Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

Nature gave me, his countenance seems to take from me he lets me feed with his hinds,' bars me the place of a brother, and, as much as in him lies, mines my gentility with my education. This is it, Adam, that grieves me; and the spirit of my father, which I think is within me, begins to mutiny against this servitude: I will no longer endure it, though yet I know no wise remedy how to avoid it. Adam. Yonder comes my master, your brother. Orl. Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he will shake me up. [Adam retires.

Enter OLIVER.

Oli. Now, sir! what make you here ?9 Orl. Nothing: I am not taught to make anything.

Oli. What mar you then, sir?

Orl. Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that which God made, a poor unworthy brother of yours, with idleness.

Oli. Marry, sir, be better employed, and be naught awhile.10

Orl. Shall I keep your hogs, and eat husks with them? What prodigal portion have I spent, that I should come to such penury?

Oli. Know you where you are, sir?

Orl. Oh, sir, very well: here in your orchard. Oli. Know you before whom, sir? Orl. Ay, better than he I am before knows me. I know you are my eldest brother; and, in the gentle condition of blood, you should so know me. The courtesy of nations allows you my better, in that you are the first-born; but the same tradition takes not away my blood, were there twenty brothers betwixt us: I have as much of my father in me as you; albeit, I confess, your coming before me is nearer to his reverence.11

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Orl. I will not, till I please: you shall hear me. My father charged you in his will to give me good education: you have trained me like a peasant, obscuring and hiding from me all gentleman-like qualities. The spirit of my father grows strong in me, and I will no longer endure it: therefore allow me such exercises as may become a gentleman, or give me the poor allottery my father left me by testament; with that I will go buy my fortunes.

Oli. And what wilt thou do? beg, when that is spent? Well, sir, get you in: I will not long be troubled with you; you shall have some part of your will: I pray you, leave me.

Orl. I will no farther offend you than becomes me for my good.

Oli. Get you with him, you old dog.

Adam. Is old dog my reward? Most true, I have lost my teeth in your service.-God be with my old master! he would not have spoke such a word. [Exeunt ORLANDO and ADAM.

[blocks in formation]

Cha. There's no news at the court, sir, but the old news: that is, the old duke is banished by his younger brother the new duke; and three or four loving lords have put themselves into voluntary exile with him, whose lands and revenues enrich the new duke; therefore he gives them good leave to wander.

honour, if he come in: therefore, out of my love to you, I came hither to acquaint you withal; that either you might stay him from his intendment, or brook such disgrace well as he shall run into; in that it is a thing of his own search, and altogether against my will.

Oli. Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me,

Oli. Can you tell if Rosalind, the duke's which thou shalt find I will most kindly requite. I daughter, be banished with her father?

Cha. Oh, no; for the duke's daughter, her cousin, so loves her, -being ever from their cradles bred together, that she would have followed her exile, or have died to stay behind her. She is at the court, and no less beloved of her uncle than his own daughter; and never two ladies loved as they do.

Oli. Where will the old duke live?

16

Cha. They say, he is already in the forest of Arden, and a many merry men with him; and there they live like the old Robin Hood of England: they say, many young gentlemen flock to him every day, and fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden world.18

Oli. What! you wrestle to-morrow before the new duke ?19

Cha. Marry do I, sir; and I came to acquaint you with a matter. I am given, sir, secretly to understand that your younger brother, Orlando, hath a disposition to come in disguised against me to try a fall. To-morrow, sir, I wrestle for my credit; and he that escapes me without some broken limb shall acquit him well. Your brother is but young and tender; and, for your love, I would be loath to foil him, as I must, for my own

16. The forest of Arden. Because the scene of Lodge's novel is laid in France, because the novel makes the place of exile "the forest of Arden," and because there is a real forest of Ardenne or Ardennes in French Flanders, the commentators first assert that Shakespeare meant this Flemish forest, and then they assert that he made a great mistake in introducing a palmtree, a lioness, and a serpent there. But we believe that Shakespeare, by his "forest of Arden," meant no special forest, but a typical forest; a forest that represents a poetical forest generally, where lovers, dukes, lords, shepherds, jesters, natural philosophers and artificial philosophers, lions and lambs, serpents and goats, oaks and olives, palm-trees and osiers, may all flourish contentedly and plausibly, without disturbing the peace of those whose imaginations accept the truths of poetry as universal truth, not mere geographical, animal, or botanical literalities. The old English word "Arden" originally signified' woodiness;' it was applied to a large wooded district in Warwickshire, called the Forest of Arden; and it was the maiden name of Shakespeare's own mother-Mary Arden, whose ancient family derived their name from this very forest of their county. Well might it in the poet's mind-as it should in the minds of his readersserve well for the name of the archetype of poetic and romantic forests.

17. The old Robin Hood of England. By such a touch as this last, "of England," Shakespeare contrives to take his readers out of their own country, and show them that he lays his scene abroad. Be it observed, that in this very point we have proof of his improved art, since the production of his early

[ocr errors]

had myself notice of my brother's purpose herein, and have by underhand means laboured to dissuade him from it; but he is resolute. I'll tell thee, Charles, it is the stubbornest young fellow of France; full of ambition, an envious emulator of every man's good parts, a secret and villainous contriver 20 against me his natural brother: therefore use thy discretion; I had as lief thou didst break his neck as his finger. And thou wert best look to't: for if thou dost him any slight disgrace, or if he do not mightily grace himself on thee, he will practise against thee by poison, entrap thee by some treacherous device, and never leave thee til he hath ta'en thy life by some indirect means or other; for, I assure thee-and almost with tears I speak it-there is not one so young and so villainous this day living. I speak but brotherly of him; but should I anatomise him to thee as he is, I must blush and weep, and thou must look pale and wonder.

Cha. I am heartily glad I came hither to you. If he come to-morrow, I'll give him his payment: if ever he go alone again, I'll never wrestle for prize more: and so, God keep your worship!

Oli. Farewell, good Charles. [Exit Charles.] Now will I stir this gamester:21 I hope I shall see

written play, "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," where he lets one of the outlaws swear "by the bare scalp of Robin Hood's fat friar," without any such artistic addition as in the present case. See Note 4, Act iv., "Two Gentlemen of Verona." See also Note 1, Act iii., "Merchant of Venice."

18. The golden world. Allusions to the golden age of the world-when innocence and happiness prevailed upon earth, when mankind toiled not, and had no cause for care-abound among poets and poetical writers. Some of the most famous of these descriptions may be found in Leigh Hunt's elegant translation of Tasso's "Aminta," Fanshaw's version of Guarini's "Pastor Fido," and Cervantes' "Don Quixote." Shakespeare himself has put into the mouth of Gonzalo-when the good old lord is planning an ideal commonwealth-a sketch of a kind of second "golden world." See Note 15, Act ii., "Tempest."

19. The new duke. It will be noticed that in this scene, Shakespeare has given the effect of recentness to the event of the elder duke's banishment; although, later on, he gives it the This is one of his effect of having occurred some time ago. strokes of dramatic art. Here, it is needful that the incident should be related, for the information of those who are reading the first scene, and therefore it is mentioned as "news," in order to give naturalness to its being detailed by Charles, the court wrestler; but afterwards, dramatic purpose is best served by throwing it somewhat farther back, among past occurrences. 20. Contriver. Plotter, machinator. See Note 32, Act iv., "Merchant of Venice."

21. Stir this gamester. "Stir" is here used for incite, insti

VOL. I.

54

an end of him; for my soul, yet I know not why,
hates nothing more than he. Yet he's gentle;
never schooled, and yet learned; full of noble
device;
of all sorts 23 enchantingly beloved; and,
indeed, so much in the heart of the world, and
especially of my own people, who best know him,
that I am altogether misprised: but it shall not
be so long; this wrestler shall clear all: nothing
remains but that I kindle the boy thither: which
now I'll go about.
[Exit.

SCENE II.—A lawn before the DUKE's Palace.
Enter ROSALIND and CELIA.

Cel. I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry.

Ros. Dear Celia, I show more mirth than I am mistress of; and would you yet I were merrier? Unless you could teach me to forget a banished father, you must not learn 26 me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure.

Cel. Herein I see thou lovest me not with the full weight that I love thee. If my uncle, thy banished father, had banished thy uncle, the duke my father, so thou hadst been still with me, I could have taught my love to take thy father for mine: so wouldst thou, if the truth of thy love to me were so righteously tempered as mine is to thee.

but love no man in good earnest; nor no farther in sport neither, than with safety of a pure blush thou mayst in honour come off again.

Ros. What shall be our sport then?

Cel. Let us sit and mock the good housewife Fortune from her wheel,29 that her gifts may henceforth be bestowed equally.

Ros. I would we could do so; for her benefits are mightily misplaced; and the bountiful blind woman doth most mistake in her gifts to women.

Cel. 'Tis true; for those that she makes fair, she scarce makes honest; and those that she makes honest, she makes very ill-favouredly.

Ros. Nay, now thou goest from Fortune's office to Nature's: Fortune reigns in gifts of the world, not in the lineaments of Nature.

Cel. No; when Nature hath made a fair creature, may she not by Fortune fall into the fire? Though Nature hath given us wit to flout at Fortune, hath not Fortune sent in this fool to cut off the argument?

[blocks in formation]

Ros. Well, I will forget the condition of my hath sent this natural for our whetstone; for estate, to rejoice in yours.

Cel. You know my father hath no child but I,27 nor none is he like to have: and, truly, when he dies, thou shalt be his heir;28 for what he hath taken away from thy father perforce, I will render thee again in affection; by mine honour, I will; and when I break that oath, let me turn monster: therefore, my sweet Rose, my dear Rose, be merry.

Ros. From henceforth I will, coz, and devise sports. Let me see; what think you of falling in love?

always the dulness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits.-How now, wit! whither wander you? Touch. Mistress, you must come away to your father.

Cel. Were you made the messenger? Touch. No, by mine honour; but I was bid to come for you.

Ros. Where learned you that oath, fool?

Touch. Of a certain knight that swore by his honour they were good pancakes, and swore by his honour the mustard was naught: now, I'll stand to it, the pancakes were naught, and the mustard was

Cel. Marry, I pr'ythee, do, to make sport withal: good; and yet was not the knight forsworn.

[ocr errors]

gate and Shakespeare elsewhere uses gamester to express

a vivacious, free-lived person. Here it seems to be tantamount to the more modern phrase, 'a mettlesome young spark,' 'a forward chap.'

22. Hates nothing more than he. "He" used for 'him,' "I" for 'me,' "she" for 'her,' &c., were frequent grammatical licences in Shakespeare's time.

23 Of all sorts. By all ranks;' 'by persons of various conditions.' Enchantingly "is here used for with the force of enchantment,' with the fascination of a spell.' 24. Misprised. Taken amiss; undervalued, depreciated, despised. See Note 6, Act iii., “Much Ado." 25. Kindle. Urge, spur, excite.

26. Learn. Often used for 'teach:' and the original Saxon word læran meant both to teach and to learn; from lære, knowledge, skill, learning, which might either be instilled or acquired.

27. Hath no child but I. See Note 22, Act i., of this play; and Note 60, Act iii., "Merchant of Venice."

28. Heir. Often used for 'heiress.' See Note 6, Act iv., "Two Gentlemen of Verona."

29. Mock the good housewife Fortune from her wheel. Johnson gravely protests against the poet's having "confounded" the type of vicissitude with a spinning-wheel: but Shakespeare puts a playful mingling of the image of uncertainty with that of the thread of life, into a lady's mouth here; and he has also allowed Cleopatra to use the same blended mythological and housewifely idea. ("Antony and Cleopatra," iv. 13.) That he knew the strictnesses of the subject thoroughly, may be evidenced from other passages where he has introduced "Fortune."

30. Perceiving. Misprinted 'perceiveth' in the first Folio. The second Folio gives the word rightly.

Cel. How prove you that, in the great heap of your knowledge ?

Ros. Ay, marry, now unmuzzle your wisdom. Touch. Stand you both forth now: stroke your chins, and swear by your beards that I am a knave. Cel. By our beards, if we had them, thou art. Touch. By my knavery, if I had it, then I were; but if you swear by that that is not, you are not forsworn no more was this knight, swearing by his honour, for he never had any; or if he had, he had sworn it away before ever he saw those pancakes or that mustard.

[blocks in formation]

Le Beau. What colour, madam! how shall I answer you?

Ros. As wit and fortune will.

Touch. Or as the Destinies decree.

Cel. Well said: that was laid on with a trowel.35
Touch. Nay, if I keep not my rank,36 —
Ros. Thou losest thy old smell.

Le Beau. You amaze me, ladies: I would have told you of good wrestling, which you have lost the sight of.39

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

Touch. The more pity, that fools may not speak three sons,wisely what wise men do foolishly.

Cel. By my troth, thou sayest 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.

Ros. With his mouth full of news.

Cel. Which he will put on us, as pigeons feed their young.

Ros. Then shall we be news-crammed. Cel. All the better; we shall be the more marketable.

Enter LE BEAU.

Bon jour, Monsieur Le Beau: what's the news? Le Beau. Fair princess, you have lost much good sport.

Cel. Sport! of what colour ? 34

31. Old Frederick. "Old," here, is probably used by Touchstone with the same effect of familiar speaking as it is by Lucio. See Note 62, Act iv., "Measure for Measure."

32 Cel. This is misprinted Ros. in the Folio; but the speech evidently belongs to Celia. Theobald made the correction.

33. Whipped for taxation. Professional fool-jesters had the punishment of a whipping, when they exceeded their licence and offended by their freedoms. "Taxation" means satire, censure, accusation, impugning.

34. Sport! of what colour? Celia, in banter of Le Beau's affected pronunciation of the word "sport" (which we may imagine him to pronounce 'spawt'), asks him the affectedly expressed question, "of what colour?" for of what kind?' There is a similar raillery of court affectation in "Hamlet," v. 2; where the Prince mystifies Osric, as Celia here mystifies Le Beau.

35. That was laid on with a trowel. A colloquial phrase that still exists, applied to coarse flattery. Here, it means, 'that was well added, well heaped up.'

36. If I keep not my rank. Touchstone, as the professional jester, uses this word "rank" to express rate of talking,' 'way of following up one joke with another;' while Rosalind puns upon it in the sense of rancid,' 'offensively scented.'

37. Amaze. Used here for bewilder, confuse, obfuscate. 38. Which you have lost the sight of. In Shakespeare's way of wittily conducting a dialogue, these words equally refer to the

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; 30" 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 them, that all the beholders take his part with weeping.

Ros. Alas! 40

Touch. But what is the sport, monsieur, that the ladies have lost?

sport of which the ladies have lost the sight, and the subject in question, which their gay banter has suffered to pass out of view.

39. With bills on their necks. These words have been supposed by Farmer and others to belong to Le Beau's speech; but we preserve the Folio arrangement, where they form the beginning of Rosalind's reply. She, hearing him in these set terms describe the youths, imagines them labelled as goodly fellows; and hearing him use the term "presence," interrupts him with a play upon the word. Her quick wit therefore suggests the appropriate "bills on their necks;" which means either the forest-bills thus worn by hunters, or the bills called in legal technicality 'deeds poll,' which commonly begin, 'Know all men by these presents.' See Note 95, Act iv., "Love's Labour's Lost." This legal term is well explained in Mr. Rushton's clever little book, called, 'Shakespeare a Lawyer." Advertising bills also in Shakespeare's time sometimes began with the words, "Be it known unto all men," &c.

40. Alas! It is often by such apparently slight touches as these that Shakespeare depicts the moral perfection of his characters, and gives them their crowning charm. By this single word, introduced here, he shows us Rosalind pausing in the full career of her sportive word-bandying, struck with pity for the poor old father's grief. His women are always true women ; not mere heedless, heartless wits, but witty from the very depths of their sweet and sensitive natures.

[graphic][merged small]

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 music 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.

41. Broken music. This was a technicality in Shakespeare's time for music performed on stringed instruments: probably because these are unable to sustain unbrokenly or uninterruptedly a long note, as wind instruments can do. Mr. Chappell, in his valuable work, "Popular Music of the Olden Time," was the first to supply this information; which interprets one or two passages in our poet that were not previously understood. Some

Act I. Scene 11.

[blocks in formation]
« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »