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As You Like It

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Act IV, Scene 1

The forest



  • Jaques (lord). I prithee, pretty youth, let me be better acquainted with
  • Rosalind. They say you are a melancholy fellow.
  • Jaques (lord). I am so; I do love it better than laughing. 1800
  • Rosalind. Those that are in extremity of either are abominable
    fellows, and betray themselves to every modern censure worse than
  • Jaques (lord). Why, 'tis good to be sad and say nothing.
  • Rosalind. Why then, 'tis good to be a post. 1805
  • Jaques (lord). I have neither the scholar's melancholy, which is
    emulation; nor the musician's, which is fantastical; nor the
    courtier's, which is proud; nor the soldier's, which is
    ambitious; nor the lawyer's, which is politic; nor the lady's,
    which is nice; nor the lover's, which is all these; but it is a 1810
    melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted
    from many objects, and, indeed, the sundry contemplation of my
    travels; in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous
  • Rosalind. A traveller! By my faith, you have great reason to be 1815
    sad. I fear you have sold your own lands to see other men's; then
    to have seen much and to have nothing is to have rich eyes and
    poor hands.
  • Jaques (lord). Yes, I have gain'd my experience.


  • Rosalind. And your experience makes you sad. I had rather have a
    fool to make me merry than experience to make me sad- and to
    travel for it too.
  • Orlando. Good day, and happiness, dear Rosalind!
  • Jaques (lord). Nay, then, God buy you, an you talk in blank verse. 1825
  • Rosalind. Farewell, Monsieur Traveller; look you lisp and wear
    strange suits, disable all the benefits of your own country, be
    out of love with your nativity, and almost chide God for making
    you that countenance you are; or I will scarce think you have
    swam in a gondola. [Exit JAQUES] Why, how now, Orlando! where 1830
    have you been all this while? You a lover! An you serve me such
    another trick, never come in my sight more.
  • Orlando. My fair Rosalind, I come within an hour of my promise.
  • Rosalind. Break an hour's promise in love! He that will divide a
    minute into a thousand parts, and break but a part of the 1835
    thousand part of a minute in the affairs of love, it may be said
    of him that Cupid hath clapp'd him o' th' shoulder, but I'll
    warrant him heart-whole.
  • Orlando. Pardon me, dear Rosalind.
  • Rosalind. Nay, an you be so tardy, come no more in my sight. I had 1840
    as lief be woo'd of a snail.
  • Orlando. Of a snail!
  • Rosalind. Ay, of a snail; for though he comes slowly, he carries
    his house on his head- a better jointure, I think, than you make
    a woman; besides, he brings his destiny with him. 1845
  • Orlando. What's that?
  • Rosalind. Why, horns; which such as you are fain to be beholding to
    your wives for; but he comes armed in his fortune, and prevents
    the slander of his wife.
  • Orlando. Virtue is no horn-maker; and my Rosalind is virtuous. 1850
  • Rosalind. And I am your Rosalind.
  • Celia. It pleases him to call you so; but he hath a Rosalind of a
    better leer than you.
  • Rosalind. Come, woo me, woo me; for now I am in a holiday humour,
    and like enough to consent. What would you say to me now, an I 1855
    were your very very Rosalind?
  • Orlando. I would kiss before I spoke.
  • Rosalind. Nay, you were better speak first; and when you were
    gravell'd for lack of matter, you might take occasion to kiss.
    Very good orators, when they are out, they will spit; and for 1860
    lovers lacking- God warn us!- matter, the cleanliest shift is to
  • Orlando. How if the kiss be denied?
  • Rosalind. Then she puts you to entreaty, and there begins new
    matter. 1865
  • Orlando. Who could be out, being before his beloved mistress?
  • Rosalind. Marry, that should you, if I were your mistress; or I
    should think my honesty ranker than my wit.
  • Orlando. What, of my suit?
  • Rosalind. Not out of your apparel, and yet out of your suit. 1870
    Am not I your Rosalind?
  • Orlando. I take some joy to say you are, because I would be talking
    of her.
  • Rosalind. Well, in her person, I say I will not have you.
  • Orlando. Then, in mine own person, I die. 1875
  • Rosalind. No, faith, die by attorney. The poor world is almost six
    thousand years old, and in all this time there was not any man
    died in his own person, videlicet, in a love-cause. Troilus had
    his brains dash'd out with a Grecian club; yet he did what he
    could to die before, and he is one of the patterns of love. 1880
    Leander, he would have liv'd many a fair year, though Hero had
    turn'd nun, if it had not been for a hot midsummer night; for,
    good youth, he went but forth to wash him in the Hellespont, and,
    being taken with the cramp, was drown'd; and the foolish
    chroniclers of that age found it was- Hero of Sestos. But these 1885
    are all lies: men have died from time to time, and worms have
    eaten them, but not for love.
  • Orlando. I would not have my right Rosalind of this mind; for, I
    protest, her frown might kill me.
  • Rosalind. By this hand, it will not kill a fly. But come, now I 1890
    will be your Rosalind in a more coming-on disposition; and ask me
    what you will, I will grant it.
  • Orlando. Then love me, Rosalind.
  • Rosalind. Yes, faith, will I, Fridays and Saturdays, and all.
  • Orlando. And wilt thou have me? 1895
  • Rosalind. Ay, and twenty such.
  • Orlando. What sayest thou?
  • Rosalind. Are you not good?
  • Orlando. I hope so.
  • Rosalind. Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing? Come, 1900
    sister, you shall be the priest, and marry us. Give me your hand,
    Orlando. What do you say, sister?
  • Orlando. Pray thee, marry us.
  • Celia. I cannot say the words.
  • Rosalind. You must begin 'Will you, Orlando'- 1905
  • Celia. Go to. Will you, Orlando, have to wife this Rosalind?
  • Orlando. I will.
  • Rosalind. Ay, but when?
  • Orlando. Why, now; as fast as she can marry us.
  • Rosalind. Then you must say 'I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.' 1910
  • Orlando. I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.
  • Rosalind. I might ask you for your commission; but- I do take thee,
    Orlando, for my husband. There's a girl goes before the priest;
    and, certainly, a woman's thought runs before her actions.
  • Orlando. So do all thoughts; they are wing'd. 1915
  • Rosalind. Now tell me how long you would have her, after you have
    possess'd her.
  • Orlando. For ever and a day.
  • Rosalind. Say 'a day' without the 'ever.' No, no, Orlando; men are
    April when they woo, December when they wed: maids are May when 1920
    they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives. I will
    be more jealous of thee than a Barbary cock-pigeon over his hen,
    more clamorous than a parrot against rain, more new-fangled than
    an ape, more giddy in my desires than a monkey. I will weep for
    nothing, like Diana in the fountain, and I will do that when you 1925
    are dispos'd to be merry; I will laugh like a hyen, and that when
    thou are inclin'd to sleep.
  • Orlando. But will my Rosalind do so?
  • Rosalind. By my life, she will do as I do.
  • Orlando. O, but she is wise. 1930
  • Rosalind. Or else she could not have the wit to do this. The wiser,
    the waywarder. Make the doors upon a woman's wit, and it will out
    at the casement; shut that, and 'twill out at the key-hole; stop
    that, 'twill fly with the smoke out at the chimney.
  • Orlando. A man that had a wife with such a wit, he might say 'Wit, 1935
    whither wilt?'
  • Rosalind. Nay, you might keep that check for it, till you met your
    wife's wit going to your neighbour's bed.
  • Orlando. And what wit could wit have to excuse that?
  • Rosalind. Marry, to say she came to seek you there. You shall never 1940
    take her without her answer, unless you take her without her
    tongue. O, that woman that cannot make her fault her husband's
    occasion, let her never nurse her child herself, for she will
    breed it like a fool!
  • Orlando. For these two hours, Rosalind, I will leave thee. 1945
  • Rosalind. Alas, dear love, I cannot lack thee two hours!
  • Orlando. I must attend the Duke at dinner; by two o'clock I will be
    with thee again.
  • Rosalind. Ay, go your ways, go your ways. I knew what you would
    prove; my friends told me as much, and I thought no less. That 1950
    flattering tongue of yours won me. 'Tis but one cast away, and
    so, come death! Two o'clock is your hour?
  • Orlando. Ay, sweet Rosalind.
  • Rosalind. By my troth, and in good earnest, and so God mend me, and
    by all pretty oaths that are not dangerous, if you break one jot 1955
    of your promise, or come one minute behind your hour, I will
    think you the most pathetical break-promise, and the most hollow
    lover, and the most unworthy of her you call Rosalind, that may
    be chosen out of the gross band of the unfaithful. Therefore
    beware my censure, and keep your promise. 1960
  • Orlando. With no less religion than if thou wert indeed my
    Rosalind; so, adieu.
  • Rosalind. Well, Time is the old justice that examines all such
    offenders, and let Time try. Adieu. Exit ORLANDO
  • Celia. You have simply misus'd our sex in your love-prate. We must 1965
    have your doublet and hose pluck'd over your head, and show the
    world what the bird hath done to her own nest.
  • Rosalind. O coz, coz, coz, my pretty little coz, that thou didst
    know how many fathom deep I am in love! But it cannot be sounded;
    my affection hath an unknown bottom, like the Bay of Portugal. 1970
  • Celia. Or rather, bottomless; that as fast as you pour affection
    in, it runs out.
  • Rosalind. No; that same wicked bastard of Venus, that was begot of
    thought, conceiv'd of spleen, and born of madness; that blind
    rascally boy, that abuses every one's eyes, because his own are 1975
    out- let him be judge how deep I am in love. I'll tell thee,
    Aliena, I cannot be out of the sight of Orlando. I'll go find a
    shadow, and sigh till he come.
  • Celia. And I'll sleep. Exeunt