ACT I. SCENE II. A Lawn before the DUKE'S Palace.
[Enter ROSALIND and CELIA.]
I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry.
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
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
tempered as mine is to thee.
Well, I will forget the condition of my estate, to rejoice in
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.
From henceforth I will, coz, and devise sports: let me see; what
think you of falling in love?
Marry, I pr'ythee, 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.
What shall be our sport, then?
Let us sit and mock the good housewife Fortune from her
wheel, that her gifts may henceforth be bestowed equally.
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.
'Tis true; for those that she makes fair she scarce makes
honest; and those that she makes honest she makes very
Nay; now thou goest from Fortune's office to Nature's: Fortune
reigns in gifts of the world, not in the lineaments of Nature.
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
Indeed, there is Fortune too hard for Nature, when
Fortune makes Nature's natural the cutter-off of Nature's wit.
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?
Mistress, you must come away to your father.
Were you made the messenger?
No, by mine honour; but I was bid to come for you.
Where learned you that oath, fool?
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.
How prove you that, in the great heap of your knowledge?
Ay, marry; now unmuzzle your wisdom.
Stand you both forth now: stroke your chins, and swear
by your beards that I am a knave.
By our beards, if we had them, thou art.
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
Pr'ythee, who is't that thou mean'st?
One that old Frederick, your father, loves.
My father's love is enough to honour him enough: speak
no more of him: you'll be whipp'd for taxation one of these days.
The more pity that fools may not speak wisely what
wise men do foolishly.
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.
With his mouth full of news.
Which he will put on us as pigeons feed their young.
Then shall we be news-crammed.
All the better; we shall be the more marketable.
[Enter LE BEAU.]
Bon jour, Monsieur Le Beau. What's the news?
Fair princess, you have lost much good sport.
Sport! of what colour?
What colour, madam? How shall I answer you?
As wit and fortune will.