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Shakespeare quotes page

PLAY: King Henry VI Part 2 ACT/SCENE: 3.1 SPEAKER: Cardinal CONTEXT: CARDINAL
A breach that craves a quick expedient stop!
What counsel give you in this weighty cause?
YORK
That Somerset be sent as regent thither:
‘Tis meet that lucky ruler be employ’d;
Witness the fortune he hath had in France.
SOMERSET
If York, with all his far-fet policy,
Had been the regent there instead of me,
He never would have stay’d in France so long.
YORK
No, not to lose it all, as thou hast done:
I rather would have lost my life betimes
Than bring a burthen of dishonour home
By staying there so long till all were lost.
Show me one scar character’d on thy skin:
Men’s flesh preserved so whole do seldom win. DUTCH: Een bres voorwaar, die daad’lijk dichting eischt.
Wat raad geeft gij bij dit gewichtig nieuws?
MORE:
Schmidt:
Crave=Demand, require
Far-fet=(far-fetched): Layered, deep, cunning (without modern connotation of unlikely)
Betimes=Early, at an early hour
Burthen=Burden
Charactered=Written, inscribed, marked

Compleat:
To crave=Ootmoedig bidden, smeeken
Betimes=Bytyds, vroeg
Far-fetched=Ver gehaald
Burden=Last, pak, vracht
Character=Een merk, merkteken, letter, afbeeldsel, uitdruksel, print, stempel, uitgedruktbeeld, uitbeelding Topics: skill/talent, honour, age/experience

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: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Suffolk
CONTEXT:
Tis like the commons, rude unpolish’d hinds,
Could send such message to their sovereign:
But you, my lord, were glad to be employ’d,
To show how quaint an orator you are:
But all the honour Salisbury hath won
Is, that he was the lord ambassador
Sent from a sort of tinkers to the king.

DUTCH:
Maar gij, mylord, gij laat u gaarne zenden,
Opdat gij toont, hoe fraai gij spreken kunt;

MORE:

Tinkers=(a) menders of metal pots and pans; (b) beggars and thieves
Hinds=Ignorant country folk
Quaint=Skilled (in speaking)
Sort=Group

Compleat:
Rude=Ruuw; onbeleefd
A rude, unpolished person=Een ruuw, onbeschaafd persoon
A quaint discourse=Een beschaafde reden
To speak quaintly=Cierlyk spreeken

Topics: order/society, language, skill/talent

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
By indirections find directions out.
So by my former lecture and advice
Shall you my son. You have me, have you not?

DUTCH:
Op averechtsche wijs den rechten weg /
Zo gaan wij, de slimmen en bekwamen, langs kronkelpaden recht op ons doel af.

MORE:
The effectiveness of indirect questioning (see “your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth”).
Schmidt:
Indirection=oblique course or means
Compleat:
The directing of one’s intentions=Het bestieren van iemands voorneemen

Topics: truth, discovery, intellect, skill/talent

PLAY: All’s Well that Ends Well
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Countess
CONTEXT:
LAFEW
How called you the man you speak of, madam ?
COUNT
He was famous, sir, in his profession, and it was his great right to be so: Gerard de Narbon.
LAFEW
He was excellent indeed, madam: the king very
Lately spoke of him admiringly, and mourningly.
He was skilful enough to have liv’d still,
if knowledge could be set up against mortality.

DUTCH:
Hij was zeer beroemd, heer, in zijn vak, en met het volste recht: Gerard van Narbonne .

MORE:
His great right=His fame was justified
Mortality=Subjection to death, necessity of dying
Compleat:
Mortality=Sterflykheid

Topics: death, life, skill/talent, legacy, merit

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 4.2
SPEAKER: Falstaff
CONTEXT:
I have a whole school of tongues in this belly of mine, and not a tongue of them all speaks any other word but my name. An I had but a belly of any indifferency, I were simply the most active fellow in Europe. My womb, my womb, my womb undoes me. Here comes our general.

DUTCH:
Ik heb een gansche school van tongen in dezen mijnen
buik, en geen van al die tongen spreekt een ander woord dan mijn naam.

MORE:

Indifferency=Average, moderate measure
Womb=Belly

Compleat:
Indifference=Onverschilligheid; middelmaatigheid

Topics: language, identity, skill/talent

PLAY: As You Like It
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Rosalind
CONTEXT:
I have neither the scholar’s melancholy, which is emulation; nor the musician’s, which is fantastical; nor the courtier’s, which is proud; nor the soldier’s, which is ambitious; nor the lawyer’s, which is politic; nor the lady’s, which is nice; nor the lover’s, which is all these, but it is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, which, by often rumination, wraps me in the most humorous sadness.

DUTCH:
Ik heb noch de melancholie van den geleerde, die niets
dan naijver is, noch die van den musicus, die phantastisch,
noch die van den hoveling, die trotsch, noch die
van den soldaat, die roemgierig, noch die van den jurist,
die staatzuchtig …is;

MORE:
Schmidt:
Emulation=Rivalry; jealousy, envy, envious contention
Fantastical=Indulging the vagaries of imagination, capricious, whimsical
Politic=Prudent, wise, artful, cunning
Humorous=Sad
Compleat:
Emulation=Haayver, volgzucht, afgunst
Fantastical=Byzinnig, eigenzinnig, grilziek
Politick (or cunning)=Slim, schrander, doorsleepen

Topics: life, nature, skill/talent, identityemotion and mood

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:
Ik verzoek u dringend, laat zijn jeugdige leeftijd geen oorzaak wezen om hem eerbiedige achting te doen derven, want nooit zag ik een jong hoofd, zoo grijs in kennis.

MORE:
Proverb: An old head on young shoulders

Reverend=Testifying veneration, humble
Estimation=Value, worth
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: King Henry VI Part 2
ACT/SCENE: 4.2
SPEAKER: Holland
CONTEXT:
BEVIS
I tell thee, Jack Cade the clothier means to dress
the commonwealth, and turn it, and set a new nap upon it.
HOLLAND
So he had need, for ’tis threadbare. Well, I say it was never merry world in England since gentlemen came up.
BEVIS
O miserable age! Virtue is not regarded in handicrafts-men.
HOLLAND
The nobility think scorn to go in leather aprons.
BEVIS
Nay, more, the king’s council are no good workmen.

DUTCH:
Dat is ook hoognoodig, want afgedragen is hij. Ik
zeg maar, met hel vroolijk leven is het uit in Engeland,
sinds de edellieden er zoo de baas zijn.

MORE:

Set a new nap=Reform, change direction (the nap of a woven fabric being the direction)
Came up=Arrived, became fashionable
Think scorn=Are contemptuous, disdainful of
King’s Council=Assembly, privy counsellors
Regarded=Valued

Compleat:
The nap of cloth=De wol of noppen van laken
To come up=Opkomen
Regard=Achting

Topics: honesty, status, order/society, skill/talent, value, fashion/trends

PLAY: As You Like It
ACT/SCENE: 4.1
SPEAKER: Rosalind
CONTEXT:
ORLANDO
But will my Rosalind do so?
ROSALIND
By my life, she will do as I do.
ORLANDO
Oh, but she is wise.
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.

DUTCH:
Sluit voor een vrouwenvernuft de deur, en het gaat door het venster naar buiten; sluit dit toe en het kruipt door het sleutelgat; stop dit dicht, en het vliegt met den rook den schoorsteen uit.

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

CITED IN US LAW:
American Gas Association v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 912 F.2d 1496, 1516, (D.C.Cir. l990)(Williams, J.).

Topics: wisdom, intellect, skill/talent, cited in law

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 1.1
SPEAKER: Iago
CONTEXT:

IAGO
Despise me
If I do not. Three great ones of the city
(In personal suit to make me his lieutenant)
Off-capped to him, and by the faith of man
I know my price, I am worth no worse a place.
But he (as loving his own pride and purposes)
Evades them with a bombast circumstance
Horribly stuffed with epithets of war,
And in conclusion
Nonsuits my mediators. For “Certes,” says he,
“I have already chose my officer.”
And what was he?
Forsooth, a great arithmetician,
One Michael Cassio, a Florentine
(A fellow almost damned in a fair wife)
That never set a squadron in the field,
Nor the division of a battle knows
More than a spinster—unless the bookish theoric,
Wherein the toged consuls can propose
As masterly as he. Mere prattle without practice
Is all his soldiership. But he, sir, had th’ election
And I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof
At Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds
Christian and heathen, must be belee’d and calmed
By debitor and creditor. This counter-caster
He (in good time) must his lieutenant be
And I, bless the mark, his Moorship’s ancient.
RODERIGO
By heaven, I rather would have been his hangman.
IAGO
Why, there’s no remedy. ‘Tis the curse of service.
Preferment goes by letter and affection,
And not by old gradation, where each second
Stood heir to th’ first. Now sir, be judge yourself,
Whether I in any just term am affined
To love the Moor.

DUTCH:
Niets aan te doen. Het is de vloek van ’t leger: promotie maakt men óf op aanbeveling, óf door een vriendendienst, niet als vanouds, toen men van rang tot rang, van tweede man tot eerste werd bevorderd. Oordeel zelf of ik één reden heb om met de Moor bevriend te zijn.

MORE:

Off-capped=Doffed caps
Suit=Petition
Bombast circumstance=Inflated rhetoric, circumlocution
Bombast=Cotton used to stuff out garments (hence ‘stuffed with epithets’)
Non-suit=Rejection of petition, causing withdrawal of petition

Schmidt:
Preferment=Advancement, promotion
Gradation=Regular advance from step to step
Affined=Bound by any tie
Just=Conforming to the laws and principles of justice, equitable
Term=Expression, word
Belee’d=To place on the lee, in a positoin unfavourable to the wind
Ancient=The next in command under the lieutenant

CurseCompleat:
Gradation=Een trafspreuk, opklimming in eene reede
To come to preferment=Bevorderd worden
Preferment=Verhooging, voortrekking, bevordering tot Staat
Bombast=Bombazyne of kattoene voering; fustian
Bombast=Hoogdraavende wartaal, ydel gezwets
To bumbast=Met bombazyn voeren
Bumbast: Bombazyn als ook Brommende woorden

Burgersdijk notes:
Een groote cijfermeester, Een Michel Cassio, een Florentijner. Florence was niet, zooals Venetië, telkens in oorlogen gewikkeld; hoe zou Cassio daar de krijgskunst geleerd hebben? Ontvangsten en uitgaven, winsten en verliezen te berekenen, ja. dit kon men zich daar eigen maken. – Het volgende „verslingerd op een schoone vrouw,” heet in het Engelsch : almost damned in a fair wife „bijna verdoemd”. Het gerucht liep, dat Cassio van plan was de schoone Bianca, met wie hij verkeer had, te trouwen Door zulk een huwelijk zou hij zich, naar Jago’s opvatting , in de verdoemenis storten.

Topics: corruption, loyalty, relationship, skill/talent, age/experience

PLAY: Coriolanus
ACT/SCENE: 3.1
SPEAKER: Menenius
CONTEXT:
MENENIUS
Consider this: he has been bred i’ the wars
Since he could draw a sword, and is ill school’d
In bolted language; meal and bran together
He throws without distinction. Give me leave,
I’ll go to him, and undertake to bring him
Where he shall answer, by a lawful form,
In peace, to his utmost peril.
FIRST SENATOR
Noble tribunes,
It is the humane way: the other course
Will prove too bloody, and the end of it
Unknown to the beginning.

DUTCH:
Bedenkt nog dit: sinds hij een zwaard kon trekken,
Wies hij in de’ oorlog op en leerde nooit
Zijn woorden ziften; meel en zeem’len werpt hij
Er uit, zooals het valt.

MORE:
Bolted language=Refined phraseology. “To bolt” meaning to sift is often used figuratively.
Answer=Answer a charge, meet accusation, give an account under peaceful forms of law
To his utmost peril=Whatever the danger it involves
End… beginning. See The Tempest 2.1 “The latter end of his commonwealth forgets the beginning.”

Compleat:
Utmost=Uiterste
Peril=Gevaar, perykel, nood
To bolt out=Uitschieten, uitpuilen
To bolt meal=Meel builen

Topics: language, learning/education, skill/talent

PLAY: The Merchant of Venice
ACT/SCENE: 1.3
SPEAKER: Antonio
CONTEXT:
ANTONIO
Mark you this, Bassanio,
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
Oh, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!
SHYLOCK
Three thousand ducats—’tis a good round sum.
Three months from twelve, then. Let me see. The rate—
ANTONIO
Well, Shylock, shall we be beholding to you?

DUTCH:
Merk dit op, Bassanio;
De duivel zelf beroept zich op de schrift.
Een boos gemoed, dat heil’ge woorden spreekt,
Is als een fielt met liefelijken lach;
Een schijnschoone appel, maar in ‘t hart verrot;
O, glanzend schoon is ‘t uiterlijk der valschheid!

MORE:
CITED IN US LAW – some examples:
In re Amy B, 1997 Conn. Super LEXIS at 28;
Harris v. Superior Court, 3 Cal. App. 4th 661, 666 (Cal. 1992);
Shattuck Denn Mining Corporation v. National labour Relations Board, 362 F.2d 466, 469 (9th Cir. 1966);
Middleton Development Corp v Gust, 44 Mich. App.71, 79, 205, NW 2d.39,43 (1972);
Delmarva Power and Light Company of Maryland v. Eberhard, 247 Md. 273, 230 A.2d 644 (Md. Ct. App, 1966);
United States ex rel. Green v. Peters, WL 8258, 17, n. 11 (1994), where the court clarified that “its figure of speech does not of course suggest that the Attorney General has literally joined the forces of darkness”. (!)

Proverb: Sodom apples outwardly fair, ashes at the
Beholding=Beholden, indebted

Topics: emotion and mood, misquoted

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Gravedigger
CONTEXT:
Why, there thou sayst. And the more pity that great folk should have countenance in this world to drown or hang themselves more than their even Christian. Come, my spade. There is no ancient gentleman but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers. They hold up Adam’s profession.

DUTCH:
Kom, schoppie, er is geen ouwere adel dan tuinlieden, dood­ gravers en grafmakers. /
Er bestaat geen oudere adel dan die van tuinlui, sloot-en doodgravers. /
De oudste grondheeren zijn tuinlui, aardwerkers en doodgravers.

MORE:
Schmidt:
Countenance=Authority, credit, patronage
Compleat:
Countenance=Gelaat, gezigt, uytzigt, weezen, bescherming

Topics: poverty and wealth, business, skill/talent, status, order/society

PLAY: Measure for Measure
ACT/SCENE: 3.2
SPEAKER: Duke Vincentio
CONTEXT:
Let him be but testimonied in his own
bringings-forth, and he shall appear to the
envious a scholar, a statesman and a soldier.
Therefore you speak unskilfully: or if your
knowledge be more it is much darkened in your malice.

DUTCH:
Daarom, gij spreekt zonder eenig inzicht; of, als gij er meer kennis van hebt, dan is die door uwe boosaardigheid zeer verduisterd.

MORE:
Schmidt:
Testimonied=Attested, witnessed, proved by testimony
Compleat:
Testimony=Getuigen. To bear testimony against one=Tegen iemand getuigen
In testimony whereof=Ten bewyze daar van

Topics: skill/talent, learning/education, evidence, language

PLAY: Othello
ACT/SCENE: 3.4
SPEAKER: Clown
CONTEXT:
DESDEMONA
Can you inquire him out and be edified by report?
CLOWN
I will catechise the world for him, that is, make questions, and by them answer.
DESDEMONA
Seek him, bid him come hither. Tell him I have moved my lord on his behalf, and hope all will be well.
CLOWN
To do this is within the compass of man’s wit: and therefore I will attempt the doing of it.

DUTCH:
Dit valt binnen het bereik van het menselijke denkvermogen.
Daarom zal ik proberen het ten uitvoer te brengen.

MORE:

Schmidt:
Catechise=To try by questions (allusion to instructional method)
Compass=Reach, range (Nowadays: Is it beyond the wit of man?)

Compleat:
Compass=Omtrek, omkreits, begrip, bestek, bereik
It is not within the compass of humane skill=’t Gaat het bereik van ‘s menschen verstand te boven
Catechise=In ‘t geloof onderwyzen, katechizeren; een vermaaning geven
Edify (to set examples of piety)=Stichten door een goed voorbeeld

Topics: skill/talent, intellect

PLAY: King Henry IV Part 1
ACT/SCENE: 5.1
SPEAKER: Falstaff
CONTEXT:
PRINCE HENRY
Why, thou owest God a death.
Tis not due yet. I would be loath to pay Him before His day. What need I be so forward with Him that calls not on me? Well, ’tis no matter. Honour pricks me on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I come on? How then? Can honor set to a leg? no. Or an arm? no. Or take away the grief of a wound? No. Honour hath no skill in surgery, then? No. What is honour? A word. What is in that word “honour”? What is that “honour”? Air. A trim reckoning. Who hath it? He that died o’ Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. ‘Tis insensible, then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it. Therefore, I’ll none of it. Honour is a mere scutcheon. And so ends my catechism.

DUTCH:
Wat is eer? Een woord. Wat is het woord eer? Lucht. De rekening sluit! — Wie Iieeft haar? Die woensdag gestorven is. Voelt hij ze? Neen. Hoort hij ze? Neen. Is ze dus niet waar te nemen? Neen, door de dooden niet. Maar leeft ze dan nooit bij de levenden? Neen. Waarom niet? De afgunst duldt dit niet.

MORE:
Death. Debt. The word-play on “death” and “debt” occurs as early as 1400.
Onions:
Prick on=Encourage, incite
Prick off=to mark or indicate by a ‘prick’ or tick, mark or tick off
Set to a leg=Restore a leg cut off
Insensible=Not to be apprehended by the senses
Scutcheon=A shield with armorial ensigns. Scutcheon is the lowest description of heraldic ensign used for funerals.
Compleat:
Scutcheon=Schild, wapenschild
REFERENCED IN E&W LAW: AM v Local Authority & Anor [2009] EWCA Civ 205 (16 March 2009)
Burgersdijk notes:
De eer is niets dan een wapenschild. Dat bij de begrafenis van een edelman mede rond gedragen wordt, zonder dat de doode er iets aan heeft. — Falstaff noemt, wat hij gezegd heeft, een catechismus, omdat hij in vragen en antwoorden zijn geloofsbelijdenis heeft afgelegd.

Topics: honour, cited in law, skill/talent, life

PLAY: As You Like It
ACT/SCENE: 3.3
SPEAKER: Touchstone
CONTEXT:
When a man’s verses cannot be understood nor a man’s good wit seconded with the forward child, understanding, it strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little room. Truly, I would the gods had made thee poetical.

DUTCH:
Als iemands verzen niet begrepen worden en iemands geestigheid niet wordt bijgestaan door het voorlijke kind Verstand,

MORE:
Schmidt:
Reckoning (substantively)=the money charged by a host (a Bill)

Topics: intellect, understanding, skill/talent, language

PLAY: Hamlet
ACT/SCENE: 2.1
SPEAKER: Polonius
CONTEXT:
Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth.
And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,
With windlasses and with assays of bias,
By indirections find directions out.
So by my former lecture and advice
Shall you my son. You have me, have you not?

DUTCH:
Uw leugenig lokaas vangt dien waren karper /
Met kunstaas haalt men echte karpers op

MORE:
Schmidt:
Indirection= oblique course or means
Windlasses=Roundabout ways
Bias (in a bad sense)=that which is from the straight line, indirect ways, shifts
Compleat:
To bias=Overhellen, doen overzwaaijen
Windlass=Een katrel met verscheidene schyven, een windaas

Topics: truth, discovery, intellect, skill/talent

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