Page images

Ros They say, you are a melancholy fellow. Jaq. I am so; I do love it better than laughing. Ros. Those that are in extremity of either, are abominable fellows; and betray themselves to every modern censure, worse than drunkards.

Jaq. Why, 'tis good to be sad and say nothing. Ros. Why, then, 'tis good to be a post. Jaq. I have neither the scholar's melancholy, which is emulation; nor the musician's, which is fantastical; nor the courtier's, which is proud; nor the soldier's, which is ambitious; nor the law-shift is to kiss. yer's, which is politic; nor the lady's, which is nice; nor the lover's, which is all these: but it is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects; and, indeed, the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me, is a most humorous sadness.

Ros. A traveller! By my faith, you have great reason to be sad: I fear you have sold your own lands, to see other men's; then, to have seen much, and to have nothing, is to have rich eyes and poor hands.

Jaq. Yes, I have gained my experience. Enter Orlando.

Orl. Good day, and happiness, dear Rosalind! Jaq. Nay, then, God be wi' you, an you talk in blank verse. [exit.

Ros. Farewell, monsieur traveller: Look, you lisp, and wear strange suits; disable all the benefits of your own country; be out of love with your nativity, and almost chide God for making you that countenance you are; or I will scarce think you have swam in a gondola.-Why, how now, Orlando! where have you been all this while? You a lover?-An you serve me such another trick, never come in my sight more.

Orl. My fair Rosalind, I come within an hour of my promise.

Ros. Break an hour's promise in love! He that will divide a minute into a thousand parts, and break but a part of the thousandth part of a minute in the affairs of love, it may be said of him, that Cupid hath clapp'd him o'the shoulder, but I warrant him heart-whole.

[blocks in formation]

Ros. And your experience makes you sad: I had have you. rather have a fool to make me merry, than experience to make me sad: and to travel for it too.

Ros. Ay, of a snail; for though he comes slowly, he carries his house on his head; a better jointure,

I think, than you can make a woman: Besides, he brings his destiny with him.

Orl. What's that?

Ros. Why, horns; which such as you are fain to be beholden to your wives for: but he comes armed in his fortune, and prevents the slander of his wife.

Ros. Come, woo me, woo me; for now I am in a holiday humour, and like enough to consent: -what would you say to me now, an I were your very, very, Rosalind?

Orl. I would kiss, before I spoke.

Orl. Virtue is no horn-maker; and my Rosalind is virtuous.

Ros. Nay, you were better speak first; and when you were gravell'd for lack of matter, you may take occasion to kiss. Very good orators, when they are out, they will spit; and for lovers, lacking (God warn us!) matter, the cleanliest

Hos. And I am your Rosalind.

Cel. It pleases him to call you so; but he hath a Rosalind of a better leer than you.

Orl. How if the kiss be denied?

Ros. Then she puts you to entreaty, and there begins new matter.

Orl. Who could be out, being before his beloved mistress?

Ros. Marry, that should you, if I were your mistress; or I should think my honesty ranker than my wit.

Orl. What, of my suit?

Ros. Not out of your apparel, and yet out of your suit. Am not I your Rosalind?

Örl. I take some joy to say you are, because I would be talking of her.

Ros. Well, in her person, I say,-I will not

The poor

Orl. Then in mine own person, I die. Ros. No, faith, die by attorney. world is almost six thousand years old, and in all this time there was not any man died in his own person, videlicet, in a love-cause. Troilus had his brains dashed out with a Grecian club; yet he did what he could to die before; and he is one of the patterns of love. Leander, he would have lived many a fair year, though Hero had turned nun, if it had not been for a hot midsummer night: for, good youth, he went but forth to wash him in the Hellespont, and, being taken with the cramp, was drowned; and the foolish chroniclers of that age found it was-Hero of Sestos. But these are all lies; men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love.

Orl. I would not have my right Rosalind of this mind; for, I protest, her frown might kill me.

Ros. By this hand, it will not kill a fly. But come, now I will be your Rosalind in a more coming-on disposition; and ask me what you will, I will grant it.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][merged small]

Orl. I will.
Ros. Ay, but when?

Orl. Why now; as fast as she can marry us. Ros. Then you must say, I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.

Orl. I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.

Ros. I might ask you for your commission; but I de take thee, Orlando, for my husband: there a girl goes before the priest; and, certainly, a woman's thought runs before her actions.

Orl. So do all thoughts; they are winged. Ros. Now tell me, how long you would have her after you have possessed her?

Orl. For ever and a day.

Ros. Say a day, without the ever: no, no, Orlando; men are April, when they woo, December when they wed: maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives. I will be more jealous of thee than a Barbary cock-pigeon over his hen; more clamorous than a parrot against rain; more newfangled than an ape; more giddy in my desires than a monkey; I will weep for nothing, like Diana in the fountain, and I will do that when you are disposed to be merry; I will laugh like a hyen', and that when thou art inclined to sleep.

Orl. But will my Rosalind do so?
Ros. By my life, she will do as I do.
Orl. O, but she is wise.

Ros. Or else she could not have the wit to do his; the wiser, the waywarder: make the doors upon a woman's wit, and it will out at the casement; shut that, and 'twill out at the key-hole; stop that, 'twill fly with the smoke out at the chimney.

Orl. A man that hath a wife with such a wit, he might say,- Wit, whither wilt?

Ros. Nay, you might keep that check for it, till you met your wife's wit going to your neighbour's bed.

Orl. I must attend the duke at dinnor; by two o'clock I will be with thee again.

Ros. Ay, go your ways, go your ways. I know what you would prove; my friends told me as much, and I thought no less :-that flattering tongue of your's won me:-'tis but one cast away, and so come death. Two o'clock is your


out of the gross band of the unfaithful: therefore beware my censure, and keep your promise.

Orl. With no less religion, than if thou wert indeed my Rosalind: so, adieu!

Ros. Well, time is the old justice that examines all such offenders, and let time try: Adieu! [exit Orlando. Cel. You have simply misus'd our sex in your love prate: we must have your doublet and hose plucked over your head, and show the world what the bird hath done to her own nest.

Orl. Ay, sweet Rosalind.

Ros. By my troth, and in good earnest, and so God mend me, and by all pretty oaths that are not dangerous, if you break one jot of your promise, or come one minute behind your hour, I will think you the most pathetical break-promise, and the most hollow lover, and the most unworthy of her you call Rosalind, that may be chosen

Ros. O coz, coz, coz, my pretty little coz, that thou didst know how many fathom I am deep in love! but it cannot be sounded; my affection hath an unknown bottom, like the Bay of Portugal.

Cel. Or rather bottomless; that as fast as you pour affection in, it runs out.

Ros. No: that same wicked bastard of Venus, that was begot of thought, conceived of spleen, and born of madness; that blind rascally boy, that abuses every one's eyes, because his own are out, let him be judge how deep I am in love.-I'll tell thee, Aliena, I cannot be out of the sight of Orlando; I'llgo find a shadow, and sigh till he come. Cel. And I'll sleep. [exeunt. Enter Jaques and Lords, in the habit of Foresters. Jaq. Which is he that killed the deer? 1 Lord. Sir, it was I.


Jaq. Let's present him to the duke, like a Roman conqueror; and it would do well to set the deer's horns upon his head, for a branch of victory :have you no song, forester, for this purpose? 2 Lord. Yes, sir.



1. What shall he have that kill'd the deer?

2. His leather skin and horns, to wear.
1. Then sing him home:
Take then no scorn, to wear the horn;

Orl. And what wit could wit have to excuse that? It was a crest ere thou wast born.

Ros. Marry, to say, she came to seek you there. You shall never take her without her answer, unless you take her without her tongue. O, that woman that cannot make her fault her husband's occasion, let her never nurse her child herself, for she will breed it like a fool.

Enter Rosalind and Celia.

Ros. How say you now? Is it not past wo o'clock, and here much Orlando!

Orl. For these two hours, Rosalind, I will leave thee.

Cel. I warrant you, with pure love and troubled brain, he hath ta'en his bow and arrows, and is Ros. Alas, dear love! I cannot lack thee two gone forth-to sleep:-look, who comes here? hours. Enter Silvius.

Jaq. Sing it, 'tis no matter how it be in tune, so it make noise enough.


The rest shall bear this Lur


1. Thy father's father wore it;
2. And thy father bore it.
The horn, the horn, the lusty horn,
Is not a thing to laugh to scorn.


Sil. My errand is to you, fair youth
My gentle Phebe bid me give you this;
[giving a letter.
I know not the contents! but, as I guess,
By the stern brow, and waspish action
Which she did use as she was writing of it,
It bears an angry tenour: pardon me,
I am but as guiltless messenger.

Ros. Patience herself would startle at this letter,
And play the swaggerer; bear this, bear all:
She says, I am not fair; that I lack manners;
She calls me proud; and, that she could not love me
Were man as rare as phoenix. Od's my will!
Her love is not the hare that I do huut:
Why writes she to me? Well, shepherd, well
This is a letter of your own device.


[ocr errors]

Sil. No, I protest, I know not the contents;

Phebe did write it.

Ros. Come, come, you are a fool,

And turn'd into the extremity of love.

I saw her hand: she has a leathern hand,
A free stone-colour'd hand; I verily did think
That her old gloves were on, but 'twas her hands.
She has a housewife's hand; but that's no matter:
I say, she never did invent this letter;
This is a man's invention, and his hand.
Sil. Sure, it is her's.

Ros. Why 'tis a boisterous and cruel style,
A style for challengers: why, she defies me.
Like Turk to Christian. Woman's gentle brain
Could not drop forth such giant rude invention,
Such Ethiop words, blacker in their effect [letter?
Than in their countenance:will you hear the

Sil. So please you, for I never heard it yet; Yet heard too much of Phebe's cruelty.

Ros. She Phebes me; mark how the tyrant



Art thou god to shepherd turn'd! Than a maiden's heart hath burn'd Can a woman rail thus ?

[blocks in formation]

Did you ever hear such railing?

Whiles the eye of man did woo me, That could do no vengeance to meMeaning me, a beast!

If the scorn of your bright eyne Have power to raise such love in mino Alack, i' me what strange effect Would they work in mild aspect ? Whiles you chid me, I did love; How then might your prayers move? He, that brings this love to thee, Little knows this love in me; And by him seal up thy mind; Whether that thy youth and kind Will the faithful offer take Of me, and all that I can make; Or else by him my love deny, And then I'll study how to die. Sil. Call you this chiding? Cel. Alas, poor shepherd! Ros. Do you pity him? no, he deserves no pity.-Wilt thou love such a woman?-What, to make thee an instrument, and play false strains upon thee not to be endured! Well, go your way to her, (for I see, love hath made thee a tame snake,) and say this to her:-That if she love me, I charge her to love thee: if she will not, I will never have her, unless thou entreat for her. --If be a true lover, hence, and not a word; for here comes more company. exit Silvius. Enter Oliver.


Oli. Good morrow, fair ones. Pray you, if you Where, in the purlicus of this forest-stands [know A sheep-cote, fenc'd about with olive-trees?

Cel. West of this place, down in the neighbour bottom,

The rank of osiers, by the murmuring stream Left on your right hand, brings you to the place: But at this hour the house doth keep itself; There's none within.

Cel. It is no boast, being ask'd, to say, we are.

Oli. Orlando doth commend him to you both!

And to that youth, he calls his Rosalind,
He sends this bloody napkin. Are you he?

Ros. I am: What must we understand by this? Oli. Some of my shame; if you will know of me What man I am, and how, and why, and where This handkerchief was stain'd.

Oli. If that an eye may profit by a tongue, Then I should know you by description; Such garments, and such years: the boy is fair, Of female favour, and bestows himself Like a ripe sister; but the woman low, And browner than her brother. Are not you The owner of the house I did inquire for?

Cel. I pray you tell it.

Oli. When last the young Orlando parted from
He left a promise to return again
Within an hour; and, pacing through the forest,
Chewing the cud of sweet and bitter fancy,
Lo, what befell; he threw his eye aside,
And, mark, what object did present itself!
Under an oak, whose boughs were moss'd with age,
And high top bald with dry antiquity,

A wretched, ragged man, o'ergrown with hair,
Lay sleeping on his back: about his neck
A green and gilded snake had wreath'd itself,
Who with her head, nimble in threats, approach'd
The opening of his mouth; but suddenly,
Seeing Orlando, it unlink'd itself,
And with indented glides did slip away
Into a bush: under which bush's shade
A lioness, with udders all drawn dry,
Lay couching, head on ground, with catlike watch,
When that the sleeping man should stir; for 'tis
The royal disposition of that beast,

To prey on nothing, that doth seem as dead.
This seen, Orlando did approach the man,
And found it was his brother, his elder brother.
Cel. O, I have heard him speak of that same

And he did render him the most unnatural, That liv'd 'mongst men.

Oli. And well he might so do, For well I know he was unnatural.

Ros. But, to Orlando.-Did he leave him there, Food to the suck'd and hungry lioness?


Oli. Twice did he turn his back, and purpos'd But kindness, nobler ever than revenge, And nature, stronger than his just occasion, Made him, give battle to the lioness, Who quickly fell before him; in which hurtling, From miserable slumber I awak'd. Cel. Are you his brother? Ros. Was it you he rescu'd?


Cel. Was't you that did so oft contrive to kill
Oli. 'Twas I; but 'tis not I. I do not shame
To tell you what I was, since my conversion
So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.

Ros. But, for the bloody napkin?
Oli. By and by.-

When from the first to last, betwixt us two,
Tears our recountments had most kindly bath'd,
As, how I came into that desert place :-
In brief, he led me to the gentle duke,
Who gave me fresh array and entertainment,
Committing me unto my brother's love;
Who led me instantly unto his cave,
There stripp'd himself, and here upon his arm
The lioness had torn some flesh away, [fainted
Wiich all this while had bled; and now be
And cry'd, in fainting, upon Rosalind.
Brief, I recover'd him; bound up his wound:
And, after some small space, being strong at heart,
He sent me hither, stranger as 1 am,

[ocr errors]

To tell this story, that you might excuse
His broken promise, and to give this napkin,
Dy'd in his blood, unto the shepherd youth,
That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.

Cel. Why, how now, Ganymede? sweet Gany-
[Rosalind faints.
Oli. Many will swoon, when they do look on

Cel. There is more in it:-
Oli. Look, he recovers.

Ros. I would, I were at home.

you tell your brother how well I counterfeited.Heigh ho!

Oli. This was not counterfeit; there is too great testimony in your complexion, that it was a passion of earnest.

Ros. Counterfeit, I assure you.

Oli. Well then, take a good heart, and counterfeit to be a man.

Ros. So I do: but, i'faith, I should have been a woman by right.

Cel. Come, you look paler and paler; pray you draw homewards: good sir, go with us.

Oli. That will I, for I must bear answer back How you excuse my brother, Rosalind.

Ros. I shall devise something: but, I pray you, commend my counterfeiting to him.-Will you go? [exeunt. ACT V.

Cousin-Ganymede !

Cel. We'll lead you thither:-
I pray you, will you take him by the arm?

Oli. Be of good cheer, youth. You a man?—
You lack a man's heart.

Ros. I do so, I confess it. Ah, sir, a body would think this was well counterfeited: I pray


Enter Touchstone and Audrey.

Touch. We shall find a time, Audrey; patience, gentle Audrey.

Aud. Faith, the priest was good enough, for all the old gentleman's saying.

Touch. A most wicked sir Oliver, Audrey, a most vile Mar-text. But, Audrey, there is a youth here in the forest lays claim to you.

Aud. Ay, I know who 'tis ; he hath no interest in me, in the world: here comes the man you mean. Enter William.

Touch. It is meat and drink to me, to see a clown: by my troth, we, that have good wits, have much to answer for; we shall be flouting; we cannot hold.

Will. Good even, Audrey.

Aud. God ye good even, William.
Will. And good even to you, sir.

Touch. Good even, gentle friend: cover thy head, cover thy head; nay pr'ythee, be covered. How old are you, friend?

Will. Five and twenty, sir.

Will. Ay, sir, I have a pretty wit. Touch. Why, thou say'st well. I do now remember a saying; The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. The heathen philosopher, when he had a desire to eat a grape, would open his lips when he put it into his mouth; meaning thereby, that grapes were made to eat, and lips to open.-You do love this maid?

[ocr errors]

Touch. Then learn this of me; to have, is to have; for it is a figure in rhetoric, that drink, being poured out of a cup into a glass, by filling the one doth empty the other: for all your writers

do consent, that ipse is he: now you are not ipse, for I am he.

Will. Which he, sir?

Touch. He, sir, that must marry this woman: therefore, you clown, abandon,—which is in the vulgar, leave, the society,-which in the boorish is, company,-of this female,-which in the com-. mon is, woman,—which together is, abandon the society of this female; or, clown, thou perishest; or to thy better understanding, diest; to wit, I kill thee, make thee away, translate thy life into death, thy liberty into bondage. I will deal in poison with thee, or in bastinado, or in steel: I will bandy with thee in faction; I will o'er-run thee with policy; I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways; therefore tremble, and depart. Aud. Do, good William.

Will. God rest you merry, sir.

Enter Corin.


Cor. Our master and mistress seek you; come away, away.

Touch. A ripe age: is thy name William?
Will. William, sir.

Enter Orlando and Oliver.

Touch. A fair name: wast born i'the forest here?
Will. Ay, sir, I thank God.

Orl. Is't possible, that on so little acquaintence you should like her? that, but seeing, you should

Touch. Thank God;-
;—a good answer: art rich? love her? and, loving, woo? and wooing, she
Will. Faith, sir, so, so,

should grant? and will you perséver to enjoy her?

Touch. So, so, is good, very good, very excellent good:-and yet it is not; it is but so, so. Art thou wise?

Oli. Neither call the giddiness of it in question, the poverty of her, the small acquaintance, my sudden wooing, nor her sudden consenting; but say with me, I love Aliena; say with her, that she loves me; consent with both, that we may enjoy each other: it shall be to your good, for my father's house, and all the revenue that was old sir Rowland's, will I estate upon you, and her live and die a shepherd.

Enter Rosalind.

Touch. Trip, Audrey; trip, Audrey;-I attend, I attend. [exeunt.

Orl. You have my consent. Let your wedding be to-morrow: thither will I invite the duke, and all his contented followers. Go you, and prepare Touch. Give me your hand: art thou learned? Aliena; for, look you, here comes my Rosalind. Will. No, sir.

Will. I do, sir.

Ros. God save you, brother.

Oli. And you, fair sister.

Ros. O, my dear Orlando, how it grieves me to see thee wear thy heart in a scarf! Orl. It is my arm.

Ros. I thought thy heart had been wounded with the claws of a lion.

Orl. Wounded it is, but with the eyes of a lady. Pos. Did your brother tell you how I counterfeited to swoon, when he showed me your handkerchief?

Orl. Ay, and greater wonders than that. Ros. O, I know where you are.-Nay, 'tis true: there was never any thing so sudden, but the fight of two rams, and Cæsar's thrasonical brag of I came, saw, and overcame; for your brother and my sister no sooner met, but they looked; no sooner looked, but they loved; no sooner loved, but they sighed; no sooner sighed, but they asked one another the reason; no sooner knew the reason, but they sought the remedy: and in these degrees have they made a pair of stairs to marriage, which they will climb incontinent, or else be incontinent before marriage: they are in the very wrath of love, and they will together; clubs cannot part them.

Orl. They shall be married to-morrow; and I will bid the duke to the nuptials. But, O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes! By so much the more shall I to-morrow be at the height of heart-heaviness, by how much I shall think my brother happy, in having what he wishes for.

Ros. Why then, to-morrow I cannot serve your

turn for Rosalind?

Orl. I can live no longer by thinking. Ros. I will weary you no longer then with idle talking. Know of me then (for now I speak to some purpose), that I know you are a gentleman of good conceit: I speak not this, that you should bear a good opinion of my knowledge, insomuch, I say, I know you are; neither do I labour for a greater esteem than may in some little measure draw a belief from you, to do yourself good, and not to grace me. Believe then, if you please, that I can do strange things: I have, since I was three years old, conversed with a magician, most profound in his art, and yet not damnable. If you do love Rosalind so near the heart as your gesture cries it out, when your brother marries Aliena, shall you marry her? I know into what straights of fortune she is driven; and it is not impossible to me, if it appear not inconvenient to you, to set her before your eyes to-morrow, human as she is, and without any danger.

Orl. Speakest thou in sober meanings?

Ros. By my life, I do; which I tender dearly, though I say I am a magician: therefore put you in your best array, bid your friends; for, if you will be married to-morrow you shall; and to Rosalind, if you will.

[blocks in formation]

Phe. And I for Ganymede.
Orl. And I for Rosalind.

Ros. And I for no woman.

Sil. It is to be all made of faith and service

And so am I for Phebe.

Phe. And I for Ganymede.

Orl. And I for Rosalind.
Ros. And I for no woman.

Sil. It is to be all made of phantasy,
All made of passion, and all made of wishes;
All adoration, duty, and observance,
All humbleness, all patience, and impatience,
All purity, all trial, all observance ;-
And so am I for Phebe.

Phe. And so am I for Ganymede. Orl. And so am I for Rosalind. Ros. And so am I for no woman. Phe. If this be so, why blame you me to love you? [to Rosalind. Sil. If this be so, why blame you me to love you? [to Phebe. Orl. If this beso, why blame you me to love you Ros. Who do you speak to? Why blame you me to love you?

Orl. To her, that is not here, nor doth not hear? Ros. Pray you, no more of this: 'tis like the howling of Irish wolves against the moon.-I will help you, [to Silvius] if I can:-I would love you, [to Phebe] if I could.-To-morrow meet me altogether.-I will marry you [to Phebe} if ever I marry woman, and I'll be married tomorrow:-I will satisfy you, [to Orlando] if ever I satisfied man, and you shall be married to-morrow:-I will content you, [to Silvius] if what pleases you contents you, and you shall be married to-morrow. As you [to Orlando] love Rosalind, meet-as you [to Silvius] love Phebe, meet; and as I love no woman, I'll meet. -So fare you well; I have left you commands.

Sil. I'll not fail, if I live.

Phe. Nor I.

Orl. Nor I.


[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »