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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 :
I know not the contents ; but, as I guess,
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.

Rof. Patience her self would ftartle at this letter,
And play the swaggerer ; bear this, bear all.
She says, I am not fair ; that I lack manners ;
She calls me proud, and that she could not love me
Were man as rare as phænix : 'odds

my

will !
Her love is not the hare that I do hunt.
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.

Rof. Come, come, you're a fool,
And turn'd into th' extremity of love.
I saw her hand, the has a leathern hand,
A free-stone-colour'd hand ; I verily did think,
That her old gloves were on, but 'twas her hands :
She has a hulwife's hand, but that's no matter ;
I say, she never did invent this letter ;
This is a man's invention, and his hand.

Sil. Sure, it is hers.

Rof. Why, 'tis a boisterous and a cruel ftile, A ftile 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 ; Yet heard too much of Phebe's cruelty. Rof. She Phebe's me; mark, how the tyrant writes.

[Reads. ]

[Reads.] Art thou God to shepherd turn'd,
That a maiden's heart bath burn'd?
Can a woman rail thus ?
Sil. Call you this railing ?

Rof. [Reads.] Why, thy Godhead laid apart,
Warrs thou with a woman's heart?
Did

you ever hear such railing ?
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 frange 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 elfe by him my love deny,

And then I'll study how to die.
Sil. Call you this chiding?
Cel. Alas, poor shepherd!

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 ftrains 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, unless thou entreat “ for her”: If you be a true lover, hence, and not a word ; for here comes more company.

[Exit Sil. Enter Oliver. Oli. Good-morrow, fair ones : pray you,

if

you know,

Where

Where, in the purlews 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 ofiers, by the murmuring stream,
Left on your right-hand, brings you to the place ;
But at this hour the house doth keep it self,
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 :

of the boy is fais,
66 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 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, 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.

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 forests. Chewing the food of sweet and bitter fancy, Lo, what befel ! he threw his eye aside, And mark what object did present it felf. 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 it self, Who with her head, nimble in threats, approach'd The opening of his mouth, but suddenly Seeing Orlando, it unlink'd it self, And with indented glides did slip away Into a buh; under which bush's shade

A Lioness, with udders all drawn dry,
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 feen, Orlando did approach the man,
And found it was his brother, his eldest brother.

Cel. O, I have heard him speak of that same brother,
And he did render him the most unnatural
That liv’d ’mongst men.

oli. And well he might fo do ; For, well I know, he was unnatural.

Rof. But, to Orlando ; did he leave him there, Food to the fuck'd and hungry lioness ?

Oli. Twice did he turn his back, and purpos’d so:
But kindness, nobler ever than revenge,
And nature stronger than his juft occasion,
Made him give battel to the lioness,
Who quickly fell before him ; in which hurtling
From miserable slumber I awak'd.

Cel. Are you his brother?
Rof. Was it you he rescu'd ?
Cel

. Was it you that did so oft contrive to kill him? Oli. 'Twas I ; but 'tis not I; I do not shame To tell

you
what I

my conversion So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.

Rof. But, for the bloody napkin ?

oli. By, and by.
When from the first to last, betwixt us two,

Tears our recountments had most kindly bath'd,
As how I came into that defart place ;
In brief, he led me to the gentle Duke,
Who gave me fresh array and entertainment,
Committing me unto my brother's love ;
Who led me instantly unto his cave,
There strip'd himself, and here upon his arm
The lioness had torn some flesh away,
Which all this while had bted; and now he fainted,
And cry'd, in fainting, upon Rosalind.
Brief, I recover'd him ; bound up his wound;

was, fince

And,

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And, after some small space, being strong at heart,
He sent me hither, ftranger as I am,
To tell this story, that you might excuse
His broken promise ; and to give this napkin,
Dy'd in his blood, unto the shepherd youth,
That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.
Cel. Why, how now Ganimed, Sweet, Ganimed ?

[Ror. faints.
Oli. Many will swoon, when they do look on blood,
Cel. There is more in it : cousin Ganimed!
Oli. Look, he recovers.
Rof. Would, I were at home!
Cel. We'll lead

you

thither. I pray you, will you take him by the arm ?

olí. Be of good cheer, youth; you a man? you lack a man's heart.

Rof. I do fo, I confess it. Ah, Sir, a body would think, 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 carnest.

Rof. Counterfeit, I affure you.

oli. Well then, take a good heart, and counterfeit to be a man.

Ref. So I do: but, i' faith, I should have been a wo. man by right.

Cel. Come, you look paler and paler ; pray you, draw homewards; good Sir, go with us.

Oli. That will I; for I muft bear answer back, How you excuse my brother, Rosalind.

Ros. I shall devise something ; but, I pray you com. mend my counterfeiting to him : will you go ? [Exeunt..

ACT,

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