« VorigeDoorgaan »
Touch. One that old Frederick, your father, loves.
Cel. My father's love is enough to honour him. Enough! speak no more of him; you'll be whipp’d for taxation, one of these days. Touch. The more pity, that fools may
not speak wisely, what wise men do foolishly.
Cel. By my troth, thou say’st true: for since the little wit, that fools have, was silenced, the little foolery, that wise men have, makes a great show. Here comes Monsieur Le Beau.
Enter LE BEAU. Ros. With his mouth full of news. Cel. Which he will put on us, as pigeons feed
Ros. Then shall we be news-cramm’d.
Cel. All the better; we shall be the more marketable. Bon jour, Monsieur Le Beau : What's the news ?
Le Beau. Fair princess, you have lost much good sport.
Cel. Sport? Of what colour?
Le Beau. What colour, madam ? how shall I answer you?
Ros. As wit and fortune will.
2 This reply to the Clown, in the old copies, is given to Rosalind. Frederic was however the name of Celia's father, and it is therefore most probable the reply should be hers...
'- you'll be whipp'd for taxation.' This was the discipline usually inflicted upon fools. Brantome says that Legar, fool to Elizabeth of France, having offended her with some indelicate speech, ‘fut bien fouetté à la cuisine pour ces paroles.' TAXATION is censure or satire.
4 • Laid on with a trowel.' This is a proverbial phrase not yet quite disused. It is, says Mason, to do any thing strongly, and without delicacy. If a man flatters grossly, it is a common expression to say, that he lays it on with a trowel.
Touch. Nay, if I keep not my rank,
Le Beau. You amaze me, ladies: I would have told you of good wrestling, which you have lost the sight of. Ros. Yet tell us the manner of the wrestling.
Le Beau. I will tell you the beginning, and, if it please your ladyships, you may see the end; for the best is yet to do; and here, where you are, they are coming to perform it.
Cel. Well, the beginning, that is dead and buried.
Le Beau. There comes an old man, and his three sons,
Cel. I could match this beginning with an old tale.
Le Beau. Three proper young men, of excellent growth and presence;
Ros. With bills on their necks,--Be it known unto all men by these presents",
Le Beau. The eldest of the three wrestled with Charles, the duke's wrestler; which Charles in a moment threw him, and broke three of his ribs, that there is little hope of life in him: so he served the second, and so the third : Yonder they lie; the poor old man, their father, making such pitiful dole over
5 Warburton thought the text should stand thus: Ros. With bills on their necks,
Touch. Be it known unto all men by these presents,The ladies and the fool being at cross purposes, Rosalind banteringly means bills or halberds. The Clown turns it jestingly to a law instrument. The quibble may be countenanced by a passage in the old play of Woman's a Weathercock, 1612:
*Good-morrow, taylor, I abhor bills in a morning,
But thou may'st watch at night with bill in hand.' Dr. Farmer thought' With bills on their necks' should be the conclusion of Le Beau's speech, and that Rosalind should make the quibble. A soldier was anciently said to carry his bill or harquebuss on his neck, not on his shoulder.
them, that all the beholders take his part with weeping.
Touch. But what is the sport, monsieur, that the ladies have lost?
Le Beau. Why, this that I speak of.
Touch. Thus men may grow wiser every day! it is the first time that ever I heard, breaking of ribs was sport for ladies.
Cel. Or I, I promise thee.
Ros. But is there any else longs to see this broken musick in his sides ? is there yet another dotes upon rib-breaking ?-Shall we see this wrestling, cousin ?
Le Beau. You must, if you stay here: for here is the place appointed for the wrestling, and they are ready to perform it.
Cel. Yonder, sure, they are coming: Let us now stay and see it. Flourish. Enter DUKE FREDERICK, Lords, OR
LANDO, CHARLES, and Attendants.
Ros. Is yonder the man?
Cel. Alas, he is too young: yet he looks successfully.
Duke F. How now, daughter and cousin? are you crept hither to see the wrestling?
Ros. Ay, my liege: so please you give us leave.
Duke F. You will take little delight in it, I can tell you,
there is such odds in the men: In pity of the challenger's youth, I would fain dissuade him, but he will not be entreated : Speak to him, ladies ;
you can move him. Cel. Call him hither, good Monsieur Le Beau.
Duke F. Do so; I'll not be by. (Duke goes apart. Le Beau. Monsieur the challenger, the princesses
call for you.
Orl. I attend them, with all respect and duty.
Ros. Young man, have you challenged Charles the wrestler 6 ?
Orl. No, fair princess; he is the general challenger: I come but in, as others do, to try with him the strength of my youth.
Cel. Young gentleman, your spirits are too bold for
your years: You have seen cruel proof of this man's strength: if you saw yourself with your eyes, or knew yourself with your judgment, the fear of your adventure would counsel you to a more equal enterprise. We pray you, for your own sake, to embrace your own safety, and give over this attempt.
Ros. Do, young sir; your reputation shall not therefore be misprised: we will make it our suit to the duke, that the wrestling might not go forward.
Orl. I beseech you, punish me not with your hard thoughts; wherein? I confess me much guilty, to deny so fair and excellent ladies any thing. But let your fair
eyes and gentle wishes go with me to my trial : wherein, if I be foiled, there is but one shamed that was never gracious 8 ; if killed, but one dead that is willing to be so; I shall do my
friends no wrong, for I have none to lament me; the world no
6 This wrestling match is minutely described in Lodge's novel.
7 Johnson thought we should read therein.' Mason proposed to read herein. Malone explains the passage thus : 'which, however, I confess I deserve to incur, for denying such fair ladies any request.' The expression is licentious, but these plays furnish
8 Gracious was anciently used in the sense of the Italian gratiato, i. e. graced, favoured, countenanced; as well as for graceful, comely, well favoured, in which sense Shakspeare uses it i other places. Vide Florio's Italian Dict. Ed. 1598, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act iji. Sc. 1, vol. i. p. 148, note •>"}
injury, for in it I have nothing; only in the world I fill up a place, which may be better supplied when I have made it empty.
Ros. The little strength that I have, I would it were with you.
Cel. And mine, to eke out hers.
Ros. Fare you well. Pray heaven, I be deceived in you!
Cel. Your heart's desires be with you.
Cha. Come, where is this young gallant, that is so desirous to lie with his mother earth?
Orl. Ready, sir; but his will hath in it a more modest working.
Duke F. You shall try but one fall.
Cha. No, I warrant your grace; you shall not entreat him to a second, that have so mightily persuaded him from a first.
Orl. You mean to mock me after; you should not have mocked me before: but come your ways.
Ros. Now, Hercules be thy speed, young man!
Cel. I would I were invisible, to catch the strong fellow by the leg. [CHA. and ORL. wrestle.
Ros. O excellent young man!
I who should down. [CHARLES is thrown. Shout.
Duke F. No more, no more.
Orl. Yes, I beseech your grace; I am not yet well breathed.
Duke F. How dost thou, Charles ?
Duke F. Bear him away. (CHARLES is borne out.] What is thy name, young man?
Orl. Orlando, my liege; the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Bois.
Duke F. I would, thou hadst been son to some