« PreviousContinue »
Cel. Yes, when he is in ; but, I think he is not in. Ros. You have heard him swear downright, he was.
Cel. Was is not is : besides, the oath of a lover? is no stronger than the word of a tapster; they are both the confirmers of false reckonings. Ile attends here in the forest on the duke your father.
Ros. I met the duke yesterday, and had much question with him. He asked me, of what parentage I was? I told him, of as good as he; so he laughed, and let me go. But what talk we of fathers, when there is such a man as Orlando?
Cel. O, that's a brave man! he writes brave verses, speaks brave words, swears brave oaths, and breaks them bravely, quite traverse, athwart the heart of his lover; as a puny tilter, that spurs his horse but on one side, breaks his staff like a noble gooseo. But all's brave, that youth mounts, and folly guides.— Who comes here?
Well; and what of him?
O! come, let us remove: besides, the oath of a lover] The folio, 1623, omits a, and in the next line but one has confirmer for “confirmers.” The folio, 1632, corrects only the first error.
8 – breaks his staff like a noble goose.] The humour of this simile depends upon its allusion to tilting, in which it was a disgrace for any knight to break his lance across, and not directly against the breast of his adversary : quite traverse, athwart the heart of his lover,” means, unskilfully across the breast of the lady with whom he was in love. VOL. III.
The sight of lovers feedeth those in love.
Another Part of the Forest.
Enter SILVIUS and PHEBE. Sil. Sweet Phebe, do not scorn me; do not, Phebe : Say that you love me not; but say not so In bitterness. The common executioner, Whose heart th' accustom'd sight of death makes hard, Falls not the axe upon the humbled neck, But first begs pardon : will you sterner be Than he that dies and lives by bloody dropsło?
Enter ROSALIND, CELIA, and Corin, behind. Phe. I would not be thy executioner: I fly thee, for I would not injure thee. Thou tellist me, there is murder in mine eye: 'Tis pretty, sure, and very probable, That eyes, that are the frail'st and softest things, Who shut their coward gates on atomies, Should be call’d tyrants, butchers, murderers ! Now I do frown on thee with all my heart; And, if mine eyes can wound, now let them kill thee; Now counterfeit to swoon ; why, now fall down; Or, if thou canst not, O, for shame, for shame! Lie not, to say mine eyes are murderers. Now show the wound mine eye hath made in thee: Scratch thee but with a pin, and there remains
9 Bring us to this sight,] Malone altered “to” to unto. Shakespeare, perhaps, preferred the natural and hasty mode of expression to the mere observation of ten-syllable metre. The folio of 1632 follows that of 1623.
10 Than he that dies and lives by bloody drops ?] Possibly we ought to read, “lives and dies ;" but there is no change here in the folio of 1632 from the text of that of 1623, although “ As You Like It" seems to have been one of the plays best corrected by the editor of the second folio. Steevens suspected a quibble upon the word “dies,” but apparently without any reason.
Some scar of it; lean but upon a rush",
0! dear Phebe,
But till that time
might be your mother, That you insult, exult, and all at once, Over the wretched? What though you have no beauty', As, by my faith, I see no more in you Than without candle may go dark to bed, Must you be therefore proud and pitiless ? Why, what means this? Why do you look on me? I see no more in you, than in the ordinary Of nature's sale-work :-Od's my little life! I think she means to tangle my eyes too. No, 'faith, proud mistress, hope not after it : 'Tis not your inky brows, your black-silk hair, Your bugle eye-balls, nor your cheek of cream, That can entame my spirits to your worship.
- lean But upon a rush,] The folio of 1632 inserts but. 1 What though you have no beauty,] This passage very needlessly puzzled Malone and Steevens; the meaning seems quite clear. Rosalind intends, throughout her speech, to check the vanity of Phebe, and begins by telling her that she has no beauty, and therefore no excuse for being “proud and pitiless.” The difficulty seems to be to understand the passage when, varying from the old copies, mo is substituted for “no." Mo, or more, indicates comparison, but with whom was Phehe here to be compared in point of beauty? Not with Silvius, because Rosalind says he was a properer man.”
You foolish shepherd, wherefore do you follow her,
she sees herself more proper,
Phe. Sweet youth, I pray you, chide a year together: I had rather hear you chide, than this man woo.
Ros. He's fallen in love with your foulness, and she'll fall in love with my anger? If it be so, as fast as she answers thee with frowning looks, I'll sauce her with bitter words.—Why look you so upon me?
Phe. For no ill will I bear you.
Ros. I pray you, do not fall in love with me,
you go, sister?—Shepherd, ply her hard.—
[Exeunt ROSALIND, CELIA, and Corin. Phe. Dead shepherd ! now I find thy saw of might; 2 He's fallen in love with your foulness, and she'll fall in love with my anger.] This is the text of the old copies, though changed by modern editors : it is correct, and only supposes the first part of the sentence to be addressed to Phebe, and the second to Silvius, as the continuation shows that it was. Here again Rosalind tells Phebe pretty plainly that she has “no beauty.”
Will you go,
“ Who ever lov’d, that lov'd not at first sight??”
Sil. Sweet Phebe,-
Ha! what say'st thou, Silvius?
Sil. Wherever sorrow is, relief would be:
Phe. Thou hast my love: is not that neighbourly?
Why, that were covetousness.
Sil. So holy, and so perfect is my love,
3 Dead shepherd ! now I find thy saw of might ;
“Who ever lov'd, that lov'd not at first sight ?”] The“ dead shepherd” was Christopher Marlowe, who was killed in 1593, and whose paraphrase of “ Hero and Leander,” from Musæus, was not printed until 1598 : he did not finish the work, but it was completed by Geo. Chapman, and published entire in 1600. The line above quoted concludes a passage in the first Sestiad, the whole of which Shakespeare seems to have had in his mind when he wrote this scene, and it runs thus ::
" It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is over-ruled by fate.