What are Celia's plans for their 'fittest time' and 'safest way / To hide us from pursuit' in Act I, scene iii, in As You Like It by William Shakespeare?As You Like It DUKE FREDERICK Can it...
What are Celia's plans for their 'fittest time' and 'safest way / To hide us from pursuit' in Act I, scene iii, in As You Like It by William Shakespeare?
As You Like It
Can it be possible that no man saw them?
It cannot be: some villains of my court
Are of consent and sufferance in this.
I cannot hear of any that did see her.
The ladies, her attendants of her chamber,
Saw her abed, and in the morning early
They found the bed untreasured of their mistress.
My lord, the roynish clown, at whom so oft
Your grace was wont to laugh, is also missing. (II.ii)
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. (I.iii)
The "fittest time and safest way" for their flight is not revealed until Act II, Scene ii, and then very little is made known. The revelation of Celia's plan is not made directly by the girls but indirectly by reports given by two lords to Duke Frederick. They tell him what they learned in their investigation. We learn very little of their escape since very little can be known by the meddlers in the palace who provide information to the investigators.
We know from Lord one that the maids saw the girls safely in their beds the last thing the night before. We know that with the dawn, the beds were empty: "[The attendants] found the bed untreasured of their mistress." We know from the second lord that Touchstone, "the roynish clown," accepted their offer and escaped the court of Frederick along with the exile and her friend.
This is all the information we are given for, when Aliena, Touchstone and Ganymede enter Arden Forest, the dialogue turns to present matters of survival and never flashes back to their view of their escape.