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Did you ever hear such railing? 'Whiles the


of man did woo me, That could do no vengeance to me.' Meaning me a beast.

'If the scorn of your bright eyne
Have power to raise such love in mine,
Alack! in me what strange effect
Would they work in mild aspect.
Whiles you chid me, I did love;
How then might your prayers


He that brings this love to thee
Little knows this love in me;
And by him seal up thy mind;
Whether that thy youth and kind

Will the faithful offer take
Of me and all that I can make;
Or else by him my love deny,
And then I'll study how to die.'

Sil. Call you this chiding?
Cel. Alas, poor shepherd !

Ros. Do you pity him? no, he deserves no pity. Wilt thou love such a woman? What, to 68 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, 72 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.

Exit Silvius. 49 vengeance: mischief, harm

51 eyne: archaic plural of 'eye'. 54 aspect; cf. n.

59 seal . mind: express thy mind 60 thy youth and kind: 1.e., thy youthful nature 69 instrument strains: i.e., use thee for her own purposes and

at the same time deceive thee 72 snake: a term of contempt for a wretched fellow

Enter Oliver. Oli. Good morrow, fair ones. Pray you if you know,

77 Where in the purlieus of this forest stands A sheepcote fenc'd about with olive-trees. Cel. West of this place, down in the neighbour bottom:

80 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.

84 Oli. If that an eye may profit by a tongue, Then should I know you by description; Such garments, and such years: 'The boy is fair, Of female favour, and bestows himself

88 Like a ripe sister: 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. 92

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 shame; if you will know of me
What man I am, and how, and why, and where
This handkercher was stain'd.

I pray you, tell it. Oli. When last the young Orlando parted from you

100 He left a promise to return again 77 Pray: I pray 78 purlieus: tracts of land on the border of a forest 80 neighbour bottom: neighboring valley 81 rank of osiers: row of willow trees 88 favour: features bestows himself: carries himself 89 ripe: grown up low:i.e., in stature 95 napkin: handkerchief

96 108

Within an hour; and, pacing through the forest,
Chewing the food of sweet and bitter fancy,
Lo, what befell! he threw his eye aside,

104 And mark what object did present itself: Under an old oak, whose boughs were moss'd with

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 catlike 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: 120
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

And he did render 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?

128 Oli. Twice did he turn his back and purpos'd so;



104 threw aside: directed his eye to one side 110 gilded: i.e., of a golden color.

113 unlink'd: uncoiled 114 indented glides: i.e., gliding in a zigzag line 117 couching: crouched for a spring 119 royal; cf. n.

124 render: describe 131 just occasion: provocation 133 hurtling: clashing tumult


But kindness, nobler ever than revenge,
And nature, stronger than his just occasion,
Made him give battle to the lioness,

Who quickly fell before him: in which hurtling
From miserable slumber I awak'd.

Cel. Are you his brother?

Was it you he rescu'd?
Cel. Was 't you that did so oft contrive to kill

him? Oli. 'Twas I; but 'tis not I. I do not shame To tell you what I was,


my conversion So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.

Ros. But, for the bloody napkin?

By and by 140
When from the first to last, betwixt us two,
Tears our recountments had most kindly bath’d,
As how I came into that desert place:
In brief, he led me to the gentle duke,

Who gave me fresh array and entertainment,
Committing me unto my brother's love;
Who led me instantly unto his cave,
There stripp'd himself; and here, upon his arm 148
The lioness had torn some flesh away,
Which all this while had bled; and now he fainted,
And cried, in fainting, upon Rosalind.
Brief, I recover'd him, bound up his wound; 152
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, 156
Dy'd in his blood, unto the shepherd youth
That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.
130 kindness: tenderness

136 contrive: plot 142 recountments: recitals 152 recover'd: brought back to consciousness

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Cel. [Rosalind swoons.] Why, how now, Gany

mede! sweet Ganymede! Oli. Many will swoon when they do look on blood.

160 Cel. There is more in it. Cousin! Ganymede! Oli. Look, he recovers. Ros. I would I were at home. Cel.

We'll lead you thither. I pray you, will

take him by the arm?

164 Oli. Be of good cheer, youth. You a man! You lack a man's heart.

Ros. I do so, I confess it. Ah, sirrah! a body would think this was well counterfeited. I pray you, tell your brother how well I counterfeited. Heigh-ho!

. 170 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. 180

Oli. That will I, for I must bear answer back How you excuse my brother, Rosalind.

Ros. I shall devise something. But, I pray you, commend my counterfeiting to him. Will you go?

Exeunt. 173 passion of earnest: real indisposition


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