Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Thomas Lodge
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Rosalind: Euphues' Golden Legacy


PHOEBE'S REPLY TO MONTANUS' PASSION

387Down a down,
Thus Phyllis sung,
By fancy once distressed;
Whoso by foolish love are stung
Are worthily oppressed.
And so sing I. With a down, down, &c.

388When Love was first begot,
And by the mover's will
Did fall to human lot
His solace to fulfill,
Devoid of all deceit,
A chaste and holy fire
Did quicken man's conceit
And women's breast inspire.
The gods that saw the good
That mortals did approve,
With kind and holy mood
Began to talk of Love.

389Down a down,
Thus Phyllis sung
By fancy once distressed, &c.

390But during this accord,
A wonder strange to hear:
Whilst Love in deed and word
Most faithful did appear,
False-semblance came in place,
By Jealousy attended,
And with a double face
Both love and fancy blended;
Which made the gods forsake,
And men from fancy fly,
And maidens scorn a make,
Forsooth, and so will I.

391Down a down,
Thus Phyllis sung,
By fancy once distressed;
Who so by foolish love are stung
Are worthily oppressed.
And so sing I.
With down a down, a down down, a down a.

392Montanus, hearing the cruel resolution of Phoebe, was so overgrown with passions that from amorous ditties he fell flat into these terms:

393"Ah, Phoebe," quoth he, "whereof art thou made, that thou regardest not my malady? Am I so hateful an object that thine eyes condemn me for an abject? Or so base that thy desires cannot stoop so low as to lend me a gracious look? My passions are many, my loves more, my thoughts loyalty, and my fancy faith-- all devoted in humble devoir to the service of Phoebe; and shall I reap no reward for such fealties? The swain's daily labors is quit with the evening's hire; the ploughman's toil is eased with the hope of corn; what the ox sweats out at the plough he fatteneth at the crib; but infortunate Montanus hath no salve for his sorrows, nor any hope of recompense for the hazard of his perplexed passions. If, Phoebe, time may plead the proof of my truth, twice seven winters have I loved fair Phoebe; if constancy be a cause to further my suit, Montanus' thoughts have been sealed in the sweet of Phoebe's excellence as far from change as she from love; if outward passions may discover inward affections, the furrows in my face may decipher the sorrows of my heart and the map of my looks the griefs of my mind. Thou see'st, Phoebe, the tears of despair have made my cheeks full of wrinkles, and my scalding sighs have made the air echo her pity conceived in my plaints. Philomel, hearing my passions, hath left her mournful tunes to listen to the discourse of my miseries. I have portrayed in every tree the beauty of my mistress and the despair of my loves. What is it in the woods cannot witness my woes? And who is it would not pity my plaints? Only Phoebe. And why? Because I am Montanus, and she Phoebe: I a worthless swain, and she the most excellent of all fairies. Beautiful Phoebe! Oh, might I say pitiful, then happy were I, though I tasted but one minute of that good hap. Measure Montanus not by his fortunes but by his loves, and balance not his wealth but his desires, and lend but one gracious look to cure a heap of disquieted cares. If not, ah! if Phoebe cannot love, let a storm of frowns end the discontent of my thoughts, and so let me perish in my desires because they are above my deserts. Only at my death this favor cannot be denied me, that all shall say Montanus died for love of hard-hearted Phoebe."

394At these words she filled her face full of frowns and made him this short and sharp reply:

395"Importunate shepherd, whose loves are lawless because restless, are thy passions so extreme that thou canst not conceal them with patience? Or art thou so folly-sick that thou must needs be fancy-sick, and in thy affection tied to such an exigent as none serves but Phoebe? Well, sir, if your market may be made nowhere else, home again, for your mart is at the fairest. Phoebe is no lettuce for your lips, and her grapes hangs so high that, gaze at them you may, but touch them you cannot. Yet, Montanus, I speak not this in pride, but in disdain; not that I scorn thee, but that I hate love; for I count it as great honor to triumph over fancy as over fortune. Rest thee content, therefore, Montanus. Cease from thy loves and bridle thy looks; quench the sparkles before they grow to a further flame. For in loving me thou shalt live by loss, and what thou utterest in words are all written in the wind. Wert thou, Montanus, as fair as Paris, as hardy as Hector, as constant as Troilus, as loving as Leander, Phoebe could not love, because she cannot love at all. And therefore if thou pursue me with Phoebus, I must fly with Daphne."

396Ganymede, overhearing all these passions of Montanus, could not brook the cruelty of Phoebe, but, starting from behind the bush, said:

397"And if, damsel, you fled from me, I would transform you as Daphne to a bay, and then in contempt trample your branches under my feet."

398Phoebe at this sudden reply was amazed, especially when she saw so fair a swain as Ganymede; blushing therefore, she would have been gone, but that he held her by the hand, and prosecuted his reply thus:

399"What, shepherdess, so fair and so cruel? Disdain beseems not cottages, nor coyness maids; for either they be condemned to be too proud, or too froward. Take heed, fair nymph, that in despising love you be not overreached with love, and, in shaking off all, shape yourself to your own shadow, and so with Narcissus prove passionate and yet unpitied. Oft have I heard, and sometimes have I seen, high disdain turned to hot desires. Because thou art beautiful, be not so coy. As there is nothing more fair, so there is nothing more fading; as momentary as the shadows which grows from a cloudy sun. Such, my fair shepherdess, as disdain in youth desire in age, and then are they hated in the winter that might have been loved in the prime. A wrinkled maid is like to a parched rose, that is cast up in coffers to please the smell, not worn in the hand to content the eye. There is no folly in love to 'had I wist', and therefore be ruled by me. Love while thou art young, lest thou be disdained when thou art old. Beauty nor time cannot be recalled, and, if thou love, like of Montanus; for if his desires are many, so his deserts are great."

400Phoebe all this while gazed on the perfection of Ganymede, as deeply enamored on his perfection as Montanus inveigled with hers; for her eye made survey of his excellent feature, which she found so rare that she thought the ghost of Adonis had been leaped from Elysium in the shape of a swain. When she blushed at her own folly to look so long on a stranger, she mildly made answer to Ganymede thus:

401"I cannot deny, sir, but I have heard of Love, though I never felt love; and have read of such a goddess as Venus, though I never saw any but her picture; and perhaps"--and with that she waxed red and bashful, and withal silent; which Ganymede perceiving, commended in herself the bashfulness of the maid, and desired her to go forward.

402"And perhaps, sir," quoth she, "mine eye hath been more prodigal today than ever before"--and with that she stayed again, as one greatly passionate and perplexed.

403Aliena, seeing the hare through the maze, bade her forward with her prattle, but in vain; for at this abrupt period she broke off, and, with her eyes full of tears and her face covered with a vermilion dye, she sat down and sighed. Whereupon Aliena and Ganymede, seeing the shepherdess in such a strange plight, left Phoebe with her Montanus, wishing her friendly that she would be more pliant to Love, lest in penance Venus joined her to some sharp repentance. Phoebe made no reply, but fetched such a sigh that Echo made relation of her plaint, giving Ganymede such an adieu with a piercing glance that the amorous girl-boy perceived Phoebe was pinched by the heel.

404But leaving Phoebe to the follies of her new fancy, and Montanus to attend upon her, to Saladin, who all this last night could not rest for the remembrance of Aliena, insomuch that he framed a sweet conceited sonnet to content his humor, which he put in his bosom, being requested by his brother Rosader to go to Aliena and Ganymede to signify unto them that his wounds were not dangerous. A more happy message could not happen to Saladin, that, taking his forest bill on his neck, he trudgeth in all haste towards the plains where Aliena's flocks did feed, coming just to the place when they returned from Montanus and Phoebe. Fortune so conducted this jolly forester that he encountered them and Corydon, whom he presently saluted in this manner:

405"Fair shepherdess, and too fair, unless your beauty be tempered with courtesy and the lineaments of the face graced with the lowliness of mind, as many good fortunes to you and your page as yourselves can desire or I imagine. My brother Rosader, in the grief of his green wounds still mindful of his friends, hath sent me to you with a kind salute, to show that he brooks his pains with the more patience, in that he holds the parties precious in whose defense he received the prejudice. The report of your welfare will be a great comfort to his distempered body and distressed thoughts, and therefore he sent me with a strict charge to visit you."

406"And you," quoth Aliena, "are the more welcome in that you are messenger from so kind a gentleman, whose pains we compassionate with as great sorrow as he brooks them with grief; and his wounds breeds in us as many passions as in him extremities, so that what disquiet he feels in body we partake in heart, wishing, if we might, that our mishap might salve his malady. But seeing our wills yields him little ease, our orisons are never idle to the gods for his recovery."

407"I pray, youth," quoth Ganymede with tears in his eyes, "when the surgeon searched him, held he his wounds dangerous?"

408"Dangerous," quoth Saladin, "but, not mortal; and the sooner to be cured, in that his patient is not impatient of any pains; whereupon my brother hopes within these ten days to walk abroad and visit you himself."

409"In the meantime," quoth Ganymede, "say his Rosalind commends her to him and bids him be of good cheer."

410"I know not," quoth Saladin, "who that Rosalind is, but whatsoever she is, her name is never out of his mouth, but amidst the deepest of his passions he useth Rosalind as a charm to appease all sorrows with patience. Insomuch that I conjecture my brother is in love and she some paragon that holds his heart perplexed, whose name he oft records with sighs, sometimes with tears, straight with joy, then with smiles, as if in one person Love had lodged a chaos of confused passions. Wherein I have noted the variable disposition of fancy, that, like the polyp in colors, so it changeth into sundry humors, being, as it should seem, a combat mixed with disquiet and a bitter pleasure wrapped in a sweet prejudice, like to the sinople tree, whose blossoms delight the smell and whose fruit infects the taste."

411"By my faith," quoth Aliena, "sir, you are deep read in love, or grows your insight into affection by experience? Howsoever, you are a great philosopher in Venus's principles, else could you not discover her secret aphorisms. But, sir, our country amours are not like your courtly fancies, nor is our wooing like your suing. For poor shepherds never plain them till love pain them, where the courtier's eyes is full of passions when his heart is most free from affection. They court to discover their eloquence; we woo to ease our sorrows. Every fair face with them must have a new fancy sealed with a forefinger kiss and a far-fetched sigh; we here love one and live to that one so long as life can maintain love, using few ceremonies because we know few subtleties and little eloquence for that we lightly account of flattery. Only faith and troth: that's shepherd's wooing. And, sir, how like you of this?"

412"So," quoth Saladin, "as I could tie myself to such love."

413"What, and look so low as a shepherdess, being the son of Sir John of Bordeaux? Such desires were a disgrace to your honors." And with that, surveying exquisitely every part of him, as uttering all these words in a deep passion, she espied the paper in his bosom; whereupon, growing jealous that it was some amorous sonnet, she suddenly snatched it out of his bosom and asked if it were any secret. She was bashful, and Saladin blushed, which she perceiving, said:

414"Nay, then, sir, if you wax red, my life for yours 'tis some love-matter. I will see your mistress' name, her praises, and your passions." And with that she looked on it, which was written to this effect: