Imagens das páginas

Ros. Why, whither shall we go?
Cel. To seek my uncle in the forest of Arden.

Ros. Alas, what danger will it be to us,
Maids as we are, to travel forth so far!
Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.

Cel. I'll put myself in poor and mean attire,
And with a kind of umber smirch my face.
The like do you ; so shall we pass along,
And never stir assailants.

Were it not better,
Because that I am more than common tall,
That I did suit me all points like a man?
A gallant curtle-axe ? upon my thigh,
A boar-spear in my hand; and (in my heart
Lie there what hidden woman's fear there will)
We'll have a swashing and a martial outside ;
As many other mannish cowards have,
That do outface it with their semblances.

Cel. What shall I call thee, when thou art a man?
Ros. I'll have no worse a name than Jove's own

And therefore, look you, call me Ganymede.
But what will you be called ?

Cel. Something that hath a reference to my state; No longer Celia, but Aliena.

Ros. But, cousin, what if we assayed to steal
The clownish fool out of your father's court?
Would he not be a comfort to our travel ?

Cel. He'll go along o'er the wide world with me;
Leave me alone to woo him. Let's away,
And get our jewels and our wealth together;
Devise the fittest time, and safest way
To hide us from pursuit that will be made
After my flight. "Now go we, in content,
To liberty, and not to banishment.


1 « A kind of umber," a dusky yellow-colored earth, brought from Umbria in Italy, well known to artists.

2 This was one of the old words for a cutlass, or short, crooked sword; coutelas (French). It was variously spelled, courtlas, courtlar, curtlar.

3 i. e. as we now say, dashing.

[ocr errors]


SCENE I. The Forest of Arden.

Enter Duke senior, AMIENS, and other Lords, in the

dress of Foresters. Duke S. Now, my co-mates, and brothers in exile, Hath not old custom made this life more sweet Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods More free from peril than the envious court ? Here feel we not the penalty of Adam, The seasons' difference; as the icy fang, And churlish chiding of the winter's wind, Which when it bites and blows upon my body, Even till I shrink with cold, I smile, and

say, — This is no flattery; these are counsellors, That feelingly persuade me what I am. Sweet are the uses of adversity ; Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head ;? And this our life, exempt from public haunt, Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.

Ami. I would not change it. Happy is your grace, That can translate the stubbornness of fortune Into so quiet and so sweet a style.

Duke S. Come, shall we go and kill us venison ? And yet it irks me, the poor dappled fools,Being native burghers of this desert city,— Should, in their own confines, with forked heads Have their round haunches gored. 1 Lord.

Indeed, my lord, The melancholy Jaques grieves at that ;

i The old copy reads thus. Theobald proposed to read but, and has been followed by subsequent editors.

2 It was currently believed, in the time of Shakspeare, that the toad had a stone contained in its head, which was endued with singular virtues. This was called the toad-stone.

And, in that kind, swears you do more usurp
Than doth your brother that hath banished you.

To-day, my lord of Amiens, and myself,
Did steal behind him as he lay along
Under an oak, whose antique root peeps out
Upon the brook that brawls along this wood;
To the which place a poor sequestered stag,
That from the hunter's ainı had ta’en a hurt,
Did come to languish; and, indeed, my lord,
The wretched animal heaved forth such groans,
That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat
Almost to bursting; and the big round tears
Coursed one another down his innocent nose
In piteous chase ; and thus the hairy fool,
Much marked of the melancholy Jaques,
Stood on the extremest verge of the swift brook,
Augmenting it with tears.
Duke S.

But what said Jaques ?
Did he not moralize this spectacle ?

1 Lord. O yes, into a thousand similes.
First, for his weeping in the needless stream;
Poor deer, quoth he, thou mak'st a testament
As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more
To that which had too much. Then, being alone,
Left and abandoned of his velvet friends;
'Tis right, quoth he; this misery doth part
The flux of company. Anon, a careless herd,
Full of the pasture, jumps along by him,
And never stays to greet him; Ay, quoth Jaques,
Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens;
'Tis just the fashion. Wherefore do you

look Upon that

poor and broken bankrupt there? Thus most invectively he pierceth through The body of 'country, city, court, Yea, and of this our life ; swearing that we Are mere usurpers, tyrants, and what's worse, To fright the animals, and to kill them up, In their assigned and native dwelling-place. Duke S. And did you leave him in this contem

plation ?

2 Lord. We did, my lord, weeping and commenting Upon the sobbing deer. Duke S.

Show me the place;
I love to cope him in these sullen fits,
For then he's full of matter.

2 Lord. I'll bring you to him straight, [Exeunt.

SCENE II. A Room in the Palace.

so oft

Enter Duke FREDERICK, Lords, and Attendants.

Duke F. Can it be possible that no man saw them?
It cannot be; some villains of my court
Are of consent and sufferance in this.

1 Lord. I cannot hear of any that did see her.
The ladies, her attendants of her chamber,
Saw her abed; and, in the morning early,
They found the bed untreasured of their mistress.

2 Lord. My lord, the roynisha clown, at whom
Your grace was wont to laugh, is also missing.
Hesperia, the princess' gentlewoman,
Confesses, that she secretly o’erheard
Your daughter and her cousin much commend
The parts and graces of the wrestler

That did but lately foil the sinewy Charles ;
And she believes, wherever they are gone,
That youth is surely in their company.
Duke F. Send to his brother; fetch that gallant

If he be absent, bring his brother to me;
I'll make him find him. Do this suddenly;
And let not search and inquisition quail 3
To bring again these foolish runaways. [Exeunt.

1 i. e. to encounter him.

2 “The roynish clown,” mangy or scurvy, from roigneur (French). The word is used by Chaucer.

3 « To quail,says Steevens, “is to fainl, to sink into dejection ;” but the word is here used in a different and quite obvious sense.


Before Oliver's House.

Enter ORLANDO and Adam, meeting.
Orl. Who's there?
Adam. What! my young master ?—0, my gentle

O, my sweet master, O, you memory
Of old sir Rowland! Why, what make you here?
Why are you virtuous? Why do people love you ?
And wherefore are you gentle, strong, and valiant ?
Why would you be so fond' to overcome
The bony priser” of the humorous duke ?
Your praise is come too swiftly home before you.
Know you not, master, to some kind of men
Their graces serve them but as enemies?
No more do yours; your virtues, gentle master,
Are sanctified and holy traitors to you.
O, what a world is this, when what is comely
Envenoms him that bears it!

Orl. Why, what's the matter ?

O, unhappy youth,
Come not within these doors; within this roof
The enemy of all your graces lives.
Your brother—(no, no brother: yet the son-
Yet not the son ;-I will not call him son
Of him I was about to call his father,
Hath heard your praises ; and this night he means
To burn the lodging where you use to lie,
And you within it. If he fail of that,
He will have other means to cut you off.
I overheard him, and his practices.
This is no place, this house is but a butchery;
Abhor it, fear it, do not enter it.

1 i. e. rash, foolish.
2 A prise was a term in wrestling for a grappling or hold taken.

1. e. treacherous devices. 4 Place here signifies a seat, a mansion, a residence : it is not yet obsolete in this sense.


« AnteriorContinuar »