As You Like It (1599-1600)

Intro
Online Critical Edition in Progress - Version 1.c.
Date variant: 1599
Shakespeare Network - https://shakespearenetwork.net/

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Act I, Scene 1

Orchard of OLIVER'S house

Orlando
As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed
me by will but poor a thousand crowns, and, as thou say'st,
charged my brother, on his blessing, to breed me well; and there
begins my sadness. My brother Jaques he keeps at school, and
report speaks goldenly of his profit. For my part, he keeps me
rustically at home, or, to speak more properly, stays me here at
home unkept; for call you that keeping for a gentleman of my
birth that differs not from the stalling of an ox? His horses are
bred better; for, besides that they are fair with their feeding,
they are taught their manage, and to that end riders dearly
hir'd; but I, his brother, gain nothing under him but growth; for
the which his animals on his dunghills are as much bound to him
as I. Besides this nothing that he so plentifully gives me, the
something that nature gave me his countenance seems to take from
me. He lets me feed with his hinds, bars me the place of a
brother, and as much as in him lies, mines my gentility with my
education. This is it, Adam, that grieves me; and the spirit of
my father, which I think is within me, begins to mutiny against
this servitude. I will no longer endure it, though yet I know no
wise remedy how to avoid it.

Adam
Yonder comes my master, your brother.

Orlando
Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he will shake me
up.

Oliver
Now, sir! what make you here?

Orlando
Nothing; I am not taught to make any thing.

Oliver
What mar you then, sir?

Orlando
Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that which God made, a
poor unworthy brother of yours, with idleness.

Oliver
Marry, sir, be better employed, and be nought awhile.

Orlando
Shall I keep your hogs, and eat husks with them? What
prodigal portion have I spent that I should come to such penury?

Oliver
Know you where you are, sir?

Orlando
O, sir, very well; here in your orchard.

Oliver
Know you before whom, sir?

Orlando
Ay, better than him I am before knows me. I know you are
my eldest brother; and in the gentle condition of blood, you
should so know me. The courtesy of nations allows you my better
in that you are the first-born; but the same tradition takes not
away my blood, were there twenty brothers betwixt us. I have as
much of my father in me as you, albeit I confess your coming
before me is nearer to his reverence.

Oliver
What, boy! [Strikes him]

Orlando
Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this.

Oliver
Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?

Orlando
I am no villain; I am the youngest son of Sir Rowland de
Boys. He was my father; and he is thrice a villain that says such
a father begot villains. Wert thou not my brother, I would not
take this hand from thy throat till this other had pull'd out thy
tongue for saying so. Thou has rail'd on thyself.

Adam
[Coming forward] Sweet masters, be patient; for your father's
remembrance, be at accord.

Oliver
Let me go, I say.

Orlando
I will not, till I please; you shall hear me. My father
charg'd you in his will to give me good education: you have
train'd me like a peasant, obscuring and hiding from me all
gentleman-like qualities. The spirit of my father grows strong in
me, and I will no longer endure it; therefore allow me such
exercises as may become a gentleman, or give me the poor
allottery my father left me by testament; with that I will go buy
my fortunes.

Oliver
And what wilt thou do? Beg, when that is spent? Well, sir,
get you in. I will not long be troubled with you; you shall have
some part of your will. I pray you leave me.

Orlando
I no further offend you than becomes me for my good.

Oliver
Get you with him, you old dog.

Adam
Is 'old dog' my reward? Most true, I have lost my teeth in
your service. God be with my old master! He would not have spoke
such a word.
Exeunt ORLANDO and ADAM

Oliver
Is it even so? Begin you to grow upon me? I will physic
your rankness, and yet give no thousand crowns neither. Holla,
Dennis!

Dennis
Calls your worship?

Oliver
Was not Charles, the Duke's wrestler, here to speak with me?

Dennis
So please you, he is here at the door and importunes access
to you.

Oliver
Call him in. [Exit DENNIS] 'Twill be a good way; and
to-morrow the wrestling is.

Charles
Good morrow to your worship.

Oliver
Good Monsieur Charles! What's the new news at the new
court?

Charles
There's no news at the court, sir, but the old news; that
is, the old Duke is banished by his younger brother the new Duke;
and three or four loving lords have put themselves into voluntary
exile with him, whose lands and revenues enrich the new Duke;
therefore he gives them good leave to wander.

Oliver
Can you tell if Rosalind, the Duke's daughter, be banished
with her father?

Charles
O, no; for the Duke's daughter, her cousin, so loves her,
being ever from their cradles bred together, that she would have
followed her exile, or have died to stay behind her. She is at
the court, and no less beloved of her uncle than his own
daughter; and never two ladies loved as they do.

Oliver
Where will the old Duke live?

Charles
They say he is already in the Forest of Arden, and a many
merry men with him; and there they live like the old Robin Hood
of England. They say many young gentlemen flock to him every day,
and fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden world.

Oliver
What, you wrestle to-morrow before the new Duke?

Charles
Marry, do I, sir; and I came to acquaint you with a
matter. I am given, sir, secretly to understand that your younger
brother, Orlando, hath a disposition to come in disguis'd against
me to try a fall. To-morrow, sir, I wrestle for my credit; and he
that escapes me without some broken limb shall acquit him well.
Your brother is but young and tender; and, for your love, I would
be loath to foil him, as I must, for my own honour, if he come
in; therefore, out of my love to you, I came hither to acquaint
you withal, that either you might stay him from his intendment,
or brook such disgrace well as he shall run into, in that it is
thing of his own search and altogether against my will.

Oliver
Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me, which thou shalt
find I will most kindly requite. I had myself notice of my
brother's purpose herein, and have by underhand means laboured to
dissuade him from it; but he is resolute. I'll tell thee,
Charles, it is the stubbornest young fellow of France; full of
ambition, an envious emulator of every man's good parts, a secret
and villainous contriver against me his natural brother.
Therefore use thy discretion: I had as lief thou didst break his
neck as his finger. And thou wert best look to't; for if thou
dost him any slight disgrace, or if he do not mightily grace
himself on thee, he will practise against thee by poison, entrap
thee by some treacherous device, and never leave thee till he
hath ta'en thy life by some indirect means or other; for, I
assure thee, and almost with tears I speak it, there is not one
so young and so villainous this day living. I speak but brotherly
of him; but should I anatomize him to thee as he is, I must blush
and weep, and thou must look pale and wonder.

Charles
I am heartily glad I came hither to you. If he come
to-morrow I'll give him his payment. If ever he go alone again,
I'll never wrestle for prize more. And so, God keep your worship! Exit

Oliver
Farewell, good Charles. Now will I stir this gamester. I
hope I shall see an end of him; for my soul, yet I know not why,
hates nothing more than he. Yet he's gentle; never school'd and
yet learned; full of noble device; of all sorts enchantingly
beloved; and, indeed, so much in the heart of the world, and
especially of my own people, who best know him, that I am
altogether misprised. But it shall not be so long; this wrestler
shall clear all. Nothing remains but that I kindle the boy
thither, which now I'll go about. Exit

Act I, Scene 2

A lawn before the DUKE'S palace

Celia
I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry.

Rosalind
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.

Celia
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 temper'd
as mine is to thee.

Rosalind
Well, I will forget the condition of my estate, to
rejoice in yours.

Celia
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. By mine honour, I will; and when I break that
oath, let me turn monster; therefore, my sweet Rose, my dear
Rose, be merry.

Rosalind
From henceforth I will, coz, and devise sports.
Let me see; what think you of falling in love?

Celia
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 honour come off again.

Rosalind
What shall be our sport, then?

Celia
Let us sit and mock the good housewife Fortune from her
wheel, that her gifts may henceforth be bestowed equally.

Rosalind
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.

Celia
'Tis true; for those that she makes fair she scarce makes
honest; and those that she makes honest she makes very
ill-favouredly.

Rosalind
Nay; now thou goest from Fortune's office to Nature's:
Fortune reigns in gifts of the world, not in the lineaments of
Nature.

Celia
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?

Rosalind
Indeed, there is Fortune too hard for Nature, when
Fortune makes Nature's natural the cutter-off of Nature's wit.

Celia
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 our whetstone; for
always the dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits. How
now, wit! Whither wander you?

Touchstone
Mistress, you must come away to your father.

Celia
Were you made the messenger?

Touchstone
No, by mine honour; but I was bid to come for you.

Rosalind
Where learned you that oath, fool?

Touchstone
Of a certain knight that swore by his honour they were
good pancakes, and swore by his honour the mustard was naught.
Now I'll stand to it, the pancakes were naught and the mustard
was good, and yet was not the knight forsworn.

Celia
How prove you that, in the great heap of your knowledge?

Rosalind
Ay, marry, now unmuzzle your wisdom.

Touchstone
Stand you both forth now: stroke your chins, and swear
by your beards that I am a knave.

Celia
By our beards, if we had them, thou art.

Touchstone
By my knavery, if I had it, then I were. But if you
swear by that that is not, you are not forsworn; no more was this
knight, swearing by his honour, for he never had any; or if he
had, he had sworn it away before ever he saw those pancackes or
that mustard.

Celia
Prithee, who is't that thou mean'st?

Touchstone
One that old Frederick, your father, loves.

Celia
My father's love is enough to honour him. Enough, speak no
more of him; you'll be whipt for taxation one of these days.

Touchstone
The more pity that fools may not speak wisely what wise
men do foolishly.

Celia
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.

Rosalind
With his mouth full of news.

Celia
Which he will put on us as pigeons feed their young.

Rosalind
Then shall we be news-cramm'd.

Celia
All the better; we shall be the more marketable. Bon jour,
Monsieur Le Beau. What's the news?

Le Beau
Fair Princess, you have lost much good sport.

Celia
Sport! of what colour?

Le Beau
What colour, madam? How shall I answer you?

Rosalind
As wit and fortune will.

Touchstone
Or as the Destinies decrees.

Celia
Well said; that was laid on with a trowel.

Touchstone
Nay, if I keep not my rank-

Rosalind
Thou losest thy old smell.

Le Beau
You amaze me, ladies. I would have told you of good
wrestling, which you have lost the sight of.

Rosalind
Yet tell us the manner of the wrestling.

Le Beau
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 it.

Celia
Well, the beginning, that is dead and buried.

Le Beau
There comes an old man and his three sons-

Celia
I could match this beginning with an old tale.

Le Beau
Three proper young men, of excellent growth and presence.

Rosalind
With bills on their necks: 'Be it known unto all men by
these presents'-

Le Beau
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 serv'd
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.

Touchstone
But what is the sport, monsieur, that the ladies have
lost?

Le Beau
Why, this that I speak of.

Touchstone
Thus men may grow wiser every day. It is the first time
that ever I heard breaking of ribs was sport for ladies.

Celia
Or I, I promise thee.

Rosalind
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?

Le Beau
You must, if you stay here; for here is the place
appointed for the wrestling, and they are ready to perform it.

Celia
Yonder, sure, they are coming. Let us now stay and see it.

Frederick
Come on; since the youth will not be entreated, his own
peril on his forwardness.

Rosalind
Is yonder the man?

Le Beau
Even he, madam.

Celia
Alas, he is too young; yet he looks successfully.

Frederick
How now, daughter and cousin! Are you crept hither to
see the wrestling?

Rosalind
Ay, my liege; so please you give us leave.

Frederick
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.

Celia
Call him hither, good Monsieur Le Beau.

Frederick
Do so; I'll not be by.
[DUKE FREDERICK goes apart]

Le Beau
Monsieur the Challenger, the Princess calls for you.

Orlando
I attend them with all respect and duty.

Rosalind
Young man, have you challeng'd Charles the wrestler?

Orlando
No, fair Princess; he is the general challenger. I come
but in, as others do, to try with him the strength of my youth.

Celia
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 this attempt.

Rosalind
Do, young sir; your reputation shall not therefore be
misprised: we will make it our suit to the Duke that the
wrestling might not go forward.

Orlando
I beseech you, punish me not with your hard thoughts,
wherein I confess me much guilty to deny so fair and excellent
ladies any thing. But let your fair eyes and gentle wishes go
with me to my trial; wherein if I be foil'd there is but one
sham'd that was never gracious; if kill'd, but one dead that is
willing to be so. I shall do my friends no wrong, for I have none
to lament me; 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.

Rosalind
The little strength that I have, I would it were with
you.

Celia
And mine to eke out hers.

Rosalind
Fare you well. Pray heaven I be deceiv'd in you!

Celia
Your heart's desires be with you!

Charles
Come, where is this young gallant that is so desirous to
lie with his mother earth?

Orlando
Ready, sir; but his will hath in it a more modest working.

Frederick
You shall try but one fall.

Charles
No, I warrant your Grace, you shall not entreat him to a
second, that have so mightily persuaded him from a first.

Orlando
You mean to mock me after; you should not have mock'd me
before; but come your ways.

Rosalind
Now, Hercules be thy speed, young man!

Celia
I would I were invisible, to catch the strong fellow by the
leg. [They wrestle]

Rosalind
O excellent young man!

Celia
If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can tell who should
down.

Frederick
No more, no more.

Orlando
Yes, I beseech your Grace; I am not yet well breath'd.

Frederick
How dost thou, Charles?

Le Beau
He cannot speak, my lord.

Frederick
Bear him away. What is thy name, young man?

Orlando
Orlando, my liege; the youngest son of Sir Rowland de
Boys.

Frederick
I would thou hadst been son to some man else.
The world esteem'd thy father honourable,
But I did find him still mine enemy.
Thou shouldst have better pleas'd 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.

Celia
Were I my father, coz, would I do this?

Orlando
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.

Rosalind
My father lov'd 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 ventur'd.

Celia
Gentle cousin,
Let us go thank him, and encourage him;
My father's rough and envious disposition
Sticks me at heart. Sir, you have well deserv'd;
If you do keep your promises in love
But justly as you have exceeded all promise,
Your mistress shall be happy.

Rosalind
Gentleman, [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?

Celia
Ay. Fare you well, fair gentleman.

Orlando
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.

Rosalind
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.

Celia
Will you go, coz?

Rosalind
Have with you. Fare you well.

Orlando
What passion hangs these weights upon my tongue?
I cannot speak to her, yet she urg'd conference.
O poor Orlando, thou art overthrown!
Or Charles or something weaker masters thee.

Le Beau
Good sir, I do in friendship counsel you
To leave this place. Albeit you have deserv'd
High commendation, true applause, and love,
Yet such is now the Duke's condition
That he misconstrues all that you have done.
The Duke is humorous; what he is, indeed,
More suits you to conceive than I to speak of.

Orlando
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?

Le Beau
Neither his daughter, if we judge by manners;
But yet, indeed, the smaller is his daughter;
The other is daughter to the banish'd Duke,
And here detain'd 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.

Orlando
I rest much bounden to you; fare you well.
[Exit LE BEAU]
Thus must I from the smoke into the smother;
From tyrant Duke unto a tyrant brother.
But heavenly Rosalind! Exit

Act I, Scene 3

The DUKE's palace

Celia
Why, cousin! why, Rosalind! Cupid have mercy!
Not a word?

Rosalind
Not one to throw at a dog.

Celia
No, thy words are too precious to be cast away upon curs;
throw some of them at me; come, lame me with reasons.

Rosalind
Then there were two cousins laid up, when the one should
be lam'd with reasons and the other mad without any.

Celia
But is all this for your father?

Rosalind
No, some of it is for my child's father. O, how full of
briers is this working-day world!

Celia
They are but burs, cousin, thrown upon thee in holiday
foolery; if we walk not in the trodden paths, our very petticoats
will catch them.

Rosalind
I could shake them off my coat: these burs are in my
heart.

Celia
Hem them away.

Rosalind
I would try, if I could cry 'hem' and have him.

Celia
Come, come, wrestle with thy affections.

Rosalind
O, they take the part of a better wrestler than myself.

Celia
O, a good wish upon you! You will try in time, in despite of
a fall. But, turning these jests out of service, let us talk in
good earnest. Is it possible, on such a sudden, you should fall
into so strong a liking with old Sir Rowland's youngest son?

Rosalind
The Duke my father lov'd his father dearly.

Celia
Doth it therefore ensue that you should love his son dearly?
By this kind of chase I should hate him, for my father hated his
father dearly; yet I hate not Orlando.

Rosalind
No, faith, hate him not, for my sake.

Celia
Why should I not? Doth he not deserve well?

Rosalind
Let me love him for that; and do you love him because I
do. Look, here comes the Duke.

Celia
With his eyes full of anger.

Frederick
Mistress, dispatch you with your safest haste,
And get you from our court.

Rosalind
Me, uncle?

Frederick
You, cousin.
Within these ten days if that thou beest found
So near our public court as twenty miles,
Thou diest for it.

Rosalind
I do beseech your Grace,
Let me the knowledge of my fault bear with me.
If with myself I hold intelligence,
Or have acquaintance with mine own desires;
If that I do not dream, or be not frantic-
As I do trust I am not- then, dear uncle,
Never so much as in a thought unborn
Did I offend your Highness.

Frederick
Thus do all traitors;
If their purgation did consist in words,
They are as innocent as grace itself.
Let it suffice thee that I trust thee not.

Rosalind
Yet your mistrust cannot make me a traitor.
Tell me whereon the likelihood depends.

Frederick
Thou art thy father's daughter; there's enough.

Rosalind
So was I when your Highness took his dukedom;
So was I when your Highness banish'd him.
Treason is not inherited, my lord;
Or, if we did derive it from our friends,
What's that to me? My father was no traitor.
Then, good my liege, mistake me not so much
To think my poverty is treacherous.

Celia
Dear sovereign, hear me speak.

Frederick
Ay, Celia; we stay'd her for your sake,
Else had she with her father rang'd along.

Celia
I did not then entreat to have her stay;
It was your pleasure, and your own remorse;
I was too young that time to value her,
But now I know her. If she be a traitor,
Why so am I: we still have slept together,
Rose at an instant, learn'd, play'd, eat together;
And wheresoe'er we went, like Juno's swans,
Still we went coupled and inseparable.

Frederick
She is too subtle for thee; and her smoothness,
Her very silence and her patience,
Speak to the people, and they pity her.
Thou art a fool. She robs thee of thy name;
And thou wilt show more bright and seem more virtuous
When she is gone. Then open not thy lips.
Firm and irrevocable is my doom
Which I have pass'd upon her; she is banish'd.

Celia
Pronounce that sentence, then, on me, my liege;
I cannot live out of her company.

Frederick
You are a fool. You, niece, provide yourself.
If you outstay the time, upon mine honour,
And in the greatness of my word, you die.

Celia
O my poor Rosalind! Whither wilt thou go?
Wilt thou change fathers? I will give thee mine.
I charge thee be not thou more griev'd than I am.

Rosalind
I have more cause.

Celia
Thou hast not, cousin.
Prithee be cheerful. Know'st thou not the Duke
Hath banish'd me, his daughter?

Rosalind
That he hath not.

Celia
No, hath not? Rosalind lacks, then, the love
Which teacheth thee that thou and I am one.
Shall we be sund'red? Shall we part, sweet girl?
No; let my father seek another heir.
Therefore devise with me how we may fly,
Whither to go, and what to bear with us;
And do not seek to take your charge upon you,
To bear your griefs yourself, and leave me out;
For, by this heaven, now at our sorrows pale,
Say what thou canst, I'll go along with thee.

Rosalind
Why, whither shall we go?

Celia
To seek my uncle in the Forest of Arden.

Rosalind
Alas, what danger will it be to us,
Maids as we are, to travel forth so far!
Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.

Celia
I'll put myself in poor and mean attire,
And with a kind of umber smirch my face;
The like do you; so shall we pass along,
And never stir assailants.

Rosalind
Were it not better,
Because that I am more than common tall,
That I did suit me all points like a man?
A gallant curtle-axe upon my thigh,
A boar spear in my hand; and- in my heart
Lie there what hidden woman's fear there will-
We'll have a swashing and a martial outside,
As many other mannish cowards have
That do outface it with their semblances.

Celia
What shall I call thee when thou art a man?

Rosalind
I'll have no worse a name than Jove's own page,
And therefore look you call me Ganymede.
But what will you be call'd?

Celia
Something that hath a reference to my state:
No longer Celia, but Aliena.

Rosalind
But, cousin, what if we assay'd to steal
The clownish fool out of your father's court?
Would he not be a comfort to our travel?

Celia
He'll go along o'er the wide world with me;
Leave me alone to woo him. Let's away,
And get our jewels and our wealth together;
Devise the fittest time and safest way
To hide us from pursuit that will be made
After my flight. Now go we in content
To liberty, and not to banishment. Exeunt

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© Copyright 2017-2022 Shakespeare Network - Maximianno Cobra - All rights reserved.