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  • Enter ORLANDO, with a paper

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


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

  • Truly, shepherd, in respect of itself, it is a good
    life, but in respect that it is a shepherd's life,
    it is naught. In respect that it is solitary, I
    like it very well; but in respect that it is
    private, it is a very vile life. Now, in respect it
    is in the fields, it pleaseth me well; but in
    respect it is not in the court, it is tedious. As
    is it a spare life, look you, it fits my humour well;
    but as there is no more plenty in it, it goes much
    against my stomach. Hast any philosophy in thee, shepherd?

  • No more but that I know the more one sickens the
    worse at ease he is; and that he that wants money,
    means and content is without three good friends;
    that the property of rain is to wet and fire to
    burn; that good pasture makes fat sheep, and that a
    great cause of the night is lack of the sun; that
    he that hath learned no wit by nature nor art may
    complain of good breeding or comes of a very dull kindred.

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

  • Then thou art damned.

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

  • For not being at court? Your reason.

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

  • Not a whit, Touchstone: those that are good manners
    at the court are as ridiculous in the country as the
    behavior of the country is most mockable at the
    court. You told me you salute not at the court, but
    you kiss your hands: that courtesy would be
    uncleanly, if courtiers were shepherds.

  • Instance, briefly; come, instance.

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

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

  • Besides, our hands are hard.

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

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

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

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

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

  • Sir, I am a true labourer: I earn that I eat, get
    that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's
    happiness, glad of other men's good, content with my
    harm, and the greatest of my pride is to see my ewes
    graze and my lambs suck.

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

  • 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
    forest judge.

  • Enter CELIA, with a writing

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

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

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

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

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


  • Didst thou hear these verses?

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

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

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

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

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

  • Trow you who hath done this?

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

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

  • Nay, but who is it?

  • Is it possible?

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

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

  • Good my complexion! dost thou think, though I am
    caparisoned like a man, I have a doublet and hose in
    my disposition? One inch of delay more is a
    South-sea of discovery; I prithee, tell me who is it
    quickly, and speak apace. I would thou couldst
    stammer, that thou mightst pour this concealed man
    out of thy mouth, as wine comes out of a narrow-
    mouthed bottle, either too much at once, or none at
    all. I prithee, take the cork out of thy mouth that
    may drink thy tidings.

  • So you may put a man in your belly.

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

  • Nay, he hath but a little beard.

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

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

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

  • I' faith, coz, 'tis he.

  • Alas the day! what shall I do with my doublet and
    hose? What did he when thou sawest him? What said
    he? How looked he? Wherein went he? What makes
    him here? Did he ask for me? Where remains he?
    How parted he with thee? and when shalt thou see
    him again? Answer me in one word.

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

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

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

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

  • Give me audience, good madam.

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

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

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

  • O, ominous! he comes to kill my heart.

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

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

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

  • 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
    them ill-favouredly.

  • 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
    Signior Love.

  • I am glad of your departure: adieu, good Monsieur

  • Exit JAQUES

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

  • Very well: what would you?

  • I pray you, what is't o'clock?

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

  • Then there is no true lover in the forest; else
    sighing every minute and groaning every hour would
    detect the lazy foot of Time as well as a clock.

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

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

  • I prithee, who doth he trot withal?

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

  • Who ambles Time withal?

  • With a priest that lacks Latin and a rich man that
    hath not the gout, for the one sleeps easily because
    he cannot study, and the other lives merrily because
    he feels no pain, the one lacking the burden of lean
    and wasteful learning, the other knowing no burden
    of heavy tedious penury; these Time ambles withal.

  • Who doth he gallop withal?

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

  • Who stays it still withal?

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

  • Where dwell you, pretty youth?

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

  • Are you native of this place?

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

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

  • I have been told so of many: but indeed an old
    religious uncle of mine taught me to speak, who was
    in his youth an inland man; one that knew courtship
    too well, for there he fell in love. I have heard
    him read many lectures against it, and I thank God
    I am not a woman, to be touched with so many
    giddy offences as he hath generally taxed their
    whole sex withal.

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

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

  • I prithee, recount some of them.

  • No, I will not cast away my physic but on those that
    are sick. There is a man haunts the forest, that
    abuses our young plants with carving 'Rosalind' on
    their barks; hangs odes upon hawthorns and elegies
    on brambles, all, forsooth, deifying the name of
    Rosalind: if I could meet that fancy-monger I would
    give him some good counsel, for he seems to have the
    quotidian of love upon him.

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

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

  • What were his marks?

  • A lean cheek, which you have not, a blue eye and
    sunken, which you have not, an unquestionable
    spirit, which you have not, a beard neglected,
    which you have not; but I pardon you for that, for
    simply your having in beard is a younger brother's
    revenue: then your hose should be ungartered, your
    bonnet unbanded, your sleeve unbuttoned, your shoe
    untied and every thing about you demonstrating a
    careless desolation; but you are no such man; you
    are rather point-device in your accoutrements as
    loving yourself than seeming the lover of any other.

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

  • Me believe it! you may as soon make her that you
    love believe it; which, I warrant, she is apter to
    do than to confess she does: that is one of the
    points in the which women still give the lie to
    their consciences. But, in good sooth, are you he
    that hangs the verses on the trees, wherein Rosalind
    is so admired?

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

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

  • Neither rhyme nor reason can express how much.

  • Love is merely a madness, and, I tell you, deserves
    as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do: and
    the reason why they are not so punished and cured
    is, that the lunacy is so ordinary that the whippers
    are in love too. Yet I profess curing it by counsel.

  • Did you ever cure any so?

  • Yes, one, and in this manner. He was to imagine me
    his love, his mistress; and I set him every day to
    woo me: at which time would I, being but a moonish
    youth, grieve, be effeminate, changeable, longing
    and liking, proud, fantastical, apish, shallow,
    inconstant, full of tears, full of smiles, for every
    passion something and for no passion truly any
    thing, as boys and women are for the most part
    cattle of this colour; would now like him, now loathe
    him; then entertain him, then forswear him; now weep
    for him, then spit at him; that I drave my suitor
    from his mad humour of love to a living humour of
    madness; which was, to forswear the full stream of
    the world, and to live in a nook merely monastic.
    And thus I cured him; and this way will I take upon
    me to wash your liver as clean as a sound sheep's
    heart, that there shall not be one spot of love in't.

  • I would not be cured, youth.

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

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

  • Go with me to it and I'll show it you and by the way
    you shall tell me where in the forest you live.
    Will you go?

  • With all my heart, good youth.

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