marco wrote:Hello Steve,
I included "this thing boys make an art of": I guess you are right and garzoni stands for young men in this verse. Anyway, I don't think that this stanza is alluding to homosexuality (but to active sex made by "garzoni" in general).
Yes, I think I understand it better now, in context of the previous verse in which the woman are extorted not to waste time making their own; the boys as apprentices are forbidden to reveal the secrets of the 'baker's art' :
Ladies, we have spiced rolls and sweetmeats,
if you want some, then ours are a treat.
We ought not teach how to make them,
a season is lost, much time is wasted still,
and whoever loses time, as many do,
it’s better we make use of their little pots.
When it’s your time, then do as you will,
and don't feel embarrassed or dirty:
who hasn’t the way, win over the neighbour;
good neighbours give to each other.
This thing young men (the boys, journeymen, apprentices) make an art of:
it is enough that our (sweetmeats/honey rolls) are good.
Do not (wait/expect) (for someone to give you one/for someone to give you a gift/to receive a present)
it is (proper/fitting/becoming) to play and (spend/pay/will - should cost) (a pretty penny/good money).
This thing we young men make an art of:
it's enough that our sweetmeats are good.
Don't wait for someone to give you one:
be good sports - spend a penny and play!
I am unsure of the meaning of convien here, as proper, fitting, appropriate, becoming, behoves
or as needs/wants must, perforce
- I think the sense of advice here, as you have it it is better to play
is probably the best one, but the condition of having to pay a pretty penny to play sounds less harsh in English if the line is inverted I think - it is better to (pay/spend) (a pretty penny/good money) and play
. I wonder also, as in the example above and below, if 'play' could be interpreted as 'sport'? Are the ladies being asked to pay for a sweetmeat here, or to gamble some money to win one? If so perhaps something like 'place a bet and play your pretty penny' may make this aspect clearer?
needs must play and will pay good money.
it is becoming to play and to pay good money.
it is better to pay a pretty penny and play.
seize the day - pay a penny and play!
seize the day - spend your penny and play
be a sport and spend your good money.
For "quattrini" I prefer "money", because in the Italian text no "double entendre" is associated to this word.
I wasn't thinking of it as double entendre here (though there maybe, doesn't the sausage seller say something along the lines of 'spender bei quattrini' in Aristophanes "Knights"? Can't remember the context off hand - in English there is a double meaning to be had in 'to be spent' - not sure whether the same applies in Italian - and also the connotation of bread/dough 'rising') but as maintaining the bakery metaphor as a poetic device - but I agree with you if bread/dough is not figurative of money in idiomatic Italian as it is in English (infatti il termine inglese usato per quattrini, dough,
e in forma di slang.) Similarly, as it would be too hard I think to maintain the meter and rhyme scheme (though I haven't tried to do so, it may be possible with time on one's hands) of the original maybe to use other poetic devices where possible such as alliteration and assonance: penny and play, give you a gift, or faith in fortune is crazy (for the alliteration of 'f' sounds and assonance of 'ay' in fai
th and cra
zy ) and also, remembering that it is a song, to give it some form of 'cantor', even if one can't maintain that of the original.
Ironically, on youtube a nice interpretation of the first stanzas is used to introduce a composition in praise of the Holy Virgin.
Hmmmm... the holy virgin, money and sodomy - reminds me of something - oh yes:
"Putanna madonna, che ci dia i quattrini! Ho ragione? Culo rulto!"