Imagini ale paginilor


SCENE I. The Forest of Arden.

Enter Duke senior, AMIENS, and other Lords, in

the dress of Foresters. Duke S. Now, my co-mates, and brothers in

exíle, Hath not old custom made this life more sweet Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods More free from peril than the envious court? Here feel we but the penalty of Adam, The seasons' difference; as, the icy fang, And churlish chiding of the winter's wind; Which when it bites and blows upon my body, Even till I shrink with cold, I smile, and say,This is no flattery: these are counsellors That feelingly persuade me what I am. Sweet are the uses of adversity; Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head ; And this our life, exempt from publick haunt, Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in every thing:

2 JVhich, like the toad, ugly and renomous,

\ears yet a precious jewel in his head;] It was the current opinion in Shakspeare's time, that in the head of an old toad was to be found a stone, or pearl, to which great virtues were ascribed. Thomas Lupton, in his First Booke of Notable Things, 4to. bl. l. bears repeated testimony to the virtues of the “ Tolestone, called Crapaudinu.In his Seventh Booke he instructs us how to procure it; and afterwards tells us~" You shall knowe whether the Tode-stone be the ryght and perfect stone or not. Holde the stone before a Tode, so that he may see it; and if it be a ryght and true stone, the Tode will leape towarde it, and make as though he would snatch it. He envieth so much that man should have that stone." STEEVENS.

Ami. I would not change it: Happy is your

grace, That can translate the stubbornness of fortune Into so quiet and so sweet a style.

Duke S. Come, shall we go and kill us venison: And yet it irks me, the poor dappled fools,Being native burghers of this desert city, Should, in their own confínes, with forked heads 3 Have their round haunches gor'd. 1 Lord,

Indeed, my lord, The melancholy Jaques grieves at that; And, in that kind, swears you do more usurp Than doth your brother that hath banish'd you. To-day, my lord of Amiens, and myself, Did steal behind him, as he lay along Under an oak, whose antique root peeps out Upon the brook that brawls along this wood: To the which place a poor sèquester'd stag, That from the hunters' aim had ta'en a hurt, Did come to languish; and, indeed, my lord, The wretched animal heav'd forth such groans, That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat Almost to bursting; and the big round tears Cours'd one another down his innocent nose In piteous chase: and thus the hairy fool, Much marked of the melancholy Jaques, Stood on the extremest verge of the swift brook, Augmenting it with tears. Duke s.

But what said Jaques? Did he not moralize this spectacle?

i Lord. O, yes, into a thousand similies. First, for his weeping in the needless stream ; Poor deer, quoth he, thou mak’st a testament


with forked heads ] i. e. with arrows, the points of which were barbed.

in the needless stream ;] The stream that wanted not such a supply of inoisture.


[ocr errors]

As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more
To that which had too much: Then, being alone,
Left and abandon'd of his velvet friends;
'Tis right, quoth he; this misery doth part
The flux of company: Anon a careless herd,
Full of the pasture, jumps along by him,
And never stays to greet him; Ay, quoth Jaques,
Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens;
'Tis just the fashion: Wherefore do you look
Upon that poor and broken bankrupt there?
Thus most invectively he pierceth through
The body of the country, city, court,
Yea, and of this our life: swearing, that we
Are mere usurpers, tyrants, and what's worse,
To fright the animals, and to kill them up,
In their assign'd and native dwelling place.
Duke S. And did you leave him in this contem-

plation? 2 Lord. We did, my lord, weeping and com

Upon the sobbing deer.
Duke S.

Show me the place;
I love to cope him in these sullen fits,
For then he's full of matter.

2 Lord. I'll bring you to him straight. [Exeunt.


A Room in the Palace.

Enter Duke FREDERICK, Lords, and Attendants. Duke F. Can it be possible, that no man saw

them? It cannot be: some villains of my court

som to cope him --] To encounter, or engage with him.

Are of consent and sufferance in this.

i Lord. I cannot hear of any that did see her. The ladies, her attendants of her chamber, Saw her a-bed; and, in the morning early, They found the bed untreasur'd of their mistress. 2 Lord. My lord, the roynish clown, at whom so

oft Your grace was wont to laugh, is also missing: Hesperia, the princess' gentlewoman, Confesses, that she secretly o'erheard Your daughter and her cousin much commend The parts and graces of the wrestler That did but lately foil the sinewy Charles; And she believes, wherever they are gone, That youth is surely in their company: Duke F. Send to his brother; fetch that gallant

hither; If he be absent, bring his brother to me, I'll make him find him: do this suddenly; And let not search and inquisition quail? To bring again these foolish runaways. [Exeunt.


Before Oliver's House.

Enter ORLANDO and ADAM, meeting. Orl. Who's there? Adam. What! my young master?-0, my gentle

master, 0, my sweet master, you memory




the roynish clown,] Roynish, from rogueur, French.
quail am] To quail is to faint, to sink into dejection.

O you memory -] Shakspeare often uses memory for memorial; and Beaumont and Fletcher sometimes,


of old sir Rowland! why, what make you here?
Why are you virtuous ? Why do people love you?
And wherefore are you gentle, strong, and valiant?
Why would you be so fond' to overcome
The bony priser? of the humorous duke?
Your praise is come too swiftly home to you.
Know you not, master, to some kind of men
Their graces serve them but as enemies?
No more do yours; your virtues, gentle master,
Are sanctified and holy traitors to you.
0, what a world is this, when what is comely
Envenoms him that bears it!

Orl. Why, what's the matter?

O unhappy youth,
Come not within these doors; within this roof
The enemy of all your graces lives:
Your brother--(no, no brother; yet the son-
Yet not the son; I will not call him son-
Of him I was about to call his father,
Hath heard your praises; and this night he means
To burn the lodging where you use to lie,

within it: if he fail of that, He will have other means to cut you off: I overheard him, and his practices. This is no place, this house is but a butchery; Abhor it, fear it, do not enter it. Orl. Why, whither, Adam, wouldst thou have

me go? Adam. No matter whither, so you come not



so fond -] 1. e. so indiscreet, so inconsiderate. * The bony priser -] The word bonny occurs more than once in the novel from which this play of As You Like It is taken. It is likewise much used by the common people in the northern counties. I believe, however, bony to be the true reading.

MALONE. 2 This is no place,] i. e. for you.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »