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My gentle Phebe did bid me give you this :

[Giving a letter.' Ros. reads it. 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 tenour. Pardon me, I am but as a guiltless messenger.

Ros. 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 Phænix. 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.

Sil. No, I protest; I know not the contents :
Phebe did write it.

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-colour'd hand : I verily did think
That her old gloves were on, but ’t was her hands :
She has a housewife's hand : but that's no matter.
I she never did invent this letter;
This is a man's invention, and his hand.

Sil. Sure, it is hers.

Ros. Why, 't is a boisterous and a cruel style, A. style for challengers: why, she defies me, Like Turk to Christian. Woman'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? Sil. So please you; for I never heard it yet, Yet heard too much of Phebe's cruelty. Ros. She Phebes me. Mark how the tyrant writes.

“ Art thou god to shepherd turn’d,

That a maiden's heart hath burn'a ?».
Can a woman rail thus ?

Sil. Call you this railing ?
Ros. “Why, thy godhead laid apart,

Warr'st thou with a woman's heart ?"
Did you ever hear such railing ?-

1 The rest of this stage direction not in f. e.


Whiles you

“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 ?


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." Sil. Call you this ehiding? Cel. Alas, poor shepherd ! Ros. 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 endured !--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. Oli. 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 ?
Cel. West of this place, down in the neighbour

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.

Oli. 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 favour, 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 ?

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 handkerehief was stain'd.

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 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 catlike watch, When that the sleeping man should stir; for 't is 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 him the most unnatural That liv'd '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 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
From miserable slumber I awak'd.

Cel. Are you his brother ?

Was it you he rescu'd ? Cel. Was 't you that did so oft contrive to kill

him ?
Oli. ’T was I; but 't is 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 ?

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

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,
Dyed in his blood, unto the shepherd youth
That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.
Cel. Why, how now, Ganymede ? sweet Ganymede ?

(ROSALIND swoons. Oli. Many will swoon when they do look on blood. Cel. There is more in it.-Cousin !—Ganymede ! Oli. Look, he recovers.

[Raising her. Ros. 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, sirrah! 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

1 Not in f. e.

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?


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SCENE I.-The Forest of Arden.

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 't is; 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, prythee, 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?

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