Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Thomas Lodge
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Rosalind: Euphues' Golden Legacy


SALADIN'S MEDITATION WITH HIMSELF

18"Saladin, how art thou disquieted in thy thoughts and perplexed with a world of restless passions, having thy mind troubled with the tenor of thy father's testament and thy heart fired with the hope of present preferment! By the one thou art counseled to content thee with thy fortunes, by the other persuaded to aspire to higher wealth. Riches, Saladin, is a great royalty, and there is no sweeter physic than store. Avicen, like a fool, forgot in his Aphorisms to say that gold was the most precious restorative and that treasure was the most excellent medicine of the mind. O Saladin, what, were thy father's precepts breathed into the wind? Hast thou so soon forgotten his principles? Did he not warn thee from coveting without honor and climbing without virtue? Did he not forbid thee to aim at any action that should not be honorable? And what will be more prejudicial to thy credit than the careless ruin of thy brothers' welfare? Why, shouldst not thou be the pillar of thy brothers' prosperity? And wilt thou become the subversion of their fortunes? Is there any sweeter thing than concord, or a more precious jewel than amity? Are you not sons of one father, scions of one tree, birds of one nest, and wilt thou become so unnatural as to rob them, whom thou shouldst relieve? No, Saladin, entreat them with favors and entertain them with love; so shalt thou have thy conscience clear and thy renown excellent. Tush, what words are these, base fool, far unfit (if thou be wise) for thy humor? What though thy father at his death talked of many frivolous matters, as one that doted for age and raved in his sickness. Shall his words be axioms, and his talk be so authentical, that thou wilt, to observe them, prejudice thyself? No, no, Saladin, sick men's wills, that are parole and have neither hand nor seal, are like the laws of a city written in dust, which are broken with the blast of every wind. What, man, thy father is dead, and he can neither help thy fortunes nor measure thy actions. Therefore, bury his words with his carcass and be wise for thyself. What, 'tis not so old as true,

19

Non sapit, qui sibi non sapit.

20Thy brother is young. Keep him now in awe; make him not checkmate with thyself, for

21

Nimia familiaritas contemptum parit.

22Let him know little; so shall he not be able to execute much. Suppress his wits with a base estate, and, though he be a gentleman by nature, yet form him anew and make him a peasant by nurture. So shalt thou keep him as a slave and reign thyself sole lord over all thy father's possessions. As for Fernandin, thy middle brother, he is a scholar and hath no mind but on Aristotle. Let him read on Galen while thou riflest with gold, and pore on his book till thou dost purchase lands. Wit is great wealth; if he have learning, it is enough. And so let all rest."

23In this humor was Saladin, making his brother Rosader his footboy for the space of two or three years, keeping him in such servile subjection as if he had been the son of any country vassal. The young gentleman bare all with patience, till on a day, walking in the garden by himself, he began to consider how he was the son of John of Bordeaux, a knight renowned for many victories and a gentleman famoused for his virtues; how, contrary to the testament of his father, he was not only kept from his land and entreated as a servant, but smothered in such secret slavery as he might not attain to any honorable actions.

24"Ah," quoth he to himself, nature working these effectual passions, "why should I, that am a gentleman born, pass my time in such unnatural drudgery? Were it not better either in Paris to become a scholar, or in the court a courtier, or in the field a soldier, than to live a footboy to my own brother? Nature hath lent me wit to conceive, but my brother denied me art to contemplate. I have strength to perform any honorable exploit, but no liberty to accomplish my virtuous endeavors. Those good parts that God hath bestowed upon me, the envy of my brother doth smother in obscurity; the harder is my fortune, and the more his frowardness."

25With that, casting up his hand, he felt hair on his face, and, perceiving his beard to bud, for choler he began to blush, and swore to himself he would be no more subject to such slavery. As thus he was ruminating of his melancholy passions, in came Saladin with his men, and, seeing his brother in a brown study and to forget his wonted reverence, thought to shake him out of his dumps thus:

26"Sirrah," quoth he, "what, is your heart on your halfpenny, or are you saying a dirge for your father's soul? What, is my dinner ready?"

27At this question, Rosader, turning his head askance and bending his brows as if anger there had ploughed the furrows of her wrath, with his eyes full of fire, he made this reply:

28"Dost thou ask me, Saladin, for thy cates? Ask some of thy churls, who are fit for such an office. I am thine equal by nature, though not by birth, and, though thou hast more cards in the bunch, I have as many trumps in my hands as thyself. Let me question with thee why thou hast felled my woods, spoiled my manor houses, and made havoc of such utensils as my father bequeathed unto me? I tell thee, Saladin, either answer me as a brother, or I will trouble thee as an enemy."

29At this reply of Rosader's Saladin smiled as laughing at his presumption, and frowned, as checking his folly. He therefore took him up thus shortly:

30"What, sirrah! Well, I see early pricks the tree that will prove a thorn. Hath my familiar conversing with you made you coy, or my good looks drawn you to be thus contemptuous? I can quickly remedy such a fault, and I will bend the tree while it is a wand. In faith, sir boy, I have a snaffle for such a headstrong colt.--You, sirs, lay hold on him and bind him, and then I will give him a cooling card for his choler."

31This made Rosader half mad, that, stepping to a great rake that stood in the garden, he laid such load upon his brother's men that he hurt some of them and made the rest of them run away. Saladin, seeing Rosader so resolute and with his resolution so valiant, thought his heels his best safety, and took him to a loft adjoining to the garden, whither Rosader pursued him hotly. Saladin, afraid of his brother's fury, cried out to him thus:

32"Rosader, be not so rash. I am thy brother and thine elder, and if I have done thee wrong I'll make thee amends. Revenge not anger in blood, for so shalt thou stain the virtue of old Sir John of Bordeaux. Say wherein thou art discontent, and thou shalt be satisfied. Brothers' frowns ought not to be periods of wrath. What, man, look not so sourly. I know we shall be friends, and better friends than we have been, for, Amantium ira amoris redintegratio est."

33These words appeased the choler of Rosader, for he was of a mild and courteous nature, so that he laid down his weapons, and, upon the faith of a gentleman, assured his brother he would offer him no prejudice, whereupon Saladin came down, and after a little parley they embraced each other and became friends, and Saladin promising Rosader the restitution of all his lands, "and what favor else," quoth he, "any ways my ability or the nature of a brother may perform." Upon these sugared reconciliations they went into the house arm in arm together, to the great content of all the old servants of Sir John of Bordeaux.

34Thus continued the pad hidden in the straw, till it chanced that Torismond, King of France, had appointed for his pleasure a day of wrestling and of tournament to busy his commons' heads, lest, being idle, their thoughts should run upon more serious matters and call to remembrance their old banished king. A champion there was to stand against all comers, a Norman, a man of tall stature and of great strength, so valiant that in many such conflicts he always bare away the victory, not only overthrowing them which he encountered, but often with the weight of his body killing them outright. Saladin hearing of this, thinking now not to let the ball fall to the ground but to take opportunity by the forehead, first by secret means convented with the Norman, and procured him with rich rewards to swear that if Rosader came within his claws he should never more return to quarrel with Saladin for his possessions. The Norman, desirous of pelf--as Quis nisi mentis inops oblatum respuit aurum?--taking great gifts for little gods, took the crowns of Saladin to perform the stratagem.

35Having thus the champion tied to his villainous determination by oath, he prosecuted the intent of his purpose thus. He went to young Rosader, who in all his thoughts reached at honor and gazed no lower than virtue commanded him, and began to tell him of this tournament and wrestling, how the King should be there and all the chief peers of France, with all the beautiful damosels of the country.

36"Now, brother," quoth he, "for the honor of Sir John of Bordeaux, our renowmed father, to famous that house that never hath been found without men approved in chivalry, show thy resolution to be peremptory. For myself, thou knowest, though I am eldest by birth, yet never having attempted any deeds of arms, I am youngest to perform any martial exploits, knowing better how to survey my lands than to charge my lance. My brother Fernandin he is at Paris poring on a few papers, having more insight into sophistry and principles of philosophy than any warlike endeavors; but thou, Rosader, the youngest in years but the eldest in valor, art a man of strength and darest do what honor allows thee. Take thou my father's lance, his sword, and his horse, and hie thee to the tournament, and either there valiantly crack a spear or try with the Norman for the palm of activity."

37The words of Saladin were but spurs to a free horse, for he had scarce uttered them ere Rosader took him in his arms, taking his proffer so kindly that he promised in what he might to requite his courtesy. The next morrow was the day of the tournament, and Rosader was so desirous to show his heroical thoughts that he passed the night with little sleep; but as soon as Phoebus had vailed the curtain of the night and made Aurora blush with giving her the bezo les labres in her silver couch, he gat him up and, taking his leave of his brother, mounted himself towards the place appointed, thinking every mile ten leagues till he came there.

38But, leaving him so desirous of the journey, to Torismond, the King of France, who, having by force banished Gerismond, their lawful king, that lived as an outlaw in the forest of Arden, sought now by all means to keep the French busied with all sports that might breed their content. Amongst the rest he had appointed this solemn tournament, whereunto he in most solemn manner resorted, accompanied with the twelve peers of France, who, rather for fear than love, graced him with the show of their dutiful favors. To feed their eyes, and to make the beholders pleased with the sight of most rare and glistering objects, he had appointed his own daughter Alinda to be there, and the fair Rosalind, daughter unto Gerismond, with all the beautiful damosels that were famous for their features in all France. Thus in that place did love and war triumph in a sympathy; for such as were martial might use their lance to be renowmed for the excellence of their chivalry, and such as were amorous might glut themselves with gazing on the beauties of most heavenly creatures. As every man's eye had his several survey, and fancy was partial in their looks, yet all in general applauded the admirable riches that nature bestowed on the face of Rosalind; for upon her cheeks there seemed a battle between the Graces, who should bestow most favors to make her excellent. The blush that gloried Luna, when she kissed the shepherd on the hills of Latmos, was not tainted with such a pleasant dye as the vermilion flourished on the silver hue of Rosalind's countenance. Her eyes were like those lamps that make the wealthy covert of the heavens more gorgeous, sparkling favor and disdain, courteous and yet coy, as if in them Venus had placed all her amorets, and Diana all her chastity. The trammels of her hair, folded in a caul of gold, so far surpassed the burnished glister of the metal as the sun doth the meanest star in brightness; the tresses that folds in the brows of Apollo were not half so rich to the sight, for in her hairs it seemed Love had laid herself in ambush to entrap the proudest eye that durst gaze upon their excellence. What should I need to decipher her particular beauties, when by the censure of all she was the paragon of all earthly perfection? This Rosalind sat, I say, with Alinda as a beholder of these sports, and made the cavaliers crack their lances with more courage. Many deeds of knighthood that day were performed, and many prizes were given according to their several deserts.

39At last, when the tournament ceased, the wrestling began, and the Norman presented himself as a challenger against all comers, but he looked like Hercules when he advanced himself against Achelous, so that the fury of his countenance amazed all that durst attempt to encounter with him in any deed of activity; till at last a lusty franklin of the country came with two tall men that were his sons, of good lineaments and comely personage. The eldest of these, doing his obeisance to the King, entered the list and presented himself to the Norman, who straight coped with him, and, as a man that would triumph in the glory of his strength, roused himself with such fury that not only he gave him the fall, but killed him with the weight of his corpulent personage. Which the younger brother seeing, leaped presently into the place, and, thirsty after the revenge, assailed the Norman with such valor that at the first encounter he brought him to his knees, which repulsed so the Norman that, recovering himself, fear of disgrace doubling his strength, he stepped so sternly to the young franklin that, taking him up in his arms, he threw him against the ground so violently that he broke his neck and so ended his days with his brother. At this unlooked-for massacre the people murmured, and were all in a deep passion of pity; but the franklin, father unto these, never changed his countenance, but as a man of a courageous resolution took up the bodies of his sons without show of outward discontent.

40All this while stood Rosader and saw this tragedy; who, noting the undoubted virtue of the franklin's mind, alighted off from his horse and presently sat down on the grass and commanded his boy to pull off his boots, making him ready to try the strength of this champion. Being furnished as he would, he clapped the franklin on the shoulder and said thus:

41"Bold yeoman, whose sons have ended the term of their years with honor, for that I see thou scornest fortune with patience and thwartest the injury of fate with content in brooking the death of thy sons, stand awhile, and either see me make a third in their tragedy or else revenge their fall with an honorable triumph."

42The franklin, seeing so goodly a gentleman to give him such courteous comfort, gave him hearty thanks, with promise to pray for his happy success. With that Rosader vailed bonnet to the King and lightly leaped within the lists, where, noting more the company than the combatant, he cast his eye upon the troop of ladies that glistered there like the stars of heaven; but at last, Love, willing to make him as amorous as he was valiant, presented him with the sight of Rosalind, whose admirable beauty so inveigled the eye of Rosader that, forgetting himself, he stood and fed his looks on the favor of Rosalind's face; which she perceiving blushed, which was such a doubling of her beauteous excellence that the bashful red of Auroraat the sight of unacquainted Phaethon was not half so glorious.

43The Norman, seeing this young gentleman fettered in the looks of the ladies, drave him out of his memento with a shake by the shoulder. Rosader, looking back with an angry frown, as if he had been wakened from some pleasant dream, discovered to all by the fury of his countenance that he was a man of some high thoughts; but when they all noted his youth and the sweetness of his visage, with a general applause of favors they grieved that so goodly a young man should venture in so base an action; but seeing it were to his dishonor to hinder him from his enterprise, they wished him to be graced with the palm of victory. After Rosader was thus called out of his memento by the Norman, he roughly clapped to him with so fierce an encounter that they both fell to the ground and with the violence of the fall were forced to breathe, in which space the Norman called to mind by all tokens that this was he whom Saladin had appointed him to kill, which conjecture made him stretch every limb and try every sinew that, working his death, he might recover the gold which so bountifully was promised him. On the contrary part, Rosader, while he breathed, was not idle, but still cast his eye upon Rosalind, who, to encourage him with a favor, lent him such an amorous look as might have made the most coward desperate, which glance of Rosalind so fired the passionate desires of Rosader that, turning to the Norman, he ran upon him and braved him with a strong encounter. The Norman received him as valiantly that there was a sore combat, hard to judge on whose side Fortune would be prodigal. At last Rosader, calling to mind the beauty of his new mistress, the fame of his father's honors, and the disgrace that should fall to his house by his misfortune, roused himself and threw the Norman against the ground, falling upon his chest with so willing a weight that the Norman yielded nature her due and Rosader the victory.

44The death of this champion, as it highly contented the franklin as a man satisfied with revenge, so it drew the King and all the peers into a great admiration that so young years and so beautiful a personage should contain such martial excellence. But when they knew him to be the youngest son of Sir John of Bordeaux, the King rose from his seat and embraced him, and the peers entreated him with all favorable courtesy, commending both his valor and his virtues, wishing him to go forward in such haughty deeds that he might attain to the glory of his father's honorable fortunes.

45As the King and lords graced him with embracing, so the ladies favored him with their looks, especially Rosalind, whom the beauty and valor of Rosader had already touched. But she accounted love a toy and fancy a momentary passion that, as it was taken in with a gaze, might be shaken off with a wink, and therefore feared not to dally in the flame; and to make Rosader know she affected him, took from her neck a jewel and sent it by a page to the young gentleman. The prize that Venus gave to Paris was not half so pleasing to the Trojan as this gem was to Rosader; for if Fortune had sworn to make him sole monarch of the world, he would rather have refused such dignity than have lost the jewel sent him by Rosalind. To return her with the like he was unfurnished, and yet, that he might more than in his looks discover his affection, he stepped into a tent, and taking pen and paper writ this fancy:

46

Two suns at once from one fair heaven there shined, Ten branches from two boughs, tipped all with roses, Pure locks more golden than is gold refined, Two pearlèd rows that nature's pride encloses; Two mounts fair marble-white, down-soft and dainty, A snow-dyed orb, where love increased by pleasure Full woeful makes my heart and body fainty: Her fair (my woe) exceeds all thought and measure. In lines confused my luckless harm appeareth, Whom sorrow clouds, whom pleasant smiling cleareth.

47This sonnet he sent to Rosalind, which, when she read she blushed, but with a sweet content in that she perceived love had allotted her so amorous a servant.

48Leaving her to her new entertained fancies, again to Rosader, who, triumphing in the glory of this conquest, accompanied with a troop of young gentlemen that were desirous to be his familiars, went home to his brother Saladin's, who was walking before the gates to hear what success his brother Rosader should have, assuring himself of his death and devising how with dissimuled sorrow to celebrate his funerals. As he was in his thought, he cast up his eye and saw where Rosader returned with the garland on his head, as having won the prize, accompanied with a crew of boon companions. Grieved at this, he stepped in and shut the gate. Rosader seeing this, and not looking for such unkind entertainment, blushed at the disgrace, and yet, smothering his grief with a smile, he turned to the gentlemen and desired them to hold his brother excused, for he did not this upon any malicious intent or niggardize, but, being brought up in the country, he absented himself as not finding his nature fit for such youthful company. Thus he sought to shadow abuses proffered him by his brother, but in vain, for he could by no means be suffered to enter; whereupon he ran his foot against the door and broke it open, drawing his sword and entering boldly into the hall, where he found none, for all were fled but one Adam Spencer, an Englishman, who had been an old and trusty servant to Sir John of Bordeaux. He, for the love he bare to his deceased master, favored the part of Rosader, and gave him and his such entertainment as he could. Rosader gave him thanks, and, looking about, seeing the hall empty, said:

49"Gentlemen, you are welcome. Frolic and be merry. You shall be sure to have wine enough, whatsoever your fare be. I tell you, cavaliers, my brother hath in his house five tun of wine, and as long as that lasteth I beshrew him that spares his liquor."

50With that he burst open the buttery door, and, with the help of Adam Spencer, covered the tables and set down whatsoever he could find in the house; but what they wanted in meat Rosader supplied with drink. Yet had they royal cheer, and withal such hearty welcome as would have made the coarsest meats seem delicates. After they had feasted and frolicked it twice or thrice with an upsee freeze, they all took their leaves of Rosader and departed. As soon as they were gone, Rosader, growing impatient of the abuse, drew his sword and swore to be revenged on the discourteous Saladin; yet by the means of Adam Spencer, who sought to continue friendship and amity betwixt the brethren, and through the flattering submission of Saladin, they were once again reconciled, and put up all forepast injuries with a peaceable agreement, living together for a good space in such brotherly love as did not only rejoice the servants but made all the gentlemen and bordering neighbors glad of such friendly concord. Saladin, hiding fire in the straw and concealing a poisoned hate in a peaceable countenance, yet deferring the intent of his wrath till fitter opportunity, he showed himself a great favorer of his brother's virtuous endeavors--where, leaving them in this happy league, let us return to Rosalind.

51Rosalind returning home from the triumph, after she waxed solitary, Love presented her with the idea of Rosader's perfection, and, taking her at discovert, struck her so deep as she felt herself grow passing passionate. She began to call to mind the comeliness of his person, the honor of his parents, and the virtues that, excelling both, made him so gracious in the eyes of everyone. Sucking in thus the honey of love by imprinting in her thoughts his rare qualities, she began to surfeit with the contemplation of his virtuous conditions; but when she called to remembrance her present estate and the hardness of her fortunes, desire began to shrink and fancy to vail bonnet, that between a chaos of confused thoughts she began to debate with herself in this manner: