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  • Title: Rosalind: Euphues' Golden Legacy
  • Editor: David Bevington

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: Thomas Lodge
    Editor: David Bevington
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    Rosalind: Euphues' Golden Legacy



    "Although the discourse of my fortunes be the renewing of my sorrows, and the rubbing of the scar will open a fresh wound, yet, that I may not prove ingrateful to so courteous a gentleman, I will rather sit down and sigh out my estate than give any offense by smothering my grief with silence. Know therefore, sir, that I am of Bordeaux, and the son and heir of Sir John of Bordeaux, a man for his virtues and valor so famous that I cannot think but the fame of his honors hath reached farther than the knowledge of his personage. The infortunate son of so fortunate a knight am I; my name, Saladin, who, succeeding my father in possessions but not in qualities, having two brethren committed by my father at his death to my charge, with such golden principles of brotherly concord as might have pierced like the Sirens' melody into any human ear. But I, with Ulysses, became deaf against his philosophical harmony, and made more value of profit than of virtue, esteeming gold sufficient honor and wealth the fittest title for a gentleman's dignity. I set my middle brother to the university to be a scholar, counting it enough if he might pore on a book while I fed upon his revenues; and for the youngest, which was my father's joy, young Rosader"--And with that naming of Rosader, Saladin sat him down and wept.

    "Nay, forward, man," quoth the forester, "tears are the unfittest salve that any man can apply for to cure sorrows, and therefore cease from such feminine follies as should drop out of a woman's eye to deceive, not out of a gentleman's look to discover his thoughts; and forward with thy discourse."

    "Oh, sir," quoth Saladin, "this Rosader, that wrings tears from mine eyes and blood from my heart, was like my father in exterior personage and in inward qualities; for in the prime of his years he aimed all his acts at honor, and coveted rather to die than to brook any injury unworthy a gentleman's credit. I, whom envy had made blind and covetousness masked with the veil of self-love, seeing the palm tree grow straight, thought to suppress it, being a twig; but nature will have her course, the cedar will be tall, the diamond bright, the carbuncle glistering, and virtue will shine though it be never so much obscured. For I kept Rosader as a slave, and used him as one of my servile hinds, until age grew on and a secret insight of my abuse entered into his mind, insomuch that he could not brook it, but coveted to have what his father left him and to live of himself. To be short, sir, I repined at his fortunes, and he counterchecked me, not with ability but valor, until at last, by my friends and aid of such as followed gold more than right or virtue, I banished him from Bordeaux; and he, poor gentleman, lives no man knows where, in some distressed discontent. The gods, not able to suffer such impiety unrevenged, so wrought that the King picked a causeless quarrel against me in hope to have my lands, and so hath exiled me out of France forever. Thus, thus, sir, am I the most miserable of all men, as having a blemish in my thoughts for the wrongs I proffered Rosader and a touch in my state to be thrown from my proper possessions by injustice. Passionate thus with many griefs, in penance of my former follies I go thus pilgrim-like to seek out my brother, that I may reconcile myself to him in all submission, and afterward wend to the Holy Land, to end my years in as many virtues as I have spent my youth in wicked vanities."

    330Rosader, hearing the resolution of his brother Saladin, began to compassionate his sorrows, and, not able to smother the sparks of nature with feigned secrecy, he burst into these loving speeches:

    "Then know, Saladin," quoth he, "that thou hast met with Rosader, who grieves as much to see thy distress as thyself to feel the burden of thy misery."

    Saladin, casting up his eye and noting well the physnomy of the forester, knew that it was his brother Rosader, which made him so bash and blush at the first meeting that Rosader was fain to recomfort him, which he did in such sort that he showed how highly he held revenge in scorn. Much ado there was between these two brethren, Saladin in craving pardon and Rosader in forgiving and forgetting all former injuries--the one submiss, the other courteous, Saladin penitent and passionate, Rosader kind and loving--that at length, nature working an union of their thoughts, they earnestly embraced, and fell from matters of unkindness to talk of the country life, which Rosader so highly commended that his brother began to have a desire to taste of that homely content. In this humor Rosader conducted him to Gerismond's lodge and presented his brother to the King, discoursing the whole matter how all had happened betwixt them. The King, looking upon Saladin, found him a man of a most beautiful personage, and saw in his face sufficient sparks of ensuing honors, gave him great entertainment, and, glad of their friendly reconcilement, promised such favor as the poverty of his estate might afford, which Saladin gratefully accepted. And so Gerismond fell to question of Torismond's life. Saladin briefly discoursed unto him his injustice and tyrannies, with such modesty, although he had wronged him, that Gerismond greatly praised the sparing speech of the young gentleman.

    Many questions passed, but at last Gerismond began with a deep sigh to inquire if there were any news of the welfare of Alinda, or his daughter Rosalind?

    "None, sir," quoth Saladin, "for since their departure they were never heard of."

    335"Injurious fortune," quoth the King, "that to double the father's misery, wrongest the daughter with misfortunes!"

    And with that, surcharged with sorrows, he went into his cell and left Saladin and Rosader, whom Rosader straight conducted to the sight of Adam Spencer, who, seeing Saladin in that estate, was in a brown study. But when he heard the whole matter, although he grieved for the exile of his master, yet he joyed that banishment had so reformed him that from a lascivious youth he was proved a virtuous gentleman. Looking a longer while, and seeing what familiarity passed between them, and what favors were interchanged with brotherly affection, he said thus:

    "Ay, marry, thus should it be; this was the concord that old Sir John of Bordeaux wished betwixt you. Now fulfill you those precepts he breathed out at his death, and, in observing them, look to live fortunate and die honorable."

    "Well said, Adam Spencer," quoth Rosader. "But hast any victuals in store for us?"

    "A piece of a red deer," quoth he, "and a bottle of wine."

    340"'Tis foresters' fare, brother," quoth Rosader; and so they sat down and fell to their cates.

    As soon as they had taken their repast and had well dined, Rosader took his brother Saladin by the hand and showed him the pleasures of the forest, and what content they enjoyed in that mean estate. Thus for two or three days he walked up and down with his brother to show him all the commodities that belonged to his walk.

    In which time he was missed of his Ganymede, who mused greatly, with Aliena, what should become of their forester. Somewhile they thought he had taken some word unkindly and had taken the pet; then they imagined some new love had withdrawn his fancy, or haply that he was sick, or detained by some great business of Gerismond's, or that he had made a reconcilement with his brother and so returned to Bordeaux.

    These conjectures did they cast in their heads, but specially Ganymede, who, having love in her heart, proved restless and half without patience that Rosader wronged her with so long absence; for Love measures every minute, and thinks hours to be days, and days to be months, till they feed their eyes with the sight of their desired object. Thus perplexed lived poor Ganymede, while on a day, sitting with Aliena in a great dump, she cast up her eye and saw where Rosader came pacing towards them with his forest bill on his neck. At that sight her color changed, and she said to Aliena:

    "See, mistress, where our jolly forester comes."

    345"And you are not a little glad thereof," quoth Aliena. "Your nose bewrays what porridge you love. The wind cannot be tied within his quarter, the sun shadowed with a veil, oil hidden in water, nor love kept out of a woman's looks. But no more of that. Lupus est in fabula.

    As soon as Rosader was come within the reach of her tongue's end, Aliena began thus:

    "Why, how now, gentle forester, what wind hath kept you from hence, that being so newly married you have no more care of your Rosalind but to absent yourself so many days? Are these the passions you painted out so in your sonnets and roundelays? I see well hot love is soon cold, and that the fancy of men is like to a loose feather that wandereth in the air with the blast of every wind."

    "You are deceived, mistress," quoth Rosader. "'Twas a copy of unkindness that kept me hence, in that, I being married, you carried away the bride; but if I have given any occasion of offense by absenting myself these three days, I humbly sue for pardon, which you must grant of course, in that the fault is so friendly confessed with penance. But to tell you the truth, fair mistress and my good Rosalind, my eldest brother by the injury of Torismond is banished from Bordeaux, and by chance he and I met in the forest."

    And here Rosader discoursed unto them what had happened betwixt them, which reconcilement made them glad, especially Ganymede. But Aliena, hearing of the tyranny of her father, grieved inwardly, and yet smothered all things with such secrecy that the concealing was more sorrow than the conceit; yet that her estate might be hid still, she made fair weather of it, and so let all pass.

    350Fortune, that saw how these parties valued not her deity but held her power in scorn, thought to have a bout with them, and brought the matter to pass thus. Certain rascals that lived by prowling in the forest, who for fear of the provost marshal had caves in the groves and thickets to shroud themselves from his trains, hearing of the beauty of this fair shepherdess, Aliena, thought to steal her away and to give her to the King for a present--hoping, because the King was a great lecher, by such a gift to purchase all their pardons; and therefore came to take her and her page away. Thus resolved, while Aliena and Ganymede were in this sad talk, they came rushing in and laid violent hands upon Aliena and her page, which made them cry out to Rosader, who, having the valor of his father stamped in his heart, thought rather to die in defense of his friends than any way be touched with the least blemish of dishonor, and therefore dealt such blows amongst them with his weapon as he did witness well upon their carcasses that he was no coward. But as Ne Hercules quidem contra duos, so Rosader could not resist a multitude, having none to back him, so that he was not only rebated but sore wounded, and Aliena and Ganymede had been quite carried away by these rascals, had not Fortune (that meant to turn her frown into a favor) brought Saladin that way by chance, who, wandering to find out his brother's walk, encountered this crew; and seeing not only a shepherdess and her boy forced but his brother wounded, he heaved up a forest bill he had on his neck, and the first he stroke had never after more need of the physician, redoubling his blows with such courage that the slaves were amazed at his valor. Rosader, espying his brother so fortunately arrived and seeing how valiantly he behaved himself, though sore wounded rushed amongst them, and laid on such load that some of the crew were slain and the rest fled, leaving Aliena and Ganymede in the possession of Rosader and Saladin.

    Aliena, after she had breathed awhile and was come to herself from this fear, looked about her and saw where Ganymede was busy dressing up the wounds of the forester; but she cast her eye upon this courteous champion that had made so hot a rescue, and that with such affection that she began to measure every part of him with favor, and in herself to commend his personage and his virtue, holding him for a resolute man, that durst assail such a troop of unbridled villains. At last, gathering her spirits together, she returned him these thanks:

    "Gentle sir, whatsoever you be that have adventured your flesh to relieve our fortunes, as we hold you valiant so we esteem you courteous, and to have as many hidden virtues as you have manifest resolutions. We poor shepherds have no wealth but our flocks, and therefore can we not make requital with any great treasures; but our recompense is thanks and our rewards to her friends without feigning. For ransom, therefore, of this our rescue, you must content yourself to take such a kind gramercy as a poor shepherdess and her page may give, with promise, in what we may, never to prove ingrateful. For this gentleman that is hurt, young Rosader, he is our good neighbor and familiar acquaintance; we'll pay him with smiles and feed him with love-looks, and, though he be never the fatter at the year's end, yet we'll so hamper him that he shall hold himself satisfied."

    Saladin, hearing this shepherdess speak so wisely, began more narrowly to pry into her perfection and to survey all her lineaments with a curious insight, so long dallying in the flame of her beauty that, to his cost, he found her to be most excellent; for Love, that lurked in all these broils to have a blow or two, seeing the parties at the gaze, encountered them both with such a veny that the stroke pierced to the heart so deep as it could never after be rased out. At last, after he had looked so long till Aliena waxed red, he returned her this answer:

    "Fair shepherdess, if Fortune graced me with such good hap as to do you any favor, I hold myself as contented as if I had gotten a great conquest, for the relief of distressed women is the special point that gentlemen are tied unto by honor. Seeing then my hazard to rescue your harms was rather duty than courtesy, thanks is more than belongs to the requital of such a favor. But, lest I might seem either too coy or too careless of a gentlewoman's proffer, I will take your kind gramercy for a recompense."

    355All this while that he spake, Ganymede looked earnestly upon him, and said:

    "Truly, Rosader, this gentleman favors you much in the feature of your face."

    "No marvel," quoth he, "gentle swain, for 'tis my eldest brother Saladin."

    "Your brother?" quoth Aliena, and with that she blushed. "He is the more welcome, and I hold myself the more his debtor; and for that he hath in my behalf done such a piece of service, if it please him to do me that honor, I will call him servant, and he shall call me mistress."

    "Content, sweet mistress," quoth Saladin, "and when I forget to call you so, I will be unmindful of mine own self."

    360"Away with these quirks and quiddities of love," quoth Rosader, "and give me some drink, for I am passing thirsty, and then will I home, for my wounds bleed sore, and I will have them dressed."

    Ganymede had tears in her eyes and passions in her heart to see her Rosader so pained, and therefore stepped hastily to the bottle, and, filling out some wine in a mazer, she spiced it with such comfortable drugs as she had about her and gave it him, which did comfort Rosader, that rising, with the help of his brother, he took his leave of them and went to his lodge. Ganymede, as soon as they were out of sight, led his flocks down to a vale, and there under the shadow of a beech tree sat down and began to mourn the misfortunes of her sweet heart.

    And Aliena, as a woman passing discontent, severing herself from her Ganymede, sitting under a limon tree, began to sigh out the passions of her new love and to meditate with herself in this manner: