Page images


Who can come in and say that I mean her,
When such a one as she such is her neighbour?
Or what is he of basest function
That says his bravery is not of my cost,
Thinking that I mean him, but therein suits
His folly to the mettle of my speech?
There then; how then? what then? Let me
see wherein

My tongue hath wrong'd him: if it do him right,
Then he hath wrong'd himself; if he be free,
Why then my taxing like a wild-goose flies,
Unclaim'd of any man. But who comes here?
Enter ORLANDO, with his sword drawn.
Orl. Forbear, and eat no more.
Why, I have cat none yet.
Orl. Nor shalt not, till necessity be serv'd.
Jaq. Of what kind should this cock come of?
Duke S. Art thou thus bolden'd, man, by thy

Or else a rude despiser of good manners,
That in civility thou seem'st so empty?


Orl. You touch'd my vein at first: the thorny point

Of bare distress hath ta'en from me the show
Of smooth civility; yet am I inland bred,
And know some nurture. But forbear, I say:
He dies that touches any of this fruit
Till I and my affairs are answered.

Jaq. An you will not be answered with reason, I must die.


Duke S. What would you have? Your gentleness shall force

More than your force move us to gentleness.

Orl. I almost die for food; and let me have it. Duke S. Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table.

Orl. Speak you so gently? Pardon me, I pray you:

I thought that all things had been savage here,
And therefore put I on the countenance
Of stern commandment. But whate'er you are
That in this desert inaccessible,


Under the shade of melancholy boughs,
Lose and neglect the creeping hours of time;
If ever you have look'd on butter days,
If ever been where bells have knoll'd to church,
If ever sat at any good man's feast,
If ever from your eyelids wip'd a tear,
And know what 'tis to pity, and be pitied,
Let gentleness my strong enforcement be:
In the which hope I blush, and hide my sword.
Duke S. True is it that we have seen better days,
And have with holy bell been knoll'd to church,
And sat at good men's feasts, and wip'd our eyes
Of drops that sacred pity hath engender'd; 123
And therefore sit you down in gentleness
And take upon command what help we have
That to your wanting may be minister'd.

Orl. Then but forbear your food a little while,
Whiles, like a doe, I go to find my fawn
And give it food. There is an old poor man,
Who after me hath many a weary step
Limp'd in pure love: till he be first suffic'd,
Oppress'd with two weak evils, age and hunger,

I will not touch a bit.
Duke S.
Go find him out,
And we will nothing waste till you return.


Orl. I thank ye; and be bless'd for your good



Duke S. Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy:
This wide and universal theatre
Presents more woeful pageants than the scene
Wherein we play in.
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players: 140
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's armis.
And then the whining school-boy, with his

And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth.


And then the

In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose well sav'd, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes 12
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.
Re-enter ORLANDO with ADAM.

Duke S. Welcome. Set down your venerable burden,

And let him feed. Orl.

I thank you most for him. Adam. So had you need:

I scarce can speak to thank you for myself. 170 Duke S. Welcome; fall to: I will not trouble you

As yet to question you about your fortunes. Give us some music; and, good cousin, sing. Ami, Blow, blow, thou winter wind, Thou art not so unkind

As man's ingratitude;

Thy tooth is not so keen,

Because thou art not seen,

'eigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly: 180
Although thy breath be rude.
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly.
Then heigh-ho, the holly!

This life is most jolly.
Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
That dost not bite so nigh

As benefits forgot :
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remember'd not.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly: 190
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly.
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

Duke S. If that you were the good Sir Row

land's son,

As you have whisper'd faithfully you were,

[blocks in formation]

Enter CORIN and TOUCHSTONE. Cor. And how like you this shepherd's life, Master Touchstone?

Touch. 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 humour

[blocks in formation]

Cor. No, truly.

Touch. Then thou art damned.
Cor. Nay, I hope.

Touch. Truly, thou art damned like an illroasted egg, all on one side.

Cor. For not being at court? Your reason. 40 Touch. 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.

Cor. Not a whit, Touchstone: those that are good manners at the court are as ridiculous in the country as the behaviour of the country is You told me you most mockable at the court. salute not at the court, but you kiss your hands: that courtesy would be uncleanly if courtiers were shepherds.


Touch. Instance, briefly; come, instance. Cor. Why, we are still handling our ewes, and their fells, you know, are greasy.

Touch. 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. Cor. Besides, our hands are hard. Touch. Your lips will feel them the sooner: shallow again. A more sounder instance; come.


[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Here comes my sister, reading: stand aside.

Enter CELIA, reading a paper.

Cel. 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
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 charg'd
That one boly should be fill'd
With all graces wide enlarg'd:
Nature presently distill'd
Helen's cheek, but not her heart,
Cleopatra's majesty,
Atalanta's better part,

Sad Lucretia's modesty.


[blocks in formation]

Ros. O most gentle pulpiter! what tedious homily of love have you wearied your parishioners withal, and never cried, 'Have patience, good people!'

Cel. How now! back, friends! Shepherd, go off a little go with him, sirrah.

able retreat; though not with bag and baggage, Touch. Come, shepherd, let us make an honouryet with scrip and scrippage.



Cel. Didst thou hear these verses? Ros. O yes, I heard them all, and more too; for some of them had in them more feet than the verses would bear.

Cel. That's no matter: the feet might bear the verses.

Ros. Ay, but the feet were lame, and could not bear themselves without the verse, and therefore stood lamely in the verse.

Cel. But didst thou hear without wondering, how thy name should be hanged and carved upon these trees?


[blocks in formation]

Ros. Nay, I prithee now with most petitionary vehemence, tell me who it is.


Cel. O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful! and yet again wonderful! and after that, out of all whooping!

Ros. 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 140 apace. I would thou could'st stammer, that thou might'st pour this concealed man out of thy mouth, as wine comes out of a narrowmouthed 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.



Cel. So you may put a man in your belly. Ros. Is he of God's making? What manner of man? Is his head worth a hat, or his chin worth a beard?

Cel. Nay, he hath but a little beard.

Ros. 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.

Cel. It is young Orlando, that tripped up the

[blocks in formation]

Ros. 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.

Cel. 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 these particulars is more than to answer in a catechism.


[blocks in formation]

Ros. O ominous! he comes to kill my heart. Cd. I would sing my song without a burthen: thou bringest me out of tune.

Ros. Do you not know I am a woman? when I think, I must speak. Sweet, say on.

Cel. You bring me out. Soft! comes he not here? Ros. "Tis he slink by, and note him.


Juq. I thank you for your company; but, good faith, I had as lief have been myself alone.

Orl. And so had I; but yet, for fashion sake, I thank you too for your society.


Jaq. God be wi' you: let's meet as little as

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Jaq. 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.

Orl. I will chide no breather in the world but myself, against whom I know most faults. Jaq. The worst fault you have is to be in love. Orl. 'Tis a fault I will not change for your best virtue. I am weary of you.


Jaq. By my troth, I was seeking for a fool when I found you.

Orl. He is drowned in the brook: look but in, and you shall see him.

Jaq. There I shall see mine own figure. Orl. Which I take to be either a fool or a cipher. Jaq. I'll tarry no longer with you. Farewell, good Signior Love.

Adieu, Exit JAQUES.

Orl. I am glad of your departure. good Monsieur Melancholy.

Ros. I will speak to him like a saucy lackey, and under that habit play the knave with him. Do you hear, forester?


Orl. Very well: what would you? Ros. I pray you, what is 't o'clock ? Orl. You should ask me what time o'day; there's no clock in the forest.

Ros. 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.


Orl. And why not the swift foot of Time? had not that been as proper?

Ros. 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.

Orl. I prithee, who doth he trot withal?


Ros. 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.

Orl. Who ambles Time withal?

Ros. 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.


Orl. Who doth he gallop withal? Ros. With a thief to the gallows; for though he go as softly as foot can fall, he thinks himself

too soon there.

Orl. Who stays it still withal?

Ros. With lawyers in the vacation; for they sleep between term and term, and then they perceive not how Time moves.


Orl. Where dwell you, pretty youth? Ros. With this shepherdess, my sister; here in the skirts of the forest, like fringe upon a petticoat.

Orl. Are you native of this place?

Ros. As the cony that you see dwell where she is kindled.

Orl. Your accent is something finer than you could purchase in so removed a dwelling.


Ros. 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.

Orl. Can you remember any of the principal evils that he laid to the charge of women?

Ros. 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.


[blocks in formation]

Ros. 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-devise in your accoutrements; as loving yourself than seeming the lover of any other. 402 Orl. Fair youth, I would I could make thee believe I love.

Ros. 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?


Orl. I swear to thee, youth, by the white hand of Rosalind, I am that he, that unfortunate he. Ros. But are you so much in love as your rimes speak?

Orl. Neither rime nor reason can express how much.

Ros. 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.

Orl. Did you ever cure any so?


Ros. 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 colour; 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 humour of love to a living humour 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 in't. Orl. I would not be cured, youth.


Ros. I would cure you, if you would but call me Rosalind, and come every day to my cote and woo me.

Orl. Now, by the faith of my love, I will: tell me where it is.

Ros. 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?


Orl. With all my heart, good youth.
Ros. Nay, you must call me Rosalind. Come,
sister, will you go?

SCENE III.-Another Part of the Forest.
JAQUES behind.

Touch. Come apace, good Audrey: I will fetch up your goats, Audrey. And how, Audrey? am I the man yet? doth my simple feature content you?

Aud. Your features! Lord warrant us! what features?

Touch. I am here with thee and thy goats, as the most capricious poet, honest Ovid, was among the Goths.

Jaq. Aside. O knowledge ill-inhabited, worse than Jove in a thatched house!


Touch. When a man's verses cannot be understood, nor a man's good wit seconded with the forward child Understanding, it strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little room. Truly, I would the gods had made thee poetical.

Aud. I do not know what 'poetical' is. Is it honest in deed and word? Is it a true thing?

Touch. No, truly, for the truest poetry is the most feigning; and lovers are given to poetry, and what they swear in poetry may be said as lovers they do feign.


[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »