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Act I

Act I, Scene 1


SCENE I. An Orchard near OLIVER'S house.

[Enter ORLANDO and ADAM.]

As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion,--bequeathed me by
will but poor a thousand crowns, and, as thou say'st, charged my
brother, on his blessing, to breed me well: and there begins my
sadness. My brother Jaques he keeps at school, and report speaks
goldenly of his profit: for my part, he keeps me rustically at
home, or, to speak more properly, stays me here at home unkept:
for call you that keeping for a gentleman of my birth that
differs not from the stalling of an ox? His horses are bred
better; for, besides that they are fair with their feeding, they
are taught their manage, and to that end riders dearly
hired; but I, his brother, gain nothing under him but growth;
for the which his animals on his dunghills are as much bound to
him as I. Besides this nothing that he so plentifully gives me,
the something that nature gave me, his countenance seems to take
from me: he lets me feed with his hinds, bars me the place of a
brother, and as much as in him lies, mines my gentility with
my education. This is it, Adam, that grieves me; and the spirit
of my father, which I think is within me, begins to mutiny
against this servitude; I will no longer endure it, though yet I
know no wise remedy how to avoid it.

Yonder comes my master, your brother.

Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he will shake me up.

[ADAM retires]

[Enter OLIVER.]

Now, sir! what make you here?

Nothing: I am not taught to make anything.

What mar you then, sir?

Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that which God made, a
poor unworthy brother of yours, with idleness.

Marry, sir, be better employed, and be naught awhile.

Shall I keep your hogs, and eat husks with them? What
prodigal portion have I spent that I should come to such penury?

Know you where you are, sir?

O, sir, very well: here in your orchard.

Know you before whom, sir?

Ay, better than him I am before knows me. I know you are
my eldest brother: and in the gentle condition of blood, you
should so know me. The courtesy of nations allows you my better
in that you are the first-born; but the same tradition takes not
away my blood, were there twenty brothers betwixt us: I have as
much of my father in me as you, albeit; I confess, your coming
before me is nearer to his reverence.

What, boy!

Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this.

Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?

I am no villain: I am the youngest son of Sir Rowland de
Bois: he was my father; and he is thrice a villain that says such
a father begot villains. Wert thou not my brother, I would not
take this hand from thy throat till this other had pulled out
thy tongue for saying so: thou has railed on thyself.

[Coming forward] Sweet masters, be patient; for your
father's remembrance, be at accord.

Let me go, I say.

I will not, till I please: you shall hear me. My father
charged you in his will to give me good education: you have
trained me like a peasant, obscuring and hiding from me all
gentleman-like qualities: the spirit of my father grows strong in
me, and I will no longer endure it: therefore, allow me such
exercises as may become a gentleman, or give me the poor
allottery my father left me by testament; with that I will go
buy my fortunes.

And what wilt thou do? beg, when that is spent? Well, sir,
get you in; I will not long be troubled with you: you shall
have some part of your will: I pray you leave me.

I no further offend you than becomes me for my good.

Get you with him, you old dog.

Is "old dog" my reward? Most true, I have lost my teeth in
your service.--God be with my old master! he would not have
spoke such a word.

[Exeunt ORLANDO and ADAM.]

Is it even so? begin you to grow upon me? I will physic
your rankness, and yet give no thousand crowns neither.
Holla, Dennis!

[Enter DENNIS.]

Calls your worship?

Was not Charles, the duke's wrestler, here to speak with me?

So please you, he is here at the door and importunes access to

Call him in.

[Exit DENNIS.]

--'Twill be a good way; and to-morrow the wrestling is.

[Enter CHARLES.]

Good morrow to your worship.

Good Monsieur Charles!--what's the new news at the new court?

There's no news at the court, sir, but the old news; that
is, the old duke is banished by his younger brother the new duke;
and three or four loving lords have put themselves into voluntary
exile with him, whose lands and revenues enrich the new duke;
therefore he gives them good leave to wander.

Can you tell if Rosalind, the duke's daughter, be banished
with her father?

O, no; for the duke's daughter, her cousin, so loves her,--being
ever from their cradles bred together,--that she would have
followed her exile, or have died to stay behind her. She is at
the court, and no less beloved of her uncle than his own
daughter; and never two ladies loved as they do.

Where will the old duke live?

They say he is already in the Forest of Arden, and a many
merry men with him; and there they live like the old Robin Hood
of England: they say many young gentlemen flock to him every day,
and fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden world.

What, you wrestle to-morrow before the new duke?

Marry, do I, sir; and I came to acquaint you with a matter. I am
given, sir, secretly to understand that your younger brother,
Orlando, hath a disposition to come in disguis'd against me to
try a fall. To-morrow, sir, I wrestle for my credit;
and he that escapes me without some broken limb shall acquit him
well. Your brother is but young and tender; and, for your love, I
would be loath to foil him, as I must, for my own honour, if he
come in: therefore, out of my love to you, I came hither to
acquaint you withal; that either you might stay him from his
intendment, or brook such disgrace well as he shall run into; in
that it is thing of his own search, and altogether against my

Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me, which thou shalt
find I will most kindly requite. I had myself notice of my
brother's purpose herein, and have by underhand means laboured to
dissuade him from it; but he is resolute. I'll tell thee,
Charles, it is the stubbornest young fellow of France; full of
ambition, an envious emulator of every man's good parts, a secret
and villainous contriver against me his natural brother:
therefore use thy discretion: I had as lief thou didst break his
neck as his finger. And thou wert best look to't; for if thou
dost him any slight disgrace, or if he do not mightily grace
himself on thee, he will practise against thee by poison, entrap
thee by some treacherous device, and never leave thee till he
hath ta'en thy life by some indirect means or other: for, I
assure thee, and almost with tears I speak it, there is not one
so young and so villainous this day living. I speak but brotherly
of him; but should I anatomize him to thee as he is, I must
blush and weep, and thou must look pale and wonder.

I am heartily glad I came hither to you. If he come
to-morrow I'll give him his payment. If ever he go alone again
I'll never wrestle for prize more: and so, God keep your worship!


Farewell, good Charles.--Now will I stir this gamester: I
hope I shall see an end of him: for my soul, yet I know not
why, hates nothing more than he. Yet he's gentle; never schooled
and yet learned; full of noble device; of all sorts enchantingly
beloved; and, indeed, so much in the heart of the world, and
especially of my own people, who best know him, that I am
altogether misprised: but it shall not be so long; this
wrestler shall clear all: nothing remains but that I kindle the
boy thither, which now I'll go about.


Act I, Scene 2

SCENE II. A Lawn before the DUKE'S Palace.


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
extraordinary pleasure.

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
tempered as mine is to thee.

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

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 pr'ythee, 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.

What shall be our sport, then?

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

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.

'Tis true; for those that she makes fair she scarce makes
honest; and those that she makes honest she makes very

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

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?


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.

Were you made the messenger?

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

Where learned you that oath, fool?

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?

Ay, marry; now unmuzzle your wisdom.

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

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

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

Pr'ythee, who is't that thou mean'st?

One that old Frederick, your father, loves.

My father's love is enough to honour him enough: speak
no more of him: you'll be whipp'd for taxation one of these days.

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

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.

With his mouth full of news.

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

Then shall we be news-crammed.

All the better; we shall be the more marketable.

[Enter LE BEAU.]

Bon jour, Monsieur Le Beau. What's the news?

Fair princess, you have lost much good sport.

Sport! of what colour?

What colour, madam? How shall I answer you?

As wit and fortune will.

Or as the destinies decrees.

Well said: that was laid on with a trowel.

Nay, if I keep not my rank,--

Thou losest thy old smell.

You amaze me, ladies; I would have told you of good
wrestling, which you have lost the sight of.

Yet tell us the manner of the wrestling.

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 these presents,'--

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 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.


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

Why, this that I speak of.

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

Or I, I promise thee.

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?

You must, if you stay here: for here is the place
appointed for the wrestling, and they are ready to perform it.

Yonder, sure, they are coming: let us now stay and see it.

[Flourish. Enter DUKE FREDERICK, Lords, ORLANDO, CHARLES, and

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

Is yonder the man?

Even he, madam.

Alas, he is too young: yet he looks successfully.

How now, daughter and cousin? are you crept hither to see the

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 men. 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.

Call him hither, good Monsieur Le Beau.

Do so; I'll not be by.

[DUKE FREDERICK goes apart.]

Monsieur the challenger, the princesses call for you.

I attend them with all respect and duty.

Young man, have you challenged 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
anything. But let your fair eyes and gentle wishes go
with me to my trial: wherein if I be foiled there is but one
shamed that was never gracious; if killed, 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 you.

And mine to eke out hers.

Fare you well. Pray heaven, I be deceived in you!

Your heart's desires be with you.

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

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

You shall try but one fall.

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

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

Now, Hercules be thy speed, young man!

I would I were invisible, to catch the strong fellow by the leg.

[CHARLES and ORLANDO wrestle.]

O excellent young man!

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

[CHARLES is thrown. Shout.]

No more, no more.

Yes, I beseech your grace; I am not yet well breathed.

How dost thou, Charles?

He cannot speak, my lord.

Bear him away.

[CHARLES is borne out.]

What is thy name, young man?

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

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 FREDERICK, Train, and LE BEAU.]

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

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 loved 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.

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 promise,
Your mistress shall be happy.


[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?

Ay.--Fare you well, fair gentleman.

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.

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.

Will you go, coz?

Have with you.--Fare you well.

[Exeunt ROSALIND and CELIA.]

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.]

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!

[Exit LE BEAU.]

Thus must I from the smoke into the smother;
From tyrant duke unto a tyrant brother:--
But heavenly Rosalind!


Act I, Scene 3

SCENE III. A Room in the Palace.


Why, cousin; why, Rosalind;--Cupid have mercy!--Not a word?

Not one to throw at a dog.

No, thy words are too precious to be cast away upon curs, throw
some of them at me; come, lame me with reasons.

Then there were two cousins laid up; when the one should
be lamed with reasons and the other mad without any.

But is all this for your father?

No, some of it is for my child's father. O, how full
of briers is this working-day world!

They are but burs, cousin, thrown upon thee in holiday
foolery; if we walk not in the trodden paths, our very
petticoats will catch them.

I could shake them off my coat: these burs are in my heart.

Hem them away.

I would try, if I could cry hem and have him.

Come, come, wrestle with thy affections.

O, they take the part of a better wrestler than myself.

O, a good wish upon you! you will try in time, in despite of
a fall.--But, turning these jests out of service, let us talk in
good earnest: is it possible, on such a sudden, you should fall
into so strong a liking with old Sir Rowland's youngest son?

The duke my father loved his father dearly.

Doth it therefore ensue that you should love his son dearly?
By this kind of chase I should hate him, for my father hated
his father dearly; yet I hate not Orlando.

No, 'faith, hate him not, for my sake.

Why should I not? doth he not deserve well?

Let me love him for that; and do you love him because
I do.--Look, here comes the duke.

With his eyes full of anger.

[Enter DUKE FREDERICK, with Lords.]

Mistress, despatch you with your safest haste,
And get you from our court.

Me, uncle?

You, cousin:
Within these ten days if that thou be'st found
So near our public court as twenty miles,
Thou diest for it.

I do beseech your grace,
Let me the knowledge of my fault bear with me:
If with myself I hold intelligence,
Or have acquaintance with mine own desires;
If that I do not dream, or be not frantic,--
As I do trust I am not,--then, dear uncle,
Never so much as in a thought unborn
Did I offend your highness.

Thus do all traitors;
If their purgation did consist in words,
They are as innocent as grace itself:--
Let it suffice thee that I trust thee not.

Yet your mistrust cannot make me a traitor:
Tell me whereon the likelihood depends.

Thou art thy father's daughter; there's enough.

So was I when your highness took his dukedom;
So was I when your highness banish'd him:
Treason is not inherited, my lord:
Or, if we did derive it from our friends,
What's that to me? my father was no traitor!
Then, good my liege, mistake me not so much
To think my poverty is treacherous.

Dear sovereign, hear me speak.

Ay, Celia: we stay'd her for your sake,
Else had she with her father rang'd along.

I did not then entreat to have her stay;
It was your pleasure, and your own remorse:
I was too young that time to value her;
But now I know her: if she be a traitor,
Why so am I: we still have slept together,
Rose at an instant, learn'd, play'd, eat together;
And wheresoe'er we went, like Juno's swans,
Still we went coupled and inseparable.

She is too subtle for thee; and her smoothness,
Her very silence, and her patience
Speak to the people, and they pity her.
Thou art a fool: she robs thee of thy name;
And thou wilt show more bright and seem more virtuous
When she is gone: then open not thy lips;
Firm and irrevocable is my doom
Which I have pass'd upon her;--she is banish'd.

Pronounce that sentence, then, on me, my liege:
I cannot live out of her company.

You are a fool.--You, niece, provide yourself:
If you outstay the time, upon mine honour,
And in the greatness of my word, you die.

[Exeunt DUKE FREDERICK and Lords.]

O my poor Rosalind! whither wilt thou go?
Wilt thou change fathers? I will give thee mine.
I charge thee be not thou more griev'd than I am.

I have more cause.

Thou hast not, cousin;
Pr'ythee be cheerful: know'st thou not the duke
Hath banish'd me, his daughter?

That he hath not.

No! hath not? Rosalind lacks, then, the love
Which teacheth thee that thou and I am one:
Shall we be sund'red? shall we part, sweet girl?
No; let my father seek another heir.
Therefore devise with me how we may fly,
Whither to go, and what to bear with us:
And do not seek to take your charge upon you,
To bear your griefs yourself, and leave me out;
For, by this heaven, now at our sorrows pale,
Say what thou canst, I'll go along with thee.

Why, whither shall we go?

To seek my uncle in the Forest of Arden.

Alas! what danger will it be to us,
Maids as we are, to travel forth so far?
Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.

I'll put myself in poor and mean attire,
And with a kind of umber smirch my face;
The like do you; so shall we pass along,
And never stir assailants.

Were it not better,
Because that I am more than common tall,
That I did suit me all points like a man?
A gallant curtle-axe upon my thigh,
A boar spear in my hand; and,--in my heart
Lie there what hidden woman's fear there will,--
We'll have a swashing and a martial outside,
As many other mannish cowards have
That do outface it with their semblances.

What shall I call thee when thou art a man?

I'll have no worse a name than Jove's own page,
And, therefore, look you call me Ganymede.
But what will you be call'd?

Something that hath a reference to my state:
No longer Celia, but Aliena.

But, cousin, what if we assay'd to steal
The clownish fool out of your father's court?
Would he not be a comfort to our travel?

He'll go along o'er the wide world with me;
Leave me alone to woo him. Let's away,
And get our jewels and our wealth together;
Devise the fittest time and safest way
To hide us from pursuit that will be made
After my flight. Now go we in content
To liberty, and not to banishment.