As You Like It


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Rosalind and Celia


ROSALIND

How say you now? Is it not past two o'clock?

And here much Orlando!


CELIA

I warrant you, with pure love and troubled brain
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count

he hath ta'en his bow and arrows, and is gone forth to

sleep.

Enter Silvius

Look who comes here.


SILVIUS

My errand is to you, fair youth:

My gentle Phebe bid me give you this.
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind

He gives Rosalind a letter, which she reads

I know not the contents, but as I guess

By the stern brow and waspish action
brow (n.) 3 eyebrow

Which she did use as she was writing of it,

It bears an angry tenor. Pardon me,
tenor, tenour (n.) 1 substance, content, matter, drift

I am but as a guiltless messenger.


ROSALIND

Patience herself would startle at this letter,

And play the swaggerer. Bear this, bear all.
swaggerer quarreller, blusterer, squabbler

She says I am not fair, that I lack manners,

She calls me proud, and that she could not love me

Were man as rare as phoenix. 'Od's my will,

Her love is not the hare that I do hunt!

Why writes she so to me? Well, shepherd, well,

This is a letter of your own device.
device (n.) 3 planning, devising, invention


SILVIUS

No, I protest, I know not the contents;

Phebe did write it.


ROSALIND

                         Come, come, you are a fool,

And turned into the extremity of love.
turn (v.) 2 become, transform, change [into]

I saw her hand: she has a leathern hand,
leathern (adj.) 1 leather-like

A freestone-coloured hand; I verily did think
freestone (n.) greyish-yellow, browny-yellow [as of limestone or sandstone]
verily (adv.) in truth, truly, indeed See Topics: Swearing

That her old gloves were on, but 'twas her hands;

She has a housewife's hand – but that's no matter.

I say she never did invent this letter;
invent (v.) create, compose, write creatively

This is a man's invention, and his hand.


SILVIUS

Sure, it is hers.


ROSALIND

Why, 'tis a boisterous and a cruel style,
boisterous (adj.) 1 violent, fierce, savage

A style for challengers. Why, she defies me,

Like Turk to Christian; women's gentle brain

Could not drop forth such giant rude invention,
gentle (adj.) 3 refined, discriminating, sophisticated
invention (n.) 1 inventiveness, imagination, creative faculty
rude (adj.) 1 violent, harsh, unkind

Such Ethiop words, blacker in their effect
effect (n.) 4 drift, tenor, import
Ethiop, Ethiope (adj./n.) Ethiopian, African, person with a dark countenance See Topics: World [outside Britain], places and peoples

Than in their countenance. Will you hear the letter?
countenance (n.) 3 appearance, aspect, look


SILVIUS

So please you, for I never heard it yet;

Yet heard too much of Phebe's cruelty.


ROSALIND

She Phebes me; mark how the tyrant writes:
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

Art thou god to shepherd turned,

That a maiden's heart hath burned?

Can a woman rail thus?
rail (v.) rant, rave, be abusive [about] See Topics: Frequency count


SILVIUS

Call you this railing?
railing (n.) abuse, insulting speech, vilification


ROSALIND

Why, thy godhead laid apart,
lay apart (v.) set aside, put away

Warrest thou with a woman's heart?

Did you ever hear such railing?
railing (n.) abuse, insulting speech, vilification

Whiles the eye of man did woo me,

That could do no vengeance to me.
vengeance (n.) 1 harm, mischief, damage

Meaning me a beast.

If the scorn of your bright eyne
eyne (n.) [archaism] eyes See Topics: Archaisms

Have power to raise such love in mine,

Alack, in me what strange effect

Would they work in mild aspect?
aspect (n.) 4 [astrology] influential phase, direction of alignment See Topics: Cosmos

Whiles you chid me, I did love,
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count

How then might your prayers move?

He that brings this love to thee

Little knows this love in me;

And by him seal up thy mind,
seal up (v.) 3 make up, decide

Whether that thy youth and kind
kind (n.) 1 nature, reality, character, disposition

Will the faithful offer take

Of me and all that I can make,
make (v.) 2 do, perform, carry out

Or else by him my love deny,

And then I'll study how to die.


SILVIUS

Call you this chiding?
chiding (n.) 1 telling-off, scolding, rebuke


CELIA

Alas, poor shepherd!


ROSALIND

Do you pity him? No, he deserves no pity. –

Wilt thou love such a woman? What, to make thee an

instrument and play false strains upon thee? Not to be
false (adj.) 8 [of an instrument or voice] out of tune, discordant

endured! Well, go your way to her – for I see love hath

made thee a tame snake – and say this to her: that if

she love me, I charge her to love thee; if she will not,

I will never have her, unless thou entreat for her. If
entreat, intreat (v.) 3 negotiate, intervene, parley

you be a true lover, hence, and not a word, for here

comes more company.

Exit Silvius

Enter Oliver
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count


OLIVER

Good morrow, fair ones. Pray you, if you know,

Where in the purlieus of this forest stands
purlieu (n.) edge, fringe, border [of forest land]

A sheepcote fenced about with olive trees?
sheepcote (n.) building where sheep shelter


CELIA

West of this place, down in the neighbour bottom,
bottom (n.) 5 valley, hollow, dell
neighbour (adj.) 1 neighbouring, nearby, adjacent

The rank of osiers by the murmuring stream
osier (n.) willow
rank (n.) 1 row, line, series

Left on your right hand brings you to the place.
leave (v.) 6 pass by, go past

But at this hour the house doth keep itself,
keep (v.) 5 look after, watch over, maintain

There's none within.


OLIVER

If that an eye may profit by a tongue,

Then should I know you by description.

Such garments and such years: ‘The boy is fair,

Of female favour, and bestows himself
bestow (v.) 8 carry, bear, acquit, conduct
favour (n.) 1 [facial] appearance, countenance, features, looks

Like a ripe sister; the woman low
low (adj.) 2 short, small
ripe (adj.) 5 mature, sophisticated, refined

And browner than her brother'. Are not you

The owner of the house I did inquire for?


CELIA

It is no boast, being asked, to say we are.


OLIVER

Orlando doth commend him to you both,
commend (v.) 1 convey greetings, present kind regards See Topics: Frequency count

And to that youth he calls his ‘ Rosalind ’

He sends this bloody napkin. Are you he?
napkin (n.) 1 handkerchief


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 handkercher was stained.
handkercher (n.) handkerchief


CELIA

                         I pray you, tell it.


OLIVER

When last the young Orlando parted from you,

He left a promise to return again

Within an hour; and pacing through the forest,

Chewing the food of sweet and bitter fancy,
fancy (n.) 1 love, amorousness, infatuation

Lo, what befell! He threw his eye aside,

And mark what object did present itself!
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

Under an oak, whose boughs were mossed with age

And high top bald with dry antiquity,

A wretched ragged man, o'ergrown with hair,

Lay sleeping on his back. About his neck

A green and gilded snake had wreathed itself,

Who with her head nimble in threats approached

The opening of his mouth; but suddenly,

Seeing Orlando, it unlinked itself

And with indented glides did slip away
indented (adj.) sinuous, zigzag, undulating

Into a bush: under which bush's shade

A lioness, with udders all drawn dry,

Lay couching, head on ground, with catlike watch
couch (v.) 1 conceal, hide, lie hidden

When that the sleeping man should stir; for 'tis
when that (conj.) for the time when

The royal disposition of that beast
disposition (n.) 3 inclination, mood, frame of mind
royal (adj.) 1 like a king, majestic

To prey on nothing that doth seem as dead.

This seen, Orlando did approach the man,

And found it was his brother, his elder brother.


CELIA

O, I have heard him speak of that same brother,

And he did render him the most unnatural
render (v.) 5 describe, represent, depict [as]

That lived amongst men.


OLIVER

                         And well he might so do,

For well I know he was unnatural.


ROSALIND

But to Orlando: did he leave him there,

Food to the sucked and hungry lioness?
sucked (adj.) drained, empty, wanting


OLIVER

Twice did he turn his back and purposed so.
purpose (v.) 3 decide, resolve, determine
purpose (v.) 1 intend, plan

But kindness, nobler ever than revenge,
kindness (n.) 2 feelings of kinship

And nature, stronger than his just occasion,
just (adj.) 3 justifiable, legitimate
occasion (n.) 1 circumstance, opportunity

Made him give battle to the lioness,

Who quickly fell before him; in which hurtling
hurtling (n.) tumult, violent conflict

From miserable slumber I awaked.


CELIA

Are you his brother?


ROSALIND

                         Was't you he rescued?


CELIA

Was't you that did so oft contrive to kill him?
contrive (v.) 1 scheme, plot, conspire
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count


OLIVER

'Twas I, but 'tis not I: I do not shame
shame (v.) be ashamed, be embarrassed

To tell you what I was, since my conversion
conversion (n.) 1 change for the better, character transformation

So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.


ROSALIND

But, for the bloody napkin?
by and by (adv.) 2 shortly, soon, before long


OLIVER

                         By and by.

When from the first to last betwixt us two

Tears our recountments had most kindly bathed,
recountment (n.) account, narrative, relating [of what has happened]

As how I came into that desert place –
desert (adj.) desolate, lonely, isolated

I' brief, he led me to the gentle Duke,
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

Who gave me fresh array and entertainment,
array (n.) 1 attire, clothes, clothing, dress
entertainment (n.) 3 hospitality, provision for needs

Committing me unto my brother's love,

Who led me instantly unto his cave,

There stripped himself, and here upon his arm

The lioness had torn some flesh away,

Which all this while had bled; and now he fainted,

And cried, in fainting, upon Rosalind.

Brief, I recovered him, bound up his wound,
brief (adv.) 1 in short, briefly, in sum
recover (v.) 1 revive, restore to health

And after some small space, being strong at heart,
space (n.) 1 space of time, while

He sent me hither, stranger as I am,

To tell this story, that you might excuse

His broken promise, and to give this napkin,

Dyed in this blood, unto the shepherd youth

That he in sport doth call his ‘ Rosalind.’
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count

Rosalind faints


CELIA

Why, how now, Ganymede, sweet Ganymede!


OLIVER

Many will swoon when they do look on blood.


CELIA

There is more in it. – Cousin Ganymede!


OLIVER

Look, he recovers.


ROSALIND

I would I were at home.


CELIA

                         We'll lead you thither. –

I pray you, will you take him by the arm?


OLIVER

Be of good cheer, youth! You a man? You lack

a man's heart.


ROSALIND

I do so, I confess it. Ah, sirrah, a body would
body (n.) 1 anyone, anybody, one

think this was well counterfeited. I pray you, tell your
counterfeit (v.) 2 pretend, feign, make believe See Topics: Frequency count

brother how well I counterfeited. Heigh-ho!
counterfeit (v.) 2 pretend, feign, make believe See Topics: Frequency count


OLIVER

This was not counterfeit, there is too great testimony
counterfeit (adj.) 1 pretended, feigned, sham

in your complexion that it was a passion of earnest.
earnest, of genuine, real, serious


ROSALIND

Counterfeit, I assure you.


OLIVER

Well then, take a good heart, and counterfeit to
counterfeit (v.) 2 pretend, feign, make believe See Topics: Frequency count

be a man.


ROSALIND

So I do; but, i'faith, I should have been a

woman by right.


CELIA

Come, you look paler and paler. Pray you, draw

homewards. – Good sir, go with us.


OLIVER

That will I: for I must bear answer back

How you excuse my brother, Rosalind.


ROSALIND

I shall devise something. But I pray you

commend my counterfeiting to him. Will you go?
commend (v.) 5 show well, set off to advantage
counterfeiting (n.) 1 pretending, feigning, acting

Exeunt

 
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