Page images

Phe. Know'st thou the youth that spoke to me • ere while ?

Sil. Not very well, but I have met him oft; And he hath bought the cottage, and the bounds, That the old carlot once was master of".

Phe. Think not I love him, though I ask for him ; 'Tis but a peevish boy :-yet he talks well ;But what care I for words ? yet words do well, When he that speaks them pleases those that hear. It is a pretty youth:-not very pretty:But, sure, he's proud ; and yet his pride becomes

him: He'll make a proper man: The best thing in him Is his complexion; and faster than his tongue Did make offence, his eye did heal it up. He is not very tall; yet for his years he's tall?: His leg is but so so; and yet 'tis well : There was a pretty redness in his lip; A little riper and more lusty red Than that mix'd in his cheek; 'twas just the differ

ence Betwixt the constant red, and mingled damask 8.

the second chapter of the book of Ruth :-Let fall some handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them that she may glean them.”

STEEvens. 5 That the old CARLOT once was master of.] i. e. peasant, from carl or churl ; probably a word of Shakspeare's coinage. Douce.

6 — a peevish boy :) Peevish, in ancient language, signifies weak, silly. So, in King Richard III. :

“When Richmond was a little peevish boy." STEEVENS, 7 He is not tall; yet for his years he's tall :] The old copy reads :

“ He is not very tall,” &c. For the sake of metre, I have omitted the useless adverb—very.

Steevens. 8 — the CONSTANT red, and MINGLED damask.] Constant red” is uniform red. Mingled damask " is the silk of that name, in which, by a various direction of the threads, many lighter shades of the same colour are exhibited. STEEVENS.

There be some women, Silvius, had they mark'd

In parcels as I did, would have gone near
To fall in love with him: but, for my part,
I love him not, nor hate him not; and yet
I have more cause o to hate him than to love him:
For what had he to do to chide at me ?
He said, mine eyes were black, and my hair black;
And, now I am remember'd, scorn'd at me:
I marvel, why I answer'd not again :
But that's all one ; omittance is no quittance.
I'll write to him a very taunting letter,
And thou shalt bear it; Wilt thou, Silvius ?

Sil. Phebe, with all my heart.

I'll write it straight;
The matters in my head, and in my heart :
I will be bitter with him, and passing short:
Go with me, Silvius.



The Same.

Enter ROSALIND, CELIA, and JAQUES. JAQ. I prythee, pretty youth, let me be better? acquainted with thee.

Ros. They say, you are a melancholy fellow.
JAQ. I am so; I do love it better than laughing.
Ros. Those, that are in extremity of either, are

9 I have more cause —) I, which seems to have been inadvertently omitted in the old copy, was inserted by the editor of the second folio. Malone.

1- let me be better -] Be, which is wanting in the old copy, was added by the editor of the second folio. MalonE.

abominable fellows; and betray themselves to every modern censure, worse than drunkards.

JAQ. Why, 'tis good to be sad and say nothing.
Ros. Why then, 'tis good to be a post.

JAQ. I have neither the scholar's melancholy, which is emulation ; nor the musician's, which is fantastical; nor the courtier's, which is proud; nor the soldier's, which is ambitious : nor the lawyer's, which is politick ; nor the lady's, which is nice ? ; nor the lover's, which is all these: but it is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects; and, indeed, the sundry contemplation of my travels; which by often rumination wraps me, in a most humorous sadness'.

Ros. A traveller! By my faith, you have great reason to be sad: I fear, you have sold your own lands, to see other men's; then, to have seen much, and to have nothing, is to have rich eyes and poor hands.

JAQ. Yes, I have gained my experience.

2 – which is nice;] i. e. silly, triling. So, in King Richard III. :

“But the respects thereof are nice and trivial.” See a note on Romeo and Juliet, Act V. Sc. II. STEEVENS.

3 — MY often rumination wraps me, IN a most humorous sadness.] The old copy reads and points thus : “ — and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which by often rumination, wraps me in a most humorous sadness." I have omitted the word in where it first occurs, and have connected the beginning of this passage with what went before, which, I think, makes the meaning clear. MALONE.

As this speech concludes with a sentence at once ungrammatical and obscure, I have changed a single letter in it; and instead of “in a most humorous sadness," have ventured to read, “is a most humorous sadness." Jaques first informs Rosalind what his melancholy was not; and naturally concludes by telling her what the quality of it is. To obtain a clear meaning, a less degree of violence cannot be employed. Steevens. VOL. VI.

2 h

Enter ORLANDO. Ros. And your experience makes you sad: I had rather have a fool to make me merry, than experience to make me sad; and to travel for it too.

Orl. Good day, and happiness, dear Rosalind !

JAQ. Nay then, God be wi' you, an you talk in blank verse.

Exit. Ros. Farewell, monsieur traveller: Look, you lisp, and wear strange suits; disable 4 all the benefits of your own country; be out of love with your nativity, and almost chide God for making you that countenance you are ; or I will scarce think you have swam in a gondola 5.-Why, how now, Orlando! where have you been all this while ? You a lover ?-An you serve me such another trick, never come in my sight more.

Orl. My fair Rosalind, I come within an hour of my promise.

Ros. Break an hour's promise in love ? He that will divide a minute into a thousand parts, and break but a part of the thousandth part of a minute in the affairs of love, it may be said of him, that Cupid hath clap'd him o' the shoulder, but I'll war. rant him heart-whole.

Orl. Pardon me, dear Rosalind.

4 — disable - ] i. e. undervalue. So afterwards : “he disabled my judgment.” Steevens.

5 — swam in a gondola.] That is, been at Venice, the seat at that time of all licentiousness, where the young English gentlemen wasted their fortunes, debased their morals, and sometimes lost their religion.

The fashion of travelling, which prevailed very much in our author's time, was considered by the wiser men as one of the principal causes of corrupt manners. It was, therefore, gravely censured by Ascham, in his Schoolmaster, and by Bishop Hall, in his Quo Vadis ; and is here, and in other passages, ridiculed by Shakspeare. Johnson.

Ros. Nay, an you be so tardy, come no more in my sight; I had as lief be woo'd of a snail.

Orl. Of a snail ?

Ros. Ay, of a snail; for though he comes slowly, he carries his house on his head; a better jointure, I think, than you can make a woman : Besides, he brings his destiny with him.

Orl. What's that ?

Ros. Why, horns; which such as you are fain to be beholden to your wives for: but he comes armed in his fortune, and prevents the slander of his wife.

Orl. Virtue is no horn-maker; and my Rosalind is virtuous.

Ros. And I am your Rosalind.

Cel. It pleases him to call you so ; but he hath a Rosalind of a better leer than you'.

Ros. Come, woo me, woo me; for now I am'in a holiday humour, and like enough to consent :What would you say to me now, an I were your very very Rosalind ?

Orl. I would kiss, before I spoke.

Ros. Nay, you were better speak first; and when you were gravelled for lack of matter, you might

6 — than you can make a woman.] Old copy—"you make a woman." Corrected by Sir T. Hanmer. MalonE.

7-a Rosalind of a better leer than you.] i. e. of a better feature, complexion, or colour, than you. So, in P. Holland's Pliny, b. xxxi. c. ii. p. 403 : “ In some places there is no other thing bred or growing, but brown and duskish, insomuch as not only the cattel is all of that lere, but also the corn on the ground," &c. The word seems to be derived from the Saxon Hleare, facies, frons, vultus. So it is used in Titus Andronicus, Act IV. Sc. II. :

“Here's a young lad fram'd of another leer." Tollet. In the notes on the Canterbury Tales of Chaucer, vol. iv. p. 320, lere is supposed to mean skin. So, in Isumbras MSS. Cott. cal. ii. fol. 129:

“ His lady is white as whales bone,
Here lere bryghte to se upon,
“ So fair as blosme on tre." Steevens.

« PreviousContinue »