As You Like It
Act IV, Scene 3
Another part of the Forest of Arden.
- Enter Rosalind and Celia.
Rosalind1 - 2
- How say you now? Is it not past two a’ clock? And here much
Celia3 - 5
- I warrant you, with pure love and troubled brain, he hath
- ta’en his bow and arrows and is gone forth—to sleep. Look
- who comes here.
- Enter Silvius.
Silvius6 - 12
- My errand is to you, fair youth,
- My gentle Phebe did bid me give you this.
- Gives a letter.
- I know not the contents, but as I guess
- By the stern brow and waspish action
- Which she did use as she was writing of it,
- It bears an angry tenure. Pardon me,
- I am but as a guiltless messenger.
Rosalind13 - 20
- Patience herself would startle at this letter,
- And play the swaggerer: bear this, bear all!
- She says I am not fair, that I lack manners;
- She calls me proud, and that she could not love me
- Were man as rare as phoenix. ’Od’s my will,
- Her love is not the hare that I do hunt;
- Why writes she so to me? Well, shepherd, well,
- This is a letter of your own device.
Silvius21 - 22
- No, I protest, I know not the contents,
- Phebe did write it.
Rosalind23 - 30
- Come, come, you are a fool,
- And turn’d into the extremity of love.
- I saw her hand, she has a leathern hand,
- A freestone-colored hand. I verily did think
- That her old gloves were on, but ’twas her hands;
- She has a huswive’s hand—but that’s no matter.
- I say she never did invent this letter,
- This is a man’s invention and his hand.
- Sure it is hers.
Rosalind32 - 37
- Why, ’tis a boisterous and a cruel style,
- A style for challengers. Why, she defies me,
- Like Turk to Christian. Women’s gentle brain
- Could not drop forth such giant-rude invention,
- Such Ethiop words, blacker in their effect
- Than in their countenance. Will you hear the letter?
Silvius38 - 39
- So please you, for I never heard it yet;
- Yet heard too much of Phebe’s cruelty.
Rosalind40 - 43
- She Phebes me. Mark how the tyrant writes.
- “Art thou god to shepherd turn’d,
- That a maiden’s heart hath burn’d?”
- Can a woman rail thus?
- Call you this railing?
Rosalind45 - 64
- “Why, thy godhead laid apart,
- Warr’st thou with a woman’s heart?”
- Did you ever hear such railing?
- “Whiles the eye of man did woo me,
- That could do no vengeance to me.”
- Meaning me a beast.
- “If the scorn of your bright eyne
- Have power to raise such love in mine,
- Alack, in me what strange effect
- Would they work in mild aspect?
- Whiles you chid me, I did love;
- How then might your prayers move?
- He that brings this love to thee
- Little knows this love in me;
- And by him seal up thy mind,
- Whether that thy youth and kind
- Will the faithful offer take
- Of me, and all that I can make,
- Or else by him my love deny,
- And then I’ll study how to die.”
- Call you this chiding?
- Alas, poor shepherd!
Rosalind67 - 74
- Do you pity him? No, he deserves no pity. Wilt thou love
- such a woman? What, to make thee an instrument, and play
- false strains upon thee? Not to be endur’d! Well, go your
- way to her (for I see love hath made thee a tame snake) and
- say this to her: that if she love me, I charge her to love
- thee; if she will not, I will never have her unless thou
- entreat for her. If you be a true lover, hence, and not a
- word; for here comes more company.
- Exit Silvius
- Enter Oliver.
Oliver75 - 77
- Good morrow, fair ones. Pray you (if you know)
- Where in the purlieus of this forest stands
- A sheep-cote fenc’d about with olive-trees?
Celia78 - 82
- West of this place, down in the neighbor bottom,
- The rank of osiers by the murmuring stream
- Left on your right hand brings you to the place.
- But at this hour the house doth keep itself,
- There’s none within.
Oliver83 - 89
- If that an eye may profit by a tongue,
- Then should I know you by description—
- Such garments and such years. “The boy is fair,
- Of female favor, and bestows himself
- Like a ripe sister; the woman low,
- And browner than her brother.” Are not you
- The owner of the house I did inquire for?
- It is no boast, being ask’d, to say we are.
Oliver91 - 93
- Orlando doth commend him to you both,
- And to that youth he calls his Rosalind
- He sends this bloody napkin. Are you he?
- I am. What must we understand by this?
Oliver95 - 97
- Some of my shame, if you will know of me
- What man I am, and how, and why, and where
- This handkercher was stain’d.
- I pray you tell it.
Oliver99 - 121
- 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 old 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, with udders all drawn dry,
- 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.
Celia122 - 124
- O, I have heard him speak of that same brother,
- And he did render him the most unnatural
- That liv’d amongst men.
Oliver125 - 126
- And well he might so do,
- For well I know he was unnatural.
Rosalind127 - 128
- But to Orlando: did he leave him there,
- Food to the suck’d and hungry lioness?
Oliver129 - 134
- 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 awaked.
- Are you his brother?
- Was’t you he rescu’d?
- Was’t you that did so oft contrive to kill him?
Oliver138 - 140
- ’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.
- But for the bloody napkin?
Oliver142 - 160
- By and by.
- When from the first to last betwixt us two
- Tears our recountments had most kindly bath’d,
- 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 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 cried 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.
- Rosalind faints.
- Why, how now, Ganymede, sweet Ganymede?
- Many will swoon when they do look on blood.
- There is more in it. Cousin Ganymede!
- Look, he recovers.
- I would I were at home.
Celia166 - 167
- We’ll lead you thither.
- I pray you, will you take him by the arm?
Oliver168 - 169
- Be of good cheer, youth. You a man?
- You lack a man’s heart.
Rosalind170 - 172
- I do so, I confess it. Ah, sirrah, a body would think this
- was well counterfeited! I pray you tell your brother how
- well I counterfeited. Heigh-ho!
Oliver173 - 174
- This was not counterfeit, there is too great testimony in
- your complexion that it was a passion of earnest.
- Counterfeit, I assure you.
- Well then, take a good heart and counterfeit to be a man.
- So I do; but i’ faith, I should have been a woman by right.
Celia178 - 179
- Come, you look paler and paler. Pray you draw homewards.
- Good sir, go with us.
Oliver180 - 181
- That will I, for I must bear answer back
- How you excuse my brother, Rosalind.
Rosalind182 - 183
- I shall devise something; but I pray you commend my
- counterfeiting to him. Will you go?