Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Thomas Lodge
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Rosalind: Euphues' Golden Legacy


ROSALIND

6There dwelled adjoining to the city of Bordeaux a knight of most honorable parentage, whom fortune had graced with many favors and nature honored with sundry exquisite qualities, so beautified with the excellence of both as it was a question whether fortune or nature were more prodigal in deciphering the riches of their bounties. Wise he was, as holding in his head a supreme conceit of policy, reaching with Nestor into the depth of all civil government; and, to make his wisdom more gracious, he had that salem ingenii and pleasant eloquence that was so highly commended in Ulysses. His valor was no less than his wit, nor the stroke of his lance no less forcible than the sweetness of his tongue was persuasive, for he was, for his courage, chosen the principal of all the Knights of Malta. This hardy knight, thus enriched with virtue and honor, surnamed Sir John of Bordeaux, having passed the prime of his youth in sundry battles against the Turks, at last, as the date of time hath his course, grew aged. His hairs were silver-hued, and the map of age was figured on his forehead; honor sat in the furrows of his face, and many years were portrayed in his wrinkled lineaments, that all men might perceive his glass was run, and that nature of necessity challenged her due. Sir John, that with the Phoenix knew the term of his life was now expired, and could, with the swan, discover his end by her songs, having three sons by his wife Lynida, the very pride of all his forepast years, thought now, seeing death by constraint would compel him to leave them, to bestow upon them such a legacy as might bewray his love and increase their ensuing amity. Calling, therefore, these young gentlemen before him, in the presence of all his fellow Knights of Malta, he resolved to leave them a memorial of all his fatherly care in setting down a method of their brotherly duties. Having therefore death in his looks to move them to pity and tears in his eyes to paint out the depth of his passions, taking his eldest son by the hand, he began thus: