Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Thomas Lodge
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Rosalind: Euphues' Golden Legacy


MONTANUS' SONNET

158Phoebe sat,
Sweet she sat,
Sweet sat Phoebe when I saw her;
White her brow,
Coy her eye.
Brow and eye how much you please me!
Words I spent,
Sighs I sent;
Sighs and words could never draw her.
O my love,
Thou art lost,
Since no sight could ever ease thee.

159Phoebe sat
By a fount;
Sitting by a fount I spied her.
Sweet her touch,
Rare her voice.
Touch and voice what may distain you?
As she sung
I did sigh,
And by sighs whilst that I tried her,
O mine eyes!
You did lose
Her first sight whose want did pain you.

160Phoebe's flocks,
White as wool,
Yet were Phoebe's locks more whiter.
Phoebe's eyes
Dovelike mild;
Dovelike eyes, both mild and cruel.
Montan swears
In your lamps
He will die for to delight her.
Phoebe, yield,
Or I die.
Shall true hearts be fancy's fuel?

161Montanus had no sooner ended his sonnet but Corydon, with a low courtesy, rose up and went with his fellow, and shut their sheep in the folds, and, after returning to Aliena and Ganymede, conducted them home weary to his poor cottage. By the way there was much good chat with Montanus about his loves, he resolving Aliena that Phoebe was the fairest shepherdess in all France, and that in his eye her beauty was equal with the nymphs.

162"But," quoth he, "as of all stones the diamond is most clearest and yet most hard for the lapidary to cut; as of all flowers the rose is the fairest and yet guarded with the sharpest prickles: so of all our country lasses Phoebe is the brightest, but the most coy of all to stoop unto desire. But let her take heed," quoth he, "I have heard of Narcissus, who for his high disdain against Love perished in the folly of his own love."

163With this they were at Corydon's cottage, where Montanus parted from them, and they went in to rest. Aliena and Ganymede, glad of so contented a shelter, made merry with the poor swain; and though they had but country fare and coarse lodging, yet their welcome was so great, and their cares so little, that they counted their diet delicate, and slept as soundly as if they had been in the court of Torismond. The next morn they lay long in bed, as wearied with the toil of unaccustomed travel; but as soon as they got up, Aliena resolved there to set up her rest, and by the help of Corydon swept a bargain with his landslord, and so became mistress of the farm and the flock, herself putting on the attire of a shepherdess, and Ganymede of a young swain, every day leading forth her flocks with such delight that she held her exile happy and thought no content to the bliss of a country cottage. Leaving her thus famous amongst the shepherds of Arden, again to Saladin.

164When Saladin had a long while concealed a secret resolution of revenge, and could no longer hide fire in the flax nor oil in the flame--for envy is like lightning, that will appear in the darkest fog--it chanced on a morning very early he called up certain of his servants and went with them to the chamber of Rosader, which being open, he entered with his crew and surprised his brother being asleep, and bound him in fetters, and in the midst of his hall chained him to a post. Rosader, amazed at this strange chance, began to reason with his brother about the cause of this sudden extremity, wherein he had wronged, and what fault he had committed worthy so sharp a penance. Saladin answered him only with a look of disdain, and went his way, leaving poor Rosader in a deep perplexity, who, thus abused, fell into sundry passions, but no means of relief could be had, whereupon for anger he grew into a discontented melancholy. In which humor he continued two or three days without meat, insomuch that, seeing his brother would give him no food, he fell into despair of his life. Which Adam Spencer, the old servant of Sir John of Bordeaux, seeing, touched with the duty and love he ought to his old master, felt a remorse in his conscience of his son's mishap; and therefore, although Saladin had given a general charge to his servants that none of them upon pain of death should give either meat or drink to Rosader, yet Adam Spencer in the night rose secretly, and brought him such victuals as he could provide, and unlocked him, and set him at liberty. After Rosader had well feasted himself, and felt he was loose, straight his thoughts aimed at revenge; and now, all being asleep, he would have quit Saladin with the method of his own mischief. But Adam Spencer did persuade him to the contrary with these reasons:

165"Sir," quoth he, "be content. For this night go again into your old fetters; so shall you try the faith of friends and save the life of an old servant. Tomorrow hath your brother invited all your kindred and allies to a solemn breakfast, only to see you, telling them all that you are mad, and fain to be tied to a post. As soon as they come, complain to them of the abuse proffered you by Saladin. If they redress you, why so: but if they pass over your plaints sicco pede and hold with the violence of your brother before your innocence, then thus: I will leave you unlocked that you may break out at your pleasure, and at the end of the hall shall you see stand a couple of good poleaxes, one for you and another for me. When I give you a wink, shake off your chains, and let us play the men and make havoc amongst them, drive them out of the house and maintain possession by force of arms till the King hath made a redress of your abuses."

166These words of Adam Spencer so persuaded Rosader that he went to the place of his punishment and stood there while the next morning. About the time appointed came all the guests bidden by Saladin, whom he entreated with courteous and curious entertainment, as they all perceived their welcome to be great. The tables in the hall where Rosader was tied were covered, and Saladin, bringing in his guests together, showed them where his brother was bound and was enchained as a man lunatic. Rosader made reply, and with some invectives made complaints of the wrongs proffered him by Saladin, desiring they would in pity seek some means for his relief. But in vain; they had stopped their ears with Ulysses, that, were his words never so forceable, he breathed only his passions into the wind. They, careless, sat down with Saladin to dinner, being very frolic and pleasant, washing their heads well with wine. At last, when the fume of the grape had entered pell-mell into their brains, they began in satirical speeches to rail against Rosader, which Adam Spencer, no longer brooking, gave the sign, and Rosader, shaking off his chains, got a poleax in his hand and flew amongst them with such violence and fury that he hurt many, slew some, and drave his brother and the rest quite out of the house. Seeing the coast clear he shut the doors, and, being sore anhungered and seeing such good victuals, he sat him down with Adam Spencer and such good fellows as he knew were honest men, and there feasted themselves with such provision as Saladin had prepared for his friends. After they had taken their repast, Rosader rampired up the house, lest upon a sudden his brother should raise some crew of his tenants and surprise them unawares. But Saladin took a contrary course, and went to the sheriff of the shire and made complaint of Rosader, who, giving credit to Saladin, in a determined resolution to revenge the gentleman's wrongs, took with him five-and-twenty tall men, and made a vow either to break into the house and take Rosader or else to coop him in till he made him yield by famine. In this determination, gathering a crew together, he went forward to set Saladin in his former estate. News of this was brought unto Rosader, who, smiling at the cowardice of his brother, brooked all the injuries of fortune with patience, expecting the coming of the sheriff. As he walked upon the battlements of the house, he descried where Saladin and he drew near, with a troop of lusty gallants. At this he smiled, and called Adam Spencer, and showed him the envious treachery of his brother and the folly of the sheriff to be so credulous.

167"Now, Adam," quoth he, "what shall I do? It rests for me either to yield up the house to my brother and seek a reconcilement or else issue out and break through the company with courage, for cooped in like a coward I will not be. If I submit (ah, Adam!) I dishonor myself, and that is worse than death, for by such open disgraces the fame of men grows odious. If I issue out amongst them, fortune may favor me, and I may escape with life. But suppose the worst: if I be slain, then my death shall be honorable to me, and so inequal a revenge infamous to Saladin."

168"Why then, master, forward and fear not! Out amongst them; they be but faint-hearted losels, and, for Adam Spencer, if he die not at your foot, say he is a dastard."

169These words cheered up so the heart of young Rosader that he thought himself sufficient for them all, and therefore prepared weapons for him and Adam Spencer, and were ready to entertain the sheriff; for no sooner came Saladin and he to the gates, but Rosader, unlooked for, leaped out and assailed them, wounded many of them, and caused the rest to give back, so that Adam and he broke through the press in despite of them all and took their way towards the forest of Arden. This repulse so set the sheriff's heart on fire to revenge that he straight raised all the country and made hue and cry after them. But Rosader and Adam, knowing full well the secret ways that led through the vineyards, stole away privily through the province of Bordeaux and escaped safe to the Forest of Arden. Being come thither, they were glad they had so good a harbor. But Fortune, who is like the chameleon, variable with every object and constant in nothing but inconstancy, thought to make them mirrors of her mutability, and therefore still crossed them thus contrarily. Thinking still to pass on by the by-ways to get to Lyons, they chanced on a path that led into the thick of the forest, where they wandered five or six days without meat, that they were almost famished, finding neither shepherd nor cottage to relieve them; and hunger growing on so extreme, Adam Spencer, being old, began first to faint, and, sitting him down on a hill and looking about him, espied where Rosader lay as feeble and as ill perplexed, which sight made him shed tears, and to fall into these bitter terms: