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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 tempered as mine is to thee.

Ros. Well, I will forget the condition of my estate, to rejoice in yours.


Cel. 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 he hath 20 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.

Ros. From henceforth I will, coz, and devise sports. Let me see; what think you of falling in love?

Cel. 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.

Ros. What shall be our sport then?

Cel. Let us sit and mock the good housewife Fortune from her wheel, that her gifts may henceforth be bestowed equally.

Ros. 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.

21 perforce: by violence





22 render: return

24 monster: i.e., something to point one's finger at in scorn 27 sports: amusements, diversions

32 pure blush: i.e., one without shame in it

come off: escape

36 Fortune

wheel; cf. n.

Cel. 'Tis true; for those that she makes fair she scarce makes honest, and those that she makes honest she makes very ill-favouredly.

Ros. Nay, now thou goest from Fortune's office to Nature's: Fortune reigns in gifts of the world, not in the lineaments of Nature.

Enter Touchstone.

Cel. 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 the argument?

Ros. Indeed, there is Fortune too hard for Nature, when Fortune makes Nature's natural the cutter-off of Nature's wit.

Cel. Peradventure this is not Fortune's work neither, but Nature's; who, perceiving our natural wits too dull to reason of such goddesses, hath sent this natural for our whetstone: for always the dulness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits. How now, wit! whither wander you?

Touch. Mistress, you must come away to your father.

Cel. Were you made the messenger?

Touch. No, by mine honour; but I was bid to come for you.

Ros. Where learned you that oath, fool? Touch. Of a certain knight that swore by his honour they were good pancakes, and swore

42 honest: chaste

45 office: function





43 ill-favouredly: ill-looking

48-50 Fortune: in 48 it means ‘accident,' ‘mischance'; cf. n.

53 natural: idiot, half-wit

57 reason of: debate

by his honour the mustard was naught: now, I'll stand to it, the pancakes were naught and the mustard was good, and yet was not the knight forsworn.

Cel. How prove you that, in the great heap of your knowledge?

Ros. Ay, marry: now unmuzzle your wisdom. Touch. Stand you both forth now: stroke your chins, and swear by your beards that I am a knave.

Cel. By our beards, if we had them, thou art. Touch. 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 pancakes or that mustard.

Cel. Prithee, who is 't that thou meanest? Touch. One that old Frederick, your father, loves.

Cel. My father's love is enough to honour him. Enough! speak no more of him; you'll be whipped for taxation one of these days.

Touch. The more pity, that fools may not speak wisely what wise men do foolishly.

Cel. 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.

Enter Le Beau.

Ros. With his mouth full of news.

70 naught: worthless

90 Cel.; cf. n.

96 fools... silenced; cf. n.






71 stand to it: maintain 92 taxation: slander, backbiting

Cel. Which he will put on us, as pigeons feed their young.

Ros. Then we shall be news-cramm'd.

Cel. All the better; we shall be more marketable.

Bon jour, Monsieur Le Beau: what's the news? Le Beau. Fair princess, you have lost much good sport.

Cel. Sport! Of what colour?

Le Beau. What colour, madam! How shall

I answer you?

Ros. As wit and fortune will.

Touch. Or as the Destinies decree.

Cel. Well said: that was laid on with a trowel.

Touch. Nay, if I keep not my rank,

Ros. Thou losest thy old smell.

Le Beau. You

amaze me, ladies: I would

have told you of good wrestling, which you have lost the sight of.

Ros. 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.

Cel. Well, the beginning, that is dead and buried.

Le Beau. There comes an old man and his three sons,

Cel. I could match this beginning with an old tale.

100 put on: force on







103 marketable: i.e., 'because we shall be like pigeons fattened for



108 Sport; cf. n.

113 laid trowel: i.e., 'spread thickly'

114 rank; cf. n.

112 Destinies; cf. n.

116 amaze: bewilder

129 old tale: i.e., because Le Beau's words resemble the opening line

of many old fairy tales

Le Beau. Three proper young men, of excellent growth and presence;

Ros. With bills on their necks, 'Be it known unto all men by 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 137 he served the second, and so the third. Yonder they lie; the poor old man, their father, making such pitiful dole over them that all the beholders take his part with weeping.

Ros. Alas!

Touch. But what is the sport, monsieur, that the ladies have lost?

Le Beau. Why, this that I speak of.

Touch. Thus men may grow wiser every day:

it is the first time that ever I heard breaking of ribs was sport for ladies.

Cel. Or I, I promise thee.

Ros. But is there any else longs to see this broken music in 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.


Cel. Yonder, sure, they are coming: let us

now stay and see it.





Flourish. Enter Duke [Frederick], Lords, Orlando, Charles, and Attendants.

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