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Home > As You Like It > ACT III - SCENE II. The forest.

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ACT III - SCENE II. The forest.
Enter ORLANDO, with a paper

ORLANDO
1    Hang there, my verse, in witness of my love:
2    And thou, thrice-crowned queen of night, survey
3    With thy chaste eye, from thy pale sphere above,
4    Thy huntress' name that my full life doth sway.
5    O Rosalind! these trees shall be my books
6    And in their barks my thoughts I'll character;
7    That every eye which in this forest looks
8    Shall see thy virtue witness'd every where.
9    Run, run, Orlando; carve on every tree
10   The fair, the chaste and unexpressive she.
Exit

Enter CORIN and TOUCHSTONE

CORIN
11   And how like you this shepherd's life, Master Touchstone?
TOUCHSTONE
12   Truly, shepherd, in respect of itself, it is a good
13   life, but in respect that it is a shepherd's life,
14   it is naught. In respect that it is solitary, I
15   like it very well; but in respect that it is
16   private, it is a very vile life. Now, in respect it
17   is in the fields, it pleaseth me well; but in
18   respect it is not in the court, it is tedious. As
19   is it a spare life, look you, it fits my humour well;
20   but as there is no more plenty in it, it goes much
21   against my stomach. Hast any philosophy in thee, shepherd?
CORIN
22   No more but that I know the more one sickens the
23   worse at ease he is; and that he that wants money,
24   means and content is without three good friends;
25   that the property of rain is to wet and fire to
26   burn; that good pasture makes fat sheep, and that a
27   great cause of the night is lack of the sun; that
28   he that hath learned no wit by nature nor art may
29   complain of good breeding or comes of a very dull kindred.
TOUCHSTONE
30   Such a one is a natural philosopher. Wast ever in
31   court, shepherd?
CORIN
32   No, truly.
TOUCHSTONE
33   Then thou art damned.
CORIN
34   Nay, I hope.
TOUCHSTONE
35   Truly, thou art damned like an ill-roasted egg, all
36   on one side.
CORIN
37   For not being at court? Your reason.
TOUCHSTONE
38   Why, if thou never wast at court, thou never sawest
39   good manners; if thou never sawest good manners,
40   then thy manners must be wicked; and wickedness is
41   sin, and sin is damnation. Thou art in a parlous
42   state, shepherd.
CORIN
43   Not a whit, Touchstone: those that are good manners
44   at the court are as ridiculous in the country as the
45   behavior of the country is most mockable at the
46   court. You told me you salute not at the court, but
47   you kiss your hands: that courtesy would be
48   uncleanly, if courtiers were shepherds.
TOUCHSTONE
49   Instance, briefly; come, instance.
CORIN
50   Why, we are still handling our ewes, and their
51   fells, you know, are greasy.
TOUCHSTONE
52   Why, do not your courtier's hands sweat? and is not
53   the grease of a mutton as wholesome as the sweat of
54   a man? Shallow, shallow. A better instance, I say; come.
CORIN
55   Besides, our hands are hard.
TOUCHSTONE
56   Your lips will feel them the sooner. Shallow again.
57   A more sounder instance, come.
CORIN
58   And they are often tarred over with the surgery of
59   our sheep: and would you have us kiss tar? The
60   courtier's hands are perfumed with civet.
TOUCHSTONE
61   Most shallow man! thou worms-meat, in respect of a
62   good piece of flesh indeed! Learn of the wise, and
63   perpend: civet is of a baser birth than tar, the
64   very uncleanly flux of a cat. Mend the instance, shepherd.
CORIN
65   You have too courtly a wit for me: I'll rest.
TOUCHSTONE
66   Wilt thou rest damned? God help thee, shallow man!
67   God make incision in thee! thou art raw.
CORIN
68   Sir, I am a true labourer: I earn that I eat, get
69   that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's
70   happiness, glad of other men's good, content with my
71   harm, and the greatest of my pride is to see my ewes
72   graze and my lambs suck.
TOUCHSTONE
73   That is another simple sin in you, to bring the ewes
74   and the rams together and to offer to get your
75   living by the copulation of cattle; to be bawd to a
76   bell-wether, and to betray a she-lamb of a
77   twelvemonth to a crooked-pated, old, cuckoldly ram,
78   out of all reasonable match. If thou beest not
79   damned for this, the devil himself will have no
80   shepherds; I cannot see else how thou shouldst
81   'scape.
CORIN
82   Here comes young Master Ganymede, my new mistress's brother.
Enter ROSALIND, with a paper, reading

ROSALIND
83   From the east to western Ind,
84   No jewel is like Rosalind.
85   Her worth, being mounted on the wind,
86   Through all the world bears Rosalind.
87   All the pictures fairest lined
88   Are but black to Rosalind.
89   Let no fair be kept in mind
90   But the fair of Rosalind.
TOUCHSTONE
91   I'll rhyme you so eight years together, dinners and
92   suppers and sleeping-hours excepted: it is the
93   right butter-women's rank to market.
ROSALIND
94   Out, fool!
TOUCHSTONE
95   For a taste:
96   If a hart do lack a hind,
97   Let him seek out Rosalind.
98   If the cat will after kind,
99   So be sure will Rosalind.
100  Winter garments must be lined,
101  So must slender Rosalind.
102  They that reap must sheaf and bind;
103  Then to cart with Rosalind.
104  Sweetest nut hath sourest rind,
105  Such a nut is Rosalind.
106  He that sweetest rose will find
107  Must find love's prick and Rosalind.
108  This is the very false gallop of verses: why do you
109  infect yourself with them?
ROSALIND
110  Peace, you dull fool! I found them on a tree.
TOUCHSTONE
111  Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.
ROSALIND
112  I'll graff it with you, and then I shall graff it
113  with a medlar: then it will be the earliest fruit
114  i' the country; for you'll be rotten ere you be half
115  ripe, and that's the right virtue of the medlar.
TOUCHSTONE
116  You have said; but whether wisely or no, let the
117  forest judge.
Enter CELIA, with a writing

ROSALIND
118  Peace! Here comes my sister, reading: stand aside.
CELIA
Reads
119  Why should this a desert be?
120  For it is unpeopled? No:
121  Tongues I'll hang on every tree,
122  That shall civil sayings show:
123  Some, how brief the life of man
124  Runs his erring pilgrimage,
125  That the stretching of a span
126  Buckles in his sum of age;
127  Some, of violated vows
128  'Twixt the souls of friend and friend:
129  But upon the fairest boughs,
130  Or at every sentence end,
131  Will I Rosalinda write,
132  Teaching all that read to know
133  The quintessence of every sprite
134  Heaven would in little show.
135  Therefore Heaven Nature charged
136  That one body should be fill'd
137  With all graces wide-enlarged:
138  Nature presently distill'd
139  Helen's cheek, but not her heart,
140  Cleopatra's majesty,
141  Atalanta's better part,
142  Sad Lucretia's modesty.
143  Thus Rosalind of many parts
144  By heavenly synod was devised,
145  Of many faces, eyes and hearts,
146  To have the touches dearest prized.
147  Heaven would that she these gifts should have,
148  And I to live and die her slave.
ROSALIND
149  O most gentle pulpiter! what tedious homily of love
150  have you wearied your parishioners withal, and never
151  cried 'Have patience, good people!'
CELIA
152  How now! back, friends! Shepherd, go off a little.
153  Go with him, sirrah.
TOUCHSTONE
154  Come, shepherd, let us make an honourable retreat;
155  though not with bag and baggage, yet with scrip and scrippage.
Exeunt CORIN and TOUCHSTONE

CELIA
156  Didst thou hear these verses?
ROSALIND
157  O, yes, I heard them all, and more too; for some of
158  them had in them more feet than the verses would bear.
CELIA
159  That's no matter: the feet might bear the verses.
ROSALIND
160  Ay, but the feet were lame and could not bear
161  themselves without the verse and therefore stood
162  lamely in the verse.
CELIA
163  But didst thou hear without wondering how thy name
164  should be hanged and carved upon these trees?
ROSALIND
165  I was seven of the nine days out of the wonder
166  before you came; for look here what I found on a
167  palm-tree. I was never so be-rhymed since
168  Pythagoras' time, that I was an Irish rat, which I
169  can hardly remember.
CELIA
170  Trow you who hath done this?
ROSALIND
171  Is it a man?
CELIA
172  And a chain, that you once wore, about his neck.
173  Change you colour?
ROSALIND
174  I prithee, who?
CELIA
175  O Lord, Lord! it is a hard matter for friends to
176  meet; but mountains may be removed with earthquakes
177  and so encounter.
ROSALIND
178  Nay, but who is it?
CELIA
179  Is it possible?
ROSALIND
180  Nay, I prithee now with most petitionary vehemence,
181  tell me who it is.
CELIA
182  O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful
183  wonderful! and yet again wonderful, and after that,
184  out of all hooping!
ROSALIND
185  Good my complexion! dost thou think, though I am
186  caparisoned like a man, I have a doublet and hose in
187  my disposition? One inch of delay more is a
188  South-sea of discovery; I prithee, tell me who is it
189  quickly, and speak apace. I would thou couldst
190  stammer, that thou mightst pour this concealed man
191  out of thy mouth, as wine comes out of a narrow-
192  mouthed bottle, either too much at once, or none at
193  all. I prithee, take the cork out of thy mouth that
194  may drink thy tidings.
CELIA
195  So you may put a man in your belly.
ROSALIND
196  Is he of God's making? What manner of man? Is his
197  head worth a hat, or his chin worth a beard?
CELIA
198  Nay, he hath but a little beard.
ROSALIND
199  Why, God will send more, if the man will be
200  thankful: let me stay the growth of his beard, if
201  thou delay me not the knowledge of his chin.
CELIA
202  It is young Orlando, that tripped up the wrestler's
203  heels and your heart both in an instant.
ROSALIND
204  Nay, but the devil take mocking: speak, sad brow and
205  true maid.
CELIA
206  I' faith, coz, 'tis he.
ROSALIND
207  Orlando?
CELIA
208  Orlando.
ROSALIND
209  Alas the day! what shall I do with my doublet and
210  hose? What did he when thou sawest him? What said
211  he? How looked he? Wherein went he? What makes
212  him here? Did he ask for me? Where remains he?
213  How parted he with thee? and when shalt thou see
214  him again? Answer me in one word.
CELIA
215  You must borrow me Gargantua's mouth first: 'tis a
216  word too great for any mouth of this age's size. To
217  say ay and no to these particulars is more than to
218  answer in a catechism.
ROSALIND
219  But doth he know that I am in this forest and in
220  man's apparel? Looks he as freshly as he did the
221  day he wrestled?
CELIA
222  It is as easy to count atomies as to resolve the
223  propositions of a lover; but take a taste of my
224  finding him, and relish it with good observance.
225  I found him under a tree, like a dropped acorn.
ROSALIND
226  It may well be called Jove's tree, when it drops
227  forth such fruit.
CELIA
228  Give me audience, good madam.
ROSALIND
229  Proceed.
CELIA
230  There lay he, stretched along, like a wounded knight.
ROSALIND
231  Though it be pity to see such a sight, it well
232  becomes the ground.
CELIA
233  Cry 'holla' to thy tongue, I prithee; it curvets
234  unseasonably. He was furnished like a hunter.
ROSALIND
235  O, ominous! he comes to kill my heart.
CELIA
236  I would sing my song without a burden: thou bringest
237  me out of tune.
ROSALIND
238  Do you not know I am a woman? when I think, I must
239  speak. Sweet, say on.
CELIA
240  You bring me out. Soft! comes he not here?
Enter ORLANDO and JAQUES

ROSALIND
241  'Tis he: slink by, and note him.
JAQUES
242  I thank you for your company; but, good faith, I had
243  as lief have been myself alone.
ORLANDO
244  And so had I; but yet, for fashion sake, I thank you
245  too for your society.
JAQUES
246  God be wi' you: let's meet as little as we can.
ORLANDO
247  I do desire we may be better strangers.
JAQUES
248  I pray you, mar no more trees with writing
249  love-songs in their barks.
ORLANDO
250  I pray you, mar no more of my verses with reading
251  them ill-favouredly.
JAQUES
252  Rosalind is your love's name?
ORLANDO
253  Yes, just.
JAQUES
254  I do not like her name.
ORLANDO
255  There was no thought of pleasing you when she was
256  christened.
JAQUES
257  What stature is she of?
ORLANDO
258  Just as high as my heart.
JAQUES
259  You are full of pretty answers. Have you not been
260  acquainted with goldsmiths' wives, and conned them
261  out of rings?
ORLANDO
262  Not so; but I answer you right painted cloth, from
263  whence you have studied your questions.
JAQUES
264  You have a nimble wit: I think 'twas made of
265  Atalanta's heels. Will you sit down with me? and
266  we two will rail against our mistress the world and
267  all our misery.
ORLANDO
268  I will chide no breather in the world but myself,
269  against whom I know most faults.
JAQUES
270  The worst fault you have is to be in love.
ORLANDO
271  'Tis a fault I will not change for your best virtue.
272  I am weary of you.
JAQUES
273  By my troth, I was seeking for a fool when I found
274  you.
ORLANDO
275  He is drowned in the brook: look but in, and you
276  shall see him.
JAQUES
277  There I shall see mine own figure.
ORLANDO
278  Which I take to be either a fool or a cipher.
JAQUES
279  I'll tarry no longer with you: farewell, good
280  Signior Love.
ORLANDO
281  I am glad of your departure: adieu, good Monsieur
282  Melancholy.
Exit JAQUES

ROSALIND
Aside to CELIA
283   I will speak to him, like a saucy
284  lackey and under that habit play the knave with him.
285  Do you hear, forester?
ORLANDO
286  Very well: what would you?
ROSALIND
287  I pray you, what is't o'clock?
ORLANDO
288  You should ask me what time o' day: there's no clock
289  in the forest.
ROSALIND
290  Then there is no true lover in the forest; else
291  sighing every minute and groaning every hour would
292  detect the lazy foot of Time as well as a clock.
ORLANDO
293  And why not the swift foot of Time? had not that
294  been as proper?
ROSALIND
295  By no means, sir: Time travels in divers paces with
296  divers persons. I'll tell you who Time ambles
297  withal, who Time trots withal, who Time gallops
298  withal and who he stands still withal.
ORLANDO
299  I prithee, who doth he trot withal?
ROSALIND
300  Marry, he trots hard with a young maid between the
301  contract of her marriage and the day it is
302  solemnized: if the interim be but a se'nnight,
303  Time's pace is so hard that it seems the length of
304  seven year.
ORLANDO
305  Who ambles Time withal?
ROSALIND
306  With a priest that lacks Latin and a rich man that
307  hath not the gout, for the one sleeps easily because
308  he cannot study, and the other lives merrily because
309  he feels no pain, the one lacking the burden of lean
310  and wasteful learning, the other knowing no burden
311  of heavy tedious penury; these Time ambles withal.
ORLANDO
312  Who doth he gallop withal?
ROSALIND
313  With a thief to the gallows, for though he go as
314  softly as foot can fall, he thinks himself too soon there.
ORLANDO
315  Who stays it still withal?
ROSALIND
316  With lawyers in the vacation, for they sleep between
317  term and term and then they perceive not how Time moves.
ORLANDO
318  Where dwell you, pretty youth?
ROSALIND
319  With this shepherdess, my sister; here in the
320  skirts of the forest, like fringe upon a petticoat.
ORLANDO
321  Are you native of this place?
ROSALIND
322  As the cony that you see dwell where she is kindled.
ORLANDO
323  Your accent is something finer than you could
324  purchase in so removed a dwelling.
ROSALIND
325  I have been told so of many: but indeed an old
326  religious uncle of mine taught me to speak, who was
327  in his youth an inland man; one that knew courtship
328  too well, for there he fell in love. I have heard
329  him read many lectures against it, and I thank God
330  I am not a woman, to be touched with so many
331  giddy offences as he hath generally taxed their
332  whole sex withal.
ORLANDO
333  Can you remember any of the principal evils that he
334  laid to the charge of women?
ROSALIND
335  There were none principal; they were all like one
336  another as half-pence are, every one fault seeming
337  monstrous till his fellow fault came to match it.
ORLANDO
338  I prithee, recount some of them.
ROSALIND
339  No, I will not cast away my physic but on those that
340  are sick. There is a man haunts the forest, that
341  abuses our young plants with carving 'Rosalind' on
342  their barks; hangs odes upon hawthorns and elegies
343  on brambles, all, forsooth, deifying the name of
344  Rosalind: if I could meet that fancy-monger I would
345  give him some good counsel, for he seems to have the
346  quotidian of love upon him.
ORLANDO
347  I am he that is so love-shaked: I pray you tell me
348  your remedy.
ROSALIND
349  There is none of my uncle's marks upon you: he
350  taught me how to know a man in love; in which cage
351  of rushes I am sure you are not prisoner.
ORLANDO
352  What were his marks?
ROSALIND
353  A lean cheek, which you have not, a blue eye and
354  sunken, which you have not, an unquestionable
355  spirit, which you have not, a beard neglected,
356  which you have not; but I pardon you for that, for
357  simply your having in beard is a younger brother's
358  revenue: then your hose should be ungartered, your
359  bonnet unbanded, your sleeve unbuttoned, your shoe
360  untied and every thing about you demonstrating a
361  careless desolation; but you are no such man; you
362  are rather point-device in your accoutrements as
363  loving yourself than seeming the lover of any other.
ORLANDO
364  Fair youth, I would I could make thee believe I love.
ROSALIND
365  Me believe it! you may as soon make her that you
366  love believe it; which, I warrant, she is apter to
367  do than to confess she does: that is one of the
368  points in the which women still give the lie to
369  their consciences. But, in good sooth, are you he
370  that hangs the verses on the trees, wherein Rosalind
371  is so admired?
ORLANDO
372  I swear to thee, youth, by the white hand of
373  Rosalind, I am that he, that unfortunate he.
ROSALIND
374  But are you so much in love as your rhymes speak?
ORLANDO
375  Neither rhyme nor reason can express how much.
ROSALIND
376  Love is merely a madness, and, I tell you, deserves
377  as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do: and
378  the reason why they are not so punished and cured
379  is, that the lunacy is so ordinary that the whippers
380  are in love too. Yet I profess curing it by counsel.
ORLANDO
381  Did you ever cure any so?
ROSALIND
382  Yes, one, and in this manner. He was to imagine me
383  his love, his mistress; and I set him every day to
384  woo me: at which time would I, being but a moonish
385  youth, grieve, be effeminate, changeable, longing
386  and liking, proud, fantastical, apish, shallow,
387  inconstant, full of tears, full of smiles, for every
388  passion something and for no passion truly any
389  thing, as boys and women are for the most part
390  cattle of this colour; would now like him, now loathe
391  him; then entertain him, then forswear him; now weep
392  for him, then spit at him; that I drave my suitor
393  from his mad humour of love to a living humour of
394  madness; which was, to forswear the full stream of
395  the world, and to live in a nook merely monastic.
396  And thus I cured him; and this way will I take upon
397  me to wash your liver as clean as a sound sheep's
398  heart, that there shall not be one spot of love in't.
ORLANDO
399  I would not be cured, youth.
ROSALIND
400  I would cure you, if you would but call me Rosalind
401  and come every day to my cote and woo me.
ORLANDO
402  Now, by the faith of my love, I will: tell me
403  where it is.
ROSALIND
404  Go with me to it and I'll show it you and by the way
405  you shall tell me where in the forest you live.
406  Will you go?
ORLANDO
407  With all my heart, good youth.
ROSALIND
408  Nay you must call me Rosalind. Come, sister, will you go?
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT III, SCENE IACT III, SCENE III (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • EPILOGUE

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