[Stage] Enter Celia and Rosalind
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
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.
honor I will, and when I break that oath, let me turn
monster. Therefore, my sweet Rose, my dear Rose, be
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 honor
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
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 ill- favoredly.
Nay, now thou goest from Fortune’s office to Nature’s.
Fortune reigns in gifts of the world, not in the
[Stage] Enter Touchstone
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
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
for always the dullness of the fool is
the whetstone of the wits.
How now, wit, whither wander
Mistress, you must come away to your father.
Were you made the messenger?
No, by mine honor, but I was bid to come for you.
Where learned you that oath, fool?
Of a certain knight that swore by his honor they were
good pancakes, and swore by his honor the mustard was
Now, I’ll stand to it, the pancakes were naught
and the mustard was good, and yet was not the knight
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.
was this knight swearing by his honor, for he never had
any; or if he had, he had sworn it away before ever he
saw those pancakes or that mustard.
Prithee, who is ’t that thou mean’st?
One that old Frederick, your father, loves.
My father’s love is enough to honor him. Enough. Speak
no more of him; you’ll be whipped for taxation one of
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.
[Stage] Enter 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
Monsieur Le Beau. What’s the news?
Fair princess, you have lost much good sport.
Sport? Of what color?
What color, 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.
You 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
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
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 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
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
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
Yonder sure they are coming. Let us now stay and see
[Stage] Flourish. Enter Duke Frederick, lords, Orlando, Charles, and attendants
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 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.
Call him hither, good Monsieur Le Beau.
Do so. I’ll not be by.
[Stage] He steps aside.
Monsieur the challenger, the Princess calls 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
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
Do, young sir. Your reputation shall not therefore be
misprized. 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 was willing to be so. I
shall do my friends no wrong, for I have none to lament
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
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
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
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
[Stage] They wrestle
O excellent young man!
If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can tell who
[Stage] 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. What is thy name, young man?
[Stage] Charles is carried off
Orlando, my liege, the youngest son of Sir Rowland de
I would thou hadst been son to some man else.
The world esteemed thy father honorable,
But I did find him still mine enemy.
Thou shouldst have better pleased 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.
[Stage] 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 ventured.
Let us go thank him and encourage him.
My father’s rough and envious disposition
Sticks me at heart.—
Sir, you have well deserved.
If you do keep your promises in love
But justly, as you have exceeded all 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.
[Stage] Exeunt Rosalind and Celia
What passion hangs these weights upon my tongue?
I cannot speak to her, yet she urged conference.
O poor Orlando!
Thou art overthrown.
Or Charles or something weaker masters thee.
[Stage] Enter Le Beau
Good sir, I do in friendship counsel you
To leave this place.
Albeit you have deserved
High commendation, true applause, and love,
Yet such is now the duke’s condition
That he misconsters 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 banished duke,
And here detained 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.
[Stage] Exit Le Beau
Thus must I from the smoke into the smother,
From tyrant duke unto a tyrant brother.
But heavenly Rosalind!