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degrees. The first, the Retort courteous; the second, the Quip modest; the third, the Reply churlish; the fourth, the Reproof valiant; the fifth, the Countercheck quarrelsome; the sixth, the Lie with circumstance; the seventh, the Lie direct. All these you may avoid, but the lie direct; and you may avoid that too, with an If. I knew when seven justices could not take up a quarrel ; but when the parties were met themselves, one of them thought but of an If, as, If you said so, then I said so; And they shook hands, and swore brothers. Your If is the only peace-maker ; much virtue in If.
Jag. Is not this a rare fellow, my lord ? he's as good at any thing, and yet a fool.
Duke S. He uses his folly like a stalking-horse,s and under the presentation of that, he shoots his wit. Enter Hymen," leading RoșALIND in woman's clothes ; and
Hym. Then is there mirth in heaven, ;
Yea, brought her hither ;
Ros. To you I give myself, for I am yours. [To Duke S. To you I give myself, for I am yours. [To ORLANDO.
Duke S. If there be truth in sight, you are my daughter.
Phe. If sight and shape be true,
[To Duke s. stalking-horse,] See note to Much Ado about Nothing, act ii. sc. 3. h Enter Hymen,] Rosalind is imagined by the rest of the company to be brought by enchantment, and is therefore introduced by a supposed aërial being in the character of Hymen.-JOHNSON.
I'll have no husband, if you be not he:
[To ORLANDO. Nor ne'er wed woman,
be not she. [To Phebe. Hym. Peace, ho! I bar confusion:
'Tis I must make conclusion
Of these most strange events :
If truth holds true contents.k
[TO ORLANDO and RosALIND. You and you are heart in heart :
[To Oliver and Celia. You [to PHeBE] to his love must accord, Or have a woman to your
[To TouchSTONE and AUDREY:
Wedding is great Juno's crown;
O blessed bond of board and bed!
High wedlock then be honoured :
To Hymen, god of every town!
Phe. I will not eat my word, now thou art mine;
i If truth holds true contents.] That is, if their be truth in truth, unless truth fails of veracity.—Johnson.
combine.] Shakspeare is licentious in his use of this verb, which here only signifies to bind.-STEEVENS.
Enter JAQUES DE Bois.
Jaq. de B. Let me have audience for a word, or two;
Welcome, young man ;
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 ; .
[T. Duke s.
Your patience, and your virtue, well deserves it:-
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 pleasures ; 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. [A dance.
Ros. It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue: but it is not more unhandsome, than to see the lord the prologue. If it be true, that good wine needs no bush,m '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 cause 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 furnished" like a beggar, therefore to beg will not become me : my way is, to conjure you ; and I'll begin with the
1 To see no pastime, 1:&c.] Amidst this general festivity, the reader may be sorry to take his leave of Jaques, who appears to have no share in it, and remains behind unreconciled to society. He has, however, filled with a gloomy sensibility the space allotted to him in the play, and to the last preserves that respect which is due to him as a consistent character, and an amiable, though solitary moralist.
It may be observed, with scarce less concem, that Shakspeare bas, on this occasion, forgot old Adam, the servant of Orlando, whose fidelity should have entitled him to notice at the end of the piece, as well as to that happiness which he would naturally have found, in the return of fortune to his master.-STEEVENS.
mno bush,] It appears formerly to have been the custom to hang a tuft of ivy at the door of a vintner. The practice is still observed in Warwickshire and the adjoining counties, at statute-hirings, wakes, &c. by people who sell ale at no other time.-Steevens and Ritson.
- furnished — ] i. e. Drest.
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,Pand 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. I • If I were a woman,] In this author's time, the parts of women were always performed by men or boys.
liked me,] i. e. Pleased me. 9 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 gave 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 comick 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.—Johnson. The taste of the poet is here, as in many other instances, to be preferred to that of the critic. Though Shakspeare has shewn. great judgmentin substituting the conversion of Frederick in the place of his death, which is the fate allotted him in Lodge's novel, nothing could have been more out of keeping with the tone and colour of the play, than the representation of such an event. It was a circumstance to be related and not performed. A scene of so severe a character, as that between the guilty duke and the aged hermit must necessarily have been, could have no appropriate place in this tale of love and mirth, and wit and idleness. In a work, like the present, calculated to unfatigue the mind and delight the imagination by a succession of pleasing incidents, every thing of a sad or solemn nature is with admirable propriety omitted, or only cursorily glanced at.