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Touch. Well, praised be the gods for thy foulness! sluttishness may come hereafter. But be it as it may be, I will marry thee, and to that end I have been with Sir Oliver Martext, the vicar of the next village, who hath promised to meet me in this place of the forest, and to couple us.


Jaq. I would fain see this meeting.

Aud. Well, the gods give us joy!


Touch. Amen. A man may, if he were of a fearful heart, stagger in this attempt; for here we have no temple but the wood, no assembly but horn-beasts.2 But what though? Courage! As horns are odious, they are necessary. It is said-Many a man knows no end of his goods: right; many a man has good horns, and knows no end of them. Well, that is the dowry of his wife; 'tis none of his own getting. Horns? ever to poor men alone?—No, no; the noblest deer hath them as huge as the rascal.3 Is the single man therefore blessed? No as a walled town is more worthier than a village, so is the forehead of a married man more honourable than the bare brow of a bachelor; and by how much defence is better than no skill, by so much is a horn more precious than to want. Here comes Sir Oliver.


-Sir Oliver Martext, you are well met: Will you despatch us here under this tree, or shall we go with you to your chapel?

Sir Oli. Is there none here to give the woman?

1 Sir Oliver Martext] The title Sir was given to clergymen; that

of Master specially to those who had taken the degree of M.A. 2 Horn-beasts] The allusion is to the horns of a cuckold.

3 The noblest deer, &c.] Rascal deer were lean deer.-Compare Othello, iii. 3, ''Tis the plague of great ones,' &c.

Touch. I will not take her on gift of any man.

Sir Oli. Truly, she must be given, or the marriage is not lawful.

Jaq. [Discovering himself.] Proceed, proceed; I'll give


Touch. Good even, good Master What-ye-call't: how do you, sir? You are very well met: God 'ild you1 for your last company. I am very glad to see you.-Even a toy hand here, sir.-Nay, pray be covered.

Jaq. Will you be married, motley?

2 in

Touch. As the ox hath his bow,3 sir, the horse his curb, and the falcon her bells, so man hath his desires; and as pigeons bill, so wedlock would be nibbling.

Jaq. And will you, being a man of your breeding, be married under a bush, like a beggar? Get you to church, and have a good priest that can tell you what marriage is. This fellow will but join you together as they join wainscot; then one of you will prove a shrunk panel, and like green timber warp, warp.

Touch. I am not in the mind but I were better to be married of him than of another: for he is not like to marry me well; and not being well married, it will be a good excuse for me hereafter to leave my wife.


Jaq. Go thou with me, and let me counsel thee. Touch. Come, sweet Audrey; we must be married. Farewell, good master Oliver!-not

O sweet Oliver,1

O brave Oliver,

Leave me not behind thee;

1 God 'ild you]

God yield you, or reward you. A customary ex

pression of gratitude in old times.

2 A toy] A trifling matter. His bow] His curved yoke.

O sweet Oliver, &c.] This is a fragment of an old ballad.


Wind away,
Begone, I say,

I will not to wedding with thee.


Sir Oli. 'Tis no matter; ne'er a fantastical knave of them all shall flout me out of my calling.


SCENE IV. Another part of the Forest. Before a



Ros. Never talk to me; I will weep.

Cel. Do, I prithee; but yet have the grace to consider that tears do not become a man.

Ros. But have I not cause to weep.

Cel. As good cause as one would desire; therefore weep. Ros. His very hair is of the dissembling colour.1

Cel. Something browner than Judas's: marry, his kisses are Judas's own children.

Ros. I' faith, his hair is of a good colour.

Cel. An excellent colour: your chestnut was ever the only colour.

Ros. And his kissing is as full of sanctity as the touch of holy bread.

Cel. He hath bought a pair of cast lips 2 of Diana: a nun of winter's sisterhood kisses not more religiously; the very ice of chastity is in them.

Ros. But why did he swear he would come this morning, and comes not?

1 The dissembling colour] That of Judas's hair: yellow.

2 Cast lips]

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Chaste,' the reading of the second folio, was, no doubt, the intended meaning: Lat. castus; Ital. casto,

Cel. Nay, certainly, there is no truth in him.

Ros. Do think so?


Cel. Yes: I think he is not a pick-purse nor a horsestealer; but for his verity in love, I do think him as concave1 as a covered goblet or a worm-eaten nut.

Ros. Not true in love?

Cel. Yes, when he is in; but, I think he is not in.
Ros. You have heard him swear downright he was.

Cel. Was is not is: besides, the oath of a lover is no stronger than the word of a tapster; they are both the confirmers of false reckonings. He attends here in the forest on the duke your father.

Ros. I met the duke yesterday, and had much question with him. He asked me of what parentage I was; I told him, of as good as he; so he laughed, and let me go. But what talk we2 of fathers, when there is such a man as Orlando?


Cel. O, that's a brave man! 3 He writes brave verses, speaks brave words, swears brave oaths, and breaks them bravely, quite traverse, athwart the heart of his lover; as a puny tilter, that spurs his horse but on one side, breaks his staff 5 like a noble goose: but all's brave that youth mounts and folly guides.-Who comes here?

Enter CORIN.

Cor. Mistress and master, you have oft enquired

After the shepherd that complained of love,

Who you saw sitting by me on the turf,

1 Concave] Hollow.

2 What talk we] Why talk we?-See note 3, p. 4.

A brave man] A fine fellow.

4 Quite traverse] Right across.

His staff] His lance. Look that my staves be sound.'-

K. Richard III., v. 3.

Praising the proud disdainful shepherdess

That was his mistress.


Cor. If

Well, and what of him?
f you will see a pageant truly played,
Between the pale complexion of true love
And the red glow of scorn and proud disdain,

Go hence a little, and I shall conduct you,

If you will mark it.


O, come, let us remove;
The sight of lovers feedeth those in love:-
Bring us to see this sight, and you shall say
I'll prove a busy actor in their play.

SCENE V. Another part of the Forest.


[Ea eunt.

Sil. Sweet Phebe, do not scorn me; do not, Phebe: Say that you love me not; but say not so

In bitterness.

The common executioner,

Whose heart the accustomed sight of death makes hard,
Falls not the axe upon the humbled neck

But first begs pardon: will you sterner be
Than he that dies and lives by bloody drops?

Enter ROSALIND, CELIA, and CORIN, behind.
Phe. I would not be thy executioner;
I fly thee, for I would not injure thee.
Thou tell'st me there is murder in mine eye:
'Tis pretty, sure, and probable, that eyes,-
That are the frailest and the softest things,
Who shut their coward gates on atomies-
Should be called tyrants, butchers, murderers!
Now I do frown on thee with all my heart;

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