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As You Like It

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Act I, Scene 2

A lawn before the DUKE’S palace



  • Celia. I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry.
  • Rosalind. 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. 150
  • Celia. Herein I see thou lov'st 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 wouldst
    thou, if the truth of thy love to me were so righteously temper'd 155
    as mine is to thee.
  • Rosalind. Well, I will forget the condition of my estate, to
    rejoice in yours.
  • Celia. 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 160
    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.
  • Rosalind. From henceforth I will, coz, and devise sports. 165
    Let me see; what think you of falling in love?
  • Celia. Marry, I prithee, 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 mayst in honour come off again.
  • Rosalind. What shall be our sport, then? 170
  • Celia. Let us sit and mock the good housewife Fortune from her
    wheel, that her gifts may henceforth be bestowed equally.
  • Rosalind. 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. 175
  • Celia. 'Tis true; for those that she makes fair she scarce makes
    honest; and those that she makes honest she makes very
  • Rosalind. Nay; now thou goest from Fortune's office to Nature's:
    Fortune reigns in gifts of the world, not in the lineaments of 180


  • Celia. 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 185
    the argument?
  • Rosalind. Indeed, there is Fortune too hard for Nature, when
    Fortune makes Nature's natural the cutter-off of Nature's wit.
  • Celia. Peradventure this is not Fortune's work neither, but
    Nature's, who perceiveth our natural wits too dull to reason of 190
    such goddesses, and hath sent this natural for our whetstone; for
    always the dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits. How
    now, wit! Whither wander you?
  • Touchstone. Mistress, you must come away to your father.
  • Celia. Were you made the messenger? 195
  • Touchstone. No, by mine honour; but I was bid to come for you.
  • Rosalind. Where learned you that oath, fool?
  • Touchstone. 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 200
    was good, and yet was not the knight forsworn.
  • Celia. How prove you that, in the great heap of your knowledge?
  • Rosalind. Ay, marry, now unmuzzle your wisdom.
  • Touchstone. Stand you both forth now: stroke your chins, and swear
    by your beards that I am a knave. 205
  • Celia. By our beards, if we had them, thou art.
  • Touchstone. 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 pancackes or 210
    that mustard.
  • Celia. Prithee, who is't that thou mean'st?
  • Touchstone. One that old Frederick, your father, loves.
  • Celia. My father's love is enough to honour him. Enough, speak no
    more of him; you'll be whipt for taxation one of these days. 215
  • Touchstone. The more pity that fools may not speak wisely what wise
    men do foolishly.
  • Celia. By my troth, thou sayest 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. 220


  • Celia. Which he will put on us as pigeons feed their young.
  • Rosalind. Then shall we be news-cramm'd.
  • Celia. All the better; we shall be the more marketable. Bon jour, 225
    Monsieur Le Beau. What's the news?
  • Le Beau. Fair Princess, you have lost much good sport.
  • Celia. Sport! of what colour?
  • Le Beau. What colour, madam? How shall I answer you?
  • Celia. Well said; that was laid on with a trowel.
  • Le Beau. You amaze me, ladies. I would have told you of good 235
    wrestling, which you have lost the sight of.
  • Rosalind. 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. 240
  • Celia. Well, the beginning, that is dead and buried.
  • Le Beau. There comes an old man and his three sons-
  • Celia. I could match this beginning with an old tale.
  • Le Beau. Three proper young men, of excellent growth and presence.
  • Rosalind. With bills on their necks: 'Be it known unto all men by 245
    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 serv'd
    the second, and so the third. Yonder they lie; the poor old man, 250
    their father, making such pitiful dole over them that all the
    beholders take his part with weeping.
  • Touchstone. But what is the sport, monsieur, that the ladies have
    lost? 255
  • Le Beau. Why, this that I speak of.
  • Touchstone. Thus men may grow wiser every day. It is the first time
    that ever I heard breaking of ribs was sport for ladies.
  • Celia. Or I, I promise thee.
  • Rosalind. But is there any else longs to see this broken music in 260
    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.
  • Celia. Yonder, sure, they are coming. Let us now stay and see it. 265



  • Frederick. Come on; since the youth will not be entreated, his own
    peril on his forwardness.
  • Celia. Alas, he is too young; yet he looks successfully.
  • Frederick. How now, daughter and cousin! Are you crept hither to
    see the wrestling?
  • Rosalind. Ay, my liege; so please you give us leave. 275
  • Frederick. 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.
  • Celia. Call him hither, good Monsieur Le Beau. 280
  • Frederick. Do so; I'll not be by.
    [DUKE FREDERICK goes apart]
  • Le Beau. Monsieur the Challenger, the Princess calls for you.
  • Orlando. I attend them with all respect and duty.
  • Rosalind. Young man, have you challeng'd Charles the wrestler? 285
  • Orlando. No, fair Princess; he is the general challenger. I come
    but in, as others do, to try with him the strength of my youth.
  • Celia. 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 290
    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.
  • Rosalind. Do, young sir; your reputation shall not therefore be
    misprised: we will make it our suit to the Duke that the 295
    wrestling might not go forward.
  • Orlando. 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 foil'd there is but one 300
    sham'd that was never gracious; if kill'd, 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. 305
  • Rosalind. The little strength that I have, I would it were with
  • Celia. And mine to eke out hers.
  • Rosalind. Fare you well. Pray heaven I be deceiv'd in you!
  • Celia. Your heart's desires be with you! 310
  • Charles. Come, where is this young gallant that is so desirous to
    lie with his mother earth?
  • Orlando. Ready, sir; but his will hath in it a more modest working.
  • Charles. No, I warrant your Grace, you shall not entreat him to a 315
    second, that have so mightily persuaded him from a first.
  • Orlando. You mean to mock me after; you should not have mock'd me
    before; but come your ways.
  • Rosalind. Now, Hercules be thy speed, young man!
  • Celia. I would I were invisible, to catch the strong fellow by the 320
    leg. [They wrestle]
  • Celia. If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can tell who should

[CHARLES is thrown. Shout]

  • Orlando. Yes, I beseech your Grace; I am not yet well breath'd.
  • Le Beau. He cannot speak, my lord.
  • Frederick. Bear him away. What is thy name, young man? 330
  • Orlando. Orlando, my liege; the youngest son of Sir Rowland de
  • Frederick. I would thou hadst been son to some man else.
    The world esteem'd thy father honourable,
    But I did find him still mine enemy. 335
    Thou shouldst have better pleas'd me with this deed,
    Hadst thou descended from another house.
    But fare thee well; thou art a gallant youth;
    I would thou hadst told me of another father.

Exeunt DUKE, train, and LE BEAU

  • Celia. Were I my father, coz, would I do this?
  • Orlando. 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.
  • Rosalind. My father lov'd Sir Rowland as his soul, 345
    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.
  • Celia. Gentle cousin, 350
    Let us go thank him, and encourage him;
    My father's rough and envious disposition
    Sticks me at heart. Sir, you have well deserv'd;
    If you do keep your promises in love
    But justly as you have exceeded all promise, 355
    Your mistress shall be happy.
  • Rosalind. Gentleman, [Giving him a chain from her neck]
    Wear this for me; one out of suits with fortune,
    That could give more, but that her hand lacks means.
    Shall we go, coz? 360
  • Celia. Ay. Fare you well, fair gentleman.
  • Orlando. Can I not say 'I thank you'? My better parts
    Are all thrown down; and that which here stands up
    Is but a quintain, a mere lifeless block.
  • Rosalind. He calls us back. My pride fell with my fortunes; 365
    I'll ask him what he would. Did you call, sir?
    Sir, you have wrestled well, and overthrown
    More than your enemies.
  • Celia. Will you go, coz?
  • Rosalind. Have with you. Fare you well. 370


  • Orlando. What passion hangs these weights upon my tongue?
    I cannot speak to her, yet she urg'd conference.
    O poor Orlando, thou art overthrown!
    Or Charles or something weaker masters thee. 375

Re-enter LE BEAU

  • Le Beau. Good sir, I do in friendship counsel you
    To leave this place. Albeit you have deserv'd
    High commendation, true applause, and love,
    Yet such is now the Duke's condition 380
    That he misconstrues all that you have done.
    The Duke is humorous; what he is, indeed,
    More suits you to conceive than I to speak of.
  • Orlando. I thank you, sir; and pray you tell me this:
    Which of the two was daughter of the Duke 385
    That here was at the wrestling?
  • Le Beau. Neither his daughter, if we judge by manners;
    But yet, indeed, the smaller is his daughter;
    The other is daughter to the banish'd Duke,
    And here detain'd by her usurping uncle, 390
    To keep his daughter company; whose loves
    Are dearer than the natural bond of sisters.
    But I can tell you that of late this Duke
    Hath ta'en displeasure 'gainst his gentle niece,
    Grounded upon no other argument 395
    But that the people praise her for her virtues
    And pity her for her good father's sake;
    And, on my life, his malice 'gainst the lady
    Will suddenly break forth. Sir, fare you well.
    Hereafter, in a better world than this, 400
    I shall desire more love and knowledge of you.
  • Orlando. I rest much bounden to you; fare you well.
    [Exit LE BEAU]
    Thus must I from the smoke into the smother;
    From tyrant Duke unto a tyrant brother. 405
    But heavenly Rosalind! Exit