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Touch. Thus men may grow wiser every day! it is the first time that ever I heard, breaking of ribs was sport for ladies.
Cel. Or I, I promise thee.
Ros. But is there any else longs to see this broken musick in his sides?7 is there yet another dotes upon rib-breaking ?-Shall we see this wrestling, cousin?
Le Beau. You must, if you stay here: for here is the place appointed for the wrestling, and they are ready to perform it.
Cel. Yonder, sure, they are coming: Let us now stay and see it. Flourish, Enter Duke FREDERICK, Lords, ORLANDO,
CHARLES, and Attendants. Duke F. Come on; since the youth will not be entreated, his own peril on his forwardness.
Ros. Is yonder the man?
- is there any else longs to see this broken musick in his sides?] A stupid error in the copies. They are talking here of some who had their ribs broke in wrestling: and the pleasantry of Rosalind's repartee must consist in the allusion she makes to composing in musick. It necessarily follows, therefore, that the poet wrote-Set this broken musick in his sides. Warburton.
If any change were necessary, I should write, feel this broken musick, for see. But see is the colloquial term for perception or experiment. So we say every day; see if the water be hot; I will see which is the best time; she has tried, and sees that she cannot lift it. In this sense see may be here used. The sufferer can, with no propriety, be said to set the musick; neither is the allusion to the act of tuning an instrument, or pricking a tune, one of which must be meant by setting musick. Rosalind hints at a whimsical similitude between the series of ribs gradually shortening, and some musical instruments, and therefore calls broken ribs, broken musick. Johnson.
This probably alludes to the pipe of Pan, which consisting of reeds of unequal length, and gradually lessening, bore some resemblance to the ribs of a man. M. Mason.
Broken musick either means the noise which the breaking of ribs would occasion, or the hollow sound which proceeds from a person's receiving a violent fall. Douce.
I can offer no legitimate explanation of this passage, but may observe that another, somewhat parallel, occurs in K. Henry V:
Come, your answer in broken musick; for thy voice is musick, and thy English broken.” Steevens.
Cel. Alas, he is too young: yet he looks successfully.
Duke F. How now, daughter, and cousin? are you crept hither to see the wrestling?
Ros. Ay, my liege?' so please you give us leave.
Duke F. You will take little delight in it, I can tell you, there is such odds in the men:8 In pity of the challenger's youth, I would fain dissuade him, but he will not be entreated: Speak to him, ladies; see if you can move him.
Cel. Call him hither, good Monsieur Le Beau.
Le Beau. Monsieur the challenger, the princesses call for you."
Orl. I attend them, with all respect and duty.
Ros. Young man, have you challenged Charles the wrestler? 1
Orl. No, fair princess; he is the general challenger: I come but in, as others do, to try with him the strength of my youth.
Cel. Young gentleman, your spirits are too bold for your years: You have seen cruel proof of this man's strength: if you saw yourself with "your eyes, or knew yourself with" your"judgment, the fear of your adventure would counsel you to a more equal enterprise. We pray you, for your own sake, to embrace your own safety, and give over this attempt.
-odds in the men:] Sir T. Hanmer. In the old editions, the man. Johnson. "men" ms. corr. fol. 1632
the princesses call for you.] The old copy reads—the princesse calls. Corrected by Mr. Theobald. Malone.
have you challenged Charles the wrestler?] This wrestling match is minutely described in Lodge's Rosalynde, 1592.
Malone. - if you saw yourself with your eyes, or knew yourself with your judgment,] Absurd! The sense requires that we should read, our eyes, and our judgment. The argument is, Your spirits are too bold, and therefore your judgment deceives you ; but did you see and know yourself with our more impartial judgment, you would forbear. Warburton.
I cannot find the absurdity of the present reading. If you were not blinded and intoxicate, says the princess, with the spirit of terprise, if you could use your own eyes to see, or your own judgment to know yourself, the fear of your adventure would counsel you.
Ros. Do, young sir; your reputation shall not therefore be misprised: we will make it our suit to the duke, that the wrestling might not go forward.
Orl. I beseech you, punish me not with your hard thoughts; wherein I confess me much guilty, to deny so fair and excellent ladies any thing.3 But let your fair eyes, and gentle wishes, go with me to my trial:* wherein if I be foiled, there is but one shamed that was never gracious; if killed, but one dead that is willing to be so: I shall do my friends no wrong, for I have none to lament me; the world no injury, for in it I have nothing; only in the world I fill up a place, which may be better supplied when I have made it empty.
Ro8. The little strength that I have, I would it were
Cel. And mine, to eke out hers.
Ro8. Fare you well. Pray heaven, I be deceived in you!
Cel. Your heart's desires be with you.
Cha. Come, where is this young gallant, that is so desirous to lie with his mother earth?
Orl. Ready, sir; but his will hath in it a more modest working
3 I beseech you, punish me not &c.] I should wish to read, I beseech you, punish me not with your hard thoughts, Therein I confess myself much guilty to deny so fair and excellent ladies any thing.
Johnson. As the word wherein must always refer to something preceding, I have no doubt but there is an error in this passage, and that we ought to read herein, instead of wherein. The hard thoughts that he complains of are the apprehensions expressed by the ladies of his not being able to contend with the wrestler. He beseeches that they will not punish him with them; and then adds, “Herein I confess me much guilty to deny so fair and excellent ladies any thing. But let your fair eyes and gentle wishes go with me to my trial.” M. Mason.
The meaning I think is, “punish me not with your unfavourable opinion (of my abilities); which, however, I confess, I deserve to incur, for denying such fair ladies any request.” The expression is licentious, but our author's plays furnish many such.
Malone. - let your gentle wishes, go with me to my trial:] Addison might have had this passage in his memory, when he put the following words into Juba's mouth:
Marcia, may I hope “ That thy kind wishes follow me to battle?" Steevens.
Duke F. You shall try but one fall.
Cha. No, I warrant your grace; you shall not entreat him to a second, that have so mightily persuaded him from a first.
Orl. You mean to mock me after; you should not have mocked me before: but come your ways.
Ros. Now, Hercules be thy speed, young man!
Cel. I would I were invisible, to catch the strong fellow by the leg
[Cha. and ORL. wrestle. Ros. O excellent young man!
Cel. If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can tell who should down.
[CHA. is thrown. Shout. Duke F. No more, no more.
Orl. Yes, I beseech your grace; I am not yet well breathed.
Duke F. How dost thou, Charles?
Duke F. Bear him away. (Cha. is borne out.] What is thy name, young man?
Orl. Orlando, my liege; the youngest son of sir Rowland de Bois. Duke F. I would, thou hadst been son to some man
else. The world esteem'd thy father honourable, But I did find him still mine
enemy: Thou shouldst have better pleas'd me with this deed, Hadst thou descended from another house. But fare thee well; thou art a gallant youth; I would, thou hadst told me of another father.
[Exeunt Duke FRED. Train, and LE BEAU. Cel. Were I my father, coz, would I do this?
Ori. I am more proud to be sir Rowland's son, His youngest son ; 5—and would not change that calling, To be adopted heir to Frederick.
Ros. My father lov’d sir Rowland as his soul,
5 His youngest son ;] The words “than to be descended from any other house, however bigh,” must be understcod. Orlando is replying to the duke, who is just gone out, and had said
“Thou should'st have better pleas'd me with this deed,
“ Hadst thou descended from another house.” Malone. 6 —that calling,} i. e. appellation ; a very unusual, if not unprecedented sense of the word. Steevens.
And all the world was of my father's mind:
[Giving him a chain from her neck. Wear this for me; one out of suits with fortune;8 That could give more, but that her hand lacks means. Shall we go, coz? Cel.
Ay:-Fare you well, fair gentleman. Orl. Can I not say, I thank you? My better parts Are all thrown down; and that which here stands up, Is but a quintain, a mere lifeless block.'
7- as you have exceeded promise,] The old copy, without re. gard to the measure, reads--all promise. Steevens.
- one out of suits with fortune ;] This seems an allusion to cards, where he that has no more cards to play of any particular sort, is out of suit. Fohnson.
Out of suits with fortune, I believe, means, turned out of her service, and stripped of her livery. Steevens.
So afterwards, Celia says, “ – but turning these jests out of service, let us talk in good earnest.” Malone.
9 Is but a quintain, a mere lifeless block.) A quintain was a post or butt set up for several kinds of martial exercises, against which they threw their darts and exercised their arms. The allusion is beautiful. I am, says Orlando, only a quintain, a lifeless block on which love only exercises his arms in jest; the great disparity of condition between Rosalind and me, not suffering me to hope that love will ever make a serious matter of it. The famous satirist Regnier, who lived about the time of our author, uses the same metaphor, on the same subject, though the thought be different: “ Et qui depuis dix ans
jusqu'en ses derniers jours,
« Elle” &c. Warburton. This is but an imperfect (to call it no worse) explanation of a beautiful passage. The quintain was not the object of the darts and arms: it was a stake driven into a field, upon which were