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Mar. Come, come, you talk greasily; your lips grow
foul. Cost. She's too hard for you at pricks, sir; chal
lenge her to bowl. Boyet. I fear too much rubbing. Good night, my good owl.
[Exeunt Boyer and Maria. Cost. By my soul, a swain ! a most simple clown! Lord, lord, how the ladies and I have put him down! O’ my troth, most sweet jests! most incony vulgar
wit! When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely, as it were,
so fit. Armatho o' the one side,-0, a most dainty man! To see him walk before a lady, and to bear her fan! To see him kiss his hand! and how most sweetly
a' will swear!And his page o' t' other side, that handful of wit ! Ah, Heavens, it is a most patheticalo nit! Sola, sola! [Shouting within. Exit Cost. running.
SCENE II. The same.
Enter HOLOFERNES, Sır NATHANIEL, and Dull.
Nath. Very reverent sport, truly; and done in the testimony of a good conscience.
Hol. The deer was, as you know, in sanguis,blood ; ripe as a pomewater, who now hangeth like a jewel in the ear of cælo, the sky, the welkin, the heaven; and anon falleth, like a crab, on the face of terra,—the soil, the land, the earth.
Nath. Truly, master Holofernes, the epithets are sweetly varied, like a scholar at the least. But, sir, I assure ye, it was a buck of the first head.4
1 To rub is a term at bowls.
2 Pathetical sometimes meant passionate, and sometimes passionmoving, in our old writers, but is here used by Costard as an idle expletive.
3 Pomewater, a species of apple. 4 In the Return from Parnassus, 1606, is the following account of the
Hol. Sir Nathaniel, haud credo.
Hol. Most barbarous intimation! yet a kind of insinuation, as it were, in via, in way, of explication ; facere as it were, replication,-or, rather, ostentare, to show," as it were, his inclination,-after his undressed, unpolished, uneducated, unpruned, untrained, or rather unlettered, or, ratherest, unconfirmed fashion, —to insert again my haud credo for a deer.
Dull. I said, the deer was not a haud credo; 'twas a pricket.
Hol. Twice sod simplicity, bis coctus!—0 thou monster, ignorance, how deformed dost thou look!
Nath. Šir, he hath never fed of the dainties that are bred in a book; he hath not eat paper, as it were ; he hath not drunk ink; his intellect is not replenished; he is only an animal, only sensible in the duller parts. And such barren plants are set before us, that we
thankful should be (Which we of taste and feeling are) for those parts
that do fructify in us more than he. For as it would ill become me to be vain, indiscreet,
or a fool, So, were there a patch set on learning, to see him in a
school : But, omne bene, say I; being of an old father's mind, Many can brook the weather that love not the wind.
Dull. You two are book-men; can you tell by
What was a month old at Cain's birth, that's not five
weeks old as yet ? Hol. Dictynna, good man Dull; Dictynna, good
different appellations of deer at their different ages—“ Amoretto. I caused the keeper to sever the rascal deer from the bucks of the first head. Now, sir, a buck is the first year, a fawn ; the second year, a pricket; the third year, a sorrel; the fourth year, a soare; the fifth, a buck of the first head; the sixth year, a complete buck.”
1 The meaning is, to be in a school would as ill become a patch, or low fellow, as folly would become me.
” Shakspeare might have found this uncommon title for Diana in the second book of Golding's translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses. VOL. II.
Dull. What is Dictynna ?
no more ; And raught? not to five weeks, when he came to
fivescore. The allusion holds in the exchange.?
Dull. 'Tis true indeed; the collusion holds in the exchange.
Hol. God comfort thy capacity! I say, the allusion holds in the exchange.
Dull. And I say the pollution holds in the exchange ; for the moon is never but a month old : and I say, beside, that 'twas a pricket that the princess killed.
Hol. Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal epitaph on the death of the deer? And, to humor the ignorant, I have called the deer the princess killed, a pricket.
Nath. Perge, good master Holofernes, perge; so it shall please you to abrogate scurrility.
Hol. I will something affect the letter ;3 for it argues facility. The praiseful princess pierced and pricked a pretty
pleasing pricket ; Some say, a sore; but not a sore, till now made sore
with shooting: The dogs did yell! Put I to sore, then sorel jumps
from thicket; Or pricket, sore, or else sorel ;^ the people fall a
hooting. If sore be sore, then L to sore makes fifty sores ; 0
sore L! Of one sore I a hundred make, by adding but one
2 i. e. the riddle is as good when I use the name of Adam, as when I use the name of Cain.
3 i. e. I will use or practise alliteration.
4 For the explanation of the terms pricket, sore or soar, and sorel, in this quibbling rhyme, the reader is prepared, by the extract from The Return from Parnassus, in a note at the beginning of the scene.
Nath. A rare talent!
Dull. If a talent be a claw, look how he claws him with a talent.
Hol. This is a gift that I have, simple, simple; a foolish, extravagant spirit, full of forms, figures, shapes, objects, ideas, apprehensions, motions, revolutions. These are begot in the ventricle of memory, nourished in the womb of pia mater, and delivered upon the mellowing of occasion ; but the gift is good in those in whom it is acute, and I am thankful for it.
Nath. Sir, I praise the Lord for you; and so may my parishioners; for their sons are well tutored by you, and their daughters profit very greatly under you. You are a good member of the commonwealth.
Hol. Mehercle, if their sons be ingenious, they shall want no instruction; if their daughters be capable, I will put it to them. But, vir sapit, qui pauca loquitur ; a soul feminine saluteth us.
Enter JAQUENETTA and COSTARD.
Hól. Master person,-quasi pers-on. And if one should be pierced, which is the one ?
Cost. Marry, master schoolmaster, he that is likest to a hogshead.
Hol. Of piercing a hogshead! a good lustre of conceit in a turf of earth; fire enough for a flint, pearl enough for a swine. 'Tis pretty; it is well.
Jaq. Good master parson, be so good as read me this letter; it was given me by Costard, and sent me from don Armatho. I beseech you, read it. Hol. Fauste, precor gelida quando pecus omne sub
umbra Ruminat,—and so forth. Ah, good old Mantuan !
1 Talon was often written talent in Shakspeare's time. One of the senses of to claw is to flatter.
2 The Eclogues of Mantuanus were translated before the time of Shakspeare, and the Latin printed on the opposite side of the page for the use of schools. In 1567 they were also versified by Tuberville.
I may speak of thee as the traveller doth of Venice:
Chi non te vede, ei non te pregia.' Old Mantuan! old Mantuan! who understandeth thee not, loves thee not.—Ut, re, sol, la, mi, fa.Under pardon, sir, what are the contents ? or, rather, as Horace says in his—What, my soul, verses ?
Nath. Ay, sir, and very learned.
, a stanza, a verse. Lege, domine. Nath. If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear
to love ? Ah, never faith could hold, if not to beauty vowed ! Though to myself forsworn, to thee I'll faithful prove; Those thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like osiers
bowed. Study his bias leaves, and makes his book thine
eyes: Where all those pleasures live that art would com
prehend; If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice; Well learned is that tongue, that well can thee
commend. All ignorant that soul, that sees thee without wonder; (Which is to me some praise, that I thy parts
admire ;) Thy eye Jove's lightning bears, thy voice his dreadful
thunder, Which, not to anger bent, is music and sweet fire. Celestial, as thou art, O pardon, love, this wrong, That sings Heaven's praise with such an earthly
tongue !? Hol. You find not the apostrophes, and so miss the accent; let me supervise the canzonet. Here are only
1 This proverb occurs in Florio's Second Frutes, 1591, where it stands
“ Venetia, chi non ti vede non ti pretia
Ma chi ti vede, ben gli costa." ? These verses are printed, with some variations, in the Passionate Pilgrim, 1599.