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To one, his lands withheld; and to the other,
Play, music;-and you brides and bridegrooms all,
Jaq. Sir, by your patience; If I heard you rightly,
Jaq. de B. He hath.
Jaq. To him will I: out of these convertites There is much matter to be heard and learn'd.You to your former honour I bequeath;
[To Duke S. Your patience, and your virtue, well deserves it :You [To Orlando.] to a love, that your true faith doth merit :
You [To Oliver.] to your land, and love, and great allies:
You [To Silvius.] to a long and well-deserved bed :
And you [To Touchstone.] to wrangling; for thy loving voyage
Is but for two months victual'd :-So to your plea
I am for other than for dancing measures.
Duke S. Stay, Jaques, stay.
Jaq. To see no pastime, I:-what you would have I'll stay to know at your abandon'd cave.
[Exit. Duke S. Proceed, proceed: we will begin these rites,
And we do trust they'll end in true delights.
Ros. It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue: but it is no more unhandsome, than to see the lord the prologue. If it be true, that good wine needs no bush, 'tis true, that a good play needs no epilogue: Yet to good wine they do use good bushes; and good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What a case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue, nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play? I am not furnished1 like a beggar, therefore to beg will not become me: my way is, to conjure you; and I'll begin with the women. I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please them: and so I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women (as I perceive by your simpering, none of you hate them,) that between you and the women, the play may please. If I were a woman, I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me, complexions that liked me,2 and breaths that I defied not: and, I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces, or sweet breaths, will, for my kind offer, when I make curt'sy, bid me farewell. [Exeunt.
(1) Dressed. (2) That I liked.
Of this play the fable is wild and pleasing. I know not how the ladies will approve the facility with which both Rosalind and Celia give away their hearts. To Celia much may be forgiven, for the heroism of her friendship. The character of Jaques is natural and well preserved. The comic dialogue is very sprightly, with less mixture of low buffoonery than in some other plays; and the graver part is elegant and harmonious. By hastening to the end of this work, Shakspeare suppressed the dialogue between the usurper and the hermit, and lost an opportunity of exhibiting a moral lesson, in which he might have found matter worthy of his highest powers.
END OF VOL. II.