Love's Labour's Lost By William Shakespeare Act IV: Scene 2

ACT IV. SCENE II. The same.

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 sthe 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 of 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.
The allusion holds in the exchange.

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

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

DULL.
And I say the pollusion holds in the exchange, for the moon is
never but a month old; and I say beside that 'twas a pricket
that the Princess killed.

HOLOFERNES.
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 killed, 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 L 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 one 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, nourished 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.

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