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The praiseful princess piered and prick'd a pretty
pleasing pricket; Some
say, a sore; but not a sore, till now made
sore with shooting. The dogs did yell! put l to sore, then sorel jumps
from thicket; Or pricket, sore, or else sorel10; the people fall a
hooting. If sore be sore, then L to sore makes fifty sores; 0
Of one sore I a hundred make, by adding but one
Nath. A rare talent!
Dull. If a talent be a claw, look how he claws him with a talent 11.
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 deliver'd 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 tutor'd by you, and their daughters profit very greatly under you: you are a good member of the commonwealth.
Hoi. 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.
10 For the explanation of the terms pricket, sore or soar, and sorell 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.
11 Talon was often written talent in Shakspeare's time. Honest Dull quibbles. One of the senses of to claw is to flatter.
Enter JAQUENETTA and COSTARD. Jaq. God give you good morrow, master person.
Hol. 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
umbrá Ruminat,—and so forth. Ah, good old Mantuan 12 ! I may speak of thee as the traveller doth of Venice:
Chi non te vede, ei non te pregia 13. Old Mantuan! old Mantuan! Who understandeth thee not, loves thee not.Ut, re, sol, la, mi, fa 14.Under pardon, sir, what are the contents ? or, rather, Horace
in his-What, my soul, verses ? Nath. Ay, sir, and very learned.
12 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 Turberville. La Monnoye, in a note on Les Contes de Des Periers, observes that Farnaby had pleasantly remarked in his Preface to Martial, that pedants made no difficulty of preferring the Eclogues of Mantuanus to the Eneid of Virgil. The first Eclogue of Mantuanus begins Fauste, precor gelida, &c.
13 This proverb occurs in Florio’s Second Frutes, 1591, where it stands thus :
Venetia, chi non ti vede non ti pretia
Ma chi ti vede, ben gli costa.' 14 He hums the notes of the gamut as Edmund does in King Lear, Act i. Sc. 2.
Hol. Let me hear a staff, 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
wed. Study his bias leaves, and makes his book thine
eyes; Where all those pleasures live that art would
comprehend: 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 musick and sweet
fire. Celestial, as thou art, oh pardon, love, this wrong, That sings heaven's praise with such an earthly
Hol. You find not the apostrophes, and so miss the accent; let me supervise the canzonet. Here are only numbers ratified; but, for the elegancy, facility, and golden cadence of poesy, caret. Ovidius Naso was the man: and why, indeed, Naso; but for smelling out the odoriferous flowers of fancy, the jerks of invention? Imitari, is nothing: so doth the hound his master, the ape his keeper, the tired
15 These verses are printed, with some variations, in The Passionate Pilgrim, 1599.
horse 16 his rider. But damosella virgin, was this directed to you?
Jaq. Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Biron 7, one of the strange queen's lords.
Hol. I will overglance the superscript. To the snow-white hand of the most beauteous lady Rosaline. I will look again on the intellect of the letter, for the nomination of the party writing to the person written unto :
Your ladyship’s in all desired employment, BIRON. Sir Nathaniel, this Biron is one of the votaries with the king; and here he hath framed a letter to a sequent of the stranger queen's, which, accidentally, or by the way of progression, hath miscarried.--Trip and go, my sweet; deliver this paper into the royal hand of the king; it may concern much: Stay not thy compliment; I forgive thy duty; adieu.
Jaq. Good Costard, go with me.—Sir, God save Cost. Have with thee, my girl.
[Exeunt Cost. and JAQ. Nath. Sir, you have done this in the fear of God, very religiously; and, as a certain father saith
Hol. Sir, tell not me of the father, I do fear colourable colours 18. But to return to the verses ; Did they please you, sir Nathaniel ?
Nath. Marvellous well for the pen.
16 i. e. The horse adorned with ribands; Bankes's horse is here probably alluded to. Lyly, in his Mother Bombie, brings in a hackneyman and Mr. Halfpenny at cross-purposes with this word : · Why didst thou bore the horse through the ears ?'— 'It was for tiring.'-'He would never tire,' replies the other.
17 Shakspeare forgot that Jaquenetta knew nothing of Biron, and had said just before that the letter had been 'sent to her from Don Armatho, and given to her by Costard.'
18 That is, specious or fair seeming appearances. ,
pupil of mine; where if, before repast, it shall please you to gratify the table with a grace, I will, on my privilege I have with the parents of the foresaid child or pupil, undertake your ben venuto; where I will prove those verses to be
unlearned, neither savouring of poetry, wit, nor invention: I beseech your society.
Nath. And thank you too: for society, (saith the text), is the happiness of life.
Hol. And, certes 19, the text most infallibly concludes it.-Sir, [To Dull.] I do invite you too; you shall not say me, nay: pauca verba. Away; the gentles are at their game, and we will to our recreation.
SCENE III. Another part of the same.
Enter BIRON, with a Paper. Biron. The king he is hunting the deer; I am coursing myself: they have pitch'd a toil; I am toiling in a pitch?; pitch that defiles; defile! a foul word. Well, set thee down, sorrow! for so, they say, the fool said, and so say I, and I the fooi. Well proved, wit! by the lord, this love is as mad as Ajax: it kills sheep; it kills me?, I a sheep: Well proved again on my side! I will not love: if I do, hang me; i'faith, I will not. 0, but her eye,by this light, but for her eye, I would not love her; yes, for her two eyes. Well, I do nothing in the world but lie, and lie in my throat. By heaven, I do love: and it hath taught me to rhyme, and to be melancholy; and here is part of my rhyme, and here my melancholy. Well, she hath one o' my sonnets 19 Certainly, in truth.
Alluding to Rosaline's complexion, who is represented as a black beauty.
2 This is given as a proverb in Fuller's Gnomologia.