Imagens das páginas

Ros. Do, young sir; your reputation shall not therefore be misprised: we will make it our suit to the duke, that the wrestling might not go forward.

Orl. I beseech you, punish me not with your hard thoughts; wherein I confess me much guilty, to deny so fair and excellent ladies any thing.3 But let your fair eyes, and gentle wishes, go with me to my trial:4 wherein if I be foiled, there is but one shamed that was never gracious; if killed, but one dead that is willing to be so; I shall do my friends no wrong, for I have none to lament me; the world no injury, for in it I have nothing; only in the world I fill up a place, which may be better supplied when I have made it empty. Ros. The little strength that I have, I would it were

with you.

Cel. And mine, to eke out hers.

Ros. Fare you well. Pray heaven, I be deceived in you!

Cel. Your heart's desires be with you.

Cha. Come, where is this young gallant, that is so desirous to lie with his mother earth?

Ori. Ready, sir; but his will hath in it a more modest working

3 I beseech you, punish me not &c.] I should wish to read, I beseech you, punish me not with your hard thoughts, Therein I confess myself much guilty to deny so fair and excellent ladies any thing.

Fohnson. As the word wherein must always refer to something preced, ing, I have no doubt but there is an error in this passage, and that we ought to read herein, instead of wherein. The hard thoughts that he complains of are the apprehensions expressed by the ladies of his not being able to contend with the wrestler. He beseeches that they will not punish him with them; and then adds, “ Herein I confess me inuch guilty to deny so fair and excellent ladies any thing. But let your fair eyes and gentle wishes go with me to my trial.” · M. Mason.

The meaning i think is, “punish me not with your unfavourable opinion (of my abilities); which, however, I confess, I deserve to incur, for denying such fair ladies any request.” The expression is licentious, but our author's plays furnish many such.

Malone. - let your gentle wishes, go with me to my trial:] Addison might have had this passage in his memory, when he put the fol. lowing words into Juba's mouth:

Marcia, may I hope “ That thy kind wishes follow me to battle?" Steevens.


Duke F. You shall try but one fall.

Cha. No, I warrant your grace; you shall not entreat him to a second, that have so mightily persuaded him from a first.

Orl. You mean to mock me after; you should not have mocked me before: but come your ways.

Ros. Now, Hercules be thy speed, young man!

Cel. I would I were invisible, to catch the strong fellow by the leg

[Cha. and Orl. wrestle. Ros. O excellent young man!

Cel. If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can tell who should down.

[CHA. is thrown. Shout. Duke F. No more, no more.

Orl. Yes, I beseech your grace; I am not yet well breathed.

Duké F. How dost thou, Charles?
Le Beau. He cannot speak, my lord.

Duke F. Bear him away. [CHA. is borne out.] What is thy name, young man?

Orl. Orlando, my liege; the youngest son of sir Rowland de Bois. Duke F. I would, thou hadst been son to some man

else. The world esteem’d thy father honourable, But I did find him still mine enemy: Thou shouldst have better pleas’d me with this deed, Hadst thou descended from another house. But fare thee well; thou art a gallant youth; I would, thou hadst told me of another father.

[Exeunt Duke FRED. Train, and LE BEAU. Cel. Were I my father, coz, would I do this?

Ort. I am more proud to be sir Rowland's son, His youngest son ;5—and would not change that calling, To be adopted heir to Frederick.

Ros. My father lov'd sir Rowland as his soul,

5 His youngest sun;] The words “than to be descended from any other house, however high," must be understood. Orlando is replying to the duke, who is just gone out, and had said

“Thou should'st have better pleas'd me with this deed,
“ Hadst thou descended from another house.” Malone.

that calling,] i. e. appellation ; a very unusual, if not inprecedented sense of the word. Sieevens.


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

And all the world was of my father's mind:
Had I before known this young man his son,
I should have given him tears unto entreaties,
Ere he should thus have ventur'd.

Gentle cousin,
Let us go thank him, and encourage him:
My father's rough and envious disposition
Sticks me at heart.—Sir, you have well deserv'd:
If you do keep your promises in love,
But justly, as you have exceeded promise,?
Your mistress shall be happy.


[Giving him a chain from her neck.
Wear this for me; one out of suits with fortune;8
That could give more, but that her hand iacks means.-
Shall we go, coz?

Ay :-Fare you well, fair gentleman.
Orl. Can I not say, I thank you? My better parts
Are all thrown down; and that which here stands up,
Is but a quintain, a mere lifeless block.o

[ocr errors]



- as you have exceeded promise,] The old copy, without regard to the measure, reads-all promise. Steevens.

one out of suits with fortune ;] This seems an allusion to cards, where he that has no more cards to play of any particular sort, is out of suit. Johnson.

Out of suits with fortune, I believe, means, turned out of her service, and stripped of her livery. Steevens,

So afterwards, Celia says, “ — but turning these jests out of service, let us talk in good earnest." Malone.

9 Is but a quintain, a mere lifeless block.] A quintain was a post or butt set up for several kinds of martial exercises, against which they threw their darts and exercised their arms. The allusion is beautiful. I am, says Orlando, only a quintain, a lifeless block on which love only exercises his arms in jest; the great disparity of condition between Rosalind and me, not suffering me to hope that love will ever make a serious matter of it. The famous satirist Regnier, who lived about the time of our author, uses the same me. taphor, on the same subject, though the thought be different:

Et qui depuis dix ans jusqu'en ses derniers jours,
A soutenu le prix en l'escrime d'amours;
Lasse en fin de servir au peuple de quintaine,

« Elle&c. Warburton.
This is but an imperfect (to call it no worse) explanation of a
beautiful passage. The quintain was not the object of the darts
and arms: it was a stake driven into a field, upon which were

you go, coz?

Ros. He calls us back: My pride fell with my for

I 'll ask him what he would :-Did you call, sir?-
Sir, you have wrestled well, and overthrown
More than your enemies.

Ros. Have with you:-Fare you well.

[Exeunt Ros. and CEL. Orl. What passion hangs these weights upon my

I cannot speak to her, yet she urg'd conference.

Re-enter LE BEAU.
O poor Orlando! thou art overthrown;
Or Charles, or something weaker, masters thee.

Le Beau. Good sir, I do in friendship counsel you
To leave this place: Albeit you have deserv’d
High commendation, true applause, and love;
Yet such is now the duke's condition,
That he misconstrues all that you have done.


hung a shield and other trophies of war, at which they shot, darted, or rode, with a lance. When the shield and the trophies were all thrown down, the quintain remained. Without this information how could the reader understand the allusion of

My better parts Are all thrown down? Guthrie. Mr. Malone has disputed the propriety of Mr. Guthrie's animadversions; and Mr. Douce is equally dissatisfied with those of Mr. Malone.

The phalanx of our auxiliaries, as well as their circumstantiality, is so much increased, that we are often led (as Hamlet observes) to

fight for a spot “ Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause.” The present strictures, therefore, of Mr. Malone and Mr. Douce, (which are too valuable to be omitted, and too ample to find their place under the text of our author) must appear at the conclusion of the play. Steevens.

For a more particular description of a quintain, see a note on a passage in Jonson's Underwoods, Whalley's edit. Vol. VII, p. 55.

M. Mason. A humorous description of this amusement may also be read in Laneham's Letter from “Killingworth Castle.” Henley.

- the duke's condition,] The word condition means character, temper, disposition. So, Antonio, the merchant of Venice, is called by his friend the best condition'd man. Fohnson.

[ocr errors]

The duke is humorous; what he is, indeed,
More suits you to conceive, than me to speak of.2

Orl. I thank you, sir: and, pray you, tell me this;
Which of the two was daughter of the duke
That here was at the wrestling?
Le Beau. Neither his daughter, if we judge by man-

But yet, indeed, the shorter3 is his daughter:
The other is daughter to the banish'd duke,
And here detain’d by her usurping uncle,
To keep his daughter company; whose loves
Are dearer than the natural bond of sisters.
But I can tell you, that of late this duke
Hath ta'en displeasure 'gainst his gentle niece;
Grounded upon no other argument,
But that the people praise her for her virtues,
And pity her for her good father's sake;
And, on my life, his malice 'gainst the lady
Will suddenly break forth.—Sir, fare you well;
Hereafter, in a better world than this,
I shall desire more love and knowledge of you.
Orl. I rest much bounden to you: fare you well!

[Exit LE BEAU.




-than me to speak of.] The old copy has—than 1. Cor. rected by Mr. Rowe. Malone.

the shorter -] Thus Mr. Pope. The old copy reads the taller. Mr. Malone-the smaller. Steevens.

Some change is absolutely necessary, for Rosalind, in a sub. sequent scene, expressly says that she is “more than common tall,and assigns that as a reason for her assuming the dress of a man, while her cousin Celia retained her female apparelAgain, in Act IV, sc. iii, Celia is described by these words--“the wo. man low, and browner than her brother;" i. e. Rosalind. Mr. Pope reads-“the shorter is his daughter;" which has been admitted in all the subsequent editions : but surely shorter and taller could never have been confounded by either the eye or the ear. The present emendation, it is hoped, has a preferable claim to a place in the text, as being much nearer to the corrupted reading.

Malone. Shakspeare sometimes speaks of little women, but I do not recollect that he or any other writer, has mentioned small ones. Otherwise, Mr. Malone's conjecture should have found a place in our text. Steevens.

- in a better world than this,] So, in Coriolanus; Act III, sc. iii: “ There is a world elsewhere.” Steevens.

« AnteriorContinuar »