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To the prince, and his book-mates.
Thou, fellow, a word: thee this letter? Cost.
I told you; my lord.
From my lord to my lady. Prin. From which lord, to which lady ?
Cost. From my lord Biron, a good master of mine, To a lady of France, that he call’d Rosaline. Prin. Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come, lords,
away. Here, sweet, put up this; 'twill be thine another day.
[Exit Princess and Train. Boyet. Who is the suitor? who is the suitor ? Ros.
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
deer? Ros. If we choose by the horns, yourself: come
Finely put on, indeed!
strikes at the brow.
now? Ros. Shall I come upon thee with an old saying,
that was a man when king Pepin of France was a 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
Mar. Wide o'the bow hand! I'faith your 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; Good night, my
good owl. [Exeunt Boyet 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.
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,s 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.
5 A species of apple,
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 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.
Hol. Twice sod simplicity, bis coctus !- thou monster ignorance, how deformed dost thou look!
Nath. Şir, 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 by
What was a month old at Cain's birth, that's not
five weeks old as yet?
Hol. Dictynna, good man Dull; Dictynna, good
man Dull. Dull. What is Dictynna? Nath. A title to Phoebe, to Luna, to the moon. Hol. The moon was a month old, when Adam 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 kill'd.
Hol. Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal epitaph on the death of the deer? and, to humour the ignorant, I have call'd the deer the princess kill'd, a pricket.
Nath. Perge, good master Holofernes, perge ; $o 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.