ACT I
Scene 2
 

A lawn before the DUKE'S palace

Enter ROSALIND and CELIA

CELIA
I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry.

ROSALIND
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
extraordinary pleasure.

CELIA
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.

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

CELIA
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.

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

CELIA
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.

ROSALIND
What shall be our sport, then?

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

ROSALIND
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.

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

ROSALIND
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

CELIA
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?

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

CELIA
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?

TOUCHSTONE
Mistress, you must come away to your father.

CELIA
Were you made the messenger?

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

ROSALIND
Where learned you that oath, fool?

TOUCHSTONE
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.

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

ROSALIND
Ay, marry, now unmuzzle your wisdom.

TOUCHSTONE
Stand you both forth now: stroke your chins, and swear
by your beards that I am a knave.

CELIA
By our beards, if we had them, thou art.

TOUCHSTONE
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
that mustard.

CELIA
Prithee, who is't that thou mean'st?

TOUCHSTONE
One that old Frederick, your father, loves.

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

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

CELIA
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

ROSALIND
With his mouth full of news.

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

ROSALIND
Then shall we be news-cramm'd.

CELIA
All the better; we shall be the more marketable. Bon jour,
Monsieur Le Beau. What's the news?

LE BEAU
Fair Princess, you have lost much good sport.

CELIA
Sport! of what colour?

LE BEAU
What colour, madam? How shall I answer you?

ROSALIND
As wit and fortune will.

TOUCHSTONE
Or as the Destinies decrees.

CELIA
Well said; that was laid on with a trowel.

TOUCHSTONE
Nay, if I keep not my rank-

ROSALIND
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.

ROSALIND
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.

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

LE BEAU
There comes an old man and his three sons-

CELIA
I could match this beginning with an old tale.

LE BEAU
Three proper young men, of excellent growth and presence.

ROSALIND
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 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.

ROSALIND
Alas!

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

LE BEAU
Why, this that I speak of.

TOUCHSTONE
Thus men may grow wiser every day. It is the first time
that ever I heard breaking of ribs was sport for ladies.

CELIA
Or I, I promise thee.

ROSALIND
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.

CELIA
Yonder, sure, they are coming. Let us now stay and see it.

Flourish. Enter DUKE FREDERICK, LORDS, ORLANDO, CHARLES, and ATTENDANTS

FREDERICK
Come on; since the youth will not be entreated, his own
peril on his forwardness.

ROSALIND
Is yonder the man?

LE BEAU
Even he, madam.

CELIA
Alas, he is too young; yet he looks successfully.

FREDERICK
How now, daughter and cousin! Are you crept hither to
see the wrestling?

ROSALIND
Ay, my liege; so please you give us leave.

FREDERICK
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.

CELIA
Call him hither, good Monsieur Le Beau.

FREDERICK
Do so; I'll not be by.

[DUKE FREDERICK goes apart]

LE BEAU
Monsieur the Challenger, the Princess calls for you.

ORLANDO
I attend them with all respect and duty.

ROSALIND
Young man, have you challeng'd Charles the wrestler?

ORLANDO
No, fair Princess; he is the general challenger. I come
but in, as others do, to try with him the strength of my youth.

CELIA
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.

ROSALIND
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.

ORLANDO
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.

ROSALIND
The little strength that I have, I would it were with
you.

CELIA
And mine to eke out hers.

ROSALIND
Fare you well. Pray heaven I be deceiv'd in you!

CELIA
Your heart's desires be with you!

CHARLES
Come, where is this young gallant that is so desirous to
lie with his mother earth?

ORLANDO
Ready, sir; but his will hath in it a more modest working.

FREDERICK
You shall try but one fall.

CHARLES
No, I warrant your Grace, you shall not entreat him to a
second, that have so mightily persuaded him from a first.

ORLANDO
You mean to mock me after; you should not have mock'd me
before; but come your ways.

ROSALIND
Now, Hercules be thy speed, young man!

CELIA
I would I were invisible, to catch the strong fellow by the
leg. [They wrestle]

ROSALIND
O excellent young man!

CELIA
If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can tell who should
down.

[CHARLES is thrown. Shout]

FREDERICK
No more, no more.

ORLANDO
Yes, I beseech your Grace; I am not yet well breath'd.

FREDERICK
How dost thou, Charles?

LE BEAU
He cannot speak, my lord.

FREDERICK
Bear him away. What is thy name, young man?

ORLANDO
Orlando, my liege; the youngest son of Sir Rowland de
Boys.

FREDERICK
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.

Exeunt DUKE, train, and LE BEAU

CELIA
Were I my father, coz, would I do this?

ORLANDO
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.

ROSALIND
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.

CELIA
Gentle cousin,
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.

ROSALIND
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?

CELIA
Ay. Fare you well, fair gentleman.

ORLANDO
Can I not say 'I thank you'? My better parts
Are all thrown down; and that which here stands up
Is but a quintain, a mere lifeless block.

ROSALIND
He calls us back. My pride fell with my fortunes;
I'll ask him what he would. Did you call, sir?
Sir, you have wrestled well, and overthrown
More than your enemies.

CELIA
Will you go, coz?

ROSALIND
Have with you. Fare you well.

Exeunt ROSALIND and CELIA

ORLANDO
What passion hangs these weights upon my tongue?
I cannot speak to her, yet she urg'd conference.
O poor Orlando, thou art overthrown!
Or Charles or something weaker masters thee.

Re-enter LE BEAU

LE BEAU
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.

ORLANDO
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?

LE BEAU
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.

ORLANDO
I rest much bounden to you; fare you well.

Exit LE BEAU

Thus must I from the smoke into the smother;
From tyrant Duke unto a tyrant brother.
But heavenly Rosalind!

Exit