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Love’s Labour’s Lost: Act IV, Scene 2

24 annotations

Love’s Labour’s Lost
Act IV, Scene 2

The King of Navarre’s park.

  1. Enter Dull, Holofernes the Pedant, and Nathaniel from
  2. watching the hunt.

Sir Nathaniel

1 - 2
  1. Very reverent sport truly, and done in the testimony of a
  2. good conscience.

Holofernes

3 - 6
  1. The deer was (as you know) sanguis, in blood, ripe as the
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    “Sanguis” is the Latin word for blood. Some scholars suspect Holofernes meant to say “sanguigno” - the Italian word for blood. Henry Irving actually made that change in his edition of Shakespeare.
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    “In blood” was a hunting term meaning a vigorous chase.
  2. pomewater, who now hangeth like a jewel in the ear of caelo,
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    A type of apple.
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    Holofernes probably means “cielo” - the Italian word for the sky. In his edition of Shakespeare, Henry Irving actually changed it to “cielo”. Whether Shakespeare intentionally had Holofernes say the wrong word or the error was in the production process is unknown.
  3. the sky, the welkin, the heaven, and anon falleth like a
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    The sky.
  4. crab on the face of terra, the soil, the land, the earth.
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    A crabapple.

Sir Nathaniel

7 - 9
  1. Truly, Master Holofernes, the epithites are sweetly varied,
  2. like a scholar at the least; but, sir, I assure ye it was a
  3. buck of the first head.
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    A male deer in its fifth year when it has a full set of antlers.

Holofernes

10
  1. Sir Nathaniel, haud credo.
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    “Haud credo” is Latin for “I don't believe it”. So Holofernes is expressing disagreement with Sir Nathaniel. In the next line, however, Dull misunderstands the phrase and thinks that the last syllable of “credo” refers to “doe” - a female deer. So he says it wasn't a “haud credo”, it was a pricket - a male deer.

Dull

11
  1. ’Twas not a haud credo, ’twas a pricket.
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    A male deer in its second year when its antlers are still straight.

Holofernes

12 - 18
  1. Most barbarous intimation! Yet a kind of insinuation, as it
  2. were in via, in way, of explication; facere, as it were,
  3. replication, or rather ostentare, to show, as it were, his
  4. inclination, after his undressed, unpolished, uneducated,
  5. unpruned, untrained, or rather unlettered, or ratherest
  6. unconfirmed fashion, to insert again my haud credo for a
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    Inexperienced.
  7. deer.

Dull

19
  1. I said the deer was not a haud credo, ’twas a pricket.

Holofernes

20 - 21
  1. Twice sod simplicity, bis coctus!
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    “Twice sod” means a food that has been boiled twice. “Bis coctus” is Latin for bread that is baked twice (we get our English word “biscuit” it). So Holofernes is expressing annoyance that Dull has twice disagreed with him.
  2. O thou monster Ignorance, how deformed dost thou look!

Sir Nathaniel

22 - 36
  1. Sir, he hath never fed of the dainties that are bred in a
  2. book;
  3. He hath not eat paper, as it were; he hath not drunk ink;
  4. his intellect is not replenished; he is only an animal, only
  5. sensible in the duller parts;
  6. And such barren plants are set before us, that we thankful
  7. should be
  8. Which we of taste and feeling arefor those parts that do
  9. fructify in us more than he.
  10. For as it would ill become me to be vain, indiscreet, or a
  11. fool,
  12. So were there a patch set on learning, to see him in a
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    A fool.
  13. school:
  14. But omne bene, say I, being of an old father’s mind:
  15. Many can brook the weather that love not the wind.

Dull

37 - 39
  1. You two are book-men: can you tell me by your wit
  2. What was a month old at Cain’s birth, that’s not five weeks
  3. old as yet?

Holofernes

40
  1. Dictynna, goodman Dull, Dictynna, goodman Dull.

Dull

41
  1. What is Dictynna?

Sir Nathaniel

42
  1. A title to Phoebe, to Luna, to the moon.

Holofernes

43 - 45
  1. The moon was a month old when Adam was no more,
  2. And raught not to five weeks when he came to five-score.
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    To reach.
  3. Th’ allusion holds in the exchange.

Dull

46
  1. ’Tis true indeed, the collusion holds in the exchange.

Holofernes

47 - 48
  1. God comfort thy capacity! I say, th’ allusion holds in the
  2. exchange.

Dull

49 - 51
  1. And I say, the pollution holds in the exchange, for the moon
  2. is never but a month old; and I say beside that, ’twas a
  3. pricket that the Princess kill’d.

Holofernes

52 - 54
  1. Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal epitaph on the
  2. death of the deer? And to humor the ignorant, call I the
  3. deer the Princess kill’d a pricket.

Sir Nathaniel

55 - 56
  1. Perge, good Master Holofernes, perge, so it shall please you
  2. to abrogate squirility.

Holofernes

57 - 63
  1. I will something affect the letter, for it argues facility.
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    Holofernes is saying he will engage in alliteration, which he proceeds to do with different meanings and variations of the word “sore” and “sorel”.
  2. The preyful Princess pierc’d and prick’d a pretty pleasing pricket;
  3. Some say a sore, but not a sore, till now made sore with shooting.
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    In this context, a sore (sometimes spelled “soare”) is a buck in its fourth year.
  4. The dogs did yell: put l to sore, then sorel jumps from thicket,
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    In this context, “sorel” (also spelled “sorrel”) is a buck in its third year.
  5. Or pricket sore, or else sorel; the people fall a-hooting.
  6. If sore be sore, then L to sore makes fifty sores o’ sorel:
  7. Of one sore I an hundred make by adding but one more L.

Sir Nathaniel

64
  1. A rare talent!

Dull

65
  1. Aside.
  2. If a talent be a claw, look how he claws him with a talent.
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    “Talent” was a variant of “talon”, which is a synonym for “claw”. So in this case Dull is making puns on the similarity of the two words.
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    One definition of “claw” was to flatter someone. So Dull is saying that Sir Nathaniel flatters Holofernes.

Holofernes

66 - 72
  1. This is a gift that I have, simple; simple, a foolish
  2. extravagant spirit, full of forms, figures, shapes, objects,
  3. ideas, apprehensions, motions, revolutions. These are begot
  4. in the ventricle of memory, nourish’d in the womb of pia
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    By Shakespeare's time it was already understood that the human brain is divided into sections called “ventricles”. It was believed that one of those ventricles was devoted to memory.
  5. mater, and delivered upon the mellowing of occasion. But the
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    Holofernes accurately describes the pia mater, a membrane that encases the brain.
  6. gift is good in those in whom it is acute, and I am thankful
  7. for it.

Sir Nathaniel

73 - 76
  1. Sir, I praise the Lord for you, and so may my parishioners,
  2. for their sons are well tutor’d by you, and their daughters
  3. profit very greatly under you. You are a good member of the
  4. commonwealth.

Holofernes

77 - 80
  1. Mehercle, if their sons be ingenious, they shall want no
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    An interjection of agreement meaning “By Hercules!”.
  2. instruction; if their daughters be capable, I will put it to
  3. them: but vir sapit qui pauca loquitur. A soul feminine
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    “A wise man speaks little” - an ironic thing for someone who talks as much as Holofernes to say.
  4. saluteth us.
  1. Enter Jaquenetta and the Clown Costard.

Jaquenetta

81
  1. God give you good morrow, Master Person.

Holofernes

82 - 83
  1. Master Person, quasi pers-one. And if one should be pierc’d,
  2. which is the one?

Costard

84 - 85
  1. Marry, Master Schoolmaster, he that is likel’est to a
  2. hogshead.

Holofernes

86 - 88
  1. Of piercing a hogshead! A good lustre of conceit in a turf
  2. of earth; fire enough for a flint, pearl enough for a swine:
  3. ’tis pretty; it is well.

Jaquenetta

89 - 91
  1. Good Master Person, be so good as read me this letter. It
  2. was given me by Costard, and sent me from Don Armado. I
  3. beseech you read it.

Holofernes

92 - 100
  1. Facile, precor gelida quando pecus omne sub umbra ruminat,
  2. and so forth. Ah, good old Mantuan! I may speak of thee as
  3. the traveler doth of Venice:
  4. Venechia, Venechia,
  5. Che non te vede, che non te prechia.
  6. Old Mantuan, old Mantuan! Who understandeth thee not, loves
  7. thee not. Ut, re, sol, la, mi, fa. Under pardon, sir, what
  8. are the contents? Or rather, as Horace says in hisWhat, my
  9. soul, verses?

Sir Nathaniel

101
  1. Ay, sir, and very learned.

Holofernes

102
  1. Let me hear a staff, a stanze, a verse; lege, domine.

Sir Nathaniel

103 - 116
  1. Reads.
  2. If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear to love?
  3. Ah, never faith could hold, if not to beauty vowed!
  4. Though to myself forsworn, to thee I’ll faithful prove;
  5. Those thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like osiers bowed.
  6. Study his bias leaves, and makes his book thine eyes,
  7. Where all those pleasures live that art would comprehend.
  8. If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice;
  9. Well learned is that tongue that well can thee commend,
  10. All ignorant that soul that sees thee without wonder;
  11. Which is to me some praise that I thy parts admire.
  12. Thy eye Jove’s lightning bears, thy voice his dreadful thunder,
  13. Which, not to anger bent, is music and sweet fire.
  14. Celestial as thou art, O, pardon love this wrong,
  15. That sings heaven’s praise with such an earthly tongue.”

Holofernes

117 - 125
  1. You find not the apostraphus, and so miss the accent. Let me
  2. supervise the canzonet.
  3. He takes the letter.
  4. Here are only numbers ratified, but for the elegancy,
  5. facility, and golden cadence of poesy, caret. Ovidius Naso
  6. was the man. And why indeed Naso,” but for smelling out the
  7. odoriferous flowers of fancy, the jerks of invention?
  8. Imitari is nothing: so doth the hound his master, the ape
  9. his keeper, the tired horse his rider. But, damosella
  10. virgin, was this directed to you?

Jaquenetta

126 - 127
  1. Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Berowne, one of the strange
  2. queen’s lords.

Holofernes

128 - 138
  1. I will overglance the superscript: To the snow-white hand
  2. of the most beauteous Lady Rosaline.” I will look again on
  3. the intellect of the letter, for the nomination of the party
  4. Writing.
  5. to the person written unto: Your ladyship’s in all desired
  6. employment, Berowne.” Sir Nathaniel, this Berowne is one of
  7. the votaries with the King, and here he hath framed a letter
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    Strong admirers, in this case of the king.
  8. to a sequent of the stranger queen’s, which accidentally, or
  9. by the way of progression, hath miscarried. Trip and go, my
  10. sweet, deliver this paper into the royal hand of the King;
  11. it may concern much. Stay not thy compliment; I forgive thy
  12. duty. Adieu.

Jaquenetta

139
  1. Good Costard, go with me. Sir, God save your life!

Costard

140
  1. Have with thee, my girl.
  1. Exit with Jaquenetta.

Sir Nathaniel

141 - 142
  1. Sir, you have done this in the fear of God, very
  2. religiously; and as a certain father saith

Holofernes

143 - 145
  1. Sir, tell not me of the father, I do fear colorable colors.
  2. But to return to the verses: did they please you, Sir
  3. Nathaniel?

Sir Nathaniel

146
  1. Marvelous well for the pen.

Holofernes

147 - 153
  1. I do dine today at the father’s of a certain pupil of mine,
  2. where, if (before repast) it shall please you to gratify the
  3. table with a grace, I will, on my privilege I have with the
  4. parents of the foresaid child or pupil, undertake your bien
  5. venuto; where I will prove those verses to be very
  6. unlearned, neither savoring of poetry, wit, nor invention. I
  7. beseech your society.

Sir Nathaniel

154 - 155
  1. And thank you too; for society, saith the text, is the
  2. happiness of life.

Holofernes

156 - 159
  1. And certes the text most infallibly concludes it.
  2. To Dull.
  3. Sir, I do invite you too, you shall not say me nay: pauca
  4. verba. Away, the gentles are at their game, and we will to
    Feb 27, 2019 Miko
    “Few words” - again, an ironic thing for the wordy Holofernes to say.
  5. our recreation.
  1. Exeunt.
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