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Shall I teach you to know? Boyet. Ay, my continent of beauty. Ros.
Why, she that bears the bow. Finely put off! Boyet. My lady goes to kill horns; but, if thou
marry, Hang me by the neck, if horns that year miscarry. Finely put on!
Ros. Well then, I am the shooter.
And who is your deer? Ros. If we choose by the horns, yourself: come
Finely put on, indeed!
strikes at the brow. Boyet. But she herself is hit lower: Have I hit
her now? Ros. Shall I come upon thee with an old saying, that was a man when king Pepin of France was little boy, as touching the hit it?
Boyet. So I may answer thee with one as old, that was a woman when queen Guinever of Britain was a little wench, as touching the hit it. Ros. Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it, [Singing.
Thou canst not hit it, my good man.
[Exeunt Ros. and Kath.
Cost. By my troth, most pleasant! how both did
fit it! Mar. A mark marvellous well shot; for they both
did hit it. Boyet. A mark! O, mark but that mark; A
mark, says my lady! Let the mark have a prick in't, to mete at, if it may be.
Mar. Wide o'the bow hand 10! L’faith
hand is out. Cost. Indeed, a' must shoot nearer, or he'll ne'er
hit the clout. Boyet. An if my hand be out, then, belike your
hand is in. Cost. Then will she get the upshot by cleaving
Mar. Come, come, you talk greasily", your lips
Cost. She's too hard for you at pricks, sir; chal
lenge her to bowl. Boyet. I fear too much rubbing 12; Good night, my
good owl. [Exeunt Boyer and MARIA. Cost. By my soul, a swain ! a most simple clown! Lord, lord! how the ladies and I have put him down! O’my troth, most sweet jests! most incony vulgar
wit! When it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely, as it
were, so fit. Armatho o’the one side,–0, a most dainty man! To see him walk before a lady, and to bear her fan! To see him kiss his hand! and how most sweetly
a' will swear! And his
o't other side, that handful of wit ! Ah, heavens, it is a most pathetical 13 nit! Sola, sola! [Shouting within. Exit Cost. running.
10 This is a term in archery still in use, signifying ' a good deal to the left of the mark. Of the other expressions the clout was the white mark at which archers took aim. The pin was the wooden nail in the centre of it.
11 i. e. grossly. This scene, as Dr. Johnson justly remarks, deserves no care.' 12 To rub is a term at bowls.
13 Pathetical sometimes meant passionate, and sometimes passion-moving, in our old writers; but is here used by Costard as an idle expletive, as Rosalind's 'pathetical break-promise,' in As You Like It.
SCENE II. 1 The same.
Enter HOLOFERNES, SIR NATHANIEL, and Dull.
Nath. Very reverent sport, truly; and done in the testimony of a good conscience.
Hol. The deer was, as you know, in sanguis, blood; ripe as a pomewater", who now hangeth like a jewel in the ear of cælo,—the 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 3.
Hol. Sir Nathaniel, haud credo.
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 show, as it were, his inclination,—after his un
1 Pomewater, a species of apple.
2 Warburton's conjecture that Florio, the author of the Italian Dictionary, was ridiculed under the name of Holofernes would derive some strength from the following definition : 'cielo, heaven, the skie, firmament or welkin. Terra, the element called earth, anie ground, earth, countrie, land, soile. But Florio's Dictionary was not published until 1598; and this play appears to have been written in 1594, though not printed until 1598.
3 In The Return from Parnassus, 1606, is 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 sorrel; the fourth year, a soare; the fifth, a buck of the first head; the sixth year, a complete 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 roe-buck is the first year, a kid; the second year, a gird; the third year, a hemuse; and these are your special beasts for chase.' VOL. II.
dressed, 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, bow 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, So, were there a patch set on learning, to see him
in a school 5: But, omne bene, say I; being of an old father's mind, Many can brook the weather that love not the wind. Dull. You two are book-men: Can
What was a month old at Cain's birth, that's not
five weeks old as yet? Hol. Dictynna, good man Dull; Dictynna©, good
4 The length of these lines was no novelty on the English stage. The Moralities afford whole scenes of the like measure.
5 The meaning is, to be in a school would as ill become a patch, or low fellow, as folly would become me.
6 Shakspeare might have found this uncommon title for Diana in the second book of Golding's translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses.
Dull. What is Dictynna ?
was no more; And raught? not 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 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 killd.
Hol. Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal epitaph on the death of the deer? and, to humour the ignorant, I have called the deer the princess kill'd, a pricket.
Nath. Perge, good master Holofernes, perge ; so it shall please you to abrogate scurrility.
Hol. I will something affect the letter'; for it argues facility.
8 i. e. the riddle is as good when I use the name of Adam, as when I use the name of Cain.
9 i.e. I will use or practise alliteration. To affect is thus used by Ben Jonson in his Discoveries : 'Spenser, in affecting the ancients, writ no language ; yet I would have him read for his matter, but as Virgil read Ennius, In Baret's Alvearie, 1573, we have much affected, farre fette,' for Dictum accersitum, &c. The ridicale in this passage is directed against the very prevalent piece of folly, of which the following is an apt illustration from Ulpian Fulwell's poem in Commemoration of Queene Anne Bayne, which makes part of a collection called The Flower of Fame, 1575 :
• Whose princely praise has pearst the pricke