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O Rosalind! these trees shall be my books,
And in their barks my thoughts I'll character ; That every eye, which in this forest looks,
Shall see thy virtue witness'd every where. - Run, run, Orlando; carve on every tree, The fair, the chaste, and unexpressive* she. (Exit.
Enter Corin and Touchstone. Cor. And how like you this shepherd's life, master Touchstone ?
Touch. Truly, shepherd, in respect of itself, it is a good life; but in respect that it is a shepherd's life, it is naught. In respect that it is solitary, I like it very well; but in respect that it is private, it is a very vile life. Now in respect it is in the fields, it pleaseth nie well; but in respect it is not in the court, it is tedious. As it is a spare life, look you, it fits my humour well; but as there is no more plenty in it, it goes much against my stomach. Hast any philosophy in thee, shepherd ?
Cor. No more, but that I know, the more one sickens, the worse at ease he is; and that he that wants money, means, and content, is without three good friends :- That the property of rain is to wet, and fire to burn: That good pasture makes fat sheep ; and that a great cause of the night, is lack of the sun : That he, that hath learned no wit by nature nor art, may complain of good breeding, or comes of a very dull kindred.
Touch. Such a one is a natural philosopher.--Wast ever in court, shepherd ?
Cor. No, truly.
Touch. Truly, thou art damn’d; like an ill-roasted egg, all on one side. .
Cor. For not being at court? Your reason.
Touch. Why, if thou never wast at court, thou never saw'st good manners; if thou never saw'st
* Inexpressible. VOL, III
good manners, then thy manners must be wicked ; and wickedness is sin, and sin is damnation : Thou art in a parlous state, shepherd.
Cor, Not a whit, Touchstone: those, that are good manners at the court, are as ridiculous in the country, as the behaviour of the country is most mockable at the court. You told me, you salute not at the court, but you kiss your hands; that courtesy would be uncleanly, if courtiers were shepherds.
Touch. Instance, briefly; come, instance.
Cor. Why, we are still handling our ewes; and their fells, you know, are greasy.
Touch. Why, do not your courtier's hands sweat? and is not the grease of a mutton as wholesome as the sweat of a man? Shallow, shallow : A better instance, I say; come.
Cor. Besides, our hands are hard.
Touch. Your lips will feel them the sooner. Shallow, again: A more sounder instance, come.
Cor. And they are often tarr'd over with the surgery of our sheep ; And would you have us kiss tar? The courtier's hands are perfumed with civet.
Touch. Most shallow man! Thou worms-meat, in respect of a good piece of flesh : Indeed!-Learn of the wise, and perpend: Civet is of a baser birth than tar ; the very uncleanly flux of a cat. Mend the instance, shepherd.
Cor. You have too courtly a wit for me; I'll rest.
Touch. Wilt thou rest damn'd? God help thee, shallow man! God make incision in thee! thou art raw*,
Cor. Sir, I am a true labourer; I earn that I eat, get that I wear; owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness; glad of other men's good, content with my harm : and the greatest of my pride is, to see my ewes graze, and my lambs suck. .
Touch. That is another simple sin in you; to bring the ewes and the rams together, and to offer
to get your living by the copulation of cattle: to be bawd to a bell-wether; and to betray a she-lamb of a twelvemonth, to a crooked-pated, old, cuckoldly ram, out of all reasonable match. If thou be’st not damn'd for this, the devil himself will have no shepherds; I cannot see else how thou should'st 'scape.
Cor. Here comes young master Ganymede, my new mistress's brother
Enter Rosalind, reading a paper.
No jewei is like Rosalind.
But the fair † of Rosalindu . Touch. I'll rhyme you so, eight years together; dinners, and suppers, and sleeping hours excepted : it is the right butter-woman's rank to market.
Ros. Out, fool !
If a hart do lack a hind,
Must find love's prick, and Rosalind. This is the very false gallop of verses; Why do you infect yourself with them? * Delineated.
+ Complexion, beauty.
For mould this desting; stand a
Ros. Peace, you dull fool ; I found them on a tree.
Touch. Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.
Ros. I'll graff it with you, and then I shall graff it with a medlar : then it will be the earliest fruit in the country: for you'll be rotten e'er you be half ripe, and that's the right virtue of the medlar:
Touch. You have said; but whether wisely or no, let the forest judge.
Enter Celia, reading a paper.
For it is unpeopled ? No;
That shall civil* sayings show.
Runs his erring pilgrimage ;
Buckles in his sum of age.
'Twixt the souls of friend and friend :
Or at every sentence end,
Teaching all that read, to know
Heaven would in little show.
That one body should be filld
Nature presently distilld
Cleopatra's majesty ;
Sad Lucretia's modesty.
* Grave, solemo.
Of many faces, eyes, and hearts,
To have the touches* dearest priz'd. . Heaven would that she these gifts should have,
And I to live and die her slave. Ros. O most gentle Jupiter !-what tedious homily of love have you wearied your parishioners withal, and never cry’d, Have patience, good people!
Cel. How now ! back friends ;-Shepherd, go off a little :-Go with him, sirrah.
Touch. Come, shepherd, let us make an honourable retreat; though not with bag and baggage, yet with scrip and scrippage.
[Exeunt Corin and Touchstone. Cel. Didst thou hear these verses ?
Ros. O, yes, I heard them all, and more too; for some of them had in them more feet than the verses would bear.
Cel. That's no matter; the feet might bear the verses.
Ros. Ay, but the feet were lame, and could not bear themselves without the verse, and therefore stood lamely in the verse.
Cel. But didst thou hear, without wondering how thy name should be hang’d and carved upon these trees?
Ros. I was seven of the nine days out of the wonder, before you came; for look here what I found on a palm-tree: I was never so be-rhymed since Pythagoras' time, that I was an Irish rat, which I can hardly remember.
Cel. Trow you, who hath done this?
Cel. And a chain, that you once wore, about his neck: Change you colour?
Ros. I pr’ythee, who?
Cel. O lord, lord ! it is a hard matter for friends to meet; but mountains may be removed with earthquakes, and so encounter.