Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Thomas Lodge
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Rosalind: Euphues' Golden Legacy


ALINDA'S ORATION TO HER FATHER IN DEFENSE OF FAIR ROSALIND

63"If, mighty Torismond, I offend in pleading for my friend, let the law of amity crave pardon for my boldness, for where there is depth of affection, there friendship alloweth a privilege. Rosalind and I have been fostered up from our infancies and nursed under the harbor of our conversing together with such private familiarities that custom had wrought an union of our nature, and the sympathy of our affections such a secret love that we have two bodies and one soul. Then marvel not, great Torismond, if, seeing my friend distressed, I find myself perplexed with a thousand sorrows; for her virtuous and honorable thoughts, which are the glories that maketh women excellent, they be such as may challenge love and rase out suspicion. Her obedience to Your Majesty I refer to the censure of your own eye, that since her father's exile hath smothered all griefs with patience, and in the absence of nature hath honored you with all duty as her own father by nouriture, not in word uttering any discontent, nor in thought, as far as conjecture may reach, hammering on revenge; only in all her actions seeking to please you and to win my favor. Her wisdom, silence, chastity, and other such rich qualities I need not decipher; only it rests for me to conclude in one word, that she is innocent. If, then, Fortune, who triumphs in a variety of miseries, hath presented some envious person as minister of her intended stratagem to taint Rosalind with any surmise of treason, let him be brought to her face and confirm his accusation by witnesses; which proved, let her die, and Alinda will execute the massacre. If none can avouch any confirmed relation of her intent, use justice, my lord--it is the glory of a king--and let her live in your wonted favor; for if you banish her, myself, as copartner of her hard fortunes, will participate in exile some part of her extremities."

64Torismond, at this speech of Alinda, covered his face with such a frown as tyranny seemed to sit triumphant in his forehead, and checked her up with such taunts as made the lords, that only were hearers, to tremble.

65"Proud girl," quoth he, "hath my looks made thee so light of tongue, or my favors encouraged thee to be so forward, that thou darest presume to preach after thy father? Hath not my years more experience than thy youth, and the winter of mine age deeper insight into civil policy, than the prime of thy flourishing days? The old lion avoids the toils where the young one leaps into the net; the care of age is provident and foresees much; suspicion is a virtue where a man holds his enemy in his bosom. Thou, fond girl, measurest all by present affection, and, as thy heart loves, thy thoughts censure; but if thou knewest that in liking Rosalind thou hatchest up a bird to peck out thine own eyes, thou wouldst entreat as much for her absence as now thou delightest in her presence. But why do I allege policy to thee? Sit you down, huswife, and fall to your needle. If idleness make you so wanton, or liberty so malapert, I can quickly tie you to a sharper task.--And you, maid,, this night be packing, either into Arden to your father or whither best it shall content your humor, but in the court you shall not abide."

66This rigorous reply of Torismond nothing amazed Alinda, for still she prosecuted her plea in the defense of Rosalind, wishing her father, if his censure might not be reversed, that he would appoint her partner of her exile; which if he refused to do, either she would by some secret means steal out and follow her, or else end her days with some desperate kind of death. When Torismond heard his daughter so resolute, his heart was so hardened against her that he set down a definite and peremptory sentence that they should both be banished, which presently was done, the tyrant rather choosing to hazard the loss of his only child than anyways to put in question the state of his kingdom, so suspicious and fearful is the conscience of an usurper. Well, although his lords persuaded him to retain his own daughter, yet his resolution might not be reversed, but both of them must away from the court without either more company or delay. In he went with great melancholy, and left these two ladies alone. Rosalind waxed very sad, and sat down and wept. Alinda she smiled, and sitting by her friend began thus to comfort her:

n="11">

ALINDA'S COMFORT TO PERPLEXED ROSALIND

67"Why, how now, Rosalind, dismayed with a frown of contrary fortune? Have I not oft heard thee say that high minds were discovered in Fortune's contempt and heroical scene in the depth of extremities? Thou wert wont to tell others that complained of distress that the sweetest salve for misery was patience and the only medicine for want that precious emplaster of content. Being such a good physician to others, wilt thou not minister receipts to thyself? But perchance thou wilt say:

68

Consulenti nunquam caput doluit.

69Why, then, if the patients that are sick of this disease can find in themselves neither reason to persuade nor art to cure, yet, Rosalind, admit of the counsel of a friend, and apply the salves that may appease thy passions. If thou grievest that being the daughter of a prince, and envy thwarteth thee with such hard exigents, think that royalty is a fair mark: that crowns have crosses when mirth is in cottages; that the fairer the rose is, the sooner it is bitten with caterpillars; the more orient the pearl is, the more apt to take a blemish; and the greatest birth, as it hath most honor, so it hath much envy. If then fortune aimeth at the fairest, be patient, Rosalind, for, first, by thine exile thou goest to thy father; nature is higher prized than wealth, and the love of one's parents ought to be more precious than all dignities. Why then doth my Rosalind grieve at the frown of Torismond, who, by offering her a prejudice, proffers her a greater pleasure? And more, mad lass, to be melancholy, when thou hast with thee Alinda, a friend who will be a faithful copartner of all thy misfortunes, who hath left her father to follow thee, and chooseth rather to brook all extremities than to forsake thy presence? What, Rosalind,

70

Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris.

71Cheerly, woman! As we have been bed-fellows in royalty, we will be fellow-mates in poverty. I will ever be thy Alinda, and thou shalt ever rest to me Rosalind; so shall the world canonize our friendship, and speak of Rosalind and Alinda as they did of Pylades and Orestes. And if ever fortune smile and we return to our former honor, then, folding ourselves in the sweet of our friendship, we shall merrily say, calling to mind our forepast miseries:

72

Olim haec meminisse juvabit.

73At this Rosalind began to comfort her, and, after she had wept a few kind tears in the bosom of her Alinda, she gave her hearty thanks, and then they sat them down to consult how they should travel. Alinda grieved at nothing but that they might have no man in their company, saying it would be their greatest prejudice in that two women went wandering without either guide or attendant.

74"Tush," quoth Rosalind, "art thou a woman, and hast not a sudden shift to prevent a misfortune? I, thou see'st, am of a tall stature, and would very well become the person and apparel of a page; thou shalt be my mistress, and I will play the man so properly that, trust me, in what company soever I come I will not be discovered. I will buy me a suit, and have my rapier very handsomely at my side, and if any knave offer wrong, your page will show him the point of his weapon."

75At this Alinda smiled, and upon this they agreed, and presently gathered up all their jewels, which they trussed up in a casket, and Rosalind in all haste provided her of robes, and Alinda, from her royal weeds put herself in more homelike attire. Thus fitted to the purpose, away go these two friends, having now changed their names, Alinda being called Aliena, and Rosalind Ganymede. They traveled along the vineyards, and by many by-ways at last got to the forest side, where they traveled by the space of two or three days without seeing any creature, being often in danger of wild beasts and pained with many passionate sorrows. Now the black ox began to tread on their feet, and Alinda thought of her wonted royalty; but when she cast her eyes on her Rosalind, she thought every danger a step to honor. Passing thus on along, about midday they came to a fountain, compassed with a grove of cypress trees, so cunningly and curiously planted as if some goddess had entreated nature in that place to make her an arbor. By this fountain sat Aliena and her Ganymede, and forth they pulled such victuals as they had, and fed as merrily as if they had been in Paris with all the King's delicates, Aliena only grieving that they could not so much as meet with a shepherd to discourse them the way to some place where they might make their abode. At last Ganymede, casting up his eye, espied where on a tree was engraven certain verses, which, as soon as he espied, he cried out:

76"Be of good cheer, mistress, I spy the figures of men; for here in these trees be engraven certain verses of shepherds or some other swains that inhabit hereabout."

77With that Aliena start up joyful to hear these news, and looked, where they found carved in the bark of a pine tree this passion: