ACT 4, SCENE 1: The forest.


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

ROSALIND: They say you are a melancholy fellow.

JAQUES: I am so; I do love it better than laughing.

ROSALIND: Those that are in extremity of either are                                  [5]
abominable fellows and betray themselves to every
modern censure worse than drunkards.

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

ROSALIND: Why then, 'tis good to be a post.

JAQUES: I have neither the scholar's melancholy,                                        [10]
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,                   [15]
compounded of many simples, extracted from many
objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my
travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a
most humorous sadness.

ROSALIND: A traveller! By my faith, you have great                                 [20]
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.

JAQUES: Yes, I have gained my experience.

ROSALIND: And your experience makes you sad: I had                              [25]
rather have a fool to make me merry than experience
to make me sad; and to travel for it too!


ORLANDO: Good day and happiness, dear Rosalind!

JAQUES: Nay, then, God be wi' you, an you talk in
blank verse.                                                                                                 [30]


ROSALIND: 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 counte-
nance you are, or I will scarce think you have swam                        [35]
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.

ORLANDO: My fair Rosalind, I come within an hour
of my promise.                                                                                            [40]

ROSALIND: 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                             [45]

ORLANDO: Pardon me, dear Rosalind.

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

ORLANDO: Of a snail?                                                                                         [50]

ROSALIND: 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 him.

ORLANDO: What's that?                                                                                     [55]

ROSALIND: 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

ORLANDO: Virtue is no horn-maker; and my Rosalind                             [60]
is virtuous.

ROSALIND: And I am your Rosalind.

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

ROSALIND: Come, woo me, woo me, for now I am                                     [65]
in a holiday humour and like enough to consent. What
would you say to me now, an I were your very very

ORLANDO: I would kiss before I spoke.

ROSALIND: Nay, you were better speak first, and when                             [70]
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.

ORLANDO: How if the kiss be denied?                                                            [75]

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

ORLANDO: Who could be out, being before his
beloved mistress?

ROSALIND: Marry, that should you, if I were your                                      [80]
mistress, or I should think my honesty ranker than my

ORLANDO: What, of my suit?

ROSALIND: Not out of your apparel, and yet out of
your suit. Am not I your Rosalind?                                                       [85]

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

ROSALIND: Well in her person I say I will not have

ORLANDO: Then in mine own person I die.                                                 [90]

ROSALIND: 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,
videlicit, in a love-cause. Troilus had his brains
dashed out with a Grecian club; yet he did what he                           [95]
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                           [100]
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.

ORLANDO: I would not have my right Rosalind of this                             [105]
mind, for, I protest, her frown might kill me.

ROSALIND: 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.                                                                                                         [110]

ORLANDO: Then love me, Rosalind.

ROSALIND: Yes, faith, will I, Fridays and Saturdays
and all.

ORLANDO: And wilt thou have me?

ROSALIND: Ay, and twenty such.                                                                     [115]

ORLANDO: What sayest thou?

ROSALIND: Are you not good?

ORLANDO: I hope so.

ROSALIND: Why then, can one desire too much of a
good thing? Come, sister, you shall be the priest and                        [120]
marry us. Give me your hand, Orlando. What do you
say, sister?

ORLANDO: Pray thee, marry us.

CELIA: I cannot say the words.

ROSALIND: You must begin, 'Will you, Orlando--'                                    [125]

CELIA: Go to. Will you, Orlando, have to wife this

ORLANDO: I will.

ROSALIND: Ay, but when?

ORLANDO: Why now; as fast as she can marry us.                                       [130]

ROSALIND: Then you must say 'I take thee, Rosalind,
for wife.'

ORLANDO: I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.

ROSALIND: I might ask you for your commission; but
I do take thee, Orlando, for my husband: there's a                            [135]
girl goes before the priest; and certainly a woman's
thought runs before her actions.

ORLANDO: So do all thoughts; they are winged.

ROSALIND: Now tell me how long you would have
her after you have possessed her.                                                           [140]

ORLANDO: For ever and a day.

ROSALIND: 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                           [145]
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                          [150]
you are disposed to be merry; I will laugh like a hyen,
and that when thou art inclined to sleep.

ORLANDO: But will my Rosalind do so?

ROSALIND: By my life, she will do as I do.

ORLANDO: O, but she is wise.                                                                            [155]

ROSALIND: 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.                                                      [160]

ORLANDO: A man that had a wife with such a wit, he
might say 'Wit, whither wilt?'

ROSALIND: Nay, you might keep that cheque for it
till you met your wife's wit going to your neighbour's
bed.                                                                                                                [165]

ORLANDO: And what wit could wit have to excuse

ROSALIND: 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                            [170]
cannot make her fault her husband's occasion, let her
never nurse her child herself, for she will breed it like
a fool!

ORLANDO: For these two hours, Rosalind, I will leave
thee.                                                                                                               [175]

ROSALIND: Alas! dear love, I cannot lack thee two

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

ROSALIND: Ay, go your ways, go your ways; I knew                                    [180]
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?

ORLANDO: Ay, sweet Rosalind.                                                                        [185]

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                               [190]
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.

ORLANDO: With no less religion than if thou wert                                    [195]
indeed my Rosalind: so adieu.

ROSALIND: Well, Time is the old justice that examines
all such offenders, and let Time try: adieu.


CELIA: You have simply misused our sex in your
love-prate: we must have your doublet and hose                              [200]
plucked over your head, and show the world what the
bird hath done to her own nest.

ROSALIND: 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 un-                         [205]
known bottom, like the bay of Portugal.

CELIA: Or rather, bottomless, that as fast as you pour
affection in, it runs out.

ROSALIND: No, that same wicked bastard of Venus
that was begot of thought, conceived of spleen and                           [210]
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.                                                                 [215]

CELIA: And I'll sleep.


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