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William Shakespeare blogs "As You Like It"


SCENE I. Orchard of Oliver's house.



As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed me by will but poor a thousand crowns, and, as thou sayest, charged my brother, on his blessing, to breed me well: and there begins my sadness. My brother Jaques he keeps at school, and report speaks goldenly of his profit: for my part, he keeps me rustically at home, or, to speak more properly, stays me here at home unkept; for call you that keeping for a gentleman of my birth, that differs not from the stalling of an ox? His horses are bred better; for, besides that they are fair with their feeding, they are taught their manage, and to that end riders dearly hired: but I, his brother, gain nothing under him but growth; for the which his animals on his dunghills are as much bound to him as I. Besides this nothing that he so plentifully gives me, the something that nature gave me his countenance seems to take from me: he lets me feed with his hinds, bars me the place of a brother, and, as much as in him lies, mines my gentility with my education. This is it, Adam, that grieves me; and the spirit of my father, which I think is within me, begins to mutiny against this servitude: I will no longer endure it, though yet I know no wise remedy how to avoid it.


Yonder comes my master, your brother.


Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he will shake me up.



Now, sir! what make you here?


Nothing: I am not taught to make any thing.


What mar you then, sir?


Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that which God made, a poor unworthy brother of yours, with idleness.


Marry, sir, be better employed, and be naught awhile.


Shall I keep your hogs and eat husks with them? What prodigal portion have I spent, that I should come to such penury?


Know you where your are, sir?


O, sir, very well; here in your orchard.


Know you before whom, sir?


Ay, better than him I am before knows me. I know you are my eldest brother; and, in the gentle condition of blood, you should so know me. The courtesy of nations allows you my better, in that you are the first-born; but the same tradition takes not away my blood, were there twenty brothers betwixt us: I have as much of my father in me as you; albeit, I confess, your coming before me is nearer to his reverence.


What, boy!


Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this.


Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?


I am no villain; I am the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys; he was my father, and he is thrice a villain that says such a father begot villains. Wert thou not my brother, I would not take this hand from thy throat till this other had pulled out thy tongue for saying so: thou hast railed on thyself.


Sweet masters, be patient: for your father's remembrance, be at accord.


Let me go, I say.


I will not, till I please: you shall hear me. My father charged you in his will to give me good education: you have trained me like a peasant, obscuring and hiding from me all gentleman-like qualities. The spirit of my father grows strong in me, and I will no longer endure it: therefore allow me such exercises as may become a gentleman, or give me the poor allottery my father left me by testament; with that I will go buy my fortunes.


And what wilt thou do? beg, when that is spent? Well, sir, get you in: I will not long be troubled with you; you shall have some part of your will: I pray you, leave me.


I will no further offend you than becomes me for my good.


Get you with him, you old dog.


Is 'old dog' my reward? Most true, I have lost my teeth in your service. God be with my old master! he would not have spoke such a word.



Is it even so? begin you to grow upon me? I will physic your rankness, and yet give no thousand crowns neither. Holla, Dennis!



Calls your worship?


Was not Charles, the duke's wrestler, here to speak with me?


So please you, he is here at the door and importunes access to you.


Call him in.


'Twill be a good way; and to-morrow the wrestling is.



Good morrow to your worship.


Good Monsieur Charles, what's the new news at the new court?


There's no news at the court, sir, but the old news: that is, the old duke is banished by his younger brother the new duke; and three or four loving lords have put themselves into voluntary exile with him, whose lands and revenues enrich the new duke; therefore he gives them good leave to wander.


Can you tell if Rosalind, the duke's daughter, be banished with her father?


O, no; for the duke's daughter, her cousin, so loves her, being ever from their cradles bred together, that she would have followed her exile, or have died to stay behind her. She is at the court, and no less beloved of her uncle than his own daughter; and never two ladies loved as they do.


Where will the old duke live?


They say he is already in the forest of Arden, and a many merry men with him; and there they live like the old Robin Hood of England: they say many young gentlemen flock to him every day, and fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden world.


What, you wrestle to-morrow before the new duke?


Marry, do I, sir; and I came to acquaint you with a matter. I am given, sir, secretly to understand that your younger brother Orlando hath a disposition to come in disguised against me to try a fall. To-morrow, sir, I wrestle for my credit; and he that escapes me without some broken limb shall acquit him well. Your brother is but young and tender; and, for your love, I would be loath to foil him, as I must, for my own honour, if he come in: therefore, out of my love to you, I came hither to acquaint you withal, that either you might stay him from his intendment or brook such disgrace well as he shall run into, in that it is a thing of his own search and altogether against my will.


Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me, which thou shalt find I will most kindly requite. I had myself notice of my brother's purpose herein and have by underhand means laboured to dissuade him from it, but he is resolute. I'll tell thee, Charles: it is the stubbornest young fellow of France, full of ambition, an envious emulator of every man's good parts, a secret and villanous contriver against me his natural brother: therefore use thy discretion; I had as lief thou didst break his neck as his finger. And thou wert best look to't; for if thou dost him any slight disgrace or if he do not mightily grace himself on thee, he will practise against thee by poison, entrap thee by some treacherous device and never leave thee till he hath ta'en thy life by some indirect means or other; for, I assure thee, and almost with tears I speak it, there is not one so young and so villanous this day living. I speak but brotherly of him; but should I anatomize him to thee as he is, I must blush and weep and thou must look pale and wonder.


I am heartily glad I came hither to you. If he come to-morrow, I'll give him his payment: if ever he go alone again, I'll never wrestle for prize more: and so God keep your worship!


Farewell, good Charles.


Now will I stir this gamester: I hope I shall see an end of him; for my soul, yet I know not why, hates nothing more than he. Yet he's gentle, never schooled and yet learned, full of noble device, of all sorts enchantingly beloved, and indeed so much in the heart of the world, and especially of my own people, who best know him, that I am altogether misprised: but it shall not be so long; this wrestler shall clear all: nothing remains but that I kindle the boy thither; which now I'll go about.


SCENE II. Lawn before the Duke's palace.



I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry.


Dear Celia, I show more mirth than I am mistress of; and would you yet I were merrier? Unless you could teach me to forget a banished father, you must not learn me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure.


Herein I see thou lovest me not with the full weight that I love thee. If my uncle, thy banished father, had banished thy uncle, the duke my father, so thou hadst been still with me, I could have taught my love to take thy father for mine: so wouldst thou, if the truth of thy love to me were so righteously tempered as mine is to thee.


Well, I will forget the condition of my estate, to rejoice in yours.


You know my father hath no child but I, nor none is like to have: and, truly, when he dies, thou shalt be his heir, for what he hath taken away from thy father perforce, I will render thee again in affection; by mine honour, I will; and when I break that oath, let me turn monster: therefore, my sweet Rose, my dear Rose, be merry.


From henceforth I will, coz, and devise sports. Let me see; what think you of falling in love?


Marry, I prithee, do, to make sport withal: but love no man in good earnest; nor no further in sport neither than with safety of a pure blush thou mayst in honour come off again.


What shall be our sport, then?


Let us sit and mock the good housewife Fortune from her wheel, that her gifts may henceforth be bestowed equally.


I would we could do so, for her benefits are mightily misplaced, and the bountiful blind woman doth most mistake in her gifts to women.


'Tis true; for those that she makes fair she scarce makes honest, and those that she makes honest she makes very ill-favouredly.


Nay, now thou goest from Fortune's office to Nature's: Fortune reigns in gifts of the world, not in the lineaments of Nature.



No? when Nature hath made a fair creature, may she not by Fortune fall into the fire? Though Nature hath given us wit to flout at Fortune, hath not Fortune sent in this fool to cut off the argument?


Indeed, there is Fortune too hard for Nature, when Fortune makes Nature's natural the cutter-off of Nature's wit.


Peradventure this is not Fortune's work neither, but Nature's; who perceiveth our natural wits too dull to reason of such goddesses and hath sent this natural for our whetstone; for always the dulness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits. How now, wit! whither wander you?


Mistress, you must come away to your father.


Were you made the messenger?


No, by mine honour, but I was bid to come for you.


Where learned you that oath, fool?


Of a certain knight that swore by his honour they were good pancakes and swore by his honour the mustard was naught: now I'll stand to it, the pancakes were naught and the mustard was good, and yet was not the knight forsworn.


How prove you that, in the great heap of your knowledge?


Ay, marry, now unmuzzle your wisdom.


Stand you both forth now: stroke your chins, and swear by your beards that I am a knave.


By our beards, if we had them, thou art.


By my knavery, if I had it, then I were; but if you swear by that that is not, you are not forsworn: no more was this knight swearing by his honour, for he never had any; or if he had, he had sworn it away before ever he saw those pancakes or that mustard.


Prithee, who is't that thou meanest?


One that old Frederick, your father, loves.


My father's love is enough to honour him: enough! speak no more of him; you'll be whipped for taxation one of these days.


The more pity, that fools may not speak wisely what wise men do foolishly.


By my troth, thou sayest true; for since the little wit that fools have was silenced, the little foolery that wise men have makes a great show. Here comes Monsieur Le Beau.


With his mouth full of news.


Which he will put on us, as pigeons feed their young.


Then shall we be news-crammed.


All the better; we shall be the more marketable.


Bon jour, Monsieur Le Beau: what's the news?


Fair princess, you have lost much good sport.


Sport! of what colour?


What colour, madam! how shall I answer you?


As wit and fortune will.


Or as the Destinies decree.


Well said: that was laid on with a trowel.


Nay, if I keep not my rank,--


Thou losest thy old smell.


You amaze me, ladies: I would have told you of good wrestling, which you have lost the sight of.


You tell us the manner of the wrestling.


I will tell you the beginning; and, if it please your ladyships, you may see the end; for the best is yet to do; and here, where you are, they are coming to perform it.


Well, the beginning, that is dead and buried.


There comes an old man and his three sons,--


I could match this beginning with an old tale.


Three proper young men, of excellent growth and presence.


With bills on their necks, 'Be it known unto all men by these presents.'


The eldest of the three wrestled with Charles, the duke's wrestler; which Charles in a moment threw him and broke three of his ribs, that there is little hope of life in him: so he served the second, and so the third. Yonder they lie; the poor old man, their father, making such pitiful dole over them that all the beholders take his part with weeping.




But what is the sport, monsieur, that the ladies have lost?


Why, this that I speak of.


Thus men may grow wiser every day: it is the first time that ever I heard breaking of ribs was sport for ladies.


Or I, I promise thee.


But is there any else longs to see this broken music in his sides? is there yet another dotes upon rib-breaking? Shall we see this wrestling, cousin?


You must, if you stay here; for here is the place appointed for the wrestling, and they are ready to perform it.


Yonder, sure, they are coming: let us now stay and see it.

Flourish. Enter DUKE FREDERICK, Lords, ORLANDO, CHARLES, and Attendants


Come on: since the youth will not be entreated, his own peril on his forwardness.


Is yonder the man?


Even he, madam.


Alas, he is too young! yet he looks successfully.


How now, daughter and cousin! are you crept hither to see the wrestling?


Ay, my liege, so please you give us leave.


You will take little delight in it, I can tell you; there is such odds in the man. In pity of the challenger's youth I would fain dissuade him, but he will not be entreated. Speak to him, ladies; see if you can move him.


Call him hither, good Monsieur Le Beau.


Do so: I'll not be by.


Monsieur the challenger, the princesses call for you.


I attend them with all respect and duty.


Young man, have you challenged Charles the wrestler?


No, fair princess; he is the general challenger: I come but in, as others do, to try with him the strength of my youth.


Young gentleman, your spirits are too bold for your years. You have seen cruel proof of this man's strength: if you saw yourself with your eyes or knew yourself with your judgment, the fear of your adventure would counsel you to a more equal enterprise. We pray you, for your own sake, to embrace your own safety and give over this attempt.


Do, young sir; your reputation shall not therefore be misprised: we will make it our suit to the duke that the wrestling might not go forward.


I beseech you, punish me not with your hard thoughts; wherein I confess me much guilty, to deny so fair and excellent ladies any thing. But let your fair eyes and gentle wishes go with me to my trial: wherein if I be foiled, there is but one shamed that was never gracious; if killed, but one dead that was willing to be so: I shall do my friends no wrong, for I have none to lament me, the world no injury, for in it I have nothing; only in the world I fill up a place, which may be better supplied when I have made it empty.


The little strength that I have, I would it were with you.


And mine, to eke out hers.


Fare you well: pray heaven I be deceived in you!


Your heart's desires be with you!


Come, where is this young gallant that is so desirous to lie with his mother earth?


Ready, sir; but his will hath in it a more modest working.


You shall try but one fall.


No, I warrant your grace, you shall not entreat him to a second, that have so mightily persuaded him from a first.


An you mean to mock me after, you should not have mocked me before: but come your ways.


Now Hercules be thy speed, young man!


I would I were invisible, to catch the strong fellow by the leg.

They wrestle


O excellent young man!


If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can tell who should down.

Shout. CHARLES is thrown


No more, no more.


Yes, I beseech your grace: I am not yet well breathed.


How dost thou, Charles?


He cannot speak, my lord.


Bear him away. What is thy name, young man?


Orlando, my liege; the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys.


I would thou hadst been son to some man else: The world esteem'd thy father honourable, But I did find him still mine enemy: Thou shouldst have better pleased me with this deed, Hadst thou descended from another house. But fare thee well; thou art a gallant youth: I would thou hadst told me of another father.

Exeunt DUKE FREDERICK, train, and LE BEAU


Were I my father, coz, would I do this?


I am more proud to be Sir Rowland's son, His youngest son; and would not change that calling, To be adopted heir to Frederick.


My father loved Sir Rowland as his soul, And all the world was of my father's mind: Had I before known this young man his son, I should have given him tears unto entreaties, Ere he should thus have ventured.


Gentle cousin, Let us go thank him and encourage him: My father's rough and envious disposition Sticks me at heart. Sir, you have well deserved: If you do keep your promises in love But justly, as you have exceeded all promise, Your mistress shall be happy.


Giving him a chain from her neck

Wear this for me, one out of suits with fortune, That could give more, but that her hand lacks means. Shall we go, coz?

Ay. Fare you well, fair gentleman.

Can I not say, I thank you? My better parts Are all thrown down, and that which here stands up Is but a quintain, a mere lifeless block.

He calls us back: my pride fell with my fortunes; I'll ask him what he would. Did you call, sir? Sir, you have wrestled well and overthrown More than your enemies.

Will you go, coz?

Have with you. Fare you well.


What passion hangs these weights upon my tongue? I cannot speak to her, yet she urged conference. O poor Orlando, thou art overthrown! Or Charles or something weaker masters thee.

Re-enter LE BEAU

Good sir, I do in friendship counsel you To leave this place. Albeit you have deserved High commendation, true applause and love, Yet such is now the duke's condition That he misconstrues all that you have done. The duke is humorous; what he is indeed, More suits you to conceive than I to speak of.

I thank you, sir: and, pray you, tell me this: Which of the two was daughter of the duke That here was at the wrestling?

Neither his daughter, if we judge by manners; But yet indeed the lesser is his daughter The other is daughter to the banish'd duke, And here detain'd by her usurping uncle, To keep his daughter company; whose loves Are dearer than the natural bond of sisters. But I can tell you that of late this duke Hath ta'en displeasure 'gainst his gentle niece, Grounded upon no other argument But that the people praise her for her virtues And pity her for her good father's sake; And, on my life, his malice 'gainst the lady Will suddenly break forth. Sir, fare you well: Hereafter, in a better world than this, I shall desire more love and knowledge of you.

I rest much bounden to you: fare you well.


Thus must I from the smoke into the smother; From tyrant duke unto a tyrant brother: But heavenly Rosalind!


SCENE III. A room in the palace.


Why, cousin! why, Rosalind! Cupid have mercy! not a word?

Not one to throw at a dog.

No, thy words are too precious to be cast away upon curs; throw some of them at me; come, lame me with reasons.

Then there were two cousins laid up; when the one should be lamed with reasons and the other mad without any.

But is all this for your father?

No, some of it is for my child's father. O, how full of briers is this working-day world!

They are but burs, cousin, thrown upon thee in holiday foolery: if we walk not in the trodden paths our very petticoats will catch them.

I could shake them off my coat: these burs are in my heart.

Hem them away.

I would try, if I could cry 'hem' and have him.

Come, come, wrestle with thy affections.

O, they take the part of a better wrestler than myself!

O, a good wish upon you! you will try in time, in despite of a fall. But, turning these jests out of service, let us talk in good earnest: is it possible, on such a sudden, you should fall into so strong a liking with old Sir Rowland's youngest son?

The duke my father loved his father dearly.

Doth it therefore ensue that you should love his son dearly? By this kind of chase, I should hate him, for my father hated his father dearly; yet I hate not Orlando.

No, faith, hate him not, for my sake.

Why should I not? doth he not deserve well?

Let me love him for that, and do you love him because I do. Look, here comes the duke.

With his eyes full of anger.

Enter DUKE FREDERICK, with Lords

Mistress, dispatch you with your safest haste And get you from our court.

Me, uncle?

You, cousin Within these ten days if that thou be'st found So near our public court as twenty miles, Thou diest for it.

I do beseech your grace, Let me the knowledge of my fault bear with me: If with myself I hold intelligence Or have acquaintance with mine own desires, If that I do not dream or be not frantic,-- As I do trust I am not--then, dear uncle, Never so much as in a thought unborn Did I offend your highness.

Thus do all traitors: If their purgation did consist in words, They are as innocent as grace itself: Let it suffice thee that I trust thee not.

Yet your mistrust cannot make me a traitor: Tell me whereon the likelihood depends.

Thou art thy father's daughter; there's enough.

So was I when your highness took his dukedom; So was I when your highness banish'd him: Treason is not inherited, my lord; Or, if we did derive it from our friends, What's that to me? my father was no traitor: Then, good my liege, mistake me not so much To think my poverty is treacherous.

Dear sovereign, hear me speak.

Ay, Celia; we stay'd her for your sake, Else had she with her father ranged along.

I did not then entreat to have her stay; It was your pleasure and your own remorse: I was too young that time to value her; But now I know her: if she be a traitor, Why so am I; we still have slept together, Rose at an instant, learn'd, play'd, eat together, And wheresoever we went, like Juno's swans, Still we went coupled and inseparable.

She is too subtle for thee; and her smoothness, Her very silence and her patience Speak to the people, and they pity her. Thou art a fool: she robs thee of thy name; And thou wilt show more bright and seem more virtuous When she is gone. Then open not thy lips: Firm and irrevocable is my doom Which I have pass'd upon her; she is banish'd.

Pronounce that sentence then on me, my liege: I cannot live out of her company.

You are a fool. You, niece, provide yourself: If you outstay the time, upon mine honour, And in the greatness of my word, you die.

Exeunt DUKE FREDERICK and Lords

O my poor Rosalind, whither wilt thou go? Wilt thou change fathers? I will give thee mine. I charge thee, be not thou more grieved than I am.

I have more cause.

Thou hast not, cousin; Prithee be cheerful: know'st thou not, the duke Hath banish'd me, his daughter?

That he hath not.

No, hath not? Rosalind lacks then the love Which teacheth thee that thou and I am one: Shall we be sunder'd? shall we part, sweet girl? No: let my father seek another heir. Therefore devise with me how we may fly, Whither to go and what to bear with us; And do not seek to take your change upon you, To bear your griefs yourself and leave me out; For, by this heaven, now at our sorrows pale, Say what thou canst, I'll go along with thee.

Why, whither shall we go?

To seek my uncle in the forest of Arden.

Alas, what danger will it be to us, Maids as we are, to travel forth so far! Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.

I'll put myself in poor and mean attire And with a kind of umber smirch my face; The like do you: so shall we pass along And never stir assailants.

Were it not better, Because that I am more than common tall, That I did suit me all points like a man? A gallant curtle-axe upon my thigh, A boar-spear in my hand; and--in my heart Lie there what hidden woman's fear there will-- We'll have a swashing and a martial outside, As many other mannish cowards have That do outface it with their semblances.

What shall I call thee when thou art a man?

I'll have no worse a name than Jove's own page; And therefore look you call me Ganymede. But what will you be call'd?

Something that hath a reference to my state No longer Celia, but Aliena.

But, cousin, what if we assay'd to steal The clownish fool out of your father's court? Would he not be a comfort to our travel?

He'll go along o'er the wide world with me; Leave me alone to woo him. Let's away, And get our jewels and our wealth together, Devise the fittest time and safest way To hide us from pursuit that will be made After my flight. Now go we in content To liberty and not to banishment.


SCENE I. The Forest of Arden.

Enter DUKE SENIOR, AMIENS, and two or three Lords, like foresters

Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile, Hath not old custom made this life more sweet Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods More free from peril than the envious court? Here feel we but the penalty of Adam, The seasons' difference, as the icy fang And churlish chiding of the winter's wind, Which, when it bites and blows upon my body, Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say 'This is no flattery: these are counsellors That feelingly persuade me what I am.' Sweet are the uses of adversity, Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head; And this our life exempt from public haunt Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones and good in every thing. I would not change it.

Happy is your grace, That can translate the stubbornness of fortune Into so quiet and so sweet a style.

Come, shall we go and kill us venison? And yet it irks me the poor dappled fools, Being native burghers of this desert city, Should in their own confines with forked heads Have their round haunches gored.

Indeed, my lord, The melancholy Jaques grieves at that, And, in that kind, swears you do more usurp Than doth your brother that hath banish'd you. To-day my Lord of Amiens and myself Did steal behind him as he lay along Under an oak whose antique root peeps out Upon the brook that brawls along this wood: To the which place a poor sequester'd stag, That from the hunter's aim had ta'en a hurt, Did come to languish, and indeed, my lord, The wretched animal heaved forth such groans That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat Almost to bursting, and the big round tears Coursed one another down his innocent nose In piteous chase; and thus the hairy fool Much marked of the melancholy Jaques, Stood on the extremest verge of the swift brook, Augmenting it with tears.

But what said Jaques? Did he not moralize this spectacle?

O, yes, into a thousand similes. First, for his weeping into the needless stream; 'Poor deer,' quoth he, 'thou makest a testament As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more To that which had too much:' then, being there alone, Left and abandon'd of his velvet friends, ''Tis right:' quoth he; 'thus misery doth part The flux of company:' anon a careless herd, Full of the pasture, jumps along by him And never stays to greet him; 'Ay' quoth Jaques, 'Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens; 'Tis just the fashion: wherefore do you look Upon that poor and broken bankrupt there?' Thus most invectively he pierceth through The body of the country, city, court, Yea, and of this our life, swearing that we Are mere usurpers, tyrants and what's worse, To fright the animals and to kill them up In their assign'd and native dwelling-place.

And did you leave him in this contemplation?

We did, my lord, weeping and commenting Upon the sobbing deer.

Show me the place: I love to cope him in these sullen fits, For then he's full of matter.

I'll bring you to him straight.


SCENE II. A room in the palace.

Enter DUKE FREDERICK, with Lords

Can it be possible that no man saw them? It cannot be: some villains of my court Are of consent and sufferance in this.

I cannot hear of any that did see her. The ladies, her attendants of her chamber, Saw her abed, and in the morning early They found the bed untreasured of their mistress.

My lord, the roynish clown, at whom so oft Your grace was wont to laugh, is also missing. Hisperia, the princess' gentlewoman, Confesses that she secretly o'erheard Your daughter and her cousin much commend The parts and graces of the wrestler That did but lately foil the sinewy Charles; And she believes, wherever they are gone, That youth is surely in their company.

Send to his brother; fetch that gallant hither; If he be absent, bring his brother to me; I'll make him find him: do this suddenly, And let not search and inquisition quail To bring again these foolish runaways.


SCENE III. Before OLIVER'S house.

Enter ORLANDO and ADAM, meeting

Who's there?

What, my young master? O, my gentle master! O my sweet master! O you memory Of old Sir Rowland! why, what make you here? Why are you virtuous? why do people love you? And wherefore are you gentle, strong and valiant? Why would you be so fond to overcome The bonny priser of the humorous duke? Your praise is come too swiftly home before you. Know you not, master, to some kind of men Their graces serve them but as enemies? No more do yours: your virtues, gentle master, Are sanctified and holy traitors to you. O, what a world is this, when what is comely Envenoms him that bears it!

Why, what's the matter?

O unhappy youth! Come not within these doors; within this roof The enemy of all your graces lives: Your brother--no, no brother; yet the son-- Yet not the son, I will not call him son Of him I was about to call his father-- Hath heard your praises, and this night he means To burn the lodging where you use to lie And you within it: if he fail of that, He will have other means to cut you off. I overheard him and his practises. This is no place; this house is but a butchery: Abhor it, fear it, do not enter it.

Why, whither, Adam, wouldst thou have me go?

No matter whither, so you come not here.

What, wouldst thou have me go and beg my food? Or with a base and boisterous sword enforce A thievish living on the common road? This I must do, or know not what to do: Yet this I will not do, do how I can; I rather will subject me to the malice Of a diverted blood and bloody brother.

But do not so. I have five hundred crowns, The thrifty hire I saved under your father, Which I did store to be my foster-nurse When service should in my old limbs lie lame And unregarded age in corners thrown: Take that, and He that doth the ravens feed, Yea, providently caters for the sparrow, Be comfort to my age! Here is the gold; And all this I give you. Let me be your servant: Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty; For in my youth I never did apply Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood, Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo The means of weakness and debility; Therefore my age is as a lusty winter, Frosty, but kindly: let me go with you; I'll do the service of a younger man In all your business and necessities.

O good old man, how well in thee appears The constant service of the antique world, When service sweat for duty, not for meed! Thou art not for the fashion of these times, Where none will sweat but for promotion, And having that, do choke their service up Even with the having: it is not so with thee. But, poor old man, thou prunest a rotten tree, That cannot so much as a blossom yield In lieu of all thy pains and husbandry But come thy ways; well go along together, And ere we have thy youthful wages spent, We'll light upon some settled low content.

Master, go on, and I will follow thee, To the last gasp, with truth and loyalty. From seventeen years till now almost fourscore Here lived I, but now live here no more. At seventeen years many their fortunes seek; But at fourscore it is too late a week: Yet fortune cannot recompense me better Than to die well and not my master's debtor.


SCENE IV. The Forest of Arden.

Enter ROSALIND for Ganymede, CELIA for Aliena, and TOUCHSTONE

O Jupiter, how weary are my spirits!

I care not for my spirits, if my legs were not weary.

I could find in my heart to disgrace my man's apparel and to cry like a woman; but I must comfort the weaker vessel, as doublet and hose ought to show itself courageous to petticoat: therefore courage, good Aliena!

I pray you, bear with me; I cannot go no further.

For my part, I had rather bear with you than bear you; yet I should bear no cross if I did bear you, for I think you have no money in your purse.

Well, this is the forest of Arden.

Ay, now am I in Arden; the more fool I; when I was at home, I was in a better place: but travellers must be content.

Ay, be so, good Touchstone.


Look you, who comes here; a young man and an old in solemn talk.

That is the way to make her scorn you still.

O Corin, that thou knew'st how I do love her!

I partly guess; for I have loved ere now.

No, Corin, being old, thou canst not guess, Though in thy youth thou wast as true a lover As ever sigh'd upon a midnight pillow: But if thy love were ever like to mine-- As sure I think did never man love so-- How many actions most ridiculous Hast thou been drawn to by thy fantasy?

Into a thousand that I have forgotten.

O, thou didst then ne'er love so heartily! If thou remember'st not the slightest folly That ever love did make thee run into, Thou hast not loved: Or if thou hast not sat as I do now, Wearying thy hearer in thy mistress' praise, Thou hast not loved: Or if thou hast not broke from company Abruptly, as my passion now makes me, Thou hast not loved. O Phebe, Phebe, Phebe!


Alas, poor shepherd! searching of thy wound, I have by hard adventure found mine own.

And I mine. I remember, when I was in love I broke my sword upon a stone and bid him take that for coming a-night to Jane Smile; and I remember the kissing of her batlet and the cow's dugs that her pretty chopt hands had milked; and I remember the wooing of a peascod instead of her, from whom I took two cods and, giving her them again, said with weeping tears 'Wear these for my sake.' We that are true lovers run into strange capers; but as all is mortal in nature, so is all nature in love mortal in folly.

Thou speakest wiser than thou art ware of.

Nay, I shall ne'er be ware of mine own wit till I break my shins against it.

Jove, Jove! this shepherd's passion Is much upon my fashion.

And mine; but it grows something stale with me.

I pray you, one of you question yond man If he for gold will give us any food: I faint almost to death.

Holla, you clown!

Peace, fool: he's not thy kinsman.

Who calls?

Your betters, sir.

Else are they very wretched.

Peace, I say. Good even to you, friend.

And to you, gentle sir, and to you all.

I prithee, shepherd, if that love or gold Can in this desert place buy entertainment, Bring us where we may rest ourselves and feed: Here's a young maid with travel much oppress'd And faints for succor.

Fair sir, I pity her And wish, for her sake more than for mine own, My fortunes were more able to relieve her; But I am shepherd to another man And do not shear the fleeces that I graze: My master is of churlish disposition And little recks to find the way to heaven By doing deeds of hospitality: Besides, his cote, his flocks and bounds of feed Are now on sale, and at our sheepcote now, By reason of his absence, there is nothing That you will feed on; but what is, come see. And in my voice most welcome shall you be.

What is he that shall buy his flock and pasture?

That young swain that you saw here but erewhile, That little cares for buying any thing.

I pray thee, if it stand with honesty, Buy thou the cottage, pasture and the flock, And thou shalt have to pay for it of us.

And we will mend thy wages. I like this place. And willingly could waste my time in it.

Assuredly the thing is to be sold: Go with me: if you like upon report The soil, the profit and this kind of life, I will your very faithful feeder be And buy it with your gold right suddenly.


SCENE V. The Forest.

Enter AMIENS, JAQUES, and others


Under the greenwood tree Who loves to lie with me, And turn his merry note Unto the sweet bird's throat, Come hither, come hither, come hither: Here shall he see No enemy But winter and rough weather.

More, more, I prithee, more.

It will make you melancholy, Monsieur Jaques.

I thank it. More, I prithee, more. I can suck melancholy out of a song, as a weasel sucks eggs. More, I prithee, more.

My voice is ragged: I know I cannot please you.

I do not desire you to please me; I do desire you to sing. Come, more; another stanzo: call you 'em stanzos?

What you will, Monsieur Jaques.

Nay, I care not for their names; they owe me nothing. Will you sing?

More at your request than to please myself.

Well then, if ever I thank any man, I'll thank you; but that they call compliment is like the encounter of two dog-apes, and when a man thanks me heartily, methinks I have given him a penny and he renders me the beggarly thanks. Come, sing; and you that will not, hold your tongues.

Well, I'll end the song. Sirs, cover the while; the duke will drink under this tree. He hath been all this day to look you.

And I have been all this day to avoid him. He is too disputable for my company: I think of as many matters as he, but I give heaven thanks and make no boast of them. Come, warble, come. SONG. Who doth ambition shun

All together here

And loves to live i' the sun, Seeking the food he eats And pleased with what he gets, Come hither, come hither, come hither: Here shall he see No enemy But winter and rough weather.

I'll give you a verse to this note that I made yesterday in despite of my invention.

And I'll sing it.

Thus it goes:-- If it do come to pass That any man turn ass, Leaving his wealth and ease, A stubborn will to please, Ducdame, ducdame, ducdame: Here shall he see Gross fools as he, An if he will come to me.

What's that 'ducdame'?

'Tis a Greek invocation, to call fools into a circle. I'll go sleep, if I can; if I cannot, I'll rail against all the first-born of Egypt.

And I'll go seek the duke: his banquet is prepared.

Exeunt severally

SCENE VI. The forest.


Dear master, I can go no further. O, I die for food! Here lie I down, and measure out my grave. Farewell, kind master.

Why, how now, Adam! no greater heart in thee? Live a little; comfort a little; cheer thyself a little. If this uncouth forest yield any thing savage, I will either be food for it or bring it for food to thee. Thy conceit is nearer death than thy powers. For my sake be comfortable; hold death awhile at the arm's end: I will here be with thee presently; and if I bring thee not something to eat, I will give thee leave to die: but if thou diest before I come, thou art a mocker of my labour. Well said! thou lookest cheerly, and I'll be with thee quickly. Yet thou liest in the bleak air: come, I will bear thee to some shelter; and thou shalt not die for lack of a dinner, if there live any thing in this desert. Cheerly, good Adam!


SCENE VII. The forest.

A table set out. Enter DUKE SENIOR, AMIENS, and Lords like outlaws

I think he be transform'd into a beast; For I can no where find him like a man.

My lord, he is but even now gone hence: Here was he merry, hearing of a song.

If he, compact of jars, grow musical, We shall have shortly discord in the spheres. Go, seek him: tell him I would speak with him.


He saves my labour by his own approach.

Why, how now, monsieur! what a life is this, That your poor friends must woo your company? What, you look merrily!

A fool, a fool! I met a fool i' the forest, A motley fool; a miserable world! As I do live by food, I met a fool Who laid him down and bask'd him in the sun, And rail'd on Lady Fortune in good terms, In good set terms and yet a motley fool. 'Good morrow, fool,' quoth I. 'No, sir,' quoth he, 'Call me not fool till heaven hath sent me fortune:' And then he drew a dial from his poke, And, looking on it with lack-lustre eye, Says very wisely, 'It is ten o'clock: Thus we may see,' quoth he, 'how the world wags: 'Tis but an hour ago since it was nine, And after one hour more 'twill be eleven; And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe, And then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot; And thereby hangs a tale.' When I did hear The motley fool thus moral on the time, My lungs began to crow like chanticleer, That fools should be so deep-contemplative, And I did laugh sans intermission An hour by his dial. O noble fool! A worthy fool! Motley's the only wear.

What fool is this?

O worthy fool! One that hath been a courtier, And says, if ladies be but young and fair, They have the gift to know it: and in his brain, Which is as dry as the remainder biscuit After a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd With observation, the which he vents In mangled forms. O that I were a fool! I am ambitious for a motley coat.

Thou shalt have one.

It is my only suit; Provided that you weed your better judgments Of all opinion that grows rank in them That I am wise. I must have liberty Withal, as large a charter as the wind, To blow on whom I please; for so fools have; And they that are most galled with my folly, They most must laugh. And why, sir, must they so? The 'why' is plain as way to parish church: He that a fool doth very wisely hit Doth very foolishly, although he smart, Not to seem senseless of the bob: if not, The wise man's folly is anatomized Even by the squandering glances of the fool. Invest me in my motley; give me leave To speak my mind, and I will through and through Cleanse the foul body of the infected world, If they will patiently receive my medicine.

Fie on thee! I can tell what thou wouldst do.

What, for a counter, would I do but good?

Most mischievous foul sin, in chiding sin: For thou thyself hast been a libertine, As sensual as the brutish sting itself; And all the embossed sores and headed evils, That thou with licence of free foot hast caught, Wouldst thou disgorge into the general world.

Why, who cries out on pride, That can therein tax any private party? Doth it not flow as hugely as the sea, Till that the weary very means do ebb? What woman in the city do I name, When that I say the city-woman bears The cost of princes on unworthy shoulders? Who can come in and say that I mean her, When such a one as she such is her neighbour? Or what is he of basest function That says his bravery is not of my cost, Thinking that I mean him, but therein suits His folly to the mettle of my speech? There then; how then? what then? Let me see wherein My tongue hath wrong'd him: if it do him right, Then he hath wrong'd himself; if he be free, Why then my taxing like a wild-goose flies, Unclaim'd of any man. But who comes here?

Enter ORLANDO, with his sword drawn

Forbear, and eat no more.

Why, I have eat none yet.

Nor shalt not, till necessity be served.

Of what kind should this cock come of?

Art thou thus bolden'd, man, by thy distress, Or else a rude despiser of good manners, That in civility thou seem'st so empty?

You touch'd my vein at first: the thorny point Of bare distress hath ta'en from me the show Of smooth civility: yet am I inland bred And know some nurture. But forbear, I say: He dies that touches any of this fruit Till I and my affairs are answered.

An you will not be answered with reason, I must die.

What would you have? Your gentleness shall force More than your force move us to gentleness.

I almost die for food; and let me have it.

Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table.

Speak you so gently? Pardon me, I pray you: I thought that all things had been savage here; And therefore put I on the countenance Of stern commandment. But whate'er you are That in this desert inaccessible, Under the shade of melancholy boughs, Lose and neglect the creeping hours of time If ever you have look'd on better days, If ever been where bells have knoll'd to church, If ever sat at any good man's feast, If ever from your eyelids wiped a tear And know what 'tis to pity and be pitied, Let gentleness my strong enforcement be: In the which hope I blush, and hide my sword.

True is it that we have seen better days, And have with holy bell been knoll'd to church And sat at good men's feasts and wiped our eyes Of drops that sacred pity hath engender'd: And therefore sit you down in gentleness And take upon command what help we have That to your wanting may be minister'd.

Then but forbear your food a little while, Whiles, like a doe, I go to find my fawn And give it food. There is an old poor man, Who after me hath many a weary step Limp'd in pure love: till he be first sufficed, Oppress'd with two weak evils, age and hunger, I will not touch a bit.

Go find him out, And we will nothing waste till you return.

I thank ye; and be blest for your good comfort!


Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy: This wide and universal theatre Presents more woeful pageants than the scene Wherein we play in.

All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. At first the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms. And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school. And then the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier, Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard, Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice, In fair round belly with good capon lined, With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances; And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon, With spectacles on nose and pouch on side, His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble, pipes And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Re-enter ORLANDO, with ADAM

Welcome. Set down your venerable burthen, And let him feed.

I thank you most for him.

So had you need: I scarce can speak to thank you for myself.

Welcome; fall to: I will not trouble you As yet, to question you about your fortunes. Give us some music; and, good cousin, sing. SONG.

Blow, blow, thou winter wind. Thou art not so unkind As man's ingratitude; Thy tooth is not so keen, Because thou art not seen, Although thy breath be rude. Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly: Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly: Then, heigh-ho, the holly! This life is most jolly. Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky, That dost not bite so nigh As benefits forgot: Though thou the waters warp, Thy sting is not so sharp As friend remember'd not. Heigh-ho! sing, & c.

If that you were the good Sir Rowland's son, As you have whisper'd faithfully you were, And as mine eye doth his effigies witness Most truly limn'd and living in your face, Be truly welcome hither: I am the duke That loved your father: the residue of your fortune, Go to my cave and tell me. Good old man, Thou art right welcome as thy master is. Support him by the arm. Give me your hand, And let me all your fortunes understand.


SCENE I. A room in the palace.


Not see him since? Sir, sir, that cannot be: But were I not the better part made mercy, I should not seek an absent argument Of my revenge, thou present. But look to it: Find out thy brother, wheresoe'er he is; Seek him with candle; bring him dead or living Within this twelvemonth, or turn thou no more To seek a living in our territory. Thy lands and all things that thou dost call thine Worth seizure do we seize into our hands, Till thou canst quit thee by thy brothers mouth Of what we think against thee.

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; And let my officers of such a nature Make an extent upon his house and lands: Do this expediently and turn him going.


SCENE II. The forest.

Enter ORLANDO, with a paper

Hang there, my verse, in witness of my love: And thou, thrice-crowned 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 And in their barks my thoughts I'll character; That every eye which in this forest looks Shall see thy virtue witness'd every where. Run, run, Orlando; carve on every tree The fair, the chaste and unexpressive she.



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 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 is it a spare life, look you, it fits my humour well; but as there is no more plenty in it, it goes much against my stomach. Hast any philosophy in thee, shepherd?

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 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 kindred.

Such a one is a natural philosopher. Wast ever in court, shepherd?

No, truly.

Then thou art damned.

Nay, I hope.

Truly, thou art damned like an ill-roasted egg, all on one side.

For not being at court? Your reason.

Why, if thou never wast at court, thou never sawest good manners; if thou never sawest good manners, then thy manners must be wicked; and wickedness is sin, and sin is damnation. Thou art in a parlous state, shepherd.

Not a whit, Touchstone: those that are good 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.

Instance, briefly; come, instance.

Why, we are still handling our ewes, and their fells, you know, are greasy.

Why, do not your courtier's hands sweat? and is not the grease of a mutton as wholesome as the sweat of a man? Shallow, shallow. A better instance, I say; come.

Besides, our hands are hard.

Your lips will feel them the sooner. Shallow again. A more sounder instance, come.

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.

Most shallow man! thou worms-meat, in respect of a good piece of flesh indeed! Learn of the wise, and perpend: civet is of a baser birth than tar, the very uncleanly flux of a cat. Mend the instance, shepherd.

You have too courtly a wit for me: I'll rest.

Wilt thou rest damned? God help thee, shallow man! God make incision in thee! thou art raw.

Sir, I am a true labourer: 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, and the greatest of my pride is to see my ewes graze and my lambs suck.

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 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 beest not damned for this, the devil himself will have no shepherds; I cannot see else how thou shouldst 'scape.

Here comes young Master Ganymede, my new mistress's brother.

Enter ROSALIND, with a paper, reading

From the east to western Ind, No jewel is like Rosalind. Her worth, being mounted on the wind, Through all the world bears Rosalind. All the pictures fairest lined Are but black to Rosalind. Let no fair be kept in mind But the fair of Rosalind.

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.

Out, fool!

For a taste: If a hart do lack a hind, Let him seek out Rosalind. If the cat will after kind, So be sure will Rosalind. Winter garments must be lined, 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. 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?

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.

You have said; but whether wisely or no, let the forest judge.

Enter CELIA, with a writing

Peace! Here comes my sister, reading: stand aside.

[Reads] Why should this a desert be? For it is unpeopled? No: Tongues I'll hang on every tree, That shall civil sayings show: 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 '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 The quintessence of every sprite Heaven would in little show. Therefore Heaven Nature charged That one body should be fill'd With all graces wide-enlarged: Nature presently distill'd Helen's cheek, but not her heart, Cleopatra's majesty, Atalanta's better part, Sad Lucretia's modesty. 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, And I to live and die her slave.

O most gentle pulpiter! what tedious homily of love have you wearied your parishioners withal, and never cried 'Have patience, good people!'

How now! back, friends! Shepherd, go off a little. Go with him, sirrah.

Come, shepherd, let us make an honourable retreat; though not with bag and baggage, yet with scrip and scrippage.


Didst thou hear these verses?

O, yes, I heard them all, and more too; for some of them had in them more feet than the verses would bear.

That's no matter: the feet might bear the verses.

Ay, but the feet were lame and could not bear themselves without the verse and therefore stood lamely in the verse.

But didst thou hear without wondering how thy name should be hanged and carved upon these trees?

I was seven of the nine days out of the wonder before you came; for look here what I found on a palm-tree. I was never so be-rhymed since Pythagoras' time, that I was an Irish rat, which I can hardly remember.

Trow you who hath done this?

Is it a man?

And a chain, that you once wore, about his neck. Change you colour?

I prithee, who?

O Lord, Lord! it is a hard matter for friends to meet; but mountains may be removed with earthquakes and so encounter.

Nay, but who is it?

Is it possible?

Nay, I prithee now with most petitionary vehemence, tell me who it is.

O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful! and yet again wonderful, and after that, out of all hooping!

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 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 mightst pour this concealed man out of thy mouth, as wine comes out of a narrow- mouthed bottle, either too much at once, or none at all. I prithee, take the cork out of thy mouth that may drink thy tidings.

So you may put a man in your belly.

Is he of God's making? What manner of man? Is his head worth a hat, or his chin worth a beard?

Nay, he hath but a little beard.

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.

It is young Orlando, that tripped up the wrestler's heels and your heart both in an instant.

Nay, but the devil take mocking: speak, sad brow and true maid.

I' faith, coz, 'tis he.



Alas the day! what shall I do with my doublet and hose? What did he when thou sawest him? What said he? How looked he? Wherein went he? What makes him 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.

You must borrow me Gargantua's mouth first: 'tis a word too great for any mouth of this age's size. To say ay and no to these particulars is more than to answer in a catechism.

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?

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.

It may well be called Jove's tree, when it drops forth such fruit.

Give me audience, good madam.


There lay he, stretched along, like a wounded knight.

Though it be pity to see such a sight, it well becomes the ground.

Cry 'holla' to thy tongue, I prithee; it curvets unseasonably. He was furnished like a hunter.

O, ominous! he comes to kill my heart.

I would sing my song without a burden: thou bringest me out of tune.

Do you not know I am a woman? when I think, I must speak. Sweet, say on.

You bring me out. Soft! comes he not here?


'Tis he: slink by, and note him.

I thank you for your company; but, good faith, I had as lief have been myself alone.

And so had I; but yet, for fashion sake, I thank you too for your society.

God be wi' you: let's meet as little as we can.

I do desire we may be better strangers.

I pray you, mar no more trees with writing love-songs in their barks.

I pray you, mar no more of my verses with reading them ill-favouredly.

Rosalind is your love's name?

Yes, just.

I do not like her name.

There was no thought of pleasing you when she was christened.

What stature is she of?

Just as high as my heart.

You are full of pretty answers. Have you not been acquainted with goldsmiths' wives, and conned them out of rings?

Not so; but I answer you right painted cloth, from whence you have studied your questions.

You have a nimble wit: I think 'twas made of Atalanta's heels. Will you sit down with me? and we two will rail against our mistress the world and all our misery.

I will chide no breather in the world but myself, against whom I know most faults.

The worst fault you have is to be in love.

'Tis a fault I will not change for your best virtue. I am weary of you.

By my troth, I was seeking for a fool when I found you.

He is drowned in the brook: look but in, and you shall see him.

There I shall see mine own figure.

Which I take to be either a fool or a cipher.

I'll tarry no longer with you: farewell, good Signior Love.

I am glad of your departure: adieu, good Monsieur Melancholy.


[Aside to CELIA] I will speak to him, like a saucy lackey and under that habit play the knave with him. Do you hear, forester?

Very well: what would you?

I pray you, what is't o'clock?

You should ask me what time o' day: there's no clock in the forest.

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.

And why not the swift foot of Time? had not that been as proper?

By no means, sir: Time travels in divers paces with divers persons. I'll tell you who Time ambles withal, who Time trots withal, who Time gallops withal and who he stands still withal.

I prithee, who doth he trot withal?

Marry, he trots hard with a young maid between the contract of her marriage 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.

Who ambles Time withal?

With a priest that lacks Latin 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 penury; these Time ambles withal.

Who doth he gallop withal?

With a thief to the gallows, for though he go as softly as foot can fall, he thinks himself too soon there.

Who stays it still withal?

With lawyers in the vacation, for they sleep between term and term and then they perceive not how Time moves.

Where dwell you, pretty youth?

With this shepherdess, my sister; here in the skirts of the forest, like fringe upon a petticoat.

Are you native of this place?

As the cony that you see dwell where she is kindled.

Your accent is something finer than you could purchase in so removed a dwelling.

I have been told so of many: but indeed an old religious uncle of mine taught 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 offences as he hath generally taxed their whole sex withal.

Can you remember any of the principal evils that he laid to the charge of women?

There were none principal; they were all like one another as half-pence are, every one fault seeming monstrous till his fellow fault came to match it.

I prithee, recount some of them.

No, I will not cast away my physic but on those that are sick. There is a man 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 counsel, for he seems to have the quotidian of love upon him.

I am he that is so love-shaked: I pray you tell me your remedy.

There is none of my uncle's marks upon you: he taught me how to know a man in love; in which cage of rushes I am sure you are not prisoner.

What were his marks?

A lean cheek, which you 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 be ungartered, your bonnet unbanded, your sleeve unbuttoned, your shoe untied and every thing about you demonstrating a careless desolation; but you are no such man; you are rather point-device in your accoutrements as loving yourself than seeming the lover of any other.

Fair youth, I would I could make thee believe I love.

Me believe it! you may as soon make her that you love believe it; which, I 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?

I swear to thee, youth, by the white hand of Rosalind, I am that he, that unfortunate he.

But are you so much in love as your rhymes speak?

Neither rhyme nor reason can express how much.

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 ordinary that the whippers are in love too. Yet I profess curing it by counsel.

Did you ever cure any so?

Yes, one, and in this manner. He was to imagine me his love, his mistress; 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 no passion truly any thing, as boys and women are for the most part cattle of this colour; 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 humour of love to a living humour 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 be one spot of love in't.

I would not be cured, youth.

I would cure you, if you would but call me Rosalind and come every day to my cote and woo me.

Now, by the faith of my love, I will: tell me where it is.

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?

With all my heart, good youth.

Nay you must call me Rosalind. Come, sister, will you go?


SCENE III. The forest.


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?

Your features! Lord warrant us! what features!

I am here with thee and thy goats, as the most capricious poet, honest Ovid, was among the Goths.

[Aside] O knowledge ill-inhabited, worse than Jove in a thatched house!

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.

I do not know what 'poetical' is: is it honest in deed and word? is it a true thing?

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 feign.

Do you wish then that the gods had made me poetical?

I do, truly; for thou swearest to me thou art honest: now, if thou wert a poet, I might have some hope thou didst feign.

Would you not have me honest?

No, truly, unless thou wert hard-favoured; for honesty coupled to beauty is to have honey a sauce to sugar.

[Aside] A material fool!

Well, I am not fair; and therefore I pray the gods make me honest.

Truly, and to cast away honesty upon a foul slut were to put good meat into an unclean dish.

I am not a slut, though I thank the gods I am foul.

Well, praised be the gods for thy foulness! sluttishness may come hereafter. But be it as it may 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.

[Aside] I would fain see this meeting.

Well, the gods give us joy!

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? C ourage! As horns are odious, 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 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 honourable than the bare brow of a bachelor; and by how much defence is better than no skill, by so much is a horn more precious than to want. 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?

Is there none here to give the woman?

I will not take her on gift of any man.

Truly, she must be given, or the marriage is not lawful.

[Advancing] Proceed, proceed I'll give her.

Good even, good Master What-ye-call't: how do you, sir? You are very well met: God 'ild you for your last company: I am very glad to see you: even a toy in hand here, sir: nay, pray be covered.

Will you be married, motley?

As the ox hath his bow, sir, the horse his curb and the falcon her bells, so man hath his desires; and as pigeons bill, so wedlock would be nibbling.

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 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, warp.

[Aside] I am not in the mind but I were better to 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 wife.

Go thou with me, and let me counsel thee.

'Come, sweet Audrey: We must be married, or we must live in bawdry. Farewell, good Master Oliver: not,-- O sweet Oliver, O brave Oliver, Leave me not behind thee: but,-- Wind away, Begone, I say, I will not to wedding with thee.


'Tis no matter: ne'er a fantastical knave of them all shall flout me out of my calling.


SCENE IV. The forest.


Never talk to me; I will weep.

Do, I prithee; but yet have the grace to consider that tears do not become a man.

But have I not cause to weep?

As good cause as one would desire; therefore weep.

His very hair is of the dissembling colour.

Something browner than Judas's marry, his kisses are Judas's own children.

I' faith, his hair is of a good colour.

An excellent colour: your chestnut was ever the only colour.

And his kissing is as full of sanctity as the touch of holy bread.

He hath bought a pair of cast lips of Diana: a nun of winter's sisterhood kisses not more religiously; the very ice of chastity is in them.

But why did he swear he would come this morning, and comes not?

Nay, certainly, there is no truth in him.

Do you think so?

Yes; I think he is not a pick-purse 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.

Not true in love?

Yes, when he is in; but I think he is not in.

You have heard him swear downright he was.

'Was' is not 'is:' besides, the oath of a lover is no stronger than the word of a tapster; they are both the confirmer of false reckonings. He attends here in the forest on the duke your father.

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 and let me go. But what talk we of fathers, when there is such a man as Orlando?

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 his lover; as a puisny 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?