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Orl. I am glad of your departure; adieu, good monsieur melancholy. [Exit JAQUES.-CEL. and Ros. come forward. Ros. I will speak to him like a saucy lacquey, and under that habit play the knave with him.-Do you hear, forester ?
Ori. Very well; what would you?
Ros. I pray you, what is't a clock?
Orl. You should ask me, what time o'day; there's no clock in the forest.
Ros. Then there's 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.
Orl. And why not the swift foot of time? had not that been as proper?
Ros. 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.
Orl. I pr'ythee, who doth he trot withal?
Ros. Marry, he trots hard with a young maid, between the contract of her marriage, and the day it is solemnized.
Orl. Who ambles time withal?
Ros. 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.
Orl. Who doth he gallop withal?
Ros. With a thief to the gallows: for though he go as softly as foot can fall, he thinks himself too soon there.
Orl. Who stays it still withal?
Ros. With lawyers in the vacation: for they sleep between term and term, and then they perceive not how time moves.
Orl. Where dwell you, pretty youth?
Ros. With this shepherdess, my sister; here in the skirts of the forest.
Orl. Are you a native of this place?
Ros. As the rabbit, that you see dwell where she is kindled.
Orl. Your accent is something finer than you could purchase in so removed a dwelling.
Ros. 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 inlandman; one that knew courtship too well, for there he fell in love. I have heard him read many lectures against it; and I thank fortune, I am not a woman, to be touch'd with so many giddy offences as he hath generally tax'd their whole sex withal.
Orl. Can you remember any of the principal evils that he laid to the charge of women?
Ros. 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.
Orl. I pr'ythee, recount some of them.
Ros. 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. Orl. I am he that is so love-shaked'; I pray you, tell me your remedy.
Ros. 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.
Orl. What were his marks?
Ros. 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 :-Then your hose should be ungarter'd, 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 any other.
Orl. Fair youth, I would I could make thee believe I love.
Ros. Me believe it? you may as soon make her that you love be lieve 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?
Orl. I swear to thee, youth, by the white hand of Rosalind, I am he, that unfortunate he.
Ros. But are you so much in love as your rhymes speak?
Ros. 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. Orl. Did you ever cure any so?
Ros. 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 color; would now like him, now loath 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 living 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.
Orl. I would not be cured, youth.
Ros. I would cure you, if you would but call me Rosalind, and come every day to my cote, and woo me.
Orl. Now, by the faith of my love, I will; tell me where it is. Ros. 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?
Orl. With all my heart, good youth.
Ros. Nay, you must call me Rosalind :-Come, sister, will you go-? [Exeunt.
Rosalind, still in her male attire, wins the love of Phebe, a rustic beauty, living in the forest, and by her wit and sprightliness gains the attention of the Duke and his followers.
SCENE I.-The same.
Enter ROSALIND, CELIA, and Jaques.
Jaq. I pr'ythee, pretty youth, let me be better acquainted with thee.
Ros. They say you are a melancholy fellow.
Jaq. I am so; I do love it better than laughing.
Ros. Those, that are in extremity of either, are abominable fe.lows; and betray themselves to every modern censure, worse than drunkards.
Jaq. Why, 'tis good to be sad and say nothing.
Ros. Why then, 'tis good to be a post.
Jaq. 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, is a most humorous sadness.
Ros. 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.
Jaq. Yes, I have gained my experience.
Ros. And your experience makes you sad: I had rather have a fool to make me merry, than experience to make me sad; and to travel for it too.
Orl. Good day, and happiness, dear Rosalind!
Jaq. Nay then, Heaven be wi' you, an you talk in blank verse. Ros. 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; or I will scarce think you have swam in a gondola.-[Exit JAQUES.]-Why, how now, Orlando! where have been all this while? You a lover?—An you serve me such another trick, never come in my sight more.
Orl. My fair Rosalind, I come within an hour of my promise. Ros. 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 clapp'd him o' the shoulder, but I warrant him heartwhole.
Orl. Pardon me, dear Rosalind.
Ros. Nay, an you be so tardy, come no more in my sight; I had as lief be woo'd of a snail.
Orl. Of a snail?
Ros. Ay, of a snail; for though he comes slowly, he carries his house on his head; a better jointure, I think, than you can make a woman: Besides, he brings his destiny with him.
Orl. What's that.
Ros. Why, horns.
Orl. Virtue is no horn-maker; and my Rosalind is virtuous.
Cel. It pleases him to call you so; but he hath a Rosalind of a better leer than you.
Ros. Come, woo me, woo me; for now I am in a holiday humor, and like enough to consent :-What would you say to me now, an I were your very very Rosalind?
Orl. I would kiss before I spoke.
Ros. Nay, you were better speak first; and when you were gravelled for lack of matter, you might take occasion to kiss.
Orl. How if the kiss be denied?
Ros. Then she puts you to entreaty, and there begins new matter. Orl. Who could be out, being before his beloved mistress?
Ros. Marry, that should you, if I were your mistress.
Orl. What, of my suit?
Ros. Out of your suit. Am not I your Rosalind ?
Orl. I take some joy to say you are, because I would be talking of her.
Ros. Well, in her person, I say-I will not have you.
Orl. Then, in mine own person, I die.
Ros. 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, videlicet, 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.
Orl. I would not have my right Rosalind of this mind; for, I protest, her frown might kill me.
Ros. 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.
Orl. Then love me, Rosalind.
Ros. Yes, faith will I, Fridays, and Saturdays, and all.
Orl. And wilt thou have me?
Ros. Ay, and twenty such.
Orl. What say'st thou?
Ros. Are you not good?
Orl. I hope so.
Ros. 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?
Orl. Pray thee, marry us.
Cel. I cannot say the words.
Ros. You must begin, Will you, Orlando,—
Cel. Go to:- -Will you, Orlando, have to wife this Rosalind?
Orl. I will.
Ros. Ay, but when?
Orl. Why now; as fast as she can marry us.
Ros. Then you must say,-I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.
Orl. I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.
Ros. I might ask you for your commission; but,-I do take thee, Orlando, for my husband: There a girl goes before the priest; and, certainly, a woman's thought runs before her actions.
Orl. So do all thoughts; they are winged.
Ros. Now tell me, how long you would have her, after you have possessed her.
Orl. For ever and a day.
Ros. 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 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.
Orl. But will my Rosalind do so?
Ros. 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.