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To the Prince, and his book-mates.
Prin. Thou, fellow, a word :*
Cost. I told you; my lord.
Coft. From my lord Berown, a good master of mine, ,
[Exit Princess attended.
Ros. Well then, I am the shooter.
Finely put on, indeed.
strikes at the brow.
her now? Rof. Shall I come upon thee with an old faying, that was a man when King Pippin of France was a lit. tle boy, as touching the hit it?
Boyet. So I may answer thee with one as old, thač was a woman when Queen Guinover of Britain was a little wench, as touching the hit it. Vol. II.
Rof. Thou canst not bit it, hit it, bit it. [Singing. Thou canst not bit it, my good man.
Boyet. An' I cannot, cannot, cannot ; An' I cannot, another can.
[Exit Rof. Coft. By my troch, 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,
fays my lady; Let the mark' have a prick in't; to meet at, if it Mar. Wide o'th' bow-hand; i'faith, your hand is
hand is in.
Cojt. She's too hard for you at pricks, Sir, chal
lenge her to bowl.
[Exeunt all but Costard.
wit, When it comes fo smoothly off, fo obscenely; as it
were, fo fit. Armado o' th' one side --O, 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 he will swear :
And his Page o' t'other side, that handful of Wit;
[Shouting within S CE N E II. 6 Enter Dull, Holofernes, and Sir Nathaniel. Nath. Very reverend sport, truly; and done in the testimony of a good Conscience.
Hol. 6 EnterHolofernes,] There is very little personal reRexion in Shakespear. Either the virtue of those times, or the candour of our author, has so effected, that his fatire is, for the most part, general, and as himself says,
-bis taxing like a wild goose flies, Unclaim'd of any man. The place before us seems to be an exception. For by Holofernes is designed a particular character, a pedant and schoolmaster of our author's time, one John Florio, a teacher of the Italian tongue in London, who has given us a small dictionary of that language under the title of A world of words, which in his EpiAtle Dedicatory he tells us, is of little less value than Stephens's treasure of the Greek tongue, the most compleat work that was ever yet compiled of its kind. In his preface, he calls those who had criticized his works Sea-dogs or Land-critics ; Monsters of men, if not beasts rather than men; whole teeth are canibals, their toongs addars-forks, their lips aspes poison, their eyes bafiliskes, their breath the breath of a grave, their words like fwordes of Turks that strive which shall dive deepest into a Chriftian lying bound before them. Well therefore might the mild Nathaniel defire Holofernes to abrogate fcurrility. His profession coo is the reason that Holofernes deals so much in Italian sentences. There is an edition of Love's Labour's loft, printed 1598, and said to be presented before her Highness this laf Chriftmas 1597. The next year 1598, comes out our John Florio with his World of Words, recentibus odiis; and in the preface, quoted above, falls upon the comic poet for bringing him on the stage. There is another fort of leering curs, that rather snarle than bite, whereof I could instance in one, who lighting on a good sonnet of a gentleman's, a friend of mine, that loved better to be a poet than to be counted fo, called the author a Rymer.--Let Aristophanes and his comedians make plaies, and scorure their Q2
Hol. The deer was (as you know) sanguis, in blood; ripe as a pomwater, who now hangeth like a jewel in the ear of Cælo, the sky, the welkin, the heav'n; 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.
Hol. Most barbarous intimation; yet a kind of infinuation, as it were in via, in way of explication; facere, as it were, replication; or rather, oftentare, to.
Thow, as it were his 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 pricker.
Hol. Twice fod fimplicity, bis coetus; 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 mouths on Socrates; these very mouths they make to vilifie fall be the means to amplifie his virtue, &c. Here Shakespear is so plainiy marked out as not to be mistaken. As to the fonnet of The Gentleman his friend, we may be assured it was no other than his own.
And without doubt was parodied in the very fonnet beginning with The praisefull Princess, &c. in which our author makes Holophernes say, He will something afect the letter; for it argues facility. And how much John Florio thought this affetatiun argued facility, or quickness of wit, we see in this preface where he talls upon his enemy, H.S. His name is H. S. Do not take it for the Roman H. S. unless it be as H. S. is twice as much and an half, as half an AS. With a great deal more to the fame purpose; concluding his preface in these words, The refolute John Florio. From the ferocity of this man's temper it was, that Shakespear chose for him the name which Rablais gives to his Pedant of Thubal Heloferne,
replenished. He is only an animal, only sensible in
or a fool;
weeks old as yet?
Dull. What is Dietynna?
Dull. 'Tis true, indeed, the collusion holds in the exchange.
Hol. God comfort thy capacity! I say, the allusion holds in the exchange,
7 and such barren plants are set before us, that we thankful should be; which we tafle, and feeling are for those parts that do fructify in us more than he.] The Words have been ridiculously, and flupidly, transpos’d and corrupted. The emendation I have offer'd, I hope, reitores the author: At least, it gives him sense and grammar: and answers extremely well to his metaphors taken from planting. Ingradare, with the Italians, fignifies, to rise higher and higher; andare di grado in grado, to make a progression ; and so at length come to fructify, as the poet expresses it.
8 Tb allufion holds in the exchange.] i. e. the riddle is as good when I use the name of Adam, as when you use the name of Cain.