Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Thomas Lodge
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Rosalind: Euphues' Golden Legacy


SALADIN'S COMPLAINT

185"Unhappy Saladin, whom folly hath led to these misfortunes and wanton desires wrapped within the labyrinth of these calamities! Are not the heavens doomers of men's deeds? And holds not God a balance in his fist, to reward with favor and revenge with justice? O Saladin, the faults of thy youth, as they were fond, so were they foul, and not only discovering little nurture but blemishing the excellence of nature. Whelps of one litter are ever most loving, and brothers that are sons of one father should live in friendship without jar. O Saladin, so it should be! But thou hast with the deer fed against the wind, with the crab strove against the stream, and sought to pervert nature by unkindness. Rosader's wrongs, the wrongs of Rosader, Saladin, cries for revenge; his youth pleads to God to inflict some penance upon thee; his virtues are pleas that enforce writs of displeasure to cross thee. Thou hast highly abused thy kind and natural brother, and the heavens cannot spare to quite thee with punishment. There is no sting to the worm of conscience, no hell to a mind touched with guilt. Every wrong I offered him, called now to remembrance, wringeth a drop of blood from my heart. Every bad look, every frown pincheth me at the quick, and says, 'Saladin thou hast sinned against Rosader.' Be penitent, and assign thyself some penance to discover thy sorrow, and pacify his wrath."

186In the depth of his passion, he was sent for to the King, who, with a look that threatened death, entertained him, and demanded of him where his brother was. Saladin made answer that, upon some riot made against the sheriff of the shire, he was fled from Bordeaux, but he knew not whither.

187"Nay, villain," quoth he, "I have heard of the wrongs thou hast proffered thy brother since the death of thy father, and by thy means have I lost a most brave and resolute chevalier. Therefore, in justice to punish thee, I spare thy life for thy father's sake, but banish thee forever from the court and country of France; and see thy departure be within ten days, else, trust me, thou shalt lose thy head."

188And with that the King flew away in a rage and left poor Saladin greatly perplexed, who, grieving at his exile yet determined to bear it with patience, and in penance of his former follies, to travel abroad in every coast till he had found out his brother Rosader. With whom now I begin.

189Rosader, being thus preferred to the place of a forester by Gerismond, rooted out the remembrance of his brother's unkindness by continual exercise, traversing the groves and wild forests, partly to hear the melody of the sweet birds which recorded, and partly to show his diligent endeavor in his master's behalf. Yet whatsoever he did, or howsoever he walked, the lively image of Rosalind remained in memory; on her sweet perfections he fed his thoughts, proving himself like the eagle a true-born bird, since as the one is known by beholding the sun, so was he by regarding excellent beauty. One day among the rest, finding a fit opportunity and place convenient, desirous to discover his woes to the woods, he engraved with his knife on the bark of a myrtle tree this pretty estimate of his mistress' perfection: