As You Like It
|ACT I SCENE II||Lawn before the Duke’s palace.|
|[Enter CELIA and ROSALIND]|
|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.||5|
|CELIA||Herein I see thou lovest 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.||12|
|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.||21|
|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.||27|
|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.||37|
|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?||44|
|ROSALIND||Indeed, there is Fortune too hard for Nature, when|
|Fortune makes Nature’s natural the cutter-off of|
|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 dulness 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?||55|
|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|
|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 pancakes or that mustard.|
|CELIA||Prithee, who is’t that thou meanest?||75|
|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 whipped 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.||85|
|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-crammed.|
|CELIA||All the better; we shall be the more marketable.|
|[Enter LE BEAU]|
|Bon jour, Monsieur Le Beau: what’s the news?|
|LE BEAU||Fair princess, you have lost much good sport.|
|CELIA||Sport! of what colour?||90|
|LE BEAU||What colour, madam! how shall I answer you?|
|ROSALIND||As wit and fortune will.|
|TOUCHSTONE||Or as the Destinies decree.|
|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.||105|
|ROSALIND||You 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.’||116|
|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 served 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.||125|
|TOUCHSTONE||But what is the sport, monsieur, that the ladies|
|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|
|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?||136|
|LE BEAU||You must, if you stay here; for here is the place|
|appointed for the wrestling, and they are ready to|
|CELIA||Yonder, sure, they are coming: let us now stay and see it.|
|[ Flourish. Enter DUKE FREDERICK, Lords, ORLANDO, CHARLES, and Attendants ]|
|DUKE 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.||145|
|CELIA||Alas, he is too young! yet he looks successfully.|
|DUKE FREDERICK||How now, daughter and cousin! are you crept hither|
|to see the wrestling?|
|ROSALIND||Ay, my liege, so please you give us leave.|
|DUKE 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.||155|
|DUKE FREDERICK||Do so: I’ll not be by.|
|LE BEAU||Monsieur the challenger, the princesses call for you.|
|ORLANDO||I attend them with all respect and duty.|
|ROSALIND||Young man, have you challenged 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.||171|
|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 foiled, there is but one|
|shamed that was never gracious; if killed, but one|
|dead that was 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.||186|
|CELIA||And mine, to eke out hers.|
|ROSALIND||Fare you well: pray heaven I be deceived 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.|
|DUKE FREDERICK||You shall try but one fall.||195|
|CHARLES||No, I warrant your grace, you shall not entreat him|
|to a second, that have so mightily persuaded him|
|from a first.|
|ORLANDO||An you mean to mock me after, you should not have|
|mocked 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.|
|ROSALIND||O excellent young man!||204|
|CELIA||If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can tell who|
|[Shout. CHARLES is thrown]|
|DUKE FREDERICK||No more, no more.|
|ORLANDO||Yes, I beseech your grace: I am not yet well breathed.|
|DUKE FREDERICK||How dost thou, Charles?|
|LE BEAU||He cannot speak, my lord.|
|DUKE FREDERICK||Bear him away. What is thy name, young man?|
|ORLANDO||Orlando, my liege; the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys.||215|
|DUKE 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 pleased 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.|
|[Exeunt DUKE FREDERICK, train, and LE BEAU]|
|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.||226|
|ROSALIND||My father loved 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 ventured.|
|Let us go thank him and encourage him:|
|My father’s rough and envious disposition|
|Sticks me at heart. Sir, you have well deserved:|
|If you do keep your promises in love||235|
|But justly, as you have exceeded all promise,|
|Your mistress shall be happy.|
|[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?||245|
|Sir, you have wrestled well and overthrown|
|More than your enemies.|
|CELIA||Will you go, coz?|
|ROSALIND||Have with you. Fare you well.|
|[Exeunt ROSALIND and CELIA]|
|ORLANDO||What passion hangs these weights upon my tongue?|
|I cannot speak to her, yet she urged conference.|
|O poor Orlando, thou art overthrown!|
|Or Charles or something weaker masters thee.|
|[Re-enter LE BEAU]|
|LE BEAU||Good sir, I do in friendship counsel you|
|To leave this place. Albeit you have deserved|
|High commendation, true applause and love,||255|
|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 lesser is his daughter|
|The other is daughter to the banish’d duke,||265|
|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:||275|
|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!|
Next: As You Like It, Act 1, Scene 3
Explanatory notes for Act 1, Scene 2
From As You Like It. Ed. Samuel Thurber, Jr. and Louise Wetherbee. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1922.
(Line numbers have been altered.)
The scene shifts to the Duke’s palace, still out-of-doors, and we welcome the heroine with her cousin. As is fitting the Duke’s daughter, Celia, takes the lead and comforts Rosalind, who is not so happy as she naturally is. Touchstone arrives to enliven a scene which has become somewhat merry, and the wrestling match presents plenty of action. The scene closes with the seed of love already sown.
Line 1. Rosalind: the name is taken directly from Lodge. coz: an abbreviation for cousin.
6. learn: here used as “teach” as always in Shakespeare when the object is expressed.
8. so: provided that.
11. so … tempered: so properly composed, as in “to temper steel.”
13. condition of my estate: my position in life. We first see Rosalind depressed because of conditions surrounding her as we do Portia in “Merchant of Venice.” Note how quickly each is diverted to her natural mood of gayety.
18. perforce: by force. render: return to. Celia here is the leader, but she soon becomes the follower.
22. sports: the frivolous tone of this word is punished before the scene is over, when Rosalind really falls in love.
24. prithee: pray thee. withal: here the preposition with and very emphatic. Double negatives abound in this passage which shows how emphatic Celia means to be.
29. good … wheel: Look up the pronunciation of housewife. Fortune’s wheel symbolizes her inconstant varied nature.
36. honest: virtuous.
40. lineaments: features. The two girls are accustomed to this exchange of comment on life as they have seen it. As the fool approaches across the green, they carry on the argument lightly, showing their own wit as they comment on that of others.
Enter Touchstone. This was Shakespeare’s first attempt at a real jester. How would he be dressed? What is his manner? Watch him as the play develops.
46. natural: idiot. How does Celia play upon this word?
51. whetstone: sharpener.
52. How now … you? An allusion to an old saying or song, “Wit, whither wilt?”
56. by mine honor: quite evidently an oath of the time.
61. naught: here bad. This scene is a lively one with much amusing action. Try to describe it vividly.
79. taxation: satire. Why does Celia suddenly change her humor?
82. By my troth: a very common oath with many variations. Troth really means truth. Note our common saying, “to tell the truth.”
83. silenced: This may refer to some restrictions of the time placed upon players.
Enter Le Beau. The name and Celia’s greeting remind us that the scene is set in France. Poor Le Beau is the stiffest and most ceremonious of courtiers. His very dignity seems to encourage anything but dignity in the other three people.
92. Bon jour: good day.
96. color: kind. Later in Act III we find it used again, “cattle of this color.”
99. Destinies: Fates. This and the preceding speech might well be sung.
100. laid on with a trowel: clumsily said.
101. Remember that Rosalind’s vulgarity was very common at the time.
117. bills: the bill, whether weapon of warfare or utensil of wood-craft, was carried “on the neck.” This was the standard expression, as we say “on the shoulder.” To get a notion of bills on their necks in the other sense, perhaps you had better imagine men as you may have seen them, bearing on their necks advertising placards.
134. broken music: part music arranged for different instruments. It is rather hard for us to appreciate Rosalind’s wit here. dotes: delights in. Rosalind and Celia do not enjoy the reported contest. Let us watch them through the one given to us on the stage.
Enter Duke Frederick. We look at the usurper with some interest as he takes his place to view the contest. Already we have learned some things not to his credit and we desire some proof. The scene is full of animation and color, as well as action and interest.
147. How now: What now? cousin: used for niece here as often in Shakespeare.
149. Rosalind seems willing to stay. Why?
162. fain: be glad to.
167-168. Celia says many more words than she needs to. Try to put it more briefly.
173. our suit: our petition.
174. might: may.
179. foiled: defeated. This little scene between Orlando and the two girls is Shakespeare’s own and serves to arouse our sympathy. Never does Orlando appear more manly than here when he seems so absolutely without appreciation of himself. What opportunity for the actor do you see here?
187. eke: help out hers.
191. Charles’s call comes as a very rude interruption to a charming scene.
199. an: probably and.
200. come your ways: come on.
201. Hercules: Why does Rosalind call upon this hero? speed: protector.
202. Note Celia’s idea of good sport.
209. well breathed: well started.
210. The wrestler was killed in Lodge. Why does Shakespeare change?
218. still: always.
224-226. Orlando is now meditating as he stands a little apart from the girls, who are talking of the attitude of Duke Frederick.
226. calling: name.
234. sticks me at heart: stabs me to the heart.
238. out of stuts: out of favor. As Rosalind gives the chain, she waits for some word of thanks, but with the words, “shall we go, coz?” she turns shyly away, somewhat abashed.
241. Poor Orlando is tongue-tied.
243. quintain: a wooden image. A quintain was a post with revolving arms…. The object of the tilter was to hit one arm without being struck by the other.
245. Picture the glances and actions of the two, who are good examples of characters falling in love at first sight, of whom Shakespeare has many.
248. Have with you: Come on.
262. or — or: either — or.
Re-enter Le Beau. Here Shakespeare differs again from the novel in which the king embraced Rosader when he knew him to be the youngest son of Sir John. The playwright thus prepares us for the exile of Orlando as well as of Rosalind, and later that of Oliver. Le Beau is still the essence of courtly formality, but do we find him a bit more human at the end of this scene?
267. misconstrues: misunderstands. Pronounced properly and at the same time suited to this rhythm.
268. humorous: full of moods, even dangerous.
261. Orlando finds out what he wants to know without betraying himself.
264. lesser: smaller. This is a hint for the observant reader. The whole speech prepares us for what is to follow.
276. in a better world: in a better state of affairs.
279. from … smother: from the frying pan into the fire.
1. This is a charming scene. Describe the setting.
2. From the opening conversation what do you learn of conditions at court?
3. Describe the two girls. Which of the two is leader here?
4. What does Touchstone add to the scene? Why introduced?
5. Why do the girls make fun of Le Beau? Do you respect him at any time in the scene?
6. Describe in detail the wrestling-match, not forgetting the positions of the different persons on the stage.
7. What foreshadowing is found here?
8. What do we want to know at the end of the scene?
9. What characteristics of Rosalind, Celia, and Orlando have been brought out?