As You Like It: Act 3, Scene 5




           Enter SILVIUS and PHEBE.

      
SILVIUS
  1   Sweet Phebe, do not scorn me; do not, Phebe;
  2   Say that you love me not, but say not so
  3   In bitterness. The common executioner,
  4   Whose heart the accustom'd sight of death makes hard,
  5   Falls not the axe upon the humbled neck
  6   But first begs pardon: will you sterner be
  7   Than he that dies and lives by bloody drops?

           Enter ROSALIND, CELIA, and CORIN, behind.

      
PHEBE
  8   I would not be thy executioner:
  9   I fly thee, for I would not injure thee.
 10   Thou tell'st me there is murder in mine eye:
 11   'Tis pretty, sure, and very probable,
 12   That eyes, that are the frail'st and softest things,
 13   Who shut their coward gates on atomies,
 14   Should be call'd tyrants, butchers, murderers!
 15   Now I do frown on thee with all my heart;
 16   And if mine eyes can wound, now let them kill thee:
 17   Now counterfeit to swoon; why now fall down;
 18   Or if thou canst not, O, for shame, for shame,
 19   Lie not, to say mine eyes are murderers!
 20   Now show the wound mine eye hath made in thee:
 21   Scratch thee but with a pin, and there remains
 22   Some scar of it; lean but upon a rush,
 23   The cicatrice and capable impressure
 24   Thy palm some moment keeps; but now mine eyes,
 25   Which I have darted at thee, hurt thee not,
 26   Nor, I am sure, there is no force in eyes
 27   That can do hurt.

      SILVIUS
 27                                 O dear Phebe,
 28   If ever,—as that ever may be near,—
 29   You meet in some fresh cheek the power of fancy,
 30   Then shall you know the wounds invisible
 31   That love's keen arrows make.

      PHEBE
 31                                                           But till that time
 32   Come not thou near me: and when that time comes,
 33   Afflict me with thy mocks, pity me not;
 34   As till that time I shall not pity thee.

      ROSALIND  [Coming forward.]
 35   And why, I pray you? Who might be your mother,
 36   That you insult, exult, and all at once,
 37   Over the wretched? What though you have no beauty,—
 38   As, by my faith, I see no more in you
 39   Than without candle may go dark to bed—
 40   Must you be therefore proud and pitiless?
 41   Why, what means this? Why do you look on me?
 42   I see no more in you than in the ordinary
 43   Of nature's sale-work. 'Od's my little life,
 44   I think she means to tangle my eyes too!
 45   No, faith, proud mistress, hope not after it:
 46   'Tis not your inky brows, your black silk hair,
 47   Your bugle eyeballs, nor your cheek of cream,
 48   That can entame my spirits to your worship.
 49   You foolish shepherd, wherefore do you follow her,
 50   Like foggy south puffing with wind and rain?
 51   You are a thousand times a properer man
 52   Than she a woman: 'tis such fools as you
 53   That makes the world full of ill-favour'd children:
 54   'Tis not her glass, but you, that flatters her;
 55   And out of you she sees herself more proper
 56   Than any of her lineaments can show her.
 57   But, mistress, know yourself: down on your knees,
 58   And thank heaven, fasting, for a good man's love:
 59   For I must tell you friendly in your ear,
 60   Sell when you can: you are not for all markets:
 61   Cry the man mercy; love him; take his offer:
 62   Foul is most foul, being foul to be a scoffer.
 63   So take her to thee, shepherd: fare you well.

      PHEBE
 64   Sweet youth, I pray you, chide a year together:
 65   I had rather hear you chide than this man woo.

      ROSALIND
 66   [To Phebe.] He's fallen in love with your foulness,
 67   [To Silvius.] and she'll fall in love with my anger.
 68   If it be so, as fast as she answers thee with frowning
 69   looks, I'll sauce her with bitter words. [To Phebe.] Why
 70   look you so upon me?

      PHEBE
 71   For no ill will I bear you.

      ROSALIND
 72   I pray you, do not fall in love with me,
 73   For I am falser than vows made in wine:
 74   Besides, I like you not. If you will know my house,
 75   'Tis at the tuft of olives here hard by.
 76   Will you go, sister? Shepherd, ply her hard.
 77   Come, sister. Shepherdess, look on him better,
 78   And be not proud: though all the world could see,
 79   None could be so abused in sight as he.
 80   Come, to our flock.

           Exeunt ROSALIND, CELIA and CORIN.

      PHEBE
 81   Dead Shepherd, now I find thy saw of might,
 82   'Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?'

      SILVIUS
 83   Sweet Phebe,—

      PHEBE
 83                             Ha, what say'st thou, Silvius?

      SILVIUS
 84   Sweet Phebe, pity me.

      PHEBE
 85   Why, I am sorry for thee, gentle Silvius.

      SILVIUS
 86   Wherever sorrow is, relief would be:
 87   If you do sorrow at my grief in love,
 88   By giving love your sorrow and my grief
 89   Were both extermined.

      PHEBE
 90   Thou hast my love: is not that neighbourly?

      SILVIUS
 91   I would have you.

      PHEBE
 91                                   Why, that were covetousness.
 92   Silvius, the time was that I hated thee,
 93   And yet it is not that I bear thee love;
 94   But since that thou canst talk of love so well,
 95   Thy company, which erst was irksome to me,
 96   I will endure, and I'll employ thee too:
 97   But do not look for further recompense
 98   Than thine own gladness that thou art employ'd.

      SILVIUS
 99   So holy and so perfect is my love,
100   And I in such a poverty of grace,
101   That I shall think it a most plenteous crop
102   To glean the broken ears after the man
103   That the main harvest reaps: loose now and then
104   A scatter'd smile, and that I'll live upon.

      PHEBE
105   Know'st now the youth that spoke to me erewhile?

      SILVIUS
106   Not very well, but I have met him oft;
107   And he hath bought the cottage and the bounds
108   That the old carlot once was master of.

      PHEBE
109   Think not I love him, though I ask for him:
110   'Tis but a peevish boy; yet he talks well;
111   But what care I for words? yet words do well
112   When he that speaks them pleases those that hear.
113   It is a pretty youth: not very pretty:
114   But, sure, he's proud, and yet his pride becomes him:
115   He'll make a proper man: the best thing in him
116   Is his complexion; and faster than his tongue
117   Did make offence his eye did heal it up.
118   He is not very tall; yet for his years he's tall:
119   His leg is but so so; and yet 'tis well:
120   There was a pretty redness in his lip,
121   A little riper and more lusty red
122   Than that mix'd in his cheek; 'twas just the difference
123   Between the constant red and mingled damask.
124   There be some women, Silvius, had they mark'd him
125   In parcels as I did, would have gone near
126   To fall in love with him; but, for my part,
127   I love him not nor hate him not; and yet
128   I have more cause to hate him than to love him:
129   For what had he to do to chide at me?
130   He said mine eyes were black and my hair black:
131   And, now I am remember'd, scorn'd at me:
132   I marvel why I answer'd not again:
133   But that's all one; omittance is no quittance.
134   I'll write to him a very taunting letter,
135   And thou shalt bear it: wilt thou, Silvius?

      SILVIUS
136   Phebe, with all my heart.

      PHEBE
136                                                 I'll write it straight;
137   The matter's in my head and in my heart:
138   I will be bitter with him and passing short.
139   Go with me, Silvius.

           Exeunt.