Imatges de pÓgina

Under an oak,' whose boughs were mossed 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 wreathed itself,
Who with her head, nimble in threats, approached
The opening of his mouth; but suddenly,
Seeing Orlando, it unlinked itself,
And with indented glides did slip away
Into a bush; under which bush's shade
A lioness, with udders all drawn dry,

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.
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 2 him the most unnatural

That lived '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 sucked and hungry lioness?

Oli. Twice did he turn his back, and purposed 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 awaked.

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 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 ?—

1 The ancient editions read, "Under an old oak," which hurts the measare without improving the sense. The correction was made by Steevens. ? i e. represent or render this account of him.


By and by.

When from the first to last, betwixt us two,
Tears our recountments had most kindly bathed;
As, how I came into that desert place;
In brief he led me to the gentle duke,
Who gave me fresh array and entertainment,
Committing me unto my brother's love;
Who led me instantly unto his cave,

There stripped himself, and here upon his arm.
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 recovered 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,
Dyed in his blood, unto the shepherd youth
That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.

Cel. Why, how now, Ganymede? Sweet Gany-
[ROSALIND faints.
Oli. Many will swoon when they do look on blood.
Cel. There is more in it.-Cousin-Ganymede!
Oli. Look, he recovers.

I 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 counterfeited.-Heigh ho!

Oli. 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.

Ros. I shall devise something; but, I pray you, commend my counterfeiting to him.-Will you go?



SCENE I. The same.


Touch. We shall find a time, Audrey; patience, gentle Audrey.

Aud. 'Faith, the priest was good enough, for all the old gentleman's saying.

Touch. A most wicked sir Oliver, Audrey, a most vile Mar-text. But, Audrey, there is a youth here in the forest lays claim to you.

Aud. Ay, I know who 'tis; he hath no interest in me in the world. Here comes the man you mean.


Touch. It is meat and drink to me to see a clown. By my troth, we that have good wits, have much to answer for; we shall be flouting; we cannot hold.

Will. Good even, Audrey.

Aud. God ye good even, William. Will. And good even to you, sir. Touch. Good even, gentle friend. Cover thy head, cover thy head; nay, pr'ythee, be covered. How old are you, friend?

Will. Five-and-twenty, sir.

Touch. A ripe age. Is thy name William?

Wast born i' the forest here?

Will. William, sir..
Touch. A fair name.
Will. Ay, sir, I thank God.
Touch. Thank God;-a good answer. Art rich?
Will. 'Faith, sir, so, so.

Touch. So, so, is good, very good, very excellent good:-and yet it is not; it is but so so. Art thou wise?

Will. Ay, sir, I have a pretty wit.

Touch. Why, thou say'st well. I do now remember a saying; The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. The heathen philosopher, when he had a desire to eat a grape, would open his lips when he put it into his mouth; meaning thereby, that grapes were made to eat, and lips to open. You do love this maid?

Will. I do, sir.

Touch. Give me your hand. Art thou learned?
Will. No, sir.

Touch. Then learn this of me. To have, is to have; for it is a figure in rhetoric, that drink, being poured out of a cup into a glass, by filling the one doth empty the other; for all your writers do consent, that ipse is he; now you are not ipse, for I am he.

Will. Which he, sir?

Touch. He, sir, that must marry this woman. Therefore, you clown, abandon,-which is in the vulgar, leave, the society,-which in the boorish is, company, of this female,-which in the common is, -woman, which together is, abandon the society of this female; or, clown, thou perishest; or, to thy better understanding, diest; or, to wit, I kill thee, make thee away, translate thy life into death, thy liberty into bondage. I will deal in poison with thee, or in bastinado, or in steel; I will bandy with thee in faction; I will o'errun thee with policy; I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways: therefore tremble and depart. Aud. Do, good William.

Will. God rest you, merry sir.




Enter CORIN.

Cor. Our master and mistress seek you; come,

away, away.

Touch. Trip, Audrey, trip, Audrey.-I attend, I attend. [Exeunt.

SCENE II. The same.


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?1

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, that we may enjoy each other. 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. God save you, brother.

Oli. And you, fair sister.2

1 Shakspeare, by putting this question into the mouth of Orlando, seems to have been aware of the improbability in his plot caused by deserting his original. In Lodge's novel the elder brother is instrumental in saving Aliena from a band of ruffians; without this circumstance the passion of Aliena appears to be very hasty indeed.

2 Oliver must be supposed to speak to her in the character she had assumed, of a woman courted by his brother Orlando, for there is no evidence that he knew she was one.

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