Rejoicing Wit: Clever By More Than Half

Shakespeare. Love's Labour Lost.

HOLOFERNES, the pendant, celebrates the princesses hunting prowess. He does so with hilarious aplomb.

I will something affect the letter, for it argues facility.

The preyful princess pierced and prickt;
a pretty pleasing pricket;
Some say a sore; but not a sore,
till now made sore with shooting.
The dogs did yell: put L to sore,
then sorel jumps from thicket;
Or pricket sore, or else sorel;
the people fall a-hooting.
If sore be sore, then L to sore
makes fifty sores: O sore L!
Of one sore I an hundred make
by adding but one more L.
Explanatory Notes for Act 4, Scene 2 from Love's Labour's Lost. Ed. William Rolfe.
A buck of the first head. According to The Return from Parnassus, 1606 (quoted by Steevens) "a buck is the first year, a fawn; the second year, a pricket; the third year, a sorrell; the fourth year, a soare; the fifth, a buck of the first head; the sixth year, a compleat buck."
Pun by way of number, pretty Roman numerals (fifty = L and one hundred = C). But what have we here? A doubling of the L would give us not "sorell" but "sorec" — a nonsense word by our accounting. But the doubling of 50 (L) to 100 (LL) by Holofernes's could with the addition of a suffix "s" indicate the plural be "sorells" which is an anagram of "sollers" which is Latin for "clever" and just by chance the nom de plume of a French man of letters who has been much taken by Joycean language games of which Holofernes is a precursor. By the way, Philippe Sollers was born Philippe Joyaux — a gem.

And so for day 1279