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Cel. I warrant
love, and troubled brain, he hath ta’en his bow and arrows, and is gone forth—to sleep: Look, who comes here.
[Giving a letter. I know not the contents; but I
Ros. Patience herself would startle at this letter,
I am not fair; that I lack manners; She calls me proud; and, that she could not love me Were man as rare as phænix: Od's my
Sil. No, I protest, I know not the contents;
Come, come, you are a fool,
Sil. Sure, it is hers.
19 Mason thinks that part of Silvius's speech is lost, and that we should read
* Phebe did write it with her own fair hand.' and then Rosalind's reply follows more naturally.
your own device.
A style for challengers: why, she defies me,
Sil. So please you, for I never heard it yet;
Art thou god to shepherd turn'd, [Reads.
That a maiden's heart hath burn'd?
Sil. Call you this railing ?
Warr'st thou with a woman's heart?
Whiles the eye of man did woo me,
That could do no vengeance to me
If the scorn of your bright eyne
I did love;
20 i, e, mischief.
2 Eyne for eyes.
Sil. Call you this chiding?
Ros. Do you pity him ? no, he deserves no pity.Wilt thou Jove such a woman?—What, to make thee an instrument, and play false strains upon thee! not to be endured !-Well, go your way to her, (for I see, love hath made thee a tame snake 23), and say this to her ;—That if she love me, I charge her to love thee: if she will not, I will never have her, unless thou entreat for her. If you be a true lover, hence, and not a word; for here comes more company.
[Exit Silvius. Enter OLIVER. Oli. Good-morrow, fair ones: Pray you, if you
know Where, in the purlieus of this forest, stands A sheep-cote, fenc'd about with olive-trees ? Cel. West of this place, down in the neighbour
bottom, The rank of osiers, by the murmuring stream, Left on your right hand, brings you to the place: But at this hour the house doth keep itself, There's none within.
Oli. If that an eye may profit by a tongue, Then I should know you by description; Such garments, and such years: The boy is fair, Of female favour, and bestows 24 himself Like a ripe sister: but the woman low, And browner than her brother. Are not you The owner of the house I did inquire for?
23 A poor snake was a term of reproach equivalent to a wretch or poor creature. Hence also a sneaking or creeping fellow.
24 i. e. acts, or behaves like, &c. Of this quaint phraseology there is another example in King Henry IV. Part 11. Act ii. Sc. 2:- How might we see Falstaff bestow himself in his true colours? See note there,
pray you, tell it.
Cel. It is no boast, being ask'd, to say, we are.
Oli. Orlando doth commend him to you both; And to that youth, he calls his Rosalind, He sends this bloody napkin 25; Are you he?
Ros. I am: What must we understand by this ? Oli. Some of my shame; if you
will know of me What man I am, and how, and why, and where This handkerchief was stain'd. Cel.
I Oli. When last the young Orlando parted from
you, He left a promise to return again Within an hour; and, pacing through the forest, Chewing the food of sweet and bitter fancy 26, Lo, what befell! he threw his eye aside, And, mark, what object did present itself! Under an oak 27, whose boughs were moss'd with age, And high top bald with dry antiquity, A wretched ragged man, o'ergrown with hair, Lay sleeping on his back: about his neck A green and gilded snake had wreath'd itself, Who with her head, nimble in threats, approach'd The opening of his mouth; but suddenly, Seeing Orlando, it unlink'd itself, And with indented glides did slip away Into a bush: under which bush's shade A lioness, with udders all drawn dry, Lay couching, head on ground, with catlike watch, When that the sleeping man should stir; for 'tis
25 A napkin and handkerchief were the same thing in Shakspeare's time, as we gather from the dictionaries of Baret and Hutton in their explanations of the word Cæsitium and Sudarium. Napkin, for handkerchief, is still in use in the north.
26 i. e. love, which is always thus described by our old poets as composed of contraries.
37 The ancient editions read, under an old oak,' which hurts the measure without improving the sense. The correction was made by Steevens.
The royal disposition of that beast,
And well he might so do, For well I know he was unnatural.
Ros. But, to Orlando ;-Did he leave him there, Food to the suck’d and hungry lioness?
Oli. Twice did he turn his back, and purpos’d so: But kindness, nobler ever than
.29 From miserable slumber I awak'd. Cel. Are
his brother? Ros.
he rescu'd ? Cel. Was't you that did so oft contrive to kill him?
Oli. 'Twas I; but ’tis not I: I do not shame To tell you
since my conversion So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.
Ros. But, for the bloody napkin ?-
By and by 28 i. e. represent or render this account of him. So in Cymbeline :
. May drive us to a render where we have lived.' 29 i. e. jostling or clashing, encounter. In Julius Cæsar we have- The noise of battle hurtled in the air.'
The word has been explained to push, to clash, to skirmish. Its true etymology has not been clearly ascertained. The old low Latin word ortare, from whence the Italian urtare, and the French heurter are derived, has the best claim. In the old French, hurt, and heurt, signified the action of striking, or justling, skirmishing or combating. But I find in Cotgrave also hurteller, to trample on with the feet.'
what I was,