« PreviousContinue »
unlettered, or rathereft unconfirmed fashion, to infert again my haud credo for a deer.
Dull. I faid, the deer was not a haud credo ; 'twas a pricket.
Hol. Twice fod fimplicity, bis coctus; 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 replenished. He is only an animal, only fenfible in the duller parts; (16) and fuch barren plants are fet before us, that we thankful fhould be for thofe parts,, (which we taste and feel, ingradare) that do fructify in us, more than He.
For as it would ill become me to be vain, indifcreet, or a fool;
So were there a patch fet on learning, to fee him in a school.
But omne bene, fay I; being of an old father's mind,
Dull. You two are book-men; can you tell by your
What was a month old at Cain's birth, that's not five weeks old as yet?
Hol. Dictynna, good-man Dull; Dyetinna, good-man Dull
(16) And fuch barren Plants are fet before us, that we thankful should be; which we taste, and feeling are for those Parts that do fructify in us more than he.] If this be not a stub. born Piece of Nonsense, I'll never venture to judge of common Senfe. That Editors should take fuch Paffages upon Content, is, furely, furprising. The Words, 'tis plain, have been ridiculously, and ftupidly, tranfpos'd and corrupted. The Emendation I have offer'd, I hope, reftores the Author: At least, I am fure, it gives him Senfe and Grammar: and answers extremely well to his Metaphors taken from planting — Ingra dare, with the Italians, fignifies, to rife higher and higher; andare di grado in grado, to make a Progreffion; and fo at length come to fructify, as the Poet expreffes it.
Dull. What is Dictynna?
Nath. A title to Phabe, to Luna, to the Moon. Hol. The moon was a month old, when Adam was
And rought not to five weeks, when he came to fivefcore.
Th'allufion holds in the exchange.
Dull. "Tis true, indeed; the collufion holds in the exchange.
Hol. God comfort thy capacity! I fay, the allufion holds in the exchange.
Dull. And I fay, the pollution holds in the exchange; for the moon is never but a month old; and I fay befide, 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 mafter Holofernes, perge; fo it fhall please you to abrogate fcurrility. Hol. I will fomething affect the letter; for it argues facility.
The praifeful Princess pierc'd and prickt
'Till now made fore with shooting..
Then forel jumpt from thicket;
The people fall a hooting.
Makes fifty fores, O forel!
Nath. A rare talent!
Dull. If a talent be a claw, look how he claws him with a talent.
Hol. This is a gift that I have, fimple, fimple; a foolish extravagant fpirit, full of forms, figures, fhapes,
objects, ideas, apprehenfions, motions, revolutions. These are begot in the ventricle of memory, nourish'd in the womb of pia mater, and deliver'd upon the mellowing of occafion; 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 fo may my parishioners; for their fons are well tutor'd by you, and their daughters profit very greatly under you; you are a good member of the common-wealth.
Hol. Mebercle, if their fons be ingenuous, they fhall want no inftruction: if their daughters be capable, I will put it to them. But vir fapit, qui pauca loquitur; a foul feminine faluteth us.
Enter Jaquenetta, and Coftard.
And if one fhould
Jaq. God give you good morrow, Hol. Mafter Parfon, quafi Perfon. be pierc'd, which is the one?
Coft. Marry, mafter school-mafter, he that is likeft to a hogfhead.
Hol. Of piercing a hogfhead, a good Luftre of conceit in a turf of earth, fire enough for a flint, pearl enough for a fwine: 'Tis pretty, it is well.
Jaq. Good mafter Parfon, be fo good as read me this letter; it was given me by Coftard, and fent me from Don Armatho; I beseech you, read it.
Hol. Faufte, precor, gelidâ (17) quando pecus omne fub umbrá
Ruminat, and fo forth. Ah, good old Mantuan, I may
(17) Nath. Faufte, precor, gelidá] Tho' all the Editions concur to give this Speech to Sir Nathaniel, yet, as Dr. Thirlby ingeniously obferv'd to me, it is evident, it must belong to Holofernes. The Curate is employ'd in reading the Letter to himself; and while he is doing fo, that the Stage may not ftand ftill, Holofernes either pulls out a Book; or, repeating fome Verfes by heart from Mantuanus, comments upon the Character of that Poet. Baptifta Spagnolus, (firnamed Mantuanus, from the Place of his Birth;) was a voluminous Writer of Poems, who flourish'd towards the latter End of the 15th Century.
fpeak of thee as the traveller doth of Venice; Vinegia, Vinegia! qui non te vedi, ei non te pregia (18). Old Mantuan, old Mantuan! Who understandeth thee not, loves thee not: ut re fol la mi fa. Under pardon, Sir, what are the contents ? or rather, as Horace fays in his : What! my foul! verfes? (19)
Nath. Ay, Sir, and very learned.
Hol. Let me hear a staff, a ftanza, a verfe; Lege, Domine.
Nath. If love make me forfworn, how fhall I fwear to love?
Ah, never faith could hold, if not to beauty vow'd; Though to my felf forfworn, to thee I'll faithful
Thofe thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like ofiers bow'd.
Study his biafs leaves, and makes his book thine eyes ; Where all those pleasures live, that art would comprehend :
If knowledge be the mark, to know thee fhall fuffice; Well learned is that tongue, that well can thee commend.
All ignorant that Soul, that fees 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 mufick, and fweet fire.
(18) Venechi, venache a, qui non te vide, i non te piaech.] Thus Mr. Rowe, and Mr. Pope, from the old blundering Editions. But that thefe Gentlemen, Poets, Scholars, and Linguifts, could not afford to restore this little Scrap of true Italian, is to me unaccountable. Our Author is applying the Praises of Mantuanus to a common proverbial Sentence, faid of Venice. Vinegia, Vinegia! qui non te vedi, ei non te pregia. O Venice, Venice, he, who has never feen thee, has thee not in Efteem.
(19) What! my Soul! Verfes?] As our Poet has mention'd Horace, I prefume, he is here alluding to this Paffage in his 1. Sermon. 9. Quid agis, dulcissime rerum?
Celestial as thou art, Oh pardon, love, this wrong, That fings heav'n's praise with such an earthly tongue.
Hol. You find not the Apostrophes, and fo miss the acLet me fupervise the canzonet (20). Here are only numbers ratify'd (21); but for the elegancy, faci
(20) Let me supervise the Cangenet.] If the Editors have met with any fuch Word, it is more than I have done, or, I believe, ever shall do. Our Author wrote Canzonet, from the Italian Word Canzonetto, a little Song.
(21) Nath. Here are only Numbers ratified; ] Tho' this Speech has been all along plac'd to Sir Nathaniel, I have ventur'd to join it to the preceding Words of Holofernes; and not without Reason. The Speaker here is impeaching the Vertes; but Sir Nathaniel, as it appears above, thought them learned ones: befides, as Dr. Thirlby obferves, almost every Word of this : Speech fathers itself on the Pedant. So much for the Regulation of it now, a little, to the Contents.
And why indeed Nafo, but for smelling out the odoriferous Flowers of Fancy? the jerks of Invention imitary is nothing.
Sagacity with a Vengeance! I fhould be afham'd to own my self a piece of a Scholar, to pretend to the Task of an Editor, and to pafs fuch Stuff as this upon the World for genuine. Who ever heard of Invention imitary? Invention and Imitation have ever been accounted two diftin&t Things. The Speech is by a Pedant, who frequently throws in a Word of Latin amongst his English; and he is here flourishing upon the Merit of Invention, beyond That of Imitation, or copying after another. My Correction makes the Whole so plain and intelligible, that, I think, it carries Conviction along with it. Again:
So doth the Hound his Mafter, the Ape his Keeper, the tired Horse his Rider.
The Pedant here, to run down Imitation, fhews that it is a Quality within the Capacity of Beafts: that the Dog and the Ape are taught to copy Tricks by their Mafter and Keeper; and so is the tir'd Horfe by his Rider. This laft is a wonderful Inftance; but it happens not to be true. Mr. Warburton ingenioufly faw, that the Author must have wrote the tryed Horse
i, e. One, exercis'd, and broke to the Manage: for he obeys every Sign, and Motion of the Rein, or of his Rider.