ACT IV
Scene II.
 

The park

From the shooting within, enter HOLOFERNES, SIR NATHANIEL, and DULL

NATHANIEL
Very reverent sport, truly; and done in the testimony of
a good conscience.

HOLOFERNES
The deer was, as you know, sanguis, in blood; ripe as
the pomewater, who now hangeth like a jewel in the ear of caelo,
the sky, the welkin, the heaven; and anon falleth like a crab on
the face of terra, the soil, the land, the earth.

NATHANIEL
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.

HOLOFERNES
Sir Nathaniel, haud credo.

DULL
'Twas not a haud credo; 'twas a pricket.

HOLOFERNES
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 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.

HOLOFERNES
Twice-sod simplicity, bis coctus!
O thou monster Ignorance, how deformed dost thou look!

NATHANIEL
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.
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 you tell me by your wit
What was a month old at Cain's birth that's not five weeks old as
yet?

HOLOFERNES
Dictynna, goodman Dull; Dictynna, goodman Dull.

DULL
What is Dictynna?

NATHANIEL
A title to Phoebe, to Luna, to the moon.

HOLOFERNES
The moon was a month old when Adam was no more,
And raught not to five weeks when he came to five-score.
Th' allusion holds in the exchange.

DULL
'Tis true, indeed; the collusion holds in the exchange.

HOLOFERNES
God comfort thy capacity! I say th' allusion holds in
the exchange.

DULL
And I say the polusion 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.

HOLOFERNES
Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal epitaph on
the death of the deer? And, to humour the ignorant, call the deer
the Princess kill'd a pricket.

NATHANIEL
Perge, good Master Holofernes, perge, so it shall please
you to abrogate scurrility.

HOLOFERNES
I Will something affect the letter, for it argues
facility.
The preyful Princess pierc'd and prick'd a pretty pleasing
pricket.
Some say a sore; but not a sore till now made sore with shooting.
The dogs did yell; put el to sore, then sorel jumps from thicket-
Or pricket sore, or else sorel; the people fall a-hooting.
If sore be sore, then L to sore makes fifty sores o' sorel.
Of one sore I an hundred make by adding but one more L.

NATHANIEL
A rare talent!

DULL
[Aside] If a talent be a claw, look how he claws him with a
talent.

HOLOFERNES
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
delivered upon the mellowing of occasion. But the gift is good in
those in whom it is acute, and I am thankful for it.

NATHANIEL
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.

HOLOFERNES
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

JAQUENETTA
God give you good morrow, Master Person.

HOLOFERNES
Master Person, quasi pers-one. And if one should be
pierc'd which is the one?

COSTARD
Marry, Master Schoolmaster, he that is likest to a
hogshead.

HOLOFERNES
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.

JAQUENETTA
Good Master Parson, 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.

HOLOFERNES
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:
Venetia, Venetia,
Chi non ti vede, non ti pretia.
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?

NATHANIEL
Ay, sir, and very learned.

HOLOFERNES
Let me hear a staff, a stanze, a verse; lege, domine.

NATHANIEL
[Reads] 'If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear to
love?
Ah, never faith could hold, if not to beauty vowed!
Though to myself forsworn, to thee I'll faithful prove;
Those thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like osiers bowed.
Study his bias 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;
All ignorant that soul that sees thee without wonder;
Which is to me some praise that I thy parts admire.
Thy eye Jove's lightning bears, thy voice his dreadful thunder,
Which, not to anger bent, is music and sweet fire.
Celestial as thou art, O, pardon love this wrong,
That singes heaven's praise with such an earthly tongue.'

HOLOFERNES
You find not the apostrophas, 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. But, damosella virgin,
was this directed to you?

JAQUENETTA
Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Berowne, one of the strange
queen's lords.

HOLOFERNES
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, Berowne.' Sir Nathaniel, this Berowne 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.

JAQUENETTA
Good Costard, go with me. Sir, God save your life!

COSTARD
Have with thee, my girl.

Exeunt COSTARD and JAQUENETTA

NATHANIEL
Sir, you have done this in the fear of God, very
religiously; and, as a certain father saith-

HOLOFERNES
Sir, tell not me of the father; I do fear colourable
colours. But to return to the verses: did they please you, Sir
Nathaniel?

NATHANIEL
Marvellous well for the pen.

HOLOFERNES
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.

NATHANIEL
And thank you too; for society, saith the text, is the
happiness of life.

HOLOFERNES
And certes, the text most infallibly concludes it.
[To DULL] Sir, 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.

Exeunt