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derful! and yet again wonderful, and after that, out of all
whooping.1 Rosalind. Good my complexion, dost thou think, though I
am dressed like a man, I have a doublet and hose in my
disposition? — What manner of man? Celia. It is young Orlando, that tripped up the wrestler's
heels and your heart both in an instant. Rosalind. Nay, but no mocking. Celia. I' faith, coz, 'tis he. Rosalind. Orlando? Celia. Orlando. Rosalind. Alas the day! what shall I do with my doublet
and hose? What did he when thou saw'st him? What said he? What makes he here? Did he ask for me? Where remains he? How parted he with thee? And when
shalt thou see him again? Answer me in one word. Celia. 'Tis a word too great for any mouth of this age's
size.2 Soft! comes he not here?
[Reënter Orlando L.) Rosalind. 'Tis he. Slink by, and note him. - I will speak
to him. — Do you hear, forester? Orlando. Very well. What would you? Rosalind. I pray you, what is it o'clock? Orlando. You should ask me what time o’day. There's
no clock in the forest. Rosalind. Then there is no true lover in the forest; else
sighing every minute and groaning every hour would detect
the time as well as a clock. Orlando. Where dwell you, pretty youth?
1 out of all whooping means beyond all description. This whole speech must be analyzed so that it may be read rapidly with good phrasing.
2 too great for a mouth of this age's size. Celia means that only a mouth such as a giant would have had could answer in one great word all of Rosalind's questions.
Rosalind. With this shepherdess, my sister; here in the
forest. Orlando. Your accent is something finer than you could
purchase in so remote a place. Rosalind. There is a man haunts the forest, that abuses our
young trees with carving "Rosalind” on their bark. If
I could meet him, I would give him some good counsel. Orlando. I am he that is so love-shaked. Rosalind. I profess curing it by counsel. Orlando. I would not be cured, youth. Rosalind. I would cure you, if you would but call me Rosa
lind, and come every day to woo me. Orlando. Now, by the faith of my love, I will. Tell me
where. Rosalind. Go with me, and I will show you. Will you go? Orlando. With all my heart, good youth. Rosalind. Nay, nay, you must call me Rosalind. - Come, sister, will you go?
[The curtain falls for a moment. When it rises, it reveals Prolog.] [Prolog.] And the next day
[Exit.] Rosalind comes here with Celia (R.). Rosalind. Never talk to me?; I will weep. Celia. Do, I prithee; but yet have the grace to consider that
tears do not become a man.3 Rosalind. But have I not cause to weep? Celia. As good cause as one would desire; therefore weep. Rosalind. But why did he swear that he would come this
morning, and comes not? Celia. He attends here in the forest upon the Duke, your Rosalind. I met the Duke yesterday, and had much talk
I would. Again in the sense of wish. 2 Never talk to me: do not talk to me. 3 do not become a man: we say now, “are not becoming to a man.”
with him. He asked me of what parentage I was. I told him of as good as he; so he laughed and let me go. But what talk we of fathers, when there is such a man as Orlando?
But just then Orlando comes (L.). Orlando. Good-day, and happiness, dear Rosalind! Rosalind. Why, how now, Orlando! Where have you been
all this while? You a lover! If 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 a thousandth part of a minute in the affairs of love, it may be said of him that Cupid hath clapped him on the
shoulder; I'll warrant him heartwhole. Orlando. Pardon me, dear Rosalind. Rosalind. Nay, if 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 bargain, I think, than you can make a woman. Come, woo me, woo me; for now I am in holiday humor and like enough to consent. What would you say to me now if I were your very, very
Rosalind? Orlando. I would kiss before I spoke. Rosalind. Nay, you had better speak first; and when you
were at a loss for words, you might take occasion to kiss. Orlando. Who could be at a loss, being with his beloved
1 Cupid hath clapped him on the shoulder: i.e. in a friendly way — instead of shooting at him.
Rosalind. Am I not your Rosalind?
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; not for love. Orlando. Then love me, Rosalind. Rosalind. Yes, faith, will I, Fridays and Saturdays and all. Orlando. And wilt thou have me? Rosalind. Come, sister, you shall be the priest and marry us.
- Give me your hand, Orlando.-What do you say, Aliena? Celia. 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. Now, tell me how long you would keep her after
you have her? Orlando. Forever and a day. Rosalind. Say "a day," without the "ever." No, no,
Orlando; men are April when they woo, December when
they wed. Orlando. For these two hours, Rosalind, I must leave thee;
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. — Two o'clock is your hour? Orlando. Ay, sweet Rosalind.
[Exeunt, Orlando L., others R.]
1 Ay. This word occurs so frequently in Shakespeare that you are reminded of its pronunciation (i) and its meaning (yes). Be careful not to confuse the word with aye (ā), which means always or ever.
[Curtain down for a moment. Then Prolog appears.] [Prolog.]
Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to live with me,
Unto the sweet bird's throat,
Here shall he see
And to that youth he calls his Rosalind
He sends this bloody handkerchief. Are you he? Rosalind. I am. What must we understand by this? Oliver. Some of my shame, if you will know of me
What man I am, and how, and why, and where
This handkerchief was stained. Celia.
I pray you, tell it.
He left a promise to return again
1 An oral reader may recite this lyric here without explanation; it serves to call attention away from the action, so that the impression may be given of an interval of time elapsing. For a stage presentation, especially if no curtain is used, Prolog may recite this lyric as an interlude, or the song may be sung off stage. See notes on music, p. 372.