« PreviousContinue »
Ros. Love is merely a madness; and, I tell you, deserves as well a dark house and a whip, as madmen do: and the reason why they are not so punished and cured, is, that the lunacy is so ordinary, that the whippers are in love too: Yet I profess curing it by counsel.
Orl. Did you ever cure any so?
Ros. Yes, one; and in this manner. He was to imagine me his love, his mistress; and I set him every day to woo me: At which time would I, being but a moonish youth,+ grieve, be effeminate, changeable, longing, and liking; proud, fantastical, apish, shallow, inconstant, full of tears, full of smiles; for every passion something, and for no passion truly any thing, as boys and women are for the most part cattle of this colour: would now like him, now loath him ; then entertain him, then forswear him; now weep for him, then spit at him; that I drave my suitor from his mad humour of love, to a living humour of madness; which was, to forswear the full stream of the world, and to live in a nook merely monastick : And thus I cured him; and this way will I take upon me to wash your liver as clean as a sound sheep's heart, that there shall not be one spot of love in't.
Orl. I would not be cured, youth.
Ros. I would cure you, if you would but call me Rosalind, and come every day to my cote, and woo
Orl. Now, by the faith of my love, I will; tell me where it is.
Ros. Go with me to it, and I'll show it you: and, by the way, you shall tell me where in the forest you live: Will you go?
Orl. With all my heart, good youth.
a moonish youth,] i. g. variable.
Ros. Nay, you must call me Rosalind :-Come, sister, will you go?
Enter TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY;' JAQUES at a
distance, observing them. Touch. Come apace, good Audrey; I will fetch up your goats, Audrey: Aid how, Audrey ? am I the man yet? Doth my simple feature content you?
Aud. Your features! Lord warrant us! what features?
Touch. I am here with thee and thy goats, as the most capricious poet, honest Ovid, was among the Goths.6
Jaq. O knowledge ill-inhabited!' worse than Jove in a thatch'd house!
[Aside. Touch. When a man's verses cannot be understood, nor a man's good wit seconded with the forward child, understanding, it strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little room ::Truly, I would the gods had made thee poetical.
Audrey;] Is a corruption of Etheldreda. The saint of that name is so styled in ancient calendars.
as the most capricious poet, honest Ovid, was among the Goths.] Capricious is not herc humoursome, fantastical, &c. but lascivious. Upton.
Mr. Upton is, perhaps, too refined in his interpretation of capricious. Our author remembered that caper was the Latin for a goat, and thence chose this epithet. This, I believe, is the whole. There is a poor quibble between goats and Goths.
MALONE. 1- ill-inhabited!] i. e. ill-lodged. An unusual sense of the word.
it strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little room : ] A great reckoning in a little room, implies that the entertainment was mean, and the bill extravagant.
Aud. I do not know what poetical is : Is it honest in deed, and word? Is it a true thing?
Touch. No, truly; for the truest poetry is the most feigning; and lovers are given to poetry; and what they swear in poetry, may be said, as lovers, they do feign.
Aud. Do you wish then, that the gods had made me poetical?
Touch. I do, truly, for thou swear'st to me, thou art honest; now, if thou wert a poet, I might have some hope thou didst feign.
Aud. Would you not have me honest ?
Touch. No, truly, unless thou wert hard-favour’d: for honesty coupled to beauty, is to have honey a sauce to sugar. Jag. A material fool!'
[Aside. Aúd. Well, I am not fair; and therefore I pray the gods make me honest!
Touch. Truly, and to cast away honesty upon a foul slut, were to put good meat into an unclean dish.
Aud. I am not a slut, though I thank the gods I am foul.
Touch. Well, praised be the gods for thy foulness ! sluttishness may come hereafter. But be it as it may be, I will marry thee, and to that end, I have been with Sir Oliver Mar-text, the vicar of the next village; who hath promised to meet me in this place of the forest, and to couple us.
Jaq. I would fain see this meeting. [Aside. Aúd. Well, the gods give us joy! Touch. Amen. A man may, if he were of a fearful heart, stagger in this attempt; for here we have no temple but the wood, no assembly but horn
9 A material fool!] A fool with matter in him; a fool stocked with notions.
- I am foul.) Not fair, or homely,
beasts. But what though ?? Courage! As horns are odious, they are necessary. It is said.-Many a man knows no end of his goods : right: many a man has good horns, and knows no end of them. Well, that is the dowry of his wife; 'tis none of his own getting. Horns? Even so :
Poor men alone? No, no; the noblest deer hath them as huge as the rascal. Is the single man therefore blessed ? No: as a wall'd town is more worthier than a village, so is the forehead of a married man more honourable than the bare brow of a bachelor : and by how much defence* is better than no skill, by so much is a horn more precious than to want.
Enter Sir OlivER MAR-TEXT. Here comes sir Oliver::—Sir Oliver Mar-text, you are well met: Will you despatch us here under this tree, or shall we go with you to your chapel?
Sir Oli. Is there none here to give the woman? Touch. I will not take her on gift of any man.
Sir. Oli. Truly, she must be given, or the marriage is not lawful.
Jaq. [Discovering himself.] Proceed, proceed; I'll give her.
Touch. Good even, good master What ye call’t: How do
you, sir ? You are very well met: God'ild
company: I am very glad to see
defence -] Defence, as here opposed to “no skill," signifies the art of fencing.
sir Oliver ;] He that has taken his first degree at the university, is in the academical style called Dominus, and in common language was heretofore termed Sir. The Sir Hugh Evans of Shakspeare is not a Welsh knight who hath taken orders, but only a Welsh clergyman without any regular degree from either of the Universities. See Barrington's History of the Guedir Family.
Nichols God'ild you -] i. e: God yield you, God reward you.
you :-Even a toy in hand here, sir :-Nay; pray, be cover'd.
Jaq. Will you be married, motley?
Touch. As the ox hath his bow, sir, the horse his curb, and the faulcon her bells, so man hath his desires; and as pigeons bill, so wedlock would be nibbling.
Jaq. And will you, being a man of your breeding, be married under a bush, like a beggar? Get you to church, and have a good priest that can tell you what marriage is : this fellow will but join you together as they join wainscot: then one of you will prove a shrunk pannel, and, like green timber, warp, warp.
Touch. I am not in the mind but I were better to be married of him than of another: for he is not like to marry me well; and not being well married, it will be a good excuse for me hereafter to leave my wife.
[Aside. Jaq. Go thou with me, and let me counsel thee.
Touch. Come, sweet Audrey ; We must be married, or we must live in bawdry. Farewell, good master Oliver !
Not- sweet Oliver,
O brave Oliver,
I will not to wedding wi' thee. [E.xeunt Jaques, Touchstone, and AUDREY.
Sir Oli. "Tis no matter : ne'er a fantastical knave of them all shall flout me out of my calling. [E.rit.
- his bow,] i. e. his yoke. The ancient yoke in form resembled a bow.