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Duke F. Do so; I'll not be by. [Duke goes apart.
Le Beau, Monsieur the challenger, the princesses call for you.
Orla. I attend them, with all respect and duty.
Ros. Young man, have you challenged Charles the wrestler ?
Orla. 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 judgment, the fear of your adventure would counsel you to a more equal enterprize. We pray you, for your own sake, to embrace your own safety, and give over this attempt.
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.
Orla. 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 my 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?
Orla. 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.
Orla. 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 !
Cel. I would I were invisible, to catch the strong fellow by the leg! [CHARLES and ORLANDO wrestle.
Ros. O excellent young man !
Cel. If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can tell who should down.
(CHARLES is thrown. Shout. Duke F. No more, no more.
Orla. Yes, I beseech your grace ; I am not yet well breathed.
Duke F. How dost thou, Charles ?
Duke F. Bear him away.- (CHARLES is borne out.] What is thy name young man ?
Orla. Orlando, my liege ; the youngest son of sir Rowland de Bois. · Duke F. I would, thou hadst been son to some man else. The world esteem d thy father honourable, But I did find him still mine enemy : Thou shouldst hare better pleas’d 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.
Exe. Duke Fred. Train, and LE Beau. Cel. Were I my father, coz, would I do this ?
Orla. I am more proud to be sir Rowland's son,
Ros. My father lov'd sir Rowland as his soul,
Ros. Gentleman, [Giving him a chain from her neck.
Shall we go, coz?
Orla. 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 :
Cel. Will you go, coz ?
[Exeunt Rosalind and Celia. Orla. What passion hangs these weights upon my tongue? I cannot speak to her, yet she urg'd conference.
Re-enter LE BEAU.
A quintain was a pos their darts and lain. a lifeless block on osalind and me,
181 A quintain was a post or butt, set up for several kinds of martial exercises. against which they threw their darts and exercised their arms. The allusion is beautiful. I am, says Orlando, oniy a quintain, a lifeless block on which love only esercises his arms in jest ; the greal disparity of condition between Rosalind and me, not suffering me to hope that love will ever make a serious matter of it. The famous satirist Regpier, who lived about the time of our author, uses the same metaphor, on the same subject, though the thought be different:
" Et qui depuis dix ans jusqu'en ses derniers jours,
“ Elle," &c. WARBURTON. This is but an imperfect (to call it no worse) explanation of a beautiful passage. The quintain was not the object of the darts and arms; it was a stake driven into a field, upon which were hung a shield and other trophies of war, at which they shot, darted, or rode, with a lance. When the shield and the trophies were all thrown down, the quintain remained. Without this information, how could the reader understand the allusion of
My better parts
GUTHRIE. Shakespeare bas most probably alluded to that sort of quintain which resembled the human figure; and if this be the case, the speech of Orlando may be thus explained: I am unable to thank you; for, surprized and subdued by love, my intellectual powers, which are my better parts, fail me; and I resemble the quintain, whose human or active part being thrown donn, there remains nothing but the lifeless trunk or block which once upheld it. Or if better parts do not refer to the quintain, “that which here stands up" means the human part of the quintain, which may be also not unaptly called a lifeless block.
As a military sport or exercise, the use of the quintain is very ancient, and may be traced even among the Romans. It is mentioned in Justinian's Code, Lib. III. tit. 43; and its most probable etymology is from Quintus, the name of its inventor. In the days of chivalry it was the substitute or rehearsal of tilts and tournaments, and was at length adopted, though in a ruder way, by the common people, becoming amongst them a very favourite amusement. In Wales it is still practised at weddings, and at the village of Off ham, near Town Malling in Kent, there is now standing a quintain, opposite the dwelling-house of a family that is obliged under some tenure to support it; but I do not find that any use has been ever made of it within the recollection of the inhabitants. DOUCE
For a more particular description of a quintain, see a note on a passage in Jonson's Underwoods, Whalley's edit. Vol. VII p. 55. M. MASON.
A humorous description of this amusement may also be read in Laneham's Letter from “ Killing worth Castle.” HENLEY.
Le Beau. Good sir, I do in friendship counsel you
Orla. I thank you, sir: and, pray you, tell me this ;
Le B. Neither his daughter, if we judge by manners, But yet, indeed, the shorter is his daughter : 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; 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. Orla. 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!
[Exit. 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 them at me ; come, lamë me with reasons.
Ros. Then there were two cousins laid up; when the one should be lamed with reasons, and the other mad without any.
Cel. But is all this for your father ?
Ros. No, some of it for my child's father :9 O, how full of briers is this working-day world!
Cel. They are but burs, cousin, thrown upon thee in holiday foolery ; if we walk not in the trodden paths, our very petticoats will catch them.
Ros. I could shake them off my coat ; these burs are in my heart.
Cel. Hem them away.
Ros. O, they take the part of a better wrestler than myself.
Cel. O, a good wish upon you ! you will try in time, in despite of a fall.—But, turning these jests out of service, let us talk in good earnest: Is it possible, on such a sudden, you should fall into so strong a liking with old sir Rowland's youngest son ?
Ros. The duke my father lov'd his father dearly.
Cel. Doth it therefore ensue, that you should love his son dearly? By this kind of chace, I should hate him, for my father hated his father dearly ;' yet I hate not Orlando.
Ros. No, 'faith, hate him not, for my sake.
Ros. Let me love him for that; and do you love him, because I do :-Look, here comes the duke. Cel. With his eyes full of anger.
Enter Duke FREDERICK, with Lords. Duke F. Mistress, despatch you with your safest haste, And get you from our court.
Ros. Me, uncle ?
Duke F. You, cousin :
Ros. I do beseech your grace,
(91 i. e. for him whom I hope to marry, and have children by. THEOBALD.
(01 That is. by this way of following the argument. Dear is used by Shakespeare in a double sense for beloved, and for hurtful, hated, baleful. Both senses are authorised, and botb drawn from etymology; but properly, beloved, is dear, and hateful Is dere. Rosaliad uses dearly in the good, and Celia in the bad sense. JOHNSON.