As You Like It: Act 3, Scene 2

           Enter ORLANDO, with a paper.

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.


           Enter CORIN and [TOUCHSTONE the] Clown.

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

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

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

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

34   No, truly.

35   Then thou art damned.

36   Nay, I hope.

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

39   For not being at court? Your reason.

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

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

52   Instance, briefly; come, instance.

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

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

59   Besides, our hands are hard.

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

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

65   Most shallow man! thou worm's-meat, in respect
 66   of a good piece of flesh indeed! Learn of the wise,
 67   and perpend: civet is of a baser birth than tar, the
 68   very uncleanly flux of a cat. Mend the instance,
 69   shepherd.

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

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

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

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

86   Here comes young Master Ganymede, my new
 87   mistress's brother.

           Enter ROSALIND [with a paper, reading].

88     "From the east to western Ind,
 89     No jewel is like Rosalind.
 90     Her worth, being mounted on the wind,
 91     Through all the world bears Rosalind.
 92     All the pictures fairest lined
 93     Are but black to Rosalind.
 94     Let no fair be kept in mind
 95     But the fair of Rosalind."

96   I'll rhyme you so eight years together, dinners
 97   and suppers and sleeping-hours excepted: it
 98   is the right butter-women's rank to market.

99   Out, fool!

100   For a taste:
101     "If a hart do lack a hind,
102     Let him seek out Rosalind.
103     If the cat will after kind,
104     So be sure will Rosalind.
105     Wint'red garments must be lined,
106     So must slender Rosalind.
107     They that reap must sheaf and bind;
108     Then to cart with Rosalind.
109     Sweetest nut hath sourest rind,
110     Such a nut is Rosalind.
111     He that sweetest rose will find
112     Must find love's prick and Rosalind."
113   This is the very false gallop of verses:
114   why do you infect yourself with them?

115   Peace, you dull fool! I found them on a tree.

116   Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.

117   I'll graff it with you, and then I shall graff it
118   with a medlar: then it will be the earliest fruit
119   i' the country; for you'll be rotten ere you be half
120   ripe, and that's the right virtue of the medlar.

121   You have said; but whether wisely or no, let the
122   forest judge.

           Enter CELIA, with a writing.

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

      CELIA [Reads.]
125     "Why should this a desert be?
126       For it is unpeopled? No:
127     Tongues I'll hang on every tree,
128       That shall civil sayings show:
129     Some, how brief the life of man
130       Runs his erring pilgrimage,
131     That the stretching of a span
132       Buckles in his sum of age;
133     Some, of violated vows
134       'Twixt the souls of friend and friend:
135     But upon the fairest boughs,
136       Or at every sentence end,
137     Will I Rosalinda write,
138       Teaching all that read to know
139     The quintessence of every sprite
140       Heaven would in little show.
141     Therefore Heaven Nature charged
142       That one body should be fill'd
143     With all graces wide-enlarged:
144       Nature presently distill'd
145     Helen's cheek, but not her heart,
146       Cleopatra's majesty,
147     Atalanta's better part,
148       Sad Lucretia's modesty.
149     Thus Rosalind of many parts
150       By heavenly synod was devised,
151     Of many faces, eyes and hearts,
152       To have the touches dearest prized.
153     Heaven would that she these gifts should have,
154     And I to live and die her slave."

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

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

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

           Exit [Touchstone with Corin].

163   Didst thou hear these verses?

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

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

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

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

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

179   Trow you who hath done this?

180   Is it a man?

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

183   I prithee, who?

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

187   Nay, but who is it?

188   Is it possible?

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

191   O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful
192   wonderful! and yet again wonderful, and after that,
193   out of all hooping!

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

204   So you may put a man in your belly.

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

208   Nay, he hath but a little beard.

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

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

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

216   I' faith, coz, 'tis he.

217   Orlando?

218   Orlando.

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

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

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

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

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

238   Give me audience, good madam.

239   Proceed.

240   There lay he, stretched along, like a wounded
241   knight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

           Enter ORLANDO and JAQUES.

252   'Tis he: slink by, and note him.

253   I thank you for your company; but, good faith,
254   I had as lief have been myself alone.

255   And so had I; but yet, for fashion sake, I thank
256   you too for your society.

257   God buy you: let's meet as little as we can.

258   I do desire we may be better strangers.

259   I pray you, mar no more trees with writing
260   love-songs in their barks.

261   I pray you, mar no moe of my verses with
262   reading them ill-favouredly.

263   Rosalind is your love's name?

264   Yes, just.

265   I do not like her name.

266   There was no thought of pleasing you
267   when she was christened.

268   What stature is she of?

269   Just as high as my heart.

270   You are full of pretty answers. Have you
271   not been acquainted with goldsmiths'
272   wives, and conned them out of rings?

273   Not so; but I answer you right painted
274   cloth, from whence you have studied
275   your questions.

276   You have a nimble wit: I think 'twas made
277   of Atalanta's heels. Will you sit down with
278   me? And we two will rail against our mistress
279   the world and all our misery.

280   I will chide no breather in the world but myself,
281   against whom I know most faults.

282   The worst fault you have is to be in love.

283   'Tis a fault I will not change for your best virtue.
284   I am weary of you.

285   By my troth, I was seeking for a fool when I
286   found you.

287   He is drowned in the brook: look but in,
288   and you shall see him.

289   There I shall see mine own figure.

290   Which I take to be either a fool or a cipher.

291   I'll tarry no longer with you: farewell, good
292   Signior Love.

293   I am glad of your departure: adieu, good
294   Monsieur Melancholy.

           [Exit JAQUES.]

ROSALIND [Aside to Celia.]
295   I will speak to him like a saucy lackey
296   and under that habit play the knave
297   with him. —Do you hear, forester?

298   Very well: what would you?

299   I pray you, what is't o'clock?

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

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

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

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

312   I prithee, who doth he trot withal?

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

318   Who ambles Time withal?

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

326   Who doth he gallop withal?

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

330   Who stays it still withal?

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

334   Where dwell you, pretty youth?

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

338   Are you native of this place?

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

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

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

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

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

357   I prithee, recount some of them.

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

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

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

372   What were his marks?

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

385   Fair youth, I would I could make thee believe
386   I love.

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

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

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

398   Neither rhyme nor reason can express how
399   much.

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

406   Did you ever cure any so?

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

425   I would not be cured, youth.

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

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

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

433   With all my heart, good youth.

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