Posted by Brian from Shawnee on December 16, 2004
In Reply to: Ripe medlars posted by Nikhilesh sinha on December 16, 2004
: There is a reference to medlars in Shakespear's As you Like it.
: The character Jacques uses the simle to describe how a man is rotten before he is ripe, or is past his prime before he reaches it.
Thanks for reminding me about this passage in As You Like It, which is my favorite. But technically, Jacques was quoting a motley fool he'd met in the forest, and he didn't name the fruit he was talking about. On the other hand, Rosalind has an exchange with Touchstone, after he has pooh-poohed some verses Orlando has written about her, and she then compares him with a medlar:
This is the very false gallop of verses: why do you infect yourself with them?
Peace, you dull fool! I found them on a tree.
Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.
I'll graff it with you, and then I shall graff it with a medlar: then it will be the earliest fruit i' the country; for you'll be rotten ere you be half ripe, and that's the right virtue of the medlar.