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all this while? You a lover?--An you serve me such another trick, never come in my sight more.
Orl. My fair Rosalind, I come within an hour of my promise.
Ros. Break an hour's promise in love? He that will divide a minute into a thousand parts, and break but a part of the thousandth part of a minute in the affairs of love, it may be said of him, that Cupid hath clap'd him o' the shoulder, but I warrant him heart-whole.
Orl. Pardon me, dear Rosalind.
Ros. Nay, an you be so tardy, come no more in my sight; I had as lief be woo'd of a snail. Ori. Of a snail?
Ros. Ay, of a snail; for though he comes slowly, he carries his house on his head; a better jointure, I think, than you can make a woman:Besides, he brings his destiny with him.
Orl. What's that?
Ros. Why, horns; which such as you are fain to be, beholden to your wives for: but he comes armed in his fortune, and prevents the slander of his wife.
Orl. Virtue is no horn-maker; and my Rosalind is, virtuous.
Ros. And I am your Rosalind.
Cel. It pleases him to call you so; but he hath à Rosalind of a better leer than you.8
in his Quo vadis; and is here, and in other passages, ridiculed. by Shakspeare. Johnson.
than you can make a woman.] Old copy-you make a
Corrected by Sir T. Hanmer. Malone.
a Rosalind of a better leer than you.] i.e. of a better fea. ture, complexion, or colour, than you. So, in P. Holland's Pliny, B. XXXI, c. ii, p. 403: “In some places there is no other thing bred or growing, but brown and duskish, insomuch as not only the cattel is all of that lere, but also the corn on the ground," &c. The word seems to be derived from the Saxon Hleare, facies, frons, vultus. So it is used in Titus Andronicus, Act IV, sc. ii : “Here 's a young lad fram'd of another leer.” Tollet.
In the notes on the Canterbury Tales of Chaucer, Vol. IV, p. 320, lere is supposed to mean skin. So, in Isumbras MSS. Cott.. Cal. II, fol. 129:
“ His lady is white as whales bone,
“ So fair as blosme on tre.” Steevens.
Ros. Come, woo me, woo me; for now I am in a holiday humour, and like enough to consent:- What would you say to me now, an I were your very very Rosalind?
Orl. I would kiss, before I spoke.
Ros. Nay, you were better speak first; and when you were gravelled for lack of matter, you might take occasion to kiss.. Very good orators, when they are out, they will spit; and for lovers, lacking (God warn us!!) matter, the cleanliest shift is to kiss.
Orl. How if the kiss be denied?
Ros. Then she puts you to entreaty, and there begins new matter.
Orl. Who could be out, being before his beloved mistress?
Ros. Marry, that should you, if I were your mistress; or I should think my honesty ranker than my wit.
Orl. What, of my suit?
Ros. Not out of your apparel, and yet out of your suit. Am not I your
Rosalind? Orl. I take some joy to say you are, because I would be talking of her.
Ros. Well, in her person, I say I will not have you. Orl. Then, in mine own person, I die. Ros. No, faith, die by attorney. The poor world is almost six thousand years old, and in all this time there was not any man died in his own person, videlicet; in a love-cause. Troilus had his brains dashed out with a Grecian club; yet he did what he could to die before; and he is one of the patterns of love. Leander, he would have lived many a fair year, though Hero had turned nun, if it had not been for a hot midsummer night: for, good youth, he went but forth to wash him in the Hel
and when you were gravelled for lack of matter, you might take occasion to kiss.] Thus also in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 511: “ and when he hath pumped his wittes dry, and can say no more, kissing and colling are never out of season." Steevens.
-(God warn us !)] If this exclamation (which occurs again in the quarto copies of A Midsummer Night's Dream) is not a corruption of “God ward us,” i. e. defend us, it must mean, summon us to himself.” So, in King Řichard III:
“ And sent to warn them to his royal presence.” Steevens.
lespont, and, being taken with the cramp, was drowned; and the foolish chroniclers of that age? found it was -Hero of Sestos. But these are all lies; men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love.
Orl. I would not have my right Rosalind of this mind; for, I protest, her frown might kill me.
Ros. By this hand, it will not kill a fly: But come, now I will be your Rosalind in a more coming-on disposition; and ask me what you will I will grant it.
Orl. Then love me, Rosalind.
Ros. Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing Come, sister, you shall be the priest, and marry us.—Give me your hand, Orlando :
-What do you say, sister?
Orl. Pray thee, marry us. '
Cel. Go to: -Will you, Orlando, have to wife this Rosalind?
Orl. I will.
chroniclers of that age – ] Sir T. Hanmer reads-coroners, by the advice, as Dr. Warburton hints, of some anonymous critick.
Fohnson. Mr. Edwards proposes the same emendation, and supports it by a passage in Hamlet : “ The coroner bath sat on her, and finds it-Christian burial.” I believe, however, the old copy is right; “though found is undoubtedly used in its forensick sense. Malone.
I am surprized that Sir Thomas Hanmer's just and ingenious amendment should not be adopted as soon as suggested. The allusion is evidently to a coroner's inquest, which Rosalind supposes to have sat upon the body of Leander, who was drowned in crossing the Hellespont, and that their verdict was, that Hero of Sestós was the cause of his death. The word found is the legal term on such occasions. We say, that a jury found it lunacy, or found it manslaughter; and the verdict is called the finding of the jury. M. Mason.
Orl. Why now; as fast as she can marry us.
Ros. Then you must say, I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.
Orl. I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.
Ros. I might ask you for your commission; but I do take thee, Orlando, for my husband: There a girl goes before the priest;3 and certainly, a woman's thought runs before her actions.
Orl. So do all thoughts; they are wing’d.
Ros. Now tell me, how long you would have her, after you have possessed her.
Orl. For ever, and a day.
Ros. Say a day, without the ever: No, no, Orlando; men are April when they woo, December when they wed: maids are May when they are maids, but the sky ch es when they are wives. I will be more jealous of thee than a Barbary cock-pigeon over his hen; more clamorous than a parrot against rain; more new-fangled than an ape; more giddy in my desires than a monkey: I will weep for nothing, like Diana in the fountain, and I will do that when you are disposed to be merry; I will laugh like a hyen,s and that when thou art inclined to sleep.
There a girl goes before the priest;] The old copy reads"There's a girl,” &c. The emendation in the text was proposed to me long ago by Dr. Farmer. Steevens.
4-I will weep for nothing, like Diana in the fountain,] The allusion is to the cross in Cheapside; the religious images, with which it was ornamented, being defaced, (as we learn from Stowe) in 1596: “There was then set up, a curious wrought tabernacle of gray marble, and in the same an alabaster image of Diana, and water conveyed from the Thames, prilling from her naked breast.” Stowe, in Cheap Ward. Statues, and particularly that of Diana, with water con
conveyed through them to give them the appearance of weeping figures, were anciently a frequent ornament of fountains. So, in The City Match, Act III, sc. iii:
Now could I cry
« Runs lamentations."
“ Here in the garden, wrought by curious hands,
- I will laugh like a hyen,] The bark of the hyena was anciently supposed to resemble a loud laugh.
Orl. But will my Rosalind do so?
Ros. Or else she could not have the wit to do this: the wiser, the waywarder: Make the doorse upon a woman's wit, and it will out at the casement; shut that, and 'twill out at the key-hole; stop that, 'twill fly with the smoke out at the chimney.
Orl. A man that had a wife with such a wit, he might say, Wit, whither wilt 27
Ros. Nay, you might keep that check for it, till you met your wife's wit going to your neighbour's bed.
Orl. And what wit could wit have to excuse that?
Ros. Marry, to say,—she came to seek you there. You shall never take her without her answer, 8 unless
So, in Webster's Duchess of Malfy, 1623 :
Methinks I see her laughing, “ Excellent Hyena!” Again, in The Gobler's Prophecy, 1594:
“ You laugh hyena-like, weep like a crocodile.” Steevens.
Make the doors -] This is an expression used in seve. ral of the midland counties, instead of bar the doors. So, in The Comedy of Errors:
« The doors are made against you.” Steevens.
Wit, whither wilt?] This must be some allusion to a story well known at that time, though now perhaps irretrievable.
Johnson. This was an exclamation much in use, when any one was either talking nonsense, or usurping a greater share in conversation than justly belonged to him. So, in Decker's Satiromastix, 1602: “ My sweet, Wit whither wilt thou, 'my delicate poetical fury,” &c. Again, in Heywood's Royal King, 1637:
“ Wit:-is the word strange to you? Wit ?
“Whither wilt thou?” Again, in the Preface to Greene's Groatsworth of Wit, 1621 :
- Wit whither wilt thou? woe is me,
“Thou hast brought me to this miserie.” The same expression occurs more than once in Taylor the water. poet, and seems to have been the title of some ludicrous performance. Steevens.
If I remember right, these are the first words of an old mad. rigal. Malone.
8 You shall never take her without her answer,] See Chaucer's Marchantes Tale, ver. 10,138-10,149: