[Enter ORLANDO, with a paper]
Hang there, my verse, in witness of my love:
And thou, thrice-crowned queen of night, survey
With thy chaste eye, from thy pale sphere above,
Thy huntress' name that my full life doth sway.
O Rosalind! these trees shall be my books
And in their barks my thoughts I'll character;
That every eye which in this forest looks
Shall see thy virtue witness'd every where.
Run, run, Orlando; carve on every tree
The fair, the chaste and unexpressive she.
[Enter CORIN and TOUCHSTONE]
And how like you this shepherd's life, Master Touchstone?
Truly, shepherd, in respect of itself, it is a good
life, but in respect that it is a shepherd's life,
it is naught. In respect that it is solitary, I
like it very well; but in respect that it is
private, it is a very vile life. Now, in respect it
is in the fields, it pleaseth me well; but in
respect it is not in the court, it is tedious. As
is it a spare life, look you, it fits my humour well;
but as there is no more plenty in it, it goes much
against my stomach. Hast any philosophy in thee, shepherd?
No more but that I know the more one sickens the
worse at ease he is; and that he that wants money,
means and content is without three good friends;
that the property of rain is to wet and fire to
burn; that good pasture makes fat sheep, and that a
great cause of the night is lack of the sun; that
he that hath learned no wit by nature nor art may
complain of good breeding or comes of a very dull kindred.
Such a one is a natural philosopher. Wast ever in
Then thou art damned.
Nay, I hope.
Truly, thou art damned like an ill-roasted egg, all
on one side.
For not being at court? Your reason.
Why, if thou never wast at court, thou never sawest
good manners; if thou never sawest good manners,
then thy manners must be wicked; and wickedness is
sin, and sin is damnation. Thou art in a parlous
Not a whit, Touchstone: those that are good manners
at the court are as ridiculous in the country as the
behavior of the country is most mockable at the
court. You told me you salute not at the court, but
you kiss your hands: that courtesy would be
uncleanly, if courtiers were shepherds.
Instance, briefly; come, instance.
Why, we are still handling our ewes, and their
fells, you know, are greasy.
Why, do not your courtier's hands sweat? and is not
the grease of a mutton as wholesome as the sweat of
a man? Shallow, shallow. A better instance, I say; come.
Besides, our hands are hard.
Your lips will feel them the sooner. Shallow again.
A more sounder instance, come.
And they are often tarred over with the surgery of
our sheep: and would you have us kiss tar? The
courtier's hands are perfumed with civet.
Most shallow man! thou worms-meat, in respect of a
good piece of flesh indeed! Learn of the wise, and
perpend: civet is of a baser birth than tar, the
very uncleanly flux of a cat. Mend the instance, shepherd.
You have too courtly a wit for me: I'll rest.
Wilt thou rest damned? God help thee, shallow man!
God make incision in thee! thou art raw.
Sir, I am a true labourer: I earn that I eat, get
that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's
happiness, glad of other men's good, content with my
harm, and the greatest of my pride is to see my ewes
graze and my lambs suck.
That is another simple sin in you, to bring the ewes
and the rams together and to offer to get your
living by the copulation of cattle; to be bawd to a
bell-wether, and to betray a she-lamb of a
twelvemonth to a crooked-pated, old, cuckoldly ram,
out of all reasonable match. If thou beest not
damned for this, the devil himself will have no
shepherds; I cannot see else how thou shouldst
Here comes young Master Ganymede, my new mistress's brother.
[Enter ROSALIND, with a paper, reading]
From the east to western Ind,
No jewel is like Rosalind.
Her worth, being mounted on the wind,
Through all the world bears Rosalind.
All the pictures fairest lined
Are but black to Rosalind.
Let no fair be kept in mind
But the fair of Rosalind.
I'll rhyme you so eight years together, dinners and
suppers and sleeping-hours excepted: it is the
right butter-women's rank to market.
For a taste:
If a hart do lack a hind,
Let him seek out Rosalind.
If the cat will after kind,
So be sure will Rosalind.
Winter garments must be lined,
So must slender Rosalind.
They that reap must sheaf and bind;
Then to cart with Rosalind.
Sweetest nut hath sourest rind,
Such a nut is Rosalind.
He that sweetest rose will find
Must find love's prick and Rosalind.
This is the very false gallop of verses: why do you
infect yourself with them?
Peace, you dull fool! I found them on a tree.
Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.
I'll graff it with you, and then I shall graff it
with a medlar: then it will be the earliest fruit
i' the country; for you'll be rotten ere you be half
ripe, and that's the right virtue of the medlar.
You have said; but whether wisely or no, let the
[Enter CELIA, with a writing]
Peace! Here comes my sister, reading: stand aside.
Why should this a desert be?
For it is unpeopled? No:
Tongues I'll hang on every tree,
That shall civil sayings show:
Some, how brief the life of man
Runs his erring pilgrimage,
That the stretching of a span
Buckles in his sum of age;
Some, of violated vows
'Twixt the souls of friend and friend:
But upon the fairest boughs,
Or at every sentence end,
Will I Rosalinda write,
Teaching all that read to know
The quintessence of every sprite
Heaven would in little show.
Therefore Heaven Nature charged
That one body should be fill'd
With all graces wide-enlarged:
Nature presently distill'd
Helen's cheek, but not her heart,
Atalanta's better part,
Sad Lucretia's modesty.
Thus Rosalind of many parts
By heavenly synod was devised,
Of many faces, eyes and hearts,
To have the touches dearest prized.
Heaven would that she these gifts should have,
And I to live and die her slave.
O most gentle pulpiter! what tedious homily of love
have you wearied your parishioners withal, and never
cried 'Have patience, good people!'
How now! back, friends! Shepherd, go off a little.
Go with him, sirrah.
Come, shepherd, let us make an honourable retreat;
though not with bag and baggage, yet with scrip and scrippage.
[Exeunt CORIN and TOUCHSTONE]
Didst thou hear these verses?
O, yes, I heard them all, and more too; for some of
them had in them more feet than the verses would bear.
That's no matter: the feet might bear the verses.
Ay, but the feet were lame and could not bear
themselves without the verse and therefore stood
lamely in the verse.
But didst thou hear without wondering how thy name
should be hanged and carved upon these trees?
I was seven of the nine days out of the wonder
before you came; for look here what I found on a
palm-tree. I was never so be-rhymed since
Pythagoras' time, that I was an Irish rat, which I
can hardly remember.
Trow you who hath done this?
Is it a man?
And a chain, that you once wore, about his neck.
Change you colour?
I prithee, who?
O Lord, Lord! it is a hard matter for friends to
meet; but mountains may be removed with earthquakes
and so encounter.
Nay, but who is it?
Is it possible?
Nay, I prithee now with most petitionary vehemence,
tell me who it is.