As You Like It, by William Shakespeare

Act III

Scene I. A room in the palace.

Enter Duke Frederick, Lords, and Oliver

Duke Frederick

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.

Oliver

O that your highness knew my heart in this!
I never loved my brother in my life.

Duke Frederick

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.

Exeunt

Scene II. The forest.

Enter Orlando, with a paper

Orlando

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.

Exit

Enter Corin and Touchstone

Corin

And how like you this shepherd’s life, Master Touchstone?

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?

Corin

No more but that I know the more one sickens the worse at ease he is; and that he that wants money, means and content is without three good 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.

Touchstone

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

Corin

No, truly.

Touchstone

Then thou art damned.

Corin

Nay, I hope.

Touchstone

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

Corin

For not being at court? Your reason.

Touchstone

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

Corin

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.

Touchstone

Instance, briefly; come, instance.

Corin

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

Touchstone

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

Corin

Besides, our hands are hard.

Touchstone

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

Corin

And they are often tarred over with the surgery of our sheep: and would you have us kiss tar? The courtier’s hands are perfumed with civet.

Touchstone

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

Corin

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

Touchstone

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

Corin

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.

Touchstone

That is another simple sin in you, to bring the ewes and the rams together and to offer to get your living by the copulation of cattle; to be bawd to a bell-wether, and to betray a she-lamb of a twelvemonth to a crooked-pated, old, cuckoldly ram, out of all reasonable match. If thou beest not damned for this, the devil himself will have no shepherds; I cannot see else how thou shouldst
’scape.

Corin

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

Enter Rosalind, with a paper, reading

Rosalind

  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.

Touchstone

I’ll rhyme you so eight years together, dinners and suppers and sleeping-hours excepted: it is the right butter-women’s rank to market.

Rosalind

Out, fool!

Touchstone

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?

Rosalind

Peace, you dull fool! I found them on a tree.

Touchstone

Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.

Rosalind

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.

Touchstone

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

Enter Celia, with a writing

Rosalind

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

Celia

[Reads]
Why should this a desert be?
For it is unpeopled? No:
Tongues I’ll hang on every tree,
That shall civil sayings show:
Some, how brief the life of man
Runs his erring pilgrimage,
That the stretching of a span
Buckles in his sum of age;
Some, of violated vows
’Twixt the souls of friend and friend:
But upon the fairest boughs,
Or at every sentence end,
Will I Rosalinda write,
Teaching all that read to know
The quintessence of every sprite
Heaven would in little show.
Therefore Heaven Nature charged
That one body should be fill’d
With all graces wide-enlarged:
Nature presently distill’d
Helen’s cheek, but not her heart,
Cleopatra’s majesty,
Atalanta’s better part,
Sad Lucretia’s modesty.
Thus Rosalind of many parts
By heavenly synod was devised,
Of many faces, eyes and hearts,
To have the touches dearest prized.
Heaven would that she these gifts should have,
And I to live and die her slave.

Rosalind

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

Celia

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

Touchstone

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

Exeunt Corin and Touchstone

Celia

Didst thou hear these verses?

Rosalind

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

Celia

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

Rosalind

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

Celia

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

Rosalind

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

Celia

Trow you who hath done this?

Rosalind

Is it a man?

Celia

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

Rosalind

I prithee, who?

Celia

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

Rosalind

Nay, but who is it?

Celia

Is it possible?

Rosalind

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

Celia

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

Rosalind

Good my complexion! dost thou think, though I am caparisoned like a man, I have a doublet and hose in my disposition? One inch of 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.

Celia

So you may put a man in your belly.

Rosalind

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

Celia

Nay, he hath but a little beard.

Rosalind

Why, God will send more, if the man will be thankful: let me stay the growth of his beard, if thou delay me not the knowledge of his chin.

Celia

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

Rosalind

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

Celia

I’ faith, coz, ’tis he.

Rosalind

Orlando?

Celia

Orlando.

Rosalind

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.

Celia

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.

Rosalind

But doth he know that I am in this forest and in man’s apparel? Looks he as freshly as he did the day he wrestled?

Celia

It is as easy to count atomies as to resolve the propositions of a lover; but take a taste of my finding him, and relish it with good observance. I found him under a tree, like a dropped acorn.

Rosalind

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

Celia

Give me audience, good madam.

Rosalind

Proceed.

Celia

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

Rosalind

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

Celia

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

Rosalind

O, ominous! he comes to kill my heart.

Celia

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

Rosalind

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

Celia

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

Enter Orlando and Jaques

Rosalind

’Tis he: slink by, and note him.

Jaques

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

Orlando

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

Jaques

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

Orlando

I do desire we may be better strangers.

Jaques

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

Orlando

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

Jaques

Rosalind is your love’s name?

Orlando

Yes, just.

Jaques

I do not like her name.

Orlando

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

Jaques

What stature is she of?

Orlando

Just as high as my heart.

Jaques

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

Orlando

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

Jaques

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

Orlando

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

Jaques

The worst fault you have is to be in love.

Orlando

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

Jaques

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

Orlando

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

Jaques

There I shall see mine own figure.

Orlando

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

Jaques

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

Orlando

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

Exit Jaques

Rosalind

[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?

Orlando

Very well: what would you?

Rosalind

I pray you, what is’t o’clock?

Orlando

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

Rosalind

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.

Orlando

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

Rosalind

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.

Orlando

I prithee, who doth he trot withal?

Rosalind

Marry, he trots hard with a young maid between the contract of her marriage and the day it is solemnized: if the interim be but a se’nnight, Time’s pace is so hard that it seems the length of seven year.

Orlando

Who ambles Time withal?

Rosalind

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.

Orlando

Who doth he gallop withal?

Rosalind

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

Orlando

Who stays it still withal?

Rosalind

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

Orlando

Where dwell you, pretty youth?

Rosalind

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

Orlando

Are you native of this place?

Rosalind

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

Orlando

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

Rosalind

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.

Orlando

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

Rosalind

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.

Orlando

I prithee, recount some of them.

Rosalind

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.

Orlando

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

Rosalind

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.

Orlando

What were his marks?

Rosalind

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.

Orlando

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

Rosalind

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?

Orlando

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

Rosalind

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

Orlando

Neither rhyme nor reason can express how much.

Rosalind

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.

Orlando

Did you ever cure any so?

Rosalind

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.

Orlando

I would not be cured, youth.

Rosalind

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

Orlando

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

Rosalind

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?

Orlando

With all my heart, good youth.

Rosalind

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

Exeunt

Scene III. The forest.

Enter Touchstone and Audrey; Jaques behind

Touchstone

Come apace, good Audrey: I will fetch up your goats, Audrey. And how, Audrey? am I the man yet? doth my simple feature content you?

Audrey

Your features! Lord warrant us! what features!

Touchstone

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

Jaques

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

Touchstone

When a man’s verses cannot be understood, nor a man’s good wit seconded with the forward child Understanding, it strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little room. Truly, I would the gods had made thee poetical.

Audrey

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

Touchstone

No, truly; for the truest poetry is the most feigning; and lovers are given to poetry, and what they swear in poetry may be said as lovers they do feign.

Audrey

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

Touchstone

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.

Audrey

Would you not have me honest?

Touchstone

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

Jaques

[Aside] A material fool!

Audrey

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

Touchstone

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

Audrey

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

Touchstone

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.

Jaques

[Aside] I would fain see this meeting.

Audrey

Well, the gods give us joy!

Touchstone

Amen. A man may, if he were of a fearful heart, stagger in this attempt; for here we have no temple but the wood, no assembly but horn-beasts. But what though? 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?

Touchstone

I will not take her on gift of any man.

Sir Oliver Martext

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

Jaques

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

Touchstone

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.

Jaques

Will you be married, motley?

Touchstone

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

Jaques

And will you, being a man of your breeding, be married under a bush like a beggar? Get you to church, and have a good priest that can tell you 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.

Touchstone

[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.

Jaques

Go thou with me, and let me counsel thee.

Touchstone

‘Come, sweet Audrey:
We must be married, or we must live in bawdry.
Farewell, good Master Oliver: not —
O sweet Oliver,
O brave Oliver,
Leave me not behind thee: but —
Wind away,
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.

Exit

Scene IV. The forest.

Enter Rosalind and Celia

Rosalind

Never talk to me; I will weep.

Celia

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

Rosalind

But have I not cause to weep?

Celia

As good cause as one would desire; therefore weep.

Rosalind

His very hair is of the dissembling colour.

Celia

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

Rosalind

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

Celia

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

Rosalind

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

Celia

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

Rosalind

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

Celia

Nay, certainly, there is no truth in him.

Rosalind

Do you think so?

Celia

Yes; I think he is not a pick-purse nor a horse-stealer, but for his verity in love, I do think him as concave as a covered goblet or a worm-eaten nut.

Rosalind

Not true in love?

Celia

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

Rosalind

You have heard him swear downright he was.

Celia

‘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.

Rosalind

I met the duke yesterday and had much question with him: he asked me of what parentage I was; I told him, of as good as he; so he laughed and let me go. But what talk we of fathers, when there is such a man as Orlando?

Celia

O, that’s a brave man! he writes brave verses, speaks brave words, swears brave oaths and breaks them bravely, quite traverse, athwart the heart of 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?

Enter Corin

Corin

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.

Celia

Well, and what of him?

Corin

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.

Rosalind

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.

Exeunt

Scene V. Another part of the forest.

Enter Silvius and Phebe

Silvius

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

Phebe

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.

Silvius

  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.

Phebe

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.

Rosalind

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.

Phebe

Sweet youth, I pray you, chide a year together:
I had rather hear you chide than this man woo.

Rosalind

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?

Phebe

For no ill will I bear you.

Rosalind

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

Phebe

Dead Shepherd, now I find thy saw of might,
‘Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?’

Silvius

Sweet Phebe —

Phebe

  Ha, what say’st thou, Silvius?

Silvius

Sweet Phebe, pity me.

Phebe

Why, I am sorry for thee, gentle Silvius.

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.

Phebe

Thou hast my love: is not that neighbourly?

Silvius

I would have you.

Phebe

  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.

Silvius

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.

Phebe

Know’st now the youth that spoke to me erewhile?

Silvius

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.

Phebe

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?

Silvius

Phebe, with all my heart.

Phebe

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.

Exeunt

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Last updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 22:29