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Orl. Why now; as fast as she can marry us.
Ros. Then you must say, I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.
Orl. I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.
Ros. I might ask you for your commission; but—I do take thee, Orlando, for my husband: There a girl goes before the priest ;3 and certainly, a woman's thought runs before her actions.
Orl. So do all thoughts; they are wing'd.
Ros. Now tell me, how long you would have her, after you have possessed her.
Orl. For ever, and a day.
Ros. Say a day, without the ever: No, no, Orlando; men are April when they woo, December when they wed: maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives. I will be more jealous of thee than a Barbary cock-pigeon over his hen; more clamorous than a parrot against rain; more new-fangled than an ape; more giddy in my desires than a monkey: I will weep for nothing, like Diana in the fountain, and I will do that when you are disposed to be merry; I will laugh like a hyen,s and that when thou art inclined to sleep.
- There a girl goes before the priest;] The old copy reads"There's a girl,” &c. The emendation in the text was proposed to me long ago by Dr. Farmer. Steevens.
I will weep for nothing, like Diana in the fountain,] The allusion is to the cross in Cheapside; the religious images, with which it was ornamented, being defaced, (as we learn from Stowe) in 1596: “ There was then set up, a curious wrought tabernacle of gray marble, and in the same an alabaster image of Diana, and water conveyed from the Thames, prilling from her naked breast.” Stowe, in Cheap Ward.
Statues, and particularly that of Diana, with water conveyed through them to give them the appearance of weeping figures, were anciently a frequent ornament of fountains. So, in The City Match, Act III, sc. ii:
Now could I cry
“Here in the garden, wrought by curious hands,
I will laugh like a hyen,] The bark of the hyena was anciently supposed to resemble a loud laugh.
Orl. But will my Rosalind do so?
Ros. Or else she could not have the wit to do this: the wiser, the waywarder: Make the doors6 upon a woman's wit, and it will out at the casement; shut that, and 'twill out at the key-hole; stop that, 'twill fly with the smoke out at the chimney.
Orl. A man that had a wife with such a wit, he might say,— Wit, whither wilt 27
Ros. Nay, you might keep that check for it, till you met your wife's wit going to your neighbour's bed.
Ori. And what wit could wit have to excuse that?
Ros. Marry, to say,—she came to seek you there. You shall never take her without her answer, 8 unless
So, in Webster's Duchess of Malfy, 1623:
Methinks I see her laughing, “Excellent Hyena!” Again, in The Gobler's Prophecy, 1594:
“You laugh hyena-like, weep like a crocodile.” Steevens.
Make the doors -] This is an expression used in several of the midland counties, instead of bar the doors. So, in The Comedy of Errors:
“The doors are made against you.” Steevens.
Wit, whither wilt?] This must be some allusion to a story well known at that time, though now perhaps irretrievable.
Johnson. This was an exclamation much in use, when any one was either talking nonsense, or usurping a greater share in conversation than justly belonged to him. So, in Decker's Satiromastix, 1602: «
My sweet, Wit whither wilt thou, my delicate poetical fury,” &c. Again, in Heywood's Royal King, 1637:
“ Wit:-is the word strange to you? Wit?-
“Whither wilt thou .?” Again, in the Preface to Greene's Groatsworth of Wit, 1621 :
- Wit whither wilt thou? woe is me,
“ Thou hast brought me to this miserie.” The same expression occurs more than once in Taylor the water. poet, and seems to have been the title of some ludicrous performance. Steevens.
If I remember right, these are the first words of an old mad. rigal. Malone.
8 You shall never take her without her answer,] See Chaucer's Marchantes Tale, ver. 10,138-10,149:
you take her without her tongue. O, that woman that cannot make her sault her husband's occasion,9 let her never nurse her child herself, for she will breed it like
Orl. For these two hours Rosalind, I will leave thee. Ros. Alas, dear love, I cannot lack thee two hours.
Orl. I must attend the duke at dinner; by two o'clock I will be with thee again.
kos. Ay, go your ways, go your ways;—I knew what you would prove; my friends told me as much, and I thought no less:—that flattering tongue of yours won
—'tis but one cast away, and socome, death.Two o'clock is your hour?
Orl. Ay, sweet Rosalind.
Ros. By my troth, and in good earnest, and so God mend me, and by all pretty oaths that are not dangerous, if you break one jot of your promise, or come one minute behind your hour, I will think you the most pathetical break-promise, and the most hollow lover, and the most unworthy of her you call Rosalind, that
“Ye, sire, quod Proserpine, and wol ye so?
- make her fault her husband's occasion, ] That is represent her fault as occasioned by her husband. Sir T. Hanmer reads, her husband's accusation. Fohnson.
I will think you the most pathetical break-promise,] The same epithet occurs again in Love's Labour's Lost, and with as little apparent meaning:
most pathetical nit.” Again, in Greene's Never too late, 1590 : - having no patheticall impression in my head, I had flat fallen into a slumber.”
Steevens. I believe, by pathetical break-promise, Rosalind means a lorer whose falsehood would most deeply affect his mistress. Malone.
may be chosen out of the gross band of the unfaithful: therefore beware my censure, and keep your promise.
Orl. With no less religion, than if thou wert indeed my Rosalind: So, adieu.
Ros. Well, time is the old justice that examines all such offenders, and let time try:2 Adieu! [Exit ORL.
Cel. You have simply misus’d our sex in your loveprate: we must have your doublet and hose plucked over your head, and show the world what the bird hath done to her own nest. 3
Ros. O coz, coz, coz, my pretty little coz, that thou didst know how many fathom deep I am in love! But it cannot be sounded; my affection hath an unknown bottom, like the bay of Portugal.
Cel. Or rather, bottomless; that as fast as you pour affection in, it runs out.
Ros. No, that same wicked bastard of Venus, that was begot of thought,4 conceived of spleen, and born of madness; that blind rascally boy, that abuses every one's eyes, because his own are out, let him be judge, how deep I am in love: I'll tell thee, Aliena, I cannot be out of the sight of Orlando: I'll go find a shadow, and sigh till he come.5 Cel. And I 'll sleep.
- time is the old justice that examines all such offenders, and let time try:) So, in Troilus and Cressida:
" And that old common arbitrator, Time,
to her own nest.) So, in Lodge's Rosalynde: And “ I pray you (quoth Aliena) if your own robes were off, what mettal are you made of, that you are so satyricall against women? Is it not a foule bird defiles her owne nest?” Steevens.
begot of thought,] i. e. of melancholy. So, in Julius Cesar : "
take thought, and die for Cæsar.” Steevens.
I'll go find a shadow, and sigh till come,] So, in Macbeth:
“Let us seek out some desolate shade, and there
Another Part of the Forest.
Jaq. Let's present him to the duke, like a Roman conqueror; and it would do well to set the deer's horns upon his head, for a branch of victory:-Have you no song, forester, for this purpose?
2 Lord. Yes, sir,
Jaq. Sing it; 'tis no matter how it be in tune, so it make noise enough.
1. Then sing him home:
1. Thy father's father wore it;
2. And thy father bore it: All. The horn, the horn, the lusty horn, Is not a thing to laugh to scorn.
The rest shall bear this burden,
6 His leather skin, and horns to wear.
r.] Shakspeare seems to have formed this song on a hint afforded by the novel which furnished him with the plot of his play. “What news, Forrester? Hast thou wounded some deere, and lost him in the fall ? Care not, man, for so small a losse; thy fees was but the skinne, the shoul. ders, and the horns." Lodge's Rosalynde, or Euphues's Gollen Legacie, 1592. For this quotation the reader is indebted to Mr. Malone.
So likewise in an ancient MS. entitled The Boke of Huntyng, that is cleped Mayster of Game: “And as of fees, it is to wite that what man that smyte a dere atte his tree with a dethes stroke, and he be recouered by sonne going doune, he shall haue the skyn,” &c.
Steevens. 7 Take thou no scorn, to wear the horn;) In King John in two parts, 1591, a play which our author had, without doubt, at. tentively read, we find these lines:
is But let the foolish Frenchman take no scorn,
“If Philip front him with an English horn." Malone. Thus also, in the old comedy of Grim the Collier of Croydon, (date unknown,)