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I know not the contents; but, as I guess,
Ros. Patience herself would startle at this letter,
Sil. No, I protest: I know not the contents;
Come, come, you are a fool,
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,
Steevens. 3 Phebe did write it.
Ros. Come, come, you are a fool.
A freestone-colourd hand;} As this passage now stands, the metre of the first line is imperfect, and the sense of the whole; for why should Rosalind dwell so much upon Phebe's hands, unless Silvius had said something about them?--I have no doubt but the line originally ran thus:
Phebe did write it with her own fair hand.
- woman's gentle brain -] Old copy-women's. Correcta ed by Mr. Rowe. Malone.
Such Ethiop words, blacker in their effect
Sil. So please you, for I never heard it yet;
Art thou god to shepherd turn’d, [Reads.
That a maiden's heart hath burn'd?-
Sil. Call you this railing?
Warr'st thou with a woman's heart?
Whiles the eye of man did woo me,
That could do no vengeances to me.-
If the scorn of your bright eyne
I did love;
And then I'li study how to die.
vengeance —] is used for mischief. Johnson.
Yohnson. 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 snakes) 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.
[Erit Sil. Enter OLIVER. 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,
- and you,
I see, love hath made thee a tame snake)] This term 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;
the poorest snake,
- 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 boundleci with moveable marks, meeres, and boundaries : which territories of ground was also forest, and afterwards disa forested againe by the perambulations made for the severing of the new forest from the old.”
Reel. Bullokar, in his Expositor, 1616, describes a pırlieu as “ a place 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.
Malone. bestows himself Like a ripe sister:] Of this quaint phraseology there is an
And browner than her brother.
Are not you The owner of the house I did inquire for?
Cel. It is no boast, being ask'd, to say, we are.
Oli, Orlando doth commend him to you both;
Ros. I am: What must we understand by this?
Oli. Some of my shame; if you will know of me
I pray you, tell it.
example in King Henry IV, P. II: “How might we see Falstaff bestow himself to-night in his true colours !” Steevens.
- but the woman low,] But, which is not in the old copy, was added by the editor of the second folio, to supply the metre. I suspect it is not the word omitted, but have nothing better to propose.
napkin;] i. e. handkerchief. Ray says, that a pocket handkerchief is so called about Sheffield, in Yorkshire. So, in Greene's Never too Late, 1616: “I can wet one of my new lockram napkins with weeping."
Napery, indeed, signifies linen in general. So, in Decker's Honest Whore, 1635:
pr’ythee put me into wholesome napery." Again, in Chapman's May-Day, 1611: “Besides your munition of manchet napery plates." Naperia, Ital. Steevens.
5 Within an hour ;] We must read-within two hours. Johnson. May not within an hour signify within a certain time? Tyrwhitt.
of sweet and bitter fancy,] i. e. love, which is always thus described by our old poets, as composed of contraries. note on Romeo and Juliet, Act I, sc. ii.
So, in Lodge's Rosalynde, 1590: “I have noted the variable disposition of fancy,- -a bitter pleasure wrapt in sweet preju. dice.” Malone.
7 Under an oak, &c.] The ancient copy reads-Under an old oak; but as this epithet hurts the measure, without improvement of the sense, (for we are told in the same line that its “boughs were moss'd with age," and afterwards, that its top was “bald
And high top bald with dry antiquity,
with dry antiquity") I have omitted old, as an unquestionable interpolation. Steevens.
Under an oak, &c.] The passage stands thus in Lodge's novel: “Saladyne, wearie with wandring up and downe, and hungry with long fasting, finding a little cave by the side of a thicket, eating such fruite as the forrest did affoord, and contenting himself with such drinke as nature had provided, and thirst made delicate, after his repast he fell into a dead sleepe. As thus he lay, a hungry lyon came hunting downe the edge of the grove for
pray, and espying Saladyne, began to ceaze upon him: but seeing he lay still without any motion, he left to touch him, for that lyons hate to pray on dead carkasses: and yet desirous to have some foode, the lyon lay downe and watcht to see if he would stirre. While thus Saladyne slept secure, fortune that was careful of her champion, began to smile, and brought it so to passe, that Rosader (having stricken a deere that but lightly hurt fed through the thieket) came pacing downe by the grove with a boare-speare in his hande in great baste, he spyed where a man lay asleepe, and a lyon fast by him: amazed at this sight, as he stood gazing, his nose on the sodaine bledde, which made him conjecture it was some friend of his. Whereupon drawing more nigh, he might easily discerne his visage, and perceived by his phisnomie that it was his brother Saladyne, which drave Rosader into a deepe passion, as a man perplexed, &c.- -But the present time cravedl no such doubting ambages: for he must eyther resolve to hazard his life for his reliefe, or else steal away and leave him to the crueltie of the lyon. In which doubt hee thus briefly debated,” &c. Steevens.
: A lioness, with udelers all drawn dry,] So, in Arden of Feversham, 1592:
the starven lioness “ When she is dry-suckt of her eager young.” Steevens.