Act IV - Act IV, Scene 1

ACT IV.

SCENE I. The Forest of Arden.

[Enter ROSALIND, CELIA, and JAQUES.]

JAQUES.
I pr'ythee, pretty youth, let me be better acquainted with thee.

ROSALIND.
They say you are a melancholy fellow.

JAQUES.
I am so; I do love it better than laughing.

ROSALIND.
Those that are in extremity of either are abominable
fellows, and betray themselves to every modern censure worse
than drunkards.

JAQUES.
Why, 'tis good to be sad and say nothing.

ROSALIND.
Why then, 'tis good to be a post.

JAQUES.
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 sadness.

ROSALIND.
A traveller! By my faith, you have great reason to be
sad: I fear you have sold your own lands to see other men's;
then to have seen much and to have nothing is to have rich eyes
and poor hands.

JAQUES.
Yes, I have gained my experience.

ROSALIND.
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.

[Enter ORLANDO.]

ORLANDO.
Good day, and happiness, dear Rosalind!

JAQUES.
Nay, then, God be wi' you, an you talk in blank verse.

ROSALIND.
Farewell, monsieur traveller: look you lisp and wear strange
suits; disable all the benefits of your own country; be out
of love with your nativity, and almost chide God for making
you that countenance you are; or I will scarce think you have
swam in a gondola.

[Exit JAQUES.]

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.

ORLANDO.
My fair Rosalind, I come within an hour of my promise.

ROSALIND.
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, it may be said
of him that Cupid hath clapped him o' the shoulder, but I'll
warrant him heart-whole.

ORLANDO.
Pardon me, dear Rosalind.

ROSALIND.
Nay, an you be so tardy, come no more in my sight: I
had as lief be wooed of a snail.

ORLANDO.
Of a snail!

ROSALIND.
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 him.

ORLANDO.
What's that?

ROSALIND.
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.

ORLANDO.
Virtue is no horn-maker; and my Rosalind is virtuous.

ROSALIND.
And I am your Rosalind.

CELIA.
It pleases him to call you so; but he hath a Rosalind of
a better leer than you.

ROSALIND.
Come, woo me, woo me; for now I am in a holiday humour,
and like enough to consent.--What would you say to me now, an
I were your very very Rosalind?

ORLANDO.
I would kiss before I spoke.

ROSALIND.
Nay, you were better speak first; and when you were
gravelled for lack of matter, you might take occasion to kiss.
Very good orators, when they are out, they will spit; and for
lovers lacking,--God warn us!--matter, the cleanliest shift is
to kiss.

ORLANDO.
How if the kiss be denied?

ROSALIND.
Then she puts you to entreaty, and there begins new matter.

ORLANDO.
Who could be out, being before his beloved mistress?

ROSALIND.
Marry, that should you, if I were your mistress; or I
should think my honesty ranker than my wit.

ORLANDO.
What, of my suit?

ROSALIND.
Not out of your apparel, and yet out of your suit.
Am not I your Rosalind?

ORLANDO.
I take some joy to say you are, because I would be talking of
her.

ROSALIND.
Well, in her person, I say I will not have you.

ORLANDO.
Then, in mine own person, I die.

ROSALIND.
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-cause. 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.

ORLANDO.
I would not have my right Rosalind of this mind; for, I
protest, her frown might kill me.

ROSALIND.
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.

ORLANDO.
Then love me, Rosalind.

ROSALIND.
Yes, faith, will I, Fridays and Saturdays, and all.

ORLANDO.
And wilt thou have me?

ROSALIND.
Ay, and twenty such.

ORLANDO.
What sayest thou?

ROSALIND.
Are you not good?

ORLANDO.
I hope so.

ROSALIND.
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?

ORLANDO.
Pray thee, marry us.

CELIA.
I cannot say the words.

ROSALIND.
You must begin,--'Will you, Orlando'--

CELIA.
Go to:--Will you, Orlando, have to wife this Rosalind?

ORLANDO.
I will.

ROSALIND.
Ay, but when?

ORLANDO.
Why, now; as fast as she can marry us.

ROSALIND.
Then you must say,--'I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.'

ORLANDO.
I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.

ROSALIND.
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.

ORLANDO.
So do all thoughts; they are winged.

ROSALIND.
Now tell me how long you would have her, after you have possessed
her.

ORLANDO.
For ever and a day.

ROSALIND.
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 new-fangled 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 hyen, and that when
thou are inclined to sleep.

ORLANDO.
But will my Rosalind do so?

ROSALIND.
By my life, she will do as I do.

ORLANDO.
O, but she is wise.

ROSALIND.
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 it will out at the keyhole;
stop that, 'twill fly with the smoke out at the chimney.

ORLANDO.
A man that had a wife with such a wit, he might say,--'Wit,
whither wilt?'

ROSALIND.
Nay, you might keep that check for it, till you met your wife's
wit going to your neighbour's bed.

ORLANDO.
And what wit could wit have to excuse that?

ROSALIND.
Marry, to say,--she came to seek you there. You shall never
take her without her answer, unless you take her without her
tongue. O, 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.

ORLANDO.
For these two hours, Rosalind, I will leave thee.

ROSALIND.
Alas, dear love, I cannot lack thee two hours!

ORLANDO.
I must attend the duke at dinner; by two o'clock I
will be with thee again.

ROSALIND.
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:--'tis but one cast away,
and so,--come death!--Two o'clock is your hour?

ORLANDO.
Ay, sweet Rosalind.

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 your hour, 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.

ORLANDO.
With no less religion than if thou wert indeed my Rosalind: so,
adieu!

ROSALIND.
Well, Time is the old justice that examines all such
offenders, and let time try: adieu!

[Exit ORLANDO.]

CELIA.
You have simply misus'd 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 nest.

ROSALIND.
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.

CELIA.
Or rather, bottomless; that as fast as you pour affection
in, it runs out.

ROSALIND.
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 every one'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.

CELIA.
And I'll sleep.

[Exeunt.]