Nonfiction > Henry Craik, ed. > English Prose > Vol. I. Fourteenth to Sixteenth Century
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Henry Craik, ed.  English Prose.  1916.
Vol. I. Fourteenth to Sixteenth Century
 
Evening and Morning in Arden
By Thomas Lodge (1558–1625)
 
From Rosalynde

WITH that they (Ganymede and Aliena) put their sheep into the cotes, and went home to her friend Corydon’s cottage, Aliena as merry as might be, that she was thus in the company of her Rosalynde: but she, poor soul, that had love her lode-star, and her thoughts set on fire with the flame of fancy, could take no rest, but being alone began to consider what passionate penance poor Rosader was enjoined to by love and fortune: that at last she fell into this humour with herself. (Rosalynde passionate alone.) Ah Rosalynde, how the fates have set down in their synod to make thee unhappy: for when fortune hath done her worst, then love comes in to begin a new tragedy; she seeks to lodge her son in thine eyes, and to kindle her fires in thy bosom. Beware fond girl, he is an unruly guest to harbour; for cutting in by intreats, he will not be thrust out by force, and her fires are fed with such fuel, as no water is able to quench. Seest thou not how Venus seeks to wrap thee in her labyrinth, wherein is pleasure at the entrance, but within, sorrows, cares, and discontent: she is a siren, stop thine ears at her melody; and a basilisk, shut thine eyes, and gaze not at her lest thou perish. Thou art now placed in the country content, where are heavenly thoughts, and mean desires: in those lawns where thy flocks feed Diana haunts: be as her nymphs, chaste, and enemy to love; for there is no greater honour to a maid, than to account of fancy as a mortal foe to their sex. Daphne, that bonny wench, was not turned into a bay tree, as the poets feign; but, for her chastity, her fame was immortal, resembling the laurel that is ever-green. Follow thou her steps, Rosalynde, and the rather, for that thou art an exile, and banished from the court; whose distress, as it is appeased with patience, so it would be renewed with amorous passions. Have mind on thy fore-passed fortunes, fear the worst, and entangle not thyself with present fancies; lest loving in haste thou repent thee at leisure. Ah, but yet, Rosalynde, it is Rosader that courts thee; one, who as he is beautiful, so he is virtuous, and harboureth in his mind as many good qualities, as his face is shadowed with gracious favours: and therefore Rosalynde stoop to love, lest being either too coy, or too cruel, Venus wax wroth, and plague thee with the reward of disdain.
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  Rosalynde thus passionate, was wakened from her dumps by Aliena, who said it was time to go to bed. Corydon swore that was true, for Charles’ wain was risen in the north. Whereupon each taking leave of other, went to their rest all, but the poor Rosalynde, who was so full of passions that she could not possess any content. Well, leaving her to her broken slumbers, expect what was performed by them the next morning.  2
  The sun was no sooner stepped from the bed of Aurora, but Aliena was wakened by Ganymede, who restless all night had tossed in her passions, saying it was then time to go to the field to unfold their sheep. Aliena (that spied where the hare was by the hounds, and could see day at a little hole) thought to be pleasant with her Ganymede, and therefore replied thus: “What, wanton? the sun is but new up, and as yet Iris’ riches lie folded in the bosom of Flora, Phœbus hath not dried up the pearled dew, and so long Corydon hath taught me, it is not fit to lead the sheep abroad, lest, the dew being unwholesome, they get the rot: but now see I the old proverb true, he is in haste whom the devil drives, and where love pricks forward, there is no worse death than delay. Ah, my good page, is there fancy in thine eye, and passions in thy heart? What, hast thou wrapped love in thy looks? and set all thy thoughts on fire by affection? I tell thee, it is a flame as hard to be quenched as that of Etna. But Nature must have her course, women’s eyes have faculty attractive like the jet, and retentive like the diamond: they dally in the delight of fair objects, till gazing on the panther’s beautiful skin, repenting experience tell them he hath a devouring paunch.” “Come on” (quoth Ganymede) “this sermon of yours is but a subtilty to lie still abed, because either you think the morning cold, or else, I being gone, you would steal a nap: this shift carries no palm, and therefore up and away. And, for love, let me alone, I’ll whip him away with nettles, and set disdain as a charm to withstand his forces: and therefore look you to yourself, be not too bold, for Venus can make you bend; nor too coy, for Cupid hath a piercing dart, that will make you cry peccavi.” “And that is it” (quoth Aliena) “that hath raised you so early this morning.” And with that she slipped on her petticoat, and start up: and as soon as she had made her ready, and taken her breakfast, away go these two with their bag and bottles to the field, in more pleasant content of mind, than ever they were in the court of Torismond.  3
 
 
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