Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: David Bevington
Peer Reviewed

As You Like It (Folio 1, 1623)

Scœna Tertia.
Enter Rosalind and Celia.
Ros. How say you now, is it not past two a clock?
And heere much Orlando.
2150Cel. I warrant you, with pure loue, & troubled brain,
Enter Siluius.
He hath t'ane his bow and arrowes, and is gone forth
To sleepe: looke who comes heere.
Sil. My errand is to you, faire youth,
2155My gentle Phebe, did bid me giue you this:
I know not the contents, but as I guesse
By the sterne brow, and waspish action
Which she did vse, as she was writing of it,
It beares an angry tenure; pardon me,
2160I am but as a guiltlesse messenger.
Ros. Patience her selfe would startle at this letter,
And play the swaggerer, beare this, beare all:
Shee saies I am not faire, that I lacke manners,
She calls me proud, and that she could not loue me
2165Were man as rare as Phenix: 'od's my will,
Her loue is not the Hare that I doe hunt,
Why writes she so to me? well Shepheard, well,
This is a Letter of your owne deuice.
Sil. No, I protest, I know not the contents,
2170Phebe did write it.
Ros. Come, come, you are a foole,
And turn'd into the extremity of loue.
I saw her hand, she has a leatherne hand,
A freestone coloured hand: I verily did thinke
2175That her old gloues were on, but twas her hands:
She has a huswiues hand, but that's no matter:
I say she neuer did inuent this letter,
This is a mans inuention, and his hand.
Sil. Sure it is hers.
2180Ros. Why, tis a boysterous and a cruell stile,
A stile for challengers: why, she defies me,
Like Turke to Christian: vvomens gentle braine
Could not drop forth such giant rude inuention,
Such Ethiop vvords, blacker in their effect
2185Then in their countenance: vvill you heare the letter?
Sil. So please you, for I neuer heard it yet:
Yet heard too much of Phebes crueltie.
Ros. She Phebes me: marke how the tyrant vvrites.
Read. Art thou god, to Shepherd turn'd?
2190That a maidens heart hath burn'd.
Can a vvoman raile thus?
Sil. Call you this railing?
Ros.Read. Why, thy godhead laid a part,
War'st thou with a womans heart?
2195Did you euer heare such railing?
Whiles the eye of man did wooe me,
That could do no vengeance to me.
Meaning me a beast.
If the scorne of your bright eine
2200Haue power to raise such loue in mine,
Alacke, in me, what strange effect
Would they worke in milde aspect?
Whiles you chid me, I did loue,
How then might your praiers moue?
2205He that brings this loue to thee,
Little knowes this Loue in me:
And by him seale vp thy minde,
Whether that thy youth and kinde
Will the faithfull offer take
2210Of me, and all that I can make,
Or else by him my loue denie,
And then Ile studie how to die.
Sil. Call you this chiding?
Cel. Alas poore Shepheard.
2215Ros. Doe you pitty him? No, he deserues no pitty:
wilt thou loue such a woman? what to make thee an in-
strument, and play false straines vpon thee? not to be en-
dur'd. Well, goe your way to her; (for I see Loue hath
made thee a tame snake) and say this to her; That if she
2220loue me, I charge her to loue thee: if she will not, I will
neuer haue her, vnlesse thou intreat for her: if you bee a
true louer hence, and not a word; for here comes more
Exit. Sil.
Enter Oliuer.
2225Oliu. Good morrow, faire ones: pray you, (if you
Where in the Purlews of this Forrest, stands
A sheep-coat, fenc'd about with Oliue-trees.
Cel. West of this place, down in the neighbor bottom
The ranke of Oziers, by the murmuring streame
2230Left on your right hand, brings you to the place:
But at this howre, the house doth keepe it selfe,
There's none within.
Oli. If that an eye may profit by a tongue,
Then should I know you by description,
2235Such garments, and such yeeres: the boy is faire,
Of femall fauour, and bestowes himselfe
Like a ripe sister: the woman low
And browner then her brother: are not you
The owner of the house I did enquire for?
2240Cel. It is no boast, being ask'd, to say we are.
Oli. Orlando doth commend him to you both,
And to that youth hee calls his Rosalind,
He sends this bloudy napkin; are you he?
Ros. I am: what must we vnderstand by this?
2245Oli. Some of my shame, if you will know of me
What man I am, and how, and why, and where
This handkercher was stain'd.
Cel. I pray you tell it.
Oli. When last the yong Orlando parted from you,
2250He left a promise to returne againe
Within an houre, and pacing through the Forrest,
Chewing the food of sweet and bitter fancie,
Loe vvhat befell: he threw his eye aside,
And marke vvhat obiect did present it selfe
2255Vnder an old Oake, whose bows were moss'd with age
And high top, bald with drie antiquitie:
A wretched ragged man, ore-growne with haire
Lay sleeping on his back; about his necke
A greene and guilded snake had wreath'd it selfe,
2260Who with her head, nimble in threats approach'd
The opening of his mouth: but sodainly
Seeing Orlando, it vnlink'd it selfe,
And with indented glides, did slip away
Into a bush, vnder which bushes shade
2265A Lyonnesse, with vdders all drawne drie,
Lay cowching head on ground, with catlike watch
When that the sleeping man should stirre; for 'tis
The royall disposition of that beast
To prey on nothing, that doth seeme as dead:
2270This seene, Orlando did approach the man,
And found it was his brother, his elder brother.
Cel. O I haue heard him speake of that same brother,
And he did render him the most vnnaturall
That liu'd amongst men.
2275Oli. And well he might so doe,
For well I know he was vnnaturall.
Ros. But to Orlando: did he leaue him there
Food to the suck'd and hungry Lyonnesse?
Oli. Twice did he turne his backe, and purpos'd so:
2280But kindnesse, nobler euer then reuenge,
And Nature stronger then his iust occasion,
Made him giue battell to the Lyonnesse:
Who quickly fell before him, in which hurtling
From miserable slumber I awaked.
2285Cel. Are you his brother?
Ros. Was't you he rescu'd?
Cel. Was't you that did so oft contriue to kill him?
Oli. 'Twas I: but 'tis not I: I doe not shame
To tell you what I was, since my conuersion
2290So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.
Ros. But for the bloody napkin?
Oli. By and by:
When from the first to last betwixt vs two,
Teares our recountments had most kindely bath'd,
2295As how I came into that Desert place.
I briefe, he led me to the gentle Duke,
Who gaue me fresh aray, and entertainment,
Committing me vnto my brothers loue,
Who led me instantly vnto his Caue,
2300There stript himselfe, and heere vpon his arme
The Lyonnesse had torne some flesh away,
Which all this while had bled; and now he fainted,
And cride in fainting vpon Rosalinde.
Briefe, I recouer'd him, bound vp his wound,
2305And 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 giue this napkin
Died in this bloud, vnto the Shepheard youth,
2310That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.
Cel. Why how now Ganimed, sweet Ganimed.
Oli. Many will swoon when they do look on bloud.
Cel. There is more in it; Cosen Ganimed.
Oli. Looke, he recouers.
2315Ros. I would I were at home.
Cel. Wee'll lead you thither:
I pray you will you take him by the arme.
Oli. Be of good cheere youth: you a man?
You lacke a mans heart.
2320Ros. I doe so, I confesse it:
Ah, sirra, a body would thinke this was well counterfei-
ted, I pray you tell your brother how well I counterfei-
ted: heigh-ho.
Oli. This was not counterfeit, there is too great te-
2325stimony in your complexion, that it was a passion of ear-
Ros. Counterfeit, I assure you.
Oli. Well then, take a good heart, and counterfeit to
be a man.
2330Ros. So I doe: but yfaith, I should haue beene a wo-
man by right.
Cel. Come, you looke paler and paler: pray you draw
homewards: good sir, goe with vs.
Oli. That will I: for I must beare answere backe
2335How you excuse my brother, Rosalind.
Ros. I shall deuise something: but I pray you com-
mend my counterfeiting to him: will you goe?