Conversational English in the Late Sixteenth Century
Source: Giovanni Florio, Florio's Second Frutes, London, 1591 (reproduced by Da Capo Press, Amsterdam, 1969.
Facing pages in this book have Italian and English texts as an aid to learning the languages. The intriguing part is that the texts are conversations that can give a taste of the language of the time. Presented her are some excerpts to add vocabulary and style to your conversations "in persona".
I have transcribed as best I can. Please note that rather than mark spelling mistakes , if we can call them such in period, found in the book either by design or by accident, I have simply reproduced them. I may make mistakes as well so if that is crucial I suggest you find a copy and double check to find if the mistake is mine in transcription.
The First Chapter, of rising in the morning, and of things belonging to the chamber and to apparrell,
betweene Nolano, Torquato and Ruspa their servant.
N. What ho, M. Torquato, will you lye a bed all day?
T. Who is there? who calleth me? who asketh for for mee?
N. A friend of yours. Friend, it is I, are you up?
T. Who are you? what looke you for? what seeke you?
N. Good morrow to you M. Torquato: are you asleepe yet?
T. M. Nolano, I pray you excuse me: Ile be wuth you by and by.
The twelfht Chapter concluding this dayes work, with a night watch, wherein prouerbially and pleasantly discourse is held of lovw, and of women, betweene Pandolpho, Silustro, Nicodemus, and Dormiglione.
P. This wilbe a faire moone and starre-shine night, my companions, and fine to watch in.
S. It were euen a fine night to runne awaye with another mans wife in.