« PreviousContinue »
inclination, after his undressed, unpolished, uneducated, unpruned, untrained, or, rather, unlettered, or, rathereft, 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 fimplicity, bis coetus! o thou monster 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 fensible in the duller parts : And such barren plants are set before us, that we thankful should
Dull. You two are book-men; can you tell by your wit,
Hol. The moon was a month old when Adam was no more;
. '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 kill’d.
Holi Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal epitaph on the death of the deer? and, to humour the ignorant, I have calld 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 praiseful princess pierc'd and prick'd
A pretty pleasing pricket.
Till now made sore with shooting.
Then forel jump'd from thicket;
The people fall a hooting:
Makes fifty fores, o forel!
By adding but one more L.
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, nourish'd 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. 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 fapit, qui pauca loquitur : a soul feminine faluteth us.
Enter Jaquenetta, and Costard. Faq. God give you good morrow, master parson ! Good master parson, be so good as read me this letter ; it was given me by Cofard, and sent me froin don Armatho. I beseech you, read it.
[Nathaniel reads to himself. Hol. Faufte, precor gelida quando pecus omne sub umbrá ruminat, and so forth. Ah, good old Mantuan ! I may speak of thee as the traveller doth of Venice ; Venegia, Venegial 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 says in his —What ! my soul! verses !
Nath. Ay, fir, and very learned.
Ah, never faith could hold, if not to beauty vow’d!
prove, Those thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like osiers bow’d. Study his biass 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.
Which is to me some praise, that I thy parts admire;
Which not to anger bent, is musick, and sweet fire.
master parson. Hol. Mafter parfon, quefi person: and if one mould be pierc'd, which is the one ? Ccft. Marry, mafter schoolmaster, he that is likeft to a hogshead.
Hal. Of piercing a hogshead! a good cluster of conceit in a curf of earth; fire enough for a flint, pearl enough for a Twine: 'tis pretty, it is weil.
Jag. Good matter, & c.
• He means Baptista Spagnolus, surnamed Mantuanus from the place of his birth, a writer of poems, who lived towards the end of the fifteenth century.
Celestial as thou art, 0, pardon, love, this wrong,
Hol. You find not the apostrophes, and so miss the accent. Let me supervise the canzonet.—Here are only numbers ratify’d; 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 tir’d horse his rider. But, Damosella virgin, was this directed to you?
Jaq. Ay, sir, from one monsieur Biron, one of the strange
Hol, I will overglance the superscript: To the snow-white hand of the most beauteous lady Rosaline. I will look again on the intelleet of the letter, for the nomination of the party writing, to the person written unto.
Your ladyship’s in all desir'd employment, Biron. This Biron is one of the votaries with the king; and here he hath fram'd a letter to a sequent of the stranger queen’s, which, accidentally, or by the way of progression, hath miscarry’d. Trip and go, my sweet; deliver this paper into the hand of the king; it may concern much; stay not thy compliment; Į forgive thy duty: adieu. Jaq. Good Coftard, go with me. Sir, god save your
life! Cost. 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, 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 (being repast) it shall please you to gratify the table with
grace, I will, on my privilege I have with the parents of the aforesaid child or pupil, undertake your ben venuto ; where will I Vol. II.
prove those verses to be very unlearned, neither favouring of poetry, wit, or invention. I beseech your society.
Nath. And thank you too: for society, 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 shall not say me nay: pauca verba. Away; the gentles are at their game, and we will to our recreation.
Enter Biron with a paper in his hand, alone.
. 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 said, and so say I, and I the fool. Well prov’d, wit! By the lord, this love is as mad as Ajax; it kills sheep, 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. 0, but her eye: by this light, but for her
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 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; god give him grace to groan!
[he stands afide. Enter the King. King. Ay me!
Biron. Shot, by heav'n! proceed, sweet Cupid; thou haft thump'd him with thy bird-bolt under the left pap: in faith, fecrets.
- Se p. 95.