Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
Scenes from the Comedies and Histories
Rosalind, Orlando, Jaques
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
From ‘As You Like It

Scene: The Forest of Arden.

CELIA—Oh, wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful! and yet again wonderful, and after that, out of all whooping!
  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 pr’ythee, 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 pr’ythee take the cork out of thy mouth, that I 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.        5
  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?        10
  Rosalind—Alas the day! what shall I do with my doublet and hose?—What did he, when thou saw’st him? What said he? How looked he? Wherein went he? What makes he 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.        15
  Rosalind—It may well be called Jove’s tree, when it drops forth such fruit.
  Celia—Give me audience, good madam.
  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.        20
  Celia—Cry, holla! to thy tongue, I pr’ythee: it curvets unseasonably. He was furnished like a hunter.
  Rosalind—Oh, ominous! he comes to kill my heart.
  Celia—I would sing my song without a burden: thou bring’st me out of tune.
  Rosalind—Do you not know I am a woman? when I think, I must speak. Sweet, say on.
Enter Orlando and Jaques
  Celia—You bring me out.—Soft! comes he not here?
  Rosalind—’Tis he: slink by, and note him.  [Rosalind and Celia retire.]
  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—Good-by, you: let’s meet as little as we can.
  Orlando—I do desire we may be better strangers.        30
  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-favoredly.
  Jaques—Rosalind is your love’s name?
  Orlando—Yes, just.
  Jaques—I do not like her name.        35
  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.        40
  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.        45
  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 cypher.
  Jaques—I’ll tarry no longer with you. Farewell, good Signior Love.
  Orlando—I am glad of your departure. Adieu, good Monsieur Melancholy.        50
[Exit Jaques.—Rosalind and Celia come forward.]
  Rosalind  [aside to Celia]—I will speak to him like a saucy lackey, and under that habit play the knave with him.—[To 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.        55
  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 pr’ythee, 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 years.
  Orlando—Who ambles Time withal?        60
  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 stands he still withal?
  Rosalind—With lawyers in the vacation; for they sleep between term and term, and then they perceive not how time moves.        65
  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 coney, that you see dwell where she is kindled.
  Orlando—Your accent is something finer than you could purchase in so removed a dwelling.        70
  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 offenses 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 halfpence are; every one fault seeming monstrous, till his fellow fault came to match it.
  Orlando—I pr’ythee, 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.        75
  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 unhanded, your sleeve unbuttoned, your shoe untied, and everything 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.        80
  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.        85
  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 anything, as boys and women are, for the most part, cattle of this color: 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 humor of love, to a loving humor 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.        90
  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.]

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