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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 gelidâo quando pecus omne sub umbra
9 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.
Fauste precor gelida &c.] 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 show how well Shakspeare sustained the character of his pedant.--Il designe le Carme Baptiste Mantuan, dont au commencement du 16 siecle on lisoit publiquement d 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'esta-dire, a l'Eneide de Virgil les Eclogues de Mantuan, la premiere desquelles commence par, Fauste, precor gelidâ. Warburton.
The Eclogues of Mantuanus the Carmelite were translated be fore 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.
From a passage in Nashe's Apologie of Pierce Penniless, 1593, the Eclogues of Mantuanus appear to have 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.” A translation of Mantuanus by George Turberville was printed in 8vo. in 1567.
Malone. - Vinegia, Vinegia, Chi non te vede, ei non te pregia.] Our author is applying the praises of Mantuanus to a common proverbial sentence, said of Venice. Venegia, Venegia! qui non te vedi, ei non te pregia. O Venice, Venice, he who has never seen thee, has thee not in esteem. Theobald.
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?
Nath. Ay, sir, and very learned.
bowed. Study his bias leaves, and makes his book thine eyes; Where all those pleasures live, that art would compre
hend: If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice; Well learned is that tongue, that well can thee com
mend; 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 musick, and sweet fire.
The proverb, as I am informed, is this: He that sees Venice little, values it much; he that sees it much, values it little. But 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, 1. 36:
“Venetia, Venetia, chi non te vede, non te pregia,
“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.
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. 2 Ut, re, sol, &c.] He hums the notes of the gamut, as Ed. mund does in King Lear, Act I, sc. ii, where see Dr. Burney's
Douce. If love make me forsworn, &c.] These verses are printed with some variations in a book entitled The Passionate Pilgrim, 8vo. 1599. Malone.
Celestial, as thou art, oh pardon, love, this wrong, That sings heaven's praise with such an earthly tongue !
Hol. You find not the apostrophes, and so miss the accent: let me supervise the canzonet. Here are only numbers ratified ;s 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?
-thy voice his dreadful thunder, Which, not to anger bent, is musick, and sweet fire.] So, in Antony and Cleopatra:
his voice was propertied
“ He was as ratling thunder." Malone. 5 Here are only numbers ratified;] Though this speech has all along been placed to Sir Nathaniel, I have ventured to join it to the preceding words of Holofernes; and not without reason. The speaker here is impeaching the verses; but Sir Nathaniel, as it appears above, thought them learned ones: besides, as Dr. Thirlby observes, 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, Naso; but for smelling out the odoriferous flowers of fancy? the jerks of invention imitary is nothing.
Sagacity with a vengeance! I should be ashamed to own my. self a piece of a scholar, to pretend to the task of an editor, and to pass such stuff as this upon the world for genuine. Who ever heard of invention imitary? Invention and imitation have ever been accounted two distinct 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. Theobald.
This pedantry appears to have been common in the age of Shakspeare. The author of Lingua, or the Combat of the Tongue and the Five Senses for Superiority, 1607, takes particular notice of it:
“ I remember about the year 1602, many used this skew kind of language, which, in my opinion, is not much unlike the man, whom Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, king of Egypt, brought for a spectacle, half white half black.” Steevens.
- the tired horse -] The tired horse was the horse adorned
Jaq. Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Biron," one of the strange queen's lords.
Hol. I will overglance the superscript. To the snowwhite 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, BIRON. Sir Nathaniel, this Biron 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;9 deliver this paper into the royal hand of the king; it may concern much: Stay not thy compliment; I forgive thy duty; adieu.
Jaq. Good Costard go with me.-Sir, God save your life! Cost. Have with thee, my girl.
[Exeunt Cost. and Jaq. Nath. Sir, you have done this in the fear of God, very religiously; and, as a certain father saith
Hol. Sir, tell not me of the father, I do fear colour
with ribbands,-The famous Bankes's horse so often alluded to. Lyly, in his Mother Bombie, brings in a Hackneyman and Mr. Halfpenny at cross-purposes with this word: “Why didst thou boare the horse through the eares?"_“It was for tiring.” “He would never tire,” replies the other. Farmer. So, in Marston's Antonio and Mellida, P. II, 1602:
“ Slink to thy chamber then and tyre thee.” Again, in What you will, by Marston, 1607 :
• My love hath tyred some fidler like Albano.” Malone. ? Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Biron,] Shakspeare forgot himself in this passage. Jaquenetta knew nothing of Biron, and had said, just before, that the letter had been “sent to her from Don Armatho, and given to her by Costard.” M. Mason.
writing - ) Old copies-written. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. The first five lines of this speech were restored to the right owner by Mr. Theobald. Instead of Sir Nathaniel the old copies have—Sir Holofernes, Corrected by Mr. Steevens. Malone.
9 Trip and go, my sweet ;] Perhaps originally the burthen of a song. So, in Summer's Last Will and Testament, by Nashe, 1600:
“ Trip and go, heave and hoe,
“Up and down, to and fro-” Malone. These words are certainly part of an old popular song. There is an ancient musical medley beginning, Trip and go hey! Ritson.
able colours. But, to return to the verses; Did they please you, sir Nathaniel?
Nath. Marvellous well for the pen.
Hol. 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.
Nath. And thank you too: for society, (saith the text) is the happiness of life.
Hol. And, certes, 3 the text most infallibly concludes it.—Sir, [to Dull] I do invite you too; you shall not say me, nay: pauca verba. Away; the gentles are at their game, and we will our recreation. [Exeunt.
Enter Biron, with a paper. Biron. The king he is hunting the deer; I am coursing myself: they have pitch'd a toil; I am toiling in a pitch ;4 pitch that defiles; defile! a foul word. Well, Set thee down, sorrow! for so, they say, the fool said, and so say I, and I the fool. Well proved, wit! By the lord, this love is as mad as Ajax: it kills sheep; it kills me,5 I a sheep: Well proved again on my side! I will not love: if I do, hang me; i' faith, I will not. O, but
1-colourable colours.] That is specious, or fair seeming appearances. Fohnson. - before repast,] Thus the quarto. Folio-being repast.
Malone. certes,] i. e. certainly, in truth. So, in Chaucer's Wif of Bathes Tale, v. 6790:
“ And certes, sire, though non auctoritee
I am toiling in a pitch;] Alluding to lady Rosaline's complexion, who is through the whole play represented as a black beauty. Johnson.
this love is as mad as Ajax : it kills sheep; it kills me,] This is given as a proverb in Fuller's Gnomologia. Ritson.