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Come, come, you are a fool,

And turned into the extremity of love.

I saw her hand; she has a leathern hand,

A freestone-colored 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.

Sil. Sure, it is hers.

Ros. Why, 'tis a boisterous and a cruel style, A style for challengers. Why, she defies me, Like Turk to Christian: woman'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? Sil. So please you, for I never heard it yet; Yet heard too much of Phebe's cruelty.

Ros. 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?

Sil. Call you this railing?

Ros. Why, thy godhead laid apart,

Warr'st 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.

Sil. Call you this chiding?

Cel. Alas, poor shepherd!


Ros. Do you pity him? No, he deserves no pity.-Wilt thou love such a woman?-What, to make thee an instru

ment, 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.



Oli. Good-morrow, fair ones. Pray you, if you know Where, in the purlieus of this forest, stands

A sheep-cote, fenced about with olive-trees?

Cel. West of this place, down in the neighbor 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.

Oli. If that an eye may profit by a tongue,
Ther I should know you by description;
Such garments, and such years. The boy is fair,
Of female favor, and bestows himself
Like a ripe sister; but the woman low,
And browner than her brother. Are not you
The owner of the house I did inquire for?

Cel. It is no boast, being asked, to say we are.
Oli. Orlando doth commend him to you both;
And to that youth, he calls his Rosalind,
He sends this bloody napkin. Are you he?

Ros. I am. What must we understand by this?
Oli. Some of my shame; if you will know of me
What man I am, and how, and why, and where
This handkerchief was stained.


I pray you, tell it.
Oli. 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.

Cel. O, I have heard him speak of that same brother; And he did render him the most unnatural

That lived 'mongst men.


And well he might so do,

For well I know he was unnatural.

Ros. But, to Orlando.-Did he leave him there, Food to the sucked and hungry lioness?

Oli. 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.

Cel. Are you his brother?

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Was it you he rescued?

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

Ros. But, for the bloody napkin ?

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;
In 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 his blood, unto the shepherd youth
That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.

Cel. Why, how now, Ganymede? Sweet Ganymede?

[ROSALIND faints. Oli. Many will swoon when they do look on blood. Cel. There is more in it.- Cousin Oli. Look, he recovers.


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I would I were at home. Cel. We'll lead you thither.

I pray you, will you take him by the arm?

Oli. Be of good cheer, youth.-You a man!-You lack a man's heart.

Ros. I do so, I confess it. Ah, sir, a body would think 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 do; but, i' faith, I should have been a woman by right.

Cel. Come, you look paler and paler; pray you, draw homewards. Good sir, go with us.

Oli. That will I, for I must bear answer back

How you excuse my brother, Rosalind.

Ros. I shall devise something; but, I pray you, commend my counterfeiting to him.-Will you go?



SCENE I. The same.


Touch. We shall find a time, Audrey; patience, gentle Audrey.

Aud. 'Faith, the priest was good enough, for all the old gentleman's saying.

Touch. A most wicked sir Oliver, Audrey, a most vile Mar-text. But, Audrey, there is a youth here in the forest lays claim to you.

Aud. Ay, I know who 'tis; he hath no interest in me in the world. Here comes the man you mean.


Touch. It is meat and drink to me to see a clown. By my troth, we that have good wits, have much to answer for; we shall be flouting; we cannot hold.

Will. Good even, Audrey.

Aud. God ye good even, William.
Will. And good even to you, sir.

Touch. Good even, gentle friend. Cover thy head, cover thy head; nay, pr'ythee, be covered. How old are you, friend?

Will. Five-and-twenty, sir.

Touch. A ripe age. Is thy name William?

Will. William, sir.

Touch. A fair name. Wast born i' the forest here?
Will. Ay, sir, I thank God.

Touch. Thank God;-a good answer. Art rich?
Will. 'Faith, sir, so, so.

Touch. So, 80, is good, very good, very excellent good; -and yet it is not; it is but so, so. Art thou wise?

Will. Ay, sir, I have a pretty wit.

Touch. Why, thou say'st well. I do now remember a saying; The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. The heathen philosopher, when he had a desire to eat a grape, would open his lips when he put it into his mouth; meaning thereby that grapes were made to eat, and lips to open. You do love this maid?

Will. I do, sir.

Touch. Give me your hand.
Will. No, sir.

Art thou learned?

Touch. Then learn this of me. To have, is to have; for it is a figure in rhetoric, that drink, being poured out of a cup into a glass, by filling the one doth empty the other; for all your writers do consent, that ipse is he; now you are not ipse, for I am he.

Will. Which he, sir?

Touch. He, sir, that must marry this woman. Therefore, you clown, abandon, which is in the vulgar, leave,—the society, which in the boorish is, company,-of this female, -which in the common is, woman, which together is, abandon the society of this female; or, clown, thou perishest; or, to thy better understahding, diest; or, to wit, I kill thee, make thee away, translate thy life into death, thy liberty into bondage. I will deal in poison with thee, or in

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