Not see him since! Sir, sir, that cannot be.
But were I not the better part made mercy,
I should not seek an absent argument
Of my revenge, thou present. But look to it:
Find out thy brother wheresoe'er he is;
Seek him with candle; bring him dead or living
Within this twelvemonth, or turn thou no more
To seek a living in our territory.
Thy lands and all things that thou dost call thine
Worth seizure do we seize into our hands,
Till thou canst quit thee by thy brother's mouth
Of what we think against thee.
O that your Highness knew my heart in this!
I never lov'd my brother in my life.
More villain thou. Well, push him out of doors;
And let my officers of such a nature
Make an extent upon his house and lands.
Do this expediently, and turn him going. Exeunt
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. Exit
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 nought.
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 it is 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
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 damn'd.
Nay, I hope.
Truly, thou art damn'd, like an ill-roasted egg, all on
For not being at court? Your reason.
Why, if thou never wast at court thou never saw'st good
manners; if thou never saw'st good manners, then thy manners must
be wicked; and wickedness is sin, and sin is damnation. Thou art
in a parlous state, shepherd.
Not a whit, Touchstone. Those that are good manners at the
court are as ridiculous in the country as the behaviour 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 tarr'd over with the surgery of our
sheep; and would you have us kiss tar? The courtier's hands are
perfum'd with civet.
Most shallow man! thou worm's 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 damn'd? 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 crooked-pated, old, cuckoldly ram,
out of all reasonable match. If thou beest not damn'd for this,
the devil himself will have no shepherds; I cannot see else how
thou shouldst scape.
Here comes young Master Ganymede, my new mistress's brother.
'From the east to western Inde,
No jewel is like Rosalinde.
Her worth, being mounted on the wind,
Through all the world bears Rosalinde.
All the pictures fairest lin'd
Are but black to Rosalinde.
Let no face be kept in mind
But the fair of Rosalinde.'
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 Rosalinde.
If the cat will after kind,
So be sure will Rosalinde.
Winter garments must be lin'd,
So must slender Rosalinde.
They that reap must sheaf and bind,
Then to cart with Rosalinde.
Sweetest nut hath sourest rind,
Such a nut is Rosalinde.
He that sweetest rose will find
Must find love's prick and Rosalinde.
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' th' 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 forest
Enter CELIA, with a writing
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 streching 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 charg'd
That one body should be fill'd
With all graces wide-enlarg'd.
Nature presently distill'd
Helen's cheek, but not her heart,
Atalanta's better part,
Sad Lucretia's modesty.
Thus Rosalinde of many parts
By heavenly synod was devis'd,
Of many faces, eyes, and hearts,
To have the touches dearest priz'd.
Heaven would that she these gifts should have,
And I to live and die her slave.'
O most gentle Jupiter! 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
Come, shepherd, let us make an honourable retreat;
though not with bag and baggage, yet with scrip and scrippage.
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
hang'd 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
berhym'd 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 remov'd 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.
O wonderful, wonderful, most wonderful wonderful, and yet
again wonderful, and after that, out of all whooping!
Good my complexion! dost thou think, though I am
caparison'd like a man, I have a doublet and hose in my
disposition? One inch of delay more is a South Sea of discovery.
I prithee tell me who is it quickly, and speak apace. I would
thou could'st stammer, that thou mightst pour this conceal'd man
out of thy mouth, as wine comes out of narrow-mouth'd bottle-
either too much at once or none at all. I prithee take the cork
out of thy mouth that I may drink thy tidings.
So you may put a man in your belly.
Is he of God's making? What manner of man?
Is his head worth a hat or his chin worth a beard?
Nay, he hath but a little beard.
Why, God will send more if the man will be thankful. Let
me stay the growth of his beard, if thou delay me not the
knowledge of his chin.
It is young Orlando, that tripp'd up the wrestler's heels
and your heart both in an instant.
Nay, but the devil take mocking! Speak sad brow and true
I' faith, coz, 'tis he.
Alas the day! what shall I do with my doublet and hose?
What did he when thou saw'st him? What said he? How look'd he?
Wherein went 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.
You must borrow me Gargantua's mouth first; 'tis a word too
great for any mouth of this age's size. To say ay and no to these
particulars is more than to answer in a catechism.
But doth he know that I am in this forest, and in man's
apparel? Looks he as freshly as he did the day he wrestled?
It is as easy to count atomies as to resolve the
propositions of a lover; but take a taste of my finding him, and
relish it with good observance. I found him under a tree, like a
It may well be call'd Jove's tree, when it drops forth
Give me audience, good madam.
There lay he, stretch'd along like a wounded knight.
Though it be pity to see such a sight, it well becomes
Cry 'Holla' to thy tongue, I prithee; it curvets
unseasonably. He was furnish'd like a hunter.
O, ominous! he comes to kill my heart.
I would sing my song without a burden; thou bring'st me out
Do you not know I am a woman? When I think, I must speak.
Sweet, say on.
You bring me out. Soft! comes he not here?
'Tis he; slink by, and note him.
I thank you for your company; but, good faith, I had as
lief have been myself alone.
And so had I; but yet, for fashion sake, I thank you too
for your society.
God buy you; let's meet as little as we can.
I do desire we may be better strangers.
I pray you mar no more trees with writing love songs in
I pray you mar no more of my verses with reading them
Rosalind is your love's name?
I do not like her name.
There was no thought of pleasing you when she was
What stature is she of?
Just as high as my heart.
You are full of pretty answers. Have you not been
acquainted with goldsmiths' wives, and conn'd them out of rings?
Not so; but I answer you right painted cloth, from whence
you have studied your questions.
You have a nimble wit; I think 'twas made of Atalanta's
heels. Will you sit down with me? and we two will rail against
our mistress the world, and all our misery.
I will chide no breather in the world but myself, against
whom I know most faults.
The worst fault you have is to be in love.
'Tis a fault I will not change for your best virtue. I am
weary of you.
By my troth, I was seeking for a fool when I found you.
He is drown'd in the brook; look but in, and you shall see
There I shall see mine own figure.
Which I take to be either a fool or a cipher.
I'll tarry no longer with you; farewell, good Signior Love.
I am glad of your departure; adieu, good Monsieur
[Aside to CELIA] I will speak to him like a saucy lackey,
and under that habit play the knave with him.- Do you hear,
Very well; what would you?
I pray you, what is't o'clock?
You should ask me what time o' day; there's no clock in
Then there is no true lover in the forest, else sighing
every minute and groaning every hour would detect the lazy foot
of Time as well as a clock.
And why not the swift foot of Time? Had not that been as
By no means, sir. Time travels in divers paces with
divers persons. I'll tell you who Time ambles withal, who Time
trots withal, who Time gallops withal, and who he stands still
I prithee, who doth he trot withal?
Marry, he trots hard with a young maid between the
contract of her marriage and the day it is solemniz'd; if the
interim be but a se'nnight, Time's pace is so hard that it seems
the length of seven year.
Who ambles Time withal?
With a priest that lacks Latin and a rich man that hath
not the gout; for the one sleeps easily because he cannot study,
and the other lives merrily because he feels no pain; the one
lacking the burden of lean and wasteful learning, the other
knowing no burden of heavy tedious penury. These Time ambles
Who doth he gallop withal?
With a thief to the gallows; for though he go as softly
as foot can fall, he thinks himself too soon there.
Who stays it still withal?
With lawyers in the vacation; for they sleep between term
and term, and then they perceive not how Time moves.
Where dwell you, pretty youth?
With this shepherdess, my sister; here in the skirts of
the forest, like fringe upon a petticoat.
Are you native of this place?
As the coney that you see dwell where she is kindled.
Your accent is something finer than you could purchase in
so removed a dwelling.
I have been told so of many; but indeed an old religious
uncle of mine taught me to speak, who was in his youth an inland
man; one that knew courtship too well, for there he fell in love.
I have heard him read many lectures against it; and I thank God I
am not a woman, to be touch'd with so many giddy offences as he
hath generally tax'd their whole sex withal.
Can you remember any of the principal evils that he laid
to the charge of women?
There were none principal; they were all like one another
as halfpence are; every one fault seeming monstrous till his
fellow-fault came to match it.
I prithee recount some of them.
No; I will not cast away my physic but on those that are
sick. There is a man haunts the forest that abuses our young
plants with carving 'Rosalind' on their barks; hangs odes upon
hawthorns and elegies on brambles; all, forsooth, deifying the
name of Rosalind. If I could meet that fancy-monger, I would give
him some good counsel, for he seems to have the quotidian of love
I am he that is so love-shak'd; I pray you tell me your
There is none of my uncle's marks upon you; he taught me
how to know a man in love; in which cage of rushes I am sure you
are not prisoner.
What were his marks?
A lean cheek, which you have not; a blue eye and sunken,
which you have not; an unquestionable spirit, which you have not;
a beard neglected, which you have not; but I pardon you for that,
for simply your having in beard is a younger brother's revenue.
Then your hose should be ungarter'd, your bonnet unbanded, your
sleeve unbutton'd, your shoe untied, and every thing about you
demonstrating a careless desolation. But you are no such man; you
are rather point-device in your accoutrements, as loving yourself
than seeming the lover of any other.
Fair youth, I would I could make thee believe I love.
Me believe it! You may as soon make her that you love
believe it; which, I warrant, she is apter to do than to confess
she does. That is one of the points in the which women still give
the lie to their consciences. But, in good sooth, are you he that
hangs the verses on the trees wherein Rosalind is so admired?
I swear to thee, youth, by the white hand of Rosalind, I
am that he, that unfortunate he.
But are you so much in love as your rhymes speak?
Neither rhyme nor reason can express how much.
Love is merely a madness; and, I tell you, deserves as
well a dark house and a whip as madmen do; and the reason why
they are not so punish'd and cured is that the lunacy is so
ordinary that the whippers are in love too. Yet I profess curing
it by counsel.
Did you ever cure any so?
Yes, one; and in this manner. He was to imagine me his
love, his mistress; and I set him every day to woo me; at which
time would I, being but a moonish youth, grieve, be effeminate,
changeable, longing and liking, proud, fantastical, apish,
shallow, inconstant, full of tears, full of smiles; for every
passion something and for no passion truly anything, as boys and
women are for the most part cattle of this colour; would now like
him, now loathe him; then entertain him, then forswear him; now
weep for him, then spit at him; that I drave my suitor from his
mad humour of love to a living humour of madness; which was, to
forswear the full stream of the world and to live in a nook
merely monastic. And thus I cur'd him; and this way will I take
upon me to wash your liver as clean as a sound sheep's heart,
that there shall not be one spot of love in 't.
I would not be cured, youth.
I would cure you, if you would but call me Rosalind, and
come every day to my cote and woo me.
Now, by the faith of my love, I will. Tell me where it is.
Go with me to it, and I'll show it you; and, by the way,
you shall tell me where in the forest you live. Will you go?
With all my heart, good youth.
Nay, you must call me Rosalind. Come, sister, will you
Come apace, good Audrey; I will fetch up your goats,
Audrey. And how, Audrey, am I the man yet? Doth my simple feature
Your features! Lord warrant us! What features?
I am here with thee and thy goats, as the most
capricious poet, honest Ovid, was among the Goths.
[Aside] O knowledge ill-inhabited, worse than Jove in a
When a man's verses cannot be understood, nor a man's
good wit seconded with the forward child understanding, it
strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little room.
Truly, I would the gods had made thee poetical.
I do not know what 'poetical' is. Is it honest in deed and
word? Is it a true thing?
No, truly; for the truest poetry is the most feigning,
and lovers are given to poetry; and what they swear in poetry may
be said as lovers they do feign.
Do you wish, then, that the gods had made me poetical?
I do, truly, for thou swear'st to me thou art honest;
now, if thou wert a poet, I might have some hope thou didst
Would you not have me honest?
No, truly, unless thou wert hard-favour'd; for honesty
coupled to beauty is to have honey a sauce to sugar.
[Aside] A material fool!
Well, I am not fair; and therefore I pray the gods make me
Truly, and to cast away honesty upon a foul slut were
to put good meat into an unclean dish.
I am not a slut, though I thank the gods I am foul.
Well, praised be the gods for thy foulness;
sluttishness may come hereafter. But be it as it may be, I will
marry thee; and to that end I have been with Sir Oliver Martext,
the vicar of the next village, who hath promis'd to meet me in
this place of the forest, and to couple us.
[Aside] I would fain see this meeting.
Well, the gods give us joy!
Amen. A man may, if he were of a fearful heart, stagger
in this attempt; for here we have no temple but the wood, no
assembly but horn-beasts. But what though? Courage! As horns are
odious, they are necessary. It is said: 'Many a man knows no end
of his goods.' Right! Many a man has good horns and knows no end
of them. Well, that is the dowry of his wife; 'tis none of his
own getting. Horns? Even so. Poor men alone? No, no; the noblest
deer hath them as huge as the rascal. Is the single man therefore
blessed? No; as a wall'd town is more worthier than a village, so
is the forehead of a married man more honourable than the bare
brow of a bachelor; and by how much defence is better than no
skill, by so much is horn more precious than to want. Here comes
[Enter SIR OLIVER MARTEXT]
Sir Oliver Martext, you are well met. Will you dispatch us here
under this tree, or shall we go with you to your chapel?
Sir Oliver Martext
Is there none here to give the woman?
I will not take her on gift of any man.
Sir Oliver Martext
Truly, she must be given, or the marriage is not lawful.
[Discovering himself] Proceed, proceed; I'll give her.
Good even, good Master What-ye-call't; how do you, sir?
You are very well met. Goddild you for your last company. I am
very glad to see you. Even a toy in hand here, sir. Nay; pray be
Will you be married, motley?
As the ox hath his bow, sir, the horse his curb, and
the falcon her bells, so man hath his desires; and as pigeons
bill, so wedlock would be nibbling.
And will you, being a man of your breeding, be married
under a bush, like a beggar? Get you to church and have a good
priest that can tell you what marriage is; this fellow will but
join you together as they join wainscot; then one of you will
prove a shrunk panel, and like green timber warp, warp.
[Aside] I am not in the mind but I were better to be
married of him than of another; for he is not like to marry me
well; and not being well married, it will be a good excuse for me
hereafter to leave my wife.
Go thou with me, and let me counsel thee.
Come, sweet Audrey;
We must be married or we must live in bawdry.
Farewell, good Master Oliver. Not-
O sweet Oliver,
O brave Oliver,
Leave me not behind thee.
Begone, I say,
I will not to wedding with thee.
Exeunt JAQUES, TOUCHSTONE, and AUDREY
Sir Oliver Martext
'Tis no matter; ne'er a fantastical knave of them all
shall flout me out of my calling. Exit
Never talk to me; I will weep.
Do, I prithee; but yet have the grace to consider that tears
do not become a man.
But have I not cause to weep?
As good cause as one would desire; therefore weep.
His very hair is of the dissembling colour.
Something browner than Judas's.
Marry, his kisses are Judas's own children.
I' faith, his hair is of a good colour.
An excellent colour: your chestnut was ever the only colour.
And his kissing is as full of sanctity as the touch of
He hath bought a pair of cast lips of Diana. A nun of
winter's sisterhood kisses not more religiously; the very ice of
chastity is in them.
But why did he swear he would come this morning, and
Nay, certainly, there is no truth in him.
Do you think so?
Yes; I think he is not a pick-purse nor a horse-stealer; but
for his verity in love, I do think him as concave as covered
goblet or a worm-eaten nut.
Not true in love?
Yes, when he is in; but I think he is not in.
You have heard him swear downright he was.
'Was' is not 'is'; besides, the oath of a lover is no
stronger than the word of a tapster; they are both the confirmer
of false reckonings. He attends here in the forest on the Duke,
I met the Duke yesterday, and had much question with him.
He asked me of what parentage I was; I told him, of as good as
he; so he laugh'd and let me go. But what talk we of fathers when
there is such a man as Orlando?
O, that's a brave man! He writes brave verses, speaks brave
words, swears brave oaths, and breaks them bravely, quite
traverse, athwart the heart of his lover; as a puny tilter, that
spurs his horse but on one side, breaks his staff like a noble
goose. But all's brave that youth mounts and folly guides. Who
Mistress and master, you have oft enquired
After the shepherd that complain'd of love,
Who you saw sitting by me on the turf,
Praising the proud disdainful shepherdess
That was his mistress.
Well, and what of him?
If you will see a pageant truly play'd
Between the pale complexion of true love
And the red glow of scorn and proud disdain,
Go hence a little, and I shall conduct you,
If you will mark it.
O, come, let us remove!
The sight of lovers feedeth those in love.
Bring us to this sight, and you shall say
I'll prove a busy actor in their play. Exeunt
Sweet Phebe, do not scorn me; do not, Phebe.
Say that you love me not; but say not so
In bitterness. The common executioner,
Whose heart th' accustom'd sight of death makes hard,
Falls not the axe upon the humbled neck
But first begs pardon. Will you sterner be
Than he that dies and lives by bloody drops?
I would not be thy executioner;
I fly thee, for I would not injure thee.
Thou tell'st me there is murder in mine eye.
'Tis pretty, sure, and very probable,
That eyes, that are the frail'st and softest things,
Who shut their coward gates on atomies,
Should be call'd tyrants, butchers, murderers!
Now I do frown on thee with all my heart;
And if mine eyes can wound, now let them kill thee.
Now counterfeit to swoon; why, now fall down;
Or, if thou canst not, O, for shame, for shame,
Lie not, to say mine eyes are murderers.
Now show the wound mine eye hath made in thee.
Scratch thee but with a pin, and there remains
Some scar of it; lean upon a rush,
The cicatrice and capable impressure
Thy palm some moment keeps; but now mine eyes,
Which I have darted at thee, hurt thee not;
Nor, I am sure, there is not force in eyes
That can do hurt.
O dear Phebe,
If ever- as that ever may be near-
You meet in some fresh cheek the power of fancy,
Then shall you know the wounds invisible
That love's keen arrows make.
But till that time
Come not thou near me; and when that time comes,
Afflict me with thy mocks, pity me not;
As till that time I shall not pity thee.
[Advancing] And why, I pray you? Who might be your
That you insult, exult, and all at once,
Over the wretched? What though you have no beauty-
As, by my faith, I see no more in you
Than without candle may go dark to bed-
Must you be therefore proud and pitiless?
Why, what means this? Why do you look on me?
I see no more in you than in the ordinary
Of nature's sale-work. 'Od's my little life,
I think she means to tangle my eyes too!
No faith, proud mistress, hope not after it;
'Tis not your inky brows, your black silk hair,
Your bugle eyeballs, nor your cheek of cream,
That can entame my spirits to your worship.
You foolish shepherd, wherefore do you follow her,
Like foggy south, puffing with wind and rain?
You are a thousand times a properer man
Than she a woman. 'Tis such fools as you
That makes the world full of ill-favour'd children.
'Tis not her glass, but you, that flatters her;
And out of you she sees herself more proper
Than any of her lineaments can show her.
But, mistress, know yourself. Down on your knees,
And thank heaven, fasting, for a good man's love;
For I must tell you friendly in your ear:
Sell when you can; you are not for all markets.
Cry the man mercy, love him, take his offer;
Foul is most foul, being foul to be a scoffer.
So take her to thee, shepherd. Fare you well.
Sweet youth, I pray you chide a year together;
I had rather hear you chide than this man woo.
He's fall'n in love with your foulness, and she'll fall
in love with my anger. If it be so, as fast as she answers thee
with frowning looks, I'll sauce her with bitter words. Why look
you so upon me?
For no ill will I bear you.
I pray you do not fall in love with me,
For I am falser than vows made in wine;
Besides, I like you not. If you will know my house,
'Tis at the tuft of olives here hard by.
Will you go, sister? Shepherd, ply her hard.
Come, sister. Shepherdess, look on him better,
And be not proud; though all the world could see,
None could be so abus'd in sight as he.
Come, to our flock. Exeunt ROSALIND, CELIA, and CORIN
Dead shepherd, now I find thy saw of might:
'Who ever lov'd that lov'd not at first sight?'
Ha! what say'st thou, Silvius?
Sweet Phebe, pity me.
Why, I am sorry for thee, gentle Silvius.
Wherever sorrow is, relief would be.
If you do sorrow at my grief in love,
By giving love, your sorrow and my grief
Were both extermin'd.
Thou hast my love; is not that neighbourly?
I would have you.
Why, that were covetousness.
Silvius, the time was that I hated thee;
And yet it is not that I bear thee love;
But since that thou canst talk of love so well,
Thy company, which erst was irksome to me,
I will endure; and I'll employ thee too.
But do not look for further recompense
Than thine own gladness that thou art employ'd.
So holy and so perfect is my love,
And I in such a poverty of grace,
That I shall think it a most plenteous crop
To glean the broken ears after the man
That the main harvest reaps; loose now and then
A scatt'red smile, and that I'll live upon.
Know'st thou the youth that spoke to me erewhile?
Not very well; but I have met him oft;
And he hath bought the cottage and the bounds
That the old carlot once was master of.
Think not I love him, though I ask for him;
'Tis but a peevish boy; yet he talks well.
But what care I for words? Yet words do well
When he that speaks them pleases those that hear.
It is a pretty youth- not very pretty;
But, sure, he's proud; and yet his pride becomes him.
He'll make a proper man. The best thing in him
Is his complexion; and faster than his tongue
Did make offence, his eye did heal it up.
He is not very tall; yet for his years he's tall;
His leg is but so-so; and yet 'tis well.
There was a pretty redness in his lip,
A little riper and more lusty red
Than that mix'd in his cheek; 'twas just the difference
Betwixt the constant red and mingled damask.
There be some women, Silvius, had they mark'd him
In parcels as I did, would have gone near
To fall in love with him; but, for my part,
I love him not, nor hate him not; and yet
I have more cause to hate him than to love him;
For what had he to do to chide at me?
He said mine eyes were black, and my hair black,
And, now I am rememb'red, scorn'd at me.
I marvel why I answer'd not again;
But that's all one: omittance is no quittance.
I'll write to him a very taunting letter,
And thou shalt bear it; wilt thou, Silvius?
Phebe, with all my heart.
I'll write it straight;
The matter's in my head and in my heart;
I will be bitter with him and passing short.
Go with me, Silvius. Exeunt
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