As You Like It (1919) Yale/Text/Act IV

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Scene One

[The Forest of Arden]

Enter Rosalind, and Celia, and Jaques.

Jaq. I prithee, pretty youth, let me be better
acquainted with thee.

Ros. They say you are a melancholy fellow.

Jaq. I am so; I do love it better than laugh-
ing. 5

Ros. Those that are in extremity of either are
abominable fellows, and betray themselves to
every modern censure worse than drunkards. 8

Jaq. Why, 'tis good to be sad and say nothing.

Ros. Why, then, 'tis good to be a post.

Jaq. 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 15
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 in-
deed the sundry contemplation of my travels,
which, by often rumination, wraps me in a most
humorous sadness. 21

Ros. 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. 26

Jaq. Yes, I have gained my experience.

Enter Orlando.

Ros. 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

Orl. Good day, and happiness, dear Rosalind!

Jaq. Nay then, God be wi' you, an you talk
in blank verse. [Exit.]

Ros. 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 38
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 my sight more.

Orl. My fair Rosalind, I come within an hour
of my promise. 45

Ros. 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.

Orl. Pardon me, dear Rosalind. 52

Ros. Nay, an you be so tardy, come no more
in my sight: I had as lief be wooed of a snail.

Orl. Of a snail!

Ros. 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 wo-
man: besides, he brings his destiny with him.

Orl. What's that? 60

Ros. Why, horns; that 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. 64

Orl. Virtue is no horn-maker; and my Rosa-
lind is virtuous.

Ros. And I am your Rosalind?

Cel. It pleases him to call you so; but he
hath a Rosalind of a better leer than you. 69

Ros. Come, woo me, woo me; for now I am
in a holiday humour, and like enough to con-
sent. What would you say to me now, an I
were your very very Rosalind? 73

Orl. I would kiss before I spoke.

Ros. 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. 80

Orl. How if the kiss be denied?

Ros. Then she puts you to entreaty, and there
begins new matter.

Orl. Who could be out, being before his be-
loved mistress? 85

Ros. Marry, that should you, if I were your
mistress; or I should think my honesty ranker
than my wit. 88

Orl. What, of my suit?

Ros. Not out of your apparel, and yet out of
your suit. Am not I your Rosalind? 91

Orl. I take some joy to say you are, because
I would be talking of her.

Ros. Well, in her person I say I will not have

Orl. Then in mine own person I die. 96

Ros. 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 103
have lived many a fair year, though Hero had
turned nun, if it had not been for a hot mid-
summer 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 chroniclers 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. 112

Orl. I would not have my right Rosalind of
this mind; for, I protest, her frown might kill

Ros. 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.

Orl. Then love me, Rosalind. 120

Ros. Yes, faith, will I, Fridays and Saturdays
and all.

Orl. And wilt thou have me?

Ros. Ay, and twenty such. 124

Orl. What sayest thou?

Ros. Are you not good?

Orl. I hope so.

Ros. 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, Or-
lando. What do you say, sister?

Orl. Pray thee, marry us. 132

Cel. I cannot say the words.

Ros. You must begin,—'Will you, Orlando,'—

Cel. Go to.—Will you, Orlando, have to wife
this Rosalind? 136

Orl. I will.

Ros. Ay, but when?

Orl. Why now; as fast as she can marry us.

Ros. Then you must say, 'I take thee, Ro-
salind, for wife.' 141

Orl. I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.

Ros. 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, cer-
tainly, a woman's thought runs before her ac-
tions. 147

Orl. So do all thoughts; they are winged.

Ros. Now tell me how long you would have
her after you have possessed her?

Orl. For ever and a day. 151

Ros. Say 'a day,' without the 'ever.' No, no,
Orlando; men are April when they woo, De-
cember 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 cla-
morous than a parrot against rain; more new- 158
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.

Orl. But will my Rosalind do so? 164

Ros. By my life, she will do as I do.

Orl. O! but she is wise.

Ros. Or else she could not have the wit to do
this: the wiser, the waywarder: make the doors 168
upon a woman's wit, and it will out at the case-
ment; shut that, and 'twill out at the key-hole;
stop that, 'twill fly with the smoke out at the
chimney. 172

Orl. A man that hath a wife with such a wit,
he might say, 'Wit, whither wilt?'

Ros. Nay, you might keep that check for it
till you met your wife's wit going to your neigh-
bour's bed. 177

Orl. And what wit could wit have to excuse

Ros. 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. 185

Orl. For these two hours, Rosalind, I will
leave thee.

Ros. Alas! dear love, I cannot lack thee two
hours. 189

Orl. I must attend the duke at dinner: by
two o'clock I will be with thee again.

Ros. 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 is your hour?

Orl. Ay, sweet Rosalind. 197

Ros. 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, and
keep your promise. 207

Orl. With no less religion than if thou wert
indeed my Rosalind: so, adieu.

Ros. Well, Time is the old justice that ex-
amines all such offenders, and let Time try. 211
Adieu. Exit [Orlando].

Cel. 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 nest. 216

Ros. 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.

Cel. Or rather, bottomless; that as fast as you
pour affection in, it runs out. 222

Ros. 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. 230

Cel. And I'll sleep. Exeunt.

Scene Two

[Another Part of the Forest]

Enter Jaques and Lords, Foresters.

Jaq. Which is he that killed the deer?

[First] Lord. Sir, it was I.

Jaq. Let's present him to the duke, like a
Roman conqueror; and it would do well to set the
deer's horns upon his head for a branch of victory.
Have you no song, forester, for this purpose? 6

[Second] Lord. Yes, sir.

Jaq. Sing it: 'tis no matter how it be in tune
so it make noise enough.

Music. Song.

'What shall he have that kill'd the deer?
His leather skin and horns to wear.
Then sing him home. 12

The rest shall bear this burden.

Take thou no scorn to wear the horn;
It was a crest ere thou wast born:
Thy father's father wore it,
And thy father bore it: 16
The horn, the horn, the lusty horn
Is not a thing to laugh to scorn.'


Scene Three

[The Forest of Arden]

Enter Rosalind and Celia.

Ros. How say you now? Is it not past two
o'clock? And here much Orlando!

Cel. I warrant you, with pure love and a
troubled brain, he hath ta'en his bow and ar- 4
rows, and is gone forth to sleep.

Enter Silvius.

Look, who comes here.

Sil. My errand is to you, fair youth.
My gentle Phebe did bid me give you this: 8

[Giving a letter.]

I know not the contents; but, as I guess
By the stern brow and waspish action
Which she did use as she was writing of it,
It bears an angry tenour: pardon me; 12
I am but as a guiltless messenger.

Ros. Patience herself would startle at this letter,
And play the swaggerer: bear this, bear all:
She says I am not fair; that I lack manners; 16
She calls me proud, and that she could not love me
Were man as rare as phœnix. 'Od's my will!
Her love is not the hare that I do hunt:
Why writes she so to me? Well, shepherd, well, 20
This is a letter of your own device.

Sil. No, I protest, I know not the contents:
Phebe did write it.

Ros.Come, come, you are a fool,
And turn'd into the extremity of love. 24
I saw her hand: she has a leathern hand,
A freestone-colour'd hand; I verily did think
That her old gloves were on, but 'twas her hands:
She has a housewife's hand; but that's no matter: 28
I say she never did invent this letter;
This is a man's invention, and his hand.

Sil. Sure, it is hers.

Ros. Why, 'tis a boisterous and a cruel style, 32
A style for challengers; why, she defies me,
Like Turk to Christian: woman's gentle brain
Could not drop forth such giant-rude invention,
Such Ethiop words, blacker in their effect 36
Than in their countenance. Will you hear the letter?

Sil. So please you, for I never heard it yet;
Yet heard too much of Phebe's cruelty.

Ros. She Phebes me. Mark how the tyrant writes. [Reads.] 40

'Art thou god to shepherd turn'd,
That a maiden's heart hath burn'd?'

Can a woman rail thus?

Sil. Call you this railing? 44

Ros. [reads.]

'Why, thy godhead laid apart,
Warr'st thou with a woman's heart?'

Did you ever hear such railing?

'Whiles the eye of man did woo me, 48
That could do no vengeance to me.'

Meaning me a beast.

'If the scorn of your bright eyne
Have power to raise such love in mine, 52
Alack! in me what strange effect
Would they work in mild aspect.
Whiles you chid me, I did love;
How then might your prayers move! 56
He that brings this love to thee
Little knows this love in me;
And by him seal up thy mind;
Whether that thy youth and kind 60
Will the faithful offer take
Of me and all that I can make;
Or else by him my love deny,
And then I'll study how to die.' 64

Sil. Call you this chiding?

Cel. Alas, poor shepherd!

Ros. Do you pity him? no, he deserves no
pity. Wilt thou love such a woman? What, to 68
make thee an instrument and play false strains
upon thee! not to be endured! Well, go your
way to her, for I see love hath made thee a tame
snake, and say this to her: that if she love me, 72
I charge her to love thee: if she will not, I will
never have her, unless thou entreat for her. If
you be a true lover, hence, and not a word, for
here comes more company. Exit Silvius.

Enter Oliver.

Oli. Good morrow, fair ones. Pray you if you know, 77
Where in the purlieus of this forest stands
A sheepcote fenc'd about with olive-trees.

Cel. West of this place, down in the neighbour bottom: 80
The rank of osiers by the murmuring stream
Left on your right hand brings you to the place.
But at this hour the house doth keep itself;
There's none within. 84

Oli. If that an eye may profit by a tongue,
Then should I know you by description;
Such garments, and such years: 'The boy is fair,
Of female favour, and bestows himself 88
Like a ripe sister: the woman low,
And browner than her brother.' Are not you
The owner of the house I did inquire for?

Cel. It is no boast, being ask'd, to say, we are. 92

Oli. Orlando doth commend him to you both,
And to that youth he calls his Rosalind
He sends this bloody napkin. Are you he?

Ros. I am: what must we understand by this? 96

Oli. 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 young Orlando parted from you 100
He left a promise to return again
Within an hour; and, pacing through the forest,
Chewing the food of sweet and bitter fancy,
Lo, what befell! he threw his eye aside, 104
And mark what object did present itself:
Under an old oak, whose boughs were moss'd with age,
And high top bald with dry antiquity,
A wretched ragged man, o'ergrown with hair, 108
Lay sleeping on his back: about his neck
A green and gilded snake had wreath'd itself,
Who with her head nimble in threats approach'd
The opening of his mouth; but suddenly, 112
Seeing Orlando, it unlink'd itself,
And with indented glides did slip away
Into a bush; under which bush's shade
A lioness, with udders all drawn dry, 116
Lay couching, head on ground, with catlike watch,
When that the sleeping man should stir; for 'tis
The royal disposition of that beast
To prey on nothing that doth seem as dead: 120
This seen, Orlando did approach the man,
And found it was his brother, his elder brother.

Cel. O! I have heard him speak of that same brother;
And he did render him the most unnatural 124
That liv'd 'mongst men.

Oli.And well he might so do,
For well I know he was unnatural.

Ros. But, to Orlando: did he leave him there,
Food to the suck'd and hungry lioness? 128

Oli. Twice did he turn his back and purpos'd so;
But kindness, nobler ever than revenge,
And nature, stronger than his just occasion,
Made him give battle to the lioness, 132
Who quickly fell before him: in which hurtling
From miserable slumber I awak'd.

Cel. Are you his brother?

Ros.Was it you he rescu'd?

Cel. Was 't you that did so oft contrive to kill him? 136

Oli. 'Twas I; but 'tis not I. I do not shame
To tell you what I was, since my conversion
So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.

Ros. But, for the bloody napkin?

Oli.By and by. 140
When from the first to last, betwixt us two,
Tears our recountments had most kindly bath'd,
As how I came into that desert place:—
In brief, he led me to the gentle duke, 144
Who gave me fresh array and entertainment,
Committing me unto my brother's love;
Who led me instantly unto his cave,
There stripp'd himself; and here, upon his arm 148
The lioness had torn some flesh away,
Which all this while had bled; and now he fainted,
And cried, in fainting, upon Rosalind.
Brief, I recover'd him, bound up his wound; 152
And, 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 give this napkin, 156
Dy'd in his blood, unto the shepherd youth
That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.

Cel. [Rosalind swoons.] Why, how now, Ganymede! sweet Ganymede!

Oli. Many will swoon when they do look on blood. 160

Cel. There is more in it. Cousin! Ganymede!

Oli. Look, he recovers.

Ros. I would I were at home.

Cel.We'll lead you thither.
I pray you, will you take him by the arm? 164

Oli. Be of good cheer, youth. You a man!
You lack a man's heart.

Ros. I do so, I confess it. Ah, sirrah! a body
would think this was well counterfeited. I pray
you, tell your brother how well I counterfeited.
Heigh-ho! 170

Oli. This was not counterfeit: there is too
great testimony in your complexion that it was
a passion of earnest. 173

Ros. Counterfeit, I assure you.

Oli. Well then, take a good heart and coun-
terfeit to be a man.

Ros. So I do; but, i' faith, I should have been
a woman by right.

Cel. Come; you look paler and paler: pray
you, draw homewards. Good sir, go with us. 180

Oli. That will I, for I must bear answer back
How you excuse my brother, Rosalind.

Ros. I shall devise something. But, I pray
you, commend my counterfeiting to him. Will
you go? Exeunt.

Footnotes to Act IV

Scene One

8 censure: judgment, opinion; cf. n.
12 emulation: i.e., envy of other scholars superior mental attainments
16 nice: trivial, or dainty
18 simples: ingredients (literally, 'herbs')
21 humorous: whimsical
36 lisp: i.e., talk with the affectation of a foreign accent
disable: disparage
38 nativity: place of birth
40 swam . . . gondola; cf. n.
58 jointure: marriage portion
61 fain: i.e., glad under the circumstances, obliged
62 beholding: beholden
63 prevents: anticipates
69 leer: complexion, countenance
76 gravelled: nonplused
78 out: i.e., out of material
79 God warn us: God keep us
80 cleanliest shift: cleverest device
87 ranker: more excessive
97 attorney: proxy
100 videlicet: namely
Troilus; cf. n.
103 patterns: models
Leander; cf. n.
109 chroniclers; cf. n.
113 right: true
135 Go to: here an ejaculation of assent
145 there's . . . goes; cf. n.
158 against: in expectation of
new-fangled: fond of what is new
161 Diana . . . fountain; cf. n.
163 hyen: hyena
168 make: bar
174 'Wit . . . wilt'; cf. n.
175 check: rebuke
184 husband's occasion; cf. n.
195 cast away: forsaken
199 mend: amend
202 pathetical: 'miserable' (?)
205 gross: whole
208 religion: fidelity
211 Time try: i.e., prove your fidelity
213 simply: completely
misused: reviled
216 bird . . . nest; cf. n.
220 bay of Portugal; cf. n.
224 thought: melancholy
spleen: impulse

Scene Two

S. d. Lords, Foresters: (Lords dressed as foresters)
5 branch; cf. n.
S. d. The . . . burden; cf. n.

Scene Three

18 phœnix; cf. n.
25 hand: handwriting
26 freestone-colour'd: brick-colored
34 Turk to Christian; cf. n.
35 giant-rude: excessively rude
36 Ethiop: dark
45 laid apart: put away
49 vengeance: mischief, harm
51 eyne: archaic plural of 'eye'
54 aspect; cf. n.
59 seal . . . mind: express thy mind
60 thy youth and kind: i.e., thy youthful nature
69 instrument . . . strains: i.e., use thee for her own purposes and at the same time deceive thee
72 snake: a term of contempt for a wretched fellow
77 Pray: I pray
78 purlieus: tracts of land on the border of a forest
80 neighbour bottom: neighboring valley
81 rank of osiers: row of willow trees
88 favour: features
bestows himself: carries himself
89 ripe: grown up
low: i.e., in stature
95 napkin: handkerchief
104 threw . . . aside: directed his eye to one side
110 gilded: i.e., of a golden color
113 unlink'd: uncoiled
114 indented glides: i.e., gliding in a zigzag line
117 couching: crouched for a spring
119 royal; cf. n.
124 render: describe
130 kindness: tenderness
131 just occasion: provocation
133 hurtling: clashing tumult
136 contrive: plot
142 recountments: recitals
152 recover'd: brought back to consciousness
173 passion of earnest: real indisposition