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Holofernes. In truth I'll be as perfect an ass in presenty as any of this company-Nous gets the better of him] law, this once, this once !-an I do so any more !

Pedant. I say, hold him up.

Holofernes. Ha, let me say my prayers first ! ha sweet, 85 ha sweet, honey, barbary-sugar, sweet master !

Pedant. Sans tricks, trifles, delays, demurrers, procrastinations, or retardations mount him, mount him.

[A violent struggle, after which Pippo is hoisted on

the back of Nous, Battus untrusses him, and Slip

and Nathaniel hang on his legs as he kicks. Enter Quadratus, Laverdure, and Simplicius, three fashion

able gentlemen. Laverdure is very richly dressed. Quadratus. Be merciful, my gentle signior. Laverdure. We'll sue his pardon out.

Pedant. He is reprieved—[the boys let Holofernes go), and now Apollo bless your brains. [To Laverdure.] Facundious and elaborate elegance make your presence gracious in the

eyes

of
your

mistress. Laverdure [to the Pedant]. You must along with us, 95 lend private ear.

[They walk aside. Simplicius [to Pippo). What is your name? Holofernes. Holofernes Pippo.

Simplicius. Truly, gallants, I am enamoured on the boy. [To Pippo.] Wilt thou serve me?

Holofernes. Yes, an't please my grandmother, when I come to years of discretion.

Pedant. An you have a propensitude to him, he shall be for you. I was solicited to grant him leave to play the lady in comedies presented by children, but I knew 105 his voice was too small and his stature too low; sing, sing a treble, Holofernes, sing. [Pippo sings.] A very small sweet voice, I'll assure you.

Quadratus. 'Tis smally sweet indeed.

Šimplicius. A very pretty child ! hold up thy head, 110 there, buy thee some plums. [He gives Pippo money.

Quadratus [to the Pedant]. Nay, they must play, you go along with us.

Pedant. Ludendi venia est petita et concessa.
All. Gratias. [Schooi ends, with much cheering. 115

IOO

A NOTE ON THE VERSE

Read over these lines to yourself :

You all do know this mantle : I remember
The first time ever Caesar put it on;
'Twas on a summer's evening in his tent

That day he overcame the Nervii. As you read, your voice will rest longer on some syllables than on others; you will say, for instance

The first time ever Caésar pút it on: Your voice will rest on the word 'first' in a way that it does not on the word 'the'. This is called stress, and first' is a stressed syllable. Look at the lines again, and you will find :

(1) that they have five stresses ;
(2) that the stress falls on every other syllable ;

(3) that there is no rime. This is what we call blank verse, and it has been the metre for plays since Marlowe used it. He writes it very regularly, and in trying to learn what blank verse is, you had better begin with him.

But if all blank verse lines were exactly like 'The first time ever Caesar put it on', our ear would get tired of the sound as we went on reading or hearing them. And, if you and I feel that, a poet's fine ear feels it much more. So he varies the rhythm for us by changing the stress; he does this after pause or break in the line. The breaks are marked for us by the stops, and there is a slight pause at the end of the line. Thus we get lines like

So, I am satisfied. | Gíve me a bowl of wine. After the break at ‘satisfied', the verse seems to start off again, and the next word will bear a stress;

so too at the beginning of the line after the pause from the line before. The effect is often very fine, as when Antony says over the dead Caesar

Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,

Shrúnk to this little measure ? Fare thee well. The word 'shrunk’ falls on the ear with a mournful stress; the great man is so little now !

Six stresses are found sometimes where the line is broken by a pause :The old Anchíses beár, | só from the waves of

Tíber.
A thousand times more fair, 1 ten thousand tímes

more rích.
Whát, is António hére ? | Ready, so please your

gráce. Sometimes there are less than five stresses, but then usually the line is meant to be startling :

Is he so hasty that he doth suppose
My sleep my death?
Find him, my Lord of Warwick; chide him

hither. Here the unfinished line reads like a broken cry; the speaker stops in anger. But at present you had better fix your attention on the five-stress lines.

One warning: some words in this old verse have an old-fashioned pronunciation. You may have to say

pow-er' (two syllables), and 'fire' in the same way; and you will find 'ambit-i-ous', conven-i-ent' (four syllables); the ending ' -ion' is often two syllables, as

prevent-i-on'; and the '-ed' of the past participle fully sounded, as 'established '.

'A, he.

GLOSSARY Where a reference seemed desirable, the number of the page is inserted in brackets. An asterisk denotes an absurdity or misuse of a word by characters like Dogberry and Bottom.

An, if. 'A comes (27), a hunting-cry like Antipodes, the people at the oppo"tally-ho'.

site side of the world. Abide (127, 135), to pay for, be Apace, quickly. punished for.

Apparelled, dressed, fitted out. Abject, low and mean.

Apparent, which can be seen ; so Abridge, to shorten, cut short. (1) clear, plain, (2) seeming. Abridgement (205), something to Apparition (105), appearance. make time pass quickly, an enter- Appertinents, belongings, things tainment.

which go with some principal Absolve, to forgive a sin.

thing. Accomplish (72), to give the finish

() ing touches to.

gence, able to understand. Accord, to agree.

Apt, ready. Accoutred, fully dressed.

Arbitrament, decision. Accumulate, to heap up.

Argosy, a large merchant-ship. Achieve, to make an end of, win Argument, something to consider: altogether.

so (60, 218) a thing to discuss ; Addressed, ready.

(71) a piece of work to do; (58, Adieu, good-bye.

223) the plot of a play, the subAdoration, worship.

ject which it treats. Advantage (154), interest.

Arras, tapestry (see ‘hangings '). Advantages (79), additions. Aspect, look. Adventures, at all, at any risks. * Aspicious: D. means'suspicious'. Afeard, afraid.

Athwart, across. Affiance, trust.

Attach (87), to arrest. Afoot, on foot (meaning, has Attaint (73), infection (meaning started off).

bad influences, such as fear, or After-supper (205), dessert, &c., the effect of a sleepless night). taken at the end of supper.

Attaint (87), to find guilty of * Aggravate (200), to make worse. treason, and to condemn to loss of B. means 'make less '.

property and civil rights and title. Alacrity, briskness.

Attended (179), attended to. Albeit, although.

Attribute (171), something that Allay, to make quiet.

we think of as always belonging Allegiance, being true to the king, to a person. We say "God is loyalty.

good’; so goodness is an attriAllegiant, loyal.

bute of God. All-watched (73), sleepless, awake Audacious, bold. all the time.

Audacity, boldness. Ambitious, very keen to get power Audit, having your business books or honour.

examined.

Auditor (203), hearer.
Augment, to make greater.
Awkward winds (42), blowing

the wrong way for you.
Ay, for, for ever.
Aye, yes.

Bagpudding (184), a pudding

boiled in a bag. Bait, to torment for sport (as in

bear-baiting, bull-baiting). Balm (57, 76), the oil with which a king is anointed at his coronation. Baned (167), destroyed. Barbary - sugar (226), sugar brought from Barbary; so, very sweet and rare. Barnacle (225), goose. (Really a wild goose which breeds in the arctic seas.) Basis (128), the lower part of a

column or statue, the base. Bated, lowered, made less. Battalia (92), battalion. Battle (72), army. Bauble, cheap plaything. Bay (140), to bark at; (130) to bring to bay, when the stag turns and faces the hounds. Beadle, an officer who kept order

in church and also punished small offences in the parish. Bear me hard (129), suspect me,

think mę dangerous. (Literally, to keep a tight rein on a horse.) Beaver, the faceguard of the helmet; so, the helmet itself. Beguile (the time), to while away. Beholding, obliged to anybody,

beholden. Benighted, overtaken by the night. Bergomask dance (212), a clownish

dance, originally that of the peasants of Bergamo. Beshrew me. A playful cry, meaning 'Mischief to me'. Besmirch, to soil, stain. Best-conditioned, having the best

temper. Bestow yourself (80), place yourself.

Bethink me (153), consider with
myself, think over
Betoken, to mean.
Biggin, night-cap.
Bills, brown (187). See note,

p. 191. *Blunt (194). D. means 'sharp'. Boding (19), giving a warning of

evil. The cry of the owl was a sign of bad luck. Boisterous, rough. Bolted (68), sifted like fine meal. Bondman, slave. Book (82), to register, make a

list of. Bootless, useless. Botch, to patch clumsily. Bots (214), worms in the stomach

of a horse. Bottom, a ship carrying cargo. Braggart, one who brags. Brake, a thicket. Brand, a firebrand. Brassy, made of brass, hard

hearted. Brave (70, 101), bravely (80), making a fine show. Braved, dared, defied. Bravery (35), state of defiance. Brawling, keep a (216), to make

a noise. Breathing courtesy (180), politeness expressed only in words. Breech, to flog. Breeks, breeches. Brief (205), a short programme. Brisky (203), brisk, smart. Broach, to tap liquor. Brood (26), to protect like a hen covering her chickens. Buckler, a shield. Buckram, coarse linen or cloth

stiffened with gum. Buffet, to cuff, hit out at. Bulk (89), body. Bully (201), a jolly fellow. Burn their mention (20), destroy their honourable mention of us, just as if you were burning books or papers which contained it. Buzzard, an inferior hawk, useless for sport; it could fly, not strike.

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