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Touch. I'll rhyme you so, eight years together, dinners, and suppers, and sleeping hours excepted: it is the right butter-women's rank to market'o.
Ros. Out, fool !
“If a hart do lack a hind,
Let him seek out Rosalind.
Must find love's prick, and Rosalind.” This is the very false gallop of verses: why do you infect yourself with them?
Ros. Peace! you dull fool: I found them on a tree. Touch. Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.
Ros. I'll graff it with you, and then I shall graff it with a medlar: then it will be the earliest fruit i the country'; for you'll be rotten e'er you be half ripe, and that's the right virtue of the medlar.
the right butter-women's RANK to market.] So the old copies; and “ rank” is certainly as good as rate or rant, which some editors would substitute without authority. “ Rank," as Whiter observes, means the order in which they go one after another, and therefore Shakespeare says,
“ butterwomen's,” and not butter-woman's, as it has been corrupted of late years.
1 - then it will be the earliest fruit i' the country ;] Steevens observes upon this passage, “ Shakespeare seems to have had little knowledge of gardening : the medlar is one of the latest fruits.” It was not that Shakespeare did not understand gardening, but that Steevens did not here understand Shakespeare. Shakespeare was well aware that the medlar is one of the latest fruits," and this constitutes the point of what Rosalind says :-“ Then it will be the earliest fruit in the country," although now it is one of the latest. To“ graff” the tree with the clown would be to “ graff” it with a medlar; but the clown was so prematurely intrusive, that the nature of the fruit would be changed, and it would be ripe early instead of late—“ then it will be the earliest fruit in the country.” The substance of this note I owe to Mr. Amyot.
Touch. You have said ; but whether wisely or no, let the forest judge.
Enter Celia, reading a paper.
For it is unpeopled ? No;
That shall cicil sayings show :
Runs his erring pilgrimage,
Buckles in his sum of age.
Twixt the souls of friend and friend :
the fairest boughs,
Teaching all that read to know
Heaven would in little show.
That one body should be fill'd
Nature presently distill d
Sad Lucretia's modesty.
By heavenly synod was devis’d, ? Why should this desert be?] Tyrwhitt would read, “Why should this desert silent be?” and Pope, “Why should this a desert be?” No alteration of the old copies seems absolutely necessary, but Pope was a good judge of metre, and a may easily have dropped out.
3 Helen's cheek, but not her heart,] Misprinted “his heart” in the old copies. See p. 96. of this vol., note 2.
Of many faces, eyes, and hearts,
To have the touches dearest prizd.
Ros. O, most gentle Jupiter what tedious homily of love have you wearied your parishioners withal, and never cried, “ Have patience, good people!” Cel. How now? back, friends.—Shepherd, go
off little-go with him, sirrah.
Touch. Come, shepherd, let us make an honourable retreat; though not with bag and baggage, yet with scrip and scrippage. [Exeunt Corin and TouchSTONE.
Cel. Didst thou hear these verses?
Ros. 0! yes, I heard them all, and more too; for some of them had in them more feet than the verses would bear.
Cel. That's no matter: the feet might bear the
Ros. Ay, but the feet were lame, and could not bear themselves without the verse, and therefore stood lamely in the verse.
Cel. But didst thou hear without wondering, how thy name should be hanged and carved upon these trees?
Ros. I was seven of the nine days out of the wonder, before you came; for look here what I found on a palm-tree*: I was never so be-rhymed since Pythagoras' time, that I was an Irish rat", which I can hardly remember.
for look here what I found on a PALM-tree :) “A palm-tree," as Steevens remarks, “ in the forest of Arden, is as much out of its place as the lioness in a subsequent scene." Shakespeare cared little about such“ proprie. ties ;"' but possibly he wrote plane-tree, which may have been misread by the transcriber or compositor.
5 -- that I was an Irish rat,] Ben Jonson, and other poets of the time, have mentioned this mode of killing rats in Ireland ; but in a passage in his “ Bartholomew Fair," A. iii. sc. I, where Cokes begins singing a ballad, he seems to represent it as general : “ The rat-catcher's charms,” observes Cokes, “ are all fools and asses to this."
Cel. Trow you, who hath done this?
Cel. And a chain, that you once wore, about his neck®? Change you colour ?
Ros. I pr’ythee, who?
Cel. O lord, lord ! it is a hard matter for friends to meet; but mountains may be removed with earthquakes, and so encounter?.
Ros. Nay, but who is it?
Ros. Nay, I pr’ythee, now, with most petitionary vehemence, tell me who it is.
Cel. O, wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful! and yet again wonderful, and after that, out of all whooping8!
Ros. Good my complexion! dost thou think, though I am caparison'd like a man, I have a doublet and hose in my disposition ? One inch of delay more is a Southsea of discovery'; I pr’ythee, tell me, who is it quickly; and speak apace. I would thou couldst stammer, that thou might'st pour this concealed man out of thy mouth, as wine comes out of a narrow-mouth'd bottle; either too much at once, or none at all. I pr’ythee take the cork out of thy mouth, that I may drink thy tidings.
Cel. So you may put a man in your belly.
What manner of
- a chain, that you once wore, about his neck ?] Alluding to the chain which Rosalind had given to Orlando, in Act i. sc. 2.
- mountains may be removed with earthquakes, and so encounter.] The same proverb—“friends may meet, but mountains never greet”-is referred to in “ The Three Lordes of London,” 1590, “ I'll tell thee why we met ; because we are no mountains.” Sig. c 4 b.
and after that, out OF ALL WHOOPING !] i.e. “Out of all cry," or out of all measure. “Out o'cry” often occurs in “ Patient Grissil," 1603, by Dekker, Chettle, and Haughton, reprinted by the Shakespeare Society.
9 One inch of delay more is a South-sea of discovery ;] The meaning is, that a single “ inch” of delay is more to Rosalind than a whole continent in the South-sea. It appears strange that this passage should have given so much trouble to Warburton, Farmer, Henley, and Malone.
man? Is his head worth a hat, or his chin worth a beard?
Cel. Nay, he hath but a little beard.
Ros. Why, God will send more, if the man will be thankful. Let me stay the growth of his beard, if thou delay me not the knowledge of his chin.
Cel. It is young Orlando, that tripp'd up the wrestler's heels and your heart, both in an instant.
Ros. Nay, but the devil take mocking: speak sad brow, and true maid.
Cel. I'faith, coz, 'tis he.
Ros. Alas the day! what shall I do with my doublet and hose ?-What did he, when thou saw'st him? What said he? How look'd he? Wherein went he ? What makes he here? Did he ask for me? Where remains he? How parted he with thee, and when shalt thou see him again? Answer me in one word.
Cel. You must borrow me Garagantua's mouth first: 'tis a word too great for any mouth of this age's size. To say, ay, and no, to these particulars is more than to answer in a catechism.
Ros. But doth he know that I am in this forest, and in man's apparel ? Looks he as freshly as he did the day he wrestled ?
Cel. It is as easy to count atomies, as to resolve the propositions of a lover : but take a taste of my finding him, and relish it with good observance''. I found him under a tree, like a dropped acorn.
Ros. It may well be call?d Jove's tree, when it drops forth such fruit”.
Cel. Give me audience, good madam.
- and relish it with good observance.] So the old copies: modern editors print“ with a good observance.”
11 -- when it drops forth such fruit.) The oldest copy reads," when it drops forth fruit.” The word such was supplied by the second folio.