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Rof. Nay, an you be fo tardy, come no more in my fight: I had as lief be woo'd of a snail. Orla. Of a snail ?
Ros. Ay, of a snail ; for tho' he comes Nowly, he carries his house on his head : a better jointure, I think, than you make a woman; besides, he brings his destiny with him.
Orla. What's that?
Rof. Why, horns ; which such as you are fain to be beholden to your wives for ; but he comes armed in his .fortune, and prevents the flander of his wife.
Orla. Virtue is no horn-maker ; and my Rosalind is yirtuous.
Rof. And I am your Rosalind.
Cel. It pleases him to call you so; but he hath a Rosalind of a better leer than you.
Rof. Come, woo me, woo me ; for now I am in a holyday humour, and like enough to consent : what would you say to me now, an I were your very, very Rosalind?
Orla. I would kiss, before I spoke.
Ros. Nay, you were better speak first, and when you were gravelld for lack of matter, you might take occafion to kiss. Very good orators, when they are out, they will spit ; and for lovers lacking, God warn us, matter, the cleanliest shift is to kiss.
Orla. How if the kiss be denied ?
Rof. Then she puts you to entreaty, and there begins new matter.
Orla. Who could be out, being before his beloved mistress ?
Rof. Marry, that should you, if I were your mistress ; or I should think my honesty ranker than
my wit. Orla. What, of
suit ? Rof. Not out of your apparel, and yet out of your fuit. Am not I your Rosalind ?
Orla. I take some joy to say, you are ; because I would be talking of her. ROS: Well
, in her person, I say, I will not have you. Orla. Then in mine own person I die.
Ros. No, faith, die by attorney ; the poor world is almost fix thousand years old, and in all this time there was not any man died in his own person, videlicet, in a love-cause : Troilus had his brains daih'd out with a Grecian club, yet he did what he could to die before, and he is one of the patterns of love. Leander, he would have liv'd many à fair year, tho' Hero had turn’d nun, if it had not been for a hot midsummer night; for, good youth, he went but forth to wash in the Hellefpont, and, being taken with the cramp, was drown'd; and the foolish chroniclers of that age found
Hero of Seftos. But these are all lies ; men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, bnt not for love.
Orla. I would not have my right Rosalind of this mind; for, I proteft, her frown might kill me.
Ros. By this hand, it will not kill a flie ; but come ; now I will be your Rosalind in a more coming-on difposition ; and ask me what you will, I will grant it.
Orla. Then love me, Rosalind.
Rof. Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing? come, fifter, you shall be the priest, and marsy us. Give me your hand, Orlando : what do you say, Sifter?
Orla. Pray thee, marry us.
Cel. Go to; will you, Orlando, have to wife this Rosalind?
Orla. I will. Rof: Ay, but when ? Orla. Why now, as fast as she can marry us. Rof. Then you must say, I take thee Rosalind for wile:
Orla. I take thee Rofalind for wife. Rof: I might ask you for your commiffion, but I do take thee Orlando for my husband : there's a girl goes before the priest, and certainly a woman's thought runs before her actions.
Orla. So do all thoughts ; they are wing’d.
Rof. Now tell me, how long would you have her, after you have pofseft her.
Orla. For ever and a day.
Rof. Say a day, without the ever : no, no, Orlando, men are April when they woo, December when they wed : maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives ; I will be more jealous of thee than a Barbary cock-pidgeon over his hen ; more clamorous than a parrot against rain ; more newfangled than an ape ; more giddy in my defires than a monkey ; I will weep for nothing, like Diana in the fountain ; and I will do that, when you are dispos'd to be merry ; I will laugh like a hyen, and that when you are inclin’d to sleep.
Orla. But will my Rosalind do so?
Rof. Or else she could not have the wit to do this, the wiser, the waywarder : make the doors fast upon a woman's wit, and it will out at the casement) fhut that, and 'twill out at the key-hole ; stop that, it will fly with. the smoak out at the chimney.
Orla. A man that had a wife with such a wit, he might fay, Wit, whither wilt?
Řos. Nay, you might keep that check for it, 'till you met your wife's wit going to your neighbour's bed.
Orla. And what wit could wit have to excuse that ?
Rof. Marry, to say she came to seek you there : you. snall never take her without her answer, unless her without her tongue. O that woman, that cannot make her fault her husband's occasion, let her never nurse her child her self, for she will breed it like a fool ! Orla. For these two hours, Rosalind, I will leave thee.
Roj. Alas, dear love, I cannot lack thee two hours.
Orla. I must attend the Duke at dinner ; by two o'clock I will be with thee again, Rof. Ay, go your ways, go your ways ; I knew what
would prove, my friends told me as much, and I thought no less ; that flattering tongue of yours won me; 'tis but one cast away, and to come death : two o'th' clock is your hour !
Orla. Ay, sweet Rosalind.
Roj. By my troth, and in good earnest, and so God mend me, and by all pretty oaths that are not dangerous,
break one jot of your promise, or come one minute behind your hour, I will think you the most pathetical break-promise, and the most hollow lover, and the most unworthy of her you call Rosalind, that may be chosen out of the gross band of the unfaithful; therefore beware my censure, and keep your promise.
Orla. With no less religion, than if thou wert in. deed my Rofalind; fo adieu.
Rof. Well, time is the old Justice that examines all such offenders, and let time try. Adieu! [ Exit Orla.
Cel. You have simply misus'd our fex in your loveprate : we must have your doublet and hose pluck'd over your head, and shew the world what the bird hath done to her own neft.
Ror. O coz, coz, coz, my pretty little coz, that thou didst know how many fathom deep I am in love ; but it cannot be founded : my affection hath an unknown bottom, like the Bay of Portugal.
Cel. Or rather, bottomless ; that as fast as you pour affection in, it runs olt.
Rof. No, that fame wicked bastard of Venus, that was begot of thought, conceiv'd of spleen, and born of madness, that blind rascally boy, that abuses every one's eyes, because his own are out, let him be judge, how deep I am in love ; I'll tell thee, Aliena, I cannot be out of the fight of Orlando ; I'll go find a shadow, and figh 'till he come. Cel. And I'll fleep.
Enter Jaques, Lords, and Forefters. Jaq. Which is he that kill'd the deer ? Lord. Sir, it was I.
Jaq. Let's present him to the Duke, like a Roman Conqueror ; and it would do well to set the deer's horns upon his head, for a branch of victory ; have you no Song, Forester, for this purpose ?
For. Yes, Sir.
Jaq. Sing it; 'tis no matter how it be in tune, so it make noise enough.
Enter Rosalind and Celia.
(12) Then fing him home, the rest shall bear this Burthen.] This is no admirable Instance of the Sagacity of our preceding Editors, to say Nothing worse. One should expect, when they were Poets, they would at least have taken care of the Rhymes, and not foisted in what has Nothing to answer it. Now, where is the Rhyme to, the rest shall bear this Burthen ? Or, to ask another Question, where is the Sense of it ? Does the Poec mean, that He, that kill'd the Deer, shall be sung home, and the Rest shall bear the Deer on their Backs ? This is laying a Burthen on the Poet, that We must help him to throw off. in short, the Mystery of the Whole is, that a Marginal Note is wisely thrust into the Text: the Song being design’d to be sung by a single Voice, and the Stanza's to close with a Burthen to be sung by the whole Company: