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.

Enter Silvius.
Sil. My errand is to you, fair youth :-
My gentle Phebe, bid me give you this:

[Giving a letter. I know not the contents; but I

By the stern brow, and waspish action
Which she did use as she was writing of it,
It bears an angry tenour: pardon me,
I am but as a guiltless messenger.

Ros. Patience herself would startle at this letter,
And play the swaggerer; bear this, bear all :
She says,

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

will !
Her love is not the hare that I do hunt:
Why writes she so to me?—Well, shepherd, well,
This is a letter of

Sil. No, I protest, I know not the contents;
Phebe did write it 19.

Come, come, you are a fool,
And turn'd into the extremity of love.
I saw her hand : she has a leathern hand,
A freestone-colour'd hand; I verily did think
That her old gloves were on, but 'twas her hands;
She has a huswife's hand: but that's no matter:
I she never did invent this letter;
This is a man's invention, and his hand.

Sil. Sure, it is hers.
Ros. Why, 'tis a boisterous and a cruel style,

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,
Like Turk to Christian: woman's gentle brain
Could not drop forth such giant-rude invention,
Such Ethiop words, blacker in their effect
Than in their countenance :-Will you hear the letter?

Sil. So please you, for I never heard it yet;
Yet heard too much of Phebe's cruelty.
Ros. She Phebes me: Mark how the tyrant writes.

Art thou god to shepherd turn'd, [Reads.

That a maiden's heart hath burn'd?
Can a woman rail thus?

Sil. Call you this railing?
Ros. Why, thy godhead laid apart,

Warr'st thou with a woman's heart?
Did you ever hear such railing ? -

Whiles the eye of man did woo me,

That could do no vengeance to me
Meaning me a beast.

If the scorn of your bright eyne
Have power to raise such love in mine,
Alack, in me what strange effect
Would they work in mild aspéct?


chid I did love;
How then might your prayers move?
He, that brings this love to thee,
Little knows this love in me:
And by him seal up thy mind ;
Whether that thy youth and kind 22
Will the faithful offer take
Of me, and all that I can make;
Or else by him my

love deny,
And then I'll study how to die.




20 i. e. mischief.

2 Eyne for eyes. 22 Kind, for nature, or natural affections.

Sil. Call you this chiding?
Cel. Alas, poor shepherd !

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,

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

if you


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?



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,
To prey on nothing that doth seem as dead:
This seen, Orlando did approach the man,
And found it was his brother, his elder brother.
Cel. O, I have heard him speak of that same

And he did render28 him the most unnatural
That liv'd 'mongst men.

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

And nature, stronger than his just occasion,
Made him give battle to the lioness,
Who quickly fell before him; in which hurtling?

.29 From miserable slumber I awak'd. Cel. Are


his brother? Ros.

Was it


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,

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