SCENE IThe forest.
Enter ROSALIND, CELIA, and JAQUES.
I prithee, pretty youth, let me be better
acquainted with thee.
They say you are a melancholy fellow.
I am so; I do love it better than laughing.
Those that are in extremity of either
are abominable fellows and betray themselves
to every modern censure worse than drunkards.
Why, 'tis good to be sad and say nothing. (9)
Why then, 'tis good to be a post.
I have neither the scholar's melancholy,
which is emulation, nor the musician's,
which is fantastical, nor the courtier's, which
is proud, nor the soldier's, which is ambitious,
nor the lawyer's, which is politic, nor the
lady's, which is nice, nor the lover's, which is
all these: but it is a melancholy of mine own,
compounded of many simples, extracted from
many objects, and indeed the sundry's contemplation
of my travels, in which my often (20)
rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness.
A traveller! By my faith, you have
great reason to be sad: I fear you have sold
your own lands to see other men's; then, to
have seen much and to have nothing, is to
have rich eyes and poor hands.
Yes, I have gained my experience.
And your experience makes you sad!
I had rather have a fool to make me merry
than experience to make me sad; and to
travel for it too! Enter ORLANDO.
Good day and happiness, dear Rosalind!
Nay, then, God be wi' you, an you
talk in blank verse. [Exit.
Farewell, Monsieur Traveller: look
you lisp and wear strange suits, disable all the
benefits of your own country, be out of love
with your nativity and almost chide God for
making you that countenance you are, or I
will scarce think you have swam in a gondola.
Why, how now, Orlando! where have you
been all this while? You a lover! An you
serve me such another trick, never come in (41)
my sight more.
My fair Rosalind, I come within an
hour of my promise.
Break an hour's promise in love! He
that will divide a minute into a thousand parts
and break but a part of the thousandth part of
a minute in the affairs of love, it may be said
of him that Cupid hath clapped him o' the
shoulder, but I'll warrant him heart-whole. (50)
Pardon me, dear Rosalind.
Nay, an you be so tardy, come no
more in my sight: I had as lief be wooed of
Of a snail?
Ay, of a snail; for though he comes
slowly, he carries his house on his head; a
better jointure, I think, than you make a
woman: besides, he brings his destiny with
Why, horns, which such as you are
fain to be beholding to your wives for: but
he comes armed in his fortune and prevents
the slander of his wife.
Virtue is no horn-maker; and my
Rosalind is virtuous.
And I am your Rosalind.
It pleases him to call you so; but he
hath a Rosalind of a better leer than you.
Come, woo me, woo me, for now I
am in a holiday humor and like enough to
consent. What would you say to me now, an (71)
I were your very very Rosalind?
I would kiss before I spoke.
Nay, you were better speak first, and
when you were gravelled for lack of matter,
you might take occasion to kiss. Very good
orators, when they are out, they will spit; and
for lovers lacking--God warn us!--matter,
the cleanliest shift is to kiss.
How if the kiss be denied?
Then she puts you to entreaty, and (81)
there begins new matter.
Who could be out, being before his
Marry, that should you, if I were
your mistress, or I should think my honesty
ranker than my wit.
What, of my suit?
Not out of your apparel, and yet out
of your suit. Am not I your Rosalind?
I take some joy to say you are, because (91)
I would be talking of her.
Well, in her person I say I will not
Then in mine own person I die.
No, faith, die by attorney. The poor
world is almost six thousand years old, and in
all this time there was not any man died in his
own person, videlicet, in a love-cause. Troilus
had his brains dashed out with a Grecian
club; yet he did what he could to die before,
and he is one of the patterns of love. Leander,
he would have lived many a fair year, though
Hero had turned nun, if it had not been for a
hot midsummer night; for, good youth, he
went but forth to wash him in the Hellespont
and being taken with the cramp was drowned:
and the foolish coroners of that age found it
was 'Hero of Sestos.' But these are all lies:
men have died from time to time and worms
have eaten them, but not for love.
I would not have my right Rosalind
of this mind, for, I protest, her frown might
By this hand, it will not kill a fly.
But come, now I will be your Rosalind in a
more coming-on disposition, and ask me what
you will. I will grant it.
Then love me, Rosalind.
Yes, faith, will I, Fridays and Saturdays
And wilt thou have me?
Ay, and twenty such. (120)
What sayest thou?
Are you not good?
I hope so.
Why then, can one desire too much
of a good thing? Come, sister, you shall be
the priest and marry us. Give me your hand,
Orlando. What do you say, sister?
Pray thee, marry us.
I cannot say the words.
You must begin, 'Will you, Orlando--'
Go to. Will you, Orlando, have to (131)
wife this Rosalind?
Ay, but when?
Why now; as fast as she can marry us.
Then you must say 'I take thee,
Rosalind, for wife.'
I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.
I might ask you for your commission;
but I do take thee, Orlando, for my
husband: there's a girl goes before the priest;
and certainly a woman's thought runs before (141)
So do all thoughts; they are winged.
Now tell me how long you would
have her after you have possessed her.
For ever and a day.
Say 'a day,' without the 'ever.' No,
no, Orlando; men are April when they woo,
December when they wed: maids are May
when they are maids, but the sky changes
when they are wives. I will be more jealous
of thee than a Barbary cock-pigeon over his
hen, more clamorous than a parrot against
rain, more new-fangled than an ape, more
giddy in my desires than a monkey: I will
weep for nothing, like Diana in the fountain,
and I will do that when you are disposed to
be merry; I will laugh like a hyen, and that
when thou art inclined to sleep.
But will my Rosalind do so?
By my life, she will do as I do. (160)
O, but she is wise.
Or else she could not have the wit to
do this: the wiser, the waywarder: make the
doors upon a woman's wit and it will out at
the casement; shut that and 'twill out at the
key-hole; stop that, 'twill fly with the smoke
out at the chimney.
A man that had a wife with such a
wit, he might say 'Wit, whither wilt?'
Nay, you might keep that check for
it till you met your wife's wit going to your (171)
And what wit could wit have to excuse
Marry, to say she came to seek you
there. You shall never take her without her
answer, unless you take her without her
tongue. O, that woman that cannot make her
fault her husband's occasion, let her never
nurse her child herself, for she will breed it
like a fool!
For these two hours, Rosalind, I will (181)
Alas! dear love, I cannot lack thee two hours.
I must attend the duke at dinner: by
two o'clock I will be with thee again.
Ay, go your ways, go your ways; I
knew what you would prove: my friends told
me as much, and I thought no less: that flattering
tongue of yours won me: 'tis but one
cast away, and so, come, death! Two o'clock (190)
is your hour?
Ay, sweet Rosalind.
By my troth, and in good earnest,
and so God mend me, and by all pretty oaths
that are not dangerous, if you break one jot
of your promise or come one minute behind
your hour, I will think you the most pathetical
break-promise and the most hollow lover and
the most unworthy of her you call Rosalind
that may be chosen out of the gross band of
the unfaithful: therefore beware my censure (200)
and keep your promise.
With no less religion than if thou wert
indeed my Rosalind: so adieu.
Well, Time is the old justice that examines
all such offenders, and let Time try:
adieu. [Exit Orlando.
You have simply misused our sex in
your love-prate: we must have your doublet
and hose plucked over your head, and show
the world what the bird hath done to her own
O coz, coz, coz, my pretty little coz,
that thou didst know how many fathom deep I
am in love! But it cannot be sounded: my
affection hath an unknown bottom, like the
bay of Portugal.
Or rather, bottomless, that as fast as
you pour affection in, it runs out.
No, that same wicked bastard of Venus
that was begot of thought, conceived of
spleen and born of madness, that blind rascally
boy that abuses every one's eyes because
his own are out, let him be judge how deep
I am in love. I'll tell thee, Aliena, I cannot
be out of the sight of Orlando: I'll go find
a shadow and sigh till he come.
And I'll sleep. [Exeunt.