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Will the faithful offer take
And then I'll study how to die.
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.
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
bottom, 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 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
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 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: 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 7 him the most unnatural That liv'd 'mongst men.
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:
Cel. Are you his brother?
he rescu'd ? Cel. Was't you that did so oft contrive to kill
conversion So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.
Ros. But, for the bloody napkin ?
By, and by
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, Dy'd in this blood; unto the shepherd youth That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.
Cel. Why, how now, Ganymede ? sweet Ganymede?
[ROŠALIND faints. Oli. Many will swoon when they do look on
I would, I were at home.'
thither : I pray you,
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,
Roš. I shall devise something: But, I pray you, commend my counterfeiting to him:– Will you go?
Enter TouchSTONE and AUDREY. 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.
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.
Touch. Good even, gentle friend: Cover thy head, cover thy head'; nay, pr’ythee, be covered.
Touch. A fair name: Wast born i’ the forest
How old are you,