I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry.
Dear Celia, I show more mirth than I am mistress of; and
would you yet I were merrier? Unless you could teach me to forget
a banished father, you must not learn me how to remember any
Herein I see thou lov'st me not with the full weight that I
love thee. If my uncle, thy 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 temper'd
as mine is to thee.
Well, I will forget the condition of my estate, to
rejoice in yours.
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 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.
From henceforth I will, coz, and devise sports.
Let me see; what think you of falling in love?
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.
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
Indeed, there is Fortune too hard for Nature, when
Fortune makes Nature's natural the cutter-off of Nature's wit.
Peradventure this is not Fortune's work neither, but
Nature's, who perceiveth our natural wits too dull to reason of
such goddesses, and hath sent this natural for our whetstone; for
always the dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits. How
now, wit! Whither wander you?
Mistress, you must come away to your father.
Of a certain knight that swore by his honour they were
good pancakes, and swore 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.
How prove you that, in the great heap of your knowledge?
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 pancackes or
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.
Well, the beginning, that is dead and buried.
There comes an old man and his three sons-
I could match this beginning with an old tale.
Three proper young men, of excellent growth and presence.
With bills on their necks: 'Be it known unto all men by
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 he serv'd
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.
Alas, he is too young; yet he looks successfully.
How now, daughter and cousin! Are you crept hither to
see the wrestling?
Ay, my liege; so please you give us leave.
You will take little delight in it, I can tell you,
there is such odds in the man. In pity of the challenger's youth
I would fain dissuade him, but he will not be entreated. Speak to
him, ladies; see if you can move him.
Young man, have you challeng'd Charles the wrestler?
No, fair Princess; he is the general challenger. I come
but in, as others do, to try with him the strength of my youth.
Young gentleman, your spirits are too bold for your years.
You have seen cruel proof of this man's strength; if you saw
yourself with your eyes, or knew yourself with your judgment, the
fear of your adventure would counsel you to a more equal
enterprise. We pray you, for your own sake, to embrace your own
safety and give over this attempt.
Do, young sir; your reputation shall not therefore be
misprised: we will make it our suit to the Duke that the
wrestling might not go forward.
I beseech you, punish me not with your hard thoughts,
wherein I confess me much guilty to deny so fair and excellent
ladies any thing. But let your fair eyes and gentle wishes go
with me to my trial; wherein if I be foil'd there is but one
sham'd that was never gracious; if kill'd, but one dead that is
willing to be so. I shall do my friends no wrong, for I have none
to lament me; the world no injury, for in it I have nothing; only
in the world I fill up a place, which may be better supplied when
I have made it empty.
The little strength that I have, I would it were with
Bear him away. What is thy name, young man?
Orlando, my liege; the youngest son of Sir Rowland de
I would thou hadst been son to some man else.
The world esteem'd thy father honourable,
But I did find him still mine enemy.
Thou shouldst have better pleas'd me with this deed,
Hadst thou descended from another house.
But fare thee well; thou art a gallant youth;
I would thou hadst told me of another father.
I am more proud to be Sir Rowland's son,
His youngest son- and would not change that calling
To be adopted heir to Frederick.
My father lov'd Sir Rowland as his soul,
And all the world was of my father's mind;
Had I before known this young man his son,
I should have given him tears unto entreaties
Ere he should thus have ventur'd.
Let us go thank him, and encourage him;
My father's rough and envious disposition
Sticks me at heart. Sir, you have well deserv'd;
If you do keep your promises in love
But justly as you have exceeded all promise,
Your mistress shall be happy.
Gentleman, [Giving him a chain from her neck]
Wear this for me; one out of suits with fortune,
That could give more, but that her hand lacks means.
Shall we go, coz?
Good sir, I do in friendship counsel you
To leave this place. Albeit you have deserv'd
High commendation, true applause, and love,
Yet such is now the Duke's condition
That he misconstrues all that you have done.
The Duke is humorous; what he is, indeed,
More suits you to conceive than I to speak of.
I thank you, sir; and pray you tell me this:
Which of the two was daughter of the Duke
That here was at the wrestling?
Neither his daughter, if we judge by manners;
But yet, indeed, the smaller is his daughter;
The other is daughter to the banish'd Duke,
And here detain'd by her usurping uncle,
To keep his daughter company; whose loves
Are dearer than the natural bond of sisters.
But I can tell you that of late this Duke
Hath ta'en displeasure 'gainst his gentle niece,
Grounded upon no other argument
But that the people praise her for her virtues
And pity her for her good father's sake;
And, on my life, his malice 'gainst the lady
Will suddenly break forth. Sir, fare you well.
Hereafter, in a better world than this,
I shall desire more love and knowledge of you.
I rest much bounden to you; fare you well.