Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Ros. She Phebes me. Mark how the tyrant writes.

Art thou god to shepherd turned, [Reads.

That a maiden's heart hath burned?
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 aspect ?
Whiles you chid me, 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?
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.
Sil. Call you this chiding?
Cel. Alas, poor shepherd !

Ros. Do you pity him ? No, he deserves no pity.Wilt thou love 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,) 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. 1 Eyne for eyes. 2 Kind, for nature, or natural affections.

3 A poor snake was a term of reproach equivalent to a wretch or poor creature. Hence, also, a sneaking or creeping fellow.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Oli. Good-morrow, fair ones. Pray you,

if

you know Where, in the purlieus of this forest, stands A sheep-cote, fenced about with olive-trees ? Cel. West of this place, down in the neighbor bot

tom,
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 favor, and bestows 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 ?
Cel. It is no boast, being asked, 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. 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 stained.
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, Lo, what befell! He threw his

He threw his eye aside, And, mark, what object did present itself!

pray you, tell it.

1 i. e. acts or behaves like, &c.

? 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.

Under an oak,' whose boughs were mossed 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 wreathed itself,
Who with her head, nimble in threats, approached
The opening of his mouth ; but suddenly,
Seeing Orlando, it unlinked 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
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 brother,
And he did render ? him the most unnatural
That lived ’mongst men.
Oli.

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 sucked and hungry lioness?

Oli. Twice did he turn his back, and purposed so:
But kindness, nobler ever than revenge,
And nature, stronger than his just occasion,
Made him give battle to the lioness,
Who quickly fell before him; in which hurtling
From miserable slumber I awaked.

Cel. Are you his brother?
Ros.

Was it you he rescued ? 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 what I was, since my conversion
So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.

Ros. But, for the bloody napkin ?

1 The ancient editions read, “ Under an old oak,” which hurts the measure without improving the sense. The correction was made by Steevens.

? i. e. represent or render this account of him.

Oli.

By and by When from the first to last, betwixt us two, Tears our recountments had most kindly bathed; As, how I came into that desert place; In brief he led me to the gentle duke, Who gave me fresh array and entertainment, Committing me unto my brother's love; Who led me instantly unto his cave, There stripped himself, and here upon his arm The lioness had torn some flesh away, Which all this while had bled ; and now he fainted, And cried, in fainting, upon Rosalind. Brief, I recovered him; bound up his wound; And, after some small space, being strong at heart, He sent me hither, stranger as I am, To tell this story, that you might excuse His broken promise, and to give this napkin, Dyed in his blood, unto the shepherd youth That he in sport doth call his Rosalind. Cel. Why, how now, Ganymede ? Sweet Ganymede ?

[ROSALIND faints. Oli. Many will swoon when they do look on blood. Cel. There is more in it.—Cousin—Ganymede! Oli. Look, he recovers. Ros.

I would I were at home. Cel. We'll lead you thither.I pray you,

will

you take him by the arm? Oli. Be of good cheer, youth.—You a man! You lack a man's heart.

Ros. I do so, I confess it. Ab, sir, a body would think this was well counterfeited; I pray you, tell your brother how well I counterfeited.--Heigh ho!

Oli. This was not counterfeit; there is too great testimony in your complexion, that it was a passion of earnest.

Ros. Counterfeit, I assure you.

Oli. Well, then, take a good heart, and counterfeit to be a man.

Ros. So I do; but, i'faith, I should have been a woman by right.

Cel. Come, you look paler and paler; pray you, draw homewards.—Good sir, go with us.

Oli. That will I, for I must bear answer back How you excuse my brother, Rosalind.

Ros. I shall devise something; but, I pray you, commend my counterfeiting to him.-Will you go?

[Exeunt.

ACT V.

SCENE I. The same.

Enter TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY. Touch. We shall find a time, Audrey; patience, gentle Audrey.

Aud. 'Faith, the priest was good enough, for all the old gentleman's saying.

Touch. A most wicked sir Oliver, Audrey, a most vile Mar-text. But, Audrey, there is a youth here in the forest lays claim to you.

Aud. Ay, I know who 'tis; he hath no interest in me in the world. Here comes the man you mean.

Enter William.

Touch. It is meat and drink to me to see a clown. By my troth, we that have good wits, have much to answer for ; we shall be flouting; we cannot hold.

Will. Good even, Audrey.
Aud. God ye good even, William.
Will. And good even to you, sir.

Touch. Good even, gentle friend. Cover thy head, cover thy head; nay, pr’ythee, be covered. How old are you, friend?

Will. Five-and-twenty, sir.
Touch. A ripe age. Is thy name William ?

« ZurückWeiter »