Category Archives: Conversation

Conversation Dining Food Household

Master Andrew, will it please you to eate an egg?

More from Florio’s charming English-Italian phrasebook, in which he gives characters everyday conversations in order that the reader might learn some useful phrases. The conversations reveal some lovely details about daily life in sixteenth and seventeenth century England. This time Aurelio and Pompilio meet on the street and go back to Pompio’s house to admire his lodgings, and following that, a dinner party conversation.

Pompilio: Good morrow master Aurelio.
Aurelio: And to you a good morrowe and a good year M Pomilio.
Pompilio: From whence come you in such haste?
Aurelio: I come from visiting a friend of mine.
Pomilio: Where dwells he, if a man may know?
Aurelio: Here by, in this streete.
Pompilio: Is it a hee or a shee friend, tell me in good sooth?
Aurelio: You goe about to make me blush.
Pomilio: Will it please you to goe so farre as my chamber?
Aurelio: Yes sir, but I would be loath to trouble you
Pomilio: Will you goe and see my lodging?
Aurelio: Honoured shall I be, if it please you to accept of my company?
Pomilio: What ho, Trippa, goe before and open the dore for us.

At the lodging:

Pomilio: Boy, bring hither some stooles, set a chaire there.
Aurelio: In good sooth, you are lodged verie commodiously.
Pomilio: To tell you the truth I am verie well here.
Aurelio: You have a daintie bed with verie fine household stuffe.
Pomilio: Here you may see verie farre.
Aurelio: Behold, it is a verie fine and pleasant prospect.
Pomilio: And delightsome, especiallie towards the Easte.
Aurelio: Is this a hyred chamber?
Pomilio: Yes sir, and I paie verie deare for it.
Aurelio: How much doo you paie a weeke for it?
Pomilio: I paie four crownes a moneth.
Aurelio: It is not very deare, being in London.
Pomilio: I must make as good shift as I maie.
Aurelio: In good truth you are verie well stored with bookes.
Pomilio: Those few that I have, be at your commandement.
Aurelio: Lend me this booke, for two or three daies.
Pomilio: Keep it so long as you please.

They then go on to discuss a sick friend, and which horses they will hunt with that afternoon, before arranging to meet at a church porch.

Next a dinner party, hosted by Simon, for his friends Nundinio, Camillo, Horatio, Melibeo, Taneredi and Andrew, waited on by Robert.

Robert: Master, dinner is readie, shall it be set upon the board?
Simon: I praie thee doo so, laie the board when thou wilt.
Robert: By and by, it shall be readie in less than a lightning.
Nundinio: My cravers [appetite], as the scots man saye, serves me well.
Simon: The meate is comming in, let us sit downe.
Camillo: I would wash first, if it were not to trouble Robert.
Simon: What ho, bring some water to wash our hands. Give me a faire, cleane and white towell.
Robert: Behold, here is one upon my shoulder.
Simon: My masters, drie your hands with this towell.
Taneredi: I praie you let us sit downe, for I have a good stomack.
Simon: My masters, the meate cooles.
Taneredi: My friend, I praie thee, give mee a messe of pottage, and a spoon also.
Robert: There be some upon the table, by the salt.
Simon: Bring hither that sallat [salad], those steakes, that legge of mutton, that peece of beefe, with all the boyled meate that we have.
Camillo: This may rather be called a banquet than an ordinarie dinner.
Simon: I praye you everie man serve himself, let everie one cut where he pleases and seeke the best morcels.
Taneredi: Truly these meates are verie well seasoned.
Camillo: In good sooth, you have excellent good bread here.
Nundinio: Good lord, how manie sorts of bread have you in your house?
Simon: Bring forth that loyn of veale roasted, and that quarter, whether it be of Kidde or Lambe.
Camillo: You are happie that have so good a baker.
Simon: Call for drinke when you please and what kinde of wine you like best.
Camillo: Give me a cup of beere, or else a bowle of ale.
Horatio: I love to drink wine after the Dutch fashion
Taneredi: How doo they drinke it I pray you?
Horatio: In the morning pure, at dinner without water, and at night as it comes from the vessell.
Melibeo: I like this rule well, they are wise, and Gods blessing upon them.
Horatio: A slice of bacon would make us taste this wine well.
Simon: What ho, set that gammon of bakon upon the boarde.
Taneredi: Of curtesie give me a little salt, I cannot reach it. I eate more salt than a Goate dooth.
Horatio: Give me a clean trenchar [plate].
Simon: Thou sillie wretch, give everie one cleane plates.
Nundinio: Let us make a lawe that no man put of his cap or hat at the table.
Camillo: An excellent and good lawe, for so shall wee not fowle our hatts.
Taneredi: Neither shall we be in danger to make the haires flie about the dishes.
Simon: Set that capon upon the table, and those rabbits, that hen, those chickens, that goose, those woodcocks, those larkes, those quailes, those partridges, and that pasty of venison.
Nundunio: Yonder is a most fine cubbord of plate
Simon: Andrew commeth. Have you dined or no?
Andrew: To tell you true, I am fasting yet.
Simon: Bring hither a stoole, and set a trenchar, a napkin, a knife, a forke, and a spoone there.
Andrew: Let no man stirre, I will sit here, by your leave.
Simon: Master Andrew, will it please you to eate an egg?

Andrew eagerly accepts the egg, and they go on to complete the meal with cheese, and fruit of every description, followed by marmalade and biscuits and caraway treats. They round off the evening with a merry game of cards and everyone has a splendid time.

More from Florio: Will you weare any weapons to daye? and Let us make a match at tennis


© 2009-2013 All Rights Reserved

Clothing Conversation Custom London

Will you weare any weapons to daye?

More entertaining conversation from John Florio. This time a man visits his friend at home and waits while he dresses. Florio provides some really lovely detail about clothing, and gives us a glimpse into the daily lives of Londoners in late 16th Century London. The conversation takes place between Mr Nolano, Mr Torquato, and the servant, Ruspa. It is entitled ‘of rising in the morning, and of things belonging to the chamber’.

Nolano: What ho, M Torquato, will you lye a bed all day?
Torquato: Who is there? Who calleth me? Who asketh for me?
Nolano: A friend of yours. Are you up?
Torquato: M Nolano, I pray you, excuse me. Ile be with you by and by.
Nolano: Rise at your leisure, for I will stay for you.
Torquato: The doore is open, will it please you to come in?
Norlano: God give you good morrow.
Torquato: The like to you, you are very heartily welcome.
Norlano: Are you not ashamed to lie a bed so long?
Torquato: I was not asleep, I was slumbering.
Norlano: How have you rested this night?
Torquato: Well, but I have had many dreadfull dreames. What ho, Ruspa, come hither, where art thou? What art thou doing?
Ruspa: Here I am. What lacke you?
Torquato: Open that window and give me my clothes.
Ruspa: What apparell will you have this day?
Torquato: First give me a clean shirt, one of the fine ones.
Ruspa: There are but two that be cleane.
Torquato: Where be all the others?
Ruspa: The laundress hath fix of them.
Torquato: Dispatch and give me a shirt.
Ruspa: With what band with you have it?
Torquato: With a falling band [a band or flat collar worn around the neck].
Ruspa: There is none.
Tarquato: Give me one with ruffes then.
Ruspa: Here is one with ruffes.
Tarquato: Give me my wastecote.
Ruspa: Which will you have, that of flannell?
Tarquato: No, give me that which is knit.
Ruspa: What sute of apparell will you weare today?
Torquato: That of white satten, laide on with gold lace.
Ruspa: That lacks I know not how many buttons.
Torquato: Set them on then by and by.
Ruspa: I have neither needle, thred, nor thimble.
Tarquato: Mr Nolano, think not the time long, Ile be with you presently.
Nolano: In the meane while I will reade this booke.

Here follows an inventory of all Tarquato’s clothes. Presumably to assist the reader in learning the Italian names. He owns:

A long gown furr’d with Martines, a furr’d gown, a night gown of chamlet [a fabric made from Angora], a rugge gowne, a cloake lined with bayes, a cape cloak of fine cloth, a riding cloake of broad-cloth, two doublets, one coate, one velvet Jerkin, one Spanish leather jerkin, one of beaver and the other of felt, and two velvet caps.

He also owns shoes:

Two payre of bootes, one of Spanish, the other of neates leather, one payre of spurrs, three payre of boote hose, one payre of pumps and pantofles [a sort of indoor shoe], and a payre of night slippers.

The inventory continues with:

A dozen shirtes, two of handkerchers, and as many falling bands of lawne, eight ruffes bandes with their hand cuffs, four towels, six wipers [flannels], eight quoifes [night cap or skull cap], ivory combes, cisors, eare pickers and other knacks [nick nacks].

Back to the conversation:

Ruspa: Will you weare shooes or buskins to daye?
Tarquato: Give me the shooing horne, to pull on my shooes. Tye my poynts [laces] with slyding knotts but not with fast knotts.
Ruspa: What girdle will you have?
Torquato: Reach me that of blew velvet embroydered.
Ruspa: Will you weare any weapons to daye?
Torquato: Give me my sword and dagger.
Ruspa: Take this rapier, for it is lighter.
Torquato: Reach me the combe, to combe my beard.
Ruspa: Everie thing is in the case upon the window.
Torquato: Where be my gloves? I see them not.
Ruspa: You forgot them in some place yesternight.
Torquato: What ho, Ruspa, bring hither some drinke.
Ruspa: What would you have Master?
Torquato: Bring some wine, and a manchet [a loaf of fine bread], and
a napkin. Wash the glasses verie well.
Ruspa: Anon, anon, Ile come by and by.
Torquato: Pour out some wine and give me a drinke.
Nolanto: I marvell how you can drinke so earlie. I drinke very
seldome between meales.
Torquato: It is good to drinke in a morning to charme the mist.
Ruspa: Will your worship have anything else?
Torquato: Give me my cap and gird my sword about me.
Nolano: This cloake becommeth you verie well.
Ruspa: Shall I goe with you?
Torquato: No, dresse up the Chamber and laye everything in his place.
Nolano: I pray you let us lose no more time.
Torquato: I am readie, goe before and I will followe you. What ho, boy,
come after me.
Ruspa: I come, but first I will shut the dore.
Torquato: Lock it with the key
Ruspa: Fast binde, fast finde.
Torquato: And he that shuts well, avoydeth ill luck.

Next time, admiring a man’s lodgings, and a dinner party.

More from Florio: Let us make a match at tennis and Master Andrew, will it please you to eate an egg?


© 2009-2013 All Rights Reserved

Conversation Entertainment Games London Sport

Let us make a match at tennis

Browsing through John Florio’s English-Italian dictionary and phrasebook, I discovered this charming conversation between the fictional Thomas, John, and Henry. Florio gives these characters typical English exchanges, which he then translates into Italian to enable people to learn the language. Their conversation reveals fascinating everyday detail about late 16th and early 17th century life.

Thomas: Let us goe and plaie at tennis
Henry: One of us must staie out then
John: I will stay out, plaie you two
Thomas: We will cast lotts
John: No, let me be rather a looker on than a plaier
Henry: Go to, since you will have it so, let us two plaie
Thomas: What odds will you give me?
Henry: I will not plaie unless I plaie even hand
John: You may plaie even hand well enough
Thomas: I am content for a set or two
Henry: To what tennis court shall we goe?
Thomas: To charter house court
Henry: Trulie it is the fairest court about London
Thomas: But what shall master John doo in the mean while?
John: I will goe with you to see you plaie
Henry: You shall looke on and be our judge

At the court:

Thomas: What ho boy, bring hither some balles and some rackets
Boy: How manie are you my masters?
Henry: We are but two that will plaie
Boy: Will you plaie in set?
Thomas: Yea marrie, therefore give us good balles
Boy: Here are two dozen of faire and white balles
Thomas: Let us keepe the lawes of the court
John: That is, stake money under the line is it not so?
Thomas, Yea sir, you hit it right
Henry: Here is my monie, now stake you
Thomas: Whose lot is it to plaie?
Henry: Mine, for you are at the house
Thomas: Plaie then, and give me a faire balle

Thomas: A losse: I have fifteene
Henry: Fifteen for fifteene
Thomas: I am thirtie
Henry: Is that balle under or over?
John: Methinks it is under more than a handfull.
Henry: You have fortie then, goe to, plaie
Thomas: And I a dewes then.
Henry: I have the advantage
John: That was a verie faire stroake
Thomas: Everie man is against me.
Henry: I have wonne the first game.
Thomas: This is my woonted ill luck
Henry: I sweate, and am all in a water
Thomas: Let us give over plaie if you will
John: Who must paie for the balles?
Thomas I must, how manie dozens have we had?
Boy: Three dozen and a halfe
Thomas: Here is monie

Henry: Whether shall we goe now?
Thomas: Ile goe home to mine owne chamber
John: What to doo there?
Thomas: To rest a while, for I am wearie.
John: Then let us goe to my lodging.
Henry: It will be best since it is not farre hence.
Thomas: Let us goe apace then, for it is late.

I’ll post more entertaining and illuminating chit-chat from Thomas, Henry, and John soon.

More from Florio – Master Andrew, will it please you to eate an egg? and Will you wear any weapons to daye?

© 2009-2012 All Rights Reserved

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