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my own people, who best know him, that I am altogether misprised. But it shall not be so long; this wrestler shall clear all nothing remains but that I kindle 25 the boy thither; which now I'll go about.
SCENE II. A Lawn before the Duke's Palace.
Cel. I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry.
Ros. Dear Celia, I show more mirth than I am mistress of; and would you yet I were merrier? Unless you could teach me to forget a banished father, you must not learn me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure.
Cel. Herein I see thou lovest me not with the full weight that I love thee. If my uncle, thy banished father, had banished thy uncle, the Duke my father, so thou hadst been still with me, I could have taught my love to take thy father for mine so wouldst thou, if the truth of thy love to me were so righteously temper'd as mine is to thee.
Ros. Well, I will forget the condition of my estate, to rejoice in yours.
Cel. You know my father hath no child but I,1 nor none is like to have: and, truly, when he dies, thou shalt be his heir; for what he hath taken away from thy father perforce, I will render thee again in affection; by mine honour, I will; and when I break that oath, let me turn monster: therefore, my sweet Rose, my dear Rose, be merry.
Ros. From henceforth I will, coz, and devise sports. Let me see; what think you of falling in love?
25 Spur him on. So in Macbeth: "That, trusted home, might yet enkindle you unto the crown."
1 In the unsettled grammar of Shakespeare's time, such a misplacing of the cases, as compared with present usage, was quite common even with the best-educated people.
Cel. Marry, I pr'ythee, do, to make sport withal: but love no man in good earnest; nor no further in sport neither than with safety of a pure blush thou mayst in honour come off again.
Ros. What shall be our sport, then?
Cel. Let us sit and mock the good housewife Fortune from her wheel,2 that her gifts may henceforth be bestowed equally.
Ros. I would we could do so; for her benefits are mightily misplaced; and the bountiful blind woman doth most mistake in her gifts to women.
Cel. 'Tis true; for those that she makes fair, she scarce makes honest; and those that she makes honest, she makes very ill-favoured.
Ros. Nay, now thou goest from Fortune's office to Nature's Fortune reigns in gifts of the world, not in the lineaments of Nature.
Cel. No? when Nature hath made a fair creature, may she not by Fortune fall into the fire? Though Nature hath given us wit to flout at Fortune, hath not Fortune sent in this Fool to cut off the argument?
Ros. Indeed, then is Fortune too hard for Nature, when Fortune makes Nature's natural 3 the cutter-off of Nature's wit.
Cel. Peradventure this is not Fortune's work neither, but Nature's; who, perceiving our natural wits too dull to reason of such goddesses, hath sent this natural for our whetstone; for always the dulness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits. - How now, wit! whither wander you?
2 That is, drive her from it with gibes and flouts.
3 Natural was used, as it still is, like innocent, for a veritable fool. The application of fool to the professional clown gave rise to many quibbles.
Touch. Mistress, you must come away to your father.
Cel. Were you made the messenger?
Touch. No, by mine honour; but I was bid to come for
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 for
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 5 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.
4 Naught is simply bad, as in our word naughty. It must not be confounded with nought.
5 Old is here merely a term of familiarity, such as Fools were privileged to use to and of all sorts of people.
6 It was the custom to whip Fools when they used their tongues too freely. Taxation is censure, satire. So in ii. 7, of this play: "Why, who cries out on pride, that can therein tax any private party?"
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.
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-crammed.
Cel. All the better; we shall be the more marketable.
Enter LE BEAU.
Bon jour, Monsieur Le Beau: what's the news?
Le Beau. Fair Princess, you have lost much good sport. Cel. Sport! of what colour? 7
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.8
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 sons, Cel. I could match this beginning with an old tale.
7 Celia glances, apparently, at La Beau's affected or dandified pronunciation of sport, he having got it nearer to spot than to sport.
8 This is a proverbial phrase, meaning to do any thing without delicacy, or to lay it on thick. If a man flatter grossly, it is common to say, he lays it on with a trowel. The Destinies shape the speech of those who have not sense enough to shape it for themselves.
Le Beau. three proper9 young men, of excellent growth and presence, with bills on their necks;
Ros. 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 feel this broken music 11 in his sides? is there yet another dotes upon ribbreaking? - Shall we see this wrestling, cousin?
9 Proper is handsome or fine-looking. Commonly so in Shakespeare. 10 Bills were instruments or weapons used by watchmen and foresters. Watchmen were said to carry their bills or halberds on their necks, not on their shoulders. There is a quibble on the word bills, in the next speech, referring to public notices, which were generally headed with the words, "Be it known unto all men by these presents."
11 What sort of music was meant by this phrase, has been much in doubt. Chappell, in his Popular Music of the Olden Time, says the phrase " means what we now term a string band." But he has since changed his opinion, and his later explanation, given to Mr. W. A. Wright, Editor of the "Clarendon Press Series," is as follows: "Some instruments, such as viols, violins, flutes, &c., were formerly made in sets of four, which when played together formed a consort. If one or more of the instruments of one set were substituted for the corresponding ones of another set, the result was no longer a consort but broken music." The expression occurs in Henry V., v. 2: "Come, your answer in broken music; for thy voice is music, and thy