O, that your Highness knew my heart in this:
I never loved my brother in my life.
More villain thou.—Well, push him out of doors, 15
And let my officers of such a nature
Make an extent upon his house and lands.
Do this expediently, and turn him going.
Enter Orlando, with a paper.
Hang there, my verse, in witness of my love. And thou, thrice-crownèd queen of night, survey With thy chaste eye, from thy pale sphere above, Thy huntress’ name that my full life doth sway. O Rosalind, these trees shall be my books, 5 And in their barks my thoughts I’ll character, That every eye which in this forest looks Shall see thy virtue witnessed everywhere. Run, run, Orlando, carve on every tree The fair, the chaste, and unexpressive she. 10
Enter Corin and Touchstone.
CORIN And how like you this shepherd’s life, Master
TOUCHSTONE Truly, shepherd, in respect of itself, it is a
good life; but in respect that it is a shepherd’s life, it
is naught. In respect that it is solitary, I like it very 15
well; but in respect that it is private, it is a very vile
life. Now in respect it is in the fields, it pleaseth me
well; but in respect it is not in the court, it is
tedious. As it is a spare life, look you, it fits my
humor well; but as there is no more plenty in it, it 20
goes much against my stomach. Hast any philosophy
in thee, shepherd?
CORIN No more but that I know the more one sickens,
the worse at ease he is, and that he that wants
money, means, and content is without three good 25
friends; that the property of rain is to wet, and fire
to burn; that good pasture makes fat sheep; and that
a great cause of the night is lack of the sun; that he
that hath learned no wit by nature nor art may
complain of good breeding or comes of a very dull 30
TOUCHSTONE Such a one is a natural philosopher. Wast
ever in court, shepherd?
CORIN No, truly.
TOUCHSTONE Then thou art damned. 35
CORIN Nay, I hope.
TOUCHSTONE Truly, thou art damned, like an ill-roasted
egg, all on one side.
CORIN For not being at court? Your reason.
TOUCHSTONE Why, if thou never wast at court, thou 40
never saw’st good manners; if thou never saw’st
good manners, then thy manners must be wicked,
and wickedness is sin, and sin is damnation. Thou
art in a parlous state, shepherd.
CORIN Not a whit, Touchstone. Those that are good 45
manners at the court are as ridiculous in the
country as the behavior of the country is most
mockable at the court. You told me you salute not at
the court but you kiss your hands. That courtesy
would be uncleanly if courtiers were shepherds. 50
TOUCHSTONE Instance, briefly. Come, instance.
CORIN Why, we are still handling our ewes, and their
fells, you know, are greasy.
TOUCHSTONE Why, do not your courtier’s hands sweat?
And is not the grease of a mutton as wholesome as 55
the sweat of a man? Shallow, shallow. A better
instance, I say. Come.
CORIN Besides, our hands are hard.
TOUCHSTONE Your lips will feel them the sooner. Shallow
again. A more sounder instance. Come. 60
CORIN And they are often tarred over with the surgery
of our sheep; and would you have us kiss tar? The
courtier’s hands are perfumed with civet.
TOUCHSTONE Most shallow man. Thou worms’ meat in
respect of a good piece of flesh, indeed. Learn of the 65
wise and perpend: civet is of a baser birth than tar,
the very uncleanly flux of a cat. Mend the instance,
CORIN You have too courtly a wit for me. I’ll rest.
TOUCHSTONE Wilt thou rest damned? God help thee, 70
shallow man. God make incision in thee; thou art
CORIN Sir, I am a true laborer. I earn that I eat, get that
I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man’s happiness,
glad of other men’s good, content with my harm, 75
and the greatest of my pride is to see my ewes graze
and my lambs suck.
TOUCHSTONE That is another simple sin in you, to bring the ewes and the rams together and to offer to get your living by the copulation of cattle; to be bawd to 80 a bell-wether and to betray a she-lamb of a twelvemonth to a crooked-pated old cuckoldly ram, out of all reasonable match. If thou be’st not damned for this, the devil himself will have no shepherds. I cannot see else how thou shouldst ’scape. 85
Enter Rosalind, as Ganymede.
CORIN Here comes young Master Ganymede, my new
ROSALIND, as Ganymede, reading a paper From the east to western Ind No jewel is like Rosalind. Her worth being mounted on the wind, 90 Through all the world bears Rosalind. All the pictures fairest lined Are but black to Rosalind. Let no face be kept in mind But the fair of Rosalind. 95
TOUCHSTONE I’ll rhyme you so eight years together,
dinners and suppers and sleeping hours excepted.
It is the right butter-women’s rank to market.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede Out, fool.
TOUCHSTONE For a taste: 100
If a hart do lack a hind,
Let him seek out Rosalind.
If the cat will after kind,
So be sure will Rosalind.
Wintered garments must be lined; 105
So must slender Rosalind.
They that reap must sheaf and bind;
Then to cart with Rosalind.
Sweetest nut hath sourest rind;
Such a nut is Rosalind. 110
He that sweetest rose will find
Must find love’s prick, and Rosalind.
This is the very false gallop of verses. Why do you
infect yourself with them?
ROSALIND, as Ganymede Peace, you dull fool. I found 115
them on a tree.
TOUCHSTONE Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede I’ll graft it with you, and
then I shall graft it with a medlar. Then it will be
the earliest fruit i’ th’ country, for you’ll be rotten 120
ere you be half ripe, and that’s the right virtue of
TOUCHSTONE You have said, but whether wisely or no,
let the forest judge.
Enter Celia, as Aliena, with a writing.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede Peace. Here comes my sister 125
reading. Stand aside.
CELIA, as Aliena, reads
Why should this a desert be?
For it is unpeopled? No.
Tongues I’ll hang on every tree
That shall civil sayings show. 130
Some how brief the life of man
Runs his erring pilgrimage,
That the stretching of a span
Buckles in his sum of age;
Some of violated vows 135
’Twixt the souls of friend and friend.
But upon the fairest boughs,
Or at every sentence’ end,
Will I “Rosalinda” write,
Teaching all that read to know 140
The quintessence of every sprite
Heaven would in little show.
Therefore heaven nature charged
That one body should be filled
With all graces wide-enlarged. 145
Nature presently distilled
Helen’s cheek, but not her heart,
Atalanta’s better part,
Sad Lucretia’s modesty. 150
Thus Rosalind of many parts
By heavenly synod was devised
Of many faces, eyes, and hearts
To have the touches dearest prized.
Heaven would that she these gifts should have 155
And I to live and die her slave.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede O most gentle Jupiter, what
tedious homily of love have you wearied your parishioners
withal, and never cried “Have patience,
good people!” 160
CELIA, as Aliena How now?—Back, friends. Shepherd,
go off a little.—Go with him, sirrah.
TOUCHSTONE Come, shepherd, let us make an honorable
retreat, though not with bag and baggage, yet
with scrip and scrippage. 165
Touchstone and Corin exit.
CELIA Didst thou hear these verses?
ROSALIND O yes, I heard them all, and more too, for
some of them had in them more feet than the verses
CELIA That’s no matter. The feet might bear the verses. 170
ROSALIND Ay, but the feet were lame and could not
bear themselves without the verse, and therefore
stood lamely in the verse.
CELIA But didst thou hear without wondering how thy
name should be hanged and carved upon these 175
ROSALIND I was seven of the nine days out of the
wonder before you came, for look here what I
found on a palm tree. She shows the paper she
read. I was never so berhymed since Pythagoras’ 180
time that I was an Irish rat, which I can hardly
CELIA Trow you who hath done this?
ROSALIND Is it a man?
CELIA And a chain, that you once wore, about his neck. 185
Change you color?
ROSALIND I prithee, who?
CELIA O Lord, Lord, it is a hard matter for friends to
meet, but mountains may be removed with earthquakes
and so encounter. 190
ROSALIND Nay, but who is it?
CELIA Is it possible?
ROSALIND Nay, I prithee now, with most petitionary
vehemence, tell me who it is.
CELIA O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful 195
wonderful, and yet again wonderful, and after that
out of all whooping!
ROSALIND Good my complexion, dost thou think though I am caparisoned like a man, I have a doublet and hose in my disposition? One inch of 200 delay more is a South Sea of discovery. I prithee, tell me who is it quickly, and speak apace. I would thou couldst stammer, that thou might’st pour this concealed man out of thy mouth as wine comes out of a narrow-mouthed bottle—either too much at 205 once, or none at all. I prithee take the cork out of thy mouth, that I may drink thy tidings. CELIA So you may put a man in your belly. ROSALIND Is he of God’s making? What manner of man? Is his head worth a hat, or his chin worth a 210 beard?
CELIA Nay, he hath but a little beard.
ROSALIND Why, God will send more, if the man will be
thankful. Let me stay the growth of his beard, if
thou delay me not the knowledge of his chin. 215
CELIA It is young Orlando, that tripped up the wrestler’s
heels and your heart both in an instant.
ROSALIND Nay, but the devil take mocking. Speak sad
brow and true maid.
CELIA I’ faith, coz, ’tis he. 220
ROSALIND Alas the day, what shall I do with my doublet
and hose? What did he when thou saw’st him? What
said he? How looked he? Wherein went he? What 225
makes he here? Did he ask for me? Where remains
he? How parted he with thee? And when shalt thou
see him again? Answer me in one word.
CELIA You must borrow me Gargantua’s mouth first.
’Tis a word too great for any mouth of this age’s size. 230
To say ay and no to these particulars is more than to
answer in a catechism.
ROSALIND But doth he know that I am in this forest and
in man’s apparel? Looks he as freshly as he did the
day he wrestled? 235
CELIA It is as easy to count atomies as to resolve the
propositions of a lover. But take a taste of my
finding him, and relish it with good observance. I
found him under a tree like a dropped acorn.
ROSALIND It may well be called Jove’s tree when it 240
drops forth such fruit.
CELIA Give me audience, good madam.
CELIA There lay he, stretched along like a wounded
ROSALIND Though it be pity to see such a sight, it well
becomes the ground.
CELIA Cry “holla” to thy tongue, I prithee. It curvets
unseasonably. He was furnished like a hunter.
ROSALIND O, ominous! He comes to kill my heart. 250
CELIA I would sing my song without a burden. Thou
bring’st me out of tune.
ROSALIND Do you not know I am a woman? When I
think, I must speak. Sweet, say on.
CELIA You bring me out. 255
Enter Orlando and Jaques.
Soft, comes he not here?
ROSALIND ’Tis he. Slink by, and note him.
Rosalind and Celia step aside.
JAQUES, to Orlando I thank you for your company,
but, good faith, I had as lief have been myself alone.
ORLANDO And so had I, but yet, for fashion sake, I 260
thank you too for your society.
JAQUES God be wi’ you. Let’s meet as little as we can.
ORLANDO I do desire we may be better strangers.
JAQUES I pray you mar no more trees with writing love
songs in their barks. 265
ORLANDO I pray you mar no more of my verses with
reading them ill-favoredly.
JAQUES Rosalind is your love’s name?
ORLANDO Yes, just.
JAQUES I do not like her name. 270
ORLANDO There was no thought of pleasing you when
she was christened.
JAQUES What stature is she of?
ORLANDO Just as high as my heart.
JAQUES You are full of pretty answers. Have you not 275
been acquainted with goldsmiths’ wives and
conned them out of rings?
ORLANDO Not so. But I answer you right painted cloth,
from whence you have studied your questions.
JAQUES You have a nimble wit. I think ’twas made of 280
Atalanta’s heels. Will you sit down with me? And we
two will rail against our mistress the world and all
ORLANDO I will chide no breather in the world but
myself, against whom I know most faults. 285
JAQUES The worst fault you have is to be in love.
ORLANDO ’Tis a fault I will not change for your best
virtue. I am weary of you.
JAQUES By my troth, I was seeking for a fool when I
found you. 290
ORLANDO He is drowned in the brook. Look but in, and
you shall see him.
JAQUES There I shall see mine own figure.
ORLANDO Which I take to be either a fool or a cipher.
JAQUES I’ll tarry no longer with you. Farewell, good 295
ORLANDO I am glad of your departure. Adieu, good
Monsieur Melancholy. Jaques exits.
ROSALIND, aside to Celia I will speak to him like a
saucy lackey, and under that habit play the knave 300
with him. As Ganymede. Do you hear, forester?
ORLANDO Very well. What would you? ROSALIND, as Ganymede I pray you, what is ’t o’clock? ORLANDO You should ask me what time o’ day. There’s 305 no clock in the forest. ROSALIND, as Ganymede Then there is no true lover in the forest; else sighing every minute and groaning every hour would detect the lazy foot of time as well as a clock. 310 ORLANDO And why not the swift foot of time? Had not that been as proper?
ROSALIND, as Ganymede By no means, sir. Time
travels in divers paces with divers persons. I’ll tell
you who time ambles withal, who time trots withal, 315
who time gallops withal, and who he stands still
ORLANDO I prithee, who doth he trot withal?
ROSALIND, as Ganymede Marry, he trots hard with a
young maid between the contract of her marriage 320
and the day it is solemnized. If the interim be but a
se’nnight, time’s pace is so hard that it seems the
length of seven year.
ORLANDO Who ambles time withal?
ROSALIND, as Ganymede With a priest that lacks Latin 325
and a rich man that hath not the gout, for the one
sleeps easily because he cannot study, and the other
lives merrily because he feels no pain—the one
lacking the burden of lean and wasteful learning,
the other knowing no burden of heavy tedious 330
penury. These time ambles withal.
ORLANDO Who doth he gallop withal?
ROSALIND, as Ganymede With a thief to the gallows,
for though he go as softly as foot can fall, he thinks
himself too soon there. 335
ORLANDO Who stays it still withal?
ROSALIND, as Ganymede With lawyers in the vacation,
for they sleep between term and term, and
then they perceive not how time moves.
ORLANDO Where dwell you, pretty youth? 340
ROSALIND, as Ganymede With this shepherdess, my
sister, here in the skirts of the forest, like fringe
upon a petticoat.
ORLANDO Are you native of this place? ROSALIND, as Ganymede As the cony that you see 345 dwell where she is kindled. ORLANDO Your accent is something finer than you could purchase in so removed a dwelling. ROSALIND, as Ganymede I have been told so of many. But indeed an old religious uncle of mine taught 350 me to speak, who was in his youth an inland man, one that knew courtship too well, for there he fell in love. I have heard him read many lectures against it, and I thank God I am not a woman, to be touched with so many giddy offenses as he hath generally 355 taxed their whole sex withal.
ORLANDO Can you remember any of the principal evils
that he laid to the charge of women?
ROSALIND, as Ganymede There were none principal.
They were all like one another as halfpence are, 360
every one fault seeming monstrous till his fellow
fault came to match it.
ORLANDO I prithee recount some of them.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede No, I will not cast away my
physic but on those that are sick. There is a man 365
haunts the forest that abuses our young plants with
carving “Rosalind” on their barks, hangs odes upon
hawthorns and elegies on brambles, all, forsooth,
deifying the name of Rosalind. If I could meet
that fancy-monger, I would give him some good 370
counsel, for he seems to have the quotidian of love
ORLANDO I am he that is so love-shaked. I pray you tell
me your remedy.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede There is none of my uncle’s 375
marks upon you. He taught me how to know a man
in love, in which cage of rushes I am sure you are
ORLANDO What were his marks?
ROSALIND, as Ganymede A lean cheek, which you 380
have not; a blue eye and sunken, which you have
not; an unquestionable spirit, which you have not; a
beard neglected, which you have not—but I pardon
you for that, for simply your having in beard is a
younger brother’s revenue. Then your hose should 385
be ungartered, your bonnet unbanded, your sleeve
unbuttoned, your shoe untied, and everything
about you demonstrating a careless desolation. But
you are no such man. You are rather point-device in
your accouterments, as loving yourself than seeming 390
the lover of any other.
ORLANDO Fair youth, I would I could make thee believe
ROSALIND, as Ganymede Me believe it? You may as
soon make her that you love believe it, which I 395
warrant she is apter to do than to confess she does.
That is one of the points in the which women still
give the lie to their consciences. But, in good sooth,
are you he that hangs the verses on the trees
wherein Rosalind is so admired? 400
ORLANDO I swear to thee, youth, by the white hand of
Rosalind, I am that he, that unfortunate he.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede But are you so much in love
as your rhymes speak?
ORLANDO Neither rhyme nor reason can express how 405
ROSALIND, as Ganymede Love is merely a madness,
and, I tell you, deserves as well a dark house and a
whip as madmen do; and the reason why they are
not so punished and cured is that the lunacy is so 410
ordinary that the whippers are in love too. Yet I
profess curing it by counsel.
ORLANDO Did you ever cure any so?
ROSALIND, as Ganymede Yes, one, and in this manner.
He was to imagine me his love, his mistress, 415
and I set him every day to woo me; at which time
would I, being but a moonish youth, grieve, be
effeminate, changeable, longing and liking, proud,
fantastical, apish, shallow, inconstant, full of tears,
full of smiles; for every passion something, and for 420
no passion truly anything, as boys and women are,
for the most part, cattle of this color; would now
like him, now loathe him; then entertain him, then
forswear him; now weep for him, then spit at him,
that I drave my suitor from his mad humor of love 425
to a living humor of madness, which was to forswear
the full stream of the world and to live in a
nook merely monastic. And thus I cured him, and
this way will I take upon me to wash your liver as
clean as a sound sheep’s heart, that there shall not 430
be one spot of love in ’t.
ORLANDO I would not be cured, youth.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede I would cure you if you
would but call me Rosalind and come every day to
my cote and woo me. 435
ORLANDO Now, by the faith of my love, I will. Tell me
where it is.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede Go with me to it, and I’ll
show it you; and by the way you shall tell me where
in the forest you live. Will you go? 440
ORLANDO With all my heart, good youth.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede Nay, you must call me
Rosalind.—Come, sister, will you go?
Enter Touchstone and Audrey, followed by Jaques.
TOUCHSTONE Come apace, good Audrey. I will fetch up
your goats, Audrey. And how, Audrey? Am I the
man yet? Doth my simple feature content you?
AUDREY Your features, Lord warrant us! What
TOUCHSTONE I am here with thee and thy goats, as the
most capricious poet, honest Ovid, was among the
JAQUES, aside O knowledge ill-inhabited, worse than
Jove in a thatched house. 10
TOUCHSTONE When a man’s verses cannot be understood,
nor a man’s good wit seconded with the
forward child, understanding, it strikes a man more
dead than a great reckoning in a little room. Truly, I
would the gods had made thee poetical. 15
AUDREY I do not know what “poetical” is. Is it honest
in deed and word? Is it a true thing?
TOUCHSTONE No, truly, for the truest poetry is the most
feigning, and lovers are given to poetry, and what
they swear in poetry may be said as lovers they do 20
AUDREY Do you wish, then, that the gods had made me
TOUCHSTONE I do, truly, for thou swear’st to me thou
art honest. Now if thou wert a poet, I might have 25
some hope thou didst feign.
AUDREY Would you not have me honest?
TOUCHSTONE No, truly, unless thou wert hard-favored; for honesty coupled to beauty is to have honey a sauce to sugar. 30 JAQUES, aside A material fool. AUDREY Well, I am not fair, and therefore I pray the gods make me honest. TOUCHSTONE Truly, and to cast away honesty upon a foul slut were to put good meat into an unclean 35 dish.
AUDREY I am not a slut, though I thank the gods I am
TOUCHSTONE Well, praised be the gods for thy foulness;
sluttishness may come hereafter. But be it as it may 40
be, I will marry thee; and to that end I have been
with Sir Oliver Martext, the vicar of the next village,
who hath promised to meet me in this place of the
forest and to couple us.
JAQUES, aside I would fain see this meeting. 45
AUDREY Well, the gods give us joy.
TOUCHSTONE Amen. A man may, if he were of a fearful
heart, stagger in this attempt, for here we have no
temple but the wood, no assembly but horn-beasts.
But what though? Courage. As horns are odious, 50
they are necessary. It is said “Many a man knows no
end of his goods.” Right: many a man has good
horns and knows no end of them. Well, that is the
dowry of his wife; ’tis none of his own getting.
Horns? Even so. Poor men alone? No, no. The 55
noblest deer hath them as huge as the rascal. Is the
single man therefore blessed? No. As a walled town
is more worthier than a village, so is the forehead of
a married man more honorable than the bare brow
of a bachelor. And by how much defense is better 60
than no skill, by so much is a horn more precious
than to want.
Enter Sir Oliver Martext.
Here comes Sir Oliver.—Sir Oliver Martext, you are
well met. Will you dispatch us here under this tree,
or shall we go with you to your chapel? 65
OLIVER MARTEXT Is there none here to give the
TOUCHSTONE I will not take her on gift of any man.
OLIVER MARTEXT Truly, she must be given, or the
marriage is not lawful. 70
JAQUES, coming forward Proceed, proceed. I’ll give
TOUCHSTONE Good even, good Monsieur What-you-call-’t.
How do you, sir? You are very well met. God
’ild you for your last company. I am very glad to see 75
you. Even a toy in hand here, sir. Nay, pray be
JAQUES Will you be married, motley?
TOUCHSTONE As the ox hath his bow, sir, the horse his
curb, and the falcon her bells, so man hath his 80
desires; and as pigeons bill, so wedlock would be
JAQUES And will you, being a man of your breeding, be
married under a bush like a beggar? Get you to
church, and have a good priest that can tell you 85
what marriage is. This fellow will but join you
together as they join wainscot. Then one of you will
prove a shrunk panel and, like green timber, warp,
TOUCHSTONE I am not in the mind but I were better to 90
be married of him than of another, for he is not like
to marry me well, and not being well married, it
will be a good excuse for me hereafter to leave my
JAQUES Go thou with me, and let me counsel thee. 95
TOUCHSTONE Come, sweet Audrey. We must be married,
or we must live in bawdry.—Farewell, good
Master Oliver, not
O sweet Oliver,
O brave Oliver, 100
Leave me not behind thee,
Begone, I say,
I will not to wedding with thee. 105
Audrey, Touchstone, and Jaques exit.
OLIVER MARTEXT ’Tis no matter. Ne’er a fantastical
knave of them all shall flout me out of my calling.
Enter Rosalind, dressed as Ganymede, and Celia,
dressed as Aliena.
ROSALIND Never talk to me. I will weep.
CELIA Do, I prithee, but yet have the grace to consider
that tears do not become a man.
ROSALIND But have I not cause to weep?
CELIA As good cause as one would desire. Therefore 5
ROSALIND His very hair is of the dissembling color.
CELIA Something browner than Judas’s. Marry, his
kisses are Judas’s own children.
ROSALIND I’ faith, his hair is of a good color. 10
CELIA An excellent color. Your chestnut was ever the
ROSALIND And his kissing is as full of sanctity as the
touch of holy bread.
CELIA He hath bought a pair of cast lips of Diana. A 15
nun of winter’s sisterhood kisses not more religiously.
The very ice of chastity is in them.
ROSALIND But why did he swear he would come this
morning, and comes not?
CELIA Nay, certainly, there is no truth in him. 20
ROSALIND Do you think so?
CELIA Yes, I think he is not a pickpurse nor a horse-stealer,
but for his verity in love, I do think him as
concave as a covered goblet or a worm-eaten nut.
ROSALIND Not true in love? 25
CELIA Yes, when he is in, but I think he is not in.
ROSALIND You have heard him swear downright he
CELIA “Was” is not “is.” Besides, the oath of a lover is
no stronger than the word of a tapster. They are 30
both the confirmer of false reckonings. He attends
here in the forest on the Duke your father.
ROSALIND I met the Duke yesterday and had much
question with him. He asked me of what parentage
I was. I told him, of as good as he. So he laughed 35
and let me go. But what talk we of fathers when
there is such a man as Orlando?
CELIA O, that’s a brave man. He writes brave verses,
speaks brave words, swears brave oaths, and breaks
them bravely, quite traverse, athwart the heart of 40
his lover, as a puny tilter that spurs his horse but on
one side breaks his staff like a noble goose; but all’s
brave that youth mounts and folly guides.
Who comes here?
Mistress and master, you have oft inquired 45
After the shepherd that complained of love,
Who you saw sitting by me on the turf,
Praising the proud disdainful shepherdess
That was his mistress.
CELIA, as Aliena Well, and what of him? 50
If you will see a pageant truly played
Between the pale complexion of true love
And the red glow of scorn and proud disdain,
Go hence a little, and I shall conduct you
If you will mark it. 55
ROSALIND, aside to Celia O come, let us remove.
The sight of lovers feedeth those in love.
As Ganymede, to Corin.
Bring us to this sight, andyou shall say
I’ll prove a busy actor in their play. 60
Enter Silvius and Phoebe.
Sweet Phoebe, do not scorn me. Do not, Phoebe. Say that you love me not, but say not so In bitterness. The common executioner, Whose heart th’ accustomed sight of death makes hard, 5 Falls not the axe upon the humbled neck But first begs pardon. Will you sterner be Than he that dies and lives by bloody drops?
Enter, unobserved, Rosalind as Ganymede, Celia as
Aliena, and Corin.
I would not be thy executioner. I fly thee, for I would not injure thee. 10 Thou tell’st me there is murder in mine eye. ’Tis pretty, sure, and very probable That eyes, that are the frail’st and softest things, Who shut their coward gates on atomies, Should be called tyrants, butchers, murderers. 15 Now I do frown on thee with all my heart, And if mine eyes can wound, now let them kill thee.
Now counterfeit to swoon; why, now fall down;
Or if thou canst not, O, for shame, for shame,
Lie not, to say mine eyes are murderers. 20
Now show the wound mine eye hath made in thee.
Scratch thee but with a pin, and there remains
Some scar of it. Lean upon a rush,
The cicatrice and capable impressure
Thy palm some moment keeps. But now mine eyes, 25
Which I have darted at thee, hurt thee not;
Nor I am sure there is no force in eyes
That can do hurt.
SILVIUS O dear Phoebe,
If ever—as that ever may be near— 30
You meet in some fresh cheek the power of fancy,
Then shall you know the wounds invisible
That love’s keen arrows make.
PHOEBE But till that time
Come not thou near me. And when that time 35
Afflict me with thy mocks, pity me not,
As till that time I shall not pity thee.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede, coming forward
And why, I pray you? Who might be your mother,
That you insult, exult, and all at once, 40
Over the wretched? What though you have no
As, by my faith, I see no more in you
Than without candle may go dark to bed—
Must you be therefore proud and pitiless? 45
Why, what means this? Why do you look on me?
I see no more in you than in the ordinary
Of nature’s sale-work.—’Od’s my little life,
I think she means to tangle my eyes, too.—
No, faith, proud mistress, hope not after it. 50
’Tis not your inky brows, your black silk hair,
Your bugle eyeballs, nor your cheek of cream
That can entame my spirits to your worship.—
You foolish shepherd, wherefore do you follow her,
Like foggy south puffing with wind and rain? 55
You are a thousand times a properer man
Than she a woman. ’Tis such fools as you
That makes the world full of ill-favored children.
’Tis not her glass but you that flatters her,
And out of you she sees herself more proper 60
Than any of her lineaments can show her.—
But, mistress, know yourself. Down on your knees
And thank heaven, fasting, for a good man’s love,
For I must tell you friendly in your ear,
Sell when you can; you are not for all markets. 65
Cry the man mercy, love him, take his offer.
Foul is most foul, being foul to be a scoffer.—
So take her to thee, shepherd. Fare you well.
Sweet youth, I pray you chide a year together.
I had rather hear you chide than this man woo. 70
ROSALIND,as Ganymede He’s fall’n in love with your
foulness. (To Silvius.) And she’ll fall in love with
my anger. If it be so, as fast as she answers thee with
frowning looks, I’ll sauce her with bitter words. (To
Phoebe.) Why look you so upon me? 75
PHOEBE For no ill will I bear you.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede
I pray you, do not fall in love with me,
For I am falser than vows made in wine.
Besides, I like you not. If you will know my house,
’Tis at the tuft of olives, here hard by.— 80
Will you go, sister?—Shepherd, ply her hard.—
Come, sister.—Shepherdess, look on him better,
And be not proud. Though all the world could see,
None could be so abused in sight as he.—
Come, to our flock. 85
She exits, with Celia and Corin.
Dead shepherd, now I find thy saw of might:
“Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?”
PHOEBE Ha, what sayst thou, Silvius?
SILVIUS Sweet Phoebe, pity me. 90
Why, I am sorry for thee, gentle Silvius.
Wherever sorrow is, relief would be.
If you do sorrow at my grief in love,
By giving love your sorrow and my grief
Were both extermined. 95
Thou hast my love. Is not that neighborly?
I would have you.
PHOEBE Why, that were covetousness.
Silvius, the time was that I hated thee;
And yet it is not that I bear thee love; 100
But since that thou canst talk of love so well,
Thy company, which erst was irksome to me,
I will endure, and I’ll employ thee too.
But do not look for further recompense
Than thine own gladness that thou art employed. 105
So holy and so perfect is my love,
And I in such a poverty of grace,
That I shall think it a most plenteous crop
To glean the broken ears after the man
That the main harvest reaps. Loose now and then 110
A scattered smile, and that I’ll live upon.
Know’st thou the youth that spoke to me erewhile?
Not very well, but I have met him oft,
And he hath bought the cottage and the bounds
That the old carlot once was master of. 115
Think not I love him, though I ask for him. ’Tis but a peevish boy—yet he talks well— But what care I for words? Yet words do well When he that speaks them pleases those that hear. It is a pretty youth—not very pretty— 120 But sure he’s proud—and yet his pride becomes him. He’ll make a proper man. The best thing in him Is his complexion; and faster than his tongue Did make offense, his eye did heal it up. 125 He is not very tall—yet for his years he’s tall. His leg is but so-so—and yet ’tis well. There was a pretty redness in his lip, A little riper and more lusty red Than that mixed in his cheek: ’twas just the 130 difference Betwixt the constant red and mingled damask.
There be some women, Silvius, had they marked
In parcels as I did, would have gone near 135
To fall in love with him; but for my part
I love him not nor hate him not; and yet
I have more cause to hate him than to love him.
For what had he to do to chide at me?
He said mine eyes were black and my hair black, 140
And now I am remembered, scorned at me.
I marvel why I answered not again.
But that’s all one: omittance is no quittance.
I’ll write to him a very taunting letter,
And thou shalt bear it. Wilt thou, Silvius? 145
Phoebe, with all my heart.
PHOEBE I’ll write it straight.
The matter’s in my head and in my heart.
I will be bitter with him and passing short.
Go with me, Silvius. 150