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Oli. If that an eye may profit by a tongue, Then I should know you by description; Such garments, and such 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 inquire for? Cel. It is no boast, being ask'd, to say, we are. Oli. Orlando doth commend him to you both; And to that youth, he calls his Rosalind, He sends this bloody napkin; Are you he?

Ros. I am: What must 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.


I pray you, tell it. Oli. When last the young Orlando parted from


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 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 :

(1) Handkerchief.

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


And he did render1 him the most unnatural,
That liv'd 'mongst men.


And well he might do so,

For well I know he was unnatural.

Ros. But, to Orlando ;-Did he leave him there, Food to the suck'd and hungry lioness?

Oli. 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,2
From miserable slumber I awak'd.

Cel. Are you his brother?

Ros. Was it you he rescu'd? 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.

By and by.

Ros. But, for the bloody napkin ?— Oli. 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 cry'd, 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,

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To tell this story, that you might excuse His broken promise, and to give this napkin, Dy'd in this blood, unto the shepherd youth That he in sport doth call his Rosalind. Cel. Why, how now, Ganymede? sweet Ganymede? [Rosalind faints.

Oli. Many will swoon when they do look on

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.

Enter Touchstone and


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.

Enter William.

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'y thee, be covered. How old are you, friend?

Will. Five and twenty, sir.

Touch. A ripe age; Is thy name William?

Will. William, sir.

Touch. A fair name: Wast born i'the forest here?

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


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

Touch. Why, thou say'st well. I do now remem ber 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, thon perishest; or, to thy better understanding, diest; 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'er-run 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.


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