Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Thomas Lodge
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Rosalind: Euphues' Golden Legacy


ROSALIND'S PASSION

52"Infortunate Rosalind, whose misfortunes are more than thy years and whose passions are greater than thy patience! The blossoms of thy youth are mixed with the frosts of envy, and the hope of thy ensuing fruits perish in the bud. Thy father is by Torismond banished from the crown, and thou, the unhappy daughter of a king, detained captive, living as disquieted in thy thoughts as thy father discontented in his exile. Ah, Rosalind, what cares wait upon a crown! What griefs are incident to dignity! What sorrows haunt royal palaces! The greatest seas have the sorest storms, the highest birth subject to the most bale, and of all trees the cedars soonest shake with the wind. Small currents are ever calm, low valleys not scorched in any lightnings, nor base men tied to any baleful prejudice. Fortune flies, and if she touch poverty it is with her heel, rather disdaining their want with a frown than envying their wealth with disparagement. O Rosalind, hadst thou been born low, thou hadst not fallen so high, and yet, being great of blood, thine honor is more if thou brookest misfortune with patience. Suppose I contrary Fortune with content, yet fates, unwilling to have me any way happy, have forced Love to set my thoughts on fire with fancy. Love, Rosalind? Becometh it women in distress to think of love? Tush, desire hath no respect of persons: Cupid is blind and shooteth at random, as soon hitting a rag as a robe, and piercing as soon the bosom of a captive as the breast of a libertine. Thou speakest it, poor Rosalind, by experience; for, being every way distressed, surcharged with cares, and overgrown with sorrows, yet amidst the heap of all these mishaps, Love hath lodged in thy heart the perfection of young Rosader-- a man every way absolute as well for his inward life as for his outward lineaments, able to content the eye with beauty and the ear with the report of his virtue. But consider, Rosalind, his fortunes and thy present estate: thou art poor and without patrimony and yet the daughter of a prince; he a younger brother and void of such possessions as either might maintain thy dignities or revenge thy father's injuries. And hast thou not learned this of other ladies: that lovers cannot live by looks, that women's ears are sooner content with a dram of give me than a pound of hear me, that gold is sweeter than eloquence, that love is a fire and wealth is the fuel, that Venus's coffers should be ever full? Then, Rosalind, seeing Rosader is poor, think him less beautiful because he is in want, and account his virtues but qualities of course for that he is not endued with wealth. Doth not Horace tell thee what method is to be used in love?

53

Quaerenda pecunia primum, post nummos virtus.

54Tush, Rosalind, be not over-rash. Leap not before thou look. Either love such a one as may with his lands purchase thy liberty, or else love not at all. Choose not a fair face with an empty purse, but say as most women use to say:

55

Si nihil attuleris, ibis Homere foras.

56Why, Rosalind! Can such base thoughts harbor in such high beauties? Can the degree of a princess, the daughter of Gerismond, harbor such servile conceits as to prize gold more than honor or to measure a gentleman by his wealth, not by his virtues? No, Rosalind, blush at thy base resolution, and say, if thou lovest, 'Either Rosader or none!' And why? Because Rosader is both beautiful and virtuous."

57Smiling to herself to think of her new-entertained passions, taking up her lute that lay by her, she warbled out this ditty: