SCENE IIThe forest.
Enter ORLANDO, with a paper.
Hang there, my verse, in witness of my love:
And thou, thrice-crowned queen of night, survey
With thy chaste eye, from thy pale sphere above,
Thy huntress' name that my full life doth sway.
O 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 witness'd every where. (9)
Run, run, Orlando; carve on every tree
The fair, the chaste and unexpressive she. [Exit.
Enter CORIN and TOUCHSTONE.
And how like you this shepherd's life,
Master Touchstone ?
Truly, shepherd, in respect of itself,
it is a good life; but in respect that it is
a shepherd's life, it is naught. 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 more
plenty in it, it goes much against my stomach.
Hast any philosophy in thee, shepherd?
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 the 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.
Such a one is a natural philosopher.
Wast ever in court, shepherd?
Then thou art damned.
Nay, I hope.
Truly, thou art damned, like an ill- (39)
roasted egg, all on one side.
For not being at court? Your reason.
Why, if thou never wast at court,
thou never sawest good manners; if thou never
sawest good manners, then thy manners must
be wicked; and wickedness is sin, and sin is
damnation. Thou art in a parlous state, shepherd.
Not a whit, Touchstone: those that
are good manners at the court are as ridiculous
in the country as the 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.
Instance, briefly; come, instance.
Why, we are still handling our ewes,
and their fells you know, are greasy.
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; come. (60)
Besides, our hands are hard.
Your lips will feel them the sooner.
Shallow again. A more sounder instance,
And they are often tarred over with
the surgery of our sheep: and would you have
us kiss tar? The courtier's hands are perfumed
Most shallow man! thou wormsmeat,
in respect of a good piece of flesh indeed!
Learn of the wise, and perpend: civet
is of a baser birth than tar, the very uncleanly
flux of a cat. Mend the instance, shepherd.
You have too courtly a wit for me:
Wilt thou rest damned? God help
thee, shallow man! God make incision in
thee! thou art raw.
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
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 bell-wether, and to
betray a she-lamb of a twelvemonth to a
crooked-pated, old, cuckoldly ram, out of all
reasonable match. If thou beest not damned
for this, the devil himself will have no shepherds;
I cannot see else how thou shouldst 'scape.
Here comes young Master Ganymede,
my new mistress's brother. Enter ROSALIND, with a paper, reading.
From the east to western Ind,
No jewel is like Rosalind.
Her worth, being mounted on the wind,
Through all the world bears Rosalind.
All the pictures fairest lined
Are but black to Rosalind.
Let no fair be kept in mind (100)
But the fair of Rosalind.
I'll rhyme you so eight years together,
dinners and suppers and sleeping-hours
excepted: it is the right butter-women's rank
For a taste:
If a hart do lack a hind,
Let him seek out Rosalind.
If the cat will after kind, (110)
So be sure will Rosalind.
Winter garments must be lined,
So must slender Rosalind.
They 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
Must find love's prick and Rosalind.
This is the very false gallop of verses: why (120)
do you infect yourself with them?
Peace, you dull fool! I found them
on a tree.
Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.
I'll graft it with you, and then I shall
graff it with a medlar: then it will be the
earliest fruit i' the country; for you'll be rotten
ere you be half ripe, and that's the right
virtue of the medlar.
You have said; but whether wisely (130)
or no, let the forest judge. Enter CELIA, with a writing.
Here comes my sister, reading: stand aside.
Why should this a desert be?
For it is unpeopled? No:
Tongues 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 (140)
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,
Will I Rosalinda write,
Teaching all that read to know
The quintessence of every sprite
Heaven would in little show.
Therefore Heaven Nature charged (150)
That one body should be fill'd
With all graces wide-enlarged:
Nature presently distill'd
Helen's cheek, but not her heart,
Atalanta's better part,
Sad Lucretia's modesty.
Thus Rosalind of many parts
By heavenly synod was devised,
Of many faces, eyes and hearts,
To have the touches dearest prized.
Heaven would that she these gifts should have,
And I to live and die her slave.
O most gentle pulpiter! what tedious
homily of love have you wearied your parishioners
withal, and never cried 'Have patience,
How now! back, friends! Shepherd,
go off a little. Go with him, sirrah.
Come, shepherd, let us make an
honorable retreat; though not with bag and (171)
baggage, yet with scrip and scrippage. [Exeunt Corin and Touchstone.
Didst thou hear these verses?
O, yes, I heard them all, and more
too; for some of them had in them more feet
than the verses would bear.
That's no matter: the feet might bear
Ay, but the feet were lame and could
not bear themselves without the verse and (180)
therefore stood lamely in the verse.
But didst thou hear without wondering
how thy name should be hanged and
carved upon these trees?
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
be-rhymed since Pythagoras' time, that I was
an Irish rat, which I can hardly remember.
Trow you who hath done this? (190)
Is it a man?
And a chain, that you once wore,
about his neck. Change you color?
I prithee, who?
O Lord, Lord! it is a hard matter for
friends to meet; but mountains may be removed
with earthquakes and so encounter.
Nay, but who is it?
Is it possible?
Nay, I pritheee now with most petitionary (200)
vehemence, tell me who it is.
O wonderful, wonderful, and most
wonderful wonderful! and yet again wonderful,
and after that, out of all hooping!
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 mightst pour this concealed man
out of thy mouth, as wine comes out of a 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.
So you may put a man in your belly.
Is he of God's making? What manner
of man? Is his head worth a hat, or his
chin worth a beard? (219)
Nay, he hath but a little beard.
Why, God will send more, if the man
will be thankful: let me stay the growth of
his beard, if thou delay me not the knowledge
of his chin.
It is young Orlando, that tripped up
the wrestler's heels and your heart both in
Nay, but the devil take mocking:
speak, sad brow and true maid.
I' faith, coz, 'tis he.
Alas the day! what shall I do with
my doublet and hose? What did he when
thou sawest him? What said he? 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.
You must borrow me Gargantua's
mouth first: 'tis a word too great for any
mouth of this age's size. To say ay and no to (241)
these particulars is more than to answer in a catechism.
But doth he know that I am in this
forest and in man's apparel? Looks he as
freshly as he did the day he wrestled?
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
It may well be called Jove's tree, (250)
when it drops forth such fruit.
Give me audience, good madam.
There lay he, stretched along, like a
Though it be pity to see such a sight,
it well becomes the ground.
Cry 'holla' to thy tongue, I prithee;
it curvets unseasonably. He was furnished like (259)
O, ominous! he comes to kill my heart.
I would sing my song without a burden:
thou bringest me out of tune.
Do you not know I am a woman?
when I think, I must speak. Sweet, say on.
You bring me out. Soft! comes he not
here? Enter ORLANDO and JAQUES.
'Tis he: slink by, and note him.
I thank you for your company; but,
good faith, I had as lief have been myself (270)
And so had I; but yet, for fashion
sake, I thank you too for your society.
God be wi' you: let's meet as little as
I do desire we may be better strangers.
I pray you, mar no more trees with
writing love-songs in their barks.
I pray you, mar no moe of my verses
with reading them ill-favoredly. (280)
Rosalind is your love's name?
I do not like her name.
There was no thought of pleasing you
when she was christened.
What stature is she of?
Just as high as my heart.
You are full of pretty answers. Have
you not been acquainted with goldsmiths' (289)
wives, and conned them out of rings?
Not so; but I answer you right
painted cloth, from whence you have studied
You have a nimble wit: I think 'twas
made of Atalanta's heels. Will you sit down
with me? and we two will rail against our
mistress the world and all our misery.
I will chide no breather in the world
but myself, against whom I know most faults.
The worst fault you have is to be in (300)
'Tis a fault I will not change for your
best virtue. I am weary of you.
By my troth, I was seeking for a fool
when I found you.
He is drowned in the brook: look but
in, and you shall see him.
There I shall see mine own figure.
Which I take to be either a fool or a cipher.
I'll tarry no longer with you: farewell, (310)
good Signior Love.
I am glad of your departure: adieu,
good Monsieur Melancholy. [Exit Jaques. Ros.
[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?
Very well: what would you?
I pray you, what is't o'clock?
You should ask me what time o' day: (319)
there's no clock in the forest.
Then there is 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.
And why not the swift foot of Time?
had not that been as proper?
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.
I prithee, who doth he trot withal?
Marry, he trots hard with a young
maid between the contract of her marriage and
the day it is solemnized: if the interim be but
a se'nnight, Time's pace is so hard that it
seems the length of seven year.
Who ambles Time withal?
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.
Who doth he gallop withal?
With a thief to the gallows, for though
he go as softly as foot can fall, he thinks himself
too soon there.
Who stays it still withal?
With lawyers in the vacation, for
they sleep between term and term and then (351)
they perceive not how Time moves.
Where dwell you, pretty youth?
With this shepherdess, my sister;
here in the skirts of the forest, like fringe
upon a petticoat.
Are you native of this place?
As the cony that you see dwell where (359)
she is kindled.
Your accent is something finer than
you could purchase in so removed a dwelling.
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 against 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.
Can you remember any of the principal
evils that he laid to the charge of women?
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.
I prithee, recount some of them.
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.
I am he that is so love-shaked: I
pray you tell me your remedy.
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 (390)
you are not prisoner.
What were his marks?
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; 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 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 of any other.
Fair youth, I would I could make
thee believe I love.
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 trees, wherein Rosalind is so admired?
I swear to thee, youth, by the white
hand of Rosalind, I am that he, that unfortunate
But are you so much in love as your
Neither rhyme nor reason can express how much.
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.
Did you ever cure any so?
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
loathe 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
I would not be cured, youth.
I would cure you, if you would but
call me Rosalind and come every day to my
cote and woo me.
Now, by the faith of my love, I will: (450)
tell me where it is.
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?
With all my heart, good youth.
Nay, you must call me Rosalind.
Come, sister, will you go? [Exeunt.