Enter Holofernes, Nathaniel, and Dull
Satis quod sufficit.
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 entitled,
nominated, or called Don Adriano de Armado.
Novi hominem tanquam te. His humour is
I know the man as well as I know you
See Topics: Latin
lofty, his discourse peremptory, his tongue filed, his
eye ambitious, his gait majestical, and his general
behaviour vain, ridiculous, and thrasonical. He is too
picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd, as it were,
too peregrinate, as I may call it.
A most singular and choice epithet.
He draws out his table-book
He draweth out the thread of his verbosity
finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor such
fanatical phantasimes, such insociable and point-device
companions, such rackers of orthography, as to
speak ‘dout’ sine ‘b’ when he should say ‘doubt,’ ‘det’
when he should pronounce ‘debt’ – d, e, b, t, not d, e,
t. He clepeth a calf ‘cauf’, half ‘hauf’; neighbour
vocatur ‘nebor’, neigh abbreviated ‘ne’. This is
abhominable, which he would call ‘abominable.’ It
insinuateth me of insanie. Ne intelligis, domine? To
make frantic, lunatic.
Laus Deo, bone intelligo.
Bone? ‘ Bone ’ for ‘ bene ’! Priscian a little
scratched; 'twill serve.
Enter Armado, Mote, and Costard
Videsne quis venit?
Video et gaudeo.
[unclear usage; perhaps attempting a greeting in Greek] sirrah
Quare ‘ chirrah ’, not ‘ sirrah ’?
Men of peace, well encountered.
Most military sir, salutation.
They have been at a great feast of
languages and stolen the scraps.
O, they have lived long on the alms-basket
of words. I marvel thy master hath not eaten
thee for a word, for thou art not so long by the head as
honorificabilitudinitatibus. Thou art easier swallowed
than a flap-dragon.
Peace! The peal begins.
Monsieur, are you not lettered?
Yes, yes! He teaches boys the horn-book. What is
hornbook, horn-book (n.)
[teaching device] leaf of paper, protected by a piece of thin horn, showing the letters of the alphabet and other information
a, b, spelt backward with the horn on his head?
Ba, pueritia, with a horn added.
Ba, most silly sheep with a horn. You hear his
Quis, quis, thou consonant?
The last of the five vowels, if you repeat them; or
the fifth, if I.
I will repeat them: a, e, i –
The sheep. The other two concludes it – o, u.
Now, by the salt wave of the Mediterraneum, a
sweet touch, a quick venue of wit! Snip, snap, quick
[fencing] sword-thrust, assault, thrust
and home! It rejoiceth my intellect. True wit!
Offered by a child to an old man – which is
What is the figure? What is the figure?
Thou disputes like an infant. Go, whip thy
Lend me your horn to make one, and I will whip
about your infamy manu cita. A gig of a cuckold's horn!
An I had but one penny in the world, thou
shouldst have it to buy gingerbread. Hold, there is the
very remuneration I had of thy master, thou halfpenny
purse of wit, thou pigeon-egg of discretion. O, an the
heavens were so pleased that thou wert but my bastard,
what a joyful father wouldst thou make me! Go to,
thou hast it ad dunghill, at the fingers' ends, as they
O, I smell false Latin! ‘ Dunghill ’ for
‘ unguem ’.
Arts-man, preambulate. We will be singuled
from the barbarous. Do you not educate youth at the
charge-house on the top of the mountain?
Or mons, the hill.
At your sweet pleasure, for the mountain.
I do, sans question.
Sir, it is the King's most sweet pleasure and
affection to congratulate the Princess at her pavilion in
the posteriors of this day, which the rude multitude
call the afternoon.
The posterior of the day, most generous
sir, is liable, congruent, and measurable for the
afternoon. The word is well culled, choice, sweet, and
apt, I do assure you, sir, I do assure.
Sir, the King is a noble gentleman, and my
familiar, I do assure ye, very good friend. For what is
inward between us, let it pass – I do beseech thee,
remember thy courtesy; I beseech thee, apparel thy
head. And among other importunate and most serious
designs, and of great import indeed, too – but let that
pass; for I must tell thee, it will please his grace, by the
world, sometime to lean upon my poor shoulder, and
with his royal finger thus dally with my excrement,
with my mustachio – but, sweet heart, let that pass. By
the world, I recount no fable! Some certain special
honours it pleaseth his greatness to impart to Armado,
a soldier, a man of travel, that hath seen the world –
but let that pass. The very all of all is – but, sweet
heart, I do implore secrecy – that the King would have
me present the Princess – sweet chuck – with some
delightful ostentation, or show, or pageant, or antic, or
firework. Now, understanding that the curate and your
sweet self are good at such eruptions and sudden
breaking out of mirth, as it were, I have acquainted
you withal, to the end to crave your assistance.
Sir, you shall present before her the Nine
Worthies. Sir Nathaniel, as concerning some entertainment
of time, some show in the posterior of this day,
to be rendered by our assistance, the King's command,
and this most gallant, illustrate, and learned gentleman,
before the Princess – I say, none so fit as to present the
Where will you find men worthy enough to
Joshua, yourself; this gallant gentleman,
Judas Maccabaeus; this swain, because of his great
limb or joint, shall pass Pompey the Great; the page,
Pardon, sir – error! He is not quantity enough
for that Worthy's thumb; he is not so big as the end of
Shall I have audience? He shall present
Hercules in minority. His enter and exit shall be strangling
a snake; and I will have an apology for that
An excellent device! So if any of the audience hiss,
you may cry ‘ Well done, Hercules! Now thou crushest
the snake!’ That is the way to make an offence gracious,
though few have the grace to do it.
For the rest of the Worthies?
I will play three myself.
Shall I tell you a thing?
We will have, if this fadge not, an antic. I
beseech you, follow.
Via, goodman Dull! Thou hast spoken no
word all this while.
Nor understood none neither, sir.
Allons! We will employ thee.
I'll make one in a dance, or so; or I will play on
the tabor to the Worthies, and let them dance the
type of small drum, especially used in revelling
Most dull, honest Dull! To our sport,