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SCENE III.

Enter ROSALIND, and Celia. Ros. How say you now? Is it not past two o'clock ? and here's much Orlando!

Cel. I warrant you, with pure love, and troubled brain, he hath ta’en his bow and arrows, and is gone forth—to sleep: Look, who comes here.

Enter SILVIUS.
Sil. My errand is to you, fair youth ;-
My gentle Phebe bid me give you this :

[Giving a Letter,
I know not the contents; but, as I guess, 240
By the stern brow, and waspish action
Which she did use as she was writing of it,
It bears an angry tenour: pardon me,
I am but as a guiltless messenger.
Ros. [Reading.] Patience herself would startle at

this letter, And play the swaggerer; bear this, bear all : She says, I am not fair ; that I lack inanners ; 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 :

250 Why writes she so to me --Well, shepherd, well, This is a letter of your own device.

Sil. No, I protest, I know not the contents; Phebe did write it.

Ros.

Ros. Come, come, you are a fool, And turn'd into the extremity of love. I saw her hand : she has a leathern hand, A freestone-coloured hand; I verily did think That her old gloves were on, but 'twas her hands; She has a huswife's hand: but that's no matter : 260 I

say, she never did invent this letter; This is a man's invention, and his hand.

Sil. Sure, it is her's.

Ros. Why, 'tis a boisterous and a cruel stile,
A stile for challengers; why, she defies me,
Like Turk to Christian : woman's gentle brain
Could not drop forth such giant-rude invention,
Such Ethiop words, blacker in their effect
Than in their countenance : - Will you hear the

letter? Sil. So please you, for I never heard it yet; 270 Yet heard too much of Phebe's cruelty.

Ros. She Phebe's me : Mark how the tyrant writes.

[Reads.] Art thou god to shepherd turn'd,

That a maiden's heart hath burn'd?

1

Can a woman rail thus?

Sil. Call you this railing ?

Ros. [Reads.] Why thy godhead laid apart,

War'st thou with a woman's heart?

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Did you ever hear such railing i

280

Whiles the eye of man did woo me,

That could do no vengeance to me...
Meaning me a beast.

If the scorn of your bright eyne
Have power to raise such love in mine,
Alack, in me what strange effect
Would they work in mild aspect ?
Whiles

you
chid
me,

I did love;
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;
Whether that thy youth and kind
Will the faithful offer take
Of me, and all that I can make ;
Or else by him my love deny,
And then I'll study how to die.

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290

Sil. Call you this chiding?
Cel. Alas, poor shepherd !

299 Ros. 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 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, un« less thou entreat for her.” If you be a true lover, hence, and not a word; for here comes more company.

[Exit Silvius.

Enter

Enter OLIVER.

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

310
Where in the purlieus of this forest, stands
A sheep-cote, fenc'd about with olive-trees ?
Cel. West of this place, down in the neighbour

bottom,
The rank of osiers, by the murnjuring stream,
Left on your right hand, brings you to the place :
But at this hour the house doth keep itself,
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 years : The boy is fair, 320
Of female favour, and bestows himself
Like a ripe sister : but the woman low,
And browner than her brother. Are not you
The owner of the house I did inquire 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, he calls his Rosalind,
He sends this bloody napkin ; Are you he?

Ros. I am : What must we understand by this ?

Oli. Some of my shame; if you will know of me What man I am, and how, and why, and where This handkerchief was stain'd,

332 Cel. I pray you, tell it.

Oli. 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,
Lo, what befel! he threw his eye aside,
And, mark, what object did present itself! 339
Under an oak, whose boughs were moss'd with age,
And high top bald with dry antiquity,
A wretched ragged man, o'er-grown with hair,
Lay sleeping on his back! about his neck
A green and gilded snake had wreath'd itself,
Who with her head, nimble in threats, approach'd
The opening of his mouth; but suddenly
Seeing Orlando, it unlink'd itself,
And with indented glides did slip away
Into a bush : under which bush's shade
A lioness, with udders all drawn dry,

350
Lay couching, head on ground, with cat-like watch,
When that the sleeping man should stir ; for 'tis
The royal disposition of that beast,
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.

Cel. O, I have heard him speak of that same bro

ther;

And he did render him the most unnatural
That liv'd’mongst men.
Oli. And well he might so do,

360 For well I know he was unnatural.

Ros. But, to Orlando ;-Did he leave him there, Food to the suck'd and hungry lioness ? I

Oli.

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