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Den. Calls your Worship?
Oli. Was not Charles, the Duke's wrestler, here to fpeak with me?
Den. So please you, he is here at the door, and importunes accefs to you.
Oli. Call him in ;-'twill be a good way; and tomorrow the wrestling is.
Cha. Good morrow to your Worship.
Oli. Good Monfieur Charles, what's the new news at the new court?
Cha. There's no news at the court, Sir, but the old news; that is, the old Duke is banish'd by his younger brother the new Duke, and three or four loving Lords have put themselves into voluntary exile with him; whofe lands and revenues inrich the new Duke, therefore he gives them good leave to wander.
Oli. Can you tell, if Rofalind, the Duke's daughter, be banish'd with her father?
Cha. O, no; for the new Duke's daughter her coufin fo loves her, being ever from their cradles bred together, that the would have followed her exile, or have died to stay behind her. She is at the court, and no lefs beloved of her uncle than his own daughter; and never two ladies loved as they do.
Oli. Where will the old Duke live?
Cha. They fay, he is already in the foreft of Arden, and a many merry men with him; and there they live like the old Robin Hood of England: they fay, many young gentlemen flock to him every day, and fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden world.
Oli. What, you wrestle to-morrow before the new Duke ?
Cha. Marry, do I, Sir; and I came to acquaint you with a matter. I am given, Sir, fecretly to understand, that your younger brother Orlando hath a disposition to come in difguis'd against me to try a fall; to-morrow, Sir, I wrestle for my credit; and he that escapes me without fome broken limb, fhall acquit him well.
Your brother is but young and tender, and for your love I would be loth to foil him; as I muft for mine own honour, if he come in; therefore, out of my love to you, I came hither to acquaint you withal, that either you might ftay him from his intendment, or brook fuch difgrace well as he shall run into; in that it is a thing of his own fearch, and all together against my will.
Oli. Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me, which thou shalt find I will moft kindly requite. I had myfelf notice of my brother's purpose herein, and have by underhand means laboured to diffuade him from it; but he is refolute. I tell thee, Charles, he is the stubborneft young fellow of France; full of ambition, an envious emulator of every man's good parts, a fecret and villanous contriver against me his natural brother; there fore ufe thy difcretion; I had as lief thou didst break his neck, as his finger. And thou wert best look to't; for if thou doft him any flight difgrace, or if he do not mightily grace himself on thee, he will practise against thee by poison; intrap thee by fome treacherous device; and never leave thee, till he hath ta'en thy life by fome indirect means or other; for I affure thee, (and almost with tears I fpeak it), there is not one fo young and fo villanous this day living. I fpeak but brotherly of him; but fhould I anatomize him to thee as he is, I must blush and weep, and thou must look pale, and wonder.
Cha. I am heartily glad I came hither to you: if he come to-morrow, I'll give him his payment; if ever he go alone again, I'll never wreitle for prize more; and fo God keep your Worship. [Exit. Oli. Farewel, good Charles. Now will I ftir this gamester: I hope I fhall fee an end of him; for my foul, yet I know not why, hates nothing more than he. Yet he's gentle; never fchool'd, and yet learned; full of noble device, of all forts inchantingly beloved; and indeed fo much in the heart of the world, and efpecially of my own people who best know him, that I am altogether mifprifed. But it fhall not be fo long; this wrestler fhall clear all; nothing remains but that I kindle the boy thither, which now I'll go about.. [Exit. SCENE
Changes to an open walk before the Duke's palace. Enter Rofalind and Celia.
Cel. I pray thee, Rofalind, fweet my coz, be merry. Ref. Dear Celia, I fhow more mirth than I am miftrefs of; and would you yet I were merrier? Unless you could teach me to forget a banith'd father, you must not learn me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure.
Cel. Herein I fee thou lov't me not with the full weight that I love thee. If my uncle, thy banished father, had banished thy uncle the Duke my father, fo thou hadst been ftill with me, I could have taught my love to take thy father for mine; fo would'st thou, if the truth of thy love to me were fo righteously temper'd as mine is to thee.
Rof. Well, I will forget the condition of my eftate, to rejoice in your's.
Cel. You know my father hath no child but I, nor none is like to have; and, truly, when he dies, thou fhalt be his heir: for what he hath taken away from thy father perforce, I will render thee again in affection; by mine honour I will; and when I break that oath, let me turn monfter: therefore, my fweet Rofe, my dear Rofe, be merry.
Rof. From henceforth I will, coz, and devise sports. Let me fee, what think you of falling in love?
Gel. Marry, I pr'ythee, do, to make fport withal: but love no man in good earneft, nor no further in fport neither, than with fafety of a pure blush thou may'ft in honour come off again.
Rof. What fhall be our fport then?
Gel. Let us fit, and mock the good housewife Fortune from her wheel, that her gifts may henceforth be beftowed equally.
Rof. I would we could do fo; for her benefits are mightily misplaced, and the bountiful blind woman doth most mistake in her gifts to women.
Cel. 'Tis true; for thofe that the makes fair, the
fcarce makes honeft; and thofe that fhe makes honest, fhe makes very ill-favoured.
Rof. Nay, now thou goeft from Fortune's office to Nature's: Fortune reigns in gifts of the world, not in the lineaments of nature.
Enter Touchstone, a clown.
'Cel. No! when Nature hath made a fair creature, may the not by Fortune fall into the fire? tho'kature hath given us wit to flout at Fortune, bath not Fortune fent in this fool to cut off this argument?
Ref. Indeed there is fortune too hard for nature; when Fortune makes Nature's natural the cutter of of nature's wit.
Cel. Peradventure this is not Fortune's work neither, but Nature's; who, perceiving our natural wits too dull to reason of such goddeffes, hath fent this natural for our whetstone for always the dulness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits. How now, Wit, whither
wander you? Clo. Miftrefs, you must come away to your father. Cel. Were you made the meffenger?
Clo. No, by mine honour; but I was bid to come for you.
Rof. Where learned you that oath, fool?
Clo. "Of a certain Knight, that fwore by his honour they were good pancakes, and fwore by his honour the mustard was naught.” Now, I'll ftand to it, the pancakes were naught, and the mustard was good, and yet was not the Knight forfworn.
Cel. How prove you that, in the great heap of your knowledge?
Rof. Ay, marry; now unmuzzle your wisdom. Clo. Stand you both forth now; stroke your chins, and fwear by your beards that I am a knave.
Cel. By our beards, if we had them, thou art.
Clo. By my knavery, if I had it, then I were; but if you fwear by that that is not, you are not forfworn: no more was this knight fwearing by his honour, for he never had any; or if he had, he had fworn it away before ever he faw thofe pancakes or that mustard.
Cel. Pr'ythee, who is that thou mean'st ?
Clar One that old. Frederick your father loves, 1 Cel. My father's love is enough to honour him enough; fpeak no more of him, you'll be whipp'd for taxation one of thefe days.
Clo. The more pity that fools may not fpeak wifely what wife men do foolishly.
Cel. By my troth, thou fay't true; for fince the little wit that fools have was filence'd, the little foolery that wife men have makes a great fhow. Here comes Monfieur Le Beu.
SCENE V. Enter Le Beu.
Rof. With his mouth full of news.
Cel. Which he will put on us, as pidgeons feed their young.
Rof. Then fhall we be news-cramm'd.
Cel. All the better, we shall be the more marketable. Bon jour, Monfieur Le Beu, what news?
Le Beu. Fair Princess, you have loft much good sport. Cel. Sport; of what colour?
Le Blu. What colour, Madam? how fhall I answer you?
Rof. As wit and fortune will.
Clo. Or as the deftinies decree.
Cel. Well faid; that was laid on with a trowel.
Clo. Nay, if I keep not my rank,
Rof. Thou lofeft thy old fmell.
Le Beu. You amaze me, Ladies; I would have told you of good wrefiling, which you have loft the fight of. Rof. Yet tell us the manner of the wrestling.
Le Beu. I will tell you the beginning; and, if it pleafe your Ladyfhips you may fee the end, for the best is yet to do; and here where you are they are coming to perform it.
Cel. Well, the beginning that is dead and buried. Le Beu. There comes an old man and his three fons,
Cel. I could match this beginning with an old tale. Le Beu. Three proper young men, of excellent growth and prefence;
Rof. With bills on their necks.
Clo. Be it known unto all men by thefe prefents