One must pay the piper

riobravo

New Member
Persian
Anybody can help about this quote:

This is the context: Beg her forgiveness, sir. There's no help for it! One must pay the piper...

Thanks
 
  • riobravo

    New Member
    Persian
    I like this moving of ideas here in the forum. Actually I put the context of the phrase when I quoted from the book. You are right , it is Anna Karenina, but the scene is about the moment that nurse is coming at the door of Arkadyevich, and to encourage him to go and apologize and ask for his wife forgiveness! This is a bit more of the quote:

    " You must have pity , sir, on the children. Beg her for forgiveness, sir. There's no help for it! One must pay the piper...

    <Deletion>
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    It derives from the adage: He who dances must pay the piper. If you do something, you must accept the consequences.

    He has done something that offended or hurt his wife, and is now morally obligated to accept responsibility and apologize.
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    It reminds me of another adage, "you lie in the bed you make", which means along the lines of "you do something wrong and have to bear the consequences".
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    The only relevant saying I know is: He who pays the piper, calls the tune. I suppose it could be reversed to give: He who calls the tune, must pay the piper. I really can't fit my understanding of either of these into the context. Maybe there's something a bit 'off' in the translation? "You made your bed and now you have to lie in it" sounds more likely to me, as redgiant says. You got yourself into this mess and it's up to you to get yourself out of it

    (Quoted speech is not a context- context means the circumstances surrounding a quote, which give information as to its meaning and guide the most helpful answers)

    Hermione
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    As pwmeek pointed out, there is another adage that does make sense here: He who dances must pay the piper.
    I hadn't come across that saying before this thread (though I'm familiar with Hermione's He who pays the piper calls the tune). I'm sure pwmeek's right, though:):thumbsup:.


    I see that other translations of Anna Karenina have things like:
    You must have pity
    , sir, on the children. Beg her forgiveness, sir. There's no help for it! One must take the consequences ..."


    Later edit: I've just found this previous thread, which discusses the two proverbs: pay the piper.
     
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    riobravo

    New Member
    Persian
    Thanks for insightful reply. would it possible that you give me the full reference of the translation that you were quoting from. I have the feeling that this translation that I got from online is little bit off with such usage that are not that nicely pointed to the subject.

    I like the translation that you pointed to:"You must have pity, sir, on the children. Beg her forgiveness, sir. There's no help for it! One must take the consequences ..." because he just simply used the word consequences,but it might be in the original Tolstoy's Russian writing of the book Anna Karenina that meaning of "one must pay the piper" in its Russian idiomatic sense! anybody is aware of such a story.

    I still would love to see the translation that got the quote from, because it might be more helpful of the one I have!!

    thanks so much
     

    riobravo

    New Member
    Persian
    I find your explanation quite useful, and I truly appreciate your help. Come along, and help me in this job of translating the book into Persian!
    I like also your phrase at the bottom of your reply. It is really true, why this age thing that we all make so much fuss about it. One has to keep his soul young, the rest is not that important. Hope you well and strong to do good job like you did.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Oh, I'm sure that "One must pay the piper ..." is an excellent translation of the original Russian, riobravo! It's just that the proverb He who dances must pay the piper is - on the evidence of this thread and the earlier thread I found (see the edit to my previous post) - more familiar to AmE-speakers than to BrE-speakers.

    I found other translations by searching on google for You must have pity , sir, on the children. Beg her for forgiveness, sir: click :)
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I hadn't come across that saying before this thread (though I'm familiar with Hermione's He who pays the piper calls the tune). I'm sure pwmeek's right, though:):thumbsup:.
    Me neither. But this is listed in two dictionaries of American idioms:

    pay the piper
    Fig. to face the results of one's actions; to receive punishment for something. You can put off paying your debts only so long. Eventually you'll have to pay the piper. You can't get away with that forever. You'll have to pay the piper someday.
    McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
    pay the piper
    to accept the unpleasant results of something you have done pay the price After fooling around for most of the semester, now he has to pay the piper and study over vacation. If you don't charge enough for your work, at some point you will have to pay the piper.
    Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2003. Reproduced with permission.
     

    neal41

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I think that the 2 definitions found by natkretep are more closely related to the Pied Piper of Hamlin (see Myridon's post #8) than they are to "He who pays the piper calls the tune".
     
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