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Read The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Part 47

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Firm and irrevocable is my doom Which I have pa.s.s’d upon her; she is banish’d.

CELIA. p.r.o.nounce that sentence, then, on me, my liege; I cannot live out of her company.

FREDERICK. You are a fool. You, niece, provide yourself.

If you outstay the time, upon mine honour, And in the greatness of my word, you die.

Exeunt DUKE and LORDS CELIA. O my poor Rosalind! Whither wilt thou go?

Wilt thou change fathers? I will give thee mine.

I charge thee be not thou more griev’d than I am.

ROSALIND. I have more cause.

CELIA. Thou hast not, cousin.

Prithee be cheerful. Know’st thou not the Duke Hath banish’d me, his daughter?

ROSALIND. That he hath not.

CELIA. No, hath not? Rosalind lacks, then, the love Which teacheth thee that thou and I am one.

Shall we be sund’red? Shall we part, sweet girl?

No; let my father seek another heir.

Therefore devise with me how we may fly, Whither to go, and what to bear with us; And do not seek to take your charge upon you, To bear your griefs yourself, and leave me out; For, by this heaven, now at our sorrows pale, Say what thou canst, I’ll go along with thee.

ROSALIND. Why, whither shall we go?

CELIA. To seek my uncle in the Forest of Arden.

ROSALIND. Alas, what danger will it be to us, Maids as we are, to travel forth so far!

Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.

CELIA. I’ll put myself in poor and mean attire, And with a kind of umber smirch my face; The like do you; so shall we pa.s.s along, And never stir a.s.sailants.

ROSALIND. Were it not better, Because that I am more than common tall, That I did suit me all points like a man?

A gallant curtle-axe upon my thigh, A boar spear in my hand; and- in my heart Lie there what hidden woman’s fear there will- We’ll have a swashing and a martial outside, As many other mannish cowards have That do outface it with their semblances.

CELIA. What shall I call thee when thou art a man?

ROSALIND. I’ll have no worse a name than Jove’s own page, And therefore look you call me Ganymede.

But what will you be call’d?

CELIA. Something that hath a reference to my state: No longer Celia, but Aliena.

ROSALIND. But, cousin, what if we a.s.say’d to steal The clownish fool out of your father’s court?

Would he not be a comfort to our travel?

CELIA. He’ll go along o’er the wide world with me; Leave me alone to woo him. Let’s away, And get our jewels and our wealth together; Devise the fittest time and safest way To hide us from pursuit that will be made After my flight. Now go we in content To liberty, and not to banishment. Exeunt

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ACT II. SCENE I.

The Forest of Arden

Enter DUKE SENIOR, AMIENS, and two or three LORDS, like foresters

DUKE SENIOR. Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile, Hath not old custom made this life more sweet Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods More free from peril than the envious court?

Here feel we not the penalty of Adam, The seasons’ difference; as the icy fang And churlish chiding of the winter’s wind, Which when it bites and blows upon my body, Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say ‘This is no flattery; these are counsellors That feelingly persuade me what I am.’

Sweet are the uses of adversity, Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head; And this our life, exempt from public haunt, Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in everything.

I would not change it.

AMIENS. Happy is your Grace, That can translate the stubbornness of fortune Into so quiet and so sweet a style.

DUKE SENIOR. Come, shall we go and kill us venison?

And yet it irks me the poor dappled fools, Being native burghers of this desert city, Should, in their own confines, with forked heads Have their round haunches gor’d.

FIRST LORD. Indeed, my lord, The melancholy Jaques grieves at that; And, in that kind, swears you do more usurp Than doth your brother that hath banish’d you.

To-day my Lord of Amiens and myself Did steal behind him as he lay along Under an oak whose antique root peeps out Upon the brook that brawls along this wood!

To the which place a poor sequest’red stag, That from the hunter’s aim had ta’en a hurt, Did come to languish; and, indeed, my lord, The wretched animal heav’d forth such groans That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat Almost to bursting; and the big round tears Cours’d one another down his innocent nose In piteous chase; and thus the hairy fool, Much marked of the melancholy Jaques, Stood on th’ extremest verge of the swift brook, Augmenting it with tears.

DUKE SENIOR. But what said Jaques?

Did he not moralize this spectacle?

FIRST LORD. O, yes, into a thousand similes.

First, for his weeping into the needless stream: ‘Poor deer,’ quoth he ‘thou mak’st a testament As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more To that which had too much.’ Then, being there alone, Left and abandoned of his velvet friends: ”Tis right’; quoth he ‘thus misery doth part The flux of company.’ Anon, a careless herd, Full of the pasture, jumps along by him And never stays to greet him. ‘Ay,’ quoth Jaques ‘Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens; ‘Tis just the fashion. Wherefore do you look Upon that poor and broken bankrupt there?’

Thus most invectively he pierceth through The body of the country, city, court, Yea, and of this our life; swearing that we Are mere usurpers, tyrants, and what’s worse, To fright the animals, and to kill them up In their a.s.sign’d and native dwelling-place.

DUKE SENIOR. And did you leave him in this contemplation?

SECOND LORD. We did, my lord, weeping and commenting Upon the sobbing deer.

DUKE SENIOR. Show me the place; I love to cope him in these sullen fits, For then he’s full of matter.

FIRST LORD. I’ll bring you to him straight. Exeunt

SCENE II.

The DUKE’S palace

Enter DUKE FREDERICK, with LORDS

FREDERICK. Can it be possible that no man saw them?

It cannot be; some villains of my court Are of consent and sufferance in this.

FIRST LORD. I cannot hear of any that did see her.

The ladies, her attendants of her chamber, Saw her abed, and in the morning early They found the bed untreasur’d of their mistress.

SECOND LORD. My lord, the roynish clown, at whom so oft Your Grace was wont to laugh, is also missing.

Hisperia, the Princess’ gentlewoman, Confesses that she secretly o’erheard Your daughter and her cousin much commend The parts and graces of the wrestler That did but lately foil the sinewy Charles; And she believes, wherever they are gone, That youth is surely in their company.

FREDERICK. Send to his brother; fetch that gallant hither.

If he be absent, bring his brother to me; I’ll make him find him. Do this suddenly; And let not search and inquisition quail To bring again these foolish runaways. Exeunt

SCENE III.

Before OLIVER’S house

Enter ORLANDO and ADAM, meeting

ORLANDO. Who’s there?

ADAM. What, my young master? O my gentle master!

O my sweet master! O you memory Of old Sir Rowland! Why, what make you here?

Why are you virtuous? Why do people love you?

And wherefore are you gentle, strong, and valiant?

Why would you be so fond to overcome The bonny prizer of the humorous Duke?

Your praise is come too swiftly home before you.

Know you not, master, to some kind of men Their graces serve them but as enemies?

No more do yours. Your virtues, gentle master, Are sanctified and holy traitors to you.

O, what a world is this, when what is comely Envenoms him that bears it!

ORLANDO. Why, what’s the matter?

ADAM. O unhappy youth!

Come not within these doors; within this roof The enemy of all your graces lives.

———-

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