Imágenes de páginas

Jaq. The worst fault you have is, to be in love.

Orla. 'Tis a fault I will not change for your best virtuė: I

am weary

of you.

Jaq. By my troth, I was feeking for a fool, when I found you. Orla. He is drown'd in the brook; look but in, and you shall fee him.

Jaq. There I fhall fee mine own figure.

Orla. Which I take to be either a fool, or a cipher.

Jaq. I'll stay no longer with you; farewel, good fignior love. [Exit.


Orla. I am glad of your departure: adieu, good monsieur melancholy.

Rof. I will speak to him like a faucy lackey, and under that habit play the knave with him. Do you hear, forefter ? Orla. Very well; what would you?

Rof. I pray you, what is't o'clock?

Orla. You should ask me what time o' day; there's no clock in the foreft.

Rof. Then there is no true lover in the foreft; elfe fighing every minute, and groaning every hour, would detect the lazy foot of time, as well as a clock.

Orla. And why not the swift foot of time? had not that been as proper ?

Rof. By no means, fir: time travels in divers paces with divers perfons: I'll tell you who time ambles withal, who time trots withal, who time gallops withal, and who he stands still withal. Orla. I pr'ythee, whom doth he trot withal?

Rof. Marry, he trots hard with a young maid, between the contract of her marriage, and the day it is folemniz'd: if the interim be but a fennight, time's pace is fo hard that it seems the length of seven years.

Orla. Who ambles time withal?

Rof. With a priest that lacks latin, and a rich man that hath not the gout: for the one fleeps easily because he cannot ftudy,



and the other lives merrily because he feels no pain: the one lacking the burden of lean and wasteful learning; the other knowing no burden of heavy tedious penury: these time ambles withal.

Orla. Whom doth he gallop withal ?

Rof. With a thief to the gallows: for though he go as foftly as foot can fall, he thinks himself too foon there.

Orla. Whom ftays it ftill withal ?

Rof. With lawyers in the vacation: for they fleep between term and term, and then they perceive not how time moves. Orla. Where dwell you, pretty youth?

Rof. With this fhepherdefs, my fifter; here in the skirts of the foreft, like fringe upon a petticoat.

Orla. Are you native of this place?

Rof. As the cony that you fee dwell where she is kindled. Orla. Your accent is something finer than you could purchase in so removed a dwelling.

Ros. I have been told fo of many; but, indeed, an old religious uncle of mine taught me to speak, who was in his youth an inland man, one that knew courtship too well; for there he fell in love. I have heard him read many lectures against it. I thank god I am not a woman, to be touch'd with fo many giddy offences as he hath generally tax'd their whole sex withal.

Orla. Can you remember any of the principal evils that he lay'd to the charge of women?

Rof. There were none principal, they were all like one another, as half-pence are; every one fault seeming monftrous, till his fellow fault came to match it.

Orla. I pr'ythee, recount fome of them.

Rof. No; I will not caft away my phyfick, but on those that are fick. There is a man haunts the foreft, that abuses our young plants with carving Rofalind on their barks; hangs odes upon hawthorns, and elegies on brambles; all, forfooth, deifying the name of Rofalind. If I could meet that fancy-monger, I would give him fome good counsel, for he seems to have the quotidian of love upon him.


Orla. I am he that is so love-fhak'd; I pray you, tell me your remedy.

Rof. There is none of my uncle's marks upon you: he taught me how to know a man in love; in which cage of rushes, I am fure, you are not prisoner.

Orla. What were his marks?

Rof. A lean cheek, which you have not; a blue eye and funken, which you have not; an unquestionable spirit, which you have not; a beard neglected, which you have not; but I pardon you for that; for, fimply, your having in beard is a younger brother's revenue: then your hofe fhould be ungarter'd, your bonnet unbanded, your sleeve unbutton'd, your fhoe untied, and every thing about you demonftrating a careless defolation: but you are no fuch man; you are rather point-device in your accoutrements, as loving yourself, than feeming the lover of any other

Orla. Fair youth, I would I could make thee believe I love. Rof. Me believe it? you may as foon make her that you love believe it; which, I warrant, fhe is apter to do than to confefs she does; that is one of the points in the which women still give the lie to their confciences. But, in good footh, are you he that hangs the verses on the trees, wherein Rosalind is so admired? Orla. I fwear to thee, youth, by the white hand of Rosalind, I am he, that unfortunate he.

Rof. But are you so much in love as your rhymes fpeak? Orla. Neither rhyme nor reason can exprefs how much. Rof. Love is merely a madness; and, I tell you, deserves as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do: and the reason why they are not so punish'd and cur'd is, that the lunacy is so ordinary, that the whippers are in love too: yet I profefs curing it by


Orla. Did you ever cure any fo?

Rof. Yes, one; and in this manner. He was to imagine me his love, his mistress: and I fet him every day to woo me: at which time would I, being but a moonifh youth, grieve, be effeminate, changeable, longing, and liking, proud, fantastical, apish, shallow, inconstant, full of tears, full of smiles; for every passion something,


and for no passion truly any thing, as boys and women are for the moft part cattle of this colour; would now like him, now loath him; then entertain him, then forfwear him; now weep for him, then spit at him; that I drave my fuitor from his mad humour of love to a living humour of madness; which was to forfwear the full ftream of the world, and to live in a nook merely monaftick: and thus I cur'd him; and this way will I take upon me to wash your liver as clear as a sound sheep's heart, that there shall not be one spot of love in't.

Orla. I would not be cur'd, youth.

Rof. I would cure you, if you would but call me Rofalind, and come every day to my cot, and woo me.

Orla. Now, by the faith of my love, I will; tell me where it is. Rof. Go with me to it, and I will fhow it you; and, by the way, you shall tell me where in the foreft you live: will you go? Orla. With all my heart, good youth.

Rof. Nay, nay, you must call me Rosalind: come, fifter, will you go?


Enter Clown, Audrey, and Jaques.

Clo. Come apace, good Audrey, I will fetch up your goats, Audrey; and now, Audrey, am I the man yet? doth my fimple feature content you?

Aud. Your features, lord warrant us! what features?

Clo. I am here with thee and thy goats, as the most capricious poet honest Ovid was among the Goths.

Jaq. O knowledge ill inhabited! worse than Jove in a thatch'd


Clo. When a man's verfes cannot be understood, nor a man's good wit feconded with the forward child, understanding; it strikes a man more dead than a great reeking in a little room: truly, I would the gods had made thee poetical.

Aud. I do not know what poetical is; is it honeft in deed, and word? is it a true thing?


Clo. No, truly; for the trueft poetry is the moft feigning, and lovers are given to poetry, and what they fwear in poetry, may be faid, as lovers, they do feign.

Aud. Do you wish then that the gods had made me poetical? Clo. I do, truly; for thou fwear'ft to me, thou art honeft: now, if thou art a poet, I might have fome hope thou didst feign. Aud. Would you not have me honeft?

Clo. No, truly, unless thou wert hardfavour'd; for honesty coupled to beauty, is to have honey a fauce to fugar. Jaq. A material fool!

Aud. Well, I am not fair, and therefore I pray the gods make me honcft.

Clo. Truly, and to caft away honesty upon a foul flut were to put good meat into an unclean dish.

Aud. I am not a flut, though, I thank the gods, I am foul. Clo. Well, praised be the gods for thy foulnefs! fluttishness may come hereafter: but be it as it may be, I will marry thee; and to that end I have been with fir Oliver Mar-text, the vicar of the next village, who hath promis'd to meet me in this place of the foreft, and to couple us.

Jaq. I would fain fee this meeting.

Aud. Well, the gods give us joy!

Clo. Amen. A man may, if he were of a fearful heart, stagger in this attempt; for here we have no temple but the wood, no affembly but horn-beafts. But what though? courage! as horns are odious, they are neceffary. It is faid, many a man knows no end of his goods: right; many a man has good horns, and knows no end of them. Well, that is the dowry of his wife; 'tis none of his own getting: horns? even fo: poor men alone? no, no; the nobleft deer hath them as huge as the rafcal: is the fingle man therefore bleffed ? no: as a wall'd town is worthier than a village, fo is the forehead of a married man more honourable than the bare brow of a bachelor; and by how much defence is better than no fkill, fo much is a horn more precious than to want.




« AnteriorContinuar »