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There are fome paffages very tender, generous, and affecting, in the first part of the dialogue between Rofalind and Celia, who had been bred up from their infancy in friendship together; the firft, daughter to the exiled Duke; and the other, child to his brother, the Ufurper.
Cia. I pray thee, Rofalind, fweet my coz, be merry.
Rejalind. Dear Celia, I fhew more mirth than I am mistress of; and would you yet I were merrier? Unless you could teach me to forget a banifhed father, you must not learn me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure.
Celia. Herein I fee thou loveft me not with the full weight that I love thee. If my uncle, thy banifhed father, had banished thy uncle, the Duke my father, fo thou hadst been still with me, I could have taught my love to take thy father for mine; and fo wouldst thou, if the truth of thy love to me were fo righteously tempered, as mine is to thee.
Rofalind. Well, I will forget the condition of my estate, and rejoice in yours.
Celia. You know, my father hath no child but me, nor none is like to have; and, truly, when he dies, thou shalt be his heir; for what he hath taken away from thy father perforce, I will render thee again in affection-By mine honour, I will-And when I break that oath, let me turn monster-Therefore, my sweet Rose, my dear Rofe, be merry.
The fame fondness between them is repeated in the tenth Scene of the fame Act, upon Rofalind's being commanded to quit the dominions of the Ufurper.
Cel a. O my poor Rofalind, where wilt thou go?
Cela. Thou haft not, coufin ;
Prithee, be chearful knowest thou not, the Duke
Refund. That he hath not.
C. No? Hath not? Rofalind lacks then the love
Shall we be fundered? Shall we part, fweet girl?
Therefore devife with me, how we may By;
Whither to go, and what to bear with us;
As there are many vices in morals that are injurious to fociety, and which the laws have not ftigmatized, or poffibly cannot fufficiently provide against, the reprehenfions of Satire, under proper reftrictions, may perhaps be deemed a neceffary fupplement to legiflation. The moft worthlefs perfon would chufe to fin in fecret, as not being able to endure the being rendered an object of public deteftation or ridicule; the fear of being pointed at has often laid a restraint on vice; in which fenfe the finger may he faid to be ftronger than the arm, Othello pathetically defcribes fuch a fituation;
"But, alas! to make me
"A fixed figure for the hand of Scorn
The paffage which gave rife to thefe reflections, is in this fourth Scene, where Celia interrupts Touchftone, in his abufe of an abfent perfon:
Enough! Speak no more of him; you'll be whipt for taxation, one of thefe days.
Touchflone. The more pity, that fools may not fpeak wifely, what wife men do foolishly
Celia. By my troth, thou fayeft true; for fince the little wit that fools have was filenced, the little foolery that wife men have makes a great show.
There is a very proper hint given here to women, not to deviate from the prefcribed rules and decorums of their fex, Whenever they venture to step
*Alluding to the jefters, that were formerly entertained by kings, and were the only courtiers that were fuffered to fpeak their minds. This office has been lag abolished.
the leaft out of their walk, in life, they are too generally apt to wander aftray.
Rofalind. Ch, how full of briars is this working-day world!
Celia. They are but burs, coufin, thrown upon thee, in holiday foolery; if we walk not in the trodden paths, our very petticoats will catch them.
Rofalind, fpeaking of difguifing herself in man's apparel, gives a good description of a swaggering bully:
Were it not better,
Because that I am more than common tall,
A boar-fpear in my hand, (and in my heart
ACT II. SCENE I.
The firft fpeech in this Scene is rich in reflection upon the new-moulding faculty of ufe or habit, the preference of a fincere country life to a falfe city one, the advantages of adverfity, and the benefits of retired contemplation.
The Duke, Amiens, and other Lords, in the foreft of Arden. Duke. Now, my co-mates, and brothers in exile,
Hath not old cuftom made this life more sweet,
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
+ See Portia's speech in the fifth Scene, Third Act, of the Merchant of Venice, in this Work, for a parallel paffage of female sportive humour.
I See first obfervation on Scene IV, A& V. of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, on the power of Ufe or Habit.
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Amiens. Happy is your Grace,
That can tranflate the stubbornness of fortune
In the continuation of the fame dialogue, fome humane fentiments are thrown out on the fubject of hunting, with an affecting defcript on given of a wounded deer; and alfo fome moral allufions from human life to the different circumstances and fituations of the poor victim, which must equally engage the thought and feeling of the reader. Duke. Come, fhall we go and kill us venifon? And yet it irks me, the poor dappled fools, Being native burghers of this defart city, Should in their own confines, with forked heads Have their round haunches gored.
Firft Lord. Indeed, my Lord,
The melancholy Jaques + grieves at that;
Duke. But what faid Jaques?
Did he not moralize this fpectacle
This was an ancient notion.
A character diftinguished for humanity, contemplation, and contempt of the world, and confequently, for fingularity.
That is, you ufurp as much.
Firft Lord. O yes, into a thousand fimilies.
'Tis juft the fashion; wherefore do you look
Duke. And did you leave him in this contemplation?
Duke. Shew me the place;
I love to cope him in these fullen fits,
Whoever could read the above defcription, and eat venifon, on the fame day, muft have a better ftomach, or a ftouter heart, than they would do well to boast of Such melancholy, fuch fullen fits, as these of Jaques, have fomething more charming in them,
"The broadeft mirth unfeeling Folly wears."
The dangers of pre-eminence and virtue in a wicked and envious world, are finely noted here.
Adam meeting Orlando, after he had conquered the Ufurper's champion :
What! my young master? Oh, my gentle master,
Of old Sir Rowland! why, what make you here?