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Enter ORLANDO, with a paper.
Orl. Hang there, my verse, in witness of my love :
And, thou, thrice-crowned queen of night," survey With thy chaste eye, from thy pale sphere above,
Thy huntress' name, that my full life doth sway. O! Rosalind ! these trees shall be my books,
And in their barks my thoughts I'll character; That every eye, which in this forest looks,
Shall see thy virtue witness'd every where. Run, run, Orlando ; carve on every tree, The fair, the chaste, and unexpressive' she. [Exit.
Enter Corin, and TOUCHSTONE.
Cor. And how like you this shepherd's life, master Touchstone? Touch. Truly, shepherd, in respect of itself, it is a good
but in respect that it is a shepherd's life, it is naught. In respect that it is solitary, I like it very well ; but in respect that it is private, it is a very vile life. Now in respect it is in the fields, it pleaseth me well; but in respect it is not in the court, it is tedious. As it is a spare life, look you, it fits my humour well; but as there is no more plenty in it, it goes much against my stomack. Hast any philosophy in thee, shepherd ?
Cor. No more, but that I know, the more one sickens, the worse at ease he is; and that he, that wants money, means, and content, is without three good friends :- That the property of rain is to wet, and fire to burn : That good pasture makes fat sheep; and that a great cause of the night, is lack of the sun : That he, that hath learned no kthrice-crowned queen of night,) Alluding to the triple character of Proserpina, Cynthia, and Diana, given by some mythologists to the same goddess, and comprised in these memorable lines :
Terret, lustrat, agit, Proserpina, Luna, Diana,
Ima, superna, feras, sceptro, fulgore, sagittis.--Johnson. unexpressive..] For inexpressible.
wit by nature nor'art, may complain of good breeding," or comes of a very
Cor. No, truly.
Touch. Truly, thou art damn'd; like an ill-roasted egg," all on one side.
Cor. For not being at court? Your reason.
Touch. Why, if thou never wast at court, thou never saw'st good manners; if thou never saw'st good manners, then thy manners must be wicked; and wickedness is sin, and sin is damnation : Thou art in a parlous state, shepherd.
Cor. Not a whit, Touchstone: those, that are good manners at the court, are as ridiculous in the country, as the behaviour of the country is most mockable at the court. You told me, you salute not at the court, but you kiss your hands; that courtesy would be uncleanly, if courtiers were shepherds.
Touch. Instance, briefly; come, instance.
Cor. 'Why, we are still handling our ewes ; and their fells, you know, are greasy.
Touch. Why, do not your courtier's hands sweat ? and is not the grease of a mutton as wholesome as the sweat of a man? Shallow, shallow : A better instance, I say ;
Cor. Besides, our hands are hard.
Touch. Your lips will feel them the sooner, Shallow, again : A more sounder instance, come.
Cor. And they that are often tarr'd over with the surgery
may complain of good breeding,] i. e. Complain of the want of good breeding, the custom of the language in Shakspeare's age authorizing this mode of speech.-JOHNSON.
like an ill-roasted egg,] Of this jest, I do not fully comprehend the meaning.-Johnson. I presume it only means, that Corin is damned, like an egg that has been spoilt in the roasting. The words all on one side merely express the manner in which the egg is spoilt, and do not require that any thing in the corresponding part of the simile should answer them.-An old proverb says, " That a fool is the best roaster of an egg for he's always turning it.”
of our sheep; And would you have us kiss tar? . The courtier's hands are perfumed with civit.
Touch. Most shallow man! Thou worms-meat, in respect of a good piece of flesh: Indeed! Learn of the wise, and perpend : Civet is of a baser birth than tar; the very uncleanly flux of a cat. Mend the instance shepherd.
Cor. You have too courtly a wit for me : I'll rest.
Touch. Wilt thou rest damn'd? God help thee, shallow man! God will make incision in thee! thou art raw.
Cor. Sir, I am a true labourer; I earn that I eat; get that I wear; owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness; glad of other men's good, content with my harm : and the greatest of my pride is, to see my ewes graze, and my lambs suck.
Touch. That is another simple sin in you ; to bring the ewes and the rams together, and to offer to get your living by the copulation of cattle: to be bawd to a bell-weather ; and to betray a she lamb of a twelvemonth, to a crookedpated, old cuckoldly ram, out of all reasonable match. If thou be'st not damn'd for this, the devil himself will have no shepherds; I cannot see else how thou shouldst 'scape.
Cor. Here comes young master Ganymede, my new mistress's brother.
Enter ROSALIND, reading a paper.
No jewel is like Rosalind.
make incision in thee!] The allusion is to that common expression, of cutting such a one for the simples. -STEEVENS.
raw.] i. e. Ignorant, unexperienced.
bell-wether ;) Wether and ram had anciently the same meaning. Johnson." lin’d,] i. e. Delineated.
fair-] i. e. Beauty, complexion.
Touch. I'll rhyme you so, eight years together ; dinners, and suppers, and sleeping hours excepted; it is the right butter woman's rankt to market.
Ros. Out, fool!
If a hart do lack a hind,
find, Must find love's prick, and Rosalind. This is the very false gallop of verses ; Why do you infect yourself with them?
Ros. Peace, you dull fool; I found them on a tree.
Ros. I'll graff it with you, and then I shall graff it with a medlar : then it will be the earliest fruit" in the country: for you'll be rotten e'er you be half ripe, and that's the right virtue of the medlar.
Touch. You have said ; but whether wisely or no, let the forest judge.
Enter Celia, reading a paper.
For it is unpeopled? No;
butter woman's rank-] i. e. The verses follow one another in the jog trot pace with which butter women follow one another to market.
earliest fruit—] Quickest in coming to its decay, in which it is so much earlier than other fruits, that it even precedes its ripeness.-Pye's Com. on Conment.
Tongues I'll hang on every tree,
That shall civil* sayings show.
Runs his erring pilgrimage ;
Buckles in his sum of age.
'Twixt the souls of friend and friend :
Or at every sentence' erd,
Teaching all that read, to know
Heaven would in little show.y
That one body should be filld
Nature presently distilld
Cleopatra's majesty ;
Sad Lucretia's modesty.
By heavenly synod was devis’d,
And I to live and die her slave.
civil sayings-] i. e. Sayings collected from an intercourse with civil life. -GIFFORD's Massinger, vol. ii. 218.
in little show.) i. e. Show in miniature; so in Hamlet we have “his picture in little” for “his miniature picture.”-STEEVENS.
better part ;] In Holland's translation of Pliny's Natural History, we read of the portraits of Atalanta and Helen, "both of them for beauty incomparable, and yet a man may discern the one ( Atalanta) of them to be a maiden for her modest and chaste countenance."— There is little doubt then but the better part here mentioned was her chastity.–Tollet. But Atalanta's most celebrated characteristic was her swiftness; and may not the compliment here paid to Rosalind intimate, that she united to the majesty of Cleopatra, the ease and lightness of motion that distinguished Atalanta ?
the touches] i. e. The featurrs; les traits.