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and sprightly frankness, such tenderness of heart coupled with a spirit so brave, so full a measure of maidenly modesty set off by a daring disregard of what mere convention hallows or prudery decrees, a sensibility so delicate, an intellect so swift and keen. As beheld by us at first, Rosalind is still grieving for her banished father. Fondly loved by her cousin, who would, were it possible, make up to her for all she has lost, her thoughts cannot but recur to him who has been stripped of his dukedom and torn from herself. She will not, however, indulge in selfish regrets, but yields to her cousin's tender remonstrances, and as from behind a summer cloud her natural vivacity brightens out into sunny flashes of merriment, which yet give token of the grief she masks.
The incident of the wrestling which quickly follows diverts her thoughts from herself into sympathy with the luckless Orlando. For, attracted as she no doubt is by his comeliness and manly bearing, it is his descriptian of his low estate that first touches her generous heart. To one so “out of suits with fortune," her good-will is instinctively due. And as she witnesses his prowess, as she learns who he is, and marks the proud affection with which he kindles at the Duke's disparagement of his father, a warmer feeling creeps into her bosom. Banished almost immediately afterwards she has need of all her courage. Yet it is not for herself but for her cousin that that courage must be kept up. For the devoted affection which shared her exile she must and does nerve herself to make a return in tender solicitude and protection of “the weaker vessel”; while now that she is away from the depressing artificiality of court life and from scenes which daily reminded her of an absent father, she seems of the best beloved of her life. If under physical stress her less daring spirit craves comfort and support, she in her turn can minister like relief when depression and anxiety call for it. Sorrow, one feels, can hardly touch her except through Rosalind : when it is well with the idol of her generous enthusiasm, earth and heaven seem to smile. In those bright moments she sparkles with gleeful, roguish, banter; she lets fly swift shafts of raillery welcomed by her who is their mark, diverting sombre thought, inspiring a responsive blitheness of heart. Orlando may exclaim “how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes !” but no shadow of envy at another's joy can enter into the conception of Celia as she beholds Rosalind worshipped with unmeasured devotion. It is as natural to her to see her cousin in all things preferred before her as it is to keep herself in the background a listener to the sprightly flow of jest and repartee in which she, had she so willed, might well have borne her part. If grace of person went far towards kindling in Oliver's breast a love so sudden and so intense, we may feel sure that he also instinctively beheld in her character a womanly tenderness, a grace and purity of soul, that stirred to its depths all that was noble in his nature, and enforced upon him that determination to a worthier life which his brother's chivalrous hazard had already aroused.
The Duke is a philosopher whose philosophy has been the Duke. perfected in the school of bitter experience and yet lacks all bitterness of taste. He can descant on “the uses of adversity,” but his periods ring with the sincerity of belief, and his actions are in unison with his professions. Stripped of his power, and robbed of his well-loved and
only child, he yet finds solace in the loyal companionship of those who, once his courtiers, prefer exile with their old master to the good things of life at the hand of an usurping brother. The loss of his dukedom, indeed, evidently counts for little. Like Prospero he probably owes it to the small store he put upon possession and to a love of things higher than pomp and pride of place. Like Prospero he is ready when fortune so wills it to resume his own; but he does so, we feel, not without a lingering regret that his days of peaceful contentment are at an end. Such satisfaction as the recovery of state brings with it rests mainly on the power afforded him of rewarding those who followed his fallen fortunes, and of handing down his dukedom to one who has proved himself worthy to be the husband of his peerless daughter. Courteous to all, equable in temperament, with a ready sense of humour, a keen perception of what is unreal, and a genuine scorn for everything vicious, he is a
gentleman first and a duke afterwards. Orlando. Though his soul “hates nothing more than ” Orlando,
Oliver is obliged to admit to himself, “yet he's gentle; never schooled, and yet learned ; full of noble device; of all sorts enchantingly beloved ; and indeed so much in the heart of the world, and especially of my own people, who best know him, that I am altogether misprised.” This testimony enforced by an unwilling conscience is amply corroborated by its subject's every act. Chivalrous generosity, a sincere diffidence as to his own merits, and great tenderness of heart stand out conspicuous marks of a character formed under circumstances that might have excused their very opposites. The high spirit which has yet so patiently brooked the cruelest
injustice at the hands of one from whom he might natu-
With his easy-going philosophy Touchstone is thoroughly Touchstone. at home in a play whose very title tells of debonair enjoyment. Though used to the atmosphere of a court and to a life of privileged enjoyment, his fund of natural
cheerfulness adapts itself to the privations and annoyances that banishment have brought upon him. Like the fool in Lear he is moreover endowed with something nobler than mere good humour. To Celia his devotion is no less and no less unhesitating than that of his brother of the cap and bells to the outraged king. Bubbling over with quaint fun and drollery, he is equally at his ease when encountering the affected Jaques, when affectionately teasing Rosalind, when mystifying the simple Corin, William, and Audrey. If his own account of his earlier days is not to be accepted with implicit confidence, it is plain that he is not only a man of great mother-wit, but one of large and well-digested experience. His pithy sayings have nothing random about them; as the Duke says, “He uses his folly like a stalking-horse and under the presentation of that he shoots his wit" right to the very heart of the matter. Though in his whimsical choice of the homely Audrey he may seem to be indulging his love of humour, we may be quite sure that he knew what he wanted, and that his acting was
not like his speaking mainly for effect.. Jaques. Whatever the cause of his melancholy. Jaques tells us
he is in love with it. From the Duke's remarks on his past life we may perhaps gather that something akin to remorse for a not very creditable career has soured a temperament never very healthy or well-balanced. As to the character of his melancholy, it is neither that of the scholar, nor of the musician, nor of the courtier, the soldier, lawyer, lady, or lover, but “it is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects; and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, which, by often rumination, wraps me in a