Schmidt:
Malice=Malignity, disposition to injure others
Freeness=Generosity

Compleat:
Doom=Vonnis, oordeel, verwyzing
To doom=Veroordelen, verwyzen, doemen
Doomed=Veroordeeld, verweezen.

Topics: life/experience, appearance, language, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Coriolanus
ACT/SCENE: 1.8
SPEAKER: Aufidius
CONTEXT:
MARTIUS
I’ll fight with none but thee; for I do hate thee
Worse than a promise-breaker.
AUFIDIUS
We hate alike:
Not Afric owns a serpent I abhor
More than thy fame and envy. Fix thy foot.
MARTIUS
Let the first budger die the other’s slave,
And the gods doom him after!

DUTCH:
Gelijk is onze haat;
‘k Verfoei geen Afrikaansch gedrocht zoo diep,
Als uw gehaten roem. Sta vast.

MORE:
Proverb:
Africa is always producing something new (monsters, serpents)

Schmidt:
Budger=One who gives way

Compleat:
Promise-breaker=Een belofte-breeker
To budge=Schudden, omroeren, beweegen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, dispute, envy

PLAY: King Lear
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: King Lear
CONTEXT:
LEAR
(…) To thee and thine hereditary ever
Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom,
No less in space, validity, and pleasure
Than that conferred on Goneril.—But now, our joy,
Although our last and least, to whose young love
The vines of France and milk of Burgundy
Strive to be interessed. What can you say to draw
A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.
CORDELIA
Nothing, my lord.
LEAR
Nothing?
CORDELIA
Nothing.
LEAR
How? Nothing will come of nothing. Speak again.
CORDELIA
Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth. I love your majesty
According to my bond, no more nor less.
LEAR
How, how, Cordelia? Mend your speech a little,
Lest you may mar your fortunes.

DUTCH:
Door niets wordt niets verkregen; spreek nog eens.

MORE:
Proverb: Nothing will come of nothing (Ex nihilo nihil fit)
Mend your speech=revise your statement, think about what you’ve said
In the context of King Lear telling Cordelia she’ll be disinherited if she doesn’t speak more kindly.
Schmidt:
Heave=Raise, lift (Poss. ref. to Eccles. 21:26 = The heart of fools is in their mouth: but the mouth of the wise is in their heart.)
Bond=(Filial) obligation
To be interessed=To have a right or share (OED). Often amended to ‘interested’ in more modern versions.
Draw=Win (gambling metaphor)
A third more opulent=not equal thirds
Compleat:
Bond=Verbinding, obligatie
Interessed=Betrokken, gegreepen, een part in hebbende.
To interess oneself in a matter=Zich aan eene zaak laaten gelegen zyn.

Topics: honesty, truth, duty, relationship, proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: King Richard II
CONTEXT:
Give me the crown. Here, cousin, seize the crown;
Here cousin:
On this side my hand, and on that side yours.
Now is this golden crown like a deep well
That owes two buckets, filling one another,
The emptier ever dancing in the air,
The other down, unseen and full of water:
That bucket down and full of tears am I,
Drinking my griefs, whilst you mount up on high.

DUTCH:
Nu is de goudhand als een diepe put,
Een met twee emmers, die elkander vullen;
De ledige altijd dansend in de lucht,
De tweede omlaag en ongezien, vol water;
Ik hen die eene omlaag, vol, uit het oog,
Ik drink mijn kommer en hef u omhoog.

MORE:

Proverb: Like two buckets of a well, if one go up the other must go down

Topics: proverbs and idioms, judgment, equality, achievement, value

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 4.3
SPEAKER: King
CONTEXT:
Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought.
I stay too long by thee; I weary thee.
Dost thou so hunger for mine empty chair
That thou wilt needs invest thee with my honours
Before thy hour be ripe? O foolish youth,
Thou seek’st the greatness that will overwhelm thee.

DUTCH:
Uw wensch was vader dier gedachte, Hendrik./
Je wens is de vader van de gedachte

MORE:

Proverb: The wish is father to the thought

Hunger for =Longing to see
Wilt needs=Must

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Cardinal Wolsey
CONTEXT:
CARDINAL WOLSEY
So farewell to the little good you bear me.
Farewell? A long farewell to all my greatness!
This is the state of man: today he puts forth
The tender leaves of hopes; tomorrow blossoms
And bears his blushing honours thick upon him;
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
This many summers in a sea of glory,
But far beyond my depth. My high-blown pride
At length broke under me and now has left me,
Weary and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream that must forever hide me.
Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate you.
I feel my heart new opened. O, how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on princes’ favors!
There is betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women have;
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.

DUTCH:
0, rampzalig
Die arme, die aan vorstengunsten hangt!

MORE:
Proverb: He is now become a new man
Blushing=Glowing
Easy=Complacent, trusting
Wanton=Carefree
Bladders=Floats
High-blown=Inflated
Rude=Rough, turbulent (current)
Blushing=Glowing
Easy=Gemaklyk
Wanton=Dartel, weeldrig, brooddronken
High-flown=Hoogmoedig, grootsch, verwaand
Rude=Ruuw, onbeschouwen, plomp

Topics: proverbs and idioms, pride, authority

PLAY: Coriolanus
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Menenius
CONTEXT:
SICINIUS
He’s a disease that must be cut away.
MENENIUS
O, he’s a limb that has but a disease;
Mortal, to cut it off; to cure it, easy.
What has he done to Rome that’s worthy death?
Killing our enemies, the blood he hath lost—
Which, I dare vouch, is more than that he hath,
By many an ounce—he dropp’d it for his country;
And what is left, to lose it by his country,
Were to us all, that do’t and suffer it,
A brand to the end o’ the world.
SICINIUS
This is clean kam.

DUTCH:
Hij is een edel lid, met een gezwel;
Wegsnijding brengt den dood; en ‘t is genees’lijk.

MORE:
Proverb: To go clean cam (awry)

Schmidt:
Mortal=Fatal, deadly
Brand=Mark of infamy, stigma
To the end of the world=Eternal
Kam=Awry, twisted. Crooked. Topsy turvy. Perverse or extraordinary (Irish and Welsh cam)

Compleat:
To cast a brand upon one=Iemands eer brandmerken
Mortal=Sterflyk, doodlyk
Horizon=Kim

Burgersdijk notes:
Gebazel! Het Engelsch heeft This is clean kam. “Dit is geheel verkeerd”, tegen den draad in, à contrepoil.

Topics: remedy, understanding, regret, plans/intentions, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 1.4
SPEAKER: York
CONTEXT:
Thy father bears the type of King of Naples,
Of both the Sicils and Jerusalem,
Yet not so wealthy as an English yeoman.
Hath that poor monarch taught thee to insult?
It needs not, nor it boots thee not, proud queen,
Unless the adage must be verified,
That beggars mounted run their horse to death.
‘Tis beauty that doth oft make women proud;
But, God he knows, thy share thereof is small:
‘Tis virtue that doth make them most admired;
The contrary doth make thee wonder’d at:
‘Tis government that makes them seem divine;
The want thereof makes thee abominable:
Thou art as opposite to every good
As the Antipodes are unto us,
Or as the south to the septentrion.
O tiger’s heart wrapt in a woman’s hide!
How couldst thou drain the life-blood of the child,
To bid the father wipe his eyes withal,
And yet be seen to bear a woman’s face?
Women are soft, mild, pitiful and flexible;
Thou stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless.
Bids’t thou me rage? why, now thou hast thy wish:
Wouldst have me weep? why, now thou hast thy will:
For raging wind blows up incessant showers,
And when the rage allays, the rain begins.
These tears are my sweet Rutland’s obsequies:
And every drop cries vengeance for his death,
‘Gainst thee, fel Clifford, and thee, false
Frenchwoman.”

DUTCH:
O tijgerhart, in vrouwehuid gehuld!
Hoe kondt gij ‘t levensbloed des kinds verzaam’len,
Opdat de vader daar zijn tranenvloed
Meê droogde, en ‘t uitzicht hebben van een vrouw?

MORE:

CITED IN US LAW:
In the Matter of Sedita v. Kissinger, City Manager of the City of New Rochelle, 66 A.D.2d 357, 359, 413 N.Y.S.2d 25 (1979)(O’Connor, J.).

Proverb: Set a beggar on horseback and he will ride a gallop (run his horse out of breath): newfound power will go to their heads

Type=Title
Yeoman=Landowner
Needs not=Is unnecessary
Boots not=Is futile
Government=Self-control
Obsequies=Funeral rites

Compleat:
Yeoman=Een welgegoed landman, een ryke boer, een Landjonker
It is to no boot=Het doet geen nut, het is te vergeefs
Adage=Spreekwoord
Government=Heersching
Obsequies=Lykplichten, laatste diensten aan den overleedenen

Topics: appearance, status, cited in law, proverbs and idioms, dignity

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: As You Like It
ACT/SCENE: 3.5
SPEAKER: Phoebe
CONTEXT:
And now I am remembered, scorned at me.
I marvel why I answered not again.
But that’s all one: omittance is no quittance.
I’ll write to him a very taunting letter,
And thou shalt bear it.

DUTCH:
Doch laat dit wezen; uitstel is geen afstel.
Ik schrijf hem nu een brief, vol spot en hoon;
En gij bezorgt dien, Sylvius, niet waar?

MORE:
“Quod differtur, non aufertur”. [What is deferred is not relinquished.]Found in Heywood’s Proverbs (1546):
“Leave off this ! Be it, (quoth he), fall wee to our food.
But sufferance is no quittans in this daiment.
No, (quoth she), nor misreckning is no payment.
But even reckoning maketh longfrendes; my frend.
For alway owne is owne, at the recknings end.
This reckning once reckned, and dinner once doone,
We three from them twaine, departed very soone. . “
1592 Arden of Fevers, ii. ii Arden escaped us. . . . But forbearance is no acquittance; another time we’ll do it of the claim.”
Schmidt:
Discharge from a debt, a quittance: “in any bill, warrant, quittance or obligation”.
Quittance=discharge from a debt, acquittance: “in any bill, warrant, q. or obligation”
Taunting=subst. scoff, insulting mockery
Compleat:
Quittance=Kwytschelding, kwytingsbrief, quitancie
To cry quitancie (or be even)=Met gelyke munt betaalen

Topics: law, /legal, proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: Coriolanus
ACT/SCENE: 4.7
SPEAKER: Aufidius
CONTEXT:
For I dare so far free him—made him fear’d,
So hated, and so banish’d: but he has a merit,
To choke it in the utterance. So our virtues
Lie in the interpretation of the time:
And power, unto itself most commendable,
Hath not a tomb so evident as a chair
To extol what it hath done.
One fire drives out one fire; one nail, one nail;
Rights by rights falter, strengths by strengths do fail.
Come, let’s away. When, Caius, Rome is thine,
Thou art poor’st of all; then shortly art thou mine.

DUTCH:
Voor nagels wijken nagels, gloed voor gloed;
Door rechten struik’len rechten, moed breekt moed.

MORE:
Proverb: Fire drives out fire (1592)
Proverb: One fire (or one nail or one poison) drives out another.

In the interpretation of the time=Evaluation according to prevailing standards
Unto itself most commendable=Having a very high opinion of itself

Schmidt:
Extol=Praise, magnify
Chair=A seat of public authority

Compleat:
Chair of state=Zetel
Extoll=Verheffen, pryzen, looven
To extol one, raise him up to the sky=Iemand tot den Hemel toe verheffen
Highly commendable=Ten hoogste pryselyk

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, merit, virtue, reputation, ruin, remedy

PLAY: All’s Well that Ends Well
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Countess
CONTEXT:
COUNTESS
Yes, Helen, you might be my daughter-in-law:
God shield you mean it not! daughter and mother
So strive upon your pulse. What, pale again?
My fear hath catched your fondness: now I see
The mystery of your loneliness, and find
Your salt tears’ head: now to all sense ’tis gross
You love my son; invention is ashamed,
Against the proclamation of thy passion,
To say thou dost not: therefore tell me true;
But tell me then, ’tis so ; for, look, thy cheeks
Confess it, th’ one to th’ other; and thine eyes
See it so grossly shown in thy behaviours,
That in their kind they speak it: only sin
And hellish obstinacy tie thy tongue,
That truth should be suspected. Speak, is ‘t so ?
If it be so, you have wound a goodly clew;
If it be not, forswear ‘t : howe’er, I charge thee,
As heaven shall work in me for thine avail,
To tell me truly.

DUTCH:
Slechts zonde
En wederspannige onwil boeit uw tong,
Dat die de waarheid heel’ .

MORE:
Proverb: In being your own foe, you spin a fair thread
Proverb: You have spun a fine (fair) thread
Gross=Palpable
Grossly= Conspicuously
Clew=Ball of thread
Compleat:
Gross=Grof, plomp, onbebouwen
You grossly mistake my meaning=Gy vergist u grootelyks omtrent myn meening
Clew=Een kluwen (garen)

Topics: truth, deceit, love, appearance, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Queen Katherine
CONTEXT:
QUEEN KATHERINE
Speak it here.
There’s nothing I have done yet, o’ my conscience,
Deserves a corner. Would all other women
Could speak this with as free a soul as I do.
My lords, I care not, so much I am happy
Above a number, if my actions
Were tried by ev’ry tongue, ev’ry eye saw ’em,
Envy and base opinion set against ’em,
I know my life so even. If your business
Seek me out, and that way I am wife in,
Out with it boldly. Truth loves open dealing

DUTCH:
Wenscht gij hier
Mij na te gaan, en hoe ik ben als vrouw,
Spreekt vrij; de waarheid mint den rechten weg.

MORE:
Proverb: Truth seeks no corners
Proverb: Truth’s tale is simple (Truth is plain)
Would=If only
Above a number=More than many
Even=Pure, flawless
Compleat:
Would=’t was te wenschen dat; it zou ‘t wel willen
Even=Effen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, truth, honesty

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Clarence
CONTEXT:
CLARENCE
Look here, I throw my infamy at thee
I will not ruinate my father’s house,
Who gave his blood to lime the stones together,
And set up Lancaster. Why, trow’st thou, Warwick,
That Clarence is so harsh, so blunt, unnatural,
To bend the fatal instruments of war
Against his brother and his lawful king?
Perhaps thou wilt object my holy oath:
To keep that oath were more impiety
Than Jephthah’s, when he sacrificed his daughter.
I am so sorry for my trespass made
That, to deserve well at my brother’s hands,
I here proclaim myself thy mortal foe,
With resolution, wheresoe’er I meet thee—
As I will meet thee, if thou stir abroad—
To plague thee for thy foul misleading me.

DUTCH:
Gij houdt wellicht mijn heil’gen eed mij voor?

MORE:

Proverb: An unlawful oath is better broken than kept

Ruinate=Ruin
Lime=Bond (glue together)
Jephthah=A warrior and judge whose story can be found in the Book of Judges. Jephthah swore to God that in excange for victory over the Ammonites, he would sacrifice the first person to greet him after the battle; the first person he saw was his daughter.
Trow=Think, believe
Bend=Used of instruments of war (Schmidt)
Were more impiety=Would be more of a sin, more wicked

Compleat:
Bird-lime=Vogellym
I trow=Ik denk, ik acht
To bend a sword=Een zwaard buigen
Impiety=Ongodvruchtigheid, godloosheid

Topics: promise, conflict, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 3.3
SPEAKER: Iago
CONTEXT:
Poor and content is rich, and rich enough,
But riches fineless is as poor as winter
To him that ever fears he shall be poor.
Good heaven, the souls of all my
OTHELLO
Why, why is this?
Think’st thou I’d make a life of jealousy,
To follow still the changes of the moon
With fresh suspicions? No, to be once in doubt
Is once to be resolved. Exchange me for a goat
When I shall turn the business of my soul
To such exsufflicate and blown surmises
Matching thy inference. ‘Tis not to make me jealous
To say my wife is fair, feeds well, loves company,
Is free of speech, sings, plays, and dances well :
Where virtue is, these are more virtuous. tribe defend
From jealousy!

DUTCH:
Arm en tevreden is rijk, en rijk genoeg

MORE:

Proverb: The greatest wealth is contentment with a little

Fineless=Infinite, boundless
Resolved=Convinced, Fixed in a determination
Once=Once and for all

Schmidt:
Exsufflicate (Exufflicate)=From exsufflare, probably synonymous to blown=`puffed jup, inflated; empty, unsubstantial, frivolous.

Compleat:
Resolve (untie, decide, determine a hard question, difficulty etc.)=Oplossen, ontwarren, ontknoopten
Resolve (deliberation, decision)=Beraad, beslissing, uitsluitsel

Topics: poverty and wealth, satisfaction, proverbs and idioms, virtue, envy

PLAY: All’s Well that Ends Well
ACT/SCENE: 5.3
SPEAKER: King
CONTEXT:
Praising what is lost
Makes the remembrance dear. Well, call him hither;
We are reconciled, and the first view shall kill
All repetition: let him not ask our pardon;
The nature of his great offence is dead,
And deeper than oblivion we do bury
The incensing relics of it: let him approach,
A stranger, no offender; and inform him
So ’tis our will he should.

DUTCH:
Lofprijzingen van het verleden laten ons verdrinken in dierbare herinneringen./
‘t Verloor’ne hoog to roemen, Maakt ons ‘t herdenken dierbaar.

MORE:
The saying ‘Praising what is lost makes the remembrance dear’ is still used today.
‘The first view shall kill all repetition’ = after the first meeting the past will be forgotten
Incensing relics=Relics that “receive a perfuming with or offering of incense” (OED)
Compleat:
Praising=Pryzing
Remembrance=Gedachtenis, geheugenis

Topics: value, mercy, friendship, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 3.3
SPEAKER: Queen Margaret
CONTEXT:
WARWICK
Henry now lives in Scotland at his ease,
Where having nothing, nothing can he lose.
And as for you yourself, our quondam queen,
You have a father able to maintain you;
And better ’twere you troubled him than France.
QUEEN MARGARET
Peace, impudent and shameless Warwick, peace,
Proud setter up and puller down of kings!
I will not hence, till, with my talk and tears,
Both full of truth, I make King Lewis behold
Thy sly conveyance and thy lord’s false love;
For both of you are birds of selfsame feather.

DUTCH:
Zwijg, onbeschaamde, drieste Warwick, zwijg,
Gij trotsche koningsschepper en verdelger!

MORE:

Proverb: Birds of a feather flock (fly) together

Will not hence=Won’t go elsewhere
Quondam=Former, as was
Conveyance=Underhand dealing, trickery, dishonest actions
Behold=See, recognize

Compleat:
Hence=Van hier, hier uit
Conveyance=Een overwyzing, overvoering, overdragt
To behold=Aanschouwen, zien, aanzien; ziet, let wel

Topics: proverbs and idioms, status, relationship, deceit

PLAY: Cymbeline
ACT/SCENE: 5.4
SPEAKER: First Jailer
CONTEXT:
A heavy reckoning for you, sir. But the comfort
is, you shall be called to no more payments, fear
no more tavern bills, which are often the sadness
of parting as the procuring of mirth. You come in
faint for want of meat, depart reeling with too
much drink; sorry that you have paid too much,
and sorry that you are paid too much; purse and
brain both empty; the brain the heavier for being
too light; the purse too light, being drawn of heaviness:
of this contradiction you shall now be
quit. O, the charity of a penny cord! It sums up
thousands in a trice: you have no true debitor and
creditor but it; of what’s past, is, and to come,
the discharge: your neck, sir, is pen, book and
counters; so the acquittance follows.

DUTCH:
Hoofd en beurs
beide leeg, het hoofd des te zwaarder, naarmate het
lichter is, de beurs des te opgeruimder, naarmate zij
meer zwaarte verloren heeft.


Proverb: A heavy purse makes a light heart
Proverb: In a trice

Heavier=Sleepier with drink
Drawn=Emptied
Drawn of heaviness=Lighter, being emptied of coins
Paid too much=Punished by excess drinking
To quit=To set at liberty, to free, to deliver
Acquittance=Receipt in full

Compleat:
To quit (dispense with, excluse)=Bevryden, verschoonen, ontslaan
I quit you from it=Ik ontsla ‘er u van
Forbearance is no acquittance=Uitstellen is geen quytschelden

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, intellect, excess, money, debt/obligation

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Ophelia
CONTEXT:
My honoured lord, you know right well you did,
And with them, words of so sweet breath composed
As made the things more rich. Their perfume lost,
Take these again, for to the noble mind
Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.

DUTCH:
Overvloedige gaven worden armzalig als gevers liefdeloos blijken. /
Neem ze terug : voor hem, die edel denkt, Is ‘t rijkste poover, als een nurk het schenkt. /
Want voor hen die edel denken, Wordt arm het rijkst geschenk, als hartloos zijn die ‘t schenken.

MORE:
The phrase “Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind” was coined by Shakespeare and is still in use today.

Topics: appearance, honesty, value, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 1 Prologue
SPEAKER: Rumour
CONTEXT:
And who but Rumour, who but only I,
Make fearful musters and prepared defense,
Whiles the big year, swoll’n with some other grief,
Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war,
And no such matter? Rumour is a pipe
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures,
And of so easy and so plain a stop
That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
The still-discordant wav’ring multitude,
Can play upon it.

DUTCH:
Een fluit is het Gerucht,
Waar gissing, argwaan, ijverzucht op blaast,
Met kleppen, zoo gemakk’lijk voor den greep,
Dat zelfs het stomp, ontelbaar-hoofdig monster,
De wisselzieke, steeds verdeelde menigt’,
Er op kan spelen

MORE:

Proverb: As many heads as Hydra
Proverb: A multitude of people is a beast of many heads

Blunt monster with uncounted heads=Hydra, a many-headed monster (used to describe the common people)

Schmidt:
Stop=In music, the holes in a flute or pipe to regulate the sounds
Still=Continuously
Discordant=Disagreeing
Blunt=Dull in understanding

Compleat:
Discordant=Tweedragtig, oneenig; – wanluidende.
Blunt=Stomp, bot, plomp, onbebouwen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, good and bad, consequence

PLAY: Romeo and Juliet
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Romeo
CONTEXT:
Oh my, time goes by slowly when you’re sad. Was that my father who left here in such a hurry?

DUTCH:
Ach, tijd valt lang door zorgen.

MORE:
The idiom today would say the oppposite: ‘Time flies when you’re enjoying yourself”.

Topics: time, emotion and mood, proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: King Edward IV
CONTEXT:
GLOUCESTER
Come, Warwick, take the time; kneel down, kneel down:
Nay, when? Strike now, or else the iron cools.
WARWICK
I had rather chop this hand off at a blow,
And with the other fling it at thy face,
Than bear so low a sail, to strike to thee.
KING EDWARD IV
Sail how thou canst, have wind and tide thy friend,
This hand, fast wound about thy coal-black hair
Shall, whiles thy head is warm and new cut off,
Write in the dust this sentence with thy blood,
‘Wind-changing Warwick now can change no more.’

DUTCH:
Zeil hoe ge wilt, heb wind en tij te vriend, —
De hand hier grijpt u dra in ‘t koolzwart haar,
En zal, terwijl uw afgehouwen hoofd
Nog warm is, met uw bloed in ‘t stof hier schrijven:
De windhaan Warwick draait nu nimmermeer.

MORE:

Proverb: Strike while the iron’s hot

Take the time=Take the opportunity
So low a sail=Bow so low (as in lowering sails – striking the colours – in the sense of surrender)
Wind-changing=Inconstant, changeable, unreliable

Compleat:
Opportunity stands not still=De gelegenheid staaat niet stil
To strike sail=’t Zeil stryken
He turns with every wind=Hy waait met alle winden

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: York
CONTEXT:
YORK
‘Tis York that hath more reason for his death.
But, my lord cardinal, and you, my Lord of Suffolk,
Say as you think, and speak it from your souls,
Were’t not all one, an empty eagle were set
To guard the chicken from a hungry kite,
As place Duke Humphrey for the king’s protector?
QUEEN MARGARET
So the poor chicken should be sure of death.
SUFFOLK
Madam, ’tis true; and were’t not madness, then,
To make the fox surveyor of the fold?
Who being accused a crafty murderer,
His guilt should be but idly posted over,
Because his purpose is not executed.

DUTCH:
Doch spreekt, lord kardinaal en gij, lord Suffolk,
Zegt eens ronduit, spreekt zooals ‘t in uw hart is

MORE:

Proverb: To speak as one thinks
Proverb: Give not the wolf (fox) the wether (sheep) to keep
Proverb: Make not the wolf your shepherd

For his death=To want him dead
Idly=Foolishly
Posted over=Disregarded

Compleat:
Idly=Zottelyk
To talk idly=Ydelyk of gebrekkelyk praaten; zotte klap uitslaan

Topics: proverbs and idioms, honesty, truth

PLAY: The Comedy of Errors
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Dromio of Ephesus
CONTEXT:
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
Say what you will, sir, but I know what I know.
That you beat me at the mart I have your hand to show;
If the skin were parchment and the blows you gave were ink,
Your own handwriting would tell you what I think.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
I think thou art an ass.
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
Marry, so it doth appear
By the wrongs I suffer and the blows I bear.
I should kick being kicked; and, being at that pass,
You would keep from my heels and beware of an ass.

DUTCH:
Zeg wat gij wilt, heer, maar ik weet, wat ik weet,
Dat uw groete bestond in het slaan, dat gij deedt;
Waar’ mijn vel perkament en waren uwe slagen inkt,
‘k Had een schrift’lijk bewijs, dat gij zoo mij ontvingt

MORE:
Proverb: I know (wot) what I know (wot) / I wot what I wot, though I few words make
Mart=Marketplace

Compleat:
Mart=Jaarmarkt
Letters of mart=Brieven van wederneeminge of van verhaal; Brieven van Represailes

Topics: claim, evidence, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Cymbeline
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Pisanio
CONTEXT:
PISANIO
O gracious lady,
Since I received command to do this business I have not slept one wink.
IMOGEN
Do’t, and to bed then
PISANIO
I’ll wake mine eye-balls out first.
IMOGEN
Wherefore then
Didst undertake it? Why hast thou abused
So many miles with a pretence? This place?

DUTCH:
O, eed’le vrouw,
Sinds ik bevel ontving dit werk te doen,
Sloot ik geen oog.

Modern usage: I haven’t slept a wink (not coined by Shakespeare. First recorded use in 14th century)
Wake mine eye-balls blind=Stay awake until I’m blind

Compleat:
The ball of the eye=De oogappel

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, authority, work, status, duty, debt/obligation

PLAY: The Comedy of Errors
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Balthazar
CONTEXT:
And doubt not, sir, but she will well excuse
Why at this time the doors are made against you.
Be ruled by me; depart in patience,
And let us to the Tiger all to dinner,
And about evening come yourself alone
To know the reason of this strange restraint.
If by strong hand you offer to break in
Now in the stirring passage of the day,
A vulgar comment will be made of it;
And that supposèd by the common rout
Against your yet ungallèd estimation
That may with foul intrusion enter in
And dwell upon your grave when you are dead;
For slander lives upon succession,
Forever housèd where it gets possession.

DUTCH:
Want laster, eens gezaaid, is schielijk groot,
En blijft aan ‘t groeien, waar zij wortel schoot.

MORE:
Proverb: Envy never dies

Doors made against you=Doors closed to you
Possession had a strong meaning, akin to ‘infect’
Ungallèd=unsullied, untarnished
Estimation=Reputation
Vulgar=Public
Foul=Forced

Compleat:
Vulgar= (common) Gemeen
To gall (vex)=Tergen, verbitteren

Topics: proverbs and idioms, envy, patience, caution, reputation

PLAY: The Comedy of Errors
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Balthazar
CONTEXT:
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
O Signior Balthasar, either at flesh or fish
A table full of welcome make scarce one dainty dish.
BALTHASAR
Good meat, sir, is common; that every churl affords.
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
And welcome more common, for that’s nothing but words.
BALTHASAR
Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.

DUTCH:
Zij de spijs ook gering, bij een vriendlijken waard ga ik gaarne te gast.

MORE:
Proverb: Good will and welcome is your best cheer

Schmidt:
Cheer=Food, entertainment
Churl=Peasant, rude and ill-bred fellow
Scarce=Barely

Compleat:
Welcome=Onthaal; welkomst
A hearty welcome=Een hartelyke maaltyd
Churl=Een plompe hoer, als mede een vrek
Churlish=Woest, boersch, onbeschoft
To make good cheer (chear)=Goede cier maaken
Sumptuous chear=Prachtige opdissching
Cold chear=Koel onthaal

Topics: friendship, civility, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: John of Gaunt
CONTEXT:
Methinks I am a prophet new inspired
And thus expiring do foretell of him:
His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last,
For violent fires soon burn out themselves;
Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short;
He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes;
With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder:
Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.

DUTCH:
Kort duurt een stortbui, zachte regens lang;
Wie vroeg te haastig spoort, is weldra moe;
Wie al te gulzig eet, hij stikt in ‘t eten;
Dwaze ijdelheid, die onverzaadbre gier,
Verslindt haar buit en aast dán op zich zelf.

MORE:

Proverb: Nothing violent can be permanent
Proverb: Untimeous [untimely] spurring spoils the steed

Expiring=(a) Dying; (b) Expiration
Riot=Dissolute behaviour
Betimes=Early, at an early hour

Compleat:
Expiration=Eindiging, uitgang, verloop, uitblaazing van den laatsten adem
To expire=Den geest geeven, sterven
To riot=Optrekken, rinkinken, pypestellen
Betimes=Bytyds,vroeg

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, fate/destiny, haste

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Suffolk
CONTEXT:
Well hath your highness seen into this duke;
And, had I first been put to speak my mind,
I think I should have told your grace’s tale.
The duchess, by his subornation,
Upon my life, began her devilish practices:
Or, if he were not privy to those faults,
Yet, by reputing of his high descent,
As next the king he was successive heir,
And such high vaunts of his nobility,
Did instigate the bedlam brain-sick duchess
By wicked means to frame our sovereign’s fall.
Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep;
And in his simple show he harbours treason.
The fox barks not when he would steal the lamb.
No, no, my sovereign; Gloucester is a man
Unsounded yet and full of deep deceit

DUTCH:
Glad stroomt, het water van een diepe beek

MORE:

Still waters run deep. Proverb of Latin origin meaning a placid exterior hiding a passionate nature.
Proverb: The fox barks not when he would steal the lamb.

Seen into=Penetrated, understood
Subornation=Crime of procuring one to offend, specially to bear false witness
Repute=(+of): Setting great store by, prize
Bedlam=Nickname for Bethlem hospital, for the treatment of mental illness, which has become a byword for chaos and mayhem
Unsounded=Unfathomed (as in depth sounding, i.e. measuring the depth of a body of water)

Compleat:
To see into a thing=Een inzigt in eene zaak hebben, ‘er den grond van beschouwen
Subornation=Besteeking, een bestoken werk, omkooping
To repute=Achten
Bedlam (Bethlem)=Een dolhuis, dulhuis, krankzinnighuis; (mad bodey)=Een dul mensch, een uitzinnige
To sound=Peilen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised

PLAY: Cymbeline
ACT/SCENE: 4.2
SPEAKER: Imogen
CONTEXT:
So man and man should be;
But clay and clay differs in dignity,
Whose dust is both alike. I am very sick.

DUTCH:
Menschen moesten ‘t zijn;
Maar stof en stof verschillen wel in rang,
Hoezeer hun asch gelijk zij.


Proverb: All are of the same dust

Compleat:
We are but dust and ashes=Wy zyn niet dan stof en asch

Topics: status, relationship, proverbs and idioms, life

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Abergavenny
CONTEXT:
BUCKINGHAM
Why the devil,
Upon this French going out, took he upon him,
Without the privity o’ the king, to appoint
Who should attend on him? He makes up the file
Of all the gentry; for the most part such
To whom as great a charge as little honour
He meant to lay upon: and his own letter,
The honourable board of council out,
Must fetch him in [t]he papers.
ABERGAVENNY
I do know
Kinsmen of mine, three at the least, that have
By this so sickened their estates, that never
They shall abound as formerly.
BUCKINGHAM
O, many
Have broke their backs with laying manors on ’em
For this great journey. What did this vanity
But minister communication of
A most poor issue?

DUTCH:
Neven ken ik,
Ten minste drie, die door den tocht hun midd’len
Zoo hebben uitgeput, dat zij nooit meer
Tot welstand komen.

MORE:
Proverb: To break one’s back
Privity=Knowledge (as in privy to)
File=List
Out=Not meeting
Sickened=Diminished, depleted
Abound=Prosper
Manors=Estates
Vanity=Folly
Minister communication=Put into effect
Issue=Outcome
Compleat:
Privity=Een bewustheyd van iets
To abound=Overvloeijen
Mannor-house=Een huys of slot van den ambachtsheer
Vanity=Ydelheyd
To minister=Bedienen
Issue=Een uytgang, uytslag, uytkomst

Topics: ruin, poverty and wealth, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: King Henry VIII
CONTEXT:
QUEEN KATHARINE
No, my lord,
You know no more than others; but you frame
Things that are known alike; which are not wholesome
To those which would not know them, and yet must
Perforce be their acquaintance. These exactions,
Whereof my sovereign would have note, they are
Most pestilent to the bearing; and, to bear ’em,
The back is sacrifice to the load. They say
They are devised by you; or else you suffer
Too hard an exclamation.
KING HENRY VIII
Still exaction!
The nature of it? in what kind, let’s know,
Is this exaction?

DUTCH:
Steeds lasten! zware lasten!
De vorm er van? van wat natuur, laat hooren,
Zijn deze lasten?

MORE:
Proverb: To break one’s back
Frame=Devise, shape
Exactions=Extortion of tax, compulsion to pay
Pestilent=Pernicious, harmful
Sacrifice=Broken by
Compleat:
To frame=Een gestalte geeven, ontwerpen, schikken, beraamen
To exact=Afeysschen, afvorderen
Pestilent=Pestig, pestachtig, besmettelijk
To sacrifice=Offeren, opofferen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, work, value

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Messenger
CONTEXT:
SUFFOLK
Here is my hand, the deed is worthy doing.
QUEEN MARGARET
And so say I.
YORK
And I and now we three have spoke it,
It skills not greatly who impugns our doom.
POST
Great lords, from Ireland am I come amain,
To signify that rebels there are up
And put the Englishmen unto the sword:
Send succours, lords, and stop the rage betime,
Before the wound do grow uncurable;
For, being green, there is great hope of help.

DUTCH:
Zendt hulp, mylords, en stuit bijtijds hun woede,
Aleer de wond gansch ongeneeslijk wordt;
Nu zij nog versch is, is er hoop op heeling.

MORE:

Proverb: A green wound is still healed

Amain=In haste
Skills not=Doesn’t matter
Impugn=Challenge, question
Doom=Judgment (‘doom’ or ‘dome’) was a statute or law (doombooks were codes of laws)
Succours=Military reinforcement and support
Betime=Promptly
Green=Fresh, recent, new

Compleat:
Amain=Zeer geweldig, heftig
Impugn=Bestryden, bevechten, tegenstaan
Doom=Vonnis, oordeel, verwyzing
A heavy doom=Een zwaar vonnis
Succours=Hulpbenden, krygshulpe
Green=Versch

Topics: proverbs and idioms, hope/optimism

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Henry Bolingbroke
CONTEXT:
KING RICHARD II
Uncle, even in the glasses of thine eyes
I see thy grieved heart: thy sad aspect
Hath from the number of his banish’d years
Pluck’d four away.
Six frozen winter spent,
Return with welcome home from banishment.
HENRY BOLINGBROKE
How long a time lies in one little word!
Four lagging winters and four wanton springs
End in a word: such is the breath of kings.

DUTCH:
Wat tijd en macht ligt in een enkel woord!
Vier trage winters en vier dartle Mei’s
Zijn adem, niets, — doet hun een vorst dien eisch.

MORE:

Proverb: The eye is the window of the heart (mind)

Schmidt:
Glasses of thine eyes=Eyeballs
Aspect=Look, glance; possible reference to astrology, with the aspect being the position of one planet in relation to others and its potential to exert influence
Wanton=Bountiful, luxuriant

Compleat:
Aspect=Gezigt, gelaat, aanschouw, stargezigt
Of fierce aspect=Van een straf gelaat

Topics: time, nature, punishment, appearance, proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Nerissa
CONTEXT:
NERISSA
You would be, sweet madam, if your miseries were in the
same abundance as your good fortunes are. And yet for
aught I see, they are as sick that surfeit with too much
as they that starve with nothing. It is no mean
happiness, therefore, to be seated in the mean.
Superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency
lives longer.
PORTIA
Good sentences, and well pronounced.
NERISSA
They would be better if well followed.

DUTCH:
Het is daarom geen middelmatig geluk juist in de middelmaat
te zijn; overvloed krijgt vroeger grijze haren, maar juist van pas leeft langer.

MORE:
Superfluity=Surplus
Comes sooner by=Acquires sooner (to come by something)
Sentences=Maxims
Compleat:
Superfluity=Overtolligheyd, overvloedigheyd
Sentence=Spreuk, zinspreuk

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 5.6
SPEAKER: Gloucester
CONTEXT:
GLOUCESTER
Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind;
The thief doth fear each bush an officer.
KING HENRY VI
The bird that hath been limed in a bush,
With trembling wings misdoubteth every bush;
And I, the hapless male to one sweet bird,
Have now the fatal object in my eye
Where my poor young was limed, was caught and kill’d.

DUTCH:
Argwaan waart in het schuldig hart steeds om;
De dief vermoedt in elke ruigte een rakker.

MORE:

Proverb: Birds once snared (limed) fear all bushes
Proverb: The escaped mouse ever feels the taste of the bait

Birdlime=Sticky substance put on trees to catch small birds
To lime=To smear with birdlime, seek to catch
Misdoubt=To suspect, be apprehensive about; have dounts as to
Hapless=Unfortunate

Compleat:
Bird-lime=Vogellym
Misdoubt=’t Onrecht twyffelen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, suspicion, guilt

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Westmorland
CONTEXT:
WESTMORELAND
Mowbray, you overween to take it so.
This offer comes from mercy, not from fear.
For, lo, within a ken our army lies,
Upon mine honor, all too confident
To give admittance to a thought of fear.
Our battle is more full of names than yours,
Our men more perfect in the use of arms,
Our armor all as strong, our cause the best.
Then reason will our hearts should be as good.
Say you not then our offer is compelled.
MOWBRAY
Well, by my will, we shall admit no parley.
WESTMORELAND
That argues but the shame of your offence.
A rotten case abides no handling.

DUTCH:
Dit tuigt slechts van de schendigheid uws doens;
Een etterbuil laat geen betasting toe.

MORE:
Schmidt:
Overween=To be arrogant or presumptuous
Within a ken=In sight, within eyeshot
Parley=A conversation or conference tending to come to an agreement
Admit no parley=We will not negotiate
A ken=Boundary of sight

Compleat:
Overwean or overween=Al te veel van zich zelven houden, zich vleijen
Parley=Een gesprek over voorwaarden, onderhandeling, gesprekhouding
Beyond the ken (or keen) of vulgar understanding=Het begrip des gemeenen volks te boven

Topics: evidence, dispute, still in use, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Suffolk
CONTEXT:
Madam, ’tis true; and were’t not madness, then,
To make the fox surveyor of the fold?
Who being accused a crafty murderer,
His guilt should be but idly posted over,
Because his purpose is not executed.
No; let him die, in that he is a fox,
By nature proved an enemy to the flock,
Before his chaps be stain’d with crimson blood,
As Humphrey, proved by reasons, to my liege.
And do not stand on quillets how to slay him:
Be it by gins, by snares, by subtlety,
Sleeping or waking, ’tis no matter how,
So he be dead; for that is good deceit
Which mates him first that first intends deceit.

DUTCH:
Want dat is goed bedrog,
Dat eerst hèm velt, die ‘t eerst zon op bedrog.

MORE:

Proverb: Give not the wolf (fox) the wether (sheep) to keep
Proverb: Make not the wolf your shepherd

Idly=Foolishly
Posted over=Disregarded
Chaps=Jaws
Quillet=Tricks in argument, distinctions, subtleties
Gins=Traps
Mate=Confound, surprise, catch out

Compleat:
Idly=Zottelyk
To talk idly=Ydelyk of gebrekkelyk praaten; zotte klap uitslaan
Quillet=(The querks and quillets of the law): De kneepen en draaijen der Rechtsgeleerden
Gin=Een strik, valstrik
To mate=Verbaazen, verwonderen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, conspiracy, plans/intentions

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Bishop of Carlisle
CONTEXT:
BISHOP OF CARLISLE
Fear not, my lord: that Power that made you king
Hath power to keep you king in spite of all.
The means that heaven yields must be embraced,
And not neglected; else, if heaven would,
And we will not, heaven’s offer we refuse,
The proffer’d means of succours and redress.
DUKE OF AUMERLE
He means, my lord, that we are too remiss;
Whilst Bolingbroke, through our security,
Grows strong and great in substance and in power.

DUTCH:
Ducht niets, mijn vorst; Die u ten troon verhief,
Heeft macht uw troon te hoeden, tegen allen.

MORE:

Proverb: Help thyself and God will help thee

Succours and redress=Military reinforcement and support

Compleat:
Succour=Te hulp komen, bystaan
Succours=Hulpbenden, krygshulpe

Topics: conflict, authority, proverbs and idioms, security

PLAY: Romeo and Juliet
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Gregory
CONTEXT:
GREGORY
That shows thee a weak slave, for the weakest goes to the wall.
SAMPSON
‘Tis true, and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall. Therefore I will push Montague’s men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall.

DUTCH:
Dat doet je alweer als een zwakken bloed kennen; want de
zwakste houdt zich aan alles vast.

MORE:
Vessel = person
To go to the wall=be pushed aside, succumb in conflict or struggle
Current use=A business that fails, goes bankrupt.
Even in Shakespeare’s time, the phrases were often confused. In the first scene of Romeo and Juliet, two characters engage in wordplay over meanings of the phrase “goes to the wall.” Gregory’s explanation is that being close to the wall is a sign of weakness as they were allowed to walk ‘inside’ to avoid being splashed or jostled. Sampson later describes how women “being the weaker vessels”) are thrust to the wall. The phrase, which dates back to around 1500, may also have its origins from the installation of seating in churches in the Middle Ages.
To give the wall means to allow someone else to walk on the safer side (i.e. the walled side of the street)
Compleat:
The wall (a place of honour in walking the streets)=De muur, de zyde der huizen, zynde in Engeland de hooger hand, als men langs de straat gaat
To give one the wall=Iemand aan de hoogerhand zetten

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, status, order/society

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy; For the apparel oft proclaims the man

DUTCH:
Kleed u zo kostbaar als uw beurs het lijdt, maar gekk’lijk nooit, wel rijk, nooit overladen, want aan de kleren kent men vaak de man

MORE:
Oft-quoted list of maxims in Polonius’ ‘fatherly advice’ monologue to Laertes. Many of these nuggets have acquired proverb status today, although they weren’t invented by Shakespeare (here, for example, Apparel (clothes) makes the man, c1500, Let every man cut his coat according to his cloth).
The apparel oft proclaims the man is still in use today.
De kleren maken de man, also a Dutch proverb in the 16th century (‘de cleederen maken den man, diese heeft doese aen’), is still in use in Dutch.

Topics: appearance, still in use, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Carlisle
CONTEXT:
HENRY BOLINGBROKE
Go, some of you convey him to the Tower.
KING RICHARD II
O, good! convey? conveyers are you all,
That rise thus nimbly by a true king’s fall.
HENRY BOLINGBROKE
On Wednesday next we solemnly set down
Our coronation: lords, prepare yourselves.
ABBOT
A woeful pageant have we here beheld.
BISHOP OF CARLISLE
The woe’s to come; the children yet unborn.
Shall feel this day as sharp to them as thorn.

DUTCH:
Nog volgt het wee; de thans nog ongeboor’nen
Zal deze dag eens steken, fel als doornen.

MORE:

Proverb: As sharp as a thorn

Convey=Carry, transport; to carry away mysteriously (and hence used to mean ‘steal’)
Conveyer=Thief
Pageant=Spectacle

Compleat:
Convey=Voeren, leiden, overvoeren, overdraagen (rechten)
Convey away=Wegvoeren
Conveyer=Overvoerder, vervoerder
Pageant=Een trioomfboog; grootsche vertooning, pracht

Burgersdijk notes:
Inhalen? goed! — Inhalig zijt gij allen. In ‘t Engelsch staat: O, good! convey? conveyers are you all. Convey beteekent: wegbrengen , weggeleiden, maar ook stelen.

Topics: proverbs and idioms, fate/destiny, consequence

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 2.6
SPEAKER: King Henry VI
CONTEXT:
Here burns my candle out; ay, here it dies,
Which, whiles it lasted, gave King Henry light.
O Lancaster, I fear thy overthrow
More than my body’s parting with my soul!
My love and fear glued many friends to thee;
And, now I fall, thy tough commixture melts.
Impairing Henry, strengthening misproud York,
The common people swarm like summer flies;
And whither fly the gnats but to the sun?
And who shines now but Henry’s enemies?
O Phoebus, hadst thou never given consent
That Phaethon should check thy fiery steeds,
Thy burning car never had scorch’d the earth!
And, Henry, hadst thou sway’d as kings should do,
Or as thy father and his father did,
Giving no ground unto the house of York,
They never then had sprung like summer flies;
I and ten thousand in this luckless realm
Had left no mourning widows for our death;
And thou this day hadst kept thy chair in peace.
For what doth cherish weeds but gentle air?

DUTCH:
Maar nu ik val, nu smelt die taaie menging,
Maakt Hendrik zwak, versterkt den driesten York.
Waar vliegen muggen heen, dan in de zon?

MORE:

Proverb: His candle burns within the socket

Commixture=Compound (the ‘glued’ friends)
Misproud=Arrogant, viciously proud (Schmidt)
Phoebus=Apollo
Check=Control
Car=Chariot
Swayed=Governed, ruled
Give ground=Yield, recede
Chair=Throne
Cherish=Encourage (growth)

Compleat:
To keep a check on one=Iemand in den teugel houden
Sway=(power, rule, command) Macht, gezach, heerschappy
To bear sway=Heerschappy voeren
To sway=(govern) Regeeren. To sway the scepter=Den schepter zwaaijen
To cherish=Koesteren, opkweeken, streelen, aankweeken

Topics: leadership, rivalry, friendship, loyalty, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: As You Like It
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Touchstone
CONTEXT:
WILLIAM
Ay, sir, I have a pretty wit.
TOUCHSTONE
Why, thou sayst well. I do now remember a saying: “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” The heathen philosopher, when he had a desire to eat a grape, would open his lips when he put it into his mouth, meaning thereby that grapes were made to eat and lips to open.

DUTCH:
Zoo, goed gezegd! Ik herinner mij daar een spreuk:
„De dwaas denkt, dat hij wijs is, maar de wijze weet,
dat hij een dwaas is

MORE:
Proverb:
The wise man knows himself to be a fool, the fool thinks he is wise

Topics: intellect, appearance, wisdom, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: King Edward IV
CONTEXT:
GLOUCESTER
Thou and thy brother both shall buy this treason
Even with the dearest blood your bodies bear.
KING EDWARD IV
The harder match’d, the greater victory:
My mind presageth happy gain and conquest.

DUTCH:
Hoe sterker weerpartij, te grootscher zege;
En overwinning, heil spelt mij mijn hart.

MORE:

Proverb: The more danger the more honour

Matched=Opposition
My mind presageth=I foresee

Compleat:
To match=Paaren, passen, samenkoppelen
To presage=Gissen, voorzeggen, voorspellen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, conflict

PLAY: All’s Well that Ends Well
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Helen
CONTEXT:
HELEN
O, were that all! I think not on my father;
And these great tears grace his remembrance more
Than those I shed for him. What was he like?
I have forgot him: my imagination
Carries no favour in’t but Bertram’s.
I am undone: there is no living, none,
If Bertram be away. ‘Twere all one
That I should love a bright particular star
And think to wed it, he is so above me:
In his bright radiance and collateral light
Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.
The ambition in my love thus plagues itself:
The hind that would be mated by the lion
Must die for love. ‘Twas pretty, though plague,
To see him every hour; to sit and draw
His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls,
In our heart’s table; heart too capable
Of every line and trick of his sweet favour:
But now he’s gone, and my idolatrous fancy
Must sanctify his relics. Who comes here?

DUTCH:
De hinde, die den leeuw als gade wenscht, Komt om door liefde

MORE:
Proverb: One may point at a star but not pull at it
Radiance=Rays of light
Undone=Ruined
Sphere=Orbit
Plague=Punish
Hawking=Sharp
Sanctify=Worship
Compleat:
Undone=Ontdaan, losgemaakt
Plague=Plaagen, quellen
Sanctify=Heyligen, heylig maaken

Topics: relationship, order/society, love, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry V
ACT/SCENE: 4.3
SPEAKER: King Henry
CONTEXT:
Good God, why should they mock poor fellows thus?
The man that once did sell the lion’s skin
While the beast lived was killed with hunting him.
A many of our bodies shall no doubt
Find native graves, upon the which, I trust,
Shall witness live in brass of this day’s work.
And those that leave their valiant bones in France,
Dying like men though buried in your dunghills,
They shall be famed; for there the sun shall greet them
And draw their honours reeking up to heaven,
Leaving their earthly parts to choke your clime,

DUTCH:
De man, die eens de huid des leeuws verkocht,
Toen ‘t beest nog leefde, kwam bij ‘t jagen om.

MORE:

Proverb: Sell not the bear’s skin before you have bought him (for those who promise, or dispose of a thing that is not in their Power)
Proverb: Counting chickens before they are hatched.

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use

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: The Comedy of Errors
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Dromio of Syracuse
CONTEXT:
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
The plainer dealer, the sooner lost. Yet he loseth it in a kind of jollity.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
For what reason?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
For two, and sound ones too.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Nay, not sound, I pray you.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Sure ones, then.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Nay, not sure, in a thing falsing.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Certain ones, then.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Name them.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
The one, to save the money that he spends in tiring; the other, that at dinner they should not drop in his porridge.

DUTCH:
Hoe onnoozeler iemand is, des te eer zorgt hij het
kwijt te raken; maar hij verliest het met een soort van
genot.

MORE:
Proverb: The properer (honester) man the worse luck

Ref also to plain dealing and double dealing
Falsing=Deceptive
Tiring=Hairdressing
Sound=Both ‘valid’ and ‘healthy’

Compleat:
Plain dealing=Oprechte handeling
To tire=Optoooijen, de kap zetten
Sound (healthful)=Gezond
Sound (whole)=Gaaf
Sound (judicious)=Verstandig, schrander, gegrond

Topics: honesty, gullibility, satisfaction, fate/destiny, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Thomas Mowbray
CONTEXT:
THOMAS MOWBRAY
Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot.
My life thou shalt command, but not my shame:
The one my duty owes; but my fair name,
Despite of death that lives upon my grave,
To dark dishonour’s use thou shalt not have.
I am disgraced, impeach’d and baffled here,
Pierced to the soul with slander’s venom’d spear,
The which no balm can cure but his heart-blood
Which breathed this poison.
KING RICHARD II
Rage must be withstood:
Give me his gage: lions make leopards tame.
THOMAS MOWBRAY
Yea, but not change his spots: take but my shame.
And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord,
The purest treasure mortal times afford
Is spotless reputation: that away,
Men are but gilded loam or painted clay.
A jewel in a ten-times-barr’d-up chest
Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast.

DUTCH:
De vlekken blijven. ‘k Gaav’ dit pand u, nam
Uw macht mij eerst den smaad af. Hoor mij, heer;
De reinste schat des levens is onze eer,
Die vlekk’loos blijven moet; want ja, ontneem
Den man zijn eer, hij is geschilderd leem.

MORE:

Proverb: A leopard (panther) cannot change his spots

No boot=No point, profit, advantage
Impeached=Accused of an offence
Baffle=Originally a punishment of infamy, inflicted on recreant knights, one part of which was hanging them up by the heels” (Nares).
Gage=Pledge, pawn pledge (usu. a glove thrown on the ground) of a person’s appearance to do battle in support of his assertions, challenge
Gilded loam or painted clay=Mere earth with a decorative coating

Compleat:
No boot=Te vergeefs, vruchteloos
To impeach=Betichten, beschuldigen, aanklagen
To impeach (or oppose) the truth of a thing=Zich tegen de waarheid van een zaak aankanten
Gage=Pand, onderpand
To baffle=Beschaamd maaken

Burgersdijk notes:
De leeuw maakt panthers tam. De koningen van Engeland voeren den leeuw, de Norfolks gouden
panthers in hun wapen.

Topics: reputation, honour, appearance, integrity, proverbs and idioms, still in use, invented or popularised

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Duke
CONTEXT:
Let me speak like yourself and lay a sentence
Which as a grise or step may help these lovers
Into your favour.
When remedies are past the griefs are ended
By seeing the worst which late on hopes depended.
To mourn a mischief that is past and gone
Is the next way to draw new mischief on.
What cannot be preserved when fortune takes,
Patience her injury a mock’ry makes.
The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief,
He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.

DUTCH:
Wie lacht om diefstal, steelt iets van de dief;
wie huilt om niets, verzint zijn eigen grief.

MORE:

CITED IN US LAW:
Dykes v. State, 264 So.2d 65, 66 n. 1 (Fla. Ct. App. 1972)(Howell, J.).

Proverb: Never grieve for that you cannot help

Onions:
Grise (grize) (also grice, greese)=Step, degree
Lay a sentence=Apply a maxim
Patience=Endurance
Mockery=Subject of laughter and derision
Bootless=Futile, unavailing

Compleat:
Mockery=Bespotting, spotterny
Bootless=Te vergeefs, vruchteloos

Topics: adversity, regret, cited in law, proverbs and idioms, remedy

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 4.4
SPEAKER: Saye
CONTEXT:
BUCKINGHAM
Trust nobody, for fear you be betray’d.
SAYE
The trust I have is in mine innocence,
And therefore am I bold and resolute.

DUTCH:
Het volst vertrouwen stel ik op mijn onschuld,
En daarom ben ik moedig en gerust.

MORE:

Proverb: Innocence is bold

Schmidt:
Bold=Daring, insolent
Resolute=Having a fixed purpose, determined, full of bold decision

Compleat:
Bold=Stout, koen, vrymoedig, onbevreesd, onverslaagd, vrypostig
Resolute=Onbeschroomd, onbeteuterd, onversaagd

Topics: trust, betray, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Lear
ACT/SCENE: 1.4
SPEAKER: Fool
CONTEXT:
FOOL
Mark it, nuncle.
Have more than thou showest,
Speak less than thou knowest,
Lend less than thou owest,
Ride more than thou goest,
Learn more than thou trowest,
Set less than thou throwest,
Leave thy drink and thy whore
And keep in-a-door,
And thou shalt have more
Than two tens to a score
KENT
This is nothing, Fool.
FOOL
Then ’tis like the breath of an unfee’d lawyer. You gave me nothing for ’t.—Can you make no use of nothing, nuncle?

DUTCH:
Dan is het als het pleidooi van een gratis advocaat: u hebt me
er niets voor betaald.

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
From William Domnarski, Shakespeare in the Law: “In a bankruptcy case in which the lawyers are trying to keep their legal fees from being discharged, “tis like the breath of an unfee’d lawyer” seems to be a great quotation to use to describe what the court characterizes as the “fuming outrage” of the lawyers, especially if we misread “unfee’ d” for “fetid,” hut on examination the quotation does not wash. Shakespeare, knowing lawyers as he did, uses the quotation to describe the emptiness of a lawyer’s advice when he is not being paid for it.” (In Re Samuel Homyak, 40 Bankr. 99, 100 (S.D.N.Y. 1984).
Reference to the proverb: ‘A lawyer will not plead but for a fee’
Schmidt:
Breath= Speech, i.e. pleading

Topics: lawyers, cited in law, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Poins
CONTEXT:
PRINCE HAL
Sir John stands to his word. The devil shall have his bargain, for he was never yet a breaker of proverbs. He will give the devil his due.
POINS
(to FALSTAFF )Then art thou damned for keeping thy word with the devil.

DUTCH:
Dan zijt gij vervloekt, omdat gij den duivel uw woord houdt.

MORE:
The proverb ‘Give the devil his due’ (1589) is generally an acknowledgement that something or somebody bad has a redeeming feature or has done something worthwhile.
Schmidt:
Stand to=To side with, to assist, to support; to maintain, to guard, to be firm in the cause of
Breaker=Transgressor
Compleat:
We must give the devil his due=Men moet den duivel niet erger afmaalen dan hy is.

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: Cymbeline
ACT/SCENE: 4.2
SPEAKER: Belarius
CONTEXT:
GUIDERIUS
Why, worthy father, what have we to lose
But that he swore to take, our lives? The law
Protects not us. Then why should we be tender
To let an arrogant piece of flesh threat us,
Play judge and executioner all himself,
For we do fear the law? What company
Discover you abroad?
BELARIUS
No single soul
Can we set eye on, but in all safe reason
He must have some attendants. Though his humour
Was nothing but mutation—ay, and that
From one bad thing to worse—not frenzy,
Not absolute madness could so far have raved
To bring him here alone. Although perhaps
It may be heard at court that such as we
Cave here, hunt here, are outlaws, and in time
May make some stronger head, the which he
hearing—
As it is like him—might break out and swear
He’d fetch us in, yet is ’t not probable
To come alone, either he so undertaking
Or they so suffering. Then on good ground we fear,
If we do fear this body hath a tail
More perilous than the head.

DUTCH:
k Vrees met grond,
Dat deze romp nog wel een nasleep heeft,
Gevaarlijker dan ‘t hoofd.


Proverb: To go from bad to worse

For (we do fear)=Because
Humour=Disposition
Mutation=Change (as an effect of inconsistency)
Stronger head=Gather strength
Fetch us in=Capture us
Tender=Delicate, in a physical and moral sense: easily impressed

Compleat:
Humour (or disposition of the mind)=Humeur, gemoeds gesteldheid
Mutation=Verandering, verwisseling
To draw to a head=Zich tot dragt zetten, de verhaaalde zaaken in een trekken

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, law/legal, life, flaw/fault

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Gratiano
CONTEXT:
GRATIANO
(…) I tell thee what, Antonio—
I love thee, and ’tis my love that speaks—
There are a sort of men whose visages
Do cream and mantle like a standing pond,
And do a willful stillness entertain
With purpose to be dressed in an opinion
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit,
As who should say, “I am Sir Oracle,
And when I ope my lips, let no dog bark!”
O my Antonio, I do know of these
That therefore only are reputed wise
For saying nothing, when I am very sure
If they should speak, would almost damn those ears
Which, hearing them, would call their brothers fools.
I’ll tell thee more of this another time.
But fish not with this melancholy bait
For this fool gudgeon, this opinion.—
Come, good Lorenzo.—Fare ye well awhile.
I’ll end my exhortation after dinner.

DUTCH:
Er is een slag van lieden, wier gelaat
Steeds ondoorschijnend is als stilstaand water,
Die eigenzinnig zwijgen altijd door,
Met doel om zich een dunk en roep te geven
Van wijsheid, waardigheid en diepen zin,

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW:
Jaszai et al. v. Christie’s et al., 279 A.D. 2d 186, 188-189 (2001).

Proverb: All dogs bark not (no dogs shall bark) at him
Proverb: Fools are wise as long as silent
Proverb: Few words show men wise

Cream=To gather a covering on a surface, to mantle.
Mantle=A green surface on a standing pool. To mantle=to cloak.
Standing pond=stagnant pond
Gudgeon=Small fish
Compleat:
Mantle=Deken
To mantle=Schuimen of werken. The hawk mantles=De valk spreidt zyne wieken uit.
Gudgeon=Een Grundel [zekere visch]To swallow a gudgeon=Een hoon verdraagen

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: King Henry V
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Fluellen
CONTEXT:
There is occasions and causes why and
wherefore in all things. I will tell you ass my
friend, Captain Gower. The rascally, scald, beggarly,
lousy, pragging knave Pistol, which you and
yourself and all the world know to be no petter than
a fellow, look you now, of no merits, he is come to
me and prings me pread and salt yesterday, look
you, and bid me eat my leek. It was in a place where
I could not breed no contention with him, but I will
be so bold as to wear it in my cap till I see him once
again, and then I will tell him a little piece of my
desires.

DUTCH:
Er is aanleidingen en oorzaken, waarom en waarvoor,
in alle dingen

MORE:

Proverb: Every why has a wherefore/There is never a why but there is a wherefore
Proverb: My stomach has struck dinnertime/twelve (rung noon)

Scald (scault, scalled)=Scabby, scurvy (scalled=afflicted with the ‘scale’ or scall)

Compleat:
Why and wherefore both translated as waarom

Topics: proverbs and idioms, reason, justification

PLAY: The Comedy of Errors
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Antipholus of Syracuse
CONTEXT:
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Because it is a blessing that he bestows on beasts, and what he hath scanted men in hair, he hath given them in wit.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Why, but there’s many a man hath more hair than wit.

DUTCH:
Zoo, maar er zijn menschen genoeg, die meer haar hebben dan verstand.

MORE:
Proverb: Bush natural, more hair; than wit
Proverb: An old goat is never themore revered for his beard
Proverb: Wisdom consists not in a beard

Scanted=Been miserly with

Compleat:
Scant=Bekrompen, schaars
I was scanted in time=Ik had er naauwlyks tyd toe

Topics: intellect, appearance, insult, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Queen Katherine
CONTEXT:
QUEEN KATHERINE
Speak it here.
There’s nothing I have done yet, o’ my conscience,
Deserves a corner. Would all other women
Could speak this with as free a soul as I do.
My lords, I care not, so much I am happy
Above a number, if my actions
Were tried by ev’ry tongue, ev’ry eye saw ’em,
Envy and base opinion set against ’em,
I know my life so even. If your business
Seek me out, and that way I am wife in,
Out with it boldly. Truth loves open dealing

DUTCH:
Spreekt vrij hier.
Op mijn geweten, niets wat ik ooit deed
Behoeft een schuilhoek.

MORE:
Proverb: Truth seeks no corners
Proverb: Truth’s tale is simple (Truth is plain)
Would=If only
Above a number=More than many
Even=Pure, flawless
Compleat:
Would=’t was te wenschen dat; it zou ‘t wel willen
Even=Effen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, truth, honesty

PLAY: Coriolanus
ACT/SCENE: 2.3
SPEAKER: Sicinius
CONTEXT:
BRUTUS
Get you hence instantly, and tell those friends,
They have chose a consul that will from them take
Their liberties; make them of no more voice
Than dogs that are as often beat for barking
As therefore kept to do so.
SICINIUS
Let them assemble,
And on a safer judgment all revoke
Your ignorant election; enforce his pride,
And his old hate unto you; besides, forget not
With what contempt he wore the humble weed,
How in his suit he scorn’d you; but your loves,
Thinking upon his services, took from you
The apprehension of his present portance,
Which most gibingly, ungravely, he did fashion
After the inveterate hate he bears you.
BRUTUS
Lay
A fault on us, your tribunes; that we laboured,
No impediment between, but that you must
Cast your election on him.
SICINIUS
Say, you chose him
More after our commandment than as guided
By your own true affections, and that your minds,
Preoccupied with what you rather must do
Than what you should, made you against the grain
To voice him consul: lay the fault on us.

DUTCH:
Gaat, spoedt u tot die vrienden; maakt hun duid’lijk,
Dat zij een consul kozen, die hun rechten
Hun nemen zal, hun zooveel stem zal laten
Als honden, die men ranselt om hun blaffen
En toch voor ‘t blaffen houdt.

MORE:
Proverb: Goes against the grain

Took from you the apprehension …portance=Blinded you to his behaviour
Ungravely=Without appropriate gravity or seriousness
Fashion after=Frame to conform with
Gibingly=Mockingly
Portance=Carriage, demeanour
Weeds=Clothing
Inveterate=Long-standing

Compleat:
Weeds (habit or garment)=Kleederen, gewaad
Inveterate=Verouderd, ingeworteld
The inveterate hatred=Een ingeworteld haat

Topics: appearance, deceit, blame, gullibility, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Coriolanus
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Martius
CONTEXT:
MARTIUS
They are dissolved: hang ’em!
They said they were an-hungry; sigh’d forth proverbs,
That hunger broke stone walls, that dogs must eat,
That meat was made for mouths, that the gods sent not
Corn for the rich men only: with these shreds
They vented their complainings; which being answer’d,
And a petition granted them, a strange one—
To break the heart of generosity,
And make bold power look pale—they threw their caps
As they would hang them on the horns o’ the moon,
Shouting their emulation.

DUTCH:
Zij schreeuwden over honger, kermden spreuken,
Als: nood breekt wet; ook honden moeten eten;
De spijs is voor den mond; de goden zenden
Niet enkel rijken graan; — met zulke lappen
Omhingen zij hun klachten.

MORE:
Proverb: Cast your cap at the moon

Series of proverbs:
Dogs must eat
Small birds must have meat
Hunger breaks down (pierces) stone walls (Hunger is made of gunpowder of gunpowder of hunger; for they both eat through stone walls.)
Meat was made for mouths
An-hungry (or a-hungry). Very hungry (anhungered=very hungry, 1300)

Dissolved=dispersed
Vented their complainings=Aired their grievances
Answered=Granted (petitions)

Schmidt:
Generosity=Nobility
Emulation=Endeavour or ambition to equal or excel, envious rivalry
Shreds=Fragments, patches

Compleat:
Dissolve=Ontbinden, gescheiden
Vent=Uiten
Generosity=Edelmoedigheid, grootmoedigheid
Emulation=Volgzucht, afgunst

Burgersdijk notes:
Of zij wierpen hun mutsen. Sh. wilde voor zijn publiek verstaanbaar zijn, en sprak, zonder schroom,
van de mutsen der Romeinen. Zoo wordt ook bij het smeeken de muts afgenomen, zie 3.2.

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, invented or poularised, poverty and wealth

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Hume
CONTEXT:
They, knowing Dame Eleanor’s aspiring humour,
Have hired me to undermine the duchess
And buzz these conjurations in her brain.
They say ‘ A crafty knave does need no broker;’
Yet am I Suffolk and the cardinal’s broker.
Hume, if you take not heed, you shall go near
To call them both a pair of crafty knaves.
Well, so its stands; and thus, I fear, at last
Hume’s knavery will be the duchess’ wrack,
And her attainture will be Humphrey’s fall.
Sort how it will, I shall have gold for all.

DUTCH:
Geen sluwe schelm, zoo zegt men, neemt een helper;

MORE:

Proverb: A cunning (crafty) knave needs no broker

Modern usage: Mum’s the word
Not invented by Shakespeare: the word was first used in the 14th century, although Shakespeare probably helped to make it popular. The word ‘mum’ may refer to the humming sound made by a closed mouth.
Asketh=Demands, requires
Buz=(or buzz) Whisper
Conjurations=Incantations; obsecration
Wrack=Ruin
Attainture=Shame; conviction

Compleat:
Knave=Een guit, boef
To buzz into one’s ears=Iemand in ‘t oor blaazen
Conjuration=Samenzweering, eedgespan, vloekverwantschap, bezweering
Wrack=(a ship): Een schip aan stukken stooten
To go to wrack=Verlooren gaan, te gronde gaan
To attaint=Overtuigen van misdaad, schuldig verklaaren, betichten; bevlekken, bederf aanzetten
Attainture (of blood)=Bederving of aansteeking des bloeds

Topics: proverbs and idioms, ambition, corruption, ruin

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Queen Katherine
CONTEXT:
QUEEN KATHARINE
Pray their graces
To come near.
What can be their business
With me, a poor weak woman, fall’n from favour?
I do not like their coming, now I think on ’t.
They should be good men, their affairs as righteous.
But all hoods make not monks.

DUTCH:
Mij bevalt,
Nu ik er over denk, hun komen niet.
Zij moesten goed zijn, hun bedrijf rechtschapen;
Maar elke kap maakt nog geen monnik.

MORE:
Proverb: The hood (habit, cowl) makes not the monk
Proverb: A holy habit cleanses not a foul soul

Topics: proverbs and idioms, honesty, deceit, appearance

PLAY: King Henry V
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Boy
CONTEXT:
They will steal anything and call it purchase. Bardolph stole a lute case, bore it twelve leagues, and sold it for three halfpence. Nym and Bardolph are sworn brothers in filching, and in Calais they stole a fire shovel. I knew by that piece of service the men would carry coals. They would have me as familiar with men’s pockets as their gloves or their handkerchers, which makes much against my manhood, if I should take from another’s pocket to put into mine, for it is plain pocketing up of wrongs. I must leave them and seek some better service. Their villainy goes against my weak stomach, and therefore I must cast it up.

DUTCH:
Zij stelen alles, wat voor de hand komt,
en dat noemen zij zaken doen

MORE:

Proverb: He will carry (bear) no coals
Proverb: To pocket up an injury (wrong)
Pocket up=To put away out of sight, (hence) conceal or leave unheeded

Purchase=Procurement (and slang for spoils)
Makes against=Goes against
Wrongs=Insults
Cast it up=Vomit it up

Topics: proverbs and idioms, honesty, offence, integrity

PLAY: Macbeth
ACT/SCENE: 4.2
SPEAKER: Ross
CONTEXT:
I pray you school yourself. But for your husband,
He is noble, wise, judicious, and best knows
The fits o’ th’ season. I dare not speak much further;But cruel are the times when we are traitors
And do not know ourselves; when we hold rumor
From what we fear, yet know not what we fear,
But float upon a wild and violent sea
Each way and none. I take my leave of you.
Shall not be long but I’ll be here again.
Things at the worst will cease, or else climb upward
To what they were before.

DUTCH:
Wat in den afgrond zonk, is weg, of stijgt,
En drijft, als ‘t vroeger deed.

MORE:
Allusion to the proverb, “When things are at the worst they will mend” (1582).
Onions:
Fits of the season=paroxysms, formerly regarded as a periodic disease; applied to critical times – “The violent fits o’ the time” (Cor, 3.2); “The fits o’ the season” (Macbeth, 4.2)
Schmidt:
School=To set to rights, to reprimand
Fits of the season= Any irregular and violent affection of the mind
Compleat:
To school=Bedillen, berispen
A Fit=Een vlaag, bui, overval, stoot
A Mad fits, a fit of madness=Een vlaag van dolheid

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, invented or popularised, fate/destiny,

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: John of Gaunt
CONTEXT:
Things sweet to taste prove in digestion sour.
You urged me as a judge; but I had rather
You would have bid me argue like a father.
O, had it been a stranger, not my child,
To smooth his fault I should have been more mild:
A partial slander sought I to avoid,
And in the sentence my own life destroy’d.
Alas, I look’d when some of you should say,
I was too strict to make mine own away;
But you gave leave to my unwilling tongue
Against my will to do myself this wrong.

DUTCH:
Wat zoet smaakt, is vaak moeilijk te verteren.

MORE:

Proverb: What is sweet in the mouth is oft sour (bitter) in the maw (stomach)

Urge=To press (here: for an opinion)
Partial slander=Accusation of bias, reproach of partiality
Strict=Severe, proceeding by exact rules

Compleat:
Partial=Eenzydig, partydig
Slander=Laster, lasterkladde

Topics: proverbs and idioms, judgment, justice, resolution, error

PLAY: Macbeth
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Lady Macbeth
CONTEXT:
How now, my lord! Why do you keep alone,
Of sorriest fancies your companions making,
Using those thoughts which should indeed have died
With them they think on? Things without all remedy
Should be without regard. What’s done is done.

DUTCH:
Aan wien zij denken? Naar het onherstelb’re
Niet omgezien! ‘t Gedane blijft gedaan

MORE:
Allusion to the proverb “Things done cannot be undone” (c1460). Earlier version, “What is done may not be undone” (1300). perhaps also the proverb “Past cure, past care” (1567)

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, invented or popularised, fate/destiny,

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: King Richard II
CONTEXT:
DUKE OF YORK
(…) If you do wrongfully seize Hereford’s rights,
Call in the letters patent that he hath
By his attorneys-general to sue
His livery, and deny his offer’d homage,
You pluck a thousand dangers on your head,
You lose a thousand well-disposed hearts
And prick my tender patience, to those thoughts
Which honour and allegiance cannot think.
KING RICHARD II
Think what you will, we seize into our hands
His plate, his goods, his money and his lands.
DUKE OF YORK
I’ll not be by the while: my liege, farewell:
What will ensue hereof, there’s none can tell;
But by bad courses may be understood
That their events can never fall out good.

DUTCH:
Denk, wat gij wilt; toch leggen wij de hand
Op al wat zijn was, geld en goed en land.

MORE:

Proverb: Take it as you will (list, please)

Seize=Act of seizure
Gripe=Grasp
Royalties=Rights and prerogatives granted by the King

Compleat:
Seised=Beslagen, aangetast
Seizing=Gryping, aangryping
Seizure=Arrest, op bevel van’t Gerecht
To gripe=Grypen, vatten, nypen
Royalties (royal rights)=De koninglyke rechten, voorrechten

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, law/legal, rights

PLAY: Coriolanus
ACT/SCENE: 5.3
SPEAKER: Volumnia
CONTEXT:
The end of war’s uncertain, but this certain,
That, if thou conquer Rome, the benefit
Which thou shalt thereby reap is such a name,
Whose repetition will be dogg’d with curses;
Whose chronicle thus writ: ‘The man was noble,
But with his last attempt he wiped it out;
Destroy’d his country, and his name remains
To the ensuing age abhorr’d.’ Speak to me, son:
Thou hast affected the fine strains of honour,
To imitate the graces of the gods;
To tear with thunder the wide cheeks o’ the air,
And yet to charge thy sulphur with a bolt
That should but rive an oak. Why dost not speak?
Think’st thou it honourable for a noble man
Still to remember wrongs? Daughter, speak you:
He cares not for your weeping. Speak thou, boy:
Perhaps thy childishness will move him more
Than can our reasons. There’s no man in the world
More bound to ’s mother; yet here he lets me prate
Like one i’ the stocks. Thou hast never in thy life
Show’d thy dear mother any courtesy,
When she, poor hen, fond of no second brood,
Has cluck’d thee to the wars and safely home,
Loaden with honour. Say my request’s unjust,
And spurn me back: but if it be not so,
Thou art not honest; and the gods will plague thee,
That thou restrain’st from me the duty which
To a mother’s part belongs. He turns away:
Down, ladies; let us shame him with our knees.
To his surname Coriolanus ’longs more pride
Than pity to our prayers. Down: an end;
This is the last: so we will home to Rome,
And die among our neighbours. Nay, behold ’s:
This boy, that cannot tell what he would have
But kneels and holds up hands for fellowship,
Does reason our petition with more strength
Than thou hast to deny ’t. Come, let us go:
This fellow had a Volscian to his mother;
His wife is in Corioli and his child
Like him by chance. Yet give us our dispatch:
I am hush’d until our city be a-fire,
And then I’ll speak a little.

DUTCH:
Die knaap, die niet kan zeggen wat hij wenscht,
Maar met ons meeknielt en de handen heft,
Bepleit ons smeekgebed met meerder kracht,
Dan gij tot weig’ren hebt!

MORE:
Proverb: The chance of war is uncertain
Proverb: To forget a wrong is best revenge (remedy)

Restrain’st=Legal use: keep back, withhold. Among examples in the New Eng. Dict, is: “The rents, issues, and profites thereof [they] have wrongfully restreyned, perceyved, and taken to their owne use.”
‘Longs=Belongs
An end=Let that be an end to it
Reason=Argue for, plead for
Dispatch=Decisive answer

Compleat:
Restrain (sting, limit or confine)=Bepaalen, kort houden
Restrain (repress or curb)=Fnuiken, beteugelen
To restrain one from a thing=Zich ergens van onthouden
To restrain a word to a signification=Een woord tot eene betekenis bekorten
Dispatch=Afvaardiging, verrichting, beschikking, vervaardiging
He is a man of quick dispatch=Het is een vaardig man

Topics: proverbs and idioms, conflict, reason, revenge, risk

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Buckingham
CONTEXT:
BUCKINGHAM
This butcher’s cur is venom-mouth’d, and I
Have not the power to muzzle him; therefore best
Not wake him in his slumber. A beggar’s book
Outworths a noble’s blood.
NORFOLK
What, are you chafed?
Ask God for temperance; that’s the appliance only
Which your disease requires.
BUCKINGHAM
I read in’s looks
Matter against me; and his eye reviled
Me, as his abject object: at this instant
He bores me with some trick: he’s gone to the king;
I’ll follow and outstare him.

DUTCH:
Een giftmuil heeft die slagershond en ik
De macht niet hem te breid’len; ‘t best is dus
Zijn slaap te ontzien

MORE:
Proverb: It is evil (ill, not good) waking of a sleeping dog
Proverb: As surly as a butcher’s dog
Cur=Dog (term of abuse)
Book=Learning
Outworths=Is worth more than
Chafed=Irritated
Temperance=Self-control
Appliance=Remedy (application)
Matter=Substance of a complaint
Abject object=Object of contempt
Bore=To bore into, wound
Trick=Art, knack, contrivance
Outstare=Face down
Compleat:
Cur=Hond (also Curr)
Chafed=Verhit, vertoornd, gevreeven
Temperance=Maatigheyd
Matter=Stoffe, zaak, oorzaak
Abject=Veragt, gering, snood, lafhartig, verworpen
Bore=Booren, doorbooren
Trick=Een looze trek, greep, gril

Burgersdijk notes:
Een giftmuil heeft die slagershond. Wolsey was uit Ipswich geboortig, en, zooals verhaald werd, eens slagers zoon. Twee regels later wordt gesproken van eens beed’laars boekgeleerdheid; het oorspronkelijke heeft, met deze beteekenis : a beggar’s book. — Hij was in 1470 geboren, ontving in Oxford zijne opleiding, werd in 1500 te Lymington als geestelijke geplaatst, in 1505 op aanbeveling van den bisschop van Winchester door koning Hendrik VII tot zijn kapelaan benoemd en in 1507 naar keizer Maximiliaan te Brugge afgevaardigd. De tevredenheid des konings over zijne diensten bleek uit de gunsten, die hem ten deel vielen. Na den dood van Hendrik VII, in 1509, ging Wolsey als aalmoezenier in dienst van Hendrik VIII over, wist zich door zijn geest, geleerdheid en welsprekendheid weldra bij zijn meester onontbeerlijk te maken en steeg ras in rang; in 1514 werd hij aartsbisschop van York en in liet volgend jaar werd hem door paus Leo X de kardinaalshoed verleend. Hij werd rijkskanselier en in 1516 ook pauselijk legaat; later werden hem nog drie andere bisdommen toegekend; bovendien was hem reeds in 1512 de abdij van Sint Albaan verleend. Zijne ruime inkomsten veroorloofden hem een vorstelijken staat te voeren en aan zijne neiging hiervoor gaf hij ruimschoots toe. Zijn trots kende geen grenzen; hertogen en graven des rijks behandelde hij als zijne minderen; als hij de mis las, moesten zij dienst doen. Vertoonde hij zich in het openbaar, dan was hij geheel in het scharlaken, met marterbont om den hals, en droeg in de hand een uitgeholden oranjeappel, die eene in azijn en fijne geurige wateren gedoopte spons bevatte, als voorhoedmidel tegen de slechte lucht in volle zalen; hij liet zijn kardinaalshoed en zijne bisschopskruisen voor zich uitdragen, alsook een beurs met het rijkszegel; een paar edellieden volgden om plaats voor hem te maken, en na dezen trawanten met vergulde hellebaarden; dan kwam hijzelf op een muildier met roodfluweelen schabrak en gouden stijgbeugels, gevolgd door een langen stoet van edellieden. Sh.’s tooneelaanwijzing op blz. 174 is dus ten volle gerechtvaardigd.

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, learning/education, order/society

PLAY:
ACT/SCENE: 3.5
SPEAKER: Pisanio
CONTEXT:
CLOTEN
Bring this apparel to my chamber; that is the
second thing that I have commanded thee. The
third is that thou wilt be a voluntary mute to my design.
Be but duteous, and true preferment shall
tender itself to thee. My revenge is now at Milford.
Would I had wings to follow it! Come, and be true.
PISANIO
Thou bidd’st me to my loss, for true to thee
Were to prove false, which I will never be,
To him that is most true. To Milford go,
And find not her whom thou pursuest. Flow, flow,
You heavenly blessings, on her. This fool’s speed
Be crossed with slowness. Labour be his meed.

DUTCH:


Proverb: He has his labour for his pains

Schmidt:
Preferment=Preference given, precedence granted
Design=A work in hand, enterprise, cause

Compleat:
Preferment=Verhooging, voortrekking, bevordering tot Staat
Design=Opzet, voorneemen, oogmerk, aanslag, toeleg, ontwerp
He had labour for his pains=Hy had zyn moeite tot een belooning

Topics: proverbs and idioms, duty, plans/intentionsauathority, corruption, conspiracy

PLAY: The Tempest
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Stephano
CONTEXT:
Doth thy other mouth call me? Mercy, mercy! This is a devil, and no monster. I will leave him. I have no long spoon.

DUTCH:
Dit is geen monster, maar een duivel!
Ik wil wegloopen; ik heb geen langen lepel.

MORE:
Proverb: He must have a long spoon that will eat with the devil/He who sups with the devil should take a long spoon (See Comedy of Errors, 4.3)
In the Morality plays the Devil and the Vice would take food from opposite sides of the same dish with a spoon of great length. (Arden)
Burgersdijk notes:
Ik wil wegloopen; ik heb geen langen lepel. Zinspeling op het oud-Engelsche spreekwoord: „Wie met den duivel wil eten, moet een langen lepel hebben.”

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, good and bad

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Iago
CONTEXT:
IAGO
Kind gentlemen, let’s go see poor Cassio dressed.—
Come, mistress, you must tell ’s another tale.—
Emilia, run you to the citadel
And tell my lord and lady what hath happed.—
Will you go on afore? Aside. This is the night
That either makes me or fordoes me quite.

DUTCH:
Dra blijkt, of deze nacht
Mij hoog verhief of diepen val mij bracht.

MORE:

Proverb: To make one tell another tale

Dressed=wounds dressed
Fordoes=Ruins

Topics: fate/destiny, risk, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel,
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatched, unfledged comrade. Beware / Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear ’t that th’ opposèd may beware of thee.

DUTCH:
Hebt gij een vriend beproeft en trouw bevonden, zo klem hem aan uw ziel met stalen band /
Hebt gij een vriend en is diens keus beproefd, Klamp hem met stalen hoepels aan uw ziel.

MORE:
Oft-quoted list of maxims in Polonius’ ‘fatherly advice’ monologue to Laertes. Many of these nuggets have acquired proverb status today, although they weren’t invented by Shakespeare (in this case, for example, Keep well thy friends when thou hast gotten them, (1580). Try your friends before you trust, (c1536), Give not thy right hand to every man (c1535) Have but few friends though much acquaintance, (c1535)).
Adoption=receiving or choosing some something as one’s own. Grapple=close fight. Unfledged=new, young, unripe.
Compleat:
Adopt=Aannemen. He adopt his brother’s works=Hy neemt zyns broeders werken voor de zyne aan.

Topics: wisdom, friendship, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Prince Hal
CONTEXT:

PRINCE HENRY
Thou didst well, for wisdom cries out in the streets and no man regards it.
FALSTAFF
O, thou hast damnable iteration, and art indeed able to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done much harm upon me, Hal, God forgive thee for it. Before I knew thee, Hal, I knew nothing, and now am I, if a man should speak truly, little better than one of the wicked. I must give over this life, and I will give it over. By the Lord, an I do not, I am a villain. I’ll be damned for never a king’s son in Christendom.

DUTCH:
Gij deedt wel; want de wijsheid verheft hare stem op de straten, en niemand slaat acht op haar.

MORE:
Schmidt:
Damnable=Odious, detestable
Iteration=Allegation, quotation
An I do not=If I do not
Compleat:
Damnable=Verfoeijelyk, verdoemelyk
Arden
See Overbury, Characters, A Button-Maker of Amsterdam: “though most of the
wicked (as he calls them) be there.” And Overbury, Characters, A Button-Maker
of Amsterdam: ‘he cries out, ‘Tis impossible for any man to be damn’d that lives in his Religion.”
“Wisdom cries out in the streets” refers to Proverbs 1:20 (King James):
“Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets”

Topics: wisdom, truth, , proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 2.3
SPEAKER: Iago
CONTEXT:
How poor are they that have not patience!
What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
Thou know’st we work by wit and not by witchcraft,
And wit depends on dilatory time.

DUTCH:
Wie geen geduld heeft, is zeer arm/
Wat dom is hij die zijn geduld verliest!

MORE:

Proverb: He that has no patience has nothing

Depends on dilatory time = Time moves slowly

Compleat:
Dilatory=Uitstel-zoekende

Topics: intellect, patience, proverbs and idioms, purpose

PLAY: King Henry V
ACT/SCENE: 4.7
SPEAKER: Fluellen
CONTEXT:
KING HENRY
It may be his enemy is a gentleman of great sort, quite from the answer of his degree.
FLUELLEN
Though he be as good a gentleman as the devil is, as Lucifer and Beelzebub himself, it is necessary, look your Grace, that he keep his vow and his oath. If he be perjured, see you now, his reputation is as arrant a villain and a Jack Sauce as ever his black shoe trod upon God’s ground and His earth, in my conscience, la.

DUTCH:
Al was hij een zoo goede edelman, als de tuifel het
is, als Lucifer en Pelzepup zelf, toch is het noodig, versta
uwe genade, dat hij zijn gelofte houdt en zijn eed.

MORE:

Proverb: As good a man as ever trod on shoe (neat’s) leather (as ever went on legs)
The answer of his degree=A question of rank (knights were only bound to fight with one of equal rank)

Arrant=Arch
Good=important

Compleat:
An arrant knave=Een overgegeven guit

Topics: status, promise, debt/obligation, reputation, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: King Henry VI
CONTEXT:
What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted!
Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just,
And he but naked, though lock’d up in steel
Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.

DUTCH:
Welk harnas is er als een vlekk’loos hart?
Driewerf gepantserd is wie ‘t recht verdedigt,
En hij is naakt, hoe ‘t staal hem ook omsluit’,
Wien ongerechtigheid het hart verpest.

MORE:

Proverb: Innocence bears its defence with it

Quarrel just=Has a just cause
Locked up in steel=Wearing armour

Compleat:
Quarrel=Krakeel; twist
Just (righteous)=Een rechtvaardige

Topics: proverbs and idioms, dispute, guilt

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Hamlet
CONTEXT:
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.

DUTCH:
t Geweten des maakt ieder onzer laf /
Dus maakt bewustzijn bloodaards van ons allen /
Zo maakt bespiegeling lafaards van ons allen

MORE:
The phrases”Conscience does make cowards of us all” and “enterprises of great pith and moment” were both invented by Shakespeare and are still in use today.
Schmidt:
Enterprise= Attempt, undertaking
Pith (also pitch)= Strength, force; at first undertaken with great energy
Moment=Important, of momentous significance
Current (fig.)=flow, action (turn awry=diverted)
Compleat:
Pith==Pit. Pithly=Sterk, krachtig, nnadrukkelyk. A pithy sentence=Een pit-spreuk
Moment=gewicht, belang. Of great moment=Van groot gewicht. Of no moment=Van geen belang.
CITED IN US LAW:
State v. Patterson, 516 S.W.2d 571, 574 (Mo. Ct. App. 1974) (“Despite his protestations of justification the statement, in its entirety and each of its parts taken in context, evinces a consciousness of guilt. As Shakespeare says … The statement was incriminating and admissible”).

Burgersdijk notes:
Zoo maakt het peinzen enz. In ‘t Engelsch: Thus conscience does make etc. Hier wordt conscience gebezigd in den zin van het Latijnsche conscientia, „bewustzijn van zichzelf”, ,denkvermogen”, niet in dien van ,geweten”, veeleer ais consciousness, inmost thoughts.

Topics: still in use, cited in law, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 5.5
SPEAKER: King Richard II
CONTEXT:
Thoughts tending to content flatter themselves
That they are not the first of fortune’s slaves,
Nor shall not be the last; like silly beggars
Who sitting in the stocks refuge their shame,
That many have and others must sit there;
And in this thought they find a kind of ease,
Bearing their own misfortunes on the back
Of such as have before endured the like.
Thus play I in one person many people,
And none contented: sometimes am I king;
Then treasons make me wish myself a beggar,
And so I am: then crushing penury
Persuades me I was better when a king;
Then am I king’d again: and by and by
Think that I am unking’d by Bolingbroke,
And straight am nothing: but whate’er I be,
Nor I nor any man that but man is
With nothing shall be pleased, till he be eased
With being nothing. Music do I hear?

DUTCH:
Zoo speel ik veel personen, gansch alleen,
Nooit een tevreed’ne

MORE:

Proverb: I am not the first and shall not be the last

Refuge=Protection from danger, expedient in distress

Compleat:
Refuge=Toevlugt, wyk, schuilplaats

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, poverty and wealth, money, satisfaction

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 2.3
SPEAKER: Othello
CONTEXT:
And Cassio high in oath, which till tonight
I ne’er might say before. When I came back—
For this was brief— I found them close together
At blow and thrust, even as again they were
When you yourself did part them.
More of this matter cannot I report.
But men are men, the best sometimes forget.
Though Cassio did some little wrong to him,
As men in rage strike those that wish them best,
Yet surely Cassio, I believe, received
From him that fled some strange indignity
Which patience could not pass.
OTHELLO
I know, Iago,
Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter,
Making it light to Cassio. Cassio, I love thee,
But never more be officer of mine.

DUTCH:
Jago, ik weet
dat je als zijn vriend dit bagatelliseert
en Cassio’s misstap wilt vergoelijken.

MORE:

CITED IN US LAW:
Lindros v. Governing Board of the Torrance Unified School District, 9 Cal.3d 524, 540, 510 P.2d 361, 371, 108 Cal. Rptr. 185, 195 (1973)(Torriner, J.)(en banc).

Proverb: To mince the matter (Tell sparingly or by halves)

Still in common use e.g Don’t mince matters, don’t mince your words= Speak frankly,say what you mean

Schmidt:
Forget=Forget themselves
Indignity=Contemptuous injury, insult
Patience=Self-control
Pass=Overlook
Compleat:
Indignity=Smaad
Pass, pass by=Passeren, voorbygaan, overslaan
Mince=Kleyn kappen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, still in use, cited in law, language, honour

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 4.3
SPEAKER: King
CONTEXT:
Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought.
I stay too long by thee; I weary thee.
Dost thou so hunger for mine empty chair
That thou wilt needs invest thee with my honours
Before thy hour be ripe? O foolish youth,
Thou seek’st the greatness that will overwhelm thee.

DUTCH:
Uw wensch was vader dier gedachte, Hendrik./
Je wens is de vader van de gedachte

MORE:

Proverb: The wish is father to the thought

Hunger for =Longing to see
Wilt needs=Must

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: King Henry VIII
CONTEXT:
KING HENRY VIII
You have said well.
WOLSEY
And ever may your Highness yoke together,
As I will lend you cause, my doing well
With my well saying.
KING
’Tis well said again,
And ’tis a kind of good deed to say well.
And yet words are no deeds. My father loved you;
He said he did; and with his deed did crown
His word upon you. Since I had my office,
I have kept you next my heart; have not alone
Employ’d you where high profits might come home,
But pared my present havings, to bestow
My bounties upon you.

DUTCH:
Weder goed gesproken;
Goed spreken is een soort, ja, van goed doen;
En toch is woord geen daad.

MORE:
Proverb: It is better to do well than to say well
Said=Spoken
Yoke together=Join, couple
Pared=Cut down on
Compleat:
Said=Gezegd
Yoked together=’t Zaamen gekoppeld, onder een jok gevoegd
To pare=Afsnyden, schillen, afknippen, besnoeijen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, language, achievement

PLAY: Cymbeline
ACT/SCENE: 3.6
SPEAKER: Imogen
CONTEXT:
Two beggars told me
I could not miss my way. Will poor folks lie,
That have afflictions on them, knowing ’tis
A punishment or trial? Yes. No wonder,
When rich ones scarce tell true. To lapse in fullness
Is sorer than to lie for need, and falsehood
Is worse in kings than beggars. My dear lord,
Thou art one o’ th’ false ones. Now I think on thee,
My hunger’s gone; but even before, I was
At point to sink for food. But what is this?
Here is a path to ’t. ’Tis some savage hold.
I were best not call; I dare not call. Yet famine,
Ere clean it o’erthrow nature, makes it valiant.
Plenty and peace breeds cowards; hardness ever
Of hardiness is mother.—Ho! Who’s here?
If anything that’s civil, speak; if savage,
Take or lend. Ho!—No answer? Then I’ll enter.
Best draw my sword; an if mine enemy
But fear the sword like me, he’ll scarcely look on ’t.

DUTCH:
Liegen zij,
Die armoe, nooddruft lijden, ‘t weten, dat
De ellende een straf of een beproeving is?
Ach ja, geen wonder; want de rijken zelfs
Verdraaien meest de waarheid; en in weelde
Te struik’len is veel erger kwaad, dan slechts
Uit nood te liegen; valschheid is in vorsten
Veel boozer dan in beed’laars


Proverb: Afflictions are sent us by God for our good (Will poor folks lie…)

Schmidt:
Trial=Test of virtue
To lapse in fullness=Fall from truth in a state of prosperity
Even before=Just before
Hardiness=Bravery

Compleat:
Trial (temptation)=Beproeving
Even=Even. Just now=Zo even
Hardiness=Onvertzaagdheid, stoutheid, koenheid
Hardiness of constitution=Hardheid van gesteltenis

Topics: integrity, honesty, status, proverbs and idioms,

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 4.2
SPEAKER: Falstaff
CONTEXT:
WESTMORELAND
He is, Sir John. I fear we shall stay too long.
FALSTAFF
Well,
To the latter end of a fray and the beginning of a feast
Fits a dull fighter and a keen guest.

DUTCH:
Nu goed.
Het laatst in ‘t veld, en de eersten bij een feest,
Lijkt tragen vechters, gragen gasten ‘t meest.

MORE:
Heywood proverbs (1546):
“And it is ill coming, I have heard say,
To th’ end of a shot and beginning of a fray.”
A hungry guest will come early for a meal, a reluctant soldier will arrive late in the battle..

Topics: proverbs and idioms, time

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

DUTCH:
Wees eerlijk tegenover jezelf /
Wees voor u zelf waarachtig /
Blijf aan jezelf getrouw

MORE:
Oft-quoted list of maxims in Polonius’ ‘fatherly advice’ monologue to Laertes. Many of these nuggets have acquired proverb status today, although they weren’t invented by Shakespeare (here, for example, After night comes the day, c1475)

Quoted by Margaret Thatcher in 1989 conference speech:
Mr President, politicians come in many colours, but if you aspire to lead this nation: ‘This, above all, to thine own self be true.’ You don’t reach Downing Street by pretending you’ve travelled the road to Damascus when you haven’t even left home (Thatcher, 1989).

To thine own self be true. Current meaning=be honest with yourself
Wees eerlijk tegenover jezelf dan kun je tegen niemand oneerlijk zijn, dat staat als een paal boven water.

Topics: honesty, still in use, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 1.2
SPEAKER: Duke
CONTEXT:
BRABANTIO
(…) It is a judgment maimed and most imperfect
That will confess perfection so could err.
Against all rules of nature, and must be driven
To find out practices of cunning hell
Why this should be. I therefore vouch again
That with some mixtures powerful o’er the blood
Or with some dram, conjured to this effect,
He wrought upon her.
DUKE
To vouch this is no proof,
Without more wider and more overt test
Than these thin habits and poor likelihoods
Of modern seeming do prefer against him.
FIRST SENATOR
But, Othello, speak.
Did you by indirect and forcèd courses
Subdue and poison this young maid’s affections?
Or came it by request and such fair question
As soul to soul affordeth?

DUTCH:
Betuigd is niet bewezen,
Tenzij gij beter gronden hebt, meer klemmend,
Dan ‘t los vermoeden, dat, met krachtloos uitzicht,
En dun gekleed, nu optreedt tegen hem.

MORE:

Proverb: Accusation is no proof

Vouch again=Reaffirm expressly
Wider=Fuller
Test=Testimony, evidence
Thin habits=Scant, insubstantial exterior
Poor=Tenuous
Likelihood=Circumstantial evidence, somethng from which inferences may be drawn, indication, sign
Indirect=Underhand
Forced=Constrained, unnatural, false (against the will of)
Modern seeming=Common assumption
Compleat:
Testable=Die volgens de rechten getuigen mag
Indirect=Niet rechts weegs, zydelings. Indirect means=Slinksche middelen
Directly or indirectly=Middelyk of onmiddelyk, voor de vuist of heimelyk

Topics: proverbs and idioms, nature, error, evidence

PLAY: Romeo and Juliet
ACT/SCENE: 2.6
SPEAKER: Friar Lawrence
CONTEXT:
The sweetest honey
Is loathsome in his own deliciousness
And in the taste confounds the appetite.
Therefore love moderately. Long love doth so.
Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.

DUTCH:
Te snel komt even laat aan als te traag./
Te haastig en te traag komt even laat./
Te haastig komt even laat aan als te langzaam.

MORE:
Moderately = in moderation
‘All things in moderation’.
Compleat:
Wine is a good liquor but it must be used moderately=Wyn is een goede drank, maar by moet matigheid gebruikt worden.

Topics: still in use, time, proverbs and idioms, haste

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: King Richard II
CONTEXT:
The ripest fruit first falls, and so doth he;
His time is spent, our pilgrimage must be.
So much for that. Now for our Irish wars:
We must supplant those rough rug-headed kerns,
Which live like venom where no venom else
But only they have privilege to live.
And for these great affairs do ask some charge,
Towards our assistance we do seize to us
The plate, corn, revenues and moveables,
Whereof our uncle Gaunt did stand possess’d.

DUTCH:
Zoo trekken wij tot onze hulp aan ons
Al ‘t zilverwerk, geld, renten, alles, wat
Aan tilb’re have onze oom van Gent bezat.

MORE:

Proverb: Life is a pilgrimage
Proverb: Soon ripe soon rotten

Ask some charge=Will involve expense
Where no venom else=St. Patrick had driven all snakes out of Ireland
Kerns=Irish foot soldiers

Topics: death, money, law/legal, conflict, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 3.3
SPEAKER: Iago
CONTEXT:
I will in Cassio’s lodging lose this napkin
And let him find it. Trifles light as air
Are to the jealous confirmations strong
As proofs of holy writ. This may do something.
The Moor already changes with my poison :
Dangerous conceits are in their natures poisons,
Which at the first are scarce found to distaste
But, with a little act upon the blood,
Burn like the mines of sulphur. I did say so.

DUTCH:
Nietigheden, ijl als lucht, zijn voor de jaloersen bevestiging, zo sterk als bewijzen uit de Heilige Schrift./
Voor wie jaloers is, Zijn dingen, ijl als lucht, sterker bewijzen, Dan spreuken uit de Schrift.

MORE:

Proverb: As light as air

Schmidt:
Napkin=Handkerchief
Conceits=Conceptions, ideas
To distaste=To be distasteful, unsavoury

Compleat:
Conceit=Waan, bevatting, opvatting, meening
Distaste=Weersmaak, weerzin, misnoegen
To give distaste=Misnoegen veroorzaaken
To distaste=Geen smaak in iets vinden; (to take distaste)=Een walg krygen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, envy, perception, imagination

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 4.2
SPEAKER: Holland
CONTEXT:
HOLLAND
True; and yet it is said, labour in thy vocation; which is as much to say as, let the magistrates be labouring men; and therefore should we be magistrates.
BEVIS
Thou hast hit it; for there’s no better sign of a brave mind than a hard hand.

DUTCH:
Zoo is het; en toch is het zeggen: „werk in uw beroep”;
wat zoo veel wil zeggen als: „laat de overheden
werklieden zijn “; en daarom moesten wij eigenlijk overheden
zijn.

MORE:

Proverb: Everyone must walk (labour) in his own calling (vocation)

Labouring=Working
Hit it=Hit the nail on the head
Hard=Calloused

Topics: proverbs and idioms, work, satisfaction

PLAY: King Henry V
ACT/SCENE: 2.3
SPEAKER: Pistol
CONTEXT:
Come, let’s away.—My love, give me thy lips.
Look to my chattels and my movables.
Let senses rule. The word is “Pitch and pay.”
Trust none, for oaths are straws, men’s faiths are wafer-cakes,
And Holdfast is the only dog, my duck.
Therefore, caveto be thy counselor.
Go, clear thy crystals.—Yoke-fellows in arms,
Let us to France, like horse-leeches, my boys,
To suck, to suck, the very blood to suck

DUTCH:
Een eed is stroo; geloof en -trouw zijn wafels,
En slechts „Hou vast” de ware hond, mijn duifjen

MORE:

Proverb: Pitch and pay (pay ready money) (15th century)
Proverb: Touch pot, touch penny
Proverb: Promises and pie-crusts are made to be broken (1599)
Proverb: Brag is a good dog, but holdfast is a better

Let senses rule=Be governed by prudence
Men’s faiths are wafer-cakes=Faith crumbles
Clear thy crystals=Dry your eyes (or clean your glasses (Johnson))
Look to=Look after
Caveto=Caution
Yoke-fellow=Companion

Topics: proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, business, money, caution

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Bedford
CONTEXT:
BURGUNDY
Is it even so? Nay, then, I see our wars
Will turn unto a peaceful comic sport,
When ladies crave to be encounter’d with.
You may not, my lord, despise her gentle suit.
TALBOT
Ne’er trust me then; for when a world of men
Could not prevail with all their oratory,
Yet hath a woman’s kindness over-ruled:
And therefore tell her I return great thanks,
And in submission will attend on her.
Will not your honours bear me company?
BEDFORD
No, truly; it is more than manners will:
And I have heard it said, unbidden guests
Are often welcomest when they are gone.
TALBOT
Well then, alone, since there’s no remedy,
I mean to prove this lady’s courtesy.
Come hither, captain.

DUTCH:
Gewis niet, dit ware onbeleefd en laakbaar;
‘k Heb wel gehoord, dat ongenoode gasten
‘t Meest welkom zijn, wanneer zij weder gaan.

MORE:
Proverb: An unbidden guest is welcome when gone

Gentle suit=Polite, well-mannered petition
Manners will=Etiquette permits
Mean=Intend

Compleat:
Gentle=Aardig, edelmoedig
Suit=Een verzoek, rechtsgeding
Manners=Zeden, manieren, manierlykheid
Mean=Meenen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, civility, language

PLAY: The Comedy of Errors
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Antipholus of Syracuse
CONTEXT:
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
To me she speaks; she moves me for her theme.
What, was I married to her in my dream?
Or sleep I now and think I hear all this?
What error drives our eyes and ears amiss?
Until I know this sure uncertainty
I’ll entertain the offered fallacy.
LUCIANA
Dromio, go bid the servants spread for dinner.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
O, for my beads! I cross me for a sinner.
This is the fairy land. O spite of spites!
We talk with goblins, ouphs, and sprites:
If we obey them not, this will ensue:
They’ll suck our breath, or pinch us black and blue.

DUTCH:
Het is tot mij, dat zij die reed’nen houdt!
Wat! ben ik in den droom met haar getrouwd?
Of slaap ik nu en meen ik, dat ik hoor?
Wat vreemde waan verdwaast mijn oog en oor?
Maar kom, tot mij dit raadsel wordt verklaard,
Zij de opgedrongen dwaling thans aanvaard

MORE:
Proverb: To beat (pinch) one black and blue. Pinching was a traditional punishment associated with fairies

Onions:
Move=to urge, incite, instigate, make a proposal to, appeal or apply to (a person)
Error=Mistake, deception, false opinion
Ouph=Elf, goblin
Uncertainty=A mystery, the unknown
Entertain=Accept (the delusion)

Compleat:
Error=Fout, misslag, dwaaling, dooling
To lie under a great errour=In een groote dwaaling steeken
Beadsman=een Bidder, Gety=leezer, Gebed-opzegger

Topics: imagination, evidence, judgment, punishment, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Queen Margaret
CONTEXT:
QUEEN MARGARET
Warwick, these words have turn’d my hate to love;
And I forgive and quite forget old faults,
And joy that thou becomest King Henry’s friend.
WARWICK
So much his friend, ay, his unfeigned friend,
That, if King Lewis vouchsafe to furnish us
With some few bands of chosen soldiers,
I’ll undertake to land them on our coast
And force the tyrant from his seat by war.
‘Tis not his new-made bride shall succour him:
And as for Clarence, as my letters tell me,
He’s very likely now to fall from him,
For matching more for wanton lust than honour,
Or than for strength and safety of our country.

DUTCH:
Warwick, die taal verkeert mijn hart in liefde;
En ik vergeef, vergeet alle oude schuld,
Verheugd, dat gij de vriend van Hendrik zijn wilt.

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Proverb: Forgive and forget (1526)

Unfeigned=Genuine
Vouchsafe=Condescend, deign to
Furnish=Equip
Succour=Support, assist

Compleat:
Unfeigned=Ongeveinsd
To vouchsafe=Gewaardigen, vergunnen
To furnish=Veschaffen, vorzien, verozrgen, stoffeeren, toetakelen
Succour=Te hulp komen, bystaan
Succours=Hulpbenden, krygshulpe

Topics: proverbs and idioms, flaw/fault, friendship

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 5.2
SPEAKER: Chancellor
CONTEXT:
CHANCELLOR
My good lord Archbishop, I’m very sorry
To sit here at this present and behold
That chair stand empty. But we all are men,
In our own natures frail, and capable
Of our flesh—few are angels—out of which frailty
And want of wisdom you, that best should teach us,
Have misdemeaned yourself, and not a little,
Toward the King first, then his laws, in filling
The whole realm, by your teaching and your
chaplains’—
For so we are informed—with new opinions,
Divers and dangerous, which are heresies
And, not reformed, may prove pernicious.

DUTCH:
Doch allen zijn wij menschen,
Zwak van nature, en luist’rend naar ons vleesch;
Slechts wein’gen zijn als eng’len

MORE:
Proverb: Flesh is frail
Capable=Susceptible (to)
Want=Lack
Misdemeaned=Misbehave, acted improperly
Pernicious=Ruinous
Compleat:
Capable=Vatbaar, bevattelyk, ontvangbaar, ontvanklyk
Want=Gebrek, behoeftigheyd
To misdemean=Zich quaalyk draagn
Pernicious=Schaadelyk, verderflyk

Topics: proverbs and idioms, temptation, wisdom

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Iago
CONTEXT:
O sir, content you.
I follow him to serve my turn upon him.
We cannot all be masters, nor all masters
Cannot be truly followed. You shall mark
Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave
That (doting on his own obsequious bondage)
Wears out his time much like his master’s ass
For naught but provender, and when he’s old, cashiered.

DUTCH:
Wel, maak je maar geen zorg!
Ik dien hem slechts om ’t hem betaald te zetten.
Niet elk kan meester zijn, noch alle meesters
getrouw gediend. Je zult er wel een kennen,
zo’n plichtsgetrouwe, kruiperige knecht
die, opgaand in zijn lage slavernij,
als de ezel van zijn baas voor slechts wat voer
zijn tijd uitdient en, oud, wordt afgedankt.

MORE:

Proverb: Every man cannot be a master (lord)

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:
Content you=Be quiet, calm
Doting=to be fond, to love to excess
Knee-crooking=Flattering
Obsequious=Zealous, officious, devoted
Wear out=To spend all of, to come to the end of
Provender=Dry food for beasts
Cashiered=Discarded from service

Compleat:
Dote upon=Op iets verzot zyn; zyne zinnen zeer op iets gezet hebben
Obsequious=Gehoorzaam, gedienstig
To cashiere=Den zak geeven, afdanken, ontslaan

Topics: loyalty, deceit, proverbs and idioms, leadership, duty

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Duke
CONTEXT:
DUKE
With all my heart.—Some three or four of you
Go give him courteous conduct to this place.—
Meantime the court shall hear Bellario’s letter.
[reads]“Your grace shall understand that at the receipt of
your letter I am very sick, but in the instant that your
messenger came, in loving visitation was with me a
young doctor of Rome. His name is Balthazar. I
acquainted him with the cause in controversy between the
Jew and Antonio the merchant. We turned o’er many books
together. He is furnished with my opinion,
which—bettered with his own learning, the greatness
whereof I cannot enough commend—comes with him at my
importunity to fill up your grace’s request in my stead.
I beseech you, let his lack of years be no impediment to
let him lack a reverend estimation, for I never knew so
young a body with so old a head. I leave him to your
gracious acceptance, whose trial shall better publish
his commendation.”

DUTCH:
Wij hebben samen vele rechtsgeleerde werken nageslagen;
hij is volkomen met mijn inzichten bekend

MORE:
Proverb: An old head on young shoulders

Reverend=Testifying veneration, humble
Estimation=Value, worth
Turned o’er=Consulted
Publish=bring to light, show
Commendation=Value
Let=Cause (him to)
Compleat:
Reverent=Eerbiedig
Estimation=Waardeering, schatting
Publish=Openbaarmaken, bekendmaken

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 3.3
SPEAKER: King Richard II
CONTEXT:
HENRY BOLINGBROKE
So far be mine, my most redoubted lord,
As my true service shall deserve your love.
KING RICHARD II
Well you deserve: they well deserve to have,
That know the strong’st and surest way to get.
Uncle, give me your hands: nay, dry your eyes;
Tears show their love, but want their remedies.
Cousin, I am too young to be your father,
Though you are old enough to be my heir.
What you will have, I’ll give, and willing too;
For do we must what force will have us do.
Set on towards London, cousin, is it so?

DUTCH:
0, veel verdient gij; — hij verdient te ontvangen,
Die vast en goed den weg weet om te erlangen. —

MORE:

Proverb: They that are bound must obey

Redoubted=Feared, respected (often used to address a monarch)
Want=Fail to provide (a remedy)

Compleat:
Redoubted=Geducht, ontzaglyk
Want=Gebrek

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, statys, remedy, merit

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Buckingham
CONTEXT:
BUCKINGHAM
O, many
Have broke their backs with laying manors on ’em
For this great journey. What did this vanity
But minister communication of
A most poor issue?
NORFOLK
Grievingly I think
The peace between the French and us not values
The cost that did conclude it.
BUCKINGHAM
Every man,
After the hideous storm that followed, was
A thing inspired and, not consulting, broke
Into a general prophecy: that this tempest,
Dashing the garment of this peace, aboded
The sudden breach on ’t.

DUTCH:
En wat deed die pronk,
Dan dat hij diende voor een samenkomst,
Die luttel vruchts droeg?

MORE:
Proverb: To break one’s back
Manors=Estates
Vanity=Folly
Minister communication=Put into effect
Issue=Outcome
Not values the cost=Isn’t worth the price paid
Dashing=Battering
To abode=To be a (bad) omen
Compleat:
Manor-house=Een huys of slot van den ambachtsheer
Vanity=Ydelheyd
To minister=Bedienen
Issue=Een uytgang, uytslag, uytkomst
Value=Waarderen, achten, schatten
To dash=Slaan, stooten, verbryzelen, spatten
To bode=Voorzeggen, voorspellen

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use, consequence, value

PLAY: Coriolanus
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Sicinius
CONTEXT:
MENENIUS
Fie, fie, fie!
This is the way to kindle, not to quench.
FIRST SENATOR
To unbuild the city and to lay all flat.
SICINIUS
What is the city but the people?
CITIZENS
True,
The people are the city.
BRUTUS
By the consent of all, we were establish’d
The people’s magistrates.

DUTCH:
Is dan de stad iets anders dan het volk?

MORE:
Proverb: Do not blow the fire thou wouldst quench
Proverb: Men (Men’s love), not walls, make the city (prince) safe

Schmidt:
Unbuild=To raze, to destroy

Compleat:
Unbuilt=Ongebouwd
Magistrate=Overheid, Overheer, Magistraat

Topics: order/society, law/legaldispute, , proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Thomas Mowbray
CONTEXT:
The language I have learn’d these forty years,
My native English, now I must forego:
And now my tongue’s use is to me no more
Than an unstringed viol or a harp,
Or like a cunning instrument cased up,
Or, being open, put into his hands
That knows no touch to tune the harmony:
Within my mouth you have engaol’d my tongue,
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?

DUTCH:
Wat is uw vonnis, dan een stomme dood,
Nu ‘t mij mijn levensademklank verbood?

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)

Compleat:
Cunning=Behendig

Topics: language, understanding, identity, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Measure for Measure
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Duke
CONTEXT:
Forgive him, Angelo, that brought you home
The head of Ragozine for Claudio’s:
The offence pardons itself. Dear Isabel,
I have a motion much imports your good;
Whereto if you’ll a willing ear incline,
What’s mine is yours and what is yours is mine.
So, bring us to our palace; where we’ll show
What’s yet behind, that’s meet you all should know.

DUTCH:
Ik heb een wensch, die uw geluk beoogt;
Vind ik gehoor, wilt gij de mijne zijn,
Dan is al ‘t mijne ‘t uwe, ‘t uwe mijn.

MORE:
A motion much imports your good=A proposal that will benefit you

Topics: offence, equality, value, proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: Cymbeline
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: Cloten
CONTEXT:
CLOTEN
Was there ever man had such luck? When I kissed the jack, upon an upcast to be hit away? I had a hundred pound on ’t. And then a whoreson jackanapes must take me up for swearing, as if I borrowed mine oaths of him and might not spend them at my pleasure.
FIRST LORD
What got he by that? You have broke his pate with your bowl.
SECOND LORD
If his wit had been like him that broke it, it would have run all out.
CLOTEN
When a gentleman is disposed to swear, it is not for any standers-by to curtail his oaths, ha?
SECOND LORD
No, my lord, (aside) nor crop the ears of them.

DUTCH:
Als een man van rang verkiest te vloeken, behoeft
niemand het hart te hebben zijn vloeken te kortstaarten;
hè?


Proverb: May we not do with our own what we list?

Pate=The head; used in contempt or in ridicule
Curtail=Curtal, having a docked tail (followed by ‘crop the ears’)
Upcast=A throw at the game of bowls
Take up=Rebuke

Kissed the jack … away=The jack being the small ball in bowls, the closest to the jack at the end of the game wins. If the bowl ends up close to it, it is ‘kissing the jack’ (a great advantage). Cloten’s bowl is then hit away by the ‘upcast’ (throw of an opponent).

Compleat:
Jack (in bowling)=Honk, in de klosbaan
To take one up sharply (check, reprimand)=Iemand scherpelyk berispen
Pate=De kop, het hoofd
He threatened to break his pate=Hy dreigde hem den kop in te slaan
Burgersdijk notes:
Had ooit een mensch zulk een geluk?
Cloten spreekt van het geluk, dat zijn tegenspeler gehad heeft.

Topics: language, civility, patience, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: The Comedy of Errors
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Dromio of Syracuse
CONTEXT:
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Shall I tell you why?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Ay, sir, and wherefore, for they say every why hath a wherefore.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
“Why” first: for flouting me; and then “wherefore”: for urging it the second time to me.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Was there ever any man thus beaten out of season,
When in the “why” and the “wherefore” is neither rhyme nor reason?
Well, sir, I thank you.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
Thank me, sir, for what?
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Marry, sir, for this something that you gave me for nothing.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
I’ll make you amends next, to give you nothing for something. But say, sir, is it dinnertime?

DUTCH:
In geen van deze twee daaroms is rijm noch slot noch zin.
Toch, heer, dank ik u.

MORE:
Proverb: Neither rhyme nor reason
Proverb: Every why has a wherefore/There is never a why but there is a wherefore
Proverb: My stomach has struck dinnertime/twelve (rung noon)

Out of season= Unfairly, unseasonably
Dinnertime: shortly before noon

Compleat:
Why and wherefore both translated as waarom
Out of season=Uit de tyd
To make amends=Vergoeding doen, vergoeden
To flout=Bespotten, beschimpen

Topics: invented or popularised, still in use, reason, proverbs and idioms, remedy

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 4.5
SPEAKER: Claudius
CONTEXT:
O Gertrude, Gertrude,
When sorrows come, they come not single spies
But in battalions. First, her father slain.
Next, your son gone, and he most violent author
Of his own just remove.

DUTCH:
Als zorgen komen, komen ze niet als enkele verspieders, maar bij troepen tegelijk. /
Als smarten komen, komen ze als verspreide Verkenners niet, maar in bataljons. /
Als zorgen komen, komt niet de enk’le spie, Maar dichte drommen.

MORE:
“Not in single spies, but in battalions” still in use today

Topics: sorrow, grief, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: John of Gaunt
CONTEXT:
DUKE OF YORK
Vex not yourself, nor strive not with your breath;
For all in vain comes counsel to his ear.
JOHN OF GAUNT
O, but they say the tongues of dying men
Enforce attention like deep harmony:
Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain,
For they breathe truth that breathe their words in pain.
He that no more must say is listen’d more
Than they whom youth and ease have taught to glose;
More are men’s ends mark’d than their lives before:
The setting sun, and music at the close,
As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last,
Writ in remembrance more than things long past:
Though Richard my life’s counsel would not hear,
My death’s sad tale may yet undeaf his ear

DUTCH:
Vaak klemt het woord van hem, wiens stemme breekt,
Want waarheid ademt, wie zwaar-aad’mend spreekt.

MORE:

Proverb: Dying mean speak true (prophesy)

CITED IN US LAW: People v. Smith 214 Cal. App. 3d 904, 907 (Cal. Ct. App 1989)(Arabian, J).

Must=Can
Listened more=Heard, listened to more closely
Gloze=To make tirades, to make mere words. Veil with specious comments (OED)
Close=Closing phrase (musical)
Remembrance=In memory
Undeaf=To free from deafness

Compleat:
Remembrance=Gedachtenis, geheugenis
To gloze=Vleijen, flikflooijen

Topics: language, value, death, proverbs and idioms, cited in law

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Old Lady
CONTEXT:
OLD LADY
An hundred marks? By this light, I’ll ha’ more.
An ordinary groom is for such payment.
I will have more or scold it out of him.
Said I for this the girl was like to him?
I’ll have more or else unsay ’t. And now,
While ’tis hot, I’ll put it to the issue.

DUTCH:
Want nu het heet is , wil ik ‘t ijzer smeden.

MORE:
Proverb: It is good to strike while the iron is hot
Scold=Admonish
Issue=Action
Compleat:
Scold=Kyven, schelden
Matter in issue=De zaak in geschil

Topics: proverbs and idioms

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 3
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Gloucester
CONTEXT:
O monstrous fault, to harbour such a thought!
Then, since this earth affords no joy to me,
But to command, to check, to o’erbear such
As are of better person than myself,
I’ll make my heaven to dream upon the crown,
And, whiles I live, to account this world but hell,
Until my mis-shaped trunk that bears this head
Be round impaled with a glorious crown.
And yet I know not how to get the crown,
For many lives stand between me and home:
And I,—like one lost in a thorny wood,
That rends the thorns and is rent with the thorns,
Seeking a way and straying from the way;
Not knowing how to find the open air,
But toiling desperately to find it out,—
Torment myself to catch the English crown:
And from that torment I will free myself,
Or hew my way out with a bloody axe.
Why, I can smile, and murder whiles I smile,
And cry ‘Content’ to that which grieves my heart,
And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
And frame my face to all occasions.

DUTCH:
Glimlachen kan ik en glimlachend moorden,
En roepen: „mooi!” bij wat mijn ziele grieft,

MORE:

Proverb: To laugh (smile) in one’s face and cut one’s throat

Check=Rebuke, punish
Overbear=Dominate
Home=My objective
Artificial=Fake, feigned
Rends=Tears

Compleat:
Check=Berisping, beteugeling, intooming
To over-bear=Overtreffen, onderkrygen; (oppress) Onderdrukken
Artificial=Konstig, behendig, aardig, dat niet natuurlyk is
To rend=Scheuren, van een ryten

Topics: proverbs and idioms, deceit, appearance, flaw/fault, ambition

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Iden
CONTEXT:
CADE
Here’s the lord of the soil come to seize me for a
stray, for entering his fee-simple without leave.
Ah, villain, thou wilt betray me, and get a thousand
crowns of the king carrying my head to him: but
I’ll make thee eat iron like an ostrich, and swallow
my sword like a great pin, ere thou and I part.
IDEN
Why, rude companion, whatsoe’er thou be,
I know thee not; why, then, should I betray thee?
Is’t not enough to break into my garden,
And, like a thief, to come to rob my grounds,
Climbing my walls in spite of me the owner,
But thou wilt brave me with these saucy terms?
CADE
Brave thee! Ay, by the best blood that ever was
broached, and beard thee too. Look on me well: I
have eat no meat these five days; yet, come thou and
thy five men, and if I do not leave you all as dead
as a doornail, I pray God I may never eat grass more.

DUTCH:
Gij onbeschofte knaap, wie ge ook moogt zijn,
Ik ken u niet; wat zou ik u verraden?

MORE:

Proverb: As dead (deaf, dumb) as a doornail.

Dead as a doornail wasn’t coined by Shakespeare but can be traced back to the 14th century.

To stand seised in fee simple=A feudal term that meant to have both possession and title of property, a form of freehold ownership. Shakespeare sometimes used the phrase to mean absoluteness.

Stray=Trespass, straying animals
Ostriches were believed to eat iron
Brave=Challenge
Terms=Language
Beard=Defy, challenge (e.g. ‘beard the lion in his den’)

Compleat:
To stray=Verdwaalen, doolen
To brave=Trotsen, braveeren, trotseeren, moedig treden
Term=Woord, uitdrukking
To beard (outbrave)=Uittarten, eenen anderen by den baard trekken, braveeren
Fee-simple (or fee absolute)=Een onbepaald leen, ons en onze erfgenaamen voor altoos toebehorende

Topics: law/legal, dispute, language, proverbs and idioms

PLAY: Romeo and Juliet
ACT/SCENE: 2.3
SPEAKER: Friar Lawrence
CONTEXT:
ROMEO
Oh, let us hence. I stand on sudden haste.
FRIAR LAWRENCE
Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast.

DUTCH:
Al zacht, mijn zoon! wie voortholt, struikelt licht.

MORE:
Still in use
Compleat:
Haste=Haast, spoed
He made too much hast=Hy maakte al te groot een haast
The more haste the worse speed=Hoe meerder haast hoe minder spoed

Topics: patience, caution, proverbs and idioms, invented or popularised, wisdom, haste, still in use

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 5.5
SPEAKER: King Richard II
CONTEXT:
GROOM
I was a poor groom of thy stable, king,
When thou wert king; who, travelling towards York,
With much ado at length have gotten leave
To look upon my sometimes royal master’s face.
O, how it yearn’d my heart when I beheld
In London streets, that coronation-day,
When Bolingbroke rode on roan Barbary,
That horse that thou so often hast bestrid,
That horse that I so carefully have dress’d!
KING RICHARD II
Rode he on Barbary? Tell me, gentle friend,
How went he under him?
GROOM
So proudly as if he disdain’d the ground.
KING RICHARD II
So proud that Bolingbroke was on his back!
That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand;
This hand hath made him proud with clapping him.
Would he not stumble? would he not fall down,
Since pride must have a fall, and break the neck
Of that proud man that did usurp his back?
Forgiveness, horse! why do I rail on thee,
Since thou, created to be awed by man,
Wast born to bear? I was not made a horse;
And yet I bear a burthen like an ass,
Spurr’d, gall’d and tired by jouncing Bolingbroke.

DUTCH:
Hij struikelde dus niet? hij stortte niet, —
Trots komt toch vóór den val!

MORE:

Proverb: Pride will have a fall

Yearn=Grieve, vex (O. Edd. ‘yern’ and ‘ern’)
Jade=A term of contempt or pity for a worthless or maltreated horse
Bestrid=Sat astride, mounted
Spur-galled=Wounded by spurs

Compleat:
Jade=Een lompig paerd, knol, jakhals
To bestride=Op een paerd zitten
Galled=’t Vel afgseschaafd

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: Richard II
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: King Richard II
CONTEXT:
Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be ruled by me.
Let’s purge this choler without letting blood.
This we prescribe, though no physician.
Deep malice makes too deep incision.
Forget, forgive; conclude and be agreed;
Our doctors say this is no month to bleed.
Good uncle, let this end where it begun;
We’ll calm the Duke of Norfolk, you your son.

DUTCH:
Gramstorige edellieden, volgt mijn raad.
Verdrijft de galzucht zonder aderlating.
Ofschoon geen arts, schrijf ik u dit toch voor: —
Een diepe wrok snijdt al te diep, snijdt door, —
Vergeeft, vergeet, houdt op elkaar te haten;
Het is, zegt de arts, geen maand van aderlaten

MORE:

Proverb: Forgive and forget

Wrath-kindled=Furious
Be ruled=To prevail on, to persuade (used only passively)
Choler=Anger, bile
Purge=To cure, to restore to health
Month to bleed=Physicians would consult the almanac to determine best time for bloodletting

Compleat:
Wrath=Toorn, gramschap
Wrathfull=Toornig, vertoornd, vergramd, grimmig
Cholerick=Oploopend, haastig, toornig. To be in choler=Toornig zyn
Purge=Zuiveren, reinigen, den buik zuiveren, purgeeren
To purge (clear) one’s self of a crime=Zich van eene misdaad zuiveren
To bleed one=Iemand bloed aftappen, laaten; bloedlaating, bloeding

Topics: proverbs and idioms, anger, dispute, justice

PLAY: Macbeth
ACT/SCENE: 1.5
SPEAKER: Lady Macbeth
CONTEXT:
Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great,
Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst highly,
That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false,
And yet wouldst wrongly win.

DUTCH:
doch ik ducht uw hart;
Dat is te vol van melk der menschlijkheid,
Om ‘t naaste pad te nemen.

MORE:
Milk of human kindness was invented by Shakespeare as a metaphor for a gentle human nature. (Shakespeare also refers to “milky gentleness” in King Lear.)
Schmidt:
Illness= Iniquity, wickedness
Holily=Piously, virtuously, agreeably to the law of God
Compleat:
Ill nature=Kwaadaardigheid

Topics: nature, ambition, invented or popularised, proverbs and idioms, still in use, good and bad

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 2.4
SPEAKER: King Henry VIII
CONTEXT:
KING HENRY VIII
My Lord Cardinal,
I do excuse you; yea, upon mine honour,
I free you from ’t. You are not to be taught
That you have many enemies that know not
Why they are so but, like to village curs,
Bark when their fellows do. By some of these
The Queen is put in anger. You’re excused.
But will you be more justified? You ever
Have wished the sleeping of this business, never desired
It to be stirred, but oft have hindered, oft,
The passages made toward it. On my honour
I speak my good Lord Cardinal to this point
And thus far clear him. Now, what moved me to ’t,
I will be bold with time and your attention:
Then mark the inducement. (…)

DUTCH:
Doch wenscht gij meer rechtvaardiging? steeds hebt gij
Gewenscht, dat deze zaak bleef slapen, nooit
Dat zij werd opgerakeld; vaak belettet
Gij ‘t doen der eerste stappen

MORE:
Proverb: Like dogs, if one barks they all bark
Not to be taught=Already know
Excused=Exonerated
Justified=Vindicated
Sleeping=Put (this matter) to bed
Compleat:
Excused=Ontschuldigd, verschoond
Justified=Gerechtvaardigd, verdeedigd, gebillykt

Topics: proverbs and idioms, justification, independence

PLAY: King Henry VIII
ACT/SCENE: 2.4
SPEAKER: King Henry VIII
CONTEXT:
KING HENRY VIII
My Lord Cardinal,
I do excuse you; yea, upon mine honour,
I free you from ’t. You are not to be taught
That you have many enemies that know not
Why they are so but, like to village curs,
Bark when their fellows do. By some of these
The Queen is put in anger. You’re excused.
But will you be more justified? You ever
Have wished the sleeping of this business, never desired
It to be stirred, but oft have hindered, oft,
The passages made toward it. On my honour
I speak my good Lord Cardinal to this point
And thus far clear him. Now, what moved me to ’t,
I will be bold with time and your attention:
Then mark the inducement. (…)

DUTCH:
Dat gij veel haters hebt, die zelf niet weten,
Waarom zij ‘t zijn , maar die, als honden, blaffen
Zoodra geblaft wordt; zulke lieden dreven
De koningin tot toorn

MORE:
Proverb: Like dogs, if one barks they all bark
Not to be taught=Already know
Excused=Exonerated
Justified=Vindicated
Sleeping=Put (this matter) to bed
Compleat:
Excused=Ontschuldigd, verschoond
Justified=Gerechtvaardigd, verdeedigd, gebillykt

Topics: proverbs and idioms, justification, independence

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: York
CONTEXT:
Well, nobles, well, ’tis politicly done,
To send me packing with an host of men:
I fear me you but warm the starved snake,
Who, cherish’d in your breasts, will sting
your hearts.
‘Twas men I lack’d and you will give them me:
I take it kindly; and yet be well assured
You put sharp weapons in a madman’s hands.
Whiles I in Ireland nourish a mighty band,
I will stir up in England some black storm
Shall blow ten thousand souls to heaven or hell;
And this fell tempest shall not cease to rage
Until the golden circuit on my head,
Like to the glorious sun’s transparent beams,
Do calm the fury of this mad-bred flaw.

DUTCH:
Ik zeg u dank, maar weet, een’ dolhuis-man
Drukt gij recht scherpe wapens in de hand.

MORE:

Proverb: To nourish a viper (snake) in one ‘s bosom
Proverb: Ill putting (put not) a naked sword in a madman’s hand

Politicly=For political reasons
The starved snake=Frozen snake (reference to Aesop’s Fable of the Farmer and the Snake)
Fell=Strong; Vicious, intense, savage

Compleat:
Fell=(cruel) Wreed, fel
Starve=(of cold) Van koude sterven
Politickly=Staatkundiglyk

Topics: proverbs and idioms, ingratitude, leadership

PLAY: The Comedy of Errors
ACT/SCENE: 2.2
SPEAKER: Antipholus of Syracuse
CONTEXT:
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
The one, to save the money that he spends in tiring; the other, that at dinner they should not drop in his porridge.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
You would all this time have proved there is no time for all things.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Marry, and did, sir: namely, e’en no time to recover hair lost by nature.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
But your reason was not substantial why there is no time to recover.
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Thus I mend it: Time himself is bald and therefore, to the world’s end, will have bald followers.
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
I knew ’twould be a bald conclusion:
But soft, who wafts us yonder?

DUTCH:
Gij hadt mij nu al dezen tijd moeten bewijzen, dat er niet voor alles een tijd is.

MORE:
Proverb: There is a time for everything (or for all things). (1399) Allusion to Ecclesiastes 3:1.

Topics: proverbs and idioms, still in use

PLAY: As You Like It
ACT/SCENE: 2.7
SPEAKER: Duke Senior
CONTEXT:
DUKE SENIOR
Art thou thus boldened, man, by thy distress
Or else a rude despiser of good manners,
That in civility thou seem’st so empty?
ORLANDO
You touched my vein at first. The thorny point
Of bare distress hath ta’en from me the show
Of smooth civility, yet am I inland bred
And know some nurture. But forbear, I say.
He dies that touches any of this fruit
Till I and my affairs are answerèd.
JAQUES
An you will not be answered with reason, I must die.
DUKE SENIOR
What would you have? Your gentleness shall force
More than your force move us to gentleness.

DUTCH:
Doch vriend’lijkheid dwingt meer,
Dan ooit uw dwang tot vriend’lijkheid ons stemt.

MORE:
Allusion to the proverb of the time: “There is a great force hidden in a sweet command” (1581).
Schmidt:
Empty: void, destitute; followed by in: “that in civility thou seemest so e.”
Vein=Disposition, temper, humour
Bare distress=A quibble
Inland: a word of a very vague signification, not so much denoting remoteness from the sea or the frontier, as a seat of peace and peaceful civilization; (perhaps opposed to mountainous districts as the seats of savage barbarousness and meaning the flat country)
Nurture=Good breeding, humanity

Topics: proverbs and idioms, order/society, language, civility, learning/education

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