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When he that speaks them pleases those that hear.
Sil. Phebe, with all my heart.
I'll write it straight;
SCENE I. The same.
Ros. They say, you are a melancholy fellow.
Ros. Those that are in extremity of either, are 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 3.
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.
1 i.e. common, trifling.
2 Nice, here means tender, delicate, and not silly, trifling, as Steevens supposed; though the word is occasionally used by Shakspeare in common with Chaucer, in the sense of the old French nice niais.
3 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. The emendation is Malone's.
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; disable4 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 -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 clapp'd him o'the shoulder, but I warrant him heart-whole.
Orl. Pardon me, dear Rosalind.
Ros. Nay, an you be so tardy, come no more in my sight: I had as lief be woo'd of a snail.
4 i.e. undervalue.
5 i.e. been at Venice; then the resort of all travellers, as Paris now. Shakspeare's cotemporaries also point their shafts at the corruption of our youth by travel. Bishop Hall wrote his little book Quo Vadis ? 'to stem the fashion.
Ori. 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 take
6 i.e. complexion, colour, probably from the Saxon bleane,
• His lady is white as whales bone,
So fair as blosme on tre.
• When he saugh the ladies so whyte of lere
Faile brede on theire table.' Again in Kyng Alysaunder: v. 798 :
• The lady is rody in the chere
And maide bryght in the lere.' So Skelton in his Philip Sparowe, 1568:
* The Indy saphyre blewe Her vaynes doth ennew, The orient pearle so cleare The witnes of her lere.'
occasion to kiss. Very good orators, when they are out, they will spit; and for lovers, lacking (God warn us!) matter, the cleanliest shift is to kiss.
Orl. How if the kiss be denied ?
Ros. Then she puts you to entreaty, and there begins new matter.
Orl. Who could be out, being before his beloved mistress?
Ros. Marry, that should you, if I were your mistress; or I should think my honesty ranker than my wit.
Orl. What, of my suit ?
Ros. Not out of your apparel, and yet out of your suit. Am not I your Rosalind ?
Orl. I take some joy to say you are, because I would be talking of her.
Ros. Well, in her person, I say-I will not have you.
Orl. Then, in mine own person, I die.
Ros. No, faith, die by attorney. The poor world is almost six thousand years old, and in all this time there was not any man died in his own person, videlicet, in a love-cause. Troilus had his brains dashed out with a Grecian club; yet he did what he could to die before; and he is one of the patterns of love. Leander, he would have lived many a fair year, though Hero had turned nun, if it had not been for a hot midsummer night: for, good youth, he went but forth to wash him in the Hellespont, and, being taken with the cramp, was drowned; and the foolish chroniclers 7 of that age found it was-Hero of Sestos. ' But these are all lies; men have died from
7 "The foolish chroniclers.' Sir Thomas Hanmer reads coroners; and it must be confessed the context seems to warrant the innovation, unless Shakspeare means to designate the jury impanneled on a coroner's inquest by the term chroniclers,