ACT 1, SCENE 2: Lawn before the Duke's palace.

Enter CELIA and ROSALIND.

CELIA: I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry.

ROSALIND: Dear Celia, I show more mirth than I am
mistress of; and would you yet I were merrier? Unless
you could teach me to forget a banished father, you
must not learn me how to remember any extra-                                [5]
ordinary pleasure.

CELIA: Herein I see thou lovest me not with the full
weight that I love thee. If my uncle, thy banished
father, had banished thy uncle, the duke my father,
so thou hadst been still with me, I could have taught                      [10]
my love to take thy father for mine: so wouldst thou,
if the truth of thy love to me were so righteously
tempered as mine is to thee.

ROSALIND: Well, I will forget the condition of my
estate, to rejoice in yours.                                                                         [15]

CELIA: You know my father hath no child but I, nor
none is like to have: and, truly, when he dies, thou
shalt be his heir, for what he hath taken away from
thy father perforce, I will render thee again in affec-
tion; by mine honour, I will; and when I break that                          [20]
oath, let me turn monster: therefore, my sweet Rose,
my dear Rose, be merry.

ROSALIND: From henceforth I will, coz, and devise
sports. Let me see; what think you of falling in love?

CELIA: Marry, I prithee, do, to make sport withal: but                                 [25]
love no man in good earnest; nor no further in sport
neither than with safety of a pure blush thou mayst
in honour come off again.

ROSALIND: What shall be our sport, then?

CELIA: Let us sit and mock the good housewife                                             [30]
Fortune from her wheel, that her gifts may henceforth
be bestowed equally.

ROSALIND: I would we could do so, for her benefits
are mightily misplaced, and the bountiful blind
woman doth most mistake in her gifts to women.                            [35]

CELIA: 'Tis true; for those that she makes fair she
scarce makes honest, and those that she makes honest
she makes very ill-favouredly.

ROSALIND: Nay, now thou goest from Fortune's
office to Nature's: Fortune reigns in gifts of the world                    [40]
not in the lineaments of Nature.

Enter TOUCHSTONE.

CELIA: No? when Nature hath made a fair creature,
may she not by Fortune fall into the fire? That
Nature hath given us wit to flout at Fortune, hath not
Fortune sent in this fool to cut off the argument?                             [45]

ROSALIND: Indeed, there is Fortune too hard for
Nature, when Fortune makes Nature's natural the
cutter-off of Nature's wit.

CELIA: Peradventure this is not Fortune's work
neither, but Nature's; who perceiveth our natural wits                   [50]
too dull to reason of such goddesses and hath sent this
natural for our whetstone; for always the dulness of
the fool is the whetstone of the wits. How now, wit!
whither wander you?

TOUCHSTONE: Mistress, you must come away to your                              [55]
father.

CELIA: Were you made the messenger?

TOUCHSTONE: No, by mine honour, but I was bid to
come for you.

ROSALIND: Where learned you that oath, fool?                                           [60]

TOUCHSTONE: Of a certain knight that swore by his
honour they were good pancakes and swore by his
honour the mustard was naught: now I'll stand to it,
the pancakes were naught and the mustard was good,
and yet was not the knight forsworn.                                                    [65]

CELIA: How prove you that, in the great heap of your
knowledge?

ROSALIND: Ay, marry, now unmuzzle your wisdom.

TOUCHSTONE: Stand you both forth now: stroke
your chins, and swear by your beards that I am a                               [70]
knave.

CELIA: By our beards, if we had them, thou art.

TOUCHSTONE: By my knavery, if I had it, then I were;
but if you swear by that that is not, you are not
forsworn: no more was this knight, swearing by his                         [75]
honour, for he never had any; or if he had, he had
sworn it away before ever he saw those pancakes or
that mustard.

CELIA: Prithee, who is't that thou meanest?

TOUCHSTONE: One that old Frederick, your father,                                    [80]
loves.

CELIA: My father's love is enough to honour him:
enough! speak no more of him; you'll be whipped for
taxation one of these days.

TOUCHSTONE: The more pity, that fools may not                                       [85]
speak wisely what wise men do foolishly.

CELIA: By my troth, thou sayest true; for since the
little wit that fools have was silenced, the little foolery
that wise men have makes a great show. Here comes
Monsieur Le Beau.                                                                                     [90]

ROSALIND: With his mouth full of news.

CELIA: Which he will put on us, as pigeons feed their
young.

ROSALIND: Then shall we be news-crammed.

CELIA: All the better; we shall be the more marketable.                              [95]
Enter LE BEAU.
Bon jour, Monsieur Le Beau: what's the news?

LE BEAU: Fair princess, you have lost much good
sport.

CELIA: Sport! of what colour?

LE BEAU: What colour, madam! how shall I answer                                  [100]
you?

ROSALIND: As wit and fortune will.

TOUCHSTONE: Or as the Destinies decree.

CELIA: Well said: that was laid on with a trowel.

TOUCHSTONE: Nay, if I keep not my rank,--                                               [105]

ROSALIND: Thou losest thy old smell.

LE BEAU: You amaze me, ladies: I would have told
you of good wrestling, which you have lost the sight
of.

ROSALIND: Yet tell us the manner of the wrestling.                                   [110]

LE BEAU: I will tell you the beginning; and, if it please
your ladyships, you may see the end; for the best is
yet to do; and here, where you are, they are coming
to perform it.

CELIA: Well, the beginning, that is dead and buried.                                    [115]

LE BEAU: There comes an old man and his three sons,--

CELIA: I could match this beginning with an old tale.

LE BEAU: Three proper young men, of excellent
growth and presence.

ROSALIND: With bills on their necks, 'Be it known                                    [120]
unto all men by these presents.'

LE BEAU: The eldest of the three wrestled with Charles,
the duke's wrestler; which Charles in a moment
threw him and broke three of his ribs, that there is
little hope of life in him: so he served the second, and                   [125]
so the third. Yonder they lie; the poor old man, their
father, making such pitiful dole over them that all the
beholders take his part with weeping.

ROSALIND: Alas!

TOUCHSTONE: But what is the sport, monsieur, that                                 [130]
the ladies have lost?

LE BEAU: Why, this that I speak of.

TOUCHSTONE: Thus men may grow wiser every day:
it is the first time that ever I heard breaking of ribs was
sport for ladies.                                                                                           [135]

CELIA: Or I, I promise thee.

ROSALIND: But is there any else longs to see this
broken music in his sides? is there yet another dotes
upon rib-breaking? Shall we see this wrestling, cousin?

LE BEAU: You must, if you stay here; for here is the                                    [140]
place appointed for the wrestling, and they are ready
to perform it.

CELIA: Yonder, sure, they are coming: let us now stay
and see it.

Flourish. Enter DUKE FREDERICK, Lords, ORLANDO, CHARLES, and Attendants.

DUKE FREDERICK: Come on: since the youth will not                              [145]
be entreated, his own peril on his forwardness.

ROSALIND: Is yonder the man?

LE BEAU: Even he, madam.

CELIA: Alas, he is too young! yet he looks successfully.

DUKE FREDERICK: How now, daughter and cousin!                                  [150]
are you crept hither to see the wrestling?

ROSALIND: Ay, my liege, so please you give us leave.

DUKE FREDERICK: You will take little delight in it, I
can tell you; there is such odds in the man. In pity of
the challenger's youth I would fain dissuade him, but                     [155]
he will not be entreated. Speak to him, ladies; see if you
can move him.

CELIA: Call him hither, good Monsieur Le Beau.

DUKE FREDERICK: Do so: I'll not be by.

LE BEAU: Monsieur the challenger, the princesses call                                [160]
for you.

ORLANDO: I attend them with all respect and duty.

ROSALIND: Young man, have you challenged Charles
the wrestler?

ORLANDO: No, fair princess; he is the general chal-                                    [165]
lenger: I come but in, as others do, to try with him the
strength of my youth.

CELIA: Young gentleman, your spirits are too bold for
your years. You have seen cruel proof of this man's
strength: if you saw yourself with your eyes or knew                      [170]
yourself with your judgement, the fear of your adven-
ture would counsel you to a more equal enterprise.
We pray you, for your own sake, to embrace your own
safety and give over this attempt.

ROSALIND: Do, young sir; your reputation shall not                                  [175]
therefore be misprised: we will make it our suit to the
duke that the wrestling might not go forward.

ORLANDO: I beseech you, punish me not with your
hard thoughts; wherein I confess me much guilty, to
deny so fair and excellent ladies any thing. But let your                  [180]
fair eyes and gentle wishes go with me to my trial:
wherein if I be foiled, there is but one shamed that
was never gracious; if killed, but one dead that was
willing to be so: I shall do my friends no wrong, for I
have none to lament me, the world no injury, for in                       [185]
it I have nothing; only in the world I fill up a place,
which may be better supplied when I have made it
empty.

ROSALIND: The little strength that I have, I would it
were with you.                                                                                            [190]

CELIA: And mine, to eke out hers.

ROSALIND: Fare you well: pray heaven I be deceived
in you!

CELIA: Your heart's desires be with you!

CHARLES: Come, where is this young gallant that is so                              [195]
desirous to lie with his mother earth?

ORLANDO: Ready, sir; but his will hath in it a more
modest working.

DUKE FREDERICK: You shall try but one fall.

CHARLES: No, I warrant your grace, you shall not                                       [200]
entreat him to a second, that have so mightily persuaded
him from a first.

ORLANDO: An you mean to mock me after, you should
not have mocked me before: but come your ways.

ROSALIND: Now Hercules be thy speed, young man!                                 [205]

CELIA: I would I were invisible, to catch the strong
fellow by the leg.

[They wrestle.]

ROSALIND: O excellent young man!

CELIA: If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can tell
who should down.                                                                                     [210]

[Shout. CHARLES is thrown.]

DUKE FREDERICK: No more, no more.

ORLANDO: Yes, I beseech your grace: I am not yet
well breathed.

DUKE FREDERICK: How dost thou, Charles?

LE BEAU: He cannot speak, my lord.                                                                [215]

DUKE FREDERICK: Bear him away. What is thy name,
young man?

ORLANDO: Orlando, my liege; the youngest son of
Sir Rowland de Boys.

DUKE FREDERICK: I would thou hadst been son to some man else:             [220]
The world esteem'd thy father honourable,
But I did find him still mine enemy:
Thou shouldst have better pleased me with this deed,
Hadst thou descended from another house.
But fare thee well; thou art a gallant youth:                                        [225]
I would thou hadst told me of another father.

[Exeunt DUKE FREDERICK, train, and LE BEAU.]

CELIA: Were I my father, coz, would I do this?

ORLANDO: I am more proud to be Sir Rowland's son,
His youngest son; and would not change that calling,
To be adopted heir to Frederick.                                                             [230]

ROSALIND: My father loved Sir Rowland as his soul,
And all the world was of my father's mind:
Had I before known this young man his son,
I should have given him tears unto entreaties,
Ere he should thus have ventured.                                                       [235]

CELIA:                           Gentle cousin,
Let us go thank him and encourage him:
My father's rough and envious disposition
Sticks me at heart. Sir, you have well deserved:
If you do keep your promises in love
But justly, as you have exceeded all promise,                                     [240]
Your mistress shall be happy.

ROSALIND:                           Gentleman,

[Giving him a chain from her neck.]
Wear this for me, one out of suits with fortune,
That could give more, but that her hand lacks means.
Shall we go, coz?

CELIA:                           Ay. Fare you well, fair gentleman.

ORLANDO: Can I not say, I thank you? My better parts                              [245]
Are all thrown down, and that which here stands up
Is but a quintain, a mere lifeless block.

ROSALIND: He calls us back: my pride fell with my fortunes;
I'll ask him what he would. Did you call, sir?
Sir, you have wrestled well and overthrown                                      [250]
More than your enemies.

CELIA:                           Will you go, coz?

ROSALIND: Have with you. Fare you well.

[Exeunt ROSALIND and CELIA.]

ORLANDO: What passion hangs these weights upon my tongue?
I cannot speak to her, yet she urged conference.
O poor Orlando, thou art overthrown!                                                 [255]
Or Charles or something weaker masters thee.

Re-enter LE BEAU.

LE BEAU: Good sir, I do in friendship counsel you
To leave this place. Albeit you have deserved
High commendation, true applause and love,
Yet such is now the duke's condition                                                    [260]
That he misconstrues all that you have done.
The duke is humorous; what he is indeed,
More suits you to conceive than I to speak of.

ORLANDO: I thank you, sir: and, pray you, tell me this:
Which of the two was daughter of the duke                                       [265]
That here was at the wrestling?

LE BEAU: Neither his daughter, if we judge by manners;
But yet indeed the lesser is his daughter:
The other is daughter to the banish'd duke,
And here detain'd by her usurping uncle,                                           [270]
To keep his daughter company; whose loves
Are dearer than the natural bond of sisters.
But I can tell you that of late this duke
Hath ta'en displeasure 'gainst his gentle niece,
Grounded upon no other argument                                                     [275]
But that the people praise her for her virtues
And pity her for her good father's sake;
And, on my life, his malice 'gainst the lady
Will suddenly break forth. Sir, fare you well:
Hereafter, in a better world than this,                                                   [280]
I shall desire more love and knowledge of you.

ORLANDO: I rest much bounden to you: fare you well.
[Exit LE BEAU.]
Thus must I from the smoke into the smother;
From tyrant duke unto a tyrant brother:
But heavenly Rosalind!                                                                            [285]

[Exit.]


Go to the next scene.
Go to the previous scene.
Return to the list of scenes