[Stage] Enter Rosalind, Celia, and Jaques
I prithee, pretty youth, let me be better acquainted
They say you are a melancholy fellow.
I am so. I do love it better than laughing.
Those that are in extremity of either are abominable
fellows and betray themselves to every modern censure
worse than drunkards.
Why, ’tis good to be sad and say nothing.
Why then, ’tis good to be a post.
I have neither the scholar’s melancholy, which is
emulation; nor the musician’s, which is fantastical; nor
the courtier’s, which is proud; nor the soldier’s,
which is ambitious; nor the lawyer’s, which is politic;
nor the lady’s, which is nice;
nor the lover’s, which is
all these, but it is a melancholy of mine own,
compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects,
and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in
which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous
A traveler. By my faith, you have great reason to be
sad. I fear you have sold your own lands to see other
Then to have seen much and to have nothing is to
have rich eyes and poor hands.
Yes, I have gained my experience.
And your experience makes you sad. I had rather have a
fool to make me merry than experience to make me sad—and
to travel for it, too.
[Stage] Enter Orlando
Good day and happiness, dear Rosalind.
Nay then, God be wi’ you, an you talk in blank verse.
Farewell, Monsieur Traveler. Look you lisp and wear
strange suits, disable all the benefits of your own
country, be out of love with your nativity,
chide God for making you that countenance you are, or I
will scarce think you have swam in a gondola.
[Stage] Exit Jaques
[as Ganymede pretending to be Rosalind] Why, how now,
Orlando, where have you been all this while? You a
lover? An you serve me such another trick, never come in
my sight more.
My fair Rosalind, I come within an hour of my promise.
Break an hour’s promise in love?
He that will divide a
minute into a thousand parts and break but a part of the
thousand part of a minute in the affairs of love,
may be said of him that Cupid hath clapped him o’ th’
but I’ll warrant him heart-whole.
Pardon me, dear Rosalind.
Nay, an you be so tardy, come no more in my sight. I
had as lief be wooed of a snail.
Of a snail?
Ay, of a snail, for though he comes slowly, he carries
his house on his head—a better jointure, I think, than
you make a woman. Besides, he brings his destiny with
Why, horns, which such as you are fain to be beholding
to your wives for. But he comes armed in his fortune and
prevents the slander of his wife.
Virtue is no hornmaker, and my Rosalind is virtuous.
And I am your Rosalind.
[as Aliena] It pleases him to call you so, but he hath
Rosalind of a better leer than you.
Come, woo me, woo me, for now I am in a holiday humor,
and like enough to consent. What would you say to me
now, an I were your very, very Rosalind?
I would kiss before I spoke.
Nay, you were better speak first, and when you were
graveled for lack of matter, you might take occasion to
Very good orators, when they are out, they will
spit; and for lovers lacking—God warn us—matter, the
cleanliest shift is to kiss.
How if the kiss be denied?
Then she puts you to entreaty, and there begins new
Who could be out, being before his beloved mistress?
Marry, that should you if I were your mistress, or I
should think my honesty ranker than my wit.
What, of my suit?
Not out of your apparel, and yet out of your suit. Am
not I your Rosalind?
I take some joy to say you are because I would be
talking of her.
Well, in her person I say I will not have you.
Then, in mine own person I die.
No, faith, die by attorney. The poor world is almost
six thousand years old, and in all this time there was
not any man died in his own person, videlicet, in a love
Troilus had his brains dashed out with a Grecian
club, yet he did what he could to die before, and he is
one of the patterns of love. Leander, he would have
lived many a fair year though Hero had turned nun if it
had not been for a hot midsummer night,
for, good youth,
he went but forth to wash him in the Hellespont and,
being taken with the cramp, was drowned; and the foolish
chroniclers of that age found it was Hero of Sestos.
But these are all lies. Men have died from time to time,
and worms have eaten them, but not for love.
I would not have my right Rosalind of this mind, for I
protest her frown might kill me.
By this hand, it will not kill a fly. But come; now I
will be your Rosalind in a more coming-on disposition,
and ask me what you will, I will grant it.
Then love me, Rosalind.
Yes, faith, will I, Fridays and Saturdays and all.
And wilt thou have me?
Ay, and twenty such.
What sayest thou?
Are you not good?
I hope so.
Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing?—
Come, sister, you shall be the priest and marry us.—Give
me your hand, Orlando.—What do you say, sister?
Pray thee, marry us.
I cannot say the words.
You must begin “Will you, Orlando—”
Go to.—Will you, Orlando, have to wife this Rosalind?
Ay, but when?
Why, now, as fast as she can marry us.
Then you must say “I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.”
I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.
I might ask you for your commission, but I do take
thee, Orlando, for my husband. There’s a girl goes
before the priest, and certainly a woman’s thought runs
before her actions.
So do all thoughts. They are winged.
Now tell me how long you would have her after you have
Forever and a day.
Say “a day” without the “ever.” No, no, Orlando, men
are April when they woo, December when they wed. Maids
are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when
they are wives.
I will be more jealous of thee than a
Barbary cock- pigeon over his hen, more clamorous than a
parrot against rain, more newfangled than an ape, more
giddy in my desires than a monkey.
I will weep for
nothing, like Diana in the fountain, and I will do that
when you are disposed to be merry. I will laugh like a
hyena, and that when thou art inclined to sleep.
But will my Rosalind do so?
By my life, she will do as I do.
Oh, but she is wise.
Or else she could not have the wit to do this. The
wiser, the waywarder. Make the doors upon a woman’s wit,
and it will out at the casement.
Shut that, and ’twill
out at the keyhole. Stop that, ’twill fly with the smoke
out at the chimney.
A man that had a wife with such a wit, he might say
“Wit, whither wilt?”
Nay, you might keep that check for it, till you met
your wife’s wit going to your neighbor’s bed.
And what wit could wit have to excuse that?
Marry, to say she came to seek you there. You shall
never take her without her answer unless you take her
without her tongue.
Oh, that woman that cannot make her
fault her husband’s occasion, let her never nurse her
child herself, for she will breed it like a fool.
For these two hours, Rosalind, I will leave thee.
Alas, dear love, I cannot lack thee two hours.
I must attend the duke at dinner. By two o’clock I will
be with thee again.
Ay, go your ways, go your ways. I knew what you would
prove. My friends told me as much, and I thought no
less. That flattering tongue of yours won me.
one cast away, and so, come, death. Two o’clock is your
Ay, sweet Rosalind.
By my troth, and in good earnest, and so God mend me,
and by all pretty oaths that are not dangerous, if you
break one jot of your promise or come one minute behind
I will think you the most pathetical
break-promise and the most hollow lover and the most
unworthy of her you call Rosalind that may be chosen out
of the gross band of the unfaithful. Therefore beware
my censure, and keep your promise.
With no less religion than if thou wert indeed my
Well, time is the old justice that examines all such
offenders, and let time try. Adieu.
[Stage] Exit Orlando
You have simply misused our sex in your love-prate. We
must have your doublet and hose plucked over your head
and show the world what the bird hath done to her own
O coz, coz, coz, my pretty little coz, that thou didst
know how many fathom deep I am in love. But it cannot
be sounded; my affection hath an unknown bottom, like
the Bay of Portugal.
Or rather bottomless, that as fast as you pour
affection in, it runs out.
No, that same wicked bastard of Venus that was begot of
thought, conceived of spleen, and born of madness, that
blind rascally boy that abuses everyone’s eyes because
his own are out, let him be judge how deep I am in love.
I’ll tell thee, Aliena, I cannot be out of the sight of
Orlando. I’ll go find a shadow and sigh till he come.
And I’ll sleep.