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SCENE I.-The Forest.
Enter ROSALIND, CELIA, and JAQUES.
Jaq. I prithee, pretty youth, let me be better acquainted
Ros. They say you are a melancholy fellow.
Jaq. I am so; I do love it better than laughing.
Ros. Those that are in extremity of either are abominable fellows, and betray themselves to every modern censure,1 worse than drunkards.
Jaq. Why, 'tis good to be sad and say nothing.
Ros. Why then, 'tis good to be a post.
Jaq. 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 melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples,2 extracted from many objects; and, indeed, the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often 3 rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness.
Ros. A traveller! By my faith, you have great reason
1 Modern censure] Ordinary judgment. See p. 43, note 2.
2 Simples] Medicinal plants.
$ Often] The word occurs here in its original use as an adjective. See, in Scripture, 1 Tim. v. 23, 'Thine often infirmities.'
to be 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.
Jaq. Yes, I have gained my experience.
Ros. 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!
Orl. Good day, and happiness, dear Rosalind!
Jaq. Nay, then, God be wi' you, an you talk in blank
Ros. Farewell, monsieur Traveller. Look you lisp and wear strange suits; disable all the benefits of your own country; 1 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.—Why, how now, Orlando! where have you been all this while? You a lover!—An you serve me such another trick, never come in my sight more.
Orl. My fair Rosalind, I come within an hour of my promise.
Ros. Break an hour's promise in love! He that will divide a minute into a thousand parts, and break but a part of the thousandth part of a minute in the affairs of love, it may be said of him, that Cupid hath clapped him o' the shoulder, but I warrant him heart-whole.
Orl. Pardon me, dear Rosalind.
Ros. Nay, an you be so tardy, come no more in my sight; I had as lief be wooed of a snail.
1 Look you lisp, &c.] See that you lisp, &c.-Rosalind here satirises an affectation common amongst those who had travelled on the continent.-Disable is disparage or decry. So, in The Merchant of Venice, ii. 7, 'A weak disabling of myself.'
Orl. Of a snail?
Ros. Ay, of a snail; for though he comes slowly, he carries his house on his head; a better jointure, I think, than you can make a woman. Besides, he brings his destiny with him.
Orl. What's that?
Ros. Why, horns; which such as you are fain to be beholden to your wives for; but he comes armed in his fortune, and prevents the slander of his wife.
Orl. Virtue is no horn-maker, and my Rosalind is virtuous.
Ros. And I am your Rosalind.
Cel. It pleases him to call you so; but he hath a Rosalind of a better leer 1 than you.
Ros. 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 were your very very Rosalind?
Orl. I would kiss before I spoke.
Ros. Nay, you were better speak first; and when you were gravelled 2 for lack of matter, you might take occasion to kiss. Very good orators, when they are out,3 they will spit; and for lovers lacking matter, the cleanliest shift is to kiss.
Orl. How if the kiss be denied?
Ros. Then she puts you to entreaty, and there begins
Orl. Who could be out, being before his beloved mistress? Ros. Marry, that should you, if I were your mistress; or I should think my honesty ranker than my wit. Orl. What, of my suit? 4
1 Leer] Look; expression of countenance.
2 Gravelled] Stuck as it were in the sand; brought to a standstill. 3 Out] At a loss.
Of my suit] Out of my suit?
Ros. Not out of your apparel, and yet out of your suit. Am not I your Rosalind?
Orl. I take some joy to say you are, because I would be talking of her.
Ros. Well, in her person I say—I will not have you.
Ros. 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 dashed out with a Grecian club; yet he did what he could to die before; and he is one of the patterns of love. Leander, he would have lived many a fair year, though Hero had turned 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 drowned; and the foolish chroniclers of that age found it was-Hero of Sestos.2 But these are all lies; men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love.
Orl. I would not have my right Rosalind of this mind; for, I protest, her frown might kill me.
Ros. By this hand, it will not kill a fly. But come, now I will be your Rosalind in a more coming-on disposition; and ask me what you will, I will grant it. Orl. Then love me, Rosalind.
Ros. Yes, faith will I, Fridays,3 and Saturdays, and all. Orl. And wilt thou have me?
Ros. Ay, and twenty such.
Orl. What say'st thou ?
I Would be] Like to be.
2 Found it was, &c.] Supposed, or concluded, it was Hero that caused his death.
Orl. I hope so.
Ros. Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing? -Come, sister, you shall be the priest, and marry us.— Give me your hand, Orlando.—What do you say, sister? Orl. Pray thee, marry us.
Cel. I cannot say the words.
Ros. You must begin-Will you, Orlando—
Cel. Go to.-Will you, Orlando, have to wife this Rosalind?
Orl. I will.
Ros. Ay, but when?
Orl. Why now; as fast as she can marry us.
Ros. Then you must say-I take thee, Rosalind, for wife. Orl. I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.
Ros. I might ask you for your commission; but I do take thee, Orlando, for my husband. There a girl goes before the priest; and, certainly, a woman's thought runs before her actions.
Orl. So do all thoughts: they are winged.
Ros. Now tell me, how long you would have her.
Orl. For ever and a day.
Ros. Say a day, without the ever. No, no, Orlando; men are April when they woo, December when they wed: maids are May when 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,2 and I will do that
1 There a girl goes, &c.] In so saying, however, a girl anticipates the priest.
2 Like Diana, &c.] Fountains were often ornamented with a figure of Diana, or of a nymph, &c., with concealed pipes that caused water to issue from the eyes.