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I know not the contents; but, as I guess,
By the stern brow, and waspish action
Which she did use as she was writing of it,
It bears an angry tenour: pardon me,

I am but as a guiltless messenger.

Ros. Patience herself would startle at this letter,
And play the swaggerer;2 bear this, bear all:
She says, I am not fair; that I lack manners;
She calls me proud; and that she could not love me
Were man as rare as phoenix; Od's my will!
Her love is not the hare that I do hunt:

Why writes she so to me?-Well, shepherd, well,
This is a letter of your own device.

Sil. No, I protest: I know not the contents;
Phebe did write it.


Come, come, you are a fool, And turn'd into the extremity of love.

I saw her hand; she has a leathern hand,

A freestone-colour'd hand;3 I verily did think
That her old gloves were on, but 'twas her hands;
She has a huswife's hand: but that 's no matter:
I say, she never did invent this letter;

This is a man's invention, and his hand.
Sil. Sure, it is hers.

Ros. Why, 'tis a boisterous and a cruel style,
A style for challengers; why, she defies me,
Like Turk to Christian; woman's gentle brain⭑
Could not drop forth such giant-rude invention,

Patience herself would startle at this letter,

And play the swaggerer;] So, in Measure for Measure:
"This would make mercy swear, and play the tyrant."

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Such Ethiop words, blacker in their effect

Than in their countenance: Will you hear the letter? Sil. So please you, for I never heard it yet;

Yet heard too much of Phebe's cruelty.

Ros. She Phebes me: Mark how the tyrant writes. Art thou god to shepherd turn'd,

That a maiden's heart hath burn'd?

Can a woman rail thus?

Sil. Call you this railing?


Why, thy godhead laid apart,

Warr'st thou with a woman's heart?

Did you ever hear such railing?

Whiles the eye of man did woo me,
That could do no vengeance to me.—

Meaning me a beast.—


· 6

If the scorn of your bright eyne
Have power to raise such love in mine,
Alack, in me what strange effect
Would they work in mild aspéct?
Whiles you chid me, I did love;
How then might your prayers move?
He, that brings this love to thee,
Little knows this love in me:
And by him seal up thy mind;
Whether that thy youth and kind
Will the faithful offer take
Of me, and all that I can make ;7
Or else by him my love deny,
And then I'll study how to die.

Sil. Call you this chiding?

Cel. Alas, poor shepherd!


Ros. Do you pity him? no, he deserves no pity.

vengeance-] is used for mischief. Johnson.

· youth and kind —] Kind is the old word for nature. Johnson.

So, in Antony and Cleopatra: "You must think this, look you, that the worm will do his hind." Steevens.


all that I can make;] i. e. raise as profit from any thing. So, in Measure for Measure: "He's in for a commodity of brown paper; of which he made five marks ready money." Steevens.

Wilt thou love such a woman?-What, to make thee an instrument, and play false strains upon thee! not to be endured!-Well, go your way to her, (for I see, love hath made thee a tame snake) and say this to her; That if she love me, I charge her to love thee: if she will not, I will never have her, unless thou entreat for her. If you be a true lover, hence, and not a word; for here comes more company. [Exit SIL.


Oli. Good-morrow, fair ones: Pray you, if you know Where, in the purlieus of this forest stands A sheep-cote, fenc'd about with olive-trees?

Cel. West of this place, down in the neighbour bottom, The rank of osiers, by the murmuring stream, Left on your right hand,1 brings you to the place: But at this hour the house doth keep itself,

There's none within.

Oli. If that an eye may profit by a tongue,
Then I should know you by description;
Such garments, and such years: The boy is fair,
Of female favour, and bestows himself
Like a ripe sister:2 but the woman low,3

This term

8 I see, love hath made thee a tame snake)] was, in our author's time, frequently used to express a poor contemptible fellow. So, in Sir John Oldcastle, 1600: poor snakes, come seldom to a booty."

Again, in Lord Cromwell, 1602;

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purlieus of this forest,] Purlieu, says Manwood's Treatise on the Forest Laws, c. xx, "Is a certaine territorie of ground adjoyning unto the forest, meared and bounded with unmoveable marks, meeres, and boundaries: which territories of ground was also forest, and afterwards disaforested againe by the perambulations made for the severing of the new forest from the old."


Bullokar, in his Expositor, 1616, describes a purlieu as "a płace neere joining to a forest, where it is lawful for the owner of the ground to hunt, if he can dispend fortie shillings by the yeere, of freeland." Malone.

1 Left on your right hand,] i. e. passing by the rank of oziers, and leaving them on your right hand, you will reach the place.


bestows himself


Like a ripe sister:] Of this quaint phraseology there is an


The Forest.


Ros. How say you now? Is it not past two o'clock? and here much Orlando!9


Cel. I warrant you, with pure love, and troubled brain, he hath ta'en his bow and arrows, and is gone sleep: Look, who comes here.


Sil. My errand is to you, fair youth;—

My gentle Phebe bid me1 give you this: [Giving a letter.


Unless your great infernal majesty

"Do solemnly proclaim, no devil shall scorn
"Hereafter still to wear the goodly horn."

To take scorn is a phrase that occurs again in King Henry VI, P. I, Act IV, sc. iv:

"And take foul scorn, to fawn on him by sending." Steevens. 8 The foregoing noisy scene was introduced only to fill up an interval, which is to represent two hours. This contraction of the time we might impute to poor Rosalind's impatience, but that a few minutes after we find Orlando sending his excuse. do not see that by any probable division of the Acts this absurdity can be obviated. Johnson.


9 and here much Orlando!] Thus the old copy. Some of the modern editors read, but without the least authority:

I wonder much, Orlando is not here. Steevens.

The word much should be explained. It is an expression of latitude, and taken in various senses. Here's much Orlandoi. e. Here is no Orlando, or we may look for him. We have still this use of it, as when we say, speaking of a person who we suspect will not keep his appointment, "Ay, you will be sure to see him there much!" Whalley.

So the vulgar yet say, "I shall get much by that no doubt," meaning that they shall get nothing. Malone.

Here much Orlando! is spoken ironically on Rosalind perceiving that Orlando had failed in his engagement. H. White.

Much, in our author's time, was an expression denoting admiration. So, in King Henry IV, P. II, Act II, sc. iv:

"What, with two points on your shoulder? much!"

Again, in The Taming of a Shrew:


"Tis much!-Servant, leave me and her alone." Malone. Much! was more frequently used to indicate disdain. notes on the first of the two passages quoted by Mr. Malone.



bid me - The old copy redundantly reads―did bid me. Steevens.

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