fenc’d about with Oliue-trees
Cel. West of this place, down in the neighbor bottom The ranke of Oziers, by the murmuring streame Left on your right hand, brings you to the place: But at this howre, the house doth keepe it selfe, There’s none within
Oli. If that an eye may profit by a tongue, Then should I know you by description, Such garments, and such yeeres: the boy is faire, Of femall fauour, and bestowes himselfe Like a ripe sister: the woman low And browner then her brother: are not you The owner of the house I did enquire for? Cel. It is no boast, being ask’d, to say we are
Oli. Orlando doth commend him to you both, And to that youth hee calls his Rosalind, He sends this bloudy napkin; are you he? Ros. I am: what must we vnderstand by this? Oli. Some of my shame, if you will know of me What man I am, and how, and why, and where This handkercher was stain’d
Cel. I pray you tell it
Oli. When last the yong Orlando parted from you, He left a promise to returne againe Within an houre, and pacing through the Forrest, Chewing the food of sweet and bitter fancie, Loe what befell: he threw his eye aside, And marke what obiect did present it selfe Vnder an old Oake, whose bows were moss’d with age And high top, bald with drie antiquitie: A wretched ragged man, ore-growne with haire Lay sleeping on his back; about his necke A greene and guilded snake had wreath’d it selfe, Who with her head, nimble in threats approach’d The opening of his mouth: but sodainly Seeing Orlando, it vnlink’d it selfe, And with indented glides, did slip away Into a bush, vnder which bushes shade A Lyonnesse, with vdders all drawne drie, Lay cowching head on ground, with catlike watch When that the sleeping man should stirre; for’tis The royall disposition of that beast To prey on nothing, that doth seeme as dead: This seene, Orlando did approach the man, And found it was his brother, his elder brother
Cel. O I haue heard him speake of that same brother, And he did render him the most vnnaturall That liu’d amongst men
Oli. And well he might so doe, For well I know he was vnnaturall
Ros. But to Orlando: did he leaue him there Food to the suck’d and hungry Lyonnesse? Oli. Twice did he turne his backe, and purpos’d so: But kindnesse, nobler euer then reuenge, And Nature stronger then his iust occasion, Made him giue battell to the Lyonnesse: Who quickly fell before him, in which hurtling From miserable slumber I awaked
Cel. Are you his brother? Ros. Was’t you he rescu’d? Cel. Was’t you that did so oft contriue to kill him? Oli.’Twas I: but’tis not I: I doe not shame To tell you what I was, since my conuersion So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am
Ros. But for the bloody napkin? Oli. By and by: When from the first to last betwixt vs two, Teares our recountments had most kindely bath’d, As how I came into that Desert place. In briefe, he led me to the gentle Duke, Who gaue me fresh aray, and entertainment, Committing me vnto my brothers loue, Who led me instantly vnto his Caue, There stript himselfe, and heere vpon his arme The Lyonnesse had torne some flesh away, Which all this while had bled; and now he fainted, And cride in fainting vpon Rosalinde. Briefe, I recouer’d him, bound vp his wound, And after some small space, being strong at heart, He sent me hither, stranger as I am To tell this story, that you might excuse His broken promise, and to giue this napkin Died in this bloud, vnto the Shepheard youth, That he in sport doth call his Rosalind
Cel. Why how now Ganimed, sweet Ganimed
Oli. Many will swoon when they do look on bloud
Cel. There is more in it; Cosen Ganimed
Oli. Looke, he recouers
Ros. I would I were at home
Cel. Wee’ll lead you thither: I pray you will you take him by the arme
Oli. Be of good cheere youth: you a man? You lacke a mans heart
Ros. I doe so, I confesse it: Ah, sirra, a body would thinke this was well counterfeited, I pray you tell your brother how well I counterfeited: heigh-ho
Oli. This was not counterfeit, there is too great testimony in your complexion, that it was a passion of earnest
Ros. Counterfeit, I assure you
Oli. Well then, take a good heart, and counterfeit to be a man
Ros. So I doe: but yfaith, I should haue beene a woman by right
Cel. Come, you looke paler and paler: pray you draw homewards: good sir, goe with vs
Oli. That will I: for I must beare answere backe How you excuse my brother, Rosalind
Ros. I shall deuise something: but I pray you commend my counterfeiting to him: will you goe?
Actus Quintus. Scena Prima.
Enter Clowne and Awdrie.
Clow. We shall finde a time Awdrie, patience gentle Awdrie
Awd. Faith the Priest was good enough, for all the olde gentlemans saying
Clow. A most wicked Sir Oliuer, Awdrie, a most vile Mar-text. But Awdrie, there is a youth heere in the Forrest layes claime to you
Awd. I, I know who’tis: he hath no interest in mee in the world: here comes the man you meane. Enter William.
Clo. It is meat and drinke to me to see a Clown