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e ambition, an envious emulator of every man's good
parts, a secret and villanous contriver against me his natural brother; therefore use thy discretion; I had as lief thou dist break his neck, as his finger. And thou wert beft look to't; for if thou dost him any Night 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, 'till 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 villanous this day living. I speak but brotherly of him ; but should I anatomize 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.
[Exit. Oli. Farewel, good Charles. Now will I ftir this gamester: I hope, I shall see an end of him ; for my soul, yet I know not why, hates nothing more than he. Yet he's gentle; never fchool'd, and yet learned; full of noble device, of all Sorts 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 fo, long; this wrestler Thall clear all; nothing remains, but that I kindle the boy thither, which now I'll go about,
S CE N E
Enter Rosalind and Celia.
Rof. 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 banishid father, you must not learn me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure.
Cel. Herein, I see, thou lov'st 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 hadít 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 temper'd, as mine is to thee.
Rif. 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.
Rof. 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.
Rof. 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-favoured. 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.
Enter Touchstone, a Clown. Cel. No! when nature hath made a fair creature, may she not by fortune fall into the fire? tho' nature hath given us wit to flout at fortune, hath not fortune sent in this Fool to cut off this argument?
Rof. 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 Goddeffes, hath sent this Na. tural for our whetstone: for always the dulness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits. How now, Wit, whither wander you?
Clo. Mistress, you must come away to your father. ,
Rof. Where learned you that oath, fool?
nour 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?
Rof. Ay, marry; now. unmuzzle your wisdom.
Clo. 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.
Cl. 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 faw those pancakes or that mustard.
Cel. Priythee, who is that thou mean'st?
ROS. My father's love is enough to honour him enough ; speak no more of him, you'll be whipt for taxation one of these days.
Clo. The more pity, that fools may not speak wisely what wise men do foolishly.
Cel. By my troth, thou fay'st true; for since the little wit that fools have was silenc'd, the little foolery that wise men have makes a great Show: here comes Monsieur Le Beu.
Rof. With his mouth full of news.
Rof. Then shall we be news-cram'd.
Cel. All the better, we shall be the more marketable. Bon jour, Monsieur le Beu; what news?
Le Beu. Fair Princess, you have lost much good Sport.
Cel. Sport; of what colour?
Le Beu. What colour, Madam? how shall I an. swer you?
ROS. As wit and fortune will.
Lé Beu. You amaze me, ladies; I would have told you of good wrestling, which you have lost the
Rof. Yet tell us the manner of the wrestling.
Le Beu. 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 Beu. There comes an old man and his three sons,
Cel. I could match this beginning with an old tale.
Le Beu. Three proper young men, of excellent growth and presence;
· Rof. With bills on their necks.
Le Beu. 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 serv'd 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
Clo. But what is the Sport, Monsieur, that the ladies have lost?
Le Beu. Why this, that I speak of.
Clo. 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.
7 With Bills on their necks: Be it known unto all men by these presents.] The ladies and the fool, according to the mode of wit at that time, are-at a kind of cross purposes. Where the words of one speaker are wrested by another, in a repartee, to a different meaning. As where the Clown fays just before Nay, if I keep not my rank. Rosalind replies--thou hoef thy old smell. So here when Rosalind had laid, With bills on their necks, the Clown, to be quits with her, puts in, Know all men by these presents. She spoke of an instrument of war, and he turns it to an instrument of law of the same name, beginning with these words: So that they must be given to him.