SCENE I. Orchard of Oliver’s house.
Enter ORLANDO and ADAM
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.
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.
Exeunt ORLANDO and ADAM
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
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.
Enter CELIA and ROSALIND
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
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
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.
Enter LE BEAU
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
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
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
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.
O excellent young man!
If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can tell who
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.
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.
Exeunt ROSALIND and CELIA
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.
Exit LE BEAU
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.
Enter CELIA and ROSALIND
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
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
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.
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
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,
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.
Enter CORIN and SILVIUS
Look you, who comes here; a young man and an old in
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.
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.
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.
SCENE VI. The forest.
Enter ORLANDO and ADAM
Dear master, I can go no further. O, I die for food!
Here lie I down, and measure out my grave. Farewell,
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.
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.
Enter DUKE FREDERICK, Lords, and OLIVER
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.
Enter CORIN and TOUCHSTONE
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
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
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
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.
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
Enter CELIA, with a writing
Peace! Here comes my sister, reading: stand aside.
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,
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.
Exeunt CORIN and TOUCHSTONE
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
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?
Enter ORLANDO and JAQUES
‘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
Rosalind is your love’s name?
I do not like her name.
There was no thought of pleasing you when she was
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
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
I am glad of your departure: adieu, good Monsieur
[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
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
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.
Enter TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY; JAQUES behind
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.
Enter SIR OLIVER MARTEXT
Sir Oliver Martext, you are well met: will you
dispatch us here under this tree, or shall we go
with you to your chapel?
SIR OLIVER MARTEXT
Is there none here to give the woman?
I will not take her on gift of any man.
SIR OLIVER MARTEXT
Truly, she must be given, or the marriage is not lawful.
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,–
Begone, I say,
I will not to wedding with thee.
Exeunt JAQUES, TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY
SIR OLIVER MARTEXT
‘Tis no matter: ne’er a fantastical knave of them
all shall flout me out of my calling.
SCENE IV. The forest.
Enter ROSALIND and CELIA
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
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
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?
Mistress and master, you have oft inquired
After the shepherd that complain’d of love,
Who you saw sitting by me on the turf,
Praising the proud disdainful shepherdess
That was his mistress.
Well, and what of him?
If you will see a pageant truly play’d,
Between the pale complexion of true love
And the red glow of scorn and proud disdain,
Go hence a little and I shall conduct you,
If you will mark it.
O, come, let us remove:
The sight of lovers feedeth those in love.
Bring us to this sight, and you shall say
I’ll prove a busy actor in their play.
SCENE V. Another part of the forest.
Enter SILVIUS and PHEBE
Sweet Phebe, do not scorn me; do not, Phebe;
Say that you love me not, but say not so
In bitterness. The common executioner,
Whose heart the accustom’d sight of death makes hard,
Falls not the axe upon the humbled neck
But first begs pardon: will you sterner be
Than he that dies and lives by bloody drops?
Enter ROSALIND, CELIA, and CORIN, behind
I would not be thy executioner:
I fly thee, for I would not injure thee.
Thou tell’st me there is murder in mine eye:
‘Tis pretty, sure, and very probable,
That eyes, that are the frail’st and softest things,
Who shut their coward gates on atomies,
Should be call’d tyrants, butchers, murderers!
Now I do frown on thee with all my heart;
And if mine eyes can wound, now let them kill thee:
Now counterfeit to swoon; why now fall down;
Or if thou canst not, O, for shame, for shame,
Lie not, to say mine eyes are murderers!
Now show the wound mine eye hath made in thee:
Scratch thee but with a pin, and there remains
Some scar of it; lean but upon a rush,
The cicatrice and capable impressure
Thy palm some moment keeps; but now mine eyes,
Which I have darted at thee, hurt thee not,
Nor, I am sure, there is no force in eyes
That can do hurt.
O dear Phebe,
If ever,–as that ever may be near,–
You meet in some fresh cheek the power of fancy,
Then shall you know the wounds invisible
That love’s keen arrows make.
But till that time
Come not thou near me: and when that time comes,
Afflict me with thy mocks, pity me not;
As till that time I shall not pity thee.
And why, I pray you? Who might be your mother,
That you insult, exult, and all at once,
Over the wretched? What though you have no beauty,–
As, by my faith, I see no more in you
Than without candle may go dark to bed–
Must you be therefore proud and pitiless?
Why, what means this? Why do you look on me?
I see no more in you than in the ordinary
Of nature’s sale-work. ‘Od’s my little life,
I think she means to tangle my eyes too!
No, faith, proud mistress, hope not after it:
‘Tis not your inky brows, your black silk hair,
Your bugle eyeballs, nor your cheek of cream,
That can entame my spirits to your worship.
You foolish shepherd, wherefore do you follow her,
Like foggy south puffing with wind and rain?
You are a thousand times a properer man
Than she a woman: ’tis such fools as you
That makes the world full of ill-favour’d children:
‘Tis not her glass, but you, that flatters her;
And out of you she sees herself more proper
Than any of her lineaments can show her.
But, mistress, know yourself: down on your knees,
And thank heaven, fasting, for a good man’s love:
For I must tell you friendly in your ear,
Sell when you can: you are not for all markets:
Cry the man mercy; love him; take his offer:
Foul is most foul, being foul to be a scoffer.
So take her to thee, shepherd: fare you well.
Sweet youth, I pray you, chide a year together:
I had rather hear you chide than this man woo.
He’s fallen in love with your foulness and she’ll
fall in love with my anger. If it be so, as fast as
she answers thee with frowning looks, I’ll sauce her
with bitter words. Why look you so upon me?
For no ill will I bear you.
I pray you, do not fall in love with me,
For I am falser than vows made in wine:
Besides, I like you not. If you will know my house,
‘Tis at the tuft of olives here hard by.
Will you go, sister? Shepherd, ply her hard.
Come, sister. Shepherdess, look on him better,
And be not proud: though all the world could see,
None could be so abused in sight as he.
Come, to our flock.
Exeunt ROSALIND, CELIA and CORIN
Dead Shepherd, now I find thy saw of might,
‘Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?’
Ha, what say’st thou, Silvius?
Sweet Phebe, pity me.
Why, I am sorry for thee, gentle Silvius.
Wherever sorrow is, relief would be:
If you do sorrow at my grief in love,
By giving love your sorrow and my grief
Were both extermined.
Thou hast my love: is not that neighbourly?
I would have you.
Why, that were covetousness.
Silvius, the time was that I hated thee,
And yet it is not that I bear thee love;
But since that thou canst talk of love so well,
Thy company, which erst was irksome to me,
I will endure, and I’ll employ thee too:
But do not look for further recompense
Than thine own gladness that thou art employ’d.
So holy and so perfect is my love,
And I in such a poverty of grace,
That I shall think it a most plenteous crop
To glean the broken ears after the man
That the main harvest reaps: loose now and then
A scatter’d smile, and that I’ll live upon.
Know’st now the youth that spoke to me erewhile?
Not very well, but I have met him oft;
And he hath bought the cottage and the bounds
That the old carlot once was master of.
Think not I love him, though I ask for him:
‘Tis but a peevish boy; yet he talks well;
But what care I for words? yet words do well
When he that speaks them pleases those that hear.
It is a pretty youth: not very pretty:
But, sure, he’s proud, and yet his pride becomes him:
He’ll make a proper man: the best thing in him
Is his complexion; and faster than his tongue
Did make offence his eye did heal it up.
He is not very tall; yet for his years he’s tall:
His leg is but so so; and yet ’tis well:
There was a pretty redness in his lip,
A little riper and more lusty red
Than that mix’d in his cheek; ’twas just the difference
Between the constant red and mingled damask.
There be some women, Silvius, had they mark’d him
In parcels as I did, would have gone near
To fall in love with him; but, for my part,
I love him not nor hate him not; and yet
I have more cause to hate him than to love him:
For what had he to do to chide at me?
He said mine eyes were black and my hair black:
And, now I am remember’d, scorn’d at me:
I marvel why I answer’d not again:
But that’s all one; omittance is no quittance.
I’ll write to him a very taunting letter,
And thou shalt bear it: wilt thou, Silvius?
Phebe, with all my heart.
I’ll write it straight;
The matter’s in my head and in my heart:
I will be bitter with him and passing short.
Go with me, Silvius.
SCENE I. The forest.
Enter ROSALIND, CELIA, and JAQUES
I prithee, pretty youth, let me be better acquainted
They say you are a melancholy fellow.
I am so; I do love it better than laughing.
Those that are in extremity of either are abominable
fellows and betray themselves to every modern
censure worse than drunkards.
Why, ’tis good to be sad and say nothing.
Why then, ’tis good to be a post.
I have neither the scholar’s melancholy, which is
emulation, nor the musician’s, which is fantastical,
nor the courtier’s, which is proud, nor the
soldier’s, which is ambitious, nor the 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’s
contemplation of my travels, in which my often
rumination wraps me m a most humorous sadness.
A traveller! By my faith, you have great reason to
be sad: I fear you have sold your own lands to see
other men’s; then, to have seen much and to have
nothing, is to have rich eyes and poor hands.
Yes, I have gained my experience.
And your experience makes you sad: I had rather have
a fool to make me merry than experience to make me
sad; and to travel for it too!
Good day and happiness, dear Rosalind!
Nay, then, God be wi’ you, an you talk in blank verse.
Farewell, Monsieur Traveller: look you lisp and
wear strange suits, disable all the benefits of your
own country, be out of love with your nativity and
almost chide God for making you that countenance you
are, or I will scarce think you have swam in a
gondola. Why, how now, Orlando! where have you been
all this while? You a lover! An you serve me such
another trick, never come in my sight more.
My fair Rosalind, I come within an hour of my promise.
Break an hour’s promise in love! He that will
divide a minute into a thousand parts and break but
a part of the thousandth part of a minute in the
affairs of love, it may be said of him that Cupid
hath clapped him o’ the shoulder, but I’ll warrant
Pardon me, dear Rosalind.
Nay, an you be so tardy, come no more in my sight: I
had as lief be wooed of a snail.
Of a snail?
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: besides he brings
his destiny with him.
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 slander of his wife.
Virtue is no horn-maker; and my Rosalind is virtuous.
And I am your Rosalind.
It pleases him to call you so; but he hath a
Rosalind of a better leer than you.
Come, woo me, woo me, for now I am in a holiday
humour and like enough to consent. What would you
say to me now, an I were your very very Rosalind?
I would kiss before I spoke.
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 lovers lacking–God
warn us!–matter, the cleanliest shift is to kiss.
How if the kiss be denied?
Then she puts you to entreaty, and there begins new matter.
Who could be out, being before his beloved mistress?
Marry, that should you, if I were your mistress, or
I should think my honesty ranker than my wit.
What, of my suit?
Not out of your apparel, and yet out of your suit.
Am not I your Rosalind?
I take some joy to say you are, because I would be
talking of her.
Well in her person I say I will not have you.
Then in mine own person I die.
No, faith, die by attorney. The poor world is
almost six thousand years old, and in all this time
there was not any man died in his own person,
videlicit, in a love-cause. Troilus had his brains
dashed out with a Grecian club; yet he did what he
could to die before, and he is one of the patterns
of love. Leander, he would have lived many a fair
year, though Hero had turned nun, if it had not been
for a hot midsummer night; for, good youth, he went
but forth to wash him in the Hellespont and being
taken with the cramp was drowned and the foolish
coroners of that age found it was ‘Hero of Sestos.’
But these are all lies: men have died from time to
time and worms have eaten them, but not for love.
I would not have my right Rosalind of this mind,
for, I protest, her frown might kill me.
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
Then love me, Rosalind.
Yes, faith, will I, Fridays and Saturdays and all.
And wilt thou have me?
Ay, and twenty such.
What sayest thou?
Are you not good?
I hope so.
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, Orlando. What do you say, sister?
Pray thee, marry us.
I cannot say the words.
You must begin, ‘Will you, Orlando–’
Go to. Will you, Orlando, have to wife this Rosalind?
Ay, but when?
Why now; as fast as she can marry us.
Then you must say ‘I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.’
I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.
I might ask you for your commission; but I do take
thee, Orlando, for my husband: there’s a girl goes
before the priest; and certainly a woman’s thought
runs before her actions.
So do all thoughts; they are winged.
Now tell me how long you would have her after you
have possessed her.
For ever and a day.
Say ‘a day,’ without the ‘ever.’ No, no, Orlando;
men are April when they woo, December when they wed:
maids are May when they are maids, but the sky
changes when they are wives. I will be more jealous
of thee than a Barbary cock-pigeon over his hen,
more clamorous than a parrot against rain, more
new-fangled than an ape, more giddy in my desires
than a monkey: I will weep for nothing, like Diana
in the fountain, and I will do that when you are
disposed to be merry; I will laugh like a hyen, and
that when thou art inclined to sleep.
But will my Rosalind do so?
By my life, she will do as I do.
O, but she is wise.
Or else she could not have the wit to do this: the
wiser, the waywarder: make the doors upon a woman’s
wit and it will out at the casement; shut that and
’twill out at the key-hole; stop that, ’twill fly
with the smoke out at the chimney.
A man that had a wife with such a wit, he might say
‘Wit, whither wilt?’
Nay, you might keep that cheque for it till you met
your wife’s wit going to your neighbour’s bed.
And what wit could wit have to excuse that?
Marry, to say she came to seek you there. You shall
never take her without her answer, unless you take
her without her tongue. O, that woman that cannot
make her fault her husband’s occasion, let her
never nurse her child herself, for she will breed
it like a fool!
For these two hours, Rosalind, I will leave thee.
Alas! dear love, I cannot lack thee two hours.
I must attend the duke at dinner: by two o’clock I
will be with thee again.
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 tongue of yours
won me: ’tis but one cast away, and so, come,
death! Two o’clock is your hour?
Ay, sweet Rosalind.
By my troth, and in good earnest, and so God mend
me, and by all pretty oaths that are not dangerous,
if you break one jot of your promise or come one
minute behind your hour, I will think you the most
pathetical break-promise and the most hollow lover
and the most unworthy of her you call Rosalind that
may be chosen out of the gross band of the
unfaithful: therefore beware my censure and keep
With no less religion than if thou wert indeed my
Rosalind: so adieu.
Well, Time is the old justice that examines all such
offenders, and let Time try: adieu.
You have simply misused our sex in your love-prate:
we must have your doublet and hose plucked over your
head, and show the world what the bird hath done to
her own nest.
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 unknown
bottom, like the bay of Portugal.
Or rather, bottomless, that as fast as you pour
affection in, it runs out.
No, that same wicked bastard of Venus that was begot
of thought, conceived of spleen and born of madness,
that blind rascally boy that abuses every one’s eyes
because his own are out, let him be judge how deep I
am in love. I’ll tell thee, Aliena, I cannot be out
of the sight of Orlando: I’ll go find a shadow and
sigh till he come.
And I’ll sleep.
SCENE II. The forest.
Enter JAQUES, Lords, and Foresters
Which is he that killed the deer?
Sir, it was I.
Let’s present him to the duke, like a Roman
conqueror; and it would do well to set the deer’s
horns upon his head, for a branch of victory. Have
you no song, forester, for this purpose?
Sing it: ’tis no matter how it be in tune, so it
make noise enough.
What shall he have that kill’d 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:
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.
SCENE III. The forest.
Enter ROSALIND and CELIA
How say you now? Is it not past two o’clock? and
here much Orlando!
I warrant you, with pure love and troubled brain, he
hath ta’en his bow and arrows and is gone forth to
sleep. Look, who comes here.
My errand is to you, fair youth;
My gentle Phebe bid me give you this:
I know not the contents; but, as I guess
By the stern brow and waspish action
Which she did use as she was writing of it,
It bears an angry tenor: pardon me:
I am but as a guiltless messenger.
Patience herself would startle at this letter
And play the swaggerer; bear this, bear all:
She says I am not fair, that I lack manners;
She calls me proud, and that she could not love me,
Were man as rare as phoenix. ‘Od’s my will!
Her love is not the hare that I do hunt:
Why writes she so to me? Well, shepherd, well,
This is a letter of your own device.
No, I protest, I know not the contents:
Phebe did write it.
Come, come, you are a fool
And turn’d into the extremity of love.
I saw her hand: she has a leathern hand.
A freestone-colour’d 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:
I say she never did invent this letter;
This is a man’s invention and his hand.
Sure, it is hers.
Why, ’tis a boisterous and a cruel style.
A style for-challengers; why, she defies me,
Like Turk to Christian: women’s gentle brain
Could not drop forth such giant-rude invention
Such Ethiope words, blacker in their effect
Than in their countenance. Will you hear the letter?
So please you, for I never heard it yet;
Yet heard too much of Phebe’s cruelty.
She Phebes me: mark how the tyrant writes.
Art thou god to shepherd turn’d,
That a maiden’s heart hath burn’d?
Can a woman rail thus?
Call you this railing?
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,
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
Would they work in mild aspect!
Whiles you chid me, I did love;
How then might your prayers move!
He that brings this love to thee
Little knows this love in me:
And by him seal up thy mind;
Whether that thy youth and kind
Will the faithful offer take
Of me and all that I can make;
Or else by him my love deny,
And then I’ll study how to die.
Call you this chiding?
Alas, poor shepherd!
Do you pity him? no, he deserves no pity. Wilt
thou love such a woman? What, to make thee an
instrument and play false strains upon thee! not to
be endured! Well, go your way to her, for I see
love hath made thee a tame snake, and say this to
her: that if she love me, I charge her to love
thee; if she will not, I will never have her unless
thou entreat for her. If you be a true lover,
hence, and not a word; for here comes more company.
Good morrow, fair ones: pray you, if you know,
Where in the purlieus of this forest stands
A sheep-cote fenced about with olive trees?
West of this place, down in the neighbour bottom:
The rank of osiers by the murmuring stream
Left on your right hand brings you to the place.
But at this hour the house doth keep itself;
There’s none within.
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 favour, and bestows himself
Like a ripe sister: the woman low
And browner than her brother.’ Are not you
The owner of the house I did inquire for?
It is no boast, being ask’d, to say we are.
Orlando doth commend him to you both,
And to that youth he calls his Rosalind
He sends this bloody napkin. Are you he?
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
This handkercher was stain’d.
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,
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 oak, whose boughs were moss’d with age
And high top bald with dry antiquity,
A wretched ragged man, o’ergrown with hair,
Lay sleeping on his back: about his neck
A green and gilded snake had wreathed itself,
Who with her head nimble in threats approach’d
The opening of his mouth; but suddenly,
Seeing Orlando, it unlink’d itself,
And with indented glides did slip away
Into a bush: under which bush’s shade
A lioness, with udders all drawn dry,
Lay couching, head on ground, with catlike watch,
When that the sleeping man should stir; for ’tis
The royal disposition of that beast
To prey on nothing that doth seem as dead:
This seen, Orlando did approach the man
And found it was his brother, his elder brother.
O, I have heard him speak of that same brother;
And he did render him the most unnatural
That lived amongst men.
And well he might so do,
For well I know he was unnatural.
But, to Orlando: did he leave him there,
Food to the suck’d and hungry lioness?
Twice did he turn his back and purposed so;
But kindness, nobler ever than revenge,
And nature, stronger than his just occasion,
Made him give battle to the lioness,
Who quickly fell before him: in which hurtling
From miserable slumber I awaked.
Are you his brother?
Wast you he rescued?
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.
But, for the bloody napkin?
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:–
In brief, he led me to the gentle duke,
Who gave me fresh array and entertainment,
Committing me unto my brother’s love;
Who led me instantly unto his cave,
There stripp’d himself, and here upon his arm
The lioness had torn some flesh away,
Which all this while had bled; and now he fainted
And cried, in fainting, upon Rosalind.
Brief, I recover’d him, bound up his wound;
And, after some small space, being strong at heart,
He sent me hither, stranger as 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.
Why, how now, Ganymede! sweet Ganymede!
Many will swoon when they do look on blood.
There is more in it. Cousin Ganymede!
Look, he recovers.
I would I were at home.
We’ll lead you thither.
I pray you, will you take him by the arm?
Be of good cheer, youth: you a man! you lack a
I do so, I confess it. Ah, sirrah, a body would
think this was well counterfeited! I pray you, tell
your brother how well I counterfeited. Heigh-ho!
This was not counterfeit: there is too great
testimony in your complexion that it was a passion
Counterfeit, I assure you.
Well then, take a good heart and counterfeit to be a man.
So I do: but, i’ faith, I should have been a woman by right.
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.
I shall devise something: but, I pray you, commend
my counterfeiting to him. Will you go?
SCENE I. The forest.
Enter TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY
We shall find a time, Audrey; patience, gentle Audrey.
Faith, the priest was good enough, for all the old
A most wicked Sir Oliver, Audrey, a most vile
Martext. But, Audrey, there is a youth here in the
forest lays claim to you.
Ay, I know who ’tis; he hath no interest in me in
the world: here comes the man you mean.
It is meat and drink to me to see a clown: by my
troth, we that have good wits have much to answer
for; we shall be flouting; we cannot hold.
Good even, Audrey.
God ye good even, William.
And good even to you, sir.
Good even, gentle friend. Cover thy head, cover thy
head; nay, prithee, be covered. How old are you, friend?
Five and twenty, sir.
A ripe age. Is thy name William?
A fair name. Wast born i’ the forest here?
Ay, sir, I thank God.
‘Thank God;’ a good answer. Art rich?
Faith, sir, so so.
‘So so’ is good, very good, very excellent good; and
yet it is not; it is but so so. Art thou wise?
Ay, sir, I have a pretty wit.
Why, thou sayest well. I do now remember a saying,
‘The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man
knows himself to be a fool.’ The heathen
philosopher, when he had a desire to eat a grape,
would open his lips when he put it into his mouth;
meaning thereby that grapes were made to eat and
lips to open. You do love this maid?
I do, sir.
Give me your hand. Art thou learned?
Then learn this of me: to have, is to have; for it
is a figure in rhetoric that drink, being poured out
of a cup into a glass, by filling the one doth empty
the other; for all your writers do consent that ipse
is he: now, you are not ipse, for I am he.
Which he, sir?
He, sir, that must marry this woman. Therefore, you
clown, abandon,–which is in the vulgar leave,–the
society,–which in the boorish is company,–of this
female,–which in the common is woman; which
together is, abandon the society of this female, or,
clown, thou perishest; or, to thy better
understanding, diest; or, to wit I kill thee, make
thee away, translate thy life into death, thy
liberty into bondage: I will deal in poison with
thee, or in bastinado, or in steel; I will bandy
with thee in faction; I will o’errun thee with
policy; I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways:
therefore tremble and depart.
Do, good William.
God rest you merry, sir.
Our master and mistress seeks you; come, away, away!
Trip, Audrey! trip, Audrey! I attend, I attend.
SCENE II. The forest.
Enter ORLANDO and OLIVER
Is’t possible that on so little acquaintance you
should like her? that but seeing you should love
her? and loving woo? and, wooing, she should
grant? and will you persever to enjoy her?
Neither call the giddiness of it in question, the
poverty of her, the small acquaintance, my sudden
wooing, nor her sudden consenting; but say with me,
I love Aliena; say with her that she loves me;
consent with both that we may enjoy each other: it
shall be to your good; for my father’s house and all
the revenue that was old Sir Rowland’s will I
estate upon you, and here live and die a shepherd.
You have my consent. Let your wedding be to-morrow:
thither will I invite the duke and all’s contented
followers. Go you and prepare Aliena; for look
you, here comes my Rosalind.
God save you, brother.
And you, fair sister.
O, my dear Orlando, how it grieves me to see thee
wear thy heart in a scarf!
It is my arm.
I thought thy heart had been wounded with the claws
of a lion.
Wounded it is, but with the eyes of a lady.
Did your brother tell you how I counterfeited to
swoon when he showed me your handkerchief?
Ay, and greater wonders than that.
O, I know where you are: nay, ’tis true: there was
never any thing so sudden but the fight of two rams
and Caesar’s thrasonical brag of ‘I came, saw, and
overcame:’ for your brother and my sister no sooner
met but they looked, no sooner looked but they
loved, no sooner loved but they sighed, no sooner
sighed but they asked one another the reason, no
sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy;
and in these degrees have they made a pair of stairs
to marriage which they will climb incontinent, or
else be incontinent before marriage: they are in
the very wrath of love and they will together; clubs
cannot part them.
They shall be married to-morrow, and I will bid the
duke to the nuptial. But, O, how bitter a thing it
is to look into happiness through another man’s
eyes! By so much the more shall I to-morrow be at
the height of heart-heaviness, by how much I shall
think my brother happy in having what he wishes for.
Why then, to-morrow I cannot serve your turn for Rosalind?
I can live no longer by thinking.
I will weary you then no longer with idle talking.
Know of me then, for now I speak to some purpose,
that I know you are a gentleman of good conceit: I
speak not this that you should bear a good opinion
of my knowledge, insomuch I say I know you are;
neither do I labour for a greater esteem than may in
some little measure draw a belief from you, to do
yourself good and not to grace me. Believe then, if
you please, that I can do strange things: I have,
since I was three year old, conversed with a
magician, most profound in his art and yet not
damnable. If you do love Rosalind so near the heart
as your gesture cries it out, when your brother
marries Aliena, shall you marry her: I know into
what straits of fortune she is driven; and it is
not impossible to me, if it appear not inconvenient
to you, to set her before your eyes tomorrow human
as she is and without any danger.
Speakest thou in sober meanings?
By my life, I do; which I tender dearly, though I
say I am a magician. Therefore, put you in your
best array: bid your friends; for if you will be
married to-morrow, you shall, and to Rosalind, if you will.
Enter SILVIUS and PHEBE
Look, here comes a lover of mine and a lover of hers.
Youth, you have done me much ungentleness,
To show the letter that I writ to you.
I care not if I have: it is my study
To seem despiteful and ungentle to you:
You are there followed by a faithful shepherd;
Look upon him, love him; he worships you.
Good shepherd, tell this youth what ’tis to love.
It is to be all made of sighs and tears;
And so am I for Phebe.
And I for Ganymede.
And I for Rosalind.
And I for no woman.
It is to be all made of faith and service;
And so am I for Phebe.
And I for Ganymede.
And I for Rosalind.
And I for no woman.
It is to be all made of fantasy,
All made of passion and all made of wishes,
All adoration, duty, and observance,
All humbleness, all patience and impatience,
All purity, all trial, all observance;
And so am I for Phebe.
And so am I for Ganymede.
And so am I for Rosalind.
And so am I for no woman.
If this be so, why blame you me to love you?
If this be so, why blame you me to love you?
If this be so, why blame you me to love you?
Who do you speak to, ‘Why blame you me to love you?’
To her that is not here, nor doth not hear.
Pray you, no more of this; ’tis like the howling
of Irish wolves against the moon.
I will help you, if I can:
I would love you, if I could. To-morrow meet me all together.
I will marry you, if ever I marry woman, and I’ll be
I will satisfy you, if ever I satisfied man, and you
shall be married to-morrow:
I will content you, if what pleases you contents
you, and you shall be married to-morrow.
As you love Rosalind, meet:
as you love Phebe, meet: and as I love no woman,
I’ll meet. So fare you well: I have left you commands.
I’ll not fail, if I live.
SCENE III. The forest.
Enter TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY
To-morrow is the joyful day, Audrey; to-morrow will
we be married.
I do desire it with all my heart; and I hope it is
no dishonest desire to desire to be a woman of the
world. Here comes two of the banished duke’s pages.
Enter two Pages
Well met, honest gentleman.
By my troth, well met. Come, sit, sit, and a song.
We are for you: sit i’ the middle.
Shall we clap into’t roundly, without hawking or
spitting or saying we are hoarse, which are the only
prologues to a bad voice?
I’faith, i’faith; and both in a tune, like two
gipsies on a horse.
It was a lover and his lass,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o’er the green corn-field did pass
In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding:
Sweet lovers love the spring.
Between the acres of the rye,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino
These pretty country folks would lie,
In spring time, & c.
This carol they began that hour,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
How that a life was but a flower
In spring time, & c.
And therefore take the present time,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino;
For love is crowned with the prime
In spring time, & c.
Truly, young gentlemen, though there was no great
matter in the ditty, yet the note was very
You are deceived, sir: we kept time, we lost not our time.
By my troth, yes; I count it but time lost to hear
such a foolish song. God be wi’ you; and God mend
your voices! Come, Audrey.
SCENE IV. The forest.
Enter DUKE SENIOR, AMIENS, JAQUES, ORLANDO, OLIVER, and CELIA
Dost thou believe, Orlando, that the boy
Can do all this that he hath promised?
I sometimes do believe, and sometimes do not;
As those that fear they hope, and know they fear.
Enter ROSALIND, SILVIUS, and PHEBE
Patience once more, whiles our compact is urged:
You say, if I bring in your Rosalind,
You will bestow her on Orlando here?
That would I, had I kingdoms to give with her.
And you say, you will have her, when I bring her?
That would I, were I of all kingdoms king.
You say, you’ll marry me, if I be willing?
That will I, should I die the hour after.
But if you do refuse to marry me,
You’ll give yourself to this most faithful shepherd?
So is the bargain.
You say, that you’ll have Phebe, if she will?
Though to have her and death were both one thing.
I have promised to make all this matter even.
Keep you your word, O duke, to give your daughter;
You yours, Orlando, to receive his daughter:
Keep your word, Phebe, that you’ll marry me,
Or else refusing me, to wed this shepherd:
Keep your word, Silvius, that you’ll marry her.
If she refuse me: and from hence I go,
To make these doubts all even.
Exeunt ROSALIND and CELIA
I do remember in this shepherd boy
Some lively touches of my daughter’s favour.
My lord, the first time that I ever saw him
Methought he was a brother to your daughter:
But, my good lord, this boy is forest-born,
And hath been tutor’d in the rudiments
Of many desperate studies by his uncle,
Whom he reports to be a great magician,
Obscured in the circle of this forest.
Enter TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY
There is, sure, another flood toward, and these
couples are coming to the ark. Here comes a pair of
very strange beasts, which in all tongues are called fools.
Salutation and greeting to you all!
Good my lord, bid him welcome: this is the
motley-minded gentleman that I have so often met in
the forest: he hath been a courtier, he swears.
If any man doubt that, let him put me to my
purgation. I have trod a measure; I have flattered
a lady; I have been politic with my friend, smooth
with mine enemy; I have undone three tailors; I have
had four quarrels, and like to have fought one.
And how was that ta’en up?
Faith, we met, and found the quarrel was upon the
How seventh cause? Good my lord, like this fellow.
I like him very well.
God ‘ild you, sir; I desire you of the like. I
press in here, sir, amongst the rest of the country
copulatives, to swear and to forswear: according as
marriage binds and blood breaks: a poor virgin,
sir, an ill-favoured thing, sir, but mine own; a poor
humour of mine, sir, to take that that no man else
will: rich honesty dwells like a miser, sir, in a
poor house; as your pearl in your foul oyster.
By my faith, he is very swift and sententious.
According to the fool’s bolt, sir, and such dulcet diseases.
But, for the seventh cause; how did you find the
quarrel on the seventh cause?
Upon a lie seven times removed:–bear your body more
seeming, Audrey:–as thus, sir. I did dislike the
cut of a certain courtier’s beard: he sent me word,
if I said his beard was not cut well, he was in the
mind it was: this is called the Retort Courteous.
If I sent him word again ‘it was not well cut,’ he
would send me word, he cut it to please himself:
this is called the Quip Modest. If again ‘it was
not well cut,’ he disabled my judgment: this is
called the Reply Churlish. If again ‘it was not
well cut,’ he would answer, I spake not true: this
is called the Reproof Valiant. If again ‘it was not
well cut,’ he would say I lied: this is called the
Counter-cheque Quarrelsome: and so to the Lie
Circumstantial and the Lie Direct.
And how oft did you say his beard was not well cut?
I durst go no further than the Lie Circumstantial,
nor he durst not give me the Lie Direct; and so we
measured swords and parted.
Can you nominate in order now the degrees of the lie?
O sir, we quarrel in print, by the book; as you have
books for good manners: I will name you the degrees.
The first, the Retort Courteous; the second, the
Quip Modest; the third, the Reply Churlish; the
fourth, the Reproof Valiant; the fifth, the
Countercheque Quarrelsome; the sixth, the Lie with
Circumstance; the seventh, the Lie Direct. All
these you may avoid but the Lie Direct; and you may
avoid that too, with an If. I knew when seven
justices could not take up a quarrel, but when the
parties were met themselves, one of them thought but
of an If, as, ‘If you said so, then I said so;’ and
they shook hands and swore brothers. Your If is the
only peacemaker; much virtue in If.
Is not this a rare fellow, my lord? he’s as good at
any thing and yet a fool.
He uses his folly like a stalking-horse and under
the presentation of that he shoots his wit.
Enter HYMEN, ROSALIND, and CELIA
Then is there mirth in heaven,
When earthly things made even
Good duke, receive thy daughter
Hymen from heaven brought her,
Yea, brought her hither,
That thou mightst join her hand with his
Whose heart within his bosom is.
[To DUKE SENIOR] To you I give myself, for I am yours.
To you I give myself, for I am yours.
If there be truth in sight, you are my daughter.
If there be truth in sight, you are my Rosalind.
If sight and shape be true,
Why then, my love adieu!
I’ll have no father, if you be not he:
I’ll have no husband, if you be not he:
Nor ne’er wed woman, if you be not she.
Peace, ho! I bar confusion:
‘Tis I must make conclusion
Of these most strange events:
Here’s eight that must take hands
To join in Hymen’s bands,
If truth holds true contents.
You and you no cross shall part:
You and you are heart in heart
You to his love must accord,
Or have a woman to your lord:
You and you are sure together,
As the winter to foul weather.
Whiles a wedlock-hymn we sing,
Feed yourselves with questioning;
That reason wonder may diminish,
How thus we met, and these things finish.
Wedding is great Juno’s crown:
O blessed bond of board and bed!
‘Tis Hymen peoples every town;
High wedlock then be honoured:
Honour, high honour and renown,
To Hymen, god of every town!
O my dear niece, welcome thou art to me!
Even daughter, welcome, in no less degree.
I will not eat my word, now thou art mine;
Thy faith my fancy to thee doth combine.
Enter JAQUES DE BOYS
JAQUES DE BOYS
Let me have audience for a word or two:
I am the second son of old Sir Rowland,
That bring these tidings to this fair assembly.
Duke Frederick, hearing how that every day
Men of great worth resorted to this forest,
Address’d a mighty power; which were on foot,
In his own conduct, purposely to take
His brother here and put him to the sword:
And to the skirts of this wild wood he came;
Where meeting with an old religious man,
After some question with him, was converted
Both from his enterprise and from the world,
His crown bequeathing to his banish’d brother,
And all their lands restored to them again
That were with him exiled. This to be true,
I do engage my life.
Welcome, young man;
Thou offer’st fairly to thy brothers’ wedding:
To one his lands withheld, and to the other
A land itself at large, a potent dukedom.
First, in this forest, let us do those ends
That here were well begun and well begot:
And after, every of this happy number
That have endured shrewd days and nights with us
Shall share the good of our returned fortune,
According to the measure of their states.
Meantime, forget this new-fall’n dignity
And fall into our rustic revelry.
Play, music! And you, brides and bridegrooms all,
With measure heap’d in joy, to the measures fall.
Sir, by your patience. If I heard you rightly,
The duke hath put on a religious life
And thrown into neglect the pompous court?
JAQUES DE BOYS
To him will I : out of these convertites
There is much matter to be heard and learn’d.
To DUKE SENIOR
You to your former honour I bequeath;
Your patience and your virtue well deserves it:
You to a love that your true faith doth merit:
You to your land and love and great allies:
You to a long and well-deserved bed:
And you to wrangling; for thy loving voyage
Is but for two months victuall’d. So, to your pleasures:
I am for other than for dancing measures.
Stay, Jaques, stay.
To see no pastime I what you would have
I’ll stay to know at your abandon’d cave.
Proceed, proceed: we will begin these rites,
As we do trust they’ll end, in true delights.
It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue;
but it is no more unhandsome than to see the lord
the prologue. If it be true that good wine needs
no bush, ’tis true that a good play needs no
epilogue; yet to good wine they do use good bushes,
and good plays prove the better by the help of good
epilogues. What a case am I in then, that am
neither a good epilogue nor cannot insinuate with
you in the behalf of a good play! I am not
furnished like a beggar, therefore to beg will not
become me: my way is to conjure you; and I’ll begin
with the women. I charge you, O women, for the love
you bear to men, to like as much of this play as
please you: and I charge you, O men, for the love
you bear to women–as I perceive by your simpering,
none of you hates them–that between you and the
women the play may please. If I were a woman I
would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased
me, complexions that liked me and breaths that I
defied not: and, I am sure, as many as have good
beards or good faces or sweet breaths will, for my
kind offer, when I make curtsy, bid me farewell.