As You Like It

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Original text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter Rosalind, and Celia, and Iaques.

Iaq.
I prethee, pretty youth, let me better acquainted
with thee.

Ros
They say you are a melancholly fellow.

Iaq.
I am so: I doe loue it better then laughing.

Ros.
Those that are in extremity of either, are
abhominable fellowes, and betray themselues to euery
moderne censure, worse then drunkards.

Iaq.
Why, 'tis good to be sad and say nothing.

Ros.
Why then 'tis good to be a poste.

Iaq.
I haue neither the Schollers melancholy, which is
emulation: nor the Musitians, which is fantasticall; nor
the Courtiers, which is proud: nor the Souldiers, which is
ambitious: nor the Lawiers, which is politick: nor the
Ladies, which is nice: nor the Louers, which is all these:
but it is a melancholy of mine owne, compounded of
many simples, extracted from many obiects, and indeed
the sundrie contemplation of my trauells, in which by
often rumination, wraps me in a most humorous sadnesse.

Ros.
A Traueller: by my faith you haue great
reason to be sad: I feare you haue sold your owne Lands, to
see other mens; then to haue seene much, and to haue
nothing, is to haue rich eyes and poore hands.

Iaq.
Yes, I haue gain'd my experience.
Enter Orlando.

Ros.
And your experience makes you sad: I had
rather haue a foole to make me merrie, then experience to
make me sad, and to trauaile for it too.

Orl.
Good day, and happinesse, deere Rosalind.

Iaq.
Nay then God buy you, and you talke in blanke verse.

Ros.
Farewell Mounsieur Trauellor: looke
you lispe, and weare strange suites; disable all the benefits
of your owne Countrie: be out of loue with your natiuitie,
and almost chide God for making you that countenance
you are; or I will scarce thinke you haue swam in a
Gundello. Why how now Orlando, where haue you
bin all this while? you a louer? and you serue me such
another tricke, neuer come in my sight more.

Orl.
My faire Rosalind, I come within an houre of my
promise.

Ros.
Breake an houres promise in loue? hee that will
diuide a minute into a thousand parts, and breake but a
part of the thousand part of a minute in the affairs of
loue, it may be said of him that Cupid hath clapt him
oth' shoulder, but Ile warrant him heart hole.

Orl.
Pardon me deere Rosalind.

Ros.
Nay, and you be so tardie, come no more in my
sight, I had as liefe be woo'd of a Snaile.

Orl.
Of a Snaile?

Ros.
I, of a Snaile: for though he comes slowly, hee
carries his house on his head; a better ioyncture I thinke
then you make a woman: besides, he brings his destinie
with him.

Orl.
What's that?

Ros.
Why hornes: wc such as youare faine to be
beholding to your wiues for: but he comes armed in his
fortune, and preuents the slander of his wife.

Orl.
Vertue is no horne-maker: and my Rosalind is
vertuous.

Ros.
And I am your Rosalind.

Cel.
It pleases him to call you so: but he hath a Rosalind
of a better leere then you.

Ros.
Come, wooe me, wooe mee: for now I am in a
holy-day humor, and like enough to consent: What
would you say to me now, and I were your verie, verie
Rosalind?

Orl.
I would kisse before I spoke.

Ros.
Nay,you were better speake first, and when you
were grauel'd, for lacke of matter, you might take occasion
to kisse: verie good Orators when they are out, they will
spit, and for louers, lacking (God warne vs) matter, the
cleanliest shift is to kisse.

Orl.
How if the kisse be denide?

Ros.
Then she puts you to entreatie, and there
begins new matter.

Orl.
Who could be out, being before his beloued
Mistris?

Ros.
Marrie that should you if I were your Mistris,
or I should thinke my honestie ranker then my wit.

Orl.
What, of my suite?

Ros.
Not out of your apparrell, and yet out of your
suite: Am not I your Rosalind?

Orl.
I take some ioy to say you are, because I would
be talking of her.

Ros.
Well, in her person, I say I will not haue you.

Orl.
Then in mine owne person, I die.

Ros.
No faith, die by Attorney: the poore world is
almost six thousand yeeres old, and in all this time there
was not anie man died in his owne person (videlicet) in a
loue cause: Troilous had his braines dash'd out with a
Grecian club, yet he did what hee could to die before,
and he is one of the patternes of loue. Leander, he would
haue liu'd manie a faire yeere though Hero had turn'd
Nun; if it had not bin for a hot Midsomer-night, for
(good youth) he went but forth to wash him in the
Hellespont, and being taken with the crampe, was droun'd,
and the foolish Chronoclers of that age, found it was Hero
of Cestos. But these are all lies, men haue died from
time to time, and wormes haue eaten them, but not for
loue.

Orl.
I would not haue my right Rosalind of this
mind, for I protest her frowne might kill me.

Ros.
By this hand, it will not kill a flie: but come,
now I will be your Rosalind in a more comming-on
disposition: and aske me what you will, I will grant it.

Orl.
Then loue me Rosalind.

Ros.
Yes faith will I, fridaies and saterdaies, and
all.

Orl.
And wilt thou haue me?

Ros.
I, and twentie such.

Orl.
What saiest thou?

Ros.
Are you not good?

Orl.
I hope so.

Rosalind.
Why then, can one desire too much of a good
thing: Come sister, you shall be the Priest, and marrie
vs: giue me your hand Orlando: What doe you say
sister?

Orl.
Pray thee marrie vs.

Cel.
I cannot say the words.

Ros.
You must begin, will you Orlando.

Cel.
Goe too: wil you Orlando, haue to wife this
Rosalind?

Orl.
I will.

Ros.
I, but when?

Orl.
Why now, as fast as she can marrie vs.

Ros.
Then you must say, I take thee Rosalind for
wife.

Orl.
I take thee Rosalind for wife.

Ros.
I might aske you for your Commission, / But I
doe take thee Orlando for my husband : there's a girle
goes before the Priest, and certainely a Womans thought
runs before her actions.

Orl.
So do all thoughts, they are wing'd.

Ros.
Now tell me how long you would haue her,
after you haue possest her?

Orl.
For euer, and a day.

Ros.
Say a day, without the euer: no, no Orlando,
men are Aprill when they woe, December when they
wed: Maides are May when they are maides, but the sky
changes when they are wiues: I will bee more iealous
of thee, then a Barbary cocke-pidgeon ouer his hen, more
clamorous then a Parrat against raine, more new-fangled
then an ape, more giddy in my desires, then a monkey:
I will weepe for nothing, like Diana in the Fountaine, & I
wil do that when you are dispos'd to be merry: I will
laugh like a Hyen, and that when thou art inclin'd to
sleepe.

Orl.
But will my Rosalind doe so?

Ros.
By my life, she will doe as I doe.

Orl.
O but she is wise.

Ros.
Or else shee could not haue the wit to doe this:
the wiser, the waywarder: make the doores vpon a
womans wit, and it will out at the casement: shut that,
and 'twill out at the key-hole: stop that, 'twill flie with
the smoake out at the chimney.

Orl.
A man that had a wife with such a wit, he might
say, wit whether wil't?

Ros.
Nay, you might keepe that checke for it, till you
met your wiues wit going to your neighbours bed.

Orl.
And what wit could wit haue, to excuse that?

Rosa.
Marry to say, she came to seeke you there: you
shall neuer take her without her answer, vnlesse you take
her without her tongue: ô that woman that cannot make
her fault her husbands occasion, let her neuer nurse her
childe her selfe, for she will breed it like a foole.

Orl.
For these two houres Rosalinde, I wil leaue thee.

Ros.
Alas, deere loue, I cannot lacke thee two houres.

Orl.
I must attend the Duke at dinner, by two
a clock I will be with thee againe.

Ros.
I, goe your waies, goe your waies: I knew what
you would proue, my friends told mee as much, and I
thought no lesse: that flattering tongue of yours wonne
me: 'tis but one cast away, and so come death: two
o'clocke is your howre.

Orl.
I, sweet Rosalind.

Ros.
By my troth, and in good earnest, and so God
mend mee, and by all pretty oathes that are not dangerous,
if you breake one iot of your promise, or come one minute
behinde your houre, I will thinke you the most patheticall
breake-promise, and the most hollow louer, and the most
vnworthy of her you call Rosalinde, that may bee chosen
out of the grosse band of the vnfaithfull: therefore
beware my censure, and keep your promise.

Orl.
With no lesse religion, then if thou wert indeed
my Rosalind: so adieu.

Ros.
Well, Time is the olde Iustice that examines all
such offenders, and let time try: adieu.
Exit.

Cel.
You haue simply misus'd our sexe in your loue-prate:
we must haue your doublet and hose pluckt
ouer your head, and shew the world what the bird hath
done to her owne neast.

Ros.
O coz, coz, coz: my pretty little coz, that thou
didst know how many fathome deepe I am in loue: but it
cannot bee sounded: my affection hath an vnknowne
bottome, like the Bay of Portugall.

Cel.
Or rather bottomlesse, that as fast as you poure
affection in, in runs out.

Ros.
No, that same wicked Bastard of Venus, that
was begot of thought, conceiu'd of spleene, and borne of
madnesse, that blinde rascally boy, that abuses euery ones
eyes, because his owne are out, let him bee iudge, how
deepe I am in loue: ile tell thee Aliena, I cannot be out
of the sight of Orlando: Ile goe finde a shadow, and sigh
till he come.

Cel.
And Ile sleepe.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter Iaques and Lords, Forresters.

Iaq.
Which is he that killed the Deare?

Lord.
Sir, it was I.

Iaq.
Let's present him to the Duke like a Romane
Conquerour, and it would doe well to set the Deares horns
vpon his head, for a branch of victory; haue you no song
Forrester for this purpose?

Lord.
Yes Sir.

Iaq.
Sing it: 'tis no matter how it bee in tune, so it
make noyse enough.
Musicke, Song.
What shall he haue that kild the Deare?
His Leather skin, and hornes to weare:
Then sing him home, the rest shall beare
this burthen;
Take thou no scorne to weare the horne,
It was a crest ere thou wast borne,
Thy fathers father wore it,
And thy father bore it,
The horne, the horne, the lusty horne,
Is not a thing to laugh to scorne.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter Rosalind and Celia.

Ros.
How say you now, is it not past two a clock?
And heere much Orlando.

Cel.
I warrant you, with pure loue, & troubled brain,
He hath t'ane his bow and arrowes, and is gone forth / To
sleepe:
Enter Siluius.
looke who comes heere.

Sil.
My errand is to you, faire youth,
My gentle Phebe, did bid me giue you this:
I know not the contents, but as I guesse
By the sterne brow, and waspish action
Which she did vse, as she was writing of it,
It beares an angry tenure; pardon me,
I am but as a guiltlesse messenger.

Ros.
Patience her selfe would startle at this letter,
And play the swaggerer, beare this, beare all:
Shee saies I am not faire, that I lacke manners,
She calls me proud, and that she could not loue me
Were man as rare as Phenix: 'od's my will,
Her loue is not the Hare that I doe hunt,
Why writes she so to me? well Shepheard, well,
This is a Letter of your owne deuice.

Sil.
No, I protest, I know not the contents,
Phebe did write it.

Ros.
Come, come, you are a foole,
And turn'd into the extremity of loue.
I saw her hand, she has a leatherne hand,
A freestone coloured hand: I verily did thinke
That her old gloues were on, but twas her hands:
She has a huswiues hand, but that's no matter:
I say she neuer did inuent this letter,
This is a mans inuention, and his hand.

Sil.
Sure it is hers.

Ros.
Why, tis a boysterous and a cruell stile,
A stile for challengers: why, she defies me,
Like Turke to Christian: womens gentle braine
Could not drop forth such giant rude inuention,
Such Ethiop words, blacker in their effect
Then in their countenance: will you heare the letter?

Sil.
So please you, for I neuer heard it yet:
Yet heard too much of Phebes crueltie.

Ros.
She Phebes me: marke how the tyrant writes.
Read. Art thou god, to Shepherd turn'd?
That a maidens heart hath burn'd.
Can a woman raile thus?

Sil.
Call you this railing?

Ros.
Read. Why, thy godhead laid a part,
War'st thou with a womans heart?
Did you euer heare such railing?
Whiles the eye of man did wooe me,
That could do no vengeance to me.
Meaning me a beast.
If the scorne of your bright eine
Haue power to raise such loue in mine,
Alacke, in me, what strange effect
Would they worke in milde aspect?
Whiles you chid me, I did loue,
How then might your praiers moue?
He that brings this loue to thee,
Little knowes this Loue in me:
And by him seale vp thy minde,
Whether that thy youth and kinde
Will the faithfull offer take
Of me, and all that I can make,
Or else by him my loue denie,
And then Ile studie how to die.

Sil.
Call you this chiding?

Cel.
Alas poore Shepheard.

Ros.
Doe you pitty him? No, he deserues no pitty:
wilt thou loue such a woman? what to make thee an
instrument, and play false straines vpon thee? not to be
endur'd. Well, goe your way to her; (for I see Loue hath
made thee a tame snake) and say this to her; That if
she loue me, I charge her to loue thee: if she will not,
I will neuer haue her, vnlesse thou intreat for her: if
you bee a true louer hence, and not a word; for here
comes more company.
Exit. Sil.
Enter Oliuer.

Oliu.
Good morrow, faire ones: pray you, (if you know)
Where in the Purlews of this Forrest, stands
A sheep-coat, fenc'd about with Oliue-trees.

Cel.
West of this place, down in the neighbor bottom
The ranke of Oziers, by the murmuring streame
Left on your right hand, brings you to the place:
But at this howre, the house doth keepe it selfe,
There's none within.

Oli.
If that an eye may profit by a tongue,
Then should I know you by description,
Such garments, and such yeeres: the boy is faire,
Of femall fauour, and bestowes himselfe
Like a ripe sister: the woman low
And browner then her brother: are not you
The owner of the house I did enquire for?

Cel.
It is no boast, being ask'd, to say we are.

Oli.
Orlando doth commend him to you both,
And to that youth hee calls his Rosalind,
He sends this bloudy napkin; are you he?

Ros.
I am: what must we vnderstand by this?

Oli.
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.

Cel.
I pray you tell it.

Oli.
When last the yong Orlando parted from you,
He left a promise to returne againe
Within an houre, and pacing through the Forrest,
Chewing the food of sweet and bitter fancie,
Loe what befell: he threw his eye aside,
And marke what obiect did present it selfe
Vnder an old Oake, whose bows were moss'd with age
And high top, bald with drie antiquitie:
A wretched ragged man, ore-growne with haire
Lay sleeping on his back; about his necke
A greene and guilded snake had wreath'd it selfe,
Who with her head, nimble in threats approach'd
The opening of his mouth: but sodainly
Seeing Orlando, it vnlink'd it selfe,
And with indented glides, did slip away
Into a bush, vnder which bushes shade
A Lyonnesse, with vdders all drawne drie,
Lay cowching head on ground, with catlike watch
When that the sleeping man should stirre; for 'tis
The royall disposition of that beast
To prey on nothing, that doth seeme as dead:
This seene, Orlando did approach the man,
And found it was his brother, his elder brother.

Cel.
O I haue heard him speake of that same brother,
And he did render him the most vnnaturall
That liu'd amongst men.

Oli.
And well he might so doe,
For well I know he was vnnaturall.

Ros.
But to Orlando: did he leaue him there
Food to the suck'd and hungry Lyonnesse?

Oli.
Twice did he turne his backe, and purpos'd so:
But kindnesse, nobler euer then reuenge,
And Nature stronger then his iust occasion,
Made him giue battell to the Lyonnesse:
Who quickly fell before him, in which hurtling
From miserable slumber I awaked.

Cel.
Are you his brother?

Ros.
Was't you he rescu'd?

Cel.
Was't you that did so oft contriue to kill him?

Oli.
'Twas I: but 'tis not I: I doe not shame
To tell you what I was, since my conuersion
So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.

Ros.
But for the bloody napkin?

Oli.
By and by:
When from the first to last betwixt vs two,
Teares our recountments had most kindely bath'd,
As how I came into that Desert place.
I briefe, he led me to the gentle Duke,
Who gaue me fresh aray, and entertainment,
Committing me vnto my brothers loue,
Who led me instantly vnto his Caue,
There stript himselfe, and heere vpon his arme
The Lyonnesse had torne some flesh away,
Which all this while had bled; and now he fainted,
And cride in fainting vpon Rosalinde.
Briefe, I recouer'd him, bound vp 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 giue this napkin
Died in this bloud, vnto the Shepheard youth,
That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.

Cel.
Why how now Ganimed, sweet Ganimed.

Oli.
Many will swoon when they do look on bloud.

Cel.
There is more in it; Cosen Ganimed.

Oli.
Looke, he recouers.

Ros.
I would I were at home.

Cel.
Wee'll lead you thither:
I pray you will you take him by the arme.

Oli.
Be of good cheere youth: you a man? / You lacke
a mans heart.

Ros.
I doe so, I confesse it: Ah, sirra, a body would
thinke this was well counterfeited, I pray you
tell your brother how well I counterfeited: heigh-ho.

Oli.
This was not counterfeit, there is too great testimony
in your complexion, that it was a passion of earnest.

Ros.
Counterfeit, I assure you.

Oli.
Well then, take a good heart, and counterfeit to
be a man.

Ros.
So I doe: but yfaith, I should haue beene a
woman by right.

Cel.
Come, you looke paler and paler: pray you draw
homewards: good sir, goe with vs.

Oli.
That will I: for I must beare answere backe
How you excuse my brother, Rosalind.

Ros.
I shall deuise something: but I pray you
commend my counterfeiting to him: will you goe?
Exeunt.
Modern text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter Rosalind, Celia, and Jaques

JAQUES
I prithee, pretty youth, let me be better acquainted
with thee.

ROSALIND
They say you are a melancholy fellow.

JAQUES
I am so: I do love it better than laughing.

ROSALIND
Those that are in extremity of either are
abominable fellows, and betray themselves to every
modern censure worse than drunkards.

JAQUES
Why, 'tis good to be sad and say nothing.

ROSALIND
Why then, 'tis good to be a post.

JAQUES
I have neither the scholar's melancholy, which is
emulation; nor the musician's, which is fantastical; nor
the courtier's, which is proud; nor the 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 contemplation of my travels, in which my
often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness.

ROSALIND
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.

JAQUES
Yes, I have gained my experience.
Enter Orlando

ROSALIND
And your experience makes you sad. I had
rather have a fool to make me merry than experience to
make me sad – and to travail for it too!

ORLANDO
Good day, and happiness, dear Rosalind!

JAQUES
Nay then, God buy you, an you talk in blank verse.
(Going)

ROSALIND
(as he goes)
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.

ORLANDO
My fair Rosalind, I come within an hour of my
promise.

ROSALIND
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'th' shoulder, but I'll warrant him heart-whole.

ORLANDO
Pardon me, dear Rosalind.

ROSALIND
Nay, an you be so tardy come no more in my
sight; I had as lief be wooed of a snail.

ORLANDO
Of a snail?

ROSALIND
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.

ORLANDO
What's that?

ROSALIND
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.

ORLANDO
Virtue is no horn-maker; and my Rosalind is
virtuous.

ROSALIND
And I am your Rosalind.

CELIA
It pleases him to call you so; but he hath a Rosalind
of a better leer than you.

ROSALIND
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?

ORLANDO
I would kiss before I spoke.

ROSALIND
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.

ORLANDO
How if the kiss be denied?

ROSALIND
Then she puts you to entreaty, and there
begins new matter.

ORLANDO
Who could be out, being before his beloved
mistress?

ROSALIND
Marry, that should you if I were your mistress,
or I should think my honesty ranker than my wit.

ORLANDO
What, of my suit?

ROSALIND
Not out of your apparel, and yet out of your
suit. Am not I your Rosalind?

ORLANDO
I take some joy to say you are, because I would
be talking of her.

ROSALIND
Well, in her person, I say I will not have you.

ORLANDO
Then, in mine own person, I die.

ROSALIND
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 chroniclers 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.

ORLANDO
I would not have my right Rosalind of this
mind, for I protest her frown might kill me.

ROSALIND
By this hand, it will not kill a fly. But come,
now I will be your Rosalind in a more coming-on
disposition; and ask me what you will, I will grant it.

ORLANDO
Then love me, Rosalind.

ROSALIND
Yes, faith will I, Fridays and Saturdays and
all.

ORLANDO
And wilt thou have me?

ROSALIND
Ay, and twenty such.

ORLANDO
What sayest thou?

ROSALIND
Are you not good?

ORLANDO
I hope so.

ROSALIND
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?

ORLANDO
Pray thee, marry us.

CELIA
I cannot say the words.

ROSALIND
You must begin, ‘ Will you, Orlando.’

CELIA
Go to. – Will you, Orlando, have to wife this
Rosalind?

ORLANDO
I will.

ROSALIND
Ay, but when?

ORLANDO
Why, now, as fast as she can marry us.

ROSALIND
Then you must say ‘ I take thee, Rosalind, for
wife.’

ORLANDO
I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.

ROSALIND
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.

ORLANDO
So do all thoughts, they are winged.

ROSALIND
Now tell me how long you would have her
after you have possessed her.

ORLANDO
For ever and a day.

ROSALIND
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.

ORLANDO
But will my Rosalind do so?

ROSALIND
By my life, she will do as I do.

ORLANDO
O, but she is wise.

ROSALIND
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.

ORLANDO
A man that had a wife with such a wit, he might
say ‘ Wit, whither wilt?’

ROSALIND
Nay, you might keep that check for it, till you
met your wife's wit going to your neighbour's bed.

ORLANDO
And what wit could wit have to excuse that?

ROSALIND
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.

ORLANDO
For these two hours, Rosalind, I will leave thee.

ROSALIND
Alas, dear love, I cannot lack thee two hours!

ORLANDO
I must attend the Duke at dinner. By two
o'clock I will be with thee again.

ROSALIND
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?

ORLANDO
Ay, sweet Rosalind.

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 your promise.

ORLANDO
With no less religion than if thou wert indeed
my Rosalind. So, adieu.

ROSALIND
Well, Time is the old justice that examines all
such offenders, and let Time try. Adieu!
Exit Orlando

CELIA
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.

ROSALIND
O coz, coz, coz, my pretty little coz, that thou
didst know how many fathom deep I am in love! But it
cannot be sounded: my affection hath an unknown
bottom, like the Bay of Portugal.

CELIA
Or rather, bottomless, that as fast as you pour
affection in, it runs out.

ROSALIND
No, that same wicked bastard of Venus, that
was begot of thought, conceived of spleen, and born of
madness, that blind rascally boy that abuses everyone's
eyes because his own are out, let him be judge how
deep I am in love. I'll tell thee, Aliena, I cannot be out
of the sight of Orlando: I'll go find a shadow and sigh
till he come.

CELIA
And I'll sleep.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter Jaques, and Lords dressed as foresters

JAQUES
Which is he that killed the deer?

LORD
Sir, it was I.

JAQUES
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?

LORD
Yes, sir.

JAQUES
Sing it. 'Tis no matter how it be in tune, so it
make noise enough.

LORDS
SONG
What shall he have that killed the deer?
His leather skin and horns to wear.
Then sing him home, the rest shall bear
This burden.
Take thou no scorn to wear the horn,
It was a crest ere thou wast born,
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.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter Rosalind and Celia

ROSALIND
How say you now? Is it not past two o'clock?
And here much Orlando!

CELIA
I warrant you, with pure love and troubled brain
he hath ta'en his bow and arrows, and is gone forth to
sleep.
Enter Silvius
Look who comes here.

SILVIUS
My errand is to you, fair youth:
My gentle Phebe bid me give you this.
He gives Rosalind a letter, which she reads
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.

ROSALIND
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.

SILVIUS
No, I protest, I know not the contents;
Phebe did write it.

ROSALIND
Come, come, you are a fool,
And turned into the extremity of love.
I saw her hand: she has a leathern hand,
A freestone-coloured hand; I verily did think
That her old gloves were on, but 'twas her hands;
She has a housewife's hand – but that's no matter.
I say she never did invent this letter;
This is a man's invention, and his hand.

SILVIUS
Sure, it is hers.

ROSALIND
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 Ethiop words, blacker in their effect
Than in their countenance. Will you hear the letter?

SILVIUS
So please you, for I never heard it yet;
Yet heard too much of Phebe's cruelty.

ROSALIND
She Phebes me; mark how the tyrant writes:
Art thou god to shepherd turned,
That a maiden's heart hath burned?
Can a woman rail thus?

SILVIUS
Call you this railing?

ROSALIND
Why, thy godhead laid apart,
Warrest 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.

SILVIUS
Call you this chiding?

CELIA
Alas, poor shepherd!

ROSALIND
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.
Exit Silvius
Enter Oliver

OLIVER
Good morrow, fair ones. Pray you, if you know,
Where in the purlieus of this forest stands
A sheepcote fenced about with olive trees?

CELIA
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.

OLIVER
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?

CELIA
It is no boast, being asked, to say we are.

OLIVER
Orlando doth commend him to you both,
And to that youth he calls his ‘ Rosalind ’
He sends this bloody napkin. Are you he?

ROSALIND
I am. What must we understand by this?

OLIVER
Some of my shame, if you will know of me
What man I am, and how, and why, and where
This handkercher was stained.

CELIA
I pray you, tell it.

OLIVER
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 mossed 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 approached
The opening of his mouth; but suddenly,
Seeing Orlando, it unlinked itself
And with indented glides did slip away
Into a bush: under which bush's shade
A lioness, with udders all drawn dry,
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.

CELIA
O, I have heard him speak of that same brother,
And he did render him the most unnatural
That lived amongst men.

OLIVER
And well he might so do,
For well I know he was unnatural.

ROSALIND
But to Orlando: did he leave him there,
Food to the sucked and hungry lioness?

OLIVER
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.

CELIA
Are you his brother?

ROSALIND
Was't you he rescued?

CELIA
Was't you that did so oft contrive to kill him?

OLIVER
'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.

ROSALIND
But, for the bloody napkin?

OLIVER
By and by.
When from the first to last betwixt us two
Tears our recountments had most kindly bathed,
As how I came into that desert place –
I' brief, he led me to the gentle Duke,
Who gave me fresh array and entertainment,
Committing me unto my brother's love,
Who led me instantly unto his cave,
There stripped himself, and here upon his arm
The lioness had torn some flesh away,
Which all this while had bled; and now he fainted,
And cried, in fainting, upon Rosalind.
Brief, I recovered him, bound up his wound,
And after some small space, being strong at heart,
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 this blood, unto the shepherd youth
That he in sport doth call his ‘ Rosalind.’
Rosalind faints

CELIA
Why, how now, Ganymede, sweet Ganymede!

OLIVER
Many will swoon when they do look on blood.

CELIA
There is more in it. – Cousin Ganymede!

OLIVER
Look, he recovers.

ROSALIND
I would I were at home.

CELIA
We'll lead you thither. –
I pray you, will you take him by the arm?

OLIVER
Be of good cheer, youth! You a man? You lack
a man's heart.

ROSALIND
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!

OLIVER
This was not counterfeit, there is too great testimony
in your complexion that it was a passion of earnest.

ROSALIND
Counterfeit, I assure you.

OLIVER
Well then, take a good heart, and counterfeit to
be a man.

ROSALIND
So I do; but, i'faith, I should have been a
woman by right.

CELIA
Come, you look paler and paler. Pray you, draw
homewards. – Good sir, go with us.

OLIVER
That will I: for I must bear answer back
How you excuse my brother, Rosalind.

ROSALIND
I shall devise something. But I pray you
commend my counterfeiting to him. Will you go?
Exeunt
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2018 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL