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inclination, after his undressed, unpolished, uneducated, unpruned, untrained, or, rather, unlettered, or, ratherest, unconfirmed fashion, to infert again my haud credo for a deer.
Dull. I faid, the deer was not a haud credo; 'twas a pricket. Hol. Twice fod fimplicity, bis coctus! o thou monfter ignorance, how deformed doft thou look!
Nath. Sir, he hath never fed on 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 fenfible in the duller parts:
And fuch barren plants are set before us, that we thankful should be,
For those parts which we taste and feel do fructify in us more than he.
For as it would ill become me to be vain, indiscreet, or a fool;
Dull. You two are book-men; can you tell by your wit, What was a month old at Cain's birth, that's not five weeks old as yet?
Hol. Dictynna, goodman Dull; DiƐłynna, goodman Dull.
Nath. A title to Phoebe, to Luna, to the moon.
Hol. The moon was a month old when Adam was no more;
Dull. 'Tis true, indeed; the collufion holds in the exchange. Hol. God comfort thy capacity! I fay, the allufion holds in the exchange.
Dull. And I fay, the pollution holds in the exchange; for the moon is never but a month old; and I fay befide, that 'twas a pricket that the princess kill'd.
Hol. Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal epitaph on the death of the deer? and, to humour the ignorant, I have call'd the deer the princess kill'd, a pricket.
Nath. Perge, good master Holofernes, perge, so it shall please you to abrogate fcurrility.
Hol. I will something affect the letter, for it argues facility.
The praifeful princess pierc'd and prick'd
Till now made fore with fhooting.
Then forel jump'd from thicket;
The people fall a booting.
Makes fifty fores, o forel!
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, fimple, fimple; a foolish extravagant spirit, full of forms, figures, fhapes, objects, ideas, apprehenfions, motions, revolutions. These are begot in the ventricle of memory, nourish'd in the womb of pia mater, and deliver'd upon the mellowing of occafion: 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 fons are well tutor'd by you, and their daughters profit very greatly under you: you are a good member of the commonwealth.
Hol. Mebercle, if their fons be ingenious, they shall want no instruction: if their daughters be capable, I will put it to them. But, vir fapit, qui pauca loquitur: a foul feminine faluteth us.
Enter Jaquenetta, and Coftard.
Jaq. God give you good morrow, master parfon!" Good mafter parfon, be fo good as read me this letter; it was given me by Coftard, and fent me froin don Armatho. I beseech you, read it. [Nathaniel reads to himfelf. Hol. Faufte, precor gelida quando pecus omne fub umbrá ruminat, and fo forth. Ah, good old Mantuan! I may speak of thee as the traveller doth of Venice; Venegia, Venegia! qui non te vedi, ei non te pregia. Old Mantuan, old Mantuan! who understandeth thee not, loves thee not. ut re fol la mi fa. Under pardon, fir, what are the contents? or, rather, as Horace fays in his -What! my foul! verses!
Nath. Ay, fir, and very learned.
Hol. Let me hear a staff, a stanza, a verse; lege, domine.
Those thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like ofiers bow'd.
Where all those pleasures live, that art would comprehend: If knowledge be the mark, to know thee fhall fuffice;
Well learned is that tongue, that well can thee commend. All ignorant that foul, that fees thee without wonder:
Which is to me fome praise, that I thy parts admire;
Hol. Mafter parfon, quafi perfon: and if one fhould be pierc'd, which is the one?
Ceft. Marry, mafter schoolmafter, he that is likeft to a hogshead.
Hol. Of piercing a hogfhead! a good clufter of conceit in a turf of earth; fire enough for a
flint, pearl enough for a fwine: 'tis pretty, it is well.
faq. Good matter, &c.
He means Baptifta Spagnolus, furnamed Mantuanus from the place of his birth, a writer of poems, who lived towards the end of the fifteenth century.
Celestial as thou art, o, pardon, love, this wrong, That fings the heaven's praise with such an earthly tongue. Hol. You find not the apostrophes, and fo mifs the accent. Let me fupervise the canzonet. -Here are only numbers ratify'd; but, for the elegancy, facility, and golden cadence of poefy, Caret: Ovidius Nafo was the man: and why, indeed, Nafo, but for fmelling out the odoriferous flowers of fancy, the jerks of invention? imitari is nothing: fo doth the hound his master, the ape his keeper, the tir'd horse his rider. But, Damofella virgin, was this directed to you?
Jaq. Ay, fir, from one monfieur Biron, one of the strange queen's lords.
Hol, I will overglance the fuperfcript: To the fnow-white hand of the most beauteous lady Rofaline. 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 defir'd employment, Biron.
This Biron is one of the votaries with the king; and here he hath fram'd a letter to a fequent of the ftranger queen's, which, accidentally, or by the way of progreffion, hath miscarry'd. Trip and go, my fweet; deliver this paper into the hand of the king; it may concern much; ftay not thy compliment; I forgive thy duty adieu.
Jaq. Good Coftard, go with me. Sir, god fave your life! Coft. Have with thee, my girl. [Exe. Coft. and Jaq. Nath. Sir, you have done this in the fear of god, very religiously: and, as a certain father faith
Hol. Sir, tell not me of the father, I do fear colourable colours. But to return to the verses: did they please you, fir Nathaniel?
Nath. Marvellous well for the
Hol. I do dine to-day at the father's of a certain pupil of mine; where if (being repaft) it shall please you to gratify the table with a grace, I will, on my privilege I have with the parents of the aforefaid child or pupil, undertake your ben venuto; where will I
prove those verses to be very unlearned, neither favouring of poetry, wit, or invention. I beseech your society.
Nath. And thank you too: for fociety, faith the text, is the happiness of life.
Hol. And, certes, the text most infallibly concludes it. Sir, [to Dull.] I do invite you too; you fhall not fay me nay: pauca verba. Away; the gentles are at their game, and we will to our [Exeunt.
Enter Biron with a paper in his hand, alone.
Biron. The king is hunting the deer; I am courfing myself. They have pitch'd a toil, I am toiling in pitch; pitch, that defiles; defile, a foul word: well, fit thee down, forrow; for so, they fay, the fool faid, and fo fay I, and I the fool. Well prov'd, wit! By the lord, this love is as mad as Ajax; it kills fheep, it kills me; I a sheep, well prov'd again on my fide! I will not love; if I do, hang me; i'faith, I will not. O, but her eye: by this light, but for her eye, I would not love; 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, the hath one o' my fonnets already; the clown bore it, the fool fent it, and the lady hath it: sweet clown, fweeter fool, sweetest lady! by the world, I would not care a pin, if the other three were in. Here comes one with a paper; god give him grace to groan! [be ftands afide.
Enter the King.
King. Ay me!
Biron. Shot, by heav'n! proceed, fweet Cupid; thou haft thump'd him with thy bird-bolt under the left pap: in faith, fecrets.
• See p. 95.