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Den. So please you, he is here at the door, and importunes access to you.
Oli. Call him in.-[Erit DENNIS.]—'Twill be a good way; and to-morrow the wrestling is.
Cha. Good morrow to your worship.
Oli. Good monsieur Charles, what's the new news at the new court?
Cha. There's no news at the court, sir, but the old news: that is, the old duke is banished by his younger brother the new duke, and three or four loving lords have put themselves into voluntary exile with him, whose lands and revenues enrich the new duke; therefore, he gives them good leave to wander.
Oli. Can you tell, if Rosalind, the duke's daughter, be banished with her father?
Cha. O! no; for the duke's daughter, her cousin, so loves her, being ever from their cradles bred together, that she would have followed her exile, or have died to stay behind her. She is at the court, and no less beloved of her uncle than his own daughter; and never two ladies loved as they do. Oli. Where will the old duke live?
Cha. They say, he is already in the forest of Arden, and a many merry men with him; and there they live like the old Robin Hood of England. They say, many young gentlemen flock to him every day, and fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden world.
Oli. What, you wrestle to-morrow before the new duke?
Cha. Marry, do I, sir; and I came to acquaint you with a matter. I am given, sir, secretly to understand, that your younger brother, Orlando, hath a disposition to come in disguised against me to try a fall. To-morrow, sir, I wrestle for my credit, and he that escapes me without some broken limb shall acquit him well. Your brother is but young, and tender; and, for your love, I would be loath to foil him, as I must for my own honour if he come in therefore, out of my love to you I came hither to acquaint you withal, that either you might stay him from his intendment, or brook such disgrace well as he shall run into, in that it is a thing of his own search, and altogether against my will.
Oli. Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me, which, thou shalt find, I will most kindly requite. I had myself notice of my brother's purpose herein, and have by underhand means laboured to dissuade him from it; but he is resolute. I'll tell thee, Charles: it is the stubbornest young fellow of France; full of ambition, an envious emulator of every man's good parts, a secret and villainous contriver against me his natural brother: therefore, use thy discretion. I had as lief thou didst break his neck as his finger: and thou wert best look to't; for if thou dost him any slight disgrace, or if he do not mightily grace himself on thee, he will practise against thee by poison, entrap thee by some treacherous device, and never leave thee till he hath ta'en thy life by some indirect means or other; for, I assure thee (and almost with tears I speak it) there is not one so young and so villainous this day living. I speak but brotherly of him; but should I anatomize him to thee as he is, I must blush and weep, and thou must look pale and wonder.
Cha. I am heartily glad I came hither to you. If he come to-morrow, I'll give him his payment: if ever he go alone again, I'll never wrestle for prize more; and so, God keep your worship!
Oli. Farewell, good Charles.-Now will I stir this gamester. I hope, I shall see an end of him; for my soul, yet I know not why, hates nothing more than he: yet he's gentle; never schooled, and yet learned; full of noble device; of all sorts enchantingly beloved, and, indeed, so much in the heart of the world, and especially of my own people, who best know him, that I am altogether misprised. But it shall not be so long; this wrestler shall clear all: nothing remains, but that I kindle the boy thither, which now I'll go about. [Exil.
SCENE II.—A Lawn before the DUKE's Palace.
Enter ROSALIND and CELIA.
Cel. I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be
Ros. 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 extraordinary pleasure.
Cel. 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 my love to take thy father for mine: so would'st thou, if the truth of thy love to me were so righteously tempered, as mine is to thee.
Ros. Well, I will forget the condition of my estate, to rejoice in yours.
Cel. 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 affection: by mine honour, I will; and when I break that oath let me turn monster. Therefore, my sweet Rose, my dear Rose, be merry.
Ros. From henceforth I will, coz, and devise sports. Let me see; what think you of falling in love?
Cel. Marry, I pr'ythee, do, to make sport withal: but love no man in good earnest; nor no further in sport neither, than with safety of a pure blush thou may'st in honour come off again.
Ros. What shall be our sport then?
Cel. Let us sit, and mock the good housewife, Fortune, from her wheel, that her gifts may henceforth be bestowed equally.
Ros. 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.
Cel. 'Tis true, for those that she makes fair, she scarce makes honest; and those that she makes honest, she makes very ill-favouredly.
Ros. Nay, now thou goest from fortune's office to nature's fortune reigns in gifts of the world, not in the lineaments of nature.
Cel. No: when nature hath made a fair creature, may she not by fortune fall into the fire?-Though nature hath given us wit to flout at fortune, hath not fortune sent in this fool to cut off the argument?
Ros. Indeed, there is fortune too hard for nature. when fortune makes nature's natural the cutter off of nature's wit.
Cel. Peradventure, this is not fortune's work neither, but nature's; who, perceiving our natural wits too dull to reason of such goddesses, 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?
Touch. Mistress, you must come away to your father.
Cel. Were you made the messenger?
Touch. No, by mine honour; but I was bid to come for you.
Ros. Where learned you that oath, fool?
Touch. 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.
Cel. How prove you that, in the great heap of your knowledge?
Ros. Ay, marry: now unmuzzle your wisdom. Touch. Stand you both forth now: stroke your chins, and swear by your beards that I am a knave. Cel. By our beards, if we had them, thou art. Touch. 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 honour, for he never had any; or if he had, he had sworn it away before ever he saw those pancakes, or that mustard.
Cel. Pr'ythee, who is't that thou mean'st?
Touch. One that old Frederick, your father, loves. Cel. 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.
Touch. The more pity, that fools may not speak wisely, what wise men do foolishly.
Cel. By my troth, thou say'st 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.
Enter LE BEAU.
Ros. With his mouth full of news.
Cel. Which he will put on us, as pigeons feed their young.
Ros. Then shall we be news-cramm'd.
Cel. All the better; we shall be the more marketable. Bon jour, Monsieur Le Beau: what's the news?
Le Beau. Fair princess, you have lost much good sport.
Cel. Sport? Of what colour?
Le Beau. What colour, madam? How shall I answer you?
Ros. As wit and fortune will.
Touch. Or as the destinies decree.
Cel. Well said: that was laid on with a trowel.
Le Beau. You amaze me, ladies: I would have told you of good wrestling, which you have lost the sight of.
Ros. Yet tell us the manner of the wrestling. 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.
Cel. Well, the beginning, that is dead and buried.
Le Beau. There comes an old man, and his three
Cel. I could match this beginning with an old tale. Le Beau. Three proper young men of excellent growth and presence ;
Ros. With bills on their necks,—“Be it known 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 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.
Touch. But what is the sport, monsieur, that the ladies have lost?
Le Beau. Why, this that I speak of. Touch. Thus men may grow wiser every day! it is the first time that ever I heard breaking of ribs was sport for ladies.
Cel. Or I, I promise thee.
Ros. 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 place appointed for the wrestling, and they are ready to perform it.
Cel. Yonder, sure, they are coming: let us now stay and see it. [Flourish.
Enter Duke FREDERICK, Lords, ORLANDO,
CHARLES, and Attendants.
Duke F. Come on: since the youth will not be entreated, his own peril on his forwardness.
Ros. Is yonder the man?
Le Beau. Even he, madam.
Cel. Alas! he is too young: yet he looks successfully.
Duke F. How now, daughter, and cousin! are you crept hither to see the wrestling?
Ros. Ay, my liege, so please you give us leave. Duke F. 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 he will not be entreated: speak to him, ladies; see if you can move him.
Cel. Call him hither, good Monsieur Le Beau. Duke F. Do so: I'll not be by.
[DUKE goes apart. Le Beau. Monsieur the challenger, the princess calls for you.
Orl. I attend them, with all respect and duty. Ros. Young man, have you challenged Charles the wrestler?
Orl. No, fair princess; he is the general challenger: I come but in, as others do, to try with him the strength of my youth.
Cel. 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 yourself with your judgment, the fear of your adventure 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. Ros. Do, young sir: your reputation shall not therefore be misprised. We will make it our suit to the duke, that the wrestling might not go forward.
Orl. 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 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 is willing to be so. I shall do my friends
no wrong, for I have none to lament me; the world no injury, for in it I have nothing; only in the world I fill up a place, which may be better supplied when I have made it empty.
Ros. The little strength that I have, I would it were with you.
Cel. And mine, to eke out hers.
Ros. Fare you well. Pray heaven, I be deceived
Cel. Your heart's desires be with you.
Cha. Come; where is this young gallant, that is so desirous to lie with his mother earth?
Orl. Ready, sir; but his will hath in it a more modest working.
Duke F. You shall try but one fall.
Cha. No, I warrant your grace, you shall not entreat him to a second, that have so mightily persuaded him from a first.
Orl. You mean to mock me after: you should not have mocked me before; but come your ways. Ros. Now, Hercules be thy speed, young man! Cel. I would I were invisible, to catch the strong fellow by the leg.
[CHARLES and ORLANDO wrestle. Ros. O, excellent young man! Cel. If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can tell who should down.
[CHARLES is thrown. Shout. Duke F. No more, no more. Orl. Yes, I beseech your grace: I am not yet
Duke F. How dost thou, Charles?
[CHARLES is borne out. What is thy name, young man?
Orl. Orlando, my liege: the youngest son of sir Rowland de Bois.
Duke F. I would, thou hadst been son to some man else.
The world esteem'd thy father honourable,
[Exeunt Duke FRED., train, and LE BEAU. Cel. Were I my father, coz, would I do this? Orl. 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.
Ros. My father lov'd 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 ventur'd.
Will you go, coz? Ros. Have with you.-Fare you well.
[Exeunt ROSALIND and CELIA. Orl. What passion hangs these weights upon my tongue?
I cannot speak to her, yet she urg'd conference.
O, poor Orlando! thou art overthrown.
Which of the two was daughter of the duke,
Le Beau. Neither his daughter, if we judge by
But yet, indeed, the smaller is his daughter:
But that the people praise her for her virtues,
I shall desire more love and knowledge of you.
SCENE III-A Room in the Palace.
Enter CELIA and ROSALIND.
Cel. Why, cousin; why, Rosalind.-Cupid have mercy!-Not a word?
Ros. Not one to throw at a dog.
Cel. No, thy words are too precious to be cast away upon curs, throw some of them at me: come, lame me with reasons.
Ros. Then there were two cousins laid up, when the one should be lamed with reasons, and the other mad without any.
Cel. But is all this for your father?
Ros. No, some of it for my child's father. O, how full of briars is this working-day world!
Cel. They are but burs, cousin, thrown upon thee in holiday foolery: if we walk not in the trodden paths, our very petticoats will catch them.
Ros. I could shake them off my coat: these burs are in my heart.
Cel. Hem them away.
Ros. I would try, if 1 could cry hem, and have him.
Cel. Come, come; wrestle with thy affections. Ros. O! they take the part of a better wrestler than myself.
Cel. O, a good wish upon you! you will try in time, in despite of a fall.-But, turning these jests out of service, let us talk in good earnest. Is it possible, on such a sudden, you should fall into so strong a liking with old sir Rowland's youngest son? Ros. The duke my father lov'd his father dearly. Cel. Doth it therefore ensue, that you should love his son dearly? By this kind of chase, I should hate him, for my father hated his father dearly; yet I hate not Orlando.
Ros. No 'faith, hate him not, for my sake.
Cel. Why should I not? doth he not deserve well? Ros. Let me love him for that; and do you love him, because I do.
Enter Duke FREDERICK, with Lords.
Look, here comes the duke.
Cel. With his eyes full of anger.
Duke F. Mistress, dispatch you with your safest
Ros. So was I when your highness took his dukedom;
So was I when your highness banish'd him.
Or if we did derive it from our friends,
Cel. Dear sovereign, hear me speak.
Cel. I did not then entreat to have her stay:
I was too young that time to value her,
Duke F. She is too subtle for thee; and her smoothness,
Her very silence, and her patience,
Speak to the people, and they pity her.
And thou wilt show more bright, and seem more
When she is gone. Then, open not thy lips:
Thou hast not, cousin.
Cel. Pr'ythee, be cheerful: know'st thou not, the duke Hath banished me, his daughter? Ros.
That he hath not. Cel. No? hath not? Rosalind lacks, then, the love, Which teacheth thee that thou and I am one. Shall we be sunder'd? shall we part, sweet girl? No: let my father seek another heir. Therefore, devise with me how we may fly, Whither to go, and what to bear with us: And do not seek to take your change upon you, To bear your griefs yourself, and leave me out; For, by this heaven, now at our sorrows pale, Say what thou canst, I'll go along with thee. Ros. Why, whither shall we go? Cel.
In the forest of Arden.
To seek my uncle
Ros. Alas, what danger will it be to us,
Maids as we are, to travel forth so far!
A boar-spear in my hand; and, in my heart
Cel. What shall I call thee, when thou art a man? Ros. I'll have no worse a name than Jove's own page,
And therefore look you call me Ganymede.
Cel. Something that hath a reference to my state: No longer Celia, but Aliena.
Ros. But, cousin, what if we essay'd to steal The clownish fool out of your father's court? Would he not be a comfort to our travel?
Cel. He'll go along o'er the wide world with me; Leave me alone to woo him. Let's away, And get our jewels and our wealth together, Devise the fittest time, and safest way To hide us from pursuit that will be made After my flight. Now go we in content To liberty, and not to banishment.