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Cor. Here comes young master Ganymede, my new mistress's brother.
Enter RosALIND, reading a paper.
No jewel is like Rosalind.
Touch. I'll rhyme you so, eight years together; dinners, and suppers, and sleeping hours excepted : it is the right butter-woman's rank to market.”
Ros. Out, fool!
If a hart do lack a hind,
s f airest lin'd,] i. e. most fairly delineated.
* But the fair -] Fair is beauty, complexion.
5- rank to market,] Sir T. Hanmer reads-rate to market, which Mr. Malone approves. The hobbling metre of these verses, (says Touchstone,) is like the ambling, shuffling pace of a butterwoman's horse, going to market.
This is the very false gallop of verses; Why do you infect yourself with them?
Ros. Peace, you dull fool; I found them on a tree.
Touch. Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.
Ros. I'll graff it with you, and then I shall graff it with a medlar: then it will be the earliest fruit in the country: for you'll be rotten e'er you be half ripe, and that's the right virtue of the medlar.
Touch. You have said; but whether wisely or no, let the forest judge.
Enter Celia, reading a paper.
Cel. Why should this desert silent be?
For it is unpeopled? No;
That shall civil sayings show:7
Runs his erring pilgrimage;
Buckles in his sum of age.
'Twixt the souls of friend and friend:
Or at every sentence' end,
6 — the earliest fruit -] Shakspeare seems to have had little knowledge in gardening. The medlar is one of the latest fruits, being uneatable till the end of November. STEEVENS.
? That shall civil sayings show.] Civil, I believe, is not designedly opposed to solitary. It means only grave, or solemn.
STEEVENS. VOL. III.
Will I Rosalinda write;
Teaching all that read, to know
Heaven would in little show.s
That one body should be filld
Nature presently distilld
Sad Lucretia's modesty.
By heavenly synod was devis'd;
To have the touches' dearest priz'd.
Ros. O most gentle Jupiter !—what tedious homily of love have you wearied your parishioners withal, and never cry'd, Have patience, good people!
Cel. How now! back friends;-Shepherd, go off a little:-Go with him, sirrah.
Touch. Come, shepherd, let us make an honourable retreat; though not with bag and baggage, yet with scrip and scrippage.
[Exeunt CoRin and TOUCHSTONE.
8 - in little show.] The allusion is to a miniature-portrait. The current phrase in our author's time was “painted in little.”
MALONE. 9 Atalanta's better part;] The commentators are not agreed what this lady's better part was: Dr. Johnson inclines to her beauty; Mr. Tollet to her virgin chastity; Dr. Farmer and Mr. Malone to her wit; Mr. Steevens sums up the evidence in these words: “ After all, I believe that Atalanta's better part, means only—the best part about her, such as was most commended."
the touches -] The features ; les traits.
Cel. Didst thou hear these verses ?
Ros. O, yes, I heard them all, and more too ; for some of them had in them more feet than the verses would bear.
Cel. That's no matter ; the feet might bear the verses.
Ros. Ay, but the feet were lame, and could not bear themselves without che verse, and therefore stood lamely in the verse.
Cel. But didst thou hear, without wondering how thy name should be hang'd and carved upon these trees ?
Ros. I was seven of the nine days out of the wonder, before you came; for look here what I found on a palm-tree :: I was never so be-rhymed since Pythagoras' time, that I was an Irish rat,3 which I can hardly remember.
Cel. Trow you, who hath done this?
Cel. And a chain, that you once wore, about his neck : Change you colour?
Ros. I pr’ythee, who?
Cel. O lord, lord! it is a hard matter for friends to meet;4 but mountains may be removed with earthquakes, and so encounter.
Ros. Nay, but who is it?
? a palm-tree:] A palm-tree, in the forest of Arden, is as much out of its place, as the lioness in a subsequent scene.
3 — I was never so be-rhymed since Pythagoras' time, that I was an Irish rat,] Rosalind is a very learned lady. She alludes to the Pythagorean doctrine, which teaches that souls transmigrate from one animal to another, and relates that in his time she was an Irish rat, and by some metrical charm was rhymed to death.
Johnson. friends to meet;] Alluding ironically to the proverb: “ Friends may meet, but mountains never greet.'
Ros. Nay, I pray thee now, with most petitionary vehemence, tell me who it is.
Cel. O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful, and yet again wonderful, and after that out of all whooping !
Ros. Good my complexion ! dost thou think, though I am caparison'd like a man, I have a doublet and hose in my disposition? One inch of delay niore is a South-sea-off discovery. I pr’ythee, tell me, who is it? quickly, and speak apace: I would thou couldst stammer, that thou might'st pour this concealed man out of thy mouth, as wine comes out of a narrow-mouth'd bottle; either too much at once, or none at all. I pr’ythee take the cork out of thy mouth, that I may drink thy tidings.
Cel. So you may put a man in your belly.
Ros. Is he of God's making? What manner of man? Is his head worth a hat, or his chin worth a beard?
Cel. Nay, he hath but a little beard.
Ros. Why, God will send more, if the man will be thankful: let me stay the growth of his beard, if thou delay me not the knowledge of his chin.
Cel. It is young Orlando; that tripp'd up the wrestler's heels, and your heart, both in an instant.
Ros. Nay, but the devil take mocking; speak sad brow, and true maid.S
5- out of all whooping!) i. e. out of all measure, or reckoning. This appears to have been a phrase of the same import as another formerly in use, “ out of all cry.”
6 Good my complexion !] A little unmeaning exclamatory address to her beauty; in the nature of a small oath. Ritson.
7 One inch of delay more is a South-sea-off discovery.] The old copy reads—is a South-sea of discoverie : which, says Mr. Henley, is the only reading that can preserve the sense of Rosalind. A South-sea of discovery, is not a discovery, us FAR OFF, but as COMPREHENSIVE as the South-sea; which, being the largest in the world, affords the widest scope for exercising curiosity.
8- speak sad brow, and true maid.] i. e. speak with a grave