Shakespeare in the Digital Age

Act IV

Scene 1
Enter Rosalind as Ganymede, and Celia as Aliena,
and Jaques.

JAQUES  I prithee, pretty youth, let me be better
acquainted with thee.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  They say you are a melancholy
JAQUES  I am so. I do love it better than laughing.                                 5
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Those that are in extremity
of either are abominable fellows and betray
themselves to every modern censure worse than drunkards.
JAQUES  Why, ’tis good to be sad and say nothing.                             10
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Why then, ’tis good to be a
JAQUES  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                                        15
soldier’s, which is ambitious; nor the lawyer’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                                        20
contemplation of my travels, in which my often
rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  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                            25
seen much and to have nothing is to have rich eyes
and poor hands.
JAQUES  Yes, I have gained my experience.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  And your experience makes
you sad. I had rather have a fool to make me merry                       30
than experience to make me sad—and to travel for
it too.
Enter Orlando.
Good day and happiness, dear Rosalind.
JAQUES  Nay then, God be wi’ you, an you talk in blank
verse.                                                                                                        35
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  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                       40
have swam in a gondola.
Jaques exits.
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.
ORLANDO  My fair Rosalind, I come within an hour of                     45
my promise.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Break an hour’s promise in
love? He that will divide a minute into a thousand
parts and break but a part of the thousand part of a
minute in the affairs of love, it may be said of him                         50
that Cupid hath clapped him o’ th’ shoulder, but I’ll
warrant him heart-whole.
ORLANDO  Pardon me, dear Rosalind.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Nay, an you be so tardy,
come no more in my sight. I had as lief be wooed of                     55
a snail.
ORLANDO  Of a snail?
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Ay, of a snail, for though he
comes slowly, he carries his house on his head—a
better jointure, I think, than you make a woman.                            60
Besides, he brings his destiny with him.
ORLANDO  What’s that?
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Why, horns, which such as
you are fain to be beholding to your wives for. But
he comes armed in his fortune and prevents the                              65
slander of his wife.
ORLANDO  Virtue is no hornmaker, and my Rosalind is
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  And I am your Rosalind.
CELIA, as Aliena  It pleases him to call you so, but he                         70
hath a Rosalind of a better leer than you.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede, to Orlando  Come, woo me,
woo me, for now I am in a holiday humor, and like
enough to consent. What would you say to me now
an I were your very, very Rosalind?                                                  75
ORLANDO  I would kiss before I spoke.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Nay, you were better speak
first, and when you were gravelled for lack of
matter, you might take occasion to kiss. Very good
orators, when they are out, they will spit; and for                           80
lovers lacking—God warn us—matter, the cleanliest
shift is to kiss.
ORLANDO  How if the kiss be denied?
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Then she puts you to entreaty,
and there begins new matter.                                                               85
ORLANDO  Who could be out, being before his beloved
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Marry, that should you if I
were your mistress, or I should think my honesty
ranker than my wit.                                                                               90
ORLANDO  What, of my suit?
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Not out of your apparel, and
yet out of your suit. Am not I your Rosalind?
ORLANDO  I take some joy to say you are because I
would be talking of her.                                                                        95
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Well, in her person I say I
will not have you.
ORLANDO  Then, in mine own person I die.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  No, faith, die by attorney.
The poor world is almost six thousand years old,                         100
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                       105
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                           110
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.
ORLANDO  I would not have my right Rosalind of this
mind, for I protest her frown might kill me.                                   115
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  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.
ORLANDO  Then love me, Rosalind.                                                    120
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Yes, faith, will I, Fridays and
Saturdays and all.
ORLANDO  And wilt thou have me?
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Ay, and twenty such.
ORLANDO  What sayest thou?                                                               125
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Are you not good?
ORLANDO  I hope so.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Why then, can one desire
too much of a good thing?—Come, sister, you shall
be the priest and marry us.—Give me your hand,                         130
Orlando.—What do you say, sister?
ORLANDO, to Celia  Pray thee marry us.
CELIA, as Aliena  I cannot say the words.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  You must begin “Will you,
Orlando—”                                                                                           135
CELIA, as Aliena  Go to.—Will you, Orlando, have to
wife this Rosalind?
ORLANDO  I will.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Ay, but when?
ORLANDO  Why now, as fast as she can marry us.                            140
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Then you must say “I take
thee, Rosalind, for wife.”
ORLANDO  I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  I might ask you for your
commission, but I do take thee, Orlando, for my                          145
husband. There’s a girl goes before the priest, and
certainly a woman’s thought runs before her
ORLANDO  So do all thoughts. They are winged.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Now tell me how long you                     150
would have her after you have possessed her?
ORLANDO  Forever and a day.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Say “a day” without the
“ever.” No, no, Orlando, men are April when they
woo, December when they wed. Maids are May                           155
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                      160
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 hyena, and that when thou
art inclined to sleep.
ORLANDO  But will my Rosalind do so?                                             165
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  By my life, she will do as I
ORLANDO  O, but she is wise.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Or else she could not have
the wit to do this. The wiser, the waywarder. Make                     170
the doors upon a woman’s wit, and it will out at the
casement. Shut that, and ’twill out at the keyhole.
Stop that, ’twill fly with the smoke out at the
ORLANDO  A man that had a wife with such a wit, he                      175
might say “Wit, whither wilt?”
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Nay, you might keep that
check for it till you met your wife’s wit going to
your neighbor’s bed.
ORLANDO  And what wit could wit have to excuse that?                 180
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  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                                            185
herself, for she will breed it like a fool.
ORLANDO  For these two hours, Rosalind, I will leave
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Alas, dear love, I cannot lack
thee two hours.                                                                                     190
ORLANDO  I must attend the Duke at dinner. By two
o’clock I will be with thee again.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Ay, go your ways, go your
ways. I knew what you would prove. My friends told
me as much, and I thought no less. That flattering                        195
tongue of yours won me. ’Tis but one cast away, and
so, come, death. Two o’clock is your hour?
ORLANDO  Ay, sweet Rosalind.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  By my troth, and in good
earnest, and so God mend me, and by all pretty                            200
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                             205
chosen out of the gross band of the unfaithful.
Therefore beware my censure, and keep your
ORLANDO  With no less religion than if thou wert indeed
my Rosalind. So, adieu.                                                                     210
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Well, time is the old justice
that examines all such offenders, and let time try.
Orlando exits.
CELIA  You have simply misused our sex in your love-prate.
We must have your doublet and hose plucked                               215
over your head and show the world what the bird
hath done to her own nest.
ROSALIND  O coz, coz, coz, my pretty little coz, that thou
didst know how many fathom deep I am in love. But
it cannot be sounded; my affection hath an                                    220
unknown bottom, like the Bay of Portugal.
CELIA  Or rather bottomless, that as fast as you pour
affection in, it runs out.
ROSALIND  No, that same wicked bastard of Venus, that
was begot of thought, conceived of spleen, and born                   225
of madness, that blind rascally boy that abuses
everyone’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’ll go find a
shadow and sigh till he come.                                                           230
CELIA  And I’ll sleep.
They exit.
Scene 2
Enter Jaques and Lords, like foresters.
JAQUES  Which is he that killed the deer?
FIRST LORD  Sir, it was I.
JAQUES, to the other Lords  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                        5
victory.—Have you no song, forester, for this
SECOND LORD  Yes, sir.
JAQUES  Sing it. ’Tis no matter how it be in tune, so it
make noise enough.                                                                               10
Music. Song.
            What shall he have that killed the deer?
            His leather skin and horns to wear.
               Then sing him home.
(The rest shall bear this burden:)
            Take thou no scorn to wear the horn.
            It was a crest ere thou wast born.                                              15
               Thy father’s father wore it,
               And thy father bore it.
            The horn, the horn, the lusty horn
            Is not a thing to laugh to scorn.
They exit.
Scene 3
Enter Rosalind dressed as Ganymede and Celia
dressed as Aliena.

ROSALIND  How say you now? Is it not past two o’clock?
And here much Orlando.
CELIA  I warrant you, with pure love and troubled brain
he hath ta’en his bow and arrows and is gone forth
to sleep.                                                                                                      5
Enter Silvius.
Look who comes here.
SILVIUS, to Rosalind
My errand is to you, fair youth.
My gentle Phoebe did bid me give you this.
He gives Rosalind a paper.
I know not the contents, but as I guess
By the stern brow and waspish action                                                   10
Which she did use as she was writing of it,
It bears an angry tenor. Pardon me.
I am but as a guiltless messenger.
Rosalind reads the letter.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede
Patience herself would startle at this letter
And play the swaggerer. Bear this, bear all.                                         15
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 hunt.
Why writes she so to me? Well, shepherd, well,                                 20
This is a letter of your own device.
No, I protest. I know not the contents.
Phoebe did write it.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Come, come, you are a
fool,                                                                                                           25
And turned into the extremity of love.
I saw her hand. She has a leathern hand,
A freestone-colored hand. I verily did think
That her old gloves were on, but ’twas her hands.
She has a huswife’s hand—but that’s no matter.                                30
I say she never did invent this letter.
This is a man’s invention, and his hand.
SILVIUS  Sure it is hers.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede
Why, ’tis a boisterous and a cruel style,
A style for challengers. Why, she defies me                                        35
Like Turk to Christian. Women’s gentle brain
Could not drop forth such giant-rude invention,
Such Ethiop words, blacker in their effect
Than in their countenance. Will you hear the letter?
So please you, for I never heard it yet,                                                  40
Yet heard too much of Phoebe’s cruelty.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede
She Phoebes me. Mark how the tyrant writes.
            Art thou god to shepherd turned,
            That a maiden’s heart hath burned?
Can a woman rail thus?                                                                        45
SILVIUS  Call you this railing?
ROSALIND, as Ganymede
            Why, thy godhead laid apart,
            Warr’st thou with a woman’s heart?
Did you ever hear such railing?
            Whiles the eye of man did woo me,                                            50
            That could do no vengeance to me.
Meaning me a beast.
            If the scorn of your bright eyne
            Have power to raise such love in mine,
            Alack, in me what strange effect                                                 55
            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,                                                        60
            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,                                                      65
            And then I’ll study how to die.
SILVIUS  Call you this chiding?
CELIA, as Aliena  Alas, poor shepherd.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Do you pity him? No, he
deserves no pity.—Wilt thou love such a woman?                          70
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                        75
have her unless thou entreat for her. If you be a
true lover, hence, and not a word, for
here comes more company.  
                                                                             Silvius exits.
Enter Oliver.
Good morrow, fair ones. Pray you, if you know,
Where in the purlieus of this forest stands                                           80
A sheepcote fenced about with olive trees?
CELIA, as Aliena
West of this place, down in the neighbor 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.                                          85
There’s none within.
If that an eye may profit by a tongue,
Then should I know you by description—
Such garments, and such years. “The boy is fair,
Of female favor, and bestows himself                                                   90
Like a ripe sister; the woman low
And browner than her brother.” Are not you
The owner of the house I did inquire for?
CELIA, as Aliena
It is no boast, being asked, to say we are.
Orlando doth commend him to you both,                                             95
And to that youth he calls his Rosalind
He sends this bloody napkin. Are you he?
He shows a stained handkerchief.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede
I am. What must we understand by this?
Some of my shame, if you will know of me
What man I am, and how, and why, and where                                100
This handkercher was stained.
CELIA, as Aliena  I pray you tell it.
When last the young Orlando parted from you,
He left a promise to return again
Within an hour, and pacing through the forest,                                 105
Chewing the food of sweet and bitter fancy,
Lo, what befell. He threw his eye aside—
And mark what object did present itself:
Under an old oak, whose boughs were mossed with
age  110
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 wreathed itself,
Who with her head, nimble in threats, approached                          115
The opening of his mouth. But suddenly,
Seeing Orlando, it unlinked itself
And, with indented glides, did slip away
Into a bush, under which bush’s shade
A lioness, with udders all drawn dry,                                                  120
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                                          125
And found it was his brother, his elder brother.
CELIA, as Aliena
O, I have heard him speak of that same brother,
And he did render him the most unnatural
That lived amongst men.
OLIVER  And well he might so do,                                                        130
For well I know he was unnatural.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede
But to Orlando: did he leave him there,
Food to the sucked and hungry lioness?
Twice did he turn his back and purposed so,
But kindness, nobler ever than revenge,                                             135
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 awaked.
CELIA, as Aliena  Are you his brother?                                                 140
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Was ’t you he rescued?
CELIA, as Aliena
Was ’t you that did so oft contrive to kill him?
’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.                                              145
ROSALIND, as Ganymede
But for the bloody napkin?
OLIVER  By and by.
When from the first to last betwixt us two
Tears our recountments had most kindly bathed—
As how I came into that desert place—                                              150
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 stripped himself, and here upon his arm                                 155
The lioness had torn some flesh away,
Which all this while had bled; and now he fainted,
And cried in fainting upon Rosalind.
Brief, I recovered him, bound up his wound,
And after some small space, being strong at heart,                          160
He sent me hither, stranger as I am,
To tell this story, that you might excuse
His broken promise, and to give this napkin
Dyed in his blood unto the shepherd youth
That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.                                              165
Rosalind faints.
CELIA, as Aliena
Why, how now, Ganymede, sweet Ganymede?
Many will swoon when they do look on blood.
CELIA, as Aliena
There is more in it.—Cousin Ganymede.
OLIVER  Look, he recovers.
ROSALIND  I would I were at home.                                                     170
CELIA, as Aliena  We’ll lead you thither.—I pray you,
will you take him by the arm?
OLIVER, helping Rosalind to rise  Be of good cheer,
youth. You a man? You lack a man’s heart.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  I do so, I confess it. Ah,                          175
sirrah, a body would think this was well-counterfeited.
I pray you tell your brother how well I
counterfeited. Heigh-ho.
OLIVER  This was not counterfeit. There is too great
testimony in your complexion that it was a passion                     180
of earnest.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Counterfeit, I assure you.
OLIVER  Well then, take a good heart, and counterfeit to
be a man.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  So I do; but, i’ faith, I should                 185
have been a woman by right.
CELIA, as Aliena  Come, you look paler and paler. Pray
you draw homewards.—Good sir, go with us.
That will I, for I must bear answer back
How you excuse my brother, Rosalind.                                              190
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  I shall devise something.
But I pray you commend my counterfeiting to him.
Will you go?
They exit.

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