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    #1

    George Farquhar The Beaux Stratagem

    Hi;

    Again, I'm translating The Beaux Stratagem from Farquhar. It's written in an old English. Sometimes I have difficulty about translating this play. So, I want to ask you, what is "my valour is downright Swiss."

    This is the some part of th conversation has it:

    "And if you go to that, how can you, after what is passed, have the confidence to deny me? Was not this blood shed in your defence, and my life exposed for your protection? Look 'ee, madam, I 'm none of your romantic fools, that fight giants and monsters for nothing; my valour is downright Swiss; I'm a soldier of fortune, and must be paid."
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 12-Jul-2015 at 10:08. Reason: Removed unnecessary line breaks

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: George Farquhar The Beaux Stratagem

    It seems to me that the speaker associates a particular kind of bravery (valour) with the Swiss and he is saying that his bravery is of that type. I'm not aware of any particular type of bravery associated with the Swiss these days but maybe things were different in the 18th century.

    Note that you have missed the apostrophe from the title. It's "The Beaux' Stratagem".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: George Farquhar The Beaux Stratagem

    Not A Teacher

    I think the writer is referring to the long history of Swiss soldiers acting as mercenaries through long periods of European history. Their soldiers fought for many nations including France, Spain and Britain, provided their fees were paid.
    More on this subject apcan be found on this Wikipedia link.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_mercenaries

    The person making the statement in The Beaux' Stratagem expects to paid for the actions that he has taken to protect the other person.

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    #4

    Re: George Farquhar The Beaux Stratagem

    My main degree was in History, and I agree, it is as Mrfatso has said. He is brave, but only for a price. He is mercenary in both senses of the word.

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    #5

    Re: George Farquhar The Beaux Stratagem

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    It seems to me that the speaker associates a particular kind of bravery (valour) with the Swiss and he is saying that his bravery is of that type. I'm not aware of any particular type of bravery associated with the Swiss these days but maybe things were different in the 18th century.

    Note that you have missed the apostrophe from the title. It's "The Beaux' Stratagem".
    Oh, yes, I missed the apostrophe but why it's used; I couldn't find in dictionaries.

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    #6

    Re: George Farquhar The Beaux Stratagem

    Quote Originally Posted by Eckaslike View Post
    My main degree was in History, and I agree, it is as Mrfatso has said. He is brave, but only for a price. He is mercenary in both senses of the word.
    Thank you. :)

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    #7

    Re: George Farquhar The Beaux Stratagem

    I didn't know about the Swiss mercenaries, thank you for the enlightenment.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 27-Jul-2015 at 18:17. Reason: Deleting unnecessary quote.

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    #8

    Re: George Farquhar The Beaux Stratagem

    I didn't understand this clause as well: "Plead for my easy yielding" and "in the fort before."
    Does she mean; "it will be easy to defend you, because of your last action"?

    Full sentence is: "Well, well, my lord, you have conquered; your late
    generous action will, I hope, plead for my easy
    yielding;
    though I must own, your lordship had a
    friend in the fort before."
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 27-Jul-2015 at 12:23. Reason: I've forgat some punctuation. Then format fixed by mod

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    #9

    Re: George Farquhar The Beaux Stratagem

    I think it relates to the fact that the two characters are to be married.

    To me it means:

    "Well, well, my lord, you have conquered;" = "Well, well, my lord, you have won my heart;"
    "your late generous action will, I hope," = "What you you did to win my heart will, I hope,"
    "plead for my easy yielding;" = "put forward a case for my heart to give way to your love"
    "though I must own," = "though I must admit,"
    "that your lordship had a friend in the fort before." = "that I had feelings for your lordship in my heart before."


    I think it is saying that, her heart is a metaphor for a fortress. That it is being besieged by his love, and has to give way at last.

    Hence using the military terms like, "conquered" and possibly, "action" as in "military action".

    The military terminology continues with "plead for my easy yielding", bringing to mind a besieged castle where those outside hope that the people will give up quickly, and the castle will be stormed easily.

    She is continuing the siege theme with, "that your lordship had a friend in the fort before.":
    Here the implication is that she had feelings for him in her heart before. She is making the comparison to a siege where a traitor within the fort or castle opens the doors to the enemy outside to let them in. The "friend in the fort" = "feelings in her heart", which is quite clever, because in the case of love and her heart being won, "the friend in the fort" is a friend, but in the absolute literal meaning in the military sense, "the friend in the fort " implies an enemy or traitor who lets the enemy in to win the castle".

    Does this work in the context of what you have read before that section of the play?

    Others may have different thoughts on to how to interpret this, but hopefully the above will give you a few ideas.
    Last edited by Eckaslike; 12-Jul-2015 at 16:23. Reason: To correct formating.

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    #10

    Re: George Farquhar The Beaux Stratagem

    Yes, yes, it does absolutely work. Thank you very much. It's very helpful.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 27-Jul-2015 at 13:29. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote

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