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SCENE II.-The same.
Enter HOLOFERNES, SIR NATHANIEL, and DULL.
Nath. Very reverend sport, truly; and done in the testimony of a good conscience.
Hol. The deer was, as you know, sanguis-in blood; ripe as a ponewater, who now hangeth like a jewel in the ear of colothe 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.
Hol. Sir Nathaniel, haud credo.
Dull. "Twas not a haud credo; 'twas a pricket.9
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 shew, as it were, his inclinationafter 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. Sir, 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,
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
Hol. Dictynna, goodman Dull; Dictynna, goodman Dull.
Dull. What is Dictynna?
Nath. A title to Phoebe, to Luna, to the moon.
Hol. The moon was a month old, when Adam was no more; And raught not 10 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 pollusion 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 humour the ignorant, I have call'd 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;11 for it argues facility. 'The praiseful princess pierc'd and prick'd a pretty pleasing pricket;
Some say, a sore; 12 but not a sore, till now made sore with shooting.
If sore be sore, then I to sore makes fifty sores; O sorel!
Dull. If a talent be a claw,13 look how he claws him with a talent. [Aside
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.
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 person, be so good as read me this letter; it was given me by Costard, and sent me from Don Armado: I beseech you, read it.
Hol. Fauste, precor gelida quando pecus omne sub umbra Ruminat -and so forth. Ah, good old Mantuan! I may speak of thee as the traveller doth of Venice:
Chi non te vede, ei non te pregia.14
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.
Hol. Let me hear a staff, a stanza, a verse; lege, domine.
Nath. [Reads.] 'If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear to love? Ah, never faith could hold if not to beauty vow'd!
Though to myself forsworn, to thee I'll faithful prove;
Those thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like osiers bow'd.
Study his bias leaves, and make his book thine eyes;
Where all those pleasures live that art would comprehend:
Well learned is that tongue that well can thee commend:
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 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 horse his rider.15 But, damosella virgin, was this directed to you?
Jaq. Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Biron,16 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 your life!
[Exeunt COSTARD and JAQUENETTA.
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. But, to return to the verses: did they please you, Sir Nathaniel ? Nath. Marvellous well for the pen.
Hol. I do dine to-day at the father's of a certain 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 very 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, 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 Park.
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 ;17 pitch that defiles; defile! a foul word. Well, Sit thee down, sorrow! for so they say the fool said, and so say I, and I the fool. Well proved, wit! This love is as mad as Ajax: it kills sheep; it kills me, I a sheep well proved again o' my side! 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 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 already; the clown bore it, the fool sent it, and the lady hath it: sweet clown, sweeter fool, sweetest lady! By the world, I would not care a pin if the other three were in :-here comes one with a paper. [Gets up into a tree.