« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Nath. Sir, you have done this in the fear of God, very religiously ; and as a certain father saith—
Hol. Sir, tell me not of the father, I do fear colorable colors. But to return to the verses. Did they please you, Sir Nathaniel ?
Nath. Marvellous well for the pen.
Hol. I 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 parent 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, the text most infallibly concludes it. — Sir, (to Dull] I do invite you too, [to hear the verses ex-criticised) you shall not say me nay: pauca verba. Away; the gentles are at their games, and we will to our recreation.
Another part of the same. After dinner.
Re-enter Holofernes, Sir Nathaniel, and Dull. Hol. Satis quod sufficit.
Nath. I praise God for you, Sir: your reasons at dinner have been sharp and sententious ; pleasant without scurrility, witty without affection, audacious without impudency, learned without opinion, and strange without heresy. I did converse this quondam day with a companion of the king's, who is intituled, nominated, or called Don Adriano de Armado.
Hol. Novi hominem tanquam te. His manner is lofty, his discourse peremptory, his tongue filed, his eye ambitious, and his general behaviour, vain, ridiculous and thrasonical. He is too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd, and, as it were, too peregrinate, as I
call it. Nath. A most singular and choice epithet! [Takes out his tablebook.]
Hol. He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument, [- More matter with less art,' says the queen in Hamlet], I abhor such fantastical phantasms, such insociable and point device companions, such rackers of orthography, as to speak doubt fine when he should say doubt, etc. This is abhominable which he would call abominable ; it insinuateth me of insanie ; Ne intelligis, domine? to make frantic, lunatic.
Nath. Laus deo bone intelligo.
Hol. Bone — bone for bene : Priscian, a little scratched 'twill serve. [This was never meant to be printed of course ; all this is understood to have been prepared only for a performance in a booth.')
Enter Armado, etc.
But the first appearance of these two book-men, as Dull takes leave them to call them in this scene, is not less to the purpose. They come in with Antony Dull, who serves as a foil to their learning; from the moment that they open their lips they speak ‘in character,' and they do not proceed far before they give us some hints of the author's purpose.
Nath. Very reverent sport truly, and done in the testimony of a good conscience.
Hol. The deer was, as you know, in sanguis, ripe as a pomewater, who now hangeth like a jewel in the ear of Coelo, the sky, the welkin, the heaven, and anon falleth like a crab on the face of terra — the soil, the land, the earth. [A-side glance at the heights and depths of the incongruities which are the subject here.]
Nath. Truly, Master Holofernes, the epithets are sweetly varied, like a scholar at the least, but, etc. ....
Hol. Most barbarous intimation! [referring to Antony Dull, who has been trying to understand this learned language, and apply it to the subject of conversation, but who fails in the attempt, very much to the amusement and self-congratulation of these scholars). Yet a kind of insinuation, as it were, in via, in way of explication [a style much in use in this school), 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. . . . Twice sod simplicity, bis coctus! O thou monster ignorance, how deformed dost thou look !
Nath. [explaining]. Sir, he hath never fed of the dainties 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.
So were there a patch set on learning to see him in a school." • That would be a new 'school,' a new learning,' patching the 'defecť (as it would be called elsewhere) in the old.
Dull. You two are book-men. Can you tell me by your wit, etc.
Hol. This is a gift that I have; simple, simple; a foolish extravagant spirit, full of forms, figures, shapes, objects, ideas, apprehensions, motions, revolutions: 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 so may my parishioners; for their sons are well tutored by you, and their daughters profit very greatly under you; you are a good member of the COMMON-WEALTH. He is in earnest of course. Is the Poet so too?
What is the end of study ? — let me know. O they have lived long in the alms-basket of WORDS,' is the criticism on this learning with which this showman, whoever he may be, explains his exhibition of it. And surely he must be, indeed, of the school of Antony Dull, and never fed with the dainties bred in a book, who does not see
a what it is that is criticised here; - that it is the learning of an unlearned time, of a barbarous time, of a vain, frivolous debased, wretched time, that has been fed long-always from 'the alms-basket of words.' And one who is acquainted already with the style of this school, who knows already its secret signs and stamp, would not need to be told to look again on the intellect of the letter for the nomination of the party writing, to the person written to, in order to see what source this pastime comes from, what player it is that is behind the scene here. • Whoe'er he be, he bears a mounting mind,' and beginning in the lowness of the actual, and collecting the principles that are in all actualities, the true forms that are forms in nature, and not in man's speech only, the new IDEAS of the New Academy, the ideas that are powers, with these é simples' that are causes, he will reconstruct fortuitous conjunctions, he will make his poems in facts; he will find his Fairy Land in her kingdom whose iron chain he wears.
"The gentles were at their games,' and the soul of new ages was beginning its re-creations.
For this is but the beginning of that 'Armada' that this
Don Armado-who fights with sword and pen, in ambush and in the open field — will sweep his old enemy from the seas
O like a book of sports thou 'lt read me o'er,
Look how the father's face
It is the Prince of that little Academe that sits in the Tower here now. It is in the Tower that that little Academe holds its conferences' now.
There is a little knot of men of science who contrive to meet there. The associate of Raleigh's studies, the partner of his plans and toils for so many years, Hariot, too scientific for his age, is one of these. It is in the Tower that Raleigh's school is kept now. The English youth, the hope of England, follow this teacher still. Many young gentlemen still resort to him.' Gilbert Harvey is one of this school. None but my father would keep such a bird in such a cage,' cries one of them—that Prince of Wales through whom the bloodless revolution was to have been accomplished; and a Queen seeks his aid and counsel there still.
It is in the Tower now that we must look for the sequel of that holiday performance of the school. It is the genius that had made its game of that old love's labour's lost that is at work here still, still bent on making a lore of life and love, still ready to spend its rhetoric on things, and composing its metres with them.
Nor shall death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest. He is building and manning new ships in his triumphant fleet. But they are more warlike than they were. The papers that this Academe issues now have the stamp of the Tower on them. The golden shower,' that 'flowed from his
fruitful head of his love's praise' flows no more.
Fierce bitter things are flung forth from that retreat of learning, while the kingly nature has not yet fully mastered its great wrongs. The martial hand' is much used in the compositions of this school indeed for a long time afterwards.
Fitter perhaps to thunder martial stower
When thee so list thy tuneful thoughts to raise, said the partner of his verse long before.
Or influence chide or cheer the drooping stage, says his protegé.
It was while this arrested soldier of the human emancipation sat amid his books and papers, in old Julius Caesar's Tower, or in the Tower of that Conqueror, 'commonly so called,' that the readers of the wiser sort found, thrown in at their study windows,' writings, as if they came from several citizens, wherein Caesar's ambition was obscurely glanced at,' and thus the whisper of the Roman Brutus “pieced them out.'
Brutus thou sleep'st; awake, and see thyself.
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
Age, thou art shamed. It was while he sat there, that the audiences of that player who was bringing forth, on the banks of Thames, such wondrous things out of his treasury then, first heard the Roman foot upon their stage, and the long-stified, and pent-up speech of English freedom, bursting from the old Roman patriot's lips.
Cassius. And let us swear our resolution.
The sufferance of our soul's, the time's abuse,