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other than his own; and without doubt was parodied in the very sonnet beginning with The praiseful princ cess, &c. in which our author makes Holofernes say, He will something offect the letter, for it argues facility. And how much John Florio thought this affeélation argued facility, or quickness of wit, we see in this preface, where he falls upon his enemy, H. S, His name is H. S. Do not take it for the Roman H. S. unless it be as H. S. is twice as much and an half, as half an AS. With a great deal more to the same purpose; concluding his preface in these words, The resolute John Florio. From the ferocity of this man’s temper it was, that Shakspere chose for him the name which Rabelais gives to his pedant of Thubal Holoferne.
WARBURTON. Dr. Warburton is certainly right in his supposition that Florio is meant by the character of Holofernes. Fiorio had given the first affront.
66 The plaies, says he, that they plaie in England, are neither right comedies, nor right tragedies; but representations of histories without any decorum."-The scraps of Latin and Italian are transcribed from his works, particularly the proverb about Venice, which has been corrupted. so much. The affellation of the letter, which argues facilitie, is likewise a copy of his manner.
We meet with inuch of it in the sonnets to his patrons.
“ In Italie your lordship well hath seene “ Their manners, monuments, magnificence, “ Their language learnt, in sound, in style, in sense,
Prooving by profiting, where you have beene. . To adde to fore-learn'd facultie, facilitie.” Mr. Warton informs us in his Life of Sir Tho. Pope, that there was an old play of Holophernes acted before the princess Elizabeth in the year 1556.
FARMER. Florio pointed his ridicule not only at dramatick performances, but even at performers. Thus, in his preface to this work, “ -as if an owle should represent an eagle, or some tara-rag player should act the princely Telephus with a voyce as rag'd as his clothes, a grace as bad as his voyce."
STEEVENS. 161. ripe as a poinewater,- -] A species of apple formerly much esteemed. Malus Carbonaria. See Gerard's Herbal, odit. 1597, p. 1273. Again, in the old ballad of Blew Cap for Me: ** Whose cheeks did resemble two rosting pomewaters."
STEEVENS, 162. in the ear of Cælo,] In Florio's di&ti. onary, 1595, Cielo is defined “ heaven, the skie, fire mament, or welkin;" and terra is explained thus : " The element called carik ; anie ground, earth, countrie, land, soile,” &c.
MALONE. 177. -'twas a pricker.] In a play called The Return from Parnassus, 1606, I find the following account of the 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 sorrell; the fourth year, a soare; the fifth, a buck of the first head; the sixth year, a compleat buck. Likewise your hart is the first year, a calfe; the second year, a brocket; the third year, a spade; the fourth year, a stag; the sixth year, a hart. A roce buck is the first year, a kid; the second year, a girl; the third year, a hemuse; and these are your special beasts for chase."
Again, in A Christian turn'd Turk, 1612 :-“ I am but a pricket, a mere sorell; my head's not harden'd yet.”
STEEVENS. 186. And such barren plants are set before us, that we
thankful should be
parts that do fructify in us more than he..] This stubborn piece of nonsense, as somebody has called it, wants only a particle, I think, to make it
I would read, (Which we of taste and feeling are), &c. Which, in this passage, has the force of as, accord. ing to an idiom of our language, not uncommon, though not strictly grammatical. What follows is stiil more irregular; for I am afraid our poet, for, the sake of his rhime, has put he for him, or rather in him, If he had been writing prose, he would have expressed his meaning, I believe, more clearly, thus:--that do fructify in us more than in him.
TYRWHITT. I have followed Mr. Tyrwhitt's reading.
188. For as it would ill become me to be vain, indis,
creet, or a fool, So were there a patch set on learning, to see him
in a school :] The meaning is, to be in a school would as ill become a patch, or low fellow, as folly would become me.
Johnson. Patch here seems to signify a mark of disgrace, similar to the badge, which, in many places; the poor are obliged to wear, as a stigma to deter others from imploring parochial relief.
HENLEY. The allusion holds in the exchange.] i.e. the riddle is as good when I use the name of Adam, as when you use the name of Cain. WARBURTON.
217. The praiseful princess, &c.]. The ridicule designed in this passage may not be unhappily illustrated by the alliteration in the following lines of Ulpian Fullwell, in his Commemoration of Queen Anne Bullayne, which makes part of a collection called The Flower of Fame, printed 1575:
“ Whose princely praise hath pearst the pricke,
“ And price of endless fame," &c. STEEVENS. 239. if their daughters be capable, &c.] Of this double entendre, despicable as it is, Mr. Pope and his coadjutors availed themselves, in their unsuccessful comedy called Three Hours after Marriage.
STEEVENS. 243. -quasi person. -] So, in Holinshed, p. 953: “ Jerom was vicar of Stepnie, and Garard was person of Honie-Lane." I believe, however, we should write the word-persone. The same play on the word pierce is put into the mouth of Falstaff.
Steevens. Person, Sir William Blackstone observes in his Commentaries, is the original and proper term ; Persona ecclesiæ.
MALONE. 253. Fauste, precor gelida - Holofernes, the Curate, is employed in reading the letter to himself; and while he is doing so, that the stage may not stand still, he either puls out a book, or, repeating some verses by heart from Mantuanus, comments upon the character of that poet. Baptista Spagnolus (sirnamed Mantuanus, from the place of his birth.) was a writer of poems, who flourished towards the latterend of the 15th century.
THEOBALD. Fauste, precor gelida, &c.] A note of La Monaoye's on these very words in Les Contes des Beriers, Nov. 42. will explain the humour of the quotation, and shew how well Shakspere has sustained the character of his pedant.- ll designe le Carme Baptiste Mantuan, dont au commencement du 16 siecle on lisoit publiquement à Paris Le Poesies; si celebres alors, que, comme dit plaisamment Farnabe dans sa preface sur Martial, les Pedans ne faisoient nulle difficulté de preferer à le Arma virumque ano le Fauste precor gelidâ, c'est-a-dire, è l'Encide de Virgil les Eclogues de Mantuan, la premiere desquelles commence par Fauste precor gelida.