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Touch. Why, do not your courtier's hands sweat? and is not the grease of a mutton as wholesome as the sweat of a man? Shallow, shallow. A better instance, I say; come.

Cor. Besides, our hands are hard.

Touch. Your lips will feel them the sooner: shallow again. A more sounder instance; come.

Cor. And they are often tarred over with the surgery of our sheep; and would you have us kiss tar? The courtier's hands are perfumed with civet.

Touch. Most shallow man! Thou worms-meat, in respect of a good piece of flesh, indeed! Learn of the wise, and perpend: civet is of a baser birth than tar, the very uncleanly flux of a cat. Mend the instance, shepherd.

Cor. You have too courtly a wit for me: I'll rest.

Touch. Wilt thou rest damned? God help thee, shallow man! God make incision in thee! thou art raw.

Cor. Sir, I am a true labourer: I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness, glad of other men's good, content with my harm; and the greatest of my pride is to see my ewes graze and my lambs suck.

Touch. That is another simple sin in you, to bring the ewes and the rams together, and to offer to get your living by the copulation of cattle; to be bawd to a bell-wether, and to be

67 civet: perfume derived from the civet cat 69 in respect of: in comparison with

71 flux: discharge






68 worms-meat; cf. n. 70 perpend: consider

76 incision: i.e., to cure thee of thy simpleness; cf. n. 77 raw: untrained

79 owe....

hate: have hate toward no man

85 offer: presume

86 bell-wether: leading sheep of a flock on whose neck a bell is hung

tray a she-lamb of a twelvemonth to a crooked- 87 pated, old, cuckoldy ram, out of all reasonable match. If thou be'st not damned for this, the devil himself will have no shepherds: I cannot see else how thou shouldst 'scape.

Cor. Here comes young Master Ganymede, my new mistress's brother.

Enter Rosalind [reading a paper].

Ros. 'From the east to western Ind,
No jewel is like Rosalind.


Her worth, being mounted on the wind, 96
Through all the world bears Rosalind.

All the pictures fairest lin'd

Are but black to Rosalind.

Let no face be kept in mind,

But the fair of Rosalind.'

Touch. I'll rime you so, eight years together, dinners and suppers and sleeping hours excepted: it is the right butter-women's rank to market.

Ros. Out, fool!

Touch. For a taste:

'If a hart do lack a hind,

Let him seek out Rosalind.

If the cat will after kind,

So be sure will Rosalind.
Winter garments must be lin'd,

So must slender Rosalind.

They that reap must sheaf and bind,





87 crooked-pated: crooked-headed; i.e., in reference to the ram's


88 cuckoldy; cf. n.

98 lin'd: drawn

out... match: quite unsuitable for her

107 taste: i.e., sample of skill

104 butter-women's rank; cf. n.

110 after kind: follow the dictates of nature

Then to cart with Rosalind.

Sweetest nut hath sourest rind,


Such a nut is Rosalind.

He that sweetest rose will find

Must find love's prick and Rosalind.'

This is the very false gallop of verses: why do you infect yourself with them?

Ros. Peace! you dull fool: I found them on a tree.

Touch. Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.

Ros. I'll graff it with you, and then I shall graff it with a medlar: then it will be the earliest fruit i' the country; for you'll be rotten ere you be half ripe, and that's the right virtue of the medlar.

Touch. You have said; but whether wisely or no, let the forest judge.

Enter Celia with a writing.

Ros. Peace!

Here comes my sister, reading: stand aside.

Cel. 'Why should this a desert be?
For it is unpeopled? No;





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115 cart: a pun on farmer's cart which bore the harvest to market and the sheriff's cart on which female offenders were publicly 121 infect: contaminate (?)


126 medlar: a fruit, with quibble on 'meddler' 139 erring: wandering 140 span; cf. n.

125 graff: graft 137 civil sayings; cf. n. 141 Buckles in: limits

But upon the fairest boughs,
Or at every sentence' end,
Will I Rosalinda write;

Teaching all that read to know
The quintessence of every sprite
Heaven would in little show.
Therefore Heaven Nature charg'd
That one body should be fill'd
With all graces wide enlarg'd:

Nature presently distill'd
Helen's cheek, but not her heart,
Cleopatra's majesty,

Atalanta's better part,





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Heaven would that she these gifts should have,
And I to live and die her slave.'

Ros. O most gentle Jupiter! what tedious 164 homily of love have you wearied your parishioners withal, and never cried, 'Have patience, good people!'

Cel. How now! back, friends! Shepherd, go off a little: go with him, sirrah.

Touch. Come, shepherd, let us make an honourable retreat; though not with bag and baggage, yet with scrip and scrippage.



[Exeunt Corin and Touchstone.]

Cel. Didst thou hear these verses?

148 quintessence; cf. n.
156 Atalanta's better part: i.e., her athletic grace; cf. n.
159 heavenly synod: assembly of the gods
164 Jupiter; cf. n.

149 in little: in miniature (?); cf. n.

172 scrip: a shepherd's pouch

161 touches: features 166 withal: with

scrippage: its contents

Ros. O, yes, I heard them all, and more too; for some of them had in them more feet than the verses would bear.

Cel. That's no matter: the feet might bear the verses.

Ros. Ay, but the feet were lame, and could not bear themselves without the verse, and therefore stood lamely in the verse.

Cel. But didst thou hear without wondering how thy name should be hanged and carved upon these trees?

Ros. I was seven of the nine days out of the wonder before you came; for look here what I found on a palm-tree: I was never so be-rimed since Pythagoras' time, that I was an Irish rat, which I can hardly remember.

Cel. Trow you who hath done this?

Ros. Is it a man?

Cel. And a chain, that you once wore, about his neck. Change you colour?

Ros. I prithee, who?

Cel. O Lord, Lord! it is a hard matter for friends to meet; but mountains may be removed with earthquakes, and so encounter.

Ros. Nay, but who is it?

Cel. Is it possible?

Ros. Nay, I prithee now, with most petitionary vehemence, tell me who it is.


Cel. O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful! and yet again wonderful! and after that, out of all whooping!

[blocks in formation]

195 hard... meet; cf. n.








187 palm-tree; cf. n.

204 out... whooping: beyond all shouting of astonishment

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