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Cel. Were you made the messenger?
Touch. No, by mine honour; but I was bid to come
Ros. Where learned you that oath, fool?
Touch. Of a certain knight, that swore by his honour 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?
Ros. Ay, marry; now unmuzzle your wisdom.
Touch. 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.
Touch. 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 saw those pancakes or that mustard.
Cel. Pr'ythee, who is't that thou mean'st?
Touch. One that old Frederick, your father, loves. Cel. My father's love is enough to honour him. Enough! speak no more of him: you'll be whipp'd for taxation, one of these days.
Touch. The more pity, that fools may not speak wisely, what wise men do foolishly.
Cel. By my troth, thou say'st true: for since the little wit, that fools have, was silenced', the little foolery, that wise men have, makes a great show. Here comes Monsieur Le Beau.
3 you'll be whipp'd for taxation,] Taxation is censure, or satire.
since the little wit, that fools have, was silenced,] Shakspeare probably alludes to the use of fools or jesters, who for some ages had been allowed in all courts an unbridled liberty of censure and mockery, and about this time began to be less tolerated. JOHNSON.
Enter LE BEAU.
Ros. With his mouth full of news.
Cel. Which he will put on us, as pigeons feed their young.
Ros. Then shall we be news-cramm'd.
Cel. All the better; we shall be the more marketable.
Bon jour, Monsieur Le Beau: What's the news?
Le Beau. Fair princess, you have lost much good sport.
Cel. Sport? Of what colour?
Le Beau. What colour, madam? How shall I answer you?
Ros. As wit and fortune will.
Touch. Or as the destinies decree.
Cel. Well said; that was laid on with a trowel'.
Touch. Nay, if I keep not my rank,
Ros. Thou losest thy old smell.
Le Beau. You amaze me, ladies: I would have told you of good wrestling, which you have lost the sight of. Ros. Yet tell us the manner of the wrestling.
Le Beau. 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 Beau. There comes an old man, and his three
Cel. I could match this beginning with an old tale. Le Beau. Three proper young men, of excellent growth and presence ;
5 laid on with a trowel.] To lay on with a trowel, is, to do any thing strongly, and without delicacy. If a man flatters grossly, it is a common expression to say, that he lays it on with a trowel. M. MASON.
6 You amaze me,] To amaze, here, is not to astonish or strike with wonder, but to perplex; to confuse, so as to put out of the intended narrative. JOHNSON.
Ros. With bills on their necks,-Be it known unto all men by these presents',—
Le Beau. 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 served 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 part with weeping.
Touch. But what is the sport, monsieur, that the ladies have lost?
Le Beau. Why, this that I speak of.
Touch. 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.
Ros. But is there any else longs to see this broken musick in his sides? is there yet another dotes upon rib-breaking ?-Shall we see this wrestling, cousin?
Le Beau. You must, if you stay here: for here is the
7 With bills on their necks,—Be it known unto all men by these presents,] I don't think that by bill is meant either an instrument of war, or one of law, but merely a label or advertisement-as we say a play-bill, a hand-bill; unless these words were part of Le Beau's speech; in which case the word bill would be used by him to denote a weapon, and by Rosalind perverted to mean a label. M. MASON.
8 is there any else longs to see this broken musick in his sides?] This probably alludes to the pipe of Pan, which consisting of reeds of unequal length, and gradually lessening, bore some resemblance to the ribs of a man. M. MASON.
Broken musick either means the noise which the breaking of ribs would occasion, or the hollow sound which proceeds from a person's receiving a violent fall. Douce.
I can offer no legitimate explanation of this passage, but may observe that another, somewhat parallel, occurs in K. Henry V.: "Come, your answer in broken musick; for thy voice is musick, and thy English broken." STEEVENS.
place appointed for the wrestling, and they are ready to perform it.
Cel. Yonder, sure, they are coming: Let us now stay and see it.
Enter Duke FREDERICK, Lords, ORLANDO,
Duke F. Come on; since the youth will not be entreated, his own peril on his forwardness.
Ros. Is yonder the man?
Le Beau. Even he, madam.
Cel. Alas, he is too young: yet he looks successfully. Duke F. How now, daughter, and cousin? are you crept hither to see the wrestling?
Ros. Ay, my liege: so please you give us leave.
Duke F. You will take little delight in it, I can tell you, there is such odds in the men: In pity of the challenger's youth, I would fain dissuade him, but he will not be entreated: Speak to him, ladies; see if you can move him.
Cel. Call him hither, good Monsieur Le Beau.
Duke F. Do so; I'll not be by. [Duke goes apart. Le Beau. Monsieur the challenger, the princesses call for you.
Orl. I attend them, with all respect and duty.
Ros. Young man, have you challenged Charles the wrestler?
Orl. No, fair princess; he is the general challenger: I come but in, as others do, to try with him the strength of my youth.
Cel. Young gentleman, your spirits are too bold for your years: You have seen cruel proof of this man's strength: if you saw yourself with your eyes, or knew yourself with your judgment, the fear of your adven
if you saw yourself with your eyes, or knew yourself with your judgment,] i. e. if you should use your own eyes to see, or your own judgment to know yourself, the fear of your adventure would counsel you. JOHNSON.
ture would counsel you to a more equal enterprise. We pray you, for your own sake, to embrace your own safety, and give over this attempt.
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. But let your fair eyes, and gentle wishes, go with me to my trial: 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?
Orl. Ready, sir; but his will hath in it a more modest working.
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. [CHARLES and ORLANDO wrestle.
Ros. O excellent young man!
Cel. If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can tell who should down. [CHARLES is thrown. Shout.