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  • Title: As You Like It (Modern)
  • Editor: David Bevington
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-369-4

    Copyright David Bevington. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: David Bevington
    Peer Reviewed

    As You Like It (Modern)

    [3.2]
    1200Enter Orlando [with a paper].
    Orlando
    Hang there, my verse, in witness of my love;
    And thou, thrice-crownèd Queen of Night, survey
    With thy chaste eye, from thy pale sphere above,
    Thy huntress' name that my full life doth sway.
    1205O Rosalind! These trees shall be my books,
    And in their barks my thoughts I'll character,
    That every eye which in this forest looks
    Shall see thy virtue witnessed everywhere.
    Run, run, Orlando, carve on every tree
    1210The fair, the chaste, and unexpressive she.
    Exit
    Enter Corin and Clown [Touchstone].
    Corin
    And how like you this shepherd's life, Master Touchstone?
    Touchstone
    Truly, shepherd, in respect of itself, it is a good life; but in respect that it is a shepherd's life, it is 1215naught. In respect that it is solitary, I like it very well; but in respect that it is private, it is a very vile life. Now in respect it is in the fields, it pleaseth me well; but in respect it is not in the court, it is tedious. As it is a spare life, look you, it fits my humor well; but as there is no 1220more plenty in it, it goes much against my stomach. Hast any philosophy in thee, shepherd?
    Corin
    No more but that I know the more one sickens the worse at ease he is; and that he that wants money, means, and content is without three good friends; that 1225the property of rain is to wet, and fire to burn; that good pasture makes fat sheep, and that a great cause of the night is lack of the sun; that he that hath learned no wit by nature nor art may complain of good breeding, or comes of a very dull kindred.
    1230Touchstone
    Such a one is a natural philosopher. Wast ever in court, shepherd?
    Corin
    No, truly.
    Touchstone
    Then thou art damned.
    Corin
    Nay, I hope.
    1235Touchstone
    Truly, thou art damned, like an ill-roasted egg, all on one side.
    Corin
    For not being at court? Your reason.
    Touchstone
    Why, if thou never wast at court, thou never saw'st good manners; if thou never saw'st good manners, 1240then thy manners must be wicked; and wickedness is sin, and sin is damnation. Thou art in a parlous state, shepherd.
    Corin
    Not a whit, Touchstone. Those that are good manners at the court are as ridiculous in the country as 1245the behavior of the country is most mockable at the court. You told me you salute not at the court but you kiss your hands; that courtesy would be uncleanly if courtiers were shepherds.
    Touchstone
    Instance, briefly; come, instance.
    1250Corin
    Why, we are still handling our ewes, and their fells, you know, are greasy.
    Touchstone
    Why, do not your courtier's hands sweat? And is not the grease of a mutton as wholesome as the sweat of a man? Shallow, shallow. A better instance, I say. 1255Come.
    Corin
    Besides, our hands are hard.
    Touchstone
    Your lips will feel them the sooner. Shallow again. A more sounder instance. Come.
    Corin
    And they are often tarred over with the surgery 1260of our sheep; and would you have us kiss tar? The courtier's hands are perfumed with civet.
    Touchstone
    Most shallow man! Thou worm's meat in respect of a good piece of flesh indeed! Learn of the wise, and perpend: civet is of a baser birth than tar, the 1265very uncleanly flux of a cat. Mend the instance, shepherd.
    Corin
    You have too courtly a wit for me. I'll rest.
    Touchstone
    Wilt thou rest damned? God help thee, shallow man! God make incision in thee! Thou art raw.
    1270Corin
    Sir, I am a true laborer: I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness, glad of other men's good, content with my harm, and the greatest of my pride is to see my ewes graze and my lambs suck.
    1275Touchstone
    That is another simple sin in you, to bring the ewes and the rams together and to offer to get your living by the copulation of cattle; to be bawd to a bellwether, and to betray a she-lamb of a twelvemonth to crooked-pated old cuckoldly ram, out of all 1280reasonable match. If thou beest not damned for this, the devil himself will have no shepherds; I cannot see else how thou shouldst scape.
    Corin
    Here comes young Master Ganymede, my new mistress's brother.
    1285Enter Rosalind [reading a paper].
    Rosalind
    "From the east to western Ind,
    No jewel is like Rosalind.
    Her worth, being mounted on the wind,
    Through all the world bears Rosalind.
    1290All the pictures fairest lined
    Are but black to Rosalind.
    Let no face be kept in mind
    But the fair of Rosalind."
    Touchstone
    I'll rhyme you so eight years together, dinners, 1295and suppers, and sleeping hours, excepted. It is the right butter-women's rank to market.
    Rosalind
    Out, fool!
    Touchstone
    For a taste:
    If a hart do lack a hind,
    1300Let him seek out Rosalind.
    If the cat will after kind,
    So be sure will Rosalind.
    Wintered garments must be lined,
    So must slender Rosalind.
    1305They that reap must sheaf and bind,
    Then to cart with Rosalind.
    Sweetest nut hath sourest rind,
    Such a nut is Rosalind.
    He that sweetest rose will find
    1310Must find love's prick and Rosalind.
    This is the very false gallop of verses. Why do you infect yourself with them?
    Rosalind
    Peace, you dull fool! I found them on a tree.
    Touchstone
    Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.
    1315Rosalind
    I'll graft it with you, and then I shall graft it with a medlar. Then it will be the earliest fruit i'th' country; for you'll be rotten ere you be half ripe, and that's the right virtue of the medlar.
    Touchstone
    You have said; but whether wisely or no, let the 1320forest judge.
    Enter Celia, with a writing.
    Rosalind
    Peace! Here comes my sister, reading. Stand aside.
    Celia
    "Why should this a desert be?
    For it is unpeopled? No.
    1325Tongues I'll hang on every tree
    That shall civil sayings show:
    Some, how brief the life of man
    Runs his erring pilgrimage,
    That the stretching of a span
    1330 Buckles in his sum of age;
    Some, of violated vows
    'Twixt the souls of friend and friend;
    But upon the fairest boughs,
    Or at every sentence end,
    1335Will I "Rosalinda" write,
    Teaching all that read to know
    The quintessence of every sprite
    Heaven would in little show.
    Therefore heaven Nature charged
    1340 That one body should be filled
    With all graces wide-enlarged.
    Nature presently distilled
    Helen's cheek, but not her heart,
    Cleopatra's majesty,
    1345Atalanta's better part,
    Sad Lucretia's modesty.
    Thus Rosalind of many parts
    By heavenly synod was devised
    Of many faces, eyes, and hearts
    1350 To have the touches dearest prized.
    Heaven would that she these gifts should have,
    And I to live and die her slave."
    Rosalind
    O most gentle Jupiter, what tedious homily of love have you wearied your parishioners withal, and 1355never cried "Have patience, good people!"
    Celia
    How now? Back, friends. Shepherd, go off a little.[To Touchstone]Go with him, sirrah.
    Touchstone
    [To Corin]
    Come, shepherd, let us make an honorable retreat, though not with bag and baggage, yet with 1360scrip and scrippage.
    Exit [with Corin].
    Celia
    Didst thou hear these verses?
    Rosalind
    Oh, yes, I heard them all, and more too, for some of them had in them more feet than the verses would bear.
    1365Celia
    That's no matter; the feet might bear the verses.
    Rosalind
    Ay, but the feet were lame, and could not bear themselves without the verse, and therefore stood lamely in the verse.
    Celia
    But didst thou hear without wondering how 1370thy name should be hanged and carved upon these trees?
    Rosalind
    I was seven of the nine days out of the wonder before you came; for look here what I found on a palm tree. I was never so berhymed since Pythagoras' time that I was an Irish rat, which I can hardly remember.
    [Rosalind shows Celia the verse she found.]
    1375Celia
    Trow you who hath done this?
    Rosalind
    Is it a man?
    Celia
    And a chain that you once wore about his neck. Change you color?
    Rosalind
    I prithee, who?
    1380Celia
    Oh, Lord, Lord, it is a hard matter for friends to meet; but mountains may be removed with earthquakes, and so encounter.
    Rosalind
    Nay, but who is it?
    Celia
    Is it possible?
    1385Rosalind
    Nay, I prithee now, with most petitionary vehemence, tell me who it is.
    Celia
    Oh, wonderful, wonderful, most wonderful wonderful, and yet again wonderful, and after that, out of all hooping!
    1390Rosalind
    Good my complexion! Dost thou think, though I am caparisoned like a man, I have a doublet and hose in my disposition? One inch of delay more is a South Sea of discovery. I prithee tell me who is it quickly, and speak apace. I would thou couldst stammer, that thou 1395mightst pour this concealed man out of thy mouth as wine comes out of narrow-mouthed bottle -- either too much at once or none at all. I prithee take the cork out of thy mouth, that I may drink thy tidings.
    Celia
    So you may put a man in your belly.
    1400Rosalind
    Is he of God's making? What manner of man? Is his head worth a hat, or his chin worth a beard?
    Celia
    Nay, he hath but a little beard.
    Rosalind
    Why, God will send more, if the man will be thankful. Let me stay the growth of his beard, if thou 1405delay me not the knowledge of his chin.
    Celia
    It is young Orlando, that tripped up the wrestler's heels and your heart both in an instant.
    Rosalind
    Nay, but the devil take mocking! Speak sad brow and true maid.
    1410Celia
    I' faith, coz, 'tis he.
    Rosalind
    Orlando?
    Celia
    Orlando.
    Rosalind
    Alas the day, what shall I do with my doublet and hose? What did he when thou saw'st him? What said 1415he? How looked he? Wherein went he? What makes he here? Did he ask for me? Where remains he? How parted he with thee? And when shalt thou see him again? Answer me in one word.
    Celia
    You must borrow me Gargantua's mouth first; 1420'tis a word too great for any mouth of this age's size. To say ay and no to these particulars is more than to answer in a catechism.
    Rosalind
    But doth he know that I am in this forest, and in man's apparel? Looks he as freshly as he did the day 1425he wrestled?
    Celia
    It is as easy to count atomies as to resolve the propositions of a lover. But take a taste of my finding him, and relish it with good observance. I found him under a tree, like a dropped acorn.
    1430Rosalind
    It may well be called Jove's tree, when it drops forth such fruit.
    Celia
    Give me audience, good madam.
    Rosalind
    Proceed.
    Celia
    There lay he, stretched along like a wounded 1435knight.
    Rosalind
    Though it be pity to see such a sight, it well becomes the ground.
    Celia
    Cry "Holla" to thy tongue, I prithee; it curvets unseasonably. He was furnished like a hunter.
    1440Rosalind
    Oh, ominous! He comes to kill my heart.
    Celia
    I would sing my song without a burden. Thou bring'st me out of tune.
    Rosalind
    Do you not know I am a woman? When I think, I must speak. Sweet, say on.
    1445Enter Orlando and Jaques.
    Celia
    You bring me out. -- Soft, comes he not here?
    Rosalind
    'Tis he. Slink by, and note him.
    [Rosalind and Celia stand aside and listen.]
    Jaques
    [To Orlando]
    I thank you for your company, but, good faith, I had as lief have been myself alone.
    1450Orlando
    And so had I; but yet, for fashion sake,
    I thank you too for your society.
    Jaques
    God b'wi' you. Let's meet as little as we can.
    Orlando
    I do desire we may be better strangers.
    Jaques
    I pray you, mar no more trees with writing 1455love songs in their barks.
    Orlando
    I pray you, mar no more of my verses with reading them ill-favoredly.
    Jaques
    Rosalind is your love's name?
    Orlando
    Yes, just.
    Jaques
    I do not like her name.
    1460Orlando
    There was no thought of pleasing you when she was christened.
    Jaques
    What stature is she of?
    Orlando
    Just as high as my heart.
    Jaques
    You are full of pretty answers. Have you not been acquainted 1465with goldsmiths' wives, and conned them out of rings?
    Orlando
    Not so; but I answer you right painted cloth, from whence you have studied your questions.
    Jaques
    You have a nimble wit; I think 'twas made of Atalanta's heels. Will you sit down with me? And 1470we two will rail against our mistress the world, and all our misery.
    Orlando
    I will chide no breather in the world but myself, against whom I know most faults.
    Jaques
    The worst fault you have is to be in love.
    1475Orlando
    'Tis a fault I will not change for your best virtue. I am weary of you.
    Jaques
    By my troth, I was seeking for a fool when I found you.
    Orlando
    He is drowned in the brook. Look but in, and 1480you shall see him.
    Jaques
    There I shall see mine own figure.
    Orlando
    Which I take to be either a fool or a cipher.
    Jaques
    I'll tarry no longer with you. Farewell, good Signior Love.
    1485Orlando
    I am glad of your departure. Adieu, good Monsieur Melancholy.
    [Exit Jaques.]
    Rosalind
    [Aside to Celia]
    I will speak to him like a saucy lackey, and under that habit play the knave with him. -- Do you hear, forester?
    Orlando
    Very well. What would you?
    1490Rosalind
    I pray you, what is't o'clock?
    Orlando
    You should ask me what time o' day. There's no clock in the forest.
    Rosalind
    Then there is no true lover in the forest, else sighing every minute and groaning every hour would 1495detect the lazy foot of Time as well as a clock.
    Orlando
    And why not the swift foot of Time? Had not that been as proper?
    Rosalind
    By no means, sir. Time travels in divers paces with divers persons. I'll tell you who Time ambles withal, 1500who Time trots withal, who Time gallops withal, and who he stands still withal.
    Orlando
    I prithee, who doth he trot withal?
    Rosalind
    Marry, he trots hard with a young maid between the contract of her marriage and the day it is solemnized. 1505If the interim be but a se'nnight, Time's pace is so hard that it seems the length of seven year.
    Orlando
    Who ambles Time withal?
    Rosalind
    With a priest that lacks Latin and a rich man that hath not the gout, for the one sleeps easily because 1510he 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.
    1515Orlando
    Who doth he gallop withal?
    Rosalind
    With a thief to the gallows, for though he go as softly as foot can fall, he thinks himself too soon there.
    Orlando
    Who stays it still withal?
    1520Rosalind
    With lawyers in the vacation; for they sleep between term and term, and then they perceive not how Time moves.
    Orlando
    Where dwell you, pretty youth?
    Rosalind
    With this shepherdess, my sister, here in the 1525skirts of the forest, like fringe upon a petticoat.
    Orlando
    Are you native of this place?
    Rosalind
    As the coney that you see dwell where she is kindled.
    Orlando
    Your accent is something finer than you could 1530purchase in so removed a dwelling.
    Rosalind
    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 inland man, one that knew courtship too well, for there he fell in love. I have heard him read many lectures 1535against it; and I thank God I am not a woman, to be touched with so many giddy offences as he hath generally taxed their whole sex withal.
    Orlando
    Can you remember any of the principal evils that he laid to the charge of women?
    1540Rosalind
    There were none principal; they were all like one another as halfpence are, every one fault seeming monstrous till his fellow-fault came to match it.
    Orlando
    I prithee, recount some of them.
    Rosalind
    No; I will not cast away my physic but on those 1545that 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 1550some good counsel, for he seems to have the quotidian of love upon him.
    Orlando
    I am he that is so love-shaked. I pray you, tell me your remedy.
    Rosalind
    There is none of my uncle's marks upon you. 1555He taught me how to know a man in love, in which cage of rushes I am sure you are not prisoner.
    Orlando
    What were his marks?
    Rosalind
    A lean cheek, which you have not; a blue eye and sunken, which you have not; an unquestionable spirit, 1560which you have not; a beard neglected, which you have not -- but I pardon you for that, for simply your having in beard is a younger brother's revenue. Then your hose should be ungartered, your bonnet unbanded, your sleeve unbuttoned, your shoe untied, and everything 1565about 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 of any other.
    Orlando
    Fair youth, I would I could make thee believe I love.
    1570Rosalind
    Me believe it? You may as soon make her that you love believe 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 1575trees wherein Rosalind is so admired?
    Orlando
    I swear to thee, youth, by the white hand of Rosalind, I am that he, that unfortunate he.
    Rosalind
    But are you so much in love as your rhymes speak?
    Orlando
    Neither rhyme nor reason can express how much.
    1580Rosalind
    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.
    1585Orlando
    Did you ever cure any so?
    Rosalind
    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 1590liking, proud, fantastical, apish, shallow, inconstant, full of tears, full of smiles; for every passion something and for no passion truly anything, as boys and women are for the most part cattle of this color; would now like him, now loathe him; then entertain him, then forswear him; 1595now 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 1600as clean as a sound sheep's heart, that there shall not be one spot of love in't.
    Orlando
    I would not be cured, youth.
    Rosalind
    I would cure you, if you would but call me Rosalind, and come every day to my cote and woo me.
    1605Orlando
    Now, by the faith of my love, I will. Tell me where it is.
    Rosalind
    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?
    1610Orlando
    With all my heart, good youth.
    Rosalind
    Nay, you must call me Rosalind. -- Come, sister, will you go?
    Exeunt.