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OLI. Call him in. [Exit DENNIS.]-Twill be a good way; and to-morrow the wrestling is.
CHA. Good morrow to your worship.
OLI. Good monsieur Charles!-what's the new news at the new court?
CHA. There's no news at the court, sir, but the old news: that is, the old duke is banished by his younger brother the new duke; and three or four loving lords have put themselves into voluntary exile with him, whose lands and revenues enrich the new duke; therefore he gives them good leave9 to wander.
OLI. Can you tell, if Rosalind, the duke's daughter1, be banished with her father.
CHA. O, no; for the duke's daughter 2, her cousin, so loves her,-being ever from their cradles bred together, that she would have followed her exile, or have died to stay behind her. She is at the court, and no less beloved of her uncle than his own daughter; and never two ladies loved as they do. OLI. Where will the old duke live?
9 good leave-] As often as this phrase occurs, it means a ready assent. So, in King John:
"Bast. James Gurney, wilt thou give us leave awhile?
the duke's daughter,] The words old and new [inserted by Sir T. Hanmer] seem necessary to the perspicuity of the dialogue.
JOHNSON. "the duke's daughter," i. e. the banished duke's daughter. MALONE.
2 for the duke's daughter,] i. e. the usurping duke's daughter. Sir T. Hanmer reads here-the new duke's; and in the preceding speech-the old duke's daughter; but in my opinion unnecessarily. The ambiguous use of the word duke in these passages is much in our author's manner. MALONE.
The author of The Revisal is of opinion, that the subsequent words-her cousin, sufficiently distinguish the person intended.
CHA. They say, he is already in the forest of Arden, and a many merry men with him; and there they live like the old Robin Hood of England: they say, many young gentlemen flock to him every day; and fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden world.
OLI. What, you wrestle to-morrow before the new duke?
CHA. Marry, do I, sir; and I came to acquaint you with a matter. I am given, sir, secretly to understand, that your younger brother, Orlando, hath a disposition to come in disguis'd against me to try a fall: To-morrow, sir, I wrestle for my credit; and he that escapes me without some broken limb, shall acquit him well. Your brother is but young, and tender; and, for your love, I would be loath to foil him, as I must, for my own honour, if he come in: therefore, out of my love to you, I came hither to acquaint you withal; that either you might stay him from his intendment, or brook such disgrace well as he shall run into; in that it is a thing of his own search, and altogether against my will.
OLI. Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me, which thou shalt find I will most kindly requite. I had myself notice of my brother's purpose herein, and have by underhand means laboured to dissuade him from it; but he is resolute. I'll tell thee, Charles, it is the stubbornest young fellow of
3 in the forest of ARDEN,] Ardenne is a forest of considerable extent in French Flanders, lying near the Meuse, and between Charlemont and Rocroy. It is mentioned by Spenser, in his Colin Clout's Come Home Again, 1595 :
"Into a forest wide and waste he came,
"Where store he heard to be of savage prey;
But our author was furnished with the scene of his play by
France; full of ambition, an envious emulator of every man's good parts, a secret and villainous contriver against me his natural brother; therefore use thy discretion; I had as lief thou didst break his neck as his finger: And thou wert best look to't; for if thou dost him any slight disgrace, or if he do not mightily grace himself on thee, he will practise against thee by poison, entrap thee by some treacherous device, and never leave thee till he hath ta'en thy life by some indirect means or other: for, I assure thee, and almost with tears I speak it, there is not one so young and so villainous this day living, I speak but brotherly of him; but should I anatomize him to thee as he is, I must blush and weep, and thou must look pale and wonder.
CHA. I am heartily glad I came hither to you: If he come to-morrow, I'll give him his payment: If ever he go alone again, I'll never wrestle for prize more: And so, God keep your worship! [Exit.
OLI. Farewell good Charles.-Now will I stir this gamester*: I hope, I shall see an end of him; for my soul, yet I know not why, hates nothing more than he. Yet he's gentle; never school'd, and yet learned; full of noble device; of all sorts 5 enchantingly beloved; and, indeed, so much in the heart of the world, and especially of 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 the boy thither, which now I'll go about. [Exit.
- this GAMESTER:] Gamester, in the present instance, and some others, does not signify a man viciously addicted to games of chance, but a frolicksome person. Thus, in King Henry VIII. : "You are a merry gamester, my lord Sands." STEEVens. of all SORTS] Sorts, in this place, means ranks and degrees of men. RITSON.
-KINDLE the boy thither,] A similar phrase occurs in Macbeth, Act I. Sc. III. :
enkindle you unto the crown." STeevens.
A Lawn before the DUKE'S Palace.
Enter ROSALIND and CELIA.
CEL. I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be
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 would'st 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, 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?
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 may'st in honour come off again.
I were merrier?] I, which was inadvertently omitted in the old copy, was inserted by Mr. Pope. MALONE.
Ros. What shall be our sport then?
CEL. Let us sit and mock the good housewife, Fortune, from her wheel, 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-favouredly.
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, there is fortune too hard for nature; when fortune makes nature's natural the cutter off of nature's wit.
CEL. Peradventure, this is not fortune's work neither, but nature's; who perceiveth our natural wits too dull to reason of such goddesses, and hath sent this natural for our whetstone': for always the
mock the good housewife, Fortune, from her wheel,] The wheel of Fortune is not the wheel of a housewife. Shakspeare has confounded Fortune, whose wheel only figures uncertainty and vicissitude, with the Destiny that spins the thread of life, though not indeed with a wheel. JOHNSON.
Shakspeare is very fond of this idea. He has the same in Antony and Cleopatra:
and rail so high,
"That the false housewife, Fortune, break her wheel.”
who perceiveth our natural wits too dull to reason of such goddesses, AND hath sent, &c.] And is not in the old copy. This