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HOL. Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal epitaph on the death of the deer? and, to humour the ignorant, I have3 call'd 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.
The praiseful 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 I 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 sore L6!
Of one sore I an hundred make, by adding but one more L.
NATH. A rare talent!
I have-] These words were inserted by Mr. Rowe.
4 - AFFECT the letter ;] That is, I will practise alliteration. M. MASON.
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." STEEVENS.
5 The PRAISEFUL princess-] This emendation was made by the editor of the second folio. The quarto 1598, and folio 1623, read corruptly-prayful. MALONE.
The ridicule designed in this passage may not be unhappily illustrated by the alliteration in the following lines of Ulpian Fulwell, in his Commemoration of Queen Anne Bullayne, which makes part of a collection called The Flower of Fame, printed 1575:
"Whose princely praise hath pearst the pricke,
"And price of endless fame," &c. STEEVENS.
O SORE L!] The old copies read-O sorell. The neces
DULL. If a talent be a claw 7, look how he claws him with a talent 8.
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 mater9*; 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 sapit, qui pauca loquitur: a soul feminine saluteth us.
*First folio and 4to. prima mater.
sary change was made by Dr. Warburton. The allusion (as he observes) is to L, being the numeral for fifty.
This correction (says Mr. Malone,) is confirmed by the rhyme : "A deer (he adds) during his third year is called a sorell.”
"If a TALENT be a claw, &c.] In our of a bird was frequently written talent. and in Twelfth-Night, Act I. Sc. V.: talents." So, in The First Part of the Houses of York and Lancaster, 1600:
STEEVENS. author's time the talon Hence the quibble here, "-let them use their Contention between the
"Are you the kite, Beaufort? where's your talents?" Again, in Marlowe's Tamberlaine, 1590:
and now doth ghastly death
"With greedy tallents gripe my bleeding heart."
8 CLAWS him with a talent.] Honest Dull quibbles. One of the senses of to claw, is to flatter. So, in Much Ado about Nothing: -laugh when I am merry, and claw no man in his humour." STEEVENS.
9-pia mater;] See Twelfth-Night, Act I. Sc. V. STEEVENS.
Enter JAQUENETTA and CoSTARD.
JAQ. God give you good morrow, master person. HOL. Master person,-quasi pers-on2. 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 parson, be so good as read me this letter; it was given me by Costard, and sent me from Don Armatho: I beseech you, read it.
HOL. Fauste, precor gelidá3 quando pecus omne sub umbrâ
1-if their daughters be CAPABLE, &c.] Of this double entendre, despicable as it is, Mr. Pope and his coadjutors availed themselves, in their unsuccessful comedy called Three Hours after Marriage. STEEVENS.
Capable is used equivocally. One of its senses was reasonable; endowed with a ready capacity to learn. So, in King Richard III.:
"O'tis a parlous boy,
"Bold, quick, ingenious, forward, capable."
The other wants no explanation. MALONE.
- quasi PERS-ON.] So, in Holinshed, p. 953:
"Jerom was vicar of Stepnie, and Garrard was person of Honie-lane." Again, in The Contention betwyxte Churchyeard and Camell, 1560:
"And send such whens home to our person or vicar." I believe, however, we should write the word-pers-one. The same play on the word pierce is put into the mouth of Falstaff. STEEVENS.
The words one and on were, I believe, pronounced nearly alike, at least in some counties, in our author's time; the quibble, therefore, that Mr. Steevens has noted, may have been intended as the text now stands. In the same style afterwards Moth says: "Offer'd by a child to an old man, which is wit-old.
Person, as Sir William Blackstone observes in his Commentaries, is the original and proper term; Persona ecclesiæ.
Ruminat, and so forth.
Ah, good old Mantuan!
I may speak of thee as the traveller doth of Venice: - Vinegia, Vinegia,
Chi non te vede, ei non te pregia*.
3 HoL. Fauste, precor gelidâ—] Though all the editions concur to give this speech to Sir Nathaniel, yet, as Dr. Thirlby ingeniously observed to me, it is evident it must belong to Holofernes. The Curate is employed in reading the letter to himself; and while he is doing so, that the stage may not stand still, Holofernes either pulls out a book, or, repeating some verse by heart from Mantuanus, comments upon the character of that poet. Baptista Spagnolus (sirnamed Mantuanus, from the place of his birth) was a writer of poems, who flourished towards the latter end of the 15th century. THEOBALD.
A note of La Monnoye's on these very words in Les Contes des Periers, Nov. 42, will explain the humour of the quotation, and shew how well Shakspeare sustained the character of his pedant.— "Il designe le Carme Baptiste Mantuan, dont au commencement du 16 siecle on lisoit publiquement à Paris les Poesies; si celebres alors, que, comme dit plaisamment Farnabe, dans sa preface sur Martial, les Pedans ne faisoient nulle difficulté de preferer à le Arma virumque cano, le Fauste precor gelida; c'est-a-dire, à l'Eneide de Virgil les Eclogues de Mantuan, la premiere desquelles commence par, Fauste, precor gelida." WARBURTON.
The Eclogues of Mantuanus the Carmelite were translated before the time of Shakspeare, and the Latin printed on the opposite side of the page, for the use of schools. In the year 1594 they were also versified by Turberville. STEEVENS.
From a passage in Nashe's Apologie of Pierce Penniless, 1593, the Eclogues of Mantuanus appear to been a school-book in our author's time: "With the first and second leafe he plaies very prettilie, and, in ordinarie terms of extenuating, verdits Pierce Pennilesse for a grammar-school wit; saies, his margine is as deeply learned as Fauste precor gelida." So, in Drayton's Epistle to Henry Reynolds, 1627:
"And when that once pueriles I had read,
"And newly had my Cato construed,
"In my small self I greatly marvelled then,
Amongst all other what strange kind of men
"Those poets were: and pleased with the name,
66 Το my mild tutor merrily I came.
when shortly he began,
"And first read to me honest Mantuan."
The translation of Mantuanus by George Turberville was printed in 8vo. in 1567. MALONE.
Old Mantuan! old Mantuan! Who understandeth thee not, loves thee not.-Ut, re, sol, la, mi, fa3: 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. 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.
Chi non te vede, ei non te pregia.] Our author is applying the praises of Mantuanus to a common proverbial sentence, said of Venice. Vinegia, Vinegia! qui non te vedi, ei non te pregia. O Venice, Venice, he who has never seen thee, has thee not in esteem. THEOBALD.
The proverb, as I am informed, is this:-He that sees Venice little, values it much; he that sees it much, values it little.
I suppose Mr. Theobald is right, for the true proverb would not serve the speaker's purpose. JOHNSON.
The proverb stands thus in Howell's Letters, b. i. sect. i. l. 36 : Venetia, Venetia, chi non te vede, non te pregia,
"Ma chi t' ha troppo veduto le dispregia."
"Venice, Venice, none thee unseen can prize;
"Who thee hath seen too much, will thee despise."
The players in their edition, have thus printed the first line. Vemchie, vencha, que non te unde, que non te perreche.
Mr. Malone observes that "the editor of the first folio here, as in many other instances, implicitly copied the preceding quarto. The text was corrected by Mr. Theobald." STEEVENS.
Our author, I believe, found this Italian proverb in Florio's Second Frutes, 4to. 1591, where it stands thus:
Venetia, chi non ti vede, non ti pretia ;
"Ma chi ti vede, ben gli costa." MALONE.
5 Ut, re, sol, &c.] He hums the notes of the gamut, as Edmund does in King Lear, Act I. Sc. II. where see Dr. Burney's note. DOUCE.
• If love make me forsworn, &c.] These verses are printed with