Page images
PDF
EPUB

Like a ripe sister : but 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.

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 ?

Oli. Some of my shame: if you will know of me
What man I am, and how, and why, and where
This handkerchief was stain'd.
Cel.

I

pray you, tell it. Oli. When last the young Orlando parted from you 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, And, mark, what object did present itself! Under an oak, whose boughs were moss’d with age, And high top bald with dry antiquity, A wretched ragged man, o'ergrown with hair, 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 Seeing Orlando, it unlink'd itself, And with indented glides did slip away Into a bush: under which bush's shade A lioness Lay couching, head on ground, with cat-like 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 : 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 That liv'd ʼmongst 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 fierce and hungry lioness?

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,
Who quickly fell before him; in which hurtling
From miserable slumber I awak'd

Cel. Are you his brother?

Ros.

Was it

you

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

Oli. 'Twas 1; but 'tis not I: I do not shame
To tell you what I was, since my conversi ɔn
So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.

Ros. But, for the bloody napkin ?--
Oli.

By, and by.
When from the first to last, betwixt us two,
Tears our recountments had most kindly bath’ä.
As, how I came into that desert place ;-
In brief, he led me to the gentle duke,
Who gave me fresh array, and entertainmeni,
Committing me unto my brother's love ;
Who led me instantly unto his cave,
There stripp'd himself

, and here upon his arm
The lioness had torn some flesh away,
Which all this while had bled ; and now he fainted,
And cry'd, in fainting, upon Rosalind.
Brief, I recover'd him; bound up his wound;
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,
Dy'd in his blood, unto the shepherd youth
That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.
Cel. Why, how now, Ganymede ? sweet Ganymede ?

(ROSALIND faints,
Oli. Many will swoon when they do look on blood.
Cel. There is more in it:-Cousin-Ganymede !
Oli. Look, he recovers.
Ros.

would, I were at home. Cel. We'll lead

you

thither :I pray you, will you take him by the arm?

oli. Be of good cheer, youth :-You a man ?—You lack a man's heart.

Ros.. I do so, I confess it. Ah, sir, a body would think this was well counterfeited : I pray you, tell your brother how well I counter. feited.—Heigh ho!Cel. This

was not counterfeit ; there is too great testimony in your complexion, that it was a passion of earnest.

Ros. Counterfeit, I assure you.
Oli. Well then, take a good heart, and counterfeit 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.

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

Roš. I shall devise something : But, I pray you, commend my counterfeiting to him.-Will you go?

[Exeuni. ACT V.

و

The Forest of Arden.

ORLANDO, and OLIVEX Orl. Is't possible, that on so little acquaintance you should like her ? that, but seeing, you should love her ? and, loving, woo? and, wooing, she should grant ? and will you persever to enjoy her ?

Oli. Neither call the giddiness of it in question, the poverty of her, the small acquaintance, my sudden wooing, nor her sudden consenting ; but say with me, I love Aliena; say, with her, that she loves me; consent with both, it shall be to your good; for my father's house, and all the revenue that was old sir Rowland's, will I estate upon you, and here live and die a shepherd.

Enter ROSALIND. Orl. You have my consent. Let your wedding be to-morrow : thither will I invite the duke, and all his contented followers : Go you, and prepare Aliena : for look

you, here comes my Rosalind. Ros. Save you, brother. Oli. And you, fair sister.

Ros. O, my dear Orlando, how it grieves me to see thee wear thy heart in a scarf.

Orl. It is my arm.

Ros. I thought thy heart had been wounded with the claws of a lion.

Orl. Wounded it is, but with the eyes of a lady. Ros. Did your brother tell you how I counterfeited to swoon, when he show'd me your handkerchief ?

Orl. Ay, and greater wonders than that.

Ros. O, I know where you are :—Nay, 'tis true : there was never any thing so sudden, but the fight of two rams, and Cæsar's thrasonical brag of—I came, saw, and overcame. For your brother and no sooner met, but they looked; no sooner looked, but they loved ; no sooner loved, but they sighed; no sooner sighed, but they asked one another the reason; no sooner knew the reason, but they sought the remedy: and in these degrees have they made a pair of stairs to marriage; they are in the very wrath of love, and they will together; clubs cannot part them. Orl. They shall be married to

morrow; and I will bid the duke to the nuptial. But O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes! By so much the more shall I to-morrow be at the height of heart heaviness, by how much I shall think my brother happy, in having what he wishes for. Ros. Why then, to-morrow I cannot serve your turn for Rosalind ? Orl. I can live no longer by thinking.

Ros. I will weary you no longer then with idle talking. Know of me then, (for now I speak to some purpose,) that I know you are

my sister

me.

a gentleman of good conceit: I speak not this, that you should bear a good opinion of my knowledge, insomuch, I say, I know you are; neither do I labor for a greater esteem than may in some little measure draw a belief from you, to do yourself good, and not to grace

Believe then, if you please, that I can do strange things: I have, since I was three years old, conversed with a magician, most profound in this art. If you do love Rosalind so near the heart as your gesture cries it out, when your brother marries Aliena, shall you marry her :-I know into what straits of fortune she is driven ; and it is not impossible to me, if it appear not inconvenient to you, to set her before your eyes to-morrow, human as she is, and without any danger.

Orl. Speakest thou in sober meanings ?
Ros. By my life, I do; which I tender dearly, though I say

I a magician: Therefore, put you best

array,

bid
your

friends : for if you will be married to-morrow, you shall; and to Rosalind, if

am

in your

you will.

Enter SILVIUS, and PHEBE.
Look, here comes a lover of mine, and a lover of hers.

Phe. Youth, you have done me much ungentleness,
To show the letter that I writ to you.

Ros. I care not, if I have: it is my study,
To seem despiteful and ungentle to you:
You are there follow'd by a faithful shepherd;
Look upon him, love him; he worships you.

Phe. Good shepherd, tell this youth what 'tis to love.

Sil. It is to be all made of sighs and tears ;-
And so am I for Phebe.

Phe. And I for Ganymede
Orl. And I for Rosalind.
Ros. And I for no woman.

Sil. It is to be all made of faith and service ;
And so am I for Phebe.

Phe. And I for Ganymede.
Orl. And I for Rosalind.
Ros. And I for no woman.

Sil. It is to be all made of fantasy,
All made of passion, and all made of wishes;
All adoration, duty, and observance,
All humbleness, all patience, and impatience,
All purity, all trial, all observance;
And so am I for Phebe.

Phe. And so am I for Ganymede.
Orl. And so am I for Rosalind.
Ros. And so am I for no woman.
Phe. If this be so, why blame you me to love you ?

[To Rosai

.. Sil. If this be so, why blame you me to love you ? [To PHEDE.

Orl. If this be so, why blame you me to love you?
Ros. Who do you speak to, why blame you me to love you ?
Orl. To her that is not here, nor doth not hear.

Ros. Pray you, no more of this ; ’tis like the howling of Irisła wolves against the moon.--I will help you, (to Silvius,) if I can :I would love you, (to Phebe,] if I could.–To-morrow meet me all together.— I will marry you, (to PHEBE,] if ever I marry woman, and I'll be married to-morrow :- I will satisfy you, (10 ORLANDO,] if ever I satisfied

you

shall be married to morrow :-I will content you, [to Silviuş,] if what pleases you contents you, and you shall be married to-morrow.-As you (to ORLANDO] love Rosalind, meet; -as you (to SILVIUS] love Phebe, meet; And as I love no woman, I'll meet. So, fare you well; I have left you commands.

Sil. I'll not fail, if I live.
Phe.

Nor I.
Orl.

Nor I.

[Exeunt.

man, and

SCENE IV.-Another Part of the Forest. Enter DUKE Senior, AMIENS, JAQUES, ORLANDO, OLIVEŘ, and CELIA.

Duke S. Dost thou believe, Orlando, that the boy Can do all this that he hath promised ?

Orl. I sometimes do believe, and sometimes do not ;
As those that fear they hope, and know they fear.

Enter ROSALIND, SILVIUS, and PHEBE.
Ros. Patience once more, whiles our compact is urg'd :
You say, if I bring in your Rosalind,

(To the DUKE. You will bestow her on Orlando here?

Duke S. That would I, had I kingdoms to give with her.
Ros. And you say you will have her, when I bring her ?

[To ORLANDO.
Orl. That would I, were I of all kingdoms king.
Ros. You say, you'll marry me, if I be willing ? [To Paris.
Phe. That will I, should I die the hour after.

Ros. But, if you do refuse to marry me,
You'll give yourself to this most faithful shepherd !

Phe. So is the bargain.
Ros. You say, that you'll have Phebe, if she will ?

[To SILVIUS. Sil. Though to have her and death were both one thing.

Ros. I have promis'd to make all this matter even. Keep you your word, O duke, to give your daughter ;You yours, Orlando, to receive his daughter :Keep your word, Phebe, that you'll marry me; Or else, refusing me, to wed this shepherd :Kep your word, Silvius, that you'll marry her, If she refuse me:-and from hence I go, To make these doubts all even. [Fxeunt ROSALIND, and CELLA

« PreviousContinue »