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Benedick proposed to marry, he was resolved to think nothing to the purpose that the world could say against it; and he merrily kept up the jest, and swore to Beatrice, that he took her but for pity, and because he heard she was dying of love for him ; and Beatrice protested, that she yielded but upon great persuasion, and partly to save his life, for she heard he was in a consumption. So these two mad wits were reconciled, and made a match of it, after Claudio and Hero were married ; and to complete the history, Don John, the contriver of the villany, was taken in his flight, and brought back to Messina ; and a brave punishment it was to this gloomy, discontented man, to see the joy and feastings which, by the disappointment of his plots, took place at the palace in Messina.
TALE THE FIFTH.
AS YOU LIKE IT.
DURING the time that France was divided into provinces (or dukedoms as they were called), there reigned in one of these provinces an usurper, who had deposed and banished his elder brother, the lawful duke.
The duke, who was thus driven from his dominions, retired with a few faithful followers to the forest of Arden.; and here the good duke lived with his loving friends, who had put themselves into a voluntary exile for his sake, while their lands and revenues enriched the false usurper; and custom soon made the life of careless ease they led here more sweet to them than the pomp and uneasy splendour of a courtier's life. Here they lived like the old Robin Hood of England, and to this forest many noble youths daily resorted from the court, and did fleet the time carelessly, as they did who lived in the golden age. In the summer they lay along under the fine. shade of the large forest trees, marking the play. ful sports of the wild deer; and so fond were they of these poor dappled fools, who seemed to be the native inhabitants of the forest, that it grieved them to be forced to kill them to supply themselves with venison for their food. When the cold winds of winter made the duke feel the change of his adverse fortune, he would endure it patiently, and say,. “These chilling winds which blow. upon my body, are true counsellors, they do not flatter, but represent truly to me-my. condition; and though they bite sharply, their tooth is nothing like so keen as that of unkindness and ingratitude. I find that, howsoever men speak against. adversity, yet some sweet uses are to be extracted from it; like the jewel, precious for medicine, which is taken from the head of the venomous and despised toad." In this manner, did the patient duke draw, an useful moral from every thing that he saw; and by the help of this moralising turn, in that life of his, re. mote from public haunts, he could find tongues in , trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in every thing,
. The banished duke had an only daughter, named Rosalind, whom the usurper, duke Free derick, when he banished her father, still retained in his court as a companion for his own daughter Celia. A strict friendship subsisted between these ladies, which the disagreement between their fathers did not in the least inter-, rupt, Celia striving by every kindness in her power to make amends to Rosalind for the injustice of her own father in deposing the father of Rosalind; and whenever the thoughts of her father's banishment, and her own dependance on the false usurper, made Rosalind' melancholy, Celia's whole care was to comfort and console her.
One day, when Celia was talking in her usual kind manner to Rosalind, saying, “I pray you, Rosalind, my sweet cousin, be merry," a mesa senger entered from the duke, to tell them that if they wished to see a wrestling match, which was just going to begin, they must come instantly to the court before the palace ; and Celia, thinkirg it would amuse Rosalind, agreed to go and see it.
In those times wrestling, which is only practised now by country, clowns, was a favourite
sport even in the courts of princes, and before fair ladies and princesses. To this wrestlingmatch therefore Celia and Rosalind went. They found that it was likely to prove a very tragical sight; for a large and powerful man, who had long been practised in the art of wrestling, and had slain many men in contests of this kind, was just going to wrestle with a very young man, who, from his extreme youth and inexperience in the art, the beholders all thought would certainly be killed.
When the duke saw Celia and Rosalind, he said, “ How now, daughter and niece, are you crept hither to see the wrestling? You will take little delight in it, there is such odds in the men: in pity to this young man, I would wish to persuade him from wrestling. Speak to him, ladies, and see if you can move him."
The ladies were well pleased to perform this humane office, and first Celia entreated the young stranger that he would desist from the attempt; and then Rosalind spoke so kindly to him, and with such feeling consideration for the danger he was about to undergo, that instead of being persuaded by her gentle words to forego lis purpose, all his thoughts were bent to distin