Page images
PDF
EPUB

Some, of violated vows

'Twixt the souls of friend and friend ;
But upon the fairest boughs,

Or at every sentence end,
Will I Rosalinda write ;

Teaching all that read, to know
The quintessence of every sprite

Heaven would in little show.
Therefore Heaven nature charged

That one body should be filled
With all graces wide enlarged.

Nature presently distilled
Helen's cheek, but not her heart;

Cleopatra's majesty;
Atalanta's better part;

Sad Lucretia's modesty.
Thus Rosalind of many parts

By heavenly synod was devised;
Of many faces, eyes, and hearts,

To have the touches dearest prized.
Heaven would that she these gifts should have,

And I to live and die her slave.

2

, go off

Ros. O most gentle Jupiter I-What tedious homily of love have you wearied your parishioners withal, and never cried, Have patience, good people!

Cel. How now! back, friends ;-Shepherd, go a little.-Go with him, sirrah.

Touch. Come, shepherd, let us make an honorable retreat; though not with bag and baggage, yet with scrip and scrippage.

[Exeunt Corin and TOUCHSTONE. Cel. Didst thou hear these verses?

Ros. O, yes, I heard them all, and more too ; for some of them had in them more feet than the verses would bear.

1 i. e. in miniature. 2 There is a great diversity of opinion among the commentators about what is meant by the better part of Atalanta, for which the reader, who is desirous of seeing this knotty point discussed, is referred to the Variorum editions of Shakspeare.

Cel. That's no matter; the feet might bear the

verses.

Ros. Ay, but the feet were lame, and could not bear themselves without the verse, and therefore stood lamely in the verse.

Cel. But didst thou hear without wondering how thy name should be hanged and carved upon these trees?

Ros. I was seven of the nine days out of the wonder, before you came; for look here what I found on a palm-tree;? I never was so be-rhymed since Pythagoras' time, that I was an Irish rat, which I can hardly remember.

Cel. Trow you who hath done this ?
Ros. Is it a man?

Cel. And a chain, that you once wore, about his neck. Change you color ?

Ros. I pr’ythee, who?

Cel. O lord, lord! It is a hard matter for friends to meet; but mountains may be removed with earthquakes, and so encounter.

Ros. Nay, but who is it?
Cel. Is it possible ?

Ros. Nay, I pray thee now, with most petitionary vehemence, tell me who it is.

Cel. O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful, and yet again wonderful, and after that out of all whooping ? 3

Ros. Good my complexion !4 dost thou think, though I am caparisoned like a man, I have a doublet and hose in my disposition ? One inch of delay more is a South sea of discovery. I prythee, tell me, who is it? Quickly, and speak apace.

I would thou could'st

1 A palm-tree in the forest of Arden is as much out of its place as a lioness in a subsequent scene.

2 This fanciful idea probably arose from some metrical charm or incantation used there for ridding houses of rats.

3 To whoop, or hoop, is to cry out, to exclaim with astonishment.

4“Good my complexion!” This singular phrase was probably only a little unmeaning exclamation.

5 1. e. every delay is as irksome as a voyage of discovery in the South sea. 1 « Speak sad brow, and true maid;” speak seriously and honestly; or, in other words, “ speak with a serious countenance, and as truly as thou art a virgin.”

1

stammer, that thou might'st pour this concealed man out of thy mouth, as wine comes out of a narrowmouthed bottle ; either too much at once, or none at all. I pr’ythee take the cork out of thy mouth, that I may drink thy tidings.

Cel. So you may put a man in your belly.

Ros. Is he of God's making ? What manner of man? Is his head worth a hat, or his chin worth a beard?

Cel. Nay, he hath but a little beard.

Ros. Why, God will send more if the man will be thankful. Let me stay the growth of his beard, if thou delay me not the knowledge of his chin.

Cel. It is young Orlando; that tripped up the wrestler's heels, and your heart, both in an instant.

Ros. Nay, but the devil take mocking; speak sad brow, and true maid.

Cel. I'faith, coz, 'tis he.
Ros. Orlando ?
Cel. Orlando.

Ros. Alas the day! What shall I do with my doublet and hose ?_What did he, when thou saw'st him? What said he? How looked he? Wherein went he ? 2

What makes he here? Did he ask for me? Where remains he? How parted he with thee? And when shalt thou see him again ? Answer me in one word.

Cel. You must borrow me Garagantua’s mouth first ; 'tis a word too great for any mouth of this age's size. To say, ay, and no, to these particulars, is more than to answer in a catechism.

Ros. But doth he know that I am in this forest, and in man's apparel ? Looks he as freshly as he did the day he wrestled ?

Cel. It is as easy to count atomies, as to resolve the

2. i. e. how was he dressed ?

3. “Garagantua ;”. the giant of Rabelais, who swallowed five pilgrims, their staves and all in a salad.

NewNNYPHEART r**APET

In-+++

propositions of a lover ;-but take a taste of my finding him, and relish it with a good observance. I found him under a tree, like a dropped acorn.

Ros. It may well be called Jove's tree, when it drops forth such fruit.

Cel. Give me audience, good madam.
Ros. Proceed.

Cel. There lay he, stretched along, like a wounded knight.

Ros. Though it be pity to see such a sight, it well becomes the ground.

Cel. Cry, holla!! to thy tongue, I pr’ythee; it curvets very unseasonably. He was furnished like a hunter.

Ros. ' O ominous ! he comes to kill my heart.?

Cel. I would sing my song without a burden ; thou bring'st me out of tune.

Ros. Do you not know I am a woman ? When I think, I must speak. Sweet, say on.

Enter ORLANDO and JAQUES.

Cel. You bring me out.—Soft! comes he not here? Ros. 'Tis he; slink by, and note him.

[Celia and Rosalind retire. Jag. I thank you for your company; but, good faith, I had as lief have been myself alone.

Orl. And so had I; but yet, for fashion's sake, I thank you too for your society.

Jaq. God be with you ; let's meet as little as we can. Orl. I do desire we may be better strangers.

pray you, mar no more trees with writing love-songs in their barks.

Orl. I pray you, mar no more of my verses with reading them ill-favoredly.

Jaq. Rosalind is your love's name?
Ori. Yes, just.

Jaq. I

1 Holla! This was a term of the manage, by which the rider restrained and stopped his horse.

2 A quibble between hart and heart.

ton

you not

Jaq. I do not like her name.

Orl. There was no thought of pleasing you, when she was christened.

Jaq. What stature is she of?
Orl. Just as high as my heart.
Jaq. You are full of pretty answers.

Have been acquainted with goldsmiths' wives, and conned them out of rings ?

Orl. Not so; but I answer you right painted cloth, from whence you have studied your questions.

Jaq. You have a nimble wit; I think it was made of Atalanta's heels. Will you sit down with me? and we two will rail against our mistress the world, and all our misery.

Orl. I will chide no breather in the world, but myself; against whom I know most faults.

Jaq. The worst fault you have, is to be in love

Orł. 'Tis a fault I will not change for virtue. I am weary of you.

Jaq. By my troth, I was seeking for a fool, when I

your best

found you.

Orl. He is drowned in the brook ; look but in and you shall see him.

Jaq. There shall I see mine own figure. Orł. Which I take to be either a fool, or a cipher. Jaq. I'll tarry no longer with you; farewell, good seignior love.

Orl. I am glad of your departure ; adieu, good monsieur melancholy

[Exit JAQ.--Cel. and Ros. come forward. Ros. I will speak to him like a saucy lackey, and under that habit play the knave with him. Do

you hear, forester?

Orl. Very well; what would you ?
Ros. I pray you, what is't o'clock ?

1 To answer right painted cloth, is to answer sententiously. We still say she talks right Billingsgate. Painted cloth was a species of hangings for the walls of rooms, which has generally been supposed and explained to mean tapestry; but was really cloth or canvass painted with various devices and mottos. The verses, mottos, and proverbial sentences on such cloths are often made the subject of allusion in our old writers.

« PreviousContinue »