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you could teach me to forget a banished father, you must not learn 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 would'st thou, if the truth of thy love to me were so righteously tempered, as mine is to thee.
Ros. Well, I will forget the condition of my 'estate, to rejoice in yours.
Cel. You know, my father hath no child but I, nor none is like to have; and, truly, when he dies, thou shalt be his heir: 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?
Cel. Marry, I pr'ythee, do, to make sport withal : but love no man in good earnest; nor no further in sport neither, than with safety of a pure blush thou may'st 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, 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?
Ros. Indeed, there is fortune too hard for nature, when fortune makes nature's natural the cutter off of nature's wit.
Cel. Peradventure, this is not fortune's work neither, but nature's; who, perceiving our natural wits too dull to reason of such goddesses, hath sent this natural for our whetstones: for 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.
Touch. No, by mine honour; but I was bid to come
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 good, and yet was not the knight forsworn.
Cel. How prove you that, in the great heap of your knowledge?
7 Enter Touchstone.] "Enter Clown " is the direction in the old folios.
who, PERCEIVING our natural wits too dull to reason of such goddesses, hath sent this natural for our whetstone:] Malone read perceiveth, and inserted and before "hath," to carry on the sentence; but the error lies in "perceiveth," as it stands in the folio of 1623: the folio of 1632 has perceiving, which is evidently right; and the MS. corrector of Lord Francis Egerton's folio of 1623 suggested the same alteration.
the dulness of the fool is the whetstone of THE wits.] Malone, Steevens, &c. read "his wits ;" but the meaning is quite clear, that "the dulness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits" of other people, not of his own.
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.
Cel. Pr'ythee, who is't that thou mean'st?
Touch. One that old Frederick, your father, loves'. Ros. My father's love is enough to honour him enough'. Speak no more of him: you'll be whipped 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 their young.
Ros. Then shall we be news-cramm'd.
1 One that old FREDERICK, your father, loves.] As Malone remarks, there is some error here, as Frederick is the father of Celia, and not of Rosalind. He suggests that we might read Ferdinand for "Frederick." Perhaps the name of the knight was Frederick, and the clown's answer ought to run, "One old Frederick, that your father loves,” which only changes the place of "that." This is the more likely, because Frederick the usurper, being younger than the exiled Duke, would hardly be called by the Clown "Old Frederick."
2 My father's love is enough to honour him enough.] This is Rosalind's answer, in Shakespeare's characteristic manner, as it stands distinctly in the old copies; but Malone and others give it as follows:-"My father's love is enough to honour him. Enough! speak no more of him ;" which sacrifices the point of the reply.
- you'll be whipp'd for TAXATION,] It was the custom to whip fools when they allowed their tongues too great licence. See the comedy of "Patient Grissil," printed for the Shakespeare Society, p. 82.
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.
Touch. Or as the destinies decree.
Cel. Well said: that was laid on with a trowel.
Touch. Nay, if I keep not my rank,
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.
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,"
4 With bills on their necks,] There is reason to think that "with bills on their necks," as Farmer suggested, should be part of the description Le Beau is giving of the "old man and his three sons." Lodge, in his novel of "Rosalynde," calls the father "a lustie Franklin of the country," with "two tall men that were his sonnes," and they would properly be furnished "with bills on their necks." These bills were commonly carried by foresters; and Rosalind immediately misinterprets the word "bills," as if it meant public notices-"Be it known to all men by these presents." However, though "with bills on their necks" may belong to Le Beau, the old copies give the words to Rosalind; and it is only in cases of very clear and decided error that we venture to vary from the ancient text. The later folios reprint the passage as it stands in the first.
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.
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 music in his sides? is there yet another dotes upon ribbreaking?-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, ORLANDO, CHARLES, and Attendants.
Duke F. Come on: since the youth will not be entreated, his own peril on his forwardness.
Ros. Is yonder the man?
Le Beau. Even he, madam.
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.