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Cel. I could match this beginning with an old tale. 101
Le Beau. Three proper young men, of excelleut growth and presence.
Ros. With bills on their necks, ‘Be it known unto all men by these presents.'
Le Beau. The eldest of the three wrestled with Charles, the duke's wrestler ; which Charles in a moment threw him and broke three of his ribs, that there is little hope of life in him : so he served the second, and so the third. Yonder they lie ; the poor old man, their father, making such pitiful dole over them that all the beholders take his part with weeping. 111
Touch. But what is the sport, monsieur, that the ladies have lost ?
Le Beau. Why, this that I speak of.
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 music in his sides ? is there yet another dotes upon rib-breaking ? Shall we see this wrestling, cousin ?
122 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. Flatirish. 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 ?
130 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. 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.
140 Le Beau. Monsieur the challenger, the princesses call for
Orl. I attend them with all respect and duty.
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 judgement, 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. 152
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. 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 ny 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.
Ros. The little strength that I have, I would it were with you.
Cel. And mine, to eke out hers.
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.
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 ! 179
Cel. I would I were invisible, to catch the strong fellow by the leg.
[They wrestle. Ros. O excellent young man !
Cel. If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can tell who should down.
[Shout. Charles is thrown. Duke F. No more, no more.
Orl. Yes, I beseech your grace: I am not yet well breathed.
Duke F. How dost thou, Charles ?
189 Duke F. Bear him away. What is thy name, young man ?
Orl. Orlando, my liege ; the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys.
Duke F. I would thou hadst been son to some man else : The world esteemid thy father honourable, But I did find him still mine enemy : Thou shouldst have better pleased 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 ? 200
Orl. I am more proud to be Sir Rowland's son,
Ros. My father loved Sir Rowland as his soul,
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, 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.
Ros. He calls us back : my pride fell with my fortunes ; I'll ask him what he would. Did you call, sir ? Sir, you have wrestled well and overthrown More than your enemies. Cel.
Will you go, coz? Ros. Have with you. Fare you well.
[Exeunt Rosalind and Celia. Orl. What passion hangs these weights upon my tongue ? I cannot speak to her, yet she urged conference. O poor Orlando, thou art overthrown ! Or Charles or something weaker masters thee.
Re-enter LE BEAU. Le Beau. Good sir, I do in friendship counsel you 230 To leave this place. Albeit you have deserved High commendation, true applause and love,
Yet such is now the duke's condition
Orl. I thank you, sir : and, pray you, tell me this ;
Le Beau. Neither his daughter, if we judge by manners ; But yet indeed the lesser is his daughter:
241 The other is daughter to the banish'd duke, And here detain'd by her usurping uncle, To keep his daughter company; whose loves Are dearer than the natural bond of sisters. But I can tell you that of late this duke Hath ta’en displeasure 'gainst his gentle niece, Grounded upon no other argument But that the people praise her for her virtues And pity her for her good father's sake ;
250 And, on my life, his malice 'gainst the lady Will suddenly break forth. Sir, fare you well : Hereafter, in a better world than this, I shall desire more love and knowledge of you. Orl. I rest much bounden to you : fare you well.
[Exit Le Beau. Thus must I from the smoke into the smother ; From tyrant duke unto a tyrant brother: But heavenly Rosalind !
SCENE III. A room in the palace.
Enter Celia and ROSALIND. Cel. Why, cousin! why, Rosalind ! Cupid have mercy ! not a word ?
Ros. Not one to throw at a dog.
Cel. No, thy words are too precious to be cast away upon curs; throw some of thein at me; come, lame me with reasons.