In an earlier post I wrote about a little puzzle in translations of The Consolation of Philosophy. The phrase “thinking makes it so” was found in a 19th century translation, but seemed to be a quotation or allusion to Hamlet. In the original post I bemoaned being able to find a translation done by Elizabeth I, which was contemporary with Shakespeare. But a friend has come through with the quote, because he had written a thesis on Chaucer’s and Elizabeth’s translations. Here is the royal translation:

This place wch thou thy bannishmt callst is the inhabitantes countrey. So nothing is wretched but when it is thought so, & blessed is all luck that hapes wt sufferers ease.

Elizabeth I

I cannot see here any relationship here between Chaucer or Shakespeare, so I am reinforced in my conclusion that the 19th century translation was making an intentional allusion to Shakespeare’s choice of words. (Had the monarch been studying Latin with my sons, she would have been dinged for unnecessarily translating putes with a passive; it’s difficult to receive honest feedback from one’s subjects, I suppose.)

More meaningful than having the puzzle solved is having friends who contribute it—the friend who found the Shakespeare quote for me, and the friend who turned out to be an expert on the very piece of the puzzle I needed.