Page images
PDF
EPUB

Orl. Why, whither, Adam, wouldst thou have me

go?

Adam. No matter whither, so you come not here.
Orl. What, wouldst thou have me go and beg my

food ?
Or with a base and boisterous sword enforce
A thievish living on the common road?
This I must do, or know not what to do;
Yet this I will not do, do how I can.
I rather will subject me to the malice
Of a diverted blood,' and bloody brother.

Adam. But do not so. I have five hundred crowns,
The thrifty hire I saved under your father,
Which I did store, to be my foster-nurse,
When service should in my old limbs lie lame,
And unregarded age in corners thrown.
Take that; and He that doth the ravens feed,
Yea, providently caters for the sparrow,
Be comfort to my age! Here is the gold;
All this I give you. Let me be your servant ;
Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty;
For in my youth I never did apply
Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood;
Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo
The means of weakness and debility;
Therefore my age is as a lusty winter,
Frosty, but kindly. Let me go with you ;
I'll do the service of a younger man
In all your business and necessities.

Orl. O good old man; how well in three appears The constant service of the antique world, When service sweat for duty, not for meed! Thou art not for the fashion of these times, Where none will sweat, but for promotion ; And having that, do choke their service up Even with the having: it is not so with thee; But, poor old man, thou prun'st a rotten tree, That cannot so much as a blossom yield,

i i e. blood turned out of a course of nature; affections alienated.

In lieu of all thy pains and husbandry.
But come thy ways, we'll go along together;
And ere we have thy youthful wages spent,
We'll light upon some settled low content.

Adam. Master, go on, and I will follow thee,
To the last gasp, with truth and loyalty.
From seventeen years till now almost fourscore,
Here lived I, but now live here no more.
At seventeen years many their fortunes seek;
But at fourscore, it is too late a week.
Yet fortune cannot recompense me better,
Than to die well, and not my master's debtor.

[Exeunt.

SCENE IV. The Forest of Arden.

Enter Rosalind in boy's clothes, Celia dressed like a

Shepherdess, and TOUCHSTONE.
Ros. O Jupiter! how weary' are my spirits !

Touch. I care not for my spirits, if my legs were not weary:

Ros. I could find in my heart to disgrace my man's apparel, and to cry like a woman ; but I must comfort the weaker vessel, as doublet and hose ought to show itself courageous to petticoat; therefore, courage, good Aliena.

Cel. I pray you, bear with me; I cannot go no farther.

Touch. For my part, I had rather bear with you than bear you; yet I should bear no cross, ? if I did bear you ; for, I think, you have no money in your purse.

Ros. Well, this is the forest of Arden.
Touch. Ay, now am I in Arden. The more fool I

1 The old copy reads merry; perhaps rightly. Rosalind's language, as well as her dress, may be intended to have an assumed character.

2 A cross was a piece of money stamped with a cross; on this Shakspeare often quibbles.

When I was at home, I was in a better place; but travellers must be content.

Ros. Ay, be so, good Touchstone.-Look comes here; a young man, and an old, in solemn talk.

you who

Enter CORIN and Silvius.
Cor. That is the way to make her scorn you still.
Sil. O Corin, that thou knew'st how I do love her!
Cor. I partly guess; for I have loved ere now.

Sil. No, Corin, being old, thou canst not guess,
Though in thy youth thou wast as true a lover
As ever sighed upon a midnight pillow;
But if thy love were ever like to mine,
(As sure I think did never man love so,)
How many actions most ridiculous
Hast thou been drawn to by thy fantasy ?

Cor. Into a thousand that I have forgotten.

Sil. O thou didst then ne'er love so heartily.
If thou remember’st not the slightest folly
That ever love did make thee run into,
Thou hast not loved.
Or if thou hast not sat, as I do now,
Wearying thy hearer in thy mistress' praise,
Thou hast not loved.
Or if thou hast not broke from company,
Abruptly, as my passion now makes me,
Thou hast not loved. O Phebe, Phebe, Phebe!

[Exit Silvius. Ros. Alas, poor shepherd ! searching of thy wound, I have by hard adventure found mine own.

Touch. And I mine. I remember, when I was in love, I broke my sword upon a stone, and bid him take that for coming anight to Jane Smile ; and I remember the kissing of her batlet,' and the cow's dugs that her pretty chopped hands had milked ; and I remember the wooing of a peascod instead of her; from

1 Batlet, the instrument with which washers beat clothes.

2 A peascod. This was the ancient term for peas growing or gathered, the cod being what we now call the pod. VOL. II.

36

whom I took two cods, and giving her them again, said, with weeping tears, Wear these for my sake. We, that are true lovers, run into strange capers; but as all is mortal in nature, so is all nature in love mortal” in folly.

Ros. Thou speak'st wiser than thou art 'ware of.
Touch. Nay, I shall ne'er be 'ware of mine own
wit, till I break my shins against it.
Ros. Jove! Jove! this shepherd's passion

Is much upon my fashion.
Touch. And mine ; but it grows something stale

with me.
Cel. I pray you, one of you question 'yond man,
If he for gold will give us any food;
I faint almost to death.

Touch. Holla; you, clown!
Ros.

Peace, fool ! he's not thy kinsman.
Cor. Who calls ?
Touch. Your betters, sir.
Cor. Else are they very wretched.
Ros.

Peace, I say. Good even to you, friend.

Cor. And to you, gentle sir, and to you all.

Ros. I pr’ythee, shepherd, if that love, or gold,
Can in this desert place buy entertainment,
Bring us where we may rest ourselves, and feed.
Here's a young maid with travel much oppressed,
And faints for succor.
Cor.

Fair sir, I pity her,
And wish for her sake, more than for mine own,
My fortunes were more able to relieve her;
But I am shepherd to another man,
And do not shear the fleeces that I

graze.
My master is of churlish disposition,
And little recks to find the way to heaven
By doing deeds of hospitality.

1 In the middle counties, says Johnson, they use mortal as a particle of amplification, as mortal tall, mortal little. So the meaning here may be abounding in folly.”

Besides, his cote, his flocks, and bounds of feed,
Are now on sale, and at our sheepcote now,
By reason of his absence, there is nothing
That you will feed on; but what is, come see,
And in my voice most welcome shall you be.

Ros. What is he that shall buy his flock and

pasture?

Cor. That young swain that you saw here but

erewhile, That little cares for buying any thing:

Ros. I pray thee, if it stand with honesty, Buy thou the cottage, pasture, and the flock, And thou shalt have to pay for it of us.

Cel. And we will mend thy wages. I like this place, And willingly could waste my time in it. Cor. Assuredly, the thing is to be sold.

if you like, upon report, The soil, the profit, and this kind of life, I will your very faithful feeder be, And buy it with your gold right suddenly. [Exeunt.

Go with me;

[blocks in formation]

SONG.
Ami. Under the greenwood tree,

Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note

Unto the sweet bird's throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither :

Here shall he see

No enemy,

But winter and rough weather. ii. e. cot or cottage: the word is still used in its compound form, as sheepcote in the next line.

2 In my voice, as far as I have a voice or vote, as far as I have the power to bid you welcome.

3 The old copy reads : “ And turne his merry note,” which Pope altered to tune, the reading of all the modern editions.

« PreviousContinue »