« PreviousContinue »
She says, I am not fair ; that I lack manners ;
Sil. No, I protest, I know not the contents ;
Ref. Come, come, you're a fool,
Sil, Sure, it is hers.
Rof. Why, 'tis a boisterous and a cruel ftile,
. So please you, for I never heard it yet ;
Rof. She Phebe's me ; mark how the tyrant writes.
Roj. [Reads.] Why, thy godhead laid apart.
you ever hear fucb railing?
Whiles you chid me, I did love ;
And then I'll study how to die.
Rof. Do you pity him ? no, he deserves no pity: Wilt thou love such a woman? what, to make thee an inItrument, and play false strains upon thee? not to be endured! well, go your way to her; (for I see, love hath made thee a tame snake,) and say this to her; that if the love me, I charge her to love thee : If she will not, I will never have her, unless thou entreat for her. If
you bę a true lover, hence, and not a word ; for here comes more company.
[Exit Sil. Enter Oliver. Oli. Good-morrow, fair ones : Pray you, if you know, Where in the purlews of this forest stands A sheep-cote fenc'd about with olive-trees ?
Cel. Weft of this place, down in the neighbour bottom, The rank of ofiers, 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.
Oli. If that an eye may profit by a tongue, Then should I know you by description, Such garments, and fuch years: The boy is fair, « Of female favour, and bestows himself “ Like a ripe sister : But the woman low, " And browner than her brother.” Are not you The owner of the house, I did enquire for : Cel. It is no boast, being ak’d, to say, we are. Oli. Orlando doth commend him to you both,
And to that youth, he calls his Rosalind,
Rof. I am ; what muft we understand by this ?
Oli. Some of my shame, if you will know of me What man I am, and how, and why, and where This handkerchief was stain'd.
Cel. I pray you, tell it,
Oli. 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 befel ! he threw his eye aside, And mark what object did present itself. Under an 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 fuddenly Seeing Orlando, it unlink'd itself, And with indented glides did slip away Into a bush, under which bush's shade A lionefs, with udders all drawn dry, Lay couching head on ground, with cat-like watch When that the sleeping man should ftir ; for 'tis The royal disposition of that beast To prey on nothing that doth feem as dead : This feen, 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 him the most unnatural That liv’d’mongst men.
Oli. And well he might fo do : For, well I know he was unnatural.
Rof. But to Orlando ; did he leave him there Food to the fuck'd and hungry lioness?
Qli. Twice. did he turn his back, and purpos'd fo: But kindness, nobler ever than revenge, And nature ftronger than his juft occafion,
Made him give battle to the lioness,
Cel. Are you his brother?
Oli. 'Twas I ; but 'tis not I; I do not shame
converfion So sweetly taftes, being the thing I am.
Rof. But for the bloody napkin?
Oli. By and by
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. Rof. 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 toð great testimony in your complection, 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.
Rof. So I do: But, i' faith, I Mould 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.
RoM. I shall devise something ; but, I pray you, commend
my counterfeiting to him : Will you go? [Exeunt.
Enter Clown and Audrey.
Audrey. Aud. Faith, the priest was good enough, for all the old gentleman's saying.
Cl. A most wicked Sir Oliver, Audrey; a mof 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.
Enter William. Clo. 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 hhall be flouting; we cannot hold.