Construe them

Though we are told that Shakespeare had small Latine and less Greeke, he certainly could translate. Taming of the Shrew III, i:
BIANCA. Where left we last?

LUCENTIO. Here, madam:

Hic ibat Simois, hic est Sigeia tellus,
Hic steterat Priami regia celsa senis.

BIANCA. Construe them.

LUCENTIO. Hic ibat, as I told you before — Simois, I am Lucentio — hic est, son unto Vincentio of Pisa — Sigeia tellus, disguised thus to get your love — Hic steterat, and that Lucentio that comes a-wooing — Priami, is my man Tranio — regia, bearing my port — celsa senis, that we might beguile the old pantaloon.

The lines are from Ovid's "Letter from Penelope to Ulysses", lines 34-35, with hic ibat instead of the correct hac ibat and hic est instead of haec est. (English-speakers have been making mistakes in gender for a long time.) They actually mean:

"Here the Simois flowed; this is Sigeian land; Here stood the lofty palace of old Priam.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How is the latin pronounced?